Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said Monday that former President Barack Obama “should have kept his mouth shut” on the Trump administrations handling of the coronavirus pandemic.
What We Know:
- The Kentucky Republican criticized Obama while speaking with President Donald Trump’s daughter-in-law, Lara Trump, during a Trump reelection campaign live stream. McConnell appeared to take aim at Obama’s comments Friday, when the Democrat reportedly told 3,000 of his former staffers during a private call that the White House response to the COVID-19 pandemic has been an “absolute chaotic disaster.”
- McConnell said Obama should take lessons from former President George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush. Both were Republicans followed by Democrats. Still, the younger Bush and Trump have by no means enjoyed a cordial relationship with one another.
“In the final analysis, we are not partisan combatants. We are human beings, equally vulnerable and equally wonderful in the sight of God. We rise or fall together, and we are determined to rise.” – George W. Bush
- In a series of tweets after Bush’s video was released, Trump alluded to his impeachment trial and said Bush “was nowhere to be found in speaking up against the greatest Hoax in American history!” Partisan bickering has not subsided during the coronavirus pandemic
- Obama has endorsed and promised to campaign “as hard as I can” for his former vice president, Biden, who is seeking to make Trump a one-term president by winning this year’s election.
- During Monday’s live stream, Lara Trump asked McConnell about why some Democrats “seem insistent” on “keeping the economy shut down” during the pandemic. McConnell replied that “I don’t know what it is … the Democrats seem to actually prefer keeping people locked up at home, and that’s one of the reasons some of the governors have begun to run into trouble.”
- Americans are “beginning to chafe” at the executive orders that governors have issued to limit the spread of COVID-19, McConnell said.
- McConnell added to his complaint the inadvertently comic detail that Obama shared blame for the coronavirus: “Clearly,” he told Lara Trump, “the Obama administration did not leave to this administration any kind of game plan for something like this.” Contrary to this statement, the Obama administration left a 69-page pandemic playbook that has been disregarded.
Maybe McConnell should decide that there is a new tradition: It’s now classless for a president to hand over to his successor detailed plans to handle disasters, because if the successor is incompetent enough to ignore them, he’ll look bad.