Mitch McConnell 'desperately' working to crush 'unelectable goofballs' championed by Trump: report

Mitch McConnell 'desperately' working to crush 'unelectable goofballs' championed by Trump: report
Mitch McConnell/Shutterstock

According to a report from the New York Times, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) has been working with his lieutenants to squash growing Trumpism in the Senate in his battle with Donald Trump over the future of the party.

The report from the Times' Jonathan Martin notes that McConnell is "quietly, desperately" recruiting candidates for the upcoming election in the hopes that he can push aside lawmakers who have pledged their allegiance to the former president.

According to the report, "The loose alliance, which was once thought of as the G.O.P. establishment, for months has been engaged in a high-stakes candidate recruitment campaign, full of phone calls, meetings, polling memos and promises of millions of dollars. It’s all aimed at recapturing the Senate majority, but the election also represents what could be Republicans’ last chance to reverse the spread of Trumpism before it fully consumes their party."

The report goes on to note that McConnell "is blunt about the damage he believes Mr. Trump has done to the G.O.P." in his recruitment pitch to potential candidates, calling some of the Trump-backed candidates "goofballs."

"History doesn’t bode well for such behind-the-scene efforts to challenge Mr. Trump, and Mr. McConnell’s hard sell is so far yielding mixed results," the report states before adding, "Mr. Trump, however, has also had setbacks. He’s made a handful of endorsements in contentious races, but his choices have not cleared the Republican field, and one has dropped out."

According to the report, the stakes for McConnell -- and Trump -- could not be higher. Should McConnell prevail, he has a better chance of retaking control of the Senate in the November midterms as well as exposing Trump as a paper tiger Republicans need no longer fear.

For Trump, the failure of the candidates he endorses would put a major damper on his plans to run for president again in 2024, with the Times' Martin writing, "If he loses in a series of races after an attempt to play kingmaker, however,it would deflate Mr. Trump’s standing, luring other ambitious Republicans into the White House contest and providing a path for the party to move on."

You can read more here.

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