Will the White House respond to the prostitution scandal?
Amos Snead and Brian Benjamin debate the White House response
- Duration 19:50
- Date Apr 20, 2012
Amos Snead and Brian Benjamin debate the White House response
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And let's go now to our political panel joining me here on the set we have Brian Benjamin the managing director.
Of Genesis companies and also a 2012 Obama delegate delegate -- see you as always when he was.
A little tired right now been up for several hours and -- joining us now live from DC we have by Amos -- a former Press Secretary and for house Republican whip Roy Blunt and the principle of story partners thank you again for joining us famous.
Thank you very much are out -- first you you know as some pundits particularly on the right are trying to paint this especially in conjunction with the GSA so overspending.
A symptom not of just -- laxity on the part of -- the Obama and.
I think that's it appropriate this time I'm -- we're trying to do is we need to have with our investigation.
On both cases but to -- the Secret Service -- -- Sarah Palin mentions this is an issue.
During the Bush Administration as well so I think we look at the Secret Service I think that's above politics and I think we need to have real thorough investigations on both issues and the right.
Folks need to be terminated as appropriate but I think -- to make this political I think is is a little bit calculated at this moment.
-- so what do you say to that did this thread that we're hearing now all this is just all signs of of decay in just a wider issue with the administration.
Well I think we've been -- for the past several years it started with Solyndra.
You -- taxpayer dollars just wasted and lost.
I'm now using this -- -- investigation into GSA in just flagrant abuse of taxpayer funded dollars in trips and excursions.
And now you've got -- Secret Service I think it's been a drumbeat.
That what is the buck stop who's actually in charge here and I think it just paints really tough narrative of President Obama going into the selection.
We've got a comment.
From he -- saying that this is about national security.
The Secret Service is as serious as the duke lacrosse team scandal where they allegedly raped the girl and were later exonerated.
You if it goes back and forth people trying to decide whether or not this is a serious.
How we do want to point out that some of the investigators down there say that some of the initial accounts are differing from what they're hearing now and there are some points of people want to make everyone's been saying.
Many of these Secret Service agents were married they point out -- few of them were not married they say that they brought women back to their rooms but they did not pay for sex.
And others say.
That's -- yeah they brought women back to their rooms but they weren't planning on paying for sex they didn't know these women were prostitutes.
But there was a language barrier that led to these misunderstandings.
All that as it may Brian we've got lawmakers saying bring back foreign nationals to a hotel that is part of a security zone.
Days before president's visit could violate Secret Service conduct -- That's exactly and but -- all on my only point is that we don't know if this is a systemic issue across the years.
This is a one off as in most likely trying to point out.
We don't know the facts and so I think before we politicize this -- clearly it's an issue.
But before we try to politicize this I think we need to first get a better idea of all the facts.
Have a more thorough investigation asks who is this isolated incident is this something that is a matter of course.
-- -- the Secret Service agents when they sometimes go away to certain people who do this or is it an entire Secret Service issue.
By -- before we politicize this and try to make this an Obama for a bush or anyone else issue.
I think we need to first look at the fact.
So -- what about the way it's being handled so far.
By congresses involved and -- lawmakers.
different investigations do you feel that in the aftermath it's being handled properly.
I think it is because someone's gonna have to have oversight here and if that's not gonna come from the White House.
As we've seen the GSA as we've seen with Solyndra is gonna have to come from Capitol Hill so I think it is it is appropriate that they're looking into that Secret Service spring break actually see.
What happened down in Columbia and just with this GSA the more that the investigators look into this the more that comes to light they were doing.
In -- conference isn't stated W hotels and bringing their -- And we were all paying for that in a at a time when budgets are declining and people are out of work that's really not what folks wanna hear about coming from Washington.
And I'm asserting that the Obama campaign is just not really thrilled to be having this discussion just a few months out from the next election.
All right -- moving on to the presidential race.
A new poll now.
-- Wall Street Journal NBC poll has a Barack Obama with a six point lead.
Over Mitt Romney and Obama also is beating Romney in the like ability.
Brian is this is shaping up to be a tight race -- you feel.
Mama's gonna run away with it.
I believe Obama's gonna run it when -- with it I think we we have a couple of months to really have that play itself out I think the Republican primary was really devastating and I think.
