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tv   Special Report With Bret Baier  FOX News  February 16, 2012 1:00am-2:00am PST

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laugh house. please come out "red eye" fans. >> the laff house? >> yes jie. is it spelled l-a-f-f? >> yes. >> that is laughable. >> what's wrong with him? ♪ >> john: another run up at the gas pump. how high will it go this time? we look at the reasons and the politics behind it. this is "special report." ♪ ♪ >> john: i'm john roberts in for bret baier. if you gas up your car lately, you probably notice you are paying more to do it. some predict you will pay more and very soon. prizes are on -- prices are on the rise despite demand is set to be at the lowest point in 15 years. we have fox team coverage. leland vittert in jerusalem has the latest on how tensions with iran are a factor.
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we begin with doug mckelway up in maryland where prices reach important psychological mile post. doug, good evening. >> geng, john. in chevy chase, maryland, premium cracked the $4 margin. a from cursor to what most americans can expect in the spring and summer months. >> prices for regular unleaded are up 12 cents on average in the last three weeks according to the latest leung survey. the spike is result of several factors uncertainty in the middle east and u.s. refineries are offline for maintenance in advance of spring and summer, historically one person is blamed for my spike in the bump. >> there is a strong correlation between rising gas prices and presidential unpap alreadity. >> this chart demonstrates the correlation.
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>> it's not perfect. it takes a while for high prices to cause a president to bleed popularity points. it doesn't happen right away. it depends how high the gas prices go and how long they stay there. >> the day president obama was inaugurated the price was $1.84. today it's 3.52. spike over 90%. highest price was in 2008 when the bush administration reaching $3.81. one administration critic said the present spike is unique. >> president obama in the last three years did everything in his power to cripple increase in production. the world markets are taking a look at that and keeping the prices high in response to american energy policy. >> white house maintains the domestic oil production increased under the obama administration.
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increased demand and tightened inventory. >> it comes to reducing the dependence on foreign oil. all of the above approach. >> gasoline prices have been on a steady upward trajectory in the last three weeks, the bench mark u.s. crude rose to end the day $101.890. in large part result and the reaction to tensions in the middle east. john? >> john: doug mckelway for us tonight. thank you. to the middle east, in iran, president ahmadinejad thumbed his nose at the west and announced he may cut up oil export to six european countries. correspondent leland vittert is live in jerusalem. this announcement shook up the oil markets today.
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>> exactly. good evening. this is like iran saying if you are not playing by my rules i'll take my marbles and go home. in summer, iran was banned from experting to any of the country -- exports to any of the countries due to sanctions but now iran is making good on a threat to use economic war fair if the west keeps up pressure on the nuclear program. it wasn't until late they're the oil minister walked that threat back a little bit. saying iran only wanted to meet about the issue. this is on a day that iran made two major announcements about the nuclear program. >> live on state television, iran announced it has the ability to manufacturer its own nuclear materials. >> praise to god and the prophet muhammad said scientists when they presented a gift wrapped box complete with a yellow bow to ahmadinejad.
