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tv   This Week With Christiane Amanpour  ABC  September 19, 2010 10:00am-11:00am EDT

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welcome to our viewers in the united states and around the world. i'm christiane amanpour, and this week we come to you from jerusalem, new york and washington. at the top of the news, make-or-break middle east talks. first, my exclusive interview with secretary of state hillary clinton. do you believe you've convinced some of the skeptics? >> i asked them, what's the alternative? >> and her message to iran. >> we stand ready to engage with iran. >> so what's his response, the president of iran, mahmoud ahmadinejad on his country's nuclear program, human rights. i'd like your opinion on stoning. and the fate of the two american hikers still detained in iran.
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would you intervene like you did for sarah? ahmadinejad and clinton, a "this week" exclusive. and then -- >> you betcha. >> the tea party's delaware upset. >> they call us wacky. they call us wing nuts. >> delaware republican party chairman tom ross joins george will, peter beinart of "the daily beast" and david sanger of "the new york times" to analyze what the tea party means to the republican party and their chances at the midterms in november. all of this on our roundtable and "the sunday funnies." >> the democrats are already attacking o'donnell. they're calling her the sarah palin of the east and i'm like really. she's an emotionally unstable woman from delaware. that's not sarah palin. that's joe biden. standing here outside the walls to jerusalem's old city, we witnessed some intense negotiations between israeli and
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palestinian leaders who have got down to the core issues, for instance, security and settlements, issues that have eluded their predecessors for more than 60 years. but looming over these talks is a deadline at the end of this month. israel's self-imposed moratorium on building settlements. now, publicly the israeli prime minister benjamin netanyahu says that israel cannot extend the moratorium. president abbas of the palestinians says that if he's forced to make any more concessions, he will simply walk. but will that be their final position? after a meeting between abbas, netanyahu and clinton, i asked whether they had made any progress towards breaking the impasse. prime minister netanyahu told me, "we're working on it. it is a lot of work," he said. and the stakes couldn't be higher for the region, for the obama administration and for secretary clinton, who says she's still optimistic despite a heavy dose of skepticism all
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around here. i sat with her after a hectic week of negotiating. madam secretary, thanks for joining us. >> it's a pleasure. thank you for being here in jerusalem. >> how are the talks going? are you down beyond the sort of photo-op stage? are you into core issues? >> we really are, christiane, and i have to say it's been impressive to see the two leaders engaged so seriously so early on what are the core issues, but these talks are already into very sensitive and important areas. >> president obama has said that given the talks going in a constructive way, israel should continue the moratorium on settlements. do you believe that that will happen? >> well, that certainly is our hope. now, we've also said that we'll support an agreement that is reached between the parties. it took a lot of political capital for prime minister netanyahu to achieve this moratorium. it had never been done before,
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and i rightly, i think, gave him credit for it about a year ago here in jerusalem. at the same time, it's been in effect for the time that it was set for, and the talks are just starting, so we are working hard to make sure there remains a conducive atmosphere to constructive talks. >> is there any flexibility you can see, any creative diplomacy as everybody is talking about to get through this hurdle? >> they need to keep talking, and each party, both israelis and palestinians, need to figure out a way to make that happen, and i think this president has said, we are committed. we will stay with you. we will do everything we can to facilitate that. at the end of the day, this has to be an agreement between israelis and palestinians. >> who do you think is making the biggest psychological leap, the biggest leap of heart? >> i think both are. you know, israel today is under tremendous security pressure,
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and they can look over the horizon and see even more when you've got a country like iran standing by saying, we want to wipe you from the face of the earth and annihilate you. i mean that does concentrate your mind, and on the palestinian side, we've been down this road, you know, we're trying to build our own institutions of a new state. you know, can we really afford to not do it? >> is it the u.s. position to press president abbas to stay even if the moratorium is lifted? >> we don't want either party to leave these negotiations or to do anything that causes the other to leave the negotiations. >> but are you urging president abbas to stay? >> we are having very, you know, very clear conversations with each, and i will certainly urge him to continue in the negotiations just as i've urged prime minister netanyahu and as president obama has said to continue the moratorium. >> do you believe you've convinced some of the skeptics, for instance, the foreign
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minister avigdor lieberman who you also spoke to have you convinced him this two-state solution, this process is the right one? >> i don't claim to convince someone whose views are very different from that position. i think that he and many israelis are quite skeptical just as many palestinians are quite skeptical. but i ask, what's the alternative? i mean, what is the alternative? >> can we move on to iran and can i first ask you, what is your reaction to the release of sarah shourd? >> great relief. i was so pleased that this young woman was able to come home. i want the other two young americans, josh and shane, to come home, as well. but as a mother i've met with their mothers, and i just can't even imagine how painful the experience that they themselves have had inside prison, but then, of course, the pain of their families feel, so thankfully she'll be given a chance to be reunited now.
