I find it hard to believe that either Bill Kristol or Dana Perino are not both keenly aware of the fact that not only Wall Street, but the U.S. Chamber of Commerce as well have been pressuring Republicans to quit playing their game of chicken with raising the debt ceiling, but they both feigned ignorance during this segment on Fox News Sunday.
As Media Matters has documented, Fox can't seem to get their talking points straight on this issue, so the panel on Fox News Sunday continuing to confuse viewers as to the seriousness of the matter and who is pressuring politicians to resolve it should come as no big surprise.
WALLACE: Which brings us to this question of negotiations, Bill, to the big news this weekend, whether it's serious or just style, and that was the golf summit -- and yes, we do have pictures of it -- between President Obama and Speaker Boehner. We don't know if business got done there. From their point of view, I kind of hope that they weren't sitting talking about the debt or the War Powers Act.
But, first of all, do you think this does any good for them to sit and slap each other's back and spend a few hours together in a less formal situation? And what do you think are the chances that there will be a substantive deal on the debt and the deficit before we run into what Treasury Secretary Geithner says is this drop dead date of August 2nd?
KRISTOL: I don't know. I have been doubtful that there would be a major deal.
I've been struck that Vice President Biden and House Majority Leader Eric Cantor seem pretty hopeful about a deal. I'm worried about it in the sense that I think it could be a very weak deal that I think a lot of conserves in the country are going to have trouble with it. And I think the politics of --
WALLACE: Well, wait a minute. Are you suggesting that the Republicans are going to sell out?
KRISTOL: Yes. Well, not sell out. I think that you get in the room with the president, you get bludgeoned by the treasury secretary with partly phony threats about how we're about to default on everything, and then you cut a deal.
And I think the politics of that are dicey for both parties and dicey for the country. But I think if I were Michele Bachmann, I would already be writing my speech on the House floor on August 2nd, denouncing with deep regret, of course -- a speech given in sorrow, not anger -- denouncing Speaker Boehner for cutting a bad deal with the president and not for not insisting on serious spending cuts and serious reforms and serious budget cuts and the prospect of a balanced budget in the near future. And I think that would be a pretty powerful speech for Michele Bachmann to give on the floor of the House.
LIASSON: I think you can predict that she's going to do that no matter what. And they're not just getting pressured by Tim Geithner. They're getting calls from wall Street, they're getting calls from all of their constituents and their big donors saying you better raise the debt ceiling.
LIASSON: Yes. Yes.
PERINO: I heard the opposite.
LIASSON: Well, they've been reassuring Wall Street that the debt ceiling will go up. That's why Wall Street didn't react badly when they had that symbolic vote not to raise it. And I think if all of a sudden, they reach the debt ceiling, I think there will be a bad reaction from the markets. The markets think it's going to go up.
KRISTOL: They're mostly reassuring Wall Street that they're going to cut spending down the road.
KRISTOL: And we're not going to have trillion-dollar deficits forever.
LIASSON: Yes. And there will be cuts in spending.