tv State of the Union CNN June 26, 2011 6:00am-7:00am PDT
90s in the southeast. 108 in el paso. 67 in billings. and 67 in portland. and back out towards chicago, 76. 81 in new york. 74 in boston. wrapping it up in washington, d.c. with 87. t. j., your turn >> we thank you as always for spending time with us here on "cnn sunday morning" did the president get it just right? today, too many too soon or too few too late? with house committee chairman, mike rogers, and nancy pelosi. >> i don't see why our troops couldn't come home sooner. >> and then jim demint on his 2012 litmus test. >> we have to balance our
budget, should not be president of the united states. >> and then former bush spee speechwrit speechwriter, michael gur sun. i am candy crow low, and this is "state of the union." citing gains on the grounds with the taliban, president obama said he will bring 10,000 surge troops home by the end of this year, and another 30,000 by 2012. 70,000 troops will remain in afghanistan, twice as many when the president took office. still the drawdown decision was seen as defeat for military commanders. >> the ultimate decision was a more aggressive formulation, if you will, in terms of the time line, and then what we had recommended. >> more aggressive and has more risks than i was originally
prepared -- than what i recommended. >> joining me now, republican congressman, mike rogers. mr. chairman, thank you for being here. >> thank you for having me. >> you heard the commanders, despite what general petraeus and admiral mullen just said, they're onboard. are you? >> i hope there is a change in the second part of the withdrawal before next year. what they said is give us two fighting seasons at the surge level. it goes from may through october. in the first fighting season, they are in the middle of the first fighting season. the taliban keeps arguing and communicating to the afghans, they're going to leave so be careful who you support. i think we have done more harm to ability to leave afghanistan a place that can defend itself. at the end of the day, that's the goal.
that their police and army can deal with the taliban once we leave. in order for that to happen -- i supported the president when he called on the surge last year, we believed you could break their back in this, in the next fighting season, and the 23,000 troops, candy, have to start leaving right at the beginning of the fighting season -- >> so by june you have to begin a withdrawal, basically? >> should be significant if you are hitting that number next year. you have to give up ground and puts more on the troops left behind, and this should be conditioned based, not politically based here at home. >> let me ask you, you do have speaking of politically, some republican presidential candidates saying i think we ought to get out of there quicker than 2014. i can do it more speedily than the president envisions. do you have a plan with some of your republican colleagues
running for president? >> if we do this correctly, we can leave before 2014. by surging up -- remember, the final part of the surge did not get here until january of this year. it has not been a full year at surge strength in afghanistan. in this political mess, i have a 2012 campaign, which i think this was more written by the political shop than by the pentagon. >> let me stop you and people say this sort of thing all the time, and the gist of what you are saying is the president made the decision involving u.s. troops and the ones that remain behind is based on his desire to get re-elected? is that what you are saying? >> it's very hard to come to any conclusion when the exact line is in line with the 2012 election, and the commanders online are saying don't do this. >> and they are onboard now --
>> well, they are employed by the president. they say it's too soon. the people who drafted the plan -- again, i supported the president in the surge, which was not necessarily all that politically comfortable here in the united states. but at the end of the day, if we leave afghanistan with a safe haven, we have done nothing except accept the pre-9/11 mentality. i am a former fbi guy, and quau wednesday dunss are one thing, but the fact that it lines up before the first debate of 2012 is concerning to me mainly because the conditions on the ground have not changed. now the notion that they biwill negotiate with the taliban, they
dr. >> but even secretary gates says there are always political ends to wars like this, and you need a political end and you will not be able to do it unless you bring in the taliban. they have to renounce violence and etc., etc., but you can't do it any other way? >> here's where i disagree. columbia is a perfect example. what they did was come up with a program to take low-level fighters and reintegrate them into society. they are the ones that strap on the suicide bombers. they are the ones that send in the main units of the united states marines, and those are the ones we can whittle away, and when the mid level and senior levels of the taliban say their troops are abandoned them, that's where we are in a place to break their back. they bomb add hospital this weekend. a hospital. women and children were slaughtered by the taliban. you are going to sit down and negotiate with these folks? they never lived up to an
