I caught this last night and did not get a chance to post it earlier, but man was this one painful interview to watch. Lawrence O'Donnell was doing extra duty with Rachel Maddow on vacation and additional live coverage after President Obama's speech on the debt ceiling last night and during his late night coverage had on Democratic Rep. Rob Andrews and Republican Rep. Marsha Blackburn. Par for the course, Blackburn did her best to filibuster the segment and O'Donnell for the most part allowed it for the better part of the entire 12 minute or so interview.
I'll spare everyone some of her back and forth with Rep. Andrews where he tried to get her to explain her vote for the Ryan budget and what it does to Medicare among a few other topics and if anyone is interested you can read the entire transcript here.
The parts of this that were worth watching were O'Donnell calling Blackburn out for lying about what the polls say when it comes to lowering the deficit by raising taxes on the rich and other revenue increases and asking her if the GOP caucus lies to each other behind closed doors about public opinion and not just in public. He also did a nice job of hitting her up for why she was continually willing to raise the debt ceiling in the past but rather than answer him, she just continued with her filibustering.
Please Lawrence, if you do have her back on as you offered to do at the end of this very long segment, don't let her talk the entire time or talk over another guest the way she did here again. This would have been much more bearable to watch if the interview was just condensed to these portions which is what's included in the clip above:
O'DONNELL: Congresswoman Blackburn, the Republican position of no revenue uses at all in deficit reduction is supported by only 26 percent of the American people. How can the Republicans maintain that they are in any way acting as representatives of the people when they are taking a position that is opposed by over 70 percent of the people?
BLACKBURN: I find it interesting that you phrase the question that way. I will tell you one of the things we hear repeatedly from people from coast to coast is that Washington doesn't have a revenue problem. It has a spending problem.
What the American people would really like to see us do is to get this out-of-control, wasteful Washington spending under control.
We've heard from economists from coast to coast there again who have said what you have to do is move forward with the spending reduction plan. They want to see that. The ratings agencies want to see it. We can‘t continue on this trajectory.
This president has spent $7.3 trillion. We haven‘t had a budget in 800-and-something days, and $3.4 trillion of what he has spent is debt. We‘re borrowing 40 cents of every dollar that is spent.
We have to get a handle on this. Number one thing is to get the spending under control and cut, cap and balance—cut being the first part of that. That is the step that we have agreed should be taken first and quite frankly I think there are plenty of polls out there that show the American people also agree with that. That spending reductions have to take place.
O‘DONNELL: No, Congresswoman, there are no polls out there, no polls out there that support the Republican position. I just told you.
BLACKBURN: CNN had a poll that did.
O‘DONNELL: Sixty-seven percent --
BLACKBURN: CNN had a poll that did.
O‘DONNELL: Sixty-seven percent said that deficit reduction must be a balance.
My question to you, Congresswoman, is --
BLACKBURN: Ours is the most balanced plan.
O‘DONNELL: I know you come on television and spout the talking points. But when you guys close the door and you have a Republican caucus in the House, do you actually lie to each other about the polls there, or does anyone in that room say, hey, this is getting politically difficult? Our position is opposed by 67 percent of the people. Does anyone say that in your caucuses, any one referred to real polls?
BLACKBURN: Lawrence, the way you phrase that is insulting, and I think that you know that.
O‘DONNELL: I don‘t think it is. Congresswoman, I know you‘re defying the polls now. I‘m asking you in your private discussions, does anyone mention real polls or do you all just do these fake talking points to each other? Is that how you sound talking to each other behind closed doors?
BLACKBURN: We are focused on making certain that the steps we take are going to honor the commitment that we have taken, the oath of office that we have taken, to make certain that we put this nation on a firm financial footing.
What we do not want to do is have the nations that hold our debt, China being one, Japan number two, the U.K. number three and OPEC number four. Those are the entities that hold our debt. China owns about 25 percent of that.
What we don‘t want to do, Lawrence, is to cap our children‘s future and trade it to the people that hold that debt.
