March 29th, 2009
06:38 PM ET
13 years ago

McConnell: I'm 'disappointed' in Obama's lack of bipartisanship

WASHINGTON (CNN) – A leading congressional Republican did not pull any punches Sunday when asked whether President Obama had kept one of his most prominent campaign promises.

“I must say I'm disappointed,” Senate Minority Mitch McConnell of Kentucky said Sunday on CNN’s State of the Union. “After two months, the president has not governed in the middle as I had hoped he would. But it's not too late. He's only been in office a couple of months. Still before him are the opportunities to deal with us on a truly bipartisan basis,” the Republican told CNN Chief National Correspondent John King.

McConnell also criticized the president’s $3.6 trillion budget and the ambitious agenda on education, energy, and health care which the budget seeks to implement.

“Republicans are very much in favor of dealing with [the country’s economic crisis],” McConnell said. “What we're not in favor of is going on this spending spree over the next five to 10 years and sending the bill to our grandchildren.”

Obama’s administration “is going to be the furthest to the left of any government . . . certainly in my lifetime,” McConnell also told King. “I’m not sure that’s what people voted for. I mean they were angry with President Bush. They were not happy with the economy.... Whether they intended to see America kind of turned into a Western European country as a result of an explosion of spending and debt and regulation is another matter.”

On Iraq and Afghanistan, McConnell did have some tongue-in-cheek praise for Obama.

“I want to commend the administration,” the leading Senate Republican said. “The surge in Iraq worked. I wish they could bring themselves to say that and I think the surge in Afghanistan is likely to work as well under the brilliant leadership of General Petraeus.”

“The administration is essentially adopting the policies of the Bush administration and both Iraq and Afghanistan. And I want to commend them for it,” McConnell said.

soundoff (98 Responses)
  1. Mike L

    McConnell is one of the worst Senators in my memory. I am not a Democrat, either. He is just a blathering blowhard like Reid. We should sent both of them into space for a long trip to Mars.

    What would you expect any Republican to say about Obama? The president could find a cure for cancer and eliminate Al Qaeda, and the Republicans would still find him "disappointing".

    Personally, I do not agree with a lot of his agenda, but it's nice to have a president who actually communicates with us, instead of running a secret presidency. I haven't seen him go off to cut brush yet, either.

    Washington must be in shock, going from a do-nothing president who went on vacation and left the country at the mercy of Cheney, Rumsfeld, and other neocons, to a president who actually works long hours and in involved at every level of his administration.

    March 29, 2009 05:10 pm at 5:10 pm |
  2. Vincent Petrosino

    McConnell should have lost his bid this last election. Where WAS the bipartisanship when the GOP ruled to roost? This is so typically hypocritical of the GOP. He along with his colleagues offer NO solutions. A 19 page pamphlet with two staples and NO details put out by GOP congressmen says it all. Hopefully, more and more Americans will see what I see: that the GOP and their conservative base are inhumane, selfish, elitist, anti-intellectual bigots only concerned about winning and being in power and not about people and people's welfare. Let's relegate this party to becoming only a regional one!

    March 29, 2009 05:10 pm at 5:10 pm |
  3. independent wonderer

    HOGWASH ! the repubs have gone to great lengths to whine, complain and fight Pres Obama..Obama has tried to be bi partisian, repubs wouldnt have any of it..Sen McConnel, go back to your tribe of repugs, get your act together, and then try to be bi partisian yourselves instead of just party of NO..what you really mean, is Obama wont let y'all have your way, so you will continue to whine, stomp feet, throw fits...

    March 29, 2009 05:10 pm at 5:10 pm |
  4. Bill Lewis

    I would bet that President Obama has had more sit downs with Republicans in two months than President Bush had with Dems in 8 years. The GOP's definition of bipartisanship must mean that President Obama MUST adopt all their ideas and policies(even the old, tired policies of a failed administration). As a reminder, you guys lost, deal with it.

    March 29, 2009 05:10 pm at 5:10 pm |
  5. Kentuckian

    Mitch we've seen your party of "NO" in action since Jan 20, you and your followers in the senate are "IDIOTS" why should the President be accountable to you and your party? was BUSHY and CHUCKLES accountable to the DEMS? (I think not)
    MITCH fooled a lot of KY voters last election, I hope they've realized this by now!

    March 29, 2009 05:11 pm at 5:11 pm |
  6. Nola

    Senator McConnell and his wife (former Sect of Labor) help create this big financial and lack of job mess and he has the nerves to be talking about President Obama's ideas.

    March 29, 2009 05:11 pm at 5:11 pm |
  7. Mac

    So Mitch McConnell is "disappointed" in Obama and the Democrats.

