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tv   Up W Chris Hayes  MSNBC  October 21, 2012 5:00am-7:00am PDT

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year after year. it's the reason why we don't have customers. we have members. american express. welcome in. good morning from new york. i'm chris hayes. former south dakota senator, george mcgovern died this morning in sioux falls. he was an influential leader for americans. losing to richard nixon in '72, he was 90 years old. voice for peace, decorated war hero and we acknowledge his passing. iran and the united states agreed to one-on-one nuclear talks. joining me, we have alli a
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blogger and marie slaughter, professor of politics and affairs at princeton and the former policy planner for obama state department. joe sestak from pennsylvania, three star admiral for the clinton national security council and former speech writer for condoleezza rice. the defining moment of tuesday night's presidential debate came between president obama and mitt romney on last month's attack in benghazi, libya. the issue was seen as a slam dunk for romney, but quickly turned into a political disaster. >> the day after the attack, governor, i stood in the rose garden and i told the american people and the world that we are going to find out exactly what happened, that this was an act of terror. >> i think it was interesting, the president said on the day
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after the attack, he went into the rose garden and said this was an act of terror. you said in the rose garden, the day after the attack, it was an act of terror. it was not a spontaneous demonstration, is that what you are saying? is that what you are saying? >> please proceed, governor. >> i want to make that clear for the record. it took him 14 days before he called it an attack. >> he did, in fact, sir. let me call it an act of terror. >> after that, romney dropped libya from his speech and has not mentioned it since. because he backed away from talking about benghazi doesn't mean there are unanswered questions. thursday night, jon stewart tried to get at that during an interview with the president. >> state was on a different page than you or that you had susan rice five days after saying show this video and could have been a part of that, then other
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people -- >> the truth is, information comes in. >> mm-hmm. >> folks put it out throughout the process people say it's incomplete. >> is part of the investigation helping the communication between these divisions, not just what happened in benghazi, but what happened within? i would say even you would admit it was not the optimal response, at least to the american people as far as us all being on the same page. >> here's what i'll say. >> yep. >> if four americans get killed, it's not optimal. we are going fix it. all of it. and what happens during the course of the presidency is that the government is a big operation. at any given time, something screws up and you make sure that you find out what is broken and you fix it. >> information coming out about the attacks is no less confusing now. several reports seem to correspond ob rate thorly
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accounts of the attack. an account, i should note, they have since distanced themselves from. adding a twist to the story, friday, anonymous officials accused the chairman of the house of endangering several libyans who have been working with the u.s. by not giving their names when he released 166 pages unclassified libya documents. heading tomorrow night's foreign policy debate are, i have to say, more confusing to me as a consumer of news than they have ever been. we talked about this early on. i will put myself in the category of people who were troubled. category of people who were troubled by what seemed to be a distance between what the reporting and what the intelligence agency seemed to be saying and what was coming out of the white house. i thought that gab was worrisome. we talked about it on the show. i don't know what to think
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anymore because what looked like it first was officially the u.s. government line was this was spontaneous and in reaction to the video. there was a parallel channel of reporting indicating it was premeditated, the work of al qaeda militants and had nothing to do with the video. there was no protest in the video. that is what happened. now we have reporting from the l.a. times and "the new york times" talking to people in benghazi all saying no, dude, it was a video. l.a. times, the assault was opportunist. the assault on benghazi seemed to be opportunistic rather than long planned operation. intelligence agencies found no evidence it was ordered by al qaeda according to u.s. officials. here is my question to you. has the media been pumped by the right? did conservative generate a controversy where there was none? i'm beginning to think that was
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the case. i am someone who thought this is a very important issue. it seems there's a distance. now, i don't know what to believe. >> i don't think it is. i think it's fantastic to think a video caused this. i think that the administration -- >> but the people on the ground aren't saying that. >> at the end of the day, what are they protesting? they are storming an american consula consulate. it is about american policy. a policy they are protesting against that they don't like. we should have had a fortified defense and obama should have taken responsibility. he had a chance to show presidential leadership in the 48 hour period afterwards. he failed. >> wait a second. that seems to me projecting -- i'm not saying -- obviously, something that's been confusing is we want to identify a cause. either it was the video or it was al qaeda and the islamic or
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premedicated. all of those things can be true. that's part of the problem, right? >> it's a premedicated attack in reaction to the video by probably not al qaeda. >> right. but also protesters around with guns. i want to respond to this about it being american policy. i mean, i think, at a certain level, you have to take it at face value, what the people who pulled off the operation are saying. if they say we are doing this because of the video, i'm inclined to believe them. when osama bin laden said why he did 9/11, that's why he did. why -- we're not going to project on them what we think their motive is. >> i think there's two separate issues here. on security, there's more than enough evidence to say they did not handle it well. when a request is coming in for more security whether it would have made a difference or not, a
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hole had been blown in the wall of that compound or consulate earlier, there should be accountability from this administration from that. on the second issue, when a republican on the house intelligence committee says what they were telling us, general petraeus is exactly what the administration was putting out to the public. people tend to forget. i worked in national security. there are no one-armed intelligence officers. they are always saying on one hand -- the issue is this. it's hard. say the policies unraveling because intelligence agencies maybe didn't have it right. there's no assertion that can be made. that's what's missing in this piece. general petraeus misrepresenting something? no way. >> originally if you said it was
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spontaneous from a protest, what it sounded like is there's a protest going on outside the consulate and suddenly it escalated into hey, let's take over the consulate and kill him. then they realized they had rpgs. then it looked like okay, it must have been an attack. then there was evidence that it could have -- certainly, you have the head of al qaeda calling for an attack. they look like there were links. ultimately, it is in reaction to the video, according to people on the ground. it was an attack that was spontaneous that day, not premeditated for weeks. you know, the people i talked to in washington all said privately, we are still trying to figure out what is going on. this was really hard to figure out. >> this is the thing. there isn't real policy security issue here. then above that, the only thing we hear much about is the political issues.
