Republicans "lost their fight" and "surrendered" to President Barack Obama during the government shutdown, former Rep. Tom DeLay of Texas says.
"I don't know where the Republicans lost their will to fight … You've got to just stand your ground to fight. No retreat, no surrender," DeLay told "The Steve Malzberg Show" on Newsmax TV.
"They surrendered before they even got started. I was very proud of the House passing that continuing resolution with defunding Obamacare on it. But if you're going to fight this fight, you've got to fight it to win and that's frankly what Obama did."
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DeLay, who represented the Lone Star State's 22nd district and served as House Majority Leader from 2003-2005, said he blames the shutdown squarely on the president.
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He's the one that shutdown the government because he wouldn't pass a bill or agree to sign a bill that keeps the government open and negotiate with the Republicans," DeLay said.
"He said early on, months ago, that he was not going to negotiate, that he was going to hold his ground, and he didn't care if the government shut down or not, he was going to get his way. He held firm and he wins. That ought to be the lesson here that people understand."
DeLay charged Republican lawmakers with not holding out longer.
"It was starting to have an effect. The poll numbers for Obama as well as the Democrats were going down. People were starting to understand that Obama and the Democrats wouldn't negotiate," he said.
"They were starting to understand that the House had done their job passing all these bills to open up critical parts of the government, and it was starting to have effect."
He said he was reminded of the way Republicans caved during the 1995 government shutdown which lasted 21 days.
"[Senate Majority Leader Bob Dole] just couldn't stand it anymore so he goes out on a Sunday afternoon and opens the government. In Bill Clinton's book, he says that if we'd have held out one more day, he would have caved," DeLay said.
DeLay urged GOP lawmakers to begin preparing for the next budget and debt ceiling deadlines early.
"They need to do what they should've done back in December of last year knowing that this day was coming, and that is to build your army … let people know where we're headed, and, thereby, gaining support so that the members of the House and the Senate would come together as a full-fledged army," he said.
"You now have 87 members of the House and 37 members of the Senate that you know caved in and the first thing I would be doing is in every one of their districts in every one of their states, I would activate the political activists in those districts and states to let those people know that they need to stand strong and they need to represent their constituents."
DeLay had no ill words for House Speaker John Boehner, who has been criticized by both Republicans and Democrats for not being able to control the warring within his party.
"I'm not in the business of criticizing John Boehner. I know how big and tough his job is. It's sort of like herding cats, but you need a strategy and you need to implement that strategy and have the will to break the will of your opponents," DeLay said.
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