Back in December 2010, two full years into Barack Obama’s presidency, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) remarked, “Our top political priority over the next two years should be to deny President Obama a second term.” He was speaking after two years of Obama ramming through exponential spending increases, Obamacare, and a feckless foreign policy that had crippled United States policy in the Middle East. He also stated that he didn’t want Obama to fail, but to change.
Yet now the left uses McConnell’s words to show that Republicans were the true obstacle to Obama’s success. The truth is that Obama’s legislative success is the single greatest obstacle to his presidential success – his policies have been disastrous. But the media and the Democrats want to blame “partisanship” rather than the President.
So they lie about McConnell’s statement. Instead of placing it in the context of two years of Obama experience in steamrolling Republicans, they pretend that McConnell said it at the outset of the Obama presidency.
Yesterday, Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) told Candy Crowley of CNN, “I think the President didn’t anticipate when the Republican Senate Leader Mitch McConnell said my highest priority, highest priority is not to deal with the recession. Not to deal with the cost of health care. Not to deal with what’s happening on Wall Street.” This is sheer sophistry. That was McConnell’s top priority for the first two years of Obama’s presidency, until Obama proved himself a radical ideologue who wasn’t interested in solving those problems – and proved himself to be the biggest obstacle to solving those problems.
Former Pennsylvanian Gov. Ed Rendell has also lied about the McConnell comments. “I can’t ever recall a newly elected president being faced with the leader of the other party’s caucus saying ‘Our No. 1 priority is to make this president a one-term president,'” Rendell said. That McConnell would say that in the first nine months of Barack Obama’s tenure is absolutely stunning, disgraceful, disgusting–you name the term.'” It might have been – if McConnell had said it. But Rendell lied.
Obama himself has tried to push this meme. “When I first came into office,” he said on 60 Minutes, “the head of the Senate Republicans said, ‘My number one priority is making sure President Obama’s a one-term president.'” That’s a plain lie. But Obama repeated it in front of David Letterman, who was too busy licking the president’s boots to ask him about it.
McConnell never said what Democrats attribute to him, and he never said it when they said he said it. They need to misdirect from Obama’s failed record, and so they’ll twist and turn McConnell’s words to achieve their own ends.