mcconnell1Democrats have been trying to portray Republicans as the “Party of No”. Today Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell visited the Reuters bureau in DC and argued there was no shame in saying no.

Republicans, he said, will be campaigning against many of the policies enacted by President Barack Obama, including healthcare reform, higher spending, bailouts and greater government intervention in the economy, things the party was “proud” to say no to.

“It depends on what you are saying ‘no’ to,” McConnell told Reuters. “If you’re saying ‘no’ to the massive amount of spending and debt and Washington takeovers and things like adding a quarter of a million federal employees with borrowed money like we have in the past year and a half, I think the American people are saying: ‘Please say no to that. We want you to say no to that.’”

McConnell admitted repealing all of the president’s policies would be tough as long as Obama remained in the White House, and added Republicans would be coming up with their own, more constructive ideas by the end of September. In the meantime, if Republicans manage to gain control of one or both houses of Congress, McConnell predicted the president would become a “born-again moderate.” Obama, he said, might end up following in the footsteps of his 1990s Democratic predecessor Bill Clinton, who moved to the center after losing control of Congress. I suspect it is not a comparison the White House would welcome.

While McConnell was busy saying “no”, Obama had his own mini “Mission Accomplished” moment. Seven years after President George W. Bush prematurely declared the end of major combat operations in Iraq, Obama said he was making good on his promise to bring the war to a “responsible end”. He vowed that combat operations would finally come to a halt by the end of August “as promised and on schedule”.