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tv   Special Report With Bret Baier  FOX News  September 25, 2010 4:00am-5:00am EDT

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thanks, andy. >> always a pleasure. see you son. -- see you soon. mike baker, always a delight. >> bret: iran's president tells fox news he wants investigation in the 9/11 attacks, as president obama calls insinuation of u.s. involvement inexcusable. the internal battle over democrats over when and what to extend bush tax cut. why was a comedian testify today in character on capitol hill? live from the studio in washington, this is "special report." good evening, i'm bret baier. president obama says the idea that u.s. because we hind the 9/11 attacks is offensive and hateful. iranian president mahmoud ahmadinejad is not backing down from comments he made thursday at the united nations. senior correspondent eric shawn talked with the iranian leader today. >> reporter: you wished americans well, but you insulted millions and
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millions of americans claiming that the u.s. government had a hand in 9/11. quite frankly, sir, how could you say such an insane and nutty thing? >> translator: would you address your own president the same way? would they ever allow you to? you probably didn't real the full -- >> yes, i was this, yesterday. what evidence do you have that the u.s. government is responsible for 9/11? >> translator: you're not even allowing me to respond. >> reporter: go ahead. >> translator: and you insult me as well. >> reporter: do you believe the government had a hand in 9/11? >> translator: i did not say, give an opinion on my own. i suggested that a fact-finding group and mission be formed to delve into the truth. >> reporter: in bbc version television interview, president obama denounced the comments ahmadinejad made at the u.n. >> it was offensive. it was hateful. marly for him to make the
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statement here in manhattan, just a little north of ground zero. where families lost their loved ones. people of all faiths, all ethnicities, who see this as a seminole tragedy of this generation. for him to make a statement like that was inexcusable. >> he extend ed extended an oli branch. do you want a nuclear bomb? >> i said we do not want an atomic bomb. >> reporter: why should we believe you? you're violating four u.n. resolutions, and kicked out inspectors. why should the world believe anything you say on the suggest?
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>> translator: we do not insist you believe us. we never said you should. you are free to not believe us, but why would you insist on imposing your view on us with resolutions with force? >> we asked the if iran was victim of terrorist. he said he was waiting for a reply from second letter from president obama and that was about terrorists infiltrating iran from pakistan and afghanistan and killing innocent iranians. >> bret: thank you. interesting. there will not be a senate vote on extending the bush tax cuts before the november election. house speaker nancy pelosi says there may be one in the house. political calculation to blunt criticism from republicans. white house correspondent mike emanuel has the story. >> we'll remain the right to proceed as we choose. >> undecided speaker nancy
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pelosi on whether the house will vote on the bush tax cut before leaving town for mid-term election. the issue is timely because late thursday spokesman for senate majority leader harry reid said it was impossible for senators to improve the tax cuts before november 2. >> it's not about the election. it's about the policy. we're all strong on that. the voter can go home and talk about their commitment to that. >> pelosi and other democratic leaders favor extending the middle class tax cut but not those for upper income americans, individuals earning more than $200,000 a year and families earning more than $250,000. leading republicans who believe the bush tax cut should be extended for all americans are crying foul. >> a gutless approach for them. it understand the democrats, this is a tough approach for them. they never had the guts to do what they believe.
