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tv   Inside Washington  PBS  May 22, 2011 3:00pm-3:30pm PDT

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>> production assistance for "inside washington" was provided by allbritton communications and "politico," reporting on the legislative, executive, and political arena. >> we believe the borders of israel and palestine should be based on the 1967 lines with mutually agreed swaps >> this week on "inside washington," on the eve of the israeli prime minister's visit to washington, president obama sends a message. >> i made a mistake. >> the newt gingrich campaign falls victim to a foot-in-mouth disease. keep an eye on president obama's former ambassador to china, jon huntsman. the gang of six is now a gang of five. how did the wealthy and powerful
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head of the imf and up in a rikers island jail cell? >> non-consensual, forced sexual acts. captioned by the national captioning institute >> israeli prime minister netanyahu and president, had never had what you would call a warm and friendly relationship. you may recall the netanyahu it visited not too long ago at the white house refused to let for progress to pictures of the two of them. president obama a speech on the middle east, saying that the boundaries should be based on pre-1967 lines, and he added -- >> our commitment to israel's security is unshakeable, but precisely because of our friendship, it is important that
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we tell the truth. the status quo is unsustainable. >> the israeli government said immediately that the return to pre-1967 borders would render is real indefensible. republican presidential hopeful mitt romney says that obama has thrown its rail and of the bus. -- thrown israel under the bus. do you agree, charles? >> requiring israel to return there it is to essentially give up only bargaining chip that israel has in the negotiations in return are for nothing from the palestinians. in fact, taking a wait israel's hostage negotiating leverage to a palestinian authority that has just signed a unity agreement with hamas, which is dedicated to israel's destruction. >> colby? >> i would not say he threw them
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on the bus, but he took away a key negotiating position. more than that, i am not sure the president's position reflects the reality that israel faces. they are in a tough neighborhood, a neighborhood that is not going to guarantee their existence. it cannot be in a position of weakening israel. >> nina? >> the reality that israel faces is that every time it has declined to negotiate with somebody and have a tougher position, the next negotiator was worse than the first one. they are in any bird where things are disintegrating for them more rapidly -- in a neighborhood where things are thdissented ready for them more rapidly than in modern memory. it is not that simple as it was just a few years ago -- the same
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place it was just a few years ago. >> mark? >> president obama did the politically and expected, spoke the truth publicly to a cherished friend, saying that the dream of a jewish democratic state cannot be fulfilled with permanent occupation. he has absolutely right, and for that, he deserves credit. >> wait a minute, that is complete strongman -- complete a straw man. there is no serious party in israel that speaks about a permanent occupation. netanyahu, on behalf of the most right-wing government in at least 30 years in israeli history, has accepted a palestinian state, has been seeking negotiations, unlike what nina said. it is the palestinians, abbas, who has refused to join negotiations, and what obama has done has undercut any leverage israel has had. >> i would quote shimon peres,
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who said that the children who were the slaves of the egyptians can not the occupiers and masters of other people. that is -- is -- we have continued expansion of the settlements. it is in fact, uninhibited -- it is unchecked and uninhibited by united states policy could president obama spoke truth to the israelis, increasingly alone. >> colby, this is not a new idea. we're in a talking about this in 2000? >> the negotiations would have to be along the lines of the u.n. resolution 242, which talks about going back to the pre-19 -- >> no, it does not. >> bush also said that the
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georgian had changed dramatically around -- the situation had changed dramatically around the notion of going to toward 42 would be difficult -- going ot 242 would be difficult. here is the problem i -- here is what i have a problem with, the situation with palestine. i don't think for one second that palestine would be demilitarized. >> like in gaza. the overarching issue is this -- when israel negotiates, it gives away something tangible, land. what does it get in return? promise, a piece of paper. we will right the balance by giving you our own assurances. the bush administration in writing israel assurances in preparation for a gaza withdrawal that it would not require a return to the 1967
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lines. what obama did is to tear it up. if you do that, at israel has no confidence in the future that any guarantees or assurances are worth anything. >> if you look at what happened last week -- i think it was last week -- where there were these 16, 20 gets along the border, people try to go over the fence -- >> from several directions. >> ad hoc -- >> ad hoc in syria? it was a government demonstration -- >> this is not 8 -- egypt -- it is not at all clear that the egyptians will stick with their peace agreement with the israelis. there is discontent about that. the arab spring may end op-ed being an arab winter for a lot of people. -- may end up being an arab
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winter for a lot of people. if we want to preserve israel, it cannot be as intransigent as it is. charles, it's a good point. israel at points is visible, but at other times it is not. i see the arabs more and more, helping each other more and more, and the israelis and more and more trouble. >> president obama also in that speech says that the united states it supports movements in the middle east and had tough words for syria. >> president assad can lead the transition or get out of the way. the syrian government must stop shooting demonstrators and allow peaceful protests. it must release political prisoners and stop by and just arrests -- unjust arrests. >> what did you think of that part of the speech? >> our colleague charles
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krauthammer wrote about that in his column, and he is pretty mitch right that it tracks it george bush doctrine, indicating to autocrats that they have no real future with the u.s. but there were some omissions there. he did not talk about saudi arabia, and you cannot talk about autocratic regimes without talking about saudi arabia. he did not talk also about the realities of having to deal with each country differently. there cannot be a one-size-fits- all policy in the middle east. >> no president says that. who is the last president who condemned human rights in saudi arabia -- >> can you do that when gases over $4 a gallon? >> it is not going to have been paid this -- it is not going to happen. this is realpolitik.
