Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) has called President Obama a “pathetic leader” for his lack of involvement in negotiations to end the government shutdown. He slammed the president’s unwillingness to compromise with Republicans as “immature.”

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Today on America’s News HQ, Graham told anchor Doug McKelway, “For [Republicans] to suggest to the American people that we could defund ObamaCare or delay it for a year by shutting down the government, I think was unrealistic.”

With the debt limit just four days away, Sen. Graham said, “I’m not going to vote for any deal coming out of the Senate that doesn’t have a reasonable chance of getting a majority of House Republicans understanding that defunding and delaying ObamaCare is a bridge too far.”

Before opening the government, Sen. Graham believes Congress should have to follow the same ObamaCare requirements as the American people. “What I’m telling Senator [Harry] Reid and every other Republican and Democrat, when this debacle is over […], all of us, every member of Congress, should be under ObamaCare, under the same conditions of every other American. No better, no worse.”

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If Republicans face reality, Graham said, six months from now the country’s attention will be on the failed concept of ObamaCare and the shutdown will be forgotten. “There’s plenty of blame to go around. We overplayed our hand as Republicans. But the Democratic response of trying to [...] use this moment to increase spending, at a time when the federal government is spending more than the next generation can afford to pay, is not the right response.”

When the shutdown ends, Sen. Graham said that he and Senator John Barrasso (R-WY) plan to introduce legislation that would allow every state to opt out of the individual employer mandate. He warned that it would be a “huge mistake” if John Boehner lost his position as House speaker over a bad deal.

Sen. Graham said, “There are so many ways to attack ObamaCare. But to my Republican colleagues: let’s embrace reality. We can’t delay or defund at this moment. We don’t have the political leverage. Let’s keep fighting ObamaCare, but let’s open up the government. [...] To my Democratic colleagues: if you think this is working well for you, look at the polls."

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