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Public Statements

MSNBC "The Ed Show" - Transcript

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Tonight`s question, will Republicans lead our country into another
recession by refusing to act on the debt ceiling? Text A for yes, text B
for no, to 622639. We`ll bring you the results later on. You can always
go to our blog at Ed.MSNBC.com and leave the result.
Joining me tonight is Congressman Jim McDermott of Washington, who has
been in the chamber for quite a while and seen a lot. He sits on the ways
and means committee.
Congressman, good to have you with us tonight.
Do you think Republicans will follow through on their threat to take
the country into default? I mean, the president spent a hot of time today
educating the American people and cutting to the chase and being brilliant
on the basics about what the ramifications would be. Your thoughts.

REP. JIM MCDERMOTT (D), WASHINGTON: My thought is that they seem to
be this time headed for a real trauma. I voted no on the last bailout, Ed,
a couple of weeks ago because I knew that the real fight was going to come
on this debt ceiling. And they think that this is the way. Now, it`s like
handing the keys to a John Deere tractor to a 6-year-old and let him try
and drive it.
These guys, they have no idea what they`re doing to the economy. And
they will wreck it because they think that that way they`ll get their way
on some other things. It is simply -- you can`t -- if the facts made any
difference, the president would win the day totally.

But the facts don`t -- it doesn`t make them move at all. They simply
believe that if they are tough enough and bring enough chaos, they will get
what they want. And they don`t understand what they`re asking for. It is
really scary to me.

SCHULTZ: Well, it`s scary to a lot of Americans, because it will hurt
a lot of people. But why would they do this? Do they want the big three
that bad? Do they want sequestration that bad? Do they really want these
cuts to hit?
Because if you look at the cuts, if we go down that road, it`s going
to hit the Pentagon pretty hard. And that`s, of course, their core. They
don`t want to let that go.

MCDERMOTT: They want to make the president look like he can`t run the
country. That`s what the bottom line here is. Nobody wants to say that.
But that`s what it`s about.
If they were serious about Medicare, if they were serious about
Medicaid, if they were serious about Defense, they could sit down and have
the regular order in the Congress and have committee hearings, and actually
make some sensible cuts.
Every one of us knows there are sensible ways to deal with the deficit
and the debt of this country. But you do not get it by threatening people
to burn the house down as a way of making them come to the table. That
simply won`t work.

SCHULTZ: Are you confident President Obama will stick to his guns?

MCDERMOTT: I am.

SCHULTZ: This is it. You are?

MCDERMOTT: I`m absolutely -- he`s been burned by these guys enough
times. It`s like going to the county or like Charlie Brown and Lucy and
the football. He`s said I`m going to kick the football and Lucy keeps
jerking the ball away.
The Republicans have jerked the ball away from him again and again.
This time he is not going to do it. He is much smarter now than he was two
years ago.

SCHULTZ: What about Harry Reid over the weekend and some Senate
Democrats who communicated with the White House on Friday, saying do what
you have to do. What`s your response to that?

MCDERMOTT: Well, my belief is that the president should use every
power that is vested in him by the Constitution. And I personally think
that there are ways in which he can say I am going to maintain the credit
of this country. I`m going to borrow the money. If they want to fight me
over it, then go to the Supreme Court and fight it out there.
I don`t think the president can be responsible and let this country go
into the tank when you`ve got the whole economy of the world in very shaky
shape today. You can`t -- you`re not playing with little stuff here.
You`re playing with the whole world economy. And I think the president
knows that. And he will do what he has to do.

SCHULTZ: Congressman Jim McDermott, good to have you with us tonight
on THE ED SHOW -- thanks so much.

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