tv This Week With George Stephanopoulos ABC October 11, 2009 10:00am-11:00am EDT
>> what approach should we take in afghanistan? i say humility. >> there is no discussion going on about leaving afghanistan. >> the situation in afghanistan is serious and deteriorating. >> and congress pushes forward on health care. >> the bill we're referring to will never see the light of day. >> two defining issues. two powerhouse roundtables. afghanistan with key senate leaders. the retired general who devised the iraq surge. the congressman leading the charge for an exit from afghanistan. our "this week" debate. then -- health care, ethics and all of the week's politics with george will, arianna huffington. and our dualing strategist, donna brazile and republican c nicolle wallace. >> president obama gets $1.4 million. usually to get a check that big you have to blackmail david letterman.
what was the nobel committee thinking? what impact will the peace prize have on president obama and his agenda. we're going to debate both those questions today. but we begin with the president's looming decision on the war in afghanistan. let me bring in our first roundtable. i'm joined by dianne finestein, jack keane, congressman jim mcgovern from massachusett and senator saxby chambliss. welcome to you all. senator feinstein, let me begin with you. you met with the president this week. we know when you saw secretary clinton say as well the president seems to have ruled out an immediate withdraw from
afghanistan or a major increase of troops in the hundreds of thousands. but did he reveal anything about his thinking? >> what he revealed was his thinking up to his point and the facthat he wanted to hear from various members and some of us spoke up, and i'll tell you what i said, i reviewed all of the intelligence and looked at the situation. and it was pretty clear to me that violence was up 100%, 950 attacks in august. the taliban now controls 37% of the people in the areas where these people are. attrition in police is running 67%, either killed or leaving the service and the mission is in serious jeopardy. i think general mcchrystal who's one of our very best, if not the
best at this, says a counterterrorism strategy will not work. the president said to us, very clearly, just as you said, george, we will not pull out. now, if you're going to stay, you have to have a way of winning. the question is, what is that way? and i think the counterinsurgency strategy, which means protecting the people, not shooting from afar, but securing, taking, holding, and providing security for a period of time is really critical. >> how many troops does that take? >> well, i don't know how many he's proposed. at the same time, there has to be a process of reconciliation. at the same time, there has to be a process of finding out which of these people can we work with and which cannot like the haconi network, which really need to be taken out, how do you
grow this sort of futile type waord type government. into stability. how do you strengthen karzai's spine if you can and i think those are all questions that have to be put together into a strategy. >> a lot of questions there, senator chambliss. should the president approve general mcchrystal's request now? >> i think it's the right thing to do. he sent general mcchrystal over there in the spring. see what it's like on the ground. give me a report and let's devise a strategy for going forward. he's done that. and dianne's exactly right. it's a very fractious government over there. lot of corruption within the karzai government and not much stability. if we're going to move forward, we've got to do two things. we got to think about the civilian side and what we're going to do with that government.
from the standpoint of trying to help the afghan people clean it up. in order to be successful at doing that, then we've got to quell the violence. we got to slow down the taliban. that means prevailing military. that's what general mcchrystal has recommended and i think the president has got to follow his commanders on ground. the situation in iraq, where jack was very much involved in, not unlike where we are right now. the iraqi government was very unstable. the violence was up. we stopped the violence for the most part. >> let's get into that. i want to bring general keane in on that. there are differences. as well as unstable as the iraqi government was, it did -- the iraqis had ma history of having a strong central government. the surge as far as i understood it, led you to a situation where you had one american soldier for every 100 or 125 iraqi civilians, here, even if you approve general mcchrystal's
40,000, you're going to be at 1 to 200 ratio, even if you approve this, will there enough for a full counterinsurgency? >> you don't have to do the counterinsurgency in the entire country. the south is really the center of gravity and also in the east. there are areas where we focus. the problem is, we know what the defeat mechanism ultimately is, it's the afghan national security forces. >> they have to take the lead? >> they'll se eventually come in at full play. the problem is, they're too small, george. we have about 200,000. most who look at this, the general's belief, we need 40,000, if that's the case, we can't get there until 2012 at the earliest. in the meantime, to put the counterinsurgency strategy in play, we need the additional u.s. forces. that's why this issue right now
is so pregnant in term of timing. >> let me bring that question to congressman mcgovern. you and other members of congress have called for an exit strategy, you want that strategy by the end of this week. does that mean, you can't accept more troops now as a component as an exit strategy later. you need afghan forces built up. >> i think, adding more american forces to afghanistan would be a mistake, i think it would be counterproductive. and i think there's a strong case to be made. it's more difficult to achieve reconciliation. the reason why i want an exit strategy, is because i want a clearly defined mission. we don't have an end in afghanistan. when i voted to use force to go to war, after 9/11, i think and everybody else in congress voted to go after al qaeda. that was our enemy.
