In an exclusive interview released on Monday’s Morning Joe, President Barack Obama said he thinks there will be a “war” within the GOP after the election.
“The question’s going to be: How do Republicans react in Congress post-election?” the president said. “Because there’s going to be a war going on inside that party. It just hasn’t broken out. It’s been unified, in opposition to me.”
The president told hosts Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski he believes that bringing “our deficits and debt under control” will clear the way for Congress and the White House to work on the recovery in a bipartisan fashion.
“But the thing is, we got a whole bunch of deferred maintenance. Interest rates are low. Contractors are begging for work. Putting folks back to work right now as part of an overall package—this has also got long term deficit reduction—can jump-start the economy, at the same time that housing is starting to recover,” the president said.
But Scarborough pointed out that Congress could still be an obstacle to the president if Republicans held the House. “Boehner still is Speaker, and the House goes either Democratic or Republican by one. You’re still in the same situation in the next four years, you were in the last four years. So, what’s going to make the difference?” he asked.
Accomplishing a debt deal shortly in “the immediate aftermath of the lame duck” session following the election, thereby preventing sequester, will “clear away a lot of the ideological underbrush,” said Obama.
That “ideological underbrush” has created a lot of gridlock on typically non-partisan issues. “Since when did roads and bridges become Democratic issues? Those have been historically Democratic and Republican issues,” he said.
“A guy named Ike kind of liked infrastructure, didn’t he?” Joe Scarborough joked.
More from the exclusive interview: the president speaks about Benghazi and reducing the debt and deficit.