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September 23rd, 2012
01:32 PM ET

State of the Union Crib Sheet for Sunday September 23, 2012

On today’s “State of the Union,” with 44 days until Election Day,  we got an assessment of the state of the race from two stalwarts of the Senate, Democrat Dick Durbin and Republican Lindsey Graham. House Intelligence Committee Chairman, Rep. Mike Rogers, joined Candy to discuss the Obama administration’s response to the attack that killed the US ambassador to Libya. Finally, a panel of pollsters and reporters; Whit Ayres, Anna Greenberg, Susan Page and Ron Brownstein discussed how the presidential candidates can appeal to that most desirable of demographics: the undecided voter.


Sen. Lindsey Graham (R) South Carolina on Mitt Romney’s taxes and their relevance to the campaign

“Nobody’s going to vote based on Mitt Romney’s tax return. He gave 30% of what he earned away. He is a lot more generous than I am. I don’t know about the rest of y'all two, but I’m sort of amazed at the generosity of the Romneys. He has paid his taxes lawfully. The bottom line it's not going to be about the speech that he gave at a campaign fundraiser, and quite frankly, it's not going to be about a 14-year-old comment that President Obama made about redistribution. It's going to be about you, your family, and let me tell you again, no Republican stopped Barack Obama from doing what he wanted to do in his first two years. He passed the stimulus, Obamacare. He got his major initiatives through on a party line vote, and all of them have failed.”

Sen. Dick Durbin (R), Illinois on the choice facing voters

“The bottom line is when the American people are asked this basic question, which of these two candidates, Obama or Romney, do you think is better prepared to move this economy forward in the next four years? Overwhelmingly they say it is President Obama. And you know why, because Romney's approach to politics and this economy as evidenced by his 47 percent remark writes off so many Americans, ignores the economic realities facing middle income families. When he says he wants a tax break of $250,000 a year for the wealthiest people in America, it means middle income families will pay more taxes. They understand that. And they are not going to support a president who is going to make life even more difficult for those living paycheck to paycheck.”

Rep. Mike Rogers (R) Intelligence Committee Chairman, on the attack on the US consulate in Benghazi

“I have seen no information that shows that there was a protest going on as you have seen around any other embassy at the time. It was clearly designed to be an attack, and what’s so egregious about this and why every American should be offended; this isn’t about George Bush or Barack Obama. It’s not about Republicans, it’s not about Democrats. They targeted and killed the face of the United States of America; a US ambassador and three embassy employees who were there dedicated to doing the work of the United States of America. This is as serious [an] event as I have ever seen, and it's been confusing to try to follow where the administration has been.”

Links to SOTU Interviews

Sens. Durbin and Graham

Rep. Mike Rogers

Whit Ayres, Anna Greenberg, Susan Page & Ron Brownstein Part One

Ayres, Greenberg, Page and Brownstein Part Two


Additional SOTU information:


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Filed under: 2012 • Candy Crowley • Dick Durbin • Foreign Policy • Intelligence • Libya • Lindsey Graham • Newsmakers • Ron Brownstein
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