Skip to content

Notes from the January 23, 2011 broadcast of Meet The Press

January 23, 2011

Today’s broadcast featured House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA). Host David Gregory pointed out that President Obama intends to focus on job creation and deficit reduction in the Tuesday’s State of the Union address. Cantor says he will be watching to see of the president “heard the message” from the midterm elections. Cantor says this will be a “cut and grow Congress.”

When the president says “invest,” we hear “more government spending.” Investment should be by the private sector, according to Cantor.

On raising the debt ceiling: Cantor says Republicans won’t vote for it unless there are serious cuts in spending. So where to cut? Cantor says there are hundreds of programs over thousands of pages which will need cuts. When asked if defense is on the table, Cantor says every dollar is on the table.

Gregory played the clip from last week where Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) says Social Security is in fine condition. Cantor says we have to look at cuts in all entitlement programs.

Gregory is much more aggressive than usual this morning, especially in trying to pin Cantor down on where he wants to cut the budget. Cantor ultimately slips away, but Gregory gave it a serious effort. (Note: After dozens of press interviews, there is still no answer on this issue. So maybe the new line of questioning to Republican leadership should be: Do Republicans intend to produce a bill which spells out the actual budget cuts they favor? And when can we expect to see it… what is the timeline?)

There was no light produced in their discussion of health care. When asked if Obama is becoming a moderate, Cantor said actions speak louder than words.

Cantor said he believes President Obama is a citizen of the United States, but it took a lot (way too much) questioning by Gregory to get Cantor to this admission.

On to the roundtable discussion where there was a very informative back and forth between Republican advisor Karen Hughes and Democratic advisor John Podesta on the role of the government in fixing the economy. Can/should the government create the context for job creation? Will it work without deficit reduction?

In the middle of this serious policy discussion, Gregory wanted to re-litigate a political issue… whether or not health care reform was a “war of choice” for the Obama team. When someone finally took the bait on this, it seemed to wound the conversation.

By the way, journalist Ron Brownstein is like a walking Google when it comes to facts and figures on the government and the economy.

On 2012: Hughes say President Obama will be a one-term president. But MSNBC’s Erin Burnett says financial markets are already betting Obama will be re-elected. Brownstein says there is no Republican (yet) who can unite the good management appeal of candidates like Governor Mitt Romney with the populist appeal of those like Governor Mike Huckabee.

The show ended with a Meet The Press Minute devoted to the late Sargent Shriver. Shriver appeared on Meet The Press 10 times starting in 1961. This was a nice tribute to a public servant who hasn’t received enough attention for his contributions to our country.

Today’s Meet The Press transcript will be here.

No comments yet

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: