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tv   This Week With Christiane Amanpour  ABC  September 4, 2011 10:00am-11:00am EDT

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this week, start your engines. campaign 2012 shifts in overdrive. as mitt romney ramps up. > ceepoliticians s got us into this mess. and they simply don't know how to get us out. >> rick perry cleans up. >> what an august it has been for texas governor, rick perry. >> rick perry has transformed this race. >> and sarah palin? well, that's anybody's guess. >> i want to tell you what my plan is. >> today, our headliner race the field. i'll talk to jim demint, who hosts the top candidates tomorrow. the tea party kingmaker on who he thinks has what it takes to beat barack obama. then, the big zero. jobs flatline.
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and the president faces his biggest test yet. what should he say next week when he addresses congress and the american people? our expert economic roundtable debates employment solutions. plus, it was the deadliest attack on american soil since 9/11. now, the family of the ft. hood shooter speaks out in a "this week" exclusive. >> if you had known what was possibly going to happen, would you have turned him in? and we'll take you on an emotional tour of rarely-seen artifacts from the world trade center. welcome to the program. we have lots to get to today. but first, some news, since your morning papers. tropical storm lee makes landfall this morning, as the gulf coast braces for impact. lee is expected to dump 10 to 15 inches of rain on the region. and abc's yunji de nies is in new orleans with the latest. good morning, yunji.
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of course, nobody can look at new orleans without remembering katrina. what is happening there right now? >> reporter: well, the rain has been incredible. it started two days ago. and it really has not stopped. it's putting the levee system and the drainage system here to the test. so far, everything has been holding. the wind has also been incredible, with gusts up to 60 miles per hour. ten tornadoes have touched down along the gulf coast.. though, thankfully, no one has been injured. we've seen quite a bit of flooding in low-lying areas. on some roads, people opted for boats instead of cars. this is supposed to be the final holiday weekend of summer. but across the gulf coast, much of it has been spent workiki as people have been sandbagging to protect their homes. there's also big concerns about storm surge. look at this boat in pass christian, mississippi. firefighters tried to tie it down. but the surf was just too strong. now, the winds on the ground here are incredibly fa. but the storm itself is very slow-moving. just 2 miles per hour.
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that will mean this region and this city will get exactly what it does not need today, more rain and possibly more flooding. christiane? >> yunji, thanks so much for being with us there in new orleans and keeping an eye on that. labor day is the traditional kickoff of the campaign season. so, get ready for a flurry of activity. there's a debate on wednesday. and tomorrow, the leading republican presidential candidates take center stage at the south carolina forum, hosted by the state's powerful senator, jim demint. former massachusetts governor, mitt romney, was planning to skip the event. but he changed his mind when rick perry surged ahead in the polls. senator demint, of course, is a major force behind the tea party movement. his endorsement is one of the major prizes of 2012. and he joins us from south carolina. senator, thank you for being with us. >> christiane, it's great to be with you. we're really looking forward to this forum because it's set up in a very different style. instead of the typical debate
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with lots of candidates on stage, each candidate gets to spend 21 minutes on the stage by themselves, to define themselves in their own terms. so, i think folks all over the country will find it very interesting. >> well, let me ask you, then, for your view on the latest entrant into the race. that is texas governor, rick perry. earlier this summer, you said you didn't know enough about him. now, can you tell me your views since he's been in the race and there's been a lot said by him over the last couple of weeks? >> well, i'm excited about our field. i think the more people find out about the republican candidates, the more strengths they see. i think that's why a lot of people have hesitated to jump in. and it's good to give people a choice. so, i'm glad governor perry jumped in. but i'm going to withhold any endorsement or support for several months. it's really important to me to see how these candidates respond to the big issues of the day. i want to see, not only their
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policy proposals, particularly as it relates to jobs. but i want to see how they respond to recommendations from the supercommittee and what congress is doing towards balancing the budget and other issues like that. that's going to play out over the next couple months. but this forum's going to be very helpful to me and others because, instead of forcing them to answer r questions, we are going to encourage them to define the issues on their own terms. this will give us a little bit deeper understanding on how they view the constitution and their role as president. >> senator, i know you want to withhold an endorsement. but i do want to press you because rick perry is the front-runner at the moment. and particularly he's quite beloved by the tea party movement, of which you're a major force. what can you tell me? how do you feel about his endorsement of al gore back in 1988? of his praising hillary clinton and the clinton health care plan? what do you feel about those stances? >> well, i want to find out more
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about him, obviously. we know people change. reagan was a democrat. and i want to look at what the governor has done as governor of texas, just as i'm going to try to dig into a lot of the issues, past, present and future policy proposals of all the candidates. but i want to give them all a little room to change. i know i've changed some positions i had ten years ago because the country's in a very different situation. so, i'm going to listen and look and do my homework. and i'm not counting any of them out at this point. >> what about governor perry's stance on social security? his book which is being pored over, as you can imagine, he basically called social security like a bad disease and a big failure. do you think that is going to haunt him on the campaign trail? >> well, i want to hear him explain his views on that.
