March 24th, 2010
07:19 AM ET
8 years ago

McConnell: Republicans will run on 'repeal and replace'

Washington (CNN) – Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Kentucky, said Tuesday that the GOP will make Democrats' recently passed health care bill the centerpiece of its midterm election strategy.

"Repeal and replace will be the slogan for the fall," McConnell said in an interview on John King, USA.

The leading Republican told CNN Chief National Correspondent John King there were some reforms in the health care bill that could have been agreed to on a bipartisan basis. But McConnell charged that the bill's cuts to the Medicare program, new taxes and the possibility of higher individual insurance premiums were all things that Republicans would like to see changed.

Explaining the "repeal and replace" slogan, McConnell added, "And we're going to remind the American people of that in the future and hopefully we'll be able to repeal the most egregious parts of this and replace them with things we could have done on a bipartisan basis much earlier this year."

McConnell sat down with King on the same day that debate began in the Senate on a second bill of amendments to the main health care bill that Congress passed Sunday. Republicans have already begun to submit a barrage of amendments to the second, smaller bill which are intended to make it very difficult for the second bill to make its way through the Senate unchanged as required by the special procedure Democrats are using to avoid a GOP filibuster.

Related: GOP starts effort to block changes to new law

Asked about the second bill, the Kentucky Republican predicted that the smaller bill would not get any support from Senate Republicans.

"All of our members will vote no," McConnell told King. "And actually a number of Democrats will vote no as well. The only thing bipartisan about this bill will be the opposition to it."

McConnell left open the possibility of more debate over health care reform if his party is successful in preventing passage of the second bill in the Senate.

"The American people expect us to try to change this if we can, and if we can get a simple majority under the procedures that are laid out in this particular measure, we can change it, send it back to the House and continue the debate," McConnell told King. "And the debate, by the way, will not be over today. This is the beginning of it."

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Filed under: GOP • Health care • JKUSA • John King USA • Mitch McConnell
soundoff (47 Responses)
  1. It Won't Matter

    Dems just got 36 million solid votes. Call me crazy, but I am going to love getting this entitlement. I am never voting Republican again. They had 8 years to help me, but helped themselves and the insurance companies instead. Sorry Mitch, you guys had your chance!

    March 24, 2010 08:46 am at 8:46 am |
  2. Bill Trout

    If the Republicans are willing to work to replace some of the parts of the health care bill in a bipartisan fashion now, why couldn't they work with the Majority party during the development of the bill and participated more maturely in the debate? Also, the Republicans feel that they speak for "the American People" but, I am an American person, retired military officer, 58 years old, and they do not speak for me. I am proud that President Obama and the Democratic majority had the courage to pass this major reform of health care. Is it perfect? No, but show me anything political that is.

    March 24, 2010 08:47 am at 8:47 am |
  3. Liz

    Yeah, that's a winning strategy. run on repealing all the good this bill will do for the American people and replacing it with something guaranteed to do nothing to improve the lives of Americans. yeah, i can see anyone with an IQ bigger than their hat size voting for that. Jim DeMented said if we can defeat healthcare we can break Obama, it'll be his Waterloo. well, it was his waterloo, but the rethuglisaurs are napoleon! you lost! you do not speak for the American people, only the rich, the stupid, and the crazy. most of the opposition to this bill is based on lies spread by people who have a vested interest in maintaining the status quo. when people finally learn the truth, the opposition will disappear. and all the anger about having to buy health insurance is nonsense. you have to buy car insurance, and for the exact same reason. it's called being a responsible citizen. the right is always talking about how they want people to be responsible for themselves. well, this bill does that! we pay thru the nose for uninsured people's health care now. any true fiscal conservative, which as a social liberal i am, understands how this benefits everyone. wake up and don't let the repuglisaurs take away something that the American people, including Richard Nixon, have fought for for a century.

    March 24, 2010 08:49 am at 8:49 am |
  4. Freddy

    The fate of the Dems in November will rest upon how well the specific benefits of the new law are explained by them. The Dems have to take control of the national conversation about the law, and not allow the GOP to continue with the "death panels" and other nonsense which has poisened the well.

    And I would highlight McCain's statement, that the GOP will not cooperate with the Dems at all. He stated what we all knew: the GOP isn't interested in the issues, only to bring down Obama and the Dems. Or to turn a McCain phrase: "Partisan Politics First, Country Last."

    March 24, 2010 08:50 am at 8:50 am |
  5. brad

    So the GOP will run on the strategy of ensuring millions without health care and allowing for insurance companies to deny coverage for pre-existing conditions.

    Sounds like another winning GOP idea.

    March 24, 2010 08:51 am at 8:51 am |
  6. anthony

    Yes replace it with a savings account incase you get cancer. Thanks Turtle man. Stale ineffective ideas from 20 years ago. There will never be a repeal.

    March 24, 2010 08:51 am at 8:51 am |
  7. Marie MD

    mcconnel and his party of no need to go hide under their desk. Not only don't we have to worry about job loss and no insurance ($1000 monthly COBRA payments) but my 401k which lost 1/2 of its value under the shrub is now, FINALLY, gaining again.
    Yeah, I really want repugs in power.
    You can take boner and dimwit and limberger and silly crying beck, and, on hes, the quitter from AK and go live with mcnasty in AZ where it's already hot as hell!

