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tv   The Situation Room With Wolf Blitzer  CNN  August 16, 2011 2:00pm-4:00pm PDT

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a special situation of "the situation room." wolf? my interview with president obama. has his hope and change in washington actually happened? and we're looking rick perry's remarks into what he calls a treez nous act. and how americans are profiting from products made in china. we're going to let you in on a little-known secret that could change the way you buy.
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>> the best part of the job is coming to places like this, right here in iowa where you can talk to everybody and everyday americans. there's plenty of fear and anger right here in america's heartland and indeed across the country right now. i sat down with the president just a little while ago for an in depth interview about job, the economy, the 2012 campaign. the war on terror and a lot more. specific about the short-term plans for boosting the economy and how it could make or break his reelection campaign. >> you said if you don't turn around the economy in three years it's going to be a one-term proposition. do you remember that? >> when i came into office, i knew i was going to have a big mess to clean up. and frankly, the mess has been bigger than i think a lot of people anticipated at the time.
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we have made steady progress on these fronts, but we're not making progress fast enough. and what i continue to believe is that ultimately the buck stops with me. a lot of these problems were decades in the making. this crisis is the worst in the country. we want to see things move faster an i understand that. i'm sympathetic to it. we're just going to keep on putting forward ideas that are going to be good for the country. we're ogoing to need a partner from congress. we're going to need folks to move off only sof these rigid positions they've been talking. >> let's talk about some things that you need to do. you've -- you yourself have said you support modest modifications in medicare. give me specifics. >> well, what i'm going to do. i'm not going to make news here, wolf, in terms of what a comprehensive plan would look like.
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health care costs in general are out of control. the health care program is loring those costs. >> as much as possible, what we would like to do is actually reduce the cost of health care, as opposed to just shifting the cost from the government to seniors. >> changing the cost of living, is that something you're open to? >> the problem with some of the proposals we've seen, including some of the proposals coming out of the house of representatives and republicans there. they don't really address what it takes to reduce costs. what they say is senior citizens, we're going to vouch and whatever inflation there is, you're going to have to cover out of pocket. seniors may have to spend $6,000 more. what we say is are there modifications that can change the delivery system and how
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health care is delivered so you don't have to take five tests instead of one. the more we can do those kinds of change, and in some cases, you know, that involves empowering consumers to make better choices, then we can hopefully control these costs without seeing any radical change to the basing structure of medicare. >> there's a lot more of the interview coming up here in "the situation room." the president gets emotional speaking about what he considers to be the most difficult part of his job. i want to bring in our white house correspondent here in iowa with us. the president is continuing this bus tour, but it's clearly -- he's got some substantive issues. but it clearly has the feel of a campaign. also what he said to you in your
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interview, he feels republicans. he unveiled new proposals, increased lending for farmers and small businesses. it caused a lot of problems, wolf, in to the midterm elections for democrats. the president finds himself -- or certainly rural areas gave democrats problems in the midterm elections. this is an area the president really has to focus on if he is hoping to achieve that second ferm as he told you. >> what's next? >> he heads to illinois. heel be going to two town hall
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meetings. he's probably going to be hitting on the same things that he feels republicans are getting in the way of his job-creating strategies, as we' hear in the last couple of days. and what's interesting, though, is illinois has the highest unemployment rate of any of the states he's visiting. 9.1% is the national average. illinois is 9.2%, but both of the counties he'll be visiting tomorrow have unemployment rates in the high 6s. so one of the things the white house has said is they want to martishall some of that optism from areas that have lower unemployment rates. >> tell us about the piece later. because it's fascinating. >> the president has a new ride. this is getting a whole lot of attention. he's been rolling in the midwest in a bus we have not seen before. it's a $1.1 million bus. kind of looks like a bus swrergs of the beast, which is the presidential limousine. very sleek, very black. darkened windows, and it's kind
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of stealth looking as we see it rolling through the american country side. we'll be taking a closer look at this we'll also tell you exact p ly where the secret service purchased it. >> a lot more with my interview from the united states. at one point he does get emotional. we also speak about my concerns and his concerns about 9/11. the tenth anniversary of 9/11. could there be an effort by al qaeda or sympathizers from al qaeda to launch some sort of spectacular attack seeking revenge for the killing of bin laden. you're going to be anxious to hear what the president has to say. but let's move on to some politics right now.
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republican presidential candidate rick perry was practically breathing down president obama's neck today. while mr. obama was here, his new ggop rival was campaigning in did you pu dubuque iowa 12 miles away, hammering away the obama campaign. he better not commit what's called an act of treason. >> what's going on? >> treason, treasonous has gotten thrown around in politics for years. but when a guy running for gop candidate for president hurls the word at a government official, some are asking has the rhetoric gone a little too far. >> just in the race and he has plenty to say and just as quickly stepping over the line. going after the chairman of the federal reserve with words that
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once and some say even now would be considered a vicious personal attack. >> if this guy prints more money between now and the election, i don't know what you all would do to him in iowa. but where i come from, we would call that treez nouasonous. >> one tweet sads rick perry's comments were unappropriate and unpresidential. and a top gop strategist said this -- >> you have to watch that line
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between acceptable and colorful political language and becoming extremist. no one wants a scary extremist in the white house from either party. the president is the head of the political showshold. the president has got to bring everybody together. >> the obama white house has also weighed in, advising the candidates think about the impact of their words on the campaign trail. we asked perry to clarify his remarks and he doubled down, telling cnn i'm just passionate about the issue and we stand by what we said. >> if you want to win a general election, you've got to watch your language. you're going to scare soccer mom, the voters in the suburbs you need to swing your way. but in the republican primary, that's like ringing the dinner bell. that kind of language could get
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you all the way. >> the fact is the federal reserve and the policies have been a source of real anger for conservatives and politicians with tea party support. for example, republican presidential candidate michele bachmann today said she's been a leading voice and criticism of the fed because she said it's not transparent enough. wolf? >> she never, joe, used the suggestion that ben bernanke is acting in a treasonous way, has she? >> i don't know whether she's actually used the word treason. i have heard this word used in the campaign trail before, but i haven't heard it directed at ben bernanke before. >> and in the interview that i just did with the president, we're going to air it soon, the whole interview, joe, i get to the president to react to rick perry's other controversial comments that the men and women of the united states military would respect hem more than president obama because he served in the u.s. airport, wore
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the uniform. and i asked the president if he feels rick perry's remarks were disrespectful of the current commander in chief. you'll hear what president obama has to say about that. thanks very much. >> iowa has six electoral votes. president obama easily won iowa back in 2008. but the state went republican four years earlier with george w. bush eking out a slim victory. in 2000, democrat al gore narrowly beat bush here in iowa. all right so stand by with more of my skber viinterview with th president. we chatted about his job, his daughters and when he's going to let me visit his situation room. plus, two of the most powerful members of the obama cabinet open up about their limit nations. the secretaries of state and defense. hillary clinton and leon panetta together for a rare question and
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answer session. [ waves crashing ] [ martin luther king jr. ] i still have a dream that one day on the red hills of georgia, the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit down together at the table of brotherhood. i have a dream today!
