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two purple hearts. but quite frankly chuck hagel is out of the mainstream by thinking i believe on most issues regarding foreign policy. >> out of the mainstream. is that how he is regarded in washington, d.c.? >> well, i don't want to get into a debate with lindsey who i happen to be a huge fan of. i think he's one of the strongest members of the senate. but the president has chosen chuck hagel or is, i guess, going to choose chuck hagel. and chuck hagel isn't going to be working for himself. he's not going to be freelancing as a senator as he was when he made these misstatements which i suspect have upset senator graham and other members of the senate who might be concerned about some of the things he said in the past. he'll be working for the president. when working for the president you follow the president's policies. i don't see this prior statement as being -- first off, they may -- they may have been wrong. he may have made some statements which were inappropriate, as he did. but everybody does, i guess. and now he's going to be working
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for the president. and carrying the president's policies forward. i think he'll probably carry them forward rather effectively. the thing i like about chuck, and i've known him for a long time. we had our differences when we were in the senate to say the least because he's a pretty strong personality. but i like the fact that he thinks outside the box. the defense department is going to go through a major adjustment right now. for the next few years as the budget pressures come down on them fairly strongly. plus, you're shifting from a boots on the ground philosophy of how you fight terrorism to more of an intelligence driven terrorist battle, fighting terrorists battle. i think chuck will bring some interesting and creative thoughts to a defense establishment which tends to be a rather structured and orthodox rather than unorthodox. >> sir, you've said that before, especially on this network, in reference to chuck hagel taking this spot. that they need somebody who thinks outside of the box. do you think he can get through a confirmation hearing,
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especially and ironically enough, if the right is the one going after him just as hard as certain people on the left that don't want to see him in that post? >> yes, yes i do. i think the president has a right to choose his cabinet. most people agree with that. there are very few people who don't think the president has the right to choose his members of the cabinet. as long as those members have integrity, haven't misrepresented things or have done things which were improper, haven't done things which were improper. clearly chuck hagel doesn't fall into any of those categories. i suspect he'll get a fairly strong vote. he's going to have senators on an issue of policy. they're going to vote against him on things he said in the past especially on israel. >> you're also the co-payer of the campaign to fix the debt. that's a next thing that's racing down the line there in washington, d.c. talking about the debt ceiling. and just earlier we were -- had the opportunity on "the daily rundown" to talk -- or kmuz me.
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david gregory had the chance over the weekend to speak with mitch mcconnell about shutting down the government. i just want to play for everyone exactly what he had to say. >> would you rule out a government shutdown to achieve your goals? >> what i think we ought to do is to encourage the president to actually be president. address the single biggest -- >> i understand that. my question is would you rule out a government shutdown? >> i know what your question is. what i'm telling you is i haven't given up on the president stepping up to the plate. >> mitch mcconnell seeming a little defiant of that question there. obviously we've lived through this before knowing they're willing to push us to the brink of shutdown and put the country at great peril in terms of our credit ratings and such. when you think about this fight coming up, what's your take on how it's going to play out? >> well, i agree with mitch. with senator mcconnell that i think it's incredibly important that the president engage and engage early. there are three pressure points coming. the sequester, the debt ceiling
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and the continuing resolution. any one of those pressure points can create a brinksmanship event. but we don't need a brinksmanship event. i believe there's a pathway here. and the fix the debt group is pushing for this. a pathway to an agreement which would get our debt and deficit situation significantly under control and do it in a way that both sides could come out winners. and that's what we should be pointing towards. this should not be a zero sum game for one side and a winner take all game for the other side. this should be understood as an approach which has to involve compromise by both sides to get to the bigger and more important decision, which is that we bring the deficit and the debt under control. and the pathway has been fairly well defined. we've got to do something on the entitlements accounts. we're going to have to change the way we collect revenues this n this country and reform our revenue system. those two events are very doable. they can be done in a bipartisan way. the simpson/bowles commission
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proved that on which i served. so i think we've just got to step back, take a deep breath and say are we here to govern or here to confront? hopefully everyone will come out and say we're here to govern. >> former senator judd gregg, thanks for your time. i want to bring in our monday morning political power panel. lynn sweet, washington bureau chief of the chicago sun sometimes. democratic strategist doug parnell and republican strategist hogan giddily. i want to start out with basically off the heels of that comment about hagel that was made by lindsey graham over the weekend. and on "morning joe" today joe and mika has a very interesting response to lindsey graham being the one to lob the barb of being out of the mainstream. take a listen. >> lindsey graham is saying that chuck hagel is out of the mainstream. okay. >> anybody out there wants to say that chuck hagel is outside the mainstream of foreign policy, i suggest they turn the mirror around on them.