agreement. the russians tried it when they were there. george bush tried it in '05. it never worked. to think it's going to work now to justify a pullout, i am very concerned about the gains we made in afghanistan. >> let me move you to a different topic in the final couple of minutes. you are one of eight republicans to vote to authorize the u.s. action, which is already taking place in libya as part of the nato contingent. do you sense there is an isolationists trend inside the republican party? >> i think confusion led to the events of this week. i argue this should be one of the most embarrassing moments for the administration going into the week, the fact that they had democrats and republicans all over the map on something that the president has shown leadership, and presented his case, and i believe there are national security interests in libya in a very limited, defined role, there are things
to be concerned about. what i think happened, candy, is that lack of leadership and lack of explanation, and his believing he doesn't have to come to congress led to eight republicans and a host of democrats to a message of should we cut off funds or not, and he could have avoided that with leadership. >> you say you see politics at play with the president having the surge troops pull out for the nevada election next year, and now we have republicans who are seen as the party of strength, the party that supports u.s. military, maneuvers overseas, and then most republicans are voting against the president of the united states who is a democrat, who has put u.s. forces behind nato forces, and they are not in as far as we know any kind of mortal danger, the u.s. troops,
and why is that not a vote, and why is it typical of the republican party not to support a mission like this? >> he was in violation of the wars power act. if you like the wars power act or not, it's the law of the united states of america. he has stood up and said i don't have to follow that law. so what you saw was lots of republicans saying, wait a minute, this is -- this is serious business when you put your military men and women at risk for the united states of america, if you are going to do that, you better have us all onboard and i mean the american people and the congress, and he stood up and said i don't have to follow the law and not coming down to justify it, and i think it was a horrible mistake. if he made his case -- remember, i supported the president up front on libya, because i do believe there is national security issues that will directly impact the united states if we don't get it right. we at least should have a seat at the table. i am not advocating for boots on
the ground. i think the limited role we're playing in libya is appropriate. but we do bring some unique capabilities to that fight, and we can do it in a very limited way and protect our national security interests. by him not make that case, i think he has got people all over the map, and you saw what i thought was an embarrassing moment for the administration this week that i think we could have avoided. >> thank you for joining us this morning. >> thank you for having me. up next, house democratic leader nancy pelosi takes on the plan and her republican colleagues over the debt ceiling. >> they cannot handle the truth when it comes to big oil and sending jobs overseas and the like. [ male announcer ] thanks to advanced natural gas turbine technology from ge, the power that will help make our nation more energy independent is right here in america.
joining me today from the u.s. congress, democratic leader, nancy pelosi. madam leader, thank you for joining us. >>
thank you. >> you were disappointed in the president's decision feeling that more troops should be drawn out of there faster, and you promised to continue pressuring the president. >> it was not really pressuring the president, it was taking sure the afghanis were doing what they were supposed to do in the bargain so the president's timetable can be honored and perhaps facilitated. what i had said was that,
really, it's time. we have been there 9 1/2, almost 10 years. for the first 7 1/2 years, the bush administration did nothing. they had no plan. president obama has a plan. he has announced the good news that we will be gone by a date certain. i had hoped they could take more troops out sooner for a number of reasons. the lives and limbs of the military, and the american people. the afghan people have to do their part in this and the sooner they do, the sooner they come home. >> obviously you can remove funds, which i am assuming you would be against. is there some way you feel that you can make that pressure felt? >> well, i communicate with the president of afghanistan. i was there this spring and met with the ambassador this week. our message continues to be we
want to see progress. now, when i was there this spring for the first time i saw progress, the plans that the president had put in motion are showing benefits, whether it's the training of their forces, be it police force or military force, that's really moving along in a much better way, whether it's anti-corruption initiatives. we have great people in place to help with that. but i see progress being made and the framework that president obama has if it moves more quickly, i don't see any reason why our troops couldn't come home sooner. the longest war in our history. >> it is. and the fact is, if it goes the way the president's plan is laid out, there will likely be two times as many troops in afghanistan in november when he runs for re-election, as there were when he took office. is this the foreign policy you expected when candidate obama
was campaigning? >> what i said at the time was the american people are weary of this war, and we will do anything to protect our people, and how is it our national interest to stay there? can we do it a quicker, better way? not in haste, but with some plan to come home? and the president has put that into place. he has evaluated what the challenge is. i commend him for the capture, and the apprehension of osama bin laden. this was a very, very big deal. he connected the dots. he got it done. and he now has a plan for afghanistan. yes, i would have hoped we would have had a way to bring our troops home sooner, but that depends on actions taken by the afghanis as well. i think we sent a clear message. >> do you think the president -- since there will be twice as many troops when he runs for
