Palin: Obama could play 'war card' to win reelection
By John Amick and T. Rees Shapiro
Today on the Sunday talk shows:
FOX NEWS SUNDAY - Palin: Obama could play 'war card' to win reelection
Former Alaskan Gov. Sarah Palin said it would be "absurd" to rule out a run for the 2012 presidential election.
"I won't close a door that could perhaps be open for me in the future," Palin said in the Fox News Sunday interview at the Tea Party convention in Nashville where she was the keynote speaker Saturday night. Palin is also a paid Fox News Channel contributor.
Palin said if President Obama continues on the path he's on today, "He's not going to win" as an incumbent candidate in 2012. Palin said Americans are becoming frustrated because he "expects us to sit down and shut up and accept" his policies. Asked specifically which policies, Palin said Obama has been condescending to the American people with his "general personality."
Palin suggested that if President Obama "played the war card" by declaring war on Iran in the next two years, the political landscape would change dramatically in his favor. "There wouldn't be as much passion to make sure that he doesn't serve another four years," Palin said.
She said her knowledge about foreign policy and domestic economic issues has significantly increased since she was a vice presidential candidate. "My focus has been enlarged," Palin said.
She said she admired the Tea Party efforts because they are seeking "common sense solutions" that will right the economy and put the country back on the track of fiscal responsibility.
When asked whether or not her political enemies had run her out of gubernatorial office in the middle of a lame-duck term, Palin responded "Hell, no." Palin said her popularity had been adversely affecting her administration's day-to-day duties, and resigned because she did not want political distractions such as lawsuits against her to harm Alaska's well-being.
On Sunday, Palin campaigned for Gov. Rick Perry (R-Tex.), who faces Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchinson (R-Tex.) in a primary next month.
CNN: STATE OF THE UNION - Clinton: Al-Qaeda not stronger, but more creative
Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said Sunday that al-Qaeda may not be stronger as an organization than in years past, but the group is more creative and flexible in its actions. But Clinton also insisted she does not believe Americans should be deterred or fearful in their everyday lives following the failed Christmas day bombing attempt and a new tape from Osama bin Laden.
"I don't know if there are more of them. We have certainly degraded their capacity in Afghanistan and Pakistan. We know that," Clinton said about the strength of al-Qaeda, adding that areas such as Yemen and Somalia are new hot spots for fostering al-Qaeda agents.
While Clinton highlighted victories in fending off al-Qaeda in some areas, she maintained that the U.S. is not taking any possibility of potential plots lightly.
"It hasn't gone away," she said of threats from al-Qaeda. "We have contained it. We have worked very hard to do so. But over the last six months, we have seen attacks foiled, people arrested and charged. So that you have to be constantly vigilant. And that's what everybody working in this government at all levels attempts to do."
Clinton said Afghan President Hamid Karzai's administration is showing signs of competency, but that any government in a fledgling democracy like Afghanistan will struggle to stand on its own and requires a "balanced perspective" when judged.
"There are areas of very positive cooperation," Clinton said of the U.S.-Afghanistan relationship. "He [Karzai] may not have a full cabinet, but the cabinet members he has are people who many of us view as honest and effective, productive.
Clinton urged patience with the Karzai administration, which she said has received undue scrutiny from commentators, "not rooted in reality."
"We do business with leaders all the time, some of whom are great American allies, that have a lot of questions raised about them," Clinton said. "But we do an assessment, what is in the best interest of America? What is in our national security? What advances our interests and our values? What keeps Americans safe? And so, why should we take one leader out and put him apart from all the other leaders we deal with and raise all those doubts, instead of saying, look, we've got work to do and we're doing it."
Relations with North Korea and Iran are not where the U.S. would like them to be, Clinton said, though she thinks extending a hand to North Korea has worked since neighboring China has signed off on to support sanctions. With Iran, Clinton said she is confident that "slow and steady diplomacy" will convince other countries to agree to sanctions.
"I don't know what the outcome would have been if the Iranian government hadn't made the decision it made following the elections to become so repressive, but the fact is, because we engaged, the rest of the world has really begun to see Iran the way we see it," she said.
