McConnell dismisses unpopularity among Republicans: 'I'm not going to be on the ballot'

McConnell dismisses unpopularity among Republicans: 'I'm not going to be on the ballot'

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellHouse to act on debt ceiling next week White House warns GOP of serious consequences on debt ceiling Lindsey Graham: Police need 'to take a firm line' with Sept. 18 rally attendees MORE (R-Ky.) said on Sunday that he doesn't expect Republican Senate candidates to take a position on whether they will vote for him as majority leader in the future.

During an interview on "Fox News Sunday," he was asked whether he worries his personal unpopularity with Republicans in the country is "weighing down" the likelihood the GOP keeps the Senate.

"I'm not going to be on the ballot in any of these states and I don't think that the candidates who are running need to take a position on me," McConnell said.


"The people in those states are interested in what the candidates can do for them and for the country."

He said such issues are only going to "create divisions that make it more difficult for us to win in November."

"But I don't expect any candidate in America to, sort of, sign up on how they may vote for the majority leader of the Senate a year and a half from now," he said.

Not one of the nearly two dozen Republican Senate campaigns surveyed by The Hill said outright that they would support McConnell, although two candidates appear to have expressed support for him in the past.

McConnell also dismissed comments from former White House chief strategist Stephen Bannon, who has promised a "season of war" against the GOP establishment.

McConnell said the goal of the Republican Party is to nominate candidates in the GOP primaries who can actually win general elections. He added that to make policy and implement President Trump's agenda, you need to win general elections.