tv CNN Newsroom CNN January 10, 2013 9:00am-11:00am PST
welcome everyone to "newsroom international," i'm michael holmes in nature suzanne malveaux. we'll take you around the world in 60 minutes. today, three women shot to death in paris execution style. all of them kurdish political activists. and those 11 killer whales, they're apparently free now after being locked in by ice in a canadian bay. we'll bring you those stories.
also, we're going to begin with this -- the national debate over gun control taking another turn today. vice president joe biden meeting with members of gun advocacy groups including the nra. biden heads a panel looking for ways to curb gun violence. right now as we speak, he is meeting with sports men and women as well as representatives of wildlife interest groups. that meeting started in the last hour. next hour he meets with the nra and gun owners groups. later, he hears from representatives of the entertainment industry. white house correspondent dan lothian joining us now live. dan, the vice president says he's committed to hearing from all sides in the gun debate. sounds like that's what's happening. what do we expect from the meeting with the nra? one imagines there's not a lot of common ground, or is he just there to listen? >> reporter: you know, i don't think there's a lot of common ground. one thing that everyone agrees on is that there is this problem of gun violence. you know, you had a number of these mass shootings, and that
something needs to be done. i think how to tackle the problem is the big challenge here. the white house believing that there has to be this comprehensive approach of gun control but also dealing with some of these issues such as mental health. and the gun owners and gun associations have been saying that gun control is not the answer here, that you need to focus on things such as violent video games or perhaps you should put armed guards at all of the schools across the country. and so as you pointed out, both sides saying they're coming to listen, but no doubt will also be making their concerns clear during the meetings. >> yeah, before the meeting yesterday, the vice president talked about president obama using perhaps executive orders to put in place some new gun regulations. that perhaps predictably outraged some conservatives. what are the kinds of things that the president could do without approval from congress? >> reporter: you know, one of the things the president could do with an executive order is
streamline the background check process, one thing you've heard talked about. in addition, he could push states to share more crime and mental health information. that could head off some potential violent acts. the white house isn't saying specifically what it is that the president would do with an executive order. you heard the vice president say this is in the early discussion process, talking with the justice department about what is legally feasible. they're not laying it out specifically. just seeing it as a way to move quickly. as you know, they also are pushing things legislatively. you see sometime how thing move up on capitol hill. they believe this is just another option for the president to move on this issue quickly. >> as we've discussed, you and i discussed this yesterday, some states not waiting for the federal government to act. new york governor cuomo wanted to make the state's already tough gun laws tougher. he wants to strengthen the assault weapons ban in
particular, expand background checks, ban high-capacity magazines. we'll discuss it in a moment. listen to what he said during his state of the state address. >> gun violence has been on a rampage, as we know frond firsthand. we must stop the madness, my friends. and in one word, it's just enough. it has been enough. [ applause ] >> dan, does that kind of action on the state level help the white house effort, hinder it, dilute the effort? how is it where you are? >> reporter: what i can say is that it's very similar to what the white house has been pushing lawmakers on the hill to do starting with extending the assault weapons ban. and so what you're seeing -- whether or not what's happening in a state like new york will impact lawmakers on the hill and their decisions, i think it's unclear at this point. what is clear is that you're
seeing this effort not only at the federal level but also on the state level to address a very real problem. everyone's looking at all aspects to prevent another mass shooting from happening again. >> thank you very much, dan lothian there at the white house. the pentagon put on some pomp and circumstance for the afghan president, hamid karzai. he received a full welcome when he arrived last hour. following that, it was time to get down to business on troop levels in afghanistan. the pentagon trying to determine how many troops will remain after the end of combat operations in 2014. defense secretary leon panetta says the u.s. is committed to a secure afghanistan going forward. >> we have sacrificed together. that has created a bond that will not be broken in the future. >> tomorrow the president karzai
meets with u.s. president barack obama. that's going to take place at the white house. there has been tension between the two in the past. we'll see how that know it. next hour president obama will nominate his chief of staff to be the next treasury secretary. big job. he want jack lew to replace timothy geithner. lew has been a budget director for president obama and former president clinton. he also has experience with banks. the former chief operating officer for city groi group. he has a wife and two children. ali, good to see you, my friend. lew is considered a budget whiz as we were discussing yesterday. >> yeah. >> a seclude negotiator if you like. quality that will come in handy when he takes on the negotiations with congress on the debt, reining in spending. tell us what you know about his negotiating style. >> i'll tell you, the one problem is that the white house in general has not been seen as the most successful group of negotiator. being the chief of staff to
president obama might be seen as a bit partisan for the job. let me tell you, four years ago, michael, the world was in a financial crisis, it all circulated around banks and credit and central banks. timothy geithner was the guy for the job. head of the federal reserve. he was in the room when they decided to let lehman brothers fail. he knew what was going on. four years later, it's all about the budget. whether it's the debt ceiling or sequestration or the actual budget that the u.s. hasn't created since 2009, the next six to eight months is all going to be about the budget. my sense is, i don't know whether jack lue is the guy for all four years. he's definitely the guy for the next several months. he headed the office of management and budget, that's called the omb, twice. once under clinton, and then after peter orszag left under president obama. this guy knows budgets. he knows everything about it. no learning curve. he is dropping right into the
debt ceiling debate. very weird because geithner's leaving. he's got to get into it. for the immediate problem he seems eminently qualified, michael. >> heck of a job. his tenure at citigroup, he was at city group, has raised concerns in some quarters. the coo, chief operating officer, of the alternative investments unit. >> yes. >> but that basically was a unit that bet against homeowners paying their mortgage, picked up a nice million-dollar bonus check. citi was bailed out. how's that going to go over? >> that's going to come up. on one hand, you could say, hey, i understand wall street, i understand how it worked. i was in on that, as well. clearly he'll get tough questions. i don't think he's in for a rough ride in the nomination process, confirmation process. it's the treasury secretary the president's going to largely get who he wants. but it's funny because the general response on wall street isn't that he was one of us. it's that he hasn't had much wall street experience. they don't like him that much.
they don't feely had has a good sense -- feel he has a good sense of regulation. he's a budgetary wonk, a partisan. it's interesting that wall street isn't that close behind jack lew. although it doesn't matter, wall street doesn't have a seat at this table now. the only game in town is budgetary. yeah, that stuff he did at citigroup will come up, i don't think it will go anywhere. >> if wall street hates him, he might be perfect the job. >> that's what people think actually. >> good to see you always. >> you, too, as always, my friend. let's go live to the white house. want to talk with someone who knows jack lew, kenneth mann, former associate director of communications for the white house office of budget and management. that must have a business cut. you were senior adviser to lew. tell us what we can expect from him as treasury secretary. what makes the white house so sure he's the guy? >> there's very few people in the country who have as much experience at the highest level, the public sector, the private sector, and nonprofits.
