McConnell Confirms Run for Another Term as GOP Senate Leader

McConnell Confirms Run for Another Term as GOP Senate Leader McConnell Confirms Run for Another Term as GOP Senate Leader Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) participates in a Pop-Up Conversation with Punchbowl News at the AT&T Forum on March 31, 2022 in Washington, DC. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty)

By Charlie McCarthy | Thursday, 31 March 2022 12:39 PM

Sen. Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., said Thursday he plans to run for another term as the chamber's Republican leader.

During an interview with Punchbowl News, McConnell was asked about a potential challenge by Sen. Rick Scott, R-Fla., who has been backed for the leadership position by former President Donald Trump.

"The election occurs every two years. I'm proud that I've been elected eight times to that position, but I don't own the job," McConnell told Punchbowl News.

"Anybody in the conference can run if they choose to."

He later added, "obviously, I'm going to run again for leader."

Elected to the Senate in 1984, McConnell has been the Senate GOP leader since November 2006. He served as Senate majority leader from 2015-21 when Republicans controlled the upper chamber.

"I never thought honestly I'd get to the Senate, so I'm extremely proud of the fact that my members have elected me without opposition as many times as they have and I hope they'll do it one more time at least," McConnell told Punchbowl News.

Nicknamed "The Old Crow" by Trump, McConnell has been a target of the former president since December 2020, when he congratulated then-President-elect Joe Biden on winning the 2020 election.

Scott, chairman of the National Republican Senatorial Committee, and McConnell have had "differences of opinion about strategy but I think we’ll get past that," the leader said.

"We both have in common is a desire to see us in the majority this November,” McConnell said during the Punchbowl News interview.

Days after McConnell warned Scott that his agenda for Republicans could open the GOP to attacks this fall, the Florida senator went on the offensive and defended the plan.

"I have committed heresy in Washington," Scott said, The Wall Street Journal reported March 3. "I've been in the Senate for only three years, and I have released an 11-point plan with 128 ideas on what Republicans should do after we win the coming elections and take control of the Senate and House.

"In the real world beyond the Beltway, Republicans and independents demand bold action and a plan to save our nation. They see no point in taking control of Congress if we are simply going to return to business as usual."

Scott’s plan included a call for all Americans to pay income taxes "even if a small amount."

"We will not have as part of our agenda a bill that raises taxes on half the American people and sunsets Social Security and Medicare within five years," McConnell told a reporters earlier this month, Axios reported.

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