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tv   Andrea Mitchell Reports  MSNBC  November 23, 2011 1:00pm-2:00pm EST

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oversimplifying. i'm sorry, blitz, i meant wolf. blitz, wolf -- since we're on a blitz debate, i apologize. wolf -- >> the establishment continues to line up behind mitt romney. today's edition, senator john thune. former senator alan simpson, co-chair on president obama's super committee. how to move forward after the super failure. >> you are hereby pardoned. >> and speaking of turkeys, one of the most important presidential responsibilities and a time-honored tradition at the white house. and good day, i'm andrea mitchell live in washington. it was the key moment of the debate, newt gingrich taking a hard left on immigration policy and getting slammed for supporting amnesty.
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>> i don't see how the party that says it's the party of the family is going to adopt an immigration policy which destroys families that have been here for a quarter century, and i'm prepared to take the heat for saying let's be humane and enforcing the law without giving them citizenship, but by finding a way to create legality. >> amnesty is a magnet. when we have had in the past programs that have said that people who have come here legal are going to get to stay here legally for the rest of their life, that's going to encourage more to come here illegally. >> chief washington correspondent john harwood joins us with our daily fix. and i should point out that gingrich says it is not amnesty, and that's one of the point of contentions there. do you think gingrich has moved too far in talking about finding a way to make people who have been here for a number of years legal. his staff said in the spin room afterwards that they're talking about a local option like a draft board where individual communities somehow would -- although it's federal
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immigration law would somehow come up with a way to let people they know in the community stay. i don't know how that works in the big city. have at it. >> first of all, in the spirit of herman cain, can i call you mitch? >> you can. in fact, a lot of people do call me mitch. only by special -- >> i doubt that newt gingrich hurt himself very much last night for a couple of reasons. first of all, unlike rick perry who came out with a statement that had a little insult in it for people who disagreed with him talked about you don't have a heart, newt gingrich didn't have that. second of all, newt gingrich has a track record with conservatives nationally that rick perry did not have. third, newt gingrich has a long record on this issue. this was articulated in a fresh way last night, but it's not a new position for newt gingrich. and finally, mitt romney himself in 2006 expressed some sympathy
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for positions similar to what newt gingrich said last night. and ultimately underlining this entire debate, andrea, is that most people who really think about it understand, even conservatives who have -- want a hard line on immigration. we're not going to kick 12 million people out of the country, so newt gingrich was expressing that. >> at the same time, on afghanistan and troop withdrawals and the whole divide in the republican party between those who are a little bit more isolationist and those more aggressive, you had jon huntsman trying to get tougher with mitt romney. let's watch. >> governor huntsman, do you agree with governor romney that the u.s. has to stay in afghanistan at these levels? >> no, i totally disagree. i think we need to square with the american people about what we've achieved. we need an honest conversation in this country about the sacrifices that have been made over nearly ten years. >> are you suggesting, governor, that we take all of our troops out next week? what's your proposal? >> did you hear what i just
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said? we should draw down from 100,000. we don't need 100,000 troops, many of whom can't cross the wire. we need a presence on the ground that is more akin to 10,000 or 15,000. that will serve our interest in terms of intelligence gathering and special forces response capability. >> that was a lot more aggressive debate performance from jon huntsman. will it do him any good? >> i'm not sure that's going to help him within the republican primary electorate. it's a popular position with the general electorate, that is the impatience, the desire to get out. i think mitt romney's on safe ground among the republicans in what he articulated. you talk about the aggression of that exchange, andrea. i don't know if you heard it as i do, the illusion, not explicit by jon huntsman to the brainwashing issue that george romney, mitt romney's father faced in 1967. huntsman referred to people getting advice from generals in southeast asia in 1967, that's
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when george romney went there and made some remarks and i thought that was an unusually pointed thing for him to suggest even if it wasn't explicit. >> it was a really subtle dig, not probably for the audience, but probably to try to get -- >> for people like you and me who have covered this. >> and it was the end of george romney's presidential ambitions. >> exactly. >> happy holidays to you. thank you for being with us today, john harwood. a new hampshire congressman charlie bass is endorsing mitt romney even though he admits the two don't see eye to eye on key issues including taxes. he joins me from manchester, thanks so much, congressman. why mitt romney? and what about your disagreements with him on some issues along the way. >> well, i've endorsed candidates for president since 1980. i've met governor romney and other candidates, and i've been phenomenally impressed with this
