After his victory in the 2020 presidential election, President Joe Biden vowed to pursue a path of bipartisanship after the administration of former President Donald Trump deepened existing political and ideological divisions over his four years in office.
Since then, Republicans in Congress have sought to pounce on any chance to paint Biden's pledge as unfulfilled, especialy after President Biden helped pass the latest—and largely popular—wave of pandemic relief without any Republican votes.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) pursued that route again this week, making the questionable claim that he and Biden hadn't spoken at all since his inauguration.
Mitch McConnell on Fox News today: “I don’t believe I’ve spoken with [Biden] since he was sworn in." Mitch McConn… https://t.co/Je0qshbf8X— JM Rieger (@JM Rieger) 1616595500.0
McConnell said in a Fox News interview:
"I don't believe I've spoken with him since he was sworn in. We've had a couple of conversations before then."
He later said:
"I haven't been invited to the White House, so far this administration is not interested in doing anything on a bipartisan basis in the political center. There's been no efforts whatsoever by the President or the administration to do anything in the political center. It's been trying to jam through everything on the hard left."
But as the Washington Post's JM Rieger pointed out, McConnell himself has confirmed in past weeks that he spoke with the President, saying in a February 2 news conference where he addressed growing tensions in Myanmar:
"The President called me about that to ask my ideas, Secretary Blinken did as well. I think it's an area where we, on a bipartisan basis ought to support the strongest possible sanctions that the administration can levy."
According to CNN congressional correspondent Manu Raju, McConnell's office later admitted that he misspoke, clarifying that he said he "believed" he hadn't spoken to Biden since his swearing-in.
McConnell's critics called him a liar.
They just can't not lie. https://t.co/MEaFR7fb6c— John Sastri (@John Sastri) 1616628758.0
@LeaderMcConnell is a LIAR! https://t.co/dysKyWcH8T— MMarie D'Angelo (@MMarie D'Angelo) 1616638319.0
They lie so much, especially on Fox where they are seldom challenged with the truth, that they forget what was the… https://t.co/NEPpf5jjNI— Natives&ImmigrantsAreUS (@Natives&ImmigrantsAreUS) 1616617955.0
.@LeaderMcConnell is lying so much that he forgot his own lies. https://t.co/CYrw81rOtk— Tahar (@Tahar) 1616610574.0
It's worth noting that McConnell's tenure as Senate Majority Leader from 2015 to early 2021 was marked by a gleeful opposition to bipartisan measures. McConnell used his majority power to block former President Barack Obama's Supreme Court nominee from even being considered by the Senate, opting instead to keep the Court incomplete for nearly a year.
McConnell himself embraced the nickname "Grim Reaper," because of his near-constant refusal to consider legislation passed by the Democratic-led House of Representatives.
That hypocrisy wasn't lost on anyone.
If there ever is an award for the biggest hypocrite, I nominate Mitch McConnell.— Lynn Adams (@Lynn Adams) 1616675446.0
@thehill There doesn’t seem much point talking to an obstructionist like McConnell. All it does is make McConnell l… https://t.co/K4v2p68orE— weatherwax🇦🇺 (@weatherwax🇦🇺) 1616666183.0
@thehill No reason exists to “negotiate” with McConnell. Or any of the Republicans, if they refuse to deal in good… https://t.co/3UDwgEAndw— John Eidswick (@John Eidswick) 1616666966.0
@thehill What would Biden say to him? “Thanks for tearing down Obama’s work for the last eight years, let’s go grab a bite to eat?”— Matty Gregg (@Matty Gregg) 1616674886.0
@thehill McConnell has no ideas, won’t compromise and can’t keep a promise, so why would he?!?!— Jason M (@Jason M) 1616666025.0
McConnell and former President Donald Trump also ceased speaking after McConnell denounced Trump's election lies that led to the siege on the United States Capitol earlier this year.