Meddling in Missouri: Billy Long Says Mitch McConnell Tried to Get Him to Drop Out of Senate Race 

Representative Billy Long, a Republican from Missouri, speaks during a House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Health hearing in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Thursday, May 14, 2020. Former Director of the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority Rick Bright told the committee that the Trump administration was and remains woefully …
Greg Nash/The Hill/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Republican Senate Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) is reportedly meddling in Missouri’s U.S. Senate race. Current Senate candidate Rep. Billy Long (R-MO) revealed that McConnell urged him to drop out of the race.

Long told voters at a campaign stop about McConnell’s efforts to thwart his campaign. According to Long, McConnell tried to get him to drop out on multiple occasions.

“The very first time I went to see Mitch, which was early on, he said, ‘you all need to sit down and draw straws or draw high cards.’ And I said, ‘I’m in.’ I mean, I will do that today,” Long told voters on Wednesday evening.

“And then, I’ve heard through Peter Kinder, former lieutenant governor who’s backing Vicky Hartzler, that McConnell was trying to get me out of the race,” Long said.

Long then explained how he confronted McConnell after learning about his second attempt to steer Long out of the race.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., speaks to reporters after a Republican policy meeting at the Capitol in Washington, Tuesday, Sept. 28, 2021. Yesterday, Republican senators blocked a bill to keep the U.S. government funded and allow borrowing.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) speaks to reporters after a Republican policy meeting at the Capitol in Washington, Tuesday, Sept. 28, 2021. (J. Scott Applewhite/AP)

“So I went over to McConnell’s office that night. I told my scheduler, I said, ‘Get me in to see Mitch if you can,’ and usually takes about three or four weeks to see. He saw me that afternoon,” Long said.

He continued:

And I looked at Mitch, and I said, “I understand you’re trying to get me out of the race.” And I said, “if you are, Mitch, you haven’t told it to me. I figured if you really want me out, you’d say, ‘hey Billy, why don’t you drop out?'” But somebody else should, and we’ll be great. But he said, “Well, this thing does need to consolidate.” So we sit down and talk for 35, 40 minutes. And I told him, “Mitch when I ran the first time, I was in an eight-way, race. I had the most name ID of anybody in that race, and I was supposed to come in ninth in Congress.” And I said, “I won by seven points.” I said, “I’m gonna do the same thing this time.”

McConnell’s efforts to get Long to drop out of the race could be an attempt to take away votes from former Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens, the frontrunner in the race. McConnell has a vested interest in stopping Greitens candidacy as the former Missouri governor has campaigned on voting against McConnell as Republican Senate leader.


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