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remarkable individual. his business experience, his experience as governor of massachusetts. and i frankly think he's the guy who can take over the white house at the end of next year and turn this country around. both in terms of getting our debt and deficit under control as well as getting the economy turned around. >> now, there's a romney campaign e-mail about your position regarding the super committee and revenue. does this create some concerns for you? the "national journal" printed this because you were one of 40 republicans who signed off on the increase. >> i think it's important to clarify what the so-called go big coalition is all about. we want big answers to the deficit and debt issue. and we believe in order to get there, we need to work in a bipartisan fashion and all issues should be on the table including revenues. that doesn't mean i support tax rate increases, it means i want to see what people can do with their imaginations to come up with reductions in loopholes, tax loopholes that might not be
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necessary. other mechanisms. but just because i believe everything should be on the table doesn't mean i'm for tax rate increases. now, governor romney will as president be able to lead this country toward reducing this deficit like president obama has been unable to do. and the fact that he's been out of the country for the last couple of weeks during the key period of time when this super committee could've used his help, i think is a real mistake. and it's unfortunate we are where we are today. >> congressman, i wanted to ask you, new hampshire republicans and democrats are straight shooters. they don't like to see corners cut on politics. this is a romney political ad which has been very controversial because it really takes the president out of context. let me play it for you. >> we need a rescue plan for the middle class. >> we need to provide relief for homeowners. it's going to take a new direction. if we keep talking about the economy, we're going to lose.
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>> but as you well know, this is what the president was really saying. he was quoting john mccain. let's watch. >> senator mccain's campaign actually said and i quote, "if we keep talking about the economy, we're going to lose." >> is that fair? >> the fact is, andrea, that the worst subject in the president's library right now is the economy. the facts speak. the fact is -- >> is it -- i'm not questioning the economic record of president obama right now. i'm just asking you about the voracity of the mitt romney campaign advertisement. >> well, people who oppose mitt romney and don't want to talk about the real issue, which is the fact that the president has failed on the economy and he's losing on the economy go back to the context. it's an age-old trick. the reality is, the facts stand. for president obama to talk about his performance on the economy is a big mistake. and frankly, i think it's probably one of the more factual
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parts of that ad because president obama has failed. and when he touts the record he has change we can believe in -- he's going to have to run on that next year and governor romney wanted to point out that president obama's record on the economy is dismal. >> okay. thank you very much, congressman charlie bass. >> you're very welcome. >> a big endorsement -- >> thank you. >> of mitt romney. and with us now, ed rendell, nbc news political analyst and former chairman of the republican national committee and msnbc political analyst michael steele. welcome to you both. >> andrea. >> i wanted to play for both of you a think progress mash-up which tried to do to mitt romney what the romney campaign did to barack obama. let's watch. >> we should just raise everybody's taxes. >> there's nothing unique about
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the united states. >> governor knows better to guide an economy. >> fiscal responsibility is immoral. >> let us raise your taxes some more, we need a little bit more. america's another nation with a flag. >> now, michael steele -- >> yes? >> isn't that the same thing? >> yeah, i think it's great. it's part of the politics that we're going to see over the next year. i don't know why everybody's getting -- >> you think that's fair to mitt romney? >> yeah, sure, it's politics, it's hard core. >> you guys play hardball. >> exactly we play hardball and it's going to get harder still. and all of these people running around like political pansies worrying about who this is in context or that's out of context. it's crazy noise right now. the mitt romney ad was devastating, even chris matthews, my buddy admitted it was a devastating ad. it had the intended effect. it got your attention, it made a point to the base that they want to convey about the president's record. this ad is trying to do the exact same thing. the only difference is, it's not from a campaign, it's a third
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party group, there's more to come. relax and enjoy the ride. >> ed rendell, are you relaxing and enjoying the ride? >> well, i love michael, and i think he's been a great analyst and i think he was a good chairman, but he couldn't be more wrong. i thought when you started playing that ad, andrea, at the end it was going to say, this is the type of dirty tricks that mitt romney played to president obama. because we took these out of context, they're not what mitt romney believes, but neither was it fair for mitt romney to quote the president talking about john mccain's campaign. look, people are sick and tired of business as usual. and they're not only sick and tired of how we're failing in washington and in our state capitals, but they're sick and tired of politics as usual. and doing what the romney campaign did to the president taking his words out of context when they knew he was talking about the mccain campaign and doing what this third party group did, nobody thinks mitt romney's in favor of raising taxes or that america is inunique, that's horrible stuff.
