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updated 9/29/2013 11:26:14 AM ET 2013-09-29T15:26:14

DAVID GREGORY:

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09:03:20:00 Joining me here in the studio, the Republican Senator from Texas, Ted Cruz. You're the man in the middle of this whole fight. So here are the stakes: "De-fund or delay," say you and other Republicans. President says, "No way. This law is moving forward." Are you in control of what happens next?

SENATOR TED CRUZ:

09:03:38:00 Look, at the end of the day, every Senator has to decide how he or she is going to vote. Every representative has decided how he or she is going to vote. The House last night, at 12:30 in the morning, voted to keep the government open, to fully fund the government. But at the same time, the House responded to the millions of Americans who are hurting under Obama Care. And I think the Senate needs to do the same thing.

DAVID GREGORY:

09:04:00:00 You keep saying that the Senate and the House should listen to the American people. I looked at polling this week that shows, in a lot of quarters, the bill is unpopular, the law is unpopular. 56% want to uphold this law. So when you say, "Listen to the American people," they're not necessarily with you.

SENATOR TED CRUZ:

09:04:15:00 Well, look at the phrasing of that. "Uphold this law?" I promise you, if you do any poll on, "Do you want to uphold this law," the answer is always yes.

DAVID GREGORY:

09:04:22:00 So it's just polling methodology?

SENATOR TED CRUZ:

09:04:24:00 Look, there are a lot of polls that are done for advocacy purposes. I promise you, any single Senator who goes home to his or her state, any representative that goes home to his or her state, and you hold a Town Hall, and you just ask people, "What are you facing?" I mean I've spent hundreds of hours cris-crossing the state of Texas, traveling nationally. And people all over the country, they're losing their jobs, they're being forced into part-time work, they're facing skyrocketing health insurance premiums, and they're losing their health insurance.

DAVID GREGORY:

09:04:52:00 We'll get into some of the particulars of Obamacare, because obviously, there's more to that story that advocates would argue. But let's just stick with the here and now. So how does this end? Because, as I understand it, you would only support de-funding of Obamacare. A delay, for you, is not enough.

SENATOR TED CRUZ:

09:05:07:00 Well, let's talk about the next steps. The next step is the Senate needs to act. And right now, the Senate's on recess. In my view, Harry Reed should call the Senate back in today. We have a bill in front of us. There's a government shutdown in 48 hours.

09:05:21:00 Listen, I would love to be back in Houston with my two little girls, playing with them this afternoon. As you know, I am here in Washington D.C. because I want to be here and ready to work. And there's no reason the Senate should be home on vacation at a time such as this.

DAVID GREGORY:

09:05:33:00 You know, the Senate has acted, the Majority Leader will say, passed a bill to keep the government open, and now we've gone back to trying to delay or de-fund Obamacare. So the Senate is saying, "We're not going to take this up." Should they take up part of it? Should there be votes? Would you filibuster this bill?

SENATOR TED CRUZ:

09:05:49:00 Well, let's be clear what the Senate has done. So far, Majority Leader Harry Reed has essentially told the House of Representatives and the American people, "Go jump in a lake." He said, "I'm not willing to compromise, I'm not willing to even talk."

09:06:02:00 His position is 100% of Obamacare must be funded in all instances, and, other than that, he's going to shut the government down. Now David, I hope he doesn't do that. If Harry Reed forces a government shutdown, that will be a mistake. I hope he backs away from that ledge that he's pushing us towards. But that is his position.

DAVID GREGORY:

09:06:19:00 But Senator, even Republicans that I've spoken to, your colleagues, say, "Senator Cruz can't blame Harry Reed for shutting down the government. Senator Reed acted. He passed a bill to keep the government open."

SENATOR TED CRUZ:

09:06:32:00 But let's be clear. The House has twice--

DAVID GREGORY:

09:06:32:00 Right.

SENATOR TED CRUZ:

09:06:33:00 --now voted to keep the government open. And if we have a shutdown, it will only be because, when the Senate comes back, Harry Reed says, "I refuse even to talk." And let's be clear, also. President Obama has granted a delay for giant corporations. Every big company in America has gotten a one-year delay.

09:06:51:00 If Harry Reed shuts the government down, what he will be saying is, "American families don't get treated as well as we treat giant corporations." Giant corporations get-- don't have to suffer, get a delay on the horns from Obamacare. But hardworking American families, he's going to insist that they suffer now.

DAVID GREGORY:

09:07:08:00 It's interesting. Democrats say, "You know, the problem with Senator Cruz's position is that it's a purist position." There are problems with Obamacare. The White House admits that. We talked about polling in some quarters indicating great dissatisfaction with the law, as you're talking about in Town Hall meetings. But you have to engaged in a debate about how they change the law. What you've gone out and said is, "Let's kill the law all together. Let's de-fund it."

SENATOR TED CRUZ:

09:07:33:00 Actually, with respect, David, I think the premise of your question is wrong. It is the Democrats who have taken the absolutist position. Look, I've engaged-- I'd like to repeal every word of the law. But that wasn't my position, even in this fight.

09:07:47:00 My position in this fight was we should de-fund it, which is different from repeal. And even now what the House of Representatives has done is a step removed from de-funding. It's delaying it. Now that's the essence of a compromise. For all of us who want to see it repealed, simply delaying it for American families on the same terms as is being done for big corporations, that's a compromise.

DAVID GREGORY:

09:08:06:00 But here--

SENATOR TED CRUZ:

09:08:07:00 And at the same time, David, on the other side, what have the Democrats compromised on? Nothing. Zero.

DAVID GREGORY:

09:08:13:00 So here's the thing, Senator.

SENATOR TED CRUZ:

09:08:13:00 Their position is, "Absolutely no, no matter what." How is that compromise?

DAVID GREGORY:

09:08:16:00 You make this argument as if there's no broader context here. Obamacare has been legislated. It has been adjudicated. And it has been tested to the political system. And so let's go through that. We had an election where I heard the standard bearer for the Republican Party, Mitt Romney, say Obamacare should be repealed.

09:08:37:00 All the Republicans already voted against this thing when it was ultimately passed. The Supreme Court upheld it. And then this summer, you and your colleagues said, "Look, let's have a strategy here of de-funding Obamacare," and you had people who signed a letter. And they said they joined you in that fight.

09:08:51:00 Well, here you are now, you don't even have the same number of folks who signed the letter who voted with you in this effort. There are not protests in the streets arguing to do away with this law in the way that you'd like. Again, 56%, in one poll of this week, New York Times (UNINTEL) said, "Let's uphold the law." So I'm focusing on results. Your goal and results. Where have you moved anything?

