Infighting in the GOP

House overwhelmingly approves a bipartisan two-year spending plan


This is a RUSH transcript from "The O'Reilly Factor," December 13, 2013. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

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Hi, I'm Eric Bolling in for Bill O'Reilly. Thanks for joining us tonight.

Let's get right to our "Top Story": in-fighting in the GOP. The House overwhelmingly approved a bipartisan two-year spending plan yesterday in hopes of averting another government shutdown, but 94 Congress people voted against it, most of them Tea Party conservatives who worry the deal will increase government spending in the short term and that's not sitting well with Speaker John Boehner.


BOEHNER: Frankly, I just think that they've lost all credibility. You know what; they pushed us into this fight to defund Obamacare and to shut down the government. Most of you know, my members know, that wasn't exactly the strategy that I had in mind. I'm as conservative as anybody around this place. And all the things that we've done over the three years that I've been Speaker have not violated any conservative principal, not once.


BOLLING: Well an aggressive approach by the Speaker given the conciliatory tone he's had with the Tea Party in the past. Joining me now from Washington, Brad Blakeman, a former deputy assistant to President George W. Bush and from Nashville, Scottie Nell Hughes, news director for the Tea Party News Network.

Scottie I want to start with you right at the top. John says he's as conservative as anybody. Would you agree.

SCOTTIE NELL HUGHES, NEWS DIRECTOR, TEA PARTY NEWS NETWORK: Well me just say this congratulations, John McBoehner (ph), because you now are remotely going to be claimed the John McCain of the House. And that's exactly what he's trying to do with this. And I wear his scorn like a badge of honor. And that band aid that we had put in our party that was going to give us a chance of winning in 2014, literally John McBoehner just ripped it off and it's almost like he enjoys seeing the infighting amongst the two crowds.

BOLLING: And Brad some of the push-back on the far right the conservative group is that that the Paul Ryan budget that that went through the House yesterday had a lot of spending increases with -- with some spending, some tax issues down the road that may or may not ever show up. Your thoughts?

BRAD BLAKEMAN, FORMER DEPUTY ASSISTANT TO PRESIDENT GEORGE W. BUSH: Well there is perception and there is reality. The perception is this is a huge budget deal. It is not, but it moves us in the right direction. We have divided government. And the Tea Party in some -- without the Tea Party, think that you know they want to rule in a government that they wish they had.

I would rather rule in reality in the government we do have. In divided government, there must be compromise. Is this a great agreement? No. But the fact is there are two things that this budget does.

One, it creates regular order, a return to the house having control over the power of the purse, which is their constitutional responsibility.


BOLLING: Ok let me stay with you Brad for one second right there.


BOLLING: The power of the purse is in the House -- happens to be on the right, the GOP has it. But isn't there a case to be made that if it weren't for the Tea Party they wouldn't have the power of the purse right now?

BLAKEMAN: Look the Tea Party has been a terrific help. But they weren't a help in the fall when they shut down, helped to shut down the government and they're not a help now. We've to keep our eye on the prize. Let's play chess, let's be strategic. Not let's play Russian Roulette, let's figure out that 2014 is where we're going.

The fact is Obamacare is imploding. Why are we not united get this behind us, have surety and certainty in a market place we haven't had for decades having a two year budget.

BOLLING: All right Scottie let me -- just allow me. The push back between a lot of people are kind of moderate. They say listen we need to win first. So we need to keep the House, you need to win the Senate and then you work on the White House at some point but winning first seems to be very important. Do you disagree?

HUGHES: Well it's not that I disagree, but do you hear what Brad just said. He just sat there and said he blamed the Tea Party for the shutdown of the government, on the same time we need to be united against Obamacare. Well first of all the reason why we shut down the government is because the conservatives said that Obamacare was going to be as disastrous as it was and Obama refused to let it go.

