GOP Sen. Ron Johnson: Shutdown "Wasn't The Best Strategy"


Tea party-supported Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI) says shutting down the government over Obamacare wasn't best approach.

GLORIA BORGER, CNN: So -- now I forgot what I was going to say. OK. You're -- you know, you're 100 percent right. Let's say that the president shouldn't have passed this along party lines and all the rest.


BORGER: Should the Republicans have decided to make this argument over Obamacare? Should they have promised the country something they actually couldn't deliver, which is defunding Obamacare?

JOHNSON: Well, I've done a lot of strategic planning as a business person. The first step in that is always trying to ascertain reality. And then try and set achievable goals. So from my standpoint, I didn't think defunding Obamacare was achievable. I mean, the reality of the situation is Harry Reid controls the Senate. In order to defund Obamacare you need five Democratic senators to switch their position.

BORGER: And you told them that.

JOHNSON: They haven't done that. Yes, I mean -- so, but again, I appreciate any effort that really highlights how harmful Obamacare is going to be. So no, I mean --


BORGER: But straight. You're saying --

JOHNSON: Let me stipulate --

BORGER: Right. Right.

JOHNSON: It probably wasn't the best strategy to employ. But now we're here. Now what the House is doing is I think doing what Congress should do, is they're starting to pass small appropriation bills. They're starting to prioritize spending. The fact that Harry Reid isn't even willing to bring those up for a vote kind of shows you who's really playing politics with the situation.


BORGER: But you're saying you got them here. You know, this is --

JOHNSON: It took two to tango to get us here. But now I think it makes an awful lot of sense to start passing the prioritized spending bills. I mean, let's face it. The government -- I mean, this is the most shameless action so far is they actually had to spend money to erect barricades around the open park World War II Memorial basically blocking out 80- and 90-year-old World War II vets.

Now that is just shameless. You know, so -- but that is what this administration is doing to inflict pain and play politics with the shutdown.

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