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. LeRoy_Was_Here

    I feel sorry for John McCain. I also feel sorry for the dinosaurs.

    October 17, 2013 10:31 am at 10:31 am |
  2. PharmGrl

    No one will remember the government shut down next year. We'll all be getting letters from insurers about another 2015 premium jacking, turning on the TV to endless clips of Obama's "promises" on this junker bill. Those clips won't even need a VoiceOver for the desired effect.
    Democrats seriously underestimated opposition to Obamacare. By all accounts, both Obama and Sebelius thought that if they could just get past SCOTUS, the country would roll over. Didn't happen. Not by a long shot. So they are not prepared for the present political environment, made NO viable plan to politically survive the 2-3 year Death Spiral of private insurance that ALL provisions of Obamacare are intended to cause, making the electorate scream for single payer with premiums shooting into the stratosphere. Hence the emergency backpedaling of the employer mandate, which WOUKD have created 10s of millions of exchange dumped Anger Voters.
    Next years' premium jackings mark the beginning of this Death Spiral. H€ll hath no fury like an electorate lied to and premium jacked to fulfill a political agenda.

    October 17, 2013 10:32 am at 10:32 am |
  3. Anon

    McCain tries and tries to forget his mis-begotten run for Pres. with Sara Palin. Sorry pal, you made the choice, so live with it.


    October 17, 2013 10:33 am at 10:33 am |
  4. patw2100

    RINO McCain needs to get out of America.

    October 17, 2013 10:36 am at 10:36 am |
  5. Anon

    Wake Up People is so right. McCain is old history and really should just gracefully retire. But, old soldiers never die do they?


    October 17, 2013 10:36 am at 10:36 am |
  6. Tom

    I think McCain is right. Few Republicans will have the stomach to do this again in a few weeks. But that begs the question of the value of short-term continuing resolutions if the threat of shutting the government is gone? Just as when Bob Dole and Newt Gingrich pulled a similar stunt and lost, I think holding the country's fiances hostage is a weapon off the table for years to come. So I think it's going to be difficult for Republicans to play the budget deadline brinksmanship game when everyone knows they're not going to shut down the government again. I also agree with McCain that moving forward Obama is going to have to work more closely with Congress. But it has to be a two-way street. Over the past few years Republicans' idea of negotiations has been determining how many concessions they could extract Democrats while offering nothing themselves. Now Republicans also need to be willing to make concessions for this new era of "magnanimity" to work. And there is still the problem of radical Republicans. Are Republicans now going to be willing to consistently side-step the Tea Party wackos and concentrate on deals that can be won with Democratic plus non-crazy Republican support?

    October 17, 2013 10:37 am at 10:37 am |
  7. Sane in Maine

    Once again McCain does not know what he's talking about. He has no control over the out of control terrorists know as the Tea Party. If foreign terrorists were able to cause just a fraction of the pain those republican congressmen caused the people of this country – we'd be all up in arms and hunting them down like the rabid dogs that they are.

    October 17, 2013 10:39 am at 10:39 am |
  8. ripperAZ

    As an Arizonan, i have been numbed by Mc Cain's spinning ways and attention seeking pressers

    Nothing he said makes any sense

    And i fully expect we will all be held hostage again mid December, just to destroy the Christmas retail season.

    Cruz pretty much said so.

    I wonder if he will do Christmas poems instead of Dr Seuss, this time!



    October 17, 2013 10:41 am at 10:41 am |
  9. Jeff

    I guess John McCain is what exactly what he appeared to be a RINO, Republican in Name Only. We have two parties BIG GOVERNMENT democrat, and of course BIG GOVERNMENT republican–SPEND, SPEND, SPEND and TAX and BORROW.

    October 17, 2013 10:44 am at 10:44 am |
  10. OverAndOut

    Maybe. Maybe not. The Tea Party might have something to say about that. Senator McCain happens to be my senator. I had voted for him from the time I could vote. That is until Sarah Palin came on the scene. I still believe I made the right choice. I will never vote for another republican if I even get a whiff of the Tea Party stink on them.

    $24 Billion dollars later at the expense of the tax payers = Ted Cruz will NEVER be president. Pundits can say We The People have short memories, but on this one ... I think not.

    October 17, 2013 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
  11. james Pfeiffer

    Ladies and gentlemen, We are witnessing the beginning of the end of democracy. Welcome to the new plutocracy!