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i have developed a lot of reform proposals myself and been accused of trying to destroy social security, when the whole point was to try to save it. i think most people know that social security is bankrupt. and i believe the governor probably feels as i do, we need to keep our promises to seniors and offer better choices to younger workers. but i want to hear him explain these things on his own terms. lot about that and other issues on monday. >> just quickly, to wrap up governor perry. do you like whatatou've seen so far? is he the presumed front-runner for you? >> there's things i certainly like, like i do with all the candidates. like i said before, i see some good things, some e rengths in a lot of the candidates. and ones -- we have the top runners or the top tier on monday. so, i'm not making any real judgments. but there's things i like about all of them. >> you're being very cagey, senator. let me ask you about mitt romney, who did earn your endorsement the last time he ran. he's having a lot of trouble with the tea party right now.
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he's decided to come to your forum, where he was going to skip it. where do you think he needs to go in order to get tea party support? do you think he'll get it? >> well, the tea party is being thrown around a lot today. but for everyone who calls themselves a tea party member, there's hundreds of people that have the same concerns about our spending and our debt. we know over 70% of americans want a balanced budget. so, it's not one, small group. what it is is thousands of groups around the country who are concerned about the future of our country. i think it's one of the best things that's happened to our country and to politics because there's a broad cross section of americans involved i icitizen activism today. some are called tea party. some are not. but all the candidates are going to have to appeal to this new grassroots movement. that's reallllwhat i'm looking for. i'm not trying to anoint any candidate. i'm lookokg at which one really catches the attention and inspires the average american who has gotten involved with
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politics and the political process. so, that's key to me. if any of these candidates are going to have to appeal to those americans who are unified, particularly around fiscal issues. >> talking about fiscal issues, president obama is going to be making a big speech towards a joint session of congress this week. do you expect him to make any proposals that will win republican support? >> well, i'm, frankly, very tired of speeches. i don't want to be disrespectful to the president. but what i want to see is something in writing and that the congressional budget office tells us what it's going to cost. so, we can not only read it ourselves, and the american people can read it. the speeches, we found, are not similar to the actual legislation. i'm frustrated with the speech idea. and frankly, the things leaking out of the white house, none of them are like what i've been hearing from businesses all over the country.
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extending unemployment, cutting payroll taxes, offering tax credits when you hire someone. i haven't heard one business say things like this. what they want is some certainty. they want the regulators off their back. they want the national labor relations board to stop pushing the union agenda and try to help companies that create jobs. so, i don't think the president is going to come out with things that are really going to create jobs. i'm afraid it's just pandering to his base. but if he'll send a written proposal, i'll give it every chance. but i'm not interested in his speech right now. and as the congressional budget office said, we can't score a speech. we can't tell him what it's going to cost or what it's going to do. >> senator demint, thank you so much for joining us from south carolina. and we'll be watching his candidate forum tomorrow. and so, no doubt, will our "roundtable." with me today, michael gerson, a former speech writer for
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george w. bush and columnist for "the washington post." clarence page, who writes a column for "the chicago tribune." dana loesch, editor at bigjournalism.com. and abc's senior political correspondent, jon karl. jon, let me turn to you first. tried to get some sort of determination out of senator demint. but keeping his powder dry. given that, what do governor perry and governor romney have to do to break out of the current situation? >> frankly, you've seen the polls that show that perry has just shot to the top. we don't know how realalhis is. this is ththmonth we'll find out whether or not he is truly the front-runner. we have three debates over the next three weeks. perry has taken off because he's got this record as the jobs governor in texas. and he speaks the tea party language. but there is the biggest file on rick perry. of any of the other candidates, he has the longest rececd. he has written a book. he has the most that can be
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attacked. we'll see if he can survive it. >> you alluded to polls. we'll put them up. the latest quinnipiac poll has rick perry six points ahead of mitt romney. the cnn poll shows an even wider gap. michael, good news for rick perry. but the establblhments because of all that file, must be quite worried about this. >> there are worries. this is a remarkable rise. he has gotten support, not just from the tea party. but from a lot of establishment republicans in these polls. but they're just getting to know him. the tea party people could have questions of their own. he supported t.a.r.p. you mentioned some of the other issues. and the establishment is already having questions about his book and other things, with views that seem odd or extreme. he opposes the direct election of senators, apparently, which is an interesting position to take. exactly. but i would say, every front-runner has to be wary of the giuliani fate. giuliani led in all the polls last time. he ended up with one delegate at the convention. this can change pretty quickly.
