NEW YORK, MAY 13, 2012— -- Below are some of the notable comments made Sunday on "This Week with George Stephanopoulos."
Sunday Sound: Heard on This Week
Rep. Barney Frank
1) FRANK: I expected the president to be supporting same-sex marriage, because, frankly, of the absence of any good reason against it, once you believe that people ought to be treated fairly. The big step forward was when the president said, correctly, earlier this year that the Defense of Marriage Act provision that said, when a state recognizes marriages, the federal government will discriminate and -- and refuse benefits to some of the married people that the state recognizes and not others. That was the major federal policy. Once he said that was unconstitutional, I think the -- the next step followed logically
2) FRANK: I do have to note that this Republican talking point, that women have lost jobs, the job losses came about because of the terrible recession that non-regulation in the economy brought about under George Bush. We have been gaining jobs since then.
3) Frank hopes the Volcker Rule would prevent the type of behavior that JP Morgan Chase engaged in that led to a $2 billion trading loss announced last week:
FRANK: That is, the Volcker rule is still being formulated. It's a complicated thing. Part of the problem, frankly, is that the Republicans, while they have plenty of money to spend on international military adventures that haven't worked out well, have reduced the funding that we've asked for…….I hope that the final rule will prevent this. There were other factors in the rule that are going forward. Years ago, what happened was, agencies, entities like JPMorgan Chase, made bets on derivatives and then couldn't pay for it. We now have rules that say, no, you can't get yourself in that position.
Rep. Marsha Blackburn
Mitt Romney's Stance this Election
4) BLACKBURN: I think that you can go back and look at Supreme Court cases, you can look at the institution of marriage, and you know that Mitt Romney, who has always fought for traditional marriage, is going to continue to do this.
5) BLACKBURN: I think that what you're going to see Mitt Romney do is put the focus on jobs and the economy. And, George, you're talking about this is Mother's Day. We've got nearly 858,000 women that have lost their jobs under this president. And you have women that are concerned about the loss in household income under this president, nearly $4,000 per household. Those are the issues that are first and foremost in front of people, is making certain that jobs and the economy is the focus.
The "This Week" powerhouse roundtable debated all the week's politics, with Republican strategist Mary Matalin, former New York governor and host of Current TV's "Viewpoint" Eliot Spitzer, Faith and Freedom Coalition founder and chairman Ralph Reed, Democratic strategist Hilary Rosen, and Politico senior political reporter Maggie Haberman.Responding to Obama's Support for Same-Sex Marriage
6) ROSEN: …. You know, when I think about it personally, I came out at 17. The idea that a president of the United States would ever say that I could have that kind of a relationship, when all I was trying to do was figure out how, you know, just to sort of walk down the street without worrying about it. And -- and I think that kind of clarity, that kind of leadership, it was a politically risky move for the president to take. The fact that he did it I think is really admirable.
7) MATALIN: It's not risky if you don't have a choice. You don't get bonus points if you're doing your job. He evolved into the position he originally had. He's not bold. He was for it before he was against it, and then he evolved back to where he started, which is to be for it. His vice president outed him. And the gay community was holding the money up, and he was on his way to George Clooney's with an open purse.
8) ROSEN: …… The gay community was not holding its money up. This was not about money. I think the -- it was unplanned. The vice president, you know, spoke from the heart, and the president kind of followed that.
9) REED: …. Now Obama has publicly flip-flopped after being grabbed kicking and screaming by his vice president, and he allows Romney to look like a Reaganesque conviction politician.
10) SPITZER: …. The fact is, civil rights and the discussion of civil rights does not stop merely because we have economic issues to think about as well. Of course, economics will dictate at the end of the day November's outcome. But the notion that we would stall on civil rights issues that are of enormous magnitude and how we define ourselves as a society is wrong.
11) HABERMAN: …. It's not just Democratic donors who support Barack Obama who are in the gay community who wanted to see a move. There are a number of prominent Republicans, like hedge fund executive Paul Singer. Ken Mehlman is out there raising money for a gay marriage movement. Romney is in a sort of a rock and a hard place between his base and his donors. This is not something he wants to be talking about…. I don't think we're going to hear him being forceful about this at all going forward.
Should Romney's High School Years Matter in this Election?
12) HABERMAN: It will matter with people who don't like him. I think it won't matter with people who do like him. I think that this question is a matter on the margins with the independents who are just starting to get to know him, maybe. I think that biography of presidential candidates is interesting. I think it's relevant but ultimately I think who wants to be judged for what they did in high school? …. I think that he apologized. I think that's the best he can do and I think democrats have a risk if they push it too far.
13) ROSEN: I have some compassion for Mitt Romney on this. I thought his apology seemed sincere, even though he wasn't -- it's a little fuzzy whether he remembered it or not, but I think the reason it touched a chord wasn't really just about politics. Actually bullying and youth suicide is a major issue this -- over the last several years.
14) REED: Whatever you think of him politically, turning around Bain consulting, building Bain Capital into one of the most respected private equity organizations in the nation, turning around the 2002 Salt Lake Olympics, outstanding job as governor of Massachusetts. This is the kind of man that you would want your daughter to marry. This is the kind of guy you would want to be a business partner with.
15) SPITZER: The reason it's not relevant, it won't have traction politically, is it doesn't fit into the narrative most people think about Mitt Romney. We can agree or disagree with him, but nobody thinks he's mean-spirited or a bully…. I don't think he is a nasty guy. I like him. I don't mind saying that. I think he is a good, decent person with whom I disagree. He's not a bully, therefore, this story is out of context. It doesn't matter
Weighing in on the JP Morgan Loss
16) MATALIN: This also reraised how ineffective Frank-Dodd (sic) is. As Barney said, the Volcker rule, which is still being formulated, they want to enforce something that hasn't been formulated and they don't even know when it would come into effect, as is the case with all of Frank-Dodd. What's absent from Frank-Dodd is the -- what financial institutions need and they want. And they can't function without it. It is clarity, uniformity, cohesion, coherence, enforceability that's predictable. And none of that has happened.
17) REED: The idea you'll be able to eliminate the risk of a global 21st century economy by running regulations at the Fed is laughable. This is a reminder yet again that we now live in a global economy. Let's remember why this happened… JPMorgan was trying to hedge their risk against further losses in Europe. They made a bad bet but it was only 0.1 percent of their assets. It was only 1 percent of shareholder value. They'll be fine. And the other thing --