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tv   The Situation Room With Wolf Blitzer  CNN  November 19, 2011 3:00pm-4:00pm PST

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the egg supplier. the company says it's already fired some workers and there's an investigation under way. much more of this story tonight at 7:00 p.m. eastern right here on cnn. thank you so much for watching. i'll be back here one hour from now. in the meantime, "the situation room" with mr. wolf blitzer starts right now. will this debate be a game changer? and newt gingrich firing back amid swirling questions about whether he was paid more than $1 million by troubled mortgage giant freddie mac. and congresswoman gabrielle give fords breaking her silence this week for the first time since being shot in the head. just ahead. her emotional trying road to
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recovery and the dramatic new message she has for her constituents. we want to welcome our viewers in the united states and around the world. i'm wolf blitzerment you're in "the situation room." first the battle for the white house. the issue is national security on cnn. i'll be moderating a debate tuesday night right here in washington with the republican presidential contenders. and with the spotlight getting brighter on those at the front of the pack, they could have the potential to -- the potential to be a game changer. joining us now for a preview, danielle pletka. she is with the american enterprise institute. james carafano, director for foreign policy at the heritage foundation and norm orenstein. he also writes a weekly column for "roll call." i want to point out the debate will be co-sponsored by the american enterprise institute
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and heritage foundation. thanks to both of your organizations for helping us with that as well. let's get to what you're looking for, danielle. first to you. what is the single most important national security foreign policy issue you want clarified tuesday night? >> there are two things that are really important. what is the next president or the next wanna be president going to do about iran? and what is the next president going to do about afghanistan? those are two huge challenges. >> those are big challenges. are those on the top of your list? >> it s it's all about character. every president faces a challenge nobody thought of before they get elected. and the policy positions they have now may not be relevant for a year from now. what you're really concerned about is what kind of commander in chief is this person going to be? that's the big issue. >> how big is national security and foreign plcy? i know the economy is issue number one. but voters out there want clarification on who's going to be a good commander in chief. >> well, this is really important for the country. voters right now, it hasn't been as important. but i think james has a very
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good point which is we do in the end look at candidates through that prism, commander in chief. remember that ad in 2008, the 3:00 a.m. phone call. if you have a candidate who woken up at 3:00 a.m. and says i don't knee anything about that, go back to the national security adviser, you're going to have some misgivings even if in every other particular the voters like him. >> so it's a big deal. want to play this report. barbara starr prepared it. she's taking a look at this very subject. watch this and then we'll discuss. >> the mystery continues. u.s. intelligence now believes iran was mixing highly will have tile rocket fuel when it exploded killing this powerful iranian general and more than a dozen others. two u.s. officials tell cnn the fuel was for a large ballistic missile, the kind of missile that iran could eventually use to carry a nuclear warhead.
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the facility is part of iran's suspected nuclear weapons program. many sites are deep underground. if president obama were to order a strike, the air force has a new weapon. these 30,000 pound bombs. carried by b-2 or b-52 bombers with more than 5,000 pounds of explosives, kit penetrate 200 feet underground before detonating. >> it gives us a far greater capability to reach and destroy an enemy's weapons of mass destruction. >> reporter: the pentagon doesn't want to say publicly it's all about iran. >> the system is not aimed at any one country. >> reporter: while the administration plays the not so subtle message, republican candidates have been talking tough as well. some wonder if they're going too far. >> maximum covert operations to block and disrupt the iranian program including taking out their scientists, including
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breaking up their systems. >> and working a covert basis to encourage the dissidents. >> i hope we've been doing everything we can covertly. >> reporter: retired army intelligence generals james mark says it's a bad idea to talk openly about secret actions. >> we don't have to talk about that, nor should anyone who wants to go into public office. so what we see with current debates and discussions about covert operations specifically against iran or other potential nations or entities should be eliminated. that needs to stop. >> reporter: expert say one of the reasons candidates should stop talking about all of this, they might inadvertently ruin an on going covert operation against iran if there was one under way. barbara starr, cnn, the pentagon. >> let's bring back our panel. too much discussion of covert operations potential by these republican candidates as far as iran is concerned? >> i don't think there is too much discussion of anything. i think the american people need
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to know. i think we also need to recognize, we don't live in a vacuum. the iranians are listening. our allies are listening. a lot of people are worried about a country that's going to have a nuclear weapon very soon. >> with the exception of ron paul, the other republican candidates basically, correct me if i'm wrong, james, seem to be on the same page as far as iran is concerned including the potential option if necessary of military force. >> i think that's a fair assessment. of course, what makes it tough for these guys is when the next guy puts his hand on the bible, things can be dra mat matically different. >> like what? >> we could have an israeli military strike. quo have a breakout from iran. we could have the iranian government, have another green revolution. so a lot of things can happen between now and then. so it's very, very hard to say this is what i'm going to do. boy, it could be a very different part of the world. >> it is true the republicans -- at least the republican candidates with the exception of ron paul, maybe john huntsman but the others are hawkish than
