Inside the Beltway and beyond with Doyle McManus

by Ariana Pekary, producer

Last week a CBS News poll indicated that support for stricter gun control laws has dropped since the December massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary, when 57-percent favored stronger laws in general, compared to 47-percent now.  This week, a poll by MSNBC’s Morning Joe shows that support is still above 60-percent.  Whomever you ask, gun control legislation has stalled on Capitol Hill since December and the aftermath of the mass shooting.


Doyle McManus is the Washington columnist for the Los Angeles Times.  He had a particularly interesting piece on the subject called “Gun Control, DOA.”


President Obama flew to Colorado this week to rally support for gun control.  Between Columbine and the Aurora shootings they have personal reasons to support gun control, but the state has traditionally been gun rights territory so it’s an interesting move on the President’s part.


The Washington Post has reported that cancer clinics are turning away thousands of Medicare patients and the oncologists are blaming the sequester. 


Bob and Doyle agree: it’s not too early to talk about the next presidential election, as far away and inaccurate as any poll might be at this point.  That said, it’s still fun to know that among Republicans, Marco Rubio leads with 19% of the support, Paul Ryan’s at 17%, Rand Paul 15%, Chris Christie 14%, and Jeb Bush 10%.


Meanwhile, on immigration reform, Marco Rubio doesn’t want the conservatives he has been courting to think he’s cut a deal without consulting them, so he’s doing a little bit of a tap dance to try to appease everyone.  We’ll call it the Capitol Hill Shuffle.


Latinos are among the strongest backers of Obama’s healthcare law – which poses a bit of a challenge for Republicans.  And social conservatives like Rick Santorum are digging in their heels after the last election when Americans seemed to vote against their values.


The Boston Globe has reported that Obama’s pick to run Energy Department has been highly paid by a private equity firm which is invested in oil and gas.  That creates a bit of a conflict of interest.  It’s not the first cabinet post to be fully engaged in their field, and it’s not likely to be the last.  Yet, is divesting a good enough answer to that sticky wicket?


Lastly, Doyle loves to follow the story in South Carolina of the former governor Mark Sanford.  He may have won this week’s primary flanked by his Argentine fiancé, but the women of South Carolina aren’t necessarily ready to give him a pass when pitted against Stephen Colbert’s sister.