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tv   The Situation Room  CNN  November 8, 2012 1:00pm-4:00pm PST

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situation is going to be like. >> right. >> they're holding off on hiring. that hurts the jobs market. that hurts the economy. brooke. >> alison kosik, thank you very much. and thank you very much for being with me here. i'm brooke baldwin at the world headquarters of cnn in atlanta. let's go to my friend wolf blitzer, "the situation room" starts right now. hey, wolf. >> hi, brooke. thanks very much. happening now, president obama gets down to business. he's signaling what his priorities are for term two. also, a dramatic courtroom confrontation of the former congresswoman gabrielle gifford stares down the man who tried to kill her. now that the voters have had their say, colorado's marijuana growers and would-be legal dealers face a showdown with the federal government. i'm wolf blitzer. you're in "the situation room."
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today we're getting our first inside hints about what's on the president's to-do list now that the election is over. the list includes huge issues like taxes, the deficit, headline making overseas trip and a possible shakeup of his cabinet. let's get right to our chief white house correspondent jessica yellin. she's been doing some reporting. jessica, what are you learning? >> reporter: hi, wolf. first the reports that the president is going to be delivering a major speech on the economy or on the fiscal cliff are simply not true. no big speech planned for the coming days. the second piece -- i'll add to that that the president's team believes that they have laid out pretty clearly where the president stands on deficit reduction and how to avoid the fiscal cliff. and the next move now is for the republicans to say where they stand, what they're willing to give and to let negotiations take place to make some progress. the second piece, wolf, of news is pund its have been saying
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that the president was low on specifics in this campaign and may be true he didn't offer much by the way of detail, but he did outline an agenda. and here it is. while the details may be sparse, president obama did outline a second term agenda. the first big challenge, deficit reduction. >> my plan will cut the deficit by $4 trillion over the next ten years. i'm going to cut out spending that we don't need. we've already cut $1 trillion. >> reporter: specifically he proposed filling the nation's coffers by reforming medicare and medicaid and changing personal income tax rates when the bush tax cuts expire at year's end. >> i'm going to lower taxes for middle class folks. let's also make sure the wealthiest households pay a little bit more. >> reporter: the white house has pledged to veto any bill that extends the current bush tax rates for families making $250,000 a year or more. the president also hopes to accomplish corporate tax reform in his second term.
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one part of that -- >> i want to reward small businesses and manufacturers who are creating jobs right here in the united states of america. >> reporter: the election result could only strengthen the president's resolve to accomplish the next item, immigration reform. he told rolling stone magazine if he won re-election, the gop would come on board because they'll start recognizing that alienating the fastest growing segment of our society is probably not good politics for them. he won 71% of the latino vote tuesday. senior democrats tell cnn he's likely to push for comprehensive immigration reform. the overall message democrats take from the election? >> i think people expect everyone to live up to their responsibilities. and one thing that is clear as i've moved around the country with the president is they're hungry for that kind of cooperation. i hope that coming out of this election people will come with a renewed sense of cooperation
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because it will take that to solve problems. >> reporter: wolf, two other big goals the president outlined are energy reform and education reform. now, given the realities of the political situation in washington, education reform seems to be more likely to get bipartisan cooperation. but the president can do quite a bit using his executive authority to achieve some changes in energy policy on his own. you mentioned a foreign trip that is right. the president and the white house have announced he will be going in about ten days overseas. he will visit cambodia and thailand and myanmar where he will visit with the now freed leader aun san su kyi. >> he had a phone call yesterday with the republican leadership with john boehner, the senate republican leader mitch mcconnell. is he planning on sitting down with those two republican
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leaders any time soon? is the white house saying? >> reporter: there's nothing announced for a leaders meeting so far. but i am certain, wolf, that that will be coming because there's such important negotiations ahead. i'm told that the president's conversation with speaker boehner was courteous, it was brief. and i'm told that they also discussed the importance of keeping their public statements vague or general enough so that they leave themselves enough private negotiating room to get a deal done to avoid the fiscal cliff, wolf. >> that's probably smart too. thanks very much for that, jessica. let's dig a little bit deeper right now with our chief political analyst gloria borger. isn't his responsibility right now though to take the first step, offer a proposal to boehner, to mcconnell, to the republicans? we assume that the democrats, nancy pelosi would go along and harry reid would go along with the president. >> well, i think as jessica's saying, the president believes he already put a plan on the table for $4 trillion -- a $4
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trillion budget. >> that's been rejected by the republicans. >> rejected. so i do think what his responsibility is is to set the tone. as a newly re-elected president, set the tone for future negotiations. we all know where all of these people stand on these issues. but the people, 77% of the people in this country according to our exit polls think that the economy is doing badly. okay. so it's up to the president to set the tone to make sure to let the country know to reassure the country that he has no intention of letting congress go over the fiscal cliff. and so i think what he has to do and he may do it in a press conference or -- he just needs to say to the american people we are going to get this under control because it's in nobody's interest to let these negotiations go on the way they did for the debt ceiling. i mean that was an embarrassment to everybody. >> that's when they were arriving back at the white house yesterday. >> right. >> you know, the big problem
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right now, the speaker john boehner yesterday says that they're continuing to say it today they can have an increased tax revenue coming in, but not from an increase in tax rates. it's got to be an elimination of loopholes or deductions or exemptions, whatever. but they're not going to increase the rate on anyone including millionaires and billionaires. so how do you get around that if the president says you've got to increase that rate from 35% to 39.6% for families making more than $250,000 a year? >> so there are a couple of issues here. first is the huge speed bump which is what you're talking about which is when the bush tax cuts expire for the wealthy. >> at the end of this year. >> at the end of this year. >> they expire for everyone. >> yeah. >> including the middle class. >> exactly. the president has said he wants to keep the tax cuts in place for the middle class, not for the wealthy. that's going to be the first argument they have to decide. i mean, wolf, in talking to democrats some have said in the past why not raise the definition of wealthy for example from $250,000 a year to
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$1 million a year. maybe there's a way to avoid that fight. the other big fight of course is the fiscal cliff argument. nobody wants those draconian spending cuts to take effect on january 1. the democrats don't want to do it. the republicans don't want to do it. so in order to preserve themselves -- and i would say this is a matter of self-interest. don't forget this is a status quo congress. nobody got an overwhelming boost here. democrats or republicans in the congress. so they know for self-preservation they have got to get some kind of a grand bargain done. and everybody knows, wolf, everybody knows that it includes tax reform. mitt romney himself proposed a version of tax reform where you cap deductions for example. that's something that will automatically be on the table. so they just have to get over this huge issue of the tax cuts and then they can get to the
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larger macro issues of how do you avoid the fiscal cliff and start dealing with entitlements. >> that would require if you deal with the increased revenues through tax reform, it would require the president blinking on the increase in the tax rate for the wealthiest americans. >> and that's why i'm saying perhaps there's a way to redefine wealthy. maybe it's not $250,000. maybe it's $1 million. maybe it's $2 million. who knows. you know, i have to believe when you're staring at thecliff, to has got to beomeay for avo it causey kw the repercussions are not just in this country, they're global. they've got to figure it out. >> in our exit polls we asked what is your opinion of the obama administration. 49% said they were either enthusiastic or satisfied. 49% said they were dissatisfied or angry. so i wonder how much political capital the country is so evenly divided that gives the president. >> i don't think anybody can claim a clear mandate here.
