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tv   Face the Nation  CBS  October 23, 2011 8:30am-9:00am PDT

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hospitals, caring is our calling. >> schieffer: today on face the nation, the war winds down. the campaign heats up. >> as promised, the rest of our troops in iraq will come home by the end of the year. >> schieffer: according to the polls that's exactly what a majority of americans wanted to hear, but the leading republican candidates went ballistic. >> i think it's going to leave a big vacuum in iraq. >> we were going to have a presence in iraq going forward. that was part of our objective. this president has failed to deliver. >> the last thing that you want to do is put those men and women's lives in peril. i think that is what the president done. >> schieffer: was the president just playing politics or did he even have a choice? we'll hear from two of the republicans, michele bachmann and rick san forum. we'll get their thoughts and the other campaign news. speaking of iraq, we got a peek at "newsweek"'s exclusive
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report on former secretary of state condoleezza rice's new book. we'll discuss that with our round table of cbs news political analysts john dickerson and mitt romney's advisor kevin madden. then i'll have a final thought about robert pierpont, the long-time cbs correspondent who died yesterday. it's all ahead on "face the nation." captioning sponsored by cbs from cbs news in washington, bob schieffer. >> schieffer: and good morning again. we begin this morning with republican presidential candidate michele bachmann. she's in des moines. ms. bachmann, you and the other republican candidates had withering criticism when the president announced he was bringing the troops home from iraq. but secretary of state clinton says this morning republicans should have made those complaints to former president bush when he struck that deal
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during his administration to bring them home at the end of this year. what's your response to that? >> well, president obama has been in office now for two-and-a-half years, three-and-a-half years. he's had plenty of time to be able to deal with this situation. of course events change on the ground. this decision seems to me that it was more politically based than military based. if you look at every time we have deposed a dictator, the united states has always left troops behind to be able to enforce the fragile peace. in this case, once we're finished in iraq, we'll have more troops in honduras than we'll be leaving behind in iraq. of course the problem is there will be an iran waiting in the wings until the united states is gone. then iran will exert its dominance and influence in this region. that's not good for anyone. here the united states has expended 4400 lives over $800 billion in toil and blood and treasure.
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while we're on the way out, we're being kicked out by the very people that we liberated. >> schieffer: that's just the point here. if they don't want us there and the conditions they laid down suggests they don't want us there, how can you really help people who don't want your help? >> well again, the problem is we've put a lot of deposit into this situation with iraq. to think that we are so disrespected and they have so little fear of the united states that there would be nothing that we would gain from this? that's why i've called on president obama to return to the negotiating table. the obama administration has said they've gotten everything they wanteded. they got exactly nothing. i believe that iraq should reimburse the united states fully for the amount of money that we have spent to liberate these people. they're not a poor country. they're a wealthy country. i think that they need to do that because what we will be leaving behind is a nation that is very fragile and will
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be subject to dominance by iran and their influence in the region. that's not good. >> schieffer: do you think, congresswoman, that the american people with the budget situation the way it is really want to keep a large contingent of american troops in iraq indefinitely? >> of course not. no one wants to do that. but again this is for a temporary transition. we're going from the point of leaving to leaving zero troops behind. you can't find an example where we've done that historically. when we've secured a peace it's usually very fragile during the transition period. there's an american presence that is required to ensure that peace. this is zero. this isn't even... remember, the military had requested 15 to 18,000 troops. that's what the generals had requested. it seems more political based than it does military based, this decision so it's more like a general axelrod is
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making this decision to take the troops down to zero. >> schieffer: let me ask you this. the conditions that the iraqis laid down, that our troops would have no immunity there, that if they wanted to, they could arrest any american soldier and just throw him into jail, would you as president have left american troops in that country under those conditions? >> well of course not. no president could. we could not allow our troops to be subject to that. but again we are there as the nation that liberated these people. that's the thanks that the united states is getting after 4400 lives were expended and over $800 billion? so on the way out, we're being kicked out of the country? i think this is absolutely outrageous what's happened. i think president obama clearly is not respected. the united states is not respected. and the president has been a failure when it comes to foreign policy. >> schieffer: let me ask you, you say failure but just last
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week moammar qaddafi was killed. awlaki, the al-qaeda leader is is dead. osama bin laden is dead. doesn't the president have a few things he can point to his accomplishments in foreign policy here. >> of course. i would agree that the world is better off because all three of those actors are no longer with us. i absolutely agree with that. but i oppose the president putting us into war in libya. don't forget the president has put us into two additional wars. one is libya and the recent one was at the request of uganda. we're now in central africa. one thing that we should have learned in the last 12 years is that once we are involved in a foreign involvement, in a foreign entanglement, it's very difficult to get out. it's usually at a great price. secretary gates is the one who said that america had no vital interest in libya. so yes the world is better off without moammar qaddafi but
