Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has earned the new nickname “Moscow Mitch” and he is NOT happy about it. The Kentucky powerhouse Republican said in recent interview is an absolute political smear.
The interview with conservative radio host Hugh Hewitt featured McConnell complaining about the new moniker given to him by critics of his handling of two recent bills which would have offered more election security.
McConnell brought up past nicknames he’s earned for his past bill-blocking, saying, “You know, I can laugh about things like the Grim Reaper, but calling me Moscow Mitch is over the top.” But he was truly in a snit about it, saying, “It’s modern-day McCarthyism… Unbelievable for a Cold Warrior like me who spent a career standing up to the Russians to be given a moniker like that. It’s an effort to smear me.”
This summer, McConnell shot down efforts that would use $775 million to improve security for state elections and would require paper ballots as well, furthermore blocking an additional bill that would have seen new requirements in place for candidates to alert federal officials if any authority was offered foreign aid. That particular bill was an obvious response to the 2016 presidential election and the russian collusion therein.
Joe Scarborough, host of MSNBC’s Morning Joe used his platform just after McConnell made his moves and thus was born the nickname “Moscow Mitch.” It wasn’t long before it was trending on Twitter and the subject of a new on from popular musician Ben Folds, who gave it a whirl before an entertained audience in New York.
Recently, it even made its way to Kentucky, as the politician returned home to speak at a political event and found opponents chanting it as he tried to give his speech.
Adding insult to injury, a scathing op-ed was published by Washington Post columnist Dana Milban, calling McConnell a “Russian asset.” Milbank said, “Let’s call this what it is: unpatriotic… The Kentucky Republican is, arguably more than any other American, doing Russian President Vladimir Putin’s bidding.”
McConnell said this type of thing was “what we’re up against with the hard left today in America.”
Who knows why McConnell seems so particularly sensitive to this one nickname- he is no stranger to criticism, after all. Perhaps it has to do with his upcoming 2020 race and a potentially tough Democratic challenge.