Sens. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) and Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) on Friday urged Republicans to postpone next week’s Senate leadership elections to give the party time to regroup after its disappointing midterm performance.
According to reports, Sen. Rick Scott (R-Fla.) had been considering a long-shot bid to replace Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), but he changed his mind on Wednesday when it became clear that there would be no “red wave” and that Republicans may not even take control of the chamber.
“The Senate GOP leadership vote next week should be postponed,” Rubio tweeted. “First we need to make sure that those who want to lead us are genuinely committed to fighting for the priorities & values of the working Americans (of every background) who gave us big wins in states like #Florida.”
The Senate GOP leadership vote next week should be postponed
First we need to make sure that those who want to lead us are genuinely committed to fighting for the priorities & values of the working Americans (of every background) who gave us big wins in states like #Florida
— Marco Rubio (@marcorubio) November 11, 2022
“So proud of my Senator!” fellow Florida Republican Rep. Matt Gaetz tweeted in response.
“We should not hold leadership elections in the House or Senate until we know exactly who will constitute the Republican conferences in each chamber. Marco knows we must be very deliberate about this & make good choices for the people!” he said.
Hawley also agreed with Rubio’s tweet, saying: “Exactly right. I don’t know why Senate GOP would hold a leadership vote for the next Congress before this election is finished,” Hawley said, quote-tweeting Rubio’s initial statement. “We have a runoff in #GASenate — are they saying that doesn’t matter? Don’t disenfranchise @HerschelWalker.”
The comments are being interpreted as an opening salvo against current GOP Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), who stated last month that he had the votes to serve as majority leader should Republicans win the Senate.
In an interview with RealClearPolitics Friday, the Missouri populist blasted Republican leadership for failing to offer an alternative vision for the lackluster results.
“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 RCP.
“I lay that at the feet of the Washington establishment that set the tone for these races,” he added. “They failed to offer that kind of vision.”
While Hawley’s comments about the GOP’s leadership issues are not surprising, Rubio’s are. As the Hill noted Friday, “the Florida senator has not been known to fire inside the tent and criticize Senate GOP leaders.”
The Republican leadership votes are currently scheduled for Wednesday.