Sen. Mitch McConnell booed, heckled with chants to 'retire' at Kentucky rally

It wasn't the warmest reception from his home state for U.S. Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky,

Video showed McConnell was booed and heckled with chants to "retire" at a rally on Sunday. 

Nevertheless, McConnell waved to the crowds and kept smiling as some in the crowd cheered and welcomed him. 

McConnell’s health has drawn increased attention since he briefly left his own news conference in Washington on July 26 after stopping his remarks midsentence and staring off into space for several seconds. GOP colleagues standing behind him grabbed his elbows and escorted him back to his office. When he returned to answer questions, McConnell said he was "fine." Asked if he is still able to do his job, he said, "Yeah."

RELATED: GOP leader McConnell freezes during news conference at Capitol

McConnell was out of the Senate for almost six weeks earlier this year after falling and hitting his head after a dinner event at a Washington hotel. He was hospitalized for several days, and his office later said he suffered a concussion and fractured a rib. His speech has sounded more halting in recent weeks, prompting questions among some of his colleagues about his health.

He has said he plans to serve his full term as Republican leader — he was elected to a two-year term in January and would be up for reelection to that post again after the 2024 elections. McConnell was first elected to the Senate in 1984 and has been the Republican leader since 2007. He would face reelection to the Senate in 2026.

A rift between former President Donald Trump and McConnell has reverberated in Kentucky, where both men are prolific vote-getters. The split grew after the senator publicly refuted Trump’s claims that the 2020 presidential election was stolen, ending an uneasy partnership that had helped conservatives establish a firm majority on the Supreme Court.

McConnell has been mostly silent since then and has been loath to comment on any of the indictments of Trump this year. The two have found common cause again in the candidacy of Cameron, who was the beneficiary of Trump’s endorsement during the hard-fought Republican primary for governor.

The Associated Press contributed to this report. This story was reported from Los Angeles.