October 17th, 2013
09:37 AM ET
9 years 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.

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'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. Wake up People!

    You can't guarantee ish you old fossil. Go sit the hell down and shut the eff up. If you had ANY pull, this could have been handled two damn weeks ago. We see who has pull in the Senate McCain, and it ain't you.

    October 17, 2013 09:40 am at 9:40 am |
  2. Data Driven

    I hope McCain is right about no more shutdowns. He must know something that we don't.

    Meantime, Democrats' approval rating is twice as high as Republicans'; I wouldn't call that "slight" difference, Ashley.

    October 17, 2013 09:42 am at 9:42 am |
  3. Dennis Freeman

    The Senator has never met a camera or microphone he didn't like...

    October 17, 2013 09:50 am at 9:50 am |
  4. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    , and argued the President, as the victor in the recent showdown
    Well, he's the ONLY one I've heard concede that the President was indeed the victor if only for not negotiating with domestic terrorists off their meds.
    Thankyou McShame.
    I'd like to see, though, how you and any of what's left of the Original Republicans are going to hold back the out of control Teatards in the House.
    After all, you guys did such a wonderful job putting them in check this time around. NOT.

    October 17, 2013 09:53 am at 9:53 am |
  5. Lynda/Minnesota

    Psst. John McCain. Your party is divided. You party lacks direction. You party lacks leadership. Your very own Speaker of the House is at best ineffective.

    Don't make guarantees that you KNOW you can't keep. And for God's sake, don't blame the "other" party for your own party's ineptness. It brings out GOP hypocrisy and silly talk like nothing else can.

    You folks coddled the TeaPers for votes and fundraising. You folks (hint: YOU) brought Palin and her ilk into the limelight. With the help of the media, Palin and Company have ruined the GOP. They have ruined the United States government. And yet, here you come running ... to the very media that helped destroy your own party ... with your talking point BS in hand, groveling for camera time.

    And, hey. Guess what else? Not only do TeaPers not represent you, and not only do TeaPers not represent me, but TeaPer absolutely do not represent America.

    So, keep your negative comments, your negative attitude, and your negative hypocrisy where it belongs. Full square on YOUR back and the backs of each and every person within your own party who courted the very same folks who now seek to destroy America.

    Men that live in glass houses ought never point fingers at anyone but themselves.

    October 17, 2013 10:00 am at 10:00 am |
  6. karen

    The country voted against the old mean guy John McCain. Even republicans reject him. He needs to go away.

    October 17, 2013 10:05 am at 10:05 am |
  7. Anonymous

    To heck with Ronald Reagan's 11th Commandment. When you see a terrorist who is out to destroy America,
    you can and should "speak ill" of them. Fight back and do the right thing. Follow the Ten Commandments first,
    everything else will fall into place.
    The Tea Party loves to refer to Reagan, yet they don't adhere to the "11th Commandment". They threaten
    anyone who does not go along with them. I'm sick of hearing Republicans are afraid of being primaried.
    Saving America is a lot more important that saving your job.

    October 17, 2013 10:05 am at 10:05 am |
  8. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    Well, I got a call from my mother who's 101," he said, joking he's now "even lost my mother."
    God bless her heart. Smart woman.
    Yes indeed you hurt and pissed on how lot of folks that had done NOTHING to any of you except get you elected into a really cushy job.
    Yet when they tried to get to theirs you shut the doors.
    No paychecks. And what's worse the uncertainty of not knowing if and when they were going back to work anytime soon.
    While you guys were posturing and posing for the cameras in front of national parks and memorials, people were tripping wondering if they had enough money saved to get them past your reckeless hostage-taking temper tantrum.

    October 17, 2013 10:06 am at 10:06 am |
  9. Sniffit

    Thanks McDude...you basically just dared the RWNJs to do it again. The House Teatrolls who demanded the shutdown and caused this mess are already showing that the lesson they learned from this is that they should have been even more extreme and more off the wall. They've blamed their failure entirely on the MSM and the idea that "it was the messaging not the message itself" because they are so blindly rooted in the idea that everyone agrees with them and would agree with them if they just listened hard enough. They're stuck on stupid and some of them have already promised that they plan to use the gov't funding and debt ceiling deadlines that were just signed into law TO DO IT AGAIN. THEY PROMISE.

    October 17, 2013 10:06 am at 10:06 am |
  10. the hippies were right

    McCain says if a president doesn't sit down with his adversaries he obviously won't be successful. Has this guy been on Jupiter with Rick McDaniels the past month? First of all, Obama did sit down with them, but ignored their threats. Therefore, I believe Obama just proved success by not negotiating with terrorists. Typical republican logic.

    October 17, 2013 10:07 am at 10:07 am |
  11. Anonymous

    How can you trust any republican now. He and others should have stopped this nonsense a long time ago. No backbone none of them. $24 billion dollars down the drain because of the hatred for the black president. I guess getting the teatrolls votes was not worth it after all. Oh the price the Rhinos have paid. LOL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    October 17, 2013 10:07 am at 10:07 am |
  12. Wake up People!

