Green Room

Mitch McConnell On Barack Obama: He Can’t Get Anything He Wants. Those Days Are Over

posted at 7:59 pm on November 29, 2012 by

The Republican leader in the United States Senate came to the meeting with Speaker Boehner and Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner. He saw the proposal that said $1.6 trillion in tax hikes, most of them front-loaded, and maybe, if we are magnanimous and haven’t figured out a good reason not to over the next decade or so, perhaps we’ll look at the possiblity of potentially cutting something we’re not willing to specify in writing now to the tune of $400 billion, although we are certainly not going to be held to that number.

McConnell came, he saw, and then he laughed. He couldn’t help it. It was the same kind of involuntary reaction one has when they’re told the Cleveland Browns are going to win the Super Bowl this year.  McConnell later joined Hugh Hewitt  and had this to say:

MM: Well, it’s certainly true that they could get what they have claimed for years they wanted to do by doing nothing. They could get a big Defense cut, and they could get a massive tax increase. But of course, they don’t want to get a tax increase on everybody, only on the top two rates. Also, do they really think it would be good for the economy for all of this to kick in? I tell you, I think the fundamental observation I would make about all of this right now, whether it’s this totally unserious proposal from the Secretary of the Treasury or the attempt by the majority leader to break the rules to change the rules of the Senate, they’re strutting their stuff after the election. They’re still celebrating, and they’re having a hard time noticing that they don’t have a super majority stranglehold on the Senate, and they don’t control the House.

HH: Senator, there are at least nine, maybe ten or more Democrat seats up in 2014. You named some of them – Senator Landrieu, Senator Begich, but also Senator Rockefeller’s seat is up, Senator Hagan, you’ve got Senator Baucus himself, Tim Johnson, Mark Udall, Mark Pryor. Are these Democrats who are…

MM: Alaska, very red state, Democrat in Alaska up…

HH: Are they not concerned that their constituents are watching, and they’re going to remember this brinksmanship?

MM: Oh, I can’t imagine that they would vote for what the Secretary of the Treasury showed the Speaker and myself today. I can’t imagine it. And so that underscores what a totally unserious…this proposal, you know, Hugh, it wouldn’t have passed the House with Nancy Pelosi as speaker. This is, you know, absurd.

HH: So if you have to do something, I mean, are you expecting them to send up something else? Or are they just trying to make it look as though you folks are refusing to respond to an offer?

MM: Yeah, I think it’s all game playing. They want to make us look unreasonable. And you have to ask the question, to what end? There’s not an election for two years. The election is over. This is time to be governing. The posturing, the endless campaign, the never-ceasing finger pointing and blaming, you know, I know he’s upset about it, but he’s got a Republican House to deal with, and he’s got a non-inconsequential Republican minority in the Senate. He doesn’t own this Congress like he did the Congress in 2009 and 2010. He can’t get anything he wants. Those days are over.

I am pleased to see that not all Republicans in elected office are willing to cower to a President as though he has a mandate when in fact, no mandate exists. A coalition of unserious people can vote in an unserious leader so that unserious economic proposals are presented, but that certainly does not mean that serious people should abandon, well, seriousness.

I am also pleased that McConnell’s press office issued a press release earlier today, then made sure they pointed to a great column by our friend and colleague, Fred Barnes of the Weekly Standard. But when we responded and asked on short notice for the Senator to come on and talk about it, he did. Lesson to Republican Congressional leaders: Do this more.

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