February 11th, 2010
11:03 PM ET
5 years ago

Senate GOP leader weeps during floor speech on departing aide

Senator Mitch McConnell's longtime aide is leaving to spend more time with his family.
Senator Mitch McConnell's longtime aide is leaving to spend more time with his family.

Washington (CNN) – Sen. Mitch McConnell is known for bare-knuckled politics, but the Kentucky Republican showed his personal side Thursday when he broke down in tears on the Senate floor while speaking of his departing chief of staff.

Kyle Simmons, a longtime aide to the Senate minority leader, is leaving to spend more time with his family, McConnell said.

The senator repeatedly choked back sobs and used a handkerchief to wipe away tears as he paid tribute to Simmons.

Describing Simmons as a tough but gracious competitor who always remembered the human side of politics, McConnell needed an emotional pause when saying: "Now that he's leaving, I'm just as confident that our office will carry on just as it always has because he leaves a fantastic team behind."


"He's made the right decision, as he usually does," McConnell concluded, adding that Simmons "leaves behind an office and a boss that will miss him terribly."


Filed under: Extra • Mitch McConnell • Popular Posts
soundoff (40 Responses)
  1. Silas Kain - Boston

    Now McConnell should make the right decision and RETIRE.

    February 11, 2010 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |
  2. Laurie

    Cry about the crumbling health care system, economy, and obstructionist stance you have taken. No pity.

    February 11, 2010 03:46 pm at 3:46 pm |
  3. If you want something ruined, put a republican in charge

    McConnell may be a worthless liar, but he appears to have some emotions.

    February 11, 2010 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
  4. normajean

    " "" To spend more time with family" has, for a long time been the explanation for people in all walks of life to remove themselves gracefully from a position they no longer wish to be associated with. We hear it all the time from executives, politicians, and famous people from all parts of society. Could it be that Senator McConnells strident and distructive attitude toward the opposition party in any attempts to save our country could have some bearing on Mr. Simmons plans?. Could there possibly be others in the Republican party that don't agree with what is happening and would like to "spend more time with family"?

    February 11, 2010 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
  5. D.U.T.C.H.

    Stop crying like a sissy Mitch! You might as well pack your bags behind him. We don't need crybaby's in Congress we need leaders, and you sir are not that. Tighten up!!!

    February 11, 2010 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
  6. All the news that is fit to omit

    How dare a Republican show emotion, they are not human, so states the next Rahm-tard to post (after Oprah of course).

    Don't always agree with McConnell, but he DOES care.

    Rahm-tards begin acting like themselves a little after 5 est...........

    February 11, 2010 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  7. D.U.T.C.H.

    Mr. Simmons can spend time with his family whenever he wants. The real reason he's leaving is because he knows your butt is on the way out of the door.

    February 11, 2010 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  8. Albert R., L.A., CA

    The meddle class is under attack, people are out of work, losing their homes health care is out of control, and the Supreme Court just handed our lawmaking and elections over to global corporations and this Republican brings this crap to the our Senate floor? This is not a national issue. The Repiublican Party is out of touch!

    February 11, 2010 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  9. badger

    Couldn't stand doing nothing, might as well go home to the family!
    Sounded like ole mitch might have some emotional connections or maybe physical that he was so broke up.

    February 11, 2010 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  10. Jean2

    What is the real reason for the tears??

    February 11, 2010 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  11. alphonso

    save the crying 4 yo mammy.the party of no

    February 11, 2010 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |
  12. GI Joe

    Uh Oh – Aren't Bachmann's aides leaving too? Oh shucks, folks, no one's tired of the NO NO NO NO NO NO

    February 11, 2010 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  13. lilacluvr

    One guy leaves his office and this guy cries like a baby? Where are these emotions when thousands of US soldiers are being killed in the needless Iraq War and Afghanistan? Whereare these emotions when the US solders come back from Iraq and Afghanistan with PTSD and limbs missing? Where are these emotions when millions of Americans have no health insurance and they file bankruptcy? But, no, MItch only cries when his long time aide leaves him. Go figure.

    February 11, 2010 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
  14. home slice

    Don't cry for Argentina like your Republican boy Sanford Mitch!!

    February 11, 2010 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
  15. welches, oregon

    OMG – Were they lovers? Something's fishy

    But on a brighter note – The Country – well the right wing side anyway – is finally waking up and realizing the bimbo from Alaska just ain'st qualified to be Pres – don't cha know. LOL!

    February 11, 2010 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  16. Laverne

    He's probably sick of how you have become such an obstructionist and mean spirited politician and decided he wants no further part in it. Who could blame him, because you Sir are one of the most disturbing policitians there is. I only wish you were doing the rest of America a favor and retiring along with him!

    February 11, 2010 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  17. George Sales

    Mitch, where are the tears for your 790,000 fellow Kentuckians without health insurance? You're still a classless jerk!!!

    February 11, 2010 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  18. Bob

    I am so sick of looking at this guy. What an actor. He is the ultimate republican, with the belief of, party before people and America .

    February 11, 2010 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  19. Tino (Madison, WI)

    He must be taking lessons from Glen Beck with all that crying.

    February 11, 2010 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  20. Irma in North Carolina

    Maybe he was getting sick and tired of Mitch and his party going against everything the president is trying to do. Mitch what goes around comes around. This is only the begining of it.

    February 11, 2010 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  21. jackie

    Wow..., I'm, shocked. The grand hard-balled supremacist and imperialist of the ever evolving 'say no'-republiclan party actually has a soft/passionate bone in his body??

    February 11, 2010 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  22. hadelaide

    Maybe he got fedup with McConnell's NO! Why did he cry? Is he anticipating his former aide to spill the beans by writing a book? Ooh the speculation abound.

    February 11, 2010 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  23. deb (long island)

    Really. With all that Mr. McConnel should be focusing on this I would say is low on the totem poll.

    February 11, 2010 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  24. Peter s

    Did I usually understand the article ? this guy has a human side??.No way! those are crocodile tears!. If he had human emotion in him he could have supported the health care reform. He knows the system is broken and he cares less!! crying for one guy who is leaving office? sir, please cry for all those poor hidden past the freeways!!!

    February 11, 2010 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  25. Sheryl

    Really? OMG and he is just departing to be with his family, McConnell was choking back sobs? I wish he would show that same emotion for HEALTH CARE!!!!

    February 11, 2010 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
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