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tv   Erin Burnett Out Front  CNN  April 24, 2012 4:00pm-5:00pm PDT

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as a 12-year-old goofball dying to get out. and i have to say, she was a little goofy when i met her. she was -- [ laughter ] -- >> the l.a. daily news says she uses an ipod, card deck, field trips to keep her students interested. good for her. >> always reminds you of the great teachers you have had in your life and thinking back to some of the great, great teachers that put me own, some might say the wrong path get nothing tv but the right path, i would say. >> too time get to a very special erin burnett "outfront" in jerusalem. that starts now. outfront tonight, my exclusive interview with benjamin netanyau, the prime minister of israel. he is moving the goal post and says he knows exactly what irvan up to now. plus, a new case of mad cow disease discovered in the united states. and mitt romney about to get a five-state sweep what will barack obama do about it? let's go outfront.
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good evening, everyone, i'm erin burnett and "outfront" tonight live from jer ruse level the old city is behind me, as you can see the walls. just a few hours ago, the sirens went off in the city people stopping on the sides of the streets in honor of the beginning of memorial day. later on this week exit will be the 64th anniversary of the state of israel. it is an important week in this country and and it is an important decision whether to strike or not strike iran, a conversation topic at dinner tables around the world and crucial election issue in the united states as well. matters a whole lot to americans, barack obama, mitt romney. i had a rare conversation with benjamin netanyau at his home today. we talked about iran, mitt romney, barack obama and a whole lot more as he opened up at his
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home. mr. prime minister, thank you so much for inviting us and letting us come and see your home. >> well, welcome to jerusalem. take a look around. >> we came here to your courtyard. i know we had to move -- there was a table here earlier, when we got here, there were two coffee cups on it, yours and tony blair's, when you were talking this morning, but how important is this space for you? sort of your getaway space, right? >> no this is my prison courtyard, because prime minister of israel, like the president of the united states, and maybe the pope one or two other people. >> ever feel like you're sort of under house arrest? >> for good reason, but i suppose so. but it doesn't mean that there respect an endless number of people who want to get into this prison cell and live here. >> i'm sure. i'm sure there are. iran. there's been 16 years of diplomas circumstance as you have talked about you have said repeatedly, said it in march, i know you stayed to the army
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radio this morning. it is not a problem of days but also not a problem of years. now you said that first in march so i would imagine not years, plural. you think that means this will be resolved by next spring? >> well, i hope it is resolved and i hope it is resolved peacefully. the international community is putting a lot of pressure on iran and making clear that its nuclear program must stop. if it stops with sanctions, the combinations of sanctions, diplomas circumstance other pressures, i, as the prime minister of israel, will be the happiest person in the world. >> do you think that sanctions are working? i mean, i saw story today about -- i think it was 56% of iranian -- of iran's fleet, tankers, sitting off the coast with oil, full of oil, 'cause they can't sell it. it would appear that sanctions are working. >> well, they are certainly taking a bite out of the iranian economy but so far, they haven't rolled back the iranian program or even stopped it by one iota. i mean, i hope that changes, but
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so far, i can tell you the centrifuges are spinning. they were spinning before the talk s began recently with iran. spinning before the talks and spinning as we speak. so, if the sanctions are gonna work, they better work soon. >> how do you know what they're doing? >> oh, we know. >> you know? >> we know and others know and we share what we know. this is not the case of the questions people had about saddam hussein. >> they stay is for peaceful purposes. >> hmm. they stay is for peaceful purposes. >> they stay is for peaceful purposes. >> have a sense of humor. i mean, they said it is for medical isotopes, right? that's why they are developing icbm's to develop medical isotopes to europe or israel or the united states that's why they are building these underground bunkers 00 between -- underneath mountains
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for medical iso opens it. that's why they are telling the world that they are gonna erase israel, the medical isotopes. this is a farce. nobody can seriously -- nobody can take them seriously. no nations with nuclear weapons have ever gone to war with each other. i mean, take india and pakistan. they haven't used them could. it be that israel and iran could end up in a situation like that where the acquisition of the nuclear weapon ensure it is would never be used? >> well, i'm not going to comment on the reported capabilities. i will say that to date, since the advent of the nuclear age after hiro she marks all nuclear powers have been very careful with the use or more accurately, the nonuse of the nuclear weapon when it comes to militant islamic regime, i wouldn't be too sure. because unlike, say the soviets, they can put their ideology before their survival.because u,
