Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell appeared to briefly freeze and was unable to answer a reporter’s question at an event in Kentucky on Wednesday, weeks after he had a similar episode in Washington.
According to a video from a local news channel, McConnell, 81was asked if he would run for re-election in 2026. Senator asked the reporter to repeat the question before interrupting her and staring straight ahead for about 10 seconds.
A woman standing next to McConnell at the front of the room asked him if he had heard the question, and he repeated it. When McConnell didn’t respond, he announced to the room that “we’re going to need a minute”. McConnell ended up answering two other questions -although not the one referring to the 2026 campaign- and he was hesitant and seemed to have some difficulty speaking. The woman then ended the press conference and McConnell left the room, walking slowly.
McConnell’s reaction it was similar to the time he froze for about 20 seconds at a press conference on Capitol Hill at the end of July. She returned to his office with his assistants, then returned to answer more questions.
Wednesday’s latest incident in Covington, Kentucky, adds to questions in recent months about McConnell’s health and whether the Kentucky Republican, who was first elected to the Senate in 1984 and has served as leader of the Republican Party since 2007will remain in his leadership position.