Tea Party Rep. Takes On MSNBC Anchor: Obama Will ‘Negotiate with Terrorists’ But Not the GOP

In light of a New York Times article published Saturday that described an “epic battle” raging within the Republican Party, MSNBC’s Craig Melvin invited tea party congressman Joe Barton (R-TX) on his show and began by asking one question: “Who’s calling the shots, is it Speaker Boehner or Texas Senator Ted Cruz?”

Barton began by denying that any major divide exists in the GOP between the tea party faction and the establishment. As for Cruz, Barton assured Melvin, “He is not calling the shots.” Instead, he said President Obama’s “calling the shots” in the House of Representatives “by refusing the negotiate.” He added, “He’ll negotiate with terrorists overseas, but he won’t negotiate with Speaker Boehner.”

After playing a recent clip of Barton arguing against Obamacare on the House floor, Melvin asked, “Is that really the most effective use of time right now?”

Barton said that fact the Melvin played the soundbite on the air proves that it was an effective use of his time, and continued to argue that “the people” don’t want the Affordable Care Act to be implemented.

Remidning Barton that Congress voted for Obamacare and the Supreme Court upheld it (in a vote Barton called “questionable”), Melvin asked, “At what point do you stop this silly little game?”

Barton fought back against accusations that he doesn’t care about opinion polls that show high disapproval numbers for Republicans in this fight because he’s in a safely conservative district in Texas. When he pivoted back to talking about the failures of Obamacare, Melvin asked, “Are you aware that the program itself was rolled out just a few days ago?”

He said he was aware that some people have begun to apply for the exchanges, but declared, “I don’t believe Obamacare as it is a law will ever really work.”

“That’s not the issue!” Melvin shot back. “The issue is reopening the government!”

Watch video below, via MSNBC:

[photo via screengrab]

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