tv Happening Now FOX News December 12, 2011 11:00am-1:00pm EST
it started with five penguins in paul's front yard. it has 175 blown up birds and a man made snowstorm. martha: i don't see how they keep all those things inflated. all the things i see like that are laying on somebody's front lawn. "happening now" starts right now. have a great day. jenna: it's a hard act to follow-up on penquins, even the infled kind. nice to have john roberts with us here. exchange one john for another. it makes us easier for all of us. you have an h, right. >> iowa, new hampshire the very first primary in the nation exactly four weeks from tomorrow. the results could make-or-break
a presidential campaign. jenna: that's what they say the gop candidates well aware of that. newt gingrich mitt romney and jon huntsman stumping through the granite state. romney showing a strong showing. he did make a comment that is certainly generating a lot of buzz in case you missed it, take a listen. >> you've raised that before, rick, and it was true then. >> and it's true now. >> i tell you what, ten thousand bucks? $10,000 bet? >> i'm not in the betting business. >> oh, okay. jenna: kel rewright is live in washington with more on this. >> reporter: in every key battleground state right now newt gingrich is enjoying a comportable lead in the polls. that isn't causing other republican candidates to pack up their bags and go. but the debate turned out to be a dueling match, if you will, between the two frontrunners, newt gingrich and mitt romney. in one exchange they even spared over how to create jobs.
>> as speaker of the house i worked with president clinton following a very similar plan and we ended up with about 11 million new jobs in a four yore period. went down to 4.2% unemployment. >> having spent my life in the public sector i understand where jobs are created, they are not created in government or in washington. >> reporter: newt gingrich is continuing to surge to the top of the field. gingrich is leading in south carolina by 19 percentage points. add in the sunshine state of florida gingrich is maintaining another double tkeupblg i will lead there. romney who is campaigning in new hampshire today is trying to do some damage control from the debate. he is being criticized as being out of touch with middle class americans for challenging governor rick perry during that debate to a 1 $10,000 bet, that after perry said romney wrote in his back that he believed
individual mandates for his melt care plan was good for the country. >> this was an outrage us number to answer an outrageous charge from him. i said okay let's put something outrag outrageous moment. >> this is a defining moment between higher taxes and less expensive government. between the european socialist model in which you are a subject to washington bureaucrats and exceptionalism based on the declaration of independence, and you are a citizen. it's one of the great choices in american history. >> reporter: that right there of course is newt gingrich speaking in iowa where he shelled a town hall just about an hour ago. he was talking about what would happen if he became the republican presidential nominee and how he would challenge president obama to lincoln-douglas style debates.
and newt sharing the contrast between he and press. speaking of president obama, he says whoever the nominee is he says they appear to all have the same thoughts. he says the american people with see a big choice and a very big debate. jenna: we are going to make a general rule today, kelly, no getting on this show, no gambling, in says anyone is curious. >> reporter: i don't gamble any way. no problem. >> newt gingrich searching in the polls. he does have personal issues that could present problems. he's been tackling them by taking my life is an open book approach. he was asked about marital infidelity, if a candidate breaks his vows to his wife can he be trusted to keep his word to voters. >> i think it's a very, very
issue. people have to render judgments. i've made mistakes at times. i've had to go to god for forgiveness. i'm a 68-year-old grandfather, and they have to determine if i'm a person they can trust. >> are we going to soon learn more about newt gingrich than any of us wanted to or is there, after he's been in public life so long anything else to learn? >> the idea is that he's unpacked all of his baggage. it's already out there, and the most important thing that he's doing is making an appeal to the republican base. that is evangelical voters and saying, look, i need grace and i need forgiveness, that is the cornerstone of your faith, and i need you to find that for me. and it's quite frankly a very good strategy, because it's disarming and it prevents whisper campaigns and things like that. so far it's working.
>> he's been very open about all of this stuff. can any candidate out there really use it as admonition against him in the way that some of the similar stuff was used against herman cain? >> well, no, because again you don't have the whisper effect. the problem for gingrich in this metta sense, is he, as he says an left it as an open question in the debate, is he trustworthy. has he changed? is he a different kind of a machine as a 68-year-old grandfather east was as a rebellious, young, republican revolutionary? is he a different kind of person now? and he leaves that open for people to come to their own conclusion. the question is once you get down to the end, once it's time for the caucuses and the primaries do those concerns about his character still linger in the back of voters minds. >> tonight going one-on-one against jon huntsman. that is the only place he's made an impact he's at 11% in the polls there.
does newt gingrich take a chance who maybe huntsman who is on the rise there, a one and one lincoln-douglas style debate maybe draws some blood. >> it would be okay with him if huntsman does well in new hampshire, because the votes he would take would be from mitt romney the presumptive winner in new hampshire. newt gingrich is polling in new hampshire but not killing it. he would be werl fine with winning in iowa, i think he'd be very happy to give governor huntsman a big platform in new hampshire. >> you can get more of your political fix with chris coming up at the bottom of the hour on power player on foxnews.com. log on and click onto live link. fox news is your election headquarters. we'll westbound could he sponsors a republican debate along with the iowa party
thursday. martha: thousands of miles from wall street antiwall street protestors are storming ports up and down the west coast. right now hundreds of occupy demonstrators have successfully shut down the port of portland. that's where dan springer joins us live with the latest. dan. >> reporter: yeah, jenna this day long protest is being called wall street on the waterfront. it is having a disruptive effect on ports up and down the west coast. we are outside of portland, we can push in and you can see we are at the main gate at the port of portland. 200 protestors should down this port. trucks have been turned away, workers have been turned away. protestors gathered outside of this front gate. the police put up a chain-link fence. the police have been instructed to let the protestors stay. they are being very cautious because of arrests that were
made. they stopped a car and found a sword and loaded gun. three people were arrested. i want to talk with someone from the port of portland about that this morning and why you are being so cautious and closing down this port today. >> one arrests were made last night. one involved a loading weapon. i think based on the available information a decision was made not to order some labor in today, and additional decisions have been made since then. >> who is this affecting? we know that the truckers have been turned away and port workers. >> a lot of these truckers are not paid by the hour. they'll go unpaid. it impacts dockworkers, office workers, rail workers, there is a domino effect outside of the terminals as will. loss shifts, loss waeurpblgs and delays. >> reporter: thank you for
joining us this morning. the impact felt in portland is being seen up and down the coast. we know of protests in los angeles, the long beach port. they are protesting ssa a marine company owned partially bee goldman sachs. there are a lot of middle class people who can't get to work today. martha: just after 8:00 in the morning, dan, we'll continue to watch it throughout the day today, thank you. >> reporter: thorpb general eric holder under pressure from some members of congress to resign over the way the justice department handled the controversial fast and furious program. with more testimony before congress likely has holder become too big of distraction for the white house. catherine herridge live for us. how vulnerable is holder. >> reporter: the attorney general on the hill testifying at lowe's four times. on thursday he made a critical error by publicly acknowledge
being an indictment currently under seal for fast and furious. >> somebody has been indicted concerning that case. >> somebody has been? and that is not information you can speak to today. >> there are some rules there. apparently this is a matter that is under seal. >> but there has been an indictment? >> yes, there has been an indictment. >> reporter: since that scandal broke the attorney general has continued to push hard publicly on several controversial policies. he told the european parliament the administration was going to lows guantanamo camps by 2012. the department of justice has recently warned local law enforcement in alabama that they could risk losing federal funding as a result of that state's new immigration law. it certainly doesn't sound or act like someone who is under
pressure. >> reporter: when it comes down to the calculation as to whether or not he's too big a liability for the administration to hang onto. where are we? >> reporter: some legal analysts who once worked at the justice department is says all that really matters is the opinion of the president. >> he seems to be hold ago strong hand internal leave. he has the backing of the president and there have been no smoking gun documents that have come out so far. we've seen e-mail traffic among junior officials. at the end ever the day if there is no document that directly ties the attorney general into this and the attorney general continues to maintain the faith and trust of this president when he testifies he knows he's hold ago strong hand and he can afford to take a more combat euf stance with the congressional tkpheut tees. >> reporter: they point out the constant pounding of holder may up the base on the left and street event positions among the president's core supporters.