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because i suggest anybody saying that of the guy that's running the atlantic council and is from the realist school of colin powell, james baker iii, george h.w. bush, brent skokroff. >> if hagel were a true blue republican having campaigned for mitt romney and other gop candidates last fall you wouldn't have seen senators like lindsey graham speak so critically of him. if and around washington what is the modern day perception of chuck hagel? is he out of the mainstream? >> i think it's a little bit that he's off -- he is -- he's within the mainstream but at an edge. he has -- he's going to face a lot of explanation for what he meant when he talked about the jewish lobby. i think in the end democrats and democrat allied groups do not want to cause president obama even more of a headache by portraying him as a fringe character because he most likely will end up being confirmed
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unless a republican senator puts a hold on his nomination. >> let's talk about that. that fringe characterization. we had senator chris murphy speaking out earlier about the republicans and just how much they're itching for a fight. take a listen to this. >> republicans are spoiling for a fight. i think they recognize that this guy's coming into his second term with a head of steam. that he's very well regarded on issues of foreign policy. the republicans used to hold an advantage on that mantle. have lost it to an extent. so they just want to pick a fight. >> hogan, here's the thing. are they truly itching for a fight on this especially given the optics of how they were able to, the right that is, kind of sour the test balloon that was that of susan rice? and now they're trying to sour the test balloon that is chuck hagel. we're just a couple hours away from the fact that he will be put up for this appointment. doesn't it look funny to have the right kind of eating their young, eating their own from a position that they would like one of their own to be in? >> you know, i don't know that they're really itching for a fight here. it just seems like whenever the
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president floats one of these names out there we have everybody fanning out their turkey feathers, strutting around the barnyard like they have something to say about it early on. when cooler heads prevail and if we can get to a senate confirmation hearing, chuck hagel will obviously have to answer some questions that republicans are concerned about. actually, on your network this morning on "the daily rundown" with chuck todd i think dan sino did a fabulous job explaining a couple of the votes we were talking about against israel and against some of the middle eastern issues we care most about with syria. some of the comments he made about hamas. those are things that are serious that affect this country and affect this nation. and he's going to have to answer for those votes. but, look, there's a time and a place for that. he'll get in front of the senate. they'll ask him some serious, pointed questions. he'll have to answer them. we'll see what happens after that. but, look, i doubt we'll have enough democrats defect to vote against this guy. and i would imagine republicans vote for him as well. >> hogan, bring up dan sino who did appear on "the daily rundown" today.
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he said if we look at the iran/libya sanctions. he wasn't just against it. one of the handful of senators to oppose hezbollah designing the revolutionary guard. we talk about the russian anti-semitism, the american jewish community. published in a full page ad "new york times" in the pipt wasn't divided. 99 senators signed that. the only senator that didn't was chuck hagel. doug, i want to talk to you about this. is the fact that right now hagel appears to be a man without a party, because if the left is going to come after him, anywhere near the way that the right already has, he's going to be in for a bruising and blood letting through the confirmation hearing. >> well, look. chuck hagel is a vietnam war hero. decorated. two purple hearts. he runs a centrist -- or chairman of a centrist foreign policy think tank. he also had the courage to take on his party on the iraq war. i think that's something that
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democrats will appreciate. and, you know, for lindsey graham and for senator mccain and some of these other people, i think that's really the underlying issue. is that chuck hagel, you know, separated from the republican party on the iraq war. when he felt like it wasn't going in the right direction. and they probably still haven't forgiven him for that. he also was someone who was helpful to the president in 2008. that's something i think senator mccain probably hasn't forgiven him for. hogan's right. there's going to be a hearing here. i generally land the president has a right to pick who he wants to serve in his cabinet. senators can ask questions. really, i think this is about the iraq war, i think, largely. and some bitterness there. >> hogan, real quickly. last word. >> look, if the president really wants to cut defense, what better way to do that than put forth a veteran who is decorated who's a republican? the attacks would be much different on chuck hagel than they would on a democrat nominee in that position. >> he would be the first decorated soldier to hold that post. i have a lot of chucks on the brain.
