Mitch McConnell

McConnell Says Democrats’ Glee Was Premature

Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY) told the New York Times that he thinks Democrats “were a tad premature in exuberantly celebrating the surprise spending deal they struck last week with President Trump.”

Said McConnell: “Let’s put it this way. The deal is not quite as good as my counterpart thought it was.”

“The reason? Mr. McConnell said that he insisted the newly passed legislation preserve Treasury’s ability to apply ‘extraordinary measures’ and shift money within government accounts to pay off debt and extend federal borrowing power. That will delay the need for another increase in the debt limit well beyond the December deadline that Democrats have been trumpeting as their big moment of leverage.”

McConnell Doubts Trump Can Save Presidency

“The relationship between President Trump and Sen. Mitch McConnell, the majority leader, has disintegrated to the point that they have not spoken to each other in weeks, and Mr. McConnell has privately expressed uncertainty that Mr. Trump will be able to salvage his administration after a series of summer crises,” the New York Times reports.

“What was once an uneasy governing alliance has curdled into a feud of mutual resentment and sometimes outright hostility… Angry phone calls and private badmouthing have devolved into open conflict, with the president threatening to oppose Republican senators who cross him, and Mr. McConnell mobilizing to their defense.”

“The rupture between Mr. Trump and Mr. McConnell comes at a highly perilous moment for Republicans, who face a number of urgent deadlines when they return to Washington next month. Congress must approve new spending measures and raise the statutory limit on government borrowing within weeks of reconvening, and Republicans are hoping to push through an elaborate rewrite of the federal tax code. There is scant room for legislative error on any front.”

McConnell’s Secret Fury Over Trump’s Comments

USA Today: “There was a reason why it took Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell an entire night to respond to President Trump’s chaotic news conference equating counter protesters with the Nazis they came to resist. He was livid. Two sources close to the senator, speaking under condition of anonymity to describe private conversations, said the pro-civil rights Republican who lived through the 1960s in Kentucky closely deliberated on the best way forward.”

McConnell Said to be ‘Upset’ with Trump

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), who has been publicly silent so far over President Trump’s latest remarks on Charlottesville, “is privately upset” with the president’s handling of the episode, CNN reports.

What he said publicly: “The white supremacist, KKK, and neo-nazi groups who brought hatred and violence to Charlottesville are now planning a rally in Lexington. Their messages of hate and bigotry are not welcome in Kentucky and should not be welcome anywhere in America. We can have no tolerance for an ideology of racial hatred. There are no good neo-nazis, and those who espouse their views are not supporters of American ideals and freedoms. We all have a responsibility to stand against hate and violence, wherever it raises its evil head.”

“McConnell, who has a long history of working on civil rights issues, is deeply concerned that Trump is reopening long-festering racial tensions, something that could fan the flames ahead of demonstrations expected in Lexington, Kentucky.”

GOP Voters Side with Trump Over McConnell

A new Politico/Morning Consult poll finds Republican voters are taking President Trump’s side in his war with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.

“The poll shows more GOP voters think Trump is looking out for the party’s best interests than think McConnell is. By a more than three-to-one margin, they say that Trump is more in touch with Republican voters and that Trump is more honest. More evidence Trump has the upper hand, at least among Republicans: McConnell’s favorability rating among GOP voters is down over the past three weeks, and half of Republicans say Trump’s attacks against him were appropriate.”

McConnell Has Most to Lose In Alabama’s Special Election

“The special Senate election in Alabama is a crucial test of President Trump’s influence with Republican primary voters but Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has the most to lose there on Tuesday,” the Washington Examiner reports.

“Trump endorsed appointed Sen. Luther Strange in what is essentially a three-man contest… But it’s McConnell’s credibility on the line after his affiliated super PAC and associated nonprofit organization invested millions of dollars to boost Strange over Rep. Mo Brooks and Roy Moore, the former chief justice of the Alabama Supreme Court.”

Politico: 5 things to watch in today’s Alabama’s special election.

