tv Meet the Press MSNBC October 6, 2013 11:00am-12:01pm PDT
so thank you on behalf of all of us. thank you for being here with us. breaking news this sunday. terror crackdown. forces strike in somalia. we'll have the latest. plus capital it dysfunction. the government shuts down. hundreds of thousands of workers stay home, national parks close, but the washington spin war moves on full speed ahead. >> this isn't some damn game. >> the american people are not pawns in some political game. >> and we hope that our democratic colleagues will stop with the games. >> let the house stop the irresponsible reckless games. >> with no breakthrough in sight, another crisis looms on the horizon. will the u.s. default on its
bills for the first time in history? to discuss from the white house, jacob lew, rand paul from kentucky, and from the house, marcia fudge, chair of the congressional black caucus. plus my exclusive interview with samantha power on syria, iran, and that controversial comment about hillary clinton. >> i've regretted it pretty much every day since. >> and president obama weighs in on the washington redskins name controversy. i'm savannah guthrie filling in for david gregory. all that on this edition of "meet the press" on sunday, october 6. from nbc news in washington, "meet the press" with david gregory. substituting today, savannah guthrie. >> good evening, everyone. the latest on the shutdown in a moment, but first the leader in bombings in kenya and tanzania. tanzania is now in u.s. custody.
it ends a 15-year manhunt. he was seized in broad daylight near tripoli on saturday. he will be brought to the u.s. to stand trial. an al-shabab leader linked to the kenya shopping mall attack was linked to a raid in a town in southern somalia, but navy seals came up empty handed. no americans were hurt in that operation. michael lighter is here right now. he's the director of the terrorism center under presidents bush and obama. good to see you. >> good morning, savannah. >> let's start with this operation in libya. >> he was historical in the 1998 bombings, but he was with obama in 1984 in sudan. this is someone who had moved from iran back to libya and his deep ties with the organization, his capture now means it's much
harder for al qaeda to establish a presence in libya, and that's critical for the united states. >> it's a place that's lawless at times. >> the fact he felt safer going from iran to libya is very worrisome for the u.s. >> operation incredibly risky. why would they take that risk, and what do you make of the fact that it wasn't ultimately successful? >> the u.s. has targeted al-shabab for several years now, but we're always nervous about going in. the reason we wanted to go after him is because he is leadership and he's the driver of the al-shabab transnational agenda, and that was especially after nairobi. not getting him is bad because he's still in somalia, but we also didn't get the intelligence we hoped to gather from a raid. we turn now to day 6 of the government shutdown. no agreement in sight. senator rand paul will be joining me from kentucky in a
moment, but first let's turn to treasury secretary jack lew here in washington. mr. secretary, good to see you. >> good to be here. >> we're six days in. has there been any permanent damage to the economy from this shutdown so far? >> savannah, the shutdown is harming people every day. i think we're seeing that in the ironic actions of those who chose to shut the government down item by item, trying to reopen the government for things as they discover there's real pain out there. if the shutdown ends quickly, we'll recover from the damage. if it goes on for a longer period of time, it will do more harm. >> given what you know of the terrain, are you looking at a few more days of a shutdown? are you looking at weeks? >> congress could act today. the optimistic view of things is there is a majority in congress right now that would vote to reopen the government. they just need to bring it up for a vote. they could bring it up today. >> there was a senior administration official quoted in the wall street journal this week saying, quote, we are winning.
it doesn't really matter to us how long the shutdown lasts, because what matters is the end result. does that reflect the view of the administration behind closed doors, the shutdown can go on as long as it wants because it's politically advantageous. >> there are no winners here. every day it's shut down, it does real harm to the american people, and you need to step back and look at where we are as a country and economy. the united states has been fighting its way out of a recession since the great depression. if you're a parent relying on head start or somebody looking for medical care or a government agency that needs intelligence, they need to open the government up. they could do it today. >> you mentioned republicans have passed a series of bills in the house to fund parts of the government such as fema, such as the va. why not take them up on that offer? >> it just doesn't work. they need to open up the whole government. you can't cherry pick an item here, an item there. there are too many important things the federal government
does, and they need to open it up, and they could because a majority is ready to do it. i started out my career in washington working on the hill. i worked for speaker o'neal. he said the one thing the american people won't tolerate is obstructionism. the majority needs to be given a chance to work as well. >> as you know, we are facing a more potentially disastrous deadline, october 17 for the nation's borrowing limit for the debt ceiling to be raised lest the country default on its obligations. let me put this to you very, very clearly. is october 17 also the day the country defaults? >> let me be clear. we actually hit the debt limit in may. from may until this week, we've been using what are called extraordinary measures to create a bit of additional headroom. on tuesday i informed congress that i had used the final extraordinary measures, there are no more. we are now limited to the borrowing capacity we have today. on october 17, we will exhaust our borrowing capacity.