and al qaeda has now moved to a different neighbor in pakistan where they're more protected. we're told by general jones, there's less than 100 members of al qaeda left in afghanistan. we should have 100,000 american forces to go after less than 100 members of al qaeda in aft afghanistan. i think we need to re-evaluate our policy. >> that leads to a key question i know that the white house was debating this week. in order to defeat al qaeda, do you need to completely defeat the taliban or can you learn to live with the taliban? >> if you take the haconi network, generally responsible for the bombing of the interior ministry in kabul, i think they're hard-core fanatics. if you look back to taliban control, when it had more in the earlier days. i particularly worry about women in afghanistan. acid in the face of children, girl children who go to school.
women who can't work when they're widowed. huddled on the streets, begging. women beaten and shot in stadiums. you know, with all of its violence. i mean, that's one element of the taliban. i think we need to look for those warlords that we can work with. those who want to work for stability, for good solid governments. i don't think we can make the country into a jeffersonian democracy. but i do think you've got to stabilize this country. you leave this country and the taliban are increasing all of the time. they're taking over more. it will have a dramatic impact on pakistan one day. i really believe that. now, should we stay there 10 12 years? i don't think so. i don't think american people are up for that or want that. but i think -- i don't now how you put somebody
in who as cracker jack as general mcchrystal who gives the president very solid recommendations and not take those recommendations if you're not going to pull out. if you don't want to take recommendations, then you put your people in such jeopardy, just like the base in noristan. we lost eight of our men. we didn't have the ability to defend them. now, the base is closing and effectively, we're treating away from it. i think the decision has to be made sooner rather than later. >> you have the republicans agreeing to accept the mcchrystal's recommendations right now. i think part of the reason, senator chambliss is not rethinking this is, a concern that congressman mcgovern talked about the footprint. increasing the numbers of troops that might be counterproductive. drive more people into the arms of the taliban.
>> you're not going to increase the footprint just for the sake of adding more troops. it has to be done for the right purpose. that's what the president has under consideration right now. two things, though, one, we've got afghan citizen that is simply better fighter than what we had in iraq. and i think we have the opportunity to train those folks at a quicker pace than what we did in iraq. and ultimately, turn the, both the military and the police over to the afghan people to run that country. that's our goal there. secondly, you can't delink pakistan and afghanistan, they are coupled together. if afghanistan falls, it goes totally into the hands of taliban, it doesn't make a difference whether there's 100 al qaeda in there or not. we know that the neighboring country has the opportunity to be really invaded or encroached
upon by bad guy. >> and general, keane first, senator feinstein raises a question, how does president obama put general mcchrystal in, i want you to implement this counterterrorism strategy with a counterinsurgency platform and not take his recommendations. you served in the military. what are the pressures like right now and what does general mcchrystal do if the president rejects his recommendation? >> well, i can't speak to what general mcchrystal's reaction will be. i can say this, if you're a general on the ground and you believe that a recommendation you made is the winning recommendation in terms of strategy, th will accomplish the goals that you have been assigned, and then, you're told that you can't execute that and ask the troops to go out and do something else that you don't believe will accomplish those
