McConnell: “I refuse to help Barack Obama get re-elected”

posted at 12:40 pm on July 13, 2011 by Ed Morrissey

Laura Ingraham grills Mitch McConnell on his Plan Z option, floated yesterday as a last-ditch approach to the debt ceiling issue, and McConnell argues the benefits of the plan as a defense of Republicans against getting saddled with blame for economic damage done during a potential default. Ingraham asks McConnell whether he’s positioning as a “realist,” and McConnell says that reality will be that Obama won’t compromise in this process. If not, and Republicans don’t blink, Obama will have the upper hand:

Ingraham: When I see the New York Times on the other hand, praising the deal, Harry Reid seeming to be open to it, and even the White House murmurs that it might be something acceptable. I get a little nervous. Why do you think they are embracing it?

McConnell: Because they want to raise the debt ceiling and of course we know that is going to happen. Just like we knew shutting down the government in 1995 was not going to work for us, it helped Bill Clinton get reelected. I refuse to help Barack Obama get reelected.

McConnell also notes that Republicans only control one-third of the government. No matter what gets passed in the House, unless it has support in a deal made with the White House, it won’t have a prayer in the Senate. All Republicans in the upper chamber can do is block legislation in the Senate, not carry legislation, even if they can somehow force it to the floor. Getting a deal means having to force Obama to agree on terms, and McConnell thinks Obama won’t do that because of the political gains he sees from forcing Republicans to take the blame for economic turmoil if no agreement is reached:

Ingraham: While it puts the burden, it shifts the burden to the greatest extent to Obama, in effect there is kind of a vote at the beginning to raise the debt ceiling because you are ceding –

McConnell: No, no. It only authorizes the president to ask for it. There will be no vote to raise the debt ceiling I suspect by any Republican.

Ingraham: Isn’t that passing the buck, Senator? Isn’t that passing the buck of leadership to the White House?

McConnell: We’ve been trying to get this liberal president to sign a deal worth signing. You know it makes a difference when you only control a third of the government. If we were able to run the government out of the House of Representatives we would be able to get a result that we would like.

McConnell says he still wants a comprehensive deal, and this is a contingency if Obama won’t negotiate in good faith. Jen Rubin reported that this idea gives John Boehner some good-cop/bad-cop leverage that might get Obama to start seriously negotiating on an actual moderate-scale deal:

A Republican source familiar with the speaker’s thinking and the debt talk told me last night that discussions are still ongoing on a possible bipartisan deal. The source explained that, at the Tuesday afternoon White House meeting, “the speaker urged the president to show leadership and again asked that he present a score-able plan of his own that could pass the Congress. He reminded the president that Republicans asked the White House for such a proposal more than two months ago and have still not seen one. The speaker also urged the president and Democratic leaders to work with Republicans to pass a balanced budget amendment to the Constitution as a way to reinforce the restraints on future spending that will have to be in any agreement that passes Congress.”

Republican leaders, perhaps emboldened by ample polling showing the public opposes a hike in the debt ceiling, are doing all they can (given that they control only the House) to turn up the heat on the president. …

Boehner and McConnell are cooperating on a pincer movement — stand firm in the bipartisan negotiations and threaten to force Obama come up with the cuts himself, in the event he won’t drop his demands for huge tax hikes and/or come up with meaningful immediate cuts.

Is there risk in that approach? Of course, but as Tina wrote earlier, there may be much more risk in refusing to build such a contingency:

But then the question becomes, could Republicans have depended on the electorate in that way? Maybe not. Perhaps my faith in the American people is also reflective of “tea party/talk radio … unrealistic expectations.” Maybe politicians like McConnell have learned to hedge their bets with political tricks because experience has taught them the voting public is fickle. Maybe the mistrust rightly goes both ways: The electorate can’t trust politicians to be principled, politicians can’t trust the electorate to reward principled decision-making … Cynicism setting in.

