If it’s Sunday, it’s Meet the Press… and Face the Nation… and This Week… and Fox News Sunday… and State of the Union.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu gave an exclusive interview to Fox News Sunday host Chris Wallace. Netanyahu talked tough on Iran, dismissing the argument that Iran could be expected to behave rationally and responsibly with nuclear weapons:
You can’t rely on the fact that they’ll obey the calculations of cost and benefit that have governed all nuclear powers since — since the rise of the nuclear age after Hiroshima and Nagasaki. We’ve had effective nuclear peace for more than half a century because everybody understood the rules.
And in an online-only segment of the interview, Netanyahu downplayed tension between the United States and Israel, calling the relationship between the two countries “the ultimate partnership of stability that can give hope to [Israel] and to others in the region.”
The White House deployed a trio of top officials to the studios this Sunday. Attorney General Eric Holder visited the set of CBS’s Face the Nation, and Press Secretary Robert Gibbs stopped by NBC’s Meet the Press. Senior political adviser David Axelrod did triple duty, appearing on Fox News Sunday, ABC’s This Week, and CNN’s State of the Union.
On Meet the Press, Gibbs discussed Democrats’ prospects for the midterm elections, expressing a clear recognition that Democrats are in danger of losing the House:
I think there is no doubt that there are a lot of seats that will be up. A lot of contested seats. I think– people are gonna have a choice to make in the fall. But I– I think there is no doubt there are enough seats in play– that could cause Republicans to gain control. There’s no doubt about that. This will depend on strong campaigns by Democrats. And again, I think we’ve got to take the issues to them.
Gibbs also discussed the Gulf oil spill, calling the current stage of the effort to cap the oil flowing from the Deepwater Horizon rig a “critical point” and signaling confidence in BP’s latest efforts to plug the leak:
On Face the Nation, Attorney General Holder chalked up delays in the trial of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed to political considerations:
Republicans and Democrats arguing about this in a political way, as opposed to dealing with the substance… is something that I think is regrettable and has resulted, I think, in the delays that we have seen.
Holder also defended the Obama administration’s plans to transfer Guantanamo Bay detainees to prisons in the United States:
I think there’s a lot of misinformation out there. We have proven an ability to hold in our federal prison system people convicted of, charged with terrorist offenses very effectively, very safely. There is no reason to believe that people held in Guantanamo cannot be held wherever we put them in the United States.
Here’s Holder talking to host Bob Schieffer about other issues including the Russian spy exchange and the federal government’s lawsuit over Arizona’s illegal immigration law:
It’s true that there is not a great desire [for more spending], even though there is some argument for additional spending in the short-run to continue to generate economic activity. There’s not a great appetite for it, but I do think there are still some things we can accomplish. I do think that we can get additional tax relief for small businesses – that’s what we want to do – additional lending for small businesses.
Axelrod also sparred briefly with host Jake Tapper when Tapper interrupted his attempt to blame the Obama administration’s difficulties on the events of the Bush era:
Axelrod made a similar argument on CNN’s State of the Union when asked by host Candy Crowley to defend the President’s inability to cut unemployment:
Of course, Candy, but the hole that was dug over the course of eight years and the disaster we saw was very, very deep. And it’s going to take a while to dig out from it. And we had to accelerate that recovery.
Only time will tell if voters will accept the “blame Bush” line two years into the Obama presidency or if they’ll reject it as a straw man argument in November. Good luck selling that, Ax.