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tv   FOX News Sunday With Chris Wallace  FOX News  November 14, 2010 2:00pm-3:00pm EST

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kentucky. among the items this baseball signed by the babe which sold for $262,000 to an anon u anons bidder. "fox news sunday" is up next. i'm shannon bream. thanks for watching fox where captioned by closed captioning services, inc. >> chris: i'm chris wallace and this is funds. unfinished business on capitol hill. from the bush tax cuts to cutting the deficit, to keeping the government running, we'll discuss the tough issues facing the lame duck session of congress with white house senior advisor david axelrod and the man known as senator tea party, republican jim demint. ragu government takes shape
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in iraq. we'll ask the sunday panel about the latest developments in america's two wars. and our power player of the week. a crazy heart academy award winner makes it his mission to ended childhood hunger all right now on "fox news sunday." and hello again from fox news in washington. congress gets back to work this week on some key issues that were left unfinished before the election. with a new political reelity here after the mid terms we want to discuss the president's agenda with white house senior advisor david axelrod who joins us from chicago. start with the bush tax cuts that expire at the the end of the year. seems to be confusion about where the president stands so let's clear that up. does the president rule out a permanent extension of all of the tax cuts for the middle class as well as those who make more than $250,000 a year? >> i think the president's
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position has not changed at all and he made it clear again overseas. the president believes we should extend the tax cuts for the middle class. middle class have taken a beating over the last decade. the wages have declined and they have borne the brunt of this recession and it is the wrong thing to do to allow the taxes to go up as the bush taxes were set to expire on january 1. he also feels we have to proceed in a way that is fiscally responsible and we can't afford to borrow another $700 billion for tax cuts that almost entirely are going to go to millionaires and billionaires. we just don't have that money. so that has been his position. is his position. he is eager to sit down and talk about where we go from here but the important thing is that we get something done in the next few week weeks so than january 1 people wake up with security that their taxes are not going to go up. >> all right, but in the interest of getting something
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done and i have notice that the last few times the president has talked about no permanent extension of the tax cuts for the wealthy. does he rule out a temporary extension for several years of all of the tax cuts for the middle class and for the wealthy? >> chris, i'm not going to negotiate with you on this program and i have heard many different variations discussed over the last week publicly. i heard a variety of ideas surfaced publicly by various members of congress and others and we are looking forward to getting together with the leaders of both parties in congress. the important thing is that we move forward. everybody has principles they want to defend but the american people are looking for us to do that and to make progress on the things that are important to them and this is certainly one of them and important to our economy. >> chris: well, i just want to follow up, though, you ruled out the permanent extension. you didn't rule out the
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temporary extension? >> let me repeat with the president's position is. we have to extend these middle class tax cuts absolutely have to do that. we should do that permanently. give people the security of knowing that their taxes aren't going to go up. that would be important for the middle class and important for the country. we cannot afford to go the additional step and permanently cut taxes primarily for millionaires and billionaires at a cost of $700 billion for the next ten years alone. >> chris: let me ask you, you say you want to talk about things that are important to the american people. let's talk about ear marks because house republicans announced this week that they are going to vote to ban all ear marks for the next congress and the house republican leaders challenge the president to promise that he will veto any spending bill that includes emarks. is the president willing to take that pledge? >> the president spoke on this yesterday. we are pleased with the movement toward doing away with
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the ear marks. the president has been about ear mark reform since he got to the united states senate when the republicans were last in charge ear marks exploded to 16,000 in one year alone. democrats have cut that in half but we should go the final step here. so the president supports that. obviously there is some discussion within the republican ranks, senator mcconnell last week rejected this so you can talk about that with senator demint and see where they are. in terms of we will see what comes to us, chris. obviously this is very late in the game in terms of budgeting and keeping the functions of government operating so, you know, and one of the problems is that these things come embedded in bills that have to be signed and that is one of the reasons why the president has asked for a constitutional authority to line-item veto and i hope while the republicans are talking about reforming ear marks they will also give the president this authority so he
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can excise those things and larger bills aren't held hostage to ear marks. >> chris: the president meets with congressional leaders of both parties for din they are week and i want to ask you about a statement you made that says we have to deal with the world as we find it. does the president intend to pull a clinton to move to the center to deal with republicans as bill clinton did after democrats took a drubbing in their mid term in 1994? >> listen, i don't think the question is moving left, right or center. the question is whether we can work together to move this economy forward, chris. and that is what the president wants to do. i think it is very clear the american people elected us and elected this congress to try and work together on the problems of this country. i was dismayed when senator mcconnell said that the most important thing that he has in front of him in the next two year as the leader of the
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caucus is to defeat the president. there will be plenty of time for elections. this ought to be a season of elections in terms of pushing our economy forward, job creation, steadying the middle class and laying the groundwork for a better future and that is what we want to work on with republicans and democrats. >> chris: there is debate about what voters were saying on election day. as i understand it the president's explanation is that the voters were saying two things. one, that the economy didn't turn around fast enough and two, that he and all of you didn't do a good enough job explaining his policies but that is not what the exit polls said. i want to put a couple up on the screen. 52% said mr. obama's policies will hurt the country. 42% said they will help and 56% said government is doing too many things better left to businesses and individuals. 38% said government should do more.
