GOP congressman on shutdown: "It's getting better for us"

Rep. Raúl Labrador says the politics of the government shutdown are turning in the GOP's favor

By Elias Isquith

Published October 2, 2013 1:07PM (EDT)

While the polls may show Americans are opposed to the government shutdown — and that they blame Republicans for its occurrence — at least one Republican congressman is insisting that the politics of the shutdown are improving for the GOP.

Representative Raúl Labrador of Idaho offered what could be called an optimistic assessment of his party's shutdown stance, telling the New York Times, "It's getting better for us."

"The moment where Republicans are least popular is right when the government shuts down," Labrador continued. "But when the president continues to say he’s unwilling to negotiate with the American people, when Harry Reid says he won’t even take things to conference, I don’t think the American people are going to take that too kindly.”

Time will tell if Labrador's correct, but the historical record should give him pause. According to the Huffington Post, polling indicates that voters blamed the GOP for the last government shutdown, hurting their chances in the 1996 elections.

Elias Isquith

Elias Isquith is a former Salon staff writer.

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Abc News Gop Government Shutdown National Journal Poll Raúl Labrador Republican Party The New York Times