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PIERS MORGAN LIVE
Shutdown Showdown; Interview with Marsha Blackburn, Debbie Wasserman Schultz
Aired October 8, 2013 - 21:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
PIERS MORGAN, CNN ANCHOR: This is PIERS MORGAN LIVE. Welcome to our viewers in the United States and around the world. Tonight, breaking news, a glimmer of hope, just a glimmer, don't get too excited, in the shutdown showdown. Word Republicans in Congress might be considering a short-term debt deal and there's no time to waste. As you can see, the clock at the bottom of your screen shows that we're counting down to that deadline pretty fast to next week.
But it doesn't sound like President Obama and Speaker John Boehner are quite ready to sing Kumbaya yet.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We can't make extortion routine as part of our democracy. Democracy doesn't function this way.
REP. JOHN BOEHNER, (R-OH) HOUSE SPEAKER: The president said that if there's unconditional surrender by Republicans, he'll sit down and talk to us. That's not the way our government works.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MORGAN: So the only thing that both sides agree on is this isn't working. Once I have talked to the real people who are paying a pretty awful price for that lack of work.
Also, two congresswomen go head-to-head on Capitol Hill, Debbie Wasserman Schultz on the left versus Marsha Blackburn on the right. Plus my power panel of experts and I mean surging power tonight, Grover Norquist, Josh Barro, Kelly Ann Conway and more.
The Republicans and Democrats might be talking yet but we most certainly are and hopefully we can get some answers before the end of this show.
And we begin now with our Breaking News. A tiny morsel of hope has slivered its way into Washington, maybe. CNN's Dana Bash is seeing (ph) more. Dana, is it hope? Can I dare to dream?
DANA BASH, CHIEF CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: You can dare to dream all you want, but I don't want you to have those hopes crushed as soon as you get them up, Piers, because we've all seen movies like this before in Washington. But here is what I'm hearing from Republican -- Senior Republican sources in the House. And that is what they heard from the President today, maybe what they wanted to hear or they think they heard from the President today is which was perhaps an opening to pass a -- or to agree to a short-term increase in the debt ceiling which could allow both sides time, maybe four to six weeks to talk about the issues -- some issues relating to the debt and the deficits would be doable from the perspective of Senior Republicans.
The thing that is so incredible is that it seems pretty clear that they want to get that message out through us. They're not talking to the White House. There is no negotiation because as we've heard the President say now probably a million times, he's not going to negotiate this.
So we're in this weird situation where in order for the President and the White House to keep that promise, the President is keeping his options open in press conferences about a potential short-term deal. And House Republicans, at least sources I'm talking to are trying to say, "Well, we'll be open to that." So that is how the discussion s are going on right now and so we don't' know exactly what could be doable when you look at the specifics of it because they're not talking to one another.
MORGAN: Right. How does this debt ceiling deal if it's four to six weeks? How does that impact on the shutdown? Does that automatically release the shutdown? Does the government reopen pending those deliberations?
BASH: You know, because they're not speaking to one another, it's a very hard question to answer. You would think that if they do sort of have a temporary rest it and make sure that the US doesn't default, that the government would open along with that but again it's hard to know.
And what is so interesting is that, Piers, Republican sources at least one I talked to said that he knows that specific conversations that Senior House Republicans have had with the CEOs from across the country who are put up to calling them by Senior White House officials in order to say lots of things but mostly, you know, "What can we do here on the debt ceiling?" Why is that? Because the White House needs to stick to their promise not to negotiate so there are lots of ...
MORGAN: Absolutely -- I'm sorry but it is absolutely pathetic, isn't it? When you hear things like that? I mean, it's not the stuff you did in six form cover (ph) have I used to, I maybe too old even then. Anyway Dana Bash, thank you as always, your very long suffering, you do a brilliant job. Thank you for joining me again tonight.
So what will it take to turn this glimmer of hope even its gotten into a deal. Well joining me now to go head-to-head, Democratic Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz and Republican Congresswoman Marsha Blackburn. You know, Debbie, I know you like the guy but I listened to the President's that have 90 minutes giving a press conference which he refused to talk to any television journalist, talked to a random bunch of print packs, he went on and on, it's one of the longest drones I think I've ever listened to. Now the end of it, nothing. Nothing, actually happened. Nothing was achieved.
All he did was inform us why nothing is happening. And he could have used that time, to me, to much greater benefit to the American people, if he just sat in a room with John Boehner until they got an agreement. What is the matter with them?
REP. DEBBIE WASSERMAN SCHULTZ (D), FLORIDA: Well, there's absolutely nothing the matter. On the contrary with President Obama that on the contrary what's going here is that Republicans are dug in so far that they practically got the dirt over the tops of their heads. And someone rational needs to throw them a shovel. We've got to work together.
MORGAN: Probably so with the Democratic, Debbie, so are the Democrats. So ...
WASSERMAN SCHULTZ: No.
MORGAN: Yes. Yes.
WASSERMAN SCHULTZ: No, Piers.
MORGAN: Yes, 10 percent more Americans ...
