Sunday talk shows: A recap

WHO WAS WHERE:
• Face the Nation (CBS): 
Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), Gov. Robert Bentley (R-Ala.)

• Fox News Sunday: 
Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.), Senate Budget Committee Chairman Kent Conrad (D-N.D.) and Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.)

• Meet the Press (NBC): 
New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, Gov. Bob McDonnell (R-Va.), former White House senior adviser David Axelrod, Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.)

• State of the Union (CNN): 
Sen. John Barrasso (R-Wyo.) and Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.); former National Security Adviser Stephen Hadley and former Rep. Jane Harman (D-Calif.); Sen. Michael Bennet (D-Colo.) and Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.)

• This Week (ABC): 
House Budget Chairman Paul Ryan (R-Wis.)


Fox News Sunday, This Week, Meet the Press, State of the Union
Bachmann doubts GOP success on Medicare goals

Tea Party favorite Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) on Sunday expressed doubts about the House GOP’s willingness to shift more of the costs of Medicare onto senior citizens in its proposed budget.

“I put an asterisk on my support,” Bachmann, who voted for the more conservative Republican Study Committee proposal, said on “Fox News Sunday.” “I support these bills with that proviso.”

Under the House’s fiscal 2012 budget, developed by Budget Committee Chairman Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), Medicare would be converted to a voucher system for citizens under the age of 55.

House Republicans who supported the bill, or the RSC substitute, have encountered criticism from constituents concerned about reshaping the government-run healthcare program.

Ryan himself made a concession in discussing his plan on “This Week,” saying that he is no longer aiming for a “home run” and would settle for a “single or a double.”

In a similar vein, Bachmann emphasized that both the Ryan and RSC plans are “aspirational documents.”

“This won’t be the final result,” she said. “We are saying that ‘we have a conviction’ [toward these goals].”

She also denied she is “calling for default” by declaring that she will not vote to raise the debt ceiling.

On “Meet the Press,” Florida GOP Sen. Marco Rubio reiterated that he also would not vote to raise the debt ceiling — a step that, should it win out in Congress, would make “the last recession look like a cake walk,” said Democratic Rep. Chris Van Hollen (Md.) on “State of the Union.”

“I marvel at the way people in the town run around with their hair on fire over the potential for a technical default but they don’t seem that concerned about a real default, where we don’t pay because we don’t have the money,” Rubio said.


State of the Union, 
Face the Nation 
and Fox News Sunday
Strike on Gadhafi questioned, praised

Foreign policy experts Jane Harman and Stephen Hadley expressed concerns over the NATO airstrike that targeted Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi and his family Saturday night.

“I think this mission was not thought out on the front end,” Harman, a former House member from California, said on “State of the Union.”

Hadley, a former national security adviser, added: “We want [Gadhafi] to die at Libyan hands, not American.”

But on “Fox News Sunday,” Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) said the only way the Libyan conflict will end is if NATO goes after Gadhafi and those close to him.

“This is a good move by NATO — to go after the source of the problem [Gadhafi],” Graham said.

Senate Armed Services Committee ranking member John McCain (R-Ariz.) defended the action, saying on “Face the Nation” that it was an attempt to go after “command and control.”

McCain continued to criticize President Obama’s “backseat role” on Libya.

“The U.S. has got to get its air assets back into the fight,” McCain said. “The U.S. is NATO. The British and French — God bless them — do not have the [military] resources needed. … Only the U.S. is capable of helping those people.”


State of the Union
Barrasso says repealing oil tax breaks a bad idea

The national average price for a gallon of gas reached $3.90 last week, prompting calls for repealing tax breaks for oil companies.

But Sen. John Barrasso (R-Wyo.) said on “State of the Union” that he disagrees with eliminating them. “If you tax something more, you get less of it,” Barrasso said. “Adding costs by adding taxes makes our energy less secure.”

Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.) said there is “no justification” for asking taxpayers to subsidize oil companies that are making record profits.

When asked about whether using the Strategic Petroleum Reserve was a good idea to help lower high gas prices, Barrasso said it was not. “The strategic reserve is for emergencies, and this isn’t it,” Barrasso said.


Meet the Press, Face the Nation, Fox News Sunday
Rubio rules out spot on 2012 GOP ticket

Freshman Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) said he would refuse the GOP vice presidential nomination if it was offered to him next year.

“I will not be on the 2012 [GOP presidential] ticket. Under no circumstances,” Rubio said on “Meet the Press.”

Winning Florida, with its 27 electoral votes, would be a major boon to Republicans in 2012.

President Obama won the state in 2008, but it went to former President George W. Bush in 2004 and 2000, the latter after a contentious court decision.

Meanwhile, real estate mogul Donald Trump’s recent foray into birther politics did not elicit praise from Republican lawmakers.

“Mr. Trump is having a lot of fun and clearly enjoys the limelight,” Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) said on “Face the Nation.” “We have a lot of serious candidates. If he wants to run he can run.”

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) on “Fox News Sunday” described a recent speech in which Trump cursed while describing how America should deal with China. “Most people don’t want their president going around saying the ‘f’ word,” he said.

More in News

Sunday shows preview: White House race picks up steam

Read more »