Rep. Matt Salmon said the Republican Party was trying to help, not hurt, the American people in their feud against Obamacare.
The House of Representatives was “fighting to do everything they could to fight a harmful law” when they shutdown the government, the Arizona Tea Partier said on Morning Joe, defending his vote against the Wednesday night bill that reopened the government and raised the debt ceiling.
“There have been folks that have said it would be better for the Republican party to let the thing self-implode then turn around and blame the Democrats for it,” Salmon said. “There’s a lot of folks, myself included, who don’t think that way. Having the calamity strike and lives hurt and jobs lost, and people kicked off their insurance plans, all the pople who would be hurt – we don’t think that way.”
Salmon said President Barack Obama does “think that way,” criticizing him for closing open-air monuments during the shutdown.
“Republicans don’t think that way, our philosophy is do no harm, try to stop the bad from happening,” he said.
But the Tea Party-lead efforts to stop Obamacare actually cost the country quite a bit. According to S&P, the shutdown cost the country $24 billion—that’s $76 per U.S. resident.
Despite the beating the Tea Party has taken in the polls recently, Salmon said he doesn’t think the group—or the Republican Party—are dead yet.
“Before we go around writing the obituary for the Republican Party, point out a couple things. Yesterday in the election in New Jersey, a Tea Party guy, nobody knows him, running against a very popular and nationally famous mayor, gets 44% of the vote in New Jersey, during the shutdown,” he said. “You look at the polls in Arkansas for the Senate. Tom Cotton, very staunch conservative, neck and neck in the polls.”