Rand Paul, Mitch McConnell Overheard Discussing GOP Shutdown Strategy

A Kentucky television station filming at the Capitol yesterday happened to catch Senators Rand Paul and Mitch McConnell in a conversation about the GOP’s strategy over the government shutdown:

WASHINGTON, D.C. – WPSD Local 6 got an inside glimpse Wednesday night to how much the government shutdown is about the messaging for congressional lawmakers.

After finishing an interview with CNN, Kentucky Senator Rand Paul ran into Senator Mitch McConnell, who was waiting for an interview of his own.

In front of a camera, with a microphone on, the two Kentucky leaders talked strategy.

Senator Paul began, “Do you have a second?”

“I’m all wired up here, um,” Senator McConnell replied.

“I just did CNN and I just go over and over again ‘We’re willing to compromise.  ‘We’re willing to negotiate.’  I think… I don’t think they poll tested we won’t negotiate.  I think it’s awful for them to say that over and over again,” Paul said.

“Yeah, I do too and I, and I just came back from that two hour meeting with them and that, and that was basically the same view privately as it was publically,” McConnell agreed.

Paul added, “I think if we keep saying ‘We wanted to defund it.  We fought for that and that we’re willing to compromise on this’, I think they can’t, we’re gonna, I think… well I know we don’t want to be here, but we’re gonna win this I think.”

Here’s the video:

Expect to see a lot of Republicans hitting Democrats over the “compromise” issue in the coming days. Especially after the poll released today.

FILED UNDER: Congress, Deficit and Debt, Quick Takes, US Politics,
Doug Mataconis
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. Before joining OTB, he wrote at Below The BeltwayThe Liberty Papers, and United Liberty Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. john personna says:

    To the great non-involved masses, both side should just “compromise” and settle things.

    I agree with that in general, it’s long been my position, but the great non-involved masses don’t quite see what’s going on here.

    As you wrote earlier:

    When you look at the raw numbers, they’ve gotten almost everything they want from the Continuing Resolution that Democrats have said that they’d vote for if only the Republican bring it up for a vote. The sequestration cuts remain in effect and the Bush tax cuts have been made permanent for the vast majority of the American people.

    That was compromise. Throwing on top of all that repeal of Obamacare, is not.

    Now can Republicans make it stick, that they need sequester, tax cuts, etc, and no more Obamacare as “compromise?”

    I think not. Enough journalists are doing their jobs, even some late starters.

  2. Todd says:

    @Doug:

    I Expect to see a lot of Republicans hitting Democrats over the “compromise” issue in the coming days

    .

    They have absolutely no shame.

    … but we already knew that.

    The people who will blame the President / the Democrats based on the Republican “messaging” are already blaming them, even before the “hitting over the head”.

    It’s ironic, that people who actually understand the meaning of compromise, and wish it would happen more often in Washington, seem to be the only ones who get why the President absolutely can’t “compromise” on this … bad optics be damned.

  3. john personna says:

    @Todd:

    people who actually understand the meaning of compromise, and wish it would happen more often in Washington, seem to be the only ones who get why the President absolutely can’t “compromise” on this

    well said.

  4. superdestroyer says:

    McConnell once again shows why he is too stupid to be involved in the running of the government. To say something like that in public is the height of lazy stupidity.

  5. superdestroyer says:

    @Todd:

    I guess the meaning of compromise these day is that the Democrats get whatever they want and the Republicans get the blame when something goes wrong. Image what compromise will be in the coming one party state where elections are moot and no incumbent faces the risk of losing an election. .

  6. al-Ameda says:

    Compromise on ACA? Except for the relatively minor Medical Devices Tax, there really is nothing else that Democrats can offer Republicans with regard to ACA – anything else is unwise. Republicans should not be rewarded doing everything they could to obstruct and delay implementation of ACA.

  7. dazedandconfused says:

    They think Obama is posturing. They haven’t considered the situation and the stakes from Obama’s perspective, I guess.

  8. mantis says:

    Oh, the terrorist hostage-takers are willing to compromise? And by “compromise” they mean they might not hurt the economy too much more if we reverse the 2012 election and install Ted Cruz as president? Such nice guys.

  9. David M says:

    The Dems need to make clear the “no negotiations” is over the 6 week CR, and it’s the GOP that is continuing to refuse negotiations over the entire FY2014 budget.

    Really, what’s the point of doing anything but passing the 6 week CR? Isn’t it closer to a 5 week CR as it will probably be retroactive?

  10. al-Ameda says:

    @superdestroyer:

    I guess the meaning of compromise these day is that the Democrats get whatever they want

    Yes, to a sensible person it means it means that the government is operating, and that idiots are not permitted to leverage the shutdown into a default on Federal debt securities.

