Sunday show round up

Fiscal cliff debate, more Benghazi politicking and questions over when Obama learned of Petraeus affair

By Natasha Lennard
November 18, 2012 11:05PM (UTC)
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As Congress investigates what the Obama administration knew, and when, about the Benghazi consulate attacks, the topic once again took up considerable Sunday show focus.


Sen. Saxby Chambliss (R-Ga.), the top Republican in the Senate Intelligence Committee, told "Fox News Sunday" that he expects Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Susan Rice, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, will testify before the Senate about the Benghazi attacks. "At some point [Rice] needs to come in and say what the president or the White House directed her to say," Chambliss said.


On NBC's "Meet the Press," host David Gregory also pushed chair of the Senate's Select Committee on Intelligence, Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) and chair of the House Intelligence Committee, Rep. Mike Rogers (R-MI), on whether the White House and Rice had misled the public in saying early on that the attacks were spontaneous protests, while intelligence pointed to a terrorist plot.

"Well, this is what I know. I know the narrative was wrong and the intelligence was right. Now, getting between there and there, I think you have to be careful about making those accusations. I think you should have to prove it," said Rogers, while Feinstein urged an end to the partisan divide which has formed over Ambassador Rice's early Benghazi statement: "[Rice] has been pilloried for two months. I don't understand it. It has to stop. If it continues, it's going to set up, once again, a partisan divide in the House and the Senate, which Congressman Rogers and I have tried to overcome, and have overcome with some success, with respect to the Intelligence Committee," said Feinstein.

Meanwhile, while both Rogers and Feinstein asserted that the consulate should have had better security. The point was echoed by Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.) on "Fox News Sunday" who said, “There was no capacity to defend our personnel in a timely way once the attack occurred. And we can’t let that happen again.”


Watch Chambliss on "Fox News Sunday":



In a comment that will likely get some pick up, Rep. Rogers also may have revealed on "Meet the Press" that Obama possibly knew about Petraeus's affair before the election. “I’m not sure the president was not told before election day," said Rogers


Host David Gregory was quick to jump on the remark. "That's new. That's new, that the president knew before election day," Gregory said. Rogers responded "I didn't say that. I said I don't know... The attorney general knew months before this. There was no formal notice to either Congress or the intelligence community,” he said, “We just need to ask the question, I hope he'll come up and talk to us.”



Fiscal Cliff:

As mentioned on Salon earlier, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) put her foot down over fiscal cliff negotiations during an interview with ABC's "This Week." She said that any deal would have to include tax hikes for the rich.

On CNN's "State of the Union,"  Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) partially echoed Pelosi in saying, "We’re not going to solve this by asking the wealthiest to pay their fair share, but it will be part of the solution,” Durbin said. “And what I hear from the Republican side is ‘What is the rest of the solution?’ That is the beginning of a negotiation.”


Meanwhile, also on "State of the Union," Rep. Tom Price (R-Ga.) trotted out the GOP position that revenues in any deficit-reduction deal should come from closing loopholes and limiting deductions, rather than raising rates on top earners, "Tax increases to chase ever higher spending is a fool's errand,” Price said.

 Watch Pelosi on "This Week":


Gaza crisis:

Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) suggested on CBS's "Face the Nation" that Obama should send Bill Clinton to lead cease fire talks between Israelis and Palestinians. "We need a person of enormous prestige and influence to have these parties sit down together as an honest broker," he said.

Natasha Lennard

Natasha Lennard is an assistant news editor at Salon, covering non-electoral politics, general news and rabble-rousing. Follow her on Twitter @natashalennard, email

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