re-election as had he first ran, do you think he will pay for this in his liberal base? do you think they hold it against him? >> i hope not. he has taken us on a course to finish the war and is finishing the war in iraq. he is the president. he has a plan, and that's something that we have not had before. i think that our progressive base of which i consider myself proudly a part, it will turn out for the president because -- >> despite some disappointments? >> in other words, unless you want to run for president yourself you will never have it all your own way. and as a base of its nature, god bless the base is of its nature, dissatisfied, persistent, relentless, and that's a good thing. the president has a different role. we do too in congress. but i would hope that the base could influence, if not make the
decision, influence the decision, and i think they have. the president has taken out more troops than some others wanted him to do. >> let me ask you to stand by a minute. we will take a quick break, and when we come back, the debt ceiling. at bayer, we've been relieving pain for over 100 years. and today, we're re-inventing aspirin for pain relief. with new extra-strength bayer advanced aspirin. it has microparticles so it enters the bloodstream faster and rushes relief right to the site of your tough pain. ♪
work out some sort of deal to raise the debt ceiling? >> let me just say this. there won't be any agreement for such an agreement -- unless the house democrats are part of that. unless the speaker comes to the table with 218 votes. but i think the president has been involved. he's talked about bipartisanship, and balance and what we do. the obstacle has come because the leader cantor has walked away from the table because he doesn't want to deal with special interests tax subsidies and the need -- >> the republicans don't want any tax increases in the debt ceiling? >> it's not a question of tax increases. >> they don't want -- yes, right, they don't want changes in revenue. >> what we're talking about here, some of the things that leader cantor can't handle the truth when it comes to these tax
subsidies for big oil, for corporations sending jobs overseas or giving tax breaks to the wealthiest people in the country, and asking seniors to pay more for less to be on as they apolish medicare. >> in the end they refer to tax increases as subsidies, anything that changes the tax base or the tax rate for corporations or for individuals. but let me ask you -- >> but, still, make sure we understand, closing special interests tax subsidies is what they have walked away from. >> so you said that there will be no deal unless house democrats are in on it, so as far as you are concerned, just because the president of the united states and speaker boehner come to some agreement, should they, you have to be sitting at the table as well? >> i have no objection as a former speaker myself to the
president and the speaker trying to reach some level of agreement, some framework for how we go forward. that arrangement works if the speaker has 218 votes. if they expect democrats to vote for the agreement, then democrats will have to be part of the agreement. >> mitch mcconnell, the leader obviously on the senate side said i think i can safely say that this congress is not going to raise taxes so why are we still talking about it? isn't there a point here? because his point is even when democrats controlled the house and the senate and the president was in the white house they could not pass any kind of tax increase, they could not deal with any of the subsidies so why either bother to fight for it at this point? >> they could not pass it because the republicans obstructed it -- >> and they still would, so isn't it pointless? >> no, it's not pointless, unless it's pointless to not reduce the deficit. this is a 10-year proposal. this will affect -- this is not
a six-month agreement that they had with the continuing resolution. this is a 10-year proposal. if we agree on values that say we are going to educate our children and respect the dignity of the retirement of our seniors and create jobs, and we're going to do so in a way that reduces the deficit, you couldn't possibly just buy into the cuts without the revenue and the recognition for the need for growth so our timing is affected by that. >> would you vote for a debt ceiling that has attached to it a package that has only spending cuts? >> that would be very hard -- what would it accomplish? how much deficit reduction could you achieve? you cannot -- you cannot achieve what you set out to do if you say it's just about cutting. it has to be about increasing the revenue stream as well. there are many things can you do in terms of, again, special interests taxes, and loopholes that the tax code is rampant --
just full of. let me just remind all this talk about all this talk about tax cuts in the bush years, the republicans said tax cuts would produce jobs, and they didn't, they produced a deficit, they produced a deficit -- >> along with two wars. >> two wars, unpaid for wars. they are
not unpatriotic, but they want -- in the second year of the obama administration, last year, more jobs were created in the private sector than in the eight years of the bush administration under the regime of tax cuts will produce jobs. >> madam leader, thank you so much for joining us. we appreciate your time. >> thank you. when we come back, republican senator jim demint lays down the gaunt lent for his lawmakers. >> anybody that doesn't understand we need to balance the budget probably should not be there. [ male announcer ] introducing the ultimate business phone --
