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tv   FOX News Sunday With Chris Wallace  FOX  May 29, 2011 9:00am-10:00am PDT

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>> chris: i'm chris wallace, on this holiday weekend americans look for answers to some of the nation's biggest problems. budget battles on capitol hill. is there a deal to be made over the debt ceiling, spending cuts and the future of medicare. we'll have a fair and balanced debate against two of the young guns in the house. republican allen west and democrat donna edwards. then turmoil in the middle east. from the arab spring demands for reform to the military operation in libya. we'll talk foreign policy hot spots with senator john mccain.
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it's a "fox news sunday" exclusive. also is the g.o.p. president -- as the g.o.p. presidential field takes shape, what will sarah do? we'll ask the sunday panel what palin's decision means for the republican race. an our power player of the week honors our nation's fallen military in 24 musical notes. all right now on "fox news sunday." hello again from fox news in washington. as we observe this memorial day weekend, we promise some 4th of july fireworks as we discuss some of the nation's most pressing problems with two of the newer voices on capitol hill. republican allen west of florida, a tea party favorite. and democrat donna edwards of maryland, member of the progressive caucus. we welcome both of you to "fox news sunday." >> good morning. thank you for having us. >> good morning. >> chris: let's start with medicare. paul ryan's plan to turn it
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from a fee-for-service plan into a voucher system. congressman west, even though this wouldn't start until 2022, you've got some push-back at one of your town hall meetings recently. let's watch. [ chanting >> chris: congressman west, as we saw in the special election up in new york state this week where the democrat beat the republican and medicare was a big issue, as we see in the national polls a lot of people, especially seniors don't want to see medicare changed this way. >> i think when you look at paul ryan's plan, first of all, there is no change for anyone who is a senior 55 and above. i sit here right now and i'm 50 years of age. the board of trustee has said you have 13 years and something bad is going to happen with medicare. what will be there for myself when i'm 63-65? what we see is at least there
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is a plan out there to try to have a reform there was a great article by mr. stanley junkamiller in the "wall street journal" in the 5th of may that talked about the financial markets, a lot of these bond markets are looking to see are we going to have some type of long-term vital solution and plan as we go forward? >> chris: let me pick up on that, congressman edwards, the knock against the democrats is you don't have a plan. that congressional democrats didn't pass a budget last year. senate democrats aren't offering a budget this year. president obama talks about an independent panel of medical experts to find $200 billion of cuts somewhere. at least they've got a plan. >> i think it's not true we don't have a plan. when we passed the affordable care act last year we put in real markers for medicare that in fact reduced medicare costs. we invested in preventive care for seniors because we know the real drivers of medicare are the long-term costs for chronic care that happens at
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the, you know, at the end of life. you know, republicans are very interesting because in their budget what they would do is repeal preventive care. prescription drug coverage we also closed the doughnut hole there which is costing senior iceboatsload of money and is not efficient -- seniors a boatload of money and not efficient on the system. to say democrats don't have a plan is incorrect. the plan is preserve and protect medicare for future generations. republicans want to dismantle that. >> but i think as you sit here and look at the two of us, one of us has voted to cut medicare. when you look at the fact you voted for the patient and protection affordable care act, which had $500 million cut of medicare and independent payment advisory board, the 15 bureaucrats that are supposed to control theco of medicare, that scares seniors. what we are talking about doesn't effect any senior. nobody 55 years and above. we're talking about a vital plan to sustain medicare for the future.
