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GOP Picks Debt Limit Fight

Aired September 26, 2013 - 18:28   ET



ANNOUNCER: Tonight on CROSSFIRE two brewing crises in Washington. Four days from a government shutdown, weeks from financial chaos, Republicans unveil new demands.


REP. JOHN BOEHNER (R-OH), SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE: Well, I'm sorry, but it just doesn't work that way.

ANNOUNCER: On the left, Stephanie Cutter. On the right, Newt Gingrich. In the CROSSFIRE, Democratic Congressman Keith Ellison, and Republican Congressman Cory Gardner. What's the president's next move? What are Republicans planning? Tonight on CROSSFIRE.


NEWT GINGRICH, CO-HOST: Welcome to CROSSFIRE. I'm Newt Gingrich on the right.

STEPHANIE CUTTER, CO-HOST: And I'm Stephanie Cutter on the left.

We're still trying to avert a government shutdown, but another crisis, an even bigger one, is looming.

This morning, House Republicans said before they'll raise the debt ceiling, which they have to do, President Obama has to meet their outrageous list of demands. This isn't negotiation; this is extortion. They're holding the economy hostage for their right-wing political wish list.

Newt, I know you're going to say the president has to negotiate, but how do you negotiate with this?

GINGRICH: Well, first of all, every president starting with Eisenhower has added things to the debt ceiling, and the president is going to end up looking silly. This is like his red line on Syria. He has a red line on negotiating.

Under our Constitution, if he wants to get something done, he has to negotiate. It's part of the system. It's part of the process.

CUTTER: There has to be someone to negotiate with.

GINGRICH: Well, he's got a lot of guys to negotiate with. They'll all be glad to come down and talk to him.

Let me just say we're very delighted tonight: In the CROSSFIRE, Democratic Congressman Keith Ellison in Minnesota and Republican Congressman Cory Gardner of Colorado.

REP. CORY GARDNER (R), COLORADO: Thanks. Thanks for having us.

GINGRICH: And I want to ask you, building on what we were just talking about, literally every president since Eisenhower has ultimately negotiated on the debt ceiling, including President Obama. So isn't it a little silly for him to go out on a limb and say, "I won't do it, I won't do it, I won't do it," because candidly in the end, he's going to have to do it.

REP. KEITH ELLISON (D), MINNESOTA: Well, you know, these were in the days before the debt ceiling was weaponized. You know, this was during the time that you're referring to, when we would have civil conversations about the priorities of each side.

Now we're talking about defaulting on our national debt. We have already, as Congress, agreed for these expenditures and allocations, and now we're saying, oh, we're not going to pay. It's like saying, "You know what? You know, I know I already ran up this bill on my credit card, but unless you defund my neighbor and kick him off health care, I'm not paying." That's ridiculous.

GINGRICH: In Congress -- I got you -- The same principle has been true in the 1950s, 1960s, 1970s, 1980s, 1990s and the last decade. And every president, they don't like doing it, but every president realizes, under our Constitution sooner or later they have to negotiate.

ELLISON: But Newt, we got it done. You know -- but Reagan raised it 18 times, Bush seven times. They do it.

We don't -- we don't say, "Do it or -- do it our way or else we're going to wreck the whole economy." This is new.

And I think that, look, politics is negotiation. That's life. The fact is when you -- certain things you should not threaten. You should not hold a lighter over a gas can and say, "It's going up unless I get what I want." And I think that's kind of what they're doing.

You know, the whole list and stuff they want to talk about, let's talk about it. But not -- let's not threaten the economy.

GINGRICH: One last question. I agree with you. Politics is negotiation. And as the president said the other day in one of his speeches, nobody gets 100 percent. All I'm suggesting is the minute the president says, "I'll negotiate," the temperature is going to come down. They're going to be in a different environment, and we might get something done. And just a suggestion.

CUTTER: That's not the way it happened last time. And let's talk about what happened two years ago. ELLISON: Let's do it.

