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tv   State of the Union  CNN  April 22, 2012 12:00pm-1:00pm EDT

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i know mitt romney will make a great choice for vice president. >> my exclusive interview with senator marco rubio. and elijah cummings, ranking democrat on the house oversight and reform committee. plus, dana bash and jeff zellny of the "new york times." i'm candy crowley, and this is "state of the union." the economic headlines were ominous. as the numbers came in mixed. retail and car sales are strong. but initial jobless claims falling since last year have jumped about 6% in the last three weeks. march sales of existing homes fell 2.6% and factory output slipped in march after rising in february. then there was this iffy forecast for europe from the managing director of the international monetary fund. >> we are seeing light recovery blowing in a spring wind, but we're seeing some dark clouds on the horizon.
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>> if, as the economy goes so goes the election, then it was a worrisome week for the president's re-election team. joining me now president obama's senior re-election strategist david axelrod. good to see you. >> good to be here again. >> let me show you and our viewers the nbc news/"wall street journal" survey this week on who has good ideas to help the economy. and it said president obama 34%, romney, 40%. how do you account for that? >> i account for it by the fact that people don't know mitt romney very well yet. they see businessman. they hope he has new ideas. but, candy, i think here is the point. when they find out what his ideas are, slashing taxes at the top for the very wealthy, cutting wall street loose to make its own rules, cutting the investments we need to education, research, development, energy, the things we need to grow, they're going to think this is a very
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familiar. we tried this. this was a big failure. >> but on on the other hand, he has been pummeled for the last six months, and you all have joined in when you found an opportunity to do so. i think people are pretty aware that he's a multimillionaire -- >> but the truth is he hasn't talked -- he's been very critical of the president. one of the most interesting things in polling this week was in your own poll and it was people were asked -- who supported obama is it a pro obama vote or anti-romney vote. 75% said pro-obama. they asked the same question of romney, only a third of his voters said they were voting for him. it was the lowest number you have recorded in all the time you've been doing this. he's run a purely negative campaign. purely negative in the primary and purely negative in the general. so he hasn't really been eager to spell out these ideas. when he does, i think people will judge them for what they are, which is backward looking and a repeat of what got us into this mess in the first place. >> a last poll for you, this is on how things are going in the country today among all americans.
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43% said, well, 57% said badly. it's better than before. but if 57% of the country continues to say things are going badly, how steep of a climb is that for getting a president re-elected? >> i think deep problems that welled up over years that are going to take a while to deal with and they want to know we're moving in the right direction. it is hopeful that the last quarter, in terms of job creation was the best we've had in six years. the last quarter in manufacturing was the best we've had in two two decades. the last thing people want to do is go back to the same policies that bankrupted the country, punished the middle class, and put our economy in a tailspin. >> let me move you to a lot of headlines we have seen in the past week. the gsa scandal, the secret service scandal. let me ask you personally, you
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spend a lot of time with these guys during your time in the white house. did this stun you? >> yeah, i was surprised by it. you know, people being what they are, you're never totally surprised in any organization. things can go wrong. i must say in my experience the secret service has been completely professional, so impressive. i always felt like they were willing to do anything to protect the president and the people around the president, and so this was really disappointing. obviously we have to get to the bottom of it, but those problems should not denigrate the efforts of so many who do such a good job. >> did you ever get a cultural party hearty kind of feel from them. >> i may be too old to pick up a whiff of that. i generally went down and collapsed in my hotel room. i didn't get a sense of that, but honestly, what i got a sense of was very intense concern about the safety of the president, the people around him, very, very professional. but this was disturbing
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obviously. we have to get to the bottom of it. six people have already separated from the secret service as a result of it. i think we will get to the bottom of it. >> let me ask you in the broader sense, so you have got the gsa, the secret service scandals, you have had sort of an ongoing thing about government money that was given to solyndra, solar power company that went bankrupt and how they got the backing that they did. you've had fast and furious, the atf scandal that eric holder has been working on. do you think that the totality of that hurts the president? >> do i think that the gsa problem is concerning? yes. and the president was furious when he learned of it. obviously we've revamped the whole operation as a result of it. but is it emblematic of our administration? absolutely not. candy, we've imposed new strictures relative to waste and inefficiency and fraud that have saved tens of billions of dollars on travel, on printing,