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mr. axelrod there was not a failure of communication. this was a repudiation of the president's policies. >> chris, there is a volume of research and i could make a variety of points off exit poll and other research. the bottom line is the american people have gone through a difficult time. greatest into the greatest recession since the great depression. there are millions of people still looking for work. even though we stopped the free fall and had ten months of positive job growth we need to accelerate that growth. we think that is fundamentally what the american people want. >> chris: if i may, you don't think that the country was saying, voters were saying too much big government, 2,000-page bills, too much spending, too much intrusioning? >> i have no doubt that people
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are concerned about spending but they are fundamentally concerned about their jobs, chris, and they want to see robust job creation and they want to see this country strengthen its economy and grow. and that is what we want as well. so i think that is fundamentally the message and that is what the president is going to be focused on. >> chris: there are so many issues. i want to do a lightning round of quick questions and answers to go over them. i will do my part i hope you do your part. well, no promises but go ahead. >> chris: i'll try. the cochairs of the deficit commission both of whom the president appointed came out with a plan this week to cut our debt by $4 trillion over the next decade. will the president include some of those proposals in his budget in february? >> well, we are obviously very, very interested injuries the president impaneled this commission for purposes of looking at
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this very difficult problem and we are eager to look at the recommendations once they report. we are looking for all good ideas to help deal with our learn debt problem. this is something that is going to affect our economy and our kids. and we need to deal with it. >> you say prefreezing rain commenting.from nancy pelosi didn't refrain. she immediately rejected the package as "simply unacceptable." does the president agree or disagree that the package is simply unacceptable? >> i have seen comments from the left and the right,. >> chris: i'm asking about nancy pelosi. >> i understand. there were comments from both side's this and this is something that we have to confront as we move forward. one thing i know, nancy pelosi
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had concerns and i understand those concerns and i respect those concerns. the truth is that as we move forward if one side says we can't raise any taxes on anybody or any interests and the other side says we can't cut anything we are obviously not going to make progress on this and our interest is in making progress on this. within that we are going to protect important equities for sure. we shouldn't cut without sensitivity to the impact of those cuts around certainly social security which is something she is concerned about is a great concern to us. but we should move forward in the spirit of cooperation because we are not going solve this one party or the other alone. we have to do it together and that is what we want to do. >> chris: you are failing miserably at the lightning round rules. >> i was afraid of that. >> chris: there is a report that the mastermind of 9/11
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khalid shaikh muhammad will likely remain in military detention without a trial past the 2012 election. why not trial him either in a military court or in a civil court? >> the attorney general is working through those issues and we are working through those issues as an administration. they will make a decision and we will proceed. obviously it is is complicated issue because of the sensitive issues and localities and congress have expressed and we have to work through all those issues and we will. >> in 2008 your campaign expanded the electoral map turning states like, virginia, and north carolina blue. if you look at the house tracker of how people voted this election night in the mid terms you are looking at roughly the same map that john
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gore and kerry faced. >> two years is an etern knit. two years before the last election you nor anybody else would have predicted that barack obama is going to be president of the united states. i think the american people are looking to see that we make progress on the fundamental issues impacting on their jobs and their lives and economic growth and laying a foundation for a strong future and making america competitive in the world and keeping the leadership in the word and that is what the president is going to do. i think we are going to have a whole different situation come 2012. but in between the important thing is that we work on the problems that people are most concerned about and that concern the future of this country. if we fail to do that, if we fail or the republicans in congress fail to do that then i think each of us will pay a price for that. >> chris: finally, 30 seconds left, let me ask you a david
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axelrod question, when are you going to leave the white house and begin working on the president's reelection campaign? if i call you six months from now, working in the white house or working back in chicago on the campaign? >> you are right on the line there i think, chris. sometime in the spring, late winter early spring i will be going back -- coming back here to chicago and beginning to work on that project. >> chris: whereever you are, i hope you will take my phone calls, sir. >> i'll always take your calls, chris. i might not be as brief as you like but i always take your calls. >> chris: when we're off the air i don't care. thank you so much for coming in. always good to talk with you. >> thank you. >> chris: up next reaction fro5 the man known as senator tea party, jim demint, right after the break. ee them in this good of shape.
