tv The Rachel Maddow Show MSNBC August 23, 2011 1:00am-2:00am PDT
people are struggling and hurting. remember when george h.w. bush was on the tour, the supermarket and did the scanner thing. it's not that he didn't know it was an electronic scanner, but it played into a narrative that h.w. bush was someone who was removed, attached, totally unaccustomed to regular americans. >> jonathan capehart, thank you for joining me tonight. >> thanks, melissa, good to see you. >> you can have the last word online at our blog and you can follow me tweets @mharrisperry. another shameless plug for my and a mu book in stores now "sister citizen" and "red sox monster monday" is up next. >> see, you could have called it "sister citizen" excla indication point and then it would have been put on the same -- >> i was going to be the academic colon thing. >> subtitles are the death of these things. good to see you. >> thanks for staying with us tonight. at this hour the situation, half a world away in libya continues to unfold. things are not resolved conclusively, although it
appears that 42 years of moammar gadhafi's dictatorship may be coming to an end as in right now. as in this evening former cbs evening news anchor dan rather will be with us this hour bit right now we to want go to richard engel, who's been covering the uprising from the very beginning and joining us from the central square in the libyan capital city of tripoli. the square has been a stronghold, geographic heart for gadhafi loyalists since the beginning of this revolution. what's the scene there tonight? >> reporter: good evening, rachel. you can probably hear celebrations are going on in green square. this is the square, the center of tripoli, the center of gadhafi gadhafi's cult of personality. this is a group of rebels following that car which has fighters inside. the rest are just people from the neighborhood who have come out into the streets, come out
into the square to press theexpr support, express their appreciation for what the rebels have done. their actual cheering right now is saying the blood of the martyrs will not be forgotten. it's not amazing turn of events what has happened here in the square just over the last 24 hours or so. this was the center of gadhafi's power base. now clearly in the hands of the rebels. they already changed the name of this square. it used to be called green square. now they are calling it martyr square. now, there is still an element of danger. there is still something of a war zone here in tripoli because gadhafi's loyalists, and i say loyalists because we're not sure if gadhafi himself is there, but gadhafi's loyalists remain inside gadhafi's compound. his compound is nothing like the white house or another presidential compound. gadhafi lived on a military base and his fourss inside that
military base are defending it, making a final stand. they were firing rockets and mortars out of that base today into civilian areas. that's one woen reason we haven't seen huge crowds in green irsquare, or martyr square. the rebels are convinced their next step has to be an assault on gadhafi's compound to finish his last hold on power in tripoli and across the country. >> thank you, richard. i talked to richard engel far too frequently when there's gunfire that near him. nbc news chief foreign correspondent richard engel reporting from green square, as richard said, now renamed martyr square by anti-gadhafi forces that have taken over that country and that city. in terms of the gadhafi regime, you will see the color green referenced over and over again. and things called green by the
gadhafi regime are the first things to go as gadhafi is ousted from pourer, as richard described, and as you can see here, the aforementioned green square in the former capital libyan capital tripoli renamed martyr's square. that happened rebel after rebel. don't change your tv. in addition to changing green squashgs they are replacing that gadhafi-era all-green flag, the pre-gadhafi flag you've been seeing out of this revolution. so long green square, so long green flag. this is libyan state-run television. for months they've been broadcasting gadhafi's haranging
speeches against the forces and, yes, that is one of their news anchors brandishing a gun on television. warning the anti-gadhafi rebels they'll never win and never take control of that libyan-state run television. libyan state-run television is now effectively gone. this is the last thing they were showing before they went off the air. a libyan version about "the view." then it ended abruptly. went black. and later replaced by this. a pro-rebel news network in qatar, in the process of interviewing a rebel who claimed to be calling into the station from inside the libyan state tv building. part of what happened in libya over the last 24 hours has been the exaulting to the fighters
who have been engaged in this uprising for five months now. >>. >> i don't know how to express myself but i can tell everybody who is free in the world, libya is free finally. and she's back for her son after 42 years of kidnapping. >> reporter: do you know where gadhafi is now? do you care where he is? >> i don't care he is. >> reporter: you don't care? >> i don't care. rear free. this is the most impressive thing. >> 25 years now, my life starts now. >> reporter: freedom. >> freedom man, thank you. >> for all the happiness you see and hear being expressed by rebel forces and support of the rebels, for all the physical changes that are taken root in libya over the last 24 hours, the situation is not resolved yet. we keep hearing that from everybody we are in contact with in that country. even though rebel forces have taken control of much of libya's capital, some forces still loyal
to moammar gadhafi continue to put up a fight. bbc reporter rupert winfield hayes experienced that as he traveled into the heart of tripoli. >> reporter: this morning as we've come into tripoli, very, very quiet. few sounds of shooting in the background. here we are. here's a group of young mean. every time we go past, groups of young men celebrating. so far no signs of any fighting in the city. everything looks very quiet. rebel convoy heading into the city. little do the young men know what fate lies ahead. up ahead there are still signs of fighting. then suddenly we run straight into a classic ambush. i can see the muzzle flashes as an antiaircraft gun opens fire dpriktly in front of the convoy.
