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CNBC EXCLUSIVE: CNBC TRANSCRIPT: CNBC'S BECKY QUICK INTERVIEWS SENATOR JUDD GREGG (R-NH) TODAY ON "SQUAWK BOX"

WHEN: Friday, February 13th @ 7:15 AM ET

WHERE: CNBC's "Squawk Box"

Following is the unofficial transcript of a CNBC EXCLUSIVE interview with Senator Judd Gregg (R-NH,) ranking member of the Senate Budget Committee, today on CNBC's "Squawk Box"

CNBC's "Squawk Box" airs M-F, 6-9AM ET

All references must be sourced to CNBC.

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CNBC's Becky Quick: SENATOR, IT IS GREAT TO SEE YOU THIS MORNING. YOU ARE DEFINITELY THE MAN OF THE MORNING. TONGUES ARE WAGGING FROM WASHINGTON TO WALL STREET.

Sen. Gregg: I THOUGHT WE WERE GOING TO TALK ABOUT THE RED SOX THIS MORNING. I HAVE STRONG PHILOSOPHICAL VIEWS, AND THEY'RE PRETTY FISCALLY CONSERVATIVE. I JUST REALIZED THAT FOR ME TO GO INTO THE CABINET AND BE THE TYPE OF TEAM PLAYER YOU HAVE TO BE AND SUPPORT THE PRESIDENT THE WAY YOU NEED TO 100% OF THE TIME, IT WOULD HAVE BEEN VERY DIFFICULT WITH SOME OF THE ISSUES COMING DOWN THE PIKE, AND I DIDN'T FEEL COMFORTABLE ABOUT PUTTING HIM IN THAT POSITION. ESPECIALLY ABOUT PUTTING MYSELF IN THAT POSITION. IT WAS REALLY MY MISTAKE, NOT HIS. HE WAS VERY KIND TO ASK ME. IT WAS A GREAT HONOR TO BE ASKED. I VERY MUCH APPRECIATE IT. HE IS GOING TO BE A VERY STRONG PRESIDENT IN MY OPINION, BUT I JUST FELT VERY UNCOMFORTABLE IF I WENT FORWARD WITH THIS, AND I THOUGHT IT WAS BETTER NOT TO GO FORWARD THAN TO GET DOWN THE ROAD AND FIND THAT WE HAD AN ISSUE OR I HAD AN ISSUE. YOU KNOW, IF YOU ARE GOING TO BE ON A TEAM, YOU GOT TO PULL OUT AND BLOCK A FOOTBALL. YOU HAVE TO PULL OUT AND BLOCK ON EVERY PLAY AND NOT EVERY OTHER PLAY. I DIDN'T FEEL COMFORTABLE GOING FORWARD BECAUSE OF MY INDIVIDUALITY, FOR LACK OF A BETTER TERM. AND AS A RESULT I THOUGHT IS SHOULD STEP ASIDE. I DO WANT TO SAY THAT I GREATLY APPRECIATE HIS CONSIDERING ME, AND HE HAS BEEN EXTRAORDINARILY GRACIOUS THROUGH THIS PERIOD, AND AS REFLECTED, HIS STRENGTH OF LEADERSHIP IN MY OPINION AGAIN.

Quick: IT MAKES IT ALMOST SOUND AS IF YOU THOUGHT YOU WERE MORE IN LINE WITH HIS THINKING UNTIL YOU GOT TO KNOW HIM A LITTLE BETTER THROUGH THE WEEK.

