tv John King USA CNN October 15, 2010 7:00pm-8:00pm EDT
in france, a dog stands on his hind legs while playing in a fountain. hot shots, pictures worth a thousand words. this programming note, if you missed the debate in delaware between christine o'donnell and chris kuhns, watch it here on cnn tomorrow, starting at 4:00 p.m. eastern, it will go from 4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. eastern. that's it for me. thanks very much for watching. i'm wolf blitzer in "the situation room." "john king, usa" starts now. >> good evening, everyone. a rare joint appearance on the campaign trail by president obama and vice president joe biden. thr focus was the delaware senate race where chris coons is ahead over christine o'donnell. you might wonder why waste your firepower there? remember, it is biden's old senate seat. this one is personal. >> but folks, i mean what i say and i'm telling you, wilmington's coming back,
delaware's coming back, the united states of very is coming back. >> sarah palin was in california last night and has campaigned coast to coast this midterm election year. but we have a new glimpse of the former alaska governor's new reality tv show, where she makes the case there's no place like home. >> i would rather be doing this than in some stuffy old political office. i would rather be out here being free. >> also tonight, a political drama in the california governor's race that requires a little flashback to fully understand. running for president back in 1992, bill clinton had nothing but scorn for jerry brown. >> but you ought to be ashamed of yourself for jumping on my wife. you're not worth being on the same platform. >> just last month, brown made clear the bad blood still lingers. yet tonight, clinton and brown are campaigning side by side. they say politics makes strange bedfellows. all the more so when you're in a
tough race and it's 18 days out. a busy week and a busy day in politics. let's start with paul begala and gloria borger. and paul, i'll start you on this one. i was covering that race in 1992. the young cub reporter, you were working for that guy, bill clinton, the governor of arkansas in those days. we played a snippet of this. i want to go back to this 1992 debate. jerry brown was the last democrat standing against bill clinton and it was personal. >> he is flinging money to his wife's law firm for state business. that's number one. number two, his wife's law firm is representing clients before the state of arkansas agencies. his appointees. >> i feel sorry for jerry brown. i served with him as governor in the late '70s. he asked me to support him for president once. >> did you? >> of course not. but you ought to be ashamed of yourself for jumping on my wife.
you're not worth it to be in the same platform. >> that was in the public debates. you know, you talk to the governor about this off camera, i remember those days, he was scathing and yet tonight, kumbaya for jerry brown? >> yeah, who would have thought? that one was bitter. it was. because brown falsely attacked hillary. and it drove governor clinton bananas, it infuriated him. >> couldn't tell. >> good for bill clinton. as you showed in the earlier clip, governor brown was again attacking president clinton a few weeks ago. but, you know, in politics, there are larger things here than just personal disputes. i don't think those two guys like each other very much, but there is something more important here. bill clinton believes he's right on the issues. >> that's an important point. they still don't like each other very much. these are two guys with good memories who hold grudges and you made the point, let's listen more this is governor brown, now attorney general brown, just last month. >> i mean, clinton's a nice guy,
but who ever sold he always told the truth? you remember, right? there's that whole story there about did he or did he? okay, i did not have taxes with this state. so let's be clear about that. thank you very much. >> that one there, i did not have taxes with this state. jerry brown getting a bit personal there. >> absolutely getting personal. but you know what, john, i remember a senator john mccain giving a nice little bear hug to the then governor george w. bush and we recall how ugly it was in south carolina, the allegations that mccain had a black love child, and all kind of other drama, as paul said, in politics, people will sit their stuff aside, they won't -- they might forgive for a moment, they won't forget, but, again, politics can wipe a whole lot of stuff aside. >> there is a greater good here that is really important. i mean, not only does he want jerry brown to win, but he wants barbara boxer to win.
and i think he wants -- and barbara boxer, he is very close to. and i think that it is about bringing out those democratic voters. bill clinton could probably care less about any personal relationship that he has or doesn't have with jerry brown. he's pragmatic. >> there was a time when bill clinton, for every liberal he might energize there was at least one and at least two conservatives he energized. is it the same? you see republicans saying nice things about bill clinton now? does he still fire up the republican base? >> lord the republicans these days think fondly of the clinton years compared to the obama years. i don't know it will help jerry brown out in california. this is partly why so many people get cynical in politics. you see guys, republicans and democrats alike, stand on stage and point fingers at each other and bash each other and sing kumbaya together. it make for great comedy. >> kumbaya happened today in the state of delaware. the vice president of the united states, the president of the united states out, joe biden held that senate seat that is up for grabs this year.
