March 27th, 2009
02:40 PM ET
12 years ago

Senate GOP plots comeback

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption=" Sen. Mitch McConnell also said he doesn't mind the 'party of no' label congressional Democrats and the White House try to pin on Republican."]WASHINGTON (CNN) - Despite crushing defeats in the last two elections, Senate Republicans have new "energy and enthusiasm" aimed at winning back the majority, says their leader, Sen. Mitch McConnell of Kentucky.

Why the turnaround?

"President Bush had become extremely unpopular, and politically he was sort of a millstone around our necks in both '06 and '08," McConnell said in a roundtable with reporters Friday. "We now have the opportunity to be on offense, offer our own ideas and we will win some."

Many of those ideas get presented as amendments to Democratic bills which, though usually defeated, can still draw attention to GOP policy alternatives and often force Democrats to take difficult votes.

"They become the way you chart the course for a comeback," McConnell said. "Which in this country, always happens at some point."

"The pendulum swings," he said.

Interestingly, McConnell said many of the clever ideas for amendments come from conservative think tanks and other Republican thinkers off Capitol Hill.

"Newt Gingrich, for example, has an idea a minute. Many of those are quite good. Many of those become amendments," he said.

McConnell also said he doesn't mind the "party of no" label congressional Democrats and the White House try to pin on Republicans.

"I don't feel anyone should be apologetic for opposing a bad idea," McConnell said. "I'm not fearful of an effort to demonize dissent," he said.

Filed under: GOP • Mitch McConnell • Senate
soundoff (138 Responses)
  1. Lori from Delaware

    "President Bush had become extremely unpopular, and politically he was sort of a millstone around our necks

    This thinking was originally true. Bush was a millstone around our necks. But that has faded away. Boehner and Cantor, Limbaugh and Colter are doing a fine job with that now. Bush can't be blamed any more.

    March 27, 2009 06:41 pm at 6:41 pm |
  2. flybyshoeing

    "We now have the opportunity to be on offense, offer our own ideas and we will win some."

    That's a very telling statement isn't it. Whose ideas were they offering before? Bush? Cheney? Rove? Rush? Media Research Center? Aren't they supposed to be representing their constituents? How sad, I'm glad my rep is a democrat.

    March 27, 2009 07:00 pm at 7:00 pm |
  3. Mark Ramsey MD, Milwaukee WI

    Seriously? Mitch McConnell is the voice for "enthusiasm and energy" in the republican party? I don't know whether to laugh or be really, REALLY afraid...

    March 27, 2009 07:05 pm at 7:05 pm |
  4. Donna from Colorado Springs

    The Republican party isn't staging a comeback.........not unless it changes the way it thinks. That will NEVER happen and the country will not go back to its old ways of believing that the right wing of this country has all the answers. Eight years of Bush with his secret agendas, lies, and corruption have taught the country that the Republican party CANNOT be trusted. They can strut around and proclaim anything they want and try to convince the country that Obama is a socialist. It doesn't sell anymore! Until the day that the Republican party puts the people of our country ahead of the parties needs, they will never be strong again. They are conceited,arrogant and uncaring towards the plight of anyone who isn't rich and republican. Good riddance!

    March 27, 2009 07:05 pm at 7:05 pm |
  5. w.l. jones

    Virginian run for the mountian the only thing those conservative going to give you wet grits and a promise like the last eight. We all know if the economic heat up to fast every body lose imfalction will eat up all our gain.

    March 27, 2009 07:08 pm at 7:08 pm |
  6. Cynthia - Arkansas

    Good luck to you on that! A budget with no numbers is a good start. I laughed so hard I cried. These people are ridiculous!

    March 27, 2009 07:08 pm at 7:08 pm |
  7. Maggie in NY

    Mr. McConnell, I voted republican exactly one time in my life, and that was Ronald Reagan for his second term. If a viable republican candidate had surfaced after that time, I might have considered it. However, I see what the republican party has become, especially in the last decade, and I don't like it at all. Republicans have now decided to diss President Bush because of his unpopularity, but you were right there with him every step of the way for his entire 8 years in office. I will never vote republican again. Never.

    Today, the republican party is calling democrats in the 20th Congressional District, posing as a pollster. You think you are being polled because they are asking you what party you belong to, are you going to vote for Murphy or Tedisco, and other questions. When you tell them you're voting for Scott Murphy, they tell all kinds of lies and half-truthes trying to convince you to vote for Tedisco. Seems mighty desperate for a heavily republican district...mighty desperate indeed. Ha Ha Ha

    March 27, 2009 07:17 pm at 7:17 pm |
  8. Ron

    The Obama-droids don't remember the Republican juggernaut that overcame the Clinton administration. If history has taught us anything, it's knowing that all the Republicans have to do is lay back, because Democrats have a tendency to hang themselves. Day by day, there's another piece of lumber added to their gallows. The party that advertised themselves as the party of inclusion, has turned into the party of seclusion and collusion.

    They adhor the backdoor politics that feel plagued the Republican administrations, but mobilize Move-On and ACORN to accomplish the same for their objectives.

    A rebellion is in the making.

    March 27, 2009 07:19 pm at 7:19 pm |
  9. DavidinCA

    @Ray who said," Ok, so the Republicans admit they have no ideas of their own, all they can do is counter Democrat party ideas? Is that any way to become the leader of a nation?"

    How about Obama running on an anti-Bush campaign when President Bush wasn't even running because of term limits? The punch line is that Democratic voters ate it up. Now in office he apparently forgot all about his campaign platform. Serves you right ( when you wanted left ).

    March 27, 2009 07:23 pm at 7:23 pm |
  10. Toni

    How interesting that the Pubs NOW see Bush as a millstone around their delicate necks. They apparently did not feel that way during the eight years when they gave him everything he arrogantly demanded. As a true independant who voted Democrat, I'd like to see a level-headed Republican Party responding to Democratic legislators. But they continue to be name-calling idealogues with apparently no clear thought as to who they are, what they stand for and what they really want for this country besides their own power. Well, the Whigs and Torries didn't last forever either.

    March 27, 2009 07:24 pm at 7:24 pm |
  11. sandee in Portland

    Until the republican party starts getting rid of their old politcians who have been in office forever and get some young blood in who are actually for the entire USA, I will never vote republican again. And, if the democrats dont' get rid of their politicians who have also been in office forever, I am an independent. Who cares what party is in control. What's important is that these people realize they are voted into office to do good for the country, not for themselves. They are the people's servants, or at least that's what they're supposed to be. However, most of them have been in office for so long, they have forgotten that and are only concerned with their own self-serving interests and, of course, being re-elected. Term limits for all politicians!

    March 27, 2009 07:24 pm at 7:24 pm |
  12. MK

    Are they making a comeback based on their fictious budget? The GOP is a laughable bunch of morons, lead by Steele who hoodwinked people into voting him into office...major voter fraud....and then we have good 'ole bigot Rush to lie, cheat and pill pop his way into the hearts of bigots all over America. Bunch of losers, all of them.

    March 27, 2009 07:25 pm at 7:25 pm |
  13. david Otteson

    I am not a fan of the two partys acting with their " us vs them mentality." WE THE PEOPLE is what the constitution says and that needs to be the first and formost thought of any elected offical. The bikering is why they have lost so much ground and will continue too.
    Kick them all out and let UPS run the country.

    March 27, 2009 07:46 pm at 7:46 pm |
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