Sen. Gregg: THAT'S NOT REALLY TRUE. I DO HAVE A LOT OF IDENTITY WITH SOME OF THE THINGS HE WANTS TO DO. ESPECIALLY IN THE FISCAL AREA. I FEEL VERY STRONGLY THAT HE IS ON THE RIGHT TRACK RELATIVE TO THE ATTEMPTS TO STABILIZE THE FINANCIAL SYSTEM. I DO BELIEVE THAT THE GEITHNER PROPOSAL AS IT GETS FLUSHED OUT IS GOING TO BE AN EXTREMELY STRONG INITIATIVE AND THAT THE FED IS ON THE RIGHT TRACK THERE ALSO. I WAS SUPPORTIVE, OF COURSE, OF THE FIRST TARP DOLLARS, AND I THINK IT'S VERY COURAGEOUS OF HIM TO STEP UP AND SAY IS HE GOING IT TAKE ON THE ENTITLEMENT ISSUE. THERE ARE ISSUES THAT I AM GOING TO WORK WITH HIM ON AND INTEND TO WORK WITH HIM ON, AND I THINK I CAN BE MORE EFFECTIVE FOR HIM IN THE SENATE THAN MAYBE ON HIS CABINET ON THOSE ISSUES, BUT THERE WILL BE OTHER ONES THAT WOULDN'T BE THE CASE, AND YOU HAVE TO HAVE A PERSON THAT'S 100 PERCENT ON YOUR TEAM WHEN YOU ARE IN THE CABINET.

Quick: WHAT ARE YOUR ISSUES WHERE YOU DON'T SEE EYE TO EYE WITH HIM, OR THINGS THAT CONCERN YOU THE MOST?

Sen. Gregg: WELL, I IMAGINE THERE ARE GOING TO BE PHILOSOPHICAL AND PROBABLY -- I'M JUST GOING TO BE A LITTLE TOO CONSERVATIVE.

Quick: IN TERMS OF FISCAL SPENDING?

Sen. Gregg: MOSTLY.

CNBC's Carl Quintanilla: I WAS GOING TO SAY, YOU SPELL OUT A NUMBER OF VERY SPECIFIC ITEMS, SENATOR, THAT YOU AGREE WITH HIM ON, BUT CAN YOU DRILL DOWN A LITTLE BIT ON WHERE YOU JUST DID NOT SEE EYE TO EYE?

Sen. Gregg: I DON'T THINK THERE'S MUCH USE IN THAT, TO BE HONEST WITH YOU.I'M NOT HERE TO CHALLENGE HIM. I'M JUST HERE TO BASICALLY SAY I MADE A MISTAKE. YOU KNOW? I WISH I THOUGHT ABOUT IT EARLIER, AND I SHOULD HAVE WITH ALL MY EXPERIENCE AND BEEN ABLE TO FOCUS THIS ISSUE EARLIER IN MY OWN MIND, AND USUALLY I ADDRESS ISSUES IN A VERY DEFINITIVE AND QUICK WAY, BUT IN THIS CASE I DIDN'T, AND IT WAS MY PROBLEM, NOT HIS.

CNBC's Joe Kernen: A LOT OF PEOPLE, YOU KNOW, TAKE A NEW JOB OR SECOND THOUGHTS OR WHATEVER IT IS, AND YOU START GETTING CLOSER, AND YOU WONDER WHAT DID I DO? THE STIMULUS PACKAGE, JUST TO DRILL DOWN A LITTLE BIT, SENATOR, WE KNEW IT WAS GOING TO BE BIG. YOU KNEW WHEN YOU WERE THINKING ABOUT DOING THIS, THE DECISION TO DO IT, YOU KNEW IT WAS GOING TO BE BIG. THERE'S BEEN A LOT OF PEOPLE EXPRESSING SOME CHAGRIN OR DISAPPOINTMENT THAT THE PRESIDENT DIDN'T PUSH BACK ON CERTAIN ELEMENTS OF HIS PARTY, PELOSI, REID, AND THAT THE STIMULUS PACKAGE TURNED OUT LIKE THIS. AS YOU SAW THE ACTUAL INNARDS OF THE STIMULUS PACKAGE, DOES THAT CHANGE YOU? YOU HAD TO BE GOING ALONG WITH IT INITIALLY?

