'This Week' Transcript: Sens. Patty Murray, Saxby Chambliss; Powerhouse Roundtable

We have a way to do this. The Senate has already passed a bill that extends the tax cuts for 98 percent of Americans, and if the House will pass that bill, we're well on our way to working towards a solution before that fiscal cliff.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Senator Chambliss, the president called for that on Friday as well. Do you think the House should pass that bill that has already passed the Senate?

CHAMBLISS: No, I don't think so. Obviously, that was a party-line vote in the Senate, and that's not the kind of common ground that we need to work towards. We should ultimately get a big vote in the House and the Senate to fix this problem, George, and doing it on a party-line vote is obviously not getting a big vote.

We need to put politics aside. The election is over. President Obama has won. It's now time for him to lead, and leading should not be do it my way or we're not going to do this. Leading means you sit down around the table and make the hard and tough decisions.

Patty was on the supercommittee. I have been involved in the gang of six. These are very, very difficult issues to deal with, and ultimately it's going to boil down to reforming entitlements and revenues. And I assure you, if we don't put politics aside, then we're not going to solve it. So it's imperative that we look at it at the right way now.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Bottom line for each of you. Senator Murray, Senator Chambliss. Senator Murray, you go first. Does this get done by December 31st?

MURRAY: I believe we have the opportunity to do that. And Senator Chambliss is right, it needs all the ingredients. We need to look at every aspect of the federal budget to put it together. But the one key issue that has not been resolved is how we put revenue into that. And I would be delighted to look at a plan that puts that revenue on the table in a way that's fair and balanced, and if we can do that, we can get to a deal.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Senator Chambliss?

CHAMBLISS: Well, I think the process can be put in place. Obviously, tax reform is going to be a major part of this. And we're not -- (audio gap) -- next 45 days.

The other issue that's critical for revenues to come on the table is a big number in entitlement reform, and we're not going to reform entitlements over the next 45 days. But George, we can put a process in place, and I certainly hope that happens. And I think it will.

I mean, we have got to be responsible to the people who sent us to Washington, and this is one of those difficult times that you actually hope for, because we have the opportunity to change the fiscal course of America. And we need to step up and do the right thing now. But most importantly, do it in the right way.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Senator Chambliss and Senator Murray, thanks very much for your time this morning.

MURRAY: You bet.

STEPHANOPOULOS: And stand by for our powerhouse roundtable. So much to talk about. They're ready to weigh in on the Petraeus scandal, President Obama's second term, and a comeback strategy for the GOP. That all starts in just 90 seconds.


STEPHANOPOULOS: We're back now with our powerhouse roundtable. Joined by Greta Van Susteren of Fox News. Representatives Donna Edwards of Maryland, Aaron Schock of Illinois. I think you're still the youngest member.

REP. AARON SCHOCK, R-ILL.: Still for now.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Of Congress. At least for now. Katrina Vanden Heuvel of The Nation, Paul Gigot of the Wall Street Journal.

Let's talk about this big surprise that came out on Friday, General Petraeus having resigned. Greta, we heard from Pierre Thomas earlier. And Senator Chambliss, that this investigation seems to have played itself out. Where else does this go?

VAN SUSTEREN: Well, if he is called as a witness to testify before -- Senator Chambliss said that he might have to testify at some point on Capitol Hill. I'm an old-time criminal defense lawyer. When I heard this, and this is speaking as an old-time criminal defense lawyer, the thing I worry about is whether or not, in any sort of investigation, when he got the job, if he said anything that would have in any way jeopardized him at all criminally. That's worst case scenario. Defense lawyers always freak out--


STEPHANOPOULOS: That's why I asked Senator Chambliss the question, because I was -- I thought that in the course of a background investigation to be CIA director, you might get a question about --

VAN SUSTEREN: Remember what happened to Martha Stewart. She was investigated for insider trading. Never charged with that. She was charged with lying to a federal officer

STEPHANOPOULOS: But we have no evidence that he's lied--

VAN SUSTEREN: No, no, I'm saying as an old-time criminal defense lawyer, that's the first thing I am worried about, is the background check. That's where the red flag went up with me.

STEPHANOPOULOS: You know, you hear, Paul Gigot, so many people saying now, oh, there might have been concerns, we might have thought about this, but this was so stunning to so many people.

