tv Andrea Mitchell Reports MSNBC May 30, 2012 10:00am-11:00am PDT
militarization, further milt irization of the situation with syria at this point is the right course of action. we believe that it would lead to greater chaos. greater carnage. >> we'll talk to u.s. officials, to the romney campaign and to our correspondents in the field. mitt romney clinches the republican nomination and gets a call from president obama. we can bet they didn't talk about donald trump. >> governor romney has said that he believes the president was born in the united states. he said it repeatedly. he said that he thinks the issue is closed. and that he's focused on jobs and the economy. and you know, democrats put out a web video on this yesterday. they can talk about trump all they want. we're focused on jobs and the economy. >> but trump has just tweeted again. we'll have more on that and the truth about joe biden. jon stewart tries to get the dirt from first lady michelle obama. >> the isn't it hard though to raise a kid around biden? because i would assume that
there's a lot of like joe language or like he's like the uncle that comes over, like, oh, you brought them guns. like you know, that kind of thing. like is that. >> no. >> no, he's -- all right. >> no, he's a great vice president. >> all right. >> he's a great friend my kids hang around him. >> they have play dates i guess. good day. i'm andrea mitchell live in washington. in our daily fix, the president placed a call to mitt romney at 11:30 this morning congratulating him on securing the republican nomination. texas did put romney over the top. at this hour, he now has 1191 dels in his column. and we can call him the projected republican nominee. it's official. but from the moment romney stepped off the plane in las vegas with donald trump's giant plane in the background, romney was overshadowed by the donald. chris cillizza is managing editor of post politics.com.
donald trump has just tweeted again, again racing the birth issue and wanting to see how the president listed his birth country on his college records or his college applications. why won't he give this up? >> well, he won't give it up, andrea, because remember trump is not a politician. he's an entertainer/celebrity. you know, i tweeted earlier this morning yesterday was a great day for donald trump, not as good for mitt romney. why was it a great day for trump? because he was all over the news getting his brand such as it is out there in front of lots and lots of people. he is the classic there is no such thing as bad news. all news about you is good news because it means publicity. mitt romney is operating on a very different dynamic. we talked about this yesterday. and i'll continue to talk about it until donald trump quiets down or mitt romney finds a way to create some distance.
it does mitt romney no good. the benefits of being associated with donald trump such as they are more than outweighed by the cost of having someone who really is operating under his own nonpolitical much more celebrity-driven agenda. as long as he keeps tweeting about birtherism and shouting down tv hosts -- >> go ahead, i'm sorry. >> not to interrupt but this is the new tweet. i want to see barack obama's college records to see how he litted his place of birth empty application. and after we talked yesterday, this was that very exciting exchange between donald trump and wolf blitzer yesterday afternoon. >> there are many people that don't agree with that birth certificate. they don't think it's authentic wolf. >> i don't know when you say many people who don't agree. >> many people. >> like who? give me a name of somebody. >> there are many people. >> authority in hawaii who says -- give me a name. >> there are many people, i don't give names.
>> donald, you're beginning to sound a little ridiculous. i have to tell you. >> i think you are, wolf. >> well, and you know, just to talk about the optics of this, mitt romney is today having another one of these big fund-raisers. this is a 95-room staest meg whitman. we know she ran for governor unsuccessfully. and was a former bain employee. i'm not sure that when you're trying to get rid of the richie rich tag, that that's the kind of fund-raiser you want to have. >> andrea, honestly, i'm less -- although that house i'm looking at does look quite nice. i'm less troubled by the fund-raisers at wealthy people's houses. president obama has gone to plenty of fund-raisers as massive homes, too. the trump thing though seems to me to just continue to boggle my mind. just from a political analysis
perspective. it will really doesn't make political sense for mitt romney to associate. he doesn't really need the money that trump can bring. we're talking about a candidate who i don't think is going to have any trouble raising money in mitt romney. this idea that there are lots people in the words of donald trump who believe that the president wasn't born in the united states, there are clearly some of those people, andrea, but those people were either not going to vote for mitt romney, they're not going to vote for barack obama anyway. i'm not sure trump brings them into the fold in any meaningful way. donald is not the person you want out there as your surrogate among independent voters. >> chris, i want to briefly bring us up to date on texas. test voted. there were some surprises. first of all in the senate appear, there's going to be a runoff now. a very strong showing by the tea party supported ted cruz against the lieutenant governor david dewhurst. then we had the loss of an incumbent in the primary. this is unusual because so far,
the track record has been 98% when is not against fellow incumbents because of redistricting. but silvestre reyes lost and this is a former house intelligence chair. he was endorsed by president obama. nancy pelosi favorite who placed him in that will intelligence chair over the more qualified jane harman on the intelligence committee and much more senior jane harman at the time. and also bill clinton campaigned for him but he lost. >> yeah, and you know, andrea i think the most important thing to do, this is a year after redistricting. these districts in texas and everywhere else are not the districts these people have run in in the past. including mr. reyes. some of what you're getting is a new district. total 43,000 people voted. whef you have a tiny turnout like that, strange things or surprising things can and do happen. very quickly about ted cruz versus david dewhurst.
