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tv   Andrea Mitchell Reports  MSNBC  December 20, 2012 10:00am-11:00am PST

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pushes closer to christmas. >> the president's inability to come to a balanced agreement with our speaker presents us with very little option. >> it's time for the speaker to wake up to the simple reality that to deal with this national crisis we have to deal with it on a bipartisan basis. it means that he has to sit down with the president. senate foreign relations holds hearings on benghazi, on the attack, but without the secretary of state. >> secretary clinton is recovering from a serious virus and concussion, and given her condition it was simply not possible for her to appear today. >> and if senator kerry ends up succeeding hillary clinton as secretary of state, could we see a hollywood star m senate?
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president obama for secretary of defense. chick hagel is not a responsible option. >> the nation's leaders come together today to say farewell to hawaii senator dan yet inoyhe. >> he was in every sense the quintessential american. he possessed every virtue that we like to ascribe. >> i'm andrea mitchell. that was a rare honor for danny inyohe. he is only the 31st person in history to lie in state in the rotunda. we expect to hear today from speaker john boehner. very shortly, in fact. the chances are he will be meeting with the president later today, but the chances for a budget agreement seem to be fading.
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the time grows shorter before the congress goes home for christmas. chris, managing editor of post, and nbc, capitol hill correspondent kelly o'donnell. welcome both. chris and kelly, we've been through this before. we've seen this manufacture before, but now we are a couple of days before the christmas break, and both sides now, kelly, acknowledging that congress is going to go home for christmas without a deal. >> that's right. they are going to have to put this off in that period between christmas and new year's, and we have seen the movie that tells us deadlines are what reach results here. we're not quite on the deadline yet. all of it with staff and families and all the obvious reasons that people want to be home for christmas, maybe being home they'll hear feedback as well to get a deal. they're going to take that break. at least on the senate side, we know for sure. we don't have the house schedule just yet, but you would presume they would do the same thing. today the house vote on this so-called plan b, an alternative
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to the kind of grand bargain that the president and speaker boehner may be able to achieve, that's getting a lot of criticism from democrats. it's being called a waste of time and a political stunt. majority leader cantor says it's an opportunity for the house to actually do something concrete, that they will pass and be able to say they took action, knowing there's so much criticism of republicans ms it rags of being kind of m way and not getting it done. so there is some of the posturing. there's also the important kind of role of counting the votes and trying to get a sense of where are members of congress on either this deal or something the president and the speaker could come together on. >> now, since we last talked yesterday, what the speaker added to the mix, because he didn't have the votes just for his plan b, just for the tax cut for people under $1 million, is adding some spending cuts to try to get more of those tea party conservatives. chris, alissa, according to the
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white house, according to jay carney, this is a multi-day exercise in futility. he said that -- he reiterated the president would veto it, but it won't even get out of the senate. >> they will not vote on the proposal in any way, shape, or form. this is an interesting gambit by john boehner, andrea, because i see a lot of down side. if this vote goes down, and i assume it won't, john boehner made a very public pledge yesterday that we will pass this and when we do, the president will have a decision to make. but if it goes down, it's a real judgment on sort of the divided republican house conference. if it passes, there's no path forward at least that we can currently see. as you point on the president obama and harry reid saying this is going nowhere. the argument, i talked to some boehner allies today -- the argument shows, look, it shows we're doing something. we're trying to get a plan that will get -- that can get through
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the u.s. house, but, again, we're getting closer and closer now 11 days away from the end of the year, and this is an exercise that will not ultimatelyplan b is not going to become law. >> while this has consumed everybody's attention, the cabinet is nott being appointed. a lot of other things are getting backed up. >> kelly, chuck hagel. we see for a second time a trial balloon, chuck hagel, floated for the pentagon. all of this and commercial being bought and aired, admittedly only in the d.c. area and on cable, but they're spending real money, and are you seeing the conservative line-up against chuck hagel even before he has been nominated for the pentagon. you covered him on the hill. let's talk about why some of his fellow republicans are going after him so hard. >> that's the important point. he is a republican, and that would give the president an opportunity to look more bipartisan in his cabinet, so that's an important reason why his name is being floated.
