Woodward: If Shutdown or Debt Ceiling Causes Economic Crisis, It’s on the ‘President’s Head’

'It's on the president's head, he's got to lead he's got to talk. And the absence of discussion here is a baffling element'


Bob Woodward of The Washington Post said if there is a “downturn or a collapse” resulting from the failure of CR or debt ceiling negotiations it will be on President Obama’s “head” Monday on Morning Joe.

Woodward noted he respected President Obama’s objection to negotiating on the debt ceiling, but criticized the administration for failing to initiate any dialogue that could result in a deal on funding the government.

“It’s on the president’s head, he’s got to lead, he’s got to talk” Woodward said:

BOB WOODWARD: Can I enter in here just for a moment because I think it’s a good question. And there is something the president could be doing. He said he will not negotiate on the debt ceiling. A reasonable position. “I will not be blackmailed” he said. But he should be talking. They should be meeting, discussing this, because as I think Steve Ratner showed earlier, the American economy is at stake and the president, if there is a downturn or a collapse or whatever could happen here that’s bad, it’s going to be on his head. The history books are going to say, we had an economic calamity in the Presidency of Barack Obama. Speaker Boehner, indeed, is playing a role on this. Go back to the Great Depression in the 1930s. I’ll bet no one can name who was the speaker of the House at the time. Henry Thomas Rainey. He’s not in the history book it’s on the president’s head. He’s got to lead. He’s got to talk. And the absence of discussion here, I think, is baffling element.