Jansing and Co | November 08, 2012
>>> good morning. i'm chris jansing . with the confetti bare lly cleaned up from his election victory, president obama is already working on the next looming crisis. he's been working the phone to reach out to congressional leaders to talk about the plan dealing with the fiscal cliff, those severe cuts and tax increases that will automatically go into effect at the end of the year. speaker of the house john boehner opened the door yesterday to getting the deal done and striking a more conciliatory tone.
>> mr. president, this is your moment. we're ready to be led, not as democrats or republicans, but as americans . we want you to lead, not as a liberal or a conservative, but as president of the united states of america . we want you to succeed. let's challenge ourselves to find the common ground that has eluded us. let's rise above the dysfunction and do the right thing together for our country.
>> meantime, senate majority leader harry reid said he is open to working together too, but there was a but.
>> i'm going to do everything within my power to be as conciliatory as possible. i want to work together. but i want everyone to also understand you can't push us around. we want to work together.
>> let me bring in legendary investigative journalist carl bernstein and political reporter for "the washington post " nia ma malika henderson. good morning to you. everybody is sounding cordial, but we still have the same players. has anything changed, carl ?
>> i think this is a huge change election in terms of certainly things i did not foresee in terms of the agenda, gay rights , the agenda of women unencumbered by the so-called social conservatism that has dominated our politics and slowed down legislative achievements as hostage over the past four, five, six years. that's over. i think that now the congress is finally free to work with some real leadership from the president, from the two parties. i'm an optimist for the first time in years. i think that the fiscal cliff will be met. i think they're going to come together with an agreement. i think that this enables, one, some democrats to acknowledge that entitlements need some changing, and at the same time, you bring about a real new tax structure that includes some tax increases, and republicans are going to have to go along with it. whether it's going to be a short-term fix and then go to a major budget deal, that will be up to the president and the negotiators, which method of going about it they take. i think there's real reason for optimism here, and it's even possible that we could see in this presidency, depending on how republicans react in terms of whether they want to be around as a really loyal opposition party with a chance of a real future given the changing electorate. there's a chance that we could maybe have a cease fire in the cultural wars over time . that would free our political system . and i think obama is the kind of big picture guy that now might see that insight. i realize this is a very polly pollyanna-ish statement.
>> that was the exact word i was going to use, carl .
>> i think the message of this election is that the real rejection of republican scorched earth politics of the last generation has occurred. if you also look at the exit poll numbers on issues, you see the number of same-sex marriage votes in the states. you see what happened throughout this election, and you look at the exit poll numbers on individual questions, you see a consensus that is against the reigning radical republicanism . i wrote a piece in the daily beast last week about the reigning radical republican party in washington. i think that party is going to self-deport.
>> let's look at the exit polls because i think there's one clear thing that came out of that, nia malika , which is this. that is that americans seem to want taxes to go up on the wealthy. that's what they're looking at. 47% say they want them to go up on people who make $250,000 or more. 13% for all. so there where you add those two numbers, a majority.
>> 60%, big majority.
>> let me go and play a little more of the president's victory speech.
>> and in the coming weeks and months, i am looking forward to reaching out and working with leaders of both parties to meet the challenges we can only solve together. reducing our deficit, reform, our tax code .
>> so nia malika , how does the president move? what's his next move to get the deal done? how does he leverage the exit polls and the results of this election?
>> i think the best news he's had so far is the change of tone from john boehner . remember two years ago john boehner was trumpeting the tea party . this was the movement that swept him into power in 2010 , those midterms. now you hear him singing a very different tune, a very different tune than mitch mcconnell four years ago, pledging his only responsibility, job number one, was to see this was a one-term president. so that's some groundwork for the president also, where he's got a playing field that will be much more easier for him to reach out. again, i think he initially saw this campaign as a referendum on the way that republicans governed. if you look at those exit polls , it does show that there is support for the way the president wants to reform the tax code , raising taxes on the middle class , having those bush tax cuts expire. so there is some momentum that he has. it's not a clear, clear mandate because the popular vote , i think, was so close, but on that electoral map, it was a real walloping for republicans and the way that they have governed and the way they have gone about approaching very important issues. this is a big, big time . i agree with carl . this was a referendum on progressive ideas. i think it's a real victory for progressives. you see 20 women going into the senate, all of those issues around abortion are very, very played very highly in this campaign. now you go to these very hard issues around social security , around entitlement reform. i think the president has got some wind at his back, and he's got republicans who seem to be willing to work with him.
>> let me add one thing, if i may.
>> let me bring in congressman adam schiff , a blue dog democrat from california. congratulations on your election and re-election. it's good to see you. let me ask you about the fiscal cliff. are you encouraged by what you heard from john boehner ?
