Ron Johnson evades question about running for Senate GOP leader

Johnson said he sent a letter urging his colleagues to create a defined process for selecting the next leader and to establish goals for the GOP.
Senator Ron Johnson.

Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Wisc., sidestepped a question Sunday about whether he would run for Senate Republican leader after Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., said he would retire from the position later this year. 

On "The Hill Sunday," NewsNation host Chris Stirewalt asked Johnson whether he would consider running for GOP leader after he sent a letter to his Senate Republican colleagues urging a defined process to be created for electing a new leader, The Hill reported. 

Johnson said that the letter was meant to encourage his party to unite to define roles and goals. 

"In terms of replacing the leader but what this letter is primarily about, you know — I don’t think people truly understand the profound dysfunction within Congress," he responded. "What Republicans have not done is effectively counter the destruction of the radical left, the destruction of the Democratic Party. That’s what we need to do. So what I asked for in this conference is let’s discuss, discuss a mission statement. Let’s establish goals."

Johnson also said: "We’ve had a leader that pretty well does things on his own, doesn’t tell the conference what he’s up to. By the time we find out it’s too late to reverse course."

Stirewalt said he "did not hear a no" from Johnson on whether he would consider being the next Senate Republican Conference leader. 

Republican Sens. John Thune, S.D., John Cornyn, Texas, John Barrasso, Wyo., and Joni Ernst, Iowa, are being considered as likely candidates for the position. 

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