- The Washington Times - Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Radio host Rush Limbaugh told listeners Tuesday that he is “troubled” by President Trump’s willingness to forgo a budget fight over his border wall to avoid a government shutdown.

Democrats cheered Tuesday at news that Mr. Trump may delay a funding battle this week over $1 billion for construction of a wall along the U.S. southern border. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer of New York told colleagues that “the prospect of a needless fight over a poison-pill proposal” would be avoided, but a fight is exactly what Mr. Limbaugh wants.

“I’m not happy to have to pass this on,” the conservative host said. “I’m very, very troubled to have to pass this on. And I want to say at the outset that I hope my interpretation is wrong, and I hope this is not the case. But it looks like, from here, right here, right now, it looks like President Trump is caving on his demand for a measly $1 billion in the budget for his wall on the border with Mexico.”

Mr. Limbaugh said he was frustrated at the Republican Party’s method of dealing with threats of a government shutdown because it sends the wrong message.

“The Democrats seem to have successfully used this stupid, silly threat of a government shutdown to get their way,” the host said. “What Trump is saying is if we need to get this done, then I’ll delay the spending on the wall until September. And it’s just a measly billion dollars.”

“But the problem here, folks, is one of politics,” Mr. Limbaugh continued. “If this happens, if Trump does — and I use the word ‘cave’ guardedly. Trump, I’m sure, does not ever think he caves on anything. But outward appearances are what they are. And the bottom line is that if he is willing to withdraw a demand of his for a measly billion dollars for the wall because the Democrats are threatening a shutdown, then the Democrats will have just learned that this threat works on Trump, too — not just all the other Republicans. We know that the threat of a government shutdown, once it’s even whispered in the drive-by media, paralyzes the Republican Party.”

Mr. Trump spoke directly to supporters via Twitter on Tuesday to deny any sort of capitulation to Democrats regarding his campaign promises.

“Don’t let the fake media tell you that I have changed my position on the WALL,” the president tweeted. “It will get built and help stop drugs, human trafficking etc.”

Mr. Limbaugh concluded his segment by saying this week offers the president a “golden opportunity” to “giant foot-stomp [Democrats] and end this crap of a perennial, never-ending government shutdown paralyzing anything sensible being done with our budget and our economy, wipe it out.”

• Douglas Ernst can be reached at dernst@washingtontimes.com.

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