Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell stopped short of blaming former President Donald Trump for losing both Georgia Senate seats.
McConnell spoke Thursday with Fox News anchor Bret Baier and, after refusing to weigh in on Trump’s more recent activities, confirmed that he would support the 2024 Republican nominee — whoever it might be. (RELATED: Trump Advisers Say The Former President Will Circle The GOP Wagons One Month After Leaving The White House)
Baier began by playing a clip of McConnell speaking on the Senate floor, criticizing Trump’s behavior after the 2020 presidential election and leading up to the January 6 riot on Capitol Hill.
McConnell said that he believed it was time to move forward, and immediately pivoted to President Joe Biden.
“I want to say this about the president, having chosen the progressive route, he certainly made it a lot easier for me to unify my members in opposition,” he said.
Baier turned the topic back to Trump, referencing the former president’s statement criticizing McConnell. “When you read that what was your reaction?” Baier asked.
McConnell pushed back, saying that the Republican Party was in good shape and touting the fact that Republicans had gained House seats and “elected 50 Republican senators when everybody predicted we were going to lose the Senate.”
“Do you blame the former president for losing the two Georgia Senate seats?” Baier asked.
“I don’t have any further observations to make about that. We’re looking forward,” McConnell replied.
Baier tried a different approach, asking whether McConnell thought that Trump should be speaking at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC).
“I don’t have any advice to give the former president about where he should speak or what he should say,” McConnell continued, dodging the subject of Trump.
“Is there a civil war in the GOP?” Baier asked.
“No, I think if you’re looking for a real civil war, look at the Democrats,” McConnell said, again pivoting to the Democratic Party, arguing the progressives were likely to make it difficult for House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to get much done.
Baier concluded by bringing up the 2024 presidential race and noting that a number of Republicans believed Trump would be the nominee.
McConnell hinted he knew of at least four senators who were thinking of running, saying that he saw the race as “wide open.”
“If the president was the party’s nominee, would you support him?” Baier asked.
“The nominee of the party, absolutely,” McConnell confirmed.