April 11: 7 Best Moments from Sunday Talk
Chris Wallace fact-checks Michele Bachmann, Haley Barbour calls Obama the “most left-wing president,” and Robert Gates defends Hamid Karzai. That and more in our Sunday roundup.
Haley Barbour: Obama Is the “Most Left-Wing” President
Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour engaged in a battle of semantics with Candy Crowley on CNN's State of the Union. Facing the charge that Republicans are in danger of being cast as "mean old white guys," Barbour was pressed on whether he would describe Obama as "the most radical president in American history" as Newt Gingrich did. Barbour tiptoed around the issue, suggesting he was against the language used while opting for something nearly as inflammatory—"most left-wing."
Michele Bachmann vs. Chris Wallace
Speaking of semantics, Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) appeared on Fox News Sunday, where she and host Chris Wallace had a disagreement over… reality? Bachmann, a fierce critic of the Obama White House and Congressional Democrats, made several claims about the economy and financial policy, which Wallace decided to correct on air. The whole exchange seemed a touch more Daily Show than Fox News.
Hillary Clinton to Iran: Your “Belligerence” Is Showing
On ABC's This Week, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton dismissed Iran's latest statement on developing nuclear power as political posturing, saying, "We take everything they say with more than a grain of salt." Clinton attempted to turn the tables on Iran, arguing that they were displaying "belligerence" that would in fact draw more nations to the side of the West.
Robert Gates Says Drug Accusations About Karzai Are “Stupid”
On CBS's Face the Nation, Secretary of Defense Robert Gates directly confronted some of the accusations publicly thrown at Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai, dismissing the suggestion that Karzai is using drugs as "just stupid." Gates also tried to explain some of Karzai's statements by stressing that the Afghan president is "sensitive" about criticism potentially aimed at Afghan sovereignty.
Senator Leahy and Jeff Sessions Agree to Disagree, Kind Of
In a preview of what we’re in store for this summer, Senators Patrick Leahy (D-VT) and Jeff Sessions (R-AL) argued on NBC's Meet the Press over what "judicial activism" looks like. Leahy argued that while conservatives are ostensibly opposed to the idea, the current Supreme Court is the most activist court in recent history. Sessions objected, saying the court was merely correcting poorly written laws. In the end, they both concluded that the court should "interpret the law, not make the law." Which is to say, they agreed to continue the debate every Sunday for the foreseeable future.
Hillary Clinton Defends Nuke Policy
While joining Secretary Gates on CBS' Face the Nation, Hillary Clinton defended another element of the White House's foreign policy. Facing criticism that the new nuclear policy was too restrictive, Secretary Clinton made it clear that they were not afraid to use force as long the situation called for it. As she described it, in the instance where we know a country to be responsible for a biological attack, "all bets are off."
Treme Creator David Simon Talks New Orleans
New Orleans has been in the news lately due to Republicans hosting the Southern Republican Leadership Conference in Louisiana. Noticeably absent, however, has been any mention of Hurricane Katrina. David Simon has taken the opposite approach with his new HBO show, Treme, which focuses on New Orleans in the aftermath of the hurricane. On CNN's State of the Union, Simon talked about the role culture has played in the city's revival.