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tv   Mc Laughlin Group  PBS  December 21, 2011 6:30pm-7:00pm PST

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from washington, "the mclaughlin group," the american original. for over two decades, the sharpest
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>> so much frustration, people are hopping around, looking for somebody. and i think quite frankly, that might be the reason we're going up in the polls. >> momentum. republican presidential candidate ron paul has it. the big mo! the libertarian candidate who is running on the republican label. dr. paul is now positioned to win the iowa caucuses because iowa republicans remain
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dissatisfied, many believe, with republican contenders. notably, romney and gingrich. republican voters see gingrich as zany, and romney as inconsistent. the iowa caucuses, less than three weeks away, january 3, are closed caucuses, limited only to registered republicans, ie, g.o.p.'s, true believers. that gives dr. paul the inside track. also, this -- one, ground support. politicians in the state say that paul has the best ground campaign. that means he will turn out his vote, reminds a phone calls, car pickups and returns, helping registration, et cetera. two, money. paul this year has raised $15 million, only mitt romney with 15 million and rick perry with 17 million have raised more. marginally. three, advertising. tough, close to the bone
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claims. here's his ad against newt gingrich, branding him with serial hypocrisy. >> he flipped and flopped based on -- >> he's demonstrating himself to be a very -- insider. >> it's about serial hypocrisy. >> and as for governor romney, here's the paul take on him. >> mitt romney, who was praised by barack obama for his massachusetts -- program -- >> and here's a knock on governor perry. the ron paul m.d -- >> rick perry, who applauded the health care plan and forced the bills in texas to be injected with an std vaccine. >> question, does the first place showing in iowa mean winning the nomination? >> for ron paul, no, it does not, john. but a first-place showing in iowa from ron paul, which is a real possibility, would bring newt gingrich's surge outs of the water. gingrich would then get his first opportunity to win in south carolina, and even if he
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won that he hey not get the nomination this. would be dynamite because ron paul would get a normal national attention, he would rise in new hampshire, not to the point where he could beat romney but wipe out newt gingrich there. i think asset of mitt romney now is ron paul and i'm sure they're go, ron, go! >> i don't think it's ron paul's intention, but he is serving the republican establishment that wants to slow or stop newt gingrich. if ron paul wins in iowa, everybody will say isn't that nice? but he won't be nominee. there are two things you can say about ron paul, though. he is consistent, and he is principled. and once you understand those principles, you understand how he can be for legalizing marijuana and for not doing everything possible to stop iran from getting a nuclear weapon. he believes in virtually no government. he would dismantle the current government by 80%.
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he is a libertarian. >> what about the conservatives establishment? we've heard about the republican establishment. you can speak to that. as a matter of fact, you could reflect on the cover of your magazine, which i'm putting on screen now. that's a caricatures of newt gingrich. >> it. >> what is he saying? >> marvin the martian. we think he's just such a high risk nominee, for not enough reward he would become president from a conservative per suspect if. if there's anyone in the field who might wake up as president and one day just decide he will cut some grand bargain with nancy pelosi, it's newt gingrich. he's not reliable enough as a candidate, or potential president. >> why so unreliable? >> he's just by in. he says age dialogue, he's 68 years old. they look at the last couple years, against tariffs and for t for no-fly zone, then against it. paul ryan's medicare reform,
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social radical engineering, then he went. on and on. and lately, he admitted that when he accused mitt romney of bankrupting companies and some shameful way, he admitted he shouldn't have said that and the romney aides got inside his head and he reacted in the wrong way. you cannot have a general election candidate and high intensity race against president obama doing that kind of thing. >> what? >> i mean, that's correct. i think there's a growing sense of people begin to focus in on you're newt, there there's a unreliability or erratic quality -- good word, any name that incidence with begins with a z isn't band. newt was a effective debatedder and the process of selecting a candidate based on how they debate is kind of a bit weird. but i do think now that the real world is -- coming in on him, and ron paul's escalation in this thing is a reflection
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of that. there's a movement away from gingrich, because they don't think he's quite that reliable. and the conservatives are moving over to ron paul. >> where was paul policed in the iowa straw poll [everyone talking at once] >> about 150 votes behind -- michele bachmann. >> she is number one. >> it shows ron paul has an outstanding organization, energy, youth, lot of people. 4500 votes in iowa straw poll is extraordinary. >> to say -- >> who plays second in the straw poll? >> and second, mitt romney plays second in 2008 because -- >> i thought -- >> how could they play second? >> he was number one. >> the thing is -- in the straw poll. >> oh, in the straw poll! romney won the straw poll. >> romney won. caucus in iowa. what.
