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tv   [untitled]    December 19, 2011 2:30am-3:00am EST

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you're watching live from the headlines now. with around fifteen people in the freezing waters off russia. the search goes on for thousands of missing since the tragedy happened. north korea's longstanding leader kim jong il. age of sixty nine his death sending shock waves across the reclusive country and the. youngest son kim jong un named. fifteen. dozens more injured in
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a series of rallies in the west of the country authorities say the situation is under control. and the rest. is between the. cross-talk. discuss one of the most controversial figures in american politics a candidate for the republican nomination in next year's presidential election newt gingrich. hello and welcome to cross talk i'm peter lavelle like a blazing phoenix rising from the ashes newt gingrich again shows himself to be a major figure in american politics does he represent the republican party base is he really a conservative and most importantly if nominated can he beat barack obama at the ballot box to become president. and.
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the crosstalk the return of newt gingrich i'm joined by bill schneider in washington he is a distinguished senior fellow and resident scholar at the third way in new york we have steve lesser he is a columnist for democrats for progress and in nashville we cross to judson phillips he is the founder of the tea party nation all right gentlemen this is cross talk and you can jump in anytime you want i very much encourage it but first let's have a look at the man himself. as a candidate newt gingrich seems to have become a flavor of the month nominee among republican front runners with less than three weeks before the first nominating contest in iowa gingrich enjoys the strongest lead of any candidate this year commanding some forty percent support among likely g.o.p. voters an impressive advantage compared with twenty three percent for a republican mitt romney gingrich a quirky politician who's perplexed a number of people during his campaign is not new to washington which is
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a fact he enjoys stressing i think at a time when we're hurting financially we're hurting in jobs we're hurting in the deficit we're hurting in foreign policy having somebody who is a serious developer of better solutions and somebody who has a track record of actually doing it in washington all a certain kind of job but it's his track record of making provocative and controversial statements that analysts say could alienate swing voters among gingrich's most notorious policy. trajectories and statements is his support for death penalty for marijuana smugglers claims that child labor laws are stupid and disparaging remarks on health care policy people have to render judgment in my case i said up front openly i've made mistakes or times i've had to go to god for forgiveness and render judgment they have his most recent comments in which gingrich called palestinians an invented people cause dismay among palestinian officials i'm certain. mr gingrich said this is unfortunate. but.
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this guy is looking for some. election campaign and i'm sure. he has the history of the middle east and the palestinian people so is gingrich continues to ride his wave of success presumably with intent to sustain it he's faced with the task of broadening his appeal and to do that experts say he would have to swing into a full blown presidential operation mode and be able to defend himself and his long and controversial record. cross-talk party. ok about to go to judgment in nashville first i'd like to read something that maureen dowd wrote a couple days ago which i think is interesting and a bit funny next to romney gingrich seems authentic next to her mccain gingrich seems faithful next to jon huntsman which seems conservative next to michele bachmann and rick perry gingrich appears to actually look like an intellectual is that why people like him for those reasons. no i think there are some other reasons
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beyond that you know one of the things that newt gingrich offers he offers experience which was clearly something we didn't get in two thousand and eight and the thing that he offers that all the other republican candidates don't really offer he offers a vision for a conservative revolution in washington and i was in a meeting with him a week ago and that was the first thing he talked about his vision starts in january two thousand and twenty one with him successfully completing two terms successfully leading a conservative revolution successfully getting conservative permanent conservative majorities in the house in the senate so he offers a compelling vision that nobody else really offers out there and i think a lot of republicans and a lot of conservatives really like that message that he's offering ok steve if i can go to you and i want to be generous here but most people think that newt's time is sort of speaker of the house was disastrous i mean why should he become president. yeah. exactly right peter you know when you when you talk about most candidates for political office you talk about do they have any skeletons in their
