Kelly Tshibaka, a Trump-endorsed Republican challenging Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), on Monday said that would not support Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) as GOP leader after he reached a deal with Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) to raise the debt ceiling with a simple majority.
In a statement issued Monday, Tshibaka swiped at McConnell by accusing him of having “repeatedly bailed out” President Biden. Tshibaka referred to the Senate minority leader’s vow in October that Republicans would refuse to help raise the debt ceiling this month. Tshibaka also took aim at Murkowski for “helping” McConnell.
“The actions of McConnell and Murkowski on the debt ceiling show that it’s the political elites pitted against real Americans,” Tshibaka said. “When I defeat Murkowski and become Alaska’s next U.S. Senator, I will not support Mitch McConnell as leader. It’s time for new, America First leadership in the Senate.”
Tshibaka’s statement signals that she’s taking a cue from Trump in knocking both McConnell for supposed insufficient loyalty. After McConnell condemned the former president for his role in inciting the deadly Capitol insurrection on Jan. 6, Trump has continued to hold a grudge against him. Not only did the former president bash McConnell by calling him a “dumb son of a bitch” during the RNC’s spring donor retreat earlier this year, Trump also reportedly told senators and allies about recruitment efforts to depose McConnell.
Additionally, the former president has coined the nickname of “broken old crow” for McConnell in a series of recent statements about grievances he has towards the Senate minority leader, which include voting alongside 18 other GOP senators to pass the bipartisan infrastructure bill.
Tshibaka also took a cue from Trump in attacking Murkowski by painting her challenger as someone who caved to Biden and Democratic lawmakers. In his speech at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in February, Trump called out each of the 17 Republican lawmakers who voted to impeach or convict him for “incitement of insurrection” — which included Murkowski — and demanded Republicans to “get rid of them all.” Trump has since vowed to endorse challengers of Republicans who dared to defy his election fraud falsehoods.