The Cycle | November 28, 2012
>>> i'm steve kornacki. november 28th , 2012 . a date america may remember as the series finale of "the cycle." yeah, we're winning powerball.
>> i'm krystal ball. we do have a little bit of work to do. a big cat nap meeting at the white house and the spth upping the ante. we break it all down.
>> i'm toure and certain to win the $550 million but i'll be available to guest star on "martin" because i do this for the love of game.
>> i'm s.e. cupp. i wasn't included in the pool. i was duck hunting in louisiana and missed it but i'll have the last laugh. i'm in my own pool and people don't know about flying coconuts. yeah, it's a thing.
>> plus my fake talking as a way to mess things up in the senate. i'm going to miss you guys. for the last time, "the cycle" begins right now.
>>> you know, on second thought, 280 million after taxes so what are we getting all excited about? president obama is meeting with his cabinet at the white house . we'll get the first pictures of that any minute now. earlier today, the president pushed the congress to react on keeping middle class tax rates where they currently stand.
>> i'm asking congress to listen to the people who sent us here to serve. i'm asking americans all across the country to make your voice heard. tell members of congress what $2,000 tax hike would mean to you.
>> so many people say the president has the upper hand in the debt talks this time around and republicans are starting to show some signs of compromise.
>> republicans are willing to put revenue on the table but it's time for the president and democrats to get serious about the spending problem that our country has. but i'm optimistic that we can continue to work together to avert this crisis and sooner rather than later.
>> all right. nbc's mike viqueira at the white house . could be one of the last cabinet meetings for a few of the people there.
>> reporter: yeah. secretaries of defense and secretaries of state and secretaries of transportation. more staying than not, steve . you are right. but this could be one of the last meetings that comes amid a flurry of activity here at the white house . the president mounting this public relations campaign. you know, he said washington has to be changed from the outside. you can't do it from the inside and trying to put those words to effect. they have really got the pr campaign going. they started a twitter campaign. they call it my 2 k and you know today it was small businesses from around the country. actually, that's a little bit later. with fix the debt. the coalition of large and small businesses later today . this morning, he met with a lot of middle class folks that written in to the white house at the solicitation of the white house and folks saying they would be adversely affected by the $2,000 and added taxes that would come next year alone for the average family of four if the nation is to go over the fiscal cliff. you know, there was one republican, you talked about the glimmers of hope for a compromise. it's tom cole of oklahoma who was quoted yesterday and this morning saying, you know what? let's go along with the president. you heard the sound bite . the president once again calling for congress to pass a tax cut for everybody making under $250,000 and come back to the rest later but the problem is, tom cole doesn't have the votes and neither does john boehner even if he wanted to put that on the floor so the goal of the pr campaign, the machinery kicking in to gear at the white house is to turn the voettes, get votes. swing counties, you know, the election may be over but the campaign continues. there are republicans around in these counties around philadelphia, three of the four districts, as a matter of fact, who can be counted only as swing voters in the house of representatives and that's the battleground where the fight is playing out, steve .
>> okay. thanks as always.
>>> now bringing in "the washington post " political columnist dana millbank a. point of emphasis is tax rates for the wealthy saying in the campaign to go up, he wants to make sure they go up now. dick durbin , number two senate democrat and close to the white house and gave a speech yesterday about the entitlement aspect. medicare, medicaid. the entitlement aspect and basically said we don't want entitlement to be part of the immediate talks january 1st but think as democrats they should be part of longer terms talks for next year. i'm just wondering, is there a sense from the white house among democrats of what it is they're prepared to give in on on terms of entitlement?
>> not enough to satisfy the republicans , this's for sure. they say up here they have seen nothing. unfortunately, the few people who are beginning to even talk about the need for eventual compromise like a tom cole , like a dick durbin are quickly getting smacked down here, particularly on the republican side . that congressman just got a spanking from john boehner in front of his caucus today so there's -- doesn't seem to be any movement in that direction. i was at a breakfast with bowles and simpson this morning and erskine bowles saying he think there is's a 1 in 3 chance of this working out before the fiscal cliff is reached on december 31st . he said he's not hearing enough in terms of entitlements, medicare from the white house and not hearing enough from the terms of tax revenues .
>> dana , i want to go back to the comments of representative tom cole , basically calling on republicans , urging them to extend the marginal tax rates for everybody. under $250,000, let's take a listen to what he had to say.
>> in my view we all agree we're not going to raise taxes on people that make less than $250,000. we should take them out of the discussion right now. continue to fight against any rate increases, continue the try to work honestly for a much bigger deal .
>> now, i actually don't think that's such a bad strategy for republicans in an awkward place politically right now basically the president is making the case that they're holding middle class tax cuts hostage to secure tax cuts for the wealthy. what do you make of the strategies? is there any chance you think the colleagues would go along with it?
>> well, being reasonable these days in the republican house caucus is something of a capital offense so it's pretty clear that they're not going along with this, at least now certainly boehner was reprimanding him saying he's not going along with this idea. you hear republicans particularly in the senate say, of course we need to find some serious ways of doing tax revenues and with tax rates , not just with the loopholes and the deductions. as a tactical matter, they feel they don't want to give in on the tax -- the tax cuts only for income below $250 thousand dollars feeling they've lost the leverage to push far deal on entitlements. there are only ten legislative days to work something out here. they seem dug in and unwilling to do what everybody knows they have to do and that's reach a comprehensive deal.
>> i'm not totally sold on the idea that the republicans aren't being totally unreasonable. i think i see some signs of reasonableness and i think what they're trying to do is find a way to convince the base, look, we tried. we got pushed in to a corner. we had to raise rates on the highest earners, trying to find a path to, yes, first read talked about this. translation house republicans don't have the upper hand in the negotiations. they will have to grapple with raising rates at least in the short term and cole is giving them a way out of the box short term which is the do on the de-couple on the upper rates and live to fight another day and raising rates and not crushed by the base and kicked out of the d.c. do you think that's what's happening, trying to find a way to yes?
>> i'm sure that's what tom cole 's trying to do. not clear that he has any kind of support for that idea in that caucus. look. it's going to take a crisis evidently to create some sort of impetus for them to bend on this. one would think that the fiscal cliff itself, it's a man-made crisis and good enough. maybe it needs to go further than that. you need to see markets tank and need to see the economy plummet and then say we tried and we have to give in on that. that's an awfully dangerous game to play.
>> that's sad.
>> dana , we have word that mitt romney is going to the white house tomorrow. oh, to be a fly on the wall over there. what do you expect that meeting to sound like?
>> is this for show? because obama basically said that he would or do you really expect this to be a meeting of the minds and actual sort of agenda to come out of it?
>> yeah. well, the white house announcement is terrific. it said it's a private meeting in the private dining room and no press.
>> very clear that they won't want anything to come out of it. i suspect it will be one of those photo releases of them strolling down the colonnade or something looking like good friends.
>> that's what i thought.
>> this is a requirement. they agreed to do it. neither one particularly likes the other. obama , you know, in his press conference said he likes the way mitt romney ran the olympics. perhaps asking him to do something in the sporting field.
>> maybe he'll give him some gifts to win over his support.
>> i said it after the election. my dream scenario is that he goes in there tomorrow and obama offers him secretary of health and human services to implement obama care and otherwise known as romney care.
>> from your lips to god's ears.
>> don't count on it.
>> thank you for joining us.
>>> up next, krystal ball sees the future of the republican party . she's no mind reader but watching the primaries as they take shape.
>>> we talked about the president's cabinet. susan rice was on the hill. what are her chances of secretary of state now? as the final ever "cycle" rolls on. music is