SENATOR TED CRUZ:

09:09:15:00 Okay, look. The facts are becoming more and more clear that Obamacare isn't working. Every day, that's becoming more clear. There's a reason the unions are jumping ship. One union after another is saying, "Let me out." There's a reason why James Hoffa, the president of The Teamsters, said that he was writing on behalf of millions of working men and women, and he used "millions," not hundreds, not thousands.

09:09:37:00 And he said Obamacare was destroying their health care. "Destroying" is his word. Now why is it that Harry Reed and the Senate Democrats are not willing to listen to the millions of working men and women--

DAVID GREGORY:

09:09:48:00 But wait a second. But you're--

SENATOR TED CRUZ:

09:09:50:00 --whose health care is being destroyed?

DAVID GREGORY:

09:09:50:00 --you're (UNINTEL) the voyeur (?). You're making an argument. I asked you a specific question based on the facts on the ground. You've made all these arguments. My goodness, you went and spoke for 21 hours to make these arguments. You haven't moved anyone.

SENATOR TED CRUZ:

09:10:01:00 Oh, look. The American people overwhelming reject Obamacare. They understand it's not working. The only people who aren't listening to the argument are the career politicians in Washington. It's Harry Reed, who wants to use brute political force.

09:10:14:00 And the great thing about the constitution is that it creates a system of checks and balances. And each branch has the ability to check another. President Obama, sadly, in implementing Obamacare, has, over and over again, disregarded the law. When he granted an exemption for giant corporations, that was contrary to law. When he granted an exemption to members of Congress, that was contrary to law.

09:10:35:00 Right now, we have a system where the rich and powerful, those with connections to the Obama administration, they get spared some of the burdens of Obamacare. But those who are struggling: single moms and young people and people who are just trying to make it, they don't get--

09:10:48:00 (OVERTALK)

DAVID GREGORY:

09:10:49:00 You're an opponent of the law. There is, of course, another side to this story, right? Millions of Americans are getting access to health care that they couldn't otherwise afford. Folks who have children, they can now be on it up to 26. Republicans agree with things like not having preexisting conditions, get in the way of getting insurance.

09:11:04:00 Utilization is down. I spoke to a hospital administrator in Illinois this week, quite skeptical of the law, who said, "Look, utilization is down. That could ultimately be helpful for health care costs." You can't know what the effect is five years on from this law. And nor can proponents of the law.

09:11:20:00 But here's one argument. You've made yours. And the president, when he spoke this week, he actually referred to your words, and I want to play a portion of this, suggesting that what you really don't want to happen is for the law to go forward because then people would really start liking it. This is what he said.

09:11:36:00 (VIDEO NOT TRANSCRIBED)

DAVID GREGORY:

09:11:53:00 You don't think Americans will like it. You don't think that 25% of the state of Texas that's uninsured will actually like the expanded access to get health insurance?

SENATOR TED CRUZ:

09:12:02:00 I don't. And here's why. Because it's not working. What's happening, if you want people to get health insurance, the best way for them to get health insurance is to get a job. And Obamacare's the biggest job killer in this country. If you look at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce surveyed small businesses subject to the mandate. Half of them said that they were forcibly reducing people's hours to 29 hours a week or less, or hiring part-time workers. Another 24% said they weren't growing, to keep their size under 50 workers.

09:12:30:00 If you're a young person coming out of school right now, unable to find a job, a big part of the reason you're not able to find a job is because small businesses aren't growing because of Obamacare. And there's nothing that could give you better health insurance than having a vibrant economy where you can get a job.

09:12:46:00 Let's take, for example, the 15,000 workers at UPS, who, just a few weeks ago, received notice from their employer that spousal coverage was being dropped, that their husbands and wives were losing the health insurance that they're enjoying right now. Let's take the workers at Sea World, who were told, "We're forcibly reducing your hours to 28 hours a week because of Obamacare." This is happening all over the country, David. People are hurting because of this law.

DAVID GREGORY:

09:13:11:00 There are also benefit administrators, in my research, who indicate there-- that there is no real sign that employers would stop giving health insurance to their employees. It's a major recruitment took for how to get employees. And aspects of the law have been delayed so that it can work better. And perhaps these problems that you're identifying could be rectified, short of complete de-funding.

09:13:31:00 I want to go back to where we started for a moment, just to get you clear on this point. A government shutdown under these circumstances, because this doesn't sound like it will be resolved, that's an acceptable outcome to you?

SENATOR TED CRUZ:

09:13:42:00 Look, I don't want a government shutdown. I don't think Harry Reed should shut down the government. Let me make one point. The House of Representatives did something else terrific last night, which is they passed a bill to make clear that, regardless of what happens, the men and women of our military should be paid. And Harry Reed, I believe, should bring that up. That passed unanimously in the House.

09:14:00:00 And listen, right now, Harry Reed and President Obama have been essentially holding the military hostage, threatening their paychecks over this potential shutdown. They might force-- I think regardless of what happened, we should pass--

DAVID GREGORY:

09:14:13:00 But it is an acceptable outcome?

SENATOR TED CRUZ:

09:14:14:00 --the bill-- no, of course it's not acceptable. We shouldn't have a shutdown, which means Harry Reed has to move off his absolutist position. His position-- I mean you've seen multiple compromises from the Republicans, and you've seen zero-- I mean--

DAVID GREGORY:

09:14:26:00 Right.

SENATOR TED CRUZ:

09:14:27:00 --can you tell me any movement the Democrats have had whatsoever, David?

DAVID GREGORY:

09:14:30:00 But how does he move? What makes him move? What have you done to make him move, other than disrupt, your critics would say? Because as I outlined before, you lost ground from even this summer on the position of getting people to vote with you. You lost ground from that position. And you haven't persuaded one Democrat. You've got to have Democrats if you're going to overturn this thing.

SENATOR TED CRUZ:

09:14:49:00 Well actually, just this week, Joe Manchin came out, Democrat from West Virginia, and said he supported a delay in the individual mandate. And listen, last time this was in the Senate, it was unfortunate. We had division among Senate Republicans. I had hoped Senate Republicans would be united. That didn't happen. But I'll tell you this. I'm optimistic. This next time around, this is an opportunity for Senate Republicans to come--

09:15:10:00 (OVERTALK)

DAVID GREGORY:

09:15:10:00 You campaigned on this.

SENATOR TED CRUZ:

09:15:11:00 I believe--

DAVID GREGORY:

09:15:13:00 You've raised money on this. You've taken to the floor for 21 hours. You haven't moved anything legislatively. Do you concede that point?

SENATOR TED CRUZ:

09:15:19:00 I don't remotely. And David, I recognize that the Washington establishment hasn't been convinced by the arguments, because the Washington establishment has been exempted from some of the harms. Members of Congress, how can you possibly justify to the American people that members of Congress are exempted from the law, aren't put on the exchanges, like millions of Americans?

DAVID GREGORY:

09:15:39:00 Well, they're part of the exchanges, they just get an employer contribution, like a lot of other people.

