Nicholasville, Kentucky (CNN) – Sen. Mitch McConnell knew how surprising it was going to sound to room full of Kentucky voters that he backs President Barack Obama on something.
"I think the President now, at this point - this will shock you when I say it - at this point, is doing the right thing,” he said Wednesday in a speech to the Chamber of Commerce here.
The GOP Senate leader was talking about the President’s increasingly robust approach towards ISIS, the Islamist extremist group sweeping Syria and Iraq.
McConnell predicted Obama will likely ask lawmakers for support when Congress returns from its August recess, and told CNN in an exclusive interview after his speech why he would likely say yes.
"I think it would make sense for him to get our support. It's pretty clear ISIS is a serious threat. They have the potential to hit us here at home. He's the President of the United States and, if he's prepared to try to prevent that, I'm sure he will have a lot of congressional support," McConnell told CNN.
Whether McConnell's prediction about a lot of support from Congress will bear out remains to be seen. There is considerable reluctance, especially among some Democrats.
But the fact that the GOP leader, who spends most of his days railing against the President's policies in his neck-and-neck re-election campaign, temporarily put politics aside is noteworthy, and perhaps telling.
The politics of voting to support any military action are dicey for candidates facing voters who are weary after prolonged wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
In fact, McConnell all but acknowledged that in his speech on Wednesday.
"I know both wars were long," he said. "The longer they go on the more unpopular they get."
When asked if he has any trepidation about potentially taking a tough vote before election day, McConnell told CNN "the security of the nation comes first."
"I believe and others believe that ISIS could hit us here at home and that trumps all other considerations, and I'm anxious to hear what the President has in mind and I think he's likely to get support" McConnell said.
Whether his constituents back him or not, it looks like it’s one position he won't get much push back on by his Democratic opponent, Alison Lundergan Grimes.
In an exclusive interview with CNN, Grimes said she agrees with military experts who call ISIS a threat to the U.S. homeland, and says she backs limited air strikes so far.
She also told CNN she believes the President should come to Congress for further action.
"When there is extended military action congressional approval is appropriate,” she said.