Bob Woodward on What Went Wrong with Failed Debt Deal

Woodward talks to Diane Sawyer about his new book "The Price of Politics" in an ABC News exclusive.
3:00 | 09/10/12

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Transcript for Bob Woodward on What Went Wrong with Failed Debt Deal
So it has been the question ask over and over again. Who once it. Who walked away from us. Who was it who scuttled this -- First you have to say what deal -- Never really agreed some sort it takes reform which was the big -- avenue. For raising more revenue but never really. Agreed on how to cut Medicare or Medicaid. Or Iranian entitlement programs. They each claimed they gave and then blame the other one for walking away what really happened -- if true this famous phone call. It looked like there was no. Way. We have. For history this monumental. Communications. -- -- A critical issue at a critical but do you think. It fell apart because of this misunderstanding. -- Buckeyes. Neither of them was ready to see it -- Well is -- and I interviewed the president extensively in the in the speaker. They both said no we're. Serious about this new president. Well certainly when the president says look I willingly. Would lose an election. If I got this right. That's. You know he's laying it on the line speaker Boehner even -- so far as to say. I need this job like a hole in the head. And so I'm willing to risk everything to solve this problem of course. They didn't you couldn't say and the book no body was in charge. Isn't in what president. But is that the president's fault well -- -- Mike conclusion news. President Clinton President Reagan if you look at them can criticize them for lots of things -- by and large work that well. And he did not on this president -- -- and is that a failure of leadership. You know some people are -- -- say he was fighting the brick wall. That Republicans in the house and Republicans in congress others will say. It's the president's job to figure out how to tear down that brick wall. In this case he did. Do you talk about it is essentially a 44 days that -- the equivalent of financial equivalent of the Cuban missile crisis he is so serious that. They couldn't tell the world it was.

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

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