tv John King USA CNN October 11, 2011 6:00pm-7:00pm EDT
he told a crowd of union members it's time for congress to push forward. the building provides job training and would be paid for a millionaire's tax. key vote tonight. >> that's it for me. thanks for watching. i'm wolf blitzer in the situation. the news continues next on cnn. thanks, wolf. good evening. tracking important, breakin news on several fronts. presidential politics rick perry's moment of truth. the texas governor can't afford another shaky debate, especially with fresh, new evidence of mitt romney's mounting momentum. the nation's mayor stage an emergency strategy after occupy wall street movement protesters and police. >> we checked the films last night. we didn't see any brutality. nobody got hurt in the demonstration. >> also tonight, this defining question, can democrats and republicans set gridlock aside, just once, and help millions of
americans who can't find jobs? sadly, the answer at this moment is no. look here, live pictures of the united states senate where a key vote on a major democratic jobs plan is just moments away. stay with us for that live coverage. we begin with breaking news that sounds like a far-fetched spy novel or a hollywood script. a braising plot to assassinate saudi arabia's ambassador to the united states at a crowded washington restaurant frequented by members of congress. behind this plot, agents bank rolled by iran's secret police force who tried to hire hitmen from mexican drug cartels. sounds unbelievable, right? the middle east is on edge, the obama administration is slapping fresh sanctions on airan and the prime minister suspect held without bail after initial court hearing in new york. the attorney general and the fbi director among those on hand as charges were detailed hoover in washington. >> this conspiracy was conceived, was sponsored and was directed from iran and constitutes a flagrant violation
of u.s. and international law, including a convention that explicitly protects diplomats from being harmed. >> these individuals had no regard for their intended victim new york regard for innocent citizens who might have been hurt or killed in this attempted assassination. they had no regard for the rule of law. >> when the confidential source noted that there could be 100 or 150 people in a fictional restaurant where the requested bombing would take place, including possibly members of the united states congress, the lead defendant, acting on behalf of a component of the government of iran, said no problem, and no big deal. >> a lot of moving parts, unanswered questions, as we continue to get information on the breaking story. let's break down the allegations and global implications with hala gorani. congresswoman sue meyer, cnn national contributor fran townsend, who knows the saudi family quite well from her day
as president bush's homeland security adviser. in terms of the intelligence briefings you're receiving what do you know that has not been put part of the public domain, talk of a broader plot, bombings of the saudi embassy, the israeli embassy. how active are the iranians if this is believed in plotting terrorism in the united states? >> i think we have to take it so seriously, and you know the thing that concerns me is, i have been talking about this for a long time, what the iranians are doing in the western hemisphere, south america, mexico and relationships with the drug cartels, and this does confirm that. we can't continue to allow iran to do what they're doing, was ignoring us. sanctions haven't worked. we've got to do something different. >> what is something different? your colleague on the senate side, put out a statement i urge the administration to hold the i ain'ti iranian regime responsible in a direct way. do you have to consider military action?
>> i'm not talking military action but i'm talking the fact there's financial ties that they can use, there are also things that they can do relative to the nuclear program because they're going ahead with the nuclear program. but it's a bigger picture here than one attack. kudos to our law enforcement. this is another example of a person who has dual passports. >> a bigger threat the congresswoman say. jubeir not only the saudi ambassador to the united states he's a trusted foreign policy adviser to king abdullah, explain why, why al jubeir? >> there's no question that he was not merely an ambassador which would have been important enough, and certainly sufficient for the crime but his relationship is one that goes back decades, john. and before he was the embassy, he was the national security adviser to the foreign policy to the king and before that, when the king was the crowned prince, he travels on almost every