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president obama is right now when it comes to iran and its nuclear program? >> there certainly much more hawkish in rhetoric right now. but what we do see, of course, is inevitably you're going to have political demands. waunt to sh you want to show that your tough. but you got to be a little bit careful for just the reasons that we've been talking about. not only now, mine, you know, we've had snucks net and assassinations of scientistses. we had an explosion last week. the definition of covert is secret and concealed. and you don't want to start talking about things that put the blame back on us. i don't know who is responsible for those things. i don't want to know. so there is a little bit of a danger here that really is the clash between domestic politics and the real realities of foreign policy. >> you may not want to know, but i'd like to know. i'm a curious guy. i'm sure all of would you say like to know. these are classified operations, whoever is responsible for them. at that last republican debate, danielle, michelle bachmann, the
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congresswoman from minnesota, she is running for president, she said this. >> the table is being set for worldwide nuclear war against israel. if there's anything that we know, president obama has been more than willing to stand with occupy wall street. he hasn't been willing to stand with israel. >> worldwide nuclear war against israel. sort of jumped out at me. what did you think of that? >> i think what she's eluding to is once the fact iran gets a weapon if, they get a weapon, and many of us believe they will, then other countries in the regions have suggested they're going to be next. the saudis have said it blankly. the egyptians said brit mu bbar was overthrown. what about the turks? then there is the syrians. we don't even know who is going to be in power in syria. but what there is the potential for a real nuclear cascade in the region. once we see that, all bets are off. >> you think that there's no daut that these sanctions are not going to work and then in the end iran will have a nuclear weapons program? >> i spent the last quarter
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century looking at iran's sanctions. they haven't worked up until now. the eiranians are closing to a sanction. why would the next nail in the coffin actually persuade them when they're this close? >> how close do you think iran is right now to actually having that nuclear weapons capability? >> anybody that gives you the answer to that question, don't trust them. i think we're living inside the margin of error. i don't think we're going to know when the breakout occurs. and what people forget is north korea and iran who routinely share information between the two of them, they can speed up the program in ways we can't imagine. >> herman cain, he is one of the frontrunners. there are sexual allegations and blunders he made on national security and foreign policy. let me play this clip four. i want to talk about the republican brand and national security. listen to this. >> i do not agree with the way he handled it for the following reason --
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that's a different line. i got to go back. i have all this stuff twirling around in my head glchlt he is ready to be commander in chief? >> it was interesting that michelle bachmann actually has attacked him frontally saying you got to be ready on day one to be commander in chief. i think, you know, what his campaign said afterwards is well he was operating on less than four hours of sleep. that takes us back to the 3:00 a.m. phone call. you are going to say i only had four hours of sleep? call me again in four hours? i think it's something that he is going to have to deal with in a fashion much better than he has. and this debate is going to be a challenge for him. i think maybe an opportunity. >> you know, danielle, over the years national security, that's been a strength of the republican party over the years. is he hurting the republican
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brand? >> i don't think any of these candidates are hurting the brand. i think what we're providing, all of us, is an opportunity for these candidates to talk more and more and more. it's really up to the public to decide exactly who has the medal to be the next candidate to face president obama. i hate the idea that we're going to spend all of our time fixating on little snip its where people make mistakes. it is about character as jim said. it isn't about knowing what the capital is at a particular moment. >> this was not just the capital of a particular moment. this was basically a simple question about libya. >> but tuesday night is really different. this is an open book test. it's 90 minutes on foreign policy. they have had plenty of time to get ready. i don't think anybody is going to have an excuse that they're getting caught blindsided on this one. all u.s. troops will be out of iraq by the end of this year, by the end of december. this was a deal that president bush made before he left office. and now that president obama is being criticized because
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residual force of a few thousand is not able to remain in iraq. i want you to listen to what the secretary of state hillary clinton told our reporter on the road this week. >> that agreement dating to 2008 has been implemented. the only way we can defend our people, protect them, is through private contractors. >> thousands of american diplomats, aid workers, others remaining in iraq. they're not going to have the u.s. military to protect them. they may have iraqi military to protect them. they're ready to accept all that iraqi forces. >> we have this debate between the republicans and democrats. >> there is a little delicacy here. there was an agreement made by president bush, of course, we know that the troops are coming out because the u.s. couldn't reach a deal with the maliki government about whether we would have protection for those.
