Countdown to State of the Union on MSNBC

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... >>> welcome back to ""the ed show."" failure is not for failure. democrats will get something done. well, tonight, president obama is having a healing tone. and toughest from the president as well and the conviction and house majority leader and we're waiting to hear what the president has to say. i think there's a lot of fight, though, i will tell you. in the democratic ranks, fight to get something done for the american people. and, quite frankly, we not only will unite democrats, we'll help get republicans to recognize that the spiralling cost of health care for families in individuals and small businesses is something that we've got to make sure that every american and today is a night when we will hear what he has to say and working the balance of the week. >> i want to play a sound bite from the dylan ratigan show. i made a comment that the obstructionist through this whole process. mike pence said something about it >> you know, ""e ed show"" is popular. it's not my cup of tea but he said the president ought to consider shutting republicans out. they have shut them out for the last year. >> i didn't say shut them out. i said move on. >> have the democrats and the house, you're the majority leader, have you shut out republicans in this health care debate? they are trying to play it like the wounded soldier here, like poor me and everything else. what about that? >> well, i think, very frankly, they were invited to the table and they refused to come to the table. that's been the course over the last year. >> did you shut them out? >> no, we didn't shut them out. they have chosen not to play. they have chosen not to participate. i sat down with a number of their leaders and said, okay, what do you want? as you recall, one of their members said that there was an 80% agreement. i invited them into my office. i said, where is the 80%? at that point in time we didn't get very specific, unfortunately. and since that time we haven't really had substantive proposals and didn't have a substantive proposal that was on the floor of the republicans. so i think it's unfortunate how it hasn't worked together but it's not because we haven't been unwilling to do so. >> how aggressive do you want the president to be tonight? how aggressive should he be in. >> i think he needs to connect with the american people. not just the base of our party but independence and republicans who understand that we have to address these problems. what the congress is, it's a represented body and what they are hearing from the country is they are not sure of exactly where they want to go. i think that clearly there's a lot of discomfort in the country about where we are in the country, a deep recession, the great depression as it's called that we're falling into and we want to be sure that we're going in the right direction. i think the president needs to give him that confidence. i think they can give him that confidence and, yes, we need to understand that we are fighting for this objective but the way we're going to win this objective is to convince our fellow citizens that it's the right place to go. >> steny hoyer, thanks for your time tonight. >> you bet, ed. thank you. >>> let's bring in bill press, john, republican strategist. gentlemen, let's pose it from this direction. should the president tonight acknowledge to the country that he believes that the republicans have been obstructionists? bill, you and i were in front of a heck of a crowd on saturday night in minneapolis. 1500 people. they are not angry. they are eager. they want this president to go. should he call them out for their obstructionist tactics for ...