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that is an instance where the rights attack did work in the sense the immediate aftermath, romney attacked him. bill crystal said he sounded unpresidential. it forced the administration to take it from an issue to make the comments and it made them commit to a line. they went out there and pushed that line on every sunday talk show. >> okay. yes. but there's also -- >> i think president obama issue has been quite frankly a disgusting response. he goes on jon stewart, he'll go on "the view" say it's not optimal to get killed -- >> he was repeating. he hasn't -- >> he stood up and said i'm commander and chief. i'm responsible. >> very evasive during the debate. he did not answer the question. i thought romney gave him such a
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huge gift by completely -- >> i think we are all in agreement with that. i don't think he was passive. >> he said i take full responsibility. why will he not say this is an act of war against america. >> i want to address that. >> they want to down play it. >> that is the -- >> you can intervene in the middle east without a cost. >> there's a moving semantic saying act of terror or act of war. most horrendous act that happened. i want to be clear of what we are asking the president to do after this break. [ male announcer ] from our nation's networks... ♪ our city streets... ♪ skies around the world... ♪ ...northrop grumman's security solutions are invisibly at work, protecting people's lives... [ soldier ] move out!
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you raise an important question before the break. are we at war with libya.
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when you said this is an act of war, are we at war with libya? this is kind of a profound question because there was debate about whether the president had the authority to order the intervention in libya. there was noise coming from congress to make sure it didn't happen. it gets to this point of security, right? if we get off the sort of what happened when time line, i think we are maybe at consensus there are a bunch of pacts on top of each other that are not exclusive and that accounts for it in the initial reports. in terms of diplomatic security, you were making a point during the break about private security contractors and the role they filled previously in our long era of intervention in that region. >> yeah. these -- well, the thing about libya is it was not classified as a war zone. you can make whatever you want as that. it basically is a conflict zone.
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there are weapons around. >> tons of weapons. >> that's how libya is going to be for the next 100 years, right? libya is a conflict zone. that place is flooded with weapons. then in the previous model, in the other places, the work considered war zones, you have beefed up security with contractors. they ran around. the square massacre in iraq. they killed a bunch of people and libya's government doesn't want us to put the mercenary armies on the ground there. they consider it boots on the ground. in fact, it's worse than u.s. marines because there's no accountability as we saw from the bush years. they protect their charges. this is true. it creates a conundrum for us. we used to have a service the
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point is to save governments in libya, hey, we have a group of accountable american employee's whose sole job is to protect abroad. >> we also cut the budget for it dramatically. we have diplomatic security. they are extremely good. many diplomats complain they are too well protected and can't do their jobs. >> we talked about that on the show. >> ambassador stevens wanted to be there. we gutted the budget. >> you are right. it's been cut 10% since 2010. the real issue is what are the implications and our positions there in libya? are we headed in the right direction? my argument is yes, overall. we have a military command over africa with more drones being requested for that. >> it's not the right direction?
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it is. >> it's not to me. we are understanding al qaeda has me tas sized to me. when you look at libya itself and understand the representation and recent legislature elections, the majority of those 100 represented were moderate. as you look more toward the east and see that more, then they said wait a moment. i may not agree with the united states. what is happening in syria is outrageous. you begin to say we have an egyptian islamic government that becomes two strong boneworks opening the suitcase in the arab world. it can help us. are we in the general right direction? yeah. is it going to be spotty? yes. so was it in the bush years when a diplomat was killed in
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pakistan. >> the case the romney/ryan ticket is makes is use the attack of what happened in benghazi as a data point in the unraveling of american foreign policy. here is vice presidential candidate paul ryan making that case. >> the benghazi thing would be a tragedy in and of itself if it was an isolated incident. the problem is, it's not simply an isolated incident but a picture of a broader story and the absolute unraveling of the obama administration's foreign policy. go around the world and see policy failure after policy failure. that is something they can't defend. >> that is the case of the republicans. this is part of -- that the tragedy in benghazi indicates a broader failure in the middle east. >> i think there are a lot of problems in the middle east. your question of weapons of mass destruction, i do not get why we
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intervened in libya if we are trying to convince people that weapons of mass destruction. if you are an iranian and see we go in and intervene once you give away your weapons of mass destruction, what do you have? >> i think that's an interesting point. let me set the concept. gadhafi had a nuclear weapons program. during the bush administration, they convinced him to give up his nuclear weapons. he gave them up. there's a case to be made that he gave up the nuclear program, the next thing he knew, not the next thing, but there were bombs and that's bad. >> the point in support of the libya intervention. that said, this unraveling is amazing to me. here we are, having stopped this tragic war in iraq where our
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army could not respond to any other war plan throughout all of the world to defend south korea because they have done nothing but training to where a four-star marine corps general said it's going to take ten years before we are ready to handling it around the world. to have a shift of our focus to the western pacific to where our naval forces by this president are 60% of our arms, if you are a democrat, some of them would be saying if it was a republican president doing that, are you a warmongerer? it's not unraveling. it's stitching back the fabric of our national security. >> hold that thought. we have a take a quick break. [ male announcer ] if you think all batteries are the same... consider this: when the unexpected happens, there's one brand of battery more emergency workers trust in their maglites: duracell. one reason: duralock power preserve. it locks in power for up to 10 years in storage. guaranteed. so, whether it's 10 years' of life's sunny days...
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to do. in libya, the fact there was an attack on our consulate is nothing new. we had attacks for a long time. they have decreased. i agree we needed more security. what is different is hundreds of thousands of libyans took to the streets demonstrating againstal shariah saying america we are sorry. the reason we did this was to support the opposition and save a city that was 700,000 people under attack. romney's position is incoherent. he said we ought to do more. we have reaping the harvest. they are opposed to the chinese and russians. you know, yes it's a wash in weapons. yes, it's fragile. it was always going to be. we are seeing the fruits of our policy with respect to libya and with respect to egypt.
