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June 16, 2019

Washington is bearing witness to, perhaps, the unlikeliest dynamic duo in recent memory.

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) are certainly not of the same political ilk, but they've recently gone back and forth over social media, with each expressing a willingness to work with the other to get certain bills passed.

The two politicians are of the same opinion when it comes to banning former lawmakers from becoming lobbyists after their tenures are up, as well as the idea that birth control should be available over-the-counter. They're now trying to team up to pass legislation on both matters.

But, if you thought this was just some political ploy or feigned bipartisanship in a tumultuous era, think again. In an appearance on ABC's This Week, Ocasio-Cortez said she was "extraordinarily excited" to work with Cruz on these issues, admitting that it's a surprise to her, as well. Tim O'Donnell

June 16, 2019

Tensions between Tehran and Washington continue to rise, especially after the latter accused the former of attacking two oil tankers with limpet mines in the Gulf of Oman last week. U.S. Central Command released a video last week claiming it shows Iranians removing a mine from one of the tankers. Iran has vehemently denied the allegations and the owner of the Japanese tanker disputed the account.

But the video is still enough evidence for some people. Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) on Sunday, in an appearance on CBS' Face the Nation, told host Margaret Brennan that these "unprovoked attacks" warrant a "retaliatory military strike."

Even if Iran is behind the attacks, though, some have pointed out that a U.S. strike would make for a puzzling response, considering neither of the tankers were U.S. ships, instead hailing from Japan and Norway.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), on the other hand, told CNN's Fareed Zakaria on Saturday that the American people have "no appetite" for going to war with Iran. Tim O'Donnell

June 2, 2019

Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.) sure has a way with words.

He's been using some colorful imagery to urge Democrats to make a decision on impeachment one way or the other for a while now, and he did not disappoint on Sunday's edition of Face the Nation, telling CBS's Margaret Brennan that Democrats need to go buy a spine from Amazon if they really want to go through with the process. "If you're not going to do it, then let us get back to work," he said.

Now, it's clear that Kennedy doesn't actually want impeachment proceedings to happen. In the interview, he implied that impeachment was about as popular among Americans as the notorious skim milk, which a certain famous fictional character from NBC's Parks and Recreation once said was just "water that's lying about being milk." Tim O'Donnell

June 2, 2019

The 2020 Democratic presidential candidate field seems to grow by the day, increasing the chances that someone unexpected could emerge from the pack.

But, at the moment, the most conventional candidate is ahead in the early polls. That would be former Vice President Joe Biden.

Historically speaking, though, there isn't much recent precedent for someone like Biden to win the presidency, even if he does snag the party's nomination, presidential biographer Jon Meacham Told NBC's Chuck Todd on Sunday's edition of Meet the Press. Meacham, who has written books about Franklin Roosevelt, Andrew Jackson, Thomas Jefferson, and George H.W. Bush, said that when looking at Democrats who have been elected to the Oval Office in the post-World War II era, most of them have been younger, more innovative forces.

"You can't build bridges to the past," Meacham said, arguing that there is a risk Biden will be remembered as this era's Bob Dole, a successful Republican politician who served as the party's Senate leader for over a decade and challenged — before ultimately losing to — former President Bill Clinton in 1996.

That said, Meacham also acknowledged that President Trump defied all expectations to win in 2016, so sometimes you need to throw the history book out the window. Anything can happen. Tim O'Donnell

CORRECTION: This post originally misstated Bob Dole's role during the George H.W. Bush presidency. We regret the error.

May 26, 2019

South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg, a 2020 Democratic presidential candidate, gave a lengthy interview for ABC's This Week which aired on Sunday. While Buttigieg is usually known for his measured opinions, the 37-year-old mayor was a little more fiery during his conversation with Martha Raddatz. Here are three standout moments.

On the military — Buttigieg, who served in Afghanistan, was highly critical of President Trump's ideas about the military. First, he doubled down on his comments that Trump faked his bone spurs to avoid serving in Vietnam, calling it "an assault on the honor of this country." He later added that Trump's potential pardoning of soldiers accused of war crimes "undermines the foundations of this country."

North Korea negotiations aren't working — While Buttigieg is a fan of diplomacy, he doesn't fully agree with Trump's tactics regarding North Korea. In fact, he thinks the main thing Trump accomplished was legitimizing a rogue state.

His experience comes from his office, not his age — Buttigieg often gets questioned about his youth and lack of experience in Washington. But he argues that his job as mayor might prepare him even more for the presidency than serving in Congress would. "You can be a very senior member of Congress and have never in your life managed more than 100 people," he said. Tim O'Donnell

May 19, 2019

It's well-documented that Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah) does not get along with President Trump.

The two have feuded for years, and Romney even singled out the president when he said he was "sickened" by the findings in Special Counsel Robert Mueller's report on his investigation into 2016 Russian election interference (though he does not support impeachment). Romney told CNN's Jake Tapper on Sunday's State of the Union that Trump "has distanced himself from some of the best qualities of the human character." Not very flattering.

But Romney set aside his personal grievances in the very same interview, telling Tapper that the path Trump has chosen to take in regards to trade with China is the right one. Romney said China "has gotten away with murder for years" by skirting around foreign commerce rules and regulations, allowing Beijing to steal technology and intellectual property, all while harming U.S. businesses. So, while Romney said he understands Americans will bear the brunt of the sanctions, he believes it's a crucial sacrifice.

At the same time, Romney made clear that China is the only case where he supports tariffs. He said he thought Trump's recently lifted tariffs on metal imports from Mexico and Canada were a bad idea, and he doesn't support potential taxes on Japanese and European automobile imports. Tim O'Donnell

May 12, 2019

Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.), a 2020 Democratic presidential candidate, provided answers to several questions on policy posed during a taped interview with CNN's Jake Tapper, which aired on Sunday's edition of State of the Union on CNN. Here are three notable moments from the interview.

Medicare-for-all means Medicare-for-all — Tapper asked the senator if Medicare-for-all would apply to people who were residing in the United States illegally. Harris, who gave some measured responses to a few of Tapper's questions, did not hesitate on this one.

NAFTA is no good — Harris said she would not have voted for NAFTA, though she avoided outright saying she agreed with President Trump's assessment that U.S. trade agreements favored corporations and harmed the American middle class.

Ready for executive action — Harris said she likes Sen. Cory Booker's (D-N.J.) proposed federal gun license policy, but, ultimately, Washington isn't wanting for good ideas on the issue. Instead, it falls on Congress to act. If they don't get a bill on her desk by her 100th day in office, she said, she's prepared to take executive action. Tim O'Donnell

May 5, 2019

ABC's This Week aired an interview with Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie (I-Vt.) on Sunday, in which Sanders spoke with ABC News' chief White House correspondent, Jonathan Karl, about a variety of subjects. The interview took place in Des Moines, Iowa, where Sanders was campaigning. Here are three moments that stand out from the interview.

Biden's no match for Sanders' progressivism — Sanders challenged the notion that former Vice President Joe Biden is one of the more progressive Democrats running for the Oval Office. He cited Biden's history of voting for the Iraq War and the deregulation of Wall Street as major reasons.

Trump is not wrong on North Korea — Sanders is at odds with President Trump in most cases, but he does think the president's plan to sit down with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and solve the issue with diplomacy is the way to go.

He doesn't want to criticize his opponents — Sanders told Karl he hopes the Democratic primaries are about issues and not personal attacks. He kept to that line of thinking during the interview, refusing to criticize some of his fellow candidates’ inexperience and praising competitor Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.). Tim O'Donnell

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