tv PBS News Hour PBS July 19, 2013 5:30pm-6:31pm PDT
captioning sponsored by macneil/lehrer productions >> brown: president obama said the nation needs to do some soul-searching after the shooting of trayvon martin. his most personal comments about race in five years. good evening, i'm jeffrey brown. >> suarez: and i'm ray suarez. on the "newshour" tonight, we excerpt the president's surprise appearance in the white house briefing room and get some perspective on what he said. >> when trayvon martin was first shot, i said that this could have been my son. another way of saying that is
trayvon martin could have been me 35 years ago. >> brown: then, detroit's leaders say filing for bankruptcy will put the city on the path to financial recovery. we hear from the emergency financial manager and michigan's governor. >> this can's been kicked down for 60 years. enough is enough. isn't it time for us to see our great cities become great. >> mark sheeld an >> suarez: mark shields and david brooks weigh in on the president's remarks, detroit's troubles and more. >> brown: the candidates for governor of virginia face off in their first debate tomorrow. we update the statehouse race to watch this year. >> suarez: and the wait goes on in britain for the royal baby. we have the story of the media camped out in front of the hospital. >> brown: that's all ahead on tonight's "newshour." >> major funding for the pbs newshour has been provided by:
>> this program was made possible by the corporation for public broadcasting. and by contributions to your pbs station from viewers like you. thank you. >> suarez: the nation's first black president came to the white house briefing room this afternoon, and took on the trayvon martin killing and race in america in highly personal terms. he spoke a day before protests are planned nationwide over the acquittal of george zimmerman in martin's death.
>> you know, when trayvon martin was first shot, i said that this could have been my son. another way of saying that is trayvon martin could have been me 35 years ago. and when you think about why, in the african-american community at least, there's a lot of pain around what happened here, i think it's important to recognize that the african- american community is looking at this issue through a set of experiences and a history that... that doesn't go away. there are very few african- american men in this country who haven't had the experience of being followed when they were shopping in a department store. that includes me.
and there are very few african- american men who haven't had the experience of walking across the street and hearing the locks click on the doors of cars. that happens to me, at least before i was a senator. there are very few african- americans who haven't had the experience of getting on an elevator and a woman clutching her purse nervously and holding her breath until she had a chance to get off. that happens often. and you know, i don't want to exaggerate this, but those sets of experiences inform how the african-american community interprets what happened one night in florida. and it's inescapable for people to bring those experiences to bear. the african-american community is also knowledgeable that there
is a history of racial disparities in the application of our criminal laws, everything from the death penalty to enforcement of our drug laws. and that ends up having an impact in terms of how people interpret the case. now, this isn't to say that the african-american community is naive about the fact that african-american young men are disproportionately involved in the criminal justice system, that they are disproportionately both victims and perpetrators of violence. it's not to make excuses for that fact, although black folks do interpret the reasons for that in a historical context. and the fact that a lot of african-american boys are
painted with a broad brush and the excuse is given, well, there are these statistics out there that show that african-american boys are more violent-- using that as an excuse to then see sons treated differently causes pain. now, the question for me at least, and i think, for a lot of folks is, where do we take this? how do we learn some lessons from this and move in a positive direction? along the same lines, i think it would be useful for us to examine some state and local laws to see if it-- if they are designed in such a way that they may encourage the kinds of altercations and confrontations and tragedies that we saw in the florida case, rather than diffuse potential altercations.
