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Woodward: McConnell's 'one term' comment taken out of context

by Joe Arnold


Posted on September 17, 2012 at 9:36 AM

(WHAS11 Political Blog) -- Veteran Washington Post journalist Bob Woodward's review of Congress' dealings with President Obama in his new book, The Price of Politics, includes some context on a much criticized 2010 quote by Sen. Mitch McConnell, that his "top political priority over the next two years should be to deny President Obama a second term in office."

On MSNBC's Morning Joe program, Woodward said the key to McConnell's quote is the context of the next sentence, which is rarely reported.


JOE SCARBOROUGH: “And Bob, you talk about this. And you see it time and time again in your book where Republicans give ideas, and every idea is rejected outright. I want to focus, though, on a quote. And I’ve got to admit, just by reading press reports; I didn't know the other side of the Mitch McConnell quote. And I think I, at least, owe him an apology here on the air because we've repeated it a thousand times where Mitch McConnell says, my one priority, my top priority is preventing a second Obama term. But you actually pull out what nobody in the media pulls out, and that's the rest of Mitch McConnell’s statement. What is it?”

BOB WOODWARD: “And where McConnell says, ‘I don't want Obama to fail, I want him to change.’ And I agree with you. I think that that's significant. Now, there is a brazenness to the first part of the quote, and as you know, Mitch McConnell is –”

JOE SCARBOROUGH: “He's tough.”

BOB WOODWARD: “He’s a hard ass on these subjects, to say the least.”

JOE SCARBOROUGH: “But McConnell went on to say -- and it's just never been reported -- McConnell went on to say, but if he changes, I want to work with him, and basically that's the attitude of if the guy will meet us halfway -- and I see John Heilemann rolling his eyes around the set, but time and time and time again, republicans offered suggestions, and time and time and time again, the first two years, the president rejected them outright.”