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they have overwhelming numbers. >> voting after november 2, it will be a lame duck congress with some who just lost their seat and others surviving issues and deciding different set of standards than they would have now. >> there is something non-democratic with that. >> they are dealing with tough battles and those representing affluent districts who don't want taxes going up. >> the short run lesson the democratic majority is at war with itself. and different cross pressures and they can't resolve the basic issue of what to do about the tax burden for so many millions of americans. >> when the lame duck congress votes on tax cuts, most expect to be extended for a year. outgoing members won't want to be remembered for raising taxes as a final act. the white house and democratic leaders would be stuck with tax cuts they don't want. bret? >> bret: mike emanuel live in
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new york. let's delve deeper in the internal struggles that the democrats are having over the tax cut issue. here is chief washington correspondent jim angle. >> democratk leaders were forced to delay which tax cut to extent because they argue that any increase in taxes will hurt the economy. >> if we let it go to the next step with the reverse of the tax levels to 2000 year level, it would create economic katrina in the country. >> 31 democrats sent a letter to pelosi asking to extend all the tax cuts, including those for higher incomes. >> we're talking to folks who are coming to us now saying we agree with the position on this. >> they say ending tax cut on high income would hurt job creating businesses. >> these are the job creators and the healthy, thriving businesses we are asking to revive the economy from the
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doldrums. the last thing we want to do is raise their taxes. >> raising taxes on higher income households directly targets those households as supply a large fraction of the saving and investment that's needed for america's economic growth. >> which is the key to key to job creation. >> some quibble whether it would increase small business or big business or a lot of wealthy people. but they say it doesn't matter because the key is the role they play in the economy. >> the top two or 3% is providing half the funds for saving and invest in the the united states. >> i.r.s. data don't offer clear picture, but a business survey found it would hit job creator. >> if businesses that employ between 20 and 50 workers are the ones most likely to see the taxes go up if you let them expire. they account for 25% of the american workforce. >> president obama ran as a pro-business candidate, this and other positions given him a different reputation.
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>> right now, the most anti-democratic business community climate i can recall. hardcore democrats that are in business tell me how angry they are about what is happening in washington. >> during the tough economic times, the president may find it hard to do anything for those better off. they may be a key to better economy and what they need most. more jobs. >> bret: stark to hear lanny davis say it that way. >> afraid it's the truth. >> bret: thank you, jim. tax cut issue will be discussed on "fox news sunday" this weekend. house minority leader john boehner, chief deputy whip kevin mccarthy and steny hoyer will join chris wallace. majority leader hoyer says the house will vote next week on a bill opening the way for u.s. retaliation against china over its failure to increase currency value. the measure was approve today by the ways and means committee. supports say the inaction cost americans jobs. critics say the bill is an
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election year move to gain labor support and could lead to retaliation against american companies operating in china. sales of newly built homes had their second worst month on record in all. they were unchanged from july, but down 29% from last august. demand for durable goods was down 1.3% last month. stocks finished the week strong. the dow gained almost 198 points today. the s&p 500 was up 24. the nasdaq finished ahead 54. a white house snub for a former insider on his wedding day. that's coming up later in the grapevine. straight ahead, a democrat and a republican try to out conservative each other. úúppxñ
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>> bret: in america's news headquarters tonight, we are back at fox's big board with 39 days to go to the november elections. tonight, we focus on the house. this map looks at the races
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to watch in the house. these are races we've singled out, including a congressional race in west virginia. this is the first district of west virginia. where democratic state legislature mike oliverio faces mckinley. the big trend this season has been the wave of anti-incumbent sentiment. chief political correspondent carl can cameron reports oliverio has already taken down a political mini dynasty. >> he was the first challenger across the country to beat any incumbent this year. he ousted 28-year democratic house veteran alan malahan whose father held the seat for 20 years before him. the state lawmaker opposes abortion, gay marriage, healthcare reform, president cap-and-trade bill, stimulus spending. most of president obama and the democratic party agenda. >> i'm not going to washington to get in-step with the washington leaders. i'm going to washington to try to get the leaders in step with the american
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people. >> the republican nominee is millionaire businessman dave mckinley, former west virginia g.o.p. chairman and state lawmaker. he argues once in washington, oliverio will be a rubber stamp for obama-pelosi liberalism. >> they hurt with us the taxes and the healthcare bill. this is time for a change. >> mckinley is also on the air with attack ads. >> had enough of record job loss? enough of barack obama and nancy pelosi? enough of the attacks on west virginia jobs? >> mckinley is under fire, too. in his case for using past state house connections to win contracts for his companies. >> everyone has a price. that's what david mckinley said in the "charleston gazette" when confronted about the unethical state dealings as legislator. >> it's my belief to go to public service to enrich lives of yourself, not to enrich yourself. that's what he has done. >> in the nominating process, three incumbent senators have been ousted.
