UPDATE: 11:56 a.m. ET
If there's one lesson Republicans say they learned from the government shutdown and debt ceiling negotiations it's that the only real way to fight Obamacare is to have greater control of Congress and a winning majority in the Senate.
"At the end of the day I think what we learned more than anything in this entire exercise is that if we truly want to repeal Obamacare we need more votes," Republican National Committee Communications Director Sean Spicer told TPM.
As the top party leaders in Congress solidified a deal to end the shutdown and prevent economic catastrophe some Republicans spent the last few hours of the impasse pointing fingers at each other. Some blamed outside groups like Heritage Action for America or the Senate Conservatives Fund. Others pointed toward the tea party. And still others explained the debacle as not going far enough to fight Obamacare in the final deal.
But beyond the finger-pointing, the substantive takeaway for campaign operatives is that a better approach would have been to pursue what was achievable given that Republicans control only one chamber of Congress. To do more, they say, they're going to need more conservative senators willing to go as far as Ted Cruz.
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