Issa Sells Contempt Vote; Pawlenty Pulls Away From Veep Hype
Darrell Issa appeared on ABC's This Week with George Stephanopolous and Fox News Sunday to sell his contempt vote against Attorney General Eric Holder; Rick Perry called President Obama's use of executive privilege "Nixonian;" and Tim Pawlenty shied away from some of his VP hype.
Darrell Issa, chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, said on ABC's This Week with George Stephanopolous that if the contested "Fast & Furious" documents were handed over, then he might dismiss Eric Holder's contempt charge. "If those documents say what Eric Holder says they say, we might in fact dismiss contempt," Issa said. "If we get documents that do show, cast some doubt, or allow us to understand this, we’ll at least delay contempt and continue the process," the chairman said. On Fox News Sunday, Issa said he believes the contempt vote will be bipartisan if it happens. "I believe it will be bipartisan. You never know how many. But there are a number of Democrats, 31, who wrote to administration asking them to be forthcoming. Many of them will stay with us," he said. He reiterated that the vote could be delayed if the documents were turned over. "If the president and Attorney General Holder would simply start producing the documents they know they could produce to us - they're not, by any means, going to be covered by executive privilege - this could be delayed or even eliminated. But we have to see the documents first." During another part of his appearance, Issa said he doesn't believe White House officials played any part in the Fast & Furious scandal, and that his investigation focused only on the Department of Justice.
This is Issa on This Week:
Elijah Cummings, a top Democrat on the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, said on Fox News Sunday that Speaker of the House John Boehner should sit down with Eric Holder and negotiate a deal to avoid a contempt vote. "There's no evidence that [Holder] knew about it, no evidence that he authorized or condoned it," Cumming said. "I'm really kind of saddened that at this point in the history of the Congress that we would be finding this attorney general in contempt." Cummings said he wants the Speaker "to come forth and show the strong leadership that I know he will, and sit down with the attorney general to resolve this matter." Cummings said Holder "has made it clear that he is willing to work with this Congress. He's already turned over 7,600 documents, gone through millions of e-mails, and even given up what's called internal deliberative documents."
George Will and Hilary Rosen both agreed on ABC's This Week that Eric Holder was drawing the ire of Republicans because he's taken stances against state laws Republicans support. "Mr. Holder has made himself obnoxious to Republicans by saying, unlike the Supreme Court, that photo ID laws constitute voter suppression," said Will. "Now we're getting to the real issue. This is the reason why Republicans don't like Eric Holder," said Rosen. "Because he has challenged voter ID laws under civil rights statutes as the voter suppression rules that they are, because he has challenge the Arizona discriminatory immigration law, because he has refused to implement the discriminatory anti-marriage law." Rosen took the ball and ran with it from there, saying Republicans are going after him for showing backbone while with the Justice department. "Eric Holder has shown a lot of backbone in the Justice Department and the Republicans hate it. So what do they do? They call for his resignation. They throw at him document requests that are impossible to respond to. They throw more and more at him to distract him from doing the things that actually the president and the people hired him to do."
This is the whole roundtable discussion on Fast & Furious from This Week:
Rick Perry basically said on CBS's Face the Nation that the Fast & Furious scandal was worse the Watergate. First, he used "Nixonian" to describe the President's use of executive privilege to withhold documents relating to the Fast & Furious program. "Now you have a president who is using his executive privilege to keep that information from Congress. If that's not Nixonian, then I don't know what it is," Perry said. Then, his Watergate comparison. "We've had over 300 Mexican nationals killed, directly attributable to this Fast and Furious operation, where they brought those guns into Mexico. A former Marine and a Border Patrol agent by the name of Brian Terry lost his life," Perry said. "With Watergate you had a second-rate burglary." Perry also said he'd campaign for the Romney campaign if they ask him to. On voters in the next election, he did make a bit of a flub: "They're ready to have a change in Washington DC in 2015," he said.
Senior Romney adviser Ed Gillespie disputed the claims from the Washington Post story alleging Bain Capitol invested in companies that used overseas outsourcing on CNN's State of the Union. "This was incredibly shoddy journalism. The fact is, this was a breathless headline over a baseless story," Gillespie said. "I would encourage you to have the reporter on your show. I hope he goes on a lot of shows. And ask him to demonstrate one of the companies that was cited in that article that moved American jobs overseas while Mitt Romney was at Bain Capital… and I don’t believe you’ll find that he can cite any. So it’s justfactually inaccurate."
Gillespie also kept it unclear when asked if a Romney win would mean Obama's immigration reform decision would be repealed. "Every executive action that President Obama has taken will be subject to review... there are legitimate questions about the legality of [Obama's immigration policy]," Gillespie said.
Tim Pawlenty effectively took himself out of the running for VP on CBS's Face the Nation, saying he thinks he could best serve the Romney campaign in other ways. "I have indicated that I think I can best serve Gov. Romney in other ways, particularly as a volunteer and surrogate speaker in places he can’t go," Pawlenty said. "I have encouraged people who asked this question in the campaign to look at other prospects." On top of that, he conceded that Romney doesn't have a specific plan to reform the tax code, something Romney's been criticized for in the past. "So he hasn’t put out a specific plan to eliminate any of the particular deductions within the tax code," Pawlenty said, "but he has talked pretty specifically about how he would reform, reduce and slow down government spending overall." That's not how you're supposed to talk if you want to be picked as the VP.
Marco Rubio endorsed the controversial Arizona immigration law on NBC's Meet the Press, and deflected questions about his VP potential for what feels like the millionth time. "Arizona has an all-out border problem there, and it's not just about immigration, it's about security. And it's legislature, frustrated with inaction from the federal level, enacted this law," Rubio explained. "Arizona has a right to pass that law, I understand why they did what they did. But I don't think it's a national model, and I don't think other states should follow suit. For example, I don't want to see a law like that in Florida," Rubio said. When host David Gregory asked about his potential VP selection, Rubio shut him down. "I'm not discussing the vice-presidential process anymore," Rubio told him. "I made the decision two months ago not to discuss it any further," he said. "I am confident, based on his life-long record of making good decisions, that Mitt Romney will make a great selection for vice president." Gregory asked if there was anything in his background that would disqualify him from being chosen, but Rubio's answer was appropriately vague. "I've made good decisions. Like everybody else, I've made bad decisions. I've learned from my bad decisions, I have always learned, like all of us do, from our mistakes. I wouldn't overblow them, but I think it's important to point them out."