The Kentucky Republican emphasized he wants to look forward after a whirlwind couple weeks in which he voted against convicting Trump in his second impeachment trial, announced that Trump was "practically and morally responsible" for the Capitol riot in a speech he gave soon after, and then maintained he would "absolutely" support Trump if he becomes the 2024 Republican presidential nominee.
"I didn't watch it," McConnell announced of Trump's Conservative Political Action Conference speech over the weekend throughout which the 45th president repeatedly insisted he won the 2020 election and took aim at GOP House and Senate members who maintained his second impeachment.
Asked about his commitment to back Trump if he became the 2024 GOP nominee, McConnell said the Republican Party is "looking forward," not "backward."
“I think the actions of the new Democratic administration are unifying the Republican Party," he announced Wednesday on Fox News. "We’ve had some eternal back-and-forth that’s been widely covered, but nothing has unified the Republican Party in both the House and the Senate faster than reacting to this new left-wing administration. We’re looking forward to it. We’re not going to look backward. We’re looking forward to dealing with the problems America has today, not the problems it had yesterday.”
After being shown a clip of Trump's CPAC address in which he crashed the Supreme Court for refusing to act on election-related lawsuits, McConnell further distanced himself from the former president, hinting he would not have taken the same course of action.
"The Supreme Court is the most respected institution in the country with the possible exception of the military," he stated. "When they speak, it’s the last word, and it’s been my practice over the years not to attack the Supreme Court for decisions that I don’t like."
Seven GOP senators voted to convict Trump, including Sen. Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, who is up for reelection in 2022. McConnell pledged to help her regardless of the former president's urge for Republicans to reject those who voted in favor of slapping charges against him.
"Yeah, absolutely, we support Sen. Murkowski," he said. "We support all of our Republican incumbents. She's in very strong shape in her home state of Alaska. There's nobody [who's] gonna come close to beating Lisa Murkowski when she runs for reelection next year."
McConnell scrutinized President Biden, railing against the $1.9 trillion dollar coronavirus relief bill that's set to proceed to the upper chamber in the following days. The House approved the package on Monday by a 219-212 vote after questions were raised about the effect the bill's size could have on the U.S. economy.