October 17th, 2013
08:40 AM ET
8 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. Wake up People!

    It's always their messaging not their message. Proceed GOP. You people were voted in office to destroy the POTUS. Your problem is you TRULY believe you are superior and smarter than he is. That's why you will continue to lose when you go against him.

    Please proceed even farther to the right.

    October 17, 2013 08:49 am at 8:49 am |
  2. jpmichigan

    Tea partiers won, they shut down the government. What we have is a SHORT fix and another (waste of time) group to talk and talk about the spending and barrowing, which doesn't really matter to this administration they do not follow the outcome of the talks, just like before. The real loser are the American taxpayers, for we have a politically party federal government, for and by political parties. They have for gotten that the government is for the people, by the people of the USA. As American voters we need to rid the government of career politicians and make room for fresh representatives with fresh ideas. TERM LIMITS IS NEEDED!!!!!!!

    October 17, 2013 08:51 am at 8:51 am |
  3. quinLee

    I don't mean no harm, but is there some kind of stupid juice in the water down here in the southern states ( I live in NC). This fight cost $24 billion plus countless hardships for families. Clearly a loss for everyone.

    October 17, 2013 08:56 am at 8:56 am |
  4. G

    it was worth 24 billion –but not from their pockets

    October 17, 2013 08:56 am at 8:56 am |
  5. the hippies were right

    Mulvaney says, "we wanted people to be treated the same as large corporations". If you believe this you are hopeless. What about taxes and subsidies? Where's my subsidies, like multibillion dollar corp. Exxon gets. I guess I wont pay any taxes next year like GE. This wasn't about fairness. It was about a skinny black man kicking your a**. If you wanted fairness you wouldn't have voted to shutdown the govt when the dems voted not to. Simple logic!

    October 17, 2013 08:58 am at 8:58 am |
  6. Larry in Houston

    LOL – I think you need to tell your republican buddies that it was NOT worth the fight. It's hurting your party, Don't you get it ? I mean, from what I hear from people that stay on the other news channel, they are telling me that between O'Reilly / Hannity / Karl Rove / Krauthammer & etc... they are saying that they are going to "take control of Both Houses" come next yr.....They are figuring on the republicans spending some big bucks, to get control. ( and I mean some big bucks) Of course I'm sure everyone already knows by this time, that the "No" votes came from Cruz, Gomert, Cornyn & others....Mostly from the Southern States.....and of course, you have the "No" man, up ther in Iowa, such as Grassley. LOL – what a pitiful & pathetic party...I'm glad I'm an Independent....

    October 17, 2013 09:03 am at 9:03 am |
  7. Lynda/Minnesota

    TeaParty "firebrand" ... eh, CNN? Too foolish for words. Both this Mulvaney man and CNN TeaPer coverage.

    October 17, 2013 09:04 am at 9:04 am |
  8. Joyce

    You ran on creating jobs, so you believe that having the government shut down which caused alot of people to not have thier jobs a good thing. I believe that in 2014 we will make you unemployed.

    October 17, 2013 09:06 am at 9:06 am |
  9. Tea Party supporter

    In January we will defund that hated Obama care. I don't care if the government is shut down till hxxx freezes over.

    The American people don't want the government taking over the American health care system.

    October 17, 2013 09:08 am at 9:08 am |
  10. freedom

    It would have never gotten to this point if the president didn't say "I won't negotiate." He will not accept that he has to deal with congress. He thinks he's a dictator. It's not going to change – this is the way our government is set up – and we have a constitution – which supersedes the office of the presidency.

    October 17, 2013 09:09 am at 9:09 am |
  11. David Dolgin

    Yes, Congressman Mulvaney, if you fight for what you believe in you will "end up on the right sid eof things" – that is if you are not a moron in the first place, and the things you "believe" in are not based in racial hatred and class warfare.

    Unfortunately all you tea party idiots fall into BOTH of those categories.

    October 17, 2013 09:12 am at 9:12 am |
  12. Tom

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

    So you're saying 100% viewed the Tea Party positively in June (3+7=10)? Clearly CNN is taking the same drugs as the Tea Party wackos. A lot of other polls paint a much worse picture for Republicans. This article is cherry picking polls, and making flatly inaccurate statements, to paint a happy face on this Republican debacle.

    The real test is going to be how many Republicans are willing to sign up for another budget fight in a few weeks? Given the disastrous outcome of this attempt coupled with a mid-term election year, I'm guessing another round of brinksmanship over shutting down the government isn't going to be very popular among Republicans next time around.

