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Notes from the July 10, 2011 broadcast of Meet The Press

July 10, 2011

Unfortunately, I only have time for a few quick observations today. Today’s broadcast opened with Secretary of the Treasury Tim Geithner discussing the Debt Ceiling showdown, particularly the walkout of Speaker of the House John Boehner from the most ambitious talks.

Geithner said President Obama is willing to make cuts in places his political base won’t like. And he hopes the Republicans will also be willing to do politically difficult things, but so far they haven’t.

The secretary made it clear that on August 2, if Congress doesn’t act, credit agencies around the world will lower our credit rating for the first time in history. This will hurt all Americans and all American businesses.

When asked about the economic recovery, Geithner says things are still going to be very tough for a long time.

Next up, Republican presidential candidate Tim Pawlenty, former governor of Minnesota. “The president is to blame for the economy,” said Pawlenty.

Pawlenty defended his, thus far, lackluster campaign. In the Iowa August Straw Poll, he says his campaign must improve on the current 6th or 7th place he has in the Des Moines Register poll.

In an interesting twist, later commented on by NBC’s Chuck Todd, Pawlenty said his presidential rival Rep. Michelle Bachmann’s record in Congress is non-existent. Pawlenty now seems to be running against Bachmann more than against the front-runner, former Governor Mitt Romney (R-MA).

Host David Gregory pushed Pawlenty hard on the issue of fanaticism and purity in the GOP keeping the country from a budget/debt ceiling deal. Pawlenty did not back down, even under threat of a credit rating downgrade or default.

In the roundtable, Chuck Todd said part of the reason Boehner walked out of the grand bargain talks is that no Republican presidential candidate was cutting him any slack on exactly those “purity” issues, especially even small tax increases.

Todd and Eugene Robinson agreed that the Obama White House now sees offering up the “big deal” on debt ceiling, and having Republicans squirm, is a political winner for them.

The show ended with a nice tribute to the late former first lady, Betty Ford.

Today’s Meet The Press transcript will be here.

Also follow the show on the MTP Facebook page, track Twitter feeds from host David Gregory, Meet The Press, and Executive Producer Betsy Fischer, watch the midweek PressPass interview, and don’t forget Gregory’s blog.

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