McCain: ‘Republicans Have To Understand We Have Lost This Battle’

AP

With the government shutdown in its third week and the United States dangerously close to the debt limit, Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) urged members of his party on Tuesday to stop digging.

“It’s very, very serious,” McCain said, as quoted by the New York Times. “Republicans have to understand we have lost this battle, as I predicted weeks ago, that we would not be able to win because we were demanding something that was not achievable.”

Efforts to raise the debt ceiling and reopen the shuttered government unraveled on Tuesday, with House Speake John Boehner’s (R-OH) proposals shot down by his conservative caucus. 

The budget and debt crises were brought about by a conservative campaign to gut the Affordable Care Act, a movement that McCain and other veteran Republicans decried as quixotic. 

In an interview last week with Fox News, McCain said repeatedly that Republicans are to blame for the shutdown.

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC), McCain’s longtime confidant, also acknowledged Tuesday that Republicans “really did go too far” but beseeched Democrats to cut them some slack. 

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Tom Kludt is a reporter for Talking Points Memo based in New York City, covering media and national affairs. Originally from South Dakota, Tom joined TPM as an intern in late-2011 and became a staff member during the 2012 election. He can be reached at tom@talkingpointsmemo.com.
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