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>> you said it was a remarkable sort of rise. is it remarkable like when michele bachmann was when she entered? or is it beyond that? >> i think it's beyond that. he has a governor record. he has appeal on jobs. that's a real advantage in this case. i don't think this is necessarily a bubble. i think he's going to be serious. and i think romney may want people like families getting in the race, in order to divide and create an inner tea party rivalry. i think perry's been good at rivalling bachman. >> we'll get to that in a second. dan, i wanted to ask you about some of the things that perry said. he has talked about social security. he's talked about it as a crumbling monument to the failure of the new deal. but we know and the polls show that 87% of americans believe that social security has been good for the country. does that not put him completely out of step with the rest of the country on this major issue?
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>> not really because i think he wants to reform social security and hopefully take it out of the hands of the government and allow people to decide what they're going to do with their own money. and that's something that grassroots has always been supportive of. we trust ourselves more than we trust the government. and the government has done a horrible job. this money was supposed to be there for people who are my parents age. it was supposed to be there for them when they retired. it was supposedly put in some kind of lock box. when yououpen the box when people hit retirement age, it's not there anymore. this is something that grassroots has pushed for. i think perry is beginning to othek to that. issues that i think he, over the course of the next several weeks, he's going to have to answer to to grassroots. >> such as? >> well, for one, his stance on immigration. he's spoken out against building a fence at the border. and i think there's also, too, a lot of people want to talk about reagan during this political time.
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but some of perry's stances on immigration, frankly, aren't all of that different from where reagan stood on immigration. we have to remember the immigration bill signed into law by reagan in '86. reagan was very proud of that. but reagan wanted to support a strong border, not just amnesty. and perry doesn't match up on that. so, he has a lot of answering to do. >> clarence, you've written today's column on the social security issue. you just heard what dana said. take it out of the hands of government. and it's a way of perry saying he wants to reform it. but how difficult do you think his record, his written record, on what he thinks on social security is going to be for him? >> absolutely, his written record, he's been consistent on -- his press spokesman, told us in the media, a week or so ago, don't take that book seriously. then, perry came out across iowa. read my book. it says how i feel. dana's right. he wants to take the social security out of the hands of federal government. put it in the hands of the state.
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as michael wrote eloquently this week, he spoke with great admiration of a temporary program that a cououe of counties in texas were able to opt out of social security program. this will not go well with regular americans. now, with all due respect to the term grassroots, i had a city editor say never use the term, grassroots. it's meaningless. everybody has their own grassroots. president george w. bush went around campaigning for a program that wouou just offer us the option of investing part of our social security contribution in the stock market. the more he talked about it, the less popular it became. it died on capitol hill. and perry calls it a ponzi scheme. you know what a ponzi scheme is? bernie madoff, wizard of wall street. >> he wants to put more money on wall street where bernie madoff is. the average american, i don't think is ready to go for that radical move.
