McConnell is not playing games with the GOP.
In an appearance on CBS’s “Face the Nation” on Sunday (March 20), Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY.), described Republicans who support Russian President Vladimir Putin as “lonely voices.”
In the interview, McConnell touched on several topics that have garnered attention from the media and the public, including his one-on-one meeting with Supreme Court nominee Ketanji Brown Jackson and the Russia-Ukraine conflict.
When discussing his views on the war in Ukraine initiated by Russian President Vladimir Putin, McConnell called on more direct assistance for Ukraine that would include giving Ukraine weapons systems.
The Kentucky Republican also suggested the Biden administration change its approach to the conflict, adopting the view that Ukraine could win the conflict, given how long it has defended a Russian takeover.
Host Margeret Brennan then highlighted that McConnell’s support for Ukraine contradicted the views of other members of the GOP, citing Rep. Madison Cawthorn (R-N.C.). Cawthorn had called Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy a “thug,” statements widely circulated by Russia’s state-owned media.
In response, McConnell acknowledged there were “some lonely voices out there that are in a different place.” However, he emphasized that Senate Republicans supported Ukraine, adding that if he was the majority leader, he would have “put this Ukraine supplemental up by itself.”
“I think virtually every one of my members would have voted for it,” he added.
Elaborating on his point that GOP members that support Russia were minuscule, McConnell stated, “The vast majority of the Republican Party… both in Congress and across the country, are totally behind Ukrainians.”
He noted that these Republicans are urging President Joe Biden to “take these steps quicker, to be bolder,” adding that he didn’t “pay much attention” to a “few… voices off the side.”
It’s not just Senate Republicans that have criticized Cawthorn’s remarks. On Friday (March 18), House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA.) condemned Cawthorn’s statement about Zelenskyy, calling it wrong.