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tv   Mc Laughlin Group  PBS  September 21, 2014 3:30pm-4:01pm EDT

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from washington, the mclaughlin group. the american original. for over three decade, the sharpest minds, best sources, hardest talk. issue one, obama takes on ebola. >> in west africa, ebola is now an epidemic, the likes we have not seen before. it is spiraling out of control. it is getting worse. it is spreading faster and exponentially. today, thousands of people in west africa are infected. that number could rapidly grow to tens of thousands. >> president obama launched an unprecedented plan to fight the spread of the deadly ebola virus. now afflicting countries chiefly in west africa. he is dispatching 3,000 american troops on to comprehensive humanitarian mission to help and containing
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ebola. the price tag, up to $1.26 billion. including $175 million allocated. help set up 17 field hospitals and 100 beds each. they will establish a headquarters in the nation of liberia to coordinate relief efforts, but the military must rely on biowarfare to protect its people against ebola. no direct contact with patients suffering from ebola. >> question, is this a proper role for the u.s. military? >> the united states is doing more than anyone else, john. the reason the u.s. army and military is doing it because there's no one that can move that fast and do that much. there is a real element of risk here. if any of these american soldiers should come down with this disease and be brought
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home or a number of them, you could have a hellish problem. but john, this is a very serious matter. i think the thing is, it has not mutated yet to where the disease can be airborne from one person to another and still, you have to exchange some kind of fluid. so that's one good thing about it. but if it does mutate and this thing becomes airborne, this could be really hellish in an enormous international problem. the influenza epidemic after world war i, it took 30 or 40 million lives. >> eleanor. >> the united states military is uniquely capable of dealing with this. they have the resources. they can set up military tents and hospitals. they know how to quarantine the population. this is an appropriate use of the military. and better to send 3,000 soldiers to west africa than having to deploy, probably 200,000 national guard in this country if that epidemic reached our shores. and it is totally possible that it can, this is the first time
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this disease has had an outbreak in urban areas. it's a three week gestation period. people get on planes, they travel. we have a global, mobile society. so the president is acting in the hope that they can put a cap on the spread of this disease so this is entirely appropriate and an excellent use of the u.s. military. humanitarian. >> the u.s. military is not equipped to do highly contagious handle. highly contagious outbreaks. that's what this is. >> our military is equipped to handle nerve gas, viral biochemical gas. >> biological warfare is what we have here. never handled that before. >> they have had to handle in combat conditions. however, we are equipped for it. like pat said, they can respond faster. another problem, john, we have seen this happen more in recent days is in the rural areas.
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people panicking and saying that the ebola doesn't really exist. this is all a plot. or the health workers are bringing in the ebola. and as a result, you've had some violent confrontations. it's the sort of thing that, as soon as we can help to restore order and contain this virus so it doesn't spread any farther geographically, the better off everybody will be. >> it's very uplifting to think this is fine for the united states to do. but on the reality scale, these men have their lives and if they have not handled this situation before, where you have this highly contagious disease, don't you think -- you think the commander in chief did the right thing to send them over there? >> i do. it's this particular disease spreads and it could spread very quickly and spread through this country, we would be faced with a terrible problem. you have to get it as soon as you can with as much as you can, in order to contain it. this is a practical matter. we are the only country that can do it. we are the only country that can do this.
