Tag Archives: meet the press

Scott Walker is interested in building wall along Canadian border, which is world’s longest

In an interview this morning on NBC’s Meet the Press, Gov. Scott Walker suggested that building a wall along the country’s northern border with Canada is a legitimate issue that merits further review. The U.S.-Canada boundary is the longest international border in the world at 5,525 miles long.

Republican candidates for president have often taken a get-tough approach on deterring illegal immigration, but they usually focus on the border with Mexico. Walker said voters in New Hampshire have questioned him about the Canadian border.

“They raised some very legitimate concerns, including some law enforcement folks that brought that up to me at one of our town hall meetings about a week and a half ago. So that is a legitimate issue for us to look at,” Walker said.

Billionaire Donald Trump is riding the issue of illegal immigration to the top of the Republican presidential primary polls. He has said he would make Mexico pay for completing a permanent wall along the border. He also says he would end automatic citizenship for babies born in the United States, which is guaranteed by the 14th Amendment to the Constitution.

Walker, at one point, echoed Trump’s call for ending birthright citizenship, but later said he’s against any such repeal. Before that, he said that he would not comment on the issues, and before that he called for giving illegal immigrants a path to U.S. citizenship.

Walker is apparently the only GOP presidential candidate who has taken every stance possible on the issue.

Sunday morning TV news lineup includes Scott Walker on ‘Meet the Press’

Guest lineups for the Sunday TV news shows:

ABC’s This Week: Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders; Republican presidential candidate Bobby Jindal; Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn.

NBC’s Meet the Press: Republican presidential candidate Scott Walker.

CBS’ Face the Nation: Jindal; Mayor Mitch Landrieu of New Orleans.

CNN’s State of the Union: Sanders; Rep. Marsha Blackburn, R-Tenn.

Fox News Sunday: Republican presidential candidate Chris Christie.

Politicians appearing on this morning’s Sunday new shows

ABC’s This Week:  Carly Fiorina, a Republican presidential candidate; Sen. Bob Menendez, D-N.J.

NBC’s Meet the Press: Gov. Nikki Haley, R-S.C.; Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tenn.

CBS’ Face the Nation: House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio; Sens. Bernie Sanders, D-Vt., a Democratic presidential candidate, and Tom Cotton, R-Ark.

CNN’s State of the Union:  Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., a Republican presidential candidate; former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, a Democratic presidential candidate; Alex Walker and Scott Walker, sons of Gov. Scott Walker, R-Wis., a Republican presidential candidate.

Fox News Sunday: Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky.; former Sen. Jim Webb, D-Va., a Democratic presidential candidate; Gov. Bobby Jindal, R-La., a Republican presidential candidate.

This morning’s lineup of talking heads

ABC’s This Week: Secretary of State John Kerry; Maen Areikat, ambassador and chief representative, PLO Delegation to the U.S.; Ron Dermer, Israel’s ambassador to the U.S.

NBC’s Meet the Press: Kerry; Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C.

CBS’ Face the Nation: Kerry; Rep. Peter King, R-N.Y.; former U.S. special Mideast envoy Martin Indyk.

CNN’s State of the Union: Kerry; Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif.; Rep. Michael McCaul, R-Texas; Air Force Gen. Philip Breedlove, the U.S. commander of NATO forces in Europe.

Fox News Sunday: Kerry; Sens. Ted Cruz, R-Texas; Robert Menendez, D-N.J.; and Bob Corker, R-Tenn.

Guest lineups for Sunday TV news shows

Guest lineups for the Sunday TV news shows tomorrow include:

ABC’s This Week:  Gov. Rick Perry, R-Texas; Roman Catholic Bishop Mark Seitz of El Paso, Texas

NBC’s Meet the Press: Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson.

CBS’ Face the Nation: Sens. John McCain, R-Ariz., Lindsey Graham, R-South Caroline and Dick Durbin, D-Illinois.

CNN’s State of the Union: Rep. Henry Cuellar, D-Texas; Alan Long, mayor of Murrieta, California; Michelle Howard, the Navy’s first female four-star admiral.

Fox News Sunday: Sens. John Barrasso, R-Wyoming., and Bob Casey, D-Pennsylvania.; Rep. Darrell Issa, R-California.; Ron Dermer, Israel’s ambassador to the U.S.

Pro-gun senators decline invitations to appear on Sunday morning TV programs

All of the 31 U.S. senators who’ve supported making guns and ammunition more accessible to buyers declined to appear this morning on “Meet the Press” or “Face the Nation” to discuss their positions. The invitations came in response to a rash of gun violence that some leaders blame on the loosening of firearm restrictions.