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there's been a lot of concern among republicans that he was not as loyal to his party as they would have liked to have seen. some comments with respect to iran that they disagreed with. some of the challenges during chuck hagel's time here, there are long memories here, and when you talk about the delay of making any announcements about cabinet positions, it does open up this space for the criticism to flow in. it's in part due to the tragedy in connecticut and wanting to have the appropriate amount of time after susan rice withdrew her name with respect to state. they want to do more than one of these appointments at the same time, and so chuck hagel is really the target of a lot of criticism. >> you've got several other things happening. the benghazi hearings. the fact that hillary clinton unexpectedly ill, the concussion. not present for any handoff, for any nomination. there was talk of just nominating senator kerry to be
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secretary of state without doing the whole national security team, but then there is the funeral at the national cathedral tomorrow, tomorrow morning, for senator inhowe, that will involve all of his former colleagues in the white house as well. kelly, it looks like everything is coming together. the perfect storm to not get anything done. >> harry reid was saying very bluntly don't blame senator inhowhe. they take that very seriously. in honor of his long service. also, as a friend. they actually lost someone who they've worked with for decades. they say this is an appropriate. it could take some time now. so be it. there will be other benefits, will if you lshgs and other benefits to give people a chance to have the holiday and then come back and try to get something done before the end of
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the year. >> briefly, chris, can the president afford to back down on two nominees that he hasn't even made just because of op sfwligs from political opponents? >> it's -- i don't know the answer, but i'll tell you, it's remarkable to me that we seem to be following the same path -- the susan rice path with chuck hagel. you can't really defend someone who hasn't been nominated yet. that was the problem they had with susan rice. it's currently the problem with chuck hagel. >> thanks so much, chris alissa. see you later. joining us to discuss the very latest on the fiscal cliff negotiations or non-negotiations, new york congressman steve israel, chairman of the congressional campaign committee. we're waiting on hearing from john boehner, but it appears that nothing is -- that no progress is being made, that we're walking backwards just as time is running out. what is your take from up there? >> i think you're right, unfortunately. you know, chris just said that this is a bit of a gambit by speaker boehner, and he is
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accurate. the thing is that we need fewer gambits and more governing. the republican -- the house republicans have just refused to govern. it has been cliff after cliff, shutdown after shutdown. it has been politics over improvement. this is just proof of the pudding. the president of the united states has offered compromise after compromise, and every time it looks, andrea, like we are close, the republicans move further away. they are more interested in partisan politics. they're more interested in preserving their careers than they are in preserving the economy for the middle class. if that wasn't the case, they would have learned to take yes for an answer and accept the president's compromises. >> what do you say to those in your caucus who are so critical of recalculating the cost of living increase, which is one part of what the president has already offered to put on the table? a lot of democrats are angry about that. >> well, i had a real concern about it as well, and i want a deal at the end of the day that is going to balance the budget, but ask the wealthiest to do a
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little more before we ask seniors to do more. with respect to chain cpi, before we fully consider it, i want to make sure that the elderly are protected and that the poor are protected. the fact of the matter is, the fact that the president put this on the table is proof of his desire to try to get republicans to come to the tabling, and after he put that on the table, the republicans got up from the table, walked out the door, slammed the door, and engaged in the stunt in which they're going to engage tonight with this ridiculous bill that does nothing. this plan b is just bizarre. it doesn't reduce debt. it doesn't respond to their own concerns about debt and entitlement reform. all it does is it gets them off the hook for another day. we need a balanced plan. we need a compromise. house democrats are prepared to support that compromise, but we need somebody to compromise with, and all we've gotten is political stunts in return. >> and how does congress justify going home even for christmas? >> they shouldn't.