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they can put their ideology before their survival.too sure. because unlike, say the soviets, they can put their ideology before their survival. i don't think you can bet on rationale, they are giving hezbollah and hamas they are giving them the most advanced lethal weapons, whatever weapons they have to give them and they fired now 10, 12,000 rockets on israel's cities. diplomats worldwide to kill american soldiers in afghanistan. think of what they do with nuclear weapons. i don't think they want to bet the peace of the middle east on this. i think it is a safer get do what president obama and i and others have said, prevent iran from acquiring atomic bombs. >> one thing interesting now, you talk about the negative parts of the regime there is a jewish member of the parliament in iran, and one of the most popular terms there zero turn,
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main character falls in wlof a jewish woman. he helps smuggle jews out of paris to save them from the holocaust. it was very popular in iran. what makes you so sure they are anti-semitic in a way that would cause them to use the weapon against israel? >> i draw a distinction between the people of iran and the regime that is that has taken over their lives. >> the regime let show the air though. >> the regime is the one that, you know, has to kill people in the streets and goes into their homes after they cull the internet and make people disappear. this is a regime that is very brutal to its own people. iran is not free. jews in iran have a lot to worry about. but the jewish state that iran openly called a cancer that has to be excised from the middle east that has to be eradicated, certainly must take seriously iran's claims to annihilate t. >> the way the talks seem to be
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going, u.n. negotiators, iranian negotiators, u.s. negotiators, saying that the sanctions are working and that they may, in fact, roll back some sanctions there has been the been a rebuttal from the other side, the sanction that will take place this summer. >> i think it would be a big mistake to rescind the sanctions or lighten the sanctions. i think there has to be a cascade of sanctions and so far, that's the acid test, the sanctions haven't worked. how do we know that? because nothing has been stopped. what is stopped in the iranian program? >> what if they halted full enrichment to 20%, started importing that, would that be enough? >> i think what they need to do are three things. one, they have to stop all enrichment, second to take the -- >> all enrichment, even the 3% for medical? >> yes. they say they need it for what medical isotopes? the second point is after you stop all enrichment is remove
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the enriched material and you will get these rods from another country that can allow you to use nuclear energy for peaceful purposes. and third, dismantle the underground bunker. if they have no military goals, they should respond to this readyly. what we want is factual results. we want to see the iranian program rolled back. that's, unfortunately, not achieved by talks in which iran has one goal, to stall, delay, run out the clock. that's basically what they are doing. >> do you worry that you are going to put yourself in a position though that you may have to strike, a strike which even former head of the mossad has said would only delay, not end the iranian nuclear program? that by staying is not days, years, you are going to end up with a date where if you don't do it, you look like you couldn't or you wouldn't so you have to? >> i'm not worried what we look like, i'm worried about stopping
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this. i think there were really three principles that should guide us. they have been echoed by the united states and i think any sensible person understands that. >> the first is that iran's nuclear weapons program must be stopped. the second is that containment is not an option. and the third is that israel, the state of the jewish people, must have the capacity to defend itself by itself against any threat. >> obviously, very significant that the prime minister is saying the only standard israel will accept is that iran not enrich at all, not even the 3% that they would need for medical use. well, there could be an issue that is even bigger for israel right now and we are going to talk about that next. >> i could deliver a peace agreement. i could get the israeli people to follow me if i believed that i have a serious partner on the other side. if you are one of the millions of men
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you just heard a little b bitof my exclusive interview with benjamin netanyau, the prime minister of israel. we are live from jerusalem,
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"outfront" tonight, you can see the old city behind me. israel right now honoring its dead in memorial day. we had a chance to talk about iran, as you just heard, zero enrichment is what he is willing to accept on that front. he says he know what is iran is doing but there is an issue that could be bigger around that issue has to do with palestine, you haven't heard a whole blot recently, maybe because iran has been dominating the headlines. but he had something to say about palestine he has never said before. i want to ask you about another issue that hasn't gotten much coverage recently because iran has been getting coverage. i was in dubai recently, interviewing sheik mohammed earthquake the uae, ruler of dubai. and here is what he said u. >> we have nothing against israel, nothing against israel. what happened we want is for the palestinian, a country for the palestinian and a country for israel.
