tv FOX News Sunday With Chris Wallace FOX September 26, 2010 9:00am-10:00am EDT
pledge to america," telling what they'll do if they win back control in november. will the plan help the country? will it help the g.o.p.? we'll ask house republican leader john boehner and kevin mccarthy, the document's lead author. then house democrats push back. we get reaction from majority leader steny hoyer. boehner, mccarthy, and hoyer, only on "fox news sunday." also while president obama talks peace at the u.n., a new book details bitter struggles inside his war cabinet. we'll ask our sunday panel about the president's foreign policy. and our power player of the week. a political whiz kid runs the biggest show in town. all right now on "fox news sunday." and hello again from fox news in washington. house republicans unveiled this 45-page document thursday that lays out their legislative agenda.
the plan calls for smaller and more limited government, repeal of president obama's healthcare reform, and cuts in federal spending and extending bush era tax cuts to help create jobs. joining us exclusively today to discuss their plan, house republican leader john boehner and congressman kevin mccarthy, who was the driving force behind the pledge. gentlemen, welcome back to "fox news sunday." >> thank you for having me. >> chris: president obama says this is the worn-out philosophy of president bush in the pledge. you would extend tax cuts. congressman boehner, how does this show that the g.o.p. has changed since the last election? >> i think it's pretty clear if you look at what is going on in washington, with all the spending, all the debt, all the government take-overs and control. what this document is that we reject that. we want a smaller, less costly and more accountable government. and we go through and lay out specifics, whether it's spending, whether it's
getting jobs going again in america, whether it's healthcare, national and border security, and the issue of reforming the way congress does its business. >> chris: let me get into specifics in a moment, but congressman mccarthy, a number of conservatives aren't buying this. let's take a look at what eric erickson of the conservative web site red state had to say about the document. he said, "it is full of non-tested, kid-approved pablom that will make certain hearts on the right sing in solidarity, but like a diet full of sugar it will doing in but keep making washington fatter before we crash from the sugar high." >> national review says it's bolder than the contract of '94. the "wall street journal" says it will do more to shrink the federal government. just like when the contract came out, there's attacks on both sides. remember what this is. this isn't a party platform. this is specific legislation that could be taken up right now before we depart that will shrink government, take away the uncertainty. the number one reason out
there why jobs are not being created, uncertainty. they don't know what is going to happen with the taxes. they don't know what is going to happen from regulation. this could reign it all in. washington is spending more time with comedians than debating the economic future. >> chris: congressman boehner, let's get specific. why is there no mention of ending earmarks in this document? >> this is a document about now. this is an agenda that could be enacted today if the speaker of the house would call up for a vote. and today, we have a moratorium on earmarks. and i can tell you that if republicans win the majority in november, it will not be business as usual here in congress. and -- >> chris: let me ask can you about that. >> moratorium -- >> chris: it's a one-year moratorium. >> why wouldn't the democrats this year join us in a one-year moratorium. >> chris: okay. a one-year moratorium that ends in march. a number of your top leaders, including congressman jerry lewis who likely be the
chairman of the house appropriations committee, wants earmarks back. are you willing to pledge right now if you take over the house, the republicans do, earmarks will be gone forever? >> it will not be business as usual in washington, d.c. >> chris: that's not answering my question, sir. >> listen, you know me. i've never asked for earmarks in 20 years in congress. >> chris: a lot of your colleagues have. >> i understand that. it's not going to be business as usual. >> chris: let's drill down to the spending cut pros posed in the document. you talk about cutting non-defense discretionary spending, which is only 16% of the federal budget. and you talk about cutting $100 billion from that pot next year, which would amount to a 22% cut in those programs. you say you want to cut across the board. according to the white house, that means 200,000 kids would be kept out of head start. the f.b.i. would cut 2700 agents. and the government would detain thousand fewer illegal
immigrants. >> for a guy who served on head start board in my county for ten years, i know that is not true. i'm saying discretionary spending. look at what has happened across america for the last three years. every household has had to cut back. what has the discretionary spending done? it's increased by 88%. we're saying find eight cents out of every dollar. do you know what we spend money on? take for instance when you go into transportation that's increased. every person that buys a first class ticket on amtrak for the sleeper car, we subsidize that by $364. that's $1.2 billion saved if we decide that the american public shouldn't borrow 8 cents from every dollar to subsidize it. >> chris: that's $1 billion. how do you get the other $99 billion? the fact is, if you are going to do non-defense discretionary spending, it's a 22% cut to cut $100 billion. >> it's grown by 88% in the last three years. >> chris: why are there not
specific cuts here? >> it goes specifically down to -- >> chris: not in this, it doesn't. >> we give the ability from department to department to find where, we show programs where we show votes on the floor through you cut with more than the ability to go through it. one after another. what about when we laid out our pledge to the lumber company? no one there has had a raise in two years. even congress when you look at the legislative branch, not the individuals, but the legislative branch is increased by 5%. we're saying you go through, go back to prestimulus, prebail-out numbers. we can live on that and find further. >> chris: congressman boehner, as willie sutton said about banks, entitlements are where the money is. more than 40% of the budget. yet, i've looked through this pledge and there is not one single proposal to cut social security, medicare, medicaid. >> chris, we make it clear in there. that we're going to lay out a plan to work toward a
