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tv   Andrea Mitchell Reports  MSNBC  December 19, 2012 10:00am-11:00am PST

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of a task force to curb gun violence. >> if those of us who were sent here to serve the public trust can summon even one tiny iota of the courage those teachers, that principal, in newtown summoned on friday, if cooperation and common sense prevail, then i'm convinced we can make a sensible, intelligent way to make the united states of america a safer -- >> well, the president's statement gets largely overshadowed by questions about the fiscal cliff, a final question hits home. >> this is not the first issue, the first incident with horrific gun violence of your four years. where have you been? >> well, here's where i've been, jake, i've been president of the united states dealing with the worst economic crisis since the great depression, an auto industry on the verge of collapse, two wars. i don't think i've been on
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vacation. and, so, i think all of us have to do some reflection on how we prioritize what we do here in washington. in newtown today, funerals for five of the victims, including principal dawn hochsprung and teacher victoria soto. classes will resume for sandy hook students january 2nd in nearby monroe. >> we're not sure what will happen to sandy hook. at this point, the teachers are telling me and the parents are telling me they don't want to walk back into that building. the benghazi breakdown, the scathing findings of an independent investigation blames the state department from top to bottom. >> mistakes were made, lives were lost, and lessons need to be learned. >> there's no question that there were people within the state department that were remiss and did not execute in an appropriate way.
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what will be the fallout for secretary of state hillary clinton? and spidy senses activate, how did president obama get caught in the hero's web? good day, i'm andrea mitchell live in washington. president obama has just held a mini news conference announcing a task force on guns led by joe biden and the state of negotiations which seem to be stalling over the fiscal cliff. joining me, managing editor of it was called to discuss the gun task force, but clearly the president wanted to send a signal about the state of play with john boehner and the state of play is that it is not good. >> you know, andrea, i agree broadly with you, although i would say the president did emphasize several times that they are not that far away, he cited a chart in "the new york times" the charts were similar. this is a "you should take the deal" press conference, and you're right, the president knew
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if he opened up the questions, he would get a fiscal cliff question. one of the things i was struck by was it was very clear the president was going to keep taking questions until he got another question on guns. he just kind of kept, okay, i'll take one more, one more, so it was a dual-purposed press conference, both to announce this gun control commission, although the president isn't calling it a commission being led by joe biden, but also kind of get himself get where he believes the fiscal cliff is and where it needs to go, at least rhetorically get himself out on both those things, and he did it. that's the power of the presidency. >> the other question is at the end, until then, all the questions were about the fiscal cliff and no follow-up questions about what exactly policies, what policies are going to be part of this gun task force. >> and that -- what's hard on this, andrea, that's the difficult thing, and i think it may ultimately be when the biden commission -- i got to think of
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another word, but when the group joe biden is leading makes its legislative recommendations, i have a feeling there's going to be some gun control advocates, maybe including michael bloomberg, the mayor of new york city, who praised the president's press conference today, who are going to be a little bit disappointed, because i don't think it's going to end up going as far on restricting gun ownership as some of them would like. i think it may be a more kind of holistic approach that brings mental health in, as well as doing something on assault weapons and these high-load ammo clips. >> thank you so much, chris, see you later. the other major story that we are following today, the independent report slamming the state department for what it called systemic failures that grossly underestimated security needs at the u.s. mission in benghazi and elsewhere at high-threat places around the world. this, of course, the attack on 9/11 that killed chris stevens and three other americans. bob corker serves on the senate
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foreign relations committee and heard testimony during the closed session with the committee today. there will be open sessions tomorrow. they just briefed at the state department, in fact, that's still in progress. senator, one of the conclusions is that security was -- that there were security failures there, before, during, and after, but particularly before and during, that they were relying on the local militia, which was completely grossly inadequate, the reports said. what are your conclusions following the briefing that you received from the top leaders? >> well, i had seen films, andrea, last week of both the security cameras, but also later from drones. it was later in the evening, but the security personnel we had out front literally jumped on a truck and left as soon as they saw a crowd coming, so -- >> you're talking about the libyans, not the americans who were trying to stay. these were the local hires. >> these were the local hires,
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absolutely. we have some heros that did incredible things on behalf of our americans who saved other americans, but the local crew literally jumped in a pickup truck and drove off. it was dumbfounding to watch. equally dumbfounding was to see how easily people made it into the compound and the fact there was just really no security, so i think this is something that, obviously, is going to effect how we look at all of these expedition their efforts around the country, around the world, but certainly in an area like benghazi that was controlled by militias, tremendous oversight, very direct discussions today in the meeting, and i'm sure it will be the same case tomorrow in the open setting, and hopefully, not hopefully, but when secretary clinton comes before us also. >> let me ask you about that, because she has been home ill for ten days now, the flu first, then a fall, then a concussion, and there is some concern that by the time she is prepared to
