Advertisement

Senators Menendez & Cornyn; Rep. Sestak on "Meet the Press"

Senators Menendez & Cornyn; Rep. Sestak on "Meet the Press"

By Meet the Press - May 23, 2010

GREGORY: I want to turn now to our guests, the chair of the National Republican Senatorial Committee, Senator John Cornyn, and his counterpart, chair of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, Senator Robert Menendez.

Welcome, both of you, this morning to MEET THE PRESS.

SEN. ROBERT MENENDEZ (D-NJ): Good to be with you.

SEN. JOHN CORNYN (R-TX): Thank you.

MR. GREGORY: Senator Cornyn, Rand Paul's spokesman sent a statement to MEET THE PRESS this morning indicating that he didn't want to be on the program because he wanted to avoid the liberal bias of the media, and I wonder what your view is, whether you think this is liberal bias that's ensnared him this week or whether it's the articulation of his own views about the limited scope of government that had senior Republicans in the party telling him to avoid the national spotlight?

SEN. CORNYN: Well, Dr. Paul's new to running for public office, and I think it's Bob's experience, I'm sure my experience, that you see novice candidates occasionally stumble on questions. I think he's clarified his position. But I think he's done the right thing. As much fun as this is, David, to be here with you, I think he needs to be talking to the voters back in Kentucky, the people who actually will be able to cast a ballot on whether he's elected as the next United States senator or not.

MR. GREGORY: Well, I--obviously being here is not as important as the larger point, which is don't you think this is fair game, questions about his views about the limit and the scope of government?

SEN. CORNYN: Well, I do think that's a, a fair topic, and I'm sure you'll be hearing extensively from him and all the candidates over the next six months. But the fact of the matter is Rand Paul's leading his opponent in the, in the general election by 25 points.

MR. GREGORY: You don't think he's a weaker candidate today than he was Tuesday?

SEN. CORNYN: He's leading by 25 points; I have to let the numbers speak for themselves. But I think we will have a, a discussion about the role of government in our lives. There are too many Americans, or many Americans, I should say, who believe that government has simply gotten too aggressive, it spends too much, it borrows too much, and we've had too many government takeovers. I think he will speak directly to that, and I think people will respond favorably.

MR. GREGORY: Do his views concern you?

SEN. CORNYN: I don't know what all his views are. I've watched this exchange, but the fact of the matter is I think he's doing the right thing by talking to the people of Kentucky and...

MR. GREGORY: But, Senator, my--you have heard his views, and, and it's not as if he hadn't thought this out. He's got very specific views about even the Civil Rights Act. He took issue with only one of the titles in the Civil Rights Act, so it's not as if this was some sort of ambush. He's thought a good deal about this; he's articulate about what he believes. You've heard that. Do you agree or disagree?

SEN. CORNYN: Well, he's clarified his views that he's opposed to any kind of discrimination period, and I applaud him for clarifying that view. I just think that every time you have a citizen who decides to run for public office who's not a professional politician that occasionally they're going to stumble. Sometimes their philosophy, when you start to articulate it and carry it to its logical end, they have to come back and say, "Well, you know, what"--we just have temper that with experience.

MR. GREGORY: But, but his, but his view is that private businesses should not be subject to a government mandate even about discrimination. Is that something you agree with or do you think that's beyond the pale of, of mainstream conservative views?

SEN. CORNYN: Well, David, what I heard him say is he supports the Civil Rights Act. He clarified his views, and I think that's--that should be the end of it.

MR. GREGORY: Senator Menendez, your take on what you've seen in the last few days.

SEN. MENENDEZ: Well, it seems to me that this is an example of what's happening to the Republican Party across the country, beating the Republican establishment, but it's the mainstream losing to the extreme. Clearly, with Rand Paul, here's someone who, you know, as you have already cited, questions elements of the Civil Rights Act as it relates to the private sector, says that President Obama's comments about making BP responsible in the oil spill is un-American, wants to end farm subsidies across the country, including in Kentucky. I'll take our matchup with Attorney General Jack Conway, who's a crusading attorney general--rooted out Medicaid fraud--against someone who clearly is in the extreme, even questions the, the Americans with Disabilities Act. So I think this is an example of what's happening to the Republican establishment across the country, the establishment being beaten by extreme candidates whether it be here or in Florida or, as you see, surging in Colorado and Nevada.

