"Take down the walls to these open-air memorials to freedom."

Reagan in 1987 famously told Soviet Union President Mikhail Gorbachev to "tear down this wall" that divided East and West Berlin, Germany.

Republicans have harshly criticized the administration's decision to close off access to monuments on the National Mall, even those that are "open-air" structures and are accessed 24-hours a day. The GOP has said putting up barricades to these monuments is an over-reach that is meant to cause as much disruption as possible and blame the shutdown on Republicans.

"It just strikes me that that is a picture of political gamesmanship and hostage taking," Sanford said. "And I would say in respect to … Mr. President, you've gone too far on this one.

"It is OK to have disagreements, but it is not OK to hold, I guess, citizens hostage in trying to maximize and inflict pain in their ability to do normal things."

Sanford also criticized Obama for shutting down White House tours earlier this year once the sequester spending cuts took place.

"Not since Jefferson's time and war has the people's house, the White House, been shut down for public tours," he said. "But you used that as a political tool, somehow to gain advantage in the sequester."

Later in the morning, Rep. John Sarbanes (D-Md.) turned the phrase around and said it is Republicans who are erecting barriers to progress in the shutdown fight.

"So we say today to the Speaker, Mr. Speaker, open these gates of democracy. Mr. BoehnerJohn Andrew Boehner4 reasons Mike Pompeo will succeed at Foggy Bottom The misunderstood reason Congress can’t get its job done GOP sees McCarthy moving up — if GOP loses the House MORE, tear down this wall. Tear down this wall of obstructionism."