tv State of the Union CNN April 29, 2012 9:00am-10:00am PDT
an apology might have been nice as well. that's it for this edition of "reliable sources." join us again next weekend for another critical look at the media. up next, a candy crowley's interview with house speaker john boehner on "state of the union." listen, if the election were today, i'd be very optimistic. >> you're looking at the view from the best seat in the house. from the best seat in the house. the question in 2012 is whether speaker boehner can keep it. also today, the death of bin laden as a political talking point with the president top counterterrorism adviser john brennan. and then the view from out there with two governors, montana governor brian schweitzer and virginia republican bob mcdonnell. plus, the president's club
with "time" magazine's nancy gibbs and michael duffy and our exclusive guest, house speaker john boehner. i'm candy crowley, and this is "state of the union." mr. speaker, primo view, great digs. nice to see you. >> nice to see you. >> how many days have you thought, did i actually want this job? >> a lot. >> big headaches. mr. speaker, thank you for joining us. let me start right out with the week's story, which is the student loans. the president has issued a veto threat and said if this keeping the student loan rates low comes to me with money paid for by money that comes out of the health care bill, i'm going to veto it. your move. >> this problem was created by a democrat congress in 2007, and democrats and republicans for months have been working together to try to figure out a way to resolve the problem. and for the president to
politicize this for his own re-election is picking a fight where one doesn't exist. >> so you're arguing about how to pay for it and he says if it comes paid for by money out of the health care bill, it's not going to happen. >> then why did his budget director and the president put in the budget reductions in spending in this program? why did the president sign into law the payroll tax cut that included $4 billion worth of reductions in the same program? >> taking it out of the same fund that you want to take it out of? >> the same fund. >> perhaps it's gone low enough. i mean let's just talk imagery here. we have nancy pelosi out there saying, well, they want to protect the big oil companies because they want to pay for the student loan interest rates by closing loopholes in the oil industry and we want to protect women's health. we want to prevented breast cancer and cervical cancer and that's what this fund is for. >> that is just nonsense. there's no women's health issue here. >> it's a preventive fund, isn't
it? >> i'll guarantee you that they've not spent a dime out of this fund dealing with anything to do with women's health. listen, what we're trying to do here is to deal with this problem in a responsible way. democrats and republicans have been working together to get this resolved, and i believe that we will. if the senate wants to do a different pay for, that will be up to them. but we'll have this issue resolved. but of all the places and all the trillions of dollars that the government spends, for you all to zero in on something in the health care bill, is that not in itself political because you all don't want this health care bill -- >> the president's own budget called for reductions in spending in this fund. so why would they have done that if it wasn't available to use as an offset to make sure the student loan interest rates don't go up? >> i want to ask you. there was a cbs poll this week, and it asked americans, what's the best way to promote economic
growth. 56% of all americans said spend more and raise taxes. only 37% said lower taxes and cut spending. have you lost this war? >> no. the american people are still asking the question, "where are the jobs?" and it's clear that the president's economic policies have failed. and as a result, he's turned to the politics of envy and division. the way we help the middle class is we get our economy going again. we develop more american oil and gas so that their gas prices, which have doubled under president obama, are again reasonable. how do we do that? we stop the regulatory juggernaut that's going on downtown here in washington. every federal agency of the federal government scaring every employer to dickens and they're afraid to have left. would you agree that
politically, you're losing this battle? >> no. this election is going to be about the president's economic policies. they've failed. i think mitt romney has a tremendous record of economic growth, how to create jobs, and policies that the american people will support. >> i want to remind you of a couple things you've said about the president in the past several days. you seem tougher on the president now than you have in the past. >> this is the biggest job in the world. and i've never seen a president make it smaller. the president checked out last labor day. he lost his courage. >> do you see yourself, vis-a-vis mitt romney's quest for the presidency, as the person that can really go after the president? >> no. listen, the president and i have a very good relationship. >> when did you last talk to him? >> and as a result, you know, i try to avoid personal attacks on the president. but let me say something. the president's getting some
very bad advice from his campaign team because he's diminishing the presidency by picking fake fights, going after straw men every day. you know, we had the buffett rule. and it went on for months. even the president admitted it was a gimmick. then we had the rose garden ceremony talking about manipulation in the oil markets without one shred of evidence. and he has an entire administration to go after speculation or manipulation in the oil markets. and then they pick this student loan fight where there is no fight. and the point i've been trying to make here in the last couple of weeks is that the president's bigger than this. the presidency is important. america has big challenges, big fiscal challenges and we've got big challenges for our economy, and the president -- i'll be working with democrats and republicans on capitol hill to address the big issues that affect the american people. >> you don't see yourself as being tougher on him? i mean these are pretty -- i mean you said -- you were talking about his going -- his using the presidency to campaign.
