tv [untitled] CSPAN June 30, 2009 5:30pm-6:00pm EDT
-- how many senators are there? he said he put 100. i said at we had 99. he laughed. i'm going to be jr. to 99 other senators. i'm going to be entering with a great deal of humility and with a lot to learn. and also to do the work of the people of minnesota. as far as the 60 is concerned, 60 is a magic number, but it isn't. we know that we have senators and republicans you're going to vote -- democrats are going to vote with the majority republicans and others.
it is not quite as magical number as people may say. i hope that we do get president obama's agenda through. >> norm, and stopped short of saying who got the most votes. is it a concern of yours? >> i think what you had was 12 judges look at this through the canvassing process, three counts, through the election contests, through the decision in the supreme court. they're all -- i won more votes than anybody else in the election. i think that is conclusive.
it is as transparent and conclusive at this painstaking as possible. they've agreed every step of the way except on some very small things, some procedural things during the recount. >> [unintelligible] what would you want them to know that your the senator? -- to know now that you're the senator? >> one thing i really take away from this is that i won by 312 votes. i really have to earn the trust of the people that did not vote for me. and all of the people of minnesota. and let them know, not just by my saying so, but by my actions
that i am going to be working for every minnesotan. >> are you hiring? [laughter] >> what are your immediate travel plans? >> at a clear going up to their range to do some parades' is my first travel plans. i want to be in washington until early next week. i think the hardest part about this transition is that there is a real difference between getting briefings and what is going on the committee's, and having been there for the markup of the health bill. this really will be catching up. i think is going to be the hardest part of the transition. the hardest part is the stuff you didn't know would be hardest
part. does that make any sense? i hope it does. thank you, everybody. [applause] >> this live event courtesy of kare tv in annapolis. it will give the democrats 60 seats in order to overcome any republican filibuster. you can see statements from al franken and norm coleman in our schedule tonight. general odierno briefed
reporters on the latest military operations in the country today. you can see that it o'clock p.m. eastern time here on c-span. >> this holiday weekend on "book tv." discover an unfamiliar side of our nation's first president with historian and author john ferling. join our 3 our conversation sunday on "in-depth." >> how is c-span funded? >> publicly funded. >> donations may be? >> government? >> the taxes? >> if public funding thing? >> helices been funded? 30 years ago, america's cable companies created sees that as a public service.
a private business initiative, no government mandate, no government money. >> now today's white house briefing. >> i am never going to live that down. did you see the video on the white house website? i wish you could see the look on my face. >> [unintelligible] >> i think there was some editing. >> we want to start with honduras. as the u.s. been in contact with
honduran military leaders? >> i know the state department officials have been in touch with the president. i do not know the extent of the contact with military officials. obviously, there is a special meeting of the oas scheduled for later on this afternoon. >> is there any other acceptable solution? >> not at this point. >> is team meeting today with the state department or anybody in the white house -- is he meeting today with the state department? >> i think if he comes, it he will likely meet with the state department. >> that was partially my question. the first one being, if he does come to washington as he says he would like to do --
>> at this point, he will likely be seen by state department officials. >> secondly, it is not that far, can you give us a little bit of a heads up of what the president wants to achieve? >> let's do that a little bit later. we will do a briefing call on that. we will go through the russia stops, the g-8 -- there is tough on the schedule built around g- 8, but not part of that official program. i think it will be tomorrow afternoon. that is what at -- when they're sort of tentatively holding it. >> can you give us an idea on what he might say? what does this seem like he is downplaying it a little bit?
is there some reason why he does not want to talk to much about it? >> i do not know why the president -- i do not know that that minimizes any way. a think you saw officials that were on the cnn just this week speaking in the form of ray odierno, our commander on the ground. without getting into the semantics of that part of it, the president will discuss this as an important step forward in this process. today, we're handing responsibility to the iraqis for
an increased level of their security situation as well as the responsibility that is clearly going to come with needing to continue to work on an assault our political reconciliation problems. as we get closer to september of next year for the drawdown of our combat troops and the end of 2011 for the later stages of the sofa agreement. i think the president will talk about why it is an important step and why we have to remain vigilant in monitoring the situation and working with the generals and working with all of those involved for political reconciliation.
