October 17th, 2013
09:37 AM ET
12 months ago

McCain: No more shutdowns, 'I guarantee it'

Washington (CNN) – Sen. John McCain promised Thursday the government will not shut down again in the near future, and argued the President, as the victor in the recent showdown, will now have to engage with his political opponents on Capitol Hill.

In an interview on CNN's "New Day," the Arizona Republican also weighed in on the GOP's infighting that escalated to new heights during the government shutdown.

'I even lost my mother'

McCain said there's no need to worry that another congressional impasse will lead to the same result, even though lawmakers face another set of deadlines in the coming months over the same fiscal issues.

"We're not going to go through the shutdown again. People have been too traumatized by it. There's too much damage," he told CNN's Kate Bolduan.

"We may still have some gridlock," he later added. "Maybe we'll have continuing resolutions that - we're not going to shut down the government again. I guarantee it."

McCain cited declining poll numbers for Democrats and slightly more for Republicans. "You know, I have this line that I use all the time: We're down to blood relatives and paid staffers. Well, I got a call from my mother who's 101," he said, joking he's now "even lost my mother."

Why does he have such confidence the government won't go dark again? The 2008 GOP presidential nominee believes President Barack Obama, who repeatedly refused to negotiate, said he'll have to "engage" next time around.

"He has got to understand that magnanimity in victory is a very important quality to have. He won," McCain said. "Now you sit down with your adversaries and get things worked out. If you don't, obviously you're not going to be a successful president."

Following the 11th Commandment

The President signed into law late Wednesday night the bill that keeps the government open through January 15 and allows the government to borrow money through February 7. In the meantime, select members from the House and Senate will meet to hammer out a yearlong budget by sometime in December.

While conservative Republicans weren't too happy with the deal, as it didn't include major anti-Obamacare provisions, some argued Thursday that their effort was worth the fight.

McCain said the debate within the GOP is "healthy for us to have," but argued they still need "to come together."

"There's a fight in our party, and that has to be waged and it's been there before. It's also about internationalists versus isolationist," he said. But he was quick to remind his colleagues of former President Ronald Reagan's 11th Commandment.

"Don't speak ill of your fellow Republicans," he said. "We've done way too much of that."

McCain has famously butted heads with some of the younger, more libertarian-leaning members of the Senate, including Sens. Ted Cruz and Rand Paul.


Filed under: Congress • Government Shutdown • John McCain
soundoff (57 Responses)
  1. Phyllis Gwendoline Williams

    A Fight is never worth it, when you are the one feeling the brunt of it, only when you do not care about the distress of others.

    October 17, 2013 11:12 am at 11:12 am |
  2. Name jk. Sfl. GOP CRUZ conservatives,the garbage of America.

    Time to get rid of the teatrash extremist in the gop start with the dufus loser. Cruz, king of Iowa Rubio , lee the other braindead teaparty trash Bachman radel of Florida then go to the state of Florida and get rid of the whole state GOP legislature and Scott the teaparty dope govenor. We remember the lines you caused in 2012 and all the money you lost and your sabatuage of obamacare at the expense of Florida citizens !!!!!

    October 17, 2013 11:16 am at 11:16 am |
  3. Tom1940

    J. McCain and the other RINO's and Republican Moderates should know they are living on "borrowed" political time. I believe that this should be "enough" for the rank and file to have had their bellies full of compromise with the forces of "Obama-nomics", "Obama Care" and "Obama-in-general" to last a lifetime. The mid-term and General Election should turn enough Democrats out of office that there will be a "safer-saner" government beginning in 2017. In the meantime, it is my hope that for those "soft" Republican Politico's", Democrats in both houses will be turned out of office. Retired and sent packing. The country is where it is, because of them. Either sitting on their hands on the part of the Senate Republican, or caving in to the Democrats when they should have stood firm and made the President negotiate. The first time "leading from behind", has ever worked. A "leader"? No! I think not. A "Leader" would have lead, not been playing cards, on the golf links, and campaigning calling the opposition vile, foul and terrible names while telling the country he is "working in good faith" to get the country back to work and on-track. "If his lips are moving – he's lying!!!)

    October 17, 2013 11:19 am at 11:19 am |
  4. Jay

    Yes please "guarantee no more shutdowns". This would be one less opportunity for us to have to see Wasilla's village idiot have an occasion to help her publicity (stunts). But I also thank you. Without her stupidity, Obama may have lost in 2008 and we would not have Obamacare. Thank you John McCain – I'm one of those pre-existing conditon people that insurance companies wouldn't accept as one of their picked cherries. But now we are all cherries, so thank you sir.

    October 17, 2013 11:19 am at 11:19 am |
  5. Winston Smith

    This had better be the truth. The people are not going to take much more of this tom foolery. We deserve better, and we're going to have it, or elect people that are smart enough to make sure it never happens again.

    October 17, 2013 11:20 am at 11:20 am |
  6. ST

    For the first time ever I agree with Sen McCain. No more shutdowns. It doesn't do anyone good. I couldn't resist my laughing watching little Marco Rubio giving a speech the other day, that we need more jobs, while he knew some gov. jobs which were there already have been shut down. Not forgetting my friend the so-called Senator of Texas, Ted Cruz who was born in Canada trying to twist the reality all the way round and claimed that it was the gov. which shut down everything. Why didn't the Gov. do it in Jan. or March, or June? if not you now who came with your 21 hours filibuster? What was your aim? Can you clarify it please?

    October 17, 2013 11:25 am at 11:25 am |
  7. Data Driven

    @Jeff,

    Too much spending for you, eh?

    Fine. Let's start with the military.

    Still interested?

    October 17, 2013 11:30 am at 11:30 am |
1 2 3