>> go, go g! get off the road. >> reporter: we simply don't know how many of the young men traveling with us survived. >> rupert winfield hayes with the bbc. even with the capital city 99% controlled by rebel forces, 10% still controlled by gadhafi loyalists means some very scary stuff still going on tonight. despite reports that moammar gadhafi's son was in rebel custody, this tape emerged of him tonight showing him apparently still at large. apparently still defiant in a crowd of pro-gadhafi forces. joining us live on the phone from zawiyah is washington post
reporter thomas. can i ask you what the situation was like in zawiyah and what you've seen over the course of the evening? >> reporter: national council arriving, the rebel council based in benghazi which is about 1,000 miles to the east here. and this is the first time one of their represent ties actually coming here in the vicinity of tripoli. >> in terms of the late reports that we've had, we have had reports earlier today gadhafi's son saif was in rebel custody, that he had been arrested. that it, in fact, a traitor among the ranks in the gadhafi loyalist military had turned him over to rebel forces. we're now seeing footage of him that appears this evening. have you heard anything about the veracity of these reports? >> yeah, i can confirm that he's
free. hi a talk with a high-level rebel commander and he told me earlier that saif was definitely not in their hand. he was criticizing the rebel political leaders for bringing out this news. he said, if we would have had saif gadhafi in our hands, we would have paraded him through town and put him on libyan court instead of sending him to the international court in the hague, something that someone within that rebel council apparently said. >> i know you spent much of the day with rebel forces in tripoli today. what happened to the group of rebels you were with? >> well, while i was interviewing this commander and he was giving me that 90% of the city was in their hands, five minutes later pro-gadhafi troops
pulled up, open fire with heavy machine guns and caught the rebel fighters by surprise. these are people who carry a machine gun in their hands with plastic flip-flops. so, they were completely surprised by this well-targeted attack. even though nobody died, we have been caught up in the crossfire for almost two hours. it demonstrates the situation here in tripoli. tripoli is not 90% in the hands of the rebels. i don't think there's anybody controlling tripoli at this point. one thing is for sure, gadhafi's forces are fighting back. it seems their fighting and attacking are increasing. >> in terms of gadhafi's forces, do they seem to have withdrawn to hardened specific targets they are defending or are they mounting ambushes and setting up sniper positions and doing other things to be on the offensive? >> yeah, definitely they are --
i think what they are doing is they have preplanned certain attacks that they have melted into society, not given up their weapons, something the rebels have hoped. organizing attacks, forming their own rebel army now against the rebels that invaded tripoli. >> let me ask you one last question. we showed footage of a reporter on libyan state television brandishing a gun on television saying that state tv would never be taken pip understand you witnessed her arrest? >> well, i witnessed her actually being brought -- she was brought into a compound where they brought other journalist to see her. now, this tame woman brandishing that gun was there. we could see her scream, i am innocent. then we heard a loud man's voice saying -- accusing her basically that she was a traitor. then afterwards we were not allowed to see her but a rebel
john mccain of arizona has had a twitter account for a really long time. he started tweeting in january 2009. john mccain was an early adopter. at the top 6 his twitter feed today you can see his tweeting about libya, including a link to a statement he put out with lindsey graham. the statement congratulates all the other nato countries involved in the support mission in libya but as for the u.s., they say, we regret this success was so long in coming due to the failure of the united states to employ the full weight of our air power. one interesting thing about twitter is that it can be kind of a time machine. if you have the patience you can control down, down, down the page of john mccain's tweets until you get to, say, two years ago this week when the same john mccain today criticizing president obama for not waging enough of a war on gadhafi, even as gadhafi appears to be being
overthrown, two years ago this week john mccain was instead tweeting about his, and i quote, late evening with colonel gadhafi at his ranch in libya. interesting meeting with an interesting man. the war in libya does not knit neatly into american politics. mccain and graham want to look like the guys around but that footage of them cuddling up with gadhafi two summers ago in gadhafi's tent, no less. it's not just senators mccain and graham. this is a military intervention multilateral where america did not take the lead, in which there were no americans killed, but the u.s. either did or is about to, it seems, get what it wants. the republican-led house voted to defund the war but the vote was taken away toothless. the administration tried to get away without calling it awar. those that denounced it as a
