July 20th, 2007
03:31 PM ET
12 years ago

Senate GOP leader sets low expectations for 2008 elections

McConnell has set the bar low for his party’s chances in 2008.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - Republicans are unlikely to win back control of the Senate in 2008, their Senate leader, Mitch McConnell, said Friday, gloomily predicting that "holding our own is about all we could hope for."

But McConnell didn't blame the low approval ratings of the Congress or the president or public rejection of the Iraq war for the anticipated poor showing by the GOP.

"The numbers are against us," he told reporters at a Capitol news conference, noting that 22 Republicans and just 12 Democrats are up for re-election this cycle. "It would take an extraordinarily good day to get back up to 50. So our goal is to stay roughly where we are.

"If we had a good day we might be able to get it back narrowly," he said. "But that's just a realistic assessment of where we are."

- CNN Congressional Producer Ted Barrett

soundoff (20 Responses)
  1. John Schaaf, Long Beach, Ca.

    Yeah, it's a numbers game, not that you won't win back the Senate because you are subverting the will of the people and choosing politics over the national interest. Puh-lease.

    July 20, 2007 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |
  2. Hening, Sturbridge, MA

    A Republican victory in Congress is clearly a step in the right direction, not retreating like the other party of surrender. The majority of Americans will not surrender, and neither should the Republicans.

    July 20, 2007 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
  3. bret, atl, ga

    Unless you guys come around to Ron Paul's side, the GOP is finished for a long, long time. Of course, that assumes the Dems don't screw everything up for themselves, which is always a possibility.

    July 20, 2007 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  4. MCD, San Francisco

    "Hold their own?" I don't think so. The republican congress has shown themselves to be a bunch of Bush todies. Incapable of independent thought or action. They have shown (time & time again)that they hold politics and partisanship above the American People and the Constitution.
    They helped Bush usurp power that had the direct result of making them weaker... does that make any kind of sense?

    July 20, 2007 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
  5. Jeff Spangler, Arlington, VA

    "The numbers are against us." No, Mitch, _you_ are against yourselves in the minds of the American electorate.

    July 20, 2007 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  6. Luis, Miami Florida

    If you are doing a lousy job why should we re-hire you?

    July 20, 2007 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  7. Paul, New Orleans, LA

    Bret in Atl is right. The only republican I am voting for is Ron Paul. If not him, I will have to, not liking the idea, vote for a Democrat. I think we need some who will actually follow the Constitution and actually is convervative.

    July 20, 2007 05:21 pm at 5:21 pm |
  8. Mike L Williamsport, PA

    Statements like that this far our are exactly why we are in trouble. The Republican leadership has no vision, no drive, no nothing!

    July 20, 2007 05:52 pm at 5:52 pm |
  9. Glen Parker, Glendora, CA

    In 2008 Senate race there are 12 Democrats and 22 Republicans will be up for reelection. The GOP should remember this and decide to be loyal to thier public or or loyal to a very unpopular President.

    July 20, 2007 08:40 pm at 8:40 pm |
  10. Bob, San Francisco, CA

    Is is just me that thinks Mitch McConnel looks like one of those mean,racist politicians of the old South? I'm not saying he is, so chill out with your angry responses cooking in your head (conservatives). Actually, his arrogant defiance of all things reasonable doesn't make him that much better in my book.

    July 20, 2007 08:51 pm at 8:51 pm |
  11. Mike, Corpus Christi Texas

    A Republican victory in Congress in 08? LOL, it ain't gonna happen! "Not retreating like the other party of surrender." I suppose that outlandish comment was meant about Iraq. MOST Americans be they Republican, Democrat, or somewhere in between, realize it's time to get the hell out of Iraq. Now sure, you have the die hard Bush supporters who are willing to support him at any cost (Nixon had the same loyalists). To stay in Iraq is not a case of being a patriotic American, it's a case about supporting an American presence in Iraq indefinately at any cost; and to support the 'Bush Doctrine.' A blood bath is going on in Iraq due to the mere presence of US forces being there. And, a blood bath will intensify between all of the tribal factions yes Al Qaeda included, when US forces leave. So, to support being in Iraq means to support the "body bag" industry. So, like Vietnam, it's a question of when do we pull out? Do we wait 15 years at the cost of 59,000 American lives? Or do we leave as soon as possible? There are no good options about Iraq, only bad ones. Getting out as soon as possible is the 'least bad one.' It's not up to US forces to stabilize Iraq, that's an impossible task. Can the Iraqi's do it on their own? Well, the sooner they get the chance to go it alone, they either will, or will not. It's got nothing to do with a US military victory over there, that is an absolutey impossible scenario. Trying to insatll a "Jeffersonian Democracy" on an Islamic Arab country that has been at war with itself for over a 1000 years going back to the Profit Mohammed, AIN'T GONNA HAPPEN!!!

