TAPPER: So, Al, that speech came one day after the White House attacked Senator Shelby for the very thing John was just talking about. He had put blanket holds on all nominees because he was concerned, he says, about some national security issues. What's going on here?
HUNT: Well, first of all, Senator Shelby is totally fraudulent on this to begin with. He was concerned about pork for his home state of Alabama. This is as bad as the Nebraska carve-out. It's outrageous what he did. It's, I think, an abuse of senatorial prerogative.
But I also, Jake, think that it's nice to give speeches. We have to have a more civil dialogue in this town. We have to have more bipartisanship. For a whole lot of reasons, it's not going to happen. It might selectively be able to -- you might have a few areas. You'll have some jobs bills where Orrin Hatch and Chuck Schumer might agree.
But in a -- in a broader sense, this is -- these are divisive political times, and that's not going to change, at least until after the November election.
TAPPER: George, the administration and the president has said specifically that he was hoping for some bipartisanship support for some of the small-business tax cuts and credits he's pushing. There's an elimination of a capital gains tax for investments in small businesses, a tax credit for hiring, hoping for Republican support. I have yet to hear one Republican voice, one level of support for any of that.
If there's not bipartisan support for tax cuts, is there support -- is there possibility for any support for anything bipartisan?
WILL: Well, I'll volunteer. I subscribe to Milton Friedman's view that any tax cut of any shape at any time for any reason is to be supported. So I think probably they'll get some support on this.
But he has a very aggressive agenda from which he has retreated not one bit. I think you'd agree with that. And so when he extends his hand, he says, "I ask only one thing of Republicans, and that is that you quit being Republicans," and they respectfully decline.
If you have an aggressive agenda, you're going to have to push it aggressively in a partisan manner.
NOONAN: I'd add, sometimes timing is everything. If the president had spoken like that or acted in a manner reflective of his comments last year, when he first became president, instead of presenting some bills that want to actually know Republican support, he might be in better shape now. It's very convenient for him to be saying, "We're all in this together," when his numbers are going down.
TAPPER: You wrote recently rather approvingly of the election of Scott Brown in Massachusetts. He has -- is that unfair?
NOONAN: Sure. No, no, good.
TAPPER: OK. OK. And -- and he came here talking a lot about wanting to work in a bipartisan fashion. One of the first things he did, as you saw in the interview with Geithner, we ran a clip of Brown, was say that the stimulus bill has not created one job. Now, you can criticize with the stimulus bill, but it is -- you can -- you can disagree with whether or not it's created 2 million jobs, but certainly it has created one job.
HUNT: Scott Brown's.
TAPPER: But, I mean, is -- do people just come down to Washington and become partisan, if even Scott Brown is already saying the stimulus bill hasn't created one job?