martha: the president and the prime minister of iraq sent to hold a joint news conference on the future of relations between our two countries. now that our troops are coming home many wonder if iraq is able to stand on its own and what kind of ally will they become. >> reporter: time runs out to come together on a payroll tax cut extension. senator joe mansion of west virginia joins us live with what is at stake. martha: something all of us does during the holidays. it could make you very sick, john, very sick. we'll cue the music and giver you a hint of what we're talking about just next. ♪ c is for cookies, that's good enough for me. c is for cookies, that's good enough for me ... ♪
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now. law makers are facing a major showdown with the president over the payroll tax cut extension. the stakes are very high. if republicans and democrats fail to come together it could mean a tax hike of a thousand dollars for families. joe mansion is with us. you have a lot of work to do in washington. what are you doing in new york today? >> i'm getting ready to go to work. martha: eye parent lee the house is going to bring up today the compromise republicans are putting forward to extend the payroll tax cut, but adding that keystone pipeline deal to get that through. >> i have a problem with social security, taking money away from social security. martha: you don't like extending the payroll tax cut at all. >> i don't like extending it under those conditions. i'm for and everybody else i believe is for helping the working last middle people, anything you can do. when you basically undercut social security which was really
the only program we had which would be supposed to be the partnership between employer and employee. last year we cut it 2/10s of one percent. there has to be a finite time to end it and it has to be absolutely positive that we will end it and not continue this addiction. we'll continue it. everyone says it's a tax increase. basically the partnership was you pay 6.2 as an employee, i pay 6.2 as your employer and it's used and set aside through a trust fund for your retirement. martha: getting to the keystone pipeline issue, would you be open to it. >> i am for the keystone pipeline. we are addicted to oil. the best ally we have is can today. they are going to produce that oil. they'll either build it north or south. i'd rather be buying oil from canada than i would the middle east that takes the money and uses it against us if you will. if not they'll build the hype
line from east to west which will go out and probably china would be the recipient of that. martha: is your perception of this from the republican side that they are putting an offer together that you potentialee could support. >> i'm more interested in that. i'm concerned about the social security. martha: we'll get back to the social security part. you voted no to your own party's legislation. you're not getting what you want and there is still no compromise. maybe what you want is to bring people for a compromise. what would that be. >> we are going to end social security, taking money away from social security and it will take a tremendous amount of votes tofr go back to that a detectives. on top of that this is what jump starts and creates jobs. the keystone pipeline, we are addicted to oil. i'd rather "oil from canada. it creates thousands of jobs. martha: do you think the
president getting more involved at this point would help or hurt the process to compromise. >> i always think the president should be involved. as a governor i was always involved. i'd hunt you down. i wanted to talk to you, i wanted to find out where you were coming from and how we could make the compromise. once you're the leader you're responsible to bring people together. martha: do you have any friends in d.c. you have your own idea, you're not necessarily going with your party line in the senate. you said the president needs to get more involved in this. >> yes my opinion. martha: i'm curious about that. you've said in the past that leadership is really lacking down in d.c. how do you see bringing that back? >> well, you know, to me our priorities should be based on our values as a country. we need to rebuild america. i think we have so much going on outside of this country, we are trying to be everything to everybody. we have infrastructure calling down around us, we can't get a tax reform that really gives us the revenue to run our country
and take care of obligations. we are having all those problems -- martha: you're saying set the values first and follow in a soared answe accordance with that. we don't even know if the government is going to stay up and running. martha: oh, they will. john: mounting tensions between the united states and iran over this high-tech spy drone captured by the country's revolutionary guard. what officials claim to have recovered from the aircraft and why they now plan to sue the united states. if you hate dieting, have we got a story for you. how you can drop the pounds without counting a single calorie. sounds too good to be true? we'll tell you all about it coming up. welcome idaho, where they grow america's favorite potoes. everyone knows idaho potatoes taste great. but did you know they'reood for you too? they're high in vitamins and potassium.
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john: new reports coming in on the high-tech drone captured in iran. iranian officials say they are in the final stages of recovering data from the ai aircraft. this is one of the most sophisticated in the u.s. arsenal. iran says it will use the information to file a lawsuit against the united states for violating its air space. th*e officials say they now have the capability to reproduce the aircraft. joining me now is jim walsh. great to see you this morning. when they say they are on the cusp of unlocking the secrets of the drone aircraft, what could they possibly get out of it. >> i think it's highly unlikely that they would have the capability of doing that. iran is known for grand pronouncements and the follow-up is not there. i don't think they have the technical capability to reverse engineer or doing that is meaningful with it. maybe the russians could, or the
chinese could. the most likely outcome will be that that he use this as a bargaining chip with the russians or the chinese. john: they want to file a lawsuit. who would they appeal to? >> perhaps they could do something at the international court of justice. i'd like to see it on the people's court, the television program. i can see now a guy on one side, a u.s. guy on the other side. i don't think this is going anywhere. this is about politics and symbolism and they are just trying to milk it for what they can. john: maybe my friend nancy grace could handle this a one as well. >> there you go. john: you don't think iran has the capabilities. they have some pretty smart scientists in iran. is there a chance they could discover something that might accelerate their air program? >> i really don't think so. they focused on rockets. they don't have much of an air force, and their rocket program
while making progress is nothing compared to the russian program, the u.s. program, the chinese program. they are a developing company, yes they have some smart folks. they are a developing country. they are not an advanced industrial state. i think that is beyond them at this point. john: they could make some sort of deal with russia or china. if the russians or even more worrisome the chinese got a hoefrld it what could they do with it? >> we don't know what information is actually embedded in the drone. we don't know physical shape it is. it looks intact, we don't know what it looks like inside. if you use drones, they are going to crash. if you use missiles they are going to crash. it's just the price you pay, you don't want it to happen. at the end of the day the u.s. is working on the next generation of drones and the one after that. it's a cat and mouse game. yes they are going to learn something. yes it would have been better if it hapb hadn't crashed and got
even to the hands of enemies. but we are working on the next best version. john: good to see you. thanks for taking the time. martha: we are waiting for a news conference at the white house where the president and iraq's prime minister are meeting, just days before u.s. troops are finally expected to completely pull out of iraq. what does this mean for our national security and what is next for that country. we'll talk more about that. on the campaign trail today newt gingrich surging in the polls, is jon huntsman spelling trouble for him in new hampshire? we'll have a live report just ahead. ♪ that's good morning, veggie style. hmmm [ male announcer ] for half the calories -- plus veggie nutrition. could've had a v8.