you know, omb and also as white house chief of staff, he's seen it all. he's seen every spomp he's been involved in both the fiscal negotiations as well as looking at international economic issues that the white house has dealt with in the past year. he's someone with an impeccable reputation. i think this is a real -- a great pick for treasury. >> what about his relationship with the president? obviously they know each other well. >> yeah. yes. listen, i think the president knows that his values and jack's values are the same. and i think it's why he trusts him so much. you know, jack comes from a working class background in queens, new york. public school created. he understands that economic policy really should be about mainstream. the understands that, as well. there's a similar outlook on what we need to do and what policy should be doing and who should be helping, i think that make the relationship a tight one. >> yeah. kenneth, thank you very much. great to get your insights. kenneth baer, former associate director of communications for
the white house office of management and budget. there's a bit of a loopy side to jack lew. and i mean that literally there. have a look at his signature. looks like random squiggles, doesn't it? some have compared it to a slinky gone awry. guess what, it could appear on newly printed bills because the treasury secretary's signature is on every new bank note printed while he is in office. some say lew may have to change his signature for the bills. timothy geithner did, by the way. and now wolf blitzer will bring you the president's nomination live when it happens in the next hour, that's at about 1:30 p.m. eastern time. we've got news coming in regarding president obama's inauguration ceremony. pastor louie gigglio, a man we interviewed two days ago on this program, has now with drawn from delivering the benediction. why? he was facing criticism for comments in the 1990s on homosexuality. in that sermon from way back then, it was printed in "the new
york times," by the way, he cites stripture saying that "homosexuality is," "seen in the eyes of god and a sin in the word of god," and here's giglio talking about the president and ending modern day slavery on this program. >> last year at his national prayer breakfast speech a year ago, the president mentioned at what happened at passion 2012. the voices of this generation, what are called poor college students giving 3.2, $3.3 million in a few days has gotten the message. it's reached the white house, the streams of culture. we pray the white house is listening, engaging, doing what they can. it's not only one person or organization that will solve this. >> they're to say that he was caught offguard by that quote resurfacing at this moment. and said that it would be a distraction. he's stepping away. a source close to the inauguration planning said "we respect mr. giglio's decision,
we wish him the best." here's more of what we're working on this hour for "newsroom international." the fires continue to rage on in australia. the flames have already eaten almost a million acres of farmland. stay with us. today, jason is he to volunteer to help those in need. when a twinge of back pain surprises him. morning starts in high spirits, but there's a growing pain in his lower back. as lines grow longer, his pain continues to linger. but after a long day of helping others, he gets some helpful advice. just two aleve have the strength to keep back pain away all day. today, jason chose aleve. just two pills for all day pain relief. try aleve d for strong, all day long sinus and headache relief.
looks like some good news for almost a dozen killer whales that were trapped by ice. the town manager of the small canadian village coming up on the map there on the hudson bay says hunters who were sent to break up the ice to help out those whales can't find them anymore. the ice shifted, apparently.
that opened up the way for the whales to swim to open water. chad myers joins me. we hope that's what happened. >> right. >> it looks that way do you think? how did they get trapped in the first place? >> the wind was from the west, and it pushed all of this open ice or free ice. not ice that's attached to land but -- just out there floating around. it pushed it up against the barrier, the islands and into the bay. and then they couldn't get out. last night the winds shifted significantly, blew that ice out, back into the hudson bay. now we're good. this is what they had. they were saying at a time, this was almost as small as a pickup truck. this hole, this is where the orcas were getting the air from. they were coming up for air, that's all they were doing. 11 orcas trying to get air from one little spot. let me show you how it happened here. the area here is in a northwest to southeast pattern. and when the wind was blowing in from the west, it pushed all of that sea ice into this little town. we can go right into the town. not a very big village. there you see the huts, there you see the homes, maybe 100 or
so. but as these people saw, the hunters were out and saw this hole. they saw the orca hopping out of this hole. it was quite a tremendous event. finally they know they are free. the wind blew off from the northeast all night long. we were north at about 13, i'm pushing you ahead north at 25. with that little northeast in there just for a moment, just cracked the ice enough to push it. >> that's amazing. >> like for two hours. >> yeah. does it have anything to do with overall weather patterns that we also discuss with you where they get confused, what do you think? >> i was reading a lot about this since last night when we knew this. i found out from oceanographers that they believe that one of the major causes of mortality to many species is being locked in ice. this happens a lot. we just happened to get video of this for our show to realize what happens out there in nature. luckily there's a good outcome here. i bet a lot of times the outcome isn't so good. you know, the ice came in early.
you know, earlier than they thought. the water was still warm, but it was that flow of wind that pushed the ice against these whales. wasn't so much that it froze up earlier than normal. it was the wind that pushed it there normal. they still have to get out. they have a long way to go to get to warmer water. >> not over yet. >> no. >> they should make a movie about that -- wait, they did, didn't they? what was that film about whales caught in the ice? i forget. good to see you. thank you very much. interesting. all right. a snowstorm in the holy land. gorgeous. just check that out. you don't see that often, do you? >> no. >> to the north, though, winter weather could cost refugees their lives. we'll talk about that. ya. alright, another one just like that. right in the old bucket. good toss! see that's much better! that was good. you had your shoulder pointed, you kept your eyes on your target. let's do it again -- watch me. just like that one... [ male announcer ] the durability of the volkswagen passat.
that movie about the whale rescue, by the way, "big miracle." now the holy land seeing its stormiest winter weather in a decade. we have images for you from jerusalem. heavy snowfall there overnight does not happen often. schools and businesses were closed, transportation limited, crews now working on restoring electricity to thousands of people. the rest, snow day fun for children. even the country's president got outside to help build a snowman. nearby, the brutal winter weather is making dire conditions even more unbearable, especially tough for thousands of syrian refugees. during the frigid temperatures in flimsy tents that were not designed for such weather, we go to the refugee camp in jordan
where families are struggling to make it through. >> reporter: in jordan, life was supposed to get better for these syrians. but in this camp, lives collapsing all over again. these flatlands conjuring unimaginable cold, rain, wind, and simply too many people to fit. some nights nearly 2,000 syrians arrive here. it can't grow fast enough. "there were children sleeping inside," he says, "see what happened." water destroyed here this family's second home in four months. fire lit by the regime destroyed their first in the city of dara. "they destroyed everything," he says. "we left the house because it was burned." "they destroyed the house," she says. "the police came in and burned it." there's water in the tent, inside, everywhere around. all our blankets are destroyed. they have lost their original
homes to the war, but now in the dead of night, their new tents so often flooded with icy cold rainwater causing thousands of people in this camp to seek drier areas if at all possible. and still every night hundreds pour in seeking refuge, even here from the escalating violence inside syria. they pack up hoping for new tents, but in these icy storms without solid prefab housing, it's a matter of time until they may move again. the u.n. say they can't afford to do more. >> we've got 20% of the population under the age of 4. we're getting children five days old, nine, ten days old, they're coming across in these sort of conditions. we knew this was coming. we knew that the weather was going to get worse. and it's not going to be the last of the wet weather and snow, unfortunately. >> reporter: why isn't there more prefab housing if you knew it was coming? >> money, simple as that. our funding is about 25 foster
50% of what -- 25% to 50% of what we asked for. >> reporter: so far the u.n. insists despite rumors flooding the camp, children are not dying of the cold. they are simply holding back until tonight. snow is coming. french soldiers providing medical care to those who reach their tiny field hospital. what are the kind of injuries you see? >> essentially war injuries. shrapnel wounds, gunshot wounds. >> reporter: the trauma of 22 months' brutality evident in the faces of the old and of the young. tellingly finding this cruel world better than the maelstrom they left behind. nick peyton walsh, cnn, jordan. meanwhile, australia bracing for more fires. now the temperatures are heating up again after a slight cooldown. more than 100 fires are already burning in new south wales.
firefighters calling it the worst outbreak they have ever seen. hundreds of home have been destroyed along with sheep and almost a million acres of farmland. australia is in its worst heat wave on record. all sorts of records have been broken. also the australian wet season has not arrived. it should have by now. conditions that have turned large areas of bush and scrub into a tinderbox. some families who were forced from their homes now returning to see the devastation firsthand. >> if we were where we normally are, i don't think we would have got here at all. so someone was looking after us. >> shocked and devastated. but we'll just start rebuilding now i suppose. >> that's the spirit, isn't it? he's too sick to be sworn in as president, but that's not stopping venezuelans from taking to the streets in support of hugo chavez. we'll have that and more coming up. scroll... tap...
