Texas Sen. John Cornyn, the No. 2 Republican in the Senate, suggested that the GOP may not try to “unseat” Arizona Democrat Kyrsten Sinema when she's up for reelection, Politico reports.
Sinema in a rare interview told the outlet that she has not considered switching her party to the GOP amid Democratic criticism over her opposition to key parts of the party's agenda.
"No. Why would I do that?” Sinema said.
South Dakota Republican Sen. John Thune acknowledged that he has repeatedly pressed Sinema to join the GOP.
Sinema has lost support among Democrats amid her opposition to the Build Back Better package but a recent poll found her favorable rating rising to 40% among Arizona Republicans.
The GOP likes her so much, Cornyn told Politico that he “would be surprised if Republicans tried to unseat her” if she runs again in 2024.
Sinema could face primary challenge:
While Republicans seem to be satisfied with Sinema's opposition to tax increases on the rich and corporations in Biden's plan, her positions have made her increasingly polarizing among Democrats.
Multiple groups have launched efforts to raise money for a potential primary challenger and Arizona Rep. Ruben Gallego has not ruled out running against her in 2024.
Sinema did not comment on the potential challenge.
“I've been concerned at the push that happens in both parties, this push to have no disagreements. To only have unity or to only speak with one voice. And some will say, ‘Oh, that is our strength,’” Sinema said. “Having some disagreement is normal. It is real, it is human. And it's an opportunity for us as mature beings to work through it.”
Sinema criticizes Dem leaders:
Sinema in the interview reiterated she would not support increasing taxes on the wealthy and corporations and did not commit to supporting the BBB.
“If you're in the middle of negotiating things that are delicate or difficult ... doing it in good faith directly with each other is the best way to get to an outcome,” Sinema said. “I'm still in the process of negotiating the second provision of the president's agenda … and I don't negotiate in the press.”
She criticized Democratic leaders for setting expectations too high by promising difficult-to-pass policies like a $15 minimum wage or filibuster reform.
“You’re either honest or you’re not honest. So just tell the truth and be honest and deliver that which you can deliver,” Sinema said. “There's this growing trend of people in both political parties who promise things that cannot be delivered, in order to get the short-term political gain. And I believe that it damages the long-term health of our democracy.”