Despite election losses, GOP Sen. Cornyn poised for promotion
November 8th, 2012
04:04 PM ET
10 years ago

Despite election losses, GOP Sen. Cornyn poised for promotion

(CNN) - Despite a disappointing showing by Republican Senate candidates on Election Day, the man who spearheaded the GOP Senate election effort is poised to take the number two position in the party's leadership behind Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, several GOP aides told CNN.

Sen. John Cornyn of Texas is expected next Wednesday to be elected by members of the Republican caucus to become the Minority Whip. He will replace retiring Sen. Jon Kyl of Arizona.

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His promotion was essentially solidified Thursday after potential rival Sen. John Thune of South Dakota, who as Chairman of the Senate Republican Conference is the third-ranking Republican, announced he would seek re-election to that post and not run to move up.

One GOP aide explained that there is not a consensus among Republican senators that Cornyn is to blame for the poor results at the polls that saw the Democrats expand their majority in a year Republicans were widely believed to have a good shot at taking control of the Senate.

"We had candidates who made mistakes that were beyond Sen. Cornyn's control," the aide said referencing Rep. Todd Akin of Missouri and Richard Mourdock of Indiana, both of whom made controversial and costly comments about rape during their campaigns.

As the whip, Cornyn will be in charge of counting and corralling votes for and against legislation on the floor. He will also have a prominent voice in setting and articulating GOP priorities nationally. He will be in a position to help the Republican Party which he said after the Senate losses requires a period of "reflection and recalibration."

One aide said it is possible for other senators to choose to run against Cornyn but it appears that the leadership is largely taking shape at this point.

Filed under: 2012 • John Cornyn
soundoff (22 Responses)
  1. Bill

    I wonder how many seats they will lose in next round? Cornyn is a hack.

    November 8, 2012 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  2. The Real Tom Paine

    Had he got Akin out, and kept Mordock muzzled, they would have won. Cornyn failed when he began to send support to Akin.

    November 8, 2012 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  3. California Gary

    The GOP candidates for senate were a sorry lot, and the results reflect that. Great job Senator Cornyn....certainly worthy of a promotion in the GOP ranks. Nowhere else would your performance rate a promotion, but the GOP seems to like rewarding poor nice move senator.

    November 8, 2012 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
  4. v_mag

    Sometimes it seems that all these dreary Repugs are interchangeable. One Cornyn is very much like some other Kyl. Old, white, rich men stuck in the '50s. I'm sure he will do just as dreary a job of counting votes as he did trying to get his clones elected. Repugs, being mathematically challenged, will probably miscount a few votes here and there. But in the end, he won't get blamed for anything, and he'll still pick up his paycheck from the lobbyists and fat cats.

    November 8, 2012 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
  5. just sayin

    moron tea party candidates saying stupid stuff cost the republicans the senate for the second time. all senate candidates need to be heavily screened and coached to avoid the predictable traps dems and the media lay for them.

    November 8, 2012 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  6. Pete

    It doesn't matter if the two sides don't get something done because the tea baggin republicans are looking rather unappealing and most certainly be defeated in congress as well as some in the senate in 2 years..It'll just be another round of switching seats but something in these two houses for constituents have to be done,jobs,infastructure and budget take priority or most of these extremist will see the door for the last time!!Voters showed the two houses what they thought of these tea baggers eliminating most of them and the rest wether Grover Norquists pledge signers or not are gone if they obstruct anymore,they've been warned so quit holding the country hostage and do what you're are hired for,helping us getting untracted from the mess your Bush put us in,get working or else ,the door swings both ways guys!!!

    November 8, 2012 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  7. just sayin

    also need to stop open primaries where dems go in and pick the republican candidate. dirty tricks from dirty people. it can and must be stopped.

    November 8, 2012 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  8. St. James Place

    Minority and Republlicans in the senate.


    November 8, 2012 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  9. Pete

    If yah cut the head of the snake off the rest will be useless as getting rid of Boehner,Cantor and their drooling hound dog of a useless senator in Mitch McConnell.Then something will get done ,quit pussy footin around and do your jobs.We're tired of being held hostage by these racist republicans,just old white hacks that haven't worked a day in their lives,so why now,get rid of the lot they're useless!!

