tv The Situation Room With Wolf Blitzer CNN November 21, 2011 1:00pm-3:00pm PST
us tomorrow night. and a week i'm kind of excited about. cnn's john zarrella, covering all things space for us, beginning a special series tomorrow on the mission to mars and search for life there. tune into cnn throughout the day for that one. that does it for me here at world head quarters in atlanta. thanks for being with me. now to mission, wolf blitzer on location, at constitution hall, the site of the debate, wolf? >> brooke, thank you very much. a looming deadline and the super committee, as it's called, and a new poll just released showing a dramatic shake-up in the republican race for the white house. get this, newt gingrich, the new front-runner. and is the taliban playing any role in libya as herman cain suggests? susan wright is just back from a surprise visit to tripoli.
i'm wolf blitzer, you're in "the situation room." we're live here at constitution hall, here in the nation's capitol, where in just a little bit more than 24 hours, the republican presidential hopeful will face off for the first time in a major debate on national security, foreign affairs and the economy. he will be mod rating the event co-sponsored by the her kaj foundation and american enterprise institute. on the eve of this critical contest an eye-popping shift? the republican con taft. a new cnn poll just released minutes ago, shows newt gingrich on top of the republican pack for the first time. look at this wp 24% of republicans asked, if the former house speaker is their choice to be the presidential nominee, compared to mitt romney there is
a dead heat, with gingrich and romney nationwide. other candidates, all in single digits. our chief political analyst, still at constitutional hall looking at numbers, gloria, gingrich is doing amazingly well. in several categories much better than mitt romney. >> he is. and that helps to complain why he has rit risen in the polls so dramatically. we asked republicans who is most likely to understand complex issuees. gingrich, 43. romney, 18%, wolf. who is best qualified to be commandener chief? 37 to 20. most likely they would agree with you on the issues. 25 to 60%. that's 16% number is the real problem for mitt romney. because republicans are still skeptical that he is conservative enough to be the
nominee they want to go against barack obama. >> what do you think republicans believe has the best chance of beating the president united states in november 2012? >> in the end, it is all about electability, right, wolf? so let's take a look. romney, the most electable can date by a long shot. newt, 21%. cain, 16%. then you see the rest in single digits. so romney, if his plausible as president, there is a clear red flag for republican voters that oops you're a moderate. but you know what he is doing? he is going up with a an ad in new hampshire tomorrow. barack obama will be in new hampshire. he will go toe to toe against barack obama. reminding people that the president did not do what he promised on the economy. so he is clearly trying to make this into a two-man race. romney versus obama.
>> who are the republicans most enthusiastic? >> well be they are enthusiastic about all of their candidate. republicans are much more enthusiastic voters than the republicans are. but if you look, gingrich 70%. romney, 69. cain, 64. perry and paul, all in high double digits. i will say about newt gingrich, his enthuseat em rating is up 19 points since may. that's about when his campaign imploded. but here is one advantage mitt romney has. he is considered in our poll, three times more likeable than newt gingrich. so republican voters may be really starting to warm up to mitt romney. we will just have to say. >> going to be exciting. a contest it looks like. >> and we will see tomorrow night. newt gingrich has done so well in these debates that that has really, really driven his increase in the poll. >> certainly helping him tonight with how he does tomorrow night.
thanks very much. we are expecting and announcement any time from the congressional super committee with a deal to reach more than a trillion dollars from the u.s. debt. and it appears the lawmakers have in fact failed. our congressional correspondent kate bolduan is up on capitol hill in washington. kate within there is a last ditch effort to come up with something. what are you hearing about the last-ditch effort? what the latest. >> yes, barring any unforeseen, i would say at this point, a dramatic break through, sourcers are continuing to indicate that the committee is heading for failure with a likely formal announcement coming any time this evening. notably as the markets close. but as you mentioned, it is possibly an 11th hour effort to pull off a deal with lawmakers in the super committee behind closed doors. democratic senator baucus emerged from the meeting noting
that both sides are feeling the pressure. listen here it him. >> both sides are feeling angest at the possibility -- they are working on more creative ways to see what should be accomplished. that is happening on both sides. >> now i'm told, wolf, in this meeting, senator john kerry reported some sort of new tax idea, tax proposal, in hopes of trying to bridge the gap. no details are available for that plan. but i will tell that you a republican leadership aid quickly shot that down in hearing with the proposal, calling it a gimmick. calling it trying another effort in this aid's words to get a trillion dollar tax hike. it seems it could be a long shot. i tell you, while deadline is
wednesday, today is critical, wolf. here is why. the committee is required by law to have a congressional budgest offers, cost saving, 48 hours before the firm deadline of november 23. they are absolutely down to the wire. we are waiting any minute, possibly, to get the formal announcement that the committee hasn't been able to reach a deal. wolf? >> yeah, they have been waiting. a lot of people speculating they were waiting for the markes to the close, which they just have on wall street. as soon as you get word, we will come right back to you. the looming failure not going over well on wall street. all major indeesies were down today. the dow jones down more than 240 points. more with this part of the story, you know, if you look at markets, i would have thought that while we would have discounted failure because a lot of people thought there would be failure but the markets went down significantly.
>> that is interesting. most people did expect they would fail. i think what's happened and the reason the market, is all right, they can't get anything done. the, ahhh, they never get anything done, is different from the hard cold ree. so maybe the automatic cuts that were supposed to take effect, they'll roll those back and they won't happen either. we have a serious debt problem that we have to take care of. when max baucus came out and said there is quote, unquote, a knew idea, you see new action to the headlines. the u.s., we sold some debt. record-low interest rates. until some people say, don't worry about it, we can bore remoney for free. it may be too late for congress -- >> still buying it. >> still buying it. and there is sno where to put your money. europe is toxic.
but the best of the worst isn't good enough. >> what if there is a complete failure, the and it looks like there is file failure, the u.s. will -- >> right now, the automatic cuts coming at the beginning of next year, january 2013, the 1.2 trillion, that prevents agencies from continue to down grid. if you see democrats and republicans work together you would colorado go ahead and get more warnings and down grades. the first time it happens, you saw 600 points drop. the next time it gets worse and worse and worse. harder to turn it around. is much. >> in washington, constitutional. you will be here today and tomorrow. pretty exciting. >> very exciting. >> good to have you here in washington. 8 p.m. eastern all all of the other big news out front today and tomorrow in washington. first of many times. a lone wolf, a terror
suspect charged with plotting suspect on the u.s. troops. well learn more about what is going on. in may, carrying out his apledged plot and herman cain is suggesting the taliban are playing a new role in libya's new government. that an more to the u.s. ambassador to the united nations. susan wright just left libya on a surprise twip. stay with us. you're in "the situation room." congratulations.