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we'll take you now to the white house where vice president joe biden just made an announcement on that gun thafas force that we have been discussing. he's been meeting with members of gun advocacy groups including the nra looking for ways to curb gun violence. let's listen to part of what he said. >> you all know this is a complicated issue. there's no singular solution to how we deal with the kind of things that happened up in newtown or in colorado or the general gun violence that exists in america today. the president and i and the
cabinet, we understand that it's a complicated issue. that's why when the president asked me to do this in conjunction with my colleagues in the cabinet we put together a pretty extensive list of what i would consider, we consider the stakeholders and wanting to deal with the issue of gun violence in america. and the first groups we met with will not surprise you because of my long association but all the national law enforcement organizations, but we also to give you a sense of what we've done so far and how you fit into the matrix here is we met with the medical community, the academy of family physicians, the academy of neurology, pediatrics, et cetera. a group about 15 leading medical doctors, representing organizations across the country who have had an interest in us dealing with this issue. we've met with at-risk youth and
children advocacy groups from the after-school alliance to promise america to boys and girls clubs, et cetera, because part of this is cultural as well as it is the actual weapons themselves. we've met with the domestic violence prevention community. we met with the justice organizations like the aba, the american bar association, and the national legal aid and defendant association prosecutors. we met with siefl rights organizations, national service organizations, the democracy, kiwanis, rotary international. we met with youth groups, we've met with gun safety advocates yesterday. that meeting took place here. and thmost, probably the best known is the brady campaign, but also a dozen other organizations that are concerned about gun
safety. and then we met with educators and parents from school boards to the state school officers association. again, a dozen or so of those folks. and maybe one of the most important things that we've been focusing on is the mental health community. the american academy for adolescence, psychiatry, mental health of america, national council community behavioral health centers because there's an argument that there is -- that this is a major component to deal with, in particularly suicides, as well, that we're seeing today. and yesterday, we finished up in this room with i think it was 17 members of the faith community which is all the years i've been doing this, the first time there has been an overwhelming
consensus from the evangelical groups nationwide, particularly those from rural areas to the national catholic conference and bishops, the national council of churches, the muslim community because this does is a significant moral dimension to it how we make american communities safer and how we go about it. and today we meet with you, and later i meet with some industry representatives as well as the nra and the executive director of the defense small arms advisory council, et cetera. so the point i'm trying to make to you is that we realize this is -- requires all the stakeholders to give us their best ideas as to how we deal with what as i said at the outset is a complicated problem. a complicated -- no single
answer. if you go back and like a lot of you having been dealing with this issue since my days as chairman of the judiciary committee and going back to the '70s, if you look at every one of the tragic events that have attracted so much attention, it's hard to be able to pinpoint what you could have done to assured it wouldn't have happened. but there's also things we know. we know that there's certain actions we take that have diminished, have diminished the extent of the gun violence that otherwise would be occurring in the united states. and so the kinds of things that there's an emerging set of recommendations not coming from me but coming from the groups we've met with. and i'm going to focus on the ones that relates primarily to gun ownership and the type of weapons that we own.
and one is there is a surprising -- so far, a surprising occurrence of universal background checks. not just close the gun show loophole but total, universal background checks during private sales. there is -- there's been a lot of discussion about the groups we met with so far. i think the attorney general's been in almost all the meetings with me. we'll tell you, it is how we strengthen the background checks. what additional information should be available if any, and how do we get the information, for example, convicted felons in the state, how do they get on the -- in the nics, the nics. that is the thing that the gun dealer goes to to check your background, where you're a felon. doesn't do a lot of good if in
some states they have a backlog of 40, 50, 6,000 felons that they never register here. so we got to talk about there's a lot of talk about how we entice or what is the impediment keeping states from relaying this information. there's also a good deal of talk about gun safety. and what responsibility goes along with gun ownership which is something i'm really anxious to talk to all of you about. there's also been a surprise -- my colleagues, my former colleagues in the senate who have been pretty universally opposed to any restrictions on gun ownership or what type of weapons can be purchased, et cetera, there is -- i've never heard quite as much about the need to do something about
high-capacity magazines as i've heard spontaneously from every group that we've met with so far. and the last area which is an area that's come up is the whole question of the ability of any federal agency to do any research on the issue of gun violence. for example, we're meeting before the week is out with the gaming industry. i don't mean gambling, the video gaming industry. to use pat moynihan's expression when we first started about the so-called biden crime bill back in the '80s, he used the example, he said, we started, we've been defining deviancy down. he used the example of the assassination of mob boss in 1936 in a barber chair in chicago, making the front page of every paper in america. and thene stood on the senate floor and held up the -- i think
it was "the new york times," page 54 -- i'm making it up, but at the back of the paper, an entire family, including grandmother, mother, father, children, were basically assassinated in their apartment, thinking it may have been about a drug deal. made page 54. he said, "we've defined deviancy down." one of the things that we're prohibited from doing beginning in the early part of the century, 2004, is just even the centers for disease control gathering up information about the kinds of injuries and what are the injuries and what are the source of the injuries. i mean, it kind of reminded me in the reading yesterday, i was around in the '70s, and the only guy that may remember this, i hope i don't insult him, is ray
although hood, because he knows all about the automobile industry as well as our whole question of traffic safety and highway safety. there was a big fight when i first got to the senate that had begun in the late 60s through early 70s where the automobile industry was very reluctant to allow the department of transportation to acquire statistics on the type of accidents that occurred. they were not able to literally acquire the information because the concern was it would lead to calls for some national regulations related to guardrails to automobiles. and i remember, ray, you you may remember -- >> vice president joe biden speaking to the media after some of these talks he's been having. he has other talks today, as
well. he said he's going to get the results of his probe into gun violence and curbing it and perhaps restrictions on some firearms, what recommendations he might make. he's going to get those to president obama's desk by tuesday. we'll keep you informed of any developments as those meetings continue. meanwhile, he ruled the country with all the absolute power. now he's too sick to attend even his own presidential inauguration. we'll talk about what could be a power vacuum in venezuela if hugo chavez remains too sick to leave. wrap. ive customers. i plugged in snapshot, and 30 days later, i was saving big on car insurance. with snapshot, i knew what i could save before i switched to progressive. the better i drive, the more i save. i wish our company had something this cool. you're not filming this, are you? aw! camera shy. snapshot from progressive. test-drive snapshot before you switch. visit progressive.com today.
after just talking to you about vice president joe biden talking to the media about guns, we've learned this. there's been a school shooting at taft high school in -- that's in taft, california. and this is according to our affiliate kero. the shooting happened this morning around 9:00 a.m. local time we're told. according to reports, at least two people were shot. the shooter is in custody, and parents are picking up their kids at the school's football field. just repeating, taft high school in taft, california, a shag around 9:00 a.m. -- a shooting around 9:00 a.m. local time. two people shot, the shooter in custody. we'll bring you more development as they come to us.
