tv Mc Laughlin Group CBS October 2, 2011 11:30am-12:00pm EDT
from washington, "the mclaughlin group," the american original. for over two decades, the sharpest minds, best sources, hardest talk. issue one, al-awlaki whacked. >> the death of al-awlaki is a major blow to al-qaeda's most active operational affiliate. he took the lead in planning and directing efforts to murder innocent americans. >> anwar al-awlaki is the man widely regarded as the most dangerous terrorist in the al-
qaeda network. al-awlaki was killed on friday by a u.s. predator drone. he was born in new mexico, so he was automatically a citizen of the united states. he was also a leading al-qaeda of terrorist acts. question, how big a blow is al- awlaki's demise to al-qaeda? pat. >> i think it's very big, john. he is believed to be the inspiration or the source of the fort hood killer, who killed 13 american soldiers and wounded 29 at fort hood n the largest massacre on an american military base. he is -- i don't know he is the operative chief of al-qaeda, but he is the principle public voice. i almost in that part of the world and certainly in yemen, and so that is a big victory for the united states. but i'll tell you that, john. the important thing is the united states has indicated ever since osama bin laden was taken down that they can run down and find and shoot and
kill using drones or airstrikes and incredible number of al- qaeda leaders. it's astonishing -- they must have gotten a huge volume of intel from bin laden's computers or somewhere else because they've been killing them left and right, and the al- qaeda reports inside al-qaeda are saying all our guys are being killed! >> do you think that this launders the appearance of the drone? -- killing people? >> i don't know if a drone did it. you hear american fighter planes when we're taping here, but i think the united states has a capacity basically to run down where they are, find them and target to and kill them, with extra facility more than we can do under george w. bush. >> the drone has a bad history of killing innocent people. >> it has collateral damage. any bomb is killing -- >> is that what we're reducing it to collateral damage? >> well, the drone killed a very guilty person this time.
it's not as symbolic as bin laden. those people have not heard of this gentleman. but because he's an american citizen, he speaks english, very charismatic figure, he has a foot in both cultures, he's been recruiting american citizens to become terrorists, and he exchanged e-mails with the fort hood terrorist shooter. he helped coach the underwear bomber and then new york times bomber. he's a terrorist. so -- and i think what is surprising is some people is how far obama has gone in the use of these drones, much further than president bush. and i think the technology, along with the willingness of this president to pursue these people, has produced a winning record of terrorist kills, if you will. there will be some pushbacks from civil libertarians, and i'm glad they're speaking out. but i think this is a justifiable -- >> let's see if we can bring
this to life. president reagan in 1981 issued an executive order 123333, otherwise known as the assassination ban. here's the language of the law of the land. no person employed by or acting on behalf of the united states government shall engage in or conspire to engage in assassination. no agency of the intelligence community shall participate in or request any person to undertake activities forbidden by this order. question, was it legal, i ask you, liz, for president obama to order the assassination of an american citizen? >> i think the white house would tell you that they derived their legal authority for any operation like this from what congress passed in the wake of 9/11, authorizing the united states to defend itself against the al-qaeda network. and so they think they have
plenty of legal cover for this type of operation, and i think if you look at where the american public stands at large, i don't think there will be a widespread sense of outrage for something like this. i think the more interesting thing to raise, however, to some extents is when you look at this success the white house has had, in terms of combatting al-qaeda and on foreign policy in general, why isn't the president getting more credit for this? you hear some democrats actually in the wake of what happened today saying maybe the white house needs to start doing a little more chest thump engine the manner of george w. bush, perhaps, or at least drawing a little more attention to the fact that they have had a run of real success on the foreign policy front? >> mort? >> whatever else you want to say about it, there's certainly a moral justification for going after somebody like this. and we are involved in a totally different warfare than we've ever experienced before.
we're involved with a group of terrorism who use any means to disrupt whatever they can in the united states some i have no qualms with the fact we did it. and i think it's wonderful we're taking out some of their leadership and i hope this keeps them suppressed and on the run instead of attacking us. i think it's absolutely justified. >> i don't think chest thumping on this would be necessarily appropriate. i think the president does have a good record on national security and that kind of flips the poles, because normally that's a weakness for democrats. but given the job situation, that's the number-one issue on everybody's minds. >> you know, al-awlaki was an american citizen. >> yes. john, i do -- >> he is -- he was. >> inciting terror. >> but here's the thing. i do wish -- >> the president didn't say this is a war on terror. >> yes, he does. >> he doesn't put it under that category. >> yes, he does. >> he avoids that. >> but i do wish the united states had formally declared war on the al-qaeda network and
people who sit or basically engage in these activities, because this is an -- >> this is a little long for -- ron paul. i don't think that's a good way to deal with our problem, namely the killings. we won't call it an assassination because there's a law against that. there's a specific law. al-awlaki was born here, he's an american citizen, he was never tried or charged for any crimes, no one knows if he killed anybody. we know he might have been associated with the underwear bomber but if the american people accept this and casually, that we now have an accept practice of a president assassinating people who he thinks are bad guys, i think it's sad. what about that? >> i don't think in was done casually. and i do expect there will be pushback and i'm glad ron paul and others are raising the questions. i don't think you want to it casually. but this is somebody who we are all better off without him continuing. >> you think the c.i.a.