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high road and abandoned a run for a second term when they realized they could not affectively govern. the two gentlemen say that never before have has there been an obvious potential successor as hillary clinton. they say she would save the democratic party and be able to get things done in washington. they think clinton is the only leader capable uniting the country around the bipartisan economic and foreign policy. pointing to clinton's kpeer generals, first lady, senator and now secretary of state, suggesting she is more qualified than any presidential candidate, including her husband. though hillary clinton says she is not interesting, polls suggest she would do pretty well if she got in. in september her approval rating was an all-time high, 69%. time another shows clinton leading romney by 17 points in a hypothetical match-up. president obama could still win reelection in 2012 but only by wanling a negative campaign which would ultimately make the
good lock in washington even worse. if president obama is not willing to step aside, they think harry reid and nancy pelosi should urge him to do so. poll polsters said they have had no contact with clinton's people and don't expect to play a role in a campaign. should obama step aside? hand the reigns to hillary clinton? post comment on my block or go to "the situation room's" facebook page. >> pretty provocative thought there. all right, jack, thank you. we are learning new details about the new york man accused of plotting a bomb attack, targeting the united states service members among others and just how close i was to having the explosive device. working the story for us, deb, what's the latest in this case? >> we can tell that you this case could not have been made without the help of a
confidential informant. this is likely to be key to the defense strategy, whether this alleged pipe bomber was encouraged to do what he was accused of doing, in the form of entrapment. if t was not the reaction you would expect from a man accused of plotting to kill u.s. troops returning from iraq using pipe bombs. >> arrested yesterday -- >> 22-year-old smiled while hearing the charges against him. his mother, carmen sosa, outside the family's upper manhattan apartment, says her son was raised catholic but converted to islam. he has been running a jihad website. >> we don't know what to do. there is a lot going on. >> at a somewhat unusual press conference -- new york city's top cop, demonstrated the potential impact of the kind of device he was allegedly assembling.
using a how-to article. >> he used elbows to join two pipes as the main housing for the bomb. he also planned to afix nails to them as additional shrapnel. >>? the criminal complaint, the lead investigator says he spent hours shaving match heads to collect flammable pouz powder. he used circumstance uts from christmas lights. he was about an hour away from completing the devices. >> the suspect was a so-called lone wolf. motivated by his own resentment of the fer can troops in iraq and afghanistan, as well as inspired by propaganda from afghanistan. he represent exactly the kind of threat fbi director robert mueller and his experts warned about. >> a federal law enforcement source tells cnn federal
prosecutors and fbi agents were aware of the nypd's 2 1/2 year investigation. in the end, it was decided charges should be pursued at state level, stating there wasn't enough to make it a federal case. >> key to the investigation was a confidential informant who grew so close to the pipe bomber, the two went out and purchased some of the bomb component together. informant also offering his apartment to build the devices. holes were being drills, which was apparently the last mechanical step to complete the device. >> so to be sure, the fbi didn't think they should take charge even though u.s. soldiers, who are federal, and they were target that wasn't big enough for the fbi? >> it was a question and when this all started to pli out, was that in fact, federal
authorities had no indication that in fact nypd was involved in this investigation. it was a 2 1/2 year long investigation. today we learn they were aware. they were monitoring it as the nypd was executing it. but in the end they simply decided whatever the evidence suggests this man did, it wasn't enough to warrant federal charges against him. that's why it is still in the state level. it'll be prosecuted by a district attorney and not a federal prosecutor. wolf? >> i'm surprised. because even the president of the united states, earlier this year when i interviewed him in iowa, he said to me that his biggest concern was the so-called lone wolf theory, inspired by al qaeda if you woo. for some reason, it is left to new york city and new york state. thanks very much. major league baseball player stabbed to death. that and check today's other ton
stories up next. plus, deadly mass protester. only months after the historic revolution. cot united states be worried? i'll ask the u.s. ambassador to the united nations. she is here in the situation room. and since my doctor prescribed lipitor, i won't go without it for my high cholesterol and my risk of heart attack. why kid myself? diet and exercise weren't lowering my cholesterol enough. now i'm eating healthier, exercising more, taking lipitor. numbers don't lie. my cholesterol's stayed down. lipitor is fda approved to reduce the risk of heart attack and stroke in patients who have heart disease or risk factors for heart disease. it's backed by over 19 years of research. [ female announcer ] lipitor is not for everyone, including people with liver problems and women who are nursing, pregnant or may become pregnant. you need simple blood tests to check for liver problems. tell your doctor if you are taking other medications, or if you have any muscle pain or weakness. this may be a sign of a rare but serious side effect. [ man ] still love that wind in my face! talk to your doctor. don't kid yourself about the risk of heart attack and stroke.
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laundering concern. officials say a number of iranian companies allegedly supporting the country's nuclear program will be sanctioned. major league baseball is mourning the loss of one of its own today. 24-year-old greg hullman who played center field for the mariners was stabbed to death in the methnetherlands. his mother is held in the incident. more than $1.2 billion in customer funds may be missing from the bankrupt brokerage firm. that's according to the trustees seeing the case. mf global, which used to be run by corzine. i will have a special report on this story in the next hour, wolf. >> it's an important story. i'm glad you're all over it, lees with a ya.
thank you. she surprised everyone by showing up unexpectedly in libya today. my interview with susan wright. she's next i'll also get her reaction it a rather controversial reaction by herman cain and the taliban role in the libyan government. >> i think i was among one of the many that might have been confuse bid that comment.
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ambassador susan wright is joining us, just back from libya. ambassador, the son of gadhafi, can you confirm he has in fact been captured by libyan authorities? do you want him tried in libya or before the international criminal court? >> yes, wolf, he has been captured. that is confirmed. i met with senior libyan government officials today, including the new prime minister and the chairman of the transitional national council. they both confirm that he is safe. that he is secure. that he is unharmed. and that he is being well treated and will continue to be process that meets international standards as well as aspirations of the libyan people.
how that will be accomplished remains to be determined. by the libyans themselves. and we will be consulted in coming days with the international court prosecutor who is on his way it libya. as you know there was w, and is, an outstanding indictment against saif alislam as well as his father. they will discuss how to deal with saif in context of the libyan domestic process as well as the international criminal court which the international community has given some responsibility to assist in hoilding him accountable. >> as soor as the former intelligence chief is concerned, i take it he was also captured. captured alive, but now he is dead. they killed him? what do we know about his fate?
>> well i can only tell what you i know from a few hours ago when i was meeting with government officials in tripoli. that time, they were unable to confirm he was in custody. they were very careful not no give any fuel to speculation that he was in tnc or other related custody. >> and in criticizing the obama's administration libyan policy. herman cain said this the other day. i will play the clip because i want you to weigh in. listen to this. >> do i agree with siding with the opposition? do i agree with saying that gadhafi should go? do i agree that they now have a country where you got taliban and al qaeda that's going to be part of the government? >> you were just in libya today.
is there evidence that the taliban and al qaeda are going to be part of the libyan government? >> wolf, i think i was among the many who might have been a little bit confuse bid that comment. no, there are no taliban in libya. the taliban, as you know, are in afghanistan and pakistan. there is the potential, as there is throughout the region, for elements of al qaeda to infiltrate the borders. the government of libya is being very vigilant about that. and i think certainly in terms of the government, which we expect will be formed tomorrow, al qaeda will not be part of it. >> should the libyan model be used in syria right now? should there be a u.n. council to protect innocent innocent ci?
