TPM News

The feud between Fox News and the White House is far from over.

Last week White House Communications Director Anita Dunn went on CNN and declared that Fox News is a "wing of the Republican party." And this morning, White House Senior Adviser David Axelrod said on This Week that Fox News is "not really a news station." Well, Fox News is hitting back.

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Jarrett: Obama 'Not Demanding' Public Option Appearing on Meet The Press, White House senior adviser Valerie Jarrett made it clear that President Obama is not demanding that a public option must be included in the health care bill: "He's not demanding that it's in there. He thinks it's the best possible choice. But I think, David [Gregory], let's not underestimate how much progress we've made. The fact that there's agreement on so much means that we are right on the brink of delivering for the American people, and that's a positive sign for our country."

Specter: GOP 'A Party Of Obstructionism' With No Plan Appearing on Fox News Sunday, Sen. Arlen Specter (D-PA) blasted his former party: "On the Republican side, it is no, no, no -- a party of obstructionism. You have responsible Republicans who had been in the Senate -- like Howard Baker, Bob Dole, or Bill Frist -- who say Republicans ought to cooperate. Well, they're not cooperating ... Take a look at the absence of any Republican plan."

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Sen. Kent Conrad (D-ND) didn't budge from his stance on health care reform during an appearance this morning on Fox News Sunday: He won't support "any public option tied to Medicare-levels of reimbursement."

"That is unacceptable and could not get the votes," Conrad said.

Sen. Arlen Specter (D-PA), on the other hand, said on Fox News that the idea of a public health insurance option was "gaining momentum" -- and took a moment to slam his former party.

"On the Republican side, it is no, no, no -- a party of obstructionism," Specter said.

Conrad suggested a few minutes later that "there is at some point a principled compromise" -- but reiterated again that it wouldn't include a public option that relied on Medicare-level rates of reimbursement.

Sen. John Kerry (D-MA) -- chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee -- told CNN in an interview broadcast this morning that the U.S. should wait until the Afghan election is resolved before deciding whether to send more troops.

"It would be entirely irresponsible for the President of the United States to commit more troops to this country when we don't even have an election finished and know who the president is and what kind of government we're working with."

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On Meet the Press, Sen. Chris Dodd (D-CT) slammed Wall Street firms that plan to hand out record pay packages this year -- even after taking billions of dollars in taxpayer-funded bailouts.

"Obviously when you see these bonuses being paid out it's a source of outrage in the country, and it should be," Dodd said. "What are these people thinking about at these companies?"

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David Axelrod, senior adviser to President Obama, said on ABC's This Week today that Fox News is "not really a news station."

"It's really not news," Axelrod said. "It's pushing a point of view."

This follows on the heels of White House Communications Director Anita Dunn's comments last week that Fox News is "a wing of the Republican party."

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White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel appeared on CNN's State of the Union this morning, and tried to lay at least a couple of the country's current problems at the feet of the Bush administration.

On the record $1.4 trillion federal budget deficit, Emanuel chastised Republicans for abandoning the pay-as-you-go "discipline of the 90s" while passing three tax cuts and a massive prescription drug bill. "That led to $5 trillion of red ink run up -- the biggest red ink run up in the shortest period of time in American history," Emanuel said. "Literally over half the nation's debt has accumulated in the last eight years."

Emanuel also seemed to criticize the Bush administration for its handling of the war in Afghanistan, saying that many of the questions of strategy and policy that President Obama is now asking are being asked for the first time.

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Obama Blasts Insurance Industry's 'Phony Studies' In this weekend's YouTube address, President Obama denounced the insurance industry for producing its own commissioned studies against health care reform:

"It's smoke and mirrors. It's bogus. And it's all too familiar. Every time we get close to passing reform, the insurance companies produce these phony studies as a prescription and say, 'Take one of these, and call us in a decade.' Well, not this time," said Obama. "The fact is, the insurance industry is making this last-ditch effort to stop reform even as costs continue to rise and our health care dollars continue to be poured into their profits, bonuses, and administrative costs that do nothing to make us healthy - that often actually go toward figuring out how to avoid covering people."

GOP Address: American Public 'Isn't Buying' Dem Policies In this weekend's Republican address, Rep. Kevin Brady (R-TX) attacked the Democrats on the issues of jobs, health care and the budget:

"There are three big myths hurtling around Washington these days: no jobs equals an economic recovery, government-run health care will make it more affordable, and deficits don't matter," said Brady. "The American public - to their credit - isn't buying any of these."

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The three candidates for Governor of New Jersey -- Democratic incumbent Jon Corzine, Republican Chris Christie, and independent Chris Daggett -- met for a debate tonight, with a lot of substantive discussion on the issues facing the state. In a race marked by bitter personal attacks, this debate for the most part featured arguments about the issues themselves.

An interesting pattern emerged that when candidates fought each other, in almost all cases it was between Christie and another one of the participants. While Corzine and Daggett stated different positions on various issues, for the most part they didn't take each other on directly. The real target of their attacks was Christie.

The most memorable exchange came when Daggett said to Christie: "I gotta buy you a calculator, Mr. Christie, because your numbers don't add up. They never add up. You have no plan, no plan at all." Daggett then said that he himself has a good plan on taxes and the budget, and he challenges anyone to come up with a better one that has real substance.

When it came time for Christie's turn, he shot back: "I'm more than happy to take Mr. Daggett's calculator. I'd like to give you a dictionary, because only you could take a $4 billion tax increase and call it a tax cut."

When Corzine's turn came again, he chimed in. "Let me agree with Mr. Daggett -- Mr. Christie doesn't seem to get the arithmetic right," said Corzine, citing as one example how Christie said people are leaving the state, when in fact the population is growing. "It's just misleading, talking down the state is not a great idea. In fact, we ought to have a positive view."

Some more highlights, after the jump.

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