the reason we're at this point is because of the contributions of our men and women in uniform. >> on that point, does the white house believes the u.s. has won the war in iraq, or has been put in position to win the war? >> without getting into those characterization's, this is an important step forward. it is an important step forward for the iraqis to govern their own nation. it is an important step forward in our ability to ultimately draw down our combat troops and leave iraq in a good situation. all of that has let us invest more resources in afghanistan.
>> is the president declaring victory? >> i would keep the printers from doing anything crazy. >> on security, you talked about americans, but what about the iraqis? >> more importantly, general odierno --is confident in their ability. as he has said over the course of the past few days, it is not surprising that we have seen high-profile incidents in which extremists seek to kill innocent civilians in order for them to try to convince their followers that what is happening today is a result of their actions. obviously, it is not.
we will continue to monitor the situation as i said. at this point, it looks like these are fairly isolated incidents as we have seen the level of violence as a whole continue to decrease across iraq. >> today, the assets of a hong kong company were frozen -- is this likely considered to be a threatening action? is there concern that might be taken as a threatening action by north korea? >> i hesitate for a number of reasons to speak for the north koreans. >> [unintelligible] >> let me characterized some things about north korea. they have stated a lot of bellicose things.
that threatens to do certain things. a lot of times with a threat to do, they follow up on. but this administration, whether it is through sanctions and monitoring of north korea potentially moving any sort of arms out of their country through proliferation, what ambassador rice negotiated in the past at the un security council is part of it. it is also a stepped-up role in ensuring that we're cutting off any potentially harmful financing. in this case, we have been fairly explicit with the north koreans about the responsibilities they entered into that we expect them to live up to. i think today's action demonstrates the seriousness of what we intend to do to address
it. >> was any consideration given to the kind of reactions -- >> obviously, a lot of stuff is factored in. you can assume that we have taken that into account and decided the best thing going forward or the actions taken today and the continued monitoring of what is going on. >> the have any more details on the ambassador's trip? >> we have some stuff from last week that i can get you on some of his stops. >> rather than getting to win or loss, would you describe the mission as a success or failure? >> i know that for political reasons to g--
>> there is progress being made. obviously, the security situation has improved. at the present obama talked about that throughout the year. we're taking important steps on two fronts. our ability to get our own combat troops on, and to give the sovereign nation of iraq war control and more responsibility. we continue to -- let me say this. the administration believes that despite whatever happens today, the situation bears constant monitoring because there may be rough patches ahead. we understand that. the important elections over the course of this year -- and
important steps that need to be taken on the path to political reconciliation -- the promise of today to be met by all iraqis. >> walked to the differences between the administration goes a decision to take a position on paris -- on honduras? dawson that is the statement of the week. i suggest you have your plan come in a little lower and to take a look at maybe 10,000 feet. >> part of the reason -- part of the reason was because we wanted to address rumors that were involved. what was important was, as in
the international community into the oas done, despite whatever political disagreements you might have, there are democratic norms that it should be followed. >> are there any plans to recall the ambassador to washington? >> not at this point, because the administration believes that having him there is important for -- an important player on the ground in seeking an ultimate solution to the problem that we face now. >> been following in the question on the issue of victory or lack thereof, on the issue of iraq, there was a debate.
one said that we will never win. it is the military as well as political issues. is this administration subscribing to that? if so, how could this war be won militarily? >> without getting into whatever agreements or disagreements were had inside the previous administration, i will leave that up to members of the previous administration who are having those arguments still. the president has always said, and said this for the past 2.5 years. there was not only a military solution to the problem. not until there is a political solution to this. obviously, there of the mansions of a political solution to have this country move forward.
