(WASHINGTON) — In advance of President Obama’s State of the Union address, Senate minority leader Mitch McConnell mocked Obama’s reported pivot to jobs that is anticipated to be included in his joint address to Congress.
“I’ve lost count of how many times the president’s made one of those pivots,” McConnell, R-Ky., said on the Senate floor Tuesday morning. “I mean, he’s pivoted so many times, reporters covering the White House must be getting completely dizzy.”
By way of comparison, the Republican leader said that Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., who is delivering the Republican response this year, does not need to make any such pivot.
“Unlike our rather easily distracted president, Senator Rubio has never had to pivot to jobs. He’s kept a laser focus on job creation and the economy ever since he got here,” he said.
McConnell didn’t set his expectations high for the president’s address, noting that parts of the president’s speech that have been reported seem to him to be “another litany of left-wing proposals with plenty of red meat for the president’s base.”
“I’d like to humbly suggest once again that it’s time for the president to reach out to congress, including republicans, and make divided government work,” McConnell said, noting that the first thing he wants to hear is the president’s plan for replacing the sequester — which, in order to place blame for the deep, automatic spending cuts on the president, he has started to dub the “Obama sequester.”
Senate Democrats plan to offer their own solution to the sequester later this week in Congress. Tuesday morning, Senate majority leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., called on Republicans to rally around their approach, as the deadline for the devastating and deep spending cuts looms.
“If Republicans truly agree that these across-the-board cuts would be damaging to our economy, to national security, they should work to help us pass an alternative,” Reid said on the Senate floor.
The majority leader said that President Obama on Tuesday night will reach across the aisle in his joint address, and will include ideas supported by both Republicans and Democrats.
“I hope my republican colleagues will give his vision the consideration it deserves,” he added.
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