Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., faced another unsettling moment on Wednesday when he appeared to momentarily struggle with responding to reporters’ questions during a press event in Covington, Kentucky.
He Heard the Question
McConnell, who is 81 years old, appeared to initially grapple with hearing a question about his stance on running for re-election. It’s the second time within weeks that his speech abruptly stopped, requiring assistance from those around him.
He Froze When It Was Time to Answer
What followed was a freeze at the lectern lasting approximately 30 seconds, during which he remained silent.
Someone Tried to Help
It was evident that he didn’t immediately react when a member of his staff approached him to inquire whether he had heard the question.
His Aide Called Everything Off
During this puzzling interval, an aide said, “All right, I’m sorry, you all. We’re going to need a minute.”
He Stood There Again
Subsequently, McConnell seemed to regain his readiness to continue.
His Following Answer Was Strange
When asked about Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron’s gubernatorial aspirations, McConnell, after having the question reiterated loudly into his ear by an aide, responded, “I think the governor’s race is going to be very close,” his voice trailing off in volume towards the end of his reply.
He Shrugged Off the Next Question
Following this exchange, McConnell shrugged off a query about former President Donald Trump’s recent indictment in Georgia before being led away from the lectern.
This Happened Just Last Month
Interestingly, McConnell faced a comparable episode on July 26 in Washington, D.C., during a press conference.
He Needed Help From Others
On that occasion, his fellow senators stepped in to provide assistance, and after a few minutes, he returned to the lectern and continued engaging with reporters.
He Says He’s Healthy
During that earlier event, McConnell dismissed any notions of his health concern being connected to a concussion he had experienced earlier in the year following a fall at a political fundraiser.
Republicans Have a Slight Majority
As fresh uncertainties about McConnell’s health surface, it occurs at a critical juncture for Republicans in Congress, who possess a slender majority in the House and hold 49 Senate seats, just one seat short of a majority.
Biden Sent His Thoughts and Wishes
In the context of McConnell’s health, it’s noteworthy that President Joe Biden extended his well wishes after McConnell’s fall in March.
The President Laughed Off the First Incident
McConnell also shared that he had informed the President about his unexpected pause in a speech in July, amusingly attributing it to being “sandbagged.”
Biden Hasn’t Spoken on the Issue Yet
At a subsequent briefing, White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre clarified that she hadn’t spoken with Biden regarding McConnell’s most recent episode.
They Hope He Makes a Speedy Recovery
Nevertheless, she expressed the administration’s hopes for McConnell’s swift recovery and well-being in light of these recent incidents.
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Featured Image Credit: Shutterstock / Christopher Halloran. The people shown in the images are for illustrative purposes only, not the actual people featured in the story.