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Former Governor Critical of Republicans, Says Shutdown 'Won't Change Anything'

John Rowland, a self proclaimed "die-hard Republican," said Tuesday that the shutdown is a "political game" and that everything will return to normal on Oct. 17 - but not without costly political ramifications for his party.

Former 10-year Connecticut Gov. John Rowland has a message for his fellow Republicans on the national level: Government shutdown is a game that you can't win.

Rowland, speaking before members of the Greater Southington Chamber of Commerce Tuesday morning, said the shutdown is nothing more than "a political game" and assured residents that the debt ceiling will be raised by Oct. 17, allowing life to return to normal.

"The honest truth is everyday, the government is making an exception," Rowland said. "We have about 92 percent of the government active and they will not let the country default. In the end, this shutdown won't change anything."

Curtis Robinson, who joked in introducing Rowland that the Waterbury native is the only man he knows that could walk down Albany Avenue alone, said as political parties continue to fight on a national level, Rowland's experience in government and more recently as a talk radio host make him a good analyst to describe what was going on.

And Rowland proceeded to say the latest government shutdown is "a ploy" that aside from furloughs will have any affect whatsoever on the nation.

A self proclaimed "die-hard" Republican, Rowland said government has changed a lot in the last 30 years. He said although parties may never have agreed, there existed at least a respect between opponents and parties. That does not exist anymore, he said.

Rowland said the latest government shutdown -- the first since 1996 -- is a showdown centered around Obamacare, or the Affordable Care Act, but said that it is a series of talking points that could break the Republican

"They are telling their base what they want to hear, but it isn't going to change anything," he said. "Obamacare has already been passed in the House, the Senate, by the President and approved by the courts. It's a battle they can't win."

Instead the efforts will lead to a split within the party and an angry base when, after the protest, the party agrees to increase the debt ceiling as has been done under very past president to avoid the country going into a state of "default." Even if the country were to default, he said cuts would not center around defunding the ACA. 

He said, instead, President Barack Obama will come out looking like the winner in the situation.

"The system is set up so that majority does rule," Rowland said. "The minority is not going to be able to change those rules in the middle of the game."

If there is a lesson to take from shutdown, Rowland said, it's that now is not the time for the American people to put their hope and trust into politicians. He said in the end, the public needs to lean on each other and work to save a country that was founded on the concept of opportunity.

"There is a lot of finger pointing on a national level, but that finger pointing isn't going to fix anything," he said. "Don't put your hope in a politician."

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Anthony W. Gibbs October 11, 2013 at 09:13 AM
That lack of respect between parties is killing the country, and I never put my trust in a politician. I'm from Detroit.
Tabasco October 11, 2013 at 09:57 AM
Listening to Rowland's analysis of 'politics' is like asking Miley Cyrus to fill in for Miss Manners. It doesn't jive with his actions in government or post-government. His high profile may sell seats, but he's been peddling influence and moving money in ways that have prompted more than one investigation after his release from prison. If you want a fairer and more honest Republican perspective, try someone like Rep. Melissa Ziobron. Or anyone else who lives by their convictions and words.
E. Richard Fortunato October 13, 2013 at 10:45 AM
The former governor isn't exactly a shining example of statesmanship. I know he served his time in prison and deserves a fresh start but this and other actions of his since his release sure resemble politics at its best, (or worst, depending on how you look at it.) Keep it up, John. Who knows, it might even get you a higher position in Washington with our other "statesmen".
Kevin October 14, 2013 at 07:19 PM
He would fit right in with Obama and his jack booted thugs.

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