goals, that gets very difficult in terms of a morale dilemma. asking your troops to do something that you believe will fail. >> do you resign? >> that would be up to him to face that. that's something personal for every general. >> is that what you would do under those circumstances? >> yes. the fact of the matter is, the president has a right to make decisions. one of the recommendations they get are from generals. that's the reality. the president also has a right to take information from other sources to inform those decisions. >> that's my understanding what's happening inside the white house. several other options, in addition to what general mcchrystal has already put forward, are likely to be generated. the question back to you, congressman mcgovern, if the president lays out a clear mission, a focused mission on al qaeda, if he determines, and if he puts a ti limit on that
mission and says, we're not going to be there forever. and then, but also says, we do need some, 10,000, 12,000, maybe even 20,000 troops to implement that strategy. what would be wrong with that? >> i would have to wait to see the details. look, nobody's talking about cutting and running in afghanistan. the notion if we lessen the military footprint, the taliban is going to come back into control, i think is wrong. we have been in this war for eight years. we have spent hundreds of llions of dollars. we have trained their military. we have trained their police. one of the central problems in afghanistan right now, you have a government that's corrupt and incompetent. 30% of karzai's votes are fraudulent. you know, if you don't have good goverance at the center of this, you can put all of the troops in there and money in there, it won't make any difference. >> that's why you got to
approach this from a dual point of view. number one, you've got to stop the violence. if you don't stop the violence, we can'tope for a healing to take place in afghanistan. and hope the people take over that government. it is corrupt, there's no question about it. we know, too, that if we don't prevail the, we have the opportunity for the bad guys to come in and have access to nuclear weapons next door. we can't afford for that to happen. we know that there's a training opportunity for al qaeda in afghanistan if we're not there as well as in pakistan. we can't afford for that to happen. so, it's clear from a military standpoint, we've to listen to the guys on the ground who have the opportunity and the know how to make sure those things don't happen. another component that we haven't given enough talk to, i think, is the civilian side, you have to remember that the afghan people have a literacy somewhere in the high teens, low 20s.
that is, there's no way for those people to develop any kind of economy. the economy in iraq this year is going to be about $900 billion. the economy in afghanistan $900 million. we've got to stop the violence, work towards influencing the afghan people to make sure they take their government back and develop an economy for the long term. that's going to take a while. >> that's going to take a while and a lot of money. you do have to put a cost benefit analysis. something raised internally by vice president biden. a report in "newsweek," the vice president's pointing out, this year, we're going to spend about $65 billion in afghanistan, about $2.25 billion in pakistan. and according to the newsweek, the vice president went on to say in the national security
council meeting, by my calculations that 30-to-1 ratio if favor of afghanistan. for every dollar we're spending in pakistan, we're spending 30 in afghanistan, does that make strategic sense? what's the answer? >> well, this whole situation is a bit of a conundrum, i agree with senator chambliss and what he said. i think reconciliation -- the first thing has to be to stop the violence, security. the taliban has to know it cannot take over all of afghanistan, because the next step is pakistan and that's very serious and the pakistanis are only recently beginning to show, i think, their meddle. i think it was a big wake-up call for them. i listened to the pakistani foreign minister yesterday. they seemed to have much more get up and go to really be able to work with us in securing some of the fatah areas and other areas.
so, i think that's really critical, this is not an easy situation. nothing is straightforward. our allies have 39,000 troops. that's a lot of people over there. i gather they'll continue their involvement on that level. i think we ought press for them to increase that. >> that's not going to happen. >> i know. but financially, we ought to have more financing from the rest of the world community. we cannot be everyone's gatekeeper. and everyone's policeman. what's lacking in the world is some universality of putting together movements which can change the dynamics in difficult situations. >> general keane, what do we know in pakistan? three major attacks.