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i apologize for saying chuck todd for defense secretary. it's chuck hagel. my thanks to all three of you. social insecurity. why some democrats think president obama might not fight to protect social security in the next round of those debt talks. senator bernie sanders is going to join me and weigh in on that. plus, she is back. secretary of state hillary clinton back at foggy bottom after suffering from the stomach flu, a concussion, and then a blood clot. how soon could she go before congress to testify about benghazi? then our big question for you. is chuck hagel too controversial to be confirmed as defense secretary? tweet me @thomasaroberts or find me on facebook. we're back after this. [ male announcer ] alka-seltzer plus liquid gels speeds relief to your worst cold symptoms plus has a decongestant for your stuffy nose. thanks. that's the cold truth! [ male announcer ] the rhythm of life. [ whistle blowing ] where do you hear that beat? campbell's healthy request soup
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welcome back, everybody. more now on the budget battle that's growing in washington. both sides could not be farther
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apart. republicans say they're done talking about taxes, done talking about revenue. now they want to turn to spending and entitlement cuts. democrats say the opposite. all this sets the stage for a fight over the debt ceiling. the president has already said he's not willing to have. >> last time congress threatened this course of action, our entire economy suffered for it. our families and our businesses cannot afford that dangerous game again. >> it's a shame that we have to use whatever leverage we have in congress to get the president to deal with the biggest problem confronting our future. and that's our excessive spending. >> let's bring in and say good morning to senator bernie sanders, independent senator from vermont who caucuses with the democrats. it's great to have you here. let's look back at this. after voting to hike taxes for higher income earners in this country, republicans say that the revenue debate, that's over. it's behind them. however, the president, leader pelosi and even you are now ready to go after corporations that in some cases pay no taxes at all. house speaker john boehner has
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signaled a mild openness to closing loopholes. do democrats smell blood in the water here? and is that where this potential is coming from, to keep these talks open and running? >> well, thomas, it's not smelling blood in the water. what it is is looking at reality. and the reality is that we have growing wealth and income inequality in america. people on top in large corporations doing phenomenally well. middle class disappearing. poverty levels at an all-time high. what we know is one out of four major american corporations don't pay a nickel in federal taxes. we're losing about $100 billion every single year by corporations and wealthy people stashing their money in tax havens in the cayman islands, bermuda and elsewhere. corporations today are paying about 12% of their profits in taxes. that's the lowest rate since 1972. so the question that we have to debate as a nation is, deficit
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reduction is a very important point. but we have to understand that today at 15.7% our revenue as part of gdp is the lowest that it has been in 60 years. so when senator mcconnell says revenue is not the issue, he is dead wrong. revenue is very much the issue. the american people have been very clear. they do not want to cut social security. >> right. >> medicare and medicaid. they do want to ask the wealthy and large corporations to pay more in taxes. that is what i believe -- >> there is an issue with spending in the country when it comes to other issues outside of earned entitlements. when we look at what we're seeing being spent in this country and john boehner in an interview with the "wall street journal" has gone on to say that in reference to the fiscal cliff negotiations, we have a very serious spending problem. and the paper says he repeated this message so often that during the end of the negotiations the president became irritated and said i'm getting tired of hearing you say that. do you agree washington does
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have a spending problem? let's not talk about earned ente entitlement. but a spending problem they refuse to fix? >> i don't think we refuse to look at it. we are spending a lot of money because we are in the midst of a terrible wall street caused recession. where real unemployment is close to 15%. and if we do not expand the food stamp program, children in america go hungry. and if you do not provide unemployment compensation, workers will be out on the street having lost everything. historically what happens when you're in the midst of this terrible, terrible recession, and, again, real unemployment close to 15%, what the american society has got to do as a society is take care of people in need. as the economy improves, as fewer people are on unemployment, those spending programs should go down. but you can't leave fellow americans out there on the street. >> you talk about the terrible recession, though. sir, does that mean that we