you called it pathetic. i mean, these just seem stronger words to me and more like election year verbiage than previously. >> the president's been given bad advice. someone needs to help him out, so i thought i would. >> okay. i'm sure he appreciates it. i want to remind you of something you said to politico, i think, last january, which was i think it will be nearly impossible for the democrats to win back the house in november. now we have you saying maybe they've got a one in three chance. what's changed between then and now? >> nothing. if the election were today, i'm optimistic that we'll hold the majority. but my job is to make sure that even under the worst-case scenario, we'll be able to hold on to the majority. what i'm trying to do is wake some people up and make them realize we've got a challenge here and we've got 242 republicans in congress all up
for election, 53 of them in pretty tough races. >> there are a number of ways -- the democrats, by the way, have agreed with your statement. they have been talking bullishly about perhaps their chances of picking up the majority on the house side. why do you think they've raised $10 million more to the dccc as opposed to the rncc, the democratic fund raising group for the white house? >> they clearly have some mail and phone program is churning an awful lot of money. >> why don't you? >> on a net basis, we have many more in the bank than they do because we're not burning through the cash as quickly as they are. it's raising money. it's a difficult challenge in a weak economy. i believe we'll have the resources necessary to fight a real campaign in november. >> what do you think of mitt romney? you know, you come from such wildly different backgrounds that i find it fascinating. what do you think of him? >> listen, i've known the governor for 15 years. he's a very likeable person.
and, frankly, he has a very -- has had a very successful career. and i, frankly, i think the governor should be proud of his accomplishments. he and i are both striving for the same thing, to make sure that our kids and grandkids have an opportunity at the american dream like he and i have. every american ought to have this chance. and i think he has a break background where he can go out and talk about how to create jobs, how to turn this economy around, and how to give the american people exactly what they want, more jobs. >> you know, he comes from a privileged background. you did not come from a privileged background. this is a time -- an economic time when people are hurting and have been hurting for quite some time. do you think someone who is as wealthy as he is, has had much privilege as he does, has a hill to climb to overcome that? >> no. the american people don't want to vote for a loser. they don't want to vote for
someone that hasn't been successful. i think mitt romney has an opportunity to show the american people that they, too, have an opportunity to succeed. >> would you say you two are working on the election now? >> i have not talked to him. >> really? >> yes. i try to avoid to talking to all the candidates. >> but now he's the guy. >> now he's the guy. he's called. i called him back. we've traded some voicemails. but i expect that i will soon. >> who would you like him to pick as vice president? >> whoever he's happy with. >> do you see anybody around up here that you like? you know portman. he is named a lot. >> there are people i like, but this is a personal choice for governor romney, and i'm confident he'll have a running mate that will be helpful to the ticket. >> and if you had to say, look, my number one, what i would really look for in a vp if i were mitt romney, what is that quality? >> i think the number one
quality is are they capable of being president in the case of an emergency? >> does that fit someone like marco rubio? >> it fits a lot of people. >> does it fit him? >> it fits marco, it fits senator portman, governor daniels. i have a long list of people. >> i want to remind something you said in november of 2010. >> the american people are demanding a new way forward in washington. now i'm here to tell you tonight that our new majority will be prepared to do things differently, to take a new approach that hasn't been tried in washington before by either party. >> do you think you've been a successful leader? >> i feel good about that. >> do you think you've done these things? >> no earmarks. who can imagine? we've been through 16 months now. not one earmark. it's made my job more difficult in terms of how to pass important legislation because there's no grease. i've got no grease.
