Top GOP Priority: Make Obama a One-Term President

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell on working with Obama—and then ending his presidency.

Major Garrett
Add to Briefcase
Major Garrett
Oct. 23, 2010, 4:21 p.m.

NJ You’ve been study­ing the his­tory of pres­id­ents who lost part or all of Con­gress in their first term. Why?

Mc­Con­nell In the last 100 years, three pres­id­ents suffered big de­feats in
Con­gress in their first term and then won reelec­tion: Harry Tru­man, Dwight Eis­en­hower, and the most re­cent ex­ample, Bill Clin­ton. I read a lot of his­tory any­way, but I am try­ing to ap­ply those les­sons to cur­rent situ­ations in hopes of not mak­ing the same mis­takes.

NJ What have you learned?

Mc­Con­nell After 1994, the pub­lic had the im­pres­sion we Re­pub­lic­ans over­prom­ised and un­der­delivered. We suffered from some de­gree of hubris and ac­ted as if the pres­id­ent was ir­rel­ev­ant and we would roll over him. By the sum­mer of 1995, he was already on the way to be­ing reelec­ted,
and we were hanging on for our lives.

NJ What does this mean now?

Mc­Con­nell We need to be hon­est with the pub­lic. This elec­tion is about them, not us. And we need to treat this elec­tion as the first step in re­tak­ing the gov­ern­ment. We need to say to every­one on Elec­tion Day, “Those of you who helped make this a good day, you need to go out and help us fin­ish the job.”

NJ What’s the job?

Mc­Con­nell The single most im­port­ant thing we want to achieve is for Pres­id­ent Obama to be a one-term pres­id­ent.

NJ Does that mean end­less, or at least fre­quent, con­front­a­tion with the pres­id­ent?

Mc­Con­nell If Pres­id­ent Obama does a Clin­to­nian back­flip, if he’s will­ing to meet us halfway on some of the biggest is­sues, it’s not in­ap­pro­pri­ate for us to do busi­ness with him.

NJ What are the big is­sues?

Mc­Con­nell It is pos­sible the pres­id­ent’s ad­visers will tell him he has to do something to get right with the pub­lic on his levels of spend­ing and [on] lower­ing the na­tion­al debt. If he were to heed that ad­vice, he would, I im­age, find more sup­port among our con­fer­ence than he would among some in the Sen­ate in his own party. I don’t want the pres­id­ent to fail; I want him to change. So, we’ll see. The next move is go­ing to be up to him.

NJ What will you seek from the pres­id­ent on the tax is­sue?

Mc­Con­nell At the very least, I be­lieve we should ex­tend all of the Bush tax cuts. And I prefer to de­scribe this as keep­ing cur­rent tax policy. It’s been on the books for 10 years. Now, how long that [ex­ten­sion] is, is something we can dis­cuss. It was clear his po­s­i­tion was not [favored] among all Sen­ate Demo­crats. They had their own di­vi­sions. I don’t think those di­vi­sions are go­ing to be any less in Novem­ber and Decem­ber.

What We're Following See More »
“DAILY SHOW” CORRESPONDENT
Michelle Wolf to Headline Correspondents Dinner
14 minutes ago
THE DETAILS
CUTS REFERENCES TO CONTRACEPTIVES AND ABORTION
State Department Cutting Womens’ Rights Language From Report
55 minutes ago
THE DETAILS

"Officials at the department have been told to trim parts of the annual report on global human rights that talk about family planning and the amount of access women have to contraceptives and abortion." The directive came from a top aide to Rex Tillerson. "A spokesperson from the State Department said that changes were made for 'clarity'" and that the department is not "downgrading coverage of LGBT or women's issues."

Source:
NEXT WEDNESDAY AND THURSDAY
Rev. Billy Graham to Lie in Honor at Capitol Rotunda
1 hours ago
THE LATEST
SECOND TIME FBI FAILED TO ACT
FBI Failed To Act On Parkland Shooter Tip
1 hours ago
THE DETAILS

The FBI has reported that it failed to respond to a warning from "a person close to" Nikolas Cruz, the teen accused of killing 17 people at Parkland High School on Thursday. "It was the second time the FBI apparently failed to follow up on Cruz." On the first occasion, it failed to properly investigate Cruz after it was reported to them that he left the following comment on a Youtube video: "Im going to be a school shooter."

Source:
FBI MISSED TIP ON PARKLAND SHOOTER
Florida Governor Calls on FBI Director to Resign
1 hours ago
THE DETAILS

Florida Governor Rick Scott called on FBI Director Christopher Wray to resign following revelations that the FBI had failed to adequately investigate multiple warnings about Parkland High School gunman Nikolas Cruz. “The FBI’s failure to take action against this killer is unacceptable,'" said Scott. '...We constantly promote ‘see something, say something,’ and a courageous person did just that to the FBI. And the FBI failed to act.'" According to an FBI statement, the FBI failed to inform local offices of information regarding "Cruz's desire to kill people, erratic behavior, disturbing social media posts, as well as the potential of him conducting a school shooting."

Source:
×
×

Welcome to National Journal!

You are currently accessing National Journal from IP access. Please login to access this feature. If you have any questions, please contact your Dedicated Advisor.

Login