Face the Nation's guest host Harry Smith hosted I guess what you could call a lively debate with Democrats Debbie Wasserman Schultz and Anthony Weiner and Republicans Michele Bachmann and Representative-elect Mike Kelly. Some of the more contentious
January 2, 2011

Face the Nation's guest host Harry Smith hosted I guess what you could call a lively debate with Democrats Debbie Wasserman Schultz and Anthony Weiner and Republicans Michele Bachmann and Representative-elect Mike Kelly. Some of the more contentious portions being when they got into it over whether the Congress should vote to raise the debt ceiling and on the Republicans' plan to pass a lot of votes in the House that they know aren't going to go anywhere to repeal the health care law.

I've just got one suggestion for Wasserman Schultz and Weiner. The next time they get a chance to debate Michele Bachmann and she starts talking about real world experience with running a business, ask her about those farm subsidies she and her family are receiving.

Transcript which I attempted to clean up a bit via CBS News.

SMITH: So here’s a question for everybody. Government is funded basically till about March or so. There will be a vote eventually on raising the debt ceiling. Will you vote to raise the debt ceiling?

WASSERMAN SCHULTZ: Well-- I-- I’m going to wait and see where-- the direction that the Republicans want to take-- take ours-- our policies.

SMITH: Mm-Hm. Congressman Weiner.

WEINER: I-- I voted against this tax cut bill because I thought it blew a hole in-- in the budget. And I think the Republicans have come in saying that they’re going to not raise the debt ceiling and they are going to allow the full faith and credit of the American people, go down the tubes. It’s their ship to run now. That’s the responsibility. This is-- this is their-- the-- you know, this is an adult game now.

SMITH: Yeah. All right.

WEINER: And-- and-- and the risk--

SMITH: All right.

WEINER: --of--

SMITH: Let me go to Mike Kelly. Mike Kelly, this is one-- it’s going to be
one of the big votes--

KELLY: Sure.

SMITH: --and you-- you risk having the government come to a standstill.

KELLY: Well, you know, speaking as an adult who has always paid his own way I do understand what happens and raising the debt ceiling to me is absolutely irresponsible. We’ve been spending money for so long that we don’t have and keep saying, “Well, it’s okay, we’ll just raise taxes and we will find it somewhere.”

SMITH: All right.

KELLY: Tax revenue comes from people who are working, people who are profitable does not come from raising--

SMITH: All right.

KELLY: --tax rates.

SMITH: Michele Bachman.

BACHMANN: I-- I-- at this point, I am not in favor of raising the debt ceiling. As a matter of fact, I have a petition that I’m urging people to sign at michelepac.com to urge their member of Congress not to raise the debt ceiling, because the Congress has had a big party the last two years. They couldn’t spend enough money. And now they’re standing back folding their arms saying, “Oh,” taunting us to, “if you’re how are you going to go ahead and solve this big spending crisis?” Well--

SMITH: So-- so, you’re willing to risk seeing the government shut down?

BACHMANN: --it was fine when they had the credit card and they were spending the money.

SMITH: So, you’re willing that-- it’s worth the risk?

BACHMANN: Well, it’s- it’s not good for anyone to shut the government down. It’s not good for anyone. That’s why I think it’s important for the Democrats who are so willing to spend money to now be a part of trying to figure out how we can be responsible.

WEINER: So you want-- you want to be in charge until you’re actually in charge. Now you’re not so much of feeling responsibility.

WASSERMAN SCHULTZ: One-- one of the first things--

BACHMANN: We-- we weren’t for the spending.

WASSERMAN SCHULTZ: --one of the first things-- excuse me, one of the first things that-- that we’re going to do is vote to pass the Republican proposed rules package and-- and talking about the debt ceiling, they-- their proposed rules and Mike you talked about in your campaign, the importance of one vote. I-- I want to see whether you’re going to vote for that rules package that gives Paul Ryan the authority to set the-- set the budget limits himself. Taking away your vote that you talked about that was so precious. And taking the right of all of us in the House of Representatives of having one member set the budget ceiling for the entire country is absolutely irresponsible and undemocratic.

SMITH: Go ahead.

KELLY: Well, you know, this-- this is what America loves. This is what America loves. Both sides pointing the finger at the other saying, no, it’s your fault. No, it’s your fault.

WASSERMAN SCHULTZ: It’s not about fault.

KELLY: I got to tell you something.

WASSERMAN SCHULTZ: What are you going do?

KELLY: When we talk about, we talk about having adult conversations and we really have to start acting like adults. We’ve got a huge problem sitting in front of us right now and it’s very amusing to walk-- to walk through this. I got to tell you, for being on the outside all my life, I don’t know how in the world you folks go home and look these people in the eye and say we’ve done a great job. We’ve done a great job. Your country is fourteen trillion dollars in the red.