Sen. Gregg: I DON'T WANT TO SAY WHAT I WAS DOING INITIALLY, BUT AS A VERY PRACTICAL MATTER, I THINK THERE WAS A TACTICAL ERROR MADE IN MY OPINION IN THAT YOU ALLOWED THE APPROPRIATORS TO WRITE THE PACKAGE WHICH MEANT IT BECAME UNFOCUSED RATHER QUICKLY BECAUSE EVERY APPROPRIATOR HAS HIS OR HER OWN OPINION OF WHAT'S BEST. USUALLY IT'S IDENTIFIED WITH THE ACCOUNTS THEY'RE RESPONSIBLE FOR. YOU DON'T GET A COORDINATED AND FOCUSED EFFORT. IT'S GOTTEN BETTER AS IT'S GONE FORWARD, BUT IT'S STILL A NUMBER THAT IS SORT OF DISJOINTED AS TO ITS EXERCISE. WE SHOULD BE FOCUSING IN MY OPINION PRIMARILY ON REAL ESTATE. TRYING TO SAVE LIVES IN REAL ESTATE MARKETS. THAT SHOULD BE OUR FIRST INITIATIVE HERE AND PROMOTING SMALL BUSINESS AND GETTING JOBS.

Quick: SENATOR, YOU'VE ALWAYS BEEN SEEN AS SOMEBODY WHO CAN TALK TO BOTH SIDES OF THE AISLE. YOU HAVE OBVIOUSLY HAD MANY CONVERSATIONS WITH THE OBAMA ADMINISTRATION AND WITH THE PRESIDENT HIMSELF. DO YOU GET THE SENSE THAT PELOSI AND REID, THE TWO LEADERS IN CONGRESS, SEE EYE TO EYE WITH HIM, OR IS THERE A SENSE THAT THEY'RE PUSHING HIM FURTHER LEFT THAN HE WOULD NATURALLY LIKE TO GO?

Sen. Gregg: WELL, THAT'S PUNDITRY WHICH I'M NOT A SPECIALIST AT IT, BUT I WILL SAY THIS. SENATOR REID HAS BEEN INCREDIBLY GRACIOUS TO ME THROUGH THIS WHOLE PERIOD. HE HAS BEEN EXTREMELY PROFESSIONAL. OBVIOUSLY I DON'T WORK THAT CLOSELY WITH THE SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE. I HAVE HAD SOME DEALINGS WITH HER. IN FACT, THE TARP PROPOSAL PROBABLY WOULDN'T HAVE COME TOGETHER WHETHER SHE STEPPED IN AT 12:00 AT NIGHT AND TOLD EVERYBODY TO GET SERIOUS AND GET IT DONE. HOW THEY'RE PUSHING HIM, I DON'T KNOW. I'M NOT IN THOSE INNER COUNSELS. WE'LL HAVE TO WAIT AND SEE.

Kernen: I GUESS IT DOESN'T MATTER WHO ASKED WHO FIRST, BUT, YOU KNOW, THERE ARE CONFLICTING STORIES, SENATOR. ONE IS THAT YOU WENT TO HARRY REID AND SAID I WANT THIS JOB, AND OTHERS ARE THAT HE WENT TO YOU AND SAID WE WOULD LOVE TO HAVE YOU. I WOULD LIKE YOU TO -- IF YOU COULD COMMENT ON THAT. THE OTHER IS , YOU SAY THAT A COUPLE OF DAYS AGO YOU MADE IT CLEAR YOU WEREN'T GOING TO GO FORWARD WITH THIS, AND THE WHITE HOUSE SAID THEY JUST HEARD ABOUT IT YESTERDAY AND WAS SHOCKED TO HEAR ABOUT IT.

