McConnell to colleague Bret Baier: If I were the president, I don't think I'd have a two hour press conference again.
— Chad Pergram (@ChadPergram) January 21, 2022
Yeah, because #MinorityLeader ‘Speed Bump’ McConnell can’t even manage a ten-minute presser without stepping on his own… tongue:
In case you missed it, Mitch McConnell said the quiet part out loud last night: “African-American voters are voting in just as high a percentage as Americans.”
Make sure everyone sees this.pic.twitter.com/ReOvHGJcnI
— MeidasTouch.com (@MeidasTouch) January 20, 2022
Philip Bump, at the Washington Post — “Awkward phrasing isn’t the only problem with his argument”:
Shortly after the Senate voted down a proposed change to filibuster rules — thereby dooming a Democratic push to implement federal voting standards — Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and other top Republicans held a brief news conference…
A reporter raised the most extreme version of concerns about that change to McConnell, referring to the legislation that would no longer move forward.
“What’s your message for voters of color who are concerned that without the John L. Lewis Voting Rights Act they’re not going to be able to vote in the midterm?” he asked.
McConnell replied, “Well, the concern is misplaced, because if you look at the statistics, African American voters are voting in just as high a percentage as Americans.”…
“A recent survey, 94 percent of Americans thought it was easier to vote,” he continued. “This is not a problem. Turnout is up, biggest turnout since 1900. It’s simply — they’re being sold a bill of goods.”
The point about turnout being up significantly in 2020 is true. This was the same point President Biden made during his news conference on Wednesday, that turnout had been so high even without new federal rules, which he presented as a reason for some optimism. But this ignores a crucial point: Turnout was that high because voting access was expanded in response to the coronavirus pandemic. With more states implementing the sorts of changes that the Democratic proposal would standardize — and, of course, with a hyperpolarizing incumbent on the ballot — turnout was up.