"What I loved about him is he is the most competitive guy I have ever met....He is the only person I have ever worked with on a campaign that I thought wanted to win as badly as I did... I always tell Roger, if it wasn't for you Roger, I would be very unhappy lawyer practicing in Louisville, Kentucky."
---Senator McConnell on Fox News CEO Roger Ailes's impact on his political career
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, joined Kilmeade & Friends to discuss his new book, "The Long Game: A Memoir"
Senator McConnell sat down with Brian and discussed the lessons he learned running for class president in high school that helped him when he ran for political office years later, why hiring Roger Ailes in 1984 to help get him elected senator was the smartest move he made, how dealing with Vice President Joe Biden is easier than dealing with President Obama, if he is still upset at Senator Ted Cruz for saying he lied to him, how Senator Harry Reid saying the war in Iraq was lost hurt the war effort and why he feels the hardline conservatives should vote for Trump instead of sitting out the election in November.
Senator McConnell on Roger Ailes helping him defeat Democratic Senator Walter (Dee) Huddleston in 1984
(Kilmeade) How many points were you down and what seat were you going for?
(McConnell) I was over 30 points down in July of the election year (1984). Roger was my television guy, this was in a previous life, he did that kind of work. We had a strategy meeting and I said Roger, is it over? He said I have never known anybody this far behind this late who won but it's not over. What I loved about him is he is the most competitive guy I have ever met.
(Kilmeade) No kidding.
(McConnell) You know that from working here at Fox. He is the only person I have ever worked with on a campaign that I thought wanted to win as badly as I did and it was a close to hopeless situation. We managed to find one little issue, this was back in the days when you could make speeches for money, which I didn't object to philosophically but Huddleston had been missing votes in the senate while he was out making speeches for money so roger came up with the "bloodhound ads" which you just played for your audience, which brought my race to life. People laughed, they started paying attention to the race and then Roger came up with a sequel, a second "bloodhound ad". In that one, Roger hired an actor that looked like my opponent and the dogs were right on his heels, they followed him around to various places and right at the end, he was up a tree, they literally treed him and said, we got you now Dee Huddleston. I won by one voter per precinct, not exactly a landslide. But what was really interesting that year,Brian, even though Reagan won 49 out of 50 states, only one democratic incumbent in the whole country was defeated, my opponent (Senator Walter Huddleston). I always tell Roger, if it wasn't for you Roger, I would be a very unhappy lawyer practicing in Louisville, Kentucky.
Senator McConnell on President Obama
(McConnell) The President is a very smart guy but he has a very irritating habit, he is like every kid you knew in school in your class, who thought he was the smartest guy in the room and wanted to make sure you knew it. I have found the Presidents enlightenment lectures somewhat grating because they are sort of an effort to convince me of views I don't hold. Preachy, like a professor, if you just listen to me, you change your position. I much rather deal with the Vice President (Biden) who doesn't try to convince me of things I don't believe and you can get down to the point. I know what he can't do and he knows what I can't do.
(Kilmeade) You say in your book, Joe Biden is one of these guys if you ask him the time he will tell you how to build a watch and he will talk the whole time. You were trying to get ready for the funeral of Senator Jesse Helms and you were going to give the keynote speech. He talked the whole plane ride.
(McConnell) He did. Having said that, in the negations we have been in, he did shut up and interestingly enough, it's the president who I find his lectures, somewhat tiresome. It's a feudal effort to change my views on some thing's, which is why I found some discussions with the President largely unproductive.
Senator McConnell talks about what he sees as the fundamental differences between President Obama & President Clinton
(McConnell) I think the fundamental problem with the president is not that he likes to lecture you, which he does, but that he is not a centrist. You know, Clinton, when he lost the congress, moved to the center and was able to join with Republicans to do significant things. I think of welfare reform, I think of balancing the budget 3 years in a row in the late Clinton years that wouldn't have happened without a republican congress. Barack Obama is pretty far left, I mean he is very far left. When the House flipped in 2010 and I became the leader of a more significant number of republicans in the senate, I thought maybe this is going to be the Clintonian pivot to the middle, didn't happen. Didn't happen in 2012 and it didn't happen in 2014 when he was confronted with a 100% Republican congress. I think what we can safely say about Barack Obama, he wouldn't put it this way, he wanted to turn us into a Western European country. That is big debts, high taxes, overregulation, slow growth, that's what we got. So there is not much to talk to Obama about. He is not interested in coming to the political center. He does enjoy lecturing and that is what I was talking about in the book.