Skip to main content

tv   News Nation  MSNBC  November 9, 2012 2:00pm-3:00pm EST

2:00 pm
in fact, according to chuck todd that meeting may not be taking place today. there's a lot of discussion in the last 48 hours. the c dci was at the white hous yesterday. he was talking about leaving? january, but the question is when the departure would take place. this is in the middle of the controversy over the benghazi story and the fact he's been called to the hill to testify before the senate intelligence committee next week. also, interestingly the cia last week did a background briefing and laid out their case, their defense, if you will, of what happened in the aftermath of the benghazi attack. really, they defended their own position, and it's not clear whether other members of the national security team, tamron, knew that was coming down. there has been a conflict between the cia's initial narrative and what they later learned and discussed and
2:01 pm
whether or not susan rice when she went out and was publicly criticized for what she said on the sunday morning talk shows, whether she was following the guidance, the talking points from the intelligence community. so i think that there is going to be some development at least to clarify later today what the status of david petraeus is, what his intentions are, and how long he will stay with the administration. >> andrea, we may get more information even within this hour. jay carney has his daily briefing and perhaps will offer answers to the questions regards david petraeus and his status. now to the other big story. president obama just moments ago putting more pressure on congress to extend tax cuts for the middle class. it's the president's first public comment sin winning re-election. the president urged leaders to take action on the areas where they agree and find compromise where they cannot or can't find common ground. >> i'm not wedded to every detail of my plan. i'm open to compromise. i'm open to new ideas.
2:02 pm
i'm committed to solving our fiscal challenges, but i refuse to accept any approach that isn't balanced. >> we also learned today just in the past few hours the president has invited leaders from both parties to the white house next week to start negotiations. despite talk of wanting to work together, both sides have drawn some lines in the sand when it comes to taxes. house speaker john boehner earlier today said it's possible to get the nation's financial house in order without tax increases. >> i don't want to box myself in, and i don't want to box anybody else in. i think it's important for us to come to an agreement with the president, and by lowering rates and cleaning up the tax code, we know that we're going to get more economic growth. >> here's what's at stake if they cannot come to a compromise. the congressional budget office says it would happen. the alternative minimum tax kicks in hiking taxes with more
2:03 pm
than half of married couples two children by $4,000 a year. it would ray taxes on workers and the trillion dollars in spending cuts that officials say cost jobs and slow economic growth. let me bring in our "news nation" political panel. we have zachary karabell and loy wis romano and david goodfriend. we have it covered. jonathan, i'll start with you. comparing what we heard from speaker boehner this morning and what we heard from the president, it sounds like two people who really want to find some kind of deal here. i think the president sounds similar to what he sounded like before re-election, quite honestly. >> he does. his decision hasn't changed but elections have consequences. they were close in july of 2011 on a grand bargain. the big question is the same one it was last year, which is can
2:04 pm
john boehner bring his caucus along? he needs to be able to get the votes out of that republican caucus. i have the democratic votes, and i think the president will essentially instruct minority leader pelosi to, you know, come up with democratic votes for the compromise. the question is whether they get enough republican votes to move forward and prevent us from going over this cliff. >> lois, how is that question answered. you have this interview where you talked about obama care being the law of the land, and then within seconds having to come back and clarify that his party is still willing to fight for changes in some areas. obviously, getting some heat people indicate from tea party members or more conservative members of his party. nevertheless, showing one side of his during the enter roux and showing a different side a short time later. >> i think congressman, speaker boehner knows right now that the people have spoken.
2:05 pm
he has to deliver. he has to come up with a compromise. the voters are not going to tolerate this in two years, and i think he needs the democrats to do it. this it election has shown the republicans that the far right, you know, they took a hit in the senate. any lost some seats. i think he knows that some of the tea partiers are not with him, so he's looking to the democrats to form this coalition to do what he needs to do. >> it's interesting, loy wis, t president indicating that the people have spoken. you saw the backdrop. a number of middle class workers there behind him. that's a not so subtle indication that look, they are with me. these are the people who have my back, and they prove it had on tuesday. nevertheless when you think about speaker boehner and switch to senator mitch mcconnell whose instant reaction to the president being re-elected was this is not a mandate, how do the republicans find the compromise? i believe it was the headline on politico well before we got into the heart of the campaign season that said speaker boehner's job
2:06 pm
was specially trying to hurt cats, referring to some members of his caucus. >> that's a good analogy. the president came very short of saying, i won, you didn't. he said, you know, look i want to compromise. everything's on the table. i want to hear your ideas. but the people have spoken, and we need to get moving here. speaker boehner is from the old school of let's get something done. he has been hijacked and hamstrung by the right flank of his party, and i think what he was trying to say the day after the election is, you know, okay. i'm with you. let's try to get this done. i'm ready to jettison some of the loons, the far right in the party, and try to work with democrats to get a compromise. the other thing is they're both using squishy language. they're talking about increases of revenue. they're not talking about tax hikes, and i think that's very interesting. you know, they're dancing around
2:07 pm