today was supposed to be the inauguration day for venezuelan president hugo chavez. but he's still in cuba undergoing cancer treatment. despite his absence, though, venezuela's supreme court ruled that the 58-year-old president can begin his new term today. he can be sworn in later. that it is, in fact, legal to postpone that. his supporters are rallying outside the presidential palace showing solidarity. but cnn's paula newton reports opposition leaders feel that a delayed swearing-in leaves no one in charge in venezuela. so let's have a conversation about that you will with our senior latin american affairs editor rafael romo in studio. all the supporters of chavez outside the presidential palace. other latin american leaders have arrived to honor him. he ain't there. what does this mean in terms of what we're seeing, in terms of support, and yet his absence in the political sense? >> it's all about presenting the world an image. an image that the government is
presenting a unified front. telling the world we are here, we are together, we're -- we're totally behind the figure of this man, president hugo chavez. there's a party going on. the problem is, the party is being thrown in honor of hugo chavez, and he's still in venezuela -- >> cuba. >> in cuba, excuse me. he was supposed to be sworn in today. and also, michael, today it's a month to the day that he left venezuela to go get cancer surgery in cuba. and nobody really knows exactly how serious his condition is. >> this is an extraordinary thing. we can discuss this here and on cnn international, as well. what is up with this? you've got the president of a country in another country being treated, nobody knows what it is he has other than cancer and a lun lung infection. who's running the country? >> according to the venezuelan supreme court, chavez is still running the country. but then again, you also have to consider the fact that over the
years that chavez has been in power, 14 years in venezuela, he has been very careful in selecting people in government in key positions around him. and the venezuelan supreme court is stacked with chavez loyalists, and the announcement yesterday that it is not necessary for him to be sworn in today because he was re-elected. and this is a continuation of his mandate comes as no surprise. again, they chavez loyalists and were expected to rule that way. >> yeah. yeah. there is support for him on the streets, too. but yeah, what an extraordinary situation. president sick, nobody knows exactly what or when he's going to be back. rafael, always good to have you. rafael romo there. >> thank you. three women gunned down execution style in paris. and while police are still digging through clues, this could have been politically motivated. we'll look into this. these were three senior people involved in the kurdish movement. stay with us. clear, huh? i'm not juice or fancy water. i've got nine grams of protein.
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welcome back, everyone. the french interior minister is calling the killings intolerable. three kurdish women activists found shot to death in paris. among the dead, kakin jansus, co-founder of the militant separatist group, the pkk. the body were found early inside the information center for kurdistan in central paris, right downtown.
their deaths sparked immediate protests outside the center. ivan watson is in i-stan bull, turkey, has -- in istanbul, turkey, has been following this. the french minister says the women were executed. tell us how the news is going down. a huge kurdish community in turkey. >> reporter: this is a bombshell. the kurds make up turkey's largest ethnic minority, and it's been a movement that's been fighting the turkish government for nearly 30 years of more than 40,000 people killed. so immediately there's a lot of cancer about who could have carried out this attack -- concern about who could have carried out this attack. everybody wondering if it's a politically motivated attack. the pkk spokesmen saying this was clearly an act of terrorism against the pkk which is itself labeled by turkey and the u.s. as a terrorist organization. the leaders of a pro-kurdish authority in turkey who are parliament members, they're calling on kurds all around the
world really to wise up and protest in response to these attacks on these kurdish women's -- women who are clearly big figures in the kurdish movement. >> nobody knows at the moment who did it. i mean, what is the turkish government saying? and also then, we've got to acknowledge, too, that the pkk has a history at times of internal killings themselves, power struggles. >> reporter: that's right, and the turkish prime minister himself suggested that it could be an internal hit basically, perhaps on rivals within the group. while some kurds are immediately blaming the turkish government for carrying out this attack which is being denied. the turkish government has denied it, called it a vicious attack. more than 40,000 people have been killed in this conflict. turkey has long had discriminatory policies.
there are thousands and thousands of kurdish activists who have been jailed here. but there's one other important factor here. turkey, the government has embarked on a new round of negotiations with the jailed leader of the pkk who's in prison on a turkish island in the last couple of months. there are a lot of hopes that maybe this could bring some kind of settlement to one of the longest running conflicts in the middle east. and there are a lot of fears that extremists from either side of this conflict may have carried out these murders to derail the process, michael. >> right. ivan watson, covering the pkk for many, many years. and the kurdish issue. we'll be right back. ♪ aww man. [ male announcer ] returns are easy with free pickup
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"lincoln" leads with 12 nominations, including best picture. steven spielberg gets best director nod, daniel day lewis, best actor. sally field, best supporting actress. and tommy lee jones, best supporting actor for the film about the nation's 16th president. and the battle to end slavery. cnn entertainment correspondent michelle turner is in los angeles. "lincoln" cleaned up, as expected. some other surprises. tell us what they were. >> yes. yes. definitely big surprises. one of the biggest ones, "beasts of the southern wild" four nominations including best picture, best actress for the 9-year-old, she's delightful. best director. it's his first film. he just turned 30 years old. and also best adapted screenplay. also, "silver linings playbook," the talk of awards season. got eight nominations including best picture, director, and nods in all four acting categories including best actor, best actress, supporting actor, supporting actress.
robert de niro got his first nomination in 21 years for his film. charles, can you tell me what his last nomination was for? >> i could not. >> "cape fear." >> he's awesome. love him. i hope he wins. thank you very much. you'll be keeping an eye on it through this evening. that will do it for me. winding it up, cnn continues with wolf blitzer's coverage. thank you very much, president obama about to make a major cabinet nomination. i'm wolf blitzer in washington, and this is a cnn special "newsroom" coverage of the president's announcement. it happens about 30 minutes from now. president obama will nominate his chief of staff over at the white house, jack lew, to be the next treasury secretary to replace timothy geithner. the surprise is certainly no -- the choice i should say certainly no surprise. lew is is a trusted member of the president's tight inner circle.
prior to his job as chief of staff, the 57-year-old served as director of the of of management and budget -- of the office of managements and budget. he worked to oversee the budget of the entire federal government. we have a full house to bring you all the details on the nominee. the challenges ahead for him, for the country. our wheel political analyst, gloria borger is here, kate baldwin, as well, brianna keilar at the white house. our chief business correspondent, ali velshi, joining us from new york. let's start with gloria first. tell us about jack lew. >> jack lew is someone who has spent most of his life in government service. he did work at citigroup for a while in the wealth management division. he's a numbers nerd. he's the guy who understands the federal budget. you just noted that he had been head of the office of management and budget twice in his career. i first met him when he worked for house speaker tip o'neill when he was his chief domestic
policy adviser. it gives you an indication, wolf, of where this administration thinks the arguments are going to be, the fights going to be. he is not a business and markets guy, gives wall street a little concern. but he is somebody with an incredible understanding of the federal budget, where to cut, how to cut, and also politically what not to cut. that's what gets him in trouble with some republicans who believe that he has defended a lot of social programs way too video -- vociferously on the hill. that's not going to stop him from getting confirmed. >> sessions said he's not going to vote to confirm him. other republicans don't like him, as well. the question is, you think he'll get confirmed -- >> i do think -- >> but there will be a battle? >> i not there's going to be a grueling nominations process. the testimony that he's going to
have to give, they're going to call him on the griddle and say you promised to reduce the deficit, doesn't look like you reduced the deficit. and there are some republicans who believe that in the grand bargain negotiations that failed between john boehner, the speaker of the house, and the president that it was jack lew who kept moving the goal posts on them. so there's not a lot of warmth there. they also believe that he lectured them an awful lot on the federal budget. but in the end, wolf, there's no organized opposition to jack lew like there is to, say, chuck hagel for the defense secretary's job. so i think you'd have to say he'll be confirmed. >> all right. gloria, stand by. what does the treasury department actually do? it certainly collects taxes, duties, money that's paid to the united states as well as paying u.s. bills. it manufactures u.s. coins and currency, it manages government accounts and the public debt. it supervises national banks and thrift institutions.