as he began his remarks, the president of the united states talked about what he believes his best move. >> the single best decision that i have made was selecting joe biden as my running mate. single best decision i've made. i mean that. >> we even get a little bit of a hug there. >> had to say, it's true, didn't he? >> well, remember, remember there has been this talk in recent weeks, re-energized by bob woodward here on this show saying it is on the table that maybe they replace biden with hillary. not only did you get that from the president there, but joe biden gave an interview where he said, i'll tell you what, there's real trust, that's why he's asked me to run again. he said the president came over and said we're going to run together. you're going to run? of course. you want me to run with you. i'm happy to run with you. >> it was always a nonsensical
thing. president obama is right. it is one of the best things he's ever done in life, first presidential decision he made and went there to -- i love that he went to delaware. i know the democrats are likely to win. it is a strongly democrat state, the democrat is way ahead. sometimes you do things because at the opening, it is personal, it is a sentimental thing. i bet you bush would go to transylvania or slitherin or wherever dick cheney came from. >> it is called cheyenne, wyoming. >> it is also important that they go to delaware because, again, they recognize that the senate, the democrats could potentially hold on to the senate. but also, it would be embarrassing for the sitting president and the sitting vice president to lose the senate seats, both of them hailed. that's why you see biden, you see michelle obama, you've seen president obama go into illinois for alexis giannoulias.
they understand how bad could it be on november 2nd to lose the seats those two held? >> eric erickson, a seat is a seat. if you're adding up whether to get a majority in the house or the senate, every former democratic seat is plus one. is it more just as the democrats it is personal to them, the president, the vice president, is it personal for conservatives and republicans, those particular seats? >> illinois in particular is becoming personal for republicans. not so much delaware. illinois definitely though. they think they have a good shot at it. >> all right. >> they do have a shot. look, the republicans think it is the trifecta, right, if they could possibly have done harry reid's seat, barack obama's seat and joe biden's seat. and it seems clear they're not going to get -- >> getting ted kennedy's seat. >> right. exactly. >> they won't get hillary clinton's old seat. they will not. kirsten gillibrand was appointed that, a controversial appointment, she's way ahead and running a good campaign up there. >> a quick time-out. every campaign it seems has a
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you so much. you need to going to gogh state by state and race by race to fully understand the midterm landscape. no matter where you live in america, odds are you've turned on the tv and heard something like this. >> when dan does vote, he votes with nancy pelosi 96% of the time. san francisco already has one vote in congress. it doesn't need ours. >> now, we have known for some time speaker pelosi is a star in a lot of ads this year. our senior congressional correspondent dana bash is adding it all up and the big picture is stunning. >> reporter: $42 million. that's a staggering number. $42 million is how much republicans are spending across the country on these tv ads. and that is just so far. we have three weeks to go doing this, attacking democrats and linking them to nancy pelosi. evan tracy, who tracks tv ads at the campaign media analysis group, calculated that for us. he says so far there have been 356 campaign commercials to vilify democrats in this way and
they have run over 112,000 times. guess what, that's just the ads with the narrator says pelosi's name, that doesn't even include the ads where you see her picture in an unflattering or grainy pose. now, that's of course a lot of money to put behind this message, but they believe on the republican side whether it is the party outside groups, gop candidates, that it is money well spent and her approval rating is low and this is a way to personify what is wrong from their perspective with washington. i can tell you, pelosi's office, when i gave the numbers to them, they said, well, just proves that republicans don't have a message and they say that it also proves that maybe pelosi is effective. john? >> dana bash for us. we'll see how effective at what in the campaign. eric erickson to you first, as the conservative she has become the enemy number one if you will, more so than president obama or more so than any specifics in the policy agenda. why? >> look, republicans for years have tried this, and tried it with teddy kennedy. didn't work. they're trying it with nancy pelosi. it is working. jim marshall, my congressman is out there saying he's not going
to vote for her for speaker and doesn't like her. you've got bill owens in new york doing the same, one guy in ohio. the senior citizens turning out to vote now 25 years ago remember jean kirkpatrick, san francisco governor's speech and it resonated for a while, this san francisco democrat. and you'll see a lot of seniors vote, a lot of them will remember '84, remember san francisco democrats and it's working. >> roland? >> it is nonsense. at the end of the day, they're using her as the example because she is the speaker of the house. the house has passed more legislation than the senate has passed. they're saying she is the reason why we're in this predicament. keep in mind, in 2006, republicans also held her up by saying don't let her become speaker of the house. so people are going let's remember a speech from 25 years ago, share saying she's a liberal leader of the president's agenda and let's make her target number one. that's at the end of the day.