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closet the joke about newt gingrich is he doesn't have skeletons is caught as clean as closet as graveyards in his client in his closet you know his his time the speakership ended with him being the first the first speaker of the house who was basically found guilty of ethics violations had to pay a three hundred thousand dollars fine and by the way the house ethics committee was chaired by a republican led by republicans and republicans controlled the house at that time you know he's got two two marriages where he was unfaithful you know speaking of that infidelity and i'm thinking you know john edwards is standing out there somewhere saying hey if i do this again can i run for president in two thousand and sixteen you know this is the family values pardi. yeah it's the family values party he's got two affairs out there he says he's sorry he promises he won't do it a third time you know this is one of the guys as a democratic strategist that i looked and said god wouldn't be great if we could get this guy to run against barack obama because you know the opposition research on this guy is volumes you know we went we went to
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a drought or splinter when you know our studies are you know they're enough but fair enough you know i mean he is leading in the polls for republicans bill i want to go to you in washington you're an old timer a lot watching american politics what is in your opinion what is the appeal of newt because he's not something new we all know who he is we know a lot about him. he brought gridlock to washington that's been the rule since the two thousand and ten midterm nothing has really been accomplished in washington except under extreme deadline pressure last summer when a default was hanging over the country newt gingrich came to congress in one thousand nine hundred eighty eight he told the republican minority don't go along don't get along make trouble hold things up create gridlock and he brought it all the way to the time in one thousand nine hundred five when they shut down the federal government he is a revolutionary as your first guest said but americans are very cautious when they vote for president i'm not they definitely want change i'm not sure they want to revolution because gingrich comes across as very very reckless jetson i mean that in looking at the commentary and you know and i want to be fair here because you
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know i know you like him as a candidate but what is it what is it is new about newt that you like because he has been an amazing track record in a lot of people say he's a very reckless person that is someone not to be trusted and for many reasons what bill just said right there just don't do anything just obstruct. well you know let's do a little bit of history the bill's not mentioning here in one nine hundred seventy eight when newt gingrich came into the congress the republicans were in such a minority they had they only had one third of the house and they had one third of the senate and they were happy with that arrangement it was absolutely insane newt gingrich came to congress and said you know what we republicans can control congress and he worked a lot of people even as for the latest one nine hundred ninety four didn't believe that the republicans could take congress away from the democrats they'd held for thirty eight years guess what newt gingrich came in and did it and you know steve talked about oh all these ethics violations well guess what eighty three of eighty four dismissed the only one he paid a fine on was basically the equivalent of
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a plea bargain where he just said screw it i'm tired of this i'll pay some money over a college course he was teaching and he was done with it the i.r.s. went through newt gingrich with a fine tooth comb they didn't find anything let's remember newt gingrich balanced the budget under bill clinton who wanted to spend about as badly as barack obama wanted to spend their reformed welfare. he's got a whole bunch of good credits and the myth that newt gingrich shut the government down no sorry about that it was bill clinton that shut the government down we're going back to the same battleaxe remember when it happened steve do you want to get in there because there's also the the freddie mac. money that gingrich got one point six million dollars i mean again all the way up to the only admitted to it when he was confronted with it i mean again he's the consummate insider how can this be something new how can he spin himself as something new. well you know the judge has got a difficult job there and i don't envy it all i mean there's gingrich always has an
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excuse for something he did you know he didn't do anything wrong you know they dismissed eighty four out of eighty five charges well you know dozens of judson's an attorney he knows better than that you know in plea bargain agreements they often will dismiss tons of the charges if you'll admit guilt to one of them and apologize and make restitution that's what happened to the family in my case and not only are he did say he did have a lawyer raised by russia you know he did have an iron bar so i think he's a he hasn't yet and the club interests i know you take care of your so you shot him with better than that judson you should know judge you should know better than that no you're just making there's no less here to do that's one trillion dollars that went on making so you're just kind of doesn't know where her naked stuff is the record and this is what it's going to be the entire time the rest of things are just candidacy this is what it's going to be we're going to be making excuses we're going to be saying oh that's not the record where everybody can look it up it is the record that is the record he had to pay about three hundred thousand dollars fine it was a republican chairman of the house i thought you know and there is no i didn't you think i could suggest democrats fault it's not bill clinton's fault. ok let me jump