CUTTER: You were both in Congress. And I'm sure you remember it the way I remember it, that there was a negotiation between the president and Speaker Boehner. And just a couple of days before the deadline when the country was going to default, Speaker Boehner walked away from those negotiations, because he couldn't sell it to the far right wing of his caucus.

As a result, for the first time ever, we were -- our credit rating was downgraded. It cost the people a trillion dollars in the stock market.

So what is to say that Speaker Boehner can actually control this this time? If we wanted to negotiate, who exactly would we negotiate with? Because it's clear that he can't bring those 45 Tea Party members with him.

GARDNER: Well, I can remember time and time again when Speaker Boehner would come back from the White House or conversations with the White House and say things like the ball keeps moving, the goal posts keep moving, and no idea where the White House was, how they were...

CUTTER: Isn't that a negotiation?

GARDNER: They're not negotiating now. And so the president would say he wants more taxes than he had agreed to.

CUTTER: And there was an agreement on the table that he walked away with.

GARDNER: And so now the president is simply not -- now the president is saying he's not going to negotiate. In fact, there' s a conversation that Speaker Boehner recently had with the president where the first thing the president said out of his mouth was "I will not negotiate."

Look, my colleague from Minnesota has said that it was economic -- what did you call it -- economic...

ELLISON: Tsunami.

GARDNER: A tsunami.

ELLISON: Disaster? It's all kinds of things.

GARDNER: Weaponized the debt limit, I believe is what you said.

ELLISON: Yes that's what I...


GARDNER: It's weaponizing of the debt limit, but what this president has done by putting this economy in the shape it is, it's economic disarmament.

CUTTER: Well, let's talk about -- let's...

ELLISON: Let's not forget, we had a lot of job growth, private sector job growth.


GARDNER: ... job opportunities. This is -- we have debt higher than we've ever had before, 17 trillion. This president is leading us down a path of economic disarmament and destruction.

CUTTER: Let's talk about some of the demands that you're putting on debt limit negotiations. And this looks awfully familiar to me. A lot of these things, were -- was Romney's agenda...

GARDNER: Like the Keystone Pipeline, which has overwhelming support.

CUTTER: Like -- that got voted down. Romney's agenda that got voted down. It's been on your agenda for years. It's never gotten done.

GARDNER: Like elimination of EPA regulations that have overwhelming...


GARDNER: Health and safety negotiations.

CUTTER: Delaying Obama care for a year.

GARDNER: Which has tremendous support among the American public.

CUTTER: Curbing junk lawsuits. Scrapping the war on coal.

GARDNER: President Obama himself has said...

CUTTER: Stopping the back door energy tax, net neutrality.

GARDNER: And meaningful malpractice reform.

CUTTER: This is a right-wing wish list. What does this have to do with fixing our debt?

GARDNER: If you think this is a right-wing wish list, I guess the American people are all right wing. Because...

CUTTER: I don't think so.

GARDNER: ... they have tremendous support around the country. Tremendous support for Keystone Pipeline. Tremendous support for tort reform. Look what's happening to the prices of health care today.

The president has said during his State of the Union address a couple of years ago that he was interested in meaningful malpractice reform, but he's done nothing. Where -- where did he fulfill the promise he made to the American people that he would pursue meaningful tort reform? He's simply not there.

ELLISON: Let's talk about doing nothing. Between 2000 and 2006, you know, the Republicans had the House, the Senate, the White House. You guys could have done something meaningful about health care, didn't do it. All we did is this big pharma thing, Medicare Part D.

The Democrats come in, do something meaningful about health care. We can't even get your cooperation at all. And now, instead of trying to amend the bill, you guys just want to wreck it.

So I just don't understand where you guys are coming from on this.

GARDNER: Well, I'll tell you where we're coming from.

ELLISON: Let me just tell you, there are points where we might be able to agree. From my state, neither Democrats or Republicans are a fan of the -- of the medical device tax. Why don't we talk constructively about getting health care for the American people and the uninsured, but you guys aren't.