it, but i think the republicans know that there's going to have to be something done here to get revenues in there. >> david let me bring you in. speaker boehner said, quote, i'm the most reasonable guy in washington, d.c. he was also asked about congressman paul ryan's pecking order with the house republicans. let me play what he said regarding where paul ryan, the vp candidate, now stands with him. >> congressman paul ryan, is he the leader of the republican party now? >> oh, i wouldn't think so. paul ryan's a policy wonk. >> he's a policy wonk. basically right now i'm still the man. so how does speaker boehner, if he's the man and most reasonable guy in washington, how does he get some of the conservatives, including even paul ryan, a guy who is newly minted in some way with a little bit of juice, to come along? >> i think if you look at how this will actually unfold, you
2:08 pm
find your answer, tamron. the fact of the matter is a very small number of people will negotiate a deal or not. that includes speaker boehner. it includes majority leader reid and the white house. once they come up with a deal, whatever it looks like, it's going to be subject to an up or down vote. this isn't something you amend and say i'd like to offer an amendment to change that tax bracket. no, no. it's an up or down vote. at that point the pressure on the republican caucus will be overwhelming. you're going to find that plenty of members of congress from the republican party who are up for re-election in two years will look at it and say i can't afford to vote against this thing or i'm finished. it almost doesn't matter what paul ryan says at that point. >> you know that one of the unelected leaders of the party grover norquist says if the republicans in any way indicate they're willing to make a deal over taxes that the republicans will suffer. >> so let's unpack that one. so i'm republican house member
2:09 pm
from a purple district. i know that i'm up for re-election in the midterms. on the one hand i have to balance that grover norquist shouting at me saying i've reneged on my pledge. i have tole balance the con at this time gents that say you voting against this drove us into a recession. i don't have to be a political genius to say which way i will vote. i think grover norquist loses leverage in this scenario. >> within the last few minutes we had the markets up, and i believe the dow was in the red slightly, but it was the first time today -- there it is. it's down 8 points. andrew ross-sorkin said he believes wall street is doubtful there will be a compromise here. >> people look at this and they feel like there's a nice sort of chore ru chorus breaking out in washington beneath the rhetoric.
2:10 pm
i think there's awareness of the fact that obama said clearly the wealthy have to pay more taxes. above $250,000 there's a line in the sand saying this group will pay more in terms of revenue contribution. you have a group whether it's mcconnell actually much more explicit than boehner in the senate, or boehner saying we can play around with the tax code to increase revenues but not increase rates. those are pretty unkwif cal lines. the realm of agreement between medicare, defense, et cetera is a widely shared realm. that line in the sand -- when you think from wall street and a business perspective seems far too bright given somebody has to pull back from the brink. >> you're saying that their sides are to distinct -- >> on this one issue. they drew a clear line about an issue is revenue inconsequenceal. you don't get to this by raising
2:11 pm
taxes on the wealthy. we have made this an issue. >> the president made it an issue. >> in our exit polling where he has the aagreement of people. not necessarily popular because most people would like to see no one's taxes go up, but 46% or about said they want it or would be in agreement with meem who make over 250,000. >> the polls aren't important -- what's important is he won a huge election. does that give him a mandate to do everything he ever said? of course not. saying that people like obama and governor romney should pay a little more is something he said in all three debates and said it over and over and over again in every stump speech. he has reason to believe that 125 million americans have now validated that. >> that's why i think the polls are important, jonathan. when you look at the number of people -- listen, people can say did i not vote for mitt romney because i didn't think the guy was credible? you could factor in the auto bailout. a lot of things you can say, but
2:12 pm
specifically when that number was broken out about who should pay taxes, people agreed with the president on that. >> you're right. those purple congressmen, if there are any, would be looking at things like that. look, we know how this is going to go. they do everything at the last minute, so in the last week of december after a lot of -- >> and overnight coverage. we saw this with health care and tax cuts. we've seen this -- >> before they leave for christmas, they will after a month and a half of arguing about this, they will come to some kind of aagreement. with democratic votes you will, i believe, see an aagreement at the end of this year because the alternative is just too harsh. if the republicans had won, they would have patched it and kicked it over into the new congress. the president wants to get this done in the next month. >> lois, i'm curious. people are watching here, and obviously the height of engagement in politics we just witnessed with the relocation of
2:13 pm
the president. if jonathan is right and all indications are this is the same song we've seen before to the bitter end this will go, and then in the middle of the night you have breaking news on msnbc, probably rachel maddow's hour, that this thing has reached a deal. to quote my executive producer how tired is this that it constantly has to come down to this? as jonathan p pointed out there was aid grand bargain and big deal agreed upon behind the scenes. boehner walked away as a result of pressure from republicans. so essentially in theory there is a working plan that is available that could expedite all of what we see to prevent us from breaking in at 9:00 p.m. to say there's a solution. >> we're going to break in at 9:00 p.m. and say there's a solution. just forget about that. >> we want to go christmas shopping, for pete's sake. >> unfortunately, that's the politics, right? a lot is optics, and everybody has to look like they're going down to the wire to kind of
2:14 pm
protect their constituencies and the people they care about. nobody wants this to go over the fiscal cliff, because it's just going to look very bad. maybe each individual member of congress got re-elected, but in the aggregate, the american people are not going to tolerate this. i mean, they want a deal, and they want the upper class to pay a little more. >> david, go ahead. >> tamron, i want to say there is a small but very vocal group on the left and right that i believe is perfectly willing to go over the fiscal cliff for different reasons, and that cannot be ignored. if that were to happen, some folks around here would be declaring victory saying we get to reset at a baseline that makes more sense. i also want to point out that the results of this election point to the republican party that must address it's shrinking base. if the republican leadership thinks the way to expand the base is to keep driving this to the 11th hour, they're wrong.
