Days before the Republicans won control of the House and made gains in the Senate, GOP leaders made clear that there will be “no compromise” with Democrats and President Obama. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell even said his priority will not be to solve problems, but to defeat Obama in 2012.
After the GOP victories this week, Democratic leaders said they want to work with Republicans to get things done. Obama said there are a “whole bunch” of areas where Democrats could work with the GOP. “We’ve got to start working together. … Legislation’s the art of compromise,” Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) said. Yet, Rep. Mike Pence (R-IN) doesn’t think so. On a local radio show today, not only did Pence reiterate his “no compromise” pledge, but he upped the ante, saying voters don’t want Republicans and Democrats to work together:
PENCE: I’m going to ensure that Republicans come out of the gate and seize this moment, we’ve really been given a second chance at a first impression and I’m going to tell them that we have to rise to the challenge with principle and conviction and not with this attitude that you saw coming from the White House yesterday and from some other quarters on the establishment left in Washington which was that somehow the message of the election was that they want Democrats and Republicans to work better together, to get along — good heavens.
Pence doesn’t seem to have a firm grasp on what the American people want. An Ipsos/Reuters poll released on Monday found that “[m]ore than half of voters (56%) want to see Congress prioritizing cross-party working to enable consensus-based policymaking.” And a New York Times/CBS News poll released last week reported similar results. A whopping 78 percent said that Republicans should “compromise some of their positions to get things done” versus only 15 percent who said they should “stick to their positions.”