Sen. Gregg: I THINK THERE'S BEEN CONFLICTING STORIES FROM WITHIN THE CONFLICTING STORIES.YOU KNOW, EVERYBODY HAS THEIR OWN PERCEPTION OF WHAT HAPPENED. MY OWN PERCEPTION WAS THAT THERE WAS AN INTERMEDIARY WHO CAME TO ME AND SAID WOULD YOU BE INTERESTED IN DOING THIS AND I SAID I WOULD LISTEN. I THINK PROBABLY SOMEBODY WENT TO THE PRESIDENT AND ARE YOU INTERESTED IN DOING THIS, AND HE SAID HE WOULD LISTEN. I DON'T THINK ANYBODY WAS CAMPAIGNING FOR THIS. I KNOW I WASN'T. IN THE WEEK THAT IT WAS IN PLAY, I ONLY CALLED THE WHITE HOUSE TWICE TO ASK FOR STATUS, BUT -- AND I HAD NO ONE CALL THE WHITE HOUSE ON MY BEHALF. AS A VERY PRACTICAL MATTER, I THINK THAT TO THE EXTENT THAT THERE WAS A MISUNDERSTANDING, OR THERE IS IN THE PRESS, I DON'T BELIEVE EITHER SIDE WAS AGGRESSIVELY GOING FORWARD TRYING TO SEEK THIS. I THINK WE BOTH THOUGHT IT MADE SENSE AT THE TIME, AND REALLY I'M THE ONE THAT HOLDS RESPONSIBILITY HERE FOR HAVING MADE THE MISTAKE IN NOT SEEING AND BEEN MORE FOCUSED ON THE FACT THAT THE 30 YEARS I HAVE BEEN MY OWN PERSON AND IN CHARGE OF MY OWN PHILOSOPHY AND WHAT I WAS DOING, AND I WASN'T GOING TO WORK UNDER THIS SCENARIO.

Quintanilla: WELL, SENATOR, SINCE YOU WERE NOMINATED, IT'S BECOME QUITE CLEAR THAT THE MARGIN THAT THE PRESIDENT IS GOING TO RELY ON IN THE SENATE HAS COME DOWN TO REALLY THREE SENATORS.

Sen. Gregg: I THINK IT'S ALWAYS BEEN THAT MARGIN.

Quintanilla: WELL, IT'S GOING TO CONTINUE AT THE VERY LEAST. WAS THERE ANY PRESSURE FROM ANY PART OF THE REPUBLICAN LEADERSHIP TO COME BACK AND HELP THEM MAINTAIN A LITTLE MORE PARITY IN THE SENATE?

Sen. Gregg: A LOT OF MY COLLEAGUES WERE KIND WHEN I TOOK THIS JOB AND SAID THEY WOULD RATHER HAVE ME IN THE SENATE THAN IN THE CABINET BECAUSE THEY THOUGHT I WAS CONSTRUCTIVE IN THE SENATE. SO IF THAT'S PRESSURE, YES. THERE WAS NOBODY SAYING YOU NEED TO BE BACK HERE TO DO THIS OR THAT RELATIVE TO THIS ISSUE, SPECIFICALLY THE STIMULUS. NONE OF THAT OCCURRED. ON THE ISSUE OF THE NUMBERS, THEY WOULDN'T HAVE CHANGED IN ANY EVENT.

Kernen: THE CENSUS IS A LIGHTNING ROD A LOT OF PEOPLE WOULD LIKE TO PROBABLY ASSIGN A LOT MORE TO WHAT HAPPENED THAN MAYBE IT'S TRUE, BUT YOU SAY IT WAS A SMALL CONSIDERATION WHEN IT ALL CAME DOWN TO IT, BUT THEN AGAIN --

