CANDY CROWLEY: So let’s start with Libya, since that’s what we started with in the show. Stephen Hadley, used to be National Security Advisor to George W. Bush, said, he thinks the administration did – the President was exactly right to say Gadhafi has to go. He thinks now you follow that up with back channel efforts to get those inside Libya still supporting Gadhafi not to. You know, speaking to elements of the army that still supports Gadhafi, speaking of those perhaps too scared. He also talked about covertly arming the rebels so that they could do their own No-Fly zone and not bring in the rest of the world at some risk, particularly to the U.S.
I thought that the Former Libyan Minister [Dr. Ali Errishi] was really interesting, who said he thought it was also important for the President to say that Gadhafi must go, but that the President did it too late. He said, you know, essentially Gadhafi just needed a push and the President could have done that. And had he done that earlier, a week ago, it might have been the end of Gadhafi, but that the President waited too long and now Gadhafi’s been able to sort of reassemble and now it looks like a big ‘ole long war there.
In so far as Senator Alexander and Former Governor Richardson are concerned, just on the politics of things, which is my favorite subject to talk about, on 2012 Richardson sort of seemed to say that he didn’t much care for the current Republican pool. Now he’s a Democrat so I guess we should expect that, but said he thought there’ll be a dark horse, someone we’re not talking about particularly at this moment, that may in fact run and become the Republican nominee, although that’s more characteristic of the Democratic party, I have to say, than the Republican party, they tend to nominate pretty familiar faces.
Lamar Alexander, I love that I asked him about what would happen with gas prices and whether he thought the President ought to open up some supply from the strategic reserve to bring prices down and he said he’s buying an electric car tomorrow, so there you go. That’s one answer.
And then finally, I just think the King hearings – Peter King hearings, are going to be really interesting. You got a preview of that. Peter King, Republican from New York is now is now chairman of the Homeland Security Committee on Capital Hill, who is doing a hearing this week on the – what he calls a “radicalization” inside the Muslim-American community, and he thinks the Muslim-American community hasn’t done enough to help law enforcement. It’s hugely, hugely controversial. People say look you’re singling out our religion, that’s un-American and you shouldn’t do that.
And I thought that Ellison, was really – Congressman Keith Ellison, he’s the first Muslim-American congressman, did a good job of sort of walking that line. He’s a Democrat and he said look, I don’t think Peter King is an “Islamaphobe.” I would have gone about these hearings differently, but nonetheless I think it’s important to talk about it.
And that was sort of King’s thing, judge me, look at the hearings, see what you think, don’t judge me ahead of time. So those will be really good this week, I thought they gave a really good preview.
Next week, I betcha we’re back to the budget, cause there’s another deadline coming. We’ll see you then.
GETTING TO KNOW
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STATE OF THE UNION HIGHLIGHTS
Stephen Hadley, former National Security Adviser, on CNN’s “State of the Union”
“I think we don’t sit back. That’s the point. And there’s discussion of these military options and we can have the conversation, but I think between the statement the president made, which was a good statement, and military options, there’s a lot greater scope for our diplomacy. I think for example, we could consider a statement now saying that we’re looking past Gadhafi, we’re going to help the Libyan people build a regime in which they can be proud. I’d like to see us take this money that we have frozen, I think it’s $15 billion, and say, we will start creating a trust for the rebuilding of Libya.”
Dr. Ali Errishi, former Libyan Immigration Minister, on CNN’s “State of the Union”
on Moammar Gadhafi:
“This is a man who has shown that there’s only one choice for the Libyan people. Either I rule you or I kill you. So basically there’s no middle ground, and it is him that consistently said there’s no middle ground.”
Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-TN), on CNN’s “State of the Union”
on a potential Trump presidential candidacy:
“It says more about the media than Donald Trump. There’s always someone like Donald Trump who runs who has absolutely no chance of winning and who is well known. He’s famous for being famous. He may be good in business but he’s not going to be president.”
Former Gov. Bill Richardson (D-NM) on CNN’s “State of the Union”
on the 2012 GOP presidential field:
“They’ve got 12 candidates. Many are reasonably well-known, they’re fighting with each other. They haven’t started out well, but I do think the more formidable challenger for President Obama, who I believe will be re-elected, is in a very strong position – is a dark horse candidate. Sort of the way Lamar Alexander was years ago when he was running. He was – I thought he would be a very serious candidate and he was kind of a dark horse.”
Rep. Peter King (R-NY), Homeland Security Committee Chairman, on CNN’s “State of the Union”
on upcoming hearings on radicalization within the American Muslim community:
“We’re talking about a radicalization in this country linked to an overseas enemy. This is al Qaeda internationally, attempting to recruit within the United States. People in this country are being self-radicalized. … There’s always going to be isolated incidents, isolated fanatics, isolated terrorists, but an organized terrorist effort is different which requires an investigation unto itself.”
Rep. Keith Ellison (D-MN), on CNN’s “State of the Union”
“I do plan on saying that I challenge the basic premise of the hearings. That I do agree that we should deal with radicalization and violent radicalization, but that singling out one community is the wrong thing to do.”
SOUND OF SUNDAY
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When, how and whether the west should come to the aid of Libyan rebels dominated the Sunday morning conversation. The President's Chief of Staff carried his boss's water admirably, with push-back against calls to limit Moammar Gadhafi's airspace, preventing him from bombing his own people or bringing in foreign fighters:
Bill Daley, White House Chief of Staff, on NBC’s “Meet the Press”
“Lots of people throw around phrases of ‘no-fly zone’ and they talk about it as thought it’s just a game, a video game or something. Some people who throw that line out have no idea what they’re talking about. … As the president said, all options are on the table. But this has to be an international effort.”
Certainly, Mr. Daley could not have meant anyone on Capitol Hill:
Sen. John McCain (R-AZ), on ABC’s “This Week”
Amanpour: “You’ve called for some kind of intervention, a no-fly zone. Do you still maintain that position?
McCain: “I do. Senator Lieberman and Kerry and I have called for that. Their defenses are somewhat antiquated. This would send a message to Gadhafi that the president is serious when he says, we need for Gadhafi to go.”
There was budget chatter as well. With yet another deadline looming in less than two weeks, the current impasse is about 50 billion dollars. The difference between what Republicans have proposed to cut and what Democrats are willing to accept.
Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Majority Whip) on “Fox News Sunday”
Wallace: “Are you willing to accept more in cuts than $10.5 billion?”
Durbin: “I can tell you personally I’m willing to see more deficit reduction but not out of domestic discretionary spending. When you’re cutting education, innovation and infrastructure, you’re not dealing with the reality of this recession. (Mark) Zandi has basically told us we’re going to have 700,000 Americans out of work because of the House Republican budget. That doesn’t help get us out of the recession.
Wallace: “Ok. Just real quickly, then you’re saying $10.5 billion in domestic non-defense discretionary spending, that’s it?
Durbin: “I think we’ve pushed this to the limit.”
Congress has 12 days to figure out how to bridge the 50 billion dollar gap before the government shuts down.
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