Gingrich: Obama Administration Is Incompetent
Talk of the Shirley Sherrod affair dominated the Sunday talk shows, but nowhere were the discussions as spirited as on Fox News Sunday. First, Chris Wallace grilled former Speaker of the United States House Newt Gingrich about his appearance on Hannity Monday, asking Gingrich if it was irresponsible of him to call Sherrod “viciously racist” based on Andrew Breitbart’s infamous edited clip. Gingrich danced around the topic, instead saying the situation was “one more example of the Obama administration’s continuing incompetence.”
Howard Dean: Fox News is “Absolutely Racist”
Later, Howard Dean held nothing back, calling Fox “absolutely racist” in its handling of the whole debacle. Chris Wallace fired back, saying, “I know facts are inconvenient things, but let’s try to deal with the facts”—before pointing out that his network never actually aired the edited Sherrod clip prior to the Department of Agriculture official being fired, and that it only appeared on Andrew Breitbart’s website. Dean countered that it was the threat of the clip airing on Glenn Beck’s show that the administration had feared, leading them to ask Sherrod to step down. “The Tea Party called out their racist fringe and I think the Republican Party's got to stop appealing to its racist fringe,” said Dean. “And Fox News is what did that.”
No Double-Dip Recession, Says Geithner
On Meet the Press, Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner waved off David Gregory’s concerns about a “double-dip recession.” We’re in a moderate-paced recovery, he said—but this is most definitely a recovery. "You know, we've had six months of private sector job growth," Geithner said. "Not as fast as we like, not as fast as we need, but I think you're going to see it, again, gradually start to get better."
Geithner: Bush Tax Cuts Will Go
Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner continued his mini-media blitz on This Week, saying, “the responsible thing to do” is to let lapse the Bush tax cuts giving breaks to those who make more than $200,000 a year and families bringing in more than $250,000 a year. The move will show the world that America is committed to cutting the deficit—and it won’t slow economic growth, Geithner argued.
New Jersey Governor Slams Jersey Shore
MTV’s Jersey Shore has many fans— including Sen. John McCain—but the show’s home state governor is not among them. Governor Chris Christie, amid discussions of New Jersey’s budget woes and other problems, lamented on This Week that the reality TV show is not one of the Garden State’s best exports. Worse, it’s not even authentically Jersey, he argued—just “a bunch of New Yorkers,” shipped in, marring the lovely beaches.
Former Bush Staffers Decry Mixing of Race and Politics
On Face the Nation, Michael Gerson, who served many years as then-President George W. Bush’s speechwriter, said that many partisans want to score points (or boost Web traffic) by “turning political polarization into racial polarization.” The case of two New Black Panther Party members allegedly trying to suppress votes—and both the Bush and Obama administrations failing to charge them with a crime—is an unpleasant incident that some are trying to “turn into a narrative,” Gerson said. Abigail Thernstrom, a Bush appointee to the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights agreed, further denounced conservative talking heads who claim that the Obama administration is ignoring the incident and thus showing special treatment to blacks. There’s no evidence to back up the charge, Thernstrom said, and there are bigger voting rights issues to worry about.
Can Bill Clinton Help Embattled Congressional Democrats?
One of the biggest dramas of the 2008 presidential campaign was the tension between Barack Obama and Bill Clinton—both before and after Obama vanquished Hillary. But now the current president needs the former president to stump for congressional Democrats struggling in the polls, especially those in working-class white districts, where Obama is deeply unpopular. Obama really needs the Clintons, Howard Fineman says on The Chris Matthews Show, but asking for their help has got to sting a little.