- Santorum Eyes Cain, Perry Weaknesses
- Ryan: Jobs Bill Should Focus on Cutting Taxes, Red Tape
- Emanuel Praises Obama's Leadership, Touts Infrastructure
- Issa Questions Failed Gun-Trafficking Operation, Solyndra Loan
- Cain, Gingrich Say Wall Street Protests Are Misdirected
- Cain, Bachmann Not Clear on Whether Romney's 'Christian'
- Pelosi: Cantor Uses Double Standard in Calling Protesters 'Mob'
12:30. Santorum Eyes Cain, Perry Weaknesses
On Fox News Sunday, Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum sounded off on what he saw as potential weaknesses in competitors Herman Cain and Texas Gov. Rick Perry.
Santorum argued Cain’s lack of political experience would ultimately work against him, but he also called into question Cain's claims to outsider status. “He’s a non-politician because he lost races,” Santorum said.
The former senator from Pennsylvania said Perry had “a lot of questions to answer about his record in Texas” on immigration and on using executive authority to “trump parental rights,” referring to Perry’s effort to require immunization for girls against a cancer that is often sexually transmitted.
Santorum refused to attack Mitt Romney on the basis of his religion, saying that Mormonism is not a "cult" and that every Mormon he knows is “a good and decent person” with strong moral values.
On his own campaign, Santorum said, “We’re cash positive,” adding that his grassroots efforts were “on an uptick” thanks to his exposure in recently televised Fox and CNN debates.
Santorum hedged when asked about his position on “don’t ask, don’t tell,” saying that although social activity has no place in eligibility for military service, cohesion and recruiting would likely be a problem for many who might be uncomfortable sharing barracks and showers with gays.
-- David Kent
12:10. Ryan: Jobs Bill Should Focus on Cutting Taxes, Red Tape
House Budget Chairman Paul Ryan, R-Wis., on Sunday criticized President Obama’s jobs bill and said Obama has broken his campaign promise of unifying Americans by instilling fear in voters through his “divisive” rhetoric.
On NBC’s Meet the Press, Ryan said that because many small businesses file as individuals, business owners could soon be taxed at 50 percent, even as other countries are drastically lowering their tax rates to attract businesses.
Ryan said stimulus spending hasn’t worked, and what businesses are looking for is more certainty rather than the “sugar-high economics” of temporary stimulus and spending increases.
When it comes to raising tax rates, Ryan said, “the math just doesn’t work.” Instead of “subsidizing” wealthy people, he recommended that the U.S. do more to remove loopholes and regulatory barriers.
-- David Kent
11:45. Emanuel Praises Obama's Leadership, Touts Infrastructure
In a wide-ranging interview on NBC's Meet the Press, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel praised his former boss, President Obama, for choosing long-term planning for the greater good over short-term political gains, citing in particular the president’s leadership in the stimulus program and financial reform.
Emanuel said rebuilding the nation's infrastructure is the "central engine" of our time in restoring the economy and creating jobs, comparing it to the space program in the 1960s and the emergence of the Internet in the ’90s.
“We have a 21st-century economy sitting on a 20th-century infrastructure,” the former White House chief of staff said.
Emanuel also cited the auto industry as an example of a manufacturing success story in the U.S. that could potentially be replicated in other sectors.
-- David Kent
10:52. Issa Questions Failed Gun-Trafficking Operation, Solyndra Loan
On Fox News Sunday, Rep. Darrell Issa, chairman of the House Oversight Committee, raised questions about Justice Department officials’ knowledge of Operation Fast and Furious, in which agents of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms lost track of guns being trafficked to Mexico.
Issa said recently acquired e-mail records indicate that the Justice Department had early knowledge that more than 700 weapons were allowed to “walk” into the hands of drug cartels in Mexico without being tracked.
“We want to know what did they know and when did they know it,” he said. “... We have to know at what level did the authorization really come.”
Issa said it was “disingenuous” of Attorney General Eric Holder to testify before the House Judiciary Committee, on which Issa serves, that he had not been briefed early on of the operations’ failure to track weapons.
Issa also questioned the Obama administration’s process of approving a $535 million loan to failed solar-panel manufacturer Solyndra, saying the green-energy loan-guarantee program overstepped its bounds by deciding which companies were “winners and losers.”
Rather than taking issue with the loan itself, Issa asked, “Why did we breach the protocol that was required?” He was critical of the Solyndra loan’s fast-track approval for taxpayer-funded investment when many other green-energy companies’ applications for loans were passed over.
-- David Kent
10:47. Cain, Gingrich Say Wall Street Protests Are Misdirected
GOP presidential candidates Herman Cain and Newt Gingrich criticized the Occupy Wall Street protesters on Sunday, saying their anger should be directed at President Obama, not the financial sector.
Appearing on CBS' Face the Nation, Cain repeated his assertion that the protests are “un-American” and motivated in part by “jealousy.”
“To protest Wall Street and the bankers is basically to say, you’re anti-capitalism,” he said, adding later, “I don’t have a lot of patience for people who want to protest the success of somebody else.”
Cain said the protests were driven by labor unions and an attempt to distract from Obama’s failed economic policies. Gingrich said the protests were a natural product of Obama’s “class warfare” and laid the blame on a failed education system that has taught the protesters “really dumb ideas.”
-- Jim Tankersley
10:40. Cain, Bachmann Not Clear on Whether Romney's 'Christian'
Republican presidential candidates Herman Cain and Rep. Michele Bachmann of Minnesota declined on Sunday morning to say whether they believe GOP rival Mitt Romney, who is Mormon, is “a Christian.”
Cain and Bachmann were asked repeatedly on CNN’s State of the Union whether they agreed with recent remarks from conservative pastor Robert Jeffress, who echoed some evangelical Christians’ belief that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints is “a cult” and not Christian. Both candidates declined to answer directly.
“I’m not running for theologian-in-chief,” Cain said, adding: “He’s a Mormon. That much I know. I am not going to do an analysis of Mormonism versus Christianity for the sake of getting into that.”
Cain later said religion is “a valid concern, but I don’t think necessarily it should be a big campaign issue.”
Asked again whether Mormons are Christians on CBS' Face the Nation, Cain said, “I believe that they believe that they are Christians.”
Bachmann, who has aggressively courted religious conservatives in her campaign, said repeatedly, “We have religious tolerance in this country.”
“The candidates can have the faith that they want,” she said, adding later: “To make this a big issue right now is ridiculous.”
-- Jim Tankersley
10:36. Pelosi: Cantor Uses Double Standard in Calling Protesters 'Mob'
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., gently rebuked her Republican counterpart for calling Occupy Wall Street protesters a “mob.”
Appearing on ABC News’ This Week, Pelosi shook her head when asked about the comments by House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va.
“I didn’t hear him say anything when the tea party was out demonstrating, actually spitting on members of Congress here in the Capitol, and he and his colleagues were putting signs in their windows encouraging them,” Pelosi said.
Asked about the Occupy protesters, Pelosi said she supports “their message to the establishment … that change has to happen.”
-- Jim Tankersley