Meet the Press   |  October 13, 2013

Onus on Obama: Does president share brunt of the blame?

Defense Secretary Leon Panetta discusses the responsibility borne by President Barack Obama in the government shutdown and debt ceiling showdown.

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

>> you're talking about house republicans, but the president also knew that this day was coming. he also knew what the deadline was and he appears to have made a calculation having just been reelected that, hey, i'm going to preserve for future presidents an ability not to negotiate over the debt ceiling, even though as senator portman pointed out, previous presidents have negotiated on this. that's why we introduced the idea of having to raise the debt ceiling. does the president bear responsibility? you are a democrat, you work for him, but out of government you can take a step back. does he also bear responsibility by playing around with default by pushing it this far?

>> i've been 3,000 miles from washington. i have to tell you, the american people are angry, they're frustrated, they're mad. they think that this town has gone nuts in the way they're dealing with it, and i think both sides will bear some responsibility for that. but i think the president has also indicated he's willing to negotiate on the key issues. the republicans want to negotiate on the key issues. for goodness sakes, that's where this ball game has to wind up. it has to wind up in the broader discussion about how do you reduce the deficit, how do you end this crazy sequester? because the fact is we are paying a heavy price right now for what is happening to this country. america is being weakened, and that's the last thing that ought to happen. members swear an oath to protect and defend the constitution against all enemies, foreign and domestic. what they're doing by the shutdown, by this threat on the debt limit, is weakening america and sending a message to the world that the united states can't govern. that's a lousy message for the world