Mitchell Reports | March 08, 2013
>> did that menu at the president's lurchl and his dinner for republicans include a grand bargain? could one recipe be simpson bowles 2.0. a revised version was announced of their fiscal reform plan, and joining me now is former senator alan simpson , co-chair of the campaign to fick the debt and the moment of truth project. moment of truth . sounds like heavy stuff, heavy going. let's talk about that, though.
>> i watched them struggle, and they didn't want to go off the cliff. they were talking about constructive things about revenue. you can't tax your way out of this. you can't cut spending your way out. you can't -- you got to have a plan. we just thought, well, we would be clever and piece together what they talked about in december and threw it out here a couple three weeks ago. they all have gone back to their rigid holes and idealogical stance and back into their comfort zone , but it wasn't a lot of creative stuff. it was what they talked about in december. it's tough to watch. i was just thinking maybe the lunch consisted of watery gruel.
>> let's talk about that.
>> no, i think it was good.
>> shouldn't he have been doing this sooner, many might ask?
>> isn't it crazy to think this is important, and yet it is. i worked for four presidents -- carter, reagan, bush, and clinton -- and we were always at the white house . there was always some social event , some kind of offer, some coffee, whatever. these are minor things, but they're very big. it was so sad, and now to have this, this is good. all of this is small, but it's -- it brings back civility and a sense of coordination and collaboration and that's what will help get there.
>> at the same time you have got some new republicans, ted cruz and not so new rand paul who are showing their stuff, showing that they have a different way of doing things. rand paul 's filibuster, praised by many, because of the issue he took on. more transparency on targeted killings. also, though, criticized for some said distorting an issue that really wasn't an issue, and john mccain and lindsey graham were among those that took him to task on the floor. really sort of teaching the new kid some lessons, some would say.
>> that's what you do. you try to say, you know, i wish -- they always say how do you break up a filibuster? i said bring a cot. nobody would help him, and you do irritate your colleagues when you do that. you keep them up late at night , you know, and then you need some colleagues to come, and they won't come. anyway, there are fewer of those people percentage-wise in the senate than there are in the house where you have 80 people that didn't come there to limit government. they came there to stop it, and that's what they have to deal with over there, and i think he has them corralled in pretty well now. he is saying, you know, no spending cuts, but you can't tax your way out of this baby. you can't cut spending your way out of this baby. you can't grow your way out. you have to have a blend, and i think that's what they're working on, and i see that.
>> what do you think of at least rand paul was an old-fashioned real fist filibuster, real talk on the senate floor. what did you think of the way they blocked by phil buster, in effect chuck hagel ?
>> those are the threats. you knew they weren't going to do it, and even john mccain voted to, you know, to -- in the final package voted yes, but voted to let it go to the floor, and knowing he needed the 60 votes to break the fill bester, so people don't know about filibuster. they think it's insane. ates fannie kicking machine. it will help your party one time. it won't change, and they did the right thing by stopping any reform of it, which would have destroyed it. the old guard is leaving. senators among the democrats and republicans.
>> don't forget when we came, all of us, there were 20 of us. there were 11 republicans and nine democrats, and we were very close. bill bradley , nancy castlebom. thad cochran .
>> was that the class of 1978 ?
>> 1978 . there were 20 -- i think byrd said -- senator byrd said it was the largest class, i believe, ever in the freshman class. now there's two left. thad cochran and max baucus . carl levin , wonderful guy. great to work with. obviously tired of it all. but not nasty or.
>> get used and stay engaged.
>> thank you.
>> it's nice to see you again. even when you came to --
>> many years ago. layer my, wyoming.
>> a long time ago on a cold bitter night. it's a pleasure.