Some of the stories this week really had us wondering, "Is this for real?" Like the Congressman who brought a baby to work...
Candy Crowley and Jessica Yellin break down the new CNN/ORC polls on controversies around the president this week and why he hasn't taken a big hit.
Today on State of the Union, we released new polls showing the president is withstanding a trio of controversies. A CNN/ORC Poll shows his job approval rating is steady at 53%. White House Senior Adviser Dan Pfeiffer said the president is moving ahead with his second term agenda including improving the economy and immigration reform. Regarding the alarming number of military sexual assaults, Pfeiffer said the “lack of response and action …is completely unacceptable.” Senator Rand Paul (R-Kentucky) pointed to an “error of judgment” by President Obama and then Secretary of State Clinton regarding security at the Benghazi consulate. He wondered why “no one's accepting responsibility and no one was fired” after the attacks that left four Americans dead last September.
Sen. Rand Paul (R-Kentucky) on Benghazi
“I think there was some misdirection and some political nature to the talking points, but I think that's always missed the point that what's most important is someone made a decision to put an embassy and consulate in a war-torn country with no host country to guard that embassy or consulate, leaving the guarding and security up to a militia. [extra space here?] That decision alone was a terrible and tragic error.”
Sen. Rand Paul (R-Kentucky) on the IRS targeting conservative groups
“I can't believe that one agent sort of started this, one rogue agent started this, because it seems to be too widespread. And, we do need to get to the bottom of this, but I think what the American people want is just like on Benghazi. Why does Benghazi go on? No one was ever fired? So, people made tragic errors. No one's accepting responsibility and no one was fired.”
Dan Pfeiffer, White House Senior Adviser, on when the president learned about IRS targeting conservative groups
“When it came out in the news a week ago Friday, I think. And here's why. Because here's the cardinal rule when you know a situations like these, not for just for this White House but for all White Houses is you do not interfere in an independent investigation and you do not do anything to give off the appearance of interference in an independent investigation.”
Dan Pfeiffer, White House Senior Adviser, on American’s trust in government
“I think this is a long running tradition in sort of how Americans view government is they have great faith in our democracy as they should, because we have the greatest system in the world and it works. But government - there is a healthy skepticism of government in this country. And where there are problems like there were in the IRS this week, we have to address them in order to build that confidence up.”
Washington’s week of scandals. CNN is in the field surveying what Americans think. The president says his team has come clean. Republicans might be over-playing their hand. We’ll release the results of CNN’s new poll and get reaction from White House Senior Adviser Dan Pfeiffer.
Plus, response from one of President Obama’s toughest critics, Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) on the IRS targeting conservative groups, the Justice Department probe of AP phone records and the Benghazi investigation.
Then, the lasting impact of the controversies on the president’s legacy and what it means for his second term agenda with USA Today’s Susan Page, Democratic Strategist Donna Brazile, Republican Strategist Ana Navarro, and CNN Chief White House Correspondent Jessica Yellin.
Tune in Sunday at 9am and Noon ET.
Jobs that prepared me for CNN’s State of the Union with Candy Crowley:
I’m currently a Senior Producer for State of the Union. I started at CNN as an intern in the summer of 1998 (The summer of Monica Lewinsky—an awful year to be an intern!). I’ve worked my way up the ladder here, first at various jobs in Atlanta, and then I moved to D.C. in 2005 to launch The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer. I left Wolf in January 2012 to join Candy’s team for the Election Year. I use my various experiences at CNN every day, but it’s my earlier work that shaped who I am and how I got here.
ON STATE OF THE UNION
Senator Susan Collins (R-ME) talked to Candy about the Benghazi hearings saying "clearly politics was at play" in the editing of the talking points after the attack and revelations that the IRS targeted some Tea Party groups for extra scrutiny: “It is absolutely chilling that the IRS was singling out conservative groups for extra review. And I think that it's very disappointing that the president hasn't personally condemned this and spoken out.”
Senator Susan Collins talks to Candy about her recent wedding, her favorite books and love of cooking and why August is so integral.
CNN's State of the Union panel weighs in on the IRS targeting Tea Party groups controversy.