Below are some of the notable comments made by the Powerhouse Roundtable Sunday on “This Week with George Stephanopoulos.” Roundtable guests included ABC News’ George Will; Fox News anchor Greta Van Susteren; PBS’ “Washington Week” moderator and managing editor Gwen Ifill; University of California, Berkeley professor and former Clinton Labor Secretary Robert Reich; and ABC’s Chief White House Correspondent Jonathan Karl.
Will says fiscal cliff deal will be remembered as the start of the decline of liberalism
WILL: In this sense, I think people will look back on this deal as where liberalism passed an apogee and went into decline for the following reason…172 House Democrats voted to make the Bush rates permanent for all but 0.5 percent of American taxpayers.
Van Susteren says Obama had to ‘outsource’ negotiating to Biden
VAN SUSTEREN: But how much negotiating is he doing? Last week, he had to outsource it to Vice President Biden, because he doesn’t have the relationships, he hasn’t spent the years, whether as president or a senator, developing the relationships so he can negotiate.
Will calls Hagel an ‘odd pick’ but thinks he will be confirmed as Secretary of Defense
WILL: It is an odd pick, first of all, because if…a Democrat picks a Republican, he ought to be someone who thinks like Republicans and is liked by Republicans, and neither of those are true in this case. Furthermore, he doesn’t think the way the president thinks or at least the way the president talks about Iran and sanctions and negotiating with Hamas and all the rest, and gays in the military, all that stuff. All that said…I think he should be confirmed and will be.
Reich predicts Hagel will be confirmed
REICH: At the end of the day, he’ll get through. You know, I can’t imagine a Republican Senate, the Republican senators rejecting a Republican.
Ifill and Van Susteren sound off on gun violence
VAN SUSTEREN: We should take a look a little bit more at ourselves, from top to bottom. I mean, we have so much violence surrounding us that we think is OK….Even the president of the United States sends rappers to the White House who say horrible things. Nobody’s scandalized.
IFILL: I’m trying to figure out whether any rappers have resulted in the deaths of schoolchildren. I don’t think so.
Reich says NRA’s strategy relies on the ‘Attention Deficit Disorder’ of the country
REICH: The NRA’s — the NRA’s technique in the past has been to really rely on the attention deficit disorder of America, basically lay low until attention is no longer placed on this.
Karl predicts a big year for Biden in 2013 that may impact his 2016 chances
KARL: I think this is going to be a big year for Biden, because if the president’s going to get anything accomplished with Congress, it’s clear that he’s going to need Biden to work directly with them. So I look for Biden and I wonder if it’s either going to make or break his prospects for 2016.