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tv   John King USA  CNN  November 3, 2011 6:00pm-7:00pm EDT

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>> leave it to jeanne moos, as we say every day, here in "the situation room." thanks for watching. i'm wolf blitzer in "the situation room." the news continues next on cnn. good evening, everyone. tonight we're live from johnston, iowa, moments ago we sat down for an exclusive interview with the texas governor, rick perry. the governor responds to those who suggest he might have been drinking before delivering a speech that's a youtube sensation. president perry would green light an israeli strike on iran if there's proof the nuclear program is making progress. more breaking news in the sexual harassment saga in the herman cain campaign, including a forceful response from perry that the perry campaign somehow orchestrated the smear. there are several important, new developments breaking in the drama. politico reporting one of cain's
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accusers received $45,000 as par parts of the cash settlement from the national restaurant association. that's more than one or two month's pay mr. cain recalled. we'll have to wait to hear from one of cain's accusers. her lawyer is negotiating with the restaurant association. those talks expected to continue tomorrow. an hour ago, herman cain told sean hannity on his program he never thought he would be attacked on a planned story coming from one another campaign. about you connect the dots, they lead to the perry campaign. >> let's just say, there aren't enough bread crumbs that we can lay down and connect that leads us anywhere else at this particular point in time. we are moving on. >> and, here's mr. cain's message to a tea party town hall. >> we have been able to trace it back to the perry campaign, that stirred this up in order to discredit me, my campaign, and
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slow us down. the fingerprints are all over the rick perry campaign, based upon our sources. >> in blaming team perry, cain pointed at curt anderson who worked on a cain senate race several years ago. anderson told cnn, he had nothing do with it. >> one of the important things there is, you know, the old saying, thou shall not bear false witness and you have a situation here where mr. cain is saying that people are falsely accusing him, and so the last thing that he ought to do is falsely accuse somebody else. >> we caught up with governor perry a couple hours ago here in iowa and after a private consideration, we had an exclusive interview eight biotech seed company. >> i want to start with what's driving the news right now, which is, the cain campaign and the candidate himself saying that you and your campaign owe
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him an apology. do you? >> no apology needed. we found out about this the same time that i suppose the rest of america found out about it, both on the internet or the next day in the news. you know, i don't know how to tell any other way except knew nothing about it, sir, and -- >> how did you handle that inside the campaign? curt anderson has come out and said, never happened, i didn't leak anything, i didn't know about anything, he's the person mr. cain's campaign pointed to, herman cain has pointed to. what did dow you do to find out, ask around, make sure we had no part in it? >> my folks at campaign said, listen, this is what's going on out there, this is what's happening on the internet, and we don't have any comment because we don't have anything to do with it. >> when he accused your campaign, did you ask anybody to check around, make sure in. >> my people had done that, i can assure you, they don't need to be asked if someone is spreading those types of
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malicious rumors. our campaign didn't have anything to to do with it, and we're going on and talking about our tax plan and how to get americans back working. >> you said nothing to do with it, i don't want to dwell on it if you ever found out somebody in your campaign did something like that would you fire them. >> out the door. >> out the door. you don't -- is it fair game if something like this happened or allegations when he was the head of an organization, is that fair game, or to you -- >> i would say, listen, if you're passing on rumors that are that heinous, that bad you don't need to be working with me. gone. >> does mr. cain owe you an apology for pointing the finger at your campaign? >> there's more stuff floating around out there in campaigns. i tell people, this isn't my first rodeo. they're going to say all kind of things about folks. i'm going to stay focused on how does america get back to work and we have laid out good plans on the energy and tax side, how to cut spending. that's what americans are interested in. >> it is what americans are interested in, unfortunately, as
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you know, it's not your first rodeo. campaigns get distracted by these things. lastly, on this point there have been some in your campaign when we call about this that say, it's not us, maybe look over at romney land. is that fair? >> look, again, i'm focused on my campaign, on the issues that are important to the people, and i'm -- this is over, it's gone, it's done with. and i'm pressing on. >> much more of that exclusive conversation with governor perry to come. the new developments in the cain sex harassment controversial with gloria borger, veteran republican strategist, ed rollands and the iowa chairman of the care cain campaign. steeb, since you're on the receiving end, iowa votes first what is your sense of the early impact? is there negative impact from all of this? do cain supporters in the state have questions? >> we measured the impact by what the voters are telling us and what i know last week we were signing up 25 to 30
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precinct captains a day. right now we're signing up 40 to 50. fund-raising's up, the poll says cain's leading the pack. right now the early indications are that herman cain is weathering the storm. >> ed, when you hear something like that from a veteran of this state like steve what does it tell you? does it surprise you? is that what you expect in the early days? >> well, first of all, steve's one of best guys in iowa and the fact mr. cain has him on his side is a tribute to him. the cain campaign was slow getting started and putting steve in charge is going to give him a big advantage. you know, my sense is some people are going to basically want to see if there's another shoe to fall at the same time, we're in 61 days to go to the caucus, a lot of work to be done, a lot of people working very, very hard on all sides, all the polls and all of the rest of it is irrelevant now. it's that hard work that steve knows how to do and others on the other sides know how to do, and that's what matters.
