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tv   Happening Now  FOX News  December 30, 2011 11:00am-1:00pm EST

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just ahead of the show send us your new year's greeting. text, utext greeting, tex to 36288. the fun begins 11:00 p.m. eastern right here on the fox news channel. >> "happening now" starts right now. bye. jon: good morning to you on this last friday of 2011. i'm jon scott. >> wish you happy new year now. jon: thank you, happy new year to you. >> great to have everyone here. i'm jamie colby in for jenna lee jamie: mitt romney is enlisting popular new jersey governor chris christie to rally last minute support. considering the way the race is shifting every little bit will help.
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jon: the latest nbc news/marist poll puts romney in the lead. newt gingrich tied for fourth after the leading the poll earlier this month. the only major candidate not in iowa is jon huntsman who is focusing all his efforts on the next contest in new hampshire. join be us, paul west, national correspondent for the tribune newspaper group. paul, we should point out many of these iowa voters are still undecided and even today's frontrunner might not see the undecided voters break his or her way, right? >> that's right, jon. probably pen% of the voters go into the caucus tuesday night undecided or persuadable to change their minds. jon: obviously that is part of the caucus process, to stand up and try to convince people that your candidate is the one to vote for. >> exactly. every candidate will have a representative at each of
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the 1774 caucuses and they will make short speeches right before the vote is cast. that could make a difference. jon: there were some interesting things to note in that marist poll we just mentioned. when voters were asked who did they see as the true conservative in the race the numbers for newt gingrich did not come out as strong as they did for some of the other candidates. there are the results. rick santorum comes in number one, 23% as the true conservative. when voters were asked who would do best in a debate against president obama, newt gingrich wins in a landslide with 37%, versus 26% for mitt romney. >> right. jon: then one final question, when voters were asked what does it matter most to you, that your candidate is a true conservative or the best debater against the
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president, the true conservative wins. can you explain that a little bit? >> i think that's what voters here, a lot of voters here are looking for. they're looking for somebody who is in sync with them philosophically. social conservatives, evangelical christians are very important factors as most of your viewers know in iowa. those voters care a lot about a candidate's philosophy. gingrich has been hammered almost nonstop for weeks with negative ads, some of which accuse him of not being a true conservative. jon: and the evangelical vote right now appears to be split in a number of directions. there has been pressure on one or the other of the candidates to get out of the race. that doesn't seem to be going anywhere. >> nobody is going to get out of the race before tuesday night but the biggest thing that one of the biggest things that romney has going for him here is that the evangelicals and the social conservatives who got together behind mike huckabee four years ago are splitting their vote. right now it is a race for third between rick perry and
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santorum and they're basically splitting that vote along with michele bachmann. jon: what happens if ron paul takes it? there are some serious indications that he could. i guess then the fight becomes for second or maybe even third place, huh? >> yeah but third place wouldn't be worth a whole lot here. this race is a lot like the race 12 years ago that george w. bush won. not too many people remember that steve forbes finished second and alan keyes was third. so really first place is very important. second place matters. third place not so much. jon: if ron paul were to win it, mitt romney looks positioned to take second. what does romney fear most about the candidates then nipping at his heels? >> i would say he probably fears rick perry more than any of the others because perry still has the ability, if he can come through here, to raise the kind of money that would be needed to compete against romney. romney has the organization.
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romney has got the money and he is really geared for the long haul. if he wins or if ron paul wednesday here, either one of those outcomes is very good for romney. that is the way it is shaping up right now. jon: well, again worth pointing out polls are not votes and the polls are still fluid. margin of error still up there. so anything can and might happen. paul west. >> exactly. jon: national political correspondent. paul, thank you. for everything related to the iowa caucuses keep it right here. rick has some more details what is coming up. >> reporter: jon, you can get your fox news political fix anytime you want at we have a great politics page with a front row seat to politics at america's election headquarters. we're covering the iowa caucuses wall-to-wall between now and next tuesday when the very first votes in the race for the white house will be cast. our coverage begins on fox news channel beginning at 6:00 p.m. eastern time, live from iowa.
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keep it right here on fox. back over to you guys. jon: and a couple of big political interviews coming up, rick. we have rick santorum coming up at 11:30 eastern time. about 25 minutes from now. newt gingrich will be our guest at 12:45 eastern time. that's about, oh, an hour and 40 minutes from now. stick with us through two hours of "happening now" for those big interviews. jamie: fox news alert for you right now. the iranian government is pushing back against the opposition, blocking a former president's website. check this out. there is some new analysis too poking holes in iran's threat to close the straits of hormuz if the u.s. imposes tough new sanctions which certainly are talked about. this comes as we get some new video of iran's controversial military drills going on in the international waters there. kitty logan is live in london right now. kitty, thanks for joining us. tell us about this response from iran to the state
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department calling iran's threats, irrational. >> reporter: no more words from tehran today but you do see those pictures of this ongoing military exercise which i think is trying to send a clear message. iran there putting all its navy on display, its weaponry, showing the live fire exercises, sending the message this is what we could do. we could close the straits of hormuz should we choose to do so. also apparent surveillance video, surveillance on a u.s. naval craft in the area at the time. this also coming from iranian tv. also iran saying that tomorrow, saturday it will test fire a long-range missile in the gulf. there is certainly tensions still very high, jamie. jamie: this is not the first time that iran has certainly taken a look at this area and thought it could exert some power in that area. why specifically do they want to take control or at least threaten to? >> reporter: well it is debatable if they really
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could take control. the u.s. certainly says it will not tolerate any kind of an attempt by iran to close down shipping in the area. this is a crucial shipping lane for oil. a third of the world's oil shipments pass through there. you can imagine how vital it is but iran is very nervous about potential sanctions which could be imposed upon it because of its ongoing nuclear program and it believes by threatening to close these international waters it could have some kind of leverage over oil prices and therefore take the pressure off for these sanctions to be imposed. certainly the u.s. is saying it will not tolerate any kind of actions. these are international waters which should stay open, jamie. jamie: kitty logan, it would be interesting to see what their capability is. we'll watch for that exercise tomorrow. thanks for the head's up. coming up, captain chuck nash, retired navy captain will tell us about our ships in the area and what their capability is should this escalate, jon. jon: that will be
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interesting. a top taliban commander blamed for killing thousands of shiite muslims who may have played a role in a prison uprising that resulted in the death of a cia officer, could be leaving gitmo and heading back to afghanistan as part of an exchange. fox news is confirming today the obama administration is considering this release as part of an effort to breathe new life into stalled peace talks with the taliban. jennifer griffin is live at the pentagon. jennifer, everybody acknowledges this is high-stakes stuff. what are you hearing? >> reporter: well, it's high-stakes and first we were hearing, we heard vice president joe biden say in recent days that the taliban are not our enemy. that got a lot of attention in kabul. now we can confirm from u.s. officials that the white house is considering the release of mohammed fazal, high-risk detainee at guantanamo bay. he is a taliban commander. he and five taliban commanders who were among the first prisoners at
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guantanamo bay captured shortly after 9/11 back when u.s. forces teamed up with the northern alliance to overthrow the taliban. he is considered high-risk because he is wanted as you mentioned for the murder of hundreds, if not thousands of afghan shiite muzz limbs between 1998 and 2001 as a taliban commander, jon. jon: what about the pentagon and the intelligence community folks? do they think giving this guy back to the afghans is a good idea? >> reporter: well they're pretty tight-lipped here at the pentagon about this certainly officials i've spoken to have serious concerns. right now the spokesman, george little of the pentagon, issued this statement. quote. the united states continues to support an afghan-led process of reconciliation that would end the insurgency. we and the afghan government have been clear about the conditions that would need to be met and they would need to break from al qaeda, abandon vie ends are and abide by the afghan constitution. but the deal is getting attention on capitol hill,
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jon, because it is a political hot potato. he was captured in the prison where cia operative, john my mike span was killed. he was the first u.s. casualty in the war. he is a legend in these halls here in the pentagon. president karzai is not happy about these stalled reconciliation talks. he was not happy it was revealed that the u.s. was encouraging the taliban to open an office in qatar and karzai pulled back from those talks. so now the leak that mohammed fazal would be among those that the u.s. releases from guantanamo bay, that is not likely to give president karzai confidence about this reconciliation process with the taliban. jon? jon: all right. monumental stuff there. jennifer griffin, keep an eye on it. thank you. there is also a new wave of bloodshed in syria to tell you about. hundreds of thousands of protesters flooding the streets there after friday prayers. a live report on that coming up. jamie: plus security is
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already tight in new york city's times square. you can imagine over a million people expected and revelers ringing in the new year will need a warm coat. we'll tell you what you need wherever you're celebrating. we have your foxcast. that is coming up next. ♪ ♪ [ woman ] ♪ what i want this season ♪ if you'd like to try and guess ♪
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♪ it is something very special ♪ i would readily confess [ dogs barking ] ♪ 'cause all i want this season ♪ ♪ is something from your heart ♪ la da da, la da da [ male announcer ] thinking of others this holiday season, travelers.
