November 15th, 2009
04:07 PM ET
13 years ago

State of the Union: John King's Crib Sheet for November 15

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="In his Crib Sheet, CNN's John King looks back at Sunday's talk shows and ahead to the topics that will be making news this week."]
Anti-terror policy and politics dominated the Sunday conversation, with a crackling back and forth over whether the Obama administration made the right call in deciding to put Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and four other alleged 9-11 conspirators on trial in a federal courthouse within walking distance of Ground Zero.

“We’re very confident about these cases, and we believe this is the appropriate thing to do,” top presidential adviser David Axelrod told us from Singapore, one of the stops on President Obama’s eight-day trip to Asia.

“I don’t know why you want to give terrorists’ advantages,” was the retort of former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani.

The Afghan troop deliberations and the endangered deadline to close the Guantanamo Bay detention facility were other major subplots in the feisty terror strategy divide.

Axelrod also weighed in on the question of how health care reform deals with abortion, making clear the White House would prefer language less restrictive than an amendment added to the House legislation.

“There are discussions, ongoing, as to how to adjust it accordingly,” Axelrod said.

Another frequent Sunday topic was “Going Rogue,” the Sarah Palin memoir due in bookstores Tuesday. The divide on this one was fairly predictable, and we looked not only at how it is playing in Washington but also back in Palin’s hometown of Wasilla.

Highlights of the Sound of Sunday, beginning with the debate over terror trials:

White House Senior Adviser David Axelrod on CNN’s “State of the Union”
“We believe that these folks should be tried in New York City, as you say, near where their heinous acts were conducted, in full view in our court system, which we believe in. We've had, you know, since 2001, 195 terrorism cases in the courts, and we've been successful 91 percent of the time. We're very confident about these cases, and we believe this is appropriate thing to do.”

Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani (R) on CNN’s “State of the Union”
“The reality is, this is unnecessary. First it's an unnecessary advantage to give to the terrorists. I don't know why you want to give terrorist advantages; and secondly, it's an unnecessary risk to the city of New York which already has a number of risks. If this was necessary, if this was the only option, well of course I'd be in favor of it and of course the city would do everything it could as it will to try and make it safe.”

Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani (R) on CNN’s “State of the Union”
“…the Obama administration is repeating the mistake of history. Many, many people have regarding that as a mistake, that it was treated just as a civilian act. It should havebeen treated as an act of war. And it's part of a bigger picture here, John. It's part of –it's part of Barack Obama deciding that we're not at war with terrorism any longer. So this is now treated as if it was an act of war, which it should be treated like. Remember, he's told us we can't use the term ‘war on terror’.”

Axelrod responding to Giuliani
“…it is odd, because when the 20th 9/11 bomber was tried in Virginia, in a civilian court, and convicted, Mayor Giuliani testified in that case and he heralded the outcome. So he may have changed his view, but we haven't changed ours.”

Sen. Judd Gregg (R-NH) on CNN’s “State of the Union”
“…it's absolutely inexcusable we're not using the military justice system to try these people. That's why we have such a system. And when you're at war with someone, you use that system. And these people are evil people. They represent a cause which wants to destroy this nation.”

Sen. Kent Conrad (D-ND) on CNN’s “State of the Union”
“I would prefer to see [the detainees] dealt with outside the country, but there are circumstances when being here, tried in a court of law, is the best option. So I think different cases are going to be - have to be handled in a different way.”

Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-Minority Leader) on “Fox News Sunday”
“It looks to me like the administration's going to do this, they sort of seem hell bent to do it, I agree with the family of Daniel Pearl, you know, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed murdered their son, and they said why in the world we give him the show trial that he desires.”

Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT) on CBS’s “Face the Nation”
“ I was a former prosecutor. I'd like to just see them prosecuted. In the same which way we prosecuted Timothy McVeigh. We're not afraid to do that. We're the most powerful nation on earth. We have a judicial system that is the envy of the world. Let's show the world that we can use that power.”

