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tv   Campaign 2018 Senate Majority Leader Mc Connell Post- Election News Conference  CSPAN  November 10, 2018 11:43am-12:02pm EST

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c-span.org. wednesday congressional leaders help re-things reviewing the results of the midterm election. mcconnellf this mitch followed by showers schumer -- charles schumer. leaderhat house minority nancy pelosi rely -- reacting to the democrats. sen. mcconnell: good morning, everyone. i had one of the cable networks on this morning and they said this is probably a rare opportunity to see mcconnell smiled.
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it is a good morning for senate republicans. over the course of the last -- first last night and this in looking at the race, i want to thank the president. he was extremely helpful to us in states where he is in excellent shape. he worked very hard and drew large crowds. i think it clearly has a positive impact on the outcome. with that, let me just see what you want to talk about. >> do you agree with the president's campaign rhetoric
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that that caravan is in endangerment and birthright citizenship should be dealt with as a presidential level. sen. mcconnell: i would be happy to give you my own views on what you would like to talk about but i don't do a running commentary on the president's observation on the campaign trail. reporter: if you could give me your view on those two issues. sen. mcconnell: it is an interesting legal question that i assume would be solved in the courts. >> the president said that he would be willing to work with and compromise with nancy pelosi. what do you believe of the top legislative priorities? sen. mcconnell: first, we have to finish this session. we have a number of items. we have to finish the farm bill and funding the government. the one issue that leader pelosi and i discussed this morning is, were there could be a possible
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bipartisan agreement is on infrastructure. i'm not putting you all down, but when we do things together it almost never makes any news. even in this current situation where we have republicans controlling all three branches. i have a long list of things we did on it bipartisan basis from water infrastructure. the appropriations process in 20 years was the best. airport infrastructure. fda authorization or it are plenty of things that we work together on. i always have to tell constituents that the senate's a pretty collegial place. even though we had big differences over things like taxes and judges, there were plenty of other things we did together and there is no reason that would stop simply because a house becomes democratic. >> what big issues are there? sen. mcconnell: we will see.
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it will all be discussed. >> will you insist on getting $5 billion for the president's border wall and the spending bill? sen. mcconnell: we will try to help the president achieve what he wants to do in regards to the wall and border security. that will have to be done on some kind of bipartisan discussion. >> how are the observations on that brett kavanaugh effect? sen. mcconnell: i think the republicans are core voters in the states that are critical to us. we are highly offended by the questioning of the presumptions of innocence and the tactics. i think it was like an adrenaline shot. we were worried about lack of intensity and the kavanaugh fight provided that. the one democrat in a red state voted for a kavanaugh.
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>> democrats in red states. you lost the house last night. i am wondering what kind impact the president rhetoric has on the party of women voters and suburban voters in some of those key races? sen. mcconnell: i will try not to have us rate -- waste our time on routine questions about what the president may say at any given moment. i am here to talk about the senate. we had a very good day. i am proud of what has happened. the president was very helpful to us. >> if you look at the exit polls, one of the most important issues for voters was health care. did you take away from the message that any effort to repeal a at this point is get -- is dead. sen. mcconnell: i think the democratic house will not be interested in that. there are serious problems with
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obamacare. they raised a phony issue of whether or not we work for or against pre-existing conditions. i suspect it may have worked in some places. even though they tried to define health care on that issue, i think all of our candidates who subsequently won were able to make clear to the voters that everybody we knew was in favor of government and pre-existing conditions, including the candidates. the rhetoric does not solve the problem and there are serious problems with obamacare and i think we will have to address that on a bipartisan basis. >> both leader pelosi and the president talked about prescription drug prices. you think that is something the senate could work with pelosi on? sen. mcconnell: i can't imagine that that won't be on the agenda. >> is there anything the senate republicans could or would do to help president trump if
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democrats attempt to see his tax returns? what would senate republicans do in the event that house democrats tried to obtain president trump's tax records? sen. mcconnell: the whole issue of presidential harassment is interesting. i remember when we tried it in the late 1990's. we impeached president clinton. his numbers went up and ours went down and we underperform. the democrats in a house will have to decide how much presidential harassment they think is good strategy. i am not sure it will work for them. >> to go back to that, the recommending that for house democrats, the oversight that they said that they will do might backfire on them? sen. mcconnell: all i am doing is making a historical
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observation that the business of presidential harassment, which we were deeply engaged in in the late 1990's, improved the president's approval rating and attacked ours. it might not be a smart strategy, but it is up to them to decide. >> is there anything you will be doing in the coming months to increase the number of women who are being recruited on the republican side to run for office? sen. mcconnell: it has been a frustration. i think i have mentioned to you before that we have had plenty of women candidates. a lot of them, if not one -- we are hopeful that martha will win. i will be trying to convince one of our women to go on the judiciary committee. something i have tried and failed the last couple of congresses. we need to do a better job of recruiting women candidates and getting them elected. hopefully we will have two new
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women republican senators here shortly. >> talking about that house oversight, the president tweeted this morning saying that if the house continues with their investigation, we will be forced to consider investigating them for the release of classified information, two can play at that game. can you respond to what you think about that? sen. mcconnell: i would like to focus on finishing up this session. we will see what happens next year. >> have you had discussions with the president about any of that? >> can you rule out a government shutdown? sen. mcconnell: look, we need to work this out. we had the most successful appropriations process already in 20 years. 75% of the government got funded before the end of september.
