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November 20th, 2011
02:35 PM ET

SOTU Crib Sheet for November 20th


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What we learned this Sunday is that the super committee is going to come out with a super zero. They’re not going to come up with anything. Not that the co-chairman of that panel said so. In fact, [Sen] Patty Murray says she will be sitting by her phone all day waiting for a Republican to see the light and agree to tax increases for the wealthy. It’s not going to happen. She’s going to be sitting by her phone all day long. So the fact is, what we learned is, we’ve moved on to the next stage, which is, who is responsible for the super committee collapse.

We also learned from [Sen] Rand Paul – he being a Republican and a member of the Tea Party that Republicans see it as exactly the opposite. That what’s happening, they say, is that Democrats won’t really deal with the cause of all that debt that they say is Medicare, Medicaid and the tax code. They want structural changes in how the tax code looks. They want structural changes in how Medicare is run, in how Medicaid is run, which, trust me, you can’t do between now and Wednesday. So it’s not going to happen. That’s what we learned from our two top guests, our two lead guests.

We learned from Condoleezza Rice pretty much that she agrees with Hillary Clinton that the president of Syria, President Bashar al-Assad is moving his country toward a civil war. We also learned that Condoleezza Rice believes that Republican presidential candidates, and for that matter, Democratic presidential candidates, should show some interest in foreign policy. We’ve had Herman Cain, for instance, saying that he doesn’t have to know everything about foreign policy and that’s why will gather people around him. But she says we ought to be learning something everyday about foreign policy, because after all, whoever wins is leader of the Western world.

Finally, Newt’s big uprising in the polls, if you will, a Newt uprising. A couple of friends of Newt Gingrich tell us that the man who always seems to have his finger on the self-destruct button – one of them says, the post-Congressional Newt – and the more than a decade he’s been out of Congress – has become a changed man. He’s calmer. He doesn’t have his finger on the self-destruct button. He’s more self-disciplined and that indeed, what voters are going to see is a changed man. So we’ll see. Mixed views on whether he can get rid of the baggage that he carries into this campaign. Both from Capitol Hill and since then because he’s had some pretty lucrative contracts with folks like the healthcare industry and Freddie Mac, which is a loan corporation. So that’s pretty much where we stand.

Happy Thanksgiving.

We will be back next Sunday, 9am and 12 noon Eastern.



Condoleezza Rice
on the 2012 GOP Contenders
on the news of the day (Penn State, Myanmar, Syria, Afghanistan, etc)

Sen. Patty Murray

Sen. Rand Paul

Panel on the rise of Newt Gingrich

Sen. Patty Murray (D-Washington), Co-Chair, Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction
CROWLEY: And are you going to come up with a deal?
MURRAY: I'm sure my Republican counterparts did the same, but there is one sticking divide, and that is the issue of what I call shared sacrifice, where everybody contributes in a very challenging time for our country.
CROWLEY: Tax increases.
MURRAY: And that's the Bush tax cuts and making sure that any kind of package includes everybody coming to the table. And the wealthiest of Americans, those who earn over $1 million every year, have to share, too. And that line in the sand, we haven't seen any Republicans willing to cross yet.

Sen. Patty Murray (D-Washington), Co-Chair, Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction
on super committee negotiations:
“I'm going to be waiting all day. I'll be at the table, as I've been, willing to talk to any Republican who says, look, my country is more important, this pile of bills is not going to go away, the challenges that we have is not going to disappear, we need to cross that divide. I'm ready. I'm waiting. Today I'll be at the table, all night long. We have a few hours left.”

Sen. Rand Paul (R-Kentucky)
“Well, you know, sequestration is automatic cuts. And it's kind of like when your kids are misbehaving - yes, sequestration are automatic cuts. And the thing is that you - I would have automatic cuts. It's sort of like telling your children that, you know, if you don't clean up your mess, or else, really maybe we need the or else because Congress isn't behaving the way they should be behaving. Maybe sequestration is our only way we will get any kind of cuts.”

Sen. Rand Paul (R-Kentucky)
on cuts to the Pentagon budget:
“This may surprise some people, but there will be no cuts in military spending, because we're only cutting proposed increases. If we do nothing, military spending goes up 23 percent over 10 years. If we sequester the money, it will still go up 16 percent. So spending is still rising under any of these plans.”

Former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice
on Al-Assad of Syria:
“He is driving his country to the brink of civil war. That's very clear. And it's a very dangerous circumstance and Syria is no friend of the United States. Syria is the handmaiden of the Iranians throughout the region. And so the fall of Bashar al-Assad would be a great thing, not just for the Syrian people - that's first and foremost - but also for the policies of the United States and those who want a more peaceful Middle East.”

Former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice
on China:
“We should be in a posture of carefully watching this military buildup that is taking place in China, which does, frankly, seem a little bit outside for even regional ambitions.”

Former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice
on possibility of joining another administration:
“I am a happy university professor. I'm going to remain one. I will be very happy to give somebody my e-mail and my phone number and California is not that far away for a phone call.”

Former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice
“A potential president has to know the role of the United States of America and that it's an exceptional role, that we have, in fact, been willing to bear a lot of burdens over the last 60 plus years in order to promote a balance of power favor - that favors freedom. I would say to the candidates, yes, you don't have to know the ins and outs of foreign policy because nobody would expect that kind of exposure. But the basis of foreign policy, you can - you can master those during the campaign. And it's important for the American people to know that you care enough about these issues to do that.”

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