Sen. Jack Reed (D-RI) on “Fox News Sunday”
“Under basic principle of international law, as long as these individuals pose a threat, they can be detained and they will.”

Sound of Sunday: Afghan Troop Debate
The administration again defended the president’s decision to take his time on whether to send more U.S. troops to Afghanistan, saying the most important thing was to get it right.

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on ABC’s “This Week”
“I understand people are maybe critical, or unconvinced or not persuaded, but I think a majority of Americans will know this President has gone the extra mile, in fact more than that, to make sure that whatever decision he makes is in the best interest of our country. It is aimed at making this country more secure and supporting our men and women in uniform as they fulfill the mission.”

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on ABC’s “This Week”
“We're not interested in staying in Afghanistan. We have no long term stake there, we want that to be made very clear. We came to do a mission. Unfortunately it was not achieved in the last eight years, in fact the mission was changed. In fact the mission was changed because it could not be achieved or no longer was the primary goal expressed in the prior administration. Well our goal is very clear. We want to get the people who attacked us and we want to prevent them and there syndicate of terrorism from posing a threat to us, our allies, and our interests.”

White House Senior Adviser David Axelrod on CNN’s “State of the Union”

“I know that Governor Romney has never had responsibility for any decision akin to this, and so he just may not be familiar with all that it entails. But I think the American people are being well served by a process that is assiduous and in which every aspect of this is considered. Because, after all, lives of American servicemen are involved here.”

White House Senior Adviser David Axelrod on CNN’s “State of the Union”
“…we can not make an open-ended commitment. And we want to do this in a way that maximizes our efforts against Al Qaeda, but within the framework of bringing out troops home at some point. And the president has made that clear in all these discussions. There has to be a framework to this decision. But we are getting close. It has been a good process.”

Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-Minority Leader) on “Fox News Sunday”
“We are a little bit perplexed about the amount of time it's taking to make this decision.” He continues: “ I think the president, as difficult as this decision is, needs to make it, needs to follow the advice of his generals, and if he does he'll have overwhelming support among republican senators.”

Sound of Sunday: Health Care
Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-Minority Leader) on “Fox News Sunday”
“The Senate is not the House. As you saw in the house, 3 votes and it was over in one day. Look we spent four weeks on a farm bill in the last Congress. 8 weeks on an energy bill earlier this decade. This will be on the floor for quite a long time, I think it ought to be on the floor for at least as long as it's been in Harry Reid's office.”

White House Senior Adviser David Axelrod on CNN’s “State of the Union”
Axelrod: “Well, the president has said repeatedly, and he said in his speech to Congress that he doesn't believe that this bill should change the status quo as it relates to the issue of abortion. This shouldn't be a debate about abortion. And he's going to work with Senate and the House to try and insure that at the end of the day, the
status quo is not changed.”
King: “Does the Stupak amendment change the status quo?”
Axelrod: “Well, I think it's fair to say that the bill Congress passed does change the status quo. And - but I believe that there are discussions ongoing to how to adjust it accordingly.”

Sen. Kent Conrad (D-ND) on CNN’s “State of the Union”
“What is clear is, at the end of the day, for this bill to be successful, that there cannot be taxpayer funding of abortion. Now, whether the House formula has got it quite right or not, that's open to debate. But what is clear is, to have legislation passed -
it was clear in the house; it will be clear in the Senate – there cannot be taxpayer funding of abortion.”

Abortion aside, top Republicans continued to argue the country cannot afford the leading Democratic proposals.

Sen. Judd Gregg (R-NH) on CNN’s “State of the Union”
“The problem is you're growing the government so dramatically by adding this massive new entitlement into the system. We already have entitlements we can't afford.” He continues: “You're going to take the size of government in this country from 20 percent to around 23 percent to 24 percent of the gross national product after you've fully phased in this health care proposal that came out of the House.
That's simply not affordable. The event - what that creates is an inevitable spiraling of debt.”

White House Senior Adviser David Axelrod on CNN’s “State of the Union”
KING: “You sure you'll get it done this year?
AXELROD: Well, that's our goal and that's our intention and we're going to push very hard to get it done. There has been a long, vigorous, thorough debate and it's time to get it done.”

