Republicans never discussed or even mentioned the possibility of forcing a "government shutdown" over the debt ceiling at any point since Obama has been in office until Democrats intentionally went out of their way to bring it up repeatedly and pick this fight for a specific reason.
The debt ceiling rarely came up during the 2010 elections and the idea of a "shutdown" wasn't even a consideration. It was Democrats who relentlessly dragged the issue into the spotlight and made it into an unavoidable confrontation.
The strategy was deliberate, calculated, and concocted based on the outcome of the shutdown in the 1990s, in which both sides lost public support, but the Republican Congress lost more.
The plan was simple: To contain the damage being done to Democrats by their lawless attacks on gun rights, failing economic policies and disastrous health care takeover, Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner would send House Republicans an out-of-the-blue letter lecturing them on the perils of failing to raise the debt limit...as they were already compromising, passing continuing resolutions, and raising the debt ceiling repeatedly.
Meanwhile, Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and other Democrats in the Senate would aggressively taunt and harass Republicans over this issue at every turn...and when the "my way or the highway" Tea Party "extremists" responded by compromising yet again, Schumer just threw it in their faces and taunted them even more: "The president stared down the Republicans. They blinked."
When Republicans still didn't take the bait, Obama sent his new Treasury Secretary, Jack Lew, to goad and dare them with even more divisive, ultra-partisan rhetoric. As Breitbart explains, "Lew repeatedly used the term 'manufactured crisis' to describe the budget sequester--'harsh, indiscriminate spending cuts...reckless, across-the board reductions' that the White House itself had proposed as part of the Budget Control Act of 2011."
This went on until Republicans finally had to face both the nightmare rollout of Obamacare and yet another debt ceiling increase simultaneously...at which point they finally decided to start pushing back and offer various delays and fixes while Democrats rejected every single compromise and crucified them as Klansmen, suicide bombers, anarchists and misogynists.
And of course, our post-journalism DNC news media naturally rushed in to relentlessly demonize Republicans as maniacal villains while hysterically scaremongering the extremely limited shutdown and ignoring the numerous lives being ruined by Obamacare, for weeks.
Mission: Accomplished. The bogus diversion Democrats needed is now complete, and dishonest, manipulative scam-artists like Chuck Schumer now get to condescendingly lecture Ted Cruz and the Tea Parties on "civility" and "compromise."