foreign t foreign tripoli with the king, acts as the king's translate somewhere he's not polishing the king's prose to a foreign leader but also managing the message back to the king. he's got tremendous, tremendous influential. and that's not lost. he's been an outspoken on the tension between the saudi and the iranian regimes and iranian misdeeds. he's a very much -- more than just an individual, he's a strategic target because of his close relationship with the saudi king. >> hala, we're having this conversation about a potential terrorist plot -- it is unbelievable if they brought this script to hollywood they'd send you packing -- there's a lot of questions here in the united states, how will this play out in the region? we know there are traditional tensions between the saudis and iranians and recently we've seen them play out in bahrain, recently king abdullah has slapped the syrian president al
asad saying stop criticizing your own people. where is this headed? >> well, that's a good question but it doesn't seem to be headed to a good place. sectarian tensions in middle east that lessened in 2007 when we saw this visited by ahmadinejad to riyadh are now -- have ratcheted right back up again. you mentioned bahrain. i could mention eastern saudi arabia where there's a sizable shiite mine north, 2 million shiites live in the eastern part of saudi arabia. saudi arabia has said that it will crack down fiercely on these protests by the shiite minority. it does not want this to be a problem in this oil-rich country. there's also lebanon. there's hezbollah. hezbollah has sided with the bahrainian protesters, but for instance sided with the syrian regime. it's difficult not to see this through a sectarian prism. >> iran says it's a fabrication, the united states making this up. iran does not have a great credibility, level of credibility, shall we say, but the question is, you have the law enforcement case, you have the one suspect who has been
arrested. the second suspect, as you read through the complaint, and it's like a movie script everybody the second suspect said to be in iran somewhere. account obama administration do? what can the world do? what can you do? >> this is very brazen, i mean for them to plan an attack on our soil. think about it, that hasn't happened before. we need to work together with the other world leaders. china and russia need to get involved in this. they have stayed out relative to the sanctions. it needs to be a discussion. >> any confidence china and russia will now get involved in some effort against iran? >> i don't know. i'll be honest with you. it's been very frustrating. they choose to stay separate. >> fran, when you look at the complaint and see the allegations and brazen is the word the congresswoman used, i used a similar word at top of the program what does it tell you about iran's intentions to protect itself? this is hired guns projecting yourself in a nefarious way.
what does it tell you how iran views its potential to project force? >> remember, iran was behind the attack at khobar towers killing u.s. servicemen in saudi arabia. so this is not new for them, right? the use of terrorism is a tool of their foreign policy. it's interesting when you read the complaint, while iran may be calling u.s. allegations a provocation, let's remember the individual they do have in custody, not only confessed, he is -- he acknowledges that he transferred almost $100,000 in furtherance of the plot, that his handlers he leabelieved to in the quds force. the u.s. government confirmed that. and treasury has named at least two qud force members at very top for sanctions related to this plot. this is more than a mere provocation. there are real facts and real details that the u.s. government has confirmed and furtherance of this plot and pled in the
allegations, and now has confirms by the individual they have in kusz did. >> the individual in custody is manssor arbasiar. he's in custody. gholam shakuri is the second defendant, still at large. there are other alleged co-conspirators. you have the mullahs and the ayatollahs and president ahmadinejad and the quds, what i call the special police, rev unusualna revolutionary guard. can the regime say if somebody was freelancing, is it possible in n. that society? >> i don't think so, but everything is possible. and i think at this stage in iran, ahmadinejad is finding himself fragile and rather isolated with very difficult relationships with other leadership entities inside the country. in that respect the struggle and competition for leadership and influence might potentially lead one entity to operate
independently from another. although it would be hard to believe that at this level of complexity if this alleged plot is proven to be true, that it -- that the qud forces did operate independently. >> help me from an intelligence standpoint when the justice department comes up and i assume other intelligence as sets coming up to brief how they put this together if they were trying this, what are your questions about what else? >> we can't talk about what we talk about in intelligence but i will simply say this also puts emphasis back on our boarder security problem. we've got to deal with that seriously, and we have not. >> congresswoman, appreciate your time. fran will be with us as well. the reaction from the state department. also a big night in presidential politics and a republican debate set to take place later. a huge night for texas governor rick perry. alleged plots to assassinate saudi arabia's ambassador to the united states here in washington, d.c. we'll continue that coverage in a moment.
