April 6th, 2014
03:58 PM ET
6 months ago

Sunday Chatter: Fort Hood, damning CIA report, campaign finance and Obamacare

The Sunday political talk shows covered all the top political news of the week, ranging from the deadly shooting at Fort Hood, to a report about interrogation methods at the CIA, to the Affordable Care Act.

If you missed any of the Sunday political chatter, we've got you covered:


Fort Hood: While investigators continue to piece together the events from last week’s shooting at Fort Hood, Texas, members of Congress and senior brass of the military said the country faces a difficult time as service members return home from wars that have gone on for 13 years, to a nation trying to cut its budget.

“We have to make sure we are not digging into the pockets of our service members,” said Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, D-Hawaii, on CNN’s “State of the Union,” referring to continued budget cuts.

Gabbard, who served in combat in Iraq as a member of the Hawaii National Guard, said care for returning service members must be the country’s highest priority.

Meanwhile, on “Fox News Sunday,” Rep. Michael McCaul, R-Texas, said the latest incident at Fort Hood shows that adding military police on bases would be the “best thing to do” to protect soldiers, but he noted that is a difficult demand in a time of budget austerity.

In addition, McCaul said senior military leadership should be allowed to carry weapons on base. That would be a stark change, as guns are generally not allowed on American military bases.

“They defend us overseas … so the idea that they’re defenseless when they come home on our bases” needs to be looked at, McCaul said.

But Dan Pfeiffer, a senior adviser to President Barack Obama, said on CBS News’ “Face the Nation” that Congress has already looked at the issue and determined that’s not a good idea.

And a former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Adm. Michael Mullen, said he didn’t think arming people on base is the right approach either. On NBC’s “Meet the Press,” he said it “invites much more difficult challenges.”

But he said doing nothing isn’t an option. “I think we need to certainly take a look at securing our bases for our people,” Mullen added.

Sen. Tim Kaine, D-Virginia, proposed increased perimeter security on “Fox News Sunday.”

The shooter at Fort Hood, Spc. Ivan Lopez, who killed three people and himself, had a history of depression, so the issue of mental health is once again in the spotlight - especially as the all-volunteer force has carried the brunt of fighting two long wars and multiple deployments.

Fort Hood shooting: Psychiatric issues 'fundamental underlying causal factor'

“We're good at healing broken bodies but not as good at healing broken minds,” McCaul said.

CIA report: House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi blamed former Vice President Dick Cheney for the CIA’s renewed use of interrogation and detention, detailed in a report by the Senate Intelligence Committee.

“I think he’s proud of it,” Pelosi said on CNN’s “State of the Union,” referring to the report’s findings that the CIA used controversial techniques, including waterboarding, despite obtaining little valuable intelligence from the detainees.

“I do believe … that Vice President Cheney set a tone and an attitude for the CIA,” she said. “I think it came from Dick Cheney. That’s what I believe.”

The latest insight into the post-September 11 interrogation program was revealed in a leaked version of a classified report compiled by the Senate Intelligence Committee. Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-California, who chaired the five-year long investigation, said the findings were “shocking.”

'Shocking' report on CIA interrogation closer to public release

Also on “State of the Union,” the Republican chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, Rep. Mike Rogers, said Pelosi’s statements about Cheney politicize the report.

“This is not the holy grail. It doesn't answer all the questions,” Rogers said, emphasizing that the program ended in 2006. “This report, I just have some differences of opinion.”

His Democratic counterpart, Rep. Dutch Ruppersburger, refused to endorse or condemn the report.

“Let’s get the facts, then we can make decisions,” he said, noting that the report has not been released and the attorney general is still investigating.

Michael Hayden, who was CIA director during the final two years of the Bush administration, took a personal jab at Feinstein. He denounced the report, speculating that the findings were formulated to promote her personal agenda and reveals “deep emotional feelings on the part of the senator” against what she has called an “un-American, brutal” program.

“I don’t think it leads to an objective report,” he said on “Fox News Sunday.”

Hayden defended himself, saying the program happened “largely before” he became CIA director and that he decided to release to the public a “significant portion of this program.”

Pollard: Hayden also denounced the possibility that the Obama administration is considering releasing Israeli spy Jonathan Pollard as part of the Israeli-Palestinian peace talks, calling it “a sign of desperation.”

27 years later, Jonathan Pollard case remains a diplomatic thorn

“The intelligence community would not be hearing Pollard, they would be hearing Snowden. And they would believe that this kind of behavior could actually be politically negotiated away,” Hayden said, calling that “disturbing.”

Campaign finance: After the Supreme Court struck down a limit on the number of campaigns a donor can contribute to during an election season in McCutcheon v. FEC, Pelosi said the Court’s decision is a “really bad idea.”

“We have to raise money to win the election so we can reduce the role of money in politics,” she said on “State of the Union.”

Pfeiffer, on “Face the Nation,” said the way to respond to the court’s view that campaign contributions are a First Amendment right is with a constitutional amendment.

Obamacare: Pfeiffer said that since the administration announced on April 1 that 7.1 million people have signed up for the Affordable Care Act, meeting its self-imposed goal, an additional 200,000 people have signed up.

