Shutdown vote 2016 impact
October 17th, 2013
01:18 PM ET
11 months ago

Shutdown vote 2016 impact

Washington (CNN) - The vote to end the shutdown took place in October 2013, but it may provide some clues about the 2016 race for the White House.

There are a bunch of potential presidential hopefuls in Congress, but since all Democrats voted lockstep to back a compromise to reopen the government and raise the debt ceiling, it's the Republican votes that are more interesting.

Ted Cruz

The least surprising vote among the possible GOP White House hopefuls belonged to freshman Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas. He was the most visible lawmaker in the tea party push to tie renewed government funding and borrowing authority to the new healthcare law, known as Obamacare. Cruz, of course, voted "no" Wednesday night and at numerous times throughout the day headed to cameras to rail against the agreement. While Cruz's actions made him more enemies among some congressional Republicans, it only endeared him more to tea party activists, grassroots conservatives, and others who make up much of the base that votes in the GOP primaries and caucuses.

Rand Paul

Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky has been outspoken about the possibility of running for president. But while he voted no, he was also very quiet during the extended partisan battle on Capitol Hill. "The storyline is that Rand Paul was not a leader in this fight," says Stuart Rothenberg, editor and publisher of the non-partisan Rothenberg Political Report. He was in an interesting position. While he's a hero among grassroots conservatives and tea party activists, Paul also appears to have a truce with his state's senior Senator, Minority Leader Mitch McConnell. It was McConnell who brokered the deal with Majority Leader Harry Reid.

The alliance, for now, keeps Paul from criticizing McConnell as the leader faces a conservative primary challenge as he runs for re-election next year. And it potentially helps Paul with establishment Republicans should he follow in his father's footsteps - former Rep. Ron Paul made three bids for president - and run for the White House.

"He's trying to show he can be a team player with the Republicans. Because if he campaigns for President, Paul has to run as a loyal Republican and can't be seen like his father, who was viewed as someone who wasn't loyal to the party. You can't win the nomination unless you are seen as a loyal Republican," adds Rothenberg.

This may explain why Paul wasn't out there leading the fight. But in the end his vote, which was not crucial to pass the agreement, was "a reflection of what he believes," says Rothenberg.

Marco Rubio

First term Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida also voted no, and his vote was also no surprise. Rubio's been very vocal in his opposition to the Affordable Care Act, better known as Obamacare. But he was much less visible than Cruz when it came to pushing the fight.

Paul Ryan

House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan, the 2012 GOP vice presidential nominee, was a leader in the failed drive by the House Republican leadership to find consensus. But the congressman from Wisconsin ultimately voted no, going against the rest of the House GOP leadership. "I think no is a safer vote for someone with national ambitions," says Rothenberg. "If you are going to talk to Republican voters in 2015 and 2016, a "no" vote is much safer."

Peter King

Rep. Peter King of New York was a vocal critic of Cruz, and the push to tie defunding Obamacare to the shutdown, throughout the saga, so his vote in favor of the agreement is no surprise. But King's vote won't endear him to the conservative GOP primary and caucus voters.


Filed under: 2016 • Government Shutdown • Marco Rubio • Paul Ryan • Peter King • Rand Paul • Ted Cruz
soundoff (31 Responses)
  1. Gurgyl

    @are122, the dolt was Bush that drained this country with unfounded Wars–not Obama. Just know this. Because nation needs Healthcare you say debr is derived from it, how about Wars? Come to earth to think.

    October 17, 2013 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
  2. DarrellSF

    All of the Men and Women in the Senate and House who voted NO, and basically said they wanted a continuation of the shut down of America and an American Default, have had their say. And this will be brought up repeatedly in any attempted campaign, and they will never rise higher than they already have. But many of them will fall much, much lower in 2014 and 2016.

    October 17, 2013 02:44 pm at 2:44 pm |
  3. DarrellSF

    @ Tom
    I'm sorry, but I have to comment about your comment. 60% of Republicans in the House voted NOT to end the shut down and NOT to raise the debt ceiling. I don't know where you are getting your information, but had it NOT been for the Democrats, our country would be in default right now. If you want to support the Tea Party Movement and Republican Party, that is your option. But you don't get to make up your own facts and spread lies as factual information. Your comment is an absolute lie based on the vote count from yesterday.

    October 17, 2013 02:49 pm at 2:49 pm |
  4. Bessy

    The deficit is one third what it was when Obama took office. I think some of you people have to do your homework before blogging on this site. Please stop believing what you hear on FOX and Limbaugh, etc.

    October 17, 2013 02:49 pm at 2:49 pm |
  5. smith

    @jk.Sfl.mcjibbles- Unless your a very old person, at some point the GOP will take up residence at the WH. Might be 2016 with the awesome fat man.

    October 17, 2013 02:49 pm at 2:49 pm |
  6. Dubside

    @are122
    China only owns 7.5%. They need that to stabilize their own currency.

    October 17, 2013 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |
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