Graham to Romney: 'Stop Digging'; McCain Wants Clinton to Lead Israel Peace Talks
Lindsey Graham and Bobby Jindal both threw Mitt Romney under the Republican bus for his controversial "gifts" comments; John McCain said he'll go easier on Susan Rice if she admits she was wrong and advocated for Bill Clinton to lead the peace talks between Israel and Gaza.
Sen. Lindsey Graham learned a new metaphor before he went on NBC's Meet the Press on Sunday. Ultimately his goal was to help distance the Republican party even further from Mitt Romney since his "gifts" comments. "We’re in a big hole," Graham said. "We’re not getting out of it by comments like that. When you’re in a hole, stop digging. He keeps digging." Graham explained that Obama won so much of the Latino vote because Romney's position on immigration was so bad it made him the lesser of the two evils. "We’re in a death spiral with Hispanic voters because of rhetoric around immigration," said Graham. "Candidate Romney, in the primary, dug the hole deeper." And, this time with feeling, Graham broke out the hole metaphor one last time. "Rhetoric like this keeps digging a hole for the Republican Party," Graham continued. "And if we don’t stop digging, we’re never going to get out of it."
Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal -- who has absolutely no aspirations to run for President in 2016, nope, not one -- continued throwing Mitt Romney under the bus, backing up, and driving over him again during his appearance on Fox News Sunday. Jindal was asked again for his thoughts on Romney's controversial "gifts" comments, and Jindal said he "absolutely" disagrees with them. "We as a Republican Party have to campaign for every single vote," Jindal said. "We don’t start winning majorities... by insulting our voters." Jindal also denounced the GOP's rape caucus in one fell swoop. "We also don’t need to be saying stupid things," he said.
John McCain went on CBS' Face the Nation and said the only thing he wants Susan Rice to is to admit that she was wrong. (We've all had this fight with a significant other, right?) "She has a lot of explaining to do," McCain said. McCain explained that if she comes back on Face the Nation and says "I was wrong," he would consider not throwing a hissy fit and try to filibuster the President if he chooses to nominate her for Secretary of State. McCain also responded to the President's spirited defense of Rice in his White House press conference last week. Obama basically responded to McCain's criticisms of Rice and his filibuster threats with, "Come at me, bro." "I wish the president wouldn't get mad me," McCain said. "I wish he would spend our time together in finding out what happened, what caused it."
McCain also suggested a "high-ranking" American should be instated to lead the peace talks between Israel and Gaza. His suggestion might surprise some people...
Sen. Carl Levin went on ABC's This Week and gave a spirited defense of Susan Rice in the face of the mounting criticism from Republicans for her performance on these very Sunday talk shows. Levin said the attacks on Rice are "one of the most unfair attacks I’ve ever seen in Washington in 34 years," before defending her and potentially trying to redirect some of the blame to David Petraeus. "Susan Rice was using the unclassified talking points, which were provided by the intelligence community," Levin said. "The issue is whether or not Susan Rice should be pilloried for using an intelligence report which David Petraeus signed off on, which the DNI, the director of national intelligence, Mr. Clapper, signed off on," Levin continued. "Were they part of a cover-up? Did they do something wrong?"
Rep. Peter King also appeared on This Week to argue that Rice should have revealed classified information on live TV. King has been one of the more vocal critics of the White House in the wake of the Rice scandal. King was present for Petraeus closed door hearing with Congress on Friday where the former CIA director said that the talking points given to Rice had the words Al Queda in them at one point, but they were taken out somewhere down the line. "Susan Rice, though, I would hope, if she's going to go on national television, is going to rely on more than unclassified talking points," King said. "As U.N. ambassador, she had access to all the classified information from the State Department. She certainly could have gotten a classified briefing. She would have sat down with the National Security Council, and she would have known that those talking points had been watered down, and she could have caveated that -- her statement, which she didn't."
House Intelligence Committee Chairman Mike Rogers went on NBC's Meet the Press to say he's sure there was no intelligence failure while investigating the Benghazi attacks. Rogers was making his first comments to the press since going through multiple rounds of classified briefings with top officials on the Benghazi attacks. "I’ll tell you, with a high degree of confidence today, there was no intelligence failure," Rogers said. "They had it right, and they had it right early." Rogers blamed the many rounds of editing the talking points went through as the cause of any lapse in message that Susan Rice might have committed. "There was a narrative that was not consistent with the intelligence we had," Rogers said.
Sen. Joe Lieberman went on Fox News Sunday to say he's still not sure about the FBI's decision to wait until after the election to tell the President about the Petraeus Love Pentagon. "I still have questions about that," Lieberman said. He explained that because of the positions the two main parties involved in the scandal occupy (referring to Petraeus and Gen. John Allen) the FBI probbaly should have broken protocol and informed the President sooner. "I still have an inclination to believe that somebody should’ve notified the White House early in the investigation," Lieberman said. When asked about the current Republican attacks on Susan Rice, Lieberman said he didn't support them. John McCain and Lindsay Graham have been arguing a single committee should be formed to investigate the Benghazi attacks. "I respectfully separate myself from my two amigos," Lieberman said when asked for his feelings on the topic.
The vice chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee Saxby Cambliss went on Fox News Sunday to say he thinks U.N. ambassador Susan Rice will eventually have to come in and testify in front of Congress about her knowledge of the Benghazi attacks. "She’s going to have to come in and testify at some point, whether it’s in a closed hearing or an open hearing," Chambliss said.
Nancy Pelosi and Dick Durbin said separately that a new debt deal would have to include tax hikes for the rich. Pelosi appeared on This Week and was asked if there's a chance the deal wouldn't include tax hikes. "No," she responded. "The president made it very clear in his campaign that there is not enough -- there are not enough resources," she said. "Just to close loopholes is far too little money... If it's going to bring in revenue, the president has been very clear that the higher income people have to pay their fair share." Meanwhile, Durbin was saying something similar on CNN's State of the Union. "I'm not sure what we're proving with (the millionaire tax)," Durbin said. "It will be part of the solution," he said. "That's the beginning of a negotiation. The American people are tired of the obstruction and rhetoric on both sides."
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.