quagmire have seemingly been proven wrong. at this hour with libya and capital city almost entirely in rebel hands but gadhafi himself unaccounted for, the question is not only how america assesses our role in what has just happened but how we chose our role in what happens next. joining us is dan rather, anchor and managing editor of "dan rather reports." good to have you here. thank you for being here. >> great to be here on a night like tonight. what an exciting and interesting inspirational time. this is a transforming year and transformational decade. we had the arob spring, which extended now into the arab summer. and with syria and yemen still out there, perhaps to extend into an arab winter. the he can coast echoes will re years to come. >> i know you have personally interviewed moammar gadhafi three times. i'm sure it's hard to get into
his head but do you feel like you know what you expect from him in these terms of extreme pressure in tripoli? >> no. but based on what little i know about him, i have been eyeball to eyeball with him. he must be going through some version of on the one hand saying, death before dishonor, i'll go down fighting, i'll go down in flames, i'll be a martyr. but say what you will about moammar gadhafi, a very strange and dangerous man, but he cares about his family. he has to be worried about his family. i would think on the one hand it's fight to the finish, never give in, whatever it takes. on the other hand saying maybe, just maybe i can get away to russia and negotiate a way my family will be taken care of. he must be struggling with that or perhaps struggled with it in the past 24 hours. you said something earlier, this situation has not been resolved. it's a great moment. the regime has fallen but the
question is a question in the viewers' minds, what next? we don't know. the libyans themselves don't know. >> the transitional government has been recognized internationally, recognized by the united states, recognized by egypt yesterday upon present circumstances. do we know enough about them to know whether or not they can credibly form a government? i mean, forming a government anywhere where there's been a dictatorship for decades is hard because the institutions have been based on the autocratic will of one man. do we know if this government will be capable of serving the people? >> no. i don't think the people of libya know. it may be, underscore the word may, they may need help in making a transition, say, the european union under the auspices of the u.n. and with the help of the arab league and the african union, could help them through the transition period because, keep in mind, unlike egypt, unlike
iraq, libya has no institutions, it has no governmental infrastructure other than gadhafi's. gadhafi is now gone. he's not gone as far as we know yet, but his regime is gone. so, there's a prospect of chaos, great disorder. libya is as parsley populated country. about the size of arizona but has only about 6.5 million people. very sparsely populated. they're going to need some help. i'm not sure the european union work under the union and the arab league and african union could help but something like that. and help from the united states, yes, will continue to be necessary. particularly humanitarian aid. in a situation like this, for example, what happens to the electricity? what happens to garbage collection? what happens to those day-to-day things people expect to keep going? it's going to be very difficult to keep going without american help and the help of others. by the way, we have spent in libya over the last six months, the official, i think, is $1.1
billion over the last six months. that's military sxvrg. my stigs is it costed more than that because we used mercenary and contract help and that sort of thing. that cost $1.1 billion a month, is what we spend a day in iraq or afghanistan. >> wow. incredible. what you're talking there about institutions and people depending on institution for their daily life to avoid dissatisfaction in order to just to live, that is behind why the u.s. government has been stressing so much that the institutions that do exist shouldn't be torn down, they should be protected. they're not just talking about looting. they're talking about keeping traffic cops on the corner, tos the extent you can. >> exactly. as we learned in iraq, electricity is so important. if electricity doesn't get supplied, big trouble ahead. let's be optimistic because this is a moment to be optimistic. there's an old song you may remember that chris christopher
son had done, janice joplin had sung, freedom's just another word for nothing left to lose. untill now, the rebels have had nothing left to lose. now or never, nothing left to lose. beginning today they have a lot to lose and that would be their future. so much depends on this so long and bountd to be trurbulent position. >> dan rather will be hosting a special on september 11th. it's an honor to have you here. >> thanks to be here. >> thanks so much. more ahead, including the virtually unknown and frankly rather shocking fact about this helicopter in the war that may or may not be ending tonight in libya.
