Republicans on Friday were furious over a Wall Street Journal report that the White House believes it is “winning” the shutdown fight.
“This isn’t some damn game,” said House Speaker John A. Boehner. “The American people don’t want their government shut down and neither do I.”
Publicly the White House, too, says the shutdown isn’t about winning. Press secretary Jay Carney said that on Thursday. But the Wall Street Journal reported that a senior administration official said: “We are winning…It doesn’t really matter to us” how long the shutdown lasts “because what matters is the end result.”
Republicans and Democrats are stalemated in how to reopen the government, with Republicans demanding a compromise that would include a delay or dent in Obamacare, and Democrats insisting the government be reopened without any preconditions — though they say they would be willing to talk about other spending and tax issues later.
Democrats have accused Mr. Boehner of being a bad negotiator, saying he cannot control his own troops and can’t be trusted to deliver on a deal. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said this week that Mr. Boehner reneged on a deal they had to pass a stopgap spending bill without preconditions but at the spending level the House GOP insisted.