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tv   Special Report With Bret Baier  FOX News  November 16, 2011 6:00pm-7:00pm EST

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♪ captioned by closed captioning services, inc >> bret: brand new poll numbers and new leader in the 2012 presidential race. this is "special report." ♪ ♪ >> bret: good evening, i'm bret baier. newt gingrich is atop the latest fox news poll on republican race. survey results are released as we speak. chief washington correspondent james rosen reports the former house speaker now sits over the field. even as his personal and professional life is under the microscope. >> reporter: the same press corps that wrote his obituary last summer is glued to newt gingrich in iowa today, as the
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latest fox news poll crowns him the new g.o.p. primary front runner. in three weeks' time, gingrich doubled his support among republican primary voters and the one-point lead mean the two share the lead. >> hello, hello, hello. >> the third place showing of herman cain reflects a ten-point drop since october. sign the sexual harassment allegation cain spent this month denying hurt his candidacy. g.o.p. primary voters found gingrich nearly twice as trustworthy and made him the front runner despite 8% calling him candidate. >> gingrich faces scrutiny over what he did as head of the gingrich group to receive $1.5 million in eight years from mortgage giant freddie mac. >> my advice as historian when they walk in and said to me we are now making loans to people with no credit history and no
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record of paying back anything. that is what the government wants to do. this is a bubble. >> by monday, gingrich confessed to speaking out of turn. >> you gave advice to freddie mac and they did not take it? >> correct. i also want to say there is a confidentiality agree there. i can't go in detail with. >> others took him to task for it. >> does this remind people that your background comes from being a washington insider? >> it reminds me that i know a great deal about washington. if you want to train washington, it didn't work well. having someone that knows washington might be a good thing. >> i am standing up for little guy in the united states. i wasn't shilling for them. i was fighting for them.
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>> in a statement this afternoon, gingrich started various firms after resigning as house speaker in 1999. the corporate consulting included ibm and microsoft. and welcomes scrutiny of his record on small businessman. >> bret: more on this with the panel. thank you. congress was already unhappy about spending $170 billion to bail out freddie mac and fannie mae. tonight, jim angle reports there is renewed outrage over expense. >> they learned executives paid $35 million in salary and bonuses in the last two years that was the last straw. >> the bonuses have come just as freddie and fannie asked for additional $13 billion in hand-out from the taxpayers. >> surely you can understand this from the taxpayers and paying bonuses as it's going through the gates of hell. >> i'm mystified why the
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achievements should entitle executive to million dollar bonus. >> they vote to stop a bonus as with as reduce the executive pay. the head of freddie mac understands the outrage over the compensation. >> we 9% unemployment in the country and millions of families at risk of losing the homes. i understand the outrage. >> the federal official who oversees them said he has to pay more to get the best people in hopes of minimizing taxpayer losses. >> others may believe that talent is easily and quickly hired compensation far below that of competing private firms but i do not. >> they described what they are dealing with to maintain the access to morgan loans trying to unwind millions of bad ones. >> they need to ensure that enterprise of people with the skills needed to manage $5 trillion of mortgage asset and $1 trillion of the annual
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new business that the taxpayers supporting. >> the episode is uncomfortable for the obama administration. which has been critical of bonuses for private sector executives. so much, that chairman issa played the remarks about aig which gave out the bonuses while it too was being bailed out. >> report of massive profit and obscene bonuses as the firms that own existence to the american people. >> it's somewhat strange to me that in an area he could exert influence he has chosen not to. >> the president said only companies that pay company back can give out bonuses. demarco said fannie and freddie are make progress gress but are unlikely to pay back the taxpayer support. >> bret: thanks. coming up, we'll talk live with house oversight and got reform committee chairman darrell issa about the move to
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limit executive compensation for people who run fannie mae and freddie mac. a growing movement to get cameras in the supreme court for next year's challenge to president obama's healthcare law. today, house minority leader nancy pelosi came out in favor of an earlier request for chuck grassily and the ceo of c-span. no response from the high court. late this afternoon, amount of money that you and your family and other americans owe passed the $15 trillion mark. here is where we are right now. the lawmakers charged with getting that under some control can only agree on one thing. that time is running out. >> patty murray declared this a critical day. after meeting with panel democrats murray said the govern must step up. >> i am hopeful that the republicans will see their way to bringing to us a real
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revenue package. that is what we are looking for. >> but they say they expect a counter offer from the democrats to the plan presented by pat too manyey including $ -- pat toomey. including a rewrite of the tax code. there is frustration and impatience. >> we are approaching the stroke of midnight. we're not changing the offer we have on the table. i'm not going to negotiate against myself. i am awaiting democrats to put fundamental reform of entitlement spending on the table. >> democrats that might support medicare cut are about to be hit from the left with ad from telling then don't be stupid. be democrats. >> are you crazy or just plain stupid? >> bipartisan lawmakers called on a panel of 12 to go bigger for a deal in the $4 trillion
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range. >> this is not rocket science. they can do this and go big and help us solve the problem. >> democrat called tackling the debt the political challenge of this generation. >> this is our chance to step up and make a difference. our moment. seize that moment. borking together. let's succeed for the good of the nation. >> but if the super committee can't find $1.2 million of saving, it's clear some members are willing to push previous packages from the bipartisan group. the gang of six with the proposal. if they are not successful one plan could get a vote. >> tomorrow, the house begins debate on a balanced budget amendment. conservative and blue dog democrat will back it. two-third support is required. senate should pick it up after thanksgiving but it's not expected to pass.