2:15 pm
there are enough wise minds within the republican party to say, hey, look. we've got to get back some youth. we've got to get back some latino. if they continue to push the line as dr. no on everything in washington, all they're doing is perpetuating this reality of their own base. >> i have to interrupt our panel. jay carney is starting the daily briefing today. we'll perhaps get more insight on where the president stands and on the developing news with david petraeus. let's listen. >> welcome back to the white house briefing room. it's a pleasure to be back. we haven't done this too often of late since we've all been traveling. i want to thank all of you who traveled with us over the past several weeks and months. i know that it was sometimes grueling, i'm sure ever fascinating and certainly part of what is is a remarkable process. it was just a reminder of the greatness of the country in which we live. before i take your questions, let me give you this
2:16 pm
announcement. next thursday the president will travel to new york to review recovery efforts, meet with affected families and local officials, and thank brave first responders who have worked tirelessly to protect communities following hurricane sandy. more details about the trip will be announced when they're available. >> that's new york city or new york area? >> new york area. earlier today the president convened a -- >> new york. >> new york. >> earlier today the president convened a call with homeland security janet napolitano and deputy assistant to the president for homeland security and other members of the team. he received an update on the latest response and recovery efforts in the affected area. he also heard from homeland security napolitano and fugate on the latest efforts to meet the continuing power and fuel challenges faces affected communities as well as ongoing work in support of governors and their teams to develop long-term
2:17 pm
housing solutions for affected families. administrator fugate is in new york today meeting with local officials as well as surveying damage and ongoing response and recovery efforts. the president, once again, directed his team to continue to bring all available resources to bear to support our state and local partners and not allow red tape or bury rock see to stand in the way of federal support to be provided. the president will continue to receive updates on the response and recovery efforts from his team. with that, i'll take your questions. jim kunin. >> thanks, jay. welcome to the lame duck session. we just heard the president say essentially two things. one is he's not wedded to every detail of his deficit reduction plan and is willing to compromise. he also insists on raising taxes on a threshold of 250,000 or above. he ran on a vow to increase taxes on the wealthiest to bill
2:18 pm
clinton era tax rates. that means 35% it to 39.6% for the top rate. is that the president's position now, and would he veto any package that comes back from congress that does not do that? >> the president would veto, as he has said and i and others have said for quite some time any bill that extends the bush era tax cuts for the top 2% of wage earners in this country, of earners in this country. what the president made clear again today and has said for quite some time is that he would sign right now the bill that passed the senate that extends tax cuts for 98% of us. 98% of the american people. this is a simple and easy way to address a large chunk of the uncertainty created by the so-called fiscal cliff. by the -- for those who don't
2:19 pm
engage in beltway parlance, by the series of deadlines that include expiration of the tax cuts that would cause uncertainty and damage to the economy if they're not dealt with. extending those tax cuts for 98% of the american people would deal with more than half in dollar terms of the impact caused by the fiscal cliff. there are other challenges that we would need to address, including the sequester, but congress ought to, the house out to pass those tax cuts right away. it would send a tremendous, positive signal to the american people that in the wake of this election, we can at the very least come together and convert into law a bill that everyone a agrees should become law. republicans and democrats alike, the president included. and we will then continue to work on those issues where we
2:20 pm
have broader disagreement, and that's why the president has invited leaders of congress here to the white house next week. that's why he will be meeting with business leaders and labor leaders and others to get their input and ideas about how to move forward. as he said, he does have his own very specific plan that reduces the deficit by $4 trillion. that does it in a balanced way. that ensures that we can continue to invest in education and infrastructure and research and development. the elements that are so key it to sustained economic growth. but that he's not wedded to every detail of that plan. he understands that the message of the election was that the american people want action, not political posturing and argument. they want action, and there really is in the bill that passed the senate an opportunity to do some very good work for the american people. very good work for the american economy right away to send a
2:21 pm
signal that cooperation and compromise is possible. >> speaker boehner has made it clear, even though he has said that he would put revenue on the table, that he would not increase rates. so does the president believe that you can achieve the revenue goals that he wants and increase the effective rate of what wealthier americans are paying without necessarily increasing the marginal rate? >> let's be clear about two things. one, all of the bush era tax cuts are expiring on december 31st, as you know, and the president made clear and it's important that the american people understand that. if congress does not act, everyone's taxes go up. everyone's. to avoid that, the house needs to pass the bill the senate already passed so that 98% of the american people will not have their taxes go up.