>> a fox news alert, we are waiting for president obama and prime minister nouri al-maliki to hold a joint news conference at the white house, the two leaders expected to discuss the next phase of the relationship between their countries, the final pullout of american forces days away. you're looking at a ceremony over the weekend of troops heading over an american base to the iraqi military. -- handing over a base to the iraqi military. for this we're joined by retired army general bob scales. the last time i was in iraq was in november 2006, where things were about at their worst. you were there during and after the surge. how much better is it now, compared to what we remember back in 2006? >> oh, wow, john, so much better. al-qaeda has been tkpaoet dollars, the internal insurgency is gone, and --
defeated, the internal sr-pblgs is better. if you look at the level of violence when you and i were there, there were hundreds a day dying. now we don't see that anymore. i think the real question among the american military is how much better can we make them without us being there, particularly their ability to fight or confront outside states, such as -- well, such as iran, and i think there's a sense that the american military leaving so precipitously, that a lot of that follow-on training, the sophisticated stuff, air defense, mechanized warfare, transportation, command and control, all that graduate-level military stuff, may be something that the iraqis will have a tough time taking up. john: does that leave a security vacuum? >> oh, i think there's no question about it, for two reasons. number one, the united states isn't going to there be to backstop, to set the example of what a democratic military is all about. number two, it leaves the borders open to any type of intrusion by the iranians, particularly in the southeast. so i know the -- the people
i talk to, the military people i talk to who are leaving now will tell me it's a job well done, they did a terrific job, they know that the patience of the american people has run out but there's still a lot that could be done that's just not going get done, john. john: general, if we needed to go back in there for any reason, how quickly could we get back in there? >> it's just not going to happen. soldiers in the region will keep forces in kuwait, there will be soldiers off shore, we'll have training missions in other parts of the region but the idea of a large scale say brigade operation or us going back into that occurrence i would say given the political situation, not going to happen. john internally, general, things as you say are a lot different than they were five years ago, but we still the odd car bombing, et cetera. people are still dying there in iraq. it's not all sweetness and light. so what happens when u.s. forces pull out? do you think that maybe what's left of the insurgency or what might be left of al-qaeda tries to reconstitute itself?
>> i don't think there's any doubt about that. i think some of the intelligence that we've seen lately shows that al-qaeda in iraq is trying to reconnect with their sunni supporters and get their nose back under the tent, but i think most people will agree that the iraqi military is pretty darn good at internal policing, at counterinsurgency. the real question we have is how good are they at actual top line workers, can they do that, and no one i've talked to is confident they can, john. john: general bob scales on iraq. stick around, general. we may be coming back to you. we're waiting for that press conference at the eisenhower executive office building. but for the moment, thank you for joining us. >> jenna: nice to always have general scales in, and for you who spent time in iraq. >> it was a tough time when we were there. so was so -- it was so horrible, car bombs going off five, six times a day, hundreds of people dying every day. you wondered how it could ever get better but apparently it has. that's great. jenna: that was 2006. john: 2006. jenna: now here we are five
hraoers -- years later and greg palkot is streaming live in baghdad and he is live on the ground there. greg. reporter error jenna, we are approaching the end of the road for the u.s. military here in iraq. it's a momentous time for those of us who have covered this thing for years, the most importantly, for the iraqi people. what we're hearing from the u.s. military right now is we are well below the 6000 level in terms of u.s. troops inside of iraq. that is up from -- that is down from a peak of about 170,000, in 2007, to a large extent, those troops are leaving via kuwait, and they all have to be out by the end of the year, according to a strategic agreement with iraq. but we are told, in fact, that a lot of those folks could be home for christmas. but what exactly are they leaving behind, what has the u.s. accomplished, what kind of condition is iraq in right now? that's something that we've been trying find out in the past couple of days. here's a brief glimpse of what we saw in baghdad today: >> i was here a few years ago in baghdad, u.s. army
tanks stood guard nearby. they'll all be going in the next several days, and traffic, a lot of people, and it's still problems. walls protecting this center of baghdad a couple of weeks ago were taken down. a couple of days later, two or three -- there were three bomb attack, leaving the dead and injured. >> reporter: folks here face a security problem. remnants of the al-qaeda militants, they are here, as well as iranian-backed my laisha. that's got a lot of people concerned we've been talking to here, as well as the influence of iran as the u.s. leaves. as is the government, of nor i al-maliki, the prime minister, some say he is excluding sections of this population and there could be a possibility of a riseup that began, with a kind of sectarian warfare that we have seen in this country over the past couple of years. add in other things like economic woes, jen kwrarbgs and we're climbing very much still -- we're facing a work in progress. progress but still a work in
progress. very briefly, we spoke to a couple of people out in the street. one person we asked about u.s. troops, they say we thank america for getting rid of the despised regime of saddam hussein, and some others, they said it's time for the u.s. to leave, we do not want occupation. we asked one other person about what he feels about the future of iraq and very articulate english, he says listen, we've got everything, we've got wealth, we've got oil, we've got brains. all we need to do is sit down together, in his words, with love, and then maybe run our own country by ourselves. and i think a lot of people, jenna, americans and everybody, are hoping that maybe he's right. back to you. jenna: very interesting. interesting perspective and an important one to have today. more than 1 million americans have served in iraq since 2003. you mentioned the economy there, the biggest trading partner if not the biggest -- one of the biggest is iran, so the question of ties is not one just of military but economics. it's something we'll continue to score. we'll bring everyone that
live news tkproepbs from washington, d.c. in the meantime, thank you greg palkot. john: the gop race for the white house, and the stakes are high in new hampshire, the primary four weeks from now and today newt gingrich and mitt romney are both in the granite state. with us, carl "campaign" cameron, live in new hampshire for us, and romney and gingrich, really going at each other these days. >> reporter: it is true. newt gingrich has been cautious to say he won't attack negatively or get involved in personal politics but he's talking policy distinctions and on mitt romney. mitt romney was also in manchester, half a mile from the queen city, he went to a famous break tp*s nook, and he talked to brian kilmey and he asked the ex-massachusetts governor if he thought that newt gingrich should give back some of the $1.6 million plus that gingrich made off of fannie mae and freddie mac. and it has touched off a
real skirmish. here's just the start of what's going to go on now for probably several more weeks: >> i sure do. he was at a debate saying that politicians who took money from freddie and fanny should go to jail, which is outrageous in itself. >> if governor romney would like to give back the money he's earned from bankrupting companies and laying off employees over his years, i would be glad to listen to him and i'll bet you $10, not $10,000, that he won't take the offer. >> reporter: that did not take very long for newt gingrich to pick up on mitt romney's gaff at the debate over the weekend, betting rick perry or offering to bet him ten grand. yes, it's resonating here, it's reverberating around the campaign trail, and newt gingrich at his first possible media availability in new hampshire went right after mitt romney for it. it is on in the first primary state. john: he said he was going to stay positive, newt gingrich did, throughout his entire campaign but does he have to get in the mud and
do wes -- wrestling with romney? >> he had a great configuration, he said ultimately the election will be decided on the power of positive ideas versus negative attack ads. are you listening mitt romney? that was a newt gingrich attack there, providing to preemptively insulate himself against the loom o'clock romney attack wave. i had an opportunity to speak to mr. gingrich this morning as he toured a local business and talked about the state of the race. it's pretty clear he thinks he's going to win the first caucuses but he is suspicious about the possibility of losing the first primary necessary new hampshire, which raises questions about the race that follows after that. let's listen to newt gingrich. >> the record is if i do in iowa, which i hope to do, it makes it hard ner new hampshire, because the average in new hampshire does -- i'm not going to let people in iowa tell me what to do, so -- >> so iowa goes to you, and new hampshire to romney or south carolina. >> it's a big deal. >> reporter: it becomes a big deal. so the first caucuses, now less than 3 1/2, four weeks away, then the new hampshire
primary, then south carolina, where both mitt romney and newt gingrich both believe they may need a fire wall to blunt the other's ascent. it's getting started and it's a long way from over. newt gingrich may be able to stay positive but there's got to be a lot of effort -- a lot of effort to knock him down and he's acknowledged that, too. john: when you look at the numbers, gingrich way ahead in south carolina and florida, which is the big prize of the early primaries. great to see you this morning, carl. >> reporter: good to note, too, he's pretty well org need in south carolina but acknowledged he's behind organizationally mitt romney in iowa and new hampshire. john: certainly. his ground game, not exactly following the numbers in some states. carl, thank you very much. fox news is your election headquarters. we're going to be co-sponsoring the debate, tune in this thursday, 9:00 p.m. eastern. jenna: in the meantime we're going to turn overseas now. brand new amateur video surfacing in syria, showing a fresh round of violence over the weekend, leaving more than two dozen deaths. according to reports, tough to verify this stuff, but
you can see it for yourself. what's happening today in that country really will give you pause. we have folks heading to the voting booth. the latest from there. and why new reports about the newly crowned nbc milwaukee brewers outfielder ryan braun are disappointing many fans across this country. that's just ahead. ooh! see what anandra did? booking your flight and hotel at the same time gets you prices hotels and airlines won't let expedia show separately. book it. major wow factor! where you book matters. expedia.
