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
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 »
‘PRESUMPTIVE NOMINEE’
Priebus Asks Party to Unite Behind Trump
7 hours ago
THE LATEST
FEELING THE MIDWESTERN BERN
Sanders Upsets Clinton in Indiana
8 hours ago
THE LATEST

Despite trailing Hillary Clinton by a significant margin, Bernie Sanders wasn't going the way of Ted Cruz tonight. The Vermont senator upset Clinton in Indiana, with MSNBC calling the race at 9pm. Sanders appears poised to win by a five- or six-point spread.

Source:
TRUMP IS PRESUMPTIVE NOMINEE
Ted Cruz Bows Out, Effectively Ceding the Contest to Trump
9 hours ago
THE LATEST

And just like that, it's over. Ted Cruz will suspend his presidential campaign after losing badly to Donald Trump in Indiana tonight. "While Cruz had always hedged when asked whether he would quit if he lost Indiana; his campaign had laid a huge bet on the state." John Kasich's campaign has pledged to carry on. “From the beginning, I’ve said that I would continue on as long as there was a viable path to victory,” said Cruz. “Tonight, I’m sorry to say it appears that path has been foreclosed."

Source:
TAKES AT LEAST 45 DELEGATES
Trump Wins Indiana, All but Seals the Nomination
9 hours ago
THE LATEST

The Republican establishment's last remaining hope—a contested convention this summer—may have just ended in Indiana, as Donald Trump won a decisive victory over Ted Cruz. Nothing Cruz seemed to have in his corner seemed to help—not a presumptive VP pick in Carly Fiorina, not a midwestern state where he's done well in the past, and not the state's legions of conservatives. Though Trump "won't secure the 1,237 delegates he needs to formally claim the nomination until June, his Indiana triumph makes it almost impossible to stop him. Following his decisive wins in New York and other East Coast states, the Indiana victory could put Trump within 200 delegates of the magic number he needs to clinch the nomination." Cruz, meanwhile, "now faces the agonizing choice of whether to remain in the race, with his attempt to force the party into a contested convention in tatters, or to bow out and cede the party nomination to his political nemesis." The Associated Press, which called the race at 7pm, predicts Trump will win at least 45 delegates.

Source:
THE QUESTION
What’s the Average Household Income of a Trump Voter?
14 hours ago
THE ANSWER

Seventy-two thousand dollars, according to FiveThirtyEight. That's higher than the national average, as well as the average Clinton or Sanders voter, but lower than the average Kasich voter.

Source:
×