Mitch McConnell: “We are made up of old, white men in the Republican Party”

Mitch McConnell: “We are made up of old, white men in the Republican Party”
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) looks on as Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) speaks with reporters following the weekly Senate Republican policy luncheon at the U.S. Capitol. Aaron P. Bernstein/Getty Images
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) looks on as Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) speaks with reporters following the weekly Senate Republican policy luncheon at the U.S. Capitol. Aaron P. Bernstein/Getty Images

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell told now-former Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley in early 2017 that the Republican Party had a diversity problem, and urged Bentley to appoint a woman to the Senate seat vacated in February by Attorney General Jeff Sessions.

“We are made up of old white men in the Republican Party,” McConnell told Bentley, according to a report from the Montgomery Advertiser. “If you could consider a woman, that would be really good for the party.”

One candidate hoping to be appointed to Sessions’ seat, former Revenue Commissioner Julie Magee, made the case that McConnell wanted another woman Republican in the Senate, according to the Montgomery Advertiser.

“Appointing a female over a male would make me a hot commodity,” Magee said, according to the Montgomery Advertiser. “I don’t like it, but we may as well use it to our advantage.”

Ultimately, however, Bentley appointed now-Sen. Luther Strange to the seat. Strange is now in a tough GOP primary to serve the remainder of Sessions’ term, which expires in 2020.

Republicans hold 52 seats in the Senate. Only five of those members are women.