>> wolf, they are all very different. the context also differs. the united states has been very clear in our discussed adisgust nation that assad perpetrated gebs h against his people. it is only escalating. we are putting very tough sanctions on the assad regime. as you know, nations of the arab league have come together to suspend syria from the league and they too will impose sanctions going forward. so the pressure on assad is mounting. his isolation is mounting. indeed in new york at the united nations, the pressure on syria is also growing. tomorrow we expect the general assembly will, for the first time, pass a resolution condemning the human rights abuses and attacks on civilians in syria. and also providing strong
support to the arab league efforts and initiative to try to resolve the situation in syria, both through sanctions and pressure and peaceful dialogue and engagement. the security council as you know, have has been unable, because of the opposition of two veto wielding members, rush why and china, even to condemn in two clear cut forms of the resolution whap is transpiring in syria. that is increasingly unconsciousable and untenable. i certainly it is my hope that region in stronger actions against the syrian regime. as the united states and european countries and others intensify our measures, that those who have blocked action even condemnation, much less sanction or any contemplation will see that their position is
untenable and doesn't serve the syrian people or even their long-term interest in syria. >> also in the region we have seen huge demonstrations. once again in cairo over the past few days. and unfortunately, some people have been killed. is it time for the egyptian military to hand over responsibility to civilians in egypt? >> wolf, obviously we think that transition timetable, the electoral timetable laid out must be followed. the first set of parliamentary elections are due a week from next monday. so in that context, the violence we have seen is particularly worrying and deplorable. we it is important that all sides exercise restraint. focus on upcoming elections and ensure that the process that is laid out is in fact followed. so that there is a credible and
valid transition to civilian authority in egypt. >> safe travels over there, ambassador rice. good luck, we will stay in close touch. >> thank you, wolf. >> we have just been informed that in momentary a formal will be statement will be announced for the super committee failure. it would be a major surprise if they announce they have an agreement or anything along those lines or that they would continue, technically their deadline is wednesday. if they wanted to get a deal done they need to get it done today so they could determine how much the deal is worth regarding budget reduction. our reporters up on capitol hill are standing by. we have strategy session here as well. donna brazile and david frum are standing by.ç
we will get it to you as soon as it comes in. also, newt gingrich want to put power kids to work as janitors in their own schools. will the idea help or hurt, as the spot at top of our latest cnn poll? pro-gresso they fit! okay-y... okay??? i've been eating progresso and now my favorite old jeans...fit. okay is there a woman i can talk to? [ male announcer ] progresso. 40 soups 100 calories or less. ♪ [ male announcer ] sometimes, a hint is all the wrapping a gift needs. is that what i think it is? ♪ [ male announcer ] the lexus december to remember sales event is here, but only for a limited time. see your lexus dealer for exclusive lease offers like a complimentary first month's payment on the 2012 is 250. [ ben harper's "amen omen" playing ]
we just got word that momentarily there will be a form ail nounsment on capitol hill. the formal demise of the so-called super committee on deficit reduction. kate bolduan is standing by. as soon as we get that statement, we will go to her. we will update you on what we know. a huge surprise but a great deal of disappointment on wall street reflecting that disappointment earlier today. we will go to kate as soon as we have that. meanwhile, our brand new cnn poll we leased at the top of the hour, the surge comes amid controversy though over his idea to put four children to work as skoon janitors. school janitors. what exactly is the former speak
pineiro posing? >> wolf, this is an idea with plenty of room for debate it say the least. gingrich says first, the laws of child labor is stupid. then he said, why not have one master janitor and hire kids who go to the school to clean it up. for those of us who have covered the speak are for years, it was classic newt gingrich. >> capture -- >> there he goes again. newt gingrich long fancied himself one of the newest idea guys. his latest new idea, putting four kids to work as janitors in their own school. >> they are dramatically less expensive than unionized janitors and you establish the dignity of work. you have to establish the dignity of work. >> this is a complicated debate, especially when children around the world are forced to work for pennies. this idea may have sounded new but it also sounded very 1990
ssz. it is the same sort of things that left gingrich feel willing misunderstood. almost two decades ago when a cartoon compared him to the dr. seuss holiday kill joy nonas the grinch. beginning rich suggested that they ship welfare children to orphanages and said, hillary clinton ought to rent the movie "boys town" to see how an orphanage is run. >> 4,000 boys have passed through this city of little pen. >> the kids as jap tors idea probably sprarks a core with some in gingrich's party. >> working hard and the ethic and pulling themselves up by their boot straps but a lot of people will guard this as newt begin, one or two or three steps just too far. >> no matter what you think of the merits, peter says it wouldn't exactly reverse the cycle of poverty in the get why.
>> the notion that one man is the janitor will take care of the school but 5 thourz children have an army of mickey roongyes a from boy's town is silly. >> the boy's tendency to talk too much could be his biggest weakness. >> he tries to make such a big global point. such a his his toll cal conclusion. off the even if there is a wisdom in there, a bit of wisdom, it gets lost in the grandiose plan. >> after telling occupy wall street protesters they should go get a job after they take a braj, so after all these years, he still has a way with words, wolf? >> i was going to say, vintage newt. joe johns, thank you. joining us on the democratic strategist donna brazile and cnn.com contributor donald frum from frum.com.
