Party politics in the blame game over shutdown
October 1st, 2013
01:26 PM ET
10 months 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. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA -aka- Take Back The House -aka- No Redemption Votes

    I lay the blame solely on the shoulders of the GOP. Not the President. Not the Democrats in Congress. SOLELY ON THE GOP!!!!

    October 1, 2013 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  2. Sniffit

    TL;DR version: "Polling data shows that the GOP/Teatrolls consider this a pyrrhic victory and that they've made the determination that if they are going down, they will at least take everyone else with them."

    October 1, 2013 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
  3. Ring

    No party politics aren't to blame. The blame lies with ALL of them and their inability to follow their own rules. Their budget was supposed to be DONE in April. Because there is no one to hold them accountable, they get to use the budget as leverage in their stupid games instead of acting like adults.

    October 1, 2013 01:36 pm at 1:36 pm |
  4. rs

    Is it time for the next Republican Party autopsy, yet?

    October 1, 2013 01:38 pm at 1:38 pm |
  5. kirk

    One things for sure, alot of really stupid people out there,this is 100% on the gop, they lie sssoooooo much

    October 1, 2013 01:39 pm at 1:39 pm |
  6. Bill from GA

    " 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 "

    The Senate, in full, is voting on the House bill. When the Senate bill is returned to the House, with provision to dismantle ObamaCare stripped from it, the House refuses to allow a vote. The bill would likely pass the House, but House Republican leaders refuse to allow a vote.

    There is no question who is to blame. And further, my Representative, a Democrat, has no vote in Congress because only a bill with majority Republican support will be voted on, making Democrat votes meaningless.

    That is NOT the way a Representative Democracy works.

    October 1, 2013 01:41 pm at 1:41 pm |
  7. John in Brooklyn

    It's important to note just how close control of the House really is. As this article points out, the Republicans hold a 232 to 200 majority (with 3 vacancies). If the Democrats can win those 17 districts that voted for a Republican for Congress, but Obama for President, the Democrats would regain the majority.

    October 1, 2013 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
  8. Gurgyl

    Fir all GOP thugs. These animals defy every damn dirty stuff. Brainless thugs of American Al Queda are GOP idiots. CNN better publish show your democracy in democratic nation. God bless.

    October 1, 2013 01:44 pm at 1:44 pm |
  9. Rudy NYC

    Here are the facts. Democrats wanted a "clean" bill. Republicans did not. Democrats kept their bucket list of demands from the extremes in their party off the table, and out of the discussion. Republicans allowed the extremes of their party to force them into putting their Obamacare bucket list on the table.

    Here are more of the facts. Democrats would have preferred a CR that went for at least a year. Republicans apparently preferred a CR that barely made it past the debt limit deadline of Oct. 17, in a few weeks. Democrats passed a clean bill in the Senate. Republicans passed handful of bills that were all variations on a theme, "take it or leave it."

    The bills the Republicans passed offered to gut the ACA while funding the government for just a few weeks. Democrats had no other option other than to refuse the bills.

    October 1, 2013 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
  10. kirk

    Blows my mind, Koch brothers superpac spending sixty million on advertising to kill this bill, am I to believe they spent this money on my behalf? To help me? Really? Are you naysayers really buying that? Is it really that hard to figure out, if the gop thought this bill would fail: they would simply sit and wait, and then walk into the white house, but they know it will help a lot if people, so they use the old, the poor people will take all your money workers of America, latest numbers show the top 1% took 95% of the wealth the last five years, and that started how? Recession, always favor the ricj

    October 1, 2013 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
  11. 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?

    October 1, 2013 01:49 pm at 1:49 pm |
  12. Gurgyl

    Do these idiots know that PPACA ACT will not go any where. When we passed SS act same bickering was there. Pathetic.

    October 1, 2013 01:51 pm at 1:51 pm |
  13. Phyllis Gwendoline Williams

    Who's to Blame?
    Those who do not mind hurting themselves and a whole Country to get to target one man++
    "Shall not God search this out? for He knoweth the Secrets of the Heart" (Psalm 44: 21)

    October 1, 2013 01:53 pm at 1:53 pm |
  14. boungiorno

    get your crystal balls out because your going to need them!

