'This Week': Powerhouse Roundtable

Paul Krugman, Dan Senor, Peggy Noonan, and David Plouffe on the government shutdown.
3:00 | 10/13/13

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Transcript for 'This Week': Powerhouse Roundtable
word this morning. Thank you, george. Those interviews just moments ago. Now to the roundtable. Peggy noonan, david plouffe, dan senor, and paul krugman. Welcome to all of you. Peggy, let me begin with you, senator graham didn't sugar-coat it all, they're ruining both institutions. Yet, there doesn't seem to be a way out? Yeah, it's fascinating that nobody seems to know where this thing goes and how it ends. I mean, it is a crisis, normally people have a sense of it. I think lindsey graham was very correct when he said we all be better off and the republicans will be better off when this particular shutdown ends. I think, look, people don't like these things. They like it when government works. Both parties suffer when stuff like this happens. But the essential point that nobody knows where this goes is the great mystery of this battle. And we're getting so close, paul krugman. And republicans do seem to be trying to negotiate, led by mitch McConnell. First of all, I think it's important, it's not exactly OCTOBER 17th. If we wake up thursday morning and they haven't defaulted yet, that was a false alarm. It could hurt before october 17th. Yeah, probably not. It probably runs -- it may well run a few more days. But the point is, thi is very close. We're very close to the edge. The democrats, the thing that you get, always from them, is their basic principal, we don't give anything under the threat of extortion. The republicans want a fig leaf and that fig leaf has to involve, we got something for our extortion. Much more than the details of the budget is a stumbling block, whatever happens, the democrats say, you lift the extortion threat, then we negotiate. As long as the debt ceiling is still in play and the government shutdown is still a condition for other stuff it's not a deal. Dan senor, you have been a close adviser to paul ryan, the congressman, former vice presidential candidate, his experience this week points at the dilemma. He comes forward with a plan, unacceptable to democrats, yet he gets hammered by his own side. Right, he gets hammered in the blogosphere. But house consecutives have been behind him. What he's saying, he's calling the president's bluff. He said, look, we need to get through this period, mr. President. Let's agree on reforms that you have been for, you know, increasing contributions of federal employees. These are all proposals that were in the president's budget 2014. You said you want these things. You say you want to do real reform. It's not as massive as savings as paul would have preferred. But he's telling the house republicans, let's call the president's bluff. David plouffe, you worked closely with president obama. He thinks that the consequences of negotiating are even more severe than the consequences of actual default, does he really mean that? Well, obviously, he takes the threat of default seriously. After what we went through in 2011, we got this close to default, no president wants to do this again. We have to take the threat of default off the table. Reopen the government. The question is right now, I do think that there's a possibility of something coming out of the senate that could get 70, 75 votes, but if boehner insists doing this with most of his caucus, I don't think the tea party is capable of reopening the government. I think the notion that this going to be easily solved this week. My son said, I have been writing, republicans made a mistake, they picked a fight. They had no strategy, they had no endgame, they had no plan. That's what it is, it was a mistake. That having been said, I think the president has made countermistakes. Not only in the famous stories of the things that we're forcibly shut down. In the shutdown and all that stuff. But the sense that he's communicated, hey, I'm not having a conversation, we're not having negotiations. Presidents have to negotiate on debt limits. They have to own it. We have all seen -- we have worked in white houses. We have seen presidents do this. You call what the other side does to you extortion. But it really is an argument, and a deal and attend, you trade some horses. Nothing like this has ever happened before. All of the alleged former examples -- there deal that included a debt ceiling raise. The debt ceiling wasn't a hostage or once -- once -- tip o'neill held up the debt ceiling for one day as symbolism. There was never before a case where one party pushed the u.S. Government to the edge of default. Demanding concessions in return. Every attempt to make this sound business as usual, this is not. This is out of the experience. It is more heightened but it's still part business as usual because it takes place within the context of an american president having to deal with the reality around him. Opposite party having to deal with the fact that he has the presidency, he has the executive, make the deal. Political reality here as well, pretty striking, "the wall street journal" poll, I want to go through some of the numbers right here. It shows the republican party taking much of the brunt. 