I just listened to the President's press conference and quite frankly, I don't believe he fully gets the results of the election.
He rejects the idea this election was a rejection of his policies. I believe without any doubt, the reason the Democrats suffered such major setbacks -- losing the House of Representatives and Republicans making gains in the Senate -- was because of the policies promoted by Speaker Pelosi and President Obama.
The health care bill went over like a lead balloon. The sleazy nature that the bill passed by -- buying votes off -- was totally contrary to what President Obama promised when he was candidate Obama. Quite frankly, the candidate -- who ran as a centrist talking about bringing the country together and rejecting the old ways of Washington -- never materialized.
What you've had over the last two years is a very liberal agenda being pushed in a partisan way and that accounts for our success in the election.
Marco Rubio was right. It wasn't about people becoming Republicans in Pennsylvania or Illinois. It was about people in Pennsylvania and Illinois and Florida saying to the President and Democrats, "You have gone too far. You are too far off track."
Where from Here?
The big winner of the election was not only a revived Republican Party, but also policies like extending the Bush tax cuts. I am confident that with the new House make-up, new members of the Senate, and some reasonable Democrats, we will extend the Bush tax cuts for at least two to three years. I am working, as we speak, with Democrats to do that.
I am also going to continue pushing the idea of allowing states to opt-out of Obama Health Care. I think the market for a bill like that just went up. "Repealing and Replacing Obamacare' is the goal, but allowing states to opt-out will be a tough vote for Senators. It would require them to go back to their states and explain to their constituents that, "I don't want to hear from you about whether or not the individual mandate, employer mandate, and expanding Medicaid are good ideas for our state.' I think that type of approach to reforming health care and Repealing and Replacing Obamacare is going to have a lot of traction.
Governor Haley and the South Carolina GOP
In South Carolina, it was a big night for Republicans. We won all of the constitutional offices and did very well in the South Carolina House of Representatives.
Nikki Haley has an opportunity to help the party, not only grow in South Carolina, but nationally as well. She has an opportunity to start over with the legislature and sit down with House and Senate leadership to move the state forward with a conservative reform agenda that unites people. I'm confident she is going to be a constructive governor who will find common ground with House and Senate leaders and rank-and-file members. That is exactly what South Carolina wants.
The message I received from this election is people want conservative leadership, but they also want to get things done.
When it comes to infrastructure, which will lead to helping South Carolina improve the job climate, the Charleston Port issue looms large. I am hopeful and confident that Governor Haley will do whatever she can, working with me and others, to make sure the Port moves forward. The only viable way to deepen the harbor is through the federal route. The state cannot afford the $350 to $400 million price tag, and to follow that path -- where the state charts its own course -- is likely to end in failure and rejection. So I look forward to working with her to come up with a team approach to making sure the Charleston Harbor is taken care of and becomes competitive, and also working toward making infrastructure projects like I-73 become a reality.
My hope is our new governor will create a team atmosphere working with the legislature and congressional delegation to get South Carolina on the move again. I believe she has unlimited potential if she can prove to the voters that she can get state government working for the average citizen and creating jobs.