Full transcript. Excerpt below:
GREGORY: Mister Secretary, welcome back to MEET THE PRESS. Thanks for having us at the
MR. TIMOTHY GEITHNER (Treasure Secretary): Good to see you.
GREGORY: You-- you’re the president’s lead negotiator to avert the fiscal cliff. You have been Capitol Hill. You presented the president’s offer. And it immediately was not received well. It was called by Republican leaders unserious. They’ve accused that president and you of wasting precious time here to avert the fiscal cliff. Was this the intended effect, the president’s first offer?
MR. GEITHNER: That's like the normal political theater of this place. You know, what we’re trying to do is to make it more likely, we come together on a good agreement for the American people. It extends tax cuts for the middle class, brings our long-term deficits down. Tough spending savings is-- is part of that, and-- and invest in things that matter to the American economy, like infrastructure, things to help get Americans back to work. And-- and we think we can do that. We have a good chance of do it now and it’s very important we do that. And I think we’re going to get there, David.
GREGORY: Do you think we’ll get a deal by the end of the year?
MR. GEITHNER: I do. I do because the only thing standing in the way of that would be a-- a-- a refusal by Republicans to accept that rates are going to go-- have to go up on the wealthiest Americans. And I-- I don’t really see them doing that.