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tv   The Situation Room With Wolf Blitzer  CNN  October 22, 2011 3:00pm-4:00pm PDT

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church. at least shawn's daughter didn't hit anything. the detroit free press repos she was even seen using her turn signal at least twice. it is her father who seems to have taken the wrong turn by turning to his daughter. >> i got, i got a designated driver. >> reporter: jeanne moos, cnn, new york. >> at the world headquarters in atlanta, i'll see you back here in an hour from now. "the situation room" begins right now. after nearly nine years, an abrupt end to the military mission in iraq. all american forces will now be home by the end of this year. also, the death of a dictator. new details of the final chaotic moments of libya's moammar gadhafi. how did he really die? and herman cain surging in the polls. can he win the republican presidential nomination? we want to welcome our viewers in the united states and around the world. i'm wolf blitzer. you're in the situation room.
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>> today i can report that as promised, the rest of our troops in iraq will come home by the end of the year. after nearly nine years, america's war in iraq will be over. over the next two months, our troops in iraq, tens of thousands of them, will pack up their gear and board convoys for the journey home. the last american soldier will cross the border out of iraq with their heads held high, proud of their success, and knowing that the american people stand united in our support for our troops. that is how america's military efforts in iraq will end. but even as we mark this important milestone, we're also moving into a new phase in the relationship between the united states and iraq. >> it cost the united states a
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foreign in blood and treasure. thousands of american lives, hundreds of billions of dollars. now after nearly nine years, the end of the iraq war is in sight. the united states and iraq were unable to reach an agreement on immunity for u.s. forces going forward so president obama is ordering all troops out of iraq by the end of this year. our white house correspondent dan lothian has more on the surprise announcement that came forward on friday. since then, a lot of people have been wondering, why couldn't the obama administration negotiate an agreement with the government in baghdad, the baghdad of nuri al maliki that would have allowed some u.s. troops, maybe 3,000, 5,000, some u.s. personnel, one in as many as 15,000. what was the stumbling block that prevented a continued u.s. military presence in iraq? >> well, wolf, i think that is a very important question that's being asked. why in fact did the u.s. not want to keep more of a presence
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past that 2011 deadline. that is a question that will be asked over the next days. over the heart of this, you heard it in the president's statement on friday when he started off. that he was injecting politics into this. pointing out that he made a promise back in 2008 when he was running for president that he would push to tend war in iraq in a responsible way and now he's delivering on the promise. the president very much touting his foreign policy credentials, pointing out he was able to get osama bin laden. pointing out that thing are moog forward in afghanistan and now in iraq. the president in very dramatic fashion pointing out what this will mean for the members of the armed services. >> here at home, the coming months will be another season of homecomings. across america, our servicemen and women will be reunited with their families. today, i can say that our troops
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in iraq will definitely be home for the holidays. >> reporter: one of the big questions now is, will the iraqis be able to handle their own security. and the deputy national security adviser saying that they had a full review over a five to seven-month period. they do believe in fact they can. but at the same time, there will be some four to 5,000 contractors on the ground to assist. nonetheless, there are going to be challenges in this administration pointing that out. that there will be some tough times ahead. that the u.s. will be certainly have iraq in its interests. the president pointing out that he has invited the prime their washington in december to continue the discussions. >> lots of fascination on what that in 2012, 2013. as you know, there's a lot of concern that iran strategically could win out of this entire situation. dan lothian at the white house,
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thanks very much. let's go to the pentagon right now. our correspondent chris lawrence is standing by. some pentagon officials wanted to continue to maintain a presence there. 3,000, 5,000, maybe even 15,000 troops. is there a sense of disappointment where you are? >> reporter: i wouldn't call it significant exactly today, wolf. if only because the signs have been out there for some time now that these negotiations were not progressing. we have reported as far back as a week ago that the immunity deal simply could not be reconciled between the two sides. and i want to piggyback on something you and dan spoke about, about iran. i can understand the national security team and the white house painting this as a win. if you look at the bigger context and what defense officials have said over the past year. the u.s. ambassador to iraq said in july that the u.s. had forensic evidence that shiite militias were using iranian made weapons. defense secretary leon panetta