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and you know what it makes the voter do, andrea? say i'm out of here, i'm not voting. and that's the antithesis. >> well, i want you also to share what rush limbaugh said on monday regarding the fact that the guys and gals at nascar had booed michelle obama. >> the nascar crowd doesn't quite understand why when the husband and the wife are going to the same place, the first lady has to take her own boeing 757 with family and kids and hangars on four hours earlier than her husband who will be on his 747. nascar people understand that's a little bit of a waste. they understand it's a little bit of uppityism. >> michael steele? >> ah, rush, just a silly comment. >> silly, offensive -- >> silly, offensive, stupid.
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to use that term knowing it is a a -- to refer to a black person as uppity is to say to them, basically you're stepping outside of your place. and let me tell you what your place should be. i don't think that's what the folks at nascar were booing. first off, to boo the first lady, is wrong. they don't like the president's policy, she's a representation, i get that. but then to extend it to this conversation about uppityism to me is just bone headed and it's improper, and no place in the body politic, and it's offensive to me as an african-american, i know it's offensive to a lot of folks regardless of the political affiliation. so let's just move off of that craziness. and if you want to boo the first lady, fine, but don't then try to color it in a way that it is not, clearly. >> and ed rendell, can you at least rescue us and get us to the spirit of thanksgiving here? >> well,ry agree with everything michael said. rush limbaugh's comments were disgraceful. and by the way booing people in public because you disagree with
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their policies, i've been in many a parade, andrea where someone booed me because i raised taxes -- and i looked over and his face is contorted and he's booing and he's holding by the arm his 5-year-old son. what kind of message is that to his 5-year-old son? booing the governor of the state or the first lady? we've got to get back to civility in this country, the lack of civility is causing the breakdown of our political system in my judgment. i think we should all dedicate ourselves on this period of thanksgiving to be more civil to each other, to be more understanding of each other. and when we disagree, let's disagree like americans. this is a great country, but we've got to remember what built us. and thanksgiving was our ancestors saying thanks for all we've got. they weren't complaining about what they didn't have, they said thanks for what we've got and we've got to get back to that spirit. >> that's a great ad, governor. >> thanks, michael. >> thank you, both very much. happy holidays to you. thanks, governor.
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and grover norquist's best friend coming up, former senator alan simpson, co-chair of the deficit committee joining us next. on planes, trains, and automobiles. a live look at interstate 76, ed rendell knows it well, better known as the schuylkill expressway. it's one of the busiest travel days of the year. and send me your thoughts on twitter. follow the show online at #mitchellreports. ings ] [ male announcer ] take the fixodent 12 hour hold challenge. fixodent denture adhesive challenges you to a 12 hour hold test. ♪ thanks to its time released formula, you apply fixodent once, and it holds all day. ♪ take the fixodent 12 hour hold challenge. guaranteed, or your money back. ♪ and for guaranteed freshness try fixodent cleanser, plus scope ingredients.