GIGOT: Sure it was. I have gotten to know him professionally and a little bit socially over the years. And he's a very cautious man. He is very shrewd politically. He knew how to operate in Washington. So this is a stunning, well, mistake in judgment that I think surprised an awful lot of people. And it's a loss for the country. He served his country, salvaged very well -- salvaged Iraq for the country. By all accounts was doing a good job at the CIA. Now robs the president of one of his I think more seasoned advisers on national defense at a time when other people are leaving. So it's a real problem that we're losing him.

But it's a lapse of judgment that's surprising, and the Gmail account, the private Gmail account that apparently Paula Broadwell had access to, I think raises real serious questions.

STEPHANOPOULOS: It certainly does, and even General Petraeus has said, I think in one of his rules for living, someone is always watching.

But you know, Senator Dianne Feinstein said at the start that she wished he hadn't resigned. She may have amended that. He had no choice, right?

GIGOT: I think so, particularly coming out of the military, as he did. This would have been something that would have cost him his command in the military, and I think he didn't have any choice.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Katrina, I know you don't agree with a lot of what Paul's judgment is on General Petraeus's career.

VANDEN HEUVEL: I think this is a personal -- I really think it is a personal matter. You know, it's a tragedy for the family. But I do think, you know, it's kind of interesting to watch the coverage, because there is such veneration for David -- General Petraeus. You would think the worst thing that the CIA has ever done is engage in an extramarital affair.

I think General Petraeus was the architect of a failed counterinsurgency program. And I think that it's time for our media to pay a little less attention to personal scandals and more to scandals or concerns like that, and also the escalation of the drone war, which General Petraeus at the CIA made a big part of his portfolio.

These are issues that Americans deserve to know more about, and we don't get as much coverage.

STEPHANOPOULOS: When you're talking about the failure, you're talking about Afghanistan or Iraq?

VANDEN HEUVEL: Talking about Iraq as well. I think there is a view that he, because of the counterinsurgency, but it was really bargaining with the Sunnis. I mean, we can relitigate that history, but it was bargaining with the Sunnis, and certainly the counterinsurgency in Afghanistan has not proven to be effective. And he's moved, he had moved before he resigned to counterterrorism, which we can argue, I think, is going to fuel a backlash, which is not going to make this country more secure.

VAN SUSTEREN: But he gave that statement -- he went to Capitol Hill on September 14th and gave the video protest as the explanation for what happened in Benghazi, when two days earlier, his station chief on the ground in Libya said that it was not the result of a protest. So you've got very inconsistent statements. He's going to have to answer to those.

STEPHANOPOULOS: He certainly will have to answer. And the other thing, one of the other interesting twists here, Congressman Schock, it turns out that an FBI whistle-blower actually went to your No. 2 in the House, Congressman Eric Cantor and said there were concerns there that this was being covered up and was not being brought to the White House. Similar concerns have been raised by your colleague, Congressman Peter King. Do you have them?

SCHOCK: Well, I think we're going to find out more. I mean, right now, it's all speculation. We don't know even when the affair began, whether or not some of the questions he was asked during his vetting process he may have been untruthful for. It's obviously a tragedy. He was well respected by the Bush administration, rewarded by the Obama administration. And you know, it's going to make for a little more exciting lame-duck season.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Any concerns with how this was handled?

REP. DONNA EDWARDS, D-MD.: Well, no, I mean, I think that on General Petraeus, you know, this is a personal flaw, and I think he was actually required to resign, you can't have that kind of infidelity come forward and raise national security concerns and intelligence concerns.

On the other, on the flip side, though, I do think that the CIA will have the capacity and will be able to respond to questions on Capitol Hill regarding Benghazi, and I think those are actually two very separate things, and we'll get to the oversight on Benghazi and Libya over these next several weeks, and then General Petraeus will have a chance to put his life together separate and apart from his service.

STEPHANOPOULOS: It could create complications for President Obama as he puts together his national security team. I want to put up a chart right now. We already know that Secretary of State Clinton was planning on leaving. Leon Panetta, secretary of defense, planning on leaving. We know the secretary of the Treasury is going as well. Perhaps the attorney general and the White House chief of staff. Greta, this is one hole that the president didn't expect to have in January.

VAN SUSTEREN: But, yes, of course he didn't expect to have it, but this is also quite a serious matter. I mean, this is the guy who was in charge of intelligence. And this was, if you look at Benghazi, this was an act of terrorism on 9/11, and her is the most important person in our intelligence community, and everyone says, well, it's a personal problem, it's a personal problem -- well, the problem is it's a personal problem, with someone who's extremely important, and we don't know to what extent it may have jeopardized or put him -- made him vulnerable.