“We reached out to all 31 pro-gun rights senators in the new Congress to invite them on the program to share their views on the subject this morning,” said “Meet the Press” host David Gregory. “We had no takers.”

Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., did join the program, however, to announce that Senate Democrats will introduce a new bill banning assault weapons on the first day of the next Congress in January.

The Friday slaughter of 26 people, most of them children, at a Connecticut elementary school has set off new calls for responsible gun control among progressives. Meanwhile, Republican-controlled state legislatures continue to ease restrictions. The same day of the killings in Connecticut, lawmakers in Michigan voted to allow concealed carry in churches, schools and stadiums.

Meanwhile, the NRA has remained silent since the shootings and quietly shut down its Facebook page, which had 1.7 million “likes.”

On the same day as the shootings in Connecticut, a northern Indiana man was arrested after allegedly threatening to “kill as many people as he could” at an elementary school near his home. Officers found 47 guns and ammunition hidden throughout his home.

Von. I. Meyer, 60, of Cedar Lake, was being held today without bond at the Lake County Jail, pending an initial hearing on the charges, police said in a statement.

Cedar Lake Police officers were called to Meyer’s home early Friday after he allegedly threatened to set his wife on fire once she fell asleep, the statement said.

Meyer also threatened to enter nearby Jane Ball Elementary School “and kill as many people as he could before police could stop him,” the statement said. Meyer’s home is less than 1,000 feet from the school and linked to it by trails and paths through a wooded area, police said.

Police said in the statement that they notified school officials and boosted security at all area schools Friday – the same day 26 people, including 20 students, were shot and killed at an elementary school in Newtown, Conn.

On Saturday, a man opened fire in an Alabama hospital, wounding an officer and two employees before police fatally shot him.

Also yesterday, a Newport Beach, Calif., man was arrested after firing about 50 shots in the parking lot of a Southern California shopping mall, prompting a lockdown of stores crowded with holiday shoppers.

No one was injured, but the gunfire caused panic, coming a day after the Connecticut shootings and just days after a deadly mall shooting in Oregon.

Biden comfortable with gay marriage

Vice President Joe Biden said he’s comfortable with gay marriage during a recent interview on NBC’s “Meet the Press.”

Biden, on May 6, said, “The good news is that as more and more Americans come to understand what this is all about is a simple proposition. Who do you love? Who do you love and will you be loyal to the person you love? And that’s what people are finding out what all marriages at their root are about. Whether they are marriages of lesbians or gay men or heterosexuals… I am absolutely comfortable with the fact that men marrying men, women marrying women and heterosexual men marrying women are entitled to the same exact rights… I think ‘Will & Grace’ probably did more to educate the American public than almost anything anybody has done so far. People fear that is different and now they’re beginning to understand.”

Later in the day, senior White House officials tried to say that Biden, who prefaced his remarks with a statement that the president makes policy, had not advanced the White House position on the issue.

Still, LGBT civil rights groups and Democratic Party activists responded with praise and enthusiasm.

A campaign is under way to include support for legal gay marriage in the Democratic Party platform to be adopted in September at the national convention.

“We are encouraged by Vice President Biden’s comments, who rightly articulated that loving and committed gay and lesbian couples should be treated equally,” said Joe Solmonese, president of the Human Rights Campaign.

Said Evan Wolfson of Freedom to Marry: “I’ve known Vice President Biden since interning for him in the Senate in 1976. The personal and thoughtful way he has spoken about his coming to support the freedom to marry reflects the same journey that a majority of Americans have now made as they’ve gotten to know gay families, opened their hearts and changed their minds. President Obama should join the vice president, former [residents Clinton and Carter, former Vice Presidents Gore and Cheney, Laura Bush, and so many others in forthright support for the freedom to marry.”

“Vice President Biden took an important step toward joining former Presidents Bill Clinton and Jimmy Carter, former Vice Presidents Al Gore and Dick Cheney, and a growing majority of Americans who support marriage equality for their gay and lesbian friends, family and neighbors,” added GLAAD president Herndon Graddick.

“Will & Grace” star Debra Messing also responded. She tweeted, “I could not be more proud. Thank you Mr. Vice President for yer support and yer words about W&G.”

Biden made his statement two days before the polls closed in North Carolina, where voters are deciding whether to approve Amendment One. The measure would amend the U.S. Constitution to define marriage as the union of a man and a woman and bar recognition of gay marriages, domestic partnerships and civil unions.

The Obama administration has opposed such measures.