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frequented, fix titionle restaurant laid out in the complaint, iranian government saying go ahead with the plot, despite being told the restaurant frequented by members of congress and dozens of others. nicholas burns still with us, fran townsend and hala gorani. nick i want to bring you into the conversation. former nato ambassador, former undersecretary of state, listen to the current secretary of state, hillary clinton, who was careful saying very little but making clear the united states now will look to retaliate. >> we will be consulting with our friends and partners around the world about how we can send a very strong message that this kind of action, which violates international norms, must be ended and other areas where we can cooperate more closely in order to send a strong message
to iran. >> she took no questions, that was the bulk of the statement. the united states has been frustrated in the past over iran's nuclear program, over other rogue actions by iran. what can the united states and what can others do now? >> well, john, you're got two things happening today. an intaken yus political crisis between iran and saudi arabia and the united states and iran. i think the administration will do a number of things. first, we're hearing that the administration will consider specific sanctions against the qud force members who may have been involved in this but more importantly, i think an attempt now made to link this to the nuclear issue. as we have been watching the arab revolutions take place, iran has been going forward making progress. it's important to go back to the united nations for sanctions, iran's credibility will be tarnished with most of the rest of the world, it will give the united states a leg up on the iranians in the security
council. we're also, i think, going to try to reinforce the longstanding effort to try to build up conventional defenses of our gulf friends, to contain iran and contain any attempt by iran to use its military power against the arab world or against israel. it's going to be difficult to handle this because this is an extraordinary development. the plot to murder the ambassador of saudi arabia in the american capital, i don't think we've seen this before. i think the administration's go to have to carefully consider when we escalate further from there. >> fran, as he makes that point, when you go through the complaint, it is stunninging talk about $100,000 payment transferred from a noniran ran bank to new york a down payment, a plan to spend $5 million to continue this plot laid out ind talking to drug cartels, the congresswoman complains forever the drug cartels are for hire, essentially.
have administrations, current and past, taken that threat too lightly? >> well, i'll tell you, john, especially as it related, let's put the current plot aside for a moment, related to al qaeda, there was some concern that al qaeda would try to use the illegal immigration flow into the united states through our southwest boarder to infiltrate folks into the united states. it wasn't what we found. of course as we were looking at that issue, it's not that it didn't remain a threat, but what did happen was, al qaeda shift their focus -- not that they gave up on that -- but shifted focus to radicalizing americans inside the united states. the illegal immigration flow has always been a vulnerability, and i think she quite rightly points out that, when you look at this complaint, you realize that instead of al qaeda we now see the qud force in iran that really acts as an arm of either the supreme leader or the president, ahmadinejad, using that vulnerability to see if
they can execute their own foreign policy plot to assassinate the saudi ambassador. >> why do it in the united states of snesamerica? some say it would be stupid. it would give the united states leverage to go back to the united nations. why not in some of the other plots conducted overseas, is there some reason to do it here, would iran gain politically or was the calculation this is a place they thought they could pull it off? >> this is a radical group of people. the major story, in looking at government of iran over the last two years, is the increased radicalization of the government. ahmadinejad, believe it or not, an odious individual, is not part of the radical element in that government. the qud force, the revolutionary guards are. they are increasingly powerful. but they're isolated. most of them never traveled much around the world. and obviously, they have taken on, i think, more than they're going to be able to digest in linking the united states and
saudi arabia, provoking an instantaneous crisis. it may be now that iran becomes the most important, most difficult foreign policy challenge on our agenda for president obama and his administration and the republican candidates debating tonight. these are charges are the most serious charges you can think of. >> hala, join the consideration. nick makes an important point about the power struggle. you see ayatollah, occupy wall street, the qud force and revolutionary guard. as the united states tries to figure out what next in the environment it happens at a time of dramatic change, minute by minute change in this region. you have revolution in egypt, revolution in tunisia, questions in syria, watching a transin addition libya. how does something like this thrown into the middle of all of this? >> that's a great point. that's what i was going to talk about next. as long as you have moving parts that are moving dramatically
quickly in the region as result of uprising, as a result of saudi arabia's involvement in countries such as bahrain, as long as you have these moving parts, you will have more conflict and you'll have more battle for influence and proxy battles. you see it in syria, leb lon. when that settles down you see a few more superficial efforts to pay state visits to the other country. for now this is a very rap isly moving situation where both countries are vying for influence and control. >> hala, nick, fran, we'll stay on top of this breaking story. thank you for helping us. breaking politic the news, hours before they share the same stage in the debate, mitt romney calls on rick perry to repudiate a pastor's comments about mormonism. starting my progresso soup for lunch plan, huh. nope,
breaking political news as well. we continue to track the alleged plot to asass nsassinate the sa arabia ambassador. the senate democrats version of the president's jobs bill everybody it is not expected to pass tonight, but a key vote, a key steft of the senate senate democratic leadership moment as way? breaking news in presidential politics. it's a republicans facing off in new hampshire and by far the most debate pressure is on the texas governor, rick perry. standing in the polls, slipped significantly after shaky debate performances.