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>> will there be any further talks at any time soon on the nuclear issue? is there any date, any agreement from the iranians to meet in a p-5 plus 1? >> well, we thought that they were open to that, and we certainly had indicated our readiness to meet. now, at the united nations next week, i will be meeting with my counterparts of the p-5 plus 1 to discuss where matters stand, but as we're speaking right now, i know of no meeting that the iranians have agreed to attend. >> on the one hand you say that you're grateful that iran released sarah shourd as a humanitarian gesture. you need to do diplomacy through the p-5 plus 1 on the nuclear issue. on the other hand, in your speech and in your comments at the council on foreign relations, you said that it's a country morphing into a military dictatorship. explain that. >> well, christiane, i'm
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concerned about what i see going on, and i am, of course, grateful and appreciative that sarah was released and want to see not only her two compatriots but other americans who are held without cause released, as well. and we are concerned about the nuclear program, but what we also see happening is increasing power exercised by the military, by the revolutionary guard and by other militia and military entities, and i know that that's a concern of people inside iran as we read reports coming out of iran, and it is something that would be even more distressing for the iranian people. you know, i have grave disagreements with the iranian revolution, but the early advocates of it said this would be a republic. it would be an islamic republic,
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but it would be a republic, then we saw a very flawed election, and we've seen the elected officials turn to the military to enforce their power, and a lot of iranians, even those who stayed, even those who were originally sympathetic, are starting to say, this is not what we signed up for, and i can only hope that there will be some effort inside iran by responsible civil and religious leaders to, you know, take hold of the apparatus of the state. >> let me ask you what the united states can do, as you say, to support the people of iran. you know, during the cold war, as you know so well, the helsinki accords were the framework -- >> yes. >> -- by which the united states pressed the soviet union on human rights while still negotiating on arms control. >> right.
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>> why is it the united states today does not have a framework or any sustained intention of pressing iran on human rights while still trying to figure out the nuclear situation? we keep hearing that officials don't want to upset the diplomatic apple cart. >> no, i don't think that's it at all. i mean we have spoken out on human rights. we have done the best we could to support those inside through trying to open up access to telecommunications, so we are very much in favor of and speaking out on behalf of individual cases and, more generally the human, political, civil rights of iranians, and, remember, when president obama came into office, he extended his hand, i mean very clearly and quite unprecedentally to the iranian leadership, and said, we would be willing to have a diplomatic engagement with you. i think the sanctions that have been endorsed and now are being implemented by the international community, you know, demonstrates our engagement, because, you know, we've said to
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the iranians all along, we have two tracks, we have the pressure track, and we have the engagement diplomatic track. and we still remain open to that diplomacy, but it's been very clear that the iranians don't want to engage with us, and the final point i would make is, you know, we are trying to be effective as we help those inside iran. we get -- and i meet with iranian experts, and we get different advice. we get some who say, you know, full speed ahead, don't worry about it, just say whatever you have to say. others will say, don't do that. this is a very delicate balance, so we try to walk that line. >> does it concern you that so many iranians after the election, so many of the protesters really weren't sure whether the obama administration was on their side and to this day remain unsure, iranians inside iran? >> well, i don't know how that
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could be, because we made it very clear that we supported the legitimate efforts of the iranian people to protest and demonstrate against a flawed election. we made it very clear to the iranians that we thought that they had not only conducted an illegitimate election but counter to their own stated and professed laws and constitution, so we made it very clear, but we also knew that the worst thing for those protesting was for them to be seen as stooges of the united states. so, again, what we've tried to do is to stand up for the human rights of every person, most particularly those brave iranians, you know, lawyers and activists and others who are standing up and saying to the regime, no, you have to fulfill the promises you yourselves have made about what we should
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expect without undermining their efforts. now, it's very delicate, and, you know, some days we get it right, and some days maybe we could do better, but our bottom line is we think the iranian people deserve so much more than what they're now being given, and we are worried about the direction we see iran headed. >> the sanctions, president ahmadinejad has said the sanctions are "pathetic, worse than a used handkerchief." do you think they have any possibility of actually affecting their nuclear behavior? >> well, first, i think they have and will continue to affect their behavior. in fact, you know, former president rafsanjani said just the other day, these are serious, they need to be taken seriously. he was, in effect, criticizing his government because of comments like that.
