Cruz Demands McConnell Step Down

Texas Senator Ted Cruz wants new leadership atop the Republican Party in Congress’ upper chamber, and he’s calling for Minority Leader Mitch McConnell to step down from his post.

This week, Cruz said that a new leader for the party is needed, pointing directly to what he called the mismanagement of the now-infamous bipartisan border security package that included aid for Ukraine and Israel.

Cruz has long not been in favor of McConnell leading the GOP. He was one of 10 GOP senators to vote against McConnell in his reelection bid for the GOP leadership role following the 2022 midterm elections. The Texas senator has also criticized McConnell’s leadership for quite some time now.

Recently, though, Cruz has stepped up his criticism of McConnell, as he anticipated that the border security deal would ultimately fail in the Senate. And that’s exactly what happened.

McConnell hand-picked Senator James Lankford from Oklahoma to represent Republicans in the bipartisan negotiations for the border security bill. And while the details of that bill were unveiled over the weekend, the bill was ultimately blocked by the GOP in the Senate, after multiple members said they couldn’t get behind it.

At a press conference this week, Cruz was directly asked whether the time had come for McConnell “to go.” Standing next to Senators Eric Schmitt of Missouri, Roger Marshall of Kansas, JD Vance of Ohio, Ron Johnson of Wisconsin, Mike Lee of Utah and Rick Scott of Florida, Cruz said:

“I think it is. Everyone here also supported to the leadership challenge to Mitch McConnell in November [2022]. I think a Republican leader should actually lead this conference and should advance the priorities of Republicans.”

McConnell wasn’t surprised at all by Cruz’s comments, telling reporters this week that “we can all agree that Senator Cruz is not a fan.”

On Tuesday, Cruz said he was urging other Republicans in the Senate following the 2022 midterm elections that a new leader was needed for the GOP.

It was predicted by many political pundits that a “red wave” would come in Congress. Yet, not only did the GOP not win back control of the Senate, they actually lost a seat.

At the press conference Tuesday, McConnell said:

“We lost a seat in the Senate and we barely got a majority in the House. And I stood up and said in any ordinary organization when you’re faced with failure — if you’re running a business and you lose $50 million — you don’t just say, ‘Everything’s great. Let’s keep doing it.’

“No, you sit down and say, ‘What are we doing wrong?’”

He further added that the border security legislation was “designed to lose,” adding that the plan is something that Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer “is thrilled with.”

Like many others in Congress, Cruz said a new bill isn’t needed to give the president authority to make changes at the border, since he already possesses that power.