‚ÄúI know the direction is bad,‚ÄĚ Lew said about what would happen if the U.S. government defaulted on its debt. ‚ÄúThere is a range of how bad. It is irresponsible and it is reckless to take that chance.‚ÄĚ
‚ÄúDespite these stakes, the president is refusing to negotiate,‚ÄĚ Wallace countered, noting presidents have negotiated with Congress in the past over a variety of topics. ‚ÄúWhat‚Äôs unprecedented is not Congress tying strings; what‚Äôs unprecedented is a president refusing to negotiate.‚ÄĚ
‚ÄúFrankly, I think your history is wrong,‚ÄĚ Lew said.
‚ÄúWith all due respect, your history is wrong,‚ÄĚ Wallace responded. ‚ÄúThis has happened over and over again, and presidents have negotiated.‚ÄĚ
Watch the exchange here:
Wallace also pressed Lew on some of his latest comments, asking him if he and the president were intentionally trying to ‚Äúpanic the markets.‚ÄĚ
‚ÄúThis week both you and the president seemed to be trying to panic the markets about both raising the debt ceiling and the government shutdown, saying that they should be more concerned,‚ÄĚ Wallace said. ‚ÄúAren‚Äôt your efforts failing to try to use the markets to put pressure on Republicans to cave?‚ÄĚ
‚ÄúYou know, Chris, it‚Äôs my job to strengthen the economy,‚ÄĚ Lew replied. ‚ÄúAnd I spend every day trying to do that.‚ÄĚ
The ‚ÄúFox News Sunday‚ÄĚ host closed up the interview, repeatedly grilled Lew over how many individuals have enrolled in Obamacare during its first week.
‚ÄúHow many people have signed up, sir?‚ÄĚ Wallace asked. ‚ÄúHow many signed up?‚ÄĚ
‚ÄúI don‚Äôt have the exact number,‚ÄĚ Lew responded.
‚ÄúYou don‚Äôt have any number?‚ÄĚ Wallace asked, seemingly in shock, ‚ÄúBecause the government refuses to tell us how many.‚ÄĚ
‚ÄúThat‚Äôs the wrong question,‚ÄĚ Lew said.
‚ÄúNo, it isn‚Äôt,‚ÄĚ Wallace countered. ‚ÄúThe question is, how many people have actually signed up?‚ÄĚ
Lew never provided Wallace with a number during the segment.