Centrist political pundit Norm Ornstein found himself at the center of a spat with Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell Friday, as McConnell sparred with him at the American Enterprise Institute. McConnell described Ornstein as "a good, old-fashioned, far-left guy" and said he has "been consistently wrong on almost everything."
Ornstein joined HuffPost Live Friday to respond, telling host Ahmed Shihab-Eldin that he found the exchange "kind of surprising and, frankly, funny."
"It's a hoot," Ornstein said of McConnell's comments, adding that it wasn't the first time that McConnell has "gone after him" and that McConnell's response to his question on campaign finance reform was "not entirely truthful."
Ornstein also blamed McConnell for congressional dysfunction, saying "he's got a lot to do" with gridlock in the Senate.
"McConnell has pursued a very overt strategy of trying to block anything and everything that [President] Barack Obama wanted to do, unless, as we saw with the fiscal cliff, it would devastate Republican priorities directly," he said.
Ornstein did have one kind word for McConnell -- or, rather, for his wife, former Bush Administration Scretary of Labor Elaine Chao. Asked if he would be willing to have a drink with the Kentucky Republican, Ornstein said he "would be happy to have a beer or a Kentucky bourbon with Mitch McConnell, especially if he brought along his wife, Elaine Chao, who's actually, in some contrast, quite a nice and warm person."
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We Mean It... Smile!
It's not often we see Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) crack a smile. He dons his go-to straight face most of the time. Ahead, see the rare grins of the Kentucky senator. (Photo by T.J. Kirkpatrick/Getty Images)
McConnell Cracks A CPAC Smile
McConnell waves as he arrives to speak at the 40th annual Conservative Political Action Conference in National Harbor, Md. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta, File)
Happy To Hang With Obama
President Barack Obama is greeted by McConnell as he arrives at the U.S. Captiol for his third day of meetings with members of Congress March 14, 2013. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
Leaving The Senate, McConnell Smirks
McConnell leaves the Senate chamber to caucus in the US Capitol Dec. 30, 2012. (Molly Riley/AFP/Getty Images)
Smiley Senate Exit
McConnell leaves his office and walks toward the Senate floor on Capitol Hill March 22, 2013. (Drew Angerer/Getty Images)
Ready For His Close Up
McConnell tours the stage during preparations at the Tampa Bay Times Forum Aug 26, 2012. (BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/GettyImages)
A Smile And A Hug
McConnell greets US President Barack Obama following Obama's address to a Joint Session of Congress about the US economy and job creation Sept. 8, 2011. (SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images)
McConnell Happily Takes To The Podium
McConnell smiles as he speaks to the press with fellow Republican senators John Barroso of Wyoming and John Cornyn of Texas at the Capitol Aug. 2, 2011. (NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP/Getty Images)
McConnell gives the the thumbs-up as he walks to the Senate floor after a deal was reached to avert a US default at the Capitol in Washington July 31, 2011. (NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP/Getty Images)
Sworn In And Smiling
McConnell is sworn in by Vice President Dick Cheney as his wife Labor Secretary Elaine Chao holds the Bible during a swearing in reenactment ceremony at the US Capitol Jan. 6, 2009. (KAREN BLEIER/AFP/Getty Images)
Smiling On Stage At RNC
McConnell smiles during sound check at the Republican National Convention (RNC) in Tampa, Fla., Aug 27, 2012. (Scott Eells/Bloomberg via Getty)
McConnell laughs with Louisville Mayor Jerry Abramson at the annual ham breakfast at the Kentucky State Fair in Louisville, Ky., in 2010. (AP Photo/Ed Reinke)
McConnell Laughs Some More
Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) jokes with reporters as McConnell, laughs in the Ohio Clock Corridor following the Senate Republicans' policy lunch in June 21, 2011. (Photo By Bill Clark/Roll Call)
Lots Of Laughing
Sen. Roy Blunt (R-Mo.), McConnell, and Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), share a laugh during news conference in the Capitol after a meeting of Senate Republicans, Feb. 8, 2012. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)