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>> it's essentially a three-way tie. i would not scout michele bachmann and she has an organization, she's on a bus tour visiting all 99 counties. she another place you can go if you don't want romney and you're wary or think -- about newt gingrich, so he -- really interesting campaign about a lot of ideas like increasing the health budgets so we can solve alzheimer's. and something so bizarr the box. and romney is a total -- come on! >> for romney the idea is winning and if you can't do that, anyone besides gingrich winning iowa is good for mitt romney, especially if it's ron paul. >> a little history. george w. bush beat ronald reagan in iowa in 1980. >> right. >> we saw that happen then. >> reagan came back and beat him by 20 in new hampshire. >> so the win by george w. bush
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in 1980 didn't do anything for him as far as the general election was concerned, as far as winning. mike huckaby beat john mccain in iowa in 2008. >> mccain didn't play. >> he didn't play. what cow mean. >> he stayed in the -- [everyone talking at once] >> beat romney in -- >> iowa high risk and higher for romney because first the nomination could be over in a couple weeks. but if he finishes fourth or fifth, he'll have a significant downdraft in new hampshire, just the way he did in l.a. and that's a doomsday for him. >> what kind of bellwether is iowa? is it reliable or unreliable as far as the nomination is concerned? the answer is deeply unreliable. >> that's correct. but -- [everyone talking at once] >> very same question. enormously important. >> take huckaby beating romney. huckaby goes on to win south carolina. if romney and won iowa, i think
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romney would have been the nominee in 2008, john. he just didn't beat him. and then he didn't win new hampshire. and he didn't win south carolina. >> what do you make of -- boosting the importance of the gals in the place what do you think of that? >> i think she's got a point. [everyone talking at once] >> straw poll but i think she's starting -- >> you don't think that's mischief. >> no, i bet she gets between -- [everyone talking at once] >> you want bachmann to be the nominee? >> no, but weil the guys are fighting among themselves she has a shot here she's very well organized and she's another holding position. >> and she's a hugely effective debater. she's become prosecutor in chief in these debates. she's -- >> ed we've had [everyone talking at once] >> she cuts newt too ribbons? that debated out there in sioux
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city. >> saturday night. >> thursday night. >> she -- on the money from freddie mac, saying he was influencing republican establishments so they could keep up the scam in washington, d.c. but her facts, she has -- correct on that. but she has a lot of facts that are wrong that she asserts are right. and so -- she's not presidential material. but she can do the you're accusing me of doing. >> let's talk about the polling in iowa. the polling, the current polling in iowa today. the most recent poll i've seen is by rasmussen, on december 13th. okay? of 750 voters, romney leads by 3 points. paul is in third place. what do you think of that? >> if that happens, okay. that's going to be pretty much the end of the republican nomination bus if romney wins in iowa, he'll win in new hampshire. he will have enough momentum to carry him through. >> is that the best diagnostic -- >> three weeks away! >> john, if ron paul wins,
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romney wins, if romney wins, romney wins. but if newt wins, romney has problems. >> that rasmussen poll is interesting because he was the first pollster in iowa to pick up the newt surge. he had newt popping up to 32 before anyone else so maybe he is picking up the -- newt's momentum. >> i'm going to put you in charge o issue two, out of iraq! >> in the coming days, the last american soldiers will cross the border out of iraq, with honor and with their heads held high. after nearly nine years, our war in iraq ends this month. >> political process established, democratic process, and adoption of the principles of elections and the peaceful transfer of authority. >> president barack obama this week hosted iraq's prime
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minister, the meeting took place to mark the end of the the war in iraq this. was in washington, on monday. here is the president on wednesday, in fort bragg, north carolina, 50 miles south of raleigh,tary back from iraq. >> so as your commander in chief, and on behalf of a greatful nation, i'm proud to finally say these two words -- and i know your families agree -- welcome home! [cheering] welcome home! welcome home! >> okay, and baghdad this week, on-site u.s. defense secretary leon panetta shut down the u.s. military campaign. secretary panetta is absolute the soldiers who were lost in iraq. >> those lives have not been lost in vain. they gave birth
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independent, free and sovereign iraq. >> question, are we leaving iraq voluntarily, or were we thrown out? eleanor. >> a little bit of both. i think obama campaign has already done an ad saying promise kept. this president ran on getting us out of iraq, and he has kept that promise. so yes, we got out because it was time and we wanted to. but we also wanted to leave a residual force behind, and we couldn't negotiate with the iraqis that they would accept that, and prime minister -- malachy's problem he couldn't accept that after nine years, there's a lot of anti-american sentiment. they're not grateful for us having liberated them by any means. but -- >> isn't that something? >> it's totally understandable. but they didn't want us there. and there's a great deal of concern that he spent a lot of time in exile in iran, and iran and iraq will become aligned and that free independent iraq
