If you are looking for a Republican contender to stand up and say “We can’t keep the government shutdown, we have to abandon our plans to try and defund Obamacare right now.” You are going to be waiting a long, long time.
No one in the GOP is going to do that for a number of reasons.
First, it would be political suicide. Conservatives right now are furious at the government. They want it shutdown if it is the only way to stop Obamacare. So being the one to stand up and say your party base is wrong about something they are this passionate about is a great way to make many enemies in your party. You can ask John McCain in 2000 or John Huntsman in 2012 how running against the base of the party plays out.
Second, if you’re a governor you are smart to just keep quiet. No one is expecting you to balance the U.S. budget and it gives you are great chance to run against the mess in Washington. Of course by mess the GOP candidates only mean Obama and the Democrats. So the incentive is to say nothing and let this drama play itself out while giving the contrast of how good you are at governing.
Third, for the potential candidates in the U.S. Senate like Paul, Rubio and Cruz that would be a disaster. To turn around now and say something after leading the charge to get into this mess in the first place would destroy their credibility. They would look like the biggest flip-flopping wimps in the world. Plus they would guaranteed themselves a primary.
Nope, no one is saying anything right now accept “it’s all Obama’s fault and full speed ahead.” Will they pay a price for that? We’ll how long the shutdown lasts.