'This Week' Transcript: Bill Daley


DALEY: He didn't come to it quite late. Not at all. AMANPOUR: He did come to the actual urgent, aggressive negotiations quite late. DALEY: That's not true. He laid out a budget in February. He laid out in April after Congressman Ryan and the Republicans put their budget forward, which basically changed Medicare as we've known it and the contract with Americans that's been there now for 70 years. He came in, he laid out a $4 trillion plan in April. His message has been repeatedly. We've been in discussions, negotiations. He had the vice president, after meeting with the eight senior leaders in I think it was April, late April, early May. Have a process to move forward. That went up until 10 days ago or so, and then the Republicans decided that they would back out of that. Again, because they are trying to make a statement about the -- their position that no revenue can be in any deal. We're fighting to try to bring tax relief to middle Americans, and that is not -- that's the heart of this debate right now. AMANPOUR: So you're talking about -- the Republicans are saying no tax revenue, no new taxes. Democrats also are saying no cuts to entitlements-- DALEY: No, we're not, that's absolutely true. AMANPOUR: The House. DALEY: In the House, some Democrats are saying, this president is saying it has to be a balanced approach. AMANPOUR: So does the president still call for cuts and changes to Medicare, Social Security? Is that still on the table? DALEY: Social Security is not about the deficit. AMANPOUR: Medicare. DALEY: We've got to strengthen Social Security. Medicare has got to be strengthened. It will run out of money in five years if we don't do something. Obviously, there has to be improvements to it. There has to be at the same time a balanced package. It's not just about Medicare cuts that some people want to see. We've had a contract with the American people for the last 80 years about Medicare. People pay into that. They expect certain benefits. They don't want to see that trashed. It's a difficult time for many Americans. This town seems to get stuck in the politics. You go out in America today, people are concerned. They want certainty, and this president is fighting for them and not for the usual game in this town. AMANPOUR: So, going forward then, what will you be trying to negotiate tonight? Will entitlements be on the table tonight? Will there be any chance with the Republicans of any kind of revenue raising?

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