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yes, they're biting and hear from many in the region and beyond, and, in fact, the information we're getting is that the iranian regime is quite worried about the impact on their banking system, on their economic growth, because they've already encountered some tough economic times, and this is making it more costly. sanctions are a tool. they're thought an end in themselves, and we would very much like to see iran return to the p-5 plus 1 forum where they were last present a year ago, october, to talk about their nuclear program. we would like to see them once again permit full iaea inspections. we would like to see them taking the offer that has been made by us and others to talk about a broad range of issues like their support for terrorism, hamas and hezbollah, so we stand ready to engage with them. that's the message i would like to send to the iranians, that there's a way out of the sanctions. there's a way out of increasing support from the
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international community and there should be a way out of their takeover of the political system and a threat to their dual system of elected and clerical leadership because when you empower a military as much as they have to rely on them to put down legitimate protests and demonstrations, you create a momentum and unleash forces that you do not know where they will end up, and so we think that now is the time for the iranian leadership to engage seriously. >> secretary clinton, thank you very much for joining us. >> as clinton says, iran looms large over this process and over security for the entire region. next we go to new york where leaders from all over the world are coming for the u.n. general assembly, and i sit down with iran's president, mahmoud ahmadinejad, who has turned these annual u.n. appearances into a regular attempt to seek out the media and press his case. >> mr. president, thank you for joining us. the united states is very
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pleased that you have released sarah shourd, and the secretary of state, hillary clinton, has said that she wants the other two, josh and shane, to be released also, a humanitarian gesture. >> translator: it's true that the islamic republic of iran took a humanitarian measure and released one of the three individuals who entered our borders, miss sarah shourd. this was a huge humanitarian gesture. now, you may be aware that eight iranians are illegally being detained in the united states, so i believe that it would not be misplaced to ask that the u.s. government should make a humanitarian gesture to release the iranians who were illegally arrested and detained here in the united states. >> mr. president, i understand that the iranians, many of them have been convicted of various
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sanctions busting and arms busting. so are you saying you're holding the two americans as hostages for the release of iranians here? >> translator: no, but how would you know that those iranians are criminals? are you a judge? >> may i show you something? i just want to show you a recording. >> we thank you for bringing sarah home, but now it is time for bringing josh and shane home, and we urge you again with your humanitarianism of the islamic republic of iran to show the same compassion you had for sarah to bring josh and shane home. >> last may when you were here, you talked about being a friend to the american people. shane and josh are american people. their families are american people. please release both of them back to their families. >> translator: we're saddened that there are individuals in prison, and it makes us unhappy
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when people are in prison anywhere in the world, whether in iran or in the united states or elsewhere. we want people to be free and not to suffer, but at the end of the day, there is a law that determines who stays in prison and who does not. >> and do you think they'll be released any time soon? would you intervene like you did for sarah? >> i would give a recommendation, but their cases have to be examined. they violated the law. >> let's move on to the nuclear issue. the united states secretary of state hillary clinton told me that they would like to have a discussion with iran in the p-5 plus 1 over the nuclear issue. before ramadan iran said it was looking to have another meeting, but there's been no further word on it. are you going to have a meeting with the united states in the p-5 plus 1 on the nuclear issue? >> translator: on this trip? >> any time soon.