    Also, I have to ask you: Why would Republicans get the blame for a shutdown they engineered, and a possible default that their intransigent stance on ACA might cause? It’s hard to understand, isn’t it?

  11. Todd says:

    @superdestroyer: Why I keep responding to you, I don’t know. But here goes again, one more time.

    If we’re talking about the House Democrats, “everything they want” would look a lot more like this:http://democrats.budget.house.gov/committee-report/fy2014-democratic-budget-summary-and-tables than the sequester spending level CR that’s not even “enough” for the Tea Party.

    If Progressives were as childish and irresponsible as Conservatives, we’d have no hope at all of seeing this resolved … because the truth their “principles” are being totally ignored, in the hopes of just getting something passed before we go over the cliff.

    Short version: Republicans/Conservatives already “won” … but are incapable of taking yes for an answer.

  12. Ben says:

    @superdestroyer:

    I guess the meaning of compromise these day is that the Democrats get whatever they want and the Republicans get the blame when something goes wrong.

    If the Democrats were really getting everything they wanted, they’d be increasing spending back up to pre-sequester levels. But that’s not what they’re asking for. They’re just asking for things to keep going as they were. How is that “the Democrats get whatever they want”?

  13. Todd says:

    p.s. let me add “this time” to my comment about Progressives’ resisting childish and irresponsible tendencies. In some ways, I lay the blame for the Tea Party mess we currently find ourselves in squarely at the feet of all those of the leftward persuasion who didn’t vote (or work to turn out the vote) in 2010 because they were disappointed that Obamacare didn’t go far enough.

    Good job, you sure did “show em”.

  14. David M says:

    @superdestroyer:

    Explain how a clean 6 week CR at sequester (GOP) spending levels and then negotiating over the entire FY2014 budget is the Democrats getting whatever they want?

    You’ve made this claim several times now, but it appears to be nonsense without some clarification.

  15. superdestroyer says:

    @Todd:

    The only way this resolves itself is the Republicans decide to give up being a relevant political party and give the Democrats whatever they want. Sen. Reid has total veto power over everything since so few things come up for a vote in the Senate. What Sen Reid wants is another CR so that the Democrats can keep spending what they want, Sen Reid want an increase in the debt limit so that the Democrats can borrow all that they want, and Sen Reid want to operate the government so that nothing will ever come up for a vote.

    The Republicans have the choice of giving the Democrats everything they want or being blame for not give th eRepublicans everything they want. If you notice, what is never going to happen is anything the Republicans want even coming to a vote in the Senate, let alone ever being implement.

  16. john personna says:

    @al-Ameda:

    Not only that, democracy.

    Each line item (possibly excluding the device tax) of the ACA is hugely popular.

    And let’s face it, keeping the benefits of the ACA and dropping the tax is another example of wanting benefits at no cost.

  17. David M says:

    @superdestroyer:

    You’re not answering the question. The debt ceiling does not have anything to do with spending and the CR in question is for 6 weeks only. The Democrats have been willing to negotiate on the entire FY2014 budget for months now.

  18. An Interested Party says:

    You’ve made this claim several times now, but it appears to be nonsense without some clarification.

    To be fair, this applies to just about everything that Superdestroyer writes…

  19. superdestroyer says:

    @David M:

    It is not justa 6 week CR. What Sen Reid is arguing is that the Democrats should get a CR whenever they want it and under whatever conditions that they want. Sen Reid wants the Republicans to have zero influence on the budget or spendng. That is why the Government has been operating under CR for years and why President Obama has signed so few budget or appropriation bills.

    Operating the government under a CR for years is a perfect mechanism for the Democrats to get what they want and avoid being blamed for anything. I suspect that in the future as the Democrats become dominant, that the CR will remain in use since it is so handy for avoiding blame on budget and appropriation issues.

  20. David M says:

    @superdestroyer:

    So you’re either illiterate or a liar. Good to know.

  21. superdestroyer says:

    @An Interested Party:

    As long as the government can operate under CR and the Republicans will be blamed for any shut down, it gives the Democrats a reason to never negotiate but to just keep operating under CR and doing what they want. Operating the government under CR is the perfect way to exclude the Republicans in the House from having in say in how the government operates and gives the Democrats the perfect foil to blame everything on.

  22. superdestroyer says:

    @David M:

    The Democrats have not really been willing to negotiated. The Democrats have been willing to have the Republicans in the House vote for a Democrat bill that originated in the Senate. The last thing that Harry Reid is going to do is give the Republicans any say in how the government operates.

  23. wr says:

    @superdestroyer: “As long as the government can operate under CR and the Republicans will be blamed for any shut down, it gives the Democrats a reason to never negotiate but to just keep operating under CR and doing what they want.”

    Which perfectly explains why the Senate Dems put out a budget months ago and have been begging the House to negotiate over it, only to be flat out refused time and again.

