By Kyle Balluck - 10/13/13 03:19 PM EDT
Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) said Sunday that President Obama should be more engaged in talks to reopen the federal government and avoid default on the nation’s debt, adding that “maybe we need to get Joe Biden out of the witness protection program.”
McCain said he was also “disappointed” that Obama “has not played a more active role in this, as Bill Clinton did in ‘95.”
“Maybe we need to get Joe Biden out of the witness protection program,” McCain said, noting the vice president’s lack of visibility in recent weeks and relationships with his former colleagues in the Senate.
McCain said it was time for Democrats to be “magnanimous and get things done.”
“I know what it’s like to be in the majority and in the minority, and it won’t be forgotten,” he added.
McCain called the effort to tie the shutdown to an effort to defund ObamaCare a “fool’s errand.”
“The irony of all this is the rollout is a fiasco,” he added.
McCain said, however, that he respected Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), who’s helped lead the charge against ObamaCare in the upper chamber, but was concerned about the effects of the effort on Republicans.
“Ted Cruz is entitled to his views. He’s very articulate, he’s very intelligent. What we need to do is to have this debate within the Republican Party.”
“I guess we can get lower in the polls,” McCain said. “We’re down to blood relatives and paid staffers now.
McCain also called automatic budget cuts known as sequestration the major sticking point in talks.
“I’m very worried about the devastation to our military and defense. But at the same time we do need to reign in spending.”