Updated February 29th, 2024 at 11:02 IST

Democrats Express Concern Over Mitch McConnell's Successor

McConnell, often viewed as a symbol of traditional Republican governance, is seen by some Democrats as a more moderate force within the GOP.

Reported by: Sagar Kar
Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell. | Image:AP
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Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell's impending retirement as GOP leader has left some Democratic adversaries more apprehensive than celebratory, as they fear the potential consequences of his successor's leadership.

McConnell, often viewed as a symbol of traditional Republican governance, is seen by some Democrats as a more moderate force within the GOP, particularly in comparison to the rising influence of right-wing hardliners.

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Democrats fear McConnell will be replaced by a more right wing Republican

"While frustrated with him at times, he — at moments — seemed committed to governing," remarked Rep. Dan Kildee (D-Mich.), reflecting a sentiment shared by some Democrats who view McConnell as a figure capable of bipartisan compromise. According to a report from Axios, the transition from McConnell to his likely successors, dubbed the "Johns" — Sens. John Thune (R-S.D.), John Cornyn (R-Texas), or John Barrasso (R-Wyo.) — raises concerns among Democrats, as these individuals are perceived to be more aligned with the GOP's rightward shift.

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Although Barrasso, Cornyn, and Thune are all considered establishment figures within the party, they have demonstrated a willingness to embrace elements of the GOP's increasingly conservative agenda, including endorsing former President Trump for reelection in 2024.

“His replacement could be a lot worse,” says Warren 

Democrats like Rep. Haley Stevens (D-Mich.) express greater trepidation about McConnell's replacement, highlighting concerns over issues ranging from the Supreme Court to gun laws and the events of January 6th.

"While I'm no Mitch McConnell fan, his replacement could be a lot worse," echoed Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), underscoring the anxiety among Democrats regarding the potential ramifications of McConnell's departure and the subsequent leadership transition within the GOP.

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Published February 29th, 2024 at 11:02 IST