GARDNER: We absolutely are talking constructively. I wish we would have had that conversation back...

... ELLISON: You were there.

GARDNER; I was not there.

ELLISON: You guys were there.

GARDNER: Extremely partisan fashion, not a single Republican vote, because they refused to negotiate.

ELLISON: Joe St. Cloud (ph) voted for the first version of it. I remember that. He was a reasonable person.

GARDNER: The bill that passed did not have a single Republican vote.

ELLISON: That's true. And that's unfortunate.

GARDNER: And so we talk about the need to negotiate. Where was the need to negotiate or the desire to negotiate. ..

CUTTER: Well, it was also -- it was also debated in the 2012 election pretty heavily. And the American people...

ELLISON: And the Supreme Court, too.

CUTTER: And you failed in the Supreme Court, and you failed in the 2012 election.

GINGRICH: Wait a second.

CUTTER: So this has been debated. The American people...

GARDNER: The bill that failed, we have a Republican majority in the House of Representatives asking us to...

CUTTER: The American people have said pretty clearly and the polls show this...

GARDNER: ... stop this Obama care takeover...

CUTTER: ... that they want to move on. They want to give the law a chance. They want to change it if necessary to improve it, but they want to give the law a chance.

GARDNER: To give the law a chance means higher health care costs. People getting kicked off of their insurance...

CUTTER: Actually, that's not true. That's actually not true. The rates came out yesterday.

GARDNER: You know, when I got elected to Congress...

CUTTER: Yes, let's talk about that.

GARDNER: When I got elected to Congress, I made a decision that I would not take the congressional plan.

CUTTER: Right.

GARDNER: I wanted to be in the same boat as my constituents were. And so my wife and I found a plan that met our needs, that were able to match the needs of my family in a very rural area of Colorado that has limited health-care opportunities. A great hospital, but we don't have all the access that somebody living in Denver does. So we found that health-care plan.

And just a couple of weeks ago, my wife and I, we got a letter in the mail saying, "Thanks to Obama care, your plan is being canceled." The insurance that I have -- I was promised by the president that if I liked my plan I could keep it -- is being canceled. Where is the promise? Where is President Obama?

CUTTER: I looked up what's happening in Colorado. And actually, let's bring this up on the screen, what is available to the people of Colorado.

Now, you make too much money to qualify for the tax credit, but the median income in Colorado is somewhere around $57,000. You make more than that.

So a family of four, who can get the tax credit, they can buy a Silver Plan, which is a very good plan, much better than what's being offered right now, for $718. With the tax credit that they will be eligible for, they will only pay $388 per month.

GARDNER: Well, let's talk about other areas of Colorado.

CUTTER: So why is that a bad deal? Why is that a bad deal?

GARDNER: Let's talk about the fact that the president needs 38 percent of the people apply for help...

CUTTER: There's also...

GARDNER: Let me finish.

CUTTER: There's also a...

GARDNER: The president needs 38 percent of the people enrolling in health care to come from that young age bracket. But in Colorado you could be paying as much as 140 percent more in the young age bracket for insurance. Now look at this...

CUTTER: They're all -- the majority of young people qualify for that tax credit.

GARDNER: A hundred percent more.

GINGRICH: Let me tell you.

GARDNER: A hundred percent more under my plan, but thanks to Obama care...


CUTTER: Not if you -- I think you're using that -- the highest cost for him.

GARDNER: Well, I'm choosing the plan that is most similar to the one that cost me $600.

ELLISON: Excuse me. Let me tell you. MNsure, in my state we've come out with rates that are significantly below what people expected. For a young person who may have a preexisting condition, they're going to pay way less than they ever might imagine.

GARDNER: Can I ask you something?

ELLISON: Sure, ask me something.

GARDNER: The rates that came out, were they only for the Twin City area? That was the only...

ELLISON: It was for the state of Minnesota. It was for the state of Minnesota.

GARDNER: It covered other areas? Because the information I have shows that areas outside of the Twin City/St. Paul area are dramatically higher.