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as we know, it was put out three weeks ago it won't be there. >> the congressman thinks the seniors are only interested in what is good for them. what we know about seniors in south florida or maryland they care about what happens with the next generation. they care whether we'll cover preventive care and prescription drug. >> if you don't have a plan, there is no. >> and that they are not sent in the private market to negotiate with insurance companies. we know that that would be a failure. that is exactly what the republican plan calls for. i can't negotiate on -- >> chris: let me move on to another thing, because the biggest difference it seems to me looking at the two positions on how to deal with the deficit is over taxes. congresswoman edwards, off big plan to increase revenues. let's put it up on the screen. you would raise tax rates for the wealthy. you would raise the estate tax. you would tax capital gains and dividend as ordinary income and end tax subsidiaries for oil and gas companies. so, raise taxes in the middle
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of a weak recovery? >> let's be clear. raise tax on the wealthiest 2% who has run away with the store for the last ten years and haven't put money back in the economy. that's a fact. because if that trickle-down theory worked our economy would be in good shape right now. so we do -- i do subscribe to a plan that says you know what? middle income earners, you've already shared a fair burden of your taxes. but the wealthiest 2% have not. there is no excuse whatsoever for continuing taxes for people who make over $400,000 a -- $500,000 >> i have an interesting article written by stevenmore for the "wall street journal," we are talking about a 62% top tax rate and the abysmal effect it will have on the economy. one of the great things he says in the end is the tax foundation recently noted in 2009, u.s. collected a higher share of income and payroll taxes, 45% from the richest 10% of tax files than any other nation, including some
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such socialist welfare states. i think that we are already getting a lot of the juice from those top brackets. but go back and look at history, donna. we looked at coolen and harding, it took marginal tax rates down to 29%. the percentage of re-knew for g.d.p. grew. after them came hoover and roosevelt that took from 24% to 83% and percentage of revenues decreased. even john f. kennedy came in and saw 91% marginal tax rate said it was too high and took it down. >> i'd like to go back to the reagan tax rates. if we went back there. >> we're talking about your plan. >> i think that what has happened here is we've got, you know, tax rates at the highest income levels where you know -- whether it's george soros or bill gates or whichever billionaire/millionaire doesn't pay the amount of taxes that the secretaries pay. i think the american public understands that is not fair. >> chris: there are some exceptions. >> more than that --
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>> chris: wait. there are some statistics that show the vast majority, the people in the higher income brackets pay the vast majority of taxes. >> it needs to be proportion to their income. income for lower, middle income americans have been stagnant -- >> chris: you have. >> let me finish. >> let me finish, congressman. let me finish. let me finish. let me finish. >> how can you make it proportionate. >> the fact is if we were to extend the tax rates for the wealthiest 2% over this next decade, it would cost the american public a fortune because in your budget you don't even pay for them. they haven't been paid for the last decade. it's putting an unfair burden on the public. i would love it if the wealthy people holding on to the tax break put their money back to the economy. they haven't. >> the economic uncertainty we have -- [ overtalk >> chris: which brings me to the economy and the question
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of how you jump-start the economy. congressman west, house republicans offered a plan this week to do exactly that. to get the economy going, to boost jobs. let's take a look at the plan. cut the top tax rate even further for individuals and business to 25%. less regulation. more patent protection. pass free trade deals with other countrys. whether that is good policy or not, the fact is we did see lower taxes. and less regulation under president george w. bush. we ended up in a recession. >> the important thing is this: with president george w. bush, he grew government. he increased the government spending. so you cannot have a cut in taxes vapid a gross enlargement of government. that is one of the things we don't want to see happen. i got to tell you, here i have been here in congress for five months. i have legislation that passed that will save the american taxpayers $800 million because i found three wasteful department of defense programs. so the thing is, while each and every one of us up here in
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our res speculative committees or whatever looking for wasteful programs to cult those. >> chris: congresswoman edwards what do you think of the g.o.p. plan as i just outlined it? i'd also like you to answer this. go ahead and talk directly to congressman west, as you do. the obama administration pumped $1 trillion in stimulus in to the economy. the federal reserve has pumped trillions more. we've got 9% unemployment. 1.8% g.d.p. growth. it isn't working. >> well, i mean i don't know that i agree with that. you know, first of all -- let me finish here. first of all, the trillion dollars for stimulus package, included $786 billion was absolutely necessary to make sure that this economy didn't go into a freefall. we also know that we had to make sure we began to stimulate the growth we need in this country to invest in the future. you know what? i agree with the congressman here. i think there are things we could do in terms of cutting back wasteful spending, but everything has to be on the table from the defense
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department. >> i said defense department. >> but your party hasn't. your party hasn't. so i want to go back -- i want to make sure that we are really looking at the budget. we also have to look at revenues. that is a fact we have to look at revenues. >> chris: let me ask about that, congressman. wait, wait. the fact is if you are going to get a bipartisan compromise you know there is going to have to be some, some revenue increase in addition to spending cuts. the debt commission, the bowles-simpson commission came up with a formula 3-to-1 $3 in spending cuts for $1 in revenue increase and they didn't even talk about raising rates they talk about doing away with tax rates. why isn't that acceptable? >> i say get rid of loopholes and get rid of subsidiaries. i talk about corporate tax rate coming down to 20-22%, and eliminate subsidy and loopholes. i have talk about going to a tax flat that has one deduction pretty much for children. the most important thing we have to understand -- i think donna will agree with me --
