Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell compared himself to President Barack Obama on Tuesday when asked about reparations for slavery, saying that they were both descendants of slaveholders.

When asked whether a report from NBC showing his ancestors held slaves changed his view on reparations, McConnell said, “You know, once again I find myself in the same position as President Obama, we both oppose reparations, and both are the descendants of slave holders.”

During Obama’s first presidential campaign in 2007, various news outlets such as the Guardian and the Baltimore Sun reported that his mother was descended from slave owners.

On the campaign trail in 2008, Obama said that he did not support reparations, instead choosing to support a more wide-spread anti-poverty bill. “So to restate it: I have much more confidence in my ability, or any president or any leader’s ability, to mobilize the American people around a multiyear, multibillion-dollar investment to help every child in poverty in this country than I am in being able to mobilize the country around providing a benefit specific to African Americans as a consequence of slavery and Jim Crow,” Obama said in a 2015 interview with writer Ta-Nehisi Coates. “Now, we can debate the justness of that. But I feel pretty confident in that assessment politically.”


McConnell agreed with Obama in his lack of support for reparations. “I don’t think reparations for something that happened 150 years ago for whom none of us currently living are responsible is a good idea,” the Senate Majority Leader told reporters when asked whether reparations should be paid or a public apology should be made by the government.

“We’ve tried to deal with our original sin of slavery by fighting a civil war, by passing landmark civil rights legislation. We elected an African American president,” the Kentucky Republican said to the press.

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