February 23rd, 2014
04:18 PM ET
7 months ago

Sunday chatter: 2016 and an unapologetic Susan Rice

(CNN) - CNN’s State of the Union Host Candy Crowley aptly put it at the top of her show Sunday: Four of the last six presidents were governors.

Governors descended upon Washington this week for the annual National Governors Association meeting. They also filled the hot seats on the Sunday talk shows.

That inevitable question was asked. The one about running for president.

Guess what. Some actually answered the question.

But Republican Gov. Mike Pence of Indiana was not one them.

“I haven't spent one second thinking about any job other than the one I was hired to do,” he said on “State of the Union.”

Neither was Gov. Jay Nixon, D-Missouri: “We really do have a lot to get done in the next three years in the Show-Me State.” (Boring).

Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley was slightly more straightforward. He’s “looking at that.”

Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal said, “I don’t know.”

Some more candor came from Texas Gov. Rick Perry, who in one word said he’s not ruling out a 2016 bid. (He’s headed to Iowa next week.)

And Democratic Gov. Dan Malloy of Connecticut was quite honest: “I am not going to be a candidate for president.”

Scandal, part 1: Noticeably absent from the Sunday circuit was New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, this year’s head of the Republican Governors Association and potential 2016 presidential candidate. In case you forgot, he’s been under fire for extreme traffic jams on the busy George Washington Bridge for apparent political retribution.

Scandal, part 2: Another governor under fire, however, did appear on a Sunday program. Republican Gov. Scott Walker of Wisconsin chose friendly territory but was aggressively questioned on “Fox News Sunday” about newly released documents that reveal illegal activity. When Walker was running for governor in 2010, he ordered his staff as then-Milwaukee County Executive to hold a daily conference call with his political campaign, which is illegal in Wisconsin.

On “Fox News Sunday,” Walker blamed the Democratic party for churning up “old news” for political gain.

Agree to agree when not disagreeing: On “State of the Union” the two Democratic and two Republican governors also talked a little bit about policy, including gun rights, the death penalty and pot – issues on which they mostly disagreed.

But they all agreed that states’ rights are a great thing – a “high” component “of the American experiment,” Pence said.

They also will have a unified message – in part – during their meeting with President Obama Monday, insisting that National Guard strength not be cut.

“There is a common agreement amongst all 50 governors that we shouldn't go back to pre- 9/11 standards,” Walker said.

Benghazi answers: It was a big day for Obama’s National Security Adviser Susan Rice. It was the first time since her ill-fated remarks just days after the attack on the Benghazi that she appeared on a Sunday political talk show.

Multiple networks asked. But NBC’s “Meet the Press” nabbed her.

Rice said she doesn’t regret anything about her September 2012 appearances when she said the attacks that killed four Americans were the result of an unruly “spontaneous” protest.

“That information turned out…not to be 100% correct,” she said, but that neither she nor the Obama administration intentionally mislead Americans two months before the 2012 election.

On CBS’ “Face the Nation,” Republican Sen. John McCain didn’t really respond to Rice’s self-defense, but said her original comments are “embarrassing.”

Obama on defense regarding Ukraine: In fact, McCain didn’t have a lot of good things to say about Rice or Obama when it comes to American foreign policy, reaffirming an earlier statement that the President is “naïve.”

As Ukraine is in the middle of an internal struggle with heavy influence from Russia’s Vladimir Putin, McCain said: “The president said that this had nothing to do with the Cold War, the issue, the situation in Ukraine. In the eyes of Vladimir Putin, it does. He wants to restore the Russian empire.”

Rice responded: “He may. But if he does, that is a pretty dated.”

She said President Obama told Putin that the United States and Russia have “a shared interest” that Ukraine remain a unified country and not devolve into violence, and that Putin agreed.

Rice went on to say that the U.S. needs to “very pragmatic” when dealing with Russia.

While ticking off areas of agreement and disagreement, she said “both sides of the ledger” must be looked at when it comes to Putin.

Rice cautioned, however, that it would be “a grave mistake” if Putin inserts his military power into Ukraine.

Even one of Obama’s closest confidantes sounded more skeptical.

On “Fox News Sunday,” Illinois Sen. Richard Durbin said, “Let's remember that each president tries to find a positive track, but let not forget that Vladimir Putin wasn't just a member of the KGB, he was the head of the secret police, the Soviet KGB. This is a man that we should take very seriously.”

Republican Sen. Kelly Ayotte of New Hampshire said the President needs to “up his game and send a clear unequivocal public message to Putin.”

