This morning on "Starting Point," Rep. Peter King (R-NY) weighs in on fmr. presidential candidate Mitt Romney's first post-election interview, the forced spending cuts and what he calls the 'ultimate hipocrisy' by Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) through vetoing Hurricane Sandy aid.
ON ROMNEY'S POST-ELECTION INTERVIEW:
I think Governor Romney handled himself well. I think he showed some real feelings and real emotion there. He lost the election. He wishes he had won it. He wasn't making excuses, but he did admit that it hurts. That he's gone on with his life.
I think as far as his criticism of the president, I think it's very appropriate. The president is just not showing the type of leadership necessary in a crisis like this. It's almost like he has a perpetual campaign. He knew "The Sequester" was coming and he is going to ask for it originally.
But, again this should not be that hard to do, $85 billion, the entire budget. If it's done selectively and surgically can be done rather than the president saying that kids wouldn't get vaccinated, senior citizens going to die, and planes couldn't land or they couldn't take off.
ON FAILURE OF THE PRESIDENTIAL CAMPAIGN:
We weren't able to communicate to minority communities particularly Hispanic and African- American, why Republican principles would work for them. Why as far as - you know, long term economic growth, as far as being able to make it out of poverty that the Republican principles are the best. We sort of portray them as a way that's for more upper class people. But as far as showing that the dream of immigrants should be self reliance and that's best induced or encouraged by the Republican Party.
A lot of our people, a lot of Republicans seem to feel uncomfortable going into minorities areas. I'm not saying we need to change our policies, but we have to show why our policies relate to those in the minority community, those in the immigrant community and also to show that we as people feel very comfortable.
I have no problem. I grew up in immigrant community in New York. In those days, they were Irish, Italian and Jewish. But the fact is that, I think too many people in our party do have more of an aloof attitude. I think that's part of the problem we have to address.
ON SEN. RUBIO COMING TO NEW YORK FOR FUNDRAISER AFTER VETOING SANDY AID BILL:
I felt very strongly about this. This was the worst natural disaster to ever hit the northeast. The line went out and I would say that bill that was voted on and passed the House and then went back to the Senate, was drawn by the Republican leadership in the House of the Representatives.
We asked them. We asked the majority leader and House Appropriations chairman to not put anything in there that does not relate to Sandy. Governor Christie, Governor Cuomo, Mayor Bloomberg submitted the most detailed itemization and yet today, we talk about pork.
There was nothing in there that was not related to Sandy. If it were, it was put in by other people not by us. I don't know what they are talking about. I went on the floor of the House on January 1st. I said if you can find one thing in the bill, which is not related to Sandy, tell us, and it will come out.
Nobody came forward. Senator Rubio and 80 percent of the Republicans, the House and the Senate, voted against this bill and now they are raising money for the presidential race to me is the ultimate hypocrisy.
President Obama and House Speaker Boehner both reiterated their positions on how to avoid the fiscal cliff yesterday, with the president demanding $1.6 trillion in new taxes on corporations and the wealthy, and Boehner insisting that the government can raise revenue without increasing taxes.
Maryland Democrat Rep. Chris Van Hollen discusses the negotiations on Starting Point this morning, saying that Speaker Boehner has been "willing to compromise, but he hasn't been willing to show anyone how."
Van Hollen, who was heavily involved in Obama's reelection campaign, also responds to the controversy Mitt Romney caused yesterday by saying that the president was reelected because he offered the members of his base coalition "extraordinary financial gifts from the government" to turn them out to vote.
"Governor Romney's comments were way off base," Van Hollen says. "To go after the president's vote on the basis that we protected more young people from catastrophic health care costs... I think is going to strike the American people as very off kilter and clearly some of the Republican governors and others recognize that it's another Romney mistake."
Newt Gingrich, former Speaker of the House (R-GA), joins CNN this morning to discuss the defeat of the Republican nominee Mitt Romney in the race to the White House.
“I was wrong,” Gingrich admits. “We [Republican analysts] all thought we understood the historical pattern with this level of unemployment, with this level of gasoline prices, what would happen. First of all, the president [had] a very, very effective campaign; second, the president was looking at a very different set of things than what we were looking at. And I think Republicans need to take a very serious look at what happened and why did it happen and why were we not more competitive at the presidential level.”
Gingrich adds that despite his victory, going forward President Obama will need to work with House Republicans in his second term.
“John Boehner and the House Republicans do control the House of Representatives, which is first in the Constitution... The question for the President’s going to be, is he going to really sit down and listen? Does he really want to try to work together?” Gingrich says. “And that’s also true for the House Republicans."
