President Donald Trump is attempting to reframe the looming government shutdown as the responsibility of Congressional Democrats, but he’ll have a hard time convincing much of anyone after loudly declaring that he would take full responsibility for the shutdown just ten days ago.
After declining to sign a continuing resolution that could have kept the government open while Congress worked out a more long-term funding deal, Trump set the stage for the unprecedented third government shutdown of his presidency. Trump spiked the deal that was set to quickly move through Congress because it lacked funding for his proposed wall on the southern border.
But on Friday, Trump inexplicably tried to blame Democrats for the shutdown of his own creation. “The Democrats now own the shutdown!” Trump tweeted.
The Democrats now own the shutdown!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 21, 2018
Republicans saw success in messaging the January 2018 government shutdown as being caused by the Democrats demands. But Trump will have no such luck on the impending shutdown. Trump alone will be responsible if the government goes unfunded just before Christmas — and he’s already said as much himself.
In an Oval Office photo-op that quickly devolved into a televised shouting match less than two weeks ago, Trump made clear that he would be the one to shut down the government.
Trump went back and forth with Speaker-designate Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) while Vice President Mike Pence sat silently.
After a contentious few minutes, Trump said something that might have left Republicans in Washington cringing.
“If we don’t get what we want, one way or the other, whether it’s through you, through our military, through anything you want to call, I will shut down the government,” Trump said.
“We disagree,” Schumer shot back.
Watch the video below:
Trump gives the Democrats the best soundbite they could possibly hope for: "Yes, if we don't get what we want…I will shut down the government. … I will take the mantle. I will be the one to shut it down. I'm not going to blame you for it." pic.twitter.com/e4xbjlMvwj
— David Mack (@davidmackau) December 11, 2018
“I am proud to shut down the government for border security, Chuck,” Trump said.
The president went even further, vowing to “take the mantle” of responsibility for any failure to fund the government as a result of his demands. “I will be the one to shut it down,” he added. “I’m not gonna blame you for it.”