WASHINGTON — President Trump pushed back against Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s recent comments that he has “excessive expectations” for Congress, as tensions between the Republican president and the majority leader escalate over the long August recess.
“Senator Mitch McConnell said I had ‘excessive expectations,’ but I don’t think so,” Trump tweeted Wednesday afternoon. “After 7 years of hearing Repeal & Replace, why not done?”
McConnell said Monday Trump was creating a false impression that Senate Republicans are not effective because he’s a political novice. “Our new president, of course, has not been in this line of work before,” McConnell told a small group in Florence, Ky., this week. “And I think he had excessive expectations about how quickly things happen in the democratic process.”
In his remarks, McConnell also lamented that “artificial deadlines” — presumably from the White House — are giving the impression that Senate Republicans are underperforming after the Senate failed to repeal and replace Obamacare in its first six months. McConnell reminded the crowd it took Obama a year to pass the Affordable Care Act.
“More excuses,” tweeted White House social media director Dan Scavino on Wednesday morning. Scavino said McConnell “must have needed another 4 years” to repeal Obamacare.
Trump’s tweet about McConnell was tame compared to his frequent caustic barbs against his declared foes. During the campaign, for example, Trump frequently ripped into House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., whom he referred to as a “very weak and ineffective leader.”
Conservative commentators took a far sharper tone on McConnell than the president.
Sean Hannity, a Fox News host who is friends with the president, tweeted Tuesday night that McConnell was a “WEAK, SPINELESS leader” who should retire.
Lou Dobbs, a Fox Business host, dedicated a whole segment Wednesday to McConnell’s comments, blasting a graphic on the screen that read “Ditch Mitch” in giant letters.
“He isn’t worth a doggone as I can see,” Dobbs said. “That’s what we got in the swamp, folks.”
A McConnell spokesman declined to comment on the blowback.
The Senate decamped from Washington on Thursday for a four-week August recess back in their home states after failing to deliver an Obamacare repeal-and-replace bill long promised by the GOP. Republican voters tend to blame Congress more than the president for legislative failures,…