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i think to a certain extent, unfortunately for mr. cain, the issue is not over yet, and i think he's got to still make it very clear what occurred and when he does, we'll move forward. >> and gloria, ed says the issue's not over. new details every day that are important as we try to find out exactly what happened and there of course frustrated to the cain campaign, new information from politico about the settlements, expect tomorrow, perhaps, a statement from at least the attorney, if not one of the women who has accused mr. cain of this behavior. in terms of the information and new developments, where are we headed? >> well, i guess we're going to head to some kind of ending which we know the women's names or we don't know the women's names. i think this is a story that is going to continue to dog herman cain. i mean, today this aide to perry came on and said to us, point blank, i did not have the
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meeting at which herman cain told me about the sexual harassment charges that herman cain said he did. so, you have a he said/he said situation in which herman cain's credibility's challenges, and you have a he said/she said situation in which he's against these women. at some point the restaurant association has to decide whether they're going to release some of these records and perhaps mr. cain ought to ask for them to be released to clear the air. >> and as we wait for this, someone who is on the ground here in iowa, trying to organization, you say so far not only you don't note ts a negative impact you have positive growth. what about the information flow? as a reporter it's fris straius but it's hard to get information, responses from them to this information. are you having a hard time getting basic information? if you're not having negative fallout you have a lot of people with questions? >> sure. when i need information, the campaign's quick to get me information. bottom line is we're getting what we need, and the campaign
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in iowa's moving on. our job here, we've got to convince 30,000 people to go out on a subzero night in january, stop watching "american idol" and go participate in this, and that's tough. and that's what we're focuses on. we have everything we need to get this done. >> not your first rodeo. set the substance of the allegations aside for a minute. in terms how the campaign has handled it, mr. cain's accounts have been inconsistent, first he was aware of no settlements, then the campaign shut down, gave no information at first, then tried as the days go on. does that frustrate you trying to manage the flow of the campaign information in the state? >> i watched his accounts, like everybody else did on tv that day, and what you guys saw is n inconsistent accounts. i saw a guy who is not a politician, who is a real and authentic person trying to recount and recall what happened almost 15 years ago. and it seemed authentic to me. i think as voters watched that,
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that's what they saw, authenticity. if people want a politician in campaigns you know how it works, people get together, they say this is our story, we're going to stick to it no matter what. herman cain's not a politician. if people want that, there's plenty of those guys out there. >> a lot of the pros say they have not handled it well, they should have known this to begin with with research internal in the campaign, should have gotten the story straight and handles it. when you hear steve say the way they're doing it actually is not hurting, what does that make you think? >> there's two elments to every campaign. first you don't win a campaign without a great candidate. i think herman cain has proven he's an effective candidate. there is no campaign organization. it's been very slow. i'm sure steve's the first to say this, there wasn't organization or not much of an organization in iowa. it's beginning. they've got a pro to run it. but there's not much in anybody else. the dilemma they face, they don't have a rapid response, they don't have all of the things a big communications
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stap stach, they don't have a lot as in a presidential campaign. someone like me, been in nine campaigns, first thing i do, opposition research my opponent. i ask them to answer all of the questions. they may have done it, they may not have done it. at the end of the day they're going do it slowly but surely, but it's going to get out there. >> okay. still to come, president obama attends a high stakes economic summit in europe and how the agenda in france affects your bottom line. john king will be back in a minute. and a rick perry speech that now has a million views on youtube. some suggest the candidate was drinking before he gave it. hear what he tells john king about it, next. i g this ci thand and started earning loads of points. you got a weather balloon with points? yes, i did. [ man ] points i could use for just about anything. ♪ keep on going in this direction. take this bridge over here. there it is. [ man ] so i used mine to get a whole new perspective.
