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tv   Weekends With Alex Witt  MSNBC  November 13, 2011 7:00am-9:00am PST

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mitt romney. look, one thing you can know, and that is if we re-elect barack obama, iran will have a nuclear weapon. if we elect mitt romney, they will not have a nuclear weapon. >> texas rick perry got a round of applause when he outlined his plan for foreign aid. >> the foreign aid budget in my administration for every country is going to start at zero dollars. it's time for us as a country to say no to foreign aid to countries that don't support the united states of america. [ applause ] israel is a special ally and my bet is we would be funding them at some substantial level. but it makes sense for everyone to come in at zero. >> herman cain was asked about pakistan and whether the country is a friend or foe of the u.s. >> we don't know. because pakistan -- it's not clear because pakistan is where osama bin laden was found and
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eliminated. secondly, pakistan has had a conversation with president karzai from afghanistan and president karzai has said that if the united states gets into a dispute with pakistan, then afghanistan is going to side with pakistan. >> mitt romney and jon huntsman addressed america's current and future relationship with china. >> we can't just sit back and let china run all over us. people say, you'll start a trade war. there's one going on right now, folks. they're stealing our jobs and we're going to stand up to china. what should we be doing? >> we should be reaching out to our allies, the young people, the internet generation. >> there was plenty of dissent however on the question of waterboarding. michele bachmann and ron paul clashed on that. >> if i were president, i would be willing to use waterboarding. i think it was very effective and gained information for our country. >> torture is illegal and by our laws, it's illegal by
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international laws. >> how do you define torture, sir? >> well, waterboarding is torture. >> dana mel bank joins me in the studio. actually, you're in washington, i'm in the studio. >> good morning, alex. >> who is the biggest winner and the biggest loser in your mind? >> it seems that, after each of these debates, it gets boring to say. mitt romney seems to hold his own. he's consistently coming out as the winner. it seems as the other candidates don't really want to take a pop at him because it's seen increasingly that he's going to be the nominee. certainly we see that in the polls. he comes out particularly well. rick perry clearly isn't recovering. and then what do we have left? newt gingrich making a little bit of a surge in the polls. i don't think anybody takes that as a serious possibly. more and more, rom mi is looking
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presidential. >> let's look at what he was saying with regard to iran. he said that iran would not develop a nuclear bomb if he is president. but that it will with president obama. he also says that he would go to war to stop that from happening. that might work in the primaries. do you think it holds up in a general election. >> or beyond the general election, you're free to say things like that when you're not the president and not actually calling the shots. when you're there in the position of starting a war, things look very differently. nobody can say with assurance that iran will or will not have a nuclear weapon regardless of who is president. there's no downside in the candidates right now trying to out-tough obama on iran and other things. as a matter of fact, they may not be able to out-tough him in reality. but sure, it's strong politics in the primary. >> let's take a listen to rick perry who was addressing his
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major flub from wednesday's debate. here it is. >> governor perry, you advocate the elimination of the department of energy. if you eliminate the department of energy -- >> glad you remembered it. [ laughter ] >> i've had some time to think about it, sir. >> me too. [ laughter ] >> okay. so despite what you were saying earlier about rick perry, any degree of redemption or no? >> well, i mean, i suppose it's good that he can laugh at himself. of course, he did that the next day on the morning show and in late-night appearances. the man has been so seriously damaged by this. let's remember, alex, that he wasn't any more of a front-runner even before that happened. i think the polls are indicating that people are increasingly seeing him as a joke who is not up to this as a possibility. that's why we see even newt gingrich replacing him in sort of the front-runners of the pack up there with romney and still for some reason herman cain.
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>> speaking of the poelt, the new reuters poll shows romney well out in front. cain 20 and gingrich 16. besides new hampshire romney vulnerable? >> he is particularly in iowa. that's the real wildcard. i think romney's people are more confident that he can perform very well there in iowa. that's by no means assured. then you have to see what happens in the other states after the springboard effect of new hampshire. i think what you're seeing here overall is a lot of people are sort of settling into the inevitability of mitt romney, saying we have no choice. they still don't love the guy but are beginning to settle. >> thanks so much. >> thanks, alex. were there signs of media bias the debate? a cbs e-mail has the bachmann campaign up in arms and ron paul's camp isn't happy either. that's coming up at the bottom
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of this hour in our strategy talk. the republicans talk about the prospect of iran developing a nuclear bomb. president obama focused on that as well. he talked about how to prevent a nuclear iran. we're joined from honolulu with kristin. could the president make any progress on this issue? >> reporter: hi there, alex. senior administration officials would say that yesterday's talks were productive. time will tell. here are the highlights that came out of yesterday. president obama met separate by with medvedev and chinese president hu jintao. they have put up road sanctions according to -- yesterday president obama found common ground with each leader. basically,got guarantees that both of them would work with the u.s. to try to make sure that iran does adhere to its international obligations. senior administration officials also point to the fact at that
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the sanctions that are already in place have all but crippled iran's economy. as you have said, alex, this will undoubtedly be a lightning rod in 2012 with the republican candidates. already hammering president obama on this issue saying that he hasn't been tough enough on iran. they've made a similar charge when it comes to china and its currency. as you heard mitt romney in the debate last night say that china is a currency manipulator. yesterday, according to senior administration officials, president obama was aggressive on this front when he met with president hu jintao and voiced frustration on how people feel about the issue. according to that official, china's leader heard that frustration. >> we hear the waves lapping near you in honolulu thank you very much. on the sex abuse rocking penn state and the allegations against jerry sandusky, investigators are telling nbc news, they are vigorousry
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pursuing new leads about potential victims. he honored them with prayers and a moment of silence at yesterday's penn state game against nebraska. in that game itself shall the nebraska took an early lead and a penn state comeback fell a bit short in the 17-14 loss for the nittany lions. let's update the events unfolding in what has been happy valley. joining me now, ron mott in state college, pennsylvania. good morning, ron. >> reporter: hey, alec. good sunday morning to you. there are a lot of unknowns ahead for penn state university in the wake of this child sexual abuse scandal. one of the certain tis is the football program, the storied treasured football program is changing rapidly as a result. legendary coach joe paterno was all over beaver stadium saturday while not really being there. on signs, in bronze, but not on the field. 46 years since penn state has gone into war on the gridiron without him as football
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commander in chief. though the scoreboard revealed a loss, these were among the first few cautious steps forward in a new era. after a week of turmoil set the university back in unprecedented ways. >> there are no moral victories. they did hang in there. i was proud that they didn't quit ever. they had a tough week. they came together as a family. >> yet for the paterno family, joe, the dad, son jake, quarterback's coach it marked an emotional separation from their comfortable routine. jay took his father's seat on the team bus before the game but felt the void after. >> dad, i wish you were here. we love you. >> the game against nebraska was a welcome return of a beloved institution here. a chance for a storied team to begin crafting a new chapter. for the blue and white faithful in the stands, it was a break from trauma to cheer again. guilt-free, yet respectively somber about the alleged sexual abuse scandal involving a former assistant and years of silence
