Party politics in the blame game over shutdown
October 1st, 2013
01:26 PM ET
1 year ago

Party politics in the blame game over shutdown

Updated 10/1/2013 at 2:26pm

Washington (CNN) - It's Day One of the government shutdown and both political parties are blaming each other.

After the Democratic-controlled Senate voted on Tuesday for a fourth time to reject a measure passed by the Republican dominated House to dismantle the new health care law, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid once again blamed the shutdown on the GOP.

"Government is closed because of the irrationality of what's going on on the other side of the Capitol. That's unfortunate but that's the way it is," Reid said.

Moments later Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell pointed fingers at the Democrats.

"Democratic leaders in Congress finally have their prize. A government shutdown that no one seems to want but them," responded McConnell.

When it comes to the blame game over the shutdown, more Americans seemed to point fingers at congressional Republicans rather than President Barack Obama, according to three national polls conducted in recent days.

Forty-six percent of those questioned in a CNN/ORC International survey said they would blame Republicans on Capitol Hill for a government shutdown, with 36% saying the president would be more responsible and 13% pointing fingers at both.

In a separate question, 49% said that Obama was acting like a responsible adult in the budget battle, while 47% described him as a spoiled child. While that's nothing to brag about, it's better than Congress.

According to the poll, 58% said congressional Democrats were acting like spoiled children, while that number rose to 69% for the GOP in Congress. Only one in four said congressional Republicans were acting like responsible adults.

It's a similar story in an ABC News/Washington Post poll, where just over one in four said they approved of how congressional Republicans have handled budget negotiations.
That number edged up to 34% for Democrats in Congress, with 41% giving Obama a thumbs up on his handling of the fiscal fight.

More than seven in 10 questioned in a Quinnipiac University survey released Tuesday said they opposed Congress shutting down the government to block implementation of the Affordable Care Act, better known as Obamacare.

The respective party committees sought to use the shutdown to gain political advantage ahead of the 2014 midterm elections when Senate Democrats and House Republicans will defend their slim majorities.

The Democratic National Committee touted on Tuesday that it raised nearly $850,000 from more than 30,000 donors, including more than 6,500 who contributed for the first time.

"That's the best single day of fundraising we've had this cycle," said a DNC official, who added that "Democratic grassroots supporters are engaged, energized and ready to fight for the causes they're committed to."

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, the re-election arm of the House Democrats, said on Tuesday they were going up with robocalls directed at what they consider 63 vulnerable House Republicans.

"While you were sleeping, Congressman Tim Walberg shut down the government," says one of the calls, aimed at the three-term representative from Michigan's 7th Congressional District. "But even worse – Congressman Walberg is still getting paid – and he's just not listening to our frustration."

Democrats need to pick up 17 GOP held House seats in the midterms to regain control of the chamber.

The National Republican Congressional Committee is pushing back, targeting 12 House Democrats who previously voted with Republicans for a one year delay in the health care law's individual mandate but then voted against it Monday.

"Patrick Murphy wants Florida families to believe he is fighting to stop Obamacare. But after last night's vote, it's clear that in Washington he sides with President Obama. Floridians have been begging Murphy to do what's right, but instead he chose to stand with Nancy Pelosi and voted against delaying the train wreck that is Obamacare," the NRCC said in a statement.

Murphy is a freshman from Florida's 18th Congressional District.

Senate Democrats hold a 54-46 majority and the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee blasted out statements targeting GOP candidates in Alaska, Arkansas, Colorado, Georgia, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Montana, North Carolina, South Dakota, and West Virginia, over the shutdown.

The National Republican Senatorial Committee fired off releases against five Democratic incumbents it considers vulnerable in 2014, and two House Democrats running for the Senate, accusing them of shutting down the government to "protect Obamacare."

The big question is whether any of this will make a difference come November 2014, when the entire House and one-third of the Senate are up for grabs.

The Quinnipiac poll indicates the Democrats with a 9-point lead in the 2014 generic ballot question, which asks if you would vote for the Democratic or Republican candidate in your congressional district.

But the battle for the House is a district-by-district fight, rather than a national battle, and just 17 of the 232 House Republicans are in districts won by Obama in last year's election.

The last shutdown came less than a year before the 1996 elections. While that shutdown, led by the GOP-led Congress, arguably helped President Bill Clinton in his re-election, it seemed to have had little impact on congressional elections that year. Democrats only picked up two House seats and lost two Senate seats.

"Polls seemed to indicate that the last shutdown did not have a permanent effect on opinions about President Bill Clinton or the Republican leaders at that time," said CNN Polling Director Keating Holland.

"It is possible that Americans forgot about the shutdown with the passage of time, or whether voters found the dynamics of the 1996 presidential election more compelling than the events of the previous year."


Filed under: Congress • Democratic Party • Republican Party
soundoff (48 Responses)
  1. Sniffit

    "Obama does not have the power to change the law, to pick and choose what he wants to implement and what he does not want to implement."