>> when you talk to republican pollsters, she's off the charts when they poll on her in a negative way. and so it works better for them, they say, to vilify her than to vilify barack obama because harry reid and nancy pelosi are so closely tied to health care reform, for example, and barack obama's more popular when they look at republican voters. so why not use her? >> the texan guy has his jaw clenched here. >> huge mistake. >> huge mistake why? >> the hay's in the barn. in other words, the right wing white guys who hate her, they're already voting republican. they are a go. they were there the day president obama was sworn in. the independent voters who are left are more female than male, much more female than male. i think this -- sarah palin has a ten-point higher negative than speaker pelosi. nobody is running ads attacking her. >> paul, i disagree. i have to disagree with you on that one. again, they're not attacking her and i get your point, just like with hillary clinton. when she was the first lady.
they're not attacking her because she is a woman. what is happening here is even those independent women are looking at policies. and so the democrats are not responding by saying it is a gender attack, republicans are saying it is a policy attack. and so if you're a republican, it is a smart strategy. i don't see anything showing in any of the data that women are saying, i disagree with this. i just don't see it. >> they're tacking her as a liberal and it's working. >> let me change subjects. we muchmentioned the biden seat the obama seat. next to those two, the one that comes up more is this one, harry reid's seat in nevada. he's the democratic majority leader, national figure. they had a debate last night, harry reid and sharron angle and a lot of it was tough. >> don't frighten people about social security. the deal made by president reagan and tip o'neill is holding strong. >> man up, harry reid. you need to understand that we have a problem with social
security. that problem was created because of government taking that money out of the social security trust fund. >> man up, harry reid. >> it is so interesting, in watching these two women debate, sharron angle and christine o'donnell, they have been the aggressors in their debates against the men. and the men, quite honestly, have not known how to behave. harry reid missed a lot of opportunities in his debate. and chris coons had -- >> i got a lot of e-mails last night, paul, from democrats cringing that harry reid was not taking advantage of some openings in that debate. >> one hour on public television is just not exactly driving that race. okay, i think that senator reid is an old school guy. he's a courtly guy. i would have crushed her like a bug. but that's me. but the thing is, don't forget -- >> woman or no woman, man up, paul. >> sharron angle believes that social security violates the bible. she wants to abolish social security entirely.
>> john, i will bring up gender in this case. we saw it with joe biden, senator biden against governor sarah palin. there is a reluctance among male candidates, especially democratic candidates, to really go aggressively at the female candidate. a woman can say to a man, man up. but if reid made any kind of reference to gender, he would have been dead in the water and criticized the next day. >> get over it, guys. >> i got to man up and call a time-out. thanks for coming in. a lot more to come in the program. when we come back, d.c. school's chancellor michelle rhee is leaving now, she's become a national spokesman for education reform. one day she fired 241 teachers. i'll ask her, what is your biggest regret. also, president obama, you remember, he promises a candidate gitmo would be closed within one year. it has been 20 months. why is it still open? why do some liberals think when it comes to terrorist prosecutions, obama equals bush? one of this year's mo provocative ad men is fred
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welcome back. i'm joe johns and here's the latest political news you need to know right now. it is official, the united states ran a $1.2 trillion deficit in fiscal year 2010, slightly less than last year's all-time high. the treasury department is putting off a decision on labeling china a currency manipulator until after next month's g-20 economic summit.
and chile, 31 of the 33 rescued miners have been released from the hospital. condoleezza rice visited president owe becamia at te oba house this afternoon. >> we are somewhere that people dream about. >> family comes first. this has got to be that way. >> no boys. go upstairs. >> john will be right back with a school reformer who says it is time to step aside. r have morning pain slow you down? introducing bayer am, an extra strength pain reliever with alertness aid to fight fatigue. so get up and get goin'! with new bayer am. the morning pain reliever.