and for those who resist that idea that we should think about something like these "stand your ground" laws, i just ask people to consider if trayvon martin was of age and armed, could he have stood his ground on that sidewalk? and do we actually think that he would have been justified in shooting mr. zimmerman, who had followed him in a car, because he felt threatened? and if the answer to that question is at least ambiguous, it seems to me that we might want to examine those kinds of laws. we need to spend some time in thinking about how do we bolster and reinforce our african- american boys? and this is something that michelle and i talk a lot about. there are a lot of kids out there who need help who are
getting a lot of negative reinforcement. and is there more that we can do to give them the sense that their country cares about them and values them and is willing to invest in them? i don't want us to lose sight that things are getting better. each successive generation seems to be making progress in changing attitudes when it comes to race. it doesn't mean that we're in a postracial society. it doesn't mean that racism is eliminated. but you know, when i talk to malia and sasha and i listen to their friends and i see them interact, they're better than we are. they're better than we were on these issues. and that's true in every community that i've visited all
across count. to the president's comments, including from a pair of guests who appeared on our program earlier this week after the zimmerman verdict they are carol swain, a professor of political science and law at vanderbilt law school. jonathan turley of the george washington university law school. and they are joined tonight by leonard pitts jr., a pulitzer- prize winning columnist for the "miami herald." and presidential historian michael beschloss. welcome to everybody. leonard pitts why don't you start it off. generally what is your reaction to what the president said? >> my general reaction is glory hallelujah and thank goodness when he already said it. there is no political upside. but morally and socially, i believe and i believe he came to the conclusion that as the nation's first african american president there is no way that he could stand on the sidelines on this. he had to, to speak to these issues and he had to call the
nation to account, not so much in terms of what happened legally, in that courtroom in florida, but in terms of the moral implications of it. in terms of this idea that seems to be bandied about that somehow it's trayvon martin's innocence or guilt that is in question, or that mr. zimmerman had every right to talk strm because of perceived danger because of the color of his skin. that needs to be called into account and i think the president did a pretty good job of doing s >>brown: carol swain, what did you think? >> there were parts of his speech that i appreciated. i appreciated the fact that he would actually have the conversation. but as far as the content, when he talks about racial profiling, yes, black men are followed. and they are looked at more suspiciously. and i speak as a mother that's raised two black males. they certainly were followed. but at the same time, what the
president did not stress is the youth that causes so many people discomfort. and not just white people. but black people, as well. we may remember a few years ago, when jesse jackson talked about being in black neighborhoods and hearing footsteps behind him and looking over and looking behind himself and seeing a white person and having more comfort. so i think the presidential has not dealt adequately with the fact that there is a problem in the black community. the black community has to take some responsibility for addressing those problems. i think it's time to have a national conversation on race that's not politically correct, that allows all of us, white, black, brown, red, to get off our chest the things that are affecting our racial conversation. we will never move ahead until blacks girn to take responsibility and whites begin
to express their concerns. >>brown: jonathan turley, you talked on monday about the perception of the american justice system the stand your ground. what do you think about hearing from the president? >> i think there is much in his remarks that are quite touching, quite moving. the one thing the president can't say is i really can't do anything about. but in reality that is the case. that is, you don't -- you know neighbors have dialogues. you don't have dialogues through plebiscites or politicians. the fact is, we all know that we have improved but that improvement last to -- it is to move forward, occur on a micro-level and part of the problem you see here is how dangerous cases are to be narratives for a national debate. we're really have two different debates. you have one community that has a due process narrative and one community that has a race narrative. and they're talking past each other. we're not speaking of the same issues. >>brown: and yet the president michael stepped in, said he had to come back at the end of the
wake and say something. how unusual, what struck you about this? >> the first thing unusual about it, historians always speak about a president and say how different it is. the difference is you had an african american president talk about this issue rather than john kennedy, are campaigning 50 years ago for a civil rights bill. who among us would like to have the color of his skin changed and live the life that african americans were, us, presumably, how different the audience were. after the death of martin luther king, called on black americans and essentially said, don't respond with violence. they quite rightly said you don't have the standing to say that to us. in contrast president obama said the way to dishonor trayvon martin's legacy would be to respond with violence. also with politically motivates, in has been a rising expectation
in some areas of the country that this verdict may be overwhelmed by federal action. it was probably even more after attorney general holder said the other day, sort of a diamond in the chandelier in the speech was, don't expect that to happen. >>brown: leonard pitts, react to what you hear around the table but also the continuing conversation that the president was talking about, not national conversation but some kind of conversation among people in their communities. >> well reacting to what i just heard, i think it's rather i facile to say these black kids are essentially rub i riot and we need to talk about that. the fact of the matter is, according to every center i have seen, african americans are not necessarily more criminal than their counterparts they are forwarded into the criminal
justice system more than their counterparts. when you have a situation where african americans account for 15% of the country's crime but in some jurisdictions they account for 70 or 80 or 90% of the criminals doing drug time, i think there are instances where african americans do need to take responsibility but i think that it is entirely possible and as a matter of fact, very frequently done that we oversell that. >>brown: all right. in terms of a conversation that needs to happen in this country, i think that we as african americans, need to have a conversation about organizing and becoming frankly more activist than we have in the recent years. i think our white sisters and brothers frankly need to take a little bit more ownership of understanding what's going on in these communities.