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until we show we're going to be fiscally responsible here, why should we continue to tax americans and take away their most precious resource if we don't do the right things up here? >> chris: answer the congressman. >> fiscal responsibility did happen when the last democrat was in office before president obama. that was president clinton. he balanced the budget. we had surpluses. and they were wiped away by two wars that were unpaid for by prescription drug plan. by taxes. >> the military -- [ overtalk >> i thank you for your service. i grew up in the military, so i feel very strongly about the military. but the fact is you cannot have two wars that are on the books unpaid for. tax breaks that are unpaid for, for the wealthiest americans. and at the same time, say we're going to balance our budget. >> i just want to get you both on one last subject. which is the debt ceiling. because we, the clock is ticking. we're head toward we now hear
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august 2 as a date when we are going to run out of money and default on our debt. what do you do about it? congresswoman? go ahead. >> i think we have to pay our bills. and we can argue about how we got to the bills but the united states has an obligation for ourselves and for the rest of the world to make sure that we need our obligations -- meet our can havn about what cuts need to be. the republicans are being disingenuous when all you do is talk about the spending cuts, portion of the budget, not also talk about revenue increases. >> chris: congressman west? >> i give you two quotes from the "wall street journal" piece. the grave danger he sees is politicians might give the government authority to borrow beyond the current limit of $14.3 trillion without any controls, controls spending. willing to accept temporary delay on interest payment he is owed on the treasury bonds if the result is a washington deal to restrain run-away entitlement cost.
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>> you know what? if you get rid of. >> that was soros. >> on our debt, if you get rid of the spending for two wars unpaid for and tax breaks for the wealthy americans -- >> chris: you want us to pull out of iraq and afghanistan? >> i do. you would then draw, you would draw our responsibilities down -- >> chris: not going to happen by august 2. even president obama is against that. >> i think the responsible thing is you raise the debt limit and we work on the plan that gets us out of iraq, out of afghanistan. >> chris: i can see congressman is going -- the republican majority in your house won't say that. >> we had a vote on spending in afghanistan. >> we have to prevent spending controls first. on the blackberry i get 12 alerts of the lives lost in afghanistan. it's not over in afghanistan. >> chris: all right. we have to leave it there. but to be continued. congressman west, congresswoman edwards, thank you for sharing part of your hall day weekend with us.
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>> happy memorial. >> chris: come back. >> thank you. happy memorial day. >> chris: thank you. up next, john mccain on u.s. role in libya and how to deal with a changing middle east. i love that my daughter's part fish. but when she got asthma, all i could do was worry ! specialists, lots of doctors, lots of advice... and my hands were full. i couldn't sort through it all. with unitedhealthcare, it's different. we have access to great specialists, and our pediatrician gets all the information.
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bag aprons. >> chris: joining us now to discuss the ongoing tension in the middle east and to talk some 2012 poll cigs is senator john mccain. senator, welcome back to "fox news sunday." >> thank you, chris. >> chris: let's start with libya. president obama this week
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seemed to expand his definition of the nato mission there. take a look. >> meeting the-up mandate of civilian protection, cannot be accomplished when gaddafi remains in libya, directing his forces in acts of aggression against libyan people. >> chris: between that statement and the stepped up airstrikes on tripoli, are you now satisfied with the coalition effort to topple gaddafi? >> no, i'm not. but they stepped it up. i'm sorry you didn't show one of the president's statement at the beginning how this is just a humanitarian effort, it's all going to be nato. we won't have anything do with it. i'm glad to see him gradually changing. but the fact is as he is gradually changing people are dying on the ground in libya and they wouldn't have to if we were using all of u.s. air power and the abilities and the unique capabilities that the united states military has. unfortunately, we are not. although, we are gradually
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stepping it up and the attacks are stepping up. there was a raid on -- a daylight raid on tripoli, which is unusual, here in the last 24 hours. gaddafi may crack. he may crack. but this could have been over a long time ago if we brought the full weight of the american air power to bear on him. it's unfortunate. >> chris: now another aspect that you call for is you continue to say that the u.s. should recognize the rebels national council as the legitimate government. >> yes. >> chris: of libya. defense secretary gates continues to say that there is extremist elements among the opposition. >> well, i would say to secretary gates -- you know i have great admiration for secretary gates. but i say secretary, the best way to get extremist element in the lead among the rebels there, the liberation forces is a stalemate. that is the way extremists come into power. these people are professor at
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the university of washington, he's their finance minister. a guy with doctorate from the university of pittsburgh. are there people who are muslim, not exactly who we would like in this fight? of course. but the reason they're in the fight they hate gaddafi who brutalized them and mistreated them. the recent report of rapes in misurata by the gaddafi forces should make us all angry. the reason to recognize the t.n.c., we'll call it that, you could free up the $33 billion assets frozen up of gaddafi and a lot more. i would legitimate them as the voice of the libyan people. clearly gaddafi is not the voice. and i think it would have a significant impact on the morale of the brave fighters who are doing a pretty good job for a disorganized and
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untrained group. >> chris: let me turn to g-8 summit which this week pledged tens of millions of dollars to egypt and tunisia to help with democratic reform and economic stability. some of your republican colleagues in congress say at a time when this nation faces a dealt crisis we can -- debt crisis we can't be sending millions of dollars to the middle east. >> we can do things like debt relief, matching grant, stimulation business and job opportunity. i understand that we have to be very careful because there is a strong antispending sentiment out there. but i think we also have to do a better job of convincing american people that a smooth transition to democracy in the region of the best guarantee us not having to spend a lot of money in the future if a lot of people get in power.