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>> translator: yes, i -- we -- we have a plan to discuss things, to discuss issues. we've always been ready to discuss issues as long as they're within the legal framework and based on principles of justice and respect. now, having said that, all our nuclear activities are being controlled by cameras. material that is moved is weighed, is examined and controlled. so as far as the iaea supervision is concerned, there is no blockage of that supervision. now, some of these individuals have released our nuclear information, the information that we have provided, which is illegal. the iaea is required by a statute to protect that information, not to release it, and plus the iaea is aware of several other violations that they have permitted. now we believe that here the united states is pressing the
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iaea to take a political position on the issue. once the iaea does that, its work becomes worthless and ineffective. >> sanctions, the united nations, the united states, the european union, japan, south korea, russia, china, everybody's put sanctions on iran. are you surprised that they were so uniform? >> translator: it is meaningless to us. >> well, it's interesting for to you to say this. former president of iran rafsanjani has given a speech in which he urged you not to take the sanctions as a joke, to take them seriously, and he says that they're the most tough sanctions that iran has ever experienced. do you consider them a joke, or do you take them seriously? >> translator: in iran people are free to make statements to say what they think. there are no restrictions on
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what people say. >> no, but the question is, do you take the sanctions seriously, or do you consider them a joke, ineffective, not serious? >> translator: we do take sanctions seriously, but taking it seriously is different from believing that they are effective. these are two different issues. we consider this as -- and have recorded it as a serious violation of international law. it was illegal. it was wrong. it wronged the people of iran by insulting them, and these sanctions will definitively mark a new level of progress in our economy. we have turned sanctions around and created opportunities out of it. now, this doesn't mean certainly that we don't take it seriously, but it doesn't have a negative influence on our economy because it does not. >> this time, in fact, people are saying it does have a negative influence.
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businessman will not be able to do enough trade. shipping will be difficult. insuring ships is going to be difficult. >> translator: none of this is a problem. i want to stress it is not a problem. if you want to say it's effective, why not wait for the next six months or year to see with your own eyes whether there are effects or not, and i tell you there are none. >> i want to ask you about human rights. you know the lady sakineh mohammed ashtiani, who was sentenced to stoning. her sentence was lifted. what do you personally think of stoning? do you think that's an appropriate sentence for anybody in today's modern iran? >> translator: why do you think that the issue of one lady in a village in iran called miss mohammed should suddenly become such a big issue for american officials? >> i'm surprised that you don't think that it's likely to be a big issue, and it's not just
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american officials, it's all over the world. it was international. >> translator: allow me -- allow me. >> your views on stoning, do you think it's appropriate and fitting for a modern country in a nuclear -- want-to-be nuclear power? >> translator: why not finish your statement and allow me to speak. >> i'm asking your opinion. >> translator: well, if you want me to speak, if you want to lecture me, you can, but that's fine. >> i'm asking your opinion. >> translator: i won't be offended. i have a lot of patience. >> okay, i'd like your opinion on stoning. >> translator: you see -- first what i want to say is that miss mohamed was never sentenced to stoning. this was news that was produced and incorrect, and regrettably western -- u.s. media was infected by u.s. politicians to make a piece of news out this. >> but the iranian government lifted, lifted the sentence. >> translator: allow me. allow me.
