Florida Republican Sen. Marco Rubio added himself to the growing list of GOP senators suggesting that the party must reevaluate its leadership in the upper chamber following Republicans’ disappointing performance in the 2022 midterms.
In a tweet posted Friday morning, Rubio called for the Senate GOP to postpone its currently scheduled leadership vote next week, saying that Republican members of the upper chamber must ensure party leadership is comprised of individuals willing to advance the will of GOP voters.
“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,” Rubio said.
Wyoming GOP Sen. Cynthia Lummis seemed to echo similar sentiments on Friday, saying in a tweet quoting Rubio’s that she “second[s]” the motion to delay the party’s leadership vote.
The moves from the Florida and Wyoming senators appear to be a direct rebuke to the leadership of Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, who has worked relentlessly throughout the 2022 election cycle to kneecap Republican Senate candidates who did not comport with his establishment agenda. In Arizona, where GOP candidate Blake Masters is locked in a still-undecided race with Democrat incumbent Mark Kelly, McConnell’s Senate Leadership Fund (SLF) pulled roughly $18 million from the contest despite the close nature of the race.
McConnell also pulled the same trick in New Hampshire, yanking $5.6 million in SLF ad spending that was slated to help Republican Don Bolduc in his bid to challenge Democrat Sen. Maggie Hassan. Both Masters and Bolduc had previously signaled they would not support McConnell for party leader if elected to the Senate.
But McConnell’s shenanigans didn’t stop in Arizona and New Hampshire. As reported by Federalist Western Correspondent Tristan Justice, “McConnell took money from [these] competitive pick-up contests and redirected resources into Alaska and Colorado, the former featuring a race between two Republicans and the latter featuring a candidate who alienated the base.”
Despite Alaska being a safe Republican seat, McConnell’s SLF poured more than $7 million into the state to help incumbent Sen. Lisa Murkowski fend off a challenge from Kelly Tshibaka, a grassroots conservative backed by former President Donald Trump and Alaska’s Republican Party. Much like Masters and Bolduc, Tshibaka has said she would not back McConnell for Senate GOP leadership.
In addition to Rubio and Lummis, other current and incoming GOP senators who have signaled it’s time for a change in Senate Republican leadership include Josh Hawley and Eric Schmitt of Missouri, Rick Scott of Florida, Ron Johnson of Wisconsin, Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, Mike Lee of Utah, J.D. Vance of Ohio, and Ted Cruz of Texas.
This article has been updated since publication to include Texas Sen. Ted Cruz.