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that prosecutors say were -- despite not being charged himself with a crime. unity, they believe, is the a game plan for recovery. >> we need to come together and find a way to overcome everything. >> there was a lot to think and feel on this fall afternoon. slow goodbyes to coach paterno at the house he built, at the house he calls home. so long to players suiting up for final battle in front of the friendly. >> it will take a long time to get through it. but eventually it will. the seniors have to move on. the rest of the university is going to move on. they'll be okay. >> life has ups and downs. you move on. and you work through it. it's less painful as it goes on. >> and while victory escaped penn state on the field, those who cheered hope the biggest win is yet to come, the one they're tackling right now off the field. just under 108,000 people jammed into beaver stadium yesterday. that was the largest crowd this season. they let out a pretty approval
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cheer when they saw the new president up on the video board saying we can't go back to business as usual, alex. >> ron mott, many thanks for that. joining me from pittsburgh is former running back frank o'harris. he's an honorary member of the second mile organization. franco, good morning. thanks for joining us. >> nice to be with you. >> now that we are past the first game since the story broke, overall, has penn state handled this matter appropriately? >> in some aspects, yes and in some aspects no. i thought the board was unjust in unfairly firing of joe. i thought that the football program handled it great. i take my hat off to my penn state football brothers in how they played that game under the circumstances that they had all week. >> all right. now, you said you thought with regard to joe paterno. has that changed at all, franco,
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as more information has come out relative to his firing? i mean, do you really think he should have been the head coach on the sidelines at that game yesterday. >> joe paterno should not have been fired this year. he mentioned that he would retire the end of the year. i thought that was a -- the better option all the way. and when you have a board, a lot of times they make decisions based upon what they call board is 01. when there's a crisis, it doesn't matter if it's true or not, unfair or not, you get rid of everybody. and i thought it was very unfair that it reached to joe and that they put his football program under what really was a university matter even though the predator was an ex-football coach. >> franco, i want to read you a quote here from the former
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oklahoma football coach, barry switzer. having been in this profession a long time and knowing how close coaching staffs are, i knew this was a secret kept secret. everyone on that staff had to have known. the ones who had been around a long time. do you think the staff at penn state knew about this in. >> you know what, i'm not qualified to answer that question. but there definitely were other incidents in 1998 that they were aware of and then also, as you know, the incident in 2002. and why that incident was not followed through, i really can't say. but all i can say is that joe did what he was supposed to do by reporting to his superiors and now that they didn't do their job, he's suffering the consequences. >> you are an honorary member of jerry sandusky's second mile charity. you know sandusky. what's he like? >> you know what, if anybody
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would meet jerry, they would just love him. he's very engaging. he smiles a lot. he jokes around a lot. and you would just never expect it. but you look at profiles, that's how it works. that's how it is. >> but franco, was there ever anything -- now that you know these allegations, ever anything as you reflect that would hint to you he may have committed these acts against kids? >> well, i really hadn't had an opportunity to be around him all that much. he was our assistant coach when we were playing and being an honorary of the second mile, i would go to golf tournament and banquets and that sort of stuff. >> did you see kids around him, franco? i heard from people yesterday that he would take kids to football games, to those kinds of golf tournaments. was there always sort of a posse of kids there from second mile with him? >> i have a lot of good friends that know jerry a lot better
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than i do. and they really saw him a lot more than me and they told me that jerry always had kids with him. but they looked at it as okay, well, this is a guy that cares about kids, he started a great charity and foundation for kids. and so no one really saw any problem with that. >> okay. franco, harris, great to speak you. >> thank you very much. more on the penn state scandal. is this what happens when college sports rule? we'll hear from former governor ed ran dell on that. don't count on finding a lot of bargains at the malls this holiday season. we'll tell you why. italy's search for a new leader after silvio berlusconi quits. more after this. [ artis brown ] america is facing some tough challenges right now.
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welcome back everyone. a quick look at the weather now n washington, d.c., rather, we have a spectacular look at the capitol. isn't that beautiful. beautiful skies there. we're going to talk about the concerns as you head west. you make a pit stop at the white house, 1600 pennsylvania. let's get to what you can expect where you are. alex wallace is here from the weather channel. good morning, alex. >> good morning, alex. indeed, we're tracking pretty nice weather on the east coast. we'll be watching this frontal boundary in the middle of the country ahead of it. we'll be dealing with the winds, anywhere from 20 to 30 miles per hour, including detroit and chicago. gusts that could get up around 40 miles per hour as well. as we head on through this sunday afternoon. so heads up out there to some of the football games. some of those may be impacted by the wind. all sorts of issues. rain in the southwest, snow into the higher terrain. by monday, everything shifts to
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the east. now we're talking showers and storms around cleveland. even down into texas around dallas dealing with that and on tuesday, moving farther east now. the northeast has to deal with some rain, including in and around new york city. early week, things move downhill. alex? >> alex wallace x many thank for that. let's get more on the penn state sex abuse scandal. many people still confused about how the alleged abuse could have gone on unreported sore so long. governor tom corbett was on meet the press and here's what he said about that. >> i think one of the lessons we need to learn from this is that when people see something like this or hear about this, you need to investigate right away. you need to report. >> joining me from philadelphia, pennsylvania's former governor and political analyst, ed rendell. good morning, governor. >> good morning, alex. >> has the current governor done everything that he can at this point? >> i think so. i think governor corbett was a motivating factor in the board
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actions. i love franco harris and i love joe paterno. the board had no choice. what happened here because of the cumulative inaction and joe was, sadly, a part of that, knowing what they knew in '98, having the mcqueary report to joe and joe reported to the athletic director, for sandusky to be on campus afterwards and not prosecuted, it would have raised the question for any reasonable person, somebody tell law enforcement. if somebody told law enforcement, alex, understand, at least four or five young people would not have had their lives irretrievably shattered. >> on top of being former governor, former philly, philadelphia. almost former prosecutor, you know this judicial system as well as anyone. is this all a failure of what? who dropped the ball? >> let's start with '98. the district attorney then dropped the ball. deciding that the case was too hard to prosecute. there wasn't enough evidence.
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>> ray griffin. who later disappeared. the interesting thing here is that he disappeared, vanished off the face of the earth and is presumed dead. no one knows the circumstances. but he looked at this case and sure, any time you have a young child witness, it's a tough case. but you bring that case because you bring it to light and even if you lose the case, the defendant is on warning that everyone knows you bring that case. that case should have been prosecuted. that was failure number one. failure number two in 2002, the act that coach mcqueary saw was unmentionable. unspeakable act on a ten-year-old. i don't know what coach mcqueary told coach paterno, but whatever it was, somebody in that penn state family knowing what went on, had to know that this should be brought to the attention of law enforcement. so law enforcement dropped the ball in '98 and the penn state program and who knows exactly what mcqueary told joe, i think we should wait a little bit
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before the facts come out. the penn state program was guilty of either deliberately or incredibly stupidly covering this up. >> so i just want to say one thing about that situation. it's a mystery, we're going to talk about that at the bottom of the hour. a lot of people are talking about that. whether it's related and the whos and whats of that. some of the alleged abuse went on when you were the chief execute at this of the state. how frustrating is this to you when you consider how much little information left the confines of penn state. >> it's incredibly frustrating. first of all, the law was violated. schultz and curley were -- if you see a child being abuse ds, you have a duty to report it to the department of welfare, law enforcement or your superior. mcqueary, reported it to his superior, coach paterno. paterno reported it to his superior and the athletic director.