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there are consequences if we don't do it and it spreads would be disastrous. >> hold on. let's get a little deeper here. okay, what is ebola? >> it's a virus a causes viral fever. the damages organs in the body, often accompanied by bleeding. it is spread through direct contact with bodily fluids, blood, mucus, saliva, feces. there's no vaccination against ebola. drug companies are working to develop one. it can kill up to 90% of those who contract it and can spread panic in communities. it spread to six communities in africa. liberia, nigeria, and the democratic republic of congo. this december over the last nine months, there have been over 5,000 cases and over 2,500 deaths. president obama stressed the likelihood of the u.s. ebola outbreak is quote, unquote,
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extremely low. but that doesn't cover all of the bases. notably, global security. >> it's a potential threat to global security if these countries break down. if their economies break down. if people panic. that has profound effects on all of us, even if we are not directly contracting the disease. >> question, is it conceivable this ebola outbreak could affect global security? or was that on the part of our president? >> i think in terms of the global economy and all the rest of it, it is. but if you get a number of american soldiers contract this disease and there's an outbreak there, there will be a fire storm in this country to bring the americans home and to take care of our own people first and i think the president will be in very serious trouble if that happens. >> talk about hyperbale, he has gotten the u.s. troops
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contracting this. they aren't going to come in direct contact with patients. you have to be in touch with the bodily fluids. beside, if one or two or more got the disease, we have treated at least two people at emery and they recovered. another person in a nebraska hospital. if you can support somebody well enough, their immune system can balance. so i think if you are going to get worried about this, worry about hundreds and thousands of people may be contracting this in africa. maybe the disease being brought here. i wouldn't worry about your scenario, which ends up with obama taking the plane. >> and villages killed eight people on an ebola team trying to disinfect the village because they suspected them of spreading the disease. will u.s. troops be vulnerable to this kind of attack? mort. >> anything is possible. i don't know what the details are in terms on which they will go into various areas. i'm sure they will take all the
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appropriate precautions, such as they know what they might be. this is something that is just staggering disease that has come up and come out. so nobody knows quite how to contain it. but the fact is, to follow on what eleanor was saying, this thing could spread here in one way or another, and if it spreads here, that would be really a disaster for this country. >> it's more important to contain it over there. >> do they know how to contain it? >> soldiers can't contain it. they are putting up hospitals and huts. >> they are helping them take care of people who are infected. >> soldiers can't stop that. >> we are not up to hundreds and thousands yet. >> the disposal of the dead who died from ebola must be carefully transferred to the ground right away. >> sure. >> a delay in that circumstance, that the ebola continues to be a lightening -- >> probably one of the reasons it's spreading, where people are dying in these huts that no
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one else is going into. >> clarence, you have a new book. culture warrior. antology on social change. i happen to have it right here with me. one of the advance copies of this. i must tell you, is a terrific review of so many important issues that you have handled and you have handled such a superb research and your great style. >> thank you, john. it is instrumental in in my success. >> i particularly like bubba's vocabulary lesson. what was that about? >> i like that one, too. after the last democratic convention in 2012. i was talking to michael at the library here in washington. one of the great, under appreciated treasures of this town. and he was assassinated by the contrast, president obama's speaking style and bill
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clinton's style. i got transcripts, and found that obama was primarily romance words and clinton was saxson, natural conversational rhythm of his and the metaphors that were used, etcetera. and so, this became, leading off with obama's quote about somebody telling him he should appoint bill clinton the secretary of explaning things. i explain why that characteristic is true. >> i see chris matthews wrote the introduction to the book. and he bro here, and these columns you will get the benefit. not just of what this great journalist. do you accept that designation? >> it's more than i deserve, but i'll take it. >> this great journalist has covered, but what he has been through as a man, so you understand what that sentence means. you get the benefit of what he
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has been through as a man. what could be more important, quote, the life of the law has not been logic, unquote. he quotes oliver holmes. quote, it has been experience, unquote. >> my favorite quotes. >> the volume goes well. it's a great -- buchanan, you could use it. >> pat, the culture warrior, that's why i'm worried. >> right. >> back to ebola. exit question. will the u.s. military be able to contain the ebola outbreak? yes or no. pat buchanan. >> no, they will not. >> a good chance, yes. >> they will by acting now. >> i think they will, too, but not without an enormous cost. >> do you think they will bring any back here? >> yeah, i can't say yes. i don't think they will, because i think they will be very careful. i don't know if they can detect it when it's in its phase.
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>> are they on board with this? >> that i don't know. >> look, everybody is worried, but everybody is on board. >> why did obama do it? >> he felt it's an impending danger. we have to make an effort to contain it, even if it takes some risk. >> it's a matter of national security for this country and humanitarian effort. >> very good point. a very good point. i'm proud of the fact we have gotten into this one. >> well, let's hope that the soldiers are all well and remain well. >> it could be a national security issue if it doesn't spread to the united states, but spread to other parts of the world. the whole balance of the world's economy and the general political mood could shift if you have giant worldwide epidemic. >> why haven't our chemists and doctors and the other close observers of this disease, why haven't they been able to breakthrough it? >> they are making great advances now.