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>> chris: joining us with a different perspective on the upcoming lame duck session of congress is republican senator jim demint, one of the leading advocates for the tea party movement and he is in his home state of south carolina. senator, you just heard david axel rod talk about the issue with the bush tax cuts and i want to explore the question of where there may be room for a possible compromise. would you axe september a temporary extension -- would you accept a temporary extension of all of the bush tax cuts as well as those making more than $250,000 a year? >> good morning, chris. we need to remind everyone we are not talking about cutting taxes. we are talking about keeping current tax rates the same and i don't think there is any room to negotiate on raising taxes particularly on smaller businesses. i hope we can get a permanent
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extension but if the president wants to compromise on a two or three year extension. what is important is in the businesses know the tax rates the next few years to plan growth and plan to add people. if we keep things in a state of flux i'm afraid we will continue to have a jobs problem. >> chris: but two or three year extension of all of the tax cuts you u would be onboard for? >> if that is all we could get out of the president and he is the president so we will work with him on that. i hope he doesn't come back with the idea that we are going to raise taxes on 750,000 small businesses as he has been talking about. i think if he can work on our side of the ledger i think we might can work together. >> let me talk about something in which you are dealing with fellow republicans. you plan to bring up a resolution to the house republican conference on tuesday in which your party would agree to seek no ear marks in the next congress over the next two years. one, do you have the votes to pass that ban? and two, is that going to be a
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first test as to whether or not the republican establishment here in washington gets what the tea party movement was all about? >> chris, this is not just a tea party movement. this is a 70% issue with the american people. right now we have got over 500 congressmen and senators who are in washington who think it is their job to bring home the bacon and that takes your eye off the ball. we are not working on important national issues when we are trying to pa pave a local parkg lot. john boehner, eric cantor, the house leadership and i think everyone in the house has gotten the message they going to push for an ear mark ban. just about every new republican freshman is pushing for the ear mark ban. i think we will win the vote because most of the republicans in the senate have gotten the clear message from the american people that we need to stop wasteful spending. >> chris: you say that most people have gotten the message. apparently not all of the top republicans in the senate
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because a lot of them think that banning ear marks was a mistake. here is what the senate republican leader mitch mcconnell said just this week. >> you could eliminate every congressional ear mark and you would save no money. it is really an argument about discretion. >> chris: their argument is that congress is going appropriate whatever they want to appropriate. the question is who gets to decide where to spend some of that money. an administration bureaucrat or a senator from south carolina who wants to spend som some oft money in his state and knows better where the money should be spent. >> mitch is a good friend. on this issue we disagree. you would see spending dom down dramatically if you take out the self-interests that ear marks represent. i have seen for years you put a little baken in for all of the
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congressmen and senators they vote for a big bill that they otherwise would not vote for. we can as a congress restrict the president in how he spends money. make it competitive grants or block grants to states. we don't have to give the administration a blank check and i think everyone in the senate knows that. >> chris: another colleague says you are being hypocritical because he says you have put in ear marks for multimillion dollars road projects in the state of south carolina. >> i am a recovering ear marker and thankfully there is support groups now all over the country. we call them tea parties. people realize as i did, chris, if you tried to play the system and reform it at the same time it doesn't work. four years ago i decided to go cold turkey on this because i saw it was destroying our
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country. we can't spend all our time trying to rob the federal treasury to get money for states and congressional districts and still be serious about reforming the tax code. we have to focus on the interests the nation not on our parochial interests. >> chris: as i discussed with david axelrod the cochairman came out with a plan to cut by $4 trillion over county next decade and it was spending cuts to tax increases of three to one. senator tom coburn said he would be willing to accept a mix and i understand that he couldn't get everything that he wanted there had to be a compromise. would you be willing to accept a mix of spending cuts and tax increases if you could get, let's say $4 trillion out of the national debt? >> well, i want to see the whole report once it is done. as you know, chris, this is
