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tv   The Situation Room With Wolf Blitzer  CNN  November 22, 2011 1:00pm-3:00pm PST

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i've got to do three. governor. texas. can't remember the other one. oops. >> by the way, michele bachmann, not the first guest on the show. who came before her, you ask? this thing. a muppet from the upcoming movie, the muppets. movie, the muppets. now, to wolf blitzer. -- captions by vitac -- happening now, the countdown to tonight's cnn republican presidential debate. it's the candidate's first match-up in the wake of a major upheaval that has newt gingrich the man to beat. and clearly misleading. we're going to show you what the controversy a all about. plus, three american college students arrested in egypt amid
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flaring and deadly political upheaval. we're learning more about who these young men are and why their families are so frightened. i'm wolf blitzer ayou're in "th situation room." we're coming to you from washington's historic constitution hall, the scene of tonight's cnn republican presidential debate in which we'll focus on national security and foreign policy. in just under four hours, the candidates will walk on stage. it's been ten days since their last face-off an in that time, there have been some dramatic changes in the race. newt gingrich is now at the front of the pack according to our new poll. in this statistical dead heat with mitt romney. and while his new top tier status puts gingrich in the spotlight, romney is always getting a lot of attention for his first television campaign commercial. an ad that's misleading at best. democrats are calling it quote, dishonest.
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and deceitful. cnn's joe johns is working the story for us. what is this all about? >> this is an ad essentially that was supposed to make the point this it's ironic that the president is defending himself from the economy when he was attacking republicans on it three years ago. but that idea sort of took a detour. the magic of television brought to you by mitt romney. a slick editing job makes a statement three years ago by barack obama. sound like his personal belief. >> if we keep talking about the economy, we're going to lose. >> when it was actually a statement obama had attributed to the campaign of his republican opponent. >> senator mccain's campaign actually said, and i quote, if we keep talking about the economy, we're going to lose. >> but for the record, the ad never mentions mccain. the obama campaign hit the roof calling it deceitful and
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dishonest, but what makes this shining moment in political history harder to believe than average, is that the romney people say they did this on purpose. that's right. changing the meaning of mr. obama's statement was in their view, not a mistake, though the explanation made little sense unless you ignore the truth or don't care about it. >> we're on the attack here. he criticized as a candidate his then opponent for not wanting to talk about the economy and look where we are today. president obama doesn't want to talk about the economy and he has a bis mall, failed record in getting americans back to work. >> she kept saying that in the interview with us. the romney campaign also issued a press release explaining the president's full quote, as if viewers of the ad were going to actually read a press release. as if romney going on offense entitled him to change the transcript of the last election. the independent fact checker called the ad ridiculously
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misleading. we asked the campaign if romney thinks the guy in the white house should mislead people on tv. >> we're not misleading anyone. we are turning president obama's attacks back on him. >> so, what were they really doing? the answer might surprise you. political analysts we spoke to and others said it looked like romney bading the obama administration to come out and fight and the obama campaign took the bait. >> it wouldn't have gotten nearly the attention it got. >> what the romney meem like is that their guy is now sparring with the president and talking about the economy, which makes their candidate look like the guy to take on the president. >> good report. stand by. i want to bring in two our of contributors. paul begala, also works as a strategist for the democratic fund raising group. and former bush white house
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press secretary, ari fleischer. paul, you've done a lot of political ads. what do you make? is this a new low or have there been worse? >> there have been worse, but i have a wide strike zone. this is extraordinary. it's romney's first major ad of the campaign and he is purposefully lying. he's taking -- the president didn't say today if talking about the economy, we'll lose, he might be thinking that, but it's not what he said. he was talking four years ago and quoting a mccain aide and to lead that out, a wide strike zone, that's a really deceptive tactic. >> does he say at the end of the ad, i'm mitt romney and i approved this ad? >> i didn't hear if he did or didn't. >> i think he does. >> there's no question. took the president's remarks out of context. they could have easily put them
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into the ad then showed the quote. but reminds me of the old adage, a broken clock is right twice a day. if barack obama is still having to talk about this economy from a year from now, he is still in trouble. >> isn't it normal for these kinds of ads where they distort and say something out of context for some outside group to do it. not the candidate themselves who want to be president of the united states. i remember occasions where something like that has happened and at least made out like a mistake. they wanted to get this kind of a distortion out because they want ed. it wasn't t-- because they knew this was going to cause controversy. >> we want to cover the fight,
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we have to cover the fight. the obama campaign says it's a lay. the romney campaign says it's not. there's on object of reality. if they say the moon was made of green cheese, no, it's a rock. it is a rock. this is a lie and i think we should say so. >> what he has done today is make this all about him versus barack obama. barack obama's going to new hampshire today and this coverage is not about his message in new hampshire. it's about him being protested by occupy wall street. embracing for protest. not a bad day for the romney people when you add it up. >> think progress put out a parody of this. let me play a little. >> just raise everybody's taxes. >> government knows better than a free people how to guide an economy. >> fiscal responsibility is heartless and immoral. let us just raise your taxes
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some more america's just another nation with a flag. >> all quotes accurate by the standards of mitt romney. what do you think of that? it's satire. it's cute. >> it's funny. but like i said, the romney ad is like a broken clock. it still is right about barack obama. he set himself up for criticism. >> to take quotes out of context? >> you know, i hope not. it's a bit of a character test for the romney campaign. i think he's failed. if he should become president, you don't want to become president having proven you're not trustworthy. that's a bad thing. yet, it's also a character test for the press because instead of just holding their coats and saying you guys fight it out, responsible media are saying this is a liar. this is zeptive, because it is. maybe some question as to whether tv stations will run it knowing it's dishonest and deceptive. >> stand by for -- >> just the notion and the question of whether the obama
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campaign sort of ran into a trap by jumping out there and responding to this rather than just letting it go, a lot of people say if they hadn't responded, it would have been hardly a one-day story. >> stand by. we have a lot more to discuss. newt gingrich is apparently the candidate to beat. will he come under attack from his rivals tonight? stand by. and gingrich's front-runner status is only part of the story coming in from our latest polls. jack cafferty is looking at republicans are saying about moral character. plus, we're learning more about three american college students arrested amid the deadly political protests in egypt. their families are now speaking out. sta stay with us. you're in "the situation room." everyone have their new blackberry from at&t?