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called them a tremendous concern. and his predecessor robert gates even went so far as to say that most u.s. troops who were being killed in iraq were being killed by sophisticated and powerful weapons from iran. well, if you've got your senior leadership making the case that iran has exerted tremendous influence in iraq with tens of thousands of american troops there, how can you then sell this as a win by saying that influence will be diminished when all those troops are gone? >> that's a good question, a good point. a lot of uncertainty in 2012, 2013. thanks very much. let's go to the middle east. you were there from the very beginning, march 2003. you've seen what's happened in baghdad, elsewhere in iraq. all these years later. give us a thought as you see this new chapter about to begin
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in iraq. >> well, wolf, i really think it's another chapter of the iraq tragedy that is in fact unfolding and i say that based on the example of what has happened or not happened over the last year. in the last year, the iraqi government has fail to fully form. security has absolutely not improved. basic services have not improved. if anything there is a growing discussion among many iraqis, especially in baghdad, about the reemergence of old sectarian tensions. there are great concerns that the maliki government is acting as a dictatorship that is trying to pretend it is a democracy. so many iraqis, especially in the central part of the country are. less optimistic about their future than they were a year ago. very, very bleak. >> what does this say found the government of prime minister nuri al maliki couldn't get enough support to work out some sort of status of forces agreement with the united states that would have allowed some u.s. troops to remain as
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trainers, advisers, i'm specifically referring to the influence of iran in the government of iraq. >> well, when it comes to the sticking point during those negotiations that failed, that was the issue of immunity. that is something that all iraqi wos agree on. they do not want to see immunity for u.s. troops just because of the past history. the number escalation of force incidents where iraqis were shot at checkpoints during raids, innocent victims. they will also go back to the blackwater incident the iraqis will call a massacre. that for them is unacceptable. one has to remember that radical shiite cleric moqtada al sadr issued a very stern threat. he simply said that if the u.s. military extended beyond this deadline, he would reactivate his militia and they would make it their mission to target these american forces. this is something that the maliki government, the prime
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himself, most certainly was taking into calculations. that shows you his influence. that shows you iran's influence. at the end of the day, it was iran that pushed the block and the maliki block together to form the government that we have right now. many people look at this and they will say that the u.s. has effectively handed iraq to iran already. >> i know there's a lot of u.s. officials here that are very concerned. in recent months the government of prime minister nuri al maliki including the prime minister himself effectively have sided with the president of syria in the face of the turmoil that's going on in syria. aligning iraq for all practical purposes with the stance of iran in support of bashar al assad. i know that's a source of great concern. as someone who has watched the situation in syria unfold, give me your thought. >> reporter: well, it most certainly is a clear example of how much influence iraq, iran
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actually does exert over iraq. maliki has been very firm in saying that the syrian president needs to be given a chance to reform. he most he certainly has not been siding with the activists which quite ironic when beth the history and everything that has taken place and transpired in iraq itself. and one has to look at how the maliki government has dealt with the demonstrations inside iraq, the human rights watch, amnesty international, activists themselves have issued reports as to how the iraqi government was using indiscriminate force to try to control the demonstrations happening within its own borders. if we look at what's happening in the bigger picture with all the arab upheaval that's happening. all the various revolutions. one sees a clear axis of countries siding on one or the other. when it comes to syria, iraq clearly has chose grown side with the syrian government. clearly chosen to take a stance against the u.s., against the west. >> arwa damon who spent an
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enormous amount of time in iraq, knows the story as well as any journalist does. thanks very, very much. the death of moammar gadhafi for the first time in more than 40 years, libyans are without the dictator and his shadow. we're checking with our correspondent on the ground. also, the obama administration is pushing to sell thousands of u.s. government buildings. we get an exclusive look inside one of them. plus, herman cain. we have new details on his controversial 9-9-9 tax plan.
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a stunning death. we're learning more about the final chaotic moments. former libyan dictator moammar gadhafi who was killed this week in his home town of sirte. let's go to ivan joining us in tripoli. i know they're still celebrating. a lot of libyans right now. walk us through on the actual circumstances of gadhafi's death. >> reporter: well, it does appear there was some kind of an air strike on a convoy. a combination of french war planes and a u.s. predator drone on. a convoy that was trying to break out of the gadhafi-controlled quarter of his home town of sirte. that convoy appeared to have been hit.
