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

Senate GOP leader weeps during floor speech on departing aide

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/images/02/11/art.mcconell.file.gi.jpg caption="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. jackie

    It's somewhat of a relief that the man, who appears to portray himself as the macho-supremacist of the 'just say no', .... republiclan party...actually has a compassionate/loving side.

    February 11, 2010 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
  2. Ndubueze Chuku

    You did not cry for American Soldiers that you people sent to die in vain in a useless war in Iraq. You shed no tears for Americans losing their jobs, their homes and their lives for the catastrophe that you guys orchestrated and yet you shed crocodile tears for a rich staff of yours who is going to his 'HOME', to his home to spend time with his family. HYPOCRITE!

    February 11, 2010 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  3. a little sad

    Is he crying because while this aide is home with family, he will be penning a book on McConnell?

    February 11, 2010 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  4. BeverlyNC

    Too bad McConnell does not have the same compassion or concern for the people of America!
    How many Americans are crying because they have no jobs, are being abused by their banks, and have lost a loved one due to insurance denial of treatment??
    McConnell is a traitor to America and the desperate needs of the People but he can cry over a crony retiring??
    His priorities are sure screwed up!
    Kentucky – you need to get rid of this do-nothing lying Senator. Name one thing he has done for YOU this year. NOTHING! Just like the rest of the Republicans in Congress.
    They do not want ANY healthcare reform, ANY jobs bill, ANY re-regulation of the banks and Wall St, ANY bipartisanship. All they want is economic failure so they can try to blame THEIR mess on President Obama.
    Wake up America! Look who is working for YOU and who is sitting on the sidelines doing nothing but voting NO on everything no matter who it hurts.
    McConnell – go cry your fake tears somewhere else. You are an embarrassment to the Senate.

    February 11, 2010 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  5. Doug S.

    Isn't "spending more time with my family" the secret code for "I screwed up and will leave this job before the media figures out" when it comes to politicians?

    February 11, 2010 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
  6. BB

    They sure are a bunch of crybabies! If Boehner's not crying about something, then Beck is and then when he's not...McConnell is!
    For Heaven's sakes "GET A GRIP"! It's like watching Pre-school kids crying in the sand box about who's taking what toy from whom.
    My Goodness!!! We pay their salaries and we pay for their Government Run Health insurance too!!!
    It's time for all the Republicans to take a hike, get out! Good riddance!
    Follow your Aide Mitchy! GO HOME!!!

    February 11, 2010 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
  7. Hot Dog

    This guy is actually a whimp. He puts on a big front but deep down in side he is easy.

    February 11, 2010 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  8. Sniffit

    Who really cares what moves this jerkwad to tears? Let's send him to a burn or cancer unit and let him sit in on a meeting between a doctor and a mother while she is told that her insurer has refused any further reimbursement, sealing her child's doom. Think he'd cry then? After all, it's not his child, not in his backyard, not his responsibility, not his problem...and certainly not on his dime.

    February 11, 2010 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  9. Carl Justus

    McConnell must have been getting kickbacks from his salary and now he will not get them anymore.

    February 11, 2010 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  10. mario

    Should tears for those who don't have health care

    February 11, 2010 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  11. king Curtis

    Cry for the many American who will die this year from a lack of Health care. Cry for the families who have lost their homes. Cry for the country while standing back vote NO on every issue that's important for our country to grow and continue to be a leader around the world. Sorry excuse for a leader.

    February 11, 2010 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  12. adods

    McConnell has a heart. Who knew?

    February 11, 2010 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  13. jim

    How many tears fell for America??

    February 11, 2010 05:03 pm at 5:03 pm |
  14. C. Farrell, Houston, Tx

    Now McConnell has to cover his own you know what and that's enough to bring tears. I guess his aide gave him a big NO, I'm out of here.

    February 11, 2010 05:07 pm at 5:07 pm |
  15. Forky Tongue!!!

    @Silas Kain – Boston February 11th, 2010 3:45 pm ET
    Now McConnell should make the right decision and RETIRE
    ****YOU ARE SOOOO RIGHT *****

    February 11, 2010 05:08 pm at 5:08 pm |
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