John McCain isn't saying he would go along with fellow Republican Sens. Lindsey Graham and Mark Kirk, who say they would be willing to vote for a short-term clean bill
to extend the debt ceiling, McCain had strong words for those pushing against a bill not tied to other issues.
"We Republicans have to have a plan rather than the fool's errand of repealing Obamacare," McCain, R-Ariz., said Tuesday on Fox News Channel's "Your World with Neil Cavuto."
Asked by Cavuto if he was saying the 21-hour anti-Obamacare talk-a-thon by Sen. Ted Cruz was a fool's errand, McCain responded, "Of course it was."
Sooner or later the debt limit will be increased and the continuing resolution and funding in the government will continue, McCain said. "Why not sooner?"
McCain said he is set to talk to Democrats and Republicans to try to work something out, though he declined to give names.
"I've been trying to carve out a compromise, and have conversations and conversations and conversations, and I can't tell you we've achieved any progress," McCain said. But without conversations, he added, there's no chance of coming to agreement.
"We're fooling around with the faith and credit of the United States of America, and so it's going to come to crunch time," he said. "And why do we have to wait till then when we know sooner or later we will keep the government functioning and we will raise the debt limit?"
President Barack Obama and House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, held dueling press conferences Tuesday
, with Obama saying he would not negotiate under threats to keep the government shut down and Boehner saying Obama refused to talk unless Republicans first surrendered.
Radio talk-show host Mark Levin tweeted his disagreement with McCain's claim that 67 votes would be needed to pass any GOP version in the shutdown and debt ceiling fights.
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