I'm not the least suspicious he did anything wrong vis a vis the American government, the American people, but it's not unreasonable to be very suspicious that we don't have all of the information.

VANDEN HEUVEL: You know, I think, listen, I think the relationship between President Obama and General Petraeus has been a rocky one. Don't forget, that over your network at Fox, he was your candidate for a while. He was going to be the Republican candidate. So I don't think--


VANDEN HEUVEL: You keep your foes close. But I also think that there are many people who can fill this hole. And I just wished that there was a different approach to foreign policy, a less militarized one, that emphasizes political solutions and diplomacy.

STEPHANOPOULOS: The problem may be with the president, though, and not with General Petraeus. Go ahead.


VAN SUSTEREN: For the many journalists at our news organization, we have very many world renowned journalists, Jennifer Griffin, Catherine Herridge, and you say your candidate over at your network -- let me just say that there are a lot of people who work really hard -- and I think you're probably speaking for some of our conservative people like Sean Hannity.


GIGOT: There's also the question I think we need to find out, when did the FBI really start to know about this and how high up --

STEPHANOPOULOS: Several months.

GIGOT: Presumably, the FBI director knew, presumably the attorney general knew. Did they tell the White House counsel's office? It's awfully convenient.

VAN SUSTEREN: And the judge who might have signed the warrant to get these records.

GIGOT: Awfully convenient to be told on Tuesday at 5:00 p.m. on election day, which is the story now. It, frankly, it doesn't pass the smell test.


STEPHANOPOULOS: I asked Senator Chambliss about that as well. He insists he was not told until Friday, but we do have this evidence that at least some whistle-blower had come to Congressman Cantor before that. We have a lot more to talk about. That's right, another member of Congress as well.

Lots more roundtable coming up. More on the fiscal cliff. Who has got the upper hand there? Will there be a deal or a deadlock that everyone pays for? Plus President Obama sweeps the battlegrounds. Did Mitt Romney throw away a winning hand? Or is a changing America moving away from the GOP?


SETH MYERS, SNL: Were you surprised by the results?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: A little. I mean, come on, Republicans, what happened? 8 percent unemployment, $5 gas. I even gave you a one-debate head start. And I mean, on top of that, I'm black. But you still couldn't take me out.


STEPHANOPOULOS: And we have a lot more roundtable coming up after this from our ABC stations.



LYNDON B. JOHNSON, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We have ordered to Vietnam forces which will raise our frighting strength from 75,000 to 125,000 men already almost immediately.

RICHARD NIXON, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: People have got to know whether or not their president is a crook. Well, I'm not a crook.

RONALD REAGAN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We did not, repeat, did not trade weapons or anything else for hostages, nor will we.

BILL CLINTON, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I did not have sexual relations with that woman, Miss Lewinsky.

GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Brownie, you're doing a heck of a job. The FEMA director is working 24...



STEPHANOPOULOS: Every second term gets one, greatest hits of the second term, including Paul Gigot right there. How does President Obama avoid the second term curse? We can get into that in a little bit.

But first, let's talk about the election. Katrina Vanden Heuvel, let me bring you in first from The Nation, you know, a lot of polling showed the president was going to win this coming into the last day, but I think a lot of people were very surprised by how sweeping the victory was in the battleground states, in the electoral college.

VANDEN HEUVEL: Well, I think you saw an ascendant coalition, the rising American electorate of Latinos, African-American, women, working people. And I think you also saw, George, an element of fairness, two visions competing. You're on your own, Jack, which is what Mitt Romney, the 1 percent -- walking, talking 1 percent put out there, and President Obama who said, we're in this together.

So you saw in Ohio, the most important state, President Obama, Sherrod Brown now returned to the Senate, speaking to issues of fairness, speaking about the role of the auto industry rescue, the roll of government, these are important issues.

And then on the other side you had a Republican Party, a discredited brand with a shrinking base out of touch with the values that seem to be moving very quickly in this country.

STEPHANOPOULOS: So, when you talk about this ascending coalition -- let me bring this to Paul Gigot, was this a race that Mitt Romney could have won or is demography make it impossible?

