Former Sen. Coburn dismisses Planned Parenthood shutdown tactic

Former Sen. Tom Coburn says shutting down the government over Planned Parenthood will only work as a defunding tactic if Republicans are willing to keep the government shuttered until Democrats acquiesce.

Given that Democrats are unlikely to capitulate, the ex-Oklahoma Republican senator dismissed the latest bid from conservatives to use a shutdown as a bargaining chip.

“If you shut down the government it’s a viable tactic. But what you should do, is … make sure you have the unity that’s necessary to hold onto it ‘til you to win. If you’re going to take a hostage you’ve got to win,” Coburn said in an interview. “And they didn’t learn that the last time.”

Coburn, who retired at the end of last year while battling cancer, opposed the 2013 tactic of defunding Obamacare in a spending bill because he correctly predicted that Republicans would “fold like hot cakes” and reopen the government with no harm done to Obamacare. And Now that Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) and a rowdy band of House conservative are pushing the same tactic on Planned Parenthood, Coburn says it’s evident that some Republicans are “slow learners.”

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