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>> immunity. >> immunity. frankly, the reality is that the impact of this on the election is going to come on the ground. what's going to happen after those troops are gone. that will redoundn in president obama. it's event driven, i think, more than anything else. >> all three of you will be with me at that debate. constitution hall, tuesday night, 8:00 p.m. eastern only here on cnn. thanks very much for coming in. >> thanks, wolf. >> a surge in the polls has newt gingrich in the spotlight right now. now he's facing serious questions about his very profitable ties with the backdrop mortgage giant freddie mac. and gab rielle giffords rod to roofrry. this is the relief i've been looking for. salonpas has 2 powerful pain fighting ingredients that work for up to 12 hours.
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the political hot water for republican presidential hopeful gingrich after making a jump to the top of the polls is face being serious questions about his ties to a number of big companies. there are new reports this think-tank collected tens of
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millions of dollars from the health care industry. we also learned this week he was paid more than a million dollars by the troubled mortgage giant freddie mac. let's bring in our own brian todd who is investigating this part of the story for us. what you are learning? >> this new information about gingrich's compensation at freddie mac and what he did for them presents tough new questions for the candidate, especially considering his campaign rhetoric in recent days. listen to his comments at a "washington post" bloomberg news debate. >> if you want to put people in jail, i want to second what michelle said. you have to start with barney frank and chris dodd and look at the politician that's created the environment. and the politicians who put this country in trouble. >> clearly not saying they should go to jail. >> and chris dodd's case, go back and look at the countryside deals. barney frank's case, look at the lobbyist who is close to that freddie mac. >> but there are new questions about gingrich's own connections
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to freddie mac. cnn confirmed from sources in position to know, information first reported by bloomberg news that gingrich was paid between $1.6 million and $1.8 million for two separate stints at freddie mac. from 1999 when he left congress to 2002, and from 2006 to 2008. asked if the money figure is accurate? >> i don't know. >> reporter: what did he do for freddie mac? gingrich said he offered advice as a historian, telling freddie mac officials that lending to people with no credit history was a mistake. elater said strategic adviser, contacted at cnn, four people worked for freddie mac while gingrich was there, disagreed with his role as historian. one said his role is strategic. bloomberg cites officials saying the former house speaker was asked to build bridges to
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capitol hill republicans. i spoke with bob edgar of the liberal group common cause which advocates for more trans pair eni government. >> what does that seem like to you? when you're paying over a million dollars to build bridges with capitol hill, you're buying a lobbyist, you're buying somebody with your money that can connect with you members of congress. you don't hire a historian to do that. you don't hire someone just to give you polite advice. you hire somebody who makes those relationships work. and that's lobbying whether you are registered or not. that is hard core lobbying. >> reporter: a characterization that gingrich further denies. >> i did no lobbying at all. that's all i got to say about it. >> now it would not have been illegal for him to have lobbied for freddie mac unless he it that fist year he was employed by them right after he left congress. we checked federal records and found nothing indicating he was a registered lobbyist.