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curley and schultz knew and they were prosecuted. >> do you think this is what happens when academics takes a back seat to college sport? is that what happened here? >> it's interesting. no, i actually don't think so. interestingly, alex, as joe paterno grew this program into one of the best in the country, penn state also grew into one of the best public universities in the country. leave football aside, penn state is up there with cal berkeley, with michigan, with ucla as finest academic public university in the country. but what happened is, the program itself was insular and the president who learned about it, the program was so important to the alumni getting, et cetera, that the president also made a mistake in judgment by not coming forward and doing something about this. yes, there's too much money in college football. there's too much at stake in college football. we forget that those players are kids. they're 18, 19, 20, 21 years old. by the way, the kids -- i was watching the beginning of the
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game and when the penn state kids came out and then the nebraska kids and the nebraska is also a big time program, but those kids ran on the field and knelt with the penn state kids, it was a touching moment. and i remembered that they're kids. for the penn state kid, they lost a father figure who they loved and loved and loved. i can't imagine what was going through their minds when they did it. but the kids did a great job yesterday and so did the students. >> you did a good job capturing the poignancy of that, ed. good to see you as always. >> thanks, alec. in strategy talk, the michele bachmann team is steamed. why her camp is calling it a case of media bias. [ male announcer ] how are we going to make this season better than the last? how about making it brighter. more colorful. ♪ and putting all our helpers to work? so we can build on our favorite traditions by adding a few new ones. we've all got garlands and budgets to stretch.
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mato toouo r orw re sp d ofpr erw re sp gias ur on wall street, we'll see if the blue chips can rise after friday's rally. the dow was up 260 points.
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arrested november 5th. several officials have lost their jobs, two are facing charges involving an alleged cover up. despite this, thousands turned up for a game on campus yesterday. ed mann has been there since the scandal erupted. ed, good morning to you. and my thanks for joining us. what is it like today at this emotional epicenter? >> reporter: it's been -- people feel drained owe emotionally. emotionally numb right now. it's been a whirlwind week for a lot of people here. shock and outrage at the charges and anger about the charges and during the week, some people in this area, they got angry with some of the attention, media attention on this area. then there was that tensions were building all week and there was that riot on wednesday evening after joe paterno's firing. ever since then, things have sort of calmed down a little bit. they've been more numb, more somber. yesterday's tailgating things were a lot more quiet, a lot
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less loud than usual. lot less drinking than usual. >> less tailgating, i hear. ed, do you think that this sort of ratcheting down is because people are exhausted from the fewer roar of the first half of the week or because as more and more information is released, it is sobering? >> reporter: yeah. definitely has been sobering for a lot of people. a lot of people i know in this area, they can't watch -- they don't want to watch tv anymore. they're trying to tune it out and resume their normal routine, normal life. people have mixed feelings about what should have happened with the board of trustees, whether they should have kept joe paterno or not. there's been less -- people are trying to move on from that around here. trying to return focus. some of the victims as well. trying to move on a little bit. >> all right. well, ed mahon thank you for that snapshot. you're there from the center
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daily times. the disturbing allegations of child sex abuse at penn state have put a cold case back in the spotlight this morning. the grand jury says a well-known district attorney investigated jerry sandusky in 1998 for allegedly having inappropriate contact with a child. but he never charged sandusky with a crime. then in, 2005, that same d.a. mysteriously disappeared. for more on this, i'm joined by the host of true crime. with aphrodite jones. give me the details. what do you know about this? your show recently profiled this. >> the show disappeared for i.d. profile. bottom line is this. when the show appeared on i.d., we really didn't know that there was any kind of connection to sandusky, there was no -- there were no charges against sandusky. now, we know that this d.a., griker, had the information that victim number 6, an 11-year-old boy was in the shower, touched
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inappropriately by san custody who admitted it in eavesdropped conversations which this d.a. had information about from detectives. it was reported to police. so we have the first and only time this was reported to police was in 1998 and then nothing is done about it again until 2009. and the d.a. is living with this. >> and i'm glad you clarified it was investigation discovery. look forward to 2005. he manages to -- he's mysteriously missing. police locate his car. let get a quick clip from the show and what happened here. check it out. >> police open the car. its keys are missing. but they immediately notice the faint odor of cigarette smoke. they also find a trace of cigarette ash on the front passenger side. but he was not a smoker. >> the car was always very clean. to have somebody in there that was potentially smoking and
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ashing in the car really made us pause. >> pause and say what? what did investigators say? >> i think that the investigators were worried that, concerned that there was foul play. they did polly graphs on gricar's girlfriend and his daughter who passed the polygraphs. they believe there was foul play because we have a body that's missing. it's 15 miles -- the car is 15 miles away from the man's home, gricar's home. the laptop is then found in the river near the car and that laptop, gricar was looking up on his home computer, how to destroy a hard drive, how to fry a hard drive. water damage to a hard drive. he desperately wanted to hide and erase the proof and files. >> and that hard drive itself was not with, correct, that computer? that was found separately later. it was clear that he had separated that hard drive from the computer. >> he did everything possible. he actually stumped fbi and cia
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people who tried desperately to get anything gleaned, anything from that hard drive. he was able to fry it through the water damage and he died with the secrets if he is in fact dead. that's another thing. is he missing? >> no body. >> there's no body. did he change his identity and move out of the country? we don't know. >> i want to read a line from the grand jury report. after a lengthy investigation by university police detective ronald, the investigation was closed after then center county district attorney raygr arkscar decided there would be no criminal charges. do you think there were any outside forces in the decision not to prosecute jerry sandusky? >> i think that certainly right now people are wondering and curious as to whether or not. there's a lot of money behind penn state football, there's a lot of pressure on a lot of people to keep things under the rug. obviously, it's been under the rug for ten years or more that we know of. could he have had pressures as an elected official for 20
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dwreers? why did he retire in 2005 and then kill himself or disappear? he would have hand over that state issued laptop, okay, to the next d.a. that never happened. >> okay. aphrodite jones, we love talking to you. you bring us the best stuff. you can watch true crime, thursdays at 10:00 eastern on investigation discovery. now to strategy talk. michele bachmann is calling fouling following the debates. say there was a specific effort to give her fewer questions and less time. take a listen to part of the debate and what see said in the spin room following it. >> could i interject and say something -- >> i'm sorry. there's actually a system at work here with regard to the senator's questions. if i may, governor perry -- >> shouldn't be about media bias. clearly this was an example of media bias. this should be an effort to get all of the information on the table. >> on bachmann's facebook page, they posted an e-mail
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inadvertently -- he wrote, speaking about bachmann. she's not going to get many questions and she's nearly off the charts. >> joining me now, fellow democratic martin frost and david winston, adviser to john boehner. a former newt gingrich staffer. gentlemen, good morning. >> good morning. >> cbs has responded to the e-mail to bachmann saying it was a candid exchange about the reality of the circumstances. bachmann remains at 4% in the polls. david, does this legitimize the debate process in delegitimize, pardon me? >> for someone, if you're in single digits, it's frustrating. obviously, the network and who the leading the debate has to focus on the frontrunners and make sure that the other individuals get a say in terms of the debate. having said that, that's obviously going to be a situation where some people might not get as many questions as others. look, you've seen two candidates in that situation manage to
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emerge, newt gingrich and herman cain. it's tough but it means you have to make your message that much more compelling. i sympathize with her and the other candidates at that point. but the challenge to them is be compelling. >> martin, bachmann is not the only candidate frustrated. huntsman said it's lonely here in siberia. and said those at the end don't get a lot of questions. do they have a point, this is handicapped against them? >> i agree with david's basic point. the people who are up in the polls are going to get the most questions. look, what happened last night, herman cain came over as clueless, perry came over as running for comedian in chief rather than commander in chief. gingrich came over as somebody of substance, romney had substance. actually, i think they treated michele bachmann okay. they talked about the fact that she was on the intelligence committee. they kind of built her up a little bit. i think the debate went as it should be. the people who are up in the polls got the toughest questions.