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jobs and investment, i would love to see american business over there telling us we'll invest. if you give us a transparent, corruption-free government, one that is good for to us be in business in egypt and tunisia, then we will invest. that could be one of greatest incentives rather than just throwing money at them. >> chris: now, the new authorities in egypt this weekend have opened up a gaza border crossing, which means that people are going to be able to go in and out of gaza. do you worry about the impact of that on israeli security? >> i worry. i worry about some of the rhetoric we're hearing from the politicians in egypt who would like to gain support and votes. i worry abouten alliance between hamas and fatah when one hamas is still dedicated, extension of the state of israel. >> chris: but what impact do you think that opening this border crossing could have?
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>> i don't think it will have a huge impact, because i think the israelis can ke -- can defend themselves. i think the palestinians recognize if they commit serious aggression that there will be a response from israel. but it's time for all of them to sit down without preconditions, without saying that the '67 borders are the basis. certainly not putting israel again on the defensive as the president has now twice. when the first time when he demanded a freeze on settlement. >> chris: turn to another trouble spot. this week the house of representatives voted narrowly to defeat a measure, 204 votes for the measure, 215 against. so just barely was defeated. a measure that would require president obama to step the withdrawal of u.s. military forces from afghanistan. 26 republicans voted for the measure, to speed up the
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withdrawals. with the take down of usama bin laden are you worried that support for a u.s. role in afghanistan is beginning to dry up? >> yes. i am worried. i am greatly worried. it isn't so much that bin laden, taking him out, as it is that americans are war-weary. americans see all this money that we've spent. they see the president of afghanistan appearing ungrateful. they see the government of pakistan, you know, in a very aggressive fashion in many ways toward us. there are continued relations with the hakani network and others. but we've also got to remember that it was afghanistan where the 9/11 attacks began. if taliban and then al-qaeda take over in afghanistan we could see a very, very serious threat to the united states national security. remember, the russians, after the russians left we got out
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completely. so we shouldn't ignore the lessons of history. >> chris: but how about the argument. >> military there is significant success on the ground. it's tough and it's hard, as general petraeus predicted, but i've seen this movie before. it was in 2007 that the same movement to get out of iraq and we managed to push that back and the surge succeeded. >> chris: but how about the argument -- the president has already said he is going to begin drawing down u.s. troops in july. how about the argument when most of the people who would directly threaten us, for instance al-qaeda, but more of them are in afghanistan than pakistan, what if we switched from counterinsurgency to counterterrorism to focus on the ones that are a direct threat to the u.s. homeland? >> i believe the only way you are able to arrive at the situation is when you get a stable situation in control of the country. that's why negotiations for the taliban will be fruitless until the taliban think they can't succeed. they are fighting ferociously because they're trying to take
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back the whole ground they have held for a long period of time. >> chris: what would you say about the president in the july withdrawal? >> i never thought that was a good idea. i always thought conditions on the ground should dictate withdrawals. the president also emphasized 2014. i believe by 2014 we will have succeeded in afghanistan. as we have largely in iraq. although we have a problem with keeping some forces, i think, for a period of time to help the iraqis complete the job. >> chris: finally, we have a couple of minutes left. let's do a lightning round on 2012 politics. you know something about presidential politics. quick questions and quick answers. sarah palin announced she is doing a bus tour today in washington. set up a media frenzy. question: can she win the republican nomination and can she beat barack obama? >> of course she can. she can.