I’d say that after the 1995 standoff, McConnell might be justified in having those worries.

Speaking of Ingraham, don’t forget she has a new book out, which is on my desk now:

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Default or raise the threshhold & keep spending, both will destroy this nation.

Obummer wins either way, for the destruction of this economy is his desire.

bloviator on July 13, 2011 at 2:32 PM

Looks like the DC Dems are following the Dayton (Minnesota Gov.) model. He shut down the government after turning down multiple proposals, including comprimises, refused to negotiate, and the MN press is running hard interference for him to blame the Republican state legislature. So far it’s working, even though it is blatant and transparent to anyone paying attention. Few are paying attention.

Obama is hoping to get similar results. And the R’s know it would likely play out that way.

iurockhead on July 13, 2011 at 2:33 PM

Yup. She could even stay on the trail and call out Boehner and McConnell to reporters. On BOR, she had the perfect opportunity to speak out against what leadership was doing and specifically say “what they are doing is wrong”. All we got was a timid, “I won’t vote for it” and an unwillingness to speak out against the leadership. I love Bachmann’s bark, I’m not too impressed with her bite.

miConsevative on July 13, 2011 at 2:15 PM

great why to put it. all bark no bite. I might steal that one.

unseen on July 13, 2011 at 2:34 PM

I listen to all these talk radio hosts, and read all these bloggers pretending they know what will happen ot the books, but no one really knows how what will happen.

Get Obmama out in 2012, andthe debt ceiling increase irrelevant.

swamp_yankee on July 13, 2011 at 2:14 PM

Oh, Mr “Wiseman Know-it-all”, how do we get Obama out in 2012 with a demoralized GOP base? Oh I know! I know! We will depend on that imaginary bunch of independents that will carry the GOP to victory minus the base. /sarc

Face it, the GOP establishment is more concerned about getting bad press from the media and no invites to cocktail parties than the future of the country and conservatism. You think McConnell and his ilk do NOT know that not raising the debt limit does not equal DEFAULT? You think they do NOT know that Obama is bluffing with the SS checks and if he dares carry that threat out, he is finished?

Since when did we move from a position where majority of the American public do NOT support an increase in the debt limit to one where we are bargaining over not adding tax increases? As the House Repubs. said, even raising the debt limit is a compromise by itself.

And it’s either Obama swallows a debt limit increase with massive cuts to the already overbloated Govt. (he could add his peas to that) or hit the ceiling and learn how to prioritize with a torn-up credit card!

TheRightMan on July 13, 2011 at 2:37 PM

great why to put it. all bark no bite. I might steal that one.

unseen on July 13, 2011 at 2:34 PM

And the biggest irony in all of it – they say Palin should be the cheerleader with Bachmann the star quarterback all the while Palin has a well-worn pair of cleats in her closet and Bachmann is a natural with the megaphone.

miConsevative on July 13, 2011 at 2:43 PM

Face it, the GOP establishment is more concerned about getting bad press from the media and no invites to cocktail parties than the future of the country and conservatism.

TheRightMan on July 13, 2011 at 2:37 PM

This. Wish there were someone out there not so concerned with them there cocktail parties or what the media thought of her.

miConsevative on July 13, 2011 at 2:45 PM

OT: Only 22% support raising the debt ceiling

So, who is being unrealistic about the public’s opinion of this debate? The GOP establishment or conservatives/Tea partiers?

TheRightMan on July 13, 2011 at 2:49 PM

i saw a fnc interview with two congressmen, one a tea party person from CA and the other a pos lib from VT.

Now the tea party person was against McConnell…which is totally consistent with everything he stands for. The VT pos bloviated about how it is our job “to work together” to get stuff done. Now that is a pos speaking. His party has held the congress for a good long while before Nov. They have no desire to work together. He wants to increase taxes and have R cover for the act.

It is totally inconsistent with keynesian econ…and being a lib pos he should know that. Increasing taxes in a recession in NOT keynesia.