Ukraine: Agreement: While Obama is criticized for how he deals with Putin, the ideas discussed to help the Ukrainian people are similar to those of his critics.

On Ukraine, Rice said “the U.S. will play a role,” including working with the International Monetary Fund to help Ukraine, which is on the verge of economic collapse, to help the country stave off economic dangling carrots from Russia.

Senators Durbin, McCain and New Hampshire Republican Kelly Ayotte agree.

But Rice insisted the U.S. will not put boots on the ground there.

Latest on Ukraine

Syria

As for Syria, another internal conflict that has killed hundreds of thousands of people, Rice said the U.S. is “constantly reviewing our options” and that the U.S. is the “largest supplier” of humanitarian assistance.

“Until there’s a political resolution, this thing is not going to be resolved,” Rice said.

But it all comes back to Putin. Sen. Ayotte said Putin is winning in Syria. “Putin can play a role of putting pressure on Assad. They are not putting enough pressure on Assad,” she said, referring to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

Scandal, part 3: While scandal is plaguing two governors, a fictitious scandal surfaced on “State of the Union.” Actor Joe Morton, who plays Rowan Pope on the ABC drama "Scandal,” was interviewed, where he encouraged Hollywood to show more diversity among topics in films depicting African-Americans in Hollywood.

Hollywood productions “are either a film about slavery or they're a film about integration. So from a commercial standpoint all we are getting is the same story we've seen over and over and over and over again. I mean it's ‘Roots’ but, you know, ‘Twelve Years A Slave’ is ‘Roots’ but it's a much better ‘Roots.’ ’42 (The Jackie Robinson Story)’ is about integration but it's still about baseball somehow. But it's still about that struggle,” he said.

Kicker: Bush says his work with vets helps him cope


Filed under: 2016 • Bobby Jindal • Chris Christie • Libya • Marijuana • Mike Pence • Scott Walker • Syria • Ukraine
soundoff (74 Responses)
  1. georgex9

    As a Texan I advise you not to let Gov. Perry anywhere near the White House. You should have learned a lesson from the last governor who was selected by the Supreme Court as president. He knew little and was very determined but reckless in the attack and invasion of Iraq thinking it would take a week.

    February 23, 2014 09:04 pm at 9:04 pm |
  2. Ralph

    First she lies, then she snears about lying. The Obama cover-up was so implausible that if folded almost the minute they broadcast it. So many senior officials told conflicting stories at various times it was clear he was making up excuses.

    Just remember Democrat Stooges – if you like your Benghazi cover-up then you can keep your Benghazi cover-up.

    February 23, 2014 09:06 pm at 9:06 pm |
  3. Alan

    Susan Rice is just another misleading Obama administration lackey.

    February 23, 2014 09:07 pm at 9:07 pm |
  4. Toto-Ks

    Nothing new with us patriotic Americans funding democractic freedom assistance for other desparate and dying human protestors abroad. Not that I protest that, but come on ALL US diplomats! Your very voters ARE huddled masses yearning to breathe FREE. Suppose we citizens protested, did so as bravely as other nations have ? Will you hasten to assist? Must we too protest? Every min. Wager to strike unionless & brauely? Will you hose shoot etc? Totalitarianize us. What is to be if your own continue our seasoned apathy. Not a serious revolt for decades 'cause citizens were swat teamed. What must we do? Protest for a fema park? God save our US and govt. STOP the bickering.Strife breeds strife. Peace breeds peace and MORE. Love out loud. AT HOME. HERE. FOR HUMANSAKE

    February 23, 2014 09:18 pm at 9:18 pm |
  5. Craig

    John McCain didn't intend to mislead the American People when he picked Sarah Palin and claimed she was qualified...but he mislead the American People.

    So...you can't have it both ways, John!

    February 23, 2014 09:45 pm at 9:45 pm |
  6. TK

    No, the American people want answers and we are still waiting.

    February 23, 2014 09:52 pm at 9:52 pm |
  7. davefrompalmsprings

    Yes, Rick Perry IS mad as hell, but I don't know whether it's because he's a "mad dog", or if it's because he had a little too much "Mad Dog" when he made that ridiculous, bumbling speech in New Hampshire!

    February 23, 2014 09:54 pm at 9:54 pm |
  8. Mary

    Does anyone else find it odd that our elected officials are tweeting about national security and foreign policy? How about showing up to work and doing the job they were elected to do and leave the campaigning to someone else.

    February 23, 2014 10:04 pm at 10:04 pm |
  9. are122

    Susan Rice never has to apologize. People that don't know what they are doing never have to apologize because everyone know, they don't know what they are doing. So it's okay.