it advises on domestic and international financial trade and tax policy and investigates and prosecutes tax evaders, counterfeiters, and forgers. if he's confirmed as treasury secretary, jack lew faces several challenges right off the bat. want to bring in our chief business correspondent, ali velshi. let's start with one of the most pressing issues -- raising the nation's debt ceiling. that's going to be a huge debate. >> yeah. >> and lew if confirmed will have a major role in that. >> yeah. and i agree with gloria. i don't think there's going to be a big confirmation battle. you have to really not like the treasury secretary to not confirm him. here's the thing, compare it to four years ago when tim geithner came in. geithner had been in the room prior to becoming treasury secretary when he was head of the new york federal reserve. they made the decision to let lehman brothers fail. he walked into a banking and a central bank global financial crisis, and he was a guy who had no learning curve. same thing here. we don't have a banking crisis, we don't have a central banking and financial crisis. we've got a budget crisis in
washington. jack lew is steeped in the budget. he takes over from tim geithner right in the middle of this debt ceiling debate which will be followed immediately by the sequestration, the broad spending cuts debate. and then the fact that the u.s. has not had a federal budget since 2009. the so-called continuing resolutions which means nothing changes from the year before. that is central to the whole budget debate. if we actually had a budget in this country, we wouldn't have a debt ceiling debate. we wouldn't have a sequestration debate. jack lew takes over, he's got three things that are going to face him immediately which is why the question, wolf, is not whether jack lew is the right treasury secretary for the next four years. it's whether he's the right treasury secretary for the next eight months. and i think he is because this is a man who is steeped in the budget in the way tim geithner was steeped in banking and finance. >> he spent the past several decades on budget-related issues. i know you spoke to someone who worked with lew at the office of management and budget.
>> yeah. >> what does he saw about lew's eququalifications to be treasur secretary? >> there's been some detractors to lew's nomination including some on wall street who say he doesn't have enough wall street experience. there's some who say yet another guy who's connected to wall street because he was the chief operating officer of a particular branch at citigroup which dealt with alternative investments. you know, these mortgage-backed securities. he'll get questions about that at his confirmation hearing. ultimately, i talked about him with ken baer, who, withed with him at the office of -- who worked with him at the office of management and budget. here's what he told me -- >> there's not been a major fiscal agreement in the united states in the past 25 years that jack lew has not been sitting at the table for. going all the way back to 1983 to the deal which saved social security, the pension system here in the united states. he's really a part of that. he actually has huge support on both sides of the aisle. five times his name has gone before the united states senate for a vote for confirmation.
do you know how many no votes were lodged against him those five times? zero. he actually had wide respect across the aisle here. >> two points. he's been nominated and confirmed by the senate. not the same senate but a lot of the same "people" -- same people five times before. he worked on social security and the balanced budget act and was there in august, 2011, when we got into the budget debacle. the bottom line is this is a guy who when it comes to budgets has a great deal of experience. what else, what other qualifications he's has for treasury and whether he's too political are questions that are going to come up. bottom line is, you need a guy who knows budgets, jack lew's your guy. >> a really, really smart guy. i've known him for a long time, went to harvard and georgetown law school in washington, d.c. a lot of washington experience. don't go too far away. there is a loopy, yes, a loopy side to jack lew. take a look. it's his signature. it looks like random -- there it is right there.
random squiggles. some have compared it to a slinky gone awry. it could appear on newly printed u.s. bills because the treasury secretary's signature is on every backed te printed while in office. some say jack lew may have to change his signature for the dollar bills. timothy geithner did when he became the treasury secretary of the united states. loopy. republicans have complained about lew's relentless negotiation tactics. some are promising a fight during his confirmation hearings. our congressional correspondent, kate balduan has more. >> jack lew is one of the faces of the obama budget and economic policies. it's no surprise republicans were going to hear tough criticism from republicans about jack lew. he will face tough questions as the nomination goes forward. this really gives republicans an opportunity to jump at this, to
criticize not jack lew but president obama and the last four years and his economic policies. they all feel burned after this most recent fiscal cliff negotiation. they didn't get the right end of the deal. they don't believe. and you can be sure this is an opportunity when the spotlight is on this issue to really vent. and we're already starting to hear this even before the nomination is official. we've been talking about it earlier, jeff sessions, he's one person, republican who came out. this is what he said even before this all came out. he said, "jack lew must never be secretary of treasury. his testimony before the senate budget committee less than two years ago was so outrageous and false that it alone disqualifies him." here sessions is referring to testimony that lew gave before his committee saying that the president's budget would not add to the deficit. one thing he's going to be taking on right away, wolf, is the debt ceiling if he is confirmed. and he was a central player last time around in the debt ceiling fight. and republican aides have been very critical as you mentioned
of his negotiating tactics. and bob woodward spoke about the price of politics, about the debt debacle. they said many a thing about jack lew including calling him disrespectful and dismifb missive. saying that he was doing 75% of the talking, lecturing, everyone not only about what obama's policies -- policy was but also why it was superior to the republicans'. and even speaker boehner is quoted as telling bob woodward this in the book, "at one point i told the president keep him, lew, out of here. i don't need somebody who just knows how to say no." you can clearly hear where the line of criticism has started. bottom line, as you have said, i don't get any sense from anybody, republican or democrat on the hill now, that his confirmation is at all really in jeopardy. this is just an opportunity to do some political posturing ahead of the debt ceiling fight that he's going to take on right away when he moves in. you might wonder what do democrats say about him. well, they love him, no question about that. one democrat that i spoke with
who worked closely with lew during the debt ceiling negotiations in 2011 said this, "he's the best. a total pro. he doesn't try to make policy, rather he simply tries to protect the president's priorities. no wonder the republicans hate him. they hate him for doing his job." >> stand by. we'll have more. we're waiting for the president of the united states to make the official announcement with jack lew. the next treasury secretary is confirmed by the united states senate. by the way, we'll hear later from the alabama senator, jeff sessions. he'll be joining me to talk about the president's decision to ask jack lew to be the next treasury secretary. senator sessions hates that idea. we're waiting, as i said, for the president. stand by, much more of our special coverage right after this. >> he is that rare person in washington who has been here for years who has done some very hard things and brokered some serious bipartisan agreements
geithnerment one critic, though, says lew is the president's "yes" man. that critic being steven moore, editorial board member and writer for the "wall street journal." steve is joining us now. yes man for the president? what's wrong with that? >> well, there's nothing really wrong with that in terms of -- look, the treasury secretary probably should reflect the yesterdays and philosophy of the president. and i agree with the others on your unanimously it's very likely that he's -- your unanimously it's very likely that he's going to be confirmed. we were critical for a couple of reasons. one, look, we kind of were hoping this would be a new start for the president. that the second term might be a departure from some of the policies of the first term. this suggests that it's going to be more of the same. when you heard the discussion about how many republicans really just don't get along with this guy, they don't agree with his philosophy, they think he's really hard to deal with in negotiation, i think that could
prestage real fights to come. i wanted to mention one other point if i could, wolf. one of the things that bothers me about the president's cabinet in his first term and the one that's coming forward in the second term is you just don't have the business experience. and you've heard that complaint by business men and women around the country. that where are the people that understand how business works, who know how to, you know, meet a payroll? and jack lew does have private sector experience at citi. he's never really run a company, and i think that's a shortcoming not just of jack lew but the cabinet. >> he did run two divisions at citigroup during the years when the president -- president bush was in office. >> right. >> so he did spend a few years up on wall street. let me bring in ali velshi -- >> can i say one thing about that? >> yeah. >> yeah, but look at his performance at citi. i mean, citiactually ne-- citi actually needed a huge bailout when he was there. by many reports the division he
ran lost billions of dollars. so i'm not so sure that's a real star for him. >> you're right -- ali, hold on. in the story i read today on the front page of the "wall street journal," steve, it did point out, it did make the argument that even as you point out he did run those two divisions. one of which got into real serious trouble in 2007, 2008. >> right. >> he wasn't the guy who was making those investment decisions that really caused such severe heartburn. i read that in the "wall street journal" today. >> okay. that may be -- look, i don't know all the facts about, it wolf. i will say this, he was in charge of the operation, and it lost money. whether he was making the specific calls on investments i don't know. but it certainly, you know, you don't look at that and say, gee, this makes him, you know, qualified to be the treasury secretary for the united states. >> all right. let's let ali weigh in. you got a question, ali? >> hey, steve, good to see you. listen, i'm not sure there's anybody who obama would nominate for treasury secretary that the editorial pages of the "wall street journal" would be in favor of.
