Today, Senator Robert Menendez (D-NJ) and Congressman Peter King (R-NY) offered sharply different takes on the resignation of David Petraeus. King said he has “questions about the whole matter” and called for a review of the timeline of events. “This was a matter involving a potential compromise of security, and the president should have been told about it at the earliest state,” said King. Menendez dismissed the idea of a conspiracy; adding, “from all the published accounts it seems that the chain of events is pretty clear.”
Dana Bash moderated a panel of prominent republicans who discussed rebranding the GOP. Former Commerce Secretary Carlos Gutierrez said the GOP needs to make new inroads with Hispanics. “The insight that I got was that Latinos were scared. You know, it wasn't the economy and - they were scared of the Republican Party, and I think fear is what did us in.”
And California Governor Jerry Brown made a case for why states should be left alone to decide marijuana laws.
Rep. Peter King (R-Chair, Homeland Security Committee) on Gen. Petraeus’ resignation
“I have questions about the whole matter. I'm wondering how…something about emails went to the level of the FBI, how the FBI could have been investigating it this long, and yet, you know, General Petraeus was involved…. It just doesn't add up, that you have this type of investigation. The FBI investigating emails, the emails leading to the CIA director, and it taking four months to find out that the CIA director was involved. …I think a timeline has to be looked at and analyzed to see what happened.”
Senator Bob Menendez (D-NJ) on Gen. Petraeus’ resignation
“The chain of events is pretty clear. There was a threat by one individual against another. That individual went to the FBI in the pursuit of that review of that threat. They came upon access to emails of Mr. Petraeus and – with this individual, and they are concerned that maybe that his personal emails had been hacked and, therefore, the possibility of a security threat. …unless something else comes out, I think it's pretty clear I don't see a conspiracy behind every curtain, as some of my colleagues do.”
Carlos Gutierrez, Chairman, Romney 2012 Hispanic Steering Committee, on Romney’s loss
“Mitt Romney made some mistakes. I think he is an extraordinary man. And I think he would have made an extraordinary candidate. I think Mitt Romney's comments are a symptom. I think the disease is the fact that the far right of the party controls the primary process.”
Carlos Gutierrez, Chairman, Romney 2012 Hispanic Steering Committee, on winning Latinos
“As I talk to Latinos, the insight that I got was that Latinos were scared. You know, it wasn't the economy and - they were scared of the Republican Party, and I think fear is what did us in. People were scared of people like Todd Akin. They were scared of Richard Mourdock. They were scared of the anti-immigration talk. They were scared of the xenophobes. It's almost as if, though, we're living in the past.”
Gov. Jerry Brown (D-CA) on marijuana laws
“It's time for the Justice Department to recognize the sovereignty of the states. And California has a medicinal marijuana law. Other states have passed some other measures. …we have a laboratory of democracy. We don't always agree with all states. Some states have capital punishment. Some states don't. Some now have legalized marijuana, small amounts for recreational use. Many states have, legalized medicinal marijuana. I believe the president and the Department of Justice ought to respect the will of these separate states.
End piece: Iowa, here they come