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critics of the congressional super committee say that all they had to do was follow the plan proposed last winter by alan simpson and bowles. senator, great to see you. was the super committee a super
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turkey? >> well, i think anyone was disappointed and yet, remember, four of the people that went on the super committee had been on our commission, and they had all voted against it. so in a sense, and for good reasons, i'm not knocking what they did. but for good reasons when you put 12-member committee together and put four people on who were worked for a year on it and voted against it, i think that's loading the dice. >> what happens next? how can this be rescued if at all? are we in a holding action? and wait to see what happens with the economy, what happens in europe, we're basically passive and the markets will rule? >> well, i'll tell you what's going to happen, the next year will be turmoil. it'll be the campaign turmoil, it'll be -- it'll be the market turmoil, it'll be indecision. it'll be, whether they get this off the hook or this tax or this whatever, whatever. and i think that at the end of next year come november that the people that haven't had the guts
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of either party, the courage and the guts to step up and do the right thing whether it's whatever it is, just a plan for god sakes, they don't have to get esoteric. i think the people who don't have the guts and are cowed, i think those people will be beat in november and that'll shape things up a bit. >> norquist was on msnbc in the last hour, and this is part of what he had to say. >> if somebody wants to move west and somebody wants to move east, what's the compromise? the two parties are trying to do very different things. president obama and the democrats want a larger government with higher taxes to pay for it, the republicans are looking to reduce taxes and have a less expensive government. those are talking about moving in different directions. not moving in the same direction at different speeds. so you're going to have conflict and that's what elections are for. >> so are we -- do we have to
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resign ourselves to the fact that the parties are on completely different sides, that there's nothing that can be done in the middle for the next year? >> well, we've been working on it since the president appointed erskine and i in 2010. and we were very specific, and five democrats and five republicans and one independent voted for our plan, guys from both parties, durbin, democrat, deserves a lot of, coburn, republican, deserves a lot of credit. let me tell you, when he sharpens his fangs and sinks those teeth into their leg. and what is it that grover can do to you? he is the most powerful person in america today, i'm going to give him that full credit. i think he should run for president, he has those powers. 95% of the republicans -- and what can he do to you? he can't murder you, can't burn your house, the only thing he can do to you is defeat you for
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reelection. and if that means more to you than your country, then you shouldn't be in congress. >> isn't there someone even more powerful? the president of the united states. what if the president had embraced your plan and done that last winner and been more forward leaning on it? >> he'd be way ahead in the polls, that's my view. and guess who expressed that to him in a beautiful fashion was former president bill clinton. bill clinton's been a big help to us, to erskine and to me in this whole process. he said you appointed him, it's executive order. and they came out with 60% of the vote and you walk away from it. he said i'd wrap my arms around it and taken the credit. i don't think that went well back at the shop. >> senator al simpson by skype. thank you very much, happy holidays to you, sir. >> thank you. you betcha. and a fifth day of protesting in cairo. we'll be taking you live to
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topping the head lines right now on andrea mitchell reports, a winter storm has caused holiday havoc for travelers today. but bad weather and high gas prices are not stopping more than 42 million people estimated, at least, from heading over the river and through the woods to grandmother's house today. the highest number since the start of the recession. in london today, rupert murdoch's heir apparent james murdoch is no longer so apparent. he stepped down from the boards of newscorp that owns the murdoch uk papers in september. that resignation came after embarrassing disclosures about the paper's hacking scandal. james murdoch does remain chairman of the parent company. yemen's president has signed an agreement transferring power to his vice president. a move that could end his 33-year rule if he lives up to the pledge. in the past, he has reneged on
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similar promises. is it for real this time? a helicopter pilot survived this spectacular crash in new zealand. caught on camera. the chopper's blades appear to get caught as you see there in cables attached to the scaffolding. despite the ordeal, incredibly, the pilot walked away from that crash and said he's doing fine. wow. new clashes on the streets of cairo today. we'll be talking to richard engel and former congresswoman jane harmon. will sanctions stop iran from getting a nuclear bomb? this is andrea mitchell reports only on msnbc. total access - to everything. from idea to research to trade. including financials, indicators and real-time streaming quotes. whether you check your investments every day or every minute, our app can take them from thought to trade. at scottrade, seven-dollar trades are just the start. try our powerful mobile app.
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but you've got a meat and potatoes guy? pour chunky sirloin burger soup over those mashed potatoes and dinner is served. four minutes, around four bucks. campbell's chunky -- it's amazing what soup can do. in egypt, protests continue for a fifth day today. a human rights group says that 38 people have been killed across egypt. and despite some concessions from the military, there's no sign that tens of thousands of
