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tv   Smerconish  CNN  November 7, 2015 6:00am-7:01am PST

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ess. don't start enbrel if you have an infection like the flu. joint pain and damage... can go side by side. ask how enbrel can help relieve joint pain and help stop joint damage. enbrel, the number one rheumatologist-prescribed biologic. i'm michael smerconish. here is the question today -- are we in the media being fair to dr. ben carson? is cnn being fair to carson? he's now the republican front-runner, according to "the wall street journal." and nbc news. i have long admired his personal story and respected his reputation as a physician. in fact, i remember first hearing his name years ago when practicing law. and he performed a complicated surgery on a young boy from
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pittsburgh who was my client. the parents of that young man regarded dr. carson as a godsend. the story of his rise from a small home in detroit to world class pediatric neurosurgeon is the type that makes all of us proud of our country. but some of what he himself has written and said about his background is eyebrow raising. that he once punched a classmate with his face in his hand wrapped around a lock leaving a three-inch gash in his forehead. or that he attempted to attack his own mother with a hammer. that he tried to attack his young friend spared only by a belt buckle that snapped the blade. these stories are important to carson's narrative of personal redemption. after trying to kill his friend with a knife, he said he found the lord. when you rise in the polls you get more scrutiny. but when cnn tried to learn more about the incidents that carson himself has described.
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he told alisyn camarota that cnn's reporting was a bunch of lies on him. and just last night carson said is this say witch hunt. >> all you guys trying to pile on is actually going to help me. because when i go out to these book signings to thousands of people, they say don't let the media get you down. don't let them disturb you. please want to fight for us. see, they understand that this is a witch hunt. >> no, dr. carson, running for president while telling your life story in a way that raises curiosity. and then not answering questions, that's the distraction. we wouldn't know these things unless carson himself had written and said them. and here's the irony. the net effect of the last few days probably helps him among conservative caucusgoers in iowa. who will both respond to his religious epiphany and criticism
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of the media. by the way, i believe legitimate cases of media bias should be called out. but if carson or any other candidate tries to cloak himself or herself for scrutiny, that, too, is to be exposed. we're picking a president of the united states state here's here. radio host larry elder, blogger crystal wright and matt lewis. i'll get to them in just a moment. first joining me now, shawn spicer, the chief strategist for the republican national committee. tuesday night is the next republican debate. according to nbc news and "the wall street journal," the fro frontrunner of your party now is dr. ben carson. he was on his network on friday morning. here's what unfolded. >> it's a bunch of lies. that's what it is, a bunch of
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lies. attempting to say that i'm lying about my history. i think it's pathetic, and basically, what the media does is they try to get you distracted with all of this stuff, so that you don't talk about the things that are important. because we have so many important things. and i'm not proud of the fact that i had these rage episodes. but i am proud of the fact that i was able to get over them. >> i don't know if you saw it in realtime, i'm sure you've heard about it, you have now seen a piece of it. what do you make between that relationship between dr. ben carson and this network? >> a lot of times as conservatives, we feel like members of the media want to attack or destroy us. he feels that way now. as far as the accuracy of cnn and the reporting of the story i can't help up with the ticktock and i think that's up to his campaign to go through. i think that conservatives feel there's an attack mode from the
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media when it comes to conservative and republican candidates. >> let me tell you something that i've come face-to-face to relative to the rnc. i have seen this take-on-media mentality can help you with the base. but it bodes poorly when you're trying to win over voter it's in general election. so when ben carson won't answer some of the questions put to him by cnn saying is this garbage or a pack of lies. he's also avoiding the inevitable. but i don't see someone like that trying to defeat hillary clinton, am i wrong? you look at hillary clinton with the e-mail scandal, benghazi, the level of attacks that they've had had on the media. when hillary clinton makes the same claims, everyone rushes to her defense and say, you know what, you republicans have been too tough on her, and she's
