McCain Questions Holder's Credibility; Huckabee Doesn't Like His VP Odds
Woodward and Bernstein talk leaks on CBS; McCain and Axelrod spar over Eric Holder on CNN; Scott Walker and Mitch Daniels think Wisconsin spells the end of public-employee unions. Oh, and two more names can be crossed off the VP watch list.
David Axelrod denied ever giving Attorney General Eric Holder political advice during his appearance on CNN's State of the Union. "I rarely spoke to him, and I didn’t ever speak to him about issues of policy in the Justice Department," Axelrod said. "I was very sensitive to the fact ... that in the last administration, the political arm of the White House was very active in the Justice Department to the extent that they were picking US. attorneys and guiding policy there in ways that were inappropriate. So I was very scrupulous about my interactions with the attorney general."
Axelrod's comments pertaining to Holder can be heard at the very end of this video, which also has him discussing the President's "private sector" quote:
Meanwhile, John McCain questioned Eric Holder's credibility on the same show. McCain was also complaining about the Justice Department's decision to appoint two attorney's to look into the leaks instead of appointing an independent special counsel. “Mr. Holder’s credibility with Congress – there is none," he told State of the Union host Candy Crowley. "In the Valerie Plame situation, they appointed a special counsel," McCain said. "If it is – and it certainly is -- the most egregious breach of intelligence in anybody’s memory, that certainly requires a special counsel who is completely independent."
Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein were guests on CBS's Face the Nation for the 40th anniversary of the Watergate scandal. They were asked for their opinions on the current scandals involving the potential leaking of national security secrets to reporters. "You’ve got to be very careful about creating a witch hunt for sources and a witch hunt in which you go after reporters, because now more than ever we need real reporting on this presidency, on national security, on all these areas, and the press is not the problem here," Bernstein said. Woodward thinks the problem has to be solved with policy. "It’s very difficult – I know from doing stories like this where you’re dealing with sensitive government secrets -- to modulate and be careful and at the same time hold the government accountable for what they’re doing," Woodward said. "This is an area that needs to be handled with great delicacy, and I’m not sure we have a political system that knows how to do anything with great delicacy." Confirming John Kerry's biggest fears, Bernstein said the press's record is fairly good when reporting on things they shouldn't know about. "The record of the press, you know, is really quite good at protecting real, genuine national security secrets, which we often know about," he said.
Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker said he wants Romney to take, "a page out of President Reagan’s playbook in 1980," during an appearance on CBS's Face the Nation. Walker explained that Reagan's campaign that year wasn't just about attacking President Carter, but he also "laid out a clear plan" on how he would cut spending. "Here in Wisconsin and other swing states, I think that’s the key," Walker said. "The 'R' next to the name cannot be just about being Republican, it’s got to be about reformer." Walker said he hopes Romney "goes big and he goes bold," in the 2012 campaign. "I think he’s got the capacity to do that," he said. Walker also said he thinks Mitt Romney has a shot to win his state in November. "Well, I think it’s up in the air. I think it’s definitely in play," Walker said. "You know, six months ago I think the White House had it firmly in their column. I think it is up in the air. But I think it’s really very much left up to Republican or conservative voters, but to those swing voters who again elected me by a larger margin than they did two years ago."
Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels said he thinks the Wisconsin recall election is a "turning point" for public-employee unions during an appearance on Fox News Sunday. "I think, really, government works better without them. I really do," he said. Daniels said he believes Wisconsin showed people are fed up with the "fundamental unfairness of government workers becoming its own special interest group." Daniels said unions are a, "necessary freedom … in the private sector," but it’s a "bad idea in government." "We’re not going after anybody," Daniels said. "We’re just going after better government." Daniels also attacked Obama's "the private sector is doing fine" quote, saying "He does not understand where wealth and jobs come from... It comes from a successful private sector or not at all … government does not create wealth or income. It just shuffles it around and charges a price, a cost for that service or disservice."
We can strike two more names off the list of Mitt Romney's potential VPs. Rick Santorum said he hasn't been called yet by the Romney campaign during his appearance on ABC's This Week with George Stephanopolous. "No one’s asked me for anything right now," Santorum said. It doesn't seem like he wants the job either. When pressed further, Santorum said, "If he calls me, I’ll answer the phone call but I’m not anxious to get back involved in the fray right now." Later on This Week, when Mike Huckabee was asked about his chances to get the Veep call, he said, "I think there’s a greater likelihood that I’ll be asked by Madonna to go on tour as her bass player than I’ll be picked to be on the ticket."
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.