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jamie: countdown, it has begun. the big new year's eve party right around the corner. look at at crossroads of america, times square in new york city. as we said a million people could be crowding the streets saturday night to watch the ball drop and ring in 2012. what will they need? i'm most worried about megyn kelly and bill hemmer because they're going to be out there braving the temperatures. rick reichmuth standing by, our chief meteorologist in the fox extreme weather
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center. will it be extreme, rick? >> not at all. they will be having such a nice time. people will be there, maybe light jackets because if you're standing out in the cold it does get cold. temps will be in the 40s and it will be dry. this storm seems like it could be ominous. it will move off toward the northeast. so we're not going to worry about that. there is another storm across the west in parts of the northern plains and maybe in towards the great lakes again. overall look what happens in the futurecast as we move forward over the next day. this storm moves on out. that storm pulls into the northern rockies and eventually here into the northern plains but by the time we get to around midnight on saturday night the northeast, you're fine. maybe places like minneapolis having a little bit of snow, green bay. a few light showers towards new orleans. overall we're looking really good. temperatures will not be bad either. we'll be clear and nice along the south. a very nice evening if you're in key west or if you're in atlanta. d.c., you're good. new york, i think you're
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good. that only real trouble spot is across the far northern plains. get ready, some cold air is coming in for monday and tuesday. we'll start the new year feeling like winter for a lot of people which we have not really had. we'll get through new year's eve really nice. jamie: rick, you've done a great job. >> thank you. unless you want to ski. jamie: happy new year. >> you too. jon: you said the celebration is just around the corner. literally it is, couple hundred yards. times square. no matter where you are on new year's eve the best party will be here on the fox news channel. rick has your invitation. rick? >> reporter: the weather doesn't matter if you're comfy at home watching us on tv. bill and megyn live beginning at 11:00 p.m. eastern time on saturday night. so be sure to tune in. and you could actually have your new year's greeting show up on the tv screen live during the show. text your messages to utext and put in a space and greeting to the number 36288. if you are headed outside
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and need to know the weather, go to you can put in your city or zip code to get your forecast in case you're headed out on new year's eve anytime to get the latest forecast. jon: all right, rick. check in with you later. thanks. jamie: thanks so much. more blood on the street in syria. hundreds of thousands of protesters are defying the regime there while the arab league is supposedly working to end that violence. there is also controversy swirling in florida as some killers it turns out are protected by law. we're talking about these. they're sharks. we've got a live report coming up.
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jon: a fox news alert. arson squad in california
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right now are looking for a common thread in a string of overnight fires in hollywood. firefighters believe someone set nearly a dozen fires intentionally. cars and other property damaged, including the former home of singer jim morrison. live from fox affiliate kttv. gigi. >> reporter: good morning, jon. good morning, everybody. the number of fires has actually gone up to 19 now. everyone from the l.a.p.d. to all of our local fire agencies are on high alert after this string of arson fires throughout the night. let's look at some video shot just after midnight when the fires started from the heart of hollywood to the hills of hollywood and through the city the fires started and have not stopped or did not stop until 6:00 this morning. even the homeof jim morrison of the doors was hit where he once lived, as police think an arsonist or
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maybe even worse, a team of arsonists set fire after fire, putting dozens of lives in danger. >> three of those fires did communicate into structures. very dangerous fires. these can certainly lead to loss of life, injury. so we're very concerned about it. we will be working with all of the allied agencies today. los angeles fire department, police department, the county of los angeles fire department and the sheriffs department to put together a plan for deployment to insure the hollywood community's safe. >> reporter: arson investigators have spread out through hollywood checking for clues leading to this arsonist. this is the second night in a row that hollywood has been hit by arson fires but yesterday two suspects were taken into custody. so police say they don't know who they're looking for right now. they hope somebody will come forward with information. but everyone here on high
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alert tonight. that is the latest. we're live in hollywood. we'll send it back to you. jon: scary. thank you, gigi. jamie: jon, libya is working to establish its post-qaddafi government and there are some disturbing reports today that al qaeda jihadists are on the ground there and they are working to recruit new members. they may even have as many as several hundred already. what could this mean for the future stability of the region? peter newman is a terrorism analyst with the kings college of london. he is also the former of director of the center of defense studies. peter. jon: thanks for being here. >> thank you. jamie: this is disturbing story that jihadists are moving in to al qaeda anywhere. why is this tick larly significant in libya? >> it is significant in libya, traditionally al qaeda had a lot of people coming from libya. a lot of people from the east of the country. those people that were involved in the revolution
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this year had previous affiliations with jihadists, with al qaeda. if al qaeda now moves in it has a lot of connections there. should also be remembered that al qaeda thrives in this sort of chaotic situation as we've seen in yemen, somalia and libya. this is a new opportunity for them to take advantage of. jamie: what can we do about it? >> well right now libya has a government but that government is very, very weak. what matters now in libya is gun, men and money and the government doesn't have any of these things. what is very important that the government in libya is able to construct a proper army to integrate the militias and can establish some sense of order. they haven't been able to do that. they have to do that. for that they have to get some of the money that qaddafi stole from the libyan people and still frozen in bank accounts all across the world. jamie: interestingly in my researching this i found that qaddafi somewhat suppressed these efforts of al qaeda moving in.
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is it that he's gone that they're able to stoke it a bit and get these organization of recruitment back on track for them? >> well, to some extent it is of course. qaddafi didn't tolerate anyone rivaling his power. so he would stamp down any effort from anyone including al qaeda. right now when what you have in libya is chaotic situation. you have dozens of militia. everyone with a gun can do his own thing. you need to re-establish some sort of order in order to counter al qaeda. that hasn't happened so far. jamie: i know it is something that our government must be taking a look at, trying to figure out. we certainly hope so. let me switch gears for a second because jennifer griffin was reporting a top taliban operative associated with some of the worst incidents that happened may be released by the u.s. government in an effort to put peace talks with the taliban back together. how do you think hamid karzai feels about this? >> well, it's very
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well-known he is not interested in having some sort of peace deal with the taliban and that he is opposing these efforts. that makes it more difficult. that said it is very, very difficult to know what is going on the ground. if this is true and this is some sort of an attempt to secure a peace deal the americans better make sure they get something in return. if they don't get anything in return, if this is just some sort of speculative release, i don't see the point of it. jamie: can you explain to our viewers and to me as well, if he were released would he be released freely, he is not tracked, he is not followed? he wouldn't have to say he no longer wants to be with the taliban? what would we ask of him? >> well right now what i'm reading he would be released into some form of other custody so he would still be in custody. the question is would that be in afghan custody in which case he might be going
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free very quickly or would that be american custody which would make it a little safer? we don't have the details that makes it a bit difficult to comment on it right now. jamie: let me ask you how concerned are you on the potential of this? my understanding president obama may present a proposal that the military should have more of a say in what happens to these taliban or other detainees that are released for purposes of trying to pursue peace. who's responsibility do you think it should be to make the final decision? >> i think in principle it is right for commanders on the ground to determine whether someone still represents a threat. however, when it comes to peace deals and when it comes to peace negotiations, clearly there is political element coming into it. and that is where the government should be involved. i ultimately i do think that they need to get the afghan government on their side as well. if you're doing this against the afghan government it is bound to fail. they're trying to do it
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against the afghan government. i don't see what this will lead to. jamie: peter, thank you. >> thank you. jamie: jon? jon: take a look at syria where anti-government protests continue to be deadly despite the presence of arab league monitors there to discourage violence. we're getting reports of hundreds of thousands are pouring into the syrian streets. a live report on that straight ahead. and gop candidates stumping hard in iowa. the caucuses just four days away. rick santorum is rising in the polls. hopes a good showing in that state will give him a further boost. >> that's what's at stake in this election. basic values of this country. freedom. whether we're going to be a country that believes in free people or we're going to believe in politicians to do what is best for us. do not settle for someone who the media says that can win.