Sound of Sunday: Going Rogue

Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani (R) on CNN’s “State of the Union”
“I think Sarah Palin is great for the Republican party. I think the fact that ‘Newsweek’ has her on the cover and is criticizing her is a great indication of how good she is for the Republican Party. How much enthusiasm, how much enthusiasm she's created,…she gets a tremendous reception, even here in democratic New York. I mean, this is a person who creates great enthusiasm for the party. We're very far away from a 2012 election. Right now, I like figures who are creating interest in the Republican Party.”

White House Senior Adviser David Axelrod on CNN’s “State of the Union”
“…you know, I think I'll borrow Plouffe's copy. I don't see why we both have to buy one. So I will - once he's done with it, maybe he can summarize it for me or lend it to me and I'll give it a look. I'm more interested in seeing people buy his book. I think that's a great read.” He adds: “I think the president is pretty busy right now. I don't know that that is on his immediate reading list. He is reading reams of papers related to the many issues that he has to confront. So, I'm not sure that will be at the top of his list right now.”

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on NBC’s “Meet the Press”
“I'd absolutely look forward to having coffee. I've never met her, and I think it would be very interesting to sit down and talk with her. And I've got more than I could say grace over to read. Obviously in the next week there's going to be a lot of attention paid to her book. And I'm sure that I'll see excerpts printed and you know, snippets of interviews as I, you know, channel surf in Singapore and in Shanghai and in Beijing. I'm ready to have a cup of coffee and maybe I can make a case on some of the issues that we disagree on.”

Sound of Sunday: Grab Bag

Because we can, some additional sound of note:

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on NBC’s “Meet the Press”, on a possible gubernatorial run in New York:
"No, no, that's another one of those stories that never will die and I hope maybe we can put it to rest today, no I am committed to the job that I have, it's an extraordinarily important time to be Secretary of State of my country and to work with Pres. Obama in trying to pursue our interests and advance our values around the world and that's what I'm going to continue doing."

Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani (R) on CNN’s “State of the Union”, on his political future:
King: “You say you don't know if it will be her. Might it be you? Some people say Rudy should run for president again. Other people say, please run for governor, Mr. Giuliani. What will you do?”
Giuliani: “And other people say, please don't.”
King: “And what's the answer?”
Giuliani: “I don't know yet. I don't know what the answer is yet, John.”
King: “When do you have to make that decision?”
Giuliani: “Not today. not this morning.”

Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani (R) on the results of NY’s 23rd District Congressional race and what it says to the Republican Party
“That's not a good precedent for the party and that's the way you can allow Democrats to win, even if the public has turned against them on certain things. In that particular case, I know that district. That's a district that is very concerned about Obama's health care. You can see the Democrat has voted against the Obama health care program. That's a district where we could elect a Republican if we get our act together and let's hope we don't repeat that too often.”

Related: Giuliani misspeaks about Owens' health care vote

Enjoy the rest of your weekend.
John King

Filed under: Popular Posts • State of the Union
soundoff (12 Responses)
  1. Big Daddy

    You can not be serious Rudy ?

    November 15, 2009 05:34 pm at 5:34 pm |
  2. Grandma Jo

    You got to be kidding – can you imagine Todd and Sara standing on the front steps of the White House welcoming foreign dignitaries! That would be the one of the most embarrasing moments in history – of course Rudy would be standing right there by them – double embarrassing.

    November 15, 2009 05:56 pm at 5:56 pm |
  3. greyfox

    Mr. Guiliani's comments further cement my miniscule opinion of his analytical ability. The ideas that Palin was a) is an asset to the GOP and that b) she deserves to be on the big stage... both beg the question: what is he thinking? I can tell you in a quick summation, and it is this, that he is doing what Minnesota's governor did, and that is fold into the wolf's den in order to stay viable in his party.

    November 15, 2009 06:03 pm at 6:03 pm |
  4. Deb fromTexas

    Gulliani is just as looney as Palin.