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you have to give the president credit he got re-elected as president of the united states. he's got his progressive base he's got to worry about. but nobody here can claim some kind of overwhelming landslide mandate. people just want to see these fiscal problems fixed. they want to see unemployment continue to go down. and they want to get on with their lives. >> i agree. let's see if they can do it. and the clock is ticking because they only have until the end of december. and we'll see if they can. thank you. a quick footnote to the election, mitt romney's campaign apparently was planning an election niegts fireworks show over boston harbor as part of a victory celebration. the boston globe reports the romney campaign contracted with the same firm that handles boston's fourth of july fireworks and obtained a permit. but of course they ended up with nothing to celebrate. a dramatic moment in a tucson courtroom today. the former congresswoman, gabrielle giffords, stares down the man who tried to kill her. we have new details from her
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important meetings going on at the white house up on capitol hill right now. there's an economic potential crisis out there unless the republicans and the democrats, the president gets together with the republican leadership in the house and senate and works out a deal. much more on this story coming up. the stakes right now enormous. other news right now we're following, powerful and sad words today as the former astronaut, mark kelly, and his wife the one-time congresswoman gabrielle giffords confronted her would-be assassin. cnn's casey wian was in the tucson courtroom for loughner's sentencing today. casey, it was an emotional moment. describe to our viewers what you saw and heard. >> reporter: i heard a lot of emotional speeches from victims of this horrific shooting. and of course the folks everyone were waiting to hear from, congresswoman gabrielle giffords, her husband mark
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kelly, they were the last to speak. we actually thought that perhaps gabby giffords would not stick around to hear what her husband had to say because she left the courtroom briefly during the proceedings. she did come back. and they came up to the podium. both of them looking jared loughner directly in the eye giving some very emotional statements about the impact that this shooting has had on their lives. let me read you part of mark kelly's statement. he said gabby and i give thanks for her life, her spirit and her intellect which are still a force in this world despite what you have done. mr. loughner, you may have put a bullet through her head, but you have not put a dent in her spirit and her ability to do good. finally he just said, gabby and i are now done thinking about you. other victims got up and testified saying how this has dramatically impacted their life. perhaps the most moving was mary
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whose 76-year-old husband, both of them, were shot during this tragedy. her husband was laying on top of her bleeding to death. she recounted what she went through, how she told him to breathe, how she heard him breathe and how she knows that he heard her say i love you and that he died in her arms moments later. she also directly looked at loughner saying and then i passed out a few minutes later because you shot me three times as well. what was remarkable to me though, wolf, was how many of these victims said they were willing to forgive mr. loughner. they said because he has a mental illness they understand that he needs treatment, but they also want that treatment, that medication, to continue while he's in prison for the rest of his life because they want him to be aware of what he has done for the rest of his life. the actual sentence in effect life without the possibility of parole. but what the judge did, he spelled it out. seven consecutive life terms,
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one for each of the six people who died, one for the attempted assassination of congresswoman giffords plus 140 years for all of the other injured victims, wolf. >> did any of them, casey, say they would have preferred to see him executed? >> not a single person said they would prefer to see him executed. in fact, the u.s. attorney got up and said that he heard from many of these victims and their families who said they all -- all of the folks he said he heard from were happy or satisfied i should say, i don't want to use the term happy, but satisfied with the sentence of life without the possibility of parole. we do have just a few moments ago congressman ron barber, who worked in gabby giffords' office and succeeded her in office to fulfill the remaining part of her term came out and spoke. here's what he said he said to mr. loughner in court. >> i turned to mr. loughner and said "i hold you -- hold no
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hatred for you, but i'm very, very angry and sick at heart about what you did and the hurt you have imposed on all of us." i told him he must now live with this burden and he'll never see outside of a prison again. >> reporter: politics not far away from this tragedy, wolf. congressman barber running for re-election in the vote that just concluded, they're still counting the votes here in arizona to see if he's going to retain that seat. also, a lot of the victims advocating for a review of gun control laws, they're very upset about the number of bullets that mr. loughner had at his disposal, wolf. >> casey wian, an emotional day out there. thanks very much for that report. we'll have a quick check of the day's other top stories. also, the voters have now spoken legalizing recreational marijuana as it's called in two states. do they have the final say? much more on that. and other news when we come
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a stark declaration today from the man leading a gruesome assault against his own people in syria. lisa sylvester's monitoring that and some of the other top stories in "the situation room" right now. so what's the latest? >> wolf, syria's president bashar al assad is insisting he will "live and die in syria" his country offers him safe passage for ending the civil war. the conflict is so bad that the head of the international red cross today said it is unable to cope with the deteriorating humanitarian situation. opposition forces say at least 64 people died today alone. and cnn called the presidential election late tuesday night and
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yet florida still isn't red or blue. election officials in miami-dade county finished counting absentee ballots today and have 2,800 provisional ballots left to process. the election supervisor says they should be done counting by tomorrow afternoon with 97% of the state's vote in president obama leads by 47,000 votes. could puerto rico become the 51st state? residents voted on the island's status as a commonwealth tuesday. and for the first time a majority said they favored statehood. it is a nonbinding referendum, but it compels congress to make a decision about it. as a commonwealth residents are subject to u.s. laws but don't have to pay some federal taxes. and you won't have to watch the news for your next dose of vice president joe biden. he's going to be on next week's episode of "parks and recreation" playing himself when amy's character visits the white house. her character has a huge crush on the vice president once saying her ideal man would have "the brains of george clooney and the body of joe biden."
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so joe biden apparently quite a few fans including amy's character. >> he may be on a tv show, the vice president of the united states, but i'm in the new james bond film. >> are you really? >> you didn't know that? >> i did not know that. >> yeah. it's coming out this week. you'll have to go see. >> that is enough to see it. >> daniel craig, james bond. you'll have to see it. >> you've always been held highly in the scheme of my eyes. now just a notch higher. >> you didn't know this? i've been telling everybody. >> i did not know that. but now all of our viewers know that as well too. reason to go see the movie. >> i want them to tweet me when they watch the film because this acting thing, maybe i've got some potential. >> i like it. i like it, wolf. >> thank you. the election is over and now it's time to get back to business. but can democrats and republicans put partisanship aside and come together to solve the debt crisis? our political strategists, they are weighing in next. [ male announcer ] can a car be built around a state of mind?