we are here rat constitutional hall. what do you think of putting these kids to work as janitors to give them that work ethic experience. >> first of all i thought the comment was quite insulting. but then again i've heard comments like this from newt gingrich for years. one of four children in the country live in poverty. that's not just is you dush an kids. that's rural kids. taking kids out of the classroom is not a noble idea. the fair standard act is there to help guidelines. the kind of work kids can go when they are underwanl. baby sitting, for example. i started working when ways 12. >> he didn't say take them out of school. go to school, go to classes but in their spare time. they should be put to work to
appreciate the nature of work. what is insulting about that? >> what is insulting is that these kids should focus on their school work. sometimes who knows poverty as a child. invest in their future. there is no question the kids want to work. their parents really want to work. but notion is we have to focus on four kids in inner city we when we have a problem, and we should be addressing poverty, not just poor people. >> as gingrich says it would create a work ethic in these kids and would appreciate not only evaluation but work. >> we are here talking about who gingrich has gone too far in being too tough on poor people. . the ren that gingrich, this is not an example despite the fact that gingrich is talking to much or having a creative idea that
goes too far thp is th is a way of redirecting conversation. knowing that media people will get excited about it then we are on to the new thing. >> a lot of credit for that is a fistcated idea. >> he is a brilliant tactical thinker about how the media works. the only way can you stop the media from talking about something you don't want them to talk about is to give them something more exciting to talk about instead pf race, poverty, children, that's more thrilling that dusty details of housing -- >> i need to take a break. but i want to put up on the screen for viewers who missed it. the poll numbers showing gingrich on top of the republican pack right now. herman cain, 17, rick perry, 11. ron paul, 9. bachmann and santorum, hunts
hannahan in single digits. we are also just getting a statement from capitol hill on the so-called super committee. deadline was wednesday but by -- by all accounts the deadline really was today and we are just getting word. i will summarize it for you briefly that statement that looks like it is a complete failure. right now in fact as kate bolduan our constitutional correspondent ready to give us -- are you there. >> i'm right here, wolf. i'm just now getting into my e-mail. so sorry, i'm going to get look down. this is state senator patty murray as well as jeff releasing this time. after monthes with be this is statement, of hard work and intense deliberation we have come to a conclusion it wouldn't be possible to make any partisan idea available to the public before the committee deadline. the statement goes on to say that despite the inability to bridge the committee's differences we end this process united in our belief that the
nation's fossa cal crisis must be addressed and that we cannot lef leave it for the next generation to solve. they go on to say that they hope congress can build on this committee to work and can find a way it tackle this issue in a way that works for the american people and our economy. can i go on, to read a little bit more if i can, wolf. it goes on to awe are deeply disappointed. we are deeply disappointed we have been unable it come to bipartisan agreement. we approach the uniquely american -- as we approach the american hol dave thanksgiving we want to express our appreciation to every member of this committee. each coming into the payment of process achieving it a solution that alluded many groups before us. we thank the american people for sharing thoughts, ideas and proid voogcy port and goodwill as we work to accomplish this difficult task. i think in a nutshell this does go on. but finally as we anticipated
for all day today. you and i have been discussing, two co-chairs come from the committee and have failed. the deficit reduction is min ma'am required set up over the summer so now as we look forward, all eyes focus thon trig air cross the board automatic cuts and what comes with that. wolf? >> i want to discuss that. stand by for a moment. david frum and donna brazile are still here. so 1.2 trillion, 600 billion over the next ten years in depens rated type? 600 bill yob in domestic spending, cuts. but none of that goes into effect until 2013 after the nex presidential election. there is plenty to revise that trick. >> what we have seen here is
legal exercise where lawyers are refining their lead pleadings and are now getting toward take their case to the jury. both democrats and republicans, it is not failure for them. what the two parties have is consolidated cases. where democrats kay, we want to close that on way it relies more on taxes and less on spending cuts. now it goes to the jury. >> the jury being the -- >> the american people. if they agree now, to abide to the american people. the american people will show their priorities by the way they cast their balance. in the next administration, let's have the winner have the mandate. >> except the $6 million in protected defense cuts but you know john mccain and alsos a lot of people say that is even leon
panetta, said it would undermine and help create a holiday military. there is normal pressure than to forget about it. and take it all to the election next november. forget it if you will. >> somehow lawmakers will focus on defense budget and the impact that will have on our national security. others will focus on national security and other items that impact middle class. it'll impactedcation and quality of life. >> but not social security. >> not social security. that was one item that many democrats did not want at the table. the top 1% of wage earners in this country, bush tax cuts scheduled to expire, we're going to have a lot of multiple conversations 0e6r the next 12 months a. >> to the quality of the life of
the american people and what this says about our political institution. >> i have always felt, and correct me if you think i'm wrong. and don't be shy. i know you're an hinot a shy gu. democrats have their own political consideration. both thought, if they don't have a deal, they will be respectably stronger going into this election season. >> this is also an exit from some summer. where the republicans found themselves heading toward a national bankruptcy. many of the enthusiastic talkers are riding it. they need an exit from that confrontation. the super committee was built to exit the cries thinks summer in way that wasn't that painful. nothing much happens in the defense budget this year. it all happens later. this is the exit and now the
works begins for 2012. >> the president in this whole debate involving the super committee, the last ten days, he was in asia. at an important trip, no doubt about that. but he did not get involved forcing an agreement, if you will. how much of this criticism of the president, you have heard it, is justified. >> it is misleading wolf. it another point that republicans use when they simply don want to talk about raising taxes on the top wage earners. president obama outlined the proposals he would accept. the problem is, lawmakers on capitol hill, act like they need an adult in the room. they are experienced lawmakers. they saw a lower credit rating in august. >> david, politically whob benefits, democrats or republicans because of this collapse? >> the two parties together, both jointly benefit. the question will be what happens no to you deck manic
events this year. do they validate one party or the other's view and if we enter into a nasty recession driven by the collapse of the arrow, the republicans will be stronger. if not the republicans have the advanta advantage. >> all failures, all missed opportunities. 2 t underscores the gridlock in washington. why americans, democrats, republicans, independents are beginning to hate washington. you appreciate that, right? >> but i also think this hurts the middle class 37. we are about to celebrate thanksgiving. look what we are serving? raw turkey. >> don't go too far away. breaking news failure. total collapse of the super committee. no deal. we are continuing to monitor the reaction and markets are already collapsing. today almost 300 points down on the dow jones. we are watching what is going on. this important programming note,
when the moderator takes part in the national security debate tomorrow at constitution hall, 8 p.m. eastern. little bit more than 24 hours from now. jack cafferty is asking should president obama hand the reigns of the democratic party to hillary clinton? that's his question. your e-mail, coming up. and in our next hour. unmasked by a terrorist group of in lebanon. more news right after this. across our country... ... scientists, technicians, engineers, machinists... ... adding nearly 400 billion dollars to our economy... we're at work providing power to almost a quarter of our homes and businesses... ... and giving us cleaner rides to work and school... and tomorrow, we could do even more. cleaner, domestic, abundant and creating jobs now. we're america's natural gas. the smarter power, today. learn more at anga.us. [ zapping ]
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jack cafferty is back with the cafferty file. jack? >> should president obama step e aside and hand the reigns to hillary clinton? you know that obama is doing poor job when republicans are actually asking for a clinton, from alex in new jersey. i have heard many admit they would take hillary in a hart bo
beat over our president. turns out all this jazz about the 3 a.m. phone call was really a pretty good point after all. jeff in san diego writes, huh? perhaps if hillary openly said she was interested pb has said she would fire every person through treasury and start with people working for goldman sachs, promising jail time for wall street crooks, offer to draw down military to more managementable, oh, wait, never more late than those in washington. what's the difference? it would be suicide for democrats to do this. it would make them just as cookie. given his poor approval ratings, the democratic primary should be held. if clinton or anyone else want to run against him, they should be given a chance.
i don't see her staying on if she is elected. lee why writes, yes, we should have done it four years ago and mark in san francisco, he better give the reigns to somebody. he can't run the ones he has tried it reign in. >> jack, thank you. to our viewers, you are in "the situation room" happening now. breaking news. the so-called super committee, son super. it fails to find a way to save a trillion dollars and the man behind the republican no tax pledge is taking a lot of teeth. i'll peak about that next hour. without a deficit deal across the board, cuts will kick in, the pentagon warning that could turn the u.s. military into a
so-called paper tiger. we will get a reality check in the. on the eve of cnn's gop national debate. hezbollah captured cia spies. . i'm wolf blitzer. reporting from constitution hall here in washington, d.c., we are counting down to tomorrow night's republican presidential debate. i will be moderating here right at cnn, on cnn, 8 p.m. eastern. focus, national security. while final preparations are made here for candidates, our new poll is out showing, get this, newt gingrich is now the republican front-runner.
