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Talking Points: Rep. Paulsen On Divided MN GOP

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(credit: CBS) Esme Murphy
Esme Murphy, a reporter and Sunday morning anchor for WCCO-TV, h...
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MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — The government shutdown may be over but there are real questions about whether Congress can reach an agreement on a budget and the debt ceiling in coming months.

While Democrats are mostly unified, there is a deep divide within the Republican Party. It’s a divide that is also tearing at the Minnesota GOP.

While the President said there were no winners in the government shutdown, many observers say one winner is Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, who became a national figure for his push to tie any budget deal to the defunding of Obamacare.

Cruz and Tea party conservatives insist their’s was the right strategy. But moderates like Sen. John McCain say it was a mistake that is likely to hurt Republicans in the 2014 elections. That same division can be seen among the only three Republican members of Congress from Minnesota.

Tea Party leader Michele Bachmann voted against the deal to end the shutdown, Congressmen John Kline and Eric Pauslen voted for it. Rep. Paulsen appeared on WCCO Sunday Morning.

“My belief is that will grow the party,” he said. “We will do better as a party when we sell positive solutions. It’s not just saying, no, it’s getting folks to sign on to our ideas because we do have good ideas in a positive manner on tax reform, on how to grow the economy, positive health care solutions.”

Representatives Paulsen and Kline both represent potential swing districts. They are two of just 17 Republican house members whose districts were also won by President Obama in 2012.

On the other hand Bachmann, like many Tea Party members, represents a newly redrawn district with an overwhelming majority of Republican voters.

Rep. Bachmann is not running for reelection.

You can watch WCCO Sunday Morning with Esme Murphy and Matt Brickman every Sunday at 6 a.m. and 10:30 a.m.

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