Former Trump campaign manager Brad Parscale has said Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) may want to get out of Washington, D.C. “soon” following a report that he called former President Donald Trump “a fading brand.”
Parscale, who managed Trump’s 2020 presidential campaign from February 2018 to July 2020, took to Twitter on Wednesday and shared a story from Kentucky.com about McConnell’s comments.
According to the new book Peril by journalists Bob Woodward and Robert Costa, McConnell said the Republican Party was moving away from Trump and also suggested the former president was not a threat to him.
Parscale tweeted: “Trump is fading vs McConnell’s Republican party? McConnell might want to get out of Washington soon. Kentucky would choose Trump over McConnell in a heartbeat. #swamp.”
In their book, Woodward and Costa write: “McConnell said he saw Trump as a fading brand. Retired. ‘OTTB’ as they say in Kentucky — ‘off-the-track Thoroughbred.'”
The book goes on: “‘There is a clear trend moving,’ McConnell said, toward a place where the Republican Party is not dominated by Trump. ‘Sucking up to Donald Trump is not a strategy that works.'”
Those remarks were reportedly made in early 2021. However, Trump has remained popular among Republicans and recent polling shows he is still the favorite for the party’s 2024 presidential nomination.
Woodward and Costa’s book also suggests that McConnell did not see the former president as a potential threat. The senator reportedly believed he could defeat Trump’s “ragtag network.”
“The only place I can see Trump and me actually at loggerheads would be if he gets behind some clown who clearly can’t win,” the book quotes McConnell as saying.
“To have a chance of getting the Senate back, you have to have the most electable candidates possible,” he said.
Woodward and Costa’s book also quotes McConnell addressing how Democrats might make him a focus of their attempts to defeat Republican Senate candidates in 2022. Democrats may hope to damage GOP candidates by linking them with McConnell in voters’ minds.
“I’m not enough of a villain,” McConnell reportedly said.
Trump won the state of Kentucky with 62.1 percent of the vote against President Joe Biden‘s 36.2 percent in the 2020 presidential election. McConnell has represented the state in the Senate since 1985 and won reelection in 2020 with 57.8 percent of the vote. His Democratic opponent Amy McGrath won 38.2 percent of the vote.
McConnell served as Senate majority leader throughout Trump’s four years in the Oval Office but since leaving office, the former president has criticized the senior Republican.
Trump recently told senators and allies that Republicans should replace McConnell, according to a Wall Street Journal report on Sunday.
“They ought to,” Trump reportedly said. “I think he’s very bad for the Republican Party.”
Newsweek has asked Mitch McConnell’s office for comment.