Capitalizing on the momentum of John Boehner’s resignation as speaker of the House, the RNC vice vhair is calling for the Senate majority leader to follow suit.
“McConnell needs to resign!!” Louisiana GOP Chairman Roger Villere wrote in a Facebook posting.
Villere is no lightweight. He is the longest-serving state GOP chairman in the country and he serves on the executive committee alongside RNC Chair Reince Priebus.
“Mitch is a good and honorable guy, but the base is leaving our party,” Mr. Villere said in an interview with the Washington Times. “I’m out in the field all the time and we have all our elections this year for state offices, and it’s hurting us tremendously with our elections.”
The McConnell and Priebus camps had not responded for comment on Villere’s statement as of Sunday.
Villere had no suggestions for a McConnell replacement. “Honestly, I haven really thought of a replacement,” he said. “We are being so beat up by the base. I just was frustrated.”
The RNC vice chair pinpointed the source of Republican frustration.
“Mr. McConnell could have suspended consideration of confirmations for all presidential appointees, except for those who are essential to national security, until the president rescinded his unconstitutional executive action on amnesty,” Mr. Villere said.
“This would have been a constitutionally appropriate response to the overreach of the executive branch,” he said. “It would have transformed the political environment, greatly encouraged Republican donors and grass-roots activists, and positioned us to refuse to confirm replacements for any Supreme Court openings that might occur during the remainder of the Obama administration.”
“Not trying to repeal Obamacare, not defunding Planned Parenthood, not trying to stop illegal immigration,” he said. “That is what Republicans ran on and once they were elected they did not follow up with their promises.”
What moved Villere to call for McConnell to resign? He said he read a story quoting McConnell taking a government shutdown off the table over Planned Parenthood funding.
“If we lose the battle, we will never win the presidency again in my lifetime,” said Mr. Villere, who is 66. “I’ve worked for 12 years as chairman to build this party, and I just don’t want to see it all go down the drain because they aren’t willing to fight for what we believe in. Our base is demanding we do something or they’re going to leave us.”
“The GOP brand is being damaged. We’re having to work from scratch to do all the groundwork we’ve already done with elections of Republicans to Congress and in the state because everybody is so furious at the leadership,” Mr. Villere said.