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somebody didn't book with travelocity, with 24/7 customer support to help move them to the pool daddy promised! look at me, i'm swimming! somebody, get her a pony! [ female announcer ] the travelocity guarantee. from the price to the room to the trip you'll never roam alone. we're live in johnston, iowa. you heard rick perry saying his campaign ep f emphatically had do with the leaks about herman cain. we had a conversation talking with governor perry about the economic plan, the stakes in iowa and he has in recent days become a youtube sensation. as you try to press on, and get some traction in the campaign, as you know, your speech in new
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hampshire friday night got a lot of attention. i showed you what i was stunned when i saw it on fox news during -- sitting in my office yesterday, where their own banner says, new hampshire man who hosted rick perry says he was sober. what do you make of that? that was a fact. jon stewart making jokes about it. look at speech online, 1 million hits on youtube. >> if they print any more money over there in washington, the gold's going to be good. live free or die, victory or death, bring it. everybody's got a little slogan, right? mine's cut balance and grow. get that, yeah. the ones that want to stay in the old system, pay the lawyers, pay the accountants all that money that's gone. or that! you know, it's pretty easy math, subtract it send it in awesome. i love herman. is he the best? i had no idea how -- i haven't
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seen it. i know the speech that i gave and it was well-received, had an appropriate number of applause lines and standing ovation at the end of it. you know, such people as dan balls with "the washington post" was there, he was tweeting about it, my understanding and said, you know, spot-on, he's hitting all of the right -- so i have no idea how these things get started, what have you. it was a good speech, well-receives, and if i had the opportunity to do again, i'd give it exactly like i gave it. >> we're having a conversation in iowa, looking at hybrid corn around us. spending a lot of time here this week, first candidate to go up on television, you started here in this state. hasn't been the best past month. how important is eye? is this a must-win? >> every state's a must-win. we're not in it to come in second. we're talking to people what's important to the people of iowa and being a farm boy and a kid who grew up not unlike a lot of
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the people out here on the edges of the cities in iowa, i've got a background that's pretty much right in line with them, values that are the same, hard work, went to school the a nag school, got an agricultural degree, farmed and ranched with my dad 13, 14 years. a lot of similarities but the real issue that whether you're from iowa, new hampshire, south carolina, whichever one of states you're from, how are you going to get those country working? as the governor of texas over the last decade, we've created more jobs than any other state in the nation. i do know how to create jobs. i know how to get government out of people's hair and let the private sector have their go at it and that's what people are begging for in this country. >> i want to talk about your plan to do that. i want to ask you, first, you've never lost an election. as someone who get noosz the race, shot to the top what gets in your mind when you have had the fall? you've gone from the 30%, close to the top in places like this, now if you look at our most recent iowa poll, you're down there you've got cain, romney,
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newt, and ron paul and rick perry. what do you attribute that? >> 2009 e i was 25 points behin well-known and respected united states senator, and we just kept doing our work, focuses on the issues that were important to texans in that case. i'm going to stay focused on issues that are important to americans and talk about how to get americans working, how to get washington from a regulatory side out of companies like pioneers business and get this country back on track, economically. that's what americans are interested in. so, we will stay focused. we will stay on message. and the end of the day, it will all turn out just right. >> when you see a poll that shows herman cain tied with you in texas, a wake-up call? >> look, i told you i was 25 points behind, is and a sitting governor against a united states senator. so, it's just another poll. i really doesn't pay a lot attention to whether it's a
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youtube spot or if it's a poll. i know how toun election. i know how to take the message to the people and that's what we going to keep doing. talking to americans about what they really care. there are people sitting around the kitchen table today without a job, don't have the dignity of taking care of their family, kids are coming home from school, they're sitting there. that's the people i'm worried about and that's the people i'm talking to every day. >> immigration one of the issues that if you ask voters has hurt you since you got into the race. they learn about your texas record, we have governor brewer of arizona on the program last night, you can't have a fence everywhere, you think it's unrealistic and the support for the in-state tuition for illegal immigrants, she thinks that will hurt you. how do youance ev ancanc answer? >> it's a reason we have 50 states and i'm a big believer of the 10th amendment. all states aren't alike. we know how to secure the