Mitt Romney is gonna have a hard time trying to.
True that's you know stepped back from some of the comments he made during the primary -- -- -- who tries best.
And hopefuls are in most will help them but I think he is really gonna have a tough time with Latinos have to -- with.
A suburban women but he's a have tough time the young with young voters and so.
I think while you know we might look at these national polls and who knows what those are but when you look at some of these key the constituency groups any -- look at certain states where they really matter.
-- find it hard to imagine how -- can pull that out.
-- that's some of those are certain states right now let's put up -- some of the latest polls Ohio for starters.
This is a Fox News poll.
And it says if the 2012 election were held today.
And you can see that right now.
Gets 45% of the vote Romney just 39% it's a flip flop.
From the way it was in February when it was Romney at 44 to Obama's.
38 and let's look at another Fox News poll.
This one in Florida off.
And there's President Obama at 45%.
To Romney at 43%.
-- -- some key states there -- Absolutely I mean we saw this in the last election.
With the Obama Clinton primary -- -- we just got to a bruising primary.
Now Mitt Romney's come out as the nominee and what we've seen the past couple weeks we've seen more endorsements we've seen more conservative leaders come on board.
We've seen the -- vote which is -- has not been that excited.
About President Obama what he's done in the White House.
People are really coalescing around Mitt Romney is the nominee and there's a world of time between now and November so I think those numbers are really gonna tighten up.
Is gonna come down to the little issues have jobs been created are we looking at domestic energy production.
Is there any oversight anywhere in this Obama administration about a control government spending I think these are the issues they're really gonna type this up as we get closer to November.
If there is that oversight question that we've been talking about what the Secret Service and the GSA.
But over all of it is the economy -- -- -- a lot of it depend on which way that goes over the next few months I.
If if if if if Americans believe the country is moving in the right direction Obama will be reelected overwhelmingly I think if this concern about that is going to be a lot tougher.
But I don't I don't envision a scenario.
Mitt Romney can back away from some of the things he did in the primary and I think that there's been a lot of divisive rhetoric.
-- seen with the Ted Nugent comments and and others is a lot of devices activity in the Republican Party and until he.
And and or someone else steps up and says we as a party -- not gonna tolerate some of this divisive behavior.
I don't see how they can win a mainstream race.
So if -- -- -- just a few months ago I remember sitting here and doing stories about how President Obama and all of these up polls.
Was losing ground among some of those key supporters from the last time around the women that Hispanics and those that younger.
Voters the -- seems to have now gone in the opposite direction what's going on there.
-- I think Charlie Cook out over National Journal hit a column last week I was -- young and restless and it was just following.
The people the young people who was their first time to vote who voted for Obama last time who got swept up in this hope and change.
And other kind of disillusioned.
And I think what you really see and I think this oversight example is a great in just a great story.
You've got young people they're starting their families they're having their first job they just might have paid their first big check to the government when they just pay taxes earlier this week.
And then they look on television -- look on the evening news.
And they -- government funded trips and they see people wasting hundreds of thousands of dollars and they just wonder is this really what I voted for and is this why am working so hard.
This in my money to Washington just haven't thrown away like.
That you know it was gonna be the era of transparency.
And you know where the end of this type of thing.
That's what that's what was promised.
Sore and I think we look at.
The TSA issue again week.
You know we don't know how old house is that this is we don't know the -- past.
It could be Obama's it could be obamas and bushes it could be Clinton.
We don't know sort of we don't know so that's all right so I think there is some things need to happen and if and if there are significant strides -- -- clean that up and I think the point can be -- put on -- problem and until we get to that point I think it's hard to make that case.
And I also think particularly from -- this point I think this.
The Tea Party can't leave them -- a conversation the Tea Party has come minutes and it's really made doing anything mainstream anything.
Where people can come together across party lines almost impossible and I think.
That's hard to leave out of the equation and I think the American people know that so I think the president will benefit from that in terms of dealing with.
Sorry we have comment.
Romney has had a little over a week to make his case for the general election these polls are meaningless they're gonna change November is a long way away.
It it certainly is Amos we are seeing other side shows though one of them I guess being this whole.
Dog issue you have Romney putting his on the top of the car for their vacation.
And then you have the rebuttal which is well Obama used to eat dogs.
And who wins this one.