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michelle rhee has been on the front lines of education reform. but sometimes that means you become a casualty. as the head of washington, d. d.c.'s public schools, she stepped on toes. her tactics bake an issue in the mayor's race and the mayor lost. this week, michelle rhee announced she's resigning. >> in short, we have agreed together that the best way to keep the reforms going is for this reformer to step aside. >> michelle rhee joins us now. as soon as you made this decision, there is michellerhee.org. and we can show our viewers the website that almost looks like you're running for something. what is next for michelle rhee? governor of new jersey has said he would be interested in talking to you. the obama administration said maybe they would talk to you. some philanthropies and foundations said they might be interested.
what's next? >> i'm going to take a little time to figure that out. one of the reasons we put the website up is because i'm a junkie for e-mails. i read and respond to all of my own e-mails and a lot of people were saying to me, we need to be able to keep in touch with you and how are we going to contact you? and i think we -- i had lots of good discussions with people from all across the country, via e-mail, about how to fix public education in the nation and so i wanted to keep the dialogue going. but i'm not running for anything. >> not running for anything. i'm glad we have that on the record. you that all that interest and communication because you became a national spokeswoman for education reform, sometimes favorably and sometimes in controversial ways. you're in the movie "waiting for superman." i want to play a snipet. >> you think a lot of kids are getting a bad education now? >> i don't think they are. i know they are. there say complete and utter lack of accountability for the job we're supposed to be doing, which is producing results for
kids. >> within a few months, she cut over 100 jobs in the d.c. central office, closed 23 schools, and fired a quarter of all principals. including the principal of her own children's school. >> now i see why things are the way they are. it all becomes about the adults. >> now, you say in that also you go on to say in that, you realized it becomes all about the adults, meaning the adults fighting over what should happen in the schools and the kids suffer. >> right. >> because of that. there are some parents now say how could you leave in the middle of a school year? are you abandoning the children you claimed are at the center of it all? >> so absolutely not. the reason why i can feel good about stepping aside, even though it is an early sad moment for me personally, is that it is all about the children. and to the extent that i'm a distraction for people, that's not okay for the school district. i have had my deputies step into
my role as the interim. i've talked my entire management team to staying on board and they're the brains and the talent behind everything that we have done for last three years, not me. i just blocked and tackled for them. they can literally can continue the reforms on the same pace we have done for the last three years without heche itch as lon the political will and desire is there i. >> i want to read you something from someone who i think you would say we share the same goals but who has been a critic of you and, an opponent of some of your plans, randy weingarten. she told said, the issue in education that the so-called reformers don't understand is it is about relationships, students and teachers, teachers and principals, relationships are very critical when you have disdain for relationships and want to bust them up, you're actually busting up the one thing that binds a student to success. do you have disdain for relationships? >> i have disdain for dysfunctional relationships. i think that -- our problem in public education is that we have
done a disservice to children and so we set up a dynamic with children where we're not doing right by them. so that is not a good relationship to have with kids. the kids that we're serving, that they can't count on us to make the decisions that are in their best interests because we're so concerned with making decisions that are going to placate each other as the adults. and so i -- am i willing to forgo and forsake some adult relationships so that we can have a more trustworthy relationship with our children? absolutely. >> can you have a more -- can you have that more trustworthy and productive relationship with the children, though, if you're in constant tension with the union? >> well, here's the thing, i mean, we have tried the let's all get along and collaborate and see what that produces. and over the last 30 years the educational outcomes in this country have absolutely been dismal. and they were getting worse by the day. and i think part of the problem in public education today is
that people have a sort of a desire to avoid conflict. they don't want to have arguments, they don't want to get into debates, they all want to focus on what do we all agree on. but there are some fundamental differences in what we believe about how best to education our kids. and so every time we get into a debate or argument, we can't shy away from that. we have to be willing to have the hard conversations. and i think all of us as adults, as long as we're respectful, we have got to willing to do the hard work to get to the other side instead of sweeping everything under the rug all the time. >> we all make mistakes in what we do. what was your biggest? >> oh, my gosh, i made so many mistakes. if i had to put a bucket around a lot of the mistakes we made, it was definitely around communication. we didn't have good enough outreach and sort of proactive communication with -- whether it was parents or teachers.
