Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell called out the White House Friday for maintaining a long-standing relationship with Media Matters for America, despite the liberal group’s attempts at “driving [conservative] voices clear out of the public square.”
“It’s hard to imagine a more broadly-accepted proposition than the fact that Americans are free, above all else, to speak their minds openly and freely without fear of punishment or reprisal from government authorities,” McConnell said in a speech at the American Enterprise Institute. “Human nature being what it is, however, I think we would all have to admit that there will always be a temptation, particularly among those in power, to muffle one’s critics.”
During the speech, entitled “Growing Threats to Our First Amendment Rights,” McConnell emphasized what he views as a continuing effort by the Obama administration and its surrogates, like Media Matters, to “muffle” free speech by exposing “critics to harassment and intimidation, either by government authorities or third party allies, and that should concern every one of us.”
“The attacks on speech are legion,” said McConnell, placing special emphasis on efforts by Democrats to turn back political speech protections afforded by the Supreme Court’s decision in the infamous Citizens United case.
“President Obama has publicly accused the Kochs of being part of a, quote, ‘corporate takeover of our democracy,’ whatever that means,” McConnell reminded his audience, referring to conservative billionaires Charles and David Koch, “and not only did his campaign publish a list of eight private citizens it regards as ‘enemies’ — an actual old school enemies list — it recently doubled down on the effort when some began to call these thuggish tactics into question.”