one result an increase in support for rival mitt romney. first major fund-raisers heading romney's way. tonight the former governor added to his team many wish was up on the debate stage, chris christie. christie put more pressure on the texas governor, criticizing a southern baptist minister who coupled his endorsement of perry with an attack on romney's mormon faith. >> any campaign that associates itself with that type of comment is beneath the office of president of the united states, in my view. >> should perry repudiate the past, can he survive another weak debate performance? haley barbour joins us from his home state. on the question of the pastor, the pastor says mormonism is the cult. the perry campaign said they didn't pick him but had two weeks notice. is it incumbent on the governor
to say, no, i repudiate your remarks? >> first of all, john, the preacher didn't say that while he was inducing perry. he just introduced perry and then subsequently, in some sort of news availability, perry was not present, the preacher makes this remark. perry said he disagreed with that when he heard about the remark later. you know, i can understand being critical if in the introduction of governor perry somebody said something that was inappropriate. maybe you should expect governor perry to say i disagree with that or that isn't the way i feel about it, but this wasn't said in perry's presence. so, you know, crazy as i am about chris christie and good friends as he and i are, i disagree with the idea that just because somebody who is for you at some other time says something that is disagreeable, that you have to go out and nothing him behind the barn. the fact of the mat of is, perry
said he didn't agree with that. that ought to be the end of it. >> you think that ought to be the end of it. the texas governor cannot afford to have another debate performance in which people say he didn't seem to have the energy to get through the full 90 minutes or a good answer on this question or that or he got lost in answering some question. how much pressure on rick perry tone? >> there's no question that his debate performances have been portrayed -- and i didn't see the debates, they may be accurately portrayed -- as not being good. and it's certainly in the polling you've seen him go down some. one of the things we've got to get away from the idea that what happened in the last seven days is -- can be extrapolated to tell us what's going to happen the next seven weeks. that's just not the way politics works. things change. i expect that will be the case here. politics, thing are never has good as they seem, things are
never as bad as they seem. perry will be helps more than anybody by a good performance and probably would be hurt more than anybody by a bad performance. >> i agree with your take, sometimes we decide whoever won the battle today is in the big picture. we've been through a lot of rodeos. you're a political director in reagan's white house, discipline it takes discipline to run a successful presidential campaign from the candidate down through the staff. how would you feel if you had a couple of shaky debate performances and the newspapers people working for you or close to you say things like this, we had a tired puppy, said one republican friend who talked to perry after his three back-to-back debates. he had been pushed really hard. the governor's own son told abc he wasn't an event in new hampshire because he's resting up. would you like it if your family and aides were saying the reason the debates weren't so good he's not getting enough sleep? >> you we ahe rouemains talking
discipline, that is true. november equally true is patience. good candidates, particularly candidates that can go the distance, are patient. they don't feel like they have to win every debate. they don't think they have to win every straw poll. again, i just wouldn't overread these kinds of things. but patience and discipline, discipline perhaps as much as any other characteristic, are absolutely essential, if you're going the distance, win the nomination, get elected president. >> the louisiana governor bobby jindal with wipth perry. christie goes with romney. is haleigh barber for the texan? >> i don't intend to endorse anybody. i didn't endorse anybody in 2008. i don't plan to endorse anybody this time. what i do plan to do is dedicate all of my energy to making sure whoever wins our nomination wins
the general election. my focus is on barack obama. this allegation needs to be a referendum on the president, his policies and results of the policies. the american people repudiated those policies in the mid serm election. in the elections in 2012 is about obama's policies and results, then we'll have a new republican president, whichever one of these good folks wins the nomination. >> you say whichever one of the good folks. you've had a bit of i call it the anti-romney flavor of the month in the sense that romney's been the presumed front-runner, early head start guy from the beginning, and we've watched in the polls, and you had trump come along, then congresswoman bachmann took that roll over and then christie everyone saying he has to run, governor perry, when he first got, he jumped up, now it is herman cain, see. ceo of godfather's pizza, never held political office. what do you attribute mr. cain's
quick rise? >> two things that are very important here. one is republicans want to nominate the candidate who has the best chance to beat barack obama. >> can i guy who never hold political office if your argument is going to be we like president obama, too, but we told you he wasn't ready and look at the last four years can you make that argument with herman cain who never held political office? >> his slogan could be, i'm nor ready than obama was. but probably you have got to go back to this, somebody is going to go the distance in this primary contest, and it may be somebody who has never been elected to public office. i have never been elects to public office before i was governor. chris christie quwas never elec to public office before he was governor. it is harder? of course it's harder. it's a lot harder for somebody that's never been elects. but why is it -- why are there
so many people being test driven here? a, republicans want to win, they want to nominate their best chance and they are trying to learn about each one of the candidates. it's like cinderella's slipper here is being passed around because republican want to get the very best candidate because they want to win in november. >> appreciate your insights and the cinderella slipper line. we'll keep in touch as this plays out in the weeks and weeks and months ahead. mayors from coast-to-coast hole an emergency conference call to discuss protest spreading across the country. new information on the alleged plot to assassinate the saudi arabia ambassador to the united states. (announcer) everything you need to stretch out on long trips. residence inn.