WASSERMAN SCHULTZ: Well, you’ve got the opportunity now.

WEINER: Hold-- hold on a second, first-- (Cross-talking)

WEINER: --let me-- let me say something to Congressman Kelly here. First of all, the “you folks” stuff, now you are one of those folks.

WEINER: And it is your job in the majority party to govern.

KELLY: Yes. Yes.

WEINER: And the first thing the Republicans did when they took back the House the last time is they drove the government to a shutdown. And I guess from-- from what I’ve heard Michele saying, you say that’s what’s going to happen again.

WASSERMAN SCHULTZ: It’s where we’re headed.

WEINER: But all that “you stuff--”

BACHMANN: That’s not at all Anthony. You got it all wrong.

WEINER: --that has to end today.


SMITH: Okay. Hey, Michele--

BACHMANN: You got it exactly wrong. That is not what we’re looking to do and you’re stating it falsely. We are not looking to shut the government down. No one benefits.

WASSERMAN SCHULTZ: Well, that’s the direction that we seem to--

BACHMANN: But at the same time we’re not looking at wanting to continually raise the debt ceiling.

SMITH: Okay. Well, it’s--

BACHMANN: That’s something that the Democrats have wanted to--

SMITH: --at that point becomes it becomes one or the other.

WEINER: I don’t know what you call it Michele, but that’s shutting down the government.

SMITH: Michele, let me ask you this because one of the things that Tea Party has talked about is dismantling health care and we’re wondering if in the end of the day that ends up being a fool’s errand, because no matter how many votes you amass in the House and even if ou could get the votes in the Senate, it will face a certain veto. Is it worth the effort to try to do it?

BACHMANN: Of course, it is. Because Obamacare will bankrupt the country and so the-- you’ve seen that the more the people learn about Obamacare the less they like it. It’s very costly, it’s unwieldy. So we will put forth a clean repeal bill of Obamacare and you’ll continue to see us make that fight because that’s what the American people want us to do. They want-- the-- the real problem in health care is the cost drivers. Obamacare is actually raising the cost drivers. We want to adopt a free market approach to health care and you’ll see us put those free market solutions forward.

SMITH: Even Democrats realize that the deficit is almost-- it’s-- it’s out of control. It’s beyond reach. It’s this weight that is hanging--

WEINER: Even Democrats. We-- we--

WASSERMAN SCHULTZ: The deficit was-- let’s remember the deficit was exploded by Republicans. President Bush inherited a record surplus and turned it--


WASSERMAN SCHULTZ: --into a record deficit. So it-- it-- two wars unpaid for, a prescription drug plan unpaid for, tax cuts unpaid for, so the deficit that we found ourselves in was thanks to the Republicans.

HARRY SMITH: Is it addressable?

WEINER: Well, it-- it is-- it is--

BACHMANN: Har-- Harry, if I could just add there is no--

SMITH: Hang on one second. Hang on one second.

BACHMANN: --there is no equivalency.

SMITH: Go ahead.

WEINER: Well, I-- I-- I think that it-- it has to be and I think that there is a lot of room for bipartisan work. I mean Time magazine without much sweat came up with a hundred billion dollars of corporate welfare that they-- they identified. I think we can find cuts. I’m-- I’ve been working with Jason Chafe of-- of Utah. We-- we’ve found cuts that we thing but there’s no doubt about it though. Some of the big things are philosophical questions. The Republicans have philosophically said they don’t believe in the guaranteed social security benefit. They don’t believe in a guaranteed Medicare benefit. We know that because--

BACHMANN: You know, Harry--

WEINER: --because they--

MICHELE BACHMANN: --Harry, Harry, Anthony continues to make these statements.

WEINER: And Michele you voted that for the Republican alternative last year.

BACHMANN: And it’s very important.

WEINER: And I’m sorry.

BACHMANN: It’s very important to remember--

WEINER: Have you met the young guns, Michele?

SMITH: All right. Hang-- hang out-- hang one second--

(Cross talking)

BACHMANN: Harry-- Harry, since President Obama came into office, we’ve had over three trillion dollars in deficit. We’re looking at another one trillion dollars in deficit. Let’s try to just get our arms around that reality.

SMITH: All right. All right.

WASSERMAN SCHULTZ: If we can go back to health care reform.

BACHMANN: This is massive.

WASSERMAN SCHULTZ: --reform for one second, because Saturday the-- the health care reform piece that was implemented was we cut prescription drug bills--


WASSERMAN SCHULTZ: --for senior citizens by fifty percent. We’re going to make-- we-- we have already made sure that young adults until they’re twentysix can be on their parents insurance. A-- a constituent in my district came up to me a few weeks ago and thanked me for saving her three thousand dollars a year, because she can put her two adult children back on that-- back-- back on her insurance. That’s what the Republicans are going to be-- are going to be proposing to repeal this way it’s not going to happen, if it about jobs in the economy and reducing the deficit, wasting time and money and adding to the deficit--

SMITH: All right.