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we all know we need to work together towards the end to finish that up. we are going to do the best we can to try to approve the presidents priorities and hopefully we will not be headed down that path. >> what do you think of doing the daca fix? sen. mcconnell: i cannot imagine with all the things that we have to do here, to wrap up this congress, that we would revisit immigration. who knows. it is on the agenda every year because we have serious immigration issues. i were -- i would remind all of you that the democrats had total control of the government in 2009 and 2010 and never dealt with the immigration issue. it seems that no matter who is up or who is down we have not been able to come to some kind of conclusion about what to do
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on immigration. the one thing i thought we all agreed on was the border security issue. we have had a challenge on that as well as evident by the president running to build a wall and the reluctance on the other side to support it. i cannot imagine we will do anything beyond trying to deal with the funding issue on the wall here at the end of the session. >> just a follow-up on that. there was a real issue towards the midterms of the migrant caravan. would you want to put immigration at the top of the list and do you agree with the characterization the president used of the migrant caravan that is coming. sen. mcconnell: that is an executive branch issue about how to deploy security forces to deal with that. i am sure the president will handle it skillfully.
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sen. mcconnell: it is not a legislative issue. it is a question on height want to deal with security at the border. the president has latitude to do then he is taking advantage of the opportunity. >> how does the oversight in pd are ability to work? sen. mcconnell: i am having a hard time hearing you? >> if democrats look for oversight will that in p on things that in -- on things like infrastructure? >> if the judge in texas rules to take down obamacare, heidi think -- how do you think they will respond? sen. mcconnell: the health-care care system is still a pretty big mess.
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it will have to be addressed on a bipartisan basis because the democrats will control the house. i do not think anybody is satisfied with the status quo. the american people have given us a divided government, which they have given us since world war ii. i think the message is, figure out what you can do together and do it. health care is still a crisis and needs to be fixed. >> if house dems push for the russia probe, is there time to get out in front of the special counsel? sen. mcconnell: the senate intelligence committee has been looking at that issue and we expect them to report at some point in the future. so far they have operated on a pretty bipartisan basis i look forward to hearing what they have to say. >> have you spoken to governor spot for congresswoman mick
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sally about the racist -- races. sen. mcconnell: governor scott and all -- and i traded calls last night. i have not spoken to martha mcsally. although we traded calls too. i decided to go to bed and talk to her this morning. >> since you will have extra cushion in the senate, what will that enable you to do? will you use traditional nominations sen. mcconnell: you know what my top priority is. the two supreme court appointments, overall number of judges, and we are not through doing those this year. the president has done an excellent job of picking young men and women who believe the job as judge is to follow the law and we intend to keep
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confirming as many as we possibly can for as long as we are in a position to do it. it will still be my top priority in setting the agenda here in the senate. next congress as well. >> will you revisit your marks and a congress? sen. mcconnell: democrats have made it perfectly clear that they are not interested in dealing with entitlements. they are in a position to say no so i do not think that will be on the agenda. i have no idea. i never thought about that. we have a conference rule related to earmarks on the senate side. >> will pay 10% middle-class tax cut be on your agenda next congress? sen. mcconnell: well, any effort on the tax side would clearly
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have to be negotiated on a bipartisan basis. we will just have to see -- i assume nancy will be speaker, we have to see. we would have to do it together. we when i have the possibility of doing it on a partyline basis like we did in this congress. >> on some of the changes in the administration and in the cabinet that are expected, can you just give your view on what the confirmation battle ground might look like? are you confident that you could, if there was a vacancy at the department of justice, would it eat up valuable time? sen. mcconnell: i think we will probably have more time for nominations in the next congress then we have had in this one. the areas of legislative agreement will be more limited, obviously, between the
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democratic house and republican senate. i do not think we will have problem finding any times to do nominations. how controversial they arehow ce depends upon who it is. signaled there is likely to be a number of changes. we will process them. >> [indiscernible] sen. mcconnell: it is not up to me to tell the president who to put in the cabinet. they serve at his pleasure. if you make changes, we will deal with whoever sent up. democrats will probably be announcing they are testing the waters for 2020. what impact do you believe that will have for the president's reelection? sen. mcconnell: it will be fun to watch the democratic presidential aspirants, for
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which we have a number in the senate. may have some attendance problems from time to time. it will be interesting to watch. >> do you plan on running for reelection yourself? are you confident president trump will support your reelection? sen. mcconnell: i would not be surprised. anyone else? thanks a lot, everybody. [crowd talking]

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