>> once the political institution -- the political solution is settled, we could maybe claim victory in iraq? >> i do not know what you call it. we're focused on a stable and secure iraq that is governed by iraqis. we are concerned about getting the brave men and women who have served to or after two were -- tour after tour back on their families. and in accordance with the status of forces agreement that was negotiated and signed with the sovereign nation of iraq. >> when president bush took his nation to war, many people realize their be sacrificed.
years later, the sacrifice is great. one reason was president was elected is because he said that he wanted to pull troops out of iraq. will there be something saying that we want to victory at some point? >> i am not going to get into that except to say that i think the president, on any number of occasions, was asked if the sacrifice of men and women in uniform, some of whom have paid the ultimate price, tens of thousands of whom have been injured, whether it was worth it. it of course it was. >> continuing on iraq, what degree does the president believe the surge played in creating an atmosphere where the emphasis tends to be more on the political than the day-to-day
security? obviously it is an ongoing concern, but ken pollack spent a lot of time looking at iraq and said that 2009 and 2010 are years for huge politics in iraq. what role is there creating an atmosphere -- >> let me give the answer that he probably would give this question when he was asked that more than one year ago. he would say that increasing the number of troops in that country improve the security situation. the surge was to improve the security situation so that the particle-reconciliation could take place. while the security situation has improved, we still have a lot of work to do on the political side
of this equation. i do not know whether 2009 or 2010 or the original years in which that was contemplated, but i do believe that as the president has said and i have said to april, security and military alone was never going to put this in a position of being able to leave the country and make progress. >> k phyllis and? -- can you fill us in. >> the president will oversee the policy and working with general odierno and ambassador hill in working with the iraqis to overcome their political differences in achieving the type of reconciliation that we all understand has yet to fully
take place and needs to. >> what does that mean, over see? how will that change -- >> he spends a fairly decent amount of time with the president. i think the meetings that i have been and in different parts of iraq, the vice president has always been an active participant. given his knowledge of the region, the number of times he has been there, is perfectly suited for this type of role. >> doesn't mean travel, briefing, doesn't mean things he has done publicly like on the stimulus? >> again, what we want to ensure
happens is that as we reach these milestones in these important dates, that we do not forget that work has to be done in to get our troops back and achieved a political reconciliation. this is somebody that can oversee that the white house and make sure that we're making progress towards those goals. >> [unintelligible] is gone. completely gone. >> please saying it is going to be a mediator for different factions? >> i think he will be involved in working with shia, sudi, and kurd. i would be hesitant to use the
word mediator. he is someone who will oversee that we're making progress and our attention on resources are matched by what we see needs to happen. i think that he is well-suited to do that. >> can you tell me if the president did anything extraordinary to be posted on the transition since midnight iraqi time? >> i can check and see if we received anything special, or when the last time he spoke with general of the year no and ambassador hill. they are in fairly good contact. >> back of the hundred issue for one moment if the president came here you will likely meet with the state department. >> i think right now, a lot of this has been done -- state
department officials have been in contact with him already. i am not even sure it is clear that if he comes to this country that his stock will be in washington. >> is there a particular reason why would not be appropriate? >> no. i think the state department is a pretty good extension of our foreign policy. >> the president of the international finance committee said that americans have been promised the bait and switch and got -- had the bases which were we were promised something and got something else.
>> there you go. look, i'll do the same song and dance that i did yesterday. i appreciate the opportunity -- you will keep reminding you do not have a final product. when we get a bit closer to some of that -- i will do this part again, too. hold on. i have been asked this. i've been asked the same question probably every week for the past 10 weeks. the president has laid out what he believes is the best way to pay for health care. it is consistent with everything he said in the campaign. the president has also said that we are early in this process,
and he is going to watch what happens in congress. as i said yesterday, i think what has marked efforts in the past to achieve the reform that is necessary to bring under control the cost of health care is -- lines that cause people to leave the table. everyone is still talking to each other in an effort to move health care reform for word, to do so in a way that is consistent with our principles and our values. that is what the president has said he is most focused on. >> how has it not resulted in the bait and switch? >> how does what not result? >> a different result than he originally promised.
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