balanced budget and deal with the entitlement crisis. chris, it's time for us as americans to have an adult conversation with each other about the serious challenges our country faces. and we can't have that serious conversation until we lay out the size of the problem. once americans understand how big the problem is, then we can begin to talk about potential solutions. but i am committed to having that adult conversation with the american people because it is important for the future of our kids and our grand kids. >> chris: forgive me, sir, isn't the right time to have the adult conversation now before the election when you have this document? why not make a single proposal to cut social security, medicare and medicaid? >> chris, this is what happens here in washington. when you start down that path, you just invite all kind of problems. i know. i've been there. i think we need to do this in a more systemic way and have this conversation first. let's not get to potential solutions. let's make sure americans understand how big the problem is. then we can talk about
possible solutions and then work ourselves into those solutions that are doable. >> chris: congressman mccarthy, speaker pelosi says the house may or may not vote this week before they go on adjournment on taxes. i know that's one of your big issues. why? >> i think she is afraid. she has 37 democrats in her own party that say they want to extend -- they agree with republicans on the principle that you shouldn't raise taxes in a recession, that you could use 1.2 million jobs in the future and be able to grow. the democrats say they will leave the house without dealing with it. that uncertainty itself is keeping capital on the sidelines and stopping jobs being created in america. >> chris, american people are asking the question: where are the jobs? if we leave here this week and adjourn for the election without preventing these tax increases on the american people, it will be the most irresponsible thing i've seen since i have been in washington, d.c.
and i've been here a while. the speaker ought to promise a fair and open debate on making sure that we extent all of the current tax rates, end the uncertainty and get our economy going again. except it sounds like they're just going to punt the ball until a lame duck session and as a result allow the uncertainty to continue, the economy to go slow and no jobs being created. >> chris: congressman boehner, if there is a vote this week -- you say you want a vote. and if the choice is just whether or not to extend the middle class tax cuts, how will you vote? >> i have made it clear, i'm for extending all of the current tax rates. if we want to end the uncertainty and get our economy going again and create jobs in america, we have to eliminate all of this. i also said the speaker ought to have a fair and open debate. and if she is not willing to have a fair and open debate, she should not count on our votes. >> she took the pledge she'd have an open debate so you'd have all options and have greater choice and we'd have
the country moving in the right direction. >> chris: i just want to press it again, congressman boehner. you understand why. it's a tickle -- ticklish issue. do you vote yea or nay? >> if the speaker offers a fair and open debate i'm confidence there is a bipartisan majority the extend the current tax rates. >> chris: what is wrong, congressman boehner, as it seems will happen because the senate said they will not do this of coming back with a lame duck session after the election? >> the american people are asking where are the jobs? we don't have jobs because of all the uncertainty coming out of this administration and this congress. the congress has an opportunity this week to end some of the uncertainty by allowing the american people to know what the tax rates are going to be at the end of the year. and to adjourn without dealing with this means that in their minds the elections are more important than the jobs for the american people. it's just politics as usual.
>> it costs us $7 billion because they want to wait. how many more jobs does it cost to continue the uncertainty out of what is going to happen? how can someone plan to make an investment to make a new job if they don't know what the taxes will be. >> chris, they have time to bring a comedian to washington, d.c., but they don't have time to eliminate the uncertainty by extending all of the current tax rates. that's irresponsible. >> chris: congressman boehner, will the g.o.p. win back the house in november? or as some republicans are now suggesting, have you peaked too early? >> chris, our goal is to earn back the majority so we can renew our efforts to drive for a smaller, less costly and more accountable government here in washington, d.c. >> chris: do you -- >> it's an uphill climb, but it is possible. and we're working to do that. >> chris: you realize that the political class, and we're a bunch of dopes, but we'll say if you don't win back the house we'll say it's a defeat, even if you pick up 30 seats. >> i understand a lot of
expectations have been set. there are more than 100 races going on in america that are in play. normal year has 20, 30 races. all but two of those are held by incumbent democrats around the country. >> chris: if you do become the next speaker, there are some younger republicans and some tea partiers who say you are too old school, that you, john boehner, will not shake up washington. >> listen, i come from a family of 12. my dad owned a tavern. i've got two brothers that have been laid off in this recession. and two brother-in-laws. i get it. i understand what is going on in america. and i believe that i have the support of my colleagues. current and future. >> chris: so what would you do to shake up washington? i understand this. but what are we to believe about speaker boehner? how would you run things? >> chris, i watched speakers for 20 years. i've seen the good parts and the bad parts. i can tell you this. i think it's time for a real and fair and open process in the congress. today you have a handful of people that decide the outcome of almost any bill.
