Fox News host Chris Wallace suggested on Sunday that the White House was guilty of hypocrisy because officials who had supported a 2013 shutdown of President Barack Obama's government now opposed a shutdown of Donald Trump's government.
During an interview with White House Budget Director Mick Mulvaney, Wallace noted that Trump had said that President Barack Obama deserved blame for the 2013 shutdown even though Republicans initiated it to protest Obamacare funding.
"If President Obama was responsible then... isn't President Trump responsible now?" Wallace asked.
Mulvaney insisted that the "two presidents have acted" very differently during the shutdown.
"I will look you in the eye and tell you President Obama wanted that shutdown and he wanted to weaponize it," Mulvaney insisted. "This president has worked really hard to prevent the shutdown."
"He didn't have a bipartisan meeting with congressional leaders yesterday," Wallace pointed out. "Does he have one on the schedule today?"
Mulvaney accused Wallace of trying to "split hairs."
"I don't think anybody can say that this president wants this shutdown," Mulvaney said. "You could not say the same thing about President Obama."
"You blame Democrats," Wallace observed. "But back in 2013, you supported holding the government hostage on this question of Obamacare."
"Why was that legitimate then -- the right reason to have a fight -- but it's not legitimate now," the Fox News host wondered.
Mulvaney argued that times are different because Democrats support everything in the bill to open the government, even though the resolution does not include a solution for so-called Dreamers.
"They were asking us to vote to fund Obamacare," Mulvaney complained. "Something that was very difficult for Republicans to do and we wouldn't vote for it."
"Sir, I think that's a debating point," Wallace interrupted. "You [Republicans] shut down the government in 2013... because you didn't like Obamacare. You wanted to shut down the government again in 2015 because you didn't like Planned Parenthood. They [Democrats] are willing to shut down the government because they want a solution [for Dreamers]."
"The point is that both them then and you now are willing to shut down the government because they support or oppose a policy," Wallace said.