Fmr GOP rep, CNN commentator duke it out over McConnell’s fitness: ‘We don’t know a darn thing’

Blasé attitudes over GOP Senate Leader Mitch McConnell’s latest health scare brought a key governmental gripe to the fore as a former congressman railed over defenses.

“…we don’t know a darn thing…”

(Video: CNN)

Not long after the top Senate Republican appeared to space out in the middle of a press conference, video of the concerning incident circulated re-upping questions as to whether the repeat episode was a sign McConnell was due to step down. While former Illinois Rep. Joe Walsh (R) spoke to the lack of transparency from Washington, D.C., CNN contributor and Kentucky politics insider Scott Jennings defended the senator with the same excuse used by President Joe Biden.

CNN’s John Berman seeded the conversation by noting that National Review’s Rich Lowry was among the voices encouraging McConnell to step down and Walsh was matter-of-fact in opposing the Senate Leader’s lasting presence. “He’s been there way too long and he’s too darn old. But the problem here is transparency. I appreciate what Scott said, and I know Scott knows Mitch McConnell pretty well. But we don’t know a darn thing about what’s wrong with him.”

Biden had voiced his support of McConnell as a “good friend” after the second public freeze before later adding, “It’s not at all unusual to have the response that sometimes happens to Mitch when you’ve had a severe concussion — it’s part of his recovery.”

Jennings took that same avenue when he replied to Walsh’s take, “Well, I mean, Joe, I guess has been living under a rock. We do know what’s going on with Sen. McConnell. He had a concussion earlier this year, and these symptoms and these issues are consistent with recovery from a concussion. So, it’s pretty well known. He took a few weeks off to begin that recovery process and he’s been at work all summer. So, it’s just not true that we don’t know what’s going on with Mitch McConnell.”

Since the incident, the senator had been cleared by the attending physician for the Capitol, Dr. Brian Monahan and Jennings pushed back on stories challenging fitness as mere clickbait. “I’m an avid follower of National Review. I know not many Republicans are these days, and I know Rich has to run a publication that competes for clicks and whatnot on the internet, but I thought he was way off base…”

“Oh, come on, Scott!” interrupted Walsh before the CNN contributor could finish his remarks.

The one-time lawmaker went on to decry what former Fox News host Tucker Carlson referred to as “permanent Washington” with a knock on entitlement. “Come on, Scott. As a former member of Congress, some of these people who are there, they feel like they’re entitled to be there as long as they want. When you’re a United States senator or a member of the House and there’s something wrong with you physically, you have an obligation to be open and transparent with the voters.”

Bristling at the notion, Jennings replied, “The idea that anyone feels entitled to be there — well, he is entitled to be there because he got elected by the people of Kentucky. And then he got elected by his colleagues. So, you know, he won elections and that’s why he’s in his seat. He’s not entitled to it. No one’s entitled to it. But we seem to forget he did handily win the election in ’20 and handily win election to Senate Republican leader just last year. So, the idea he was placed there or has ownership of it is just also not true.”

While Berman attempted to sign off from the segment, Walsh fired off one more comment and voiced, “He’s not entitled to be there if he can’t to his job. And if he can’t tell his constituents what’s wrong with him, that’s a problem.”


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Kevin Haggerty


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