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answered that question. i mean, there is such a huge double standard when it comes to how the media treats republicans and how the media treats republicans. it's a fact. >> i don't know it's a fact -- can i say, it may have been a fact 30 years ago when really there were very few outlets. and i would concede to you, generally speaking they were left of center. but hillary clinton, the first question put to her in the only debate thus far was by anderson cooper. and the gist it was, how in the world are you going to get elected when so many americans feel you untrust worthy? >> not exactly softball. >> no it's not. this idea that we're getting softball questions is nuts. that first debate on fox was serious, hard-hitting questions. in fact, the mod rarerators got praised by say they go asked tough questions. the mainstream media, they don't
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understand the toughness, intensity and scrutiny and intelligence that conservative media brings to the table. >> what i'm arguing that a fox-only constituency cannot get your man or woman elected. here's one more clip. >> i can't believe that you used to work on fox and you turned into that. i can't believe that. >> i'm glad you brought that up, dr. carson, because you also said something about fox news that i'd like to play from that very same speech. let's play that clip about your thoughts on fox news. >> even if all the media tries to shut you down, which they have tried very much to do with me. but they can't. because the good lord has provided me with mechanisms like my syndicated column and like fox news, we'd be cuba if there were no fox news. >> now, as you point out, i did work at fox for many years. and i do have many friends there still who are excellent journalists. but i'm not sure even they think
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without their reporting that we would be cuba. document me do you mean if we didn't have fox news, we'd be cuba? >> no, people are a lot smarter than you think they are. >> i show you that, whether a candidate can get elected only in the sand box during a presidential candidate? >> just as a side note, the reason that fox news is so successful is because they're covering stories, talking to people that the mainstream media ignores. and i think the american people, the reason they're drawn to fox is because of that. no one's suggesting by any means that there be fox only. i think it would behoove many members of the media that fox
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and other places have grown to be successful is because the mainstream media, quite frankly, is not understanding what a lot of americans are actually dealing with. people who they respect, issues that they want you evered. >> do you think that dr. ben carson has been treated fairly here at cnn? >> look, i'm not trying to evade the question. i don't follow the back and forth between cnn and dr. carson. i've had a great relationship with a lot of folks at cnn. i think by and large, cnn does a great job of covering the news. i can't speak to dr. carson's relationship with cnn, nor do i want to speak with any other candidate's relationship or the others. that's up for them to tell you how they've been treated. >> you're a media strategist. this is your stock and trade. in a week like this, when there's been this with cnn or any other outlet and dr. carson, i guess i'm asking specifically did you speak to dr. carson or the carson campaign, as the
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media head of the rnc, given that he's the front-runner? >> no, at this point in the game, our job at the rnc is not to be involved in campaigns making decisions, or strategy, or sound bites or anything like that. >> thank you for being here. >> you bet, michael, thank you for having me. so, are we being too tough on ben carson? is the media biased against him? last night, he said the media is getting desperate, listen to this. >> because they have been looking through everything. they've been talking to everybody, there's got to be a example. there's got to be something, he's had an affair. they're getting desperate. next week it will be my kindergarten teacher who said i peed in my pants. >> radio show and blog and matt lewis senior contributor of the
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daily caller. >> larry, is this is a hit job against dr. carson? >> i don't consider it to be a hit job but another example of media inconsistency. take the clintons there's no a no-fly zone of the clintons' life. a woman goes on tv and makes a credible allegation of rape against bill clinton. bill clinton said, i'll refer you to my lawyer, end of story. and also two weeks after the alleged rape, she was verbally intimidated by hillary clinton. no one has even asked about that. fill in your favorite republican. j.w. bush, dick cheney. donald trump. >> crystal do you agree with larry eller? >> i absolutely do not agree with my friend larry elder. >> why not?
