WATCH: Republicans can’t ‘govern by tantrum,’ says Axelrod


As the government heads closer and closer to a shutdown because Congress can’t agree on a spending bill, everyone is asking: who will blink first?

“Isn’t there a moment when the president has to be the president? Isn’t there a moment when the president has to stop the madness because it has no potential of doing any good for anyone in this country?” Former George W. Bush spokesperson Nicolle Wallace asked on Monday’s Morning Joe.

House Republicans latest funding bill asks for a one-year delay to Obamacare and other changes to the healthcare law they hate in exchange for funding the government temporarily.

But former senior adviser to the president David Axelrod fired back: should the president really negotiate over one of the most basic functions of the government?

“This is the presidential moment. If you submit to government by extortion, government by tantrum, what’s to stop these guys from doing it again in two months?” Axelrod said. “This is not the way to govern.”

Axelrod said President Obama must continue to hold a hard line to prevent Republicans from holding the government hostage again.

“It would be a terrible precedent to say every time you want to get something done in the Congress you shut down the government, default on the federal debt and what’s the president to do? Say, ‘Take my arm this time,’ in two months when [House temporary funding bill] runs out, say, ‘Take my leg?’” Axelrod said.