TODAY | June 19, 2011
>>> david gregory is moderator of "meet the press." good morning.
>> good morning. clearly a fun outing. will this open up things between the two? any expectation it could lead to more fruitful conversations on matters of importance?
>> it can't hurt. some set pieces here. how do you get boehner and the president together and more active on conversation to work on the hard politics in what they're dealing with? look, we're just a few weeks away from real crunchtime when it comes to raising the debt ceiling and really very simple. the heart of the negotiations whether the republicans will deal at all with republicans and taxes and make further cuts in medicare. the president is interest ed enough in some grand bargain that he sees not critical to raising the debt ceiling but important politically. these are important decisions for republicans and democrats to make and you're seeing an effort to pave the way for something in that golf outing.
>> the clock is ticking down to raising the debt ceiling. there's been this bipartisan group. any optimism, they may make progress to find the needed cuts?
>> well, i think they're actually making progress on the cut piece of it. they're over $1 trillion when it comes to that, by the way, that's controversial enough, especially on the democratic side in terms of what they're cutting. but, again, that piece, are you going to cut medicare, which is part of the entitlement picture that is really driving this deficit and on the republican side , are you willing to, if you're not going to deal in tax rates and actually raising taxes , can you find revenue by tax loopholes in some of the other areas, which, again, are incredibly controversial because the tea party wing and the real budget hawks and tax hawks on the republican side who say, no way, will we raise tax rates in any way, shape or form. the kind of purity tax on taxes on the right right now.
>> we're running out of time for republicans who want to run for president. it takes that much time to raise money and we see rick perry sending his peepinal to iowa testing the waters, perhaps a run is in the offing there and what is the word on perry that he could come in at a late date?
>> his aides right now are saying a 50/50 shot. he's creating a lot of buzz and a couple reasons why you could keep an eye on perry. job creation, growth in the state, that's certainly a message he could sell. still, he has that social conservative strength and tea party credentials, as well. there's room for that in this race right now. if you look at mitt romney , tim pawlenty and even john huntsman. they're not the darlings of the tea party or social conservatives . still room for that in the race.
>> david gregory , good to see you. see you a bit later on "meet the press."