Former Defense Secretary Leon Panetta on Monday blamed the current fiscal crisis on both the White House and Republican leaders, lamenting the lack of trust between the two parties.
Panetta said that President should not walk away from negotiations.
“You can’t, just because you’ve engaged in some set of negotiations and they haven’t gone anywhere, for one reason or another there’s been a breakdown, [that] is no reason to walk away from the table,” Panetta said at a Wall Street Journal breakfast. “In this town, you’ve got to stay with it and stay at it.”
Panetta said that everyone is to blame, and that the two sides needed to operate with a sense of trust.
“When you are operating by crisis, I think there’s enough blame to go around,” he said. “Everybody has to engage, and engage – as I said – on the basis of trust. This town has gotten a lot meaner in the last few years.”
Panetta also placed blame on certain factors that have contributed to polarization in Congress like redistricting, constant fundraising and a lack of personal relationships between politicians.