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the president and leaders on capitol hill have just weeks to figure out a deal to avoid what's called the fiscal cliff. if they don't, experts worry the country could go right back into a recession. the pressure is on. >> the clock is ticking. investors are looking ahead to what a possible package of tax increases and spending cuts could mean to the economic recovery. >> i think we will see compromise. already you've seen the president reach out to the other side, john boehner yesterday making comments that they also want to work together. >> what's unclear at this point is what else will the president do beyond making phone calls? will he be inviting the leadership here to the white house? will they be having retreats elsewhere? what is clear that already on capitol hill the leadership is talking about wanting to get things done. >> hopefully there will be some room for compromise, but i fear there's still one more celebrity death match left in that old kind of tea party viewpoint. >> let's get straight to our own
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kate bolduan. she's got an excellent panel with her. >> that's correct. as they're always excellent whenever i'm around if i do say so myself. just kidding everybody. the question today, can washington work together to fix the debt crisis? as we know that is generally an unanswerable question when we're looking at washington working at all. but we're going to attempt to answer this today. so you heard in a snapshot, ross, the president has reached out to republican leaders. we've heard speeches from harry reid as well as john boehner, everyone's talking about and describing as congenial, conciliatory, what do you make of it? >> well, i mean, i think the big thing that changed is that the president won re-election. so his leverage over this process is much, much, much -- i can throw on some more muches if you want, larger than it was during the last time we had these kind of negotiations. on the one hand, that in a sense makes it more likely you get a deal done. on the other hand, if i'm sitting in the white house right now, i'm thinking, well, we should start where we were the
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last time we had these kind of negotiations and add on an i won the election and if i do nothing, taxes will go up bonus, right? i mean, i think the white house -- there's a delicate balance the white house has to strike here between sort of leveraging their increased leverage and obviously still getting the kind of deal that would prevent the looming apocalypse that will be upon us otherwise. >> i think two things happen. one is the president got re-elected. and two is, we republicans got beat. we got a big beating on tuesday night. >> so you actually think there was a message sent? a lot of people are still doing the postmortem from the election is that it's still a status quo washington. >> it's a status quo washington if you look at it from the numbers and if you look at it from where it was. but i think there was messages sent through this election. certainly messages on, you know, wanting immigration reform, wanting i think more compromise. and this is also going to set the tone. what is it going to look like? will president barack obama in a second term have the power to
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compromise? is this the choice he's going to make now that he's at his cross roads? will john boehner be able to hurt his cats? that's the big question. what can he do with the republican caucus? will he be able to tie them to a compromise? i think it's more likely for president obama and speaker boehner to reach a compromise, but then can that actually come to fruition? >> that's the big question. >> or we throw them all off the cliff. >> i think a couple things. one is, numbers just came out showing that more people voted for democrats than republicans. the redistricting really hurt democrats this time, but if i'm boehner and i'm looking out at the country, actually it turns out more people voted for democrats than republicans for congress. the redistricting holds that reality at bay only for so long. i think it's going to be a very important moment for republicans to figure out how they move, but the president has a problem. and the problem is his base. this whole fiscal cliff -- every time i say fiscal cliff i want to smash my head on the table
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because this one word has gotten everybody to sort of just go crazy. and there are worse things than going over the cliff. i just want to say that. here's something that would be worse. a ten-to-one deal, ten-to-one cuts versus $1 of revenue. there are worse deals out there for the american people where you devastate medicare, devastate social security, devastate medicaid in order to get a dollar of tax increases. we don't want that. so the liberal base that's now very concerned that we're going to get a bad deal, not a grand bargain but a grand swindle. so the president has to both deal with his base and republicans. >> but voters show polls -- one thing polls are very clear about is that people want action. they want the president to come to the table, they want congress to come to the table. and even a majority of republicans in a poll taken in national journal just a couple weeks before the election, a majority of the republicans, about two-thirds of americans overall said we want everyone to come together. the problem for both sides is when asked in a follow-up, well,
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if they don't come together, whose fault is it? then it's everybody's fault. so even though polls show people think republicans have been less willing to compromise than democrats, ultimately everybody's in the same boat. everyone's going to be part of a dysfunctional washington at least in voters view if they don't come to the table. >> let me ask you about one of the deals. simpson bolls there all the talk once again. they've got this big campaign they're pushing to fix the debt campaign. they think they've raised by some reports something like $35 million since july. ads, they're really pushing this trying to be out in front of it as they really have been. but the last time we talked about simpson bolls so much was the debt ceiling fight. and that we know went nowhere. so is this going to end up going nowhere? are they going to be the white horse? >> i don't think it goes as far as simpson bolls. i think you get something smaller, more temporary that does do a trade of new revenues, first-time spending cuts and so on. the thing with simpson bolls the
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reason that everybody liked to talk about it in newspaper columns and shows like these, republicans didn't like it because it raised taxes well above the deal obama and boehner were working on. democrats, i'm sure van has some choice words for what simpson bolls did for social security. >> flushed it down the toilet bowl. >> the other thing for simpson bolls is that it actually, but simps simpson bowls has an access without changes the structure of the program. it's too much for a political deal. but in the way too little to be worth that big cost. >> there doesn't need to be a lot of posturing but at the end of the day both sides have so much at stake. if president obama can't get a deal done, it's not a good omen for the rest of his legislative agenda. george w. bush became a lame duck president when his social security plan failed.
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so he's got things he wants to do. he better start by getting this one done. >> he needs to start thinking about that legacy in that second term now. everybody standby. we're going to have much more of our unsolicited advice for some poor unsuspecting targets coming up. ♪ ♪ ♪ [ male announcer ] don't just reject convention. drown it out. introducing the all-new 2013 lexus ls f sport. an entirely new pursuit.
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and the candidate's speech is in pieces all over the district. the writer's desktop and the coordinator's phone are working on a joke with local color. the secure cloud just received a revised intro from the strategist's tablet. and while i make my way into the venue, the candidate will be rehearsing off of his phone. [ candidate ] and thanks to every young face i see out there. [ woman ] his phone is one of his biggest supporters. [ female announcer ] with cisco at the center... working together has never worked so well.