SENATOR TED CRUZ:

09:15:42:00 But many of Americans don't. Millions of Americans--

09:15:44:00 (OVERTALK)

DAVID GREGORY:

09:15:44:00 No, but 150 million Americans who get it from their employers do, don't they?

SENATOR TED CRUZ:

09:15:47:00 But anyone on the exchanges doesn't get the employer mandate, except for members of Congress. And President Obama did that. I mean you want-- look, people are frustrated with Washington. And the simplest reason is you've got politicians in both parties who aren't listening to the people, and who are living by a different set of rules.

09:16:05:00 The ruling class gets exempted. So Harry Reed and the Senate Democrats came to President Obama and said, "We want out. We don't want under Obamacare,"-- you know, I had an exchange with Dick Durbin on the floor of the Senate where he described the Senate's health care is first class tickets. And he was arguing we should stick the American people in coach.

09:16:24:00 Now look, I think his own analogy shows what's wrong with this system. At a minimum, members of Congress shouldn't be treated better than the American people, and neither should Big Business. And if Harry Reed showed any modicum of being willing to compromise, he would agree to what the House has done to delay this all and say, "This isn't ready for primetime. It's not working. And we're going to treat the American at least as well as we treat Big Business."

DAVID GREGORY:

09:16:47:00 You're talking a lot about Democrats. They're critical of you. But it's hard for them to get a word in edgewise, because it's members of your own party who are so critical of what you've done and how you've done it. You have colleagues who have accused you of putting on a show. That was Senator Corker. Congressman Peter King said you're a fraud, that you're lying to the base, over-promising something that's possible.

09:17:11:00 George Will, who's been a conservative columnist for The Washington Post and others, has been very supportive of you in the past. But he wrote this, this week. I want to have you respond to it. Because it seems to crystallize some of the opposition. "Those people who are best at deceiving others first deceive themselves," he wrote. "They often do so by allowing their wishes to be fathers of their thoughts, and begin by wishing that everything has changed.

09:17:32:00 "Republicans now making a moral melodrama over any vote that allows the ACA to be funded should remember Everett Dirksen of Illinois, the leader of Senate Republicans during passage of the 1964 Civil Rights Act. He recalled '40 preachers caught me one afternoon there in that lobby. "I am not a moralist," I told them. "I'm a legislator." It is good to be both. It is sterile to be the former to the exclusion of the latter.'" Are you more moralist than legislator?

SENATOR TED CRUZ:

09:17:59:00 Look, I'm just trying to fight for 26 million Texans and for the American people. And I'm pretty sure George Will, in that column, argued that what we should be doing is delaying Obamacare, which is exactly what the House of Representatives just voted to do.

09:18:12:00 And one important thing to emphasize, I mean you keep, and all of the voices of Washington keep saying, "We need compromise." Twice now Republicans in the House have compromised. And twice Harry Reed has said, "We won't even have a conversation. I refuse to compromise. We want to fund it all. We want to stick it on the American people. And we won't budge." That's not a reasonable position. And if we have a shutdown, it will be because Harry Reed holds that absolutist position, and essentially, holds the American people hostage.

DAVID GREGORY:

09:18:42:00 Who's the legislator you most admire? Who's your big role model?

SENATOR TED CRUZ:

09:18:45:00 You know, I'll tell you. The Senator I most admire was former Texas Senator Phil Gramm. And it's actually a very good example, going back to, you know, there are voices who say this is impossible. And if you remember back in 1993, I know you do, when Hillarycare was being debated.

09:19:00:00 And when Hillarycare was being debated, there were a lot of Republicans who came forward with what I called at the time Hillarycare Light. "We'll partially socialize health care." And it was because Republicans were convinced, "We can't stop this." And then Phil Gramm strode out there, and he said, and I know you'll remember this, he said, "This will pass over my cold, dead, political body."

09:19:24:00 And a whole lot of Republicans who were scared, they looked over. He wasn't killed. They ran behind him, and they said, "Yeah, yeah, what he said." Look, the power of leadership can change debates. We saw that just a month ago with Syria. When President Obama said he was going to launch unilateral attacks on Syria, you had leaders of both houses of Congress support him. And then the American people spoke up in overwhelming numbers and said, "We don't want to get involved in a sectarian civil war in Syria where there's no clear U.S. national security benefit to doing so."

09:19:52:00 And what happened? The entire federal government turned. We didn't get involved. We didn't launch those attacks. And just weeks earlier, conventional wisdom in Washington said, "It's impossible."

DAVID GREGORY:

09:20:04:00 Do you regret comparing the future of Obamacare to the rise of Hitler in Nazi Germany?

SENATOR TED CRUZ:

09:20:11:00 Well, the premise of your question isn't true. I didn't make that comparison. What I said is that there have been many voices in Washington who've said, "We can't do this, we can't do this, we can't do this." And I went through the contracts where, over and over again, when facing big challenges, Americans have risen to the occasion, whether it was the Revolutionary War, the Civil War, World War II, whether it was going to the moon under John F. Kennedy, or whether it was winning the Cold War.

09:20:35:00 At every stage, there were voices of conventional wisdom who say, "This can't be done." And at every stage, the American people rose to the occasion. And what I said is, "We should do the same here." We should look to, if we empower the American people, if we get Washington to listen to the people, that's how we get this changed.

DAVID GREGORY:

09:20:55:00 Do you ride this to the presidential nomination?

SENATOR TED CRUZ:

09:20:58:00 (CHUCKLE) You know, it's easy for Washington to focus on politics. I understand. That's the business of this town. What I am trying to do every day is focus on making a difference in the lives of the American people. Every survey that's done in this country, the top priority of the American people is jobs and the economy.

09:21:17:00 Under Harry Reed's Senate, we don't even talk about jobs and the economy. Obamacare is the biggest job killer in this country. And millions of Americans are hurting. You know, I'd like to see a Democrat respond to James Hoffa's letter that said, "This is right now destroying the health care of millions of Americans." That's not me, that's a Democrat union leader who has supported Harry Reed and President Obama. We need to be listening to the people, because people are hurting because of Obamacare.

DAVID GREGORY:

09:21:44:00 Senator, thank you for your views this morning. Thank you very much.

SENATOR TED CRUZ:

09:21:47:00 Thank you, David.

09:21:47:00 (LEAD-OUT AND COMMERCIAL OMITTED)

DAVID GREGORY:

09:23:25:00 And we're back. U.S.-Iran relations reached a new level late Friday when the news broke that the newly elected Iranian president Hassan Rohani, and President Obama spoke by phone, first conversation between the leaders of the countries in over 30 years.