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live pictures on the floor of the united states senate, scene of one many breaking news stories here in washington. senate is about to vote on a democrat, under way now, on a democratic jobs plan, more than $400 million. the president's plan, except senate democrats changed the way it's paid for. heading into it the senate democrats did not believe they'd get 60 votes necessary to continue. if the vote fails, where does the jobs debate go next? we'll get back to in a moment. international news, u.s. agents disrupted an iranian plat to assassinate saudi arabia's ambassador to the united states, possibly by setting off a bomb
at a restaurant here in washington. officials say two suspects, both iranian, one a u.s. citizen, rekreur recruited by iran's revolution flare guard. one of the suspects met with a confidential informant who posed as a drug cartel associate. this has attention of the president of the united states and across first we'll go to islamabad for reaction from reza. let's listen, first, a spokesman for the iranian president says never happened, it's a fabrication. let's listen. >> translator: i think the u.s. government is busy fabricating a new scenario, and history's shown both the u.s. government and the cia have a lot of experience in fabricating these scenarios. and this is just the latest one. i think their goal is to reach the american public, they want to take the public's mind off the serious domestic problems they're facing these days, and
square them with fabricated problems outside the country. >> they say this is a fabrication. reza, are they saying anything else, especially responding to the specific complaint that details what the united states government says is pretty decent proof? >> reporter: basically they're denying it almost mockingly, saying that it's a children's story, the exact words of the spokesperson for iranian president ahmadinejad. but one thing that i think is getting lost in all of the excitement and the drama is that no u.s. official has come out and explicitly said that the highest echelons of the iranian government is involved. if you take a look back at the press conference held by attorney general eric holder, in response to one question by i reporter, who asked, did the upper reaches of the iranian government know about this and bless it, he directly says we are not making that charge at
this point. even so, we've had analysts, u.s. lawmakers who have come out and said that they are linked to this plot linked to the highest echelons of the government. mixed messages. but it's important to remind everyone these are simply allegations and these are two countries long involved in an information war, many allegations they've made against one another, either not been true or not as serious as originally thought. >> let's go over to our chief white house correspondent, jessica yellin. the administration says it has a slam dunk case. the president of the united states getting directly involved himself in. >> reporter: that's right. the president has spoken with the saudi ambassador, jubeir and connected with him directly. he's also convened his national security team, which he did this morning, thanked them, and as you've reported john, first briefed on this all the way pack in june. now, we do know that the white house itself is not confirming in any way that they believe
that this has gone up to the highest reaches of the iranian government. and one of -- the reason so many people are speculating that is because it would seem that if this -- it would seem imto be many people that this sort of action would happen without the knowledge of many at the high of the levels of the government, and there is obviously the political consideration that if you were to make the link between this action and the government of iran, then you -- what next steps would follow, wouldn't certain elements in this country start beating the war drum. >> there are political implications of even discussing that here. no one here touching that issue. for now president obama certainly we're told by his press secretary, one of the press secretaries, that he's very grateful obviously to the law enforcement for solving this before anything happened. >> chief white house correspondent, jessica yellin. erin burnett with a preview.
