House Speaker John Boehner Discusses Working With President Obama

Diane Sawyer talks with the Republican speaker about America's future.
3:00 | 11/08/12

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Transcript for House Speaker John Boehner Discusses Working With President Obama
washington, d.C., Where the election may be over, but the clock is sticking on an issue affecting every american family. And standing at the urgent crossroads, the president and the speaker of the house, republican john boehner. There is a freight train bearing down on this country, called the fiscal cliff. It made the stock market so nervous today, for the second day in a row, it dropped. And business leaders have begun to come forward to warn the government there will be serious economic consequences if there's no deal. At issue, the fiscal cliff, a doomsday law that hikes taxes and inleashes a wreing bal of CUTS ON JANUARY 1st. So, I started by asking speaker boehner that if this time, he and the now re-elected president are going to make a deal. The first word you said to yourself, when you knew that the president was going to win again? The hand I was dealt. I'll play it. And I went to bed. Reporter: Right away? 11:15. I saw the handwriting on the wall for a couple of hours. And at 11:15, race was, in my view, finished. I went to sleep. And slept like a baby. Reporter: The fiscal cliff is looming. The president has said, do it now, let us get a deal, let us end this grid lock now. Is it going to happen? I remain optimistic that we're going to be able to find common ground to avoid this fiscal cliff and find a way to work together. Reporter: But ben? BY JANUARY 1st? I would hope so. Reporter: The president is talking about specific increases, he campaigned on specific increases in tax rates from 35% to 39%, for those making more than $250,000. So, is that on the table? Right now? Raising taxes on small business people is the wrong prescription, given where our economy is. Reporter: Is it on the table to talk about? is unacce unacceptable and it couldn't pass the house. Putting increased revenues on the table, but through reforming our tax code. And I would do that, if the president were serious about solving our spending problem. And trying to secure our entitlement programs. The president and I have had various conversations. I'm confident that we can find the common ground necessary. Reporter: So, you will talk about it, even if you believe it's the wrong approach, you'll talk about it. Of course we'll talk about it. We talk about all kinds of things we may disagree on. I'm the most reasonable, responsible person here in washington. The president knows me. He knows that he and I can work together. The election's over. Now it's time to get to work. Reporter: And the speaker seemed confident that after this election, tea party members will be supportive of getting work done. So, I asked, will he still repeal obama care? You had said, next year, that you would repeal the health care vote. That still your mission? Well, I think the election changes that, it's pretty clear that the president was re-elected, obama care is the law of the land. Reporter: But you won't be spending the time next year trying to repeal obama care? There certainly may be parts of it that we believe need to be changed, we may do that. No decisions at this point. Reporter: And another question. About a fire brand in his party, the man who ran for vice president, still congressman paul ryan. Congressman payan, is he the leader of the republican party now? Oh, I wouldn't think so. Paul ryan's a policy wonk. He's involved in the cause of trying to bring us pro-growth, economic agenda to america and making sure that we're doing this in a fiscally responsible way. Reporter: There have been a lot of republican comments, rush limbaugh said -- I went to bed last night saying we've lost the country. Reporter: We lost the country, we're outnumbered. It's been said that the party has gotten too old, too white, too male. Those are his words. Is that right? Well, I think what republicans need to learn is how do we speak to all americans? You know, not just the people who look like us and act like us, but how do we speak to all americans? The powerful speaker of the house of representatives, john boehner. That was just today and I'm here now with jonathan karl, who has covered the campaign, coverers congress for us. What did you hear? Reporter: He said raising tax rates is unacceptable. There is an entirely different view of that on the other side of the aisle and at the white house. If the president campaigned on one thing, it was raising tax rates on the wealthy. They say any deal that doesn't do that is unacceptabunacceptable? No, what happens next now? I seem to hear the speaker saying, we can talk -- he w Reporter: He wanted to reassure everybody that a deal will be done. We're not going to get to the brink. We're not going to get to the point where the credit rating is again at risk. He said he's willing to talk about anything and he called himself the most reasonable man in washington. So, I think that he is determined to get something done.

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

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