GIGOT: No, of course, he could have won. I mean, he only lost by 100,000 votes in Ohio, he only lost by less than that in Florida. I believe the final...


GIGOT: So this was a lot closer than Katrina suggests that it was.

I think what you saw is that what $100 million worth of unanswered ads, attack ads from May through July can do to an alternative candidate. Mitt Romney ran as a biographical candidate fundamentally. I'm a business man who knows how to create jobs. What the Obama campaign did was systemically destroy that biography. And you saw that he never recovered from the summer.

In the exit polls, it showed that Mitt Romney still had a net unfavorable rating. And he only broke even on the economy...

STEPHANOPOULOS: He barely got it up above into the positive range in the last 48 hours or so.

GIGOT: Well, but in the exit polls, it actually was a net-unfavorable. So the electorate that turned out never really warmed at all to Mitt Romney.

So I think this was more about a flawed messenger than a flawed message. There are problems with the immigration position in the Republican Party. We can talk about that. But fundamentally, Mitt Romney never made the sale.

And there was one other thing that's sunny, you looked at the economy and the exit polls, still blame George W. Bush for the economic problems, 53 percent. Mitt Romney never separated himself from George Bush.

STEPHANOPOULOS: I wanted to get to Greta, but one follow-up right here, you talk about that period from April to August where Mitt Romney was outspent in all of the battleground states. Some second-guessing going on. Should he have reached in into his own pocket and spent his own money there?

GIGOT: If he wanted to win, clearly they needed to respond somehow, and they didn't. And that was a strategic mistake by some people.

VAN SUSTEREN: He got beaten, you know, he just plain, flat got out -- he got beaten. They completely ignored the Hispanic vote. They never seem to have any effort to bring the Hispanic vote into the tent. You know, that was a huge mistake and he's feeling it. It was not such a huge margin, I don't think. Electorally it was a huge margin, over 100 votes in the electoral college, how about 120...

STEPHANOPOULOS: That might be a big one...

VAN SUSTEREN: Oh, no. That's huge, that's huge. But if you look at the popular vote across the country it was not that big.

The president clearly won. House got extra. Senate got extra. The Democratic Party won. But it was not such a huge resounding -- you know we have a lot of problems facing this country, the fiscal cliff being one of them that's descending upon us, but the president won. Governor Romney's campaign didn't do a good job. And they didn't do anything about the Hispanic vote.

STEPHANOPOULOS: One of the other bit things the president's team did, Congresswoman Edwards, is this organization throughout the battleground states, not only did they get this ascendant -- coalition of the ascendant, but they made sure they made the most of every single voter out there.

EDWARDS: Well, they did. I mean, they had a huge get out the vote operation that was turned on for a very long time, I mean, and really going after low propensity voters, making sure that you could actually pull together that coalition of women the president won, Latinos the president won, African-Americans the president won.

The president actually won the middle class. And I think it was actually a decisive electoral college victory. And frankly, the popular vote as well. I mean, when you look at Florida, the difference between a Bush win in Florida, 537 votes and an Obama win in Florida of 74,000 it was a pretty decisive victory for Democrats across the board House and Senate.

I mean, even in the House, we picked up seven seats. And you know, so it's not enough to take the majority, but it's really pretty clear I think that the public got the president's message. He got it across and he got his...

STEPHANOPOULOS: Congressman Schock, one group the congresswoman left out those young people under 30 also went heavily towards President Obama. You're a little bit over that right now, but what lesson does your party have to take away from all of this?

SCHOCK: We have got to do a better job with young people, we've got to a better job with women, but the group that we really have to zero on I believe is the Latino community, a group that really should be voting for Republicans to the degree we take a leadership role on the issue of immigration. And I think it makes sense for Republicans to get out in front on immigration, because it's a broke government program. And who better to fix a broken government program than the Republican party.

It shouldn't take eight years on the average to figure out whether or not you qualify to be an American citizen. I think George W. Bush was trying to do that pre-September 11. I think it's unfortunate that our party when we controlled the entire process didn't do more on the issue. I'm disappointed the president in his first four years, despite a pledge to do so, didn't put forward a comprehensive immigration proposal. And I think the mandate that came out of this election after $2 billion being spent and we get the status quo, the mandate is to work together.

We still have divided government, and the American people are expecting us to work together.

VANDEN HEUVEL: I don't think -- this was not a status quo election, this was a decisive win for a different set of values both the social values, the issues of immigration, of fairness, of dignity, but also of rebuilding a middle class that has been really hit hard in these last 30, 40 years. So that is not a status quo election.