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then the aftermath rebel ground forces engaged with people emerging from the convoy, including gadhafi himself. now this is where it gets murky. we've seen a number of videos emerging with gadhafi bloodied and in the custody of the rebel fighters. he seems to be alive still. and then at some point, he starts appearing in these amateur cell phone videos and snap shots dead with bullet wounds to his torso and head. the transitional national county, the leadership, say that he died in a subsequent cross fire caught between opposition and pro gadhafi forces. there are some questions raised whether he could have been summarily executed. that's a claim that's been denied by the national transitional council. >> in the weeks and months to come, looking ahead a little
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bit, ivan, what is the prospect? what are the best estimates that you're hearing from folks there in libya on the ground? there's certainly a lot of work that has to be done. >> reporter: absolutely. there is a road map in place that the current de facto leadership has signed on to. they'll declare liberation day. what that does is it starts a clock ticking. they've committed to within 90 days, establishing an electoral body, and some kind of an interim government. a new prime minister. and then within eight months, holding national elections. that's incredible when you consider that this is a country that doesn't have any political parties no, independent media. it barely had any civil society. and they're going to try to hold a national election in a country where nobody can remember voting in any election in recent living history. >> ivan watson on the scene for us. we'll stay in close touch with you. thank you. the death of gadhafi is
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certainly being praised around the world. for families of those killed in the 1988 pan am 103 bombing, the moment is still very bitter sweet. our national correspondent susan candiotti has been following this part of the story. and i know you've been speaking with some of the family members. >> reporter: i have. moammar gadhafi's demise gives a sense of relief and justice for some victims' familiar lies lost loved ones. it killed nearly 200. more than any other attack before 9/11. for brian flynn who lost his brother j.p. on that flight, gadhafi's violent death helps fulfill a promise he made to himself and to his brother more than two decades ago. when you heard the news, what did you think? >> i was thrilled. i didn't expect to have that reaction. i had been dreaming about this for more than 20 years. but it was always with the sense that you don't want to be the
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vengeful one thats i want my brother's murderer killed but in a way to you. >> reporter: flynn's big brother j.p. was coming home for christmas after studying abroad when a bomb killed 270 people over lockerbmp ie, scotland. >> to you and to the other families, what did gadhafi represent? >> he was an unrepent ant murderer of these innocent kids coming home for christmas. he did represent the essence of evil to us. >> reporter: we showed him video of gadhafi's body for the first time. >> 32 too bad they couldn't kill him more than once. >> on a personal front, what are your reflections on this day about your brother? >> i remember promising my brother that i wouldn't let it go unanswered. that i would do what i could to get him. i definitely believe that i've honored him and fulfilled my promise by doing what i could. >> i look at his picture over
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your shoulder. >> yes. >> that's where he usually was. he was a classic big brother. today i feel as if hopefully he's proud. >> reporter: and brian flynn said he wants to thank both the libyan people for bravely standing up to gadhafi, and to apologize to them. saying he wishes the u.s. had done more sooner to help bring down gadhafi's dictatorship. wolf? >> thanks very much. with gadhafi's death comes the end of a contentious four-decade relationship with the united states. in 1986, libya was implicated in the deadly nightclub bombing in west berlin that left one american service member dead. it was then that president reagan coined this now infamous term for the dictator. >> well, we know that this mad dog of the middle east has a goal of a world revolution, muslim fundamentalist revolution which is targeted on many of his
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own arab compatriots. and where we figure in that, i don't know. >> president reagan ordered the united states to bomb libya and ill pose economic sanctions on the country. thousands of u.s. government buildings vacant for deck arkds costing millions of dollars in taxpayer money. just ahead, we have exclusive new information on what the white house is now planning to do about it. plus, he came from behind and made a dramatic surge to the front of the pack. here's a question. is herman cain on his way to winning the republican nomination? it's salonpas. pain relief that works at the site of pain... up to 12 hours. salonpas.
