Despite Trump’s Recent Missteps, McConnell Stands By GOP Nominee Thursday, Aug 11 2016 

U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said he still supports Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, despite the latest firestorm that has erupted over Trump’s most recent remarks about Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton.

McConnell addressed the Middletown Chamber of Commerce Thursday.

Many say Trump encouraged violence this week when he suggested “maybe there is” something supporters of the Second Amendment could do to stop Clinton from choosing Supreme Court justices. Trump’s campaign said he was referring to the political weight of the National Rifle Association and gun-rights advocates.

Met with laughter from the crowd, McConnell declined — tongue-in-cheek — to respond when asked what he thinks about Trump.

“Here’s what I decided when I got out of bed this morning: I’m going to have a Trump-free day … next question,” he said.

McConnell later said he stands by his endorsement of Trump and deflected one questioner’s criticism that he hasn’t been vocal enough in his support of the nominee.

“Believe me, voting for Donald Trump over Hillary Clinton is easy for me — easy,” McConnell said.

McConnell also told the group that it will be “dicey” for Republicans to hold onto their Senate majority in the fall elections. The GOP has 54 seats, while Democrats have 44. There are two independents.

“We, meaning we Republicans, have 24 members up,” he said. “Our Democratic friends only have 10. So as you can see, we were going to be on defense anyway, regardless of what was going on at the presidential level.”

McConnell said there are competitive races in states like New Hampshire, Pennsylvania, Iowa, Florida and Indiana.

In Other News… District Court pants controversy, McConnell on Zika funding, Lilith still in NYC, Lawrence’s ‘Red Sparrow’ Friday, Aug 5 2016 

judge Wolf

Pants: A Jefferson County District Court judge was outraged when a defendant appeared before her, seemingly without pants, reports TIME, The Huffington Post, Yahoo!, Elle and The Washington Post. Last Friday, Shavonne Salazar appeared in court before Jefferson District Court Judge Amber Wolf for failing to complete a diversion program for a 2014 shoplifting charge. […]

McConnell Says He’ll Likely Seek Re-Election Monday, Aug 1 2016 

U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is signaling that his long political career may stretch well into the next decade. The Kentucky Republican said there’s a “great likelihood” he’ll seek a seventh Senate term in 2020.

McConnell, appearing on WKYT-TV’s “Kentucky Newsmakers” program Sunday, said he’s “at the top of my game” and has been effective in representing Kentucky.

McConnell is the longest-serving senator in Kentucky’s history. If McConnell won another term in 2020, it would put him on course to serve well into his 80s.

In 2014, McConnell overcame a fierce challenge from Democrat Alison Lundergan Grimes to win his sixth term. McConnell achieved his longtime goal of becoming Senate majority leader when Republicans claimed control of the Senate after the 2014 elections.

McConnell Blasts Clinton, Pleads For Senate Support At RNC Wednesday, Jul 20 2016 

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell spoke at the Republican National Convention Tuesday night, immediately following a video message from Donald Trump, who thanked the audience for voting for him to be the presidential nominee for the Republican Party.

“I am here to tell you Hillary Clinton will say anything, do anything, and be anything to get elected president,” McConnell said. “You know that if Hillary is president, we’ll continue to slide, distracted by the scandals that follow the Clintons like flies.”

McConnell was booed by some delegates both times he took the stage Tuesday night. He was also booed on Monday evening when Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus put McConnell’s name forward to act as temporary convention chairman.

McConnell didn’t talk much about Trump during his speech, though he asserted that the newly-minted nominee would sign legislation that the Republican-dominated House and Senate have pushed in recent years.

“We put Obamacare repeal on the president’s desk, he vetoed it,” McConnell said. “Donald Trump would sign it.”

The Majority Leader reminded the audience that their party regained control of the Senate in 2014, putting pressure on the Democratic president with a “freshman class of rock star Republicans.” That year, Republicans gained 9 seats to retake the majority.

But the party’s command of the chamber is on the line this year with a new round of Senate re-elections. According to the Center For Politics, Democrats are in striking distance of recouping two lost seats and six races will be “toss-ups.”

McConnell concluded his RNC speech with a plea to put a Republican in the White House and keep the party on top in the Senate.

“Let us continue our work. Let us put justices on the Supreme Court that cherish our Constitution,” said McConnell, who has led Senate Republicans in blocking President Obama’s nominee to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Though on Tuesday Republican delegates officially voted for Trump to be the party’s presidential nominee, he won’t officially accept the nomination until Thursday evening.

In Other News… McConnell at RNC, Louisville an ‘up-&-coming’ city, loss at the zoo, Lawrence inspires Star Trek Friday, Jul 15 2016 

Trump McConnell

Conventional Wisdom: CNN and Politico report Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell will speak at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland next week. Ordinarily, something like the top Senate Republican speaking at the Republican Convention might be a given. This year? Not so much. When asked if he’d speak, Sen. McConnell said simply, “yes.” No follow-up […]

In Other News…Yarmuth sits in, Calipari/Pitino, ‘For Peter Pan…’ and new Jennifer Lawrence project picked up Friday, Jun 24 2016 

John Yarmuth

Sit In: On Wednesday, Democrats in the House of Representatives staged a sit-in on the house floor to push a vote on gun legislation, says TIME and U.S News and World Report. At 11:30 a.m., Kentucky Congressman John Yarmuth tweeted, “I’m on the House floor with @repjohnlewis & Dems staging a sit-in to demand action […]

In Other News… McConnell on guns and Trump, Muhammad Ali remembered, Will Oldham in Salon, and Lawrence’s future project Friday, Jun 17 2016 

Trump McConnell

Reaction: On June 12, 2016, Just before 2 a.m., Omar Mateen, 29, walked into an Orlando gay nightclub, Pulse, and started shooting. He killed 49 and wounded at least 53. Mateen was killed in a shootout with police. It’s being called the deadliest mass shooting and the worst terror attack since September 11, 2001, according […]

McConnell To Trump: ‘Get On Message’ Wednesday, Jun 8 2016 

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has followed through on some principles laid out in his recent autobiography — rebuking GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump for comments made against a federal judge of Mexican descent.