so no earmarks. a more open process, allowing democrats and republicans to represent their constituency, to bring their ideas onto the floor. we're making real progress. one of my major roles is to rebuild this institution. if we're serious about tackling america's big problems, you've got to have an institution strong enough to be able to do that. and have them watch what's happened here in this institution over the 21 years that i've been here, we've made positive steps in the right direction. both democrats and republicans are very happy about the progress we've made. they want more, and so do i. >> is this sausage being made? because i don't think that if you went out and asked the average american if they think it's been a great two years, you've done good.
you've seen the polling. >> i see the polling. the economy is a big problem. national debt is a very big problem. so i understand their anxiety. but institutionally my job as the speaker of the whole house, my job is to protect the institution and to strengthen the institution of the congress. and while people don't like the congress, i understand that, my job is to try to make it better. >> and you think you've done that? >> making progress. >> mr. speaker, thank you for joining us. nice to see you. >> nice to see you. later, the question you thought i'd never ask. why is the speaker of the house always so neatly pressed? but first, a moment of national unity transformed into a partisan punching bag. >> tonight, i can report to the american people and to the world that the united states has conducted an operation that killed osama bin laden, the leader of al qaeda. [ director ] cut. cut! [ monica ] i thought we'd be on location for 3 days -- it's been 3 weeks. so i had to pick up some more things. good thing i've got the citi simplicity card. i don't get hit with a fee if i'm late with a payment...
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agencies put out an alert urging local law enforcement to be vigilant. and the obama campaign put out a political ad suggesting mitt romney would not have gone after bin laden, full of fulsome praise for the president's decision. >> he took the harder and the more honorable path and the one that produced, in my opinion, the best result. >> seems like only four years ago that hillary clinton questioned then-candidate obama's readiness for office with an ad using a picture of osama bin laden, and the obama campaign accused her of playing the politics of fear. now it's the president running a bin laden political ad, which the romney campaign called sad and president obama's former rival, john mccain, called a cheap political attack ad and a pathetic political act of self-congratulation. it seems like only a year ago, the news of bin laden's death was greeted across the country and across party lines as justice. up next, a man who was in the
situation room the night bin laden was killed, the president's top adviser on homeland security and counterterrorism, john brennan. transitions® lenses automatically filter just the right amount of light. so you see everything the way it's meant to be seen. maybe, even a little better. experience life well lit, ask for transitions adaptive lenses. visit your local jcp optical today to learn more about authentic transitions brand lenses that fit your life and start seeing what you've been missing.
recently, students from 31 countries took part in a science test. the top academic performers surprised some people. so did the country that came in 17th place. let's raise the bar and elevate our academic standards. let's do what's best for our students-by investing in our teachers. let's solve this. joining me now, the president's adviser on homeland security and counterterrorism, john brennan. good morning and thank you for being here. >> good morning, candy.