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boarder. the federal government's been abject failure in securing our boarder. i do know how to secure the boarder, use the strategic fencing in the appropriate places, you have the boots on the ground, use technology and the predator drones and aviation assets and shut the border down, secure it stop the cartels from having easy access and other terrorist groups. we know hamas and hezbollah using it. >> i believe it was an interview with sean hannity the ore day, you said you could secure the border within a year, is that realistic. >> i think so. you have to have a president that's committed to it. you shift those aviation assets which we have, and put them on the border, we have a substantial number of aviation assets that could be used to download that real-time information to the local and the
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federal and the state law enforcement, and know exactly what's going on on the border and be able to move very quickly to the place where you're having that type of action and shut that border down. i think you do it in 12 months. >> but not a fence all the way across? >> the idea -- it takes 10 to 15 years to build a fence. i'm about securing the border now. there's places where a secure fence will work and that strategic type fencing will work but the idea that people can easily stand up and say, let's build a fence and be done with it wipe our hands, it's going to secure the border, that's not reality. i have to deal with reality as a governor in the state of texas, and the way that you secure that border, the most quickly, is by using the strategic fencing that you have, continuing to be using it, and putting it in place, but boots on the ground and aviation as sets and real-time information, that's how you secure the border. >> when you get criticized on the in-state tuition program,
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you've defended it you explained why you would rather have them in school than in the welfare line, committing crimes on the streets i put that under the umbrella of what bush called compassion nature conservatism, what happen on that? why has the debate become so hard snsh. >> i put that in the category of being wise economically. when you judge, are you going to have taxpayers or tax wasters? and that's how texans looked aat it. the reason we're dealing with this is because of the total failure of the federal government to secure that border. but beside that point, and whether it's governor brewer or governors in other states that have to deal with these issues, they're forced upon us. we don't get to sit on the sidelines. we have to make decisions on how we're going to deal with this. texans by an overwhelming marriagen in the legislature said we would rather have young people moving towards getting their united states citizenship, in our schools paying full
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in-state tuition be taxpayers rather than kicking them over to the curb here, if you will, and having the state have to pick up the cost of this nonskilled and in some cases imprisoned individual. >> what does it mean, extend the definition of the conversation for me, when you oppose amnesty in any form? what does that mean for the millions of illegal immigrant whose are here, some people say 20, some people say 10, some people say 8 to 12 million, regardless of the number what does it mean for them? does opposing amnesty mean round them up, kick them out? >> no, the idea that we're going to round up 12 or however million people and ship them back to the country of origin is not reality. >> a lot of conservatives say that's the way do it, they don't want them to get any status, they say that's amnesty. >> we're not talking about path to status you're not going to pick up these folks but here what happens you do have to do, i think, you have to identify them, you have to be able to give them some type of identification, here's how they pay their taxes and they become
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a contributing part of the society and instead of as some people see them just as a leech on society that you can put a program into place of what these individuals can be identified and work visas somewhere they can move back and forth between countries but not become united states citizens and that's where both mccain, that's where romney, that's where even bush went wrong when they talked about the issue of we're going to give amnesty to these individuals and people said, no we're not. >> if you let them stay at all and have visas some say that's a form of amnesty, they came in illegally, they should not be able to get any benefits. >> i disagree with the concept that somehow or another we're going to pack up 12 million, 15 million people and ship them back to the country of origin, that's not going to happen. we need to have reality has to be part of our conversation. and then you need to have a strategy to deal with it.
