The interim results, which allowed Democrats to retain their Senate majority, have led some Republicans to openly question who should lead the party forward ahead of the leadership election.
Hawley says McConnell can’t bring GOP back to majority
Senator Josh Hawley told CNN’s Manu Raju that “what we’re doing is clearly not working” to become the majority party.
“It hasn’t worked for a long time,” he said. “And I think you look at independent voters, I mean, we haven’t given them anything, no alternative. That was the management’s decision. They didn’t want to have an agenda.”
Hawley added that he would vote for Senator Rick Scott if he challenged Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell for leader, and reiterated that he believes the leadership election should be delayed until after the runoff in Georgia.
Cruz on leadership election: We need a leader who “doesn’t switch right away”
Senator Ted Cruz criticized the Senate GOP leadership for “capitulating to the Democrats” over the past two years, sharply criticizing their messaging strategy during this cycle.
“I think we should have a leader who really listens to the conference, and who is willing to stand up and fight, not turn around,” Cruz said.
“Our current leadership believes that the way you win elections is that you stand for nothing, have no agenda, have no plan. Instead, all you get is standing up and saying, ‘Well, I’m not a Democrat. So vote for me.’ You know what? Election Day showed that we need to be more than just not a Democrat,” he said.
Cruz said it would be “completely insane” to hold elections for the leadership tomorrow before the election results are announced.
“I’ll tell you this, I believe if we don’t postpone the election, I think it’s very likely we’ll see someone running against Mitch McConnell,” he added.
Former Trump chief of staff says it’s time for RNC chairman to move on
Mick Mulvaney, former acting chief of staff to President Donald Trump, told CNN’s Kate Bolduan that he is not a fan of Ronna McDaniel running for re-election as chair of the Republican National Committee.
“We got along great when I worked in the White House and I personally have no complaints about her. But we have a track record of losing with her leading. Again, we lost in 2018. We lost in 2020 We didn’t win like we should have last week,” Mulvaney said on Tuesday.
Mulvaney’s comments come amid reports that McDaniel told RNC members on a conference call Monday that she plans to seek re-election for another term, according to people familiar with the call.
Thune expects a “candid talk” at the GOP lunch
Senate Republican Whip John Thune said he expects a “candid conversation” when members of the GOP conference meet Tuesday for lunch to assess why they had mediocre election results and begin the process of deciding who will be their elected leadership team for the next congress.
“I expect leaders to be able to make their voices heard as we always do. But I also expect a lot of our members — who are vocal in most cases during these lunches — to be vocal today. We’ll see where it goes,” Thune told reporters at the Capitol. “I think it’s good. We need these candid conversations, especially within the family as we think about mapping the future, learning from the past, being informed by the past, but preparing for the future.”
Thune also said he hoped former President Donald Trump would have waited until after the Georgia Senate runoff round to announce a new presidential election bid, which he is expected to do tonight.