09:23:39:00 (VIDEO NOT TRANSCRIBED)

DAVID GREGORY:

09:24:01:00 So what's behind the recent sanctions of the Iranian president? Joining me now, our chief foreign affairs correspondent, Andrea Mitchell, and also Gary Saymore, former advisor to President Obama on arms control and WMD, one of the few who met with President Rohani this past week when he was in New York. Welcome both of you. What I'm fascinated by is what has brought us to this moment, Gary? What is motivating Rohani?

GARY SAYMORE:

09:24:22:00 I think the answer is very simple. It's pressure. I mean the economic and political sanctions that the U.S. has imposed on Iran, starting with President Bush, and then strengthened by President Obama, has been sufficient to force the Iranians to seek a nuclear deal so they can get relief from sanctions.

DAVID GREGORY:

09:24:39:00 But how do we get from here to there?

ANDREA MITCHELL:

09:24:40:00 That's the big question.

GARY SAYMORE:

09:24:41:00 Yeah.

ANDREA MITCHELL:

09:24:42:00 I was at a small gathering with Rohani. And it's very clear that they're very concerned about the bank sanctions. He said, "Look, I-- " he's a politician. He was elected with a mandate, he says, to be moderate. He got 51% of the vote in a crowded field. They permitted him to be elected. His closest competitor got 16%.

09:25:00:00 He was greeted back in Tehran with crowds of demonstrators, but-- supporters, but also some protestors. And the fact that the mullahs and the military permitted the protestors to go to the airport was very significant, even throwing a shoe. He is concerned about the pressure. But the question is, as Gary has explained very, very ably, will they give up the real stuff?

DAVID GREGORY:

09:25:22:00 Right.

ANDREA MITCHELL:

09:25:23:00 And, you know, that is a very heavy price for them. They've spent billions on it. And right now, Israel is complaining, and Netanyahu is coming tomorrow to see the president. Israel is complaining, and the U.S. is concerned that they are building a heavy water reactor, which can create plutonium, a whole other way to have nuclear--

DAVID GREGORY:

09:25:40:00 So just to be really simplified about it, so basically, they've got three facilities that can produce the stuff to build a nuclear bomb.

ANDREA MITCHELL:

09:25:48:00 That we know of.

DAVID GREGORY:

09:25:49:00 That we know of. Now, you only need a certain percentage to have a civilian energy use. They're above that. And the fear is that they can what's called "break out." They can get to that (SNAP) nuclear weapon real fast. So how do you prevent that from happening and believe in a deal?

GARY SAYMORE:

09:26:05:00 Well, as a condition for lifting sanctions, I think the U.S. and its allies will demand that Iran accept physical limits on its nuclear capacity in terms of size and strength of its enrichment program.

DAVID GREGORY:

09:26:16:00 But haven't we had some of these requirements in place before? Haven't we had rigorous inspections before?

GARY SAYMORE:

09:26:21:00 This goes beyond inspections. I mean monitoring is very important to be sure that the Iranians don't cheat, especially given their history of cheating. But what I think the U.S. will seek in these negotiations are physical limits so that the Iranians don't have the capacity to break out quickly. And so far, Rohani has not indicated any willingness to accept those kinds of limits.

DAVID GREGORY:

09:26:41:00 11 years ago, President Bush called Iran part of the Axis of Evil.

ANDREA MITCHELL:

09:26:44:00 Right.

DAVID GREGORY:

09:26:44:00 They prop up the Assad regime, they fortify Hezbollah, the Iranian Revolutionary Guard is a potent force. They have a stronghold in Iraq. Arabs throughout the region are terrified of the hegemonic goals of Iran at this point. That's the overview. How do you navigate that?

ANDREA MITCHELL:

09:27:05:00 Well, that is the overview. But the reward, potentially, the whole region could change if this were to work. So if this works, then Syria becomes at least more viable as a solution, a political solution in Geneva. If the Hezbollah and Iranian arms are not going to prop up Assad.

09:27:23:00 And then Russia becomes a partner. We let them into the Middle East, which is dangerous, but we have now some way, through the United Nations, of monitoring things. Afghanistan, as you mentioned, Iraq, Iran has been such a troublemaker in both of those places. If this economic pressure has been profound enough and you have 30%, or rather, 60% of the Iranian population is under 30. So this is the mandate that he has. It's a short window. If this were to work, then perhaps Saudi Arabia and the Gulf states would see the benefit. Because they, as well as Israel, are very, very concerned.

DAVID GREGORY:

09:27:56:00 So 30 seconds here, you've got Bibi Netanyahu, the Israeli prime minister, who comes to meet with the president tomorrow. He's going to say to him, "Don't trust this guy."

ANDREA MITCHELL:

09:28:05:00 Right.

DAVID GREGORY:

09:28:06:00 "He's fooling you."

GARY SAYMORE:

09:28:07:00 I think what the president will say is that it will all depend on concrete results, that words are nice, but what really counts, at the end of the day, is whether Iran is prepared to take action. Just as the president said in his U.N. speech.

DAVID GREGORY:

09:28:20:00 Do you believe it? Do you think this is real

GARY SAYMORE:

09:28:22:00 I don't think it's real yet. I think the Iranians, for now, will try to see if they can get sanctions relieved through charn (PH).

DAVID GREGORY:

09:28:27:00 Right. And play rope-a-dope, right?

GARY SAYMORE:

09:28:28:00 And play rope-a-dope.

DAVID GREGORY:

09:28:29:00 He said that this is how you do it, you can delay while you keep building.

GARY SAYMORE:

09:28:31:00 And but once they find out that that doesn't work, and as the sanctions continue to bite even more, then the Iranians will have to make some tough choices.

DAVID GREGORY:

09:28:40:00 Yeah, quick point.

ANDREA MITCHELL:

09:28:41:00 Very quickly, what the Israelis are worried about and others in the Gulf, is, "Is this president so eager for a deal, for some legacy here on the foreign side, that he will not be tough enough because of what happened with Syria?"

DAVID GREGORY:

09:28:52:00 Right. Okay. Andrea Mitchell, Gary Saymore, thank you both very much. Fascinating developments. And we'll keep following them.

09:28:57:00 (LEAD-OUT AND COMMERCIAL OMITTED)

DAVID GREGORY:

09:33:53:00 Welcome to all of you. So what is the endgame in this government-by-crisis? Here's a poll from this week about who you'd blame for the government shutdown. And here's the breakdown. 39% say they'd blame Republicans. 36% say they would blame the president. 17% say both. Chris Matthews, I was somewhere yesterday where somebody said, "Would you please just tell all of them that they're behaving like children?" (LAUGHTER)

CHRIS MATTHEWS:

09:34:18:00 Did you say--

DAVID GREGORY:

09:34:17:00 I said, "Ma'am, I will carry that message forth." (LAUGHTER) And I have done my duty. So the question for all of you, and Chris, I start with you, who gets the blame? How does this end?