maybe there is, who knows. but i would have thought you would have liked this. i'll tell you why -- your history is one of a tax fight. you're been a regulated tax fighter forever. founder of a club for growth. you have the same dna as grover norquist and pat toomey, guys like this. and this guy knows budgets, right? jack lew understands every detail about budgets. he's run the omb twice. whether or not you agree with where he comes from, the fact is this is a guy who can speak the right language when the biggest crisis -- you and i agree -- the biggest crisis in washington now is the fact that there's an absence of a budget. >> yeah, okay. that's a great point. let me address that. when i heard you talking about this before, it was the one thing you said i disagreed with. what i'm saying is, look, we have a fiscal crisis on our hands, a debt cries. if you look at his performance in the last few years in terms of running the budget office and being the chief of staff for the president, things have gotten worse. i don't look at that record and say, gee, this is a guy who's going to really fix the problem.
i think what we need in washington is new thinking. i'm kind of tired of these treads. he's been in washington for in and out of government for 25 years. i guess my philosophy is why not bring in new faces, granted they're going to have the president's philosophy. but maybe looking at new approaches to bringing this enormous debt down. >> steve, the record at omb during the last four years of the second term of the bill clinton administration, how that budget then worked out? >> i knew you were going to bring that up, wolf. look, i'll give him high marks for his record as clinton's budget director. i'm going give him an "f" for his performance as budget director under barack obama because we took the deficit up to a trillion dollars. levels that, wolf, you and i and ali, i don't think we ever would have seen in our lifetime. look, the president's going to get his choice, he's going to be confirmed. i just don't think this is a guy who's going to really build bridges with the republican party which i think all three of
us think is desperately needed now if we're going to get out of this crisis. >> i agree with it, the need for building bridges, working together, compromises, critically important. i know ali does, as well. steve moore, as usual, thank you very much for joining us. ali, don't leave. >> thank you. president obama getting ready moments from now to announce his pick for the treasury secretary of the united states. he will nominate, let's not say expected. he will nominate as white house chief of staff jack lew to replace timmeney geithnood nig geithner. we'll bring you the announcement momentarily. ♪ ♪ [ male announcer ] some day, your life will flash before your eyes. ♪ make it worth watching. ♪ the new 2013 lexus ls. an entirely new pursuit.
we're following some news, disturbing news just coming in to cnn. a shooting at a high school in taft, california. taft high school, that's north of los angeles. about 30 miles outside of bakersfield. according to our affiliate kero, the shooting happened this morning around 9:00 a.m. local time, according to reports. at least two people have been shot. the shooter has been taken into custody. we're told parents picking up their kids at the school's football field right now. we're getting more information, but that according to our cnn affiliate kero. a shooting at a california high school. there's other news we're following, as well. including the pastor who had been selected to give the
inaugural benediction. he is now backing out of that, louie gigglio was receiving harh criticism over a sermon on homosexuality that he preached in the 1990's. our blog editor joining us now. give us background and what we're learning. >> sure, wolf. louie giglio was selected to deliver the benediction in large part because of his work over the last decade or so on the issue of global slavery. he's been organizing college students to raise awareness and to to see rai-- to raise funds end the global slave trade. he worked with 60,000 college kids. once he was announced as president obama's selection to give the benediction, the sermon surfaced just a few days ago where he called homosexuality a malfunction and said it was a sin which is common and mainstream within evangelical theology for that time in the 1990s. since there's been a lot of
shifting on that. nonetheless, that sermon had a lot of critics fiercely upset. the web site think progress which posted the sermon called it vehemently anti-gay. and as a result of that withering criticism, wolf, he has rescinded his acceptance of the president's invitation to deliver that benediction. >> has he changed his views on homosexuality publicly? >> in a statement he gave about why he -- why he has pulled out of the inauguration, he didn't get into that. he -- he acknowledged that he had delivered the sermon but didn't elaborate on where he is today on his views on homosexuality. folks i spoke to today who know him and have followed his work closely said they don't think his position has changed dramatically on this issue. but that it's likely where it was then or maybe a little closer to that issue of whether or not orientation is a choice or not. that's really what got people
upset in those comments that he seemed to be suggesting in that sermon that homosexuality was a choice as opposed to an had n-born orientation. that's really what got lgbt critics upset about this pick by the president who, as you know, is a strong supporter of same-sex marriage. and he came out and changed his position on that just last year. >> yeah. he believes in equal rights for ys and lesbians. louie giglio will no longer be giving the inaugural benediction. eric, thanks for the update. we'll get back to the news this hour. the president of the united states ready to announce his pick for treasury secretary. in a few minutes. you're looking at live pictures. those pictures coming from the east room at the white house. he'll be nominating his white house chief of staff, jack lew, to replace timothy geithner. we'll have the announcement live in a few minutes. right in the old bucket. good toss! see that's much better! that was good. you had your shoulder pointed,
fast! [ male announcer ] stop the uh-oh fast with kaopectate. we're waiting for the president of the united states to make it official. he's about to announce that jack lew will be the next secretary of the treasury assuming highs confirmed by the senate. the assumption is that he will be confirmed by the senate, succeeding timothy geithner. brianna keilar is on the scene. looks like a nice crowd in the east room where you are. >> reporter: that's right, wolf. starting to become a usual situation for us. here in the east room, we await president obama as well as secretary geithner and jack lew for the ceremony. you can see behind me a number of people in the audience, among them top aides including gene speller i spurling and valerie jarrett. this is an announcement where we're expecting president obama to tout his experience having
jack lew by his side for the last couple of years for key negotiations on deficit reduction. obviously very challenging ones that ultimately didn't succeed -- the fiscal cliff --ardon me. i should say the debt ceiling negotiation of 2011 and most recently the fiscal cliff negotiation, the grand bargain that ultimately didn't work. we saw a more short-term, smaller measure pass recently in congress. but we expect for president obama to emphasize jack lew's time not only as being the chief of staff most recently but also being his budget director throughout this process. we've also been talking, wolf, as you know, about some of the criticism coming from across the aisle from some republicans. it's been reported in bob wood war's book about the obama administration, "the price of politics." criticism from the speaker, speaker boehner, about jack lew as being uncompromising and being someone that he didn't
find he could negotiate with and come to a deal with in these past discussions. so there's that, but i'll also tell you it reminds me talking about that that when jack lew was announced as chief of staff to replace bill daly that one of the things we heard was it was welcome news to democrats on the hill. they had felt that daly had not been terribly responsive even to them. and jack lew is someone that democrats were very happy to have here standing next to president obama as the chief of staff. so we're definitely hearing some folks who are very much in favor of jack lew taking this position as treasury secretary and ultimately i think is expected to be a confirmation process that is expected to go smoothly. >> let us know when we get that famous two-minute warning before the president and jack lew, tim geithner and company. gloria borger is here with me, kate bold uan is here.
