Ben Smith calls the following a “pretty Shermanesque” statement from Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) regarding the 2012 presidential race:
RUBIO: "No, I’m not going to be on a ticket in 2012."
GREGORY: "Under no circumstances?"
RUBIO: "Under no circumstances."
That’s from an interview airing today on NBC’s “Meet the Press.”
Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) “said Sunday he supports taking out Muammar Qadhafi,” POLITICO reports.
Following reports Saturday that one of Qadhafi’s sons and three grandsons may have been been killed in NATO attacks, Graham said the allies should be doing more to take out the Libyan leader.
"Wherever Qadhafi goes, he is a legitimate military target," Graham said on "Fox News Sunday." "He’s the command and control source. He’s not the legitimate leader of Libya and [the] way to get this to end is to go after the people around him and his support system."
Asked whether such a move would be illegal — international law prohibits the assassination of national leaders — Graham said plainly and clearly he believed Qadhafi has forfeited that title and therefore, that immunity.
"In my view, he’s not a foreign leader, he’s a murderer," Graham said.
Here’s a list of Senators hitting the Sunday talk show circuit tomorrow:
- Face the Nation (CBS) – John McCain (R-AZ)
- State of the Union (CNN) – John Barrasso (R-WY), Michael Bennet (D-CO) and Lamar Alexander (R-TN)
- Fox News Sunday – Kent Conrad (D-ND) and Lindsey Graham (R-SC)
- Meet the Press (NBC) – Marco Rubio (R-FL)
- This Week (ABC) – None
Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) said Sunday that the “Obama administration’s new task force on gas prices doesn’t go far enough,” according to the Wall Street Journal.
“The Justice Department should take the lead, seize this moment, and send a message, a very strong deterrent message that this country will not tolerate the kind of illegal speculation and trading and hedge fund activity that may be driving prices up,” Mr. Blumenthal said on CBS’s “Face the Nation.”
Note that word “may.” Industry analysts say high gas prices reflect rising global demand, a weak dollar and concerns about supply stemming from Middle East unrest. They aren’t sure what role, if any, is played by illegal activities.
The Obama administration Thursday announced a new task force to look into potential illegal activity in the oil and gas markets. It includes Department of Justice officials as well as representatives from market oversight agencies like the Commodity Futures Trading Commission and the Federal Trade Commission.
Mr. Blumenthal, a former attorney general in Connecticut, said the task force was only monitoring and not investigating the situation. ”There really needs to be an investigation, for example, involving subpoenas and compulsory process,” he said.
Senator Tom Coburn (R-OK) “said Sunday he can accept tax reform that increases overall tax revenue as part of a comprehensive deficit reduction plan,” CNN reports.
Republican Sen. Tom Coburn of Oklahoma told the NBC program "Meet the Press" that if lowering tax rates and eliminating loopholes and deductions ended up bringing in more money to the U.S. government, "that would be fine with me."
Asked about a pledge he signed previously against any kind of tax increase, Coburn said his more important pledge was to do what’s best for the country. He also noted that political reality dictated the need for bipartisan support for any agreement to pass.
"This isn’t about politics as normal," Coburn said. "It’s about making a decision now that is urgent."
Coburn is one of six senators taking part in bipartisan talks on a deficit reduction blueprint. While they have yet to reach final agreement, the senators participating in the so-called "Gang of Six" want their work to serve as an impetus for both sides to meet somewhere in the middle on the deficit reduction issue.
Senator John McCain (R-AZ) “said the U.S. should increase its role in North Atlantic Treaty Organization air attacks against Libya and rebels there need more direct assistance in the fight against Muammar Qaddafi’s forces,” Bloomberg reports.
“I really fear a stalemate,” McCain said of the conflict, speaking on CNN television’s “State of the Union” program after he traveled Libya. Rebel fighters are “badly outgunned in armor, equipment and training” against Qaddafi loyalists, the Arizona Republican said.
McCain said on NBC’s “Meet the Press” program that the U.S. should increase air attacks “but troops on the ground is out of the question” and would be counterproductive.
Removing Qaddafi’s television broadcast capabilities would be helpful because “when the Libyan people see Qaddafi on television it scares them,” McCain said.
McCain is Ranking Member on the Senate Armed Services Committee.
Appearing on CBS’ “Face the Nation” today, Senator Mark Kirk (R-IL) said he would like to see the bipartisan “gang of six” deficit reduction proposal attached to any increase in the debt limit, according to POLITICO.
"I think the best play here is to have the bipartisan deficit commission report of the Gang of Six attached to the debt limit extension," Kirk said. "That would be huge cuts in the future spending of the United States that may be a good deal. Without that we should not send a blank check to the administration."
The “gang” includes Senators Mark Warner (D-VA), Kent Conrad (D-ND), Dick Durbin (D-IL), Saxby Chambliss (R-GA), Mike Crapo (R-ID) and Tom Coburn (R-OK).