was in there helping this? >> i think american -- >> of course they were! >> jonas of right now. my guess is the americans carried this thing out. i don't know who else could handle something like this. but again, i agree with ron paul raising these issues, but i also agree that the president of the united states, this guy is an enemy in a time of war. and they've got the evidence. >> who can tell me about yes, ma'am pen their involvement or non-involvement? >> we have not declared war on yemen. but we know that al-qaeda network moved to yemen. and he was the operational head, and that's their major base. and they're the most dangerous network that we face today, is al-qaeda. basically move from afghanistan to yemen. so this is a war without borders. >> exit question, has al- awlaki's death removed the number-one terrorist threat to the united states? pat buchanan? >> no, i still think it's probably czar hero, but there's
no doubt this guy is a major voice and he's a local operative. >> how many months will -- before -- >> i think the president can seal team 6 or somebody will get him. >> he's hot! >> if i were him -- >> i'd be nervous too! this is an important victory in the war against al-qaeda. >> liz? >> well, as i would say, i think it probably would help the president particularly in terms of countering this image of weakness that was developing in recent months and that has been very unhelpful to obama, so i think to the extent that they can get a bump out of this politically, that would be good. but as eleanor said, it's the economy, stupid. >> bump -- [not understandable] >> no, i don't think. i think this country is overwhelmed by the problems of the economy and joblessness, and the sense the economy is
really still sliding. that's by far and away the number-one issue, seizing the american public and rightly in my glute he has a war going. war on terror. this can win a re-election. >> i don't know about that. but -- >> this is big and 25 million people who either unemployed or underemployed. >> i don't know with that. [everyone talking at once] >> don't you understand? >> good luck, john! [everyone talking at once] >> you have 46 million people in this country living in poverty. 25million people under employed or unemployed. that will be the overwhelming issue and we'll be adding to the numbers the last and next year, you cannot -- unless you have credibility on that issue, he will have a great deal of difficulty. >> eliminated if not eliminated greatly reduced the danger of the war on terror, there will be a big credit when people consider his re-election. unremarkable that over this
lie, right? >> if all of you are willing to press on with me, i promise you, i promise you, we will remind the world why america is the greatest nation on earth. >> it's official, president obama is in full campaign mode. the u.s. presidential election is now 13 months away. he will need every day of those 13 months to dig himself out of
a deep political ditch, many believe. barely one-tenth of the u.s. population believers the country is on the right track, 11%. that's the lowest right-track figure for a president in his first term since jimmy carter, who lost his re-election bid to ronald reagan in 1980. mr. obama's approval rating was as low as 38%. with only 13 months until the election there may not be enough time to turn the tide. that could mean the democrats lose not only the white house, but also their six-seat majority in the u.s. senate. with republicans already in control of the house of representatives, that abb, anybody but barack, would compl from power. question, in his attempt to turn around his political ratings, is time on the side of
president obama? liz? >> probably not. i think if you talk to the white house these days, they're pretty resigned to the fact that the economy is probably not going to do them any favors over the next 13 months so they're not going to be able to run a ronald reagan style things are getting better, look how much progress we've made type campaign. what that leaves them probably with is more of a contrast campaign, which really means they'll be running against whoever the republican nominee is. >> did you design that sitting on a hill? remember that? >> no, long before i -- he had that in 1964, back then. but liz is right here. john, the numbers are so bad for the president, what he has to do and what they're going to do is run and say looking we inherited a bad situation. it's not as good, but for heaven's sakes don't go back to where we were. the tea party republicans represent a threat, menace to this country. they're crazy.