and at that point i have nothing else in the drawer. >> does that mean default happens that same day? >> on october 17, we're left with the cash on hand. i told congress that i believe there will be approximately $30 billion of cash on hand, which is a lot of money, and it sounds like a lot of money to the american people, but you have to put it in the context of the cash flow of the united states. we are a $4 trillion enterprise, and on any individual day, you could be $50 or $60 billion cash flow negative or positive. $30 billion is a dangerously low level of cash, and we're on the verge of going into a place we've never been and not have cash to pay our bills. >> i guess the question, then, for you not raising the debt ceiling, is that tantamount to default whether it's in a day, a week or a month? >> the reality is if we run out of cash to pay our bills, there is no option that permits us to pay all our bills on time. which means a failure for congress to act would, for the first time, put us in a place where we're defaulting on our obligations as a government because of congress failing to act. >> if this country were to
default on its obligations, what would be the consequence in the economy? are you talking catastrophe? >> we've never crossed this line, so everyone is speculating on what happens if the unthinkable happens. let me just read to you from what president reagan said when he faced this, and i quote. the full consequences of a default or even the serious prospect of default by the united states are impossible to predict and awesome to contemplate. denigration of the united states would have a substantial effect on the markets. why would anyone take that risk? >> it would be calamitous for the economy? >> it would be very bad. even getting close to the line is dangerous. in 2011, there was no default in 2011. it hurt the economy to get close to the line. we saw it in the stock market, we saw it in confidence, we saw it in investment. if we cross the line, we're going a place we've never gone.
it's very dangerous. >> you've painted a dire consequence. on the one hand you say it's terrible for the economy to even threaten default. on the other hand, the president saying, i won't negotiate. i won't have any conversation about this. i won't negotiate to stop that from happening. how do you square those two things? >> to be clear, the president has been and remains prepared to negotiate on fiscal policy. he has spent much of the last three years trying to find the sensible middle ground. he's made offer after offer, negotiation after negotiation -- >> but the administration said we don't want to have any negotiation until the government is reopened and the debt ceiling is raised. >> we're where we are because in 2011, 50 to 100 of the most extreme members of the house changed the rules of the game. they said, we would rather default than have an honorable compromise. it's congress' job to fund the government, and it's congress' job to make sure we can pay our bills.
there is nothing here that we're asking for from congress for them to do that. we are happy to negotiate on reasonable policies with entitlement reform and tax reform that closes loopholes. >> why would they give up their leverage? you're saying give up everything we've agreed to. that's the leverage they have. >> what would it mean in this country if we're not able to pay millions of people on social security on time? what would it mean if we're not able to pay hospitals through medicare and medicaid on time? there would be liquidity crises on homes and businesses and important institutions. it's just not responsible. it's reckless and irresponsible to say we'll bring all that down if we don't get our way. congress needs to do its job and then we'll negotiate. the president wants to negotiate. >> is the president ready to watch this country go into default rather than negotiate with republicans?
>> the republicans know this doesn't have to happen. they could vote today. >> will he not come to the table at all even with the risk of default? >> i know republicans and democrats, i don't believe any of them want to default. they need to look at how do they let the majority in congress work their will. >> let me ask you about the health care rollout. you were chief of staff when it was being implemented. thousands of unique visitors came to the website to check it out, but there is an uncertain number of who enrolled. the site has been down partially all weekend. how do you justify that? >> if you look at the people of interest trying to figure out how to buy health care for the first time for people, the enormous interest shows how important it is.