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now whether she will or not, whether she'll even run or not, i don't know. a lot of things happen in campaigns, chris. i was written off a couple of times and was able to come back. it will be a roller coaster ride for all of them before we finally arrive at our nominee. but she certainly is a major factor. and i believe that she can be very competitive. >> chris: what about her high negatives, especially among independents? >> i think that the, again, that's what campaigns are all about? i've never seen anyone as mercilessly and relentlessly attacked as i have seen sarah palin in the last couple of years. but she also inspires great passion; particularly, among republican faithful. >> chris: okay. lightning round rules. how big a problem is romney care for mitt romney? >> think i it's a problem. i think he realizes that. i think he is trying to address it. whether he will successfully or not i don't know. but he certainly has a good grassroots campaign in places like new hampshire and others
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where he is really, you know -- having been around the block once is always a benefit for you the next time. >> chris: after the bin laden raid, you said enhanced interrogation did not contribute significantly to the successful take-down of bin laden. former senator rick santorum said this. >> you don't understand how interrogation works. you break somebody and after they're broken they boom cooperative. >> chris: question: you have never responded to santorum. what are your thoughts about what he said? >> i think she should look at the record including -- he should look at the record including that of director leon panetta, dianne feinstein who both said that not only did we not get good information from the k.s.m. and others, but we got bad information. the information that was primarily responsible for bringing bin laden to justice had to do with standard
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methodology and intelligence gathering. when you say that, it does disservice to thousands of people in the intelligence agency who work night and day putting the puzzle together which we've become aware of. >> chris: you said memorably in the 2008 campaign you were tied up in the 1968 woodstock, things like that. what do you think of the saying, "you don't understand enhanced interrogation"? >> he realizes he made a mistake there. major object here is that understand what torture does to the image of the united states in the world, but most importantly it's about us. >> chris: senator mccain, we want to thank you as always for coming in. it's always a pleasure to talk to you. >> thank you for having me on. >> chris: up next, as sarah palin's bus tour comes to washington, we ask the sunday group if she is about to steamroll the g.o.p. presidential field.
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? freedom is a god-given right. it's worth fighting for. the constitution provides the best roadmap for the more perfect union. >> chris: that's a clip from sarah palin's video about her one nation bus tour up the east coast that starts today here in washington. it's time now for our sunday group. bill kristol, of "the weekly standard." nina easton of "fortune" magazine. byron york from the
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"washington examiner." fox news political analyst juan williams. bill, all sarah palin had to do was announce this bus tour a few days ago and the political reporters, the chattering class went to defcon 1. as the man who helped spark the media's fascination with sarah palin three years ago, that do you think she is up to? >> i don't know, honestly. i don't think she is going to run. she has done nothing to suggest she is laying groundwork to actually run for the presidency, as opposed to shape the national debate and call attention to the wonderful memorials and monuments she will be visiting over the next week. [ laughter >> that's the best you got? >> i'm really waiting for nina here. >> chris: let me ask you, nina. palin even here continues to have problems. she announced she was going to participate in the rolling thunder veterans events here in washington. never told her organizers who seemed somewhat miffed and said she would not be allowed
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to speak because they're devoutly a nonpolitical organization. take a look at the numbers from recent polls. the "wall street journal" poll last month, 25% -- this is all voters -- viewed palin favorably, while 53% had unfavorable opinion of her. that's a problem. >> well, i think up side and down side of sarah palin and what people need to understand is that she carries her cards very close to her vest. she and her husband todd call the shots. even close advisors don't always know what they are up to. that enables her to be super spontaneous and do what she is doing this week, which i think is taking charge of her image again. jumping back in. it enables her to stir the sizzle, if you will. it enables her to shape the terms of the debate as she wants -- as she wants to take it. i don't see any move toward, you know, all that slog of a presidential campaign. she hasn't visited iowa, south carolina, new hampshire. she is visiting new hampshire this week.