and they're going to try to frighten the daylights out of the american people by -- hopefully having some republican candidate they can demonize. >> right now, obama's worst rival is himself in the obama's 2008 and he's compared to the promise and the energy and the hopes that ushered him into offers. one a real candidate emerges on the other side, then there will be some comparison. and the president is out there now campaigning around the country, trying to shame the congress or force the congress to act on his jobs bill. and and if they don't, the hope is people will see where the blame lies at least in part for the failure of the economy. >> do you think the american people have already forgotten what happened about a year ago? that the house of representatives turned upside- down and republicans now run it, and also the majority of both democratic votes in the senate was lost? they have the senate but they don't have the majority vote? no. >> no, i don't think this is
the way the american people thinks about current events. what happens in election two or four years ago. they look to the leader of the country, and it is the president always, to solve the problems of the country. we have not only not solve the problem, which is the major problem facing this country, it's gotten a lot and he exchanged people in poverty, by the government standards, and 25 million people who are not working or underworking, and no permanent jobs being created, the country is going to be up in arms over this. and somehow they're going to look for somebody to have -- >> we're going to have a repeat of what happened last year? >> i believe we will. i believe this economy will continue to be bad. >> slogan is, you made it worse. [everyone talking at once] >> bring about a dysfunctional political system and then they're pointing at the barack obama saying he can't -- >> that's one interpretation [everyone talking at once] >> so blame the republicans?
♪ ♪don't fence me in! let me ride through the wide open country that i love, don't fence me in. >> the idea that you'll build a wall from brownsville to el paso and go left for another 800 miles to tijuana is just not reality. >> texas republican governor and republican presidential candidate rick perry is in the crosshairs of his own party. governor perry has been slammed by fellow presidential republican contenders and the g.o.p. rank and file, who accuse him of being too liberal in his immigration ideas. they particularly cite pier's opposition to building a border fence along the u.s.-mexico border, which spans, by the way, 2,000 miles. 2,000 miles of projected fence. perry says the answer to border
security is boots on the ground and assets in the air. >> there's not anybody on this stage that's had to deal with the issue of border security more than i have. the 1200 miles of texas and mexico, and our federal government has been an abject failure as securing our border. we've had to spend some $400 texas taxpayer dollars to send texas recon teams down there, strategic fencing in the metropolitan areas has a role to play. you have to have 4500 border patrol agents trained up, 1500 national guards troop. you've got to have the aviation assets in the air, putting realtime information down to the law enforcement. >> but that's not
i'm here, janis. i do hear. >> question, did perry's position on immigration cost him the top slot in florida's straw poll, which occurred this past week? >> i'm sure it affected him. but since i have flown along that fence and watched -- i through there through an entire night, but see people climbing the fence. it's almost impossible to stop. many of them get captured, they get -- bussed back to mexico, and then they come the next came even the fence won't work. to put a fence is ridiculous. and but there's no doubt there's a better way of how we present those issues. and that's when it shows that -- in a sense his limited political skills. >> let's make another clarification too. the fence can run all the way over to tijuana, which means below nevada, and really effectively across -- the width of california. >> it's not going to work. >> that's one mileage computation. another mileage is you stop on
the texas and you go all the way out to the gulf. now, which -- what is the -- how much is the -- [everyone talking at once] mileage of the big fence? >> it's 2,000 miles from all the way from brownsville to san diego. the texas has little more than half -- [everyone talking at once] >> from mexico. >> okay. brownsville to where, tijuana? >> brownsville to san diego. >> i know,. >> i've been there many times on that thing. it can be -- [everyone talking at once] >> i went down there in 1992 and '96, where they had this corrugated stuff put up in san diego. they -- 11 miles they balked -- >> and time in tijuana? >> in '68 with nixon in california, yes. >> what kind of good time did you have there? >> talk to dick allen my good friend! >> went as a presidential candidate saying push back the -- coming across the border.
governor perry is right on this issue and it's the nomination position will be much better than general election. >> you've seen the light. exit question something, rick perry's the g.o.p.'s best hope of taking the latino vote from the president, yes or no? one word. >> no. listen, perry has lost the nomination because of this. >> well, he may lose the nomination but he'll get some hispanic votes. >> i would think he'll -- immigration issue with a field for the hispanics! >> absolutely he will. absolutely it will. it will appeal to the hispanic community. >> so this is solidified his positive vote in the -- committee. i agree with mort and i agree with that proposition. we'll be right back with predictions!
>> mr. chu. >> well, steven chu has said it's his fault and he's taking the blame some i guess if you follow up he might resign. would you rather he be burned at the stake? >> prediction? >> prediction is the -- justice department took the health care ruling from the supreme court because they're nervous they won't be in office. >> he's trying to distract you. he wants you to pull your prediction. >> i know. >> what is your prediction? >> after his very public flirtation this week, new jersey governor chris christie decides he is not going to enter the race. >> the property problems in the united states will resolve in the drop in the hispanic community of obama by 30 points. >> kristi will not run. bye-bye!