President Donald Trump still has confidence that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell can do his job, despite a list of political failures in the Senate.
Two separate efforts to replace Obamacare have failed in the Senate under McConnell’s leadership, and he was dealt a heavy blow after his preferred candidate, Sen. Luther Strange, lost big in Alabama in spite of the establishment’s spending millions to beat outsider candidate Roy Moore.
Trump said Republican senators had to decide for themselves if they still want McConnell to lead them.
“I do have confidence in him, yes,” Trump replied to reporters when asked if he still has confidence in McConnell. “But it’s really not up to me; it’s up to the Senate.”
He noted that Moore’s campaign successfully leveraged McConnell’s unpopularity against Strange in Alabama but not against the presidency.
“I was very honored by the way I was treated in the race,” Trump said.
McConnell has an 18 percent favorability rating, according to a recent poll in his home state of Kentucky.
The Senate majority leader has also privately fought with Trump, leading the president to make a deal with Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi on the budget.
But McConnell can still bounce back if he successfully brings tax reform across the finish line. The Republican Congress has yet to score a major legislative victory since Trump was inaugurated.