Government Run Amok?
James Rosen, John Cusack and Shira Toeplitz discuss the SGA and Secret Service scandals.
- Duration 8:57
- Date Apr 20, 2012
James Rosen, John Cusack and Shira Toeplitz discuss the SGA and Secret Service scandals.
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Sessions -- up on the hill today suggested that the president isn't hard.
And the president needs to assert discipline and direction threw out the executive branch.
Presidents are to be held responsible yet he doesn't sense that this president has shown managerial.
That sounds very much like a lawmaker attempting to politicize something that is not at all political.
-- was white house Press Secretary Jay Carney responding at yesterday's White House daily press briefing to the latest revelations involving these parallel and growing scandals.
Involving respectively the Secret Service officers who cavorting with a prostitutes in Columbia.
Amidst a presidential visit there last week and the officials of the General Services Administration.
Who cavorting with -- clowns mind readers their -- wives and each other.
At some expensive retreats in desirable locales.
In recent years at taxpayer expense -- back with our panel -- -- politics reporter for roll call and Bob Cusack managing editor of the hill.
A -- there's some people who are upset about the Secret Service.
Controversy boys will be boys and it's much ado about nothing -- your view him.
I want my blood just became a book has just started to put everything if -- -- that.
I'm not the first you've heard yeah.
No no I mean and that line for the Washington Post story wheels up rings off -- that's terrible and let's just absolutely terrible.
It there's been some discussion about how poorly this reflects on President Obama I think it.
Reflects more -- on the people President Obama hired to oversee these departments.
-- boys be boys maybe -- some point if your Secret Service agent you better be a man you know you shouldn't do this kind of -- -- will this scandal involving the Secret Service which is going to be with us for some time as there -- Investigations.
And proceedings that unfold -- plausibly be tolerated even by the elastic standards of a presidential election year to President Obama.
I think you can at least it to somebody because it fits into Mitt Romney's narrative of that government is not the answer GSA Secret Service -- Fast and furious now.
Is pres Obama directly over -- -- in the day to day operations Secret Service.
Obviously not -- it's on his -- the buck stops with him so this is assuming -- for president Obama's especially because this story keeps getting more salacious.
This is a jump ball -- either -- to weigh in as you see fit.
Yesterday Jay Carney said again that president retains confidence in the director of the Secret Service Mark Sullivan.
He's been in that position since 2006.
Is that confidence and sold them on the part of the president bedrock.
We're contingent on whatever the next disclosure made it.
It's if I'm Mark Sullivan -- time you know mark Sullivan's I am very careful about the next couple weeks you're leading money Green didn't know.
I think his deployment it depends how many more agents design depends what else -- see over the next couple weeks it gets a lot worse.
I don't know if the president with some confidence and.
Bob is it safe to say in fact that the opposite might be true that the more agents resigned.
The greater accountability seems to be meted out here and that Sullivan's position is therefore safer -- No I don't think so I I think because then Mitt Romney's gonna continue to keep the pressure on the present here and Martha Johnson and GSA has stepped down so I think there's going to be mounting pressure here.
Turning to do the GSA.
Scandal Jeff -- the acting commissioner of the general services administration's.
Pacific rim region didn't even know about that job until this and it sounds like -- very desirable job to have -- it wasn't till now.
I -- like kind of flash game grand.
But not anymore -- lawsuit is gonna be paid to it but he asserted his Fifth Amendment privileges before a house hearing this past Monday.
You're both seasoned reporters.
What do your guts tell you about whether crimes were committed cure whether for producing criminal prosecutions.
-- I'm I don't know we'll see criminal prosecutions.
Are anything of that nature and we'll see more hearings and the more he doesn't answer questions that were says look sentiment is an answer question you kind of assume the worst and basically asking him that the sky is blue and he -- my lawyer says I can't tell you anything.
In fairness once you assert the privilege once you're not supposed to get selective after you confirm that that is your name.
-- about which questions you answer and so even is the sky blue.
He's advised to continue asserting that privilege.
Do you think that criminal prosecutions report.
I don't know I think it depends on how much disease in the news and how much congress keeps this in its focus and now that the Secret Service scandal.
-- what will be the next thing that comes along.
-- but if it stays in the news cycle you never know because -- -- -- pressure on the prosecutors just to bring charges.
How extraordinary are these events Secret Service officers cavorting with prostitutes abroad.
Treating themselves to taxes to -- to the taxpayer expense.
Is this extraordinary is this unusual or does this happen all the time sure.
Think it's unusual I don't know if the prostitution scandal in particular happens all the time it doesn't normal behavior -- People going overseas on the government's -- I personally think the GSA scandal -- more serious and has bigger political implications for the president.
Because I think people are angry about their tax dollars being spent that way.
To be frank it's not like the Secret Service agents used taxpayer dollars his own money down there but.
I think did you -- scandal just it keeps unfolding one day after no danger more and more about his department.
And it's a government department I think it resonates more with.
Voters but what -- just for the the layman out there watching this.
Tell us what the General Services Administration is what it is ironically they're supposed to save the government because they're the ones who look out for.
Purchase is that the government -- so that's what that irony here and I I think to Sears point.
There's videos here are just so damaging for GSA -- -- now on I'm national news.
What would these employees thinking not that that's the problem -- you don't have those videos at least not yet.
I'm Secret Service it's yeah I have to say about the videos that I'm actually impressed with the caliber of entertainment that these people were able to.
Temperatures so -- the close funny smoking is sort of crusty like they get an award for creativity if you can read over the last.
-- -- expected on the veterans of the banquet right -- act you can have.
How scandalous has the Obama first term -- to -- the only true.
The Obama term -- scandals has it been by the standards of previous presidencies.
Is this a scandal free presidency.
At least for him.
Or is this run of the mill in terms of the the number of free.
-- huge scandal.
And that's a really good question.
No one to ten scandal scandal I still say in his presidency for probably about a three or four you know we have excellent draft obviously big issue a scandal we have this.
I was certainly ratcheted up the scandal factor these two incidents that I.
When I think of scandal ridden administrations it people and I think people who lived through example than Nixon administration those were.
Terrible years or even I keep thinking comparing a lot of this to hurricane Katrina and some of the ways the administration handled that.
And I just don't think we're there yet.
I think yeah I think it's not great -- -- but it's not good either for President Obama because he and he vetoed a fast and furious and that led to the death of the Border Patrol agents it's a seller's agent that is that is very serious here it's really lost federal money.
But it hasn't been one that Obama I think she's going to be running -- I guess about corollary of this question is whether voters.
Are likely in November to eight to remember these particular incidents or -- Once again describe blame for them to President Obama -- senses.
I don't have data for this but one senses that the American people still regard Barack Obama as fundamentally decent -- -- -- I think -- poll numbers show is like ability is still -- there I think voters generally still -- whether or not the improve a tennis a different story but.
-- -- -- numbers are still up there I think -- especially the prostitution scandal is going to be a little bit more of a flash in the pan is very salacious it's very now.
Thank you surprised how many voters actually go to the polls in November and vote based upon -- I think the economy is still.
And -- bad enough shape that that's what voters are really gonna care.
And Bob are we gonna see those that famous photograph of -- -- closed and hot tub with is to cocktails perched nearby Indy in ads this fall I.
I think it'll fade somewhat but the overall point is -- present -- and vowed to change Washington lot of people think and and now Obama has admitted that he hasn't been able to change it.
That much so but is he decent man -- people like an absolutely all right that's it for our panel sure topless and what you say thanks so much for joining us state to power play.
British -- 2012 of the top democratic consultant and Fox News contributor keep the.