Live Coverage of the Washington Ideas Forum, Day 2

Notes, quotes, and big thoughts from newsmakers 
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House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi with Atlantic Editor-in-Chief James Bennet at the 2013 Washington Ideas Forum (The Atlantic)

Welcome back to live coverage of the Washington Ideas Forum, presented by The Atlantic, the Aspen Institute, and the Newseum. We'll have live updates on all the speakers at the Newseum in Washington throughout the day right here, so stay with us or check back frequently. This page will automatically refresh with updates. You can also watch the events here and read a chronicle of Wednesday's speakers and panels here.

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12:49 p.m. That's a wrap, folks. Thanks for joining us. Check out full coverage of the Washington Ideas Forum here. See you in a year!

12:48 p.m. Greenberg: Clinton is the dominant Democrat for 2016; the main challenge is the economy. Christie can't possibly win a primary after embracing Obama and accepting Obamacare funding. Rove: It's worthless to handicap now, but "Clinton is as dominant in 2016 as she was in 2008." That's rather faint praise! On the GOP side, Rove names a whole slew: Many familiar names and also, weirdly, Rick Snyder of Michigan. He says how selflessly they conduct themselves in 2014 will determine their prospects.

12:43 p.m. Rove: The 2016 GOP nominee will run on Obamacare repeal. Greenberg: That's why Republicans won't be competitive in the presidential election. It didn't work in 2012, it won't then.

12:43 p.m. Greenberg: Republicans are in denial about immigration, climate change, and also the long-term effects of Obamacare.

12:41 p.m. Brownstein: Is the GOP willing to do what it has to do to win minority votes like Bush did in 2004? Rove: We'll see—the party hasn't learned yet from repeated defeats. Greenberg: Nope.

12:40 p.m. Brownstein to Greenberg: Here's the flipside: Why are Democrats doing so poorly with whites? Greenberg says it's essentially a Southern problem, not anything else. Rove quips that he disagrees, but hopes Democrats are convinced it's only regional.

12:39 p.m. Rove: There were fewer white voters in 2012 than in 2008—Obama was successful at convincing blue-collar white voters not to turn out.

12:37 p.m. Greenberg: House/White House divide is a product of concentration of Democratic voters in urban centers. Density is at least as important as gerrymandering.

12:34 p.m. Brownstein: Why can't the GOP win like it did when Rove was driving strategy? Rove: "The country's become less white." But you can't always extend trend lines permanently.

12:33 p.m. Greenberg essentially blames Rove for the Tea Party—with whom Rove has battled—for encouraging base activism. Now Rove is pushing back. "You're just saying things that are wrong." 2004 was not about the base, he says.

12:32 p.m. Brownstein: Describe the state of your respective parties. Rove: The GOP is in flux. He calls the Tea Party "yeasty" (your guess is as good as mine), and says they're different from traditional Republican groups, but says their demand to get everything is similar to movements of the past. But he thinks the Republican divide is actually getting better, not worse.

12:30 p.m. Now up: Karl Rove, Democratic pollster Stanley Greenberg, and Ron Brownstein of National Journal.

12:26 p.m. Rohde on working conditions for journalists in Syria: "It's a disaster."

12:24 p.m. Rohde: I'm still Facebook friends with the Pakistani officer who kept me safe after I escaped from my captors.

12:16 p.m. Rohde: "It was amazing how fast it happened." After being kidnapped, Rohde was driven for several days, then made to walk nine hours over the border into Pakistan, which he figured out when he saw a sign that said "North Waziristan." "I knew the worst place to be taken to was the tribal areas of Pakistan."

12:15 p.m. Rohde is telling the story of how he was kidnapped by Taliban fighters in Afghanistan four years ago this week.

12:12 p.m. Now up: Reuters' David Rohde with Atlantic Chairman David Bradley.

12:11 p.m. Sperling is delivering a long and rambling soliloquy on the importance of extending emergency unemployment insurance. Leonhardt seems skeptical that an extension would pass Congress.

12:07 p.m. Sperling: It's important that people understand the protections they'll be forgoing if they stick with plans outside of the ACA exchanges. He predicts many people will realize that the exchange actually offers them a better deal.