    Yawn. Go read the ACA.

    "In the 2010 shellacking, the American public spoke loud and clear that they did not like the shenanigans the the democrats and their near-monopoly on government perpetrated."

    Double yawn. And then 2011 and 2012 never happened, nobody ever campaigned on the issue of the ACA's existence between 2010 and 2012, it was never a central issue during the presidential election of 2012 and, in fact, nobody voted and the elections were called off in 2012 such that there was never any other referendum on the ACA other than the GOP winning the House in 2010.

    October 1, 2013 02:33 pm at 2:33 pm |
  2. len

    GOP and Tea Party are at fault. They are led by extremists and a gutless leader in John Boehner. Vote them out in 2014.
    President Obama do not give in to these terrorist.

    October 1, 2013 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |
  3. Data Driven

    @Fair is Fair,

    And that 2010 was replied to in 2012 by Romney's defeat, a still-Blue Senate, and a GOP House that lost seats. We'll see where the roulette wheel lands in 2014.

    October 1, 2013 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  4. Rudy NYC

    Millie

    I don't understand how President Obama can sleep at night! He has always refused to sit down and discuss anything, He truly thinks he is above sitting down with the republicans. Has he ever?
    --------------------
    I guess that explains why Ted Cruz blocked and filibustered the Senate budget bill, which was passed this past May, from going to a budget conference with the House. I guess that also explains why House Republicans have declined any budget discussions more than a dozen times since.

    October 1, 2013 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
  5. Peoples State of Illinois

    I lay the blame solely on the shoulders of the Democrats. The President. The Democrats in Congress. SOLELY ON THE DEMOCRATS!!!! They lie so much.

    October 1, 2013 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
  6. Rudy NYC

    Fair is Fair

    In the 2010 shellacking, the American public spoke loud and clear that they did not like the shenanigans the the democrats and their near-monopoly on government perpetrated.
    ----------------------
    In the 2012 shellacking, the American public spoke loud and clear that they did not like the shenanigans the Republicans and their donors perpetrated on the American people in 2011. They ran on "jobs, jobs, jobs" but waged war on civil rights and basic liberties against women, miniorites, immigrants, students, seniors, the poor, the sick, and anyone else who was "not one of us."

    October 1, 2013 02:42 pm at 2:42 pm |
  7. okie

    Fair is Fair

    In the 2010 shellacking, the American public spoke loud and clear that they did not like the shenanigans the the democrats and their near-monopoly on government perpetrated.

    -------------------------------------------------

    And a sub 20% approval rating 2 years running, hmmmmmmmmmm me thinks that laser focus on jobs, jobs, jobs wasn't the priority they made it out to be now huh?

    October 1, 2013 02:49 pm at 2:49 pm |
  8. kirk

    Donna, do the people want the gop yo give out tax breaks and do what big business tells them too, isn't that what we just tried, and crashed our economy, and the top 1%: getting 95% of the wealth since is really good for the USA, care to explain what happens when inequality reaches a certain level? The gop wants you to believe the trash they are paid to push: why is the Koch brothers superpac spending 60 million to run negative ads its because they care about American workers right? Before you answer know your about to show your true colors, and tell me what threat does a hungry child pose to a billionaire? And your OK with cutting food stamps when 50% are children: evil, self absorbed fools

    October 1, 2013 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  9. freedom

    "I shouldn't have to offer anything!" Those are Obama's words – he is president of this country – what kind of a leader speaks that way? He's self-serving and narcissistic and horrible for this country. It's along the same lines as Hilary's "What difference does it make?!!" We deserve better leaders in our government!! This is the bottom of the barrel.

    October 1, 2013 02:59 pm at 2:59 pm |
  10. Gunderson

    Old Gunderson see now. This called 150-5000 rule. You buy insurance for $150.00 per month and have $5000.00 deductable. If you no have deductable Tax Payer pay rest. Guess who pay it all? National Debt nearly 17 Trillion now. More to come.

    October 1, 2013 03:01 pm at 3:01 pm |
  11. Anthony in California

    Republican accomplishments during the last 5 years :
    1.Caused America's credit rating to drop.
    2.Caused America's government to shut down.

    Taking America down with them in their attempts to make the President look bad will be their demise, just like in the 90's. (the last time this happened and they lost all majorities for quite some time, ask Newt).

    At what point does "EConomic Terrorism" become criminal?

    2014 cant get here soon enough.....

    October 1, 2013 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
  12. rs

    freedom

    "I shouldn't have to offer anything!" Those are Obama's words – he is president of this country – what kind of a leader speaks that way?
    _____________________
    One having to deal with the hyper radical insanity in the House GOP.

    October 1, 2013 03:14 pm at 3:14 pm |
  13. TheObserver

    So this Congress is going to get a paid leave during one of the most embarrassing, inept, deplorable moments in their shameful collective tenure. Seems fair.