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republican senator jim demint is not the most popular member of his party. he infewer rated quite a few party members. still, dau mint's power with the tea party set could make him a player this year in the republican primary for president. >> i'm telling every presidential candidate, if your name is not on this list, don't come see me. >> the list is a pledge demint wants every presidential candidate to sign, launched by over 40 conservative groups this week, it's called as short, and balanced. enforceable caps on spending, and balanced budget amendment to the constitution. of the nine presidential candidates officially in the
joining me now, republican senator, jim demint, of south carolina. senator, let's talk right off the bat about this pledge you signed along with other members of the senate and u.s. congress and various groups. it's called cut cap and balance. let me run through cut. you will oppose the debt ceiling until there are substantial spending cuts that would take affect 2012. define substantial. >> we are leaving that open so we can negotiate. we need to do something that significantly lowers spending in the short term. the second point, the cap spend something to put controls on spending over the long term and guide it towards a balanced budget, and which is the goal to pass a budget and allow states
to ratify it and allow states after it's aratified, to take place. we have to make hard decisions and balance the budget. candy, i am convinced if we don't have that requirement, we will keep spending until our country becomes worst than greece. >> i understand what you are saying is, i don't care if the country defaults, unless we do this, i'm not voting for a debt ceiling? >> i do care if we default. >> why does the treasury secretary say it's going to be cat troughic, and why don't you believe that? >> default will do it. we won't default. we will go back to budget levels of about eight years ago. we are not talking about trau conan types of situations. the worst thing, candy, if we
blow through the fourth debt ceiling in this administration, if we add another $2 trillion without taking control of it. people will realize we don't have the will to stop the spending. >> we're spending more than eight years ago. >> we are. >> and at some point you will head towards default if you don't raise the dealt ceiling, rnlt you? >> if the president decides he will not pay our bills because he refuses the balance the budget six or eight years out, americans need to know that. >> why shouldn't we look at it and say it's another giant game of chicken by our legislators? >> we have more revenue than we ever have. we are spending more than we ever have. we don't have a revenue problem. we have a spending problem. the government is doing things that we can't do well. we're wasting billions of dollars. we're not going to address the waste and fraud until we have
to. >> the fact of the matter is that i have not talked to an economists and perhaps you have that has not said that you cannot get there by cutting spending unless you cause some real pain. there has to be some sort of revenue enhancement. there has to be tax hikes. >> i don't agree with that. i do think -- >> there are a lot of economy i-s that say this, people that know what they're talking about here. i am trying to figure out why you think that's not so? >> because i worked on this for years. there are things we can do with entitles and cut costs over time and begin to offer young workers things that costs less, and transportation and education that states can do better, and we need to start making decisions of where those need to be done. i was on an oil rig in the gulf this weekend, and it costs over $600 million, and it has been sitting there for months waiting for a permit. thousands of jobs are on hold, but we won't do the things that create the jobs that create the
revenue. we can create the revenue we need if we allow the economy to start going again, but the problem is this administration seems to be doing everything that they can to make it harder and more expensive to hire people. revenues will come from economic growth. but spending cuts are essential in order to bring our budget into balance. >> let me ask you a political question. you have said that if there are republican senators up for re-election next year who vote for an increase in the debt ceiling without these things you outlined, the cut cap and balance, you might go ahead and back a primary opponent to them that would. are you talking about senator lugar and senator snowe, and senator brown. would you consider if they went ahead and said we have to raise the debt ceiling, you would consider running an opponent in a primary? >> i have no plans to do that. i will be involved in those
races. any member of the house of the house or senate that doesn't understand we need to balance our budget probably should not be there, and certainly a presidential candidate not willing to say we have to balance our budget should not be president of the united states. >> but you would not field candidates against luger, brown, snowe? >> i have no plans to recruit candidates against -- >> that's not a definite no? >> i am not real definite. >> we'll leave it there. looking at the 2012 now are there any people in the race now that you could not support? one of the things that i am thinking, jon huntsman just got in. he was asked about this pledge and he said the only pledge that i do is the pledge of allegiance. >> i will not support any candidate that does not want to balance the budget. so he's out. i think we have good candidates. the more i am around them, the