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on leases, on fraud. our health care fraud unit over the justice department and in hhs has recovered over $10 billion. those prosecutions are up 70%. we are saving taxpayers money all the time. >> to the extent that this is -- that these are scandals as we see them in washington, do you think, and i want to play quickly for you this is jeff sessions, a republican, and what he had to say. he was talking specifically about gsa and the secret service. >> i don't sense this president is showing that kind of managerial leadership. >> if you take this, is it fair to say, listen, the president is a guy in charge? >> people will judge him based on his record. i think in your own poll he had a big edge in strong and decisive and all those leadership qualities. part of it is we've been through
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some big things. we ended a war, dealt with an oil leak of epic proportions, we've brought bin laden to -- we've been involved in a lot of things that required very strong management, very strong leadership, very strong coordination and oversight, and i think people will judge him on the totality, not these stories. >> if this were happening in a republican administration, would you be one of the first guys out there going hey, this guy is in charge. >> maybe but the stories that stick are the one that is emblematic of an organization. every once in a while someone does something wrong at cnn. >> i don't think that's ever happened. >> not you, of course. >> no. >> and then the question is how do you deal with it? do you feel with it firmly, do you learn from it, do you put in systems to prevent those things from happening in the future, and the answer is yes. we've been more aggressive on demanding efficiencies and attacking waste. than i think any administration has.
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>> it's come to light since last july leonpanetta, the defense secretary, who has a very tough job, it's cost the government $860,000 to fly him back and forth every other weekend or however often he goes to his home in california. does that disturb you at all. >> leon's family is out there. i understand that. he's serving the country. he's also the defense secretary and that puts some certain security risks around him that almost no one but the president endures. is, you know -- >> tight government times you can see how people might look at this, certainly they're you're rivals, this is a lot of money. most people when they get a job they move to where the job is and their families. >> understood. but leon is doing an important job for the country, really a service to the country. at the age of 73 after a long career, he followed bob gates at the request of the president.
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i don't think people are going begrudge him going home and seeing his family. >> i want to give you a flash from the past with a couple of sound bites from the president in the campaign. >> what we need is a comprehensive immigration approach. >> i want to solve the problem, not use it as a political football. we've got to fix a broken immigration system. that's a priority i will pursue from my very first day. >> the president at other times during that campaign which i covered fairly closely said i'm going to get immigration reform in the first year and now we're almost four queers in and he said, okay, i'm going to get it in the first year of my second term. why should the hispanic community or the country at large believe it's going to happen next year? >> because the president has tried to get it. he has initiated those actions and here is what happened, candy. i was in the room when he called together republicans and
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democrats who have been active for immigration reform in the past. to his credit, president bush pushed for immigration reform. in the senate 11 members supported it. those members were there and the president said, i will work with you to get this done. not one of those republicans was willing to stand up and work with him to pass a bill. we tried to pass the dream act through the conversation. it was blocked by the republican -- >> isn't that the nature of washington? >> the nature of washington is not monolithic opposition to everything the chief executive wants to do as a political strategy and that is what happened here. it was disappointing. i believe when the president wins re-election in the fall, there will be a new opportunity to get this done. hopefully we can get something done before hand, but to say because you have an implacable group of republicans in the congress who simply aren't going to let that move, that the president hasn't kept his
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promise is a little disingenuous. >> how can he keep his promise if he gets re-elected in january if as we think may happen, you will see a smaller margin in the senate and democrats and perhaps a continuation for republicans in congress. >> i think a lot of republicans in congress want to cooperate, know better, but they're in the thralls of this reign of terror. the republican party has really moved out of the mainstream. in your poll the president is winning among moderates by 41 points and there's a reason for that. because governor romney and the party has gone way off to the right. i think these folks will recognize when they lose the election that that was the wrong path to take and now is the time for a season of cooperation. we're not going to agree on everything because that's why we have two political parties. but we shouldn't reflexively disagree on everything. >> joe manchin said i am just waiting for it to play out.
