Former president Donald Trump called for Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell to be replaced by Senator Rick Scott during a rally in Ohio late Monday night. Cockburn is not terribly surprised that the former president would choose to attack his party a day before what promises to be a Republican wave — after all, he’s aligned with the voices on the left who consider the GOP “the Trump Party.”
Trump branded McConnell a “lousy leader,” saying he “has been very bad for our nation” and “very bad for the Republican Party.” He also praised Scott as a “very talented guy” who is the “likely candidate” to replace McConnell.
Trump has had a long-running feud with the Minority Leader, which only heated up after McConnell condemned the former president for his role in the January 6 riot. During the primary season, McConnell criticized the quality of some of the GOP’s candidates, many of whom were Trump-supported. In October, Trump dubbed McConnell’s wife, his former transportation secretary Elaine Chao, “Coco Chow” and said the Kentucky senator had a “death wish.” Scott has been on the former president’s good side, particularly since he hit back at McConnell’s candidate quality concerns.
As Trump gears up for another run for the White House — he is making an announcement at his Mar-a-Lago residence next Tuesday — he can likely sense the opposition to him within the party. There are a lot of GOP voters who want to move on, preferring a candidate with a winning record like Florida’s Ron DeSantis.
There are, of course, also many Republicans who want to see Trump 2024. The former president has never been known for pulling his punches, so the intraparty attacks will likely get more fiery as the march to 2024 begins. The GOP should just hope that the attacks don’t harm its midterm prospects.