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now a cnn exclusive. a new effort the obama administration is taking on as
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part of the push to jump start the economy. it involves tens of thousands of u.s. government building that's are costing american taxpayers millions and millions of dollars. let's bring in lisa sylvester. she has details. your investigation has come up with some pretty amazing stuff. >> that's right. there are 14,000 properties in the federal portfolio that are not being used and 55,000 building that's are underused. the obama administration wants to get some of these off their books and we have an exclusive look inside one of the buildings. this building in the upscale georgetown neighborhood in washington, d.c. used to be a heating plant for the federal government. for the last decade, it has been vacant. it's one of tens of thousands in excess of underutilized properties. >> this could be easily converted. >> reporter: ken salazar said he is eager to see this building sold off. it is part of the larger obama administration initiative to cut waste and net $3 billion in
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savings by 2012. >> the property basically stacked up all across the nation. what the president has said is we won't do that anymore. we'll make sure that we get all this extra property out there on the market. so it becomes part of our economic recovery. >> reporter: this particular building costs about $350,000 just to maintain. that's for keeping the lights on and for paying security. you can do the math. it has been sitting vacant for ten years. that's more than $3 million of wasted taxpayer money. the administration is asking congress to set up a special board comprised of private and public members to identify other federal properties that the government no longer needs. similar to commissions set up to close military bases. jeffrey, the deputy director of the white house office of management and budget estimates the government could raise $15 billion in the first three years alone. >> the idea is you put together bundles of properties, rather than dealing with properties one by one. one by one, you run into local
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political interests and red tape. when you bundle the properties for an up or down vote by congress, you're able to move many properties at once. >> reporter: properties already up for sale can be found on an interactive map on the white house website. but there is the question of timing. is now the time to sell these properties or should you wait to see down the line if the federal government might be able to get more money for it? the price are depressed right now. >> they are. i think for a property like this, and one of the reasons we're being very aggressive about it, is that it is in prime real estate. >> reporter: a valuable piece of real estate with a magnificent view of downtown d.c. in northern virginia. that the federal government believes could fetch a high price. even in the slow real estate market. legislation has been introduced in do know establish this type of committee that would be a citizen version of the base closure and realignment commission. the white house has also included this proposal in a list given to the super committee which has been tasked with
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cutting the budget deficit. >> good report. thanks very much. the government needs money. deficits are exploding, as we all know. >> one way to do it. sell something. the end of the war in iraq. the president promises all u.s. troops will be home for the holidays. we'll get reaction from capitol hill. >> and our expert, general marks. stand by. >> plus, dozens of exotic animals shot and killed. new details coming out about the tragedy in ohio. d one that usess instead of real people. 'cuz robots work for free. robot 1:good morning... robot 1:...female child. sfx: modem dial-up noise woman: are there flaws? yeah, um, maybe. anncr: there's an easier way to save. anncr: get online. go to get a quote. 15 minutes could save you 15% or more on car insurance.
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as commander-in-chief ensuring the success of the strategy has been one of my highest national security priorities. last year, i announced the end to our combat mission in iraq. and to date we've removed more than 100,000 troops. iraqis have taken full responsibility for their country's security. a few hours ago i spoke with
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iraqi prime minister maliki. i reaffirmed the united states keeps its commitments. he spoke of the determination of the iraqi people to forge their own future. we are in full agreement about how to move forward. so today, i can report that as promised accident the rest of our troops in iraq will come home by the end of the year. >> the president of the united states making the drama announcement on friday that all u.s. troops would in fact be out of iraq by the end of this year. about 38,000 u.s. forces on the ground right now. over the next two months or so, all will be coming home. let's assess what's going on with retired u.s. army major general james spider marks. thanks for coming in. the president says the u.s. and iraq, that he and nuri al maliki are in full agreement on this. but there were widespread reports, as you well know, that the u.s. wanted to negotiate a new status of forces agreement with iraq that would have
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allowed 3,000 to 5,000 u.s. troops remain on the ground with full immunity from prosecution. the iraqis said no. >> the status of forces agreement is an absolute must whenever you have boots on the ground. whether it is a single soldier or a marine or a whole group. 150,000 at its height. status of forces agreement is absolutely critical. you can't have a presence of u.s. military on the ground unless you have that. >> all u.s. troops in iraq had that immunity. but now the prime minister of iraq based on -- he says you won't get it anymore if you want to keep troops there. >> i can't believe for a minute that the president of the united states thought this was a good outcome. i truly can't. >> thought what was a good outcome? . the u.s. has to withdraw because we couldn't get a s.o.f.a. agreement. if we could have achieved a sofa, we would have had a presence on the ground in iraq which needed to be there.
