By Megan R. Wilson - 01/04/15 11:35 AM EST
Soon-to-be Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellMitch McConnellMcConnell: Changes coming to ObamaCare next year Lew: TPP vote still possible in lame duck CDC director on Zika: 'Basically, we're out of money' MORE (R-Ky.) said on Sunday that the GOP agenda would be focused on “voting on things I know [President Obama is] not going to like.”
He said that jobs would be the number one focus, followed by the Keystone XL pipeline project and rolling back strict environmental and healthcare regulations.
“We need to do everything we can to try to rein in the regulatory onslaught, which is the principal reason that we haven't had the kind of bounce-back after the 2008 recession that you would expect,” McConnell told CNN’s Dana Bash on “State of the Union.”
The incoming majority leader also took a softer tone than in years past when it came to working with the administration.
“You know, the first two years, he had huge majorities in the House and Senate. The last four years, he controlled the Senate. They guaranteed he never got anything he didn't like,” he said on Sunday.
“Now he needs to talk to us,” McConnell continued. “And that's good, because when the American people elect a divided government, they're not saying they don't want anything done. What they are saying is, they want things done in the political center, things that both sides can agree on. We talk about the things where there may be some agreement.”
In 2010, McConnell said, “the single most important thing we want to achieve is for President Obama to be a one-term president.”
In regard to his former comments, McConnell joked that both he and Obama -- who wanted to replace him in the Senate -- had failed.
"I think what the American people are saying is they want us both to still be here," he said. "They want us to look for things to agree on and see if we can make some progress for the country."
Asked if he thought that is possible, McConnell replied: "We're going to find out."