>> we're coming up on the one-year anniversary of the death of osama bin laden, and i wanted to play you something that defense secretary leon panetta said right after the death of bin laden. >> i was convinced in my prior capacity, and i'm convinced in this capacity, that we're within reach of strategically defeating al qaeda. >> have we strategically defeated al qaeda? >> we're on a path to al qaeda's destruction. and the president has committed that we're not going to rest until al qaeda is destroyed as an organization in the afghan/pak area as well as other regions of the world. it's a murderous organization that has killed many americans as well as many other nationalities over the course of the past decade and more. and so we are determined to make sure that that organization is destroyed. >> so not yet is the answer? they're not yet strategically destroyed? >> we still have work to do. >> and so give it to me on a one to ten. if they were a number ten threat
now, have we -- how far have we reduced their ability to harm the u.s. or its citizens? >> we have reduced significantly their ability to carry out attacks against the homeland as well as against u.s. persons of interest overseas. we've taken off of the battlefield their founding leader and many other operatives that they have deployed in many parts of the world. we have taken apart their infrastructure in areas of pakistan and afghanistan. we are determined to continue this effort in places like yemen and in africa. so their ability has been degraded significantly, and our defenses have improved significantly also over the past decade. so their ability to carry out an attack here in the united states now compared to ten years ago is significantly diminished. >> how close have we come? how close are we to getting at the new leader, al zawahiri? >> we're continuing to work with our regional partners, the pakistanis, afghans and others. >> do we think that's where he is? somewhere in pakistan? >> we believe he's in that region of the world as well as other al qaeda leaders that continue to burrow into areas of
the fata, the federally administered tribal areas of pakistan. that's why we're working very closely with our pakistani partners. so we're not going to relent until we've brought them to justice one way or the other. we demonstrated the ability to do that with bin laden, and we are in constant consultation with our pakistani partners on a regular basis about how we can do this as soon as possible. >> and he has to go. i mean, this is our number one target now? >> definitely, absolutely. they have to go. it's an organization that's dedicated to murder and mayhem, and we, as well as other countries of the world, are determined to make sure that that happens. >> what accounts for what a lot of people tell us is considerable activity on the part of the u.s. in yemen? we know there have been drones. there certainly is authorization for tomahawk missiles. who are you -- who are you trying -- i know that we got al awlaki not that long ago, i guess, and certainly he is gone, but who are you looking for now in yemen? why all that activity there? >> well, al qaeda in the arabian peninsula, which is located in yemen, is involved in a very active insurgency against the yemeni government, and we're working very closely with the yemeni government, their
security, intelligence, and military forces, to ensure that that growth of al qaeda in yemen can be blunted. at the same time, they've demonstrated the intent as well as the capability to try to carry out attacks against the homeland. you know that umar farouk abdulmutallab with the underwear bomber as well as the printer cartridge caper. and so what we're trying to do is make sure that they're not able to carry out those attacks. but we have to work very closely with the yemenis. we're doing everything in yemen in full cooperation with our yemeni partners. we're going to continue to do that. >> no specific -- are there specific people there you're targeting? >> there are leaders of al qaeda in the arabian peninsula that we are focusing on. we're trying to make sure that they're brought to justice. again, one way or the other, we're going to work closely with our yemeni partners. >> let me turn you to the secret service scandal that we've had because there's a lot of concern on capitol hill, as you know, that the security -- the national security as well as the security of the president is thing. national security as well as the security of the president is
threatened by this sort of thing. i was struck by something congressman elijah cummings told me last week, which was, listen, we have told the bad guys, we have said to the terrorists there is a way to pierce this shield. do you have concern about that? >> well, first of all, the secret service has done a fantastic job over the course of many decades, protecting the president, the first families, as well as other protectees. this is something that we want to make sure is going to remain as strong as possible in the years ahead. mark sullivan, the director of the secret service, has taken, i think, very aggressive and speedy action to make sure that whatever happened in cartagena or other areas is going to be addressed. he has put corrective actions in. he's taken very strong actions against the individuals involved. so this is something that certainly the president is focused on, but, again, we have full confidence that mark sullivan is going to be able to make sure this doesn't happen again. >> but beyond that, was this a threat? did this show terrorists, did this show bad guys there's a way you can pearce that shield? >> by all accounts, the security and the safety of the president -- >> not at the time but now like, oh. >> i think it's demonstrated to the world that we're going to take the corrective actions that are needed to make sure that there's not going to be any opportunity for terrorists or others to penetrate that security shield that surrounds
the president. >> i'm not sure if you've seen it, but there is a new political ad out from the president's re-election team. it features former president bill clinton giving quite due praise to president obama for making the decision to go ahead and give the navy s.e.a.l.s permission to go in in a place where we thought osama bin laden was, where he thought, and it also suggests in that commercial that mitt romney might not have made that same decision, would not have had, if you will, the guts to do it. are you comfortable with taking that momentous point in history for the u.s. and a very strong point and putting it into the political realm like that? >> first of all, i don't do politics. i'm not a democrat. i'm not a republican. >> that's why i asked. >> yes. and what i know though is that president obama made the decision that, in fact, brought bin laden to justice. it was a tough decision. as we know, the evidence was not there as far as an ironclad case. a lot of it was circumstantial. i just know that president obama, when the time came for him to make a momentous decision like that, he took the action that did bring the man to justice.
