- Barbour, O'Malley Dodge Question of Christie's Weight
- Cain: I Didn't Know Audience Was Booing Service Member for Being Gay
- Cain Attacks Perry Over Racial Slur Displayed at Lodge
- Talk Shows Abuzz With Speculation on Christie
- Cain Says Christie Is Too Liberal
- Cheney Cites Awlaki Killing to Defend Interrogation Policies
11:09. Barbour, O'Malley Dodge Question of Christie's Weight
CBS's Face the Nation dug into the touchy topic of Chris Christie’s weight this morning, as the Sunday morning talk shows buzzed with the possibility of the New Jersey governor jumping into the Republican presidential field.
Is Christie too overweight to be a viable candidate, host Bob Schieffer asked his guests, Mississippi Gov. Hayley Barbour and Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley?
Both politicians artfully dodged the questions, with Barbour deflecting by poking fun at his own weight and what he called his own struggle with a double chin.
“When somebody becomes very well known, those superficial things become a non-issue,” Barbour said.
-- Nancy Cook
10:58. Cain: I Didn't Know Audience Was Booing Service Member for Being Gay
Why didn’t GOP presidential candidate Herman Cain say anything during the Florida debate when audience members booed a gay serivce member who spoke?
So asked Christiane Amanpour on ABC News’ This Week on Sunday morning when she sat down with Cain.
Cain responded that in the heat of the debate, with just 60 seconds to respond, he did not realize the cause of the audience’s disdain. “So that was not the time to try and decipher, why was it they—why were they reacting that way?” he said.
In retrospect, he said it would have been appropriate to respond given the controversy it has since caused.
“But at the moment, it was not the focus of the people up there on the stage, I can assure you,” he said.
-- Nancy Cook
10:35. Cain Attacks Perry Over Racial Slur Displayed at Lodge
Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain went after fellow GOP candidate Rick Perry on Sunday after The Washington Post reported that a hunting lodge the Perry family leased for years featured a rock near its entrance that had the word “Niggerhead” on it.
“Since Gov. Perry has been going there for years to hunt, I think that it shows a lack of sensitivity for a long time of not taking that word off that rock and renaming the place,” Cain said on ABC's This Week.
Although the word was painted over, Cain questioned the timing of the paint job. “How long ago was it painted over?” he asked. “So I’m still saying that it is a sign of insensitivity.”
-- Nancy Cook
10:25. Talk Shows Abuzz With Speculation on Christie
Hey, Chris Christie, can you feel the love emanating from the Sunday morning talk shows?
The question of whether of the New Jersey governor will enter the Republican presidential field came up in interviews across the web of political talk shows this morning: from CNN’s State of the Union to ABC’s This Week.
The opening segment of ABC’s This Week featured a montage of voters at the Reagan Library asking Christie to run.
When Candy Crowley of CNN asked Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour if the urgency surrounding the Christie questions reflected poorly on the make-up of the current GOP presidential field, Barbour turned the query into a positive comment about Christie’s character. “It’s a token of the regard people have for Chris Christie,” he said.
-- Nancy Cook
10:15. Cain Says Christie Is Too Liberal
On Fox News Sunday, Republican presidential hopeful and pizza executive Herman Cain addressed his surge in the Florida straw poll and said New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie is too liberal for most GOP voters.
When asked about Gov. Christie’s positions on assault weapons, same-sex civil unions, global warming, and immigration, Cain said the New Jersey governor is too liberal to be a viable candidate. “He’s going to turn off a lot of conservatives with those positions.” Despite widespread speculation, Christie has continued to deny that he will be making a late entry into the race.
Cain said that although he has received less media attention or campaign funding than front-runners Texas Gov. Rick Perry or former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, his gains in polls demonstrate that for well-informed voters, “message is more powerful than money.” Cain also contrasted Romney’s “more Wall Street” business successes with his own “more Main Street” experience, which he said appeals to small-business owners.
Cain questioned a Christian Science Monitor study that found his “9-9-9 plan” of a simplified tax code would raise the effective tax rate of the poor more than that of the wealthy. He said his plan would “broaden the base and make the whole tax code fairer for everybody” and would guard against tax hikes by requiring a two-thirds Senate majority to raise rates.
-- David Kent
9:50. Cheney Cites Awlaki Killing to Defend Interrogation Policies
Score-settling was the name of the game Sunday on CNN’s State of the Union, featuring Dick Cheney and his daughter, Liz Cheney.
The former vice president began his comments on the killing of American-born cleric Anwar al-Awlaki by criticizing President Obama for at one time saying the Bush administration overreacted to the events of 9/11.
“What he said then was inaccurate, especially considering what they’re now doing in terms of policy,” Cheney said. “The Obama administration agrees they need to be tough and use some of the same tactics the Bush administration did.”
Cheney used the occasion to justify the Bush administration’s stance on interrogation, saying the Obama administration has clearly moved in the direction of taking “robust action when justified.”
“We were never torturing anyone in the first place,” Cheney added.
As for the Republican presidential field, neither Cheney has endorsed a candidate yet. The former vice president noted that they’re not even sure who will remain in the GOP field.
-- Nancy Cook
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