WASSERMAN SCHULTZ: We're not.
MORGAN: Well 10 percent more Americans blame the Republicans and yes, some of the Republicans ...
WASSERMAN SCHULTZ: Piers.
MORGAN: ... like Ted Cruz had been absurdly (inaudible) in trying to upend ObamaCare and so on. But there comes a point, if you're the President of the United States and it's your government that shuts down, you've got to be the big guy. You want to get in the room and do business.
WASSERMAN SCHULTZ: Yes, he does and he's willing to do that, but not, as he said, with a gun to our heads. Not where the Republicans are saying that we must in order to reopen the government, we must have changes to ObamaCare that we have to do it their way and that the only way the government is going to open is if we hold the economy hostage and change the Affordable Care Act which is in law for three years. And again ...
WASSERMAN SCHULTZ: ... we've heard this before upheld by the Supreme Court, an election decided over it. So it's very simple, we just need to vote on a clean spending resolution to reopen the government. We need to pay the nation's bills and then yes, we should sit down and there are a myriad of things that we should negotiate over that we should discuss. We have entitlement form ...
MORGAN: OK. Let me -- you're turning into President Obama with this monologue. So let me cut you off.
WASSERMAN SCHULTZ: Sure.
MORGAN: Marsha Blackburn, I mean all of this is true depending on who you talk to on both sides there are arguments on both sides. Personally, I blame the Republicans more than I blame the Democrats on this one ...
REP. MARSHA BLACKBURN (R), TENNESSEE: I would expect you to.
MORGAN: ... but right now, like most the Americans, I blame both sides. I want to see ...
BLACKBURN: That's right.
MORGAN: ... business done.
BLACKBURN: You're exactly right. And they should be blaming both sides and I can tell you what, Piers, if it were up to Debbie and I, I think you would see the two of us sit down at the table and try to work something out.
WASSERMAN SCHULTZ: That's no question.
BLACKBURN: Here is what we have done over the past -- yes, she is, I would agree on that.
WASSERMAN SCHULTZ: We've already talked about that.
BLACKBURN: You're right. We can get it done.
MORGAN: (inaudible) you two agreeing on that.
BLACKBURN: We can get it done. But here's where we go. Here's what we've done.
MORGAN: Let's just part this amicable side to one side
BLACKBURN: Right. Here's what we have done. We have offered and continue to offer, we have sent four different CRs, we have sent a budget, we've sent 12 different funding bills ...
WASSERMAN SCHULTZ: Oh, come on that is ...
BLACKBURN: ... and what we hear from and with bipartisan support, we have had 200 Democrats and the House vote with us on different funding measures, Piers, that we have sent to the Senate.
Harry Reid will not take them up. And then we have a President who says he doesn't want to negotiate with us. Now, we have never had a President not negotiate a debt ceiling deal. We know that our nation cannot continue to borrow $2 billion a day. We ask them, "Join us at the table. Work with us." We need to work to a solution that is going to be fair for the American taxpayer and it's going to be respectful ...
MORGAN: OK. All right. I'm going to try to keep the speeches to a minimum.
BLACKBURN: OK. OK.
MORGAN: Let me get back to Debbie because -- all right, let's get to the bigger picture here. The shutdown has been very annoying and as we will see when I speak to some people in a moment, very harrowing for certain Americans, many Americans in fact. But let's put that to one side for a moment because the much bigger problem looming is this debt ceiling issue which in fact was to -- well in fact does not to go the right way and there was no deal done will be utter catastrophe Warren Buffet called it a nuclear explosion in fact to be politically and financially.
What basically Marsha Blackburn is saying I've always suspected that the Republicans know they got -- they win on the shutdown argument. What they really want to do is wrap it all around the ground bargain on the debt ceiling not withstanding the irritation of the shutdown. Debbie, do you think that actually that maybe the sensible way to resolve this? Get it all done in one, go.
WASSERMAN SCHULTZ: I think we'd be thrilled to get it all done at once. We have to make sure no question, that we don't jeopardize the full faith and credit of the United States, that we pay the nation's bills. We have to make sure that we do that not tying extraneous settled matters like the Affordable Care Act in order to make sure we can pay our nation's bills.
So as I've said many times, if we can agree that we have to have the government reopened which the Republican's shutdown and withholding ObamaCare as ransom. We have to agree that we can't jeopardize the full faith and credit of the United States and pay our nation's bills and we can work towards that separate and apart from dealing with inevitable kinks that will arise as ObamaCare is implemented. And if we also can agree that everyone should have access to a quality Affordable Health Care then that is ...
MORGAN: OK. Well, look, OK, you two ...
WASSERMAN SCHULTZ: ... (inaudible) us for us to negotiate.
MORGAN: You two we're boasting to me a few minutes ago that you would be the two to deal in a room together. So come on Marsha that's the opening gambit from Debbie, go right back and let's do a deal here.
BLACKBURN: I will. I will. See, first you have to realize is all these extraneous matters that are a part of a budget. They are lying items in a budget and if you are going to look at a budget, at appropriations, at a funding mechanism you have to say, "Where are we spending this money? MORGAN: OK, we'll do a deal. I want you two ...
