Sunday, April 22, 2012

Transcript: 'State of the Union' with Candy Crowley (4-22-12)

Interview with David Axelrod; Interview with Elijah Cummings; Interview with Marco Rubio

CROWLEY: So if you take this, is it fair to say, listen, the president is the guy in charge?

AXELROD: People will judge him based on his record. I think in your own poll he had a big edge in strong and decisive on all those leadership qualities. Part of it is we've been through some big things. We ended a war. We dealt with an oil leak of epic proportions. We've brought bin Laden to justice -- we've been involved in a lot of things that required very strong management, very strong leadership, very strong coordination and oversight. And I think people will judge him on the totality, not these transient stories.

CROWLEY: If this were happening in a Republican administration, would you be one of the first guys out there going hey, this guy is in charge.

AXELROD: Maybe, although I must say that the stories that stick are the ones that are really emblematic and reflective of an administration. These are not.

Look, in any organization I would venture to say that every once in a while someone does something wrong at CNN. And -- not you, of course, but -- and then the question is how do you deal with it. Do you deal with it firmly. Do you learn from it. Do you put in systems to prevent those things from happening in the future. And the answer in this case is yes. That's what we've done.

We've been more aggressive on demanding efficiencies, on attacking waste than I think any other administration has.

CROWLEY: It's also come to light that since last July, Leon Panetta, the defense secretary, who has a very tough job, and we all understand that, has -- it's cost the government $860,000 to fly him back and forth every other weekend, or however often he goes, to his home in California. Does that disturb you at all?

AXELROD: Well, look, Leon's family is out there. I understand that. He's serving the country. He's also the Defense Secretary and that puts some certain security risks around him that almost no one but the president endures. So, you know, I think...

CROWLEY: Tight government times you can see how people might look at this, certainly you're rivals, look at this and say, wow, this is a lot of money, most people when they get a job they move to where the job is -- and their families.

AXELROD: Understood but Leon is doing an important job for the country, really a service to the country at the age of 73 after a long career. He followed Bob Gates at the request of the president. I don't think people are going begrudge him going home and seeing his family.

CROWLEY: OK. Let me -- I want to give you a flash from the past with a couple of sound bites from the president in the campaign.


OBAMA: Well, what we need is a comprehensive immigration approach.

I want to solve the problem, not use it as a political football.

We've got to fix a broken immigration system.

That's a priority that I will pursue from my very first day.


CROWLEY: OK, the president at other times during that campaign, which I covered fairly closely, said I'm going to get immigration reform in the first year. Now we're almost four years in and he has said, OK, I'm going to get it in the first year of my second term. Why should the Hispanic community or the country at large believe it's going to happen next year?

AXELROD: Well, because the president has tried to get it. He has initiated those actions and here is what happened, Candy. I was --


'Fareed Zakaria GPS' Transcript (4-22-12)

Full transcript. Excerpt Below:

ZAKARIA: All right. The Billionaires Index, you look at the number of billionaires in a country, but you look at also the total net worth as a percentage of GDP, and what do you do -- what do you find and what are you trying to get at?

SHARMA: You want new wealth to be created, and you don't want too much wealth to be concentrated in a few hands, because that sort of leads to the perception that reforms or opening up the economy is only benefiting a few people, and it leads to a backlash, in fact, against economic reforms.

And if you look at the economic success stories of Korea, Taiwan, one thing that you find, which is very noticeable about them, is that the number of billionaires they have as a share of the total sort of economy is sort of fairly reasonable.

But if you -- but the problem I find in places such as Russia is exactly the opposite, which is the number of billionaires you have, the highest number of billionaires in the world, even though their economy is nowhere near the size of a U.S. or even China, and the more disturbing point about Russia I find is that if you look at the number of millionaires, Russia doesn't even feature in the top 15 in the world. So when it comes to billionaires, top two. When it comes to millionaires, not even the top 15 in the world.

ZAKARIA: So the title of your book is "Breakout Nations." So there is good news here, because you're saying that the old emerging markets, the leader is Brazil, Russia, China, India are perhaps going to slow down. So what are the new ones and why are they thriving?

SHARMA: Well, I think that the most important point here is about expectations. That you have got to have reasonable expectations about countries. And the second thing is to do with per capita income.

Now, if a country like Korea, which I identify as still a break- out nation -- Korea is a remarkable economic success story along with Taiwan. It's the only economy in the world to have grown at 5 percent or more for five decades in a row.

ZAKARIA: Five decades.

