Sunday on CNN’s “State of the Union,” Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R.-KY) said former White House chief strategist Steve Bannon targeting Republican senators who did not support President Donald Trump’s agenda would “cost” the Republican Party seats in the Senate.
McConnell said, “This element has been out there for a while. They cost us five Senate seats in 2010 and 2012, by nominating people who couldn’t win in November. In order for the president’s agenda to advance, we have to be able to elect people who support the agenda. And, so, these inter-party skirmishes are all about whether or not we can nominate a candidate who can win in November. Now, we in 2014 and 2016, we nominate candidates who could actually win elections, and we took the Senate in 2014 and kept it in 2016. So these are inter-party skirmishes about actually winning elections.”
He added, “I think most Republicans want to see us win elections. I always remind people, the winners of elections make policies and the losers go home and go into some other line of work. So we’re trying to maintain this majority so we can achieve the goals that the president and ourselves share. And so these skirmishes will occur in the primaries. They’ve happened in recent years. The years in which we have nominated people who could win, we took the majorities and years in which we didn’t, we lost. It’s all about whether or not we can maintain control and achieve the things that the president and ourselves want to achieve for the American people.”
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