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>> i want to be off for the holiday as much as anyone, but how do you go home even for christmas when this is all still sitting there undone? >> we shouldn't. we should not leave until we get this soled, until we get the right kind of compromise, and, again, the house republicans are going through all these eyeragses and these contortions and stepping this away and that way and now preparing to leave washington. they -- they are doing all of this instead of taking the one step they need to take, and that is to say to the president, all right, you've gone 40% of the way. we're expected to go, you know, 30%, 40%. let's see what we can get done. we don't have to wait until new year's. everybody knows what this is going to look like tend of the day. we just need the republicans to act responsibly and sit down with us and get the deal done. not go home for the holidays. >> and let me switch gears for a second because you hear a lot that's going on in capitol hill. what is the genesis of this criticism of chuck hagel? there's a lot that's also coming from supporters of israel who say that he has not been
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supportive enough. do you think that is a big question? i know the house doesn't confirm cabinet officials, but you are very close to it all. >> i am not involved in the confirmation process. i'll leave that to the higher pay grades in the senate. show me a nominee or a prospective nominee for any cabinet position, and i will show you people who have understandable concerns. until the president actually nominates chuck hagel, if he nominates chuck hagel, we can address those concerns when that nomination occurs, but right now that nomination has not been made. >> thank you very much, congressman steve israel. >> thank you. we're keeping an eye on capitol hill. of course, the speaker is expected to come to those cameras at any moment, and we will bring it to you live when he steps so the podium. today in newtown, connecticut, three more funerals for victims of last week's massacre. coming up we'll talk to connecticut's newest senator chris murphy about the push for gun control. this is "andrea mitchell reports" only on msnbc. ♪ but the fire is so delightful ♪
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this is a sad routine for this poor community coping with heart-wrenching loss of children and teachers whose lives were taken far too soon. nbc's miguel almigeire joins you from newtown, connecticut. tell us about today's services. >> it's serm been another heart breaking day. as you know, there were eight funerals or wakes yesterday and today. another eight funeral or wakes this afternoon. we have seen the procession of funerals going up and down these streets for the last several hours. there have been four victims who were buried today. we want to show you and share a little bit about each one of those four that will be laid to rest this afternoon. catherine hubbard was 6 years old. her family has asked that donations go to a local animal
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shelter. she was a little girl who was constantly smiling. she loved pets. her folks are hoping -- her folks will donate it a local animal shelter. benjamin was a huge beatles fan and loved to ride the train. he was in the middle of taking swimming lessons. allison, another 6-year-old. she was kind and generous, and her family tells us she often surprised them with random acts of kindness, and ann marie murphy, she's 52 years old. she was a teacher's aide. she is survived by her four children, her husband, her parents, and six brothers and sisters. of course, there are also four wakes today. those four will be buried in the next coming days. it's certainly a sad scene here in newtown where folks continue to flock to the memorial behind me where they continue to bring tributes and share their thoughts and feelings, oftentimes tearing up. for folks who they knew and also complete strangers. this is a town that is hurting today, and those funerals and wakes we have been seeing, the processions all day long, and every couple of hours you see
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those pros sessions. a heart-breaking day here in newtown. >> and we understand that a retired -- the retired principal from the school, donna page, is going it take over when classes resume, which may be of some comfort to these children who are trying to cope with being in another school building and with this terrible loss. >> yeah. we know the principal -- the school principal was killed last friday, and donna page had retired from being the principal at sandy hook. she'll come back. students will recognize her face. they'll be able to embrace her when they go back to school on january 2nd, in just under two weeks. certainly a move that will make these kids feel comfortable as they start their -- as they resume classes in a new school, andrea. >> miguel, thank you so much. coming up here, another chance for hollywood and capitol hill to collide. the politico briefing is next. you're watching msnbc.
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development right now you can see. >> it's possible from the tax hikes. the president has called on the house again and again -- the american people from a tax hike. well, today we're going to do
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better than that. our bill would protect 99.81% of the american people from an increase in taxes. it's permanent tax relief for individuals. a permanent tax on the alternative minimum tax. the marriage penalty, death tax relief, and a permanent extension of the higher tax credit and the capital gains and dividends rates we see today. all in all the nonpartisan joint committee on taxation says the bill represents a $3.9 trillion tax decrease. after today some senate democrats and the white house are going to have to act on this measure. two years ago 53 democrats voted for a bill like this one. now they say they oppose it. rather than tell us what they can't do, maybe they should tell us what they can do. the senate democrats and the white house refuse to act. they'll be responsible for the
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largest tax hike in american history. the house today will also pass a bill to replace the sequester. it will replace the sequester with cuts, but even further address the deficit problem that we have. while the democrat-controlled senate and white house have no plan and have offered no plan all year to deal with these looming cuts. i call on senator reid to make sure they'll be able to vote on this before the senate ajuniors. back in may, may, i'll remind you -- back in may i said that we shouldn't wait until new year's eave he to address the fiscal cliff, and since then the republicans have made every effort to avoid the situation we find ourselves in. we passed a bill that would protect middle class families and small businesses from the looming tax hikes. we moved the bill in may to
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replace the sequester that will undermine our national security. the same bill also has additional cuts which would help reduce our deficit and pave the way for long-term job growth. president obama and senate democrats haven't done much of anything. for weeks the white house said that if i moved on rates that they would make substantial concessions on spending cuts and entitlement reforms. i did my part. they've done nothing. the president's last offer of $1.3 trillion in new revenues with only $850 billion worth of spending reductions fails to meet the test of balance that he continues to call for, and, frankly, i'm convinced that the president is unwilling to stand up to his own party on the big issues that face our country. time is running short.