GARDNER: And so I think it's kind of inconclusive to talk about...

ELLISON: No, it is...

GARDNER: ... whether the rates are down in Minnesota, when you look at St. Paul and Twin City area only.

ELLISON: It is clearly conclusive, the rates across Minnesota are significantly lower than....

GARDNER: There's a comparable plan -- there's a plan in Minnesota that costs about 300 in St. Paul.

ELLISON: Let me tell you this.

GARDNER: But about 500 outside of St. Paul.

ELLISON: And here's the reality. We're talking about people, some of whom -- like a young woman who worked on my staff, and her name's Abby. She had a very serious congenital illness. And in fact, she would come on this show and tell you that, but for Obama care, she would not be alive today, because they had -- because we got rid of lifetime limits and annual limits. This young woman as a juvenile couldn't get insured. She has insurance today. I'll tell you what: She wouldn't have insurance before, and she has it now.

GINGRICH: Let me ask you something.

ELLISON: And she's here to talk about it.

GINGRICH: Why was she not eligible for the Minnesota high-risk plan?

ELLISON: Well, you know, she actually was in the Minnesota high- risk plan, but you know -- but getting it, you know, that was like her only option, and there was really nothing else she could get. She couldn't go in the private sector and just get a plan.

CUTTER: And you normally pay higher rates on...

ELLISON: And not just higher.

GARDNER: That brings up the point...

ELLISON: Prohibitively higher in -- for her situation and many people who were really sick.

GARDNER: I think it's important to point out, in Minnesota, if I'm correct, those people who are participating in the high-risk pool and other insurance programs through Minnesota care, I believe.

ELLISON: MNsure. MNsure program.

GARDNER: That those people are still on those plans, and so they haven't been exposed yet to Obama care. So when they go into the Obama care plan, those rates are going to go up dramatically.

ELLISON: I don't believe that's true.

CUTTER: That's not how it works. That's not...

(CROSSTALK) ELLISON: That's not true.

GINGRICH: OK, guys, hold on. We'll get clarity in a minute. But when we come back, Stephanie and I will share with you our favorite versions of Bill Clinton negotiating, and by the way, they're a little bit different versions.


GINGRICH: Welcome back to CROSSFIRE.

Last night CNN's Piers Morgan surprised me by getting Bill Clinton to say this.


BILL CLINTON, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We worked it out when he was trying to run me out of town. We were still working together. I mean, I knew it was a game to him. He thought, you know, he would -- as he looked -- he once said to Erskine Bowles, the difference between us is that we'll do whatever you can and you won't do that. You think there are things you think you shouldn't do.

And once I realized what the deal was, I let him do whatever he could, and then we did business on the side.


CUTTER: Newt, I have my own bite from President Clinton to show you that things have changed since you were speaker.


CLINTON: Unfortunately, the faction that now dominates the Republican Party doesn't see it that way. They think government is always the enemy, they're always right, and compromise is weakness.


GINGRICH: You know, I'll just say this. If Bill Clinton were president today, he would be talking and talking and talking. He was capable of endless meetings. And it is -- it's part of the American system, like we're doing right here, to get people in a room, to get off the stage, away from the cameras, and lay it out. And I think that in that sense, he'd be...

CUTTER: Even you have to admit that the way our politics runs now, particularly in the House of Representatives, is different than what you dealt with. There is really nobody to negotiate with. It's controlled by 45 members on the right that Boehner has not figured out how to thread the needle and get anything done. It's impossible.

GINGRICH: I don't actually agree with that.

CUTTER: I know you don't.

GINGRICH: I think that in the end you negotiate with a party leader, and John Boehner...

CUTTER: And then -- and you get nowhere.

Congressmen Keith Ellison and Cory Gardner are in the CROSSFIRE.

So Congressman Gardner, I wanted to go back to you. Who is actually in charge? You know, if the president did want to negotiate with someone, should he bring all 238 members down to the White House and let the real leader stand out? It's like a prison.

GARDNER: The House of Representatives John Boehner -- Erin Cantor...