>>brown: i'm sorry, go ahead. i'm sorry. need to take more ownership for knowing what's going on in african american communities as opposed to sort of relying on these abstracts and stereotypes and media set perceptions that seem to be the root of so much of the problem and disconnect. >>brown: let me bring carol swain in to respond to that. >> first i want to respond to the disparities of drug incarceration. that goes to the penalties that are different for crack cocaine and regular cocaine. tougher laws that affected blacks more than whites, originally it was the congressional black caucus that pushed for those laws, because of the devastating effect crack cocaine was having in the black communities. then in later years it became all about race. that blacks were being treated differently because they use crack but it was the black leaders that pushed for those
laws. and i'm sure that president obama would be familiar with that history. and the -- the conditions in the black community, we are not addressing those conditions and i believe that this whole -- the rallies the whole politicalization of the trayvon martin death is a way to take people's minds off the problems that are not being addressed certainly by the democrats. and i see activist leaders i think they are stirring the pot. they are not telling the whole story. and they have set up a situation where i think that there is likely to be more balance to ensue. >>brown: all right. and in the black community among teenagers, there's been a lot of mob violence, since the president's been elected, where gangs of black teenagers attack a alone person, usually a white person and it doesn't get the
news media coverage that it should. >>brown: all right. we ought to talk about it. i think there's been a worsening of that. >>brown: jonathan turley, did you hear anything that the president said about the legal case or what happens next? >> i think that's where critics will not be satisfied about the remarks. because he really didn't address this due process narrative. when he said look it could have come out differently if the races were switched. for the due process termination the result was really preordained by the lack of evidence or at least how the prosecutors presented it and it wouldn't have turned out differently from that perspective. but also talking about stand your ground laws. that's come up a lot. it came up with the president but it had nothing to do with the trial. they didn't use this law. this was a straight conventional self-defense case. once again you're sort of left with -- we're not talking about the same subjects and we're certainly not talking from the same perspectives. >>brown: and michael you're talking about the president sort of using the pulley pulpit here
that he has. where does it go from here? hard to say. >> i think probably one of the truest things he said was it's not too smart for politicians to start national conversations because they are political and they are oftentimes trivial. what happens is an event and just as you said oftentimes an event starts a conversation on a subject that is larger than the one the ent concerned. and the late 1970s sputnik happened and did we do enough to educate our children in science and math? that's not the reason sputnik happened but it started a dialogue and perhaps this one can here as well. >> jonathan turley, others, thank you very much. bl >> suarez: still to come on the "newshour": reaction to the bankruptcy filing in detroit; shields and brooks; the governor's contest in virginia and britain's wait for the royal baby. but first, the other news of the day. here's kwame holman. >> holman: russian opposition leader alexei navalny was
released today, after thousands of demonstrators protested his five-year prison sentence. he was set free by a court in kirov that had convicted him of embezzling half a million dollars worth of timber. afterward, navalny said he hasn't decided if he's still running for mayor of moscow. >> ( translated ): i am not their pet kitten or their pet puppy whom they can first throw out of the elections and say "you will not take part" and then decide, "okay, let him in for a month to take part in the elections." i will now return to moscow and we will discuss everything with my electoral campaign staff. >> holman: navalny is to remain free pending his appeal. a former c.i.a. station chief convicted in italy of abducting a terror suspect is or soon will be back to the united states. a state department spokeswoman announced it today. robert seldon lady was detained in panama this week, at italy's request. he'd been convicted in absentia in the kidnapping of an egyptian cleric.
a suicide bomber killed at least 22 people in central iraq today. at least 50 people were wounded. it happened at a sunni mosque in diyala province, during friday prayers. police found a second bomb nearby. an estimated 200 iraqis have died in sectarian violence since the islamic holy month of ramadan began last week. in egypt, thousands of protesters were back in the streets after friday prayers, in a show of support for ousted president mohammed morsi. they waved egyptian flags and marched through cairo, demanding morsi's reinstatement. helicopters flown by the military that pushed morsi out flew above tahrir square, brandishing flags, as well. the u.s. house voted today to reduce the federal government's power to set school standards. republicans pushed through a bill that would eliminate testing and teacher evaluation first imposed under the "no child left behind law". minnesota congressman john kline said state and local governments should have the final say over
how to improve their schools. >> it is time for the congress-- the house and the senate-- to step up and do its job and write new law and get the administration out of the business of writing education policy. i would hope that republicans and democrats would recognize that it is not the role of the administration. >> holman: democrats agreed on the need for education reform. but california's george miller and others argued that the house bill simply guts federal funding for education. >> we need every one of those students to be able to be productive and successful and achieving. but that's not what the republican bill promises. it grinds down the funding available to these school districts for poor and minority children, for students with disabilities. >> holman: the house bill is expected to hit a dead end in the democratic-led senate.