those 435 of us serve in the house, we represent 50,000 people, i think every member ought to have the opportunity to represent his constituents, both democrats and republicans. that means a fair and open process in the house, unlike anything that i've seen in the 20 years i've been here. >> chris: would you -- i know we're getting ahead of the horse here. but on the other to hand, the voters probably want to know how you would run things and what kind of a house it would be with speaker boehner. would you see your role as speaker as blocking the obama agenda? or looking for areas of compromise? >> i think the american people want us to find a way to work together, to address the concerns that face the american people every day. at the end of the day, this isn't about democrats or republicans, it's not about politics. it's about meeting the needs of the american people who sent us here to do their bidding. >> chris: and can you give me areas? i mean obviously you have your agenda and you'd like them to adopt it.
they're clearly not. you have the possibility of gridlock here. can you see areas of possible compromise between a president at one end of pennsylvania avenue and speaker boehner at the other end? >> at the document, we make pretty clear where we're going. we're going to drive for a smaller, less costly and more accountable government here in washington, d.c. and to the extent we can find common ground in that direction, i would welcome it. >> chris: congressman boehner, congressman mccarthy, thank you for coming in today and answering our questions. >> thank you. >> chris: up next, house majority leader steny hoyer reacts to the g.o.p. plan. and we'll ask him what democrats will do about the bush tax cuts that are about to expire. logistics makes the world work better. ♪ when it's planes in the sky ♪ ♪ for a chain of supply, that's logistics ♪ ♪ when the parts for the line ♪ ♪ come precisely on time
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>> chris: joining us now is house democratic leader steny hoyer. welcome back to "fox news sunday." >> good to be with you, chris. >> chris: republicans have their pledge and we'll get into that, democrats have the record in the last two years controlling the white house and both houses of congress. let's take a look at that. the federal deficit this year will be $1.3 trillion, since
president obama took office 3.2 million americans lost their jobs. despite democrats adding almost $3 trillion to on the the national debt the last two years, g.d.p. growth is just 1.6 %. congressman, that's your record. >> that's the record and it's better than we inherited. we inherited four quarters of declining growth, about 12% declining growth over the previous four quarters, including the first quarter of 2009, which i think is correct to attribute to the bush administration. we've brought it out and we're gaining jobs. almost 700,000 jobs year alone. clearly, the deficit is a terrific problem that we've got to face. why did we have that deficit? about 90% of it comes from the economic recession. bush policies that were not paid for. the two wars -- >> chris: unemployment has gone up since you came in office by 3 million people and unemployment is 9.6%. >> we lost 3.8 million the year before we got into office.