Also, the initial position of libs/Obama was to simply raise the debt ceiling. So the pos lib is filled with lies and inconsistencies.

The only thing leftist a__h____ want is to increase taxes in a punitive way…it is who they are, and what they do.

r keller on July 13, 2011 at 2:52 PM

But then the question becomes, could Republicans have depended on the electorate in that way? Maybe not. Perhaps my faith in the American people is also reflective of “tea party/talk radio … unrealistic expectations.” Maybe politicians like McConnell have learned to hedge their bets with political tricks because experience has taught them the voting public is fickle. Maybe the mistrust rightly goes both ways: The electorate can’t trust politicians to be principled, politicians can’t trust the electorate to reward principled decision-making … Cynicism setting in.

I’d say that after the 1995 standoff, McConnell might be justified in having those worries.

Yeah, when you ask people in the abstract whether or not the debt ceiling should be raised, they say no…but ask them if they are willing to give something up and see what the answer is. Everyone thinks is everyone else is the problem. I think that if checks did not go out to social security people or to Veterans..or if interest rates went up to consumers, that the people in those polls would turn on the politicians in a heart beat. I can remember when more than 70% of the people in this country supported the war in Iraq.

Terrye on July 13, 2011 at 2:58 PM

I guarantee you that this is a record number of photos of Mitch McConnell to appear on a blog at once.

Akzed on July 13, 2011 at 3:00 PM

With a savvy opposition like the Chicago messiah, this guy just signaled fear and surrenderitis – Obama must have had to take aspirin to stop the hurt from all the Marxist backslapping going on at the White House.

If Mitch were Admiral Yamamoto approaching Pearl Harbor in Dec 7, 1941, I suspect he would have sent MacArthur a telegram asking permission to enter with a few hundred warplanes, just to be sure he didn’t offend him. Now is the time to call Obama’s bluff. Let him, dare him to stop those Soc Security checks and play his words 24/7 across the retirement belt from today till the day he does.

It is one thing to lose a battle-it is another to surrender before a shot is fired for fear of losing.

These guys couldn’t win an elementary school election!

Don L on July 13, 2011 at 3:09 PM

politicians can’t trust the electorate to reward principled decision-making

Given that most Americans don’t even know which party is in control of either part of Congress and given that they are, as a whole, ignorant of history and economics, I’d agree that they shouldn’t be trusted.

Common Sense on July 13, 2011 at 3:14 PM

I don’t hear too many comments from all those scream to vote RINO to capture the indi vote -those win at any cost who never ask win what, for what?

We are looking eyeball to eyeball at the product of that mentality. Yep, vote GOP no matter who’s the standard bearer – fight nukes with nerfballs so we do’t get the enemy mad, or because we can attract more nerfball fighters like Mitch, Graham and McCain to the party?

Cave on this GOP, and you cave without my support! The GOP is like an alcoholic that keeps disappointing, time after time, day after day, year after year.

Don L on July 13, 2011 at 3:19 PM

By Friday he’ll submit a bill to let Obama skip the 2012 election and anoint himself king for life. Please Kentucky, dump this @$$ next time you have the chance. Primary the guy.

JimP on July 13, 2011 at 3:22 PM

And the biggest irony in all of it – they say Palin should be the cheerleader with Bachmann the star quarterback all the while Palin has a well-worn pair of cleats in her closet and Bachmann is a natural with the megaphone.

miConsevative on July 13, 2011 at 2:43 PM

you know when i heard Bachmann’s defense of her record from timmy’s concerns. i thought she described herself as a cheerleader. Read her statement it boils down to give me an T give me an E give me an A what’s that spell.

unseen on July 13, 2011 at 3:26 PM

I just don’t get McConnell and the Republicans. Why don’t they understand how horribly the USA will be looked upon by the world’s elite financial establishment, who would no doubt down grade our bonds in an instant, if we do not BORROW ANOTHER 3 TO 4 TRILLION DOLLARS FROM THE CHINESE.
That is, of course, if they are even willing to lend. More likely The Bernanke will fire up the printing presses and we will borrow from ourselves. That would certainly impress the rating czars. What a joke. If the Republicans cannot win the day with the American people on the debt ceiling, they can’t win on anything…evah.

cdor on July 13, 2011 at 3:29 PM

Cite all the opinion polls you want. The public is for not raising the debt limit up to the exact point where the pain begins. Then the support will flip overnight.

