McConnell: 2012 will be a 'referendum'
October 23rd, 2011
10:56 AM ET
7 years ago

McConnell: 2012 will be a 'referendum'

(CNN) - Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell disagreed Sunday with Vice President Joe Biden’s hypothesis that the 2012 election will be a choice between Democrats and Republicans, and instead labeled it a “referendum” on President Barack Obama.

"The vice president said this election will be a choice. It will be a referendum, a referendum on the president and his performance," McConnell said Sunday on CNN's "State of the Union." "Their policies are in place and they are demonstrably not working."

Appearing earlier on the same program, Biden said voters in the next election will see a clear distinction between policies of Democrats and those of Republicans who, he said, are advocating for the same proposals that contributed to the economic decline.

However, McConnell said the White House is looking for someone to blame to score political points when, in his opinion, the current administration is culpable.

The lack of a public signing ceremony for the trade agreements that recently passed in Congress with bipartisan support was evidence, McConnell said, that the White House is "ashamed to mention any of the things that they do with Republicans because it steps on their storyline."

"Their storyline is that there must be some villain out there who's keeping this administration from succeeding," the Kentucky senator told CNN Chief Political Correspondent Candy Crowley.

On Thursday, the White House canceled a previously scheduled signing ceremony and remarks by the president but still allowed photographers to be present at the signings on Friday. A White House official said it "was simply a schedule change" and that the president has touted the passage of the agreements, including in Detroit the day after they passed.

The official also said the president's announcement on withdrawing U.S. troops from Iraq was added to his schedule Friday.

- CNN Correspondent Athena Jones contributed to this report.

Watch State of the Union with Candy Crowley Sundays at 9am ET. For the latest from State of the Union click here.

Filed under: 2012 • Joe Biden • Mitch McConnell • President Obama • TV-State of the Union
soundoff (91 Responses)
  1. Darla (Edmonton, Canada)

    What McConnell fails to realize when he says "2012 will be a referendum on President Obama" ... each vote is also a referendum on the Republican Party. A "yes" vote for Obama is a "no" vote for the Republicans. I think McConnell, Boehner, Cantor et al will be surprised when they lose on this one.

    October 23, 2011 11:04 am at 11:04 am |
  2. Rick McDaniel

    Actually, 2012 election will be a decision, on whether to allow a Democratic dictatorship in America, to bankrupt and destroy this country, or whether to stop it, before it is too late.

    Another term by Obama would basically make it impossible for America to financially recover..........from the excessive spending, that the welfare party has wrought upon us........and indeed is continuing to do, on a daily basis, with absolutely no benefit to the country, whatsoever.

    We have to change both the Senate, and Presidency, to have any prospect, of saving this country, from total ruin, and revolution.

    October 23, 2011 11:10 am at 11:10 am |
  3. Indy

    Republicans have a clear record of destroying the economy and the referendum will be about what happened when Republicans got back in the house and the economy tanked again, it is not rocket science to figure out every time Republicans have power they destroy the economy, and give to the rich. If you think giving to the rich and deregulating safeguards is going to help EVERYBODY then vote Republican, and if you think the middle class deserve jobs and fairness then vote Democrat.

    October 23, 2011 11:22 am at 11:22 am |
  4. rob taylor

    @rick the country was already going bankrupt and the funny thing is if all these tax break were helping us how come in 2008 before obama we were losing 700,000 jobs a month get a clue name call is cool but put up some facts obama has done more for this country than bush mcconnell and boehner has ever done

    October 23, 2011 11:22 am at 11:22 am |
  5. Bill

    Obama will be relected and this obstructionist loser will have plenty of egg to remove from his face. In addition, most of the freshman tea-ggers will also be sent packing. So yes, Senator, it certainly wil be a referendum, just not the kind you are crowing about.

    October 23, 2011 11:25 am at 11:25 am |
  6. once upon a horse

    if the GOP candidates keep coming out saying stuff like they are against our troops coming home, it WILL be a referendum alright. McConnell must not read the polling where not only is congress at 11% approval but the GOP is polling worse than the president AND the Democrats. He's in denial if he thinks otherwise.

    October 23, 2011 11:26 am at 11:26 am |

    i thank gop and teaparty are fools

    October 23, 2011 11:26 am at 11:26 am |
  8. annie s

    This administration has succeeded far beyond what any Republican one would have done. It saved the economy from a depression and saw it begin to grow and add jobs every single month until the House fell to the Republicans. It saved the auto industry and passed a consumer protection act. It passed badly needed healthcare reform. It repealed DADT. Under Obama, we got bin Laden and other al Qaeda leaders and saw the fall of a vicious dictator without one American life lost. It's only failure is in the lack of clear communication of those many successes to the American people.

    October 23, 2011 11:27 am at 11:27 am |

    well i say it again

    October 23, 2011 11:27 am at 11:27 am |
  10. samuel

    Rick, you need to get in touch and think for yourself. Look at the hard facts....and go back about ten years ! We have been on this train for that long. We have to invest in America. I dont agree with all of the President decisions. But, I not stay with my party...because they(REP) dont care about America or the people ! And they count on individual like you to use "Head line" statements. Who is attempting to put people back to work ? Who is attempting to invest in teachers ? And our people need some type of heath care. To just a party that wants to rplace the President is not helping the country. Now, if there is a better choice for me over Obama. I will vote for them.....but the GOP is not helping America.

    So, stop the dictatorship statement. Please ? And this country was placed on the road to bankrupt the moment we went to War. And we stop investing in America and then bought into the Bush Tax cuts to create jobs. A little secret..."where" are the jobs ? It has been ten that is a failed policy.