12:04 p.m. That said, Sperling is trying to correct history: "What the president wanted was to say that ... " He says Obama believes most people getting cancellation notices will be able to get better plans in the exchanges, but the president is asking Kathleen Sebelius to clarify that if you're in an individual-market plan that they can renew for 2014. But as Sperling says, the problem is that insurance companies can still cancel plans—which is what's causing many cancellations.

12:02 p.m. Before discussing Obama's announcement of fixes, Sperling checks to see if the president is peaking yet. "Hey man, you don't survive 11 years in the West Wing without checking to make sure you're not getting ahead of the president," he quips.

12:01 p.m. Sperling: The Upton bill allows discrimination based on gender and pre-existing conditions.

12 p.m. Sperling predicts Democrats will not support the Upton bill, especially as Dems come to understand the bill doesn't smooth the transition but rather sets out to disrupt Obamacare.

11:59 a.m. Leonhardt: Are Democrats newly willing to undermine the law? Sperling: People who really care about improving our health-care system long term realize this "is a rocky road, but it's a rocky road to a far better health system than we've had before." He says Republicans have no plan for fixing the system.

11:57 a.m. Leonhardt: Why should anyone believe you'll get it right the second time? Sperling says it's fair that the burden is on the administration to show they can fix it and that they screwed up. But "part of the problem is you don't always know what you don't know."

11:56 a.m. "We still believe this is a good system, a good product that provides unprecedented protection for Americans." He says it guarantees that Americans will no longer have to worry that they're one illness away from bankruptcy.

11:54 p.m. Sperling is trying to hammer home the 1 million figure for people who have completed the application process for insurance but have not yet bought a plan.

11:53 a.m. "There's no question that the president and all of us are deeply frustrated about the website," Sperling says, but he says the White House is confident it will be fixed. "It is getting better by the day. We have to put our head down 24/7 and get it fixed." Leonhardt asks if the site will be ready by November 1; Sperling hedges a bit: "That's still our aspiration and our expectation."

11:51 a.m. Now up: Obama economic adviser Gene Sperling and David Leonhardt, Washington bureau chief for The New York Times.

11:50 a.m. NB: People like things like Airnbn and Lyft because "it's just so great to own your own business."

11:48 a.m. Thompson: Don't most people find it weird that hosts are letting people stay in their bedrooms? How does the "trust economy" work? NB says he understands the skepticism. One key feature is that both guest and host review each other, creating expectations.

11:46 a.m. NB suggests that there may be people who have been able to keep their homes through Airbnb revenue. That seems a bit exaggerated.

11:45 a.m. NB says Airbnb has brought $600 million in tourist revenue to NYC, with only $200 million going to hosts. That money is going not to traditional hotel districts but to places like Brooklyn. "We believe we're bring people to New York, and they're able to stay longer" because Airbnb is more affordable.

11:44 a.m. Thompson: You've often encountered laws that block people renting individual rooms, especially in New York. How are you grappling with that? NB: City laws aren't well structured for people-as-businesses. In NYC, the problem is whether or not taxes are being paid. He says Airbnb agrees that people hosts should pay taxes, but there's no way for them to declare their income with the existing tax system.

11:42 a.m. NB: Mobile growth is essential because mobile can make the Airbnb experience much easier for both users and hosts.

11:41 a.m. Thompson: Are you destroying traditional hotels? NB: No, they're doing different things and using it in different ways. People are staying long and in different places than they would with traditional hotels.

11:39 a.m. NB: 50,000 people staying with Airbnb every night—and there are 600 castles ;isted.

11:39 a.m. NB telling the story of how his company got off the ground with a publicity stunt of creating cereal: Obama Os and Captain McCains.

11:34 a.m. Now up: Airbnb founder Nathan Blecharczyk with Derek Thompson of The Atlantic.

11:33 a.m. Stein: Will Elizabeth Warren run against Hillary Clinton? Schumer says when he took over the DSCC, he sought to avoid having intraparty primaries and gained seats. "I think it would be great given Hillary's capabilities ... if Democrats would unite around her early, we not have a primary, and then we pick up 49 states, win back the House, win the back the Senate, and then we can do what the Republicans won't let us!"

11:31 a.m. Schumer: Many Republicans will vote against Janet Yellen, but I don't think they'll filibuster her.