VAN SUSTEREN: You would have thought that would have gone, though -- I mean, the economic issue were the only issue, you would have thought that that would...

VANDEN HEUVEL: The social values as well...

VAN SUSTEREN: No, no, no, but I'm just saying...

VANDEN HEUVEL: ...linked to the economic security.

VAN SUSTEREN: Because, you know, the president had a tough argument to brag on the economy. He had a real tough argument this time. I mean, it has not been vibrant, robust, or anything else, and that was what -- that was what Governor Romney ran on.

Obviously, Romney said the voters were not particularly impressed...

STEPHANOPOULOS: Although one of the things that might have been happening at the end, you have some September forward consumer confidence going up, home sales going up, you had good jobs numbers basically for the last six months. He had a little bit of a wind at his back on the economy.

VAN SUSTEREN: But you've also go -- let's not forget the inner-city, which everyone seems to ignore, let's say the inner city in very tough times for a lot of people. If you look at the numbers that just came out last week on Food Stamps, Food Stamps, the last number, the most recent number is August, went up about 421,000 people in the month of August for Food Stamps.

VANDEN HEUVEL: But Greta, the president did not lose the inner city.


VAN SUSTEREN: No, no, but I'm saying that, the economy in those areas, we have -- everyone has completely ignored it.

VANDEN HEUVEL: And in is second term, I think there will be a commitment out of this White House to pay attention to those issues. But you know it didn't help that the Republican Party traveled the country calling the president a Food Stamp president. I mean, he has done more in his -- in the recovery program, there was more anti-poverty funding than there had been since President Johnson's...

STEPHANOPOULOS: Before we get to the second term, I want to pick up on something -- hold on a second. I want to pick up on something that Congressman Schock was just talking about, immigration, because you've heard that Paul Gigot, from a chorus of Republicans since the election. House Speaker John Boehner, Sean Hannity saying he's evolved on the issue of immigration.


STEPHANOPOULOS: Two questions, will it happen now? And is that enough for the Republican Party? Is it simply fixing the immigration problem the key to the future?

GIGOT: It's not the only thing they need to do, but I think it's an important threshold issue for an awful lot of not just Hispanic voters, but also Asian voters. I mean, the Republican share of the Asian vote it has shrunk from 42 percent in 2004, 33 in 2008, 26 percent this time. Now why in the world should Indian Americans or Chinese Americans vote so much less for Republicans now than eight years ago?

STEPHANOPOULOS: What's the answer?

GIGOT: Well, I think the answer is they're getting a message, they're getting a message that says you're really not welcome. I think part of that is the threshold question of immigration and Republicans need to address that.

If -- look, if the iceberg breaks up on immigration, this sort on the conservative part of the Republican coalition, there has been an unwillingness to consider immigration reform. It's just been closed off. So you saw Mitt Romney not be willing to address that and use words like self-deportation.

A lot of us on the right have been pushing for immigration reform for a long time.

VAN SUSTEREN: I don't think though that the Democrats have done a terrific amount in that area either. I went to that speech that President Obama gave at American University where he talked about what he's going to do with immigration. He had the House and the Senate and then nothing. I mean, neither party has done anything. And they're both intransigent and they won't talk to each other --


VAN SUSTEREN: It's both these parties.

VANDEN HEUVEL: Greta, I agree with you to a point. But don't forget that it took the organization, the organizing of the dreamers to push President Obama to do what he did with executive action. And I think you're going to see more of that, and the Republican Party has just been closed off to any of those--


EDWARDS: When Democrats were in charge of the House, we in fact passed the DREAM Act out of the House and could not break a filibuster in the Senate to make sure that we can move it to the president's desk.


EDWARDS: Now, wait a second now, because it was Republicans who stood in the way of that, and I don't think that getting the Latino and Hispanic vote is just about immigration. It also is about a core set of values that believes in building the middle class. This is what the president is committed to, strengthening our protections and opportunities for education.


STEPHANOPOULOS: I want to get into that, because we talked about immigration, but of course the big immediate challenge facing both Democrats and Republicans now in Washington, the president as well, this fiscal cliff coming up on December 31st. And also, it gets into the whole question of what the mandate of the election was? Let's hear from both the speaker and the president on that.


