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. nicholas

    Passing health care reform had to happen, the way it happened without republican support is bad for the country. However, it is a good thing, I can now buy some health insurance. What we need is an private organization that we can trust to make sure the american people get the facts about this bill. Both parties seem to be polluting the facts especially the republicans

    March 24, 2010 08:12 am at 8:12 am |
  2. Dennis, DC

    That's an excellent strategy minority leader!

    March 24, 2010 08:15 am at 8:15 am |
  3. TBA

    So basically the Republican going to run a campain to kill Americans who do not have health insurance and can't afford health insurance. That is what it basically boils down to. "Live with health insurance on the streets or die without health insurance in a home."

    March 24, 2010 08:16 am at 8:16 am |
  4. Obstructionist

    McConnell and his cohorts had plenty of chance to negotiate before but they chose to roll the dice that they could just obstruct and kill the bill.

    They lost.

    Now they want to repeal it even though it was a legally elected majority that passed health care reform.

    Let's replace the Republicans so our government can once again get into gear and work.

    March 24, 2010 08:17 am at 8:17 am |
  5. Gary

    I saw McConnel on TV saying Republicans could have worked with the White House on some of the issues in the Health Care bill. Why didn't you?

    March 24, 2010 08:17 am at 8:17 am |
  6. Dem from AZ

    Where was the Bipartisanship within the past year. I did not see the Republicans come to the table to help make the bill. Republican leaders need to be ashames that they did not work harder for their constituates in helping make a good bill.

    March 24, 2010 08:18 am at 8:18 am |
  7. Jim - PA

    Mitch McConnell is a walking sound bite for everything thats wrong with the Republican Party. "This is what were going to do...we have no other recourse than to run smear campaigns that are blanketed in overt fear. Outside of that we have no real solutions to correct the catastrophic health care system that exists in this country. To be honest, John, we secretly like this bill because it enables our financiers and true constituents(insurance companies) to gain even more wealth through mandated health insurance." When will America wake the hell up and realize there is no real reform unless Universal Health Care is enacted.

    March 24, 2010 08:18 am at 8:18 am |
  8. rdepontb

    You'all should have been this mentally engaged beforehand. You've had 14 months to "replace" anything you didn't like, or at least debate it.

    Mr. McConnell, your strategy has proved disastrous for the nation, and certainly to your once-worthy Party. You let your fringe take over. It is time for your generation of Senators and Congressmen to make way for new blood in the GOP. Please, now.

    March 24, 2010 08:21 am at 8:21 am |
  9. Annie, Atlanta

    You will have a lot of people who buy into your nonsense, McConnell. You already do. But some won't.

    Your plan from the day President Obama was sworn in, maybe even before, was to just say no, so he would fail (we would fail). What you didn't consider in that equation was how it looks to those of us paying attention. We see you choosing to destroy our country in order to regain power rather than do anything to move us forward. We also see that your interests lie with the corporations and banks, not with the people.

    So good luck with all this backpeddling. You chose not to have a seat at the table, even as the President bent over backwards and then some to include you, at the risk of angering his base. And we know this.

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

    It is disheartening to see the radical republicans brag and continue to try to cater only to themselves and big business and at the same time to deny All Americans an opportunity to have civil rights and healthcare. Shame Shame Shame.

    March 24, 2010 08:25 am at 8:25 am |
  11. John

    Get over it you bunch of whining babies. Instead of focusing on what's good for the commonfolk, all you're doing is focusing on keeping the insurance companies happy and money in your pockets. This bill is close to the same one that you shmucks wanted during the Clinton years, but now all of a sudden it's no good simply because it's a Democratic bill. I think "repeal and replace" is a GREAT slogan when it's applied to getting all you losers out of office!

    March 24, 2010 08:26 am at 8:26 am |
  12. Henry Miller, Libertarian

    And keep repealing and keep repealing until the whole catastrophe is repealed to nothingness.

    The country can't afford this insanity, this triumph of shiftless bums over working Americans.