In light of the good news, Pelosi denied that Democrats are worried about how Obamacare will impact their re-election chances. She said “a few” Democrats are distancing themselves from the law this election season, but that they are “the exception.”

“Democrats embrace the Affordable Care Act. We're very proud of it,” she said.

General Motors: Sen. Claire McCaskill, the Democrat who presided over hearings last week about a faulty ignition switch in GM cars that led to accidents that killed more than a dozen people, said on ABC’s “This Week” that people might need to go to jail over what she thinks is a cover-up inside the company.

“You know, we have the Citizens United case where our Supreme Court said corporations were people,” McCaskill said. “But if, in fact, they are people, then there needs to be some criminal accountability, depending on what the facts of the investigation show.”

“I think this is a real moment of truth for General Motors. They've tried to lawyer up and play Whac-A-Mole with these lawsuits, and terrible things have happened. Now it's time for them to come clean, be transparent and most of all make all victims whole, no matter when this deadly ignition caused heartbreak in their families,” she said.

The Ryan budget: Democrats plan to take Rep. Paul Ryan’s budget on the campaign trail, and Pelosi was on point Sunday.

“I call it the ideological manifesto of the Republican Party,” she said on “State of the Union,” adding that it “takes us into the past.”

She said Democrats will unveil their priorities Monday, in a plan that balances the budget through growth.

“Growth will take us to balance,” she said.

Kicker: The White House was not pleased when it found out that Samsung product placement was the motive of the selfie that David “Big Papi” Ortiz took with Obama when the Boston Red Sox visited the White House.

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“We have had conversations with Samsung about this and expressed our concerns,” Pfeiffer said on “Face the Nation.”

When asked by host Bob Schieffer what was discussed, Pfeiffer said he would leave that to the lawyers in the room.

Pfeiffer said it might “be the end of all selfies.” Um, yeah.


Filed under: Campaign finance • CIA • Fort Hood • Obamacare • Uncategorized
soundoff (39 Responses)
  1. Leroy

    Just goes to show how black folks are still bought and sold in America.

    April 7, 2014 03:51 am at 3:51 am |
  2. Iamnotfooled

    Pelosi is right about Cheney. And she is right that Democrats are proud of Obamacare. Smart woman. We need her back! Best Speaker ever! Instead of the worst Congress in history.

    April 7, 2014 04:00 am at 4:00 am |
  3. Winkaz

    Remember it says self imposed goal on the Obama care.When the real number was actually 14 million if you remember.Just goes to show you who is really fudging the numbers.

    April 7, 2014 05:06 am at 5:06 am |
  4. Chuck

    Gurgyl- The American Citizens Lost, nobody wins when it causes a sharp Division in the Country
    Sore winners are worse than sore losers, and the Country has lost

    "A house divided against itself can not stand" Abraham Lincoln and God

    April 7, 2014 06:15 am at 6:15 am |
  5. croaton

    For all of those who think we should just keep cutting from our military.....You have American hero's blood on your hands.

    April 7, 2014 06:23 am at 6:23 am |
  6. tonyb

    Lighten up on the selfie- get a sense of humor.

    April 7, 2014 06:39 am at 6:39 am |
  7. Gurgyl

    ACA Law a success story. By 2016, it sees 26 million enrolled.

    April 7, 2014 07:26 am at 7:26 am |
  8. Maripil

    Obamacare is right on target and will be successful with time. The GOP will say anything negative to undermine its success!!

    April 7, 2014 07:28 am at 7:28 am |
  9. Dave

    -on Obamacare- Americans lost the freedom of choice so Democrats could buy votes.....standard practice. Playing to the selfish and lazy....

    April 7, 2014 07:30 am at 7:30 am |
  10. Fix what's broke...

    Hey Pelosi....raise money to win so you can reduce money in politics? Good luck. Just use the $6B your buddy Hillary lost while overseeing the State Dept. You liberals crack me up.

    April 7, 2014 07:44 am at 7:44 am |
  11. salty dog

    The gop has no choice but to start scare tactics on policy renewal rates, and not one will be true, they picked the aca to attack, by September, they will realize how that's not working.

    April 7, 2014 07:47 am at 7:47 am |
  12. salty dog

    Nooo, not the end of selfies, whatever will Kim do?

    April 7, 2014 08:12 am at 8:12 am |
  13. CCS

    Listening to two completely hard core liberals use the Sunday morning air time to, again, evangelize their own agendas and validate oneselfe to the other is a complete WASTE of time. Who'd 'thunk it'? Two female liberals who share the same opinion and tee one another up for the other's liberal messaging? I'm near certain the Pelosi – Crowley duo has to be one of the least impressive moments of CNN's history. Come on, can't you do better?

    April 7, 2014 08:26 am at 8:26 am |
  14. Free Man in the Republic of Texas

    Nancy Pelosi... Esteemed Democrat:

    “WE have to raise money
    to win the election
    so we can reduce
    the role of money
    in politics”

    "WE have to pass the bill to find out what's in it."

    Makes PERFECT Lib / Progressive / Democrat sense !!!

    April 7, 2014 08:55 am at 8:55 am |
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