MR. GREGORY: The--his views, Dr. Paul's views about the limits of government also has to do with the deficit, and that's really the thrust of what he's run on, his concerns and other tea partiers concerns about the debt. This is what he said at a unity event in Kentucky yesterday.

(Videotape)

DR. PAUL: We have an annual deficit of nearly $2 trillion. Interest alone on the debt is $383 billion. I think there is a day of reckoning coming. I don't want that day of reckoning to involve chaos as we're seeing in Greece.

(End videotape)

MR. GREGORY: That is a potent message. There's a reason why he won so big, and your party is in charge of the White House and Congress. Isn't this a liability, government spending and the debt, for Democrats this fall?

SEN. MENENDEZ: Well, we'll have to remind, David, the, the public that Republicans left this president and this Democratic majority with two wars raging abroad unpaid for, a couple of trillion dollars in tax cuts unpaid for, a new entitlement program unpaid for; and what we had to do is inherit the economic mess they gave us and try to stop us from going into a--very well a possibility of a depression and move forward from losing three-quarters of a million jobs, when Barack Obama took office, for the first quarter of each month--for the first quarter of 2009 to gaining nearly 300,000 jobs last month, from negative GDP growth to positive GDP growth. So it seems to me, including, you know, having Republicans run away from their own proposition of a bipartisan commission to deal with the national debt, something I voted for, something the Republican sponsors actually ran away from.

MR. GREGORY: Senator:

SEN. CORNYN: There they go again blaming it on George Bush. I don't know when this administration, when the Democratic leadership that got the majority in November 2008 are going to take responsibility for the 23 percent increase in the national debt since President Obama was sworn into office. Under the president's own budget, our debt-to-GDP ratio will be up to 90 percent by 2020, 90 percent, according to the Congressional Budget Office. Greece is at a 115 percent. So it's easy to see that unless we take our foot off the accelerator when it comes to spending and debt, if we don't do the sort of fundamental reform of entitlements, cut back on spending and do the same sort of budget scrub that every family, every small business has had to do during this recession, that we're going to be heading off a financial cliff. And I don't see the administration taking their foot off the gas at all. I see them stomping the gas and going even further to grow the size of government and spend and debt.

MR. GREGORY: The, the debate about the debt will continue.

I want to ask you, Senator Cornyn, one other question, though, about the tea party and its impact. This is how The Economist reported it this week in the context of Dr. Paul. We'll put it up on the screen. "The impact of the tea-partiers is a decidedly mixed blessing for the Republicans. On the one hand, the party benefits from the passion and dollars this widespread grassroots mutiny against big government is able to inject into local campaigns. On the other, they are in danger of pushing the Republicans well to the right of the mainstream. Dr. Paul, like his father, is a genuine radical who believes in paring government down to the bone." You have the fundamental conflict for the tea party, which is how is a movement predicated on limiting the size of government actually going to govern within the government? Tea party and the Republicans, is it an asset or a liability?

SEN. CORNYN: Well, the tea party, tea party movement and libertarians like, like Dr. Paul don't believe in no government. They believe in limited government, smaller government, government that lives within its means. The fact is, as a New York Times poll said recently, that 57 percent of independents, the people who actually win elections, or, or tip the balance of elections, sympathize with the tea party movement. Our friends on, on the Democratic, the Democratic Party have tried to marginalize these people and claim like they're somehow less than patriotic Americans, when these are folks who perhaps have not gotten involved in politics before, who've gotten off the couch, who've gone to town halls, who've gone to these rallies to express their view that that spending has got to stop.

MR. GREGORY: But it's fair--I mean, even in the case of, of Dr. Paul, I mean, you would admit, wouldn't you, it is a--it's a question, and, and I don't know the answer, where they think the line is in terms of the role of government? In terms of regulation?

SEN. CORNYN: Well, that...

MR. GREGORY: In terms of what laws the government should pass? I mean, you would, you would admit that Dr. Paul is still opaque on this point? There's a lot of questions that he has invited.

SEN. CORNYN: And that's what the next six months of the campaign's for.

MR. GREGORY: Right. Yeah.

SEN. CORNYN: I think what we've seen in the time that President Obama has been in office, in the time that Democrats have basically run Washington, is an antipathy toward the private sector and the job creation capacity that only they can provide. They...

MR. GREGORY: All right, we're going to come back to this with our guests in just a moment. I want to take a moment now to turn to Pennsylvania's Democratic nominee for the U.S. Senate, Congressman Joe Sestak.

