Murkowski’s Primary Challenger Tshibaka Unloads On McConnell, Says She Won’t Support Him As Leader

Andrew Trunsky 

GOP primary challenger Kelly Tshibaka said Monday that she would not support Minority Leader Mitch McConnell to lead Senate Republicans if she wins her election in 2022.

Tshibaka, who is challenging Republican Sen. Lisa Murkowski with the backing of former President Donald Trump, said in a statement that McConnell was responsible for repeatedly helping President Joe Biden.

“Mitch McConnell has repeatedly bailed out Joe Biden, giving him gifts of Senate votes, which are the only things keeping the Biden administration on life support,” Tshibaka said, attaching a video to her recent appearance on Steve Bannon’s “War Room” podcast. “As an example, after rescuing Biden with the last debt ceiling increase, McConnell said he would never do it again. But he just did, and he had Lisa Murkowski’s help in doing so.”

Tshibaka singled out McConnell’s willingness to allow Democrats to raise the debt ceiling on their own instead of forcing them to attach it to their reconciliation bill, describing the fights in Congress as “political elites pitted against real Americans.”

Tshibaka’s statement mirrors those from Trump in recent days criticizing McConnell for his not threatening a nationwide debt default for political leverage. Trump has issued two statements since the weekend began slamming the Senate Republican leader, accusing him of “giving the Democrats victory on everything.”

Murkowski is running for her fourth term, but it is the first time she is on the ballot with Alaska’s new ranked-choice voting method, which allows voters to list their preferred candidates in order instead of choosing just one. The state’s senior senator has also been tough to unseat in the past; she lost her primary in 2010 only to win the general election as a write-in candidate.

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