Ken Cuccinelli has spent years attacking Mitch McConnell and Senate Republicans. Now, it’s time for payback.
President Donald Trump wants Cuccinelli, who most recently led the anti-establishment Senate Conservatives Fund, to be director of the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. But there may be nobody in Washington whom McConnell and his allies would take more pleasure in defeating, and the bottom line is Cuccinelli has little chance of getting approved for the job, Republican senators said.
“He’s spent a fair amount of his career attacking Republicans in the Senate, so it strikes me as an odd position for him to put himself in to seek Senate confirmation,” said Sen. John Cornyn of Texas, who ran the GOP’s campaign arm for two election cycles. “It’s unlikely he’s going to be confirmed if he is nominated.”
Sen. John Thune of South Dakota, the Senate GOP’s chief vote-counter, called the bid “a long shot,” adding, “They’ll go forward with it or they won’t, but I will suspect he’ll have plenty of obstacles once he gets here.”
The nascent nomination fight is again pitting the president against his own party in Congress. Just this spring, because of strong and very public opposition from Senate Republicans, Trump yanked his two preferred picks for the Federal Reserve’s board of governors before they even had been formally nominated.