News Recap: They Said It on Sunday

October 10, 2022

headline news Photo by Ashni on Unsplash

In case you missed ’em—here’s what the newsmakers said on the Sunday morning talk shows.

Differing Takes on Biden’s “Armageddon” Comment

A pair of foreign policy experts had differing takes on President Biden’s Thursday comment when he said, “We have not faced the prospect of Armageddon since Kennedy and the Cuban Missile Crisis,” adding that Russian President Vladimir Putin is “not joking when he talks about potential use of tactical nuclear weapons or biological or chemical weapons because his military is, you might say, significantly underperforming.”

Sen. Chris Murphy (D-CT), a member of the Foreign Relations Committee, said Sunday on CNN’s State of the Union, “I think the President is right to raise the risk of nuclear conflict because Vladimir Putin is increasingly getting pushed into a corner.”

He added that he didn’t think there were any signs that Putin was “going to do that imminently,” and, “I think as long as we communicate the lines that we are not willing to cross,” such as sending U.S. troops to Ukraine, “then the danger for escalation lessens. But I don’t want to get into a world in which we start blaming ourselves for escalation. This is Putin’s war, and it’s his decision as to whether it ends.”

However, on FOX News Sunday, former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who’s predicted to run for the Republican Presidential nomination in 2024, blasted Biden, calling his comments “reckless.”

“I think that, even more importantly, they demonstrate maybe one of the greatest foreign policy failures of the last decades, which was the failure to deter Vladimir Putin in the same way that the Trump Administration did for four years,” he said. “When you hear a President talking about Armageddon as a random thought, just using it at a fundraiser, that is a terrible risk to the American people.  If he truly believes it then he ought to be out talking to us in a serious way.”

U.S.-Saudi Relations Debated

Murphy and Pompeo were also at opposite ends regarding relations with the Saudis, following last week’s announcement by OPEC+, which includes Russia, to cut oil production by 2 billion barrels per day. It’s being viewed as a boost to Russia and a slap at Biden, who flew to the Saudi kingdom in July and shared a now-infamous fist-bump with Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman—even though he’d called Saudi Arabia a “pariah” state following the 2018 murder of American journalist Jamal Khashoggi, which U.S. intel has pinned on bin Salman.

On CNN Sen. Murphy said we need to “rethink” the “massive amounts of arms” we sell to the Saudis.

“For years, we have looked the other way while Saudi Arabia has chopped up journalists, has engaged in massive political repression, for one reason: we wanted to know that when the chips were down, when there was a global crisis, the Saudis would choose us instead of Russia. Well, they didn’t. They chose Russia.”

CNN anchor Jake Tapper asked Murphy if Biden “got played” by bin Salman at their July meeting. “We can remove any hint of legitimacy that meeting gives them by taking action right now, by deciding to downgrade our security relationship, by removing their liability,” said the Senator.

Pompeo completely disagreed. “This is about putting the American people first. And to put the American people first means a deep, important security relationship with the kingdom of Saudi Arabia as we have had for decades,” he said on FOX News, adding, “They have been an important security partner. They should continue to be so.”

Economist: OPEC Cutting Oil Comes as No Surprise

On CBS’ Face the Nation, Mohamed El-Erian, Chief Economic Adviser at financial services company Allianz and President of Queens College in Cambridge, UK, said OPEC’s slashing oil production should come as no surprise.

“OPEC is looking to protect oil prices in the context of declining global demand. All three major areas in the world—China, Europe and the U.S.—are slowing much faster, which means less demand for oil. So what does OPEC do? They cut back supply,” he said. “That’s the history. But it’s certainly not good news for the U.S. economy.”

El-Erian said oil prices rising above $90 a barrel this past week means “inflation, which has been coming down now, risks going up again.”

But he added that when September’s Consumer Price Index is released Thursday, “Headline inflation will probably come down to about 8%.” He said the question then is, “Does it come down with a slowdown in the economy or a major recession?”

Lawmakers and Candidates Questioned on Abortion Policies

After an Arizona appeals court last week reinstated an injunction blocking a pre-statehood law that had placed a total ban on all abortions, Face the Nation played host to the state’s two Gubernatorial candidates, both women. CBS anchor Major Garrett asked each candidate where she stands on abortion, which in Arizona currently bans them after 15 weeks.

Democratic candidate Katie Hobbs said she did not support the 15-week ban. Garrett then asked her if she supported “any-week limit” on abortion, to which Hobbs replied, “I support leaving the decision between a woman and her doctor and leaving politicians entirely out of it.”

Republican Kari Lake, whom Garrett asked about comments she’d made that abortion should be “rare, safe and legal,” replied that “now it’s become anything but rare.”

As for whether she supports Arizona’s 15-week ban she said, “We need to draw the line somewhere. I am going to be the executive of the state, the chief executive officer, and I will follow the law. The law right now as it stands is Governor Ducey’s law at 15 weeks, so we’ll follow the law.”

Meanwhile on NBC’s Meet the Press, Rep. Don Bacon (R-NE) answered questions surrounding the news that a woman who says she’s the mother of one of pro-life Georgia Republican Senate candidate Herschel Walker’s children claimed he’d paid for her to have an abortion.

Herschel needs to come clean and just be honest,” Bacon said. “We also know that we all make mistakes. And it’s just better if this actually did happen to say, ‘I’m sorry,’ and ask for forgiveness.”

When anchor Kristen Welker asked Bacon, “Does this undercut the Republican Party’s broader message of being anti-abortion when you have these conflicting things happening with Herschel Walker?” the Congressman replied, “It can undercut. You want to walk the talk and talk the walk. You want to have cohesion with your message. But people also make mistakes.”

Welker then put the issue of abortion to a Democratic member of Congress, Rep. Elissa Slotkin of Michigan, asking whether there should be restrictions on third trimester abortions.

“I agree with the proposal which says up to viability you have the right to make that decision on your own, but afterwards you need the input of a medical professional,” Slotkin replied. “I think that’s the right place for our state, and frankly, I think for the country.”

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