October 17th, 2013
08:40 AM ET
9 years ago

Republican congressman: It was worth the fight

Washington (CNN) – Rep. Mick Mulvaney, a tea party firebrand, said Thursday the fight that led to a government shutdown was worth it, but he acknowledged the GOP's messaging wasn't as effective.

"Anytime you fight for something you really believe in and something you think is important, then the fight is going to be worth it," the South Carolina Republican said on CNN's "New Day."

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Mulvaney was part of a group of House conservatives that tried to tie anti-Obamacare provisions to must-pass legislation in a strategy spearheaded by Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas. Senate Democrats and the White House, however, didn't budge, and the stalemate resulted in the government shutdown that lasted 16 days.

Multiple polls showed that both major political parties suffered in public opinion, but Republicans, including tea party conservatives, lost slightly more support than Democrats. A Pew Research Center poll conducted October 9 through Sunday indicated 49% of Americans said they have a negative view of the tea party, a slight rise of four percentage points from June.

The Lead: Boehner shouldn't be blamed, Mulvaney says

Three in 10 questioned said they see the tea party in a positive light, down seven points from June.

But Mulvaney argued their message simply "didn't get out as effectively as we wanted it to."

"We fought for fairness. We wanted our families to be treated the same as large corporations under Obamacare," he told CNN's Kate Bolduan. "In hindsight, yes, if you stand up for what you believe in, I think you'll always end up on the right side of things."

Sen. Angus King, an independent from Maine who caucuses with Democrats, said the recent showdown was "unnecessary."

"Everybody's feeling good this morning, but it's like the kid who beat his head against the tree and somebody said, 'Why are you doing that?' He said, 'Because it feels so good when I stop.' This has been a brutal couple of weeks and pretty much unnecessary," King said on "New Day."

The deal passed by Congress and signed by President Barack Obama late Wednesday night keeps the federal government running through January 15 and raises the amount the country can borrow through February 7.

King expressed frustration that the deal simply kicks the can down the road, but added the stakes are high as members from the House and Senate work to find a long-term budget agreement in conference by some point in December.

"The center piece of the deal, really, is the conference. Basically they hit pause, we're going to go back to work. We're not going to break the debt ceiling. But those dates are looming out there in January, and I think people understand we shouldn't be putting the country through this."

- CNN Political Editor Paul Steinhauser contributed to this report.

Filed under: Angus King • Mick Mulvaney
soundoff (38 Responses)
  1. Evergreen

    The shutdown wasted about 26 BILLION dollars. And yet these same politicians are cutting the SNAP program for about 4 million low income and poor families in order to save 40 billion dollars over 10 years. Many of these families are in their disticts. But wasting money shutting down the government is worth it, helping struggling families...not so much.

    October 17, 2013 10:05 am at 10:05 am |
  2. cumulus

    Seldom can so much be said in so few words.million people thrown under gbd bus to promote their agenda, odd how we agree, it was worth it now your lunacy is bore to the world. Its time to rid ourselves of the parasites that are killing our standard of living, the entire gop is bought and paid for . If one fails to see their loyalties, your unreachable, and doom us all to the policies designed to extract your wealth, and distribute it to the top.where did all the money go last recession, again straight to the top 1%

    October 17, 2013 10:05 am at 10:05 am |
  3. J.V.Hodgson

    You always allow these guys of the hook!?
    the essence of the deal is to do Simpson Bowles grand bargain which still remains unfulfilled I.e structured considered targeted cuts to medicare, son=m adjustment t Social security benefits means tested or Cpi changes and also tax reform, that may mean as per Simpson etc tax revenue rises even though corporate tax rates reduce. this is the bit this guy still puts in the way its not a negotiation its ideology Norquist style
    What republicans don't face is that spending cuts will lead to a recession ( if they are large enough to reduce debt)
    To do it without recession it has to be a combination of revenue plus and spending curbs
    The only good change is that in the senate debate on a budget reconciliation cannot be stopped by one senator a straight majority can force reconciliation.. that bit is real progress. In the sense of avoiding government shutdowns or debt crises.

    October 17, 2013 10:07 am at 10:07 am |
  4. ST

    I get tired hearing from people who really comfort themselves in order to feel a little bit better. What was worth of the fight? What did you gain from that fight?

