If Tuesday night at the Republican National Convention showcased many of the new faces of the Republican Party – including Mia Love, the Utah congressional candidate, and Ted Cruz, the Texas Senate candidate – today will bring some of the GOP old guard clearly into public view, featuring a slew of sitting senators and former members of the Bush administration.
But the old hands might bring fresh criticism of President Obama onto the stage. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, for instance, is the lead-off speaker during prime time today and will unleash a barrage of criticisms and one-liners on Obama, attacking what he sees as failed policies, according to excerpts obtained by ABC News.
“We’re here this week for the simple reason that our nation is in desperate need of leadership,” the 27-year Kentucky senator will say, according to the excerpt. “And we believe Mitt Romney is the man for the moment.”
McConnell, 70, has been a thorn in the side of the White House. With few exceptions, he kept Republicans in the Senate united against the White House even when Democrats controlled the House and had a nearly filibuster-proof majority during the first two years of the Obama administration.
It was McConnell who famously said in 2010 that his party’s singular focus would be to make Obama a one-term president.
“As we meet here tonight, America is suffering through an economic calamity of truly historic dimensions,” McConnell will say. “Some are calling it the slowest recovery in our nation’s entire 236-year history. To call this a recovery is an insult to recoveries.”
The pointed speech will go on from there to criticize the president’s penchant for playing golf on the weekend, a subject on which GOP Ohio Gov. John Kasich also touched Tuesday.
“For four years, Barack Obama has been running from the nation’s problems,” McConnell will say. “He hasn’t been working to earn re-election. He’s been working to earn a spot on the PGA tour.”
And he’ll make fun of a string of recent interviews the president has given to celebrity and entertainment magazines while avoiding the White House press corps.
“We know what the president’s got on his iPod, but we don’t know what he plans to do about a looming tax hike that could trigger yet another serious recession that would result in even more Americans losing their jobs. Ladies and Gentlemen: America cannot afford another four years of this.”
Back on policy, McConnell, alluding to the “We built this” theme of the convention, will repeat his argument that the president has a sort of European socialism in mind for America.
“What this administration has in mind for America isn’t a renewal, it’s a great leveling out,” he’ll say, pointing to debt and entitlement problems in Europe.
“It wants the kind of government-imposed equality that in a single generation transformed Western Europe from a place where for centuries high achievement and discovery and innovation were celebrated and prized, to a place where they have elections about whether people should have to work. Where they make promises they can’t keep and write checks they can’t cash.”