11:29 p.m. Stein asks about Iranian negotiations. Schumer praises Obama for bringing Iran to the table with sanctions. But he says he's nervous about pulling back on the sanctions as part of the deal: If Iran is freezing but not reversing, why is the U.S. reducing sanctions that work? "I haven't been fully briefed, I'm withholding judgment until I am."

11:27 a.m. Schumer: "I hope we would not get to a nuclear option, but we're getting closer and closer and closer to that line." Stein points out we've heard that before; is this time different? How?

11:26 a.m. Stein: You brokered a deal to avert the nuclear option of filibuster on district court nominees. Now the GOP is filibustering circuit court nominees. Has the spirit been broken? Schumer says yes: Republicans are blocking nominees not because they don't like the nominees but because they want to prevent Obama from filling open seats on the D.C. Circuit.

11:22 a.m. Stein: Will Democrats accept any deal that doesn't relieve sequestration cuts? Schumer: "I don't know what the point of that deal would even be."

11:21 a.m. Should Senate have let House go first on immigration? Schumer: No, House would never have gone first. We had to move to force them to act.

11:20 a.m. Schumer: All the fuss about Obamacare has made action on immigration less likely this calendar year, because Republicans won't want to stop talking about the law's failures. He says he'd bet "quite a bit" that a bill will pass.

11:19 a.m. Schumer: Hardline economic conservatives are for immigration reform: Rupert Murdoch, "I think some of the Koch brothers."

11:18 a.m. Stein: When will we see comprehensive immigration reform? Should there have been a different legislative tack? Schumer says it should happen, and says the GOP risks losing the House majority if it doesn't act—but adds that Boehner will need some Democrats to pass any bill because of the hardliners.

11:15 a.m. Now up: Senator Chuck Schumer with the Huffington Post's Sam Stein. Stein asks about tweaks to Obamacare. Schumer, echoing Pelosi, says the House doesn't want to fix Obamacare—it wants to destroy it. That's why the fixes have to be legislative, he says.

11:13 a.m. Tapper: Would Yellen, as a woman, bring anything special to the Fed chair job? Greenspan says she has unique skills "that could very well be held by men, but in many cases they are not." Tapper: Want to elaborate on that a bit? "Greenspan: "Yeah, but not here."

11:12 a.m. Greenspan says he often had no idea what the politics of FOMC members were despite working with them for years.

11:11 a.m. Tapper almost asks if Obama should have nominated Larry Summers for Fed chair instead, then bails at the last minute and asks what Yellen brings to the table. OK then.

11:10 a.m. Tapper: To whom should Janet Yellen listen? How does she hear voices outside the Fed bubble? Greenspan says he'll tell her privately.

11:09 a.m. Greenspan: "We all knew there was a bubble." The problem was no one knew when it was going to burst, he says. Greenspan says that since everyone knew Lehman Brothers was going to fail, he expected it was priced into the market. He predicts the Great Recession will go down as the greatest economic collapse in history.

11:07 a.m. Greenspan: "Any solution, no matter how crafted, is going to hurt somebody. The question is how do you minimize the impact on the average American." Tapper is pressing Greenspan on Republican obstruction to Simpson-Bowles. Greenspan says, "I agree with Paul Ryan on most things, but not on this."

11:06 a.m. Tapper is essentially advocating for a grand bargain along the lines of Simpson-Bowles here. He says both sides would need to agree to things they don't want. He asks Greenspan if such a deal would be good for the country? Greenspan endorses Simpson-Bowles, and says that eventually a deal similar to it will pass Congress. "If it doesn't, I'm very concerned."

11:04 a.m. Greenspan: The Fed is widely believed to have some special knowledge. "I was there 18 and a half years, and it ain't so."

11:03 a.m. Tapper: You spoke of instability; how big a problem do you anticipate? Greenspan: The question is what happens when the Fed tapers quantitive easing and interest rates rise. The question is how high the rates will raise, and that's a global rate—outside of the Fed's control.

11:01 a.m. Greenspan: The uncertainty in markets is driven by politics.

11 a.m. Greenspan: What makes this recovery different is that it's not driven by things like manufacturing or housing. The problem is a major fear of the long run.

10:57 a.m. Greenspan: The Fed needs to get banks to start lending again; they're sitting on too much cash. He says the demand for funds is not there.

10:57 a.m. Tapper asks Greenspan about Janet Yellen: What's her biggest task? Greenspan: "I've known Janet Yellen for a number of years .... She's an extraordinarily competent economist, but there's no question that's what in front of her is some very daunting problems."

