The day after a historic Republican victory, President Obama and soon-to-be House Majority Leader John Boehner both expressed an interest in bipartisan solutions to America's economic woes. But in a conversation with Mike Franc, vice president of Government Relations at the Heritage Foundation, a different picture emerged. Intractable differences over spending and taxes. A huge opening battle over raising the debt ceiling. A bevy of symbolic House votes (think Obamacare repeal) designed to please the red base and go nowhere in the Senate.
Divided government: it's going to be ... interesting! Here is our edited transcript.
What message did voters send on Tuesday?
Let me summarize in a sound bite: It's about the size, scope and competence of government. They want to shrink the size, narrow the scope, and increase the competence.
The competence part is where the independents are coming out. I studied the polls. These voters are right of center, but not dramatically so. They want government to do things conservatives would blanch at, but they have limited tolerance for trying something that doesn't work over and over again, like spending [to stimulate].
How can Republicans seize that mantle of smaller government and greater competence?