24% of americans make gingrich their first choice followed by romney. cain has 71%, perry at 11%. the rest of the candidates are a in single digits. more on these polls coming up. let's go right now to the bipartisan super committee that was assigned to help america claw its way out of debt. with that congressional all-star team struck out. unable to agree on how to come up with $1.2 trillion in savings over ten years. they couldn't even do that. in a statement, co-chairs are saying this, and i'm quoting now after months of hard work and intense deliberations we have come to the con clougs today that it'll be be possible to make any bipartisan agreement available to the public before the committee deadline.
deficit deadlock helps send them into a tail spin. nasdaq and s&p 500 down to 2%. taxes may be the sticking point but the new poll shows two thirds of all-americans favor taxes on americans and big businesses. while both sides may face a political price for failure, both shows, the republicans getting the worst of it. so far, 77% disapproving of the way republican leaders and congress are handling their jobs. right now. who is to blame? each blaming the other. republicans are pointing directly at the white house. listen to republican presidential kond kand date mitt romney. >> you have a president who didn't get involved in the process. didn't pick up the phones. bring in the republicanes.
bring under the democrat. make a proposal of his own. >> should the president be held accountable? let's go to jessica, standing by. jessica, the president at least in the last couple of weeks, we didn't see him very involved in the process. he was in a trip overseas. i don't think he was directly involved in that super committee. at least not visibly over the past several months. what are they saying where you are? >> wolf, aides say that staff here at the very highest level was involved daily talking to members of super committee. but they aren't shy acknowledging that president sim thefl didn't get his hands dirty on this one. that is not their phrase. it's mine. whether or not the white house takes any responsibility for the failure of the super commit tooe reach a deal, here is what white house press secretary jay carney said. >> congress assigned itself a task.
is wrote a law, voted for it. president signed it. they have to hold themselves accountable. they have to do things that americans families do everyday. which is live within their means and take responsibility for their own action. >> now keep in mind, wolf, the president did present a $3 trillion debt package to the commissi commission. and the white house says it was their responsibility and in addition to their conversations. politics here are pretty clear, wolf. first of all, it was not at all a sure thing. it seemed highly unlikely that debt commission was going to succeed. if you're one of the president's aides do you want him involved in something that's likely to fail, a? and b, the president's poll numbers go down when he is locked in negotiation with congress. they are told, go up, when he is out of the country, distancing
from congress. you see him out getting distance but also in his rhetoric distancing himself from congress. >> as you know, jessica, the president add golden opportunity to push for a debt $4 trillion savings, when the bowles turned his report in almost a year ago. does the white house knowledge now, that happened over the past year, including a credit worthiness, credit rating to last or at least a reduction in u.s. credit worthiness over the past year. does the white house acknowledge that is a huge blunder? ? noz. in a word, no. the simpson bowles reported revenue and a cat.
and the white house addition that the president never in fact rejected it but embraced the larger principles of it and that republicans never would have accepted that simpson bowles proposal to begin with because it included too much revenue. i asked that question at the briefing today and here is jay carney's response. >> many provisions of simpson bowles are reflected and in the plan that he puts forward in september. but the idea that somehow if we just put a different name on it, republicans in congress -- some are saying they should vote on it now. sfrs. >> so wolf, he didn't reject it but the president never embraced it at an earlier stage where he could have had a negotiation about debt negotiation. prior to the ugly summer of that
debt deal gone bad. keep in mind, the simpson bowles never did go through. so politically dangerous on both sides. wolf? >> we are just getting word, jessica, that white house announcing that the president will go into the briefing room in 5:45, a little more than a half hour from now, to make a the same with the so-called super committee and tell the american people where the u.s. goes from here. this is a major setback obviously. >> a setback but also an opportunity for the president once again to press his message, which the u.s. cannot afford, in the president's message, to wait to act on the job still. so i would expect him to vote, al knowledge failure today and press congress to act and say wolf that there is still time for congress to reach some kind of deal on debt because the trigger doesn't go into effect
for another year. their message here is there is still time to go into failure today, wolf? >> we will have live coverage of the president of the united states, in the united states. in about half an hour or so. assuming it is on schedule. jessica, don't go too far away. thank you. one man is taking heat for cutting the nation's deficit. he has gotten almost every law maker to sign a pledge ton raise taxes. grover norquist will join me here in the situation room later this hour. congressional reaction right now, our correspondent shl correspondent kate ball win is up on capitol hill. they are all issuing statement. what was surprising to me to a certain degree, kate, is that soup are committee didn't even have the nerve that you will for all 12 members to show up publicly and make a statement before cameras.
they just issued a piece of paper as if they are running away interest this, as quickly as they possibly can. it was sort of hugh mill nating. a lot of us had grant kpek tas. >> just the paper statement after all of these three months of these negotiations and all that's at stake, be deemed to many as insufficient. er with getting reaction to this announcement. top republican and top democrat in this senate. i want to read new both part. both sides crying to plait place who should be to blame for failure of this committee. senator mcconnell says in part, quote, for those of white house hope the committee would make some of the tough decisions president obama continues to
avoid. the democrats rejection of not one, but twoe good faith, are deeply disappointed. good news is that even without agreement, $1.2 trillion will still be cut from the deficit. he goes on to say in the end an agreement proved impossible. not because republicans run willing to compromise but because democrats would not accept a proposal for the size of government or punish jobs. i received a statement from the senate majority harry reed. being more interested in his view of protecting bush era tax cuts for the wealthy than pushing for a vice president zant agreement. he is opposed to to any effort to overturn the trigger we are turning our focus to. let me review what he said about his statement in part. senator reed says quote, make no mistake, he said, we will
akpleef the 2 million reduction we agreed to in august. the formal names across the trigger was designed to be painful and it is he said. but that is the commitment that both parties made to the american people in the absence after balanced plan that would reduce the deficit by at least as much. i will oppose any efforts to change or roll back the see que sequester. a very strong statement coming from senator reid. of course after the thanksgiving holiday, wolf. >> wait kate bolduan, up on the hill, watching what is going. once again, the collapse of the so-called super committee. they issued a piece of paper saying it is over. they are toward move on. jack cajack? >> the company is now looking at
another credit downgrade and ouf our government hands out a piece of paper and goes home. keep your eye out for ron paul. wlorp whether or not he is the republican nominee. he he is not ruling out a third party run. he says he has no intention of mounting a third party bid for the white house. but and a big but, he is not ruling it out. ron paul is shown to get a 18% of the vote. most of ron paul's support would come at the expense of mitt romney. republicans worry that a ron paul run as third warty candidate would benefit president bm. and it probably would. maybe even securing him in a second term. ross perot did this in 1992. he got 19% of the vote. he handed had election to bill clinton.