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we're back in "the situation room" with some unsolicited advice. today i'm going to start with van. >> well, you know, my advice is for the african-american community. we are -- people celebrating, people very happy because we performed very, very well. we were key in ohio to the victory. but we're in danger now. we have a community that is politically successful but is
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policy irrelevant. nobody's talking about what we've got to do to help black people. and it's an economic real trouble. the past four years you haven't heard from the african-american community. we've been sort of quiet. we wanted to make sure the president did well, didn't want to cause problems. but we're in free fall economically. i think it's important to come forward now with an agenda that can help everybody. we need a jobs for youths agenda that can help disadvantaged kids and the black community should be loud and proud about that. wind up being indispensable to the republicans, irrelevant to the republicans and wind up in a situation where we're part of the political life of the country but left out of the economic life. that's not good. >> i think it's sent -- there was many messages and lessons to be learned from this election. i mean, do you think -- >> he's -- i think van's got a good point because we still see hispanics, latinos seem to me to be as much more of a swing vote by republicans and democrats than what you see with the african-american community. and i think the african-american community has to step up and
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become sought after and courted. let them work for your vote. >> i agree 100% with that. >> and here's one actually small but kind of interesting statistic is that while mitt romney was underperforming john mccain among hispanics, he actually won more of the african-american vote than john mccain did. now, he won 6% instead of 4%, but he actually got up to like 8% or 9% among 18 to 29-year-old african-americans which is the group that's hardest hit by unemployment. again, these are tiny numbers. >> mitt romney underperformed a light post with hispanics. don't get started on that. >> a jack kent republican would be very welcome right now to create some sense of competition. we have 10% or 11% of the country right now in free fall and neither party taking it seriously. that's bad. >> it's not as if the republicans didn't work for the african-american and latino vote, they actively rejected it. that was the sense i got. they used it as a way to run up the score with white voters and
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really created a corrosive toxic discourse that i think hurt everybody. >> what's your unsolicited advice today, ana? >> well, my unsolicited advice is for -- >> hold it up. >> how do you say that in spanish? an extra exclamation point. >> say yeb or bushito. he will respond to either in miami. in full disclosure i should say he is my friend, i work for him, i campaign for him and he's my tenant. but jeb bush is the type of republican that really needs to get off the sidelines and lead right now, be a vocal voice in the party. he's a pragmatist. he's got great ideas, big bold ideas. he's not afraid to speak. there's a little bit of chris christie in him where he can say things he wants to say. he can play such a big role in having the republican party understand what they have to do with minorities, what they have to do with hispanics.
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>> i love this. she is passionate. >> she's passionate about everything. >> and you cried when barack obama -- >> i cried. >> i would be in tears. >> so 2012 wasn't the yier for jeb, do you think 2016 is? >> i do. anybody who wants to join me, biltmore hotel. >> what's your advice, ross? >> mine is for president obama and all other democrats basking in their victory. send a thank you note to howard dean. if you look at the roots of this democratic victory, we've been over the numbers and it's clear turnout was huge. turning out democratic constituency more than people expected and, you know, the electronic internet side of the campaign was huge. all of this goes back to howard dean's grass roots campaign in 2004 which was the first time that you had the tech community really getting involved for the democratic campaign. all of this sort of modern internet age political strategy
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started there. and dean has been sort of a kind of forgotten man in the democratic party. >> for some. >> for some. he would appreciate a thank you note whatever he's doing today. >> frankly, haven't forgotten but that's just me. >> shocking, ana. what's your advice? >> my advice would be to elected officials of both parties. and that is how do we continue talking to women and about women's issues? it's not simply women aren't a subgroup, a niche group, i think it was great that women decided the election forred president. it's the first time since 1996 a president won by winning with women and losing with men. it's not simply about abortion and birth control, women issues really about talking to women about how policies affect their daily life and how what the candidates are doing, what elected officials are doing can really help improve their day-to-day situation. and i think the economic debate that we're having right now is a good way -- a good exercise for tting rid of the jargon and
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process and political wrangling that's part of our language and really speaking in -- with a common touch, a way people can understand. >> i think explaining your story or explaining your position from washington out i think is something that politicians are horrible at in general. people that don't live in washington or near the beltway, they don't understand half the words we use i think are hilarious. >> fiscal cliff. >> you do hate that. >> we saw at least two senate candidates on the republican side commit great gaffes with the subject of rape that possibly cost them those seats. >> not possibly. >> all right. we've got to take them to biology class and put them in some sort of 2012 political sensitivity language class on how to speak about some of these controversial and difficult issues. >> absolutely. >> i think you're absolutely right though that the biggest mistake that republicans could make right now, i mean, look obviously the republican party needs to not nominate todd akin for the united states senate in missouri again. but the republican parties, the
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gender gap is driven by economic issues if not as much more than social issues. say we won't nominate richard mourdock again and we won't talk about rape and everything will be fine isn't going to close the gap. >> it's okay to talk about rape, but talk about it in a way that's not offensive to women and a good half of the population. >> thanks, you guys. great advice today. i will be keeping my unsolicited advice to myself, wolf. >> she saves it for wolf. >> thank you. we'll get it from her later, guys. thanks very much. colorado's voters have spoken, but in legalizing the possession of marijuana they've also set up a showdown with federal agents. >> every store that sells marijuana here is violating federal law. federal government could come in, they could seize assets, they could charge people criminally, they could send people to jail for scores of years. they have chosen so far not to do that. >> up next, how long will the truce last? stay with us. ♪
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so voters in colorado have spoken legalizing marijuana for recreational use by a ten-point margin. as cnn's ed lavandera reports, it might not be that easy. >> reporter: it's the kind of story that makes headline writers salivate. >> i can only imagine, you know, what jay leno and company are going to be saying over the next week or two, right? there will be lots of jokes. i'm sure there will be plenty of snack foods discussed. >> reporter: after colorado voters approved of legalizing marijuana, the state's governor mayor hickenlooper could only
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warn those not to bring out the cheetos yet. no one knows what will happen next. >> it's hard to imagine the chaos that would result if state-by-state you had one state legalizing it and one state not. >> reporter: but that's exactly what's happening. 17 states have already legalized marijuana for medicinal use. and colorado and washington state are the first to approve selling the drug like alcohol. the vote has put these states on a collision course with the federal government, which still says possessing marijuana is a crime. >> it simply can't go on the way it is. it can't be a big industry and a federal crime at the same time. >> reporter: sam is a university of denver law professor. he says as more and more states legalize marijuana for medical purposes, the federal government look the other way. >> every store that sells marijuana here is violating federal law. federal government could come in, they could seize assets, they could charge people criminally, they could send people to jail for scores of years. they have chosen so far not to do that. >> reporter: colorado already has a lot of experience
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regulating marijuana. there are more than 500 license medicinal marijuana clinics across the state. and then there is the cultivation rooms where all of this marijuana is grown. hundreds of different strains and flavors, all of this happening right in the heart of the city of denver. the colorado amendment would allow anyone over 21 to possess up to an ounce of pot. it would allow licensed production and weed sales would be taxed up to 15%. the profits then slated to help pay for the construction of public schools. federal prosecutors and law enforcement aren't saying much, only that they're reviewing the ballot initiatives. >> i think colorado voters are clearly just fed up with marijuana prohibition. >> reporter: mason was part of the group that pushed to legalize pot in colorado. he says it could generate nearly $50 million a year for the state. this law's just going to cause chaos. what do you say to that? >> i think that's just absurd. take marijuana out of the underground market, stop giving all the profits to cartels and gangs and start putting those
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profits toward colorado businesses. and let's start generating tens of millions of dollars in tax revenue that could be benefitting our state as opposed to, you know, going overseas or going towards criminal activity. >> reporter: it's an awkward time. voters have essentially passed a smoky bong to the federal government and it needs to figure out what to do with it next. ed lavandera, cnn, denver, colorado. after that warning to residents not to break out the cheetos and the goldfish too quickly, the colorado governor received a special delivery, an attorney and marijuana advocate and his daughters dropped by his office leaving bags of the snack foods with his assistant. the election results are giving the nation's late-night comedians plenty to laugh about. you don't have to stay up late to catch all the best jokes. we have some of them right here in "the situation room." >> frankly, folks, i am stunned. i really thought romney would win. now i'll never get to see mitt's inaugural ball and his first
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election night was a gold mine for tv's late-night comedians. check it out. >> ladies and gentlemen, a colbert report is ready to project that cnn has projected that animal planet has predicted that the winner of the 2012 presidential election is barack obama. now obama care is here to stay.
