Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY) on Wednesday vowed to “stay out” of the potentially “highly contested” 2024 Republican presidential primary.
“The way I’m going into this presidential primary season is to stay out of it,” McConnell told reporters. “I don’t have a dog in that fight. I think it’s going to be a highly contested nomination fight with other candidates entering.”
It is well known McConnell was not the biggest supporter of former President Donald Trump, who announced he was running for president Tuesday night. No other GOP primary contender has entered the race.
McConnell and Trump often competed for influence over the Republican Party during Trump’s presidency. McConnell and Trump did work together to appoint conservative judges to the courts, but the relationship became fractured after Trump lost reelection.
“I think it’s going to be a highly-contested nomination.” -Leader McConnell on the 2024 GOP primarypic.twitter.com/zHoDDSINKb
— j.d. durkin ??? (@jd_durkin) November 16, 2022
McConnell has since remained Senate GOP leader, wielding influence over the Republican conference, which has failed to block President Joe Biden’s agenda.
McConnell’s Republican senate allies have voted for Democrat legislation, such as the infrastructure package and the so-called “Inflation Reduction Act.” Both pieces of legislation have been criticized by experts as likely contributors to inflation.
Trump opposed both packages, promising during his campaign announcement on Tuesday to restore “national greatness.”
“We will do whatever it takes to bring back honesty and trust in our elections,” Trump said. “We need voter ID, same-day voting, and we need paper ballots. … And we want all votes counted on election night.”
“I will keep America out of foolish and unnecessary foreign wars, just as I did for four years before,” Trump continued. “We will rehire every patriot Biden fired,” Trump said, and “clean out the festering rot of corruption.”
“We will dismantle the deep state,” Trump promised.
Follow Wendell Husebø on Twitter @WendellHusebø. He is the author of Politics of Slave Morality.