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McConnell warms to Herschel Walker as primary war with Trump fizzles

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Republicans are hand-wringing over former President Donald Trump’s hand-picked candidate Herschel Walker entering a critical Senate race. Surprisingly, Mitch McConnell isn’t one of them.

After vowing earlier this year to tangle with Trump if necessary to nominate electable GOP candidates in must-win Senate primaries, the Senate minority leader is tacitly blessing many of Trump’s endorsements. As McConnell surveys Trump’s picks in Senate battlegrounds, he's concluded that “I don't believe they're troubling.”

McConnell even sees a path to victory for Walker, the former NFL star who is dogged by allegations of past erratic behavior, including threats to his ex-wife. Trump essentially recruited Walker in Georgia, making him the instant favorite to win the GOP nomination. And McConnell is OK with that.

“There are some things written that indicate he’s had some challenges in his life. On the other hand, the good news is, he's made several impressive performances on national television. His whole team is the same team around [former Sen.] Johnny Isakson,” McConnell said in an interview this week. “He's called me; we had a good conversation. I think there's every indication he’s going to be a good candidate.”

Republicans across the country will sigh in relief at McConnell’s remarks as Trump prepares to rally with Walker in Georgia on Saturday. McConnell hasn’t personally reconciled with Trump after excoriating him for ginning up the pro-Trump insurrection at the Capitol on Jan. 6. But the apparent midterm clash between the two hasn't materialized and may never — even as Trump continues a push to oust McConnell as Republican leader.

The only real political conflict between the two GOP titans at the moment is in Alaska, where McConnell said his party will do whatever it takes to defend incumbent Republican Sen. Lisa Murkowski while Trump seeks to topple her. McConnell otherwise doesn’t view Trump’s endorsements of Walker, Sean Parnell in Pennsylvania, Rep. Mo Brooks in Alabama, Rep. Ted Budd in North Carolina and Adam........

© Politico

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