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getting ready for the big
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republican national security debate. stand by for that. let's go to jack cafferty. >> thanks. as newt gingrich continues his rise in the polls, there is one key issue that could hold him back. character or will it. a new quinnipiac poll shows he scores higher than mitt romney on most key leadership traits except for personal character. for example, republican voters say gingrich is a stronger leader by romney by 34% to 24. they say he's stronger on foreign policy 46% to 16 and they say gingrich has the right knowledge and experience to be president by 48% to 22%. these are huge margins. but gingrich trails romney 32% to 9 when it comes to who has a strong moral character. a lot of that likely goes back to gingrich's personal baggage. overall, gingrich is at the top
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of the republican pack in this poll. 26%. compared to romney's 22 and the rest are also ranked. in a head to head match-up, gingrich does even better. he tops romney by ten points, but it might not matter. ooempb though republicans find gingrich competent, they worry about his character. family values part and all that. and this is at least part of the reason why by a double digit margin, republicans say romney has the best chance of beating president obama and by an overwhelming margin, they say romney is most likely to be the republican nominee. it's interesting that at a time when our nation is facing a boat load of very, very serious problems to the national debt to the economy, the unemployment, the wars, a lot of people are more hung up on personal character than on the ability to lead. here's the question. when it comes to being president, which is more important, the ability to solve the country's problems or
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personal character? go to and post a comment or to situation room's facebook page. gingrich has got to be causing some unease in the romney household these days. >> i think he's causing a lot of heartburn out there. you're right. great question. anxious to hear what our viewers have to think about that. thank you. erin burnett is here at constitution hall. national security defense and yesterday because of the failure of the super committee, we know there's supposed to be $600 billion over the next ten years starting in 2013 defense cuts. so you've been looking at this part of the story. what do you see? >> you've got to add that to the cuts thaf agreed to. you get around a trillion dollars. what panetta calls a howling out of the force. i've talked to a lot of defense analysts today.
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we could see cuts of 100, 150,000. a new ground combat vehicle, so there would be real cuts, but there's also a lot of waste. when you look around the world, $1.5 trillion on defense, more than half of that on this country. we spend ten times more than china. six times more than russia. we spend a lot, so we can afford to make the cuts. >> i think yesterday, our pentagon spore respondent's piece, he said we spend more on defense in the united states than the next 16, 17 countries combined. >> it's amazing. when you look at it that way, we can make cuts. but then there's another way to look at it, well, defense is really important to the united states of america. to our economy. it provides a lot of jobs, so when analysts look at the numbers and the cuts, you could see a cut to growth of a full percent in 2013. when you're looking at an economy bare lly struggling to
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grow at 2.5%, it's really important. >> this cut, if it happens and there are efforts to try to derail that a year before they're supposed to again, but it's supposed to be over ten years and it doesn't say that the cuts would have to take place in year one, year two. they could have modest cuts in years one through five and by then, they're whole political climate could change. i've been watching supposed defense cuts over the years going back to when i was a pentagon correspondent. never happened. >> the one area they've been unable to touch is health care. it's a third rail topic, but a topic everybody says we have to address. when you talk about military members not injured, it goes into a certain budget. they see no increase in 10 or 15 years. president obama's trying to do it. president bush tried too it and i didn't work. you're going to start to see health care. >> in the next hour, we're going
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to be speaking with the chairman of the armed services committee. he said this will never be cut. he's going to stop it. do whatever he can. >> boxing gloves with him versus the president. >> see you at 7:00 p.m. eastern. thank you very much. did michele bachmann get dissed during an appearance on jimmy fallon's talk show last night? you'll decide for yourself. plus, a tear gas attack dpurg a me during a meet egg of parliament. ttd# 1-800-345-2550
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a dramatic new development in the growing penn state university child sex abuse
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scandal. lisa sylvester is monitoring that, some of the other top stories. >> this just into cnn. two new cases of alleged child abuse against jerry sandusky have been opened by children and youth services in pennsylvania. this according to services close to the investigation. the cases were reported less than 60 days ago and it marks the first time cases involving sandusky and currently underaged children are being investigated. sandusky is currently facing a number of other child sex abuse charges. the taliban is declaring a cease fire in one area of pakistan. they tell cnn anonymously they are in south waziristan, they say it follows back talks for the pakistani government and taliban. the pakistani taliban's official spokesman denies talks are talking place from the pakistani government, they are also denying reports of talks. south korea's governoring party managed to pass a continue
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ver verse yal free trade agreement with the united states despite scuffles and a tear gas attack in parliament. the u.s. ratified the deal last month. critics there argue it takes away the country's economic sovereignty. and jimmy fallon's band, the roots, is getting heat for the song it played on last night's show to bring out michele bachmann. watch and listen. >> please welcome to the show, minnesota congresswoman michele bachmann. ♪ >> okay, we are not going to tell you the full title of the
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song, but you might be able to figure it out. the song is fish bone's lying expletive expletive. roots' drummer tweeted quote, you love it when we snark. this next one takes the cake. jimmy fallon tweets. there you have it, wolf. >> got to be careful with the whole nine yards. thanks very much for that. just a little more than three and a half hours from now, that's the start of tonight's republican national debate on national security. you'll see it, hear it here on cnn. will the candidates gang up on newt gingrich since he's the front-runner? paul and ari are both coming back. part two of our strategy as we get ready for the cnn national security debate from constitution hall here in washington. let me tell you about a very important phone call i made.
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you're look k at at live picture of constitution hall. every u.s. president since calvin coolidge has come here to constitution hall. not far away from the washington monument. eight republican candidates will be up on the stage with me tonight answering questioning on national security, foreign affairs and the economy. coming up, 8:00 p.m. eastern. the republican battle for the white house is shaping up to be anybody's game while mitt romney has been consistently at the front of the pack. a number of others are getting their time in the spotlight. and whoever is up at the moment seeps to be the one that gets hit hardest in a debate. in august, michele bachmann took the blow. listen to this. >> she said she's got a titanium spine. it's not her spine we're worried about. it's her record of results. if that's your view of effective
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results, please stop, because you're killing us. >> later dropped out. in september, it was rick perry's turn. look at this. >> the question is, do you still believe that social security should be ended as a federal program as you did six months ago when your book came out and return to the states. >> i think we ought to have a conversation. >> if you'll let me finish, i'll finish this conversation. >> in october, the punches were thrown at herman cain. >> if we give congress a 9% sales tax, how long will it take a liberal president and congress to run that up to maybe 90%? >> all right, let's get back to our strategy session. joining us once again, paul begala and ari fleischer. i guess with newt gingrich searching and he is surging dramatically, does he come in
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planning to get hit by some of the others? >> i suspect so. i think this is better terrain to focus on foreign policy for newt. he was speaker of the house. had access to the highest levels of national security at the time. served on a defense review board when president bush was president. again, had access to highly classified information. he's got a base of knowledge that exceeds many on stage. probably the only one that can match him is jon huntsman, who's just back from beijing. >> santorum knows a lot, too. he was on the armed services committee. >> santorum, watch for him to attack tonight on iran. he has been in the hawkish field. the most hawkish. i don't know if he'll find room to attack newt on that. >> do they go after newt at their own peril? >> what's interesting in these debates, if they keep going after the number two and one, romney keeps skating by because
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no one has taken him on with force. if you shoot at the number two guys -- musical chairs. that was -- that was polenta with the lawn mother and pawlenty's gone. >> no, talking about when rick perry complained about the lawn service. that was not very effective. >> cut one of his acres. the trick of the debate is you've got to do it with the right touch. newt has resisted that, i'm not going to go after him. there's a time and a place to take your opponents down. it's always trickier to debate when it's in person and you've got to do it well. >> romney stay above the fray if he can or does he go on the attack? zwl he has done well in all of these debates. each debate, he seems to do better. if i were advising the other republicans, there's two slots coming out of this. not this debate, but the season.
