Bush book includes private McConnell conversation - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Bush book includes private McConnell conversation

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posted by Stephan Johnson, sjohnson@fox41.com

LOUISVILLE, KY. (WDRB Fox 41)--Kentucky Senator Mitch McConnell may still be celebrating the recent elections, but he has also been under attack lately.  

McConnell's political career dates back to the late 60's and even a stint as Deputy Assistant Attorney General under President Gerald Ford, so the Senator is no stranger to criticism.

But this latest criticism may unexpected -- it comes with the release of former President George W. Bush's memoirs this week.  "I am proud of my record on Iraq, I'm proud of his record, its turned out well," says McConnell.

Wednesday afternoon, Senator McConnell was the keynote speaker at an annual Veterans Day luncheon, but afterwards he refused to answers questions about an excerpt from President Bush's book.

When asked whether he was upset or disappointed that President Bush talked about some private comments in the memoirs, he replied, "Well, as I just said, you know, I led the surge effort in the Senate."

In his book Decision Points, President Bush says: "With the midterm elections approaching, my friend Mitch McConnell came to the Oval Office." He says McConnell pleaded with him for a reduction of troops in Iraq or it would "cost Republicans control of Congress."

The comments didn't come as a surprise to Dr. Joseph Wert, Associate Professor of Political Science at Indiana University Southeast.  "That kind of thing happens off the record quite a bit in Washington," he says.

Dr. Wert also says it shouldn't reflect too negatively on McConnell.  "He was trying to protect the Republican majorities in the House and Senate, and I think he was being realistic."

McConnell's office did release a statement on Tuesday saying "Senator McConnell does not comment on any advice he may have given the President on improving his political standing."

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