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tv   Inside Story  Al Jazeera  November 11, 2015 1:30am-2:01am EST

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fell short by 100,000. that's the show for today, i'm very well in milwaukee. the news continues on al jazeera america >> what are debates for in the presidential primary season in this year's republican debates have been unwieldy and they sometimes cried out for more context and more explanation rather than bumper sticker slogans. it got so bad that after the cnbc forum, the candidates toyed against the media and their own party eventually backed off. nobody is refusing to participate. but in fact, all of the capped dates want a podium for the
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main event. why? a year away from election day, we'll be debating the debates. it's the "inside story." >> welcome to "inside story," i'm ray suarez. while the democratic debates have been rather sedate affairs overall, the gop encounters have not, one candidate made fun of another's looks, and one got away with missing a question about tax plans by turning the answer into an attack on the media. the republican national committee yanked a scheduled debate from nbc to punish the network for the cnbc debate. but no candidate has talked about not participating.
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quite the opposite, everybody wants to play and grumble about the proceedings. more from michael shure about tonight's debate. >> the way that the republicans were united, how it was at fix, we all don't like the way that the cnbc debate happened. we want to revolt about the questions and how they put it on. but when they got to the table, and we want to figure out how to make it better, they all had different ideas, and they all didn't sit down at the same table. ben carson, his reason for being there was to get more time and more statements. and chris christie said ask me anything, and i'll answer. and jeb bush wanted more time to answer substantive questions, and they all came with different ideas and all left unhappy. nothing happened there, and donald donned said that he would negotiate directly with the networks themselves. but when you talk about the
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debates, you talk about having nine debates, only nine debates. last time, into 2012, they had so many debates that it became tiresome. this time, you have donald trump in the center of each state. and he's feeding all of the ideas and the focus of these other candidates, and it makes it very difficult to evaluate whether or not this has been a good strategy or not. a lot of times when you saw mitt romney, you wait it out, avoid the substantive questions, and let the others fall. this time it's not so easy. you saw the governor of wisconsin, scott walker, having to get the ideas through. and it's a different sign for democrats and republicans, and it changes, as the democrats have their leader in hilliary clinton, sos now so far up in the polls, even against bernie sanders, who has shown a lot of popularity early on in iowa and new hampshire. but hilliary clinton is the
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candidate that the republicans are running against, and just watching the republican debates, they have very different motivations, and that's how it's going to play out very differently in this. >> that's aljazeera's michael shure, at the site of the presidential gop debate in milwaukee. how are they scheduling who the candidates are, and what they believe, and are they useful for showing them what they're like under pressure, and can they explain what they want to do as president? joining me now: o'brien, let me start with you, after all of the bellyaching, what are debates for, and are they fulfilling their tasks? >> well, i think that there are a couple of things. one, we have to realize that
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the reason that all of the candidates got together on all of this, they disagreed with how things were coming out the back end and how they were perceived in the debates. they said here are the debates and the ones that they had last cycle with mitt romney, referred to earlier, those were planned two weeks notice sometimes. and campaigns had to cancel fundraisers and scheduled events. and what you have now, the process jumping out in front of any campaign. and now that they're going forward, why aren't there opening statements or closing statements? the answer is that there are too many people on stage. that becomes the next question that we're going to right now, and the reality is that you'll have to get out whatever your message of the day is, or the week, or if you want to get a bigger campaign message out, that's what you have to get across. and that means that you don't have to answer the question asked, and i think that's what the bigger opportunity is here,
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for all of candidates to step up and get their message across, the message to the voters and the media, and they get a minute and a half to do that. that's what happens. and they get the opportunity to cross-examine each other. >> david, the same question, what are the debates for, in your view, and are they accomplishing what they set out to view do? >> i think that with 25 million viewers, you have to know that as a large audience, you're not going to be on that stage, and going to the point that o'brien just mentioned, this is a great opportunity to concisely put forward your agenda for america. in contrast, forget about the democrats at this point, but in contrast to the other republicans on the stage, because right now, there's no consensus candidate. and that means that it will go against the autopsy report that
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we saw from the republicans in 2012. how do we make this primary season shorter than it was in 2012 or '08? and they're looking for, even possibly now, they're looking at a convention without that consensus candidate emerging. >> are they playing in the last war? coming out with the shortened debate schedule, 14 candidates stable? >> that's the citizens united. and some prop-up candidates. you talk about millions of people watching, but there are also millions of dollars at stake. and there's no reason for any of these candidates to get out, even if they only have a marginal proportion of support. so they are fighting the last war, and they will continue to, and we may be here three, four, five months from now wondering, why are there still a dozen
