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McConnell: Trump’s administration is ‘indistinguishable’ from a hypothetical Bush, Rubio presidency

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) described President Donald Trump’s administration as “indistinguishable.” “What the administration is doing, not only am I comfortable with it, but I think the vast majority of Republicans in Congress feel that this is a right-of-center presidency, which is what we had hoped,” McConnell said. (Win McNamee/Getty Images)

Aside from his erratic Twitter behavior, President Donald Trump is just a run-of-the-mill Republican, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) says.

In fact, McConnell believes Trump has been a “right-of-center” president, “indistinguishable” from what a hypothetical administration helmed by former GOP presidential candidates Florida Sen. Marco Rubio or former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush would have been.

“What the administration is doing, not only am I comfortable with it, but I think the vast majority of Republicans in Congress feel that this is a right-of-center presidency, which is what we had hoped,” McConnell told Reuters.

“If you look at what the president is actually for,” he said, “it strikes me as indistinguishable from what a President Jeb Bush or a President Marco Rubio would have been advocating: Deregulation, tax reform, repeal and replace of Obamacare, judges like Neil Gorsuch.”

McConnell told Reuters he has been open with Trump about his desire for “less drama” — and less Twitter — moving forward.

“He knows, as you all know, that I’ve not been a fan of the tweets and the extracurricular comments,” the Kentucky lawmaker said. “I said last week we could do with a little less drama.”

McConnell admitted, though, that the president is “disinclined to take my advice on some things.” But the leader said he still feels comfortable sharing his opinion with Trump, something he noted he does “frequently.”

McConnell’s criticism of Trump’s signature Twitter behavior is nothing new. In mid-February, he told reporters during a news conference that he is “not a great fan of daily tweets” from the president.

Trump often tweets about his disdain for the mainstream media and his insistence that there is no connection between his 2016 campaign and Russian officials.

But despite the disagreement about Twitter, McConnell said he and the president are united on policy ideas, such as tax reform and overhauling health care. The senator said the White House’s relationship with Congress has improved because of Vice President Mike Pence’s “very significant” presence among the legislative body.

He described Pence’s role as a “serious value-added” and “kind of the de facto congressional relations guy for the administration.”

“It’s been really helpful because members feel like they can go over and whisper in his ear about whatever their particular problem is, and something will be done about it, because they’ve kind of elevated it to a higher level,” McConnell said.

One last thing…
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