Mitch McConnell: ‘I’m a Big Fan of the Tea Party’

On Thursday, The Tea Party News Network’s Scottie Nell Hughes sat down with Kentucky Senator and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell to discuss Obamacare, winning elections and the Senator’s view on the Tea Party Movement that delivered the Democrats a crushing blow in 2010.

Senator McConnell began to noting that the legislative agenda in the Senate it dominated by the majority party, the Democrats. Repeatedly stressing the importance of winning elections, the Kentucky Republican highlighted the challenges of pushing a conservative agenda when Republicans only control the House while Democrats control the Senate and the White House. Sen. McConnell stated,

“I think many active conservatives need to remember that when you only control a very small part of the government- the House of Representatives only- and the Democrats have the Senate, Democrats have Barack Obama in the White House…It’s very difficult to get outcomes that you would like to get. We need to win elections. That’s how we change policy because people who lose elections go home and people who win elections make policy.”

Sen. McConnell spoke frankly about the Republican opposition to Obamacare and noted that the president’s signature achievement coupled with his “demonstrably false” promise that Americans could keep their healthcare plans has “cratered his personal approval rating.”

“In all likelihood, the 2014 off-year election will be a referendum on how people feel about Barack Obama,” Sen. McConnell began. “Whatever internal differences we have among conservatives, we all agree on several things. Number one: We all agree that Obamacare is a disaster and that we’d repeal it the moment we had the votes to do it. And number two: we believe that Barack Obama’s done a lot of damage to the country and we know that we would be in a better position to stop him for the last two years of his term if we had both a conservative House and a conservative Senate.”

Sen. McConnell explained the divide within the Senate’s GOP as a difference of tactics. Discussing the efforts by Sen. Ted Cruz to block the implementation of Obamacare and the partial government shutdown that followed, Sen. McConnell explained,

“The tactical differences on how to [defeat Obamacare] are not nearly as important as the fact that all of us want to get rid of it and we all know that the way to get rid of it is to change the Senate and, ultimately, the White House; the way you do that is to not fracture, but unify and opposition to Obamacare is something that unifies us all.”

“I’m a big fan of the Tea Party. I think it’s brought a lot of energy and enthusiasm to the table. It helped us win in 2010; it can help us win in 2014,” Sen. McConnell explained. 

The Kentucky Senator stressed the importance of winning elections and admitted a divide in the GOP with regards to tactics, but emphasized the importance of Republicans working together to retake the Senate and, hopefully, the White House in 2016.

Hughes and Sen. McConnell discussed the hot topics surrounding Capitol Hill and noted the shortcoming of the recent Ryan/Murray budget deal, against which Sen. McConnell voted. The two also discussed the recent push by President Obama to implement “promise zones,” which Sen. McConnell explained serves as a drastically different approach than he and his fellow Kentucky Senator Rand Paul would pursue.

“The difference is that the president is simply saying, ‘We’re going to focus funding we have already have on these particular areas.’ What Sen. Paul and I would do, rather than treat it, sort of, like a poverty program where you’re simply going to spend more in a particular area, we would go through reductions in taxes and regulatory burdens and turn those areas into places where it’s really incentivized to invest because if you go in and invest in these zones, you get tax breaks, you get regulatory relief. In other words, there’s incentive for you to put your business there and if you put your business there, you’ve got jobs and if you’ve got jobs, that’s the real way to help people.”

After having been accused by several conservative groups as not having been conservative enough, Sen. McConnell addressed his reputation as a conservative. When asked if he considered himself a Tea Party conservative, Sen. McConnell replied,

“People who have taken a look at my record and signed up for me are people like Rand Paul, people like Mike Huckabee, Hugh Hewitt, Lars Larsen. In the American Conservative Union’s rating last year, I was one of five senators who got a 100%. I don’t know how anybody can look at my record and conclude that I haven’t been a conservative. Everybody who serves around here believes that I’m the most conservative Republican leader we’ve ever had. So anybody that wants to run against me in a primary in Kentucky, claiming that I’m not conservative enough, does not have a very credible argument and it will not be successful.”