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and i promise to you, israel will benefit more than us because israel have things to offer in the market. >> that's very wise. that's very wise and i agree with him. i think peace would benefit us, as i think would it would benefit the palestinians, as it would benefit the entire region. i think there's one other thing. i think that i could deliver a peace agreement. i could get the israeli people to follow me if i believe that i have a serious partner on the other side, willing to make the necessary compromises on the palestinian side. many compromises that people talk about on the israeli side, but there are necessary compromises on the palestinian side and you know, peace is always a two-way compromise. >> would you accept their belief though that they should have a country which is contiguous, not islands here and islands there, but one space? >> yeah, we talked about that.
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>> no check points. >> i don't think this -- no check points? i'm the prime minister who removed 400 checkpoints, barriers, roadblocks, so on to facilitate the growth of the palestinian economy. this is in line with what i believe is essential that is the economic growth that is a great supplement and a great bulwark of actual peace. it is not a substitute for a political peace, but it helps and i'm very much in favor of that. look, there are so many issues to discuss, but tough discuss them. you can't discuss them in the press, not even on cnn. you have to sit down opposite one another. that's what leaders do. >> yesterday, saw some of the best of israel we saw winery, we saw the more roquen oil, the hair plant i was telling you about. >> at sunset, went to a refugee
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camp outside jerusalem and going to talk to adults, you know what happened, children come flocking over, lots of boys came flocking over. they were playing soccer football, and i asked them what they wanted to be when they grew up? they spoke in arabic. interesting since many are not in school, dentist, engineer, fight israel. >> the first two i like hurricanes the last one i don't. >> you talk about changes in history, suspect this issue more important than iran or anything else? >> how do you change it? you change it by educating people for peace. i think one of the failings of the palestinian authority has been that the air, all this stuff about israel, doing away with israel, they have
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kindergartens for reveling in suicide bombers. not surprised kids grow up. the only way you change it is by having peace agreement and speaking peace to your people. i spoke three years ago to my people about a solution of a demilitarized palestinian state that lives alongside -- recognizes the jewish state. >> how can you have a -- demilitarized? >> they will become dentist and doctors they become a peaceful state. >> don't they have right for a real state, because you say demilitarized. >> demilitarized is a real state. mean these can't field the armies and can't fire rockities. we want to make sure if we have a peace arrangement, we walk away from certain areas they won't be used a third time by iran and its palestinian proxies to fire rockets on tel aviv and jerusalem, we don't want to run their lives. i don't want to goff center are israelis. i don't want them as subjects of israel or citizens of israel. i want them to have their own
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independent state but a demilitarized state. >> and to be clear, one that isn't separated by israel as in there's a palestine part here? >> swiss cheese now. >> no swiss cheese? >> swiss cheese, an analogy used by george w. bush years ago. at that time, benjamin netanyau did not support it. contiguous a crucial wordsome there going to be a contiguous state? not something the prime minister said before, talked to sources in the palestine -- plo today, not something he discussed with them that could be significant if peace talks do again start, to have a contiguous -- to use that word contiguous a lot of weight in that particular word. we will hear what the prime minister has to say about the u.s. elections it is an important issue for him and what he has to say about iran important there how well does he know mitt romney? we will get answers to that plus, his on swegs a map and a new case of mad cow disease in the united states a lot of people wondering what it means and we have some answers.
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welcome back, "outfront" tonightlive in the old city from jerusalem. i was spending time with prime minute stir netanyahu today. the interesting things about it in the courtyard, yes smokes his cigars, his wife won't let him do it in the house but we got to go inside and see his study. while we were there we saw a map of, well, the middle east. here is quick glimpse of a kind
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of interesting moment. in is your neighborhood? >> this is gigantic israel. you know, i can cover it with my thumb. i mean, this is the arab world, right? saudi arabia, iran. this is all of -- this is this gigantic israel that you hear about. that's it. from here to here. >> with all the focus on iran, what about egypt? your foreign minister said that could be a bigger threat to you than iran. >> well, you know, i'm not sure that's correct quote but certainly where he is concerned with iran and we are both concerned with the direction of egypt and i hope that any government that establishes in egypt understands that peace between egypt and his real is as much an egyptian interest as it is an israeli interest and i hope to continue the peace. that's our desire. >> just for the record, the quote was in the jerusalem post from the foreign minister on egypt. and obviously, it is an ongoing debate what is really going on
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between these two countries right now but that moment when he stayed this is the middle east answered gestured to north africa and put his thumb on israel, such an interesting moment, it makes an interesting point. and then, well, someone in our bureau here in jerusalem said, wait a minute, you have to look at this i said who is that? well, it was prime minister netanyahu, who, at the time deputy foreign minister, back in, was the date, january 18, 1991. take a look. >> this is the arab world. and i'm just gonna put my hands on it for the benefit of the viewers. i have a size ten shoe, american size ten shoe. i could walk on this map on the arab world. here's israel. i cover it with my thumb. >> ha ha ha. i mean, you got to say, some things never seem to change in this part of the world. there's always worth putting a little bit of humor when talking
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all right, we start the second half of our show with stories we care about, where we focus on our own reporting, do the work and find the "outfront" five. i'm live in jerusalem tonight.