2:22 pm
separate from that, the president has long endorsed and supported the idea of reforming our tax code. in fact, in his speech on tuesday night, he said in the coming weeks and months i'm looking forward to reaching out and working with leaders of both parties to meet the challenges we can only solve together. reducing our deficit, reforming our tax code, fixing our immigration system and freeing ourselves from foreign oil. those are the foia things he mentioned and reforming our tax code was one of them. that has been a principle that he supports. he's put forward ideas that would drive tax reform including the buffet rule, including specific proposals like limiting deductions for wealthier earners. so that is certainly a conversation that needs to take place, but we need to address some of these challenges that confront us right away. one way to do that is to pass those tax cuts for 98% of the american people. this is -- i mean, what i haven't heard is a plausible argument for why we shouldn't do
2:23 pm
that. republicans support these tax cuts and democrats support these tax cuts and independents support thiz tax cuts and the president supports these tax cuts. let's get them done and extend them. it's an excellent signal for the american people that we in washington can come together and take action in a manner that the american people support. yes. >> a couple of questions, jay. thank you. what's the thinking behind the president going to southeast asia at such a critical time for fiscal cliff negotiations? is there a risk of missing an important time frame to capture an agreement? >> well, the president, as he announced today, will meet with leaders of congress before his trip. i'm absolutely certain that the work that is begun there will continue while he's traveling. the president's trip to asia is an opportunity to build on our
2:24 pm
successful efforts to refocus on the asia-pacific as the most rapidly growing and dynamic region in the world. the president will focus on expanding u.s. trade and economic ties in the region, supporting democracy and human rights and working through regional institutions to assure they abide by rules of the road. now, you know, as part of his broader agenda the president has focused on expanding our presence in asia. the positive economic impact of dpo doing that will be felt for yearsing ing tto come and is e for the american economy in the 21st century. this is important work that needs to be done. there are meetings at the east asia summit and a meeting with the association of southeast asian nations he'll participate in. that's something he looks forward to. >> a question on treasury secretary geithner's future.
2:25 pm
has he agreed to stay on through the fiscal cliff negotiations until they're completed and perhaps until a successor is confirmed? >> secretary geithner has indicated that he'll stay on through inauguration, and he will be, obviously, a key participant in the negotiations around the so-called fiscal cliff issues. so the president very much appreciates that. >> one last question. there have been reports that general petraeus has come to the white house as early as today to talk about his future. can you shed any light on that, on whether he might be moving on, in fact? >> you know, i don't have any announcements to make on personnel matters. i'll address that question to the cia and the dni. >> is he coming to the white house today? >> not that i'm aware of. yes. >> senator schumer has proposed one solution to the fiscal cliff challenge vis-a-vis tax rates is
2:26 pm
closing the loopholes as they apply to the highest income earners without changing rates. just to be clear would this meet the president's test of raising tax raits on the wealthiest americans? >> the president has made clear that the only acceptable approach to dealing with our fiscal challenges, the only approach that allows us to continue to invest to areas of the economy so key to future growth is to take a balanced approach. to make sure that in addition to the trillion dollars in tax -- in spending cuts the president signs into law, in addition to doing more on the spending side and more to reform our entitlement programs so that their strengthened, we have to include revenue. that means as the president made clear every day this year on the campaign trail, asking the wealthiest to pay a little bit more. the president in his own specific proposals has put forward measures that include reform to our tax code like the
2:27 pm
buffett rule and proposals like limiting deductions for higher earners. so that would certainly be part of the conversation. when it comes to extending the bush era tax cuts for the wealthiest 2%, if a bill doing that were to somehow arrive on his desk, he would not sign it. >> reporter: it's so secret that many democrats think that letting the bush era tax rates expire is a powerful forcing mechanism the president could use to get his way if he can't negotiate a deal. does the president share that view? >> the president believes, as he said in the east room moments ago, that it is paramount that we not allow taxes to go up on everyone on january 1st. that's what will happen if the house does not follow the senate lead and pass the extension of tax cuts for 98% of the american people. there is no rational argument i have heard and that i think any
2:28 pm
american out there would think is rational behind the idea that we should make everyone's taxes go up just so that millionaires and billionaires and those making over 250,000 get a tax cut. that's just not rational thinking and something we can afford. we should pass that tax cut extension now. >> reporter: does the president have full faith and confidence in general petraeus and want him to stay? >> he thinks general petraeus has done an excellent job. >> does he want him to stay on in his current position? >> the president believes that general petraeus is doing and has done an excellent job, but i don't have any personnel announcements today. jake. >> the president hasn't given a press conference since june. do you plan on changing that, or is that how it will be in the second term. >> i'm not enough? clearly not. look, the president will i'm sure be taking your questions in the near future. the president answered questions of many, many reporters
2:29 pm
including from your news organization -- >> when was the last time he did an interview -- >> i think he gave an interview to the leader of nbc news, brian williams, just days ago. >> from the white house press corps. >> he will take questions from the white house press corps. >> do you see any disdain for the white house? >> absolutely not. absolutely not. the president was out there campaigning for re-election and giving interviews daily to reporters from your news organization, from news organizations across the country, from regional newspapers and television stations. you know, he answered a lot of -- >> i'm talking about the white house press corps. not anyone who has a microphone. >> the head of your news division and others, the anchor of the world news tonight. so he will continue to give interviews and continue -- and very soon i'm sure looks forward
2:30 pm
to taking questions from the white house press corps. >> the congressional budget office issued a report looking at the fiscal cliff and options. they said if all the bush era tax cuts were extended it would create on over 1.8 million jobs. if the ones for wealthier americans were allowed to expire, it would create 1.6 million jobs. that's 200,000 jobs that would not be created if the president gets his way. at a time that the president is talking about how jobs and the economy are the most important issue, that's how he opened his remarks, what are we to make of the 200,000 jobs? >> the president has put forward numerous proposals that would create those jobs and more, far more than 200,000. what the cbo report released yesterday dplon straigemonstrat we've been making for so long. that's the economic benefit of tax cuts to the wealthiest earners is very, very small.