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the achievement nullifies international sanctions designed at keeping iran from importing nuclear material. as the new fuel rod slipped to the reactor, scientists announced they were bringing onliner is fuges possible to make -- centrifuges. they replace older version largely destroyed by a computer virus last year. today, iran president drew battle lines. >> the time has come to an end. this is their struggle. at the end of the day. >> iran, though, still denies involvement in two days' worth of bombings targeting israeli embassy personnel. despite authorities in thailand finding iranian passports on two suspects as they hunt for a third who fled before his team could attack. israel's primes was clear. >> if such aggression is not stopped it'll spread to many
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countries. >> off the coast, the u.s. navy jet over strait of hormuz. tensions are high as the united states has promised military force to keep the lanes open if iran tries to block the sea lanes where 20% of the world's oil flows through every day. in the u.s. called the nuclear announcement hype but delivered a threat of its own, diplomatic equivalent of the nuclear option that would involve cutting iran out of the international banking system called swift. that is used process oil payments. i would kruppal half of their economy. >> john: leland vittert in jerusalem tonight. thanks. back here in washington, lawmakers are trying to put the finishing touches on a payroll tax cut bill that also extends unemployment benefits and blocks reduction to medicare doctor reimbursement reimbursements. chief congressional
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correspondent mike emanuel on capitol hill. a lot of reaction on this. >> good evening. short time ago republican sources and democrat chuck schumer said it's nearly done. earlier, the top democratic negotiators sounded confident. >> i think we will get agreement today. it's important to the connecticut. >> but some are not happy that the extension is not paid for with spending cuts. today boehner emphasized other part of the package that will be offset. >> understand they are going to make sure that the extension of unemployment is under reform program and paid for. the doc specks are paid for as well. >> there are components that republicans do like, creating the job search requirement for everybody collecting federal and state unemployment benefi benefit. cutting maximum benefit from 93 to 63 weeks in september. the bill gets $15 billion in
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revenue by raising the amount the federal employees contribute to their pension. the washington area democrats don't like it. >> i have concern about using the federal workforce. >> with the payroll adding to the deficit, fiscal hawk balk at $560 billion transportation and energy bill even though it included provision to speed up construction of keystone pipeline. they were forced to delay action on the bill until the end of the month. some conservatives are worried about cost related to the bill. it's also more challenging to round up support. >> it our leadership desire to have a ban on earmark is positive for integrity purpose but it's made things more difficult. i heard the last transportation bill had 6800 earmarks in it. >> democrats call at it bad bill. >> the house leadership is
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still scrambling to find the votes to cast what everyone is coming to recognize is the worst transportation authorization bill in this nation's history. >> back to the payroll tax. the top republican negotiator said the legislating is done and negotiators will meet and sign off on the package and plan to vote by friday. >> john: we'll see how it goes. michaela man for us on -- mike emanuel for us. now the republican race where rick santorum is finding out being on top means you are an easier target to spot but you have the high ground. our chief political correspondent carl cameron says the front runner is on offense. >> riding a lead in string of national polls rick santorum campaigned in north dakota, super tuesday state that votes if three weeks and tried to shackle mitt romney to president obama on healthcare. >> they believe in top down to force you to buy insurance product they want. they will tell you how much you are going to pay.
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they will tell your employer how much you will be fined if you don't or you how much you'll be fined if you don't. >> thank you. >> romney was born and raised in michigan and santorum leads the polls there. >> santorum's new ad rambo mocks the rival. >> romney in the super pac spent staggering $40 million attacking fellow republicans. wife? romney is trying to hide from the big government romneycare and his support for job killing cap and tray. >> the latest fox news swing state poll of ten critical battlegrounds won narrowly by barack obama in faith show the president leading g.o.p. rivals head-to-head. romney gets closer to the president in swing states and nationally. beating romney who leads the race for nominating delegates will be tough in michigan. romney has been building a network there for decades and has plenty of cash to dominate
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the airwaves. >> my campaign hasn't run negative ads against rick santorum. his campaign ran attack ads against me in south carolina. his pac did so in missouri. i won't say we won't go after him but he has been going after me. >> the super pac run by the former romney staffers expanded to michigan and elsewhere today. >> single session, santorum cosponsored 51 bills to increase spending. zero to cut spending. santorum voted to raise his own pay and join hillary clinton to let convicted felons vote. santorum, big spender, washington insider. >> santorum said he would like a strong second in michigan. romney and the pro-romney super pac will blitz the state with $2 million of ads in the next 13 days leading up to the primary. santorum never faced anything like that, but if he pulls off a victory it will make it sweeter. >> john: thank you very much. if you complain about the
