Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) said Tuesday that trying to defund Obamacare at the expense of a government shutdown may not have been sensible.
"It probably wasn't the best strategy to employ," Johnson, a tea party supporter, said in a CNN interview.
Johnson said defunding Obamacare -- an effort led by his conservative colleague, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) -- was never "achievable," requiring the support of too many Senate Democrats. But he hesitated to explicitly call the showdown, and resulting government shutdown, a mistake.
"I appreciate any effort that really highlights how harmful Obamacare is going to be," Johnson said.
Johnson is among the Republicans in Congress who believe the debt ceiling deadline, if breached, won't cause economic catastrophe, as many economists and the Treasury Department have forewarned. Johnson said there's "no reason" for the U.S. to default.
"A responsible administration, a responsible president, wouldn't try and scare the markets," Johnson said. "He would be calming markets. The treasury secretary should be calming markets, saying, 'Guys, we have more than enough tax revenue coming in.' There's no reason for the U.S. to default on its debt at all."