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the anti romney has thr three-fourths of the party, so if i were aviding, i would say go after mitt. don't go after your fellow conservative. go after the one who the base fears is a little too modern. >> if my friend paul were advising a republican candidate, obama would win. they would do best by going after barack obama tonight. there is a real sense of whatever can take the fight best against obama is who republicans are looking for. talk about strength, not letting iran -- >> killing bin laden. >> you want to talk about what barack obama's silence on iranian protest. barack obama in israel and how she's perceived to be shaky about israel. republican base wants to hear who's most articulate and who can take the case to barack obama. that's why it's a republican debate. not a democratic debate. >> got a good point.
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i think they'll all try to go after president obama and his strategy. you'll see how they succeed on that. if they do. guys, thanks very much. so, why did congress's so-called super committee fail to reach a deal on cutting the deficit? should president obama have done more? we'll talk about that and more with the director of the white house office of management and budget. plus, the push to do away with airline baggage fees. will the united states congress now intervene? we're america's natural gas and here's what we did today: supported nearly 3 million steady jobs 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...
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exactly 24 hours since the super committee turned out not to be so super. announced it failed to reach an agreement on slashing more than a trillion dollars from the u.s. debt. the question is why couldn't this panel of 12 members strike a deal? let's talk about it with jack lew, the director of the white
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house office of management and budget. mr. lew, thanks very much for coming in. what do you think happened here? why did this super committee turn out to be so weak? >> good to be with you, wolf. i actually was an optimist till the end because it seemed so obser obvious it was the right thing to do to reach an agreement. we saw a replay of what we experienced in june, july and august when the president was engaged in negotiations. there is a willingness on the part of democrats to give. on the part of republicans, there was not. on the fundamental question of would there be a fair distribution of burden and would the wealthiest of americans be asked to have a fair sharing of the sacrifice. i think that the important thing coming out of the super committee is yes that they failed, but also there's work to be done. as the president said yesterday, there's no easy offing. there is still in place a system
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of automatic cuts to take effect in january 2013 and there's a year for congress to act to avoid that. and congress needs to come back and get to work. >> you won't be surprised to know that a lot of these republican presidential candidates here, all of them, all eight, will be at the debate that i'm moderating tonight. they're really blaming the president. president obama, for missing a golden opportunity once again. i want you to listen to one of the front-runners, mitt romney, what he says about president obama. >> what's most disappointing about that is that our president has had no involvement with the process. i find extraordinary that they would be set up a committee with such an important mission as finding a way to provide fiscal sanity in america and with the penalty if that fiscal sanity is not found of a $600 billion cut
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to our military. i would have anticipated that the president of the united states would have spent every day and many nights working with members of the super committee to try and find a way to bridge the gap, but instead, he's been out doing other things. campaign and blaming and traveling. >> why wasn't the president more involved in twisting our arms, dealing with these 12 members of the super committee? >> i think the president has been deeply involved in the fiscal policy debate for the whole year. from june through august, the whole country saw a day-to-day negotiations. soon as the super committee was convened, the president sent 70-page document, line by line detail. he showed the committee what he would do in a compromise. what he would dough on his own. the super committee knew what the president would do. the problem was that the super committee and particularly, the
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republicans, were not able or willing to move on whether the top 2% should be asked to participate in the shared sacrifice. when congress comes back, the important thing is not to keep going over what they did or didn't do in the super committee. that work remains to be done. the president's clear that the threat nobody thinks is the right approach should hang there and congress should make an alternate set of policy reductions to get the work done. there's some congress before the end of the year that congress has to get back to. there's a payroll tax that goes up on americans on january 1. congress has to come back from thanksgiving and get to work. the american people have to do that. congress has to also. >> well, looking back with hindsight and all of us are smarter with hindsight, wasn't it a blunder for the president to reject what's called the simpson bowles recommendations,
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$4 trillion in savings that almost a year ago in december of last year, his own commission came up with that. it would have been over if he would have accepted that and tried to push it through congress. was that a mistake? >> i've heard a lot of people ask that question, wolf, but i'm not sure how many people have gone through and for each of the provisions in that report that that's where they want to go. i've heard republicans raise that question, but they're not willing to do a level of tax increases that's far below bowles simpson. i think the question, the president embraced bowles simpson broadly and said it was the right approach. it was balanced, it put everything on the table. he said he thought the defense cuts were deeper than we can do and protect our national security. it should have been the basis for coming together and working on a bipartisan basis to agree on a balanced approach. the president was willing to do that. he was willing to put everything
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on the table. unfortunately, the republicans were not. this hard line issue of the tax burden on the wealthiest americans is something that stood in the way of getting a balanced agreement. >> how worried are you that it will be another downgrading of the u.s. credit rating as a result of this failure of the super committee to come up with a deal? >> i think it was important yesterday to look at what standard & poor's wrote. they wrote they were not going to downgrade and the reason is precisely because the automatic spending cuts are staying in place. i think when the president said yesterday, there's no easy off ramp, that was an important signal to the congress and the market that we are going to continue on the path of reducing our deficit. the right way is to sit down and have a balanced approach. to have a -- and don't raise taxes on working americans in january. the president remains ready to
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work on a bipartisan basis to do that. >> jack lew, thanks very much for coming in. >> good to be with you, wolf. a fourth straight day of deadly political upheaval in egypt cht we're going live to cairo for the latest. also, why three american exchange students are now under arrest in cairo. plus, possible relief for passengers fed up with airline baggage fees on this, the eve of a huge travel day. ♪ [ engine revs ] ♪ [ male announcer ] oh what fun it is to ride. get the mercedes-benz on your wish list at the winter event going on now -- but hurry, the offer ends soon. [ santa ] ho, ho, ho, ho!
