In the wake of divisive confirmation battle for now-Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell blasted former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Tuesday after she told CNN that Democrats should be unwilling to be "civil" with Republicans because the GOP wants to "destroy" what Democrats believe in.
"She told CNN exactly how she views millions of Americans who hold different political views than her own," McConnell said with an incredulous tone during a Senate floor speech. "No peace until they get their way? More of these unhinged tactics? Apparently, these are the left's rallying cry."
McConnell was responding to an interview Clinton did with CNN's Christiane Amanpour, when the former Democratic presidential nominee said her party needs to draw a harder line with Republicans.
"You cannot be civil with a political party that wants to destroy what you stand for, what you care about," Clinton said. "That's why I believe if we are fortunate enough to win back the House and or the Senate, that's when civility can start again. But until then, the only thing that the Republicans seem to recognize and respect is strength."
In his speech, McConnell criticized progressive protesters who swarmed the Capitol in the weeks before the vote on Kavanaugh, a jurist they deeply opposed on ideological grounds long before allegations of sexual assault were raised against him.
In recent days, McConnell has repeatedly painted those protesters as angry "mobs" whose out-of-control actions will actually help Republicans retain their majority in the Senate come Election Day.
"Far left activists decided that the United States Senate and their members should be harassed and intimidated wherever they might be. In a restaurant, with family, getting out of their own car or in their own home," McConnell said. "Protesters disregarded the men and women of the Capitol Police and the Supreme Court, climbed on states and tried to literally shout down senators right in the middle of a roll call vote."
Clinton, a former US senator from New York, said Republicans have repeatedly used hard ball tactics to gain power and the Democrats must fight back by winning elections.
"I remember Republican operatives shutting down the voting in Florida in 2000. I remember the swift boating of John Kerry. I remember the things that even the Republican Party did to John McCain in 2000. I remember what they did to me for 25 years -- the falsehoods, the lies, which unfortunately people believe," she said.
"So, when you're dealing with an ideological party that is driven by the lust for power, that is funded by corporate interests who want a government that does its bidding, it's -- you can be civil, but you can't overcome what they intend to do unless you win elections," she added.
- Clinton: Civility starts by electing Democrats
- Democratic senator: Go away Hillary Clinton
- Democrats still have a Bill Clinton problem
- McConnell blasts Hillary Clinton for preaching no civility with GOP
- Sen. Heitkamp dismisses Clinton's comments on civility as 'ridiculous'
- There is no Democratic civil war -- at least, not yet
- WaPo: Democrats file suit over 2016 election
- House Democrats elect leaders for new Congress
- Congressman-elect targeted in SNL joke urges civility in politics
- Hillary Clinton backs Stacey Abrams in Georgia Democratic governor's race