among the most memorable and, frankly, sort of perplexing news reports out of the past five months in libya were reports by nbc's chief foreign correspondent richard engel about the rebels as essentially the gang that couldn't shoot straight. >> reporter: we have light weapons. he has tanks, complained one man. another rebel showed me he isn't actually armed at all. it's a toy gun? this is amazing. he handed me his gun. i didn't realize, it's plastic, it's a toy. we saw some fire a mortar without securing it so it went
wildly off in the wrong direction. i couldn't believe it. we saw them aim a rocket at what we thought was gadhafi forces but instead it was pointed the wrong way and it went in the opposite direction toward a civilian city. and they fired a rocket in the wrong direction. >> but yet it is those forces, the kids with the plastic gun and the guy aiming the rocket in the wrong direction, that five months into this fight seem to be on the precipice of prevailing. what happens next in tripoli and around the country is not at all clear but how we got here is a combination of the libyans' civilians fighting it out, inch by inch on the ground, and 20,000 nato air, 7500 strike, 18 countries, 13,000 troops, though not troops on the ground, tomahawk missiles, constant surveillance, mostly by u.s., american surveillance and armed drones but in no way this was an american-led war. it's been a multilateral support mission for libyan ground war,
the sole casualty which we know of in the conflict, this guy, a robotic unmanned helicopter shot down in libya. unmanned as in no pilot. joining us is steve clemmons from new american foundation, at "atlantic magazine" washington editor-at-large. thank you for joining us. you were skeptical from the beginning about whether or not outside countries getting involved militarily in libya would produce a positive outcome. we talked about this in march, you said that you worry about the sense the western footprint in this is too large and ultimately this needs to be the libyan people who take control of their own destiny. now with what's going on in tripoli tonight, was that footprint too large? is this ending as a libyan outcome? how do you feel? >> two things. one, i think president obama, you know, heard -- watched your show and he did -- he created an intervention that actually, despite the sortise he kept this
to being a broader ownership of the outcome. to build on the theme of tonight's show, he had a tipping point strategy to tilt the odds toward the rebels given what they were facing but this thing could have still gone very badly. we didn't own the outcome. i think if you listen to president obama's remarks tonight, he ended them exactly with where we were talking before. this had to remain a libyan story, their control and we had to be supportive but on the periphery of thing. and i think that's exactly the right tone. >> steve, i'm cognizant this is not over. we had a live report from just outside tripoli tonight that said that the rebels claim they control 90% of the city, should be viewed with a lot of skepticism, there are quite a lot of pro-gadhafi forces still left and still fighting inside tripoli. if this does continue to tip, if this does not turn into a long, proce proce
protracted battle in tripoli, what do you expect from this would-be gadhafi government? >> one of the key things and change in the status quo is that the troops in villages and mountains of the west came down and basically closed off gadhafi's western flank. and i think that put tripoli in a vice. i think whatever may happen, and it could be quite bloody and we may not get the kind of straight information we would like to get, that nonetheless, i think that we're seeing the real end of the gadhafi regime. that means that benghazi and the benghazi crowd have to find the new heroes of the revolution that helped out elsewhere. and to not only create tribal balance and inclusion but to deal with the very many pockets of resistance that came together to bring down this regime. that's going to be a complicated affair. when dan rather was speaking earlier about water and infrastructure and waste collection, the government in benghazi has done a very good job of creating a model where
people in their provisional councils have functional responsibilities looking at exactly those issues. they've been simulating over the last couple of months what a successor government to the gadhafi regime might look like. that doesn't mean it's going to be easy but it's been impressive to see that they have put in place. >> steve clemons, and at "atlantic magazine," thank you for joining us. muslim ing us is juan coal, world" and blogs. professor cole, nice to see you. thanks for being with us. >> thanks for having me on. >> i know you have been in egypt and around the region this summer. do you think the involvement of nato in this makes this a complicated outcome when this finally ends or is this in a relatively uncomplicated way really the libyans' own uprising? >> the involvement of nato was controversial.