BOEHNER: If there's a mandate in yesterday's results, it's a mandate for us to find a way to work together on the solutions to the challenges that we all face as a nation.

OBAMA: On Tuesday night, we found that the majority of Americans agree with my approach.

And that includes Democrats, independents, and a lot of Republicans across the country.


STEPHANOPOULOS: The president there with some tougher talk than perhaps you saw before. But let me go to Congressman Schock with this, because you were echoing the words of the speaker there, saying the mandate is for people to work together. A lot of reporting that the speaker was very firm with members of your conference this time around, that he wants to make sure they fall in line behind his leadership on getting a deal.

What I'd like to press on is what does that mean this time around? Is your conference ready to come forward with some revenues to make a deal work?

SCHOCK: I think as you saw in Bob Woodward's book, the evidence is out there. John Boehner extended a hand of revenue last time, nearly $800 billion of revenue, and the president walked away from the table of $800 billion, wanting over $1 trillion in revenue.

I think our conference stands ready behind our speaker on the issue of revenue, primarily through loophole elimination and deduction, elimination through tax reform. But what we really need from the president is leadership. We need from the president the other side of the ledger. He talked throughout his campaign about a balanced approach. He's talked about raising taxes on filers over $250,000. But the fact is, even if he gets what he wants, which is a tax increase on people over $250,000, that's $80 billion a year. We're running a trillion-dollar deficit.

So where the president needs to lead is put forward a budget, put forward a plan that deals with the major drivers of our debt. If he doesn't like the premium support program for Medicare, if he doesn't like some of our reforms to the drivers of debt, that's fine. But we can't negotiate with ourselves, and at this point the House is the only one that's led on these issues.

STEPHANOPOULOS: The president had some of those ideas in his last -- in the ideas that he brought to the speaker, but one of the questions, Congresswoman, is will the Democratic caucus follow him on that?

EDWARDS: I think that one of the things that the president has said and we heard this last week, is he really does want a balanced approach to this. He has put on table $1 trillion over ten years with removing the tax cuts for filers over $250,000. And he ran on this. So it's not like the American people didn't hear what he said during the election and aren't buying--

STEPHANOPOULOS: Paul Gigot, the president does seem pretty determined in -- and you had Jay Carney come out on Friday, saying he's not going to sign -- he would veto anything that extends the tax rates for people over $250,000. I listened to all the leaders over the last several days, and I know everyone is saying they want to work together. I think the chances of America going off the cliff are at least 30, 35 percent.

GIGOT: I agree with you, I do. I mean, if that was an olive branch, I'd hate to see the stick that the president offered. He really made no concessions at all. I think the problem the problem that he has, above all, we're talking like accountants here, all right, in balancing the budget. What he needs above all is growth, economic growth. Faster growth. 3 to 4 percent growth. That's what carried Reagan and Clinton in their second terms.

VANDEN HEUVEL: I agree with Paul Gigot. Americans voted decisively for fair share taxes on the richest, for protecting Social Security and Medicare, but also for growth and investment. You cannot get growth and investment with the spending cuts as they are laid out in the grand bargain.

STEPHANOPOULOS: And certainly not the sequester.

VANDEN HEUVEL: Certainly not the sequester. So I think part of the problem we're having, George, is the fundamental assumptions overriding this entire discussion. Senator Murray said that we have a big debt and deficit problem -- no, we don't. We have a big public investment and jobs problem.


VANDEN HEUVEL: Last point. We're not Greece. Austerity, if you believe in evidence-based politics and economics, you look at what's going on in Europe, and austerity, which we may have American-style in this country if we proceed the way we are doing, has led to economic pain, has led to killing growth. Killing growth.


VANDEN HEUVEL: And debt and deficit.

VAN SUSTEREN: It's my turn on this. You know what I don't understand? How the American people have let all these members of Congress, the Senate and the president off the hook? This, we're now going to go off the fiscal cliff? Now, it's not a now. We have known about this since at least July of last year, and all they have done is absolutely nothing.


STEPHANOPOULOS: Nothing could get done during a presidential campaign. It's not possible.

VAN SUSTEREN: But that's the deplorable thing. Is that we all say, well, that's the way it is, nothing ever gets done. I'm surprised that the American people, everyone knows about this, but the whole government has been on stall, nothing has been done. They have known about it. And we're supposed to say, well, that's the way it is, that's the way it's always been. Now we've got this fiscal cliff where a lot of American people are really going to get hurt.


