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tv   Crossfire  CNN  October 17, 2013 6:30pm-7:00pm EDT

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people's frustration with what goes on in this town has never been higher. that's not a surprise. that the american people are completely fed up with washington. >> you know, van, the way the president always sniffs at washington dysfunction, you would think he had been living in duluth the last six years, like he left for the weekend and came home and the kids had trashed the apartment. it really is sort of mind-boggling. mr. president, this is your town. this is your congress. this is your mess. >> well, listen, no matter what this president does, you guys are going to knock him. when he doesn't go on television, tries to stay out of the way, he's always missing in action. no matter what this president does, he gets beat up, and i'm sure he's exasperated as our guests in the "crossfire" tonight. steve horseford, a democrat from
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nevada, and luke mecir, from indiana. you both are fresh persons. >> baptism by fire, right? >> what a crazy way to start. let me start with you. we are already off to the same kind of thing. i hear from a lot of conservatives this president, you know, he never reaches out, he's a dictator, a tie rant. let me throw some facts and you tell me why many awrong. i don't see it that way at all. he has reached out. i remember when he got inaugurated, republicans met -- this is before the tea party before he had done anything and said we're going to block him on everything. i remember mcconnell say it's going to be a one-term presidency. i remember people yelling "you lie" i remember with the stimulus bill, he reached out, $republicans voted against tax cuts. health care bill, republican
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bill, romney-care. can you tell me, honestly -- >> don't let him get away with all of that. >> you'll havement of time to respond. don't you think the president has done anything right? can the republicans take responsibility for the tone? >> i think all parties have responsibility for the tone here. i think the president is the president of the whole country, not just the president of the democratic party. when you have events like took place over the past couple days, it doesn't help for for he to do that. steve and i have gotten together as freshmen. one of mandates of our class, folks at least expect us to get along. here's the big thing, though. i think some of the whining out
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of our party about his comments today, the reality is what he said today won't matter near as much as what he does over the course of the coming weeks and months. >> oh, that's completely true, but congressman horseford, for as long as we've known and the president has been trying change the tone in washington, he said is it in 12008, 2012, how was his speech today, which could have been an opportunity to really transcend. how is he people today, a scolding message to republicans. how is that real change? >> i don't see it the way you just said. it's not about scolding republicans as much as it was to thank our public servants who work hard every day to provide critical services to my constituents, to luke's constituents throughout this country. they got beat up during this shutdown. they got used as a punching bag. the only reason that the government is open today is because senator reid, leader
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pelosi, the house democrats' unity and the resolve of the president. if it were up to the republicans, with el would still be shut down, 800,000 would still be on furlough, our economy would be severing. >> mitch mcconnell gets for credit? >> for doing his job? for agree toss pass a funding bill and averting a default -- >> so he was just doing his job, but the many transcended -- >> i think it's much more productive to focus on moving forward. we've got a budget to balance, but i can't let that pass. >> please don't. >> house republicans passed 13 different bills, i think one or two steven voted for, that would have kept areas of government open, folks would have gotten paid. this was all used as political leverage to force the result they got. listen, they won this phase of the debate. they did. essentiallile bill that passed
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last night is a bill the president would have signed on september 30th, but we now need to move forward and our leader needs to be a part of helping that happen. >> nobody won from this, first of all. the american people, unfortunately, who have been struggling are the ones who paid the biggest price. $24 billion of lost economic activity because of the 16 days of a gop shutdown. it was unnecessary, it was reckless, it was irresponsible. it never should have happened, and i'm glad that we now have reopened the government, that we 'vertebraed a crisis. s&p recorded record points today, because we did or job yesterday, and it's the job that we need to keep doing i want let me ask you a question. we did have 16 days. it was pretty rough for everybody, certainly rough for the workers, but last night you voted against opening the government. voted against lifting the debt ceiling. if everybody had followed your
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leadership, sir, today we would be in economic catastrophe. how do you justify that vote? and what do we think about from you going forward? >> i voted no yesterday, because it was a bad deal for the american people. the president got a blank check on the national debt into the middle of next spring. the date is february, but it could be pushed into march and april. >> so you would rather by shut down right now? >> no, no, i know the president's had some great rhetoric in the last couple weeks, but lost in that rhetoric is this. 27 times in the last 40 years budget spending reduction deals came in conjunction with debt ceiling -- presidents reagan, clinton, even this president two years ago. >> you have done a great job, honestly of making sure we are aware of the history, but the history i'm concerned about is last night and your vote. would you be happy if we were in default? >> no been wanted to be --
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>> but you didn't vote for fix itivities the president didn't negotiate. >> that's just not accurate, luke. the president's budget is 238 billion less than the funding bill that we just approved that funds government through january. that was the budget that paul ryan himself proposed. had you guys just accepted that in july, we would have been able to keep our government open, averting the default, and we could have been focusing on a jobs bill, passing immigration reform, moving our country forward. there's a lot of other thing we could have been doing. the president and democrats met the republicans at their own budget number, but the republicans couldn't take yes for an answer. this is what passes for negotiation, this president and the democrats, they decide what thing that's not the way real compromise works in real life. certainly doesn't work that way in my marriage, probably not in