>> fair enough, but why weren't we ready for that interest? >> we always anticipated there was a lot of demand and the demand is being appreciated. people are looking at the web sites. they're looking at what their choices are. they have six months to make their decision. people are getting on, getting the information they need and they'll be making the decision. i actually think the experience this last week shows how important the care act actually is. >> do you think it's going well? >> i wouldn't say i'm a doctor of technology, but i have a share of apps on my devices, and i usually wait until a few days into them because they make corrections on day one, day two, day three. i think we're going through the same kind of process here and it's working well. >> thank you very much, secretary lew. always great to have you here. appreciate it. i want to turn now to republican senator rand paul of kentucky. senator, good morning. welcome back to "meet the press." >> good morning. glad to be with you. >> you have a statement on your
website saying, quote, you are working tirelessly to end this government shutdown. fact of the matter, there is one way to end the shutdown right now, have speaker boehner put a clean budget resolution on the floor of the house. it would pass with republicans, it would pass with democrats. would you call on speaker boehner to do that this morning? >> we've been putting out clean crs or continuing resolutions all week. we've been trying to fund government. we've been trying to reopen government, and at every point harry reid says, no, he doesn't want to open government. >> you've been putting on clean crs. no strings attached? >> well, yeah. we've been trying to fund different parts of government all week. we've passed bill after bill after bill -- >> that's a piecemeal approach, no? >> it's the same thing. these are clean crs, meaning there's no strings attached. we've been passing nih funding, veteran funding. here's the thing that people don't realize. that's historically the way it's always been. you pass small appropriation
bills so you can look at them individually. it's actually a much better way to run government, because right now you're sticking everything into one bill, and that's why the leverage of shutting the government down occurs. but if you did things appropriately and you passed appropriation bills one at a time, no one would be able to shut down government ever. so if harry reid had done his job, we wouldn't be in this position at all. >> senator, you were one of the ones early on who said you didn't think a government shutdown was a good idea. however, when house republicans made the defunding of obama care or even the delay of obama care their sticking point at which they would shut the government down if they didn't get it, didn't they basically make this result inevitable by making that what they took a stand on? >> well, i think you've kind of got it backwards. the house republicans said they would fund all of government, and they did. they funded all of government short of one program. so they really were never wanting to shut down government
over this, they were wanting to fund government, and then have a debate -- >> they were trying to defund obama care more than 40 times. they know what the result will be. they live in the real world, too. they knew this action would lead to a shutdown, and it did. >> well, i think that when you look at legislation, when you say the president wants 100% of obama care or he will shut down the government, that's exactly what's happened. if he doesn't get 100% of his way, his way or the highway, then they won't do any spending bills that don't include everything that he wants. that's him unwilling to negotiate, that's him being unwilling to compromise. >> but why is it even a matter of negotiation when it's passed both houses of congress, it's been signed by the president. it's been challenged in the supreme court, it's been upheld by the supreme court. it was a central issue in the 2012 election campaign and the president won reelection. why is that a legitimate point of negotiation right now? >> because it's congress' job to oversee spending.
the power of the purse resides with congress, and they fund programs every year. so it's not their obligation once something is law to never change it. for example, in 1983 we changed social security. it had been around 50 years and the age of eligibility was 65. we changed it to 67 because social security was going bankrupt. we face some of those same problems again, and it isn't that it's set in stone that we'll never revisit medicare or social security or obama care, for that matter. so i think it's a silly argument for democrats to say, oh, the law has been passed, we can never change it. >> of course, but you have to propose something that can get through the house, the senate and be signed by the president. back in the '80s, they didn't shut down the government to make that happen, did they? >> well, how do you know what will pass until you propose something and vote on it? so we proposed several compromises. our initial position and still our position is we think obama care is a bad idea and will hurt the people it's intended to help. when that didn't pass, when democrats didn't accept that, we said, what about a one-year delay? we've been offering compromise
after compromise, but you hear from the president and his men and his women, no negotiation. his way or the highway. they were the ones who were unwilling to compromise on any facet of obama care, and i think that intransigence has led to a shutdown of the government. >> what part of obama care do you like and want to keep? which half of it? >> i don't really like any of obama care, but i realize i'm not going to get my way. we do control a third of the government, people did elect us to fight. 61% of the people in kentucky voted for romney, 70% of the people in kentucky don't like obama care. so the thing is, i'm supposed to go and fight to make bills either less bad or make them better, if possible, so i think it is my job to stand up and provide oversight for legislation. it's precisely what congress is supposed to be doing. this is congress' job.
