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

Retired GOP Rep. Charlie DentCharles (Charlie) Wieder DentCNN celebrates correspondents' weekend with New Orleans-themed brunch The Hill's Morning Report - Government is funded, but for how long? Ex-GOP lawmaker says his party is having a 'Monty Python' moment on shutdown 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 TrumpTrump campaign buys full page ads in Miami newspapers ahead of Dem debates Trump administration's 'forced diplomacy' with Iran isn't working Roy Moore trails Republican field in Alabama MORE and House Freedom Caucus leaders Reps. Mark MeadowsMark Randall MeadowsJared Kushner, Ivanka Trump to appear at fundraiser for Jim Jordan: report GOP moves to block provision banning use of Defense funds for border wall Darrell Issa eyes return to Congress MORE (R-N.C.) and Jim JordanJames (Jim) Daniel JordanTSA to send hundreds of workers to southern border to enforce immigration policies Jared Kushner, Ivanka Trump to appear at fundraiser for Jim Jordan: report Oversight Republicans: 'Hundreds' of migrants in caravans have criminal histories 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 RyanDemocratic debates: What the top candidates need to do Paul Ryan praises Trump: 'He's not taking any crap' The Hill's Morning Report - Crunch time arrives for 2020 Dems with debates on deck 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 PelosiTrump knocks Democrats on 'Open Borders' The Hill's Morning Report - Democratic debates: Miami nice or spice? Democrats already jockeying for House leadership posts 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.