The threat of a government shutdown made its way to the GOP debate stage in Simi Valley, Calif., where Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) rejected demands for a showdown over Planned Parenthood funding as futile and politically damaging for Republicans.
Responding specifically to Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal’s criticisms of GOP lawmakers, Graham embodied the reluctance of most Republican senators to engage in an abortion battle they don’t think they can win.
“Bobby, we’re running to be President of the United States. The most important job in the free world. With it comes a certain amount of honesty. I’m tired of telling people things they want to hear that I know we can’t do,” Graham said Wednesday, before turning the conversation to the push to shut down the government over Planned Parenthood funding.
“I’m as offended about these videos as you are,” Graham said, referring to the anti-abortion sting video campaign against Planned Parenthood. “But the one thing I’m not going to do going into 2016 is shut the government down and taint our ability to win. What you’re saying and what Senator Cruz is saying, I am really sick of hearing. Trying to get the Republican Party in a position to win is what I’m trying to do. That does matter to me.”