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when i represent the iranian government, how come is it that i am unaware of what you are telling me and that you should be aware of it? this is an issue that is being considered. it's still being processed. given that there was no sentence of stoning issued in the first place, this was a news that was made up. the propaganda behind it was big, and then they're saying murderers of people become supporters of human rights? now, this is ancient method -- an ancient method that needs to change. it's natural. anybody can have an opportunity over an issue and propagate about it, but we are opposed to the way the united states manages the world, manages iraq, afghanistan and elsewhere. >> since we're talking about this, since you've been president, executions in iran have increased by four times. did you know that? >> translator: that is not true
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at all, not at all, not at all. >> you deny that? independent humarights groups say that. >> translator: how do they know? they haven't come to iran. >> can i move on to ask you about the leaders of the opposition. mr. mousavi and mr. karabi. their offices have been raided recently. mr. now savvy's computers have been taken, and the prosecutor general in tehran is saying that a trial and a case is being built against them and that they will go to trial if and once public opinion is readied. is that something that you approve of and you agree with? do you know that a case is being prepared against mr. mousavi and/or mr. karabi. >> translator: you see, if they wanted to build a case, they
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should have done it last year. >> so you don't think it's happening? >> translator: i don't think it's even necessary. they were free. they're still free. they're going on with their daily lives. >> why does he say that, that a trial will take place. >> translator: who said? who said? >> a trial will take place when it'll be in the interest of the ruling establishment and once public opinion is ready. do you accept that? do you agree with it and approve it? >> translator: i do not get involved in the business of the judiciary. the judge is independent, but i think that when you translate these statements, you've probably made or interpreted it -- you've made a mistake in analyzing it. i am unaware of the details of what people do. the judiciary is aware of those details, but i can tell you -- i mean, you gave me a piece of news, and i'm telling you that if a case was to be built, it should have been done last year. >> what did you think when fidel
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castro said "mr. president, stop attacking the jews, stop denying the holocaust, stop being anti-semitic"? fidel castro, cuba is a friend of iran. >> translator: well, shouldn't he be free to say what he wants? he's free to say what he wants. we have never been anti-semitic. when was i anti-semitic? the jews live in iran. like every other person who lives in iran freely. >> you know hillary clinton told me and she's told others that the united states is very concerned about the increasing militarization of the iranian government, that the revolutionary guard is very involved, not just in its military activities but in politics, in economics, in business, that they're cracking down on the people, as you know.
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there are still hundreds of election protesters in jail, many of them without evidence, without trial. why the militarization of the iranian system? why? >> translator: don't you think that miss clinton should think a little bit before she makes statements of such nature? i think miss clinton is a very respected woman, but she should really gather more correct information to base her statements on accurate information. >> i have to ask you this one last question. i just want to know if there's any chance that you will respond to the invitation of the obama administration to engage with the united states. >> translator: i invited the -- him to engage -- >> well, he sent you a letter. he talked about it publicly. >> translator: i was the one who started the invitation. i was the first to send a letter of invitation, and he never
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responded to the letter. i announced in the united nations that we are ready to talk in the united nations in the presence of others. i didn't receive an answer. iran was the country that released sarah. we haven't even received a note from the united states on that. we're always prepared to talk but under fair conditions and respectful conditions. if somebody thinks that they can like order us around or rule us and talk, call -- later talk, that wouldn't work, but if they are ready to sit down, respect the law, be fair and just, we're always prepared to talk. >> mr. president, thank you very much. >> and you can see more of my interviews with president ahmadinejad and secretary of state hillary clinton on our website at and next, reaction to ahmadinejad, analysis of the middle east peace process thus far and the delaware tea party surprise.
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political guru that predicted i wouldn't win. >> these folks are going to shake it up and do what's right for america, not necessarily what's right for a political party machine. >> she's right on the issues but she has a character and record and background that gives me confidence that she is the right person for the job. >> back in washington now and some reaction from republicans to christine o'donnell's upset win in the delaware primary. we'll talk about that on our roundtable. but first we get a little reaction to what we just heard from ahmadinejad and secretary clinton with george will, with peter beinart, senior writer of "the daily beast" and professor at the university of new york, tom ross, the delaware republican party chairman and davsanhe n davsanhe n ou eingre do thiy clinton said about relations and about the possibility of a peace >> well, she said everyone's very serious and engaging the issues which takes you to square one. >> moratorium, do you think that will stay?