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bob bennett, lisa murkowski. four house members were beaten. out of the congressional districts the republicans need to pick up 39 for majority. right now, 100 appear competitive on to election day. polls anwyl lists say it's likely that the republicans will win between 39-55 seats currently held by democrats. despite all the anger at washington. it's likely that 80 to 90% of current house incumbents will get re-elected. in the particularly close swing districts, democrats are not just running against republicans. in many cases they are already running aggressively from the obama-pelosi agenda. bret? >> bret: campaign carl, live in wheeling, west virginia. thank you. now, as carl mentioned, these are the races to watch. this could change over the next 39 days. as some of the races tighten. the other thing we do with the fox big board is watch the balance of power. you saw in carl's piece, he talked about the balance of
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power in the house. and what republicans need there. here is the balance of power in the senate. on the senate side, democrats hold 57 seats. two independents. those are the two green spots here. they caucus with the democrats. republicans are 41. in all, there are 33 seats up for grabs this fall. the g.o.p. needs to pick up ten additional seats to gain the majority. you know, we've been hearing a lot from the political consultants and analysts. tonight we want to hear about the candidates and issues we face from the people who matter most. that's you. the voters across the country. we begin this new series tonight talking to folks in massachusetts, illinois, and also in california. here is correspondent william la jeunesse. >> this is a change that looking for, not a good change. >> maybe too much change. >> change is in the wrong direction. >> from new england, to the midwest. >> there are definitely some
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needs, some changes. >> we need to cut spending, of course, cut taxes. >> to the streets of beverly hills. >> i'm wondering why it's taking so long for the economy to kick back. >> my perspective is we're going in the right direction. >> america speaks. what is washington doing that is bugging you? >> no matter what the people say, they seem to do the opposite. >> be more concerned about our country. >> the republicans and democrats can't even get along but they expect us to get along. >> voters hate the blame game. >> it's all about intolerance and then shifting the blame. >> the politicians get in there and they have their own agenda. >> we, as the people, are being punished when they don't work together. >> so how do americans grade the president? >> i would love to say it was a "b" plus, but i this it's more a "b." >> i give it an "a." >> i'd say a "d." >> i thought he was going to do a better job. >> he came in with the right
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mind set. i don't think he got there close. >> if you had one question for the president -- why did you want to become president if you cannot handle it? >> how much longer until it turns around? >> first thing is he happy? he has a load on his shoulder. >> this was about getting outside the beltway. very different cities, but similar themes. the majority that we spoke to still like the president personally and feel his changes are not what they voted for. they also admit to having unreasonably high expectations that the president could fix washington. bret? >> bret: much more of that in the series. william, thank you. well, we'll see much more of the big board throughout the next few days. 39 days, actually, as the election ticks on. up next, another textbook controversy. and still ahead, there is no business like show business. but on capitol hill? ÷ñúúúúxx÷÷f@
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>> bret: a justice department official painted a picture of an organization hostile to cases involving the rights of white people. and sensitive to political fresh from the naacp. national correspondent steve centanni reports on testimony involving a case this official described as a travty of justice. >> election day 2008, two members of the black panthers party in paramilitary gash stood outside philadelphia polling place, one wielding a night stick. the justice department the voting rights act, v.r.a., had not been violate and that decision led the man in charge of the voting section of justice to turn whistle blower and make an allegation that goes beyond the one case
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in philadelphia. >> large number of the people in the voting section and civil rights division, and many of those working in the civil rights field believe incorrectly, but vehemently enforcement of the protection of the voting rights act should not be extended to white voters. >> he testified on the commission of civil rights after being told by the interior not to appear. he said those who show hos silty are now in -- hostility are now in top position at justice, including julie fernandez who according to coats held meeting to discourage cases that weren't "traditional kind." >> when hernandez made that statement, everyone in the room understood what she meant. no more cases like ike brown or the black panther party case. >> ike brown is accused of
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election fraud targeting white voters. coats says those calling the shots were angry the cases had been brought. >> the anger was the result of their deep-seeded opposition to equal enforcement of the voting right act against the racial minority and protection of white voters who have been discriminated against. >> the justice department responded saying the so-called investigation is thin on facts and investigation and thick on rhetoric. and at least one civil rights commissioner agrees. >> the fact of the matter is you have a justice department committed to equal protection under the law. >> civil rights commission can't bring charges but will send report to congress to trigger future hearings depend tong outcome of the november election. this washington, steve centanni, fox news. >> bret: members of the texas board of education voted today on whether to limit references to islam in school textbooks. correspondent kris gutierrez is live in austin to tell us what happened. good evening. >> hello, bret. the resolution passed, by vote of 7-6.
