POLITICS

Norm Ornstein: Mitch McConnell Spat 'A Hoot,' At Least His Wife Is Nice (VIDEO)

06/21/2013 05:18 pm ET | Updated Aug 21, 2013

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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