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>> okay. newt gingrich was asked about a comment he made about romney. here is that comment and his response at the debate. let's listen. >> i like mitt. he's a very goodman jer. i think what people believe they need is somebody to better manage washington. he will a fine candidate. some of you can change washington, i would be a better candidate. >> his ability to think outside the box and change the united states national security or foreign policy perspectives. >> no. [ laughter ] >> you said so last night. >> what was the point, sir? what was the point, sir, of bringing it up yesterday on a national radio show? >> i brought it up yesterday because i was on a national radio show. >> you worked for gingrich. why is he willing to criticize romney on radio and not in person? >> newt has been consistent in the debates in terms of saying that this is about not -- not about why the person won't be a good president. again, he said clearly, he
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thought everybody on the stage would be better at president than president obama is at the moment. what he wants to focus on is what is the compelling reason to vote for beginning rich or cain or governor romney. the folk you was the debate should be that direction, because what you're looking at, the republican electorate, the public at large is very concerned about the direction of the country. they want to hear solutions and that's what i think the speaker was trying to get at. >> i'm curious, martin, for the most part the field is not launching attacks at romney. how will any of them gain ground if they don't? >>let start with gingrich. he has a tendency to be very caustic and sometimes to say things that are self-destructive. i think he was being cautious last night. i think actually he's done very well. i would be surprised if gingrich is the candidate, but i think you're getting to a situation where you now have romney and perhaps gingrich ee merging above the field. i think ultimately they will have to go after each other. i think at this stage, it's
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appropriate for everybody to focus on obama. i think obama will be re-elected. i think the result of these debates actually has helped obama. but sooner or later, the candidates will have to go after each other hard. they can't just talk about obama and i think this may, it's too early to tell, this may come down to a race between gingrich and romney. romney probably wins. but it will be pretty interesting. >> interesting, indeed. have we learned anything new from the debates overall? any one particular nugget that stands out in your minds? david first. >> i think what you've seen here is you've seen the emergence of the political field focusing on their ideas and really changing the nature of this debate. it's not about why the other person is bad. it's what's compelling about you and why should you get the nomination and having said that, the other thing the debates have done, it sort of framed the concept of okay, which individual will be best on the stage going up against president obama and i think that's a different dynamic perhaps than
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what we saw initially several months ago. >> martin, quickly. >> alex, what i have learned is that huntsman, once again positions himself to the left of the rest of the field. that's a peculiar position for someone taking if you're running in a republican primary. i kind of liked some of the things he said. but i don't vote in republican primaries. what i've also learned is that herman cain, while an spg fellow is not ready for prime time. doesn't have the depth of knowledge of the issues and ultimately, he will fade. >> gentlemen, martin frost, david winston, thank you so much. >> pleasure. so do you think all candidates get treated equally at gop debates? i will read some of your tweets throughout the morning. italy's search for a new leader after berlusconi steps down. we're live for you in rome next here on "weekends with alex witt." we're centurylink... a new kind of broadband company committed to improving lives with honest, personal service, 5-year price lock guarantees and consistently fast speeds.
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wasn't scandal but financial woes that finally spelled the end for silvio berlusconi. listen to the last night crowds cheering as berlusconi resigned as prime minister. much quieter on the streets today. citizens are wondering who will replace the embattled billionaire. richardening he will in rome with the latest. richard, with a good day to you. quite a fall from grace, wasn't it? >> reporter: it was a very embarrassing exit for mr. berlusconi. what happened was last night as berlusconi was in front of the presidential palace, he was there submitting his resignation. there were thousands of people who came out to hurl insults at him. they were shouting that he was a mafioso. they were shouting that he was corrupt. berlusconi had to leave through a side door, in fact, to avoid
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the somewhat hostile crowds. he said that was something that deeply saddened him. the protesters didn't stop there. they followed berlusconi home and continued to insult him throughout the night. so it is an incredible fall from grace. today, italian officials are meeting to try and choose someone new to lead the italian government. it is widely expected that the economist and university professor mario monty will be the new primester here. berlusconi still faces three criminal trials for corruption and having sex with a minor and could face up to 15 years in jail. alex? >> thank you very much, richard. let's go to the ups and downs. first, laundry sales are sales. over the last physical year, lottery revenue has gone up. new york for example brought in a record lottery haul of nearly $8 billion. the lottery spending spree is being attributed, of course, to the economic woes of the nation.
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attention holiday shoppers, don't bet on finding lots of bargains this year. analysts say retailers won't be discounts as much because they have less merchandise. if you put off shopping home for discount, you could be out of luck. banks are loosening the purse strings. the kiplinger letter says they'll be lending more and will increase by 12% in the year ahead. ashton kutcher, after catching so much flack for his tweet in sore support of joe paterno, he apologized and decided to give control of his twitter account to his managers. good move, ashton. those are your ups and downs on "weekends with alex witt." [ male announcer ] all over the world, there's a battery that's relied on to help bring children holiday joy, and while it doesn't travel by sleigh or reindeer, it does get around... in fact, every year duracell sends loads of batteries to the mattel children's hospital, u.c.l.a. of course, children here and everywhere
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the alleged child sex abuse.felony state -- i'm joined by a penn state alum who donated $4 million to his alma mater r so far.
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will this change his devotion. i'm joined by tom this morning. good morning, tom. >> good morning, alex. >> i mow this really hits home for you. you know joe paterno personally. you had dinner at his house once. what's going through your mind about all of this? >> i think best way to describe it, i feel in many respects i'm going through the seven stages of grieving. i'm not quite sure where i am. kind of oscillating between anger and denial, shock, pain, all those things. pretty much getting through that. i think yesterday was a great day. a great show by the students. the players. both sides, real class behavior on the part of nebraska, our opponent yesterday. i kind of feel like we're getting to that stage where we're maybe moving upward now. the focus was on the victims, the children, which is really what it has to be. everybody is going to have feelings and personal feelings
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about individuals and what happened and i'm trying to put that behind me. because i don't have enough fact and i want those facts, i want to hear where they are. but right now, my focus is so much more on the victims and the healing process we have to go through. >> yeah. you know, i'm curious, tom, you donated 4 million bucks. you've donate today football, rugby, language and liberal arts programs. are you going to continue donating? those are huge sums of money. >> without question. the fact i feel my support is even stronger and more needed. you know, when you talked about the areas, to make something clear, 75% of my gift went to academics. 25% went to athletics. 12.5% for football, 12.5% for rugby to honor my son who played rugby for four years here. you know, it's this point of what i've always felt with penn state. it's academics first, athletics
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second. my support is actually stronger. i feel like i need to do more. >> do you think -- >> to be honest with you. >> that sense of doing more or maintaining that support, other alumni you've talked to, will they continue to donate? >> i haven't really talked to other alumni. i mean, i've talked to other alumni, of course, acquaintances and friends of mine, former classmates. i think pretty much everybody is on board where i am. i haven't spoken to other donors. i can't tell you where they are. i know statistically what happens when these things happen. >> take a hit. >> penn state is a unique place. it's a very unique place. like our mettle, we find a way to win and get through things. we take bad and we turn it into good. i really believe that's going to happen. maybe it will be an impact for a while. i think everybody bb back on board. i feel a lot of people feel this happened at our house and our family. now we've got to band together. that's what we're going to do.