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should gear up and be prepared for the brink of a government shutdown, being pushed to the edge once again? and if you're saying that wall street is causing this, aren't you guys sending wall street the message of the fact that the government is going to be shut down, the debt ceiling issue is going to be a problem, we're not going to pay our bills and we're going to potentially have more damage to our credit rating? no. that's not my point. absurd that any republican or anybody united states absolutely right. off of the a, how we create the millions of jobs that this country desperately needs. by the way, thomas, when you create jobs and create taxpayers and people are contributing revenue, then your deficit is going to go down. deal is fair. the backs of people who hurting. doesn't pay a nickel in federal
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income taxes. that's wrong. >> independent senator bernie sanders from vermont. sir, as always, great to have you on. thank you for your time. >> thank you. apology not accepted. the log cabin republicans taking out this full page ad "new york times" in the last month. also an ad in the "washington post." opposing a potential chuck hagel nomination as defense secretary. why they still say he's wrong on gay rights. happening right now, a preliminary hearing for james holmes, the suspect in the aurora theater shooting. we're going to take you there, get a first look at some of the evidence in that case. ♪ i'd like to thank eating right, whole grain, multigrain cheerios! mom, are those my jeans? [ female announcer ] people who choose more whole grain tend to weigh less than those who don't. multigrain cheerios
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we're following develops news out of colorado for you where preliminary hearings just got under way for james holmes, the suspect in the aurora movie theater shooting that left 12 people dead, dozens injured last july. prosecutors will outline their case against holmes during the week long hearing and make their evidence public frlt very first time. nbc's leanne greg is in
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centennial, colorado, with more for us. good morning. >> reporter: good morning, tom. it was during the hearing that started within the last 30 minutes, large amounts of previously sealed information will be revealed including details of what happened inside the theater. there will be 911 calls. video from the theater. and testimony from victims, police officers and mental health experts. after the hearing a judge will decide if there's enough evidence to have a trial. holmes could have waived his right to this preliminary hearing but it provides a picture of the prosecution's evidence and that could help him determine whether he wants to ask for a plea deal. holmes faces 166 could wants of first-degree murder and other charges for allegedly opening fire inside a crowded movie theater last july. his mental health will be key, a major factor in this case. this hearing is expected to last all week. a very difficult time for the family members and victims who are attending the hearing. thomas? >> nbc's leanne greg reporting live from centennial, colorado.
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thank you. i appreciate it. we want to give you a quick look at some of the stories that are topping the news now. former new mexico governor bill richardson and google executive chairman eric schmidt arrive in north korea on a controversial trip. the obama administration has frowned on this visit. richardson said there is -- the visit, that they are there as a private citizen on humanitarian missions. five men accused of the gang rape and murder of an indian student appear in court to hear the charges against them. two of the men have offered to testify against the offers. possibly in exchange for a lighter sentence. the city of steubenville, ohio, has launched a website to provide information on the high profile rape case involving two high school football players. big playoff wins to talk about this weekend for the texans, ravens, packers and seahawks. the painful season ending loss for the redskins' rookie quarterback robert griffin iii or rg3 who had to leave the game in the fourth quarter after reinjuring his right knee. new pictures of justin bieber posted on celebrity
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website tmz, sparking controversy. tmz claiming the pictures show bieber smoking pot with friends in a hotel room last week. nbc has not been able to confirm either the photo's authenticity or that bieber was smoking marijuana. nbc has reached out to bieber's reps, but we have not heard anything back yet. a day after those pics were posted, bieber tweeted, quote, i see all of you. i hear all of you. i never want to let any of you down. i love you and thank you. [ man ] ring ring... progresso this reduced sodium soup says it may help lower cholesterol, how does it work? you just have to eat it as part of your heart healthy diet. step 1. eat the soup. all those veggies and beans, that's what may help lower your cholesterol and -- well that's easy [ male announcer ] progresso. you gotta taste this soup.