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>> to dana's point, i think some of the rhetoric will help him with the base that exists. but he's going to have some problems. at some point during one of these debates, one of the candidates, maybybit will be mitt romney, who will say, there's only one candidate on the stage here who has voted for tax increases. including the biggest tax increase in the history of texas. that was rick perry. it was a long time ago. he was a democrat. but there will be issues that the tea party, the hard, right conservatives will go after rick perry on. >> you mentioned mitt romney, who was the front-runner until rick perry jumped in. where does he need to go now? he's sort of been posting on his record, being the front-runner. what does he need to do tomorrrw and in the coming days, in these debates? >> they know they have an issue here. look, for three years, christiane, mitt romney has been essentially the front-runner in this race. before he officially declared, he has been the front-runner. he was the guy that suddenly will change. and we'll see over the next month whether it really has changed. but they know they have to go after rick perry. they can sit back, when tim
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pawlenty was the big threat. they could let it play out. they can't do that when running against rick perry. and they know it. >> michael, again. let's get to primaries versus general election. can riri perry -- or is it dangerous for the republican party to sort of let mitt romney slip behind? >> well, i think that there's a serious amount of discontent with the field. i don't think republicans regard this as a strong field. so, there is still talk of people getting in the race. not just palin. but last week, governor chris christie of new jersey was in chicago. had two meetings with serious republican groups from the midwest. >> even though he said no, no, no, no? >> he's actively, i think, considering, getting in this race, which would throw things open once more. but the desire for that to happen, for people like paul
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ryan, who are pushing this to happen, it shows they're not happy with the current field. they think it needs to be filled out in important ways. i don't know if that's going to happen. but the desire for many republicans to expand this field shows that they're not content wiwi it. >> let's play something that sarah palin said at her rally in -- yesterday when she was out talking. let's see what she said about this race. >> the challenge is, not simply to replace obama in 2012. but the real challenge is, who and what we will replace him with because it's not enough. >> so, jon, conventional wisdom is, maybe she left it too long. but you're hearing different, right? do you think she's going to jump in? >> i think it's more likely that she jumps in than most of us thought for a long time. we really don't know. but i will tell you this. for months and months and months, it's been accurate to say that sarah palin has been teasing publicly. but has done nothing behind the scenes to prepare for an actual run.
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i do not believe that is still the case. i think she is laying the groundwork to decide. >> where do you see that? >> i think she's beginning to look at what she would have to do to staff up a campaign. and i think she's looking at what she would have to do to establish a campaign organization, which she has done nothing until now. >> would that bring up hope? >> i think she has a lot to overcome. there was the fox news poll that came out. and results of an independent study, done in conjunction with that, that also looked at republican voters, to see who they would or would not choose. we're still really early in this race. anything is possible. when i say anything is possible, when you l lk at the polls right now, the last poll that was released showed generic republican candidate was beating as president in the polls. we do have a strong field. we do have a strong field. but whether or not we're going to end up with someone that is
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speaking to the base -- because i think, not only is this election going to be a referendum on obama's first term. but this is also going to be a referendum on the republican party. this is the republican party's decision right now. who are they going to put forward? are they going to keep going with the same bush policies that helped create the tea party? a real conservatate, real orward republican candidate? and actually unite the right once and for all? that's the question. >> we will get to president obama in our next panel. thank you all very much for joining us. and "the roundtable" will continue in our green room at abcnews.com. we've done the politics for today. but up next, the policy that president obama will outline on thursday. will it be enough to put america pack to work? a powerhouse roundtable of economic experts weighs in next.
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next week, i will be laying out a series of steps that congress can take immediately. these are bipartisan ideas that ought to be the kind of proposals that everybody can get behind, no matter what your political affiliation might be. so, my hope and expectation is that we can put country before party ananget something done for the american people. >> that's president obama, promising a jobs plan with something for everyone.
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but as details of the speech leak out, there are real questions about whether his proposals will go far enough. and whether he can count on any support from republicans in congress. joining me now to discuss this scenario, doug holtz-eakin, former director of the budget office. and he's now president of the republican action forum.m. nobel prize-winning economist, paul krugman, a columnist for "the new york times." carol lee, who covers the white house for "the wall street journal." and jared bernstein, who stepped down as vice president biden's economic adviser earlier this year, and is now a senior fellow for the center on budget priorities. thanks for being here. let's go to you first. the president has a major task this week. you have unemployment at 9.1%. and the jobs growth at zero. >> there were two numbers on friday. jobs -- one was zero. and the other was two. jobs growth was zero. the interest rate on ten-year
