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May 19th, 2013
01:46 PM ET

State of the Union Crib Sheet for Sunday 5-19-13

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.”

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