>> the health care rollout this week by many, many accounts did not go that well. we just talked about it with treasury secretary lew, and yet all the headlines are about the government shutdown. let me show you the front page of the lexington paper and you'll see the top headline says, feeling the shutdown. talks about the health care glitches with the website rollout. should they have let people really experience it and see if it's as bad as you say instead of shutting down the government and now that's the subject? >> it's always difficult making decisions. most of us ran for office, i ran for office because i was concerned about the overwhelming debt our country is accruing. a trillion dollars a year, we're borrowing a million dollars every minute. so i'm worried about the overall financial picture of the country, and so whether or not it was a good strategic idea, i don't know, but when are we supposed to stand up and say, look, we're out of money and
we're destroying this country by this burden of debt. and so i think you've got to stand up, whether it's debt ceiling or whether it's continuing resolution, we have to talk about the big picture, and the big picture is not an immediate default, the big picture is this gradual bankruptcy that's occurring of this country. >> all right, senator paul, i ask you to stand by. we'll have more with you in a moment and i will ask senator paul about this open mic moment this week. and later the white house says millions are racing to sign up online for obama care, but widespread problems with the website have some asking if the administration was ready for them. plus our political round table. government by crisis? we'll ask the question, is this any way to run a country? and did the administration miss its moment on syria? my one-on-one conversation with the u.s. ambassador to the united nations, samantha power. we'll be back in one minute. cola
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and we are and we are back with a few more minutes with senator rand paul of kentucky. senator, earlier this week the wall street journal quoted a senior white house official who said, we don't care how long this shutdown lasts, we're winning. that infuriated speaker boehner. take a look. >> we got the wall street journal out, and it says we don't care how long this lasts because we're winning. this isn't some damn game! >> all right, and then here you are caught on an open mic with senator mitch mcconnell a little earlier this week. take a listen.
>> i think if we keep saying we wanted to defund it, we fought for that, but now we're willing to compromise on this, i think -- i know we don't want to be here, but we're going to win this, i think. >> senator, i brought those two things up side by side for a reason. winning, losing, battle of the talking points, dueling cable appearances. do you in washington, do all of you have any idea how totally disgusted the american people are with these antics? >> yeah, i think these are all legitimate concerns, and i think, really, we should point back to where the root of the problem is. the root of the problem here is that we are not passing appropriation bills like we should. we have 12 different appropriation bills. we should pass them one at a time. government should never shut down if we're doing our job appropriately, so really, what we need to be saying is why are we not passing spending bills the way we should do it.
>> do you take any responsibility for the tone, for your part in this? >> well, i think that in order to have compromise, the other side has to negotiate. we've been willing to compromise and negotiate. the other thing is, we don't control the spending bills. the house has been putting forward spending bills and still continues to do so. it's the democrats in the senate who refuses to pass individual spending bills, and that's what you're supposed to do is pass individual spending bills. >> you're someone who is an emerging figure, had you actually winning the preference poll among republicans. do you think this strategy, shutting down the government, which two-thirds of americans don't like as a tactic even if they don't like obama care, do you think that's potentially undercutting the republicans' chances of winning something beyond the house of representatives, either the senate or the white house? >> i think it's extremely bad for the president shutting down the government, and he's the one shutting it down because frankly, he's unwilling to compromise. we're willing to negotiate, we're willing to compromise. the president says his way or
the highway, so ultimately i think it is bad for the president, i think it's bad for both parties, but the only way to get to a resolution is to negotiate. we're willing to negotiate. we're every day passing bills to reopen government and every day harry reid is vetoing every bill we send over. we've sent over six bills this week to reopen government, and he dismisses them out of hand. so we're the ones trying to open government and the democrats say keep it closed because they like it being closed. they think they can beat up on us politically. >> if they like it being closed, why would you fall into that trap? if they think it's hurting you more, why are you allowing that to happen? >> because they're important questions. obama care is going to cost $2.6 trillion. we have a $17 trillion debt. we think these things are important and worth fighting over because they're not inconsequential. some economists say we're losing a million jobs a year just because of the burden of our debt. is it worth standing up and
saying the emperor has no clothes, we're out of money and that we should start to balance our budget and not spend money we don't have? yeah, it's absolutely important. so sometimes you have to fight for what you believe in. >> very quickly before i let you go. as you well know, there is a debt ceiling vote on the horizon. will republicans let this country go into default? >> i think it's irresponsible of the president and his men to even talk about default. there is no reason for us to default. we bring in $250 billion in taxes every month, our interest payment is 20 million. tell me why we would ever default. we have legislation called the full faith and credit act and it tells the president, you must pay the interest on the debt. so this is a game. this is kind of like closing the world war ii memorial. they all get out on tv and they say, we're going to default. they're the ones scaring the marketplace. we should never default. >> let's say you pay the interest on the debt and you don't have a technical default.
