Mitch McConnell on Rick Scott challenge: 'I welcome the contest'
McConnell: “I don’t own this job. Anybody in the conference is certainly entitled to challenge me."
Senate GOP Leader Mitch McConnell said on Tuesday that he welcomes a leadership challenge in the new Congress from Florida GOP Sen. Rick Scott.
“I don’t own this job. Anybody in the conference is certainly entitled to challenge me," McConnell, the minority leader of the Senate, said at a news conference. "And I welcome the contest.”
McConnell claimed he has the votes needed to be re-elected as leader. "I will be elected," he said.
Scott, a member of the Senate GOP leadership team as chairman of the National Republican Senatorial Committee, was noticeably absent at Tuesday's press conference.
The leadership election is scheduled for Wednesday but McConnell signaled that GOP senators will have another discussion about potentially moving it to a later date.
Addressing the GOP's performance in the midterm elections, McConnell said that Senate races "are different" from others.
"Candidate quality, you'll recall I said in August, is important. And in most of our states, we met that test, and in a few of them we did not," he said.