A Republican congressman from Indiana is now trying to back away from a statement he made earlier this week saying that the Republican Party doesn’t even know what it hopes to gain from the federal shutdown. According to Talking Points Memo, President Barack Obama used that remark on Thursday to paint the Republicans as childish refuseniks who don’t really know what they’re disagreeing with.
Stutzman and his fellow House Republicans were saying Wednesday that their decision to shut down the federal government wasn’t about Obamacare after all, but actually to strengthen their hand in the approaching debt ceiling negotiations. Michael Grimm (R-NY) told the Examiner, “This isn’t just about Obamacare anymore.”
“We’re not going to be disrespected,” Stutzman said. “We have to get something out of this. And I don’t know what that even is.”
On Thursday, President Obama called out Stutzman in a speech in Rockville, MD, saying, “You have already gotten the opportunity to serve the American people. There’s no higher honor than that. You’ve already gotten the opportunity to help businesses like this one. Workers like these. So the American people aren’t in the mood to give you a goodie bag to go with it. What you get is our intelligence professionals being back on the job. What you get is our medical researchers back on the job. What you get are little kids back into Head Start.”
“That’s what you get,” Obama said. “That’s what you should be asking for. Take a vote, stop this farce and end the shutdown right now. If you’re being disrespected it’s because of that attitude that you’ve got that you deserve to get something for doing your job.”
On Thursday, Stutzman scrambled to walk back the Examiner quote, saying in a statement, “Yesterday, I carelessly misrepresented the ongoing budget debate and Speaker Boehner’s work on behalf of the American people. Despite my remarks it’s clear that the American people want both parties to come to the table to reopen the government, tackle this nation’s debt crisis, and stop ObamaCare’s pain.”
David Ferguson is an editor at Raw Story. He was previously writer and radio producer in Athens, Georgia, hosting two shows for Georgia Public Broadcasting and blogging at Firedoglake.com and elsewhere. He is currently working on a book.
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