Paul Ryan, Chris Christie, John McCain, and More Sunday Talk

Christie calls the president a liar, Ryan talks debate jitters, McCain on what’s really hurting Romney, and more.

Ryan: We’re Victims of Media BiasPaul Ryan isn’t worried about how his guy will do at the presidential debate this Wednesday—it’s the next-day headlines that make him nervous. “I think it kind of goes without saying that there’s a media bias,” the Republican veep candidate argued on Fox News Sunday, Ryan’s solution? Forget the middleman, and bring his message “straight to the people.”

Christie: ‘Stop Lying, Mr. President’

Liar, liar, poll numbers on fire? New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie took to This Week to defend his party’s candidate against the latest Obama attack ad, which charges that Mitt Romney’s tax policy is based on cuts for the rich. “I mean it’s just not true,” Christie said, arguing that while the Romney-Ryan plan would indeed lower tax rates for the country’s most affluent households, wealthy Americans would also lose a significant amount of deductions and other tax loopholes.

McCain: Economy May Actually Be Hurting Romney

Don’t believe all those political scare ads you see on TV: the American economy isn’t quite as bad as some candidates are making it out to be. On State of the Union, Sen. John McCain noted that the economy is much better than it was four years ago—but Romney’s chances of winning the election might be about the same. He went on to argue that the GOP candidate’s sagging poll numbers may not be a result of his “inarticulate” statements or the Obama camp’s fierce attack ads—they may actually reflect the reality that many people have a little more money in their pockets than they did in 2008.

Gingrich: Get Smart, CIA!

After news broke that the U.S. embassy attack in Benghazi was planned by terrorists—and not, as U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice repeatedly said in the days immediately after the attack, a spontaneous event—Newt Gingrich took to Face the Nation to question why, exactly, U.S. intelligence took so long to figure this out. “I don’t know whether I feel more comfortable knowing that the administration was incompetent and lied to us,” Gingrich contemplated, “or I feel more comfortable knowing that the intelligence community was thoroughly out of touch.”

Axelrod: Obama’s Got Big Plans

Romney has long been chastised for the glaring absence of specific proposals in his campaign, but is President Obama just as guilty? On State of the Union, host Candy Crowley challenged Obama campaign advisor David Axelrod to name a specific initiative the president would enact in his second term—and Axelrod delivered, asserting that Obama would make an education push, for 100,000 new math and science teachers. Hear that, unemployed post-grads?

Would You Get a Beer with Mitt?

Who’d have thought that the American public would find Barack Obama—a biracial lawyer with a Kenyan father who spent parts of his childhood in Indonesia—more relatable than Mitt Romney, a white Mormon businessman? On Reliable Sources, Howard Kurtz, Ana Marie Cox, Ramesh Ponnuru, and Chrystia Freeland analyzed why the GOP candidate just can’t seem to win over the hearts of American voters. One possible culprit? His inability to charm the journalists.

Plouffe: Benghazi Cover-up Theory Is ‘Preposterous’

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Was the Obama administration playing it safe by initially calling the Benghazi attacks spontaneous—or was it part of a larger election-year plot to hide evidence of an Al Qaeda-linked terrorist strike? “It’s really offensive to suggest that,” said White House senior advisor David Plouffe on Meet the Press, adding that American intelligence only waited this long to reveal the attacks’ terrorist roots in order to be completely sure that all their charges checked out. “The presidential record on terrorism takes a backseat to no one.”