so we were in a deep hole. and in fact, of course, jobs went, unemployment went up 83% under the bush administration. and has gone up 26% under the obama administration. so, yes, but we've gone in positive numbers -- >> chris: 15 million people are out of work, sir. >> absolutely. it's a real problem and we've been passing bill after bill, just passed one this last week to expand small businesses to give small businesses a tax cut. put $30 billion on the table, which will be leveraged to $300 billion to grow jobs, to expand jobs. and we've passed a tax bill through the house, which said we're not going to outsource jobs. but unfortunately, every republican voted against. >> chris: all right, briefly. here is "a pledge to america." i'll give you a minute-and-a-half. what's wrong with it? >> well, "a pledge to america" is more spend specifics. "a pledge to america," i can't really say anything as harsh about "a pledge to america," which is really no
pledge at all, than the republican opponents have said, conservatives have said, the tea party members have said. and a matter of fact, club for growth said it was milk toast and people who wrote it weren't prepared to lead. >> chris: but they don't want to go in your direction. they want to go further in the other direction. >> but the point is we are pursuing a program which is getting our country back to work, creating manufacturering jobs, where we lost manufacturering jobs under the bush administration. and has a plan to get the budget under control. we adopted pay-go. the reason we got in such a deep hole is republicans passed programs and didn't pay for them. in this document, they don't want to pay for them either. in fact, in this document, they want to create another $4 trillion in debt. and they say the way they are going to solve that deficit problem is to cut non-defense, non-security discretionary spending. they'd have to cut between two-thirds and 80% of all discretionary spending over the next ten years. our country would --
>> chris: i think it's actually more like 22%. >> oh, i don't think so. >> chris: $100 billion in the first year. let's move on to another issue. taxes. simple question. will the house hold a vote this week before you adjourn for a month of campaigning? a vote this week on whether or not to extend the bush tax cuts. >> i doubt that we will. let me tell you why. the senate has refused to move forward on that issue. as you know, we have some 400 bills pending in the senate. 75% of got 50 republican votes or more, but they can't move through the senate. it would be an specious act. but they've pledge and make sure that the middle income taxes will not go in effect. the republican bill phased out this year -- >> chris: wait. you call the bush tax cuts increase on taxes in the middle class? >> the budget ended in 2010. that's why we have this
confronting us. why did they do that? because they played budget games for scoring purposes. and yes, it's the republican plan to eliminate those -- >> chris: you have a big majority. why not pass extension of the middle class tax cuts before you go home to campaign for a month? >> i told you. the senate -- the obstruction is in the senate. it would be an specious. we guaranteed there would be no increase in middle income taxes. president said that, speaker said that, harry reid and dick durbin said that. there will be no increase in middle income taxes. >> chris: here is the point, congressman. the democrats have held a big majority in the house and the senate for almost two years now. since january of 2009. you have had it almost two years. isn't it a serious failure by democrats in both the house and the senate that you haven't told the american people what is going to happen to their taxes on income, on dividends, on
capital gains, on inheritance and it's comingp up now three months away. is that any way to add certainty and confidence to the economy in tough times? >> it is not. that's largely due to the obstructionism in the united states senate by the republicans who have just enough to stop any action. >> chris: you have a majority for more than a year. and the fact is that the democrats in the senate -- i'm asking you to defend the senate, they haven't even written a bill. you haven't written a bill in the house. >> hold it. we have passed a capital gains bill more than a year ago. >> chris: i'm talking about extending the bush tax cuts. >> they are part of the bush tax cuts. we are extenting the capital gains tax -- excuse me -- the estate tax at what it had been. it would have given us certainty. unfortunate we didn't get it through the senate. we didn't get it through the senate because of republican obstructionism. why? they want to eliminate the capital gains, because they're focussed on the one or 2% of the richest people in america. that's what we have been
confronted with on taxes. they want to raise -- they want to cut taxes on the wealthiest in america. we want to make sure that middle income america, working americans don't have a tax increase. the obstructionism in the senate has not allowed us to move forward. it's unfortunate. because we need certainty. >> chris: if your party loses control of the house, will you promise not to hold a lame duck session after the congress? >> of course, i'm not going to promise that, chris. that would be an irrational promise to make, because we're not going to complete the appropriation process. again, because of the difficulty of the obstructionism in the united states senate. >> chris: you could have passed all these things. >> we certainly could have. >> chris: here is the question -- >> we need to come back to make sure we complete that process. as frankly, republicans did when they were in charge. >> chris: do you think it's right to have members of congress who have just lost -- i'm talking now about a scenario where the house goes to the republicans, members of congress who have just lost come back and decide taxes and spending
against the will of the americans who have just voted? >> i don't think we're going to make any decisions against the will of the american public, frankly, chris. that is your assumption. >> chris: no, i'm presenting a scenario. >> i think it's absolutely correct. and under both parties' leadership we have done that. members of congress are elected for 24 months. not for 21 months. not for 22 months. for 24 months. and they will continue their responsibilities to the end of their term. >> chris: so even the if, let's say -- just suppose. even if republicans gain control of the house and one of the clear messages is we don't want to raise taxes on anyone, it's okay for the democrats to come back in a lame duck session and vote to let tax cuts for the wealthy lapse? >> i think it's okay. they make a policy judgment. as a matter of fact, there is no confusion where the democrats stand on this issue. the president has made it very clear. i've made it very clear. the leadership has made it very clear. we are for making sure that