BLACKBURN: And where is the brightness and pressure (ph).
MORGAN: ... you two live up to your promise, Marsha. I want to see a deal done. What is the deal between a sensible Republican and a sensible Democrat? Where is the point where you think this could be honorably settled?
WASSERMAN SCHULTZ: I'll throw it out. I think we can both agree that we haven't -- it doesn't make sense to pass the CR with this -- with the arbitrary across the board and sending cuts that are included in the sequester. That we need more targeted spending cuts, and then we need to be more precision like in the spending cuts that we make.
So that to me should be a basis for agreement. I've talked to Republicans and Democrats who both agree.
Now, it might be harder to agree on the spending levels and on what we actually cut, and what we spend more money on. But I don't think anyone is happy with the across the board indiscriminate spending cuts that we've got in the sequester now, which we've already agreed too by the way the Republican number just so that we can get even though we oppose it. Just so that we can get pass.
MORGAN: All right.
WASSERMAN SCHULTZ: The government being closed.
MORGAN: All right. Marsha sounds reasonable to me.
BLACKBURN: Well, in the President's word those sequester levels would be settle the law. And those would be numbers that we would agree too.
Now, what we have to do is look at that ten-year window or even the one-year window that are Continuing Resolution covers and say, what is going to transpire in that window?
The reason you have to have a discussion about ObamaCare and look at what can possibly be delayed in that program is because it has gone from being an $863 billion program to an estimate of $2.6 trillion.
WASSERMAN SCHULTZ: Oh but that is supposed to be ...
BLACKBURN: Now, there are other things ...
WASSERMAN SCHULTZ: Come on Marsha you're just making stuff up here.
BLACKBURN: Those are CBO numbers. No, no. Those are CBO numbers.
WASSERMAN SCHULTZ: No. You have to show me on the floor where those numbers come from. BLACKBURN: And those are numbers that we're using. I will. I will show you.
WASSERMAN SCHULTZ: That's basically not true.
BLACKBURN: I will show you those numbers, because when you're going to look at the cost of these programs and the total cost of what is going to be and have -- what will have an impact on the economy, all that has to be put on the table.
WASSERMAN SCHULTZ: And delaying ObamaCare ...
BLACKBURN: And we have to look at the overall -- we have to look at the overall spending measures.
WASSERMAN SCHULTZ: We do.
BLACKBURN: And when we're borrowing $2 billion ...
WASSERMAN SCHULTZ: And that's (inaudible) only discussed what we're spending money on.
BLACKBURN: Right. And so we're borrowing $2 billion a day.
WASSERMAN SCHULTZ: Let me jump in here for a second.
BLACKBURN: We have to say, OK ...
MORGAN: OK, look ...
BLACKBURN: ... where can we get these reductions?
MORGAN: I'm calling an end to this. As I suspected despite your both a fair review, (inaudible) with eye rolling, grimacing and price that come up another (ph), so this why this is so difficult, even reasonable people yourselves, seem completely implacable.
WASSERMAN SCHULTZ: No, it's -- Piers.
MORGAN: So, off you go. Oh, that's it for tonight. We'll talk again tomorrow and see if we can make anymore head-way. Ladies thank you very, very much.
WASSERMAN SCHULTZ: Thank you.
BLACKBURN: Thanks Piers. Bye-bye.
MORGAN: Coming ahead, a story that will shock you. A couple lost in the world (ph) now after the shutdown of the National Park that story of life or death is a direct result of this shutdown. Also, my power panel of experts react to this story and so much more.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) OBAMA: This is the credit worthiness of the United States that we're talking about. This is our work. This is our good name. This is real.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MORGAN: President Obama today warning Americans what is at stake if the debt crisis isn't resolved and soon with my next guess the shutdown, was really a matter of life or death, a couple kicked out of the National Park, lost for days they just barely survived. Cathy Frye and her husband Rick McFarland joining me now via Skype. Welcome to both of you.
Now, Cathy I know that you're speaking from your hospital bed, how are you physically?
CATHY FRYE: I'm a lot better than I was, I'll tell you that. And finally, I think in what you call a functioning human being against on degree. It's going to be a difficult recovery though.
MORGAN: Now, just a little overview that to know what happened here. You and your husband -- you're from Arkansas, you're on vacation in Big Bend Park National Park in Texas last week. But you were thrown out of the park when the federal government shutdown, and then official at the National Park suggested you relocate to the state park to continue your vacation. And that Ricky I think is where all the troubles started. And tell me what happened next.
RICK MCFARLAND: Well, we picked the trail we though was all, but I don't think when we were under the impression that it wasn't that hard, you know, to do. And we took all for day hike and we packed enough water and food for, you know, for one day. And we got about the lower half way and we're out of water, out of food, and it was getting dark.
And so, we just -- we had to pull up and sleep, we just lay down right on the ground and went to sleep. And so, we get up the next morning and, you know, finish it out we'll be OK, but the next morning we got up took off and it was too match up in that (inaudible) and then it got hot without water. We just couldn't make it. We got to stop, short.