    February 23, 2014 10:12 pm at 10:12 pm |
  10. jimmy

    Rick Perry is a joke....Cruz is a joke...as much as I kind of liked him, Bush was a joke..answer is TEXAS is a joke.

    February 23, 2014 10:21 pm at 10:21 pm |
  11. VotingDemocrat

    Where was McCain's whining when those 60 US Embassy personnel were killed under Bush? What does he want us to do with Ukraine? Send in troops and go to war with the Russians? Maybe he can strap himself into another plane and get shot down over Moscow and then he can charge into the Kremlin and take out Putin since he thinks President Obama is to "naive" (code word for black man is not smart enough) to do anything.

    February 23, 2014 10:39 pm at 10:39 pm |
  12. MrObvious

    This entire article is a waste of editorial space. I'm sorry to have spent my time on it. I feel robbed of time and intellect.

    February 23, 2014 10:56 pm at 10:56 pm |
  13. Chris-E...al

    See folks again the dims haue managed to Close 20 Coal fired p0wer plants with in the next few years .WHere is this Mythical ? Solar. Wind power an wave power ? S0me estimates show p0wer bills g0ing UP 70 PERCENT ! V0te Dem yea rite ! They want to replace some with the gas gas they dont want 2 drill ! ! ? Dims bi-polar bro they gona bring us 2 our knees ! we can stop it vote repub ! 0ur food going up in two weeks ! mark it d0wn an thk ur fellow dim . thx

    February 23, 2014 11:02 pm at 11:02 pm |
  14. rs1201

    Susan Rice is a bold faced liar. Unbelievably pathetic!!

    February 23, 2014 11:09 pm at 11:09 pm |
  15. VJ

    GOP = Good for nothing party.... period...

    February 23, 2014 11:19 pm at 11:19 pm |
  16. Joel

    The GOP's insistence that Benghazi is some great scandal would be comical if it wasn't such a cynical manipulation of a tragedy.

    February 23, 2014 11:40 pm at 11:40 pm |
  17. Graham Smith

    Thomas, I hope Rick Perry remembers the three reasons he is mad.....if anyone asks him...

    February 24, 2014 02:06 am at 2:06 am |
  18. D

    It's a shame that some still believe that a youtube video caused the Benghazi incident. But then some feel it was Ambassador Stevens fault for refusing extra protection. Yet official correspondence released by the State Department has proven that chatter was detected before the video. And same documents show the refusal was months before the attack. I guess it does now matter to some, but that is called dereliction of duty. Look it up. Hillary is responsible for his death, she was his boss.

    February 24, 2014 02:39 am at 2:39 am |
  19. Oliver A. Dyer

    And the beat goes on,... the GOP complain, criticize, conduct useless investigations, enact needless voter fraud laws and abortion restrictions. How about doing something positive,... improving infrastructure and the Affordable Health Care Act, better protect female military from rape. It would certainly improve their image.

    February 24, 2014 03:20 am at 3:20 am |
  20. CapeCod

    Tampa Tim
    When Obama was running for president he claimed he would close Gitmo and end the Patriot Act.
    He did neither.
    And because of Gitmo and the Patriot Act our military found bin Laden.

    He should get credit for ordering the hit on bin Laden.
    However, if we listened to him previously we would have never found bin Laden in the first place.

    February 24, 2014 06:23 am at 6:23 am |
  21. Lizzie

    Tampa Tim, you give Pres.Clinton a pass for not taking out Bin Laden, hypocrite

    February 24, 2014 06:42 am at 6:42 am |
  22. NATHAN WIMBERLY

    HILARIOUS watching Guns Over People tea potty wingnuts lie as they walk the plank toward another November.

    February 24, 2014 07:00 am at 7:00 am |
  23. croaton999

    Susan Rice is a disgrace. Why only one Sunday show? Perhaps the others would ask her all the "wrong" questions?

    February 24, 2014 07:08 am at 7:08 am |
  24. Rozelle

    Benghazi – Three things we don't need to forget. 1) Requests for more security were refused at the State Department, perhaps by underlings????, even when made by Amb. Stevens and in the face of British pull-out because of threats. 2) Assets were not in place to be able to protect our VIPs, especially in the light of requests for security from them. 3) The American people were lied to by Clinton and Rice for two weeks. The President misrepresented the attack as late as 2 weeks afterward before the UN. It had nothing to do with a video and they knew it and kept on saying so because the Presidential elections were going on and they didn't want to have to admit terrorist killings of US VIPs. Tired of lies, tired of incompetence.

    February 24, 2014 07:28 am at 7:28 am |
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