Sen. Gregg: THE WAY THIS DEVELOPED WAS THESE EVENTS WERE ISSUES THAT BASICALLY WORKED TO HAVE THE EFFECT OF CRYSTALLIZING MY VIEW. THEY FOCUSED MY VIEW. THEY WEREN'T THE ISSUES -- THEY WEREN'T DECISIVE IN ANY WAY, SHAPE, OR FORM. THEY WERE JUST FOCUSING EVENTS THAT MADE IT CLEAR TO ME THAT WHEN I -- IF I MOVED INTO THE CABINET, I WAS GOING TO NEED TOBE THERE 100% OF THE TIME, 110% OF THE TIME FOR THE PRESIDENT BECAUSE THAT'S THE JOB OF THE CABINET SECRETARY, AND IT WAS GOING TO BE DIFFICULT FOR ME TO DO THAT CONSIDERING THE FACT THAT THE 30 YEARS I JUST BASICALLY HAD DONE WHAT I THOUGHT WAS THE RIGHT POLICY RELATIVE TO MY PHILOSOPHY.

Kernen: WAS IT CLEAR TO YOU THAT THE WHITE HOUSE WAS GOING TRY TO HIJACK TO SOME EXTENT WHAT WOULD NORMALLY BE THE COMMERCE DEPARTMENT'S ROLE IN THE CENSUS AND HAVE, PERHAPS, MR.EMMANUEL, A LOT MORE INVOLVED IN MAKING THIS A LOT MORE PARTISAN THAN IT'S BEEN IN THE PAST?

Sen. Gregg: THAT'S A GOOD QUESTION. WE'LL HAVE TO SEE WHAT HAPPENS. THE WAY IT WAS EXPLAINED TO ME WAS THAT IT WAS -- THE CENSUS WOULD STILL REPORT TO THE COMMERCE SECRETARY, BUT THE WHITE HOUSE WANTED TO HAVE A MAJOR INTEREST IN THE CENSUS PROCESS ALSO.

Quick: AND YOU DIDN'T FEEL COMFORTABLE WITH THAT?

Sen. Gregg: I ACTUALLY HADN'T CONCLUDED AS TO HOW THAT WAS GOING TO PLAY OUT, TO BE HONEST WITH YOU. I THOUGHT THAT WHEN I GOT THERE, I COULD PROBABLY STRAIGHTEN THAT OUT IF IT WAS A PROBLEM. I WAS A LITTLE SURPRISED, IN FACT, DISAPPOINTED, THAT SOME OF THE GROUPS BASICALLY PREJUDGED MY ABILITY TO MANAGE THE DEPARTMENT BEFORE I EVEN GOT THERE AND PREJUDGED WHAT MY MANAGEMENT STYLE WOULD BE. THE PERSON THAT THE WHITE HOUSE HAS PROPOSED TO MANAGE THE CENSUS KEN PRUITT DID IT IN 2000 WHEN I WAS CHAIRMAN OF THE APPROPRIATIONS COMMITTEE THAT HAD OVERSIGHT OVER THE COMMERCE DEPARTMENT, AND I THOUGHT HE DID AN EXCELLENT JOB. I THINK THE PEOPLE IN PLACE WILL DO A GOOD CENSUS, AND WE'LL HAVE TO WAIT AND SEE.

Quintanilla: THE MARKETS, AS YOU KNOW, HAVE BEEN REELING THIS WEEK FROM HAVING BEEN SET UP TO EXPECT GREAT THINGS FROM GEITHNER'S SPEECH EARLIER IN THE WEEK, AND THEN DISAPPOINTED BECAUSE OF A LACK OF SPECIFICITY, LACK OF CONCRETE EXAMPLES OF HOW THIS BANK RESCUE PLAN WILL WORK. AS A VIEWER FROM THE INSIDE, AT LEAST SOMEONE ON THE WAY TO GOING TO THE INSIDE, WERE YOU SURPRISED AT HOW LITTLE WAS THERE AND WHAT'S YOUR GENERAL SENSE ABOUT WHAT GEITHNER PROPOSED?

