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Sound of Sunday: Most intriguing quotes

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Sound of Sunday for October 17
  • Midterm elections will be "a referendum on very unpopular policies," Sen. John Cornyn says
  • Obama convincing people that it's "a choice, not a referendum," says Howard Dean
  • "O'Donnell is making a mockery of running for public office," Meghan McCain says
  • "This president will end 'don't ask, don't tell,' " says Robert Gibbs

(CNN) -- Here are some of the most quotable sound bites from the Sunday morning shows:

On hopes for bipartisanship in Washington:

"We're going to continue to reach out, and we're going to look for common ground and a way forward to solve the problems facing this country, and we're hoping that -- the Republicans will have more seats in Congress regardless of whether they have control or not. We're hoping with that comes a greater sense of responsibility." -- White House senior adviser David Axelrod, CNN's "State of the Union"

"If the president's going to maintain his ideological stance and try to jam things through to support the left in America, when we're still a center-right country, then we're going to -- we're going to say no. But if he's willing to work with us ... we'll certainly work with him." -- Republican Sen. John Cornyn of Texas, "Fox News Sunday"

"I think that once [President Obama] doesn't have control any longer of both houses of Congress, if he wants to get things done, I think he's going to have to move more to the center, which certainly will help the situation." -- Former State Department official Liz Cheney, CBS's "Face the Nation"

"I predict there will be a good bit of it. There will be a bipartisan effort to extend the Bush tax cuts and not let them expire. 2012 and 2014 Democrats in swing states are going to get the message from independent voters to come to the middle." -- Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, "Face the Nation"

On the midterm elections:

"This is going to be a referendum on very unpopular policies that have been shoved through Congress on a very fast track, where the American people have wondered, 'Has Congress even read the bills or do they understand the impact?' ... So this is going to be a referendum on the administration's policies, on majorities controlled by the Democrats the last two years. And it's going to be about jobs, spending and debt. Pretty much that simple." -- Cornyn, "Fox News Sunday"

"It seems to me pretty clear that [Obama] knows that the American people don't want to go where he's trying to lead. They don't want to go where his big-picture vision is. So I think it's clearly a referendum on him and absolutely on the economy. The debt and spending is something that people are very nervous about." -- Cheney, "Face the Nation"

"I actually think we're going to hold the House and the Senate. And the reason I think so is I think the president, electorally-wise, has done a really good job in the last three weeks convincing people that this is a choice, not a referendum." -- Former DNC chairman Howard Dean, "Face the Nation"

Video: Axelrod hits anonymous donor ads
Video: Getting to know Gary Bauer
Video: David Axelrod talks elections, tax cuts

"I think that campaigns in this cycle are being run on a lot of local issues and issues that are important not nationally, but to individual states and independent -- independent -- individual Congressional districts. I think our candidates have done a remarkably good job in a tough, political environment and I think that come election night, we'll retain control of both the House and the Senate." -- White House press secretary Robert Gibbs, NBC's "Meet the Press"

Gibbs: Obama to focus on economy, education, already passed reforms

On the GOP's chance at a Senate majority:

"We're going to fight for every seat we can possibly get. We have 12 seats in play. It's a theoretical pathway there. But I'm not predicting we're going to get back the majority. It may be a two-cycle process." -- Cornyn, "Fox News Sunday"

On the expiring Bush tax cuts:

"We don't think tax cuts for the middle class should be held hostage for tax cuts for the wealthy." -- Axelrod, "State of the Union"

Axelrod won't budge

"The thing that we need to do to deal with our debt and our deficit is to both cut spending and grow the economy. That's fundamentally what we have to do. Those tax cuts are central to growing the economy." -- California Republican Senate candidate Carly Fiorina, "Fox News Sunday"

On the Tea Party:

"There is a racist fringe and all of that stuff which the news media hypes up. I think most of them are anxious about the control that's going on in Washington. And in some ways there are some similarities, other than the ideology, with the people who supported me for president in 2004. They all desire to have power come back to the people. That's what I think people share in common in this country." -- Dean, "Face the Nation"

On the Nevada Senate race:

"Sharron Angle's going to win that race, I'll make that prediction here right now. If you like 14 percent unemployment, if you like the fact that 70 percent of home mortgages in Nevada are underwater, then stay the course, vote for Harry Reid. But if you believe that we can do better, then Sharron Angle I think is a very good alternative." -- Cornyn, "Fox News Sunday"

"I think that's going to be a fight to the end. I think Harry is the kind of guy that if you really spend time with him, you realize he's a nice guy who's had a really tough job. And I'm hoping the people of Nevada realize that he has always kept their interests foremost in his mind." -- Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill of Missouri, "Fox News Sunday"

On independent voters:

"It doesn't appear right now that the Republican Party is welcoming moderates any more. So I think that independent voters need to take a hard look in these elections and realize that what we may be getting to is the kind of gridlock that, frankly, is not something that's desirable in terms of good policy in this country." -- McCaskill, "Fox News Sunday"

On outside groups spending millions in campaigns and not disclosing their funds:

"Let me tell you something: People don't disclose, there's a reason. We tried to pass a law through the United States Congress that would force all these organizations, whether they support Democrats or Republicans, to disclose where their money is coming from. Fifty-nine Democrats in the Senate voted for it, every Democrat. Forty-one Republicans in the Senate used a procedural technique, a filibuster, to block a vote on this, because they wanted to keep it secret. Why?" -- Axelrod, "State of the Union"

"Where was all this concern about democracy when Barack Obama, two years ago, was raising a massive amount of money, more than any time in the history of the United States? ... So for Mr. Axelrod and these guys suddenly to be on their high horse and say that they're defending democracy, when for years the left has done this, including the unions, and nobody said a word." -- Conservative activist Gary Bauer, "State of the Union"

On Delaware Republican Senate candidate Christine O'Donnell:

"No matter what, Christine O'Donnell is making a mockery of running for public office. She has no real history, no real success in any kind of business. And what that sends to my generation is, one day, you can just wake up and run for Senate, no matter how lack of experience you have." -- Republican author Meghan McCain, ABC's "This Week"

Meghan McCain sounds off on O'Donnell

On their goals in politics and in life:

"In my political career, I would like to see a constitutional balanced budget amendment. And in my life, I would like to play more golf and get a decent handicap." -- Colorado Republican Senate candidate Ken Buck, "Meet the Press"

"I hope to be able to accomplish a set of policies that create more opportunity, not less, for our kids and our grandkids. Outside of politics, I hope to raise my three little girls to be productive and happy citizens." --Colorado Democratic Senate candidate Michael Bennet, "Meet the Press"

On speculation that he could be the next chairman of the Democratic National Committee:

"I've spent no time thinking about and no time talking to people about what comes next for me. We're focused on what comes next for this country." -- Gibbs, "Meet the Press"

On ending "don't ask, don't tell"

"I think there's enough votes to do it in the Senate. But again we have to get through Republican filibuster. It harms our national security. It's discriminatory. It's time for it to end. I will say this ... again, this president will end 'don't ask, don't tell.' "-- Gibbs, "Meet the Press"

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