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jon: former senator rick santorum joins us live from des moines next
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jamie: we have all seen the rice and fall in the polls for so many of the 2012 republican presidential
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hopefuls. with the iowa caucuses just four days away it is rick santorum's turn. check out the new nbc/marist poll. sang tore rum gaining 8 percentage points in the last month surging to third place. the "real clear politics" average of eyewall polls hasan tore rum third tied with one-time iowa front-runner newt gingrich. joining us gop candidate and former pennsylvania senator rick san tore rum. good to see you. >> good to be with you, jamie. jamie: let me get into. you have had the surge the like you to tell me what it is due to. i want to ask about the ron paul factor. he is showing tremendous confidence in his ability in iowa. what differentiates you from ron paul? >> ron paul is in the dennis kucinich wing of the democratic party when it comes to national security and that is not a particular good contrast for us coming into the general election. have ron paul who, anyone,
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in fact i have said his pledge day one to withdraw all of our troops. we have this issue with the straits of hormuz. under ron paul the fifth fleet wouldn't be there. they would come home. and iran would control oil flow in this country. t wouldn't be in the south pacific and china would control that entire region of the world. this is the dangerous thing that ron paul presents. it is one of the reasons that a lot of iowans in the last week or so are starting to take a look at that and starting to look at a leader, someone with experience, someone who understands the issues and the threats that face us and i'm the candidate has the most experience. i served eight years on the armed services committee. i championed two pieces of major legislation through the united states senate on syria and iran. that is one of reasons that is helping us surge. jamie: let me jump to the economy and let me ask you. what is the number one measure you would bring to the white house that would turn the economy around? >> well the first thing we have to do is repeal
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obamacare. there is nothing that will hurt this economy more than having obamacare implemented that would job one, to repeal that. job two, pass an aggressive pro-growth plan that includes regulatory reform. i already pledged to repeal every obama regulation that costs the government, excuse me, cost businesses over $100 million. the after ran under -- average under bush and clinton was 60 of those type of regulations every year. under president obama we're approaching 150 of those regulations alone. he is crushing american business and destroying this economy. jamie: what would you do, senator? >> i would repeal those regulations. jamie: that would be your number one economic priority? >> it would be something i could do right away. you're asking me what i can do right away. that is something i can do right away. second, i would put forth as i mentioned a strong pro-growth plan. our plan uniquely focuses into the manufacturing sector of the economy. cut tax, eliminate manufacturers for processors
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and corporate tax of 35% tax reduction would bring jobs back to this country to small.america that would be a big part of our plan. jamie: i will move to the middle east. tensions are high. peace negotiations seem to be at a standstill between israel and the palestinians. what would you do, could you bring both sides to the table? could you establish peace in that area? >> i think the best way to establish peace is to be a strong and unequivocal friend of the state of israel. and show that we are not going to be there to force israel into a deal that allows the palestinians to think that they can get more than what frankly they should be able to get under these circumstances and that is what president obama has done. he has given the palestinians the idea that they can hold out for something more than they actually should be getting in this process. he has put israel in a position where they can't, they can't move.
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that's why this president has done more to undermine the security of the state of israel than any president since that state has been established. i will stand with israel. i will make sure we get an agreement that is right for that region and specifically right for our ally israel. jamie: senator, thank you. i want to ask but the military. then i have to ask you about new hampshire. how would you deal with the defense cuts that are already in place and future ture ones that may come and still maintain the fierce fighting force that we need? >> i've said that i'm going to cut 5 trillion dollars over the next five years out of the budget but i will not cut the defense budget top-line number about. the number one priority of the federal government is national security. 50 years ago we spent 60% of the federal dollars on defense. it is now 20%. defense spending is not the problem in washington d.c. it is in fact the one thing the federal government can do no one else can do. we will fully fund and if
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anything strengthen the military under my administration. jamie: you have the surge in iowa that you're enjoying currently. previously michele bachmann had a little bit of a bump. then rick perry when he joined in. newt gingrich. now it's rick santorum's moment so to speak and one of the reasons i imagine is because you've spent so much time in iowa. you and your family basically headquartering there but let's face it, new hampshire is next and it is fast-approaching. let's look at this "real clear politics" poll of new hampshire and you're not seeing the kinds of numbers that you are. here's the top four, that you are in iowa. how can you keep the momentum going with so little time left before new hampshire? >> if you looked at the "real clear politics" poll 10 days ago in iowa, you would have seen the same thing that you're seeing in new hampshire right now. you know, we have done the homework in new hampshire too. i've been there over 30 times. i think i spent more time
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there than the two guys that live there. we've done hundreds of town hall meetings there. we've got our offices in bedford. it is packed with people making phone calls. we've got great strength there, just like we have here in iowa just like in iowa when people come down to making decisions just like what happened here in iowa, people moved in our direction because we're the candidate with the best vision, the candidate that is strong, consistent conservative and the one most electable to be able to defeat barack obama in the swing states we need to win and i think iowans and now subsequently new hampshire will move in our direction late, just what happened here in iowa. jamie: former senator rick santorum, presidential candidate in iowa. thanks for joining us today. good to see you. >> well, thank you very much, jamie. you can help us at ricksantoru ricksantorum.many could. pitch in and help us out. jamie: thank you. fox is your election headquarters the only place you need to be as we speed toward the iowa caucuses. north candidate looking for a strong finish there, newt
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gingrich, former house speaker. we'll talk to him in the next half hour of "happening now". jon: newt gingrich and all the candidates are pushing ahead for the caucuses. the interesting thing is this though, iowa is faring better than most other states during the great recession and its aftermath. the jobless rate in iowa, currently 5.7%. it is much lower than the national unemployment rate which stands at 8.6%. let's bring in paul gigot, the editorial page editor of "the wall street journal." despite the fact that a lame economy is not perhaps the most or not seem to be the most pressing issue in iowa it is still very important to iowa voters. >> it is. iowa voters will actually put the economy as their number one concern. notwithstanding the fact as you say the jobless rate is lower there and because of the strong commodity prices that they're seeing in corn and soybeans, a strong
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exports and that helps with manufacturing that serves the farm economy too. but nonetheless iowans are putting their economy into the largest context of the overall american economy. on that front they're still very concerned and still put it number one. jon: so things are looking pretty good there but they have concerns about the nation as a whole? >> relatively good. still not happy days are here again. 5.7% unemployment still is not great but still obviously better than the national. jon: the candidates are able to because so many much of the nation's attention is focused on what they say in iowa they're able to use it as a meg -- megaphone to speak to the larger issues. >> sure. newt gingrich has taken beating from negative ads from mitt romney's super pac and ron paul. he is trying to use the economic growth theme to come back. he is stressing a tax plan and contrast against mitt romney's more cautious tax proposals. he is trying to use that to get ahead, for example. jon: he is you can talking
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about the contract with america and balanced budgets and so forth under the clinton administration. >> pointing out to that track record and saying look, i can deliver but mitt romney is also using the economic message. his is more personal, biographical. saying i'm a businessman. i know how to create jobs. obama is just a man of government, he doesn't. he has his 59 proposals. so the economy is still, i think, the dominant theme and will be throughout this election unless we get some foreign policy flare-up. jon: even in iowa? >> even in iowa. jon: again, it harkens back to bill clinton's war room slogan supposedly pinned up on the wall. it is the economy, stupid. >> if barack obama can persuade people next year that the economy is on the upturn and saved it from depression and republicans don't have better answers he could still win. jon: there are indication that the economy is in the upswing, right? >> it popped up in fourth quarter but again relative terms. jon: paul gigot from "the
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wall street journal." catch him hosting the "journal editorial report" saturday 2:00 p.m. eastern. after that check out "fox news watch." we cover the could have krage of all the big week's news stories. jamie: cold war space race between between united states and russia. now the u.s. is facing new competition up in the skies. coming up we'll tell you who it is. ♪ are you receiving a payout from a legal settlement or annuity over 10 or even 20 years? call imperial structured settlements. the experts at imperial can convert your long-term payout into a lump sum of cash today.