wouldn't there be dramatic consequences on the economy, anyway, the spirit of it? >> in 2011, our credit was downrated, but the reason they said was we had too much debt so they downgraded us. it's about the debt we're accumulating. it's not so much these deadlines the market is worrying about, the market is also worried about our $17 trillion debt and we're not acting fiscally responsibly and we're spending more money than we're bringing in. >> senator rand paul. always interesting talking to you. thank you for your time, sir. >> thank you. coming up, has the roar of the government shutdown fight overshadowed the rocky rollout of obama care? joining us, republican strategist mike murphy, chair of the congressional black caucus marcia fudge, rich lowry and
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"meet the press" is back with our political roundtable. here this morning, rich lowry, steve inskeep, marcia fudge and mike murphy. now, savannah guthrie. >> we'll get to our roundtable in a moment, but first the latest on the issue of the american shutdown, the president's health care. there is growing frustration in people signing up for coverage. >> it has been a frustrating week for many americans who want to take advantage of the affordable care act. but it seems the website has not been able to keep up with the workload. the big rollout came tuesday, many uninsured americans encouraged to go online and sign up for low cost insurance.
people were staffed to help navigate the site, but within minutes, the system crashed. >> there are too many people accessing it right now. >> it seemed no one was getting through. >> we're going to get in, it just may not be right now. >> we have until march. >> on tuesday, we were with the schultz family in phoenix as they tried to enroll. >> we wanted to know the price, the options, and suddenly we couldn't get in, so we were disappointed. >> by the end of the week, they still were not able to log on. republicans said it's a sign obama care is not ready for prime time. >> from reports around the country, it seems obama care is off to a very rocky start. >> but the president insisted the system was simply overloaded with unexpected demand. >> we'll be speeding things up in the next few hours to handle all this demand that exceeds anything that we had expected. >> by friday evening the government reported more than 8.6 million visitors had logged
on to healthcare.gov. call centers had taken more than 406,000 calls. but they won't say how many people navigated the website without getting kicked off or how many had been able to complete an application. they have more people working on it, adding service hours and capacity. 125i9s have estates have been able to handle the roll outmuch better. we don't yet know if dozens of people, or millions, savannah, have succeeded in getting through the website, and for that matter, finished the application process. >> thank you so much. we'll get to the rollout of obama care in a moment, but let's start with the government shutdown. nbc news put a tweet out this week, let congress know how it feels. let's take a look at the response.
>> dear congress, i would like you to go without pay for one month. >> stop acting in your own self-interest. get your act together and do what's right for the country. >> i hope to god in next year's election, all of you are booted out. >> congresswoman fudge, aren't you the lucky one to be the city member at this table. no matter who gets the blame here ultimately, whether people blame the republicans or the democrats, in the end is it just bad for the institution? is it on all of your houses? >> yes, it is. there are no winners here. when you talk about shutting down the government and all the stuff that goes around about who is at fault and who is not, and how we should have a clean cr, let me say it is our responsibility to fund the government of the united states and we should not let anyone to extract a ransom for any of us to do our jobs. >> let's turn to mike murphy, republican strategist. two-thirds of the country don't like the tactic of shutting down the government. even if they don't like obama care, they don't like this tactic. >> that's the problem.