billionaire hedge fund manager stephen a. cohen now faces civil charges in connection with a major insider-trading case. the securities and exchange commission charged him today with failing to prevent the illegal practice at his firm, s.a.c. capital advisors. the company said the accusations have no merit. wall street ended the week on a subdued note. the dow jones industrial average lost more than four points to close at 15,543. the nasdaq fell 23 points to close at 3,587. for the week, the dow gained half a percent. the nasdaq fell 0.3%. those are some of the day's major stories. now, back to ray. >> suarez: and we turn to the many questions about the potential consequences of having the city of detroit file for bankruptcy. >> we have to do this in some fashion, and bankruptcy will let us to achieve that in some way. >> suarez: detroit's emergency financial manager kevyn orr was out today, defending the decision to file the largest municipal bankruptcy in american history.
with the city facing up to $20 billion in long-term debt, orr and mayor dave bing took the plunge on yesterday. >> as tough as this is, i really didn't want to go in this direction. but now that we are here, we have to make the best of it. this is very difficult for all of us, but if it's going to make the citizens better off, then this is a new start for us. >> suarez: it's all a far cry from detroit's storied days as the motor city. in the 1950s, the population topped 1.8 million, with workers lured by high-paying auto jobs. but by the 1960s, the big three- - g.m., ford and chrysler-- began shifting factories to lower-cost cities and faced growing competition from japan. the 1967 riots sent middle class families rushing for the exits to ever-growing suburbs with better schools and lower crime rates. they left a city where property values and tax revenue steadily
declined, as crime, decay and services worsened. by 2010, detroit's population stood at just over 700,000. on thursday, kevyn orr said it's long past time to do something. >> there are 700,000 citizens who don't deserve a 55 minute response time, who don't deserve endemic blight and crime. no hope and future, just continued debt over debt and debt and borrowing. >> suarez: the city's fiscal woes have been compounded by corruption run rampant under mayor kwame kilpatrick. he was convicted last march 11 of racketeering and other federal charges. two days later, michigan governor rick snyder declared an emergency and appointed orr. the financial manager insisted yesterday that the city bent over backward to work with creditors, but could not reach agreement. still, the bankruptcy filing left residents frustrated. >> big old detroit can't even handle they own business? that's sad.
>> they've had enough time to straighten it out, so i guess as they say if you can't handle it yourself, someone else will. >> suarez: major creditors, pension boards and labor unions also grumbled. in washington, steve kreisberg of the american federation of state, county and municipal employees put it this way. >> the loss of pension could be extremely devastating for a number of city workers in detroit. it's simply a matter of what they've been counting on, it's their nesteggs. it's really their life savings. >> suarez: now, as the city waits, a protracted process begins in federal bankruptcy court. there is no immediate estimate on how long it will last. nest and we're joined by emergency manager orr and governor snyder. governor you said today this is a debt that can be paid and will be paid. so what can bond holders and creditors expect? >> part of this process is to address the $18 billion in liabilities. detroit is broke. and so one of the benefits of
bankruptcy and this was a very difficult decision to get to and we did everything possible to avoid it but we're here now. so this gives the city an opportunity to present a plan to say how to adjust its debts, to say let's treat people fairly in terms of their creditors, the second piece is, very important that i want to mention is it gives an opportunity to present a plan for better services to the citizens of detroit. and that's absolutely needed. response times for police in detroit are 58 minutes. so in addition to just the liability question which is a big issue on its own we need to get better services to citizens of detroit. that's who i work for plus the 9 million people of michigan. they deserve a better answer. >>suarez: mr. orr, your long term debt is in the billions and you have been borrowing money to meet the deficit. whose this inevitable? >> i don't know if this was inevitable but it certainly was
a dull decision and apparent. when you have a $360 million credit budget, something had to be done. this is 60 years of deferred maintenance that's been coming our way and we have to make a judgment call. >>suarez: you're talking about severe losses to those that the city owes money. could this have been less pain to the stakeholders if it had been done earlier? >> certainly we have tried to stay away from retrospeck advertises and wondering. but you can't delay these kinds of decisions and this kind of obligation and not expect it to get worse. it exacerbates and gets worse and worse and worse. frankly that is my request to the governor to do so and the governor apparently agreed with that request, that it's time to address this because otherwise ray it gets worse. >>suarez: in recent months were negotiations possible to