SHARMA: Five decades in a row. Only two did in the world grew at more than 5 percent on average each decade. The other country where I think that expectations can be surpassed versus what the consensus is are Indonesia, Turkey, Philippines. I think even Thailand has a chance of doing so. Then a bunch of frontier markets such as Nigeria, Sri Lanka. I think all these countries have a chance of surpassing expectations.

ZAKARIA: And you're bullish on Poland as I remember in the book.

SHARMA: Yes. Eastern Europe. I think that Europe today gets a lot of flack for the fact that you talk about Europe today, and you only think about debt crises and boom-bust cycles, and yet you've got countries such as Poland with very good macroeconomic finances, and a pretty stable growth rate, solid institutions, and some very good companies.

And I think Czech is also in a similar league, even though its economy tends to be a bit more cyclical, because of its exports exposure.

So I think there are a whole bunch of countries out there which can be break-out nations, which can be the countries that emerge as the new economic stars.

Obama's Job Approval Rating under 50% since December

This graphic shows, according to Real Clear Politics average of polls, that the President's job aproval has been under 50 percent since December of last year. To many pro-Democrat pundits they view this as a success since it's in par with the failure of previous administrations. Anyone with a job approval of under 50% should not be re-elected. And if Romney were in White House he would probably do about the same. The problem is the failed two-party system . That is why they should both be fired. Vote Third party!

'Meet The Press' Transcript (4-22-12)

Full transcript. Excerpt below:

MR. GREGORY:  Good morning.  There are new details this morning in the prostitution scandal involving the Secret Service and the U.S. military.  Here is the very latest.  Now 12 Secret Service agents and 11 members of the U.S. military have been implicated in the scandal.  Six agents have already been forced out of the Secret Service, including two supervisors.  We're told investigators from the Secret Service and the Pentagon have sought to interview some of the 21 Colombian women who were involved.  They've obtained security video from the Hotel El Caribe and have been able to identify the women.  And the man you see there, director of the Secret Service Mark Sullivan, briefed the president in the Oval Office on Friday.  Jay Carney, the president's spokesman, saying unequivocally that the president quote has "faith in the Secret Service and high regard for the agency." So that's where things stand.
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Where is it going?  Joining me now, Republican congressman from Califorma--California, rather, chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Darrell Issa and Republican congressman from New York, chairman of the Homeland Security Committee Peter King.

Welcome to both of you.

REP. PETER KING (R-NY):  Good morning.  Good morning, David.

REP. DARRELL ISSA (R-CA):  Thank you, David.

MR. GREGORY:  Congressman King, let me start with you.  Where is this headed? Ultimately, will everyone involved lose their job?

REP. KING:  I would say anyone who is found to be guilty will.  As you know, there was one of the 11 has been partially exonerated and he will probably not be terminated.  He will face administrative action.  But I would expect within a very near future to have several other Secret Service agents leaving the agency of those 11, and there's, you know, one other person's been added on. So Director Sullivan from the moment this broke has moved effectively and this investigation is going full speed ahead.  There are many, many agents in Colombia interviewing the women involved, interviewing the hotel employees. There's, I believe, hundreds of Colombian and--police are assisting the Secret Service in this.  So it's going all out and from every indication I've seen from the moment this scandal broke until now, there's no attempt to cover anything over.  Everything is being--every lead--possible lead is being examined.

My staff, I began an investigation last week.  I've sent a detailed letter to Director Sullivan with a list of questions that we need to be answered.  We're in contact with the Secret Service and other sources of law enforcement and from all I've seen so far, this investigation is going at a very proper rate and is going to be carried all the way and it has to be.

MR. GREGORY:  But Congressman King, what else needs to be known?  What else do you want to know?

REP. KING:  Well, first of all, we have to know exactly what happened, when it began, who was involved, who in the chain of command found out about it and what they did.  Secondly, we have to make sure that there is--there were no security violations, that nothing was made available to anyone other than Secret Service, that there was no--the president was never compromised and no, no information was ever made available to anyone else.  Then we have to find out what is going to be done to ensure or to minimize the possibility of this ever happening again because I have great regard for the Secret Service.  I believe Director Sullivan has done a fine job, but the fact is that you can't allow 11 men like this to tarnish what, what--the great reputation of that agency and we have to make sure that others are not doing it and that precautions are put in place and procedures in place to ensure it never happens again.

CNN 'Reliable Sources' Transcript (4-22-12)

Full transcript. Excerpt below:

KURTZ: Jennifer Rubin, Romney has been doing a lot of interviews with local television stations.


KURTZ: But, can you run in a general election as opposed to Republican primary mainly by dealing with the conservative media?