CHRIS MATTHEWS:

09:34:26:00 Well, I was watching your discussion. And you made the points about how Obamacare, Affordable Care Act, had been passed by the House, by the Senate, signed by the president, reviewed by the Supreme Court. And then the president got reelected on that very issue.

09:34:37:00 The thing that was-- watching that discussion, Senator Cruz talks as if there should be a final test that you have to get through before a law goes into effect. In other words, a final vote, whether it's on debt ceiling or whatever, or on the shutdown of the government, sort of a final look at the law and say, "Well, should really let it go into effect even before it's set to go into effect?"

09:34:56:00 That's not really a market form of government. You outlined a market form of government. The test by which we submit any new legislation, and it's submitted, president signs it, it's reviewed by the courts, it's the law. And upholding the law is a good poll question. Should we uphold the law? I think he goes past to his issue, which is the substance, the policy itself, which is going to be debated for years. But the question is, "Should the law be upheld?" And I think that's the issue.

DAVID GREGORY:

09:35:21:00 I mean the question, too, is, "When is a law legitimate ever?"

REP. RAUL LABRADOR:

09:35:23:00 That's a good question. But if you're going to uphold the law, then you're not going to be delaying it. The president has already delayed it for Big Businesses. They have delayed it for all his friends. And the question is: "Is the law ready at this time? Is it ready for primetime?"

09:35:35:00 It's not ready for primetime at this moment. I would repeal the law. I would get rid, completely, of the law. But all we're asking for in the House of Representatives is for a one-year delay. Just like the unions are asking for a one-year delay, like he has given to Big Businesses. I don't think that's an unreasonable thing for us to be asking for. And I think the American people--

DAVID GREGORY:

09:35:54:00 Right. And, you know, I don't mean to interrupt you on that. And we've talked plenty about the arguments and about the substance. But I want to steer us to the endgame piece of it, too. So Dee Dee, pick up on that, and we'll come back around to this. How does this end?

DEE DEE MYERS:

09:36:06:00 You know, the House has voted now almost 40 times to repeal Obamacare. And every single time it's failed. Insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different--

REP. RAUL LABRADOR:

09:36:15:00 Actually, eight times we had the president (CHUCKLE) sign legislation that has repealed certain parts of Obamacare.

DEE DEE MYERS:

09:36:20:00 Well, but he's not going to repeal his signature, a domestic accomplishment, something he believes deeply. And you guys have tried 40 times, and 40 times, it's failed. Now you've attached it to a two-month interim measure to fund the government.

09:36:32:00 70% of Americans do not think that, even if they don't like Obamacare, do not think that's a reasonable avenue to shut down the government to try to make that happen. You know, there are checks and balances, as you like to see. But you have no ability to stop Obamacare. It's not going to happen. So what's the endgame?

09:36:50:00 (OVERTALK)

FMR. GOV. JOHN HUNTSMAN:

09:36:51:00 I think the end game, partially is we don't see a government shutdown. I mean you saw 25 senators who basically broke on the Clocher vote. You basically see guys like Coburn and Corker, who I think are going to go down as heroes in this whole saga, who have been able to stand up and talk sanity.

09:37:07:00 So I think we basically keep government funded, and it moves forward. But here's where I think it's going to get interesting. I mean it will be important to see how this is executed throughout the states. You have 17 exchanges that are going to be up and running on Tuesday. We created the first one in the state of Utah. It has about 240 individual policies that can be accessed. 300 small businesses are already-- ready to buy into it. I think it will be a very important experiment this year. I mean politics aside, we now move into the real world of economics, jobs, and competitiveness.

DEE DEE MYERS:

09:37:35:00 Right.

FMR. GOV. JOHN HUNTSMAN:

09:37:36:00 And that is: Does it work or not?

DAVID GREGORY:

09:37:37:00 But see, we're not-- but you can't say, "Politics aside." You can't just have a debate on the substance of the matter, Chris, or the policy implementation, because this is about politics. And some may see it as petty politics, but I think the Congressman would say, "Look, we want to keep this alive to 2014, to 2016."

CHRIS MATTHEWS:

09:37:56:00 Sure.

DAVID GREGORY:

09:37:57:00 There are political means to overturn this, they just haven't achieved them yet.

CHRIS MATTHEWS:

09:38:00:00 Yeah, I think we're in an explosive situation in terms of the constitution. I think it's going to continue. I'm not as sublime as you are. I think the difference is, it's like in a kidnapping, you grab the baby and ask for the money. In this case, they grabbed the money and asked for the baby. Obama's not going to give them his baby. You can't negotiate this.

09:38:17:00 This is the thing Dee Dee pointed out. This is his claim to history. This is what he did after 40 or 50 years of Democrat Party claimed, "We're going to do health care." The Clintons tried, almost got it. Everybody said, "We're going to do it," since Roosevelt. To say, "I'm going to give it away, or I'm going to delay it," I think delaying it, everybody knows, the people who want delay do not want it to come back in a year. You want it to die in a year.

DEE DEE MYERS:

09:38:38:00 And--

CHRIS MATTHEWS:

09:38:38:00 And that's the difference between the president having problems with some of the features of the bill but trying to make it work, and those who want to kill it. That's a big difference, killing the baby here.

FMR. GOV. JOHN HUNTSMAN:

09:38:46:00 But Chris, we're--

CHRIS MATTHEWS:

09:38:46:00 And I don't think he's going to agree to it.

FMR. GOV. JOHN HUNTSMAN:

09:38:48:00 We're going to be beyond politics real soon. And then the real world does take over. And we're going--

CHRIS MATTHEWS:

09:38:51:00 Well, what happens if the government doesn't go back to work on Tuesday?

FMR. GOV. JOHN HUNTSMAN:

09:38:54:00 Well, if there's a shutdown, it's going to be a 24 hour shutdown.

DEE DEE MYERS:

09:38:55:00 Implementation (UNINTEL).

FMR. GOV. JOHN HUNTSMAN:

09:38:56:00 All right?

DEE DEE MYERS:

09:38:57:00 Yeah.

FMR. GOV. JOHN HUNTSMAN:

09:38:57:00 You have Republicans know this is a loser for them. So Republicans are going to have to learn the lessons of this whole episode. And that will be you can't have an all-or-nothing approach.

REP. RAUL LABRADOR:

09:39:04:00 But the reality here--

FMR. GOV. JOHN HUNTSMAN:

09:39:05:00 You're going to have to problem-solve every step of the way and find areas that don't work and fix them as we proceed.

REP. RAUL LABRADOR:

09:39:10:00 But the reality is the Democrats think that this is a loser for us. I think everybody agrees that this is a loser for us if the government shuts down. And that's why I think the president of the Democrats want to shut down the government.