And just -- we'll have to sack (ph) out there and, you know, we traveled right before dark a little bit further from the exit, we found some water in the stream bed underneath the rock. And we drank both of us drank quite a bit of it and just slept right there.
MORGAN: Ricky if I can just jump in Ricky. I wonder if you can just do as a favor. Could you just push the camera slightly away from you both so that we can see you? It's a little bit too close I'm being told.
That's correct. There we are. The wonder the technology is, terrific. And so, Cathy, this is when it got serious for you because, you know, you were hiking and you're in the wrong park it wasn't where you normally go, you go to the National Park every year. FRYE: Right.
MORGAN: And because of this shutdown (inaudible) another park, and suddenly it's getting very dangerous for you. You're severely sunburned, severely dehydrated, and a huge search goes on after 37 volunteers are involved in fact in getting you safe and eventually air lifting you to safety, where you were you felt out I believe that you were on the verge potentially of dying here.
FRYE: I did not think I was going to make it and that's been a hard thing to say several times now knowing that my kids are hearing that. They've heard it today already and they're hearing it again I believe right now, but, you know, we do know desert hiking, it's something that we've always enjoy doing, we spent many years doing it at the -- Big Bend at the National Park and it's -- just done a little more differently over at the state end of things than it is at the national end. And what we thought would translate into, you know, just switching gears and, you know, switching at camps, didn't quite turn out that way for us. And so ...
MORGAN: So, here's the question for you Cathy is that this is not of the big scandals of this shutdown by any means, you know, you all see you went hiking on different park and you were unfortunate, what it is though it's one of those stories which I suspect is being replicated all over America, people who are just being disadvantaged by the shutdown had to change their plans and in your case that change of plan taking you out of the comfort zone into somewhere you really didn't understand or know very well nearly cost your life.
How do you feel about the Washington politicians which are causing all this disruption all over your country leading in your case to a potentially very serious situation?
FRYE: Well, I think that what really, really got to me and, you know, first we see people every year, the same people every year who were having the shutdown very reluctantly of something that they truly believe in. Those of us who go at the same time every year we all kind of know each other and we know who is who.
The other thing that real honestly concerns me knowing that this little in play once we did go missing was that the best facility and, you know, in terms of aircraft and searching, and search and rescue teams that belongs to that National Park and I knew that here we were out there missing and while the state park might very well turns to the Big Bend National Park as it has in the past, those resources probably were not going to be there.
FRYE: Like they would have and that lay heavily on my ...
MORGAN: Well, I'm so pleased that it's all turned out OK for you Cathy and thank you to you and Rick for joining me tonight and continued good luck with your recovery and I appreciate you coming on the show.
MCFARLAND: Thank you.
FRYE: Thank you.
MORGAN: If Washington can't solve the shutdown there will sadly be more stories like that. I'll talk to now to the couple, he is a Korean War Veteran and a cancer survivor that's been forced out of their home, the home they legally own because of the shutdown. When we come back and we get some answers with my power panel experts and what all this means and how we stop it?
MORGAN: This is a story that would shock you a couple that were forced out of their Nevada home because it sits on federal land. Joyce and Ralph Spencer were given less than 24 hours to pack their things and get out. And they'll be joining me soon to talk about this absolutely hellish situation.
But before we get to them we're going to go to our superstar panel Davis Sanger, Chief Washington and Correspondent of the New York Times, Marc Lamont Hill (inaudible), Grover Norquist, President of Americans for Tax Reform but he's in Iowa apparently. He seems is very suspicious to me. I'm just thinking about a presidential run by old Grover, Josh Barro, Politics Editor, Business Insider, and Kelly Ann Conway, Republican Strategist.
So, welcome. This really is an all star panel tonight. Let's cut to the quick here, how is this going to end David Sanger because everyone is getting fed up with it.
DAVID SANGER, CHIEF WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT, NEW YORK TIMES: People are getting fed up with it and my suspicion is that the pressure that is coming from the fact that this is now running head long into the debt limit is the answer of the question of how it will end temporarily. The remarkable thing so far, Piers is that the markets have been relatively calm. There's been a little bit of a decline but now calm.
MORGAN: But is it -- but it's the calm before the storm, isn't it?
SANGER: Or it's the calm that comes from believing that there is no storm coming.
MORGAN: Or is the calm that comes from knowing that Washington is now so paralyzed that this is all just one stupid game that will get resolved and then the question is when.
SANGER: When, that's right. So, if there's no signaling from the market saying this is got to go get resolved in an odd way it makes it harder to resolve.
SANGER: Because it's the market pressure that in fact would create ... MORGAN: It's a good point.
SANGER: ... sense of crisis.
MORGAN: All right. Josh Barro, it's a good point isn't it? I mean, and also the moment is not reacting like it believes as Warren Buffet suggested he feared that this sort of nuclear explosion was going to go off with the debt ceiling not being dealt with but that's because everyone knows it is going to be dealt with.
