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ST. LOUIS, MO (KTVI) – Highlighting the growing split in the GOP ranks over the government shutdown, Missouri Republican Senator Roy Blunt refused to assign them the total blame for the shutdown. “There’s enough blame here to go around.” Blunt says the shutdown was a mistake, and that tying the shutdown to de-funding Obamacare was a major error.

“My view of this from the very first was that it wouldn’t work,” Blunt said in a conference call with Missouri reporters. “When you have the government shut down and the president’s health care initiative launches that same day is one indication of why I thought it wouldn’t work. It should never have happened.”

Blunt said he has spoken to military personnel at Scot Air Force Base and Fort Leonard Wood, and had been told that the shutdown is hurting military morale. “The civilian employees who work there play a vital role. They have bills to pay, and they’ve been sent home without paychecks. This is also damaging national security. Around half of the employees at the CIA have been furloughed, and our enemies around the world know that.”

Blunt also raised the prospect that the shutdown could extend for another two weeks, until Congress has to pass an increase in the national debt ceiling by October 17. If the ceiling is not extended, the U.S. government could begin defaulting on some of it’s debts. “If this thing isn’t ended in the next 24 to 48 hours, it won”t end until the debt ceiling problem is resolved,” he said. “Which means this will go on longer than anyone wants it too.”

Despite his disagreements with Republicans Tea Party members in the House, the Republican Senator refused to assign the blame to them. “There’s anough blame in this to go around,” said Blunt. “The President refuses to lead. The House and Senate can’t do their jobs.”

Listen to the full interview here