Former President Bill Clinton weighed in on the government shutdown Monday, suggesting that clashes between Republicans and Democrats have created a congressional stalemate because "nobody's right all the time."
Clinton -- who faced two shutdowns during his own presidency -- made a simple point during a speech at a convention of the National Community Pharmacists Association: the only way to get anything done in Washington is to work together. American politicians, by his mark, have lost sight of this principle.
“I worry that our politics has gotten impractical," Clinton said. "That’s about the nicest word I can think of."
Days before the federal budget stalemate forced the government shutdown, Clinton criticized the Republican Party on "This Week" for putting the country in a compromising position, asking host George Stephanopoulos -- Clinton's former White House communications director -- if he could think of a time "when a major political party was just sitting around, begging for America to fail?"
"If I were the president, I wouldn't negotiate over these draconian cuts that are gonna take food off the table of low-income working people, while they leave all the agricultural subsidies in for high-income farmers and everything else," Clinton said. "It's chilling to me."
During his time in office, Clinton shamed the Republican Party for the government shutdowns they endured. Clinton celebrated the end of "the era of big government" in his 1996 State of the Union address, and presented Congress with a challenge:
"Never, ever shut the federal government down again."