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john fox news alert. we are still await thank press conference between president obama and nor i al-maliki following their bilateral meeting in the oval office and in the next hour they're scheduled to go to arlington national cemetary to lay a wreath. we're watching this very closely for you and the second that we get word they are coming to the podiums we will break in for you. jenna: new violence in syria over the weekend, killing 27 people reportedly. amateur video showing syrian troops and army defectors clashing in the streets in one of the biggest battles since the uprising since president assad began nine month ago. nine months. it's been that long.
in the meantime syrians are heading to the poll today to vote in local elections, and imagine trying to do that with all that firepower. leland vitter is following this from jerusalem. >> reporter: what we have right now is about 15,000 syrian army defectors. this has gone from a mass civilian protest to an insurgency rebellion, kind of thing, and we are on the way certainly to a civil war. right now about 4000 people have died in the nine months since this started. that number is sure to go up, possibly by multiples. the video we're seeing is also very different coming out of the syrian cities that are under no longer protests but the street battles and automatic fire weapons you hear in the background, there is very scary stuff. the syrian army is experienced at putting down uprisings and rebellions and insurgencies in its own countries. president assad's father killed more than 20,000 syrians in the city of holmes when that city itself
went into rebellion. right now the army is equipped not only with iranian weapons but russian weapons they've received. the city now is under general strike, the protestors in their movements have asked everybody to stay in and to close the stores to further isolate and destabilize the assad regime. meantime, assad is trying to say everything is northerly and have municipal elections amid the violence you're hearing now. those elections are not going very well, asst stands. what makes syria right now a little bit different than libya is the syrian army is so much more powerful and nato has already said they are not going to step in and try to save any of these civilian populations, jenna. a couple of experts have been saying oh, assad is only a few weeks away from falling, just a little bit of time left. people were also saying that back in march and he's very much in power. jenna, back to you. jenna: such a good point. nine months in at this point, we wonder how much longer this will go on and where the story goes from here. leland vitter with great context for us today, thank
you very much. john: they're running 15 minutes behind. we're still expecting that press tkproepbs with president obama and nor i al-maliki, the prime minister of iraq, there they are in the meeting in the oval office, still going on. we're expect thank in the next ten minutes or so. >> cookie cents, a lot of people love them. what can be so scary about a cookie? >> jenna: scary? >> scary about a cookie. we're not talking halloween cookies here. the results of a shocking new study that you don't want to miss. that's coming up. >> >> ♪ >> ♪ >> ♪ are you receiving a payout from a legal settlement
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jenna: "happening now" a. new study offering good news maybe for dieters, just in time for the holiday, something to keep in mind! one study says you can forget counting calorie, some researchers say cutting carbs just two days a week may be more beneficial than counting calories every other day. joining us live is dr. marc siegl, professor of medicine at new york university, also a fox news medical a teamer. so explain how this works. >> hi jenna. this was actually done among women that were very high risk for breast cancer. one hundred fifteen women. it's a british study. basically it was a diet where two days a week, they went on a starvation diet, they had only 650-calories. now, i have a problem about -- with that because i think inducing a state of starvation is problematic. but you have to understand, a lot of research has been showing that weight correlates with breast cancer, if you can get the weight off you're much lower risk of getting breast cancer. >> this was an interesting part, there was a starvation group, 650-calorie, there was another group that did eat carbs but were -- that
didn't eat carbs but ate whatever protein they wanted. you always hear about that mediterranean diet, olive oil, all that, but it was the group with the restricted calories and fewer cars that benefitted. >> the one with the restricted lost 9 pounds over a couple of months. that was dramatic. they also lowered insulin resistance meaning they were able to get rid of sugar much better and again, the research is showing that if you can't get rid of sugar you're at much higher risk of breath cancer. this is a select group of woman high rufbg so -- risk so i end up with the same solution, low carb but not starvation. i don't buy that. jenna: if you're trying different diets and not finding anything that works, you might try it. >> you may not be able to comply with a diet seven days a week. jenna: for two days, you can be good, the other five days, you can be on the bad list. here is something that is traumatic for our team, this new realization that you really cannot eat raw cookie
dough without any sort of guilt because you are close to getting sick, something we learned from the cdc. >> i'm very sorry about this, guys, but my good friend dr. william shatner put it this way, it's kind of like having raw meat or rare meat. it can hide bacteria, cdc said why did we have 77 case of this deadly e coli with 55 hospitalizations in 30 states. why? they found it in the cookie dough. jenna: prepackaged. >> prepackaged and uncooked. once you bake your cookie, you're safe. jenna: what happens if i make my own and it's not prepackaged, can i still lick the spoon? >> well, i'd say no. i'd say no! >> jen not allowed, okay. >> stay away from raw, uncooked foods in general, other than celeries, carrots >> that's not fun. >> you're right, the prepackaged are the ones that were the culprits in this case. jenna: you've got to give it to us in small doses and we'll do our best.
>> great to see you. jenna: thank you. john: if they outlaw cookie dough, there's not much left to live for. jen that's true. john: the supreme court will rule on arizona's controversial immigration law. the high court hearing, a challenge from the federal government, saying it is solely responsible for enforcing immigration laws. we're live from washington with that. does tim tebow have an angel on his shoulder? leaving the bronc -- leading the broncos to a nail biting win, this time against the bears. a look at the quarter back's hot streak coming up in the next hour. we continue to wait for the president and the iraqi prime minister. they will hold a news conference any minute now. didn't we say that 15 minutes ago? >> we'll bring you there, live, when it happens. stay with us, don't go away.
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hour ago. sometimes it's monday, it's tough to get started. so we're awaiting this joint news conference. this is an important one, obviously, as we're within the last final works of u.s. troops being in iraq. the president will obviously be answering some questions, along with the prime minister as well. so when we hear from them, see them, we're going bring you those comments live, also move on to arlington national cemetary after that where there will be a wreath laying for the nearly 4500 american troops that have died in that war. so we'll keep you posted down in d.c. as news warrants. we have this other fox news alert in d.c., the house is convening right now, taking up the battle over extending the payroll tax cuts and time is certainly running out, right john? john: absolutely. we've got until the end of the year before they expire, it could affect the paychecks of millions of americans. jenna: we're glad you're with us, i'm jenna lee. john: i'm john robert in for jon scott. welcome to a brand new hour of "happening now".
