McConnell Snubs Trump?

Gage Skidmore from Peoria, AZ, United States of America, CC BY-SA 2.0 , via Wikimedia Commons

Here McConnell’s game plan.

Ahead of this year’s midterms, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) is keeping the focus squarely on President Biden’s failures and away from GOP divisions.

McConnell’s slick maneuvering –– which includes avoiding questions about the GOP’s agenda in 2023 and never mentioning former President Trump by name –– is the strategic choice, given Republicans’ bullish outlook on taking control of the Senate.

In the next few months, Republicans have to navigate a string of potentially damaging issues: the sporadic infighting in the House and bloody primaries in key Senate races, while navigating Trump’s shadow as he continues to hold a grudge on his GOP detractors –– including McConnell.

However, McConnell’s single-minded determination to keep the focus on Biden and Democrats is giving his fellow GOP members direction to follow suit.

Speaking on McConnell’s strategy to evade discussing the GOP 2023 agenda, former McConnell campaign advisor, Scott Jennings, said going down the “rabbit hole” made little sense strategically or politically, adding McConnell is “far too disciplined to allow himself to be distracted.”

Jennings also pointed to Trump, saying the former President “won’t take the bait.” He continued, mentioning that “He’s just never going to allow himself to be knocked off his strategic path and the path here is very clear: Keep Joe Biden and his failures at the center of the conversation of this election.

During a recent press conference, McConnell was asked about the GOP’s 2023 agenda if the party wins back the Senate majority. His agenda avoidance was evident. McConnell dodged the question, responding by saying, “That’s a very good question. And I’ll let you know when we take it back.”

He then pivoted the question back to Biden and Democrats, saying the midterm elections would be “a report card on the performance of this entire Democratic government: the President, the House, and the Senate,” emphasizing that the upcoming midterms would be a “referendum on this all-Democratic government.”

Democrats have also picked up on this blatant sidestepping and seem to be trying to evoke a response from McConnell or, at the very least, agitate voters who realize the GOP has been tight-lipped about their 2023 agenda.

During his first press conference of the year, when asked about his plans, Biden questioned what the Senate GOP leader supported, asking emphatically, “What’s Mitch for?” Before questioning his stance on immigration.

“What’s he for on immigration? What’s he proposing?”