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of some size to allow the iraqis continued help so they could grow their military. you know, wolf, it takes about eight to ten years to grow a noncommissioned officer. that is the back bone of every military. they, the iraqis are not there yet. they need some more time. >> they need some help. >> they do. >> tuesday will be able to train these troops if they come to the united states. >> of course. that's not a problem. >> of course they could do that. and i would hazard a guess, and i have no inside scoop here, that the united states will still have a very large presence in kuwait. we have a very good agreement and a very good arrangement with kuwait. i would imagine we'll have an over the horizon capability. if we could have training conducted there, that's a possibility. i'm guessing that's an outcome. what you want to do is have soldiers and noncommissioned officers and their leaders to train in field exercises and to train in command post exercises
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on the ground where they live and where they work. you want to be able to do that in iraq. that's gone. >> as you know, some u.s. military central command which overseas this entire region didn't want just 3,000 to 5,000 u.s. troops remaining in iraq themselves want 15,000 or so to remain there to underscore this u.s. military presence in the face of potential advantage that the iranians, their next door neighbor, are seeking. >> take it to the next level. at the strategic level, iran is the influencer in the region. it is now very, very apparent. baghdad has made a decision not to align it southwesterly the united states and with the west. they clearly are looking to tehran. you bring it down. what does that mean in terms of their ability to respond? what will happen as we move down the road? what type of conditions have we created? if the united states had some presence on the ground, it needed also to have the ability to respond in case there was some type of military action. you would never want to put any
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one of our trainers, any one of our intelligence folks, any medical support at any type of risk. you need to have a presence. you need to have enough of a stance so you can do something about it. >> the u.s. embassy in baghdad is the largest u.s. embassy in the world. thousands of diplomats. there will still be private contractors who will be assigned to the embassy who presumably will be able to help the iraqi milita military, is that right? >> very true. within the sim there will be a military presence. >> the marines who guard the embassy. >> but also a defense attache, some form of a military representational -- >> they have diplomatic immunity. that's different than military immunity. >> but they are soldiers, is my point. the united states of america cannot afford to have any form of a military individual without the immunity and the protections provided by s.o.f.a.
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>> the u.s. military presence in that region, in kuwait there is a robust military presence. in qatar, a robust military presence. bahrain, even, despite all the problem we've seen. the u.s. navy' fifth fleet still headquartered in bahrain. the u.s. does have a presence there. but it's another thing for the u.s. to completely be out of iraq. >> completely concur with you. a strategic mistake. the individual soldier is fine with that decision. he and she salute and they'll gladly go back home. that's a good outcome for them. and they'll continue their responsibilities in terms of maintaining readiness and being prepared for that next mission, wherever it is. at the strategic level, we've made a mistake. we've handed this over to the iranians in terms of influence. >> a year from now, five years from now, if we look at that region, will iraq for all practical purposes be aligned with iran and maybe we've syria? >> every reason to believe that that is a real possible outcome. we've never opportunity a very
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good job at predicting the future. so hopefully, that won't be an outcome. but hope is never a methodology. the only way do you anything is you have the ability to do something. right now, we've abdicated that to the iranians. we're letting the iraqis do that. they cheered their liberation when iraq was liberated back in 2003. they now scorn their liberators. i think it is a big mistake. >> let's talk about the next two months. the withdrawal. nearly 40,000 troops are still in iraq. is there any danger? in the past we've heard that the u.s. troop presence goes down and down and down, there's less security for those still there. >> the security will be maintained. it is certain lay period of vulnerability. you have a huge amount of moving parts. clearly there's a physical concern. you've got to take care to make sure that's done exceptionally well. that's about physics and very well planned matrices. but you can be very exposed at
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that time because you're thinking about leaving the area of operations. and you let your guard do. you can't let that happen until the mission is complete. >> let's not forget, there are still 100,000 or so u.s. troops in afghanistan and they're scheduled to stay there through the end of 2014 which is another they years. so still u.s. military personnel working hard in that part of the world. general marks, thank you for coming in. republican candidate cain sent mixed messages on whether he would free a terror suspect. we'll talk about whether herman cain can actually win the republican presidential nomination. and a residential community turned into a jungle. behind the drum and the danger, when dozens of wild animals escaped in ohio this week. [ indistinct talking on radio ]
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herman cain is changing his 9-9-9 a bit. he said those who fall below the poverty level would have a 9-0-9 plan. it replaces the current tax code with a 9% corporate tax, a 9% income tax, and a new 9% national sales tax. opponents have argued the middle part of the plan would increase taxes on the poor who currently pay little or no federal income tax. cain says the new 9-0-9 plan would protect those individuals. i had a chance to interview herman cain in las vegas this week and i asked him what he thought about israeli prime