Congressman, welcome to MEET THE PRESS.

REP. JOE SESTAK (D-PA): Good to be here. Thanks, David.

MR. GREGORY: Nice to have you here. You had a very important victory in Pennsylvania, taking on Senator Arlen Specter, the incumbent, and you won. And when you spoke on election night, this is what you said.

(Videotape, Tuesday)

REP. SESTAK: This is what democracy looks like, a win for the people over the establishment, over the status quo, even over Washington, D.C.!

(End videotape)

MR. GREGORY: Congressman, you sound like the ultimate outsider. The only problem is you are a congressman. OK? You were running against the establishment.

REP. SESTAK: Ah.

MR. GREGORY: You voted for TARP, for the bailout. You voted for the president's stimulus plan. You voted for the president's healthcare plan. Exactly which establishment are you not part of, that you're running against?

REP. SESTAK: You know, I--31 years in the Navy, as you know, when I came to Washington, I was kind of taken aback that that type of accountability that I'd learned from my actions in the U.S. Navy seemed to be absent down here in Washington, D.C. Look, somebody had torpedoed our economy. We were sinking. We had to caulk the holes. We were hemorrhaging jobs. It's not about big government or small government, it's about effective government. Somebody took the referee off the football field up there on Wall Street, they let them play roulette with the savings of the seniors in my district. I sit there, and to what is to Wall Street a market correction now means young couples can't afford to send their children to education. I ran about accountability for one's actions, and I think that's not...

MR. GREGORY: But, Congressman...

REP. SESTAK: ...pretty absent down here.

MR. GREGORY: Congressman, the question I asked you is you have supported all the major elements of the Obama agenda.

REP. SESTAK: Yes.

MR. GREGORY: And yet you, in that sound bite, were running as an outsider. Are you not part of the establishment that you are railing against?

REP. SESTAK: Oh, I did vote for those because they were needed. But as John F. Kennedy once said, sometimes the party asks too much. And when they did something that I didn't agree with because it didn't help Pennsylvania working families, I'll stand up to the party. That's what I did. It doesn't mean whether you're part of an establishment or not. It's whether you stand up for what's right.

MR. GREGORY: Well, which, which element of the Obama agenda that was his priority did you stand up to?

REP. SESTAK: Oh, I did--I honestly think that this president has done great, good things. But I don't think we've gone far enough in terms of helping small business. My party has to recognize business is a good word when you have small in front of it. And to give a 15 percent tax credit to small businesses for every new payroll job that's created, we could, according to Economic Institute, soak up five million of the eight and a half million unemployed in two, two and a half years. In short, we need to do even better than what we've done. And as was mentioned earlier, the market's good. There's really good private markets out there. We just need fair rules. And before the rules kind of favored Wall Street, not those in state.

MR. GREGORY: Are you--would you like to see more tax cuts, is that what you're suggesting?

REP. SESTAK: For the small businesses, without a question. Look, for far too long, like the Senate did, they literally voted that large corporations that invest in a foreign factory get a tax credit. On Wall Street they said, "Forget about any rules out there, go ahead and gamble." So what I'm for is for effective government. And there should--if there are going to be tax credits, and I do believe in them, they should be where the majority of Pennsylvanians work. The majority of them work in small business.

MR. GREGORY: But...

REP. SESTAK: That's the real engine of the economy.

MR. GREGORY: All right. But, Congressman, you're a Democrat, and I fully expect that you will campaign for the Obama agenda come the fall. Is that your plan?

REP. SESTAK: I'm campaigning for whatever is needed to take care of the working families of Pennsylvania. I would like President Obama's support, and he said in his phone call to me, yes. But at the end of the day, I ran because I didn't agree with a deal that was made that I didn't think would help Pennsylvania over the next six years. I respect the establishment, but when they're wrong I think you have to stand up and say...

MR. GREGORY: Right. But what you stood up to was your opponent, which is not terribly courageous given that that's what you do in politics. What I'm asking is whether you are an Obama Democrat who supported stimulus, who supported health care, who's with him on all the major elements of his agenda. Are you or are you not an Obama Democrat?

REP. SESTAK: I've always described--I've always described myself as an independent-thinking person who believes in Democratic principles. Those are the same principles this president believes in. But if I think they're doing something that isn't right in accordance with the principles that help, help families in Pennsylvania, I'll stand up just like I did then. I'm a pretty pragmatic guy, you know. I come from the military, everybody has health care. And the dividends that accrue to our nation are immense. We don't even, we don't even promote you above a certain rating or rank unless you have an education, an associates college degree. I'd say pretty much those are kind of principles that give dividends to our nation. Imagine a work force that's healthy and educated, that can compete with China and India. That's the kind of focus and Democrat I am.