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nanny state you will love or hate tonight's grapevine. that is coming up later. now for tonight's infinity sponsored text to vote question. it's about gas prices. at what price per gallon will you change your driving habits? text sr1 to 36288 if that price point for you is $3.50. text sr2 for $4. sr3 for $4.50. and sr4 if it's $5.00 and up. we will bring you the results at the end of tonight's
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>> john: president obama is on his way to los angeles at this moment for an evening of fund raising among friendly faces. earlier he was in wisconsin. a place where the politics are as divisive as anywhere in the
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nation. senior white house foreign affairs correspondent wendell goler has this story from milwaukee. >> embattled republican governor scott walker greeted the president when air force one touched down in milwaukee but illness kept walker from joining mr. obama for a speech on rebuilding america's manufacturing sector. a year after budget cuts triggered protests, obama faces re-election complication in state he won by 14 points in 2008. on this day he stayed away from the fight and focused on the manufacturing initiative. >> today for the first time in 15 years this plant is running at full capacity. that is an example of what happens when unions and employers work together. >> when they're bombarded with pro and anti-walker ads, summer recall election may be
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the most expensive statewide race in the country this year. walker hopes it overshadows the presidential race. >> this isn't just about who the governor of wisconsin is. not just the momentum or impact will be on the november 2012 election. >> recall election gave democrats a year's head start mobilizing for the november election. at union shop master lock, gave them initiative. >> through the local union they have a voice, seat at the table and right to collectively bargain with the company. >> each side is preaching to its own choir. >> collective bargaining is not a right in the public sector it's expensive entitl entitlement. >> besides walker, democrats are trying to recall the lieutenant governor and four state senators. they were able to hold to an important judgeship in other recall votes last year. walker thinks his recall vote will energize republicans more than democrats but wisconsin has been losing private sector jobs for six months, bucking
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the national trend leaving walker vulnerable on an issue that is supposed to be mr. obama's achilles heel. >> the economy is getting stronger. the recovery is heating up. >> it may keep the president from campaigning here as much as he like. first trip to wisconsin in a year. but polls put it ahead of the republican field here. if walker wins this summer, republicans feel they will have the momentum. john? >> a real battleground. no question. thanks. voting is already underway in ohio ahead of the primary on 6 of march. big super tuesday prize with 66 delegates at stake. correspondent steve brown reports from what we have seen so far on the ground, you would never know it. >> should i make it a lighter blue? >> right new in ohio if you need campaign sign, make one. if you need a campaign button? make one of those, too. early voting did start january 31, but with less than three weeks out to the buckeye
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state republican presidential primary it's so far a surprisingly low budget, low-key affair. >> it doesn't mean anecdotally watching how it's played out on the ground but a lot of momentum for any one candidate. >> if anyone has momentum in ohio it appears to be rick santorum. the real clear politics average of ohio polling has him in front of romney with gingrich trailing. >> it's clear now. santorum is one that can beat romney and can beat obama. >> in a new fox news poll in ohio, santorum beats obama and so does romney, all within the margin of error. ohio's political landscape may help santorum. >> neighboring state from pennsylvania and good blue collar background. go >> but supporters fear a romney tv onslaught. as has happened in previous contests, romney's super pac
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has ads. more ads are likely to come soon. >> expect there to be fair amount of advertising and media blitz. ohio has 11 million people. it's impossible to shake everybody's hands. >> resources for the other ohio campaign are thin. >> we prefer more money but it's not the solution. >> santorum campaign operate under handicap in ohio. they fail to submit delegate for three congressional districts so nine of the 66 delegates up for grabs come super tuesday, santorum team will not be eligible for. john? >> john: steve brown in columbus. thanks. still ahead -- congress takes up president obama's contraception mandate. but first, reaction to the president's idea of cutting our nuclear arsenal by 80%.
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>> john: a horrible prison fire tops international news. authorities in honduras say 300 inmates died at the facility. dozens reportedly trapped in their cells because prison authorities could not find the keys to let them out. united nations general assembly plans to vote on thursday afternoon in a resolution calling for an end to the violence in syria. more was reported today in several cities. president assad announced resolution on constitution this month. president obama cost cutting for the military may carve deeply to america's nuclear deterrent. national correspondent steve centanni has details from the pentagon on a possible reduction that redefines dramatic. good evening. >> good evening, john.
