Former GOP lawmaker: Republicans know shutdown is ‘a fight they cannot win’

Retired GOP Rep. Charlie DentCharles (Charlie) Wieder DentThe biggest political upsets of the decade Ex-GOP lawmaker: Former colleagues privately say they're 'disgusted and exhausted' by Trump Overnight Health Care — Presented by Better Medicare Alliance — Federal judge blocks Trump from detaining migrant children indefinitely | Health officials tie vaping-related illnesses to 'Dank Vapes' brand | Trump to deliver health care speech in Florida MORE (Pa.) on Monday blamed the ongoing government shutdown on Republicans, saying his own party knows it is “a fight they cannot win.”

“This whole shutdown is so completely unnecessary,” he said on CNN. “This is so easily averted. The party that makes the policy demand owns the shutdown. And so I think on the Republican side, this is just a fight they cannot win and they know it.”

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Dent left Congress in May after deciding against seeking reelection for his congressional seat. He's now a contributor at CNN.

Dent criticized GOP leaders on Monday, saying the reported meeting between President TrumpDonald John TrumpCuomo grilled by brother about running for president: 'No. no' Maxine Waters unleashes over Trump COVID-19 response: 'Stop congratulating yourself! You're a failure' Meadows resigns from Congress, heads to White House MORE and House Freedom Caucus leaders Reps. Mark MeadowsMark Randall MeadowsMeadows resigns from Congress, heads to White House Meadows set to resign from Congress as he moves to White House Mnuchin emerges as key asset in Trump's war against coronavirus MORE (R-N.C.) and Jim JordanJames (Jim) Daniel JordanTrump, privacy hawks upend surveillance brawl Top GOP post on Oversight draws stiff competition McConnell, top GOP senators throw support behind surveillance deal as deadline looms MORE (R-Ohio) over the weekend shows the divide within the party.

“I am amazed,” he said. “What a stinging rebuke of the House Republican leadership. The president is not negotiating with the leaders on this thing?”

Dent was referring to the fact that Jordan and Meadows had the president's ear on Saturday as opposed to outgoing House Speaker Paul RyanPaul Davis RyanWho should be the Democratic vice presidential candidate? The Pelosi administration It's not populism that's killing America's democracy MORE (R-Wis.).

Dent noted the several appropriations bills with bipartisan support would have averted the partial government shutdown that began on Saturday.

Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiMeadows resigns from Congress, heads to White House Pelosi floats undoing SALT deduction cap in next coronavirus bill Overnight Health Care: More states order residents to stay at home | Trump looks to sell public on coronavirus response | Judges block Ohio, Texas abortion bans | Dems eye infrastructure in next relief bill MORE has no incentive to negotiate with Republicans between now and her swearing in day on Jan. 3 — her position only gets stronger and stronger,” he said. “So I don’t understand the point of this thing. It makes absolutely no sense.”

Democrats and Republicans are at odds over Trump's proposed border wall. Trump has said he would not sign legislation that does not include at least $5 billion for a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border — a dollar amount that Democrats have rejected.