11:40. Bachmann, Huntsman Question Palin's Tax Proposal
Appearing Sunday on CBS’s Face the Nation, Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn., and former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman were both asked about Sarah Palin’s call Saturday for no federal corporate income taxes.
Huntsman derided Palin's proposal as “a great political bromide” unhinged from basic budget math.
“How do you do it? How to you make the numbers work?” he asked.
Bachmann said it was possible to go as far as Palin suggested, but she would not endorse it directly.
“To do that we’d have to have a fundamental restructuring of the tax code,” Bachmann said. “What we’d have to do then is re-jigger other elements to find revenue and what revenues would be needed for the economy. We could go that route. I’m open to having that debate. It would be possible if we had a fundamental restructuring of the tax code.”
11:05. Hoffa Says Teamsters Have No Choice But to Back Obama
Union support for President Obama may have flagged in some quarters, but Teamsters President James Hoffa said on Sunday that his union will have no choice but to support the president in 2012 -- given the alternatives.
“We don’t agree with all of his policies, but overall he’s done a good job,” Hoffa said of Obama, in an appearance on CNN’s State of the Union.
“When the alternatives are Sarah Palin and Michele Bachmann and Rick Perry, it makes it real easy to make this decision," he said, adding that given the anti-union attitudes of the GOP field, “I don’t think we really have a choice here.”
Hoffa also questioned the patriotism of corporations like Apple and Pfizer that he said are sitting on lots of capital but are only creating jobs overseas.
“I think the president should challenge the patriotism of these American corporations that are sitting on the sidelines,” he said.
10:40. Cheney Dismisses Suggestion That He Fears Prosecution
Former Vice President Dick Cheney on Sunday dismissed the suggestion from Colin Powell’s former chief of staff at the State Department, Lawrence Wilkerson, that Cheney fears prosecution for war crimes.
“That’s news to me,” Cheney said on Fox News Sunday. “I don’t pay a lot of attention to Mr. Wilkerson. I don’t know him. As far as I know, I’ve never met the gentleman. I know he speaks out from time to time. That strikes me as a cheap shot.”
In an interview last week on ABC News, Wilkerson said he’s known Cheney for decades but has seen him change and sees his new book as an effort to settle scores. “I simply don’t recognize Mr. Cheney anymore,” Wilkerson told ABC. "He's developed an angst and almost a protective cover, and now he fears being tried as a war criminal.”
On politics, Cheney said he endorsed Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchinson, R-Texas, in her primary challenge last year to Texas Gov. Rick Perry because he knew her better, not because she was necessarily a better candidate.
“We’d been friends for a long time,” Cheney said. “I’d known Kay since we worked in the Ford administration together. She decided to run for governor, she asked me to support her and I did. It wasn’t any commentary on Governor Perry. I didn’t know him the way that I’d worked with Kay.”
Cheney also said it was possible that Hillary Rodham Clinton might have made a better president than Obama. He wouldn’t say if Democrats would be better off with Clinton as the nominee in 2012, but said he “wouldn’t want to discourage a good primary contest on their side."
"I don’t want to be in a position where I’m endorsing Hillary Clinton," he said. "That might be the kiss of death for her. I don’t have any reason to believe Hillary Clinton is interested in running.”
9:52. DeMint Not Picking Favorites Yet
One day before he hosts a GOP candidates’ forum in his home state of South Carolina, Sen. Jim DeMint (R) told CNN's Candy Crowley on Sunday that despite his close ties to the tea party, he isn’t picking any early favorites.
“They all have strengths,” DeMint said of the candidates invited to his forum -- Texas Gov. Rick Perry, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn., Rep. Ron Paul, R-Texas, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, and businessman Herman Cain. “And there’s no one in that group that I couldn’t support as our nominee and there’s no one who would not do a better job than our current president. So I’m very open right now.”
DeMint’s disdain for President Obama was also evident when he was asked about the president’s upcoming jobs address before Congress.
“Frankly, I’m so tired of his speeches, it’s going to be hard for me to watch,” DeMint said on CNN's State of the Union, adding that he could not envision any Obama jobs proposal that he might support -- including an extension of unemployment benefits, which he says creates “perverse” incentives.
“People game the system just like they do with food stamps and other things, and we need to make sure our incentives move people back into the workforce rather than keep them at home,” DeMint said.
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