MR. GREGORY: What, what job were you offered to stay out of a primary race by the administration?

REP. SESTAK: It's interesting. I was asked a question about something that happened months earlier, and I felt I should answer it honestly. And that's all I had to say about it because anything beyond that gets away from what we just spoke about.

MR. GREGORY: Right.

REP. SESTAK: What are the policies that are really going to help people who've been slammed by economy...

MR. GREGORY: All right, but you've campaigned on transparency. It's part of the politics. You talked about standing up to the White House when they'd fielded a candidate--made a deal with Arlen Specter. So isn't it in the--in the spirit of transparency, were you offered a job by the administration? And what was it?

REP. SESTAK: I learned, as I mentioned, about that personal accountability in the Navy.

MR. GREGORY: Yeah.

REP. SESTAK: I felt I needed to answer that question honestly because I was personally accountable for my role in the matter.

MR. GREGORY: What's the answer? What's the job you were offered?

REP. SESTAK: And--but anybody else has to decide for themselves what to say upon their role, and that's their responsibility.

MR. GREGORY: Yes or no, straightforward question. Were you, were you offered a job, and what was the job?

REP. SESTAK: I was offered a job, and I answered that.

MR. GREGORY: You said no, you wouldn't take the job. Was it the secretary of the Navy?

REP. SESTAK: Right. And I also said, "Look, I'm getting into this...

MR. GREGORY: Was it the secretary of the Navy job?

REP. SESTAK: Anything that go--goes beyond that is others--for others to talk about.

MR. GREGORY: Let me just take the last couple minutes to talk about some elements of how you'll campaign. What specifically would you advise the president to do with regard to tackling the debt? What painful choice would you advocate as a United States senator, either on the spending side or the tax side?

REP. SESTAK: There's three major areas. First, pay as you go, which we know President Clinton used to give us three budget deficits, was throw one out--and you need to look at your weight to see where you got through, where, if you want a new program, you got to cut another program. We have that, but there's too many caveats to that. And we need to do that on the mandatory discretionary side. Right now we're only looking at the mandatory spending side. Second, health care. The largest increase over the next 50 years in our budget is Medicare, Medicaid. Can we do it? Sure. And as we have two programs that are in this new healthcare bill that begins to reward and incentivize for quality of care, not quantity of care--that is that if somebody is, after a heart operation like my father, left after three days and they missed that he had a staph infection, just another fee, they weren't penalized for it.

MR. GREGORY: Can I just get a very specific answer to the question...

REP. SESTAK: Third, revenues.

MR. GREGORY: ...which is what specific, painful choice would you advocate as United States senator to deal with the debt?

REP. SESTAK: Close those tax loopholes. All right? Carried interest for Wall Street upwards of $80 billion to $100 billion a year, they get taxed at 15 percent. Eighty billion dollars for tax loopholes for oil companies that literally have record profits, $352 billion a year that's not collected in taxes from small businesses and individuals...(unintelligible)...corporations. But also, as Secretary Gates, I stood up and said he was right when he said, "Wait a minute, we don't need the F-22." And I have two plants in my district that provided parts for that plane. But what he's trying to do to transform the military is also absolutely needed.

MR. GREGORY: All right. We're going to leave it there. Congressman Sestak, good luck in the fall campaign.

REP. SESTAK: Thank you very much.

MR. GREGORY: Thank you very much for being here.

Let's turn back now to the senators, the campaign chairs.

And, Senator Menendez, I will begin with you. Talk about Pennsylvania. The White House backed Senator Specter. That didn't work. Assess this race now going into the fall.

SEN. MENENDEZ: Well, you've seen that you have a Navy admiral who really has an independent view, one that fights for Pennsylvanians in terms of their jobs and economic opportunity, vs. someone who spent a decade on Wall Street as a derivatives trader and ultimately spent another six years in Congress, you know, defending the interests of Wall Street. I'll take that matchup on any day. And I think Pennsylvania 12, the congressional election that took place, the only election which there was a Republican against a Democrat. And that election showed very clearly, in a district that John McCain won, in a district that is far more conservative, where Republicans went after Barack Obama and Nancy Pelosi and our candidate talked about jobs and economic opportunity, he won. And I think you're going to see that same race, type of race, played across the country.