the runoff isn't till july. look for this as a chance for the tea party to score against the establishment like they did in indiana against dick lugar. >> wasn't sarah palin on ted cruz's side in that campaign? >> she was indeed and jim demint and the club for growth. >> another victory for sarah palin in this anti-incumbent at least tea party effort against incumbents. thanks so much. >> thank you. >> see you later, chris sa little za. the death toll continues in syria. new video showing the latest blood shed. this is disturbing. the images are from eastern syria where u.n. observers found the bodies of 138 people handcuffed, blindfolded shot execution style. nbc cannot verify the authenticity of this video but its eamerican jens only days after the massacre in houla is fueling concern over the growing crisis. a men mo ha dean is live in
cairo. we know that kofi annan has left damascus, he and his team briefing the u.n. security council. they've had a lengthy meeting today in new york going on at this hour. what can the administration do? does it have to now take more action because nothing that kofi annan has done seems to work. >> u.n. officials ho have been briefing the security council members say that the opposition is not going to give up its demands for change but they are saying the only way that's going to happen now is through political discussion. that is one of the six points of the kofi annan peace plan. there is supposed to be a cessation of violence that would ultimately pave the way for the opposition and government to enter into some type of political discourse. some have suggested the yemeni model, others suggested all kinds of scenarios. for now the problem seems to be there is no cessation to advice lens and getting to the discussion has been nearly
impossible. that is something the opposition says it will not do so long as the president stays in power. the u.n. substantiating the video saying 13 people's bodies were found shot at close range. just adding more fuel to the fire that the atrocities and killing have not stopped. >> this is leading to increasing pressure on the administration. we're going to be talking to dan sen nor from the romney camp and as well to the u.n. ambassador susan rice when she comes out of the u.n. security council and her briefings. but at this point, isn't there the increasing pressure for the u.s. to do something more? some of the arab allies are trying to arm the rebels. at this point, does the u.s. have to get involved in that effort? >> well, andrea, many of the arab sources i've been speaking to say they haven't started delivering weapons to the opposition but have started giving them money which they can then use to purchase weapons. as we know and from the united
states, their position so far is not to arm the opposition. many people feel that arming the opposition would only make a very volatile situation that much more volatile. the opposition particularly the rebels want the international community to give them weapons, perhaps even give them more lethal assistance to try to facilitate their operations inside syria. the syrian government thinks that is the reason why there is violence taking place because of foreign intervention. >> thank you very much for the report from cairo. while the administration relies on diplomacy to counter the brutality of this regime, the romney camp is calling for the u.s. to help arm the opposition. joining us now, dan sen nor, former bush administration official, now adviser to the romney camp. >> hi, andrea. >> i wanted to bring to everyone's attention what mitt romney's statement was yesterday. president obama's lack of leadership has resulted in a policy of paralysis that has watched assad slaughter 10,000
individuals. we should increase pressure on russia to cease selling arms to the government and end its obstruction at the u.n. and work with partners to arm the opposition so they can defend themselves. now, you just heard a man said say from the arab world, some of the concern is that if you arm the opposition, you only increase the cycle of violence. how do you expect this to work in the field. >> first of all, i'll stunned just listening to that report that the administration is still letting this kofi annan plan play out. it's embarrassing the u.s. policy is dependent now on the success or failure of kofi annan. nobody in the foreign policy think tank community here, nobody in the capitals of arab governments around the region, i think a number of people within the administration do not believe that this kofi annan plan is going anywhere. if anything, it's just been providing cover for bashar assad
to slaughter a lot of people. the first thing thevation should do is call this kofi annan diplomacy track off. as it relates to getting resources to the opposition, the saudis are willing to provide funding. the qatarees have been prepared to provide arms, the turks prepared to provide territory. what the region needs to support the opposition is american leadership. american coordination. and that's where we've been invisible. you bet it's tricky. getting the right resources to the right people in any kind of burn oning opposition movement. if we hope to have any influence with the opposition movement, any influence with a post-assad regime, we'd better do it by actually building relationships and identifying people and getting them the resources. the last thing we want are these opposition leaders deciding the u.s. is unreliable, they can't get anything from us and start having to deal with all sorts of actors around the region, including al qaeda affiliates