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>> people are dying from it. >> they cured them. two americans that came back and are cured. >> what are they saying about what president obama is doing? >> they are courageous people. they were over there and they would approve. >> my guess is, would be yes. >> they have invited the u.s. in. this is not a hostile invasion by any means. we should say something about all of the doctors. doctors without borders, people going in and helping at great threat to their own lives. we should salute them. >> let's salute them right now. >> do you salute the doctors without borders? >> yes. >> i do. >> okay, don't forget the mclaughlin group has its own website and you can watch this program or earlier programs at any time at could anything be simpler?, or more self- improving, right pat? >> right, you are. issue two, poroshenko's plea. >> leave free or die was one
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of the motives of the american revolution of war. live free would be the message. you create an america sense of the world, why standing together in this time of enormous challenge. >> it's rare for congress to meet in a joint session, but they did this week for poroshenko. he appealed to the united states to maintain. >> they need more military equipment. lethal and nonlethal. urgency. please understand me correctly. my vision is very important, but one cannot win the war with
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the blankets. >> in 1994, then president bill clinton signed the memorandums, which committed america, britain, and russia to respect ukraine's territorial integrity and sovereignty. so, when vladimir putin annexed crimea, signed by russia's then reigning boris. >> the annexation of crimea, the modern history. [ applause ] >> i just want to direct your attention, ukraine, which gave up the third largest nuclear potential in exchange for the security assurance will stave in the bag by one of the countries. >> as fighting spread to eastern ukraine, president poroshenko asked the obama
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administration for military assistance, to fend off russian backed separatists and what nato sees as a quote, unquote, incursion of russian troops. but thus far, president obama has regarded military aide to ukraine as too provocative to russia. so instead, the u.s. sent $70 million in nonlethal aid, such as ready-to-eat meals, medical supplies, and communication gear. mr. poroshenko wants more. >> i strongly encourage the united states to give ukraine a special security. we should reflect the highest level of interaction with nonnato ally. >> question, is president obama likely to give president poroshenko the special security he wants by declaring ukraine a major nonnato ally of the united states? mort zuckerman. >> no, i don't think he will.
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i don't think this president has the -- he has come to the conclusion if he's not going to go very far for the reason you stated. he does not want to arouse the rath of the russians in this particular context. i think this is a dangerous position for us to take, because it does, once again, give putin the sense that he can push us back and we will not respond in an area where he has an interest and we have an interest. >> obama, president obama wants to give mr. putin an exit ramp. do you understand? >> i do understand. >> that's not bad. >> it isn't. >> as far as playing the universal game. >> that's on the exception he is looking for an exit ramp rather than an entrance. >> that's what i'm doing. >> he's doing exactly the right thing. there's no matter of aid or guns where they will defeat russia. you give him some, you'll have a war and the russians will win
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the war. the president is doing the exact right thing. this aught to be negotiated, we aught not make ukraine a nato ally, which means if there's a war between russia and ewe careen, the united states is going to go to war with russia, that's an act of insanity, and this time barack obama is showing some guts and he has done the right thing in the ukraine all along. >> he is pressing russia with the sanctions, which putin doesn't like. and right now, the russians are respecting the cease fire with ukraine. so i think right now, the president isn't looking for something that will look like a direct provocation. if you make ukraine a nonnato ally, in the russian mind, that would be the equivalent of giving them an honorary membership in nato and that's a bridge too far right now. >> what is the senate going to do? clarence, what's the senate going to do? a bill the ukraine freedom act. that would authorize $350 million in aide, including military equipment for ukraine.
