Rubio blames Obama for GOP-proposed government shutdown

“I don’t want the government to shut down ... I just don’t think it should fund ObamaCare," said the Florida senator.

Marco Rubio was in Jacksonville today, where he continued to say some really confusing things about himself and his fire-breathing fellow Republicans who want to shut down the government if the Affordable Care Act isn't rescinded — something his more moderate Republican colleagues have told him is never going to happen.

Actually, Rubio now said he has no desire to shut down the government. He said if the GOP-led Congress votes to shut it down, it's on President Obama, even though it's the law of the land right now.

“I don’t want the government to shut down," Rubio said today at a press availability. "I want our military to function. I want our Social Security checks to go out. I think we should pass a budget that funds the government. I just don’t think it should fund ObamaCare because it’s a disaster. We shouldn’t waste a single cent more on a disaster. If it shuts down, it’s because the president chooses to do so. It’s the president who’s threatening to shut down the government. It’s the president who is saying that if we don’t fund ObamaCare he wants to shut down the government. I think that’s a bad position for him to have."

A number of conservative voices, none more respected than syndicated columnist Charles Krauthammer, think that Rubio, Ted Cruz, Mike Lee and the others who are calling for a full repeal of the president's signature domestic achievement are "nuts" for pushing this idea. Krauthammer wrote this last week:

Never make a threat on which you are not prepared to deliver. Every fiscal showdown has redounded against the Republicans. The first, in 1995, effectively marked the end of the Gingrich revolution. The latest, last December, led to a last-minute Republican cave that humiliated the GOP and did nothing to stop the tax hike it so strongly opposed.

Those who fancy themselves tea party patriots fighting a sold-out cocktail-swilling establishment are demanding yet another cliff dive as a show of principle and manliness.

But there’s no principle at stake here. This is about tactics. If I thought this would work, I would support it. But I don’t fancy suicide. It has a tendency to be fatal.

Rubio was asked by a reporter in J-Ville today if he had enough votes in the Senate to kill the bill, er, the law, I mean.

His response?

“Well, I don't know. I don’t know where we are today on it. I think we’ve got a lot more convincing to do. But look, I’m open to a better idea. If someone’s got a better idea on how to prevent ObamaCare from hurting millions of Americans, I’m open to it. But right now the only one I’ve been able to identify is the debate we’re going to have in September. And the only thing I’ve said is, ‘I’m not going to vote for a short term budget that funds ObamaCare.’ I’ll vote for one that doesn’t because even though I’ve traditionally not voted for short-term budgets, I’m willing to do so this time if it doesn’t fund ObamaCare."

In other words: No, he doesn't have the votes.

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