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egyptians are going to give up now. nbc's chief foreign correspondent richard engel is in cairo. what's the latest there in terms of the momentum of these protests? >> reporter: the protests are continuing to grow, it seems. there are several hundred thousand people in the square. just looking at it i'd say maybe 200,000, but more people are arriving. and it's often easy to see this conflict and this crisis in the same way we've seen them in yemen or in syria where you have the military attacking protesters. i saw a different dynamic for the first time today. we were on a few streets just off of tahrir square. and that was the very front line of these demonstrations. and what we saw was egyptian soldiers actually exercising a tremendous amount of restraint. they were standing back, they set up barricades. they were holding shields, and they were trying to negotiate what protesters. and this truce was holding for a couple of hours until the
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protesters who had set up barricades and broken stones started throwing stones at them, a lot of stones, and that's when police started firing back tear gas and things quickly disintegrated. but it is not a simple situation where you have an oppressive regime attacking people who are simply going out and asking for more riots. >> that -- that kind of texture, you know, from your perspective, richard, really shows you that this is very, very different. as just as the military's role in egypt was different than in other societies during the arab spring. so there's no way to predict what's going to happen next. >> well, it's very difficult. in many ways, this is more difficult than the revolution against mubarak. mubarak was one man who at some stages was a good president of egypt and then was phoning it in toward the end. there was a lot of corruption and human rights abuses. and he'd been in power for 30 years. and i think the average egyptian thought it was right for him to step down and then they got even
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more excited when he refused to step down and attack protesters. now these demonstrators are trying to bring down the institution of the military, which has been dominating egyptian politics for six decades, and is considered one of the last remaining in the entire middle east. if you look at the israeli newspapers today, all of the newspapers on the front pages were discussing the crisis in egypt and analyzing what would that mean if the muslim brotherhood had a more important role? would it aggregate the peace treaty with israel? so this is a much bigger game than the one against mubarak. >> richard, thanks so much. thanks for that perspective. and for more on that region and, of course, what's happening in egypt, i'm joined by jane harmon who is now the president of the woodrow wilson center and back from egypt and other places in the region. first of all, when you were in egypt just i think last week, it was before the protests erupted,
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but you were with our ambassador there who is so expert at it. and did the u.s. foresee this tension with the slow transition to civilian rule and the growing frustration of the young people? >> yes and no. i was in tunisia, andrea, about three weeks ago and saw a transparent and fair election. it was extremely impressive. then i went to egypt, which was calm, i was in tahrir square. and i visited with ambassador anne patterson, one of our best ambassadors ever who was in pakistan last. there was concern that the first part of the election, first phase next monday the 28th was going to be confusing, the military has written the rules for three elections. and they're different for different parts of the country and people don't understand them and there were no provisions for ex-pats to vote. there was one clear election to do with huge turnout, 90% of
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registered voters showed up and no one complained it wasn't fair. there was concern about that. we did talk -- i met with the supreme council of the armed forces, that's the military we're talking about. and talked about the slow timetable to election for president in 2013. that timetable has been collapsed to be about half as long. but i think the military's overreached here and people aren't buying it. this could be tragic, i think that reporting you just had on is very nuanced. this is different from mubarak. it's the linchpin of keeping the security treaty between egypt and israel. they want a civilian government. and there should be movement quickly. i just have two recommendations. one is to consider making the election procedures easier. that may involve delaying this first part of the election, but tunisia -- >> hard to think that can hold
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an election. >> if these rules favor big parties, this could be the opportunity for the muslim brotherhood to win big and marginalize a lot of others. the others are the ones in the street, no the the brotherhood. that's one. but the second idea, and this was suggested to me when i was there is perhaps a point an interim president. pick somebody well known who would agree not to run for president. after the process concludes. an example might be, i don't know whether he would agree, but mohammed who is back in the country. >> doesn't have grass roots. >> no, he doesn't. that's why he'd be appointed and he would not run for as a permanent president. the former head of the arab league, the arab league has been a lot more bold and aggressive. now against syria, so there's reason to believe that there is a path forward that puts the military back in its own lane and has it responsible for things it does well. it's running the economy now and
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the economy in egypt is absolutely flat or negative growth, huge joblessness, huge poverty numbers. and people are very unhappy and they're very unhappy seeing the mubarak model even though he had a mixed role in, in some ways was a helpful ally seeing the mubarak model not end. that's what they fought a revolution to end. >> such a complex situation. jane harmon, thank you very much. thanks for your insights. and republican candidates are pushing foreign policy for a tougher policy against iran. urging the white house to heed calls from congress and slap new sanctions on tehran's central bank. >> when you sanctioned the iranian central bank, that will shut down that economy. at that particular point in time, they truly have to deal with the united states. >> i think it's a good idea -- i think replacing the regime before they get a nuclear weapon without a war beats replacing the regime with a war which
