WASHINGTON (CBS DC) — Republicans are invoking former President Bill Clinton’s name as the government shutdown continues and the debt ceiling crisis looms.

The GOP is blasting President Barack Obama for not compromising like Clinton did to end the government shutdown in 1996, saying the current commander in chief is too difficult to deal with.

“I think that President Obama is so dramatically harder to deal with than President Clinton,” Newt Gingrich, former House speaker during the 1996 government shutdown, told CBS News.

Gingrich continued: “President Clinton had campaigned as a centrist Democrat. He had at least some common ground to sit and talk. I think the vision that President Obama has, and the vision House Republicans have, are so dramatically opposed to each other that it’s hard to see how they quite make it work.”

Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., called out Obama for not playing an active role in the negotiations up to this point.

“Twice they were close to a deal and the Democrats moved the goalpost in light of the polling data,” McCain told CBS News’ “Face the Nation.” “I’m very disappointed that the president of the United States has not played a more active role in this, as Bill Clinton did back in ’95.”

The government shutdown entered its 14th day Monday as the U.S. faces possible default Thursday if no debt ceiling agreement is reached.

The Senate has taken over talks to reopen the government and to raise the borrowing limit after talks between Obama and House Republicans broke down.


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