While conservatives and establishment Republicans remain divided on how to best make progress with a conservative agenda, the fact remains that with Republicans controlling only the House, the GOP can do little but help block or slow bad legislation. Winning elections, as Sen. McConnell points out, is the surest way to move the ball downfield as conservatives howl for reversals of disastrous fiscal policies pushed by Democrats. 

Trending Today


  1. Scottie did not have the courage to ask him all the important questions. She would be great interviewing Obama with the slow pitches. Nuf said !!!!

  2. Not one question about hostile statements toward the Tea Party from Republican leadership, including McConnell?

    1. Is he really? Does he vote against judges like Scalia and Alito and for judges like SotoMayor and Kagan? Did he vote for Obamacare? Did he support campaign finance reform tyranny, or was he in fact the only senator at the time who stood up against it? Did he vote for the Ryan/Murray budget or against it? I want the Tea Party to win, Bullet, but we have got to stop eating the very people who are advancing our causes. If we want to get a better guy in the primary, then great. Let’s do it, but don’t pave the way for a freakin marxist to win his seat. We’ve already seen what good that does us.

    2. Didn’t he vote to make obamacare easier to pass then vote against it after he was sure that there were enough votes for it to pass just like McCain?

    3. Cruz’s philibuster was good to call attention to the disaster and galvanize opposition, but it was only going to go so far. At some point something was going to give. We only have the house and they have the senate and the Presidency. If we want to get rid of Obamacare, we will need to get people who are opposed to it in the Senate. McConnel wasn’t going out there calling Ted Cruz a “whacko bird,” or saying that the philibuster was a fool’s errand like McCain. He was hotmiked with Rand Paul where Paul i saying, and it appears McConnel agreed, that it was good to get the Dems all on record as halting the government for Obamacare, and now they look all the more stupid, if we on the right can stop eating each other and capitalize.

    4. So, if holding the House doesn’t matter in the greater scheme of things, then it’s no big deal if Pelosi gets the gavel back, right?

  3. Not one mention of the back stabbing back room deals and name calling or the Chamber of Commerce attach on the Tea Party. I don’t think McConnell is so “conservative” and I think he made a deal to hurt us and help him and his state. Now he’s looking for votes and he’s been the prefect conservative for the past 4 years. Really?

    1. Mitch has an American Conservative Union rating of 90 %. I know its hard to believe since he goes off the reservation a lot. Hes my senator and I will hold my nose and vote for him before I would ever vote for that liberal hag Alison Grimes.

    2. I feel the same as you jMichael. Im with Matt but if he doesn’t prevail the most important thing is to keep the seat out of the hands of liberal / progressive types like Grimes.

    3. Matt Bevin doesn’t have the resources to fight against Grimes with all of Obozo’s Hollywood supporters throwing money at her. If he wins the primary you gave the election to Grimes another Obozo rubber stamp.

    4. One of my senators, Cornyn, does the same as McConnell:
      votes for cloture, then against the actual bill when it no longer matters, just to protect his conservative rating. Aka, you’re being played.

  4. Kudos to Scottie for not breaking out in laughter when Mitch said the words “I’m a big fan of the Tea Party” ~ I would have probably fell off my chair laughing ~ so kudos to her

  5. McConnell!?!? Really? He’s about as big a RINO as you can be!!! He hasn’t seen a single thing that he couldn’t manage to CAVE on to the Dem/Left/Prog/Lib/Socialists …

    Darn mealy mouth lying worthless piece of excrement!!!

    1. How can he be as big a RINO as you can be, when you have John McCain, Jeff Flake, Olympia Snow, and have we forgotten what it was like to have Arlen Specter? Don’t get me wrong, if the rumors are true about his going against Tea Party candidates, then let’s primary him. But he voted against Ryan-Murray, helped keep amnesty at bay, and was one of the very few men standing in the way of that stupid McCain-Feingold campaign finance bill. We have to look at people as a whole, and not just taste the flavor of the day.

    2. Easy … RINO is as RINO does. The others you mention are no better than McConnell and no worse. A RINO is a RINO and there needs to be an open limit hunting season declared on them this November.

      As to the fact that he’s done “some things” right … well, even a blind squirrel sometimes finds a nut. I particularly liked where he caved recently on a pretty important piece of legislature … but got a massive Federal payoff for doing so.