republicans say they will support the tax cut extension if it's tied to a oil pipeline from canada. republicans must be encouraged by the fact that some democrats, senator joe manchin talked to us last hour, among them, in favor of the pipeline project moving forward. >> the politics are fascinating. you've got a key constituency of president obama, the unions in favor of the pipeline, feeling like it would be instant jobs, so you see democrats, along the expected pipeline route, saying this is a good thing, congressman dan born in oklahoma saying this, at a time when many are without work it's time to come together in a bipartisan way to pass this legislation which will create tens of thousands of new jobs. i commend the speaker for including the construction of the pipeline that is supported by business and labor, and so bottom line, a democrat coming forward saying he's in favor of this provision. question is exactly how many votes there will be when it comes up for a vote, when it's expected to get to the
united states senate, john. john: republicans say deal is going to get done on the payroll tax holiday, but some of them aren't sure the pipeline is going to northbound the final package, right? >> reporter: you're right about that. senate republican leader mitch mcconnell yesterday was very clear in saying it will get done. something will get done. didn't give all the specifics at this point, but senator lindsey graham, republican of south carolina, had this to say: >> at the end of the day, the payroll tax will get extended as it is now. it won't get expanded. it will get extended. and we'll find a way to pay for it in a bipartisan fashion. this idea of taxing one group to pay for a tax cut for another is not going to sail, the pipeline is probably not going to fail. it is important that we extend the tax cut through next year. but it's even more important we come up with a sustainable policy that will turn america around. >> reporter: so we're expecting a vote on the house gop plan, and the house at this point. we're also expecting the senate democrats to unveil a
new plan from their perspective, we're hearing both sides saying something will get done eventually. john: it's never pretty but fascinating to watch sometimes. jenna: now to the campaign trail and new warning signs potentially for the president. young voters turned out in droves in 2008, playing a very key tphroel helping him win the white house, but a new report find their support this time around is no longer quite as rock hal id -- solid. steve brown is live with the latest. how big an issue is this for the president? >> reporter: it's significant enough for his reelection campaign to be addressing it right now. back in 2008, the president doubled up on john mccain where the youth vote was concerned, folks between the ages of 18 and 30, he got 66 percent, john mccain, 32 percent. the pew center did a followup study putting a hypothetical matchup of romney and the president and the president dipped by about 5 percent, plus turnout is down. you have the two numbers
together, it starts becoming a bigger concern and apparently driving all of this is the jobs picture. >> college age unemployment, that is 50 to 60 percent higher than it was in 2008. you know, you're looking at one in every six young people is unemployed. and a large number of the rest are underemployed, can't get their careers going. >> reporter: so all of those college campus events we saw in 2008, those folks that have moved on, those folks trying to work through the jobs picture right now, those folks are on the fence right now. jenna: very interesting point, steve. what is the president's reelection team doing about this? >> what they're doing is they're addressing it right away. and this is a significant concern, according to former iowa democratic party chairman gordon fisher. have a listen: >> with the down economy, obama has to work, and the campaign has to work extra hard to get those youth folks not only out to vote for him but out, excited
volunteering, donating, and so forth. >> and already, the obama campaign has tapped into those young supporters. this is video from a tuesday night in iowa city, 35 young people, all making phone calls to other young people, attempting to get them on board with the campaign, in excess of a year before the election is going to even come upon them. so the obama team understands that there is some weakness in this, that they're likely to win this category, but they need to win it as strongly as they did in 2012 to improve their chances of retaining the white house. jenna. jenna: obviously, they're aware of it, steve. it will be interesting to watch. thank you. john: an unusual one on one political event in new hampshire, republican frontrunner newt gingrich facing off in a lincoln-douglas style debate with jon huntsman. gingrich got off to a slow start where gingrich is showing good in the primaries. bret baier is anchor of "special report". first rule of campaigning is you do no harm.
is the potential for gingrich to go out against a sharp-witnessed -- sharp-witted guy like jon huntsman and step in it? >> it's always possible and that's been the vulnerability for speaker gingrich to say something that raises a lot of eyebrows and gets a day or two of coverage that he didn't want. however, most analysts will tell you that speaker gingrich is a little bit more disciplined this time, or appears to be. excuse me. and so we'll have to see in the long format. you know, he's very comfortable. he's proposed these lincoln-douglas debates many times before. he's done several of them. we'll have to watch closely about this one. john: does gingrich have to do this because he doesn't have the money in traditional media to get his exposure stphup. >> he's starting to get the money, but this has been his campaign strategy, to use free media to take advantage of that. in fact recently he was in iowa, and somebody there on the ground, a reporter said when are you going up, on
tv, in iowa, and he said as soon as you feed this up to your station! news is free media. very effective. gan john this has all got to be driving mitt romney nuts. he's been frontrunner for so long and everybody comes along and leaps past'. what's he doing to try to get newt gingrich knocked off the stphop. >> i think you're going to see more pointed attacks from surrogates and governor romney himself. there is a force, as -- there is, of course, a balancing act there. people don't like the negativity but they also want the difference between the candidates and who's best able to beat president obama in the general election. i think the key point is organization. how much does it matter this time around. crist so will iza with "the washington post" has an interesting article about that and perhaps with social media, twitter, facebook, it doesn't matter as much as it once did. if it does, ron paul is well positioned in iowa, because he arguably has the best organization on the ground there. john: what's it going to do for gingrich?
this is really interesting because you've got a guy at the top of the polls in iowa, south carolina, and florida, and in some of those states, he doesn't have a significant ground game. usually it's the ground game that helps get you the numbers. how is he going to carry that off? >> usually, when momentum really kicks in and if past history is our guide, it collides with a lack of organization. and eventually, that's not a good thing. however, this could be a different time. this could be a different year. again, with social media and the ability of free media to capture that, newt gingrich may be able to surge. it's a test that will happen 22 days from now in the iowa caucuses, and of course we have our big debate on thursday night. that largely will affect a lot of things we believe. john: i want to ask you quickly about that. what's the theme going to be for thursday's debate? >> it's wide open. we have all kinds of questions on the table. we've been working at it for a long time. chris wallace, megyn kelly, neil cavuto and me questioning candidates, and
we'll be tapping into things that we haven't heard from candidates before, and some of the quotes and issues that have come up in recent days. john a lot of political knowledge they'll be coming up against. take care of that voice. you're going to need it! >> thanks john. john jan you don't want to miss that, the candidates facing off in sue city, the chance to face the issues before the caucus, 9:00 p.m. eastern thursday, followed by the best political analysis on television here at america's election headquarters. jenna: looking tpofrd to that. in the meantime we're learning the supreme court is taking all controversial case, one that could really impact the 2012 presidential race. we have a live report next on that. plus, a scam we've seen at atm machines, moving to your local grocery store. how you can protect yourself from thieves who want to snipe our credit card and pin numbers without you even knowing it. ♪
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some of the stories topping headlines this hour. the owner of the new jersey nets says he'll challenge vad mere putin for the presidency, vladimir pokorov tphaoupts dollars the run following by a poor showing for putin's party. allegations of fraud treurg dollars massive protees across russia. >> funeral services for derek crouse are being held a. gunman killed him on thursday before taking his own life. occupy protestors are trying to shut down several west coast ports. the protests stretch from ann corage, alaska all the way down to san diego. jenna: right now, our team at "happening now" is confirming that the secret service is investigating a massive credit card scam, targeting the self-checkout aisles at some grocery stores. san francisco, for example, hundreds of shoppers had their credit card information stolen and there was no way any of these folks could have known someone tampered with the machine. how do we protect ourselves, especially during thehole
day? andrea warrock is a consumer savings expert, and what happened here was credit card skimming. what is that? >> yes. we've seen this happening at credit card pumps or even atms, where thieves place devices, sometimes fake card readers or hidden cameras by atms, to steal credit card information, or debit card information from the maybe nettic strip on those bank cards, and these consumers that are getting -- that this is happening to unknowingly are transferring information wirelessly to the credit card skimmers. jenna: some of the research we've had talks about that -- people are describing this as a very common event, it's happening, it's relatively easy, quote unquote, to do, depending upon who the criminal is, but that being said, we've been to the grocery store, been to that checkout dozens of times before, if it doesn't look different, how do we protect ourselves? >> this is a very alarming
incident because the thieves are using highly sophisticated devices that are unde it can'table to the consumer. as the atm or credit card machine, if you see there's tampering, you may have an idea that there could be skimming being involved, but the fact that these are becoming more sophisticated, it's harder to tell. that's why it's very important to use a cred -rt card over a debit card so funds can't be withdrawn from your bank account if your information is compromised, as well as it's easier to dispute fraudulent charges without mon being withheld from your account. as well it's important to check your credit card statements and bank statements regular hrefplt many consumers don't do this and many can be withdrawn in several months without you knowing it. stay on top of it and call your credit card company or your bank card if you notice fraudulent charges immediately. jenna: it's such good advice, because it's so easy to throw out the -- to let the statements go through, especially when they're online and not examining them every time. i have to ask you, it makes me wonder why -- maybe we
should go back to cash, maybe we wouldn't have this problem. >> sure, cash is easier to avoid any of these incidents from happening but don't deter -- don't let the incidences deter from you shopping, especially online. there are so many deals to be had over the holidays. for instance, free shipping day is this friday. you want to have your protections set up and place, shop from secure networks, don't shop at a public network like the library, coffee shops or airports where hackers can steal your information. if you are going to shop on free shipping day, go to free shipping day.com to find retailers participating and shop from the reputable online stocks and if a deal sounds too good to be true coming into your in box, chances are it is. be careful shopping online or in any store. if any machines look like they were tampered with, don't shop there. jenna: there are -- there are plenty of other places, for those of us that like to
online shop. i didn't know about that free shipping day. i'm going to write that down! john, did you know about that? >> john: yes. remember the days when stores ran on cash and banks were opened between 9:00 and 3:00 and somehow the world didn't fall apart. jenna: you're right, go back to the green stuff. john: still waiting for that press conference, by the way. arizona's controversial immigration law which sparked a crack down on illegals lands in the supreme court. -- supreme court. how the judge's decision could impact the presidential election. captive no more, an american boy escapes from his kidnappers deep in the philippine junkel after a five-year ordeal. how the dash to freedom came about, a remarkable story of hope and free -- hope and survival, just ahead. >> nobody in the world knows how i feel. i'm just so happy. it was a tough time. it was a tough five months. i'd like one of those desserts and some coffee.