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there's also a risk. this is just a snapshot in time. we don't know yet, bob, who will be the true leader in libya. it could be the muslim brotherhood. it could be more extremist elements. plus we also know that the shoulder-fired rockets have gone missing. this is very dangerous and a very dangerous world. libya is a very volatile situation. >> schieffer: you just said in answer to an earlier question, we always leave troops behind. shouldn't that argue that if you're saying that that maybe we should figure out some way to leave some troops in libya. is that what you're saying? >> it appears that that will not be the case according to the early reports that we're getting. again my position was that we should not have gone to libya in the first place. i opposed president obama going into central africa into uganda as well. >> schieffer:al well, it's good to talk a little foreign policy with you this morning, congresswoman. we haven't talked about that much in this campaign. so thank you for being with us
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this morning. >> thank you, bob. >> schieffer: former senator rick san forum is also in iowa this morning. good morning, senator. i want to ask you first about the republicans' reaction to the president's announcement that he was bringing the troops home from iraq. it was scathing for the most part. yet i find it very difficult to believe that any american president, republican or democrat, would have left american troops there under the conditions that the iraqi were demanding. in other words, they had no immunity from prosecution. if the iraqis decided they had done something wrong they could arrest them and throw them into prison. would you have left american troops there under those circumstances? >> well, you know, the reason it was scathing, bob, is because of the just exactly that. the fact that we have a president who is not able to set conditions and actually have the kind of influence over the iraqi government. now three years the president has had to work with the iraqi
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government to try to mold and shape that relationship. to be in a position where really the iranians now have more sway over the iraqi government than the united states just shows the weakness of our diplomatic effort, the weakness of this president, in being able to shape the battle field, if you will. i think that's the reason people are so upset that we've lost in many respects we've lost control and lost the war. in iraq. because we have iran having broadened its sphere of influence. we see what's going on. >> schieffer: but the conditions that they lay down, the iraqis seem to be saying we don't want you there anymore. why would we keep troops there when they say we don't want you? >> i understand. but that's because we've lost the battle in iraq with the iraqi government. we've lost this fear sphere of influence that we had. we have allowed the iranians by ignoring them, by supporting them, if you
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look... go back two years ago. this was the turning point. two years ago when they had... when we had the opportunity during the green revolution where there was a serious revolution, a real threat to the government of iran and the president of the united states unlike what he's done in all the other quote arab spring events subsequent to the iranian revolution, he sat on the side lines and did nothing. in fact, tacitly supported the ahmadinejad and the mullahs and didn't rally behind the people in the street. didn't do anything to try to help them. when the time came it was clear he was not going to support that movement. he supported the mullahs. as a result they have this huge sphere of influence because they know the united states is simply not going to do anything to stop them, to spread their venom. >> schieffer: talking about not doing anything to stop them. osama bin laden is dead. awlaki is dead. now moammar qaddafi is dead. it seems to me like the president is marking up a couple of pretty good things, that he can put on the positive side in foreign policy.
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>> he can. i certainly give him credit for certainly awlaki and bin laden. the idea though is not looking... you're looking at one other element. you're not looking at the central core problem which is iran. look at what's going on in syria. another classic example. bob, syria is a satellite puppet state of iran. here we have assad brutalizing his people and what did we do? we recognized assad for the first time with an ambassador. we have not come down and done anything to try to displace assad which has been... he has been more brutal than anybody else. >> schieffer: would you send american troops in to syria then? >> i'm not suggesting we send american troops but what we should be doing is we should be working very vehemently and vigilantly with the people in syria. we should be going after assad in every other way, covertly or otherwise, to show the iranians that we are going to stand up to them. there's all sorts of things we
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can be doing to show an active role in the region. we're not. iran as a result grows in influence. >> schieffer: let me ask you a little bit about republican politics. you've been out to iowa. to 70 counties out there. you spent a lot of time out there. yet herman cain continues to score very high in the polls. do you think herman cain is for real? and do you think he is really a conservative especially on issues like right to life? >> well, i certainly herman cain is for real. herman has done a good job in communicating a message. but that message now is being looked at carefully. i think herman is being looked at carefully. if you look at his record as a conservative, i said this week i mean he's supported the wall street bailout. you know, if you want look at the tea party, the tea party is one of its origins was opposing the wall street bailout. and herman supported the wall street bailout. someone who wants to impose a national sales tax.