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i am not jumping in one way or another. i am worried about me. i've said it's not a team sport. you need to go out and work for yourself. do you have anything you'd like to say to the senator? >> well, look, he'll make his own judgments. i think he was very candid there. his concern is about his own political well-being. he's running for the senate in that state. we didn't win the state the last time. it's going to be a tough state for us again, and he's making a political judgment about himself. i would hope the country's interests would enter into it and that ultimately he will be supporting the president. and obviously a lot of people are -- in all that poll talk we didn't mention the fact that we're nine points ahead in your poll, six points ahead in that nbc poll. there were 13 at ributes in that nbc poll and the president led 11 of those 13 and including advocacy for the middle class, which is really central for this
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election. >> thank you. i just have to add our poll of polls had it at a dead even race actually but when we put all the polls -- >> so do you think your poll was inaccurate? the cnn poll is inaccurate? >> i would never attack our pollster. >> well, i wouldn't either. >> thank you so much for your time. >> okay. freshman senator marco rubio joins mitt romney tomorrow in the battleground state of pennsylvania. is it a job audition? my exclusive interview with senator rubio is next. >> three, four, five, six, seven years from now if i do a good job as vice president -- i'm sorry. as a senator. >> you all got that, right? oh! [ baby crying ] ♪ what started as a whisper ♪ every day, millions of people choose to do the right thing. ♪ slowly turned to a scream ♪ there's an insurance company that does that, too. liberty mutual insurance. responsibility. what's your policy? ♪ amen, omen
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>> let me start out with a florida question i want you to write large in terms of the romney campaign. in 2004 george bush won 56% of the hispanic vote here in florida. in 2008 president obama won 57%. so roughly even. right now given the positions that mitt romney has articulated that he stands for in terms of immigration and other issues, do you see him pulling these kind of numbers this year? >> i expect him to do better than how we did in 2008, but you have to work on it. let me explain. i think what those numbers show -- >> right now today he couldn't pull those kind of numbers. >> the election is not today. i think we just got out of a primary cycle and that's why we're going to have a primary cycle. i think what those numbers explain is what i know instinctively to be true is that americans of hispanic descent especially in florida, are swing voters. vote on an election by election cycle. the number one issue in the hispanic community is economic
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empowerment. >> which is a great pitch. when you look at how hispanics feel about it, that's 40% gap between hispanics who say they favor president obama versus mitt romney. candidate romney has said he's for e-verify, making employers go through a system to check to make sure their employees have papers. he's for self-deportation which is basically making life so miserable for illegals, no benefits, no jobs, they self-deport. he's talked about, of course, supporting a fence. against in-state tuition for the children of illegals and he's against the dream act. that just does not seem to me to be an agenda as regards illegal immigrants that can stand and win him votes in the community.
