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Notes on the July 14, 2013 Broadcast of Meet The Press

July 14, 2013

All rights NBC NewsWhen I heard that Senators Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and Harry Reid (D-UT), the minority and majority leaders locked in an increasingly personal battle, were to appear on Meet the Press this Sunday I had one question: Will they sit side-by-side and be interviewed simultaneously or will they fall to the unfortunate Meet The Press practice of being interviewed sequentially?

In the opening of the program I was heartened to hear host David Gregory say that McConnell and Reid would “square off” this morning on Meet the Press.

Alas, the two men were ready to go at the start of the broadcast, but Gregory did not talk to them together. What a lost opportunity. There was most certainly no “squaring off” and, therefore, not much news.

Majority Leader Reid called on Republicans to approve President Obama’s executive branch nominees. He called upon the US House of Representatives to approve the immigration reform legislation.

Minority Leader McConnell said most nominees have been confirmed. He is against changing the rules of voting in the Senate. He also hopes the immigration compromise becomes law.

Gregory was rightly hard on McConnell for continuing to refer to the Affordable Healthcare law as a “bill” in an official letter sent to the National Football League and again in the interview itself. McConnell could only laugh and offered no good reason for his terminology.

There were some fireworks in the political roundtable section of the program. National Review editor Rich Lowry said the immigration reform bill still has a chance to pass the House even though he personally believes it should fail. GOP strategist Stephen Schmidt, however, believes that the House can fix this bill and make it far better than the current immigration situation.

Former Governor Bill Richardson (D-NM) passionately explained to Lowry that conservative opposition to immigration reform is political suicide for Republicans. Lowry disagreed.

Earlier in the broadcast, Senator Reid suggested that perhaps the Senate would look at a bill banning late-term abortions. Neera Tanden, president of the Center for American Progress, said in the roundtable that whenever these bills are discussed it tends to activate progressives and women to get more involved in the political process.

At the end of the broadcast, Gregory issued a correction to a reference he made last week about the Medicare surtax.

(Note that the opening minutes of the broadcast were spent on the verdict of the George Zimmerman trial. From Sanford, FL, NBC’s Kerry Sanders noted that it has been a quiet night there.)

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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