Bill Clinton: Gingrich is just doing his 'schtick'
By Matt DeLong and Aaron Blake
Sunday Rundown: A quick wrap-up of the Sunday talk shows.
NBC: MEET THE PRESS - Powell not sure if U.S. is winning in Afghanistan
Former Secretary of State Colin Powell said the tea party movement is "fascinating" but said it will not become a serious force in American politics unless it offers policies to address issues. He decried "fringe" attacks on President Obama, singling out former House speaker Newt Gingrich's recent description of Obama's worldview as "Kenyan" and "anti-colonial." Powell said he remains a Republican, though he said he is a moderate, and declined to say whether he intends to continue his support for President Obama in 2012. He said Obama must focus on bringing down the unemployment rate and will likely have to shift "the way he's been doing things" if Republicans take control of one or both houses of Congress. Powell said he is unsure if the U.S. is winning the war in Afghanistan.
Former President Bill Clinton also addressed Gingrich's comments, saying that he's just doing what he always does. "It's his schtick," Clinton said. Clinton predicted that if the Democrats can make the election about proposed solutions to problems, they can remain in control of both houses, but if the election is about voter anger, they won't do well in November. Clinton said voters who support the tea party "have good impulses," but they should demand specifics from their candidates. He wouldn't say if candidates like Christine O'Donnell are helpful to Democrats, but said, "Karl Rove says they are."
FOX NEWS SUNDAY - Rove: O'Donnell must explain 'witchcraft' comments
Former George W. Bush adviser Karl Rove on Sunday called on Delaware GOP Senate candidate Christine O'Donnell to explain what she was talking about when she said in 1999 that she "dabbled into witchcraft."
"In southern Delaware there are a lot of churchgoing people," Rove said "They're going to want to know what that is all about." Rove added that O'Donnell must also address the questions raised about her personal and campaign finances "in the most sympathetic way possible," if she wants to effectively communicate her criticism of President Obama and the Democrats. On Sen. Lisa Murkowski's (R-Alaska) decision to mount write-in bid after a primary loss to tea party favorite Joe Miller, Rove said Murkowski's bid is "sad and sorry" and could hand the election to the Democrats.
Miller, who joined the show's lineup at the last minute after O'Donnell backed out on Saturday, described his victory over Murkowski by about 2,000 votes as "resounding." He declined to elaborate on his previous description of unemployment insurance as "unconstitutional." Miller said Congress must focus on "restricting and reversing the growth of government." When asked if former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin could win the presidency in 2012, Miller was noncommittal.
CNN: STATE OF THE UNION - DeMint: Tea party candidates are mainstream
Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.), who has gained prominence in recent weeks by endorsing tea party candidates who beat establishment favorites in key GOP Senate primaries, said those tea party candidates are really just representative of the mainstream of America. Democrats have attacked candidates like Delaware's Christine O'Donnell and Nevada's Sharron Angle as extreme, and Republicans have acknowledged that they reduce the party's chance of re-taking the Senate this year. DeMint said that's a bogus argument. "The only reason we have a chance at a majority now, is in large part (because of) the candidates I've been supporting," DeMint said.
Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), who was defeated by DeMint-backed Joe Miller in a primary last month and launched a write-in campaign on Friday, said Miller is pursuing a "radical" agenda, including priorities like privatizing social security. "These simplistic, glib answers, I don't think, are what the people of Alaska are hoping for," Murkowski said.
Democratic National Committee Chairman Tim Kaine said he wouldn't be surprised if an extension of the Bush tax cuts isn't voted on until after the November election. "I'd bet you wouldn't get to a resolution point until after the elections," he said.
ABC: THIS WEEK - Secretary Clinton: Mideast talks 'constructive'
Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton described last weeks talks between Israeli and Palestinian leaders as "constructive" and expressed hope that the Israeli government will extend its moratorium on construction of new settlements in the West Bank. Clinton said she felt "great relief" over the return of one three American hikers detained in Iran for a year. She said she was concerned by the increasing influence of the military in Iran. "I can only hope that there will be some effort inside Iran, by responsible civil and religious leaders to take hold of the apparatus of the state," Clinton said.
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, interviewed in New York where he is scheduled to address the United Nations this week, dismissed Clinton's concerns about the Iranian military."I think Ms. Clinton is a very respected woman but she should really gather more correct information to base her statements on accurate information," he said. Addressing an incident that generated an international outcry, Ahmadinejad denied that a woman had been sentenced to stoning recently. He said he takes international sanctions over his country's nuclear program seriously but maintained that they will have no effect. Ahmadinejad called for the release of eight Iranians detained in the United States. He said he would like to release the remaining two American hikers, but "at the end of the day, there's a law that determines who stays in prison and who does not."
CBS: FACE THE NATION - Clinton: Obama getting 'his groove back'
Former President Bill Clinton said Obama is starting to "get his groove back." "He's out there combating the opposition now - maybe that'll make a difference," Clinton said. "I think it will make some difference, and I think we'll do better." Clinton said losing the majority in the House would likely help Obama get reelected in 2012, even if it might hurt the Democratic agenda.
Clinton said the tea party might not wind up helping Democrats keep their majorities in November. Democratic leaders have said tea party candidates are too extreme and will jeopardize projected GOP gains. "I'm not sure it's going to be a good thing for Democrats yet," he said. "We don't know." Clinton said the tea party movement reflects the feelings of lots of Americans who are frustrated with the political process, but that it is being bankrolled by people with ulterior motives for shrinking government.
CSPAN: NEWSMAKERS - Sebelius: Health bill will lower costs in long run
Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius acknowledged that some health-care companies are raising premiums and citing the Obama administration's health-care bill as the reason. "In the long run, I think we'll lower costs, not increase costs," Sebelius said. "What we have are actuarial studies which indicate an impact of 1-2 percent, once these new consumer benefits are fully implemented."
Matt DeLong and Aaron Blake
| September 19, 2010; 2:20 PM ET
Categories: 44 The Obama Presidency
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