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just a recommendation from the chairman to the commissioners like tom coburn. i want to get back to washington and talk to tom and paul ryan and others on the commission to see what they are actually going to recommend. i think the important thing right now is to realize,. >> chris: chris is the last four years we have increased the debt of our nation by over $5 trillion. it is not credible to come back right now after adding hundreds of new programs, entitlements, adding all of these new government agencies, things like cash for clunkers and bailouts and now all of a sudden say we have got debt, we have got to cut social security and raise taxes. we need to cut spending. we don't have a taxing problem in this country. we already have one of the highest corporate tax rates in the world. we need to cut spending. chris, what we need to do is go back to 2008 spending levels immediately. we need to repeal the trillion dollars obama care, take back the bailout money and what stimulus money hasn't been
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spent and then we need to look at the big picture of ways to devolve the federal role in areas like education and transportation back to the state. >> chris: let me ask you about one big area because last week you were asked about entitlements and i want to put up what you said. we are not talking about cuts in social security. thee can just cut the administrative waste. cutting benefits so seniors is not on the able. here is the question i have. are you saying no cuts to seniors currently in the program or ruling out cuts in social security benefits to people who are ten or twenty years away from going on the program? >> chris, first of all, we need to remind everyone that social security has not added a penny to our debt at this point. our country would show a lot more debt if we would report how much the government has
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borrowed from social security which is trillions of dollars right now. are i have probably done more work on social security reform than any one in the senate and i put out proposals along with people like paul ryan in the house. we don't change anything on any one who is in retirement or over 55 but we restructured the program to give younger workers more choices, allow them to take more of the savings on to themselves and we can actually reduce the cost of social security without reducing benefits and that is what we need to get people to look at rather than just raising taxes and cutting benefits to seniors, we need to look at ways that we restructure social security so we give younger workers better choices and cut the debt over the long-term. >> if i may briefly, sir,, the two sew chairs of the debt commission say you can't make enough in savings and they are talking about, again, we are always talking about people who are ten or twenty or more years away. they talk about raising the retirement age. cutting benefits for people
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better off. talk about reducing costs of living increases. are you talking about ruling out all of those things. >> well, again, i have introduced legislation that shows we can cut the costs of social security without all of these cuts that they are talking about. this is what we have done for years, chris, is we have cut bin fits and raised taxes on social security without changing it from a political slush fund which is what it has been for the last two decades to a real savings program. we need to look at real reform before we go straight to social security which people have paid for and start cutting things. there are other are things that they did not consider like repealing obama care and taking back money from private -- privatizing fannie mae, privatizing general motors. all of these things need to be on the table before we start cutting programs like social security that people paid for. >> chris: i have less than two minutes left and want to get in
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two more questions if i can. how do you feel about michael steele servinger in term as chairman of the republican national committee. do you think that would be good or bad for the party? >> i want to look at the choices. where we lost a few senate nots our ground game was 23409 as strong as we could have been. we were outmanned on the ground. going into 2012 we need a really strong leader for the republican to match the get out the vote that we saw from the obama machine last time. i appreciate michael steele's service. i'm looking for alternatives right now. i haven't decided who i will support but we need a strong national republican organization to help organize the tea parties and other citizen activism that we are seeing out there right now. we need to make sure that we have a lot of boots on the ground. >> chris: do you think you could get elected president in 2012 or do you think you are
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too far to the right? >> i don't think i'm far to the right at all. i think this election shows that my views of balancing the check book are not radical at all. americans want us to cut spending and debt and return the role of the federal government back to more of a limited constitutional role. right now i have no plans to run for president. i'm looking for someone with the the courage and leadership abilities to come ought and make the hard decisions we need to turn the country away from a cliff. >> chris: thank you as always for talking with us and please come back, sir. >> thanks, chris. >> chris: up next, our sunday panel on the upcoming battle over tax cuts, ear marks and that controversial plan to slash the federal debt.
