WASHINGTON (CNN) – A leading congressional Republican did not pull any punches Sunday when asked whether President Obama had kept one of his most prominent campaign promises.
“I must say I'm disappointed,” Senate Minority Mitch McConnell of Kentucky said Sunday on CNN’s State of the Union. “After two months, the president has not governed in the middle as I had hoped he would. But it's not too late. He's only been in office a couple of months. Still before him are the opportunities to deal with us on a truly bipartisan basis,” the Republican told CNN Chief National Correspondent John King.
McConnell also criticized the president’s $3.6 trillion budget and the ambitious agenda on education, energy, and health care which the budget seeks to implement.
“Republicans are very much in favor of dealing with [the country’s economic crisis],” McConnell said. “What we're not in favor of is going on this spending spree over the next five to 10 years and sending the bill to our grandchildren.”
Obama’s administration “is going to be the furthest to the left of any government . . . certainly in my lifetime,” McConnell also told King. “I’m not sure that’s what people voted for. I mean they were angry with President Bush. They were not happy with the economy.... Whether they intended to see America kind of turned into a Western European country as a result of an explosion of spending and debt and regulation is another matter.”
On Iraq and Afghanistan, McConnell did have some tongue-in-cheek praise for Obama.
“I want to commend the administration,” the leading Senate Republican said. “The surge in Iraq worked. I wish they could bring themselves to say that and I think the surge in Afghanistan is likely to work as well under the brilliant leadership of General Petraeus.”
“The administration is essentially adopting the policies of the Bush administration and both Iraq and Afghanistan. And I want to commend them for it,” McConnell said.