McConnell complains about ‘candidate quality’ while investing in Senate races for GOP candidates

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Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell may soon face a new wave of Republicans in the Senate who oppose his message, but he continues to offer his support to those representing the GOP on the ballot amid “candidate quality” concerns.

When asked about his prediction for 2022 at the Northern Kentucky Chamber of Commerce luncheon on Thursday, McConnell quoted “candidate quality” that’s why he thinks Republicans will have a hard time toppling the Senate in November and may instead be unable to topple control of the House.

“I think there’s probably a better chance of the House rocking than the Senate,” said McConnell, who has led the GOP in the Senate since 2007. “Senate races are just different, they’re on the scale of the state. The quality of the candidates has a lot to do with the outcome.”

Despite McConnell’s remarks, The Associated Press reported that the McConnell-controlled Senate Leadership Fund (SLF) bought $28 million in advertising this week to boost Republican JD Vance in Ohio, a seat that many Republicans thought they were safe for the GOP. The SLF also announced this month that it has invested more than $34 million in the Pennsylvania Senate race featuring Republican nominee Mehmet Oz, who will face John Fetterman, the state’s lieutenant governor and nominee. Democrat in the Senate during the general election.

MCCONNELL MAKES DARK PREDICTION ON REPUBLICANS IN SENATE RACES, REFERENCE TO ‘QUALITY OF CANDIDATES’

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said Thursday he thinks the GOP will struggle to regain control of the Senate in November's midterm elections.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said Thursday he thinks the GOP will struggle to regain control of the Senate in November’s midterm elections.
(Eric Lee/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

Other SLF spending includes a $141 million fall advertising reservation for elections taking place in Alaska, Arizona, Georgia, Nevada, North Carolina, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin. Spending on ads — which will begin airing Sept. 6 — is more than double the $67 million spent by SLF in 2020, setting a record for PAC.

Ahead of his remarks on the “quality” of Republican candidates running in Senate races, McConnell also gave his support to GOP Senate candidates facing tough elections against Democrats, including Herschel Walker in Georgia and Adam Laxalt in Nevada. – both of which received the approval of alumni President Donald Trump.

Several GOP Senate candidates have expressed reservations about McConnell’s leadership of the party, with some insisting he should no longer represent Republicans in the Senate leadership.

During podcast interview Last September, Vance, who is seeking to defeat Rep. Tim Ryan, D-Ohio, in the Senate race later this year, insisted it was time for “new blood” in the Senate and suggested that McConnell had at times shown he was “out of touch” with Republican voters.

“I think McConnell has shown at times that he’s a bit disconnected from the base,” he said. “I think it’s time we got over the very old ruling class that has long dominated the Republican Party. We have to do that. We have to bring in some new blood. We have to get the people whose base is really excited.”

JD Vance, co-founder of Narya Capital Management LLC and Republican U.S. Senate candidate for Ohio, speaks during a campaign event in Huber Heights, Ohio, U.S., Thursday, February 17, 2022.

JD Vance, co-founder of Narya Capital Management LLC and Republican U.S. Senate candidate for Ohio, speaks during a campaign event in Huber Heights, Ohio, U.S., Thursday, February 17, 2022.
(Gaelen Morse/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

In another interviewVance claimed he was the “only person in the Ohio Senate race who was actually willing to criticize the leadership” and that he “will continue to criticize the leadership” if he thinks “they have wrong”.

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Last month, Eric Schmitt, current Missouri attorney general and Republican candidate for the state Senate, called for “new leadership in the Senateduring a conversation with a reporter at a campaign event.

“Mitch McConnell was elected to the Senate in 1985. I think the priorities of the party changed quite dramatically. And I don’t think he followed that. I think more recently, as evidenced by the disastrous draft of infrastructure law, I’ve made it clear that I don’t support this gun confiscation law, the red flag law. I don’t support that,” said Schmitt, who is seeking to replace the incumbent GOP senator. Roy Blunt.

“I was endorsed by Senator Ted Cruz, Senator Mike Lee,” he added. “I would love to see one of them run. I would support that. Mitch McConnell didn’t support me and I don’t support him for leadership in the Senate.”

Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt, also a GOP candidate for the state Senate, speaks to reporters outside the U.S. Supreme Court Tuesday, April 26, 2022 in Washington, DC.

Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt, also a GOP candidate for the state Senate, speaks to reporters outside the U.S. Supreme Court Tuesday, April 26, 2022 in Washington, DC.
((Kent Nishimura/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images))

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Blake Masters, the Trump-endorsed Republican candidate for the Senate in Arizona, also targeted McConnell in the old days.

Earlier this year, Masters, who is seeking to defeat incumbent Democratic Sen. Mark Kelly in the state general election, weighed GOP Senate leadership replacements for McConnell, saying he would back the senses. Josh Hawley from Missouri or Tom Cotton from Arkansas for the job. Furthermore, he also said he thought McConnell was “not good at” lawmaking.

“I’m going to tell Mitch to his face,” Masters said during a GOP primary debate in June. “He’s not bad at everything. He’s good at judges. He’s good at blocking Democrats. You know what he’s not good at? Legislating.”

Republican Senate candidate Blake Masters speaks at a rally

Republican Senate candidate Blake Masters speaks during a ‘Save America’ rally hosted by former President Donald Trump in support of Arizona GOP candidates July 22, 2022 in Prescott Valley, Arizona.
(Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)

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Despite his comments about McConnell at the time, Masters predicted on Friday that the GOP leader will receive another term as GOP leader and that no Republicans will challenge him.

“I think he’ll be in charge. And I’m not just going to be a senator who goes along with whatever he says,” Masters said, according to The Associated Press. “I’m going to listen to him. I’m happy to listen to him. But my vote doesn’t belong to Mitch McConnell. It doesn’t belong to Donald Trump.”

Andrea Vacchiano of Fox News and the Associated Press contributed to this article.

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