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people in the race, when few of them have ever had a chance. >> jeb bush had more money than anyone else, and it's not helping him. and donald trump has more than anyone. so i disagree that it's about the super pacts. >> if i meist add, the super pact money, going back to gingrich, extending his stay in the race, and walker had super pact money, and that didn't preserve his position in the race, but it does have a way, both the millions of dollars in super pact money, and the viewers, not having a consensus candidate, to extending the race more than before. >> all you need is one line in the campaign forum that may resonate with the voters and the super pact. so while bush may have more than
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anyone else -- >> o'brien, when they made the schedule with the nine debates, isn't it the case that they weren't imagining that there were going to be 14 people who wanted to be on the stage? >> well, i think that it goes back to 14 people or more in the process, that we talk about having fewer debates. again, last time there were so many, all you have to do is be in a network, and say who is hosting the debate and who is going to show up? and you missed the opportunity to take a shot at the candidates, or they missed the shot at you. again, we all work on campaigns, and i would never work on a debate without knowing the ground rules ahead of time. what interaction there is, and whether there will be a lightning round. usually before, that's not what's happening, and it's going to be interesting to see how it plays out for the rest
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of the debates. >> stay with me. he's going after the media, trying to push back on reporters, who are campaign operatives, and aren't there to make you look good. and even if the debates do tell us something about the candidates, do they actually let us know what kind of presidents they would be? debating the debates. it's the "inside story." >> at 9:30 - "america tonight" - top investigative reporting, uncovering new perspectives. >> everything that's happening here is illegal. >> then at 10:00 - it's "reports from around the world". >> let's take a closer look. >> antonio mora gives you a global view. >> this is a human rights crisis. >> and at 11:00 - "news wrap-up". clear... concise... complete.
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>> our american story is written everyday.
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it's not always pretty, but it's real... and we show you like no-one else can. this is our american story. this is america tonight. >> you're watching "inside story," i'm ray suarez. on the night that presidential candidates gather in milwaukee for their fourth debate, we're debating the debates. talking about engage the, their ideas, and real impact, and while there are plenty of complaints, nobody says i'm not coming. professor michael, david, and o'brien are still with me, and it was mentioned that there's a large audience. but is there also a surprising amount of angst about being dropped from the main stage in chris christie will be in the smaller candidate's forum tonight after being in the first three debates on the main stage.
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for all of the criticism of these debates, is that a major setback for him? >> if you can't qualify to be on the main stage, where are you really in the campaign in that's one of the problems that the candidates are facing. how do you say something that resonates with enough of a national audience to get on you to the main stage, when what goes on in iowa, new hampshire, south carolina, nevada nevada, e real early states that are going to decide who is going to win the nomination? >> well, senator graham and governor petaki were dropped from even the preliminary candidate's forum, and tonight, senator graham is on social media answering the questions that are being asked of the candidates online. it's an attempt to stay relevant and part of the process, but does this really mean that he's done? >> well, it's interesting to say whether someone is done or not, and it's
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a tough answer going forward. carly fiorina was in the early debate, and then made it to the main stage. and governor huckabee went down from the main stage to the earlier debate too at this point. it's about the rnc giving up their power early on about who is going to be on the main stage. when you look at the elected officials with great track records, no matter who you want to be part of, a governor being on the main stage, some of the decisions here, the margin of error is all there is between a candidate's being on the stage and not at times, and i think when you look at the money that these candidates are spending in iowa, new hampshire, south carolina and nevada, you can't overlook that. when you look at the national poll versus the local polls, that's where things get caught. look who won last time, rick
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santorum won last time, and if you're not on the main stable, it's not good for you, it's how you spin it and get play out of it. one would argue that governor christie might get a lot more airtime on the earlier debate, which is a great opportunity for soundbites, which is what were. >> i'm glad that o'brien brought that up. because a lot of the people only experience the debates and what's said about them afterwards. only a minority of the audience watches the events. >> if you have that sound bite. and if you have that policy revealed to the public, that will be the headline on twitter, or on facebook, or on the front page of the washington post, or the wall street journal for that matter. but i agree with o'brien in
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raising the question of who negotiated these deals before the debates got started? and rather than putting the party and candidates in position to sound like winers, or cry babies, or complaining, which christie has said, stop complaining, one of the moderators for the debate later on said look, do not come as whiners or appear as babies. and that has put the party and it's candidates in jeopardy. so instead of addressing the issues, we're now having, or the republicans are looking like they can't -- they bring up the question about obama and facing world leaders. if you can't face moderators, and i don't care if they're cnbc or fox or whoever, if you can't face them, how do we leaders?
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>> he used that to scold the moderators about fantasy be football the last time. gentlemen, stay where you are, and when we continue, what would be more useful? what would the public watch? is there a structure for these encounters that would get the stations to broadcast, attract audience, and oh, yeah, have a more useful purpose for 2007. debating the debates, it's the "inside story."