So Obama was the one that shut down the government. The Tea Party were the ones that were sitting there saying this is going to sit here and going to blow up as it is. Now he's saying "Oh wait a minute but we don't need to unite behind the Obamacare disaster.

But that's not what John Boehner said yesterday. He pointedly threw down the gauntlet pointed fingers at the Tea Party and tried to demonize us. And that is exactly what those in the Beltway want to do. That's where they're wrong. And I think John Boehner, if you really want our party to win in 2014, why would he sit there and reopen this wound that the Democrats wanted him to do. He played right to the hands of Democrats. And thank you, John Boehner (inaudible) because of him.


BLAKEMAN: No, no, he didn't. No he didn't you have to be strategic in this town that runs on map. No wait a second -- look you don't have the votes to do what you seek to do. And you have to deal in reality.

HUGHES: In the House, we did.

BLAKEMAN: And Paul Ryan is a -- is a -- not a politician, he is a statesperson who realizes in a divided government in order to get anything done you've to reach across the aisle. Are we going to get everything we want? No but we're going to advance the ball enough.

HUGHES: We're getting 10 percent for Republicans, possibly. The only good things Republicans can claim is they cut government sequester this rolls us back -- the Paul Ryan 90 percent.


BLAKEMAN: This doesn't roll back the sequester at all.

HUGHES: The Democrats are 90 percent happy with this bill. You have Harry Reid advocating for this bill.

BOLLING: Go ahead Brad, go ahead.

BLAKEMAN: You know what it tells me as a lawyer? When both parties are ticked off at the accomplishments that are made, we probably got a pretty good compromise. And what really we should be doing is thinking about 2014. Let's keep control of the House, let's get the Senate back and put the President in a box. Because in your world you would like to believe that Obama doesn't exist, but he does, and we have him for three years. Let's make the best of a worse situation.

BOLLING: Ok and so let me -- I take a step back and do this. This is what you have to do. There is a pendulum that swings back and forth. Scottie, I've got to be honest with you. It seems like the pendulum is swinging away from the Tea Party right now because of the government shutdown. They're getting the blame for that. Would you disagree with it?

HUGHES: Well it's because the established Republicans did not like the good things that were coming out. Ted Cruz had some of the highest approval ratings. In fact his ratings were high when Congress and the White House were low. The majority of American and if Brad would ever take a step outside the Beltway and come out to real America like Nashville, Tennessee where I am, he would see that the majority of Americans do not agree with what Washington D.C., is doing and that this compromise --


BLAKEMAN: And we're trying to change that.

HUGHES: But this compromise is Washington D.C., this compromise is saying this will be better off ten years down the road than what it is today.

Let's remember ten years ago we were just coming out of the Clinton era and the CBO was projecting that not only would we have zero deficit, we would have $3 million surplus. Ten years is what this is relying on those numbers are not true.

BOLLING: All right hold on. Let's stay on today. Let's stay on right now. Let's stay in today and I have a little something that might -- I think might unite the far right of the party and the center right of the party. Take a listen to the former Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So this morning you told your members, "embrace the suck". That's a quote.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: First of all where -- before I get to the substance of the bill, where did you get that from?

PELOSI: Where did I get it? I think it really captured the moment, wouldn't you think?


BOLLING: Scottie, I would contend we've been embracing the suck for about five years now.

HUGHES: Well first of all I think its hilarious that Nancy Pelosi is using this very militaristic term to where there's nobody (inaudible) the Department of Defense -- have been for the Department of Defense cuts like Nancy Pelosi. And those words that I don't want to ever hear come out of Nancy Pelosi's mouth, those are probably a few of them.

BOLLING: Right. Last thought Brad.

BLAKEMAN: Look I agree Nancy Pelosi is certainly not the artful order. We remember her words about Obamacare. Let's pass the bill before we find out what's in it. It's not very good words.

BOLLING: See. See I knew we could find something that we all agree on.

HUGHES: Kind of like the budget.

BOLLING: We'll have to leave it there. Scottie and Brad thank you very much.

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