Incoming Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) does not want the new GOP-led Congress to be “scary” because he believes a major takeaway from the midterms is that Americans want things “done in the political center.”
“I don’t want the American people to think that if they add a Republican president to a Republican Congress, that’s going to be a scary outcome. I want the American people to be comfortable with the fact that the Republican House and Senate is a responsible, right-of-center, governing majority,” McConnell told the Washington Post. “There would be nothing frightening about adding a Republican president to that governing majority… I think that’s the single best thing we can do, is to not mess up the playing field, if you will, for whoever the nominee ultimately is.”
He said that he has asked Republicans to “restrain themselves” in the new Congress.
In a Sunday CNN interview, McConnell said that “when the American people elect a divided government, they’re not saying they don’t want anything done. What they are saying is, they want things done in the political center, things that both sides can agree on. We talk about the things where there may be some agreement.”
“And so I think the message from the American people is they’d like to see a right-of-center, responsible conservative governing majority,” he said. “That’s what the speaker and I tend to provide. And, hopefully, we will have enough followers to do that.”
Republicans gained control of Congress largely because Americans disapproved of Obama on illegal immigration and executive amnesty. But McConnell has previously indicated that it was more important for Republicans to be the so-called “party of yes” than aggressively defund Obama’s executive amnesty in the new Congress.