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she is not reaching out to fundraisers and is on. not that she won't have a big impact in the race. to me the person to watch for in the next few weeks is michele bachmann who i think will announce by june 15, who is bringing advisors on board and i think will fill a lot of that space, the sarah palin space. >> chris: byron, let's turn to the front-runner the race. mitt romney, who visited iowa for the first time in seven months, which is kind of remarkable. but he wouldn't say whether or not he'll participate in the big straw poll there in august, which is a big deal in iowa and to iowa caucus-goers. he wouldn't say whether if he were president he would sign the paul ryan medicare plan into law. i know it sounds like an odd question but pawlenty said he would sign it in to law. how do you assess his chances? >> as far as strategy goes if you talk about romney advisors they say we'll do it different this time. it didn't work last time. will he skip iowa? he poured zillions of dollars
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in iowa and did not prevail. huckabee won they'll do things differently this time. he wouldn't commit to ames, which could be viewed by people as iowa as a sign he is just not going to play hard there. right now, they are saying they'll play hard everywhere, but all the signs are that they are going to do things differently and emphasize new hampshire a lot more this time. >> chris: what is your sense, not just iowa, but large about romney's chances? >> well, i think that the fact you see all the people trying to jump in the rails right now -- jump in the race after mitch daniels decided not run is evidence that people are dissatisfied with the field. the big divide with people like sarah palin, michele bachmann, you know, the people who are social conservatives feel they don't have a candidate. the reason romney won't go to iowa is that he feels he can't play ball with social conservatives. it's why i don't think he will do well in south carolina. he might do somewhat well in new hampshire, which he was the governor of the state in massachusetts but he just doesn't have the sense of a
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passionate grassroots following that would elevate him in this contest right now. he is a very weak front-runner. that is why you see so many people jumping in. >> chris: one of the arguments is if the social conservatives, you have michele bachmann, you have herman cain, you have tim pawlenty, they split that vote, he got what i think 25% of the vote in iowa? he could win conceivably. >> he could. but what i'm saying is we are still at the point where the big money has not come behind any candidate to give them momentum. establishment republicans at this point -- a thirst for the establishment republicans at this point for someone like jeb bush to jump in. >> chris: turn to two people's names mentioned this week that might jump in the race. one is governor rick perry of texas. the other is rudy giuliani. the former mayor of new york city. what do you think one, the likelihood either will get in; two, what kind of a factor do you think either of them will be? >> i think it's unlikely rudy giuliani will get in.
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if he does, unlikely he will be the nominee. there are reasons he didn't win -- he was presumably a starter candidate in 2008 with the memory of the mayorship. >> chris: why is he in new hampshire? >> think look at the field and say really? why don't i get a shot. it's wide-open race. i think governor perry could get in. i think if you came down from mars and looked at the possible republican candidates and saw the governor of the second largest state in the nation with good record. texas created jobs in the ten years while he's governor and the rest of the country has not over the last two years, texas is the only state in the country perhaps that has net job creation in the private sector. he is a tea party favorite. what do you need to be a republican nominee? you need to have a proven record, i think. and be accessible to and even exciting for tea party activist types. perry checks both of those boxes at once. i think perry could be formidable if he got in. >> chris: how late could he get in and be a player?
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>> everybody has from september. i came back from "the weekly standard" cruise and you talk to the 230 "the weekly standard" readers, fox news viewer, conservative about vists, they don't have the attitude you have to get in now. i want to know who is running they have an attitude we don't vote until february, march, april. let people take their time and see how the debate on the debt ceiling goes in congress and make up our mind about paul ryan and see what perry decides. see what. >> but you have a bill, infrastructure to run. you have to have money to run. >> they understand more than the insiders like you, juan, about the new world. i'm serious. i think their sense is in the new world of the internet, immediate sort of news and ability to raise money on the internet that you can go much later than you could in the old days. >> chris: we have to take a break here. when we come back, the debate over what the do about medicare started out nasty, and is getting worse.
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still to come -- our power player of the week. >> meaningful to that family. >> tom day is talking about playing "taps" at the funeral of military veterans. >> i want every family to have live "taps." >> chris: stay tuned. the panel will be right back.