10:54 a.m. Now up: Author and documentarian Sebastian Junger with Reuters' David Rohde. Scratch that: It's Alan Greenspan with CNN's Jake Tapper.

10:53 a.m. Steele says the GOP's problem isn't policy, it's words, especially on things like voting rights. Ball goes to Luntz—you're the language guy; is it all just about the words you're using? Luntz more or less changes the subject to demanding that both sides give a little more to each other in Congress.

10:51 a.m. Steele: When I said we needed hip-hop Republicans, "I didn't mean Mitch McConnell should throw on some bling and drop his pants." 

10:50 a.m. Steele on the importance of reaching out: "I'm sick of people saying, 'Blacks should be Republicans because they're conservatives.' Yeah, and I should have hair!"

10:48 p.m. Luntz: The GOP should do immigration because it's right, not because it's good politics. The audience applauds, but Ball asks: "Do you think that will happen?" Luntz: "No."

10:47 a.m. Ball: Let's talk about immigration. Many Republicans see it as an electoral imperative for the party, but there's no individual incentive for most GOP House members. Luntz: Why are Republicans out to punish DREAMers? He bashes Romney for his self-deport line: "I'm Jewish. I'm thinking, 'Does that mean I have to go back to Russia?!'"

10:44 a.m. Stein: I'm old enough to remember when Hillary was a huge villain for Republicans in the 1990s, and I predict that will return if she runs for president. He also attacks Delaney's idea that one candidate can fix the problem, saying there are far more important structural factors.

10:42 a.m. Delaney: We all know what's happening; the question is how we'll get out of it. That will happen when one side speaks to the other side's voters better, and I think Hillary Clinton is well poised to do this.

10:40 a.m. Ball: Will the new activist turn in the electorate affect the Democrats like it has the Republicans? Delaney says yes: The changes to political money and the media will of course have an impact with them as well. But he says in the long term a small group will be unable to obstruct forever.

10:38 a.m. Steele: "My view ... is that there's more bottom to hit." It's pretty amazing that Steele gets up here and claims credit for the Tea Party while in the next breath complaining about lack of party discipline and extremism on the GOP side.

10:37 a.m. Luntz says social media and the Internet have made citizens' voices much louder and made life harder for leadership: As a member of Congress, "Who am I going to turn down: John Boehner or 14,000 emails?"

10:36 a.m. Steele: Cruz is filling a vacuum created by the GOP leadership's failure to put together a coherent message.

10:35 a.m. Ball: There's a case to be made that every politician is responding correctly to incentives and their constituencies. What's the American people's problem? Michael Steele takes a chance to claim credit for the Tea Party. "All of the old incentives that would bring someone in and then co-opt them into this D.C. system, the Ted Cruzes and Mike Lees aren't buying"—committee chairmanships, earmarks, etc. That's what Tea Party voters wanted, he says.

10:30 a.m. Ball: Can Hillary be stopped? Luntz: The best message I've heard is from Ted Cruz, of all people, who says Washington isn't listening. Ball points out that's the same as Obama's 2008 message. If everyone's voting for change, why does nothing get done?

10:29 a.m. Ball: Who's winning, and does it matter? Luntz starts off pointing out that Congress' 9 percent approval is lower than Gaddafi's was (15 percent). He says no one is winning. He says Hillary Clinton is the opposite of the status quo and asks the audience if they want her to run. They all applaud. 

10:27 a.m. Up next: Republican spinmeister Frank Luntz, Rep. John Delaney (D-Md.), Sam Stein of The Huffington Post, and former RNC Chair Michael Steele with Molly Ball of The Atlantic.

1o:26 a.m. Whitehouse: We'll get through this dysfunction. Ifill: How? Whitehouse gives a meandering answer about how we've gotten past the Know-Nothings and the McCarthy era. But how it would work this time, there's not much answer. Ifill: Governor Markell, do you just want the federal government to get out of your way? Markell: No, we need Washington to help work out arrangements that cross state lines.

10:24 a.m. Markell: "Most of the pollution in Delaware is coming from the midwest."

10:18 a.m. Whitehouse: For states like Delaware and Rhode Island, retreat to high ground is not an option.