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omss at the pentagon are aimed to make dramatic reductions in the nuclear arsenal. the u.s. has 5,000 nuclear weapons, it's already agreed to reduce them to 1550 as part of a new treaty with russia. now three new options are on the table. reducing the arsenal to 1,000, cutting to 700 to 800. most dramatic is keeping 300 warheads. today on capitol hill, chairman of the joint chiefs downplayed the significance of the latest plans. >> i concern you not to become too concerned with the media reports of what is a comprehensive process. >> others say it's a trial balloon and say cutting 80% of the arsenal unilaterally is included to test the outer limits of what is possible. it's long been president obama's goal to cut the
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nuclear arsenal as he declared in prague in 2009. >> so today, i state clearly and with conviction, america's commitment to seek peace and security of a world without nuclear weapons. >> the latest plan met with dismay by republicans on capitol hill. >> i have to suggest to you i consider that reckless lunacy. >> it does nothing but encourage our enemies and discourage our friends. the result of that is more nuclear weapons programs all across the world. >> officials say so far the president has not received the proposals on his desk. >> john: world bank president says he is stepping down at the end of june. president's traditio position traditionally filled by an american. carney says he has no information on possible
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successors. euro zone finance ministers want to put greece under tighter surveillance in return for $170 billion bail-out. they announced that greece's president will forgo his salary as symbolic gesture. stocks were down today, the dow lost 97. s&p off 7. nasdaq dropped 16. factory output up .7 of a percentage point for january. that is the best month of growth in five years. home builder sentiment reached the highest level since may of 2007. government worker says mom's homemade lunch is not good enough for her child. that's next in grapevine. don't forget about the infinity sponsored text to vote question. at what price per gallon will you change your driving habits? text sr1 for 36288 if you
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think it's $3.50. text sr2 for $4.00. sr3 for 4.50. and sr4 for $5.00 and up. we'll bring you the results at the end of tonight's show we know a place where tossing and turning have given way to sleeping. where sleepless nights yield to restful sleep. and lunesta can help you get there, like it has for so many people before. when taking lunesta, don't drive or operate machinery until you feel fully awake. walking, eating, driving, or engaging in other activities while asleep, without remembering it the next day, have been reported. abnormal behaviors may include aggressiveness, agitation, hallucinations or confusion. in depressed patients, worsening of depression, including risk of suicide, may occur. alcohol may increase these risks. allergic reactions, such as tongue or throat swelling, occur rarely and may be fatal. side effects may include unpleasant taste, headache, dizziness and morning drowsiness.
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>> john: now fresh pickings from the political grapevine. what sounds more healthy to you? homemade turkey and cheese sandwich? or cafeteria chicken nuggets?
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the carolina journal report says the state employee inspecting children's lunches thought the latter. the preschooler was told to eat the school lunch after the lunch her mom made her consisting of sandwich, banana, apple juice and potato chips was judged not to be in compliance with agriculture department nutritional guidelines. the girl was sent home with her lunch box still full and told to pay $1.25 for chicken nuggets. mom says he is packed the lunch according to what her daughter will eat and another state official concedes it probably did meet the federal standards after all. smelling lawsuit? republicans are demanding an apology from president obama campaign manager over a tweet they argue is offensive to latino. jim mecina tweeted a line from the "washington post" column that wonders if republicans will be able to reach out to latino voters. line of the day from millbank
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millbank, -- the republican national committee was quick to pounce retweeting user's comment saying that not all hispanics were about chimichangas. this afternoon, messina referenced the comments but did not apologize for it. finally, they are voting to abolish a statue of letting people sue those accused of stealing spouses. it's an ain't quiteed law that does not -- antiquated law. the repeal now heads to the poll senate. president obama said his point person from the cabinet to the u.s. senate today to address the outcry over his mandatory contraceptive policy and how it affects religious based organizations. chief washington correspondent james rosen shows us what happened. >> testifying before the senate finance committee, health and human services
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secretary kathleen sebelius suggested the obama administration and catholic church can still make headway together. >> they will have a year delay in implementation to work out strategy where they can abide by the religious freedom. >> when pressed about the modified hhs ruling friday and mandated the catholic affiliated institution must provide free contraception to women as part of the health plan as long as the insurance company pick up the tab. >> it the rule will be in place and effective by august 2013. >> my first job in chicago was working with catholic parishs in pou poor neighborhoods. >> the u.s. conference of catholic bishops said the new h.h.s. rule does not go far enough. lawmakers reaction split along party lines. >> adequately protects religious liberty and at the same time protects the right of women to obtain contraceptive services when they choose to. >> i think you've got it very wrong on the first try and you
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have a lot more work to do. >> at least five bills aim to repeal the h.h.s. mandate. the old one introduced a year ago by thorntonberry of nebraska and boasts 1ed 90 cosponsors. >> the final rule promulgated friday is direct obnoxious, unprecedented attack on conscious right of religious entity and anyone else for moral reasons cannot and will not pay for abortion inducing drugs. >> one of five measure is attached as an amendment to pending transportation bill. harry reid indicated this week he will allow it up for a vote soon internet washington, james rosen, fox news. >> john: we'll talk about the price of gasoline and how the tension with iran might affect it. the fox all-stars join me right after a quick break.