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there's a new effort on capitol hill to do something about airline baggage fees. lisa? >> it seems like the thanksgiving rush has already started, so if you need to get to the airport, give yourself plenty of time. the lines make take a while because many people are opting to take on their bags to avoid hefty baggage fees. remember the days of flying on pan am? air travel has taken a decidely different turn and many passengers aren't happy about it.
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what's most annoying, being charged for a checked bag. >> takes forever to get on and off the plane because of the people who carry on bags because they don't want to pay the checked bag fees. >> i think it would be great to not have to pay. i'm always prone to take southwest because they're free. >> southwest is one of the exceptions. most of the airlines faced with rising fuel prices and slacked demands started three years ago. typical fees are are about $25 for the first bag, $35 for a second bag. so more people are opting to carry on their bags. that means longer lines at security and a mad dash on the plane to get precious overhead bin space. senator mary lan drew of louisiana says travelers are tired of being nickelled and dimed and has introduced a bill that would let passengers check in one bag for free. >> they're tired of this travel experience, which is getting to
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be more of a hassle. i believe that when you purchase a ticket to fly anywhere, it should come with at least a seat, free water, access to a restroom and at least one you know, checked bag for free. >> more carry on bags means more work for the transportation security administration. the department of homeland security says their costs have gone up $270 million a year since their changes. but the airline industry argues their profit margin is already razor thin. >> no one tells the hotel whether or not they should have free bottles of water or wi-fi. no one tells a bus what services they should have for r free. the airlines should be able to decide what they're going the charge for. >> so, these days, flying is a very different experience. there are the checked bag fees. those snacks that used to be
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fr free, that's no longer the case. if you want preferred seating, tough pay for that and there are the security lines. wolf? >> certainly thanks very much, lisa. jack cafferty is back with the "cafferty file." >> congress ought to just stick to trying to decide whether pizza is a vegetable. the question this hour, when it comes to being president, which is more important? the ability to solve the country's problems or personal character? perry writes the ability to solve problems. nothing else matters. this is not the miss america pageant. dee, i'd choose character over ability because ability based on lies, manipulations and back room deals is not worth the price we all pay in the end. emmett, jack, solving problems is more important. richard nixon would make a better president than most of the characters now. america has too many morons who are ruining the country. bradley in philadelphia writes
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without personal character, people appear to try to solve problems by looking good rather than doing good and that does no good at all. tony says while obama's star quality and personal character got him elected and look where we are today. he's in way over his head. we need a problem solver in 2012. silvia writes the ability to solve the country's problems by far outweighs personal character. do you think the kennedys or clintons could get elected today? we need somebody in the white house who knows how to run a country. and ron writes this is a he can't walk and chew gum kind of question. history is filled with ruthless thugs who made the trains run on time and with nice inconfidence. why can't we have both for once? if you want to read more on this, go to the blog, or to the facebook page. >> thank you.
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meanwhile, another day of bitter chaos in egypt. we're going live to cairo for the latest. and three american college exchange students arrested amid the clashes. we have details. congratulations. congratulations. congratulations. today, the city of charlotte can use verizon technology to inspire businesses to conserve energy and monitor costs. making communities greener... congratulations. ... and buildings as valuable to the bottom line... whoa ! ... as the people inside them. congratulations.
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for a fourth day, egyptians are using rubble bullets on peaceful protesters. mean tile, thousands of people are joining what's been dubbed the million man sit-in. ivan watson is right in the middle of the chaos. >> these are the front lines of the running battles over here. the police have set up a barricade in this direction. kids have been throwing rocks at them. the tear gas is coming constantly. you can see the effects of it. everyone's showing these shells they pick up and many claiming they're made in the u.s.a. this made in jamestown, pennsylvania. the crowd here, angry, young, furious at the loss of life here over the course of the past days, demanding that the supreme
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counsel step down. the soldiers around the corner here -- around the corner right here, the army has set up barricades along one road, but it's riot police that they're facing off against. if we turn in this direction, it's riot police down here. this is one pocket of turmoil in the center of the egyptian capital, but it is throwing the entire country into a political crisis just days before elections are scheduled to be held and that's called into question whether those elections can be held at all. ivan watson, cnn, in cairo. >> amidst all of this, three american students in cairo have been arrested. egyptian authorities accuse them of throwing molotov cocktails. brian todd is working this part
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of the story. what to we know about these young students? >> wolf, we know they were spending the semester abroad at an american university in kcair. we also know their program there might be interrupted because prosecutors there will be investigating them. his sister says 19-year-old derek sweeney looks terrified. he and two other american students stand shoulder to shoulder in a cairo holding area, in detention, accused of throwing molotov cocktailed. on display with them, clear bottles and various forms of american i.d. we're told they have been questioned by cairo police and will face additional questions by prosecutors. not much information come frg the state department. >> are they safe, can you tell us that? >> i don't think we have any information to indicate otherwise. >> they are identified as sweeney, from georgetown university, 19-year-old gregory porter in philadelphia and luke
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gates from indiana university. officials say they were spending the semester there as part of a study abroad program. social media posts seem to show them in the -- in messages from last weekend from a twitter account from gates' name, there are references to rubber bullets, a charge and retreat. one posting says quote, we were throwing rocks and one guy accidentally threw his phone. cnn could not confirm. here at georgetown, one arabic says he had derek sweeney his his class and is shocked by his arrest. he describes sweeney in glowing terms. >> derek was one of my best students. was a good, excellent, actually, student. got as. he was an outstanding, pleasant
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person. >> he says sweeney believed to be shone here in a facebook posting, is a socially peaceful person. consistent with how sweeney's mother described him. >> i don't believe he would intentionally try to harm anybody. he may have been with people that through them, i don't know, but that does not sound like something my son would do. >> i asked what his former student is facing. what are your concerns for derek right now? >> i think my concerns is only the hardship and the fear he will have to face and a system where we don't know what's happening. what's going on. >> luke gates' father saz he learned of the detention -- he
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said it was a hard call to get. officials tell us they're working with american university and u.s. authorities to try to get d young men release. wolf? >> any word on possible charges against these three young students? >> there's no word yet. we're told they're being held, that prosecutors are looking into this case. at one point, we believe they may have been held in a courthouse this cairo. worth noting here these young men took a pretty big risk if they went to tahrir square. >> they may have just gone though to see what was going on and got caught up. i assume u.s. embassy officials in cairo are trying to get them out if they can. >> that's right and we're told that u.s. officials in cairo, in the united states, have been in contact with their families to try to get them out. also try to find out more of what's going on. >> brian todd will keep us informed. thank you, brian.
