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Dems' words about the 2013 government shutdown come back to haunt them — and prove their hypocrisy

Democrats denounced GOP in 2013 for shutting down the government over a single issue. Those words are now coming back to haunt them. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

Democrats are going out of their way to bash President Donald Trump and the Republican Party in the wake of the government shutdown, pinning blame on the impasse squarely on the shoulders of the White House and GOP.

But now, the words of top Democratic leaders about the 2013 government shutdown are coming back to haunt them.

What did Schumer say then?

One of the driving factors behind this government shutdown is the fight over the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program. Democrats demanded the program be included in a funding bill to keep the government open, but Republicans believe it should be addressed in separate legislation. Because Democrats didn't have their demands met, they voted against a continuing resolution to keep the government open.

But using immigration reform as a crutch to shut down the government hasn't always been a great idea. In fact, it's one that Schumer once criticized.

In the midst of the government shutdown in 2013, Schumer said on CNN's "The Lead": "I believe in immigration reform. What if I persuaded my caucus to say, ‘I'm going to shut the government down, I am going to not pay our bills unless I get my way?’ It's a politics of idiocy, of confrontation, of paralysis."

Earlier in the shutdown, Schumer criticized holding Americans "hostage" over a single issue.

"The basic line is: No matter how strongly one feels about an issue, you shouldn’t hold millions of people hostage. That’s what the other side is doing. That’s wrong and we can’t give in to that," he said on ABC's "This Week."

He further explained:

[Then-House] Speaker [John] Boehner comes in and he says, basically, it’s sorta like this. Someone goes into your house, takes your wife and children hostage, and then says ‘Let’s negotiate over the price of your house.’ You know, we could do the same thing on immigration. We believe strongly in immigration reform. We could say, ‘We’re shutting down the government, we’re not gonna raise the debt ceiling, until you pass immigration reform.’ It would be governmental chaos.

What did Pelosi say then?

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) also brutalized Republicans for the government shutdown in 2013. At the time, the GOP wanted to make changes to Obamacare, but Democrats refused to make compromises.

At the time, Pelosi called the GOP "legislative arsonists."

"I call them 'legislative arsonists.' They're there to burn down what we should be building up in terms of investments and education and scientific research, and all that it is that makes our country great and competitive," she said.

According to the Washington Examiner, Pelosi later called the shutdown an "unthinkable tactic" employed by the GOP.

"I join the American people in their disgust in what happened in terms of the shutdown of government. That’s an unthinkable tactic to use in a political debate," she said.

What did Sanders say?

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) was also quick to demonize the GOP in 2013 for the shutdown. He accused Republicans of shutting down the government because they had lost the 2012 presidential election.

Sanders was confronted about his words on Friday and he denied ever saying them.

"I – that doesn’t sound like – I don’t recall saying anything like that," he said on MSNBC. MSNBC did not correct Sanders, according to the Washington Free Beacon, which found Sanders' 2013 comments.

One last thing…
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