From Sunday night’s Fox News All-Stars.
On Nancy Pelosi’s threat that when the debt ceiling deal comes before House Democrats, “We all may not be able to support it, or none of us may be able to support it”:
Well, if it’s none, let the House Democrats oppose the deal and have default on their head, because that would be the result. … It would be rather difficult for the president, who happens to be a Democrat, to explain that — or to defend his leadership.
On whether Republicans and the Tea Party should be happy with the final deal:
Look, I think if you’re a Republican, you have to look at the long game and the long view. This has been a tremendous success. The president in January gives a State of the Union address in which he talks about more spending on innovation, energy, all the pet stuff he believes in. Here we are nine months later — that sounds like it’s out of the Jurassic era. We are now in the debt era.
The whole idea of the Tea Party originally was to bring up – it was created by the stimulus and Obamacare in opposition to this huge expansion of government and debt. And what we’re talking about today — monopolizing all discussion is debt. That in and of itself is a victory. We are now in the debt era. It will be central to all political debates.
They’ve gotten quite a lot, a trillion dollars of cuts today. I’m also unhappy about the defense cuts. But you cannot govern out of one House.
If, given the terrible economic numbers that came out on Friday, the president has to defend this economy next year, he loses. The Republicans would have to run the worst campaign in history not to win. And then with control of the White House and the Senate and the House, you can make the changes you want.
On the political winners and losers of the debt ceiling crisis:
The president – if this [default] is avoided — doesn’t gain, he doesn’t lose. He didn’t show any leadership here. It’ll be neutral.
Boehner – I think if he gets 60 percent of his caucus, he’ll be O.K.
The winner is the Tea Party. They have changed the debate in the country. I think they ought to do what George Aiken advocated in the worst days of the Vietnam War: Declare victory and go home.
There’ll be another fight a year from now. Obama is losing it. And I think that’s where the big payoff will be, and that’s when the country will decide what it wants to do about debt and … the size of government.
On whether the final compromise will pass in the House:
It passes with 235 votes.