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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.

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November 21st, 2013
05:44 PM ET

GOP senator on rule change: Democrats 'desperate' to change the subject

(CNN) - The Senate on Thursday voted on a controversial rules change, which essentially takes away the Senate minority's right to filibuster.

Democrats invoked the so-called nuclear option out of frustration over Republicans who have been blocking President Barack Obama's nominees.

Republican Senator Dan Coats, of Indiana, said Democrats just want to change the subject.

"They are desperate for something – they call it nuclear war. They want us to push – send missiles back the other way. We're not going to do that," said Coats.

"If I were a Democrat, knowing two weeks of going back home in front of the people, I'm not sure they're going to think that the constituents are going to be asking about judge nominations. They're going to be asking an awful lot about ObamaCare," said Coats.

But the Senate rule change will likely not change that, given that the botched roll out of the Affordable Care Act is still on many Americans' minds.

"This is purely a distraction. Now, it's an important distraction from the standpoint that it breaks 225 years of history. This is not what the founding fathers envisioned," said Coats.

"They wanted the Senate to be a place where things cool down and you could get to consensus. You know, it's advise and consent," said Coats. "The Democrats have just said, we don't want your advice and we don't want consent. There's no compromise here."

For more of our interview with Senator Dan Coats, including discussions of Iran, watch the video above.

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