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more of the netanyahu interview in a moment, but john avlon has the upoutfront five. hey, john. two secret service agents lost their job and a third has lost his security clearance. one of the agents bought a woman there five days before the president arrived. the president was asked about the scandal as part of his appearance on late night with jimmy fallon. he says the agency does great job 99.9% of the time and "a couple of knuckleheads shouldn't detract from the great job the agency does." number two former aide to john edwards took the stand today, again revealing details about edwards secret life with while he was a presidential contendinger, testifying for the prosecution, andrew young recalled the time he received calls from edwards' mistress, rielle hunter, threatened to go public if she didn't speak to edwards immediately. edwards edwards is accused of using campaign money to hide the affair. when edwards found out about the
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pregnancy, edwards was quoted saying she was a crazy s. stay classy. a new case of mad cow disease was discould have dmardry cow in california. the usda says the cow was never prevented for the lawer and no time presented a risk to hurmts food supply. this is the fourth case of mad cow disease in the united states and the first since 2006. cnn senior medical correspondent elizabeth cone says the potential threat from this one cow is slim to none. number four, a blockbuster three months for am, numbers are just staggering. the tech giant reported sales of 39.2 billion. the company sold 5.1 million iphones, almost twice as many as they sold a year ago. they sold 11.8 million ipads, making apple's fastest selling device. the company also has $110 billion in cash. it has been 264 days since the united states lost its top credit rating. what are we doing to get it back? housing is still a main area of concern for the u.s. economy.
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new data today showing that new home seams fell in march and home prices sunk a further 3.5% in february. now let's go back to erin in jerusalem. >> all right, housing a crucial i shall 4 at u.s. election. so is what is happening here in the middle east and with iran. israel has some very big decisions to make, but the israeli prime minister, benjamin netanyau, also an important player in u.s. politics and a lot of people want to know what he really thinks about barack obama and how well he really knows mitt romney. well, that was very interesting part of our conversation, i will put it that way and let you jim for yourself. >> i want to talk a little bit about u.s. 308 ticks, obviously, you are an important player of u.s. politics, the prime minister of israel. >> no i'm not. >> no? >> i'm gonna stop you right there erin. you know why? >>m erin. you know why? erin. you know why? , erin. you know why? >> why? >> because i have enough politics to of my own, i don't need to enter american politics.
