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tv   Political Capital With Al Hunt  Bloomberg  May 24, 2014 12:00am-12:31am EDT

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>> this week on "political capital," the head of founder and chief executive officer of iraq and afghanistan veterans of america, paul rieckhoff talks about the v.a. scandal. and the primaries. >> we begin the program with the founder and chief executive officer of iraq and afghanistan
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veterans of america, paul rieckhoff. you heard the president on the veterans scandal. were you satisfied with what he said? >> no. our membership was tremendously disappointed. there was no action or plan. it has taken three weeks. we expected to hear news. we thought he would tear into the issue with the severity it deserved. we did not hear it. i immediately heard from our veterans nationwide saying, is that it? we are looking for more and we are disappointed. >> should general shinseki go? >> we don't know. we will talk to our members. we pulled our members and we will make a decision based off of that. we want to be methodical about it. we'll talk about it and make sure we talk to our members nationwide. they are outraged and disappointed. this is about nine different cities. about six years of problems. one thing after another.
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it seems like every month there is a new v.a. controversy. if you have been paying attention, we have been outraged for a few years. >> what would you like to see him do right now? you're holding your water on the question of shinseki. >> the congress could take action. we have a bill sponsored by the speaker that will strengthen the v.a's ability to fire people. shinseki has lost the confidence of veterans and the american people. he's going to stay, he is going to have to work hard to regain that confidence. >> the president on memorial day always talks about veterans. what would you like to hear him say? >> we want to hear him get specific. memorial day is a time to reflect on the people we lost, but also action. platitudes and empty rhetoric comes out of washington all of the time. what we like to hear him say is how he is going to reform the v.a. and prevent suicide.
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we have 22 veterans that are dying at a two suicide. there is a suicide crisis in this country and we have an act. it is sponsored by the i only iraq that in the congress. we need the president's support behind the bill. this might be the one thing republicans and democrats can get along on. the president has to lead that. >> in general, how would you rate this administration on veteran affairs? i know you're disappointed now, that -- >> it has been incomplete. there have been increases to the v.a. budget and there have been goals on homelessness. they said they were going to end homelessness by 2015. we see bold goals that they do not reach. the same is true on the backlog. almost to agot million before they attacked it. it was entirely a preventable problem. they want to pat themselves on the back by lowering 50%. that is like the next
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celebrating losing by 30 points instead of 50 points. only in washington is that positive talking points. the real legacy for the obama administration is veteran affairs. can you transform it? veterans interact with the government and the administration in any other way. if he cannot get it to work, that will be his legacy. >> one more question on shinseki. he is an honored, disabled war veterans. you know he cares. >> that doesn't make you good at your job. there are a lot of people who care. that is six years of stonewalling in congress and coverups and maybe cooking the books. a real disconnect from the reality of what is happening on the ground. he has to show he is in touch and he can handle it. we are losing 22 veterans a day to suicide. we need a leader who responds with urgency. >> i will get to the suicide question in a moment. some conservatives said you should privatize.
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>> we do not think that is an answer. i think you have to improve the bad -- the v.a.. >> is it a bad idea? >> yes. we want to the v.a. to succeed. so many veterans rely on the v.a. to succeed. it has to work well. it is how government works and does not work. to use the v.a. as a political talking point. it is a political talking point. millions of veterans depend on it. it is about customer service. when you submit a claim, it should not take 2 years. it should not take 30 or 40 days before you see a doctor. if that is the case we are , failing our veterans. >> you mentioned 22 suicides a day. you had your story in the hill. mental health is a centerpiece of what you want to do. senator walsh is sponsoring. do you have any other sponsors? >> we have another senator on board as well as senator
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michalski. we feel we will have bipartisan support. >> how about senator mccain? >> we do not know. he has not jumped on board and it is disappointing. we need him to step up. he and senator walsh can be like senator webb and senator warner were a few years back with the g.i. bill. working together and putting what is right ahead of politics. >> are you optimistic? >> i am. i am not normally optimistic about washington. but on this one, we are. we think we will have a house bill the first week of june. we want to name it after clay hunt, a young sniper we lost a few years ago to suicide. he was on the hill. he went to the white house to advocate for mental health care. we lost him to suicide. >> there is more the president can be doing? >> yes. he can have a national call to action. boil it down there are 1000 open , mental health positions at the v.a. and most people do not know
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that. the president can say, you can go be a qualified health care professional. that is one example of how executive action could make a difference. >> you have been supportive of the ratification of people with that ratification on the treaty of people with disabilities act. it has not mustered the vote. why do you have confidence it will? >> it is the next phase of the american with disabilities act. we have stood with senator dole. he has been the chief champion. we have 60 votes and we will need a couple more. we hope to pass it by senator dole's 91st birthday. he has as much fire as ever. he is going to crank away. we think it is important to veterans and the business community. this is something that should be bipartisan.
