The war for the future of the Republican Party has already begun. The visible head of one bloc is former President Donald Trump and the other has now been Mitch McConnell, the leader of the Republicans in the Senate, the most powerful conservative in recent years in Washington and who, during the Trump era, He acted as a motor and brake on the magnate’s political agenda. The 78-year-old Kentucky senator exonerated Trump in his trial Saturday for the impeachment, but he delivered a devastating speech against the ex-president, whom he blamed for the assault on the Capitol. Trump reacted on Tuesday in a statement calling him “a surly, sad and gloomy politician”, and assuring that they will never win again with leaders like him.
The writing transpires that old fury of those Twitter messages that now, silenced on social networks, have disappeared. Instead of replying to McConnell’s words on the same Saturday afternoon in a string of tweets, the response has been delayed three days, but it has served him to expand. Trump credits McConnell for losing the Republican majority in the upper house. Democrats managed on January 5 to win the two seats of a conservative bastion such as the southern state of Georgia and be tied 50 to 50 in the Senate, which translates into a de facto Democratic control, since the vice president of the United States, Kamala Harris has the casting vote in the event of a tie.
“The Republican Party will not win again nor will it be respected nor strong with ‘leaders’ like Senator Mitch McConnell at the helm. McConnell’s dedication to politics as always, his lack of vision, knowledge, skill and personality has quickly taken him from majority leader to minority leader and this is only going to get worse, ”Trump said in his statement.
McConnell is one of the oldest senators on the Capitol, he has held his seat for Kentucky since 1985 and was re-elected in the last elections, those of November 3, with which he has the position assured until 2026, when he will already be 83 years old. He is, therefore, a politician with little to fear. When Republicans regained control of the Senate in 2015, he became the Republican Majority Leader of the powerful House. Thus, he served as fronton for the Obama Administration and for Trump himself, who he stopped his feet, for example, with public funding for the construction of the wall with Mexico. He proudly bore the nickname “the grim reaper” because he was the one who killed the laws that came to him from the Democrats.
While Trump agitated the hoax of electoral fraud to deny the victory of Joe Biden, he was silent for months, but in December he abandoned the tycoon and, after the attack on Congress on January 6, went on the attack. “These criminals carried their banners, waved their flags and shouted their loyalty to him,” he said this Saturday, despite voting not guilty on the charge of incitement to insurrection, in the Senate trial.
McConnell argued that a impeachment should be used to remove presidents from office and that, with Trump already out of the White House, he could be prosecuted by the ordinary justice in case of crime, despite the fact that the offense had still been committed as president (the change of Government took place last day 20). “There is no doubt that the president is practically and morally responsible for events,” he concluded.
This Tuesday, Trump struck back. He assured that McConnell is “destroying” the Republican Senate caucus and, with it, “seriously damaging” the United States. He regretted having supported him in his last campaign for the Senate. “He begged me,” he said, and without him, “I would have lost badly.” In addition, he accused him of doing “nothing” in the face of the economic and military threat posed by China because his family has “important businesses” in the country. McConnell is married to Elaine Chao, a Taipei-born businesswoman who was Secretary of Employment with Bush Jr. and whom Trump has appointed Secretary of Transportation for his Administration. It was the time of cordiality. In January, after the assault on Congress, he was one of the top officials who resigned in protest.
The scuffle reflects the great fissure that the Trump era and its tense end has opened in the Republican Party. 10 congressmen from the House of Representatives voted to submit it to a impeachment and seven senators convicted him. Never before has an impeachment of a president garnered so much support from his own party, despite not adding the two-thirds majority required for conviction. Trump still plays a very influential role on the ground, however. A survey of Politico and Morning Consult published this Tuesday reflects that, if the Republican primaries were held today, Trump would win with 59% of the votes, compared to other names that sound like probable candidates for the presidential elections of 2024, such as Mike Pence or Nikki Haley.
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Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.