Mitch McConnell’s former chief of staff Josh Holmes grew increasingly desperate to stop the rising wave of populist candidates challenging the Senate Republican leadership by calling former White House chief strategist and Breitbart News executive chairman Steve Bannon a “white supremacist.”
Holmes said, “In 2018 we ought to revisit this question and find out if these people are still happy to be associated with Bannon. When you’re facing voters, I’d take one of the most successful majority leaders in history over a white supremacist any day.”
Holmes’ and the establishment Republicans’ influence in the 2018 Senate election continues to fade. Missouri Attorney General Josh Hawley, whom Holmes’ labeled as their first choice for the 2018 midterm election, refuses to endorse Mitch McConnell for majority leader.
“He was our No. 1 recruit of the cycle,” Holmes charged. “We worked our tail off to recruit Josh Hawley.”
Hawley’s spokesman, Scott Paradise, responded in an email questioning whether Hawley would back McConnell.
“The Senate is broken and failing the people of Missouri,” Paradise said.
“Josh is running because he is not willing to tolerate the failure of the D.C. establishment any longer,” Paradise added. “He won’t tolerate Claire McCaskill’s failure. And he won’t tolerate Republican failure, either.”
Montana state auditor Matt Rosendale recently tweeted a picture with Steve Bannon and said that he will end the “D.C. status quo.”
Nearly two dozen Senate Republican candidates refused to openly back Mitch McConnell for majority leader.
Holmes’ statement echoed Sen. Sherrod Brown’s (D-OH) recent comments. Brown also called Bannon a “white supremacist.”
Andy Surabian, a former White House adviser and now a senior adviser to the pro-Trump super PAC Great America Alliance, said, “No amount of smearing can change the fact that not a single U.S. Senate candidate was willing to go on the record and say that they supported Mitch McConnell for Majority Leader. Everyone can see right through the clearly desperate, unfounded and pathetic attacks coming from McConnell Incorporated.”