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>> we're here in iowa right now on the campus of the northeast iowa community college. a beautiful spectacular day here in the nation's heartland. let's go to jack. he's got the cafferty file. you spent quality time here in iowa. the people are great. >> it's a wonderful place. i worked at who in des moines for 2 1/2 years right after they invented television. 1974 maybe. but the people in iowa treated me and my family extremely well. highest literally rate in the nation. good folks. and you're in good company out there. as the race for the republican nomination heats up, there is one candidate who has been largely ignored by the mainstream media. shame on us. he deserves more attention from us than he's getting. ron paul makes a lot of sense
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and more people should listen to him. he has visionary ideas about what sea changes are necessary. when ron paul ran for the republican nomination in 2008, he talked about the economy imploding. the untenable nature of the national debt, the event you'll destruction of our currency and the limited role for government. in the to you are years since then, a lot of things ron paul warned us about have happened. we're deeper in debt, a lot deeper. the dollar is worth quite a bit less. the federal government increasingly dysfunctional and the country is more divided maybe than at anytime since the civil war. yes, ron paul is a conservative. but he's not one of those that goes around hitting people on the head with a bible.
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it's timing that makes the difference. in the case of ron paul, the events of the last four years have finally caught up with the candidate. paul's message hasn't changed, but the urgency of what he's saying has increased dramatically. and it seems like this time more people may be listening. he came within an eyelash of finishing first in the iowa straw poll. less than 200 votes behind michele bachmann. a fact that was largely overlooked by the mainstream media. michele bachmann has no chance of being the next president of the united states. maybe ron paul should be. here's the next question -- is ron paul the only grown-up running for president on the republican side? go to file and post a dement on my blog and go
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to our facebook page. the media has to start listening and covering this guy a little bit more, wolf. he may be a player this time around. >> he already is a player. ron paul certainly has influenced the other republican candidates. four years ago as you correctly pointed out, he was saying the sam thing. now more republicans are beginning to say the things he's been saying for a while. >> you're going to get a ton of views on this question. stand by. the escalating deadly brutality that's exploding across syria and other parts of syria and north africa. the topic was front and center today.
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>> reporter: the latest syrian government sieges under way in a town where gunfire and shelling rings out across the city. several civilians are dead. in washington the question keeps growing -- why hasn't president barack obama directly said vice president should take over. hillary clinton offered a much more disiesive opinion. >> that's a better landscape for us to be operating in than if it were just the united states or a few european countries. >> clinton noted king abdullah of saudi arabia, the arab league and other nations are joining the international chorus against the syrian leader. >> if king abdullah says it, if
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other people says it, there's no way the assad regime can ignore it. >> much of the talk was about the limitations of u.s. diplomacy and military fire power. >> part of leading is making sure that you get other people on the field. >> panetta also faced questions about the months long nato bombing campaign against libyan leader moammar gadhafi. he believes opposition forces are closing in on tripoli. >> i think the sense is that gadhafi's names are numbered. >> reporter: both secretaries made clear they still expect u.s. forces to be out of combat operations by the end of the year. >> reporter: but can iraqly stand on its own.
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the biggest threat to iraq's security right now is iran. iranian backed militant militia groups with thousands of fighters, cash and weapons operating inside iraq. wolf? >> i asked president obama if he thinks rick perry is being disrespectful in his role as commander-in-chief. and when you buy items that say they're made in china the money may be staying closer to home than you might think.
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i sat down with the president a short while ago here in iowa to talk about the political channels he faces in the 2012 campaign, including his newest republican rival, texas governor rick perry. he says he wants someone who has worn the uniform. he served in the aur force. do you see the comments disrespectful to the commander-in-chief? >> mr. perry just got into the presidential race. i think that everybody who runs for president, it probably takes a little bit of time br they start realizing that this isn't like running for governor or senator or congress.
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i'll cut him some slack. he's only been at it a few day now. >> mitt romney says corporations are people. does he have a point? >> if you tell me that corporations are vital to american life, that the free enterprise system has been the greatest wealth creator we've ever seen. corporate ceos and folks working in large companies that are creating incredible products and services and that is all to the benefit of the united states of america, that i absolutely agree with. if, on the other hand, you tell me that every corporate tax break that's out there is somehow good for order nar americans, that we have a tax code that's fair, that asking oil and gas companies, for example, not to get special
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exemptions that other folks don't get, and we're closing those tax loopholes that's somehow going to hur america, that i disagree with. corporations serve an important benefit but ultimately we've got to look at what's good for order nar people, how do we create jobs, how do we create economic growth. and a lot of the special interest legislation see in washington isn't benefitting ordinary people. when they decide who they want their standard bearer to be, then i'll be ready for them. >> all right, let's bring in our senior political analyst. we're going to have our whole interview. what did you think of what he had to say about what a lot of people think will be his two mane republican potential challengers, rick perry and mitt romney.