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freddie mac would only say that gingrich was a consultant but did not lobby for them. >> we're getting other details on what he did exactly for freddie mac. >> that's right. a former official at freddie mac told us that gingrich was consulted about freddie mac's efforts to become more transparent about risk and capital management and how the efforts would be received by republicans in congress. this person said gingrich was also consulted at one point about the company's efforts to bond with the bush administration, bringing more minorities into homeownership, this at a time when republicans overall were really against the whole idea of having a fannie and freddie there. again, important work and important work as far as the political implications with republicans. technically, not physically lobbying for them. >> who els was freddie mac paying? fannie mae paying for that matter even as both of those operations are in serious
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financial trouble? lisa sylvester is here with that part of the story giving us a little bit more perspective. >> that's right, wolf. newt gingrich has spoken out blaming fannie mae and freddie mac for contributing to the housing crisis. he has received more than $1.5 million from freddie mac. it turns out he was not the only congressional lawmaker who went through the revolving door and ended up with big checks from freddie mac. this restaurant? washington, d.c., was one of freddie mac's chief lobbyist mitchell dealt's favorite spots to wine and dine politicians. records show freddie mac held 85 fundraisers for federal candidates between 2000 and 2003, raising more than $1.5 million for them. many of the lawmakers being honored sat on the house financial services committee, a congressional panel charged with overseeing freddie mac and fannie mae. the federal election commission found this to be a blatant violation of federal law and fined freddie mac $3.8 million,
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the largest fec fine ever. but this was only part of freddie mac's strategy to curry favor among federal lawmakers. freddie mac at the time was trying to fend off calls for new oversight and regulation. lobbying records show the federally backed mortgage lender spent more than $50 million between 2003 and 2006 just on lobbying. >> both fannie mae and freddie mac were major political players. they were spending millions of dollars each year on lobbying, if not tens of millions of dollars and they were incredibly well connected organizations. >> reporter: among those paid to advise freddie mac was former house speaker neutrnewt gingric. he was paid more than $1.5 million by freddie mac. he denies he ever lobbied for them and insisted he tried to warn them they were headed to financial disaster. >> i said to them at the time this is a bubble. this is insane. this is impossible. >> reporter: freddie mac and
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fannie mae ended up having to be bailed out by federal taxpayers and was put in a conservatorship in 2007. up until then it had a roster of lobbyists that read luke a who's who in washington? former congressman vin webber, susan mull nari, alfonse d'amato, susan hershman among them. howard marlot with the american league of lob yists says often the line between adviser consultant and registered lobbyist can be blurry. >> i can't speak to mr. gingrich or anybody else. i have no idea what they were doing. we do know that in terms of people who are actually doing lobbying or evolved with lobbyists in planning lobbying that there is a lot that is not registered. >> i called freddie mac for a response and told "we're not discussing past practices that we are no longer engaged in." in 2008 they folded up the
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lobbying operations. >> what a storey. and it's not going away. almost a year after -- almost being assassinated, congresswoman gabrielle giffords is talking about her recovery. we have highlights of her emotional first ever tv interview since the shooting. and this company received half a billion dollars in taxpayer loans only to face bankruptcy and an fbi raid. now lawmakers here in washington are demanding answers. i found one that uses robots 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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amazing new video of congresswoman gab rehe will giffords long and challenging road to recovery.
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in the months after she was shot down in that deadly tus an maz kerrment she revealed the video and spoke publicly for the first time in an interview for abc news. but giffords isn't stopping there. her office also released an audio message she recorded for constituents. we have the story. >> among the most powerful images recorded by gab rehe will giffords husband is this one. >> are you sad? >> it's going to get better. >> why are you laughing? >> the video aired on abc in a diane sawyer exclusive interview. asked how she felt when her husband told her about the shooting that left six dead and 13 wounded -- >> i cried. i cried. >> sad. >> sad. sad. >> a lot of people died. >> it hurts? >> yes. yes.