restructure debt, reach agreement with cross avoiding bankruptcy? >> we have reached some agreements with creditors, those are ongoing in fact and we hope to reach additional agreements with other creditors and stakeholders if this process. there has to be a solution to where we are either consentialy or otherwise. >>suarez: governor back to you. this is not over for michigan is it? >> the railway i see it is detroit is critically important for the come back of the state. we need to trade on the path of being a great city again and this is a very important step in making that happen. to step back from simply the financial pieces of this, tremendously good things are going on in detroit today. in terms of the business community, in terms of jobs being created, downtown and midtown detroit in terms of young people moving into the city, there's 90%-plus occupancy
in the city. we need to look at improvements in the neighborhoods. good things are going on there. this is about solving the city government's financial and service issues and that's the last obstacle to go and beyond that when we get this resolved i think detroit is going to be posed for outstanding growth and a bright future which is great for all of michigan. >>suarez: you've got other distressed cities in your state and there are other distressed cities around the country. are they watching the massive bankruptcy closely and might it get heart harder for cities to borrow and will it drive up the cost of borrowing? >> there are discussions on both sides of that argument. but i was hired by the citizens of michigan including the 700,000 wonderful people in detroit to get an answer for them. this can's been kicked down the street for years and years, enough is enough. this is the way to do it. this is the way to address the debt question. this is the way to have detroit
grow, and this is a decision that is, isn't it time for one of our great cities become great again? >>suarez: what will this mean for detroiters? will there be services that will have to go away, or are there issues that people can no longer afford? >> ray, services will get better. we're already focusing on lighting, blight, police services, health, safety and welfare concerns and frankly bringing up the level of services for the 700,000 residents of the city of detroit, to the level that should belie a great and storied city. there is so much deferred maintenance, it's time to get at it ray and make it better for all the citizens. >>suarez: can you do that without selling off the family silver, the island, the parks, the art collection? >> surely, the wedding china and the grandma's silver. i think we can fix this proposal that we made on june 14th.
it addresses the legacy costs, long term initiatives over the next ten years, and that proposal was made without the necessity of looking into some of the assets of the city if you will that should remain for when this city is the great city it is, and it will be even better in the years to come. >>suarez: kevyn orr, rick snyder, gentlemen, thank you. >> brown: and that brings us to the analysis of shields and brooks: syndicated columnist mark shields and "new york times" columnist david brooks. david, start with the president's speech, what did you think? >> i think it was just great. it was what the president was elected to be in 2008. it was the guy who seeing a lot of conflict in the country, a
lot of different points of view and is able to corral them all so he explained the context, the way a lot of african americans are responding to it, he explained realism, white americans reacting to it, he brought it together in one unified package, and he was restrained, responsible, he pointed some way down the road and so i thought it was unifying. and when we think about obama at his best i think this is the sort of thing we think about. so i just thought it was great. >>brown: mark. the president has been criticized and not totally unfairly for being emotionally inaccessible, for being too but oned down. this -- buttoned down. i thought this was completely personal and entirely presidential at the time. he did acknowledge and address
the response of the american community, in the african american community than the country at large and he explained that from his personal experience i mean being followed at a department store, watching a woman clutch her purse as he got on an elevator. that the personal really worked in plaing that. but at the same time, he -- in explaining that. but at the same time, he didn't paper over what the problems were. and the way he addressed the question of stand your ground, i thought he made the case to me persuasively against that, and how it does raise the risk of confrontation. and particularly, when he gave the example of what if an adult trayvon martin had been packing heat or carried -- >> i just want to underline that. it's something you rarely have your mind changed in a second. but i was sort of ambivalent about stand your ground, strength and independence but when i heard that couple of sentences, i thought oh yeah, that is a good point.
