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Sound of Sunday: Most intriguing quotes

By CNNPolitics.com
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Sound of Sunday with Candy Crowley
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Some GOP, Democratic lawmakers agree to sit together for State of the Union address
  • McCain: Health care vote in Senate needed "because we promised the people we would"
  • Powell: "You shouldn't expect Hu Jintao to run back home and suddenly say 'I've seen the light'"
  • Hutchison on retiring: "I have two young children. And the time was right for me"

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

On President Obama's State of the Union message:

"The American people are expecting him to say something about what he's going to do to fix the economy even more than it has been fixed already, keep it moving forward, and to get the unemployment rate down. That's what they are looking forward to hearing about." -- Former Secretary of State Colin Powell, CNN's "State of the Union"

"So I think the mood of the State of the Union has to be both unifying and confident, optimistic that we can do things if we work together. I think the main focus really has to be on, how do you keep growing jobs and at the same time deal with the biggest long-term threat to America's strength and our economy, and that is the debt?" -- Independent Sen. Joe Lieberman, ABC's "This Week"

"No 1., growing the economy and jobs. No. 2, as Sen. Lieberman referenced, the debt threat. That's got to be taken on. And, No. 3, I believe reducing our dependence on foreign energy, because I think all three of these are deeply related. And I hope that he will come out and be specific about what his plans are in each of these areas." -- Democratic Sen. Kent Conrad, "This Week"

"I think the president's message is going to be one of hope, of the future, and of growth. He is going to focus like a laser on the middle class and helping them grow their paychecks if they have a job; growing jobs, growing the economy, both in the short term and the long term." -- Democratic Sen. Charles Schumer, CBS's "Face the Nation"

"I think he's got a real chance to lead here, but the question is -- did he listen and has he learned from the last election?" -- Republican Rep. Eric Cantor, NBC's "Meet the Press"

On State of the Union seating arrangements

"I'm going to sit with Tom Udall and hopefully I think Mark Udall may be sitting where I usually sit. Look, this whole thing is a good idea. I think it's been a bit overblown, but the fact is it's a good thing to do." -- Republican Sen. John McCain, "Face the Nation"

"I've already asked Tom Coburn, who is a very conservative Republican -- we don't agree on that many things, but we're friends -- to sit next to me. He has graciously agreed. And I think if Coburn and Schumer can sit next to each other, then probably just about everybody can. And I would urge others to do it." -- Schumer, "Face the Nation"

"I'm going to be on the phone today. Incidentally, in our committee, the Homeland Security Committee, Susan Collins and I have been having our members sit without regard to party. In other words, we're not just -- we're not two warring camps facing each other. And this is symbolic, but it sends a good message. We've really got to do more of this." -- Lieberman, "This Week"

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"More important than the appearance of sitting together is what we do together. And the American people are more interested in actual accomplishments on a bipartisan basis here in the next six to nine months than they are with the seating arrangement at the State of the Union. -- Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, "Fox News Sunday"

"During the elections when we all elected the speaker, there were some Republicans on the Democratic side and vice versa. It has already started. And I think it's a good thing. I do believe though that this is symbolic. What we need to do is be substantive about it." -- Democratic Rep. James Clyburn, "Meet the Press"

"My new Senate Republican colleague from Illinois, Mark Kirk, and I are going to sit together. I'm bringing the popcorn. He's bringing a Coke with two straws. We're -- just kidding, of course. We haven't decided which side we'll sit on, but we are going to sit together." -- Democratic Sen. Dick Durbin, "Fox News Sunday"

"I don't have a date." -- Republican Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison, "This Week"

"Kay, I'm available." -- Conrad, "This Week"

On voting to repeal the health care legislation:

"If that does not pass, and I don't think anyone is optimistic that it will, we intend to go after this health care bill in every way that we can. It's the single worst piece of legislation that's been passed in my time in the Senate. The American people get it. They understand here what has happened. And we need to try to repeal it overall, and then go back after it piece by piece and try to do what we can to keep it from being implemented." -- McConnell, "Fox News Sunday"

"I think we should revisit our laws, and revisiting the health care reform law is not unreasonable. ... But here are the numbers that people should remember. There are 47 Republicans, 53 Democrats. It takes 51 for a majority. And I think there's a serious question whether Sen. McConnell can find four Democrats to join him in repeal. I certainly don't believe he's going to find anywhere near 60, which is probably going to be the vote required to repeal health care reform." -- Durbin, "Fox News Sunday"

"One thing about the Senate, it is not the most efficient organization. And I don't think we would be wasting -- we need to have a vote on it because we promised the people we would." -- McCain, "Face the Nation"

"I agree with Sen. McCain there's still a lot of waste in the -- inefficiencies in the Medicare program. And you can keep people's good benefits and still get rid of those. So we should work together to improve the bill, but this idea of repeal is not going to work." -- Schumer, "Face the Nation"

On spending strategies:

"I don't think anything ought to be off limits for the effort to reduce spending. And I've said to my constituents over the last couple of weeks, as they brought up particular areas of interest -- don't assume that we can tackle this without impacting something you like." -- McConnell, "Fox News Sunday"

"We can't be so laser-focused on the deficit that we ignore the obvious. We are still in a recession. We need to put America back to work. You can't end the deficit unless you start putting America back to work." -- Durbin, "Fox News Sunday"

"We know (cutting spending) has to happen, but it has to be done in a smart way." -- Schumer, "Face the Nation"

"We have to go after the sacred cows and we have to go after entitlements. And the longer we wait, the worse the problem is going to be. We have saddled our kids and grandkids with a debt that is unconscionable and unsustainable and outrageous." -- McCain, "Face the Nation"

"Republicans are not going to vote for this increase in debt limit unless there are serious spending cuts and reforms." -- Cantor, "Meet the Press"

Lawmakers spell out spending strategies

On China:

"The summit that was just concluded I thought was very successful. The president made our positions clear. He spoke about human rights, but China has its own policies, and you shouldn't expect Hu Jintao to run back home and suddenly say 'I've seen the light.'" -- Powell, "State of the Union"

On Afghanistan:

"I cannot yet tell whether or not the surge is successful. There are some elements that suggest success and some elements where I think there has been backsliding." -- Powell, "State of the Union"

On 2012:

"I will always vote, as I have throughout my life, for the person that I think is best qualified to be president of the United States, and I don't adhere to a single party line. So I'm not committed to Barack Obama. I'm not committed to a Republican candidate. I will see who emerges." -- Powell, "State of the Union"

Powell won't commit to Obama in 2012

"Well, the election is not right now. And the question is what are we going to do between now and '12? Sure, I'd like a Republican president in January of 2013, but the real question for the American people right now is not the election in '12, but what are we going to do now?" -- McConnell, "Fox News Sunday"

On why they're retiring:

"It's really because, for me, it's time for a change. At the end of this term, I will have served 24 years in the U.S. Senate, 40 years in elective office. I've run 15 campaigns in Connecticut. I want to try something different. I want to begin a new chapter of my life." -- Lieberman, "This Week"

"I do think there is such a strong feeling that America has not been going in the right direction, and I think people are looking for a change. That's not why I didn't run; it was a personal decision for me. I commute every week. I have two young children. And the time was right for me. I'm excited about a new future, and I'm excited about turning it over to someone else." -- Hutchison, "This Week"

 
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