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what it means for supporters the proislamic or anti-christian sentiment they feel exists in some textbooks today. it will be unacceptable, the state board of education review dozen of books and caught the attention of conservative board member done mcelroy. he found islam listed in the table of contents 27 times in world history book and christianity referenced once. >> that is why he supported this. >> my view is judaism and y christianity have the proper roles in history. but in the books you have to search for it. >> critics calling on the board to reject the resolution because they say it does nothing more than politicize education and exploit anti-muslim bigotry.
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>> watch out, there are guys funding these things and this is ridiculous and it's asking people to put together a spider's web that doesn't exist. >> today's resolution will impact textbooks that could end up in classrooms as early as 2012. back to you. >> bret: kris gutierrez live in austin. thank you. the british government says an attack from irish terrorists is now a strong possibility. it's raised the terror threat level from ira dissidents from moderate to substantial. ira splinter groups recently threatened to start targeting london bankers. they're seeking to undermine the 1998 peace accord. gunmen killed a town mayor near the drug plagued mexican industrial city of monterey. the third mayor killed in a month. this is since felipe calderon launched attack on drug cartel in late 2006. there will be more cake
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for everybody at the wedding of a former white house staffer this weekend. we'll tell you why in the grapevine. plus, some unpleasant talk between a former governor and one aspiring governor of new york. ñ÷@
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>> bret: now some fresh pickings from the political grapevine. former democratic new york governor eliot spitzer is giving a less than ringing endorsement for the candidate he has in the past said he
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would vote for. the "wall street journal" reports spitzer said of democratic gubernatorial candidate andrew cuomo, "the problem andrew has is that everybody knows that behind the scenes he's the dirtiest, nastiest political player out there. and that is his reputation from years in washington." cuomo spokesman responded with a not so subtle jab at spitzer. "cuomo's record, credibility and honor speak for themselves. as do mr. spitzer's." spitzer, of course, resigned two years ago in the wake of a prostitution scandal. virginia republican governor bob mcdonald offered apology and olive branch speaking at a conference about slavery. the "washington post" reports that mcdonnell promised next april will not be called confederate history month as he originally said but instead civil war in virginia month. he was criticized this year for the proclamation that at first did not include reference to slavery in the
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war. me said the emission was, "error of haste, not heart." finally, former white house budget director peter orszag won't be seeing many of his former west wing colleagues in the receiving line when he gets married in manhattan this weekend. politico reports chief of staff rahm emanuel and senior advisors david axelrod and valerie jarret sent their regrets. the "new york post" says the trio were expected but bailed at the last minute. "the snub comes after orszag, who resigned as budget director in late july wrote an op-ed column that clashed with the obama administration stance in favor of raising taxes on earners of more than $250,000 a year." politico called the snub, "pretty captain obvious." orszag was already hated. the marriage between politics and pop culture came under fire today on capitol hill. correspondent molly henneberg shows us what happened when funny man steven colbert showed up and many lawmakers
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didn't get the joke. >> democratic chair of the house judiciary committee initially tried to get him to leave. >> you run your show. we run the committee. >> but comedianstein colbert speaking in host of comedy central "colbert report" says he was invited to the hearing on illegal immigrant farm workers and offered his take on the matter at hand. >> america's farms are presenty far too dependent on immigrant labor to pick our fruit and vegetables. the obvious answer is for all of us to stop eating fruits and vegetables. and if you look at the recent obesity statistics you see many americans have already started. >> he recently took up the farm challenge to work in field like a day like an immigrant laborer, told the committee he's qualified to speak on the topic. >> i believe one day of me studying everything makes me an expert. >> celebrity are not unheard of promoting a cause or
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charity or giving testimony. they've been doing it for years. kevin costner was here two days ago to talk about the clean-up of the oil spill. but they say colbet's appearance was different. >> they're discussing the charity work but they are not playing a role. here we have stephen colbert, popular and funny character, but speaking in character is highly unusual. i've never seen another human do that. >> although humans behind the scenes have been known to bring elmo and kermit the frog to life to speak to lawmakers. but he says inviting colbert to speak was a gamble. >> dangerous, so close to the election when people are angry at congress and some of them will see this as a publicity stunt g. but still, he says the presence today brought much more attention to the hearing than it might have gotten otherwise. will people remember long-term that he was drawing attention to the issue of immigrant farm workers?
