McConnell sidesteps Romney diss with a smile
September 11th, 2012
04:45 PM ET
2 years ago

McConnell sidesteps Romney diss with a smile

Washington (CNN) – Often, a person's body language says more than words.

That appeared true Tuesday afternoon when Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell forced a big smile instead of responding to a CNN question about Mitt Romney's weekend comments criticizing fellow Republicans on Capitol Hill.

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Appearing on NBC's Meet the Press, Romney called it a mistake for President Obama to propose the deal that ended last year's debt limit fight, and added that it was "a mistake for Republicans to go along with it."

That deal calls for some $100 billion in mandatory spending cuts at the end of this year – half from the defense budget – unless Congress comes up with a new plan.

When asked by CNN for his reaction to Romney "dissing" him and other GOP lawmakers for going along with the cuts, known as "sequestration," McConnell grinned widely, if not sincerely.

"Look, I don't have any interest in getting into a debate with the nominee of our party," McConnell responded, going on to say – smile still firmly in place – "I know you would like for me to do that but I don't have any interest in doing that."

Trying one more time to get him to bite, we asked why he thinks Romney made the comment.
"You'll have to ask him why he said what he said," replied McConnell.

Earlier in the day, House Speaker John Boehner didn't answer directly a reporter's question about Romney's criticism of him and other congressional Republicans, but defended his own role.

"Listen it was a difficult time. I still look at my failure to come to an agreement with the president as the biggest disappointment of my speakership," Boehner said, speaking about his ill fated discussions with President Obama last summer over a broad deal to cut spending and reduce the deficit.

Boehner was also partisan in his response, even pointing people to a specific page in Bob Woodward's new book on the saga as a defense.

"The president didn't want to have a second round of a fight over increasing the debt limit. And ya know, look at Mr. Woodward's book that came out this morning, page 326, it'll make it perfectly clear where the sequester came from. We'd been in discussion over a trigger, but the president didn't want his re-election inconvenienced by another fight over a 1.2 trillion dollar increase in the debt ceiling. That's why we have it," said Boehner.

House Budget Chairman Paul Ryan, Romney's running mate, was among the many Republicans who backed the sequestration deal Romney is now slamming.


Filed under: 2012 • Congress • Mitch McConnell • Mitt Romney
soundoff (123 Responses)
  1. Sniffit

    "Hey 15% of the republicans polled in one of the states say Romney gave the order to get bin Laden."

    Heck, in the same poll, 47% of Ohio GOPers also said they were "unsure" who deserved the credit between Obama and Mittens. That pretty much tells you that 62%+/- of Ohio's GOPers/Teatrolls are living in a parallel universe provided by their pathological denial that the world isn't just exactly the way their ideology says it should be. Psychological defense mechanisms are powerful things. I mean, why live in reality with everyone else if you can live in a walking daydream that suits your fancy?

    September 11, 2012 05:28 pm at 5:28 pm |
  2. Sniffit

    "Although, Beaker keeps his mouth shut most of the time, Turtle Boy can't shut his."

    Haha...until someone lights him on fire or something...then he runs around going bezerk and inconsolably screeching senselesss gibberish just like the GOP/Teatrolls have been doing for the past 4 years.

    September 11, 2012 05:30 pm at 5:30 pm |
  3. myviewis

    Which communities will be hit by the cuts to the Defense budget?????? cuts to our military, that is the answer???? no military equipment and no training to our military????

    September 11, 2012 05:30 pm at 5:30 pm |
  4. Lynda/Minnesota

    "House Budget Chairman Paul Ryan, Romney's running mate, was among the many Republicans who backed the sequestration deal Romney is now slamming."

    Maybe Romney and Ryan ought to first debate themselves ... neither one of them has yet to agree with the other on any policy coming from TeamRomney's mighty Etch a Sketch Campaign 2012.

    September 11, 2012 05:30 pm at 5:30 pm |
  5. Thomas

    @Sniffit
    "Is it just me, or does he look like Beaker from the Muppet Show?"

    Hehe...I've been referring to him as Beaker here and on other sites for years.

    -–

    Id say more like Colonel Sanders extra crispy with out the cool suit , tie , cane and hair !

    I like my chicken finger lickin' good!

    September 11, 2012 05:33 pm at 5:33 pm |
  6. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    Is it just me, or does he look like Beaker from the Muppet Show?
    -------------------------------------------------
    No Tom it's NOT just you!
    LOL!

    September 11, 2012 05:33 pm at 5:33 pm |
  7. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    Come November they will be eating their own.
    -------------------------------------------------
    Looks like they're at the very least marinating them already and stoking the fires doesn't it?!

    September 11, 2012 05:36 pm at 5:36 pm |
  8. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    Hey McConnell – look at the bright side – after November, you will be able to say "this will be Obama's last term as president"
    -------------------------------------------------And "Mission Accomplished"!
    "Good job Brownie"!
    Bwahahahahahahaha!!!!!!!!

    September 11, 2012 05:38 pm at 5:38 pm |
  9. thetruthandnothingbutthetruth

    how did mitch win ANYTHING?

    September 11, 2012 05:39 pm at 5:39 pm |
  10. GI Joe

    McConnell and Boehner can't control the baggers they got stuck with, so they blame President Obama.

    WOW -– just WOW.

    September 11, 2012 05:44 pm at 5:44 pm |
  11. GI Joe

    Bash? Is that skinny hag back?