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i don't think conservatives... i haven't talked to one conservative or seen one conservative come out and say, gee, this is a great idea to impose a national sales tax. even those who supported his plan originally said that's probably not a good idea. then you look at his comments on the issue of life. the issue of the second amendment. he gave an interview recently saying this he's for the second amendment but states should be able to put... to pass whatever laws to control guns. you can't be for... be pro-life and then say people have a choice to do whatever they want. this is the kind of seemingly trying to have, you know, be all things to all people. i think conservatives after they look at his record and look at what he believes in are going to question whether he really is a conviction conservative on particularly some of these moral/cultural issues and second amendment issue. >> schieffer: the final question here. you've also been quite critical of the other frontrunner, mr. romney. if mitt romney or herman cain got the republican nomination, could you support them?
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>> absolutely. i'd support, you know, anybody in the republican field. i mean, ron paul would give me a little indigestion. i'd have to take some antacids on foreign policy. but other than that, no. i mean, they are far superior in many other ways than this president. i would have no problem supporting them. but there is a better candidate out in field, bob. you're talking to him this morning. >> schieffer: all right. we have to leave it there. thank you so much, senator. thank you so much. >> thank you, bob. >> schieffer: and we'll be back in one minute to talk about condoleezza rice's new book. and that republican race for the presidential nomination. [ sam ] my first ride lasted just 30 seconds. another reminder of what i couldn't do. ♪ the accident could have been my excuse to quit. i made it my reason to go even harder. ♪
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perry campaign, but they never got back to us. we're going to get to 2012 in a minute. but first, we got a look at some excerpts from former secretary of state condi rice's new book, "no higher honor" from the upcoming issue of "newsweek". according to "newsweek," as national security advisor condoleezza rice had been concerned from the beginning about the lack of pentagon planning for a post-war iraq; that is prior to the invasion in 2003. her attempts, she writes, "always led to a rather dismissive handling of the question." she says, "when i finally arranged a briefing on the issue before the president in early february, 2002, he started the meeting in a way that completely destroyed any chance of getting an answer." quote, she says, he says, "this is something condi has wanted to talk about." "i could immediately see," she says, "that the generals no longer thought it to be a
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serious question." after that meeting she says her deputy stephen hadley commented that he would have resigned after that comment by the president and that the importance of the issue was revealed in the days after the war. she says, "i've wondered if steve had been right," that she should have then resigned. john, we know it was not all love and kisses behind the scenes in the bush white house, but what about all this. >> you've talked a lot about foreign policy today on the show, but mostly in this campaign, it's been about domestic issues, where a president doesn't have much power. what this book shows us though is that actually the most important thing that the president does have a direct control over happens in small rooms in a small group of national security advisors. so the ability to have a team that works well together, that doesn't get involved in group- think, that's what a president really... that's an important attribute for a president. that's the kind of thing that doesn't get talked about much on the campaign trail. >> schieffer: we know about colin powell and vice president cheney. they aired their grievances right here at this table. "newsweek" also reports that rice was increasingly
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pessimistic by 2006 about the war in iraq. she thought the pentagon was not coming up with any convincing solutions. she writes, "i was skeptical until the day bob gates became the secretary of defense." in other words, she lost all confidence in don rumsfeld, the secretary of defense. that's condoleezza rice's new book coming out this week. kevin madden, let's get back to campaign trail. your old boss, mitt romney-- you were his press secretary in the last campaign, advising him during this campaign. he continues to be up toward the top of the polls, but he does not seem to generate any excitement. every time a new flavor comes along-- first it was michele bachmann and then it was rick perry. they shoot up and then they go down. he stays in there about 25%. is someone who does not excite the republican electorate going to be able to win in the general election? >> we have to look at public opinion. it's not an event, it's a process. because we have a lot of choices