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not syria. >> one of the things about libya and i have gone back and forth on this about the libya intervention. when looking at syria, the problems in libya, which is, you know, militant groups and militias that have a lot of weapons and bulk that's happening and power vacuum that happens in our environment, to the extent you talked them up to the american intervention is fair. you now have syria going on. you are running this experiment in parallel. we are not going to intervene in syria the way we did in libya. you are going to see the same set of problems. you see al qaeda jihad on the rise. all of those things happening without the american intervention. to the extent you chalk up those problems in libya to the american intervention, syria is a counter example because those issues are happening in syria. >> the groups that we gave air
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cover to just like if we intervene in syria, the groups we were giving air cover to are islamist militant groups fighting against the regime like secular hipster rebels. they were islamist groups. we gave them air coverage. eastern libya was the place that supplied the most jihadists into the iraq war. we knew or we should have known if we talk these things seriously. i'm sure you knew, but i don't think many people knew what we were getting into when we were saving that city. it's a complicated world. it goes to show how, kind of bereft of connection to any policy we have become with the hearings on this. this is a real serious issue that should be investigated and we should be talking the contractors and diplomatic security and we can't get past the politics. >> diplomatic security is an
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important point. we saw what happened with blackwater and jeremy, my cle colleague and your friend reporting what happened. it strikes me that one of the things to think about is reconstituting it. this can sound, i want to say this carefully, right now in washington, d.c., there are memos in every single department from the bureau of land management to diplomatic security asking for more money. that is the background condition of every beaurocracy in washington, d.c. it doesn't mean in all those cases that memo is correct. this this case, where there was a request, it was correct and there was a wrong judgment made. what happens in the wake is we
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see reporting asking for more money. all over the united states government is people are asking for more money. it's not leaping off the page for whoever is asking for the request. great to have you guys here this morning. appreciate it. >> a pleasure. >> obama doubles down on defense spending. it's up next. [ male announcer ] there are only so many foods
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♪ president obama did something remarkable in tuesday's debate. he attacked his republican opponent for wanting to increase spending on national defense. he raised the issue in romney's across the board tax cuts. >> the cost of lowering rates for everybody across the board 20%, along with what he wants to do in terms of eliminating the
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estate tax, along what he wants to do with corporate tax codes, it costs $5 trillion. governor romney wants to spend $2 trillion on additional military programs even though the military is not asking for those. it's $7 trillion. >> what's extraordinary about this and the president's position is not just to keep pentagon spending flat, the obama campaign calculated there's a political cost to romney's call for an additional $2 trillion in defense spending. defense spending should be pegged automatically at 4% of gross domestic product. if the president thinks he has the better part of a political argument, so does mitt romney. he hit the president repeatedly over the administrations proposed leveling of defense spending. the polling shows the president has the upper hand.
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a gallup poll shows 41% of americans think we are spending too much on defense. after a decade of explosive growth on spending on wars, americans seem now to be reconsidering the wisdom of deeming the pentagon budget untouchable as it has been for the duration of war on terror. the cuts to resolve the debt crisis means the defense spending will be cut unless congress settles on long-term deficit before the end of the year. that along with the change in attitudes on americans and democrats would be the first in a long time for a real debate on the size, scope and cost of the american military. joining us is larry. a former assistant secretary -- co-director of the afghan
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women's mission. great to have you here. i want to start with a quote from george mcgovern who departed in an open letter he wrote to president obama upon his inauguration. when i entered the u.s. senate in 1963, the defense budget of 51 billion dlarls. that was at a time when our military experts felt it necessary to have the means to win a war against the combined powers of russia and chin. nether threatens us. nor does any other nation. i think the amount of spending increase in the last ten years, i think people haven't quite gotten their heads around it. when you take out the war funding, we have a doubling over the last ten years. we now have, in this -- we have a very clear distinction in this campaign as far as i can tell in how the spending is going to go forward.
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we have a graph that shows this. this is the options on the table. the green line is mitt romney's idea. this is base spending. it doesn't include wars or security. if you talk about security spending, you get a larger amount of money. barack obama's proposed leveling and the see quest ration. larry, you worked on this issue for a long time. what has changed? >> what has changed, i think the late senator mcgovern pointed out. we don't have a threat, yes, we have a threat with terrorism. you are not going to win it with a lot of nuclear weapons or huge armies and navies. when you tell people, even republicans if you control for inflation, take the base budget, you will go back to where you were in 2007. nobody was complaining then. the other thing was, even with it, i don't think we should do it automatically, but i think you can do it correctly.
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you are above what we spent on average in the cold war. if you add more funding, this is the first time we separated it out. >> it was all part of the same thing. >> right. if you add in more funding, we are higher in real terms than at anytime since world war ii. when you tell people, they say wait a second. the other thing that people don't understand is if you allow the pentagon to have what bob gates had a gusher, people won't make hard choices. you can have everything. you can take a look at over the last ten years, general accounting office, accountability office. they said your 95 weapons systems cost them $400 billion. john mccain says a scandal and tragedy, $40 billion on weapons cancel. then the final thing, which is interesting, if we keep, you know, we are 40% of the world's military expenditures.
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we got up to 50 at the height of the cold war. we are going have free riders. why worry, the united states is going to take care of us. >> i think one of the things we are also missing is ordinary americans want to know what percentage of my income dollars go to military spending. nobody discusses that. if you look at that, half of our income tax dollars go toward military spending. you can't count social security. it's a trust fund. we pay into it. you have to count past wars, veterans benefits. it's part of war spending. count the interest in the debt. when you tell ordinary people that, that number at 41% would be higher. the other thing, i'm glad you use the term leveling when talking these issues about obama's plan. the president is talking cuts. it's not cuts. >> a pay cut. we are really getting -- you wouldn't be losing your raises. >> the leveling that we showed,
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can we show that chart again so people are clear? this is a distinction. this is in real dollars. there are, in nominal dollars, they go up every year to keep pace. that leveling is an actual leveling in real dollars. >> there's actually, nobody wants a stronger defense than i do. you want your soldiers to go over there and come back. that said, to larry's point, two other things have changed. our capability within one shift alone is so much more. an aircraft carrier today can do nine times the strikes in 24 hours. nine times the target in 24 hours than the same aircraft carrier can do 15 years ago. the new domain in warfare is knowledge. to have satellites and pick up. link in realtime to aircraft going on. it's not how many ships, it's
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capability with the knowledge. number two is accountability. everyone wants accountability in our spending. take the aircraft carrier? >> if i may object. not everyone wants that. there's an industry of contractors that would not like it. >> the people in pennsylvania want it. therefore, what you see in that aircraft carrier that was asked for a few years ago of $11 billion, the confidence factor that that price was right was about 35%. would you buy a car if the car dealer said the price you are going to pay is roughly a third of what i tell you and you pay me next year? that's why we have costs in 2008 of over $300 billion. we have a tyranny price. >> the argument on the other side, this is the argument made all the time, their jobs are attached. there's someone building on those things.
