(NewsGlobal.com)- Earlier in the week, Texas Republican Senator Ted Cruz said that it’d be “insane” for the GOP to keep the same leadership team in place.
After Republicans fared much worse than was predicted in the midterm elections — barely winning the House and failing to win the Senate — Cruz said new blood was needed to lead the party in the upper chamber.
Speaking with Fox Business earlier in the week, Cruz said:
“Leadership elections need to focus on how actually we’re going to lead. The pattern of our current leadership has been to give into the Democrats. Just about every big, bad thing that was passed in the last couple of years was passed with all the Democrats and 10 or more Republicans.
“The Democrats never do this. When we had Republican majorities, got nothing passed with all the Republicans and a few Democrats. And yet, for some reason our current leadership thinks it’s a good idea to facilitate the destruction that Chuck Schumer and the Democrats are doing. I don’t think our voters want that.”
A few days later, though, Senate Republicans as a whole voted to re-elect Kentucky Senator Mitch McConnell as the leader of the party. McConnell faced a challenge for the position from Florida Senator Rick Scott, but he ended up winning the secret ballot election by a vote of 37-10-1.
While the victory certainly seemed like a resounding vote of confidence for McConnell, at least in terms of the overall numbers, it was the first time he had been challenged for his spot in 15 years.
Following the election results, McConnell said he was “pretty proud” that a majority of the members of his party want him to lead them again. He said:
“I don’t own this job. Anybody who wants to run for it can feel free to do so. I’m not in any way offended by having an opponent or having a few votes in opposition.”
He further added that he’s “not going anywhere” in the future, in reference to a question about whether Scott’s challenge would make him step aside from the position after next year.
Along with McConnell being elected to serve again as the Senate minority leader, John Thune was re-elected as the Republican whip.
New appointments included Steve Daines from Montana, who is replacing Scott to chair the National Republican Senatorial Committee; Joni Ernst from Iowa, who is replacing Roy Blunt from Missouri as the policy chair; and Shelley Moore Capito from West Virginia, who is the new vice chairwoman of the Republican conference.
John Cornyn, the other Republican senator from Texas who is also a member of the Republican leadership team, said he definitely understands that some members are frustrated about the process in the Senate, which is not as inclusive as it once was. He commented:
“I think there is an appetite for better communication and more collaboration and more input. People don’t get elected to the United States Senate to be shutout of the discussion, and that’s essentially what’s happened when the bills are written in the leader’s conference.”