Now we move on to an exclusive first look at a book everyone's talking about. By bob woodward. He calls it a legal wire tap into the drama behind closed doors. The president and the speaker of the... See More
Now we move on to an exclusive first look at a book everyone's talking about. By bob woodward. He calls it a legal wire tap into the drama behind closed doors. The president and the speaker of the house, trying to broker a deal on the edge of a potentially catastrophic financial crisis. Here's abc's jon karl. Reporter: It was the president and the speaker, the talks were secret and woodward says, the stakes higher than anybody realized at the time. You talk about it as essentially the 44 days that were the financial equivalent of the cuban missile crisis? So serious they couldn't tell the world how bad it was at the time. In the price of politics, bob woodward gives a blow by blow account to reach a so-called grand bargain, spending cuts and tax increases to cut the deficit. The deal was close, but broke down near the end when woodward says the president asked boehner to agree to more tax increases. For boehner, that was a deal breaker. He wasn't going to get a damn dime more out of me, boehner told woodward. A critical juncture boehner didn't bother to return the president's phone calls. When they connected, the furious president was spewing coals. The president acknowledged he was angry, but also tells woodward, he had sympathy for boehner because he couldn't control extremists in the new tea party congress. You see how crazy these people are. I understand him, the people said. Through woodward, the total breakdown of the talks reflected badly on everyone. It was clear no one was running washington. It was trouble for everyone, but especially for obama. Woodward shows an almost complete lack of communications between republicans in the white house. in 2010, the president wanted to call john boehner to congratulate him, and nobody in the white house had his phone number.
This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.