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2012ers Michele Bachmann and Mike Huckabee Call On GOP to Cut a Deal

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Bachmann argued that "the current battle has devolved to an agenda that is almost too limited to warrant the kind of fighting that we're now seeing in Washington."

Huckabee, who is known for his pro-life politics and popularity with social conservatives, flat out conceded shutting down the government over policy riders on abortion and women's health would backfire against the GOP.

"Don't let the government shutdown because the consequences of that are going to hurt the Republicans, not the Democrats and the Republicans can't win this battle when it gets down to it," he told CNN.

Democrats have been launching an all-out messaging assault on Republicans over the abortion provisions over the last 48 hours, and the party has struggled to find a consistent response. Huckabee admitted they had the upper hand.

"As much as I want to see Planned Parenthood defunded, as much as I want to see NPR lose their funding, the reality is the president and the Senate are never going to go along with that so win the deal you can win and live to fight another day," Huckabee told CNN.

The defections from Bachmann, Huckabee, and other conservative Republicans are significant in that they protect Boehner's right flank from charges that he sold out conservatives if he accepts a Democratic offer short of the party's full demands. With the Democrats' messaging clearly intimidating even some of the most hardline Republicans, he may find his hand too weak to go all in with a shutdown.