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it would be fiscally irresponsible for us to permanently extend the high income tax cuts. i think that would be a mistake. >> we support the tax cuts for everyone but not an additional tax cut at the high end. >> chris: the president and house speaker nancy pelosi with two different views about whether even a temporary extension of the tax cut for the wealthy is on the table. and it is time for our sunday group. brit hume, fox news senior political analyst. mara liasson of national public radio. bill kristol of the weekly standard and fox news political
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analyst juan williams. brit after a confusing week where do you think democrats are on this question of extending the bush tax cuts and what do you make of this apparent split about whether a temporary extension is on or off the table between the president and nancy pelosi? >> i think that is temporary extension is on the table and the only question is how long it will be. it doesn't really matter at this point. i don't think -- i don't know whether nancy pelosi can hold her democrats from the president and -- if the president and the republicans want to extend the upper income tax cuts for two more years. i'm not sure she can do that and my guess is the republicans and president will make a deal and the deal will hold. >> chris: is this where we are headed where you have the president and nancy pelosi, the house democrats and that there is some distance between the two? >> there definitely is some in a big sense but on thee narrow issue, the question of
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nancy pelosi holding the democrats if she could have held them she would have had the vote before she went home to campaign. this seems to be what they have settled. the tax cuts were popular and for the rich they weren't. this time i think the question is although in the end i agree is temporary extension is probably what we get but the question is does nancy pelosi bring this up in the lame duck so that at least her caucus can vote on the middle class tax cuts alone being extended and challenge the republicans to vote against them. probably doesn't have the votes now if she didn't have them before but it might be a useful exercise for the democrats. >> chris: there s also a split by the republicans on the ear marks. they announced they willle vote and have the votes to have a total ban on ear marks in the republican conference for the next two years. ' we just saw between demint there is a disagreement in the
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senate. what is going to happen? >> mitch mcconnell can make all the arguments he wants. what is the problem with trying life without ear marks for a year or two? using that discretion that mr. mcconnell is worried about and most of the money isn't at the obama administration discretion is is formulas and the like. i think senator demint will win in the republican conference this week. republicans will be against ear marks. president obama will be against ear marks and we will have a wonderful moment of blessed bipartisan bliss. extending the tax rates for two or three years. an agreement on spending cuts. we will have the obama boehner demint agenda for the next three months and it will be good for the country.
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>> and the one the opponent for barack obama nancy pelosi. >> which wouldn't be bad for barack obama. >> and it wouldn't be bad for the country. >> in the spirit of bipartisanship, i think you are right on most of that. it is just the flavor of the moment the ear marks thing. i don't see it will make a huge difference. it is a small percentage of the actual budget and i find myself agreeing with mitch mcconnell who says you know what is this really going to make a difference or just simply playing to the crowd, grandstanding in a way that doesn't actually change anything. a lot of people say they are conservative but does it really change anything in the way that washington works? does it make a difference? i think lawmakers know more about their state than anybody else and if they know there is a worthy project they should be able to support it. it seems to me that whatever they are captureing that demint is about here is about the idea that sow they are going to
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lessen federal spending but i don't think it accomplishes that. >> one theory and i think it makes sense is that ear marks are an instrument of logrolling. you get a great big whopper bill that has got all kinds of stuff in it that you might be able to rally people against because it is so excessive but if individual members have got their little project that they promised in their home district or state in the bill even though it isn't adding to the overall amount they will be more inclined to support it and that is a lot about how the whole appropriations process works. you scratch my back and i will scratch yours and pretty soon you can pass anything. >> chris: i want to break in because there is a subject i have been wanting to talk to you u, brit, for a week. you have been talking about the national debt. we had the cochairs of the press' debt commission come out with their plan this week and i want to put out a brief outline of what it would do. deep cuts in domestic and
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defense spending. raise the gas tax by 15 cents a gallon. cut benefits and raise taxes for social security and thr thh through a three to one mix of spending cuts to new taxes reduce the deficit by $4 trillion over the next ten years. brit, you have been asking for stiff medicine. is this -- >> this is strong medicine. and i think it is a tremendous start. and mind you, it was only the two cochairs. but this is just in terms of its overall dimensions is the kind of thing it is going to take and i'm -- i i was especially pleased to see what one of the changes they want to make is eliminate all these individual tax deductions and in exchange for that bring down individual tax rates and lower individual tax rates, have considerable history, economists have analyzed this of spurring economic growth. this is not simply some green eye shade deal where it is all
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agony and no reward. those individual tax rates will come down and people will pay less. they are talking also about eliminating the home mortgage interest deduction. i'm not sure that is a bad idea but i know one thing it is not going to be easy to pass. >> eliminate it over $500,000. >> there were different options on that. >> right. >> my thought is where are the republicans clear leading this? this is really good news. i hear dick durbin on the democratic side saying he hates this like the devil hates holy water, you know. i can understand why liberals would say we want to protect the interest of the poorest in society and make sure that doesn't somehow disproportionately benefit the rich. this is a good deal for republicans. i would think republicans would be standing up at the top of the capital saying go, team, go. >> republicans aren't saying anything. that iss is actually good. the people shooting at this from the sideline so far have
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been labor. >> chris: and republicans thinking if they embrace it that kills it? >> the republicans except for a few groups saying we don't want even the elimination of one single tax break. i think what we haven't seen yet and what is going to be a really important step in the process which is the important process for the american people, you want the debt and deficit okay, what would you prefer. we haven't seen the income distribution tables and those are the charts that say how will people in different incomes be affected by the changes. i. >> chris: when we come back, the timeline for u.s. troops in afghanistan suddenly gets a lot longer. and will the mastermind of 9/11 ever face trial?