>> but should it have been in the political realm, do you think? >> i'm just going to be advising the president on a daily basis about what i think is in the best interest of the united states' safety and security. >> and, finally, one of the promises the president made before he came into office, that he would close down guantanamo bay prison. that has not happened. will it happen any time in the near future? >> we are determined to make sure that we're able to bring justice to those individuals in guantanamo through either transfers to other countries, other areas -- >> when? >> you know, we've had some dealings with congress, and congress has not made this easy. and so what we're trying to do is to make sure that we do this responsibly. the president said he is going to close it down. he has continued to be determined to do that. but we have to do it in a manner that does not put the safety of the american people in jeopardy, but also in a manner that we can bring justice to those people. we'll work with the congress, we'll continue to have ongoing discussions with them, and i'm hoping certainly one day that the people in guantanamo will no longer be there. >> so can i take that as a "not anytime soon"? >> well, you can take it that we're going to continue to work on it. >> all right. john brennan, thank you so much
for joining us this morning. the president's advisor on counterterrorism and homeland security. >> thank you very much, candy. >> thank you. an "outside the beltway" view on the economy, gas prices, and obama v. romney with virginia republican governor bob mcdonnell and montana democrat governor brian schweitzer next. >> one thing we can't afford to do right now is to go back to the very same policies that got us into this mess. >> because he has failed, he will run a campaign of diversions and distractions and distortions.
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joining me now, montana democratic governor brian schweitzer and virginia governor bob mcdonnell. just discussing you both in your final year as governor. that leaves you free to speak about anything. >> i do anyway. >> that's right. i want to start out with something that a regional administrator for the epa that has gotten a lot of buzz. it was region 6. too west for you, too south for you. but nonetheless, this is from an epa administrator. >> they find the first five guys
and they crucify him. >> he was talking about going after a couple of oil and gas companies and, you know, you crucify the first couple of ones and everybody else learns a lesson is essentially what he was saying. do you have a problem with the way the epa goes about its business? is that, do you think, reflective of the epa? >> well, the energy companies need certainty more than anything. the last thing we need is to have some kind of capricious system of who we're going to enforce regulation with and who we're not going to. so as long as we have certainty, we can function within those rules. we've got more drilling rigs drilling right now in the united states than all of the rest of the world combined. >> you don't think this reflects reality? >> i think that was some silly talk. >> governor, do you have problems with the epa? >> absolutely. some people in virginia are
calling it the employment prevention agency. it's just been overboard and the number of permits we seen in the last couple of years has been down dramatically. what this does is drives up the cost of electricity. that's the impact on the american people. this kind of rhetoric is very harmless because it really is translating into policy. i'm sure brian's seen it in montana. >> can i talk a little bit about gas prices because that's out there, at least in the political groundwater. is it hurting folks in your state in a way that it's going to hurt the economy? >> well, gas prices aren't quite as high as they were in 2008, but they're too high. >> what is about average in montana, do you know? >> about $3.81, $3.84, something like that. >> sounds pretty good from around here. but it's beginning go into the family budget obviously. >> absolutely. and we're producing more oil in the united states than any time in the last 12 years. we're importing less today than we have in the last 16 years. we're down 25%. we have oil and gas and coal and a wonderful natural supply of
gas and that's why energy prices in the united states are cheaper than almost any place else in the world. $2 for cheapest and that's why manufacturing is going back to the united states. >> politically, isn't it hurting the president at this point or do you see signs of that? >> absolutely. if gasoline prices are high, it comes straight out of the pockets of consumers, and we'd like to have it low sneer everyone knows we need more energy independence. it's been discussed since 9/11. i think this is a seminal issue in this election. the president talks about all of the above. but i can tell you in a gas and coal producing state, a nuclear state, where we've gone backward with the permitting of yucca mountain, we're trying to drill off the coast for oil and natural gass off of west virginia. the president won't allow us to do that. we're going in the wrong direction. that's why i think mitt romney's
