McConnell made the comment while side-stepping a question about GOP infighting over Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.) and her imperiled future as the leader of the House Republican Conference.
“One hundred percent of my focus is on stopping this new administration,” McConnell said during an appearance in Georgetown, Kentucky. “I think the best way to look at what this new administration is: The president may have won the nomination, but Bernie Sanders won the argument.”
Biden, of course, also won the presidency, and his party, in turn, took control of the Senate. Now, congressional Democrats are pushing a sweeping agenda aimed at overhauling the nation’s crumbling infrastructure system and making massive investments in housing, child care, education, and elder care.
But Biden’s multi-trillion proposals face staunch GOP opposition in Congress, partly due to the way they are to be financed: by raising taxes on corporations and wealthy Americans.
“I guess the contrast for people to consider is 100% of our focus is on delivering relief for the American people,” White House press secretary Jen Psaki said at a Wednesday press conference when asked about McConnell’s remark.
Cheney, the No. 3 House Republican, has been openly critical of former President Donald Trump and his attacks on the legitimacy of the 2020 election. Her approach is sharply at odds with the rest of GOP leadership, which is prepared to oust her as early as next week.
Unlike Cheney, McConnell has largely been silent on Trump and his many lies about the Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol and the 2020 election. McConnell declined to respond to Trump even as the former president continues to call for his ouster as leader of the Senate GOP. On Wednesday, Trump issued another statement calling McConnell “gutless and clueless,” accusing him of losing control of the Senate.
Some Senate Republicans have spoken out in defense of Cheney and the legitimacy of the 2020 election, however. Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah), who voted to convict Trump during his impeachment trial earlier this year, praised the Wyoming congresswoman for following her conscience: