October 22nd, 2010
10:41 PM ET
10 years ago

McConnell hammers Obama in West Virginia speech

Charleston, West Virginia (CNN) -– In an interview earlier this week, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Kentucky, called for “a humble, grateful response” to the upcoming midterm elections.

McConnell admitted to the National Journal that the Republican brand isn’t exactly stellar and said his party must recognize that “we do not control the government and cannot control the government when the president holds the veto pen.”

But judging by his sharply partisan performance at a GOP event on Friday, McConnell is putting those warm sentiments on hold until after November 2.

The Republican leader offered a stinging critique of President Obama at a fundraiser for the West Virginia Republican Party, accusing the administration of “trying to turn us into a Western European country as rapidly as they can.”

“What we can fairly conclude, even before the votes are counted on November 2, is that America is not interested in becoming France,” McConnell told the audience.

He mocked Obama for claiming at an event in Seattle this week that that he was never able to properly sell his agenda to the American public because he was so busy concentrating on getting “the policy right.”

“This isn’t a sales pitch problem, it’s a substance problem,” McConnell quipped, after criticizing every major piece of legislation passed by Democrats over the past two years.

He reserved much of his scorn for a Democratic-backed cap-and-trade proposal that passed the House last year but never came up for a vote in the Senate, calling it a threat that “goes right to the heart of the economies of Kentucky and West Virginia.”

McConnell appeared with West Virginia GOP Senate nominee John Raese, currently battling Democratic Gov. Joe Manchin in a too-close-to-call race that will help determine which party controls the Senate.

“There is one candidate in this race that I guarantee you can be completely confident will go to Washington and help stop the Obama administration for the last two years of what I hope is his only term, and that is John Raese,” McConnell said.

He was careful, though, not to predict a GOP takeover of the Senate.

“We could have a really, really good day, a medium-sized good day, or just a good day,” McConnell said of Election Day. “I am going to be the leader of a larger number. The question is how many.”

Raese, appearing before a state party that has been out of power for much of the last century, offered a sports analogy, comparing a Senate win on Nov. 2 to the West Virginia University basketball team’s march to the Final Four last year.

A GOP victory in West Virginia “would register all across the United States,” Raese announced.

“We are in the position in West Virginia right now to go to the Final Four aren’t we?” he asked. “But this time, not fourth place. This time, first place. We win. You lose,” he said of the Democrats.

Matt Kibbe, president and CEO of FreedomWorks, the pro-Tea Party group, also spoke at the fundraising dinner in Charleston.

Filed under: 2010 • Joe Manchin • John Raese • Mitch McConnell • Republicans • West Virginia
soundoff (18 Responses)
  1. CNN watcher

    You're not running against Obama, McConnell. Stand on your own record. Oh wait, you can't because it's horrible.

    October 22, 2010 10:43 pm at 10:43 pm |
  2. usualone

    This "leader" continues to attack the President and Democrats but he has not put forth anything of substance for the Republicans since he gained his power. He is all bluster and really is a weak leader. It is easy to be critical; it takes thought to come up with suggestions.

    October 22, 2010 11:51 pm at 11:51 pm |
  3. Alaskan Sourdough

    The republicans are the losers regardless of how many seats they may win (if any). They are the one who put the US in the ditch in the first place with the war in Iraq the tax breaks for the wealthiest of all Americans and the rest of the Bush policies. A vote for any of them is a vote to head back to the ditch, forever wars and a depression that was avoided with President Obamas election. Nothing but a bunch of thugs and and morons running for office. O'Donnell, Angle, Paladino ,Paul, Bachmann...Damn where do these nut cases come from???

    October 22, 2010 11:53 pm at 11:53 pm |
  4. duke

    Oh mitch,if the tea drinkers were real you and boehner would not show your face!
    If it's anti washington how does demintt,boehner,ol mitch,and newt Gingrich get to speak for your movement??
    Mitch you speak for the CEO of the corporation that pay's your real salary!!

    October 22, 2010 11:57 pm at 11:57 pm |
  5. Squigman

    The only thing sadder than this pinch faced prig being an elected representative, is the fact that there were other pinch faced prigs,that voted him in office. Whenever this puke speaks, its to better his lot in life, not his constituents.

    October 23, 2010 12:15 am at 12:15 am |
  6. barry

    Obama is trying to turn us into a Western Europe country. Look at the things he's accomplished. We're more Western Europe than Western Europe in a lot of cases.

