Mitch McConnell Calls Amy Coney Barrett a 'Political Asset' Ahead of Election

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) praised newly confirmed Supreme Court Justice Amy Coney Barrett on Monday as the 48-year-old judge succeeded the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg on the nation's highest court.

McConnell spoke to Fox News following the Senate vote to confirm Barrett and nodded to the 2018 midterm elections and the contentious confirmation hearings of Justice Brett Kavanaugh.

"As you recall, we had a Supreme Court fight months before the election in 2018 and we actually gained seats," McConnell told Fox's Shannon Bream.

"I think this nominee will be a political asset for our candidates around the country. Not a liability, but an asset," he said.

Republicans gained two seats in the Senate in 2018, increasing their majority. However, Democrats regained control of the House of Representatives, gaining 41 new seats.

Kavanaugh's confirmation hearings took place from September 4 to 7 2018.

Republicans had won the House in every election since 2010. Their defeat two years ago allowed California Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi to return as Speaker and eventually facilitated the impeachment of President Donald Trump

Democrats are tipped to win the Senate this year. Poll tracker FiveThirtyEight gives them a 73 percent chance of flipping the chamber, while Republicans have a 27 percent chance of retaining control. Democrats are also heavily favored to win the House for a second election in a row.

McConnell adjourned the Senate on Monday until after the election but during his Fox News appearance he pointed to the success Republicans have had in appointing judges—a key part of their pitch to conservative voters.

"This is a happy night for the country, and in particular, for this Senate Republican majority, which has, you know, Shannon, emphasized judicial appointments," McConnell said.

"And we've done 53 circuit judges, one step below the Supreme Court, first time in 40 years, no vacancies in the circuit courts, and over 200 lifetime appointments altogether."

McConnell garnered significant criticism on social media for calling Barrett a "political asset," but he appears to have been referring to her effect on voters in next week's elections.

"A lot of what we've done over the last four years will be undone sooner or later by the next election," McConnell said on the Senate floor on Monday. "They won't be able to do much about this for a long time to come."

Mitch McConnell Walks to the Senate Floor
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) walks from his office to the Senate floor at the U.S. Capitol on October 22, 2020 in Washington, DC. The Senate Judiciary Committee voted to advance, without the presence of Democratic members, the nomination of Judge Amy Coney Barrett to the U.S. Supreme Court. McConnell has called Barrett a "political asset." Sarah Silbiger/Getty Images