and jihaddies. better we be dealing with them than letting them fend for themselves and find bat actors to assist them. >> there are some even among republicans like mike rogers, the chairman of the house intelligence committee who believe we should not be leading this, that this is not our place. and that we're in iraq. we're in afghanistan. we're pretty much out of iraq but still have troops there. we're still deeply involved in trying to extricate ourselves from afghanistan. we see how unpredictable the arab spring results have been elsewhere. look at egypt. what about the argument that this is not our role than the region should take the leadership but not us. >> governor romney agrees if the question is whether or not we should put boots on the ground. he's not supporting providing u.s. troops like we currently have but is winding down in afghanistan. he's talking about working with the opposition, identifying the opposition, getting them resources, helping accord fate
things. but we should not be actually getting ourselves entangled on the ground with some sort of troop presence. he has not been arguing for that. other republicans arguing for the leading approach have not been arguing for that. the positions governor romney has is not that different from many democrats. john kerry, the chairman of the senate foreign relations committee has been calling for things like a safe zone which would ultimately in order to implement a safe zone would require deploying u.s. military resources. governor romney hasn't been calling for that, just leadership and coordination role. i got to tell you, i mean, everyone i speak to on this issue agrees at a minimum that the u.s. should be doing that. that however risky it is, it can't possibly be worse than what we're watching right now. what we're watching right now is a total disaster. some 10,000 people dead. at what point do we try something else? when 15,000 people are dead, when 20,000 are dead?
there's nobody who actually is arguing that the current path is going to end well, including many people in the administration. you i'm sure have had off the record conversations with administration officials. have i. the administration's clearly divided on this issue. many people in the obama administration are frustrated with this ridiculous course that they're on right now. >> do you think that providing some kind of weapons or money to the rebels is going to change anything on the ground? do you think that that would actually bring assad down? >> andrea -- >> the counter argument, i'm just saying is that the rebel groups are very disorganized. the opposition leaders are not. even as organized as the libyan opposition was. and that was a stretch at first. >> first of all, it will give the opposition supplying them resources will give them a shot at a fair fight. right now the iranians are funding and arming the syrian government's crack down. i mean are funding and arming assad's crack down on the opposition. there are reports coming
overnight that iran has actually been sending in resources to the ground in syria to crush the opposition. so the opposition has got nothing. giving them something about give them a shot at a fair fight, particularly given how many allies in the region are willing to help. so it is by no means 100% guarantee that this will work. but it's certainly a shot at improvement compared to what we have now. >> the administration did say the state department spokeswoman said yesterday that there is evidence that the iranians are involved with some of these militias who went after the people in houla. what should we do regarding tehran? >> well, what we should do, the most immediate thing is to support the overthrow of assad. there would be no greater strategic blow to the regime of iran than assad falling. assad is iran's link to the mediterranean. assad is the link, the funding and arms path to hezbollah forte ran. assad is tehran's only arab
ally. so the fall of assad would be a huge strategic blow to iran. let me be clear about this. you've been covering foreign policy for a long time. often when commanders in chief have to deal with difficult problems relating to foreign problems and national security, we're torn between our humanitarian goals, principles related to morality in our policy and issues related to just pure national interest. those too often come into conflict. it is rare that you have a situation like we do in syria today where the principles of morality and the humanitarian needs that are calling out for american leadership to help end this bloodbathing are so directly consistent with our national security interests. which is isolating tehran, putting pressure on tehran, and preventing tehran from becoming a hedge an mon in the region and toppling helping the opposition topple as sad as the president of the united states has said needs to be done. it has been since last august
president obama called for the -- for assad to go. we're now almost a year wit president of the united states has called on a foreign leader to step down and he's still standing there. it makes the united states look pretty weak, and you've got to just you know, question how the -- it sort of offends the sensibilities of most americans to watch us just staring at this horrific situation on the ground in syria and the united states looking impotent, sort of bouncing around, one day we say ta kofi annan, get him to work through the process. other days we say we've got to the persuade putin to implement the yemen model, which everyone agrees is not going anywhere. it's an old idea that's been taken off the shelf again. it just -- it's extremely frustrating when so many people feel and the policy community and elsewhere that at least we can give the opposition a shot here by helping to take this fight on. they're willing to do it. risking their lives every single
day. >> dan senor, thank you very much. we will have more on this and reaction from u.n. ambassador susan rice directly from the security council meeting. the still ahead, are house republicans softening their stance on taxes? you're watching "andrea mitchell reports" only on msnbc. my brother doesn't look like a heart attack patient. i'm on a bayer aspirin regimen. [ male announcer ] be sure to talk to your doctor before you begin an aspirin regimen. i'm a fighter and now i don't have that fear.
