March 28: 7 Best Moments From Sunday Talk
Charlie Crist faces off with Marco Rubio, Valerie Jarrett makes nice with Israel, and Lindsey Graham has a unique immigration solution. That and more in our Sunday roundup.
Tim Kaine: Republicans Are Responsible for the Incivility
So this is what it looks like when both parties compete to politicize an issue? On Face the Nation, DNC Chairman Tim Kaine countered claims that Democrats were equally responsible for the recent threats of violence against congressmen by pointing the finger back at the RNC, saying some Republicans think it’s “to their political advantage” to “keep people stoked.” Kaine pointed to a civility statement the RNC refused to sign to prove the Dems were seeking to tone things down.
Valerie Jarrett on Israel: “Friends Can Disagree”
In case you thought the U.S. decided to pull an about-face in its longstanding relations with Israel, White House senior adviser Valerie Jarrett reassured the public that that’s not the case. Questioned on ABC's This Week about the recent public spat between the U.S. and Israel, Jarrett declared that Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu still had our nation’s trust. This on the heels of a week in which Washington pressured Israel both privately and through some public finger-wagging. She didn't deny things were tense lately, but she was confident that relations were not fractured, saying, “Friends can disagree.”
Charlie Crist vs. Marco Rubio: The Panhandle Showdown
While the rest of the punditsphere went about its normal Sunday routine, Fox News Sunday hosted a much-hyped debate between Florida Gov. Charlie Crist and former Florida House Speaker Marco Rubio. The two are slugging it out in the Republican Senate primary and Sunday marked the first time the pair went toe-to-toe. It has been suggested that Crist, who is often attacked as being too moderate, might pull a Lieberman and run as an independent if he loses the primary. Host Chris Wallace pressed him for a definitive answer, to which Crist eventually responded, "I'm running as a Republican."
Lamar Alexander: The Government’s Gonna Get Ya!
Since the beginning of the Obama administration, Republicans in Congress and the Tea Party crowd have complained of government overreach. With the passage of the health-care bill and student-loan reform, critics have fresh ammunition. Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-TN) went on CNN's State of the Union to suggest we "hide the Yellow Pages" from Democrats to protect private business. Apparently, Alexander is the one person still using the Yellow Pages.
Barbara Mikulski: “Lower the Decibel Level”
With all the discussion and finger-pointing about rhetoric lately, one senator managed to strike a reasonable apolitical stance. Asked on CNN's State of the Union about the exaggerated language used lately by members of Congress, Sen. Barbara Mikulski (D-MD) said it had to cease. Sounding refreshingly like a sensible adult rather than a United States senator, Mikulski argued that rhetoric is “cheapening” and “denigrating” ourselves, and that it is having a negative impact on the way the U.S. is perceived around the world.
Jim DeMint: Obama Going Behind Senate's Back to Appoint a “Radical”
On CBS's Face the Nation, Sen. Jim DeMint (R-SC) took umbrage with President Obama's recess appointment of Craig Becker to the National Labor Relations Board. DeMint called Becker a “radical” and suggested Obama was trying to circumvent the Senate. DeMint's developed a bit of a specialty in blocking nominees (he effectively sunk the nomination of Obama's first choice to head the TSA) so he was naturally upset that the president was able to get someone past him this time.
Lindsey Graham: Don't Forget Immigration!
Happily, the further we get from the health-care reform passing, the more inclined people are to finally talk about anything else. On Meet the Press, Senators Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and Chuck Schumer (D-NY) discussed immigration reform. Graham, one of the few Republicans willing to go near the subject, accused President Obama of inaction, saying that so far "they’ve done almost nothing in the White House on immigration." His solution? They should just “write a bill and send it to me.”