i think we should go back to the problem of the computer sites, because what we have is a perfect storm here. you have the cynics who run the democratic party and you take the stupid wing of the gop. instead somehow a monkey wrench got thrown into the system, and now everybody hates congress and republicans are taking the bigger political hit. i saw a poll where the approval rating of the u.s. congress was 5% and the margin barrier was 6. >> mitch, do you think it was a miscalculation for people to take a stand in this way with a shutdown? >> everybody knew we were going to have a confrontation in the fall over the continuing resolution over the debt limit. it's true the hand of the house of the gop was forced in this rank and file. this is not how they would set up this fight. they would have gone to the debt limit right away. now they're in this fight. it's going to segue into the debt limit, and the caucus is
united, and they wanted to hold firm until harry reid and president obama are actually willing to negotiate, which is how these kinds of disputes are always settled. >> is the house conference united, steve? >> no, no, when i talk to republicans, there is incredible diversity of opinion, and i think when you try to decide who is to blame for this shutdown, you can say the republicans wanted it. i think that's unfair. i think it's fair to say some of the republicans misjudged their opponents. they assumed the democrats would cave. they were wrong. when i talk to republicans, the republican who, to me, seems to have the best notion of what is on the democrats' mind, believe it or not, is grover norquist, gave a fascinating interview to the "washington post" in which he said, the way to deal with this is get past, in some short-term way, perhaps, however you have to, both the budget ceiling and this debt problem in the shutdown, and push the democrats instead on the sequestration, the really deep
budget cuts, and they're you're touching something the democrats are really bothered by, that they might be willing to give something to the republicans to get out of this. >> but the president's stance is, i won't negotiate. even if there is a host of reasons why that is a responsible position, as a bumper sticker, it's not the greatest, is it? we're about to have an economic calamity, but i'm not negotiating? >> it is our job to fund the government. i would say to those people who believe it is appropriate to say, oh, we're not going to pass a continuing resolution, a clean bill, because we want the president to negotiate. the president has already offered to negotiate on obama care. he has said, if you bring me ideas, i'm willing to accept them. this is not the point at which we then take hostages and say, oh, you know, if you don't change obama care, we're not going forward. we pass continuing resolutions eight times. >> it is the job of the president of the united states to rise above petty politics.
the shutdown is politics. the debt ceiling is a catastrophe. the last time we had this, we solved it by painful bipartisan negotiations. that is the way to get out of this debt ceiling. i think it's the president's job to knock heads. republicans won't get much, but they'll get something. they'll give up a lot. but the democrats can't be in a we won't negotiate harry reid kind of way. >> but they passed the full faith and credit act to ensure that if we go over the debt limits, the debts would be paid, and the democrats uniformly oppose that because they want to make everything as frightening and painful as possible. they complain about the nih not having funding. republicans want to fund the nih but the democrats oppose it. it's the cynicism and intransigence show. >> let's be clear.
they pillaried the senate for not having a budget. we passed a budget, the senate passed a budget six months ago. they ignored it. we would not be where we are today had they gone to conference and had a budget. >> no, no, the house has passed a bill to fund the nih. why won't you support it? >> it was passed. i don't support it because every single function of the government is important, and we need to open all of the government. >> but why won't you support it until there is an end actually negotiated? >> i'm going to jump in here so people don't think i went out for a cocktail or something. let's talk about obama care. obviously the rollout did not go as smoothly as hoped. and saturday night live was there having fun with it. take a look. >> loser -- the obama website had too much web traffic. you can't campaign the fact that millions don't have health care and then be surprised that millions don't have health care. how could you not be ready? that's like 1-800-flowers
getting caught off guard on valentine's day? >> how about it, steve, you interviewed the president on this very subject? >> he acknowledged there will be glitches. he said, expect problems -- >> it sounds like something more than glitches, though. >> yeah, and this is huge because we now have the reality of obama care, the affordable health care act that's here. we had republicans saying be afraid, be afraid be terrified of this. we have democrats who haven't supported it much but they say it's going to be fine. now we have the possibility of millions of americans dealing with the reality of it for better or worse, and i think that's the potential of transforming this over time. i think it's still possible for reality to have a bearing. >> but is this a good tactic on the part of republicans? >> on the policy, i'm so sympathetic to my side on this. i think they're right about a lot of it. but that's why we have mid-term elections, so you can throw
democrats out of office over obama care. when your opponent is in trouble, when they're drowning politically, you throw them a fire hose. we throw them a lifeboat and a machine gun and now we debate this -- excuse me, i'm all choked up. instead of 13 months away, getting control of the senate which means we can have the powerful fight. it's an incredibly stupid move. >> do you agree with that, rich? >> i think mike is a little too panicked over here, can barely get his words out. look, it's a short-term thing whether the obama care glitches get enough coverage the first week. the key question is whether there are really, over time, enough people signed up to make the exchanges work. they're very dubious about that. this law has a legitimacy problem. it was never popular when it was proposed, it's even less popular now. it was unprecedented in that it was a major social change passed over partisan lines, and i think it's going to exacerbate problems in our health care system.
