Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich & former Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm debate political merits of Obama's address during CNN's State of the Union coverage.
NEWT GINGRICH (R), FORMER SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE: First of all, all presidents speak to the country. No president would ever go into a state of the union to talk to the Congress. Because you're trying to move the country, then through the country - get the country to move the Congress. Second, I agree with David Gergen. This president has a very clear strategy. He intends to demonize the Republicans and to mobilize his base, and he intends to gamble that in 2014, he can win the House, keep the Senate and have two years, the last two years of his administration fundamentally changing the country. I mean, it's a rational gamble on his part.
GRANHOLM: We’re done with this. I want you to outline the words where he's demonizing the Republicans. He may be demonizing people who will be obstructionists, and that might be some of those Republicans – but if you're an obstructionist, that means you're not willing to forge a compromise.
GINGRICH: Or it means that you don't want to do anything that's stupid. I mean, it's okay to obstruct stupid things.
GINGRICH: I think spending is actually secondary to the economy in terms of the American people's concern.
GRANHOLM: Yes! I'm so happy to hear you say that.
Anchor Chris Cuomo interviews Lt. Brian Murphy, the first responder to the Wisconsin Sikh temple shooting and one of First Lady Michelle Obama’s guests during the State of the Union speech.
Lt. Murphy details the harrowing day in August, responds to “hero” label, and weighs in on gun control.
On gun legislation, Lt. Murphy says, “I think that from a societal point of view, there needs to be recognition of the fact that [guns are] a problem. Now having said that, does it necessarily mean restriction? I don't know… My shooter would have passed any background check. As a matter of fact, went and bought his weapon legally…. Does that mean that we just give up and say, we don't need to touch anything?... I think there needs to be - I think what is being done is the correct thing.”
In conjunction with New York Fashion Week, CNN examined pictures of war and fashion taken by photographers who document both. CNN’s Director of Photography Simon Barnett plastered them on a wall, saw intriguing similarities and presented them in a side-by-side comparison on CNN.com. Barnett also pointed out to photographers Christopher Anderson, Alex Majoli, Paolo Pellegrin, and Jerome Sessini that their photos had relatable characteristics from different years, locations and subject matter.
The multimedia presentation also draws commentary from author Sebastian Junger, editor of W Magazine Stephano Tonchi and curator of photography at the Museum of Fine Arts in Houston Anne Tucker who said the project is “kind of ballsy”, adding color and context to the photographic spread.
You can view CNN.com’s full Fashion Week coverage here.
CNN Anchor and Chief Washington Correspondent Jake Tapper breaks news that in tonight’s State of the Union address President Obama will announce 34,000 U.S. troops will be returning from Afghanistan by this time next year.
Tapper says, “According to sources with knowledge of the President’s State of the Union address this evening, President Obama tonight will announce that by this time next year, 34,000 U.S. troops currently in Afghanistan will be back home. That will be reducing the number of troops in that country by roughly a half. So CNN can report that tonight President Obama will make that news…. That is a… big foreign policy announcement to be making in a State of the Union address that is expected to be largely about domestic issues and the middle class.”
Starting Point with Soledad O’Brien airs weekday mornings from 7-9am ET on CNN.
Brent Nutt, whose wife and sisters-in-law are on the stranded Carnival Triumph cruise ship, details the dangerous conditions on board, including limited food and unsanitary conditions.
Starting Point with Soledad O'Brien airs weekday mornings from 7-9am ET on CNN.