On Tuesday, McConnell took it in stride.
“Actually, it’s quite an honor,” McConnell told CNN. “Old Crow is Henry Clay’s favorite bourbon.”
McConnell, who has long revered Clay, a fellow Kentuckian, was responding to Trump’s attack of the retiring GOP senator from Alabama, Richard Shelby, for endorsing Katie Boyd Britt, a former Shelby chief of staff who is the head of the Business Council of Alabama. Trump has endorsed Alabama Rep. Mo Brooks to fill Shelby’s seat next year, while McConnell has not picked a candidate in the race to this point.
“I see that the RINO Senator from Alabama, close friend of Old Crow Mitch McConnell, Richard Shelby, is pushing hard to have his ‘assistant’ fight the great Mo Brooks for his Senate seat,” Trump said in his statement. “She is not in any way qualified and is certainly not what our Country needs or not what Alabama wants. For Mitch McConnell to be wasting money on her campaign is absolutely outrageous.”
McConnell’s super PAC, the Senate Leadership Fund, has not gotten involved in the race. And he didn’t answer when asked by CNN if he expected his group to eventually pour money into the race.
Shelby also brushed aside Trump’s attack that he’s a “Republican in name only,” or a RINO.
“I was a Democrat at one time,” Shelby told CNN. “A long time ago, we all were. I don’t know if the President was. But I’m a Republican. I don’t think anybody questions that up here.”
And Shelby made clear he’s still endorsing Britt for the job.
“Absolutely, she’s the best qualified and the best hope we’ve got in the state,” Shelby said.