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we will draw down our troops over a period of time but we have every intention of being active and aggressively involved. >> chris: secretary of defense robert gates explaining the u.s. will be fighting the taliban in afghanistan for at least four more years. back with our panel. it didn't get much attention this week between all of the focus on politics and the president's trip to asia but secretary gates, secretary of state clinton and the chairman of the joint chiefs mike mullen attended a security conference in australia where are 20141 now the key date for hand gd over the war to the much fans. how big a shift is that? >> a pretty big shift. july 2011 dates withdrawing for
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political reasons. they have been quietly backing away from it and they will back away further at the nato summit where they will move to the 2014 date. i think they will try to draw down a little bit in the summer of 2011 but what rob gates said is we are taking the war to the taliban and doing a lot of damage. taking casualties ourselves unfortunately but we have a strategy to stuc succeed, not a strategy to exit. barack obama is not interested in an exit strategy, he is interested in a success strategy. >> chris: the white house tried to play down the shift saying no, no, we still plan to begin the drawdown in july of 2011 as the president said in his west point speech but they acknowledge that now it will be a gradual drawdown and we are there at least to 2014 before we turn things over to the afghans. how big a deal do you think that is? >> a big deal in this sense.
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the way the white house would portray this is a shift in strategy. we are talking about a post 2011 strategy for afghanistan and here are the diplomatic, economic efforts that we are going to be making post 2011. but i think that is all semantic. the reality is as bill described it there has been a shift here. i don't think i would agree it is about winning. i think if you start thinking you will win in afghanistan that is the sure road to defeat because that is not possible. the big news this week actually is the washington post interview with the afghan president in which he says it is time for the u.s. to get out right now. he thinks the u.s., especially our night time operations by night time op are too intrusive on afghan and that this is disrupting their lives and creat. if he is not about winning why should we be about sacrificing american lives? president obama is making tree
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mentotremendous sacrifice. he put the additional troops in. >> chris: a big story that reports that khalid shaikh muhammad will likely remain in military detention and not face trial in a civilian court or a military court until after the 2012 election. what do you make of that? >> a further sign that the policy outlined for dealing with these terror suspects doesn't work. they want to try them in federal court. and before all of the political howling was over with they couldn't pull it off. it was a failure. well, so where are they going to try him? there is no place in the continental united states where anybody would accept it. so what are they going to do? try him in guantanamo? that would be a complete political confession of the utter foolishness of their whole policy. so they going to kick the can
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down the road and put the thing on hold. i think it is a blow to the whole idea that these terror suspects can be treated like not ordinary but similar way so ordinary criminals through the justice. >> chris: on the one hand, that the local officials in new york say no way are we going to have this trial in downtown manhattan but they don't want to have the trial in guantanamo because that says to liberals we haven't done what we said. >> and that was one of his most prominent promises and one of the thirst things he did when came in to office and the first day or the second day that he was going to close it in a year and it hasn't happened. you have the right now empoering congress which would defund any trial going forward in the united states. not just the local officials howling about it. it will not happen. republicans have a veto over there. and you can't do it in guantanamo because that would be a betrayal of the base and so he is stuck and the third option which is not necessarily a great one which is the din
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indefinite detention. >> which is nothing. >> which shows you, what do you do with the terror suspects and he hasn't been able to figure that out. >> chris: i want to go to one more subject and that is iraq because bill afterrite months of haggling after the national elections back last spring the iraqis agreed on a new government with nouri al-maliki as prime minister your reaction to this government and can it bring this coalition? will it stand? will it bring stability to iraq? >> it is good news. i wouldn't promise stability but it is a step on the path to stability. the next step will be negotiating a new status of force agreements with the iraqi government once it is in place at its request to leave some american forces there to ensure basic security and stability and i think that is -- >> chris: i thought we were
