The fractures within the Republican were on full display Sunday morning, as young troublemaker Ted Cruz told party leadership what he thinks about their plans as they tried to move past the disastrous government shutdown.
Let's start with Sen. John McCain, appearing on CNN's State of the Union, urging his fellow Republicans to "move forward" after their plan to defund Obamacare with a government shutdown failed miserably. "What we need to do is move forward with immigration reform, get a positive agenda for America, continue the fight against Obamacare, get taxes down, address this whole issue of sequestration which is devastating our military," McCain said. The Arizona Republican was asked about Cruz's recent comments indicating he'd like another government shutdown. "He can exercise his rights as a senator, but it will not happen," McCain said. The party leader acknowledged the divisions splitting the party in two. "You’ve got to have some straight talk. There are some divisions in the Republican Party. We’ve had them in the past. The Democrat Party before Bill Clinton had them. It’s very regrettable because our adversary is not each other, and we will probably have to go through this discussion and debate," McCain said. But he said he's confident they could come back unified, like they did under Reagan. "I am confident that the party of Ronald Reagan will come back strong. We’ll get a positive agenda. We’ll get an agenda that unites the party, and we can move forward. I am absolutely confident of that."
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell promised on CBS's Face the Nation there will not be a government shutdown sequel the next time a budget fight approaches. "Shutting down the government, in my view, is not conservative policy," McConnell said. "I don't think a two-week paid vacation for federal employees is conservative policy. A number of us were saying back in July that this strategy could not - and would not - work, and of course it didn't. So there will not be another government shutdown. You can count on that."
But here comes Sen. Ted Cruz, that rascal, indirectly telling McConnell and McCain where they can stick their advice. State of the Union interviewer Dana Bash asked the freshman Texas lawmaker whether he's bothered by the friction with the Republican party. "Not remotely, because... I work for 26 million Texans. That’s my job to fight for them," Cruz said. "I don’t work for the party bosses in Washington. I work for the people of Texas and I fight for them." Cruz implied some of his colleagues aren't being honest about their views while news cameras are rolling: "You know what was very interesting about some of those closed-door discussions? What I said in those closed-door discussions, I would’ve said the exact same thing if CNN's camera was sitting in the room. What I say privately to my colleagues is the same thing I say publicly," he said. "And you know what’s interesting? Virtually every person in that room, that was criticizing what Mike Lee and I were doing, would’ve said very different things if a camera was in this room. Because what they’re telling their constituents is very different from what they’re saying behind closed doors," he added. Later he said he wouldn't "play that game," of exchanging insults with fellow Republicans.
On Fox News Sunday, Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, who voted with the Tea Party against reopening the government and raising the debt limit, affirmed his support for established Republican leadership. "I do support Sen. McConnell's bid for reelection," Rubio said on Fox News Sunday. "I think he's trying to lead our conference. It's a diverse conference with a lot of different opinions. That's a tough job to begin with. And of course, he's got to represent his own state." Tomorrow, Rubio will attempt to have his cake and eat it too.
House Minority leader Nancy Pelosi criticized the Obamacare roll out during her appearance on ABC's This Week, but said she's confident it'll succeed in the end. "As far as the Affordable Care Act as I call it, the fact is that, yes, what has happened is unacceptable in terms of the glitches," the former Speaker said. "They were overwhelmed to begin with. There is much that needs to be done to correct the situation." Pelosi said the high traffic, despite the glitches, suggests once things start running smoothly then the law will eventually become a success. "This has to be fixed but what doesn't have to be fixed is the fact that tens of millions more people will have access to affordable quality health care," she said.