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Harry Reid Rules Out Working With A Romney Administration

Harry Reid is already ruling out the idea of working with a potential Romney Administration should, as appears likely, the Democrats maintain control of the Senate:

Five days before the election, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has ruled out trying to work with Mitt Romney should he win next week.

“Mitt Romney’s fantasy that Senate Democrats will work with him to pass his ‘severely conservative’ agenda is laughable,” Mr. Reid said in a statement on Friday, trying to puncture Mr. Romney’s closing election argument that he’ll be able to deliver on the bipartisanship President Obama promised in 2008 but has struggled to live up to.

Mr. Reid, a Nevada Democrat and a Mormon, like Mr. Romney, has become the Republican presidential nominee’s chief critic this campaign, at one point accusing him of failing to pay taxes — a charge that Mr. Romney has refuted.

With Democrats appearing poised to keep control of the Senate, a President Romney would have to be prepared to work with Mr. Reid, who would set the upper chamber’s schedule and determine what bills make it to the floor.

Mr. Reid flatly ruled out following Mr. Romney’s agenda, saying he and his colleagues have already voted down many of those proposals, including House Republicans’ budget, written by Republican vice presidential nominee Rep. Paul Ryan.

“Mitt Romney has demonstrated that he lacks the courage to stand up to the tea party, kowtowing to their demands time and again. There is nothing in Mitt Romney’s record to suggest he would act any differently as president,” Mr. Reid said.

Sounds an awful lot like the time after the 2010 midterms when Mitch McConnell said that his job was to make sure that Barack Obama was a one-term President.

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About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May, 2010 and also writes at Below The Beltway. Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. Rob in CT says:

    I wish I actually believed the Dems had the backbone to made good on such a promise. They’re promising to bring a gun to the gunfight, but I expect knives again.

    The only way the GOP will learn to stop acting as they have recently is if the Dems turn around and do it to them.

    I’m not a fan of it. But it has to be done (if the Dems lose). Of course, if they do lose, the GOP will simply reform the fillibuster rules they’ve used so effectively of late.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 20 Thumb down 4

  2. mattb says:

    Sad to read, but not unexpected. As I’ve been writing for a while — whether true or not — should Romney win, the convention wisdom among many in congress was that Republican Obstruction in the Senate was a key factor in that defeat.

    Given that McConnell made defeating Obama the number one priority of Republican senators, why should we expect the Democrats to do anything different that use the same techniques to make Romney a one term president.

    Sadly, if Obama win with a low popular vote margin (or worse loses the popular vote), I suspect that the conventional wisdom among Republicans will be that McConnell didn’t resist enough. We will probably see them double down on obstructionism with the goal of winning the WH in 2016.

    Obstruction to the left of us. Obstruction to the right. Not a good formula for responsible governing.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 18 Thumb down 1

  3. legion says:

    Actually, it would be more reasonable to assume he is simply responding in kind to Romney’s already-voiced extortionate threat that the GOP will trash the US economy if Obama wins…

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 21 Thumb down 2

  4. David says:

    Reid pretty much said Romney would have to work with the democrats to pass legislation. That is far far different than pledging to make a sure the president only serves one term.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 18 Thumb down 2

  5. mattb says:

    @Rob in CT:

    Of course, if they do lose, the GOP will simply reform the fillibuster rules they’ve used so effectively of late.

    Sadly, that’s pretty unlikely to happen unless the party in control can reach the magic 60 votes number. Otherwise such a procedural reform will be all but impossible to implement under current rules.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  6. Rick DeMent says:

    Except he is giving what he got rather then drawing first blood. Seriously why should the Democrats lay down and roll over. On the other hand if Mitt want’s to serve up warmed over Democratic plans and call them his own I’m sure the Democrats will play ball. If on the other hand he is going to go full wing-nut I don’t want Reid to be a rubber stamp and I have a notion neither do you Doug.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 15 Thumb down 2

  7. michael reynolds says:

    Yeah, this would be why the nihilistic, screw-the-country, scorched earth, party-over-patriotism approach that Republicans have taken since the moment Barack Obama was elected is a bad thing. That kind of thing sets up a reaction. And then it becomes the new normal.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 29 Thumb down 3

  8. DC in KC says:

    “Sounds an awful lot like the time after the 2010 midterms when Mitch McConnell said that his job was to make sure that Barack Obama was a one-term President.”

    minor thing, but mcconnell said that right before the midterms…

    also, i feel that Reid sounds less “One-Term President” and a bit more like this line, later in that same McConnell interview:

    McConnell: It is possible the president’s advisers will tell him he has to do something to get right with the public on his levels of spending and [on] lowering the national debt. If he were to heed that advice, he would, I imagine, find more support among our conference than he would among some in the Senate in his own party. I don’t want the president to fail; I want him to change. So, we’ll see. The next move is going to be up to him.