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here before the voters, the polls are going to go up and down. we've seen the same polls that are now bringing folks like herman cain up, they were the same polls that brought rick perry up. we saw what happened to rick perry over the period the last month since he's been in the race. what's most important is that governor romney has had a certain degree of resiliency. he has focused very acutely on the issue of the economy. because of that, he's held his own. he's also held a really good spot in the race. now, here we are 60 days before the first contest in iowa. this is where you really get those persuadable voters and try and grow your support. if we look at the fact that we're at 25%, when you're looking at excitability, there's nothing that excites republican voters right now more than the prospect of beating barack obama. that's going to be the message that i think the romney campaign is going to deliver in the next 60 days. >> schieffer: john, you've just been out in iowa. what's the deal? >> i was with the governor. he was on the western side of the state in his natural habitat in a local bank and with the
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chamber of commerce. he was talking only about business. you know, in the last race, he talked a lot about social issues. 60% of the voters in iowa and the caucuses are evangelicals, at least claim that. he was arguing about "i'm a business guy." he uses that phrase the way the rest of us take breath. he says he focuses on the economy. a huckabee voter said i was with huckabee in 2008 but i'm looking at romney because of this question of electability. but romney is a stainless steel candidate. if rick perry and herman cain is compassion... romney doesn't have a warm connection. it has to be about the electability, because the voters don't jump out of their seats when they applaud. >> schieffer: it's also about money, john. rick perry has raised a whole bunch of money. can he sustain that? >> look, the first quarter he was in, i think he raised about $15 million. he's going to need every single penny of that to fix some of the problems he's had just in the first 30 days in the race. he has an illegal immigration
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problem in that he gave free tuition to illegal immigrants down in texas. he called the building of a fence down on the border idiocy. those are two positions that are firmly at odds with republicans in this primary. he is going to need $15 million just to repair that. going back to john's point, you know, the issue about governor romney and how he connects. the number one anxiety that the american electorate and particularly republicans have is about the economy. because he has that expertise and because he has gone out there and talked about his business sense and his business acumen, and also his role as a successful governor, i think that's where you have a greater connection now than you had in 2008. >> schieffer: let me ask you, john, about herman cain. i'll ask you what i asked rick santorum. can he be for real? >> well, he is for real in the sense that you talk to voters, they're the ones that everybody is talking... he's the one that everybody is talking about. the polls have shown it now. there's a recent poll that
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showed him 37% in iowa. he has to do well in iowa because that gives him the spark. you mentioned money-- he doesn't have it the way the other two big candidates have it. the big test about herman cain is in iowa, it's an organizational state. he doesn't have much of an organization in iowa. that's the real test for him. he's gone there a couple of times but not enough. >> schieffer: thanks to both of you. i'll be back in a moment with some final thoughts. every time a local business opens its doors or creates another laptop bag or hires another employee, it's not just good for business. it's good for the entire community. at bank of america, we know the impact that local businesses have on communities. that's why we extended $7.8 billion to small businesses across the country so far this year. because the more we help them, the more we help make opportunity possible. executor of efficiency.
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received word late last night of the death of robert pierpont, the cbs news white house correspondent who covered six presidents during a career of more than 40 years at cbs news. bob's first big assignment was covering the korean war. and he appeared on the first episode of edward r. murrow's "see it now" broadcast. he came to the white house beat during the eisenhower administration and remained there through jimmy carter's years. along the way, he covered watergate, the kennedy assassination, and the iranian hostage crisis. bob was a great friend to me. he taught me many a lesson on how to develop sources. as an avid tennis player, he got many of his stories on the court. one saturday, he came directly from the court to film a report on the white house lawn. viewers saw him only from the waste up, but those who saw him full frame figured out quickly where he got the story. when that picture was published,
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some of the brass thought it undignified. but bob said he got a pretty good story that day, and the rest of us just loved it. bob was one of the best of the best. he died from complications after surgery. he was 86. back in a minute. look, every day we're using more and more energy. the world needs more energy. where's it going to come from? ♪ that's why right here, in australia, chevron is building one of the biggest natural gas projects in the world. enough power for a city the size of singapore for 50 years.
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now i serve in a new uniform. [ male announcer ] helping people achieve without limits. at the hartford it's what we do... and why we're the founding partner of the u.s. paralympic team. show your support at >> schieffer: that's it for today. we always appreciate it when you watch, so thanks for being with us. we'll see you next week right here on "face the nation." captioning sponsored by cbs captioned by media access group at wgbh ♪ [ ukulele strumming ] ♪ [ folksy whistling ]
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