    September 11, 2012 05:46 pm at 5:46 pm |
  12. Larry L

    Any business on earth would have fired McConnell for his behavior for the last 3.5 years. He has actually worked to make our government fail! I pretty certain that would get you fired in an actual business...

    September 11, 2012 05:47 pm at 5:47 pm |
  13. the Situation

    The Repubs our funny. They love to blame Obama for running the deficit but let think about. If Clinton left 5.5 Trillion dollars Surplus and Bush, 8 years later left with 10 Trillion dollar debt, that mean Bush spent over 15.5 trillion dollars in tax cuts, 2 wars and other things. This all coming with Repubs White House, Senate and Congress. Smoke on that!

    September 11, 2012 05:48 pm at 5:48 pm |
  14. Facts don't LIE

    don't worry folks if Romney said something to hurt his fellow Republicans feelings he'll just walk it back and flip/flop on it. In fact he'll find some way to blame Obama for it...just wait and see.

    September 11, 2012 05:51 pm at 5:51 pm |
  15. ConsiderThis, FL

    Mitch McConnel is a scurge on America. To say publicly that his first priority is to ensure that President Obama is a one term president and to work 4 years for that sole purpose, set a new low for American pollitics. And, not to mention the hardship that keeping to his first priority has caused for our entire country. To make over 300 million people suffer hardship unnecessarily in order to keep his commitment to do all that he can to make President a one term president is unforgivable. What a frik'in patriot.

    September 11, 2012 05:52 pm at 5:52 pm |
  16. Sandra

    Boehner will never own up to his failure to do his job and McConnell is just a political hack who doesn't care about the country but only his political power.
    You think the President thought it might actually give the Republicans incentive to actually do their jobs? The Republicans want the economy in bad shape....that's been their plan all along. They believe it gives them political leverage.

    September 11, 2012 06:00 pm at 6:00 pm |
  17. Indy

    "Look, I don't have any interest in getting into a debate with the nominee of our party," McConnell responded, going on to say – smile still firmly in place – "I know you would like for me to do that but I don't have any interest in doing that.

    Yes we are all aware that McConnell's only focus is to keep the economy as sluggish as possible in an attempt to regain the Whitehouse so Republicans can finally finish off the middle class once and for all.

    September 11, 2012 06:01 pm at 6:01 pm |
  18. They ought to change from the elephant to the hippo...

    Get out of the way.... Mitt's trying to flop to the middle, and the right at the same time. Like a ten pound catfish in the bottom of the boat. I bet the baggers are proud (when they're not terrified of what he'll say next...)

    September 11, 2012 06:13 pm at 6:13 pm |
  19. Sniffit

    "Which communities will be hit by the cuts to the Defense budget?????? cuts to our military, that is the answer???? no military equipment and no training to our military????"

    The economy should not and should never be using our military as its lynchpin. The military industrial complex is NOT a sound or fiscally responsible foudnation on which to build the economy. Eisenhower warned of it decades ago and the GOP apparently decided he was actually giving advice on how to build the economy....as opposed to how NOT to build the economy. We spend more on our military than the next 20 countries COMBINED and there is absolutely ZERO risk that if responsible, moderate cuts to our military spending are made that we will somehow wind up with a military that is not stil the larges, best trained and best equipped BY FAR in the world or that we'll somehow suddenly be in danger of a naval invasion from Iran and/or the "Soviets" (as Mittens would call them). There are no boogeymen in our closets and no boogeymen under your beds. Bad people exist in the world and we'll be plenty capable of dealing with them and their crap even after moderate military spending cuts. This notion that we need to police the world and spend trillions upon trillions on our military to remain safe is not only patently stupid, but self-contradictory.

    September 11, 2012 06:24 pm at 6:24 pm |
  20. Iamnotfooled

    This is just another strategic tactic of the Obama administrtion to gain what they want from the GOP. President Obama will not do anything to hurt the defense of this country. He fights a different war and already has what he needs.

    September 11, 2012 06:39 pm at 6:39 pm |
  21. twalk

    poor McConnell. He always looks like he is scared

    September 11, 2012 06:40 pm at 6:40 pm |
  22. Anthony in California

    "myviewis
    Which communities will be hit by the cuts to the Defense budget?????? cuts to our military, that is the answer???? no military equipment and no training to our military????"

    So what is it? You complain about unemployment and that Obama hasn't done enough for the country, you complain about deficits and welfare.. but you're NOT against cuts to Military spending? Man.. you'll spin any topic.
    It seems like you don't know what your for, as long as its against Obama.

    I'd rather rebuild a struggling America then have my tax dollars go towards an unnecessary war industry and the destruction of yet another country.
    Obama has proved you can reach a military objective with Intelligence and precision versus "Shock and Awe"

    You're on the wrong side of history quite often it seems.

    September 11, 2012 06:41 pm at 6:41 pm |
  23. oman

    What goes around comes around. The Senator can't diss the president and then not expect to be diss himself. He and the rest of the legislative blocking senators and congressmen should be dismissed from public office.

    September 11, 2012 06:43 pm at 6:43 pm |
  24. Former Republican, now an Independent

    Rats have been known to attack and eat their fellow rats.

    September 11, 2012 06:56 pm at 6:56 pm |
  25. Hawk in texas

    Some one said that the republicans and romney had no plans. i said sure they do. just blame Obama no matter who said what. now it is Obamas fault ryan voted for the thing in the first place.

    September 11, 2012 06:57 pm at 6:57 pm |
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