Who says bipartisanship in Washington is dead? Today, top Republicans sided with President Obama on both his planned speech to schoolchildren and his strategy in Afghanistan, Politico reports. On Fox News Sunday, Newt Gingrich called Obama’s Tuesday speech “good for America.” On Afghanistan, Tim Pawlenty rejected calls by conservative columnist George Will for Obama to remove troops. “We need to make sure that when the US goes to war, it is successful,” the Minnesota governor told State of the Union.
But it was politics as usual elsewhere on the Sunday circuit:
- Howard Dean told Fox that Van Jones, who resigned overnight as Obama’s green jobs czar, had been “brought down” by Republicans. David Axelrod told Meet the Press the president didn’t personally seek Jones’ ouster.
- Arne Duncan called the controversy over Obama’s school speech “silly stuff.” “If the president motivates one C student to become an A” student, then the speech is worth it, he told Face the Nation. The education secretary also slammed George W Bush's No Child Left Behind act as "overly prescriptive" and "desperately underfunded."
- Gingrich said Republicans likely won’t support a public option “trigger,” which would take effect only if private insurance companies don’t meet certain standards.
- Dr. Thomas Frieden, the man charged with combating a swine flu epidemic, told CNN the nation’s health care system is “not well set up (to allow) us to manage the population’s health well.”