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>> i think cnn and other groups have not been fair to our candidates or appear. here's the thing, ben carson is the front-runner of the republican party. i think what this boils down to, ben carson should never have run for president. he was the darling of fox news. he became a fox news contributor and he let that go to his head. frankly, there's way too many inconsistencies and story after story. when he was a student at yale, he claims a psychology professor made all the students retake an exam because his room caught on fire. the exams burned. he said the yale daily news even took a picture of him with the professor. there's no record of that. there's no record of him being attacked at pop eypopeye's. michael, i think he's appeal to get friends of our party, evangelicals who will not get him in the white house or any nominees. i predict ben carson is going to fall, fall, fall like herman
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cain did for a different reason. >> crystal, i need to underscore what you just said, that comes from today's "wall street journal." not exactly a liberal oracle. you're the tiebreaker. what do you say? >> yes, there is liberal liberal bias. yes, the media should be vetting ben carson. he's in first place right now. and there are lots of questions about his memoir. look, this is a guy who has built his entire campaign not on his background or experience as an elected official. or a governing experience. but really on this very interesting memoir and narrative. and if it turns out, and i don't know, for all i know, he could be telling the truth about everything, but there are a lot of questions. and if it turns out that he fabricated it, republicans might want to find out before they nominate him to take on hillary clinton. >> exactly. >> larry, the thing that baffles me -- you can have the next word -- let me say this, the thing that baffles me, does he
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have a brian wilson issue? >> yes. >> it seems like the core elements of his story are undisputable. and it's a story. why the need to embellish it like the journalists say, hey, it's a question of whether it really happened? >> one more time, these are perfectly legitimate questions that cnn is asking. all i'm asking for is consistency. joe biden when he was running said he was a coal miner. joe biden never worked as a cole miner. and hillary said climbing everett. obama was born four years before the selma march. >> but larry -- >> let me finish, those discrepancies didn't kill their candidacy, any more than these discrepancies ought to kill ben
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carson's candidacy. >> here's the problem with republicans. this isn't about hillary, obama or biden. this is about ben carson who hasn't just embellished, he seemed to have fabricated core parts of his life from rags to riches. i think it's a problem, like matt said, do we really want this guy to face off against hillary clinton? no, we don't. i don't predict he will be our nominee. i think we have to stop passing the buck on liberal objectivity. it's not about hillary clinton. it's not about obama. >> these are legitimate questions. the issue is media consistency. and there are no fly zones over certain aspects of democrats versus republicans. we ought to quality media out on that. that's all i'm saying. i have no problem with cnn asking these questions of ben
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carson. if he's -- he ought to be called out. >> i maintain that the tiger in the tall grass is the individual who now sits at number four. i'm talking about ted cruz. isn't this exactly the way that he hoped it would game out. there's been scrutiny on carson, there would be scrutiny on trump. and that he, cruz, would be there to parse and take all of those very conservative maverick-type voters? >> i think you're exactly right. i think ted cruz has run a very stealth campaign. making the assumption that the outsiders who have no political experience would eventually implode. he would be there the natural supporter. i do want to say something that has not been brought up during the segment about dr. carson, that's the politico story. i think it's important to put it in context. they had a story yesterday about
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dr. carson getting a full scholarship to west point. i think they did a disservice to cnn and other outlets. because their reporting was very sloppy. it opens the door for dr. carson saying, a pox on all of our houses. it muddyes the water. and really reinforces carson's argument. >> to your point, they do stand by it, although they changed the headline. tuesday night is the next debate. if i were a moderator for that debate, now, i've got the scrutiny, the attention, is it the question fair? is it a gotcha question? do you worry that the republican field now gets a free ride in some of these debates because of criticism these issues? >> believe me, the republicans are not going to be a free ride. i think the media still doesn't
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care about his relationship with bill ayers. these are legitimate questions. i daresay that a question or two would be raised about it. it's still about media bias. i'm not saying you don't have a right to ask the questions. i just want consistency. that's all i'm asking. >> i think that's fair. i think that's entirely fair. i would say there's so much media out there when you're talk about conservative bias, liberal bias, whatever you want in the marketplace, with radio, satellite, cable, you can find what you are looking for. thank you so much. appreciate you being here. what do you think? is the media being fair to ben carson? tweet me @smerconis@smerconish. coming up, we've had democratic consult tournament bob beckel on this show. this week we're doubling down, two beckels face off. bob and his brother graham, an accomplished veteran movie and tv actor who you've seen in
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"l.a. confident" "brokeback mountain" "and leave las vegas." he's also a conservative that likes donald trump. and he may have been kicked off the debate stage. he's neither down or out. senator lindsey graham is here. i'll be asking him where will he be tuesday night. (dog) mmm, beneful healthy weight is so good...