are cracks starting to emerge in the republican hard line against raising taxes? as the u.s. teeters toward a potential budget meltdown in the fall, there are new signs of flexibility, would you believe, among some republicans even house members. joining me now is politte toe's manu raju. i'm seeing this, as well. interesting signs that some of the candidates are willing to stand up against grover norquist and not take the no tax pledge
as they head into washington. >> that's right. the implications potechksly are huge. if these members stick to what they're saying in that hey, we could be open to some sort of revenue increase in the debt deal could have major implications. after all, look, the congress is going to have to deal with some significant issues come december, the bush tax cuts expiring. there's $1.2 trillion in automatic spending cuts to go into effect. eight host of other tax breaks congress has to deal with. the debt is about to surpass $15 trillion. you know, $16 trillion. and on top of that, they're going to have to raise the national debt ceiling again. all of this is coming to a head. you're starting to see realization among members on the republican side, to get what we want we may have to make accommodation on the tax issue. >> is this something where they would be agreeing to taxes in the context of tax reform, of getting rid of some deductions of perhaps you know, indexing
deductions which was in the original ryan budget plan? there were some small tax increases in some of these plans. >> it depends who you're talking to. some are talking about let's just bring more taxpayers into the system. do things that would generate economic growth by simplifying the tax code that would lead to more revenue. others are talking more along the lines of let's eliminate some of these deductions that that will lead to more revenue coming into the treasury, something that mitt romney rejected during the primary season. remember, at one point, during a debate last year, he said he wouldn't accept a deal that was ten spending cuts to $1 in revenue. i think you're seeing some members on the republican side look, that may be something we could go along with, provided all these other things happen well. >> manu raju, interesting times. a lot is going to change between a lame duck session and a fall
crisis. thanks for being here. coming up next, susan rice just out of the security council meetings on syria briefing us live on "andrea mitchell reports" only on msnbc. foragers, those fishermen... for me, it's really about building this extraordinary community. american express is passionate about the same thing. they're one of those partners that i would really rely on whether it's finding new customers, or, a new location for my next restaurant. when we all come together, my restaurants, my partners, and the community amazing things happen. to me, that's the membership effect. who tore out your sill-beating heart? ah, being a vegan is really working out for her. [ bowling pins ] ok, how's this gonna play? mi amore. [ chicken clucking ] [ male announcer ] ah common g., try manly, girls dig that! [ screams ] [ male announcer ] no, no, no, think smooth, but animal. like a werewolf in finance. diversify [ elephant trumpeting ] [ male announcer ] ok don't sweat it. just do your thing, do your thing.
