Bested Republican presidential candidate and Arizona Senator John McCain on Sunday declined to say that he would back his vice presidential pick, Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, if she runs for president in 2012.
“I can't say something like that. We've got some great other young governors,” he said on ABC's "This Week." “I think you're going to see the governors assume a greater leadership role in our Republican Party.”
Meanwhile, Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan, who filed a lawsuit last week to force Gov. Rod Blagojevich from office, said she has heard that the embattled governor could step aside as early as Monday.
Appearing on both NBC’s "Meet the Press" and CBS’s "Face the Nation," Madigan said she is hearing rumors that Blagojevich could resign or temporarily remove himself from office. If he were to step aside temporarily, it would allow him to keep his salary, she said. Either decision would mean he would no longer be in a position to appoint the new senator to fill the seat that had been held by President-elect Barack Obama.
“At this point, we're really in a situation, here in the State of Illinois, where we don't have a governor who can legitimately govern,” she said on "Face the Nation," adding that her office has been assisting federal prosecutors investigating whether Blagojevich tried to sell the seat.
"Meet the Press" moderator David Gregory asked Madigan, whose name has circulated as a candidate to fill Obama’s Senate seat, if she would like that position.
“At this point, that’s not even on my radar screen,” she said.
Also driving the Sunday show discussion was how to help the nation’s top automakers.
With the White House eyeing a bailout for the Big Three automakers, Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) was on the phone Sunday with Treasury officials pushing them to include workers’ wage concessions and debt relief in their proposal, he said on Fox News Sunday.
The Senate rejected a White House-backed plan last week that would have provided $14 billion in loans to Ford, Chrysler and General Motors. Now, the White House is considering tapping the $700 billion economic recovery package Congress passed to help stabilize financial markets.
On Fox News Sunday, Corker laid blame for the bill’s failure at the feet of the United Autoworkers Workers union and its president, Ron Gettelfinger.
“The reason that it didn’t pass was, and Gettelfinger told me this, he knew the White House would bail them out,” Corker said.
On CNN’s Late Edition, Gettelfinger denied Corker’s characterization and said that “Sen. Corker is stretching the truth.”
“Why would we run the risk of taking a chance of knocking this down in the Senate if the urgency is what it is? We need this money, this low-interest bridge loan to get us through an emergency situation here, an economic downturn,” he said.
Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.) said it was clear that Senate Republican leadership did not want a deal. Even before an agreement could be reached, Republican leadership staff was circulating a story that the union killed the deal.
“That is a political agenda of the leadership at a time when the economy is teetering on the edge,” Stabenow said.
Sen. Carl Levin (D-Mich.) said on "Face the Nation" that a deal that would have required cuts to make the auto industry “competitive” was acceptable to Senate Democrats and the White House.
“That word was not acceptable to the Republican leaders in the Senate, who insisted not just that the auto industry wages be competitive, but that we specify in law precisely that those wages and benefits had to be equal to Nissan and other foreign manufacturers in the United States. That is what broke this deal,” Levin said.