Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) blasted Steve Bannon in an interview on “Fox News Sunday,” saying the former White House chief strategist backs losing Republican candidates who are dividing and hurting the GOP.
McConnell said Bannon and his supporters are “specialists at nominating people who lose [and] ... specialists in defeating Republican candidates in November.”
“That’s what this inter-party skirmish is about,” McConnell said. “Our goal is to nominate people in the primaries next year who can actually win, and the people who win will be the ones who enact the president’s agenda.”
McConnell was hitting back — again — at Bannon, who has declared “a season of war” on the Republican political establishment and is recruiting primary challengers to Senate Republicans running for re-election next year. McConnell responded last week during an appearance in the Rose Garden with Donald Trump: “You have to nominate people who can actually win. Winners make policy and losers go home.”
McConnell blamed establishment-bucking Republicans for costing the party five Senate seats in 2010 and 2012. “We could have got the majority sooner, but for the fact they were able to nominate people who could not win in November,” he said.
That’s what Democrats are counting on next time around.
McConnell brushed off Trump’s criticism of him. “I’m not particularly concerned about this,” he said on CNN.
Sunday was a bad day for Bannon. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) agreed on CNN’s “State of the Union” with Rep. Frederica Wilson’s characterization of Bannon as a “white supremacist.”
“I agree that Steve Bannon is a white supremacist, and [senior White House adviser] Stephen Miller seems to be,” said Brown.
This article originally appeared on HuffPost.