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we're counting down to tonight's debate on national security as the white house hopefuls try to prove they have what it takes to defend america and its interest overseas. the congressal super committee is being blamed for its failure to come up with a deal on the deficit, but is failure really a win for lawmakers on both sides? and ten years into the afghanistan war, a shocking case raising new questions about the success, so-called, of the mission. a teenage rape victim must choose between prison and marrying her attacker. this unfolding in the so-called new afghanistan right now. we want to welcome our viewers in the united states and around the world. i'm wolf blitzer. i'm wolf blitzer. you're in "the situation room." -- captions by vitac --
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we're here at constitution hall in washington, d.c. we're just three hours from now, the republican presidential candidates, eight of them, will take to the stage. i'll be moderating the debate here on cnn. our focus tonight will be on national security and foreign policy. but the candidates will also address the extraordinary economic problems around the world and right here at home. in the united states. and as the obama administration tries winding down the wars in iraq and afghanistan, watch as the chill set in over the so-called arab spring and wonders what to do about iran's nuclear program. how would these eight republican hopefuls handle america's constant foreign policy and national security challenges? let's get a preview what we might hear from jill daugherty. >> well, wolf, it's an extraordinary time. historic events and for some of
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these candidates new to foreign policy, it was a lot to learn before that 3:00 a.m. phone call. >> every single one of us is better than barack obama. >> if there's one thing all seven agree on, it's that barack obama's foreign policy is a disaster. but when it comes to detail of what they would do differently, they're all over the map. on afghanistan, newt gingrich is duty yous about success, but opposes obama's time tabl on withdrawing u.s. troops. on pakistan, he wants to cut u.s. said. the campaign that helped topple gadhafi has become a kind of litmus test. gingrich first said he was for a no fly zone, then said he wouldn't intervene. mitt romney's position morphed, too. first, he supported a no fly zone, then criticized obama for going too far to bring down
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gadhafi. his big issue is china. >> i will crack down in china. >> herman cain says he's a business man, not a foreign policy expert and he's had his gas. >> okay, libya. >> his foreign policy adviser says cain is doing his homework. rick perry made head libs -- >> the foreign aid budget is going to start at zero dollars. >> but he's a hawk on possible military action against iran and he said if he were president, he's set up a no fly zone in syria. even if the yuntsed nations didn't go along. ron paul wants to zero out foreign policy. no more wars, close military bases in asia and europe. michele bachmann is an outspoken critic of obama's policy on libya. her other top issue, supporting israel. rick santorum is the closest to
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a neo can. spend more money on the military and promote human rights around the world. and jon huntsman knows his way around foreign policy probably better than any of those candidates. former ambassador to china and singapore. he was u.s. trade representative for george p. bush, but with his minuscule poll ratings, he may be better known in beijing than in baltimore. wolf? >> we'll see how he does, all of them, how they do tonight, swril. thank you. can the republican candidates show an international audience here on cnn that they have what it takes to keep america strong and look out for this country's interest around the world? our chief political analyst, gloria borger, is here getting ready for this debate. what do these candidates have to prove? >> i think in a word, wolf, plausibility. they have to prove that they're plausible commander in chief. that they're steady, credible.
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as jill just showed you, herman cain has had some problems on credibility. had that brain freeze on libya. newt gingrich has been all over the map. so, i think these candidates, while foreign policy is not going to be at the top of the voter's agenda, there is still a threshold you have to cross when you want to be president of the united states and americans understand that and believe it and want somebody who's strong, credible and plausible. >> over the past many decades, the republicans have been the ones that have strong and defense and national security. >> now, that's been the republican calling card. strong on defense and what's interesting for barack obama is that he, his highest poll ratings come on national security. don't forget he's had some successes. he got osama bin laden and in this field, wolf, as you know bitter than i do, there is no john mccain.
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there is no republican hawk here like we saw in the 2008 elections. mitt romney disagrees with barack obama on iraq and afghanistan, but really, much more on the timetables of the withdrawal of the troops than anything else. so, these republicans are going up, whoever's the nominee, is going up against the president who really does have credibility on foreign policy with american voters. democrats and some republicans. >> how does the issue of iran and its nuclear program play into a debate like this one tonight? >> i think it's a very, very important issue and we asked in our cnn poll, let me tell you the question. the u.s. should use military action to get iran to shut down its nuclear program. we asked that question. democrats, you see, wolf. only 12%. independents, only 16% and even republicans, only 22%. so, there's really not any large amount of support per getting involved in iran in a military
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way, but these presidential candidates, some would argue have done a little bit of saber rattling on the issue, saying that first you should use economic sanctions, but if they fail, military action. well, the administration just slapped some more sanctions on iran. what more is there left to do except maybe slap sanctions on the central bank. these are questions that need to be answered if these candidates are considering military action over there. >> good points as usual. gloria's going to be with us throughout the night. before the debate, after the debate. >> i'll be watching you, wolf. >> thank you very much. while the republican candidates get ready to debate tonight, two blocks from the white house, president obama today was in their campaign territory up in new hampshire. jessica yellin is joining us now. the white house says this was not a april trip. what was the president doing in new hampshire today? >> right. a visit to new hampshire a year before the election. not political.
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wolf, the president was there pressing the message you're going to hear from him non-stop in december, that congress and specifically the republicans in congress, will be raising american's taxes if they don't extend the payroll tax cut. that is the president's message from now until the end of the yee, but he also took a failed swipe at the republican presidential candidates who have been campaigning in new hampshire these days. listen. >> by the way, the next time you hear one of these folks from the other side come in talking about raising your taxes, you just remind them that ever since i've gotten into office, i've lowered your taxes. haven't raised them. that's worth it. >> now, wolf, new hampshire could be very be a battleground state this year. the president won it handily last time. his team expects him to win it this year in the general election, but in resent
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elections, it has gone both ways. there will be a stiff fight over it come november. wolf? >> speaking of new hampshire and mix, jessica, listen to this campaign commercial. i want to play it rigtd now. >> we need a rescue plan for the middle class. need to provide relief to homeowners. if we keep talking about the economy, we're going to lose. lose. lose. >> that's the mitt romney tv ad that was released today. i know the white house is responding. tell our viewers what officials there are saying. >> right and the key part of that is saying, the president saying if we talk about the economy, we're going to lose. that's taken out of context from
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2008 when he was quoting john mccain and that's not made clear in the ad. the president has avoided mention of romney and this ad, but jay carney did address it in his off camera gaggle today saying this is a quote, it's a rather remarkable way to start the campaign. romney's campaign, and an unfornt way to start and i'm pleased to see numerous news organizations point out the blatant dishonesty in the ad. the democratic national committee hit back hard, adding it's not surprising there's been a strong -- since they've been engaging romney for weeks on far less provocative attacks. >> it's going to get intense between the obama campaign and the romney campaign. assuming of course mitt romney gets the republican nomination. a lot of democrats aseem he
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will. one of the reasons they're having this debate tonight. thanks for that. heading into tonight's debate, michele bachmann says she's the only candidate involved in foreign affairs and national security. is she right? donna brazile and david frum are both standing by. much more coverage in advance of tonight's republican debate here at constitution hall. we'll be right back. you name it. i've tried it. but nothing's helped me beat my back pain. then i tried this. it's salonpas. this is the relief i've been looking for. salonpas has 2 powerful pain fighting ingredients that work for up to 12 hours. and my pharmacist told me it's the only otc pain patch approved for sale using the same rigorous clinical testing that's required for prescription pain medications. proven. powerful. safe. salonpas.