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the only plan out there to preserve and protect medicare for current and future retirees is the plan that we put forward. >> the republican plan to end medicare is a nonstarter in the senate. i hope my republican colleagues will stop pursuing this misguided plan and start working with democrats on smart ways to reduce the deficit. >> chris: that was house speaker john boehner and senate majority leader harry reid this week. just part of the growing political battle over what to do about medicare. and we're back now with the panel. the big develop in the the upstate election in new york where kathy hochul a democrat won in a district that has gone republican for a century. it wasn't the only factor. paul ryan's medicare plan was a big issue there. how big of a problem is it for republicans? >> it's a problem if they don't have anyone to defend it
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well or defend it aggressively and say the choice is not status quo or paul ryan reform. it's paul ryan reform or obamacare or other changes in medicare. status quo is unsustainable. it's important that the republican candidates next year and the republican presidential candidate i would add be able to make that case. >> chris: nina, both sides in the aftermath of the new york 26 race held their ground. senate republicans except for four of them all volted for the ryan plan when it came up for a show vote in the senate. and yet, house and senate democrats just intensified their attacks. so who's right? >> i think the republicans ultimately are going to have a high ground on this. you look at -- the conventional wisdom now is hardening around the idea this is going to be an albatross around the republicans' necks. but if you listen to two little moments last week, one was bill clinton whispering to paul ryan backstage at a debt
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commission debate, "i'm worried. i'm glad we won the special election but i'm worried it will give us an excuse to do nothing." the other moment to me -- >> chris: let me just say, he also said that the ryan plan was wrong. >> that's right. but he is worried that they're doing nothing. the same thing, house democratic whip steny hoyer says look, medicare reform has to be on the table. he told a reporter this week. but we're not going to come out with specifics because it's dangerous. look what happened to paul ryan. that says to me that they know they don't have the guts to pursue serious reform. they know they have to. it is going bankrupt. i mean if you don't have serious reform, you are signing the death papers for medicare. that is a very viable case to make. >> the republicans aren't listening. you have the house and senate together there are 288 republicans in congress. 275 of them voted for this. they own it. but there is this huge debate going on inside the republican caucus right now. how did we get here?
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they looked during the whole obama care debate, they looked at the democrats and said how could they be spending all of this time on the national healthcare when the public cares most about jobs they ran and won in november on jobs, jobs, jobs, jobs. now, five months later they find themselves mired in this medicare debate. what you saw this week was they are trying to pivot to jobs in the economy. there is a horrible irony in that world. they are trying to pivot to jobs in the economy. eric cantor came out with a jobs creator plan. they try to emphasize what they have forgotten which is the public number one concern remains jobs. >> chris: byron, i get a sense from what you are saying you think that voting for paul ryan plan and making it such a big deal and now seeing it dominate the debate, because frankly the republican plan on the economy, which isn't all that new vanished without a trace this week. you think that was a mistake. >> we don't have a word called "mediscare" for nothing. they knew it would happen but
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they have been surprised to the degree it's taken over the debate and the other pro-growth part of the ryan plan and their own growth policies have just fallen aside. >> chris: let's look at this from the democrats' point of view. their plan at this point seems to be exactly, you know, medi-scare. we are not going to offer anything. the senate democrats decided they are not going to offer a budget. they don't have a plan to cut medicare they're simply going to say look at what those guys are doing. can they let that, can they make it work all the way until 2012? >> it's not that they are offering nothing they have a plan. they have a healthcare plan, affordable care act on the table. when they put the plan up there, and it has some cuts in terms of things like medicare advantage in it. all republicans did was use scare tactics and talk about death panels. this is peril, this is intruceive government. the fact is now with the paul ryan plan republicans put something on the table that is extremely unpopular, as we
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just saw in the special election. and all this talk, including on this panel, about well it's just a messaging problem. you know what? jane corken the republican tried that, it's really about the deficit issue. don't forget the deficit, voters. you know what the voters said? this is a bad plan for seniors and it will drive up cost for us, in terms of care at the end of our life and we don't want it. we have don't want it for our kids. grandfathering people in who are 55, they still said we don't want you to do it. >> even with the healthcare reform, prediction is medicare is going bankrupt. you have can't get away from that. it's important to note the ryan plan is not going to pass the senate. it's a democratic-controlled senate. but there are other plans out there. alice rivlin, the democrat -- >> chris: the plan that the house offers, that is the -- i mean paul ryan may be the face of the republican party more than anybody else on capitol hill. >> but you don't see senate democrats rushing to embrace that or any other serious reforms as a negotiating