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this president can ask us to be patient. this president can tell us it was someone else's fault. but this president cannot tell us you are better off today than when he took office. here in colorado we are not better off. his cuts weaken national security and threaten 20,000 jobs. romney's plan, reverse cuts, create over 200,000 new jobs for colorado. >> i'm mitt romney and i approve this message. >> good old fashioned -- not create jobs. >> rolling over in his grave listening to those things. >> this has been the republican line that government can't create jobs except if they are defense related. you are in support of the contours of the obama trajectory
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for defense spending? >> absolutely. i'm not in support of see quest ration, we need to figure out what the threats are. that said former chairman of the joint chiefs, mike mullen said in 2009 the deficit was the greatest threat to our national security. we needed to rebuild our strength at home, rebuild health, education and infrastructure. that is part of what we need to be strong in the world. the other part, going back to our discussion in libya, $50 billion is the entire budget for the state department. we need more diplomats, more development. we need more of the other kinds of ways in which we advance america's interests in the world. the pentagon understands. that when you look at what we need in afghanistan, it's not more soldiers, it's more the rest. >> that kay you can -- i'm
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sorry. >> i'm curious if you think the obama trajectory is aggressive enough. >> when you compare obama like romney, he looks like a peace snake. if you look at obama in terms, he wants to fight leaner wars, he wants a leaner military. drones are cheaper. is that what we want? what do ordinary americans want? most americans are sick of war. most want international cooperation. i agree with ann marie about diplomacy being important. in the past, u.s. diplomacy has been more of a sledgehammer than a velvet glove. >> we'll talk about that next. >> i think it's really important, when we look at obama and his trimming of the military budget, it's not going to lead to us fighting fewer wars, necessarily. it may mean fewer boots on the ground. it's great for americans not losing lives. it's not other lives not being
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lost. he wants to invest in drones. he's expanded it. this is a president who sees american interest and goes after them. he may not want to get involved in wars he seems interested in directly. it doesn't mean he's a peace president. he never has been and won't be. >> it's interesting. after every build up, when i worked for reagan, we went up for four years by 28% to real terms. we had a deficit problem, we came down 10% in real terms. sequestration is only -- >> people are running around like it's the end. >> it's going to make us -- >> if you go back and take a look at mark shields calls him, our last liberal president, richard nixon cut 30% in four years. 30% in real terms. he started e.p.a. and osha all the other things republicans are complaining about. go back to anne-marie's point,
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deficit is a big problem, we need to spend more on state. when you ask him, do you want to take it from defense, no, no, we don't want to cut. we need a security budget that looks at homeland security and defense for the trade offs. >> they can prevent it. >> the point is, it would be a shame to say we are going to continue to build or retake as romney wants to, an f-22 that's not needed because of a job. it's not what the warrior wants to hear. when you look at his numbers, chris, they are really something. there's 3.5 million jobs in the defense aerospace industry. according to what romney is saying, this 10% cut means you lose 40% of all those jobs. that's ridiculous. the numbers don't add up. >> when defense spending went up in the last five years before the budget control act, these companies were laying off people. if you take a dollar and you say
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i want to spend that on defense, education, health or a tax cut, you create more jobs. >> a lot of defense spending is an intense undertaking. if you spend a dollar, it depends on where you put the dollar. things like health care and education are labor intensive. so, in terms of the job creation in terms of per bang per buck. one thing that is fascinating is the american opinion changed on this more than i thought. i want to show the data on that when we get back. a great life. but she has some dental issues she's not happy about. so i introduced jill to crest pro-health for life. selected for people over 50. pro-health for life is a toothpaste that defends against tender, inflamed gums, sensitivity and weak enamel. conditions people over 50 experience. crest pro-health for life.
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got it.
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so, having come of age post 9/11 as an adult and reporter, i think i came under the impression that the sanctity of the budget was a fixture in american politics. this polling is interesting. this is u.s. views on defense
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spending from 1969 and 2012. they are quite volatile. during certain periods, you see us saying we are spending too much. for instance in the post reagan build-up. then the policy adjusts. we spend too much. there were defense cuts. there's the cold war dividend we take. you see we are spending too little after 9/11. to hit this point home, take a look at this moment that our second producer found from the 2000 debate between george w. bush and al gore. take a look. >> i propose $100 billion for this purpose. the governor proposes $45 billion. i propose more than twice as much because i think it's needed. >> governor bush. >> if this were a spending contest, i would come in second. i'm not going to grow the size of the government like he is. i'm concerned we are overdeployed around the world.
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>> the subject there was defense spending specifically. remarkably, that was -- that -- al gore was to the right of bush. bush was attacking his opponent for wanting to spend too much in defense spending. america is more persuadable on this than i would guess. >> strategic planning. we do not have the new strategic approach. since colin powell's days in the '90s, it was between iraq, which is now gone and the defense of south korea they say we don't need the army to defend south korea anymore. what are we measuring the military toward? we have concerns about china coming on to the world scene. there's terrorism. the defense review still says
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two stressing scenarios, we don't have a name for them. we are building two militaries for two regional conflicts. >> we have plugged into that same budget. >> just last year was that decision. >> i think what's happening here is the republicans are trying to find some way to find a context to say we want to create jobs. >> that's true. >> they don't want to do it through government. as you said earlier, the military is separate from government. george w. bush was more of a classic conservative saying i don't want to increase the size of government. romney has no problem with increasing the size of government when it comes to military. he's going to bring that up on monday as well. people's eyes will glaze over talking about conflicts far away in the world. he's going to try to hit it home with the issue of jobs. >> it's important in swing states, right? >> absolutely.
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>> it might be about virginia. a huge about of the virginia economy revolves around defense contractors. >> if obama is smart, he will expose that. >> you know why george bush was talking about cutting defense spending, the point the admiral made earlier. he said technology is going to substitute. he had the revolution -- >> the rumsfeld vision. >> yeah. basically, he was arguing the democrats had not supported that. i think that's what people, you know, forget. of course after 9/11 they got everything and just as bob gates said, opened up the spigot of defense spending. >> here is the broader point. we don't have a chart of it in real dollars and how our security spending happened. huge bump for the cold war. came down a bit. it created a baseline. we have the war of terror on top of that. now, the two bumps on top of
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each other. we can't keep rebuilding on top of each other and never go back and deconstruct the old. >> particularly on the structure. >> i want to thank larry and former congressman joe sestak. great pleasure. have the united states and iran agreed to bilateral talks? that's next. time for "your business" entrepreneur of the week. former modelling analyst olga created shoptiques that help local boutiques that don't have their own e-commerce sites online. as an ultimate source for what's in. for more, watch "your business" sunday mornings at 7:30 on msnbc. ♪
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talks. that denial comes after a blockbuster new york times story sourced of obama officials asserting the u.s. and iran agreed in principal to talks after the election. the principal part was originally published online. the white house says it's not true they have agreed to talks after the election. iran, just this past hour said the same thing. a senior administration official tells andrea mitchell there are talks to set up a meeting. there's no deal in place, yet. the story will factor into tomorrow's presidential debate. we are lucky we have this table of experts to discuss this breaking news. it was published in the new york times. i was following it and the reaction. i generally don't know what to expect.
