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U.S. Sen. Tom Cotton on Sunday threw his support behind Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell as the GOP leader in the Senate as some conservative members opposed bringing the Kentucky Republican back, quoting professional wrestler Ric Flair, “To be the man, you got to beat the man.”

Cotton, a Republican from Arkansas who serves on the Judiciary, Intelligence and Armed Services Committees, made the remarks during an appearance on ABC’s “Face the Nation” when asked about the possibility of delaying Senate leadership elections until December and whether McConnell should remain leader.

“I don’t see why we would delay the election since all five or six of our leadership elections are uncontested,” Cotton said. “The great wrestling champion Ric Flair used to say, ‘To be the man, you got to beat the man.’”

“And so far, no one has had the nerve to step forward and challengeSenator McConnell,” Cotton continued. “So, I support Senator McConnell. I support the other slate of candidates for our leadership elections.” 

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Cotton said he was opposed to delaying leadership elections in the Senate.

Cotton said he was opposed to delaying leadership elections in the Senate.
(Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

Cotton said he believed it would be better to move ahead with the elections and keep the focus on the upcoming runoff in Georgia between GOP Senate candidate Herschel Walker and Democratic incumbent Raphael Warnock.

Cotton said the focus should be on the upcoming Senate runoff in Georgia between Republican U.S. Senate candidate Herschel Walker and incumbent Democratic Sen. Raphael Warnock.

Cotton said the focus should be on the upcoming Senate runoff in Georgia between Republican U.S. Senate candidate Herschel Walker and incumbent Democratic Sen. Raphael Warnock.
(AP Photo/Brynn Anderson | AP Photo/John Bazemore)

Cotton’s remarks come after Democrats clinched the majority in the Senate and some conservative senators growing frustrated with McConnell and other leaders made public calls to delay the leadership elections.

Cotton said that he supports GOP Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell.

Cotton said that he supports GOP Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell.
(Photo by Tom Brenner-Pool/Getty Images)

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Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., also tweeted Friday that the leadership vote “should be postponed.” Sen. Cynthia Lummis, R-Wyo., tweeted in support of Rubio’s proposition. So did Sen. Josh Hawley, R-Mo., who has vocally opposed bringing McConnell back as the top Senate Republican.

However, a Senate GOP aide previously confirmed to Fox News Digital that elections will go on as planned.

Fox News’ Tyler Olson and Kelly Phares contributed to this report.


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