'This Week' Transcript: Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel

COONS: Well, we have been able to make bipartisan progress in this Senate, although it's not widely known, things as broad as the patent bill, as the free trade agreement, as the recent bill on veterans jobs. We have been able to get some things through.

But I'll agree with your question that on the larger issues about how to tackle the deficit, how to deal with getting jobs created in this country and how to get our fiscal house in order, there seems to be a persistent divide between my party and Senator Rubio's party.

We have a difference of opinion. And in my view, my party is the one that continually advocates for everything on the table, for a broad and balanced solution that includes revenue, as well as considering entitlements. And as long as we can't get to some agreement about how to put everything on the table and how to tackle a bigger package, I do think we're going to have to wait for the next election for a clear single from the American people about what value they put on protecting our commitments to America's seniors and the most vulnerable in our country who currently rely on entitlement programs as a critical part of supporting them as they move through life.

AMANPOUR: Senator Rubio, Senator Coons just talked about revenue. And, of course, all of this is at play now in this super-committee. And by all accounts, there's a huge amount of pessimism. People do not believe the super-committee is going to actually come up with what it said it was going to do. Do you agree with that, by the way, both of you? Do you think that this is not going to work, Senator Rubio?

RUBIO: Well, first of all, I never thought the super-committee was a good idea. And, second of all, I hope it does work out, because so much is at stake.

But I want to say something, actually, in defense of the Democrats on the super-committee. And I blame the White House for a little lack of leadership on this. I mean, the White House has never indicated to them how far they can go on making concessions, how far -- for example, on entitlement reform. And I think it's very difficult for the Democrats on that committee to enter into a negotiation not knowing where the White House is. They don't want to get their legs cut out underneath them if they agree to some entitlement reform measures that later on the White House decides they don't want to support in an election year.

AMANPOUR: Senator Rubio, do you agree with what many in your party say publicly, constantly, that President Obama doesn't, in fact, want this super-committee to succeed, wants it to fail in order to be able to run against a do-nothing Congress?

RUBIO: Well, again, I hate questioning people's motives, but I do believe that there's political strategy involved here. And I certainly the president would like to run against a do-nothing Congress, but I hope that doesn't stand in the way of meaningful legislation, particularly out of the super-committee.

AMANPOUR: Senator Coons?

COONS: I have to remain confident that there are folks in both parties who want to put Americans back to work, who want to deal with our deficit, and who want to do it in a responsible way. We need to pay attention to the 99 percent of Americans whose economic picture has not gotten brighter in the last decade, who haven't really deeply benefited from the significant tax cuts that were enacted under the previous administration.

Join the Discussion
blog comments powered by Disqus
You Might Also Like...