Kerry intimated that the "grand bargain" that President Obama initially negotiated with House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH), a package of larger spending cuts and revenue increases, was scuttled by a smaller group of Republicans who were unwilling to negotiate at any cost.
"There were some people in the Republican party - and Mitch McConnell even admitted this - who wanted to default," Kerry said. "He said there were people in his party who were willing to shoot the hostage. In the end they found that the hostage was worth ransoming."
Meanwhile, on ABC's "This Week," S&P managing director John Chambers deflected criticism over a $2 trillion accounting error in Friday's initial rating statement and left open the possibility for a future downgrade in as little as 2 years.
"If the fiscal position of the United States deteriorates further or if the political gridlock becomes more entrenched, then that could lead to a downgrade," said Chambers. "The outlook indicates at least a 1 in 3 chance of a downgrade over that period."
The next stage in the saga begins in as little as a week, as leaders of both parties have until August 16 to name their picks to the debt-limit compromise "super committee" which is tasked with cutting an additional $1.5 trillion dollars from the federal deficit.