    July 20, 2007 09:27 pm at 9:27 pm |
  12. Mark, San Antonio, TX

    The Republicans are so out of touch with America that we can't afford to have them regain control of the Senate. Hopefully by the elections, we'll be out of Iraq. If we were, and the Republicans won, they'd probably send us back!!

    July 20, 2007 10:14 pm at 10:14 pm |
  13. Anonymous

    I do not know who I will vote for but I know who I will not vote for. I will not vote for anyone that does vow to reduce the number of immigrant guest workers and remove the job market and incentives for Illegals to stay.

    July 20, 2007 11:54 pm at 11:54 pm |
  14. Rick, Chicago Illinois

    Hening, Sturbridge, MA .. "The majority of Americans will not surrender, and neither should the Republicans."

    The majority of Americans disapprove of the war and want the troops home – which is why YOUR party of chest thumping, "bomb the hell out of anything that doesn't like us – and then it will" neocons got fleeced on Nov 7th!

    If you watched something besides FOX News and you might have known that.

    July 21, 2007 01:35 am at 1:35 am |
  15. Arlin, Maple Shade, nj

    Writers talk about the "Will of the People". Yes they want out of Iraq but somehow I don't think they want to invite Osama, Obama, Pelosi, Reid and Hillary into the Pentagon to review and copy the Military strategic and tactical plans for Iraq Then use them against our own troops. Yes I said Osama because you might as well since he would have them anyway. If we do that, then we better start ordering a lot of body bags. You can't even get the game plan for a football game so why should we publish our game plan for Iraq? This whole Democrat thing of "wanting a plan" is nothing short of grand standing and headline grabbing. It would be totally irresponsible for the White House and the Pentagon to provide such a document. Like it or not, The President is still the "Commander in Chief". I don't believe any of the principle people calling for such a plan to be "published" are Generals. Congress authorized the war and to pull the rug out from under it in the manner being suggested would be criminal.

    July 21, 2007 03:58 am at 3:58 am |
  16. Wayne, Sydney, Australia

    The only question this Australian wants to know is whether the GOP can hold the Whitehouse.

    Thats the only question the rest of World wants to know.

    July 21, 2007 09:41 am at 9:41 am |
  17. GAC, MI, Florida

    The Republicons don't deserve to win anything. They've lied, cheated and deceived the American people so they could advance their own agenda.

    July 21, 2007 09:46 am at 9:46 am |
  18. John from America

    The Republican party could care less if they get majorities in congress since they have already accomplished all they set out to do; they have destroyed the middle class, cut taxes on the rich, packed the courts and justice department and can now sit behind the filibuster to retain their spoils.

    July 21, 2007 02:16 pm at 2:16 pm |
  19. Poker Man, Weston, WV

    Hold your own? It saddens me to say, not this time.
    The GOP has completely lost touch with the average American.
    We want representation not based on the right wing religious moralist but on the true American values.
    We do not need nor want a government to come in our homes and manage our lives, you in government have enough to do already.

    July 21, 2007 05:06 pm at 5:06 pm |
  20. Loma Linda, Ca.

    As a Staunch Conservative Christian Republican, I herby declare that my party has become the greatest laughing stock ever while constantly skinning the Democrats, claiming all goodness for it. This condition is most certainly not the fault of the American people, especially Republican, but the fault of the Republican politicians in Washington. As a legal immigrant of 51 years and becoming a Republicn as soon as was legally possible, I have voted for my party. However, now looking back it seems to me that all I have accomplished, is voting for more corruption as the years went by. I feel evermore that I am back from where I came from over a half a cnetury ago, the more this Emperor George W. speaks. If I miss something, will some courages one, offer me some advise, please?

    July 22, 2007 10:02 am at 10:02 am |