Several prominent Republicans, some of whom are staunch supporters of former President Donald Trump, have urged Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell to step down, citing concerns about his health.
During a recent Republican leadership weekly press conference, 81-year-old McConnell suddenly paused his speech and was escorted away by his Republican colleagues. This incident raised questions about the mental capacities of our political leaders, in the wake of similar concerns about California Senator Dianne Feinstein, President Joe Biden, and Pennsylvania Senator John Fetterman, who suffered a stroke in 2022.
Following a concussion in March after a fall at a hotel in Washington D.C., McConnell returned to the conference a few minutes later and reassured everyone that he was “okay.”
Upon his return, McConnell informed the press that he had received a call from President Biden checking in on him. He described the situation as being “sandbagged,” reminiscent of Biden’s description of his own stumble at a graduation ceremony in Colorado Springs in June.
McConnell’s health scare has provoked worry among Republicans, leading some to demand his resignation. McConnell’s office has been approached for a response.
Many of those pushing for his resignation are Trump enthusiasts, who have often criticized McConnell for his comments about the January 6 Capitol attack, which he described as a “violent insurrection.”
Prominent right-wing figure Rogan O’Handley, known online as @DC_Draino, shared a video of the incident involving McConnell, commenting, “Mitch McConnell shows clear cognitive impairments… He should resign.”
Turning Point USA founder Charlie Kirk underscored the significance of leaders’ health in American politics, while citing Feinstein, Biden, McConnell, Fetterman, and ex-Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi.
“These politicians, entrenched by party structures, are unfit to run the country due to age or health. Resign,” Kirk demanded.
Podcast host Benny Johnson criticized McConnell, saying, “Mitch McConnell is unwell… He is a detriment to the GOP. Resign.”
Sean Davis, co-founder of The Federalist, questioned the leadership capabilities of such figures: “Why is our nation led by unhealthy, evidently brain-damaged individuals like Biden, McConnell, and Fetterman? Out of 330 million citizens, these are our leaders? It’s shameful.”
In response to queries about his potential successor, McConnell, the Senate’s longest-serving leader, dismissed the matter lightheartedly upon his return to the conference.
Texas Senator John Cornyn, seen as a potential replacement, expressed his continued support for McConnell: “I’ll support Senator McConnell as long as he chooses to remain leader.”
Other Republican senators rallied around McConnell after his mid-speech freeze. Even Senator Ted Cruz, known for his conflicts with McConnell, expressed his hopes for McConnell’s recovery, saying, “Mitch is as tough as nails and as stubborn as a mule. I fully believe he will overcome any health challenges.”