i think we sort of were under the impression that if we put our heads down and work hard and do the right thing, we produce results, then that's are going to speak for themselves. and i think that we were wrong on that front. we were, you know, we should have been much more proactive and aggressive about making sure that our message was getting out there about why the changes were so critical. >> will the november elections have any impact on what you do next, meaning is there a candidate for governor out there who if he or she wins, maybe michelle rhee could go work for? >> i've been having lots of good conversations with current governors and some potential, you know, governors or governor candidates, so we'll see. >> we'll see. all right. check back when you know. >> absolutely. >> michelle rhee, thank you. >> thank you. candidate barack obama promised to close the guantanamo bay prison. many liberals are furious president obama failed to follow through. why they ask does his approach look more like president bush's? ♪
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a terrorist suspect in one time gaun dawn mo detainee is on trial in new york now in connection with the 1998 embassy bombings and prosecutors aren't having an easy time. the reliability of detainee's testimony is at the heart of a different case. last march, a judge ordered a terror suspect released. both cases show why it is hard
to close guantanamo or try the detainees in civilian courts. jeffrey toobin, at the current trial under way in new york city, you have the case you wrote about, the judge is saying, number one, can't bring some of the evidence, some of the testimony into court because of torture, so for someone out there who says why isn't guantanamo closed or the cases all been disposed of, are we getting closer or is the legal world more confused? >> this was the president's sort of first promise to the country to close guantanamo. and here we are, you know, more than a year and a half later, there is one person on trial in new york. there is one person on trial in a military commission in guantanamo. and then you have this habeas process going on in courtrooms in washington that has been very problematic. we're actually not a lot closer in terms of seeing people
leaving guantanamo in order to face prosecution anywhere. >> and so, jeff, if you're the attorney general, eric holder, and watching what i will call midlevel cases, i'm not calling them unimportant, but they're not the key alleged masterminds of 9/11, if you're watching these cases knowing both from a legal standpoint and political standpoint the pressure on you to decide when, where and how to bring khalid shaikh mohammed to trial, are you getting clarity or more confused? >> i think you're getting more confused. i think what is perfectly illustrates this problem is several months ago, the attorney general announced with great fanfare that khalid shaikh mohammed was going to be tried here in new york city. the reaction was so overwhelmingly negative that not only was that trial essentially eliminated, i mean, that -- they have abandoned that plan, they are so embarrassed politically, they have done nothing. they have basically retreated into a political and legal shell on the issue of khalid shaikh mohammed until after the midterm
elections. it is not at all clear what is going to happen to khalid shaikh mohammed, except he's going to stay in custody, but the fact that the legal situation is worse now than it was when barack obama was inaugurated a year and a half ago. >> and dafna, you write about the interesting, i will call it, controversial you might call it, where the judge issued a decision, posted it online and within 24 hours or so it was gone and a completely different decision came up. in the classified cases, you'll see things redacted, you can't figure out what information was left out. but they wrote a different opinion and missing from the second opinion a description of certain intelligence documents, government findings, the witness is unstable, the date, location and circumstances when he was taken into custody, a description of the government seeking to alter evidence, is this a unique case, a rare case or is this part of the muddled legal situation they find themselves in? >> what is unique is there were two opinions, one vanished and a
new one came in its place. what is not unique is the fact that americans, the public who read the decisions who have access to these decisions have a very difficult time assessing who is at guantanamo and the dangerousness posed by the detainees. this was central to the question of how obama was going to resolve guantanamo. was he going to release people? was he going to hold people indefinitely? was he going to prosecute them? in this case, the detainee is someone the obama administration we know from our reporting wanted to hold indefinitely. now we have a situation where a judge is telling them the person you wanted to hold indefinitely we believe is being wrongly held. so you have a dilemma here. and when we were doing the reporting, one of the things that was interesting was the justice department wouldn't say necessarily what they would do if they lost this case on appeal. would they end up releasing a detainee they think is too dangerous? >> this is one of complaints we get from the civil libertarian community, from liberals in the democratic party saying, mr. president, we thought you were going to be different, we thought you would close gitmo within a year, we thought you
would bring the cases to resolution and we thought if a judge said let them go, unlike the bush administration, you would let them go. this is way back in may 2009 when the president was trying to explain how he would handle the cases. >> examples of that threat include people who have received extensive explosives training at al qaeda training camps. or commanded taliban troops in battle. or expressed their allegiance to osama bin laden or otherwise made it clear that they want to kill americans. these are people who in effect remain at war with the united states. let me repeat, i am not going to release individuals who endanger the american people. >> that's may 2009. jeff, as we talked in 2010, is there a distinct unique obama approach to this is or are they essentially following the bush model. >> i think more or less they're following the bush model, which is muddling through. you have some, very few, prosecuted in criminal courts.
