McConnell on Obama: ‘I Hope He Pivots’

by Robert Costa

Sen. Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, the Senate GOP leader, tells NBC’s David Gregory that congressional Republicans, Democrats, and the White House may soon agree to extend all Bush-era tax rates. He remains “optimistic” and “very hopeful” that all parties will be able to “come together.” Since the president will “not sign” a permanent extension, McConnell would like to secure “some kind of extension” for “as long as possible.”

“I think it’s pretty clear now taxes are not going up on anybody in the middle of this recession,” McConnell predicts.

McConnell notes that the president has had more conversations with GOP leaders in the past two weeks than he has had in the past two years. “I hope he pivots,” McConnell says. “We have different political agendas, but there is some overlap and I hope we can work together . . . .  To the extent the president wants to do things that I and my members are comfortable with, we’re ready to do business.”

On the debt panel, McConnell would not endorse its recommendations on Meet the Press, but he did say that its findings could serve as a “road map” for future policy discussions. On ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,’ he says he will follow the lead of Sen. John McCain (R., Ariz.). On WikiLeaks, McConnell calls Julian Assange, the group’s founder, a “high-tech terrorist.”

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