clinton did not have majority. without him in the race ralph made it wore have run reelection. our system is stacked against the third party ever winning a white house. that's not an accident. meanwhile, don't count ron paul out of race. some say he could be a real threat in early voting states of iowa and new hampshire. one poll shows paul in a virtual four-way tie in iowa. if he could come out of those two states with something substantial, and get momentum, who knows. some experts say they wouldn't be surprised if ron paul won in iowa and shook it up further in new hampshire. ron paul has been talking sense for a long time. the country keeps getting worse and worse. now we are circling the drain big time. maybe more and more people are ready to listen to what mr. paul has to say. here is the question, should ron
paul launch a third party run a # if he doesn't win? thanks very much, jack. well get back to you. remember we are standing by this hour to speak with grover norquist. on the graeky new. cia agents captured in lebanon. we will explain how it happened and what comes next. hi, could you read my list? it's all crossed out... it's 'cause i got everything on it. boom! thank you! [ male announcer ] black friday's here. deals start thursday 10 pm. but we're open all day and night so you don't have to wait outside. the only place to go on black friday. walmart.
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statements. major disappointment today. they were supposed to come up with trillion dollars in cuts. they couldn't do it. six democrats, six republicans failed, coming up empty-handed. now automatic cuts are supposed to go into effect. we will see if they will or if they change that as well. live coverage of the president coming up this hour. stand by. but there is other point news we are following. just a day before the big republican presidential debate here at contusional hall, over national security. we are getting disturbing new details about u.s. five in lebanon where hezbollah rolled up part of the cia's network. brian, what are you learning? >> wolf we are getting information that some ci ae agents in lebanon, informant, have been identified by hezbollah and captured. a significant setback for u.s. intelligence in the middle east and could not come at a worst
time, giving the boiling points with iran. one of the most sophisticated enemies in the middle east, responsible for killing more americans than any other terrorist group before september 11th. now cnn was able to identified some cnn agent in lebanon leading to their capture. they are not americans were wield told, but so-called assets. informants. they would not say how many agents were affected. hezbollah leader said his group uncovered three spies, including two recruited by the cia. >> our brothers in the hezbollah anti-spine unit discovered, officers working as diplomats at the american embassy. >> the embassy dismissed that as semty accusations. the u.s. official we spoke to would not speak of what this impact has on operations in beirut.
an officer who served in beirut was involved in officers. we asked him about a comment from u.s. officials who called reports that bay route cia station was shut down as a result of this capture, nonsense. >> look, if there is any truth to losing all of these assets, it is standard op raiding procedure for an intelligence station it close down until it can figure out what went wrong. >> we are told the one way hezbollah tracked inform sunts through wireless communities. various media, including the los angeles times, offered details. hezbollah operatives used means it track spies through cell phones. identifying those who use certain cell phones rarely from specific locations. f. matthew levit have an expert on counterterrorism who wrote a book on hezbollah. >> what do you think hezbollah
did or will do to these people? >> some might be m prison. some might be rehabilitated. in some kazs, h cases, hez bo h been known to disappear people. there is a tracing of cell phone calls and officials ignored the warning. official told us that it would be wrong to say that problems with the international trade led to the capture. cia is not capturing. wolf? >> brian, hezbollah apparently has eyes and ears all over lebanon. they are in that country right now. so i guess that's a fact of life? >> it is. bob behr said it used to be called a quote live area. many people in one way or another report to hezbollah.
if there is in mistake, they would be all over it. they were trained, remember, in how to do this, by the iranians so they know what they are doing. >> yeah. hezbollah and iran. and as well as syrian regime. all very, very closely aligned. thanks very much for that report. brian todd. 40,000 people invested their money in former new jersey government john corzine. now we are leashing there is even more money missing than anyone thought. more than a billion, yes a billion dollars missing. will investors lose their life savings? we are all over this story.
the collapse of the so-called super committee, no deal. complete failure. you're looking at live pictures at the white house. the president of united states. ing going into the briefing room within the next 15 minutes or so to make an announcement. to make a statement to express his deep disappointment that 12 members of the house and senate, six democrats, six republicans con come up with anything. you are looking at the briefing room. we will have live coverage here in "the situation room." without a deal from the so-called super committee to trim 1.2 trillion over the next ten years, sweeping budget cuts are supposed to go into effect starting in 2013. the pentagon warning that could seriously harm america's defense. let's get a reality check of
chris lawrence, digging into this part of the story. what are you finding out? >> wolf, look. these cuts would hurt. it would sting no doubt about it. but pentagon officials were saying it would completely hollow out the military. not everybody is buying it and the threat may have done more harm than good. if pentagon officials are right, cutting $600 billion the next ten years will cripple the military. >> it is paper tiger. army of barracks, building and bombs without another soldiers to accomplish the mission. >> pa netta says the cuts would terminate the next generation fighter jets. come. submarine fleet and leave america with the smallest ground force since world war ii. >> i don't think it's deems day.
>> political posturing makes it seem every military program will be slashed equally. >> that isn't the way it has to be implemented though. they said propose a budget that fits within the budget cap. and then they get to choose how cuts are allocated. >> which still means tough choices but canceling some weapons programs, and reducing peace time training missions. cutting 10% of the work force could save up to 11 million a year. but last year the u.s. spent about 700 billion on defense. that's more than the next 17 nations combined. defense secretary leon panetta has been delivering dire warnings about what will happen to the military if manned tarry cuts kick in. >> is a ship without sailors, a brigade without bullets. >> but he says they may have
backfired by making the threat less credible. >> if consequences will be as severe as he indicates, no one wofr let them go into effect. the super committee knowing that the frustration won actually be allowed to go into effect. it removed some of the pressure from them, to actually find a compromise solution here 37. >> already, chairman of the house arms services committee said an hour ago he will introduce legislation to prevent the so-called catastrophic cuts from the military. and though the pentagon will have wiggle room because war-funding is not part of the fn m not that can be cut. so the pentagon may be able to funnel some of the money from the base budget, into and sort of protect it. congress let them do that with without $10 billion in the current fiscal year budget. so, there are ways around this, wolf, other than the total cuts that everyone was so concerned about. >> yeah, i'm sure there are
plenty of ways around it. there always are in washington, d.c. chris lawrence, thank you. >> first government regulators were stunned to learn what that mf global of the company was called. missing more than 600 billion in customers funds. turns out that was just the tip of the iceberg for the bankrupt brokerage firm. lisa sylvester has been looking into this for us. what's the latest? it is shocking. >> it is, wolf. about 40,000 customers at the time it went bankrupt, now the trustee overseeing the mf global case says it appears $1.2 billion of their money is missing that is double the initial estimate. >> it is scary and that's all i can say about it. it is just scary. >> 63-year-old jim wakes back up and can't go back to sleep about
$200,000 was invested at m global. >> a bunch of money has been stolen. what is left is frozen. we can't hardly get any information out of the trustees. we just found out at this late date that it could be a much bigger loss. >> mf global says about 600 million in customer funds was missing. but the trustee with the global lick by digs now says that number is closer to 1.2 billion. money that was supposed to be in customer accounts. mf global invested heavily in european debt market until its collapse ended in bankruptcy. now federal regulators are investigating if the company used customer money to cover its risky bet. 7,000 customers formed a new group called the commodity customer coalition.
they are helping recover as many as ponl. >> it hurts people who have their retirement funds completely frozen. people who depend on the revenue from their commodity trading to fund their daily lives. shop for groceries, et cetera np is really having a severe impabl on all of those people. >> the distribute to customers 60% of what they had in their account. but the balance of the money, will it be returned? that's uncertain at this point. fbi launched an inquiry. he says somebody needs to be held responsible. >> if it's proven that illegal activity was done here, damn right somebody should go to jail. if corzine had knowledge and he intentionally and willfully hurt his customers in an illegal fashion, he nodes to go to jail.