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>> i thought he was wise to pull his punches a little bit, wolf. this has gotten to abslam bang affair already. this was like a more presidential interview. you know, he could have taken a real shot at rick perry over that comment that you talked about earlier in the kmam. the comment about what ben bernanke did on quantitative easing was almost treasonous. he could have taken a shot but he didn't. he knows others will take shots at him. karl rove is taking shots at perry. there's a long-time rivalry there, tension as you know. but still to go out there was pretty interesting. >> and even karl rove seeming to suggest maybe other republicans will still join this republican field. paul ryan, the congressman from wisconsin, the chairman of the
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house budget committee and maybe even chris christie, the governor of new jersey. do you see republicans, sarah palin, for example, deciding to throw their hats in the ring? >> i think sarah palin's day has probably come an gone. we eebl probably have to wait and see. but if rick perry were to stumble a couple of times, yeah, i think somebody else might get in. there are a lot of republicans out there that would like more choices. if he gains his footing and as the president said, it's hard. it's not like running for governor. rookies make mistakes. but if he gapes his footing i think it makes it less likely. there are a lot of people who look at his record. he claims a third of the new jobs have come in texas over the last couple of years. that's a pretty strong claim in a climate where people are desperate for new jobs. i think he was getting some traction with some heavy hitters in the last few days.
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we'll have to see how it goes now. he is under scrutiny. and i think president obama in your interview today was very careful to thread through this in a way -- he didn't want to go overboard himself. he was very careful with what he said. it was classical obama with the way he dealt with questions about mitt romney. he carefully delineated very thoughtful -- didn't make any headlines. hey, guys, if you're going to run against me, you've got to meet a pretty high standard. >> you know, the republicans are really going after him. they're really slamming him. this president is under enormous pressure to respond.
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>> there's a lot of rough and tumble. my sense about the president was he did punch back. he was not going to allow himself to be a punching bag for the republicans. he put on the presidential hat. it wasn't an outdoor rally kind of conversation. i thought it was a good interview. i've been reading the transcript. i'm looking forward to seeing it here at the top of the hour. >> the entire interview coming up at the top of the houring including the president's concerns about a possible revenge attack next month, ten years after the 9/1 1 terror attacks. what the president has to say about that. also republican presidential candidate michel bachmann gets it wrong when it comes to elvis.
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a flub on the campaign trail today. plus, a new twist in that bizarre case of the australian collar bomb suspect just a day after his arrest. the latest on that as well. introducing the schwab mobile app. it's schwab at your fingertips wherever, whenever you want. one log in lets you monitor all of your balances and transfer between accounts, so your money can move as fast as you do. check out your portfolio, track the market with live updates. and execute trades anywhere and anytime the inspiration hits you. even deposit checks right from your phone. just take a picture, hit deposit and you're done. open an account today and put schwab mobile to work for you. [ male announcer ] this is our beach. ♪ this is our pool.
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>> the case of australian collar bomb suspect. other top stories in the situation room right now. what do you have? >> paul sdoug las peters who is accused of strapping a fake bomb around the in eck of a woman in australia and threatening her has been ordered to remain in federal custody until at least october. peters was arrested yesterday where his wife lives following a joint investigation.
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grish law makers could call james murdoch back to testify following the release of what are described as explosive new documents suggesting that hacking may have been more widespread than he indicated. a former correspondent said hacking was widely discussed. and it was one of the most talked about campaign ads of the 2010 midterm election season. >> i'm not a witch. i'm you. >> well now, former gop delaware senate candidate christine o'donnell is admitting that infamous attempt at distancing herself from pass comments, she's now saying that was a mistake. the tea party favorite upset party backed mice castle in the gop primary but lost the primary
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to chris koonz. >> and a flub by michele bachmann. >> before we get started, let's all say happy birthday to elvis presley today. happy birthday! we played you a little promised land when we pued up. you can't do better than elvis presley. we thought we would celebrate his birthday. as we get started, the celebrating, take our country back to her. >> she's seven month too late. his birthday was in january and this is the anniversary of her president's death. sh emissed that one just by a little bit, wolf.
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>> president obama got a less than warm welcome from rick perry here in iowa. and if you're committed to buying american, you may want to reconsider some products made in china. that's about 34 million pounds of mail every day. ever wonder what this costs you as a taxpayer? millions? tens of millions? hundreds of millions? not a single cent. the united states postal service doesn't run on your tax dollars. it's funded solely by stamps and postage. brought to you by the men and women of the american postal workers union. ♪ it's pro-cool technology releases armies of snowmen masseuse, who cuddle up with your soreness and give out polar bear hugs. technology. [ male announcer ] new bengay cold therapy. the same technology used by physical therapists. go to for a 5-dollar coupon.
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is. republican presidential candidate mitt romney is taking a swipe at the presidential bus tour. >> i think obama needs to learn how to lead. >> i'm flus rated with congress in general and our president. >> the little people, the people that have, you know, no jobs and are trying to get jobs. >> it's like everywhere else. people have to scrape harder to get by. >> let's discuss in our strategy session. democratic strategist donna braz
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brazile and alex casteanos. >> it's classic challenger strategy. crawl into the ring with the heavyweight champion. it must mean you're the number one contender. so instead of competing with rick perry, he pulls himself up to compete with obama. very effective. and he's having real people do his work. you know, politics is so distrusted right now. politicians have credibility ratings somewhere below zero on the kelvin scale where nitrogen freezes. so he makes a very effective ad. >> they seem to be competing with each other to say as nasty things as possible against the president of the united states. is that going to potentially backfire, though.
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>> the conservative members of the republican party haven't come up with an economic plan and disinfected democrats. in the short term that might get the tea party members shouting about one of the candidates. after all, their only goal is to defeat president obama. they're not interested in long-term economic growth or even short-term economic growth. i think the important thing to understand is that governor of massachusetts, mitt romney had one of the lowest growth rates and as the president of the a company, he was also accused of outsourcing american jobs. he's the last person that should be giving president obama or anyone else a lesson about job creation. >> what's interesting, alex -- cold on a second. rick perry is not reluctant at all to criticize mitt romney, but mitt romney is not criticizing perry.
