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

Senate GOP plots comeback

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/03/27/art.getty.mitch.mcconnell.jpg 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. ConsiderThis, FL

    Not in your, your children's or your grandchildren's lifetime, Sir. Republicans will be extinct by 2012.

    March 27, 2009 03:15 pm at 3:15 pm |
  2. Sheryl

    Oh lord and the beat goes on!!! (eyes rolling)

    March 27, 2009 03:16 pm at 3:16 pm |
  3. Unemployed

    With McConnell's new ideas it will be partisanship and obstructionism as usual

    March 27, 2009 03:16 pm at 3:16 pm |
  4. Jon in CA

    The FACT is – democrats lead by Obama, Pelosi, and Reid are lurching the country to the far left – adding to the deficit 10X what Bush did in 8 years. (No exageration!)

    Add in Obama's complete incompetence in foreign affairs, Gitmo, appointments, etc.... Obama will help the GOP more than Jimmy Carter did in 1976!

    March 27, 2009 03:17 pm at 3:17 pm |
  5. MMD

    I hope what that when the pendulum swings, his big empty head is in its path.

    March 27, 2009 03:17 pm at 3:17 pm |
  6. Moderate in N.E.

    WHO CARES WHICH PARTY IS IN THE MAJORITY???????????? Would you people kindly turn your attention to doing your freakin job (i.e. representation) and stop trying to decide how to pick up this demographic or that demographic! Please, please, PLEASE stop with party fights and start looking at the country as a whole. Or do we really have a civil war on our hands and I was simply unaware of it? No seriously, have we gotten to the point where we really are such a Country divided that what is important is which party is in the majority?? Maybe the independents have been right these last few years and I have simply been too slow to catch on.... perhaps we really are too far divided.

    March 27, 2009 03:17 pm at 3:17 pm |
  7. Irma in North Carolina

    This party never will make a comeback as long as they listen to Rush Coulter and Ingram. And as long as they keep going against every thing the president is trying to do. And the canidates they have thrown out for 2012. Sarah, Bobby, Mark. These three dont even want to help the people of their own states. I am sure the American people will remember this when election times comes.

    March 27, 2009 03:18 pm at 3:18 pm |
  8. D Va.

    2010 getting close? Republicans do not care about the country, only their elections and I might add, those 16 Blue Dog Democrats are no better. I for one would not care if all were replaced by younger, educated, men and women who will be looking to their future for a better America. It is their future and their time to get involved.

    March 27, 2009 03:19 pm at 3:19 pm |
  9. Ray

    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?

    March 27, 2009 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
  10. jay

    A detailed budget will be a good start

    March 27, 2009 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
  11. Franky

    Wha...what? LOL!!

    In that case, I don't feel the Dems should feel apologetic as well, you lose some, you win some, that's how it is...

    March 27, 2009 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |
  12. The Flaccid Rushpublicans Can't Get A Boehner & Keep It Up

    Senate Republicans have new "energy and enthusiasm"

    If wattle-necked McConnell is the symbol of that new energy and ethusiasm, the GOP is in worse trouble than I thought.

    March 27, 2009 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |
  13. Alfred E. Neumann

    A winning strategy for the GOP might be to get out of the way and let the Democratic Party self destruct.

    March 27, 2009 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |
  14. Mari

    Dear GOP,

    You are the "Party of NO" ..... you are the Grand Obstructionist Party, and the party of hate, lies, fear and division.

    As long as your mouthpieces include Coulter, Limbaugh, Hannitty.... etc., we, the American People who rejected your vile politics will continue to reject you!

    Where are your solutions? Your alternative budget? Your new ideas?

    Crickets chirping.

    March 27, 2009 03:22 pm at 3:22 pm |
  15. Al, NY NY

    Let's see....there mantra will be "tax cuts and deregulation"...how very original

    March 27, 2009 03:22 pm at 3:22 pm |
  16. Mark from Mi

    I'm glad to see he knows how to dream!

    March 27, 2009 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  17. TracyM.

    Well, if the last few months are any indication, the GOP has their work cut out for them. Sarah Palin and Michael Steele are quickly becoming the laughing-stocks they deserve to be. The Republican "budget" unveiled yesterday was ridiculous - a huge tax break for those making over $100,000 per year and "drill drill drill." We elected Obama to create green energy and the jobs to go along with them. We elected him to repair our failing infrastructure and humiliating educational system. Anyone who thought those efforts would be free is just plain crazy. The longer we put them off, the more expensive they will be. We voted down drilling and we voted down tax breaks. We did it in November and we'll keep doing it until we get what we asked for! It's a new day, GOP, and until you can think up something new, be quiet!

    March 27, 2009 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  18. LYNETTE IN CA

    Good luck with that! You don't have any new ideas.
    It's more of the lame same game.
    You people couldn't even make a budget!
    Where are the numbers?

    March 27, 2009 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  19. Andrew from Illinois

    I'm pretty sure Mitch is feeling too full of himself if he really thinks Republicans can come back to the majority any time soon. And how anyone can like the party of no label is beyond me.

    March 27, 2009 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  20. Marge

    COMEBACK...boy they sure got off to a good start. Denying and obstructing everything that has been proposed to bring the country back. After all they along with bush are responsible for the hole we are in now. They only way they can STAGE A COMEBACK is to help the democrats to start to pull us out of this mess...NOT obstruct everything trying to be done.

    In fact they look like a bunch of little bees running from mike to mike with the long faced group staged around them, obstructing and slurring the status quo.

    March 27, 2009 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
  21. katiec

    What world of make believe does this man live in?
    Until the republicans start representing the betterment of our country and us they will never have a comeback.
    Republican thinkers? Where are they hiding as have seen nothing from any of them but attacks, lies, pandering in front of cameras and support of their party first, outdated, unworkable ideas. If the budget they presented represents their thinkers they are in a world of
    hurt.

    March 27, 2009 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
  22. t town

    this old man is the reason for term limits.......they just don't have a clue as to why we (AMERICA) do not want the GOP operation or running our COUNTRY

    March 27, 2009 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
  23. James

    We need new republican and democratic parties. Just vote out all the old heads and vote in some new.

    March 27, 2009 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
  24. Demo no mas

    Opposing bad ideas wasn't very popular a few years ago. Come to think about it, opposing bad ideas has never been liked by the party in power. If Obama wants change, then lets start by calling a bad idea what it is front, no matter whose it is. The last 100 days seems to be a logjam of bad economic ideas. Slow down & think of the consequences.

    March 27, 2009 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
  25. alpha_nu_916

    "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.

    your party is not becoming obsolete because of W or an unpopular war. your party is going the way of the dodo because it is a good ol' boys club & despite your recent efforts at parading out your token minority members – palin, jindal, steele – all of whom failed miserably at achieving whatever they sought to acomplish.
    america is no longer white america. the perfect 1950's that republicans long for – althought in reality far from perfect – are never coming back. science is not the enemy. keep up, republican party, or fall further behind.

    March 27, 2009 03:30 pm at 3:30 pm |
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