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will it pass? >> the military equipment part is problematic, because it is provocative and i think, i don't know if they will have the votes for that. because i think the administration is going to be pushing back and saying that we need to negotiate a settlement. maybe think of an authorization for the weapons without us actually getting them. >> obama would veto it. of course he would. you give guns there and the russians say okay, they are building up their military. let's go in and take them out early, which they would do. what would we do then? >> give it to the ukraine. destined for the ukraine. >> yeah, but you don't give military weapons to them. >> there's a distinction between nonlethal military aide and lethal. that's the goggles he's talking about. and yeah. yeah. but i mean, i think obama is going to do that. he's not going to give them any
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service to air missiles. >> there's another bill introduced that grants major nonnato ally status to georgia. would putin find that provocative? >> yeah. >> on some level it is provocative. we have to deal at some point with putin who is an expansionist, you know, very, very aggressive political leader and very, very tough minded as we all know. >> he has an expansion, the russian people feel expansionists themselves. he has support. >> mexico became a military ally of china. >> what about congress getting involved? the congress getting involved this way and the exercise of foreign policy. that's a prerogative of the president. it's not a prerogative of congress. >> you know, congress should advise. this is a provocative act and these guys are doing it because they want to look tough. >> the thing is, congress judging by that standing ovation love this president and
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love the ukrainian president. and they have just passed aide for the syrian rebels, so they look like they are in an episode of a more militaristic mind. this could get through congress and i don't know if it got through congress if the president would veto it. >> i don't know why we are getting involved with the syrian rebels. i mean, that's not really our cup of tea. >> you're exactly right. exactly right. >> that would be problematic, too. >> very problematic. >> acts of war by the united states against countries that haven't attacked us. issue three, hilary hawkins. >> i'm back. >> iowa's steak fry is a must- stop event. iowa senator tom harkin's annual steak fry. in fact, she was the main attraction at the state fry in iowa, which she last visited six years ago when she ran in
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the democratic presidential primary and lost to barack obama. so, what do they tell us? does this remove any doubt that hillary misses her former residence at 1600 pennsylvania avenue? >> it is true. i am thinking about it. [ applause ] but, for today, that is not why i'm here. i'm here for the steak. >> the former first lady urged iowans to get out the vote in the midterm elections because democrats stand for the country needs. >> we democrats are for raising the minimum wage. for equal pay for equal work. for making college and technical training affordable. for growing the economy to benefit everyone. and our opponents are not. >> former president, bill
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clinton, was at the harkin salute. he took the podium. retiring after 40 years in congress. 30 of those in the senate. >> i'm here more than anything else because the shining life of tom harkin and ruth proves that politics can be a noble profession. that good things can come from tough elections. that people who disagree can get together, work together, and find common ground. >> question. is it a given that hillary is running for president? the answer is yes. therefore, if she -- let's see, the environment is shifting away. so the environment is not exactly hospitable completely to hillary. the environment is shifting that it is unfavorable to democrats. gop gaining the edge on foreign policy, to terrorism, to the economy. will it be a tougher
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environment than 2008? so, what do you think? you think if hillary runs, it's an automatic win for her? >> no, i don't. she's at 60%, stronger than anyone right now, john. i think she's not as good as she was eight years ago. she is older. there's no doubt about it. i don't think her record is very good. her book really was a bore to an awful lot of people. her rollout has not been good. you take a look at all of it. she's so high now. i don't see anybody beating her. she's too close to wall street and the democratic party. parts of it are moving left. they want fire and anger. elizabeth warren and bernie sanders and the others. so i think she could be given a challenge, but the individual has not emerged. >> three people are going to run against her in the primary. probably bernie sanders, the governor, and former senator, jib webb. but it's mostly a debating society. she is so far ahead, but she has to come up with a credible
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economic vision. all the energy and the democratic party is now on the progressive side. worried about the wealth in equity and she is out there, this past week, she has been making appearances in washington and she talks about the family economics and this raising the minimum wage and college loans and putting that -- that's popular on the campaign trail. she has to put it together in a way that gives energy and inspiration. she is not there yet. >> do you think hillary has to establish an independent profile? independent of barack obama, because barack obama is not seen by the public as that effective president. >> say yes and no. but yeah, she does have to walk that line. especially on issues like foreign policy right now. she is coming off as more hawkish than obama. she can't be more hawkish than mainstream in her own party. her best ally for once she gets the nomination would be the
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republican excess. they are bound to come after her. they are already coming after her like crazy and that will help the base on her side. because all she has to do is say hey, if i lose, look what you're going to get. >> mort, do you think hillary clinton could select a male? >> i think without question, she will select a male. i think she would be crazy not to. >> could she select a female? >> if she wants to select a female. >> two women running the country. >> she would lose the election. mort is right on this one. >> assuming that hillary clinton is the nominee of the democratic party for president. will republicans put a woman on hit the ticket? >> not necessarily so. >> i agree with pat. sarah palin, cautionary tale, the republicans would have to find a credible woman. >> you think that's difficult? >> there aren't a lot of women in the republican party that seem to be presidential caliber today. >> it can be done. >> no. >> the answer is yes. bye bye.
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