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WASHINGTON—Freshman Rep. Joe Walsh (R-Ill.) scolded President Obama while discussing the possibility of an April 8 government shutdown with Fox’s Greta Van Susteren on her “On the Record” show Wednesday night.
“I’ve been very clear, Greta, that the president of the United States should be ashamed of himself because he isn’t even participating in the seriousness of these talks,” Walsh said.
Walsh was apparently unaware that Vice President Biden on Wednesday night was at the U.S. Capitol trying to broker a deal and that White House chief of staff Bill Daley has also been deeply involved in trying to avoid a shutdown. Biden on Wednesday night reported “progress” but warned, “it’s not a deal until it’s a whole deal.”
Walsh–who beat former Rep. Melissa Bean (D-Ill.) by only 291 votes last November in the far north suburban Chicago district, fueled by Tea Party activists–criticized Biden for not being involved in the negotiations– on the very day he was.
Said Walsh on Wednesday, “Vice president Biden said he would be involved. The next day he flew out of the country. I’ve been saying for a few weeks that the Democrats’ only card is to shut down the government. They’ve lost the substance of this argument. All they want to do is make the Republicans look like the bad guys.”
Walsh’s dated reference: After Obama made Biden the point man on the budget, earlier in March Biden traveled to Russia, Finland and Moldova for a week.
Meanwhile, on Wednesday night, Biden talked to reporters at the Capitol “I think we’re making good progress. We’re all working off the same number now, $73 billion…. The appropriations committees met today. Obviously, there’s a difference in the composition of that number — what’s included, what’s not included. It’s going to be a thorough negotiation. We’re getting back — we got to roll up our sleeves. They’re going back, meeting tomorrow morning at what, 8:00 a.m., 9:00 a.m., 10:00 a.m. — whatever it is tomorrow morning.”