Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell vowed Monday to be the “Grim Reaper” who will kill what he labeled socialist legislation, including the Green New Deal and Medicare For All measures advocated by Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and “nutcases running around on the fringe.”
Speaking at an event in Owensboro, Kentucky, McConnell, who is up for re-election, told his constituents that as Senate majority leader he is uniquely positioned to block socialist policies that he warned many on the left wing of the Democratic Party are pushing.
“We are having a legitimate debate about the virtues of socialism and I don’t want you to think it’s just a 28-year-old congresswoman from New York. This is much broader than that. I’ve got five colleagues in the Senate, five colleagues running for president, who have signed on to the Green New Deal and Medicare For All,” he said.
McConnell has spoken for weeks about what he believes are the pitfalls of the Green New Deal, a proposal authored by Ocasio-Cortez to battle climate change, and the proposed expansion of Medicare, which he pans as “Medicare For None.”
“I don’t want you to think this is just a couple of nutcases running around on the fringe. This is pervasive policy view on the other side,” he said, noting that his five Senate colleagues are all “credible candidates for the presidential nomination.”
“Are we going to turn this into a socialist country? Don’t assume it cannot happen,” he said. “If I’m still the majority leader of the Senate, think of me as the Grim Reaper. None of that stuff is going to pass. None of it.”
The luncheon audience, which had been mostly quiet throughout his speech, enthusiastically applauded.