there were some groups, like the muslim party in tunisia that said, well, we're with the rebels but we can't support an effort where nato is involved. but there are minority voices. i think most people in the region, in egypt and tunisia were very happy to see someone rescue the revolutionaries from being bombed to death. and i think that the way this ended, with the uprising in the capital, you know, put a libyan stamp on the whole thing pretty firmly. >> juan, i don't know if things are happening in the region like dominos, if that metaphor is appropriate. if they are, this particular domino took about five months to fall. with a lot of people saying it never would. do you think this has wider repercussions in the region, tunisia, egypt, libya. i mean, is syria more worried tonight than they were yesterday? >> oh, absolutely.
the government in syria is absolutely pert fied by what happened in libya and has been attempting to downplay it. look, we've had three long-serving dictators fall this year. the rulers in the region are on notice that their people can rise up against them and get rid of them. the leaders are scrambling to find a response. in syria they've gone the gadhafi root. started rolling tanks against demonstrators. in morocco and jordan they started announcing at least baby steps forwards constitutional monarchy. but the region is being shaken up by these revolts. >> juan, one of the things that has gone relatively unremarked upon when we talk about internationalment here is how involved the arab nations of qatar and united arab of em rat were in this intervention?
how important was it strategically and also in terms of the political impact here? >> yes. with regards to image, it was important that this intervention in libya not be seen as solely a western one. i think it wasn't. it should be remembered that turkey is a nato member. it's a major muslim country of over 70 million. and did play an important role in libya. likewise, as you say, in the arab league, the most active members with regard to the intervention were qatar and united arab emirates. qatar supplied weaponry, flew missions, supplied aid. so it's very important. >> juan cole, professor of history at university of history, blogs at juancole.com. your post today about ten myths about the libya war is required reading for everybody within the sound of my voice. thank you for doing that. thanks for making time to join us tonight.
appreciate it. if you have any doubt why there has been quite a bit of jubilation in libya these past couple of days, we have a good reminder on tape of why out of all the dictators in the world, libya's dictator was a famously dastardly one. rick perry wrote in his book, a man losing an argument with himself in public next. what is that? oh, we call it the bundler. let's say you need home and auto insurance. you give us your information once, online... [ whirring and beeping ] [ ding! ] and we give you a discount on both. great!
texas governor rick perry launched his presidential campaign in south carolina over a week ago on a saturday. this is rick perry republican presidential candidate day one. the next day mr. perry being a presidential candidate, of course, went to iowa. this, the interweb will forever record is rick perry, presidential candidate, day two. he's answering a question about social security here. >> look, the whole issue of -- have you read my book "fed up"? get a copy. read it. it is, because i talk about the entitlement programs in there. >> have you red my book "fed
up"? governor perry released a book in november, as in november nine months ago. the book was meant to introduce him on the national political stage. it was one of the first big hints he might be running for president this year. if you do want to know what rick perry thinks about entitlement programs there "fed up" will give you an earful, or eyeful, whatever. quote, certain of these programs massively altered the relationship between americans and their government violently tossing aside any respect for limited government. by far the best example of this is social security. social security, rick perry is saying, "fed up," not just un-american but violently un-american. that's not just social security. that month rick per told "newsweek" i don't think our founding fathers were putting in
the constitution i don't think they were thinking about a federally operated program of pensionings nor a federally operated program of health care. i stand very clear on that. very clear. social security and medicare are unconstitutional in rick perry's america. but in the rest of america, social security and medicare are what you might call very popular. the kind of government programs people are willing to stand out on a street in new hampshire to yell, you, rick perry, better keep your darned hand off them. these voters call rick perry a threat to america for calling them unconstitutional. one challenged him about that stand. he reportedly, according to abc news, took a giant bite out of a popover and said he couldn't answer because he had a big mouthful. now governor perry is trying another approach. his campaign has started disavowing the things he said about social security and medicare in his book.