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they agreed to meet, then they revised it in principle to meet. then the white house denied it. then the white house denied it. what should i think? >> i had the same reaction. i'm following this, why on earth would they do this? it didn't make any sense to me that they would do this unless obama planned to use it in the debate. anybody who is used to dealing with the iranians would torpedo a chance of it happening. the state department pushed back and said, you know, this will be disaster in terms of the substance of the policy. now the white house denied it. the president can't use it. i can't understand what the purpose was of leaking it. >> there was a smackdown saying we don't know anything about this. this is not -- >> the prime minister said he would be fine with it. that was just this morning i read that.
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it's strange. it is very odd, i agree with you. it's odd how this happened. you have to think, i have to think it's hostile leak. >> that's the point. explain what that means? >> they don't want it to go forward and is keeping it from happening. >> they have been negotiating with iran and the u.s.'s backing over many, many years. in 2009, i think it was nicholas burn who is met with them in geneva, i believe. there's been contact between the u.s. and iran. there's regular contact through the swiss ambassador in tyronn who is living there. it's not really big news to say they said yeah, we'll talk to them. the supreme leader never said he
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will talk to the americans. he's said we will talk to the americans. >> we should be talking with the iranians. it's actually would be an encouraging time to move toward it. it's essential. we are not going to resolve the nuclear dispute unless we work out a bargain. it's what we need to do. i hope it stays on track and i hope the president is serious. >> i think what's going to happen at the debate is, however, with romney there, the two candidates are going to try to outdo one another on who can be tougher on iran. this is going to be interesting to see. obama's approach has been more constructive on iran. it's relatively speaking. it's still seen as a huge threat. rather than diplomacy, you have the republican side who wants to see raw american power. raw american power doesn't mean negotiating with a state that sponsors terrorism. they are going to point it out as a weakness.
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any chance, and the hostile leak issue is a good point. any chance there have been for talks between the u.s. and iran, it's going to force obama's hanld. it's going to undermine them. >> it affects iran as well. the iranians don't want to be seen if they are negotiating with the u.s. this should have been kept very quiet, if it is true. the last time the iranians negotiated with the u.s. secretly, it affected the careers and people in iran negotiating with the u.s. it's something that is very hostile. but, you know, given the fact the debate is tomorrow, clearly the timing was relevant. >> i guess. this is actually, there's not a debate here. romney is in exactly the same place as obama is on iran. he comes out and he says, you know, his red line is the same. he's not proposing -- >> he walks that back. >> he walks it back.
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he says they can't have a nuclear weapon or the capability. he doesn't want to attack them. >> just so you know, the world of the discussion has its own lingo jargon. the major policy dispute between netanyahu and the obama administration is whether the red line is a red weapon or a nuclear weapon. they want it to be the capability. obama r obama legislation it's -- the problem is capabilities of a broad concept and can mean a number of things. >> they are probably there now. >> in terms of capability. >> if you think capability, iran has been there for awhile. it doesn't make any sense. >> in terms of politics, your point that is fascinating is let us all recall in 2008, one of the major differences between barack obama and hillary clinton in the primary that emerged was
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a willingness to sit-down with him. they doubled down on him. they said no, no, no. they turned what looked like a weakness into a virtue. they said we are strong enough to talk to our allies. real strength is being able to talk to your enemies. now, here we are four years later, heading for a foreign policy debate when the fruits were leaked in the paper we are going to see tomorrow night how they play it. do they embrace it in. >> international cooperation is something that is popular with the country. it all depends on the spin put on it after the fact. nobody wants to appear weak. >> no one wants war. >> nobody wants war either. you are right. these two candidates don't differ much. romney said he doesn't want to go to war with iran.
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he doesn't want to say that. >> i agree with you. this is fascinating. there's a stylistic critique that comes. the reason that i want to talk about that and the reason it's a theorist and practitioner is here at the table is precisely because there is, i think, a consensus in which everybody agrees with the sanctions in iran. i think that should be looked atmore carefully. we're going to do that after this break. [ male announcer ] wouldn't it be cool if we took the nissan altima and reimagined nearly everything in it? gave it greater horsepower and best in class 38 mpg highway... advanced headlights... and zero gravity seats? yeah, that would be cool. ♪
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as we saw in the vice president debate, despite the bluster, the candidates are in agreement on the centerpiece toward aran. >> these are the most crippling sanctions in the history of sanctions, period.
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period. >> thank heavens we have the sanctions in place. >> romney promised more if elected. >> i will not hesitate to impose new sanctions on iran and will tighten the sanctions we currently have. >> all the boasting from both sides obscures many of the questions we should be asking. are sanctions wise? furthermore, is it justifiable to subject a civilian population to the effects of sanctions? this isn't the first time this course of action has been pursued. after the first gulf war, iraq was sanctioned. conservative estimates are they contributed to the deaths of 220,000 of iraqi children. the sanctions in iran are more comprehensive as vice president biden was eager to point out, they are the heaviest in
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history. the sanctions on iraq followed a bombing campaign that destroyed their infrastructure. david, this is something that you have spent a lot of time thinking about and writing about. you were involved with your colleague advising you on the regimes in iraq, smart sanctions. what do you think of the current sanctions regime in iran and why are they so crippling? what are we doing with iran? >> there are two dimensions of sanctions. they are targeted measures that begain five or six years ago. they are targeted, asset freezes, travel bans, arms embargo. there is 100 individuals and entities linked to the program. they are effective in the sense
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they have full and national agreement. russia and china are on board. iraq has been cooperating, at least making a show of cooperating with the arms embargo. they have an important impact in that they isolate iran and send a message from the whole world we want controls over nuclear program. we don't want to see you develop a nuclear weapon. there are others that the u.s. imposed. those have been steadily increasing, now the european community is on board. they are broader and targeting financial institutions, cutting off the financing for iran's capabilities to do exports and therefore it's had an impact on oil revenues, cutting off half of the oil revenues. >> the u.s. and e.u. joined in on the latest round of sanctions this summer. e.u. was buying a lot of oil
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from iran. they no longer are. >> they weren't buying a lot. >> relative to the u.s., none. >> most oil is going to asia. >> most to china. >> south korea. >> i think it's represented, as far as i can tell, the numbers are fuzzy, a 10% gdp since summer. think about a 10% gdp contraption. the worst crisis after the lehman brothers collapse. we are now, the u.s. imposing this, what is -- half the government's revenues. this is a huge impact. we are seeing the impact on inflation. >> i think this is just unconable. when biden says crippling, when he uses that term, i cringe.