09:39:20:00 If you look last night at Twitter, there wasn't a single Republican on Twitter who was saying, "Let's shut down the government." But every single Democrat was saying, "The Republicans want to shut down the government." The politics are coming from the other side, as well. So let's be really honest about this.

09:39:36:00 And the other side would like to see Republicans in trouble in 2014. The other side wants to make sure that they're not even willing to meet us halfway. They're not even willing-- Harry Reed will not negotiate with John Boehner. The president will not meet with John Boehner. And John Boehner's actually trying to be responsible here. And he's willing to meet with--

09:39:53:00 (OVERTALK)

DAVID GREGORY:

09:39:53:00 John Boehner does not agree with you. John Boehner does not want to shut down. John Boehner does not--

REP. RAUL LABRADOR:

09:39:57:00 But he--

DAVID GREGORY:

09:39:58:00 --want to take this stand.

REP. RAUL LABRADOR:

09:39:58:00 So you're saying that I want to shut down the government.

DEE DEE MYERS:

09:39:59:00 Yeah.

REP. RAUL LABRADOR:

09:40:00:00 I don't want to shut down the government.

DEE DEE MYERS:

09:40:01:00 Will you vote for--

DAVID GREGORY:

09:40:03:00 Well, I'm not (UNINTEL PHRASE).

REP. RAUL LABRADOR:

09:40:03:00 Yeah.

DAVID GREGORY:

09:40:03:00 He doesn't-- John Boehner, the Speaker of the House, is actually not interested in trying to filet up Obamacare right now, as you are.

REP. RAUL LABRADOR:

09:40:10:00 No, he wanted to--

DAVID GREGORY:

09:40:11:00 He just has a different view about it.

REP. RAUL LABRADOR:

09:40:11:00 --do it in the debt ceiling.

DAVID GREGORY:

09:40:12:00 Yeah.

REP. RAUL LABRADOR:

09:40:13:00 And I just disagree with him. I thought that this was the moment to do it--

DAVID GREGORY:

09:40:17:00 To have the fight.

REP. RAUL LABRADOR:

09:40:16:00 --not have the debt ceiling-- yeah.

DEE DEE MYERS:

09:40:17:00 So what's the endgame, though, Congressman? Are you willing to vote for-- a continued resolution that comes back that does not delay or de-fund Obamacare?

REP. RAUL LABRADOR:

09:40:25:00 I am not. But I think there's enough people in the Republican Party who are willing to do that. And I think that's what you're going to see.

DEE DEE MYERS:

09:40:30:00 But would you--

REP. RAUL LABRADOR:

09:40:30:00 Our first request was to completely def-- de-fund the program. And we knew we were going to lose on that. Now we're asking for a delay, which, again, I don't think is an unreasonable thing to do. You know, your boss, Tip O'Neil, shut down the government 12 different times. And you didn't call him a terrorist.

CHRIS MATTHEWS:

09:40:46:00 No, it wasn't--

REP. RAUL LABRADOR:

09:40:47:00 You did not call him--

09:40:48:00 (OVERTALK)

CHRIS MATTHEWS:

09:40:49:00 These were always issues of a couple of days. And they were always resolved, and they were over numbers. And it was both sides, though. Let's be fair. Both sides were doing it.

REP. RAUL LABRADOR:

09:40:57:00 But it happened.

09:40:57:00 (OVERTALK)

CHRIS MATTHEWS:

09:40:58:00 But you said once--

CHRIS MATTHEWS:

09:40:59:00 Where'd you get your number from?

REP. RAUL LABRADOR:

09:40:59:00 It's from The Washington Post.

CHRIS MATTHEWS:

09:41:01:00 No, it was seven times, though. You were--

REP. RAUL LABRADOR:

09:41:02:00 No. So--

CHRIS MATTHEWS:

09:41:02:00 --counting all the times--

REP RAUL LABRADOR:

09:41:02:00 No.

CHRIS MATTHEWS:

09:41:03:00 --since the '70s. Look, they were always taking--

REP. RAUL LABRADOR:

09:41:06:00 No, there were 17 times since the '70s, and 12 under your boss.

CHRIS MATTHEWS:

09:41:09:00 Okay, let me--

REP. RAUL LABRADOR:

09:41:10:00 So (UNINTEL).

DAVID GREGORY:

09:41:10:00 All right, Chris.

CHRIS MATTHEWS:

09:41:11:00 Let me tell you this. They were issues of a day or two. They were issues of funding. Now, what I said before is you can argue over numbers, and then you can-- if it's seven or nine, make it eight. But when you say we're going to get rid of the number one program that you put into law and put in the history books, and your party's been fighting for, for half a century, you can't say, "Give me that." That's a non-negotiable stand.

09:41:28:00 (OVERTALK)

CHRIS MATTHEWS:

09:41:28:00 That's the problem.

DAVID GREGORY:

09:41:29:00 And so here's the question. And I want to raise it again. When is a law legitimate? And would it be appropriate for the president or Democrats controlling the Senate to say, "Let's go back and let's overturn a Reagan-era law?"

REP. RAUL LABRADOR:

09:41:43:00 They do it all the time.

DAVID GREGORY:

09:41:43:00 Should they do that?

REP. RAUL LABRADOR:

09:41:45:00 One of the shutdowns was based on the Fairness Doctrine. One of the shutdowns under Tip O'Neil was because The Fairness Doctrine had actually been done away with.

CHRIS MATTHEWS:

09:41:53:00 Right.

REP. RAUL LABRADOR:

09:41:53:00 And they wanted the Fairness Doctrine back.

CHRIS MATTHEWS:

09:41:54:00 Right.

REP. RAUL LABRADOR:

09:41:55:00 So it has been done before. The Democrats spent the entire decade of the Bush administration trying to repeal the Bush Tax Cuts. It's not like Republicans and Democrats don't fight about their policies. That's what politics is all about. So for somebody to go on national T.V. and to say that, "We cannot fight about our policy differences-- "

CHRIS MATTHEWS:

09:42:15:00 Yeah. What you do in politics is fight. The question is do you play by the rules and eventually move forward? Or do you keep going back of the old terrain, making non-negotiable demands? I think there was a really good debate about health care for 50 years in this country, whether to do it or not. And finally, the country, through the Congress and through the president, and through the electorate, decided to do it.

REP. RAUL LABRADOR:

09:42:35:00 And not (UNINTEL).

CHRIS MATTHEWS:

09:42:35:00 Now you seize upon this opportunity--

09:42:36:00 (OVERTALK)

REP. RAUL LABRADOR:

09:42:37:00 Not a single Republican voted for that law, because you guys, the Democrats, decided to cram it down. You decided to do--

09:42:43:00 (OVERTALK)

REP. RAUL LABRADOR:

09:42:44:00 --procedural issues. There-- there was not a single Republican--

09:42:46:00 (OVERTALK)

DAVID GREGORY:

09:42:48:00 Go ahead, John.