the insurgents take over their army headquarters. like coming into the pentagon. how do you see the inner relation between putting more troops in afghanistan -- >> and the elephant in the room with pakistan and to a certain degree of afghanistan, their lack of understanding that we're going to stay in that region. they're not sure we are. and given our track record in afghanistan and also in pakistan is reason for that skepticism. that's why musharraf and this regime to this day has a hedging strategy with the taliban. we have to convince them that we're there, we have to prove that as well by stabilizing afghanistan. i agree with the senators. if we lost in afghanistan that contributes directly to destabilizing pakistan. our actions in afghanistan relate clearly to pakistan. the other thing, specifically to your point, we're starting to make some headway with the generals in pakistan to pull forces away from the indian
front so to speak. we have great difficulty convincing them that the major threat is fact the raging insurgency inside the state. not external state of india. to us, it's self-evident. to them, it's not. that's the reality of it. >> i want to go once around the table with this question, what's the one thing that you want president obama to have in mind as he makes his decision? >> our troops and the stability of our troops and the fact that we're giving our troops what they need. and i mean from the top down, we've got to make a decision from a leadership standpoint whether we give him more troops. we still got to make that commitment that we're reinforcing them like we need to. >> i would urge him to keep in mind stabilizing afghanistan doesn't not mean enlarging our military footprint. i think it will would be counterproductive. i think we're going bankrupt.
we have wars in iraq and afghanistan. hundreds of billion of dollars, that all going on our credit cards. our kids and our grandkids are paying for this. we need to be smarter where we deploy our resources. we need to have come up with a strategy that includes an exit strategy. because it will also put pressure on the government of afghanistan to step up to the plate, which it has not done so far. >> i think, he has the opportunity to be decisive in terms of our national interests in afghanistan and also in pakistan. the reality is, since 2003, when we shifted our priority to iraq, afghanistan has been a distant second priority. now, those resources are available to make it the main effort. and that we should do. he has now the opportunity to be decisive, to control the outcome in afghanistan and we can get the outcome that we deserve. >> he said that we're going to stay, if we stay, we cannot lose. what strategy, what tactics give us the best chance to carry out
the mission and the mission has to be to stop the violence and secure the country and see that you have an honest government that can begin to take care of its people and to me, that's the plan. >> thank you all very much. difficult problem. very enlightened discussion. the roundtable is next and later, the sunday funnies. >> the >> the administration was worried that meeting with the dalai lama would upset china. we don't want to upset china. imagine what they would put in our toys. gy. we should be looking closer to home. there are places off the continental shelf. natural gas can be apart of te solution. i think we need to work on wind resources. they ought tbe carefully mapping every conceivable alternatve.
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barack obama, extraordinary. >> this is the committee preaching to america. >> obama's ideals and principals are very much the principals of the norwegian nobel peace committee. >> i do not feel that i should be in the company of those who have been honored by this prize. >> he's not only the first postracial president, he's also the nation's first postaccomplishment president. >> i'm sure the president understands that he now has even more to live up to. >> another friday, another shocker. everybody's got an opinion. let me bring in the roundtable on all of this.
i'm joined by george will, nicolle wallace. arianna huffington and donna brazile. george, i have to condition fez, when i want to know what the white house thought and what you thought given your history with the nobel prize committee. >> the nobel prize committee forfeited its reputation for seriousness. if it had a reputation for seriousness. the president has a problem in afghanistan a real problem in scandinavian. the war set off a global cry of two words, for what? the committee answered that. they said, after 263 days of his presidency, but really after 11 days, because it was february 1st that the nomination was closed. he was honored for values and attitudes. notice the word attitude. shared by a majority of the world's population. this is an award for attitudinizing.
