The head of the Republican Senate campaign operation accused Democrats Thursday of rooting for a government shutdown, saying that a new online push they've mounted shows they see a chance for political gain.
Sen. Jerry Moran (R-Kan.), chairman of the National Republican Senatorial Committee, was reacting to a new online ad effort launched earlier in the day by his counterparts at the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee. With many Republicans in Congress demanding that Democrats and President Barack Obama either defund Obamacare or face a government shutdown, the DSCC is trying to tie GOP candidates to the generally unpopular idea of closing the government.
For Moran, the move looks like rooting for failure.
"It is very disappointing that Senate Democrats would so openly cheerlead for a government shutdown," Moran said in a statement to HuffPost. "Americans expect their elected officials to solve problems, not to root for a government shutdown in hopes of raising money for political gain."
Moran, a genial Kansan who generally avoids calling out fellow politicians by name, went a step further Thursday, perhaps indicating the depth of his disapproval, and singled out several Democratic candidates specifically.
"One would think that Democratic senators like Mark Pryor and Mark Begich and candidates like Alison Lundergan Grimes and Natalie Tennant would avoid this kind of error and condemn gimmicky countdown clocks and campaigns that come dangerously close to celebrating a shutdown," Moran said, referring to Pryor of Arkansas, Begich of Alaska, Grimes of Kentucky and Tennant of West Virginia.
"Key Democrats like Chuck Schumer, who expect to be taken seriously as legislators, should put an end to this embarrassing and poorly thought out mistake by their political arm," Moran added, name-checking the Senate's third-ranking Democrat.
Update: 6 p.m.
The DSCC's executive director, Guy Cecil, fired back in a statement, noting that NRSC Vice Chairman Sen. Ted Cruz (Texas) is leading the showdown fight.
“Democrats have repeatedly warned of the devastating consequences a government shutdown would have for the country, and our Senators have worked diligently to prevent such an occurrence. Unfortunately, a stunning 23 Republican senate candidates across the country are cheerleading a possible shutdown, and Senator Ted Cruz, the vice-chair of the NRSC, is leading the charge. Democrats will hold Republicans accountable for their reckless plan to shut down the government and ignore the danger their actions pose to the country.”