Senator Tom Cotton (R-AR) encouraged Senate Republicans to continue with their leadership contest despite reports of internal party strife.
Cotton stated on CBS’s “Face the Nation” on Sunday that no senator has stepped forward to confront Senate Minority Chairman Mitch McConnell (R-KY) for leadership, therefore the caucus must move ahead with the elections and concentrate on the impending Georgia Senate runoff. Cotton’s remarks come as a number of Republican senators are demanding for new leadership and a postponement of the vote.
“Well, I cannot understand why we would postpone the election when all five or six of the leadership races are uncontested,” Cotton explained. “You know, Ric Flair, the great wrestling champion, used to say, ‘To be the man, you had to defeat the man.’ So far, no one has had the courage to stand up to Senator McConnell. As a result, I back Senator McConnell. I endorse the other candidate slate for our leadership elections. I believe it is best that we move on with these elections so that we may return our attention to the Georgia runoff.”
A handful of Republicans are calling for the leadership elections to be postponed. Some senators also voiced concerns about the purpose of the conference and if the party is acting in the best interests of Americans.
“We need to engage in serious discussions within our conference about why this is happening and what we can do to enhance our chances in 2024,” Senators Ron Johnson, Mike Lee, and Rick Scott wrote in a letter addressed to Senate Republicans. “Holding leadership elections before hearing from candidates about how they plan to carry out their leadership responsibilities and before we know if we are going to be the majority or even who all of the members are contradicts the most fundamental norms of a democratic process. It is absolutely not at all the way leadership elections of the world’s greatest deliberative body should be handled.”
“The Senate Republican leadership vote next week must be rescheduled,” Florida Sen. Marco Rubio said in a tweet Friday. “First, we must ensure that individuals who seek to lead us are sincerely committed to fighting for the interests and values of the working Americans (of all backgrounds) who have given us major victories in states such as #Florida.”
“Exactly true,” Missouri Republican Sen. Josh Hawley said in response to Rubio. “I’m not sure why the Senate Republicans would have a leadership election for the upcoming Congress before the election is over. Do we have a runoff election in the #GASenate? Do they say it doesn’t even matter? Don’t let @HerschelWalker down.”