Calling the government shutdown a “fool’s errand,” Senator John McCain admitted on Fox News Friday that the GOP was ultimately responsible for the debacle in Washington.
McCain has long fought the Affordable Care Act, but he was not among those who kept pushing to the very end to defund it. And although he does not hold the Obama administration blameless for the shutdown, he acknowledges that GOP extremists forced the government into its current mess.
"Let's have a little straight talk, Martha," McCain said. "[The Obama administration] wouldn't have had the opportunity to handle it that way if we had not shut down the government on a fool's errand that we were not going to accomplish. The whole premise of shutting down the government was the repeal of Obamacare. I fought against Obamacare harder than any of the people who wanted to shut down the government."
He also called it "unconscionable" that President Obama has not yet sat down to negotiate with Republicans.
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Host Martha MacCallum asked McCain how he felt about Senator Ted Cruz speaking for Republicans in a scheduled White House meeting.
"First of all, Martha, please, he's not representing us there," McCain said.
McCain has shown similar disdain for Cruz in the past, particularly after Cruz’s 21-hour “filibuster” in September, when he compared anyone who wouldn’t vote to defund Obamacare to a Nazi appeaser.
"I resoundingly reject that allegation. That allegation, in my view, does a great disservice," said McCain. "I do not agree with that comparison; I think it's wrong. … I do not begrudge Sen. Cruz or any other senator who wants to come talk as long as they want to or as long as they can, depending on the rules of the Senate. But I do disagree strongly that, to allege that there are people today who are like those who, prior to World War II, didn't stand up and oppose the atrocities that were taking place in Europe."