Cheney Criticizes Palin Pick; Romney Dances Around Israel Comments

Dick Cheney said John McCain's choosing Sarah Palin as his running mate in the 2008 election was a mistake in an interview that aired on ABC; Mitt Romney danced around supporting an Israeli attack on Iran after one of his aides said he would be okay with it. 

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Dick Cheney came out and said what everyone else already knew. He said picking Sarah Palin for Vice President in 2008 "was a mistake." "That one I don’t think was well handled," Cheney said. In an interview that aired on ABC's This Week with George Stephanopolous, Romney talked about what it's like to go through a Vice President search. "I sort of think of it as there are two lists. There is the big list. And it’s got a lot of folks on it," he explained. But, ultimately, to get the call the person has to be ready to take office in an emergency. "And the test to get on the small list has to be is this person capable of being president of the United States, and that’s usually a very, very short list," he said. Cheney said the considerations that a VP could boost your chance of winning shouldn't factor into the decision making process. "I think that that was one of the problems that McCain had," Cheney said. "I like Gov. Palin. I met her. I know her. She is an attractive candidate, but based on her background – she had only been governor for about two years – I don’t think she passed that test of being ready to take over." The rest of the interview will air on Monday.

Mitt Romney appeared on CBS's Face the Nation to clear up his position on Israel and Iran. One of his advisors made headlines yesterday when he said Romney would support Israel if they decided to attack Iran in an effort to harm their nuclear program. Romney was a bit cagier with his answers. "I respect the right of Israel to defend itself, and we stand with Israel," Romney said. "We're a nation -- two nations -- that come together in peace and that want to see Iran be dissuaded from its nuclear folly. Let me use my own words in that regard." Romney said he was being careful with his answers because he realized he was on foreign soil, and didn't want to create any more controversy. "Because I'm on foreign soil, I don't want to be creating new foreign policy for my country or in any way to distance myself from the foreign policy of our nation," he said. "But we respect the right of a nation to defend itself." Romney said everything should be done to keep Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons, and only after every other venue's been tried should we consider attacking. "If all those options fail -- and they have not all been executed, they've not all failed entirely at this stage -- if all those options fail, then we do have other options, and we don't take those other options off the table. But that's as far as I'm willing to go in terms of discussing this matter while on foreign soil."

Romney was also asked about the new Newsweek cover that calls him a wimp. "If I worried about what the media said, I wouldn't get much sleep, and I've been able to sleep pretty well," he said. "They tried that on George Herbert Walker Bush," Romney said Sunday. "He was a pretty great president and anything but."

Antonin Scalia appeared on Fox News Sunday and continued to say the mandate of the Affordable Health Care Act isn't a tax. "You don’t interpret a penalty to be a pig. It can’t be a pig," Scalia said. "And what my dissent said in the Affordable Care Act was simply there is no way to regard this penalty as a tax. It simply does not bear that meaning." Scalia also dismissed the reports saying John Roberts changed his decision from "no" to "yes" on the Obamacare ruling. "You shouldn’t believe what you read about internal court proceedings, because the reporter who reports that is either a) lying, which can be done with impunity because as you know we don’t respond, or b) that reporter had the information from someone who was breaking the oath of confidentiality, which means that’s an unreliable person. So, either way, you should not put any stock in reports about what was going on in the secrecy of the court," he said.

Dick Durbin doesn't think Congress can solve the debt problem in time for the November election. Remember last summer when everyone was terrified the U.S. was going to default on its loans and there was a huge battle to raise the debt ceiling? Yep, we're doing that again as soon as the election is over. "Let me be honest with you ... in the next 100 days before the election, the political environment is not one for compromise and negotiation," Durbin said on CNN's State of the Union. "If we are prepared, the day after the election to move forward with a plan that restores confidence in the economy and the ability of congress to react to it, it's going to be a positive thing for us. I think we can do it," he said. "With the president's leadership, we can come together. There's a bipartisan answer here that'll reduce the deficit and still create an environment for economic growth."

Sen. Kelly Ayotte hates that the President is planning on cutting defense spending. She said on State of the Union that she's appalled the President would use them as a bargaining chip in the debt negotiations. "It makes me sick that some in Washington -- particularly some of the Senate Democrats -- want to play, and even our president, unfortunately, want to use our military as a bargaining chip," Ayotte said.

Obama advisor Robert Gibbs used Mitt Romney's comments about the London Olympics to question whether or not he's ready to President on This Week. Gibbs said that Romney's comments about the London Olympics preparations being "disconcerting" were enough to "make you wonder whether or not he’s ready to be commander in chief."

"Mitt Romney wondered aloud whether London was ready for the Olympics, and I think it’s clear that voters in this country wonder aloud whether Mitt Romney is ready for the world, and I think the world is not yet ready for Mitt Romney," Gibbs said.

In case you were wondering how much is going to be spent on advertising in this election, someone who analyses media spending is putting the ballpark figure at $3 billion. Ken Goldstein, President of Kantar Media/CMAG made the prediction on State of the Union. "We’ll have over $3 billion spent on just spot, local television – that’s in all races from dog catcher to president," Goldstein said. "When you add in cable buys and national cable buys, that number is going to be more like $3.6 or $3.7 billion."

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