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meet before you, the sessions will be over. she will no longer be secretary of state. what do you think needs to be done? i know you're going to have top leadership tomorrow, but does she need to be there for you to be satisfied? >> i really think she has to come before us, i think it's imperative. let's face it, you can't confirm a new secretary of state unless you have a working body. i think there will be a time and absolutely has to be time for her to come forth first before we swear in a new regime. it's important for her, candidly, but also for the country and for all of us just to understand the culture within the state department. i think this report hits very much at that, and just how we're focusing on security around the world and how we need to address it. you know, andrea, part of it, just to be honest, part of it is congress's fault. we haven't had a top-to-bottom review of the state department since i have been here.
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we have not had an authorization of the state department since i've been in the united states senate, which that's where you go through all the policies, you go through all the staffing, you go through all the requirements, and so i would say that part of it, part of this responsibility, certainly, lies with congress itself. but the vast part of it really is within the state department. obviously, some individuals have resigned and left, and, again, i think the people who have prepared this report have done an outstanding job in making us aware of some of the many, many problems that exist there. >> one of them, of course, the co-leader is retired admiral mike mullen. he was just briefing at the state department. i want to play a little bit of that. >> the question is not simply whether an additional number of agents would have made a difference on the night of september 11th, which is very difficult to answer, but whether a sustained and stronger staffing platform in benghazi over the course of 2012 could
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have established some deterrence by giving it the continuity and experience on the ground to make it a harder target for terrorists. >> let me ask you a question about that, because they did build up a bit, but there was a constant rotating, as admiral mullen said, of diplomatic security officials in and out. i have a thesis here, tell me if i'm wrong, that there was no need, this was not a consulate. in fact, it technically wasn't a consulate, it was a mission, and that the real reason why there wasn't more security and a higher profile was they wanted a low profile because the reason for being in benghazi was having an intelligence listening post, that was the annex, am i entirely wrong on that? >> we probed that end today, and one of the other presenters said the culture between both the state department and cia was outstanding and they worked very
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well together. i don't think that that was the case. they had a 40-day rotation, in other words, the people would come in, they would be there at most over a 40-day period. they never really got acclimated, they never really got trained up, and certainly, that's one of the things that was pointed to today. andrea, you may have a point. we got the sense today in testimony that that really was not the reason. there wasn't -- there wasn't lesser security there because of what was happening with the cia in an adjacent compound. there may be different answers tomorrow, but today that was not the sense that we got. >> i got to ask you whether you agree with some of the very inflammatory things being said about the former u.n. ambassador, john bolton, on another network, that the state department has completely shot down. he's claiming hillary clinton has a case of, quote, diplomatic flu. can you put that to rest? >> i don't make those kind of -- i make statements about things that i know.
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i'll give you an opinion, and that is that it is absolutely imperative that secretary clinton come before the united states senate before she leaves office and before another secretary of state comes in. i think it's imperative for all involved. i don't think you can have this kind of conflict, have this kind of report, which really is very pointed, i have to say, with lots of strong recommendations. i don't think you can be a secretary of state who claims accountability and responsibility for this and not come before the united states senate in an open, formal hearing. so i expect that to happen. candidly, i have no desire whatsoever to take up another secretary of state's hearing without that having happened first, so my sense is -- >> is it a little awkward that the next secretary of state is likely to be your colleague, the chairman of your panel who's been chairing these sessions, john kerry? >> i shared that with him today, and i think he got the message. i'd already shared that earlier
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this week when the two officials, the undersecretaries, called to say they were going to be testifying instead. i made it clear to them that that's fine, but that's not fully acceptable. in other words, there has to be another round. the fact that arb just came out today, andrea, there's a lot in it. the hearings tomorrow, i think there's going to need to be a follow-up hearing anyway. that's a time when secretary clinton, hopefully, will come in. she's indicated a desire to do that. i think it's incredibly important for our nation that that happen. >> senator bob corker, thank you very much. >> thank you, thank you. next on "andrea mitchel reports," more victims of the sandy hook tragedy are laid to rest today as the president puts the vice president in charge of the next steps. we'll be live in newtown. and leading the charge on gun control for years and years, new york congresswoman caroline mccarthy from long island. this is "andrea mitchel reports" only on msnbc.