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jamie: fox news alert. the situation hasn't got eni better. massive and deadly demonstrations are going on in syria following friday prayers. there are hundreds of thousands of protesters that have filled the streets answering the calls of syria's opposition leaders. despite the presence of arab league monitors.
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leland vittert live in jerusalem and monitoring all the developments there. leland, what is the latest? >> reporter: seems like, jamie, today we saw the largest protests in the streets on syria in last couple months. video is when you realize how many people are risking their lives when the president end his regime. a number of people did indeed gave their lives. latest death toll is north of 30 and that number could go significantly higher. seems like the violence at least is getting worse, not better since the syrian government promised to end their bloody crackdown and allow observers in to try to take a little bit of the heat off these protesters and also monitor that promise to end the violence. the protesters are learning from how their brethren have gotten killed though. they now have lookouts to check and see where government snipers are on the roof top and try to hold back the various demonstrations before they
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walk into these streets that have become virtual shooting galleries there inside syria. there is another piece of video we found i want you to take a look at. this was shot by a man through a peephole looking out at syrian soldiers who were marching down the street. they shout out their allegiance to president assad and then start firing randomly. almost a calf valley charge down the street at the protesters on the other end. you have to think about though, the guy behind the lens was risking his life in order to get these pictures out to the world. it is a pretty impressive amount of dedication on their part considering what will happen to them if they're caught. jamie, back to you. jamie: leland vittert live for us in jerusalem. leland of the, keep us posted. jon: right now nasa is making final preparations to send satellites around the moon. the gravity recovery and interior laboratory mission launched in september. the plan it would provide in depth information on our
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moon and what it is made of but it comes at a time when china is moving a aggressively into space. china announcing an ambitious five-year plan that includes a space laboratory and a landing on the moon. so are we entering into a new space race? with us now, cory powell, discover magazine editor-in-chief. start with what the u.s. is doing right now. this grail project, cory. what is it all about? >> it is a pretty cool mission. the idea, essentially like a giant x-ray device to see what the inside of the moon looks like. the goal is to understand the origin of the moon. how the moon and earth form together and evolve together. actually using gravity to probe what the moon looks like from the top all the way down to the center. jon: i guess it is relatively cheap in dollar terms? >> yeah. i mean it's, you know, when you throw out the numbers, it is a major mission. nasa has been working on a number of years. the total cost is about $500
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million. to put that into perspective, spread out over a number of years and if you did the apollo missions, the manned missions in today's dollars that would be $200 billion would be about 400 times as much. so when you send robots to do the work for you, yeah, you save a lot of money that way. jon: the chinese just announced, i think it was yesterday, that they have got this five-year plan to reach the moon. should the united states be concerned? >> well i think, i mean it raises a couple of interesting questions. i mean the chinese, they're not stupid. they're methodical about this they see there are scientific and technological and military reasons to be doing this i think it raises a real request why the united states is retreating at a time when china is advancing? what, i mean what it tells you not so much that we need to be afraid of any particular specific thing they're doing but i think we need to be afraid of the fact that the chinese have a
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methodical strategy of how to develop this kind of technology. they see the engineering potential. they see the scientific and military potential and traditionally the united states has been very strong there. now we're voluntarily giving up that lead. jon: yeah. the u.s. study of engineering and science in schools and so forth getting weak, or so it would seem. corey, thanks very much. >> well, it's, an interesting question of priorities. jon: we just lost our link to corey. thanks very much, corey powell from discover magazine. jamie: do you like the ocean, jon? jon: i like the ocean. jamie: do you like sharks? jon: yes i dived with sharks before. jamie: they are fierce predators of the deep for some unlucky swimmers. nevertheless, a state is enacting a new law to protect them. will it put humans in danger? that is a tease. how about the bubbly flowing this new year's eve? do you think there is a city that is ranked the most
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drunk? we'll give you a run-down of the top five. please drink responsibly. that's next. ♪ .
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jamie: "happening now", there is a new effort underway to protect the ocean's predators, at least some of them. they are very specific. florida is becomings first state in the nation to make it a crime catching and kill two types of sharks, the always pretty hammerhead and tiger sharks. phil keating live in miami. why did those two get spared, phil? >> reporter: well, those are the two right now whose populations numbers are showing real signs of dramatic decline over the past several decades. the population numbers for
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tiger sharks have dropped according to scientists 65% and sore certain species of hammerheads, 98%. so scientists in the state of florida decided those sharks need to be saved. when you come out to the beach you're all about the sunshine, the sand and the surf. but who doesn't think a little bit about, is there a shark nearby when i'm out in the water? the state of florida wants to make sure there are more sharks out in that water. this hammerhead shark hooked just a couple miles off the miami coastline. grew to 15 feet, 300 pound, and fought to its death for two hours. >> one of the last people to do it. like anything else, right, if you go down in history it is always good. >> reporter: historic because beginning in 2012 it is against the law to kill hammerheads and tiger sharks in florida. florida state waters extend three miles from shore. now it will still be legal to catch the tiger and
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hammerheads but then you're faced with the danger finger protecting challenge of removing the hook. the florida's wildlife commission says as scary as they may seem the sharks need our help. their numbers are declining drastically. >> they're the top predator. they are very important to have those out there. keeps everything in check and you don't have any one particular species exploding because they don't have a predator. >> reporter: mark the shark make as living taking tourists out to catch what he calls a monster. >> bait is going out, captain. >> reporter: he fears his business is getting bit. >> all you have to do is shut the commercial industry down, the sharks will be fine forever and ever. simple mathematics. >> reporter: the commercial industry mark the shark refers to, he had his name changed legally to mark the shark, it is on his credit card, when you have the huge fishing vessels, commercial industry throw out long, long nets looking fortuna
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and other things to serve up on your dinner plate, that's what a lot of these sharks are being caught up accidentally. there is also the asian trade in illegal shark fin soup. that is also an issue as well. that's why the sport fishermen along the florida coastal waters say, we're not the problem. that is where the problem is. either way it is the law starting next year, next week. jamie: we report. our folks can decide. thanks so much. take care, phil. happy new year. >> reporter: bye. jon: speaking of the new year, get ready to break out the bubbly wherever you're ringing in 2012 chances are drinks will be flowing. some cities are known for partying all year-round. the list of america's drunkest cities is out. rick folbaum here with that. >> reporter: this is a list put together by "the daily beast", the online magazine. they came up with it by studying market research data for over 200 cities. they calculated average number of drinks per person, per month in each city.