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>> like it or not, people care about what you think about all kinds of things in the u.s. and you know mitt romney. you worked with him at boston consulting group, am i -- >> with his, when i entered the boston consulting group 35 years ago, something like that he was i was a young recruit and he was lad star manager. looked the same. suspect that disturbing? i don't look the same. he looks the same. >> he has that kind of ken doll look, but -- >> always looks young. >> didn't see him many years and i met him many years later win the minister of finance and he was the governor of massachusetts and we have been in touch since. >> is he a friend of yours? do you like him? >> well, look, here's an answer that will -- should satisfy you. i respect mitt romney as i respect barack obama, the president of the united states. and that's the end of the ranking and the questions that
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you will undoubtedly try again and again to draw me into. i have enough politics here. i don't want to get into american politics. >> i want to ask you one thing though about the iran issue and mifrm he wrote an op ed in the "washington post," which i'm sure you saw. >> you don't stop, do you? >> i'm paid to be relentless. no, no go ahead. and i will be -- >> as i believe is your job. >> i will be relentless, me fending you off. you will get the same result. >> okay. he said that he would, as pertains iran, press forever tightening sanctions, buttress my diplomas which is a military option and the speak out on behalf of democracy. that sounds like identical to barack obama, is that your perception, that they would have pretty much the same u.s. policy or not? >> you know, i'm just not going to get into american politics. if you want to talk to me about the american policy, then i think the right policy is to make sure that iran doesn't get nuclear weapons. by the way, that would be a
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catastrophe for world peace, a grave danger to american interests and american lives. >> it is entrepreneurial it is creative it is successful it is wealthy it sin credibly powerful. it's not an underdog. and a loft narrative about iran or being attacked seems to be more of a victim, everyone is but the tout get us, but a lot of thes i three we see a dominant powerful israel, not a victim. >> i wouldn't say dominant, i would say israel is vibrant democracy, tremendously creative, as wild entrepreneurs. changing -- curing disease around the world. your cell phone probably has four or five israeli i.t. application inside. just changing the world. we have the greatest number of
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nobel prize winners anywhere per capita. wither not seeking to dominate anyone. we are seeking to live in peace with our neighbors, hope they decide to do the same with us. we don't teach our children to say i want to be a doctor, i want to be a dentist, i want to be a tech noll gist and i want to fight the arabs. >> about 40% of the world's jews live in the united states, nearly as many as in israel. peter bynart's new books "the crisis of zionism" talks about the jews that i know, that i'm friends. they are marrying people who are not jewish about half, nonorthodox american jews now do he talks about nonorthodox american jews under the age of 35. i thought this was amazing, half as likely over people 65 to say they are emotionally attached to israel. less than half american jews under 35 say they feel a strong sense of belonging to the jewish people. part of the reason for that appears to be israel now seen more as an occupier than as a victim in the traditional sense.
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are you worried about american jews? >> no i think there is a much stronger bond than meet he is the eye. there is a very strong bond that we can encourage and develop, especially by having young jews from the united states and elsewhere from around the world coming here and these fantastic programs that just bring them in by the tens of thousands, just to visit israel. i think ultimately the future of the jewish people is intimately bound with the future of the jewish state and my job, as the prime minister of israel is to ensure that future. >> mr. prime minister, thank you very much. >> thank you. good to see you. >> joining me now now a columnist where with the jerusalem post, fran townsend, cnn contributor around national security expert and john of a lochblt let me start on this final issue, the issues in the book were very interesting, peter bynart's book, but the
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increasing lack of connection american jews seem to feel for israel by the polls, younger american jewsome that a real issue for this country? >> we have to separate between what the actual average american jew thinks what happened peter bynart thinks. he purport there is to speak on behalf of a large audience. that is yet to be proven stat test day. is one thing. secondly, concerning the substance of his argument, one of them we all share, we are all very disenchanted with the fact that power -- that life necessitates power. we are sitting here just opposite the place where the hebrew prove nets ancient times first called on humanity to beat swords into plow shares and has inspired jewish history for better and forworse but it has also disempowered jews along for generations with an exorbitant cost and the need for the jews to have power and to deploy it when necessary unfortunately is impeftive and he isn't happy with that. that is one thing. secondly, i think that more
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deeply speaking, peter bynart perhaps sun aware of this but he voices i think a deep disappointment with the fact that israel is becoming the leader of the jewish people. i mean not only inspirationally and morally but also demo graphically. three years ago, the israeli statistical bureau reported matter of factually and hardly made a headline, that for the first time ever, there are more jews in israel than in america and in fact, you are sitting now in this country as it is home to the biggest -- the largest jewish community in the world for the first time since antiquity this is disagreement to some jews in the world. >> we are going to be talking to peter bynart soon, very controversial and interesting book. let me ask you about what the prime minister had to say you specifically about iran. is he bellicose? is he going to too far? what do the israeli people support when it comes to israeli strike against iran right now? >> i think the average israeli
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certainly shares netanyahu and defense minister el barack's general alarm. they certainly understand that irvan an enemy, implacable enemy, that everyone understands and everyone agrees that their nuclear program constitutes a madness. all this is not a subject of debate here. the question is what to do in the face of this i think that the average israeli is concerned that somebody might, on the spur of the moment, be tempted to resort to an adventure and doing the right thing is one thing and resorting to an adventure is another thing and israelis at least who are middle aged remember very, very -- very i would say tram matically the adventure of 1982 in lebanon this is one thing they want i do a void. beyond that there is the longer term concern, israelis understand, netanyahu understands it iran is transar remark it is not a grand
