Sunday show roundup

Second term priorities, gun control and the Hagel nomination


Natasha Lennard
January 20, 2013 11:27PM (UTC)

While both the president and VP were sworn in for their second term in intimate ceremonies ahead of the public extravaganza Monday, the debates du jour continued on the Sunday talk shows.

Gun control:

The head of the National Rifle Association David Keene, in an interview on CNN's "State of the Union," was confident that efforts to ban assault rifles and high-capacity ammunition weapons would fail.

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"I'm willing to say that guns in this country have as much influence as they always have, and perhaps more," he told host Candy Crawley.

Appearing on CBS' "Face the Nation," Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.V.) -- a Congressman with strong NRA support -- urged an approach to curtailing gun violence that does not focus just on guns. "If you're just going to say it's all about guns, and we need gun changes and bans, then you're wrong," he said, noting that he and Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) would be sponsoring a bill to launch a commission on "mass violence," which would look at cultural depictions of violence, mental health care as well as gun control.

Obama's senior adviser David Plouffe, who made the talk show rounds Sunday, told "State of the Union" that he believed there to be "consensus on Capitol Hill" over gun control.  "We think we can get 60 votes in the Senate and 218 [votes in the House],” Plouffe said.

Bearing out Plouffe's point, staunch gun rights supporter Sen. Roy Blunt (R-Mo.) suggested he could be open to the idea of universal background checks, which would close the so-called gun show loophole. "I think we ought to talk about that," Blunt said on "Fox News Sunday."A CBS News/New York Times poll last week found that 92 percent of Americans supported universal back ground checks on gun buyers.

Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY), author of a universal background bill told NBC's "Meet the Press" Sunday that the measure was a "sweet spot" in terms of a gun control measure that has a good chance of passing. "This is the best chance of getting something done. And I think you're going to find much broader support than we ever imagined," he said.

Watch the NRA's Keene comment on CNN:

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Hagel:

Talking heads continued to express support and concern form Obama's secretary of defense nominee, Chuck Hagel. Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) said on "Fox News Sunday" that he was "not comfortable yet" about the nomination. Blumenthal said he hopes to press Hagel on his views on Israel and Iran (a many Republicans and pro-Israel groups believe the nominee to be overly critical of Israel and soft on Iran.) Appearing on the same show, Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R-N.H.) said she was "very troubled" by Obama's pick.

Meanwhile on "Meet the Press," Former Secretary of State Colin Powell said Hagel was "superbly qualified based on his overall record, his service to the country." Chuck Schumer, having spoken at length with Hagel, said that he believed Hagel would "allay the concerns of many people" during his confirmation hearings (via NBC's "Meet the Press"):

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Obama's second term:

Unsurprisingly, discussions turned to Obama's second term, predictions and priorities. On "Meet the Press," David Axelrod talked amorphously about "creat[ing] an economy, rebuild[ing] an economy." He said, "that's not just about dealing with the fiscal crisis, it's about education, it's about research and development, it's about controlling our energy future. All of these are part of the equation. And we can't just do one piece of it."

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On "Fox News Sunday," Sen. Blunt placed the onus on the president to lead, rejecting charges on Republican intransigence in Congress. "There's only one guy who can lead and that’s the president," he said, adding, "[the president] has not done much to advance a specific agenda."

Meanwhile, on the same show David Plouffe directed blame at the GOP. "The barrier to progress is not the president, we need to see more Republicans willing to compromise," Plouffe said.

Watch Axelrod's comments on second term priorities, via NBC's "Meet the Press":

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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 nlennard@salon.com.

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