Republican Rep. Peter King is not mincing words: Sen. Ted Cruz is to blame for the government shutdown.
The New York lawmaker skewered the Tea Party Texan on Tuesday night’s Hardball, insisting there’s no reason for the government to be shut down.
“This was a fool’s error started by Ted Cruz,” said King. He added, “But we can’t just blame him. We have to blame his acolytes in the Republican conference—30 or 40 who stood with him…I blame Ted Cruz and his supporters.”
King admitted “I don’t know if you can compromise” with the far right wing of his own party, but said if Obama can come up with a proposal with meaningful cuts or meaningful reductions in spending “Boehner can show he achieved something.” The GOP, King said, “can’t let Ted Cruz have veto power.”
President Obama made it clear during remarks in the Rose Garden on Tuesday that their brand of “extortion”—tying his health care act to funding the government—won’t win them any concessions from the White House.
Republican Rep. Charlie Dent of Pennsylvania agreed with King in that there’s not reason for a shutdown. He suggested repealing a medical device tax may sway some members of his party.
While the far right block that won’t vote “yes” to anything can’t be counted on, “I believe a large number of our members would vote for it,” said Dent.
Host Chris Matthews lamented that Cruz has turned the United States into a “deadbeat nation.”