By Tracey Webb Follow @WebbWriterguru
Get your daily scoop of what State of the Union is watching today, December 4, 2013.
1. The President pivots. Back on offense over the Affordable Care Act, the president is citing the health care law as part of his vision for strengthening the economy and the social safety net. In a speech at the liberal-leaning Center for American Progress, President Obama outlined his economic priorities for the next three years, calling income inequality "the most defining challenge of our time" and urging an increase in the federal minimum wage. He also challenged Republicans to offer their own proposals for solving the nation's problems instead of simply opposing his plans. "If you still don't like Obamacare and I know you don't, even though its built on marketplace ideas of choice and competition in the private sector – you should explain how, exactly, you cut costs and cover more people and make insurance more secure," said Obama. "You owe it to the American people to tell us what you are for not just what you are against."
"I lose my patience with this nonsense," says former Governor Howard Dean. "It's not nonsense," says former Senator Rick Santorum.
The Supreme Court has agreed to hear cases on the contraceptive mandate. Howard Dean & Rick Santorum give their takes on what the First Amendment means for this.
CNN contributors Kevin Madden and Donna Brazile, plus Corey Dade of TheRoot.com, discuss fixes to Healthcare.gov.
CNN contributors Kevin Madden and Donna Brazile, plus Corey Dade of TheRoot.com, discuss recent Walmart protests.
Former Governor Howard Dean & Former Senator Rick Santorum debate whether the "dramatic progress" on the HealthCare.gov website announced by the White House today will help the President right the Obamacare fiasco.
The White House says that significant progress has been made in fixing healthcare.gov. The site's capacity has reportedly improved and can accommodate about 50,000 users at a time. CNN's Joe Johns received a progress report from the White House and he talks to Candy about the latest news.
Congress' Intel Chairs Sen. Dianne Feinstein and Rep. Mike Rogers tell Candy Crowley we're not safer from terror today.
Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), who chairs the Senate Intelligence Committee, said Sunday on State of the Union that the civil war in Syria has become a “lightning rod for fighters all over the world.” Appearing with Mike Rogers (D-MI), her counterpart in the House, she said that the dilemma in Syria is that “it’s very difficult to separate the bad guys from the good guys.”
“Any time you take a chemical weapon off the battlefield, that’s a good day for the world,” said Rogers.
But the US was “too quick to try to get a deal,” said Rogers, and the Syrian government headed by President Bashar al-Assad now has “the protection of the Russian government.”
“The opposition felt that the United States walked away from them,” he said.
The heads of the Senate and House Intelligence Committees said Sunday that the Taliban is poised for a “come back.” Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) on State of the Union Sunday said that the Afghan Army will not be able to sustain itself financially and that she was fearful about an Afghanistan with “60 percent of the country controlled by the Taliban.”
Feinstein called Afghan President Hamid Karzai who has not signed a bilateral security agreement with the US, Karzai “a cipher.”
Congressman Mike Rogers (R-MI) weighed in as well. “How you leave may be even more important than how you got there,” he said.
“To just say this is too hard and we're going to pack up and come home, we saw the consequences of that in Iraq. It is absolute chaos,” said Rogers.