Reporters in Georgetown, Kentucky, asked Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) on Wednesday about House Republicans rushing to oust Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.) from her leadership position due to her clashes with former President Donald Trump about the validity of the 2020 election. McConnell sidestepped the question. "One hundred percent of my focus is on stopping this new administration," he said, referring to President Biden's policies as "socialist."
McConnell repeated the line when the same reporter asked if he is concerned that a sizable portion of the Republican Party says they believe Trump's lie that he actually won. "One hundred percent of my focus is on standing up to this administration," he said. "What we have in the United States Senate is total unity, from Susan Collins to Ted Cruz, in opposition to what the new Biden administration is trying to do to this country."
"Who knows what matters anymore, but this is a gift-wrapped quote for Democrats," Washington Post reporter David Weigel tweeted. "The thing about an ongoing controversy" like the Liz Cheney saga is that politicians "keep getting asked about it — like any interrogation, it leads to slip-ups."
White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki made some hay out of McConnell's quote, telling reporters, "The contrast for people to consider is 100 percent of our focus is on delivering relief to the American people and getting the pandemic under control and putting people back to work." But Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris mostly shrugged it off.
"He said that about the last administration — about Barack, that he was going to stop everything — and I was able to get a lot done with him," Biden said, referring to McConnell's statement to National Journal in 2010 that "the single most important thing we want to achieve is for President Obama to be a one-term president." Harris, in Rhode Island, said she and Biden "are sincere and serious about the potential to actually get something done together."
Trump said in a statement Wednesday that McConnell is "gutless and clueless."