    October 17, 2013 10:09 am at 10:09 am |
  5. Anonymous

    So to this lady it was worth blowing 24 billion dollars to bring down the president because he is black. That is the only reason the shutdown happened. They just used Obamacare as an excuse.

    October 17, 2013 10:10 am at 10:10 am |
  6. Sniffit

    "We wanted our families to be treated the same as large corporations under Obamacare,""

    In light of the absolute FACT that corporations and individuals are subject to substantively different requirements under the law, not just in what they are required to do, but also the role those requirements play in implementing the law itself, that argument is 100% nonsense. Apples and oranges. The GOP/Teatrolls making it are liars, and the Dems and MSM, who have failed to adequately inform the public as to why the argument is ridiculous, are complete idiots.

    October 17, 2013 10:14 am at 10:14 am |
  7. Sniffit

    "I think people understand we shouldn't be putting the country through this."

    I like you, King, but you're totally wrong. People don't understand that. The Teatrolls are already planning and promising to do it again. They think it is effective, they love the attention and they gleefully watch the damage it does to economic recovery under Obama and salivate over being able to blame him for the continuing stagnation of the it while the MSM ignores their blatant worsening of it.

    October 17, 2013 10:17 am at 10:17 am |
  8. John

    Meanwhile, the House's first order of business after the shutdown...another attempt repeal Obamacare

    October 17, 2013 10:26 am at 10:26 am |
  9. Sniffit

    "So to this lady it was worth blowing 24 billion dollars"

    Not only that. S&P has said that the shutdown they caused slowed the economy by 0.6% and resulted in them lowering their projections for economic growth in the 4th quarter from 3% to 2%. The MSM is completely ignoring that this constitutes proof that the GOP/Teatrolls are making a significant contribution to the slowing and hampering of economic recovery. And the GOP/Teatrolls love it...they'll be out there screaming bloody murder about poor economic numbers, especially if the Xmas shopping is stunted, as if they did not deliberately cause damage to the economy in order to set themselves up for spewing those talking points.

    October 17, 2013 10:36 am at 10:36 am |
  10. Lynda/Minnesota

    "What was worth of the fight? What did you gain from that fight?"

    They got nothing. A whole lot of bad press, but otherwise GOPers got nothing.

    (Don't let on to CNN, though. Crossed wires no doubt, but CNN is feeding a false narrative which is beyond absurd).

    October 17, 2013 10:38 am at 10:38 am |
  11. Data Driven

    @Dave Scoven,

    "add to that the percentage extremist nutjobs on the left, and you've got nearly half of America who couln't be trusted to walk your dog. We are in trouble."

    Speaking as a leftist nut job myself, I would remind you that we're not rooting for government shutdowns. Go find evidence to the contrary.

    And while you're at it, list all of the leftists in Congress. I'll give you a headstart: Bernie Sanders and Alan Grayson. Who else? List is thin, innit?

    You seem reasonably intelligent. I suggest dropping the right-wing meme of false equivalence.

    October 17, 2013 10:46 am at 10:46 am |
  12. Rudy NYC

    "Rep. Mick Mulvaney, a tea party firebrand, said Thursday the fight that led to a government shutdown was worth it, but he acknowledged the GOP's messaging wasn't as effective. "
    How typically right wing of him to accept responsibility for his failure by shrugging it off as a "messaging" problem. I've been telling you folks for years, the right wing fails to accept responsibility for the failures by rationalizing their failures as just another messaging problem.

    The party of responsibility simply cannot see the hypocrisy of their blaming each and every failure on "messaging". It is the same excuse each and every time. They all say it. And, I'm forced to agree with them, but just not in the way that they have deluding themselves into believing. They think their message is not getting out, and that people are not listening. The arrogance that it takes to believe something like that about yourself is mind numbing to me.

    The reality is that their message is actually being heard and that the majority of Americans are *rejecting* the message. It is almost as if they're too arrogant to believe that the possibility that they could be wrong about something is completely inconceivable.

    October 17, 2013 10:47 am at 10:47 am |
  13. Tony Z

    I thought their platform was job creation. Can we talk about the cut in GDP? The loss of $24B. The waste to end the Affordable Care Act. It's time you understand how to negotiation 101 and civics 101. Waste of time.

    October 17, 2013 10:49 am at 10:49 am |
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