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beats allowing them to have a nuclear weapon. >> sanctions aren't going to work because the chinese aren't going to play ball and the russians aren't going to play ball. and i believe iran -- they have decided they want to go nuclear. >> david cohn, and the treasury, tim geithner and hillary clinton this week imposed tighter sanctions on iran, but not as tough as some have wanted. why not go after the central bank the way president sarkozy of france has suggested and other countries have? and just cut them off. what is the concern that 4:00 it would spike oil prices? >> well, the sanctions that were announced on monday by secretary geithner and clinton are an important step forward. a new executive order cutting off iran's ability to have goods and services for the oil industry and the petro chemical industry and new financial measures identifying the entire
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jurisdiction of iran all of iran's financial institutions as being threats for proliferation finance from money laundering, for terrorist financing. those are important steps. but as both the secretary clinton and secretary geithner said on monday, we have not exhausted our options here. and we are looking very seriously at the possibility of sanctions against the central bank of iran. but, you know, there's been a lot of focus in the debate last night. there was a lot of focus on sanctions of the central bank of iran. that is not the only game in town. there are a variety of measures that are under consideration that can qualitatively increase the pressure on iran. >> such as? >> well, i'm not going to announce here today what we a are -- what we may be doing, but we are looking at the possibility of sanctions on central bank of iran as well as other financial sanctions and other economic sanctions. >> look at what the "washington
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post," and i can understand you objecting to the republicans in the debate last night had to say. but this is the "washington post" editorial saying president obama is not leading from behind on iran, he is simply behind. at the forefront of the western effort is nicholas sarkozy who issued a statement monday calling on the european union, united states, japan, canada, and other willing countries to immediately freeze the assets of iran's central bank and suspend purchases of iranian oil. >> yeah, well, with all due respect to the "washington post," they have misconstrued the effectiveness of u.s. policy with respect to iran. we have been leading the international community for years now in imposing serious consequences on iran. national security -- >> russia and china blocking you from doing anything that would really have teeth? >> russia and china are partners in this effort. they both joined in this most recent security council resolution. there was also just a recent
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board of governors resolution from the iaea condemning iran's -- >> but no real teeth in that? >> that -- the board of governors, the iaea resolution is not one that imposes sanctions, but it's an important steppingstone for further action that we took last monday. there was an announcement yesterday that the eu was about to unveil another set of sanctions on iran. so the process continues to ramp up the pressure on iran. on a variety of levels. both financial, economic, and diplomatic. iran today is more isolated and under more pressure than it has ever been before. but that being said, we are continuing to look for additional ways to -- to intensify that pressure. both with congress and acting
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through our own authorities that we have today. >> david cohen, definitely leading forward on this. thank you very much for being with us. and what the occupy wall street movement could learn from other protesters, but first we'd like to take a moment to thank our men and women serving overseas and share holiday greetings from our troops serving abroad. they're about 97,000 americans, u.s. troops in afghanistan, and about 18,000 in iraq. >> i'm staff sergeant brittany taylor and i'd like to say happy thanksgiving to my husband in dayton, ohio, i love you, miss you, and i'll see you soon. >> hi, this michael anthony bowles ii stationed with the 82nd in afghanistan, i'd like to wish my sisters and my beautiful niece a happy thanksgiving back in neptune, new jersey. n be irr. challenge that. new olay smooth finish facial hair removal duo. first a gentle balm. then the removal cream. effective together with less irritation
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we're following the latest on the thanksgiving holiday travel rush. many are breathing a sigh of relief after a storm didn't create as many headaches as expected. plus, fresh fallout for a texas judge videotaped beating his daughter seven years ago. and then developing news out of yemen where the president has agreed to step down after 33 years in power. all that and more at the top of the hour on "newsnation." the occupy wall street protesters have a lot of support growing around the country. do they need to better target their demands? one example, environmentalists who manage to at least temporarily sideline the keystone pipeline project. jane mayer raises that issue and joins me now at the table. jane, how do you think they have been focused or unfocused? or how do you think they should better target demands to meet what results? >> well, the occupy movement actually sort of -- just by, it's their policy to have no leaders and to make no demands. they're kind of formless and
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what i was interested in was whether a movement like that can get anywhere. and i think by example, the environmentalists show you may have to be a little better organized and more clear in what you want if you want to effect change, at least progreammatic change. >> one of the sort of side effects of the keystone pipeline, though, are one of the reasons they may have been as successful as they were, the environmentalists, is they really had the white house caught between two competing interests. and it was a lot easier in a campaign year to delay making a final decision. >> right. i mean, and some people say what the white house said was just kick the can down the road and it's not a final victory by any means for the environmentalists. but in truth, it was a completely david and goliath story. >> it was. >> big oil on one side, which is a tremendously powerful influence in washington. and then you've got a handful of