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they even looked at alcohol related research done at centers for disease control. only if they put this amount of effort to world peace. anyway hear is the list they came up with. san antonio taking number five spot. the average resident has 14.2 drinks per month. that number slightly higher in reno, nevada which came in fourth. milwaukee, came in third. 16 drinks a month on average for average adult. two massachusetts cities taking the top spot. springfield home of the basketball hall of fame and evidently a lot of bars, coming in second. and boston where the baseball players reportedly drink in the duggout during games. boston taking this year's title as america's drunkest city. you may have noticed one noticeable exception, vegas. sin city making the list but not cracking top 10. coming in at 14. maybe a new year's resolution for vegas to try harder. same for new york city which didn't make the list at all. jon: unbelievable. rick folbaum, thanks. jamie: coming up newt
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gingrich looking for a strong showing in iowa. he may no longer be the frontrunner in the polls. what is his message for the caucus-goers in the final days? we'll ask him. newt gingrich joins us live next [ male announcer ] you have plans... moments you're looking forward to... what if they were stolen from you? by alzheimer's. this cruel disease costs americans more than $180 billion a year, and could cripple medicare in the near future. the alzheimer's association is taking action, and has been a part of every major advancement.
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jaime: they are anxious in iowa, the crowds growing. they are having a last look at the candidates. i'm jaime colby in for jenna today. jon: i'm jon scott. welcome to the second all new hour of "happening now." the candidates are out in force across iowa, six republicans running for president are rolling across the state holding rallies, meeting with supporters, in all kinds of venues, meeting as many folks as they can, from country stores to diners to bowling alleys. a color code for each candidate
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detailing their routes today. most of those candidates ending the day in des moines in the center or souix city in the west. loving it all our campaign correspondent carl cameron is live. sounds like a big crowd showing up for the frontrunner. >> reporter: it was in a parking lot of a center, drizzling, a thousand people showing up for ropbl rom. mitt romney. if you're a politics lover there are about 20 opportunities to see candidates, who are crisscrossing the states. mitt romney has all the signs of abg frontrunner. he's back in the lead, albeit within the margin of error ahead of ron paul. romney is well positioned, assuming that the organization that he built four years ago when he first ran in iowa is in
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the shape that his aids say it is, and that the beating that ron paul has taken from most of his rivals over the last few days has begun to erode the texas congressman's momentum. we are getting awfully close. as we talk about the last four days there is a little thing in the way here. the new year's eve three-day weekend makes it difficult for the candidates to reach caucus goers. there are bowl football games. we'll be heading out of here in des moines to go up to ames. rick santorum is doing a forum and we'll go see him. he has been something of a cyclone in the polls and the momentum game, surging in the polls. you see it with the crowds and the buzz he's generated as well. jon: we spoke with him, jaime did the last hour, he seems to have the big momentum moving his
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way. is this really his weekend to peak? >> reporter: every single republican candidate who has campaigned in iowa, largely against mitt romney tph-p in many cases has had their opportunity. you can't argue with rick santorum's timing come to a crest and peeking in the polls as he does. it's late. whether he can climb to third or even second-place in the polls we'll have to see in a couple of days. he got a big boost overnight. an organization that helped mike huckabee four years ago and created a mailing list of some 420,000 potential huckabee supporters here in iowa has begun to lend its support and information to rick santorum. coming as it does in the final three or four days, the rick santorum forces will be able to make literally tens of thousands of phone calls to potential iowa caucus goers. they will be watching bowl games
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and the ball drop, but these are people who watch politics, it will be an interesting time. jon: thank you. jaime: throughout the election cycle we have seen various candidates rise and fall in the polls. our next guest says for some voters who keep changing their minds it's not about who they are for, it's what they are against. he calls it the republican party protest vote. daniel henninger is deputy editor of the "wall street journal." describe for me, what is the protest vote? >> reporter: i believ >> i believe the protest vote began at the end of the second bush term when george w. bush went on a spending spree and republicans started to react against it. it came to a head in the november 2010 election when voters returned control of the house of representatives to the republicans and there was a republican sweep at every level of government out in the states. the message was that people had
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finally decided that the level, the upward trend of public spending, federal spending, and the long-term commitments, entitlement commitments were a direct threat to their well-being. i believe the force has been in play in iowa since at least this summer. as carl cameron was pointing out, every one of these candidates has had their moment. michelle bachmann and then it was herman cain, rick perry, newt gingrich have all risen to challenge mitt romney out there. and now it's ron paul. i grant that all these people have their fan clubs. ron paul has extremely ardent supporters. the election threat has been movintheee has moved from one candidate to another, and has negative implications for mitt romney. jaime: ron paul, his record in congress, say he comes out in
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the number three position, who knows he could take iowa, we don't know, we'll have to wait and see, what will be more important to voters overall, his congressional record or whether he wins, places or shows in iowa? >> i think the most important thing for voters with ron paul is his consist tans, his anti-government spending consistency. ron paul is clearly a small-government republican, and that appeals to a lot of people right now. i think they are looking past say his foreign policy views, the isolationist views. it could take him to a victory in iowa. i doubt very much, jaime that he's going to get too much beyond iowa. if he took those views on the united states role in the world or iran and nuclear capability to south carolina or florida i don't think it's going to play very well down there. jaime: why not, if the iowa caucus voters who take this very seriously find that he has what they believe it takes to change the country in a direction they
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are looking for, why wouldn't other voters feel the same? >> i just think the national security, and the u.s. role in the world is more important in the south than it is in places like iowa, or new england. i think he'd have a hard time sustaining that small-government message. i will say this. i'm glad he's doing it, i'm glad that newt gingrich is this week attacking mitt romney on tax policy, representing himself, gingrich as a true supply sider, because i think probably romney is going to win in iowa. if he does win there he probably has the nam nation locked up. it's hard to see anyone challenging him. but mitt romney is going to need to be under a lot of pressure over the next six months to sharpen himself for a race against an incumbent president. jaime: it started out as a very friendly race and then the candidates started to attack each other. if mitt romney doesn't come out on top and say ron paul, or rick
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santorum does very, very well there, which wasn't expected initially, then how down and dirty do you think it could get as we move toward new hampshire, and is that necessary for someone else to take the top spot ultimately? >> i think it would incentavise to attack the other candidates. romney says he will reduce the corporate rate from 35 to 25. newt gingrich says it's ten points higher than canned canada. romney does have vulnerabilities. one of the down sides for republicans is by the time romney gets to the nomination in the middle of the summer he will have been so hammered by his own republican party members that people, independents and centrists democrats who he is appealing to may begin to have doubts about him. he needs to reach out to the ron paul voters and rick santorum
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voters and try to give them reason to come in his direction before he loses them. jaime: interesting strategy, daniel, thanks, nice to see you. heading into tuesday's iowa caucus you can get your complete guide to all the gop candidates and it's right there for you, where they stand at your front row seat. it's right on politics, don't miss our special coverage, it starts this tuesday beginning at 6:00pm eastern only on the fox news channel, definitely the place to be. jon: it sure is. and a new lawsuit aims to get newt gingrich on virginia's primary ballot a week after he was shutout after filling to get the required signatures. gingrich, though, isn't the one filing that suit. peter doocy has more. >> reporter: it was filed by a lawyer, in suburban d.c. his website advertises health with dwi cases and bad checks and all felonies but murder. he filed a suit on his own in
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richmond, yesterday, without the help or the endorsement with the gingrich campaign by trying to get his name on the ballot with all of this is signatures. he says since gingrich got over ten thousand signatures he should be on the ballot. he hopes that the gingrich campaign will take over, or at least join the suit. he says their connection would add a lot of weight to it. in his estimation, many gingrich signatures were unfairly disqualified, and that is what the suit is aiming to amend. the attorney says he signed the initial gingrich petition and he wants to make sure his signature was counted the right way along with everybody else's. even though the gingrich campaign has not officially said anything to him about this legal action, he says many, many gingrich volunteers have expressed their support of this suit. speaking of support he says would he have liked to have filed a similar suit on behalf of congresswoman michelle bachmann but that she is not in a position to get on the gop primary ballot in virginia even
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if a court were to rule in her favor because she doesn't have nearly enough signatures. as this gingrich supporters is trying to use his own legal expertise to help the cause of the candidate that he likes, gingrich is trying to help himself as well urging the virginia state legislature to change their state law so he can mount a write-in campaign for the primary. and also gingrich is considering jumping on rick perry's lawsuit to get on the ballot. the arguments will be heard on january 13th in richmond. jon. jon: we'll be asking the candidate about that from the campaign trail right to our air, newt gingrich comes up live 30 minutes from now, 12:45 eastern time. you'll be wanting to join us for that. jaime: for sure. president obama made big promises on the campaign trail and even bigger plans once he got into office. now three years into his presidency the obama administration has failed to follow through on parts of its agenda. we're going to tell you there.