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cousak says probably not. in washington, molly henneberg, fox news. >> bret: throughout the day, lawmakers continue to react to the colbert appearance. house speaker nancy pelosi said this afternoon, "of course i think it's appropriate. he's an american, right? he can bring attention to an important issue like immigration, i think it's great." on the other side, republican congressman steve king from iowa -- >> i think it's insult to the time, insult to american people that congress conducted itself in this fashion. he made reference that democrats will be working for work this fall, that's accurate and accelerated by the conduct in the hearing today. >> bret: more on the conduct with the panel and friday lightning round later. but first, congressional democratic leaders may be at odds on whether to vote on tax cuts, extending them before the election. fall out and politics about all of this. we will talk about wilt the fox all-stars when we come back.
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america's middle class will have a tax cut. it will be done in this congress. there is no question about that. it's not about the election. it's about the policy. and we're all very strong on that. >> there are 59 of them in the senate. overwhelming number in the house. they could do anything they want to, but they can't get their side together. the reason they can't is because they are enough reasonable people in the democratic party to say hey, this is not the right thing to do. >> bret: well, the senate majority leader reid decided not to bring up a vote in the senate for cuts in the house. not clear decision from nancy pelosi but it look like the house will leave without a vote before the election on this big issue. what about this? politics and policy. the panel, fred barnes from "weekly standard." erin billings from roll call and syndicated columnist, charles krauthammer. fred, what about this?
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>> contrary to what nancy pelosi says, there is a big doubt about what congress will do, on the whole tax thing. i mean for one thing, it's a bad idea to raise taxes during a recession, or during an economy that is as weak as the one we have now. so weak it's not reducing unemployment or able to, because it's not creating enough jobs. fewer than the number of people entering the job market. it's -- senator hatch said the democrats don't have the votes. if you are running for congress, in a district that's not some safe liberal seat, do you want to vote for a tax increase for people who make over $250,000 a year? when these are the people whether you like it or not, who provide the investment in start-up and companies that create jobs. that's not some secret economic fact. that's the way the world works. so it's a crazy idea. and, you know, at least nancy pelosi, give her credit for talking about having a vote on this. the lack of leadership in the
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senate, you know, it's going to punt it to the lame duck session. that's pathetic. it shows how the congress is winding up. the public turned against them. they can't hold their people together. >> bret: erin, what about this as a political issue now? democrats control the white house, control the house and control the senate. yet, they're not having a vote on the issue they've been talking about for the past month, two months. >> that's right. this is the issue we thought they were actually going to at least debate. now we all kind of knew this was going to have to be kicked to the lame duck for a vote. we at least thought we had the debate. now it looks like we're not having the debate. we may in the house, but i doubt it. now the message changed. republicans are going to talk about how maybe the democrats aren't going to deal with this in the lame duck. you can't trust them. don't elect them. democrats are going to have to make the case to american people that yes, in fact, we will deal with this. trust us. right now, look at the polls, there is not a lot of trust out there for the congress. >> bret: charles, when you talk about a lame duck and we have on the panel many times,
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lame duck session, there will be members of congress who lose in the election but they are still around until january. when the next congressman or woman comes in. or senator comes in. there will be people voting on tax cuts though they lost an election. >> that's right. it raises the issue of the illegitimacy of congress where some of the members suffered defeat. yet, deciding this. but even before the lame duck, before the election it gives the republicans second issue. the original issue was ideological, issue of economic philosophy. is it a good idea to raise anyone's taxes in the middle of a recession? now they added a second issue. as hatch said, the democrats have control of the house and the senate and the presidency for 20 months. and they are unable to tell the country what the rates of taxation are going to be in three months, on january 1. it isn't only the income tax.
