House Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy, California Republican, said that despite some who are blaming the partial government shutdown for Republican Kenneth T. Cuccinelli II’s loss in the recent Virginia governor’s race, Republicans on Capitol Hill don’t owe anyone an apology.
“I think there’s a lot of things that happened in that race,” Mr. McCarthy said on MSNBC’s “The Daily Rundown.” “It did not turn out the way I wanted.”
Mr. Cuccinelli’s top campaign strategist, Chris LaCivita, has said the shutdown served to slow the momentum the campaign could have gained on Democrat Terry McAuliffe by turning the focus away from the botched rollout of the president’s health care overhaul for the first half of October.
But Republicans were simply standing on principle, Mr. McCarthy said.
“Look, Republicans don’t owe somebody an apology for fighting our principles and beliefs, and if you look out across the American public — for one, Republicans didn’t want a shutdown. We funded the government all the way through,” he said. “The only thing that we said at the end of the day was to delay the individual mandate” in President Obama’s health care law.
“Timing matters inside an election, but I don’t think anybody’s going to fault somebody for fighting for principles,” Mr. McCarthy continued.
He pointed out that many Democrats now are calling for the same fixes to the law, and he said Republicans were “never” rooting for the law to fail.