    3. “RINO is as RINO does” Please tell me you have examples and something other than folksy cliche’s to win me to this anti-McConnell campaign. And if you want to win WHY THE DEVIL WOULD YOU SAY THIS NOVEMBER? The time to get rid of undesirables in the Republican Party is in the Primary. McCain is TONS worse than McConnel. He voted for Ryan/Murray without blinking, he voted for cap and trade, is part of the gang of eight, tried to neuter conservatives and third party people with campaign finance reform and has a worse record on voting for dingbat activist judges. A person who cannot tell friend from foe is usually classified as a sociopath. In this case I think you jut want to win the argument, without providing a shred of real insight as to how the DEVIL it’s possible that McConnel is a sellout to the same order as McCain and Flake. .

    4. I agree that we need to trash all of these candidates as soon as possible. You needn’t tell me about McCain. As to McConnell he is perhaps “better” than some but he has … from my view and experience … been the first at the table to glean through the scraps. He has also been one of the more instrumental in terms of caving repeatedly even when the republicans held a pretty good hand. It could be said … from some people’s points of view … the McConnell is just doing what is “best” at the time … but, in my view, he is SUPPOSED to be one of the “Leaders” and when a “Leader” caves then everyone follows them into the abyss. If he had not the intestinal fortitude to lead and press each advantage, he should have let someone else take the position.

  6. When you are in the minority it is time to get low down mean and get in the first lick not become the thing you are fighting against. No more RINO’S

  7. 2 BILLION DOLLAR OF PORK TO HIS STATE on BUDGET DEAL says enough about who this guy really is . Just another money grubbing low life politician

  8. He doesn’t vote that way………and that’s why I would like to see a better conservative elected there.

  9. Doesn’t he talk crap about the tea party all the time!! He does make a point we need to be unified in our message and groups.

    1. Unified, absolutely! Behind McConnell, McCain, King, Alexander and the rest of the progressive democrats in republican clothing, no way in God’s green earth. Primary McConnell, and get rid of his corrupt butt.

    2. I most certainly did not mean them. I am talking tea Party all the way and all those groups need to come together. The liberals you state I would never ask to join us. I am sorry I wasn’t clear.

  10. McConnell has to go. Time to replace him with a creditable Republican – you know, one who doesn’t lie (the new ones try not to). We The People don’t need his brand of politics. Term limits look more and more attractive. There are those who say we already have term limits via the voting process, but tell that to the citizens of AZ regarding John McCain. Influence and money ensconces. Term limits say NOW and goodbye.

  11. He was in charge (Senate Majority Leader) of the Senate and Boehner was the House Speaker and Pres. Bush in the White House – the RINOs went ballistics spending money left and right.

  12. if they do gain the senate i hope he isnt the leader because he will just continue the same agenda as the dems.

  13. Sen McConnell has a strange way of showing he’s a fan, It’s time we rid ourselves of this twofaced fraud, We need to win the senate in 2014, but we don’t need McConnell to be its leader.

  14. Yeah McConnell and odumbo is straight as an arrow, right. Getting scared huh McConnell. I am starting to believe that you all are all getting scared of the Tea Party. You should be. By the way I am no longer a repuke.

    1. Kentucky sadly is not a decidedly red state Matt Bevin has not the resources to beat Allison Grimes so a vote against Mitch is a vote for Grimes and the Obama agenda

    2. Then perhaps the RNC and RSCC should spend some of their millions to help Bevin. It’s a thought.

    3. If you and all the other naysayers would get off your duffs and send a few dollars to Matt Bevin, he would have the resources to beat Grimes.

      I’m giving him every penny I can and I don’t even live in Kentucky.

  15. He lies just like the democrats who want to be re-elected now that most everyone knows obamacare is a disaster the democrats want to deny obamacare but if re-elected they’ll say how wonderful it is, They are all two-faced hypocrites that want to keep their gravy train jobs & f**k the USA citizens. McConnell if re-elected will go back to being a RINO.

  16. I read this and thought maybe I had been wrong in sending him nasty letters. I was under the impression he didn’t care for the tea-party. Then from reading your comments below maybe I wasn’t so far off. I am fed up with the whole Republican Party, with the exception of about a half dozen, and the whole Democrat Party should be expelled to Cuba along with RHiNOS.

