Marjorie Taylor Greene attacks ageing lawmakers after Mitch McConnell freezes again

While answering questions from reporters on Wednesday, Mitch McConnell experienced another episode of ‘freezing’, leading to questions about his well-being

Ariana Baio
Thursday 31 August 2023 15:21 BST
Mitch McConnell appears to freeze again as he is asked about running for re-election

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Louise Thomas

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After Mitch McConnell experienced another concerning episode of suddenly freezing in front of the press, Georgia representative Marjorie Taylor Greene launched an attack on lawmakers who she deems too old to stay in office.

Mr McConnell, 81, suddenly appeared unresponsive while answering reporters’ questions during a press conference on Wednesday. When asked if he planned to run for re-election he remained silent for approximately 30 seconds and stood motionless at the podium while noticeably gripping the sides of it.

A similar incident occurred last month which led people to question Mr McConnell’s health and call on lawmakers to enact term limits.

Hours after Wednesday’s incident, Ms Greene jumped at the opportunity to accuse several politicians, including Mr McConnell, of remaining in office while experiencing “severe aging health issues” or “mental health incompetence.”

“Biden, McConnell, Feinstein, and Fetterman are examples of people who are not fit for office and it’s time to be serious about it,” Ms Greene wrote on X alongside a video of Mr McConnell’s latest episode.

“These politician’s staff and family members should be ashamed of themselves by enabling and allowing their loved ones to remain in office all to hold power. We are talking about our country’s national security and it’s all at stake!” Ms Greene continued.

Mr McConnell, who is the longest-serving senator in Congress, has shown obvious signs of aging in recent months – thought to be exasperated by physical injuries and a concussion he sustained after he fell at an event in March.

The extremely public moments of sudden silence from the Senate minority leader are reminders to the public, and other lawmakers, that most of the people in government are well over the average age of Americans.

Representative Dean Phillips (D-MN) echoed Ms Greene’s statement on X writing, “For goodness sake, the family, friends, and staff of Senators Feinstein and McConnell are doing them and our country a tremendous disservice. It’s time for term limits for Congress and the Supreme Court, and some basic human decency.”

The first time Mr McConnell “froze” in front of reporters, people mocked the senator and joked about the incident while using it to call on term limits.

But this second time, people expressed more authentic concern for Mr McConnell.

President Joe Biden responded to a question about the incident during a press conference on Wednesday, saying he planned to “get in touch” with him later on.

“Mitch is a friend, as you know – not a joke, I know people don’t believe that’s the case but we have disagreements politically but he’s a good friend and so I’m going to try to get in touch with him later this afternoon,” Mr Biden said.

A spokesperson for Mr McConnell said he felt “momentarily lightheaded and paused during his press conference” but that he feels “fine.”

“As a prudential measure, the Leader will be consulting a physician prior to his next event,” the spokesperson added.

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