Morning Joe   |  April 05, 2013

Why Republicans may not embrace what's in Obama's budget

President Obama is expected to propose cuts to Social Security and Medicare next week in his annual budget, a move that could put Democrats on edge. "Meet the Press" moderator David Gregory and the Washington Post's Eugene Robinson join Morning Joe to discuss.

Share This:

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

>>> bus from washington moderator of "meet the press" david gregory and pull witnesseser prize winning columnist and of the "the washington post " is eugene robinson . david, we start with you. is there hope here in terms of a budget ? what do you make of the blueprint?

>> everybody that i've talked to the past few months have said the window is between now and july if they are going to get anything meaningful done on some kind of grand compromise. i think, you know, the president is trying to do something as the times points out this morning to exploit some of these cracks in the republican coalition that is can he get more revenue through some kind of revenue increases if he is giving some on entitlements and put something down on paper and everybody on the republican side saying let's have regular order and have the legislature legislate and have something on paper now they can work with some of the things he is willing to do on entitlement programs , particularly social security .

>> i think what the president is trying to do is find a way to confuse the opposition a little bit and put together something that they haven't done within a budget framework. as you all have talked about early this morning coming when they are in the order of what has been proposed so that they can position themselves compromising on some issues and able to pick off republican support in the senate instead of coming at this frontally you have to raise revenues as a part of this and saying this is what we are going to do entitlement.

>> i want to pick up on that and ask you, do you think republicans are going to embrace some of these proposal from the president especially on entitlement cuts and especially knowing they have a debt ceiling, bumping up against its limit in a couple of months? exactly. i'm not sure they are going to jump at this. you know, the debt ceiling question gets all mixed in with this, i think. so we go up, i don't know if it's going to be another brink like the brinks we have had, but i think it all becomes part of this larger negotiation. i'm not tremendously optimistic a grand bargain but an interesting approach by the president and maybe it will find some resonance. we can hope they start talking to each other in some way.

>> sam stein?

>> i'm curious to see what the republican reaction to this budget will be. they are asking for this thing and criticizing the white house and now put it out there and say it doesn't go far enough because clearly have said it will state the middle ground . i've talked to an official administration off set and they say congress will be upset about their tactic here and know they have done this before by not staking out the progressive wing and negotiating to the middle they will get criticized and made it clear they are not signing off on any proposal that changes cpi or means testing for medicare.

>> who told you that?

>> senior administration official.

>> who will not sign off on that?

>> president obama will not sign off on any proposal 'cha thankt will change cpi.

>> why say put a progressive budget out there?

>> if you're a republican the past four months you have slashed defense spending and you've already agreed to the first tax increase in a quarter century. i would say this has been decidedly on our side and we have been giving the past four months. i think this is the first gesture from the left.

>> if you were a democrat you'd say the past two years, we have been decidingly giving because we did the duting control act and cut 2.5 million and -- 600 billion which was revenue. you can argue it based on the calendar each way. the question is tactics. did they make a mistake by saying --

>> did they -- i mean, david gregory , did they make a mistake putting out a real budget ? because they haven't put out a budget before. the white house budget gets zero votes every year and they know they are not getting a trillion dollar of new taxes. i salute the president of the united states and it shows courage. it shows courage. he has put out a real budget but it's a starting point. i'm sorry. as a conservative, i don't see this as a safe middle ground and paul ryan 's budget is a right wing nut job. i see we now have a republican proposal and a democratic proposal and it's a real proposal from the president. i think we need to salute him this morning. now let's start negotiating.

>> that is the point you actually have a framework to negotiate from 'cha ask a much more public framework. you talk to democrats who have been so frustrated with this process of negotiation because you have republican leaders with the white house . instead of rank and file democrats in the senate being able to weigh in on this. now you do have a framework. you commit to some things on entitlements so i agree with you, joe. i think it does mean something. but, look. some of this is the white house just trying something because it hasn't been working. they haven't been able to get big agreement on these issues by dealing directly with republican leaders and so this is the opportunity. and, you know, this is also the tension between -- you've seen it this week. the president talking about wanting to work with the republican side on some of these issues, sending signals that he'll compromise on immigration and guns and the budget when a lot of democrats want to see him dig in particularly as we get closer to 2014 .

>> final word to you, gene robinson .

>> look. progressives will have questions about this approach. i've talked to a lot of people recently who have looked back at the fiscal cliff negotiation and said, you know, the president really didn't get enough revenue. he should have held out for more. he held all of the cards in that negotiation and he kind of settled in the middle. so there will be a lot of questioning about what -- progressive look like starting more in the middle than on the progressive wing. and if -- if what sam said -- i'm sure it is true -- if they are not going to do the entitle many reform or go for that, unless they get a substantial amount of new revenue, then the question becomes how far is anybody really moving here if the republicans are going take the position that there can't any new revenue.

>> thank you both. who is on sunday's "meet the press"?

>> we will talk about north korea and whether this threat is real. senator lindsey graham joins us and bill richardson with perspective on what we are dealing with.

>> eugene robinson , we will read your column in "the washington pos post".

>>> the king of provide jordan roth will be here to preview a new musical by harvey firestein and cyndi lauper . that and more when " morning joe " comes right back. it's