Boehner: Relations With Obama 'A Little Frosty'

House Speaker on the struggle in Congress to create jobs and cut the deficit.
12:56 | 11/06/11

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Transcript for Boehner: Relations With Obama 'A Little Frosty'
President Obama was overseas this week at the G-20 summit he comes home -- a tidal wave of voter angst. Our new ABC news Washington Post poll out today was the president's job approval at just 44%. What's more just 13% of Americans say they're better off than they -- when he took office. And seventy -- percent say the country's on the wrong track. The president is not the only one feeling the heat. 18% of Americans of frustrated with the federal government these days about number 31%. A downright angry. It's one reason perhaps that house Republicans of pushing back against accusations that they do not being obstructionists. When I sat down with speaker John -- he brandished this -- showing the jobs legislation that he's -- Of course most of it was dead on arrival in the senate. I also speak how compromise has become -- -- does she was on Capitol Hill. Mr. speaker thank you very much for joining us good to be here. This talk about jobs. Obviously you talk about trying to find common ground. But at the moment there doesn't seem to be much even the infrastructure it can't get through congress which can you -- com. Ground while we've already seen some common ground we passed the three free trade agreements with Colombia Panama law in South Korea. Part of our plan part of the presence -- -- fact. It's all part of our plan. -- for American job creators. And we've passed 22 bills. All with bipartisan support. That would help reduce barriers to job growth they -- remain in the United States ridiculous in the house. Move I think before the end of the year on it infrastructure bill. Now you obviously disagree with the idea of paying for this with extra taxes some 75%. Of Americans. Agreed with any increase in tax on business as a way to pay for these jobs provisions. Do you feel that by opposing it -- basically out of step with the American people on this issue well over half of the people. -- it would be taxed under this plan. Artifacts small business people and as a result you're going to basically increase taxes on the very people over hoping. Will reinvest in our economy and create jobs. That's the real crux of the problem and secondly I would point out -- We have a spending problem. We've done all the stimulus spending the last couple years and clearly it has not worked -- said that there is room for more revenues what do you mean by that. I believe them if we restructure our tax -- Where there on the corporate side of the personal side the target would be a top rate of 25%. It would make our economy more competitive with the rest of the world. It would put Americans back to work which -- broader. A base. On the tax rules and -- that there be real economic growth and more revenues of for the federal government to agree told -- -- should be any kind of tax increases. I believe that we can create revenue out of fixing our tax -- And bring that revenue to the table as long house. Our colleagues on the Yugoslavia -- are serious about cutting spending and I have tried all year. With every fiber of my being. -- tried to get members on both sides and I'll try to get the president. To get serious about dealing with our debt problem. Nobody more. Upset that we couldn't come to an agreement the president. A year now into the new congress. What is your biggest regret that I really ought to the president -- I -- -- children. I thought that for the good of the country. He and I couldn't solve this problem. We could have passed a significant bill. To reduce our long term obligations. Was we've made promises were selves that our kids or grandkids cannot afford. And we have to deal with so weak weak we have the deficit committee the so called super human of their hard work. Of a -- of these members alt welcome Democrats Republicans from both house and -- They have worked diligently. They have put in an incredible numbers -- hours. They're not there but -- -- do everything I can to continue to encourage them and to help them. A reach a successful doctor what I was gonna ask you because it was so much hope put into the efforts and yet they do seem to be stuck in an impasse. We know them and try to come out with one point two trillion in -- -- -- congress describe it as an impact do you think it'll work. This is Harvard. If it was easy the president I -- solved. If it was easy to congresses over the last two decades will assault it's hard -- I'll let alone but -- have to work. But I am committed to ensuring that works. Because as we don't know if it doesn't -- all -- to -- by the draconian cuts would you. -- -- with those including half of those cuts might come from the defense to I think it is important. A four -- government. To solve our deficit and our debt problem. And then we need to take a big step in the right direction so I'm editor of -- -- can to ensure that super committee. Is success. He talked about the 800 billion -- so that you are trying to make an agreement with president Obama in terms of revenues. It didn't work you said that that's the one of your biggest regrets. Is that -- could that happen again could you get back to that point. Well I think it's hard to put Humpty Dumpty back together -- How much revenue -- neutral about room for revenue how much revenue do you think. You could. You could get well that's the 64 million dollar question. Nobody knows he told about fairness. And of course. Obviously a lot of the conversation in this country over the last Llosa has been about spending cuts getting the deficit under control. But -- sort of shifting as you know now to the whole. -- disparity in income the income gap the income inequality that people are talking about. Latest reports say that something that one in fifteen Americans. The is in extreme poverty which is defined as something like 111000 dollars per -- for of