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Notes from the December 19, 2010 broadcast of Meet The Press

December 19, 2010

Today’s first guest was Vice President Joe Biden. The actual interview took place late Friday, which seems unfortunate since Saturday was such a big news day in Washington, DC (with the votes on DREAM Act and Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell [DADT]). Meet The Press is still the biggest deal in Sunday talk (by far) so viewers should expect the producers will use that leverage to get guests live on Sunday morning.

The Vice President was very excited about passage of the tax cuts and unemployment compromise package. Host David Gregory asked if the president can win a repeal of the high end tax cuts two years from now (an election year). Biden said yes.

Gregory says the compromise package represents a broken campaign promise, and he played the video to prove it. Biden says they tried everything to get what they really wanted, and in the end had to decide between letting the middle class tax cuts expire and finding a compromise which would keep them alive.

On the New START treaty, Biden says, “I believe we have the votes.”

On Wikileaks, Biden says if Julian Assange conspired with a member of the US military to get this material, that is very different than if he was just given the documents.

On Afghanistan, his answer was pretty convoluted. But he basically kept to the line that we are making progress, the troop drawdown will begin in July, and we will be out in 2014.

Gregory pushed Biden on President Obama’s political image (and reality). Biden said Obama is a progressive leader who understands politics is the art of the possible. He sees two main responsibilities in his job… protect the American people and promote growth. And he won’t compromise on those things.

In the roundtable… Joe Scarborough said DADT was a big deal for the country and for the president politically.

Newark Mayor Cory Booker said the tax cut deal was a “victory for pragmatism.” But Scarborough said it raises the specter of a devalued bond rating for the United States and no one knows the implications of that.

On the failure of the DREAM Act, Andrea Mitchell said this seemed like a bipartisan issue with support from both the Wall Street Journal and the New York Times, but now the failure seems like a bad move for Republicans politically because it will hurt them with Hispanics, a very large and growing voting group.

There was some discussion of the new “No Labels” political movement. One of the founders, Mark McKinnon, was on the panel. Mayor Booker also appeared at a No Labels event. And Scarborough seems to like the idea. Mitchell was not given a chance to chime in.

The show concluded with a short tribute to the late Ambassador Richard Holbrooke. He appeared on Meet The Press five times starting in 1976.

Today’s Meet The Press transcript will be here.

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