EDWARDS: I think what the president has laid out, I think he's been very reasonable. He said, you know what, we do need balance. We'll remove those tax breaks for the wealthiest, we'll make investments that we need to in infrastructure and education, in research and development, in things that are actually going to make us competitive and actually contribute to the growth that we all -- that all of us -- that all of us want.


EDWARDS: And I think that it's incumbent now for a slimmer Republican majority in the House, slimmer major -- larger majority in the Senate and the president to actually come together where we can. We all actually agree that we need to keep those tax cuts for people making up to $250,000. Let's just pass that and do it.


STEPHANOPOULOS: -- part of the question for you, Congressman Schock. I think there's some bipartisan agreement that closing loopholes would be a way to go, a way to raise revenue. The problem has been the math. You can't get enough to actually fill the hole by simply closing loopholes and deductions for the wealthy.

SCHOCK: Well, I'm glad you bring up math, because once again, we have heard about the president's plan to raise taxes on wealthy individuals as a means to deal with our debt crisis. But the reality is, the math doesn't add up. We can't tax our way out of debt. OK? That's a fact. And so whether we have to deliver a calculator to the White House in order to get a budget from him that works -- I'm not willing to go along with a straight-up tax increase that the president wants. OK? But even if he get what he wants, if he is going to lay out a balanced approach, it needs to be balanced. OK, Mr. President, you want to raise taxes by $100 billion a year or $1 trillion over ten years -- we're running a $1 trillion deficit every year. The reason why you don't have a lot of optimism coming out of Republican conference is, we have been out there leading with our chin the last two years on a budget, the president has criticized us left and right over our proposals and given us no countervailing proposals.


VAN SUSTEREN: Neither party is talking about waste. I mean, you're talking about -- no, they're not.


VAN SUSTEREN: It's part of the culture.

VANDEN HEUVEL: What strikes me if you look at the exit polls, voters, majority of the voters did not say deficits were their main concern. It was about jobs and growth. And you can't cut your way to growth. So--

GIGOT: You can't tax your way to growth, either.

VANDEN HEUVEL: But you know, a tax cut has never built a bridge or helped with a deteriorating infrastructure of this country. I think you put people to work, and my proposal is you don't let spending cuts kick in until you have unemployment of 5 to 6 percent. Then you have a healthy country growing, and then you turn to the issue of recovery, of debt and deficits.

I think though, more important, the president needs to go out to the country and speak to those voters who said that their main priority was growth and jobs. And I think how he does this will set the tone for his second administration.


STEPHANOPOULOS: -- he was out on Friday. I want to get to one more issue before we take a break, a kind of remarkable evolution on social issues in this election is what we saw. Three states passed referendums on gay marriage, legalizing gay marriage. Also, both Colorado and Washington legalizing recreational use of marijuana. Congresswoman, let me begin with you first. We still have a red/blue divide on gay marriage, but this was significant. Your home state of Maryland.

EDWARDS: That's right. My home state of Maryland actually passed our marriage equality act, and it passed by a narrow margin, but it means that we have come quite a distance. We also passed the DREAM Act in Maryland as well. And so, I mean, I think that what you're seeing is evolution across the board, and people are saying, you know what, we actually don't need the government in the middle of our bedrooms, deciding what it is that we do, and we need to end discrimination across the board. And so, whether you're gay or straight, in Maryland at least, you'll have the ability to get married.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Is this a healthy development, having these initiatives?

GIGOT: I think it is. Because I think what you're doing is you're seeing really very contentious cultural issues, where we have this divide, as you said, being settled democratically, that is at the ballot box, through a process which both sides have to accept, because that's the way we do things in this country. And I think letting that play out in the states, as opposed to some kind of judicial imposition from above is the way to handle this over time.

STEPHANOPOULOS: You're a lawyer, Greta. I wonder if this is going to make the Supreme Court more or less likely to take on the issue of gay marriage this term?

VAN SUSTEREN: Well, what's so significant about this is that it wasn't a legislature, this was the people of the states speaking, that's what's so dramatically different than any of the state legislature. This is a big difference than what we have. These are the people in their states, we have state rights, and they have made the decisions.

I think the more interesting is the marijuana, because that conflicts with federal law. And what -- you know, and I don't know how they're going to reconcile that. The Supreme Court is going to have to debate that...

STEPHANOPOULOS: The attorney general has been silent on that so far.

