During a panel segment on this weekend’s Fox News Sunday, conservative columnist George Will took aim at the idea that Republicans in Congress had suffered an unmitigated defeat in the wake of the government shutdown. “We are now talking entirely on Republican terms and Republican vocabulary after this so-called defeat,” Will said.
Chris Wallace began by saying that he thought the GOP leadership in Congress misjudged their members’ willingness to have a defining fight over the implementation of the Affordable Care Act. He asked Will if the Congressional Republican leadership would “push back” against their conservative members over their eagerness to fight over the ACA.
“I think they will,” Will said. “And I’m struck by how much the members have misjudged their leaders.”
“The fact that they have extraordinary leverage,” he continued.
“No taxes. How much is the spending going to be cut? The federal workforce is being cut. Discretionary spending is being cut,” Will said of the potential areas in which a budget deal could be struck. “And this is all because of the much-reviled [Sen.] Mitch McConnell (R-KY) getting, basically on his own, the sequester two years ago.”
Brit Hume agreed with Will, but added that the GOP has another advantage coming out of the shutdown. He said that Republicans were seen as being against the ACA but not in favor of anything.
“This, at least, is a more positive agenda,” Hume said.
Wallace asked Will if the conservatives in the Congress would be willing to focus on spending reforms and “forego this battle over Obamacare.” Will said he did and that everyone would be happy to avoid another “frontal charge against the entrenched forces of Obamacare.”
Watch the clip below via Fox:
[Photo via screen grab ]
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