so you really at least myself, my mind turn a little on that issue. another element i should bring in there because there was a complex little symphony there, a bit of indignation. suppose trayvon martin had been the white kid and zimmerman had been the black guy how would they have reacted? there was a hint of indignation and a hint of the law professor, all the obama pieces were weaved in there. >>brown: are you surprised he came out a week after the verdict and why did he do it? >> he was going to do it and have to know, the people are going to -- almost hear him saying what's the point of being president if you can't do this? >>brown: people saying don't, politically? >> listen, we're working on immigration, you could hear the voices of caution. i didn't hear them but i can imagine quite frankly what they were. this is what is the best forum, he did it without a
teleprompter. that tells you how deep and personal and how much he had thought about this and how much he had expressed both his thoughts and convictions and his passion. but no, i was -- the suggestion was that, they had been waiting for him to be asked about it. but i thought this was a far more persuasive venue. >> i had a chance to do a little reporting on this and it was a solo decision. it was made -- instinctive decision, maybe he should have made a little more intuitive decisions. i feel like doing this, i'm going to do it. even to the point they didn't tell the press corps, he was coming out here wow, the guy is in the room here. it was a simple personal decision. >>brown: without political calculation? >> that's what i've been told and understand. >>brown: what about political consequences or continuing discussion of the kind that he talked about? >> i don't know if you can calculate that.
i mean i think the reaction, the people who see that is indeed personal. i really do. and i guess, if -- i don't know, where you can criticize the president on this. someone who has been accused of being hypercritical about the president on occasion, i don't think there was -- there wasn't a false note in the whole presentation. maybe he shouldn't be -- he's never been the angry or emotional black man. i mean you know that has been part of his entire modus operandi all the way through. you thought he would have exploded, the control -- this was so, to me, i.t. was authentic. it was authentic obama. and i think it reminded a lot of people of the '07-'08 when he did captivate the imagination as well as the affection of so many people, perhaps that ardor has cooled in some precincts since.
>>brown: i was curious what you think about this national conversation versus the way he put it because we have traumas every so often in this country and then we talk about having a national conversation. he said i'm not sure that's the way but we need to have some kind of conversation. >> i'm with jonathan turley earlier on in the program. people aren't persuaded with this, it's neighbor to neighbor, it's just interaction, it's interaction of people of different races, it's the normal friendships that happen. that's how change happens. you can't talk yourself into being a less racist person. you can't talk yourself into being a better person. it comes from direct action and direct conduct. i think his reactions are right. >>brown: the big story of the day the detroit bankruptcy. your reaction to that? >> droit is a great american
story. and i don't know if it's the postscript to or the preview of the industrialization of the grade replied west united states. i mean detroit is not alone as one goes across covering presidential elections on congressional elections in these great states, and i just think -- i just want to think about detroit in this sense. we won world war ii. we were the arsenal of democracy. detroit was the arsenal of the united states. and michigan really, 75% of all the aircraft engines that were built for the allies in world war ii were build within detroit, and its environs. every, every truck that brought troops and supplies to defeat nazi germany, it's a remarkable story. and the middle american working class family, american success story, came from that detroit,
and michigan. so i mean, i think it's a tragic reality, it's, all of it a terrible economic reality but it's not unique. it's not unique in the sense it's a terrible crisis but it's not unique among american cities. >>brown: do you put it in such large terms? >> it is an urban tragedy that's gone on for 60 years, almost every facet. the production that mark talks about is the beginning of the end. what is diversity, diverse economic sectors that are feeding off of each other. detroit didn't have that. detroit had nothing else to feed off of so you had a lack of economic diversity, a lack of creativity. you look at some of the other mid western cities that have done better, the twin cities, minneapolis, st. paul, they immediately determined education was going to be the key, they
have more educational institutions. it was an urban tragedy detroit in that zone. then there were attempts at revival, fancy downtown buildings. that's not what you do, you give families the reason to build there and stay there. the crime, the corruption, finally you can't give 50-year-old city employees a pension and expect to survive with those kind of promises. it's just one layer after another, i hope they can turn it around but it has been a long time coming. >>brown: does it play into some kind of national politics narrative or narrative that you see? >> we can't be a great country without great cities. i don't know how a city goes into bankruptcy. 700,000 people. if it's a company or corporation, can you close it down, lock it, turn out the lights? you can't do that when you have 700,000 people with kids being raised and families.
