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Sen. Mitch McConnell on Obama’s Failures, Keystone XL and National Popular Vote

Following a speech yesterday at The Heritage Foundation, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) sharply criticized President Obama for engaging in class warfare and accused him of shifting the focus away from his own failed policies in advance of next year’s election.

“My view is he’ll have a hard time convincing Americans he deserves four more years of this,” McConnell said. “There’s nothing he’s done that the American people approve of, so of course, he’s trying to change the subject.”

McConnell addressed a range of issues during the interview, from the unconstitutional National Popular Vote scheme to Senate Democrats’ failure to pass a budget for more than 950 days. But he reserved his toughest talk for Obama.

“His strategy is quite simple; it’s to blame anybody but himself for the problems we’ve had,” McConnell said. “Among the culprits that have been listed: the tsunami in Japan, the debt crisis in Europe, and of course, Republicans in Congress, and rich people and Wall Street. In other words, anybody but [Obama]. He’s the president of the United States. He’s the one who’s asking us to give him another four years.”

When asked about Obama’s populist speech in Kansas this week, McConnell said it was simply an attempt to deflect attention away from unpopular policies like the economic stimulus, Obamacare, Dodd-Frank and the nation’s 8.6 percent unemployment rate.

“The president is trying to pit one set of Americans against another,” McConnell said. “He’s trying to turn this election into anything but what the election is really about. … This election is going to be about his performance, and if the election were held tomorrow, he’d be going into another line of work.”

As lawmakers prepare for year-end fights on the payroll tax and other issues, McConnell said he would attempt to force Obama to make a decision on the Keystone XL pipeline. McConnell called the pipeline a shovel-ready project that will create jobs and bring energy resources to the United States. Obama has deferred a decision until after next year’s election in a move that is widely viewed as a political calculation to appease environmentalists.

“This is a project ready to go,” McConnell said. “All it needs the permission of the president of the United States. So legislatively, we’re going to demand the president make a decision within 60 days.”

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