It’s already been shown in polls, if you paid attention. People want “entitlement reform for SS & Medicare” but are against any benefit cuts in those programs. See a disconnect here? People are ignorant, most have been educated by federally-controlled public schools. We’ve lost two generations to PC nonsense, no one can think critically anymore.

Take a deep breath and step back to look at the situation: we control the House. Democrats control the Senate. Democrats control the White House. We cannot force them to do anything, and we will be blamed for the economic consequences of doing nothing.

Legacy media is dying, but they ain’t dead yet, and they are all in for Obama. He’s their boy, and they will die to defend him. Truth is the casualty. Just look at the coverage of his disingenuous press conference the other day.

To save the country, we need to take over the White House and the Senate – and the latter by enough to either stop filibusters (60 votes) or enough to scare the remaining Democrats away from filibusters. To do that, we need Obama to get the blame for his economic mess.

Don’t give them a chance to blame us for his screw-ups.

Adjoran on July 13, 2011 at 4:27 PM

Finally, someone presents the stark choices left for Republicans–be part of the problem, or refuse to be part of the problem, and let the President take credit for raising the debt ceiling further ALL BY HIMSELF.

Democrats should be careful what they wish for. They’re in a panic to raise the debt ceiling, and figured the GOP would be too. McConnell tried, but from what I’ve seen the Republicans OTHER than McConnell BLINKED.

Shame about that. I was hoping they’d have real political courage to call Obama on his game of chicken. Guess not.

mountainaires on July 13, 2011 at 4:30 PM

Face it, the GOP establishment is more concerned about getting bad press from the media and no invites to cocktail parties than the future of the country and conservatism.

TheRightMan on July 13, 2011 at 2:37 PM

Yep, the long and short of it…

McConnell went home for Christmas and we got obamacare…The Spelunker of the House caved on the $100B and we ended up with $1.95…Now both are teaming up to enable the obamanation to bend America over and make her like it…

Gohawgs on July 13, 2011 at 4:47 PM

McConnell: “I refuse to help Barack Obama get re-elected”

Then don’t help – just butt out. If you aren’t part of the solution you are part of the problem, and America has bigger problems then D.C. one upmenship. It’s as simple as that get out of the American people’s way. Take a look at the poll 2-1 NOT to raise the debt ceiling (by the people paying attention- voters) mind the people’s business for a change, and not Barack Obamas’. As if this is the only opportunity that’s going to present itself.

Dr Evil on July 13, 2011 at 4:48 PM

A note to Mitch McConnell it’s not about your political aspirations or your party’s political aspirations it’s about the country’s financial foundation. Your standing too close to the forest you can’t see the trees. Why are all the dithers in places of leadership in the Republican Party? Dither, Dither, Dither with the U.S. Debt ceiling. That’s not what anyone sent you to Washington to do, dither, and play reindeer games all day.

Dr Evil on July 13, 2011 at 4:52 PM

The Spelunker of the House caved…

Gohawgs on July 13, 2011 at 4:47 PM

Heh. Awesome.

miConsevative on July 13, 2011 at 4:59 PM

If a “demoralized” GOP base wants to throw a tantrum and stay home next year, so be it. There are plenty of more rational voters positioned between the two extremes to act as good citizens and help get the country back on track.

Coulter thinks McConnell’s contingency plan is “brilliant.” But then the almighty base has already thrown her under the bus because she’s not a NBP gal, right?