    November 15, 2009 06:05 pm at 6:05 pm |
  5. HJA

    “I don’t know why you want to give terrorists’ advantages,” was the retort of former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani.

    It's called the"Rule of Law". This country pushes it all over the world. I guess you don't believe in it .....RUDY! Typical two faced Republinazi!

    November 15, 2009 07:01 pm at 7:01 pm |
  6. Richard Swanson

    We are as good as dead! Idiots run by lobbyists in Washington and news that aint news! You people can whip a dead horse like never before. Get a life and THINK! We're going to give everyone captured on a battle field, a nice trial in N.Y. RIGHT! It's time for another parade in Dallas, whatever that means.

    November 15, 2009 07:19 pm at 7:19 pm |
  7. They call me "tater salad"

    John King is nothing but a right wing, waterboy, media hack, that would be a better fit over at Faux Noise!........That's pretty much all you need to know about this guy!.........Move along folks,.........Nothing to see here!

    November 15, 2009 08:12 pm at 8:12 pm |
  8. Peter Nowinski

    If someone from Pakistan goes to New York City and robs a bank, he will be tried in district court in New York City. If he commits an act defined as
    terrorism in the United States Code, he will be tried in New York City. It only gets sticky when you cast the person as a soldier in a war. I don't know, but I suspect armies most often just shot armed enemy combatants. If an enemy combatant surrendered, I imagine a treaty or policy forbade just shooting him. I imagine they were incarcerated until the war was over then repatriated. If they did something particularly heinous, I doubt they were singled out within the wider war for capture and trial. I gather that at the end of past wars, some combatants were tried for "war crimes", which never made much sense to me. But I don't think we need public or official opinion about any of this. I think CNN ought to produce a program about precedents and explain them to the American people. I also would imagine that the Attorney General made his decision based upon certain principles. It would be good if CNN asked what they were. Thank you.

    November 15, 2009 08:20 pm at 8:20 pm |
  9. We Won Get Over It

    Gee who knew the republicans were a bunch of cowards. I did all along. First they are afraid of a terrorist who can't do any harm and then they are afraid this terrorist will let the cat out of the bag and tell the whole world what cheney authorized and the piddle widdle bush went along with...

    We know republicans were cowards. Did you ever hear of one who didn't run around and hide when it came to serving their country in the military? Oh yeah....

    November 15, 2009 08:20 pm at 8:20 pm |
  10. Janel, St. Paul, MN

    Giulianni and Romney are "has beens!"

    Why does the media continue to follow them and report their sour grapes' comments?

    Neither of these gentlemen came close to becoming president and hopefully will never get closer.

    I'd love to see some new faces on the news, but. . .guess times are hard, so I will need to keep switching channels.

    November 15, 2009 08:28 pm at 8:28 pm |
  11. Ancient Texan

    Giving citizen's rights and the World Stage to the international terrorists make no sense. The only logical explanation for the Obama Administration to do this is to let this be another opportunity to bash America as being the evil actors, and Bush as the main culprit. This costly Circus will go on for years and will only harm America.

    November 15, 2009 08:33 pm at 8:33 pm |
  12. good things are coming---S Callahan

    There are a bunch of us out here who take a man for his word, and President Obama said clearly on various medias ( National news tape, in the paper, etc) that there will be no Federal Dollars used for abortion in the health care plan. There is no getting around this issue..if you give funds from the Federal monies to any individual/group for private health plans then you need to keep your word and not waiver...NO FEDERAL TAX DOLLARS APPLIED TO ABORTIONS. This can be a very ugly messy situation to go back on your word. Abortion is not a taxpayer it should be treated as you would botox...let the consumer pay for it themselves if they choose this service,. I personally don't agree the States should carry the burden ..I think this issue needs to be decided at the state level..and not sourced from Fed dollars. I know it's not comfortable for this to be a part of the health care debate..but reality's there much as you want to disregard it. KEEP YOUR WORD, your credibility is hanging here.

    November 15, 2009 08:46 pm at 8:46 pm |