CUTTER: He doesn't have the authority to negotiate.

GARDNER: And the American people, who are wanting us to do things like get rid of this horrible economic catastrophe, health-care catastrophe of Obama care.

CUTTER: The list that you all put out today, your demands, extortions.

GARDNER: Those things that are popular among the American people.

CUTTER: You're already walking it back. You know, I saw something from Representative Cole to say you're already re-tweaking it, because it's not right wing enough for many members of your caucus.

GARDNER: Which is far different from the way...

CUTTER: What does that mean?

GARDNER: ... the Democratic majority ran when they rammed through the health-care bill.

CUTTER: It's already -- it's already moving to the right. The list that you put out today is not even what you can negotiate on, because you have to move it further to the right.

GARDNER: If we're talking about including things like the Keystone Pipeline, overwhelming popularity amongst the American people. If we're talking about including things...

CUTTER: So is this a la carte? Is this an a la carte list?

GARDNER: This is an opportunity for the American people to get our economy back on its feet and to restore the damage that the past four, five years have done...


GARDNER: ... to our American economy. Look, I want to go back to the health care promise that the president made, that he sold the American public on with health care. He said if you had a health insurance plan that you liked, you'd get to keep it. He said that this will help reduce the cost of health care.

Richard Foster, the chief actuary of Medicare, an independent, not a Republican, not a Democrat, testified before Congress in 2011 those two promises will not come true. As I've seen my family, like...

CUTTER: Richard Foster has also said that the price would go down.

GARDNER: ... I mentioned, we have seen those things -- we have seen price increase. And so the promises he made...

CUTTER: No, you haven't.

GARDNER: I've seen the price increase. It's right here in my policy.

CUTTER: There are many plans in Colorado, better than what you're getting now.

GARDNER: Six hundred and fifty dollars a month I was paying. Now I'm paying $1,480, and the president told me if I liked my plan.

CUTTER: You are picking the most expensive plan on that list.

GARDNER: I picked the plan that was comparable to -- it's the most comparable one we had that was...

CUTTER: Most of the plans on that list are better than what you have now.

GARDNER: You know what, Stephanie? It was $650 a month, not 1,480.

ELLISON: If you have a big problem -- if you have a big problem, you need a big solution. And so we had a serious problem with --in American health care. We came with a bill to try to address it.

Now, there's never been a perfect piece of legislation. You're going to have to go back and work on it. You're going to have to look at parts of it that aren't looking so well, and you're going to have to change those things and keep the ones that are looking. But that's not what the Republicans are doing.

GARDNER: That's not what Nancy Pelosi did.

ELLISON: No, no, no. Cory -- Cory, you guys -- you're talking about the past. I'm talking about now. What I'm saying is right now we could get together and work on solving some problems. But that's not what we're doing.

GARDNER: The president said he wouldn't be willing to negotiate. How do you negotiate with the president who says he's not negotiating with us?

ELLISON: Hey, look -- we can do it. We can do it. We can negotiate on all types of things. We can negotiate on the budget.

But on the debt ceiling, it's going to do the very things you guys say you don't want to do, which is create all kinds of uncertainty. You break that debt ceiling, that's going to jack up interest rates -- Cory, hear me out now. That's going to increase interest rates. That's going to increase the cost of everything. That's going to increase unemployment. You guys talk a lot about uncertainty, you're creating uncertainty.

GARDNER: In 2006, the president tried to use the debt limit to enforce his will on Iraq.

ELLISON: Oh, come on.

GARDNER: That's what he tried to do. Now he's saying you can't do that; don't even think about doing that. It's not even budgetary (UNINTELLIGIBLE). You know what's going to destroy the economy? The $17 trillion debt.

ELLISON: It's not even close. It's not even -- you guys have...


ELLISON: Here's a question for you.

GARDNER: ... that are draining this economy. That's what's going to break this economy.

ELLISON: The deficit had gone from -- I think from 2009 to about $1.4 trillion down to about $642 billion.

