Bernice King, daughter of Martin Luther King, Jr., tells Starting Point Anchor Soledad O’Brien that she is touched by President Obama using her father’s bible during the Inauguration’s swearing in ceremony and is hoping that he addresses reconciliation in his speech.
King says, “Well, I think first and foremost, the fact that the president is using daddy's bible is heart warming for me. Because my father was first and foremost a preacher, pastor, it reminds people of that. That is one of the things I will stress today.”
Starting Point with Soledad O’Brien airs weekday mornings from 7-9am ET on CNN.
Visit the CNN Press Room for additional highlights from the network’s special coverage of the second inauguration of President Barack Obama: http://on.cnn.com/T6ba6n
Supreme Court Associate Justice Sonia Sotomayor opens up to Starting Point Anchor Soledad O’Brien about what it feels like to have her job and swear in Vice President Biden.
On being a SCOTUS Justice and swearing in Biden, Sotomayor says, “I was thinking just a couple of days ago, if I think back when I was a kid which of the two would seem more improbable to me I realized each one was so far fetched that I couldn’t have imagine either.”
On giving the oath, she continues, “When you read my book you know that I practice everything I do over and over again, and so I have been saying the oath out loud for a couple of weeks now a couple of times a day but I won’t be relying on my memory either. I’ll have a card with me.”
The full interview airs on Starting Point with Soledad O’Brien on Monday, Jan. 21 at 7am ET during CNN’s The Presidential Inauguration coverage.
Rep. Jeb Hensarling (R-TX) tells CNN’s Soledad O’Brien that he is not going to vote for an expiration of tax cuts for the top two percent.
Rep. Hensarling says, “The President’s going to get his revenue one way or the other. House Republicans will do everything we can to minimize the damage to our economy. We know that by raising the rates on the top two brackets, as the President wants to do – Ersnt & Young says will cost middle income workers at least two percent off their paychecks, lose another 700,000 jobs. That’s not something Republicans are going to be a part of. But, the president obviously is going to get some revenue. There’s nothing we can do to stop that. It’s written into current law. But the bottom line is you can’t solve this problem through revenue. The President’s not being serious. He’s moving the goal post. He started out saying he wanted a ‘balanced approach.’ So, the President’s going to get some kind of revenue. I’m not voting for it. But he’s going to get it anyway. The question is where are his spending reductions? He hasn’t put that on the table.”
Israel Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon tells CNN’s Soledad O’Brien that Gaza may have a day or two before ground troops move in.
Ayalon says, “We are kind of reluctant warriors. We don’t want to get into Gaza if we don’t have to. But if they keep firing at us… a ground operation is still in the cards…. We have very simple, specific goals.”
When O’Brien asks what would trigger a ground operation, Ayalon responds, “If we will see in the next 24 to 36 hours more rockets launched at us, I think that would be the trigger.”
Starting Point with Soledad O’Brien airs weekday mornings from 7-9a ET on CNN.
Rep. Joe Heck (R-NV) tells CNN’s Soledad O’Brien that both former Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice and Ambassador Susan Rice had wrong information when handling the claim of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq and the events leading up to the attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, respectively.
O’Brien asks, “You’ve lost me completely. Let’s back up again. I’m sorry. Forgive me. But you’ve lost me. So in both cases, you have someone who says, we had intelligence, the intelligence was wrong, what I said was wrong because the intelligence was wrong. How is this not analogous to Ambassador Susan Rice and Condoleeza Rice?”
Rep. Heck says, "Because nobody came out and said Condoleeza Rice had nothing to do with the situation. Here’s the difference. Is that they put forward really a sacrificial lamb in Ambassador Rice. Somebody who’d go out, make statements and then they could claim deniability after the information was proven to be wrong.”
Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D-MD) weighs in on fiscal cliff debate, violence in Gaza and how Mitt Romney’s comments that President Obama won reelection because he gave a lot of gifts to voters “were way off base.”
Rep. Van Hollen says, “With respect to allowing young people to stay on their parents’ healthcare plans until their 26 – if I recall right, Governor Romney said hey that was a part of the Affordable Care Act, a part of Obamacare that he was going to try to keep.”
Newt Gingrich opens up about the future of House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and the controversy over David Petraeus. Later in the interview, Newt and Callista Gingrich discuss their new books.
Gingrich says, “My hunch is that the president will ask [Nancy Pelosi] to stay and then she'll stay. But I think he sees a team he's worked with for four years. She and Harry Reid have delivered for him consistently, and my guess is he'll say to her, can't you stay a little bit longer, and my guess is she probably will stay.”
Rep. Steve Israel (D-NY) says that he hopes House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi retains her position and discusses the impending fiscal cliff and LIPA power outages.
When CNN Anchor Soledad O’Brien asks about Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) statement that President Obama does not have a mandate from the election, Rep. Israel responds, “Solutions have a mandate. This election was about solutions. People are tired of the gridlock…. Compromise has a mandate. And so we go into a new session of Congress and we go towards this fiscal cliff, again, having stated we want compromise. We want solutions. We want - and by the way, in this election, most of the Tea Party generals, you know, the icons of the Tea Party, they ended up getting defeated in this election, and so that's the mandate we have.”
Tea Party Patriots National Coordinator Keli Carender says that the Republicans did not have a good ground game for the election and Mitt Romney’s health care legislation in Massachusetts was a liability.
On why Romney lost the election, Carender says, “In a nutshell, the Republicans sat on their hands for four years. After 2008, you had Barack Obama and the Democrats who left paid staffers in critical swing states and offices open, and they were working to indentify new voters… that they managed to register in the four years between the two elections. And I don’t know what the Republicans were doing. The Tea Party was just getting started.”
Retiring Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-TX) says that the Republican party of the future needs to be more mindful to women and social issues, and focus on economics. She references the comments of Todd Akin as partly responsible for the muddled message. Later in the interview, she says a compromise on the fiscal cliff is “hard.”
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