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>> this notion that how in order to appeal to hispanic voters you have to support illegal immigration is just not true. >> but this comes across as anti-immigrant. >> i think governor romney is doing a good job of it, and here is my suggestion. only talking about what we are against. you have to talk about what you are for. what i have said consistently is that the republican party is and must become and continue to be the pro-legal immigration party. we have to make very clear we support legal immigration. the vast majority of americans of hispanic descent are legally here. >> but the problem with immigration -- i think everybody support legal immigration. that's part of the american dream. >> it does matter how you talk about the issue. it starts by recognizing that the vast majority of people who are in this doesn't illegally didn't come here to steal from the american government. they are in search of jobs and opportunity. they are doing what most people would do if their children were hungry and their family were suffering. that is just about anything you have to do in order to provide for your family. you go down to homestead,
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florida, here and you talk to migrant workers that may be here without documents. they would tell you they wish there was a functional guest worker program. the reason they can't return to their country is they're afraid they won't be able -- >> they haven't been talking about guest worker programs really so much as they have been talking about fences and in-state tuition being denied to the children of illegals who, as you note in your bill that you're working on, had absolutely -- very little choice in coming here. is that a sustainable position? >> you have to have immigration law. that doesn't mean because you support the laws you don't recognize the humanitarian aspects of the immigration problem. for example, the case of the children you have just outlined to me is very real. we have a case in florida of a young woman who came when she was 4 years old. she's the valedictorian of her high school this year. she's a 6.8 gpa. been admitted to dartmouth to study molecular biology and she has a deportation order. the vast majority of americans
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would tell you it doesn't feel right to deport a valedictorian who is here through no fault of her own. >> your plan as you're working on as i understand it suggests that these children of illegal immigrants that were brought here illegally could, if they went to college and got a degree or to a vocational school and finished those courses, could achieve legal status, correct? >> right. >> not necessarily citizenship. although they could go on and get citizenship in the regular order of things, correct? >> it allows you to get an immigrant visa through one of the existing programs. >> but you could stay in the country while you're waiting for your nonimmigrant status as well as for u.s. citizenship, correct? >> correct. >> the presumptive nominee mitt romney had in this to say. >> i would indicate i'd veto the dream act if provisions say people who are here illegally, if they go to school here long
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enough, get a degree, that they can become permanent residents. i think that's a mistake. i think we have to follow the law and insist those that have come here illegally ultimately return home, apply, get in line with everyone else. >> which would seem to put him at odds with what you're suggesting. >> it doesn't. what he's describing is the existing immigration system and how the dream act would circumvent it. the way the dream act would allow you to get into the immigration process. this awards a nonimmigrant visa to these kids who find themselves in this very difficult circumstance. at some point in the future they would have no more or no less right than anybody in the world. they wouldn't be getting any preferential treatment. they are like any other holder who decides to access the legal immigration system. >> his point it seems to me is he thinks people ought to go home and apply and not stay here and that's been the conservative criticism of this plan, which
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is, gee, it just sounds like a two-tier pathway to citizenship. >> i think what he was describing was the dream act and the dream act does create a special pathway to citizenship. but so does yours. >> no, it doesn't. all it does is -- >> they could stay here and become citizens. >> no, it doesn't. in there's two pathways. there's a nonimmigrant visa path way which exists for people who are going to be here for defined period of time. >> that you would give to them. >> and they could renew that. but you can never turn that into residency and then citizenship. >> this year we're offering again our path to prosperity. >> paul ryan put out a budget that was passed by the house. would you be comfortable if you were running this year running on the specifics of the ryan budget? >> understand that the house is going through the process of defining the specific cuts. i think there will be specific disagreements. >> do you disagree? >> you know why it is unfair to criticize it, there's nothing to compare it to. where is the democrats' budget?
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if we put the president's budget for the vote i predict maybe one, maybe no democrats would vote for it. i think it's unfair to attack the ryan budget when they don't have a budget of their own. let me say this about the ryan budget, it's a serious endeavor to deal with the pressing issues of our country. we will lose medicare if we don't reform it. here is where the demagoguery comes in. anybody that has designed for changing medicare. let me be clear about my position. i will never support any changes to medicare that would hurt people like my mother who is on medicare today. >> in addition to the medicare changes he suggests, there are also cuts in many domestic programs, deep cuts because there are very few things that you would describe as tax increases, to hunger and nutrition programs. it's going to make it more difficult for illegal immigrants to claim child tax credits. the system becomes more complicated for them.
