So says Mitch McConnell regarding entitlement reform.
McConnell on Face The Nation: Obama not ‘serious’ about entitlement reform
McConnell: This is the perfect time to tackle entitlement reform. We have divided government. That is, one party doesn’t control the entire government. That’s the time, Bob, to do big things. Remember when Reagan and Tip O’Neill fixed Social Security. Remember when Clinton and a Republican Congress did welfare reform. This is the time to do important and difficult stuff. And I agree with the Washington Post: Where’s the President? Where is the leadership? We’re prepared to do difficult things but he must be a part of it because we’re not looking at making an issue here—we’re looking at making a law. And that requires the signature of the President of the United States.
Schieffer: Well all we know, of course, is about what is being said in public. We hear the back-and-forth that’s being, going on in public. But you and the other leaders have been meeting behind closed doors with Vice President Biden. I guess I would ask you this question. What is your take on the administration right now? Do you believe that President Obama is, in fact, serious about trying to get something done here?
McConnell: No, I don’t.
McConnell: I have now had a number of private conversations with the President and the Vice President. I was hopeful that we would step up to the plate here, if you will, and use this divided government opportunity to do something big about our long-term problems. I don’t have any more complaints about the conversations with them; I’ve had plenty of conversations with them. What I don’t see now is any willingness to do anything that’s difficult. Look, this is the perfect time to do it. We control part of the government. They control part of the government. It could be done in a very, very effective way. And for those who are concerned about the 2012 elections, survived politically because both sides will have embraced it. I haven’t given up hope but frankly I’m not optimistic.
Schieffer: Well, you know, that really is a pretty serious charge at this stage to say that you don’t even think the President is serious. What is it that makes you say that?
McConnell: Well, look, I’ve a number of conversations with people who count at the White House. And I think that so far I don’t see the level of seriousness that we need.