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Entries in Meet The Press (5)

Sunday
Mar102013

Jeb Bush Calls Media ‘Crack Addicts’ for Politics

Paul Morigi/WireImage(WASHINGTON) -- Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush called the media “crack addicts” Sunday after he was asked who is more likely to end up in the White House one day — him or Sen. Marco Rubio, his fellow Floridian for whom Bush served as political mentor.

“Man, you guys are crack addicts. You really are obsessed with all this politics. Marco Rubio’s a great guy,” Bush said on NBC’s Meet the Press.

“You know, I’ve been called a lot of things,” host David Gregory said.

“OK, heroin addict. Is that better?” Bush said. “Put aside the politics for a moment. We’ve got big challenges, and Marco Rubio, to his credit, is working on those. And he deserves a lot of credit for it, and I’m very proud of him.”

The relationship between Bush and Rubio came to the spotlight earlier this week after the former Florida governor released a book that did not support a path to citizenship in immigration reform — a point Rubio is promoting in his Gang of Eight proposal.  One day later, Bush changed direction and said he would endorse a path to citizenship.

Bush later pointed out Rubio did not support the measure when he was writing the book.

“When we were working on this, Marco Rubio wasn’t for a path to citizenship,” Bush told the Washington Post.

In an interview with Time magazine last month, Rubio said his conversation with Bush regarding immigration reform while the former governor was writing the book amounted to a text message.

Bush told ABC News’ George Stephanopoulos Sunday that he now supports the bipartisan group of senators on immigration reform.

“Senator [Lindsey] Graham and I talked.  He was responding to concerns that were expressed before the book was actually published,” Bush said on ABC News’ This Week. “I told him that I support his efforts and I applaud what he’s doing.  And he concluded, after he heard what the thesis of the book is, that we’re in sync. We’re on the same — on the same path.”

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

Sunday
Sep092012

Obama, Romney Clash Over ‘Grand Bargain’ Proposals

Emmanuel Dunand/AFP/Alex Wong/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- When it comes to the 2012 presidential election, even the definition of compromise is up for debate.

In interviews that aired nearly back-to-back on political talk shows this morning, President Obama and Republican nominee Mitt Romney were each asked how they could reach a so-called “grand bargain” to solve the nation’s debt problems if they were elected into another divided government.

While admitting the $1 trillion cut in last year’s negotiations were a “painful exercise,” the president said on CBS’ “Face the Nation” that he was still “more than happy to work with the Republicans” in another term.

“What I’ve said is, in reducing our deficits we can make sure we cut two and a half dollars for every dollar in increased revenue,” he said.

But this same plan was rejected by the GOP-controlled House during the near-government shutdown fiasco of last year. When reminded of this fact, Obama responded, “That’s part of what this election’s about.”

“You can’t reduce the deficit unless you take a balanced approach that says, ‘We’ve got to make government leaner and more efficient,’” the president continued. “But we’ve also got to ask people — like me or Gov. Romney, who have done better than anybody else over the course of the last decade, and whose taxes are just about lower than they’ve been in the last 50 years — to do a little bit more.”

During one debate of the Republican primaries, Romney — along with every other candidate onstage — rejected the idea of settling for a compromise that would result in $10 in cuts for every dollar in new revenue.

On NBC’s “Meet the Press” Sunday, Romney was asked whether he was prepared to cut a deal that would potentially put some members of his party in revolt. The former Massachusetts governor said that while it was “critical” to avoid the financial catastrophes occurring in Europe, he would not back down from his past pledges.

“There’s nothing wrong with the term compromise, but there is something very wrong with the term ‘abandoning one’s principles,’ and I’m going to stand by my principles,” Romney said. “And those are not going to raise taxes on the American people.”

Romney also lashed out at a deal between the White House and Congress that rose out of last year’s negotiations, which set up immediate spending cuts and a self-imposed mandated $1.2 trillion cut to domestic programs and the Pentagon if a bipartisan “Super Committee” failed to arrive at a solution to reduce the deficit.

“I want to maintain defense spending at the current level of the GDP,” he said, adding that the mandated cuts were, “an extraordinary miscalculation in the wrong direction.”

“Meet the Press” host David Gregory reminded the candidate that members of his own party were part of that plan.

“And that’s a big mistake,” Romney responded. “I thought it was a mistake on the part of the White House to propose it. I think it was a mistake for Republicans to go along with it. The president was responsible for coming out with specific changes they’d make to the defense budget. It was supposed to have come out this last week. He has violated the law that he in fact signed.”