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minister benjamin netanyahu, freeing people in exchange for one israeli soldier. then i asked him this. can you imagine if you were president, we're almost out of time. and there were one american soldier who had been held for years and the demand was al qaeda or some other terrorist group. you've got to free everyone at guantanamo bay. several hundred prisoners. could you see himself as president authorizing that kind of transfer? >> i could see myself authorizing that kind of transfer. what i would do is i would make sure that i got all of the information. i got all of the input, considered all of the options and then the president has to be the president and make a judgment call. i can make that call if i had to. >> five hours later at the cnn debate, he had a different answer. >> let me say this first. i would have a policy that we do not negotiate with terrorists. we have to lay that principle
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down first. now, being you have to look at each individual situation and consider all the facts. >> but you're saying, in your words, you said i could see myself authorizing that kind of a transfer. isn't that negotiating with in this case, al qaeda? >> i don't recall him saying that it was al qaeda-related. >> he did. >> well, my policy would be we cannot negotiate with terrorists. >> later, he told anderson cooper that he had misspoke during his interview with me earlier in the day. let's discuss what's going on with our senior political analysts. and i guess the fundamental question, a lot of folks are asking, he's doing remarkably well. not only in the national polls but you look at the poll in iowa and south carolina. he looks like he is atop those polls. can he win the republican nomination? >> probably not in the end. the paradox of outsider candidates, what makes they will so attractive on first blush is usually what makes people hesitant over the longer material. herman cain is someone who is
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cares mattic and dynamic. as his answers to your questions and many others, he has not spent a lot of time thinking about running for president or all of the issues he would face. usually through sustained exposure, that comes out and diminishes their appeal. he is part of a larger phenomenon. the inability of the conservative tea party evangelical half of the republican party to find one candidate they can settle on as their alternate. it may roll back to perry before it is over. >> let's talk about romney and perry. it got pretty exciting. they got very personal. let me play you a little clip. >> i'm speaking -- i'm speaking, i'm speaking, i'm speaking. you get 30 seconds. this is the way the rules work here is that i get 60 second and then you get, and then you get 30 seconds to respond. f and they want to hear -- that you say you -- >> would you please a wait? are you going to keep talking?
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are you going to let me finish? look -- >> no matter how many times i see, that i don't remember a debate getting that intense. >> in 1992 in i will will clinton. when brown raced the law firm -- >> were you surprised? >> that rick perry came out swinging? he needed this debate in retrospect. if he does recover and become a factor in the race after really skidding, this will be seen as the debate marked the turning of the tide for him back in to becoming a serious candidate. part of the, he's really faced two problems. perry emerge asked quickly consolidated a lot of right and then as quickly lost it. mostly for two reason. one, the criticism on the policy on instate tuition for illegals which opened up a vulnerability. made them wonder if he was as much one of them as they believe. the problem cain may face. the other question is the doubt he may take to really contest
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the general election because of the weakness of his performance in the early debates. clearly going into this, they were hoping to address both those issues. you will see them reassure conservatives with the flat tax proposal coming out next week. >> going with steve forbes on that issue is now an adviser to rick perry on that. let's talk about president obama for a second. he's got a string of national security victories going back to may with the killing of bin laden, this week gadhafi dies in libya. we don't exactly know which circumstances. he announces friday all u.s. troops are out of iraq by the end of this year. declaring victory. the u.s. mission in iraq over. politically speaking, any of this really going to resonate in the general election next year? >> this definitely qualifies, i you would agree, in the who would have thunk it category. a president running for reelection, and foreign policy will be an asset for him in this race.
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most americans will see most of this record as being strong. the problem is, as you suggest, that the economy is likely to completely overshadow all other issues. so at the margin, yes, this will help him. it will be a calling card. a way to seem presidential next to the republican nominees. i think his fate will turn on whether voters believe he has a plan to lead us toward better times economically. >> you have a great article. rocky territory about colorado. >> the entire mountain west which has become, as you saw, increasingly contested terrain for both parties. it used to be reliably republican. in 2008, when colorado, nm, because of his difficulty with oriole white vote here's are concentrated in the midwest. those states are probably even more important for him in 2012 than 2008. the problem is that while they're a demographic trend that bends tornado the democrats in all of those places. when democrats be in office, bill clinton in 2004 or barack obama in 2010. they've had trouble hold everything voters in this
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region. so obama has more need for these states. it used to be a luxury for democrats. now it's a necessity. >> thank you very much. dozens of wild animal shot dead after escaping an exotic preserve. did the authorities do the right thing? we'll take to you a preserve in the washington, d.c. area and try to get some answers.
