April 6th, 2014
03:58 PM ET
9 years 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:

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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.


“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. Gurgyl

    --on Obamacare, GOP lost the game. End of the matter. Exchanges take place.

    April 6, 2014 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  2. j

    We will see a about that , obama has change the usa as we know it, a lot of angry people ,it will show on the midterm election .have a good dream obama.

    April 6, 2014 05:26 pm at 5:26 pm |

    All I know is , in spite of the GOP mis information AND BS , my 34 year old son got a blue cross SILVER policy FOR 62.00 A MONTH in FLORIDA. Now , the newest GOP mis information IS only gold and platinum policies will be excepted by doctors and hospitals which is TOTAL BS. These are policies by insurance companies as good AS ANY OTHER.and are paid for, just like any other. The GOP provides NOTHING for the average American!!! They look out for the one% of republicans and do nothing for the rest. Average republicans WILlL probably NOT vote for the GOP clowns in the house in 2014!!!!!

    April 6, 2014 06:05 pm at 6:05 pm |
  4. Chris-E...al

    Yes Gas prices are up ! Food prices are up ! Electric Water is up ! Heating oil is rising even more ! Durable goods are up ! Diesel fuel is up . Shipping cost is up ! Healthcare is up for Most . Borrowing money is going to go way up ! Postage is up ! And the Dems say they are for the poor People .They along with other americans are fed up !

    April 6, 2014 06:25 pm at 6:25 pm |
  5. brownbuttonglutton

    Lol. The American people lost on 0bama care. You lefty extremists will see that in November when dims lose the senate. Dims haven't done anything positive sine 0bama took office. All they've managed to do is play the race.card and cause division. Shellacking 2.0 come November.

    April 6, 2014 06:45 pm at 6:45 pm |
  6. Scotty

    Obamacare is not going to stand as is and it needs major changes or repealed. They lied to pass it, obama ran against the mandate, they rushed to pass it and its not more affordable for the MC. Plus only 17% are payers, the rest are takers! The ACA disapproval is still very high and when the group mandate rolls out next yr (the one they delayed) tens of millions of plans will be gone!

    The only way to lower HC costs is by making being unhealthy cost more, not the other way around.

    April 6, 2014 06:50 pm at 6:50 pm |
  7. Larrym14169

    Oblunder just loves hanging with professional athletes and Hollywood. I guess it is probably best he spends less time trying to do his job seeing he can't do that at all.

    April 6, 2014 07:02 pm at 7:02 pm |
  8. Jason99694

    We (Americans) all lost the game.

    April 6, 2014 07:28 pm at 7:28 pm |
  9. Thomas

    Why do the ultra right wing neocons dislike common sense ?

    Michele Bachmann is no Betty Crocker , and if Randy Paul is the Aqua Buddha , do we call him Master ?

    April 6, 2014 07:54 pm at 7:54 pm |
  10. cbp

    Is there anything new in this report? The Obama-Ortiz flap is ridiculous and not worth the time spent on it. Just a small article on the Ryan Budget which would decimate so many American families and leave the wealthy in a position to become wealthier.

    Another attack on Obamacare even though millions will not be able to have health care because the states refused to become part of the program. Of course states would have three years to come up with ways to pay for the programs in 2016 or so. Evidently no one believes that we have people who are smart enough to do so

    The stalemate continues between the political parties and nothing is getting done. Why do we elect people who cannot work together?

    April 6, 2014 08:08 pm at 8:08 pm |
  11. Hector Slagg

    Maybe this what happens when too many cooks in the kitchen. Probably the Ryan Budget proposal is what's needed. The continual delays in Obama Care is a sign of things to come.

    April 6, 2014 08:22 pm at 8:22 pm |
  12. exrepublican

    I find it baffling how so-called conservatives who supposedly believe in personal responsibility spend all their time and energy blaming everyone else for their problems instead of taking a good look at themselves. Its liberals, its Obama, its minorities, the welfare state, it goes on and on. So-called conservatives need to look at themselves and realize they have become the new face of whining.

    April 6, 2014 08:23 pm at 8:23 pm |
  13. just saying

    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.

    excellent... i can hardly wait for all the ads from the democrats saying they voted for and love obamacare and would screw the american people all over again if given the chance. after 4 years and most of the lies exposed (obama has delayed the other brutal lies and damage), the american people know the entire democrat party put the screws to them and lied to them. so yes, please do tell everybody you voted for obamacare so the anerican people will know who to throw out.

    April 6, 2014 08:39 pm at 8:39 pm |
  14. fact

    And the American also lost that one.

    April 6, 2014 08:53 pm at 8:53 pm |
  15. hellsyeahs

    Pelosi DOMINATES on the hill. Boehner and the Teahoards should bow down at a feet of a real legislator.

    April 6, 2014 09:22 pm at 9:22 pm |
  16. JC

    Liberals have every right to jump all over the CIA report, although it was ended by the same administration that started it. However, the drone program in my opinion is just as, if not more so, dangerous to human rights. That's one thing both sides never seem to learn. If you jump all over the other side for something you better be sure you aren't doing something just as bad on your side.

    April 6, 2014 09:25 pm at 9:25 pm |
  17. sonnie3

    Obamacare is still one big fiasco of a train wreck and will one day have to see that it is buried at sea. So it is far from end of matter and the 2014 elections will open your eyes to that. The majority of Americans never did nor do want anything to do with the big tax call aca.

    April 6, 2014 09:35 pm at 9:35 pm |
  18. nintex

    On campaign finance: equating free speech with money is moronic. We all have the right to free speech, but we don't all have the same amount of money in the bank, so millionaires have more "free speech" than I do. I don't begrudge rich people the right to buy mansions and yachts, but I do begrudge them the right to buy politicians. Our country will continue to become less a "dem"-ocracy and more a "money" -ocracy. Thanks, Supreme Court.

    April 6, 2014 10:01 pm at 10:01 pm |
  19. Just

    Pelosi and Reid are on the same medications? They need to get them upped.

    April 6, 2014 10:20 pm at 10:20 pm |
  20. just me

    What, no asinine statements from either Mccain or Graham? It doesn't feel like a Sunday witjout those two in stage makeup.

    April 6, 2014 10:36 pm at 10:36 pm |
  21. Greg

    GOP didn't lose, the country did. Thanks for supporting such a Nobel cause...

    April 7, 2014 12:30 am at 12:30 am |
  22. J.V.Hodgson

    There are a lot of younger people in the workforce who get cover from their employers. these employers irrespective of PPACA get policy cost increases every year or re-negotiate benefits and co-pays to minimize cost in away that employees hopefully see as reasonable as well. the insurance companies cannot afford to cancel all employer based policies, they will have to offer something or go search on the exchanges for a better solution, that minimizes cost.
    Ps to Candy the idea that the corporate mandate will not be implemented would never pass as it totally undermines the whole act see above, and even if someone proposes it Obama would veto it. Stop creating non news adversarial politics.

    April 7, 2014 12:56 am at 12:56 am |
  23. GUTSY333

    Will the radical conservative parties ever understand that leading America requires a duty to take care of all Americans, not just the wealthy millionare elite and admit that living in America is totally different than living in the royal dictatorships back in the sixteen century?

    April 7, 2014 01:12 am at 1:12 am |
  24. Sherrie

    Who cares. It is just a photo, Wooopeee doodda day!!

    April 7, 2014 03:16 am at 3:16 am |
  25. brain

    November can't get here fast enough.

    April 7, 2014 03:36 am at 3:36 am |
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