Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) Did not give a strong answer to a question about his moral limits that spread widely on social media on Thursday.
“You are known for playing a ruthless style of politics. Where did you draw your moral red lines? Axios ’Jonathan Swan asked the Kentucky Republican in an interview.
McConnell joked that “my husband thinks I’m a really good person” and then he said “he was surprised to hear such a comment.”
“I feel like I’m very comfortable with my political career,” he added when Svan clicked again, saying he was happy to respond to specific examples.
Swann cited McConnell’s speech in February 2021, after a second impeachment vote on former President Donald Trump’s role in the deadly U.S. Capitol uprising.
“You said that Donald Trump’s actions before the January 6 uprising were an‘ embarrassing duty ’and that he was‘ practical and morally responsible ’ – your words -‘ to provoke the events of the day that, ‘”Swann told the senator.
“How can you say that two weeks after you said you would really support Donald Trump if he were the Republican candidate in 2024?”
McConnell said it should come as no surprise that he will support his party candidate and feel committed to doing so.
Swann then wondered if he could do anything to stop the Republican candidate from losing McConnell’s support.
The senator avoided answering and limited himself to answering: “I say a lot, I’m sure many don’t understand”.
The exchange has drawn intense criticism from online commentators, many of whom have interpreted McConnell’s response as an indicator of his loyalty to the country for his party.
See other reactions below.
Amazing. Terrible. https://t.co/ObG7Yp7FNr
– Giorgio Conway (@ gtconway3d) April 7, 2022
Translation: Party in the countryside https://t.co/vdMv3TrTlN
– Lincoln Project (@ProjectLincoln) April 7, 2022
McConnell fails to realize the premise that there may be a greater requirement than party loyalty. Very well spoken. https://t.co/Pj7tiMBBfW
– Max Boot (@MaxBoot) April 7, 2022
The best part of this exchange is him @LeaderMcConnell He seemed genuinely confused that he could expect him to have a moral red line. He literally thought nothing of it. He acts as if this question is pointless. Because for him it is because he is not. https://t.co/H2yBAuxd6u
– Tim Miller (@Timodc) April 7, 2022
The little laugh at first, before I started answering, said everything. The sanctity of providing moral leadership. https://t.co/pnNL2erJtl
– Joyce Allen (@JoyceWhiteVance) April 7, 2022
It certainly couldn’t be more understandable. McConnell has no moral red line. He admitted it, but he didn’t want to spend a lot of time talking about it. If the DC Press Corps has any value, it will continue this line of questioning, especially about its Senate candidates. https://t.co/gqvBT2TJaJ
– Joan McCarter (@joanmccarter) April 7, 2022
This funny Swan interrogation line is ridiculous to suggest that Mitch McConnell has a red moral line. He clearly did not… as his answer shows. This is not only completely immoral; He rejoices in his immorality. https://t.co/dLREapYLp9
– Michael Cohen (@ speakboy71) April 7, 2022