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i'm going to do whatever i can do to lead the charge. >> tom flad. thank you so much. the one explosive issue that dominated the republican debate last night and there were signs of media bias in the debate hall or were there? it has the michele bachmann camp quite upset. in germany. i was in iraq. i think the hardest transition as you get further into the military is... you know it's going to end one day. and that's why i'm doing the job i'm doing now at chase, helping them hire veterans through the 100,000 jobs mission. because chase understands if you want an organization that's going to grow, that has a basis in ethics, and get the engine running again in america... why wouldn't you want to hire the veteran? chase is proud to help 100,000 veterans find jobs at home. real, objective investing help? that's a little harder to find. but here's what i know -- td ameritrade doesn't manage mutual funds...
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the penn state scandal, new leads, new questions in the search for more possible victims. a live report next. it is unacceptable for iran to have a nuclear weapon. tough talk, tough action. how would mitt romney keep iran from going nuclear? super power sitdown. the president seeks agreement on iran. remember when? office politics recalls one of the most unforgettable moments in presidential debate history. good morning everyone. welcome to "weekends with alex
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witt." just past 11 a.m. in the east, 8:00 a.m. out west. investigators are digging deeper into the penn state sex abuse allegations and jerry sandusky's contact with other children. investigate to have correspondent michael isikoff is live for us in pennsylvania. good morning to you, michael. let's get to the latest. you are hearing about this investigation. >> good morning, alex. it's the day after the big football game here at penn state university. the attention shifted back to the sex abuse scandal that's shaken the school and is now taking on national dimensions. investigators tell nbc news they're vigorously pursuing new leads about other possible victims of alleged sex offender jerry sandusky. sandusky denied all charges and is free on $100,000 bail. he has even reportedly been spotted at the local mall wearing a penn state sweatshirt. >> i'm furious. it's the fact that, what he has done and now he can walk the
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streets, sleep in his own bed, you know, spend time with his family. he should be behind bars where pedophiles belong. >> patty koebl quit this week as a volunteer fund racer for the charity he founded. the second mile. where he met all of his alleged victims. >> you sit back and you think approximate it now. it's disgusting. >> there are now four ongoing investigations into this scandal. the pennsylvania state police, penn state university, san antonio police who are investigating reports that sandusky molested a boy he took to the alamo bowl in 1999. and the u.s. department of education trying to determine whether penn state officials broke a federal law by failing to properly report suspected sex crimes on campus. >> the fact that this was allowed to go on for so long is
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mind-boggling to me. >> there's also the threat of civil lawsuits that could result in millions of dollars in damages. one local lawyer is even advertising for victims on his website. >> i think there's no doubt about it. they're going to get whacked. it's likely we'll see dozens of victims potentially filing suit. the civil liable exposure for penn state is huge. >> there's now growing concern about what all this could do to the future of the university. a credit rating agency says it is reviewing whether to downgrade penn state's bond rating citing the risk of big lawsuit awards to the victims and damage to the school's reputation. as the investigations deepen, joe paterno who was fired this week, has hired his own criminal defense lawyer. now, authorities described paterno as a cooperating witness in the case. but it's another sign of just how serious this has become for everyone involved. alex? >> you make a good point as
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always. michael isikoff, thanks. although jerry sandusky is on the outs, he's being taken care of financially. the patriot news in pennsylvania says sandusky receives an annual pension of $59,000, that's after he received a $148,000 lump sum payment. oh, and gary schultz, that penn state vice president who is facing charges. his generous pension earns him nearly $331,000 a year. he too got a lump sum payment but his was a tidy $421,000. more now on the evolving sex abuse scandal at penn state. joining me, ron mott, in state college p.a. for us once again. what's the latest from your vantage point, ron? >> reporter: hey there, alex. good day. one of the things people were looking forward to this week was getting this football game played and getting it over with after everything we saw this week with coach paterno being fired on wednesday and that riot as some described it with the students acting out on campus.
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they got a stern talking to from everyone from the governor on down about how to compose themselves for this -- comport themselves for this game on saturday. they were almost muted at the beginning of the game yesterday. the crowd really wasn't into it as much as i thought they could have been or would have been otherwise. then as the course of the game went on, they got a little more enthusiastic. one of the things we noticed, too, coming out of the gate, both teams met at 50-yard line and all the players got down on a knee and said a prayer for all of the victims of sexual abuse and particularly those who are alleged to be victimized in this case. so they were really careful about the images that they were projecting across a national television audience. to make sure that people knew that they were respectful and they were not -- because they supported coach paterno, they didn't want that seen as being against the victims or casting aspersions on the stories they were presented to the grand jury. i think everyone is exhaling today that we got through this phase of it and let's see what's
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ahead. >> makes good sense. thanks so much, ron, mott. coming up at quarter after the hour, michael smerconish will talk about the scandal and why it calls for a major change in child abuse reporting law in pennsylvania. they may be rivals, but the presidential candidate agreed one on thing. their opposition to president obama. the debate hosted by cbs news focused on foreign policy and took place in south carolina. one topic was iran. here was mitt romney's take. >> look, one thing you can know. and that is if we re-elect barack obama, iran will have a nuclear weapon. if we elect mitt romney, if you like me as the next president, they will not have a nuclear represent won. >> after criticizing -- newt gingrich laid out his own plans for dealing with it. >> maximum covert operations to block and disrupt the iranian program. and including taking out their scientists, including breaking
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up their systems. all of the covertly, of it dee niebl. >> well, that crowd applauded rick perry when he shared his plans for how he would dole out aid to other countries. >> the foreign aid budget in my administration for every country is going to start at zero dollars. [ applause ] >> zero dollars. then we'll have a conversation. then we'll have a conversation in this country about whether or not a penny of our taxpayer dollars needs to go into those countries. obviously, israel is a special ally and my bet is that we would be funding them at some substantial level. but it makes sense for everyone to come in at zero. >> waterboarding, herman cain sees it as an enhanced interrogation technique and not torture. >> i do not agree with torture, period. however, i will trust the judgment of our military leaders
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to determine what is torture and what is not torture. that is the critical consideration. >> mitt romney and former u.s. bam ambassador to china jon huntsman addressed the current and future relationship with china. >> we can't just sit back and let china run all over us. people say you'll start a trade war. there's one going on right now, folks. they're stealing our jobs and we're going to stand up to china. >> what should we be doing? we should be reaching out to our allies and constituent sis within china, the young people, the internet generation. >> joining me for more is james holman. >> james, good morning. >> good morning, alex. you heard rick perry talking about starting at zero for aid. does he have a point or is this in dangerous waters with plenty of countries? >> in particular with israel. that was the big news of the night. as rick perry appeared to take a pretty hard line on israel, later in the debate they came
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back to it, asked are you saying you would cut israel? played the sound bite of him saying, i would bettis real gets a substantial amount of money. after the debate they stressed how much rick perry loves israel and committed to protecting them. he got unintentionally into hot water. it was a better performance than earlier in the week. he didn't have brain freezes. >> had his talking points in place. >> mitt romney criticized the president for pulling troops out of afghanistan next september and said this about iran. >> if after all of the work we've done there's nothing else we can do besides military action, then of course you take military action. it's unacceptable for iran to have a nuclear weapon. >> do you think mitt romney runs the risk of being too hawkish which might play one way in the primaries and potentially another way in the generals. >> ironically, the obama
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campaign through the dnc sent a press release, criticizing mitt romney for being soft -- romney said i would need to consult with my lawyers to figure out what we would do. there's actually a chance that in a general lexicon text, he could be hit on iran for flipflopping and for being softer than president obama. >> what about your overall sense of who did best and ho did the worst in this debate? >> the real winner just by virtue of default was mitt romney. shockingly, those of us who follow this, were shocked that not a single other opponent criticized mitt romney by name during the entire 90-minute debate. >> why is that, do you think? >> at this point, everyone wants to introduce themselves. they've seen in the past when people tried to take on romney, rick perry criticizing romney in the las vegas debate, tim pawlenty trying and failing to criticize romney in the new hampshire debate. basically, everyone has been scratching their head as to why
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people won't more directly engage romney. he's the front-runner and there's 50 days until iowa. he continues to skate through the debates without having to answer tough criticisms from his opponents. >> who did the worst? >> cbs was panned for the performance in the debate. it was a 90-minute debate but they cut off airing it after 60 minutes. lots of frustration. michele bachmann critical of not getting enough questions, ron paul complaining about the way that he was dealt with during the debate because he's different than the rest of the republican establishment on the stage. a lot of frustration with the way that the debate played out. >> let's get a quick look at the grsk of the primary schedule. is this going to hinge on south carolina and should mitt romney be concerned? >> south carolina, no one has w won the -- since 1980. there's really no front-runner there right now. rick perry was supposed to be the southern candidate in the race but he hasn't taken off.
