Eric Cantor on Obama’s Citizenship and More Sunday Talk

Cantor refuses to call birthers crazy, McCain wants everyone to sit down and shut up at the State of the Union, and Olbermann’s exit gets a postmortem. That and more in our roundup.

Eric Cantor Doesn’t Like Name-Calling

On Meet the Press, Majority Leader Eric Cantor said that he believes President Obama is an American citizen. However, despite host David Gregory’s best efforts, he refused to disparage the birther contingent, saying, “I don’t think it’s nice to call anyone crazy.”

McCain: Let’s Have Less Cheering at the SOTU, OK?

Much attention is being paid to who will be sitting where at the upcoming State of the Union address, but when Bob Schieffer pressed Sen. John McCain on his seating preference on Face the Nation, McCain said he was more concerned with where people weren’t sitting—namely, in their seats. “Maybe we can cut back a little bit on all the jumping up and down, which I think frankly distracts from any president’s speech,” he said.

The Olbermann Postmortem Gets Heated

The Daily Beast’s Howard Kurtz hosted a lively roundtable on Reliable Sources to discuss Keith Olbermann’s sudden departure from MSNBC Friday night. David Zurawik of The Baltimore Sun and former MSNBC anchor David Shuster locked horns early on after Zurawik said Olbermann was less Murrow and more McCarthy. Even off the air, Olbermann is still quite the controversy-starter.

Obama Doesn’t Have Powell’s Vote in the Bag

Despite praising Obama’s work with the economy and health care, former Secretary of State Colin Powell told Candy Crowley that the president doesn’t have a lock on Powell’s 2012 vote just yet. “I will always vote as I have throughout my life, for the person that I think is best qualified to be president of the United States, and I don't adhere to a single party line. So I'm not committed to Barack Obama. I'm not committed to a Republican candidate. I will see who emerges,” he said.

Why Lieberman Won’t Run

On This Week, Christiane Amanpour hosted a roundtable with Sen. Joe Lieberman, Sen. Kent Conrad, and Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison, three senators who recently announced they would not seek reelection. For his part, Lieberman said he was stepping down because it was time for a change, and denied it had anything to do with not wanting to mount a tough battle for reelection. “Obviously, it would have been a tough campaign. But, you know, as I said, so what else is new?” he said. “Almost all my campaigns have been tough. That's not the reason why I didn't run. I didn't run because I want to try something different.”

Hutchison: I So Would’ve Won

Later, Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison of Texas denied that her own decision not to run again was due to being flanked by the Tea Party. “I think the Tea Party has done a good thing in awakening America to the problems that we are facing and saying we can do something about it. And I appreciate that,” Hutchison said. “I think that, if I had run, I would have won. It would have been a tough race, for sure, but I thing I would have won, because I think my record is good, and it is to be effective and get things done.”

Get The Beast In Your Inbox!

Daily Digest

Start and finish your day with the top stories from The Daily Beast.

Cheat Sheet

A speedy, smart summary of all the news you need to know (and nothing you don't).

By clicking “Subscribe,” you agree to have read the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy
Thank You!
You are now subscribed to the Daily Digest and Cheat Sheet. We will not share your email with anyone for any reason.

McConnell: Seating Charts, Schmeating Charts

On Fox News Sunday, Sen. Mitch McConnell talked about where he’ll be sitting at the State of the Union address. In his opinion, what matters less is where he sits—it’s more how the parties truly manage to work together. As long as he can avoid jumping up and down, Sen. McCain will be happy.