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the sad duty of burying the victims continues today in newtown as more are laid to rest. among those, the beloved school principal, dawn hochsprung, one of the heroic teachers, 27-year-old victoria soto and three children, charlotte bacon, caroline previti, daniel barden. >> the sad procession continues today in newtown. you just mentioned the funerals being held today. we're told at vicki soto's funeral, paul samuel was there, he helped remember her. we're told daniel barden's funeral this morning, like so many little boys wanted to grow
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up to be a firefighter. members of the fire department in new york city decided to show up in full uniform, active and retired, they paid tribute. three students, victoria soto's funeral and dawn hochsprung, the courageous principal we found out after the fact lunged at the shooter. she's being remembered tonight. her burial will also be private. we're told that arne duncan, the secretary of education, is also in newtown today. he is spending some time talking to teachers, spending some time talking to families as well. the focus now, of course, shifting to the elementary school and when those students are going to go back to school. we found out earlier today they are going to resume classes, the sandy hook elementary school students, that is, on january 2nd. all the other students in town started yesterday. when they go back to school on january 2nd, they will be at chalk hill middle school, and
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the principal at that school will be a very familiar face to folks here, donna page is a retired principal at sandy hook elementary. she'll be there to greet the students and teachers when they return after the holidays, andrea? >> craig melvin, the latest on another sad day, one of so many sad days in newtown, connecticut. thank you. president obama today made it clear that when it comes to guns, doing something is better than nothing. >> if there is even one thing that we can do to prevent any of these events, we have a deep obligation, all of us, to try. the fact that this problem is complexed can no longer be an excuse for doing nothing. >> and meanwhile, on capitol hill, nancy pelosi gathered democratic lawmakers around her to accelerate their push for legislation. among them, caroline mccarthy from new york, long a leader of the effort, joining me now. congresswoman, thank you very much. it's fair to note that this
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cause for you is personal. it's why you got into politics. when i first met you, you were running, and it was because your husband, dennis, had been one of six people killed in 1993 in the shooting on the long island railroad when colin ferguson, that man, boarded the train and gunned them down and your son also was so seriously injured, your son kevin. how that inspired you and the passion of that memory, which is clearly fresh in your mind, you're bringing to this cause now again. >> well, to be very honest with you, i think you'll find that any of us that have gone through these kind of tragedies when you lose a loved one and become an activist, all you're trying to do is prevent any of the family to go through this. the reason i got involved was when kevin was learning how to speak again, some of his first words were, how did this happen, why, and i didn't have the answers, and i started looking
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into it. it was during that time that president clinton and the congress were trying to get an assault weapons bill passed. i became involved in that, and i came down here and i lobbied the members of congress and the senators. i also did it on new york state where governor cuomo was trying to do it, and with that a couple years later when the republicans were trying to repeal the assault weapons bill, again i came down here and my congressman was voting to repeal it, and that's when i decided that i was furious and i was going to run against him and that's what i did. >> i want to just play a little bit of our first interview during that campaign in 1996. >> oh, wow. >> when you think about what happened on that dreadful night, is that what propels you to become a political figure? >> certainly in the beginning when i started working on the assault weapons bill, i did it because i wanted some good to
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come out of a horrible situation. more than that, if i can prevent one life being saved, then that's important to me. i don't want any family to go through what we, all of us, had to go through. >> and all these years later, the assault weapon ban expires and it's not a panacea, but it's something. how frustrated are you that it took this massacre in connecticut to mobilize the president, the vice president, the task force we saw today? >> well, to be very honest with you, you know, when you think of all the shootings that have happened in the last several years, i thought virginia tech was, to be very honest with you, i didn't know how many more families i could reach. i didn't know if i could stay here, but then again, you wake up in the morning and say you got to keep trying. what happened last friday in connecticut to all those children and to the teachers that were all, obviously, heros
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because they tried to save the children, it only makes you say i've got to do this again. this time, though, the difference is the president has come out verbally, certainly very strongly, saying that we have to do something. and i believe the american people want us to do something. as you know, we're in washington, things are very difficult to get done here, and i think the president was absolutely right, you know, we have the fiscal cliff that we got to deal with, but we also have to deal with this issue on violence in this country with guns, and i think we're going to have a first step. i have to tell you, when he announced that he was going to have a commission, i think i put out a long sigh because usually commissions take six months, a year. we have all the information. we have all the studies. i know those studies have come through my education committee, so when he said that he wanted it done, you know, within the month, we can do that, and we can do that.
