Nicolle Wallace played the quintessential DC insider on today's Morning Joe, proclaiming herself a "groupie" of both conservative Senator Tom Coburn and liberal partisan David Axelrod, while also saying she was "inspired" by Paul Ryan's leadership in forging a budget compromise deal.
But the Sooner senator wasn't letting the inside-the-Beltway bonhomie blunt his criticism, saying the budget deal "sells out" what needs to be done, and gives up "core values." View the video after the jump.
I'll be back with the transcript.
Note: Axelrod arguably had the best line. When Wallace said he was smiling because of the internal GOP rift over the budget, Axelrod said he was in fact smiling "because a guy Tom Coburn's age and my age can still have groupies."
NICOLLE WALLACE: I'd guess that if the camera were on David Axelord he's be smiling and maybe breathing a sigh of relief right now. You and Paul Ryan are so sharply divided on this budget --
TOM COBURN: No, no, no. Paul was given a task, he was told to go do it.
WALLACE: He led. You just called for more leaders. Paul Ryan has led.
COBURN: He has led to make a compromise that sells out what actually needs to be done.
WALLACE: You just called Paul Ryan a sellout. I feel if you and Paul can agree.
COBURN: No, no, I didn't say that. I said he was told to lead a compromise. A compromise is going to give up your principle. He said last night on the TV he doesn't think people have to give up core values: we gave up core values! We called non-tax increases tax increases.
WALLACE: Is there any point, Senator, where you could accept -- I'm a 100% Coburn groupie, and I'm so sad to hear you so disheartened by this deal. Because I was so inspired by Paul Ryan's leadership on this. Again, anything that makes David Axelrod smile makes me cry. And I feel it will make him smile to hear you so negative about this deal . . . You're smiling, David.
DAVID AXELROD: I'm smiling, I'm smiling because I'm happy that a guy Tom Coburn's age and my age can still have groupies.
WALLACE: I'm both of your groupie.