HARWOOD: President Obama's gotten some grief for not being more sociable with members of Congress. Had he had a bourbon with you once or 10 times, would that make any difference to how you guys actually relate?
MCCONNELL: No. I think it's all good stuff for you all to write. But it has no effect on policy. The reason we haven't done more things together is 'cause we don't agree on much. It's nice to have social occasions, but we don't all hate each other anyway. It wouldn't make any difference. Look, it's a business.
HARWOOD: President Obama is exceptionally unpopular in your party. I wonder whether that is going to make it difficult either in the Senate or in the House for some of your members who might otherwise go along be reluctant with this trade deal because it's Obama.
MCCONNELL: I don't think so. That's almost a nonfactor in the Senate. This is a six-year bill. So what I've said to my members, if we want the next Republican president, who we will hope will be sworn in less than two years from now, to have a chance to do trade agreements with the rest of the world, this bill is about that president as well as this one.
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HARWOOD: Democrats say "there are a lot of Republicans who privately agree with us on some of these high-profile fights, but they're scared of the tea party. Is trade a case in reverse for Democrats—many agree with you, agree with President Obama but they're scared of the base?
MCCONNELL: The Obama years are coming to an end. When you have the White House with your party, it tends to diminish the differences. When you don't have the White House, or the president's on the way out, things tend to be more spirited. So now the action is on the Democratic side. And you are seeing that on trade. You've got the energy of the Elizabeth Warren faction kind of driving the agenda, pulling Hillary Clinton further to the left. I want to compliment that president on the way he took on the base, took on Elizabeth Warren, took on the labor unions. The biggest divisions these days are not among Republicans but among Democrats.
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HARWOOD: You mention Hillary Clinton. Is it not perfectly obvious to you that, whatever she says now, she is for this deal having promoted it as secretary of state?
MCCONNELL: I don't know what she really thinks. All I care about is where she is. She's dodging it so far, isn't she?