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nationally, it is beyond the ar rob world. the day when prerevolutionary iran was israel's al life. >> an interesting point. i want to. >> future and we should not harm that -- >> right that they used to be -- they used to be allies. fran, i want to bring you in here because i'm curious about something that the prime minister said earlier when he seemed to say there is no negotiating no enriching to 3% there's nothing, nothing israel will settle for. it seems like we could be reaching a real point this summer as talks continue, we have another big decision point. >> that is absolutely right, erin. s i real, the united states, the world understands, israel's greatest leverage is before the u.s. election. you know, john can speak to the poll toifblgs this, but there's no question that that's the case. the prime minister did say though, erin, in fairness to him you look, he would be the happiest man in the world if sanctions work bud how you define sanctions working there's no question, again that sanctions are having an impact, but they need to have an impact on iran's nuclear program to be
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truly assessed as effective that's the reason we put them in place. unless they actually impact iran's nuclear program, they are not truly effective. and then there's the third and final point i would make here, erin, look, israel understands the timeline in the united states. the president is facing an election, one. two, you have sequestration for the military budget coming up at the end of the year and three, we are facing a drawdown. so with less money and less presence after the first of the year, the united states will be in less of a position, frankly, to launch an attack in support of any israeli action. >> and erin, while prime minister netanyahu was very careful to say he was going to stay out of american politics, honoring the bipartisan bond between our two countries it is a fascinating fact that he has a long-standing relationship, a friendship with mitt romney, going back to the 1970s when they were both young men working at the boston consulting group and similarly no secret he has had differences with president obama in the past some this adds a fascinating personal
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relationship wripg toll the backdrop of how the relationship of israel plays now the american election with these pivotal decisions ahead of us before the presidential. >> and fran, how does the u.s. make a decision on what to do here? i mean, if israel goes ahead and i know you saw the conversation, not days but not years, plural, i mean, the prime minister seems to be very adamant about that. of course that put you in a timeframe of before next spring, i'm curious what happens here, as i asked him, off moment where you speak so much about these deadlines, if you hit them and you don't do something, you kind of lose all your credibility. >> no erin, i think it is a very good point. in fact, what is going on now behind the scenes, the u.s. military is active with their u.s. military counterparts, showing them the planning effort that goes on out of public view, frankly. for the u.s. what would we have to do if we had to respond to an israeli action? what would we do if we had to actually take action affirmatively on our own?
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what planning is there? how prepare ready we to do that? and so that's, in essence to gift israelis a sense of confidence, that we are truly taking this seriously. the other piece to this is we are going to have to persuade the israelis that these sanctions are effective against the program. you heard the prime minister say talking's not enough and if impact on the iranian economy is not enough. so it really is going to require policymakers to persuade iran that the sanctions are effective against the specific program. >> all right. thanks very much to all of you. and of course, as we talk about mitt romney continuing his sweep tonight, getting ready for the jeep election against barack obama, we are going to talk about t about the details of that next. plus, well, books. we will explain. ( whirring and crackling sounds )
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are connecting here. linkedin connects with the big board.
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we are back with tonight's outer circle, reach to our circles around the world. yes, we are in jerusalem tonight but we begin in sudan where a military commander says 1200 people from south sudan have been killed this week in fighting t is an awful story that continues to go on with fighting in that country. david mckenzie is in nearby nairobi and i asked him how bad the violence has really got opinion. >> erin, the conflict continues in the volatile border regions of south sudan and sudan with aerial strikes on monday in the south as well as overnight reports of bombings near the
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border. and while this happens reached a full-scale war, certainly the rhetoric has. omar al bashir, the president of sudan, visiting the oil fields and says they will speak with guns and bullets. the president of the south is in beijing, trying to gain support for investment, but for its part, china will be trying to protect its investment in a diplomatic dance between the two sides. erin? >> and now, check in with anderson cooper for a look what is coming up on "ac 360." >> breaking news tonight. for the first name six years, a case of mad cow disease has been discover mattered to united states, this one in california. the scary part is the disease was discovered by a random test on a dead cow. we are going to have the late-breaking details. our other breaking news tonight, polls closing shortly in four of the five states holding gop primaries tonight, important speech by the expected winner, mitt romney. also a big night for different reasons for newt gingrich. there is speculation he may
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announce the suspension of his campaign. we will bring all of that to you live. also bring it in the 10:00 hour, the top of the hour, live as well. my interview also with senator john mccain, what the u.s. should do to stop the the lawer in syria that the u.s. is syria. also the ridiculist. all that at the top of the hour, erin. >> thanks very much to you anderson. anderson mentioning a big night for politics and for mitt romney. let's hand it back to john avalon to get the latest. >> president obama kicked off a tour today to win over the voters who pushed him into the white house four years ago. first stop, north carolina. where the president told an enthusiastic college crowd, he and the first lady know what it's like to be in their shoes. >> check this out. i'm the president of the united states.