things he wrote in this book in november. he said these thing, wrote them down, they are in print, but he didn't mean them. a rick perry spokesman telling "the wall street journal," that although rick perry's book does seem bound to dog him on the campaign trail we should get over it. the book is supposed to be a look back, not a path forward. it's a, quote, review and credit teak of five years of federal excesses not in any way a 2012 blueprint or manifesto. a review, credit teak, ancient history this "fed up" book thing. somebody needs to tell rick perry that. >> have you read my book "fed up"? get a copy, read it. >> i mean, don't -- former rnc chairman michael steele joins us next. i realized i needed an aarp... medicare supplement insurance card, too. medicare is one of the great things about turning 65, but it doesn't cover everything. in fact, it only pays up to 80% of your part b expenses.
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look, the whole issue of -- have you read my book, "fed up,"? get a copy and read it. it is because i talk about the entitlement programs in there. >> rick perry the person says you can find his positions in here on entitlement programs. his campaign today, though, saying nothing in here about entitlement programs should be taken as what he believes anymore. the book is, after all, a full nine months old. joining us is michael steele, stormer chairman of the republican party, now an more
than contributor. do you feel like i teed you up on this? >> nicely. good to be back with you. >> nice to see you, particularly given this news. >> yeah. >> rick perry says we should read his book for answers about entitlements. his campaign telling the "wall street journal" what's in here has nothing to do with his real positions. >> right. rock in a sticky place. >> yeah. but is this the way rick perry -- we should expect him to operate, or is it just a screw-up? >> i wouldn't even say it's a screw-up. i think it's getting caught flat-footed, almost forgetting the book was out there. nine months ago in politics is a long time. not making excuses, but that's generally how these campaign -- once you lock and load you go and realize, oh, i did say that, yeah, i wrote that. >> he hasn't forgotten because he brings it up. >> he brings it up. i think that he, you know, definitely adheres to what he's written. he's not going to say, well, i didn't believe what i wrote at the time. >> right. >> i think what they're trying to do is finesse the answer in a
way that doesn't come off as though he's anti-programs and he wants to abolish them and get rid of them, all kind of the wonderful hype from the left about what the republicans think -- >> no, no. if you say it's unconstitutional, until are you proposing that america become a different country that doesn't have the constitution, you are proposing getting rid of it. >> he actually said it's unconstitutional -- i do remember reading a passage. i think he referred to the question of its constitutionality. >> yeah. yeah. he says -- >> not buying that either? >> no, i'm sorry. let me ask you bottom line what you think about rick perry's chances. >> i think his chances are good. i think, though, that there's a lot of trail to be covered on this campaign. we're hearing tell-tale signs that some others may be getting in this thing, whether it's a pataki or palin. there's still movement here. i'd like to think, though, largely the field is pretty much set. i think you'll begin to see elbow room clearing here, as we saw this past weekend with mr.
