Saturday marked a moment of public humiliation for Mitch McConnell, the 81-year-old Senate Minority Leader, as he faced a barrage of merciless booing and calls for retirement during a speech at the Fancy Farm picnic – a prominent political event in Kentucky. Here’s the full story.
McConnell’s presence at the picnic was marred by recent speculations about his health and political prospects.
The Picnic Speech
The speech on Saturday was an endeavor to rally support and address these concerns, but it only seemed to amplify the uncertainty surrounding his future.
The Unexpected Reactions
The audience’s reaction was anything but supportive, with a large number of attendees expressing their disapproval through resounding boos and jeers.
The Crow Shouted “Retire”
A viral video captured the moment when McConnell’s speech was almost entirely drowned out by shouts of ‘RETIRE,’ followed by a chorus of booing.
McConnell Delivered His Speech
Undeterred by the booing, McConnell pressed on, attempting to deliver his speech.
“I Want to Assure You It’s Not My Last”
He addressed the crowd, saying, “This is my 28th Fancy Farm, and I want to assure you it’s not my last. The people of this state have chosen me seven times to do this job, and I want you to know how grateful I am.”
The Crowd Kept on Booing and Shouting
However, the crowd kept on booing and shouting “Retire.”
Trump Jumped In
Even former President Trump shared the video on Truth Social, and wrote, “I AGREE!, BOOOO – RETIRE, RETIRE, RETIRE – BOOOOO!!!”
There Are Health Concerns
Just weeks prior, McConnell’s leadership briefing was disrupted by a sudden twenty-second pause as he struggled to complete his sentence.
Can He Fulfill His Duties?
The episode raised alarms, and Senator John Barrasso’s inquiry about McConnell’s well-being only fueled concerns about his ability to fulfill his duties.
He Said He Was Fine
Despite these episodes, McConnell insisted he was “fine” and capable of continuing his work.
He Was Light-Headed
Adding to the growing concerns about McConnell’s health, reports emerged that he had experienced feelings of being “light-headed” before making his speech at the picnic.
The President Reached Out
It was later revealed that President Biden had reached out to inquire about McConnell’s health.
During their conversation, McConnell reportedly told the president that he had been “sandbagged,” referencing Biden’s own quip after stumbling over sandbags during an Air Force Academy graduation ceremony in June.
Expert at Ignoring Urgent Problems
Several Twitter users shared their thoughts on the incident. One Twitter user wrote, “Mitch McConnell is an expert at ignoring urgent problems right in front of his face, he’s been doing it his entire career.”
Ageism Is Wrong
Another user added, “Whatever one thinks of Mitch McConnell or his fitness for office, this is atrocious behavior. Ageism is wrong, it isn’t “the last acceptable prejudice” – it’s just prejudice.”
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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.