quarter, the u.s. economy grew by a smoking hot four percentage points. consumer spending way up, housing construction way up, business investment is way up, unemployment is down, and so are the gas prices, and the stock market closed at -- just this afternoon. the president has taken his lumps, especially over obamacare, but today is a good day to give him his due. he's brought us back sis his predecessor wrecked the economy. if the numb her holds up, i think santa claus will bring president obama a wonderful 2014. >> wonderful to see the spirit of christmas descend over you. you know, the biggest thing happening in the economy is the explosion in oil and gas capability, all of it on private land, despite cutting back on federal production. and the fact is that that breakthrough is lowering the cost of centering for manufacturing, so all of the things that the -- despite
policies are helping the president. it's a comment that the american people can rise above all this. >> we will discuss it, i'm sure. i have a very different view, i'm sure you can imagine. >> shocking. in the crossfire, democratic strategist penny lee and republican strategist john feehery. i watched the president's press conference today with great interest. obviously at 41%, dramatically below either president reagan or for that matter president clinton at this stage. he's going to hawaii, i hope he's going there to rest, but also to think about what are the less lessons, how does he come back and try to make the kind of year that van wants. if he were to call you, what are the two or three biggest things you would represent to the president? >> first of all, i don't know that it's necessary we need to go so big. what i think you saw was an
appreciation of the stock market rally, where you actually got a small budget passed, just incremental things right now i think is what needs to be done to show the american people that washington can actually work. first and foremost, it's going to have to be the health care. it is out there, from january to march, everybody will still be focused on it. whether or not that's the right indication, don't know, but that's what everyone will be focused on. he does need to be able to come back and show that something is working, that something he has said will actually come true, as far as it's related to health care. right now every day you hear a new story. last night, there were some changes to make sure that you could get catastrophic change. that's when people think maybe it's not all that i want it to be. he needs to have points on the board and win, especially on health care. >> i know you expressed earlier real concern for senator reid. >> sure.
i just want to say hearts and prayers are hout to senator reid for a speedy recovery. it was a temporary lapse, but he is a strong fighter, and someone that continues to fight every day. i know will be in the senate going forward. thank you. >> thank you for raising that. now, we're talking about 2014. everybody wants to talk about obamacare and everybody wants to talk about the president. the republicans have a choice, too. from your point of view, do they want to go in the direction that paul ryan has opened up more bipartisanship, showing they can govern or more obstructionist, more belligerent. what would you advise the rub party to do? >> they pleasure a big thing by having a budget agreement. the government is not going to close down. i thought it was good for the house republicans especially. that's why so many voted for it. i think on the debt ceiling, what they have to push for a year delay on obama care, the whole thing. the reason they haven't pushed for it is something that the
president is going to accept many the best thing for the president to have is have obama care not happen for another year. >> so you think the president will accept the year? first of all, i think the president was emphatically clear. again, no negotiations on the debt ceiling once again. >> listen, that is the one thing that polls the worst, when you say i will not negotiate on something. >> john we've been through this debate time and time again. there is no replacement that the hms have put out there. what the american people don't want is to go back to what we had. >> the health care plan is collapsing. we have the president going willy nillie changing things. the best thing, give it a year, let them sort it out, and for the democrats that's the best thing to do. >> i was fascinated, and i thought it was so different from how bill clinton would handle it. if we look add brianna keilar asked him a question, and the intensity of his response i thought was very telling. >> reporter: will you negotiate
with house republicans on the debt ceiling? >> oh, brianna, you know the answer to this question. no, we're not going to negotiate for congress to pay bills that it has accrued. >> what i was struck by, one, as john just said, not going to negotiate is not exactly the signal you want to send, but second, clinton would have said something like i'm confident coming off this recent patty murray/paul ryan deal, we're going to find a positive way to work together and i don't want to think negative thoughts. i was very struck, it was very blunt, very direct, and i think very negative. don't you think that's sort of a mistake? >> this is something -- nothing that is not new. this is a position he has taken from his first time, the first time the debt ceiling has ever come up. i wonder why it isn't a surprise to anybody, because this is not something he has ever backed down from. has there been negotiations that -- >> the problem, pen xwr -- >> the president has made
emphatically clear he will not negotiate. >> the problem is he has negotiated. they got a deal. there's always negotiations. newt, you know this, you negotiate to get the votes. every time you have a debt limit, you have to get the votes. >> let me ask you, though, i think the answered it for a reason. >> i agree. >> i'm curious. in some ways wouldn't the best thing would be to have a huge fight? give the president some credit here. do you think the republicans will take the bait? please give us another shutdown. please. >> i think the president is trying to provoke the republicans. and i think you have to stay to your principles and find common ground for the idea that you're never going to negotiate is completely false. >> you saw -- more than that, you're talking about the debt ceiling? >> and full faith and credit of the united states. republicans even realize that is