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the american jewish committee went to the u.s. senate and asked every senator to sign this letter that would be published in a full page ad "new york times" in the. it wasn't divided. 99 senators signed the letter calling on russia to deal with anti-semitism in russia. the only senator that didn't sign it was chuck hagel. so there is a consensus in washington, this is not partisan, it is a bipartisan consensus in washington, that
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transcends party lines. it's a broad consensus. chuck hagel has consistently been outside of the consensus. >> that was dan senor on the daily rundown calling chuck hagel's own voting record into question saying he's outside the mainstream on u.s. policien issues like israel and iran. want to check in now with nbc white house correspondent peter alexander. peter, when we talk about what's leading up to this announcement, we're still 90 minutes out from it, but there's a lot of political controversy around chuck hagel. the question is is the president and the white house really up for this bruising type of confirmation? >> reporter: it seems pretty clear that they are. and the president's obviously very confident and has a close relationship with chuck hagel. the two of them traveled to both iraq and afghanistan together when president obama was then senator obama at the time. we got sort of tipped off to some of the talking points that you will likely hear parroted over the next couple weeks from the white house when it comes to chuck hagel. they refer to him as a straight shooter. they say he understands the world stage. also really focus on the fact that he is a combat veteran.
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recognize the significance of that, thomas. if he is to be nominated as he will be just about an hour and a half from now and then confirmed, he would become the first grunt, as it were, the first enlisted soldier and vietnam veteran, purple heart war hero, decorated from his time in service, to go on to be the secretary of defense. the way the white house sort of views this right now is two-fold. one, they see him despite the criticisms as a man who wore the uniform who can stand up to those generals in the pentagon. of course, the president did not serve in the military. and then with all these bruising battles in terms of the fiscal issues, the economy going forward, who better to sort of represent the white house when they try to downsize the pentagon in some form than perhaps a republican senator? thomas. >> nbc's peter alexander live at the white house for us. peter, thanks so much. in talking more about the background of senator chuck hagel and whether or not he's going to be able to make it through the confirmation
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hearings, there have been certain people on all sides talking about his past. and there are lgbt rights groups who are not so fast to back off their criticism of senator chuck hagel. the group log cabin republicans recently took out a full page ad or ads, that is, the latest one appearing in today's "washington post." the other first appears "new york times" in the saying hagel is wrong on lgbt rights, israel and iran. gregory angelo is the interim executive director of the log cabin republicans and joining me here in studio. great to have you here. congratulations on your new post as you just took over. >> thanks for having me this morning. >> absolutely. one of the first things you guys have been able to do under your watch so far is having to deal with chuck hagel and talking about why he's not right for this job. i want to go back to showing, if we could, the -- the ad that you took out and the 15-year-old statement that you guys reference in that. if we could show it again. where you say that chuck hagel said they are representing our lifestyle, our values, our
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standards. and i think it is an inhibiting factor to be gay openly, aggressively gay. this is talking about an ambassadorship that was going to go to someone 15 years ago during president clinton's administration. >> correct. >> when you go to the bottom of the ad, though, and we look there, we see that the date is from 1998. also just to point out the herald, "omaha world herald" is spelled wrong. why go after him for a 15-year-old statement he has now come out to apologize for? >> the fact is that his apology was weak. it was a statement that he made where he said that he -- he was insensitive in the past. that's something that, you know, that doesn't sound like a very genuine apology to us, first of all. and the fact is that the -- it's his record that we're looking at. his full record. the totality of his record. the ad we placed today in the "washington post" actually covers the totality of his record. his support of the defense of marriage act. his support of keeping don't ask, don't tell on the books. and this is something that's
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very important to us log cabin republicans. the fact that we invested a lot of time and a lot of money in repeal of don't ask, don't tell. we want someone that's going to be the next secretary of defense who's actually able to implement that policy and do it effectively. we do not think chuck hagel is the right person for that job. >> when we talk about the fact that he has apologized, though, why do you feel that that isn't genuine? when we have people that are in the gop majority right now who would be more actively homophobic than senator chuck hagel. wouldn't his admission of the fact that this is an insensitive comment mean to you you are gaining the gop inclusion you tout? >> we're looking at the timing of this apology as well. that's something that's very important. the fact is, you know, if he was truly genuinely sorry about this, he could have issued that apology -- he could have called james hormel directly instead of releasing this apology via media sources. secondly, the fact that this apology came out just at the
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time his name was being floated as a potential nominee for secretary of defense is also something that gives us cause for concern. so is it good that he apologized? hey, i mean, this is something that it's always good when people move forward on issues. but there's an entier portfolio of issues we're looking at. the entire totality of his record we're looking at. it gives us cause for concern. we do not think he should be the nominee for secretary of defense. >> when president obama has said that he accepts his apology and also says that anybody that's going to be working with me understands where my administration is going and what my administration stands for, don't you think that that means that chuck hagel has to step into this role and fulfill the fact that don't ask, don't tell, why it has been fully repealed, will continue to not be an issue moving forward in defense issues? sfwl thomas, i'm going to ask you. why are rolling the dice on this? why do we need to be asking this question? president obama could nominate anyone for secretary of defense. our position is we do not want to roll the dice. it's dangerous to roll the dice at a critical time where don't ask, don't tell needs to be implemented fully.