MR. GREGORY: Is President Obama, who declined to come in for Senator Specter at the very end because the view was he was going to lose, is he an asset or a liability for Democratic candidates this fall?

SEN. MENENDEZ: I think the single biggest thing that President Obama can do to help Democrats and particularly the country, as we move into midterm elections, is what he has been doing, righting this country from huge job losses to job gains, going from negative domestic growth to positive domestic growth, tackling some of the fundamental things that my colleagues on the Republican side, you know, let fester for eight years. I mean, the reason we had double-digit increases in health care, Republicans did nothing. The reason that we had excesses on Wall Street is because...

MR. GREGORY: All right, let's...

SEN. MENENDEZ: ...they didn't permit a cop on the beat.

MR. GREGORY: Let's, let's stay focused to Pennsylvania. Senator Cornyn, your view.

SEN. CORNYN: Well, I think Pennsylvania, Colorado, Arkansas, Kentucky are--demonstrate on the Democrat side basically a fight between the party of big government--the Democratic Party--and the people who are running against those establishment Democrat candidates who are in favor of really, really big government--people like Mr. Conway, people like Mr. Romanoff out in Colorado, people like Mr. Sestak, who basically, as you pointed out, David, voted 98 percent with Nancy Pelosi and the president agenda's, which is extraordinarily unpopular. Sixty percent of the people--I think it's 56 percent nationwide--believe the healthcare bill that my friend Mr. Menendez and my friend Mr. Sestak support, they want to repeal it because they realize we can't afford because it raises premiums, raises taxes, and cuts Medicare in order to create a new entitlement program.

MR. GREGORY: Let me, let me ask about another interesting race here of, of a candidate who's gotten in some trouble, and that is Connecticut--the attorney general, Richard Blumenthal, and his Vietnam-era service. This is the headline in The New York Times. The "Candidate's Words Differ From His History." This was an article that pointed out several examples where he had claimed that he had actually served in Vietnam when he had not. This was one example back in March of 2008.

(Videotape, March 2, 2008)

MR. RICHARD BLUMENTHAL: We have learned something very important since the days that I served in Vietnam.

(End videotape)

MR. GREGORY: And, in fact, he dealt with that a few days later, this week, rather, at a press conference, where he dealt with the story and what he meant by all of that. Was it a misstatement or something more? This is what he said.

(Videotape, Tuesday)

MR. BLUMENTHAL: Now on a few occasions, I have misspoken about my service, and I regret that, and I take full responsibility. But I will not allow, I will not allow anyone to take a few misplaced words and impugn my record of service to our country.

(End videotape)

MR. GREGORY: Senator Menendez, is it a stretch to believe that this was just a misstatement? Do you know anybody in the military who's not extremely carefulable--careful about speaking about their service and whether it occurred during wartime or not?

SEN. MENENDEZ: Look, I think the attorney general, surrounded by veterans who had his back, as he's had their back over 20 years, clearly said, "I misspoke." As a matter of fact, the, the article that originally came out about him, in the same video, if you look at that video later on, he says, "I did not serve in Vietnam." So the bottom line is here's someone, however, who did ultimately enlist in the Marines, in the Reserves.

MR. GREGORY: But, Senator, I'm sorry.

SEN. MENENDEZ: Here's someone who spent...

MR. GREGORY: My--but my question is very clear.

SEN. MENENDEZ: Here's someone who spent six months in...

MR. GREGORY: I'm sorry, sir, my question is very clear. Do you think people really believe it was a misstatement? Don't you know anybody in the military who's very careful about distinguishing their military service during wartime or not?

SEN. MENENDEZ: Well, if you look, if you look, listen to the very veterans...

MR. GREGORY: I know what he said.

SEN. MENENDEZ: If you listen to the very veterans in Connecticut, they said, "We knew that he did not serve in Vietnam, and we did not believe that he was deceiving us."

MR. GREGORY: Did he try to mislead you?

SEN. MENENDEZ: These are, these are the veterans of Connecticut. But, listen, I'll, I'll take a crusading attorney general who did serve in the Marines vs. John's candidate who--Linda McMahon--who actually operated the World Wrestling Entertainment which became a dirty business. She tried to intervene in an investigation on a narcotics issue in, in that industry. She peddled violence to kids, let wrestlers have their bodies ultimately be damaged, all for the purposes of making money. I think that that contrast in this election is one that will take.