    March 24, 2010 08:28 am at 8:28 am |
  13. Florida Joe

    Bring it on McChinless

    March 24, 2010 08:30 am at 8:30 am |
  14. john

    finally! republicans got what they've needed most ,after 21 years of reaganitis delusionitis, they'll be able to afford mental heath care

    March 24, 2010 08:30 am at 8:30 am |
  15. Fairplay

    Repeal and replace with what? That is the question!. They could not come up with covering more people and reducing cost. If they can, we should all vote for them. Do not hold your breath waiting for the better plan.

    March 24, 2010 08:31 am at 8:31 am |
  16. Replace Republiklans

    Only thing getting replaced in Washington are Republiklans. You've people have shown your true colors.

    March 24, 2010 08:32 am at 8:32 am |
  17. Abe

    What in the world is wrong with senator McConnell. Here is a guy who is so against the health care bill that I guess he has no heart for the needy. In today's comment on CNN he said we could have agreed on a few pieces of the legislation on a bipartisan way. Well Mr. McConnell you are too late as well as your colleagues. What he needs to do is work with the president, not be an obstacle and as true American accept the verdict. One day he will retire with all the frills and I hope when he does he has time to reflect on his opposition to the fundamental rights of the American people to be healthy. We are brought to this world the same way. The only thing that separates us is the haves and the have nots and it is about time we give to the have nots. God Bless our country.

    March 24, 2010 08:33 am at 8:33 am |
  18. ladymary

    You've been promising a health care bill for years and nothing. You will repeal, but I doubt you will replace. If you did replace you would lose all your big insurance and pharmacy contributors. We all KNOW you won't do that!!!!!!!

    March 24, 2010 08:34 am at 8:34 am |
  19. sherry

    There the repub's go again....Thinking their way is the only way.
    Holier than thou attitude. They had 8 years in the white house and did nothing for healthcare and now their willing to do something, but because they didnt come up with a solution they want to shoot down the democrats. I have never seen such a hate filled party......shame shame shame

    March 24, 2010 08:36 am at 8:36 am |
  20. Pragmatic

    Read the essay by David Frum: "The gap between this plan and traditional Republican ideas is not very big. The Obama plan has a broad family resemblance to Mitt Romney’s Massachusetts plan. It builds on ideas developed at the Heritage Foundation in the early 1990s that formed the basis for Republican counter-proposals to Clintoncare in 1993-1994."

    Think about our history: "We must repeal," the GOP leader argued. "The Republican Party is pledged to do this." That was Republican presidential nominee Alf Landon in a September 1936 campaign speech. He based his bid for the White House on repealing Social Security.:

    For a party that worships the past ... they don't seem to learn much from it!

    March 24, 2010 08:36 am at 8:36 am |
  21. Justin

    This strategy can actually work.... If the American public forgets that Republicans threw "fiscal responsibility" to the wind with the Iraq war and that Republicans did not even acknowledge the pending financial crises in 2008. Then again, most Americans forget Ronald Reagan gave amnesty to illegal aliens and supported the Brady bill and that without his support it never would have made it through congress for Clinton to sign.

    March 24, 2010 08:37 am at 8:37 am |
  22. Squigman

    I'm hoping that all republicans run to the largest body of water they can find, and go deep.

    March 24, 2010 08:38 am at 8:38 am |
  23. haren

    Republican are not interested any thing to do with health care.
    On November 2008 after Obama's victory they decided to oppose him and make his presidency fail.
    This are all talking points.
    Why they did not tackle all that issue which is so dear to them like, across the state line insurance and tort reform when they were in power in both houses and presidency.?

    March 24, 2010 08:41 am at 8:41 am |
  24. Kevin in Ohio

    The costs of this bill need to be stopped before thay become permanent. There is NOTHING in the present law that will reduce costs caused by greedy lawyers, NOTHING that will prevent insurance rates for individuals from skyrocketing, and NOTHING that will encourage physicians to remain in private practice to serve the 32 million more people that will be knocking at their doors.

    March 24, 2010 08:43 am at 8:43 am |
  25. Gator

    Hope come election time that everyone in LA remembers that landrieu voted for this mess and the sellout.

    March 24, 2010 08:45 am at 8:45 am |
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