Don't and I think we all lose in the situation.
-- don't you love politics with the tiniest little thing can just drive the news for a whole day.
I I think what this really comes to is in it was a good point brought up that there's a lot I think this was supposed to be.
The age of oversight the age of transparency the age of bipartisanship.
And instead we've seen the direct opposite we've seen one of the most polarizing presidents.
In -- in recent history who came in looking for political wins and political gains and rush through -- -- -- care in the house with.
You know a fast process with only democratic votes in our scene out of control agencies with nobody really looking over on the it's totally.
Different from what was promised during the last election and I think that in jobs are really gonna be what bring people.
To vote for Mitt Romney in November.
You care to comment Brian on the the dog debate he's got yeah I grew if we actually agree on this is that bipartisan issue -- I think the dog issues completely silly but.
I wanna get back to aim -- this point just that he just -- you just mentioned I do believe dobbs is going to be important.
But I also believe it -- be and it's going to be important I don't think Mitt Romney's pushing this whole idea of tax cuts for everybody.
As an example of economic growth and I think.
We have seen during the bush years we had the bush tax cuts but no jobs we attacks has -- -- and so I think.
Mitt Romney is gonna have a hard time making that case as to how what he plans to do is going to be somewhat different.
I think it you know if you look we've lost a million jobs since president Obama's been in the White House maybe even this week we're losing Secret Service jobs.
But I mean Mitt Romney is a is a business leader he's a business -- comes from the business community.
And if if this is a conversation about the economy and about jobs Republicans are gonna win in November.
All right so what about these he swing states that we've talked about you mentioned the Tea Party so Brian they.
Have yet to rally of Brown's Mitt Romney -- what.
You what -- comes to that whole anybody but Obama that we keep hearing now are they going to hold their noses and never -- says and vote for Romney in pushing through.
I don't believe so I believe they'll be a lot of Tea Party folks who sit home.
And I think part of that is because I think where Mitt Romney at this point have to come -- be very clear last you know how he is going to manage this economy -- what but what is he gonna cut.
I'm still I'm still a maybe -- has the answer he's plugged in over there -- what is he gonna cut and me is he gonna cut.
Medicaid and cut Medicaid and you know I think he thinks -- increased the defense budget.
He's gonna make us safer is -- -- cut taxes for everybody everyone gets tax cuts.
He has been absolutely unclear as always gonna do on any of the major retirement entitlement so security he's he he's promising everything and everybody.
So the question is.
People are not gonna buy that from him he has if he is the business guy and I know business on with the business school -- a business guy he -- to come -- to be very clear.
As to what exactly he plans to do and how that's gonna affect our economy otherwise -- missing -- -- -- did not over the weekend Mitt Romney and gave some specifics saying that he is going to look to -- -- consolidate some of these agencies.
Such as Hud housing and urban development and the Department of Education.
At least greatly scaled them back if not make them go away entirely he says will be some savings there and that you he also makes that trickle -- case.
That if you cut taxes.
It will stimulate the economy and bring in more revenue so that won't need to cut as many things but what else have we heard from him in terms of how he's gonna balance this.
Is it refreshing to hear someone talking about.
Cutting government programs as opposed to just letting them run wild and travel all over the country and -- in private trips I think this is a good conversation for Mitt Romney to have.
And as you said.
He's been the general nominee more lasts for about a week so he's making his case to the American people.
We're past the primary so I think we'll see in the coming weeks -- continue to outline how he'll create jobs in America bring investment back in America.
And you know can increase domestic energy production I think weren't about to have that conversation.
And maybe by this time next week and who have been out there -- talking about it so that's coming he's making his case right now.
As a Catholic I can say -- that aimed at church and now almost every week we're hearing a discussion about this whole.
Health care issue and the so called war on religion -- where the Catholic officials are coming out.
And saying it doesn't matter whether you're Democrat or Republican if you're Catholic I mean this is a major in -- and on.
Religious freedom to force some of these Catholic institutions.
To provide birth control -- -- -- up.
And -- they're making -- a really big issue and they're not saying vote against Obama but they're coming pretty close.
How big is that going to be.
I think it's going to be less big than people think because I do believe as in any group whether -- African American or you're Catholic or you're.
What ever constituency you also fall into this other issues that matter to you as well and I believe.
