Sen. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.), who did not back Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) in his latest leadership race, voiced his concerns about the Senate Republican leader’s fitness following his recent freeze-ups.

Hawley said he worried McConnell’s recent health issues are distracting from the effort by Republicans to take back the Senate in the 2024 election.

“In my home state of Missouri I was asked everywhere I went about Senator McConnell – before the most recent incident and then absolutely afterward,” Hawley told reporters Wednesday.

“2024 is an awfully important election for Republicans,” the Missouri senator later continued. “We should’ve taken back the Senate last year – we didn’t. This is our shot to take it back, and I just hope we’re going to be focused on that.”

When asked by CNN correspondent Manu Raju if he worries McConnell is “not the right person to bring you guys back to the majority” in the Senate, Hawley responded “absolutely.”

After suffering two freeze-ups in recent weeks in front of reporters, political commentators and other politicians have expressed concerns with regard to McConnell’s viability as Senate Minority leader.

But Dr. Brian Monahan, the Capitol’s attending physician, has said McConnell shows “no evidence” of suffering from a seizure disorder, stroke or Parkinson’s disease. McConnell on Wednesday vowed to remain in his position as Senate GOP leader through 2024 and to stay in his senate seat through the remainder of his term, which ends in 2026.

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