Sen. Gregg: I THOUGHT, FIRSTLY I THINK IT'S BEEN MISJUDGED. I THINK THE OUTLINE OF WHAT THEY PROPOSED IS PRETTY DRAMATIC. YOU ARE TALKING OVER $1 TRILLION USING TALP TO BASICALLY CLEAR OFF THE BOOKS IN THE CASE OF CONSUMER CREDIT AND COMMERCIAL-BACKED REAL ESTATE LOANS.THAT'S BIG. YOU ARE TALKING VERY STRONG INITIATIVES IN THE AREA OF FORECLOSURE ABATEMENT, AND YOU ARE TALKING A SIGNIFICANT COMMITMENT TO CAPITAL INTO THE BANKS COMING IN TO EITHER DIRECT INFUSION OR THROUGH BUYING BAD DEBT OFF THEIR BOOKS. NOW, YES, THE SPECIFICS WEREN'T UNDER THAT, BUT THE BROAD PERIMETERS OF WHAT THE NUMBERS WERE GOING TO BE WERE THERE, AND I THINK AS THE SPECIFICS COME FORWARD, YOU'RE GOING TO SEE THIS BEING A VERY AGGRESSIVE AND ROBUST PLAN THAT WILL HAVE A MAJOR IMPACT ON THE CAPACITY OF THE FINANCIAL SYSTEM TO START FUNCTIONING IN A MORE AGGRESSIVE WAY IN THE AREA OF LENDING AND IN THE AREA OF JUST BASICALLY MAKING PEOPLE COMFORTABLE WITH THE ECONOMY, SO I TEND TO THINK THAT IT'S GOTTEN HYPERBOLIZED IN THE NEGATIVE BEYOND WHAT IT SHOULD HAVE BEEN. I HONESTLY THINK THIS PLAN AS IT STARTS TO GET SPECIFICS BEHIND IT, HAS GREAT POTENTIAL TO BE A VERY POSITIVE FORCE.

Quintanilla: CAN YOU GIVE US ANY SENSE AS TO WHEN THOSE SPECIFICS MIGHT BE FORTHCOMING?

Sen. Gregg: NO, BECAUSE I'M NOT INVOLVED IN THE INNER COUNSELS, BUT ONE OF THE SPECIFICS WHICH I FOUND TO BE REALLY PRETTY IMPRESSIVE AND WHICH I DON'T THINK HAS BEEN FOCUSED ON ALL THAT MUCH IS HOW THEY'RE GOING TO USE TALP. THEY'RE TALKING IT WAS GOING TO BE A $200 BILLION PLAN. THEY'RE TALKING GOING WELL OVER $1 TRILLION. THAT'S SERIOUS MONEY WHEN YOU START TO BUY $1 TRILLION OF CREDIT CARD DEBT AND YOU START BUYING $1 TRILLION OF COMMERCIAL PAPER DEBT. THAT'S BIG-TIME STUFF.

"Squawk Box: guest host Stu Schweiter: I COMPLETELY AGREE WITH YOU ON TALP. IT'S THE MOST IMPORTANT COMPONENT OF WHAT WE KNOW ABOUT ON THIS PROGRAM, BUT I WANT TO GET TO ANOTHER ISSUE. THEY'LL BE SUPPORTING THE ASSET-BACKED SECURITY MARKETS THAT HAVE JUST DRIED UP. I WANT TO GET TO ANOTHER ISSUE, WHICH IS ONE OF THE QUESTIONS THAT PEOPLE IN THE MARKETS HAVE, IS WHETHER THERE'S ENOUGH MONEY LEFT IN THE TARP PROGRAM TO PROVIDE THE CAPITAL THAT'S NEEDED TO RECAPITALIZE THE BANKING SYSTEM.

Sen. Gregg: THERE ISN'T.

Schweiter: AND YOU SAY THERE ISN'T, AND I THINK THAT'S THE CONSENSUS VIEW, AND DO YOU THINK THERE'S GOING TO BE ENOUGH SUPPORT IN WASHINGTON TO PROVIDE THE ADDITIONAL FUNDS GOING FORWARD?