>> let our congresswoman have the first and last word. what do you think about this rollout of obama care? are you disappointed? >> certainly, but let me differentiate between enrollment and the plan itself. there have been problems with the enrollment, and yes, we should have been better prepared. but it does not negate the fact that the plan itself is going to work. we're going to reduce the cost of insurance. we're going to do away with things that have been creating problems with our deficit, like medicare part d. we're going to reduce the cost of health care. >> roundtable, stand by. we're not done with you next. coming up, my exclusive interview with u.n. ambassador samantha power. what she thinks of iran's leader and her regret over a comment about hilary clinton. i was made to work.
make my mark with pride. create moments of value. build character through quality. and earn the right to be called a classic. the lands' end no iron dress shirt. starting at 49 dollars. samantha power is the new and youngest ever ambassador to the united nations, and she's facing her first big test as the u.s. looks to eliminate syria's chemical weapons. i sat down with ms. power this week for an exclusive interview inside the united nations security council room. you got the deal on syria. it does not have an automatic enforcement, so can you really say it's a resolution that has teeth that will bite? >> this is the first resolution that has ever required syria to do anything. russia has been taking it by the hand, you know, putting it under its wing and shielding it from any international pressure of any kind.
we think it is very significant that syria is now legally required by the world, by russia and the united states to give up its chemical weapons. >> there was a time about a year ago when there were people inside the administration who were urging the president to do more to arm the moderate opposition. this was a time when assad was weaker, when he was more on the ropes. did the administration miss its moment? and is it fair to say that you could draw a direct line between that and the slowness of the world and what happened on august 21st? >> well, i think the united states has employed just about every tool in the tool box short of invading syria. we have put in place the most crippling economic sanctions that exist just about anywhere in the world. we supported again these accountability mechanisms so that at some point justice will be done, and we hope for some kind of deterrent effect day to day in terms of perpetrators. >> hard to go back in time, but
had there been action to arm that opposition earlier, might they have been able to gain more of a foothold? >> again, from the beginning, the president has urged us to take every tool out of the tool box to scrub it to see that the benefits outweigh the costs. we had very serious vetting issues and very serious vetting concerns, and some of those concerns are more pronounced even today. >> on iran, you heard the israeli prime minister say iran's new leader rouhani is a wolf in sheep's clothing, almost suggesting that the u.s. may be getting hoodwinked by him. what's your take? >> the president has made very clear that our engagement with iran will be on the basis of substantive progress. given the new rhetoric and the charm offensive that some people refer to it, including the israelis, the president felt it was very important to probe and listen and see if there was something being substantively
offered here. there is skepticism but a willingness to test this. there is a diplomatic window, but it won't remain open forever. >> you made a rough and tumble comment about hillary clinton. was that a searing experience? >> yes. it was beyond searing. what i found so upsetting was the idea that somebody like secretary clinton's icon to young women, then young women like me, you know, this person who cared so much about women and children, who had given her whole life to public service could think for a second that i could think anything like that about her. i have regretted it pretty much every day since. >> i know you apologized to her. i heard there were tears. >> certainly it was very emotional for me. and i was so grateful to have the chance just to say in person what i had said to everybody. could you tell hillary that i think she's a total rock star? she's changed the world in a thousand ways.
but to be able to say that in person is something that i'm immensely grateful to her to have given me that opportunity. >> you wrote a book called "a problem from hell" and now i was thinking these are your problems from hell. no longer are you a writer or observer, but you're in a position of power. >> when i was a writer or a loudmouth pundit, it was very easy at the end of the day to say, i've spoken my piece. now the discussions we have are internal, you're getting to have these discussions with the president of the united states, with the secretary of state. >> do you almost feel people are holding up that past life and saying, samantha power can't compromise. she's the one who wrote this book on genocide. >> i think they're very entitled to do that. they bring things to me that constantly sometimes in the bubble of government one doesn't always get exposure to. >> i read an article that said, after five years of being a bureaucrat, power has learned to bite her tongue.
