NEIL CAVUTO, HOST OF “YOUR WORLD”: All right, well, say this about one Emanuel Cleaver, the fellow who runs the Congressional Black Caucus. I think he had the best phraseologies, the best terms for what was going on here that would not leave you in doubt where he stood, a variation, this package, he said, of a Satan sandwich.
The chairman joins me right now.
Very good to have you, sir.
REP. EMANUEL CLEAVER, D-MO.: Good to be with you.
CAVUTO: Well, the sandwich has been served up and passed. How do you feel about that?
CLEAVER: With fries.
CLEAVER: I think that the public is going to eventually feel good about the fact that we didn’t go over into the abyss.
CAVUTO: Now, how many of your members voted for this?
CLEAVER: Fifteen. Fifteen members of the 43-member CBC voted for it.
CAVUTO: Congressional Black Caucus.
CLEAVER: Yes. And, frankly, without exception, members abhorred the deal, thought it was a bad piece of legislation. And...
CAVUTO: But you weren’t overly vocal about it, right? You kept your powder dry. Why was that?
CLEAVER: We tried to be practical. And that is, nobody wanted to see the nation fall into default. And so we didn’t vote initially. We sat back. We had a 15-minute vote. I actually voted with three seconds remaining on the clock.
CAVUTO: That was the idea. Let the Republicans vote first.
CAVUTO: Then, if the leadership needed you -- more to the point, the Democratic leadership that was for this -- you would be counted on.
CLEAVER: We would have gone over and voted for it, because the consequences of voting no were not as bad, frankly, as voting yes -- I mean, the consequences of voting no were -- were far worse than the consequences...
CAVUTO: You figured it could be financial Armageddon.
Let me ask you, though. You vote on this, and the markets still sell off on slowdown concerns, criticism that Congress was dithering during this process.
CAVUTO: And among your party members, sir, concern that the president caved.
Do you think the president caved?
CLEAVER: It’s not the president’s fault.
Look, it’s my fault. It’s the fault of any Democrat in the country who did not understand what was coming last November and did not get out and work. These guys were not able to come into Congress with guns. They won elections. And when they did, this process that just ended yesterday began. And...
CAVUTO: In other words, this is something they promised they would do.
CLEAVER: That is right.
CAVUTO: So it should be no shock.
CLEAVER: That’s our fault. If you disagree with carrying this deal to the brink, there’s no point in blaming the president and there’s no point in blaming the Tea Party.
CAVUTO: Well, I guess the argument among some of the more rabid members, sir, was that he caved on tax hikes when he had them on the table with Speaker Boehner, now none on the table -- and they might be down the road -- and on a host of other domestic initiatives that fell by the wayside, that the Republicans got the better of them.
CLEAVER: Well, the Republicans got the better of the deal. I don’t think the president had any other options.
CAVUTO: So, there’s not a revolt within the ranks?
CAVUTO: And no frustration or anger on the part of the Congressional Black Caucus?
CLEAVER: I’m not going to go that far.