Below are some of the notable comments made Sunday on “This Week with George Stephanopoulos.” Guests included Obama Campaign Senior Adviser David Axelrod, former Republican Presidential Candidate and former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum, former Democratic Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell, author of the new book “A Nation of Wusses,” Fox News host and former Republican Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, along with conservative commentator Ann Coulter and former Obama White House environmental adviser and President Rebuild the Dream Van Jones.
Axelrod: We have had 4.3 million private sector jobs created over the last 27 months, but we lost almost half a million public sector jobs, and most of them are teachers. Many of them are firefighters and police. And his argument was that we ought to move on this, Congress ought to move on this. Governor Romney chose to jump on the word, but what was most interesting is how he reacted to the spirit of the thing, because his statement was we don’t need any more teachers, we don’t need any more firefighters or police. The president is out of touch. Out of touch? We have lost 250,000 teachers in the last 27 — couple of years. Every community in the country is feeling it. It’s bad in the short term for our economy, because those are good middle-class jobs, and it’s bad in the long term for our economy because we’re not going to win and our kids aren’t going to win unless we invest in education. So I would suggest he’s living on a different planet if he thinks that’s a prescription for a stronger economy.
Axelrod: There were obvious leaks, but they weren’t from the White House…I sat with the president for two years when I was in the White House. And you know, I don’t think there was anything that weighed on him more heavily than these life or death decisions. He understands that when he commits people to missions that their lives are at stake, and the safety of Americans are at stake. And the last thing that he would countenance or anybody around him would countenance are leaks that would jeopardize the security of Americans on these secret missions, and the success of those missions.
Santorum: Obama is a whole new scale of regulation that we have never seen that is just crushing the free enterprise system in this country. And so I’m hopeful that Mitt Romney’s plan out there, and what he is going to do to get this economy going, lower regulation, reduce taxes, get this private sector ginned up, against Barack Obama’s plan, which is to grow the private sector, create more — excuse me, grow the public sector, and create more public sector jobs, it’s a great contrast.
Santorum responds to considering vice president role if offered
Santorum: Well, no one has asked me for anything right now. We have focused on patriotvoices.com. We’re focused on trying to do what we can to help Governor Romney, help candidates all across this country by rallying conservatives, getting them excited about this race and the importance of it. And that’s really all I’m focused on right now. And I wish Governor Romney the best, and I’ll do whatever I can to be helpful to him. If he calls me, I’ll answer the phone call. But I’m not anxious to get back involved in the fray right now.
Powerhouse Roundtable – Mike Huckabee, Ann Coulter, Ed Rendell, Van Jones
Discussing public vs. private sector jobs
Huckabee: Here’s what you need. You need enough firemen to put out the fires. You don’t arbitrarily go, hire firemen, policemen or teachers unless you have more kids in school. And what we need to be talking about is not hiring more teachers, but hiring better teachers and getting rid of the ones that don’t teach. When 50 percent of the kids in Chicago, where Obama’s campaign headquarters are located aren’t even graduating, we need to be talking about improving graduation, not just increasing the number of public employees who in Chicago get $100,000 a year in salary and benefits.
Jones: When you have the amount of pain that’s happening in the country, the Republican Party has not only been missing in action, they won’t pass their own bills to help Americans right now. They won’t pass their own ideas to help small businesses right now. Why? Because their gain will come when America has more pain…It’s like having a life guard, Obama is a life guard trying to help people drowning. These guys are sitting back on the rocks hoping more people drown. That’s wrong. It’s morally wrong.
Coulter: The problem with government workers is, it’s not creating a job, I mean it’s worse than creating no jobs, because the taxpayer is paying for it. They’re jobs you don’t want done. They’re being paid more than the taxpayers who are paying their salaries with better benefits. We want to be able to fire bad teachers and we want them to teach more. I mean, this idea — it’s always less work for the public school teachers. It’s always firemen first, and then somehow we end up with 17, you know, diversity coordinators at the public school.
Obama’s Efforts Meeting Resistance
Huckabee: I think what is really hurting Barack Obama, he simply does not understand the dynamics of being the chief executive because he has never had that position before. As a governor, a mayor, heck, not even a sheriff, he has never been in that position and it’s showing.
Rendell: It’s hard to expect the president to reach out when in the first year — in the middle of the first year the Republican leader in the Senate says our number one priority is to defeat the president, not to pass legislation that’s good for America. And the Republican Party, George, that has been their mantra ever since. They don’t want him to succeed. They don’t want any legislation to pass. They want to defeat him.
Jones: The idea that somehow Obama doesn’t understand how to be president, he doesn’t understand how to reach across the line, he has tried on every single issue to reach across and he has had his hand slapped on every single issue. Now his to-do list is literally the Republican Party’s to-do list. He’s saying, let’s give tax cuts to small businesses, they won’t do that. He is saying, let’s help — let’s give home-owners the tools to cut red tape and get refinancing on their homes on their own expense, the Republicans won’t do that. They won’t pass their own agenda because it’s Barack Obama. That is what he’s up against. So the idea that somehow this guy doesn’t know how to be presidential, no. The fact is, these lawmakers don’t know how to be lawmakers. That’s the problem.
White House Leaks
Jones: I don’t remember the Republicans complaining a lot when there was leak after leak after leak to scare the be-jeebers out of the American people under the Bush administration. I don’t remember that outrage. I’m surprised that we’re talking more about the fact that there were leaks than the facts of the leaks themselves. If these stories are correct, and I hope that they’re not, there’s an assertion here that the president of the United States thinks he has the authority to kill people in 120 countries.
Coulter: I don’t think it is so clear that Obama has nothing to do with this. I mean, all of these articles are absolute love letters to him. They show him being tough on terrorism and, I might add, both our intelligence and our military were very upset after Osama bin Laden was killed, that Obama came out and said it was SEAL Team 6. And two weeks later, SEAL Team 6 is shot. He said it in his own words, in the speech, bragging about the killing of Osama bin Laden. And that was not good for intelligence. It was not good for SEAL Team 6.
Laughworthy Line: Huckabee on possibility of being picked as Mitt Romney’s VP
Huckabee: I have not been asked. I think there’s a greater likelihood that I’ll be asked by Madonna to go on tour as her (Laughter) bass player than I’ll be picked to be on the ticket.