john we're looking at a picture there of an empty stage at the eisenhower executive office building, and two lonely podiums which have been lonely now for almost 45 minutes, longer than they were supposed to be. we're still watching this for you, president obama and iraqi prime minister nor i ar malaki expected at some point today to come out and addressed the gathered journalists about their meetings in the oval office and the way forward in iraq now that the u.s. troops are coming out at the end of the month. jenna: big issue and we'll carry it will live when it happens. also in d.c., the supreme court announcing it will rule on arizona's controversial law that's cracking down on illegal immigration. the timing of this, all very interesting, and shannon bream has been watching this closely from washington. shannon. >> reporter: hi jenna. it is official, the supreme court has decided to wait
until the contentious fight over arizona's immigration law, portions of it are in tact while other parts have been struck down by the lower court. the judges will now have to decide if arizona went too far when it passed sb1070, the position held by the obama administration. here's former assistant attorney general tom dupry. >> the administration has taken an aggressive approach saying the states should not be regulating this area, that any legislation by this area is an intrusion on the federal sovereign's prerogative to regulate immigration. >> reporter: opponents of the arizona law feel confident the justices will strike it down saying this morning that arizona is clearly overstepping its constitutional boundary -- boundaries trying to legislate in an area left solely to the federal government. it's interesting to note this morning that justice elena kagan took no part in thecursion of whether or not the supreme court would hear this case. she'll likely sit out the argument. remember she served as solicitor general for the obama administration before
being nominated to a seat on the court. if there is a tie at the court meaning a 4-4 split the lower court's ruling stays in tact, we guesstimate the court will hear the challenge in april of next year by the decision late june or area july, that means the administration could face big rulings over the decision to sue a number of states over their immigration laws and a decision on the president's health care law could come at the same time and actual of -- and all of that in the middle of a reelection battle. jenna: so with the health care law as well that, timing is june-july for the final ruling on that. >> it could come at once. jenna: a busy next summer. shannon, thank you very much for that. we're going to take a closer look at this with the executive director of law and american justice. let's stay on the immigration law for a moment here. with this one ruling, what's at stake? >> not just arizona's law but five other states who have enacted similar laws, even some that go further than what arizona did, which is really take federal law that exists and let state law enforcement officials enforce it as well, because
the federal government admitted, secretary napolitano has told congress we don't have the resource toss secure the border. we think about what's at issue, it's not just arizona, but the five other states, plus like omabacare, the whole country, i think the theme of the supreme court as we get these opinions will be obama versus the states, and that's what we're seeing in both of these cases. let's just take it a step further. they have enough money at doj and federal government to enact fast & feweruse, which that program iran ran in arizona, the guns they're find thank killed the border officer, that's in arizona, they got enough money to sue these states in court but they say we can't security the border. that's why the states are taking action. jenna: it's interesting you bring up the health care law with it and set up the fact that this is a fight between the federal government and state rights and who really has the right to control, one, the border, or two, commerce in the twhaeu health insurance is, at least that's part of the conversation. just in general, looking at this in your expert opinion, who has the better case right now? >> i think they're both very
new cases. for instance, the federal government hasn't had to make, tried to make a power grab like in omabacare which would fundamentally change the role of congress and executive branch and how they could authorize things through mandates rather than to increase taxes to pay for programs, so mandates and penalties instead of taxes, that would be a whole new power that goes broader than health care. same goes for the immigration issue. this would not be at the supreme court if there wasn't a crisis on the border. the states have said yes, the federal government does have -- >> jenna: i apologize to interrupt, we do have the president of the united states in a moment and we're going to go straight to him. thank you very much. more on the supreme court in a second. here's the president -- >> american troops were deployed in iraq and i pledged to end this war responsibly. today, only several thousand troops remain there. and more are coming home every day. this is a season of home comings. and military families across america are being reunited
for the holidays. in the coming days, the last american soldiers will cross the border out of iraq. with -- with honor and their heads held high. after nearly nine years, our war in iraq ends this month. dark i'm proud to welcome prime minister malaki, the elected leader of a sovereign, self-reliant, and democratic iraq. we're here to mark the end of this war. to honor the sacrifices of all those who made this day possible. and to turn the page, begin a new chapter in the history between our countries. a normal relationship between sovereign nations. an equal partnership based on mutual interests and mutual respect. iraq faces great challenges, but today reflects the impressive progress that iraqis have made. millions have cast their
ballots, some risking or giving their lives to vote in free elections. the prime minister leads iraq's most inclusive government yet. iraqis are working to build institutions that are efficient, and independent. and transparent. economically, iraqi has continued to invest in their infrastructure and development, and i think it's worth considering some remarkable statistics. in the coming years, it's estimated that iraq's economy will grow even faster than china's or india's. with all production rising, iraq is on track to once again be one of the region's leading oil producers. with respect to security, iraqi forces have been in the lead for the better part of three years. patrolling the streets, dismantling militias, conducting counterterrorism operations. today, despite continued attacks by those who seek to derail iraq's progress,
violence remains at record lows. and mr. prime minister, that's a tribute to your leadership and the skill and sacrifices of iraqi forces. across the region iraq is forging new ties of trade with its neighbors and iraq iraq is assuming its rightful place among the community of nations. for the first time in two decades, iraq is scheduled to host the next arab league submit, and what a -- summit, and what a powerful message that will send throughout the arab world. people throughout the region will see a new iraq that's a country in which people from different religious sectses can dissolve differences peacefully through the democratic process. when we end this war and as iraq faces its future the iraqi people must know that you will not stand alone. you are a strong and
enduring partner in the united states of america. and i are reaffirming our common vision in keeping with our strategic framework agreement, and it will be like the close relationships we have with other sovereign nations. simply put, we are building a comprehensive partnership. prime minister, you've said that iraqis seek democracy, a state of citizens and not sects. so we're partnering to strengthen the institutions upon which iraq's democracy depends. free elections, a vibrant press, a strong civil society, professional police and law enforcement that uphold the rule of law, an independent judiciary that delivers justice fairly and transparent institutions that serve all iraqis. we're partnering to expand our trade and commerce. we'll make it easier for our businesses to export and innovate together. we'll share our experiences in agriculture and in health care,
and we'll work together to develop iraq's energy sector even as the iraqi economy diversifies and will deepen iraq's integration into the local economy. we're partnering to expand the ties between our citizens, especially our young people through efforts like the fulbright program, we're welcoming students to study and form friendships that will bind our nations together for generations to come. and we'll forge more collaborations in areas like science and technology. we'll partner for our shared security. prime minister, we discussed how the united states can help iraq train and equip its forces not by stationing american troops there or with u.s. bases in iraq -- those days are over -- but, rather, the kind of training and assistance we offer to other countries. and given the challenges we face together in a rapidly changing region, we also agreed to establish a new, formal channel
