July 18th, 2010
12:42 PM ET
12 years ago

McConnell defends GOP against Dems' 'party of no' charge

Washington (CNN) – With midterm elections less than four months away, the top Republican in the Senate said Sunday that the GOP is “proud” to oppose many aspects of Democrats’ agenda. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Kentucky, also laid out some issues where he said Republicans support President Obama.

Appearing on CNN’s State of the Union, McConnell ticked off a litany of Democratic agenda items that his party has opposed.

“Look, what we are proud to say no to, and I think what the public wants us to say no to, are things like the government running banks, insurance companies, car companies, nationalizing the student loan business, taking over our health care,” McConnell told CNN Chief Political Correspondent Candy Crowley.

McConnell also pointed to the recently passed financial regulatory reform bill, the growth of the federal workforce, action by the Federal Communications Commission to assert authority over the internet, and the possibility that the National Labor Relations Board will change the law regarding how unions can be formed.

“Yes, we are opposed - let me make it clear, we are absolutely opposed to all of those things, and proudly so,” McConnell said.

But the GOP leader quickly added that his party agrees with the president on other issues and is willing to work on passing some legislation the president says he wants.

“There are some things the president is trying to do that we support. We support his efforts in Afghanistan, I think he is on the right track there. I think he continued the policy successfully in Iraq. He says he is for trade deals, where are they? We would like to help him pass them.”

McConnell also mentioned some aspects of energy policy, specifically nuclear power and clean coal technology, as another area where the GOP might work with the White House.

“So the question is, what are you saying no to? We will proudly say no to the litany of things that I just mentioned a few minutes ago.”

On the GOP’s prospects in the midterms, McConnell said, “The environment is very good for a good year,”

With Republican candidates “either competitive or ahead in 11 different states now where there are Democratic incumbent senators.”

But he would not predict exactly how many Senate seats he thinks the GOP might pick up in November, only that it has a good chance of increasing its number of Senate seats.

“I'd like to be in better shape than the 41 that we have now. And I think the chances of that are pretty good,” he told Crowley.

Related: McConnell says Republicans have gotten their groove back

Filed under: 2010 • GOP • Mitch McConnell • Popular Posts • State of the Union
soundoff (150 Responses)
  1. Mike ROss

    The GOP's so proud of the Boston Tea Party they forgot what it was about. The British East India CORPORATION was allowed to trade in the colonies without paying ANY taxes. Seems like the sort of tax inequality we have today with the Rich paying next to nothing.

    The modern day GOP is protecting wall street oligarchs and making the richest of the rich pay next to no taxes while squeezing the middle class out of existence.

    July 18, 2010 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  2. ann

    This guy is pathetic. We would be so much better off if he had said NO to Bush and Cheney while they were running this country into the toilet......

    July 18, 2010 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  3. elcholo

    this guys are all for saying no to every thing.its not because of the money being spend, they sure spend money in those 8yrs.....now all of a sudden they became thrifty..give me a break.......

    July 18, 2010 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
  4. Dave

    @Steve: the massive deficit that Republicans created between 2000 and 2008 was not generated by "government handouts'; it was generated by the trillions spent on an unnecessary war with Iraq, the bungled occupation of Iraq, the bungled occupation of Afghanistan, the need to counter an Iran strengthened by our blunders in Iraq, the budget-busting Medicare Prescription Drug Benefit, and massive tax cuts for the rich.

    This, combined with the minimal regulation that gave us the financial meltdown and gulf oil leak catastrophe, is the hole that Republicans spent 8 years digging.

    "No" is a far too weak a response to any prospect of Republican leadership. "NEVER AGAIN" is far more appropriate.

    July 18, 2010 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  5. LouAz

    Since the Flat Earth GOPers and TPers have nothing to offer except a list of all the things they oppose (which is essentially everything except breathing), then they should all resign, and let some folks that will try to work things out take their place. Don't know why they let the lobbist buy them a seat at the ballpark if the really don't like baseball.
    Citizens are really pretty tired of this dereliction of duty. If you are not willing to do the work, turn in your keyes and go home.

    July 18, 2010 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  6. Tired of Bull

    They are against government but claw tooth and nail to work for the government and receive government money? So let me get this right, they say no and refuse to work but claim the American people want a hand out and are lazy? Why is it they can receive pensions, health care, a huge salary, and paid vacations on the BACKS of HARD WORKING Americans? Although I am one of the fortunate Americans to be employed, if I show up to my job and don't don’t work I get fired. Why do they get paid without working? As an Independent I feel we need additional parties to represent the American people. However, I will not be voting for the Republicans in November nor 2012 until new fiscal ideals and solutions are discussed as opposed to smokescreens and talking points. I am beginning to see that the GOP is using the American people at their disposal. It is a shame that the Republican Leaders side with corporations like BP and not with us working Americans that

    July 18, 2010 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |
  7. GP

    So long as the corporations are healthy, the general population will be fairly healthy.

    I think the republican mantra of a rising tide raises all boats has been proven to not raise all boats equally. They failed to mention this little factoid, just like they failed to explain that free trade via NAFTA and the WTO wasn't the same as fair trade.

    The financially elite have done more than prosper in the last thirty years, they have aggregated unparalleled wealth.

    How do republicans reconcile the so called anti-business regulation and taxes with the recording breaking expansion of wealth?

    July 18, 2010 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
  8. kevin

    What dream world is he living in? They (Republicpukes) have ditched the American working class and they think they have a chance? OMG he needs too look at what they have done to the people and wake the hell up. I think more people will vote than ever before because of what they have been doing, and that is toying with the American working class as if they was puppets on a string. We will see how things turn out in November as Americans have had enough of being treated worst than than they have ever had. They picked the wrong time to mess with the American people when they are down, lets see how it feels when the shoe is on the other foot.