    More American children falling below the poverty line every second. Media outlets that purposely exacerbate old arguments and polarizing issues to make middle class people blame poor people for all our problems. We haven't had a colder than average month in the USA since 1983. And, our federal tax revenue is now less than ONE TENTH from corporate taxes, as opposed to 1950, when it was almost TWO THIRDS the federal revenue. Oh and about 500 people own more than half the TOTAL wealth of the country. And this is the Congress that helped get us there.

    They're useless and they all need to go.

    New idea for progress: DON'T VOTE FOR ANYONE OLDER THAN 40.

    October 1, 2013 03:14 pm at 3:14 pm |
  14. Malory Archer

    Millie

    I don't understand how President Obama can sleep at night! He has always refused to sit down and discuss anything, He truly thinks he is above sitting down with the republicans. Has he ever?

    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    You're joking, right? President Obama has reached across the aisle countless times – in fact crybaby bohner said that he got "98%" of what he wanted during the sequestration talks a few months ago. Meanwhile, everytime the President tries to compromise with the right, they channel their inner three year-olds and scream "NO!" and veto THEIR OWN legislation because the President is for it.

    October 1, 2013 03:17 pm at 3:17 pm |
  15. not_a_fan_of_DC

    So the GOP asked for a 1 yr delay on the mandate when this administration has postponed several parts of ACA already for Unions, businesses and excluded themselves. It's not good enough for them but the rest of Americans are given no choice. They passed a resolution to keep everything else in Govt running and the Senate can't yield one thing to at least keeps those thing going and then sit down and have real talks on how to fix ACA. This is Harry Reid's shutdown.

    October 1, 2013 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
  16. kirk

    In what context did hillary use the " what difference does it make"? Freedom, care to elaborate?

    October 1, 2013 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  17. freedom

    @rs

    So typical of democrat behavior. Blame others for your own inadequacies and flaws. No – personal – responsibility – or – accountability. And in this case – the leader of our country is extremely flawed – and is negatively affecting every American.

    October 1, 2013 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
  18. Nads4

    "All gave some, some gave all" from Howard Osterkamp a Korean War veteran. God bless those that took over their memorial from our inept government ! Semper Fi

    October 1, 2013 03:30 pm at 3:30 pm |
  19. kirk

    And why are you obsessed with these particular four deaths? Freedom, and why don't you tell all us uneducated democrats the difference that makes these worth going on about, while conveniently ignoring 60 deaths on the last gop administration? And furthermore, if you want credibility, your views are to immature to garner any, grow up a bit huh? When you can use fact! 's to back your arguments, they carry merit, yours, not so much, hyperbole only works on your rwnj's

    October 1, 2013 03:30 pm at 3:30 pm |
  20. Name Uche Agonsi

    The saying goes that a house divided against itself is bound to fall. There is so much conflicts for any atom of comfort. People manufacture lies brazenly to suppress facts. Any gains from such are temprorary. I weep for some media opinions. Yahoo net commentaries always sound like they were from one source and never have opinion blends. What if the Repubs pulled through this criminal destruction of US to win the 2014 Election, they will still repeat the fruit of their crimes because what goes around comes around. Any what seed? The shutdown game should have continuity. I hope supporters of these crimes are listening. But one thing people dont remember is in situations like this victory always belongs to the people and truth would rein supreme.

    October 1, 2013 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  21. Echo

    Can we hold the payment so congress won't get paid till they actually get something done? It's common business rule but somehow congress get the check no matter what happens.

    October 1, 2013 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  22. freedom

    @kirk

    You seriously don't know the answer to that question – look it up – it all speaks for itself – I don't need to elaborate. She did a fine job of revealing her own horrid callousness for the world to see -

    October 1, 2013 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  23. The Real Tom Paine

    -freedom

    "I shouldn't have to offer anything!" Those are Obama's words – he is president of this country – what kind of a leader speaks that way? He's self-serving and narcissistic and horrible for this country. It's along the same lines as Hilary's "What difference does it make?!!" We deserve better leaders in our government!! This is the bottom of the barrel.
    *************
    So, when he's being quiet, he's leading from behind. When he is adamant on something, he's self-serving, narcissistic and horrible for the country, and lets throw in a reference to Benghazi for good measure. He should not ahve to talk to a leaderless oppostion that cannot figure out whether it wants to do something, or sit and rage all the time.Tell us then, oh Freedom, what would you do? Oh yes, of course, sign a bill and pave the way for millions to be uninsured again, causing your premiums to rise while the CEOs of the Insurance and Pharma industries giggle and laugh at how easy it was to frighten a group of mindless sheep into doing their bidding. What he's doing is leading, something the GOP can't do to save their life. John Boehner gets let around like an prize orange poodle by the Tea Party, and you expect the POTUS to deal with a spineless weasel like him? He lets losers like Louie Goehmert and Steve King decide what the debate will be about and how they will fight it. He is worthless except in a shot drinking contest on the nineteenth hole.

    October 1, 2013 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
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