‘A Hell Of A Lot Of Guts’: Mitch McConnell Praises Kyrsten Sinema At The University Of Louisville

Screenshot via YouTube/McConnell Center

Michael Ginsberg Congressional Correspondent
Font Size:

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky praised Democratic Arizona Sen. Kyrsten Sinema’s statesmanship during a Monday introduction at the University of Louisville.

“I’ve only known Kyrsten for four years, but she is, in my view, and I’ve told her this before, the most effective first-term senator I’ve seen during my time in the Senate. She is today what we have too few of in the Democratic Party, a genuine moderate and a deal-maker,” the Republican leader said at the school’s McConnell Center, which he helped found in 1991. The University of Louisville hosted Sinema for a lecture on bipartisanship, which she argued is more reflective of American values than partisan squabbling.


During the 117th Congress, Sinema has participated in bipartisan groups that have passed infrastructure and gun control laws, as well as subsidies for the semiconductor industry. She is also helping to negotiate an amendment to the Electoral Count Act of 1887, and voted against eliminating the filibuster.

“Every single thing that we’ve had an opportunity to work together on, she’s been a leader of and been involved in, and been extraordinarily effective. As you can tell, I have a very high opinion of the senator from Arizona, but my biggest compliment of her is she protects the institution of the Senate,” McConnell continued.

“It took a hell of a lot of guts for Kyrsten Sinema to stand up and say, ‘I’m not going to break the institution for a short term goal,'” he said of her support for the filibuster.

Some left-wing activists repeatedly harassed Sinema during negotiations for the Build Back Better social spending package, at one point chasing her into an Arizona State University bathroom. Others protested her attendance at the Boston Marathon in 2021. (RELATED: Sanders Reportedly Refused To Sign Statement Condemning Sinema Bathroom Protesters Over Political Differences)

Sinema’s close relationship with Republican Utah Sen. Mitt Romney is also a frequent target of left-wing derision. The two reenacted a scene from the Apple+ show “Ted Lasso” for Halloween, and White House aides reportedly claimed Sinema sounded like the 2012 Republican presidential nominee when making comments about masking, taxation and limited government.

“Back home in Arizona, we don’t view life through a partisan lens. Arizonans understand that while we may not agree on every issue, we do share the same values,” Sinema said during her lecture at the university. “Arizonans expect their political leaders to work together regardless of party politics, to make progress, and then move out of the way so that everyday people can build better lives for themselves and their families.”