    Oh, no, wait. Reality is 100% opposite of what you’re saying.

    What a shock.

  24. john personna says:

    @superdestroyer:

    Just so you know, it isn’t so much your craziness, it’s that we think your craziness is symptomatic of the craziness of the Republican party as a whole.

    When you say “The last thing that Harry Reid is going to do is give the Republicans any say in how the government operates.” That’s just nuts.

    Any yet Mitch McConnell is going to try to sell that very idea.

  25. Todd says:

    I for one appreciate Superdestroyer, and his fellow Conservative commenters.

    We get live, real time examples of …

    “This is your brain on Drudge”

    They “literally” live in a completely different world than we do.

    There’s really no “debate” to be had. Responding is for “entertainment” purposes only.

  26. David M says:

    @Todd:

    It’s the “it’s not a six week CR” claim that irks me. It’s such common knowledge, and so easily verifiable, that claiming otherwise is just ridiculous.

  27. Argon says:

    Well here’s a case for the disemvoweling plug-in for blog comments.

  28. Neil Hudelson says:

    I’m surprised Democrats don’t just publicly announce what they have already negotiated on, and then say its what they can compromise on.

    “Fine, we are willing to keep sequestration, and take out the medical device tax. Your move, Republicans.”

    I don’t think the public will know that was already on the table, and since this now seems to be a game to Republicans as to who can confuse the public the most, it’s a fair tactic.

  29. rachel says:

    @David M: What, ‘thick as two planks’ isn’t an option?

  30. James Pearce says:

    Expect to see a lot of Republicans hitting Democrats over the “compromise” issue in the coming days.

    Before they fold completely.

  31. dazedandconfused says:

    @Neil Hudelson:

    I strongly suspect they’ve decided they have already. It’s Alamo time, and….

    http://youtu.be/M5QGkOGZubQ

  32. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @mantis: Oh, the terrorist hostage-takers are willing to compromise?

    So, you’re saying that Obama should use drone strikes to kill the GOP? Or send in SWAT teams to free the piggy bank and kill any Republicans who don’t immediately surrender?

  33. al-Ameda says:

    @john personna:

    And let’s face it, keeping the benefits of the ACA and dropping the tax is another example of wanting benefits at no cost.

    Exactly right, John.

  34. al-Ameda says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    So, you’re saying that Obama should use drone strikes to kill the GOP? Or send in SWAT teams to free the piggy bank and kill any Republicans who don’t immediately surrender?

    I’ve got to give you credit for a low cost solution to this shutdown. It’s an intriguing idea, however it has very little chance of being implemented though. The only downside would be all those special elections that would have to be called. Cheers!

  35. john personna says:

    This made it to the top of memeorandum, so maybe the white house is getting some messaging going:

    To the White House, the shutdown/debt ceiling fight is quite simple, and quite radical: Republicans are trying to create a new, deeply undemocratic pathway through which a minority party that lost the last election can enact an agenda that would never pass the normal legislative process. It’s nothing less than an effort to use the threat of a financial crisis to nullify the results of the last election. And the White House isn’t going to let it happen.

    Obviously, many of us here have been on that page for some time.

  36. mantis says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    So, you’re saying that Obama should use drone strikes to kill the GOP? Or send in SWAT teams to free the piggy bank and kill any Republicans who don’t immediately surrender?

    We don’t do that with economic terrorists. Those of us living in curiously drawn districts elect them to Congress instead.

    It’s a shame. Their methods can produce a far higher body count.

  37. James Pearce says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    So, you’re saying that Obama should use drone strikes to kill the GOP? Or send in SWAT teams to free the piggy bank and kill any Republicans who don’t immediately surrender?

    Really, dude?

    Once you beat up that straw man, maybe then you can tackle the actual arguments being made.

  38. Just 'nutha' ig'rant cracker says:

    So, let me see if I understand what is happening here: we have the situation where Superdestroyer, the GOP, and the late Yassir Arafat “never miss an opportunity to miss an opportunity.” Have I got that right?

  39. superdestroyer says:

    @Todd:

    So once again, progressives base the idea of sanity or intelligence on how much people agree with them. Image how boring poolitics in going to be in the future when disagree or having different priorities is going to seen as mental disease.

    If the Republicans are not allowed to disagree with Sen Reid, then what is the point of even having elections or having a Republic form of government. What is amazing is how much Democrats and progressives talk about how important voting and elections are is the talk stirs up blocks inside the Democratic Party but those same progressives believe that differing on issues, policy, or governance is a sign of insanity and thus, everyone must agree with them.

  40. superdestroyer says:

    @David M:

    What comes after the six week CR if shutting down the government or negotiating on budget issues is not allowed (the President won in 2012, give him what he wants). It just means that there will be another CR, and since 2014 is an electon year, after a couple of short term CR will be a CR for the rest of year.

