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GOP's Mitch McConnell hopes midterms turn Obama into 'born-again moderate'

Republican Senate leader Mitch McConnell says he hopes the November election will bring 'more balance' to the makeup of the Senate, but he cautioned that he isn't interested in doing things left of center.

Michael Bonfigli/Special to The Christian Science Monitor
Senate minority leader Mitch McConnell told reporters at a Monitor-sponsored breakfast Thursday that he hoped President Obama would become a 'born-again moderate' after the November elections.

Republican Senate leader Mitch McConnell says he hopes the November election will bring “more balance” to the makeup of the Senate, “which will give us opportunities to do things together that simply were missing” with the Democrats' strong majority.

But at a Monitor-sponsored breakfast with political reporters on Thursday, the Kentucky senator cautioned, “I am not going to be very interested in doing things left of center. It is going to have to be center right, and I think the president is a flexible man. And I am hoping he will become a born-again moderate.”

Senator McConnell had a private meeting with President Obama on Wednesday at the president’s request. They agreed not to discuss the contents of the meeting.

The Senate currently has 57 Democrats, 41 Republicans, and 2 independents who caucus with the Democrats. “I hope the numbers will shift, and the opportunity for doing things more in the political center will be there,” McConnell said.

He noted, “If you have a big majority, what you want to do is pick off a Republican or two, give it a patina of bipartisanship, and do what you want to do. If you are between 55 and 45 [seats], you get genuine bipartisan agreement.”

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