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it's capital gains, dividends, or estate tax. this is at a time when we all know that one of the reasons why business large and small is sitting on $3 trillion of cash and not investing and not spending and not hiring is because of uncertainty. the largest uncertainty is what is going to be the cost to any business of taxes. and they can't even answer that. the reason it's a difficult issue for any democrat is the democrats are the ones who spent a year-and-a-half telling us how government has a role in controlling healthcare, regulating the financial industry. and spending $1 trillion of stimulus, but can't even tell you what the taxes will be on january 1. >> bret: fred, how if democrats do leave without taking a vote, without bringing it up, how do they spin that back in their home district? the republican obstruction, they could still bring it up. >> of course, we could. >> bret: how are -- >> they're obviously going to blame republicans.
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because that is the fall-back position when they don't have anything to say. they will not say the own senators like joe lieberman and others who believe that the tax cuts for everyone should be extented. >> bret: or the 31 house democrats who sent the letter to the house leadership. >> those are the just the ones that went public. it'd like to go beyond something that erin said. democrats wanted a debate on this issue, but they thought the debate would vindicate them. this was going to be a debate where they would show the republicans just wanted to raise taxes -- cut taxes for the rich and the wealthy. they were going to benefit from it. it shows you how much, the momentum against the democrats in favor of republicans. as we head toward the november 2 election. even this issue, democrats thought would favor them has blown up in their face. >> bret: the small business lending bill, they moved to the white house. they hung a lot. the democratic leadership did on that bill. saying this is what we're doing for small businesses.
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there are people out today saying there is uncertainty about all that that bill can do. >> aren't there small businesses saying we don't really want this after all? >> bret: banks, small community banks. >> right. democrats was hoping this would be part of a one-two punch. they could do this and also have the tax cut debate and that would -- both of those would help them come november. well, now they have the small business bill. you know, it's kind of small law when we are talking about the larger picture, the economy. i don't think it will resonate enough to make a difference. >> i want to come back to the lame duck session quickly. how would it effect do you think democratic lawmaker who loses his or her seat to then vote? would it mean more likely that they would go with the obama administration approach? 250 or less. or side with folks and throw caution to the wind inside
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democratic party. i'm going to vote to extend tax cuts. >> it depends how large embassy he gets if he votes the right way. >> bret: short answers. >> i don't mean to be cynical but i've been here for a while. been around the block. >> looking for vacancies on the white house staff. >> you voted for your favorite topic in our friday lightning round. our home page, all week long you voted. winner is up next. investors are demanding more for their money. good. this time, i'm watching fees like a hawk. i hate hidden fees. why should i have to pay for something that i shouldn't have to pay for? td ameritrade's pricing is clear and it's straightforward... it's spelled out upfront. no hidden fees... no bait and switch. no gotchas. and there's one flat rate for online equity trades... for big accounts... or small ones. that's the way it ought to be. time for fresh thinking. time for td ameritrade.
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>> bret: every week on the home page, viewers vote on what topic we should discuss first in this the friday lightning round. the winner, the fall-out from the new bob woodward book, that won with 51% of the vote. before we get to that, the panel wants to weigh in, two matters dominating headlines today. the president's reaction to
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iranian president mahmoud ahmadinejad's speech. and also comedian stephen colbert testimony before congress. today, senior correspondent eric shawn sat down with iranian president ahmadinejad in a combative interview. you can see the interview on he backed up, the iranian president, the assertion that the u.s. might have been behind the 9/11 attacks saying there should be a fact-finding group. do you trust everything the u.s. government tells you? the president called that offensive and hateful. what about this back-and-forth? the panel is back. charles? >> the president says the right words. it's offensive, hateful. the u.n./u.s. delegation yesterday called him delusional. last year, at the u.n., when obama revealed the facility that iran had been hiding he said it's not explainable by any peaceful intent, which means they are building a bomb. president of iran denies it over and over again, so he's
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a liar. so here is my question. what is the president doing at the u.n. yesterday, offering to reopen the door, reopen negotiations and extend a hand to a man who is offensive, delusional, and known liar? i do not understand the reopening of this soft policy. in the face of the reality of the last year-and-a-half; particularly, the last day-and-a-half. >> bret: erin? >> this is just more of the same. he likes to provoke. he says these crazy things. it's outrageous. the president said the right things but we have a policy in iran that may or may not be working. i'll point to not working. you know, so, the question i have is where do we go from here? will the policy toward iran change? because this is just more of the same from, you know, from iranian regime.