huntsman, who i think did the big smackdown on the team that he's running with. >> which democrats are excited about. >> of course, they are. >> look what he's done -- >> of course, that was like in the obama, you know, clinton race, people on our side were very happy with some of the stuff going back and forth. that's the give and take of politics. >> you think what huntsman says resonates with republican voters? >> i do, and that's going to be the test for him at the debate in california at the reagan library. with those gentlemen and ms. bachmann on the stage. if he keeps the tone and doesn't pull a pawlenty when confronted with the very people he's talking about, well, my bad, time out -- >> i have to see it to you're face. >> really, you're here. i not he's made a conscious decision to draw a bright line. he's sounded as if he was a republican who was fed up with the party pulling itself in a
direction where the american people aren't right now. and so we'll see how this -- how this works, particularly given that you're talking about a conservative base that goes to the poll -- >> yeah. >> in a number of the states. there are open primary states that could, you know, make a big difference. but if he gets -- if huntsman survives the first four states and gets into florida, whole different ball game. >> he could self-finance in order to -- >> exactly. >> we got news tonight that george pataki, who you mentioned is going to be -- i know -- america is scooting to the edge of their chairs -- polk county gop picnic, polk county, new york, saturday. i think it's polk county, new york. he will be attending on saturday. and the local republicans saying there may be a major announcement there. you think the republican america's ready for george pataki? >> yeah, could -- could could be. could could be. i don't know. we've been waiting for a whole lot of folks apparently. my thinking is let's stop the waiting, and whoever's in is in.
and go do your thing, stop this dog and pony nonsense about getting in the race. it's september for goodness sakes. >> the question is -- it's polk county, iowa, i should say. >> iowa, that's -- >> of course, what exactly would george pataki be doing in iowa at this point if not that? some absolute-- >> absolutely. >> the fact that he's got a reputation for unheadline-worthiness. >> he's a solid guy on issues that are important to the party, particularly on the fiscal side. he ran the state well. i mean, there's -- everybody has those little oranges that you can pull out from time to time that don't look or smell right. but the realty is by and large he's done well. the question is how does the base take him and how will he be perceived entering this race now. is a palin still out there? who knows, don't know. and what kind of traction he can get on the heels of rick perry because that will be an immediate comparison.
and on the heels of a huntsman. >> he would love to be compared with perry. he's the sweet spot between john huntsman and tim pawlenty who has quit. which is not a very sweet spot. >> you took the words out of my mouth. >> michael steele, i'm -- this of not a very pro-republican discussion, i have to say. you handled it -- you perry'd very we'll this. >> look, my perry to your thrust. what can i say? i was a fencer, don't forget. >> right. enguard. >> right -- >> i only know that because of crosswords. at this crucial time in history, guess who would say "all those rebels are going to be richer than the people this country because they're going to take all the oil," yes, "the ed show" gets to the weird overlap between donald trump and foreign policy coming up after this show. and we look at the long-range scary regime of gadhafi and in his threatening, bizarre-o, unhunchlg e-- unhingd
our decisions have been driven by gadhafi's refusal to support the right of his people and to stop the mass murder of innocent civilians. just yesterday speaking of the city of benghazi, a city of roughly 700,000 people, he threatened, and i quote, "we will have no mercy and no pity." no mercy on his own citizens. today, i authorized the armed forces of the united states to begin a limited military action in libya in support of an international effort to protect libyan civilians. we cannot stand idly by which a tyrant tells his people that there will be no mercy. >> to protect libyan civilians. that was the stated rationale behind the last five month of the u.s. participating in military action in libya. it was not too depose moammar gadhafi after 42 years in power,
it wasn't to liberate the rebels in eastern libya, it was to protect civilians from what gadhafi said would be an imminent massacre. the u.s. and nato started bombing libya because moammar gadhafi specifically promising a bloodbath in benghazi. >> translator: prepare yourselves for tonight. the traitors, the heretics, there will be no mercy, no compassion. we'll tumble the walls on top of you, wall to wall. >> after the initial threat about benghazi, gadhafi made it there throughout the year what he thought of his fellow countrymen as he rebelled against his regime. >> translator: come out of your house! attack them in their gangs. they don't represent anything. they were given orders. these are cockroaches.
>> translator: put on the libyan channel, you sons of god, you crusaders, you traitors, you servants of communism. >> translator: how can people allow mercenaries, traitors to open the way to colonialism in tripoli? this is rejected. >> translator: where are you going? to hellfire. what did you leave, you traitors, you dirty people who made mosques filthy. you go into mosques and make calls, you dogs. you go into mosques in and unpurify them, you filthy people. >> a leader describing and discussing and talking to his own people. at this hour we're told that gadhafi's compound in tripoli surrounded by rebel troops. his whereits are unknown as are the locations of his sons. libyan opposition said earlier today that they had two of