Top GOPer praises Obama picks
January 7th, 2011
07:49 PM ET
12 years ago

Top GOPer praises Obama picks

(CNN) - Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell is hopeful the staff shake ups at the White House this week that included a new chief of staff and director of the National Economic Council are a sign President Barack Obama is moving toward the political center.

"Finally they found a guy who has some real world business experience," McConnell said on CNN's "John King, USA." "So maybe the president is going to take a more centrist direction and if he does we may be able to do some business."

Invoking his oft-used analogy, the Kentucky Republican said the administration now has people who have run a lemonade stand, a reference to the business backgrounds of the new staff members.

"I'm not the president of the United States, nor do I strive to be, and I think if you're the president of the Untied States you ought to have around you people who have some real business experience, and certainly they didn't have that in the first couple of years," McConnell told CNN Chief National Correspondent John King.

Obama tapped former Commerce Secretary William Daley – who serves on the operating and executive committees of JP Morgan Chase – as his new chief of staff and Gene Sperling – a counselor to Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner and former economic advisor to President Bill Clinton – as National Economic Council director, a position he also held under Clinton.

Daley replaces former Congressman Rahm Emanuel – also a former investment banker – as chief of staff. Sperling replaces former Harvard and World Bank president Larry Summers.

McConnell said he thinks there is a six to nine month window where members of both political parties will be able to work together, using the bipartisanship of the recent lame duck session as a model. He noted that he and Obama have lately had more conversations than they did in his first two years in office.

But he said health care is not an issue where he anticipates compromise and that voting to repeal the policies will allow members to make their stance clear and "then we'll go forward."

To address the rising debt, McConnell said to start, Republicans want to cap annual discretionary spending to 2008 levels and address the "long-term underfunded liability problems of entitlements," but when pressed, he did not outline further cuts he would support.

soundoff (23 Responses)
  1. Ric

    When Obama starts getting praise from this Egghead, you know he's doing something wrong.

    January 7, 2011 08:07 pm at 8:07 pm |
  2. ingrid

    I was ok with Obama's choice until Mitch McConnell said that he was pleased. Ugh and yuck.

    January 7, 2011 08:15 pm at 8:15 pm |
  3. sally

    All Obama is doing is trying to get re-elected...Please don't believe a word he says

    January 7, 2011 08:22 pm at 8:22 pm |
  4. more lies from HUSSENI obama

    I dont trust Mitch, I think he is an obama hench man

    January 7, 2011 08:28 pm at 8:28 pm |
  5. David M.

    My 7 year old son ran a lemonade stand one day this summer and turned a profit. Maybe Obama should call him in for advice.

    January 7, 2011 08:30 pm at 8:30 pm |
  6. Joe

    This ass said his only job is to insure "President Obama is one-term president"....who takes ANYTHING this treasonous guy says seriously??

    January 7, 2011 08:38 pm at 8:38 pm |

    Harry Reid is a world class twit, and he will regret the day when the Tea Party runs him, his Messiah and the senate majority out of town on a rail.

    January 7, 2011 08:41 pm at 8:41 pm |
  8. char

    he has to do something right. His president title is on the line

    January 7, 2011 08:44 pm at 8:44 pm |
  9. Ponduhthis

    GOP 'er you're wasting your time and taxpayers dollars with this appeal nonsense. It's a done deal... accept it and move on.
    Job Creation, Job Creation is what you promised those clowns that put you back in office so now deliver on your promise.

    January 7, 2011 08:46 pm at 8:46 pm |
  10. D

    We know how far to the center Obama is......He's outside the circle! Dress up, change your look, dye your hair, we know who you are. 2012 is coming and you are centered in the election target.

    January 7, 2011 08:54 pm at 8:54 pm |
  11. Peter s

    William Daley is good for the Nation, he is a moderate neither in the far right nor the far left!! those are the kind of people we need to move America forward!! so the issue of running a lemonade kiosk is non issue Mr McConnell !!

    January 7, 2011 08:56 pm at 8:56 pm |
  12. Opinion8ed

    "if he does" we "may be able". Sounds like a real, genuine effort on the part of republicans to reach let go of partisanship is inevitable here! Insert sarcasm.

    January 7, 2011 09:09 pm at 9:09 pm |
  13. they call me "tater salad"

    Welcome to America.............. The land of, "Send us your poor and huddled masses"..........( and all of the corporate lapdog dirtbags we have as politicians in Washington will do all they can to make sure they stay that way!)..............To be continued.............Count on it!!!!!!!

    January 7, 2011 09:16 pm at 9:16 pm |
  14. BobInIrvine

    McConnell approves? Count the fingers on your hand if you shake any of these new appointees' hand.

    January 7, 2011 09:25 pm at 9:25 pm |
  15. totalbs1

    Breaking news: Former Top GOPER agrees with Obama. Today, the Republican party banished Senate Minority Leader from the party. It was too much for them to take that one of their own agrees with the other side on something.

    January 7, 2011 09:26 pm at 9:26 pm |
  16. Squigman

    The pinch faced creep only thinks of himself, and who's in charge. Kinda like the old playground game called, king of the hill. Now that the party of the wealthy has taken control of the house, the rhetoric calms down.

    January 7, 2011 09:30 pm at 9:30 pm |
  17. just1primate

    I believe that banking institutions are more dangerous to our liberties than standing armies. If the American people ever allow private banks to control the issue of their currency, first by inflation, then by deflation, the banks and corporations that will grow up around [the banks] will deprive the people of all property until their children wake-up homeless on the continent their fathers conquered. The issuing power should be taken from the banks and restored to the people, to whom it properly belongs.
    Thomas Jefferson, (Attributed)
    3rd president of US (1743 – 1826)

    So now, we have a Chief of Staff who STILL serves on two boards for JP Morgan Chase. Be afraid, be VERY afraid.

    January 7, 2011 09:36 pm at 9:36 pm |
  18. Rick McDaniel

    The issue is.......if jobs don't improve.....and they wouldn't have under the clowns that were there previously..........then Obama is out! For him, it is do or die, politically. Either make something happen, or lose in 2012.

    January 7, 2011 09:43 pm at 9:43 pm |
  19. Karen - TX

    We don't need your vote of confidence. You clowns can go to (you know where...)

    January 7, 2011 09:47 pm at 9:47 pm |
  20. Colorodan

    Are you kidding me. Taking business advice from Republicans is like taking sailing lessons from the Captain of the Titanic.

    January 7, 2011 09:51 pm at 9:51 pm |
  21. Richard Larson

    McConnell won't say what the GOP plans are after they have their 15 days of drama by trying to repeal Health Care and some of the more responsible economic laws that were passed last month, because the party have no responsible plans to really try to govern. If they think the people will stand by and agree to the deliberate plans to further screw up the economy and to mess with the Constitution, I hope they find out different. When schools have to combine classes and shut their doors, when small towns, large cities, and states can no longer afford to pay their bills and provide the necessary services the people demand for the taxes they pay, then maybe the ill conceived notions promulgated by the NeoFascist Oligarchs will be understood and sound government can regenerate itself based upon the originally interpreted progressive Constitution.

    January 7, 2011 10:02 pm at 10:02 pm |
  22. Gil

    It gets a little scary when a moron and a repulsive speaker like McConnell agrees with Obama. I hate this illiterate speaker with a southern drawl!

    January 7, 2011 10:05 pm at 10:05 pm |
  23. tekbit

    Why are "Insiders" always rewarded back in while the Outside suffers the consequences? . Let's use the Cause to find the Cure. That may work in Medicine, but not Government. What a Joke.

    January 7, 2011 10:19 pm at 10:19 pm |