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>> bret: no talk of policy changes today. the president, president obama's interview with the bbc. >> no, i didn't see any there. it's interesting that ahmadinejad is a truther. we have some in the u.s. some of them are as obnoxious as he is. the president, in the policy toward the iranians, he's trying to thread a needle that isn't there. i can criticize the president for what they said but they have to be nice to them on the other hand. the truth is, what was most offensive to me is what he said about the iranians in afghanistan. and he said well, maybe on occasion, they've done things which put the troops in harm's way. look, they're siding with the taliban and helping kill americans in afghanistan. then, the needle he's trying to threat, look, if the iranians decided it's clear. they want a nuclear weapon. they don't want to engage with president obama. >> bret: next topic. stephen colbert testified
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today on capitol hill on illegal immigrant farm workers and offered his take on the matter at hand. >> this is america. i don't want a tomato picked by a mexicanism want it picked by an american. then sliced by guatemalan and served by a venezuelan in a spa where a chilean gives me a brazilian. >> bret: made some folks laugh but got some folks fired up on capitol hill. >> it's funny. no question about that. but i mean this was an embarrassment. i thought it was an embarrassment to congress and embarrassment to democrats. what nancy pelosi said should be embarrassment. she defended him, saying he's an american and has a point of view. he was playing a character. playing this blow-hard right-winger, playing a character. didn't she understand that? if this is what this democratic congress, somehow their brains have been jellied. they think that this is something that congress ought to be doing, have a comedian there and do his act. it's not like when they invite some star in to talk about agriculture or global
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warming or something. they're saying what they believe. this was an act. >> bret: erin? >> i have mixed mind about this. look, we need a little levity around here. of course, he was making fun of congress. he said i haven't read the bill, but that is the way things are. i think congress should be made fun of. i do it a lot. at the same time, he got her attention than pretty serious witnesses. on serious matters get. so -- >> elmo did testify in republican congress. >> yeah, but elmo is not human. a little different. you invite a clown in to speak before committee of congress and you should expect clownishness. i think the odd thing is that many on that committee did not quite understand all he was doing was mocking them. they didn't have a clue. it's one thing to invite a comedian and another to have him make a mockery of the process. it's not smart if you are a democrat in the middle of the recession and you are hurting if you do this. >> bret: fox business
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estimates each hearing costs $120,000, $125,000. last topic quickly, bob woodward book "fallout." charles? >> the real story is not what he said about absorbing another 9/11 attack or insults of one member of the circle against another. it's what the ambivalence he portrays in private about the war he himself escalated. questionable how commander-in-chief can endanger number of troops and put them in harm's way in a war he seems only to want an exit. >> bret: erin, quickly. >> i think on that he obviously was heeding the call of the base when he, you know, this was shortly after being elected in 2008. i think the most interesting thing is we know definitively now that hamid karzai is a manic depressive and on medicine. >> bret: fred? >> you know, reading what we know about woodward's book shows the president as weak, incredibly weak. he wanted the military to give him an exit strategy, so he didn't have to send in 40,000 troops, or 30,000 more troops. and prolong the american intervention there.
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he wanted to get out. yet, military thwarted him. he wasn't strong enough to get them to do what he really wanted them to do. >> bret: that is it for the panel. $100,000 per hour per hearing. stay tuned for a speech that
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>> bret: finally tonight, the swiss are usually pretty serious, but sometimes, well, you just get the giggles. watch the swiss finance minister in a speech to parliament talking about, of all things, spiced meat imports. >> [ laughter ] [foreign language] [ laughter ]


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