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>> thank you. we will talk more about the super committee at the top of the hour. join the live chat right now. someone misplaced $600 million. why you may not have heard about it later in the grapevine. up next, white house and green energy. a lot of big money gone in that equation, too. cranberry juice? wake up! ♪ that's good morning, veggie style. hmmm [ male announcer ] for half the calories -- plus veggie nutrition. could've had a v8.
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get back to the things that matter most. good job girls. ask your rheumatologist if enbrel is right for you. >> bret: a 21-year-old man from idaho whom they considered a threat to the president is in custody tonight. oscar ortega hernandez was wanted for questioning about gunfire near the white house friday. he was arrested at a hotel near indiana, pennsylvania, this afternoon. hernandez reportedly spent time with the occupy d.c. protesters and may be mentally ill according to officials. the secret service says it found a bullet that hit exterior window at the white
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house and stopped by the ballistic glass. moments ago the house passed a bill giving people with permit a canceled weapon in one state the right to carry in others. the vote will now go to the senate. it applies to all states except for illinois and district of columbia. supporters say it ends confusion and opponents say it decreases safety. on the tenth anniversary of the creation of the tsa, a new report says the agency needs major changes. john micah says the tsa is too big, has inabout wait technology and let taos much get through. there will be plenty of attention paid thursday to congressional testimony to the head of the energy department about the failure of solyndra.
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correspondent doug mckelway tells us what we can expect to hear. >> it's the testimony of steven chu. at issue the $535 million loan guarantee provided to the now bankrupt solar energy company was politically motivated. chu gave a preview of what investigators may hear in an interview yesterday with the national public radio all things considered. >> we asked the outside people to give us a second and third opinions. what was unanticipated is that the market from the solar markets plummeted. >> one released men ran dumb from the chief investor may have prodded the solar company for delayed news of layoff until after the election of 2010.
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>> that was not a random date, november 3, after the election. i'm sure they didn't want fall-out to effect the election. >> three months after november 3, the department of energy restructured the solyndra loan to ensure investors would recoup losses. a move some believe was inillegal. chu said the loan guarantee was subject to proper, rigorous scrutiny and healthy debate in every sense of the process. even if no crimes were commit some say we see how it changes for how loans are made. >> it's where you have a peer reviewed assessment. that did not happen at all at the department of energy. it was run by partisan at the
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top. >> the final decision on solyndra was mine and i made them with the best interest of the taxpayer in mind. i want to be clear, this goes on to say, over the course of solyndra loan guarantee i did not make any decision based on political consideration. >> we will have complete coverage tomorrow. thank you, doug. oil prices topped the $100 a barrel mark today. they shot up by more than $3 to close at $102.59 a barrel. china increased its holding of u.s. treasury debt by 1% in september and remains the largest foreign holder of american debt with $1 $1.15 trillion worth. the overall prices fell for first time since june. the dow dropped, too, falling
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191 points today. the nasdaq was down 47. it would appear -- and we stress that word "i peer" -- that some of the euro zone most troubled economies are taking steps toward stabilizing. fox business network peter barnes joins us now. is this accurate portrayal or are appearances deceiving here? >> italy did get a new government in place. like the government in greece it's made up of economic technocrats so that is a step forward. now they're scrambling to keep the crisis contained. >> we have had better numbers come out. crisis of confidence. >> other countries like france and spain are hit with higher interest costs to sell their bonds. so are healthier countries
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like us a trayy and finland -- austria and finland. they are dumping bonds from every country except for germany. they want the european officials to get moving on the new bigger financial rescue plan they promised. analysts are worried that the problems could spread to u.s. especially to banks holding millions in european investment and u.s. officials sound impatient. >> it does look like the europe situation is deteriorating rapidly. the question is how fast and when does it hit us. it starts hitting, if it's already hitting us in the banking sector. >> the administration continues to say it will not help europe with any bail-out but a federal reserve said it might require unspecified coordinator action by the fed and the european central bank.
