Below you can find some of the notable comments made Sunday on “This Week with George Stephanopoulos.” This week’s powerhouse roundtable guests included ABC News’ George Will, ABC News contributor and Democratic strategist Donna Brazile, ABC News political analyst and special correspondent Matthew Dowd, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, and Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa.
Dowd on Bush legacy and Iraq War ‘disaster’
DOWD: And I think the president, reflecting back, had done a number of good things. What he did for aid to Africa. As Donna has pointed out, what he did in the aftermath of Katrina, and a number of things. And I think what you saw was everybody thinks “this is a good man.” But the problem that I saw in this whole thing as we had that day and everybody focused on it, it’s as if you were asking the people that got off the Titanic, they say, other than that, how was the trip?
And the Iraq War was a disaster. We spent over $1 trillion. We lost thousands of lives. I had a son that served there. We lost thousands of U.S. lives, thousands of lives over in Iraq. And the Iraq War for at least 20 years is going to affect us. It’s already affecting our foreign policy in Syria. It’s caused the president to not say, well I don’t know if I can do this because of what happened in the Iraq War.
It’s affected our domestic policy because the lack of funds, the lack of ability. And it polarized the country. And so I think we pause for a moment and we say, yes he’s a good man. But in the end, the Iraq War was such a disastrous decision, it affected this country so dramatically. His tie to history is going to be completely tied to that.
Will says Congress responded to FAA furloughs quickly because they were ‘going to inconvenience them’ and that ‘was unthinkable’
WILL: The comedian Lily Tomlin has a character “the bag lady” who says, “no matter how cynical you get, you can’t keep up.” Look what happened this week. Two million Americans fly everyday, so in a very few days, you’ve got a real constituency of the irritated out there, but more importantly, 535 members of Congress fly regularly. And this was going to inconvenience them, which was unthinkable.
So, the FAA having said this was all necessary because the sequester required it to live on the amount of money it had in 2010, now it was chaos to live on 2010 appropriations. So whistleblowers within the FAA began sending out emails saying they were instructed that this had to be as painful as possible, on the theory, that if the government annoys Americans enough, Americans will say we should give the government more money — I don’t follow the reasoning there. But the long and the short of this is, George, the sequester is now going to be here for a very long time, because they’re going to find ways to make it administered more rationally.
Gingrich says he ‘distrusts’ a 800 page bill and immigration should be fixed one piece at a time
GINGRICH: I think the more people study the comprehensive bill, the harder it’s going to get to be…I think you’d be vastly better off to do what Chairman Goodlatte’s doing. Take one piece at a time, I do think it ought to be fixed. But, I think it ought to be fixed one piece at a time, out in the open, with amendments, when you actually know what it means.I distrust deeply 800 page bills, crafted by staff and then launched with great publicity, with nobody actually — none of the Senators I bet has read the bill.
Villaraigosa says ‘people will shoot’ holes in immigration bill and it will look like ‘swiss cheese’
VILLARAIGOSA: I agree, we don’t do comprehensive very well. Well, they don’t do comprehensive very well. But the fact of the matter is, we’re not gonna have an immigration bill that doesn’t have a pathway to citizenship. Look even this bill says, 13 years it’s going to take. The vast majority of polling has said people think 5 years is an appropriate period of time. This is very tough on border security, it’s very tough on the hurdles that you have to overcome to become a citizen. you have to pay back your taxes, you have to have a background check, if we do it piecemeal, we’ll have people shoot it, like swiss cheese, and you’ll never get a bill.
Dowd on Obama arm twisting, he has a ’1 on 10,000 ability but not a 1 on 1 ability’
DOWD: I think the president, he’s had a lot of great speeches that he’s given. But I think they’ve made a mistake by not having a relationship, not trying to build one-on-one relationships in Congress and saying we’re going to go out and talk to the country. We’re not going to worry about Washington, D.C.
This president has never built relationships outside of saying, “I need your vote tomorrow.” He hasn’t — it’s all been photo ops with Congress. He hasn’t reached out. He hasn’t consistently said come to Camp David, sit down with me, let’s talk about this.
I think if the president had that ability, he’s got a 1 on 10,000 ability, he does not have a 1 on 1 ability.