of communication between our national security advisers. finally, we're partnering for regional security. for just as iraq has pledged not to interfere in other nations, other nations must not interfere in iraq. iraq's sovereignty must be respected. and meanwhile, there should be no doubt the drawdown in iraq has allowed us to refocus our resources, achieve progress in afghanistan, put al-qaeda on the path to defeat and to better prepare for the full range of challenges that lie ahead. so make no mistake, our strong presence in the middle east endures, and the united states will never waver in defense of our allies, our partners or our interests. this is the shared vision that prime minister maliki and i reaffirm today; an equal partnership, a broad relationship that advances the security, the prosperity and the aspirations of both our people. primeprime minister, you've sait
university, building a strong and durable relationship between our two countries is vital, and i could not agree more. so this is an historic moment. a war is ending, a new day is upon us, and let us never forget those who gave us this chance. the untold number of iraqis who have given their lives, more than one million americans, military and civilian, who have served in iraq, nearly 4500 fallen americans who gave their last full measure of devotion. tens of thousands of wounded warriors and so many inspiring military families. they are the reason that we can stand here today, and we owe it to every single one of them, we have a moral obligation to all of them to build a future worthy of their sacrifice. mr. prime minister. [speaking in native tongue]
>> translator: iraq is following a foreign policy in which it does not interfere in others and does not allow others to interfere in its affairs. it establishes its interest at the forefront of the others which he's concerned about like from any, any confusion. your excellency, today we meet in -- [inaudible] after we have finished the first page of a con tracktive cooperation in which we also thank you and appreciate you for your commitment to everything that you have -- [inaudible] and anyone who observes the relationship between the countries will say that the relationship will not end with the departure of the last american soldier, it only started. when we signed in 2008 in addition to the withdrawal
treaty the strategic framework agreement for the relationship between our two countries. and because we have proven success on the mission, a very unique success, nobody imagined that we will succeed in defeating terrorism and the al-qaeda. we must also establish the necessary steps in order to succeed in our second stage which is the enduring relationship and the framework, strategic framework agreement and the economic atmosphere as well as in educational and commercial and cultural and judicial and security cooperation fields. iraq now has become the relied completely on its own security apparatus, and in terms of security as a result of the expertise that it gave during the confrontations and the training and equipping, but it remains a need of cooperation with the united states of
america in the security issues and informations and combating terrorism and in the area of training and the area of equipping which is needed by the iraqi army. and we have started that. and we want to complete the process of equipping the iraqi army in order to protect our sovereignty and not violate the rights of -- [inaudible] not take any missions that violate the sovereignty of others. today the joint venture is to establish the mechanisms and the commitments that will expedite. we have reached an agreement, and we have held a meeting for the higher joint committee under the chairmanship of mr. biden, the vice president, and myself in baghdad, and we spoke about all the details that would put the framework agreement into implementation. and here we talked about it and
it activation, and there will be other discussions and other meetings for the higher committee here in order to put the final touches regarding the necessary mechanisms for cooperation and achieving the common vision that we followed and which was based on our common will and political independent decision and the desire to respect is sovereignty of each other. we feel that we need political cooperation as well as in addition to cooperating in the security and economic and commercial fields, we need a political cooperation particularly with regard to the matters that are of common concern for us as two parties who want to cooperate. the common vision that we use as a point of departure we have confirmed today, and i am very happy to every time we meet with
the american side i find determination and a strong will to activate the strategic framework agreement. and i will say, frankly, this is necessary, and it serves the interest of -- [inaudible] it is necessary to serve the interests of the united states of america. this makes us feel that we will succeed in the, with the same commitment, common commitment that we have in combating terrorism and accomplishing the missions that the basis of which iraq was, was independent. iraq today has a lot of wealth, and it needs experience and expertise in american and foreign expertise to help iraq exploit its own wealth in an ideal way. iraq is still suffering from a shortage of resources, and we have established a strategy to
increase in iraqi wealth, and we hope that the american companies will have the largest role in increasing our wealth in the area of of oil and other aspects as well. iraq wants to build all the sectors that were harmed because of the war and because of the adventurous policies that were used by the former regime, and we need a wide range of reform in the area of education. we have succeeded in deciding several agreements through the education initiative which put hundreds of our college graduates to continue their graduate studies in a specialized subject in american universities, and i am putting it before everyone who is watching the relationship between the u.s. and iraq, it is
a very, it has very high aspirations, and i would like to renew my thanks to his excellency, the president, for giving me this opportunity and wish him much success god willing. thank you very much. >> all right. we've got time for a few questions. i'm going to start with ben feller of ap. >> thank you, mr. president and mr. prime minister. mr. president, i have two questions for you on the region. in syria you have called for president assad to step down over the killings of his people, but prime minister maliki has warned that assad's removal could cause the whole region -- [inaudible] i'm wondering if you're worried that iraq could be succumbing to iran's influence on this matter and, perhaps, helping to protect assad. and speaking of iran, are you concerned that it will be able to weaken america's national security by discovering intelligence from the fallen drone that it captured? prime minister maliki, i'd like to ask you the question about
syria. why haven't you demanded that assad step down given the slaughter of his people? >> first of all, the prime minister and i have discussed syria, and we share the view that when the syrian people are being killed or are unable to express themselves, that's a problem. there's no disagreement there. i have expressed my outrage in how the syrian regime has been operating. i do believe that president assad missed an opportunity to reform his government, chose the path of repression and has continued to engage in repressive tactics so that his credibility, his capacity to regain legitimacy inside syria, i think, is deeply eroded. it's not an easy situation, and, you know, i expressed to prime
minister maliki my recognition that given syria's on iraq's borders, iraq's in a tough neighborhood, that we will consult closely with them as we move forward. but we believe that international pressure, the approach we've taken along with partners around the world to impose tough sanctions and to call on assad to step down, a position that is increasingly mirrored by the arab league states is the right position to take. even if there are tactical disagreements between iraq and the united states at this point in how to deal with syria, i have absolutely no doubt that these decisions are being made based on what prime minister maliki believes is best for iraq. not based on considerations of
what iran would like to see. you know, prime minister maliki has been explicit here in the united states, he's been explicit back in iraq in his writings, in his commentary that his interest is maintaining iraqi sovereignty and preventing meddling by anybody inside of iraq. and i believe him. and he has shown himself to be willing to make very tough decisions in the interests of iraqi nationalism even if they cause problems with his neighbor. and so, you know, we may have some different tactical views in terms of how best to transition to an inclusive, representative government inside of syria, but every decision that i believe prime minister maliki is making, he is making on the basis of what he thinks is best for the iraqi peoplement and -- people.
and everything that we've seen in our interactions with prime minister maliki and his government over the last several years would confirm that. with respect to the drone inside of iran, i'm not going to comment on intelligence matters that are classified. as has already been indicated, we have asked for it back. we'll see how the iranians respond. [speaking in native tongue] >> translator: syria and perhaps in other states as well, but i know that peoples must get their freedom and their will and the democracy and the equal citizenship.