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who are we crippling? everything goes to the banking sector in iraq. >> in iran. >> iran, excuse me. when that is targeted, hospitals are having a hard time getting medical equipment. there are reports cancer patients aren't getting medication. iranians are bringing their children for treatment to the uk. do we want to be responsible for that? it's not addressing the hypocrisy of nuclear enrichment from countries that have nuclear powers that have been shown to use nuclear weapons. we are not talking israel. we are singling out iran. it's an issue that comes up. >> should we do nothing? >> we need to look at iran's nuclear capabilities. iran can't have them but israel can have them. india and pakistan can have
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them. >> those are already done. are you saying that let's assume iran does not have a nuclear weapon, should we do nothing? >> who puts us in charge. once aran is done, they are off the hook? >> a president that wants to go to global zero. >> start with our own nuclear weapons. >> we still have to -- i mean if iran gets a nuclear weapon, saudi arabia is going to buy one, then turkey and egypt might. there's a really good reason not to let iran -- >> can i make one distinction here. we have the goal of the policy, whether it's legitimate. the goal of the policy is iran does not get a nuclear weapon. whether that in and of itself is a justifiable goal given our biggest ally -- we are the only country that's ever used one. if that is the goal, stipulate
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for a second it is. i take well your caution on that point. the sanctions and sanctions regime is wise means of pursuing that. >> and compared to what? >> they are neither. >> this is what i want you to say. >> i agree. >> nor are they going to accomplish the goal they are setting up to accomplish. leave aside the moral question, which i agree with 100%. it's immoral. i have a friend in iran with cancer who cannot get medicine. this is personal. i know people in iran are suffering. aside from the poor, the middle class, the opposition to the regime is suffering because of the crackdown of the regime which continues and gets more harsh as sanctions increase. it's gotten more harsh since 2009. it's not working there. is it going to change the iranian leadership? no. you have to understand their own
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motivation. the regime's motivation is definitely to say in power. this point is to protect the rights of the nation as it sees them. it sees them, the population generally agreed it has every right to be as a member, a signatory and member of the iaea the right to enrich uranium. it's not going to happen. >> let me say, first of all, we need to differentiate between the smarter sanctions and the unlateral measures with a broader social impact. b, sanctions can be a useful tool. the value of sanctions, george lopez and i argued for years, as a diplomatic tool. use the targeted measures and the u.n. measures to say we have put them on the table and we are willing to suspend and lift these measures. >> you produce the possibility
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of taking them away, it's an incentive. >> the bargaining option. >> let's talk about how that has worked in the past. we have had pursuit sanctions and we pursued the means of stopping nuclear proliferation in the past. >> in libya. >> we have to remember, iran doesn't have a nuclear weapons right now. they don't have plans, at this point. at this point. >> right after this break. to drive a jeep grand cherokee, tell them it's like being nestled in an eight-way, adjustable, heated and ventilated seat surrounded by a 500-watt sound system while floating on a suspension made of billowy clouds. or you could just hand them your keys. ♪ ♪
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had to jump into a heated exchange during the break which we will broadcast live to you. it's the point of this enterprise. we were talking the carrot and the stick model. >> it's a bargaining tool. look at the case of libya you were mentioning earlier. in '03, libya came clean. their wmd program, weapons of
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mass destruction. it was going into the '90s. sanctions were a key factor. there are international sanctions for awhile. they were lifted when there was the settlement on the terrorism issues. the u.s. kept sanctions on. the deal was we will lift the sanctions if you remove all your wmd capacity and dismantle your production. gadhafi did. it's a model to approach the iranian model. we can put pressure on them but when we come into negotiation, i hope it will unfold, how the u.s. has the tools, the carrots, if you will, to be put on the table. it's offered to ease up the sanctions. we can make up gestures. the signal a serious intent to negotiation and use that as the
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primary tool. we also have to address other things that iran is concerned about. wukd offer to begin to ease back on our military presence as well. security assurances are an essential part of bargaining. look at the other cases around the world where we succeeded, security assurances have to be on the table. >> is this the model that you see for this policy? is that roughly lroughly. >> absolutely. obama came into office saying i'm going to reach out to the iranian regime. i'm going to talk to them. he tried that and got nowhere. you had the green revolution that broke off. he's looking for a way to give up their nuclear weapons program so that absolutely we can improve relations and we have a
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lot of business to do with them. he doesn't want to bomb them. what's in between? sanctions that lead to negotiations. i would say, that's not ten years worth or 13 years worth of sanctions with iraq where you had them on and there's no clear goal. this is a very carefully crafted strategy that says these are the sanctions, they are really biting. i disagree that they will change the iranian regime's calculus. you will give up or let everybody in. we can then remove these. here's a path to a different set of relations. >> first of all, when you say let everybody in, there are inspectors in iran. >> who are not seeing every facility. >> i'm sorry, they are seeing every facility that is a nuclear facility. they are not seeing the military facilities. they are not obligated to open up to inspectors.
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they have asked to see that, but they have not been, they legally don't have to. >> this is important. one of the things iran is a signatory to the proliferation treaty. one of the critiques for this reason is that one can -- there is under the nuclear nonproliferation treaty, you have the right to pursue civilian purchases of the nuclear -- with technology, one can't pursue and be compliant until the day you announce you are no longer a signatory. >> if you abide by it. >> there are additional procedures introduced after the iraq situation, for awhile iran was part of that regime, now it's backed off. it's not just that they are there. further steps that could be taken to make maximum transparency. that should be the goal. that is enough. >> i agree.
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under the president, iran abided and signed the additional protocol. they wanted to have a deal before they made it law. >> he said you know, we are not going to abide by that protocol anymore. we are not getting anything in return. >> the question here is what is obama's game here? is the u.s. supporting the u.n. sanctions and the broader e.u. sanctions if they are crippling the country and causing concerned. if this is something they agree on, we are causing harm, we might end up in the situation similar to iraq where the regime gets stronger because they are seen as standing up to the united states. my question is to anne-marie, is the obama administrations crafted and used in a way you said.