a risky proposition. >> do you think republicans will be good enough to us to threaten the full faith and credit for us in this quarter? >> sure. acquire. absolutely. look what ted cruz did the last time. >> let me make john's point for the second. the fact is in the end, the president last time accepted a package out of the senate that reopened the government by tying it all together. now, i'm just curious, this is sort of the president's red line number 600. i mean, you know, how often -- in your mind, how often -- remember we're never going to budge on the man dade, budged all over the place. you go down the list of things, we're not going to budge on syria, not going to bunch on iran. isn't there a point when people start shrugging and going, this is all posturing? >> they do, but at the same time there are some read deadlines that do come up. there are consequences without action, so that's what the president has been playing to,
the fact that whether or not you negotiate and put together in the senate and house end up putting together a package. or not putting the full faith, that occurs, but the president's point is to make sure he has a very strong stance, and, you know, the threat actually makes the house moot. >> the president is in a far different spot than six months ago or four months ago. he said, you can keep your health care if you want it. everyone knows that was the biggest lie of the year. so he's got to be able to say, listen, i need to reach a deal here. >> we're going to fight about it after the break, i think. it's december 20th, you may need to finish your christmas shopping and sign up for obamacare. don't worry. the administration just put out 14 excuses you can use to not sign up. i'll share may favorite brand-new excuse, next. [ female announcer ] there's one thing
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welcome back. in the crossfire tonight, penny lee and john feehery. this afternoon president obama summarized the roll-out of the biggest domestic program, the oba obamacare website. listen to the president. >> the fact is that it didn't happen in the first month, first six weeks, in a way that was at all acceptable. and since i'm in charge, obviously we screwed it up. for those of you who couldn't sign up, the obama administration is giving you a last-minute christmas gift. the government's list of 14 excuses to avoid obama care for one more year. here's my favorite. it's so vague it could cover anything. quote -- you experienced another hardship in obtaining health insurance, unquote.
we were wondering how big a truck you could drive through obamacare. with that excuse, the whole car got bigger. now, penny, i know you're a loyalist, optimist, positive, but send it a fact that around january 1st we're just going to be in the middle of a giant med, you'll have lawyers advertising if you went to the hospital and you didn't have insurance and it wasn't your fault, call us for free consultation. you'll have members of congress getting calls. the whole thing -- and there are constitutional questions about whether or not you can capriciously list this mandate for group a, but not group b? isn't this a mess? >> i don't think they saided the headline coming occupy to be that "we screwed it up." that's not something that anybody as a loyalist wanted to see happen, either. at the same time, i do think we are in a long game here, and we
are just not still in the first inning, as i said earlier, the president does need to score some hits. he needs to make this impact and actually have something that he said come true. and so for that, they need some stabilization. they need something to really actually start to function. a lot of it is functioning. you have 500,000 people who have signed up for it now, and a lot of people benefit. 85% of the american people have benefited from some type of obama care. >> part of my problem is this year we go more rooting for failure. it seems that the republican can't say enough bat things about this big. but i don't know how long the american people are going to stay with this story when the economy is where people's hards are. i'm going to change it to something you don't have a
thousand talking points on. what about the minimum wage? i think you guys in 2014 will be in deep trouble, because it's a very popular idea to race the minimum wage. what will happen to your part when the country -- >> well, let me tell you how the republicans will respond. it wasn't rooting for failure. it was warning of failure. >> great talk iing. >> i remember when he was talking about minute mutual wag wage. s which are kids -- >> say it louder. keep saying it. >> it's not true and it's not popular. >> but politically it's a dangerous thing. i understand that. i think for the republicans, they have to talk about a poverty agenda, which paul ryan has been talking about, broadly talk about trying to get the economy growing yet, which the
president never talks about. and you also have to talk about how obama care is hurting -- >> back on minimum wage, that was great, but with minimum wage in particular, when this president steps forward saying he wants to give americans a race, he's going to say fine, how about the ones who are. aren't you in a trap here? because if you say no in congress, guess what we do, we put it on ballot measures across the country. what are you guys going to do? ivities the single easiest way to screw up job creation is -- listen, i know that it polls well, what polls even better is to get jobs created. the president needs to focus on that. >> i don't want to distort your wonderful moment here, but i am curious, you know, penny, when the president was talking about in a positive way, certainly the numbers in the last quarter are moderately encouraging. we also have a record number of
people on food stamps. whether or not we need -- who need unemployment compensation. a error number of people on disabilities. isn't it a fact that the depth of this problem is so real and so deep that it's going to take a long time at the pace we're currently on to get anywhere near -- >> nobody ever promised we would be in a hot recovery. we always knew it would be slow and steady. would we all look to see it like the last quarter, the economic growth continue? absolutely. as the president 'lewded to, he feels like 2014, we're on to something that the economy could actually could get chucking at a graters pace. i agree in the fact that we do need -- john's point, that we do need to continue to grow on the jobs front, but i don't think in study after study has shown that minimum wage increases, and we're only talking about just $2, up to $10, and most of the states are already at that
