Republican Sen. Maj. Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky was a clear political target amongst the Democratic presidential candidates during their first debate in Miami on Wednesday.
- Several Democrats took advantage of the national stage to speak their mind about the McConnell, who has long stymied the Democrats’ policies in Congress.
- Despite mentioning McConnell by name, the Majority Leader’s camp appeared to relish the spotlight.
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Republican Sen. Maj. Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky became a clear political target amongst the Democratic presidential candidates during their first debate in Miami on Wednesday.
Democrats took advantage of the national stage to speak their mind about the senator, who has long stymied the Democrats’ policies in Congress. MSNBC moderators posed to the 10 candidates a number of issues ranging from Senate filibusters to gun control.
“To your question about Mitch McConnell, there is a political solution that we have to come to grips with,” New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said, referring to nominating potential Justices in the Supreme Court. “If the Democratic Party would stop acting like the party of the elites and be the party of working people again, and go into states including red states to convince people we’re on their side, we can put pressure on their senators to actually have to vote for the nominees that are put forward.”
Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts was asked if she had “a plan to deal with Mitch McConnell” if he was still the Majority Leader after the midterm election.
“I do,” Warren said to a round of applause from the audience.
“We are democracy and the way ademocracy is supposed to work isthe will of the people, matters,” Warren said. “We for far too long had aCongress in Washington that isjust completely dismissed whatpeople care about across thiscountry.”
McConnell has been criticized by Democrats after he scuttled former President Barack Obama’s plans to nominate Judge Merrick Garland’s to the Supreme Court in 2016. McConnell cited Obama’s imminent departure from the White House and said he was exercising the “Senate’s constitutional right to act as a check on the president” to “withhold its consent.”
“Well, here’s how I see this happening,” Warren added. “Number one, sure, I want to see us get a Democratic majority in theSenate, but short of aDemocratic majority in the Senate, you betterunderstand the fight still goeson.It starts in the White Wouse andit means that everybody we energizein 2020 stays on the frontlinescome January 2021.We have to push from the outside, have leadership from theinside, and make this Congressreflect the will of the people.”
Washington Gov. Jay Inslee took on a question about passing climate change reform and said he would start “by taking away the filibuster from Mitch McConnell.”
“We have to do that,” Inslee said. “We are the first generation tofeel the sting of climate changeand we are the last that can dosomething it.Our towns are burning and fieldsare flooding and Miami isinundated.We have to understand this is aclimate crisis.”
Rep. Tim Ryan of Ohio echoed his colleagues’ sentiments on appealing to a broader range of Americans and said, “If you want to beat Mitch McConnell, this better be a working class party; if you want to go into Kentucky and take his rear end out.”