Sunday: Gingrich, Bachmann, Dean & Schumer

Newt Gingrich on FTN, April 1, 2012
CBS News

We'll start off the show with our favorite topic: politics. Newt Gingrich folded his hand this week, and we're going to have him on one final time to see what his thoughts are on where this thing is going. We'll also talk to former candidate Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn. She formally endorsed Mitt Romney this week. What advice does she have for him?

New unemployment numbers came out today showing employers added 115,000 new jobs to payrolls in April and unemployment down to 8.1 percent. But the fallen rate is largely the result of people giving up the search for work and leaving the workforce. What impact will those jobless numbers have on the presidential race and what can the President do about it? We'll turn to two key Democrats: Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., and former Vermont Governor Howard Dean. I want to hear what they have to say about the President's reelection campaign, which he officially kicks off on Saturday in Richmond, Va.

Another hot topic in Washington, and actually around the world is the case of Chen Guangcheng. It's the second incident in what's becoming a streak of very bad luck for the administration and overseas trips.

First, President Obama goes down to Colombia to address problems shared by countries of the Western Hemisphere, but of course we know what happened instead - that thing with the Secret Service. Who would have thought something like that would happen?

This week, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton goes to China with Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner to talk about trade and the economy, and this thing comes up with the Chinese dissident Chen Guangcheng.

It's very hard to understand exactly what's going on in China. It started as what seemed like a wonderful story: This blind dissident makes his way to the U.S. embassy, the embassy staff works out a deal where he can move to Beijing with his family and they'll all be safe. Then the next thing we know he's saying the Chinese have broken their word, his wife's being beaten, and he's asking Sec. Clinton if he can go home with her. U.S. officials cannot see him. After a few tense days, it appears the two governments have forged the outlines of a deal that will let Chen travel to the U.S. with his family for a university fellowship. We'll be watching that situation closely this weekend.

Presumptive GOP nominee Mitt Romney had some strong words for the administration's handling of this. He cited reports that the embassy staff "willingly or unwittingly" forced Chen to speed up his decision to leave the embassy so the secretaries could get on with their planned discussions. Romney said, "If these reports are true, this is a dark day for freedom and it's a day of shame for the Obama Administration."

That's tough talk from the presumptive candidate, but frankly I don't think we really know what's going on and all sides need to be careful. It seems a deal is working out, but it's awfully early to start making judgments about how a delicate and dangerous situation was handled.

Zbigniew Brzezinski will join me on Sunday to talk about this situation. He's got a book out called Strategic Vision: America and the Crisis of Global Power. In his book he says the U.S. needs to engage China in a serious dialogue to reduce American-Chinese tensions and to keep the waters smooth between China and Japan, India and Russia. Brzezinski acknowledges there's been a global dispersal of power, but he maintains the U.S. is still responsible - and capable - of being the "indispensible nation." I'll be glad to hear what he thinks the U.S. needs to do in this case to keep all things on balance.

Finally I'll turn to a smart panel to help break down what all of these guests had to say. The Wall Street Journal's Peggy Noonan, The Washington Post's Michael Gerson, Mother Jones' David Corn and CBS News' John Dickerson will join me.

We'll see you Sunday on Face the Nation. Check your local listings so you don't miss a minute of the news. 

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    Bob Schieffer is a CBS News political contributor and former anchor of "Face The Nation," which he moderated for 24 years before retiring in 2015.