DEMINT: Well, we're not going to have bipartisanship as long as the Democrats are moving towards just more spending and debt. Listen, when the president came into office, the Democrats had controlled Congress for two years. Presidents don't write policy and spend money. The Congress does.
The Democrat Congress had taken us in the wrong direction. And the first year of the Obama's presidency, he created more debt than George Bush did in eight years.
So we've got to get rid of this inheritance idea. The president and the Democrats need to take some responsibility.
The Republicans want to work with the Democrats on improving health care, focusing on jobs. There are a number of other priorities. But for this first year, the president really believed that he could steamroll the Republicans, not even have us in the same room, and in the process, he was steamrolling the American people, not listening to what they were saying.
That's where the anger comes from. People feel like the president, the Democrats, and even some Republicans have not been listening to him.
People are sick of politics. They're sick of both parties in a lot of ways. I've been proud that the Republicans have been coming together to try to stop the spending and debt. And now what we need to do is work together.
And hopefully, the president will stop this effort to take over our health care system, refocus on jobs, and look at ways to get the economy going, rather than just expand the government.
MORAN: All right. You're all in the same room now, not literally, but in the Senate, but with the 41 Republican votes. But let me -- let me shift gears. I want to ask you about this landmark Supreme Court decision that came down this week, the Supreme Court this week saying that the campaign finance reform ban on corporations and unions spending their general funds to advertise directly in favor or against individual candidates, that's a violation of free speech. That's going to help Republicans. What -- what do you think?
MENENDEZ: Well, the big losers are the average American citizen. This is going to put enormous amounts of money and influence on behalf of big oil, health insurance companies, big banks, that are going to obviously support candidates who support their point of views.
That means, will Republicans join us on regulatory reform so we don't have the excesses of Wall Street that they permitted? Are they going to join us to make sure that health insurance companies don't arbitrarily and capriciously deny people their health insurance that they have, even when they need it the most?
So this is a David and Goliath situation. And the reality is that the average citizen is going to get steamrolled, and that's why we're going to seek to legislatively respond to it.
MORAN: You're going to try and reform this through legislation?
MENENDEZ: We are going to try to make sure...
MORAN: It's a First Amendment decision. It's going to be hard to do.
MENENDEZ: Well, it's a First Amendment decision, but there are a lot of elements on disclosure and otherwise that can, I think, curtail this. And I hope that the Republicans -- this was a reform effort 20 years ago when it was instituted. John McCain, McCain-Feingold a big part of this. I hope that Republicans are going to join us hand in hand to make sure that the special interests don't roll over the little guy.