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is that the sort of values that you would run on? >> that's the recommendation of a committee in the house. that has to be fully vetted and debated. i'm always wary and i'm not being critical of the budget because i think that's part of the debate. when you tell a committee you have to find "x" number of dollars to save, you will see reductions in domestic spending. help those who can't help themselves. >> a final couple political questions. can you tell me the main difference between george w. bush's administration and what mitt romney is proposing? >> in terms of? >> just a big difference. >> i haven't gone through the comparison. i think the president serves in different times with different challenges. i think george w. bush did a fantastic job as president over eight years facing a set of circumstances over those eight years that are different from the circumstances that a
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president romney would face. >> jeb bush your mentor, your colleague says he really hopes if mitt romney comes to you and asks you to be vice president that you would say yes. >> that's very nice of jeb. i hope he'll say yes if future president romney asks him. >> and he indicated he'd certainly look at it. >> that's good because i think he'd be a fantastic vice president. let me say this about the vice presidential process. up until now it's all been theoretical. we have a nominee now and our nominee, mitt romney, the leader of the republican party has a vice presidential process in place. i think from this point moving forward i think it would be wise for all republicans to respect that process, myself included, and say moving forward we're going to let his process play itself out. he's been a great decisionmaker throughout his career in the private sector and in politics. he's going to make a great choice. >> sorry. do you still stand by i wouldn't accept it -- >> i'm not even going to discuss the process even more. i'm going to be respectful of
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the process he put in place. >> that's kind of different than -- >> no, i think the fairness is he has a real process in place. he has folks he has hired and asked to go through a vice presidential process. the last thing he needs are those of us in the peanut gallery to say what we will or will not do. i know mitt romney is going to make a great president for the country. >> i know how this is going to get translated. it's going to get translated that you've backed off saying i would not accept the offer. >> what i would characterize it as is i'm not going to discuss it anymore because now there's a real process in place and i want to be respectful of the process he's working on. >> but you know how that's going to be interpreted. >> he has a process and we should respect that process. >> senator rubio hits the campaign trail with governor romney tomorrow. his advice to the presumptive nominee, keep selling american enterprise. when we return i ask the senator a question on lots of people's minds. >> do you want to be president some day? do you think about that? what we achieved here.
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what we learned here. and what we pioneered here. all goes here. the one. the accord. smarter thinking from honda. has been because of the teachers and the education that i had. they're just part of who i am. she convinced me that there was no limit to what we could learn. i don't think i'd be here today had i not had a wonderful science teacher. a teacher can make a huge difference in a child's life. he would never give up on any of us. thank you dr. newfield. you had a big impact on me.
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after our interview senator rubio and i took a walk in the florida humidity where he talked about his catholicism and why he says he doesn't dream of being president. let me ask you, i know you have
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a book coming out and we'll get some of these answers, but a lot has been made of about your religion or the churches you have been in, mormon, we know you enjoy evangelical services, but you're catholic. >> yes. >> is that the religion you identify with? >> yeah. >> is there a particular one -- >> i'm a roman catholic and i will detail in in this book. i have a lot of respect for the way some evangelical churches, especially the one we attend, have a relationship, the way they teach the written word and i enjoy that. we're roman catholics and i have been. baptized and confirmed. when i was young we had an experience. you have to buy the book to read the details but yeah i'm a roman catholic. >> do you want to be president some day? do you think about that? >> i don't. i haven't. >> surely you must. you're this wonder that appeared on the scene. this is the republican's barack obama. >> i get that but i've never approached public service in this way.
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i think if you do, it's a recipe for disaster. i have always approach it if you are given an opportunity to serve and you do a good job, you will have opportunities to do other things. we just don't know what those opportunities are going to be. they may be outside of government. they may be in the not for profit sector. they may be in business they may be in politics. the biggest trap i have seen is when someone goes into a position with the idea of creed creating a platform to lead to something else. >> some people say this is a future president. you block that out. >> maybe they mean of a condominium association. there's real power there. >> i appreciate it. later this hour i will have a preview of getting to know with marco rubio, but back in washington we're learning more details about the secret service agents involved in that prostitution scandal. has the secret service culture put the president at risk?