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when president obama came to office, the average cost of gasoline was $1.79. today the average cost for gasoline is $3.28. that is an 83% increase in the cost of the pump since president obama has been in office. >> he comes to reducing dependence on foreign oil, increasing production of oil and gas. increasing reduction on clean energy. it's really all of the above approach. >> the price of gasoline heats up, so does the rhetoric. bring in the panel. steve hayes for "weekly standard." a.b. stoddard associate editor of the hill. syndicated columnist charles krauthammer. let's kick around what the political impact of rising gasoline prices will be. and let's put up this really interesting graphic. tracks gas prices in presidential approval back to the carter administration. while it's not a mirror image it very closely measures presidential approval against gas prices.
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track closely. >> i think the increase of gas prices since president obama has been in office is high and it will be a good talking point for republicans. i don't think it's a driving campaign issue if the economy continues in the direction that it's going. if unemployment continues to trend downward and you have a steady recovery. it will be the overarching issue and people won't listen to the discussion of the high gas prices this summer that we have seen before. i think if it's a situation that is reversed and there is a dip in the recovery, then it's a big narrative despite obama care, healthcare prices are up and food prices are up and gas prices never spiked so much in one term of one president.
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that is the way i see it. >> can the economy go the way it's been going if it heads to $5 a gasoline lo gallon? >> if the slope is graduate, a slope over three years, this is less felt by the electorate and less by the economy. what killed jimmy carter is you had spikes in prices that were the oil shocks that shocked the economy, sent in a tail spin and had immediate impact on the voter by raising prices hugely and quickly, immediately. if it rises 10 cents here or there it won't have an effect. there could be a spike if there is outrage of real unrest in middle east.
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that could affect the economy and put us in double dip the way it did twice in the '70 '70s. it could have effect on how people feel about economy. >> last june they tapped in the petroleum with largest release in nation's history if the gas prices head to $5 a gallon. you think in a political season. you got a percentage point bump from 45 to 47%. >> unless they free up the keystone. republicans have to play this game and make the argument. what charles said, he is right. this is not happening in a vacuum. republicans have to make an argument. it's not just that we look at the gas prices. republicans have to explain what gas prices have gone up.
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the white house feels this is random effect, they point to the president's role to cause the gas prices to go up. they have not done that effectively. you can point to keystone. that is a campaign issue. the republicans can use to make an argument but they have to make an argument. >> after making the argument, the republicans could point to wyoming and the price of gas is $2.90. the reason is proximity to canada. this is what we are supposed to get from keystone. carney talking about this, it's complete nonsense. it has done everything it can to shut down drilling in the gulf. killing keystone.
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a war on fossil fuel in name of pie in the sky. clean energy for which they have been throwing billions to no effect whatsoever. >> the rhetoric ratchets up. it tells them they may cut off the oil. you have can't fire me because i quit. the keystone decision does it look in hindsight more dangerous because at this point in time you want to make sure dough have supply of oil. >> the pressure on keystone has not disappeared. president obama personally wishes he could have supported pipeline online. it's a fight that is not over for sure. i want to say the rhetoric, this is complicated. as you know, the white house will argue that they pick up and the demand does for oil. this also affects the prices.
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they have a line for everything about this. the iranians choose to slow down or tighten the flow of oil. they will make sure that they are proactive about the rhetoric, about gas prices. >> obama could easily allow the keystone to happen. all they have to do is say yes. >> the argument on keystone -- >> keystone was approved twice in a three-year period. white house stepped in with the state department and declined it. this is easy as a clean argument for the republicans to make. >> of all the decisions i think if you see unemployment continuing to drop through june and august and october, they won't remember fast and furious and solyndra and keystone the way you think they are. >> john: hold it there for a minute. we'll be back in a minute with more.
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next up, the 2012 election campaign and how michigan is turning in to a crucial test for native son mitt romney. don't go away. we'll be right back.