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and that is what i think we will have but first you have to secure that border. if you do not secure the border there's no use in having conversations how are you going to deal with these individuals. >> more of that conversation with governor rick perry to come. you will not want to miss his message to iran if it continues it move ahead with its nuclear program. congressional republicans follow through on a promise, the white house calls it a threat to subpoena documents in the solyndra clean energy case. can herman cain manage a crisis? more ahead as we continue our live broadcast from johnston, iowa. [ male announcer ] one-hundred-nineteen data points. this is what we can gather from an ordinary crash test dummy. two million data points. this is what we can gather from a lexus crash test genius. [ engine revving ]
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welcome back. live tonight in johnston, iowa. latest news you need to know. president obama and world leaders at g-20 in france urges europe's top officials to solve the debt and banking confidence once and for all. greece's prime minister appeared to back away from holding a referendum that could result in public rejection of a bailout deal. encouraged by today's news from europe, investors pushed the industrials up 208 points. nasdaq and s&p 500 posted 2% gains. a congressional committee voted to subpoena white house documents about the solyndra energy firm. bankruptcy has taxpayers on the hook for a half million dollars. republicans want to know if solyndra used government
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guaranteed loans because of political pressure from the obama administration. >> with the solyndra loan we smelled a rat from the start in the investigation proved that we were on the right track. >> it becomes a fishing expedition, it intrudes on the prerogatives of the presidency. >> closing arguments under way in the involuntary manslaughter trial tof michael jackson's personal physician, dr. conrad murray. live in johnston, iowa, where we had an exclusive conversation with rick perry. he's trying to get his campaign back on track, trying to get it back on track in iowa, evangelical voters are critical. mr. perry's proud social conservati conservative. he's criticizes mitt romney on abortion. what about a man who leads him among evangelicals, herman cain? >> you questions governor romney's sane sincerity.
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mr. cain leads you pep yes he would fisign a federal law banng abortions. but 12 days before that, in an interview with piers morgan he said that if a woman became pregnant during a rape, it was up to her, it was her choice to decide whether to terminate the presidency and he said the government should stay out of people's lives especially on social issues live this. >> i think we obviously disagree on the statement of government needs to stay out of people's lives when you're talking abo i unborn children, there needs to be somebody to stan up for them. i'm going stand up for them. for people at end of their lives for government to say, you're no longer useful, so we think that you don't really deserve any treatment or help, we're going to let you die, i don't -- i don't -- that's not in my soul.
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i believe in life from conception until death, and government doesn't need to interfere and come in and say you know what? your life's not important enough and for the rest of us, we're going to let you die. >> the economy, obviously, will be the defining issue among the republicans, certainly he between the republican nominee and president obama. talking about the flat tax plan with john harwood and he presented analysis the wealthy get a bigger tax break under the flat tax than the working or middle class and you said i don't care about that. your argument you put that money back into the hands of those people, they'll invest in new companies, create new jobs and everybody will benefit. can't you imagine an obama campaign ad that says the middle class has suffered in this recession, and rick pairry, i don't care about that. >> this president talking about caring about the middle class, this president talking about
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caring about 14 million americans that out of work, this president talking about 2.5 million people that have lost jobs while he's been the president of the united states, overseeing an absolute disasterous economy, that's the height of hypocrisy in my opinion. my tax plan, everyone gets a tax cut, everyone, and every sphere out there gets a tax cut. the idea that we're going to give incentives to individuals, no matter where they might be, to invest their money to create jobs, if the wealthy have money that they feel confident, that they can go create jobs and they will in turn get a return on their investment, god bless them. that's what america's all. i hope we can give confidence to people all across this country, not only sitting around the coffee table at home watching and going, who is it out there that really has ha plan that ca
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get us back to work, but those who have wealth, not going to invest it because this government is being confiscatory. >> let me close by getting a sense of your world view. the president is at g-20 summit in france, the european debt crisis is the overwhelming topic and you know what's happening there is affecting us here. if a president perry were on the trip, not president obama, what would be your single, most important demand of the europeans? >> it wouldn't be a demand, watch what we're doing. we need a president who reflects the philosophy of we're going to cut our spending, we're going to do things that we have to do get our country back working, and president obama can't do that. because what he has done is following the greece model and if we don't get our spending under control, if we don't reduce the tax burden on our job creators, we're going to end up just like greece.