alevelsi velshi. the last time i almost is when james baker was white house chief of staff and named treasury secretary. he probably did a good job as treasury secretary. >> for a lot of the same reasons. i think there's a real question of comfort level here. the president knows as we've been talking about that he's got to go into a lot of long-term budget negotiations here that are really important to him on the debt ceiling, on the question of entitlement cuts, et cetera, et cetera. even perhaps reforming the tax code. we don't know if they're going to get to that. he had to have somebody he trusted there just the way that ronald reagan felt he had to have somebody he trusted at the treasury. and i think it's the -- the same situation. also what's interesting here about jack lew, not only is he well known among congressional democrats, particularly senior congressional democrats because he was on the hill himself. he also had a role in hillary
world, don't forget, at the state department. he was a deputy secretary of state in charge of the huge, huge state department budget. so he knows people over there very well, and he also obviously knows people in this administration very well. not only as chief of staff but as former budget director. and again, i can't emphasize enough the number of people inside the administration who said to me, the president feels comfortable with jack lew, and he trust jack lew. if you look at all of these cabinet appointments that we've seen and some to come, it is about the president's comfort level in the second term. >> he was just re-elected, he's the president of the united states. he deserves to be comfortable. if you can hold on, we still haven't received that famous two-minute warning. we'll take a quick two-minute break and be right back.
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we waiting for the president of the united states to walk into the east room of the white house. we'll show you a picture now. he's going to nominate jack lew as white house chief of staff to be the next treasury secretary to succeed timothy geithner. that sets the stage for confirmation hearings before the senate as we await gloria borger, here, kate bbaldaun, al velshi. we don't see a lot of women nominated, at least not yet. >> and some resigning. we heard that labor secretary hilda solis, she will be stepping down, you know, whenever that moment will be. and of course that does leave a lot of holes. gloria, we were talking about in the make-up room of all places
how there -- >> we talk about everything. >> we talk about everything. but it's been very poor choreography on the part of the administration in rolling these out. and i think it's been put upon them. >> i think for example the lew nomination has been put off because they were in the middle of the fiscal cliff fight which jack lew was in the middle of. they didn't want another fight in the middle of that. >> that doesn't deny the fact that they have a female problem -- >> the president did not get what he wanted in susan rice. that was the problem. i think it is choreography. i think it is timing, and i'm told, by the way, that they are looking, for example, for a woman at a key post, if not the top four. they are looking for a woman to head the commerce department. but the pictures we're seeing, wolf, of all of these men in "the new york times" yesterday -- if we have it. these men standing around in the oval office with the president of the united states. >> an official white house photo. >> right. >> too that -- >> you pointed out there is --
two women, not just the first lady, but one other woman that is close with him in a big way. she might not be a cabinet post but valerie jarrett, we condition underestimate her role. >> she's critically important. she's staying, she's not going anywhere. what i pointed out half jokingly, there's the famous picture. >> you see valerie's leg -- >> it's hidden there. >> her leg is behind the communications director. but they understand that they -- the optics of this is not very good. and so they put out all these statistics yesterday. got a handful of statistics about the white house staff now being 50/50. but i think we should expect to see some more women appointments in the near future. and that's probably why jack lue is being nominated -- jack lew is being nominated alone. you don't want a large photograph largely dominated by men. >> you see the picture of valerie jarrett, the other picture she's in the center. i half jokingly pointed out yesterday that when it comes to influence on the president of the united states, valerie
jarrett probably equals four or five of those guys who are -- >> which four? >> in the picture. that's another story, as we know. momentarily the president will be speaking. you're going to hear it unfold. right now, douglas brinkley, presidential historian, is joining us, as well. i'm going to cut you off quickly. but in terms of historic moments, doug, that started the second term, we often see a.ing to surround himself with people he feels very comfortable with. >> reporter: absolutely. jack lew is very close to the president. a long-time veteran of all the budget wars in washington. if obama really ran on bill clinton's budget on jack, part of that credit has to go his way. you're seeing the president getting people he's comfortable with. there is no time for a learning curve here. we have on march 1 a debt ceiling debate looming. getting somebody that's already in the game i think was something the president thought about in picking him. >> yeah, the president wanted
jack lew. he's going to get jack lew. presumably there will be a fight, a few republicans who will ask him very tough questions and probably in the end vote against his confirmation. but i suspect barring some major expose or something that we don't know he's been confirmed several times in the past. here he comes, the president will be introduced. >> geithner and mr. jacob lew. >> good afternoon, everybody, please have a seat. a little more than four years ago, i stood with mr. tim geithner and announced him as my first nominee to my cabinet. we were barely two months into the financial crisis, the stock market had cratered, the housing market had cratered, as well. bank after bank of on the verge of collapse. and worst of all, more than 800,000 americans would lose their jobs in just that month.
and the bottom was not yet in sight. so i couldn't blame tim when he tried to tell me he wasn't the right guy for the job. [ laughter ] >> but i knew that tim's extensive experience with economic policy made him imminently qualified. and i also knew that he could hit the ground running. as chairman of the new york federal reserve, he had just spent several sleepless and chaotic weeks immersed in the complexities of the crisis and had been working closely with his republican predecessor at treasury to save the financial system. then with the wreckage of our economy smoldering and unstable, i asked tim to help put it back together. and thank in large part to his steady hand, the economy has been growing again for the past three years. our businesses have created nearly six million new jobs. the money that we spent to save the financial system has largely
been paid back. we put in place rules to prevent that kind of financial melt down from ever happening again. an auto industry was saved. we made sure taxpayers are not on the hook if the biggest firms fail again. we've taken steps to help underwater homeowners come up for air and opened new markets to sell american goods overseas. and we've begun to reduce our deficit through a balanced mix of spending cuts and reforms to a tax code that he time that we both came in was too skewed in favor of the wealthy at the expense of middle-class americans. so when the history books are written, tim geithner's going to go down as one of our finest secretaries of the treasury. [ applause ]
>> don't embarrass him. [ applause ] >> on a personal note, tim has been a wonderful friend and a dependable adviser throughout these last four years. there's the unofficial thing over at treasury, no peacocks, no jerks, no whiners. that would be a good thing for all of washington -- [ laughter ] >> no peacocks, no jerks, no whiners. few embody that ideal better than tim geithner. that's why when tim was thinking about leaving a couple of years ago -- [ laughter ] >> i had to personally get on my knees with carol to help
convince him to stay on a little bit longer. and i could not be more grateful to carol and the entire geithner family for allowing him to make the sacrifices that so many of our cabinet members ask of their families in serving the country. the fact is while a lot of work remains, especially to rebuild a strong middle class and offer working folks new pathways to rise into the middle class, our economy is better positioned for tomorrow than most of those other countries hit by the financial crisis. the tough decisions tim made and carried out deserve a lot credit for that. so i understand that tim is ready for a break. obviously we're sad to see him go. but i cannot think of a better person to continue tim's work at treasury than jack lew. now this is bittersweet not only because tim's leaving, but also
because jack's been my chief of staff for the last year. he was my budget director before that. i trust his judgment, i value his friendship, i know very few people with greater integrity than the man to my left. and so i don't want to see him go because it's working out really well for me to have him here in the white house. but my loss will be the nation's gain. jack has the distinction of having worked and succeeded in some of the toughest jobs in washington and the private sector. as a congressional staffer in the 1980s he helped negotiate the deal between president reagan and tip o'neill to save social security. under president clinton, he presided over three budget surpluses in a row. so for all the talk out there about deficit reduction, making sure our books are balanced, this is the guy who did it. three times. he helped to oversee one of our
nation's finest universities and one of our largest investment banks. in my administration, he's managed operations for the state department and the budget for the entire executive branch. and over past year, i've sought jack's advice on virtually every decision i've made from economic policy to foreign policy. now one reason jack has been so effective in this town is because he is a low-key guy who prefers to surround himself with policy experts rather than television cameras. and over the years he's built a reputation as a master of policy who can work with members of both parties and forge principled compromises. and maybe most importantly as the son of a polish immigrant, a man of deep and devout faith, jack knows that every number on a page, every dollar we budget, every decision we make has to be an expression of who we wish to be as a nation. our values. the values that say everybody gets a fair shot at opportunity.