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sure a single illness won't wipe out your life savings, but at what cost? a lower one. and now you'll have to wait for hours in line for medical care instead of immediately not getting any. >> but this five-minute segment from last night's fox news election coverage taken at the precise moment that their own in-house election return research squad announced that ohio and thus the presidency would be awarded to barack obama, i believe this piece of footage will unlike us live forever. >> do you believe that ohio has been settled? >> no, i don't. look, if we are calling this on the basis of 74% of the vote being in and when 77% is in secretary of state website i got the director of the ohio campaign for romney on the other end of the line refreshing the page every few seconds. >> go on. >> it's going to be a republican victory. this is a historic republican county.
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their target is 64. they're at 59 with basically the early vote counted. it's going to continue to edge up. big swatches of butler county, delaware county and warren county all of which are republican counties that have big chunks of their vote out. >> is this just math that you do as a republican to make yourself feel better? or is this real? >> did you catch that right there? that was it. that was the moment. did you see it? did you record it? did you tivo it? you can play it back and forth all day long like i did today. here's what happened. i want to get it straight, carl, very quickly, are you lying to yourself or to the millions of viewers? cause you're lying. >> this is fox now. it was shortly after 11:00 announcing that obama in fact had won re-election. watch this. >> with ohio in his corner, we can project that barack obama has been re-elected president of
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the united states. fox news will something something who cares. >> a big night for the democrats, obama won the electoral vote and popular vote. mitt romney on the other side won the unpopular vote. >> turns out it's not all bad news for the republicans. i guess seems depression is covered by obama care. and some more good news, the president announced today he is not going to raise taxes on the entire 1%, just donald trump. >> the fox reporter in miami, a guy named blake berman, was at the obama rally in chicago. now, will i am from the black eyed peas was there doing an interview. he was standing right next to him. unfortunately, the reporter got him confused with not one but two other performers. >> blake berman has some info for us at camp obama, blake. >> reporter: not necessarily
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info but just kind of giving you a little bit of what you see here. that's wyclef jean giving an interview. he is one of the many surrogates you could -- sorry? excuse me. >> keep going. you'll get to it eventually. and you're in "the situation room." happening now, a dangerous new foreign policy challenge for president obama as word comes that iranian fighter jets have fired -- fired on an unarmed u.s. drone over the persian gulf. you know all about the rallies and political ads, but you'll be surprised to learn how much the obama campaign knew about you. how data mining and number crunching helped re-elect the president. and it may sound strange, but there's already some buzz out there about the next presidential election. we're going to hear about
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potential candidates for 2016. we want to welcome our viewers in the united states and around the world. i'm wolf blitzer. you're in "the situation room." president obama scored a pretty convincing re-election. the president has four more years to pursue his agenda. what can he actually accomplish? john king is joining us now. he's got major challenges and what's on his mind obviously is what's good for the country and his historic legacy. >> you talk about the l word, legacy, whenever someone's re-elected. a closely divided congress, a republican house that disagrees with him on many issues and, wolf, no money to spend because of the fiscal cliff.
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what can a president do with a second term? number one in recent years priority number one is to consolidate the gains of the first term. the health care bill will be implemented. there will for sure be problems. can he somehow keep a relationship with the republican house if they have to go back and fix a couple things? at least we know obama care won't be repealed. that's his priority. keep it that way, secure that as his democratic legacy for the country. otherwise, you look around and say what can he do? education reform is something. some people in the white house talk about. some republicans point to john boehner, the house speaker used to be a key education negotiator in the hill. a lot of republicans thinks the president backed a i way from some proposals they actually liked in the first term because he didn't want to anger the teachers union. you mentioned a story in the news now that will complicate and perhaps even dominate the early foreign policy agenda of the second term. and that is the nuclear standoff with iran. and now apparently an iran that at least at the moment wants to be more aggressive. >> yeah. they're trying to make a
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statement obviously. we'll have more on this part of the story coming up. a second term president, you and i have covered second term presidents. he has more flexibility. doesn't have to worry about getting re-elected and the president acknowledged that in the off the record comment to medvedev. he's going to have to compromise because he has a republican leadership in the house of representatives. >> he won the election which gives him a bit of leverage going into the fiscal cliff negotiations and beyond. when he presents his new budget, he has a bit of leverage because he has the validation of the american people if you will. but he just won with 50%. electoral college victory quite impressive, but his own victory slunk from the last time. so he has to be careful. the question is can he get the republican? speaker boehner laid out yesterday i'll give you more re knew knews only if you do it through higher tax reform and not tax rates. the president would have to back away from a campaign promise to do that. the question now and one of the criticisms in the early first term is that the president was not a masterful negotiator, a masterful ceo if you will, cut a
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deal, implement a deal. his relationship with john boehner, the speaker of the house, is probably the greatest early priority of the second term. with not a lot of money to spend, he's going to have to give to get. >> i heard from so many members of congress, the senate and the house not just republicans but democrats, this is a president who never called them, never invited them to come over. he never really bonded with them. he never reached out. he's going to have to do a lot more of that. >> he is. and when you travel a country campaign a lot of state party chairman had no lof loss for the obama administration. they ignore my advice, they won. the best thing you can have in politics behind you especially in the short-term is fresh memories of a victory. how do they use that? they don't have a huge electoral mandate, he made history, the first president re-elected since franklin roosevelt with unemployment above 7%. that gives you stature politically. how do you use it? that's when you mention the relationship with democrats is so hard to get the deal that he wants for the legacy and the
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good of the country on the fiscal issues, he's going to have to cut medicare, may have to make changes in social security, may have to do other things entitlement and democratic favored programs that some of these never mind the older democrats in place, nancy pelosi for for example, elizabeth warren, a friend of the president's, her ad said i will never touch medicare. you can't get a deal on the fiscal cliff, the president can't get bha he wants from the republicans unless he agrees to deep cuts in medicare. so he's going to have to be the negotiator in chief in the early term. it's going to be hard. >> the social secretary is going to be more active bringing some of those democrats and republicans over to the white house for a meal or cup of coffee. >> domestic diplomacy. >> very important stuff. john, thanks very much. president obama already faces a serious new foreign policy challenge. there's word today from the pentagon that in the closing days of the election campaign iranian jets fired on a u.s. drone. let's get the details from our pentagon correspondent barbara starr. what are you learning, barbara?
