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Mitch McConnell stepping down, reactions, top US Senate Republican

Mitch McConnell steps down, leaving a power vacuum in the Republican Party. Reactions range from praise to criticism over his legacy.

Mitch McConnell, the long-standing U.S. Senate Republican leader, has announced his decision to step down from his leadership role, creating a significant power vacuum within the party that he has led for nearly 17 years, longer than any other party leader in the chamber's history.

The reactions to McConnell's decision have been varied, with some praising his conservative track record and impact on the judiciary, while others criticize his perceived inability to push back against former President Donald Trump.

Democratic U.S. President Joe Biden expressed regret at McConnell's departure, highlighting their strong relationship and mutual trust. Democratic U.S. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, despite political differences, acknowledged their collaboration in leading the Senate during critical moments.

Republican U.S. Senator Thom Tillis lauded McConnell's historic leadership, citing achievements such as securing a conservative majority on the Supreme Court and passing significant legislation. Republican U.S. House of Representatives Speaker Mike Johnson and Senator John Thune also praised McConnell's contributions to the party and Congress.

The ultraconservative House Freedom Caucus, however, criticized McConnell's stance on Ukraine and Russia, calling for the immediate election of a Republican Minority Leader. Republican Senator Mitt Romney commended McConnell's respect for the Senate and defense of conservative values, while Senator Lindsey Graham hailed him as one of the most effective leaders in Senate history.

Republican presidential candidate Nikki Haley expressed respect for McConnell's decision and the need for a new generation of leaders. On the other hand, Shannon Watts, founder of activist group Moms Demand Action, and the anti-Trump group The Lincoln Project, criticized McConnell's legacy, accusing him of undermining democracy and enabling Donald Trump.

Overall, McConnell's departure has elicited a range of responses, reflecting the complex and polarizing nature of his leadership and the impact it has had on American politics. As the Senate prepares to select a new leader, the legacy of McConnell's tenure will undoubtedly continue to influence the direction of the Republican Party.

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