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>> bret: a very important story that we'll continue to follow. thank you. still ahead, president obama travels down under. first, house oversight committee and government reform committee chairman darrell issa on putting a stop to boy us ins running fannie and freddie. motorcycles, boats, even rv's. nobody knows where he got his love for racing. all we know is, it started early.
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>> bret: we told you a few moments ago about a move in congress to end huge bonuses that have been paid to executives of the struggling mortgage lender fannie mae and freddie mac. joining me from capitol hill to talk more about is it the chairman of the house oversight and government reform committee darrell issa. welcome, chairman. >> thank you for having me on and thanks for covering an important issue. it's small dollars compared to the losses at freddie and fannie but with the losses hard to justify multimillion
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dollar bonuses. >> bret: chairman issa, we followed this hearing today. you asked executives about their pay, the compensation. they said they're trying to maintain the access and unwind the millions of bad loans they needed to have this the executive compensation. you didn't buy it. >> no. congress long ago made it not tax deductible unless it was linked to performance. they show they were only vaguely leaked. the bonuses continued. even the general consul at each of the two firms was paid over $1 million. over $2 million. far beyond what would be marked for a lawyer. that is the kind of thing, abuse that has gone on at freddie and fannie for years. it hasn't stopped
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post-conservatorship. >> bret: both firms have drawn $170 billion from the taxpayers since conservatorship since 2008. they're requesting $13 billion to $14 billion. what the hope of getting one to stop, the executive compensation. is there a hope? >> they are both negative and chances over a decade or more they would be able to pay true interest on more than $200 billion they will owe by the time they stop bleeding red ink. if we are lucky, we could see solvent mortgage market and one we don't have to continue funding. $13 billion this quarter of new money. they don't know what to do with the homes they're
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unwilling to sell or rent. they were proud they rented 10,000 homes out of 1 million in foreclosure. as though that was a success. if you can have the conservator to pay to supervisor them maybe you can run them better than bonus. >> we asked them to come back and tell them what impediments were to do their job faster or get the homes back to compliance or liquidated. they said they would. it includes what congress may be helpful. we're the reform committee not just the oversight committee. >> bret: i want to ask you a question about operation fast and furious. your investigation in to that operation. where it stands and what you are getting or hearing from the justice department. >> we believe we connected the two ends. lannie brewer admitted
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wrongdoing and failure. eric holder corrected the record on what he knew and when he knew it. obviously, we have agents that are involved at the lowest levels. we have to look at the chain of failures. operation fast and furious should not have occur and find out why it never seemed to have happened. never let the guns walk. >> bret: you are saltsfied with the attorney general correction of the record? >> i'm not. i'm on record saying i don't have full confidence in eric holder, particularly, when he hasn't seen fit to dismiss brewer or the other individuals who knew a lot about the program and didn't stop it. we're not satisfied but at least we know that there was knowledge at the top. eric holder did not apologize to brian terry's family. under oath, he told us essentially he didn't feel that that was appropriate. and more importantly he didn't feel there was a link between
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the two fast and furious weapons found at brian terry's murder site. that would cause there to be a direction connection. we're not happy with him. but we know where he stand and why. frankly, the president has full confidence in eric holder is the big question. >> bret: we'll continue to follow the stories mr . chairman, thank you for joining us. >> thank you, bret. >> bret: trying to find the $600 million missing dollars. and why you may not have heard about that. we'll hear another comment that may raise eyebrows from herman cain. [ artis brown ] america is facing some tough challenges right now.
