McConnell: More Republicans Equal Greater Bipartisanship

Posted August 5, 2010 at 1:03pm

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) on Thursday urged voters to elect more Senate Republicans, arguing that a slimmer power gap in the chamber would bring about more bipartisanship.

McConnell noted that Democrats have enjoyed a 59- or 60-vote majority since 2009, and have sought to pick off one or two Republicans to pass their agenda.

“If you’re between 55 and 45, you get genuine bipartisan agreement,” McConnell told reporters during a breakfast sponsored by the Christian Science Monitor.

“What I hope we’re going to have after November is more balance, more balance. Which will give as opportunities to do things together that simply were missing” over the past 18 months, he said.

But while McConnell was promoting the idea of bipartisanship, he made clear he would only be open to his particular brand of cooperation. “But I’m not going to be very interested in doing things left of center. Its going to have to be center right,” he warned, adding that he believes President Barack Obama is “flexible” enough to be more conservative.

“I think the president is a flexible man, and I hope he’ll become a born-again moderate.”

After the breakfast, McConnell said he would not be going to Nevada to campaign against Majority Leader Harry Reid (D).

“I will not go to Nevada … I don’t think it’s appropriate,” McConnell said, according to Talking Points Memo.

In the past, leaders have largely resisted campaigning against each other. But in 2004, then-Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-Tenn.) broke with that tradition and traveled to South Dakota to campaign against then-Minority Leader Tom Daschle (D). Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.) ultimately defeated Daschle.