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newt gingrich has started to ee merge as a sleeper in the race. as fluid as south carolina as anywhere else. it's going to be a very important state. it's the first primary in the south and it has a history of picking winners. right now a lot of the south carolina political establishment has not gotten behind anyone shockingly compared to four years ago. all the top people in the state from nicki hailey to lindsey graham to jim demint, they've decided to sit it out. it's meant a slow start in south carolina. >> thank you. good to see you. >> thanks, alex. this weekend, president obama met with the leaders of russia and china at the summit in hawaii. and one of the key topics was iran. after sitting down with medvedev, president obama said the two nations share a goal on iran. to push the country to follow international obligations when it comes to its nuclear program. president obama then met with chinese president hu jintao. the u.s. and china want to
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ensure that iran abides by international rules. still ahead, the wife of joe paterno talks about the support her family received in the wake of the scandal. in today's office politics, tom brokaw recalls the debate he moderated in the history of presidential politics. tears and hugs, a homecoming for a hometown hero. you're watching "weekends with alex witt." ♪ ♪♪ ♪ ♪ [ male announcer ] everyone deserves the gift of a pain free holiday. this season, discover aleve. all day pain relief with just two pills.
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candidate michele bachmann weighed in on the penn state scandal. speaking with david gregory on "meet the press" she expressed her feelings as a mother learning about the charges against jerry sandusky. >> this is so horrific on the level of a parent. i think about my children, if
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that was my child, and i think my automatic reaction would be, even though i'm a small woman, i would want to find that guy and beat him to a pulp. >> she also said this should not lead to measures with congress but handled on a state level. dozens of students are showing support for fired coach joe paterno. after the loss to nebraska saturday, students and fans started showing up outside paterno's home. joe's wife, sue, came out to thank the students. >> the people have made it more tolerable and we appreciate all the love that's been shown to us this week. but you know, we've always felt penn state as a family. it's been a super family. and we will be again. >> students also dropped off flowers and gifts at the house. changing the laws on the books. that's what my next guess is proposing today to help the community move forward in the wake of the penn state sex abuse
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scandal. joining me from philadelphia is radio talk show host and msnbc contributor michael smerconish. good morning. >> hi, alex. >> you wrote that you want to see the state law on reporting abuse changed. talk to me about that. >> well, i think many of us having read the grand jury report come back to that scenario where allegedly in march of 2002, a graduate assistant walks through the locker room and sees a case of rape in progress and doesn't do anything immediately to intervene. instead, calls his own father and then one day later makes a report to penn state coach joe paterno and we ask, has that individual discharged his duty under the law? and unfortunately, the answer at present is that he did. i don't think that's enough. you know, in the realm of the war against terror, alex, we kont stantly say if you see something, say something. we need the statutory equivalent of that in child abuse cases.
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you ought to have an affirmative duty to call the police. at present, in pennsylvania, the law is that only in certain circumstances does anybody have a reportage obligation and usually that's when a professional has some level of oversight with kids. maybe they're a physician, maybe a nurse. maybe they're a teacher or in an e.r. i think it ought to extend to everybody. i don't think it's enough to report to your supervisor. i think you should have to dial 9 is 1. >> what's the prevailing sentiment on the penn state scandal among your listeners? has it changed at all as people become aware of the heinous allegations? >> i think initially there was a reservoir of support for joe paterno, particularly among callers from the philadelphia area and among those from central pennsylvania. but as the events have progressed and as more have read the grand jury report, the support for paterno has dissipated all over and people are just aghast.
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they are horrified by this. i've been saying all week long, i think this is the tip of the iceberg. i really believe that that which we do not know outweighs that which we know and when we get all of the facts, the thing is going to be more frightening. >> most said yesterday's game should be canceled. do you think the team's other games, remaining two should be canceled? >> i had this discussion with my radio audience on friday. i'm personally of the view that we'd be punishing the 85 who are on the field who did nothing wrong or in the case yid, we would have been punishing the nebraska squad. they're not culpable in this. i don't think that's the right outcome. i personally don't think that anything should have been canceled. i think, instead, what we need to do is make sure that everyone who was in the loop and did nothing is out of a job. that ought to be priority number one. two, we ought to change the law. >> does that go to the assistant coach, mike mcqueary being
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fired? >> in my view, it absolutely does. as a lawyer, i'm wrestling with why. i know he wasn't involved yesterday. but i'm still wrestling as to why he hasn't been fired. my hunch is, it may have to do with his status as a whistle blower. my hunch is that it may have to do with the fact that he was deemed very credible by the grand jury and that penn state now doesn't want to see itself as having fired someone who will become a critical prosecution witness. unless there's more to the story as relates to mcqueary, he should not be employed by penn state. >> it is interesting, though. as he stays on the sidelines, people will not be able to help but think about everything that's gone on when they look at him. he's indelibly intertwined here >> no doubt. al ebbs, you know, there's so many different aspects of this that are remarkable. among them, we keep wondering, what happened back in 1998? why was there a report made to the d.a. and you know he's the fellow who later disappeared.
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that's what i want to know. it's pure speculation. my hunch is that penn state carried sway with the political network in central pennsylvania that put of kibosh on that investigation and that's why sandusky was permitted only at age 55 to retire. i think that's appalling. >> michael smerconish. many thanks as always. >> nice to see you, alex. >> you too. it's the reaction you might expect when a community's prayer are answered. that's next on "weekends with alex witt." ewards of any small business credit card. the spark card earns double miles... so we really had to up our game. with spark, the boss earns double miles on every purchase, every day. that's setting the bar pretty high. owning my own business has never been more rewarding. coming through! [ male announcer ] introducing spark the small business credit cards from capital one. get more by choosing unlimited double miles or 2% cash back on every purchase, every day. what's in your wallet?