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>> geovernor perry and i are going to have plenty of opportunities to contrast our experience and vision for america. 10 or 15 before this is over. governor per ry is a fine guy, fine governor. i look forward to seeing him on the trail and at the debates. >> is that smart for rick perry? he's already punching to a certain degree mitt romney. romney saying he's a fine guy, a great guy. not really responding in kind. is that smart. it's kind of classic politics. as much as i love donna, which i do, let's not say that republicans don't care about the economy and republicans want to push the economy off the cliff
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for political gain. that's no different than rick perry saying that someone is treasonous. let's all agree that we have good motives here, we just have very different ways that we want to grow this economy. >> you know, alex, one of the frustrations i think many democrats have been experiencing, the republicans will lie in order to try to get to the truth. the truth is that we' created 2 million private sector jobs, but with all the focus on cutting spending, slashing programs, we have lost hundreds of thousands of public sector jobs. if come back and stop all of the fussing, no more host ablg taking, go ahead and pass some of these initiatives, whether it's the trade agreements, patent reform, the payroll attacks.
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>> alex, listen to michelle bachmann talking about the economy. she's say iing this is not brai surgery. >> the good news in all of this is it really isn't that hard to turn the economy around. it seems like it's so complicated, but quite honestly, it would be a pleasure. all you have to do is prioritize spending and put a cap on it and say that's it and no more! >> the point she's trying to make, and i think a opponent
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that concerns donna, the republicans do have an idea how to grow the economy and the big things are actually very simple and straightforward things. instead of sending our money to washington and trying to grow the economy politically and artificial whether i from there. when he returns to the bus tour, that's when we'll gt his ideas. i don't think it's helping him politically. >> one thing i want to say about michele bachmann. when all of these cuts finally go through, nondefense discretionary spending will be back what it was in the 1950s. that should give republicans some comfort because they like to look backwards. the truth is, why don't we stop shifting jobs overseas, close the corporate loopholes, focus
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on the private sector. see if small businesses can create more job spps one job every small business in this country, 6 million americans put back to work. let's look at the infrastructure. the private sector is willing to invest with the government. lots of ideas on the table. that's all we're talking about. >> hold your thought. hold your thought, guys. we've got to move on. guys, thanks very much. more on my interview. candid conversation i had. i have the full interview with obama coming up. plus, a lit known secret for products made in china and what it may mean for you. stay with us. a real person will be there to help you. then you can use to view photos of the damage, track your claim, print an estimate.
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>> there is lots of backlash against buying goods with the label made in china. a new report finds most of the money tied to the products is actually winding up in american hands. mary snow is joining us from new york with details. mary? >> these findings seem to buck conventional wisdom. this was done in san francisco. one of the authors said it might seem surprising at first glance. not as much money goes to china as you might think. walk through a toy score and everything it made in china. even captain america. how many of the products that you sell are made in china? >> i would say about 90%. everything is made in china.
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it's cheaper to produce and manufacture the stuff in china and guess that's where everybody goes. >> everything from toys to electronics are made in china, not as much money as you may expect. according to economists, they found that chinese goods ranging from furniture to clothes and shoes only make up 2.7% of u.s. personal consumption expenditures. most of the money goes to the u.s. because of the services tied to the goods. >> want to go on the ride, it needs to be transported and insured and shelved and store and people who do it need to be paid. >> this economist said for every dollar spent, 55 sends goes towards the services produced in the u.s. while 45 sends goes to china. not everyone is buying it. including michael mandell of the progressive policy institute who calls the data misleading.
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>> the data that they are using shows that the imports on the economy is not as big as people think, but the fact is all you have to do is look at the lost jobs. you understand that the impact is quite large. >> in fact jobs lost to china are not part of the study. the economists only looked at consumer consumption and stand by the numbers saying they wanted to provide calculations on how consumer spending is distributed. >> mary snow in new york. stand by for more of the flavor of my interview with president obama. >> wolf. the president. good to see you. welcome to iowa. >> after our initial warm up, tough questions including the risk of a terror attack. the full interview at the top of the hour. on a lighter side, he reveals
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americans ready to put on their big boy pants and accept the truths ron paul has been telling us for decades. we are broke, our wars air racket, the fed is destroying our currency and the congress is ripping us off and the threat of terrorism is exaggerated. we are never going to agree on everything. let's focus on one thing. he writes the only grown up? i don't know. he gets middle or no media coverage even after he practically tied michele bachmann in the straw poll in iowa on her home turf. would not advocate the insane policies, but he has consistency of views. not only is dr. paul the only grown up, but the only candidate mature enough to tell us the truth. after listening to him, i'm reminded that there good leader who is want us to be free and living in peace. refreshing to hear an honest
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heart felt candidate who speaks passionately and truthfully about the issues that matter to us all. tommy writes from north carolina on facebook, ron paul is not the only adult. just the only honest one. tony no n topeka writes it may not be the only adult. the real question is why is the media not covering congressman paul. jon stewart did an amazing piece. sometimes i wonder what side the media is on. through our post on the situation room room's page. wolf? >> he has a lot of passionate supporters i hear from them every day. thanks very much for the question. to our viewers, this is a special edition of the situation room. we are in iowa with the president of the united states. happening now, president obama talking on one with me about
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jobs, the desperate need to create them for millions of americans and effort to hold on to his own job. also, the president responds to controversial remarks by would be republican rivals, rick perry and mitt romney, including one comment that some see as disrespectful to the president. we talk about terrorism. the world prepares to mark 10 years since 9/11, the period said that kind of attack may not be the biggest threat right now we want to welcome our viewers in the united states and around the world. breaking news. political headlines and jeannie moos all straight ahead. you are in "the situation room" president obama on a bus tour. he has been reaching out to rural voters and took time today to sit down with me for a wide ranging one-on-one interview.