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that is a live report that is coming up in three minutes. plus the north korean dictator kim jong-il may be gone, but that is not stopping the regime from issuing a warning to the world. the latest details straight ahead. are you receiving a payout from a legal settlement or annuity over 10 or even 20 years? call imperial structured settlements. the experts at imperial can convert your long-term payout into a lump sum of cash today. carol. fiber makes me sad. oh common. and how can you talk to me about fiber while you are eating a candy bar?
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jaime: life or death drama in russia. there are still crew members aboard a nuclear submarine, although a fire that engulfed the sub has been extinguished. rick folbaum is at our news desk. how is everybody doing. >> reporter: we are not sure, a dangerous situation, the fire on the nuclear sub began yesterday. it was in dry dock getting repair work done and the flames started on wooding scaffolding that was being used by workers. it quickly spread to the rubber coating on the outside of the vessel. we have just been told within the last hour or so the fire is finally out. the russian military says the
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sub's reactor was shut down and luckily the 16 nuclear-tipped missiles that the submarine usually carries had been unloaded as the repair work was going on. they weren't near the fire. as for the crew there are still a number o an unknown number on board. seven have been taken to the hospital for inhaling carbon monoxide. no radiation leak according to the russian military. as we learn more about the situation we'll pass it on to you. jaime: all right, rick, we'll get back to you, thanks. jon: remember, three years ago his campaign was all about change, and throughout his presidency the obama administration promised action on many key issues. but days away from the first contest of 2012 the white house still hasn't achieved some of its stated ambitious goals. doug is traveling with the president live in honolulu right
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now. doug. >> reporter: good morning, jon. the president is certainly thinking about what is ahead in 2012 but also is carrying over agenda items left over from 2011 starting for instance with immigration reform. this is something the president has spoken about before, he has promised action on this. so far we haven't seen a whole lot on that. another issue the president has spoken about, gun control, some kind of comprehensive solution there. we'll be reminded about this early in january, the anniversary of the shooting of congresswoman gabby giffords. way house in july white house spokesman promised that something would happen soon. >> that process is well underway at the department of justice with stake holders on all sides working on these complex issues. we expect to have specific announcements in the near future. >> reporter: something else the white house will admit is a work in progress, green energy jobs. at one point the president talked about creating 5 million
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or so. they are obviously not up to that number yet. we don't know what the exact number is, the bureau of labor statistics will spend part of 2012 trying to determine how many jobs have actually been created. a long the way we saw solyndra happen, the taxpayer funded company that went out of business, the green energy company. the white house will point to have victories in 2011, pulling u.s. troops out of iraq and the year-ended with the president signing that payroll tax holiday extension. jon. jon: and then there was closing guantanamo bay, that was going to be one of the president's first priorities, that is still open. >> reporter: still on the to do list. jon: thank you. jaime: at this hour there is a tense standoff going off in the persian gulf, iran boasting it can shut down a key passageway for the world's oil. can they? i habe a cohd.
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jon: right now, north corey ace not softening its stance after the death of dictator kim jong-il, the come admonition country saying it will never deal with the south's president. it says it's uniting around kim's successor kim jong un. the north also complaining south korea row fuse towed let enough of its citizens pay respect to the late kim. the strong words out of the secretive state following two days ofee lab brat ceremonies honoring kim and the state-controlled media portraying his son as supreme leader. jaime: iran raising the stakes in its bitter battle with the u.s. threatening to block oil in the strait of hormuz. it says it will fire long range
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missiles tomorrow. captain chuck nash is a military analyst. thank you for being here. >> thank you, jaime. jaime: we wonder what the fifth fleet's capability is and what they could be called into action to do. >> absolutely the fifth fleet naval commander central command is a personal friend, mark fox. he's a terrific war fighter, smart guy. he's probably taken a turn on the rules of engagement that he has out to his troops. right now you've got the carrier battle group stenus over there, mobile bay which is a cruiser, and probably, the navy keeps this very classified, probably some submarines. admiral fox has everything that he needs to reopen the strait. jaime: to do what. >> to reopen the strait if they close it and let the iranians
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know if they try something like that, it's going to go bad for them. their smaller forces will be pressed back into the beaches and it could be the event that precipitates the iranian regime itself. a lot of this is sabr erat link. jaime: iran's top navy commander on state tv says closing the strait of hormuz is easier than drinking a glass of water. true or false for them. i know we are there, but is that sabr erat link? >> they could close the straits and it would be fifth fleet's job to reopen them. they could close them and mine the straits therbgs could use antiship missiles fired from shore, they could use small boats in swarms coming out and firing on ships. the mining as you'll remember back in the iran-iraq war they
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mined the iranians did the persian gulf and that led to an operation that the u.s. navy conducted called praying mantis which destroyed most of the large ships in the iranian navy and shoved them back into the shoreline. there's been experience on both sides, both sides have learned lessons over the year in figuring out they they would do it next time. we have been tracking this for decades. jaime: you mentioned the force that is in the area and capability of what we can do and lessons learned. how about the lessons learned when you look at the royal navy some 50 years ago and you talk about budget cuts that we are facing right now. from what i understand, a well written editorial today in the "new york post," one out of every five active u.s. warships could end up on the beach based on some of the cuts that are being talked about for our military. what are your thoughts? >> the navy has taken it in the shorts, so to speak over the
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last several years because the iraq and afghanistan have been predominantly ground campaigns. the army and the marine corps have taken the lion's share of the budget. the air force and navy about been running behind on that. as we look to the future that is going to be a national decision based on a national military strategy an on where we want to go. budgets are coming down, everybody is talking about this. we are going to be laying up some ships. part of that is kind of self-induced, if you look at cost overruns and things that occur in ship building. so we are going to have to take a real hard turn on this. and the defense budget is going to be part of what -- part of the cuts that are coming. jaime: quickly before we go. if they do these long-range missile exercises tomorrow could that be a game changer for the focus that the navy gets budget tear lee? >> budget tear lee.
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>> i don't think so. i think if they launch those things we'll learn more about them and gain some valuable intelligence from it. jaime: we'll pay attention to them. i'm on the edge of my seat waiting to see what happens. they are not all that successful at it. we'll have to wait and see. captain nash, always good to talk to you, sir, we appreciate your time. >> my pless stphaour a new program to help veterans go from combat to college putting them on the right track for a battle for a job, this after serving on the front lines. testick around for newt gingrich. we will talk to the presidential candidate live "happening now" in about 20 minutes.
