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Mitt Romney, Barack Obama, Paul Ryan, and More Sunday Talk

Romney likes parts of Obamacare, Obama questions Republicans’ math, Ryan wasn’t impressed with Clinton’s speech & more.

Mitt Romney: I’d Keep Parts of Obamacare

In a shaky (but exclusive!) bus interview with the notoriously media-shy Republican presidential contender, Meet the Press’s David Gregory got Romney talking on an impressive slew of topics, from the auto bailout to Obamacare. The candidate grabbed headlines for his take on the latter, saying that he’d keep components of the president’s signature health-care legislation—and he also revealed that, to his mind, America’s “biggest threat” is “a nuclear Iran.” (Guess he changed his mind about Russia?) Meanwhile, would-be first lady Ann Romney said her husband has been “demonized” for being “heartless,” and reminded voters that “we know what it’s like to struggle.”

President Obama: We Need to Cut Some Government Programs

“The math—or the arithmetic, as President Clinton said—doesn’t add up,” Obama told Face the Nation about Republicans’ debt-reduction plan. “You can’t reduce the deficit unless you take a balanced approach,” he argued, which means both cutting government programs and increasing revenue. The president assured host Scott Pelley that he’s open to slashing government spending: “There are some programs that are worthy, but we just can’t afford right now,” he said, “and I’m willing to do more on that front.” He also added that he’s “more than happy to work with Republicans”—a comment quickly rebuked by GOP veep candidate Paul Ryan.

Paul Ryan: Clinton’s Speech Didn’t Concern Us

“President Obama has placed us on a path of decline,” Ryan told This Week in his first Sunday Talk interview since being named to the Republican ticket. “We think the secret to economic growth is [to] lower tax rates for families and successful small business by plugging loopholes.” Of course, when pressed, Ryan refused to disclose which loopholes he and his running mate hope to resolve. Oh, and Bill Clinton’s speech at the DNC “wasn’t even an analysis of the Romney plan,” he said. Snap!

Julian Castro: Show Us the Money, Mitt!

If Romney’s cooked up such a brilliant plan for economic recovery, why isn’t he flaunting it? That was Castro’s line of questioning on Meet the Press. The San Antonio mayor and rising Democratic star railed against Romney's bare-bones economic policy, blasting the candidate's inability to “get specific” on tax issues. But conservative pundit Bill Bennett wasn't buying it: “Where’s [Obama’s] plan?” Bennett countered, citing the president's “pathetic” effort to pass a jobs bill.

Glenn Hubbard: Romney Isn’t Calling for ‘Large Tax Cuts’

With no “big gets” on the lineup, Fox News Sunday featured a faceoff between opposing economic advisers: Glenn Hubbard, the dean of Columbia Business School and an adviser to the Romney campaign, and Austan Goolsbee, the former chair of President Obama’s Council of Economic Advisers. You might remember Hubbard from the beating he took in the Oscar-winning documentary Inside Job. But no such clobbering today; instead, Hubbard argued: “Mitt Romney is talking about tax reform, not large tax cuts.” Hmm.

Jerry Brown’s History Lesson

On State of the Union, California’s Democratic governor Jerry Brown attempted to turn history against Romney, comparing the nominee to Thomas Dewey, the 1948 GOP candidate of the “wealthy east.” The attack quickly lost its bite, however, when Brown realized that, in this scenario, Obama might be compared to Harry Truman, the president with the lowest approval ratings in American history. After realizing his faulty footing, Brown clarified that, while he wasn’t comparing them, he does recognize the two presidents’ similar struggle for “the common man.”

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It’s My Election and I’ll Cry If I Want To!

Think your job sucks? Apparently The New York Times Magazine’s chief national correspondent, Mark Leibovitch, isn’t thrilled with his, either. Yet on Reliable Sources, his recent magazine article bemoaning the joylessness of covering the 2012 election elicited not a single ounce of pity from either The Washington Post’s Eric Wemple or Newsweek & The Daily Beast’s Lois Romano, who, at her most sympathetic, offered only a dry “boo-hoo.” Leibovitch denied claims that he was merely participating in a culture of “journalistic whining.”