Robert Gates on political dysfunction; Elizabeth Warren on her new book; Mike Rogers goes after administration on Nigerian kidnapping response

(CBS News) -- This Sunday on Face the Nation, we dove into all the pressing issues of the week, including the unrest in Ukraine, the treatment scandal at Veterans Affairs, trouble at the Secret Service, and more. Former Secretary of State Robert sat down with Bob Schieffer and offered a jarring warning to lawmakers about what is most threatening to the U.S. "The greatest national security threat to this country at this point," Gates told Schieffer, "is the two square miles that encompasses the Capitol building and the White House." He went on to clarify that American political dysfunction, more than any outside threat, was undermining U.S. security and its influence around the world.

"If we can't get some of our problems solved here at home, if we can't get our finances in a more ordered fashion, if we can't begin to tackle some of the internal issues that we have, if we can't get some compromises on the Hill that move the country forward, then I think these foreign threats recede significantly into, as far as being a risk to the well-being and the future of this country," Gates said.

Gates's comments were picked up by The Huffington Post, The Wall Street Journal, Politico, The Hill, National Review, The Washington Times, and Newsmax.

Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., also joined us this Sunday. Warren has been a relentless critic of what she sees as the disproportionate influence of Wall Street in U.S. politics, which she spells out in her new book, "A Fighting Chance," which currently hold the number two spot on The New York Times Bestseller list. She recently unveiled a bill that would allow student loan borrowers to refinance their debt at a lower rates.

On the broadcast, she answered her Republican critics in Congress, who have cast this proposal as a surreptitious way to raise taxes.

"No," Warren said. "Let's start by just reminding everybody what this is. Our young people are being crushed by student loan debt, 1.2 trillion dollars in outstanding student loan debt, and it is exploding. In less than a decade, student loan debt has gone up 71 percent for the average amount that young people are borrowing. This is a crisis that now is not just affecting families that get hurt by it, it's affecting the whole economy."

Schieffer also asked the question on many Americans' minds: Will Warren run for President? On this topic, she was characteristically adamant: "I am not running for President."

Warren's comments were picked up by The Huffington Post, The Hill, Politico, The Washington Post, and The Daily Caller.

Rep. Mike Rogers, R-Mich., Chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, also on the broadcast, was critical of the Obama administration's response to the kidnapping of nearly 300 girls in Nigeria by the terrorist group Boko Haram.

Last week, First Lady Michele Obama posted to Twitter with a picture of herself holding a sign that read, "#BringBackOurGirls." In an apparent reference to this gesture, Rogers said: "This new ecosystem of terrorism that's all the way from Nigeria all the way across northern Africa, the HUAP in Yemen, all the way over to Pakistan and Afghanistan: You can't base your policy on what's trending on Twitter. It has to be more than hashtags and selfies. This is a huge and growing problem that's really been relatively ignored."

In addition, Rogers had strong words for the Secret Service, which, according to a Washington Post report, diverted agents from the White House to an area in southern Maryland over the course of two months to check on a USSS employee who worked for the agency's then director. "This is just one more example of a leadership failure at the Secret Service," Rogers said. "When you have someone removed from a post whose primary responsibility is to protect the president, and the White House and its occupants, that is very, very concerning."

Rogers's comments were picked up by The Washington Post, National Review, Politico, Bloomberg News, Reuters, Newsmax, USA Today, Mediaite, and The Minority Report blog.

  • Peter Fulham

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