Why Trump Can’t Really Hurt McConnell

“No matter how much President Donald Trump taunts Mitch McConnell, the Senate Majority Leader’s position is secure, thanks largely to a powerful super PAC that has plowed millions into Senate campaigns, ensuring the loyalty of his Republican caucus,” McClatchy reports.

“The Senate Leadership Fund, one of two outside groups run by McConnell loyalists, spent nearly $86 million in the November 2016 election to benefit Republicans. That made it the third largest outside spender, trailing only the super PACS that backed Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton and Republican presidential primary contender Jeb Bush.”

Trump Risks Alienating Important Ally

Politico: “The two men have talked from time to time on the phone, but the conversations have often been brief, and Trump often disregards McConnell’s advice. McConnell has told people after meeting with Trump in the White House that it is difficult to keep the president on topic and that he wanders around verbally in a way that McConnell — a man who does not see the purpose in unnecessary words — doesn’t understand.”

New York Times: “Mr. McConnell’s original point was that the president was still learning how things work in Washington. By publicly berating the man who should be his most indispensable ally on Capitol Hill, Mr. Trump may have affirmed Mr. McConnell’s point.”

For members: It Makes No Sense to Attack Mitch McConnell

Trump Turns Up Heat on McConnell

President Trump hit Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) once again on Twitter:

Can you believe that Mitch McConnell, who has screamed Repeal & Replace for 7 years, couldn’t get it done. Must Repeal & Replace ObamaCare!

The New York Times reports Trump spoke by phone with McConnell yesterday to express his disappointment in the senator’s comments that Trump has “excessive expectations.”

White House Hits McConnell for Repeal Failure

White House social media director Dan Scavino slammed Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) on Twitter for suggesting President Trump was inexperienced in how legislation is crafted.

More excuses. @SenateMajLdr must have needed another 4 years – in addition to the 7 years — to repeal and replace Obamacare…..

Trump himself followed up with this tweet:

McConnell said I had “excessive expectations,” but I don’t think so. After 7 years of hearing Repeal & Replace, why not done?

Playbook: “This is stunning. Mitch McConnell is the lynchpin to whatever Donald Trump wants to get done on Capitol Hill. Sure, health care did not go as the White House wanted it to. They might get there in the future, they might not. But McConnell is not going anywhere for a very long time, he commands respect from all Republican senators and controls the Senate floor… Capitol Hill is hardly ever in unison but dumping on McConnell is seen as confused a strategy as the administration could employ.”

McConnell Slams Trump for ‘Excessive Expectations’

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) “offered some of his toughest criticism yet for President Donald Trump in a speech Monday,” CNN reports.

Said McConnell: “Our new president, of course, has not been in this line of work before. I think he had excessive expectations about how quickly things happen in the democratic process.”

He added: “Part of the reason I think people think we’re under-performing is because of too many artificial deadlines unrelated to the reality of the legislature which may have not been understood.”

Brooks Would Vote to Oust McConnell

Rep. Mo Brooks (R-AL), who is running in a special Senate election in Alabama, said he will not vote to keep Sen. Mitch McConnell of Kentucky as majority leader if he wins the race, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Said Brooks: “Inside the Republican conference, Mitch McConnell has got to go. He’s the head of the swamp of the U.S. Senate.”

A Massive Defeat for McConnell

Politico: “The failure of Obamacare repeal marks Mitch McConnell’s lowest point as Senate GOP leader. Despite having a Republican in the White House, full GOP control of Congress, and seven years of campaign promises – ‘pulling out Obamacare root and branch,’ as the Kentucky Republican famously declared – McConnell acknowledged this week that that he didn’t have the votes to even start debate on replacing the 2010 Affordable Care Act.”

“It’s a serious defeat for McConnell, and one that leaves deep bitterness among rank-and-file GOP senators, as moderates and conservatives blamed each other over who is at fault for the setback. It’s also a blow to McConnell’s reputation as a master legislator and raises doubts in the White House about what Senate Republicans can actually deliver for President Donald Trump. McConnell, like Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI), finds himself caught between the factions in his own party. And like Ryan, McConnell hasn’t demonstrated that he knows how to resolve the dispute.”