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journey on.
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>> bret: fresh pickings from the political grapevine. a u.s. regulator says he thinks something nefarious or illegal occurred at brokerage firm mf global. the company declared bankruptcy last month. a democratic member of the u.s. commodity futures trading commission tells reuters regulators are closer to finding out what happened to roughly $600 million in missing customer money. at least two lawsuits have been filed already on behalf of shareholders against mf executives deluding ex-ceo jon corzine. the former democratic senator and governor of new jersey. there has been little coverage of the story on the big three networks despite this being the eighth largest bankruptcy in u.s. history. nbc aired just four stories on morning and evening newscast since the bankruptcy. cbs total of two. abc has had no coverage on the
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evening news but reported corzine's resignation in one line during the november 4 morning show. north carolina is trying to break in the tourism industry. however, if you are expecting internet access, cell phone use or pictures of everyday life you should just stay home. the "washington post" reports pyongyang is looking for new revenue in the midst of international sanctions so the regime is allowing foreign tour groups in on a strict and isolated itinerary. visitors were instructed to leave cell phone and blackberries behind. were told not to talk to strangers. or take pictures of ordinary people or buildings. finally, republican presidential candidate herman cain has had a bit of a rough week. he has been answering questions on foreign policy after a halting answer to a question on libya. during that newspaper editorial board meeting. today in miami, it wasn't foreign policy, but foreign languages that cain appeared to have trouble with. snacking on cuban food he said
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this -- >> this is delicious. >> bret: how do you say delicious in cuban? delicioso is delicious in spanish, the official language of cuba. few hours ago the president sent out what could be interpreted as mixed messages about china. the chief washington correspondent ed henry is traveling with the president. >> it was supposed to be a quick stop designed to highlight america's 6046 year alliance with australia but obama was hit with about questions whether he's afraid of rising china. >> the notion that we fear china is mistaken. the notion that we are looking to exclude china is mistaken. >> but after appearing to cut chinese president out of a trade deal in wise, today they wrapped up military presence in australia.
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forcing agreement with prime minister to send 250 marines to northern australia next year. with plans for the force to grow to 2,500 down the road. >> i am making it clear, but the united states is stepping up its commitment to the entire asia pacific. >> but the primary focus seems to be china in its military. which recently tested a new stealth fighter. and launched its first aircraft carrier. the communist government sounded none too pleased by the expanding u.s. australian partnership. china's official news agency issued commentary declaring "the united states perhaps also should appreciate the constructive role it is expected to play in the area and respect the rights and interest of each and every regional member." the president insists he will respect china's desire to join the trade deal the u.s. is putting together with a dozen smaller asian economies if china drops unfair trade practices. >> if china is playing by the
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rules, recognizing its new role, i think this is a win-win situation. there are times when they are not. they need to be on track in terms of the accepting the rules or responsibilities that come with being world power. >> the u.s. and china may be headed for another clash on friday mr. obama's final stop of bali. major top like is the maritime clashes in the south china sea. chief passage way for the exports. >> the president said the region will be shielded from the budget cut with the pentagon official saying the message is loud and clear. the u.s. will remain a pacific power. message that will be hard for china to ignore. bret? >> bret: thank you, ed. the treasury department has dramatically boosted its estimate of losses in the bail-out of the auto industry. it says taxpayers will
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contribute $14 hadn't 3 billion. we'll talk about the 2012 race and latest fox polls at the top of the hour when the fox all-stars join me after the break. [ male announcer ] butter. love the taste, but want to cut back on f? try smart balance buttery sead. 's heart-healthier than butter.
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the 2nd generation of intel core processors. stunning visuals, intelligent performance. this is visibly smart. gingrich group was a consulting firm that had a lot of people doing things. we opted for strategic advice. >> $1.6 million. >> i don't know. we'll check. >> that sounds like more than being historian. >> i was speaker of the house and strategic advisor. >> i am standing up for little guy in the united states. i believe that fannie and freddie need to be shut down. i wasn't shilling for them. i was fighting for them. >> former house speaker newt gingrich under some scrutiny for exactly what he did as head of the gingrich group making more than $1.5 million over eight years for embattled mortgage giant freddie mac.
