CANDY CROWLEY: Alright, so, here’s my basic impression: John McCain came loaded for bear.
TOM BETTAG, SENIOR EXECUTIVE PRODUCER: He felt deeply about everything that he felt.
CROWLEY: It was just amazing. I was most surprised by Don’t Ask Don’t Tell because it, when he said I know how you feel I know how all the liberal media feels about, you know, Don’t Ask Don’t Tell, you can call it racist, he was very defensive about his position.
BETTAG: Defensive slash angry.
CROWLEY: Yeah, yeah, and I thought the same way about China, which is a little more predictable, but nonetheless, what was that great quote -
BETTAG: The line about regime change.
CROWLEY: That’s right, about regime change in North Korea. That’s why you always want an hour and a half with these guys, because you want to say, so how would we go about doing that but then you gotta move on to Don’t Ask Don’t Tell, but the other thing I thought was interesting when he was talking about, up sorry I have to double back to Don’t Ask Don’t Tell was his reference to a inexperienced young candidate. That repealing Don’t Ask Don’t Tell was the result of an inexperienced young candidate, meaning the president. So he was very on today.
Senator John McCain, (R) Arizona, on CNN’s State of the Union
On North Korea:
MCCAIN: I think it's time we talked about regime change in North Korea, and I do not mean military action, but I do believe that this is a very unstable regime.
MCCAIN: The key to this, obviously, is China. And unfortunately China is not behaving as a responsible world power. It cannot be in China's long-term interest to see a renewed conflict on the Korean Peninsula. We've got to understand that China is not what we want it to be, but is not playing a responsible role on the world stage, much less in - on the Korean Peninsula.
On Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell:
MCCAIN: this was a political promise made by an inexperienced president or candidate for presidency of the United States. The military is at its highest point in recruitment and retention and professionalism and capability, so to somehow allege that this policy has been damaging the military is simply false. So the fact is that this system is working.
On Sarah Palin:
MCCAIN: I read I think she's keeping her options open, and I think she should. I think she is an incredible force in the American political arena.
CROWLEY: And a divisive force, would you agree?
MCCAIN: I think that anybody who has the visibility that Sarah has is obviously going to have some divisiveness. I remember that a guy named Ronald Reagan used to be viewed by some as divisive.
Rep. David Obey, (D) Wisconsin, on CNN’s State of the Union
OBEY: I think that money is rapidly taking over politics. When I got elected the first time in
1969, I spent $45,000. My opponent spent $65,000, and I won. Today you've got House seats that cost $4 million. That means instead of members being able to spend time learning these issues, learning to know about each other, they spend their time dialing for dollars. That's not a constructive change. And the Supreme Court has made it abominably worse.
Sen. Byron Dorgan, (D) North Dakota, on CNN’s State of the Union
DORGAN: In the Senate, as Congressman Obey knows, regrettably everything these days takes a supermajority or 60 votes. But I fully understood the frustration and have heard it from him and others in the U.S. House. Look, I think all of us should want, and the American people should expect and deserve better from the Congress.
Sound of Sunday
Looks like START is still a no-go for the republican's point man on the U.S.-Russia missile reduction treaty. The pact was worked out between the U.S. and Russia in April, but Arizona Senator Jon Kyl says the Senate calendar this year is full up for the rest of the year…
Sen. Jon Kyl, (R) Arizona, on NBC’s “Meet the Press”
KYL: My issue is that you can't do everything. I was stating it as a matter of reality, not a matter of policy. How can Harry Reid do all of the things we've talked about, deal with the expiring tax provisions, and, in addition to that, deal with the START treaty, which by itself could take at least two weeks?
Amidst reports that the White House is still bent on finding the 9 Republicans it needs to approve the treaty before the end of the year, Democrats frame Republican reluctance as inappropriate politics and bad policy...
Sen. Dick Durbin, (D) Illinois, on NBC’s “Meet the Press”
DURBIN: Here is the reality. We live in a dangerous world. The failure of the United States Senate to ratify the START treaty immediately is going to pose a danger to the United States its security.
Sen. Claire McCaskill, (D) Missouri, on “Fox News Sunday”
MCCASKILL: There's some game-playing going on with the START treaty, and it's all about politics and it's all about trying to damage the president of the United States.
Also on the Senate docket… tax cuts. Despite overwhelming bipartisan support for extending tax cuts for the middle class, the issue is likely to consume most of the remaining days of this congress in a dispute over continuing tax cuts for the wealthy. One of the wealthiest taxpayers argues the wealthy should pay more in taxes because they don't need the money and it doesn't help fuel the economy…
Warren Buffett, Chairman of Berkshire Hathaway, on ABC’s “This Week”
BUFFETT: The rich are always going to say that you know, just give us the money and we'll go out and spend more and then it will all trickle down to the rest of you. But that has not worked the last 10 years, and I hope the American public is catching on.
So far though, it appears probably all Republicans and some Democrats will hold firm for across the board tax cut extensions...
Sen. Lindsey Graham, (R) South Carolina, on “Fox News Sunday”
GRAHAM: There will be bipartisan support in the lame duck to extend all the tax cuts for two or three years, and I think that vote will be had before the end of the year. And if the president doesn't support that, I think he's running a risk of making the economy weaker at a time where he could help make it stronger.
Watch State of the Union with Candy Crowley Sundays at 9am ET. For the latest from State of the Union click here.