TODAY   |  January 01, 2014

Chuck Todd: Obama, GOP have work to do in 2014

NBC News’ political director Chuck Todd says President Obama must regain trust after problems with the Affordable Care Act, and the Republican Party must restructure itself in the wake of the government shutdown.

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

>> in this new year. with the president's number down and republicans fighting each other it could make for an interesting year and the midterm elections are around the corner. happy new year to you.

>> happy new year.

>> it's fair to say republicans and democrats are happy to see this year in their rear-view mirror. let's talk about the president. in your last poll he had the highest disapproval rating ever. what does he have to do to turn it around and salvage a second term?

>> everything with him is through the prism of this. how he has to fix it. it has to work. what's interesting is there's every chance the economy is going to get better and that it should help him. but what's interesting is even as people are feeling better about the economy, they're not attaching it to the president and it's all because right now health care dominates everything. he's not going to be able to get anything else done if he doesn't show the public that he's got his arms around this, it's working and they feel better about it. until that happens, nothing changes.

>> let's talk about the republicans . they were widely blamed for the government shutdown. i think they were, in some ways, rescued by the debacle with the obamacare roll out. do you think they end the year in a better position, though?

>> i don't, actually. they vnlt fixed their structural problems. all they have done is they're not the president when it comes to health care . if they're not careful it's a false sense of security. they may survive this year. you remember the republican party did this whole what happened and they threw out this whole we have to get better with minorities and technology and various issues and not look like we're so antiwoman. they made no accomplishments on that front. none of it. so i think that they're in just as bad of a place if not worse than they were. it just doesn't look like it right now because of health care .

>> the first real test will be the congressional midterms. the president's party usually loses seats in an off year. can the republicans take back control of the senate and how does the house look to you?

>> the republican versus to deal with the split inside of their own party. more than half of senate republicans running for re-election have a tea party challenger. that's what kept them from getting control of the senate in 2010 and a little bit in 2012 . this has been an issue for them. so they have to get their inner party stuff behind them but the wildcard is the economy. we know health care is a problem and this idea that the republicans don't want to govern and the democrats can't govern. if the economy improves, what does that do? does it help democrats? it helps a bunch of governors whether they're democrats or republicans and that's the wildcard issue. the public can't stand both parties right now. that's why i can't imagine they're going to reward one over the other.

>> i'm going to ask for a 10 second answer. will we be talking about hilary clinton and chris christie this time next year?

>> hilary clinton will have a new republican front runner. the beginning of last year the hot name was a guy