Meredith on July 13, 2011 at 5:11 PM

Take Newt’s advice: Pass a Social Security Payment Assurance Act, with budget cuts equal to any debt ceiling increase, and toss it over to Reid and Obama. Then walk away and tell the American people you’ve stopped Barry from using Social Security recipients as human shields in his war for higher taxes.

Rational Thought on July 13, 2011 at 5:17 PM

Just like we knew shutting down the government in 1995 was not going to work for us, it helped Bill Clinton get reelected.

Cough cough…BS…cough cough. Clinton was reelected for two reasons: a good economy, and Bob Dole.

If Republicans get blamed for not raising the debt limit, it’s because Republicans like McConnell have allowed the Dems to frame the issue that way. Here’s an idea, Mitch…how about taking a page out of Chuck Schumer’s playbook, and say something like “President Obama and the Democrats would rather end Medicare and Social Security as we know it than drop the class warfare rhetoric.”

So sick of this “if dems reject our plan, it will be our fault if the government defaults” nonsense. If the dems reject a plan that keeps the government running, it will be THEIR FAULT!!! MAKE THEM OWN IT!

xblade on July 13, 2011 at 5:23 PM

“we know that’s not going to happen” (go past Aug 2 essentially)

Guess who believed from the beginning who was going to lose?

How about no ceiling raise without spending controls. Period.

Speakup on July 13, 2011 at 5:54 PM

We’ve been trying to get this liberal president to sign a deal worth signing.

Yeah, it’s been 5 months since Republicans took the House.

I think Republicans need to study the tactics of the Democrats a little more. They’re complaining because they only control 1/3 of the government? What do you think Democrats would do if it were reversed? Do you think they’d be crying and whining about only controlling one third or would they be out there acting like they controlled it all?

I’ll tell you what, if the Dems only controlled the House and the GOP had the President and the Senate, McConnell would be crying about only controlling two thirds! He’d be whining about how effective the Democrats are and all the power they have because they control the House!
This is all crap!

JellyToast on July 13, 2011 at 5:55 PM

With friends like McConnell who needs enemies. These Republicans are absolutely gutless and cave under even the slightest pressure. We’ll gladly send our youth to die for this country but the politicians refuse to risk their cozy, power and perk laden existence.

rplat on July 13, 2011 at 6:07 PM

I’ll tell you what, if the Dems only controlled the House and the GOP had the President and the Senate, McConnell would be crying about only controlling two thirds! He’d be whining about how effective the Democrats are and all the power they have because they control the House!
This is all crap!

JellyToast on July 13, 2011 at 5:55 PM

Yep, you’ve nailed it.

And if the GOP controlled all three, they would still be whining about the need for bipartisanship and compromise in order not to piss off the liberal media and maintain their cocktail parties. And this is not supposition, wasn’t that what lost the GOP the White House and Congress? The rush to form “Gangs of 14″ with the Dems, who only seem to see the need for compromise and bipartisanship when they are in the minority.

TheRightMan on July 13, 2011 at 6:15 PM

So sick of this “if dems reject our plan, it will be our fault if the government defaults” nonsense. If the dems reject a plan that keeps the government running, it will be THEIR FAULT!!! MAKE THEM OWN IT!

xblade on July 13, 2011 at 5:23 PM

Yup. When we demand them to do anything, they whine, “But we ONLY control 1/2 of 1 branch of the gov’t!!” Then when we tell them not to do something, they whine, “We have to or the voters will blame us!!”

I smell a rat.

miConsevative on July 13, 2011 at 6:21 PM

Stop blinking, Mitch. Stop deflecting supposed blame and figure out a real plan to stop the weasels.

Kissmygrits on July 13, 2011 at 7:14 PM

McConnell: “I refuse to help Barack Obama get re-elected”

McCain’s campaign endorsement for Obama’s integrity of character foreshadowed what to expect from that McConnell quote.

maverick muse on July 13, 2011 at 7:25 PM

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