When asked how much the U.S. will stay involved in the running of earthquake-ravaged Haiti, Clinton said the U.S. will continue to stay active in the reconstruction of the poverty-ridden nation, but she maintains that the Haitian government must take the lead.
"They have to be part of it because they have the legal authorities," she said. "Unless a government or a bunch of governments is going to occupy Haiti, which would have all kinds of very unfortunate implications, we have to help support the Haitian people and their government."
ABC: THIS WEEK - Geithner: U.S. won't lose credit rating
Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner insisted Sunday that the U.S. is not in danger of losing its strong credit rating despite a ballooning budget deficit and a new debt ceiling of $14 trillion recently implemented by Congress.
"Absolutely not, and that will never happen to this country," Geithner said. "And, again, if you step back and look at what's happened throughout this crisis, when people were most worried about the stability of the world, they still found safety in Treasuries and the dollar."
Geithner points to actions the administration took in the past year as proof that the economy is growing again and that jobs will begin to surface this spring.
"We're seeing some encouraging signs of healing," he said. "This is going to take a while, and it's going to be uneven. But there's encouraging signs in this report. The unemployment came down modestly and created jobs back in November."
In the face of the administration's own projections for a continued jobless rate of 10 percent this year, more than 9 percent next year and more than 8 percent the following year, Geithner acknowledged that more work is needed.
In response to critics of the stimulus program and other actions by the administration, he pointed to the progress of the past year.
"Just think where we were. January of 2009, three- quarters of a million Americans losing their jobs. We have an economy now that's growing again. With growth, you're going to see jobs created," Geithner said.
Geithner said President Obama's cap on non-security disretionary spending in the 2011 budget exemplifies an important step.
"You're seeing, again, across the political spectrum now a basic recognition that deficits matter, very good for people to understand, again, that deficits matter, that tax cuts aren't free, got to pay for our programs," he said. "And we've proposed in the budget some important steps to restore some basic fairness to our tax code and begin the process of bringing down those deficits."
Dealing with the grave state of the American economy during the Obama administration's tenure was difficult to handle, Geithner said, and the duties of his team in restoring the economy were "a little bit like the people that go and try to diffuse bombs." He said that he is proud of that work.
"Let me just say that I feel very proud for the actions we took to help to stem the damage caused by this crisis," he said. "And I feel it's a great privilege to have been able to work with this president to move so quickly and effectively to -- again, to bring an economy that was in freefall, a financial system at the edge of collapse, and to begin the process of healing."
NBC: MEET THE PRESS - Brennan: Stop politcal games
White House terrorism adviser John O. Brennan said GOP LEADERS HE CALLED immediately following the arrest of alleged Christmas day bomber Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab did not object when he informed that of the government's plans to interrogate and charge the suspect. Brennan said those he called, including Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and Sen. Kit Bond (R-Mo.), were thankful for the update.
Since the decision was made to charge Abdulmutallab in civilian courts, Brennan said he has been disappointed by those same GOP leaders who have used the Christmas day bomber as a political football. Brennan said members of anti-terrorism units around the country are discouraged by politicians who claim the trained professionals do not know what they are doing.
Brennan also said there is no known threat against tonight's Super Bowl.
Former Federal Reserve Board Chairman Alan Greenspan said the recession is over and that the economy is "clearly recovering." Former Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson said unfortunately the economy is not moving forward in "any aggressive manner."
Greenspan said in order for the economy to bounce back more steadily President Obama should enact a tax cut on small businesses, because that's a sector of the economy where job growth could occur the fastest. He also said the employment rate will be buoyed by an increase in temporary jobs for the 2010 census, but that the overall percentage will hover around 9 to 10 percent for foreseeable future.
Speaking on the deficit, Paulson said the $1.7 trillion debt was the worst fiscal situation our country has faced for some time. In order to take a significant bite out of the deficit over the next 10 years, Greenspan said the government would have to pare benefits, including Social Security, and increase taxes. This should be done, Greenspan said, because the world's biggest borrower cannot sustain itself as the world's greatest power indefinitely.
February 7, 2010; 12:41 PM ET
Categories: 44 The Obama Presidency , Sunday Talkies
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