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jamie: welcome back, everybody. evangelical christians are a key voting bloc in iowa. they make up more than half of the state's republicans but with only four days left before the caucuses they have yet to rally around a single candidate and evangelical leaders are pretty concerned that the rift could split up their vote and reduce their power. steve brown following this for us live in des moines, iowa. hi, steve. >> reporter: hey there, jamie. to put it into context, in iowan republican politics evangelicals are avoidable as corn in iowa. they are everywhere. an estimated three out of every five caucus-goers in 2008 were self-identified evangelical or born-again
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christians. the overlap into a number of different groups that have influence in republican politics in the iowa faith and freedom coalition, family leader, iowa right to life, the tea party, all of them have substantial evan gel call populations. cobbling together these folks could make a very powerful coalition. the person who did it best was mike huckabee four years ago in the 2008 caucus. cobbling together a collision of these folks to vote for him and he built that up over a period of time. this go round there doesn't seem to be a huckabeesque figure out there to do that. the not that the candidates haven't tried to put together the same formula mike huckabee did four years ago. they haven't been able to succeed at it because they divvied it up so many different ways. if there is a candidate who has done out appears to cobble a larger portion of that population, that would be rick santorum. we're to understand rick
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santorum has picked up large swaths the old huckabee organization in last several weeks. whether he can translate that information and that support translate to huckabeesque first place finish that is yet to be seen. in the polls he does seem to be rising. there have been a lot of opportunities offered to him of late in terms of support and endorsement. so it is something of a conundrum for evangelical leaders in this state because there have been many efforts to try to coalesce around one candidate, jamie but they haven't been able to get it done at least not yet. back to you. jon:. jamie: steve brown, thanks so much. jon: well the republican candidates are doing their best to sway iowa voters before they go to the caucuses on tuesday. part of the strategy depend how well they handle the media but how is the media handled iowa and the candidates? let's talk about it with kirsten powers, columnist for "the daily beast". judith miller is a pulitzer prize-winning investigative
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reporter. both are fox news contributors. interesting, judy, so much attention, so much importance gets placed on iowa yet the results of these caucuses play absolutely no bearing on the number of delegates these candidates will relief? >> absolutely right, jon. as gail's column pointed out in her column in the "new york times" the republicans who turn out in iowa are roughly the equivalent of the population of, you know, small town in california. i mean, you know, pomona college, that's what you're dealing with here yet the momentum that can be built up out of iowa is really astonishing and it happens every year even though we know new hampshire is much more important in terms of determining who gets that nomination than iowa but it doesn't stop us. jon: so we're not picking delegates here, kirsten. i guess we're picking preferences and picking what, media momentum? >> well, yeah they, their
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delegates are non-binding which means they don't have to vote exactly as the electorate voted. that doesn't mean they wouldn't but typically by the time you get to the convention, which is where the delegates cast their votes there is already a nominee. it is pretty much a foregone conclusion. if for some reason iowa didn't vote for the eventual nominee was they would throw their support behind them. if it was a brokered convention. it might matter. jon: case in point, mike huckabee won on the republican side last time around and all of the iowa republican delegates went for john mccain when the nominating convention rolled around. >> that is because huckabee wasn't in the race anymore. if it had become a brokered convention and huckabee stayed in and was still in play i think they would have probably gone with huckabee. i think by the time, the fact that they aren't bound to actually vote for the who the electorate voted for
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means they have the flexibility to switch. jon: obviously iowa voters appreciate, they treshshare their first in the nation status, judy. is this more of shaping the media message and media field from here on out? >> oh, definitely. it is just so important that the eight minutes or two minutes or 30 seconds that you have as a candidate on a cable news station like fox is so much more important in most places today than at these caucuses are or that the primaries are. the game is so totally different. i think we're going to see after iowa and new hampshire a real winnowing down of this candidates list. there are going to be some definite dropouts and all that will matter from that point on will be media, media. which is why we're starting to see some of these ads so early and so often. jon: kirsten, it wasn't that long ago that a candidate named howard dean came out of the iowa caucuses with the famous, well, some call
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it the i have a scream speech. >> right. jon: it really does show the power of the media to convey an impression of these candidates. >> yeah, definitely. you have to remember howard dean didn't win iowa. he was expected to win iowa. the scream actually came after. i think it was him trying to sort of portray the loss as not being a major loss even though it was a huge, huge blow to him, much in the way it was for hillary clinton when she didn't win. so, i guess i'm in the minority here. i love the iowa caucuses. if you're a political junky they're great. someone has to cast the first vote. so what if it's a small state and only a few people show up. that is true of most primaries to be honest. jon: and, judy, it does serve the purpose of winnowing down the field. >> yes it does and it is doing that very well. look, we've had all of these debates and so many opportunities to see these candidates and you can see that the public, at least
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the republican public, has been very fickle about these candidates. you have kind of a rising star only to hit the dirt about a week or two later. it happened to all of them including most recently newt gingrich. it has not been dull, jon. never a moment of dullness. we've seen these candidates much more of them, more often than we ever have before, we're going to be talking, kirsten, with newt gingrich a little bit later on. he has pledged to run a positive campaign, not attack his fellow republicans and look what happened to him in iowa, huh? >> well, you have to remember this was a purely tactical thing. it wasn't on principle. i think gingrich is trying to pretend that he is this nice goo who doesn't attack other people which anybody who was in washington in the '90s knows is not true. he doesn't have any money. he really didn't have any choice in terms of running attack ads. so he made a decision, i can't afford to run attack ads. they will run attack ads against me and i will try to
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rise above it. and you know, the reality is he also has been negative. he has attacked romney in some pretty snide terms. so i think he, the reason that newt has dropped off so much is partly because he, there has been this barrage of ads on air and partly because of his own actions. i think that, you know, it just wasn't sustainable. >> we will talk to him about some of that in our interview coming up. kirsten powers, judy miller. thank you. >> thank you. >> thank you, jon. jon: don't forget to tune into a special edition of news watch this saturday 2:30 p.m. eastern. don't miss fox news special coverage of the iowa caucuses this tuesday beginning at 6:00 p.m. eastern time right here on "fox news channel.". it is a fight to the finish in iowa just days away from those caucuss. newt gingrich was the frontrunner. he has seen his lead slip away in recent weeks. in three minutes newt gingrich joins us live with his strategy to try to come back and win.
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jon: a fox news alert and a small plane in a bad way in massachusetts. this took place just before noon. calls came in that cessna that you see there was upside down at the airport. we're getting some reports that the pilot was originally trapped enside the plane, had some minor injuries.
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the fortunate news here it appears no fire. not exactly sure what may have caused this one. you can see rescuers there making their way toward the pilot. we'll get you an update as soon as we can what exactly transpired there. jamie: they have put their lives on the line for all of us overseas and now community colleges are fighting to help veterans get a job when they return home. anita vogel live in los angeles. anita, my kind of story. tell us how it works. >> reporter: it's a great one, jamie. it is really pretty simple. it is about giving veterans a little extra help when it comes to getting a good education. when troops return home for tours of duty they can sign what is called a reintegration form upon leaving the service. they will get a slew of zip coded tailored information about local community colleges, enrollment assistance and how to use the g.i. bill to pay for their education. >> this will remove that uncertainty and will remove the extra search that
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veterans might not even know they need to make from that process. it makes it a one-step process or as close to a one-step process as possible. >> reporter: the program even helps veterans fill out most of their college applications. this is a first of a kind program here in california. so if it boshes well we hope to see it move to other states. jamie, back to you. >> having looked at this issue and this resolution potentially what do you hear from veterans about the situation they're finding when they come home from war? >> reporter: yeah. it's a tough one of the remember the economy is you have for -- tough for everyone. especially for veterans the unemployment is even higher. 11.1% for men and 14.7% for women. so it can be daunting reorienting to regular civilian life. so even getting into community college can be a challenge. set vans say after devoting several years defending the nation they come back to the u.s. only to find themselves
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behind the eight ball. >> i was a little lost at first. i wanted to go to school but did not know how to even make the first step even applying for a school. >> reporter: this is a joint venture between the california department of veterans' affairs and the community colleges here in california. every year 30,000 men and women return home to california from the service. jamie, back to you. jamie: clearly is going to make a big difference. thanks, anita. jon: here is a big quandary. a pennsylvania coroner could soon design whether to move dozens of graves threatened by a sinkhole. rick is here with more. >> reporter: jon, the giant sinkhole is affecting both the living and the dead. the local fire chief says it is 50 feet long and 30 feet wide. workers are actually trying right now to fill it with concrete to keep it from getting any worse. there are many reasons that they would want to do this. one, about a dozen homes and about 25 people have already
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been evacuated from a street right near this sinkhole. and two, there is an old cemetery there as well that contains remains of civil war veterans, about 200 graves in all. the county coroner as you mentioned may get permission to have the graves exhumed if he decides that is necessary. several headstones have already tilted and there were blakes in the grounds in the cemetery. this cemetery dates back to the 1880s. only way to identify some buried there is headstones some of which are very hard to read. this is delicate situation to say the least. as i said they are trying to fill this sinkhole with won create to keep it from getting any bigger -- concrete. as we hear more about it and what they're planning to do and hear the progress, we'll let you know. jon: do we know what caused the sinkhole? is that undergroundwater flow or what? >> reporter: unclear. they're looking into that. the their primary concern is to keep the sinkhole from
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getting any bigger. you see all the equipment there at the site that has been working on this to fill it with the concrete and to keep it from spreading any further than it already has. jon: let's hope they can get that done. rick folbaum, thank you. jamie: jon, you have to admit it is all about the iowa and caucuss. looking forward to your interview with newt gingrich. jon: we're talk to the former speaker confidence. available in color. depend for women is now peach. looks and fits like underwear. same great protection. depend. good morning. eat day. what is it about taking a first step that we find so compelling?