GARDNER: Which means we're still adding to the debt, by definition.

ELLISON: So the deficit -- the deficit is going down.

GARDNER: The debt is growing.

ELLISON: We are making progress.

GARDNER: Every year the debt is growing.

ELLISON: Even John Boehner doesn't claim we are in a short-term or even mid-term problem. We have some long-term issues we have to deal with. We should deal with them, but the fact is you guys won't even give the president credit for reducing the deficit.

GINGRICH: I want to ask an a la carte question.

ELLISON: Let's do it.

GINGRICH: If everything that Stephanie objects to is stripped out, and the debt ceiling comes out and all it has is the repeal of the tax on medical technology, which is what an anti-innovation and anti-jobs tax, and particularly hits Minnesota.

ELLISON: It hits Minnesota.

GINGRICH: Could you vote for a debt ceiling that has one thing on it over and above the debt ceiling, which is the repeal of that tax?

ELLISON: You know what? I'll tell you this. I can only speak for myself. I'd be open to the conversation. I don't see why we have to tie the two together, because you got me on that one already.

But my point is -- my point is that the debt ceiling should be -- people can vote for it. They can vote against it. Republicans and Democrats have voted for and against the debt ceiling. But it's always been an expression of a point or a concern. It's never threatened the very foundations of the economy, as it is now.

So look, I'm open to the dialogue. I believe in negotiation. We can negotiate over the shutdown. We haven't really talked about the shutdown. We've been talking about a lot of other stuff, but the shutdown, we can talk about -- we can negotiate over that kind of stuff.

Again, I know that to get a deal, I'm going to have to vote for some stuff I sure don't like, Cory, and so are you, if you want to get a deal. But we've got this situation where it's my way or the highway. You've got this long list there, man.

GARDNER: Remember when the budget control act of 2011 went through? It was passed. The president...

ELLISON: I remember it.

GARDNER: ... put the sequester in place.

ELLISON: Come on, come on. Cory, no.

GARDNER: So we have a lot -- We can talk about the opportunities to work together, but then the second you do something on this, the president disavows any kind of knowledge that he is actually the one who promoted and signed the law to make it happen.

ELLISON: You guys don't like sequester, let's get rid of it. What do you -- I mean...

GARDNER: We're in a place now where we aren't able to cut spending.

ELLISON: But we're not going to -- we're not going to repeal health care, OK? So we can just take that one off the table. But the sequester...

GARDNER: I thought you were willing to negotiate.

ELLISON: Look, for...

GARDNER: Are you willing to negotiate on the health-care bill?

ELLISON: On the health-care bill, there are pieces of it...

GARDNER: Like what?

ELLISON: I already mentioned the...

GARDNER: The medical device tax?

ELLISON: I mentioned that. So I mean -- so you know...

GARDNER: What about allowing individuals to get an exemption, just like businesses did, a waiver?

ELLISON: Look, Newt and I agree that the individual mandate is something that we need to have a big enough pool. And look, people are...

GARDNER: But we know the exchanges aren't ready. We know the...

ELLISON: My pool is ready.

GARDNER: should it be -- should it be...

CUTTER: But you know...


ELLISON: MNsure, MNsure is ready, man. You know, we're good to go.

GARDNER: And let me just...

ELLISON: And there are exchanges all over this country that are good to go. You can't say nobody's ready.

GARDNER: You have to fax your paperwork if you're a small business, because the -- that's not ready to go...

ELLISON: Here's the thing about small business. Three hundred and sixty thousand of them have taken care -- advantage of the small business health care.

GARDNER: And hundreds of thousands of jobs will be lost as a result of...

ELLISON: Will be. I don't think -- I doubt it. I don't think they will.

CUTTER: So look, we can go back and forth on a lot of the facts.

ELLISON: I think -- I think employers like healthy workers, which means they need health care.

CUTTER: You know, I think that most Americans want this law to proceed and make changes as necessary. But they want to give the law a chance.

