McConnell: Trump's 'Drain the Swamp' Term-Limits Vow Going Nowhere in the Senate
WASHINGTON -- Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) cautioned today that it would be a "mistake" for the Republican majority to "misread your mandate" and "think it's going to be forever."
"Nothing is forever in this country. We have an election every two years right on schedule. We have had since 1788. And so I don't think we should act as if we're going to be in the majority forever," McConnell told reporters in a news conference to discuss election results.
"We've been given a temporary lease on power, if you will. And I think we need to use it responsibly. I think what the American people are looking for is results. And to get results in the Senate, as all of you know, it requires some Democratic participation and cooperation."
He cautioned that "overreaching after an election is, generally speaking, a mistake."
McConnell said he spoke with both President Obama and Donald Trump today.
"In a day when people were voting for change, they didn't decide they wanted to change the Republican Senate, which I am proud of. And of course, many of our members actually had bipartisan accomplishments to run on," he said.
The majority leader also chatted today with the presumed upcoming Senate minority leader, Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.). They did not discuss, he said, whether Democrats plan to block a Trump Supreme Court appointment like GOPs planned to do with a Hillary Clinton appointment. But McConnell predicted they're "going to get along fine" as dueling leaders: "I respect him. I think he's very smart. And I think we'll be fine. We both have our roles to play."
In June, McConnell slammed Trump for "a series of outrageous and unacceptable statements," including about the judge of Mexican heritage in the Trump University fraud case.
McConnell said today he didn't want to "go back and relitigate the events of the past."
"We have a new president. I'd like for him to get off on a positive start. And I think we should look forward and not backward and kind of rehash and relitigate the various debates we had both internally and with the Democrats over the past year," he said.
He didn't commit to whether or not he supports Trump's plan for a border wall, saying only, "I want to try to achieve border security in whatever way is the most effective."