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in here to an excuse doesn't excuse what is a democrat you were destroyed persia's fault ok allergies it hardly can i still rehashing the past here ok i got to go to phil i want to tell you begin rich that i mean quote i helped ronald reagan and jack kemp develop supply side economics i helped lead the effort to defeat communism in congress i helped as speaker of the house balanced the budget for four years straight i mean none of those statements are true that patently obviously false. well they're not completely false he had a large role in balancing the budget he certainly supported ronald reagan but he claims to essentially that he did all these things more or less on his own he did not. he was part of the coalition between clinton and the republican congress they got a lot done welfare reform free trade balancing the budget. yes he did work with bill clinton and then he led the move to impeach bill clinton the problem with newt
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gingrich is from the very beginning when he burst on the national scene in the early one nine hundred ninety s. the public hasn't liked him they don't like him i looked at thirty five polls of how people think feel about newt gingrich and in thirty two of those thirty five poll polls taken in the last fifteen years people have a negative impression he is going to be a very very difficult candidate to elect a retiring democratic congressman barney frank said you know when he is a press conference where he departed from congress he said i never thought i lived a good enough life to see the republicans nominate newt gingrich for president he has more baggage than united airlines ok. if i go to one to say they don't like it i want to expand i jump in real quick i want to take it to the i want to spend on what bill just said i mean you can see it in the debate you can see why people don't like it there's sort of this mealing arrogance to newt gingrich you know even the snark that he did with mitt with mitt romney saying you know the only reason that you were in private life was because you lost to ted kennedy that's not
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a policy discussion that's just a nasty remark to make that soon newt gingrich is that's why people don't like him there's this arrogant entitled this to him that no matter how hard he tries he can't he can't hide it ok gentlemen we're going to go to a short break and after that short break we'll continue our discussion which state party. here in bygone days sleds were vital to get around. but today they're more leisure than life line. one drives people to quit their modern lives and settle in remote woods. one finds them up to
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survive in the freezing cold. beginning in russia's noles discover the arctic circle. me it is easy to. say. welcome back to cross talk computable about to remind you we're talking about the return of newt.
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ok jets and i go back to you in nashville i ask you just kind of just point blank you like the man do you think he can beat barack obama. oh absolutely there's no question about it. in fact it's almost a situation of who can beat barack obama now because. if they're if the republicans are smart what they're going to run next year on is when the republicans last controlled the government unemployment was at four point six percent the economy growing for fifty two consecutive months and gas was about two dollars and twenty two cents a gallon by the time obama's going to be up for election when the election is actually held next year employment is probably still unemployment rather still going to be north of nine percent the economy's not going to growing and if the experts are right gas is also going to be north of four dollars a gallon and that's just going to be an unwinnable combination and then when when obama and gingrich debate holy cow that ought to be on pay per view that is going
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to you know that's going to be like like a high school team going up against albert pool halls because gingrich is going to wipe the floor with obama ok interesting bill i mean i tend to think that obama's pretty good at debating his last time it was not that bad what do you think though i mean do you think he has a. has a chance next to obama. well look under the right circumstances in the united states anyone can get elected if things are bad enough i don't think they're that bad they're bad there's no question about it but they have to be really bad i mean another recession for americans to take a chance and voting for newt gingrich they almost didn't vote for ronald reagan back in one could eighty point it wasn't until the last week of the campaign it was the last week of that campaign when people decided that reagan was a safe choice even though they were very unhappy with jimmy carter my guess is that if gingrich does well in january where there are four crucial contests if he were to do the unexpected and beat romney in new hampshire in that primary then february