we heard governor dismie der we heard mr. orr talk about a 58-minute response time for a 911 call. this is unacceptable. i mean, so i -- i hope it can be -- i hope we don't just regard this as some sort of morality play or these sturdy politicians did this. it is something significant and it's something that it is not unique. it is a terrible crisis and it's a human tragedy but it is not a unique american experience. >>brown: although there are some plments of mis-- elements of mismanagement we've heard in this story unfolding in the years. >> and the other thing that is common is the overpromising of pensions, whether it's illinois chicago california -- >> the ratings yesterday went down and so you know it is a problem. >> there is a possibility for rebound. you know you never count out human beings and detroit has
some advantages. it's got really cheap real estate. and a workforce. people who know how to work. history of that. it's got suburbs, some strength and creativity. and so often, in capitalism, when you hirt bottom you have some perverse advantages, low cost, people desiring to do a turn around, whatever it taste. so there's an ebb and flow of things. >>brown: let's hope on hope. red sox and yankees. i don't wear a mets tie. that would be bragging. >>brown: mark and david thanks very much. >> suarez: another look at politics now, in virginia, where the state's race for governor is starting to heat up. the governor's race in virginia this fall is being closely watched for what it says about the nation's shifting political landscape.
for decades, the old dominion was solidly republican, but barack obama carried it in 2008 and again last year. one year later, the governor's race is close. on the democratic side, terry mcauliffe, former chair of the democratic national committee. he helped run president clinton's re-election effort in 1996 and hillary clinton's unsuccessful presidential run in 2008. mcauliffe first ran for governor in 2009, but lost the democratic primary. now, he faces republican state attorney general ken cuccinelli. the conservative favorite has led the push for new regulations on abortion clinic, and filed a federal lawsuit against president obama's health care law. his campaign for governor has been dogged by the trouble swirling around the current governor-- republican bob mcdonnell. he's under state and federal investigation for failing to disclose more than $145,000 in gifts from a campaign donor.
cuccinelli and mcauliffe face off tomorrow in their first debate in hot springs, virginia. >> for more on the state of play in the governor's race we're joined by two reporters, ben pershing of the washington post and julian walker of the virginian pilot. gentlemen thank you both for joining us. julian this is a much coveted seat by both republicans and democrats. what is the state of play right now? >> right now it is very tight, two polls this week both have the governor up by two points, the other has ken cuccinelli up by six points. both campaigns would quon seed that they see this as a pretty tight race. it is one that is going to be expensive. it is one that has demonstrated so far is pretty nasty and i think we'll see a lot more of that to come in roughly four months before election day. >>suarez: ben, do you agree, the
republicans are spending time and money running themselves down instead of making a positive run of themselves? >> i think the state party apparatus on both sides, trying to convince the voters that the other party is unacceptable, not worthy of voting for. i think the candidates have a way to go convincing the voter that they are worthy rather than the other one shouldn't be. >>suarez: off year election because of the way the cycles line up, does that give an advantage to cuccinelli even though president obama won in virginia last year? >> that has been long standing, the year after presidential election, the party that wins the warehouse is the opposite party. by that trend alone, you would think ken cuccinelli has an advantage. the electorate tends to be in off year elections in virginia more of an older more
conservative more leaning electorate. the republicans found that the hard way in 2009. they insist that this time they have their troops their ground forces motivated and they won't have the kind of dropoff between 2008 and 2009, for example when in 2008 virginia voter participation was 75%, in 2009, the last time we had a governor's election here, it was about 40%. >>suarez: ben, governor mcdonnell had enjoyed pretty high approval ratings in his home state. are his recent troubles making it more difficult for his attorney general who is trying to succeed him? >> there are two answers to that. polls, so far we haven't had a big hit on cuccinelli because of mcdonnell's troubles. i think cuccinelli's own advisors will admit, it's distracting when he gets asked each day about bok mcdonnell.
