Former Republican House Majority Leader Tom DeLay advised Republicans to “stick to your guns” Friday because the “notion that it hurts the Republicans” to force a government shutdown “is totally wrong.”
"My advice is to hold firm, stick to your guns, stand strong and ultimately you'll win," said the recently acquitted DeLay on CNN's “New Day” on Friday.
No stranger to a government shutdown, DeLay was party to a 28-day shutdown from 1995 to 1996 over a deadlocked budget debate.
He told host Chris Cuomo, that Republicans won’t shoulder the blame for a shutdown.
“This notion that it hurts the Republicans is totally wrong,” he explained. “Because in 1995, we won. We won the budget cuts we wanted. We showed Bill Clinton that we’d take him off the cliff and we got welfare reform and a balance budget. And we won seats in the next election. So, I don’t know where they come up with this notion that a shutdown hurts Republicans.”
Cuomo said President Clinton’s popularity improved while House Speaker Newt Gingrich, R-Ga., was destroyed in the polls after the 1990s shutdown.
“What is your advice to your colleagues in Washington, D.C., looking at the debt limit situation, knowing what it can do to the country, what do you give them as advice?” Cuomo asked.
“Hold firm, stick to your guns, stand strong — and you’ll ultimately win,” DeLay insisted.
“Even if you wind up screwing up the credit of the United States of America?” Cuomo pressed.
“It won’t end up screwing up the credit of America,” DeLay laughed. “That is all false notion. Every shut down — and there’s been many shut downs — frankly, the American people never miss the government.”
On Sept. 19, DeLay was acquitted of 2005 charges that he conspired to violate election laws in Travis County, Texas, in 2002.