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. stranger in an increasingly strange land

    I have read a bit on the beliefs of both parties. Republicans seem to think that public education should have funding cut. I am not sure that guaranteeing the future generations will be stupider than us is a good idea.

    Republicans preach about reducing taxes. Since the 1970's taxes on the very rich have dropped by close to 60 percent while the poor and median taxes have risen by nearly 200 percent. Almost every dime pushed by Republicans.

    Republicans claim to be the party of family values. Only if those values agree with their narrow value set. If you are gay and want to legally marry, NO. If you are a woman and you think your opinion about whether or not you can be a good parent to an unwanted child is better than a group of elderly celibate preists, NO.

    If you are a illegal alien worker in the United States and you think that our constitutional guarantees apply to your children, NO.

    Admittedly, I am a liberal who thinks that all people deserve the same rights and opportunities, despite the color of their skin, their religion, who they love or their sex. I also think that the Democrats don't have much in the way of moral superiority considering they way they seem to willing to sell out

    The difference is that Democrats believe that everyone has a right to their own opinion. Republicans believe that everyone should be forced to believe the way they do or go to jail.

    October 23, 2011 12:01 pm at 12:01 pm |
  2. Frank

    The "referendum on Obama" s what McConnell and his GOP allies have wanted all along-they could care less about helping the middle class in the US or the future of the country. It is hard to move the wagon forward when one horse is pulling all the time in the opposite direction.

    October 23, 2011 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
  3. thomas

    Yes a referendum !

    Vote out Boehner, Cantor and McConne !

    Representatives Joseph Martin, Bruce Barton, and Hamilton Fish.

    Ridicule is a potent political weapon. Roosevelt invoked it mercilessly to mock and deride his critics. Nowadays, Republicans have handed Democrats a priceless opportunity that should be making their speech writers salivate. Boehner, Cantor and McConnel. I can hear it now.

    Ridicule works best when it’s based on at least a kernel of truth. Republicans are playing into Democratic hands by giving them gobs of truth to work with. They so zealously oppose tax increases they actually are shamed by billionaires who protest paying lower tax rates than their clerks.

    Boehner, Cantor, and McConnell. Let the ridicule begin.

    October 23, 2011 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
  4. ST

    Does McConnell think people can not think themselves and need him to tell them what to do? He can keep referendum to himself, and the rest have other reasons to make their choices.

    October 23, 2011 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  5. ruth

    Obama 2012 !!! Away with GOP / Repubs and TParty. Hail to the Democrats. I have watche both parties. One wants to put the country in the drains and wants to rise above all other countries and protecting the american people and the right choice for America is OBAMA – He is the BEST

    October 23, 2011 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  6. vic , nashville ,tn

    Wall Street doesn’t like Democratic Party so most media predict 2013 GOP control federal government
    But democratic congressional campaign committee, Democratic senatorial committee and Obama Campaign raised more money than their counterparts

    That means 2013 democratic control federal government

    October 23, 2011 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  7. Love-My-Texas


    October 23, 2011 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |
  8. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    California resident Connie Mack, our congressional representative in Florida, has promised that he will vote to shut down the government. While that excites the uneducated teabaggers, it has less appeal to the retired voters on social security and medicare, and the veterans who are getting veteran benefits. I wish there was a way we could send this carpet bagger back to Palm Springs, CA.

    October 23, 2011 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  9. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    McConnell is that crap sandwich without the bread that the GOP eats up.

    October 23, 2011 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  10. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    Too bad that Kentuckians can't get a do-over in their 2008 senate election. I find it hard to believe that the commonwealth buys into McConnell's lies.

    October 23, 2011 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  11. KathyC in Minnesota

    Everytime I see Mitch McConnell's face, I am remined of a FISH!! Bug eyes and thin lips. Who would want to be kissed, let alone sleep next to a FISH!!! EEEEWWW!

    October 23, 2011 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  12. patriot

    For somebody to state, overtly, OVERTLY, that it is his goal to make his political opponent a one termer, and then say the next election is referenudum is disingenous at best.