they would rather be talking about the economy, about jobs, about anything but the scandal now. >>suarez: there are recent connections julian between a large contributor and donor star and its kerry and candidate for governor? >> well there are a number of developments that have been reported across virginia. detailing the numerous giflts that both the governor and his family as well as ken cuccinelli has received from johnny williams. the most recent developments came out on thursday when the richard commonwealth toarnt released his report indicating he did not see any criminal wrongdoing or violation of the law by the attorney general for his belated disclosure of gifts from johnny williams. also? the governor's office on thursday released the results of an external audit done by a
private attorney and former attorney general who has been hired to assist the governor, had received any state benefits while governor mcdonnell's term had been ongoing. >>suarez: has terry mcauliffe been restrained because of his own background as a big money man for bill clinton and some of the questions swirling around him? >> republicans always respond to this by noting mcdonnell had his own problems in the past. also, mcauliffe has a embraced mcdonnell in some areas. he supported mcdonnell's transportation bill in virginia. in some ways he embraced
mcdonnell's governing style. he prefers to hang back and sort of let other people do that. >>suarez: julian, the current united states senators from virginia happen to be the last two democratic governors of the state, tim kane and mark warner, are they of value to the democratic candidate, terry mcauliffe? >> certainly any time you have a high ranking official holding office, has already appeared at a kickoff really that terry mcauliffe did this spring. they also may help terry mcauliffe in so much as they can present terry mcauliffe as kind of heirs to their legacy. successful candidates for governor in virginia have been able to court successfully the business community, the kind of
main street chamber of commerce vote and typically in recent virginia gubernatorial elections you see the candidate that is able to get those kind of prominent and influential business and thought makers on their side, those tend to be the successful candidates. so if they can help mcauliffe make that case to that business community, that could be helpful. >>suarez: and ben, quickly before we go this election will occur later this year. is it closely watched in national politics? will it set the table in 2014? >> it certainly will, because many people see it as the only game in town. both parties are using virginia as a prove be ground for strategies, for messages, some of the staff in this case you play see bounding up in the next presidential contest. if only because there's a vacuum everywhere else all eyes are turched on virginia this year. >> ben pershing, julian walker,
thank you both. >> brown: finally tonight: the waiting game in london for the royal baby-- a first child for the duke and duchess of cambridge. tim ewart of "independent television news" has the story. >> reporter: this is south wolfe road, london w-2. taxi drivers now have another name for it. >> madness street crazy street. >> i've been here nine days. i feel as if i'm having the baby. >> reporter: nine days some camera crews have been here for more than three weeks, trapped in a world of gossip, speculation and rumor. the latest rumor: kate would arrive here at the private lindo wing to have her baby today. this is the moment everyones' waiting for-- mother and child emerging as diana did with the baby william in 1982.
among the assembled photographers then on the left here was arthur edwards. 31 years on, he's back. >> well i've had my eye spot marked up since the first of july. it's incredible. i mean no other baby in the world. i mean if michelle obama was expected a baby would we be outside? no, we wouldn't. >> reporter: we care of course, it's media frenzy but what about the general public? are you on tenterhooks? definitely not says the man from the monarchy group, republic. are you being a bit like sort of the grinch who spoiled christmas? >> no, not at all, i'm actually reflecting in on this occasion, i'm reflecting in on the majority i think. because most people are gettin on with their lives. i mean, i don't see people talking about it, i don't hear people talking about it. >> reporter: kate hasn't been seen in public since trooting the color last month. the only sighting at the lindo wing, a look-a-like in a newspaper stunt. there was no real news, as another day went by down on crazy street.
>> brown: again, the major developments of the day: president obama said the nation needs to do some soul-searching after the shooting of trayvon martin. and russian opposition leader alexei navalny was released from jail, pending appeal, a day after being sentenced to five years in jail for embezzlement. >> and the county judge in michigan ordered the governor to withdraw detroit's federal bankruptcy filing. state officials said they'd appeal the order. >>suarez: and something very different online. our earth and moon joined saturn for an inter plan tri photoop. >> holman: nasa asked americans to look up and wave today. the cassini spacecraft snapped the photo from the outer solar system a short time ago. the earth will appear as just a dot, and it could take weeks to process the images. find that story on our home page. all that and more is on our website newshour.pbs.org. ray?
>>suarez: and that's the news hour for tonight. on monday we begin a store about stopping gun violence. i'm ray suarez. >>brown: and i'm jeffrey brown. new charlie rose program, the week, appears in prime time. have a nice weekend, thanks for joining us, good night. >> major funding for the pbs newshour has been provided by: ♪ ♪ moving our economy for 160 years. bnsf, the engine that connects us.
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