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yours, either. we should not focus on the last 17 days, but focus on what we're going to do to avert the next shutdown. >> let me talk about that next thing coming up. i'll admit republicans lost on obama care. but on the other thing that republicans wanted to accomplish, attaching spending cuts, deficits reduction, entitlement reform to the debt ceiling debate. we now have two months to negotiate on the debt ceiling, which is exactly what republicans have wanted. i promise you, congressman, republicans will get what they want, at least in part, attached to that debt ceiling deficit. don't you think it's premature for democrats to be wagging their fingers at republicans and declaring victory? >> again, i don't view this as a victory, first of all, second of all, the debt ceiling is about past and current financial debt and obligation, not about future
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debt and obligations president if luke and the republicans want to negotiate about the budget going forward, then fine, they should have passed a clean funding bill and averted a default, and instead of holding us hostage -- you talked about negotiation. my wife doesn't negotiate with a gun to my head. she comes to me and says let's talk about -- >> rhetoric is part of what's contributed to the problem here. it's not what happened. it's not a fair description of where we are. listen, we're going to obviously keep this conversation going. we still have to talk about what happened next. look, when we get back, though, i'm going to shock everybody. i'm going to talk about the ways that ted cruz is like dr. martin luther king. >> oh, wow. >> and the ways that he's not. stay tuned. when we made our commitment to the gulf, bp had two big goals:
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welcome back. in the "crossfire" tonight, we have democratic congressman steven horseford and republican congressman luke mecir. i'm going to shock everybody tonig messer tonight. he took bold action for something he believes in. every leader that has done that i admire, including dr. martin
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luther king jr., but here is the difference. ted cruz will not take personal responsibility for the consequences of hi action. he says this is not my shutdown, but obama shutdown. dr. king never called a rally and said this isn't my rally. dr. king's tactics were controversial, provocative, but he owned them. ted cruz should have taken personal responsibility and said, yes, i did this and here is why. don't blame other people for the shutdown, own it. the fact that you won't makes me fear you will not be a great leader, but a mis-leader. i've been allied with senator cruz, you share a lot of the same views, but i know your dad. i am very concerned we are setting a bad example of the results, whatever we believe, not taken personal responsibility. are you concerned about that? >> i agree. i agree folks on both sides --
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we talked about the president's comments today. the reality is by definition, the government got shut down. we need to find a way through it. the real test, the real decision about the last two weeks is going to come next year as obama care rolls out. if it's a rousing success, the last two weeks will look a lot like today. if obama care is a big failure, it will look much different. >> we did have the shutdown, we did not vote to reopen the government, you had your reasons for that, but we'll be in the same situation again. you've got a bunch of people saying different things, mccain and mcconned say never have a shutdown, cruz says might. where are you? >> i think we need to go to work today. i was glad to do the budget leaders working. the american people won't excuse another shutdown. we have to work together, all parties, to make sure we find a
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compromise that keeps the government open. >> congressman horseford, the president says we have to stop careening from crisis to crisis. in my mind, it seems like we're careening from policy failure to policy failure, whether on immigration or gun control, syria. these budget messes, it doesn't seem like the president has managed to accomplish many. he is winning on politics, i give you that, but what is the achievable policy he's managed to batten down. >> this president has worked extremely hard despite the obstructionism that's happened in the congress to move our country forward. other economy has added more jobs every month consecutively month after month. he wants to pass comprehensive immigration reform, and has put a very clear plan forward. i'm proud to be sponsoring hr-15, which is mirrors the
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policy that he wants to see implemented, but you know what? he needs a congress that will work with him, not against him. senator reid and the leadership in the senate is working with him, but unfortunately speaker boehner and a faction of republicans in the house have blocked him in every way. >> but all this talk of republican obstructionism makes it seem like obama and the democrats see him as a victim. will that be his legacy? >> this is about helping or president succeed for the country. this is about america succeeding. i believe in a country that can still do great things as the president talks about, but we need a congress that will work with him, and right now we have too many republicans who are about ideology, about extremism, who aren't about doing their job on behalf of the american public. >> i think we have to improve our tone a bit here, but, you know, one of lessons of the
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events over the last few days is it's very hard to move big public policy without public sentiment on your side. the president has more powers of persuasion than anyone in the world. if he calls a press conference people will come. he said one of the coolest things about president is if you call anybody in the world, they call you back. but when the president decides to try to order people to instead of trying to persuade them to do things, he's going to have a small presidency. >> speaking of message, and we are now trying to move forward to figure out what we can expect going forward, there seems to be some mixed message or some confusion about what we should learn in your party. rush limbaugh had this to say today. i want you to hear this sound and real something to you, and then you give me your take. do we have that? >> i was trying to think earlier today, if ever in my life i
