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Sunday Study Guide: Schumer, Cruz, Roundtable

Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY)

  • Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) is in his third term in the U.S. Senate. He serves as chairman of the Democratic Policy and Communications Center and the chairman of the Senate Rules Committee. He also sits on the Senate Judiciary; Finance; and Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committees. Sen. Schumer is also chairman of the Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies.
  • Sen. Schumer endorsed former Sen. Chuck Hagel (R-NE) as secretary of defense after meeting with him this week. Schumer, who was previously non-committal on Meet the Press as to whether or not he would vote to confirm the nominee, said, “Based on several key assurances provided by Senator Hagel, I am currently prepared to vote for his confirmation. I encourage my Senate colleagues who have shared my previous concerns to also support him.”
  • Hereis his most recent appearance on the show.

 Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX)

  • Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) was sworn into his first term in the U.S. Senate this month. He previously served as Texas’ solicitor general , director of policy planning at the Federal Trade Commission, associate deputy attorney general at the U.S. Department of Justice, and as a domestic policy adviser to the 2000 Bush-Cheney campaign. Cruz serves on the Senate Armed Services; Judiciary; Rules; and Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committees.
  • Sen. Cruz recently wrote an opinion piece, in which he called for a new approach to Republican politics he dubbed “opportunity conservatism.” He wrote, “Republicans should conceptualize and articulate every domestic policy with a single-minded focus on easing the ascent up the economic ladder. We should assess policy with a Rawlsian lens, asking how it affects those least well-off among us. We should champion the 47 percent. That does not mean adopting the wealth-redistribution policies of the left,” which “simply do not work.”
  • Watch his previous appearance on the show here.


Roundtable: Axelrod, Scarborough, Goodwin, Brokaw, Engel, Todd

  • David Axelrod served as a senior adviser to the 2008 and 2012 Obama campaigns and as White House senior adviser. He is currently the director of the Institute of Politics at the University of Chicago.  Axelrod foresees Congress taking action on guns. He recently said, “I do think there will be some action taken. I don’t think it will be everything the president wants [...] I just think that there is an awakening.” Watch his latest appearance.
  • Joe Scarborough, host of MSNBC’s Morning Joe and former Republican Florida congressman, wrote this week, “Protecting school children cannot be an a la carte proposition. Republicans must check their ideological DNA in support of a comprehensive gun bill to cure to a shameful national epidemic. Democrats must follow suit by pressuring Hollywood's entertainment industry to avoid becoming the liberal version of gun lobbyists.” Hereis his most recent Meet the Press appearance.
  • Presidential historian Doris Kearns Goodwin is the author of “Team of Rivals,” the basis for Stephen Spielberg’s film “Lincoln.” She recently talkedabout the lessons President Obama can learn from President Lincoln, including learning from his first term. She said President Obama should look at his first four years in office and ask, “Did I spend enough time with Congress? … Was I in the field or in the bubble of the White House? … Did I communicate enough?” Watch her latest appearance on the show here.
  • NBC’s Tom Brokawrecently saidthe nation is at a crossroads, politically. “We have been divided up by a lot of single interests, we’ve been less than the sum of our parts” and people from all political parties must spend more time “talking about big ideas that unite us, not small ideas that divide us.” WatchBrokaw’s most recent appearance.
  • NBC Chief Foreign Correspondent Richard Engel recently talked about what is currently happening in Syria and his experience being held by Syrian forces. Watchhis latest appearance on the show.
  • Chuck Todd is NBC’s political director and chief White House correspondent, and host of MSNBC’s Daily Rundown. On the president’s  second-term inauguration,he said, “If 2009 was all about hope, 2013 may be about the ability to cope” as a new NBC/Wall Street Journal poll indicates partisan battles and the state of the economy are “sapping the public’s confidence” in its leaders. Watch his most recent appearance here.


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