Tags: Donald Trump | mcconnell | bannon | adelson | newt gingrich

Conservatives Strongly Back McConnell Over Bannon

Conservatives Strongly Back McConnell Over Bannon
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky. (AP /J. Scott Applewhite)

By Tuesday, 14 November 2017 04:44 PM Current | Bio | Archive

Steve Bannon just met Sen. Mitch McConnell in a showdown at the OK Corral, and it didn’t go well for Steve.

This week, the Republican party’s top donor, Sheldon Adelson, announced he is not supporting Bannon’s scorched-earth plan to take down Republican senators.

Adelson’s top political adviser, Andy Abboud, told Politico that Adelson and his wife “are supporting Mitch McConnell 100 percent.”

Adelson is a strong conservative who backed Newt Gingrich and Donald Trump over the party’s establishment in their presidential bids. Despite the considerable press coverage given to Bannon’s call Thursday for McConnell to “tender his resignation,” Bannon apparently showed up at the gunfight with no partners.

Newsmax spoke to dozens of sources in and outside the Republican-controlled Senate, and all agreed that despite criticism he receives from Bannon, Trump supporters, and even the president himself, McConnell remains popular with nearly all of his Senate colleagues.

That may have a lot to do with the previous president. McConnell almost single-handedly blocked most of President Obama’s initiatives during his last six years in office. And some argue that McConnell may be the most conservative majority leader in recent memory with a lifetime American Conservative Union rating of close to 90 percent.

Add to that, there is no evidence that any of the Kentuckian’s 51 fellow GOP senators has any desire to wage a challenge to his leadership or even in seconding Bannon's battle call.

McConnell is particularly well-liked among the 13 new Republican senators elected in 2014 and with several who survived Democratic assaults to win re-election in 2016. This group includes Roy Blunt of Missouri, Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania, Ron Johnson of Wisconsin, and Rep. Todd Young of Indiana, who began as an underdog to Democratic former Sen. Evan Bayh and emerged the winner to keep the open seat in Republican hands.

“In just about every close Senate race in the last two cycles, Mitch’s Senate Leadership Fund was plowing big money into Republican coffers,” one lobbyist and former GOP Senate staffer told Newsmax. “Just the fact he plowed $25 million into six tight races in 2016 and Republicans won in five [the exception was New Hampshire’s Sen. Kelly Ayotte] says it all about Mitch. Bannon’s way off on this one.”

Another senator told Newsmax, “If Mitch hadn’t won the Senate for us in 2016, the Democrats would not only have blocked nearly every Trump appointee, they would be launching investigations into his business affairs. This would have been the president’s worst nightmare.”

McConnell and the president did meet at the White House on Oct. 16 and apparently worked out any differences.

At a joint appearance in the Rose Garden following their meeting, Trump hailed McConnell as “a friend of mine for a long time, long before my world of politics.”

Donald A. Ritchie, a former historian of the U.S. Senate, pointed out to Newsmax: “What Bannon is forgetting is the leader is elected by the Senate Conference of his party and not chosen by the president. And the conference often sees things differently than people outside the administration.”

In other words, under the Constitution, the Congress does not serve the president, but the people directly.

John Gizzi is chief political columnist and White House correspondent for Newsmax. For more of his reports, Go Here Now.

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Steve Bannon just met Sen. Mitch McConnell in a showdown at the OK Corral and it didn’t go well for Steve.
mcconnell, bannon, adelson, newt gingrich
Tuesday, 14 November 2017 04:44 PM
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