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CNN "Piers Morgan Live" - Transcript: ACA and Government Shutdown


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Normally to take the (inaudible) from talking the actual deal. Well, joining me now two congressmen from opposite sides of the aisle maybe they can find some points of agreement. A Democrat, Jim Himes of the Financial Services Committee and Republican Tom Cole, the Deputy Majority Whip. Welcome to you both you're smiling. Has the good news ...

REP. JIM HIMES, (D) CONNECTICUT: We're not restrained.

MORGAN: ... (inaudible) thrown out to you all you all feeling happy is there going to be a deal? Let's start with you Jim Himes, what are you sensing?

HIMES: Well, I'm encouraged. It's -- I'm cautiously encouraged. On the one hand, one thing that encouraged me -- it encourages me is that after the meeting today, nobody ran for the microphones, neither the President nor the Republican leadership ran for the microphones and that's always a good sign that people are getting serious and really working towards a solution.

And then I'm also gratified to see that the people are really focused on making sure we don't default on the full faith and credit. The government shutdown is uncomfortable. It's hurting a lot of people, but the fire we were playing with on default was really a horrifying thing.

MORGAN: Tom Cole, I mean it seems everyone's agreed it's going to be like a six-week extension on the debt ceiling. Everyone's going to accept that's the most sensible course of action. Everyone agrees the government should be reopened. The only question I guess now for the Republicans given a pretty awful polls that have come out tonight with more and more Americans blaming Republicans is what kind of concessions if any they get as part of this process.

How do you see the deal which is probably pretty close to being done now actually being completed?

REP. TOM COLE, (R) OKLAHOMA: Well I agree very much actually with what Jim had to say. I think we've made some real progress both sides including recognize you don't jeopardize the good faith and credit United States. Both sides are talking and both sides have agreed to continue the discussion. I'm not too worried about the particulars of what they'll decide on. It does seem to me that opening the government sooner rather than later is a good thing to do. Look we're going to pay this folks anyway which was the right thing to do, over half the government is up and operational with the Defense Department and the central workers. You know, why would you keep paying people and not giving them the opportunity to work. So we got to do that.

But I think probably the key thing from Republican standpoint is that there is a negotiation. And honestly, there's a time limit not that it couldn't be renewed or extended. I think that there's a serious negotiation there would be. But each side's given a little bit here now and that sets the framework out for productive talks.

MORGAN: Jim Himes, I've got a great interview with Donald Trump coming up later in which he really lays into Washington generally for the lack of ability as he sees it to negotiate and to get business done. Have you got anything to say that this doesn't look very good the way this is all played out?

HIMES: Well, first of all, I never sort about looked to Donald Trump for what is true and good in this world, but also look, Donald Trump in his business when he doesn't like how something is going, he can just do as he does and say you're fired. None of us can say that to each other. We are all elected by very different people and different part to this country and, you know, Donald Trump doesn't necessarily have to work with people. We have to find ways to work with each other. We can't fire each other and that creates a very different dynamic here. And again, today it looks like maybe we're looking up on that count.

MORGAN: Well you can't be fired by the American public of course.

COLE: No, every two years they get their chance.

MORGAN: Tom Cole, do you think that Donald Trump is a force of evil in this world as Mr. Himes seemed to be implying at?

COLE: No. Look, I never having met by Donald about to make a judgment about him, but look I've suggest what we're about here is part of a larger pattern of it. We had a lot of trouble. We came to a budget deal in April of 2011, had a lot of fights and came to a budget deal in August, it should be a debt ceiling be on August of that same year, had the fiscal cliff earlier in January of this year, had a Continuing Resolution deal in March. All four of those together had narrowed the deficit that's why it's about half of what it was three years ago. All four of them were bipartisan it looks to me like we were on the edge of doing the same thing again, but perhaps on a bigger way and more productively.

MORGAN: I want to play a quick clip from - it's an interview with Ted Cruz that came out of tonight's Crossfire. Let's watch what he had to say.


VAN JONES, CO-HOST CNN CROSSFIRE: They followed you into a ditch and now there is obviously no chance that ObamaCare is going to be defunded and we're on the brink of a horrific default. Do you think that in the reflection of your own heart, you might say, "You know what, I'm a new kid here, I think you owe you guys an apology."

SEN. TED CRUZ, (R) TEXAS: You know, Van I know you desperately want to change the topic form ObamaCare. And it's striking that ...

JONES: From the default?

CRUZ: Hold it let me answer you a question.

JONES: The discussion is world economy.

CRUZ: Van let me answer your question. Listen Democrats in this town do not want to discuss ObamaCare, why because it isn't working.


MORGAN: I mean what is interesting isn't it Jim Himes is that actually ObamaCare suddenly disappeared off the talking points here because everyone recognized it was becoming the great obstruction to get any deal done. Suddenly you got Paul Ryan writing it up at least but he doesn't even mention it.

HIMES: Yeah, look, I, you know, Democrats do want to talk about the Affordable Care Act because the CNN Wall Street Journal poll that was released today showed that in the last week the Affordable Care Act has actually risen seven points in popularity over this last week.

Now by the way, we should all be willing to look it at ObamaCare and say what's good and what's bad and let's have those negotiations. Absolutely let's have those negotiations. Let's make a law that some people disapprove of better. Let's do that. It's hard though to look at the strategy that was led by Ted Cruz in the Senate and say that ended up well from the standpoint of public perception for the opponents of ObamaCare.

MORGAN: Well Donald Trump, I know you like very much, he gives a rousing defense of the Tea Party later. That comes. For now, Jim Himes and Tom Cole thank you both very much indeed. COLE: Thank you.

HIMES: Thank you.


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