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s tos of wild animals were on the loose this week after escaping an exotic preserve and terrorizing residents in ohio. many of the animal were shot dead by authorities. our reporter visited an area in d.c. like the ones in ohio. it was a strange experience, i'm sure for you. >> it was. this story ratchets up the debate over wild animal should be brought to preserve that's are in some cases thousands of mile away from their natural habitats. as we found out at a preserve near washington, not all these facilities are alike. we pass within ten feet of him in a golf cart. in a split second, phoenix springs to his feet and begins stalking us. this 500 pound white bengal tiger is similar to the one that was let out, then killed outside the animal preserve in ohio. >> wild animals can't fend for themselves in this environment. this is not their jungle. >> reporter: richard, the director of the wildlife
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preserve about 60 miles outside washington. he's been here 45 years and now oversees a compound covering 50 achers with some 600 animals. many of them exotics. he has tigers, timberwolves, lions, mountain lions, many of the same breeds were sprung in ohio. which of those animals are the most dangerous? >> probably the big cats. they're faster. they're like a house cat, you know, a house cat has instincts to go after anything that runs from it. >> reporter: hans said as much as it breaks his heart, he thinks the authorities in high dhi the right thing putting down the bengal tiger there. he says the tranquillizer police tried to shoot it with probably wasn't strong enough and likely got the tiger more agitated. >> this is a little alligator 2 or 3 years old. they have 19 alligators here. maybe one of his parents here. the fact that this preserve and others like it keep these
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animals, raises the debate about whether animal like this should be brought to preserves like this. hans has taken in several animals in dire need of care. like this bald eagle injured by a car. he said the vast majority of his animal came from zoos or pet ownsers but it is an argument he's used to. >> many people feel that reptiles like, this predators, should never be brought to a place like this or a preserve in ohio. what do you say to that? >> well, unfortunately, bringing them to a preserve like this is probably one of the better choices. these animals were originally sold as pets. and they grew too fast, too big for someone who had them. and then they have go someplace. >> he said some animals are better in places like the than even their natural habitats. he points to dhirgs are becoming and tinged in china, russia and india where the trade in their body parts is still very
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lookraty. >> and it is not cheap to maintain these. >> not at all. it is expensive to do it right. at this preserve it costs about $100,000 just to feed them every year. that tiring we showed you goes through 30 pounds of meat in a day. not cheap, not reasonable if you're going to do it right. >> but there are places like this all over the country. >> there are and they're popular. a brutal dictator with some really bizarre habits. we'll talk to someone who met him in his tent. ♪
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i tell you what i can spend. i do my best to make it work. i'm back on the road safely. and i saved you money on brakes. that's personal pricing. moammar gadhafi was known for his cruelty and pretty bizarre behavior and habits. this man had a chance to sit down with the now deceased libyan leader a few years back. take a look at this. >> reporter: he was the strangest head. state i've ever met. moammar gadhafi received me several years ago for an interview in a large tent in tripoli. then quiet port city where just about every billboard and sign was painted with his picture. ronald reagan once called him a mad dog and gadhafi's behavior was indeed particular. he was famous for his flamboyant dress, his legion of female body guards, and his bizarre fixations, such as a plan to
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abolish switzerland. in person he seemed lethargic. his eyes seemed unfocused. his answers through a translator seemed rambling. we never saw the female body guards and his clothing was relatively low key. a camouflage shirt with pictures of africa. libya today is in transition. its revolution has triumph asked its people demanding democracy. when i brought up democracy, he threatened to sue me for slander. >> translator: if you or somebody else says libya is not a democracy, he told us, then it would be considered an insult and maybe we could go to court to redoom honor from that insult. >> reporter: back then libya was a rogue state trying to redeem itself. it had surrendered its most dangerous weapons to the west. it was trying to open its economy to the world. its leader was the wild card. the unpredictable lem.
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