Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell

11:04 am
Thu November 29, 2012

McConnell to Obama: Remember, You Lost Kentucky

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell
Credit File photo

Leading up to the fiscal cliff negotiations, Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell reportedly reminded President Obama about his 24-point thumping in Kentucky in a private phone call.

The conversation typifies the icy relationship between McConnell and the president—the two have rarely met, spoken or been seen in public together.

As Politico reports, the GOP leader was warning Mr. Obama early to cool on the campaigning if he wants to make progress with lawmakers.

From Politico:

Don Stewart, McConnell’s chief spokesman, said McConnell’s comments to Obama “were in the context of trying to find a solution” to the budget crisis. The GOP leader told the president that continuing to engage in a public-relations blitz against Republicans “could have the opposite effect of what he was trying to accomplish,” the spokesman said.

Stewart added: "This, by the way, is sound advice."

The White House declined to comment.

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11:23 am
Wed November 28, 2012

McConnell Battles Against Filibuster Reform

Credit File photo

For the third straight day Republican Leader Mitch McConnell defended his parties use of the filibuster while criticizing Democrat's push for an overhaul in Senate rules.

The filibuster is held by many as a Senate tradition that allows the minority party to hold up legislation, but Democrats argue that the GOP has abused the tool. The reforms are rather simple, but McConnell and Majority Leader Harry Reid have been jousting over the issue this week while the Democratic caucus is threatening to use the "nuclear option" that would allow a simple 51-vote majority to change the Senate rules.

Speaking on the Senate floor Wednesday, McConnell says he is willing to negotiate rule changes with Reid to reach an agreement. But in an editorial, the GOP leaders ratchets up his criticism that Democrats are threatening a tool that has been a safeguard for the political minority.

From U.S. News & World Report:

The majority leader was once a staunch defender of the Senate's protection of minority rights. Yet now that he finds himself frustrated he's prepared to recklessly throw those rules away and his own solemn pledge to defend them.

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1:26 pm
Tue November 27, 2012

Mitch McConnell, Harry Reid Joust Over Filibuster Reform

For the second day in a row, Democratic Leader Harry Reid and Republican Leader Mitch McConnell had a tense exchange on the Senate floor over filibuster reform.

Observers have decried gridlock in the Senate, especially since the 2010 election and many have pointed to the need to either end or change basic rules on how chamber uses the delay tactic.

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3:54 pm
Tue November 20, 2012

Columnist Rips Yarmuth Over McConnell Comments

Congressman John Yarmuth
Credit U.S. Congress

In a stinging editorial, Louisville Courier-Journal columnist John David Dyche rips Democratic Congressman John Yarmuth for his recent attacks on Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell.

Yarmuth made a recent television appearance on MSNBC, saying McConnell will do what's in his best interest in the face of the looming fiscal cliff. Dyche is a Louisville attorney and McConnell biographer, who is considered by man to be the Senator's unofficial spokesman in the city.

From The C-J:

It must also gall Yarmuth that McConnell ignores him. Yarmuth is to McConnell as a yapping toy poodle is to an oblivious Great Dane.

So why doesn’t Yarmuth put his practically infinite money where his practically incessant mouth is and channel his jealousy of McConnell into his own race against him? He might then get the debate with McConnell for which he mewls. Meanwhile, McConnell negotiates directly with the president, not insignificant congressmen.


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5:19 pm
Wed November 7, 2012

McConnell Congratulates Obama on Re-Election, But Advises President Move to Center

Credit File photo

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky, has extended congratulations to President Obama on his re-election, but argues the White House needs to moderate and that voters have not given the president a mandate.

Mr. Obama defeated Republican nominee Mitt Romney on Tuesday in the popular vote and soundly in the Electoral College, winning most of the battleground states. It was two years ago when McConnell said that his main objective was to ensure that Mr. Obama would be a one-term president.

But now McConnell says Republicans are eager to hear from the president on how to resolve problems such as the looming fiscal cliff, but he

warns Mr. Obama should propose a way for both parties to work together.

"Now it’s time for the president to propose solutions that actually have a chance of passing the Republican-controlled House of Representatives and a closely-divided Senate, step up to the plate on the challenges of the moment, and deliver in a way that he did not in his first four years in office," he says.

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8:00 am
Wed November 7, 2012

John Yarmuth, Now Sole Democrat in State Delegation, Takes Aim at Mitch McConnell

Congressman John Yarmuth standing with Senator Rand Paul
Credit Phillip Bailey / WFPL News

With Rep. Ben Chandler's loss last night to Republican challenger Andy Barr, John Yarmuth of Louisville is now the only Democrat in Kentucky's federal delegation.

But he's now working on plans to bring more of his colleagues from the commonwealth to Washington after the 2014 election.

“I welcome the opportunity to be the spokesperson for a national policy that espouses a support for the middle class in the country," Yarmuth said in an interview with WFPL News.

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2:21 pm
Mon November 5, 2012

Ashley Judd vs. Mitch McConnell? 2014 Senate Speculation Continues

Ashley Judd
Former Sen. Richard Lugar's office.

On Election Day eve, the rumors are swirling as to who will challenge Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., in the 2014 race.

According to The Huffington Post's Howard Fineman, the Kentucky Democrats with money to spend want actress-activist Ashley Judd -- and Kentucky native -- to take a shot at the GOP leader.


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12:06 pm
Mon November 5, 2012

Observers Displeased with Joint McConnell, Reid 60 Minutes Interview

In a joint interview with Democratic Leader Harry Reid and Republican Leader Mitch McConnell that CBS News described as "exasperating," 60 Minutes took on the gridlock in the U.S. Senate.

The piece noted that the Senate was once the chamber of Congress where deals were made, but that in recent years the ability to find common ground has been lost.

Reid said that compromise is not something the Senate does anyone, highlighting McConnell’s comment after the 2010 mid-terms, where he said that the chief GOP goal was to limit President Obama to one-term.

McConnell added that the Senate has met the president halfway on a number of bills , but acknowledged the difficulty in forging bipartisan measures.

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12:10 pm
Tue October 2, 2012

Brown Voices Disgust With McConnell's Leadership

During a televised debate with Democratic opponent Elizabeth Warren, U.S. Sen. Scott Brown, R-Ma., voiced his displeasure with Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., and said he's undecided on voting for him to lead the GOP caucus.

President Obama is leading in Massachusetts by at least 30 points, and Brown is stressing his role as a moderate Republican with a bipartisan record. Asked if he'd support McConnell next year, Brown said he was undecided and voiced disgust with Congress.

Watch (h/t LEO Weekly):

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4:21 pm
Wed September 19, 2012

McConnell Praises Suu Kyi’s Leadership

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., continues to praise Nobel Peace Prize winner and Burmese opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi ahead of her visit to Louisville.

Suu Kyi received the Congressional Gold Medal on Wednesday for her commitment to democratic reforms in Burma, which is also known as Myanmar. The medal is Congress’ highest honor, and lawmakers including McConnell, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and Sen. John McCain, as well as Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and former First Lady Laura Bush attended the ceremony.

Speaking on the Senate floor, McConnell says Suu Kyi has been an international symbol of peace and democracy since first being put under house arrest by the Burmese dictatorship in 1991.

"For nearly two decades—two decades—she remained under house arrest in her mothers old home on university avenue on the shores of Inya Lake. Over the years I’ve followed Suu Kyi closely, and I’ve done what I could to advance her cause," he says. 

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