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tough. tough. tough. >> she tells abc she remembers nothing from that day. >> that day is gone. >> gone. >> nor is she angry about it. >> no. no. no. life. life. >> the home movies show how much music has helped giffords recovery enabling her to find words after the shooting. ♪ i love >> helping her remember songs. ♪ let it shine let it sunshine ♪ >> even coaxing her with the help of a therapist to take her first steps. >> beautiful. >> the bullet tore through the left side of her brain which controls speech and language. she spends two hours with a therapist learning to find words, make sure sentences and move her right side.
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asked by abc if she'll go back to congress -- >> no. >> it's better? >>. >> she wants to get better. >> better. >> you want to get better. >> better. >> and so you think to yourself i'll go back to congress if i get better? >> yes. yes. >> today in a brief recorded message on her official facebook site, she tells her constituents she's anxious to get back to work representing them. >> i'm getting stronger. i'm getting better. i want to get back to work representing arizona is my honor. >> reporter: the message coincides with a hearing on capitol hill in which a woman who witnessed the giffords shooting xld for more stringent gun laws including universal
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background checks. in the interview, mark kelly says the couple had been planning to have a baby through in vitro vertization. giffords was shot the week before that procedure was to have taken place. cnn, new york. herman cain displaying his inadd questioncies as a badge of honor? she and ron brownsteen stranding by next. and economic growth. north america actually has one of the largest oil reserves in the world. a large part of that is oil sands. this resource has the ability to create hundreds of thousands of jobs. at our kearl project in canada, we'll be able to produce these oil sands with the same emissions as many other oils and that's a huge breakthrough. that's good for our country's energy security and our economy.
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moderating it. >> i just ask the questions. you want to get nuggets. >> i do. i want to have them elaborate a little bit more on the discussion of zeroing out foreign aid. there was a discussion in the last foreign policy debate about what you do about foreign aid. and there was some disagreement there. there was also a lot of saber-rattling i would have to say. i think i would like to hear more about that. obviously, i want to hear more about herman cain about libya which is a question he had a problem with earlier this week. >> is this like when people watch a car chase on television, they're waiting for a disaster or whatever? because there have been ten debates or so. >> i think it's true on the foreign policy. they're not debating each other as trying to krosh the threshold in the eyes of the public that they're credible as commander in chief. the one other area i would add is excellent work by my colleague at the last debate. but one area they did not close the circle on is getting all of the candidates on the record
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about whether they believe water boarding is torture. we have several candidates we have to hear from. i think getting him on the record, on camera talking about those issues is going to be very important point to button up at this next debate. >> if you take a look at the differences between the republican candidates, ron paul clearly disagrees with almost all of them. john huntsman to a certain degree, but the others on a lot of the issues, pretty much on the same page. >> i think there's a question on the republican party, if you look at john mccain at one end and john mccain is a hawk, wants to be much more interventionist and you look at ron paul at the other end, there's a question of just how isolationist the republican party has become because intervention has become a fiscal issue. and so that's a debate they're having internally. >> the debate is tuesday. wednesday is the deadline for the so-called super committee to come up with their deal. we don't know if there will be or won't be a lot of people are guessing.