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the at the bottom of the hour. the topics are the gop debates, winners and losers. what the latest polls say about the race. super committee, deal or no deal? let's start with the debate in south carolina last night. hosted by cbs news and national journal. it focused on foreign policy and drew clear distinctions between the candidates. take this exchange on afghanistan. >> let me address this issue of afghanistan and how we deal with it. the mission must be completed there. >> i take a different approach on afghanistan. i say it's time to come home. i say this nation has achieved its key objectives in afghanistan. >> joining me now, karen finney, former communications director for the dnc and analyst, robert train none for the comcast network and jackie kucinich. politics reporter for usa today. good to see you. you guys are regulars. thanks for being here. jackie, i'll begin with you. there's a war weary public in
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america right now. could jon huntsman gain traction with the message of bringing our troops home. >> he said this before. i don't know what will get jon huntsman traffic at this point. it seems like he says something and a lot of us talk about it and it never happens. while people may agree with him on that issue, i just -- i don't know why he's not connecting. but he doesn't seem to with the republican -- this republican primary. >> okay. karen, i want to ask you about a comment by mitt romney on iran. we're going to play it. >> republican candidates for their parties nomination. the focus will be foreign policy and national -- iran will have a new -- if you like me as the next president, they will not have a nuclear weapon. >> what do you make of that statement? could he really use that in a general election? >> i think that that was an attempt to get headlines. we've heard a lot more rhetoric
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and people trying to say things to kind of shock and sort of get themselves some headlines rather than serious policy. particularly on iran, what romney was talking about could be detrimental to our efforts. again, it shows a lack of understanding of the culture of the dynamics within the country and also america's dynamics within the region and other partners that can help us apply pressure to iran. >> robert, rick perry addressed his misstep in the last debate. >> governor perry, you advocate the elimination of the department of energy. >> glad you remembered it. [ laughter ] >> i've had some time to think about it, sir. >> me too. [ laughter ] >> you know, with my guest coming up, we're all laughing about this. has he saved face or will that moment be an anchor on his
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campaign in. >> it's still an anchor. it was a big oops. he's doing the best he can, making light of the situation, making it humorous. but at the end of the day, it's still an albatross around his neck as to whether or not he has the horsepower to answer the deep policy questions going forward. we're in the debate process. there's four or five debates between now and super tuesday. the real onus is on governor perry to raise the intellectual level, the expectations that he still has the horsepower to go back ond forth in the debates. >> robert, as we talk about perry, he says he would start foreign aid at zero. is that absurd? >> it's naive. look, the united states has a complex country that has complex relationships around the world. to say to start at zero, again, that just defies foreign policy logic. >> jackie? >> i'm saying to robert, come on, it is absurd. >> okay, karen. you said it.
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i didn't. i said it's naive. jackie and karen, i want to ask both of you this question. who came out the best on speaking about foreign policy and who was lost at sea? jackie? >> i think mitt romney was solid at this debate. newt gingrich didn't do bad either. mitt romney stood out basically because he didn't screw up and he knew what he was talking about. >> okay. karen? >> jon huntsman, poor guy, just can't seem to get traction. he sounded the most rational when it comes to foreign policy, the most knowledgeable if you look at his experience, he certainly has it. i would say in terms of lost at sea, really, the whole cadre of the rest of them. they sounded like the same cowboy diplomacy saber rattling that got us into a lot of the problems that we're already in without an understanding of how these things really work and the different levers that one can apply in foreign policy. >> you know what, i'm going to ask the gop dude here what he thinks about that. what do you think who came out the best and who is lost at sea?
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>> i think mitt romney gets an a-minus. he was substantive. i would give michele bachmann a d. here's why. she's the only person on that stage that serves on the foreign intelligence committee. one would think she would be more substantive on the issues and forceful on the issues. presumably she's the most knowledgeable. she failed that test. >> yeah? >> i was going to say the one person i will give an a-plus to is the first part of his answer on iran was rick perry when he was talking about the pressure that could be applied with regard to the financial system and the banks on iran. that was actually a good idea and actually something that really could work and could be done. >> okay. i think the rick perry campaign is taking note like, really? good. >> we got one right. >> all right. the three of you, thank you so much for that. coming up later this half hour, we'll speak with the panel about the latest polls showing republican voters undecided with the current crop of candidates. we'll also talk about whether the super committee will succeed
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before hitting its deadline. that's ten days away. be sure to catch tomorrow's new show. now with alex wagner. featuring a full hour of insight and perspective weekdays at noon eastern on msnbc. more arrests of protesters around the country. in portland early today, police arrested nearly two dozen demonstrators after they defied a midnight deadline to evacuate two city parks. in denver, they were forced to -- they clashed with police. in oakland, the city issued an eviction in the for the second time since friday and threatened to arrest protesters if they do not pack up and leave. an update on penn state university's sex abuse scandal involving coach jerry sandusky. pennsylvania police are telling us that their investigation is focusing on leads to additional victims. at penn state's football game yesterday, a moment of silence and prayers to honor the alleged
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victims on the field yesterday. nebraska held on for a 17-14 win as penn state failed to get that comeback into a scoring points territory. there are now four ongoing investigations into the scandal. they include investigations by the pennsylvania state police, penn state university, police in san antonio, texas, investigating reports that sandusky molested a boy he took to the alamo bowl. and the department of education. let's bring in our legal analysts. defense attorney and a former prosecutor. good morning to both of you ladies. i'll begin with you, jennifer. look at the volume of charges against jerry sandusky right now. there are 40 counts related to sexual abuse of young boys. >> that's right. >> he is denying these charge. he's out on bail. >> right. >> if you're representing sandusky right now, what do you say? what do you go for a plea deal? >> let's start with the presumption, of course, that
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he's innocent and that an indictment is merely a charge. there's no inference of guilt from that in and of itself. however, if i'm representing him and i'm looking at the charges and i'm looking at the witnesses and i'm looking at the evidence stack up, you have to say to this individual, you know, listen, this looks overwhelming. we're not even talking about just child victims. we're talking about independent witnesses, grown men who have seen the acts that -- >> legitimate testimony they will offer. >> exactly. i think that you have to consider a plea deal because we're talking about life in prison really. >> legally speaking, when a crime is committed on campus, where do you draw the line between keeping it to campus security and going to the public authorities? >> alex, that exactly is a big legal issue question in this case. today at the penn state official walks into one of their facilities and sees a child being sexually assaulted, they have the legal duty to report it. but and here's the thing, they
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only have to report it to their supervisor. the assumption is the supervisor is going to notify police. as we've seen in other big powerful institutions, whether it's now penn state or the catholic church, they have failed in that duty numerous times in the past because they put the interest of the institution, the reputation ahead of what's in the best interest for the children. so change the mandatory law, make the legal duty to where if you see it, you have to report it to the police. >> where was there an obligation, jennifer, by penn state authorities to go to the police when there was child sex allegations? >> yes. this is murkier than we like to believe. usually they apply to individuals who are working regularly with minors. it's not always clear whether universities and university officials and even coaches that are not working minors would be subjected to these mandatory reporting laws. let's assume that they are for a
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moment. as my colleague pointed out, the mandatory reporting law in pennsylvania is not ideal because it does allow the individual to report to a supervisor and not the police itself. it allows you to pass the buck. we saw that happen. we saw paterno report to his supervisor, we saw janitor report to his supervisor. >> right. >> eventually, it didn't get to law enforcement which is where it needs to get for a proper investigation. >> what about the potential for civil lawsuits? where does that stand right now? and what are the potential roadblocks that anyone who is considering a civil lawsuit might run into with the penn state officials? >> i think it's too early in the investigation. we don't have all the packet to know what the potential roadblocks are going to be. but it seems as of right now, the penn state and possibly joe paterno are going to be civilly liable under several different theories to the victims and the families of the victim. one, they failed to report a crime. child protection laws. two, there's various tort theories of liability.