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originally he said he was a historian. now freddie mac says he was hired as a consultant, not historian. you heard his explanation there. all of that said the new poll out today fox news poll puts speaker gingrich at top, 23%. one point ahead of mitt romney. there you see herman cain and the rest of the field. rick perry dropping to 7%. this is a big switch in three weeks' time. gingrich doubled his support among registered voters nationwide. as you look at the next, the candidate that these people believe is best positioned to beat president obama you see mitt romney winning in this g.o.p. primary voters. among republicans, who has the experience to be president, 79% said newt gingrich. 76% mitt romney. you see the breakdown there. new polls we're analyze being the panel. bill kristol, editor of "weekly standard." juan williams, columnist with hill and syndicated columnist charles krauthammer.
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start with the polls. bill, your take? >> two more facts from the polls. 38% the republican primary voters polled were certain about their vote. 60% said they could change their vote. it's already down 23 to lower. so it's fluid race given amount of visibility. none of them has closed the sale. the republicans think romney has the best chance to beat obama. we asked a matchup, fox asked the matchup question. romney beats obama among the whole electorate 44-42% in this race. there is a minus point swing, so 3-1/2 switch over when you substitute gingrich for romney. >> bret: right. margin of error puts it pretty close. >> that is a key number. i would say this.
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i thought newt was rising and i'm step i can call he can make it. if newt could close the gap. if newt could show up running as strongly against obama and romney, selectable in minds of republicans as romney then newt is closer to where the republican heart than where romney. is helping romney is the notion he's the most electable republican. >> bret: juan, herman cain drops to third. 15%. ten-point drop since october. obviously, his recent back and forth has had some effect on the numbers. >> if you add together cain's loss, nine points and romney's lost, two points you get the plus 11 gingrich experienced and taken him now to a tie for the lead in this nomination fight. what is interesting with cain if you ask republicans about the women who accused him of sexual harassment, more than 50% of the republicans say it's about money or politics.
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the problem for herman cain, this accounts for the drops that we have seen republicans say he has done a poor job of responding to the claims. almost 50% of republicans who say done a good job making the case. the chargers aren't to be taken seriously. it has accrued and it's evident andm plified by the oops on libya in front of the milwaukee editorial board. >> bret: charles, what about the questions about the gingrich group and the consulting done for freddie mac and how it plays for the big picture for gingrich? >> bret: now that he has run to front of the pack he gets the scrutiny. it's not the media ganging up on him. it happens when anybody becomes the front runner. it's best. if there are issues that most of us never heard of, if a republican you want to come
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out now and see how they handle it if he wins nomination. it's damaging. i'm not sure how damaging it is. let's remember when it's asked about this in the debate, there was a historian. what did i say? he said this is above this, this is insane and impossible. they got money for three years and two years later. if you want to deliver a message it's a bubble, do in a minute, hour, a day. every month for five years? he is involved in other stuff. now he says i was a consultant. yes, i was showing them how to expand housing, which is a good idea. then he was a republican and he was speaker. that's of course what this is
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about. the rackets were democratic rackets. republicans were opposing it in congress. trying to regulate it to rein it in. people that ran agencies wanted the republicans on their side of the aisle to defend it. or at least be visible. as people who were associated with fannie and freddie. i think it wasn't only historian. i think he has to give stronger answers. >> do you agree? >> not good to have this come out the day you go to the front of the polls. mitt romney has past positions to explain. and gingrich has past positions to explain. i'm dubious that either one will disqualify either. it's a forward looking election. a new moment. and he understands, do you want the electorate to nominate mitt romney or someone to change the
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government nominate me. he has to convince people he has credible agenda for change. >> i want to play a new ad from governor perry seeing air time. >> it's time to clean house in washington. and sometime for balanced budget amendment to force washington to stop overspending. if congress balks, cut their pay. send them home. obama socialist policies are bankrupting america. we must stop him now. >> bret: can he make a comeback on airwaves? >> he is trying. ads all over fox and iowa. this is a new version. this is more explicit. again, in just saying that his strength is about the economy. producing jobs and hating on president obama. i guess he is hoping he can regain some traction with tea party types. but that is all he has going. it's not good. the numbers here in this poll are not good for perry. they do not indicate he has had any kind of bump as a result of the polling. one last thing on gingrich, we
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talk about campaign structure. one of the things that is a problem for gingrich now he doesn't have campaign structure. take advantage of this bump. he has so little money. >> bret: opening offices in iowa and opened one or two in south carolina. >> opening. he doesn't have existing structure and he is $1 million in debt. he has to dig out of a hole. a big negative if he is rying to take advantage to run successful campaign. >> bret: governor perry will be on center seat monday. 21 z. next up, fannie and freddie and those big executive bonuses. how can you get back pain relief that lasts up to 16 hours?