RUBIN: No. I don't think so. And actually, he hasn't been very friendly to the conservative media either. He's -- as you have written and I have written, he had a rather hostile relationship with them.

KURTZ: You interviewed him once.

RUBIN: I interviewed him once. Many on the conservative side, "National Review" has interviewed him. Many others have not.

I think this is a mistake. It has been a mistake. I have written him throughout that he should be more accessible.

He's a pretty good spokesman for his own cause.

KURTZ: So, why is he so wary of the press in general and even the conservative media in particular?

RUBIN: I think this goes to the overall caution of the campaign, the desire not to make any mistakes. But I think by restricting him, it highlights each and every incident so that if he makes a small mistake in one, it really stands out. If he did more of these, it would sort of blend into the background.

KURTZ: I think you're right. When you do so few, then everyone becomes more of a tension-filled event.

And, Bill Press, reporters shouldn't treat Romney any differently even though they're spending all their employer's money to fly with him around the country, and he barely does any press availability, but inevitably, this is kind of an undercurrent of resentment, is there not?

BILL PRESS, CURRENT TV: Well, there is. But I have to tell you -- you know what? I am just sick and tired of all these politicians, all of them, whining about the media. Give me a break.

You know? Look,, first of all, I also want to say that Romney has been treated poorly by the conservative media. I mean, Joe Scarborough says he doesn't know one Republican that he talks to that thinks Romney is going to win.

Now, that's not like helping his case. So -- I mean, Santorum and Gingrich complain about FOX. Not so long ago, they were on FOX's payroll, and now Mitt Romney -- I think the truth is they all have gotten pretty fair treatment. Better than they deserve in most cases.

RUBIN: Well, I would like to second that, and I have made that rant on this program as well that conservatives -- at least candidates, whine about this way too much. And they sound like victims. Voters aren't interested in this. It's fine for all of us to critique and the media should be held to a standard.

KURTZ: Right.

RUBIN: But for candidates themselves, I think it comes across as kind of whiney.

PRESS: And can I just point out? It wasn't a reporter who said the trees are just the right size in Michigan.

KURTZ: Here we go --

PRESS: I mean, all of those things, they say them.

KURTZ: He says some things that he'd probably wish he hadn't said.

Let me turn now to something that's been kind of below the radar. Maybe it's now coming above the radar, and that is a focus on Mitt Romney's religion.

I want to play for you a couple of clips, including an interview that he did do this week with a member of the mainstream media, ABC's Diane Sawyer.

GOP Elite Holds off the Tea Partiers


The Republican Party establishment has withstood the tea-party revolution.

The tricorne-hat wearing, Gadsden-flag waving insurgents were nowhere near the Republican National Committee’s annual meeting of state chairman, which wrapped up at a posh resort here Saturday afternoon.

Instead, veteran party leaders — who wore business suits even in the 100-degree heat — reigned supreme.

The 2012 meeting of the Republican national command shows just how little has actually changed in the Grand Old Party since the tea-party movement helped Republicans capture the U.S. House majority two years ago and announced that they were a powerful force in American politics.

While tea-party activists have won county chairmanships and seats on state central committees, few (if any) activists have clinched slots on the Republican Party’s 168-member governing committee. That’s not to say that tea-partiers have disappeared or that they won’t get their moment in the sun — but it may take years for them to climb the party ladder the same way as everyone else.

Conservative nonprofit ALEC acts as stealth business lobbyist


Desperate for new revenue, Ohio lawmakers introduced legislation last year that would make it easier to recover money from businesses that defraud the state.

It was quickly flagged at the Washington headquarters of the American Legislative Exchange Council, or ALEC, a business-backed group that views such “false claims” laws as encouraging frivolous lawsuits. ALEC’s membership includes not only corporations, but nearly 2,000 state legislators across the country — including dozens who would vote on the Ohio bill.

One of them, Bill Seitz, a prominent Republican state senator, wrote to a fellow senior lawmaker to relay ALEC’s concerns about “the recent upsurge” in false-claims legislation nationwide. “While this is understandable, as states are broke, the considered advice from our friends at ALEC was that such legislation is not well taken and should not be approved,” he said in a private memorandum.

The legislation was reworked to ease some of ALEC’s concerns, making it one of many bills the group has influenced by mobilizing its lawmaker members, a vast majority of them Republicans.

Despite its generally low profile, ALEC has drawn scrutiny recently for promoting gun rights policies like the Stand Your Ground law at the center of the Trayvon Martin shooting case in Florida, as well as bills to weaken labor unions and tighten voter identification rules. Amid the controversies, several companies, including Coca-Cola, Intuit and Kraft Foods, have left the group.

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