Meet the Press   |  October 13, 2013

Panetta: 'We've got to end this crazy shutdown'

Defense Secretary Leon Panetta points to a lack of bipartisan cooperation and "politics and soundbite wars" as the sticking point in reaching a solution for the government shutdown.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>> on leon panetta . he served as white house chief of staff , cia director and most recently secretary of defense. i'd name more but we're running out of time in the program. thanks for returning.

>> how are you?

>> is part of the problem in washington that you have two sides who aren't really interested in negotiating but digging in and saying, look, this is truly 100% the other side's fault?

>> look, there is a lot of politics and sound bite wars going on in this town, and i understand that. i've been part of the political process. but ultimately, i think, both sides are really pretty much at the same place. you know, once you get past some of the rhetoric and some of the extremes, the fact is everybody knows we've got to extend the debt limit in order to avoid that catastrophe. everybody knows we've got to end this crazy shutdown of the federal government that's taken place, stop hurting the american people . and everybody wants to get into negotiations. what you just heard is a good example where republicans and democrats have to engage in the broader negotiations on the budget. on entitlements, all the health care entitlements, on discretionary spending and on tax reform .

>> but we talk about it like it's a revelation, an epiphany. even these two senators say, we agree on this, we have to get back to this. with the last shutdown in 1996 , this is what you said then.

>> if there's anything we've learned over the last few months is that the policy of threats and basically holding the country hostage, whether it's on a continuing resolution or a debt ceiling or raising these kinds of blackmail approaches to try to get their agenda adopted has not worked. it's been a disaster.

>> 17 years ago, the same thing is being said now.

>> david, i'm really surprised that the lessons that were learned 17 years ago, that you don't shut the government down, you don't hurt the american people , that that lesson obviously was not learned and it's been repeated. you don't win in this town politically by hurting the american people . and that's what we're doing. we're hurting kids, we're hurting families, we're hurting individuals that are losing their pay, not paying their mortgages. i mean, why would you allow a small minority who can't get their way to basically take out their vengeance on their fellow citizens? that's what happened.