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we're counting down to tonight's republican presidential debate. the issues, national security, foreign policy, the economy at constitution hall inside. we're here at constitution hall reporting, getting ready for the big debate.
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let's go to jack cafferty. >> we're counting on you to take no prisoners. all right. the super committee's a disgrace. let me repeat that. the super committee is a disgrace. and there should be a price each of them has to pay for their negligen negligence. their failure costs all of us and continues to spiral out of control. they did nothing. they knew the consequences of their actions, they chose to do nothing. they were charged with agreeing on $1.2 trillion in cuts to the national debt spread out over ten years. congress borrowed $1.3 trillion. this year alone. doesn't seem too much to ask. actions are supposed to have consequences and most of the time, they do, unless you're a member of congress. the super committee is just a latest group of politicians who lied to us about reducing government spending. simpson bowles commission put forth a program for cut iting t
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debt. it was discarded like trash. like wise the gang of six. even before the super committee failed, one poll showed congress's approval rating at a low of just 9%. it was the first time congress registered in the single digits in this poll since the question was first asked if the '70s. the same survey shows americans have less trust in their government than ever before and they have good reason. the super committee didn't even have the guts to walk out and face the public. instead, they handed the press a piece of paper, announcing their failure, then disappeared into the wood work like some cockroaches, but the real failure is that these people will probably be re-elected the next time they run for office and that's something we should be ashamed of. if you or i failed as miserably at our jobs, we would be in the street and that's where these
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people belong along with the rest of the people that make up our government. here's the question. do members of the super committee deserve to be elected? just disgraceful. wolf? >> yep. but you're in the surprised though, jack, are you? >> absolutely not. you know, one thing i'm surprised at is we collectively as a country don't seem to get it. we keep electing these people and sending them back. we are so divided among partisan lines to accomplish anything. we've got to change some things or we're going to go right down the drain. >> stand by. we're going to get to your e-mail shortly. other news we're following right now, more than 180 american troops have been kill in afghanistan since the war there began a decade ago. by the end of next summer, president obama plans to bring home the 33,000 so-called surge
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troops ancient there to try to turn the tide and there were another 60 or 70,000 american troops will remain until the end of 2014. another three years. republican presidential candidates will be facing questions about where they stand on this issue tonight, but after ten years of war, there are signs right now unfortunately, that little has really changed in afghanistan despite this enormous effort that the united states has undertaken in blood and treasure. nick peyton walsh has a truly chilling story that underscores what is going on there. tell us what you're seeing. >> absolutely. as the focus is on this nato drawdown, the pace of it and it really turns into a story about what kind of afghanistan nato's going to be leaving behind after a decade of involvement here. n now, we have the story of a
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victim of a rape who was jailed because she was the victim of this particular crime. and as the story tells us now that even with billions still being spent, women's rights in afghanistan still have a long way to go. she remembers clearly the smell of her rapists clothes. >> translator: he had filthy clothes on as he does metal and construction work. when my mother went out, he came into my house and closed the doors and windows. i started screaming, but he shut me up. >> he was the husband of her cousin, but in the draconian society, this 19-year-old was blamed. her rape, sex with a married man, was seen as adultery and she was sentenced to 12 years in jail. to her, there's only one way out. a dreadful choice. >> translator: i was asked if i wanted to start a new life by
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getting released by marrying this man. one man dishonored me and i want to stay with that man. >> inside the prison walls, she agreed to be interviewed. her daughter is the child of a rape. >> translator: my daughter is a little innocent child w. who knew i would have a child in this way? a lot of people told me that after your daughter's born, give it to someone else, but my aunt told me to keep her as proof of my innocence. >> in afghanistan, the ordeal often begins with the attack, then there's isolation from society, then in her case, the possibility she may have to marry her attacker and then to risk being killed. we spoke to her convicted rapest in jail who didn't want to be shown on camera. he will be killed on release, but by her own family out of
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shame. because of how afghan justice has treated her, she's taken an extraordinary step of speaking out about her attack, but even that has brought her problems. she spoke openly, her face uncovered, in a documentary on women's rights, but the eu blocked its release, saying it would endanger her. yet the documentary maker said they blocked it also because they don't want to make the system look bad. >> what i'm concerned about, the situation of the woman, about this security and well being. that's the key criteria according to which i as representative of the european union will judge. >> but now, she has been judged an adulterer. the only escape, marriage to her rapist. something she says she will accept so her child will continue to have a mother. terrifyingly, the safest place
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for her might in fact be jail. in our interview, she did appeal directly to hamid karzai to intervene and it's that kind of intervention that might cure her release without having to marry her attacker, then would need some kind of asylum to secure her safety. >> hamid karzai should clearly do the right thing given all the united states and international community have done for them and the people of afghanistan. but here's the question. does a case like this mean there's nothing more the united states, the international community can do after a decade of intervention? does it strengthen the argument to stay on or does it strengthen the argument that it's over in afghanistan and that it's time to leave? >> that argument will go on for the foreseeable future. what it does show is how closely some parts of society are still to the kind of justice and functionality we associate with
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the taliban. as you point out, many will be sickened by her story, but there are still parts of the country and society which have yet to be reached or changed by nato. frankly, this also shined a slight on that huge gulf between what nato that it could do to afghanistan ten years ago and where the country is now. the argument for staying on, that some parts of the country are still so close to a taliban style of existence, that maybe, maybe, it's important to stick around to ensure the taliban don't get a foothold again. wolf? >> it's hard to believe that with the u.s. and nato there in such huge numbers this could even be taking place ten years into this war. thanks very much. excellent report for our viewers in the united states and around the world. meanwhile, pakistan's ambassador of the united states is stepping down over the scandal in pakistan known as memo gate. haqqani was a close -- frequent