the middle class americans do not get a tax increase. and we're going to make sure that happens. we have also made it clear that cutting taxes on the wealthiest in america will simply exacerbate the deficit without any assistance to the economy. >> chris: i have less than two minutes left. i want to ask you two questions, if i may, sir. when nancy pelosi became speaker, she promised to drain the whatever of ethic abuses in the house. two top democrats, charles rangel and maxine waters have both been charged with breaking house rules and both will have trial before the election. question: will the ethics committee hold the trial before the election or not? >> that is up to the republican and joe -- >> chris: so far they haven't scheduled that. >> let me say this, charlie. >> chris: i'm chris. >> chris can. >> chris: charles rangel. >> the fact of the matter is the ethics process is
working. the fact of the matter under the republicans we haven't fired the chairman of the ethics committee because they went after somebody in the democratic party. and we haven't removed any members from the ethics committee. the ethics process is working. >> chris: but you're not committing that they will have the trials that they have sought before voters have to vote on to waters and rangel in november. >> i think that needs to be resolved as quickly as possible. obviously, the members of the ethics committee are going to have to make that determination. they have their own issues to deal with in their own elections. >> chris: finally, 30 seconds left. on friday, comedian stephen colbert testified before a congressional committee in his fake comedic character. at a time when the country faces real problems, sir. was this an embarrassment for the house? >> i think his testimony was not appropriate. i think it was an embarrassment for mr. colbert more than the house. >> chris: he was called by the democrat i democratic chair
the committee. >> you asked whether the testimony was appropriate. i think it was not appropriate. >> chris: you think he should not have been called? >> i don't know about whether he was called but what he had to say was not the way it should have been said. if he had a position on the issues, he should have given those issues. you ask my personal opinion. >> chris: you regret it? >> i think it was inappropriate. can i say something going back to the pledge, because the american -- >> chris: 30 seconds. >> the american public heard from those young guns. it turned out to be a pop gun. it turned out to be spin, not substance, not specific. it turned out to be a return to the failed bush policies, which demonstrably got us in a deep hole. american public has two economic premise. one we pursued that gave us the best economy we've seen in yours and my lifetime in the '90s or the worst economy we've seen in the 2000s. >> chris: congressman hoyer,
we want to thank you. thank you for coming in. 37 days to the election, a rush to the finish. >> you bet. it is. thank you, chris. >> chris: up next, talk of peace at the united nations, talk of war in a new book. the sunday panel tackles both when we come right back. hey what's going on? doing the shipping. man, it would be a lot easier if we didn't have to weigh 'em all. if those boxes are under 70 lbs. you don't have to weigh 'em. with these priority mail flat rate boxes from the postal service, if it fits, it ships anywhere in the country for a low flat rate.
it was hateful. for him to make a statement like that was inexcusable. >> chris: president obama at the u.n., reaching out once again to iran. but then having to react to president ahmadinejad's suggestion that our government was behind 9/11. it's time now for our sunday group. brit hume, fox news senior political analyst. contributors mara liasson of national public radio. bill kristol of "the weekly standard." and juan williams also from national public radio. so, after ahmadinejad's statement about 9/11 possibly being an inside job, the state department called him delusional. we just heard the president calling the remarks hateful. yet, the president still talks about diplomacy with iran. why is it that mr. obama refuses to take no for an answer from the iranians? >> it is a little hard to imagine at this stage that he hasn't gotten the message. it's really sad. and worrisome that he can't see that this guy is a crude
little thug, that there is no point in having a negotiation with, because you probably can't trust anything he says or agrees to. he's totally mercurial. he changes from one day to the next on the things he says, but he tends to say outrageous and yes, indeed, even delusional things. there is no indications that the mullahs who run the country behind the scenes are dissatisfied with him and would rather have some other spokesman out there. none whatsoever. the public in the country may be dissatisfied him, but the president has done nothing to discourage that. in my view he has legitimized the guy. foolish behavior on the president's part. >> chris: mara? >> i don't think he's legitimizing him. if you gave that description you just gave to the white house they'd probably agree with you. saying the door is open is not saying we'll drop sanctions right away and start talking with you. he's not going that. it's a diplomatic nicety to say eventually, if you ever
wanted to change your stand on this, we'll talk to you. in the meantime, sanctions are going forward. i don't know how much they'll accomplish, but he hasn't dropped that. the fact that so many diplomats walked out, as they should have, when ahmadinejad displayed the crackpot conspiracy theories about 9/11 was correct. i don't see any change in the administration's policy toward iran. >> chris: u.s. officials seem to think that maybe this latest round of sanctions is beginning to work, is beginning to really effect iran and its economy and perhaps the iranians may finally be willing to negotiate about their nuclear program. do you see any sign of that? >> no. though i wouldn't be surprised if the iranian regime does a phony face toward negotiations to buy some more time. that's what they're buying, time for the nuclear program to go ahead. it has been going ahead. the president doesn't want to talk about the real implications about having delusional regime in power.