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where there's very little going on you're going to see the republican party establishment in full panic they're already moving in that direction you're going to see karl rove and maybe jim baker and possibly both former presidents bush warned the party that they could be jumping off a cliff there's not much they can do about it they have to influence primary voters but they're going to be a lot of concern there already is that he simply can't beat obama in a year when republicans ought to be able to easily beat obama for the reasons that judge judge just gave you know steve it seems to me and i you know and i'm going to stand out above the fray here because i probably won't vote but. you know newt has the advantage has the advantage because the field is so weak around him i mean looking at these other candidates it's really just it's more comical than anything else at least looking at it from the outside why do you think obama would feel confident if you think he's confident that he could beat newt gingrich if he's the nominee. well you know the entire angle of going after an
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incumbent is you look at incumbents record you know you hope to poke holes in it you hope to say things aren't doing so well the problem is newt gingrich has a record of his own that's at least as problematic as barack obama's and you know all the old at the obama campaign really has to do is play back newt's own statements play back his contradictions play back the fact that if newt's going to attack him on health care reform he supported an individual mandate he supported marijuana legalization you know he supported all of these things i mean if you put together all of newt gingrich's liberal statements all together in one person you end up with al gore so you know i mean it's going to be very tough for newt gingrich to come up with a consistent statement that says he's different from barack obama he's the solid conservative and he's the one who should be elected his his own record is at least as bad and perhaps worse than what some of the things that you know in my opinion not obama's fault but has had that have happened during the campaign and there's a big contrast you know you can say you don't like some of her obama's policies but
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he said what he was going to do when he was running for president he did those things you got a great record if you look at the websites that track you know promises kept i don't think you can say that about newt gingrich i don't think he's got that consistency that barack obama has and then when you when when when the optics of barack obama with a happy family life. and you know happy marriage that's put up next to you know newt gingrich's history i mean he can say he's a can for you know a changed and converted man and whatever he wants to say those optics are not good for newt gingrich ok jenson if i go back to you is newt gingrich really a conservative because i mean in reflecting upon which steve just said there i mean you could parse together a liberal newt gingrich if you wanted to if you made the attempt but i mean you know you're involved the tea party movement is he conservative enough for you and you think for the for the rank and file of the movement you're part of. yeah i think he is you know if you look at newt gingrich's history of first of all if you
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get somebody whose history is long enough if they do anything other than vote present like barack obama did all the time you can create almost any kind of narrative you want for that particular person but newt has a ninety percent career rate ranking from the american conservative union he didn't get that by sitting there following barney frank off the cliff so you know he is conservative enough for the tea party movement he's going to be supported by the tea party movement and you know. what it comes what is going to come down to next year any time you have an incumbent running for reelection and steve and bill i'm sure are going to agree with me on this point one of the few points they probably will but they'll agree with me on this the election is always a referendum on the incumbent right now the economy sucks and there's just no two ways about it i'm calling it the great obama depression because we have what fourteen fifteen million people out of work all new really has to do i don't care what obama throws up there only has to do is recycle ronald reagan are you better off or you're are you better off now than you were four years ago the great majority of americans are going to ground zero not only nobody held know and
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they're going to vote for they're going to at the end of the day decide we don't want to obama we don't like his policies he's wrecked the country and we may or may not trust newgate works but he's better than the alternative you know bill and a few days ago newt gingrich talked about the palestinians and went and looking at the foreign policy debate it looks like newt really wants to have a new cold war the enemy this time will be iran but his comments about the palestinians is really quite extraordinary i mean it's not just a lunge to get the the pro israeli vote to the jewish vote in the united states because even most jews in the united states recognize that there is a palestinian people. well look the problem with that statement was that it was extremely undiplomatic in the present the united states has to be a diplomat he has to pursue a peace process there was some argument for what gingrich said about the palestinian people being invented people you know we americans are also an inventor very good have always time ago he could point yes we are an invented people so it
