NewsNation | December 03, 2012
>> joining me now is erin pike and david goodfriend . david, you heard congresswoman bass refer to grover norquist . i want to play what he said regarding this ominous threat as described to republicans who may not fall in line. let's play it.
>> tea party 2 is going to dwarf ta tea party 1 if obama pushes us off the cliff.
>> this was in reference to the president. he's threatening we will see a new, str off the cliff.
>> yes. grover norquist also predicted an overwhelming victory by mitt romney and was proven wrong then, too. i think he and other republicans are playing a very dangerous game with their own political futures by failing to see the connection between this situation and the situation we were in around 1995 when there was a government shutdown . republicans thought they could drive this to the bitter end, and what happened? the american voters actually blamed them, the republicans , for what happened. i think it's a pattern in american politics when things happen that are, in effect, harmful government shutdowns, if you will, or breakdowns of process, the blame usually ends up on the side of the obstructionists in the republican party . i think there are enough republicans who want to win re-election who see that the strategy of obstruction failed them in this last election. they want to pivot and make a rebrand of the republican party . those are the folks that are the deciding votes in the republican caucus , enough to combine with democrats who shorten that margin in the house to get something passed.
>> an interesting note, erin . congresswoman bass mentioned another possible strategy from democra democrats . earlier told nancy pelosi tsd if speaker boehner refuses to schedule this for a vote, democrats will introduce a discharge petition it to automatically bring to the floor the senate-passed middle class tax cut . even though congresswoman bass and others have expressed opt mit optimism, when you put them in a corner, there's not a guarantee a deal will be made in the time period needed.
>> that's right. something like that would certainly fail in the house because, of course, there is a republican majority there. they would pick off some republicans . i don't think you would get enough for something like that to pass. i just spoke to some democratic aides in the senate who said they don't feel like they have gotten any closer with republicans over the past couple of days, over the weekend on negotiations but they will not make a move until republicans counteroffer. whether that's on deeper spending cuts than what the white house suggested or trying to come along with the revenue raises, we'll see. but there's saying right now nothing's moved just yet.
>> erin , you have people at home saying how is this a stalemate? when you buy a car or house, you make your first offer, the person counters and you go there. how do the republicans justify not countering, and if their counter is simply laughter, that doesn't settle well with people who know they could pay more in taxes the beginning of the year.
>> that's right. my sense is they will behind closed doors because of the existence of people and forces like grover norquist . they want to do these negotiations behind closed doors because they don't need these external pressures saying you can't do that. so we'll be closer to a deal than we're seeing now.
>> david, i could hear you wants to get in on that one.
>> i want to make this point about public voices. one of the most important things we've heard the last couple of days was a statement not from someone in government, not from someone in public advocacy groups, it was the ceo of at&t, randall stevenson, had a public statement saying, we have the ability to do a deal. there should be a deal, and importantly, he included increased tax rates as part of a compromise deal along with other reforms and cuts. that's one of the biggest companies in the country, and that's a ceo who has trended republican in his own politics. if people like that make public statements and for that matter private statements to the republican caucus members, that moves the needle. the republican party has its own core constituency lobbying to get off the dime.
>> the president tweeted out -- he's taking the qa and a session. he tweeted, this is barack, let's get started. a republican congressman tom cole was someone praised by democrats for saying, let's get this deal done. he was on yesterday referring and talking about entitlements, which is a touchy subject for democrats . let me play what he said.
>> look, if only nixon went to china, only obama can fix entitlements. this is where a president has to lead.
>> what's your reaction to that? you have, obviously, the conventional wisdom is that whoever puts entitlements and specifics on the table will take the hit from it. democrats don't want that hit. republicans don't want the hit. you have cole hear saying it has to come from the president.
>> i agree with congressman cole that the president has the credibility to talk about medicare reform, and i would urge the congressman to read the detailed plan that the administration has put forward on medicare reform. it's there in black and white in excruciating detail. you don't need a sleep aid . pick up the document. it will put you to sleep it has so much detail on exactly how to reform medicare . i don't know where this narrative came from that somehow president obama has to put on the table these reforms to medicare he has in mind. he's done that. take a look.
>> the nare tifr rative is some republicans believe there's traction if you have a split caucus with the democrats regarding what to do with entitlements. i know divide and conquer .
>> it's a starting point. that's what the congressman is saying. president obama , come forward with a starting point. i'm saying, he did.
>> all right. thank you so much. greatly appreciate your time,