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so i'm hopeful that many of my republican colleagues will join me, not because we're republicans or democrats or fighting against each other, but because the american people are crying out for us to do something, and i have to tell you, whether you're republican or democrat, those bullets didn't know whether the teachers were, whether the children were, but i have to tell you, to see those children and know the holidays are coming up, i know it's hard for my family and many other families for any holiday and these families are just going through it. >> congresswoman caroline mccarthy. again, we're sorry for your loss. this can only be renewed pain for you as well. thank you, congresswoman. thanks for being with us. >> thank you. senate budget committee chairman kent conrad had a good feeling during our last talk we'd have a fiscal deal done by today, done by yesterday. when do you think this will come together, this sort of moment?
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>> tuesday of next week. >> kent conrad joins us now. we're eight days closer to the deadline, you're an eternal optimist, still no agreement, now the president coming out today and signaling to the speaker what's going on here. what do you think is happening behind the scenes in you're closer to it than anyone. >> well, this is not been a good 24 hours. i was really taken aback by speaker boehner going to plan "b," you know, just at the time, i think many people across america thought we were behaving like adults. all of a sudden we resort to the same old tired posturing and playing of partisan political games. you know, the two sides were really relatively close. you could see a way clear to getting an agreement, and then it just all fades to black. it really makes one wonder what
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is it going to take to get people here to stay focused and to get results? >> what do you think the -- if you could sort of rewind the tape and take it back 24 hours before, as you put it, plan "b," there was an outline of a deal. is it cutting the baby in half, you know, is it slicing some off this and some off of that? where do you think they are going to end up coming down on tax cuts and importantly on entitlement cuts? >> you know, when the president went to extending the tax cuts for everybody but those above $400,000 a year in income, that was very significant move certainly for him, and i thought they were within range of a compromise in terms of extending the tax cut for the vast majority of the american people. more than 98% of the american people, and, of course, on the spending side of the ledger,
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really i thought if they split the difference, we could have a deal. and it wasn't to be, or at least it wasn't to be today. now, you know, one has to hope after we go through this next exercise of so-called plan "b," which is not going anywhere, not going to pass, why not stay focused on trying to get the agreement they were so close to achieving? i really find it almost incomprehensible that the speaker in the midst of this goes to plan "b." >> let me ask you about the debt ceiling extension. the president was suggesting two years. do you think that one year would be an acceptable agreement and since john boehner had come up with the one year, is there something in the middle there that could be the final compromise? >> you know, really i think the president was right to propose two years. there is a way to bell that cap. perhaps extending it for a year
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and then giving the president the authority to extend it beyond that with congress having the ability to veto any such extension on a super majority vote would be a way of resolving that. in other words, get the year locked in, then give the president the authority to go beyond that and congress the ability to veto it on a super majority vote. >> well, i hope we're both more optimistic 24 hours from now, but thank you very much, senator conrad. >> you bet. >> thanks for taking us behind the scenes. sometimes a picture says it all. just look at this arsenal from a police department gun buyback program in camden, new jersey, which has more than its share of violent crime. residents turned in more than 1,000 firearms this weekend, 90% of them in working condition. time for your entrepreneur of the week.
