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Notes on the November 6, 2011 Broadcast of Meet The Press

November 6, 2011

This morning’s Meet The Press began with a discussion of GOP presidential frontrunner Herman Cain’s changing story on sexual harassment charges. Governor Haley Barbour (R-MS) said Cain needs to get all the facts out fast if he wants to move on. Former governor and cabinet member Bill Richardson (D-NM) used the issue as a way to call attention to Republican efforts to limit women’s rights through “personhood amendments.”

Host David Gregory noted that today is exactly one year from the 2012 presidential election day.

Next up was GOP presidential candidate Ambassador Jon Hunstman, former two-term governor of Utah. He agreed that Cain needs to get all the facts out, and said it is unfortunate that this issue is taking up all the space for important conversations. “We are running out of trust in how Americans view key institutions,” added Huntsman.

In discussing Cain’s apparent lack of knowledge about China’s nuclear capability, Hunstman said that there needs to be a baseline level of knowledge about world affairs among presidential candidates. The US-China relationship is very important, reminds Hunstman (the former US ambassador to China) who adds that it would be good to have a president in office who has a head start and actually knows the Chinese leadership intimately well.

In perhaps the most newsworthy comment of the day, Huntsman said Romney’s flip-flops on key issues do impact the ceiling on his poll numbers and ultimately make Romney “unelectable” against President Obama.

“You can’t run away from mainstream science and expect to win the race,” Hunstman also said. When Gregory asked, “Are you a moderate?,” Huntsman mentioned his 80% win for re-election as governor of Utah and added, “Look at my record.”

Gregory pointed out that Huntsman is polling at 1% nationwide and 5-6% in New Hampshire. “We are putting everything into New Hampshire,” said Huntsman. The segment ended with a parody video Hunstman’s daughters made of the infamous Cain ad with campaign manager Mark Block smoking.

The roundtable segment had an odd mixture of Gregory with three media people and one GOP strategist, Alex Castellanos. I can’t figure out the thinking behind this particular grouping.

Castellanos said Cain might survive this current scandal and emerge stronger. He added that if Cain wins Iowa, he could be the nominee.

MSNBC’s Chris Matthews, author of the new book Jack Kennedy: Elusive Hero, and others on the roundtable discussed Obama’s inability to build a core of support in DC. “There are still more Clinton people than Obama people” in the party, according to Matthews.

The show ended with a tribute to the late Andy Rooney and a note that today marked the 64th anniversary of Meet The Press’ start on the journey to becoming the longest running program in television history.

Today’s Meet The Press transcript will be here.

Also follow the show on the MTP Facebook page, track Twitter feeds from host David Gregory, Meet The Press, and Executive Producer Betsy Fischer, watch the midweek PressPass interview, and don’t forget Gregory’s blog.

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