JOSH BARRO, POLITICS EDITOR, BUSINESS INSIDER: Well, I think Wall Street hasn't been panicking but it has been reacting. We have seen stocks down over the last week and a half and we've seen a spike in short-term interest rates, they've been basically at zero for a long time, now they've gone up to about quarter point and that reflects that people on Wall Street think there's going to be possibly a little disruption in the treasury market.
So, I think Wall Street is concerned, but I think they have the appropriate low level of concern, I think Washington will get a deal like they have before. I think we've seen it opening to that today, the President said in his remarks that if they pass a short-term debt limit increase and reopen the government he's willing to negotiate on the budget and then you just had Dana Bash reporting that a senior Republican in the House was saying that they might pass that 46-week ...
MORGAN: But even Dana wasn't sure -- right I'll come to you here Marc even she wasn't sure if this four to six-week extension if you like of debt ceiling talk would involve directly the reopening of the government.
MARC LAMONT HILL, PROFESSOR, COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY: Right, because there's no certainty if that would in fact be the case, we would hope that that would be the case but there is certainly no reason to believe that. I also believe that buying markets and the stock market itself what we will see in his downturn very, very soon there has been a guarded optimism that will resolve this but as time moves on and the House gets more and more sort of clarity over this messing us it's not advancing us. I think you will see as a drop and that would be really dangerous to me.
MORGAN: And Kelly on a certain sympathy when I heard President Obama said today, you know, it's like somebody fire bombing your house, stealing all your possessions, taking your car, and they're saying let's negotiate, what's the matter with you?
KELLY ANNE CONWAY, REPUBLICAN STRATEGIST: That's a ridiculous analogy, but I was very glad that ...
MORGAN: Is it really -- we're going to defund ObamaCare which I -- John Boehner admitted after the election we've lost, it's law, move on.
CONWAY: Piers, if you're going to try to fund the government you have to try to fund the big whoppers that are sucking up all the money.
MORGAN: That was a big whopper.
CONWAY: But, yes ObamaCare was a big whopper, the entire, I mean let's talk about ...
MORGAN: No. John Boehner's (inaudible) is a big whopper.
CONWAY: But hold on but to answer your question all these terms like hostage and extortion and today he's talking about threats. The fact is today the president so that he's open to a short-term deal I heard that -- you may hear the word short-term, I heard they were a deal and the question is whether he'll be seen as, you know, the white knight who came and the hero who came in to save the government from a shutdown and the debt-ceiling, not being increased by October 17th or if he's seen as the guy who capitulated to John Boehner.
Let me must say with the name calling, I just -- I can't believe the party now, that the Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has, he does no favors for this President. He calls John Boehner a liar, a coward, a puppet of Ted Cruz, this is not how adults ...
MORGAN: Any negatives.
CONWAY: ... this is not how adults behave.
MORGAN: Let me go to somebody who would never use any of those terms, why are you in Iowa Grover Norquist? Is this part of a secret plan to run for the White House?
GROVER NORQUIST, PRESIDENT AMERICANS FOR TAX REFORM: I'm speaking to a couple of groups in our senate right meeting in Iowa's is tomorrow morning.
MORGAN: OK, well, you're a bruise (ph) around town, we all know that. How do we get this deal done, given that the President has opened the door now? So, look, I'm up for a short-term debt deal, what is that deal likely to be, likely to be?
NORQUIST: Yeah, look we take a deep breath, every president has negotiated on debt ceilings. Every president's negotiated on CRs, there's nothing new or exciting here. We've had the national parks opened during the period of all this crisis when Carter was the president and that they passed a law when Clinton had his fight with Gingrich to make sure the parks were opened.
This President's taking a different approach, but he can't argue that is unprecedented. His reaction is unprecedented. What he's going to do and what he said today is finally going to do since all the threats haven't worked is sit down and cut a deal. We need to do something to restrain spending more while we also raise the debt to pay the additional money that the President and ObamaCare has put us into.
So, we need to take a look and decide how do we reform some of this overspending. We now know the new study that Avik Roy did out with Forbes in Manhattan Institute that the cost, the average cost of ObamaCare is going to be 99 percent higher than what it used to be for young men a year ago before ObamaCare and 62 percent more for women. This is kind of shocking ObamaCare is raising the cost for the individual market not reducing it. We need perhaps to think about delaying some of these things for a while 'cause if not ...
HILL: That's the bait and switch that continues to happen, the conversation is now being shifted to a conversation about debt reform, about too much spending, nobody said anything about tax reform today when they brought up this conversation about reducing the deficit, but and -- actually what they really want to do is what Grover just talked about which is going back and attacking ObamaCare.
The President's behavior has not been unprecedented. The President is doing what anyone would do if the opposition began with the non-start of, we want you to repeal the very piece of legislation that started this conversation.
MORGAN: OK, we'll go for a quick break. We'll come back and you'll get chance to talk, we a got a lot time with this All Star Panel, and quite right. I want to get to this couple I talked about earlier I'm referring to the home and legally owned, in the wake of the shutdown (ph) is absolutely shocking story. This guy is a Korean war hero.