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they started north carolina-based footsteps clothing, which had a booming christmas theme pajama line. not wanting to be just a seasonal business, they added other holidays and eventually expanded to products that celebrate family life. for more, watch sunday mornings at 7:30 on msnbc.
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gun violence, mental health, and issues around assault weapons, but can a meaningful discussion actually be held and can it lead to any action with this divided congress? georgia congressman and civil rights leader john louis joins me now from capitol hill. congressman, very good to see you. >> very good to see you. >> this, in the christmas season, has been such an incredible incomprehensible tragedy with these children, and for you it goes all the way back to the civil rights era and to dr. king and, of course, to 1968. when are we going to get our arms around the question of gun violence? >> well, now's the time to act. it's not a time for a commission, or more studies, it is time for action. it remind me of another period, 1968, when dr. martin luther king jr. was assassinated, robert kennedy was assassinated. we can go back to 1963 when
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everest was assassinated. we don't need more weapons of mass destruction. nothing saddened me more than last friday. i cried, i cried, when i saw what was happening in connecticut. these little children, these innocent little babies being slaughtered, if we don't have the courage to act as members of congress, as federal officials, then we're not worth the position that we hold. we have to act, and we must act now. we cannot put it off. the cdc and my own congressional district have conducted studies over the years on gun violence. take some of those studies off the shelves, but members of congress, you hold the courage to stand up and speak out and pass the necessary legislation.
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we cannot wait and we shouldn't wait. >> congressman, there was a question asked of the president today when he was naming joe biden to head this task force, and the question was, this did not come up during the most recent campaign and where were you, mr. president. that's a very blunt president, he said i'm busy being the president of the united states, financial crisis, two wars, some say that's a bit defensive, but then he said we all have to reflect on what we've done. what do you think of the white house leadership here? >> well, the white house must lead. the president must lead. members of the house must lead. members of the united states senate must lead. we must be a headlight on this issue and not a taillight. when you see these little children, these little babies, being slaughtered, we have to act. i don't want to shed anymore tears. i don't have any tears left.
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>> congressman, what about the other range of issues, mental health issues, violence in our media, health questions, educational questions, is it all guns, or should we not let the perfect enemy of the good take it step by step? >> it's not all guns. we must bring the issue of mental illness out into the sunlight, out of the shadow, out of the closet, deal with it, treat people, have centers where people can get their necessary help, but we can start by dealing with the issues of guns. there's too many guns. the british are not coming. the russians, the russians are not coming. the british are not coming. we don't need all these guns to kill people. >> congressman john lewis,
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always a voice leading the way. thank you very much. >> thank you. >> thank you, sir. and next, the politico briefing with mike allen. but first, the queen went calling, britain's queen elizabeth sat in on a cabinet meeting tuesday, marking the first time a sitting monarch has set in on a cabinet meeting since george iii was notified of the surrender at yorktown. the queen was there as a observer, not a contributor. she was marking her 60th anniversary, of course. friends, family, fans, gathering for a memorial for jenni rivera, who, of course, died last week in that plane crash in mexico. i always wait until the last minute. can i still ship a gift in time for christmas? yeah, sure you can. great. where's your gift? uh... whew. [ male announcer ] break from the holiday stress. ship fedex express by december 22nd
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today, but the future of president obama's cabinet is still a key issue and we don't have many answers yet. mike allen, great to have you here on set. >> it's a treat. >> we thought we were going to be getting out of town, some of us -- >> speak for yourself. >> the cabinet would be named, but that is not happening, the not the foreign policy team, first susan rice derailed as secretary of state, now john kerry's candidate on track. >> but the president's people had hoped to do what they were calling the big bang, to do all the appointments to the national security cabinet together, to name a new secretary of state, a new secretary of defense, a new head of the cia. we're told because of the fiscal cliff negotiations, also more so because of the newtown tragedy, all that has been put off, so it's possible that on friday we will get an announcement just of