got some very good ideas about energy in america. >> i want to pick up on the keystone pipeline. i know you support it. the president may support it in the future. supported parts of it. the fact of the matter is this is a pipeline that would move energy or oil and gas for oil from canada down to the gulf of mexico. and the president so far has put the brakes on its completion. >> after that, actually it would also move montana oil. i negotiated with transcanada when we gave them a permit that they would build 100 million on-ramps? >> the president stopped this? >> actually pipelines are permitted state by state. montana, south dakota, oklahoma, kansas, we've all permitted it but in nebraska, they said, no, not so fast. so transcanada doesn't even have a route yet. you can't have an application of route, bob knows this, until you have a route. as soon as nebraska has a route across, canada can make a complete one and then the
president and the state need to act. >> you're not upset. you think this is not politics at play? >> congress is yakking about it but frankly the state department only has a role because it crosses an international border, montana and alberta. as soon as nebraska acts, transcanada can get a full application before the state department and then they need to act. >> governor, let me move you all on to issues key in your state. you have a voter i.d. law that is either near or sitting on your desk. you had criticized it in its current form, that you worried it would disenfranchise other people. are you going to sign that? >> i'm still working on it. we're entitled to one man, one vote. not two votes, not no vote. i have to make sure the bill i got back strikes a balance. >> you know what's in it, thee, and you have been opposed -- you wanted to soften it a bit, make it slightly easier. >> i thought it would be easier
to have a signature comparison so it doesn't come back. i want to find out whether or not we can -- >> democrats say it would disenfranchise their voters and that's why it's happening. >> i dope think it would. it would create an additional burden to have to come back and be able to show subsequential identity. we've had a numb over cases of -- number of cases of voter fraud. we want to make sure we have good clean elections. that's a fundamental of democracy. >> leaning one way or the other. >> i'm not sure yet. still looking at it. >> come back in a couple of weeks. i want to read you something, governor schweitzer that you said -- this is from 2006. nothing goes away. if he, meaning governor mitt romney gets the nominee, i'll support him. 2012, six years later, are you supporting him? >> no, he's a friend of mine. when you're in a war zone, you learn a lot about their family, their business, their values. but, of course, i think the whole republican party has taken
a right turn. this is far right of where reagan was, so i'm not supporting him. i think he's a good man and i think he has some good ideas, but i'm supporting barack obama. >> it's his last year in office, could have made news. >> i will make news, i'm supporting mitt romney. he is the best guy for america right now. >> i want to play you something. you both were there i think last night at the white house correspondents dinner, as was i. there's something jimmy kimmel had to say. there's always truth in humor. >> mr. president, do you remember when the country rallied around you in hopes for a better tomorrow? that was hilarious. >> a little truth in that. is the president -- were expectations and hopes so high that he's now suffering from that in the polls? >> we're actually coming back from the brink. we had 25 consecutive months from positive job creation, not in the public sector but in the private sector. so we're on the mend. and the good news -- we need to get this out as leaders. we need to tell the world that very have the most innovating
workforce, least expensive energy, and manufacturing is starting to come back to the united states for the first time in 20 years. that's a good sign. >> governor, i can't go without asking you. of course, your name comes up in the whole vp list thing and you're going to be out of a job at the end of this year anyway. >> two years. >> two years, sorry. >> he's out, i'm still in. >> you know, you signed a bill that required a noninvasive ultrasound for anyone that gets an abortion. do you think that hurts that vp list? >> look, that's completely up to mitt romney. what i'm worried about is the future of the country. 8.2% unemployment right now for 38 consecutive months, a crushing $15.5 trillion national debt. i want to do everything i can to preserve the american dream for my kids, his grandkids. i think this "hope and change" message we saw two years ago, it's now recession and division. i think this is going to be a tough campaign, but i think people want the positive things about america.