if it fails, we have to use force. i'm not sure the president doesn't know that. i'm open to the notion a year from now he will use force against iran and he feels there is no point in signals that now. the more you put force on table, you might encourage those like iran to say wait, we're heading toward the precipice. it's not his style and he keeps the door open for negotiations. if you look at how it's playing out, it's playing out to use of force against iran, i think. >> chris: juan? >> i think the statements at united nations are evidence of the trouble that ahmadinejad is having at home. the mullah and ayatollah are more conservative than he is. in fact, i think ahmadinejad is playing populist politics at home. i think the sanctions have had some effect already. i think the economic performance in iran is troubling to that country's class of elite who are the heart and soul of opposition to this tyrannical government
there. i think there is trouble and his statements feed that. he plays populist politics trying to -- again, it's unbelievable again from our perspective, but if you go to the muslim world, indonesia, jordan, much of the middle east, they believe that the u.s. has some role in 9/11. he is playing to that emotion to try to somehow make himself a hero to those people. if you also, brit, take in account that the british said they were about to celebrate the idea that the iranians were returning to the table, i think it gives you a suggestion that much of the world was hoping that it would turn, not just president obama. >> chris: president obama on another subject also shifted something of a focus of his foreign policy in a speech at the u.n., talking more about the importance of human rights and democracy. and for all the world sounding more like president bush. let's watch. >> part of the price of our own freedom is standing up for the freedom of others. that belief will guide america's leadership in this 21st century.
>> chris: brit, do you think it's just rhetoric, dor you see a mid-course correction in this president talking as president george w. bush did more about pursuing a democracy agenda? >> freedom agenda, as president bush called it. it's something to be hoped for, but i'm not sure yet that we have seen an example of that. i mean one way you coulded stand up for freedom would be when people are seeking to be free, as in iran, to cite a conspicuous example. they're in the streets calling for it. and he says virtually nothing as the regime moves in on him. he's got some tests to pass before anybody can seriously say that this man has now adopted a freedom of democracy agenda. >> chris: i wondered, in fact, why the president in response to ahmadinejad's comments about the possibility was an inside job at 9/11 didn't say no, we're not the ones who slaughter our own people in the streets. it's your regime, sir, that does. >> there was an opening. he doesn't take it.
>> chris: there's an opening. well, they don't take our advice. i want to switch to a last subject in this segment. legendary reporter bob woodward has a new book called "obama's wars" where he quotes the president saying this: "we can absurd a terrorist attack." he says mr. obama was pressing for an exit strategy at the same time that he was deciding to send 30,000 more u.s. men and women to afghanistan. what do you make of what seems to be in this book -- i don't know if you've read it. i've only seen the accounts of it -- of the president's apparent ambivalence here? >> there is no doubt he had ambivalence about ramping up in afghanistan. he didn't want to be there forever, he didn't want to be stuck in a quagmire. he went through a long delibtive process and he comes off as thoughtful and serious in this book that he agreed that a surge was required. he wanted to know that it wouldn't go on indefinitely. now how long it goes on i think really remains to be
seen. general petraeus in this book is quoted as saying he believes we'll be there for a long time. for rest of our lives and probably our kids' lives. that might end up being what it is. not at the numbers that were in afghanistan now but might be a korea situation. i don't think the president is close at all. but yes, all of his ambivalence which i think is true is reflected here. >> chris: we have 30 seconds in this segment. bill, your thoughts? >> i hope he resolves the ambivalence. these are tough choices. when you fight a war, you should fight a war full out to achieve your goals. you shouldn't hamper your military by not giving them the full number of troops they requested and put out a deadline for july 2011, which i think does hurt. having said that, i think the successful is attainable in afghanistan and i hope the president decides you know what? he is the president of the united states, commander-in-chief and we have to win the war. >> chris: we have to take a break. up next, "a pledge to
america." policy? politics? the panel weighs in. ♪ [ male announcer ] at ge capital, we're out there every day with clients like jetblue -- financing their fleet, sharing our expertise, and working with people who are changing the face of business in america. after 25 years in the aviation business, i kind of feel like if you're not having fun at what you do, then you've got the wrong job. my landing was better than yours. no, it wasn't. yes, it was. was not. yes, it was. what do you think? take one of the big ones out? nah. words alone aren't enough. my job is to listen to the needs and frustrations of the shrimpers and fishermen, hotel or restaurant workers who lost their jobs to the spill. i'm iris cross. bp has taken full responsibility for the clean up in the gulf and that includes keeping you informed. our job is to listen and find ways to help. that means working with communities.
