Sanders Denies Attacking Republicans for Shutdown in 2013, Isn't Corrected by MSNBC

January 19, 2018

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I., Vt.) on Friday denied saying in 2013 "we cannot bring the government to a shutdown," and accusing Republicans of wanting their way "no matter what," but he did.

And after the denial, MSNBC host Ali Velshi didn't call him out on it.

Velshi asked Sanders about the quote because in was used by Office of Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney during a Friday press briefing. Mulvaney brought up Sanders' earlier comments while he made the case that should the government shut down, it will be the fault of Senate Democrats who argue a federal budget should not be passed without including a replacement for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) immigration amnesty program. Democrats' threat to shut down the government over DACA comes despite the fact members of the party, including Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D., N.Y.), fervently argued against such action in the past.

Mulvaney quoted Sanders speaking against an attempt in 2013 by some Republicans to shut down the government in opposition to Obamacare:

"What they [Republicans] are saying to the American people tonight is 'maybe we have lost the presidential election, maybe we've lost seats in the Senate and in the House. It doesn't matter! We can now bring the government to a shutdown–throw some 800,000 hard working Americans out on the street, and we are going to get our way no matter what.'"

At the time, Sanders also accused Republicans of wanting to "annul" the election because they hadn't "gotten over" the fact then-President Barack Obama was re-elected.

After Velshi asked for Sanders' response, the senator said, "That, that doesn't sound like–I don't recall saying anything like that."

Sanders reminded Velshi that Republicans need 60 votes to continue funding the government, and the host responded they don't even have 50.

Velshi did not correct Sanders on the fact he actually did say what Mulvaney quoted him as saying. Instead, the MSNBC host proceeded to thank Sanders and end the interview.