MR. GREGORY: Senator?

SEN. CORNYN: We still have a primary in Connecticut so I don't know who our nominee's going to be, but what the public is looking for are candidates and office holders that they can trust and that have integrity. And, unfortunate, I think Mr. Blumenthal has damaged his reputation as somebody you can trust by misrepresenting his record. And the, the only worse thing, David, I think is then coming on and saying "Oh, I misspoke" after you've been caught red-handed. It's as if he shot himself in one foot, then reloaded and shot himself in the other.

MR. GREGORY: Before you both go, I want to talk about the politics of...

SEN. MENENDEZ: I guess that applies to Rand Paul too.

MR. GREGORY: I want to talk about the politics of, of immigration. This week the Mexican president met with President Obama, had a state dinner. He also spoke to a joint session of Congress in which he was rather critical of the law in Arizona, a tough anti-immigration law, saying it was an invitation to racial profiling. Sarah Palin posted something on her Facebook page which seems to speak for a lot of conservatives who are defending the Arizona law. She wrote this: "Arizonans have the courage to do what the Obama administration has failed to do in its first year and a half in office - namely secure our border and enforce our federal laws. And as a result, Arizonans have been subjected to a campaign of baseless accusations by the same people who freely admit they haven't a clue about what they're actually campaigning against."

Senator Menendez, you have pushed this administration to pass comprehensive immigration this year. Is that possible in this political climate?

SEN. MENENDEZ: Well, I hope if John and some of our colleagues on the Republican side join us in an issue that is critically important to both the national security, the national economy, and about stopping the exploitation of millions of people, yes. But if Republicans, who have basically taken an absolute opposition to seeking comprehensive immigration reform continue to do so, you can't have states like Arizona say Washington hasn't acted. And I've said to--you know, I've mentioned various times that the governor of Arizona should speak to her two U.S. senators and to her Republican colleagues in the Senate to make sure that they join us in an effort to make sure we control the borders and, at the same, time deal with the 12 million people in this country.

MR. GREGORY: And, Senator Cornyn, it was Senator McCain, who is now talking about, you know, has an ad about completing the fence on the border. He and Senator Kennedy championed comprehensive immigration reform, as did President Bush, and it was the Republican Party's own party who turned away from it.

SEN. CORNYN: David, I wish that the president of the United States, the president of Mexico, the attorney general, and the secretary of the Department of Homeland Security would have done what anybody can do with Internet access, which is to download a copy of the Arizona bill and read it for themselves. It expressly bans racial profiling. And, frankly, the people of Arizona have had to step up in the absence of a sensible immigration reform plan, starting with border security. The president's budget is essentially a flatline in terms of additional boots on the ground and additional resources to, to secure the border, with drug wars raging in Mexico--23,000 people have died in Mexico since 2006. This is having a spillover effect in the United States, and we've got to secure the border as a predicate to dealing with the larger issue.

MR. GREGORY: Would you support comprehensive immigration reform this year if it included protections for the border, as it did when the Bush administration tried it, as well as a path to legal status for those workers who are here?

SEN. CORNYN: Well, the Bush administration made leaps and bounds working with a bipartisan Congress to improve border security, but it still is not secure. There's a lot we need to do.

MR. GREGORY: So you don't think it happens this year?

SEN. CORNYN: I think Rahm Emanuel, as I understand, has advised the president that this is not something they should do, because he's called it the third rail of politics. The president's got to take the lead...

MR. GREGORY: Senator, will he?

SEN. CORNYN: ...and then we'll work with him.

MR. GREGORY: Will the president do it?

SEN. MENENDEZ: Well, well, certainly. If, if, if--the president said he wants to do this, we just need some Republican support here. Look, they've talked about--Jon Kyl and John McCain, have talked about rounding up all 41 Republican senators in opposition to comprehensive immigration reform. Well, they can filibuster then. There's no way to move forward. This is too important an issue for the national economy, for the national security. I'd rather have people know who was here to pursue the American dream and pay their taxes than to keep them in, in the shadows.

SEN. CORNYN: David...

MR. GREGORY: All right, we're going to let--I'm going to make that the last word. A stalemate for this morning on that. We'll continue to follow it. Thank you both very much for being here.

SEN. MENENDEZ: Thank you.

SEN. CORNYN: Thank you.

 

Meet the Press

Author Archive

Follow Real Clear Politics

Latest On Twitter