>> i'm encouraged. i don't think there's any way we can go over the cliff. we can't afford to. i am encouraged by what i heard the speaker said. the only thing that struck me funny in how he expressed himself is in talking about this being the president's moment, that this was basically his responsibility. this is a shared responsibility, both house and senate leadership and the white house are going to have to come together. both parties are going to have to come together. these problems are simply too large for either party to solve alone. plainly, that's what the country wants us to do.
>> you heard one of the things that speaker boehner did was he shot shouted out to the president this is your moment. let me read to you what gale collins said today. "in the past when these things came up, the president's failing was his inability to hide his contempt for many of the people that occupy capitol hill . now is a new day, and he needs to be so perpetually and visibly available that the negotiators beg to be left alone ." does he invite everybody to camp david , invite everybody to the white house , deliver pizza to capitol hill ? what is your suggestion?
>> i'd certainly enjoy the pizza. i think the white house is going to have to engage quite dramatically on this and spend a lot of time with congressional leaders. but one thing that will facilitate that is, to the extent the gop leadership had up until now as a primary motivation stopping this president, denying this president a second term, that's no longer an issue. there's no longer a downside in working with the president. that will facilitate things greatly. we are also under great time pressure , and i agree completely with senator reid that we shouldn't kick this can down the road anymore. we've been kicking it down the road for years. it's bad for the economy. it's bad for the country. i'm also optimistic because, when you look at what this country has, we have the same bright, talented people we've always had. we have the same great natural resources and history and ideals and values to lead for another generation, another century or many centuries. we have to get our governance together, and i think that's what the american people are saying, and i think on the signature question in terms of the fiscal reforms, the american people have spoken that they do concur with a balanced approach that includes new revenues as well as spending cuts.
>> question to the congressman, if i may. i've always thought and heard from people in his cabinet and his office of management and budget people that this president has always wanted real entitlement reform. he believes in it. have i heard wrong or right on this? obviously, he wants revenue raising at the same time, but i think that he really understands that social security and medicare do need to be reformed in a way that, yes, it has to be politically acceptable within reason to seniors, but there has to be some real reform of the numbers.
>> i think you're right, that this is a president who's always taken a look at the big picture and the big challenges and hasn't shied away from wanting to confront those challenges. at the same time, i think the president recognizes that our immediate fiscal problems weren't created by social security . they haven't been created by medicare . and we need to focus on the most immediate problems to avoid going over this cliff. but there are long-term challenges facing social security and medicare , and in particular, long-term challenges facing our ever-increasing health care costs.
>> that's what i was speaking of specifically.
>> and i think that the whole focus that he has had on reforming health care is vital to the long-term health of medicare and medicaid because, unless we can control the overall costs dealing with the challenges to this program, it would be impossible.
>> i like to see you all being optimistic. the value of this election, for as good as it was, and surprisingly good for a lot of people, blue dogs lost seats. while the democrats did very well in the north and the south, a lot of conservatives dug in. in fact, all 87 super conservatives elected in 2010 are coming back. so if it's the fringes of the party torpedoing this deal, nia- malika , how does it get done?
>> this the challenge that boehner faces. that's why it's so interesting to hear him change his tone. i do think there was -- if you look at the election, you can see from the poll returns that the president has got some momentum. that at least the people agree with what he wants to do in terms of tax reform . he will likely, i'm sure, not only reach out across the aisle but reach out to americans . that's something he's always done, going across the country and jimmying up support for what he sees should happen in terms of these big ticket deals. i think both of these men, boehner , all these men, reid, who are in control are looking at their legacies. they want to get something done. they look at these polls which show that the american people do not hold congress in high regard. they would like to reverse that. they want to have something on their records that speaks to big things . this is a big country . we do big things . we are big ideas centered, and i think that's what they're going to have in mind when they go and look at handling these big problems.
>> john boehner has been liberateded by th eby this election. he can now really be the leader of the house . he doesn't have to worry about eric cantor nipping at his heels quite as much because the eric cantor wing of the party , if the party decides to go the way of eric cantor , they are going to self-deport. there are people in the republican party i think who at least, whether it's jeb bush , bobby jindal , a whole bunch of people who are going to get up and say gradually over the next four years, look, we have to become a fiscally conservative party , yes, but a socially responsible modern party that understands the demographics and social realities of this country and, quite honestly, that are so-called base and fringe way off there, way out there, they're going to have to be marginalized, or we're going to commit a kind of political suicide here.
>> the other point i would make is that, while certainly there are many conservatives that held on because they were strengthened in redistricting in the house, the story of the senate was the rejection of these hard-core right candidates. the fact that the republican party didn't go with the dick lugars of the senate. they went with the mourdocks and the akins, i think really the story of the senate was the rejection of those hard-core ideologues and the need to return to more pragmatic elected officials .