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government bonds was two, which is very close to a historic low. and it takes the market was screaming at us. you idiots, you've been focusing on the deficit. the deficit is not our problem. jobs is our problem. obama has an interesting problem. i think it's three, different things. there's what we should be doing. and what we should be doing is a public investment program. no better time to do it. government can borrow money almost for free. that's not going to happen. what can actually pass congress? and the answer is nothing. nothing. obama's quote for endorsing motherhood, the republicans in the house would oppose it. and the third is what he should say. that's an interesting thing. he probably shouldn't be calling for what i would want because the public should want what i want. but it doesn't. so, he probabay should be calling for things like a limited but significant program of infrastructure repair. things that we really need. plus, things that might launch a payroll tax cut. the main thing, i think
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he has to be bold. he has to be making the case, there's things we could be doing. things i want to do. those guys are not letting it happen. >> can he be bold for the very reason theheoll just suggested? it's not possible. >> well, the question is can he show some ideological flexibility, which he has not shown so far. he showed a little this week, by rolling back the expensive -- >> you don't think he's shown flexibility, since he's come completely to the republicans from the beginning? >> we've seen again and again, the same playbook, which is, we want to focus on near-term stimulus. and if you look at measures, like the budget deficit, if the economy is low employment, that's still rising in 2011. that's been in place and it's not working. it didn't work in the '60s and '70s, when we used stimulus in the economy. he needs to go to a different playbobo, which says we need a fundamental change toward a growth philosophy. we need to make a permanent change, like a lower corporate rate, tax for our business
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community. he needs to show respect in the business community. he needs small, medium and large businesses, not to be the target of class warfare rhetoric. but be the focus of his policies. >> you come from the vice president's office. he's been saddled with this for a long time, that he's not friendly enough to the business community. what does he have to do in your opinion to be more friendly? or does he? >> i don't think he has to. i think the person doug just described sounds very different than president obama to me. and i think the business community outside of washington and the lobbies that kind of go through the talking points recognize that. i think what the president needs to do, much like paul suggested, is put forth a plan that meets two, broad criteria. first, it has to move the needle on unemployment, which has just been stuck at 9%. and that's unacceptably high. i think the plan he's putting forth is going to have payroll tax cuts in it. probably is going to extend unemployment. going to have fast-working
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infrastructure, perhaps working on the maintenance backlog at our public schools. that has two attractive attributes. one, it will move the needle on unemployment. and, two, i think it has the political plausibility, credibility, and the president himself just said that in normal times, these are programs that would garner bipartisan support. a payroll tax cut. we've never failed to extend unemployment insurance with the unemployment this high. in normal political times, these would be widely embraced. >> this is something you are pushing very hard, the repairing of the public schools. >> exactly. fix america's schools today. once the president articulates that plan, and if he is blocked by house republicans, as he may well be, he then can go out to the nation and explain to the people, in precise and clear language, who is standing between you and your job and your paychecks and your kids' career trajectory.
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and that's what i think we're looking at here. >> let me ask you, carol, you're in the white house, covering the white house. do they think this speech will be well-received? or will they say anything that can get past congress? >> i think, first of all, this is a real important moment for the president. this is arguably one of the most important moments that he's had in his almost three years in office. and not only are people still hurting and the economy and the economy's not getting better for president is lacking a narrative. if you try to sum up barack obama's presidency right now, it's a hard thing to do. so, what you're going to see him try and do -- that's a tough position to be in going into re-election on the economy like this. what you see him set out to do in his speech, and his plan, is several things. first, he's going to put forward a number of policies, of which jared mentioned, to deal with the long-term unemployed, to try to put teachers s ck to work. we hear several things we've
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heard before. some new. secondly, he's going to have to lay out how he's going to pay for those things because of political environment in congress. you're going to hear him talk about deficit reduction. and then, thirdly, he really is -- you have to inspire confidence in americans and business. there's a sense out there, mood is pretty dark in the country. there's a sense out there that the recovery is not happening. you know, it's stalled and not happening. that cycle feeds on itself and businesses pull in and consumeme stop spending. and that leads to more fears. we have to address that cycle. >> let me ask, paul talked about basically, his opinion, americans focus is on the wrong stuff. on deficit instead of jobs. "the wall street journal" this week, on friday, talks about how so much of this cut, cut, cut doesn't just cut programs. it cuts people. from their jobs.will be laid off >> paul and i will continue to
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disagree about it. >> a certain amount of responsibility also to be taken for not focusing on jobs and just on cutting. >> they're not mutually exclusive. we're headed straight for a greek-style fiscal crisis. we're in the range of the kinds of measures that show countries have that. that's not pro-jobs. if you steer away from it, that's a good idea. and the cutting gets exaggerated. there's all this huffing and puffing about the so-called $100 billion cuts the republicans proposed at the beginning of the year, that would cut actual spending by $7 billion in 2011. it's a $15 trillion economy. so, at some point, economic reality has to enter. and all of the demagoguing of cutting -- >> it's relative -- >> what should have been happening. it's all wrong. we've laid off -- in effect, america has laid off several hundred thousands schoolteachers in the last several years. that's crazy, right? first of all, education is a priority. second, we're cutting jobs that weweeed at a time we need to be creating more jobs.
