Advertisement

GOP Sen. Mike Rounds: McConnell ‘perfectly capable’ leader, despite health concerns

Sen. Mike Rounds, R-S.D., says Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell is still equipped to fulfill his duties after he again appeared to freeze while speaking to the press last week. File Photo by Bonnie Cash/UPI
Sen. Mike Rounds, R-S.D., says Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell is still equipped to fulfill his duties after he again appeared to freeze while speaking to the press last week. File Photo by Bonnie Cash/UPI

Sept. 3 (UPI) -- Sen. Mike Rounds, R-S.D., says Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell is still equipped to fulfill his duties after he again appeared to freeze while speaking to the press last week.

Rounds, appearing on State of the Union, said McConnell is "perfectly capable" to continue serving in the Senate. He told CNN host Dana Bash that the 81-year-old is "good for our party."

"I will leave it up to him as to how he wants to discuss that with the American public," Rounds said. "But there's no doubt in my mind that he is perfectly capable of continuing on at this stage of the game. And he's got a good team around him. He's done a good job of developing that leadership team. They have been supportive of him."

The comments come days after McConnell froze up for more than a minute at an event in Kentucky.

Rounds said he expects McConnell to continue serving in the Senate while concerns for his health continue to grow. He experienced what seemed to be a similar incident in July, freezing and gripping the podium during a weekly briefing.

Sen. Mike Rounds, R-S.D., said Sunday that he believes Sen. Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., is "perfectly capable" of continuing to serve in the Senate. File Photo by Andrew Harnik/UPI
Sen. Mike Rounds, R-S.D., said Sunday that he believes Sen. Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., is "perfectly capable" of continuing to serve in the Senate. File Photo by Andrew Harnik/UPI

McConnell later said he was "fine."

Earlier this year, McConnell spent time in a rehabilitation center following a fall. He suffered a broken rib and concussion.

McConnell's health has been a topic of debate for proponents of Congressional term limits. During a Republican presidential campaign event in July, former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley said lawmakers over the age of 75 should be given tests for "mental competency."