    But I’m sure he doubts he’ll ever need to say either line… since Obama looks like he’s winning Ohio, and thus, a second term.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 2

  9. Rob in CT says:

    Also, what Rick said. Reid is specifically saying he won’t go along with a “severely conservative” agenda.

    I seriously doubt that if Romney wins and sits down to work out, say, Cap & Trade legislation (I’m trying to pick something roughly analogous to the Dems taking the basic structure of Romneycare as their blueprint for healthcare reform), that the Dems will obstruct. I could be wrong, but I doubt we will see instant 180 degree changes in issue positions.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 1

  10. Fiona says:

    Good for Reid. Romney’s been on the trail saying “elect me because if you don’t the rabid wingers in Congress will scorch the economy rather than compromise with Obama.” Yet, Democrats are supposed to roll over and implement a far right agenda? Don’t think so.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 15 Thumb down 2

  11. sam says:

    @DC in KC:

    I don’t want the president to fail; I want him to change.

    Well, shit, when has that ever been a problem for Romney?

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 21 Thumb down 1

  12. elizajane says:

    “Sounds an awful lot like the time after the 2010 midterms when Mitch McConnell said that his job was to make sure that Barack Obama was a one-term President.”

    Actually it doesn’t sound like that at all. It sounds like he has identified Romney’s agenda as one that the House has already tried, and failed, to get through the Senate, and therefore it won’t get through now either. It does NOT say “My job is to destroy this presidency.” It says that Romney would have to compromise his supposed “severely conservative” side. You remember that one, from the primaries? Until a few weeks ago?

    I detect the False Equivalence Fairy at work here, Doug.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 19 Thumb down 1

  13. Rob in CT says:

    The big question is what would happen if Romney picked up an idea previously supported by many Democrats, tweaked it, and tried to get it passed. Would there be near-100% obstruction by the Dems?

    I seriously doubt it.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 1

  14. Tsar Nicholas says:

    Meh. Reid merely is marking his territory. NBD.

    FYI, for a guy who looks like an accountant Reid’s a hard core partisan hatchet man. Reid’s mentors in the Senate were George Mitchell and Tom Daschle, two world class hatchet men. If Romney wins Reid will make it a point to try to destroy Romney’s presidency. And that’s OK. NBD. It’s part of the game. Politics is a rough sport.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 3

  15. wr says:

    Congratulations, Doug, on the single most dishonest post you’ve ever written here. Reid does not rule out working with a Romney administration — he rules out working with a Romney administration to pass the right-wing agenda that Romney promised in the primaries then spent the last two months disavowing.

    I know you understand the difference. I’d think you’d have enough respect for your readers to assume that we do, too.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 21 Thumb down 1

  16. ptfe says:

    @elizajane: Doug got his verbiage from the Washington Times and apparently didn’t think about the implications.

    It’s clear from Reid’s quotes that he simply won’t enact the Romney agenda as currently stated. This is very different from saying that whatever Romney tries, the Democrats will block it. But Doug didn’t bother reading the quotes for what they were, he simply appropriated the “rule out working with” language. Notice that he’s got a whole 2 sentences of “analysis” in there, both of which are apparently based on the Times’ headline and lede.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 1

  17. Dave Anderson says:

    @mattb: Actually the Senate can adapt whatever rules it wants with 51 votes on the first day of the new Congress. I think it is unlikely to occur with either 55 Senators in the majority or 60 unless there is a long period of time (6 years or more) where there is one party unified government and the minority is effectively killing the Senate’s ability to take a shit much less function as a deliberative body.

    Under less polarized circumstances, Senators # 57 through #60 in a majority of 60 don’t want filibuster reform, they want their individual leverage to cut whatever deal they want to get their vote.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  18. mantis says:

    Romney is promising that if he isn’t elected the Republicans will drive the country into a recession. In essence, they are once again holding the economy hostage and will kill the hostage if you don’t vote for them.

    But Reid said the Senate won’t pass the rightwing agenda Romney has promised the teabaggers, so both sides do it.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 13 Thumb down 1

  19. MBunge says:

    @Tsar Nicholas: “It’s part of the game. Politics is a rough sport.”

    But if politics never stops, governing can never begin.

    Mike

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  20. rudderpedals says:

    Sounds like a good plan. Naive cooperation is expensive and pointless. A better strategy in repeated iterations of the prisoner’s dilemma is tit-for-tat, exacting a penalty commensurate with the defector’s windfall.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1

  21. Curtis says:

    I agree with wr’s point that Reid didn’t rule out working with Romney, but just ruled out working with him to implement the “severely conservative agenda.”

    But to be fair to Doug, that is also the point McConnell was making two years ago. McConnell would have been happy to support the president had he been willing to do exactly what McConnell wanted him to do at any given moment.

