A growing number of Republicans upset by what they feel was a blown opportunity to gain several more seats in Congress than the party is managing want to postpone a vote next week to decide the party’s leadership.
The call for postponement comes after Republicans and conservative critics are pointing fingers at GOP leaders like Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky for failing to act in ways that was in the party’s best interests.
“The Senate GOP leadership vote next week should be postponed,” Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida tweeted. “First we need to make sure that those who want to lead us are genuinely committed to fighting for the priorities & values of the working Americans (of every background) who gave us big wins in states like #Florida.”
GOP Sen. Cynthia Lummis of Wyoming agreed Rubio’s remarks: “Second,” she tweeted.
— Cynthia Lummis 🦬 (@CynthiaMLummis) November 11, 2022
“Exactly right. I don’t know why Senate GOP would hold a leadership vote for the next Congress before this election is finished. We have a runoff in #GASenate – are they saying that doesn’t matter? Don’t disenfranchise @HerschelWalker,” Sen. Josh Hawley of Missouri noted in his own response to Rubio’s comments.
Exactly right. I don’t know why Senate GOP would hold a leadership vote for the next Congress before this election is finished. We have a runoff in #GASenate – are they saying that doesn’t matter? Don’t disenfranchise @HerschelWalker https://t.co/atIETyoCKY
— Josh Hawley (@HawleyMO) November 11, 2022
When asked who he would like to see in the Senate GOP leadership role, Hawley was blunt: “Not Mitch McConnell.”
“It makes no sense for Senate to have leadership elections before GA runoff. We don’t yet know whether we’ll have a majority & Herschel Walker deserves a say in our leadership. Critically, we need to hear a specific plan for the next 2 yrs from any candidate for leadership,” Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas added.
It makes no sense for Senate to have leadership elections before GA runoff.
We don’t yet know whether we’ll have a majority & Herschel Walker deserves a say in our leadership.
Critically, we need to hear a specific plan for the next 2 yrs from any candidate for leadership.
— Ted Cruz (@tedcruz) November 11, 2022
Punchbowl News noted that GOP Sens. Rick Scott of Florida, Ron Johnson of Wisconsin, and Mike Lee of Utah are circulating a letter among Republican senators suggesting delaying the leadership elections.
“Holding leadership elections without hearing from the candidates as to how they will perform their leadership duties and before we know whether we will be in the majority or even who all our members are violates the most basic principles of a democratic process. It is certainly not the way leadership elections should be conducted in the world’s greatest deliberative body,” the letter states, the outlet reported.
“Accordingly, we propose that we postpone leadership elections until after we know who all our members will be and we all have a chance to hear from leadership candidates as to what type of collaborative conference governing model we should adopt,” it said.
McConnell especially has been blamed for failing to support a number of candidates, including Walker, who were endorsed by former President Donald Trump. For instance, Trump’s chosen candidate in the Alaska Senate race, Kelly Tshibaka, wound up with more votes than incumbent Sen. Lisa Murkowski, but a PAC controlled by McConnell sent her campaign $9 million and shut out Tshibaka.
Now, neither candidate garnered the required 50 percent of the vote to avoid a runoff, so that race has yet to be officially decided, the same as the race in Georgia between Walker and incumbent Democratic Sen. Raphael Warnock.
Trump-backed GOP Senate candidate Blake Masters lashed out at McConnell after he lost his race against incumbent Arizona Democratic Sen. Mark Kelly.
“McConnell decided to spend millions of dollars attacking a fellow Republican in Alaska instead of helping me defeat Senator Mark Kelly,” Masters said, referring to McConnell favoring Murkowski over Trump-supported Tshibaka. “Had he chosen to spend money in Arizona, this race would be over, we’d be celebrating a Senate majority right now.”