more confident i feel. and as america gets to know them -- >> can you name names? >> no, i don't want to name names. >> you're writing off huntsman, and i would guess you are supporting romney who you supported before? >> the only litmus test that i have is really the balanced budget? >> anything that would propel you into the race? >> i can't think of anything that would get me in the race. so i am looking for another candidate who is willing to carry that burden. but it's important. i think 2012 may be our last chance as a country to get this right. i am convinced four more years of obama will destroy our economy. i am not saying that as a partisan, but somebody who is in business for years and talks to hundreds of businesses over a month. everybody is coming in and saying they cannot do business
in this irn environment. >> texas governor, rick perry, there is a lot of talk about people wanting him in. would you like to see him get in? >> he does seem to be bold. so i will need to look into it if he decides -- >> is there somebody in the race that you like? i can tell. >> i like a lot of them and started meeting with them and a lot of them are asking to come in and speak to me. i am working with people in iowa, and new hampshire and south carolina, and getting a lot of people to hold back and not commit so they see how they respond to the debt ceiling and the balanced budget and what we will face in the next few months. we will know who the candidate is by how they need on what we are doing here. >> thank you. we appreciate it. up next, mitt romney leading the way in the republican race, but will that lead to his nomination? [ male announcer ] a moment that starts off ordinary
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the air of inef tauability is a bit like the political version of fake it till you make it. voters want to vote for a winner so act like one, at the very least you might scare off some of the competition. mitt romney is shoving his way to the front aiming beyond his immediate opponents. >> i cannot wait to debate him and say mr. president if in fact you did look at what we did in massachusetts, why didn't you give me a call and ask what wurkd and what didn't, and i would have told him, what you are doing will not work. >> his campaign oosz kwan tau duns. he will take time off from the inew hampshire south carolina circuit to raise money from well-connected americans in london. romney gave an interview to the local paper and attacked the president's economic policies.
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joining me now, bill burton, former press secretary for president obama, and michael gerson, former speechwriter for george w. bush. welcome. we have been talking about afghanistan all this week. how much sway does afghanistan have a year from november. take a guess, michael? >> i guess some depends on the out come. if this is undermining the strad gee, and afghanistan is a serious problem. it does factor into an impression of weakness for the president, but it may not be that way. the question is whether the level of cuts is going to seriously undermine that strategy or not. >> i do think it's possible looking at the polling that americans if they saw afghanistan imploding after we began to pull out, we go, okay,
well, we tried. do you think if something goes wrong on the ground and we're still pulling out that it's a negative for president obama? >> i agree with michael that the out come is very important. two things about the afghan decision that are very important. one was the president set forth a strategy and set forth success in the strategy and was able to keep a promise he made. and the number two is the general incoherence you see on the gop side. you have people like mitt romney that want to pull our troops out faster, and tim pawlenty wants to keep the troops in longer. there is no coherence to why they want to do that or when they would get the troops out or why they would get the troops out. i think that as people start to think about what the choice will be here next november, they see president obama who has shown strong leadership here and a group of republicans that don't have a coherent foreign policy, but at the end of the day i agree with michael that what happens on the ground is what
matters. >> what bill is calling incoherence in the republican party, and saying there is a seismic shift in the republican party, often seen of the most mus cue us party, but is that specific to this president or this situation in afghanistan? >> i think we saw in the libyan debate a lot of republicans coming out against the good strategy in this case just for political reasons, resulting in an odd alliance between the anti-obama left and the anti-obama right. i think john mccain is correct to be concerned there are serious undercurrents of isolation what you see in candidates like jon huntsman moving forward here. tim pawlenty is trying to restore it, and trying to distinguish hill self of a strong supporter. it will be a debate under george
