Issues & Insights
Clockwise from top left: Shelly Moore Capito, Rob Portman, Lisa Murkowski, Mitt Romney, Susan Collins, Dan Sullivan

Are These Biden’s Mysterious ‘6 Republican Senators’?

For all of President Biden’s problems with getting numbers right, there’s one he keeps repeating. Is it accurate? Who knows. But we think we have a clue who he’s talking about.

On at least four occasions, Biden has claimed that “six Republican senators, who I know, came to me since I’ve been president and said, ‘I know you’re right, but I just can’t vote with you because I’ll get defeated in a primary.’”

And, to heighten the suspense, Biden always says something like: “I promised I would never say their names, and I will never reveal who they are.”

Biden uses this anecdote when he’s bashing “MAGA Republicans,” by which he presumably means “conservative” Republicans. “The vast majority of Republicans aren’t the MAGA Republicans,” he’ll say.

This came to a boil when, in his September speech in Philadelphia, he said that Trump supporters espouse “semi-fascism” and represent “an extremism that threatens the very foundations of our republic.”

Biden’s claim about those six senators makes little sense. He never says what specifically these six Republicans agree with him about. His claim that the “vast majority” of Republicans don’t support Trump is false.  According to a recent Issues &Insights/TIPP poll, 54% of Republican voters said they’d pull the lever for Donald Trump if he were the nominee. That compares with just 34% of Democrats who say that about Biden.

Keep in mind that this poll was taken after the FBI’s raid on Trump’s Mar-a-Lago home.

What’s more, Biden’s attempt to marginalize “MAGA” Republicans has utterly failed. Another I&I/TIPP poll found that most voters — by a two-to-one margin — felt Biden’s characterization of MAGA Republicans “increases divisions in the country.”

Ok, but who are the six Republicans Biden keeps hinting at to make his case that MAGA Republicans are extremists? Of course, there are liberal Republicans in the Senate. Everyone knows that

But we think we’ve found a big clue as to who the six are.

Earlier this month, the Heritage Foundation’s “oversight project” uncovered evidence that Department of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas knew full well that the mounted border agents he was about to accuse publicly of whipping illegal immigrants had done no such thing. Mayorkas’ top public relations official alerted him in an email that the photographer on the scene said the agents weren’t using whips to injure the immigrants, they were using reins to control their horses.

That revelation led to a firestorm of criticism, at least among conservatives, and several calls for Mayorkas to resign.

After this came out, Heritage’s Daily Signal news site reached out to the six Republican senators who voted to confirm Mayorkas and asked them whether they “continued to support Mayorkas, and whether the homeland security secretary should resign or be impeached and removed from office.”

Not one of them responded.

“The six Senate Republicans whose offices didn’t respond to The Daily Signal had joined all Democrats on Feb. 2, 2021, in a 56-43 vote to confirm Biden’s nomination of Mayorkas,” it reported.

Who are these six?

  • Shelley Moore Capito of West Virginia
  • Susan Collins of Maine
  • Lisa Murkowski of Alaska
  • Dan Sullivan of Alaska
  • Rob Portman of Ohio
  • Mitt Romney of Utah

As we said, we have no idea if Biden is telling the truth, and it’s just as likely as not that he’s lying about this. Still, he’s awfully consistent about his claim. And here we have six senators who clearly have been willing to side with Biden on one hot-button issue.

You’d think enterprising reporters in Washington would be trying to figure out who Biden is talking about. We’ve just given them six possible candidates.

— Written by the I&I Editorial Board

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The Issues and Insights Editorial Board has decades of experience in journalism, commentary and public policy.


  • Are you surprised? I wonder what they get out of this. Senators (and former senators who are VP or President) don’t come cheap. Or is it the sheer thrill of badness?

  • “I promised I would never say their names, and I will never reveal who they are.”

    I’m pretty sure one of them is Senator Corn Pop, because FJB would never tell a lie.

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