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the u.s. has been leading calls for friday's special session of the u.n. human rights council this coming pride to respond to the latest massacres in syria. and joined at least a dozen nations in expelling syrian diplomats. but the white house has been adamant that military intervention is not in the cards at least right now. >> further militarization of the situation in syria could lead to greater chaos. could lead -- could make it harder to achieve the political transition that the syrian people deserve. our position now is to provide nonlethal assistance, to provide humanitarian assistance and to work with our allies and partners to further pressure and isolate the assad regime. >> susan rice is the u.s. ambassador to the u.p. u.n., of
course, and has just come out of these security council sessions. madame ambassador, thank you very much for joining us. what did you hear from geneva from the briefing from kofi annan's team that just came out of damascus, what did you learn today and what were the reactions of the security council members? >> well, thank you for having me. first of all, we did hear from kofi annan's deputy and from the undersecretary-general of the united nations for peacekeeping. both of whom had recently been on the ground in syria and as you know, kofi annan remains in the region. they reported both on the details of the horrific massacre in houla which they attributed principally to the government and its allied militia, but they also gave a broader briefing about the overall security situation, the difficulties in launching a political process at this is taken. we all agree that a political process that would lead to the removal of assad and a democratic transition is absolutely crucial, but with the
government increasing the scale and the level of atrocities and widening the scope of it, that is really not realistic at this is taken. so we had a discussion both about the security situation on the ground, the progress of the monitoring mission, the attitude of the government towards this process. of course, that of of the opposition and we discussed the necessary potential next steps among members of the security council. >> what are those next steps? >> well, andrea, i spoke on behalf of the united states and i said really there are three scenarios. that are going to materialize. they're mutually exclusive. and i can't see what would happen beyond them. the first scenario and the best scenario is that the syrian regime finally and immediately wakes up and stops the killing and adheres to its commitments under the annan plan in which
case we can get a political process going and the diplomatic initiative that kofi annan has been leading remains viable, which is our strong hope. but it is not the most likely scenario at this is taken. the second is that in the absence of the assad regime adhering to its commitments suddenly and definitively, the security council and others in the international community come together and in a unified way to increase the pressure on the assad regime, including through the of sanctions and cap ter 7, the enforcement provision of the u.n. charter. as you know, russia and china have twice vetoed much lesser action than that, and in their statements today, it was not at all clear that their position had changed. so we're going to continue working with allies and partners and other colleagues in the security council on next steps there. but we think that is another way to preserve the viability of the annan plan, the unity of the
council and pressure on assad regime so perhaps they come to their senses. the third scenario which unfortunately is the worst scenario is that none of that happens and the violence inte e intensifies and spills over into the region. it heightens sectarian fissures and we in effect have a proxy war in which outsiders are supporting the opposition or the government through arms and other means. that would be exceedingly destabilizing and that's why that's not our first choice. our first choice is for there to be a political process. should that not be viable, should the syrians refuse to allow that to happen and the security council is unable to take up its responsibilities, that may be where we end up. >> madame secretary, with all due respect, even -- i mean "the washington post" and other critics i'm not even getting yet to the romney campaign's criticism, but the washington post says that mr. annan's mission has become one of the most costly diplomatic failures in u.n. history.
nobody believes that kofi annan pigs has done anything but give time to the assad regime and at the cost of the opposition leaders. >> well, actually i don't think that's the case which is why it was the opposition that made it clear they wanted the annan mission and wanted also these monitors. were it not for their presence, we would not have the objective and fact-based reporting on what transpired in houla the other day. at the same time we have seen where the monitors have been able to stay and deployed there has been a brief and real reduction in the level of violence. but the moirnts themselves as we all knew are not there to prevent the violence and can't enforce the cease-fire. that has to come from the parties themselves. the reason why it has been a wise effort even if it problems ultimately to be futile is because the alternative is the scenario i described of all-out violence, a war that engulfs
sayre syria and the fabs in region. if there's a way to avoid that through a political process, that should be something we all work for and try to accomplish. nobody said when we backed the annan plan that it was necessarilily a high probability scenario. but the alternative is much worse. and it would be very much not in our interests for that are third case scenario to materialize. that is why we have put pressure on the assad regime, including additional sanctions today. that is why we have supported the opposition through nonlethal but significant material means. that's why we have put a premium on trying to support the opposition to be ready to engage in a political process at the appropriate time. we'd be much better off with a solution more like what happened in yemen than what has transpired in all-out civil and regional wars in other contexts which we seek to avoid in this
context. >> what has to happen on the ground for the administration to decide that there needs to be weapons and material support to the opposition? >> i don't want to get into painting different scenarios and hypotheticals. andrea, our view has been that the best way to resolve this if at all possible is not through intensifying the militarization, not by providing further arms into what is already a hot conflict but to try to resolve it through nonmilitary means through a diplomatic and political process. now as i said, that may prove ultimately not to be possible. we haven't reached that point yet. and for this to become a proxy war with countries all over the region and beyond funneling weapons in there is basically conceding a massive fire burning in that region, which for those who are advocating arming the opposition, they ought to consider the consequences of that will approach.