like the fellow on trial here in new york now. you have a handful of military tribunal cases. and you have the rest of them where they're trying to figure out the right thing to do. what makes this so difficult, particularly in the -- about someone like ufman who dafna wrote about, he has been incarcerated for eight years in guantanamo. if he wasn't crazy and he didn't hate the government of the united states when he was arrested, you can bet he does now given that circumstance, which makes this problem even more complicated and difficult. >> and more complicated and more difficult, again, to the question, the bigger question that you hear, the howling from the left and you hear it in the election season where they say, mr. president, don't yell at us to participate, you haven't kept your promise. when you see the difficulty of all these cases, can you see a possibility in the next six months, the next year of closing guantanamo or is there still too much in the pipeline and too
much uncertain ty? >> they came in not fully comprehensing the pushback from the republicans and i think you're right, i think the left is disappointed with him because they did expect a much swifter move than topic. i don't think it will be closed in six months. i don't think it will be closed in a year. >> when a president who sits there with the responsibility of the safety of the country has a choice to make, national security versus civil liberties, it looks different from when you're a candidate and they almost always pick national security and that's what obama by and large has done so far. >> excellent point there. we'll end it there,. thank you for your time. next, we switch subjects. who would do an ad featuring a demon sheep with glowing red eyes? well, you're about to meet him. ♪ [ upbeat instrumental ] [ rattling ] [ gasps ] [ rattling ]
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welcome back. i'm joe johns. here is the latest political news you need to know right now. in alaska, a new commercial for senator lisa murkowski's write-in campaign includes and endorsement from former senator ted stevens t was recorded less than two weeks before his fatal plane crash. murkowski's opponent, joe miller, goes for humor in his commercials spoofing the old spice guy ads. >> hello, voters. look at your ballot, now look at him. this is joe miller, now back to your ballot. you see his name. now look at her, now back to your ballot. sadly she is not on your ballot. why? because she lost. >> you got to love political ad season. now back to john king. >> most memorable political ads, christine o'donnell's i'm not a witch and ben quayle calling barack obama the worst president in history have one big thing in common, fred davis. fred, let me start with a big question, which is what makes this year different from any
other year, then we'll get into the specifics of these ads. >> i don't think there is anything, you know, in the world of advertising that is different this year. obviously a good year to be a republican, which we kind of guessed when barack got elected, the signs showed this would be a good year to be a republican. but advertisingwise, as you know, john, i think it is important first and foremost to stand out and i think that's important whether it is political advertising or corporate or cars or banks or whatever. >> your political work has stood out this year. let's start with the ad that generated probably the most national attention because it came after chris teenl tetine os huge primary upset in delaware. everyone wondered how she would perform and what she would say when she aired her first tv ad of the general election and she raised alot of eyebrows what when she did this. >> not a witch. i'm nothing you heard.
i'm you. none of us are perfect, but none of us can be happy with what we see around us. >> let's start about the debate about whether to be up front and deal with the dabbling in witchcraft and saying i'm not a witch. that had to be a debating point about whether you wanted to just ignore that or take it head on. >> it was to an extent, john, but maybe less than you would think. think of it in context. a few days earlier she had been not a joke on saturday night live, but the lead -- the lead skit, introducing the whole show was on christine o'donnell. she was the butt of every joke, every late night comedian, and, you know, of course, bill maher had a cottage industry out of people watching on friday night to see what he would drum up out of her past this week. and so with that in place, she's down 20 points in the polls, roughly, at that time, i don't see that you have a choice. you have to address it. why ignore it completely? >> so when she reads that script, what does she say to
fred davis next time she sees him. did she say, are you sure, what's the point, or, oh, boy, this one is going to cause a stir. >> we had that conversation when i gave her the script. she said i'm so sick of the witch thing, i would like to put it behind me. i said this is the way to put it behind you. you have to draw a line in the sand. say that's the past, now we're going to talk about things that are important to the people of delaware and how i compare to chris coons. >> christine o'donnell and the ads, straight to camera, looking the voters in the eye. you used the same approach with a candidate in arizona who has a famous last name, people knew his last name, ben quayle. this was one of the more provocative ads of the primary season. let's listen and talk about it. >> barack obama is the worst president in history. in my generation, we'll inherit a weakened country. drug cartels in mexico, tax cartels in d.c., what's happened to america? >> take me behind the scenes of that one. >> okay, it is a good one to talk about.