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i'm not really confident. >> this is an important question. remember, we have been trying to have talks with the iranians for over a decade. they move forward, they move back. the idea here was to really demonstrate an international front and put on sanctions that bite and offer them a deal. the key question is the one you asked, whether or not they are biting. it's whether or not they decide the way to stay in power is to actually do a deal or the regime decides the way to stay in power is possibly to invite an attack or simply double down on getting a nuclear weapon. that's a calculation that we are trying -- that you have to just decide what's -- >> one of the issues here -- >> it may not work. >> it may not. >> one of the issues here when you talk about this being the middle path, don't want nuclear weapo
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weapons, sanctions there. for that reason, they are critiqued by the left and right. i want to play mitt romney's adviser offering his critique after this. this reduced sodium p says it may help lower cholesterol, how does it work? you just have to eat it as part of your heart healthy diet. step 1. eat the soup. all those veggies and beans, that's what may help lower your cholesterol and -- well that's easy [ male announcer ] progresso. you gotta taste this soup. wanted to provide better employee benefits while balancing the company's bottom line, their very first word was... [ to the tune of "lullaby and good night" ] ♪ af-lac
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there's -- there's critiques of sanctions from the left and right. that was true in iraq, certainly. one of the weerweird things you making an intervention from the left saying intervention is the war on iraq is a more humane outcome than the current sanctions regime. talking to andrea mitchell making this critique. >> we are saying imagine if those sanctions had been put in place earlier on. to say that things are going fine because the iranian economy
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is in bad shape is just a sad statement of the state of affai affairs. the goal is not to weaken the iranian economy. it's to stop iran's nuclear program. weakening its economy and weakening the regime are means, not results. there's only one measurement that matters whether or not iran is closer to a nuclear weapons program. today they are. >> i'm not a big fan of his per speckive on these things but that was fairly good. the point being to talk about thinker crippleness is immaterial. the question is, this strategic calculus of how it's going to change. it's unclear whether they could be lifted. >> the supreme leader of iran said he didn't believe or the americans are lying when they said they are going to lift sanctions. it was partly in response to what hillary clinton said, some of the sanctions could be lifted in iran came back to the
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negotiating table. he said who left the table. iran is willing to negotiate. i think that, from the perspective of the iranians, how are the sanctions lifted? where are the so-called carrots, the carrot and stick thing. they don't believe that the sanctions can be lifted easily or certainly not by president obama or president romney signing off a piece of paper saying as of tomorrow, there's no more oil sanctions or banking sanctions. >> why not? >> they are imposed by congress. it's not easy for the president just to automatically -- >> there's a mark in the bill. senator mark kirk passed the bill and did part of the sanctions. >> the sanctions on iraq were lifted on iraq in 2008, five years after the invasion. >> yeah. >> mark kirk, i want to play this sound. he's become -- he's made it his issue, the iran sanctions.
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this is him talking about taking the food out of the mouths of iranians and whether it's an appropriate strategic goal. >> once we get into sanctions and taking those kinds of actions, the argument immediately becomes, are you really going after the government of the country or are you taking food out of the mouths of the citizens? >> it's okay to take the food out of the mouth's of the citizens from an government plotting an attack on american soil. >> now, again, paul ryan wanted to get into the minds during the v.p. debate. i will do the same. if you are listening to that from their perspective, it sounds like -- >> it sounds like madeleine albright saying it was worth it for iraqi children to be killed because of sanctions. it's okay to starve people? >> the american soil part is the
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weird part. not something saying it's okay to take the food out of the mouths of children. whose government is plotting an attack on american soil. does the cia have information they made public to attack america? on american soil? >> it's immoral. it's strategically productive. >> there has to be an out. >> it's going to mobilize the people in support of the regime. we are starting to see indications of that. we have to figure out a way to keep the sanctions more targeted, smart sanctions was the phrase. what happened? keep them focused. i would like to see and we could do this, it doesn't require congressional action, a message, statement and policies that say we are going to continue the sanctions especially the multilateral but we have no intention of harming them. we are going to ease up the
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measures as a gesture to the iranian people. these are targeted at a policy, not the people. >> let me push back on this point that, you know, this is rallying people around the ree jet stream. you know, again, my understanding, i have not been reporting in iran directly, the currency is devalued over this period of time. when you can't sell oil, you can't protect your currency. >> people make a run on it. you have a limited amount of dollars. you know, inflation has been a problem in iran, a huge political issue. the price of food has been internal. >> for 30 years. >> for 30 years. people are predisposed to blame the regime for it for three years. actually, the sanction imposed effect is producing internal political pressure on the regime. people see the price of commodities going up. >> the problem, there's a major
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we have, of course, the big foreign policy debate tomorrow night. all eyes on the two candidates. the first question is going to be about iran, particularly after "the new york times" article. we are discussing the iran policy and whether it's working. i made the argument to you, the tightening of the sanctions and what it's done to the devaluation of the currency. it's producing domestic political pressure on ahmadinejad. people are saying what are you doing to us. >> it's been the case for awhile. it was very important when there were actually a couple riots. >> a woman getting on his car and banging the windshield. >> a lot of people do blame the ahmadinejad government, but not
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the regime itself. the supreme leader has been good about deflecting blame occasionally, not all the time. he has been certainly in this case of deflecting the blame on the ahmadinejad government, not the regime. when they went on strike, not strike, they closed their shops with the collapse and riots outside the bizarre, the center of commerce in iran, they should have fully supported the regime but anti-ahmadinejad. the political, as you pointed out, system in iran allows for that step. toward an administration rather than the actual regime itself. >> but the problem that's emerging is as the sanctions start to happen, social impact and humanitarian costs are rising. people are starting to see and turn the blame against the west, against the u.s. it's hurting the whole process politically, internally.