also to ask, frankly who are they arming inside of the syrian opposition? you know and we know it is not a unified opposition. it's fragmented. they don't have the common command and control. there are some extremist elements mixed in there. we know much less about the leadership and the intentions of the syrian opposition than we did even of the libyan opposition at the time. and i want to remind you that we did not arm the libyan opposition. >> let me ask you about some of these outside forces. what is the role of iran in all of this? >> we think iran is actively supporting its long-time ally, assad, and providing material and other support. and indeed, this he said so publicly orrin a stalt on their own website. they bragged about their engagement in syria. that is one of the reasons among others, they're not the only ones supporting the syrian regime, that this is a conflict of a different character with much broader regional implications should it continue
to spin out of control. >> and what makes us think that vladimir putin who wouldn't even come to the nato summit meeting and has shown no friendliness toward the obama administration, what makes us think that vladimir putin is now going to be helpful in pressuring his political ally assad to give up power? >> >> first of all, let's be clear. the relationship broadly speaking between the united states and russia over the course of the last several years is much improved over the past. there are areas in which we have real differences. but this improvement, this reset as we call it has occurred with vladimir putin as prime minister and we expect it to continue. >> now he's president. >> he is indeed. we expect it will continue. but on this issue we disagree and we are continuing to talk with the russians and pressure them. we'd like to see them mick a voluntary decision to stop
providing military support, even if prior agreed contracts to the syrian regime. we think the russians have the greatest stake in fact, in ensuring that the syrian regime meets its obligations under the annan plan so that we're not having to resort to sanctions or having to see the region engulfed in a wider conflict. that's the message we're conveying to the russians. it is their interest and eb deed their responsibility as the syrian government's best friend on the security council to put maximum pressure on the syrian government to adhere to the commitments it's made. that is why it's time that we start talking about and thinking about this problem in these stark terms. there are only three outcomes. >> do you see any flexibility on the russian part in the meeting today? >> we'll see where the russians end up. i think they are beginning to look at this situation with the kind of clarity that it deserves and recognizing that if they
want to preserve kofi annan's mission, its opportunity to provide a peaceful political solution which is what they say they do, then either they're going to have to move assad to a very different place than he's been in thus far or join with us and others in maximizing security council pressure on the regime. >> and finally, reuters is just reporting that the syrian rebels have now given assad 48 hours to comply with the annan six-point plan or else. i don't know what the or else is. what leverage they might have. >> well, i don't either. i've not seen obviously the report that you're referring to. i can't comment on its validity or veracity. >> all right, thank you very much, madame secretary, on a busy day and difficult issue. thanks for taking time to join us. >> thank you. for more on the syrian crisis, philip gorovich with new yorker magazine joins us now. you just heard both sides i hope, dan senor and then the u.n. ambassador. what is your take away from
this? is there anything that the u.s. can and should be doing that we are not doing to try to stop the blood shed? >> it's very hard to know what we are doing in full since there are probably things that are happening behind the scenes. but it seems like the only thing we aren't doing at had point is arming the rebels or taking direct military action ourselves. i don't see any scenario that's been described that makes that sound like a today idea. the american interest as susan rice made very clear just now is to prevent rather than to provoke a greater conflagration within syria and in the larger region. there are huge geopolitical stakes here. syria is not isolated. the comparison that many syria hawks like to make to libya is completely not appropriate. libya was a single situation where we were given a mandate because syria -- libya had absolutely no friends that the
point. so that even the russians abstained from vetoing the action. at the u.n. security council, the arab league was on board. it was a no-fly zone that was approved that would have allowed to isolate the city of ben gas zi. had that been where nato decided to stop, they would have had access without any reference to the rest of libya. there was no question of the equivalent of the tensions that involved sectarian engss that involved the shia and sunni splits that could have emerged if we have saudis getting into this and iran getting into this and we have lebanon on the verge right next door. we have israel there. america's first priority is to prevent at this point a war between iran and israel. a major and terrifying prospect that obviously has got to be foremost in people's minds. susan rice just said that american relations with russia have improved whether or not you think they're very good, you have to see letting them get