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guest here in "the situation room." he helped the president mend frayed relations with washington after pakistan was humiliated by the raid that killed osama bin laden, but he's been implicated in a memo allegedly sent from mr. zardari to mike mullen asking for help. hussein huh can, forced to step down. he did his best to try to improve pakistan's relations with the united states, but right now hooerks going to be gone. war isn't cheap and the effort in afghanistan cost the united states taxpayers about $2 billion a week. let me repeat that. about $2 billion a week. imagine what that could do right here at home. just ahead, we'll ask one congressman if that money is actually well spent and we have already heard newt gingrich suggest some changing child labor laws, but how about his
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just a couple of hours away from the republican national security debate here on cnn. and as we're getting ready for that, the front-runner, newt gingrich, has unveiled his national security team. his advisers have serve every president from reagan to george bush and they include among others, james woolsey, robert
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mcfarland and others. let's talk about this and more are our cnn political contributors, donna brazile and david frum. you had a chance to look at this list. you know a lot of these guys. >> i do know a lot of them. i was able to talk to some just before the debate. it certainly represents the hawkish side of the republican party. what is as important as the personalities on the team though are the way a candidate assembles and uses his team. sometimes, these teams are very powerful as they were for example with john carey in 2004. sometimes, the president becomes his own adviser and the team, they kind of have a frustrating experience. >> i suspect newt gingrich is his own adviser. he'll have some senior advisers there. >> a lot of return to bigone era including one of dick cheney's
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advisers on middle east policy. it tells you that newt gingrich, if elected, will purr see a very tough military policy. >> he's got a lot of these advising him as well. >> and mitt romney has a very orderly process. a lot of different circles. rapt tors who report. >> explain to our viewers what that means. i know what you mean, but most of our viewers don't have a clue. >> the way these work, it isn't that all of these advisers get the candidate on the phone. there will be divided into subcommittees and then there will be a chairman from a subcommittee who will report to a master of committees. the work process has to be done in an orderly way. often, less orderly. what you learn is not who's going to be in the white house. a lot of obama's people ended up
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in the white house. will it be orderly, more fluid? what kind of staff system does the candidate like? >> in this particular case, we know who the president's national security advisers are because they've been around for the past three years. michele bachmann was on "american morning" earlier today. she says she is really looking forward to tonight's national security debate. i'll play a clip. >> well, i'm excited to go because this is my favorite topic of all. national security. i sit on the house intelligence committee. of all of the candidates in the rasz, i'm the only one who's curre currently involved in current afares and national security. cnn always does a great debate, so i'm looking forward to it tonight. i assume he's got involved in fortune affairs and national security. they went up, went down. >> this was an opportunity for
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her to really -- expertise in an area where most americans will clearly look at their experience. she's on the house intelligence committee and since iraq and afghanistan, that committee has really looked into the committee. >> and she says she loves foreign policy. >> she had a good debate on the cbs debate as did rick perry. both put in good, solid performances. i think you may hear some interesting things from rick santorum, who has thought very hard about a lot of these issues and who is more than the social conservative fire brand that he's often reputed to be. >> he's a very smart guy. whether you agree or disagree with him, a lot of folks disagree, but on national security, he served in the is that the. he knows a lot of this. >> he's been flying a little bit under the radar. maybe this is his moment to get a little national attention, but
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michele bachmann made a mistake in her last debate. she seemed to be in what i call the extreme lane of the republican policy. >> how come some republicans still defend water boarding even though the president outlawed it? >> even in the bush administrati administration, called it immoral. it dbt didn't help with intelligence and many of america's enemies. tonight, i'm going to look and see if there's some consistency and see if they have a -- >> anything special you're looking for? >> you're the one who can tell us if this will happen. whether we can get beyond the middle east. whether we talk about mexico, for example, where there's a near civil war. whether we talk about the relationship with canada. a lot of unhappiness with the cancellation of the keystone pipeline. we've got this imminent financial crisis, economic crisis in europe that can touch the united states. this hem steer, there are a lot
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of issues beyond this one hot region of the word. >> maybe is it time let the american embargo in cuba. of course, the african continent as well. >> we've only got a limited amount of time. don't go toor far away. the debate, 8:00 p.m. eastern here on cnn. jon corzine's next trip to capitol hill may, may not be as pleasant as his many earlier visits. why the former u.s. senator from new jersey could soon expect some harsh questions from his former colleagues. also, a mad dash to save the pentagon's budget following the super committee's failure. stay with us. it's megan. i'm getting new insurance. marjorie, you've had a policy with us for three years. it's been five years. five years. well, progressive gives megan discounts that you guys didn't. paperless, safe driver, and i get great service.
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tough questions for -- lisa, what's going on. >> that's right.
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the house financial services committee plans to grill jon corzine about the widening scandal at the bankrupt brokerage firm. the former new jersey governor and u.s. senator resigned after his bankruptcy. it's not clear if corzine will attend the hearing. the committee has the power to subpoena him. the trustee said monday that more than $1.2 billion in customer funds at the firm may be unaccounted for. florida's famous marching band has been suspended as the university investigates the death of a member. he was found unresponsive on a bus found in front of a hotel saturday night after a football game. the force is determining whether or not his delt could a result of hazing. and three astronauts are back on earth. they successfully landed in kazakhstan. the three arrived at the -- 167
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days they spent in space, wolf. >> good work. thanks very much for that. the congressional super committee taking a lot of heat for failing to reach a deal on the deficit, but is failure really a win for both sides? and we're counting down to the republican national debate on national security. 8:00 p.m. eastern only here on cnn. at liberty mutual, we know how much you count on your car and how much the people in your life count on you.