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so president perry is going to be over there and saying, listen, we've made the hard decisions here, we put our house in order, we have transparency in the february, we have things going on to occur to get our country back going and you need to do the same thing. >> lastly, israel has tested a ballistic missile with the capability of reaching iran. there's a report due tuesday. na f. that report says iran is progressing, moving closer to having a nuclear weapon, there's a lot of talk in the region that israel might take preemptive action. would a president perry say, mr. prime minister, green light that? >> we are going to support israel and i've said that we will support israel in every way, whether it's diplomatic, economic sanctions, whether it's owe vert or covert operations up to and including military action. we cannot afford to allow that mad man in iran to get his hands on nuclear weapons, period. >> even if it started a war in
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the region? >> we cannot allow that mad man to get his hands on a nuclear weapon because we know what he would do with it. >> governor, thank you for your time. >> you're welcome, john. let's discuss the perry interview with our chief political an lift, gloria borger, ed rollins, back with us as well, senior political an lift and presidential advisor, david gergen. david i want to start where we ended with governor perry, tough words, he would green light, give the nod, if the israel prime minister wanted to launch a preemptive strike on iran and the report says it's advancing its nuclear program. the world could be having this very conversation early next week. what did you make of the governor's tough comments? >> i was surprised. it goes far beyond what american political leaders have generally said. president obama's nowhere near that. most military leaders in the united states want to tell israel don't do it, we will work with you if we think there's an
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extensional threat to israel we'll help you eliminate that. we must not green light it. i think -- it could be a very, very tough choice for the next president. governor perry, as he's often done, has taken a view that's a really hard lined view. >> ed, when you listen to the governor, i spent time with him privately, too, he's very comfortable in his skin, he's a confident man, does he get a second chance in this state and do you think he's doing the right things? he came in so high and fell so low? >> an extraordinary interview, and if iowans can see him in the mode he was in today, and i agree with david, he was a hard line in the line, very conversation, very competent, and very articulate, you know, i think he can get back in this race. i've often thought what if he would have waited until today to jump in this race? he could have raises $20 million, $30 million, he'd be at 35% of the polls wouldn't have had four debates that basically
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did him in. he took bachmann out by jumping in after the straw poll but he's a viable candidate, he's still got $20 million, still knows how to run campaigns as you saw today this is a confident man. if he ends up doing well in iowa, he'll be in this race all the way. >> a confident man, gloria borger, but a man who when he got in the race was right there as the conservative alternative to mitt romney, now if you view this as a horse race, and romney's up front, so is herman cain in this state, ron paul is ahead of him, newt gingrich is ahead of him, he's got to pass some other ors before he gets back to the showdown with romney. >> i kept thinking as i was watching this interview, where is this candidate at the presidential debates? this is a very different person. he's more relaxes, more conversational and actually, he took on herman cain very well on the issue of abortion, clearly making a play for evangelical voters. i also think he described his
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immigration policy more sensibly than i've heard him atny of the debates. if this presidential candidate could somehow show up at the debates, i think their campaign would be a lot better off. >> and, david gergen, to gloria's point, abortion's a big issue here, immigration's a big issue here. when governor perry depends the in-state tuition, to the children of illegal immigrants, can he sell that to today's republican party? >> not very well. he's going to have to have other issues that transcend and jobs is clearly one of them. i think, john, to echo both gloria and ed rollins, if herman cain continues to implode, and his numbers start going down, voters are going to go somewhere, and if perry's got two months to begin picking up, bringing back into his fold voters and if he can make the kind of appearances he made tonight on your show and in iowa, he is going to be a stronger candidate.
