Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Kentucky) laid blame on former President Donald Trump for the Republicans’ disappointing midterm election cycle.

“Our ability to control the primary outcome was quite limited in ’22 because the support of the former president proved to be very decisive in these primaries,” McConnell told reporters after being asked if he would play a larger role in selecting candidates in 2024. “So my view was do the best you can with the cards you’re dealt. Hopefully, in the next cycle, we’ll have quality candidates everywhere and a better outcome.”

McConnell added that his super PAC, the Senate Leadership Fund, did select candidates in races in Alabama and Missouri which were both won.

He pointed at lost races in which Trump was a public backer of a candidate such as Kari Lake in Arizona’s gubernatorial race and Herschel Walker in the race to represent Georgia in the Senate.


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“We ended up having a candidate quality test,” McConnell remarked. “Look at Arizona. Look at New Hampshire. And the challenging situation in Georgia, as well.”

McConnell also brought up the 2010 and 2012 and said he sees similarities between those election cycles and what happened in November, equating GOP losses to poor candidate selection. Candidates in those years either had a history of extremism or controversy.

“We went through this in 2010 and 2012 with Christine O’Donnell, Sharron Angle, Todd Akin and Richard Mourdock,” he said. “And unfortunately we revisited that situation in 2022.”

McConnell and Trump have publically disapproved of each other with each disagreeing with how the other viewed the January 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol.

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