Malice or Gross Incompetence? AZ Senate Candidate Blake Masters Blasts Mitch McConnell for Lack of Support

A week ago, Arizona businessman Blake Masters seemed poised to defeat incumbent Senator Mark Warner for a US Senate seat in Tuesday’s midterms. After inexplicable (and unforgivable) delays in counting the votes, Warner was finally declared the winner by Decision Desk HQ Friday night, as RedState‘s Cameron Arcand reported.

It’s a serious blow to the GOP’s hopes to regain the Senate majority, leaving them with very little room for a path forward. Nevada’s Adam Laxalt is in an exceptionally tight race with Democrat Catherine Cortez Masto, and as of this writing, he leads by a tenth of a percentage point. Meanwhile, Herschel Walker is hoping to knock off Democrat Senator Raphael Warnock in a runoff for a Georgia senate seat on December 6.

The GOP’s hopes for taking the House are still alive, although it looks like a much slimmer majority than we hoped and expected.

Masters went on Tucker Carlson Tonight before the race was officially called to express his frustration that he didn’t receive more support from Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell:

“The people who control the purse strings, Senate Leadership Fund, Mitch McConnell–McConnell decided to spend millions of dollars attacking a fellow Republican in Alaska instead of helping me defeat Senator Mark Kelly,” an animated Masters said.

“Had he chosen to spend money in Arizona, this race would be over we’d be celebrating a Senate Majority right now,” he continued.


The McConnell-aligned political action committee known as the Senate Leadership Fund withdrew millions of dollars from Arizona in August and September, severely hampering Masters’ ability to get his message out. Meanwhile, Paypal founder and billionaire Peter Thiel was an early Masters booster, but as our Joe Cunningham reported, he too failed to produce when it mattered most. Thiel reached out to McConnell’s PAC in October, but by then it was too late in the day.

Where did The Turtle spend precious Leadership Fund money? In Alaska, to re-elect Senator Lisa Murkowski (whose main opponent was another Republican) and give her “a vote of confidence.” Personally, I’d much rather see Blake Masters in the Senate than Murkowski, whose votes are unreliable at best.

As I wrote Friday, others are also questioning McConnell’s leadership skills. Florida Senator Marco Rubio and Missouri’s Josh Hawley called for next week’s vote for the Republican leader in the Senate to be delayed until the outcome of the Herschel Walker runoff is decided. Senators Ron Johnson (R-Wis.), Mike Lee (R-Utah), and Rick Scott (R-Fla.) circulated a letter proposing just that, and were supported by others, including Ted Cruz (R-Tex.). However, later Friday, their efforts were denied, according to Politico:

GOP leaders are sticking to their schedule, however. Senate Republican Conference Chair John Barrasso (R-Wyo.) wrote all GOP senators on Friday afternoon to tell them he supports a “robust” discussion about the GOP agenda. Nevertheless, he said the party will hold its leadership elections on Wednesday as planned and said the Senate GOP should have a discussion on Tuesday at its first post-election party lunch “so every senator has a chance to be heard.”

It’s hard to believe a promising young candidate like Masters was served well by Republican leadership here. He clearly had better solutions for Arizona than did Mark Warner, and with some more help, perhaps he would have been able to cross the finish line as the winner.

There’s a lot of blame going around for the GOP’s lackluster midterms performance–it’s Trump’s fault, it’s questionable elections, it’s “candidate quality.” But this one feels like an unforced error, and one that Republican leadership has itself to blame for.

Carlson asked Blake Masters why, in his opinion, McConnell wouldn’t help in Arizona. Masters’ response was forthright, and left me wondering what could have been:

I will leave it to the viewer to decide whether it is just malice or whether it’s gross incompetence.

But clearly, Mitch McConnell cares about Mitch McConnell and less about a Senate majority or the people of America. I think we need a change, and that’s why I ran for office and one way or another, change is coming….

Let’s not vote Mitch McConnell into leadership. He doesn’t deserve to be majority leader or minority leader.

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