    1. Don’t sucker for this lying RINO election year horse manure. This lowlife voted for cloture on Obamacare, knew it would pass by enough for him to vote against it. He is a liar, and deserves to retire on the dung heap where he belongs.

  17. Any House Republican pretty much has his hands tied as far as getting a lot done, because the Democrats control the Senate, and the White House. The use of RINO is inappropriate when their voting record is as conservative as Mitch McConnell’s is. He’s not a RINO at all. He’s a great person to keep in the job. Focus on defeating Democrats. A Republican Senate is the focus of real Republicans who really care about the country, and their number is growing rapidly.

    1. For the record, our problem is much greater in AZ, and AZ is a solidly Red State. Kentucky is NOT. McConnel was one of the very FEW who fought against John McCain’s smelly tyrannical campaign finance laws before there was a tea party. You can hate him for his modern transgressions, but let’s be honest. McCain and Flake are much, much worse than McConnel, both of them voted for Ryan/Murray too. McConnel did not.

    2. Agreed arizona has rinos. Would you agree that any carier politicians have their interests, and appear to be working for their voting block. The worst that happened, the Republican party grabbed the tea party and got into bed.

      carrier politicians need to go.
      americans are great at wining and complaining. Lets do something and vote independent and start to remove some power. I am a fan the tea party.

  18. Did anyone stay awake till the end of the video? If you did you heard a thinly veiled threat against ANYONE that runs against him in the primary. I have contacted all of my friends in KY and sent them links to this, as well as Matt Bevin. This lying Reid look alike has to go.

  19. Mitch McConnell and Peter King are simply employing the same tactics as Obloody: Repeat the lies and they will stick.

  20. If you believe in Term Limits and a suitable conservative replacement for this representative of the people comes forward, by all means enact Term Limits through Executive Privilege and VOTE. :)

  21. B’itch McConnell, I’ll believe every word you say but first where is the Unicorn you promised me if I would vote for you? My little daughter is crying her eyes out because it wasn’t here on Christmas day.

  22. Time for true Conservatives to show McConnell the door to retirement. There are better choices available to primary him out.

  23. typical communist rino lie claiming to be what the base wants for the election so he can shift back to the far leftist he really is after re-election. we need a truth in campaign law just like truth in advertising laws to protect the voters from frauds like mcconnell, mccain, flake, christie, brown, etc,… flip, flopping and campaign lies are fraud which is criminal acts against we the people.

  24. I saw “Mitch McConnell – friend of the Tea Party” scroll across the bottom of the page and literally choked on my oreos.


  25. This man Mitch McConnell has become a true moderate for quite some time, has made million as our Senator of Kentucky with these back room deals, the only reason Mitch even gave this interview to TPNN is his approval rating is worst then the President of the United States at 31 % with Kentucky voters, we plan on changing that in May by putting Matt Bevin a true Conservative of the Constitution.

  26. Liar who said he is a Conservative, just to get your vote, but call the Conservative Republicans evil and need punching in the noise.

  27. McConnell has more excuses than a five year old getting caught stealing cookies from the cookie jar. I would not trust him as far as I could throw him. His tail needs to go. We need to send him a strong message and vote him out!!! It’s time for him to check in at the nursing home.

    1. Since the only other choice is Allison Grimes who will do nothing but hold Barack Obama (and his policies) up on a pedestal I will vote for Mitch because his opponent is surely the enemy.

  28. Mitch found conservatism during the Christmas break? Did the prospect of a primary challenge help in his seeing the light? it is too easy my liking. Watch it folks lest you be assimilated (like the Borg in a Star Trek movie). The GOP has already lost its identity will all the aisle crossings…

  29. I’m the most conservative Republican leader we’ve ever had. ????? Mitch are you out of your damn mind? You are anything but conservative and you certainly are not a “leader”. You are one of the most dishonest snakes in Washington DC!!!! Period

  30. As a member of the national Association for gun rights and are a and gun owners of America I can say this about Sen. McConnell he stands behind gun right issues 100% of the time

  31. Expect to hear the term Compassionate Conservative a lot coming from the likes of McConnell, Graham, McCain, Kirk and the rest of the RINOs… Has a nice ring and sounds so caring. It also implies TEA Partiers don’t care about people..

