Mitch McConnell banking on a 'restrained' Trump not blowing GOP's chances of retaking the Senate
(Photo via AFP)

In an interview with USA Today, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) professed confidence that Donald Trump won't do anything that will hurt the Republican Party's hopes of retaking control of the U.S. Senate.

Coming on the heels of the former president's endorsement of controversial Dr. Mehmet Oz for a seat currently held by retiring Sen Pat Toomey (R) in Pennsylvania that has raised the hackles of conservatives, the senior Republican leader brushed away worries about the upcoming midterm elections.

According to McConnell, "So far this cycle, he's been rather restrained in his nominations," adding, "So I don't see it as a problem. Obviously, it's important to him to win and so he's been rather cautious with his primary endorsements in most of our races, and I think that's because he doesn't want to show up with somebody who doesn't actually prevail in the primary."

As the report notes, the Senate is currently split 50-50, with Vice President Kamala Harris serving as a tie-breaker for Democrats.

According to the report, the "confident" McConnell claimed "I think it is (an) overwhelming likelihood the wind will be at our back, and that's obviously very important," before admitting, "But you have to have candidates who can win."

"It depends on not doing and saying foolish things that disqualify you," McConnell elaborated. "And frankly, I don't think it has to do with President Trump. I don't personally care whether they are Trump supporters or Trump opponents."

USA Today's Phillip Bailey wrote, "McConnell's optimism does have a catch, however. In the past he has seen possible majorities slip through his hands when Republicans were favored"

"The GOP leader specifically remembered failed attempts to seize the Senate majority in 2010 and 2012, and cites primaries that elevated poor contenders, such as Christie O'Donnell in Delaware; Richard Mourdock in Indiana; Sharron Angle in Nevada and the late Todd Akin in Missouri," he added.

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