Republican leaders chose not to respond to Senate Democratic leaders who excoriated Mitt Romney on Wednesday on the Senate floor.

After Senate Majority Leader Harry ReidHarry ReidThe Memo: Trump pulls off a stone-cold stunner The Memo: Ending DACA a risky move for Trump Manchin pressed from both sides in reelection fight MORE (D-Nev.) slammed Romney’s comments that 47 percent of the nation is dependent on the government, GOP leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellSenate passes 0B defense bill Overnight Health Care: New GOP ObamaCare repeal bill gains momentum Overnight Finance: CBO to release limited analysis of ObamaCare repeal bill | DOJ investigates Equifax stock sales | House weighs tougher rules for banks dealing with North Korea MORE (Ky.) made a statement about Burmese opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi’s visit to Washington.

Senate Democratic Whip Dick DurbinRichard (Dick) Joseph DurbinSenate Dems hold floor talk-a-thon against latest ObamaCare repeal bill Overnight Defense: Senate passes 0B defense bill | 3,000 US troops heading to Afghanistan | Two more Navy officials fired over ship collisions Senate passes 0B defense bill MORE (D-Ill.) followed with more criticism of Romney, but the two Republicans who spoke on the floor after the second-ranking Senate Democrat shifted the subject to Democrats’ failure to pass a budget.

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Romney’s remarks at a May fundraiser have raised new worries among Republicans about his chances of defeating President Obama, and two Senate GOP candidates on Tuesday distanced themselves from the comments. Some worry Romney could hurt the GOP effort to win back a Senate majority.

It was unclear why McConnell did not immediately rebut Reid's broadside or counter with his own attack on President Obama's past comments on redistributing wealth

It is possible the GOP leader thought it was a better tactic to avoid continuing the discussion about Romney, since this would ensure the subject remained Romney’s comments about the 47 percent. Or Reid's comments could have caught him unprepared.

McConnell did not mention Romney at all in his remarks, and instead talked about the interest he’s taken in Suu Kyi’s cause.

A spokesman for McConnell said his boss had long planned to devote his morning remarks to the Burmese dissident.

"The speech was planned for weeks. A hero in the effort to spread democracy came to the Capitol today and she deserved to be recognized," said John Ashbrook.

“Over the years, I followed Suu Kyi closely and I’ve done what I could to advance her cause,” he said. “Along with Sen. [Dianne] Feinstein [D-Calif.] I have worked to get the Burmese Freedom and Democracy Act enacted every year since 2003 as a way of pressuring the regime to reform itself.”

McConnell’s comments were starkly nonpolitical when juxtaposed with the remarks from Durbin and Reid.

“He’s completely out of touch with Americans,” Reid declared of Romney, pouncing on Romney’s videoed comments from a Florida fundraiser, which surfaced this week.

Reid said Romney’s dismissive comments about “47 percent” of America who “believe they are victims” impeach his candidacy. 


Durbin delivered a lengthy quotation of Romney’s comments from the Boca Raton, Fla., fundraiser in May before highlighting other Romney statements.

“We remember the highlights: ‘Corporations are people, my friend,’ he said. ‘I like being able to fire people,’ he said. ‘I’m not concerned about the very poor,’ Romney said. ‘I’m also unemployed,’ Romney said,” Durbin recounted.

The next two Republican senators to take the floor after Durbin did not defend their nominee from the political attacks.

Sen. Jeff SessionsJefferson (Jeff) Beauregard SessionsRhode Island announces plan to pay DACA renewal fee for every 'Dreamer' in state Mich. Senate candidate opts for House run instead NAACP sues Trump for ending DACA MORE (Ala.), the ranking Republican on the Senate Budget Committee, rose to raise a budgetary objection against a Democratic amendment to legislation to boost employment among military veterans.

Sen. Tom CoburnTom Coburn-trillion debt puts US fiscal house on very shaky ground Al Franken: 'I make fun of the people who deserved it' The more complex the tax code, the more the wealthy benefit MORE (R-Okla.) took the floor after Sessions to support the objection.