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March 3rd, 2013
04:49 PM ET

SOTU Crib Sheet 3/3

ON STATE OF THE UNION
Today... minimizing the political and economic fallout from Washington's latest so-called "manufactured crisis."

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) spoke about what's next now that the mandatory budget cuts are in effect and whether a bipartisan compromise is on the horizon. "We promised the American people we would do this a year and a half ago. And here we are, already walking away from the spending reductions that we promised to make without tax increases."
McConnell also weighed in on his reelection effort for 2014 and criticized a group in Kentucky that made reference to his wife's ethnicity in a tweet. "There's a left-wing group down here in Kentucky that's already issued racial slurs against my wife and already questioned my own patriotism."

Gene Sperling, National Economic Council Director and Assistant to the President for Economic Policy, spoke about the forced budget cuts that went into effect on Friday and whether there has been any progress on a compromise. “This president is doing everything he can."
Sperling also discussed his recent dust-up with journalist Bob Woodward. “Bob and I have known each other for 20 years. ... I hope that him and I can put this behind us.”

Then, much of what is happening in Washington right now has its roots in the "perpetual campaign" – members more interested in politicking than legislating. Candy talked to the two guys responsible for electing Democrats and Republicans to Congress: Rep. Steve Israel and Rep. Greg Walden.
On the forced spending cuts Israel said: "House Democrats have attempted on three separate occasions to get a vote on a solution that is based on compromise. ... We couldn't even get a vote."
But Rep. Walden said they're the ones who are waiting "We've tried to get flexibility from the sequester moving forward and it's been rejected, or it's like that Jimmy Buffet song, 'If the phone doesn't ring, it must be me.' We're waiting for Harry Reid, or we're waiting for Barack Obama."

And our panel with Stephen Moore from the Wall Street Journal, USA Today Washington Bureau Chief Susan Page and Mark Zandi from Moody's Analytics on how Washington gridlock will affect the economy.
Moore: "If we can't cut $50 billion out of the deficit, how are we going to get rid of another $950 billion?"
Zandi: "We just don't want to cut it all at one time."
Moore: "When, then? When?"

STATE OF THE UNION HIGHLIGHTS
(For more videos check out our website or cnn.com/video)

Gene Sperling, National Economic Council Director, on his “dust-up” with Bob Woodward:
“Bob and I have known each other for 20 years, and we've always had a friendly and respectful relationship. Anybody who looks at the emails that went from me and that came back from him can see that there's respect and friendliness. … He's a legend. I hope that him and I can put this behind us.”

Gene Sperling, National Economic Council Director, on the forced spending cuts:
“This president is doing everything he can. … I can tell you for a fact that yesterday, Saturday afternoon, the president was working the phone, talking to both Democrats and Republicans who, he thought, were willing to be part of the type of bipartisan compromise that we need to get out of this.”

Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-Kentucky), Minority Leader:
“So far I haven't heard a single Senate Republican say they would be willing to raise a dime in taxes to turn off the sequester.”

Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-Kentucky), Minority Leader:
“I'm absolutely confident we're going to reduce spending the amount of money that we promised the American people we would in a law the president signed a year and a half ago. We have said we're open to discussing how to reconfigure those spending reductions without raising taxes.”

Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-Kentucky), Minority Leader, on his 2014 Senate race:
“The race will take care of itself in 2014. But I must say it has kind of started early. There's a left- wing group down here in Kentucky that's already issued racial slurs against my wife and already questioned my own patriotism.”

ONLINE LINKS

Sen. Mitch McConnell on the forced cuts
Sen. McConnell defends his wife
Gene Sperling on the forced cuts
Gene Sperling on the Woodward “threat”
Rep. Steve Israel & Rep. Greg Walden
Mark Zandi, Stephen Moore, & Susan Page

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