Thomas P. O'Neill III And The Truth About Bipartisan Bonhomie

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On Thursday, round two of this season's presidential debates. But this time, the rhetorical contest will be between the second names on the tickets, as Vice President Joe Biden and Congressman Paul Ryan prepare to meet in Danville, Kentucky.

Now, you may think the media more than adequately chewed over last week's Romney/Obama debate. That may be true. But there were two little moments that haven't been highlighted, and maybe they should have. First, there was this from President Obama:

"Social security is structurally sounds. It's gonna have to be tweaked the way it was by Ronald Reagan and Democratic Speaker Tip O'Neill."

And then this, from Mitt Romney:

"If I come in and lay down a piece of legislation and say 'it's my way or the highway', I don't get a lot done. What I do, is the same way that Tip O'Neill and Ronald Reagan worked together some years ago..."

Some years ago? Our guest says those misty-eyed remembrances of the begrudging, but functional friendship between former House Speaker Tip O'Neill and President Ronald Reagan obscure some fundamental truths about how Washington today is nothing like that of old.


This segment aired on October 9, 2012.


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