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>> really quickly, one of the things you put out that you are disappointed john boehner has recently enacted funding for 2013. the money you spent on an ad to go after chuck hagel, are you going to spend that kind of money, that kind of capital to go after john boehner and the rest of the majority gop that still want to go after doma and enforce it where the president has said they don't want the department of justice to do this anymore and waste taxpayer money? they're going to waste taxpayer money during this time where we're all fighting and squabbling -- >> it's always been our work and our mission to hold republicans and democrats accountable. would we be placing an ad? all i can say is that right now the ad campaign that you see going on against chuck hagel is part of a broader communication strategy we're working on at the organization to raise our profile. you're going to see a lot more work from log cabin republicans. so you ain't seen nothing yet is all i'm going to say to this. >> we look forward to seeing what more you have. log cabin republicans interim director, gregory angelo. one of hagel's biggest critics now seems to be softening on his stance
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somewhat. in today's boston globe massachusetts congressman barney frank, a key lgbt voice on the left has said, quote, as much as i regret what hagel said and resent what he said, the question now is going to be afghanistan. him scaling back the military. in terms of the policy stuff, if he would be rejected by the senate, it would be a setback for those things. secretary of state hillary clinton back to work this morning. high-level talks already planned for the end of the week. could benghazi testimony be the next thing to happen very soon? our question to you today, is chuck hagel too controversial to be confirmed as defense secretary? tweet me your thoughts @thomasaroberts or find me on facebook. can pluggable febreze make even this old container smell fresh?
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a great cup of coffee should be easy as one, two... well, just one. new single serve cafe collections from maxwell house now available for use in the keurig k-cup brewer. always good to the last drop. we've resolved the revenue issue and the question is what are we going to do about spending. >> is that done now? >> no. >> is the revenue side of it taken care of yet? >> no, no. it is not. >> senate republican leader mitch mcconnell, house democratic leader nancy pelosi
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as washington's next major battle takes shape. the battle of the raising of the nation's debt ceiling. a deal disappointed dozens of corporate executives part of an organization called fix the debt founded by erskine bowles and allen simpson. among those disappointed is ceo paul stebens, executive chairman of world fuel services. that's an airline services company based in miami. he joins us now. great to have you here. what's wrong with last week's fiscal cliff deal? and do both sides lack the political courage that's needed to really get down to the basics here, to deal with the real issues? >> sure. thanks for having me, thomas. look, a crisis is a terrible thing to waste. we had a moment of time, a moment of opportunity to do something comprehensive and we did not. so we haven't ever gotten to the root cause which is the long-term trajectory of the growing entitlements, spending, when we really need
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comprehensive reform of those to make them insolvent. we didn't get to the tax code reform. you have the debt ceiling and the sequester. you create a level of uncertainty that in the business world means it's very difficult to have any confidence about economic growth. so you've got to eliminate that uncertainty. it does require political will. but political will is difficult when the reality is you've got very well financed advocacy groups making it very difficult to come to consensus and have a conversation that isn't about a political narrative. so i think the fix the debt gang believes that we need to help these people come to a real solution in the middle. >> part of that gang is allen simpson. the fix the debt gang. also of the simpson/bowles commission. >> erskine/bowles. >> comparing the debt situation the other day about europe. that really gets a lot of people to listen up. take a listen to how he said this. >> we're the healthiest horse in the glue factory right now. the trajectory of debt, deficit
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and interest right now, the trajectory of debt, deficit and interest will match any of the pigg countries. portugal, italy, spain, match it. of course, we're lots bigger. >> the healthiest horse in the glue factory. so what can be done. >> yeah. >> to fix the debt. >> look, the reality is our debt to gdp is 73%. the historical average is 40%. the highest in history was 180% after world war ii. in ten years we'll be at 85%. now you start getting close to italy and some of the other countries that have problems. so, you know, this is a problem where you can run but you can't hide. i think that it's like the problem politically is that like birch and russell said you tend to think in concept but you live in the detail. when you get into the hard detail of reforms we tend to triflize the national debate. it becomes the extremes of the left saying fat cat ceos are going to throw grandma under the bus. you've got the hard right basically saying that we are socialists and we have no individual responsibility. i think that this does a huge disservice to the american public who need to be engaged in
