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Notes from the November 7, 2010 broadcast of Meet The Press

November 7, 2010

Today’s show began with David Gregory asking Senator Jim DeMint(R-SC) if the Tea party is now running the Republican Party. “Hardly. But I am hoping the Republicans will embrace a lot of the Tea Party ideas,” said DeMint

Gregory asks if pushing the Tea Party cost the GOP control of the Senate (due to Tea Party losses in several states). DeMint responded, “That is a very silly thing to say, David.”

Gregory: Do you think repeal of healthcare reform is realistic? DeMint: Yes, I do. And the next Republican running for president needs to run on a platform of complete repeal of Obamacare.

DeMint said he won’t vote to increase the debt ceiling unless it is accompanied by some path to deficit reduction. So where will the budget be cut? DeMint says, cut earmarks, defund Obamacare, and then look at entitlement programs… particularly trimming overhead costs.

When asked about the 2012 presidential contest, DeMint mentions Sarah Palin and Michelle Bachman.

One production note: The backdrop graphic for DeMint’s appearance from Clemson, SC looked quite amateurish… especially compared to the crisp view of David Gregory and his shiny set.

Gregory then turns to his second and final political guest, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie(R). It was strange for the program to have two Republican guests today and no Democrat. Particularly since the Republicans won the House… but neither of the Republican guest were from he House. Weird.

Gregory asks Christie about what people will have to sacrifice in order to get a balanced budget. Christie says everyone will have to sacrifice and the cuts will be in every state department.

Christie was most passionate in his defense of his decision to cancel the New York-New Jersey tunnel project. Gregory himself showed a little energy in his questioning about extending the Bush tax cuts. But no new light was shed on the subject.

I have never seen Governor Christie speak before, and I am sure he and I would disagree on many political issues… but I can certainly see how he might have a nationwide appeal among conservatives and perhaps some independents. (To be clear, Christie firmly ruled out any possibility of being on the GOP ticket in 2012.)

Moving on to the Roundtable… in a nutshell: Is this election a wholesale repudiation of President Obama? Republicans: Yes. Democrats: No. Exit polls show the whole country deeply divided on things like healthcare reform and renewing some or all of the Bush tax cuts. If the Republicans act like this election gave them a mandate, then they will stumble like they did after the 1994 election and the Democrats did after 2008.

Interestingly, the roundtable this week could have been much more interesting with an all conservative panel ranging from moderate Republicans to passionate Tea Party advocates. The most interesting question in DC right now is whether or not these Republicans can cooperate. And a panel with those participants might have produced some real fireworks.

Finally, congratulations to Meet The Press on its 63rd year on the air… the longest running television program in the world.

Today’s Meet The Press transcript will be here.

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