'This Week' Transcript: Bill Daley


DALEY: Well, it's rather unfortunate that the speaker has made the comments he has. The president is still very committed to solving this deficit problem for the future of America. He's looking forward to the meeting tonight to lay out once again his case. He's been saying to the leaders, it is time now to make the tough decisions. In this town, generally they kick the can. Nobody wants to do the tough things. He's committed to do that. He's not giving up on trying to bring some economic sanity to this city, and that's his goal. AMANPOUR: So is he still committed to the mega deal, so to speak? Because this is what has been floated in the last several days that Speaker Boehner says is no longer possible. Will the president continue to push for that? DALEY: The president believes it is time to solve this problem. It is time to give confidence to the American people, give confidence to the markets, to the world. Obviously no one wants a default. We shouldn't even be close to this situation, but it is a result of Congress's, Republican, Democratic, Democratic presidents, Republican presidents who have committed the country to certain bills. They have got to pay them off. This president is committed to bringing economic soundness to this country, and that takes a big deal. A lot of pain politically. Democrats obviously are very upset that the president has talked about pain on their side of the aisle, basically, and Republicans are saying no way will we give tax relief to middle-income Americans. They are concentrated on trying to bring continued tax relief to the wealthy. AMANPOUR: Just to be clear, $4 trillion is what the president will still try to go for, a big deal, or will he try to go for something smaller? DALEY: Everyone agrees that a number around $4 trillion is the number that will send -- make a serious dent on our deficit. It will send a statement to the world that the U.S. has gotten hold of their problems, fiscal problems, and they are moving forward. And it will give confidence to the American people, give confidence that we can then move forward over the next number of years to bring economic soundness. That's the president's commitment. That's what he wants to see. He's going to talk to the leaders again tonight. He's not someone to walk away from a tough fight. This is a very tough political fight, no question about it. But he didn't come to this town to do little things. He came to do big things. AMANPOUR: He came to do big things, you say. It is a big deal, this $4 trillion, and it would require a lot of complex negotiations. Why is it, then, that he came to it quite late?

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