Politics - News Analysis
Graham Says He Won’t Vote for McConnell as Leader Because Mitch is So Mean to Trump
The intra-party battle between Sen. Mitch McConnell and Donald Trump has erupted into a full-scale war, with Trump aiming his single most effective weapon in the Senate – Lindsey Graham, like a torpedo, at McConnell’s most vulnerable side, his need to be majority leader.
This site has spent the last two months documenting the escalating rhetoric Trump has used against McConnell, criticizing the federal debt deal, for example. McConnell would respond indirectly, by supporting the Select Committee, as an example.
The simmering battle that had largely remained below the radar of the average Republican, until last night, on Sean Hannity – Church of the MAGA – where Lindsey Graham laid down the gauntlet in a manner that cannot be misinterpreted. “Do what Trump wants, or you will not be majority leader in 2022 or 2024.”
Mitch McConnell would likely rather retire from the Senate than be removed as leader.
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“Here’s the question: can Sen. McConnell effectively work with the leader of the Republican Party, Donald Trump?
“I’m not going to vote for anybody that can’t have a working relationship with President Trump, to be a team, to come up with an America first agenda, to show the difference between us and liberal Democrats, prosecute the case for Trump policies.
“And I’m not going to vote for anybody for leader of the Senate as a Republican unless they can prove to me that they have a working relationship with President Trump, because if you can’t do that, you will fail.” – Sen. Lindsey Graham, last night on Hannity.
That is an overt threat and it may be an empty one. Lindsey Graham had to say what he had to say last night, Trump decides what Graham does and doesn’t say (In our opinion). The trouble for Trump is that all 49 other members in that Senate GOP caucus know that McConnell has been genius, ruthless, and devastatingly effective.
If Trump ordered his minions to find a different leader, there is no guarantee he’d get his demand. Senators can set their own rules on such matters and take the vote behind closed doors, anonymously.
One had to be watching fairly closely to see the battle escalating, now it’s out in the open for all to see. The only question remaining is who is strongest and the answer is not obvious.
Graham: If you want to be a Republican leader in the House or the Senate, you have to have a working relationship with Trump. Can Senator McConnell effectively work with the Donald Trump. I’m not going to vote for anybody that can’t have a working relationship with Trump pic.twitter.com/boOjekgyTT
— Acyn (@Acyn) January 13, 2022
Jason Miciak & Nicole Hickman