10:10 a.m. Ifill: I'm looking at measurables. It's one thing to give speeches, and to give speeches, but if Americans don't trust government to get anything done, and they're more worried about the economy, how do you get people to listen?

10:08 a.m. Ifill: Why are you optimistic that Washington will eventually take up action on climate change? Markell: "That may be blind optimism."

10:10 a.m. Up next: Republican spinmeister Frank Luntz, Rep. John Delaney (D-Md.), and former RNC Chair Michael Steele with Molly Ball of The Atlantic.

10:05 a.m. Whitehouse: Once the GOP sees how much young conservatives believe in climate change, they'll flip. Ifill: But Democrats control the Senate! Whitehouse hems and haws a bit—he doesn't have a good answer for the fact that Dems aren't moving. He says the Senate doesn't want to move on something it knows the House won't take up, but of course that's seldom stopped this Senate.

10:04 a.m. Whitehouse: "Congress is still in the grip of polluting interests and frozen in denial."

10:03 a.m. Ifill to Markell: If Washington is gridlocked, everyone says governors make things happen. What are you doing on the ground in Delaware? Markell says his state is focused on new alternative energies, more efficient delivery, and the like. It's also restoring wetlands to fight flooding.

10 a.m. Whitehouse's answer is not heartening for green advocates: He's just reiterating the seriousness of the problem.

9:58 a.m. Now up: Senator Sheldon Whitehouse of Rhode Island and Governor Jack Markell of Delaware, both Democrats, are talking climate change with Gwen Ifill of PBS. Ifill is asking whether it's totally futile to try to move the Senate on the issue.

9:55 a.m. Wallace: You talk about 1979; the key to turning the country around in 1979 was Reagan. Can you imagine deciding you're the next Reagan? "I'm very much focused on the Senate." But "I think our window to turn around the country is not decades." 

9:53 a.m. Wallace: Will you run for president? Cruz says he knows folks want to talk politics, but "I am very much focused on the U.S. Senate." Wallace: At the risk of being a smart aleck, you're spending a lot of time in Iowa for a man focused on the Senate. Cruz's reply is that he's traveling all over the country, not just to Iowa ... which sort of seems to suggest even more strongly that he's running?

9:52 a.m. Cruz says expanded choices will drive down costs. He says he'll roll out a plan that will repeal Obamacare but allow insurance buying across state lines.

9:50 a.m. Wallace: But Obamacare will cover 30 million new people, according to CBO. Latest GOP plan only covers 3 million new uniusured. I'll take your point that many eggs are being smashed to make the Obamacare omelette, but how will Republicans help those folks? Cruz: It would have been simpler to just write those people a check.

9:49 a.m. Cruz: "'If you like your plan, you can keep your plan'—that was not accidental." He says Obama learned the lesson of Hillarycare and made that pledge as a result.

9:47 a.m. Cruz: Next wave of premiums will go up even more sharply. He says many companies are getting ready to dump employees off insurance and into exchanges (although one might think that would lower premiums).

9:46 a.m. Cruz: The House leadership listens to the American people. He specifically praises John Boehner, but says, "It's unfortunate that not every Senate Republican did the same."

9:44 a.m. Wallace: What do you think of Chris Christie? "I like Chris Christie. I'm glad he won reelection. I think he is brash and he is bold," and Cruz says it's impressive that he won in a blue state. But does he think he's a real conservative? Cruz simply repeats that he's glad Christie won, and thinks we need more Republicans in Washington who will fight.

9:42 a.m. Cruz says the GOP divide is misunderstood: The biggest divide in Washington isn't between Ds and Rs, it's between career politicians and the people. "You don't get a $17 trillion debt without a lot of bipartisanship."

9:41 a.m. Cruz says Obama doesn't seem to care about actually stopping Iran's nuclear-weapons program. He says Obama's foreign policy is not concerned with protecting U.S. national security.

9:39 a.m. "The fact that Netanyahu was driven to make that statement shows just what a terrible deal it was." Wallace: Why would Kerry make a deal that was so bad and undercuts our chief Middle Eastern ally? Cruz: They seem to want a deal so badly that they don't care what the deal is.

9:38 a.m. Cruz: The outlines of the Iran deal that we saw were "terrible." It would give Iran everything they want without stopping their nuclear program. He calls Netanyahu's statement "remarkable" and says he can't recall a time when an Israeli leader has given a statement like it.

