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(Video: Fox News)
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell weighed in on President Joe Biden’s first press conference of the year, responding to criticism from the increasingly unpopular leader as well as dispensing plenty of his own.
The Kentucky Republican sought to set the record straight during an appearance on Fox News where he talked with “Special Report” anchor Bret Baier on Thursday and suggested that Biden may have misled the American people with his campaign trail rhetoric about being a moderate and then, after being sworn in, embracing the extreme leftist policies of socialist Sen. Bernie Sanders.
McConnell rejected Biden’s suggestion that Republicans don’t stand for anything and are actively trying to sabotage his agenda, “My good friend the president got it wrong once again,” he said,
“I helped him pass a bipartisan infrastructure bill, I supported in the Senate a bill to deal with China and the computer chip shortage,” he added, providing specific examples of working with Biden.
“If the president starts acting like a moderate like he campaigned, we can do business,” he added. “The reason we’ve not been speaking recently this year is because he adopted the Bernie Sanders prescription for America. He did that even though he got no mandate for it, a 50-50 Senate and a couple of seats majority in the House, and they couldn’t get it through and the reason they couldn’t get it through, the American people are not for all of this, they thought that they were electing a moderate.”
Biden’s far-left style of governance has increasingly drawn criticism that he has been joined at the hip with Comrade Bernie, to the point that the prickly POTUS felt compelled to tell reporters that he was not a socialist himself, seeking to put some distance between himself and the Vermont senator during the presser.
Fox News' Peter Doocy: "Why are you trying so hard in your first year to pull the country so far to the left?"
Biden: "Well, I'm not … I'm not Bernie Sanders, I'm not a socialist, I'm a mainstream Democrat." pic.twitter.com/m7bj4Hq1nU
— The Recount (@therecount) January 19, 2022
McConnell left the door open for bipartisan cooperation on issues that Americans care about, saying, “If the president wants to reinvent himself and come back to the middle, we have things to talk about that we can work on together,”
He also dismissed the idea that Democrats will be able to pass their radical “Build Back Better” legislative package if they break it into chunks that are easier to digest as Speaker Nancy Pelosi is now proposing.
“I don’t think the American people are clamoring for any pieces of ‘Build Back Better,’ they want us to tackle all the problems that they are concerned about – inflation at the top of the list, a wide-open border,” he said. “We’ve already discussed the threat against Ukraine, those are the things the American people are thinking about. The president needs to sync up his plans with things that people are interested in.”
Baier also brought up the continuing influence of former President Donald J. Trump, a man with whom McConnell has had a contentious relationship.
“Do you think that former President Donald Trump will be a help to you in the midterm elections?” he was asked.
McConnell avoided giving a direct answer.
“I think the midterm election almost certainly is going to be a referendum on the party in power,” he said. “This is an entirely Democratic government, Democratic President, House and Senate, they are in charge of governing and these midterm elections are always a report card on the performance of those who are in charge, those who are governing, I think the American people are about to send this administration a pretty big message that they do not approve of all the things that are going wrong.”
He also declined to respond to Sen. Lindsey Graham’s remarks suggesting that McConnell’s continued hold on his leadership position could be dependent on whether he is able to work with Trump who could be making another White House run in 2024.
McConnell also discussed Biden’s epic gaffe regarding the tensions between Russia and Ukraine in a remark that was widely interpreted as giving Vladimir Putin the green light to invade the strife-torn country, remarks that led to a panicked Jen Psaki rushing to issue a statement correcting her boss.
Here’s how long it took for panicked Psaki to try to clean up Biden’s world-changing mistake https://t.co/15ERLXIp7N
— Conservative News (@BIZPACReview) January 20, 2022
“Now, I’m really glad the White House walked that back today. I hope Vladimir Putin doesn’t misunderstand the message, no incursion into Ukraine is acceptable,” he said. “What should we be doing about it right now? Well, first we ought to be sending anti-tank weapons to the Ukrainians, helping them learn how to use them, and ground-to-air missiles to go after the helicopters that might be a part, obviously of any Russian incursion, as well as being ready to levy a level of sanctions the Russians have never experienced before,”
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