MORGAN: The many shocking stories of this shutdown, this one has really got to me. It's a couple who were forced out of their Nevada home because it sits on federal land. They owned their home, make that very clear. Joyce and Ralph Spencer were given less than 24 hours to pack their things and get out and Joyce joins me now along with her daughter Tisha Cook, welcome to both of you.
I'm outraged on your behalf. I've got to say because this is a really disgusting story. Joyce have been married to Ralph for 60 years. You lived in this house since the '70s. You've never ever faced a situation despite 17 other government shutdowns in that period. Your husband's a veteran of the Korean war. He's been having treatment for cancer and no cartilage left in his knees, what do you make of this Joyce?
JOYCE SPENCER: Well, number one, we've had the house since 1979 but we never ever stayed down there except maybe 26 days out of the first 13 years because we had a ranch and we were busy and we didn't really get to go down there that much. So, now we've been off and on since then. It's a secondary residence. It's not a permanent home.
MORGAN: Right, but you've never ...
TISHA COOK: Because that is where that they like to reside.
MORGAN: Well, right, Tisha, I mean your parents have never been forced out though before, right, despite the fact they've owned all this time.
SPENCER: Oh, no.
MORGAN: What do you feel about what's happened to your parents?
COOK: I'm very frustrated. I'm very frustrated for the fact that there is a displacement. They have obligations out there as members of the homeowners to help out with different things and Dad feels obligated. We helped him out with a lot of that. His cancer treatment was all in Las Vegas until this last beat and that's allowed them to have quick access to the hospitals and so forth because they have that residence. It's just frustrating.
MORGAN: You're taking this with incredibly good spirit. I'm appalled by what's happened to you. I mean the fact that that is your mother with you there now, your Dad's pretty frail, and he's gone through all this, he served his country in Korea for goodness sake and because of squabbling politicians in Washington, he's been turfed out of his house.
COOK: Yeah and he's very discouraged by it. Notice, he's not on any camera interviews.
MORGAN: Why is that?
COOK: He's lost his trust in everything at this point. He doesn't trust anyone. He feels like anything that he's worked and done everything in his hard-earned life has been stripped from him. He has no access to the home. I mean now he has access to go in there during the day to water his flowers or to go down and make sure that the water pump is working correctly, but they took that in a drop of a hat.
MORGAN: And where are they living in the moment, your parents?
COOK: My parents are relocated into town. They're like, I've said, they're in a secondary residence. They do have a Fifth Wheel, right now they're staying in the Fifth Wheel. They have a grand daughter that's getting married on the 19th of this month and they would like to be here close by to be able to join in with all of that.
SPENCER: And the housing that we all have other than the house at this point has steps up to the porch or up to the -- even the Fifth Wheel had these high steps. And Ralph can't hardly get up the steps because he's knees are so bad that ...
SPENCER: ... he pulls himself up by holding on the doors and then faced going to pull the walls down. I mean he just ...
COOK: We take this good and we're ...
SPENCER: We are doing fine. We are.
COOK: We're not -- We're frustrated but there's so many people on a lot worst shape than we are.
SPENCER: Oh, yeah.
COOK: And we have each other and we fall back. We're a very close family in it and we fall back on our -- other's -- because -- our own because we can trust our own and that's ...
MORGAN: Well, I know, it's very -- easy now, it's remarkably stoic of you and you're great Americans for reacting this way to what's come your way and I appreciate you joining me.
Thank you both very much Joyce and Trisha. Send my very best to Ralph as well, an American war hero.
Let me turn to my panel. I mean, is this another story. There's nothing particularly terrible about this. You know, some were like -- some of the cancer patients I talked to you fearful of -- maybe not even living to the end of the week.
When you hear of Korean War hero, a guy who suffered from cancer, a guy who could barely walk, not just being thrown out of the home he legally owns because of these idiots in Washington. I mean, David Sanger why should I not be enraged on their behalf.
SANGER: Yeah. There are as you say, many stories like this and almost all of them have to do with some oddity of being on federal lands. There was the oddity last week that you had 400,000 furloughed workers who were equally frustrated that they we're going through the kind of issues that your guest were.
And then, there was a reinterpretation of the law by the Pentagon lawyers. And suddenly, half of Washington is back at work. I was in ...
MORGAN: Which is lot more ridiculous.
SANGER: It is. And, you know, anything happen in Congress in the interim, no, but I was in the -- in one federal building yesterday where the mostly empty a week ago and it was mostly full yesterday.
So, what I think this does is sort of undercut the question of how much of this is real or not and you're seeing that to some degree in the arguments about whether you're really running into a debt limit, deadline on October the 17th.
MORGAN: But Kelly, honestly, I just think that if you kept playing interviews like that all day long on every network, on a cycle, eventually the penny would drop with the guys in Washington, he jump and to sort this stuff out but this is having a human toll.
MORGAN: You know, that family has just been completely disrupted. I'm not thinking of the most grotesquely unfair manner.