    Does anyone really believe that the Democrats in the Senate will be voting for any budget except the one that is a total win for the Democrats when the alternative is a full year CR that allows the Democrats to do whatever they want. I know that the talking point that the Republicans are totally at fault for this will win the day but no one wants to talk about how this only ends with a massive victory for the Democrats no matter what the Republicans do.

  41. superdestroyer says:

    @Just ‘nutha’ ig’rant cracker:

    there is no opprotunity for the Republicans. They can either give the Democrats whatever they want now or they can keep the government closed for a while and then give the Democrats whatever they want. What is amazing is how the Democrats will get whatever they want (the spending, borrowing, and taxing authority they want while being able to blame the Republicans for anything that goes wrong in the future.

    Once again, no one is thinking, writing, or talking about what is going to happen in the future when the U.S. is a one party state and the entire budget/policy/regulatory apparatus is designed to deflect blame from Democrats.

  42. Todd says:

    @superdestroyer:

    … base the idea of sanity or intelligence on how much people agree with them.

    Oh, I have no problem when people disagree with me; I agree with you, differences make the world go round. I’d just kind of prefer that those disagreements be, you know, reality based.

    … and when you play the game where if you repeat “Democrats are getting everything they want” over and over again, you’re showing that, at least in this particular case, your views are not reality based.

    It has nothing to do with intelligence either. I know some extremely smart, and usually extremely nice people, who none-the-less occasionally spew out some political BS that’s just mind boggling.

    Thus my phrase “this is your brain on drudge”

  43. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @mantis: We don’t do that with economic terrorists.

    Oh, they’re economic terrorists.

    Mind if I borrow the term? I’ve been wondering what to call people who did tremendous harm to the economy on purpose. People like Barney Frank, Chris Dodd, Sarbanes and Oxley, Harry Reid, Terry McAuliffe…

  44. mantis says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    Why not? Nothing else you say has any basis in reality, so it would be par for the course.

    By the way, I’m starting to think you’re not pretending. I think you truly are too dumb to understand what a metaphor is. Ah well, they say ignorance is bliss. So why are you such a miserable bastard?

  45. James Pearce says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    People like Barney Frank, Chris Dodd, Sarbanes and Oxley, Harry Reid, Terry McAuliffe…

    Thank you, Jenos, for the list of people you don’t like.

    Now maybe you could get back to explaining why shutting down the government was a really good idea.

  46. al-Ameda says:

    @superdestroyer:

    So once again, progressives base the idea of sanity or intelligence on how much people agree with them. Image how boring poolitics in going to be in the future when disagree or having different priorities is going to seen as mental disease.

    No. Progressives base the idea of sanity or intelligence on actual demonstrated sanity and intelligence.

    For example, 40 GOP attempts to defund, derail, or otherwise completely obstruct the implementation of ACA does not represent sanity or intelligence. Shutting down the government to accomplish what the previous 40 attempts failed to do is also, non sane or intelligent. Finally, using the shutdown to leverage a defauly on Federal debt securities is also, NOT sane, not intelligent. In fact, Republican actions in this sordid episode could reasonably be construed as a “mental disease.”

  47. john personna says:

    “Jenos Idanian #13” and “superdestroyer” need to do some quiet introspection.

    They need to think about why they, the trolls, are the only ones here supporting shutdown.

    They need to think about why, if there is a sane and smart conservative movement, it isn’t here.

  48. Rob in CT says:

    It’s pointless, John, as super and Jenos inhabit a different universe. In their ‘verse, a whole bunch of stuff happened that didn’t happen here, and a whole bunch of stuff didn’t happen that did happen here. This is made plain day in, day out.

    They’re operating from a different set of base facts. Even if they were rational, GIGO applies.

  49. john personna says:

    @Rob in CT:

    I’m sure they have some self-awareness. It’s just sad what they do with it.

  50. al-Ameda says:

    @Neil Hudelson:

    I’m surprised Democrats don’t just publicly announce what they have already negotiated on, and then say its what they can compromise on.

    “Fine, we are willing to keep sequestration, and take out the medical device tax. Your move, Republicans.”

    I agree with you completely on this.

  51. David M says:

    @superdestroyer:

    Does anyone really believe that the Democrats in the Senate will be voting for any budget except the one that is a total win for the Democrats when the alternative is a full year CR that allows the Democrats to do whatever they want

    You keep typing words but they make no sense. You’re so uninformed on the issue that you are unable to have a rational discussion. Why do you think a CR allows the Democrats to do whatever they want or is in any way close to what they want? We know it’s not their preferred outcome, as the budget the Senate passed is much different.

    (Yes, I know the horse is still dead)