A day after being selected to lead Republicans' 2016 Senate campaign, Sen. Roger WickerRoger Frederick WickerOvernight Defense & National Security — Presented by Raytheon Technologies — Nation mourns Colin Powell Pentagon, State Department square off on Afghanistan accountability White House scrambles to avert supply chain crisis MORE (R-Miss.) said Friday that Majority Leader Harry ReidHarry Mason ReidHarry Reid calls on Democrats to plow forward on immigration Democrats brace for tough election year in Nevada The Memo: Biden's horizon is clouded by doubt MORE (D-Nev,) "may decide to retire" instead of facing the tough campaign the GOP plans to bring against him.
The new National Republican Senatorial Committee chairman pointed out that Nevada's Republican governor, Brian Sandoval, who was just reelected overwhelmingly, could run against Reid in 2016.
"To me, that state is going Republican," Wicker said on MSNBC. "I think Gov. Sandoval has a real good opportunity now after a great run as governor, perhaps to run for senator. So, you know, frankly I'll say this: I think Harry Reid may decide to retire. That's my prediction."
Reid won a tough race in 2010 against Republican Sharron Angle, whom Democrats were able to paint as extreme.
Wicker was asked if Republicans would go after Reid with the same force that Democrats went after Republican leader, Sen. Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellFixing Congress requires fixing how it legislates McConnell: GOP should focus on future, not 'rehash' 2020 Hoyer: Democrats 'committed' to Oct. 31 timeline for Biden's agenda MORE (R-Ky.), this year.
"Well, absolutely," Wicker said. "But you know, more importantly, I think that the citizens of Nevada will go after Harry Reid. I think he's out of step with the state."
Republicans face a harder task in 2016 than this year, defending seats in bluer states. But Wicker expressed confidence in wins for Sens. Pat Toomey in Pennsylvania, Mark KirkMark Steven KirkDuckworth announces reelection bid Brave new world: Why we need a Senate Human Rights Commission Senate majority battle snags Biden Cabinet hopefuls MORE in Illinois and Kelly AyotteKelly Ann AyotteBiden likely to tap Robert Califf to return as FDA head Poll: Potential Sununu-Hassan matchup in N.H. a dead heat Democrats facing tough reelections back bipartisan infrastructure deal MORE in New Hampshire.
"You take them one by one, I think we can defend them," he said.
He said Republicans would not be hobbled by crises, pointing to McConnell's assurances.
"You know, they asked Mitch two ways about that, and the answer was the same: We're not going to have any government shutdowns; we're not going to have any threats of impeachment," Wicker said.