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i'm mystified as to why the so-called achievements should entitle executives to
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million-dollar bonuses. and they either have nothing to do with the actions of fannie and freddie, or they appear to reward a continuing downward spiral in our housing market. >> i am trying to encourage the people to stay and continue to mitigate losses, and keep the current infrastructure of the country's finance system operating. >> bret: an interesting hearing today on capitol hill. we heard from chairman issa earlier talking about the fannie and freddie receiving bonuses, despite both mortgage lenders are asking for billions in taxpayer money. $14 billion additional dollars. the white house not had much to say about this at all. last time this was the answer to a question. >> the white house feel any sense of outrage about fannie and freddie getting the big, big bonuses? >> let's be clear about one thing for the viewers.
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reading a transcript that the organizations, entities are independent. therefore they are independent decisions. white house is not involved. >> chairman issa played in the hearing, president obama with words about aig bonuses back when they happen. back with the panel. juan, how does it play out and does it hurt the administration in any way? >> i think it hurts the administration from the conservative perspective when you say hey, you are hammering wall street over the bonuses. over their excesses. why aren't you paying attention to this government controlled entity that you have some say over? why is it that ed demarco acting director of the federal housing agency says there is not going to be any payback coming from all the money that has been lost by fannie and freddie. they lost in the third quarter $10 billion. they are asking now for $13 billion in additional money from the government. and then on top of that, they
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are saying we're going to give huge bonuses to people. we have to give it to them because they are so expert. well, if they are so expert, why are we losing -- i think it's one of the very frustrating situations. does vit negative impact on the president in particular? i can see the republican complaint to some extent be even handed with your president. i think it's just pox on all of their houses. it's supported by the ownership society of the bush administration and by democrats. >> bret: bill, easy to tap in the anger about this whole thing. congress often does that well. but is there an arguen't about the brain drain and keeping the right people at the helm even as they try to unwind the complicated loans? a fair argument to be made by the executives? >> sure. i am not competent to judge if they're necessary or competent to other bonuses but it's reasonable argument.
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i don't think there is accusation of political cronyism, if they are president obama's best friends. it's mistake to scream about this. we have crony capitalism going on with solyndra and other actual obama administration programs that are benefiting supporters and donors to president obama. this is -- this may be foolish or looks bat. bailed out and losing money no, evidence that president obama or anybody else weighed in here to help the guys, the executives get bonuses. >> bret: charles? >> whether or not obama intervened i can't join the operation. i can't join the mob. i enjoy a mob as much as anybody. on this, these people if they were paid on the federal scale, a tenth of ma the people in the private sector are getting, these people are not the ones who brought down the agencies. these are us, the american people who hold $5 trillion in loans.
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if you hold all of that, you want the bost people to issue huge number of huge loan. if they aren't doing a good job, fire them. hire them with the same pay scale. huge amount of money ours, american people at stake. you have want the best people. makes no sense to hire people who aren't mediocre at lower pay. what you will get if you impose a low pay scale. >> allow me to speak for the mob, but you have to pay somebody $1 million signing bonus before they have done anything? you can't get good people? this is hard to believe. especially since the decision are made by the same guys that ran us in to this problem. >> these aren't the people that ran us in the problem. these are the new people. if you want people with any skill to manage this amount of money, your money and mine,
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you want the highest skill and you pay them whatever the scale requires. >> bret: ten seconds. don't you think it's interesting, though, in this occupy wall street environment that the white house has not weighed in more forcefully on this issue? if you accurately say that it's so populist? >> i would agree. i think the administration -- occupy wall street people aren't crazy about obama but they're not crazy about obama because he helped with the wall street stuff. maybe this will add to their anger at him. >> bret: that is it for the panel. stay tuned to hear a president that may be getting frustrated.
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bret bet finally tonight, in recent polls, president obama's numbers on his handling of the economy have been rough. it may be getting to him. ♪ >> we're going to need additional. and my expectation is that we will get some magic beans that you can toss in the ground and