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this winter, take advantage of our season's best offers on the latest generation of cadillacs. the 2016 cadillac ats. get this low-mileage lease from around $269 per month, or purchase with 0% apr financing. now, if you're following the presidential race, you know that 2015 has been the year of the amateur. if there's one thing republican voters can agree on, it's that the less the head of our government knows about government, the better. >> that was bill maher last night. and to his point. imagine that you served in your state legislature. then you were elected to
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congress. you served four terms and received at least 60% of the vote in each election. then you were elected to the u.s. senate where you've recently been elected to your third term. so you decide to run for president but you're eclipsed in all the polls by individuals who have never been elected to anything. and now, you're disinvited from the debate stage from a showing in the poll where your name was never included. w welcome to lindsey graham's world. senator graham joins me now. senator, how bummed are you that you won't be debating on tuesday night? >> well, all i can tell you is, if you don't put my name in a poll, i don't think i'll ever do well. the last poll they used to knock me out of the debate my name wasn't on the ballot. if you look at the four polls where my name was on the ballot. i got to soldier on. soldiers don't quit. they don't give up on america. i'm not going to give up on the
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soldiers. so, i'm going to new hampshire, i've got john mccain on my side. we're going to work hard and keep fighting and make the argument that i'm going to be commander in chief. >> i remember the straight talk express. senator mccain's bus. i've got to believe if the two were you on were the straight talk express, and i were a fly on the wall, i would hear one or the other of you say to the other, what the hell is going on here? i've got a distinguished career in the senate, and donald trump and ben carson who have never held an elected office are winning this thing? come on, is that the conversation you have with mccain? >> well, have a little more earthy than. actually. the bottom line is, people are frustrated with washington. here's the question, michael, am i the problem or solution? i've tried to find a way forward on immigration.
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i'm trying to find a way to get aside of debt. john and i were, when it ran out of gas, all the tires were flat. he took his bag and we went from vfw hall, vfw hall, that's what i'm doing. going to weddings, bar mitzvahs talking about getting the side of debt and destroying isil. >> dr. carson when he was 14, he attempted to stab, he initially said it was a friend now a family member. there but for the grace of a belt buckle went the life of that individual. now, cnn says we'd like to talk to that person, it's an unbelievable story, and he's trying media bias. here's the question, is that fair tuesday night, is it fair that he be asked about a personal narrative that he has put forth? >> well, when you run for
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president, people are going to question where you are, what you believe, what's your background. here's the good news about ben carson, it's one heluva story by any standard. what he's achieved. there's a report he was a troubled young man. his faith saved him. i think the purpose of the story is to say i was going down the wrong path and it was my faith and belief in god that turned me around. i just think this is an odd election where the candidate for president of the united states said i tried to stab somebody and the media says, we don't believe you. >> i want the tough questions asked of lindsey graham, ben carson and of hillary clinton. i do not remember you whining about any of the debates so far in terms of what you've been asked. but some of your colleagues. some of your competitors are complaining. and i'm wondering what's going to happen tuesday night. this cry of media bias may now shield some of them from appropriate vetting. react to that.
