Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell was asked Monday about the outsized role former President Donald Trump is playing in the 2022 midterms.
His response? “There always are a lot of voices.”
Which, um, true, I guess? There are a lot of people with voices.
Pressed on whether he and Trump had spoken since the riot at the US Capitol on January 6, McConnell offered this: “I don’t have anything to say. Nice try.”
McConnell’s reticence on Trump is not a two-way street. The former President has called on McConnell to resign from his leadership post. He has aggressively sought to recruit someone from within the GOP Senate ranks to challenge McConnell. He has repeatedly referred to the minority leader as, alternatively, an “old crow” and a “broken old crow.”
Over the past year, in fact, there is no one in the Republican Party who has received more incoming from Trump than McConnell (except possibly Rep. Liz Cheney).
Asked about Trump’s remarkably negative view of him, McConnell said Monday: “You get that impression.”
McConnell has clearly made the very conscious decision that he simply isn’t going to talk anymore about Trump in public – no matter what the former President says about him (and how many times it’s said).
The problem for McConnell is that him ignoring Trump – in increasingly acrobatic and comical ways – still doesn’t make the former President disappear. Nothing can do that.
The Point: McConnell wants 2022 to be about President Joe Biden and Democratic control of Washington. But Donald Trump is the X factor – and McConnell knows it.