The day before the one month anniversary of the Newtown school shooting, Candy sat down with National Rifle Association President David Keene to discuss his organization’s involvement in Vice President Biden’s White House meetings on gun control and the NRA’s opposition to gun control legislation. Speaking to Candy from Newtown, Connecticut senator Chris Murphy made the case for an assault weapons ban.
Former Utah governor and Republican presidential candidate Jon Huntsman and Senator Joe Manchin (D-West Virginia) spoke with Candy about their No Labels movement and their hopes of forging greater bipartisanship in Congress in dealing with gun violence and other issues.
Finally, we broke down the week’s news on guns and President Obama’s Cabinet nominees with Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R- Tennessee), Rep. Elijah Cummings (D- Maryland), Michael Scherer of Time Magazine and Jeff Zeleny of the New York Times.
Today on State of the Union with Candy Crowley, Sen. John Barrasso (R-WY), Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), Rep. Donna Edwards (D-MD) and Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA), joined Candy to discuss the status of the fiscal cliff negotiations. Sen. Barrasso stated, “We're trying to line up Rubik's cube right now. We're not there yet. So we're going to be meeting later today. This is going to continue and then go on till tomorrow.” And Sen. Stabenow offered, “I'm willing to do more. I have $24 billion sitting on a farm bill in cuts we passed to the House. The House committee passed spending cuts that would stop big subsidies to farmers who shouldn't be receiving them. The House won't take it up. So I'm happy to do more reasonable spending cuts, but not if over and over the middle class gets hit.”
Candy also sat down with Sen. Bob Corker (R-TN), Rep. Raúl Labrador (R-ID) and Sen. Olympia Snowe (R-ME) during our noon hour to discuss the latest with the fiscal cliff negotiations and to respond to Pres. Obama’s comments. Sen. Corker told Candy “I think what's been missing here, Candy, is it appears to me that the president either lacks the courage or the will to lay out those specific things that need to happen. Because I assure you, if he would lay those out, the House would take it up, the Senate would take it up, and we could move this behind us, and we could start this next year with the wind at our back and this fiscal issue behind us, like most of us would like to do.”
Plus, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack on the farm bill, the cost of ignoring rural America, and how rural America sees the gun debate.
GETTING TO KNOW
Watch our online exclusive segment Getting to Know “Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack”
Sen. John Barrasso (R-Wyoming)
“What we're seeing here is a monumental failure of presidential leadership. The president is the only person with a pen who can sign this, and it's the president's responsibility to work on something that the House will pass, the senate will pass and that he will sign. But he is outsourcing this. He continues to campaign and lecture when he ought to be focusing on the number one problem that hurts us as a country, which is our debt. And the problem is a spending problem.”
Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tennessee) on reaching a deal to avert to the fiscal cliff:
“I would bet my life that over the next very short period of time, 98 to 99 percent of the people in the country are going to be rescued.”
Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tennessee) on reaching a debt deal with the president:
“It appears to me that the president either lacks the courage or the will to lay out those specific things that need to happen. Because I assure you, if he would lay those out, the House would take it up, the Senate would take it up, and we could move this behind us, and we could start this next year with the wind at our back and this fiscal issue behind us, like most of us would like to do.”
Tom Vilsack, Secretary of Agriculture, on the farm bill:
“It is unconscionable that we don't have a farm bill. This is just historic. You have every single major commodity group and farm group in the country united in the message to get this work done if Congress doesn't get it done. You can’t point to a time when Congress has been this reluctant to pass farm legislation.”
Tom Vilsack, Secretary of Agriculture, on rural America:
“We're losing our young people because we're not doing a particularly good job of sending the right proactive message from an economic perspective. And that then translates into a lack of support for programs that are important to rural America.”
Today, Candy reported from Newtown, Connecticut where she spoke to Governor Dan Malloy about trying to comfort a grieving community. Malloy reflected on the emotional experience of telling family members that they had lost loved ones. He also called for stricter gun laws. “These are assault weapons. You don't hunt deer with these things," he said.
Congresswoman Carolyn McCarthy (D-NY), whose husband was killed in a mass shooting on the Long Island Railroad in 1993, called on President Obama to issue an executive order to tighten up the gun laws in place.
HIGHLIGHTS FULL POST
Candy Crowley will anchor “State of the Union” from Connecticut. We’ll have the latest developments on the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting.
Sunday at 9a & 12p ET.
On today’s State of the Union, Candy sat down with the White House’s chief negotiator on the fiscal cliff; Treasury Secretary, Tim Geithner for his assessment of how the fiscal cliff negotiations are progressing.
Senator Mark Warner (D-Virginia) and Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R-New Hampshire) then gave their thoughts on the fiscal cliff and on this week’s meetings between Susan Rice and lawmakers over the Benghazi consulate attack.