2:31 pm
minimal in comparison to the economic benefit that kocomes fm middle class americans. 98% of earners, in fact. that's what that report lee flekts. >> it reflects 200,000 jobs won't be created. >> again, the president's overall proposals including investments represented by measures within the american jobs act, including measures the president talked about in the convention speech that are part of the plan. they create far more jobs that. the way they do that is by taking a balanced approach so that the assets and resources available to us do not flow principally or exclusively to the top 2% of wage earners but to investments in infrastructure and education. >> you are -- >> i'm not. >> i'm not talking about whether the president gets the jobs bill passed. i'm talking about the fiscal cliff. you're not disputing the
2:32 pm
assertion that the president gets his way, 200,000 fewer jobs will be created? to 200,000 people and their families it's not small. >> as the president has long said, we cannot afford to continue to extend tax cuts to the wealthiest americans. we need to take a balanced approach to dpeel with the fiscal problems. you have to take into account of benefits of reducing the deficit, which savings from not extending the tax cuts would go towards. you have to look at the president's overall package, that would create far more jobs than extends tax cuts to wealthy americans. what the report shows and reflects is the consensus among independent economists that tax cuts to the top 2% of american earners is a highly inefficient way of helping our economy. it does not have the kind of economic impact that giving tax cuts to middle class americans does. that's been a principle that's under the president's approach
2:33 pm
all along. >> lastly, jay, at what point does the white house plan on providing a detailed tick-tock of the president's whereabouts and actions on the night of september 11th, 2012? >> as you know the aattack on the diplomatic facility there has been and is under investigation by the fbi. it's also parts of a broader investigation by the accountability review board set up by the secretary of state. those two investigations continue. no one is more interested in getting to the bottom of what happened than the president is. no one is more interested in bringing to justice those who took the lives of four americans that night than the president. the president is very interested in having the results of those investigations provided to him and the american public. >> it's going to talk about the president's role -- >> we're listening in on the
2:34 pm
daily briefing. jay carney is answering a series of question on the president and obviously the fiscal cliff as it's referred to and where he stands on a number of issues and took a few questions on the investigation, ongoing investigation of what happened in benghazi. i want to bring in congressman karen bass from california. let me talk with you about the climate. speaker boehner seemed a bit more willing to at least discuss and put things on the table that maybe were not there before, specifically tax revenues. what is your feeling or sense as congressional leaders prepare to meet with the president per his invitation at the white house? >> i was encouraged by his tone. i thought his stone signaled compromise, however the devil is in the details. so he said he was open to revenue being increased through tax reform, but tax reform is extremely complicated and the fiscal cliff goes off at the end of december.