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senator kerry of secretary of state. that's the soonest that would be. the others certainly will be later, probably in the new year after the president's back from hawaii. >> there are other complications. let's look at the calendar, senator kerry is chairing the public hearings on benghazi, and how we were talking about earlier, how awkward is that? he's chairing the hearings that take a part the state department, the department he's expected to be chairing, if confirmed. his own panel will have to confirm him. he's in conversations today with his colleagues and senator corker said on the show today earlier, as you heard, we can't hold a confirmation hearing, we won't, john kerry, my friend and colleague, as they say in the senate, until hillary clinton shows up, and she is out sick. so this means hearings in january on benghazi, too. >> that was a great question that you asked senator corker, isn't this awkward, and you're reporting on benghazi has been
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so remarkable since the very first day i remember you stayed up all night that night, now we're seeing with this report what an unfortunate way, uncharacteristic way, for secretary clinton to go out. she's had this fantastic run, unquestionably, a great record, and she's going to be gone in a month. very hard to see how all this can be cleaned up in a month. there's a million threads of the sweater to pull on in that report, and we saw from that interview that republicans are going to start pulling on them right away. >> even those that are less politically inclined, because there's a lot of substance here, this report was done by two of the most outstanding diplomats and retired military you could imagine. chuck kagel, here we go, first in terms of a kerry nomination friday, the funeral at the international cathedral, which will involve all these players
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on friday, as well. >> that makes me think they are going to do them all later. >> chuck kagel, we believe, is the front-runner to be secretary of defense, but i was on the trip in '08, i think you were as well, mike, when president obama the candidate went to jordan and other capitals and was with him in iraq and afghanistan, vietnam veteran, but one who has been averse to the iraq surge, voted against that, spoke out against it, and has earned himself some enemies among the stronger, shall we say, lobbyist for the state of israel. >> by floating this name too early, the white house has really attracted criticism for him. politico just posted a story saying beginning tomorrow, the emergency committee for israel conservative group founded by william krystal is going to have adds on msnbc and other attacking chuck hagel for voting against iran sanctions. the white house tells us they believe this criticism is
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manageable, they could go ahead with nomination of senator hagel, but there are other names out there, and i think this is much less set in stone than the choice of senator kerry. >> it's, again, a situation where they suggest, float a name, and let the critics gather before they even have a defense of the nominee. what about women and other diverse names if this doesn't work? >> that's why i think the michelle fonoi, the first couple of the years of the obama administration, important voice during the reelection campaign, i could see her becoming very attractive. is the president really going to go out and announce three white men as a national security appointees? could well happen if they are the right people, he could well do that, but you could see michelle coming in there, also being considered as the number two now at the pentagon, ash carter, and choosing him would be acknowledgment that the defense job is a huge management job. that's an unbelievable
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enterprise in a huge period of transition and cutback. there needs to be somebody who can really run that organization, and whatever senator hagel's gifts, those aren't it. he's not a manager, not someone who's going to have the ear of that building. that's why you saw an editorial in "the washington post" today really going after the hagel idea and saying he'd been out there calling the pentagon bloated. i don't know who's going to argue with that, but it's not a great way to come in the door. >> a lot of problems with these nominations and the way they are being managed, rather. mike, thank you very much. >> thank you for your coverage. up next, "times" person of the year, the story and pictures that tell it. a body at rest tends to stay at rest... while a body in motion tends to stay in motion. staying active can actually ease arthritis symptoms. but if you have arthritis, staying active can be difficult. prescription celebrex can help relieve arthritis pain so your body can stay in motion. because just one 200mg celebrex a day can provide 24 hour relief for many with arthritis pain and inflammation.
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plus, in clinical studies, celebrex is proven to improve daily physical function so moving is easier. celebrex can be taken with or without food. and it's not a narcotic. you and your doctor should balance the benefits with the risks. all prescription nsaids, like celebrex, ibuprofen, naproxen, and meloxicam have the same cardiovascular warning. they all may increase the chance of heart attack or stroke, which can lead to death. this chance increases if you have heart disease or risk factors such as high blood pressure or when nsaids are taken for long periods. nsaids, including celebrex, increase the chance of serious skin or allergic reactions or stomach and intestine problems, such as bleeding and ulcers, which can occur without warning and may cause death. patients also taking aspirin and the elderly are at increased risk for stomach bleeding and ulcers. do not take celebrex if you've had an asthma attack, hives, or other allergies to aspirin, nsaids or sulfonamides. get help right away if you have swelling of the face or throat, or trouble breathing. tell your doctor your medical history and find an arthritis treatment for you.
