Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner made the rounds on all five major political talk shows this morning to discuss the president’s proposal addressing the fast-approaching “fiscal cliff.” Though debates of the fiscal cliff dominated, Republicans and Democrats also discussed U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice’s possibility of being nominated for secretary of state.
Geithner emphasized the importance of Republican support in navigating away from the nation’s impending “fiscal cliff.” Regarding whether or not America will go over the fiscal cliff, Geithner put the ball in the GOP’s court, saying on “Fox News Sunday,” “That’s a decision that lies in the hands of the Republicans that are now opposing increases in tax rates.”
“It’s going to be very hard for them,” Geithner said. “You’ve heard them, for the first time, I think, in two decades now, acknowledge that they’re willing to have revenues go up as part of a balanced plan. That’s a good first step. But they have to tell us what they’re willing to do on rates and revenues. That’s going to be very hard for Republicans.”
House Majority Leader John Boehner, R-Ohio, did not offer up the support Geithner is hoping for, however. Of the negotiations, Boehner said, ”I would say we’re nowhere. Period,” calling the president’s plan a ”non-serious proposal.”
On NBC’s “Meet the Press,” Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., said, ”I feel almost sorry for John Boehner.” “There is incredible pressure on him from a base of his party that is unreasonable about this,” she said. “And he’s got to decide, is his speakership more important, or is the country more important. And in some ways, he has got to deal with this base of the Republican Party, who Grover Norquist represents.”
Geithner called the Republican and Democrat back-and-forth on the fiscal cliffs “political theater” on CNN’s “State of the Union,” saying, “Now, there’s no surprise … there’s going to be a lot of political theater between now and when we get there.”
On “Meet the Press,” Sen. Claire McCaskill defended Rice, saying that “what has happened to Susan Rice is terribly unfair,” noting that Rice has received an unprecedented amount of criticism in the intelligence community. “If you really understand what went on,” McCaskill said, “it is terribly unfair that she should be the scapegoat for this when really the failures ought to be at the lap of the head of the intelligence community that produced those talking points. But none of these guys will say a word about David Petraeus.”
On CBS’ “Face the Nation,” Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., was unyielding, however, saying, ”When it comes to Susan Rice, I can tell you as far as Lindsey Graham’s concerned, I find great fault with what she said on 16 September.”
Prachi Gupta is an Assistant News Editor for Salon, focusing on pop culture. Follow her on Twitter at @prachigu or email her at email@example.com.