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>> at the end of the day, you can't complain about being challenged for the office of presidency of the united states, when people are challenging what you said. now, you can push back when people are lying what about you did, you know, put you in a bad light that's unfair, but when they challenged something you said that's part of the game, in this debate, you know, i really do believe that the process does work. if you're going to take on putin, you're going to take on isil, you need to be ready to answer hard questions. i don't mind asking anything you want to ask, michael. i'll try to give you the best answer i can. >> so where will you be tuesday night, and with whom will you be watching the debate? >> i'll be in new hampshire. i wish i were on the stage. i think quite frankly, the polls where my name was used, i would be on the stage. i think the process is broken. but i am not going to give up because simply people fighting this war don't give up. and they'll going to be their
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voice. and i'll number new hampshire. and we'll think about a clever way to watch the debate. >> senator graham, thanks so much for being here. >> thank you. tweet me @smerconish. i'll read some of your thoughts later on in the program. up next, donald trump is hosting "saturday night live." he's promising to stay g-rated. of course he is, his favorite book is the bible, right? >> here's a quote that nbc news ended up pulling off the air. >> donald trump is hosting "snl" mr. trump can only speak for four seconds in this promo. >> let me say this, ben carson is a complete loser. i will talk to bob beckel
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thanksgiving is just three weeks away. and if you're like me, you'll have a relative at your table, just a butter knife away with whom you disagree politically. well, it's the same in the beckel household. bob is the commentator, a liberal who just published a fabulous memoir, it's titled "i should be dead." graham beckel has been in movies like brokeback mountain and "leaving las vegas" and tv's "aquarius." it's beckel versus beckel. graham, let me ask you, did you used to see eye to eye, politically? and if so, when was the break point? >> i used to be farther to the
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left of him. and he was kind of a crotchety conservative kind of guy. he liked hubert humphrey who i thought was -- but, go ahead. >> he's still grocrotchety, he hasn't lost that, has he? >> no. >> what's the appeal you see in donald trump? >> let me tell you, i go to events out here in hollywood. put on by an organization formed by conservatives in hollywood. and i heard trump was going to speak. this is before he announced for the presidency. i bought a ticket, because i just wanted to see the guy live because he's been a part of the landscape for so long. and he's an intereting character. anyway, he walked into this room about a week after he announced this. a tremendous amount of theater
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out front. people jumping up and down, a lot of protests and so on. and he just captured that room. he wasn't working on any notes. he had great ken nettinetic tim. but here's the thing that he did that made me think he may be okay. he started talking about power structures on wall street. he knew everybody. he had all of that bluster going on. but he said the people who really make wall street work, the smartest ones, the ones that don't always make the most money, but the ones who make it work, the people you never see, those are the people i know. and he looked out in the audience. you. would stand up for me. it was some shrub actor. he said, what's your name? gave him his name. this guy, i don't know who he is, i don't know who his name is, but every time i see him in a movie, doing a small part, it makes the movie better.
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that's what i'm talking about. people like that who are gifted who are talented. and they make things happen. but you have no idea who they are. now, come on, that's fantastic. >> bob beckel, graham is making the case, effectively, i think, that the donald is actually for the working man. address that. >> well, first of all, my brother went right and got so very wrong. but i love him very much. but he called me right after he went to that trump thing. and he was very enthusiastic about it. i'll say one thing when he gets into something, he gets into it. you know, trump is playing here. and it's smart. he's play to get working man because the disaffected, blue collar reagan democrat that now votes republican are lining up behind donald trump. the irony of it is, of course, is that trump very wealthy, and doesn't have anything -- you know, in common with these people. but he speaks out for them.
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and it's smart. >> bob, come on, come on. >> come on, what? >> he's an oligarch but he's our oligarch. he can pull back the carton and show you the wizard of oz. people know the entire process has been corrupted by people out in the air somewhere. we don't know who they are. let's face it, i'm an alienated suburban white guy who is frightened that my historical prerogatives are being taken away from them. it's simple. >> yes. >> you've written this very personal memoir about confronting your demons. of all things, the subject came up this week on the campaign trail in a video, the last count i saw, 6 million people watched. here's a little taste of how
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chris christie has struck a chord. >> but no one came and said, listen your mom was dumb, she started smoking when he was 16, then after we told her it was bad for her but she kept doing it, so we're not going to give her chemo or radiation, you know why? because she's getting what she deserves. no one said that about that. somehow, if it's heroin, cocaine, we say, oh, we decided they're getting what they deserve. >> bob beckel, why did that strike such a chord? >> because there are so many people, affected by drugs and alcohol, most particularly, pain medication. and i think it's been a hidden issue in this country for a long time. "time" magazine said it's the greatest epidemic we've had in this country in a long, long time. it is. politics are finally catching up
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to it. i give christie a lot of credit. by the way, there's one of those things that's a few bipartisan things that you can come up with here where both democrats and republicans agree this is something getting out of the control. they're late to the table, as some of us have been doing for a decade. nonetheless, it's out there, and i think it's important. >> graham, was bob makes reference. it is bipartisan, but i take note about the fact that carly fiorina has spoken openly about this, jeb bush, so, too, chris christie. take it final word on this issue. >> on this issue, i think they're all crazy. look, the drug thing is so crooked. it's such a moneymaker for so many people. the rehab industrial complex, getting people addicted. and aside from that, why doesn't anybody really deal with it? the federal government should be buying all of the drugs at the wellhead. they should be outbidding the
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cartels. buy the drugs establish farms across the country. people can go get loaded. they can kill themselves if they want. use that money to help rehab people. and maybe we can begin to do something about restitution to the african-americans. okay? >> your table -- your table is one i'd love to have a seat at for thanksgiving or every other family get together. thank you messieurs beckel. the beckels is just one that has gripped politics. is it part of bipartisanship and is the media feeding the issue? i'm going to talk to one of the laughed advocates of bipartisanship. ray lahood. and i'll ask him if he thinks
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this week's bombing of a russian passenger jet could happen here. big day? ah, the usual. moved some new cars. hauled a bunch of steel. kept the supermarket shelves stocked. made sure everyone got their latest gadgets. what's up for the next shift? ah, nothing much. just keeping the lights on. (laugh) nice. doing the big things that move an economy. see you tomorrow, mac. see you tomorrow, sam. just another day at norfolk southern.
