August 27th, 2014
04:17 PM ET
1 month ago

McConnell to CNN: Obama would have ‘a lot of congressional support’ for action against ISIS

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.


Filed under: 2014 • Mitch McConnell • President Obama
soundoff (85 Responses)
  1. Silence DoGood

    @Winston Churchill " I hope the ISSI terrorized the rich, liberal parts of the US and leaves the rest of us alone."
    ----------–
    Yet another similarity between the violent TP and terrorists.

    August 27, 2014 05:14 pm at 5:14 pm |
  2. jrad23

    Send in the terminators

    August 27, 2014 05:15 pm at 5:15 pm |
  3. Anthony

    IMO, this is the major reason why there is such resentment from the GOP against Obama. He politicized the war in Iraq to get elected and now we come full circle to prove that his attempted minimization of the threat of terrorism was just plain wrong.

    August 27, 2014 05:16 pm at 5:16 pm |
  4. Silence DoGood

    Heresy! McConnell may fail the Grand Holy Purity test of the lock step radical right and be banished from any tin foil clubhouse!

    August 27, 2014 05:16 pm at 5:16 pm |
  5. Al

    So when will the border be completely protected from people crossing without permission to properly protect the people of the United States? For let's face it, that border is wide open and there is nothing to prevent ISIS from coming here and doing what they are doing in Iraq and Syria.

    August 27, 2014 05:16 pm at 5:16 pm |
  6. Tru

    McConnell is out as a republican. Anyone agreeing with President Obama is labeled a traitor by the current republican party. That's why this current republican party is a diminishing breed. Extinction can't come soon enough!

    August 27, 2014 05:17 pm at 5:17 pm |
  7. Pedro9990

    Are all of the Republican's War Mongers. I though just McCain and Graham? I guess they all make so much money
    off War, they all want part of the action. If I lived in Kentucky, I would vote for the Democrat.

    August 27, 2014 05:19 pm at 5:19 pm |
  8. Ethan

    McConnell gains nothing and risks the wrath of his ultra-conservative base. I believe he simply has exhausted his reserve of negative Obama remarks, and is taking a short break as he prepares his next oral discharge.

    August 27, 2014 05:20 pm at 5:20 pm |
  9. Brian in DC

    Since ISIS was 4 years in the making (thanks Obama) hopefully he cleans this up before he leaves office. I don't suspect he will because he checked out awhile ago.

    August 27, 2014 05:21 pm at 5:21 pm |
  10. Randy, San Francisco

    Did McConnell get permission from Limbaugh, Tea Party, Rove, Koch brothers, Murdoch, and his wife before making the statement of support?

    August 27, 2014 05:22 pm at 5:22 pm |
  11. Ron

    Do the American political elites consider "We the people" stupid and/or indifferent, when borrowing to pay for the World Security and Racial/Class Welfare on their account?

    August 27, 2014 05:22 pm at 5:22 pm |
  12. Ol' Yeller

    "McConnell predicted Obama will likely ask lawmakers for support when Congress returns from its August recess..."

    Does he mean Obama will likely ask lawmakers for support AGAIN? He has already requested them to vote on this and just like everything else... they didn't. They hemmed and hawed and said the President ought to do something through executive action (yeah... last time he did that they sued him) blah, blah, blah...

    This is the reason I denounce republicants on here all the time and cannot fathom how anyone with an IQ above 5 cannot see them for what they are... one must either be blind, willfully ignorant, or so partisan they would rather see the country destroyed before they would admit to what intelligent people can see blindfolded....

    August 27, 2014 05:23 pm at 5:23 pm |
  13. Skarphace

    Hmmm .. does McConnell's ties to BAE have anything to do with his position on ISIS? Money talks and McConnell walks.

    August 27, 2014 05:23 pm at 5:23 pm |
  14. Mike Adams

    Yes Tru, Just what we need a 1 party system!