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lay makers on capitol hill recording the failure as somewhat of a success. let's go to kate bolduan. the super committee's trigger help the group fail? what is going on? >> it's so interesting. the trigger was called the quote unquote sword hanging over the head of the committee, so painful it would motivate the committee to act to reduce the deficit. that's a very good question. did the trigger make it easier for the committee to actually fail? senator rob portman, republican member of super committee, he said as much last night, tell reporters that the trigger made it quote easier to make some of
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the tougher decisions on the mandatory side. seems to be that the cuts were guaranteed even if the committee didn't reach agreement, so at the least, it seems, the trigger seemed to have softened the blow of the failure, especially since both sides have another year to fight it out before the cuts would set in, wolf. >> that's right. none of those cuts are supposed to take into effect 2013 after the presidential and congressional elections, but kate, aren't there serious political motivations in play here as well in in other words, didn't both parties have something to gain from not reaching an agreement by this super committee? >> it seems absolutely so. some democrats especially more liberal democrats, they've been saying all along that no deal is better than a bad deal in their view because the trigger limits the cut to entitlement programs and hits defense much harder. it also paves the way for the bush era tax cuts to expire,
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which democrats would like to see happen for wealthier americans and republicans have been fighting against that as being part of any super committee deal and then there's the republican side. listen to this. from conservatives. >> the media, some of the media, and the white house want you to believe that the super committee failed. but in a very real way, that's untrue. the death of any negotiations that will lead to higher taxes on the financially strapped american people is a clear victory for our country. >> that's from a conservative group, but for some republicans, especially conservatives, they can also say that no deal is better than a bad deal because the deficit will still be reduce wd the trigger and there are no tax increases included in the trigger. add to that, against president obama on the issue of cuts to defense as he said he'll veto a
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chance to turn the trigger, which includes about 600 billion from defense. both the democrats and minority in the house and republicans in the senate also stand to gain politically from failure. both can now run against the partisan gridlock holding up congress as they try to win back each chamber, wolf. >> stage has been set for a lively political debate over the next year. thanks very much. let's talk more about this issue with a key member of congress. joining us is the republican chairman of the house armed services committee, congressman, thanks very much for comeing in. >> thanks for having me, wolf. >> and you made it clear that you're going to do everything in your power to try to avoid that $600 billion cut in defense
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spending projected over the next ten years. how do you do that since the president has said he's done it yesterday, he will veto any change in the automatic trigger? >> it's like you were talking just a minute ago. some people are saying this is a victory. some are saying it's a failure. i look at it as a very serious failure. this see quest tradition was set up so it would be so terrible on defense and some of the other areas that there was no way it could fail. while we found out that didn't work, but we're still left with these serious defense. >> well, explain why these are so serious because if you take a look at $600 billion that's a lot of money, but it's spread out oifr ten years and if you were to average it out, $60 billion a year, it's something
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that the pentagon could clearly live with given where they were in their defense spending. say two or three or four years ago. it's not that much of a cut in the big proportion of the increases we've seen in recent years. >> if that were the only cut, that would be so, but you remember we've already had one project of this where we cut almost a trillion dollars and that was admiral mullen before his retirement and he told me he had given the chiefs $465 billion in cuts that they had to come up with for the budget that we'll be given right after the first of the year, so we've already got that 465 and i've been told now the number's 489. we're almost $500 billion that we'll be already absorbing in the next ten years, then you add the 5, 600 billion on top of that. you're talking not 60 billion a
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year, but over 100 billion a year. >> here's an idea. let me -- i was goin say let me throw out an idea to save some money. the u.s. taxpayers as you well know, you're the chairman of the armed services committee. u.s. taxpayers are spending $2 billion a week, a week, in afghanistan. that's more than $100 billion in a year. a lot of folks are saying this is money being thrown down the drain. u.s. troops are supposed to be there another three years, at least through the end of 2014. are you open to cutting back dramatically on the expenses involved in afghanistan? >> we already know that those are going to be cut. they have them in the budget going out ten years and everybody knows that that's not going to happen. the troops in iraq will be coming home the end of this year. and the troops in afghanistan
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are going to be drawn down i think precipitously and too early, but they will be drawn down 10,000 this year, 20,000 next year, before the fighting season's over. then the rest of them are slated to be drawn down by 2014. i think what we're talking about though is broader than that. look at what's happening in egypt right now. when you did your new year's resolutions, wolf, this year, you probably weren't thinking about egypt. you probably weren't thinking about libya or yemen or syria or some of these other hot spots. we know that north koreans sunk a south korean ship that almost brought us to war this year. south korea is saying when that happens again, they're going to take action. we have several hot spots around the world and we're the ones that are basically the only ones that are keeping our ceilings open. that are keeping commerce. 95% of our commerce travels on
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the sea lanes. we have seven spots around the world and our navy's been a one defending that. >> congressman, i know you're going to be watching our debate on national security and defense tonight. the republicans at constitution hall. we're continue this conversation on many coming in. thank you. thanks very much, buck. he's the chairman of the house armed services committee. so do members of the so-called super committee deserve to be re-elected? your e-mail coming up next. wow. it's a great hd tv. shh. don't speak. i'll just leave you two alone. [ male announcer ] black friday's here. deals start thursday 10 pm. more electronics start at midnight. and we're open all day and night so you don't have to wait outside. walmart.
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let's get right back to jeff. >> wolf, the question this hour is do the members of the super committee deserve to be re-elected. bob says we're becoming a third world nation controlled by a puppet government by unseen forces. your question should be do we need a new set of founding fathers while discarding what has been created. mike in minneapolis writes considering that this went on behind closed doors and i wasn't invited, i'm going to stay calm and admit i don't know what happened. i do know that half the super committee no longer pledges allegiance to the flag but
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literally to grover norquist for which the offense is much greater a matter in simply not being re-elected. members of the so-called super committee should have their pay returned to the people. this committee did do one thing. showed politicians are in it for themselves and to heck with everyone else. daniel writes it was a set-up for failure. you can't have equal amounts of members from each party and expect them to budge. how many days to the next election? we need a new president. how do you counter immor representations when they're going to be in office screwing things up another six years. michael writes did i miss something? wasn't this a fight over extension of bush tax cuts or debate over government subsidies for private jet owners? i think half the committee should be sent packing. and curtis in philadelphia writes to be brief, no. to be verbose, heck no.
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go more to my blog. or post on the facebook page. good night mr. blitzer. i'll see you after thanksgiving. >> thank you very much. have a wonderful thanksgiving. when we come back gene knee moss. [ male announcer ] sometimes the giving can be just as amazing as the gift. what do you think? [ laughs ] ♪ [ 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 ct 200h. it's 4g, so you can do more faster. so, kathryn, post more youtube videos of your baby acting adorable. baby. on it. matt, ignore me and keep updating your fantasy team. huh? jeff, play a game. turbo-boosting now, sir. dennis, check in everywhere you go on foursquare. that's mayor dennis... of the water cooler. you're the best. liz, rock out to pandora.
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the last supper. he's spraying lassie. he's spraying snoop ie. he's become a mean. an idea acrossing the web spraying another internet meem, the cat. he's spraying the beatles on their sergeant pepper album. he's spraying to stop the flag raisers at i waj ma. he's spraying famous paintings. set national monuments and now we know why house speaker john boehner cries. he too has been pepper sprayed by the now infamous officer. his real name is lieutenant john pike. but he's been tagged with the nickname pepper spray pike. that's the name on his fake twitter account. want to see the super committee do something? give me ten minutes with them in a locked room with spray.
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the hacker group, anonymous, went after lieutenant pike by publicizing his phone and address. some created the pepper spray coughs la ment. ♪ when fox news anchor megan kelly described pepper spray this way. >> it's like a derivative of actually pepper. it's a food product, essentially. >> reporter: she was mocked. megyn kelly on the electric chair. on mustard gas. it's a hot dog condiment essentially. she would probably like to eat her words, as long as they weren't seasoned with pepper spray. on, critics are writing reviews of actual pepper spray calling it the cadillac of citizen repression technology. pepper spray is being aimed at old people and the village people. it's even being shot