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Anchored by Jake Tapper, The Lead airs at 4 p.m. ET on CNN.

Anchored by Jake Tapper, The Lead airs at 4 p.m. ET on CNN.

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October 10th, 2013
12:24 AM ET

Sen. Angus King: Debt ceiling debate 'is ridiculous' - pass a bill and move on

Independent Senator Angus King is skeptical about a short-term deal to lift the debt ceiling.

"It's just going to make the markets skittish for another six weeks, or whatever," said King. "I don't see why we can't just get that off the table."

"I understand there are people who basically are denying that this is going to be a real problem. We don't have to speculate on that," said King, who then ticked off the consequences of the debt ceiling debate of 2011: the stock market fell 2,000 points in just a few days, $2.4 trillion of wealth was wiped out, job creation went down, interest rates went up, and mortgage rates went up.

"To even be talking about this is ridiculous," said King.

"In my view we ought to pass the debt ceiling and move on," said King.

Some Republicans have hinted that maybe the one-two punch of the government shutdown and pending debt ceiling could lead to a grand bargain – a lifting of the debt ceiling, reopening the government, and a return to normal funding levels, not the lower levels sparked by automatic spending cuts.

In Congressman Paul Ryan's Wall Street Journal op-ed, which laid out a way to end the stalemate, there was also talk of entitlement reforms and tax reform, which King said would ultimately be good for the country.

"We do have to do something about the debt and deficit, we do have to do something serious. Although the deficit is coming way down," said King. "But we have to do more. And I think what he's proposing is we ought to at least open that discussion."

As an Independent, King has got some interesting admirers – like former Minnesota Governor Jesse Ventura, who said he is considering a presidential run, and looking for a running mate.

"I would consider Senator Angus King from Maine, the former Independent governor. He and I were the only two Independent governors, so it very well could be a Ventura-King combination," Ventura told CNN Monday.

"He's the only guy I would trust," said Ventura.

So, if Ventura ran, would King be open to being on the ticket?

"We'll have to discuss that," said King, with a smile.

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