The statement seems to put him at odds with his own running mate, who was among the Republican leadership who approved the deal. Writing at the National Review at the time, Rep. Paul Ryan said the legislation was a “reasonable, responsible effort to cut government spending, avoid a default, and help create a better environment for job creation.”

And that hypothetical 10-1 deal? On ABC’s “This Week,” Ryan, the House Budget Committee chair, wouldn’t flatly reject it either.

“You know, it depends on the quality of the agreement,” Ryan told George Stephanopoulos. “It depends on the quality of the policy. Our negotiators in the Super Committee offered higher revenues through tax reform. [House Speaker] John Boehner did as well. So George, what really matters to me is not ratios but what matters is the quality of the policy.”

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Sunday
May062012

Biden 'Absolutely Comfortable' With Gay Marriage

William B. Plowman/NBC/NBC NewsWire(WASHINGTON) -- Vice President Joe Biden expressed a candid openness to gay marriage on Sunday, but stopped short of saying whether President Obama would seek to legalize it as an institution in a second term.

“I am absolutely comfortable with the fact that men marrying men, women marrying women and heterosexual men marrying women are entitled to the same exact rights,” he said. “All the civil rights, all the civil liberties. And quite frankly I don’t see much of a distinction beyond that.”

Biden made the remarks during an interview that aired on NBC’s “Meet the Press” this morning. The vice president told host David Gregory his personal views were a matter of heart.

“Who do you love? Who do you love and will you be loyal to the person you love?” Biden said, “And that’s what people are finding out what all marriages at their root are about.”

The comments could signal a further shift for the Obama administration as the president’s reelection campaign enters full swing. Since the 2008 election, Obama has officially supported only civil unions, leading to some friction with liberal supporters. But in October 2010 the president suggested to a group of progressive bloggers his views could change.

“Attitudes evolve, including mine, and I think that it is an issue that I wrestle with and think about because I have a whole host of friends who are in gay partnerships,” he said.

The administration has held to that stance since and Gregory asked whether Biden’s views had also evolved.

The White House has traditionally held warm relations with the LGBT community and has hosted multiple conferences on the subject. Obama himself appears in a video from the “It Gets Better Project,” a series of videos supporting gay victims of bullying. But after the repeal of the military’s “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell,” policy and the Justice Department’s chilling of the Defense of Marriage Act, speculation has run over how the administration could go forward heading into November.

Biden wouldn’t say whether the administration would seek legislation federally recognizing gay marriage in a second term stating, “the president sets the policy.” But the Obama campaign has already jumped in, with top strategist David Axelrod downplaying the statement roughly an hour after it aired. He tweets:

“@DAVID AXELROD: @chucktodd @meetthepress What VP said-that all married couples should have exactly the same legal rights-is precisely POTUS’s position.”

The vice president told Gregory that he measured the subject on how social culture changed to deal with it. He cited open portrayals of gay and lesbian characters on television as evidence of wider acceptance of the topic.

“I think ‘Will and Grace’ probably did more to educate the American public than almost anything anybody’s ever done so far,” he said. “People fear that which is different and now they’re beginning to understand.”

LGBT groups are expressing general support for Biden’s comments. A written statement from the Human Rights Campaign reads:

“We are encouraged by Vice President Biden’s comments, who rightly articulated that loving and committed gay and lesbian couples should be treated equally.  Now is the time for President Obama to speak out for full marriage equality for same-sex couples.”

Currently, gay couples can wed in six states and the District of Columbia.

The Vice President’s office weighed in Sunday afternoon. In a statement to Politico, a spokesman echoes Axelrod in stating Biden’s comments do not fall out of sync with the administration’s current stance.

“The Vice President was saying what the President has said previously – that committed and loving same-sex couples deserve the same rights and protections enjoyed by all Americans, and that we oppose any effort to rollback those rights. That’s why we stopped defending the constitutionality of section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act in legal challenges and support legislation to repeal it,” the spokesperson said. “Beyond that, the Vice President was expressing that he too is evolving on the issue, after meeting so many committed couples and families in this country.”

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Sunday
Apr152012

Bachmann: Stay-at-Home Moms Understand Economy Better Than Husbands

Scott Olson/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Former presidential candidate Michele Bachmann fiercely defended Ann Romney and stay-at-home moms Sunday, blasting Democratic strategist Hilary Rosen’s criticism that Romney “has never worked a day in her life” as “shocking and insulting.”

Bachmann told NBC’s David Gregory that not only was Ann Romney qualified, as a stay-at-home mom, to advise her husband about the economy, but she may actually have a better understanding of a family’s economic problems than her husband.