2:35 pm
we have to figure out what we'll do. the president and i would love to see tax reform, but what will we do in the mean time? the president said we need to extend the tax cuts for the middle class immediately, because that impacts 98% of americans and 97% of small businesses. so i think that's the action that we need to take immediately, and i'm hoping with boehner's tone that he would aagree to that. >> we have a comment from senator marco rubio. obviously, a lot of attention on house republicans. he's an important voice in the senate as he was love bd bhi members of the tea part and some of the tea party caucus and the house may have a big impact. this is what senator rubio said. i reject the idea that the only way to aavoid the fiscal cliff is to raise taxes. without a bold idea, we will not be back on the right track. we're be at the edge of the cliff in a matter of years. i'm up not interested in
2:36 pm
short-term political deals. we need long-term solutions. >> we absolutelies need long-term solutions, but the president was clear in terms of what he wanted. you know what i hope to see from speaker boehner this year? i hope he has the courage to move forward and say not all of my caucus will agree. let me take the more moderate members of my caucus and strike a deal with the democrats. >> what are the odds of that happening. no disrespect in that question, but what is the likelihood? do you believe that you would hear something like that? >> let me tell you, i do think there's a likelihood from that. what i read about the conference call that happened in the republican caucus is members of the caucus said, you know what? we have to give the speaker some room. last year -- or rather this year they were just extreme in terms of they all had to jump off the cliff together instead of
2:37 pm
understanding some members were hard line and some won't be. there were examples of that this year in terms of bills we voted. raising the debt ceiling, a majority of the kak cuss did not vote for that. there are times when that happens, and maybe he wouldn't have a press conference and announce it. in terms of what goes on in the caucus, i hope they allow him to lead this year and not tie his hands the way they did over this last session. >> congresswoman karen bass, thank you for your time. let's bring the political panel back in. we have with us kelly o'donnell who covers capitol hill for nbc news and msnbc. let me bring you into the equation. words matter and it sets a tone for the american public to hear what the president said as well as speaker boehner both on the same day. >> i think it is helpful, because people want to see is there a starting point of cooperation? i think both the president and the speaker have tried to set that signal. they both also acknowledge this isn't easy to accomplish, and
2:38 pm
there will be disagreements and there will probably be some fierce battles behind closed doors to try to resolve this. i think the public wants to know, can this be achieved before crisis were to take place? i think there is a broad consensus that something must be done to stop that. usually that means the results become kind of a coming together as close to the deadline as possible because that's when you get the greatest leverage to make a deal, when there isn't more time. speaker boehner did just respond to the president, and he says that he thinks that raising the tax rates is a problem, and that the increased rates under the senate passed bill, which is what the president was referring to, are a part of the fiscal cliff that economists are warnings us to avoid. what boehner has signaled is that by changing the tax code you would bring in more revenue from the wealthiest by taking away some of the their deductions, changing the formula so they would bring in more revenue without raising the overall rate, and that you would
2:39 pm
be able to aachiechieve what th president wants, which is bringing in more revenue for the government. that's where they begin, and the president notably didn't say tax rates. he talked about the wealthiest paying more. >> that has been noted as well, despite the fact the president said he wanted to raise the tax rates around 40%, which is what we saw during the clinton era? is there a legitimate starting point? >> i'm a little different in that everyone feels like we come down to december 28th and something will happen and we'll aavoid it. i take what the president is doing differently. this is a very clear, unkwif cal gauntlet. it's the victory after the victory. there was an electoral mandate that the president won and was won by the democrats in the senate. it was largely unchanged from the summer of 2011. i see this as the president taking a ka calculated gamble unless you break the back of that republican party that took
2:40 pm
a hard line about revenue going forward, you're going to be in this endless morass in washington. what they're saying is we're going to fight for this, and if that means on january 1 all bets are off, then on january 1 all bets are off. it's like the government shut down between clinton and the '90s and the republicans then. i'm not as convinced by the administration they're not saying this may be very painful and politically disruptive, and the markets may scream. until we change this dynamicdyn we're not changing anything and we'll fight for it. >> is that the political capital argument without the president coming out? as joe biden said, i have a mandate, his actions speak as such. >> grover norquist says there's no change in washington from last year. it's the same. that's not true, because in 2011 the most recent election was the 2010 big gop victory. in this case the most recent election is 2012. by definition the political
2:41 pm
dynamic is different even though the senate, the house and the presidency were -- >> in sports you're only as great as your last game, and the last game was tuesday. >> there are a couple of areas without a discussion that's fruitful. during the campaign mitt romney brought up an intriguing idea, and that was that one way to limit deductions would be rather than getting rid of popular deductions you just said to the wealthy your total deductions, charitable, home mortgage, whatever your deductions are, can only total a certain percentage of your income. so you cannot reduce your tax burden beyond a certain point. that would be an effective tax increase on many wealthy people. this might be one way around reductions or increases in marginal tax rates. there is more than one way to skin a cat, and they all know these details pretty well. they've been through a lot of them before. it might be that you could also
2:42 pm