>> it is well deserved. >> well deserved in. >> come on, george. i'm a forward-looking optimistic person. the president, in my judgment, he's well deserv. but he must also earn it. george, in 11 days, president obama overturned many of the policies that much of the world disliked. he ended banned torture. he proposed closing gitmo bay. >> you mentioned gitmo? yes. it's a proprosal. he has to work with members of congress and states to get it finally closed. he closed secret prisons. cia prisons across the globe. so, yes, in 11 days he committed -- >> donna went even further than the president. >> he was humbled and surprised. i was shocked and surprised. >> i love donna brazile. >> he did, i think, take out some of the sting whatever embarrassment by coming right on friday by saying i didn't deserve it. >> right. there wasn't a debate in this country whether he deserved it
or not. he came out and said he did not. look, i think republicans have to resist the irresistible temptation to be too snarky with this. often an outside event, white house staffers over 100 weeks, often that outside event that you never saw it that undermines a president. in this case, the ads that the mccain campaign ran, heal the waters in the air, this is an affirmation of that caricature. i don't know if they'll be able to get beyond the image of obama, the one style over on substance. >> they clearly seemed aware of that which drove the president's statement on friday. it leads to the question of what kind of impact this has on the president's agenda going forward. clearly, the nobel committee wanted to encourage the kinds of decisions that donna was citing there. >> my first reaction was to
cringe. on the grounds this wasn't egos flying too close to the sun. this was another theme in greek mythology. which is, when there's too much good fortune piling on someone, the gods get jealous and they want revenge. >> the revenge is the nobel peace prize? >> the revenge is what ever is going to happen next. if the president makes the wrong decision in afghanistan and it's 's can escalates, this could be a bloodshed. and an attack on civilians that will make, giving henry kissinger the nobel prize seem okay. >> on the politics of that, we don't know. if that idea were lurking somewhere in the minds of the nobel committee, i don't think they understand the country. if anything, i don't there's going to be political impact at all.
i think the president will be disciplined in the making the decision. if anything, this will drive him into the arms of general mcchrystal. >> i hope it doesn't. i hope he makes the decision on the best interest of the country. but there's no question listening to the roundtable here this morning, that in the end, there's going to be so much pressure on him he's not going to be withstand to split the difference. and that's what's problematic about this white house. splitting the difference is not leadership. as some point, you've got to be on one side or the other. he's got to listen to george will. this issue is beyond left and right. there are many conservatives who actually recognize that this is imperialism, it has no good point to be made for u.s. national security. >> the only thing george and you will approve on -- >> and i wouldn't characterize my position as antiimperilism. what's problematic for this presidency, it's the belief that there is a cult in which
the presidency, the president himself is a communivsnt is entirely detached. the president, today there are more american troops in iraq and afghanistan combined than there were when the winner of the nobel prize became president. >> first of all, this is not just about barack obama. the movement, the movement of change the movement that ignited so many ordinary steps to take to the street and get out to vote for the first time. nobel committee recognizes this is a new era in politics. so, i think there's something much larger than just giving one man a prize. it's acknowledging that there's something else going on. >> donna, this movement is deeply disillusioned on many fronts. the fact is, right now, we have two set of
laws in america. one applies to wall street and the powerful in washington. the one thatpplies to the rest of america. it's not clear where barack obama is. increasingly, it appears where larry summers and wall street is. while millions are losing their jobs, their credit cards are defaulted. where he is? where his leadership? >> in essence that's what the white house must now grapple with. as they confront really a big problem in this country and that is the rising number of unemployed americans. the movement clearly wants the president to act boldly and take on the status quo and allow this need for bipartsan this need to compromise to rule his agenda. >> the chair of the republican national committee, michael steele, was too sharp, but he went straight to jobs and the economy.
all things being equaled, the white house would prefer the nobel prize for economic so they can focus more on jobs. >> look, the other problem with the movement is that it's shrinking. not nearly as exciting to support an incumbent president as a candidate for president. i think there was a joke during the bush years, being president is hard work. and i think obama is confronting the same reality. but, you know, i think to the extent he has been insulated from the realities, i think that's further by this prize. when you're adored by european capitals and viewed as detached from the concerns of everyday americans. that's never good for the president. approval numbers are down from 50% from 78%. >> i don't that's the main proof. the main proof is that special interests that he came to washington to counter, are more powerful than ever.