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we talked about the gridlock in washington, the field of challengers trying to oust him from the white house and the terror made after 9/11. we began with what may be the most pressing issue facing the country right now here's part of my interview with the president of the united states. >> mr. president thanks for joining us. >> great to be here. >> let's talk about jobs, jobs, jobs, "issue #1." you are releagues a new program in september. what's taking so long? >> everything we have done is related to jobs starting with the recovery act. that's the reason why we have seen over two million jobs created over 17 months in the private sector, but what's happened is that number one, you have seen a lot of layoffs with state and local government. that has been an impediment to the robust growth we would like to see and head winds over the last six months.
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japan tsunami and the european debt crisis and what happened in terms of raising gas prices for consumers. >> give us a preview of what you will do in september. >> there some things we have been talking about on this trip we can do right away that are pending before congress. what we did in december by cutting the payroll tax so the average family gets $1,000 in their makes a huge difference for their purchasing power and being able to hire. we have continued to renew tax breaks for businesses that are willing to move up investments they are planning into 2011 and renew those with 2012 we know that can create jobs. i number of things we have spending before congress and what i have been saying to crowds across the country, it's getting a good reception. what they want to see is
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democrats and republicans putting country before party and going ahead and taking action in order to move the economy forward as quickly as possible. >> you have something more ambitious. there reports you want to create a new department of jobs or something along those lines? >> that is not true. what is true is i think we missed an opportunity a month ago when we could have dealt with our debt and deficit in a serious balanced way that would have avoided the the huge gyrations and given businesses a lost confidence that washington had their fiscal house in order and included in that because of the savings that we would be getting over the next 10 or 20 years, more efforts on the front end to spur job creation. given that congress failed to act, the grand bargain that i was trying to cut with john boehner didn't happen. we will take one more run to congress and say to them, here's a comprehensive approach that
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gets our debt and deficits under control and accelerates job growth right now. >> sorry this initiative something you give to the super committee or kprat fra from that? >> i hope the super committee takes their job seriously and there is an added sense of urgency given how anxious i think businesses and consumers are after the debacle with the debt ceiling. my attitude is i will make my best case. we made progress in 2008 and it hasn't been fast enough. we have to accelerate it. there two things that need to happen. number one, we have to make sure that people have confidence. we are living within our meansd immediate things we do around infrastructure and tax policy that make a difference. >> when you took office, you said if i don't have this done in three years, there is going to be a one-term proposition
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meaning you will be a one-term president. you remember that? >> here's what i remember. when i came into office i knew i had a big mess to clean up. the mess has been bigger than i think a lot of people anticipated. we made steady progress, but we are not making progress fast enough. what i continue to believe is the buck stops with me. i will be accountable. people understand that a lot of these problems were decades in the making. people understand that this financial crisis was the first since the great depression. they say look, he's the president and we think he has good intentions, but we are impatient and want things to move faster. i understand that and we will put forward inside that will be good for the country. we need a partner from congress. we need folks to move off the rigid positions they have been taking. >> i will go through specifics, but let's talk about the things
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you need to do. you yourself said you support modest modifications in medicare. give me specifics. >> what i'm going to do is not make news here in terms of what a comprehensive plan would look like. what i consistently said is that medicare and health care costs generally are out of control. the health reforms we innish nated are starting to reduce the costs. we will have to do more, particularly around medicare. >> changing the cost of living. reducing the amount of money from medicare? >> as much as possible, what we would like to do is reduce the cost of health care as opposed to shifting to seniors. >> changing the cost of living, is that something you are open to? >> the problem is the proposals out of the house of representatives and the republicans there. they don't really address what it takes to reduce costs.
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what they say is senior citizens, we will vouch for it and whatever inflation there is, you will have to cover out of pocket. seniors my have to spend $6,000 more. are there modifications that can change the delivery system and how health care is delivered? you don't have to take five tests. you take one. providers are not ordering unnecessary procedures, but focussing on what works. the more we do those changes and in sm cases that involves empowering consumers to make better choices. we can hopefully control the costs without seeing any radical change to the basic structure of medicare. >> why don't you support a balanced budget? >> i support balancing our budget, but do we need to change our constitution to do it? we didn't for a lot of years. we always said that the federal government needs as an actor of
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last resort if we have a war and a recession to be able to step in in ways that states or local governments can't do. >> can you bring language do into that so that in case of an emergency or war, there will be exceptions? >> why can't congress simply make good choices? why can't the president and congress working together get a handle on the debt and deficits? why do we need to go through an amendment process and have contortions and try to write in every contingency that might come up instead of saying the same thing that families across iowa and the country do. you know what, here's how much money we are bringing in and spending. if it's out of balance, let's fix it. >> it's clear congress can't do that. that's why we need the argument 74% according to our poll want a balanced budget. >> here's my suspicion. 100% of the american people want congress to act responsibly.
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100% want us to make sensible choices. we don't need to amend to do that. what we need is folks acting responsibly and saying here's a balanced package that would actually get our debt and d deficit to a manageable place. it doesn't require that much. our fiscal situation. it's so much stronger than so many countries including a lot of european countries and the reason is because all we have to do is make modest changes in terms of what we spend and make modest changes in terms of raising revenue and we could get it into witness. the problem we have is a political system in which you have one side or the other that said here's the line in the sand and we are not going to make any changes. when you saw you had the primary candidates suggesting that they
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would not be willing to close a single loophole or close a single special interest tax break even if they get $10 of of aings for every $1 of revenue that raised, that is no longer thinking in a common sense way at that point. what you are saying is ideological rigidity that prevents us from solving problems. >> you keep saying there some in congress who are more interested in political gain than helping the country. wha who do you mean? >> no doubt that the deal that i put forward to speaker boehner which a lot of people in my party attacked me for because they thought that we were going too far. we were being too generous and the fact that they couldn't accept a deal in which you had significantly more cuts than revenue that would have done substantially more to close the
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deficit than the deal that we arrived at, the fact that speaker boehner and folks in his caucus couldn't say yes to that tells me that they are more interested in the politics than in solving the problem. i think to his credit, speaker boehner tried. i think he wanted to, but he had problems with members of his caucus that thought that somehow cooperation with this white house would help us politically as opposed to thinking what's it going to take the help the country as a whole. >> much more ahead with my interview with the president of the united states. including his response to his newest challenger, texas governor rick perwhoa appeared to suggest maybe even more than appeared to suggest that u.s. troops don't respect the commander in chief.
