Mayor Michael Bloomberg continued to blame Republicans for the partial federal government shutdown this morning, again urging members to compromise and give Obamacare a try.
In an extended exchange during his weekly radio sit-down with WOR’s John Gambling, Mr. Bloomberg tried to explain the gridlock in Washington–at one point opining on how political parties had evolved over time, and had all been involved in “disgraceful practices.”
“The real answer is a handful, 50-odd totally crazy people–” he said at the end of a lengthy response, quickly catching himself and stepping back his wording. “I’m not sure that’s fair. Let’s give them the benefit of the doubt. They really believe that government is too big and that we’re on the road to ruin and we should have smaller government. And I have no problems with them believing that or even espousing that.”
“But the ways to get to where they want to go is to convince the majority of the public that they are right and not to hold the country hostage. We cannot jeopardize the future of our security and our economy and our democracy with this kind of absolutism,” he continued.
Mr. Bloomberg had been asked for his take on the shutdown, which began Tuesday morning and shows no signs of coming to an end. But the mayor–who said he has his own doubts about the president’s signature healthcare law–urged compromise.
“Democracy is about coming together and negotiating so that you get some of what you want and the other guy gets some of what he or she wants,” he said. “But if you ever walk away and you’ve got everything and the other guy’s got nothing, that’s not Democracy and that’s not good for anybody.”
“What you’re seen is because of a handful–in this case it’s Republicans–who say, ‘We’re not gonna negotiate. It’s our way or the highway.’ Democracy just doesn’t work that way,” he said, noting that the there have been periods where Democrats have done similar things.
Still, Mr. Bloomberg praised both party’s leaders, including the president, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and House Speaker John Boehner, and predicted they’d eventually broker a deal before the county faces defaulting on its debt later this month.
Mr. Bloomberg also warned that there would be consequences.
“The public eventually gets fed up and throws the bums out,” he quipped. “The Whig party came and went.”