While much of the mainstream media spent late Wednesday night and Thursday hyperventilating over President Trump’s raucous rally, Mitch McConnell thinks the president is “on to something.”
The Senate Majority Leader reacted to the president’s “Keep America Great” rally in Greenville, N.C. on Wednesday, telling Fox Business Network’s Maria Bartiromo that the criticisms leveled against Democrats should not be limited to just the “squad” of four freshman congresswomen.
(Video: Fox Business)
The Fox Business host asked for McConnell’s comments during “Mornings with Maria” on Thursday after showing several clips of Trump speaking at the rally, including one where the crowd chanted “send her back” as he spoke about Rep. Ilhan Omar.
“He’s right about ‘the squad’ wanting to turn us into a socialist country,” McConnell said, referring to the progressive congresswomen who have been embroiled in a war of words with the president since his initial tweet on Sunday when he questioned why unnamed “Democrat Congresswomen” don’t “go back and help fix the totally broken and crime-infested places from which they came, then come back and show us how it is done.”
“What he should have added, however, is that it’s a lot broader than just the four of them,” McConnell added, referring to Omar, who came to the U.S. as a Somali refugee when she was a child, as well as Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Rashida Tlaib, and Ayanna Pressley.
McConnell contended that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and 2020 Democratic candidates have “all signed up” for policies “like the Green New Deal which would take away your job” and ‘Medicare for All’ which “would takeaway your private health insurance.”
“In order to make any efforts to pay for that Maria, they have to go after the top 10 percent of taxpayers in America because that’s where 70 percent of their revenue for the federal government comes from, so they’d slow the economy down,” the Kentucky Republican added.
“So I think the president’s onto something,” McConnell told Bartiromo. “We are having a big debate now and next year, about what we want America to be like. Do we really think socialism applies here at a time of great prosperity, 50-year low unemployment? That’s what election, I think, is going to be about.”
Bartiromo then asked about McConnell’s reaction to Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez accusing him of being “complicit in advancing racism” because he will not condemn Trump’s remarks.
“Once again she’s pulling out the race card,” the Fox Business host said as McConnell laughed.
“I think it’s time to lower the rhetoric related to that subject all across America. Everyone knows that’s nonsense.”
“You may not know this, your viewers may not know I was there when Martin Luther King give a that ‘I Have a Dream’ speech. I was there as an observer when President Johnson signed the Voting Rights Act” of 1965, he said.
“I’ve got nothing to apologize on this front. We ought to tone the rhetoric down across the country, throwing around words like racism, you know kind of routinely applying it to almost everything,” McConnell said. “Let’s talk about the issues.”
“We have to make the argument, you know that is what a campaign is about. We have to make the argument. And if we can’t successfully make the case against that kind of stuff, we ought to go into another line of work,” he added.
“Meanwhile, the media seems to be in some ways complicit,” Bartiromo said, bringing up another point. “A CNN reporter asked you if it would be ‘racist’ to ask your wife — your wife! — Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao to go back to her home country of Taiwan. What did you think of your wife being brought into this debate?”
“Well, I’m glad Elaine’s not willing to go back home,” McConnell laughed.
“As your viewers may not know, she came here at age 8, not speaking a word of English, has been in two different Cabinets – both President Bush 43 President Trump,” he added. “I’m really proud of her. She’s not interested in going home and I’m glad she’s not.”
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