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david ignatius had an interesting piece on friday where he said the problem with the obama administration is that it does not have a say should diplomat who can crack heads -- zinski or to center, -- or kissinger, or holbrooke, who was so reined in. it did seem like a very interesting idea that if you control the message so much, control your people so much, or george mitchell some much, you can never get over the hump. by the way, the president did not say anything about george mitchell, who just stepped out, which seemed to me sort of a small. >> george mitchell, who succeeded in northern ireland but who is leaving -- >> and who i believe is a towering figure, enormous talent and commitment. underlying his whole speech, and i thought the president did well
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on virtually all of that -- is the reality that the arab spring has occurred without the united states. this happened not because of us, not in spite of us, but quite apart from us. that is a difficult position for americans, and we're playing catch-up in much of this. bahrain -- colby mentioned to saudi arabia -- the bahrain insurrection was put down by saudi troops, and anytime saudi troops do something, there is the legitimate deception the that the united states is part of it. is important,nt that the arab spring happened without the u.s. there were no anti-american demonstrations or anti-israeli
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demonstrations. he hadn't walked up wh -- he handled it well, except for syria -- the idea of assad leading democratic reform is in st -- is insane. why would you create it as the focus of everything when you want to focus on the great occurrences and the revolution in the arab world, which holds the only hope for ultimate peace? i thought the timing of this and the placing of the new statement of american policy on the arab- israeli was unwarranted and counterproductive. >> what was newt gingrich thinking? >> i made a mistake, and i called paul ryan, a very close friend, and i said that. >> for someone out as long as he passed, it is hard to believe he
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would step on his role-out message on a program like "meet the press." "i don't think right wing social engineering is any more desirable than left-wing social engineering." it looks like a clear shot at republican congressman paul y. and's proposal on overhaul of medicare. ryan said, "with allies like that, who meets the left?" t, it is done, toasat collapsed souffle pit i said that on fox. democrats are already making advertisements cutting that. he is attacking the whole republican congress. newt actually said that if any democrat puts out an ad that uses the words he said -- if you quote me, you are engaging in a
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falsehood. that is statement of the year. you cannot top of that. [laughter] >> jon kyl tried. he said something wasn't meant to be a factual statement. >> he is in big trouble. the question about gingrich's always won a judgment entered, not whether in -- was one of the judgment and maturity, not whether he could be provocative or occasionally interesting. he has said that any questions about his personal behavior, past, business dealings, or ought of bounds -- are out of balance. americans don't hire a policy paper for a president. they wanted out the person putting a finger on the bomb is somebody who was thoughtful and reflective. >> we cannot talk about this, we cannot talk about this, but we
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will talk about this. >> and if you quote me, you are lying. >> there is one interesting aspect of this. it appears that to disagree with the ryan proposal in any way, shape, or form is the kiss of death in the republican party -- >> give me another example. >> what do you mean? >> has anybody been written off because they had a disagreement with ryan? >> what he said was -- >> no, it is the way -- he way -- social engineering, radical plan. >> well, on that point, he is telling the truth. now that he walks away from the facts, he walks away from the truth, he is the charlotte and that he appears to be -- the charlatan he appears to be. how'd you take a question of he wants to balance the budget, a
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50 guy, then 250,000-$500,000 worth of debt activities. -- at tiffany's. >> he won't talk about it. >> this guy has more anniversaries than most people do. >> i am less interested in these ad hominems then add the ideas and policies, and on that basis alone, he will not insurmountable obstacles. -- he will have insurmountable obstacles. >> huntsman is in new hampshire this weekend. >> we will watch him go down trade is a moderate republican -- we will watch them go down. he is a moderate republican. >> he is moderate in modern terms. he is probably a bob dole republican, pretty much. that is to be a pretty
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conservative republican. i suspect he is sort of the bruce babbitt of the press cycle, the press' darling. the guy we have not talked about all these weeks is sitting back very happy, and that is tom pawlenty. he is raising more money and getting his organization. the more we talk about anybody else, the more he benefits. >> historically, the republican race, standard and it's within the two factions, the moderate candidate versus the conservative candidate. a republican pollster has developed this theory, and it is valid. john mccain and giuliani competed to be the moderate candidate in 2008, and mike huckabee and others -- huckabee and mccain who basically became the survivors. this is a test of whether in fact there is a moderate wing
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and an independent wing is still there. jon huntsman is laying claim to that. mitch daniels will also compete for that if he comes into the race. the real action and intensity and energy right that seems to be exclusively on the conservative side, and that is the case, it will be a problem for democrats from 1972 when all the action and energy was on the left side of the party and they nominated george mcgovern, and an admirable man who carried one state. >> a republican nominee who is a squished -- he will vote against him anyway. >> mike huckabee -- i take him at his word that he backed off, but i think they will be clamoring for him in the future. >> also grumbling about rick perry in texas. >> and michele bachmann. >> sarah palin. we reached the debt limit, and