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that -- president bush envisioned and this administration would like to see is -- not going to come into being. >> what do you think, pat now that we've taken care of saddam hussein, and iraq sovereign -- >> i agree with eleanor. first, i think just disgraceful that neither the president of iraq nor the prime minister were there is to see the merge troops off. but we're coming home because barack obama is fulfilling bush's pledge. he didn't like the war, danger one, that the courage could break apart from iraq. they're already seizing it. it could be a collapse of the government. it could be a renewal of sectarian war. we have no guarantee of anything in there. and in my judgment, i agree with the late general bill odom, this was the worst strategic mistake the united states ever made. >> let me pick that point up with this. now the washington political establishment, the rank and number, of the senate armed services committee, john mccain takes issue with the
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bring all the troops home. >> if it is clear that this decision in a complete pullout of the united states troops from iraq is dictated i did politics and not our national security interests. i believe history will judge this president's leadership with thn and disdain that it deserves. >> what do you think of those apples? >> well, i think he's basically right. we wanted to get kicked out, there wasn't much of an effort by president obama or vice president biden to make this work. biden suggested recently that the iraqis asked us to keep 20,000 troops there. we wouldn't have stayed. and i think whatever you think of this war, complete and utter withdrawal that risks washing away all of our gains is a historic mistake. having a presence there, one, it reassured malachy that he wasn't going to get assassinated, and it reassured the sunnis they weren't again
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going to be the victims of horrific sectarian bloodletting. both assurances now are gone. i feel the consequences will be great. >> let me ask you. iraq likely to turn out to be an instance of winning the war but losing the peace? >> it's a very serious chance of that. because malachy is a shia and must closer to iran, got a lot of financing from iran, gets a lot of help from iran in depends of keeping his position in that country. and the real danger there is if you could have a sectarian war between the sunnis and seeas but teen if you don't, there's an alliance between iraq and iran to the detriment of the national interests of the united states, and there's nothing much we can do about it. >> let me [everyone talking at once] >> i don't think the war if iraq was justified, no. and this president has taken him three years to clean the the mess to the best of his ability. i just wish he was as successful --
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>> not justified in. >> on either way. you don't invade another country -- [audio not understandable] >> you also picked the last 400 -- [everyone talking at once] >> it's a moral blemish on this country, and it's also strategic. >> the whole history say where we grown accustom in your face. in other words, instead of war being treated as evil, and only necessary in instances of national security, it is not justified, no matter how your motives are! it does not call for americans to go in there and lose their lives! >> i think [everyone talking at once] >> mort rights do we attack this country with had not attacked us, did not -- want war with us? >> they a terrible dictator, they believed. [everyone talking at once]
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>> there's one in zimbabwe! we have a right to attack there? [everyone talking at once] >> making war! >> it weakens the concept of war, which is evil and only made justifiable when there's a national security. is there any national security involved in iraq? is there 90 and in. >> no no, we had a guy in a box! [everyone talking at once] >> i think even people today conservatives today that think we should stay in iraq think we made a mistake going in, and we made a mistake in how we prosecuted that war. >> was a vicious dictator. that was a fact. the sanctions regime -- [everyone talking at once] >> that's my point! >> can i make a few extra points. >> please do. >> the sanctions was framed because saddam was buying off all the people supposed to impose it on him. we thought he had a weapons program. there's a consensus in favor of
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the war. even democrats voted for it. the big mistake was not a proper post-war strategy. it hadn't been thought through. if we instituted a population control strategy from the beginning -- [everyone talking at once] >> you play that armchair general! >> moral right of attacking and killing their -- >> right, we're in a state of war with him that -- [everyone talking at once] >> trillion dollars! >> trillion dollars. how many trillion dollars in debt? >> 15 -- and rising. >> how much in debt are all of the members of the european union? >> 16. >> 16. >> about the same? >> about the same. >> we still might -- >> but saddam hussein was once an ally, i remind you. and the real tragedy of this is the lives so altered and
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damaged, and not to mention the medical care. >> what happened that made him stop being an ally? >> yeah -- [everyone talking at once] [audio not understandable] >> yes, and the first puissue t toed! >> britain is od will untoto ket unfial --
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