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he could become the al teternat. there are others like newt gingrich who could become the l terntive to romney. it's really important what happened to cain. >> john, it's interesting, the initial campaign strategy was to keep him away from interviews like the one you just did, put him in those debates. i think now by putting him out there, the voters are going to get a different view of this candidate that they didn't see at debates and that could be very good for rick perry. >> he's a great retail politician. once again, 25 years he's never lost an election, his point about beating kay bailey hutchison, 21 points ahead of him, you turn him loose for eight, nine weeks here, he'll get back in this race. >> well, he's camping out in iowa this week. we'll see how the comeback strategy works. when we come back tonight's number. it is on the mind of every iowa republican. and when we get to that number, well, it will be cold.
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you can tell by looking around at the colors, thanks give, three weeks from today. for republican presidential conditions today's number's the only one that matters here in iowa. the number, 61. that's right, just 61 days until the iowa caucuses, tuesday, january 3rd. the next 61 days absolutely critical. some candidates hope for political survival and know it.
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they're crisscrossing the state of iowa trying to connect with potential supporters. take a listen. >> if there's anything i know about iowans, it's never been about ourselves. it's always been about this next generation. that's what i remember growing up here in iowa. >> you've done a great job of getting iowa back on track again. if washington were doing as well as you're doing we'd all be at 4% unemployment and happy as we could be. >> some think we can fix washington with a pair of tweezers middling around the edges, if you will. i happen to think we need to take a sledge hammer to it. >> i'm running the kind of campaign that i always say, for iowa, for eastern iowa in particular, running the field of dreams campaign, which fizz you build it, they will come. and we're building it. >> so what is the state of the race sneer a top iowa conservative activist and top iowa political reporter give us the pulse, next. th is critical to our economy--ce delivering mail, medicine and packages.
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and started earning loads of points.
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you got a weather balloon with points? yes, i did. [ man ] points i could use for just about anything. ♪ keep on going in this direction. take this bridge over here. there it is. [ man ] so i used mine to get a whole new perspective. ♪ [ male announcer ] write your story with the citi thankyou premier card, with no point caps, and points that don't expire. get started at thankyoucard.citi.com. "erin burnett outfront" coming up at top of the hour. let's check out for a preview. >> you've been talking to rick perry, the whole herman cain situation. we're going to continue to follow up on that and what we're excited about our guest, sperns wiggins has known herman cain
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for 27 years, works for him for 10 years, involved with the human resources departments at burger king and godfather's pizza and he's going to talk about the herman cain he knew because as of course you know this comes down to questions of character. we're going to try to get to the bottom of that. that's our special guest at the top of the hour. back to up a at the top of the hour. back to you. >> it's questions voters in iowa are asking. we'll see you in a few minutes. let's follow up with becky beech. jennifer jacobs, the political correspondent for "the des moines register." let's ask that question. are people asking character questions about herman cain? do they believe or at least have some suspiciouses about these allegations? we look at the polling and steve says he's doing fine. do you believe it? >> i do believe it. i think iowan think it's an "i gotcha" sort of a move. if he doesn't have answers, he might be in trouble but right
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now i don't see trouble for him. >> you've seen our poll, her poll, herman cain at the top. is that holding? >> they're sticking with him but they're definitely watching the news and watching every little detail that comes out. most of them say if the harassment borders on the fiscal, that's where it draws the line. verbal, they don't mind so much. they think that's egregious too. if it turns out to be physical harassment. they're not going to be happy. >> you're undecided at the moment. does herman cain have the inf infrastructu infrastructure, or does he fade? >> no, i think he does have the infrastructure. he's been working very hard for a very long time. i do think he has the infrastructure unless the accusations start to stick. >> i just had a conversation with governor perry who's had very rough debates. if you look at the poll, he's gone from the top to the middle of the pack, yet he seems to think this is the place where he turns it around and gets a win. do you see that? >> we're not seeing signs of
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distraction. he's been able to stay on message and roll out policy proposals and it sounds like his campaign is going do that in the next few weeks but he's had some struggles in iowa and some say they want a really fearless president and he did have those problems in the debate. people said they don't want a -- i just talked to republicans who say they don't want a president who trips over his own tongue and doesn't look good in front of a live camera. he's got some difficulties. >> you're nodding your head. >> i am. i think that what people will say on "snl" is the real person. it's not but people will believe that. >> governor romney got burnt by mike huckabee. a lot of his people in his campaign are tempted. they say, boy, if you look at the polls, he's right there. when this is over, 60, 70 days from now. >> i think he should and i think he will and i don't think he has to win here.
