In recent years, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has wholeheartedly agreed with the U.S. Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision and opposed a broad swath of campaign finance regulations as a violation of the 1st Amendment. Citizens United equated campaign contributions with speech, and McConnell backed that view. But an unearthed video of McConnell speaking in 1987 shows how egregiously he has flip-flopped.
Back in 1987, the Kentucky Republican (who is now 77) had only been in the U.S. Senate a few years: he was first elected to the Senate in 1984, defeating Democrat Walter Huddleston. In the 1987 video, McConnell was not only in favor of campaign finance regulations — he wanted a constitutional amendment setting limits on campaign contributions.
“The constitutional amendment that I will be introducing is rather simple, and it deals with the millionaire problem,” McConnell explains in the video. “It simply would grant to this body and to the various state legislatures the authority to regulate what an individual could put into his own campaign — just like we have the constitutional authority to regulate what any of us can put into somebody else’s campaign.”
For years, Mitch McConnell has opposed nearly all campaign finance regulations on 1st Amendment grounds.
But in a speech from 1987, McConnell called for a constitutional amendment, because spending by ultra-wealthy candidates “distorts the process” and is “not fair.” pic.twitter.com/AyIjsitVpK
— Tom Dreisbach (@TomDreisbach) June 6, 2019
McConnell also calls for the U.S. Senate and state legislatures to have “the authority to regulate independent expenditures.” And ironically, the McConnell of 1987 sounds a lot like today’s Citizens United opponents when he stresses that the ultra-rich shouldn’t be able to buy elections.
In the video, McConnell declares, “What distorts the process, of course, is the ability of an individual of unlimited wealth to put literally everything he has into his own campaign…. That clearly is not fair. We can cure that. We can cure it, however, only with a constitutional amendment.”
The video of McConnell speaking 32 years ago was posted on Twitter by Tom Dreisbach, producer/editor of NPR’s “Embedded.” In addition, the Los Angeles resident noted that in 1987, McConnell wrote, “Members on both sides of the aisle have decried the ease with which wealthy candidates can virtually purchase congressional seats.”
Dreisbach’s posts inspired some tweets that were highly critical of the Senate majority leader. @LT_Fart sarcastically tweets, “Holy shit, it’s almost as if he’s a hypocrite,” while @ChrsSchlssr asserts that Americans are “far, FAR past where anything is surprising regarding McConnell being a hypocrite.”
Oh to be young, pure and idealistic. If only we had term limits, then we’d remeber McConnell as a good senator rather than the old bitter, pride-driven, vengeful grim reaper he is today.
— Alexandra (@qantasbird) June 7, 2019
Mitch is always hypocritical and a cancer on the Constitution. And he doesn’t care, he laughs at this stuff being pointed out. It all needs to be used by the @AmyMcGrathKY campaign into next October or it doesn’t matter.
— Shabby Doll (@SuGo2Go) June 7, 2019
@SuGo2Go denounces McConnell as someone who “is always hypocritical and a cancer on the Constitution. And he doesn’t care.” And @LABirdlady stresses, “There comes a time when a person should retire, when they are dangerous and have nothing positive to offer, only negativity. This is that time for Mitch McConnell.”
Dreisbach isn’t the first journalist who has noted that McConnell was more moderate in the past.
A New Republic report, written by Alex Pareene and published on March 21, delved into how far-right McConnell has been in the 2010s compared to the 1970s or 1980s. In the past, Pareene notes, McConnell was “strategically a Rockefeller Republican at a time when you could still make a bet that such socially moderate business types would survive the successive righteous onslaughts of the conservative movement.”
Trump blasted for ‘avalanche of lying’ in brutal takedown by CNN fact-checker
CNN fact-checker Daniel Dale provided a brutal dose of reality after President Donald Trump constantly mislead Americans with his false claims during the first 2020 general election presidential debate.
CNN's Wolf Blitzer introduced Dale by recapping that, in his opinion, "clearly this debate was an embarrassment for the United States of America -- a clear embarrassment."
"How much was fact?" Blitzer asked. "How much was false?"
"Well, it depended Wolf on who we were listening to," Dale replied.
"I think it's important for us as journalists to say when both sides are not alike -- and they were not alike tonight," he explained.
WATCH: Van Jones delivers epic lecture on CNN after Trump ‘refused to condemn white supremacy’
CNN political analyst Van Jones tore into Donald Trump after the president's highly controversial decision to repeatedly refuse to condemn white supremacy at the first 2020 general election debate.
"Only three things happened for me tonight," Jone said.
"Number one, Donald Trump refused to condemn white supremacy," he explained.
"Number two, the president of the United States refused to condemn white supremacy," he continued.
"Number three, the commander-in-chief refused to condemn white supremacy on the global stage -- in front of my children, in front of everybody's families -- and he was given the opportunity multiple times to condemn white supremacy," Jones said.
Jake Tapper stunned by Trump’s debate: ‘That was a hot mess inside a dumpster fire inside a train wreck’
CNN Jake Tapper reacted in shock on Tuesday following the first presidential debate between Democratic nominee Joe Biden and President Donald Trump.
"That was a hot mess inside a dumpster fire inside a train wreck," Tapper said. "That was the worst debate I have ever seen. In fact, it wasn't even a debate. It was a disgrace."
"And it's primarily because of President Trump," he remarked, "who spent the entire time interrupting, not abiding by the rules that he agreed to, lying, maliciously attacking the son of the vice president. When asked to condemn white supremacists, he brought up the name of a neo-fascist, far-right group and said, 'Stand back and stand by.'"