    Mitch McConnell et al have had an agenda, pure and simple, that no cooperation for the purposes of political gain is better than compromising to further the County's interests. As a political independent, while this President's term has not what I had hoped, I have found the Conservative playbook of denial of fact, and just complete failure to compromise to be disgusting. On the one hand, Cantor et all wrap themselves in the flag and then claim the Founders would want them to behave the way they are. On the other, they are in total denial that our political system by design is to get middle ground.

    The Conservative Right have brought shame onto our nation and it is an embarrasement. Two unfunded wars, tax cuts not balanced with reduced expenditures, deregulation that engendered reckless investment, etc, etc. Seems to me that we had six years are total Right wing domination of the government, the wheels come off the bus, and then say the guy elected to fix it – it his problem – is nuts. Send me what ever it is you are smoking.

    October 23, 2011 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  13. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    Looks like Mitch got a new suit. I wonder which lobbyist gave him the money, because he would not use his own. I suppose it came from the recipients of the $260,000 Kentucky squirrel project.

    October 23, 2011 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  14. Indy

    Rick McDaniel

    You have no clue what a dictatorship is and I suggest you travel to some countries that are run by real dictators so that you can come home and appreciate what you have in the free world. The only time when the US was close to a dicatorship is when the Republicans dictate that they will do nothing to help Obama or the average American, that is as close to a dictatorship that you will ever see in the US.Have a nice trip !

    October 23, 2011 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  15. Larry L

    This man led the most obstructive effort in his attempt to block all progress in the Senate. Senator "Filibuster" – even blocking their own initiatives to discredit the President! He is a political terrorist who only worries about re-election and defending the fat cats who back the Republican Party.

    October 23, 2011 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
  16. Mike

    This guy is the biggest political tool next to Cantor. Look at his face! What a joke! And his rhetoric is shameful. Old and close to death thank goodness. Not soon enough.

    October 23, 2011 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  17. rene

    You wish McConnell – It's a referendum on you and your other teabagger cronies who stole the GOP and sold it to the highest bidders (Koch Brothers.) Even your pretty boy Scott Brown is going down when Elizabeth Warren whips his sorry all-to-public a$$. We're voting in a super-majority so that we can outlaw your immoral filibusters that have hijacked democracy away from the majority.

    October 23, 2011 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  18. rene

    You wish McConnell – It's a referendum on you and your other teabagger cronies who stole the GOP and sold it to the highest bidders (Koch Brothers.) Even your pretty boy Scott Brown is going down when Elizabeth Warren whips his sorry all-to-public a-s-s. We're voting in a super-majority so that we can outlaw your immoral filibusters that have hijacked democracy away from the majority.

    October 23, 2011 12:38 pm at 12:38 pm |
  19. Myna

    If the Republicans have the majority now, why are they not putting forward a plan to stimulate the economy, address unemployment and fix our woes??? If they care about America, why are they waiting to fix it?

    October 23, 2011 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
  20. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    McConnell and the GOP consider the American people as "collateral damage" in their attempt to destroy Obama. The GOP's continuous NO vote is their weapon of choice without any thought of the collateral damage they create on the American people and that's UNAMERICAN.

    October 23, 2011 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
  21. ahetch

    When McConnell's first words about making president Obama a one term president, that said it all for me. He cares not for America, only for his party and will continue to downplay the presidents achievements. He and his party loved bush's wars and are disappointed they are almost over. He and mc cain wanted the Iraq war to last at least 100 years. that's the republican party for you.

    October 23, 2011 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |
  22. Capt.James

    What about the smug look on his face? Me thinks he cares for naught but himself.

    October 23, 2011 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
  23. Confident1

    @kirk1 and TM

    Well said!

    October 23, 2011 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
  24. Pam

    McConnell will be shaken to the core when he sees a lot of those Tea Party Congresspersons losing their jobs for being radical obstructionists.

    October 23, 2011 12:50 pm at 12:50 pm |

    It will be a referendum on the obstructionism of the Republicans and of the do nothing Congress. The President has worked hard and tried his best,.. he has wiped out the heads of the terrorist networks,.. and if he had gotten any cooperation from the GOP,.. he would have wiped out unemployment,.. you lose Mitch.

    October 23, 2011 12:50 pm at 12:50 pm |
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