i thought, she would hate that if she read that. >> i hope i've learned to bite my tongue. i have the opposite reaction. i think i'm making some progress. but it does take practice when you're a loudmouth like me and you're irish. >> thank you so much. >> thank you, savannah. >> our interview with u.n. ambassador samantha power. next, president obama weighs in about the redskins controversy. we'll have a live report and our round table will be back. the reactions. everything has to synch up. my expenses are no different. receiptmatch on the business gold rewards card synchronizes your business expenses. just shoot your business card receipts and they're automatically matched up with the charges on your online statement. i'm john kaplan, and i'm a member of a synchronized world. this is what membership is.
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since 1937, the nfl's washington redskins has been d.c.'s football team, but there's been a growing move to change the team's name on the grounds it may offend some native americans. as kristen welker reports, president obama has now been drawn into the debate. >> reporter: on the field they are fierce competitors with a faithful fan base.
but off the gridiron, a different battle over the team's controversial name, redskins. in an interview released saturday, president obama weighed in for the first time. >> i've got to say if i were the owner of the team, and i knew that there was a name of my team, even if it had a storied history that was offending a sizeable group of people, i would think about changing it. >> reporter: nfl commissioner robert goodell made similar comments in september. >> we have to listen. if one person is offended, we have to listen. >> reporter: but like all fights in this town, both sides are dug in. >> the residents think they should keep their name. >> we have to change it because we have a diverse, multicultural nation. >> owner dan snider recently said he would never change the name. lannie davis says he appreciates the president's opinion, but the moniker is staying. >> the redskins name has been here for 80 years. the original coach was a native american.
it's not about disrespecting or disparaging anyone. >> reporter: that explanation isn't good enough for some native americans, like those in the united nation who have launched a campaign against the mascot. >> in any other group or other ethnic group would not tolerate this kind of language being used about them that's so denigrating and dehumanizing. >> reporter: the latest poll says 4 out of 5 americans don't think the team should change their name. supporters argue there are other native american namesakes like the braves, indians and blackhawks. still, pressure is mounting with protests sprouting up outside games. and some media outlets refusing to use the term. a group of lawmakers, including d.c.'s eleanor holmes norton, has introduced legislation aimed at forcing change.
>> i certainly think it's a tipping point and the handwriting is on the wall. >> but for jeff bostic, it's about holding onto a winning tradition. >> i think it's a sense of pride. when we were fortunate enough to wear the burgundy and gold, we were proud to be called redskins, we were proud to represent our nation's capitol. >> reporter: now, the redskins name is also facing a legal challenge and there is an effort under way to get broadcasters to stop using the term. on monday the united nation will hold a conference right here in washington, d.c. they say they are determined. savannah? >> kristin welker at the white house, thank you so much. i turn to the roundtable for the lightning round. steve, change the name or keep it? >> i think you want something scary, so the washington debt limits would be a much better thing to do. >> mike murphy? >> what's next, the minnesota non-violent viking?
>> rich? >> i think if you change it, you ruin the parallelism of the cowboy-redskin rivalry. >> marcia? >> change it. >> we'll be back with you in a moment. what's better than zero heartburn? ♪ nothing, that's what? that's why i take prilosec otc each morning for my frequent heartburn. 'cause it gives me a big fat zero heartburn. woo hoo! [ male announcer ] prilosec otc. the number one doctor recommended
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ah, the bad old days, the government shutdown then and now. thanks to all of you on the roundtable for a great conversation this morning. we have one quick programming note before we go. this year's education nation summit is in full swing on air and online. it continues tomorrow at the new york public library. you can watch live and get a full schedule of events at educationnation.com. that is all for today. david gregory will be back next week. if it's sunday, it's "meet the press." . that is all for today. david gregory will be back next week. if it's sunday, it's "meet the press."
you hear from the president and his men and his women no negotiation. his way or the highway. they're the ones who are unwilling to compromise on any fast set of obama care. >> it comes back worse and worse and worse. >> my hope would be the president would reconsider his sdegs too sit on the side lines and be a mere spectator. >> it is our responsibility to fund the government of the united states. we should not allow anyone