“One thing I know is when women are home full-time they have a better pulse on the economy than probably their husband has,” Bachmann said, noting that because those moms are usually the family member that buys groceries and gets gas, they are the first to notice rising prices.

Ann Romney found herself at the center of a heated debate over stay-at-home moms last week when Rosen criticized Mitt Romney for citing his wife as his adviser on the economic issues female voters care about.

“What you have is Mitt Romney running around the country and saying ‘Well, you know, my wife tells me that what women really care about are economic issues,’” Rosen said Wednesday on CNN. “Guess what, his wife has actually never worked a day in her life. She’s never really dealt with the kinds of economic issues that the majority of the women in this country are facing.”

Rosen comments were immediately criticized by both Democrats and Republicans, with the president and the first lady speaking out in support of Ann Romney and stay-at-home moms. Obama, who is currently winning women by a large margin, quickly distanced himself from Rosen, whose remarks gave Republicans one of their first openings to attack the president as being out-of-touch with women, a vital voting bloc in the 2012 election.

The Romney campaign seized on Rosen’s remarks as evidence that Obama did not support non-working mothers, aiming to paint Rosen as a spokeswoman for the president and the Democratic Party. Both the White House and the Democratic National Committee said Rosen did not advise or speak for the administration or the campaign.

Democrats have hounded Republicans for seeking to prevent contraception from being covered under all insurance plans and blasted the party for waging a “war on women” over access to women’s health funding and abortion rights.

“This election is not going to be about Ann Romney or Hilary Rosen’s remarks, it’s going to be about which candidate fights for women,” Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-NY, said during a back-and-forth with Bachmann on “Meet the Press.” “What’s insulting to women is the Republican Party and that they want bosses to tell women what medication they can take.”

Bachmann, a mother of five, said women across the country were and should be “highly insulted” by Rosen’s comments, but directed the majority of her scorn at the president’s economic policies, which she said have made life worse for women.

The Minnesota congresswoman who dropped out of the GOP primary race in January, said women would be better off with Mitt Romney as president.

“On every measure women’s lives are worse under President Obama than they would be under Mitt Romney as president of the United States,” Bachmann said.

Although the congresswoman had high praise for Romney, who she also said is “an extremely smart guy” and “a proven smart successful businessman,” Bachmann has not yet endorsed the presumptive GOP nominee.

“I’m very seriously looking at the endorsement for Mitt Romney,” Bachmann said Sunday.

She said with Rick Santorum’s exit from the race taking place less than a week ago, she is waiting for the party to “unite” before making any endorsements.

“I want to unite our party so I’m waiting for our party to come together,” Bachmann said on “Meet the Press.”

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Friday
Apr132012

Hilary Rosen Cancels "Meet The Press" Appearance

Mark Von Holden/WireImage for MTV Networks(WASHINGTON) -- After a 48-hour maelstrom of criticism from every corner of the political spectrum, Democratic strategist Hilary Rosen canceled her scheduled appearance on NBC’s Meet the Press this Sunday, saying she has already “said enough.” The CNN contributor was lambasted Thursday for saying Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney’s wife Ann has “never worked a day in her life.”

While Rosen has apologized for the comments, which were interpreted by both Republicans and Democrats as a dig at stay-at-home moms, she said Friday that she will “spend the weekend trying to explain to my kids the value of admitting a mistake and moving on.”

“I have said enough and while I have unfortunately made the producer’s job tougher today, I don’t have anything more to say,” Rosen said in a statement to NBC Friday morning. “I apologized to Mrs. Romney and work-in-home moms for mistakenly giving the impression that I do not think their work is valuable.  Of course it is.”

Rosen also tweeted an apology again Friday morning, writing “I deeply apologize again to work-in-home moms, Mrs Romney & the POTUS. Not going on #MTP this weekend. I’m going to be a mom who stays home.”

Both the first lady and the president spoke out against Rosen’s remarks on Thursday with the president telling ABC affiliate KCRG that families should be off limits in the presidential campaign.

The Romney campaign held a conference call with reporters Thursday painting Rosen’s comments as a message from the White House trying to perpetuate a “war on women.”

Both the White House and the Democratic National Committee refuted the claim that Rosen was working with the administration or the Obama campaign.

Rosen appeared on CNN twice Thursday, first to clarify that her comments Wednesday night were not intended to criticize working mothers, but instead to point out that Ann Romney, as a wealthy mother, was one of a privileged few moms that had the “luxury” of staying home. During her second appearance later in the day Rosen issued a full apology for her “poorly chosen” words.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio







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