Sen. Gregg: THERE HAS TO BE. I MEAN, THAT'S NOT AN OPTION FOR US. I MEAN, WE -- PEOPLE LIKE MYSELF AND KEN CONRAD, THE CHAIRMAN OF THE BUDGET COMMITTEE HAVE MADE IT VERY CLEAR THAT THIS ADMINISTRATION WILL NEED MORE RESOURCES, AND WE'RE GOING TO WORK TO GET THEM.

Schweiter: WILL THERE BE BIPARTISANSHIP ON THAT FRONT?

Sen. Gregg: HE IS A DEMOCRAT AND I'M A REPUBLICAN, SO THERE ALREADY IS.

Quick: YOU SAY YOU DON'T WANT TO GET INTO THE PUNDITRY, BUT PEOPLE ARE GOING TO READ ALL KINDS OF THINGS INTO THIS. THEY'RE GOING TO BE SPINNING THIS 17 WAYS TO SUNDAY.

Sen. Gregg: I DON'T GET PAID ENOUGH TO GET INTO PUNDITRY.

Quick: PEOPLE ASSUME THAT --

Sen. Gregg: I DON'T GET PAID LIKE LARRY KUDLOW.

Quick: PEOPLE WILL THINK THERE'S NO WAY THAT BIPARTISANSHIP CAN WORK. ARE YOU SAYING THAT, YES, WE WILL CONTINUE TO WORK ON BOTH SIDES OF THE AISLE?

Sen. Gregg: OF COURSE.OF COURSE. YOU KNOW, LISTEN, THIS WAS ABOUT ME.THIS WASN'T ABOUT BIPARTISANSHIP. THIS IS ABOUT MY OWN PERSONAL INABILITY AS A PERSON WHO HAS BEEN MYSELF TO SAY THAT I COULD BE THERE ALL THE TIME WHEN THE PRESIDENT NEEDS ME. I DIDN'T THINK IT WAS APPROPRIATE. BUT THERE ARE A LOT OF ISSUES. WE JUST TALKED ABOUT ONE.THE ISSUE OF HOW YOU DEAL WITH FURTHER CAPITALIZATION OF THE BANKS WHERE YOU WILL NEED BIPARTISANSHIP, AND I WILL BE AGGRESSIVE IF I AGREE WITH THE PRESIDENT.

Kernen: THAT'S WHAT I WAS SAYING YOU SAID YOU GOT A BLOCK ON EVERY PLAY, AND I WAS THINKING OF SOME OF THE THINGS COMING DOWN THE PIKE, LIKE CARD CHECK [?]. YOU COULD NOT THROW A BLOCK FOR THAT, COULD YOU? I DON'T KNOW. YEAH, I DON'T KNOW WHAT YOUR STANCE IS.

Sen. Gregg: NO, I COULD NOT THROW A BLOCK FOR CARD CHECK UNLESS WAS TRYING TO BLOCK IT OUT OF THE BOUNCE

Kernen: YOU THINK THAT'S GOING TO BE -- DO YOU KNOW HOW THE PRESIDENT IS GOING TO COME DOWN ON THAT? HE WAS THE CO-SPONSOR OF THE BILL, BUT WE HAVEN'T HEARD RECENTLY WHETHER THAT'S GOING TO BE A PRIORITY OR NOT.

Sen. Gregg: I DON'T, AND I THINK THERE ARE SO MANY REALLY SERIOUS BIG ISSUES ON THE TABLE RIGHT NOW THAT HE PROBABLY HASN'T FOCUSED ON THAT ONE, PROBABLY.

Kernen: I DON'T THINK YOU MAKE ONE DOWN OUT OF FOUR. YOU WOULD BE ONE DOWN OUT OF EIGHT DOWNS. YOU MAYBE --

Sen. Gregg: THAT'S PUNDITRY. I CAN'T DO THAT.