number one, ben quayle wrote every word of that. i have a lot of people that say, fred, you know, those are great ad words. no, they're not. we were sitting at maryland's breakfast table, in their home in scottsdale, and ben said that. and i had a legal pad in front of me and i wrote it down. it wasn't word for word, but he started with barack obama is the worst president in history and add the drug cartels and tax cartels, that came from ben cartel. the reason we were talking on that subject was he had been hopelessly wrong and i don't -- i'm not prepared to get into debating what was true and what was false, but his opponent in the primary had charged him of writing some salacious things in a news letter that didn't even exist. i mean, there was a current kind of negative newsletter, but when ben was minor league involved in it, it was not what these people were saying. people were out saying horrible things about ben, we needed to
change the subject. >> before we saw ben quayle's straight to camera and christine o'donnell's straight to camera, the fred davis ad getting most attention this year, was not any politician straight to camera, it was the demon sheep. let's take a look. >> tom campbell, is he what he tells us? or is he what he's become over the years? a fcino, fiscal conservative in name only, a wolf in sheep's clothing, a man who literally helped put the state of california on the path to bankruptcy and higher taxes. >> we'll stop that, whether tom campbell of course was running against your candidate, carlie fiorina in the senate primary out there, where did that come from? >> history wasn't conservative. and we wanted a small little piece to put on the web that would get people wondering or checking for themselves whether tom campbell was really a conservative or not. needless to say, i had no idea it would blow up into what it
did. >> but when you're debating something like that, the use of animals, the glaring eyes and all that, you know on the one hand you might get a lot of attention, you know on the other hand people are going to say is this a bit of a freak show, isn't it? how do you go through that? >> i always start with the former. i always start with what is going to get attention and what is going to get talked about. you, in your job, look at a lot of political ads every day. and you probably remember them because that's your business. but the average guy on the street, the average voter, they don't care about that. they remember whatever ad really struck them at the end of the day. it might for a politician, but it might be for a ford or a chevy or a bank. who knows what it would be for. it is my job, i think, first and foremost, to make you remember my client's ads at the end of the day. these are people that spend a lot of their time on miserable phone calls raising money and it is really hard to raise money particularly for a senate race because of the spending limits. and i think if they're spending
$20,000 to air one ad on one television show, they have a right and they're hiring me so people will remember it and talk about it. so that's why we start, always start with attention first, message second. >> you said at the top this year from an advertisie ining standp you don't see it as any different. not at all, even though you have this anti-establishment sentiment in the republican party that the rise of the tea party, anti-washington sentiment, in terms of what you're doing, it is no different? you just adapt to the voters' mood? >> i think so. think of two years ago. there was all that same furor but it was on the other side. it was on the pro-obama side. politics as you well know is a big pendulum. it swings back and forth. and this particular swing, you know, it came back, the obama swing came back much more quickly than people were expecting, i think. >> if the democrats burst into that studio now and kidnapped fred davis and say you have to
help us, write us the perfect ad to get us out of the mess with three weeks left, what would it say? >> i probably could come up with something but i'm not going to tell you. i do think about that every now and then. >> fred davis, we appreciate your time. >> thank you, john. you to watch them on tv. would you put a political ad on your front lawn? pete on the street next. it's a pretty big deal.
ad, the tv ad. what do people like, what don't they like, what influences them and gives them information on who to vote for? i'm going to go find out. would you ever put a sign for a candidate in your lawn? >> never. >> never. >> i don't like the nastiness and the tv ads, it is uncalled for. >> would you put a bumper sticker for candidate on your car? >> no. i would, but it would say something i can't say on tv. >> sometimes they lie a little too much. >> i wouldn't make a statement like that on my lawn. i would rather not have people know who i'm supporting. >> you don't know who is on what side. >> would you put a sign in your lawn for candidate? you have? >> once, because it was for a good friend. >> it can ruin the neighborhood. the outlook on the neighborhood. >> i don't know. seems like they're trying to shove something in your face without telling you why. >> they're always in my face and i can't escape them. kind of like you. >> as far as the environment is