bush or john mccain, it was not a debate. >> let me move you to the debt ceiling because that is occupying much of our time in washington. the president will meet with the minority, majority leaders from the senate tomorrow. what is the president's best move in accepting the premise that what is holding things up, what is holding up the deal is republicans don't want to increase revenues in any way, shape or form? >> i think there has to be a deal. i think that eric cantor walking away from the negotiations was a very dangerous thing. we can take him at his word that it above his pay grade, but if boehner is not able to go in there and make sure america will not default, then the republicans will end up owning the situation as much as the president does. >> i don't think either side truly wants to see the nation default. the point bill is making is i
think there are as much danger in the next couple of days for speaker john boehner as for the president. would you agree with that? >> i agree. i think it will be fascinating to see it unfold. the president has to decide whether he wants a deal or not, and join arms with boehner and take some of the spending issues off the table, or whether he wants to be more democratic, use entitlements and taxes on the rich as something against the republicans moving forward. john boehner has a divided caucus of his own in the house. if he gives too much he will need democratic votes to pass a budget in the house. people like senator demint is saying no deal except for maximal circumstances. it's a balance for both of them with what they want to do in the environment. >> doesn't the president want the debt ceiling thing to go away, because it's very clear the american people want to talk about jobs. there are signals from the white house, let's get this done and move on. >> i think that's probably
right. you can't talk about some of the other things you need to do in order to create jobs while you have the debt ceiling fight hanging over you. >> doesn't that indicate there might be some give there with the president, and he might say, fine, no tax, you know, no revenue enhancements or getting rid of subsidies? >> i don't think he will say just do it, and he comes with a principle decision, and so does john boehner. at the end of the day i think they will find common ground, because not raising the debt ceiling could be too catastrophic for the american public. >> well, that's a debate in the republican coalition. you're talking about tax breaks and other things like the ethanol subsidy that could raise revenue without increasing rates. that might be a solution. people like tom coburn are supportive -- he's an ultra hawk on these issues. that could be a common ground. >> let me move you to 2012 and
we talked about former governor romney now and certainly seems to be the frontrunner in money and polling in iowa and new hampshire, so the on going premise is it will be mitt romney versus who? who is the nonmitt romney? >> well, it's hard to "des moines register" poll showinge bachmann just a point behind. but the thing that is similar between is that they offer pretty crystal cheer choice. having signed on to the ryan budget and all the different things it would do like end medicare. i think that will set up the choice that will make will clear to the american people of who they pull the lever for next november. >> and we should say that he's right, huckabee went on to win the iowa caucuses, you be didn't go on to become the anti-john
mccain. >> i agree. >> so who do you have having the strength to take on a frontrunner albeit a wat a rathk one? >> i think three will emerge, are romney, the alternative to romney, and the tea party conservative darling who may be someone like michele bachmann. timt pawlenty wants to occupy that ground, but romney is in an increasingly strong position. he looks who are comfortable than the last time around. and the debate how is no longer really a health care debate, which would have hurt him a couple of years ago with republicans. it's an economic growth debate, a jobs debate. and he's stronger on that. >> i'm going to have to unfortunately stop you both here. thanks for joining us. >> thanks. up next, a check of today's top stories and then nancy pelosi's response to this personal question. >> leader cantor can't handle the truth when it comes to ending tax subsidies for big oil, corporations that send jobs
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time for a check of today's top stories. authorities say six people are dead and others are still missing from friday's tractor trailer truck collision with ap-amtrak passenger train in nevada. the driver of the truck slammed on his brakes an slid more than 300 feet before hitting the train which was carrying over 200 passengers.
in minon, the sourro ris rir is cresting came. water levels are expected to begin falling later this evening. and pakistani hill tamilitas launched their second attack targeting the police force. no one was killed, but saturday's attack left ten officers dead. that attack was carried out by a husband and wife suicide team. those are today's top stories. up next, a side of nancy pelosi you may not have seen before. [ female announcer ] we all age differently. roc® multi-correxion 4 zone moisturizer with roc®retinol and antioxidants. lines, wrinkles, and sun damage will fade. roc multi-correxion. correct what ages you.
sometimes we corral them into taking a few 13r5 minutes for a web exclusive we call getting to know. the idea is to try to flush out what the political world refers to as talking heads. the conversation is often funny, sometimes point yant and always reveali revealing. this week we got to know nancy pelosi a little better. >> your mom actually wanted you to be a none. >> definitely. >> so i want on know from your perspective if that was ever a true consideration of yours. >> no. no, it wasn't. i didn't want to be a none and i didn't want to be a congresswoman. >> you can see the rest of the interview and all of our getting to though segments as well as interviews, articles and more on our website sotu.blogs.cnn.com. it