POLITICS -- August 30, 2012 at 8:30 PM EDT
Contrasting Views on Presidential Race from McConnell, Durbin
Two party leaders in the U.S. Senate gave sharply contrasting views of the race and Romney's speech in separate interviews with the PBS NewsHour election team of Gwen Ifill, Judy Woodruff, Mark Shields and David Brooks Thursday night.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., repeated a frequent Republican theme -- that President Obama has failed to provide bipartisan leadership, especially on the economy and federal budget.
"Looking back at last year, it was really a missed opportunity when the president went AWOL" after the short-term budget deal was reached in August 2011, McConnell said. The best hope for a long-term budget deal is under Romney, he argued.
Not surprisingly, the No. 2 Democrat in the Senate, Richard Durbin, D-Ill., disagreed. He foreshadowed themes likely to dominate next week's Democratic convention in Charlotte: That Democrats, not Republicans, are best equipped to help the middle class and working people.
"We're really focused on middle-income and working families. The facts are there -- they have fallen further and further behind...they want to know which party will give them hope."