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>> wolf, it was last thursday just one week ago we now know two iranian russian made jets very workable flew out into the persian gulf into international air space according to the pentagon and fired at a predator drone, a u.s. air force predator drone that the pentagon says was on a routine surveillance mission. although that mission was classified. here's what the pentagon had to say about it all. >> we believe this is the first time that an unmanned aircraft has been shot at over international waters in the arabian gulf. >> is that an act of war? >> i'm not going to get into legal labels. the reality is that we have a wide range of options as i said before to protect our assets and our forces in the region and will do so when necessary. we have communicated to the iranians that we will continue to conduct surveillance flights over international waters over
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the arabian gulf consistent with long standing practice. >> and look, wolf, even though this was an unmanned drone, no pilot on board, this raises tensions -- military tensions with iran. the aircraft were operated by iran's revolutionary guard corps, the pentagon says, that's the most aggressive branch of the iranian security forces. how important was this? well, the president and defense secretary panetta were very quickly informed last thursday morning when this happened. >> well, if they try it again, presumably barbara, u.s. military jets could scramble and they could get into some sort of dog fight if you will with those iranian jets. how realistic is a scenario like that? >> well, look. the pentagon is not looking for a shooting war with the iranians. top officials are very clear about this. but what were the iranians up to? are they trying to send a signal of more aggressiveness over those critical oil shipping lanes? the pentagon, the obama administration can only let the iranians go so far. if they try this again, that's
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really the key question. it might have been an unmanned drone, but how far do you really let the iranians go in such a critical economic area, wolf? >> all right, barbara. i know you'll stay on top of this. thank you. let's get back to politics. right now president obama certainly owes his re-election to an extremely well-organized campaign. you know all about the rallies. you know about the political ads, the armys of volunteers. but you may not know very much about the campaign and how much it knew about you. you. our brian todd has been digging into the data crunching that helped the campaign tailor its winning strategy, data mining as it's called. >> right. >> it's a fascinating detail. explain to our viewers what you've learned. >> wolf, experts say this is the way campaigns are going to go after voters from now on. gone are the days when campaigns target whole regions just on a hunch. now they are so-called microtargeting individual voters using sophisticated ways fo figure out who they can
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persuade. we pointed cameras at them, showed you the conventional way they ran their campaigns. >> and we'll reaffirm -- >> but far from the rallies and debates in office back rooms and cubicles, there was another campaign. a silent humming machine targeting your vote. did you get an invitation to try to win a dinner with actress sara jessica parker? did you get an e-mail from michelle obama calling you friend? did you get a banner ad for a campaign when you were surfing the net? turns out you were targeted for these things by a sophisticated campaign technique called data mining, an effort to find out who individual voters are and how they'll respond to campaign messages. >> the goal is to come up with an individual level statistical prediction of your likelihood of supporting their candidate or of casting a ballot at all. >> then they target you for ads. the obama campaign is widely believed to have had the most sophisticated data mining operation central to his election victory this year. getting people out to vote who might not have otherwise.
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"time" magazine profiled it with a picture of the data crunchers working in a room called the cave. analysts say campaigns do this by going to commercial data warehouses which compile information on your buying habits, like what magazines you subscribe to. maybe information on where and how you like to travel. campaigns cross reference that with demographic information like voter registration records. jordan lieberman, who data mined for republican campaigns but not mitt romney's says a republican ticket might use that information to win persuadable voters in an area like northern virginia. >> so if you're a republican running in a democratic area perhaps in arlington or alexandra, these are people you might need to talk to. you would talk to them with a very specific message about why you should not vote for the democrat this time. >> the biggest problem for privacy advocates? >> the lack of transparency, i don't know what obama knows about me, i don't know what romney knows about me, i don't know what the 2016 candidate's going to know about me but they will know more than obama did. >> the obama campaign responded to that by telling us that it is
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committed to protecting individual privacy going above and beyond what the law requires in that field. and they say they've got strong safeguards in place to make sure that your personal information is not provided to outside entities, wolf. they say they guard that closely. >> why does it seem the obama campaign was better at this, the data mining as you call it, than the romney campaign? >> analysts say the romney campaign had less time to put it togeth together. they had to fight through the primaries and couldn't get it together fast enough to make it effective. and the romney team had a little less talent and less experience in putting it together once they could. the obama team did it very well in 2008. they did it even better in 2012. they just have people who know how to put together these numbers crunchers and how to do it so well and so fast and effectively. it really made a huge difference. >> he's really lucky the president didn't face a democratic primary challenger. he could devote all of his energy to a full-time campaign. romney didn't have that
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advantage. >> while the republicans were fighting it out, that's what they were doing. they were putting these number crunchers together and targeting these demographics. >> brian, good report. thank you. many thought passions had cooled since 2008. but minority voters turned out in very big numbers to re-elect the president of the united states. we're going to find out why, what it means for both parties. . i have a cold... i took dayquil, but i still have a runny nose. [ male announcer ] truth is, dayquil doesn't work on runny noses. what? [ male announcer ] it doesn't have an antihistamine. really? [ male announcer ] really. alka-seltzer plus cold and cough fights your worst cold symptoms, plus has a fast acting antihistamine to relieve your runny nose. [ sighs ] thank you! [ male announcer ] you're welcome. that's the cold truth! [ male announcer ] alka-seltzer plus. ♪ oh what a relief it is! ♪ [ male announcer ] can't find theraflu? try alka-seltzer plus for fast, liquid, cold, and flu relief.