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this conversation. i joined fix the debt not as an executive chairman, i joined it not as a partisan but as a citizen. i think that this is primarily an issue of citizenship for all of the country. and it's no longer an issue of advocacy. it's a matter of responsible governance. fix the debt is 330,000 citizens and grow ing. it's 150 business leaders and growing. it's 2,500 small businesses and growing. it's about having a conversation that doesn't diminish us as a country but actually elevates the conversation to a common national purpose of fixing these things. because they won't fix themselves. and it's not going to get easier. it's going to get harder. so i think we have a real high duty of care as all of us in leadership positions to elevate that conversation. you know, business was part of the problem as well. >> mm-hmm. >> in 2011 that was the wake-up call. you know, we were -- we were asleep at the wheel. our tax exemptions are just as much part of the problem as all the other issues. we need to have that honest conversation and do the right thing for the entire country. not for just special interests. and that requires political
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will. >> world fuel services executive chairman pall stebbins. thanks so much. appreciate your time today. >> thank you, thomas. brian williams, well, he is a family guy. time for the poli sidebar. >> good afternoon. i'm brian williams. our top story, an accidental space shuttle launch that has sent a rhode island family into orbit. for more on the story, we go to our local affiliate, channel 5 where tom tucker is on the scene. tom? >> that rhode island family in space? the griffins. senator rand paul's son expected in court tomorrow on charges of underage drinking and disrderly conduct. william hilton paul was arrested on saturday morning after landing at the charlotte douglas international airport. police say he might have been served on the flight from kentucky. no comment yet from the airline. federal workers in dc are losing a day of holiday pay because of the president's inauguration. the reason, it falls on the observance of martin luther king's birthday. dc workers would normally get both days off. if you were hoping to get
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tickets for the inauguration, unfortunately, you're not going to be able to because of a ticketmaster snafu. tin vits were accidentally sebt out last night instead of this morning. a look at the first family's hawaiian vacation by the numbers. president obama played five rounds of golf. with seven different partners. the obamas went out to dinner four different times. the first family spent two afternoons on the beach. president obama spent one father/daughter afternoon with malia and sasha. [ woman ] ring. ring. progresso. your soups are so awesomely delicious my husband and i can't stop eating 'em! what's...that... on your head? can curlers! tomato basil, potato with bacon... we've got a lot of empty cans. [ male announcer ] progresso. you gotta taste this soup.
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>> asked, you answered. is chuck hagel too controversial? here's what he has to say for himself present day. i'm sure the president wouldn't have nominated him if he wasn't in agreement with current policy. from jeff, no matter what he said 14 years ago, it doesn't matter today. he was anti-iraq early on. good enough for me. keep those comments coming in. reach us through twitter or
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facebook. as we told you about, secretary of state hillary clinton back at work five days after being treated for a blood clot and other health conditions. those have been keeping her grounded for the past few weeks. now, the secretary arrived at the state department in that town car this morning. today she's going to be meeting with top staff and later this week she's scheduled for high level meetings with the president, defense secretary, and the afghan president who is traveling to washington. for more on secretary clinton's last days in the obama administration want to bring in and say good morning to former ambassador mark ginsberg and a former white house advisor on the middle east. mark, it's great to see you this morning. let's talk about the state department. i'll show it to everybody. just released a picture of secretary clinton. in her tenure, as we all know, it's wibding down. republicans in congress still want to hear what she has to say, her testimony officially on benghazi. are we likely to hear from secretary clinton on that matter before she steps down? >> thomas, good morning. absolutely. i think the secretary clearly wants to be able to testify. i'm sure she would have wanted
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to testify before she got ill. after all, she is the -- she took a responsibility for the events. she commissioned a terrific investigation of the incident. when i say terrific, she had a five-star team of investigators who basically made a recommendation that she endorsed whole-heartedly. knowing the department as i do, i'm sure the secretary would very much like to insure the congress that these recommendations are being implemented in order to avoid such incidents again. >> so senator john kerry has been nominated to take over her post. do you think, though, the order of how things are going to go is that we're going to need to hear from secretary clinton first about benghazi before anything moves forward for kerry's confirmation? >> well, senator corker, who is going to be the ranking republican member on the senate foreign relations committee s m intimated that that's what he wants to do. he is putting a precondition on senator kerry's hearing