    The “one-term president” quote has gotten a lot of play, but McConnell’s point when seen in the larger context was that he was not going to compromise his principles to work on the president’s agenda. So I think they are roughly equivalent statements. I don’t think this bodes the end of civilization, however.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 1

  22. Anderson says:

    But I thought Republicans *liked* obstruction, because the less gov’t does, the better?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 0

  23. Rafer Janders says:

    Again with the false and misleading headlines, Doug? The quote from the article is that:

    Romney’s fantasy that Senate Democrats will work with him to pass his ‘severely conservative’ agenda is laughable,”

    while your headline is “Harry Reid Rules Out Working With a Romney Administration.”

    Reid did no such thing — he did rule out working with them to enact a “severely conservative” Republican agenda, not to work with them in general on matters of bipartisan consensus.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 1

  24. David M says:

    @Curtis:

    But to be fair to Doug, that is also the point McConnell was making two years ago. McConnell would have been happy to support the president had he been willing to do exactly what McConnell wanted him to do at any given moment.

    The “one-term president” quote has gotten a lot of play, but McConnell’s point when seen in the larger context was that he was not going to compromise his principles to work on the president’s agenda. So I think they are roughly equivalent statements.

    There’s actually a world of difference between the statements. McConnell ruled out working with the Administration at all, which included things that previously were not controversial or particularly liberal. Reid is ruling out implementing a “severely conservative” agenda, and implicitly agreeing to work constructively on things that aren’t controversial. The two statements have the opposite meaning, not the same meaning.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 1

  25. Rafer Janders says:

    @Rob in CT:

    Reid is specifically saying he won’t go along with a “severely conservative” agenda.

    Yes, but you wouldn’t know that from Doug’s headline, would you?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 1

  26. C. Clavin says:

    The main thing to keep in mind is that Reid was responding to another bullshit claim by Romney.
    Romney is prancing around the country in his magic underwear claiming that everything will be better if we only elect him President. And it will be better just because we elected him President. It’s total nonsense. And Reid called him on it.
    Of course OTB has had an overt policy of not noticing Romneys bullshit, mis-representations, and outright lies. So in that context the misleading headline makes sense.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 1

  27. Rob in CT says:

    @Rafer Janders:

    Who the heck trusts Doug’s (or anyone’s, really) headlines?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  28. Rafer Janders says:

    @David M:

    McConnell ruled out working with the Administration at all, which included things that previously were not controversial or particularly liberal.

    In fact, even worse than that, McConnell ruled out working with the Obama administration to pass items that had previously been conservative ideas, such as the insurance mandate. Things that they would have gladly passed if proposed by a President McCain were blocked solely because they came from President Obama.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 1

  29. legion says:

    @Tsar Nicholas:

    If Romney wins Reid will make it a point to try to destroy Romney’s presidency. And that’s OK.

    No, it’s not. Reid, and the Dems, should be making it a point to get a Democratic agenda passed into law. Period. Regardless of who’s President. You believe the Dems will attempt to actively destroy a sitting President, putting party over whatever’s good for the country, simply because you’d do the same; but that’s because you, like most Republican politicians, are irresponsible, immature, treasonously partisan and should never be allowed to hold any sort of authority.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 1

  30. Vast Variety says:

    Harry Reid and Nacey Polesi have done almost as much as the Republicans have as a whole to derail the change this country needs. They both need to be replaced, preferably by Democrats that aren’t afraid of working with their oposition.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 12

  31. wr says:

    @Curtis: “But to be fair to Doug, that is also the point McConnell was making two years ago. McConnell would have been happy to support the president had he been willing to do exactly what McConnell wanted him to do at any given moment.”

    But that’s simply not true. Time after time Obama offered the Republicans things they had publicly demanded in the past, and they unanimously voted them all down — because they came from Obama now.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  32. legion says:

    @Vast Variety:

    They both need to be replaced, preferably by Democrats that aren’t afraid of working with their oposition. labeling their opposition as the traitors they are and steamrollering them with the policies America actually needs, rather than the ones billionaires have had written & delivered with their weekly paychecks.

    FTFY.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  33. Jed says:

    Yeah, this would be why the nihilistic, screw-the-country, scorched earth, party-over-patriotism approach that Republicans have taken since the moment Barack Obama was elected is a bad thing. That kind of thing sets up a reaction. And then it becomes the new normal

    Strange. If one were to look at the 2000 Gore hissy fit and the 2006 platforms and subsequent actions one could replace the word “Republicans” with “Democrats” if one weren’t a smug jackass.

    That might take introspection, though. Difficult to do on that high horse.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 3

  34. al-Ameda says:

    I would expect that Democrats would give Republicans exactly the same level of cooperation that Republicans afforded Obama.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  35. wr says:

    @Jed: “If one were to look at the 2000 Gore hissy fit”

    Which hissy fit was that? The one where he instructed his supporters to accept Bush as their president once the Supreme Court ruled? Or did you have something else in mind?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0