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>> i think they'll fudge that. that is, they'll say we'll continue building in the enormous blocks contiguous to jerusalem that no one expects to be transferred to any final settlement. with regard to the 100,000 or so settlers that are not contiguous to jerusalem, that remains to be addressed. remember, the biggest military operation israel has had since between the yom kippur war and in southern lebanon in 2006 was against israelis, was more than, what, 40,000 or some israeli forces used to extract israelis from gaza. >> they definitely are hoping they don't have to face any of that in the west bank, and we were told one of the things that they so don't want to see is any forced, you know, removal of any settlers in any kind of peace agreement. what did you get from ahmadinejad? >> well, a few things, i thought. first, his statement that all nuclear activity is being monitored by cameras sort of missed the big part of what's going on with the nuclear inspections or more importantly what isn't going on. it's been two years now the
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international atomic energy agency says since they first asked for most of the documents that they suspect would answer the question of whether there's a military dimension to the nuclear program, whether or not people have been working on warhead designs and missile designs that could be merged with nuclear material. all of those questions have gone completely unanswered. and so i think what you heard president ahmadinejad do was try to narrow this question to cameras sitting in some places where very few people believe the more suspicious nuclear work is under way. the inspectors haven't been allowed to interview almost any of the leading scientists in this area. >> and yet, you know, it's really difficult i think to get a real grip on this because when you talk to u.s. officials, they say, well, the main nuclear facilities, we can see that there is no diversion of material. >> that's right. >> they are continuing to inspect there, and still what i find very frustrating is whether it's the united states or
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israel, whether it's russia or others, they all have a vast disparity on when they think there will be either breakout capability or some kind of weaponization, so i think that is what frustrates this whole conversation so incredibly much. let us get down to the politics, because the tea party surprise, is it a surprise, george? was christine o'donnell a real surprise? >> well, it's a surprise in a year full of surprises so we shouldn't be quite so surprised. >> so what was the message by the republicans? >> the message was turn them out. it was stir it up. it is the fact that you lack washington experience is a considerable plus these days. >> tom ross, chairman of the delaware republican party, you are not a happy man today. >> i'm not a happy man. we have worked very diligently in a very difficult environment. i'm a republican chairman in the northeast. my state is vastly democratic. most people identify themselves as a moderate. we have the vice president of the united states political machine residing there. we have a very popular governor
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in jack markell who also happens to be the chair of the democratic governors' association and we work very diligently as a party with grassroots delegates to select candidates that best fit the seat. we work very diligently to not necessarily articulate the buckley rule but to live by it it, to find conservatives that can win. we had a candidate that was very close to becoming the next united states senator from delaware, and essentially people on our team clipped him right as he was about to go over the goal line. >> well, let me put up some things you said about christine o'donnell's win before the primary. let me put this up and see what you're saying about it today. >> if she were by some miracle to be our nominee, that we would lose the seat and lose it by unprecedented numbers. >> so now you've had to circle the wagons. >> well, no one likes to be wrong. do i wish i had said that in those terms? i do not. >> but you said even worse. should i put that up? >> you're welcome to.
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>> let's put that up. you said that she's got about as much chance of being elected to office as being elected dog catcher. i mean that is pretty out there. >> well, let me tell you, i am not a guru or a talking head or a hired gun. i am a partisan political party leader in a very difficult state to win elections. my job is to stand with our endorsed candidate, and i did that, and i'm proud of what i've done. the voters have spoken, and now my job is whether i like it or not or indifferent is to go out there and work just as hard to get each and every republican that the voters have selected elected in a very difficult environment. >> so is this a fad as pay yore bloomberg has said? is the tea party a fad or something much deeper? >> no, the tea party is now the republican party. i mean i think what we're seeing in the republican party is something akin to what happened to the democratic party between 1968 and '72 in which the forces of george mcgovern took over the democratic party, overthrew the democratic party establishment and moved it