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the house will act today, and it will be up to the senate democrats and the white house to act. >> senate majority leader harry reid just had a press conference, and house republicans thn bill has no future. >> i talked to senator reid this morning. he was more polite than that. >> we can see that there's no progress there. john boehner announcing that they are going to vote on a bill that is dead on arrival either in the senate or at the white house. joining me now is politico's mike allen, chief white house correspondent. we are stalemated. there is a personal relationship between the president and boehner, but the sense that i'm getting from the white house in the last 24 hours is they were very surprised by plan b, very disappointed, and you hear both sides saying that the other hasn't given -- the white house feels that the president has put a lot on the table. >> he has, and the white house yesterday brought the top business leaders in the country
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into the white house. secretary geithner and others to warn them, basically to scare them that the cliff is coming. to tell them that things have gone backwards in the last 24 hours. what we see here is speaker boehner saying this isn't on us. we're trying. both sides are going to say that they're trying because you talk to people up there. they're increasingly convinced on both sides there's going to be no deal. i can tell you -- excuse me -- in the white house they're extremely concerned about what the economic and market reaction to that. it may be that a deal is close enough, that it will be okay, but they're very concerned. it's a big risk. for the first time you're hearing republicans say, you know, let's go over the cliff. let's wait until people get their first paychecks. when there's more withheld, when they don't have the payroll tax holiday, then people will be screaming for tax relief. that's a huge risk because andrea, as you have reported again and again, all the signs are republicans would take more blame for that.
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>> and also, being held up by all this is cabinet selections. the president -- the white house has just done something they did not do really very effectively for susan rice, at least. they've -- jay carney at the briefing came to the defense of chuck hagel who has not been nominated, but is under fierce attack from opponents of his policies, his past votes on the iraq surge, on iran sanctions, on support for israel. he very close to the president, member of the president's foreign intelligence advisory board, a possible contender for secretary of defense. >> yeah. this is remarkable, and it's going to be at least a while. i would think at least december 27th until they name someone for the pentagon. this is going to continue for a little while longer. this is amazing. jay carney on camera this morning and politico playbook, the administration saying to me that chuck hagel could walk into the pentagon, have instabt credibility, saying the attack on him for being anti-israel are patently unfair. they're trying to avoid the
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susan rice scenario. as you suggested, at the top of the show, what could happen, though, is if the president makes a different decision. for instance, if he were to choose michelle florinoy who was in the pentagon earlier in the administration -- >> highly qualified woman. >> that's right. and would give a little diversity to the intelligence picks -- the national security picks that they're going to put out, it could now look like the president was ruled twice in a row, and that's why former defense secretary bill cohen told me today that if the president is going introduce senator hagel, he should do it now, despite the other things going on in the world because, otherwise, it's going to look like critics on capitol hill are picking the president's national security team. >> meanwhile, senator kerry waits in the wings to be nominated to be secretary of state, and what about the possibilities to run for senate in massachusetts? take a look at this from a hearing yesterday on the congo. >> my name is ben affleck. i am the founder of the eastern congo initiative. we are the only u.s.-based grant-making and advocacy
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organization entirely focused with -- focused on working with and for the people of eastern congo, a region that has the unwanted distinction much being one of the most volatile in the world. >> he is from massachusetts. he did go to harvard. you know, that's enough to qualify. >> right. >> we know that he is the actor, producer, director of "argo" on iran. just saying, a lot of talk. >> i would say that maybe the most unnecessary words that have been said in washington this week, we just heard, my name is ben affleck. probably -- >> name recognition is nott going to be his problem if he were to run. >> exactly. he is a hooro in boston. very active in democratic politics. clearly serious on issues, but, andrea, over the years you've covered them, there's a reason that senator al franken is the rare celebrity that actually got into office. that's very unusual. other names that are out there to succeed senator kerry to run for his spot in massachusetts, ted kennedy jr. a big problem right now, he lives in connecticut, but he is
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the late senator's he wouldest son, his second child. >> they have property in high an es, i have heard. >> he summers in massachusetts. you have covered him. you know that people say that he really is his father's son. you hear the booming voice. you hear the presence. you hear the passion for health care. if he decides to go for it and he has made it clear starting with his remarks at the democratic convention in charlotte this summer that he really does plan to serve. there was even some talk of him taking a health care job in the obama administration. every indication is that he will go for it. he would be a serious candidate. >> indeed, he would. and a great -- a great figure. really his father's son. thank you very much. >> thank you, andrea. and coming up next, the chairman of the house intelligence committee joining us to talk about the devastating report on the benghazi embassy attack. and the same kind of opposition that took down susan rice's chance at the secretary of state's spot. is about to fall on former senator chuck hagel, as we've
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been saying. how much trouble is he in even before being nominated?
