Mitch McConnell gets hot under the collar amid Bret Baier grilling on Cheney and Trump

U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) dodged expressing an opinion about the ouster of Rep. Liz Cheney from House leadership despite repeated questioning from Bret Baier on the Fox News Channel, effectively insisting, that it is not his job.

When the “Special Report” host asked the Senate Minority Leader if he thought the GOP in the lower chamber acted appropriately in demoting the vocal Never Trumper, McConnell tried to switch the discussion over to the big picture. “It’s up to the House to make these kinds of decisions. We’re moving ahead in the Senate, focusing on the current challenges we have with this new administration.”

McConnell insisted that he is still a “great admirer” of the Wyoming (by way of the swamp) politician, adding that “I stand by what I said about Liz Cheney before…as to who is supposed to be in leadership in the House, that’s up to House Republicans. And entirely our focus is on dealing with this new administration.”

The GOP leader expressed hope that his caucus could strike some bipartisan legislative deals such as on infrastructure, although the Biden administration “got off to a pretty hard left-wing start…this is a 50-50 senate. We don’t intend to participate in turning America into a left-wing kind of Bernie Sanders vision of what this country ought to be like.”

Baier then went to the well again, asking McConnell if he agreed with Cheney’s criticism of former President Donald Trump that she delivered on the House floor Tuesday night that Trump and others say sounded like Democrat talking points, including condemning the ex-president’s supposed incitement of the Capitol riot on January 6.

In response, McConnell sounded like he was getting weary of this line of questioning.

“I don’t know how many times I have to tell you, I’m focusing on dealing with the conditions we find ourselves in now. With regard to the election, I voted to certify the election. I expressed myself on that issue on several different occasion, several months ago, but now we’re in May. And the issue is what can we agree on to do for the American people on a bipartisan basis.”

McConnell voted against both impeachment efforts by the Democrats, but he had castigated Trump in a floor speech and in an op-ed after Impeachment 2.0.

Baier then lamented that Trump is still raising doubts about the legitimacy of the Election 2020 outcome, including a recent post on his webpage about Michigan (and without taking into consideration that the ex-POTUS can and does multi-task on different issues).

Baier also seemed concerned that 2022 GOP candidates were aligning themselves with Trump.

“So I guess my question is, can you move on like you’re saying without dealing with the former president, and what he puts out day to day about the election?” he asked.

“Your question is about what will the ’22 elections be about. If you look at American history, the ’22 election is very likely to be a referendum on the performance of the new administration,” McConnell responded.

“Bill Clinton, two years in, lost the House and Senate. Barack Obama lost the House. Donald Trump lost the House. The first off-year election into a new administration will be a referendum on the performance of the Biden administration. If this administration continues to present a program that Bernie Sanders loves, only Bernie Sanders could love this kind of program, that will be what we debate in the fall of ’22,” he added.

In its lyrics, the Kenny Rogers ballad “The Gambler” recommends that “You’ve got to know when to hold ’em, know when to fold ’em,” but Baier was undaunted. He then pressed McConnell about extensive GOP campaign fundraising that mentions President Trump prominently.

“You’re saying the focus is not on the past. But you’re using the former president’s name and Republicans are, to raise money for 2022.”

“Well, look, each individual candidate is gonna use whatever appeal they think works to try to raise money. I’m not in the money-raising business. I’m in the Senate business. And what we’re trying to do here is to make some progress for the country,” McConnell noted with a smile.

Watch:

(Source: Fox News)

All politicians are in the fundraising business, one way or another, however. Moreover, whether the media wishes to acknowledge it or not, the GOP grassroots base is the MAGA coalition, which also extends to independents and a cohort of Democrats or former Democrats.

The historic trend of off-year elections that McConnell cited could change if the Democrats can jam through their bill to nationalize watered-down voting procedures. Earlier in the interview, McConnell expressed confidence that that legislation, which has zero Republican support, has no chance of passing as long as the Senate filibuster is in place.

The corporate media has taken the position that there was no “widespread” fraud in the presidential election and that any further discussion is off limits.

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Robert Jonathan

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