- Mo Brooks says McConnell will face “significant resistance” in staying on as the Senate GOP leader.
- Brooks threw out conservatives like Ted Cruz and Rand Paul as candidates that he could support.
- The congressman is running in Alabama’s 2022 Senate race and faces a competitive GOP primary.
Republican Rep. Mo Brooks on Friday said that Sen. Mitch McConnell would face “significant resistance” in staying on as the party’s leader in the upper chamber after the 2022 midterm elections.
Brooks — an Alabama conservative running for the Senate seat being vacated by veteran lawmaker Richard Shelby after the midterms — gave an interview on the Mobile-based radio station FM Talk 1065 where he threw out the names of well-known lawmakers like Sens. Ted Cruz of Texas and Josh Hawley of Missouri as potential replacements for the Kentucky Republican.
The congressman — who was endorsed by former President Donald Trump last year and is strongly allied with the “Make America Great Again” movement — is counting on the former president’s support to boost him in a competitive multicandidate GOP primary.
“There’s going to be significant resistance to Mitch McConnell being the Republican leader of the United States Senate,” Brooks remarked on “The Jeff Poor Show.”
He continued: “Even [Sen.] Lindsey Graham has suggested that Mitch McConnell should not be the leader if he’s not able to work things out with Donald Trump. I have seen nothing that suggests that he is going to be able to work things out with Donald Trump. But we’ll see how it plays out in that regard.”
For months, Trump has sought to replace McConnell as the top Senate Republican, motivated by the Kentucky lawmaker’s actions during the waning days of the former president’s administration.
After Trump’s second impeachment trial in 2021 for “incitement of insurrection” for his role in the January 6 riot, McConnell declined to find the president guilty but berated him on the Senate floor. While McConnell later said that he would support Trump if he emerged as the party’s presidential nominee in 2024, the former president has not forgotten about the senator’s earlier words.
Trump has also been critical of McConnell’s support of President Joe Biden’s $1.2 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill, which the former president repeatedly called a “disgrace.”
While Brooks has made no secret of his distaste for McConnell’s leadership style, the congressman also said that he could still back the Kentucky Republican if he was the most conservative individual seeking to lead the caucus.
“I’m going to vote for whoever is the most conservative person running for the leadership of the Republicans in the United States Senate,” he said.
He added: “There’s a possibility that’s Mitch McConnell if he’s up against Susan Collins or Lisa Murkowski or any of the open border, left winger types. You’ve got to take into account who the competition is because it’s a comparison thing. If we could get someone like Rand Paul or Mike Lee or Josh Hawley … or Ron Johnson out of Wisconsin … or Ted Cruz out of Texas … I’m going to vote for them.”
Brooks — one of Trump’s staunchest congressional allies during the former president’s tenure in the White House — faltered with fundraising in the third quarter of 2021, trailing Katie Britt, the former president and chief executive officer of the Business Council of Alabama and his most formidable opponent.
In the third quarter, Britt — a former chief of staff to Shelby — raised roughly $1.5 million, with the congressman trailing with 670,000, according to The Alabama Political Reporter.
The publication also reported that Brooks added several staffers to his campaign last December in an effort to bolster his standing headed into the primary.
With Alabama’s deep red political hue, whoever wins the Republican primary is heavily favored to win the general election.