A federal government shutdown "would ruin the Republican Party's chances of winning" next year — and that's why House Speaker Paul Ryan backed the controversial $1.1 trillion budget last month, political strategist Dick Morris told Newsmax TV
"We all understand this is 2016 and that in a few weeks we're going to have a Republican presidential candidate — and over the spring and into the summer, he'll be our spokesman," Morris told "Newsmax Now" host John Bachman. "And then, in a few months, we can change presidents.
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"This is really not the time to have a gigantic congressional fight because we're about to get a new president," he said. "Let's concentrate our energies on that."
Ryan has been under fire, particularly conservative Republicans, for endorsing the budget plan Congress passed last month.
The move prompted members of the conservative House Freedom Caucus to declare Wednesday that "the honeymoon is over"
and to push the Wisconsin congressman to prove that he's different from his embattled predecessor, John Boehner.
But J.D. Hayworth, the host of "Newsmax Prime," said that "I'm not sure I entirely agree" with Morris on the shutdown issue, though he said that Ryan could face a precarious predicament if Donald Trump won the nomination.
"When a Republican standard-bearer emerges, those serving in Congress will feel compelled to make sure they're on the same page," he told Bachman. "If it's Donald Trump, that's going to be a very interesting ride for a guy like Paul Ryan.
The speaker "was so strident against Trump in terms of immigration control," Hayworth noted.
"It's going to put Paul in a very unfamiliar and uncomfortable situation."
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