the banks that had to bailed out. are actually writing laws in washington. are watering down credit card reform. what happened? >> on friday the other event the president had was coming out for this consumer financial protection -- >> not for elizabeth warren, who was actually driving this reform. this would have been further watered down. >> here's the the problem, arianna, is the democrats control the senate and the house and the democrats control the white house, what's the problem with this change? >> well, we have a washington bipartisanship that exists only when laws are made. it's really overwhelming. millions of dollars every day are in this one issue. >> how many republicans voted for the stimulus? >> in this one issue on the part
of special interest. >> we're about to see how many vote for health care. i'm going to switch topics here. there was some grinding forward on health care this week. after a report after the cbo, which affirmed some of the president's goals, it will reduce the federal deficit by $81 billion over ten years. and the white house is now trying to get at this issue of partisanship by pointing to republicans e supporting their efforts of reform. >> bob dole said i want this to pass. we've got to do something. >> bill frist said if he was still in the senate, i would end up voting for it. tommy thompson said failure to reach an agreement on health care reform this year, is not an option. but some republicans are siding with the insurance companies and just saying no to health insurance reform.
>> but, there do seem to be momentum behind the president's effort. this week, more of republicans out of office coming behind it. it appears it will pass the finance committee. change of psychology among democrats. this will pass, this will happen this year. >> the cbo report was very important. it will only be $829 billion. but the congressional budget office, a real nest of honest people did what they're required to do, is to take the bill at face value, what it says will happen will happen. ten years they priced it for from 2013 to 2019. an honest accounting of this, an honest accounting, in the first ten years of the full implementation of this, would be $1.3 trillion. they wanted to get below
a trillion, they didn't come close. >> it's interesting what we send to cbo and what we don't. we didn't say to cbo, can you tell us what happens if we go to iraq? can you tell us what will happen if we desegregate the school? never consider anything really important in the country, we do it. this is one of those fundamental reforms that needs to happen. it's written by the health insurance industry. it's not going to be about the cost containment that's essential. there's no competition allowed in it. >> part of the way that it achieves the deficit reduction is with this tax on insurance companies.
that's the only way you can get real deficit reduction. yet, you got at least 170 democrats in the house who say there's no way they're going to go along with it. >> at the end of the day, i believe that issue's going to be resolved. because the white house is clearly engaged at this point. whereas before, they had a hands-off approach. now that we're at the final leg of this jigsaw puzzle, this senate finance committee, the white house will be working side by side with reid, baucus, dodd, to produce a leadership bill to meet all of the goals that the president stated from day one. to make it deficit-neutral, to bring down the costs. more choice in competition. if you like what you have, you can keep it. if you don't have anything you'll have more options. now, that said, i do believe that this issue of reducing the overall costs of the medicare expenditure that is a contentious issue. should we tax the cadillac
players? should we get more the tax credits to the middle class so they can afford health insurance. these issues will be resolved. >> donna, congress has been required by law to cut medicare since 2003. always puts it off. what makes you think they're going to cut it now? >> i do believe this administration working with congress, it's on the table. >> i want to flip the question around, you saw the ad by the dnc right there. >> it looks like a tryout reel for "dancing with the stars." >> lot of republicans saying get this behind this effort. isn't there some political peril for the republican party as being seen as not part of this process? >> all republicans are not against reform. they're against this reform. and i think this health care debate has brought obama down to earth.
his numbers came down to earth when the american public started to seriously contemplate the serious role of government in their health care. what's happening in washington, is certainly focus on the baucus ll. what's happening in america is increasing anxiety, not decreasing anxiety about an expanded role by the federal government. >> but that anxiety is really the anxiety about what's happening in people's lives. and the anxiety about where this administration put its priorities in terms of how much we gave to wall street. there's an opportunity cost to everything. the fact that we gave trillions to wall street in order to save wall street. no connection to the real economy. >> i think they would concede that. what does the president do about that. >> that's very significant. because the anger that we have seen unleashed is to the bailout. this is now focused on health care. that's what's on the table.
