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May 13th, 2012
04:47 PM ET

SOTU Crib Sheet for May 13th

Sens. John Cornyn and Dick Durbin on the president's to-do list for Congress and what's on the agenda before the end of the year. ... the debate over same-sex marriage:
Sen. Durbin: "I can just tell you I don't think it was a political calculation by the president. I think it was a matter of conscience."
Sen. Cornyn: "President Obama brought this issue up because he wants to - he can't run on his record."

the defeat of Senator Lugar and what it says for the fall election:
Sen. Cornyn: "People are mad at what's happening in Washington. The inaction that you have identified early on in important issues where we should be working together to deal with jobs and getting the economy back on track, and where they see nothing but inaction. And so people are tired of just yelling at the TV set. They actually are going to turn out and vote, and they did, and they want to try new leaders. And that's what happened in Indiana."

Then Governor John Hickenlooper (D-CO) weighed in on Colorado's civil unions fight:
"I don't think we should ever tell any church who they should marry, who they shouldn't marry. That's their right. Our system succeeds because our faith community can be such a great partner with government, but we don't ever get into their territory. But, you know, who gets the basic rights? Those have to be shared with everyone, and whether you get to visit someone in a hospital room as friends and family, that's the kind of stuff that we're addressing with civil unions."

A conversation with Gary Bauer and Tony Perkins on Mitt Romney's work to woo conservative Christians with a speech to Liberty University:
Tony Perkins: "I think this was a great opportunity for Mitt Romney to go to Liberty University, the largest Christian university in the world, and be able to speak to these issues, and I think he hit just the right tone."
Gary Bauer: "I think on this coming November, we're going to see that same coalition that's been there for many, many elections, that elected Reagan twice, of people that believe in family and faith, et cetera. And I think Mitt Romney will do very well among Christians."

and reaction to President Obama's comments on same-sex marriage:
Gary Bauer: "I think the president this past week took six or seven states he carried in 2008 and put them in play with this one ill-conceived position that he's taken."
Tony Perkins: "As this president pushes this radical agenda, America realizes it's more than marriage. It's about education of our children. It's about religious freedom. It's about public accommodations. It's a lot more than just marriage, and Americans are catching onto that."

And Homeland Security Committee Chairmen Senator Joe Lieberman and Congressman Peter King on the politics of top secrets and negotiating with the Taliban after a former Taliban member and key peace negotiator was killed Sunday:
Rep. Peter King: "I think all of these incidents show how difficult it still is in Afghanistan, and quite frankly, I think we should not be giving these target dates for getting out. But apparently this is set now. And it just shows again how tough Afghanistan is, that we shouldn't be leaving prematurely, and there's a lot of work on the ground that has to be done, and it's a very dangerous place in the world."
Sen. Joe Lieberman: "Unless we continue to put pressure on the Taliban, they are never going to come to the table and have genuine peace negotiations. I think the important message here is to the policy makers right up to the president about the pace of withdrawal of our forces from Afghanistan."

and the politics of top secrets and investigating the Secret Service Scandal:
Sen. Joe Lieberman: "I met with Director Sullivan during last week, and we're going to hold a public hearing. I haven't announced it, but first I'll announce it this morning. On May 23rd, at which we're going to have Director Mark Sullivan of the Secret Service and the acting inspector general of the Department of Homeland Security, Charles Edwards."

Plus, remembering a friend of young and old in a "Wild" Mother's Day tribute.


Watch our online exclusive segment Getting to Know John Cornyn

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