Democratic Sen. Chris Van Hollen went on CNN Tuesday morning to attempt to spin the Democrats caving to GOP demands on the government shutdown.
Van Hollen’s Democratic colleagues in the Senate voted Monday to re-open the government by a large majority. Van Hollen was among the Democrats who voted to end the three-day shutdown. When CNN asked what the shutdown had “gained” for progressives and Democrats, Hollen had a stunning answer. “What did you gain?” CNN asked. Van Hollen’s answer was to immediately blame Trump:
“First of all, John, let’s be clear: it was the total incompetence of President Trump and the dysfunctionious [sic] White House that led to the shutdown in the first place.”
Hollen went on to talk about how the Democrats gained a commitment from McConnell to take up a bipartisan DACA bill.
“We know there are 57 senators right now, Republicans and Democrats, who support the Graham-Durbin bill, and now is an opportunity to build on that and get a vote,” Hollen said.
The CNN anchor fact checked the senator immediately, saying, “Hang on one second. He gave that guarantee to Jeff Flake to get his vote on the tax bill back in December. He’s made promises before, particularly on DACA, and the vote didn’t happen in January…”
Hollen said the major difference was that the new McConnell commitment was “made in public as opposed to behind closed doors,” and that he has tools to ensure “Mitch McConnell keeps his commitment.”
His remarks were not well received by the hosts.
On Monday, Debbie Wassserman Schultz was asked point-blank by CNN’s Brooke Baldwin: “What one thing did [Schumer] get, you know, from Republicans, to justify shutting down the government in the first place?”
Wasserman Schultz replied:
“The one thing, I would say, that [Schumer] did get is the potential for momentum.”
Baldwin looked stunned and asked if the “potential for momentum” was “really worth it to shut down the government?”
Wasserman Schultz responded “Republicans should be asking that question because they shut it down. This is Trump’s shutdown.”