Politics

Krauthammer on Obamacare shutdown: ‘If I thought it would work, I would support it’

On Tuesday’s “The O’Reilly Factor” on the Fox News Channel, columnist Charles Krauthammer said that risking a government shutdown by trying to defund Obamacare was foolhardy and doomed to failure.

Krauthammer, who drew the ire of some conservatives when he called the concept “really dumb,” said that the disagreement was about tactics, not policy.

“The other issue, the one you’re talking about now, I think is a ginned-up issue for this reason,” Krauthammer said. “It’s all about tactics. It’s not about what you think about Obamacare. The tactics that these brave people are telling us we have to do is to jump off a cliff so we can show our manhood. There is — unless you believe that you are ready to shut down the government, unless you are ready to deliver on the threat, you don’t go near there.”

“And we know that every time Republicans in opposition have threatened to shut down the government, they’ve had to blink because it turned against them. If I thought it would work, I would support it. There is not one chance in a hundred that the threat of shutting down the government is going to succeed.”

Ultimately, Krauthammer said, the Republican Party is in the business of winning elections, and a failed attempt at defunding Obamacare could damage the party’s chances both in the 2014 midterms and 2016 presidential election.

“Look ,the slings and arrows of the business: if you’re not used to that, you should be doing something else,” he said. “So that’s not — I don’t think that’s the real issue. The real issue here is whether you’re playing the short game or the long game. The short game where you control one house of Congress, you have no chance of repealing Obamacare, zero, because the other side sees it as the signature issue of the President and the Senate. You play the long game, you don’t risk your popularity which I think is increasing for the GOP. People are very disillusioned with what the Democrats have done in the last five years. You play for the elections in ’14 and in ’16. You build a constituency. And you don’t show that you are completely irresponsible and shut down the government, knowing that you will in the end have to cave.”

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