Via America’s Lawyer: Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell vets possible Senate successors in the event he doesn’t finish out the remainder of his term. Mike Papantonio & Farron Cousins discuss more.


*This transcript was generated by a third-party transcription software company, so please excuse any typos.

Mike Papantonio:             Mitch McConnell wants to make sure he has an exit strategy if he decides to leave office, but his plan could end up costing Kentucky residents their voice in elections. Joining me to explain what’s happening is Farron Cousins from the trial lawyer magazine, and absolutely the best, the best progressive commentator in the business. I really mean that.

Farron Cousins:                  Thank you.

Mike Papantonio:             I have to watch all of them. So, so let’s pick up with this. It’s a, this is his way out, isn’t it? He’s saying, look, I’m tired of this. I’m old. I got physical problems. I need to get out. But when I get out, I need to have my guy there.

Farron Cousins:                  Yeah. I think if Mitch McConnell had known that he had a strong person to take his place, he wouldn’t have even run for reelection this past year, but he did and so at 79 years old, he says, well, I got six years ahead of me now. I, I can’t do this. I’ve been here for 36 years now. I need to figure out what’s going to happen. I’m not in the best of health. Um, you know, we all saw pictures recently a couple months ago where he showed up, had bruises on his face, bruises all over his hands and swelling and so he understands, look, I, I may not make it. I’m a realistic guy. But I want to make sure that our Democratic governor doesn’t appoint a Democrat to my seat.

Mike Papantonio:             Yeah.

Farron Cousins:                  So he is helping to push legislation in the Kentucky state legislature that would actually allow the parties, essentially to, if it’s a Republican that leaves the Republicans get to pick them. If it’s a Democrat, the Democrats do.

Mike Papantonio:             Okay. US Senate, razor thin, razor thin advantage that the Democrats have. I’m not even sure they have an advantage when I start looking at some of these votes, but they say numbers wise, it looks like razor thin. It is razor thin. So everything, got a lot riding on this. Now here’s the way I see it. You got a, you got a Republican majority that is, it’s absolutely, it’s, it’s veto proof. So if this passes, this is what the next, this is, this is what it’s gonna look like in Kentucky and I think we might start seeing it in other places, to tell you the truth. Because they’re, they’re really focused on the fact that even though you got these horrible middle of the road kind of Democrats, that really aren’t helping much. You know, this can be important.

Farron Cousins:                  Right. And this is usually the way we see these things happen. There’s always that bellwether, you know, we saw it in Wisconsin with the destruction of the teachers’ unions and the Scott Walker, funded by the Koch brother days and then they took it everywhere else. So this could very easily be something, a blueprint, basically, that Republicans in other States and even Democrats in other States.

Mike Papantonio:             Right.

Farron Cousins:                  Try to push through because it does kind of guarantee that, listen, if something happens to your person, you get to fill that seat instead of holding a special election and letting the people have their say in who gets to represent them.

Mike Papantonio:             What’s interesting is you have an aging, almost dinosaur leadership across the board.

Farron Cousins:                  Yeah.

Mike Papantonio:             Okay. I mean, whether you’re talking Republicans, talking Democrats and you got the Pelosi issue, you got the Schumer issue. I mean, there’s a lot of things that are going to take hold as we start saying, what, what happens when we lose senators? We’re going to start seeing more of that, I really predict it.

Farron Cousins:                  I believe so too. I mean, it’s inevitable. It happens to everybody, so.

Mike Papantonio:             Right.

Mike Papantonio is an American attorney and television and radio talk show host. He is past president of The National Trial Lawyers, the most prestigious trial lawyer association in America; and is one of the few living attorneys inducted into the Trial Lawyer Hall of Fame. He hosts the international television show "America's Lawyer"; and co-hosts Ring of Fire Radio, a nationally syndicated weekly radio program, with Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. and Sam Seder.