Shutting down the government is not the answer to stopping Planned Parenthood, Sen. John Thune said Monday, pointing out that President Barack Obama will veto legislation that does away with the organization's funding.
"I think there's a better way to do this," the South Dakota Republican, who chairs the Senate Republican Conference, told MSNBC's "Morning Joe" program.
"I think we're going to get an opportunity not only to continue to fund the government, but to put something on the president's desk that would redirect funding from Planned Parenthood to community centers."
A government shutdown, Thune continued, would end "badly for our party," and Republicans would bear the brunt of the blame.
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He also does not agree with some calls from lawmakers, including Ohio Gov. John Kasich, who is seeking the GOP presidential nomination, to invoke the "nuclear option,"
a procedure requiring 51 votes and not the 60 that ordinarily would be needed, to stop the Iran nuclear deal.
"The Constitution is what it is ... even if we were successful, if we went nuclear, you still have the president that's going to veto this," Thune said. "You don't get the result, but what you've done is changed forever the rules that protect the minority and the Senate ... those rules are there for a reason."
Thune also addressed the current trend of "outsiders" leading the party's GOP presidential race, saying that he's not sure that trend will last.
"There are a lot of people out there [who are] frustrated and giving candidates a spin," Thune said. "It's like a test drive. They may test drive the Ferrari, but they have a wife and two kids, and they'll need something that's going to get the job done."
He continued that he's looking for a candidate who shares his values and principles, "and I think we have a historic history in the country that's found on Judeo-Christian principles,"
and "obviously, I'll support the nominee of the party."
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