“Under our constitutional system, to get it to work, there will have to be an immense mutual effort by both parties,” Gingrich adds.
On “Starting Point,” facial coding expert Dan Hill takes a closer look at the body language and expressions of the candidates and their wives in the second debate.
Hill argues that non-verbal cues may indicate how candidates feel and play a significant role in how viewers assess their performance in the debate. “25% of the brain is devoted to processing visuals. That's going on all the time. It's really decisive because it feeds into your emotional response,” Hill explains.
The facial coding expert also argues that Obama’s expressions were noticeably different in the second debate compared to the first. “Last time, he showed a lot of sadness and a lot of resignation. Sadness as an emotion means I kind of have resigned and given up. This time he was fighting for his issues. He was emoting strongly,” Hill explains.
Hill adds that the success of each candidate last night was further reflected in their wives’ faces after the debate. “I knew right away who lost this debate before it got to the poll. Ann Romney right after the debate showed embitterment,” Hill says. “[Her] mouth is pulled tight and you have upward thrust from the jaw area. The mouth goes down a little bit. That is anger and disgust and it was in the eyes and in the mouth and it was in the lips.”
Despite polls showing a close race between President Barack Obama and Mitt Romney, Delaware Gov. Jack Markell says he believes the president will be much stronger in the second presidential debate whereas it remains unclear "which Romney will show up." He also argues on “Starting Point” that enthusiasm for Obama’s campaign remains strong.
On “Starting Point,” former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani argues that Mitt Romney will be “very, very good” on Tuesday night in the second presidential debate. Looking ahead to debate night, the former mayor says President Barack Obama’s performance is “more of a question,” considering Obama's "troubling" first debate.
Mark McKinnon, former McCain presidential campaign adviser and contributor to the Daily Beast, offers the candidates advice on “Starting Point” for the upcoming second presidential debate.
“The bar is really low for the president now, given the first performance,” McKinnon says. “I think all he has to do is have a couple cups of coffee and show up with a smile and look like he wants to be there and that will be a win… You remember in the Gore/Bush debates, he had the one that was really too hot and then to cold. So, the caution that I would recommend for the president [is] that he not be too overheated.”
President Obama and Mitt Romney may be back on the campaign trail today, but people are still talking about the moment in the debate when the Republican candidate says that he would eliminate funding for PBS if he wins the presidency.
Romney's remark prompted a huge response on social media, with mentions of Big Bird going up %800,000 on Facebook right afterward.
PBS lovers, including actor Levar Burton, who hosted "Reading Rainbow" on PBS for 21 seasons, are outraged that the network is being targeted.
Burton sits down with Soledad on Starting Point this morning to explain how he reacted to Romney's remark and to explain why he thinks that the network should continue to receive funding.
"I couldn't believe that the man actually fixed his mouth to say that. I interpreted it as an attack on children Soledad, it’s an attack on children who come from disenfranchised backgrounds," Burton says. "PBS is the nation's largest classroom. It guarantees equal access to the wonderfulness that PBS has provided for 50 years and to callously, blatantly say that it’s on the agenda to be cut, it’s not okay."
Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) joined “Starting Point” early Thursday to weigh in on the first presidential debate between Mitt Romney and President Obama. McCain argues that Romney preformed well offering specifics on the budget and Medicare whereas the president failed to defend his record.
“I think [the president] was fairly rusty. He has had four years relatively unchallenged in the things that he has said,” McCain adds. “Mitt went through a very tough primary, as we all know. I think that showed up last night. I would not underestimate the president of the United States in the next couple of debates and I don't think Mitt will either.”
McCain argues Romney will need to focus on the reality and "facts" of America’s current situation abroad in the next presidential debate, which will focus on foreign policy. “We're in retreat, withdrawal, Iraq is unraveling, Al Qaeda is on the upswing every place in the Middle East. This terrible stuff that's going on of Afghans in uniform killing Americans in uniform. All the president has done has announced withdrawals, withdrawals,” McCain says.
The former chief economist of President Obama’s Economic Recovery Advisory Board, Austan Goolsbee, joined “Starting Point” Thursday to take a closer look at Mitt Romney and President Barack Obama’s economic policies as put forth in the first presidential debate Wednesday night.
Goolsbee argues that it would be impossible to cut $5 trillion through tax cuts without either raising taxes elsewhere or adding to the deficit. “I think the bigger issue is [that] you can take every single deduction there is, abolish them all, and it doesn't add up to $5 trillion,” says Goolsbee, who is also a professor at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business.
Starting Point airs weekdays from 7am to 9am ET on CNN. Check in often to join the daily conversation.