Martin Bashir | November 14, 2012
>>> the president in winning not one but two general elections ran on a single consistent promise when it came to the issue of taxes. that if you earn more than $250,000 a year, then your taxes will go up. but not if you earn less.
>> by the way, more voters agreed with me on this issue than voted for me. in the next couple of weeks, provide certainty to middle class families, 98% of families who make less than $250,000 a year, 97% of small businesses, that their taxes will not go up a single dime next year.
>> unfortunately, senate minority leader mitch mcconnell continues to operate in an alternative universe believing mandates only apply to him and his republican colleagues. he's even taken to repeating himself on the matter.
>> the voters also re-elected a republican-controlled house last week and a closely divided senate. if he's serious he'll put the campaign rhetoric aside, propose a solution to pass a republican-controlled house and a divided senate.
>> john yarmuth , good afternoon. you know mr. mcconnell very well. can you explain to me and his viewers how he believes he and not the president has a mandate, despite democrats increasing their number in the senate, winning the presidential election and not winning the house, mostly because republicans jerry manneded so many districts.
>> primarily i'm not sure he believes it but he's saying it because he's talking to a different audience than we are and most of the country is. i think he's in a very difficult spot. i don't think he really faces a serious threat from thinks right in kentucky but he doesn't want to do anything that's going to invite one. meanwhile, his real vulnerability is if he's the one seen blocking a deal that everybody in the country and everybody in both parties wants. so, i think he's trying to negotiate this, sounding tough for his right flank but also i think the important thing to watch is what he does. and if he lets his members, the other 44 republicans in the senate kind of do what they're going to do, make the compromises that everybody wants to make, then he can sort of have it both ways.
>> given that exit polling showed 60% of the population believe that taxes on the wealthiest americans should go up, to help deal with the deficit, and given the president's emphatic victory, what more does mr. mcconnell require to persuade him of what the american people want? what does he need?
>> well, you know, i'm not sure anything's going to totally persuade him, but mitch mcconnell will always do what's in mitch mcconnell 's best interest . he's made this calculation that adhering to a fairly hard line is going to guarantee he doesn't face a primary. the disingenuous thing about the republican argument right now, this whole thing about rates is unfortunate because you cannot do what they say they want to do, which is deal with the tax code and deductions, without impacting the middle class . because any time you touch a deduction, whether it's home mortgage deduction or even capital gains or whatever, you're talking about middle classes being impacted along with wealthier americans. so, this is all phoney. we've got to do something with the rates. the president is absolutely right to hold to his line. the american people are on board. and i think eventually the republicans will fall in line.
>> i know that you head up the bourbon caucus, a most excellent caucus, if everyone there was one. you invited republican massy ey with you. could you not invite mcconnell and introduce him to working with as opposed to this president?
>> absolutely. the minority leader was re-elected this afternoon. he issued a statement afterwards which actually read a lot more conciliatory than what we've heard from him. so, maybe he has had a little bit of a realization that he needs to at least profess to be willing to work with democrats and with the president. let's hope that, for once, that the interest of the country and mick mcconnell 's interests coincide. that would be fortunate.
>> fingers crossed, congressman john yarmuth of kentucky.