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environmentalists on the other side who said they were going to make themselves get arrested in front of the white house. and it sounded hopeless really. and so i -- what interested me was that the environmentalists won a round. and i was trying to figure out, how on earth did they do that? >> even against lobbyists, there's an investigation into this at the state department, lobbyists who had possible conflicts of interest. >> truly, and there were lobbyists we're talking about who were not just grover norquist who was a player in this on the side of big oil. >> he pops up everywhere. >> who are lobbying for transcanada, the big oil pipeline company. and they got beaten. and so people who say the fix is in in washington, it was kind of just eye opening. and so, you know, what you have to look at is how did they do it? and they did it -- they were
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very smart. and they organized both an outside campaign of civil disobedience and a very savvy campaign where they had campaign donors organized, and they shamed obama. they basically took his own language back to him and they said this is what you promised. and we know you're going to deliver. >> it's great reporting, and i just love the granularity of what you did. one final quote of your piece, you quote frederick douglass. >> that's what the historian michael casen said to me what the environmentalists understood and maybe occupy wall street needs to learn. >> what a treat to see you. what political story will make headlines in the next 24 hours? that's next, and follow the show on [ woman ] my boyfriend and i were going on vacation,
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tomorrow is one of the best days of the year to be an american. but it is also one of the worst days of the year to be a turkey. they don't have it so good. the rare exception, of course, are the two birds who have joined me today. some of you may know that recently i've been taking a series of executive actions that don't require congressional approval. well, here's another one. we can't wait to pardon these turkeys. i like that. you are here by pardoned. >> two turkeys named liberty and peace officially granted a thanksgiving reprieve by president obama today. they're heading for a life of luxury at mount vernon. the president, of course, george washington's home. the president and his family will be taking two not very luy turkeys to a local food
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bank this afternoon. which political story will make headlines in the next 24 hours? ann is the white house reporter and joins me now. also the author, of course, of notes from the cracked ceiling. thank you for being with us. we've seen a lot of notes from the republican debaters. the 11th debate, newt gingrich trying to take a kinder, gentler take on immigration. do you think he will get hit or not? our friend and colleague john harwood thought that newt was okay with this on the republican base. >> well, he might well be. either way it will be a test i think of where the republican field is, of how newt gingrich is doing and whether he is really a co-front-runner, if you will, with mitt romney. so far romney has continued going after him today in iowa. i think what i'll be looking for over the next couple days is whether he continues to and whether gingrich is able to main continue his position on immigration. if he backs away, we have a, a sense of where the republican
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field is, and b, whether he thinks he was burned by this. but if not, he has the otherwise conservative credentials to stand up on this one. and i think either way is clearly giving romney a run for his money. >> the other thing on the romney front today was the endorsement from john thune, south dakota, bordering on iowa. he does seem ready to, it's clear that romney is making a play for iowa. >> absolutely. they've been indicating this bit by bit over the last few weeks. that's why we'll see them there. hard to believe it is only another month left but we'll see him there. he really has to at this point. he still has such stiff competition. their campaign will argue if he comes in second or even third, that's good enough. they're obviously hoping to come in first. >> anne cornblut, thank you so much. we'll take a couple days off to have a lot of turkey and enjoy family and friends. remember to follow the show online. thomas roberts is in for tamron
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hall on "news nation" today. thank you to you and all of our viewers. >> thanks so much. happy thanksgiving as well. enjoy your time off. on the move, we have the very latest on a busy thanksgiving rush. many americans are hitting the roads and the airways and it's off to a really good start. plus, did newt gingrich put his recent surge in the polls in jeopardy with his comments on immigration last night in the debate? er a cup of maxwell hous, or a can of paint, you turned millions of votes, and hundreds of volunteer hours, into a real difference for over 100,000 people. what's next? tell us on facebook. [ gasp ] [ mom ] my husband -- he thinks it's a 3-sheeter. i say 1-sheeter. bounty can clean the mess with less. [ female announcer ] in this lab demo, 1 sheet of bounty leaves this surface as clean as 2 sheets of the bargain brand. ♪ dance cooking? bring it.
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moving fast and keeping people moving this day before thanksgiving, a storm system that threatened to delay millions of travelers on their way to loved ones is not as bad as first predicted. so far no major delays are being reported at the nation's busiest airports. test run. le going through airport security may notice a pleasant change in the way the tsa does their screenings. developing now, yemen's president signs an agreement to relinquish power in an attempt to end