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Notes on the January 20, 2013 Broadcast of Meet The Press

January 20, 2013

All rights NBC NewsThis weeks Meet the Press began with Senators Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and Ted Cruz (R-TX) debating the president’s proposed gun control measures. Schumer defended the president’s proposal; Cruz only expressed support for greater background checks. Cruz also denied that a gun show loophole exists.

Schumer said the “sweet spot” for bipartisan agreement is probably in the area of background checks. Cruz declined to criticize the NRA ad which invoked the safety of President Obama’s children.

Moving on to the economy, Schumer said the House Republican decision to delay the debt ceiling debate by three months was a major victory for the president. Schumer and Cruz may have come close to potential agreement in the area of competing proposals guaranteeing the US pays its bills and avoid future debt ceiling debates.

In other news, Cruz said he was disappointed by Colin Powell’s comments on Meet the Press last week about intolerance in the Republican Party. Schumer said he will now support Chuck Hagel’s nomination to be secretary of defense. Cruz, however, said he is skeptical of “confirmation day conversions.”

In the roundtable discussion of President Obama’s second term, MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough said, “The president has been given a great second chance.” Doris Kearns Goodwin rejected host David Gregory’s analysis that the president is not willing to take big chances on legislation.

NBC Chief Foreign Correspondent Richard Engel said the Chinese model is now more attractive in the developing world than the American model. Scarborough pushed back saying there was also a day when the Soviet model was more attractive.

Engel went on to say that, seen from the outside, it seems like this administration is focused on very trivial issues. “It seems like 90% of the debate is on things totally disconnected from the rest of the world,” he said.

Engel said it will be difficult for the administration to make the pivot to Asia if Israel attacks Iran this year. He added that a collapse of Syria’s government will spread conflict throughout the region. Tom Brokaw made the point that, in this region, we are no longer dealing in an exclusively “state to state” world.

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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