‘Think Of Me As The Grim Reaper’: McConnell Comes Out As a Monster As He Vows To Destroy Progressive Policies
In a bizarre speech to community leaders in Owensboro, Ky, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell on Monday vowed to be the “Grim Reaper” for progressive policies if Republicans hold on to the Senate in 2020.
“If I’m still the majority leader in the Senate think of me as the Grim Reaper. None of that stuff is going to pass,” McConnell told the crowd.
McConnell pledged that even if Republicans lose the White House, he would use his position as majority leader to block progressive proposals like the Green New Deal.
“I guarantee you that if I’m the last man standing and I’m still the majority leader, it ain’t happening. I can promise you,” McConnell added.
McConnell painted the 2020 election as a choice between capitalism and socialism, arguing that the latter has taken roots within the Democratic Party. He pointed to progressive pushes from freshman Democrats like Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.), making a veiled reference to the self-identified democratic socialist.
“Now, my friends, we’re having a legitimate debate about the virtues of socialism. And I don’t want you to think this is just a 28-year-old congresswoman from New York. This is much broader than that,” McConnell said.
Ocasio-Cortez is the driver behind the Green New Deal, a sweeping environmental proposal which McConnell brought to the Senate floor last month in what he later acknowledged was a “show vote.”
On Monday, McConnell pointed to the large share of Democrats voting “present” on the Green New Deal as proof that socialism is “a pervasive policy view on the other side.”
“I don’t want you to think this is just a couple of nut cases running around here on the fringe,” McConnell said.
Republicans are defending 22 Senate seats next year, including McConnell’s, compared to the 12 seats being defended by Democrats. Though most of the GOP seats are in solidly Republican states, McConnell still faces the possibility of losing several potentially vulnerable members, including Sens. Susan Collins (Maine), Cory Gardner (Colo.), Thom Tillis (N.C.) and Joni Ernst (Iowa).
McConnell told reporters earlier this month that the country needs a “referendum on socialism,” tipping his hand to his 2020 strategy.
“Are we going to turn this into a socialist country? Don’t assume it cannot happen,” he added on Monday. “It will all be in the hands, I think, of the voters of this country next year.”
His comments come as Republicans have seized on proposals like the Green New Deal and “Medicare for All” to paint Democrats as shifting to the left and embracing “socialism” as the next election nears.