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>> the best idea is not to take the burden off of the candidates, so solutions and what the americans want to see in the challenges that we face, and rather than blaming the liberal media, let's get down to the substance of the issues, and let the moderators hold them to account to offer that vision and solutions. carl rove had very good advice for the republican candidates. don't get in the race unless you have solutions to some of the problems and challenges
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that the american middle class are facing and others. and i would challenge -- rove. >> in this case, i did. >> o'brien, go ahead. >> if you notice, david is great at giving advice to the republicans because there are so many of them. the democratic bench is so thin, they don't have the issue of who is going to be on the stage at this point, so we can move on from there. but i think that the reality is, i was an advocate in august, and remember, carly fiorina and ben carson may not have been on the stage in the first debate. and carly wasn't, but i say put everybody's name in the hat and split it up, and then after a while, you can whittle it down a bit. but when you talk about who the moderators are, it's liberal media.
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that's who you're going to get. you always have that four years ago, and eight years ago, and it's always going to be the republicans in their debates. but the reality is, we need moderators who are going to ask questions, and not take sides, and spin things and lean into a certain direction, whether it be left, right, center, whatever it is, and i think that we need moderators who have gotten through unscathed and who have done senate debates in the country. look at chuck dodd, who does these on a regular basis, on his meet the press show, and you do them here from time to time. moderators who have not gotten in trouble for how they spun the questions and sided with a candidate are the ones who should do that. professor. >> i think we have two problems here. one, the candidates only want to respond to the questions as they see the answers. and that's one problem, and the other problem is the questions.
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the discussion is only as good as the question. and unfortunately, the moderators aren't able to follow up and say, wait a second, we have video of you saying this, or you said why, and then ask the candidate to account for what they said. so the structural problem for me needs to be fixed. the ability of moderators to followup, and also broadening the base of the people asking the questions. we have to remember, these are tv shows in many cases, and the network is only going to put their reporters on, and they may not be necessarily up to speed to the extent they could be, and then secondly, use those candidates off of their desire to provide talking points rather than effectively responding to the questions as they're pose the. too often the candidates get off the issue. >> has the
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ship sailed for 2016? is it too late to design these public? >> they have to be involved, just like repeat tv, the same thing again and again, nobody is going to watch t and the modraters getting involved too much, and not just moderating. with the question about benghazi, we have to pay attention to what they do for the followup because the facts opinions. >> david mercer, these are negotiated by the campaigns themselves to protect their own candidates. isn't there a certain adversarial intention between all sides around the table that affairs? >> well, i think that we're
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seeing is bland affairs in the republican side of the debates. let's face it, they're facing a lot of headwinds, we just saw unemployment go to 5%, and 200 plus thousand jobs created in 18 consecutive months of job growth. and we also receive good gdp numbers. what's the record that these candidates have to stand on that they're looking to get out. we're not seeing much of that. as much as we're seeing the candidates for governor brown back -- you're seeing the same thing being propose the by presidential candidates. >> david, let's get off of democratic talking points. >> that's a reality. >> david, there are more people out of the workforce with this president than any time in history before. workforce.
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>> the underemployed has declined for the first time since the recession. and that's good news. >> david, more americans are leaving the workforce under before. >> in a month than in bush -- >> i'm going to cut you both off because we couldn't let this show about debates turn into a debate. howard university here in washington, david mercer, he now runs the public affairs, mercer associates. and o'brien murray, a political consultant. i'll be back with a final thought and an anniversary.
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>> all candidates, any candidates have things that they would not rather talk about in a debate or anywhere else. if they stay in an opinion that neatly fits their ideological view of the world, they would go on to have that challenged. that's why reporters appear to be vital to the process, even if the people who would like to become the most powerful human being in the world don't want to be contradicted. don't want to be tested, don't want to be embarrassed, don't want the public to know that they're wrong.
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i hope reporters in the debate stretching out onto next year continue to test propositions and push candidates and followup when they misstate the record. they have to do it in part because the public discourse has become so canned and planned that these marathon gab fests are the only places it can happen. they don't work for the campaigns. their allegiance is to the employers, to you and to the truth. one more thing, tomorrow marks two years for me at aljazeera america. for those who have been along for the whole ride, thanks, and for those who have recently joined the "inside story" audience, it's great to have you. get ready for a jam-packed and likely exciting year of news. i'm ray suarez and that's the "inside story," the news is next. thousands of afghans
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protest calling for greater security after the killings of members of an ethnic minority. you're watching al jazeera live. also coming up on the program. the syrian army says it has ended a two-year siege of an air base by rebel groups. head to head the u.s. republicans square off in their fourth debate. chinese website breaks records in a


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