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getting out? >> that is the plan to get out at the end of 2011. that is risky and foolish and we sacrificed a lot in iraq and the idea of leaving 30,000 or 40,000 troops as a safeguard is a good eye die. idea. then we will have a reasonable path forward in iraq and a reasonable path forward in afghanistan and all the president has to do is stop them from getting nuclear weapons and he will get reelected. >> and do all the things from republican support. >> chris: does it worry you that bill kristol seems happy with the direction that president obama is going? >> i think the drone attacks and commitment of additional troops to afghanistan and the fact that there are troops on the ground. he announced the end of combat missions in iraq but that is not, i mean we still have troops there and they are still
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fighting, although casualties are down. i think the important thing here when i look at iraq is it took eight months to get to this point. it is not a table deal. i don't know that this deal will even hold and it is a disappointment that they can't get the politics together and continue to rely on the u.s. it seems to me both militarily and economically to buttress what they are doing. i think they are like free loaders in my mind and they should take responsibility here and take over. bill's point and this worries me and has been an unpopular war with the american people. you continue to have american force there's. you say kind of vaguely we should have forces to buttress against this or that, thinking of iranian uncorks an inincurse like. wlike. >> chris: i have not heard this mentioned if there is a new status of forces agreement talking late 2011, early 2012
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the beginning of a presidential election if he agrees to keep troops in iraq longer and we are going to be in afghanistan 'til 2014 doesn't the president have real problems with his liberal base? >> i don't think it is so simple as that. i think so far there is yes, the liberal base of the democratic party is antiwar and that is what fueled the great gains in 2006 and 2008. there are so many other factors that i think are important. look at how unimportant iraq and afghanistan were in this election. if the economy is on a better track and he can reclaim the post partisan identity that he lost over the last two years i think that won't matter as much. >> imagine his reelection if he had to fight his base in the nominating process that would help him. republicans are not going to buck him on afghanistan. >> but who is going to challenge him? >> an area of bipartisan cooperation.
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it would be a moment of bipart sanship and my spence about it is he will have trouble with the antiwar left. every president does. right or left. democrat or republican. that is not a big deal. >> chris: thank you, panel. see you next week. don't forget to check out panel plus where our group picks up with the discussion on our website and we will post the video before noon eastern time. up next, our power player of the week. [ announcer ] how do you plus up breakfast? introducing total plus omega-3 honey almond flax cereal. all the nutrition of total, plu10% daily value omega-3 ala, and a delicious honey almond crunch. new total plus omega-3.
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>> chris: celebrities often come to washington to push their favorite cause but seldom are they as deeply committed as our power player of the week. >> i just think what it would be like to not only baseball the kid or the parent of kid how heartbreaking it is. >> chris: jeff bridges is talking about ending childhood hunger. >> one in the four kids.... >> he has been at it for almost 30 years. with his wife he was in washington trying to build support for a new effort. >> trying not to break down because it's right here. >> chris: a spokesman for the no kid hungry campaign which has set a goal to make sure that every child gets the food he
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needs by 2015. that will be tough because the problem is growing. 16 million children were at risk last year, a third oh over the previous years but bridges says the resources are there. >> there are a million dollars billion dollars that is available to states that is allocated for school meals. >> chris: you are seeing saying the money is out there. >> yeah, a billion dollars. >> chris: he says it's because of stigma and they are too poor to feed them at home and there is red tape from that keep children from being fed. >> getting enough calories to their brain, they won't be able to learn. >> chris: he is trying to use his celebrity to use some good. where do you feel like you are in your life? >> i feel pretty good.
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come on. >> his career starred in sea hunted. then he became a star in the last picture show. while he has had a distinguished career it wasn't this year playing bad blake in crazy heart that he finally won the academy award. >> chris: what did it mean to you to win the oscar. he saw it as an acknowledgement of his father? >> it was an extension of him like relay racing they pass the baton. >> chris: he's been married for 33 years. he stars in a new feature of true grit playing the role made famous by john wayne. but most important thing is that children get fed. >> the programs are in place,