Happy Sunday, here’s your Sunday Recap:
Newark Mayor and amateur superhero Cory Booker was a Democratic breath of fresh air on Meet the Press, calling the effort to paint Mitt Romney as a vampire capitalist “crap.”
More Booker: “This kind of stuff is nauseating to me. . . it’s nauseating to voters,” said Booker. “I’m not about to sit here and indict private equity. . . we’re getting to a ridiculous point here in America. . .” Bain has “done a lot to support businesses, grown businesses, and this to me I’m very uncomfortable with.”
Booker went on to note that he cut public jobs by 25 percent in Newark, “because it’s the only way my government would survive.” “Call me a job cutter if you want,” said Booker.
Republican pollster Mike Murphy agreed. After pointing out that Romney was running the Olympics while his Bain successor, an Obama super donor, pulled the plug on the now infamous rust-belt steel firm: “I’m not about to be the church lady on negative ads, I’ve made a lot of them . . . but there’s a level of cynicism here that I think is hitting overflow.”
But copanelist Jim Cramer thinks the Bain attack is already gaining traction: “Romney’s known as a job destroyer, not a creator,” said Cramer. And over onFace the Nation, Norah O’Donnell seemed to agree, saying that while Romney’s business experience should be his “pitching arm,” the Obama campaign could “sideline him for the rest of the season.”
Wright or Wrong:
Is bringing Rev. Wright back into the 2012 election a good idea for Republicans? The short answer seems to be “No.”
Pelosi on This Week: “This election is not about Rev. Wright.”
Boehner on This Week: “The issue is not Rev. Wright, the issue is the economy.”
Mike Murphy on Meet the Press: Wright is “small ball.” “I don’t think it’ll be a major issue. I don’t think they’ll be an ad about it.” “An incredibly stupid campaign document got out, and the New York Times ran with it.”
75 in Play?
Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi said she thinks the House is up for grabs in 2012. “I think it would be dead even,” said Pelosi. Regarding Boehner’s earlier suggesting that there was a one-third chance of Republicans losing the House, Pelosi responded: “I think it’s bigger than that. But it — what he did say that was correct was that there are about 50 Republican seats in play. I would say 75. I feel pretty good about where we are.”
So does Speaker Boehner, who told George Stephanopoulos “I feel pretty good about where we are today.” When asked if, should the Republicans retain the House, he is confident that he’ll return as Speaker, Boehner replied “I am.”
If the Democrats win, can we look forward to Speaker Pelosi 2.0? “I just want to come back with the Democrats in the majority,” Pelosi repied. A return to the speakership would be “incidental.”
And what would be her top priorities in the next Democratic House? Jobs? Debt? Entitlement reform? Nope. Pelosi said she would want to “move on to public financing in campaigns”, increase “civility” in politics, and increase the number of women elected to Congress.
Debt Ceiling Debacle
On This Week, the debate was over whether last year’s debt ceiling debacle was, well, a debacle, with the usual suspect Democrats chastising Republicans for the downgrading of American credit and George Will pointing out that the downgrade brought a flood of liquidity into U.S. securities.
But one thing everyone seemed to agree on is that a new debt ceiling fight, which Speaker Boehner is calling for, is unlikely to happen before the election.
Boehner wondered aloud to Stephanopoulos, “Why do we always have to allow elections to get in the way of doing the right thing?”
Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell told Face the Nation’s Bob Schieffer that although he agrees with Boehner that now is a “perfect time” to address the debt, ultimately “the timing will be determined by the president . . . We assume that will happen end of the year, early next year.”
McConnell added that both Boehner and he agree that we shouldn’t treat the debt ceiling increase “like a motherhood resolution that passes on a voice vote.”
Boehner and Pelosi sniped each other’s sides over unfinished business from the last debt ceiling fight.
Said Boehner: “I’m not going to apologize for leading. The real issue here is that the president won’t lead.”
Pelosi challenged the idea that it was the president who broke his word, dooming the last “Grand Bargain.” She said it’s “simply not true” that Obama upped the ante on new tax revenue at the last minute, forcing Boehner to walk away.
The Afghanistan Divide in Two Soundbytes
Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham on Face the Nation: “You can’t lose a little bit in Afghanistan. You either win or you lose.”
Pelosi on Afghanistan: “We do not have an eternal commitment to being there in a military way.”
Booker Endorses Christie?
Asked if he thought Chris Christie would make a good vice-presidential pick for Mitt Romney, Cory Booker settled somewhere between polite and effusive: “Chris Christie is an impact player . . . if you want somebody who’s going to shake it up . . . if you want electricity . . . Chris Christie is a really strong guy.”
But is Christie qualified to be president, in Booker’s opinion?
“He’s as qualified if not more than all the other names I’m hearing mentioned.”
Question: All the other names [Ryan, Portman, Rubio, Jindal etc.] have at least as much, and in many cases far more, experience than Obama did when he ran in 2008, don’t they Mr. Mayor?
Boehner on managing the Republican caucus: “It’s hard to keep 218 frogs in a wheelbarrow and get a bill passed.”
Donna Brazile on why a debt deal is near impossible: The Republicans have a “wet dream” for “more and more and more tax cuts.”
Paul Ryan, after David Gregory unsuccessfully pushed him in 47 different ways about how exactly he might compromise should President Obama win in November: “I’m not going to negotiate with myself on television.”
Jim Cramer: If “Democrats run the table, [tax] rates are going to go up dramatically” especially on dividends.
Mike Murphy on the Obama campaign’s Bain strategy: They want to make the job-cutting Romney look like “Mr. Scissor Hands.”
Boehner on Facebook cofounder Eduardo Saverin’s decision to renounce his U.S. citizenship, apparently to avoid taxes: “Outrageous.”
Boehner on the J. P. Morgan loss: There’s “no law against stupidity. . . as long as there’s no risk of a taxpayer bailout they should be held accountable by the market and their shareholders, and they will.”
Paul Ryan on why Romney has better polling numbers on the economy despite the downward creep of the unemployment rate: “For every person who found a job in this economy [last month], three people gave up.”
Jim Cramer on the Facebook IPO: “Sell Sell Sell.”