Pelosi 'not nervous' about November; Palin: Obama lacks 'cojones' to tackle immigration; Mullen: Afghan leaks put lives at risk
By Matt DeLong and Tim Smith
Sunday Rundown: A quick roundup of the Sunday talk shows.
ABC: THIS WEEK - Pelosi 'not nervous' about November
Appearing during Christiane Amanpour's debut as host of "This Week," House speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said she is "not nervous at all" about the November midterm elections, but added that she is not taking anything for granted. She said voters will be offered a choice between the Democratic agenda and the "failed policies of the Bush administration." She dismissed White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs's recent statement that the GOP could take control of the House in November. "I don't spend a whole lot of time thinking about what the president's employees say about one thing or another," Pelosi said. The speaker said extending the Bush tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans "doesn't make any sense." As two members of her caucus -- Rep. Charles Rangel (D-N.Y.) and Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Calif.) -- are facing possible trials for ethics violations, Pelosi touted her record of reforming ethics standards in the House. "We have passed the most sweeping ethics reform in the history of the Congress," Pelosi said.
Defense Secretary Robert Gates said the recent leak of more than 90,000 official documents about the war in Afghanistan has put at risk the lives of Americans and Afghans who have cooperated with the U.S. military. "Our adversaries can learn a lot about our techniques, tactics and procedures from the body of these leaked documents," Gates said. He added that recent comments by a spokesman for the Afghan Taliban that the group would be hunting down Afghan informants proved his point. He said whoever leaked the documents is "morally" culpable for the consequences.
FOX NEWS SUNDAY - Palin: Obama lacks 'cojones' to tackle immigration
Former Alaska governor Sarah Palin said Sunday that Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer (R) has "the cojones" that President Obama "does not have" to take on illegal immigration. Palin blasted Obama for suing Arizona to block the state's controversial new law without addressing "sanctuary cities," in which local law enforcement officials are prohibited from asking people about people's immigration status. The former governor called Democratic plans to allow the Bush tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans to expire "idiotic." She added that her "palm isn't large enough" to write all her notes down and she proceeded to read prepared notes about tax policy from a sheet of paper. Palin declined to address "fickle" polls showing that she remains unpopular with independents. "I don't blame people for not knowing what I stand for," Palin said. "If I believed everything I read in the media, I wouldn't like me either." She said her family has changed its behavior after investigative reporter Joe McGinniss moved next door. She accused McGinniss of infringing on their privacy and trying to "hamper some of our freedom." "Some people need to get a life," Palin said.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said he would "love" to have the midterm elections tomorrow, but added that "it's a long way to November" and said he expects Democrats to outspend the GOP. House Minority Leader John Boehner said President Obama's economic policies are "killing jobs" and dismissed recent calls for more stimulus to spur job growth. "Let's stop this stimulus spending," Boehner said. "All it's doing is running up debt on the backs of our kids and grandkids." McConnell defended his party's opposition to lending assistance for small businesses, which he called "TARP III or Son of Tarp." Boehner said that allowing the Bush tax cuts to expire would reduce the federal government's revenue because it would cost jobs. "Why can't we keep tax rates where they are today?" Boehner said. "This is the whole Washington mindset, all these CBO numbers. Listen, we've to get the economy going." McConnell declined to name any programs he would like to cut to reduce the deficit.
Host Chris Wallace pressed Boehner on a "Boehner for Speaker" committee that promises major donors access to the speaker. Boehner said the committee was a "project" of the National Republican Congressional Committee and was nothing out of the ordinary. "I walk through airports," Boehner said. "I go to restaurants. I stand out on the corner. People have plenty of access to me and they don't have to pay for it at all."
NBC: MEET THE PRESS - Mullen: Afghan leaks put lives at risk
Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said he remains "appalled" by the leak of more than 90,000 official documents related to the war in Afghanistan by WikiLeaks. Mullen said he shared Gates's concerns that the release puts the lives of U.S. troops and Afghan civilians who cooperate with them at risk. Still, he downplayed the significance of the documents. "I don't think that the Taliban being stronger than they've been since 2001 is news," Mullen said. "I've been concerned about the growing insurgency there for a number of years." Mullen declined to say what the punishment for the leaks should be, but said the investigation should be allowed to run its course. The admiral said that the mission in Afghanistan is to prevent it from again becoming a safe haven for terrorist. He conceded that elements within the Pakistani intelligence service have ties to the Taliban, but said the Pakistanis have shared intelligence with American forces.
New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg ruled out that he would run for president in 2012, but called for Congress to pass comprehensive immigration reform. Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell (D) predicted that Democrats would retain control of the House and Senate but would lose significant numbers of seats. He pointed to the 23.5 million jobs under the Clinton administration as evidence that the GOP claim that increasing taxes on the rich will hurt the economy is a "fairy tale." Former Fed chairman Alan Greenspan said the U.S. economy is experiencing a "pause" in a "modest recovery." He said it was possible that the economy could get worse before it gets better, but "not necessarily."
CNN: STATE OF THE UNION - Biden: Dems will hold both Houses
A year out from the scheduled U.S. troop withdrawal from Afghanistan, Sen. Carl Levin (D-Mich.) defended the Obama administration's timetable, which he said is crucial to U.S. success in Afghanistan. "It's critical that that date was set to show that it isn't a blank check," Levin said. "It's not an open-ended commitment of American troops in the same numbers that we're going to have there." Afghanistan will be ready to accept responsibility for the war by next summer, Levin said. He said the Afghan army, which he called "a popular, respected army," has made progress in Kandahar. He said fighting fellow Afghans is "a real nightmare for the Taliban."
Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) said the future of the Afghan war is uncertain, but a timetable for withdrawal would be disastrous. "If the policy is going to be we're going to withdraw no matter what next summer, we're going to lose," Graham said. He said there were some areas that could be transferred over to Afghan military control, but not the entire country by July 2011. "This time next summer, we are still going to be engaged in one hell of a fight." Graham cautioned that Americans will experience increased casualties in coming months. "The cost of the war is going to increase," Graham said. "It's going to get worse before it gets better."
CBS: FACE THE NATION - Kyl supports repealing birthright citizenship
Sen. Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.) said Congress should hold hearings on whether to continue to grant automatic citizenship to children of illegal immigrants born in the United States, as the Constitution mandates. He said he supports Sen. Lindsey Graham's proposal to introduce a new amendment to repeal the 14th amendment, which gives citizenship to all individuals born in this country.
Adm. Michael Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, called last week's leak of 90,000 secret military document "irresponsible" and said they could cost American lives because the enemy could weave together seemingly unrelated bits of information. Mullen said a recent report that found Army suicide rates now exceed the national civilian average for the first time since the Vietnam War illustrates a "leadership challenge and a problem." He said he believes that the increased number of suicides is related to extended deployments and "the inability to spend enough time at home."
By Matt DeLong and Tim Smith
Matt DeLong and Tim Smith
August 1, 2010; 3:53 PM ET
Categories: 44 The Obama Presidency
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