9:36 a.m. Wallace: I've never seen anyone alienate their colleagues as quickly as you. (People applaud.) Was it worth it? Cruz: "Absolutely." He says Washington elites will always applaud Republicans attacking other elites from the left, but no one is willing to try to help citizens with real problems.

9:35 a.m. Cruz: There was a time when reasonable disagreement about Obamacare was possible. But when you see people forced into part-time work, when you see the labor unions running for the hills, it's time to start over.

9:34 a.m. Wallace: Were Bill Clinton's comments about Obamacare intended to distance Hillary from the law for 2016? Cruz says it's possible, and calls Clinton a "canary in the coalmine" for Democrats on the law.

9:32 a.m. Wallace: How much trouble are red-state Democrats in over Obamacare? Cruz, naturally, say the answer is a lot.

9:31 a.m. Cruz won't say one way or another whether he'd force another government shutdown. He says what's important is relief for people hurt by Obamacare.

9:30 a.m. Wallace asks the question again. Cruz says no, it wouldn't have been better to stop Obamacare. This is pretty incredible: Cruz is sticking to an account of the shutdown that no one believes—that he could have forced Obama to repeal Obamacare.

9:29 a.m. Wallace: A lot of Republicans say, if you'd let this go with no shutdown, Democrats would be in worse shape after the rollout. Cruz: "I didn't want a shutdown." The audience noisily guffaws.

9:27 a.m. Wallace: As you look at the disastrous Obamacare rollout, do you think, I told you so? Cruz: "A couple of weeks in politics can be an eternity." He says no one's asking him why he fought so hard against the ACA anymore.

9:26 a.m. Now up: Senator Ted Cruz with Fox News' Chris Wallace.

9:25 a.m. "Shutting. Down. The. Government. Hurt. The. People. Of. My. State." McCain is getting seriously angry talking about the shutdown. "If there was a snowball's chance in Gila Bend, Arizona, of this succeeding, I would have been behind it."

9:24 a.m. Goldberg: What does Ted Cruz not understand about the world? McCain: "I don't know, because I have not had a conversation with him about it." But he says anyone who believes America can withdraw from the world is wrong and has been proven wrong when it has tried in the past.

9:23 a.m. McCain says House and Senate intelligence committees failed to conduct adequate oversight on the NSA. "This is beginning to look like a Jason Bourne movie!" Asked about his quickly retracted demand that NSA director General Keith Alexander step down, he says he would want him to resign if he wasn't already slated to retire.

9:22 a.m. McCain: "I would have parameters as to how far we go" in spying on allied leaders like Angela Merkel. "We all know we spy on each other—look at the [Israeli spy Jonathan] Pollard case." He's skeptical of the utility: "What we going to get out of Angela Merkel's personal phone?"

9:20 a.m. Goldberg: Given your position on Iran, how can the conflict ever be resolved without war? McCain: Sanctions are taking a toll. Goldberg pushes back: Sure, but they withstood the Iran-Iraq War. McCain: They're at the table now, because of sanctions! Goldberg: Is that to Obama's credit: McCain: Yes.

9:19 a.m. McCain's mantra on Iran: "Don't trust, but verify."

9:18 a.m. McCain says Arabs whom we do not aid will take their revenge on the U.S. "We're going to reap the whirlwind, my friend."

9:16 am. Goldberg: How can you say that John Kerry is a good friend but also that he's a human wrecking ball? McCain says they get along, but he also says he's been surprised at how bad Kerry's conduct of foreign policy has been. He says the difference between Kerry's and Henry Kissinger's shuttle diplomacy is that Kissinger has a strategy, whereas Kerry seems to be making it up as he goes along.

9:15 a.m. McCain: "American foreign policy is in such disarray, I have never seen anything like it in my lifetime."

9:14 a.m. McCain: Benjamin Netanyahu has a great deal of influence on my thinking about Iran.

9:14 a.m. McCain on John Kerry: "This guy has been a human wrecking ball." He's particularly upset about Kerry's statement that any strike on Syria would be "unbelievably small."

9:13 a.m. McCain on Iranian nuclear negotiations: "I think we need tougher sanctions on Iran .... Frankly I have never been more worried about the parameters of this deal."