youthful. Are you concerned that these budget cuts are going to hoods the people who can least afford it. No one here in this congress Democrat or Republican. A wants to do anything about -- putting holes in the safety net. -- for Americans. There are Americans were poor and I think it's the responsibility. Of the rest of us. To ensure that they have food in their stomachs and have a roof over their head. You know John Kennedy's. Some fifty years ago. A rising tide lifts all boats we have to get our economy moving again. And until we get our economy moving the and we start producing more jobs. We're gonna have all kinds of uncertainty. Concern and frankly fear about the future. You talk about a rising tide lifting all boats and of course that is the American way that's what all of us look to America for and yet. Not just income. Inequality -- expanded but also the idea of social mobility it's kind of slowing down. It's even slower than in some other parts of the well. And -- the Republicans are being portrayed. As the Ponte that doesn't really cat and -- really quote unquote the substance of the rich. Bought -- -- to change. I think that's very unfair. Let's I come from a family -- my dad owned a bar I've got Brothers and sisters on every rung of the economic latter. What our job. It here in congress has to do and the reason I came here 21 years ago. -- was to make sure that the American dream that was available -- is available. For our kids in our -- That most people globally that's the -- -- when frankly I've got concerns that it may not be the case we can't have government debt. That snuffing -- the future for kids and grandkids. We can't have a government of this taking 3040 cents out of every dollar. For -- is a grand just to pay for government. That's that you can't have both and I do believe. That mark my job. And my vision. Is to make sure the American dream is alive and well for everyone in America. You know could Occupy Wall Street I think you've said that you understand the frustrations. People such is missing -- can. Call -- a mall arsenal. Do you agree with let them -- -- I understand people's frustrations I understand their concerns -- we understand that we have differences in America. We're not -- to engage in class worker. President's -- they're doing and every day. I frankly think its own fortune. -- because because our job is to help all Americans. Not not to pit one set of Americans against another and you think that's what's happening. The presence clearly trying to do it. And it's wrong. You say -- wolf miles Bill Gates not speak about this whole notion and -- look class warfare ahead. Is we've got people in the streets Manning the barricades you know fighting each other and that's not what's happening. It's not so much redistribution of income that the presence to give them much more -- shed much and a sense of sacrifice. And that doesn't seem to be the sense among people here that the sacrifice. He's being shed because they point to taxes and tax cuts and who it benefits and who doesn't Kabul -- The top 1% pay 38% of the income taxes in America. How much -- one. At table let's take all the money that the richer all of it. It won't even put -- in our current budget deficit much less our -- Congress obviously is not very popular with the people so no matter what you say about the president congress' approval ratings are way you know how -- -- -- Percent approval those. Congress have never been popular this is historic congress government popular that is the way American people but they look at the battles are on here Capitol Hill. They don't like to see it. And I understand. It was surprise people but 90% of the time members of congress on both sides -- you know get along. But you know that's not news for those view of the news business it's always -- -- only people the only ones and -- -- there -- disagree. -- of the founders gave us a committee of 535. People frankly it was designed not to work. My job -- to make it work. And it is -- Is it -- yes -- a frustrating yes. But. What I'd take -- -- a comfort in every -- is that I know members on both sides of the aisle. Are trying to do the right thing for the American people every single. -- ten to 2012 which is in everybody's mind. Is Mitt Romney the man who would. Put up stiff is competition to President Obama is an election. There a lot of good candidates that are out there running. My focus is on the congress it has -- in triangular economy. -- -- again and producing jobs here this might -- right here three plant from American job creator says that's my focus. I'm sure Republican voters around the country. Will choose a good candidate. And or whatever candidate they choose -- support. And Herman Cain who has -- to the top with his 999 and now is having some trouble with allegations against him. Do you think that he's handling this well how would you advise him to handle the latest allegations against him I think he had his opponents we'll have a nice -- debate about -- is not going back to whatever my focus is right here. If you focus is right here how would you describe today your relationship with President Obama because essentially that's what's going to make. Stuff happen. In of president -- have a pretty good relation. In Allied Capital for a -- the last the last few weeks. A but we've got a pretty -- still yes I've told the president you know I've. Almost straight up transparent person -- the -- That I would never mislead him. My -- -- my bond Democrats and Republicans here abortions and understand them. That's what we've got to -- pretty good relationship. Doesn't mean that we always agree. But the American people expect even -- we have very different ideas. The American people want us to look for common ground and then act -- So far we've been able to do that we've taken some steps in the right direction here over the last couple months a lot more -- to -- together. And -- thank you.

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

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