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before -- in order to have secretary clinton testify. now, i don't know how the order of things will eventually einvolve, but i know the secretary for 35 years -- this is secretary clinton. i'm convinced there is no doubt in my mind that she would like to be able to go before her former colleagues and make sure they had the assurances of her own involvement and understanding of how she intends to before she leaves to make sure that the recommendations that are implemented by the pickering-mullen commission are indeed implemented. >> how important is that to any future as we look down the line, the long-sightedness of 2016. benghazi auto would come up as a blemish on her career if she were to reemerge as a front runner 2016. she is ranked among gallop as most admired women in the world. she has one of the highest approval ratings in the obama administration, and people are taking bets far and wide about whether or not she's going to come back for that white house run. >> thomas, there's no doubt that after the secretary takes some time off and decides whether or not she wants to reoh merge in a more political capacity, the
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fact is that her legacy is far greater than benghazi. i mean, after all, four years of her traveling around the world resolving many an issue, she has reinstalled the art of diplomacy back in the state department. there's no doubt that when you look at the four corners over four years benghazi, while it clearly was just a terrible incidents to occur on her watch, the fact is when you put that in the context of her -- a legacy of great achievement as a secretary of state i'm quite convinced that the secretary, if she decides, whatever she decides to do, benghazi may be a bremish, but in the context of that great record it will just be a small part of it. >> ambassador mark beginsberg, great to see you today. >> good to be where you. >> that's going to wrap things up for me. i'll see you tomorrow 11:00 a.m. eastern time. former national security advisor brent snowashcroft, republican congressman tom cole, new
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from jammin' jerk chicken, to creamy gouda bisque. see what's new from campbell's. it's amazing what soup can do. in a bid to prove they are not the party of obstruction, congress natural republicans are responding to news of chuck hagel's presumed nomination as defense secretary by standing in the way of his confirmation. it's monday, january 7th, and this is "now." joining us today senior military correspondent for the huffington post the pulitzer prize winning david wood. senior political reporter and politico the intrepid maggie abe are a man and political analyst and former dnc communications director karen finney, and contributing editor to "new york makigazin
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magazine" benjamin wallace wells. version 2.0 is taking shape. in the next hour the president is set to announce his choice of white house counterterrorism advisor and 25-year cia vet john brennan to lead the central intelligence agency and former nebraska senator chuck hagel to take over at the pentagon where he will presumably join senator john kerry at state to form the nuke leus of president obama's second term foreign policy team. the decision to nominate hagel continued to rankel some in the gop. >> chuck hagel is out of the mainstream of thinking i believe on most issues regarding foreign policy. he has long severed his ties with the republican party. this is an in your face nomination by the president to all of us who are supportive of israel. chuck hagel, if confirmed to be secretary of defense, would be the most antagonistic secretary of defense toward the state of israel in our nation's history. >> if confirmed, hagel would be the first enlisted soldier to run the pentagon, but while the decorated vietnam veteran, a
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recipient of not one, but two purple hearts, is sure to betop popular among the rank-and-file, one of the primary tasks facing the next secretary of defense will be slimming the military budget, something hagel has had no qualms about in the past. in a 2011 interview with "the financial times" hagel said, "the defense has gotten everything it's wanted the last ten years and more. there's a tremendous amount of bloat in the pentagon and that has to be scaled back." hagel would also be tasked with managing the withdrawal of 66,000 u.s. troops from afghanistan by 2014. it is a position on which hagel has disagreed with the president, having opposed obama's troop surge in his first term, but it is on the issue of the iraq invasion that hagel has dramatically severed ties with his own party. a defection likely to cause some problems on the right along with earlier statements on the "jewish lobby." regardless of all of this, the white house thinks hagel's nomination will pass. talking points circulated by the administration earlier this morning highlight hagel's combat service, his bipartisan appeal