Mitch McConnell Will 'Absolutely' Back Trump as GOP Nominee in 2024
Republican Senate minority leader refuses to attack 45 during interview
Republican Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) says he will "absolutely" back President Donald Trump if he wins the GOP nomination in 2024.
Speaking during a Fox News interview on Thursday evening, McConnell repeatedly refused to attack Trump, despite being nudged to do so.
"Special Report" host Bret Baier played clips from McConnell’s post-Senate trial speech where he criticized Trump.
“All right, we’re just 12 days, Senator, since your really blistering speech on the Senate floor about former President Trump,” Baier said several minutes into the interview.
When Baier attempted to push McConnell for a response on the speech, McConnell said that was in the past.
He said his past criticisms of President Trump are not “relevant now” and that the Republican Party is focused on “moving forward.”
"We have got a new administration," McConnell said.
"It’s a very left-wing administration.
"We need to make sure the American people understand that this is not what Republicans stand for,” he said.
“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.”
McConnell told Baier that "there's a lot to happen between now and '24.
"I've got at least four members, I think, that are planning on running for president, plus governors and others.
"There is no incumbent, [so it] should be a wide-open race and fun for you all to cover."
McConnell was lambasted by President Trump recently after the senator condemned his behavior during the Jan. 6 Capitol riot.
When asked by Baier to respond to Trump’s allegation that the Republican Party could never be respected if leaders such as McConnell remained in charge, he replied, "The Republican Party is actually in very good shape.
"We gained seats in the House.
'We elected 50 Republican senators when everybody was predicting we were going to lose the Senate.
"The Democrats didn’t flip a single state legislature.
"We flipped two [and] picked up a governor.
"The Republican Party had a very good day on November 3," McConnell continued.
"We’re sorry we lost the White House, but the Republican Party demonstrated once again [that] this is a 50/50 nation, we are very competitive and will be competitive again in '22."
McConnell also dismissed speculation that there is a civil war within the GOP, saying the real disunity lies with House Democrats.
"The progressives make it extremely difficult for Speaker [Nancy] Pelosi to operate given the narrow margin she has overall in the House," he said.
Meanwhile, according to McConnell, "I think the Biden administration is making it easy for us to get together.
"I think we’ve unified in opposition to this new administration’s extremely progressive approach.
"President Biden has made it quite easy for us to get together."
Baier finished the interview by asking what McConnell's message is to Trump supporters who may be concerned about the future of the Republican Party.
"I would say to everybody who's inclined to support our right-of-center Republican Party, let's focus on winning the house and the Senate in '22," McConnell said.
"That will set up the next nominee for president, whoever that may be, [with] the best chance to be victorious."