FMR. GOV. JOHN HUNTSMAN:

09:42:49:00 This is an example of how divisive this debate has become. You've got to remember, when some of us were governors a decade ago, Republicans were trying to figure out how to crack the code on health care reform. The Heritage Foundation was advocating a mandate as part of overall health care reform.

DEE DEE MYERS:

09:43:03:00 And you supported that, and you saw--

FMR. GOV. JOHN HUNTSMAN:

09:43:04:00 So you've got those parties--

09:43:05:00 (OVERTALK)

FMR. GOV. JOHN HUNTSMAN:

09:43:05:00 Well, we looked at expanding the marketplace.

DEE DEE MYERS:

09:43:07:00 Right.

FMR. GOV. JOHN HUNTSMAN:

09:43:08:00 And so exactly what the exchange is going to do. And so I say we have a law. All right, let's recognize that. Now we've got the real world, people who are going to be waiting this week--

DAVID GREGORY:

09:43:15:00 Right.

FMR. GOV. JOHN HUNTSMAN:

09:43:16:00 --to find a health care policy that fits their circumstance. That's the real world. And the question from here, and I think the game, some of it politics, some of it implementation, will be how do you make it work for real people across this country?

DAVID GREGORY:

09:43:26:00 Right. And ultimately, I mean this is what part of the political fight is about. Because once that does happen, we have the experience of other entitlements in this country that, warts and all, these programs move forward, but they become part of the firmament of our entitlement stays (?).

DEE DEE MYERS:

09:43:41:00 Right.

DAVID GREGORY:

09:43:42:00 And then you really can't take them away as a practical matter.

DEE DEE MYERS:

09:43:44:00 And I think that's part of the fear here, right? I mean the exchanges open on Tuesday. People, as you said, will be able to go online, go to a meeting, go by mail, and find if there's a policy that fits their needs that they can afford. And the answer for most people will be yes. So hopefully for everybody who's uninsured will be yes.

09:44:00:00 Once that becomes evident, once people have a positive experience going online finding a policy, being insured for the first time, perhaps, or having a better coverage, it's going to be very hard to take that away from people. They've been waiting a long time, as Chris said, to get to this point.

09:44:13:00 There are, you know, 50 million people in this country who are uninsured. This is an opportunity to change what has been sort of a black mark on our country and our society that we can allow that to go forward.

DAVID GREGORY:

09:44:27:00 But one last kind of, you know, bottom line point, and Congressman, since you'll have a vote on this, at some point there'll be a resolution of a government shutdown, if that happens, either before or after the shutdown. We do have this credit limit fight. Even given your views about how horrible you think Obamacare is, do you think it's worth-- not voting to increase the debt limit over this fight?

REP. RAUL LABRADOR:

09:44:49:00 Not over Obamacare. I have always told my leadership that I want the fight on the debt ceiling about debt, about spending, not about Obamacare. I have always believed that the fight should be at the CR, on the spending levels, and the debt limit should be about debt, not about Obamacare.

DAVID GREGORY:

09:45:06:00 Okay.

REP. RAUL LABRADOR:

09:45:06:00 Some people disagree with me.

DAVID GREGORY:

09:45:08:00 All right, we're going to leave it here. You know, you were talking about Tip O'Neil. And I was just thinking, "If only there were a book that somehow (LAUGHTER) gave us insight into the Tip O'Neil, Ronald Reagan years." And there is. And Chris Matthews has written it. And we're going to come back after the break and talk about his new book: Tip and the Gipper: When Politics Worked. And the big question that Chris asked, "Why don't today's leaders cooperate in the country's best interest?" That's the question in his book. First, a major league Sunday inspiration when we come back in just a moment.

09:45:38:00 (COMMERCIAL OMITTED)

DAVID GREGORY:

09:47:42:00 We are back with our Sunday Inspiration and another reason why we love baseball.

DAVID GREGORY:

09:47:47:00 New York Yankees star pitcher Mariano Rivera left the mound at Yankee Stadium Thursday night for the last time, in his 19th and final seasons in the Major League. It was a pretty emotional farewell, as teammates Derek Jeter and Andy Petit went to the mound to help send off one of the game's greatest closers.

09:48:05:00 The future Hall of Famer is retiring. But his record and reputation will live on. 652 career saves. But most of all, time and a history of dominance in the playoffs. The five-time world champ recording four outs that night before he tipped his hat to the Yankee Stadium crowd, on their feet and chanting his name.

DAVID GREGORY:

09:48:26:00 We're back here in just a moment.

09:48:30:00 (COMMERCIAL OMITTED)

DAVID GREGORY:

09:50:30:00 And we're back. I've asked Chris to stick around here. Less than 48 hours before a potential government shutdown. He's got a new book, timely in this age of showdown politics. It's called Tip and Gipper: When Politics Actually Worked. It describes a different world where politicians fought it out but inevitably, compromise was reached. I'm going to have you read a section of that--

CHRIS MATTHEWS:

09:50:51:00 Thank you.

DAVID GREGORY:

09:50:51:00 --in just a minute, Chris. One of the things that Ted Cruz said struck me, which is basically, he represents an age of politicians fighting against the establishment in Washington. They don't think the old guard, the mostly guys who could compromise on issues are representing, you know, the people they represent anymore.

CHRIS MATTHEWS:

09:51:10:00 Yeah, I think it's a good argument. Because people are very unhappy today because of the crunch of the middle class. But if you look at the polling, and you ask people, "Do you respect Congress?" Back in the '80s, what I'm writing about here, Tip O'Neil had a 67 job approval, 67%. Today they have single-digit approval. And Reagan, of course, had an approval rating at least that high. People were confident that the government, even though it would argue within itself, would get things done. Things would move ahead. They wouldn't just keep going back on themselves.

DAVID GREGORY:

09:51:35:00 You have a section of the book that, again, one of the central questions is why can't things work.

CHRIS MATTHEWS:

09:51:39:00 Yeah.

DAVID GREGORY:

09:51:40:00 This is not a purely historical piece, it is about why can't it work the way it did then. Read that section.

CHRIS MATTHEWS:

09:51:45:00 Well, I think this is-- people need to know that the new norm isn't the norm.

DAVID GREGORY:

09:51:47:00 Right.

CHRIS MATTHEWS:

09:51:48:00 That there is, in fact, a better time, and maybe will again. "They disagreed on the role of government, knew it, admitted it face to face. But they put concentrated effort into trying to get along, even as they challenged each other. Why, we wonder, can't it be that way again? Why won't our leaders work to accommodate each other, employing civility as they cooperate to accomplish goals in this country's best interests?"