WASSERMAN SCHULTZ: --by repealing health care reform on the attempt is irresponsible.

BACHMANN: Harry-- Harry, if I can--

SMITH: Hang on Michele-- hang on we are going to get Mike-- Mike back in here once again. Mike, you’ve already taken a look at this, you’re not going to take the governmentsponsored health care program that is available to members of Congress, right?

KELLY: No I’m not. I’m not. I-- I’ve always paid for my own health care, I mean, you know, I-- I come from a private-- private sector, okay. I’ve been-- in my whole life I’ve been responsible for everything that I do. And I think we’ve these conversations and I think this absolutely goes back to the Middle Ages, we’re worrying about how many angels we can fit in the head of a pin. We got to start look at these things. There is a cost with everything involved. My early time here in this-- in this city is so different than where I come from, because I live in a real world where people actually have to use their own money to pay for things. So this idea that you can keep doing this or doing that and I love this fact that we are going to pay for it, we are not paying for anything. Not we in Washington, the people-- the American taxpayer pays for everything and that’s bothers me, there’s such a disconnect between this town and the rest of the world.

WEINER: This real world stuff is going to get old really fast. This is now your job-- this is a serious business here--

KELLY: Yeah, you know what? I understand that.

WEINER: --This is a serious business you’re trying to figure out how you solve big problems. You-- yes, it’s true--

WEINER: --Social Security--


WEINER: --does have to be paid for--

KELLY: All right.

WEINER: --Medicare does have to be paid for.

KELLY: You know-- you know let—let me--

WEINER: But this idea like the real world--

KELLY: Yeah, you’re very amusing.

WEINER: --these are tough problems.

KELLY: --you’re very amusing. You-- you have never-- in your life, you have never done anything on your own with your own skin in the game. And I got to tell you something, while I respect the fact that you’re an elected Congressman, I do not
respect the fact that--

WEINER: What do you mean I am. We’re--

KELLY: Yeah, well, we’re-- I get--

WEINER: --you’re-- you’re part of this now.

KELLY: --sworn on the fifth. I’ll become part of it on the fifth, but I would tell you something. This has got to stop being about who can blame who for what. Look--

WEINER: --you’re sounding like you just said that.

KELLY: --this has been


WEINER: It sure sounded like you said us versus them.


SMITH: Hang on. Gentlemen-- gentlemen hang on.


WEINER: I would hope you have more respect for your constituents.


SMITH: Folks, hang on-- hang on.


SMITH: All right. All right.


WASSERMAN SCHULTZ: My testimony on-- it’s time to go beyond rhetoric.

SMITH: All right.

BACHMANN: Harry-- Harry.

WASSERMAN SCHULTZ: Going beyond campaign slogans which is all I’ve heard today--

SMITH: Yeah.

DEBBIE WASSERMAN SCHULTZ: --from-- from Mister Kelly--

SMITH: All right Miss--

WASSERMAN SCHULTZ: --and is all Miss-- Miss Bachmann really ever engages in. It-- we have to get into deficit reduction, job creation--

SMITH: Which she--

WASSERMAN SCHULTZ: --and turning the economy around--

SMITH: Which all-- all-- which everybody would agree with.

WASSERMAN SCHULTZ: --that’s their measuring stick--

SMITH: All right.

WASSERMAN SCHULTZ: --that’s their yardstick.

SMITH: Michele Bachmann--very, very quickly. Do you see--

BACHMANN: Thank you, Harry.

SMITH: --anything that you have in common with your folk-- with your friends from the other side of the aisle?

BACHMANN: I-- I would say if they want to engage in deficit reduction, that’s exactly what we want to engage in is deficit reduction but it’s so interesting, Harry, for two years these were big wild party down spenders and now they’re interested in deficit reduction. That’s what we’ll do because I’m similar to Mike Kelly.

SMITH: Okay.

BACHMANN: My husband and I also started our own business. We also live in the real world. The real world is where America lives. It’s not the bubble in Washington, DC, where they engage in-- (Cross-talking) --what you’ll see happen is--

SMITH: --I will give-- I will give Congresswoman Wasserman Schultz the last word.

BACHMANN: --emphasis on personal responsibility.

SMITH: Go ahead very quickly.

WASSERMAN SCHULTZ: Thank you. We went from bleeding seven hundred fifty thousand jobs a month before President Obama took office to last year adding over a million more jobs created in-- in last year than the entire Bush presidency alone.
We need to continue that progress. We need to hold the Republicans’ feet to the fire and we will.

HARRY SMITH: And if the last fifteen minutes were any indication, it will be a very Happy New Year.

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