CLEVELAND — Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell launched an all-out assault on presumptive Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton late Tuesday and said the only way to repeal Obamacare, realign the Supreme Court and defund Planned Parenthood is to elect Donald Trump, even as members of his own caucus steer clear of the nominating festivities.
Mr. McConnell brushed aside a cascade of boos from the convention hall and doled out a bit of payback for years of political jockeying with Mrs. Clinton and her famous husband, starting with their attempts to unseat him in Kentucky.
“I’ve had my differences with Barack Obama, but l will give him credit for this. At least he was up front about his plans to move America to the far left,” the Kentucky Republican told the convention hall. “Not Hillary. She lied about her emails. She lied about her server. She lied about Benghazi. She even lied about sniper fire.”
Mr. McConnell eventually pivoted the man of the hour, Mr. Trump.
The mogul has tussled with senators like Mark Kirk of Illinois and Jeff Flake of Arizona, who’ve declined to endorse him, and the majority leader largely avoids questions about the nominee on Capitol Hill, though he admits that Mr. Trump won the election “fair and square.”
Yet speaking at his coronation on Tuesday, Mr. McConnell said the mogul presents the only available path to enact the agenda he dreamed of when votes sent “a freshmen class of rock star Republicans to the Senate” in 2014.
“We put an Obamacare repeal bill on the President’s desk. He vetoed it. Trump would sign it,” he said. “We passed a bill to finally build the Keystone Pipeline. He vetoed it. Trump would sign it. We passed a bill to defund Planned Parenthood. Obama vetoed it. Trump would sign it.”
Mr. McConnell capped off his list with a vow — Mr. Obama will not fill the vacancy left by late Justice Antonin Scalia.
“That honor will go to Donald Trump next year,” he said, drawing cheers from the hall.