9:11 a.m. Goldberg: Sarah Palin says she wants your best friend in the Senate, Lindsay Graham, to be primaried. Do you regret elevating her? "There is a statute of limitations on Sarah Palin questions." McCain doesn't say he regrets it, and he disputes the idea that Palin wants Graham primaried. "I love Sarah Palin, I love Todd Palin."

9:09 a.m. Goldberg: Is there a path for a moderate Republican to win the 2016 GOP nomination? McCain hints at Jeb Bush. He says caucuses tend to favor the most "activist" parts of the party, but he says primaries will favor "someone like Chris Christie—I'm not endorsing." A Republican will have to win Democratic states to win the White House. But "whoever we nominate we will unite behind."

9:07 a.m. "I have treated Senator Lee and Senator Cruz and Senator Paul with respect." But he calls the shutdown an "outrageous, stupid, pointless effort" that hurt Arizona badly.

9:06 a.m. Goldberg: Five years ago, the GOP was the GOP of John McCain; now it's Ted Cruz's party. What happened? McCain says it's part of the party that's always been there, citing Ron Paul's presidential run in 2008 and going back to America Firsters.

9:04 a.m. Now up: Senator John McCain with The Atlantic's Jeffrey Goldberg.

9:03 a.m. Will Pelosi endorse Hillary Clinton for president? Not directly: She says "it would be great if she would go" and says she'd be incredibly qualified.

9:02 a.m. Pelosi on gun control: "Ninety percent of the American people support background checks, whether they're NRA, either party, no party. There's no reason except they won't bring it to the floor and let Congress work." She says it's not partisan in the public and shouldn't be in Congress as well.

9:01 a.m. Pelosi on ENDA: "There must be 23 Republicans who don't want discrimination in the workplace."

9 a.m. Pelosi says she doesn't care how immigration reform is passed—piecemeal or with the Senate bill—but demands that Republicans bring it to a vote.

8:57 a.m. "Senator Cruz grabbed the speaker's gavel."

8:56 a.m. Pelosi predicts the debt ceiling won't be used as a bargaining chip again.

8:54 a.m. Bennet: Will there really be a budget deal by Thanksgiving? "Everybody knows what the choices are, so let's just make them." She says "unfortunately" there won't be a grand bargain. Pelosi takes this as a chance to berate Republicans for shutting down the government. "Their tantrum was a luxury our country couldn't afford and can't afford again."

8:53 a.m. Pelosi downplays the overall numbers: "Every individual case is important."

8:51 a.m. Pelosi: There are two Democrats co-sponsoring Upton's bill, but they both voted against the law. She says the law's fixes will most likely be administrative, not legislative.

8:50 a.m. Pelosi says Rep. Fred Upton's bill in the House looks like a fix, but it's not. She says it is essentially the 46th vote to repeal the ACA.

8:49 a.m. Calling the law "transformative," Pelosi promises, "We will make this that it works."

8:48 a.m. "Coming from Northern California, we all believe in technology and believe this will be fixed—I would say in short order, but it's already too late for that." But she blames insurance companies for canceling insurance policies and defends Obama's promise about keeping their insurance.

8:43 a.m. Bennet starts off with a health-care question: No one worked harder than Pelosi for the ACA's passage. How could things have gone this wrong? Can government simply not do big things anymore? Pelosi, after a lengthy filibuster about the virtues of the press (impressive for a House member!), goes to the same main Democratic spin we heard yesterday: This law is about fairness, we need to cover everyone, and the Supreme Court has declared this law constitutional. She also notes that early milestones—preexisting conditions ban for children, e.g.—went off smoothly. But she calls the website problems "more than a glitch." 

8:32 a.m. First up this morning: House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi talks to James Bennet, editor-in-chief of The Atlantic.

8:25 a.m. Welcome back! We'll be underway in a few minutes. There's another full slate of speakers today. Highlights include Senators Ted Cruz, John McCain, and Chuck Schumer; House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi; Karl Rove; and Alan Greenspan.

 

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David A. Graham

David Graham is a senior associate editor at The Atlantic, where he oversees the Politics Channel. He previously reported for Newsweek, The Wall Street Journal, and The National.

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Saving Central: One High School's Struggle After Resegregation

Meet the students and staff at Tuscaloosa’s all-black Central High School in a short documentary film by Maisie Crow. 


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