level. it doesn't decrease, but allows people to not having to be so reliant on public well fair. knolls on food stamps, unemployment benefits. they can expand it. that i think is something as van was alluding to. >> i can feel you. one more good thing in here. since newt was beating up on my president about the gas prices -- >> our president. the president of the united states. >> fair enough. >> all of our president t. >> in the christmas spirit and bipartisanship, i don't understand why, if gas prices were going up right now, you would be screaming, yelling, saying here we are, gas prices are coming down. under this president, we're producing more energy, and more importantly on the green side, we're moor efficient, wasting less, and seeing what happens when you get the supply up, the demand down. >> we're cheerleading for the unbelievable help that the
private sector has done. they are the ones who created this. it hasn't been the president. the president has thrown every obstacle -- >> i'm going to poke this balloon. you know why fracking is taking off? because america's government was smart enough to invest in the research and development to create that technology. it's been a public/private this country, we don't have to drill on the white house lawn to bring gas. >> why don't we all claim credit for the fact that the energy prices have gone down. this is not the president's problem. the president's problem is the stupid law he passed on obamacare and b that he has not focused single handedly on job creation. and this thing, this economy is a disaster for so many people. >> there was a stimulus package. we were losing that debate and now it is continuing to grow. to say that he is not about job
creation is completely false. >> what can he propose that you would vote for? he went with all republican ideas and you were down with it. >> the key stone pipeline. >> how about corporate tax reform that brings money from overseas? will he do that? >> hey. >> the canadians announced they are going to build the pipeline to vancouver and ship the oil to china because they're sick and tired of the u.s. government -- >> the provinces are going to oppose it. it will be held up in court because the kaenlds know what tar sand is. it is pipe eating, water kicking goo. it is only going to china. we should have a show about that. however -- >> wait a second. let me ask you. >> i think we have to do it on the way back out. stay here. next we'll have the final question for both of our guests.
we want to hear their new years resolutions. will 2014 be better or worse? you can tweet better or worse using #cross fire. nd of holiday♪ ♪ wrap it up, pop, lock and shop, ♪ ♪ buyin' presents that i forgot. ♪ ♪ that's my holiday. to help secure retirements and protect financial futures. to help communities recover and rebuild. for companies going from garage to global. on the ground, in the air, even into space. we repaid every dollar america lent us. and gave america back a profit. we're here to keep our promises. to help you realize a better tomorrow. from the families of aig, happy holidays.
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asked president obama for his new years resolution. here is his not so serious answer. >> my new years resolution is to be nicer to the white house press corps. >> so our final question for both of you is, what new years resolution do you think the president should be making? and we'll give you as a strong supportter first shot at this. >> unlike me who will be about the diet and health, he does not need to lose any more weight. for the peace and tranquility of the obama household, i would say no more selfies with world leaders. >> i think that's pretty good. >> i think he should resolve to appear at least once on duck dynasty if it is not canceled by a & e. show himself as a bipartisan -- >> happy, happy. >> somebody finally raised "duck dynasty." >> i like that. there will be an immediate
spike. his suggestion will suddenly go out on the tweet and facebook resolutions. >> what is your resolution for the president? >> i think somebody once told me where there's life, there is hope. >> i think you should just keep hope alive. and hang in there. i think you should be focusing on the minimum wage. a growing sense of community. the people working hard and falling behind and america deserves a raise. if he picks that fight, it is a good fight for him and for the country. >> look. i hope that he will slow down for the next few days, focus on his daughters and his wife, unwind. this is a killing job. a terribly hard job and i think it is very hard for presidents occasionally to let loose. rejuvenate. think and then come back with a new sense. i think the most important thing
the president could do in the next week is nothing. just focus on his family. the country will still be here. and then come back with fresh energy and fresh ideas. that would be my point. >> well put. the holiday season is already breaking out. i want to thank penny lee. you can go to facebook or twitter to weigh in. will 2014 be a better or worse year for president obama? 66% of you say better. 34% say worse. the debate will continue at cnn.com/crossfire. and i want you to be sure to join crossfire host s.e. cupp tonight at 9:00 eastern. she will be interviewing glenn beck. they talk about chris christie. only glenn beck would give this answer. take a listen. >> libertarianism is the future. everybody be cool to each other. everybody live responsibly. and live free.
>> that sounds really good. but let me ask you about -- let me ask you about the real world. chris christie is the real world. >> no, he is a fat -- nightmare. >> okay. so you can watch s.e.'s entire interview. from the left i'm dan jones. >> from the right i'm newt gingrich. erin burnett outfront starts right now. next, facing the lowest approval rating of his presidency. president obama meets with the press for the final time this year. what did he say his administration screwed up this year? plus, the familiar live "duck dynasty" patriarch threatens to walk if he is be back on the show. can a & e afford to take the hit? and breaking news about john hinckley jr.