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let me read to you what you wrote. i want to discuss. absent a last minute breakthrough, the 12 member panel won't produce a sweeping grand bargain. although the committee was still negotiating as this column went to press, most in washington are expecting either an incremental package or a partisan stalemate that triggers $1.2 trillion in automatic cuts. >> at this point, i mean you may have the hypocratic oath of do no harm. they have $1.2 trillion in cuts set up as part of the process that allowed the debt ceiling to be raised last summer. and they also have, wolf, you have to understand, looming the bush tax cuts do expire at the end of 2012. and that is $4 trillion in potential reduction. as they struggle to the finish line and we were talking about this before, this really is an indictment of washington's and built to come together to solve problems. as they struggle with the most important thing they do is not undermine further deficit reduction either by undermining
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the sequestration of that $1.2 trillion or locking in an extension of those long range tax cuts which clearry are going to be a biggish knew 2012. >> here's the problem for congress. they have no credibility. and what little credibility they have at 9% approval rating, they're going to lose it. if they can't get something done. and what we see happening is they're starting to rationalize their own failure with liberal democrats saying, you know what? these cuts aren't so bad. and republicans saying, maybe we can undo some of those defense cuts. and this is not what the public bargained for. they kicked the can down the road after the debt ceiling. they're now trying to kick the can down the road yet again. >> when you say kick the can, none of the cuts of sequestration, they don't begin until 2013. >> that's right. a lot of republicans are probably thinking president obama's approval rating is struggling. we have a chance to win the white house. the house, and take back the senate in 2013 and we can just impose our solution. we don't have to compromise with democrats. we can pass the paul ryan
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budget, convert medicare into a premium support system without accepting any tax cuts, that's going to be a lot more difficult than it looks on a party line base tois transform a social program that affects as many 40 million people as medicare does on a party line basis with no democratic support. i think republicans are underestimating the value of having a democratic president bless entitlement cuts. >> the democrats did that with health care. that was a real problem. >> and there was a real backlash. >> no republicans to support it. the public didn't like. that a huge social program like that when it is reformed needs to have bipartisan support. but we don't have bipartisan support for anything. >> and i think you are underestimating, again, both parties have to do this together or it's going to be very difficult to do it all, even with unified control in 2013. >> clock ticking towards wednesday. nobody is holding their breath that there is going to be a deal. >> right. >> you had a terrific column on about herman cain. "sure there are always inadequate presidential candidates. but here's where cain truly distinguishes himself.
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he defends his inadd questi questionci questioncies, even wears them as a badge of honor." >> he does. we were talking about foreign policy and his libya gaffe. he said to a journalist after that i don't need to know about foreign policy. i've got commanders who are going to tell me what to doment we do. here's the question. what if your commanders disagree? what do do you then? presidents need to be informed on detail as well as have a large vision because they're the ones who have to make the decision. >> say what you will about president obama, when his commander sort of disagreed whether to go into pakistan and kill bin laden, he was the one that made the decision, kill him. >> first of all, you're going to hear a lot of about that in 2012, especially fli it's obama verse mitt romney. they may run a version of the bush-kerry campaign. i made the tough calls and this guy is a flip-flopper. on cain, it's the kun undrum of an outsider candidate. somebody outside the system is
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really trablgt iattractive. the thing that makes them attractive, ultimately weighs them down. people want some of this confidence in the biggest job in the world. >> big week coming up in politics and on the deficit. you guys will be with me all week. thanks very much. >> thank you, wolf. >> and that half million dollar federal tloon a solar energy firm that went belly up. the energy secretary gets a grilling on capitol hill this week that is making no apology. last throw, prince. and last chance at medicare open enrollment, too. what do you mean? it ends december 7th. if you haven't reviewed your medicare plan choices yet, well, it's getting late.
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an extraordinary video surfaced showing the taliban preparing for last june's bold and blody attack on a luxury hotel right in the heart of kabul, afghanistan. here's cnn's nick payton walsh.
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>> reporter: one of the most brazen attacks to hit kabul in june, a government conference at the intercontinental hotel was attacked by a suicide squad who killed 11 others. it too it took special forces and a drone to suppress it six hours later. president karzai gathered tribal elders near that hotel for a vital meeting about america's presence here but now cnn gained a unique insight into how that raid was planned. the taliban have posted online a lengthy propaganda video they say about the seven men behind that attack. this is a display of what they want us to see of their skills and planning. cnn can't prove it's genuine, only that it shows how sophisticated their message and media are after a decade of war. ambush somewhere else seems to let insurgents steal military uniforms.
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one hotel attacker speaks. my message is life is too short, he says. even cancer or a car accident if you want god's blessing. be a suicide attacker. the preparations are elaborate. here they sit we think only to face the dead visible in front of a model of the hotel discussing tactics. there are machine guns and rocket propelled grenades get on the roof and use it as a control tower so the enemy can't enter easily. then footage of the attack itself. more about perception and victory, the taliban have increasingly sophisticated voice. nick payton walsh, cnn, kabul. a tense hearing as president obama's energy secretary gets grilled over a taxpayer loan to a solar panel maker that went belly up. congratulations.