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zeemplg the senate and the house today in separate hearings are asking very tough questions about the state department's security failures in benghazi now no that independent review board has sharply criticized the administration's role. >> the culture within the state department to me is one that needs to be transformed. this committee can help. maybe the next secretary of state can help. the fact is there's a lot of work that needs to be done there. >> joining me now is michigan congressman mike rogers, chairman of the house permanent select committee on intelligence. mr. chairman, thank you very much for joining us. >> thank you. >> you've seen the report, benghazi. what went wrong? >> oh, boy. it was a whole series of things, andrea. so the information that surrounded the special mission there, there was some 200 ports leading up to it that talked about this security situation
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deteriorating, and they knew it, and so the folks there at the special mission were asking for help and asking for higher security. we know that tripoli asked. the report said they didn't ask hard enough. it's really not their responsibility. so what happened was they had all this information, and they processed it through the state department, and that leadership just failed to note the security around that -- around the ambassador when he traveled to benghazi, and a security of the special mission. not that they had to have it as a standard mission security status because it was a temporary facility, but the physical security part of it was just so wrong to fit the security threat that it resulted in the death of four americans. >> should we stop relying on local militias? there's security cam video showing that the libyan militias got in their pickup truck and ran at the first shot that was fired. >> well, i argue whose ever
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decision it was to hire them in the first place it was an awful decision. you had a grood group that was ill trained, ill equipped. they were having work problems. i mean, sometimes they would show up. sometimes they wouldn't. sometimes their weapons would be in working order. this was not an organized, trained militia that would have any notion about how to provide security. the thought that anyone would hire them to be security is a problem in the first place. so that was -- it was just such a compounding of problems in a you have to understand the culture here, and i saw one of the recommendations in the report, andrea, said, gee, we should also consider when you are thinking about security that even though you don't have a direct threat on that facility, you should consider all of the other threat information. if you have to tell the security people at the state department that, we are in a tremendous amount of trouble. that's why i believe you've got to start over there. you need to put professionals in there who understand all of the threat matrix and how you apply
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your resources to protect the individuals who have put their lives at risk for america. >> how important is it for hillary clinton to actually testify before these committees? she's out sick, we're told. is her absence could affect getting this thing right? >> well, i think the secretary of state should testify. this is a catastrophic event where a united states ambassador was killed. clearly there were systemic failures. they identified senior leadership failures. it has to be of major consequence to the people who made those bad decisions, and in the transformation process of the state department, and the only one that could reinforce that message, talk about what happened, talk about the decision making, i think, is the secretary of state, so i wish her well. i hope she recovers soon and has a good and quick recovery for whatever is ailing here, and that i do believe she should come up and testify. again, because the magnitude of this is huge and significant because we have some 270 other posts out around the world where these people are have signed up
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to do america's work in the depp low mattic mission, and they deserve to know that we're doing everything to protect them and their safety when they're doing that work overseas. >> congress mran, you are a former fbi man, and your counterparts, your intelligence counterparts and armed services counterparts in the senate have written a letter complaining about zero dark 30, the film -- not a documentary, but the film about the capture -- the killing, rather, of osama bin laden because of the waterboarding, torture sequences that open the film. they suggest that it is inaccurate to suggest to the world that torture led to the tracking of osama bin laden. do you have similar concerns? >> it's not a documentary. it's a hollywood movie. i hope no one walks into any hollywood movie thinking that's the portrayal of accuracy about what reall
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taking. >> how will this change the focus, the issue gsh. >> i represent sandy hook and newtown. yesterday i went to one funeral and four wakes, and there are still nearly dozens of those to come. you know, my time in the senate now is, frankly, going to be measured by whether or not i live up to the memories of those 20 little kids and the six adults who died trying to
