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Kentucky GOP Sens. Mitch McConnell and Rand Paul were caught discussing on Wednesday night Republican messaging strategy during a hot mic moment in a Senate office building.
After a CNN news hit, Paul came over to a “wired up” McConnell, who was sitting in front of a camera for his own interview. During the brief exchange, Paul suggested that Republicans would sound more reasonable if they struck a conciliatory tone on government funding than Democrats, who maintain that they won’t alter Obamacare as a condition of reopening the government.
(PHOTOS: D.C. closes up shop)“I just did CNN. I just go over and over again: ‘We’re willing to compromise, we’re willing to negotiate,’” Paul said of his interview, adding of Democrats’ stance: “I don’t think they’ve poll tested,‘We won’t negotiate.’ I think it’s awful for them to say that over and over again.”
“Yeah, I do too. I just got came back from a two-hour meeting with them. And that was basically the same view privately as it was publicly,” said McConnell, the Senate minority leader. He was likely referring to a long meeting at the White House on Wednesday with President Barack Obama, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, House Speaker John Boehner and Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi.
Paul suggested that after attempts to defund Obamacare in the spending bill failed in the Senate, it’s time to make Republicans appear more reasonable than Democrats.
“I think if we keep saying, ‘We wanted to defund it, we fought for that, but now we’re willing to compromise on this,’ Paul said. “I know we don’t want to be here, but we’re going to win this I think.”
The exchange was first caught by Kentucky TV station WPSD.