>> we tried to call but we have no comment. they did not return our calls. >> so far he has gotten back own dli $11,000. to make matters worse, he was a private trader. that isn't just his savings. also his job is what he used to earn income, trading on the commodities market, wolf. snrs. >> pretty shocking stuff all around. i know you are all over the story. lisa. >> thank you. some democrats blame norquist. he is really to blame? he is here. we will speak with him up next. he is here live. we will ask him what is going on. this is k's real road to nowhere. helping along south of los angeles. remember, the president of the united states is getting toward go into the white house briefing room within the next ten minutes soar to make a statement on the collapse of the super committee. we will go to the white house for live coverage of president
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we will hear from the president momentarily. he is getting ready to go into the briefing room. lista sylvester is monitoring other stories right now. including the penn state wild abuse scandal. lisa, what's the latest? >> that's right, wolf. the man leading the inquiry has impeccable credentials. he will investigate whether jerry sandusky molested children and penn state covered up the crime. he said no one will interfere. sandusky's former charity is -- the mother of a murdered school girl found someone
deleted messages from her phone, leading them to believe millie was alive. celebrities were also victims. hugh grant didn't try to hide his. he discussed the tabloid. >> you see them glamorizing ourselves as we might be a bit naughty, but we get the story. but when the story has been a pain by hacking the phone after murderred school girl or a soldier killed in afghanistan, i 2k0e7b9 find that lovely, i find it cowardly and bullying and shocking. general motors says it will start reproduction of the chevy equinox at a company in tennessee. they are
the sales of equinox were up 18% last month. drivers south of los angeles are facing something worse than smog or traffic. take a look at this. a massive chunk of road crumbled into the pacific ocean over the weekend. the slow motion landslide was accelerated by a weekend of heavy rain section of the road has been closed for months. the land is moving about inches a day. look at those pictures. there it is. the road gone. wolf? >> dramatic picture indeed. lisa, thanks very much. back it jack for the cafferty file, jack? >> should ron paul launch a third party run for the white house if he doesn't win the republican nomination? dave in ohio writes absolutely. the man who predicted the economic collapse and war's big problems in iraq before they existed aught to be able to challenge president obama and governor romney on the political issues. let's be honest, the 2012
election will likely shift the white house a little bit right or left. but ron paul is shaping the political center of this country whether he wins or not. phil writes as a support forron paul, i take offense. it makes ron paul appear to be a candidate on the margin. he is making a real move in polling in iowa and new hampshire and with solid finishes there. he is a real contender for the nomination. with any other candidate you would be talking about a surge in polls and potential nor nomination. i, for one, am telling the media who to vote for based on your assumptions of who is electable. richard said, you can't argue with the fact he respects the constitution and will bring that back to the forefront of american politics, the way it is supposed to be. charles from tennessee says, of koirs he should pb the country will have to take its
bitter medicine sooner or later. you have to either get behind dr. paul or suffer another four years of president obama. everyone but the establishment gop is waking up now. from now on there will be a ron paul in every election. mary ann says, ron paul is not given a fair shake in the primaries, he will not hold my nose and vote for the the neo-con the main stream media presents to me. if you want to read more on this, go to my blog. or to our post on situation room's facebook page. wolf? >> jack, thank you. i want to to go to -- we are waiting to hear from the president. hi, jessica. >> the president will be here in just 2 minutes. we expect he will talk about the importance of doing something serious about our debt and
deficit. something along the lines of the plan he presented to the super committee which was roughly 3 trillion deficit cutting plan. that he is going to reinterrate his point of view that congress should not undo the so-called trigger. the plans to cut the budget, to cut future budgets. based on the plan that they had already drawn up that causes pain on both sides. because the president and white house's view is that there is still time to find cuts in the next year. because that trigger doesn't kick in for another year. so if you leave that he is questener place, it remains a threat that could motivate congress to act in the next year. in other words, the super committee wasn't the only option for cutting debt and deficit. finally we know the president is traveling to new hampshire tomorrow to push his american jobs act but in particular, to
emphasize, the need on their view to pass db -- extend the payroll tax cut, expand the payroll tax cut and i wouldn't there are three major topic there but headlining with the debt and deficit doesn't have to -- doesn't have to end with the failure of the super committee today, wolf. >> all right jessica. the president is about to walk into the white house briefing room. we are getting ready to hear the president of united states. he will walk in in the next few seconds. it'll be interesting to see if he sticks around and answers reporter's questions or if he leaves immediately after his speech. the president of the united states walking in now. >> good afternoon. as you all know, last summer i signed a law that will cut nearly $1 trillion of spending over the next ten years.
part of that law also required congress to reduce the deficit by an additional $1.2 trillion by the end of this year. in september i sent them a detailed plan that would have gone above and beyond that goal. reducing the debt by additional 3 trillion by cutting spending, slowing growth in medicare and medicaid and asking the wealthiest americanes it pay their fair share. in addition to my plan. there were another bipartisan plans for them to consider. both democrats and republicans. all of which, pro voted a ballet proech. this kind of balanced approach to reducing our deficit, where whether gets a little bit and everyone gets their fair share is supported by an overwhelming amount of americans. democrats, independents and republicanes. supported by experts, econ
mistes from all across the political spectrum. many democrats were willing to put politics aside and commit to reasonable adjustments that would have reduced the cost of medicare as long as they were part of a balanced approach. but despite the broad agreement that exists for such an approach, there is still too many republicans in congress who refused to listen to voices of reason and compromise coming from outside of washington. they continue to insist on protecting the hundred billion. at any cost, even if it means reducing deep cuts with things liked kigs and meducation, medical research and medicare. so at this point at least, they simply will not budge from that negotiating position. and so far, that refusal continues to be the main stumbling block that prevented congress from reaching an agremt to further reduce our deficit.
now, we are not in the same situation that we were in august. there is no imminent threat us to defaulting on the debt that we owe. and there are already $1 trillion of those and as i stated in summer that if congress could not reach an agreement, there would another $1.12 '02 tril kron in cuts divided equally between domestic spending and defense spending. one oi weigh or another we will be trimming the deficit by a total of at least $2.2 trillion over the next ten years. that's going to happen. one way or another. we've got 1 trillion locked in. and either congress comes up with 1.2 trillion, which so far they have failed to do, or the automatic spending cuts will occur pa that bring in an additional $1.2 trillion in deficit reduction.