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protect them. at almost every wake and funeral, a family member grabbed me and said go to work. make sure this doesn't happen again. it certainly starts with getting these assault weapons off the streets, making sure that nobody can walk around with a 30 round magazine in their gun. it also has to be a question about how do you move mental health and mental disabilities out of the shadows and take away the violence this kid the last two weeks of his life was very plugged into. newtown wants their next u.s. senator to spend, you know, their time working to try to heal these wounds, and that will happen if we get serious about some of these issues down here in washington. snoo do you think something needs to be done on mental health issues, on the educationalishes issues, on, you know, the cultural questions at the same time as gun control.
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will it make it more palettable, which is well funded, as you know? >> we shouldn't waste one second about make it more palettable. i think we know what to do on gun control. we should move forward. i met with dianne feinstein today in the senate. i'm going to be part of her effort to take these assault weapons off the street. certainly the question is about mental health, and about this culture of violence are more complicated and they might take more time, but we should start moving them all simultaneously. the challenge here is how do you sort of address issues of mental health and development disabilities without reinforcing the stigma? not everyone that is struggling with a mental illness is violent or has the potential for violence and a tiny percentage of those people do. the fact is there are way too many parents out there who have kids who are dealing with very difficult issues, who they know may be prone to violence, and they can't find the resources because there's waiting lines to get into programs across this
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country. that we should end immediately. we should at least say to parents who know they mute might have a troublesome kid on their hands, that they can find help. that's a no brainer. >> thank you so much. again, thank you for joining us today and look forward to following up with you and keeping a very sharp eye on this and a big spotlight on these issues as you continue. >> andrea, i appreciate that. as the tv cameras leave newtown, we're going to be counting on you and many others to make sure that we don't let the nation's attention fade as time fades as well. >> this time it will not happen. thank you. thank you very much. >> thank you. >> and joining me now washington post columnist and former bush speechwriter michael gersin. you have been writing and thinking about these issues. where is the balancing act here? chuck schumer today was talking about a way to get around the supreme court decision on the gun law in d.c. that was struck down, so handguns are not going to become part of this debate,
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but there is a way to get at these weapons of war, as mike bloomberg has called them. >> i think a lot of people are coming to that view. this is a problem where there's no panacea, but there's a broad range of issues to try to make these type of actions less severe and less likely in the future. you know, i can prevent this one. not going to prevent that one. you can try to prevent the severity of these over time. i think it's unfortunate, but we may be led to, and it also includes unreasonable gun control. that is a balance. the balance has swung so far in the libertarian direction that the type of minimal restrictions, talking about types of ammunition and magazine capacity and some semiautomatic weapons, really does not approach those constitutional lines, and the problem is the political problem in congress. not a constitutional problem. >> what about background checks? >> what about background checks? 40% [ male announcer ] no matter what city
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i need something for my cold symptoms. [ sniffles ] we've got dayquil for day and nyquil for night. [ thuds ] you didn't see that. [ male announcer ] right now at walgreens dayquil and nyquil are just $10.99 with card. zimplt with the white house having retreated over a battle of susan rice because of op zegs for secretary of state, the administration critics are now trying to prevent the president from nominating former secretary chuck hagel to be secretary of defense. joining us now is nicolas burns, former state department undersecretary and ambassador to many countries and to nato, and you were one of the significanttories to a letter saying what is going on here, basically. what is your objection to what is going on in washington? >> well, andrea, it's an extraordinary situation when you have people who are rumored to be cabinet nominees, before their nomination, and certain groups would launch attacks against them. that's what happened to susan
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rice, ambassador rice. i thought she was treated unfairly. now i think senator chuck hagel is being treated in a similar fashion. the fact is that the president has a right to nominate who he pleases. the senate then has a constitutional obligation to provide advice and consent and that's how the process should work. you and i both know washington. i don't remember a time when two very significant and highly qualified public servants have been put through a trial by fire before they were even nominated. i think it's just -- it's sensible and it's the right thing to ask senator hagel to be treated fairly. he has a very, very fine record as a public serve yabt and as a combat veteran of the vietnam war. >> two purple hearts. the head of the atlantic council. also the member of the president's foreign intelligence advisory board right now. this is -- the question was raised and jay carney responded strongly at the white house today. >> senator hagel has been a
