Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell on Tuesday waved off former President Trump’s preferred nickname for the Kentucky Republican — “Old Crow” — saying, “It’s my favorite bourbon.”
“Aren’t we using Old Crow as my moniker now? It was Henry Clay’s favorite bourbon,” McConnell said to a member of his staff during an interview with the Washington Examiner. He was referring to a spirit distilled by Beam Suntory of the same name.
Trump has frequently derided McConnell as “Old Crow Mitch” in statements issued through his Save America PAC.
The former president expressed his frustration when the Senate GOP leader worked with Democrats and other Republicans to pass the bipartisan infrastructure law and accused McConnell in October of “folding” to Democrats over raising the debt ceiling.
In a deal negotiated by McConnell, 14 Republican senators helped all 50 Senate Democrats in December overcome a procedural hurdle in ultimately allowing Democrats to raise the debt ceiling on their own despite some blowback he received from members of his caucus.
In his interview with the Examiner, he argued that an alternative scenario would have been made for Republicans.
“The only people who could have been hurt by making the debt ceiling impossible would have been us. My guiding principle is: Don’t do things that are stupid and that take the subject off of what we want it to be on,” McConnell told the news outlet.
“The two things we could have done [in 2021] to take the attention off [the Democrats] and put it on us would be to shut down the government or threaten to default on the national debt. You can’t do that to the country either,” the Senate GOP leader noted. “If it’s bad for the country and bad for Republicans, I’m against it.”
The Hill has reached out to McConnell’s office for further comment.