A fiery President Obama today singled out the Republican Party for ‘holding the nation to ransom’ as the country entered the 13th hour of a partial government shutdown, forcing some 800,000 federal workers off the job.
And in a tense exchange with a reporter in the White House briefing room, press secretary Jay Carney refused to concede that the president is in any way to blame.
‘Does the president bear any responsibility at all for what’s going on?’ an aggressive journalist asked Carney.
‘He certainly did not vote to shut the government down,’ came the reply, ‘and if that’s what you’re asking, no.’
Railing in the Rose Garden against ‘one faction of one party,’ Obama had said Republicans have shut down the government of the United States because of their obsession with the Affordable Care Act, otherwise known as Obamacare, which was partially rolled out today.
‘I want you to understand why the government shutdown is happening,’ said the president during his address at just after 1 p.m. from the White House Rose Garden. ‘Republicans refused to fund the government unless we defunded the Affordable Care Act.’
Beginning his speech in combative fashion, the president pointed the finger clearly where he believes the blame lies for the shutdown.
‘One faction of one party in one house of Congress in one branch of government shut down major parts of the government all because they didn’t like one law.’
Declaring Obamacare ‘here to stay’, President Obama lamented the fact that the government shutdown occurred when the nation is still battling to recover from the Great Recession.
‘They’ve shutdown the government over an ideological crusade… they demanded ransom just for doing their job.’
Appealing to Republicans business sense, the president said that the fragile economic recovery of the nation could be put in jeopardy.
Read more: dailymail.co.uk