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point. you don't see that. what you see then, you see them hiding because they're afraid to stand up to activists who are, who we'll call this, you know, we'll say that this is cruel, or. >> let me just say you must have forgotten. newt gingrich, i guess a few sundays ago said it was republican radicalism and social engineering. tim pawlenty, you know, says he likes it but he will introduce his own plan. i think what you see is a failure of the presidential candidates on the republican side to support this. and i don't think you see a good job even done by republicans in the house and senate in terms of making the case. because everybody knows it's a loser. >> republicans would say that obamacare cut half a trillion from medicare to ensure previously uncovered people. whereas their plan cuts it to the extend the life of medicare. that is a difference. >> they need to be more aggressive making a case ultimately competition will improve medicare. that is something they've been too much in the motive, oh, our cuts will be delayed. they need to really explain,
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which i believe to be true incidentally, the reforms would actually improve the quality of medicare in the country. >> insurance industry. >> meeting aside these talking points -- >> chris: that is the -- [ overtalk >> fine, look in 2012, the man on the ballot called president obama. he passed obamacare. the choice will be obamacare versus the republican vision for the future of healthcare. the choice will be on the debt and deficit, which is a bigger issue than medicare in particular. which party do you believe is serious about the fact that we are going broke? if republicans can't can vince the country in 2012, "a" -- can't convince the country in 2012, "a" we're going broke; "b," we're serious about it. then they deserve to lose. >> the big difference between you and me is you trust the insurance companies cho have been abusive of people. secondly, republicans for all the talk about oh, the deficit, the debt. we have to be serious. entitlement reform refused to consider raising taxes. >> juan, serious democrats who
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in think tanks who want reform trust the private, trust making it more of a private system than is it now. >> why would anybody trust insurance companies? this is a because to me. >> -- this is a puzzle to me. >> but the problems are more than a decade away. this is a huge experiment to try to convince voters we have to do something really big righting now for a problem that is still on the horizon. >> chris: i'm glad we settled that. thank you, panel. see you next week. check out the panel plus where the group picks up with the discussion on the website we promise we'll post the video before noon eastern time. up next, our power player of the week. - he volunteered. - we were drafted. - she enlisted. - and off we went to asia. - to europe. - the gulf. - to do our duty. - to serve our country.
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- we were buddies. - shipmates. - best of friends. - i'll never forget his courage. - her dedication. - the way he made you laugh. - and i'll remember him. - remember her. - i'll remember them. always. ♪
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>> chris: it's a holiday tradition here that we profile a man who created his own special project to make every day a memorial day for our fallen heroes. once again, he's our power player of the week. >> you are playing it. it's only 24 notes. but it's so meaningful to that family. >> chris: tom day is talking about playing "taps" at the funerals of military veterans.
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and he should know. [ "taps" he is the founder and president of an organization called bugles across america. all told, how many funerals have you done since you started bugles across america? >> 200,000. >> chris: really? >> in ten years. right. >> chris: it started back in 2000 when congress gave every vet the right to a funeral with military honors. including two uniformed officers to present a flag and play "taps." the problem was military only had 500 buglers so they sent someone to play recorded "taps" on a boom box or electronic device inside a bugle. tom day who played in the marines in the '50s didn't like it. >> i call it stolen dignity. that these veterans can't get live taps when we are out there ready to perform live "taps." >> chris: so he started his
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organization. recruiting 400 horn players within a year. >> now we have 6,270 horn players. we're doing 2,200 funerals a month. >> it's become quite an operation that day runs out of his basement near chicago. families can go on the website to ask for a bugler. a message is sent to every horn-player within 100 miles of the funeral. day gives away bugles and helps with uniforms. while he gets support from foundations, he has a deficit every year. >> chris: how do you make up for shortfall? >> i kind of make it up myself. >> chris: $15,000, $20,000 a year? >> probably $10,000 you finish the last of the 24 notes, you put the horn down and the flag has been presented. then the family comes over. the kisses, the handshakes from these families, there is nothing, no amount of money
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could ever buy the feeling that i get from the family once i finish the 24 notes. >> chris: with soldiers killed in iraq and afghanistan, plus 1,800 veterans of world war ii dying every day, there is a flood of military funerals. day says he wants to keep going until he dies. then leave his organization in solid shape to carry on. >> i want every family to have live "taps" at that going-away presentation of their veteran. it kind of tells the marines who are guarding the gates in heaven, live "taps," we're going to let this veteran right in. >> chris: since we first ran this story two years ago, tom day's organization has grown to more than 7,500 members. who play at more than 3,000 funerals a month. if you want to learn more, go to that is it for today.
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we hope you will take a moment this weekend to remember all the men and women who have given their lives defending our freedom. we leave you today with tom day playing live "taps." we'll see you next "fox news sunday." captioned by closed captioning services, inc ♪ ♪
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