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i'll ask congressman elijah cummings. >> when i travel in my district which is very diverse, a question that i hear almost every week at least once a week is are they keeping the president safe? dry mouth can cause increased cavities, bad breath, oral irritations. i like to recommend biotene. biotene has a full array of products. it's composed of some enzymes that you would normally find in your saliva, and it replenishes the moisture in your mouth. biotene definitely works. it makes patients so much happier. [ woman on r♪ bum-bum,stinct ] bum-bum, bum-bum ♪ ♪ bum-bum - ♪ ai, ai, ai - ♪ bum-bum - ♪ bum-bum, bum-bum - ♪ [ ice rattles rhythmically ] ♪ bum-bum, bum-bum, bum-bum ♪ ♪ [ imitates guitar noise ] ♪ [ vocalizing up-tempo heavy metal song ] ♪ [ vocalizing continues ]
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joining me now, congressman elijah cummings, the ranking democrat on the house oversight and government reform committee, which this week has had its hands full. >> we've been busy. >> yes, you have-not in great ways. the secret service scandal with the prostitutes, you know, almost two dozen we're told and almost a dozen secret service men. do we now know the scope of what went on? >> candy, we don't know the full scope. the secret service, i believe, they're investigating themselves and they're doing i think a very good job. and they acted on it very quickly. they got in there within a matter of a few hours, got those folks out of there, took away their security clearance, and suspended them. now we know that six of them are gone, and others are being investigated. and the thing that director sullivan has assured us of is he will go wherever the evidence leads.
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he has expanded his investigation from the initial 11 and that's why the most recent person who came up on friday has been included. so i think we're going to have to wait and see. >> it is your understanding it's exactly what we've been told, which is a group of secret service men sort of barhopping, picking up women along the way, prostitutes along the way, coming back to the hotel, and it all came to light because of a dispute over money and how much they'd be paid. >> that's exactly right. and it's a sad situation, but, you know, our committee, the government reform committee, we take this very seriously. this is our watch. the secret service is a phenomenal organization. it's an elite force. i have said to the director, look, it's not only important that you be excellent, but we also don't want people to even imagine, imagine that they can
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pierce the shield of the secret service because that's -- >> is that what bothers you most? >> not the most but it bothers me a lot because i know that there are a lot of folks who are perhaps looking for opportunities to do harm to the president or others that the secret service, you know, guard, and you never know what they think is a moment of weakness, candy, that's the time that they may think that they can act. but i want to make sure that we get this matter resolved. i want it resolved fairly, thoroughly investigated, and make any changes that might be necessary. >> how do you change the behavior of folks? i mean, in some ways you -- senator reid said this is just stupid and it's hard to fix stupid. >> you don't necessarily change behavior but you certainly set the tone of what you want, and when -- >> surely they must have known that going down to cartagena in advance of the president to set up security down there and movements down there, you probably shouldn't get drunk and
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pick up prostitutes. >> exactly right, and i think we have some bad actors here. i don't think that we judge the secret service by its weakest link. they are gone, half of them, and i think others will be leaving shortly. so, you know, you can't, you know, legislate people not being stupid, but certainly you can uphold the high standards of this organization. keep in mind, the secret service has been around since 1865, and we're going to make sure it remains the great organization it is. >> so you're suggesting -- there are now another six that are still on leave or have been suspended, whatever we call that, that you suspect may well resign or be -- >> i would not be surprised. >> okay. and let me ask you, will higher heads roll? we know the supervisors that were down there and involved in
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this are gone, but what about the secret service director? how do you feel about him because very often when these things happen, gsa, something else you have been involved in, the head goes. >> i'm very confident that what happened here was limited to these folks, but we'll find out. but the thing that impressed me about sullivan is that he acted quickly. keep in mind, the head of the region down there in south america was on that situation immediately. >> immediately. >> got those folks out there immediately. and she, of course, was acting on behalf of sullivan. so i think sullivan has done a very good job. a lot of us on capitol hill, most of us have a lot of confidence in him, both sides of the aisle, by the way. >> let me ask you as a final question, you have mentioned a couple times that folks in your district ask you with regularity about the safety of this president. do you have more concerns with the safety of this president because he's african-american than you would have had for, say, george bush or those that -- >> first of all, let me say i have concern about all presidents and everybody that