    October 1, 2013 01:56 pm at 1:56 pm |
  15. boungiorno

    what a mess

    October 1, 2013 01:59 pm at 1:59 pm |
  16. Wake up People!

    They can say whatever the hell they want to say because it was the GOP that said they would shut down the government if they couldn't repeal or defund the ACA. This is ridiculous. They have voted over 40 times to repeal it, they promised to repeal it when Mittens became POTUS, when that didn't happen they promised to do EXACTLY what they did. Shut down the government. All because a few members of Congress don't think President Obama should be allowed in the Oval Office. (Except to clean it)
    Pathetic.

    October 1, 2013 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  17. Woman In California

    To those who claim not to be a partial to one side or another, I say you're liars. Either you'll love one and hate the other or you're completely useless and totally confused.

    Whether or not you like the ACA is your business, but its totally irresponsible and un-American to shut your government down because of your personal anger against (this) president. This is not going to do any of us any good in the long run. Its only going to strengthen our enemies, weaken our pocketbooks and create more debt. Please don't forget to add an additional 10 years to your retirement age because losing money in your 401(k) will definitely happen along with rising unemployment. IF this sounds GOOD to you and this is what you wanted, a nonworking government, congratulations and job well done but to the millions of others, we need to end your insanity real fast by removing all of you wackos out of office by ANY means necessary.

    October 1, 2013 02:12 pm at 2:12 pm |
  18. anonymous

    Well, I know my world is no different today with the government shutdown than when it was running up billions of dollars in debt by being open. Looks like the Democrats fear campaign was a bust, just like the sequester fear campaign.

    I say let's leave it shut down and see if anybody really cares. Let's shoot for one month of no federal government and prove we can do without all this massive government.

    October 1, 2013 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  19. 333maxwell

    Thank you Mr President. For taking these hits in politics, and lord knows the hit's you must take personally on a daily basis, and making earnest effort to stand up for the common man/woman while we are in an era of so many who are not.

    You are looking thin, please take time from your schedule to eat a bit better, I can only imagine if I were in your position, what my stomach would be feeling like.

    People forget you are a real person too, this citizen doesn't. I know I am speaking for millions when I say, even though you have no more elections to win, we still have your back. Hang tight, stay strong, and we shall overcome.

    October 1, 2013 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  20. Durundal

    what genius would blame the president when this doesnt even fall within the realm of his responsibility? Probably the same m o r 0ns who think that the government is some shady figure out to get them instead of their neighbors and friends (if they have any)

    October 1, 2013 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  21. Data Driven

    The "plague-on-both-their-houses" crowd think they're being superior, but they're misinformed in the shutdown crisis, which is, in fact, entirely the fault of the House GOP.

    Pick a side, fence-sitters.

    October 1, 2013 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  22. 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.

    October 1, 2013 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  23. Donna

    Republicans have a DUTY to defund Obamacare for at least two reasons. One is that the law is not being implemented as passed by Congress. 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. Second, a majority of the American people do NOT want it. They never asked for it and it has become painfully clear they were lied to so many times about the law. Every day reveals new lies.

    Shutdown this out of control federal government train wreck which does NOT represent the will of the people.

    October 1, 2013 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
  24. John

    Congress has had 3 years to amend/improve/fix/suggest/modify/ the ACA with ANY idea that would make it better, and now in the 11th hour, some 1000 days after it passed there is enough urgency to get a bone thrown to them, to restore their pride, that they are willing to shut down the government.................Here is an idea....

    Pass the Budget and then finally after 1000 days bring up your ACA ideas to improve it for everyone!!!!!

    October 1, 2013 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  25. Tommy G

    The last bill passed by the Republicans involved only a one year delay of the individual mandate and getting rid of the special treatment of congressional workers. But the Democrats and Obama could even do those two very small things and instead shut down the entire federal government. THAT is total insanity. Democrats just seem hell bent of jamming every abhorrent part of Obamacare down our throats no matter what. Wake up people. These people are dangerous beyond belief.

    October 1, 2013 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
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