VANDEN HEUVEL: I'm hoping that the president and the attorney general use this opportunity to ratchet down the drug war which would will disproportionately benefit Latinos and African-Americans. And after all, it's what the three last presidents of this country did when they were young, recreational use of marijuana.

VAN SUSTEREN: They didn't inhale.

VANDEN HEUVEL: They didn't inhale.

But I think it is as Donna said, I think you're seeing an astonishing transformation of tolerance and the social values and the idea that young people, especially, don't want government in their bedrooms. If I could, one proposition I find really interesting is the one in California showing that the kind of anti-tax hysteria has abated. I think that was an important one for the future.

GIGOT: Good luck California with your economy on that one.

STEPHANOPOULOS: What should the Justice Department do now on these issues -- in Colorado and Washington? Should they enforce federal law or let it go?

GIGOT: I think -- if I look at Supreme Court precedence, I think that they will be overturned. I mean, it just conflicts with federal law. And it seems to me that...

VAN SUSTEREN: But so did Arizona with the immigration...

GIGOT: And they overturned some of that, too. So I don't think this will hold up -- at least under current Supreme Court precedent.

STEPHANOPOULOS: OK. Thank you all very much -- one more round to go, which candidates are already making their moves for 2016? The roundtable weighs in on that.


JIMMY KIMMEL, HOST, JIMMY KIMMEL LIVE: Already there's a new survey that says Hillary Clinton is favored to win the Iowa caucuses in 2016. You think they could they have at least waited until we peeled the I vote stickers off of our jackets?

So to summarize, a woman who has not yet expressed any interest in running is well ahead of some other people who aren't running. Good study.


STEPHANOPOULOS: I guess it's never too early. Light hearted lightning round right now.

Congressman Schock, who are you going to be watching most closely the next four years and where are on you no the Hillary versus Biden 2016?

SCHOCK: Well, first, I'd say anybody who travels to Iowa that doesn't represent Iowa is self-identifying themselves as a potential candidate. I think Marco Rubio who is heading there is leading the pack. Marco Rubio, Paul Ryan, certainly as a VP nominee. You've got guys like Bobby Jindal, certainly if Chris Christie wins re-election he would be in that pack.

Biden versus Hillary, I'd have to have my money on Hillary. I don't think Biden did himself any favor in the VP debate.

EDWARDS: I don't know, I'm a Biden fan, I'm a Hillary fan. And I'm just going to wait at least for a little while. And I will wait to peel my I voted sticker off.


VAN SUSTEREN: I think you should keep your eye on Governor Suzanne Martinez out of New Mexico. She's a Republican in a Democratic state. She handled their deficit problem. She was against -- she came out against something that Governor Romney said the self-deportation and so she was sort of on the outs a little bit with some Republicans.

But I would keep an eye on her over Senator Rubio, because she's a governor.

GIGOT: Speaking as a journalist, I'm a Biden man. I like Joe who provides great copy.

On the Republican side, I think that if Jeb Bush runs I think he has to be the favorite.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Last word Katrina.

VANDEN HEUVEL: For those of us with election fatigue, could we just start doing some governing?

GIGOT: There we go.

STEPHANOPOULOS: A good plea to end on. Thank you very much. Thank you all, fantastic roundtable.

Congressman Schock is going to be answering the questions you have on Twitter. Look for that on ABCNews.com/ThisWeek later today.

And now on this Veterans Day, we honor our fellow Americans who serve and sacrifice.

This Week the Pentagon released the names of four soldiers killed in Afghanistan.

And when we come back, election night predictions. Which of you got it right?


STEPHANOPOULOS: And finally this morning -- lots of pundits out there. We were blown away by how many of you nailed the election results, President Obama's 332 electoral votes. Three of you got the bonus too, though we would call a winner between 11:00 pm and midnight.

Congrats to Chris Chew of Stephenville, Texas, Joseph Woitko of Beaver Meadows, Pennsylvania, and Ben Barry of Washington, D.C. You beat our entire roundtable. The closest here was Donna Brazile who guessed 313 electoral votes for Obama.

That's all of us today. Thanks for sharing part of your Sunday with us. Check out World News with David Muir tonight.

Tomorrow on GMA, we'll talk with Jake Tapper about his new book The Outpost.

And on this Veterans Day, a final look at the Tomb of the Unknowns, Arlington National Cemetery. A grateful America remembers.


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