Hawley Excoriates Mitch McConnell: He Decided To ‘Leave Masters for Dead In Arizona’

Josh Hawley, the populist Republican Senator from Missouri, excoriated Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and party leadership in a new interview with a conservative publication.

Hawley, a vocal advocate of the populist values and policies espoused by the Make America Great Again movement, took Republican leadership to task for its failure to offer a compelling message and support its candidates in the midterm elections in an interview with Real Clear Politics.

“I’m not going to support the current leadership in the party,” he told the outlet, before listing a series of major disagreements with McConnell and his allies.

Among them, Hawley told RCP that he “did not agree with the decision” to give Democrats wins on the Second Amendment and climate change, or McConnell’s reported decision to bail on Blake Masters in Arizona.

“I did not agree with failing to have any kind of an agenda to run on in these midterms,” he told RCP.

“I did not agree with the decision to bad-mouth our candidates in the middle of the campaign, I did not agree with the decision to leave Blake Masters for dead in Arizona.”

Donald Trump and Blake Masters
Donald Trump and Blake Masters

In late August, Politico and other outlets reported that McConnell’s Senate super PAC had pulled millions of dollars in funding from the Blake Masters Senate campaign amid his ongoing feud with 45th President Donald Trump, a key ally of Masters.

At the time, incumbent Democrat Sen. Mark Kelly had raised $40 million compared to Masters’ $18 million.

PJ media seemed to suggest that McConnell uses the PAC as a powerful incentive for Senate Republicans to support him, meaning Hawley may be taking a serious political risk by publicly breaking with McConnell.

At press time, Arizona has still failed to report enough votes to declare a winner, but Masters is behind Kelly by around 100,000 votes, or about 5%.

Only 82% of votes have been reported on the Friday morning after Election Day.

Speaking to RCP, Hawley blasted McConnell and his establishment brand of “Washington Republicanism” whose wisdom generally prevailed when planning Republican messaging heading into the midterms.

“Republicans just said, ‘Well, the other side sucks, and Biden sucks.’ Well, no doubt,” Hawley explained, “But it’s pretty hard to convince folks, particularly independent-minded ones who don’t tend to trust the process much, to vote for you, if you don’t have something affirmative to say and offer.”

Josh Hawley against an American flag
Josh Hawley speaks at the TPUSA Student Action Summit in 2022 (Gage Skidmore / Flickr)

He told the outlet, “I lay that at the feet of the Washington establishment that set the tone for these races,” because “They failed to offer that kind of vision.”

If Hawley had his way, he told RCP, the Republican Party would have advanced a unified message proposing “tougher tariffs on China, reshoring American jobs, opening up American energy full throttle, and putting 100,000 new cops on the street.”

Citing the average performance, Hawley declared that he’s formally split with the Republican Party’s leadership, likely referring to McConnell.

Hawley told RCP that he hopes Tuesday’s performance will “mean that Republicans in leadership will learn their lesson on this, and they will oppose the Biden agenda more effectively.”

To him, that means the Republican Party needs “to actually offer an alternative.”

Hawley, considered by many to be a rising star in the Republican Party, told the outlet “has no such plans” to challenge McConnell for his leadership role in the Senate.

This news and commentary by Tom Pappert originally appeared on Valiant News.


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