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a second, third place, i think, would be fine for him. he does have a solid infrastructure in people that support him. >> becky beach, thank you. it will be snowy by the time they vote. >> thank you. >> thank you. next, the truth of what you might call trickle-down explanations. or creates another laptop bag or hires another employee, it's not just good for business. it's good for the entire community. at bank of america, we know the impact that local businesses have on communities. that's why we extended $7.8 billion to small businesses across the country so far this year. because the more we help them, the more we help make opportunity possible. [ man ] it's my new malibu. [ woman ] '57 bel air -- still have it. [ both ] our camaro. [ man ] chevy silverado -- third one. [ male announcer ] people love their chevys.
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the effectiveness of trickle-down economics has been a flashpoint in our politics for more than a quarter of a century. tonight's truth is that herman cain is so far failing what could be a critical test of his leadership. he is angry at the emergence of sexual harassment allegations from his days as a restaurant
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industry lobbyist. he insists he did nothing wrong and that the cash settlements that the restaurants association paid to women did not concede any wrongdoing. while the allegations are serious, we have not heard the from any of the alleged victims. on the substance i would argue mr. cain deserves the benefit of the doubt or innocence until proven guilty. but in the court of public opinion, cain and his team are failing, and the truth is that matter, whether or not the harassment allegations have any merit. the first response was to say almost nothing. >> mr. cain, did you engage in unwanted sexual advances toward members of the restaurant association? mr. cain, can you answer the questions, though, please? did you ever engage in any innuendo with members of the restaurant association? >> no! >> then cain did acknowledge being aware of the allegations but he flatly denied any knowledge of the settlements.
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>> as far as a settlement, i am unaware of any sort of settlement. i hope it wasn't for much because i didn't do anything. >> a few hours later he was discussing in varied detail -- in detail the very detail the settlements he knew nothing about. >> we ended up settling for what would have been a termination settlement, quite frankly. >> what would that be about? >> maybe about three months' salary or something like that. >> cain later explained he wasn't trying to hide or be misleading. he said he simply couldn't recall some important details. >> i can't recall. she was younger than i was, i do know that. but i really can't recall. >> other than that, i can't even recall what some of the other things were, and as i mentioned, they were all found to be baseless. >> remember, you know, in 12 years, a lot of stuff can go through your head. this wasn't exactly something that i had top of mine where i
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was trying to recall every little detail that went on 12 years ago. >> but his evolving explanations don't pass the sniff tests. mr. cain's only words here are telling. he told forbes.com on wednesday, quote, i told my wife about this in 1999, and i've about got nothing to hide. when i sat down with my general campaign consultant curt anderson in a private room in our campaign offices in 2003, we discussed opposition research on me. it was a typical campaign conversation. i told him there was only one case, one set of charges, one woman while i was at the national restaurant association. sounds like he could recall some very specific details of that meeting, and, remember, that was eight years ago. he also called the meeting with anderson, routine. that's right. smart campaigners sit their candidate down and wander through any potential embarrassments. if cain and his team were smart enough do that back in 1999, they should have been smart enough do that now running for the presidency.

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