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so, these are real things. if you look at -- i did these numbers. if you look at actual government buying things, with opposed to things like food stamps. government purchases of goods and services, in a normal year, that rises around $50 billion a year. in the past year, it's fallen by $60 billion. that's crazy. that's a major drag on the economy. i can't believe, he's saying, we need to think more about short-term stimulus. 9% unemployment, and 2% interest rates is -- why wouldn't you address that? >> i want to address that. you take the proposal in the schools. there's great overlap politically and on conservative and liberal economicic production is important. having prettier schools at the end of the day makes no american more productive. if you want to do it on infrastructure, do it on productive infrastructure and that would get support. >> get the buildings -- >> the schools have a backlog of
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maintenance and repair that has everything to do with energy efficiency, with safety. with the ability of kids to go to school. we can drop our kids off in the morning and feel good about it. this is a program that is labor intensive as opposed to capital intensive. right now, we have to put people to work, insulating, repairing windows, boilers, roofs. let's talk about another number that's very important right here. it's not that paul is exactly right on what we need to do. and by the way, the president is, as well, and i think it will move the needle. it's also the idea we're hearing from the republican side, cut the corporate tax rate and close the doors of the epa, are demonstrably ineffective. right now, i'll give you a number that's extremely compelling. the corporate profits of the share of the economy were higher in the last quarter, 2011, second quarter, than any other quarter in the history of the data, after taxes. after-tax profits, going back to 1947. if you're going to tell me these
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corporations were not profitable by not selling to this country, selling to other emerging economies, just need a tax break to get ahead, or that deregulation, it's the deregulatory zeal that got us in this mess. >> the last 30 seconds. this business of walking away from the epa regulatatns, is that a vision for the future? or is that just a one-off? >> i think you're likely to see more of these. the white house is -- the republicans have been very effective at tagging the president as being very pro-regulation. this was clearly a move. business welcomed it. the republicans welcomed it. if you talk to people in the white house, they say there's more of these to come. on that note -- up next, a "this week" exclusive. the family of ft. hood shooter, nidal hasan, breaks its silence, nearly two years after the worst terrorist attack on american soil since 9/11. stay with us.
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it's been nearly two years since army major nidal hasan opened fire on the ft. hood military base. killing 13 people. it was the biggest terrorist attack on american soil since 9/11. and it left hasan's family searching for answers.
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a new pew s sdy shows that half of american muslims think that muslim leaders have not done enough to speak out against islamic extremists. it's one of the reasons that hasan's family is now breaking its silence. and abc's bob woodruff spoke exclusively with them. and he joins us now. fascinating. >> it's very fascinating. nader decided to talk about his cousin, nidal, because he deeply believes the extreme influences turned him into a different person. nader never thought his cousin would be accused of murder. and nader is doing all he can to make sure something lili this never happens again. what's been the impact on your family and you? >> devastation. clearly, condemnation. you have to ask yourself, and keep pinching yourself, did this really happen?
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>> reporter: on a sunny afternoon in november 2009, nader's cousin, major nidal hasan, opened fire on his ft. hood army colleagues who were preparing to deploy to iraq and afghanistan. over 100 shots fired in 10 minutes. >> on the phone with us, nader hasan, the cousin of the shooting suspect. >> as i was on the phone, i was staring at the tv. and i'm seeing some of the images come up. and i was saying, wait. this can't be him. he was the last person any of us would have thought. he was never violent, ever. he wouldn't kill a bug in the house. >> reporter: when do you think he changed? >> i don't know. >> reporter: this is a very different person than the one you described. >> doesn't make it any better. he did what he did now. and we've lost him. >> reporter: the image of a deranged shooter is a long way from the childhood nader remembers with nidal, growing up together in suburban virginia. >> two kids growing up in arlington county, at the local fire department.