53% blame the republicans. The view of the republican party, 24% positive right now. According to the pollsters of "the wall street journal." 24% positive. Only 14% of the country thinks we're going in the right direction right now, and as lindsey graham cited early, 60% of the country would replace every single member of congress. Dan senor, republicans taking a fall greater hit, don't they have to figure out a way to end this dynamic? Absolutely. There's no doubt that this damaging to the republican brand, that said, a year from now, this will have long resolved and I don't think voters will be talking about this shutdown and the dysfunction. What people will be talking about is the failed implementation of obama care. There are very few house seats that are really in play. Tiny percentage of republicans members in districts that president obama won. There are six democratic seats that need to be defended. So, the feel both in the house and senate is much more favorable to republica. I think this is a bad moment for republicans. I think it will pass. I think the feel the history of the party out of the white house winning -- I want to say something about that. The obama care thing will also be long passed. They messed up the software for the federal version of it. But we have the exchanges working fine in most states. California has a functional exchange. If you can do it for 30 million people, you can do it for 300 million. So, obama care will be working fine. Another threat of what you just pointed out, when I look at these deals being negotiated right now, a four-month extension of the government funding resolution, a six-month extension of the debt limit. David plouffe, I look at that and say, this is not going to be over from a year from now. If predicated on long-term budget negotiations, aren't we going to be back in the same place? We can completely destroy the economy around the holiday seasons. It makes no sense. And we got to remember, we're already at republican budget levels. This was not a budget discussion, peggy, this was -- they wanted to inject health care into the debate. I think these numbers are damaging in the long term for republicans. I think you have to understand, they're facing already fatal demographic numbers. And you add this into the mix here, you've got suburban women, are really souring on the republican party. For their politics, listen, america needs a functional -- a functioning republican party again you're seeing that sense of frustration really growing. Those commonsense people who want to govern not destroy the government will have their voices raised. The governors are key. Everywhere you go among republicans, they start talking about what's happening in washington, the house and the senate and then they go, our governors are great. Indeed, there's much excitement there and I think the future of the party, 2016 is there. Paul, I got to tell you, I don't think I disagree with your point on obama care, I think for the next year, as dan said, it's going to be a big wound. There's too much connecting to it that's going to be a constant grind of tension. One thing, congress passes things and they get special benefits and american people don't get it. That's not true. The main point is that software -- it's more than software. They have them stitched together web platforms. For the department of justice, health and human services, in order to make this enrollment work. It's a technology disaster. The architect of the website said in march, we'll be lucky if this thing doesn't look like a third world experience. The thing is, again -- a state with more than 30 million, has a perfectly functioning exchange, that says this is doable. That says they'll fix it. I can't imagine. To david's point on the republican brand, the changing demographics, again, I think the house will stay in republican hands. I think it's a toss-up in terms of where the senate winds up in 2014. You look at 2016, you look at the people thinking about running, chris christie, is going to have a double-digit win next month. Susan martinez, governor of new mexico. Scott walker, I mean, the idea that republicans, who are actually working on things are somehow damaged by all of this chaos in washington -- we got to take a minute left. Quickly around the table, is there a deal before thursday's deadline, do the consequences of default start to kick in? I think there's no better than 50/50. The country needs to prepare that this could go on for a while. I think the house is nervous, the senate is nervous, and the white house is nervous. Nobody knows how this end or exactly when. But there will be great pressure to clean this up especially if damning polls continue to come out. It's no better than 50/50. The positive 50 comes entirely from the likelihood that the markets are going to say something very loud when they open tomorrow. I think they'll get through it 37 republicans will get through this and move to the debate on obama care. And we'll see if house speaker john boehner survives that kind of a vote. Thank you very much. Next, hollywood takes on

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

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