09:52:09:00 The mood today, even on this program, this sort of anger that's been the backdrop, the people out there have an anger. I remember the first time I met President Reagan. It was the State of the Union. And I walked up to the welcome into the green room, where it was our ceremonial office. And I said, "Mr. President," this is just to break the ice, "Welcome, Mr. President, to the room where we plot against you." (CHUCKLE) And he goes, in that great Reagan, was, "Oh no, not after 6:00. The Speaker says we're friends after 6:00."

09:52:34:00 There was a sense of, "We're in this together. We're going to argue this stuff out. But we're going to get stuff done." And that's why there were government shutdowns. They were a couple days. They were over money, the usual kind of things politicians argue about. But they weren't non-negotiable demands. And I think that's the difference.

DAVID GREGORY:

09:52:48:00 Is it just what they're pared to now? In other words, I guess Democrats are complaining this week. They say, "Look, Ted Cruz and others, if you want to change the law, let's talk about how we can change the law."

CHRIS MATTHEWS:

09:52:58:00 Yeah.

DAVID GREGORY:

09:52:58:00 "But don't set up a scenario, whether it's, 'You either get rid of the whole thing or the government will end up being shut down, or the debt limit won't be raised.'"

MALE VOICE:

09:53:08:00 Yeah, I love the negotiations now. Because I thought we were in the hot-- and Jack Lew, the Secretary of the Treasury, sat next to me in those days in the Speaker's office. And he had the same reaction I had. We thought that was the most partisan time in history. (LAUGHTER)

09:53:17:00 But the Speaker would meet with Reagan, and they'd say, "Okay." Reagan said to the guy, "We need the debt ceiling passed." And Tip said, "Okay. I'll give you the Democratic votes for the debt ceiling. But I want a letter from the president asking the Democrats to do it. I know you like that idea, because it's the kind of thing that shows how professionals behave." One time on a tax increase, Tip said, "I'll pass the bill with you, Mr. President. The deficit is too high. I want 100 Republican votes."

DAVID GREGORY:

09:53:40:00 So--

CHRIS MATTHEWS:

09:53:40:00 He did the same thing on Social Security. They knew how to cut deals after the fight. And I think that's--

09:53:44:00 (OVERTALK)

DAVID GREGORY:

09:53:45:00 How does this president do in creating the kind of atmospherics that you write about in Congress?

CHRIS MATTHEWS:

09:53:51:00 I don't think he's as good as Reagan was, for example, at nurturing relations. I remember going to something called The Gym Dinner on Capitol Hill, which is just a bunch of guys, mostly guys in those days, having steak dinner and apple pie and a la mode and some baked potato and a beer.

09:54:04:00 And all the guys like Jack Javits who (UNINTEL) years ago just to be at this dinner. No press. Nobody. Just sort of a sense of we're-all-in-this-together dinner. And it was paid for by the guys who do the rub-downs over in the gym. Okay? Wasn't a big deal.

09:54:16:00 And I got to go because I was Tip's guy. And in walked Reagan with George Bush. And George Bush, who's vice president, had been a member of the House, and knew how this worked. You've got to connect with these guys. And I (UNINTEL) something that told me that Reagan was going to win all those fights. Every Democrat in the room went up to get his picture taken with Reagan.

DAVID GREGORY:

09:54:32:00 Right.

CHRIS MATTHEWS:

09:54:32:00 And-- just for the--

09:54:33:00 (OVERTALK)

DAVID GREGORY:

09:54:33:00 But now, as the president says, most of those guys don't want their picture with him because that would hurt them more than help them.

CHRIS MATTHEWS:

09:54:37:00 That's (INAUDIBLE PHRASE). And I have to tell you, Ronald Reagan being a hero from Notre Dame and the Knute Rockne movie in GE Theater, he had a lot of Democrats who liked him. And I think this president doesn't have any Republicans who like him. And I think it's a much tougher time.

09:54:49:00 I'm hoping that this will make people see that American politics can work. And by the way, it's politics. It's not civics. It's guys and women who really believe in what they do. Like, nobody believes in conservatism more than Reagan. He invented it. And Tip was the classic liberal who served-- he got elected 50 times as a liberal. He totally believed in helping people.

09:55:08:00 And you know what? Reagan respected Tip's wanting to like people, help people. They actually understood each other. And Ron Reagan was on our program so many times, and Harpo tells me that Reagan would come back and sit around the house and say how fond he was of Tip. And so it wasn't personal.

DAVID GREGORY:

09:55:22:00 The search for compromise.

CHRIS MATTHEWS:

09:55:22:00 Yeah.

DAVID GREGORY:

09:55:23:00 We need it now.

CHRIS MATTHEWS:

09:55:24:00 Certainly do.

DAVID GREGORY:

09:55:24:00 Chris Matthews?

CHRIS MATTHEWS:

09:55:24:00 Thank you.

DAVID GREGORY:

09:55:25:00 Thank you very much. Again, the book is Tip and the Gipper: When Politics Worked. Thank you very much, Chris. Coming up here, a founding father finally gets his wish. It's in our Images to Remember coming up next.

09:55:39:00 (COMMERCIAL OMITTED)

DAVID GREGORY:

09:57:30:00 Here now, some of this week's images to remember. (MUSIC) (PAUSE) That last image, the opening of the Fred W. Smith National Library for the study of George Washington at his Mount Vernon Estate. Back in 1787, he told a friend that he needed a place for his military, civil and private papers, because they were voluminous and, quote, "Maybe interesting." He (CHUCKLE) finally got his wish. That's all for today. We'll be back next week. If it's Sunday, it's Meet the Press.

* * *END OF TRANSCRIPT* * *

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TODAY's Takeaway
  1. TODAY

    Savannah overshares; Billy Crystal brings ‘700 Sundays’ to TV

    4/18/2014 8:29:08 PM +00:00 2014-04-18T20:29:08
  1. Doomed South Korean ferry’s captain taken into custody

    The captain of the sunken ferry in South Korea was taken into custody Friday and is facing five charges, including criminal negligence.

    4/18/2014 8:35:55 PM +00:00 2014-04-18T20:35:55
  2. Did South Korea ferry’s sharp turn cause it to sink?
  3. Teen ferry survivors comforted in devastated town
  1. Courtesy of Shawn Stock

    'You helped me': After 23 years, Desert Storm veteran thanks pen pals

    4/18/2014 8:51:52 PM +00:00 2014-04-18T20:51:52
  1. Courtesy of Kristen Hazelwood Jo

    Kids scared of the Easter Bunny? Well, look at him!

    4/18/2014 7:18:23 PM +00:00 2014-04-18T19:18:23
  1. This weekend on TODAY: Apps to keep teens from texting and driving

    Janice Lieberman takes a look at three new apps that are designed to keep your teens safe behind the wheel. Also, Ed Weeks from “The Mindy Project," the right way to cook a perfect Easter ham and more.

    4/18/2014 4:41:45 PM +00:00 2014-04-18T16:41:45