McConnell says he considered not running for re-election in 2014 - WDRB 41 Louisville News

McConnell says he considered not running for re-election in 2014

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- He is now the powerful Majority Leader of the U.S. Senate. But in 2014, Kentucky Sen. Mitch McConnell considered giving up his seat in Congress.

McConnell's 2014 re-election race, first in the primary against fellow-Republican Matt Bevin, and then against Democrat Alison Lundergan Grimes in the general election, was the biggest in the country at that time.

But in his new memoir, "The Long Game," McConnell explains it's a race he almost did not run because he thought he might lose.

“I was being targeted by some people on the right who thought I was too moderate and, of course, I knew I would be a big target on the left because I had before. So, I thought about it,” McConnell told WDRB.

McConnell says he did not want to be the one that cost Republicans a shot at the Senate majority.

In the end, of course, McConnell swept to victory and became the new Majority Leader.

“There was good lesson there for everybody. We all have our challenges -- sometimes big ones. But the chances are pretty good, if you stand up and defend yourself, you'll be OK,” he said.

It was a lesson that McConnell says he learned early on when his mother helped him overcome polio, and his father challenged him to fight and beat a bully.

“Success, I think, for most of us, is the long game. It's showing up, doing what you're supposed to do, doing it as well as you can do it, and not being defeated by the inevitable setbacks that we all have,” McConnell said.

McConnell's latest challenge is holding onto the Senate Majority. Of the 34 seats up for grabs this fall, 24 are held by Republicans.

And then there's Donald Trump.

“I hope that he'll be able to pivot to the kind of image that I think most Americans want in a President: calm, steady, and there's nothing wrong with using a script,” McConnell said.

The kind of script that McConnell himself has followed to win at the long game.

“The message in this book is figure out what you want to do, pursue it with all you've got, and there's a pretty good chance you're going to get there.”

McConnell raised eyebrows this week when he said Trump is getting closer to being a credible candidate and also called Hillary Clinton “capable.”

However, McConnell added, he hopes she loses.

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