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could remember any political -- major political party being so irrelevant, i have never seen it. i have never seen a major political party simply occupy place holders, as the republican party is doing. >> so now that's him going after mainstream of the party, and then at the same time you have grover norquist, and he says he's blaming the opposite. he says if you make a mistake as big as what they did, talking about the ted cruz crowd, you owe rare fellow senators a big apology and your constituents, because they did essentially nothing. now, who is right? is grover norquist right? or is rush limbaugh right? >> what i would tell you is this -- now is not the time for finger pointing and not i would tell you, in these, i
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try to learn in life. i lived the perfect life, i made my mistakes. when things haven't worked out the way i wanted them to. i tried to learn. i have no regrets on our policy or principle here. even myself as i look at i the last nine, ten months. i don't think my tone has been perfect everywhere we've gone. if you're going to work together as leaders, you have to be able to talk to each other. i think we have to work through that. frankly, i think the key to the future in the republican party is the focus on the things where we agree. none of us like obama care. we need to focus on those. >> i could not agree more. this fetishizing of tactics and who is conservative enough and who is too conservative is killing us. if you're not going to choose between rush limbaugh and grover norquist, wise decision, by the way, let me get to you weigh in. i think what we've seen over the past few weeks and months has been two camps' interpretations
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of what that in 2012. so to the ted cruz win, they think we lost because we weren't conservative enough. romney rorm lost and i ted cruz won. proof is in the pudding. then you have the paul ryan camp that says i'm plenty conservative. i think we lost because our message was inartful and negative. and i think that's where you're seeing this divergence. i like to think that i can be a republican who sees value in both a ted cruz and a paul ryan. it doesn't seem like that's the case anymore. there is a dividing line. what's your take? >> again, thing didn't turn out yesterday like we would like. it is the lachb geniuses. everybody has their idea about what we ought to do. nobody lit their hair on fire to stop the events of the last 14 days. i mean, almost all of these bills that passed were passed with virtually all republican support and here's the reason why. because in our party,
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universally people wanted to try to stop obama care. the people that elected us expected us to do everything we could to try to stop it. we did. we've done everything we can. it didn't happen. and now as a party we need to focus on the rest of the things. >> are you worried we're going to cannibalize? >> sure. >> why is it that obama care had to be used to prevent our budget from being funded, or to risk defalling for the first time in u.s. history? >> again, i reject the premise, the president may well have to delay the individual mandate any way had he accepted that, why did it have to -- >> why could be we, we would not be here. >> i serve on the oversight committee. they voted 40 some times now to defund or delay or obstruct the implementation of the affordable care act. not one hearing have we had on
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trying to make it work right. don't you have uninsured people in indiana like i have in nevada? 30% of my constituents in nevada run insured. they're children, veterans, mothers. all of them deserve health care. why is this such burning a issue? i have folks who have lost health care, i have folks who are having their hours cut back. i have folks worried about their rates. >> those of houston want to make the bill better. >> the president has promised -- sorry. i don't want to talk over you. the president promised when the government is open he will negotiate. he will have several months to prove that he is willing to work to improve obama care. >> both of you stay here. next we'll cease fire and see if there is anything you can agree on. we want to you weigh in on today's fireback question at home. do you think president obama will be able to accomplish his agenda going forward? tweet us yes or no using hsht crossfire.
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we're back with our two freshman congressmen. is there anything you can agree on? we'll start with you. >> i think luke and i both agree that this shutdown was unnecessary and we need to avoid it happening again. and both sides need to work together between now and january to avoid another shutdown from happening. ever again.
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because it caused way too much havoc. it was unnecessary. both of us came here to govern. we're used to compromising. we understand that neither sides ever side will always get our way but we have to work together. open the lines of communications and help. >> one thing we agree on, we both overachieved in marriage. i know that. i met his wife and he's met mine. beyond that, there are policy challenges we face as a country. we need an economy that continues to improve. we have to deal with spending. we have big challenges in the immigration system that's broken. i think the biggest thing is that in many ways, washington is broken. this is a town that doesn't work. it has never been perk. the jokes about washington has gone on for hundreds of years. we have to be a place where people can at least talk to each other to find solutions. >> i can't imagine myself in their position. coming in at a time like this.
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is this what you thought it would be? public service? >> i said we didn't get drafted. we put out yard signs for this job. >> one of the thing that i've been surprised about. we may agree on this. i expected boehner to get obliterated and i think he is somehow managed to come out stronger than ever. they wanted to oust him saying thanks for helping us out. >> i think did he a tough job in ultimate circumstances. he got to the right place. he could have got there a lot sooner. >> i want to thank both of you for being here. we have to have you back. if you want to be a part of this going forward, to go facebook or twitter. you can weigh in. do you think president obama will be able to accomplish his agenda going forward? right now, 44% of you say yes. 56%

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