we are some of the most entrepreneurial people in the history of the world. we've got do better to bring out the best and mitt romney is the best to do it. >> thanks so much. >> thanks, candy. >> thanks, brian. >> god to be with you, bob. every wonder what the ex-presidents say about each other when the cameras are off? find out why one member of the presidents club may not be fitting in so well. later, john boehner, how far is he willing to do to get the job done right? [ jennifer garner ] there's a lot of beautiful makeup out there.
time for a check of today's top stories. one person is dead, 16 others hospitalized after a sports bar tent collapsed during a storm in st. louis. st. louis cardinals baseball fans had gathered at the bar's tent to celebrate the team's victory yesterday. a source tells cnn that republican presidential candidate newt gingrich will end his white house run this wednesday. the former house speaker is expected to express his support for the presumptive republican nominee, mitt romney. gingrich won the south carolina and georgia republican primaries. there's a newly revealed account of the assassination of robert f. kennedy. nina rhodes hughes, she's on the left in this picture, was a witness to the murder and tells cnn there was a second shooter on the night robert kennedy was fatally wounded at a los angeles hotel in 1968.
the federal court is considering rhodes hughes' story as part of a challenge to the conviction of sirhan sirhan, who was sentenced to life in prison as the lone killer of kennedy. and check this out. massachusetts senator scott brown nailed a half-court shot while visiting a community center in the hyannis port, massachusetts. definitely won over the young crowd of onlookers and perhaps a good omen for what's expected to be a tough campaign for the republican who won ted kennedy's seat. those are your stories. a look behind the president's club, the most exclusive club in america. these engines are built by hand with very precise assembly techniques. [ mike ] it's going to fly people around the world. safely and better than it's ever done before. it would be a real treat to hear this monster fire up. [ jaronda ] i think a lot of people, when they look at a jet engine, they see a big hunk of metal. but when i look at it, i see seth, mark, tom,
we asked total strangers to watch it for us. thank you so much, i appreciate it, i'll be right back. they didn't take a dime. how much in fees does your bank take to watch your money ? if your bank takes more money than a stranger, you need an ally. ally bank. no nonsense. just people sense. now some have said i blame too many problems on my predecessor. now let's not forget that's a practice that was initiated by george w. bush. >> that's president obama getting in some laughs at last night's white house correspondent dinner. mr. bush and president obama are part of an exclusive and mostly
cord y'all club. joining me now is michael duffy and deputy chief nancy gibbs. thank you both so much. let me start out with the relationship between former president bush and current president obama. what did you find out about that? >> well, you know, the interesting thing is from the minute that obama was elected, president bush made it clear that he wanted to help with the transition. he actually gathered the whole club together for sort of a membership initiation. and at that time president bush said, you know, we all want you to succeed. this is something we saw again and again and again in all the presidents that they looked at. they want to help the next guy. after that he's worked very hard not to make life more difficult for president obama. >> yet, michael, these guys are on different sides of issues. there's long-standing sort of friction between them and their
partisans because they ran against each other. there's this clinton ad out now. former president clinton puts out this ad praising president obama for how, you know, he had the courage to go after osama bin laden and say, okay, it's a go. it's mission go and questioning mitt romney as to whether he would have made the same decision. so how does that fit into the presidents club? >> you've been following the twisting tale between president obama and bill clinton over the last years this is a great irony because clinton is now the star of president obama's campaign videos which is a rich irony given that they tangled like ferrets in 2008. i guess what it says, no matter the generation, no matter the decade, even people who don't agree find some way to work together and sometimes go back to being rivals after that. but for now, those two men are in alignment. >> i think what's also interesting about this ad is that first of all when he was
president or afterward bill clinton was criticized for not going after osama bin laden when they thought he had a chance. by the way, his wife ran an ad against then candidate obama saying he wasn't ready using the image of obama or using the image of osama bin laden and the obama campaign objected. so there's lots of situational -- >> when the raid happened, the first two people, president obama called, were in this order, george walker bush and then bill clinton, because he knew at some level both men had tried to actually kill bin laden and had been unable to do it. >> that's a measure of respect. >> and i also think that the job continued. you started it. i'll finish it. >> let me ask you. i was fascinated by this in your book. i guess these presidents get together for many reasons or find bonding ways, and i love this on the role of jimmy carter. you write in the book "carter gave the club a great gift,
something for all the others to complain about. when nothing else seemed to unite its members, the club often bonded over what an annoying cuss carter could be." true? >> it's true. it also -- you know, the other side of that is he could also be very valuable to them. there are things that presidents can do for other presidents uniquely, including some very sensitive, diplomatic missions that president clinton, first president bush sent carter on, so he could be very useful. he just had this habit of going off-script, which could be very annoying to them. they would share with each other their annoyance. >> president obama sent carter to north korea in 2010. he was so concerned about carter going off that script that he made him sign, i think, a 12-point contract before he left, including one point which was to never talk about the press about the whole thing. which then he did tell us about. >> and he signed it, which i think is even more amazing. >> he signed it. >> i want to ask you about a couple of things that are happening now. i was particularly struck by congresswoman michelle bachman, who ran for president and had to back out because she had no support and ran out of money. she had this to say on wolf blitzer's show thursday.
