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Anchored by Jake Tapper, The Lead airs at 4 p.m. ET on CNN.

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September 27th, 2013
06:21 PM ET

Conservative radio host Mark Levin: Scare tactics on a government shutdown 'mean nothing'

Conservative radio host, Mark Levin, is not impressed with President Barack Obama's announcement Friday that he spoke by phone with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, the first communication between American and Iranian leaders since 1979.

Asked for his reaction to the historic event, Levin mimed a bored yawn.

"That's my reaction," said Levin. "Is the dictator of North Korea going to call him next and we'll sit down with them, and so forth?"

"The fact of the matter is, did not this "moderate" (Levin mimes quotation marks) say that they're not changing policy with respect to their production of nuclear weapons? Didn't he say that? Well, so what are they talking about on the phone?" said Levin.

In a speech at the U.N. General Assembly Tuesday, Rouhani said that Iran would be willing to "engage immediately in time-bound and result-oriented talks to build mutual confidence and removal of mutual uncertainties."

"Nuclear weapons and other weapons of mass destruction have no place in Iran's security and defense doctrine, and contradict our fundamental religious and ethical convictions," Rouhani said.

Levin does not view that as progress.

"This is a regime that hangs gay people. This is a regime that kills American soldiers. This is a regime, as I speak, that's torturing freedom fighters in that country," said Levin.

Meanwhile, Obama talks about the Republicans as if they are holding hostages, said Levin, pointing to White House senior adviser Dan Pfeiffer's interview on "The Lead with Jake Tapper" just a day earlier, when Pfeiffer said the administration is not "negotiating with people with a bomb strapped to their chest."

Talking with the Iranians while refusing to talk to Republicans is, in Levin's view, a terrible strategy.

"Does he even understand how silly he looks?" said Levin.

Obama's position on the government shutdown is Congress cannot get rid of the president's health care law, because it does not have enough votes in the Senate. Therefore, it is unfair and undemocratic to try to force defunding Obamacare by threatening a government shutdown, or threatening not to raise the debt ceiling.

"Oh I see, so, the only Congress that was Democratic was the one that passed Obamacare. So we're stuck with it forever," said Levin.

Refusing to raise the debt ceiling would not be as scary, or catastrophic as people have made it out to be, said Levin.

From 1976 to 1995, "we've shut down the federal government 17 times in 19 years," said Levin. People got their checks, the military didn't go home, the border was as secure as it was then, as it is now."

"All these scare tactics mean nothing," said Levin.

For more of our interview with Mark Levin, including an answer on what exactly a "French Republican" is, check out the video above.

To hear the author's new amendment proposals to the Constitution, which he lays out in his new book "The Liberty Amendments: Restoring the American Republic," watch the video below, or click here.

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