Former Vice President Joe Biden blamed conservative pundits for pressuring President Donald Trump to shut down the government despite advice from Republican lawmakers who wanted to keep it open.
“Republicans overwhelmingly voted to keep the government open,” Biden told CNN on Friday. “Then Rush Limbaugh and the conservative blonde woman says he’s losing his base, and so he’s changed his mind.”
Rush Limbaugh is a conservative radio host, and the “conservative blonde woman” was likely a reference to Ann Coulter, who called Trump “gutless” for not building a border wall just two days before he ordered a partial shutdown.
The shutdown, which began Dec. 22, has now gone on for more than two weeks because lawmakers have not given in to the president’s demand to give him $5 billion in taxpayer money to construct a useless wall across the U.S.-Mexico border. On Thursday, Trump doubled down on the shutdown, saying it could last for months or even years if he doesn’t get what he wants.
Biden’s comments echo that of Rep. Tim Ryan (D-Ohio), who also pointed to Limbaugh and Coulter as key motivators in getting Trump to call for the shutdown.
“We’re dealing with someone who is dishonest,” Ryan said of president on MSNBC Wednesday. “You could make a deal in a room with a handshake and by the time he’s out of the room the deal’s over, he’s in front of the camera. And let’s just put this all in perspective. The main problem here is he’s worried about the investigation that’s breathing down his neck right now. So his only goal is to appeal to Ann Coulter, Laura Ingraham and Rush Limbaugh.”