have a situation where the president makes a pledge that in the new year after they deal with the fiscal cliff that they will move forward with fundamental tax reform that would include what they call a flatter tax rate system with fewer deductions and lower rates. >> is that more likely of the two scenarios? that's what it sounds like. >> yeah. i hear what you're saying, jonathan. i think there is a degree to which the president is saying, look, the only way i establish the power of the presidency and the victory of this election is by making it very clear that the other side lost. >> right. to do that is let january 1st come and go, so then everybody's taxes go up for two weeks and then everybody except the wealthy's taxes immediately come down because they went over the line. >> lois, let me get you in on this. there's a number of options out there. i don't know how likely it would be that the president would take an idea from mitt romney on the campaign trail and try to execute it, no matter how valid it would be. we know the urgency is there. you saw it in the president's
2:43 pm
tone today. he has this meeting on the table. avoiding bringing up tax rates, which obviously would indicate a whole another hot poirnt of issues. it sounds like his immediate concern is to do something about the bush tax cuts, making sure 98% of the people out there do not see an increase? >> i think what you saw jay carney doing is reinforcing this idea that we have to help the middle class. they're trying to box in the republicans into saying, look, you don't want to deal with the wealthy people, but what about the 98%? let's do the 98%. if the republicans do the 98%, they lose leverage on the other 2%. it's an effective political tactic on the white house's part. i do think that changing the deductions is a really viable option, and that's why this language is squishy. they're not saying tax cuts but additional he revenues. i think that romney's idea is resonates and being knocked around. the one thing that romney did
2:44 pm
was have a moving target on it. i don't remember it being percentages, but dollar amounts. let's say everybody got 25,000, let's say everybody got 17,000. so i think that's out there as a real viable option. >> it would be impressive, considering that -- >> tamron -- >> it could be a concession. it would be huge. kelly. >> one of the things that's attractive about that is if you specifically isolate the mortgage deduction or charitable deductions, then all the people associated with that, the industry of housing, all of those charities have such a vested interest to try to fight that. if you make it a bucket, you take some of the sting out. it still may result in people giving charitiably and buying homes. one of the issues about taking away deductions that is so critical to do it is not wanting to draw out all of the lobbies to fight those things and render them useless. >> every good idea has someone on the other side saying it's bad and we're willing to fight. that's the way business is done
2:45 pm
unfortunately there. thank you very much, lois, kelly, jonathan and zachary. thank you so much. we'll be right back. >> thanks, tamron. [ male announcer ] when it comes to the financial obstacles military families face, we understand. at usaa, we know military life is different. we've been there. that's why every bit of financial advice we offer is geared specifically to current and former military members and their families. [ laughs ] dad! dad! [ applause ] ♪ [ male announcer ] life brings obstacles. usaa brings advice. call or visit us online. we're ready to help. yeah we both relieve coughs, sneezing, aches, fevers. and i relieve nasal congestion. overachiever. [ female announcer ] tylenol® cold multi-symptom nighttime relieves nasal congestion. nyquil® cold and flu doesn't.
2:46 pm
throughout our lives. one a day women's 50+ is a complete multivitamin designed for women's health concerns as we age. it has more of 7 antioxidants to support cell health. one a day 50+.
2:47 pm
or treat gas with these after you get it. now that's like sunblock before or sun burn cream later. oh, somebody out there's saying, now i get it! take beano before and there'll be no gas.
2:48 pm
welcome back. michael tomasky had this prediction before the election. a post-election gop freak-out if mitt romney loses. michael is back now. now mitt romney has lost, and did we see a freak-out as you suspected, and first of all, how did you define a "freak-out"? >> people can define it however they want. it was a pretty easy prediction, and it starts with the candidate himself being shell-shocked, as was reported yesterday, which i found pretty astonishing, that he could have lived inside. all campaigns are bubbles, but
2:49 pm
to have lived inside such a severe and con stricting bubble that he couldn't see the possibility that he was going to lose or could lose, even could lose, he was shocked at the possibility. that's freak-out number one. i think we saw karl rove freak out, the dog ate my exit polls, karl rove. if you've been listening to any rush limbaugh over the last few days, which i have, i can still only take small doses but it's been awfully fun to listen. yes, the easiest prediction in the world, and it has come through. >> david from was on with "morning joe," and he has an e book out already, "why romney lost." let's play a little bit what he had to say. >> the real locust of the problem is the republican activist base and donor base. they went apock liptic over the past four years, and that was exploited by a lot of people in the conservative world. the followership has been fleeced and lied to. what happened to mitt romney
2:50 pm
wassest twisted into pretzels. the people that put comment shoes on his feet now blame him for sinking. >> i know that's your colleague at "newsweek." the cement on your shoes, the apock liptic reference twisted into pretzels, is that a freak-out from david from perhaps different than rush limbaugh would put it? >> yeah, david is freaking out for the right reasons. he's my colleague and friend, and he wrote a book some years ago. i think it was probably 2007. i can't remember. i reviewed the book pretty favorably. maybe it was after obama was elected about where the republican party was going wrong and how -- the things it needed to do to right itself. that was before it really went off the deep end with the tea party movement and extremists and so on and so forth. i look forward to reading this work by david, and i think he's absolutely right. >> let me ask you. it's interesting.
2:51 pm
chuck todd had a cleaver way of putting it the other day, when he said that the republicans were basically surprised by a secret document that is available to everyone, the census, that they never looked at the swing states and the information and the demographics to come up with a strategy. here all of this in the census. i'm so sorry, michael. i have to go to andrea mitchell. cea she's covering breaking news. what is the latest there? >> this is painful, but the letter of resignation from the director of central intelligence has been submitted. this is dated november 9th. it says to the team at cia headquarters yesterday afternoon i went to the white house and asked the president to be allowed for personal reasons to resign from my position as director of cia. after being married for more than 37 years, i showed extremely poor judgment by engaging in an extra-marital affair.