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>> by his birthday. >> it would be a present. he has been a legend for us. he is one of the world war ii vets. there are not many left. there are none of the left in the senate. >> a good memorial day to you. when we return, john sununu and david plouffe debate. ♪
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>> welcome back. it seemed like it was all hillary all of the time. we bring in our update with two of the finest political minds in washington, david plouffe and john sununu. it has been all hillary. the karl rove attack. democrats said it was a smear. newt gingrich agreed with democrats. was it ineffective? >> i do not think so. it is an important election. it speaks to everyone's fascination. my suspicion is it was not planned by karl rove. it was an errant missile. she is out there with a lot of energy. they are going to have to come out with a better attack. when you look at the presidential race, if she does not run, others will get in.
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who will win the electoral college majority? have the republicans done anything? to help themselves with young --ers, hispanic voters latino voters, women voters? a resounding no. >> pick up on that. >> i agree it was not planned in any way. i think it's a couple of things. hillary clinton is a good story. she is going to run. the intensity in which the pushback came is an indication that she is very likely to run. >> have republicans done anything to help themselves with minorities? >> i do not think that is necessarily the case. you have younger voices like marco rubio as somebody like rand paul who is out there talking to younger voters and latino voters. that does not mean that republicans do not have work to do.
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>> hillary will be 69, will it be a factor? >> it will be an issue. she will have to answer questions about health and make it clear to the voters that she has the capability and energy and focus and drive to serve. she has already had a very successful career, but a long career. you have to answer the question about if you are fatigued or if you have given everything. >> she is clearly somebody with enormous energy. it is not what you say, but what you do. if she runs with a lot of energy and passion, i do not think there is a question. >> the republicans have a special committee looking at benghazi. that has hillary written all over it. could that hurt her? >> i do not think so. i think he is trying to mollify
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the delusional base of his party which is obsessed with benghazi. where the voters are -- it is a tragedy and they want to know how we prevent something like this again and we should stay on the case to hold people accountable. it took us a long time to get bin laden but eventually we did. they know these tragedies happen in the world. it happened in beirut. they happened in the reagan administration. the uss cole bombing was three or four weeks before the election. you know what george bush did? he did not try to politicize. he said it was time for us to speak with one voice. >> going back, you were in politics in 1998 and that overreach by house republicans which caused backfire. >> i do not know if it backfired. we held the house and senate. >> i did not cover that. >> given we had just taken the
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house in 1994, look, holding on to both and republicans took the presidency in 2000. i do not think it is overreach per se. i do not think it will factor heavily into the presidential race with hillary. if i was hillary clinton i would , say, sure, have the special committee now. put everything out here and allow the process to play out and essentially put the issue behind us. i think there is substance. clearly the white house has substantive e-mails that were really important to the process leading up to misdirection if nothing else on what happened in benghazi. they withheld and that is the problem. withholding information from congress is a big problem and there should be a committee to understand what else may have been withheld and what exactly the response was and how it
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could have been better and if lives could have been saved. >> this is a waste of time and money. there have been investigation after investigation. wendy 5000 pages of documents released. i think the republican party is more unpopular than the democratic party. they seem obsessed with health care and benghazi and not with what really matters to people, the economy. >> tim geithner has just written a book about we got it right. it wasn't popular, but we got it right. >> on the biggest issues, and the biggest questions and programs, they got it mostly right. the biggest and most significant were dealing with a lack of liquidity in some of the financial markets. the mutual fund, the overnight markets that are very important
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to keeping banks liquid and preventing a wholesale run on the bank. second, the tarp capital program that provided interim funds to banks large and small, ultimately a $220 billion program. most of that money was recouped with interest. the financing of auto bailout and some of the mortgage programs that suffered losses. on the big question, they got it mostly right. >> david, i suspect you believe that. i think that -- what will history say. we were that close to sliding into a great depression. the fed, congress, and the administration took a lot of
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action. none of them easy or popular. they staved off a great depression but also set the stage growth. it is not as quick as we would like. i think so. history will say tough calls, but the right. >> history will say that it is a great day when dave and john agrees. margaret carlson and ramesh debate the primaries. ♪
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>> welcome back. we'll get to margaret carlson and ramesh ponnuru in a minute. phil mattingly, the justice department was busy because they went after the chinese for espionage. doesn't everybody do cyber espionage? >> yes. the u.s. said they do not do it for economic but intelligence. the snowden stuff complicates that tremendously and the chinese have hit back. the chinese are giving it to state-owned businesses. >> the indictment was filed today.