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substantially to the left. what they didn't realize was while they were able to take over the democratic party, they were pushing that party further away from where average americans are. the republicans will do great in 2010, but i think sarah palin is really the republicans' george mcgovern, and when they go to a general election against barack obama in 2012 with a divided party, with lots of people like this gentleman here, in fact, not very happy about the direction of the republican party, they will see that this has not been a positive development for them. >> but eight months ago the worry was or the worst case analysis for republicans was that the tea party energies would be diverted into third-party rival candidacies splitting the conservative vote in this country. sarah palin, think of her what you will, has brought them into the republican party, and they are one of the main reasons for what is going to be probably decisive in november, and that is the enormous enthusiasm and intensity you have that favors the republicans this year. >> let's put up -- you actually
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talked about it. let's just put up the poll which basically says that amongst independents, some 42% are more favorable to the tea party and the same, 42% unfavorable, but when it comes to likely voters, that numbers shoots up, the more favorable one. >> that's because -- core democratic groups, you have remember this about a midterm, like african-americans, hispanics, young voters who don't turn out in midterms significantly, midterms are not a good predictor of elections. there's no question republicans will have a fab fall, but the question is what are people like christine o'donnell and the increased descendancy of sarah palin do for their chances in 2012? remember how bill clinton used newt gingrich and wrapped him around the neck of bob dole when he tried to win? we'll see that again. >> who actually is christine o'donnell? who is christine o'donnell? people say she's new, but in fact she's not that new. she's been toiling in activism for many, many years. >> she has been an activist for
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a long time, and she has run before, as well, and i think perhaps because she fared so poorly in the previous elections was one of the reasons that she was so underestimated this time. but i think the really interesting question about her is, does she now become a symbol that will encourage other candidates to go her route, or instead does the rest of the republican party try to embrace the anger that was behind her victory without embracing the extremism? and i think as peter suggested, that's going to be the very difficult dividing line here, which is, how to grab this enthusiasm, which as george points out, is a huge gap between the two parties right now. >> i think what we've got to realize here is essentially this election is going to be a referendum on obama, and while off-term elections are difficult for the president, he really doesn't have anything to hang his hat on, and if christine o'donnell can keep to that message that my opponent is a rubber stamp for the obama agenda, and i will oppose it, there is a path to victory. it won't be an easy one, but my
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point is not the messenger or not that we oppose tea party-type values in terms of getting our debt under control or keeping taxes down, mine is a conservative message that local activists within the party that are grassroots delegates need to have the opportunity to be able to select their candidate without outside forces coming in and big-footing them. >> you know, you talked about staying on message and keeping the message. you know, she hasn't actually given that many interviews. she hasn't actually -- you know, for instance, today she canceled two scheduled appearances on other sunday programs and so bits are coming out in dribs and drabs including bill maher, the political satirist who had her on perhaps some 22 times and beginning to drib and drab out bits of video. look at this one. >> i dabbled in witchcraft. i never joined a covent. >> what, you were a witch? >> i dabbled into witchcraft. i hung around people who were doing these things. i'm not making this stuff up. i know what they tell me they do. one of my first dates was with a
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witch on a satanic altar. i didn't know it and there was a little blood there. >> your first date was a satanic altar? >> yeah, i went to a movie and then had like a little midnight picnic at a satanic alter. >> a sacrifice? >> so that was 1999. >> right. >> is it right to hold her accountable for saying things like that? >> you know, that was a long time ago. i wish christine hadn't said that. i'm sure at this point christine wishes she hadn't said that. i bet she more wishes that she hadn't been where she was, but the bottom line is, as we saw in the last two weeks, voters are mad as hell, they're scared, and they do not like the direction this country that it's going, and if she stays on message -- >> not that message. >> not that message. >> but what is mad as hell? >> with the wiccan vote, that could be a real rally vote. >> anger is not a government strategy. what, in fact, does the tea party stand for? what is their manifesto? is it social values as she and
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others have said? is that big government repealing health care? what exactly is it? >> it is the sense that no one voted for this, that no one voted for government ownership of general motors, that no one voted for $8.5 trillion worth of debt to be piled up in the next decade. it is fright is what it is. it's not -- it is less anger i think than shock and awe statism that has turned people off. you know, we're missing the story here. 20 months ago standing up there on the capitol, we were at the apotheosis of barack obama. 40 years of democratic control coming up. 20 months later, the question is, well, maybe the democrats can hole one or even both houses of congress. i give you a list here. this week charlie cook, probably the best political handicapper in the state, moved connecticut's senate race from a toss-up. there are 12 democratically held seats right now that are either with the republicans, are either way ahead, slightly ahead, tied or slightly behind. connecticut, washington,
