Real-estate mogul Donald Trump argued Saturday that Republicans should have threatened to close the government during recent budget negotiations with President Barack Obama.
“They’re horrible poker players. Horrible,” the Republican presidential front-runner lamented.
Trump said John Boehner, the former House speaker, had forfeited his leverage by not drawing a harder line with Obama.
“I like Boehner as a person. He’s a nice guy. But … I heard Boehner before he left say there’s no way we’re going to close up government,” Trump said, speaking at a packed campaign rally in Sarasota, Florida.
“That means the other side just won,” he continued. “Because if you don’t have that at least threat, you can’t do anything. And they got nothing! You got to say, ‘We’re going to close it. We’re going to close it.’ You’ve got to scare them.”
Some Republicans were worried that a government shutdown over the budget would be blamed on their party. But Trump dismissed that notion. The mogul said “Barack Hussein Obama” would be the one who would ultimately be blamed — not Boehner or his replacement, House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wisconsin).
“By the way, in 50 years from now, nobody is going to know about Boehner or Ryan or any of these guys if the government closes for a little while,” Trump predicted. “They’re going to know about Barack Hussein Obama. That’s who they’re going to know about. That’s who they’re going to know about.”
Trump added: “They’re going to be thinking about, ‘Obama really blew it.'”
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