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CNN’s Legal View Ignores McConnell’s History Of Obstruction To Buy Into New “Conciliatory” Tone

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on November 6th, 2014 12:08 am by HL

CNN’s Legal View Ignores McConnell’s History Of Obstruction To Buy Into New “Conciliatory” Tone

CNN’s Legal View with Ashley Banfield glossed over Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell’s (R-KY) history of obstructionism after he promised to work with Democrats in the Senate following his reelection, choosing instead to paint him as a “conciliatory” lawmaker.

Sen. McConnell Wins Reelection, Says He Wants To Compromise With Democrats

In Time Interview, McConnell Says He Wants To Find Common Ground With Democrats. In an interview following his reelection, Time described McConnell as striking a “conciliatory tone, saying he hopes to work with President Obama and Senate Democrats.” McConnell asserted that Senate Republicans were “going to want to see what kind of things we might be able to agree on with the President. After all, he’s going to be there for two more years.” [Time, 11/5/14]

CNN Figures Buy Into McConnell’s Promise To Work With Democrats

Host Ashley Banfield: McConnell “Does The Conciliatory Stuff,” “Makes Concessions.” Legal View host Ashley Banfield said on the November 5 edition of the show that McConnell is a rare breed of politician who “does the backroom dealing, who does the conciliatory stuff, he works behind the scenes and makes concessions.” Her guest, Daily Beast’s Eleanor Clift, agreed that “he’s someone the White House could do business with.”

BANFIELD: I love the fact that Mitch McConnell is one of those breeds that we don’t see as often anymore. He’s the old school guy who does the backroom dealing, who does the conciliatory stuff, he works behind the scenes and makes concessions. That’s not so much the new order these days it seems, as more folks come in on the Hill, less of that seems to happen. But does it work anymore?

CLIFT: Oh, I think it worked a couple of times during the Obama administration where he really saved us from a longer government shutdown, a debt ceiling crisis, he stepped in quietly, did his negotiating mostly with Vice President Biden. [CNN, Legal View with Ashley Banfield, 11/5/14]

CNN Contributor: “Let’s Be Charitable” And Take McConnell “At His Word” That He Will End Gridlock. CNN contributor and Daily Beast editor in chief John Avlon said “you heard Mitch McConnell, he promised that if the Republicans were elected it would mean an end to gridlock. So let’s be charitable and take him at his word.” [CNN, Legal View with Ashley Banfield, 11/5/14]

But CNN Ignored McConnell’s History Of Obstruction

In 2010, McConnell Repeatedly Declared Main GOP Goal Is To Make Obama A “One-Term President.” McConnell said in an interview with the National Journal that “The single most important thing we want to achieve is for President Obama to be a one-term president.” In remarks at the Heritage Foundation after the midterm elections of 2010, McConnell reaffirmed that the GOP’s “top political priority over the next two years should be to deny President Obama a second term in office.” [Think Progress, 10/25/10; Politico, 11/3/10]

McConnell-Led Senate Republicans Planned To Obstruct Almost All Democratic Legislation. The Associated Press reported in December 2010 that Senate Republicans, led by McConnell, “intend to block action on virtually all Democratic-backed legislation unrelated to tax cuts and government spending in the current postelection session of Congress.” [Associated Press, 12/1/10]

New York Times: McConnell Devised Obstructionist Strategy Before Obama Even Took Office. A March 2010 New York Times story reported that the Republican minority leader’s strategy, devised before President Obama took office, was to “use his extensive knowledge of Senate procedure to slow things down, take advantage of the difficulties Democrats would have in governing and deny Democrats any Republican support on big legislation.” [The New York Times3/16/10]

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