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a heated hearing on capitol hill with the energy secretary stephen chu the energy secretar steven chu defending it. the solar panel company ended up going bankrupt. jessica, explain to our viewer as what happened this week. >> wolf, the highest ranking administration official to testify on this issue told a house panel that the administration, the white house, had no contact with the energy department and that politics played no role in the department's decision to grand solyndra a loan guarantee. the topic was green energy, but the tone was fiery. the committee's top
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republican -- >> it is readily apparent that the senior officials put politics before the stewardship of taxpayer' policies. >> with the soft spoken energy secretary steven chu in the hot seat. >> the final decision on solyndra were mine, and i made them with the best interest of the taxpayer in mind. did not make any decision based on political considerations. >> for republicans that was far from satisfying. >> who is to apologize for the half a billion dollars that has been -- that's out the door? well, it is extremely unfortunate what happened with solyndra, but if you go back and look at the time the decision was being made, was there incompeten
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incompetence, influence of a political nature, and i would have to say no. >> well, no apology? >> well, it is extremely unfortunate what has happened to solyndra. >> their chanrge? they did not tout them and once it started to fail, put up more taxpayer dollars but let private investors get preferential treatment if the company went bankrupt. >> do you feel that you owe people an apology for what turns out to be a very risky venture? >> democrats say the people driving the investigation have political motives of their own. >> house republicans and their coal and oil industry allies are manufacturing a scandal, trying to discredit you, president obama, the clean energy companies. now, that's a great deal if you're an oil company or a coal executive, but it's unfair to you and a disservice to the
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american people. >> he was also grilled on the republicans' latest charge that solyndra officials were asked to withhold news of layoffs until after last year's midterm elections. the secretary said he had no knowledge of that until e-mails about the issue came to light this week, wolf. >> you know a lot of republicans and others are asking this fundamental question. why is the federal government and our taxpayer money even involved in this venture capitalism that these operations underwriting these kinds of companies to begin with? >> it's great question. two points on that. the law administration officials say other countries are doing it and that we as the u.s. don't want to get behind in the race because china's doing it in other places. two, the bush administration also supported this, and they -- the obama team has released an endless stream of e-mails from republicans who have also backed this program and asked for funds in their districts from the
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program. >> i suspect that program zboij to go away. >> i think you are right. >> thank you, jessica. prisoners performing dance as a means of rehabilitation as one of our hot shots pictures coming in from around the world. meineke's personal pricing on brakes.
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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.
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here's a look at this week's hot shots. prisoners perform a dance as part of a rehabilitation program. in bangladesh firefighters put out a fire. they walk in front of school boys and in australia, look at this. performers participate in the opening ceremony of a golf tournament. hot shots, pictures coming in from around the world. a sexy get out the vote campaign in russia. here's cnn's jeanne moos. first russia's leader couldn't keep his shirt on and now vladimir's party has a get out and vote ad and now shoes a couple getting it on, getting it on in the voting booth. >> the gag line is let's do this together. >> reporter: timothy frye says the ad smacks of desperation of
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putin's united russian party. >> it's clearly an attempt to make russia look hip. >> reporter: an attempt to go after the putin puns. some say it goes hand in hand with his macho brand brimming with testosterone, hence the horsy and hunting photos and cleavage supporters strut their tough much like obama girl did in 2008. et least obama girl didn't strip as this candidate for poland's parliament did. you want more, it says? vote for sld, but apparently they didn't. the left leaning party got creamed. but the most orgasmic political ad came ever was cambodia and
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spain. it reaches new peaks in this ad from young socialists when it says when harry met sally moment. voting is a pleasure was a tag line but it with us an indignity of woman and now a new ben a ton campaign shoes leaders kissing, mostly adversaries like obama, hugo chavez, abbas and israeli prime minister netanyahu. but an inch of a pope kissing a muslim imam was declared inappropriate by the vatican. kiss that one good-bye. we hate to see that one go. jeanne moos, cnn,