Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
February 9, 2016

McConnell Vows Conservative Agenda if He’s Senate Leader

McConnell brandishes a musket on stage during the speech. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell promised a ballroom full of activists Thursday that he would fight “tooth and nail” for a conservative agenda if he takes the helm of a Republican majority next year.

That, of course, will require Republicans to pick up six Senate seats in November and McConnell to win his own re-election in Kentucky. The five-term incumbent faces a GOP primary challenger who regularly attacks him as an insufficient conservative leader.

McConnell walked on stage at the Conservative Political Action Conference to applause, thanks in part to a large rifle he held over his head before handing it to conservative icon Tom Coburn, who is resigning from his Oklahoma Senate seat at the end of the year. He went on to blast President Barack Obama and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid before laying out how the Senate would be run under his leadership.

“If I’m given the opportunity to lead the United States Senate next year, I won’t let you down,” McConnell said. “I will lead with integrity, we will fight tooth and nail for conservative reforms that put this country back on track, we will debate our ideas openly, we will vote without fear, and we will govern with the understanding that the future of this country depends on our success.”

McConnell faces Louisville businessman Matt Bevin in the May 20 GOP primary. The winner will take on Kentucky Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes in the general.

The race is rated Leans Republican by Rothenberg Political Report/Roll Call.

  • Layla

    You’re done, Mitch. You’ve fed too long at the public trough. Sen. Cornyn only won with a 59% margin. That is not strong GOP support. A large number of both sides of the aisle are going home in November to face their constituents and it’s about time! You’ve done enough damage to this country.

  • Dokter Lekter

    Is grabbing a gun some sort of signal? There is no one trying to take anything from rich people so why always the gun? It is the working people of this country that should really have that attitude.

  • Sally

    Boy. McConnell with a rifle. Is that supposed to strike fear in the hearts of Grimes’ supporters? Or Bevin’s? I hope Mitch loses his primary race, or at least, has to spend a lot of cash on it. It is time to get these gun-loving, Bible spouting, Koch-loving guys out of DC. Integrity? Right, Mitch. Shutting down the government and signing a pledge to block any Obama ideas is something, but not integrity.

  • Sally

    They are throwing red meat to the idiots who still think Obama wants their blessed guns…I say, let them have them. They are doing a fine job killing each other off.

  • chock

    Anyone who believes this surely doesn’t know this snake. He is an establishment RINO and isn’t interested in conservatives or tea party but in power to promote more government and illegal immigrants. Not a conservative with the budget or social issues. Has had ample time to stand up but he hasn’t. Not a peep. No thank you.

  • teapartyidiots

    He looks like he has no idea how to hold one.

  • teapartyidiots

    He hasn’t lynched a gay person yet?

  • Hadris Ellsberg

    Each of us should remember that the liberty school supports the liberty that keeps each of us free to unleash our own unique knowledge and talents toward prosperity.

  • LastBestHope

    We go to war with the army we have. Mitch will do as he just promised or be replaced…..but he must be given the gavel and the chance.

    11.4.2014. No excuses. Vote for the R.

  • Kat Saved

    As Tocqueville observed, individualist principles and democratic processes are diametrically opposed to centralized control and plunder.

  • ShadrachSmith

    For those of you who don’t recognize the meme Mitchell is doing: the event was the NRA convention, the speaker was Charlton Heston, and the words were
    From My Cold Dead Hands!

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