Republican Party

When Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) first entered politics in the 1960s, he started out as moderate — pro-abortion rights, pro-union, in support of the civil rights movement. With time, McConnell shifted to the right as the Republican Party shifted.

"I was just really startled by this when I started looking into it," Alec MacGillis tells Fresh Air's Terry Gross. "I knew that he had started out as somewhat more moderate — but I didn't realize just how moderate he really was."

At 72, after 30 years in the U.S. Senate, Mitch McConnell has finally realized his life's ambition.

He never wanted to be president — he just wanted to be Senate majority leader. And when he ascends to that perch come January, McConnell will finally have a chance to shape the chamber he says he deeply loves. McConnell declared his first priority will be to make what's been called a paralyzed Senate function again. But the politician who became the face of obstruction over the past four years will have to persuade Democrats to cooperate.

One day after GOP candidates gave their party control of both chambers of Congress, presumptive Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell says the Senate "needs to be fixed" — and that he and his Republican colleagues are willing to work with President Obama on some issues.

We'll update this post with news from McConnell's appearance in Louisville, Ky.

Update at 2:25 p.m. ET: On Obama And The Veto Threat

Abbey Oldham/WKU Public Radio

Republican efforts to win control of the Kentucky House got a boost from a national figure Saturday.

The incoming U.S. House Majority Leader, Kevin McCarthy, was in Bowling Green to raise money for the Republican Party of Kentucky House Trust. McCarthy visited the commonwealth at the request of the state’s 2nd District Congressman, Brett Guthrie of Warren County.

Speaking to reporters before the fundraiser, Rep. McCarthy said what happens in state legislatures can often trickle up to the nation's capital.

Kentucky’s junior Republican U.S. senator says he’s interested in running for president in 2016. Rand Paul tells ABC News he’s not going to deny that he’s interested. Paul tells ABC the Republican Party needs to change, but not what he calls the party's core message of encouraging economic growth to generate government revenue. Paul says the Republican Party needs to consider some different ideas that include allowing states to make decisions on the legalization of marijuana and taking a more moderate approach on immigration.