The Washington Post

Republicans angry about Obama’s 2014 plans

Washington continues careening from crisis to crisis because President Obama is too focused on restoring Democratic control of the House, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said Tuesday.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.).

The top-ranking Senate Republican was responding to a story in Sunday's Washington Post that detailed Obama's plans to help House Democrats retake control of the lower chamber.

McConnell seemed most upset to hear who received some of the first phone calls from Obama on Election Night.

As The Post's Scott Wilson and Philip Rucker reported: "After delivering his election victory speech in November, Obama walked off the Chicago stage and made two phone calls related to his political plans — one to [Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee Chairman Steve] Israel [(D-N.Y.)] and one to Rep. Nancy Pelosi (Calif.), the last Democratic House speaker."

In response, McConnell said Obama and Democrats have "expended enormous amounts of energy to advance that goal – rebooting his political organization, provoking manufactured crises with Congress, engineering show votes in the Senate, and traveling around the country to campaign relentlessly against his opponents. That’s why the Sequester went into effect in its current form. That’s why Washington continues to careen needlessly from crisis to crisis. And that’s why we find ourselves in a situation where more than 1,400 days have passed since Senate Democrats last passed a budget. What a sad state of affairs for our country, and for the notion of governance in general."

At almost the exact same moment Tuesday morning, House Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) told reporters after the weekly House Republican conference meeting that Obama has "a totally different goal for America" than Republicans.

Recounting The Post's reporting of Obama's Election Night calls, McCarthy said: "That is not the goal of America. America believes the election is over, that the roadshow president should stop and we should start an agenda that puts people back to work. That's the difference and the frustration that the House has with the White House."

Are the Republican leaders genuinely surprised that Obama is focused on helping fellow Democrats retake the House? No. But don't be surprised to hear other Republicans make similar comments in the coming days.

Follow Ed O'Keefe on Twitter: @edatpost

Ed O’Keefe is covering the 2016 presidential campaign, with a focus on Jeb Bush and other Republican candidates. He's covered presidential and congressional politics since 2008. Off the trail, he's covered Capitol Hill, federal agencies and the federal workforce, and spent a brief time covering the war in Iraq.

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