Below are some of the notable comments made by the Powerhouse Roundtable Sunday on “This Week with George Stephanopoulos.” Roundtable guests included included former Vermont Governor and Founder of Democracy For America Howard Dean; Former Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty, President and CEO of the Financial Services Roundtable; Politico senior political reporter Maggie Haberman; and Vanity Fair National Editor Todd Purdum..
Purdum says handling of fiscal cliff represents ‘big moment’ for Obama’s presidency
PURDUM: I think it’s a very big moment. It sets the tone for his second term… It’s his country, and it’s his economy, and it’s his government.
Dean says, at this point, the purpose of any deal is to benefit politicians, not solve the deficit problem
DEAN: What we’re talking about here is a deal that’s going to help the politicians. It’ll help the president. We’re arguing it’s going to help Boehner. It’s going — that is not the problem. The problem is, we have a really big deficit.
Pawlenty says country doesn’t want to go off the cliff with a ‘Howard Dean scream’
PAWLENTY: Well, the financial services part of the economy, as well as the economy more broadly, wants to avoid the cliff. We don’t want a Howard Dean scream, as the country bungee jumps into the cliff.
Purdum laments the breakdown in party discipline and ‘loopy freshmen’
PURDUM: I mean, the notion that some of these loopy freshmen go out and say things on a television program, I mean, 40 years ago, the notion — or 50 years ago that Sam Rayburn would have had to deal with that is just inconceivable, that the breakdown in party discipline and seniority and all of those things that we, you know, like to decry as bad for democracy, it turns out in certain ways they were pretty good for democracy.
Pawlenty praises Boehner’s courage for introducing plan to raise taxes
PAWLENTY: If you understand the dynamics of the current Republican Party and what it takes to go out publicly on the point and say, “I’m going to raise revenues, and I’m going to raise the debt ceiling,” for him to do that early on in these discussions took great courage. It was a great risk for him, a huge risk…That was an exercise of bold leadership.
Dean calls out Boehner’s ‘leadership mistake’; compares Pelosi’s leadership during health care debates
DEAN: I think it is a sign of weakness…the difference between what he did and what Pelosi did to get the health care bill through is, Pelosi went through her caucus and broke every arm in the caucus that was giving her trouble and then made the announcement. Boehner went out and made the announcement first and then he couldn’t get his people. And that’s a mistake, leadership mistake.