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remarkable servant to this country, a recipient of two purple hearts. he fault for this country and has served this country admirably. >> while this is all going on, secretary clinton was unable to testify today because of her continuing recovery from the concussion, we are told. this as both the house and the senate are taking up the benghazi report. nick, this report was pretty devastating for the state department. you've quickly pointed out that congress also has a role in properly funding their security at these outposts. >> well, it was a very hard-hitting report. there are a lot of lessons here that the state department is going to have to think about. rework some of the procedures and rededicate themselves to this mission of our embassies and consulates overseas. there's nothing more important. i think secretary clinton was right to send the letter this week to the congress she would accept all the recommendations and begin to implement them and i believe that she will do that and her team will do that, as
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well, but there is on the side of this, andrea, the fact is the state department budget as a percentage of the federal budget is quite small, it is not fully funded for the last few years and the security request, that's the request for funds to protect the diplomats, to solidify the infrastructure of the embassies to support, protect the diplomats, that hasn't been fully funded so i think there are real lessons here for the state department that they have to work on but there are also i think an admonition for the congress, please fully fund embassy security. >> and at the same time, the criticism that they didn't ask for enough security, chris stevens asked, but there's other criticism that the post in benghazi and tripoli did not push hard enough and the people in washington, at least four people relieved of duties sent on administrative leave or resigned, people in washington did not see the big picture. at other diplomatic outposts around the world. >> well, i certainly -- i don't
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have the facts. i read the report. i don't want to second guess anyone. certainly not my former colleagues. i can tell you this. we have lived in the age of terrorism, andrea, for the past 25 or 30 years. and everybody i know at the state department wants to do a good job and wants to protect themselves and especially their colleagues who are serving out in the front lines, people like embassy stevens. the fact is the state department never had enough funds to fully fund security and that makes it a very difficult job so that the mind-set has to change, certainly. that's a real takeaway of the report, the accountability review board's report and he is an eminent person whom people will listen to but i think both branches of government, the legislative branch and executive branch need to work together and that message shouldn't be lost in all the attacks, well, the allegations now made against the state department. >> thanks so much, nick burns. thank you for joining us today. >> thank you. and what political story will make headlines in 24 hours? that's next.
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chris srisihris cillizza is >> they put out a statement saying we expect more in washington tomorrow from them. unclear to put out an extended statement and questions from the press or not. we know the president of the nra will be on with david gregory on "meet the press" so a big weekend to see what the nra plan to do going forward. >> exactly. i'll be on the program, as well. thank you for the plug and that does it for this edition of "andrea mitchell reports." my colleague tamron hall has a look at when's next. >> hi, andrea. plan "b" basically stands for be real. and house republicans get ready to bring boehner plan to the floor for a vote. senator reid says it's got no
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chance of passing the senate. what's the possible solution? democratic congressman pass quell and congresswoman swartz will join us. tomorrow, the nra holds that big news conference we have been waiting for. will the organization announce support of gun control legislation? that's the gut check question of the day. the only underarm treatment for low t. that's right, the one you apply to the underarm. axiron is not for use in women or anyone younger than 18. axiron can transfer to others through direct contact. women, especially those who are or who may become pregnant, and children should avoid contact where axiron is applied as unexpected signs of puberty in children or changes in body hair or increased acne in women may occur. report these signs and symptoms to your doctor if they occur. tell your doctor about all medical conditions and medications. do not use if you have prostate or breast cancer. serious side effects could include increased risk of prostate cancer;
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