Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said on Sunday he “personally” likes President Joe Biden, despite his many disagreements on national and international policy.
McConnell, a Kentucky Republican and the top GOP lawmaker in the Senate, has readily criticized the Biden administration during the president’s tenure at the White House. However, he has also shown a willingness to work with the president in a bipartisan manner when they can find common ground. The GOP senator previously wrote in his 2016 memoir that he had a positive relationship with Biden, who previously served in the Senate and as vice president.
“Yeah, I personally like the president,” said McConnell. Fox News Sunday, The host made the remarks after he was asked about Biden’s low favor among voters, according to recent polling data. “It’s pretty clear to me that personality, in my view, isn’t what’s driving their unpopularity. I think it’s the same policies they’re following.”
Earlier in the interview, McConnell criticized Biden and his administration on issues ranging from foreign policy to the southern border and immigration, as well as inflation and high energy costs. He said Republicans would tackle these issues and ensure that Biden proceeds as a moderate when he wins back control of Congress in the mid-2222.
“Biden ran as a moderate. If I am the leader of the majority in the Senate and Kevin McCarthy is Speaker of the House, we will make sure Joe Biden is a moderate,” he insisted.
newsweek reached the White House for comment.
When Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris took office on January 20, 2021, McConnell spoke out in favor of both leading Democrats. He even made cordial remarks during a special gift ceremony after the swearing-in of the President and Vice President.
“I have to make a point of personal privilege on behalf of the Senate with all due respect to our distinguished speaker [of the House, Nancy Pelosi] And our colleagues from the House. I have to note, not only did we have a son and daughter of the Senate sworn into these high offices, but in fact both of these former senators left the House altogether,” McConnell said, drawing laughter from the younger crowd.
Top Senate Republicans insisted that Harris was “the first female vice president of the United States” and referred to her as “our very distinguished former ally.”
Biden was first elected to the Senate in 1972, taking office in January 1973. The Delaware Democrat served in the upper house of Congress until 2009, when he became vice president under President Barack Obama. Biden worked alongside many current members of the Senate during his decades in the legislative body. McConnell was first elected to the Senate in 1985.
McConnell and Biden have reportedly had a positive working relationship for a long time. In his 2016 memoir, McConnell lovingly wrote of Biden. The prominent GOP lawmaker wrote, “Not only did I love what I learned, but I also learned that he not only talked, but listened. So, he was someone I could work with.”
Top Senate Republicans reportedly preferred working with Biden on legislative issues during Obama’s tenure as president. In early February, Biden described McConnell as a “friend” during remarks at National Prayer Breakfast.
“Mitch, I don’t want to hurt your reputation, but we’re really friends. And that’s not an announcement we’re going to have here at the moment. We’ve always – you’ve always done what you said. You’re a man of the word.” – of your word, and you are a man of honour, ”said the President. “Thanks for being my friend.”