Kernen: YOU MIGHT BLOCK ONCE A QUARTER. LET ME ASK YOU THIS -- ONE MORE TRY AT THIS. WAS YOUR IMPRESSION OF THE PRESIDENT THAT HE WAS MORE MIDDLE OF THE ROAD THREE WEEKS AGO THAN IT IS NOW?

Sen. Gregg: NO. I THINK HE IS STILL VERY MUCH COMMITTED TO TRYING TO REACH ACROSS THE AISLE. I THINK THE WAY HE HANDLED THIS REFLECTS THAT. I THOUGHT IT WAS EXTRAORDINARILY GRACIOUS OF HIM IN THE MANNER IN WHICH HE HAS HANDLED MY MISSTEP HERE. I THINK THAT HE HAS SHOWN THAT HE IS A GUY WHO WANTS TO -- HE RECOGNIZES HE NEEDS BIPARISANSHIP, AND WHEN HE CAN GET IT, HE IS GOING TO WORK HARD TO TAKE ADVANTAGE OF IT.

Quick: DID YOU HAVE A CONVERSATION WITH THE PRESIDENT YESTERDAY?

Sen. Gregg: YESTERDAY? NO. DAY BEFORE.

Quick: DAY BEFORE. WHAT DID HE SAY IN THAT CONVERSATION?

Sen. Gregg: WELL, I'M NOT -- I HAVE NEVER REPEATED A CONVERSATION I'VE HAD WITH THE PRESIDENT.

Quick: HE WAS GRACIOUS?

Sen. Gregg: EXTREMELY.

Quintanilla: THERE ARE SOME WHO ARGUE, SENATOR, THAT IF YOU REALLY WANTED TO EFFECT CHANGE THAT YOU BELIEVED IN THE BEST WAY TO DO IT IS FROM THE INSIDE?

Sen. Gregg: YOU KNOW, I MEAN, THAT'S A LEGITIMATE POINT. I MEAN, I CAN -- THAT'S OBVIOUSLY WHY AT FIRST BLUSH AND IN THE EUPHORIA OF THE MOMENT I SAID, GEE, I WOULD REALLY LIKE TO TRY TO DO IT. AS JOE SAID, YOU KNOW, YOU WAKE UP AND YOU START THINKING AND YOU GUT STARTS TELLING YOU ISN'T GOING TO WORK, AND SUDDENLY YOU REALIZE IT PROBABLY ISN'T BECAUSE TOO MANY YEARS I HAVE BEEN MYSELF.

Kernen: HOW LONG HAS IT BEEN CLEAR TO YOU THAT THIS WOULDN'T -- TWO WEEKS? SOME PEOPLE SAID THEY THOUGHT YOU WERE PREPARING FOR THE JOB, BUT YOU WERE HUDDLED WITH MAYBE YOUR FAMILY TRYING TO DECIDE WHAT TO DO. A COUPLE OF WEEKS?

Sen. Gregg: I WAS ONLY ASKED TO DO IT A COUPLE OF WEEKS AGO.

Kernen: COULD HAVE BEEN 13 DAYS, RIGHT?

Sen. Gregg: YEAH.

Kernen: ARE YOU GOING TO VOTE AGAINST THE STIMULUS, SENATOR?

Sen. Gregg: I PRESUME I WILL BE YES. I HAVEN'T MADE A FINAL STATEMENT ON THAT, BUT THAT'S PHILOSOPHICALLY WHERE I PROBABLY AM.

Quick: WHAT WOULD IT TAKE TO CONVINCE YOU THAT THIS IS THE RIGHT THING. A MAJOR REWORK OR --

Sen. Gregg: THEY DON'T NEED TO REWORK IT NOW. THEY GOT THEIR VOTES.

Quick: THANK YOU FOR JOINING US.

Sen. Gregg: ALWAYS A PLEASURE.

Quick: YOU'RE WELCOME BACK HERE ANY TIME. GREAT TALKING TO YOU.



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