“While the president does not weigh in on every single ballot measure in every state, the record is clear that the President has long opposed divisive and discriminatory efforts to deny rights and benefits to same sex couples,” said Cameron French, a North Carolina Obama campaign spokesperson. “That’s what the North Carolina ballot initiative would do – it would single out and discriminate against committed gay and lesbian couples – and that’s why the President does not support it.”

The president, who in his 2008 primary endorsed civil unions over gay marriage, has said his position on marriage is “evolving.”

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Colorado GOP Senate hopeful stands by gay remark

DENVER (AP) — Colorado’s Republican Senate candidate, under pressure to defend himself against allegations he has abandoned the far-right in favor of appealing to moderate voters, compared homosexuality to alcoholism in a televised debate with the man he’s trying to unseat.

Ken Buck spent much of a debate against Democratic Sen. Michael Bennet on NBC’s “Meet The Press” insisting that he hasn’t changed his positions to appeal to moderate voters in a Senate contest that has become one of the nation’s most competitive.

Buck, backed by the tea party, criticized Democrats for capturing “gotcha” moments to portray him as a conservative extremist, saying voters prefer a candid candidate, even if the politician misspeaks at times. But later in the debate, Buck made another remark sure to earn him more barbs from the left.

Asked by host David Gregory to elaborate on a statement he made in an earlier debate about gays in the military, Buck said he believes sexual orientation is a choice.

Buck went on to say, “I think that birth has an influence over it, like alcoholism and some other things, but I think that basically you have a choice.”

Bennet jumped on Buck’s remark. “I absolutely believe he’s outside the mainstream of views on this,” said Bennet.

Bennet and Buck are locked in a tight Senate contest that could determine control of the chamber. Most polls show Buck having a modest edge over Bennet, a rookie senator who was appointed to the seat last year and is running for office for the first time.

Bennet has tried to use Buck’s proud conservatism against him, portraying Buck as “too extreme for Colorado” on issues ranging from abortion, which Buck opposes, even in cases of rape and incest, to Social Security, which Buck has suggested should be partially privatized for younger workers.

After the debate, Buck spokesman Owen Loftus said that Buck did not mean to imply with his alcoholism comparison that buck believes homosexuality is a disease.

“Ken was just saying there’s an element of predisposition there and an element of choice,” Loftus said.

Another GOP candidate, Carl Paladino, who’s running for New York governor against Democrat Andrew Cuomo, apologized after being criticized for comments he made about gays.

Paladino railed against gay marriage in a speech to Orthodox Jewish leaders, then called the bumping-and-grinding at gay pride parades disgusting.

Under fire from gay rights advocates, including the Cuomo campaign, he apologized, costing him his support from a leading rabbi.

A Washington-based spokesman for the Human Rights Campaign, which advocates for gay rights, blasted the two candidates’ remarks. Paul Guequierre said that gay voters are especially disgusted by anti-gay remarks, given the recent high-profile suicides of gay teens.

“We know that when public figures speak, kids listen. This empowers kids to bully, for kids who are gay to question their self-worth,” Guequierre said of the comments by Buck and Paladino.

During Sunday’s debate, Buck talked about his own gaffes on the campaign trail, especially when he’s been followed for months by a camera-toting “tracker.”

“It is easy when you have a tracker, and you have 100 examples of answers, to use a tape that shows a slight deviation in the answer,” Buck said. “It’s not fair.”

Bennet defended his use of Buck clips in campaign ads, saying, “The flip-flops in this race are unbelievable.”

Bennet was asked about President Barack Obama, who campaigned for Bennet in Colorado earlier this year and praised the Democrat for supporting the $814 billion economic stimulus bill.

As in other states, the stimulus bill and federal spending has figured largely into GOP attempts to unseat Democratic incumbents.

Bennet defended his vote for the stimulus.

“That stimulus package saved us from going into the second Great Depression,” he said.

The “Meet The Press” debate was the Colorado candidates’ sixth and they meet one more time before Election Day. Early voting in Colorado starts Monday.

Petraeus: Troops may not care if gay ban repealed

WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. commander overseeing troops in Iraq and Afghanistan says he’s not sure that troops in the field care about the sexual orientation of fellow service members.

Gen. David Petraeus (peh-TRAY’-uhs) says he’s served alongside gays and lesbians, and what matters are someone’s skills and smarts.

Petraeus tells NBC’s “Meet The Press” that he supports Defense Secretary Robert Gates’ plan to study how the ban could be repealed. Advocates for a quick repeal have said the yearlong review is a stalling tactic. But Petraeus says it’s a good idea to look at potential problems.

He wouldn’t give his personal opinion on whether the ban should be lifted. He says he’ll do so when he testifies to Congress in the spring.