    October 23, 2010 12:34 am at 12:34 am |
  7. Name gua volcy

    Howmuch you get from g o p that republican party ...you've been promote them for the pass two years now...and we know you and me know ,there's no tea party .the both the same thing.

    October 23, 2010 01:19 am at 1:19 am |
  8. Pamela

    As a Kentuckian and a registered Republican I am voting the Democratic ticket this November. Every word McConnell says sickens me. He is completely out of touch with what we need here. He has spent the last few years doing nothing but disagreeing with Obama...that's not how you get things done to help people. Mitchie needs to learn to play well with others or go home. We don't need him on the playground. We also don't need Rand Paul on the playground either. Enough is enough Kentucky – electing these types just shows how stupid we are. Frankly I'm tired of proving the rest of the country right by continuously electing folks who care or know nothing about what it's like to really live in Ky. Give the democrats a chance they've got 8 years of Bush's disasters to clean up after.

    October 23, 2010 01:28 am at 1:28 am |
  9. Marry

    Jim said it best:

    "I hope the Republicans sweep up in November, so that the economy can return to it's "Glorious" pre-Obama days. That way, when unemployment reaches 20% and the public voice no longer matters, then we can look back and say "You know, Obama's fixes weren't so bad. They just needed time." I am sick of the Republicans promising things they can't deliver. Step out of the way if you aren't prepared to help solve the problem. And that goes for both sides of the aisle."

    Please, my dear friends go out and vote! But, don’t be bought, or fooled! Please, vote informed, responsible, smart and in the interest of the country (that you love?) and in your very own interest.

    October 23, 2010 01:57 am at 1:57 am |
  10. thomas

    This Idiot wants to bring our country back to the 70s. Mitch McConnell is an obstructionist with no vision.
    Who owns his soul ? Why would anybody with children listen to such a Scrooge .

    October 23, 2010 03:29 am at 3:29 am |
  11. Not fooled

    People of West Virginia -How can you vote for someone who is being bought by special interests money? This man's family does not even live in West Virginia. They live in Florida. He does not care about West Virginia. He has some motive for being there. He is about to make a lot of money for selling out West Virginia. Joe Manchin is from there and I believe he has the State in his heart. Remember what happened at the coal mines? Was Raese there? Come on West Virginia vote for one of your own.

    October 23, 2010 03:30 am at 3:30 am |
  12. Caroline

    Whats so wrong about western european nations? last i heard they weren't trying to "persuade" the rest of the world with their politics or beliefs. actually... people in europe seem to live a lot more happily than people in the u.s. do.

    October 23, 2010 04:07 am at 4:07 am |
  13. Not fooled

    West Virginia show them we can beat them the REAL American way with votes not dirty money.

    October 23, 2010 04:47 am at 4:47 am |
  14. xlntcat

    You are asking for an ultimate suspension of disbelief to ask the public to believe that "turtle" man has the intellect, the articulation or could overcome his memory deficits in order to "hammer" anyone. He sputters and spews but I have, yet, to hear him speak in coherent sentences.

    October 23, 2010 05:50 am at 5:50 am |
  15. John

    mcconell is a slimey little toad.

    October 23, 2010 07:48 am at 7:48 am |
  16. chuck

    Do cares what this man thinks. Can he tell us how his party is going to solve some of the problems of middle and low income Americans. Does he have any ideas? If this is the face of the GOP, then I will be looking at a third party or Democrats.

    October 23, 2010 07:50 am at 7:50 am |
  17. Charlie in Maine

    Great and if the Tea Pardiots have their way you will be the next leader in the Senate. Wake up America. We are still trying to recover from the last time you made this mistake.

    October 23, 2010 08:27 am at 8:27 am |
  18. diridi

    This dude is a total idiot, and nasty thug....America, listen, ask for Senate and Congress term limits....we can not be robbed...in 21st century....like this....nor face white, black claims...like this, no one is worried for color....GOP thugs sold this nation already....get ready for some reforms in America...like, senate and congress term limits, so that this old idiots will not rule for ever....and Pass Anti-Ear marks bill, Anti-lobby Reform, and Anti-derivative reform...etc, till then nation is in peril....go for Dems....

    October 23, 2010 08:41 am at 8:41 am |