Young strategist behind shutdown – more powerful than Boehner?

U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, may have been the public face of the government shutdown, but it was 31-year-old Michael Needham who was strategizing behind the scenes.

Needham is the CEO of Heritage Action, the grassroots activism offshoot of the Heritage Foundation, and he was recognized Sunday as Fox News’  Power Player of the Week.

“Was it worth it?” host Chris Wallace asked Needham of shutting down the government and almost hitting the debt limit.

“The House was very clear,” Needham said. “We want to fund the government. We just don’t want to fund Obamacare.”

Obamacare is falling apart because it’s unfair, unaffordable and unworkable, and Americans need a time-out, he said.

Heritage Action’s website keeps a scorecard of how members of Congress voted on the health care law, and plans are in place to inform voters in members’ districts.

With entitlements, taxes and other hot-button issues, Wallace asked Needham why he sees Obamacare as such a fundamental issue.

“I think that at the point where the federal government has the right to intrude into the relationship between a patient and his doctor, there’s no part of our lives that the federal government doesn’t have the right to be in,” Needham said. “Health care decisions shouldn’t be made by bureaucrats in Washington. People all around the country recognize that.”

Wallace asked how Needham got House members to side with him instead of House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio.

“They didn’t,” Needham said. “They sided with the American people.”

Watch the interview via Fox News:


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