But I have a question, a very specific question to you. You put out this list of demands. You seem pretty serious about delaying the health-care law for individuals for a year, which means 11 million Americans won't get health care. Is that your bright line? Are you going to let the government default if you don't get that?

GARNER: The only people who have been talking about default are the people like Harry Reid, people like President Obama.

CUTTER: No, no, no. Your party has been talking about default.

GARDNER: We are simply saying that, if we have a debt ceiling, then let's take that opportunity to do something like we have in the past.

CUTTER: So you won't default. If you don't get these things, you will not let the government default?

GARDNER: Nobody is talking about defaulting. Nobody is talking about shutting the government...

ELLISON: But Cory, what if we don't accede to your demands? Then what?

CUTTER: Then what happens?

GARDNER: If you're talking about acceding to the demands, something the American people are looking for?

ELLISON: You've listed the demands.

GARDNER: I look forward to working together to pass the Keystone Pipeline.

ELLISON: What if we don't do what you require?

GARDNER: To put the rain pact (ph) in place, which would bring in regulatory...

ELLISON: Let's get real, man. What happens if we don't do what you say here?

GARDNER: You're not willing to negotiate.

GINGRICH: Can I bring up a radical idea for a second?

ELLISON: Yes, I'd love to hear it.

GINGRICH: It just breaks out of the whole current system.

Harry Reid could announce tomorrow morning that the Senate will pass the Keystone Pipeline. And the Senate will pass the repeal to the tax devices. And when it came out of the Senate, you know the House would pass it. The president could announce he would sign it. Now, that would be a step towards a cleaner debt ceiling. And you can say, gee, we both won. You didn't let the Republicans put anything on it. The Republicans got two of their major goals.

There are lots of ways to do this if people talk to each other. There's no way to do it if everybody engages in press conferences and partisan speeches.

ELLISON: I think talking is the right thing to do. I don't know if your prescription is the right answer, but your suggestion that talking is the right thing. And I agree with that.

GINGRICH: I'm told, by the way, that I now have to say thank you to both of you.

ELLISON: Thank you, thank you.

GINGRICH: Thank you...


GINGRICH: We're going to have you back. I guarantee we're going to have you come back.

CUTTER: Yes, definitely.

GINGRICH: Next, we "Ceasefire." And White House press secretary Jay Carney's obsession with CROSSFIRE continues.


CUTTER: Tonight on CROSSFIRE, we've been debating Republican obstructionism and whether it will lead to default. Now let's call a "Ceasefire." Is there anything that we can agree on?

Newt, I think that there is one thing that we can agree on. At the end of the day, I don't think we're going to default. I think it's a matter of how much destruction we do to the economy because of that Republican obstructionism. Last -- last time it was $1 trillion to the stock market.

GINGRICH: See, now if I had written that, I would have said due to the president's negativity and partisan attacks and his refusal to negotiate -- so we sort of agree narrowly that there will, in fact, not be a default.


Go to Facebook or Twitter to weigh in on our "Fireback" question. Do you think the debt ceiling should be raised? Right now, 45 percent of you say yes; 55 percent of you say no.

GINGRICH: CROSSFIRE seems to get mentioned every week at the White House. We're so glad you're watching. Here's what happened while Ed Henry of FOX News was questioning the president's press secretary, Jay Carney. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CARNEY: Please, we will do it. I promise you, we'll get big contracts and do it on CROSSFIRE. You on the right.


GINGRICH: You know, I think Jay ought to come on the show. I'd even volunteer to go and do the briefing for one day, which would truly be wild and woolly.

CUTTER: I'd love to see that briefing. And I'd love to have Jay on the show any time.

GINGRICH: That's right. I may not get to go to the briefing, but we would love to have Jay on the show. And he has that open invitation.

CUTTER: So the debate continues online at, as well as Facebook and Twitter.

From the left, I'm Stephanie Cutter.

GINGRICH: From the right, I'm Newt Gingrich.

Join us tomorrow for another edition of CROSSFIRE.

"ERIN BURNETT OUTFRONT" starts right now.