As Obama pivots to health care and jobs, McConnell pounces

Sen. Mitch McConnell, (R-Ky.), speaks to reporters on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., Feb. 12, 2013. (Manuel Balce Ceneta -- Associated Press) Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) on Capitol Hill  on Feb. 12, 2013. (Manuel Balce Ceneta/AP)

As the White House turns its attention back to health care and the economy, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) fired an opening shot Tuesday at President Obama.

In a morning floor speech, McConnell mocked Obama for his decision to “‘pivot’ once again to jobs."

"I can’t even count how many times he’s done one of these ‘pivots’ at this point, so I won’t try," McConnell said. "But I presume he’ll jet off around the country to campaign-style rallies in order to bash Congress and claim that none of this is his fault."

And in a preview of the GOP's election strategy, McConnell also questioned how the Obama administration was going to defend implementation of his health-care law in an event Friday.

"Well, I’d be willing to bet that he’s not going to take responsibility there for Obamacare’s negative effects on our economy, or on so many American families and small businesses," the senator said. "It’s about time he did, and he should use that event to do so. Because he needs to be straight with the American people. He needs to prepare them for everything that’s coming – the wage cuts, the lost jobs, the higher premiums. Everything they can expect as a result of Obamacare.”

After a few more floor speeches, voters might even get nostalgic for the sharp divide over gun control.

Juliet Eilperin is The Washington Post's White House bureau chief, covering domestic and foreign policy as well as the culture of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. She is the author of two books—one on sharks, and another on Congress, not to be confused with each other—and has worked for the Post since 1998.



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