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meeting their firemen. putting fireman's hat on their head. and thinking they're were on top of the world. >> reporter: nader says they had the typical american upbringing. from birthday parties, to santa at christmas. birthdays were family occasions. nidal, there on the left, celebrating with nader. they didn't speak arabic and weren't very religiousus. was nidal more religious than you? or the same? >> same. >> reporter: same thing. >> kid, plays soccer. catch fireflies. you know? and we were never -- we were fast. that was the big thing. >> reporter: nidal had joined the army out of high school and turned t treligion after the death of his mother in early 2001. >> that was his mom's wish, know god. and so, he started praying more and becoming more pius. and all of a sudden, four months later, september 11th happens. you might see that as your first challenge as to how much do you believe in your faith? who knows what's going on in his head? >> reporter: as an army
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psychiatrist, nidal was assigned to walter reed hospital, to counsel returning combat soldiers. his family says their dramatic stories deeply affected him. as he became more religious, he viewed the war on terror as a war on his faith. he even gave a powerpoint presentation to military colleagues, which seemed to solidify his evolution of beliefs. he wrote, it's getting harder and harder for muslims in the service to morally justify being in a military that seems constantly engaged against fellow muslims. >> there was this issue of choosing god and country. and i think that's where his sickness really started to morph. >> reporter: do you think that al qaeda terrorists, are the ones that influenced to the point where he was ready to commit murder? >> i don't know. i believe that maybe some of the things that are seen on the internet, some of the websites. i'm still not privy to any of
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it. the alleged e-mails bebeeen him and anwar al awlaki. >> reporter: it is believed nidal exchanged e-mails with anwar al awlaki, a terrorist in yemen. supposedly writing to him, i can't wait to join you in the afterlife. and asking, when is jihad appropriate? the senate investigation called this a ticking time bomb. more violent as time moved on. you saw nothing like that? >> no. >> reporter: if you had known what was possibly going to happen, would you have turned him in? >> absolutely. without question. without question. that's why we had the fbi come to our house right away. if there was anybody else out there we could help. >> reporter: nidal was shot three times during the shooting rampage and is now paralyzed from the chest-down. he has since been charged with 13 counts of premeditated murder and 32 counts of
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attempted murder and could face death for these crimes. do you think he should get the death penalty? >> i don't believe in the death penalty. that's going to be left up to the jury. >> reporter: should this be temporary insanity? >> he committed a crime. i don't think there's question who the shooter was. and there's questions that still lie. he'll get his day in court and he'll be tried by a jury of his peers. they'll make his ultimate determination. >> reporter: some of the ft. hood families who attended nidal's preliminary hearing said he showed no signs of remorse. will you apologize at all? for what your cousin did? >> that's not my place. clearly, i apologize for what's happened to them. i apologize to anybody, whether my cousin was involved or not. i'm sorry for that happening. but that's what our family wants. our family wishes our cousin would come back and accept responsibility, show remorse, turn this into a positive thing. >> reporter: so, nader is taking it into his own hands, a positive step, by founding the nawal foundation. his primary message is one of
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nonviolence. his all-american upbringing instilling in him you can be devoutly muslim and defiantly patriotic. >> it's almost two years now since, i believe, my cousin was stolen by some psychotic combination of whatever might have happened. but we lost him. for all we knew, ft. hood, and go forward. how do we make sure that doesn't happen again? >> reporter: why are you doing this now? >> as one of the agents that i work with in my business said, the silence is deafening, from the moderate voice. i think the terrorists really have an effective poison they're putting out there. the terrorists are trying to make it an issue of false choice of choosing god over country. you can be fully muslim and fully american and there's no conflict. >> reporter: do you have any
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desire to talk to any of the family members? >> if they want to talk to me. i do know they're good people. and they've been in our prayers. >> reporter: if you did talk to them, what would you say? >> god bless you. god bless the ones you lost, have been harmed. god bless our country to get through this. >> reporter: nader hasan hopes the foundation named for his mother can give voice to moderates and be a force for change against radicalism. >> bob, thank you so much. so valuable. and such blunt commentary from the cousin. >> very blunun and coming up, remembering 9/11. we take an emotional tour of some of the artifacts from the world trade center. and we see the memorial at ground zero. or creates another laptop bag or hires another employee,
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>> president obama has now agreed to move his jobspeech from september 7th to september 8th. it's the same night as football season starts. of course, the main difference, obama's job plans has a lot more hail marys in it. cia is hoping that gadhafi weapons don't fall into the wrong hands. i thought, well, wait a minute. weren't they already in the wrong hands? >> get this. in a recent interview, dick cheney said that his new memoir will have, quote, heads exploding in d.c. yeah. especially if you read it while you're on a hunting trip with dick cheney. i thought it was a duck. we'll be right back. [ male announcer ] do you have questions about medicare?