    November 8, 2012 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  10. Facts don't Lie

    another one of our "bright" guys from Texas we send to DC. Geesh!

    November 8, 2012 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
  11. Dave Jaipersaud

    Ha! Ha! – Romney/Ryan & the Republicans lost. What a bunch of losers. The GOP can try to blame it on Democrats ground game, weather, too much regulations, tax increases on the rich, climate change etc. but the people saw through all the lies and nonsense they were selling. I hope the Republican learnt a lesson that the American people are not forgetful and stupid. We can remember clearly what happened when the Republicans were in charge of the White House.

    It was painful watching Fox News try to spin a major Republican loss into a major Republican win. All of their projections that Romney would win were dead wrong. It proves that Fox News has not credibility. Everyone of them. So for those folks who watch Fox News and listen to House and Senate Republicans and their surrogates spew their lies as gospel, this is a wake-up call. They are leading you down a losing path.

    Now we can continue to build and move this country forward.

    November 8, 2012 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
  12. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    More of the same, no "new change".

    November 8, 2012 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  13. John Peter

    Leave it to Mitch (Number One Priority) McConnell to makeanother poor decision.

    November 8, 2012 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  14. Bill Kravas

    The promlems are that the GOP in the Senate is the lack of leadership at the top in order to go forward there needs to be a change in the leadership. How long do you go with a person that can't win? Its about time that he steps aside for the good of the party. Until that happens be prepared for alot more of the same. We need to get on a new horse.

    November 8, 2012 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  15. Anthony in California

    Minority Leader Mitch McConnell failed in making Obama a 1 term President. If they wanted Obama fired for failing to do his job... shouldn't Mitch have his resignation already typed up and sitting on his desk?

    November 8, 2012 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  16. Data Driven

    More Tea Party nutjobs primarying established, respected GOPher senators in red states, only to lose to Dems! Keep up the hard work, Cornyn! Lol!

    November 8, 2012 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  17. The REAL Truth...

    @just sayin – also need to stop open primaries where dems go in and pick the republican candidate. dirty tricks from dirty people. it can and must be stopped.
    Or should I just refer to you as Mr. Chip-on-my-shoulder.. 'cus it sure seems like truths hurts is really hurting. I guess you think the Dems are the sole group that does this? Seen it with my own eyes. It's dirty pool, and it won't be stopped because the GOP doesn't want it stopped. Just like the completely unnecessary VoterID laws... they want, they want, they want. Poor, poor chilrun'.

    November 8, 2012 05:06 pm at 5:06 pm |
  18. jkane sfl a vote for lady parts romney the tax cheat and lyin lady parts ryan willcut your moms medicare and soc sec . .can you afford to pay for them???

    It's to bad the likes of bachmann the loon ,and I guess that she has even more loons in her district ,cantor. Ryan , Walsh ,mcconnell ,this Texas loon crony ,and several other goofballs got realected which will slow down progress !!!

    November 8, 2012 05:17 pm at 5:17 pm |
  19. Alfred E. Neuman

    The Peter Principle at its best. With a drubbing in trying to take back the Senate, the Republican architect is promoted. This speaks volumes about where this party is headed. Oh, has anyone talked to McConnell about his one-term plan for the president. The Clown Car continues to rumble down the road.

    November 8, 2012 05:32 pm at 5:32 pm |
  20. Alfred E. Neuman

    Republicans – please continue to select candidates in the mode of Akins, Murdock, et. al.

    November 8, 2012 05:35 pm at 5:35 pm |
  21. 2012liberal

    I would love 2 c moderate republians switch parties. Just enough 2 give dems control of house as it should b. Where r the arlen spectors in the house? Just do it. You didn't leave yr party, it left u! It will b ok. We have a big tent.

    November 8, 2012 05:36 pm at 5:36 pm |
  22. Alfred E. Neuman

    Just think this dullard was the former attorney general of Texas. What a reassuring thought!

    November 8, 2012 05:40 pm at 5:40 pm |