[inaudible] because we have achieved that ourselves, and if we can compare by iraq today with the past, we find that there is a great difference in democracy and elections and freedom. therefore, we, we are the aspirations of the syrian people, and i -- but i cannot ask a president to abdicate. we must play this role, and we give our -- we cannot give ourselves this right. iraq is a country that is bordering on syria, and i am concerned about the interests of iran and the interests of the security of the region. and i wish that what is required for the syrian, by the syrian people will be achieved without having, without affecting the security of iraq. and i know the two countries are related to each other, and we must be very prudent in dealing
with this matter. we were with the initiative -- [inaudible] but frankly speaking, because we suffered from the blockade and the interventions, we do not encourage a blockade because it exhausts the people and the government. but we stood with the arab league, and we were very frank with ourselves with a visit to the ambassador in baghdad, and we agreed perhaps it will be the last ballot initiative that will see the situation and will achieve and require change in syria without any violent operations that could affect this area in general. i believe that the parties, all the parties realize the dangers of a sectarian war in iraq and syria and in the region because it will be like a snowball that it will expand and will be
difficult to control it. we will try to reach a solution, and i may discuss the matter with his excellency, the president, president obama, and the secretary general of the arab league, and there is agreement from even the syrian opposition who are meeting the opposition in syria -- who are leading leading the opposition in syria to search for a solution. if we can reach a solution, we'll avoid all the evils and the dangers. and if we don't, there must be another way to reach a solution that will calm the situation in syria and in the area in general. [speaking in native tongue] [speaking in native tongue] >> translator: establish a new relationship to establish the characteristics of a new relationship with the united
states after the withdrawal of the u.s. forces from iraq. relying on this strategic framework agreement, have you reached a specific mechanisms for the implementation of the framework agreement, your excellent si and president obama? you said that there will be long-range relationships with iraq. can you tell us exactly would iraq be an ally of the united states or just a friend or will have a different type of relationship? thank you very much. [speaking in native tongue] >> translator: definitely, without mechanisms we'll not be able to achievement achieve any. these mechanisms control our continuous movement, therefore, the agreement has a higher committee, a joint committee from the two countries that meets regularly, and it has representatives from all the sectors that we want to develop
relationships in; commerce industry, agriculture, economy, security. so the joint higher committee is the mechanisms in which their deals will be reached, a relationship between the ministries that will implement what is agreed upon. we believe through these two mechanisms, the mechanisms of the joint committee and the mechanisms of contact between each minister and it counterpart, we will achieve success, and this will expedite achieving our goal. >> as the prime minister described, i think our goal is to have a comprehensive relationship with iraq. and what that means is that on everything from expanding trade and commerce to scientific exchanges to providing assistance as iraq is trying to make sure that electricity and
power generation is consistent for its people to joint exercises militarily to a whole range of issues. we want to make sure that there is a constant communication between our governments, that there are deep and rich exchanges between our two governments and between our peoples. because, you know, what's happened over the last several years has linked the united states and iraq in a way that is potentially powerful and could end up benefiting not only america and iraq, but also the entire region and the entire world. it will evolve over time, what may be discovered is that there are certain issues that prime minister maliki and his government think are especially important right now. for example, making sure that
oil production is ramped up, and we are helping to encourage global investment in that sector. i know that the prime minister has certain concerns right now militarily that five years from now or ten years from now when the iraqi air force is fully developed or the iraqi navy is fully developed, he has less concern about. our goal is simply to make sure that iraq succeeds because we think a successful, democratic iraq can be a model for the entire region. we think an iraq that is inclusive and brings together all people, sunni, shia, kurd together to build a country, to build a nation can be a model for others that are aspiring to create democracy in the region. so we've got an enormous investment of blood and treasure in iraq, and we want to make sure that even as we bring the last troops out that it's well
understood both in iraq and here in the united states that our commitment to iraq's success is going to be enduring. christy parson. >> thank you. um, you were a little delayed coming out today. i was wondering if you could talk about any agreements that you may have reached that you haven't detailed already. for instance, can you talk a little bit more about who will be left behind after the u.s. leaves, how big their footprint will be and what their role will be, and, mr. president, could you, also, address how convinced you are that the maliki government is ready to govern the country and protect the gains that have been made there in recent years? i also wonder if on this occasion you still think of this as a dumb war. >> um, i'll take the last question first. i think history will judge the
original decision to go into iraq. but what's absolutely clear is as a consequence of the enormous sacrifices that have been made by american soldiers and civilians, american troops and civilians as well as the courage of the iraqi people that what we have now achieved is an iraq that is self-governing, that is inclusive and that has enormous potential. there are still going to be challenges, and i think the prime minister is the first one to acknowledge those challenges. many of them, by the way, are economic. you know, after many years of war and before that a brutal regime, it's going to take time
to further develop civil society, further develop the institutions of trade and commerce and the free market so that the extraordinary capacity of the iraqi people is fully realized. but, um, but i have no doubt that iraq can succeed. with respect to security issues, look, you know, when i came into office, i said we're going to do this in a deliberate fashion. we're going to make sure that we leave iraq responsibly, and that's exactly what we've done. we did it in phases, and because we did it in phases, it, we were continually able to build up iraqi forces to a point where when we left the cities, violence didn't go up in the cities. when we further reduced our footprint, violence didn't go
up. and i have no doubt that that will continue. first question you had had to do with what footprint is left. we're taking all of our troops out of iraq. we will not have any bases inside of iraq. we will have a strong diplomatic presence inside of iraq. we've got an embassy there that is going to be carrying out a lot of the functions of this ongoing partnership and executing on the strategic framework agreement. um, we will be working to set up effective military-to-military ties that are no different from the ties that we have with countries throughout the region and around the world. the iraqi government has already purchased f-16s from us, we've got to train their pilots and make sure that they're up and
running and that we have a effective iraqi air force. you know, we both have interests in making sure that the sea lane remain open in and around iraq and throughout the region. and so there may be occasion for joint exercises. we both have interests in counterterrorism operations that might undermine iraqi sovereignty, but also could effect u.s. interests, and we'll be working together on those issues. but what we are doing here today and what we'll be executing over the next several months is a normalization of the relationship. we will have a strong friend and partner in iraq. they will have a strong friend and partner in us. but it is one based on iraqi sovereignty and one based on equal partnerships of mutual interest and mutual respect. and i'm absolutely confident that we're going to be able to execute that over the long term.
while i'm at it, since this may be the last question i receive, i just want to acknowledge none of this would have been successful, obviously, without our extraordinary men and women in uniform, and i'm very grateful for the prime minister asking to travel to arlington to recognize those sacrifices. there are, also, some individuals here who have been doing a bang-up job over the last, last year to help bring us to this day, and i just want to acknowledge general lloyd austin who was a warrior and turns out is also a pretty good diplomat as well as ambassador jim jeffreys. both of them have done extraordinary work on the ground partnering with their iraqi counterparts, and i'm going to give a special shoutout to my friend and partner, joe biden, who i think ever since i came in has helped to establish high-level, strong links and
dialogue between the united states and iraq through some difficult times. and i think prime minister maliki would agree that, you know, the vice president's investment in making this successful has been hugely important. [speaking in native tongue] >> translator: thank you very much. i believe the remaining of the question that was given was answered by his excellency, the president, and also at the beginning the dialogues that were to confirm the confidence and to move into the implementation of this framework agreement and to divide the companies and to train our soldiers or the weapons that were bought from america with the need for expertise in other civil fields and their protection and protection of their movement in iraq. we talked also about the political issues which is a common interest for us, and we
spoke also about the question of armament, as the president said. iraq has bought some weapons and now is applying for buying other weapons to develop its capabilities in the protection of iraq. these are all titles of what we discussed, but it was, it was done, it was done in an atmosphere of harmony. mr. prime minister, you stated there is cooperation in the armament. can you tell us about the participation between the united states and baghdad, and have you received any promises from president obama in this regard specifically? [speaking in native tongue] >> let me ask you about the size of the u.s. embassy in baghdad. there is argument going on