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Sound of Sunday: Best quotes

By CNNPolitics.com
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Albright: Egypt almost in a new era
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • "The Mubarak era is over," former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright says
  • Priority is to "guarantee the process is in place" for free elections in Egypt, Kerry says
  • "I want to be an agent for change," ElBaradei says
  • Reagan would approach Egypt viewing U.S. as "the beacon of freedom," Noonan says

(CNN) -- From unrest in Egypt to the 100th anniversary of President Ronald Reagan's birth, here's what you might have missed on the Sunday talk shows:

On what's next for Egypt:

"My own personal opinion is the Mubarak era is over. And the question is how to have a process that really works properly, that allows these various voices to come together and not disagree on some of the tactical aspects." -- Former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, CNN's "State of the Union"

Albright: 'The Mubarak era is over'

"Sooner or later this has to move to a negotiating phase from a demonstration phase. It has got to move off the television screens and into the back room, so to speak." -- John Negroponte, former director of national intelligence, "State of the Union"

"The roadmap continues to be an orderly and meaningful transition to greater democratic reforms, meeting the aspirations of the Egyptian people in terms of their economic well-being, and continuing to prepare for the transition for the next presidential election." -- Sameh Shoukry, Egyptian ambassador to the U.S., ABC's "This Week"

"I think the day of these big, grand old dictatorships, handed down father to son, all that sort of stuff, that -- that seems to me to be going, not just in Egypt, but in the area. If it hasn't gone, then it's ceased to be kind of fashionable, it's ceased to be acceptable." -- John Simpson, BBC world affairs editor, "This Week"

"But in terms of the immediate future, I just want to say that this region is suffering from two elephants in the room. One is the instability of the price of oil, which has always been the case, and the other is the Arab-Israeli conflict. So it's almost as if people outside this region are saying you can't reform and you can't improve your civil rights record because of the emergency powers that were implemented because of the scarcity of oil resources, high pricing and so forth, that might affect other parts of the world." -- Jordan's Prince Hassan, CBS's "Face the Nation"

"The most important thing now is to guarantee the process is in place where there are free and fair elections. Parties can organize. People can campaign. And number two, that President Mubarak, I think once again perhaps address the nation to make it clear what the timetable is. Precisely what the process is. I think if that happens, this could actually turn significantly to the good and to the promise of a better outcome." -- Democratic Sen. John Kerry, NBC's "Meet the Press"

On what they'd say to Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak:

"I would be saying that he really has to think of a way he can gracefully leave the scene, and he has to take some initiatives in this regard and support constitutional reform. He's a man who has led his country for 30 years, and he's done a great many things, terrific things for the country and for us. We don't want to just see him discredited and all of his past accomplishments thrown down the drain such as sustaining the peace of Israel. So he needs to go out with honor. And if we can help him with that, that's what we should be doing." -- -- Edward Walker, former U.S. ambassador to Egypt, "State of the Union"

"I guess the main message I would say, if I had a private meeting with President Mubarak, in one sentence is, Mr. Mubarak, please help facilitate the success of this transition." -- Negroponte, "State of the Union"

On the United States' role in Egypt's transition:

"The United States I think cannot micromanage the process. What we have to do, however, is make clear that the process itself is important and arriving at a democratic solution is important -- which is, in fact, inclusive, democratic, peaceful, and rapid. And I think that the administration has been walking a very delicate line quite well. It's difficult." -- Albright, "State of the Union"

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"The message sometimes gets a little blurred because you've got this, kind of, echo chamber that the administration finds itself in. And it's a very complicated position, but I would give President Obama credit here that, while he hasn't always got the messaging right, he's got the basic policy right, which is to get on the side of change and to try to use what -- what influence we have to shape it in a peaceful and orderly way but to make clear that democracy needs to come to Egypt." -- Martin Indyk, Brookings Institution, "Face the Nation"

"Everybody expects them to stand up for the basic universal values, freedom, democracy, rule of law, human rights, and the U.S. at the beginning has been behind the curve." -- Egyptian opposition leader Mohamed ElBaradei, "Meet the Press"

"It's not up to us. It's up to the Egyptian people to decide what is going to happen here. That negotiation is taking place right now." -- Kerry, "Meet the Press"

On the role of ElBaradei:

"ElBaradei is a foreigner. He hasn't been in Egypt for years. He's not really of the people. They haven't really adopted him as a leader in that sense of the word. He's a convenience. I have great respect for the man, he's done some really amazing things, but I don't think he's the next leader of Egypt." -- Walker, "State of the Union"

"I want to be an agent for change. I made that very clear. That I would like to monitor as much as I can and lend my weight as much as I can to see Egypt going back from where we are to where we should be. And if I can do that in a peaceful, orderly way with every other Egyptian, I'll be absolutely happy. ... The mission of my life is to see my country where everybody has the right to live in peace, freedom and dignity." -- ElBaradei, "Meet the Press"

On whether Israel should be anxious:

"I think that it's hard -- you know, Israel has every reason to be anxious. They knew -- have known forever that they live in a very dangerous neighborhood and they clearly are concerned. And I think that Egypt has played a key role in terms of a peace with Israel. And they have reason to be anxious." -- Albright, "State of the Union"

On tackling the debt:

"I'm waiting for the politician to get up and say, there's only one way to do this, you dig into the big four, Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security, and defense. And anybody giving you anything different than that, you want to walk out the door, stick your finger down your throat and give them the green weenie." -- Former Sen. Alan Simpson, co-chair of President Obama's debt commission, "State of the Union"

Simpson: Politicians need to step up, tackle big debt

On Ronald Reagan, who would have turned 100 on Sunday:

"I think President Reagan, in general, would tend to approach Egypt with the thought and the conviction that America is the beacon of freedom, in some ways a teacher and an example of democracy and republican forms of government." -- Peggy Noonan, former Reagan speechwriter, "Meet the Press"

"But one thing that we ought to note here, since we're here on his 100th birthday, Ronald Reagan practiced bipartisanship. He understood that we judge our presidents on how successful they are at getting their programs through the Congress. I remember so many times I'd be sitting there in the Oval (Office) with him and we'd be debating whether we were going to do -- make a particular agreement with the Democratic House, for instance. He'd say, 'Jim, I'd rather get 80% of what I want than go over the cliff with my flag flying.' He said it all the time." -- James Baker, former secretary of state and Reagan White House chief of staff, "Meet the Press"

 
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