and says that we expect all of us to fulfill our individual obligations as citizens in return. so jack has my complete trust. i know i'm not alone in that. in the words of one former senator, having lew on your team is the equivalent as a coach of having the luxury of putting somebody at almost every position and knowing he will do well. i could not agree more. so i hope the senate will confirm him as quickly as possible. i want to personally thank both of these men and their families, especially carol and ruth, for their extraordinary service to our country. and with that i'd like to invite them to say a few words starting with tim. >> mr. president, it's been a privilege to serve you. i'm honored and grateful that you asked me to do this really. i am -- i'm very proud of what my colleagues, the treasury, and your economic team was able to help you accomplish these first
four years. when you stepped into this building as president, you were confirming with a world in crisis. the worst crisis in generations. and you made the necessary, the hard, the politically perilous choices that saved the american people, saved american industry, saved the global economy from a failing financial system. and your successful response to the crisis, of course, did not solve all the nation's challenges. it could not have done so. but the actions you took along with those of a forceful and creative federal reserve have made the country stronger and have put us in a much better position to face the many challenges still ahead of us. and they are many. i have the greatest respect for jack lew. i know him as a man of exceptional judgment, calm under pressure, with an extraordinary record of accomplishment and experience. over decades and at the center
of american economic policy. he's committed to defending the safety net for the elderly and the poor. he understands who it takes to create the conditions -- what it takes to create the conditions for stronger economic growth and broader economic opportunity. and he understands that to govern responsibly is to govern with a recognition that we have limited fiscal resources. now like jack, i've spent my professional life in this world of public policy and public service, and as all of you know, our families carry a large share of the burdens we assume in public life. i feel incredibly fortunate that my wife, carol, and my family have been willing to allow me to do this. and i thank them for their support and their patience. and i understand their occasional impatience. [ laughter ] >> i want to express my admiration and my appreciation for the women and the men of the treasury department.
those who came to serve you, these years of came to serve y these years of crisis and the civil servants for whom i started working in 1988. they are exceptionally talented public servants and i am proud of what they helped you accomplish and i am confident my successor will find them the asset they are to the nation. i also hope that americans will look at the challenges we face today and decide as many of you in this room have, that in spite of the divicive state of our political system today that serving your country is compelling and rewarding work. that was my experience. i am grateful and will always be grateful to you for having given me the opportunity to serve you as the 75th secretary of the treasury. [ applause ]
>> it has been a pleasure to come to work every day as building a sound economy and a safer world. tim, you have been a friend and a colleague for many years and decades. the american people are better off. it was only yesterday that i discovered that we both share a common challenge with penmanship. tim, i join the president and everyone here in wishing you and
carol and your whole family well. as a kid growing up in queens, i dreamed of making a difference in the world. these dreams were nurtured where the gifts of american freedom and opportunity were cherish and never taken for granted. the responsibility to engage in issues of public concern were part of daily life. i will always be grateful to my parents for grounding me and remained in my personal and professional life. in the office of speaker o'neal whose compass was clear and the demand on unvarnished device on how best to reach the destination. he only cared about whether or not you did the hard work to inform the decisions of the day. he took a chance giving responsibility to a yuck man and for that i will be thankful. with president clinton and more recently this administration, i worked with one of the finest teams to execute a responsible policy while advancing policies
to promote economic growth. i am delighted to see home friends here today. at the state department i worked with the great secretary of state and my friend hillary clinton to advance the national security agenda and international economic policies. as chief of staff, i had the pleasure of working with a talented team that managing politics and conflibltplikts wi grace, skill and loimty. if confirmed i look forward to working with people who are legendary for skill and knowledge. i have come to respect greatly. thank you to ruth and danny and the kids for tolerance with demands of the schedule. and thank you, mr. president, for your trust and confidence and friendship. serving in your administration allowed me to live out the values my parents instilled in
me and i look forward to continuing with the challenges ahead. [ applause ] >> these are two outstanding public servants. the only point i want to leave you with is the fact that i had never noticed jack's signature. when this was highlighted yesterday in the press, i considered rescinding my offer to appoint him. jack assures me that he is going to work to make at least one letter legible in order not to
debase our currency. should he be confirmed as secretary of the treasury. thank you very much. >> next step for jack lew, confirmation. one critic, jeff sessions of alabama. you have been blunt, senator. i assume you are going to vote against this confirmation. tell the viewers why. >> on cnn really less than two years ago when the 2011 budget was sent forward by president obama that jack lew wrote, he said that. our budget will get us to the point where we can look the american people in the eye and say we are not adding to the debt any more. we are spending money that we have each year and then we can work on bringing down our national debt. that was a totally incorrect and
false statement. i couldn't believe it. i examined him extensively at committee about it and he refused to acknowledge or do anything but defend where as the secretary when he came before the committee, he told us honestly that the president's budget did not put us on a sustainable financial path. he has been a part in this budget by the way, got zero votes in the house, zero votes in the senate and the reason it was not brought up on the floor of the senate for real processing is because it would have been exposed as doing nothing to change the debt course of america really. raising taxes and raising spending and not really doing the kind of things we need to change our debt course. it's not a little thing that i'm dealing with. i believe this man has been the architect of the obama budget policy. i believe it's very
fundamentally wrong and i do not believe he has been honest with the american people about it. >> will you put a hold on his nomination? will you try to filibuster the nomination? that would require 60 votes to break that filibuster. >> we need to get started right away in analyzing his background and record. he will have a chance to defend himself, but i think based on my examination of him and consistent statements over the years throughout this period that he should not be confirmed. the budget that he wrote was condemned by every major newspaper in the country. they said it goes nowhere near where we need to be to get our country on a sound path. i'm troubled. this is a person close to the president and we really need the
premier financial position in the world. the secretary of treasury for the united states had a time of economic danger. we need a person of great seriousness who can reach across the aisle and be respected by the financial community in the country and outside the country. i just don't believe that is what we have in mr. lew. >> will you filibuster? >> intend to be aggressive in challenging his nomination and we will see how that goes in the weeks ahead. >> what are you hearing from your republican colleagues? i assume every democrat will vote to confirm and if they do, that's 55 if you add the two independent who is caucus with the democrats. 55 is more than enough. >> a number of our members have dealt with mr. lew in some of the negotiations. it has not been pleasant. er
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