CONWAY: There are terrible stories like this all across the country and there are terrible stories in the last five years because of the economic policies. I mean, let's do an ongoing reel of small businesses that failed or never got to start out of the gate, Piers, because of the stimulus in tarp (ph) in ObamaCare. You have all these in flavor now.
MORGAN: Well, for something that's close to this never happened until George Bush was ...
CONWAY: Now, hold on ...
MORGAN: ... who led to one of the great crashes in American financial history. I mean ...
MORGAN: ... almost -- I know it was.
CONWAY: Piers ...
MORGAN: So, it all started in (inaudible) Kelly Anne. This is the point.
CONWAY: That would be fine. It's not a partisan comment. Listen, human toll ...
MORGAN: It was a partisan comment.
CONWAY: No, human toll had a partisan comment.
MORGAN: And my point is -- none of this is partisan.
CONWAY: But there are ...
MORGAN: 17 shutdowns since '76, right? Financial crisis under Republican and Democrat administration.
MORGAN: We've seen this movie a million times.
CONWAY: Right. And we really -- we see all the time ...
MORGAN: I know what is it --
CONWAY: ... when the government is operating, as a human toll ...
MORGAN: Why is it ...
CONWAY: ... people who lose their jobs and lose their property to the government. What -- There is human toll all the time because the government policies as well. You've read all the stories now of employers cutting, reducing hours to 25 a week so that they don't have to comply with the mandates of ObamaCare. They don't have to provide the health insurance issue.
CONWAY: You got single moms all across this country taking two jobs for 20 hours.
MORGAN: OK, Josh Barro is literally open mouth of what he's hearing.
JOSH BARRO, POLITICS EDITOR, BUSINESS INSIDER: This is an economic narrative that Republicans have made up. There you can find anecdotal stories of businesses that are cutting workers back to part- time hours but when you look at the broad economic data, there's no evidence that that's a major crash.
And of course, now, we can't see the economic data anymore.
CONWAY: I think it's perfectly (inaudible) where they're shaking it's close to that you and I are they're shaking because it happened to them. It's real. It's not real here in Washington or New York.
BARRO: The plural (ph) of anecdote is not data. When you look at data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, you can't find it.
CONWAY: We're talking about human condition.
BARRO: And I'm talking about the economy and the truth about the economy. ] CONWAY: (Inaudible).
BARRO: You have grown (ph) for giving us this number that insurance premiums are doubling for people. This is a nonsense statistic that compares the cheapest plan that exist today, which is a plan that's barely insurance that has a drastically high premium. And that you can't even get if you have a preexisting condition.
The insurance you get under ObamaCare is different and better than the plan that (inaudible) comparing it too. So, the thing that Republicans are really afraid of is that ObamaCare is working that premiums are coming in lower as expected ...
CONWAY: (inaudible) Josh.
BARRO: ... and they're trying to stop it now. They see that (inaudible)
MORGAN: Marc Lamont Hill, what are worst things about this?
CONWAY: It's not even work.
MORGAN: Isn't it -- the both, the Republicans don't know how to find really objectively. And I'm not going to be part of (inaudible) because we're imposed of going there. No, I'm not. They can't vote anyway. But there are parts of ObamaCare, which I think can be changed, can be motivate or simply unfair. You know, the whole thing business being delayed for a year and regular job this (inaudible) are able to. Although, I think it's complete flawed, however, (inaudible) what comes to you, with the National Health System. Everyone gets free health care, right?
This idea that 11 million Americans can come on their health insurance who weren't covered before, have you seen somehow an outrage but the Republicans been target the very people that could make ObamaCare work the sort of younger 18 to 35 brigade who were pretty healthy, who they need to get a necessity to keep all the premiums several of us, your idea that they're the primary target.
You guys need to understand that this evil, bringing 11 million people under info -- it is everything evil.
HILL: As much as I support Universal Healthcare as much that I appalled (ph) what the GOP is doing. I don't think that's their argument, Piers. The GOP exactly.
MORGAN: I've seen the advertisement.
HILL: They are not saying health care provision is evil and I'm not saying is ...
MORGAN: They're implying it. They're trying to stop few people buying ...
HILL: And that's not true, Piers. As much as I would love to (inaudible) as much (inaudible) with that would be right, that's just not true. The GOP is like this whole argument (inaudible)
MORGAN: Grover I can hear you moaning. Grover, is it true or not that any Republicans have taken any advertising ad directing the younger brigade who maybe tempted by ObamaCare and tell them not to do it.
NORQUIST: Well, what happens with trying to get the younger people, ObamaCare tries to force younger people into the government program and the government program is very expensive for younger people. It's particularly we're soft than what you had before and the study that I was quoting by Avik Roy and you can go to the website, the Manhattan Institute and look at your state and compare apples to apples and the cost to the health care that you can buy today that you will now have to buy under ObamaCare is going up almost doubling from man up by 60 percent for women. That's why they're having trouble getting young people and 40-year-olds to buy into this program.
It's not a very well thought program ...
