Director of the National Economic Council and Assistant to the President for Economic Policy Gene Sperling contradicted Rep. Paul Ryan's (R., Wis.) statement's that he doesn't believe the White House and Congress will come to a "grand bargin" deal on entitlement reform in an interview on MSNBC Thursday afternoon.
CHUCK TODD: There you go. The chief negotiator at this point for the House Republicans says no "grand bargain". What do you say?
GENE SPERLING: I'm not going to get into a semantic argument about what is a grand or great or big or medium bargain. Here's what's clear. The President of the United States has pointed to a path forward, a sensible path, of bipartisan compromise. He has, contrary to what Chairman Ryan said, shown that he is willing to deal with very difficult long-term entitlement issues, that he's willing to detach reform, that raises revenue to reduce the deficit, and that he's willing to do that in a context of a budget agreement that is about growth and jobs and competitiveness, and there is really no reason for anyone to be, I think, being pessimistic because that's just creating a problem that doesn't have to exist.