    October 17, 2013 10:47 am at 10:47 am |
  12. Tom101

    Tea Partyers are American Terrorists. As a small minority with their fanaticism and fear-mongering they have willingly, and more ably, greatly hurt Americans and America. They tell us how much they love America, kiss our babies, pat us on our back, shake our hand, and then stab us in the back. Even al-Qaeda doesn't do that.

    October 17, 2013 10:50 am at 10:50 am |
  13. 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 kind into the limelight. With the help of the media, Palin and Company have divided the GOP. They shut down the United States government and then gloated that they had shut it down. And yet, here you come running ... to the very media that helped divide 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.

    October 17, 2013 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
  14. Hector Slagg

    Uh, Well,
    As long as the inmates are running the Asylum you don't know what will happen. Nero Fiddled while Rome burned. The National Debt may continue to rise. Since there is still tons of un-certainty out there and people un employed and no one in the driver's seat shut down's may be the norm. We aren't out of the woods by a long shot.

    October 17, 2013 10:55 am at 10:55 am |
  15. freedom

    Who is he to make that claim? There's new Republican blood in town – and we stand behind them! – get used to it McCain!

    October 17, 2013 10:58 am at 10:58 am |
  16. Ray

    So the Tea Party doesn't like Government waste, but they just gave a lot of federal employees a two week paid holiday. How is that not Government waste?

    October 17, 2013 10:58 am at 10:58 am |
  17. RIchard Long

    Can't wait to see how the 2014 Shutdown is going to be like!

    October 17, 2013 11:01 am at 11:01 am |
  18. Ron L

    OK America, Here is the NEXT big test. The Republicans want to curb entitlements to save Social Security and Medicare over the long haul. I personally think the Social Security fear is a little bit of a hoax. If you raise the cap on it from $113,000 to $500,000, raise the retirement age 1 additional year, weed out the cheaters, and means test the people who receive it. Social Security will last forever. Medicare is a little harder to change the curve on just looking at the numbers. We are getting older as a society, more of us a earning minimum wage jobs or just a little higher, which means we are putting less in the pot for pay outs. At the same time we live longer many we will require more medical attention as we grow older. Looking at those TRUTHs we can only do two things, one, put more pressure on the services side of health care to be more open about what they charge for services. Hopefully this will force them to be more competitive and lower cost. Two get rid of some of the extremely unfair loop holes for the very rich in the tax system, lower the rates slightly for all citizens resulting in a modest increase in revenue. The problem with this sensible approach is we don't have enough sensible people in congress.
    So while Senator McCann would like to feel that there will be no more shutdowns, he has little control over the situation.

    October 17, 2013 11:02 am at 11:02 am |
  19. bassman

    McCain's choice of Sarah Pain as his running mate exposed just how sexist, condescending, and elitist Democrats are. No one endures the kind of attacks she does. She dismisses these attacks and keeps speaking out on the issues. And she is not afraid to fight back.

    October 17, 2013 11:02 am at 11:02 am |
  20. sonny chapman

    The American PEOPLE ought to demand WAR REPARATIONS from the Tea Party folks that cost our Economy 24 BILLION $$ for THEIR Temper Tantrum. The Allies after WW I & the First Gulf War made Germany & Iraq pay for their destruction. THEIR Principal but OUR $$.

    October 17, 2013 11:03 am at 11:03 am |
  21. Clarke

    Just get rid of the self serving PORK and vote on clean honest bills. Cut spending so you can all have more pork in the goodie bag. These lawmakers are shameful!

    October 17, 2013 11:03 am at 11:03 am |
  22. Tucson Vet

    Please be quiet McCain!

    October 17, 2013 11:03 am at 11:03 am |
  23. Babyboomer

    McCain can't guarantee anything from his party and as for The President needing to negotiate, he's tried that and it didn't work. What actually worked was when he held his ground and didn't negotiate. I hope he keeps that up...

    October 17, 2013 11:09 am at 11:09 am |
  24. jpf

    Nothing will ever be solved with this idiot President.

    October 17, 2013 11:11 am at 11:11 am |
  25. Silence DoGood

    @wake up people "you old fossil"

    I agree with your politics but please leave off the age comments. As an older American I resent it.

    October 17, 2013 11:11 am at 11:11 am |
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