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was simply a very reckless statement to make contributed nothing to the peace process even the israeli government had to back away from it and the damage that it did wasn't so much that americans disagreed with them or even jewish voters disagreed with them it's that they wondered do we need a president who makes those kinds of reckless statements and creates diplomatic incidents whenever he opens his mouth that's a good point you know stevie you know i mean i know that in america being american but being american myself i know foreign policy doesn't always play a big role but at the same time personality does is this the kind of thing that you know even you think republicans are going to buy into as we go to the primaries because that's just walking into a room and pulling a pin on a hand grenade and throwing it you know randomly. well you know what came out today peter is that back in one thousand nine hundred three after the oslo accords you had newt gingrich embracing yasser arafat and his aides at the time are saying that gingrich said to arafat i've got some great ideas on how you can quickly bring a palestinian state into being and now you have this radical flip flop where he's
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saying he's entered the palestinians and i think i think what this speaks to you talked about personality peter i think what this speaks to is gingrich really supports whatever seems to be the best for newt gingrich at that moment in terms of what he's looking what he's looking to get for himself i don't think he really has any sort of solid beliefs or ideology at all in anything you know i mean it's whatever is good for him at the time whatever woman is good for him at the time whatever position on the issue is good for the time at the time support medical marijuana support the death penalty for use of marijuana you know support mandates no i was never for mandates or i was wrong about mandates and this is going to be a consistent theme in the campaign if he's the republican nominee it's a conversation i can't wait to have that's for sure could jetson what do you think about that because i mean a politician's do change that through time and i think everybody would agree with that but i mean what if you mean given what steve just said their new gingrich will say anything to get elected ok i guess we say that about a lot of politicians should we say that about him and i know actually that probably
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belongs to both barack obama and mitt romney but now things change people change that newt gingrich may or may not have said that he asked or arafat almost twenty years ago but guess what something major happened between then and now was called nine eleven and you know i love gingrich's comment i'm glad he hacked off the palestinians because you know what i don't care because i remember september eleventh two thousand and eleven and i remember the. i hate it when i finish a sentence and i tell you one point that i remember those but now you know they let me finish you said it let me finish a sentence let me finish the senate state the reason i remember that is because on september eleventh two thousand and one the palestinians were dancing in the streets celebrating that we had been attacked so you know what they don't like us i don't like them and i'm glad gingrich made so many palestinians were doing it and the leadership of the palestinians said that's wrong to do they stepped in and they stopped their own people for doing that but how does that make them a people then but not now i still i don't understand it that doesn't validate
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gingrich's statement at all ok bill i want to go to i want to go to trial is going to ground and i have it jammed so you get our people now but not they were way back then cable and every single people in the middle east were invented gentlemen this is kind of a useless conversation bill if i can go to you and what is his candidacy tell you about american politics today because i said earlier in the program we really know him very well and he's got he's surging in the polls what does this tell you you about american politics today well he says we're in a cycle of revenge when the democrats took office with barack obama and the solid majority in congress essentially did something that we're not used to in the united states we got party government the democrats passed the economic stimulus they passed health care reform they passed financial regulation with very little republican support and now republicans see the possibility that they can take the white house they can keep their hold on the house of representatives and they have a good chance to gain the senate next year and they are thirsting for revenge they
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want their own party government they want republican party government next year what we've got last this past year and probably next year is just gridlock so republicans are not going to compromise because they say soon they believe they'll be able to call all the shots into that anger and that cycle of revenge that's going on ok judge said i'm going to be the last word on this program what kind of america would. govern. i it's an america that's looking for some competent leadership which we haven't had since january of two thousand and seven when the democrats took over congress and then two years later when obama took over the country i think america as soon as newt gingrich gets elected president we're going to see an economic recovery coming with a republican congress we're going to see a lot of bad democratic ideas put to bed some good ideas advanced and we will see the good times again all right gentlemen we'll see if that happens there many thanks to my guests today in washington new york and in nashville and thanks to our viewers for watching us here r.t.
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