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negligence, supervision, negligent hiring. it will be tens of millions of dollars that penn state is most likely going to be on the hook for. >> but there are obstacles for a litigant. there are 11th -- immunity. it's a state entity. potentially, they could raise a defense, having sovereign immunity. i'm not saying that will prevail. but there are obstacles. this isn't an easy path to damage as compensatory or punitive by any litigant. >> ladies, thank you. time for a quick, yes, it's true. now that kate dpos lynn's show got 86. she's blogging for a coupon website. her first posting it later this month. in the battle of the secs, who is more productive at work? a new study says women outdo men. not by much. that's true. who eats more? men. they eat faster at well. the university of rhode island study tells us yes, it's true.
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now for i a little segment we call office politics. i sat down with anchor man tom brokaw. he's had an amazing career spanning five decades as the first american anchor to the dalai lama in tibet to moderating countless debates. but this one stood out the most in his memory. >> you know, the vice president engs debate that elicited the responsive more experience than john kennedy to -- immediately said to him, i knew john kennedy. he was a friend of mine. i know -- that was memorable for me. >> you are running not just for vice president and if you cite the experience that you have in congress, surely you must have some plan in mind about what you would do if it fell to you to become president of the united states as it has to so many vice
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presidents just in the last 25 years ar so. >> i haves as much experience in the congress as jack kennedy did when he sought the presidency. >> i serve with jack kennedy, i knew jack kennedy. jack kennedy was a friend of mine. senator, you're no jack kennedy. [ applause ] >> history suggests and you mentioned in your book that america is in its worst position since the great depression, which certainly predates the 50 years you've been covering politic. do you think that a few years from now, american students will look back at this and will be titled the great recession? >> i think it will. i think it's already called that. i asked about that phrase. it's popping up everywhere i go, academics are calling it the great recession. it's more than an economic recession. it's a reevaluation of ha this country is all about. what's prudent, what's not. about the fundamental values of
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buying what you can afford, not reaching too far. there are consequences for that. developing priorities. let's get honest about entitlement programs. what can we to afford and what's too much. this is a time of real re-examination and generationally, young people who are coming of age now, you know, they're going to have a different attitude about what they can count on. it's just not for them. the corn cope kra that it has been for a lot of people. a bottomless basket of goods and consumer things and always a job. that's not the case anymore. >> i was told coming in here before we got into the office that being in here is like a walk through history. that you have so many great items in this office. i was snooping around. you love baseball, don't you sm. >> i do. you know, i have a joe dimaggio dabl up here. >> which one is his? >> really -- it's the one in the glass. his idea. i didn't ask him for it. he volunteered to do it with
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some other people. i have a ted williams baseball. i got one signed by most members of the hall of fame. >> i see a fabulous picture. you look just so handsome there with all of these other journalistic leaders. george clooney, the activist. barbara walters, brian. you know, what's that like to be in that crowd? what's it mean to you when you look at a picture like that and understand that someone like me, anybody, looks at that picture and thinks, wow, tom brokaw? >> i really don't think about it. i'm not being falsely i am modest. it's been my life. this is what i've done. i have a family that is anyone who knows us will tell you, doesn't take any of that seriously. they let the air out of me all the time. >> that's why -- it's not false modesty, it's authentic. >> small c celebrity or capital c. sure it gets you a good table. you can get theater tickets generally when you want them. i've been operating at a fairly high plane for a long, long
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time. nothing gives me greater pleasure than going into main street in montana and seeing a couple of my cowboy buddies or a couple of fishing guides talking about what the conditions are out there at the time or what's going on in the community. i've just been very, very lucky. i think it has a lot to do with the fact that i'm surrounded by people, my immediate family and my friends, who if i began to kind of get a big head or become a diva, they would whack me hard. it's always -- >> the ever modest, always impressive, tom brokaw. he has a brand new book out called "the time of our lives." weighing in on new poll numbers for the battle for the white house. you're watching "weekends with alex witt." i'm meteorologist bill care inwith the sunday forecast.
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the second week will be as good as the first half. here's the weather pattern. still have our storm system moving from montana through to the dakotas. a little rain left over, but the big warmup is under way. temperatures will get to 60 as far north, and middle of the country still warm, too. [ male announcer ] drinking a smoothie with no vegetable nutrition? ♪ [ gong ] strawberry banana! [ male announcer ] for a smoothie with real fruit plus veggie nutrition new v8 v-fusion smoothie. could've had a v8.
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big news out this hour. the latest nbc news wall street journal poll has mitt romney at 32%, leading herman cain by five
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points and gingrich by ten. and that's the result of the group that had cain leading at 28% and romney at 27, and that was then and these numbers are now. back with me now, karen finny, and robert and jackie. and let's take a look at the poll numbers. i want to add here as well, we have seen a sinking of the rick perry ship. the previous poll had him at 8% and he is now at 4%. but the surge by mitt romney, looks like he is pulling away from the field. it's a resurvey. do you think it's a sign that the sexual harassment scandal is beginning to hurt cain? >> yes, what it says is the republican faithful that has been so desperate to find that right candidate that they think can beat the president this time next year, and they are scratching their heads and saying okay, looks like romney
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has the horse power and he can be one of us in terms of the true conservative, and let's rally behind him, and gingrich has a lot of baggage, as everybody knows, but when you listen to his point of view, he makes a lot of sense. it's no question that it's romney's race to lose now. >> are you optimistic about the cuts? >> well, it's hard to say. usually, historically, these -- usually things are slapped together at the last minute and something gets passed, you know, and it usually doesn't work out very well but something gets passed. but, you know, this has been the same impasse that we talked about months ago, and we have talked about it for months, and it's about taxes and whether republicans will accept revenue rages and whether democrats will accept cuts to entitlements, and i don't know how they do it because it's the same hitcheses
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that have been throughout the year frankly, that they have not been able to get through. >> karen, the president is traveling for the entire next week. is he playing politics by leaving washington right now? >> well, i mean, he is at the apec summit, and just met with the leader of china, so i don't think that's playing politics. but when it comes to what is happening with the super committee, i do think some of the rhetoric we saw over the last week is an attempt to do a couple things, and i think the republicans are trying to draw the president back in, number one, and number two, everybody is setting up their argument so when the whole thing blows up before thanksgiving, they will say, we tried, and the republicans will say we opened to the idea of new revenues, and i don't think the president needs to be part of this because congress needs to get their act together, and it is setting up the excuses for why we are not going to get a deal if we don't get a deal. >> let's get your must-reads?
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>> a recognized report from the cbo last week that pointed out actually the republican rhetoric about the need to just handle spending would solve our problems showed that spending was flat last year and the deficit and debt still went up, so it has to be revenue and spending sides. >> front page of the new york page today, gives a good insight as to how romney looks as business and was able to create jobs, and how he was able to lay off jobs and raise money in the process, and from a personal and private equity standpoint. >> jackie? >> i will go back to my home team. usa today had a story about the continuing scandal at penn state. it goes into the first victim to come forward, and it's called "victim 1," really word a read. >> thank you so much.
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