    RINO’s will brag about how conservative they are based on their Compassionate principles… They’ll use it to push for amnesty, Common Core, various aspects or Agenda 21 and anything else that fits the Chamber of Commerce agenda..

  32. Wasn’t this the guy that voted FOR cloture on a bill after Ted Cruz’s 20 some hour marathon as to why to NOT vote for cloture and defund obamacare, and THEN he votes against the bill, KNOWING it would pass solely on the dems votes, and brags to his constituents what a good conservative he is?!?

  33. “McConnell said the Tea Party was ‘nothing but a bunch of bullies,’” the source said. “And he said ‘you know how you deal with schoolyard bullies? You punch them in the nose and that’s what we’re going to do.’”

  34. McConnel is a bald faced liar. He said what he did because it was expedient for him to at the time. He did not support to shutdown, and in fact was a traitor and scumbag to the party. He made a deal with Harry Ried and got a payoff along wirh it. If he had stood with the oar4y things would be different now. He is not to be believed and should resign from office!

  35. McConnell is a “smooth criminal.” I, for one, will remember what he said in this interview: “If we get a majority in the Senate and keep our majority in the House, we WILL repeal ObamaCare.” [emphasis mine] I WILL NOT forget that statement from this interview.

    1. Good Don’t forget it! Just remember, McConnel’s democratic opponent will NOT repeal Obama Care.

    2. I am holding McConnell to his word. He has already demonstrated his disdain for the TEA party. As for McConnell’s democratice opponent? I already know that.
      Personally, I would like to see McConnell and Boehner replaced with TEA party reps and throw the hellhole we are in out with OboodyCare…

    3. I compare it to Qiang Kai Sheck in China. He wasn’t the nicest guy, and a lot of his people were corrupt, but when compared with Mao Tse Tung, the murderer of tens of millions, he was much more desirable. Primary him if you have to, but if the general comes around and it’s McConnel against a pro Obamacare marxist, going for McConnel is the smart choice. .

  36. McConnell is a fan of the TEA Party my backside. Votes and gets along with Democrats way to many times. Time to start term limits on the man.

  37. If there is ANY way Kentuckians can throw McConnell out WITHOUT electing a Democrat in the process, they should do it. :-<

  38. Fuck this LITTLE man! I am voting Cruz / Rand, and as for the senate…. UGH, what a MESS that crap hole is! Where do you START getting rid of these guys! The Congress is the SAME WAY! in a freaking shambles, with not a real good selection for either!

  39. Lets say Goodbye to Mitch McConnell (Looks like and talks like Harry Reid) in 2014, we have enough liars in The House. This coward speaks with a forked tongue, whichever way the wind blows.Double tongued lying Polititician (RINO)

  40. Fire them all. Send them all home until We the People want them to do their job. All congress does is spend money and pass laws. We are 17,000,000,000.00 in debt and counting, do we need any more laws?

  41. Something seriously wrong with this man. I think he need to be retired. Are you with the People across the country Kentucky? I hope so come his next election.

  42. To all of you ‘lesser of two evils’ Republicans:

    “In Kentucky, Matt Bevin, the last man in America to still domestically
    produce church bells, is running against Senator Mitch McConnell, the Republican minority leader. Bevin has the support of the Jim DeMint, who created Senate Conservatives Fund. McConnell has responded by launching insider attacks against the Senate Conservatives Fund. Like Barack Obama’s IRS targeting tea party groups for harassment, McConnell and his lobbying friends in Washington have targeted companies doing business with the Senate Conservatives Fund. They have made clear that those companies will either stop working with conservatives or not get business from Republicans in Washington.

    They have run hit jobs on the Senate Conservatives Fund, its director, Matt
    Hoskins, and others who support Bevin in newspapers, and pushed out attacks in opinion pieces and on television. All this because Matt Hoskins, the Senate Conservatives Fund and people like Matt Bevin have chosen to hold Republican leaders accountable for their broken promises.”

  43. the fact is and I hate to say it, but if Clinton gets in we need to stack both houses against her using the Tea party and other conservatives just to keep this country from 1 going under and 2 losing every constitutional right we have.

  44. Some Republicans will believe anything!
    If TEA Party Republicans ever acquire enough committee positions,
    then “Establishment” R.I.N.O.’s like McConnell will be swept into
    the dust-bin of history.