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>> you know, we've been talking all about polarization. you want to know the biggest problem in american paolitics i the death of bipartisan organization. unlike those who sees the government as an enemy, he looks for ways to make it work. he lacks that hard edge that so bothers suburban soccer moms. he gives the appearance being driven by reason rather than ideology. earlier in his congressional career he organized bipartisan
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retreats to promote civility. we're speaking of ray lahood who just published a book titled "seeki "seeking bi "seeking bipartisanship." >> do you see a causal connection? >> i do think there's not enough news for all of the cable news channels 24/7, michael. and i do think that there are so many of these channels that repeat over and over again, the negativity that exists in some of our institutions. and in government. and in washington, d.c. and you know as well as i do, that if you say something often enough, people begin to believe it it. so, i think there is a contradiction on the part of the media, particularly, you know,
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all of the cable news channels. but let's face it, the internet too. the access to the internet. the access too all of this -- the idea that you can say whatever you want. there doesn't have to be an ounce of truth in it, people see it and they believe it because of people that are saying it. >> i want to ask you a question that pertains to your old job. the gas tax. i drove from philly to new york on horrific roadways. it seems so awful with gas at a significant low right now that we ought to be increasing the gas tax and paying for infrastructure. is this an example of the lack of bipartisanship? >> it really is, michael. america's is one big pothole. we've had brutal winters for the last three or winters. roads are crumbling. right now at d.o.t. u.s. d.o.t., there's a list of 61,000 deficient bridges that need repaired. and the gas tax has not been
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raised, the big pot of money that helped us create the interstate, the golden gate bridge, all of these magnificent structures. the gas tax hasn't been raised since 1993. the largest portion is in the building trades. people who build roads and bridges. let's get them working again. mr. secretary, details are emerging about the crash of the metrojet in egypt. given what we know, how concerned are you about our transportation system's va vulnerability to isis? >> thank goodness since 9/11, none of our planes have been brought down. and i do feel that people are feeling safe these days. but we have to be vigilant. i believe that the fbi and cia and law enforcement are taking it seriously.
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i believe flying is safe. i would not be afraid to board an airplane, essential in america, or to fly internationally. it's because i think we have many, many good people, who are watching out for our safety. >> mr. secretary, best of luck . >> thank you, michael. coming up, your best and worst tweets from this broadcast that i'll anxiously respond to. ono off-days, or downtime.ason. opportunity is everything you make of it. this winter, take advantage of our season's best offers on the latest generation of cadillacs. the 2016 cadillac srx. get this low-mileage lease from around $339 per month, or purchase with 0% apr financing.
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as i like to say, follow me on twitter, if you can spell smerconish. you are part of the media bias, and that is why you can't see it. eddie, first of all, i'm reading your tweet. second of all, at the outset of the program, i put on three conservatives, and the head of the rnc, the spokesman for the rnc and gave them the floor to criticize cnn. that's media bias? peter says, maybe it should be asked if carson is biassed against cnn. interesting observation. look, it helps him with the base, particularly the evangelical base if his story of his religious epiphany is asked and he fights back. so there's a political advantage in all of this for ben carson. and then i like this one, jim, who says, liberal media, listen to am/fm radio on every channel?
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