This is a very serious issue. It is one where we cannot kick the can down the road.
What we are saying is, let‘s get this addressed. And we are certain that we have put good plans on the—you know, the president doesn't have a plan. He has yet to a put a plan on the table.
O‘DONNELL: He has put a plan on the table. Did you see—did you see—Congresswoman, he put a plan on the table at 6:00 p.m. on Friday at in his conference, he out lined specific cuts—
BLACKBURN: No, what he said today he didn't want to bore us with the details of the plan.
O‘DONNELL: He has put plans on the table. And every time he‘s put a plan on the table --
BLACKBURN: That‘s what he said on the speech. No, you‘re incorrect.
O‘DONNELL: -- the Republicans have walked away. They refuse to discuss it.
BLACKBURN: He has not. He‘s given speeches. But CBO can‘t score the speeches, and you can‘t put a speech on the board and call the vote on it. He‘s got a teleprompter, but he doesn't have a plan, and we as Republicans have plans.
O‘DONNELL: He does have plans. Congresswoman, I have to move on to Congressman Andrews. Let‘s him have a chance to speak here. Your filibustering can go on all night. He does have plans. I‘m not going to lie about that on this show.
Go ahead, Congressman.
ANDREWS: I want to ask you a simple question.
BLACKBURN: Rob, I‘m not here to be interviewed—I‘m not here to be interviewed by you.
ANDREWS: Are you here to answer questions? Will you answer one question? Listen, I‘m here to do—I‘m here to do an interview with Lawrence. I was not here to be interviewed by you.
O‘DONNELL: Congressman Andrews --
ANDREWS: Lawrence, can I suggest a question you should ask? Ask her whether—because she‘ll answer your questions evidently.
O‘DONNELL: Well, we‘ll see.
ANDREWS: Ask her whether the Ryan budget included the Medicare reductions in the health care bill in it or not?
O‘DONNELL: Did the Ryan, Congresswoman Blackburn, do you want to take that question, Congresswoman Blackburn?
BLACKBURN: I find it so interesting that you have a member -
O‘DONNELL: -- you‘re not going to answer.
O‘DONNELL: Congresswoman Blackburn, are there any circumstances under which you would vote for a debt ceiling increase without accompanying spending cuts?
BLACKBURN: No. We've already put that on the floor. We had that vote. I think it‘s --
O‘DONNELL: Congresswoman, you did vote for that. Congressman, you did—tell America the truth. You voted for it.
Congresswoman, tell America the truth. You voted for a 9 percent
increase in America‘s debt ceiling
BLACKBURN: Under President Bush, yes.
O‘DONNELL: It was a one-sentence bill. It had no spending cuts in it, nothing in it, one sentence bill.
BLACKBURN: You‘re talking about a vote in ‘06. That‘s correct.
O‘DONNELL: You voted for it. Why did you that? Why did you vote for a debt ceiling increase that was a one-sentence bill with no spending cuts whatsoever?
BLACKBURN: Lawrence, I have to tell you this. The spending right now is out of control.
O‘DONNELL: So, you‘re not going to tell you why you cast that vote, right? You won‘t answer that question?
BLACKBURN: This president has spent --
O‘DONNELL: You‘re going to give a speech but you won‘t answer a question about why you—
ANDREWS: Lawrence, we now have something in common. She wouldn't answer your questions either.
O‘DONNELL: We‘re running out of time. I‘m going to have to wrap this up. I don‘t want to interrupt you, but I don‘t expect you to actually answer it.
BLACKBURN: Spending has to stop.
O‘DONNELL: Right. OK. So you won‘t answer that question about why you cast that vote that way in the past.
BLACKBURN: I told you. There has been far too much spending. The spending is out of control. We have to get it under control.
O‘DONNELL: When the debt was at $7 trillion, when the debt was at $7 trillion, Congresswoman Blackburn, you didn't blink at eye at raising it.