McConnell after restaurant confrontation: 'I will not be intimidated'

McConnell after restaurant confrontation: 'I will not be intimidated'
© Greg Nash

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellLessons from the 1999 U.S. military intervention in Kosovo Five things to watch as AIPAC conference kicks off Romney helps GOP look for new path on climate change MORE (R-Ky.) said on Tuesday that he would "not be intimidated" after a recent confrontation at a Kentucky restaurant.

McConnell, in a Courier Journal op-ed, called the incident an example of the "antics of far-left protesters" and "extremist left-wing tantrums."

"I’m not sure exactly what in my career suggests I would be easily swayed by such a spectacle. The reality is simple: I will not be intimidated," McConnell wrote.


McConnell and his wife, Treasury Secretary Elaine ChaoElaine Lan ChaoLion Air voice recorder reveals pilots' frantic struggle to control plane: report The Hill's Morning Report - Trump, Dems put manufacturing sector in 2020 spotlight Trump nominates former Delta executive to lead FAA MORE, were confronted over the weekend at a restaurant in Louisville, Ky., by a man who yelled at the couple and berated them over their politics.

McConnell wrote that video footage of the incident did not "lay out all the facts," including that the man entered the restaurant and "rushed at us." 

"Acting alone, he began shouting, slamming his fists on our table, and causing a disruption as others tried to eat. At one point, he even grabbed my wife’s to-go box off of our table and threw it outside onto the ground," McConnell added. 

Other diners shushed the protester or asked him to leave, and McConnell added in the op-ed that he appreciated "those who spoke up against the shameful behavior." 

McConnell is one of several senators who have been publicly confronted since the fight over Brett KavanaughBrett Michael KavanaughKavanaugh to teach summer course in England GOP eager to exploit Dem court-packing fight Court-packing becomes new litmus test on left MORE's Supreme Court nomination, including at their homes, at airports and in the Senate office buildings. 

Republicans have seized on the spike in confrontations, referring to protesters as the "mob" and characterizing the upcoming midterm election as choice between "jobs" and "mobs."

McConnell added that the incident was not about him but a reflection of the "mob mentality that is being systematically fed and encouraged by the far left."

But some Democratic senators, including Sen. Joe ManchinJoseph (Joe) ManchinRomney helps GOP look for new path on climate change Manchin says he won't support LGBTQ protection bill as written Senators offer bipartisan bill to fix 'retail glitch' in GOP tax law MORE (D-W.Va.), have also been confronted by protesters. Republican Sen. Jeff FlakeJeffrey (Jeff) Lane FlakeTrump's attacks on McCain exacerbate tensions with Senate GOP Schumer to introduce bill naming Senate office building after McCain amid Trump uproar Trump keeps tight grip on GOP MORE (Ariz.), who sometimes criticizes the president, said on Monday that he and his family had also received death threats from an individual "from the right."