Wisconsin Sen. Ron Johnson (R) said on Sunday that the timing of the upcoming Senate GOP leadership vote on Nov. 16 is “absurd,” urging his colleagues to delay the election
During an appearance on Fox News’s “Sunday Morning Futures,” Johnson told host Maria Bartiromo that more discussions on the leadership election is needed.
“If we hold those elections right away Wednesday, you probably have more campaigning done in a high school class president election than we would have in the most deliberative body in the world,” Johnson told Bartiromo. “It is absurd. It is preposterous. They need to be delayed. We need to have these discussions.”
Other GOP senators have also called for delaying the vote until after the results of the Georgia Senate runoff election on Dec. 6. Democrats secured control of the Senate with a win in Nevada called Saturday night.
Longtime Senate GOP leader Mitch McConnell is widely expected to remain in his position, however former President Trump has lobbied for Sen. Rick Scott (R-Fla.), the head of the GOP’s Senate campaign committee, to challenge him.
Johnson said there were too many unknowns to press ahead with a vote, noting the Georgia runoff and the Alaska Senate election, in which moderate Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R) is in a tight race with Trump-backed Kelly Tshibaka (R).
“It would be absurd to hold these leadership elections,” he said. “We have a lot to discuss. We have information. Again, are we going to have a senator from Georgia? Who’s our senator going to be from Alaska? In a close election, that can make all the difference.”
Senate Democrats are waiting on their own conference elections in anticipation of the results Georgia runoff election. Majority Leader Charles Schumer is expected to cruise to reelection.
Trump and his allies have blasted McConnell for spending big on Murkowski in Alaska while holding back in the Arizona Senate race, where Republican Blake Masters was massively outspent by Sen. Mark Kelly (D-Ariz.).
“It’s Mitch McConnell’s fault. Spending money to defeat great Republican candidates instead of backing Blake Masters and others was a big mistake,” Trump wrote, adding McConnell “blew the Midterms.”
Scott also cast blame on current Senate leadership in an interview Sunday, saying his colleagues “caved” to Democrats on a number of legislative bills over the past year, and failed to put forward their own plan.
“What do we stand for? What are we hell-bent to get done?” Scott asked during an interview on Fox News channel’s “Sunday Morning Futures”. “The leadership in the Republican Senate says, ‘No, you cannot have a plan. We’re just going to run against how bad the Democrats are.’ And, actually, then they cave into the Democrats.”
Johnson was seen as one of the GOP’s most vulnerable incumbent senators heading into the election, but pulled off a win against progressive Wisconsin Lt. Gov. Mandela Barnes.
Many in the GOP have said Trump was the biggest loser of the night, however, with key Senate candidates he endorsed losing in Pennsylvania, Arizona and Nevada — and voters rejecting many other candidates who pushed his false claims about the 2020 election.