>> on, we'll keep covering this story. one official tell me international murder for hire. the terms we've been hearing all day, amazing. we'll be talking to peter king, obviously the chairman of the homeland security committee. robert men menendez, tom keen, all join us talk about who knew what, when, how high up this went and the spy novel angle. best-selling author alex berrenson on "out front." >> next, here we're watching that vote on the floor of the united states senate. a critical vote on the democratic jobs plan. we'll see how that one goes. what do the occupy wall street protesters want? why did the nation's mayors decide they needed an emergency conference call to plot strategy? ♪ [ cellphone rings ]
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new york this afternoon, the occupy wall street protesters spilled out of the financial district. targeting posh homes, carrying signs and chanting slogans against corporate greed and social inequal. today's demonstration in new york was larger than usual, protest in boston more violent than usual. police and demonstrators scuffled, resulting in 129 arrests, mostly for what a city spokesman calls unlawful assembly and trespassing. some arrests, right in front of the tv cameras. >> you are unlawfully assembled. i command you in the name of the
commonwealth of the massachusetts, immediately and peacefully disperse. >> we are veterans of the united states of america! we are veterans of the united states of america! >> shame, shame, shame. >> the world is watching. the whole world is watching. >> that unruly scene last night, topic of a conversation a short time ago with the boston mayor. >> mayor, thank you for your time. let's me start with a basic question what do you think these protesters want? >> i think they want somebody to listen to the message. a loud message out there. my question, who is listening to their message? they talk about corporate greed, inequality, foreclosure, a lot of issues that middle america thinks about every day but they're out there in 100 cities in america who is listening to the message? mayors listen. is washington listening?
i question is washington listening to the message as being given out throughout america. >> an incident last night, police had to get involved. reprehensible attack by the boston police department against a movement that enjoys broad support of the american people represents a sad and disturbing shift away from dialogue and towards violent repression. is your city, mr. mayor, are you practicing violent repression? >> no, we're not practicing violent repression at all. we gave them a designated area, told them where they could stay and they violated that agreement. they went down further on the greenway. we said we cannot have them go further down the greenway for a lot of different reasons. and they said we're going to do whatever we want to do, and that's unfortunate because the group that i've been working with, my police dp over the last week and a half, has had a spirit of cooperation, dialogue. in the last 24 hours we want to confront the boston police, we want to have sit-ins, that's
unfortunate because you know most of those folks i relate to, i've talked with several of them on the foreclosure issue. we are continuing to have that dialogue. we -- what happened last night is because they weren't working with us on this. we had to do what we had to do to make sure that we protected public safety issues in our city. >> where do you see this going, in the sense that when we had tea party demonstrations they were one-day rallies but turns out to be a very potent force at the polls, at least in 2010. we'll see what happens in 2012. do you see this as a comparable, some tea party of the left or is this more demonstrations but not a political movement? >> i think this is a movement of middle class america being so frustrated nobody's listening to their concerns and that's what this is all. i think it's born out of middle class america, frustration of no real financial aid for schools, issue of when people get fires
from the national corporations, they get $5 million and $6 million severance pay. those are what they're getting frustrated. aen when people can't get a job, they see severance pay of $5 million, $6 million, they get very frustrated and that's what the movement's come under, frustration of working people in america. we've got to understand that they're the backbone of our country, we have to get behind them and somebody has to listen to them. mayors do, but i think other folks in government also have to listen to their frustrations. >> some of them are accusing you of leading a city that has a police department that they say use unnecessary force, and yet here you are complimenting their goals. when you say other people, does that include the president of the news should he be more full throated of embrace of the goals? >> i think the congress has to be more embracing their goals. our congressional dell gration stands by us on a also of the issues. look at country how divided it is, democrat and republican. this is not a democrat/republican issue. this is a people's issue.
it's a middle class issue. the issue of my police department and brew tality, we checks the films, we didn't see any brutality. nobody got hurt last night. we did arrest a few because they would not move, and but that's public safety issue. that's my responsibility. i have to make sure the city works not for some of the people, but for all our people and we have to bring into to focus some of those issues that make the city work and when people say we don't care what you want, police commissioner, we'll do whatever we want, that's in violation of our agreement. we have to enforce the rules and regulations of that area. >> mr. mayor, thanks for your time tonight. >> thanks, john. the united states senate breaking news. a keynote under way in a democratic jobs bill. there's also a republican debate,presidential debate nup new hampshire. politics and jobs when we come back our guests are the chairwoman of the democratic national committee, debbie wasser man schultz.
