The Cycle | February 27, 2013
>> let's call this wednesday numbers wednesday. thank god rwe are jumping at shakespeare wednesday. i never read a single one.
>> breaking news.
>> except for king leer . was that one? i don't know. we have the sequester clock in full countdown mode and a new " wall street journal " news poll looking at the blame game known as the sequester stand up. let's look at the polls. no good news for the republicans . their brand is mired in the 20s. we asked about it in eight of them. the democrats come out on. here are the three where they win. the news is not all good for the obama side either. the president's job approval rating is down a bit to 50%. when we asked about the direction of the country, more said we are heading in the wrong direction. in an attempt to reverse that, obama is bringing congressional leaders to talk sequester. 85 billion in cuts kicks in, sparking the question why wait until friday. one republican calls it a be rated farce saying they should ought to pretend to try. they said they are holding off until after the senate votes and like every other plan. today the president thanked the leaders for agreeing to talk on friday to sort it out. i have been trying to come up on deadline 27 and the fiscal impact. it doesn't seem to be as much urgency, but i wonder if that's not so much an accident. the understanding here this is a play where the sequester will happen and it's a deadline where it takes a while for them to be phased in. you have the continuing resolution that funds the government. the calculation by the white house is it's going to take that time and the continuing resolution to build pressure to make the deal the white house is looking for. is that your read on the situation?
>> that's my read. the polls suggest that they are not alarmed or outraged to force machines to do something they don't want to do like raise taxes. the " wall street journal " poll last night, 46% of americans said they were willing to stomach the sequester. bloomberg put the number at 40. when you have a constituency, the republicans are not going to feel that much pressure. especially when the public is not paying that close of attention. popular more american who is are not even paying attention to the sequester. the fiscal cliff and the debt ceiling was the opposite. the number of people paying very close attention outnumbered those paying close attention by 2 - 1 margins. the white house will count on the sequester being unpopular and give them the leverage necessary to force republicans to choose between compromise or a government shut down by saying if you do not -- if you are here to balance the approach, we won't vote for a continuing resolution . i think the white house would be in a strong mission to position to force republicans to compromise.
>> you mentioned the possibility and we think back to the fall of 1995 when bill clinton and the congress had to stand up and clinton refused to sign the bill. we had a shut down and the public sided strongly against the republicans and they folded quickly on that. what's your read right here. were you looking at the numbers and playing this out. is it more likely it will take a shut down and the run up to the shut down.
>> we are talking about raising taxes . they are not talking about folding taxes. it would be very difficult for speaker boehner to raise revenue without going all the way to the end. yesterday ron johnson suggested that barron could lose it and the fact that they are talking about it speaks to the cost of the leadership. it's quite possible that the democrats will need to be being willing to go all the way through the shut down if they intended to create the simples for republicans to raise revenue. that involves dismannedling unity and saying we can't take this backlash and all of that comes out after a shut down.
>> nate dog , nice to see you. i want to talk about this poll. interesting though not totally surprising numbers. total positive. obama at 49%. the nra at 42%. surprisingly strong democratic party behind the nra and then there is a leap down here where the congratulate lick church and the go sprks way down there at 29%. do you think obama 's popularity will help him leverage in the sequester and the lack of popularity hurt them or is this the gop saying we don't believe in government. we want to damage government to aid our thesis that government is the problem and working into their big scheme.
>> i don't think that the president's favorability realityings are impressive. being under 50% on popularity doesn't really bode well for the ability to pressure republicans and gop-leaning districts that have an unfavorable impression of the president or where his favorability is lower. is the president an asset compared to the republicans ? absolutely. the issue is that the republicans might be willing to hold out through about anything to maintain lower tax rates or at least to prevent closing loopholes. it's a public that demands a balanced approach and doesn't want to see the shut down.
>> let's take a look at the magazine's recent headlines. asleep on the sequester and better hope they don't wake up. let's be honest. we mentioned at the table a lot of scary cuts will happen later. some will happen slowly. some are not going to happen at all and a lot of them will be given discretion as to how they deal with sequester that might make the cuts less painful and frankly entire regions that may not feel the pain at all. i am wonder figure you think obama may have miscalculated a little talking about his public popularity. miscalculated his ability to scare republicans and scare the country away from this looming sequester.
>> i agree with you. that's why i butt a lot of my eggs in the shut down baskts. i don't think that will be enough to force republicans to save. if we are talking about spending cuts, it's possible that the sequester can prove unpopular, i'm skeptical that it will produce a ka taft rory that forces republicans to save. they released a bunch of immigrants and maybe tomorrow they will decommission the uss ronald reagan . we have one of these every day for a month. if two weeks from now, you will that happens is the lining of parks are really long, that's not the way they are forced to give up on the agenda. the shut down or threat of it, that i think could get republicans to budge.
>> you you referenced the poll numbers and more specifically, 40% of americans were paying close attention to the fiscal cliff. only 25% say they are paying attention to the sequester. i mean this as a serious question. did we not give it a scary enough name? we called it end times or the big ax of 2013 . steve is frightened of asteroids. maybe there is asteriod play. it's a more exciting and scare name marketed.
>> sequester geddon or something like that.
>> a democrat came up with that name.
>> the debt ceiling didn't have a great name. 50% are paying close attention to that.
>> there you go.
>> we got through the segment without having to quote more shakespeare and i don't know anymore.
>> to be or not to be. what a choice.
>> then you ruined it. you did it yourself.
>> i screwed the lineup. thank you for joining us. the supreme court is hearing one of the most important cases and how the decision can affect our political process. the pope's decision has been made and his public goodbye is made. what now for the catholic church . a busy news day for wednesday, february 27th .