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so how did the obama/romney ra stack up against earlier presidential showdowns? jack cafferty's here. he has the cafferty file. jack. >> wolf, a majority of voters say that this election just passed mattered more than other elections before it. according to a new gallup poll taken right before election day, 70% said the outcome of the 2012 presidential election matters to them more than in previous years. now, this is similar to how voters felt in both 2008 and 2004, but this concern is up sharply from the two presidential elections before that in 2000 and 1996.
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the poll also shows republicans more concerned about the outcome than democrats, not surprising since there's a democratic incumbent president running for re-election. all you have to do is take a quick look at the state of the union to see why voters may have found this election to be so crucial. in 1996 and 2000 the economy was much stronger. there were no major wars or other international issues to worry about. concern went up sharply in 2004 following the 9/11 attacks and again in 2008 with the iraq war still going on and the country entering a great recession worse than the -- the worst we've had since the great depression. this time around it's hard to even pinpoint all the worries that are facing voters. of course the economy, high unemployment at the top of the list for many, but there's also obama care, our staggering annual trillion-dollar deficits plus $16 trillion in national deb debt, the looming fiscal cliff
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and what to do about tax increases and/or cuts in entitlement programs and other government spending. as for the international hot spot, take your pick, libya, showdown between iran and israel and syria. why would the voters say this election matters more than most? go to you can post a comment on the blog there. or you can go to our post on the "the situation room" facebook page. i guess they're all important. but the interest in this was particularly high. >> it was very intense. and obviously people out there want to know more. that's what we're going to try to give them. thanks very much, jack, for that. >> sure. >> there's also no doubt that this election clearly mattered for minorities, most of whom came out in droves for the president surprising those who predicted many would stay home. lisa sylvester's working this part of the story for us. lisa, you've got some new details as well. >> yeah, wolf, if you look at the exit poll data, what comes out clear as day is that president obama had the youth vote and the minority vote. and that's part one.
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but the second half of that is that voter turnout in the key swing states, african-americans either met the turnout rate of 2008 or in the case of ohio beat it. >> 18 years or older? >> yes. >> reporter: it was old fashioned politicking going door-to-door registering voters. the national council of la ros sa and the naacp blanketed swing states leading up to the election. >> id ready and everything? >> reporter: more than 70% of the latino and asian-american vote went for obama. for african-americans the number was even higher, 93%. if gop strategists were counting on a steep dip in minority enthusiasm in turnout from 2008, they were wrong. in florida and virginia african-american voting matched the historic election of 2008. in ohio that crucial swing state that put president obama over the top african-american turnout actually jumped from 11% in 2008
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to 15% in the 2012 race. but that's not all. at the same time governor romney's biggest voting block grew smaller. >> the percentage of the white vote of the overall electorate is shrinking. it went from 74% four years ago to 72% now. the white vote is mattering less and less in elections. it's still the overwhelming vote, but it's shrinking. >> reporter: what's behind that? the country's changing demographics. san antonio mayor castro was the keynote speaker at the democratic national convention. he says democrats can capitalize on that and change red states to blue. >> when you have that groundwork and when you have the right candidates to excite folks, then you're going to start to see probably progress. and within the next six to eight years i believe that texas will at least be a purple state if not a blue state. >> reporter: but republicans have had a wakeup call. the party's future may lie in capturing the latino vote by appealing to them on social and family issues like abortion.
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hispanics as a whole tend to be more socially conservative. president of the naacp says the key there is to not ignore the needs of minorities. >> we've also seen that quite frankly black voters swing. we swing between voting for democrats and not voting. and the party given the narrow margins that it's winning by cannot afford to have us swing back to not voting in significant numbers. and that's not anything that anybody would want. it just happens when you take people for granted. >> and that is one of the big storylines out of this election, it's that women and the minority vote matters. this trend will only continue to vote in future elections. the country is changing and there is now a very different face on politics, wolf. >> good report on the white vote. it's fascinating in 2008 the president got 44% of the white vote. this time it went down to 39%. >> yeah. and it was interesting the conventional wisdom was that he had to hit 40%, that president
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obama had to get 40% of the white vote in order to be re-elected, but he got 39% and he was still re-elected. it's just because there was a smaller pool of white voters out there. >> as you point out organizations like the naacp they were very active out there getting those voters in a place like cleveland for example to go out and vote. it obviously made a difference in ohio. >> that's why everybody is now saying after the election the words you always would hear is ground game. it kept coming down to ground game. they just had the boots on the ground out there getting people out to vote. >> thank you very much. lisa sylvester reporting. parts of new york about to begin rationing gas. yes, rationing gas in the wake of the superstorm sandy. and now a powerful nor'easter. we have details. and more news coming up after this. up your game. up the ante. and if you stumble, you get back up. up isn't easy, and we ought to know. we're in the business of up. everyday delta flies a quarter of million people
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a dramatic development in the infamous wikileaks case. lisa sylvester's back. she's monitoring that and some other top stories in "the situation room" right now. what happened? >> wolf, the army private accused of leaking millions of government documents to the controversial wikileaks website while serving in iraq is now offering to plead guilty to some of the charges against him. bradly manning, who's been jailed for more than two years could be facing life in prison. and experts say there's no guarantee that the offer will even help him. wikileaks has never confirmed he is the source of those documents. and new york city and two long island counties will implement gas rationing measures -- excuse me, beginning tomorrow in the wake of superstorm sandy and a powerful nor'easter. the odd/even day rationing based on license plates is a step that mayor bloomberg and governor cuomo are taking to alleviate long gas lines and get the fuel supply back to normal.
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and unemployment in greece has soared to a record high of more than 25% amid a grueling five-year recession and government spending cuts. the parliament approved more labor reforms as thousands of protesters took to the streets. greece received two bailouts from international creditors but payments under one program were suspended. an agreement could come next week to release some of the bailout money. this is such a great story. some indianapolis colts will be playing tonight's big game against the jacksonville jaguars without any hair. the reason? a number of them got their heads shaved in honor of their head coach chuck pagano, who is battling leukemia. our affiliate players told the barber they accept their coach with open arms and they are ready to ride this out with him. talk about solidarity. and that's reason enough to watch the game. i love that. >> wish the coach a speedy, speedy recovery. >> we do. >> good man. thank you. a top republican strategist has some pressing advice for president obama.