MORGAN: Not when today where Republican told the (inaudible)
CONWAY: Listen, (inaudible) where is Obama. (Inaudible).
NORQUIST: Which is why it's been a good idea to delay that. CONWAY: (inaudible).
MORGAN: Call me old fashioned. Now to say -- I think that someone that every single doctor I've talked to says it's basically a good idea.
CONWAY: Oh, my God. (inaudible) to see new doctor. That's just not true.
MORGAN: Right. Let's take a break. We'll come back let's hold up for ...
SANGER: We got doctors in Congress. They say different.
CONWAY: You're right.
MORGAN: We will come back with more of this debate about particularly this extraordinary interview with Kathleen Sebelius on The Daily Show last night where it seem the woman in charge of ObamaCare hadn't got a clue what any of it was about.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
KATHLEEN SEBELIUS, SECRETARY OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES: The amazing thing is we got all....
JON STEWART, THE DAILY SHOW HOST: Oh, so you're doing it because you haven't been able to get the subsidies ready for the businesses?
SEBELIUS: Well, then if businesses don't get subsidies. There's just going to exchange.
STEWART: So they get to delay because they're not going to get any extra money but individuals don't because they will.
SEBELIUS: Again, they're in the market already.
STEWART: Let me ask you this, am I a stupid man?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MORGAN: I mean, you are, Jon, yes, but that's something to do what happened last night. Jon Steward taking some shots with Secretary Kathleen Sebelius on the rocky roll out of ObamaCare the panel with me now, Grover Norquist, Marc Lamont Hill, Josh Barro, and Kelly Anne Conway, and David Sanger the all star panel, I mean I watched this Grover Norquist and I can barely believe what I was watching, it was not the person in charge of this, didn't seem to have it clear about almost any of it.
NORQUIST: One of the things that Obama said when he ran for president which I was very excited about was a promise to be have a more transparent government, and more transparent and previous administrations, and for some reason, they're not willing to tell us how many people signed up, it's a no number, they do know the number, why not level with people about simple facts and it may not be the number they want, but Sebelius doesn't seem to be on top of what's going on. She could at least give us accurate converse in a timely manner on what's happening with ObamaCare.
MORGAN: Thank you. You're right. David Sanger, I mean it was embarrassing to watch and I'm not against Katherine Sebelius, I've met her once seem very nice lady but I just -- I was squirming watching this.
SANGER: The reason that was difficult was this a fairly simple answer to the questions that he was asking particularly about why they want to get young people to sign up and the individual mandate, you know, what strikes me Piers about this entire debate is two sort of fundamental facts about Washington.
Number one, if you have a delay of four to six weeks, it doesn't really solve anything it puts us right back in this four to six weeks.
SANGER: So, you know, that would be forgotten. The second is everybody knows what issues you have to go address if you were going to actually affect the budget deficit which is what the Republican say in this case, and some Democrats say they really want to go. There are three big bins out here. There is defense which has been cut some by sequester and could be cut again if you were actually doing this in a honed and fine way, and there are the entitlement programs, Social Security and Medicare.
No one wants to go touch those for all the obvious reasons but, you know, some of the really sudden rule, I mean, you know, that's why he rob banks that's where the money was. The money is not really in ObamaCare anymore than it was in the Iraq and Afghanistan.
MORGAN: Let me -- just to remind everybody in America by the way, most of the money, your debt is owned by China. They came out today and said, "Wow, this is really worrying, America may not pay as back the money," (inaudible) right?
CONWAY: They always get paid.
MORGAN: (inaudible) a brilliant piece about this old thing which he said, remember this, if the debt ceiling is not dealt with the first people who get paid will be the Chinese bond holders, right. So last people who get paid will be the Americans on Social Security, I mean this is a fuzz, isn't it?
BARRO: Oh yeah, and it's embarrassing, but I think we're not at a point yet where it's really impacting the willingness of people to buy our bonds, I think we've been able to explain to the Chinese and the Japanese that they will get paid in a way that has them laughing at us a little bit, but it doesn't have them panicking yet. That said, I am at least a little bit hopeful that a four to six-week delay will lead to some sort of deal that either will be a grand bargain or that everybody will pretend as a grand bargain because this has been so embarrassing for everybody in the Washington that they'll be motivation to get ...
CONWAY: What would be really embarrassing is that once the debt ceiling is raised and Speaker Boehner has never once said that the October 17 deadline isn't really is going to allow the nation to default not once did he hinted it.
Then at all this conflation of ObamaCare with debt dealing with the shutdown, people are going to say, "Oh, my God. I thought with ObamaCare and there still be glitches and (inaudible) doesn't know what's going on.
MORGAN: We will still be talking about this until I literally go gray hair, right? Are we all agreed on that? Just going to ask. All star panel, thank you very much indeed and Grover in Iowa, I think I know what you're really up to there today. And best of luck of your presidential campaign.
CONWAY: You got my vote.
MORGAN: Good to see you all. Thank you very will be right back.
MORGAN: That's all for us tonight. AC 360 later starts right now.