    Well, Mr. McConnell, we've all been far more than disappointed in the rule of Bush and the Republicans over the previous eight years. Speaking of bipartisanship, just how "bipartisan" was Tom Delay? Now that you're at the receiving end, it seem that you just can't take it.

    March 29, 2009 05:12 pm at 5:12 pm |
  8. Donald in CA

    Where was Mitch(the economics expert) when the republicans had
    the Presidency and getting us into this mess. This old tired right wing
    rhetoric is what the people rejected on November 4, 2008.

    March 29, 2009 05:12 pm at 5:12 pm |
  9. DEM in HI

    I am disappointed that neither party wants the other to succeed. So we all lose. Bush and the GOP were a disgrace for going on their spending spree for six years. And the Democrats and Obama are not doing any better.

    Congress and the executive branch should not get any pay checks unless they balance the budget. Bet, you would see a lot of balanced budgets if that was law. Gee whiz, living within your budget, now there is a novel idea.

    March 29, 2009 05:13 pm at 5:13 pm |
  10. Michael

    How disingenuous. The Republican's, with McConell their leader for much of the time, governed like Hitler. They screwed this country big time and now the party of "it's our way or the highway" has turned into the party of "NO", whining and crying. Grow up and shut up Republicans. Get out of the way and give Obama a chance. Freaking babies.

    March 29, 2009 05:14 pm at 5:14 pm |
  11. Ribber

    Spare me. McConnell is one of the biggest reasons why the GOP won't work with Democrats. Fortunately, no one listens to him. He's done.

    March 29, 2009 05:14 pm at 5:14 pm |
  12. Lucy

    It takes two to tango Sen. McConnell. I am disappointed, but not shocked, by the lack of bipartisanship demonstrated by the Republicans. Their actions say obstructionism is more important than substantive arguments. Take their "budget plan" that has neither a budget nor a plan! The thing is a rehash of failed ideology. Please Mitch, step up to the plate and actually put some new ideas on the table. Americans are sick of gamesmanship, we want solutions.

    March 29, 2009 05:15 pm at 5:15 pm |
  13. Obama from Chicago

    Between this clown, the clowns in the GOP House and that new clown heading up the RNC, the GOP is headed in the right a cliff.

    March 29, 2009 05:15 pm at 5:15 pm |
  14. Saul- Virginia

    Are these republican leaders stupid? Or do they think the american people are?

    Everyone is well aware of the efforts of the president to work with their stubborn narrow minded groupies.



    March 29, 2009 05:16 pm at 5:16 pm |
  15. Will

    It's kind of hard to deliver on bipartisanism when the opposing side "hopes you fail" and do everything possible to ensure it.

    March 29, 2009 05:16 pm at 5:16 pm |
  16. james

    funny....republicans accusing a democrat of not being bipartisan. pot, meet kettle.

    March 29, 2009 05:17 pm at 5:17 pm |
  17. Saul- Virginia

    AND please shut up about the surge and move on!!

    March 29, 2009 05:17 pm at 5:17 pm |
  18. patty driggers

    Do you really think this bit of information is newsworthy?

    March 29, 2009 05:17 pm at 5:17 pm |
  19. SJ

    SHOCKING a Repub is "disappointed" in President Obama. This is news!!! WOW, unbelieveable!

    I am neither a repub or a dem and I think it is disappointing the the Repubs don't find some common ground – time for them to step up to the plate, not the other way around!

    March 29, 2009 05:17 pm at 5:17 pm |
  20. Ann

    Grow up people and take some criticism. The Golden child is not perfect.

    March 29, 2009 05:17 pm at 5:17 pm |
  21. robert p

    hahahah cry cry cry cry cry GOP is done!!!!!!!!!!!!

    March 29, 2009 05:18 pm at 5:18 pm |
  22. Junakirii

    Gosh. Mitch McConnell is disappointed. Go figure.

    March 29, 2009 05:18 pm at 5:18 pm |
  23. John Bushings

    Now if that isn't calling the kettle black I don't know what is. The republicans are a disgrace and are in disarray. Nobody demonstrates that fact better than McConnell. He has not submitted one single idea towards overcoming our current economic crisis. Not one. Does the press report this? Not on your life!

    March 29, 2009 05:18 pm at 5:18 pm |
  24. David Starnes

    I still want to know why GOP did'nt say squat about Dubya doubling the National Debt while they were in control???????????????????????

    March 29, 2009 05:18 pm at 5:18 pm |
  25. skeeve

    Republicans are disappointed? You know what I am wondering when I hear things like this? Is this person actually believes in what he is saying. If he is then how possibly can he ignore glaring lack of any desire on the republican side to compromise... It is very apparent that for republicans now bipartisanship means following republican program program to a single letter. Frankly, at this point whenever a republican politician talks I really don't know what to do either laugh or cry.

    March 29, 2009 05:19 pm at 5:19 pm |
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