    October 17, 2013 09:12 am at 9:12 am |
  13. Dave Scoven

    "Three in 10 questioned said they see the tea party in a positive light ..." How sad. Now 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.

    October 17, 2013 09:20 am at 9:20 am |
  14. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA -aka- Take Back The House -aka- No Redemption Votes

    It was worth the $24 billion you wasted?

    October 17, 2013 09:20 am at 9:20 am |
  15. MaryM

    Oh so Congressman Mick Mulvaney, Your tea party and Cruz cost the American Taxpayer 24 Billion dollars for you temper tantrums. fiscal responsibility?> I think NOT!! You are your Tpers will be gone next election

    October 17, 2013 09:22 am at 9:22 am |
  16. Anonymous

    Mulvaney: "............you always end up on the right side of things".............

    Well, you proved just how far "right" of things you are.

    This tantrum cost the US 24B dollars.
    Furloughed, unpaid, workers had to use their savings to survive the 16 weeks of idiocy.
    Children lost precious time by not receiving the care they needed from the NIH programs.

    The list is long and painful, yet you think the "fight was worth it"?
    No doubt we will go through this again in a few months. Ted Cruz won't give up, Heritage won't give up.
    Jim DeMint won't give up.
    The American people won't forget.

    October 17, 2013 09:25 am at 9:25 am |
  17. John R. Stewart

    In looking towards future presidential elections I don't see the Republicans winning the White House for many years and maybe never again. They are not in step with the vast majorityof the people within the U.S. Certain congressional districts are safem but in a nationwide election the Republicans are now non-relevent.

    Judge John R. Stewart (Retired)

    October 17, 2013 09:31 am at 9:31 am |
  18. Donnie the Lion

    It is completely fine to be angry about Obamacare and the deficit, etc. But this wasn't the way to put up a fight. If the GOP really thinks Obamacare will be a disaster, let it fail in plenty of time before the next election cycle. If you hate the deficit, you've got most of America on your side, just campaign for a balanced budget plan. Leave the "Obama is a secret Muslim/War on Christmas/Illegals are here to rape your daughter" stuff out of it, it only hurts your credibility. The GOP tries, more than the Democrats, to appeal to the baser human emotions of fear and hate.....instead of relying on rational economic arguments.

    October 17, 2013 09:33 am at 9:33 am |
  19. Rudy NYC

    "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 ... ....
    "It's all about me, me, me, me, me. I really could care less about you, you, you, freeloader!"


    October 17, 2013 09:34 am at 9:34 am |
  20. michael

    I hope Democrats don't think these anarchist will try this sick stunt again! These confederate neocon wannabe secessionist dixiecrats just want to go back to the "good ole days." Where blacks new their place, women were in the kitchen, barefoot and pregnant, jim crow laws was respected, KKK was putting fear into black hearts not white, schools, neighborhoods, businesses, corporations, military, just about every church was segregated and Strom Thurmond was running for president. These confederates are awaiting the resurrection of Jefferson Davis, so they can live and rule with him 1000 years.

    October 17, 2013 09:44 am at 9:44 am |
  21. Michael

    So holding the country hostige and costing the Tax payer billions was worth it ? Oh I forgot your job isn't doing the people business but doing what ever it takes to make the President fail – I am a independant and vote for both partys but people like you will make me just vote D untill the Tea failures are gone

    October 17, 2013 09:46 am at 9:46 am |
  22. Data Driven

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

    Aw. The old refrain from conservatives. Poor conservatives, stymied by no access to media outlets through which to bleat their very important "messages". True, they have a cable news network entirely staffed with on-air conservative "talent"; and they got the entirety of the AM radio band, but, hey, what chance do those have against the Marxist evil of the Peacock, the Eye, and that other network that begins with "A"?

    October 17, 2013 09:48 am at 9:48 am |
  23. Dennis Freeman

    Who says beings from Mars aren't here already...

    October 17, 2013 09:52 am at 9:52 am |
  24. O'drama ya Mama

    I believe this fight was worth billions of lost dollars. Will the tea party take responsibility for that loss?

    October 17, 2013 09:54 am at 9:54 am |
  25. dectra

    So....we see the GOP still clinging to the false idea that 'it's worth it" to destroy the American Economy over something THEY don't like.

    GOP: Ideology Before Country

    October 17, 2013 10:02 am at 10:02 am |
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