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it's undermining those speaking up for more human rights and democracy. we need to be clear the sanction should be targeted and indicate any social consequences should ease up and lift the measures. >> the -- >> what are you looking for tomorrow night, then? what do you want to hear? >> i would like to hear that indeed we are looking to have talks. i would like president obama, maybe the white house denied it. >> it's not going to happen. >> we are going to have diplomacy and prepare the american public for a compromise. for the last six, seven, eight years there's been no compromise. under romney, zero enrichment. under obama, there's potential for compromise. >> i think it would be great if president obama would say look, we were willing to talk to you and willing to do a deal. we had a deal on the table in the fall of 2010 where turkey
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and other countries supply you with the 20% enriched uranium you need. you will get stopped doing that. that's the first step toward a larger deal. we had that deal. ironically, ahmadinejad wanted it. it's the supreme leader who didn't. >> i think an important point from the romney perspective is he accused the president and will tomorrow again, accused the president of going soft on the greenop decision movement. he loves it. why didn't you support the revolution. every green movement leader and activist in iran, i know them, i have talked to them and spent time with them, every single one of them is against the sanctions. where is his answer to that? >> to pick up on what you said, even if we turn around and say it's not our fault if the banking sanctions are hurting you, it's not our intention to make cancer medications less available, it's not going to
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play well or unaffordable. we have to be responsible for our actions. if our actions are causing these, regardless of what ahmadinejad is doing, the blood is on our hands. >> the blood of the people is on their government's hands. come on. >> absolutely. the government, that government is responsible for what we do. we are responsible for what we do. if our sanctions hurt the people. >> you are unconnected. we had a deal on the table, they wouldn't take it. >> they put a deal on the table we didn't take. it works both ways. >> i'm saying we have to be responsible for what we do. if these sanctions cause debt. telling them, don't blame us -- >> let's keep the focus on our goal, prevent proliferation. it's going to require a bargain and the sanctions can be useful,
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but we have to ease them up at part of the deal. >> laying the ground work on the american populous as the president, courageously did in 2008. in the heat of the campaign season, he said look, no, we are going to talk to our enemies. it's something to keep our eye on for tomorrow. does he come back at romney. what you should know ahead, coming up next. face it with puffs ultra soft & strong. puffs has soft, air-fluffed pillows for 40% more cushiony thickness. face every day with puffs softness.
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so what should you know for the week coming up in you should know as a general rule, not to believe everything you see in political ads. thanks to pro publica ad only appears to be the product concerned with the livelihood of seniors. >> you worked hard, saved for retirement and dividends are a big part of it. but if president obama and congress don't act this year, tax rates on dividends will
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spike, tripling in some cases. they could do it again by extending the tax rates for all americans. time is running out. tell them to stop a dividend tax hike now. join the fight at defend my you should know that the site it directs viewers to is maintained by none other than edison electric institute. a trade association for electric companies. which typically pay a lot in dividend and don't want to see stock price threatened. it's set to expire along with the bush tax cuts at the end of the year and the obama administration proposed taxing dividends as regular income for those who make at least $250,000 a year. you should know that those taxes will not affect well over 90% of seniors. you should know that even the one major political party that make an effort to free itself of corporate donors, does not always succeed. chairwoman debbie wasserman
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schultz pledged that the democratic convention would be paid for by the grassroots taking no corporate money. you should know that the reports filings this week with the s.e.c. show that didn't happen. $5 million in corporate money was spent to rent the arena and $8 million line of credit from duke energy. democrats responded the contributions are legal and you should know that that is the point. you should know that foxconn which manufacturers for dell, apple and packard, admitted this week to violating chinese labor laws by using underage workers at one of its factories this summer. it employed 56 interns as young as 14. but other report say there were hundreds. the company failed to check the i.d.s of interns sent to the factory. some of the students told media they were forced to work without weekend breaks, overtime and
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overnight. threat of expulsion from school if they did not. the devices connect us not only through the information received but through the people who make them. the third and final 2012 presidential debate is tomorrow night. msnbc's special coverage begins at 8:00 p.m. eastern led by rachel maddow and others. let's see what my panelists think you should know. >> politics wreaks havoc with farm policy. that's what i think this week. we'll see that in the debate tomorrow. that political considerations trump wise farm policy. >> i'm torn on this question. because i think it's true and very easy demagog. democracy is democracy. to say we're politicizing foreign policy it's the citizens of the united states who determine our government's actions. >> yeah. >> that has to pass the test of some sort of democratic accountability. an marie slaughter. >> what you should know is that what americans do not want to
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hear, but it's true anyway. hundreds of people are getting killed in syria every day. we're up to almost 30,000 people killed, mostly civilians. the country is imploding, it's destabilizing lebanon, threatening turkey, jordan, iraq. more and more militants are coming in who are not syrians who are taking over what was originally a much more pluralist liberal opposition. people are predicting up to a ten-year civil war. this is a humanitarian disaster. it is horrific morally and devastating to us strategically. we should -- the united states should act with the countries in the region to create a no-fly zone to protect people. there are lots of risks but the risks to nonaction are far, far greater. americans don't want to hear it. >> i will take a lot of persuading on the no-fly zone to convince me. david court wright.
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>> there is no plan for ending the war in afghanistan. the president says we'll be out by -- biden says yes for sure. they're planning to keep lots of troops there. the more important thing is how are we actually going to end the war in such a manner to prevent the killing from continuing? how do we work with the people of afghanistan so get a more accountable representative government that isn't just warlords and isn't taken over by the taliban? we need to be engaged in after stand in a substantive way. we need a plan for ending the war and building a better more accountable government. david took the words out of my mouth. i wonder if this will come up out of the debate. whether the presidential candidates will bring her case up and are they going to use it to justify our presence or admit it's under our occupation in afghanistan and the broader region in afghanistter stand be
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sta -- afghanistan, that her attack happened. i hope it comes up and i'd like to see them address it properly and see good media coverage. >> you're talking about the 14-year-old girl in the province of pakistan where the taliban is very strong that shot her. she is recovered, i think we probably -- recovering. see a question on that. iranian journalist hoo man imagined, david court write from the university of notre dame. thank you all, great discussion. thank you for joining us. we'll be back next weekend. saturday and sunday at 8:00 eastern time. the presidential campaign heads into the final stretch. i'll be part of the special coverage tomorrow of the third and final 2012 presidential debate led by rachel maddow. lawrence o'donnell. governor romney's claim that two-parent households are the solution to gun violence in
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oh, hey alex. just picking up some, brochures, posters copies of my acceptance speech. great! it's always good to have a backup plan, in case i get hit by a meteor. wow, your hair looks great. didn't realize they did photoshop here. hey, good call on those mugs. can't let 'em see what you're drinking. you know, i'm glad we're both running a nice, clean race.


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