Exclusive: John Boehner on 'This Week'

The House speaker on dueling budget proposals and prospects for a grand bargain.
3:00 | 03/17/13

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Transcript for Exclusive: John Boehner on 'This Week'
Good morning. Welcome to "this week." Hello, everybody. Round two. It is to identify what I call the common sense caucus. Presidema continues the charm offensive. Good to see you, sir. Is a grand bargain still possible? We get answers from our exclusive guest, house speaker john boehner, only on "this week." Plus -- we're here to rebuild a country. Conservatives crash the capitol. Cardinals make an historic choice. And the pentagon and the pentagon adding new missile defenses on the west coast. How serious is the north korean threat to all of us? Plus, on the tenth anniversary of the iraq war, abc's own bob woodruff is here for a special look back. Hello, again. George is off today. Great to have you with us. If president obama hoped his charm offensive would improve chances of a grand bargain, the release of those dueling budget proposals this week, showed just how far apart the two parties really are. So, where does that leave us? Our exclusive guests will have a lot of say in whether it does happen. We're please to welcome house speaker john boehner. Good morning, mr good to be with you, martha it's great to have you here. I call it the so-called charm offensive. You don't seem particularly charmed. You wrote, you had heard it all before, saying it's going to take more than dinner dates and phone calls from the president. So, were there those difference a good thing? Or did it make no difference at all? It's always a good thing to engage in more conversation, engage more members in the conversation. But, when you get down to the bottom line, the president believes that we have to have more taxes from the american people. We're not going to get very far. If the president doesn't believe that the goal ought to be to balance the budget, I'm not sure we're going to get very far. This is the whole issue, we have a spending problem here in washington. Where is your trust level with the president? I mean, you're talking about these meetings as if they really didn't mean much. No, the president and I have a very good relationship. We're open with each other. We're honest with each other. But we're trying to bridge some big differences. So, do you trust president Absolutely. Absolutely? Absolutely. There's no issue there. Listen to what president obama told george stephanopoulos about the debt this week. We have already cut $2.5 trillion, $2.7 trillion out of the deficit. If the sequester stays in, you got over $3.5 trillion in deficit reduction already. So, we don't have an immediate crisis in terms of debt. In fact, for the nen ten years, it's going to be in a sustainable place. Is he right that we don't have an immediate crisis? We don't an immediate debt cris. But we have one looming. We have one looming, because we have entitlement programs that are not sustainable in their current form. They're going to go bankrupt. How long do we have to solve our problems? No one knows where this is. It could be two, three, four years. It reese -- it's not an immediate problem. You agree with the president on that? Yes. But his point, as he went on to say in that interview, is that we don't really need to do anything at this point. I would argue that we do need to do something. The american people know that you can't continue to spend money that you don't have and that's what the president wants to do. The president also said that in interview that, his goal wasn't merely to balance the budget. He talked about a balanced plan, what's balanced about a budget that never gets to balance? Let's take a listen to exactly what the president obama said about balancing the budget? No, we're not going to balance the budget in ten years, my goal is, not to chase a balanced budget just for the sake of balance. My goal is do we grow the economy and put people back to work. If we do that, we'll be bringing in more revenue and if we control spending, potentially what you have balance. A quick response to that. That's exactly the point. Balancing the budget will in fact help our economy. It will help create jobs in our country. Get our economy going again. And put more people back to work. The fact that the government continues to spend more than a trillion dollars every year that it doesn't have, scares investors, scares business people, makes them less willing to hire people. Is the grand bargain dead? I don't know whether we can come to be a big agreement if we do. It will be between the two parties on capitol hill. Hopefully, we can go to conference on these budgets. Hope springs eternal in my mind. Senators graham and ayotte and other republicans have said they're open to new revenue if the president is willing to do significant entitlement reform. Is that something you could consider? Would you say no to that? The president got his tax HIKES ON JANUARY 1st. The talk about raising revenue is over, it's time to deal with the spending problem. The president suggested cuts to social security and means testing medicare is that enough? What more does he have to do on entitlements for you to consider additional revenues? We need to put the entitlement programs on a sustainable path. They're not today. And americans understand this. And the sooner we make changes to these programs, to put them on a sustainable path, the easier it will be to make those anges. Let's move on to the republican party itself and the cpac conference this weekend. Two potential presidential candidates. Senator marco rubio and senator rand paul. Had very different messages about the current state of the party. Senator rubio said, we don't need any new ideas. The idea is called america and it still works. And here's what rand paul had to say. There is nothing conservative about bailing out wall street. Our party is in encumbered by an inconsistent approach to freedom. The gop of old has grown stale and moss-covered. Who's right? Has it grown stale and moss-covered? Listen, I think there's nothing wrong with the principles of our party. Republicans have not done, as effective job as we should in terms of talking about our principles in terms average people can appreciate. Why balancing the budget, would be good for the american family. We have to do a better job of helping people understand what our principles are in terms of what they deal with every day. There was a surprise this week, senator rob portman, who's a close friend of yours, and from home, ohio, said that he has had a change of heart of gay marriage. He'll support gay marriage after learning his own 21-year-old son will is gay. Had portman shared that with you? He called. Listen, rob is a great friend and longtime ally. I appreciate that he's decided to change his views on this. But, I believe that marriage is a union of a man and a woman. Can you imagine yourself in a situation where you would reverse your decision as portman has on gay marriage if a child of yours and someone you loved told you was gay? No. I believe marriage is the union of a man and a woman. That's what I grew up with, what I believe, what my church teaches me, and I can't imagine position would ever change. I want to get quickly to a couple more topics, gun legislatyou commit to have a vote on the house f on any gun legislation that the senate is able to pass? If they pass it, I made clear that we would review it. In the meantime, our committees are continuing to have hearings, trying to get to the bottom of what can we do to help minimize the senseless crime? I mean, listen, all of our hearts go out to the victims of these mass shootings. What we fleed to -- what we need to understand is, what is it that we truly can do to ensure that this doesn't happen? Do you see any gun measures passing? We'll see what they'll do. We'll continue to have our hearings and review this issue. Just to close here, you're the highest ranking catholic republican in congress, this week, we saw the conclave elect pope francis, of latin america, what does it mean for you, what does it mean for catholics and the country? This is the first time that we have had a pope from the ericas. So, I think it's a giant step forward for the church. Latin america is a very, very catholic continent. And I do believe that pope francis is the right person, to really bring reform to the church. And what kind of reform? There are a number of issues at the vatican that need fresh eyes. He's clearly made a commitment has had. And it's pretty clear, from his humble nature, that his papacy will be one, I think, a lot of people will appreciate. Thank you so much for joining us this morning, speaker boehner, great to have you here. Thank you.

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

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