In case you missed ’em—here’s what the newsmakers said on the Sunday morning talk shows.
Democrats on Defensive with Economic Message
With more registered voters saying they trust Republicans when it comes to the economy, which remains their top issue, some leading Congressional Democrats went on the defensive on the Sunday talk shows.
Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) admitted on CNN’s State of the Union that he was “worried about the level of voter turnout among young people and working people who will be voting Democratic,” and what “Democrats have got to do is contrast their economic plan with Republicans.”
“What are the Republicans talking about?” mused Sanders. “They want to cut Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid at a time when millions of seniors are struggling to pay their bills. Do you think that’s what we should be doing? Democrats should take that to them. Democrats want to have Medicare negotiate prescription drug prices.”
A Republican, Sen. Mike Lee who’s running for reelection in Utah, addressed claims by President Biden that a majority-GOP Congress would “crash the economy…unless we yield to their demand to cut Social Security and Medicare.”
“That, as usual, is an information-free, truth-free statement by President Biden,” Lee said on FOX News Sunday. “The fact of the matter is his policies have made our economy worse. We brought in over $4 trillion into the federal government’s coffers last year. We spent $7 trillion. That is literally what causes inflation.”
But on CBS’ Face the Nation, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) noted that since Biden took office, “the national deficit has been cut in half from $2.8 to $1.4. trillion. That is a big change.”
When anchor Margaret Brennan asked whether Democrats “regret” stimulus spending during the pandemic, like $1,400 checks, and “putting cash out there,” Pelosi replied, “No, absolutely not. Because that was necessary for people to survive.”
While Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney (D-NY), Chair of the Democratic Congressional Committee, remained hopeful of his party’s chances two weeks from now, despite the polling.
“Oh, look, you guys have been writing us off for two years,” he said on ABC’s This Week, “and we just went to work fixing people’s problems, helping our veterans with healthcare, capping seniors’ out-of-pocket costs in Medicare, taking on big drug companies, passing gun safety legislation, you know, bringing jobs back from China. We’ve got a record of progress, and we’re doing a lot better than people thought we would.”
Cheney: No One Should Vote for Election Deniers
Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WI), Vice Chair of the January 6 Committee investigating the plot to overturn the 2020 Presidential election, said on NBC’s Meet the Press that, first of all, “no one of any party should be voting for people who are election deniers.”
She then added that moderate Republicans who endorse election deniers—like Virginia’s Gov. Glenn Youngkin who has traveled to Arizona to campaign for Gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake—have made “really indefensible decisions.”
“People who do that are in fact putting politics ahead of the Constitution and ahead of the country,” Cheney said. She noted that when it comes to putting political party first, “Democrats do the same thing, it just happens that our candidates are more dangerous right now.”
Anchor Chuck Todd pointed out that several Republican candidates during the primaries were able to “beat back Trump challenges” without using “anti-Trump rhetoric.” He asked Cheney, “Why do you think other Republicans can’t look at them and say, “Oh, it’s good politics, not bad politics.'”
She responded, “You know, my hope is that ultimately our party will come back to that. I think it may take a couple of election cycles to do that.”
Former Security Boss: Drop Box “Vigilantes” Are Performative
A panel regarding election security on Face the Nation discussed people in tactical gear and masks and allegedly armed—referred to by the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office as “uninformed vigilantes”—caught on camera by local TV in Mesa, Arizona, watching over a drop box for mail-in election ballots.
Chris Krebs, former Director of the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, said voting citizens posting their ballots at these drop boxes are being falsely accused of acting as “mules and ballot trafficking.” He noted that in reality, they “actually report it to the officials and say: Here’s my name. Here’s my contact information. I was accused of this. Would any legitimate fraudster or mule do that and then report on themselves? Of course not. So, it’s all performative.”
He said he’s more concerned that the drop box stakeouts could result in violence.
“More importantly, chaos is the point,” added tech journalist and podcaster Kara Swisher. “Chaos and discord. It’s actually from the Russian playbook.”
Democratic Border Hawk: “Repercussions” Needed
Rep. Henry Cuellar (D-TX), a moderate Democrat who’s been hawkish on the border, answered “no” when FOX News Sunday anchor Shannon Bream asked if securing the Southern border is a priority for the Biden Administration.
“When you have 1.7 million individuals last year, and now another 2.7, that’s over 4.5 million individuals encountered at the border,” said Cuellar. “If you add the getaways, that’s going to be over 5 million individuals in just two years. No, the border is not secured, and we’ve got to make sure that we have repercussions there.”
Cuellar said another big problem is the Biden Administration is continuing policies of the Trump Administration—like extending Title 42, the public health code implemented during Covid to turn back migrants at the border.
What Cuellar wants to see is the White House “work with Guatemala, work with Mexico, get them engaged so they can stop those folks from coming in.”