Obama says Republicans fear Limbaugh, tea party backlash

Obama-CNNPresident Obama says some Republican lawmakers tell him they’re afraid to speak out against a government shutdown out of fear of a backlash from conservative talk radio host Rush Limbaugh and the tea party.

In an interview with CNN aired Friday morning, the president said he has discussed the dangers of a government shutdown with Republicans who privately expressed their support but claimed helplessness in the face of Limbaugh or the tea party, as reported by Politico.

“I’ve made this argument to my Republican friends privately, and, by the way, sometimes they say to me privately, ‘I agree with you, but I’m worried about a primary from, you know, somebody in the tea party back in my district,’ or, ‘I’m worried about what Rush Limbaugh is going to say about me on the radio. And so you got to understand, I’m — it’s really difficult.'” Obama said.

The president appears to be trying to exploit a riff in the the Republican Party over shutting down government to defund Obamacare.

A claim that U.S. Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, said is a “a false narrative based on an absolute lie that has been perpetuated by the political ruling class elite in Washington, D.C… that the effort to avoid funding Obamacare is an effort to shut down the government.”

“What I’m saying that is I want at least two votes, a bare minimum of two votes,” Lee said. “One vote to fund everything else in government, one vote to fund Obamacare.”

Obama went on to say in the interview, “I can’t force these folks to do what’s right for the American people, because they’re independently elected, it’s a separate branch of government, and I don’t have a vote in Congress.”

All of which depends on what you see as being “right for the American people.”

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Tom Tillison

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