WASHINGTON -- The tea party-driven bid to use government funding as a lever to dismantle Obamacare is still "not a winning strategy," Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R-N.H.) argued Wednesday.
Ayotte noted that she opposes Obamacare and would very much like to change or end it. But taking government funding hostage, she said, was a bad idea, and she pointed out that she was on record warning against it.
"I also said last week that shutting down the government in an attempt to defund Obamacare was not a winning strategy for success," Ayotte declared in a Senate floor speech that reflected the growing discomfort of many moderate Republicans with the tea party agenda on display in the shutdown showdown.
"We've already seen exhibit A of why it wasn't a winning strategy," Ayotte said. "Because the government shut down yesterday and the Obamacare exchanges opened and continued anyway."
The senator also mentioned that such a result had been entirely foreseeable.
"We knew in advance because the Congressional Research Service had told us that the mandatory funding piece that was put in Obamacare would continue even if the government was shut down, and we have seen that happen."
Michael McAuliff covers Congress and politics for The Huffington Post. Talk to him on Facebook.