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Notes on the May 6, 2012 Broadcast of Meet The Press

May 6, 2012

This morning’s Meet The Press began with a meaty and meaningful conversation with Vice President Joe Biden. On the economy and job creation, host David Gregory pushed the “stagnation” idea. Biden pushed back describing how big the hole has been.

Joe Biden on Meet the Press. All rights NBC NEWS.Gregory played a clip from Republican presidential challenger Mitt Romney (R-MA) and said three-fourths of the public believe we are still in a recession. Biden said he understands why people would feel that way, but he asserted that Romney would bring back policies which we know would make things worse.

Biden slammed Romney’s call for tax cuts for the rich which go beyond even the Bush era cuts. He says, “These are good patriotic people, but they need that [tax cut] like they need another hole in their heads.”

On Chinese dissident Chen Guangcheng, Biden said, “I think his future is in America.”

Gregory asked point blank, “What is more important for the Obama Administration, standing up for freedom in China or maintaining the delicate relationship…” Before Gregory could even finish the question, Biden replied, “Standing up for freedom.”

Not surprisingly, Biden strongly predicted the Obama-Biden ticket will win re-election in November.

Biden expressed his support for same sex marriage while acknowledging that his views have evolved farther than those of President Barack Obama. Biden gave credit to the TV show “Will and Grace” for enhancing public understanding of gay rights.

The documents found in the raid of Osama Bin Laden’s compound seemed to say Bin Laden wanted to kill President Obama because it would leave a “totally unprepared” Biden in power. Biden says he is glad the president dealt with Bin Laden so we no longer need to worry about that.

Gregory asked Biden how he could be critical of Romney on the Bin Laden raid decision when he (Biden) voted no when the president asked for opinions in the Situation Room on the day of the raid. Biden said that, in the end, he told the president to follow his own instincts, and he is glad Obama did.

On the 2016 presidential election, Biden dodged the question of whether he or Secretary of State Hillary Clinton would be candidates.

The roundtable portion of the broadcast included Senator Kelly Ayotte (R-NH), Tom Brokaw and Chuck Todd from NBC News, and economist Diane Swonk. Look at that list… three non-partisans and a Republican. Very odd.

One interesting note from the polling data discussed this morning: In key battleground states for the November presidential vote, the economy is improving faster than the national rate. This poses challenges for the Romney campaign.

Tom Brokaw said there is now a quiet movement in Washington, DC to dust off the Simpson-Bowles deficit reduction plan and try to get it implemented.

Brokaw also said that he was away from Washington on the night of the White House Correspondents Association dinner, and he was struck by how much this event highlights all that is wrong, or perceived to be wrong, about the relationship between the press and the people they are supposed to be covering. Amen to that.

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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