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this president and this congress has put this nation on the road to bankruptcy, and they're pressing down on the accelerator. it is time to press on the brake and put us back on the road to recovery and opportunity. >> chris: texas republican congressman jeb henseling delivering the basic message behind the house g.o.p.'s new "a pledge to america," and we're back now with the panel. juan, house republicans came out this week. here i have it. the slick 45-page document, "a pledge to america." there is a lot of disagreement, even among conservatives about how constructive it is. what do you make of it? >> well, i remember bill kristol, and i think brit was in on this, too, saying you know what? we have to take seriously the
nation's debt. and we have to add some substance and the fact that republicans are very popular, but able to say no to president obama. but what do republicans believe? they need to put some meat on the bones. i was looking forward to this very much. but it's like saying to the children, you know, let's all take a pledge. everybody can have lollipops for breakfast. there is nothing here about serious issues we discussed on the panel. how do you deal with entitlements in this country? nothing there. it says let's not have a stimulus. we have don't believe in the stimulus. we don't believe in healthcare reform. let's allow the tax cuts to take place, but even with the tax cuts, it doesn't say how are we going to pay for the tax cuts? i mean, you know, that's why you see criticism. that's why president obama and nancy pelosi says it's comeback to the future. go back to the old republican agenda. there is nothing new here. >> chris: i must say, you led me exactly to the question i've been waiting to ask bill kristol. you kept saying they need to do something bold. they need to really get out
front. take tough stance, controversial stands, the country is ready for this. is this obold? >> this is on the way to boldness. the big government-loving democratic party is driving the car off the cliff, the first responsibility is put on the brakes. i think the republicans are right about that. stop the bad policies. go back to 2008 levels of discretionary spending. that is a pretty big cut as you pointed out the with the interview of the republican leaders. a big cut. >> chris: nothing about earmarks or entitlements. >> there won't be earmarks. they can't get them to agree to it. but i think in my view they won't do earmarks. they'll cut discretionary spending. they'll lay down the budget as member of the committee. they're being reasonable, bold in a reasonable way. >> there is a reason why john boehner didn't want to say anything about entitlement. you can't say that in an election. couple things strike me.
this is a political document and we look at it as a government document and as a government document it comes up short. they have to put it out and give their candidates something to run on, so when the democrats say they're the party of no, no ideas, they can wave it in the air. what was most interesting was the reception it got and it got negative pushback from the tea party blogsphere shows you not that the republicans have anything to worry about, i don't think, before november. because the tea party is well within inside the republican tent and pushing it forward. but afterwards. afterwards if they don't govern in a way that they are emboldened, energized grassroots want them to, they will have a lot of problems. i don't think we've seen a time when the party is this unpopular -- and the republican party is still unpopular -- is poised to make gains in congress. there are warnings in that. >> chris: i'll ask you, brit, a version of what i asked bill. you said the country is focussed and serious about debt in a way it's never been before. do you think the pledge to
america is serious? >> it's serious but it's -- >> chris: i asked brit. >> it's not serious. this tsunami of unfunded liabilities which is staggering and would bring the economy to its knees if we went on as we are, is the great economic issue of our time. the recession in the fullness of time, effects will subside. that's sitting throughout ready to land on us in a crushing way. the public i think is more tuned to this and aware than ever before. younger people you ask what they think they will get out of social security and medicare, they say they don't expect to get a dime. people are ready for this. people are on social security and are grandfathered in with their benefits in any serious proposal that's been made. so the republicans i think came up short here. and they may be behind the curve. the democrats, hopelessly out of step with the republican.
the republicans may be, too, to the extent this is not a strong enough document to i think, that the public would absurd and accept and get behind. >> chris: for all the hype about the pledge, i'm not sure that it was the most interesting political moment this week. for that, i want to go back to the town hall meeting, the cnbc town hall meeting with president obama where a woman, professional, who had voted for barack obama two years ago talked about her frustration. let's watch. >> i have been told that i voted for a man who said he was going to change things in a meaningful way for the middle class. i'm one of those people. and i'm waiting, sir. i'm waiting. i don't feel it yet. >> chris: juan, the president smiled but he looked like he wanted to be anywhere in the world except on that stool hearing from that woman. >> he had a moment. he could have responded with energy. now the white house has been the president is not isolated, he goes out, he hears these things.
but you know what struck me was here is a black american woman, speaking from the heart. she was no plant. that came from the left wing. oh, she was a plant. she is no plant. velma heart is a real person who said she supported president obama and still wants him to succeed but was disappointed. that's legitimate. here she is saying, you know what, man? get up and fight. stop asking other people to do your battles for you. the republicans dominate the narrative on the economy, even as the economy shows indication on getting better. they dominate on healthcare even as most americans wish that the healthcare package had done more to help them. >> chris: i don't think it's what he said at all. she said the economy is affecting our lives a withed i'll end up eating franks and beans. >> she was saying you're not fighting for yourself and it's not changing as quickly as i hoped. you're not telling us why it's getting better. >> two things. she hasn't felt enough change. that's true of the vast majority of voters.