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important breaking news. the united states senate voting on president obama's jobs bills. the vote isn't over. but we've counted 47 votes against the filibuster. there's no way they'll get to 60 votes. they need to move forward on that. to discuss that more. debbie wasserman schultz. she's the chairwoman of the democratic national committee. there's a feisty republican debate about to begin. kevin madden is with us. he worked on the 2008 campaign.
and boringer. would not bring the president's plan as the president wrote up for an immediate vote. he wanted to change how it's paid for. they came up with a millionaire surtax. he will not have the votes to go forward. isn't that an embarrassment for the democratic party. you can't get your own -- one voted against it. as we move on, are you ready to say, let's sit down with the house of republicans, break it into pieces if necessary, but get something done? >> he will with, i think this is embarrassing and sad for the republican party because they continue to focus on helping only the wealthiest most fortunate americans and corporate america. they've got a leader in the senate, mitch mcconnell who is singularly focused on one job. barack obama. he said proudly at the outset of this congress. now, won't even embrace an american jobs act proposed by president obama that puts construction workers back to work building bridges and roads,
keeps teachers and firefighters and police officers on the job. gives a payroll tax cut of all things to small business owners and middle class folks. which part of this bill do the republicans not embrace? they're shockingly out of touch. they should be ashamed of themselves. >> let's ask the republican in the room, mr. madden. if you look at public opinion poland there was another one in the washington post. the public sees overwhelmingly, they are okay with raising tacks on americans who make $250,000 or more. this democratic proposal in the senate would only go after millionaires. why is it such a bad idea? >> i think you ask the question whether or not to raise taxes in a slowed down economy, the answer is not the same -- >> the tax increases are 2013 in in bill. they don't take effect right away. they're kicked down. >> that's particularly important to the americans. not only those americans who don't believe we should raise taxes in this particular economic climate. but the president of the united states made that argument. that's the argument that many
are looking at. that's the reason that congresswoman wasserman schultz and harry reid. that's why he have a credibility problem with the american public. >> i think everybody has a credibility problem with the american people. probably the news media. 25 million americans are either unemployed or underemployed and washington keeps debating different proposals that have zero chance of passing. gloria, after this, will they sit down and say what can we pass? >> yes. precisely because of the reason you just gave. they see the pulse too. they see a 14% approval rating for congress. i think you'll see a bunch of smaller measures, trade agreements, tax credits for hiring veterans. maybe some kind much a highway bill, increased access to capital for small business. so you're going to see components of this. what you're not going to see are the tax increases you were talking about or the extension of the payroll tax cut holiday, which a lot of people want to
extend. >> this will debated congresswoman and madam chairwoman. you have dual titles. it's supposed to be largely about the economy. we'll see how it plays out. at dnc, you have a funny and effective public relations campaign and april website that says which mitt.com accusing romney of flipflops. you don't do as much about governor perry. is it safe to say that on this day the democratic national committee, meaning the obama white house worries more about running against romney than running against governor perry? >> well, nailing mitt romney down is nailing down jell-o. i know kevin probably shared that same frustration that republican voters seem to be sharing right now, which is why he seems to be topped out around 26% when he advised mitt romney four years ago. but at the end of the day, it really doesn't matter which of the nine candidates for president on the republican side is the nominee.
because they all support cutting social security, slashing medicare and ending medicare as we know it and turning it into a different program. you won't hear proposals to help the middle class. you will only hear proposals to return us to the policies that got us into the financial crisis in the first place that focus exclusively on benefiting the wealthiest, most fortunate americans. at the end of the day, it's baffling for middle class folks why republicans wouldn't come to the table like president obama has repeatedly asked them to and sit down and work together to get this economy jump started again. the american jobs act would give the economy that shot in the arm. gloria, i think, is right. we will hopefully try to move forward on some components of the jobs proposal that president obama has put forward. but you won't see anything from republicans that actually puts people back to work. it's going to be shockingly frustrating for the next 13 months because they're willi
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