This week’s roundtable was made up of Montana governor Brian Schweitzer, Susan Page of USA Today, former HP CEO Carly Fiorina and A.B. Stoddard of The Hill. The panel wrapped up the week in politics and took an early look forward to 2016.
Today, Senator Robert Menendez (D-NJ) and Congressman Peter King (R-NY) offered sharply different takes on the resignation of David Petraeus. King said he has “questions about the whole matter” and called for a review of the timeline of events. “This was a matter involving a potential compromise of security, and the president should have been told about it at the earliest state,” said King. Menendez dismissed the idea of a conspiracy; adding, “from all the published accounts it seems that the chain of events is pretty clear.”
Dana Bash moderated a panel of prominent republicans who discussed rebranding the GOP. Former Commerce Secretary Carlos Gutierrez said the GOP needs to make new inroads with Hispanics. “The insight that I got was that Latinos were scared. You know, it wasn't the economy and - they were scared of the Republican Party, and I think fear is what did us in.”
And California Governor Jerry Brown made a case for why states should be left alone to decide marijuana laws.
ON STATE OF THE UNION
A preview of vice presidential debate with two people who know the candidates well – RNC Chairman Reince Priebus and Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter. Priebus tried to manage expectations: " I think that Paul is going to do a great job, but I also think it's very important for people to understand... that Joe Biden is a gifted orator. He is very good at rhetoric, and I think he is very relatable."
Nutter agreed on Biden's relatability: "I think the big thing with Vice President Biden is that he speaks from his heart; he's an earthy guy. ... Vice President Biden is the real deal. He'll give it to you straight. He communicates in a way that I think connects with people at a real level."
On the September jobs report, Priebus remarked that the Obama administration is "still getting clobbered" and Nutter said despite high unemployment "African-Americans are going to strongly support President Barack Obama".
And Priebus said the threat of a third party candidate like Gary Johnson "doesn't worry me because I think people understand that they're not going to throw their vote away when we have an election here that's about the future of America. ... It's almost a nonfactor."
Former Ohio Governor and national co-chairman of the Obama campaign Ted Strickland and Ohio Attorney General and Romney supporter, Mike DeWine spoke about the battle for their state in the presidential election.
Strickland: "If I was as rich as Mitt Romney, I would bet Mike DeWine $10,000 that the president is going to win Ohio."
DeWine: "Romney's going to carry Ohio. It's going to be a very, very close race. But this race fundamentally changed Wednesday night in Ohio."
Plus, breaking down the numbers and politics of the September jobs report with our roundtable.
With only a few days until the first presidential debate, both campaigns are working to shape expectations. Senator John McCain, a man who has debated both Barack Obama and Mitt Romney, said he doubted the debate Wednesday night would provide a game-changing moment. "I can't remember the last time there was one of these comments that grabbed everybody's attention because, frankly, the candidates are too well prepared. They're well scripted," McCain said.
On the foreign policy front, Obama campaign senior adviser David Axelrod defended the administration’s initial reaction to the violence in Libya that killed Ambassador Chris Stevens. “I was kind of shocked to see Representative King attack Ambassador Rice for what she said last Sunday here and elsewhere, because she was acting on the intelligence that was given to her by the intelligence community.” McCain argued that the administration's initial reaction had "certain political overtones."
Missouri Senator Roy Blunt (R) expressed confidence in Todd Akin’s Senate candidacy despite a series of controversial remarks. “I think at the end of the day, that race does largely become a debate about the majority in the Senate." Blunt went on to say that any other Republican candidate would be leading in the polls, adding that "Todd very well may win."
ON STATE OF THE UNION:
Candy talked to three prominent Democrats on the party’s campaign message and firing up the base:
Maryland Governor Martin O'Malley: “This is the contrast, we are about jobs and opportunity, and they are about bigger tax breaks about billionaires.”
North Carolina Governor Bev Perdue: “Folks want people to come together to solve the problems and the challenges of America.”
Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa: “We have the most comprehensive ground effort in ever... and we are going to be focusing on the Latino vote. We will be focusing on the 12 or 13 states where the election is in swing opportunity.”
Policy differences over Medicare, and the growing negative tone in the presidential campaigns were front and center on today’s “State of the Union.” Romney senior adviser Eric Fehrnstrom, speaking to CNN’s National Political Correspondent Jim Acosta, said he wasn’t concerned that seniors might be turned off by the Romney/Ryan Medicare plan. “If you look at the last few days of the campaign, you will see that Paul Ryan was down in Florida as you mentioned with his mother talking about the Romney/Ryan plan to strengthen and protect Medicare,” said Fehrnstrom.