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>> we remember all of those who died in war this week. the pentagon released the name of six soldiers killed in afghanistan. when we return, we turn our attention to the tenth anniversary of the september 11th attack. we'll take you on an emotional tour of artifacts from that terrible day. and the pictures tell a powerful story. stay with us. [ male announcer ] succeeding in today's market
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this is the mangled top of the e tenna from the north tower of the world trade center. it fell on september 11th, 2001, ten years ago next sunday. the artifacts are housed here at the newseum. but many others are at jfk's airport. earlier this week, i got a rare tour. here's the lower half of the antenna from the north tower. flattened police cars. steel bars twisted like spaghetti. a bike wrack for those who rode to work on 9/11. a charredir reminders of that fateful, late summer day, ten years ago. a year after 9/11, tons of twisted steel from the twin towers began to be collected here, in hangar 17 at jfk
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airport, for an eventual museum. but for the last 11 months, most of that steel has been shipped out to cities across all 50 states and 8 different countries for their own 9/11 memorials. when we visited hangar 17, a large chunk of the world trade center wreckage was being loaded into a truck, destined for a town in florida, to be displayed in a local park. some relics have yet to find a suitable home, like these remnants of an alexander kholer sculpture that stood between the towers. others are waiting to be transported at the new museum at ground zero. >> the pentagon recognized there was a ststy to be told. and we brought as much of the material as we could to help tell, now ten years later, the tragedy and the dimensions of that event. >> reporter: chris ward is executive director of the port authority which oversees the
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world trade center site. >> this is ladder 18. from lower manhattan. raced to the scene. the destruction of the truck itself is representing what a lot of people who were lost, were the fire department. >> reporter: ward was late for work that day and narrowly survived the disaster. his boss, neil levin, was not so lucky. he was killed when the towers collapsed. christine ferer was married to levin. she is the mayor's liaison with the victims' families. and she has been instrumental in organizing the 9/11 memorial. >> that was a moment when everybody was united. wouldn't it be great to have that feeling again? >> reporter: she showed us a room full of posters we all remember so well. putting up by people in manhattan, pleading for information on missing loved ones. >> they were all over manhattan. my daughter, for one, put neil's picture up on the upper east side everywhere. >> reporter: she showed me
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another one, of artifacts from shops, such as the warner brothers store, at the world trade center mall. >> i had to walk through the archives in 2002, trying to choose something that's symbolic. and i thought that's amazing. >> reporter: that's all, fol. the iconic warner brothers signoff. what does it say to you? >> it says, it's over. to me, it says the age of innocence is over. >> reporter: today, at ground zero, new towers are risinin towards the sky. the finishing touches are being put on the 9/11 memorial plaza, which opens next sunday, ten years after the attatas. in the center of a plaza is a pear treat that emerged from the rubble of the twin towers. it's known as the survivor tree. president obama laid a wreath there a few days after osama bin laden was killed. >> on the southern edge. >> reporter: michael arad showed us the site. he's the memorial designer. >> the difficult part of this
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project was the names arrangement. >> reporter: the new memorial incorporates two, large pools where the towers once stood. around each pool are bronze panels that are inscribed with nearly 3,000 names of the dead. in an extraordinary move, arad says families were consulted how to organize the names. and we were asked not to film them, so they will be the first to see them next sunday. >> it took a year to arrange the names. names relative together would be grouped together. but also the names of friends. and people engaged to be married. and people who went to school together. people that commuted together. people that happened to die together that day. we got the requests to place the name of someone's father next to her best friend. her father was on flight 11. her best friend was in the north tower. and that flight crashed into that tower. >> reporter: next week, the memorial will finally open. and the world trade center site will once agagn be part of the city. it's been ten years of hard work.
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and sometimes bitter controversy, for family members like christine ferer. >> i think it will be much like childbirth. once this is built, hopefully, we'll all forget the pain we went through. >> reporter: the pain, of course, was deeply felt by the youngest generation. children w w had never experienced violence and hatred. now, this book, "art for heart," features drawings and messages from 4 4 children who lost a parent in the 9/11 attack. they have pored their grief into this book. it's compelling and heartbreaking. and for information on how to buy "art for heart," visit our website at abcnews.com/thisweek. proceeds will go to the 9/11 memorial fund. and next week, please join us for live coverage on the tenth anniversary of 9/11. "america remembers." we'll be right back.
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that's our program this week. remember, you can follow us anytime on facebook, twitter and at abcnews.com. be sure to watch "world news" with david muir tonight for all of the latest headlines. for all of us here, thank you for watching. and we'll see you next week.
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