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Blame Obama for Washington Gridlock: Sen. McConnell

Monday, 23 Jan 2012 | 8:23 PM ET

When President Obama outlines his goals for 2012 during Tuesday’s State of the Union address, he shouldn’t expect a lot of cooperation from Republicans, senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) told “The Kudlow Report” Monday.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY)
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Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY)

“With the Obama economy established now … unemployment is still at 8 ½ percent,” McConnell said. “It didn’t work, and we’re not interested in doing more of the things that don’t work.”

Obama will use his State of the Union address to outline a lasting economic recovery that will “work for everyone, not just a wealthy few.” He is expected to call for higher taxes on the rich, among other things.

While it sounds like more gridlock ahead in Washington, McConnell put the blame squarely on the president.

He said Obama was “AWOL” last year on his bus tour when Republicans wanted to tackle tax reform and entitlements, and he expects more of the same this year.

McConnell's State of the Union Preview
Sen Mitch McConnell, Senate Republican Leader, (R-KY) discusses what he hopes to hear from President Obama in his State of the Union address, and whether he expects divisiveness to continue in Congress.

“He was not involved whatsoever,” McConnell said. “So I’m not optimistic, frankly, that in an election year that he’s likely to be any more engaged than he was last year.”

What’s more, he thinks the logjam in the nation’s capital is part of Obama’s agenda.

“That’s his strategy … to demonize Congress, to complain because he can’t continue to get everything he wants, like he did the first two years,” he said. “It’s all about his re-election and not about the country.”

One thing that McConnell thinks will get done is the payroll tax cut extension, which was extended for only two months in December when Congress couldn’t come to an agreement.

“We’ll be back at trying to figure out how to do that for the balance of the year and how to pay for it,” he said. “We don’t want to add to the deficit.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Questions? Comments, send your emails to: lkudlow@kudlow.com

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  • Lawrence Kudlow is a CNBC senior contributor. Previously, Kudlow was anchor of CNBC's prime-time program "The Kudlow Report"