    March 24, 2010 08:54 am at 8:54 am |
  8. Chuck Anaheim, Ca

    Don't think that will happen Mr. Negative. By the time you get enough votes to override a veto most of the good programs will be in effect. Do you actually think people will give it up that easy? Not likely! Thank you to the Democrats that have passed this bill that may not be perfect but was crafted in a way to make it very difficult for the republicants to defeat.

    March 24, 2010 08:54 am at 8:54 am |
  9. charles

    Will someone please remind me about what the republicans did post 1993? They killed Clinton's proposal from many of the same reasons they stood against Obama's proposal. They claimed they could do better. They claimed the could control costs and provide protections and care without single payer (that first proposal 17 years ago) and without the parts of this bill they do not feel are well crafted and will cause harm to finances and civil liberties.

    Then in 200 the country elected George Bush. The republicans controlled the house and senate from 1994-2006 and the white house from 2000-2008. Both were repblican for 6 years in that span. We got Meidacare part D. An unfunded expansion of drug benefits for seniors. A decent idea, but one that did not address any of the concerns of the American people. And these concerns are real, Obama ran on them and initially got hgh poll morks for health care until the attacks started. And Medicare part D increased governemtn costs with no offsetting saveings or revinue. Period.

    So now, why exactly should I believe Mitch McConnell? Whd do we really think the Republicans can deliver anything better than this? It is a nice rhetorical statement. But the facts clearly indicate that it is a lie. Sure they want to repeal this bill, but make no mistake, they have no interest to actually improve our heatlh care system. After all during 12 years of control of hte congress they introduced no bills to do so and during 8 years in the white house, they provided no leadership on the issue.

    Empty retoric is the worst of our government and the repbulicans, on this issue (specifically), appear to have conrnered the market

    March 24, 2010 08:55 am at 8:55 am |
  10. David

    GOP = FEAR

    March 24, 2010 08:56 am at 8:56 am |
  11. beevee

    If they run on that in the upcoming elections they (the GOP) will definitely be replaced (I hope). A better policy is to move on and focus on other things important (jobs and economy) to us.

    March 24, 2010 08:56 am at 8:56 am |
  12. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    I gag everytime I hear a Rethug utter the word 'bipartisan'. Their definition of said word is: do it our way or no way. I gag when I hear them say that they speak for Americans. I think the only 'Americans" you speak for are quite capable of speaking, and SPITTING for themselves.

    What has happenned to the Republican Party? You can no longer claim that what this party is doing is 'to help Americans', not when you have blocked EVERY SINGLE BILL that this administration has tried to put through. Your real motives are so transparent that it should be embarrassing. Those that choose to believe that you are acting out of genuine concern for this country should stop spitting and using the N-word, and try getting an education instead. Maybe then they'll stop being duped by your blatant quest for power.

    March 24, 2010 08:58 am at 8:58 am |
  13. T


    March 24, 2010 08:58 am at 8:58 am |
  14. Mike

    These morons are just as bad as the other morons. I am waiting for someone to get hurt with they way they try to "rile" up the lemmings

    March 24, 2010 08:58 am at 8:58 am |
  15. jeff from chicago

    They have my vote, and as much funding as I can afford before the democrats take that away too along with the rest of my freedoms.

    March 24, 2010 08:59 am at 8:59 am |
  16. David

    A campaign of fear over the next several weeks will be any GOP's goal. They survive by preying on the HAVE NOTS and keep us there while they line there pockets with money from big oil and other corporations.

    March 24, 2010 08:59 am at 8:59 am |
  17. Andi

    oh, goody gumdrops. That's it? 'Repeal and Replace'? Great job, guys. Glad to see you have a goal to do one thing. Got more? You better, if you want to get elected.

    March 24, 2010 09:02 am at 9:02 am |
  18. Jay

    My god these guys are just nuts. Hey McConnell, besides the complete lies, is there anything your party really can say that is negative about helping people not get screwed by the insurance companies?

    March 24, 2010 09:03 am at 9:03 am |
  19. FL for Change

    He's kidding, right? This bill would have been bipartisan if the Repubs would have said "Yes" instead of "No" and were looking out for the best interests of Americans instead of the insurance companies who line their pockets with donations. This is disgusting.

    March 24, 2010 09:05 am at 9:05 am |
  20. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    Blah, Blah, Blah, get over it and stop wasting time and help Americans in their job search.

    March 24, 2010 09:09 am at 9:09 am |
  21. Dave

    Maybe they should run on "whine and cry." There's nothing worse than a bunch of sore losers. The GOP couldn't care less about health care as long as they have their own. They will try to repeal it (which won't happen), but they will not try to replace it.

    March 24, 2010 09:09 am at 9:09 am |
  22. Barbara

    Good luck with that.... Do you really want to stir up the 34 million uninsured who have just been given hope? Stay your course at your peril. The vote as of this date, as I see it, starts at 34 million to zero.

    March 24, 2010 09:14 am at 9:14 am |
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