the question is, whether or not we can reduce the deficit in a way that helps the economy grow. that operates with a scalpel, not with a hatchet. and if not, if congress is willing to stick to the painful deal we made in august to automatic cuts. already some in congress are trying to unthe automatic spending cuts. my message to them is simple. no. i will veto any effort to get rid of those automatic spending cuts to do mest ing and defense spending. there will be no easy offramps on this one. we need to keep the pressure up to compromise. not turn off the pressure. the only way the spending cuts will not take place is if congress gets back to work and agrees on a balanced plan to reduce the deficit by at least $1.2 trillion. that's exactly what they need to do. that's the job they promised to do.
they still got a year it figure it out. although congress has not come to an agreement yet, nothing prevents them from coming up with the agreement in days ahead. they can still come together, around a balanced plan. i believe democrats are prepared to do so. my expectation is that there will be some republicans who are still interested in preventing the automatic cuts from taking place and as i have from the beginning, i stand ready willing to work with anybody that's ready to engame in that effort. the balanced plan or deficit reduction. in the meantime we have a lot of work to do left th year before congress leaves next month we have to work together to cut taxes for workers in small business owners, all across america. if we don't act, taxes will go up for every single american, starting next year. and i'm not about to let that happen. middle class americans can't
afford to lose $1,000 next year because congress wouldn't act. and can i only hope that they have been fighting so hard to protect tax cuts for wealthy that they will. we still need to put construction workers back on the road and bridges. we still need to put our teachers back in the classroom educating our kids. so when everybody gets back from thanksgiving, it is time to get some work done for the american people. all around the country, americans are working hard to live within their means and meet their responsibilities. and i know they expect washington to do the same. thanks. >> so there you have the president of the united states saying he will veto any effort to do away with these automatic cuts that are supposed to go into effect in 2013. $1.2 trillion. he says, they will go into
effect. he will veto any effort to undermine that even though there are many members of the republicans and some democrats who say that $600 billion in cuts in defense spending would undermine, would undermine u.s. national security. his own defense secretary leon panetta making a strong case in recent days that $600 billion automatic cut and defense spending would create a so-called hollow u.s. military or lead to something like that. let's get full analysis. first, gloria borger who is watching all this unfold. gloria, strong words from the president. disappointment the super committee couldn't do its job but promising that $1.2 trillion in defense and nondefense spending will be implemented. >> right. this is the first time we've heard him use the word veto. we know that he doesn't want these cuts to be undone but he never threatened to veto before. also, he made the point very clearly that congress has a year to work.
until these automatic cuts are due to take effect. and he said, so at any time, if you guys want to get together and do your jobs, you can do it because it doesn't take effect for another year. another thing, wolf, he made it very clear that he still wants to extend the pay roll tax cut and that is something that he is clearly going to raise with congress again. because he said middle income americans cannot afford a tax increase so he is going back to congress for that. >> all right. hold on a minute. grover norquist is here, the president of americans for. at a reform. arguably one of the most powerful help in washington. do you like that when i say that? all the democrats blame you and that so-called pledge that you've gotten from most of the republicans including, i think, all six of those republicans on the super committee. no new taxes under any circumstances. and so they blame you for this. give me your reaction to what we
just heard from the president. >> harry reid and president obama are in a difficult position. they cannot say to the american people, we've spent the country into bankruptcy over the last three years. bush spent too much but we took it into hyper speed. and we want you to, we want to raise your tax to pay for our more spending and the republicans won't let us raise your taxes to pay for our more spending. instead, obama and reid and some of the other democrats want to blame me which is sort of funny. >> it's your organization that got that pledge for them will. >> the pledge, of course, is to the american people. it is not as patty murray -- >> it is your organization the. got them to make that pledge. >> we share it with peel. >> what would have happened if one of those six that you wills, if there wouldn't have been a 7-5 vote. if one of those republicans would have gone along with democrats and voted to increase taxes. >> then it would have gone to the house and the senate. >> what would your organization have done to that one republican? a lot of them were saying privately, we can't raise taxes.
we're nervous that grover norquist and american for. at a reform will come after us. >> they don't have to worry about me coming after them. they would have to answer to their constituents. they didn't promise me anything themselves promised the people of their states and congressional districts. would you target them for defeat if they had done that? >> i would not have to. the entire establishment press would announce which republicans were for tax increases. they would have a problem there. it is their jurisdiction they have to worry about. >> you saw our new poll. most americans would favor tax increase on the wealthiest americans, on big corporations to try to do something with this budget. >> and what obama did when he ran for president, he promised he would never raise taxes on anyone who earn less than $250,000 a year. 16 days into his presidency, his first tax increase was on billionaires, oil companies? no. is gone significant smokers. the only person in this country
who makes more than $250,000 a year and smokes cigarette is named barack obama. that was a tax on lower income americans. 16 days into the presidency. politicians who promise they'll only tax the rif. trickle down taxation. they tell you they'll tax rich people. before you know it, they're taxing you. the alternative minimum tax, the tax to pay on the spanish american war. >> john kerry, the senior senator from massachusetts who was a member of that so-called super committee didn't prove to be all that super for that committee. he specifically cited you and your organization for intimidating these republicans. >> that's what democrats say because they cannot deal with the fact that the american people and voters and the republicans who are elected do not want to raise taxes and won't raise taxes. the problem we have is obama, reid and pelosi have spent too much money in the last several years. they've added trillions of dollars to the debt. the only way to solve
overspending is to spend less. raising taxes does not reduce spending. >> you've got some rich people like warren buffett saying. at a as you little bit more. it will hem poorer people. help the middle class. you don't have to go after social security recipients. tax billionaires and millionaires as the president likes to say. >> i was very concerned about warren buffett's problem so i sent him a letter. the letter i serve showed where he can go on the irs website and pay additional money if you would like. and steve, the republican congressman from louisiana has new legislation to have a buffett line on the 1040. so it says here's how much you owe. the next line it says if like warren buffett you want to spend more money because you think the government is smarter and better than you, add it here. so his problem is solved. any moment he wants to write the check. >> we have to leave it there. grover norquist, you're happy the super committee failed? >> they did not fail. we'll cut $1.2 million through the sequester. >> thank you for coming in.
that's it for me. thank you for watching. i'm wolf blitzer in the situation room. -- captions by vitac -- www.vitac.com tdd# 1-800-345-2550 as well as your portfolio. tdd# 1-800-345-2550 we ask the right questions, tdd# 1-800-345-2550 then we actually listen to the answers tdd# 1-800-345-2550 before giving you practical ideas you can act on. tdd# 1-800-345-2550 so talk to chuck online, on the phone, tdd# 1-800-345-2550 or come in and pull up a chair. look, it's ok to take the occasional gamble - as long as it's something like switching from boxers to briefs. but you never roll the dice on your truck.
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