McConnell: No one is going to beat Murkowski in Alaska

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellThe Hill's Morning Report - Dem candidates sell policy as smart politics Overnight Defense: Trump ends sanctions waivers for buying Iranian oil | At least four Americans killed in Sri Lanka attacks | Sanders pushes for Yemen veto override vote McConnell: 'Time to move on' from Trump impeachment talk MORE (R-Ky.) on Wednesday defended GOP Sen. Lisa MurkowskiLisa Ann MurkowskiOn The Money: Cain withdraws from Fed consideration | Says he didn't want 'pay cut' | Trump sues to block subpoena for financial records | Dems plot next move in Trump tax-return battle Cain withdraws from Fed consideration Cain says he 'won't run away from criticism' in push for Fed seat MORE (Alaska) amidst conservative backlash over her opposition to confirming Brett KavanaughBrett Michael KavanaughSupreme Court sees more serious divide open on death penalty Juan Williams: Buttigieg already making history Dems plot next move in Trump tax-return battle 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 TrumpRussia's election interference is a problem for the GOP Pence to pitch trade deal during trip to Michigan: report Iran oil minister: US made 'bad mistake' in ending sanctions waivers 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 Daines Embattled senators fill coffers ahead of 2020 Main Street businesses need permanent tax relief to grow Overnight Energy: Bernhardt confirmed as Interior chief | Dems probing if EPA officials broke ethics rules | Senators offer bipartisan carbon capture bill 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.