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jamie: stories we're keeping an eye on. in new york city there was memorial service for a woman burned alive in elevator. police say a handyman who believed she owed him money, doused gasoline on her before setting her on fire. in phoenix the national urban league and naacp joining hispanic leaders calling for sheriff joe a pyro to -- arpaio to step
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down. the america's toughest sheriff calling a justice department report accusing him of profiling, just politics. verizon will charge a $2 fee for customers that pay by phone or online. verizon says the charge is necessary to offset cost for those transactions. jon: a fox news alert. arson squads in california right now are looking for a common thread in a string of overnight fires that hit the hollywood area last night. firefighters believe someone set as many as 19 fires intentionally. cars and other property badly damaged. one of the sites of the fire, the former home of singer jim morrison. again, they believe that arsonists set fire to at least 19 structures overnight. they have not determined how those fires were set. apparently there were actually two consecutive nights of fires.
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authorities picked up a couple of suspects a of the first night and perhaps thought that the problem had gone away but it continued last night. they are continuing the investigation. they will have arson investigators from l.a. and possibly even the federal government involved. the los angeles police department also investigating. we'll be right back. ♪ [ woman ] ♪ what i want this season ♪ if you'd like to try and guess ♪ ♪ it is something very special ♪ i would readily confess [ dogs barking ] ♪ 'cause all i want this season ♪ ♪ is something from your heart ♪ la da da, la da da [ male announcer ] thinking of others this holiday season, travelers. but thieves can steal your identity. turning your life upside down in a matter of seconds.
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kelly. it is tale of two ricks, san tore rum and perry both making a last minute surge in the polls in iowa. mr. perry is our guest today. i will ask him what his gameplan is for victory. a newt gingrich supporter filing a lawsuit to get him on the ballot in virginia. what are the chances of that succeeding? kelly's court takes a look. and china is making a new space push we'll tell you what they are doing and why astronaut gene certain none, who worked on the moon is rather concerned. he is our guest live. see you in seven minutes. jamie: fox news alert for you now. there are some arson fires in california and a lot of questions surrounding it, what caused them and why. rick folbaum is joining us now with more detail on that. hi, rick. >> reporter: jamie, this is an active situation and fire officials in los angeles, california, are urging people to be on the lookout for anyone they think may be suspicious. this after about a dozen fires in the hollywood area of los angeles were set
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overnight. all reported early this morning and in most of these fires, parked cars were torched and then flames spread to nearby homes or apartment buildings. the police were put on tactical alert around 5:00 local time this morning to help secure crime scenes and protect evidence and boost patrols. at least 15 cars have been set on fire. in at least some of the locations more than one car has been burned here. and as i said, the police and the fire officials are saying to everyone as you walk around, if you live in this area in hollywood, walk around, they're urging people to be friendly say hello to people. because someone is an arsonist, a bad guy they just said in a press conference, they're likely not to respond when you say hello to them. they want people to be on the lookout. back to you guys. jamie: rick, thank you. jon? jon: well, presidential candidate newt gingrich has been losing some traction just four days before these critical iowa caucuses.
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according to "real clear politics" the average of the eye -- iowa polls show gingrich tied for third place with rick santorum. as mitt romney jumps into the top spot. the former speaker of the house joins us right now. mr. gingrich, i'm glad i -- i understand you're not feeling great. glad to get you on the program. >> glad to be here. jon: you were on top in iowa a little over three weeks ago in the polls. what happened? >> yep. 45% of all the ads run in iowa have been attacks on me. so you have eight million, nine million dollars of attacks in a fairly small state and they take a toll and the reason we're doing our jobs and economic growth bus tour to bring the facts back to people. we've been doing telephone town hall meetings and had 40,000 people the last few days. we'll do four more between now and the caucus and i keep emphasizing that i'm going to stay positive. that i think we have big challenges and that we need
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to create jobs and need to get the economy moving and i'm getting a lot of positive feedback from people who walk up to me and say, you know, i'm really glad you're not like the politicians who are running all this negative stuff. we'll see what happens caucus night. jon: there is some speculation that ron paul could win. if he does, what does that say to you? >> well, i think it would be very unfortunate because i think his positions both on legalizing drugs and on ignoring iranian nuclear weapon are both the wrong positions. i think in the case of iran it is a dangerous position for america. so we'll see. i think people as they learn more about ron paul's positions, they are probably a little more skeptical whether or not he is really the right person but this race is wide open. i think that maybe as much as half of the people who walk in next tuesday night will either not yet have made a decision or will be very lightly attached to their decision and the conversations in the caucuses i think are going to make a big difference. jon: one of the challenges
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ahead is what happens in virginia. you famously failed at getting on the ball lot there the other day. rick perry is suing to get on the ballot. will you join him in that suit? >> don't you find it interesting i famously failed but rick perry, michele bachmann, jon huntsman, rick santorum, all of whom by the way are not on the ballot, didn't famously fail? jon: that is my language. go ahead. >> okay. governor perry, governor perry filed a lawsuit. i think the judge has incited other -- invited the other candidates to join the lawsuit. that is lawyer conversation. i'm not in charge of that sort of thing. i'm focused on iowa. clearly we would like to have the voters of virginia have the right to choose between all of the candidates. we think having only two of the candidates on the ballot limits the people of virginia from having a real impact on the presidential selection process.
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jon: you told a reporter the other day that someone supposedly working on your behalf committed fraud in virginia in collecting those signatures. what's that all about? >> well, the lawyers are digging into that. because it a legal matter i'm not going to go any further than that. but look, the fact is we should have been on the ballot. we didn't quite get the job done. we have joined the out four candidates who were excluded from the ballot. hopefully the state legislature will be find a way to be competitive in the primary in march. jon: is virginia, unfair, its system? >> i think, i let virginians decide that i think from the standpoint of the voters of from virginia they would have more influence and have a better chance if they got to vote for all of the candidates, not just for two of them. i suspect you will find most virginians agree with that. jon: you stressed during the campaign your ties to former president ronald reagan. you point out he wasn't
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favored by the establishment in iowa caucuses. peggy noon noon a speechwriter for the ronald reagan. takes you on pretty bluntly in "the wall street journal" here is what she wrote. newt gingrich in the end will be likely to prove to be a giflt for mitt romney. this is not a heavyweight. this isn't herman cain. this is guy everyone on the ground in every primary state knows. compared to newt, romney looks pretty reasonable. what do you say of peggy noonan's writing? >> that is voice of washington establishment. if you're the voice of washington establishment mitt romney is reasonable. if you're fed up with the washington establishment i'm very reasonable. ronald reagan is seen as outsider just as i am. no accident michael reagan endorsed or did a movie about me and running in iowa. no accident, art laffer, that helped develop the reagan economic programow


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