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12.30.12

Barack Obama, Lindsey Graham, David Brooks & More Sunday Talk (VIDEO)

Obama rebukes the GOP on the fiscal cliff, Sen. Lindsey Graham tips his hat to the president for a political win, David Brooks describes Washington as ‘shambolic,’ and more of Sunday talk’s best.

Obama: GOP Has Trouble Saying Yes

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In a rare Sunday talk appearance, President Obama took to NBC’s Meet the Press to deride Republicans’ opposition to his fiscal cliff proposal. “Making sure that tax breaks for the wealthiest Americans are protected … seems to be their only overriding, unifying theme,” Obama said.

Graham: ‘Hats Off to the President, He Won’

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Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) told Fox News Sunday that the chances are “exceedingly good” that Congress will agree on a “small deal” to “avoid the cliff.” However, he said that it would be a “political victory for the president” rather than an economic win for America. Graham said that now he would consider voting for something he didn’t like because “the country’s got a lot at stake here.”

Brooks: Governments ‘Shambolic, Dysfunctional Process’

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On Meet the Press, New York Times columnist David Brooks said that “what’s happening in Washington right now is pathetic.” Republicans deserve “most of the blame,” Brooks said, accusing them of having a “brain freeze since the election.” But he didn’t spare the president, saying Obama sometimes “governs like a visitor from a morally superior civilization” and that he’ll need to change his style to win Republicans’ trust.

Barasso: Monumental Failure of Presidential Leadership’

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Sen. John Barrasso (R-WY) didn’t mince words on State of the Union. “It’s the president’s responsibility to work on something that the House will pass, the Senate will pass, and that he will sign,” said Barrasso, blaming Obama for the partisan standoff. “He continues to campaign and lecture,” Barrasso said, when the president should be trying to fix America’s debt.

Noonan: With This President, Its Always Cliffs, Its Never Deals

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“The big cliché of this moment in history is ‘there’s a lot of blame to go around,’” said Wall Street Journal columnist Peggy Noonan on Face the Nation. Noonan criticized President Obama and other Washington leaders, faulting a “deficit” of “broad-minded leadership,” while also lamenting “the unfortunate, sad unsuccess of John Boehner’s Plan B.”

Schumer Blames ‘Hard-Right People on the House’

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On This Week, Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) acknowledged that “it is embarrassing” that Washington has not yet come to an agreement, but he didn’t hold the Senate responsible. Schumer pointed a finger at ultra-conservative House Republicans who “say compromise is a dirty word.” Despite the current impasse, Schumer expressed optimism that “after Speaker Boehner is reelected,” he won’t have to play politics anymore and will be able to instead work on a real solution.

Was David Gregory Tough Enough on Obama?

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On Reliable Sources, Howard Kurtz asked about the contrast between the NBC host’s “low-key” interview style with President Obama and the combative tone Gregory took with NRA chief Wayne LaPierre. The Washington Post’s Erik Wemple was harsher, calling Gregory “meek and weak” and saying “there were a number of points on which he didn’t press the president hard enough.” Mind you, he added, it’s not always easy to “interrupt an incumbent president during an interview.”