clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Protesters confront McConnell about family separations as he leaves a Kentucky restaurant

“Where are the babies, Mitch?”

President Trump attends one of the Senate Republicans’  weekly policy luncheons Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images
Li Zhou is a politics reporter at Vox, where she covers Congress and elections. Previously, she was a tech policy reporter at Politico and an editorial fellow at the Atlantic.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell was followed by protesters chanting, “Vote you out!” and “Abolish ICE” after leaving a Louisville, Kentucky, restaurant on Saturday — marking the latest in a string of incidents where activists have confronted Republicans in public spaces.

This incident, which was first reported by the Washington Post, is the second time that protesters have taken aim at McConnell in recent weeks, slamming him for the Trump administration’s recent family separation policy and calling on the lawmaker to upend the Immigration and Customs Enforcement Office (ICE). McConnell has opposed family separations, but backs the holding of families in detention.

After McConnell was spotted at a restaurant in Louisville, several protesters filtered over from a separate rally that was taking place outside the city’s ICE office. That demonstration included members of a local chapter of the Democratic Socialists of America.

The activists followed McConnell as he walked to his car, slinging both personal insults and policy attacks. “Where are the babies, Mitch?” said one protester. “Turtlehead!” chanted another.

Posted by Andrew Massie on Saturday, July 7, 2018

“We know where you live,” one protester said repeatedly. A representative of the DSA has since said that activist is not affiliated with its organization.

McConnell and his wife, Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao, were also accosted earlier this summer after leaving an event in Georgetown, where activists pressed the lawmaker about family separations and asked, “How do you sleep at night?” Their comments prompted Chao to push back and say, “You leave my husband alone!”

The Louisville incident this past weekend follows other protester confrontations of Republican leaders — including DHS Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen, White House adviser Stephen Miller, press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders and former EPA administrator Scott Pruitt. Democratic firebrand Maxine Waters has recently been criticized for calling on people to continue such heckling in order to put pressure on the administration of President Donald Trump.

McConnell’s office seemed unfazed by the recent encounter. “If the Leader comments on being called a fascist and a supporter of ICE by a small handful of extremist protesters then I will let you know,” McConnell spokesperson David Popp told the Post.