The issue here was a woman's right to choose and I think that although although all the White House was saying was.
Allow these women who who work in -- -- -- Europe Catholics face if you will to have the right to choose.
That the ability to contraception.
And so what you what you -- we're -- is he'll have to provide it but we're further with someone who would.
I think that's that is a fear of compromise I don't think -- hope that the movement in the White House had a hard line on this.
But I do believe it's important to remember that.
Everyone has multiple components of the personality.
And I do believe that the woman's right to choose and one woman that is being waged by the Republicans will do well for our for our candidacy.
Venus is it a war on women -- a war on religion which one where.
This year I think both of these were just great over steps by the Obama administration they were trying to change the narrative.
They didn't want to have a tough conversation about jobs.
They didn't -- -- have a conversation about obamacare when the Supreme Court was bringing it up so what they did is they thought let's go ahead and positioned this.
And it was an and an overstep that they had to walk back in about a week.
And it's just really shocking to see.
I I campaigned this Obama team that was so good this last election -- making these kind of mistakes when -- heating up.
And it's -- it's a 101 race between Mitt Romney and Barack Obama it's just it's a little shocking is Republican it's great to see.
But it's a little surprising.
You know then there's also obviously -- the health care bill as a whole.
Kind of a tricky issue for Mitt Romney since it was his own -- Romney care that was kind of the blueprint.
For Obama can't do it by the way Mayor Menino was saying -- morning -- this morning that the healthcare bill and and and a masters is going very well.
So the fact that he's running away from results except one of his few successes is is it's pretty interest thing.
But I understand he cast the appeal to the Tea Party -- in.
And and the Republicans who who believes that.
You know you shouldn't have minutes of any kind but -- -- -- successful as according to everybody Massachusetts and so are.
I guess they is that that leads to the question you know we have the whole Etch A Sketch comment where Mitt Romney said well -- -- be one -- during the -- Mitch Romney thank you say -- -- Mitt Romney's was that I'll be one way during the campaign but.
Then it's an Etch A Sketch -- blanks plays later start all over again for the general.
Its -- people wondering.
If he becomes president Romney what will his position be on the Affordable Care Act.
Well -- actually wasn't Mitt Romney that said that that was I was a surrogate during an interview he said that's.
And then of course the left -- it adrenaline that it took off on Twitter -- is so I think we need to factor that in but.
Again he is now the nominee he's had a week to make this case.
And I think if you even when did you just contrast how he had bill that passed in this a blue state were bipartisan support.
Compared to put what Barack Obama's obamacare bill when it was rammed through the house.
Nobody knew what was in it -- -- -- Nancy Pelosi said let's pass and then we'll figure out what's in it -- -- we had democratic support I think that's a contrast and a story line.
That will start here and -- -- more.
Yeah and also Brian is the constitutionality.
Obviously that issue is being decided right now I'm in the Supreme Court and as a result that is in the news quite a bit and you've had many well respected lawyers come out and say.
Ironically considering that President Obama is himself a constitutional lawyer that he is dead wrong on the issue of constitutionality.
Here that you cannot force an American citizen.
To -- something especially when your of the cellar where the government would actually be setting the terms of what will be in that insurance and they'll make -- -- the fine print as well.
In general I would agree that point except in the case of healthcare we -- -- a separate tricky issue which is it's a once we knew that doesn't have insurance initiative at the hospital.
What what do we do that but they do get -- they -- they did say they did get treated and we and we the rest of us have to pay for so because of that sort of moral hazard.
It become I think that's what -- the difference in this argument.
It you know you -- You don't what to -- by car so you don't -- -- doesn't have to have car insurance but everyone has the fact no health insurance because of the fact.
That if they show up at a hospital with no insurance and a dollar -- -- pocket.
And they -- bleeding the death.
Someone has to pay for -- -- the rest of us have thirty seconds I have to -- so that.
The final key I think this actually helps Mitt Romney the more that we talk about obamacare coming into the election so but I'll cut it short is -- bigger at a time thanks for having me on.
All right Amos Snead thank you so much -- -- find him on Twitter at Amos it's needed.
And he is a principal with story partners and we have Brian Benjamin also a twin twelve Obama delegate and the managing director of Genesis companies and he is at -- -- Benjamin.