Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) on Monday acknowledged that Republicans had taken a severe political hit from the government shutdown, saying the GOP was “in a bad place,” but getting closer to righting the ship.
A rash of Republican infighting has boiled over because of the shutdown, as establishment Republicans have stood up to Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) and other members of the Tea Party, blaming them for instigating the showdown without a defined endgame.
On Monday, the hosts of MSNBC gave Corker a chance to rail against Cruz, asking him to name something the freshman senator has accomplished.
“It is actually uncouth for one senator to pile on in that way,” Corker said. “I will say we’ve ended up in the boxed canyon that I proclaimed we would end up in several months ago.”
Devastating polls released this month show Republicans taking the brunt of the blame for the shutdown, while reaching historic lows in favorability. President Obama and the Democrats have also slid in the polls, but to a far lesser degree. In addition, the president’s healthcare law has seen a boost in the polls since the shutdown.
Still, Corker argued that Democrats had “overreached” in recent negotiations by proposing to exceed previously agreed upon budget caps. He said that because the fight had turned from defunding ObamaCare to spending, that there was once again “tremendous amounts of unity among Senate Republicans.”
“You know this exercise, we’ve taken a little bit of a rabbit trail to a place that wasn’t helpful, but I think we’re back where we need to be,” Corker said.