    July 18, 2010 02:32 pm at 2:32 pm |
  9. Dave (A.K.A. Homebrew)

    The Republicans will never get my vote, until they show fiscal restraint, when they are in power. It is funny how they are only worried about deficit spending, when the democrats are in power. I used to be republican, but changed to Libertarian, in 2003, when I saw their lack of fiscal constraint. At least the democrats don't lie about being liberals. The republican party is on its' way to being as relevant as the Whig Party.

    Dave (A.K.A. Homebrew)
    P.S. If the only choice in a race is a democrat, or a republican, I don't vote in that race.

    July 18, 2010 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |
  10. BobH

    If McConnell clearly articulated his own alternative plans, he and his party wouldn't be called The Party of No. So far, they have primarily opposed specific measures while proposing only bumper-sticker alternatives.

    July 18, 2010 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  11. Tony in St. Louis

    The GOP really has no clue as what "The People" want. They're looking at getting creamed, ...again, ...and they won't do anything to stop it. Saying NO to everything will get you absolutely nowhere. It's sad what the party has become. I guess when you think you're driving, ...you really don't pay attention to anything else.

    July 18, 2010 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
  12. Donna from Colorado Springs

    I guess he thinks that the Party of NO will just sweep in and take over all of the Democratic seats this fall. He's in for a very rude surprise! We don't like being told NO all the time, and their bratty attitude and stubborness will come back and bite them!

    July 18, 2010 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
  13. jay

    Will he say no to the Bush tax cuts that will raise the deficit 700 billion over ten years, I bet not.

    July 18, 2010 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
  14. Patsy, Texas

    Also watched Cornyn(Senate) and Sessions(House) "on another
    network today", and with them and this guy, our fate would be sealed
    if they are voted back in .
    They refused to be specific about anything they would do except to
    say: They would repeal the finanacial reform act, they would
    repeal and "replace" the health care reform bill, but did not say what
    the replacment would be, they would continue the Bush tax cuts,
    without paying for them, but would demand that extending
    unemployment be paid for, first, before passing. So, there you
    have it, back to the Bush years. Are you scared yet?

    July 18, 2010 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
  15. Observer

    He's PROUD that his party has no original ideas and can only say "NO" to everything. It figures that he thinks this is how the problems in our country can be fixed.

    July 18, 2010 02:42 pm at 2:42 pm |
  16. Limbaugh is a liberal

    Yes, I'm sure republicans are sooo opposed to government running banks... that's why they too overwhelmingly voted for the bank bailouts and using our taxpayer money/huge deficit spending to take them over back as early as 2008.

    July 18, 2010 02:44 pm at 2:44 pm |
  17. Donovan

    Republicans are proud to say no to Americans who think they're rights are being stripped in favor of Big Business. Republicans are proud to say no to American workers and jobs.

    I'll be proud to say no to every single republican in every single election for the rest of my life!

    July 18, 2010 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  18. Jerry

    “Look, what we are proud to say no to, and I think what the public wants us to say no to, are things like the government running banks, insurance companies, car companies, nationalizing the student loan business, taking over our health care,” McConnell told CNN Chief Political Correspondent Candy Crowley.

    If they didn't want the govt to run banks, then what would describe the US financial sector because there werent' any functional banks? The various FEDERAL INSURANCE agencies insure the govt WILL be running the banks WHEN the banks fail. Lehman Brothers anyone?

    Same applies to car companies, student loand (from BANKS–oops!!!), insurance companies (AIG anyone?). Healthcare needs to move to SP/UHC–drops total cost by over 50% (do the math–if you can).

    July 18, 2010 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  19. Peter E

    The problem with republicans saying no is that they still to this day propose no serious alternatives either! After lengthy pressure to come up with an 'alternate' health care plan they came up with a three page outline, 80% of which was lifted directly from the Obama plan! Same thing with the stimulus/economy. Republicans presented a few pages of outline, many of which were exactly the same plans that Obama had, and the rest of the proposals are lifted from the old Bush Jr. agenda that brought this recession on us in the first place. Republicans don't present alternatives. They are just playing politics.

    July 18, 2010 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
  20. Four and The Door

    In November it will become clear we are the country of No.

    July 18, 2010 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |
  21. Jim

    This country has a system of corporate socialism, where the wealthy corporations receive billions in tax breaks and subsidizes from the American taxpayer. They show their gratitude by closing factories and shipping manufacturing jobs out of the country. The Republican lackeys
    reward the laid off workers by denying unemployment benefits and obstructing health care. The average middle class family means nothing to them other than to be canon fodder in their wars for profit.

    July 18, 2010 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  22. Moderate

    So now Mitch, is that what you were elected to do? Why are you taking a paycheck for sitting around on your but doing nothing? We do your voters put up with this?

    What happens when the tables eventually turn?

    July 18, 2010 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |
  23. mike

    After meeting my insurance broker this week,he explained to me how many companies are stopping to offer coverage and all other plans have gone up atleast 20 percent thanks to obamacare(as a dem I can't believe I'm calling it that sorry I voted obama )I will be voting to throw my dems out and put in responsibile republicans who can turn this mess around, from speaking to my many family,freinds who are dems they will all be voteing repubs this time around this president is an experiment that has gone very bad

    July 18, 2010 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |
  24. Carol in Hawaii

    "Groove back".......they sound more like cry babies not getting their way!

    July 18, 2010 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |
  25. ib

    Dale; the republicans are not the ones cutting medicare so how do you get they want you to go home and die? I am not a republican but one who votes split tickets but in Nov. I will vote straight GOP due to Obama's agenda which I do not agree with at all.

    July 18, 2010 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
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