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visit and ask your doctor about celebrex. for a body in motion.
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[ engine revs ] ♪ ♪ [ male announcer ] the mercedes-benz winter event is back, with the perfect vehicle that's just right for you, no matter which list you're on. [ santa ] ho, ho, ho, ho! [ male announcer ] lease a 2013 c250 for $349 a month at your local mercedes-benz dealer. it's that time of year, pun intended, for "time" magazine's person of the year, a tradition dating back to 1927, and the first man of the year, charles lindbergh. for the second time, the honor
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goes to president obama, who was also named in 2008. joining me now, rick stangle. great to see you. this is the most fun, isn't it the most fun you have, the man of the year, person of the year, thing of the year, whatever. i think a couple years ago i was it, all of us, is that correct? >> all of us. user-generated content, which we all create back in 2006/2007. it's very exciting, the issue that gets the most attention out of all the issues we do. it's a great international and national parlor grame. >> why did the president deserve it the second time? >> i would say three reasons. first of all, he won an uphill battle for reelection, and he was the -- he's only the second democrat in american history to win a second term and get more than 50% of the vote. the last one was fdr. that's an amazing thing in an environment where we had
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unemployment at nearly 8%, another thing that hasn't happened in 75 years, a president winning when unemployment was that high. the other thing we realized is 2008 was not an anomaly, it wasn't lightning in a bottle, as he sometimes called it. what happened in 2012 is he solidified this changing demographic of america, where basically if you take the -- the ascendant groups, minorities, african-americans, women, college-educated women, hispanics, he won more than 70% of that whole entire group. that is the new america, and it is coalescing around him, and the third reason is something we're even seeing today with his press conference. he wants to become a transformational president, where there are things that he will address and do in his second term that he never even talked about in his first term, but he will use as bully pulpit to get behind in a second term. >> and the photos you accompanied with this article are just wonderful. let's just talk, they are very
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recent, some, including the first, which is president obama in that newtown high school this weekend going over his remarks before he was going to address the crowd. i mean, that is one of the saddest and contemplative, can you imagine the burden on him? but there are others -- >> in fact, andrea, that picture, which i can't see, but i know it from memory, it's even more poignant, that night sasha was giving a ballet recital, and he wasn't able to go, so there he is at her school, that's the last dress rehearsal, so he went to see that before he went to newtown and he was that was sasha's big night that night. then of course there is that hug with the president and the first lady after they know they have been reelected. the family photo. one of my favorites is spidey. you have this photo op and this
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is a child of a white house staff member in full spiderman costume and the president playing along. it's a charming photo. >> it's a charming getto and shows a side that people don't always see and they are more fun and relaxed. it shows him as a father which is something we have seen in the last few weeks, quite a lot of. >> thank you for sharing. it's a great issue and i can't wait to get my hands on it. this is as we say the most fun time of year and for your many, many readers. thank you again. a sad note, an intellectual fire brand whose nomination to the supreme court was rejected by the senate in many ways poisoning confirmation politics in many ways at 85 from complications of heart disease. he was nixon's solicitor general to fire the watergate special prosecutor that became known as
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the saturday night massacre. he had an unquestioned legal pedigree and named to the court by ronald reagan. they turned him down based not on qualifications, but on judicial philosophy. that created a verb borked. blan [ "the odd couple" theme playing ]
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>> we will have a political headline not in the next 24 hours, but in the next hour. they will respond to the president. they are engaged, but publicly, not privately where they need them to be. >> what are better way to come close to ending the cliskal cliff as we get closer and closer than dueling press conferenc conferences. nothing is more political.
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the more public the negotiations are, the worse. the weekend and beginning of this week, we are better in terms of the deal as they were meeting privately. back to back press conferences are not usually how they get resolved. >> thank you so much. that does it for this edition of andr"andrea mitchell reports." up next on "news nation." tamron? >> you mentioned speaker boehner will be live within the hour and we will play his reaction to the president's major news conference out of washington. within the last hour the president took questions on where the fiscal cliff talk stands right now and what the president said is a wake up call for america regarding gun violence and we are learning speaker boehner will hold the conference in about 15 minutes. his comments and dnc chair woman will join the "news nation"
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