July 09, 2019

McConnell Compares Himself to Obama on Reparations for Slavery
(Bloomberg) -- Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell compared himself to former President Barack Obama in response to an NBC News report that his ancestors owned slaves. The article cited McConnell’s opposition to reparation proposals that have become a hot topic in the Democratic presidential campaign.“I find myself once again in the same position as President Obama,” the Kentucky Republican said Tuesday. “We both opposed reparations and we both are the descendants of slave-holders.”McConnell, who has the power to block such a measure, said on June 18 he opposes reparations because slavery “happened 150 years ago” and nobody living today is responsible. He also invoked the election of Obama, who was born to a Kenyan immigrant father and a mother from Kansas.“We’ve tried to deal with our original sin of slavery by fighting a civil war, we passed landmark civil rights legislation, elected an African American president,” McConnell said at the time.The Senate leader’s comments followed a hearing in the House Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights and Civil Liberties on legislation to create a commission to make recommendations for compensating the descendants of slaves.In 2007, the Baltimore Sun reported that an amateur genealogist found 1850 census records that showed two ancestors of Obama’s white mother had each owned two slaves.(Updates with report on Obama genealogist in last paragraph)To contact the reporter on this story: Sahil Kapur in Washington at skapur39@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Kevin Whitelaw at kwhitelaw@bloomberg.net, Laurie Asséo, Anna EdgertonFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.



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