Sen. McConnell: Obama "Owned The Congress" And "Got Everything He Wanted" For Two Years

October 18, 2011 7:33 pm ET — Matt Finkelstein

Tonight on Fox News, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) explained why Republican senators unanimously voted to prevent debate on the American Jobs Act. According to McConnell, Obama had free reign over the economy for two years and, with the power to adopt any policies he wanted, failed to produce a strong recovery.  

"We tried his approach. The first two years of his administration he owned the Congress. He got everything he wanted," McConnell declared, adding, "We've lost 1.5 million jobs since then."


He repeated the line later in the interview, asserting that Obama "controlled the Congress totally" for the first two years of his presidency.

McConnell's claims are laughably false. It's true that Democrats held majorities in both chambers of Congress in 2009-10, but that hardly means Obama could snap his fingers and pass progressive policies. In fact, Republicans went to extraordinary lengths to make sure the president rarely got his way. Under McConnell's leadership, Senate Republicans set a new record for filibusters and coerced Democrats into making major concessions, such extending the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy, on multiple occasions.

Of course, this is the same McConnell who says the "single most important thing" for Republicans is defeating Obama next year, so it's no surprise that he's deliberately misremembering how we got here.