    Listen John. I refuse to call you Senator. You sir have been in Congress forever, yet a first term freshman Senator representing a minority extremist group was able to prance in and take over the Senate so he and his minions could shut down the government. You sir are a disgrace and proof that term limits are necessary. You sir should resign, it's apparent, you're useless.

    And take Boehner with you.

    October 17, 2013 10:09 am at 10:09 am |
  13. Sniffit

    ""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.""

    He will, and they will promptly drop their pants and crap on the table, then leave and blame the "breakdown in negotiations" on the fact that the POTUS expects something in return for giving the GOP something...and that something the POTUS wants is something they swore up and down and literally signed oaths never to do under any circumstances no matter how appropriate the situation. In other words, they painted themselves very VERY deeply into a very VERY damaging corner, removing viable options for the exchanges that are part of any compromise, and now they want to blame everyone else for it.

    October 17, 2013 10:10 am at 10:10 am |
  14. Rudy NYC

    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.
    Ah, the noble John McCain. I'd forgotten just how well he can obfuscate the actual facts.

    The facts are that the Senate finally passed a budget last spring, an undersight that McCain has often lamented. Once passed, the Senate had to pass a motion to send people to a budget conference with the House, which Sen. Cruz successfully filibustered, and McCain lamented that.

    As if that's not enough shenannigans for you, take a look at what the House did. The House followed suit. Spkr. Boehner never appointed people for a budget conference at all. I guess his excuse is that he was waiting on the Senate to do so first, since they had finally passed a budget.

    In other words, it has been the Republicans all along who have refused to engage the Democrats on any budget talks....and Senator McCain knows it, too.

    October 17, 2013 10:12 am at 10:12 am |
  15. Evergreen

    The President was right in not negotiating while the government was held hostage. Also McCain should let some in his party know "compromise" is not a 4 letter word.

    October 17, 2013 10:12 am at 10:12 am |
  16. Dave Scoven

    I respect JM's experience and standing. He knows who his "fellow Republicans" are. Tea Party revolutionaries are NOT his fellow Republicans, they are political parasites who are in the process of overthrowing the Republican Party. Big difference.

    October 17, 2013 10:14 am at 10:14 am |
  17. TheSadTruth

    Forgive me if I take this statement with just a bit of skepticism.

    October 17, 2013 10:22 am at 10:22 am |
  18. Sniffit

    Rep. John C. Fleming (R-LA): "See, we're going to start this all over again."

    October 17, 2013 10:27 am at 10:27 am |
  19. Al-NY,NY

    Sen McCain....you are dreaming if you think the fanatical fringe won't do exactly the same thing next time around

    October 17, 2013 10:27 am at 10:27 am |
  20. Jon

    Why should our elected president even have to worry about 'advesaries'? How about allowing him the time and energy to even attempt to do the job he was elected to do?

    The whole M.O. of the GOP the entire time he's been in office is to just disprove the 'messiah' like attitude his followers have him when first elected. Are we really in sour grapes mode after all this time?

    Grow up!

    October 17, 2013 10:27 am at 10:27 am |
  21. ampminkc

    Dear Senator McCain,
    It is the right of every U.S. Citizen NOT to be held hostage, then pay our hostage taker. That is what the extreme Tea Party has done. American citizens should not have to pay. The Tea Party should pay for the wreckless taking of hostage American Citizens and threatening us. The Tea Party did nothing but spread fear the entire time of the shutdown. Americans citizens were living in fear. The Tea party should pay restitution for spreading fear and hurting the personal paycheck of people who need it to buy food for their families. Shame on the Tea Party - they do nothing but use fear as a tactic. The Tea Party needs to pay America back for the wreckless damage they have voluntarily inflicated. Thank you Senator McCain and God Bless America!

    October 17, 2013 10:27 am at 10:27 am |
  22. Sniffit

    Rep. Raul Labrador (R-ID): "So if anybody should be kicked out, it's probably those Republicans... who are unwilling to keep the promises they made to the American people. Those are the people who should be looking behind their back."

    October 17, 2013 10:28 am at 10:28 am |
  23. Sniffit

    Rep. Mick Mulvaney (R-SC): "Somebody asked whether it would be different next time, in January or February, whenever we take this up again. The natural inclination is to say 'No, it will be exactly the same. But if we can figure out a way to drive that message home, that this is about fairness ... then the outcome may well be different."

    October 17, 2013 10:28 am at 10:28 am |
  24. Lynda/Minnesota

    Well, thank goodness that John McCain still has CNN to carry his water bucket for him. CNN might be the only news organization in the world that is still willing to pretend all is well in the GOP.

    The rest of America knows and understands just how damaged the GOP is.

    Word of advice for GOPerville. Get your own party in-fighting settled first. Then and only then will you be allowed to play with the grown-ups.

    October 17, 2013 10:29 am at 10:29 am |
  25. KKAT

    I would rather have a government shutdown that causes expenses to be examined and slashed rather than borrow, borrow, borrow. Hate the Repubs all you want...but folks, our debt is a scary thing. People complain about parks being shut down...and worker furloughs...but is it worth belonging to China?

    October 17, 2013 10:31 am at 10:31 am |
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