This Sunday on "Face the Nation," two officials took center stage in coverage of the program across the country: White House senior advisor Dan Pfeiffer and Rep. Michael McCaul, R-Texas, the chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee. The discussion included the tragic shooting last week at Fort Hood, Texas, the Obama administration's health care rollout, and the Supreme Court's decision to remove a number of limits on campaign contributions.
In the wake of the tragedy, which claimed the lives of four people, including the shooter, Pfeiffer implied that the administration might look more closely at ways to improve security at U.S. military bases. "I think it's clear from what happened at Ford Hood: we have to do a lot more to ensure that our men and women feel safe when they come home," Pfeiffer said.
McCaul, who represents Texas's 10th congressional district, also weighed in on the tragedy in his home state. He explained that the uptick in these kinds of shootings could be traced to poor mental health treatment for returning veterans. "At the end of the day, you're dealing with a mental health illness issue here," McCaul said. He also mentioned the warning signs in this case that officials missed, including dark and delusional posts on the shooter's Facebook page that indicated a deteriorating psychological state.
McCaul also defended his suggestion that military leaders at American bases carry weapons, explaining that the move could remedy the need for expensive additional security personnel. Later in the broadcast, Pfeiffer dismissed McCaul's comments. "The Pentagon has been looking at proposals like the one that Congressman McCaul talked about," Pfeiffer said. "They don't think it's a good idea."
McCaul and Pfeiffer's remarks on the Fort Hood shooting were picked up by The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, The Washington Post, Reuters, CNN, The Philadelphia Inquirer, Fox News, Bloomberg, The Washington Times, Politico, MSNBC, The New York Post, The Washington Times, Newsmax, and National Review.
Pfeiffer also commented on the Obama administration's successful efforts to sign up approximately 7.1 million Americans on a health insurance programs provided by Affordable Care Act exchanges, a number the White House announced last week. Given the law's tumultuous rollout, Schieffer asked Pfeiffer if the Obama administration's problems on this front were now behind them.
"I think that we have a lot more work to do here," Pfeiffer said. "We have to ensure that the seven million folks who signed up have a good transition into health care. We have a number of people who were in the queue when the deadline hit, who we have to get signed up."
Pfeiffer's discussion on health care - as well as his remarks on the Obama administration's efforts to the keep control of the Senate and resist big-money GOP opposition - were picked up by Mediaite, The Hill, and Politico.
At the end of his interview with Pfeiffer, Schieffer asked about what the White House did when it learned that David Ortiz, an all-star hitter for the Boston Red Sox, took a picture of himself with the president that turned out to be part of a Samsung promotional campaign.
Pfeiffer chuckled for a second. "Maybe this will be the end of all selfies," he said. Pfeiffer also said that the White House had expressed its concerns with Samsung over using the president's likeness to endorse a product.
When asked how that conversation went, Pfeiffer played it coy: "I'll leave that to the conversation between the lawyers."