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the secret service guards. but the fact is that african-american people have always expressed concern to me about this president. guns strapped on their legs and they say, how can that be? they worry. they're concerned, but, again, i believe that the secret service is going to get through this. i think this is a time that they have to take a look at themselves. by the way, the other thing we're doing is we're also going to be -- our committee is going to be looking at dod. we're sending a letter to them trying to figure out what role they played in all of this, too. >> thank you so much, congressman, for stopping by. we really appreciate it. >> it's my pleasure. we will get a check of the top stories next. and later the tea party and senator orrin hatch live to fight another day. [ man ] may ford. hi, yeah. do you guys have any crossovers that offer better highway fuel economy than the chevy equinox? no, sorry, sir. we don't. oh, well, that's too bad. [ man ] kyle, is that you? [ laughs ]
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u.s. officials have acknowledged losing the drone but they say it would be difficult to exploit any of the technology from the aerial vehicle. china and russia began their first ever joint naval exercises in the yellow sea. the war games will include 16 chinese vessels, submarines and russian supply ships. the exercises run through friday. in france voters are casting ballots in the first round of a presidential election that pits nicolas sarkozy against nine other candidates. the economy and jobs have been key election issueses france struggles to overcome a 10% unemployment rate. canceled a summer concert by gun rights activist ted nugent. the rocker's comments about president obama. nugent told nra supporters in st. louis "he would be dead or in jail next year if president obama is re-elected." a veteran republican senator
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is forced into a runoff and a freshman democratic senator is having doubts about voting for president obama. we'll try to make sense of it with dana bash and "the new york times" jeff zellny. party ready. let's get some dimensional color. now!? what if it comes out wrong? [ gigi ] nice 'n easy gets your right color every time. guaranteed. in one step get tones and highlights for a gorgeous result. now, go party! surprise! surprise! surprise! surprise! i had no idea. [ gigi ] nice 'n easy. available in original or award winning foam from the color experts at clairol.
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has been because of the teachers and the education that i had. they're just part of who i am. she convinced me that there was no limit to what we could learn. i don't think i'd be here today had i not had a wonderful science teacher. a teacher can make a huge difference in a child's life. he would never give up on any of us. thank you dr. newfield. you had a big impact on me.
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joining me now dana bash, cnn's senior congressional correspondent, also here jeff zellny from "the new york times." thank you both. i thought it was interesting this week we have joe manchin, democrat from west virginia, who says he's not all that sure that he's going to vote for president obama this year. and then we have orrin hatch being forced into a runoff by the right side of his party. is there any kind of fall lesson we can take from either of those. >> it's self-preservation. i think everybody is looking back at the last election, 2010, and realize that a lot of people got caught flat-footed. in the case of joe manchin, i was covering his election campaign when he was running a couple years ago. he's got to run again because of the circumstances there, and president obama is so unpopular in west virginia.
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he knows that. that's why he is saying that self-preservation. in the case of orrin hatch, he worked very, very hard for a lot of months to try to avoid what is happening, but ultimately, he will probably end up winning that seat again, and it's because somebody who worked -- you know this, candy, better than anybody. he worked for years across the aisle. the past year or so, two years, he has moved so far to the right, you wouldn't recognize him, and that's self-preservation. >> would you agree? it's interesting to me because i think i looked at the orrin hatch numbers. if he had gotten 60%, he wouldn't have had to have this primary runoff. he came darn close. 42 votes away, i think. i think it's an easing of the tea party influence, but others say, my gosh, he spent a gazillion dollars just to get into a runoff. >> i think it's an easing of the influence. the fact of the matter is, he had a clear warning sign from his former colleague, senator bob bennett. >> emphasis former. >> for who did not make it to this convery long, but i think across the board the tea party influence is probably easing a little bit, and it's more blended up into other concerns.