very, very drastically worse is something you would also want to prevent and bob you an, we don't know who this opposition is and an they don't know how to tell us. they're very fragmented. they're very ill organized, don't have a coherent leadership. what they've called for so far is outside intervention, meaning they don't know how to do it themselves. nobody who's calling for this whether it's "the washington post," whether it's the romney campaign has begun to tell us what the scenario of a post-assad syria should look like. without taking that seriously, you're not really being politically serious. >> philip gourevich from the new yorker, thanks for being with us today. like father like daughter? what is liz cheney up to in this is "andrea mitchell reports" only on msnbc. may seem like the stuff of fairy tales. but if you take away the faces on the trees... take away the pixie dust. take away the singing animals,
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and joining me now white house correspondent for the national journal, major garrett. and "usa today's" washington bureau chief susan page. well, the president is at a medal of freedom ceremony. this is one of the wonderful moments and the extraordinaire achievements of tony morrison and bob dylan and john glenn, personal hero, madeleine albright and jan karskiacious polish hero. and look at what the president had to say about poland and jan karski. >> one trip across enemy lines, fighters told him that jews were being murders and smuggled him into the warsaw ghetto and a polish diego camp to see for himself. >> those are words you do not put together if you're president of the united states. what did he say that was wrong? >> polish death camp. nazi death camp and nazi-occupied poland is the historically accurate phraseology. >> for more than half a century. >> and it is of acute and
personal and cultural interest to everyone in poland, the polish government and polish citizens. it's poli polish citizens. he has been on point on this. this is just a glitch that should never have happened and nfc, the national security council will review the remarks and even the president, i think, reading that off a prompter ought to have been able to be possessed enough and look at the copy and say, wait a minute, even if he said polish death camp correct himself then and there and the white house response has been incremental at best and not satisfiry in the eyes of the polish government. >> they're demanding an apology and at a high level. >> the reason it is such a sensitive matter is poles did not build the death camps or operate the death camps, the germans did and they suffered terribly under the nazi occupation. there was no collaborative government in poland during the occupation, so it is a matter of great national importance. one terrible thing in this
moment and it was intended to honor a polish hero and has become this controversy. >> and there could be big political fall out. >> and it is a moment for the white house to speak up or at minimum the national security advisor button this up. that's what needs to happen. >> we have another generation of cheneys, and liz cheney, mother of five, has bought a house, she and her husband, bought a house in wyoming and a lot of people do that for vacations. >> very beautiful part of the country. >> at the republican convention there. there is the potential of an open senate seat if mike enzey which steps down which could lead the member to run for senate or the house. >> kind of like daughter like father. remember, dick cheney lived in washington for an awful long time when he moved back to run for the house seat there in 1978 and win, but of course he had deeper roots in wyoming than she has.
she has really grown up on the east coast and interested in running for office and we thought maybe for virginia, maybe wyoming looks like friendlier territory. >> the chainy's parents had a home there for years and years and clearly they spent a lot of time there. >> i don't know what her intentions are. >> she is a former state department official, fox commentator, she has a lot of experience. >> and has taken a role of commenting on all sorts of policy issues and a two-year walk up, and it is not just a fly in, moving in before the filing deadline. if she is there for two years and participating then it looks like she is laying the groundwork. >> two years ago allen simpson's son ran for governor so a famous name gets you attention. it doesn't guarantee a nomination. >> his grandfather was a senator and father a senator. >> no guarantees. >> good to see you. we'll be right back.
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that does it for us for this addition of "andrea mitchell reports." tomorrow on the show jackie sphere, obama deputy campaign manager stephanie can you teller and michael steele and joe kline. my colleague has a look at what's next on news nation. >> coming up in the next hour president obama had what's being described as a brief and cordial phone call with mitt romney to congratulate him on securing the gop nomination. tonight governor romney will fund raise with another controversial supporter, hewlett-packard ceo meg whitman whose company is laying off 25,000 people. what are the options for the obama administration in dealing with this crisis we're all watching out of syria? president secretary jay carney is expected to hold a briefing in the next hour. we'll bring you any update. we'll be up in three. [ female announcer ] letting her home be turned into a training facility? ♪ this olympian's mom has been doing it for years.
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