Graham Joins Chorus of Republicans Demanding Delay in Senate Leadership Vote

Graham Joins Chorus of Republicans Demanding Delay in Senate Leadership Vote
Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) speaks during a press conference on Capitol Hill, in Washington, on April 7, 2022. (Elizabeth Frantz/Reuters)
Tom Ozimek
11/14/2022
Updated:
11/20/2022
0:00

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) has joined a growing list of Republicans demanding a delay in the soon-to-be-held vote on who will lead the party in the upper chamber as current Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) faces pressure over the GOP’s underperformance in the midterm elections.

Graham wrote in a Twitter post on Nov. 13 that the vote, currently scheduled for Nov. 16, should be postponed until after the Georgia Senate race runoff pitting incumbent Sen. Raphael Warnock (D-Ga.) against Republican challenger Herschel Walker.

“In light of [the Georgia Senate] runoff, it would be appropriate to delay Senate leadership elections until we know who is in the Senate Republican Conference,” Graham wrote in the post, adding that he “totally” agrees with Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) that not postponing the vote would be “disrespectful” to Walker.

“All Republicans should be focused on winning in Georgia and trying to understand the midterm elections before Senate leadership elections or moving on to the 2024 presidential race,” he added.

With his remarks, Graham joins the chorus of Republicans calling for the Senate leadership vote to be delayed until after the Georgia runoff.

Republican Sens. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.), Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), and Mike Lee (R-Utah) have all called for the Nov. 16 leadership vote to be postponed.

Cruz, who reacted with support to Graham’s post, wrote in an earlier post on social media that, besides Walker deserving “a say in our leadership,” it’s critical for any Senate leadership candidate to put forward a “specific plan” for the GOP for the next two years.
The Texas senator also retweeted a post by Lee who questioned why Republicans were in a rush to hold the vote, given that the GOP “won’t be in the majority” in the Senate after The Associated Press and other media outlets projected a narrow Democrat win in Nevada, putting them over the threshold needed to maintain control of the upper chamber.

‘Build Something New’

It comes as McConnell has faced criticism from other Republicans, including former President Donald Trump, for what they say are questionable decisions.

McConnell’s critics have argued that he didn’t allocate enough campaign funding for Republican candidates such as Blake Masters in Arizona and Don Bolduc in New Hampshire.

Trump has blamed McConnell for the GOP’s poor performance in the midterm elections.

“It’s Mitch McConnell’s fault,” Trump wrote on his Truth Social platform. “Spending money to defeat great Republican candidates instead of backing Blake Masters and others was a big mistake. Giving 4 Trillion Dollars to the Radical Left for the Green New Deal, not Infrastructure, was an even bigger mistake.”

The Epoch Times has reached out to McConnell’s press secretary with a request for comment.

Over the weekend, the Nevada Senate race was called in favor of Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.) against Republican challenger Adam Laxalt, giving Democrats a projected 50 seats in the upper chamber. A 50–50 split would give Democrats a working majority since Vice President Kamala Harris can cast a tie-breaking vote.

Sen. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) reacted to the Nevada race being called in favor of Cortez Masto by saying that the it’s time for change in the GOP.

“The old party is dead. Time to bury it. Build something new,” Hawley wrote on Twitter on Nov. 13 following Cortez Masto’s victory.

In an interview with RealClearPolitics, Hawley said the reason Republicans didn’t do well in the midterms comes down to the failure to offer voters an actionable alternative to the Democrat agenda.

“Republicans just said, ‘Well, the other side sucks, and Biden sucks.’ Well, no doubt! But it’s pretty hard to convince folks, particularly independent-minded ones who don’t tend to trust the process much, to vote for you, if you don’t have something affirmative to say and offer,” Hawley told the outlet in a Nov. 11 interview.
Despite not taking the Senate, Republican House candidates obtained around 6 million more votes than Democrat candidates across the United States, according to former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, who told The Epoch Times on Nov. 11 that he was baffled by the midterm results.
Jack Phillips contributed to this report.
Tom Ozimek is a senior reporter for The Epoch Times. He has a broad background in journalism, deposit insurance, marketing and communications, and adult education.
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