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a presidential election year is about bigger things, and it's a bigger sort of electorate, if you will, than the midterms were in 2010. >> i want to show our viewers and show you all, cnn-orc poll, and it compares the approval ratings of presidents in april of re-election year. we see president obama now is 49%, but if you go on down the line, everybody is 52%, 54%, 54%. is that -- does that signal anything? i mean, is this a race? we get this feeling for a little while that, oh, president obama seems to be on the mark. all of a sudden not so much. >> he is not on the mark. his advisors know he is not on the mark. it's a very close election, and frankly, he is lucky to be at 49%. within the margin of error, he is right at the 50 point. it would be much more worrisome for him if he was in the lower or mid 40s. it's a tough election, and when you look down into these polls, people don't have the confidence that they had in him at the beginning of his term. >> conventionally, it's anything
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under 50% for an incumbent is not good news. >> not good news at all, and not to mention the other number we are all watching is the unemployment number, and if you look at the historic statistics, presidents don't simply win re-election with this kind of unemployment. but that is why you heard the president this week with his populist message because all of their internal polling and independents, those that need to be brought back into the fold. they feel that they are bringing them back piece by piece with the populous message. with trying to appeal to women and other things like that. >> this was the week of the hispanics too. they're going after all those folks that they need in huge numbers. let me ask you about this. i know you have been covering the sullivan activity up on capitol hill. the secret service as well as the gao. do you think when you put -- i asked david ax aal rod this. when you take the scandals of the obama administration and you look at, you know, fast and furious with the guns ending up
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-- atf guns ending up in the hands of the mexican drug cartel. there have been other things that have happened. is any of this begun to kind of seep into the campaign, or has the president been able to hold this off? >> it seems to me that he has been able to hold it off in theory, but it definitely it does not help him because it feeds into the same narrative that has been hurting democrats two years ago, and it's still hurting them, and that is washington has run amuck. washington is completely broken. every one of these narratives, especially ones that people can understand like 17 days junket to the south pacific for some bureaucrat, really, on money that i'm spending? that really hits home for people, and there's no way that ultimately combination of all can't hurt the president. >> not to mention $17 billion to build bikes. that's a whole other story. what do you think? >> i think it feeds into this further narrative of the distrust of government. i'm not sure they hold president
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obama directly responsible for the secret service scandal. there are scandals on both sides. i mean, it's not like he himself was involved in this, but it's the taxpayers spending money. i think the gsa scandal is a bigger deal, and it has -- if gives republicans more ammunition for making some of these arguments that, you know, that this government is not spending your money wisely. >> right. thank you very much. >> thanks, candy. >> stick around and find out why i literally hitched a ride with a young and obscure marco rubio back in 1996. on a science adventure. advair is clinically proven to help significantly improve lung function. unlike most copd medications, advair contains both an anti-inflammatory and a long-acting bronchodilator, working together to help improve your lung function all day. advair won't replace fast-acting inhalers for sudden symptoms and should not be used more than twice a day. people with copd taking advair may have
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our website is full of online exclusives including something called getting to know. i asked senator rubio about the music on his ipod. >> you know, i am a hip-hop fan. some of the modern stuff has changed, though. one of my things that i have been discovering is that i'm a fan of nicki minaj, who is one of the hip-hop artists today. she's not just a rapper. she also sings on her album. we have a local artist named pit bull. i know that sounds like an interesting name. he is actually very talented, and he is just involved in the soundtrack for "men in black." >> i know that -- randomly i do
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happen to know that. tell me your first political memory. >> my first political memory was probably the convention when kennedy challenged carter and afterwards at a reagan convention, as well. the 1980s is kind of the time bh i became aware. i document a lot of this in my book, but my grandfather was a huge reagan fan. >> you also had somewhat of a role in the dole campaign. >> i did. so did you. you were covering them here, and i think they were staying in ball harbor. he had an apartment here, and i was one of the guys that worked on the ground for the team. i drove the media van. i think we drove you around one time when you were covering them here, and ultimately i landed a job running the dole campaign in south florida, and that was a great experience. >> getting to know senator marco rubio. he has come a long way since driving a media van during the dole campaign. go to our website for more of my interview with marco rubio. thank you so much for watching "state of the union." i'm candy crowley in washington. fareed zakaria gps is