the president has to address this. he can't ignore the fact that we saved wall street in order to save the real economy. to small business people, any of that was supposed the reason for saving them. >> given the alternative explanation of why people are anxious, only 1 in 5 americans believes that under the bill proposed their insurance will be improved. this is a $1.3 trillion program. that leaves 25 million americans still uninsured. it includes $40 billion tax on the makers of medical devices. we all know that corporations don't pay taxes. they collect taxes. they pass it on to the american public that the president said was immune to any tax increases. >> once again, we're arguing maintaining the status quo. everyone agrees that's unsustainable. going back to what nicolle said, 80% said of republicans.
let's get behind the 80% of the bill. let me just say this, the republicans have had plenty of opportunities in committees to put forward their ideas. and the democrats have incorporated many of those ideas in this bill. it's time for the republicans to put an alternative on the table and basically say they want to keep the status quo. for women, especially my age and under, we'll continue to pay higher premiums because we're female. >> there's no point in passing a bill that would be called reform and not be reform. we did that with education and nothing was reformed. there will be some bill pass, there will be a trigger or some compromise. in the end, we water it down. >> i mean, i think that the psychology that's going to take
hold among democrats, is the idea that even if they have some of the concerns that they have, that failure is not an option. if the demrats in the white house fail here, the entire enterprise goes under. as a supporter of president obama, aren't you concerned about that. >> in terms politically, 2010, i think it will be very problematic. they're facing so many problems when it comes to 2010. including charlie rangel. i don't know what they'll start focusing on. they have a real problem. the approval of congress is down to 21%. it fell ten points over the last month. either they're going to stand up for the change for which they were supposedly elected. or they're going to be a part of the problem. >> there were two big ethic issues. up this week. charlie rangel facing a series of questions about where whether he reported income he received
for rental properties. whether he had the right disclosure of other assets. the ethics committee announced they were expanding an investigation after the house are jekted a resolution criticizing for him. senator john ensign of nevada whether he helped a husband of another former staffer get a job, lobbying contracts to cover up an affair. here's how they responded. >> what is normally the members wait until the ethics committee completes its investigation and report. that's what i'm hoping happens with the republicans. >> we absolutely did nothing except for comply exactly with what the ethic rules and the laws of the senate state. >> george, ensign down to 22% in his own state. in the short run, more problems for the democrats with congressman rangel, chairman of the weighs and means committee. has tax issues. they had to vote on these resolutions at least twice and
they're starting to lose a little bit of democratic support. a couple leaked away. >> charlie rangel is a genuine war hero, a delightful person, but his committee writes the tax laws. there are some people out there who think who write the tax laws ought to abide by them. 70,000 income taxes were not paid on. he underestimated by half his assets on his disclosure form to congress. do the rules mean anything at all? >> mr. rangel has admitted his mistake and he has called for this query. i don't think we should adjudicate this on the house. you know, there are other investigations. jerry lewis is under investigation by the department of justice. he's a republican accused of selling earmarks to family members and friends. we'll always have some form of corruption. but, i do believe at the end of
the day, if these, especially for the leadership, they will have to decide at some point if mr. rangel needs to step aside in terms of his chairmanship. of the weighs and means committee. i think the speaker is waiting for some action by the ethics committee before they take -- >> it has to happen before 2010. >> 15 second and they should decide it on monday morning. >> you guys continue this in the green room. you can follow it later on abcnews.com. get our daily newsletter, also on abcnews.com. coming here the sunday funnies. nies. the energy to takle challenges like climate change. what if that energy, came # from an energy company. every day, chevron invests $62 million in people. in ideas. seeking, teaching, building.
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you can guess what was at the top of the list of the sunday funnies, that nobel prize. >> a day after declaring war on the moon, president obama this morning was awarded the nobel peace prize. vice president biden was awarded the nobel hairpiece prize. this is the list of awards president oba received today. he got -- have you seen oneover the actual nobel prize awards. do you know what they look like? we have never seen one. we got a copy. take a look. they're nice, aren't they? >> when guys screw up, you can tell it in the woman's body language. now, we haven't altered this in any way.
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