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

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

On the Next Episode of The Lead

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October 3rd, 2013
12:18 AM ET

GOP congressman on shutdown: 'Crazy' House GOP pushed a 'silly strategy from the beginning'

Like many of his Republican colleagues, California Congressman Devin Nunes does not support the Affordable Care Act, so-called Obamacare.

Unlike many Republicans, Nunes is publicly criticizing some of his colleagues, calling them "lemmings with suicide vests" earlier this week.

When Nunes first started hearing of the strategy to shutdown the government in order to defund Obamacare, he did the math, and thought it couldn't be done. Republicans didn't have the 67 Senate votes needed to override a veto from the White House.

"It's just a matter of math. It was a silly strategy from the beginning," said Nunes.

The resulting government shutdown, said Nunes, is bad for the Republican party.

"It's crazy. I don't understand the whole point, the whole strategy. Most Americans don't understand it," said Nunes.

The California Republican said a small group of lawmakers, what he calls "the lemming caucus," have been blocking GOP House leadership for three years.

"It's guys who meet privately. They're always conspiring. It's mostly just about power. And it's just gotten us nowhere," said Nunes.

If that is the case, then why hasn't Nunes, or the 200 fellow Republicans he said agrees with him, been more aggressive?

"You have to vote on what's in front of you," said Nunes. If Republican lawmakers want to vote against bills GOP leadership bring to the House floor, "and start bringing down rules ... you're talking about doing the same thing that got us in this mess in the first place."

For more of our interview with Rep. Devin Nunes, watch the video above.

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