Sen.-elect Shelley Moore Capito said Sunday that President Obama did “not really” get the message that voters sent in the midterm elections when they gave Republicans complete control of Congress.
“When he says he hears two-thirds of the people who are not voting, what kind of message could he possibly be getting,” Mrs. Capito, West Virginia Republican, said on “Fox New Sunday.”
She referred to Mr. Obama’s comments at a press conference the day after the election, when he said: “To everyone who voted, I hear you. To the two-thirds of voters who chose not to participate in the process yesterday, I hear you too.”
Ms. Capito said she hopes “the president kind of gets on board a little more than he did in that first press conference.”
She interpreted the message from voters as a indictment of Mr. Obama’s failed leadership and the partisan stalemate gripping Washington.
“I think the dysfunction, the gridlock, the overreaching — certainly in my state the overreaching by certain regulatory bodies — is really I think eating away the confidence in his ability to lead and in the ability to get things done,” said Mrs. Capito, who currently serves as a congresswoman from central West Virginia.
She said Republicans are prepared to work with the president, and she suggest the two sides by striking deals on some modest tax reform measures, approving the Keystone XL oil pipeline from Canada to the Gulf of Mexico and a multi-year transportation bill.
“Let’s look at one thing the president did do for the Republican Party on election night: He unified us,” she said. “Part of it was the dissatisfaction with the direction the president is going. What I think we would be smart in doing … is to score some small victories — bipartisan with the president — showing and demonstrating to that disaffected majority of Americans out there that we can begin to solve the problems.”