one thing you can do if there hasn't been enough change you can convince people like her, that you are trying as hard as you can so that she won't be so frustrated with you. >> chris: forgive me, i don't think it's trying. it's results. >> 90% of the black american supports -- >> the problem with this election is obama didn't try hard enough to enact his agenda? the problem is it was the wrong agenda. the public wanted something done about the economy. that was job one, job two and down to job ten. he allowed congress to enact this whopping stimulus bill, completely unfocussed and promiscuous in its spending. there has not failed to end the recession, which ended in june of 2009. and "b" to get the unemployment rate down. having passed that ineffective measure, he moved to the gigantic healthcare reform which was nobody's in america's major priority. then he spent a year on that.
that's where we are. >> the one thing that congress didn't do, it did not cut people's taxes. it did not stop the tax hike going into effect on january 1. that is a huge problem for them. they have controlled -- >> we decide the debate. they controlled congress. they control the presidency. they knew taxes were due to go up in 2011 and they are sending members home without fixing the tax problem. >> let me say, brit, it has reduced what had been a 16% unemployment rate according to -- >> chris: thank you, panel. see you next week. check out the latest edition of panel plus where i promise the group will pick up right with this discussion at this moment with a quick response on the website. foxnewssunday.com. we promise we'll post the video before noon eastern time. up next, power player of the week. [ male announcer ] you can dream of protecting networks from virtually any security threat. or, like fortinet, you can dream it and do it. fortinet lists on nasdaq,
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(announcer) to get one month free, plus more tips and recipes, visit boniva.com or call 1-800-4-boniva. >> chris: while most of the attention is focussed on which party will control congress, there are 37 other races that could be even more important. and at the center of that action is our power player of the week. ♪ ♪ >> it surprised me how governors in this town are so overlooked. people are so federally focussed on the house and the
senate races, and always focussed on the presidential race. >> chris: nick ayers has changed all that in his four years in washington. the 28-year-old political whiz kid is executive director of the republican governors association. >> the round table update. >> the motion is adopted! >> chris: for all the talk of the g.o.p. taking back congress, he has built the r.g.a. into the biggest political committee in town. >> it showed the american people that our party's ideas and philosophies and principles actually work. we have to begin doing that at the state level, where the government is closest to families. where it can be felt the most. >> chris: ayers' pitch is federal change starts at the state level, and not just in policy. governors will help determine congressional redistricting next year. they will play a key role in the 2012 presidential campaign. >> david axelrod will have a tough time drawing up a re-election scenario if we have more than 30 republican governors, which is our plan
to do in six short weeks. >> chris: at the ends of june, the r.g.a. had more than $40 million cash on hand. the republican national committee, which has had financial irregularities have less than $10 million. >> we don't want to run the r.g.a. by political committee. we have plan to run this place like a business. our whole team began talking of things like return on investment. really making the case to donors that this is the place in the country to send your contributions because we're going to treat it like an investment, not a donation. >> chris: last november with r.g.a. support, republicans won in new jersey and virginia. this fall, ayers is targeting swing states like michigan and wisconsin and florida. hoping to boost the number of g.o.p. governors from the current 24. >> why at age 10 were you a staunch republican? >> chris: ayers has always been in a hurry. back in 1992, he tried to persuade his mother not to vote for bill clinton. >> i've just always believed
in individual responsibility. >> chris: at age ten you thought that? >> yeah, i really did. i always worked summer jobs, washing cars or cutting grass. i wanted to buy my own cars, baseball card and bicycles. >> chris: he quit college as a 19-year-old freshman to help elect sonny purdue. it was purdue who brought him to washington. ayers plans to leave the r.g.a. after november. he will be one of the hottest properties for republican presidential candidates. >> have any of the contenders approached you? >> look, we're all focussed on 2010. >> chris: any contenders -- >> we are focussed on 2010. we are going to make a difference. americans are going to vote for a governor. to put ourselves in position to help who they decide to elent on election day is a wonderful opportunity. >> chris: ayers hopes to
boost the republican governors to 30. the record for the g.o.p. is 33 governors. you just get the feeling nick ayers has his eye on that. now, this program note. next sunday we'll be in louisville, kentucky, for the first sunday show debate of the fall campaign. our guest, senate candidates republican rand paul and democrat jack conway. that's it for today. have a great week. we'll see you next "fox news sunday." captioned by closed captioning services, inc