What Democrats, Republicans said: Reaction to McConnell stepping down as GOP leader

Mitch McConnell quickly became the talking point in the political sphere when he announced his resignation as the U.S. Senate’s Republican leader in November.

McConnell will serve out the remainder of his current term, which ends in January 2027. In a speech delivered on the Senate floor Wednesday, McConnell said he had been contemplating the decision to step down for months and the end of his contributions are, “closer than I’d prefer.”

Father time remains undefeated,” McConnell said in his speech. “I am no longer the young man sitting in the back, hoping colleagues would remember my name. It is time for the next generation of leadership.”

After his speech, Republican and Democrat politicians gave their reactions on social media.

President Joe Biden said he and McConnell have a great relationship and was sorry to hear the news of him stepping down, according to Phillip Bailey.

“We fight like hell, but he has never, never, never, misrepresented anything. I’m sorry to hear he’s stepping down,” Biden said in a statement.

Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear told Kentucky Lantern reporter McKenna Horsley, “I want to thank Sen. McConnell for his years in leadership. There is no indication that he will not fulfill his promise to serve his entire term.”

The other Republican U.S. Senator from Kentucky, Rand Paul, congratulated McConnell on his career in a short statement.

The Chair of the Republican Party of Kentucky Robert Benvenuti said McConnell provided steady, conservative leadership and has had a remarkable impact on the country.

“The name McConnell” belongs in the history books alongside the names of other great Kentuckians who served our nation and our Commonwealth,” Benvenuti said in a statement on X.

Former House Speaker Paul Ryan thanked McConnell for his service as a senator.

The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee said Senate Republicans led by McConnell have opposed Americans’ values and his successor will lead Senate Republicans to embrace a dangerous agenda.

Congressman Andy Barr said McConnell was an extraordinary leader and, “his impact and legacy will live on for generations.”

Former Kentucky Attorney General and gubernatorial candidate Daniel Cameron said McConnell made an indelible impact on the country and Kentucky.

Robert Stivers, the longest serving Republican State Senator, said McConnell was a tremendous leader and put Kentucky on a better trajectory politically.

Shelley Moore Capito, a Republican Senator from West Virginia and the Vice Chairman of the Senate Republican Conference, thanks McConnell for his “steadfast leadership.”

Kentucky Attorney General Russell Coleman described McConnell as the most consequential leader in Senate history.

“Leader McConnell has singlehandedly made sure Kentucky punches above our weight, and his legacy of accomplishment can be seen in every corner of the Bluegrass State,” Coleman said in an statement.

Scott Jennings, an on-air talent for CNN, described McConnell as the most successful politician in the history of the Senate and Kentucky.

Republican Senator from Utah and former presidential candidate Mitt Romney said McConnell displayed more respect for the institution of the Senate than any previous senator and that his accomplishments have been less heralded than their due.

House of Representatives Speaker Mike Johnson said no member of Congress has done a better job of reshaping the federal judiciary than McConnell.