1. ObamaObamObamaObamaObama. NoObama on Fox.
2. On ABC, Obama said he disagreed that elements of the Baucus plan were tantamount to a massive tax increase on the middle class: "I don't agree. I think what they were referring to, and I haven't looked at the quotes, but I think they were concerned about whether or not this was actually affordable. On whether a mandate is equivalent to a tax increase: "What I've said is that if you can't afford health insurance, you certainly shouldn't be punished for that...For us to say that you've got to take a responsibility to get health insurance is absolutely not a tax increase. What it's saying is, that we're not going to have other people carrying your burdens for you anymore."
On CBS, Obama said that the worry that insurance companies would pass increased taxes onto consumers was misplaced because they're already passing the equivalent costs onto consumers -- and profiting from it. Obama also said that he would not ovverule his attorney general on a decision about whether to prosecute CIA interrogators.
On NBC, addressing Afghanistan: " The question that I'm asking right now is to our military, to General McChrystal, to General Petraeus, to all our national security apparatus, is-- whether it's troops who are already there, or any troop request in the future, how does this advance America's national security interests? How does it make sure that al Qaeda and its extremist allies cannot attack the United States homeland, our allies, our troops who are based in Europe?
That's the question that I'm constantly asking because that's the primary threat that we went there to deal with. And if-- if supporting the Afghan national government, and building capacity for their army, and securing certain provinces advances that strategy, then we'll move forward."
On CNN, Obama acknowledged that his Afghanistan strategy was a work in progress.
On Univision, Obama said he would deal with the complexities of undocumented immigrants and health care later -- not now.
I'd really like to solve our immigration problem, but I can't solve every problem all at once. The immigration problem is one set of problems and a whole range of issues are raised through immigration. Healthcare is a problem that doesn't just affect all Americans. It especially affects Hispanic Americans, who have the highest rate of uninsurance. Now I'm not talking about undocumented now.
3. Sen. Carl Levin (D-MI) said that others in the chain of command should weigh in on whether more troops are needed: "That delegation of responsibility from the commander in chief to the commander in the field has not been made by the president, and I don't think it should be made. He should want the recommendations of the higher-ups in the chain, as well as, obviously, the commander in the field." Levin also gave his definition of "resourcing Afghanistan" -- more equipment and material to the troops we have there, before we decide whether there should be more troops. "And I've been recommending to the president that, first of all, before any consideration is made of additional combat forces, that we get the Afghan army bigger, better equipped. We should not delay in that. We ought to do those things right away. We know those things are going to be part of any decision and any recommendation. And I think they're overdue."
4. On GPS with FZ, Dmitry Medvedev said that he, not Vladimir Putin, was making the decisions on foreign policy. On Iran: " Iran must cooperate with IAEA, that's for sure, if they want to develop their nuclear energy program. It is their duty, not a choice. Otherwise, indeed, the question will be asked always, what are they up to after all? That's very clear."
5. On Meet the Press, House Minority Leader John Boehner said he detected a "big change" in the administration's Afghanistan strategy: "I've supported his strategy in Afghanistan, but it's pretty clear based on what I heard this morning that the President is changing the goals here. All he talked about was going after al Qaeda in Afghanistan and Pakistan. What happened to the statement earlier this year when the President said we cannot allow the Taliban and al Qaeda to have a safe haven from which to train, operate and organize to go after Americans?"