A sitting representative and aspiring Senate candidate is making it known where he stands on GOP leadership. Mo Brooks (R-AL), one of former President Trump’s biggest allies in Congress, has announced that he will seek to oust Mitch McConnell (R-KY) as the leader of the Senate GOP. On his campaign website, Brooks has a link to a “Fire McConnell Pledge”, where he implores conservatives and supporters of the America First agenda to join him in opposition to McConnell, whom he considers to be “working to shut down the America First agenda”. Brooks is asking other GOP Senate candidates to sign on to the pledge as a “signal to the country that we stand with Donald Trump, not Mitch McConnell.”
Brooks attached a short video where he reiterated his message of opposing McConnell, a “Debt Junkie” and “Open Border RINO Republican…who sells out America for special interest group cash”.
The upcoming Republican primaries have been billed as a battle for control of the GOP. In a year where many political prognosticators predict a massive “red wave” in November, it is widely considered to be a foregone conclusion to many that the GOP will control both houses of Congress when the votes are tallied in November. The primaries will determine whether that majority will be composed of more establishment-friendly Republicans, or grassroots, Trump-aligned populists who seek to disrupt the status quo.
Mo Brooks, who has President Trump’s endorsement in his Senate campaign, will face candidates Katie Britt and Mike Durant in the Alabama Republican primary, which will all but determine who replaces the soon to be retiring Richard Shelby.
Openly opposing party leadership has not been a common campaign strategy for Republican Senate hopefuls. Mo Brooks joins just two other candidates in announcing opposition to McConnell. Alaska’s Kelly Tshibaka and Missouri’s Eric Greitens were the first GOP Senate candidates to announce their intention to replace the Senate GOP Leader.
While this move may seem risky and unorthodox, polling indicates that it may be the correct calculation. Both McConnell and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy are very unpopular with voters. In a recent Gallup poll, McConnell had the lowest approval rating and the highest disapproval rating out of a list of 11 U.S. political figures. This list included Nancy Pelosi, Joe Biden, Kamala Harris, and Dr. Anthony Fauci, among others. McConnell beat out Pelosi as the least popular political leader, with an approval rating of 34% and a disapproval rating of 63%.