Fox News host Chris Wallace on Sunday called the Republican Party's bluff and asked if lawmakers were prepared to "shoot the hostage" and shut down the federal government if President Barack Obama refused to defund his healthcare reform law.
During a talk with the conservative Heritage Foundation last week, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) suggested that Obama and Democrats, not Republicans, would be to blame if the government was shut down.
"Under no circumstances will I support a continuing resolution that funds even one penny of Obamacare," Cruz explained. "The next step will be that President Obama and [Senate Majority Leader] Harry Reid will scream and yell, ‘Why are those mean and nasty Republicans threatening to shut down the government over Obamacare?’”
“We’ve got to stand up and make the argument and win the argument that, ‘No, that’s not true. We have voted to fund the federal government. We want to fund the federal government. Why is President Obama threatening to shut down the federal government? Because he wants force Obamacare down people’s throats.’”
On Sunday, Wallace told Heritage Foundation President Jim DeMint that some of his fellow Republicans had called that idea "suicidal" and "the dumbest idea I've ever heard."
"What about the Republicans who say it's crazy to hold the government funding hostage?" Wallace wondered.
"This is a very destructive law that's going to hurt our country, it's going to hurt a lot of people," DeMint insisted. "This may be the last opportunity to stop it. Now, there's no Republican that I'm aware of that wants to shut the government down. The whole point is we need to fund the government, but we should not fund Obamacare."
"But, Senator, what they say, you know, is you don't take a hostage unless you're prepared to shoot him," Wallace pointed out. "And if you're going to go down this road, are you prepared to shut down the government? Because the Democrats are not going to go along with this."
"I wouldn't shut down the government, but if Obama would not accept a funding bill for the government, that fully funds the government, because it didn't have his failed law in it then he would be shutting down the government," DeMint opined. "And that's the case we're going to take to the American people in August."