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unquestionable escalation of the cyber war. five members of the people's army of china were indicted by the justice department. nobody saw it coming. diplomacy has fallen apart. >> do we look for more action? >> we do. i talked to the top officer and he said the investigations have been going on, picking up steam. we can definitely expect -- he would not identify anybody. officials i spoke with said more on the chinese side and russia. potentially syria as well. >> eric holdersa criminal action against credit suisse. is that an important distinction? >> from the justice department's perspective and especially eric holder who has been criticized that he will not take action, this is a new path forward. did this quiet the critics? no, it did not.
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the bank in the regular does work closely together to make sure there was no catastrophic failure. coming from the justice department's perspective, it is them showing they can be tough on wall street. >> is too big to jail still there? >> nobody is going to jail. no bank wanted to plead guilty. the bank was not indicted. they have kept all of their clients. the officials said this is the new posture. over the last six months, we have changed how we go after financial institutions. we were afraid to go after the the entire institutions before this. they said you will see every bank face the possibility. >> nobody is going to jail. a $2.5 billion fine is big but it barely affects their stock. they cheated and they help americans cheat. >> on top of that, you hear from
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senators levin and mccain, credit suisse did not have to hand over the names of their clients. until a treaty is finalized, they can hang on to it. everything that senator levin was trying to get did not come out of this. there is a lot of criticism of the justice department. >> we will see if they get tougher. speaking of tough, let me turn to margaret carlson and ramesh ponnuru. mitch mcconnell, got 60%. is he home free in november? >> no. he was not the strongest candidate. he was in favor of tarp. when he criticized mitch mcconnell for voting for it, it did not work. could not figure out what the bill of rights exactly was. not really made for prime time. mitch mcconnell won and allison grimes will be a much tougher opponent.
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>> mcconnell still has a real race? >> yes. >> do you agree? >> it is a real race. he never wins general elections. the money has to be on him. it is hard to believe that in a midterm election with obama's numbers underwater, it is hard -- underwater, that democrats will win in kentucky this fall. >> how about georgia? michelle not in -- nunn won easily. there is a runoff. many republicans think they are the 2 strongest. >> they are the strongest republican candidates in all likelihood compared to the people who placed fourth and fifth in the race. i say the democrats have a better chance in georgia and
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kentucky. in part because they're not against an incumbent. >> where is your money in georgia? >> i will put it on michelle. i thought she stumbled on not knowing how to treat obamacare. she looked nervous. republicans have a problem. yes, two normal people, not wackos are in the runoff. it is very long, nine weeks. there's a lot of time for those two. he has a lot of money. both of them, they will go in battered. >> it will be interesting to see who they prefer. kingston has a proven track record but he has been a member of congress for a long time. she will be a formidable candidate.
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again, it is georgia. a red state. it is an off your election cycle. thank you very much. thank you for watching. >> "political capital" is a production of bloomberg television. ♪
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>> hello, and welcome to "inside fendi." we are in rome, and over the next 30 minutes, bloomberg will take you behind the scenes of one of the most iconic italian fashion houses, fendi, with the ceo pietro beccari. in 1925 two italians opened a fur and leather shop in rome. their names, edoardo and adele fendi. the mantle passed to their five daughters, and is there where the story begins. the company grew into a multinational luxury brand although they had some help from


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