Ryan: Not ‘Legitimate’ to Tell Country House Could Stop Obamacare Last Year

Rep. Paul Ryan said the notion that the House could have unilaterally stopped Obamacare through a government shutdown last year was not a plausible idea to sell the country on.

The Wisconsin Republican was addressing a passage from his new book on CBS’s “Face the Nation” in which he described last year’s push toward a government shutdown — in which House conservatives unsuccessfully tried to defund Obamacare — as a “suicide mission.”

The purpose of the passage in the book is to try to unify the party, he said, noting that he held back a bit more at the time with party unity in mind.

“I don’t think we can succeed if all we do is criticize and define what we’re against,” he said. “The whole point of that was you can’t actually stop an entitlement with a government shutdown. Entitlements, like Medicare, Social Security and Obamacare, continue on as is, so I didn’t really think it was legitimate to tell the country we could stop it unilaterally in the House, point one.