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we only finished paying off our student loans about eight years ago. >> president obama won young voters by 2-1 margin in 2008. can a message like that help him do it again? david frump joins us now. and netter and chief for think they are both in washington tonight. this is a serious issue. but before we begin, i've got to share something that happened a while ago that highlights what stage of a full court press we're at now when it comes to youth voters. president obama was on jimmy fallon and he slow jammed his message on this issue. let's take a listen. >> what we said is simple. now is not the time to make school more expensive for our young people. >> oh, yeah.
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>> now, i'm going to go on a limb and say that is a presidential first. a presidential slow jam message to the nation. but david, seriously, from slow jams to a slow job growth, this is an issue right now with young voters. many of which are going back to school right now because of the sluggish job market. is this kientd of message going to work? and with congress needing to renew their student loan is this something romney needs to see congress do. >> i think a loan message is double edged. it's how overprice sd the universities have become. and people have studied this to understand one of the reasons tuition has risen so fast is these loan guarantees enable the colleges to say we'll take everything the student has anyway and then all the money they can borrow. and if the student is able to borrow more, we'll take more because we're not going to leave the students' parents with any
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home equity in their house. the question is what happens after college? and that situation is just desperately dismal. the romney campaign had a powerful release on this today about how half of new college graduates now are unemployed or underemploy ed whether the interest rate is 3% or 6%, you can't fathom them. >> youth unemployment is 14% for folks in their 20s. well above the national average. how does that cut into president obama's attempts to reconnect with that generation and what can be done about it? >> the challenge is if he can send the message to youth he's fighting on their behalf, he can win them over. they'll be disenchanted with the core economic issues they care about. but he will win them because he's fighting for them. i think what's different about this current fight is we're used to no substantive merit.
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what's happening here is campaign rhetoric that is having a substantive impact. you're having a debate over student loan interest rates that is about to be changed dramatically because the president weighted in at a politically important moment. if he wins this fight, it means students would save a thousand dollars a year in their pocketbooks. so i think it's important not just as a rhetorical campaign fight, but a substantive one the president could win on behalf with of students. >> let's go deeper into this youth gap that exists. right now still enjoying that 2-1 margin over romney. romney's greatest strength in the primaries with voters over age 50. what should romney do to close this gap and appeal to younger voters? >> he needs to understand a big part of this youth gap is an
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ethic gap. non-whites and whites vote differently. be careful of understanding what is about youth and what is about ethnicity. the issue here has to be employment and making job opportunities more available. and the president's policies really have not only failed but his latest response, i don't -- i think it was quick on the policy here. making it easier for students to go deeper into debt is not a good response to the problem that colleges have been overcharging and they are empowered to overcharge by federal lending programs. >> it's going to be a fascinating thing to watch. it is election night tonight. we have five states voting. this is going to be something to watch. very quickly, do you think we see the general election right now? is the president ready to combat governor romney? >> the whole campaign for the past five months has been obama positioning to take on romney. he's well positioned to do that.
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i think he's got that personal empathy factor that romney doesn't have. whether he's playing hoops or slow jamming or singing or cracking jokes on the campaign trail. he connects with them. >> thank you wsh faiz. back to erin burnett in jerusalem. >> all right. coming up next, we're going to go inside the prime minister's house. i'm going to show you something i found. an ingredient that works more naturally with your colon than stimulant laxatives, for effective relief of constipation without cramps. thanks. good morning, students. today we're gonna continue... thanks. where they grow america's favorite wpotatoes. idaho, everyone knows idaho potatoes taste great. but did you know they're good for you too? they're high in vitamins and potassium. and idaho potatoes are now certified to carry the heart checkmark from the american heart association for foods low in saturated fat and cholesterol. so they're good for my family, and for yours. heart smart idaho potatoes.
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