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Senate Republican Whip on the 2022 midterms and GOP goals in the next Congress

Sen. John Thune joins Washington Post Live on Wednesday, Dec. 7. (Video: The Washington Post)

He just comfortably won his fourth term in the U.S. Senate, but his party will remain in the minority. Senate Republican Whip John Thune joins Washington Post Live anchor Leigh Ann Caldwell to discuss Republican legislative priorities, the state of the U.S. economy and the 2024 election.

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“There were signs with the first election in November when we didn’t win outright that this was going to be a difficult election to win. But I think it comes down to … Just figuring out how to do a better job on the ground game… From a tactical standpoint, I think that’s an area we can show some serious improvement … Anytime you look at elections, you start with candidates. There's no substitute for quality candidates. Then you've got to have resources to get a message out … that connects with voters … I think we've got room for improvement in a number of those categories."- Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.), Senate Republican Whip (Video: Washington Post Live)
“I think the argument always is, you’ve got to let Republican voters decide. And ultimately, it’s up to them who your nominees are going to be. But you do have a significant amount of intervention now from outside groups … As we go through the candidate recruitment process, identifying candidates who are not only good primary election candidates… but ultimately… good general election candidates in those swing states. I’m many cases, you had candidates, this time around, who sought the endorsement of former President Trump and in order to get that endorsement, the predicate was you've got to be publicly out there advancing that the 2020 election was stolen. That was a non-starter with Independent voters." - Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.), Senate Republican Whip (Video: Washington Post Live)
“I'm hoping to have other options... And I think we will have other options … Who represent a new generation of leadership. Leadership that can articulate a vision for the future of this country … And that appeals to people’s hopes. There are two great motivations in politics, hope and fear. And I want to be the party that appeals to people’s hopes and not preys on their fears.” - Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.), Senate Republican Whip (Video: Washington Post Live)
“I do think there’s got to be an accounting for funds that have been appropriated and allocated to that effort. But I don't think that there's any question that we benefit from the courageous effort the Ukrainians are making to repel Russian aggression there. That is in America's national security's interests, clearly in NATO’s interests. I've never seen NATO as unified as they are today… From geopolitics, American national security, certainly regional allies’ security interests, it is the right thing for us to stay engaged there. But that doesn’t mean we don’t need to demand and make sure that the fund that we are appropriating are being used well and wisely.”- Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.), Senate Republican Whip (Video: Washington Post Live)
“I never believe default is an option. But I do think that when you’re trying to do a debt limit increase… that list does present an opportunity to talk about the debt… There will be a day of reckoning. And I would rather take steps in advance of that that help ease that transition, rather than having a crisis come up on us. Which I think is inevitable if we don't start taking steps today to deal with it."- Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.), Senate Republican Whip (Video: Washington Post Live)

Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.)

Senate Republican Whip