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[♪...] >> male announcer: now, for a limited time, your companion flies free, plus save up to 65%. call 1-800-sandals. conditions apply. the race for the white house is the on side is heating up here in iowa and so is the rhetoric. the newest contender, rick perry raised eyebrows with one
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controversial remark. i asked president obama about that as our interview continued. >> rick perry, the governor of texas, republican presidential candidate now said the men and women of the united states military want someone who has worn the uniform. he served in the air force. do you see a comment that he makes referring to that as disrespectful to the commander in chief? >> mr. perry just got in the presidential race and everybody who runs for president probably takes them time before they start realizing that this is not like running for governor or senator or congress. you have to be a little more careful about what you say. i will cut him slack. he's only been at it for a few days now. >> mitt romney said corporations are people. does he have a point? >> if you me that corporations are vital to american live and
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the free enterprise system is the greatest wealth creator we have ever seen and that -- the united states of america, that i absolutely agree with. if on the other hand you me that every corporate tax break that is out there is somehow good for ordinary americans, that we have a tax code that's fair and that asking oil and gas companies not to get special exceptions that other folks don't get and we are closing those loopholes and that is going hurt america, that i disagree with. i think corporations serve an important benefit and we have to look at what's good for ordinary people and how we create jobs
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and how we create economic growth. a lot of the special interest legislation we see in washington is not benefiting ordinary people. >> what are do you think of the republican field lining up to challenge? >> i haven't given it too much thought. i will let them widdle it down a little bit. when they decide who they want it to be, i will be ready. >> i was in north korea and every time i raised the issue of hungner north korea which is a huge problem, they say what about hunger in americas. a lot of americans are hungry. last week 46 million americans rely on food stamps. what does that say about the wealthiest country in the world? 46 million americans rely on food stamps in order to put food on the table? >> first of all, we had a terrible recession and that means that strained a lot of families' budgieys and a lot of
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people consider themselves working class families going through a tough spot. we have food stamp programs in place and it's important that we are not going to reduce our budget deficits on the backs of those who are most in need. on the other hand, america is the world's bread basket. agricultural ex-pours are important. we see the bounty in places like iowa. the problem is not enough food, but the distribution and income and wealth in this country has been a problem for sometime. wages and incomes for ordinary families have not gone up for the last decade. even before this last recession hit. that's why it's so important in addition creating economic growth and seeing corporate profits go up and seeing the stock market go up, we have got to make sure we invest in people
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and innovation and infrastructure and the things that put people back to work and give them more income so they can live the kind of american dream that you will of us want for our kids and grandkids. >> i covered the mideast for a long time and terrorism. i have to tell you, i'm worried on the tenth anniversary of 9/11, al qaeda or what's left of them and their supporters will try to do something to seek revenge for your killing of osama bin laden. how worried should we be and are you about that? >> we are vigilant and constantly monitoring potential risks of terrorist attacks. i think the men and women of our intelligence agencies and the f berks i have done a terrific job. the risk is always there. obviously on an event like the tenth anniversary of 9/11, that
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mean wees have heightened awareness. the biggest concern we have is not a launching that. risk is always there especially concerned over the lone wolf terrorist. somebody with a single weapon of being able to carry out wide scale massacres of the sort we saw in norway recently. you have one person who is deranged or driven by a hateful ideology, dha we are spending a of time monitoring and gathering information. i think we generally have to stay vigilant. there may be extra vigilance during 9/11. keep in mind the progress we made over the last couple of years in degrading the
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capabilities. they are a much weaker organization with much less capability they had more than two or years ago. >> what i hear you saying is we don't have to worry about a spectacular 9/11 event, more like a lone wolf. they can kill a lot of people and not a nuclear event. >> as president of the united states, i worry about all of it. the most likeliy issia nairio we have have to guard against right now is a terrorist attack. we have to stay on top of it. we are never leading our guard down. that's part of our job. >> we are out of time. if you are reelected, the last time you got sasha and malia a puppy. what are you going to get them next time? >> when i am reelected, i will give them a continuation of secret service so when boys want to start dating them, they will be surrounded by men with guns.
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that's their gift. >> i'm sure they will be thrilled. thanks very much. see you in washington. i hope you will join me in my situation room fc. if you invite me to yours, i will be there. >> can't bring cameras. that's the only difference >> that was the formal sit down part of the interview, but there was a lot more we had a chance to walk and talk and talk about other issues with the president of the united states here in iowa. that will be part three of the interview. among other things i will ask, the best job in the world is according to barack obama. also, the president told us and explains what else is the best and worst parts of being the leader of the united states. the final part of the interview is coming up. stay with us. you are in "the situation room."
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>> we had a chance to speak informally and he spoke about the best part of his job and the worst. >> how do you feel first of all? >> we have two incredible days. the weather has been perfect. it's nice getting out of washington. what's been most important has been the chance to just talk to ordinary folks, reminding you how wonderful, decent, hardworking, responsible people are out here. they are clearly frustrated with what's going on in washington.
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they understand the economy is suffering and what they hope for is everyone pulling together to get things done. it's an affirmation of the american spirit that fills me up with a lot of good feel that i can take back to washington. >> you have aged. you have more gray hair. >> some people reminded me when i was a young senator through iowa that i looked younger than i do now. >> we will show a picture of what you looked like in des moines at the end of october 2008 and what you look like now. i may go back to 2004 to the democratic convention. you still like being president of the united states. >> it's the greatest job on earth. we are going through challenges and as the president of the united states you feel accountable and responsible for everything that happens. if there is a flood somewhere and a tornado, if someone is
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losing their job, you feel responsible and you want to make sure that you are doing right by the american people. the incredible privilege of being able to work with so many talented folks and mead so many wonderful people, nothing compares. >> what's the best part? >> the kinds of things i have been doing today. you go into a diner and you sit down and talk to people and hear their life stories and every once in a while the saying my kid has hemophilia and was about to lose his insurance until you passed your health care bill and it helps us or a small business owner said i got started by the sba took a chance on me. when you hear that some of the policies you made made differences. >> the worst part? >> the worst part is when you --
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when you are talking to a family member of a fallen soldier and you are hugging them hoping you make them feel better, but you are reminded of the sacrifices people are making for their country and the politics not living up to that level of commitment and patriotism given from our troops. >> do you get emotional? >> absolutely. for a mother or father who lost a loved one, that's always the toughest thing about the job. >> you have to say you know what, i sent the young men and women off to war. >> it's a sobering remind they're every decision we make in the white house counts. it is making a difference in people's lives and thereimes when they keep you up at night. no wonder i have more gray hair.
