President Barack Obama is using the government shutdown and lack of cooperation with Republican lawmakers to divert attention from his failed policies, former U.S. Rep. Pete Hoekstra of Michigan says.
"The president wants to have this fight. He doesn't want to talk about the failures that we're having with a very, very weak economy . . . the failures that are happening as Obamacare rolls out . . . his failures on foreign policy," Hoekstra told "The Steve Malzberg Show" on Newsmax TV.
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"His poll numbers have been going down for the last few months because of the ineffectiveness of this administration. He believes that [the shutdown] is going to be able to enhance his numbers. . . . He wants to win the House back. The only way this guy can govern is if he controls all branches," Hoekstra said Tuesday.
Hoekstra, former chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, says Obama and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid "want it all . . . I hope the Republicans don't cave and walk away from this fight. There'll be a lot of folks around America who are going to be disappointed by it. "
He said there was a good spirit of compromise and negotiation on Capitol Hill in the 1990s — something that is severely lacking now.
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"We fought for principle, we reached agreements that reformed welfare, we cut taxes, we restrained spending, we did the right thing, and, the end result, it was good for America. There was prosperity, there was economic growth," he said.
"[President] Bill Clinton knew how to cut a deal, [House Speaker] Newt Gingrich knew how to cut a deal. They knew how to govern. They also knew how to be partisan politicians."
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