Okay first off, in terms of your taxes next year, if you make a return of $250,000 a year, David Axelrod made it sort of clear that they still want taxes to go up, which is another way of saying that they are going to let the Bush tax cuts expire on the upper income level. But then I asked him if there was any wiggle room in that position, and he said, “You heard my answer.” I still don’t know if there is any wiggle room in that position, but you don’t know if there is wiggle room until you start getting into negotiations. But, nonetheless, right now the administration is sort of sticking by “people who make more than $250,000 shouldn’t have their tax cuts continue, everybody else under that, yes.”
On money, here’s what I have to say about David Axelrod, the senior adviser to the president and the whole idea of campaign money. “Is the Chamber of Commerce using foreign money in the campaigns to fund ads against Democrats,”etcetera, etcetera, David Axelrod is one of those guests, and one of those people frankly, who on a scale of one to 10, where 10 is being really excitable, is about a four. I would say that he hit the seven or eight point range on this particular subject. He is very adamant and it is clear that the White House is going to take this foreign money in U.S. campaigns, this anonymous, mysterious donors issue in U.S. campaigns, all the way to the polls on November 2nd.
Having said that, Gary Bauer I thought was very interesting. He’s actually one of those people who is a co-chair on one of those outside groups that don’t have to tell you who their donors are. I said well, why don’t you just tell me and he said no. Why won’t he tell me? He said because donors are afraid that they are going to get harassed by people who don’t agree with them, so they like to be anonymous and I asked him if maybe that was a threat to democracy because people watching stuff and they don’t really know where it came from and he wondered why people weren’t worried about democracy when President Obama was taking campaign funds from donors over the internet and we didn’t know where they were coming from, etcetera, etcetera.
If you really want to tie this whole thing up, you go to Evan Tracey (Campaign Media Analysis Group) and Mike Duffy (Time Magazine), two great folks who follow this third money and I think the point they made is probably the most cogent when you look at what does this all mean and that is in fact when you add up all the money, the $3 billion that is being spent on television ads in the midterm, Democrats are still spending more than Republicans, despite all that yelling about outside Republican money.
End of story for this Sunday. Next week, we’ll be in Florida. Be there.
David Axelrod, White House Senior Adviser, on CNN’s “State of the Union”
“We want a tax cut for the middle class, up to $250,000. Everyone would get a tax cut up to $250,000 of income. That would be stimulative because people who need money in their picket to spend and pay for the things that they need to live would have more money in their pocket.”
Candy Crowley: “You are co-chair of one group putting ads on the air concerning people’s candidate support for or against Israel.”
Gary Bauer, Chairman, Campaign for Working Families, on CNN’s “State of the Union
Crowley: “And do not disclose the donors, would you do that? Would you give me the name of the donors?”
Bauer: “No, of course not.”
Crowley: “Why not?”
Bauer: “Because these are issue ads, and under the laws of the United States and repeated court rulings.”
Crowley: “They’re attacking Joe Sestak so that’s not an issue ad. It’s like a don’t vote for this guy.”
Bauer: “It never says don’t vote. If you say vote for or vote against then it is a direct political ad.”
Crowley:”That’s a nuance. Voters don’t come away, ‘Oh, I shouldn’t vote for Joe Sestak.’”
Bauer:”I don’t write the laws and I don’t make the court decisions and the courts have said for very good reasons, I might say, that in these kinds of ads there doesn’t have to be disclosure.”
Sunday Show Highlights
One scorching hot Sunday last July, White House spokesman Robert Gibbs dared to state the obvious – that Republicans could win enough seats this November to take control of the House. The wrath of the Democratic hierarchy came tumbling down on him for even suggesting such a notion, however indisputable it was. Guess who was back this Sunday… same time, same place. Mr. Half-Empty morphed into Mr. Totally Full.
Robert Gibbs, White House Press Secretary, on NBC’s “Meet the Press”
“I think our candidates have done a remarkably good job in a tough political environment and I think come election night we’ll retain control of both the House and Senate.”
Less than three weeks from the election, it was pretty much all politics all this time this Sunday. Spearheading Republican efforts to gain ground in the Senate, Senator John Cornyn all but said Republicans will not take over the Senate – not this round anyway. Still in a back and forth with Democrat Claire McCaskill, he was bullish about the chances of Republicans bagging big game… the Senate seat of Democratic leader Harry Reid… and she was, not so much.
Sen. John Cornyn, (R-TX), on “Fox News Sunday”
“Sharron Angle’s going to win that race, I’ll make that prediction here right now. If you like 14% unemployment, if you like the fact that 70% of home mortgages in Nevada are underwater then stay the course, vote for Harry Reid. But if you believe that we can do better then Sharron Angle I think is a very good alternative.”
Sen. Claire McCaskill, (D-MO), on “Fox News Sunday”
“I think that’s going to be a fight to the end. I think Harry is the kind of guy that if you really spend time with him, you realize he’s a nice guy who’s had a really tough job.”
And in a poll-driven era where politics often seems devoid of unexpected outcomes, Cornyn and McCaskill still found a surprise or two, predicting the first Democratic senator in Kentucky in 10 years, and in Connecticut, the triumph of a former executive of World Wrestling Entertainment.
“I think Connecticut is the one I would pick. I think Linda McMahon has run a very good race against the attorney general in Connecticut and I think that continues to close and I’m predicting that as an upset.”
“I think that the people of Kentucky know Jack Conway is common sense and he’s a moderate and I look forward to him being a part of our moderate caucus in the Democratic Party.”
Finally, we told you that despite all the fuss Democrats are kicking up about political ads funded by anonymous donors, Democrats still outspend Republicans in overall ad buys. But we let this one slip by.
“These funds, Karl Rove’s group said they’re going to plunk down $50 million in the last three weeks of the House races. That’s more than the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee will spend in the entire cycle.”
Watch State of the Union with Candy Crowley Sundays at 9am ET. For the latest from State of the Union click here.
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