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>> when we spoke here end of 2008, hope and change. you know what i see in there today? more of the same. >> maybe a little worse. i think what happened is there a lot of theories. part of it is you have these congressional districts that are so democratic or so republican that people don't feel like they need to move to the center and find common ground. they are more worried about a primary fight coming from their own party. that contributes to it. the media has changed. it's much more splintered. you don't have the entire population watching walter cronkite and hearing one source of news. everybody goes to their respective corners. when the economy is tough and people are anxious, i think contributes maybe to a little more polarization.
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what i know is when i leave washington and i talk to folks out here, i had a number of conversations with people who come up and say you know what, i'm a republican. i don't agree with everything you are doing, but i know you are doing your best for the country and i'm rooting for you. i'm operation for you. that attitude that said we are more concerned about the country than winning the next election. if that spirit is infused in washington, i think we are going to be just fine >> let's talk about what we just heard from the president joining us from our political analyst and white house correspondent jessica yellin. you heard the president's explanation of why u.s. politics can be so ugly and spoke about the media redistricting. is he doing enough right now to rise above it all to do something to bring back what he
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spoke about hope and change instead of what i suggested was the same old thing and he said it might be worse now. >> what i found in what he did say is dead-on. just right and most people agree with his point. whether you think he himself has done enough, a lot depends on where you sit. if you are a republican you think he is contributing to the cause. he is blaming the republicans for the downgrade of the debt and blaming republicans for putting politics above the country. if you are a democrat, a lost them feel he hasn't fought book hard enough and has been too compromising and would like him to come out punching more. so much depends. we are so polarized and we have different interpretations of that. my own perspective, i think it's early for him to be campaigning. i believe he would be better
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received by the country if he spent time in washington calling the congressional leadership back to cut a deal on jobs. >> he made it clear he is not going to do that. they will continue their recess until september seventh. >> the pat acknowledged what is being said about him, but he didn't exactly go very hard in hitting them back. they have been very tough on him and he sort of responded, but doesn't slam them. >> here want it is to stay above the fray of politics. at this point it would be handing either candidate a gave the for the commander in chief to take a swing at someone who hasn't become a nominee. the president is not going to step into that fight. what you hear him doing is attacking republicans broadly for their policies. he calls it congress. when he said congress is standing in the way of getting
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my jobs passed, you can read that as the republicans in the house of representatives and the candidates on the trial who endorse their positions. the president said it in his town halls and to you. you will hear him say it throughout september as he comes back from the vacation and continues to push his jobs proposal which he will unveil and hit the road. he won't call it the campaign trail, sending this message that they are blocking an agenda heald like to get done for the country >> we have much more to talk about. i want your take on the other things the president said about jobs and how much responsibility is he taking for the unemployment crisis in the united states. more on the president's tour through the american heart land as well. stay with us. you are in "the situation room." [ male announcer ] imagine all of your missed opportunities
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what i continue to believe is the buck stops with me. i am going to be accountable. people understand that a lot of these problems were decades in the making and this crisis was the worst since the great depression. he is the president and he has good intentions, but we are impatient and we want to see things move faster. i am sympathetic to those ideas that will be good for the country. >> more on my on 1 from iowa. we are talking about david
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gergen and jessica yellin. the president is in a tough spot. sounds like he admits and doesn't want to receive the blame for the other. >> he has been very, very -- he shoves the blame in a different direction. he said basically that we had a lot of head winds that came out of japan and so forth and he thought that the republicans and he had to go back to jessica a point. he talked about congress and he said what they are saying is the republicans caused this downgrade. a lot of people found that disingenuous. it's what -- he's come a long way on those arguments and the white house feels they will keep
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pushing. >> jessica, we heard the president say he has a new jobs proposal he will release in cent. he wouldn't me what's in it. you heard me asking what's taking so long longer than that i should say. what are we hear being this new proposal. do we have an idea where it will take the u.s.? >> they are working on it and there elements that could involve different kinds of tax credit possibilities and different kind of policies that have been flowediating out therr a while. a big jobs package that has a lot of these policies together into one plan that he will release after labor day vacation. he will in addition that put out a proposal that the super committee should do with the taxes combine and see him go on
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the road and making the tas to the american public. have him out there he has a lot of distance from congress. the closer he is the lower his poll numbers go sort of saying the buck stops here, but other people are to blame and the poll said most americans, 57% say that bush and the republicans are mostly to blame for the economy. it's connecting with the american public to say that when the president said he is ultimately responsible for fixing it, but he cannot cause the problem seem to be working for him. they are digging him out of his low ratings >> jessica, thank you. thanks to you. he goes on a bus tour and you
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can be sure it's no ordinary bus. you can look at what brianna keilar has dubbed the beasty bus. at a hero's welcome from man's best friend.
