STEPHANOPOULOS: Senator Murray, you're not a member of the intelligence committee, but you are a member of the Democratic leadership, do you have any concerns with how this was handled?
MURRAY: Well, first of all, George, great to be you and with Saxby Chambliss today. And I would be remiss if I didn't thank you all of the men and women who serve this country on this Veteran's Day to start.
I think Senator Chambliss has said it very well. And I think that General Petraeus served our country incredibly well in many different forms and fashions. And like all men and women who serve - have served our country, we owe him a debt of gratitude. And I hope this moves forward quickly for him and his family to resolve.
STEPHANOPOULOS: One thing that is also coming on quickly are all these negotiations over the fiscal cliff. If congress doesn't do something, we're going to have tax increases on January 1, spending cuts on January 1, more than $500 billion likely to cost every American family about $2,000.
Senator Murray, let me begin with you, we have already heard from the speaker and the president. Speaker Boehner says tax hikes aren't acceptable. President Obama says he won't sign any extension of the tax hikes for the wealthiest Americans. We've also heard from Senator McConnell, the Republican leader in the senate who says he will not raise taxes to turn off those spending cuts, the sequester.
So if Senator McConnell and Speaker Boehner don't bend, do you still believe the president should go right up to the brink, go off the fiscal cliff and allow the tax cuts to expire.
MURRAY: Well, here's where we are, our country has a tremendous debt and deficit problem. We also have a challenge in making sure that we educate our work force. We need to make sure we care for our veterans who need that care today. We need to have research. And we need to be able to compete in a global marketplace, those investments are important.
Everyone who has looked at this, including the supercommittee that I served on, said we need to have revenue as part of the solution to this problem as well as looking at entitlements and spending cuts. What has been the missing ingredient is congress to date has been the revenue and to make sure that it is fairly distributed and the wealthy pay their fair share. That is what we face right now. If our Republican counterparts can step forward with that revenue piece we will be able to find a solution.
STEPHANOPOULOS: And if not, go off a cliff?
MURRAY: Well, clearly, we have the ability between now and the end of the year to not go off the cliff. But we can't accept an unfair deal that piles on the middle class and tell them they have to support it. We have to make sure that the wealthiest Americans pay their fair share.
We just had an election where President Obama ran on that. We increased our majority in the senate with Democratic candidates who said that so solve this problem the wealthiest Americans have to pay their fair share, too.
So if the Republicans will not agree with that, we will reach a point at the end of this year where all the tax cuts expire and we'll start over next year. And whatever we do will be a tax cut for whatever package we put together. That may be the way to get past this.