In his book “The Long Game,” McConnell underscores his support for civil rights, saying he withdrew his support for Republican Barry Goldwater in the 1964 presidential election because of the Arizona senator’s opposition to the Civil Rights Act.

At a Washington press conference on Tuesday, McConnell told reporters that he disapproved of Trump’s comments against the judge.

“It’s time to stop attacking various people that you competed with or various minority groups in the country,” McConnell said.

Trump has made statements that Gonzalo Curiel, a federal judge presiding over a lawsuit against the presidential candidate’s defunct Trump University, would rule unfairly in the case because of Trump’s proposal to build a wall along the southern border of the U.S. with Mexico.

Curiel’s parents are from Mexico but he was born in Indiana.

McConnel said Trump needs to “get on message” because the race against presumptive Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton “is imminently winnable.”

“The American people at their core do not want four more years like the last eight,” McConnell said. “We’re all anxious to hear what he may say next.”

In his book, McConnell talks about how Republican presidential nominee Barry Goldwater’s opposition to the Civil Rights Act in 1964 hurt the Republican Party for decades.

“…[A]t the time, all anyone could say about Republicans on this issue was that we had nominated a candidate who opposed the civil rights bill,” he wrote.

Scott Jennings, a former adviser to McConnell and President George W. Bush says that McConnell’s comments about Trump show that he is trying to make sure the election doesn’t cause the party “serious problems” this year and down the road.

“If you try to run an entire presidential election on comments and issues like that, it is a recipe for disaster in November,” Jennings said. “History will remember everything you say and history will remember the banner under which you said it.”

Trump says that his comments about Judge Curiel have been “misconstrued as a categorical attack against people of Mexican heritage.”

McConnell says he still supports Trump’s candidacy.

Republican Sen. Mark Kirk of Illinois has withdrawn his support for Trump, saying his comments were “un-American.”

Brief: Mitch McConnell to visit near U of L Monday, Jun 6 2016 

By Kyeland Jackson —

Senate majority leader and U of L graduate Mitch McConnell will visit the Papa Johns Cardinal Stadium June 17 to discuss his recent publication.

The discussion and signing for his book, titled “The Long Game: A Memoir,” is being hosted by the McConnell center. The center is celebrating its 25 year anniversary, and recently sent scholars to China as a part of their study.

“Senator McConnell is perhaps the most famous U of L alum, as well as one of the most impactful political figures of our age,” McConnell Center Director Gary Gregg said. “His book is getting considerable world-wide attention, and it’s an honor for us to host his first discussion of his memoir here in Kentucky.”

The book details Senator McConnell’s political career, spanning his time as a student body president in highschool to his current position as the United States senate majority leader.

The event will be held in the PNC club at Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium at 6pm. While tickets are free, all attendees must register and obtain tickets through Eventbrite.com to attend.

The post Brief: Mitch McConnell to visit near U of L appeared first on The Louisville Cardinal.

Mitch McConnell: Republican Party Is At An ‘All-Time High’ Wednesday, Jun 1 2016 

While some of Washington’s most prominent Republican leaders are still struggling over whether to endorse Donald Trump, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell made the call to do so last month — as soon as Trump became the likely nominee.

In fact, for all the talk of the GOP’s upheaval, the Kentucky Republican says he doesn’t think a Trump nomination will redefine the Republican Party in any substantial way. The party is now at “an all-time high,” he said.

McConnell spoke to Steve Inskeep of NPR’s Morning Edition about what he sees for the future of the GOP — as well as why he approves of Trump’s Supreme Court picks and stance on border security, but thinks the candidate’s proposed Muslim ban is a “very bad idea.”


Interview Highlights

On Trump’s picks for the next Supreme Court nominee

The single most important thing I would remind right-of-center voters in suggesting that they vote for Donald Trump is: Who do you want to make the next Supreme Court appointment? Donald Trump has already put out a list of 10 or 11 right-of-center, well-qualified judges, a list from which he would pick. I think that issue alone should comfort people in voting for Donald Trump for president.

On banning Muslims from entering the United States

It’s a very bad idea. I mean, for example, the king of Jordan, who is a great ally of ours, wouldn’t be able to come to the United States, and so that’s not something I think we ought to do. Do we need to tighten restrictions on people coming into the country? I think there’s a good argument for that, but a kind of broad ban is a bad idea, and, of course, many American Muslims are great sources of information as we seek to look for domestic folks who might be engaged in trying to promote terrorist activities.

On building a wall between Mexico and the United States

I think we do have border security problems, and all of these suggestions are worth looking at. … We would have to see whether that would actually produce the desired result. There are plenty of suggestions made. The border is way more porous than it should be, and I think we’d be open to discussing anything that enhances border security.

On what Republican voters want

I think the Republican Party is at an all-time high. We don’t have the White House, but we’ve had very good years. The American people gave us a new majority in 2014. I don’t in any way think the American people rejected the Republican Party, or we’d be in a lot worse shape than we are. I think in this particular election, however, Republican primary voters are looking for an outsider.

McConnell will appear on Morning Edition again Thursday to discuss his memoir The Long Game.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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