Co. Sen: Pres. will win state by "strong" margin

All eyes are trained on the swing state of Colorado, where Mitt Romney and President Barack Obama debate in Denver for the first time at 9 p.m. ET. Colorado Senator Michael Bennet, a Democrat who bested Republican Ken Buck in 2010 by less than 2 points in a down-to-the-wire Senate race in 2010, sounds confident the President will win his state by a "strong" margin in November.

"The president will do very well in Colorado, I think his margin will be strong here" Bennet said in an interview with CBS News political director John Dickerson for "Face to Face."

Bennet thinks the President will do well in his state because Coloradans "understand how difficult it is to turn this all around," and because his constituents get the sense that President Obama "has a real appreciation for the struggles they have in their lives, and he's been consistent on that from the very beginning."

Some of those struggles were exacerbated in a big way for Bennet's constituents this summer when the state and country experienced one of the worst droughts in a generation - and Congress was unable to even pass a Farm Bill that could have given farmers some relief. Bennet spoke to that utter lack of bipartisanship, saying he and voters got into discussions at town halls this summer "about whether or not the parties in Washington and the Congress are actually working on their problems or creating problems for them."

Bennet sounds optimistic the non-cooperation will get better after the election. Then again, he joked, "I have to be optimistic about it because I wouldn't be able to get out of bed in the morning if I weren't optimistic about it."

He explained more seriously how the U.S. Senate is like almost every workplace in that "there are people that want to get stuff done and there are people that are content to waste other people's time - including their own time." But lately, as a "general matter," he gets the sense that everyone at least agrees it's "not very gratifying" to go back to Washington, D.C. each week and get nothing done. He said, "I think almost everybody looks forward to being on the other side of this election so that we can begin to roll up our sleeves and get stuff done."

One of the biggest tasks facing the Congress after the election - fast - is finding a solution to the so-called "fiscal cliff." The fiscal cliff is the first of January when the Bush tax cuts are set to expire and the sequestration - mandatory across-the-board spending cuts - takes effect.

Bennet said the fear of going over the cliff is very real. "I think there is a substantial chance that we could surf over this fiscal cliff at the end of this year."

But, he added, "Fortunately there are a lot of people that are working on various proposals -- some bipartisan, not bipartisan, to create alternatives to the sequester and to create alternatives to the complete expiration of the tax cuts."

Will they ever be able to find agreement on any of those proposals? Bennet would only go so far as to say, "I think there is a general consensus that there's no more time when we can just kick this can down the road and expect the capital markets not to react extremely negatively, which would have a terrible effect on our economy."

  • Alicia Budich

Comments

CBSN Live

pop-out
Live Video

Follow Us

Watch CBSN Live

Watch CBS News anytime, anywhere with the new 24/7 digital news network. Stream CBSN live or on demand for FREE on your TV, computer, tablet, or smartphone.

Face on Twitter