McConnell Takes Early Shots at Obama’s State of Union

Photograph by Win McNamee/Getty Images

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell arrives at the White House prior to meeting with President Barack Obama on Dec. 28, 2012 in Washington.

Well that was quick. With President Barack Obama set to deliver the State of the Union address tonight, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell has already taken to the floor to lob his preemptive response.

“The campaign is over, and the fact is, if the president plans to accomplish anything good for the country in the coming months, he’s going to have to go through a Republican-controlled House,” the Kentucky senator said.

The Senate opener would not be complete without a few verbal jabs, and McConnell did not miss a beat when discussing the White House announcement that Obama will focus on job growth and the economy.

“I was pleased to read that the president might ‘pivot’ to jobs tonight,” quipped the leader. “I mean, he’s pivoted so many times, reporters covering the White House must be getting dizzy.”

McConnell specifically requested a detailed roadmap for how to deal with the upcoming defense cuts contained in the sequester.

“If the president really wants a ‘balanced’ approach, now’s the time to show his hand on the spending cuts and reforms he’ll accept,” he said. “That’s how compromise works.”

The minority leader said he has faith in Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, the man tasked with delivering the bilingual Republican response tonight.

“Now, even if we don’t hear the president speak directly to the issues Americans are most concerned about tonight, I’m confident the man who is set to follow him with the Republican response will,” McConnell said.

“Unlike our rather easily distracted president, Sen. Rubio has never had to ‘pivot’ to jobs,” he added.

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