U.S. Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell, defending remarks that Barack Obama should be a one-term president, will say Thursday his party's goals can be accomplished only when an ally is in the White House.
After Republicans wrested control of the House from Democrats and picked up seats in the Senate in Tuesday's congressional elections, McConnell will also tell the conservative Heritage Foundation that Obama must change course during the last two years of his current term.
"Some have said it was indelicate of me to suggest that our top political priority over the next two years should be to deny President Obama a second term in office," McConnell said in excerpts of a speech he will deliver Thursday.
"But the fact is, if our primary legislative goals are to repeal and replace the health spending bill, to end the bailouts, cut spending and shrink the size and scope of government, the only way to do all these things is to put someone in the White House who won't veto any of these things."
Obama took responsibility Wednesday for mistakes that contributed to the rout at the polls -- setting a combative tone with businesses, not making enough progress to improve the economy and failing to change the way Washington works.
But Obama has criticized Republicans for obstructing the reforms to the U.S. healthcare system and financial regulation that are now law, calling his rivals the "party of no."
McConnell will say that Republicans will repeatedly propose and vote on repealing the healthcare legislation in the new Congress but cannot expect Obama to sign it.
"We can hope the president will start listening to the electorate after Tuesday's election. But we can't plan on it," he will say in the speech. "So we'll also have to work in the House on denying funds for implementation and in the Senate on votes against its most egregious provisions."
John Boehner, the Republican leader in line to become the next speaker of the House, and McConnell have shown little inclination for compromise with the Obama administration.
"If the administration wants cooperation, it will have to begin to move in our direction," McConnell will say. (Editing by John O'Callaghan)
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