2:52 pm
such behavior is unacceptable, both as a husband and as a leader of an organization such as ours. this afternoon the president graciously accepted by resignation. as i depart langley -- i'm reading a letter continuing, tamron -- i want you to know that it has been the greatest of privileges to have served with you, the officers of our nation's silent service, a work force truly exceptional in every regard. indeed you did extraordinary work on a host of critical missions during my time as adirector and i'm deeply grateful to you for that. teddy roosevelt once observed that life's great gift is the opportunity to work hard and work worth doing. i will always treasure my opportunity to have done that with you, and i will always regret the circumstances that brought that work with you to an end. thank you for your extraordinary service to our country, best wishes for continued success in the important endeavors that lie aahehead for our kunlt and agen.
2:53 pm
with admiration and appreciation, david h. petraeus. as you can see this is by any account a shocking announcement. this is a four-star retired general. he's been the director of the cia since april of 2011. most likely he would be succeeded by the veteran career cia deputy director michael morrell, who is widely admired. we should point out that his wife, holly petraeus, worked in the consumer advocacy agency for the administration and had been the deputy -- one of the deputies under elizabeth warren and is well-known and well regarded as a consumer advocate. tamron. >> as you pointed out, this is news of both a personal and professional consequences for general david petraeus, a man greatly admired for serving this country and leading our troops through very difficult years
2:54 pm
both in iraq and afghanistan. i do have to ask the question, however, given the timing of the cia, the investigation into benghazi, you will have people who are cynical and skeptical and say, is this exclusively about this personal issue, or this ongoing investigation in benghazi? i'm asking this because you and i both know the world we live in will be a question posed. >> there will be a lot of questions asked. at this point we all have to take a deep breath. general petraeus is a ph.d. from princeton and a west point graduate and led our force rs in iraq and afghanistan. he did not have an easy relationship with president obama when candidate obama went to baghdad. i can attest to that having covered that assignment. he had to get to know this president and trust each other, so they did not come easily to that. he's been talked about as having
2:55 pm
a political future and been talked about going into academia. he resigned and retired from the military to take the cia position, and he was replacing a very popular cia director, leon panetta, who was the secretary of defense. but the personal and human drama here, the tragedy, really, of a public service, a life in public service and a life of valor, which has you can see from his own admission has been cut short by his personal transgression that he acknowledges is pretty emotional and dramatic stuff. i think that there will be people questioning the benghazi situation, but i think that this has been put out in excruciating detail if you will to try to say this was not about benghazi. he has been called to testify next week in a closed hearing of the senate intelligence committee, and his testimony would still be very important on benghazi. of course, his deputy would also
2:56 pm
be able to carry that on. >> sure. andrea, thank you very much for bringing us the breaking news. i know that you were the first on this within your hour indicating there would be a change of status, and now we know. jay carney was asked about this during the daily briefing. he said he would not at the time comment on personnel issues, but i have with me colonel jack jacobs. you're familiar with general petraeus and his wife. you heard the letter regarding his resignation. make sense of this for us at this time for him. >> it's impossible to make sense of it. they are friends and have been for nearly four decades. absolutely splendid soldier, and he indicates what happens when people don't pay attention to what their true values are. it's very, very sad. it's sad for the cia, sad for the administration, sad for the
2:57 pm
united states of america. it's going to lose -- >> absolutely. but colonel, you know, and i guess the raw question that i would have is, would an extra-marital affair require him to step down as the chief of the cia? would that be a personal choice as a man, as a husband that he would make that would have no bearing or an issue with his job? >> one likes to think the latter. the problem with the extra-marital affair notwithstanding is a man of honor and didn't feel that he could discharge his responsibilities as an officer of this country. don't forget, also, there's going to be a great deal of pressure on him when he testified, and to be honest with you, there is never a great deal of love lost between him personally and the white house from the very beginning. you're right to suggest that there would be some pressure to
2:58 pm
get him to resign once this came to light, as it would eventually come to light. there's no hiding any of this stuff. eventually it all comes out. as shakespeare says it's better to do it now than later. >> you believe he would have been under some pressure. this would not be a decision made exclusively by him? >> i think not. he grew up in an environment in the military where one of the first things you learn is that bad news doesn't get any better with age. the best thing you can do is tell the boss bad news as soon as it happens or as soon as possible after it happens, because it can't be fixed later the older it gets. the worse it gets, the noisier it gets, and the -- and eventually the inevitable is going to happen anyway. it's best to cut sooner rather than later if if you really love the country and really think what you're doing is important. even if you're pressured by the white house, the best thing to do is to get out early. >> and quickly because just one
2:59 pm
minute leicht. andrea said he's expected to testify before the cia. this investigation with benghazi, do you see any parallels, anything that might also have factored in with na resignation? >> well, of course, there's a link. i think at some juncture if he told the truth he would say he didn't have as much to do when on the ground, what went on on the ground as people think. a large number, the majority maybe all of the decision making was taken in the white house in the state department. he had nothing to do with it. that's a painful thing for him to say in testimony before the congress. >> all right. colonel jack jacobs, thank you very much for joining us with this breaking news. a lot of developments. the president coming out and addressing the public for the first time since his re-election, discussing an invitation made to congressional leaders to meet at the white house to start in some kind of compromise to deal with the fiscal


info Stream Only

Uploaded by TV Archive on