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romney super pac spent $20 million attacking fellow republicans. why? romney is trying to hide from his big government romney care and his support for job-killing cap and trade. it's going to backfire. >> that is the nature of politics that you accuse the other guys of what you have done yourself. my campaign hasn't run negative ads against rick santorum. >> give him points for
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creativity. >> john: let's talk about michigan. an important state for him. wrote he was born. rick santorum is outpolling in the latest survey. what is your take on what might happen? can santorum beat him? >> yeah, he could. he is making the argument with christian conservatives there. if i am romney i'd do something unconventional here going to the final weeks before michigan. i'm embrace my opposition to the bail-out. we should have opposed a bail-out. it's smart and here is why. i'm a businessman and turn-around artist. this created moral hazards where there weren't some
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before. it would allow romney from embracing what republicans should embrace broadly, one he is not conservative enough. it would be conservative argument. he is too calculating because this would be a big risk. >> i don't know, i think his response on the bail-out with the way he tried to explain is it shaky at best. he won in 2008 to pander to them and say don't let them tell you that the jobs are gone. i'm not going to accept that. months later he wrote that famous op-ed in the "new york times" saying let detroit go bankrupt. if they take the bail-out, you can kiss them goodbye. he is walking it back to say he is asking for managed bankruptcy. that is what happened. this does sound calculated.
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santorum is not only ahead in the polls but he has a lifetime. 12 more days. he won last time with 39%. he was the conservative option to john mccain. santorum will beat him with the catholic, white working class, romney numbers with them are going down terribly. evangelical christians, he has a message of the liability of obamacare. he was the architect was. i would be surprised if he doesn't pull a close second. >> if we look to the contest, likely romney will win area. if he loses michigan could it be a trip wire to waffles on the following tuesday? alaska, georgia, idaho, north dakota, ohio, oklahoma,
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tennessee, he could lose all of those. >> if you think of the psychological effect of losing the three states last week, michigan, sorry, colorado, minnesota, and missouri. no delegates at stake, imagine what happens in the state like michigan which is romney's home court. he won there and is running as a native. his adds say i grew up here. i'm a detroiter. you lose on your home court to a challenger just coming off. that is bad. it resets the whole race. it starts over with santorum and romney in the same point. i think he should go along. he should go on a guy running against nothing against biography i'm a businessman and now in michigan, the ads say i grew up here. that is not it.
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he has to come up with an idea to rally behind opponent like reagan supply side economics. he has nothing of that sort. he gave a speech in detroit. four days before the election. it whats to be large. tax reform, entitle reform, new idea. or he is treading water. >> john: we have interesting polls to put up, for general election. president obama beats every republican in the aggregate of the swing state. if you separate out ohio, the numbers are different. look ever republican candidate beats president obama with the exception of gingrich who los loses. minute-and-a-half left, what do you make of the polls? >> it's a dramatic shift in the landscape. president obama did poorly in the upper midwest section of the country.
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>> the economy from the swing states are worse than the rest of the rest. this is still a mountain to climb. >> the republicans in congress mishandled affairs and candidates are destroying each other. it's been a good run for obama. >> good to see you tonight. thank you. stay around for online show after this. that is it for the panel. stave tuned. mitt romney in the michigan primary where the rubber meets the road. wait until you see this.
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>> now time to reveal our infinity sponsored text to what dollar per gallon of gasoline will you change your driving habits.
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1020. 14 percent said $5 and up. so for the majority of you, it looks like you are already beginning to change your driving habits. thanks for your votes tonight. we had almost 6,000 of them. finally this evening. we have talked about the state of michigan and how crucial the upcoming primary could be to mitt romney's continued viability as a candidate. romney has taken the wheel and tried to sell himself to voters. some people wonder if that's such a good idea. >> mitt romney has campaigned this week in michigan and today he he put out this ad where he he talks about the auto industry while just driving around detroit. okay? i don't know. i watched it. i just don't think that mitt should be talking and driving at the same time. [ laughter ] >> now, i grew up in michigan. it was exciting to be here. how in the world did an industry get in such a fix. president obama. all these things for years. [horn blowing] >> i want to make michigan stronger and better. this is personal.


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