Jim Acosta claims McConnell would abolish filibuster if circumstances were reversed: 'What would Mitch do?'

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CNN host Jim Acosta on Saturday encouraged Democrats to abolish the filibuster, arguing that Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell would do the same if he was in the Democrats’ shoes – despite McConnell notably electing not to strike the legislative procedure when he had the opportunity to do so last year.

Acosta waded into the critical Mississippi abortion case under the consideration of the Supreme Court on CNN’s “Newsroom,” telling viewers that due to the conservative structure of the High Court, Democrats should nuke the filibuster in order to pass sweeping far-left policies down party lines. McConnell, Acosta claimed, would likely choose to do the same if the circumstances were reversed. 

CNN took Jim Acosta of the White House beat on Monday to coincide with the Biden administration. (NGAN/AFP via Getty Images)

“Democrats could think about it this way. If Mitch McConnell were in their shoes, what would he do?” Acosta said. “Given what we know, would we see him letting the filibuster stand? Is the filibuster more important than election rights and women’s rights? Is it more important than the lives of our teenagers, the safety of our schools?”

Twitter users were quick to remind the CNN host that despite pressure from his Republican allies, McConnell fiercely opposed dismantling the legislative filibuster when he maintained control of the Senate, as recently as last year.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., speaks to reporters after a Republican strategy meeting at the Capitol in Washington, Tuesday, Oct. 19, 2021. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)
(AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

“Or you could ask yourself this: What *did* Mitch do?” Conservative blogger Ed Morrissey wrote. “Despite tremendous pressure from Trump, McConnell refused to dismantle the legislative filibuster…”

“As @Acosta plays Dem strategist here — trying to invent an absurd pretext to destroy the Senate — remember that CNN bills this as straight news, not opinion,” GOP commentator Matt Whitlock responded. “You’d expect a top political reporter to remember that McConnell was in D’s shoes a YEAR ago, didn’t nuke the filibuster.”

McConnell fought to preserve the filibuster during the Trump administration, telling Politico in 2018 that he understands “the advantages” of the process even when Democrats hold the Senate majority.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer of N.Y., walks away following a media availability on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, May 18, 2021. Sen. Bob Menendez, D-N.J., is at left. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)
(AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

“I think both sides, having been up and down a number of times, understand the advantages when you’re not in the majority,” he said at the time. 

“It does, I think, generate on many occasions kind of a bipartisan solution, and I don’t think that’s always bad for the country. We do have some pretty big differences about a number of things, but there are a lot of things we do together.”

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