    God bless America. Vote for America...not parties this time....I will !

    October 23, 2011 11:31 am at 11:31 am |
  11. Lynda/Minnesota

    Don't hang your "Mission Accomplished" sign out too soon, GOPers. The HELL NO mantra from the right wing these past 3 years is finally catching up to middle class America ... and not quite in the way it was originally intended by McConnell and Company.

    October 23, 2011 11:33 am at 11:33 am |
  12. Cindy

    Rick must be a Fox News devotee! Idiot.

    October 23, 2011 11:33 am at 11:33 am |
  13. vic , nashville ,tn

    In south state republicans connect dots between illegal immigrants to jobs, welfare cut including Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell state

    Now he is saying referendum on President Barack Obama. But it’s going to be choice

    Romney stops hiring illegal immigrants because he was running for the office his own words
    Rick Perry giving free tuition to illegal immigrants for that just they live in the state 3 years
    Obama deported 400 000 illegal immigrants that is record high numbers

    October 23, 2011 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
  14. pat

    If a republican wins the white house, the country is lost. All freedoms and rights we enjoy now will be gone. This will be a true dictatorship.

    October 23, 2011 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
  15. Mark

    Rick –
    I almost spit out my coffee laughing at your remark. You need to go back and study what policies and by whom got us here to begin with. The policies of the past administration when it decided to start two wars without paying for them, start a Medicare Part D program without paying for it, give two tax cuts without paying for them and one Great Recession are responsible. And yes some Democrats voted for all those things so they are not blameless or responsible, but to say that only one party is responsible is beyond delusional. We've been living under a Republican trickle down economic system for nearly 40 years and it certainly has not made us a better nation. You can trace back nearly all of today's economic troubles to that.

    October 23, 2011 11:38 am at 11:38 am |
  16. Mary from Minnesota

    I agree – we need to change the Senate. We need to put MORE Dems in to get the jobs bill going and save our country. All the Repubs can do is continuously vote on abortion, gay marriage and any social issue that will take us back to the 1800's and repress womens rights. The Repubs have brought this country to a screeching halt. No discussion of bills, no nominations voted on, no concrete plan for ANYTHING! Just obstruction! How can they seriously blame Mr.Obama for the mess we're in when his policies never see the light of day? I'm not sure of the root of the hatred for this President, but the Repubs are taking the country down because they are consumed bytheir hatred!

    October 23, 2011 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
  17. Dee

    The American people will be looking at McConnell the obstructionist who said his job is to make President Obama a one term President and that is what he and his members are trying to do. They are the party of "NO" so how dare he say it is a referendum on President Obama.

    People are suffering in this country because of the politics of the GOP they should pass the job bill for the good of the country and put people back to work. They are telling businesses to not hire until President Obama is gone this is a shame. I hope that this scheme backfires on them the american people are smarter and don't underestimate them the results will be seen at the ballot boxes.

    October 23, 2011 11:40 am at 11:40 am |
  18. Vieteran

    I guess some of these pundits continue to drink some of that repubs/ tea people BS and continous smoke and mirrors, the change needed is to get rid of the obstruction and millionare protectors and place the focus where it should be, the middle class. I beleive the republicans who are only listening to a small base and ignoring the will of the majority will be in for a rude awakening in 2012.

    October 23, 2011 11:43 am at 11:43 am |
  19. Donkey Party

    Rick McDipshlt –

    You've outdone yourself today with that asinine comment. You inbred, racist brainwashed right-wingers just can't contain you hatred for America.

    October 23, 2011 11:44 am at 11:44 am |
  20. Dixie

    Another congressman who should have retired. The revolution has already started Mitch. Don't you watch the news? Your goal is well known. You want to sink Obama for reasons other than those you state. You and your party spent, spent, spent for 8 yrs. It seems that republicans have very short memories. YOUR PARTY WILL NOT GET MY INDEPENDENT VOTE.

    October 23, 2011 11:49 am at 11:49 am |
  21. Kirk1

    McConnell, alot of people have their eyes wide open and are very informed - they know who has brought down and continues to bring this great country down. It certainly is not President Obama. Our president is working relentlessly to get people back to work. I have yet to see any JOBS bill presented by the Republicans to help the unemployed. Although I am an older person, I still need to work. The look on your face tells it all - just a smirk because you believe you have succeeded in the failure of President Obama. You, McConnell (can't even address you as Mr.), Boehner, Cantor and the likes are so wrong, because President Obama has alot of foot soldiers backing him and I am one of them.

    October 23, 2011 11:51 am at 11:51 am |
  22. TM

    McConnell WISHES that the election was about Obama. And if McConnell had kept his big fat mouth shut a few months ago, the voters might have been conned into exactly that. Instead, we now know that Republicans will do ANYTHING to prevent the economy from improving, to prevent unemployment from going down. They will gleefully block ANY legislation that will improve life for Americans if there is the SLIGHTEST chance that Obama will get any credit. Republicans ONLY care about results she they can STEAL the credit.

    October 23, 2011 11:51 am at 11:51 am |
  23. lioness777

    This is why they will lose in 2012!

    October 23, 2011 11:54 am at 11:54 am |
  24. Wynter

    Hell yes it will be a referendum. AGAINST the Republican Obstructionism. When will these fools like McConnell realize the damage they have done to our country? They call it politics. I call it economic terrorism on a grand scale. The GOP should be ashamed of their record to date. They are in it for themselves and care nothing for the people. It's past time to send them all packing. Each one of them has damaged this country beyond repair and should be held accountable for every lost job.

    October 23, 2011 11:55 am at 11:55 am |

    Obama 2012!!!

    October 23, 2011 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
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