>> i have said all along that i will be backing our party's nominee, and i will happily do that. >> when? >> well, what i'm doing is working behind the scenes, bringing together all factions of our party. as the line says in the "wizard of oz," "all in good time, my pretty. it will happen." meaning she will endorse him eventually? i'm just wondering if you have some take on what the hesitation is here? what is she -- what's she going for? >> i don't know. a better speaking gig at the convention. it's hard to say. we have -- it has been sort of one of these tragic things about the slow and half-hearted endorsements that governor romney has been getting. even speaker boehner just now with you saying he is a very likable guy. i keep waiting for one of them to say he will be a great president. he is a very likable guy. >> we trade phone messages.
>> that was quite remarkable. he told you that they traded e-mail messages. it's phone messages. >> phone messages back and forth. and honestly, he is now -- is not romney now the head of the republican party? should this not be the time that they're gathering around him and, by the way, isn't some -- aren't some of the fights that they're going to have on capitol hill going reflect on his campaign and vice versa? >> normally, the republican party is excellent at coalescing at this stage around their guy, but this is not a normal time for the republican party. it is because of people like all the folks who ran in the campaign still very fractured, still very divided, and even in boehner's remarks, you could hear when he talked to you -- you could hear a kind of subtext of the problems the gop was having. he talked in there about making government -- he complained that president obama's government was too small. >> he told you what he was most proud of was rebuilding the institution. well, i think there are a lot of members of his caucus who don't think that a bigger more effective government is really what they're looking for. >> a lot of members of the public who don't think that they've actually rebuilt anything, but having said that, how vital is it for these folks to come together?
it's almost impossible for mitt romney to put together a winning campaign unless -- >> i think when it comes to anyone in the house, republican leadership like boehner or even mrs. bachmann, they could emerge as barack obama's best ally in this campaign if they continue to do the kind of legislating they did in the last year, so i suspect that there may be a distance both from the washington to mitt romney as the -- as from romney to washington. >> mike duffy, nancy gibbs, the book, you guys, is "the president's club," and it is a great book. pick it up. it's a fun read in addition to you learn a lot of stuff. thank you both so much. in our getting to know session with house speaker boehner, we wanted to know the inspiration behind his style. "mad men" character, don draper. the same goes for my retirement. with the plan my financial advisor and i put together, a quick check and i know my retirement is on course.
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best dressed men in congress. i don't know if you knew that. you have been compared to the "mad men" character, don draper. dick armey called you dean martin without a piano. so we want to know where you get your sartorial advice? >> well, mostly it's just me. i try to keep it simple, and i try to keep it neat and clean, and i take great pride in the fact that i wash and iron my own shirts. the cleaners just ruin them. and about 15 years ago i got tired of broken buttons and white shirts that were grayish, and so i can tell you how to wash shirts well, and i can talk to you about the best iron in the world. >> wow. you spent your time learning to iron shirts, and i spent my time trying not to iron shirts. >> i understand. i understand. >> the other way around. is it peaceful for you? is it therapeutic? i can't imagine doing it. you just want it done right. >> i want it done right. it's a pain, but when i put my