News

McConnell Mocks Biden, Gives Warning On What’s About To Hit The Democratic Party

   DailyWire.com
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, a Republican from Kentucky, stands for a photo at the US Capitol in Washington, DC, on November 9, 2020.
Stefani Reynolds/Pool /AFP via Getty Images

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell mocked President Joe Biden during an interview on Thursday evening over Biden’s widely criticized press conference this week and warned that Democrats are about to reap in the 2022 midterms what they have sown during the Biden administration with the Democratic Party in full control of Washington, D.C.

When asked by Fox News host Bret Baier what he thought of Biden’s press conference, McConnell responded, “Well, if I were the president, I don’t think I would have a two-hour press conference again.”

After discussing Biden’s troubling remark about a possible “minor incursion” by Russia into Ukraine, McConnell addressed Biden’s attack on him when Biden accused McConnell of being willing to “do anything to prevent Biden from being a success.”

“Well, my good friend the president got it wrong once again,” McConnell responded. “I helped him pass a bipartisan infrastructure bill. I supported in the Senate a bill to deal with China and the computer chip shortage. If the president starts acting like a moderate, like he campaigned, we can do business. The reason we have 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-seat majority in the House. And they couldn’t get it through.”

“And the reason I couldn’t get it through, the American people are not for all of this,” he added. “They thought they were electing a moderate. 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.”

McConnell then warned Biden and the Democrats about what they were going to face later this year.

“I think the midterm election almost certainly is going to be a referendum on the party in power,” McConnell 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.”

WATCH:

TRANSCRIPT:

BRET BAIER, FOX NEWS ANCHOR: Let’s talk about the situation in Washington and around the world with Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell.

Senator, thanks for being here.

SEN. MITCH MCCONNELL (R-KY): Good evening.

BAIER: What did you make of the press conference yesterday overall?

MCCONNELL: Well, if I were the president, I don’t think I would have a two-hour press conference again.

But, look, let’s just focus on the one thing that was the most disturbing that was already covered in your setup piece. And that was a potential signal to the Russians that it’s OK to take some of Ukraine.

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.

What should he 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.

I think all this needs to be done before the invasion, because, once they’re in there, it’s very, very difficult to get them out.

BAIER: Senator, some people are calling proactively, as a deterrence measure, to impose sanctions on Russia before they go in.

Prior to the president’s clarification today, obviously, a lot of people concerned about yesterday’s news conference. But the administration’s position has been, behind the scenes, they don’t want to escalate things, not to do something before Russia acts.

Your response to that?

MCCONNELL: Well, the Russians have escalated this. They have created this whole crisis.

They’re testing us to see whether we will do anything of consequence to keep them from gobbling up part of another sovereign country. That hadn’t happened since World War II.

I don’t think Vladimir Putin understands subtlety. And I think job number one is to make sure the Ukrainians have the tools to inflict severe damage on any Russian troops coming in and, second, to threaten to use, and use if you have to, the kind of economic sanctions the Russians have never been subjected to before.

BAIER: I want to turn topics, from the news conference, something the president came back to time and time again, and that is what you’re for.

And he specifically mentioned you. Take a listen.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: The fundamental question is, what’s Mitch for?

Mitch has been very clear. He will do anything to prevent Biden from being a success.

I have had five Republican senators who have told me that they agree with whatever I’m talking about for them to do: “But, Joe, if I do it, I’m going to get defeated in a primary.”

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BAIER: So, Mr. Leader, what are you for?

(LAUGHTER)

MCCONNELL: Well, my good friend the president got it wrong once again.

I helped him pass a bipartisan infrastructure bill. I supported in the Senate a bill to deal with China and the computer chip shortage.

If the president starts acting like a moderate, like he campaigned, we can do business. The reason we have 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-seat majority in the House. And they couldn’t get it through.

And the reason I couldn’t get it through, the American people are not for all of this. They thought they were electing a moderate. 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.

BAIER: Well, let’s just get specific. He said, we want to break up Build Back Better.

And you heard Speaker Pelosi saying, well, there’s reconciliation rules, and you really can’t do that with this big bill.

Can anything pass, a piece of the Build Back Better legislation?

MCCONNELL: Look, I don’t think the American people are clamoring for any pieces of Build Back Better.

They want us to tackle on the problems that they’re concerned about, inflation at the top of the list, a wide-open border. We have 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. They have been off on this toot over voting rights, for example. Well, 94 percent of the American people think it’s easy to vote right now.

We had a record turnout last year, the highest turnout since 1900, 120 years ago. Nobody’s being discriminated against in voting. The Voting Rights Act is still intact, passed in 1965. I actually was there to witness it as a young intern here on Capitol Hill.

They’re making this up. Why are they doing it? They want a federal takeover of how every election in America is conducted. That is not how this country has been run for over 200 years. It’s not what the American people are interested in having them do, since 94 percent of them already think it’s easy to vote.

BAIER: Senator, one of the things the president said, well, he pushed back on the characterization that he’s a socialist, and he said he’s not Bernie Sanders, but he likes him.

But you have known Joe Biden as a senator, a dear friend, you have said numerous times, for many, many years. Is the same Joe Biden in the White House that you have known for many years?

MCCONNELL: Well, it’s really kind of irrelevant.

I mean, you’re — you deserve a label based upon what you’re advocating. And the president signed up for Bernie Sanders’ agenda, to turn America into a socialist country. Regardless of what he may have been years ago when he was in the Senate, that’s what he signed up for.

And they have — they have hit a brick wall. And the reason they have hit a brick wall is, they don’t have the votes to do it. The American people are not in favor of it. And if I were the president, I would listen to the American people, and I would pivot and try to become the moderate I said I would be.

And, if he does that, Bret, there are many Republicans, including myself, who are willing to talk to him about making progress for the country, like we did on infrastructure and like we did in the Senate on the China bill.

BAIER: Yes.

I want to ask you about your party. And do you think that former President Donald Trump will be a help to you in the midterm elections?

MCCONNELL: I think the midterm election almost certainly is going to be a referendum on the party in power.

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.

BAIER: But, as that’s happening, you have somebody like Senator Lindsey Graham, who is warning that you can’t just abandon that side of the party, and specifically the former president. Just take a listen.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEN. LINDSEY GRAHAM (R-SC): It’s not a warning. He says he wants to be the Republican leader. You don’t need to kiss Donald Trump’s ass, but you got to have a working relationship with him for us to be successful.

So, the bottom line here is, if you don’t have a working relationship with President Trump as a Senate leader or House leader, that hurts us all.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BAIER: He’s specifically talking about you, Senator.

Your response?

MCCONNELL: Well, I appreciated Lindsey Graham’s tweet last night commenting on my closing speech before we saved the Senate from the Democrats, who were trying to break the Senate last night, fundamentally changing the institution.

Appreciate Lindsey’s support on that, and grateful for his leadership on so many different issues.

And all Republicans, believe me, of all stripes will be together voting to send this administration a strong message this November.

BAIER: There was two questions about former President Trump. I noticed you didn’t talk about him.

But we’re going to have you back here on “Special Report.” We appreciate your time.

Thank you, Senator.

MCCONNELL: Thanks, Bret.