    August 27, 2014 05:24 pm at 5:24 pm |
  15. Military Observer

    "Why did he f up in the first place and not keep a good hand, some military backup on the Iraqi government for a number of years until they had the "training wheels" off?" – Seriously, do you not know how long the US kept forces in Iraq for this very purpose? And did you not know that that the date when US forces would leave Iraq was set not by Obama but by President BUSH and by the Iraqi government, which refused to extend our Status of Forcs Agreement? Please google the Time story, "Iraq’s Government, Not Obama, Called Time on the U.S. Troop Presence" or other reference sources – do your homework and get your facts straight. Stop the blame game. It makes YOU look ridiculous

    August 27, 2014 05:25 pm at 5:25 pm |
  16. Ol' Yeller

    @Anthony

    IMO, this is the major reason why there is such resentment from the GOP against Obama. He politicized the war in Iraq to get elected and now we come full circle to prove that his attempted minimization of the threat of terrorism was just plain wrong.

    Oh... so now the Iraq war is back to being about terrorism... I thought it was about non-existent wmd's?
    IMO, the major reason there is such resentment from the GOP against Obama is
    1. He is a Democrat.
    2. He is Black
    3.He is a black Democrat.
    That's more like it....

    August 27, 2014 05:27 pm at 5:27 pm |
  17. PuzzledInPeoria

    Who kidnapped Mitch McConnell and replaced him with a double with common sense?

    August 27, 2014 05:27 pm at 5:27 pm |
  18. tom l

    @Silence,
    "Yet another similarity between the violent TP and terrorists"
    =====

    Care to give an example where the TEA Party condoned any type of terrorism or violence?

    August 27, 2014 05:28 pm at 5:28 pm |
  19. Gary

    Now head over to the Senate chamber for a vote. Oh, that's right, you're not there, are you?

    August 27, 2014 05:28 pm at 5:28 pm |
  20. ANNIER

    Too little, too late; they're already here. Though I can't take credit for the following information – it is FACTUAL; Google it! These just CANNOT be the only businesses operating through a "front" in this country.

    Unrightfully upset with Burger King? Try this on for size: Caribou Coffee and Churches Chicken are both owned by First Islamic Investment Bank which practices Sharia Law.

    August 27, 2014 05:29 pm at 5:29 pm |
  21. fred

    McConnell. Who cares what he thinks. Do some work for the country you freakin obstructionist temper tantrum children.

    August 27, 2014 05:29 pm at 5:29 pm |
  22. excuse my rant

    Al
    So when will the border be completely protected from people crossing without permission to properly protect the people of the United States? For let's face it, that border is wide open and there is nothing to prevent ISIS from coming here and doing what they are doing in Iraq and Syria.
    ________________________________
    So what are your suggestions for completely protecting the board from people crossing without permission? Don't forget that you need to state how to deal with the Rio Grande, people flying over and digging under the border. Bonus points for giving a detailed explanation as to how much that plan would cost, how it would be funded, and how the continued costs for manning and maintaining that plan would be dealt with.

    August 27, 2014 05:30 pm at 5:30 pm |
  23. excuse my rant

    Winston Churchill
    Aha, Obama will draw another red line in the sand. Why did he f up in the first place and not keep a good hand, some military backup on the Iraqi government for a number of years until they had the "training wheels" off?
    ___________________
    Because that was not part of the agreement made by Iraq and the US back when Bush was president and the Iraqi president had absolutely no interest in changing said agreement. I know. Major f up on Obama's part for one, not being president when the agreement was made, and two, not forcefully making demands within the boundaries of another sovereign country.

    August 27, 2014 05:33 pm at 5:33 pm |
  24. Ol' Yeller

    @tom l

    @Silence,
    "Yet another similarity between the violent TP and terrorists"
    =====

    Care to give an example where the TEA Party condoned any type of terrorism or violence?

    Those two tea baggers killed that cop in the mall and left the tea bagger flag draped over his body before they shot themsleves like the cowards they are in the shortest revolution on record.

    Bazinga!

    August 27, 2014 05:37 pm at 5:37 pm |
  25. Jake

    The turtle man has arisen from his 2 month sleep. The orange man should be awakening soon. McConnell and Boehner, two strange and odd creatures who keeps fooling their voters.

    August 27, 2014 05:38 pm at 5:38 pm |
1 2 3 4