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iowa has six electoral votes and it's more of a swing state in recent president kbral elections. president obama easily won iowa back in 2008. the state went republican four years earlier with george w. bush eeking out a slim victory. in 2000, al gore narrowly beat bush in iowa. brianna keilar is with us. this is not technically a campaign trip though it has that feeling. it does to me, but she trying to make policy decisions and meet with local constituents at the same time. >> it's a two fer. you can't escape that fact with all the action you are seeing with republican candidates in the last week. of course the president is
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hoping for some support he got in 2008 that gave him that early lead. you have him using iowa as a backdrop for rural issues. democrats in the mid-term election really struggled with rural america and it cost them or helped cost them control of house of the representatives that the president said cost a lot of the headaches that he is having. here you saw the president and even though we are waiting for him to unveil the job creations, he was unveiling smaller things for rural communes and for instance increased technology for businesses here. >> he didn't back away at all over the comments made. >> he didn't back away and having talked to advisers, they are in a wait and see mode right
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now. there is so much interest in rick perry, but months ago there was so much interest in john huntsman that we are not seeing now. they are keeping an eye now on rick perto see what comes. there is so much interest in the intensity there this could come to fizzle. who knows. we have seen that with other candidates. now is not the time they feel they would be truly engaminging and that will come as things flush themselves out. >> i was surprised to see how emotional he got when i asked him the worst part of his presidency. he said meeting with families of those who died fighting for the united states. the 10th anniversary of 9/11 when he spoke about a lone wolf, if you will, trying to take revenge for the killing of bin laden. >> that was one of the parts
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that opened my eyes. what about the idea there that there may be revenge in a way from al qaeda. >> you know they wanted to get revenge. >> certainly and always the anniversaries there is always this concern. were you surprised he said that, the wolf comment? >> i was surprised he went into that that. we will take the beef up the anniversary of 9/11. brianna, don't go away because we have something else to share with the viewers. the bus. it's no ordinary bus through the midwest. like the limo nicknamed the beast, the president's bus is a one-of-a-kind. that gives us an inside look and gives us the bells and whistles. sit, stay, and fetch are the usual tricks, but the best of
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all right. by now you've probably seen it, the president's new black bus. it looks like something out of a science fiction movie, more
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appropriate for darth vader than the commander in chief, but as you might expect this is no ordinary bus. let's bring back our white house correspondent, brianna keilar who is joining us. there is actually more than one of these amazing buses. there's two. >> that's right, there's two of these buses that the secret service has purchased. it's the first time that they have added buses to their fleet of vehicles which does include, of course, the presidential limousine known as the beast when the president is in it. so, why did they buy these buses, they actually say it was to save money. >> reporter: president obama is rolling through the midwest this week on a three-state campaign-style swing in a brand-new, sleek black armored bus. >> as i was driving down the little towns in my big bus and i'm -- we slowed down and i'm standing in the front and i'm waving. >> reporter: it's one of two the secret service bought in the last few months for moving what they call protectees, the president and first lady, the
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vice president and eventually the republican presidential nominee, among others. this bad boy costs $1.1 million. that's $2.2 million for both coaches according to a public invoice showing the buses were purchased from a company in tennessee, the website displays a number of used ones for sale including one that used to belong to a popular country music act. but this bus is brand spanking new. outfitted with advanced communication systems so the president can talk securely with advisers or world leaders while on the road and, of course, protective armor, though, it doesn't shield president obama from this, americans upset with his policies lining up to send him a message as his motorcade passes by in iowa. the secret service bought the buses in anticipation of the busy 2012 presidential campaign. a spokesman saying we felt we were overdue for having an asset like this in our fleet. candidates and presidents have been participating in bus tours since 1980.
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now, before buying these buses, the secret service would lease buses because they were using them, and then they would outfit them with these advanced communication systems and armor, and then when they had to return the buses, they would have to take all of that stuff off, and that's why they said it was a tremendous expense, tens of thousands of dollars per month to lease these buses, that's why they said they went this direction. >> $1.1 million is a bargain is that what you're saying? >> apparently. >> brianna, good work. enjoy the rest of the bus trip. a dog can be a service member's best friend and faithful pets are turning up to welcome back troops from the battlefield, sometimes with extremely enthusiastic welcomes. that one day on the red hills of georgia, the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit down together at the table of brotherhood. i have a dream today!
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what's vanishing deductible all about ? guys, it's demonstration time. let's blow carl's mind. okay, let's say i'm your insurance deductible. every year you don't have an accident, $100 vanishes. the next year, another $100. where am i going, carl ?
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the next year... that was weird. but awesome ! ♪ nationwide is on your side try capzasin-hp. it penetrates deep to block pain signals for hours of relief. capzasin-hp. take the pain out of arthritis. sometimes a family dog is more than just a pet. here's cnn's jeanne moos. >> reporter: you know, all those heart warring, two-legged reunions, the military ones that end in -- >> love you. >> reporter: -- well, this is the four-legged version. >> hey. you do not recognize me? >> reporter: emmitt thunder paws is the great dane's name and for senior airman trevor crowder arriving back from afghanistan. >> it was the second best
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reunion hive had since getting back. >> reporter: the best being with his wife whitney. >> i think he remembers you. he didn't get out of trevor's face for probably a solid week. >> reporter: from humongous dogs like emmitt thunder paws to the tiny ones like these two dachshu dachshunds canine reunions are running rampant on youtube. from babies to whimpering molly crying over the return of her air force captain owner. the one thing most doggie reunions have in common they can turn a macho soldier into a baby-talking softy. fathers talk to their dogs like adu adults. >> i missed so badly, i'm so sorry i went away. >> you will make me cry. >> reporter: soldiers locked in a canine embrace. >> oh.
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>> direct eye contact and make sure that i was here. >> reporter: the doggie reunion can even eclipse the human one. >> oh! >> reporter: when the lady of the house handed her man the camera to show off her welcome home ensemble -- >> your lovely outfit. >> yes. >> reporter: kodiak kept stealing the show. >> yay! >> that's wonderful. you are looking good. >> i'm sorry. but i need to be the center of attention so -- >> reporter: of course, dogs have a pretty short attention span. so, after only about 45 seconds of intense petting and a little chasing around -- >> and we're done. >> repter: -- for those of you who think the joy pets bring is just hot air -- the next best thing to a reunion, any. couldn't you just once be happy to see me? >> happy? >> reporter: happy, even when outnumbered. at least a soldier can say things to his dog that he probably shouldn't say to his wife. >> that's your