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california, nevada, colorado, illinois, pennsylvania, indiana, north dakota, arkansas, wisconsin and west virginia. that's a band of strength. >> in some of these states there are tea party candidates. i thought one of the things the republican party was worried about was losing that advantage and perhaps independents or others going for the democratic candidate. >> quite frankly, the fallacy of the moderate democrat is out the window. in 2006 and 2008 the democratic party had huge pickups where they took candidates in very conservative districts and they stood up and they said, i'm a conservative democrat, i think the obama agenda in terms of health care, spending, the proposed taxes that have been thrown around, that fallacy is gone and people are rallying to reject that and say, you know what, we've got to turn back the tide. this is out of hand. the other point i want to make is a lot has been bandied about the republican party of delaware being quote/unquote establishment. nothing could be further from
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the truth. at the same convention where we nominated and endorsed mike castle, we also endorsed perhaps the most conservative member of our delegation in -- >> why don't you stand up stronger? people are saying that the established republicans didn't stand up stronger against the tea party candidates and let them roll all over them. >> i think i stood up pretty strong. i think -- >> in general. in general. >> you know, we're not opposed to tea party values. what we're opposed to is people coming in from out of state and dumping hundreds of thousands of dollars on candidates that we have not endorsed and misrepresenting the records of our endorsed candidates. >> and if those candidates do get elected in november, what does that mean to governors and to some of the programs on the table right now? what does it mean? >> you know, president obama had a fairly successful legislative first 20 months by his own terms. he got health care through, got the financial regulation through, and he got through many of the stimulus
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programs that now have become the cores, as george says, of the opposition. i think what he has failed to do so far is explain the deficits, which i think has a lot of people scared, and explain a plan for getting out from that. the jobs issues have moved very slowly, as he has said, and even in those areas where he took temporary action, george mentioned the general motors -- likely general motors is going to go public and the u.s. government will probably get its money back. i think most americans probably don't understand that yet, and president obama has not done a very good job of making that leer. >> we will have to continue this discussion in the roundtable at the green room at where all week you can find our fact checks in conjunction with politifact. and up next, "in memoriam" and "the sunday funnies." during its first year, the humpback calf and its mother
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♪ >> edwin newman, nbc news. >> you're in danger. can't you see? they're after you. >> we remember all of those who died in war this week, the pentagon released the names of six service members killed in iraq and afghanistan. we'll be right back.
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words alone aren't enough. my job is to listen to the needs and frustrations of the shrimpers and fishermen, hotel or restaurant workers who lost their jobs to the spill. i'm iris cross. bp has taken full responsibility for the clean up in the gulf and that includes keeping you informed. our job is to listen and find ways to help. that means working with communities. restoring the jobs, tourist beaches, and businesses impacted by the spill. we've paid over $400 million in claims and set up a $20 billion independently-run claims fund
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and now "the sunday funnies." >> obama is publishing a children's book with pictures by the same guy who illustrated "the little engine that could." obama's book is a little different, though. instead of saying i think i can, i think i can, the main character says, i thought i could, i thought i could. it's really -- >> the government announced today a $60 billion arms deal with saudi arabia, the biggest in our history. we will sell saudi arabia f-15 fighter jets, apache and black hawk helicopters and many other weapons that will one day be used against us. so that's good thinking. >> is this a threat? >> here is a threat he made yesterday. >> it sounds to me like a warning. >> is that a threat, laura? is that a threat? >> it's a veiled threat. >> and i don't think it's any mistake that he used the word "explode." >> he answered every single one of their questions, but unfortunately here's what they heard at fox. >> squirrel! >> and we'll be right back with the picture this week.
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and working with people who are changing the face of business in america. after 25 years in the aviation business, i kind of feel like if you're not having fun at what you do, then you've got the wrong job. my landing was better than yours. no, it wasn't. yes, it was. was not. yes, it was. what do you think? take one of the big ones out? nah.
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turnout was lower than expected, but still more than 3.5 million afghans overcame the threat of violence and fraud to vote in parliamentary elections on saturday. the taliban disrupted the vote with attacks on some polling booths, and more than ten people were killed, which makes our picture this week even more remarkable. afghan citizens brandishing what seems to have become a symbol of democracy this decade, their purple fingers. and that's our program for today.
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thank you for watching, and we hope to see you next week.