McConnell: No one is going to beat Murkowski in Alaska

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellPublic awareness campaigns will protect the public during COVID-19 Democrats: A moment in history, use it wisely 'Comrade' Trump gets 'endorsement' from Putin in new mock ad by Lincoln Project MORE (R-Ky.) on Wednesday defended GOP Sen. Lisa MurkowskiLisa Ann MurkowskiSenators will have access to intelligence on Russian bounties on US troops Overnight Defense: Lawmakers demand answers on reported Russian bounties for US troops deaths in Afghanistan | Defense bill amendments target Germany withdrawal, Pentagon program giving weapons to police Senators push to limit transfer of military-grade equipment to police MORE (Alaska) amidst conservative backlash over her opposition to confirming Brett KavanaughBrett Michael KavanaughMcGrath fends off Booker to win Kentucky Senate primary Trump's mark on federal courts could last decades Supreme Court rules US requirements on overseas NGOs do not violate free speech MORE to the Supreme Court, saying she “certainly” would recover.  

"Well, she's certainly going to recover. ... She's about as strong as you could possibly be in Alaska,” McConnell said during an Associated Press Newsmakers interview. “Nobody's gonna beat her. I'm proud she's in the Republican conference.”

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He added that Murkowski had backed Neil Gorsuch, President TrumpDonald John Trump Trump responds to calls to tear down monuments with creation of 'National Garden' of statues Trump: Children are taught in school to 'hate their own country' Trump accuses those tearing down statues of wanting to 'overthrow the American Revolution' MORE's first Supreme Court nominee, as well as dozens of circuit judges and is in “very good standing” in the Senate Republican Conference. 

McConnell's comments come after Trump criticized Murkowski during an interview with The Washington Post on Saturday, predicting she would “never recover” politically and that Alaska voters will “never forgive” her for her opposition to Kavanaugh.

Fox News host Sean Hannity has called for former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin (R) to make a “political comeback” and challenge Murkowski when she is up for reelection.

Palin herself pointed toward the year Murkowski will be up for reelection, tweeting last week, "I can see 2022 from my house."

Tuckerman Babcock, the chairman of Alaska Republican Party, told The Associated Press that the state GOP could reprimand the senator, issue a statement on her vote or even withdraw its support of her, which would include encouraging her not to run for reelection in 2022 as a Republican. 

Murkowski voted against advancing Kavanaugh's nomination during a procedural vote Friday and said she was opposed to his nomination in the final vote to confirm him on Saturday. 

She was recorded as "present" during the final vote, something she did as a courtesy to offset the absence of Sen. Steve DainesSteven (Steve) David DainesPolitical establishment takes a hit as chaos reigns supreme Lincoln Project releases new pro-Biden ad in swing states The Hill's Campaign Report: Progressives feel momentum after primary night MORE (R-Mont.), who supported Kavanaugh but was at his daughter's wedding back home in Montana.

Republican senators have publicly backed Murkowski in the wake of Trump's criticism. She also brushed off the potential political consequences, telling reporters on Tuesday that she was "good" with her vote. 

"I took the vote that I took. And I'm good with it and I'm moving forward. I think we all need to be, so I'm not going to dwell on the 'what ifs,' " Murkowski told reporters in the Senate basement on Tuesday evening.