03.18.12

Clooney on Fox, Santorum as Newt’s ‘Frenemy, More Sunday Talk (VIDEO)

Actor George Clooney steps up for Sudan, Mitt Romney blames Obama for high gas prices, John McCain says Romney’s ‘improving dramatically,’ and more in our Sunday Talk roundup.

McCain’s Advice for Romney

Sen. John McCain, who ran his own presidential campaign in 2008, stopped by Meet the Press to offer a few words of wisdom for Mitt Romney. “He’s got to focus more on the economy,” said McCain, who has endorsed the former Massachusetts governor. “I think he is improving dramatically as a candidate.” The Arizona senator also expressed his distaste for super PACs, which he believes have driven up unfavorable views of candidates because of the negative ads they produce. On the tone of this year’s political fight, McCain added, “This is the nastiest I have ever seen.”

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Clooney’s Crusade

In an effort to raise awareness about war crimes being committed in Sudan, George Clooney made a rare appearance on Fox News Sunday. China gets oil from Sudan, and as the actor notes, Beijing’s economic ties to the country could help to force some political change. “China and the U.S. both have economic interest in getting this resolved,” Clooney said. “This is a moment for China and the United States to work together to solve the problem.” Clooney, who was arrested and released Friday after a protest outside the Sudanese Embassy, recently visited Sudan and also shared his story of coming dangerously close to an undetonated bomb, saying, “ We were glad to get out of there.”

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Romney: Obama Wants Higher Gas Prices

Gas prices have gone up nearly 29 percent in the last two months, and according to Mitt Romney, that’s exactly what President Obama wanted. Asked on Fox News Sunday whether Obama was to blame for the spiking price at the pump, Romney enthusiastically assigned responsibility to Obama and three members of his Cabinet. “This gas hike trio has been doing the job over the past three and a half years and gas prices are up,” Romney said.  “The right course is that they ought to be fired.”

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Santorum: Romney Uniquely Disqualified

Going for brokered? If the GOP nomination doesn’t get decided on the campaign trail, Republicans face the possibility of an open convention. On State of the Union, Rick Santorum was asked if he will stay in the race even if Romney fails nab the delegates needed to win the nomination. The result would be a brokered convention, but Santorum refused to give a definite answer and instead focused on Romney’s floundering popularity. “Obviously we’re in this to win,” Santorum said. “If he can’t get there with the huge advantages he has, I think that tells you something about his support within the Republican base.”

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Axelrod: Romney Can’t ‘Make the Sell’

Who will be the GOP nominee? David Axelrod has no idea. On Face the Nation, Obama’s senor adviser said he thought Romney stood a chance of clenching the nomination, but continues to face setbacks. “He hasn’t been able to make the sell to his own party,” Axelrod said. In addition, Axelrod took aim at Romney’s comment that he was an economic heavyweight, saying,  “Massachusetts went from 10th in the nation in job creation to 47th. Their debt went up 16.5 percent. If he thinks he’s an economic heavyweight, he must looking in a funhouse mirror.”

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Gingrich Is ‘Santorum’s Frenemy’

Rick Santorum may have caught a few breaks in the Southern primaries, but the race is far from over. On This Week, Nia-Malika Henderson of The Washington Post shared her belief that Romney will have significant support in upcoming primaries. “We’ve got about two dozen more contests, and the map looks better for him than it does for Santorum,” Henderson said. She also commented on the effect Newt Gingrich is having on the race, saying, “He’s in some ways Santorum’s frenemy. He’s in one way his wing man, but his worst nightmare.”

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Daisey: Entertainer or Journalist?

The public radio show This American Life retracted an episode featuring Mike Daisey’s monologue on the inner workings at Apple factories after certain facts in the story were found to be fabricated. Arik Hesseldahl, a former writer for BusinessWeek, told Reliable Sources that when the radio show attempted to fact-check the story, three major anecdotes could not be verified. “When the fact checker from This American Life contacted Daisey, Daisey created a story,” Hesseldahl said. “Who would think to lie to Ira Glass? On top of that, who would think to lie to Ira Glass’s fact checker?”

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