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the gang of six is now a gang of five. >> the worst thing you do is bang your head against the wall until you break your head. >> that is republican senator tom coburn of oklahoma, who has pulled out of the gang of six and it frustration. senators from both parties have been trying to find common ground on the debt reduction plan. what is the back story on this, mark? >> gangs don't work. the gang of 14 agreed not to vote against any judicial nominees except the most extreme cases, posted an broken again this week. the pressures are enormous. the pressure in the democratic side with the special house race next tuesday in new york, where medicare could be the issue that allows democrats to win a seat that has been republican since the cooling of the earth -- [laughter] you not going to find many
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democrats saying "let's compromise on medicare." republicans, grover norquist, the anti-tax forces on the right, but a lot of pressure on tom coburn, who had been part of this gang of six. >> by the way, tom coburn and tim pawlenty. imus spoke. -- i misspoke. tom coburn is one of these people who says what he thinks. he often votes against people he really likes. i believe him, that he was just tired of banging his head against the wall. >> let me direct this to the former banker on the panel. this week we reached the debt ceiling of $4.29 trillion. what does it mean to the average taxpayer? >> at this moment it doesn't mean anything, because we have not yet the threshold where all of a sudden we will default on our debt. when it happens, we will have an
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economic calamity if the u.s. defaults. you will see it in the cost of everything, especially interest rates. >> didn't the treasury secretary say he would have to suspend payments -- >> it would be like lehman brothers. >> he is already doing that for the time -- >> he is moving money around. it would be a calamity, although some say it let's have it, let's go to the debt ceiling. it is crazy. >> what do you think, charles? >> as the sun rises in the east, but the debt limit will be raised, but it will be a heroine process and it should be. the republicans want to make a harrowing and make tim geithner and administration sweat. many democrats support the idea of, in return, serious budget cuts, not promises or lock boxes, but real cuts.
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it is a good idea, because if you do not -- what we have is a computer simulation. yes, there will be jitters on the markets, but you can end the jitters with a push of a button and the raising the limit that can happen overnight. if we on into a real debt crisis in a few years, we cannot do it with an act of congress. we will end up with greece. >> charles gives a correct analysis and diagnosis, but the political reality is that there is less enthusiasm, virtually dull enthusiasm, in the senate for -- virtually no enthusiasm in the senate for the ryan budget. mitch mcconnell is not going to push it. that shows that there's a predisposition to finesse this thing, even though the advantages with the republicans and the house republicans and forced the issue to determine it to debate goh cuts for the first time at. >> speaking of bankers, the
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indictment of the recently resigned head of the international monetary fund. >> there is nothing that took place in that hotel route which in any way could be construed as consensual. >> that is the attorney representing the alleged victim, a 32-year-old hotel maid, widowed mother of a 15-year-old daughter, saw asylum from many 37 years ago. former imf head dominique strauss-kahn indicted this week for assaults on that woman. he is on that million dollar bail right now, being monitored electronically 24/7. can he be his rap, nina? >> anything is possible, anybody who lived through the duke scandal, to be careful here. i reported this story, and it is an amazing story of police work, and on other things, because by
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the time they arrive at a hotel, the place was in an uproar. i said to one of the cops, why did they believe her? everybody in the hotel believed her. then they called out to the port authority and set at the airport, "do not at atlantic off -- do not let that plane take off." >> how does a guy get himself into that position? >> he checked into the hotel, he goes upstairs, it takes all of his clothes, waits for the maid -- >> loaded question, you should never answered that question. >> here is what bothers me -- several things bother me, but when i was at the world bank, we always tried to maintain parity with the imf across the street
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on administrative matters. when strauss-kahn admitted that he had a relationship with the subordinate at the imf, that was a time to really have stepped in and discipline in this guy and not just accepted his mea culpa. that was a time to step in and say, "buddy, pack your bags." that did not happen at the world bank with paul wolfowitz. >> there were conspiracy theories -- >> some people it draw these high social logical conclusion about the arrogance of european bureaucrats. i think it is a story which is a sad story. he did what he did, he is a bad guy, if he did it. i am not sure any larger psychological implications. >> i do. i think power is too often
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accompanied by a real sense of entitlement. the powerful are immune to ordinary life, and people without power and connections and resources, as this 32-year- old widowed mother of a 15-year- old daughter, immigrant herself -- i stand in all of the fact that the hotel authorities responded to her, that the police responded to her, and they went after someone so powerful who had the president on his speed dial. >>. last word. see you next week. for a transcript of this broadcast, log on to
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