Emanuel: "Fringe Group" Controlling GOP

Getting health care reform passed is, of course, President Obama's top domestic priority - which means it's also the top priority of his chief of staff, the tough-talking, take no prisoners veteran of the political wars -- Rahm Emanuel.

He talked exclusively to CBS Evening News Anchor Katie Couric for this Sunday's "60 Minutes."

Katie Couric: "Do you think he stretched too far on health care reform?"

Rahm Emanuel "Not at all. We're in the final stages of getting a comprehensive bill finally passed and onto the president's desk. We're on the last leg of the legislative process."

Whether healthcare passes or not, it's left the Obama administration battered and bruised and the long term political impact is still unclear. Emanuel orchestrated the Democratic takeover of the House of Representatives four years ago but also witnessed massive Republican victories in 1994 when he was a top adviser to then President Bill Clinton.

Couric: "Do the midterm elections keep you up at night at all?"

Emanuel: "No. You won't know for a while. I think The Republicans have a level of energy but inside that energy they have their own problem and fissures. They're basically at the behest of a fringe group that's taken control of their own party and their own leaders are scared of it."

Couric: "The tea party movement?"

Emanuel: "I can give a more pertinent, a more informed answer in June and July."

Emanuel's abrasive style and penchant for profanity are legendary. He recently had to apologize when he used the term "f-ing retarded" to describe progressive in his party.

Emanuel: "I don't think I can pull back from being hard-charging or whatever. But you got to understand and be sensitive to what people are saying---especially if you don't want to offend anybody and I clearly did and I was wrong."

Couric: "So have you taken another look at the way you communicate at all?"

Emanuel: "Yes. See? I've gone five minutes without a single swear word. How am I doing?"

Couric: "Doing ok."

Emanuel: "All right."

Speaking without editing runs in the family. The high-strung, expletive spewing Ari Gold of "Entourage" is modeled after the youngest Emanuel brother, top Hollywood agent Ari Emanuel.

The oldest, Zeke, is a leading oncologist and bioethicist who's now an advisor on healthcare reform. Growing up outside of Chicago, the boys were expected to achieve even at dinnertime.

"You were expected to have an educated opinion about what was going on," Zeke said.

"Or everybody was going to make fun of you," Rahm replied.

Now the latest debate in Washington is, how long will Rahm Emanuel be in his job?

Emanuel: "Look, I don't talk about how long. And I would like to stay as long as the President wants me."

Couric: "So no plans of vacating the premises any time soon?"

Emanuel: "Listen, we're not ordering any boxes yet for the house."

Couric:Would you still like to be Speaker of the House one day?"

Emanuel: "No, that's gone."

Couric: "Party over?"

Emanuel: "That was a goal. Things happen in life and you know, I'll set other goals for myself."


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