President Barack Obama, elected as a first-term senator in 2008, took a swipe at Republican freshman Sen. Ted Cruz for focusing on building a political base instead of governing.
In a wide-ranging interview with the Julie Pace of the Associated Press, the president said that when he was in Congress he “didn’t go around courting the media. And I certainly didn’t go around trying to shut down the government.”
Cruz has led the Republican charge to defund the president’s signature health care law as a prerequisite for reopening the government.
“I recognize that in today’s media age, being controversial, taking controversial positions, rallying the most extreme parts of your base, whether it’s left or right, is a lot of times the fastest way to get attention and raise money,” Obama said. “But it’s not good for government.”