'This Week': Powerhouse Roundtable

Paul Krugman, Bill Kristol, Jennifer Granholm, and Matthew Dowd on the shutdown showdown.
3:00 | 09/29/13

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Transcript for 'This Week': Powerhouse Roundtable
Let's get to the roundtable now. Joined by abc's matthew dowd, jennifer granholm. Bill kristol of the weekly standard. And paul krugman. Welcome to all of you. Bill, let me begin with you. If we were here two months ago, we would have thought a shutdown would be possible. All of the leaders, republican leaders in the house and senate against it, yet it's happening? These people are electing individually. So, they have decided they would like to delay the implementation of a bad law, which the president has had to delay parts of it. The republicans were in total disarray, I think it's impressive with what the republicans have done. The party has rallied. The party is doing fine in the polls. The congressional ballot is about even. President obama hasn't succeeded in getting his legislation passed. Which is a good thing. So, I think -- isn't that going to backfire? Not necessarily. A day or two or three. They have been shut down for the last 25 years. As you know, it's a little delicate. Look, why not delay at least parts of obama care for a year? Because it's the signature achievement. And it's funny -- is that a good reason? Political reason like that? It's a good reason. It happens to be a very good law. One thing that's going on here is just a failure on part of the republican caucus to actually understand anything about this thing. They haven't done the policy. In fact, all of the substantive news over obama care have been good. Premiums are coming in below expectations. There will be some technical glitches with the computer systems but that's not fundamental. People who support this law are looking forward, they're almost cheering at the preliminary results. The odds are, this is going to do a lot of good for a lot of people. Should the president delay the employer mandate? Yes or no? Yes. Big business gets the delay. This is policy ignorance. The employer mandate is a trivial add-on to the law. While the individual mandate is central to it. You don't understand that. I guess the bottom line is, though, they don't have the votes to delay obama care right now, and I think a lot of the country looks at this and sees both sides and say, what are they doing right now? It's somewhat amazing and ironic that more reasonableness and enlightenment is coming out of the middle east than the washington, d.C., These days. We're in a situation now, we have to look at ourselves and say, why isn't our own act in order. One big problem in this country and this government shutdown, which everybody knows is a bad idea, there's a large part of both parties that refuses to accept what actually is going on, so, they don't -- if they don't like the result of an election, they contest the election. If they don't like the legislative of something passing the senate, passing the house, and signed by the president, we actually have a situation we should september it. I have disagreements with it. It is the law and we should accept it. Part of the problem in our politics today we refuse to accept our institutions, our legislation or our elections. Doing something comparable. You know, accepting elections. Refusing to accept the rules. They tried to cut off the funding in 2008. Where was there, you know, confrontation like the one we're about to have on the debt limit? And that's what I want to get to. The president seemed to make the judgment that negotiating over the possibility of default is even worse than the default itself, if he means what he's saying right now? That's right. Every single time they put it off another month for the debt limit, they will be taken hostage again, and we saw that in 2011. In fact, that's the lesson people are taking what happened the last time the negotiation occurred. To me, it's mind-blowing this week that we see leaders of our most -- biggest global adversaries, iran, syria, to your point, acting more rationally, than the house tea party republicans, that they're willing to take the whole country, the whole economy down for an issue that they lost in the election. Why doesn't he talk to the republican leaders in the house? He said that he would negotiate with the leaders in the house, just not at a point that you break down the entire fiscal system in the country. If he wants -- if the house wants to negotiate over the budget then meet with the senate, the senate has passed a budget. The house has passed a budget. Do it in the normal -- the negotiating is, you give us something, you know we want, we'll give you something you want. Everybody wants the debt limit raised. Because nobody wants a financial cast cast castrophe. Probably ends with a very short government shutdown and it ends with the debt ceiling being raised. The president will decide to negotiate, as previous presidents have, on the debt limit. One reason the house republicans are pushing for a negotiation, the senate doesn't take up laws that house doesn't pass. They have passed the delay of that one for year. Speaker -- majority leader harry reid haven't taken this you up. The house has passed the budget. Suddenly, this great approval of the foreign minister of iran. I think you want to rethink before praising a guy who just sat here and lied to george about having a nuclear weapons program. The point is, people are willing to sit down and be rational and people we have been adversed to a long period of times and house republicans won't act rationally. And one more point about that -- one more point about this is -- the way this ends, or at least the theory, it ends with believe it or not, wall street coming to the rescue. We have a government shutdown and wall street says, these people are really this crazy and they put pressure on republicans. That's one of the big unfortunate things in all of this. So much of what's going on in washington, d.C., We're talking our cue from wall street. That's only affecting 10% of the population. It's the only part of the country that has grown in the last 20 years. So much of what's going on between republicans and democrats, their cues are coming from wall street. I think republicans are being unreasonable. They should be in a process of getting this deal done. But the republicans -- it's not just the part of the tea party caucus or whatever you call it represents a large segment of the population which doesn't trust the federal government at all to do anything effectively and efficiently. The president hasn't done any job at all in convincing the public that the government should be involved in stuff and it can do it well. The tea party or whoever is a reflection of the country not trusting -- let me bring this back to bill kristol. You think this is going to get resolved, it appears given the factions in the republican party who don't want to approve anything, this gets resolved with democratic votes. Doesn't that cost boehner the speaker speakerership? Look, here's what's going to happen. The senate will strike. Delay obama care for a year. How about striking the congressio congressional exemption? What about the medical tax device that republicans added? Which most democratic senators are against. They also added the ability of employers to deny contraception to women. Which is also something that's politically ridiculous for them. John boehner as speaker, I think he has ceded that territory. The real speaker of the house is ted cruz. Are you confident this gets done? No. I think we'll be running a 30% chance -- the government shutdown is a given but that actually, we feel that's all right. But, no, I think there's 25%, 30% chance of default. And god knows what happens. And given that, you still endorse the president's position? His choice not whether there's going to be a default, or putting off this issue. And ultimately the politics of all this will be the implementation of obama care. The implementation of obama care actually happens, and it goes about reasonably well, the president and the democrats are going to be fine with it. It doesn't go well, they'll feel good about it. Ultimately, it's the implementation of the act. Go for it. Implement the act and see how it goes. Senator cruz came close to saying that would be his fear this week, that obama care would take hold. It doesn't benefit that many people in the first year. The red numbers are out, it will damage more people as the premiums go up and as families lose coverage and employee herself. Families have to go into the exchanges. I think it's bad law. We'll see how it plays out. You can't blame people who ran they would delay this bad law for happening. For trying to do it. It's like democrats ran in 2006 saying they were going to get out of iraq. But, bill -- last word. This law was passed by and signed by the president obama. He ran a re-election campaign. The republicans need to fold their tent and say it's the law. I disagree totally. Much more from president clinton coming up, what's the big lesson he took from

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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