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up next, what he hopes the president will do differently in his second term. try this... bayer? this isn't just a headache. trust me, this is new bayer migraine. [ male announcer ] it's the power of aspirin plus more in a triple action formula to relieve your tough migraines. new bayer migraine formula. this is the first leg of our world challenge with the cadillac ats. this is actually starting to feel real now. [ ross ] this is the perfect place to test the ats's advanced aerodynamics. [ derek ] we've got crosswinds, tailwinds, headwinds. aerodynamics is all about keeping the car planted on the road. you are going to get hit by stuff, so don't freak out. [ screaming with excitement ] and move out now. ♪ [ male announcer ] the all-new cadillac ats.
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let's get straight to our strategy session. right now joining us our cnn political contributors. the democratic strategist donna brazile and former bush white house press secretary ari fleischer. guys, thanks very much for coming in. let me read a couple sentences from what carl rove, the republican strategist, wrote in "the wall street journal" today. he wrote this "mr. obama could try to repair the damage. he can be large-minded and generous in spirit trying to work genuinely with republicans rather than demonize them. and he can confront pressing problems rather than kick them down the road. but doing so will require him to
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act in a second term very differently than he did in his first." donna, what do you think of that advice from carl rove? >> first of all, i would ignore carl rove. i mean, he had over $400 million and all he did was use that money to demonize president obama, demonize liberals, demonize practically half the country. so i would ignore carl rove. i think what the public would like to see president obama, mr. boehner, miss pelosi, mr. reid, mr. mcconnell, is to advance the common good. to sit down, to bring to the table all of these issues that we have to face both foreign policy and domestic policy and to advance the common good. i think that's what president obama should do. president bush won i believe -- eric can correct me -- with 284 votes in 2004 and determined he had political capital. the american people right now
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are more interested in the president, members of congress and others sitting down to advance the common good. >> let me go to ari to weigh-in on that. go ahead, ari, what do you think? >> well, let's look back a little bit. partly let's learn from mistakes. if you remember obama care and on cap and trade or what republicans refer to as tax and trade, those proposals from the president were so polarizing he was deserted by many in his own party. cap and trade became so lethal that they couldn't even get democrats in the senate to take it up. i think the trick to be successful now that we have a republican house, democrat senate and a country hungry for things to get done is to govern in a way that the centers of both parties can come together. it's going to mean rejection of the liberal base. and it's also going to mean rejection of the conservative base. i think comprehensive immigration reform is a very good place to start. he knows he's going to take heat from the aflcil and others in the democratic party for doing it. conservative republicans won't go along with it. but there's a center.
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and it's the president's task everyo even if it's hard to do to create, hold and grow that center from a legislative point of view. >> do you think it's possible, ari -- >> -- just democratic again. >> -- do you think it's possible for republicans in the house, speaker john boehner for example, to accept some tax rate increases for the wealthiest americans in exchange for much more significant spending cuts? >> here's where i am on that. if we knew we were getting bone fied meaningful lasting spending cuts, entitlement reform, raising the age of retirement on some of these programs that way they'll be there for younger workers and not bankrupt the country, i think you will see on form of revenue. but if people think any taxes raised will go to more spending, it will never happen. because that's defeating the purpose which is to reduce debt. that's one of the reasons republicans are so cynical about raising taxes. wefr seen this before and the
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money goes to bigger and bigger government. california's lesson, all they do is raise taxes on the rich and don't solve their problems. we don't want america to become like california. >> will liberal democrats in the house, donna, go along with the president if he significantly makes changes, cuts spending for example for medicare and medicaid? >> 60% of the american people, wolf, believes that we should raise taxes on the wealthiest americans. we've had this debate now for many, many months, many, many years on what conservatives want and what so-called tea party republicans want. liberals are going to push their agenda. they are going to fight hard for their agenda. we're not going to set aside our goals, our policies simply because the republicans lost. they lost. and it's important that -- >> donna, they still retain the majority in the house of representatives. and there aren't enough democrats in the senate to beat back a filibuster. >> wolf, we're going to fight for our causes.
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we may lose. we won more than 57% of the senate seats out there. i mean, we got a lot of popular votes out there. we're going to fight. we might lose, but i think it's important, wolf, that we sit at the table and we put all of these issues on the table. for the last two years we've heard about what the tea party wants, what the republicans want, now you're going to hear what progressives would like to have done. we might lose, but the important thing, wolf, is that you listen to our ideas and that we have an opportunity to advance the issues that we believe in. and if we lose, we lose. but the other night we went to the voters and a lot of these states, a lot of these issues we won. >> let's get on to the tax the rich, do it, pass it, you just got over $700 billion in ten years in a nation going even with it passed deeper in debt by $10 trillion. doesn't ech get close to addressing the problem.
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it's doodling in the margins of history where our nation is going broke. donna, it's a political issue. you're right, polls support it. it has actually nothing to do with reducing the deficits or debts because it's so small compared to the size of our debt. >> you know what, they're going to expire at the end of the year along with many other cuts, tax cuts, payroll tax cuts. ari, all i'm saying is let's put it all on the table. for the last two years all i've heard from the conservatives is if we let these taxes expire, we're going to go back into a recession. all i'm saying is let's put it all on the table and then stop protecting -- let's stop protecting the 2%, the 3%, the 10%, whatever it is. >> all right. for the sake of this conversation -- >> all of these issues need to be put on the table. that's all i'm saying. >> what are you going to do after that? what comes next? i can see that point for conversational purposes. >> the mess of discretionary -- domestic discretionary spending has been cut significantly over the last four years by this
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president. we're now spending less money, less government than any time in our history since president eisenhower. of course we have to face debt. but we also got to deal with a revenue problem that we have in our country. >> you won't answer the question. >> part of the revenue needs to go toward deficit reduction. but we also need to ensure that we can pay for the services we need including -- >> you're not answering the question. >> -- military and other issues. >> you won't answer the question. >> ari, i'm so sick of answering questions. i'm so sick of answering -- i am so sick of answering questions. polls by the right so i can animate the right. i'm saying let them all expire. if that's the only way to come up with a deal, we are going to have to have a serious conversation in this country about how do we pay down our deficit but also invest in the kind of programs we need to keep america strong in the 21st century and get our people back to work. >> and that would mean obviously if there's no deal going over that so-called fiscal cliff and
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it means all the bush tax cuts not only for the wealthiest americans but for everyone, middle class -- >> the payroll taxes, wolf, unemployment insurance -- >> taxes will go up for everyone, donna. >> wolf, i understand what's going to go up. i'm a taxpayer. i'm a small business owner. all i'm saying is that we keep having the same conversation. this is the tea party conversation. i want to have an american conversation. i want to talk about all of the programs that are set -- all the taxes that are set to expire. not just the bush tax cuts. >> okay, wolf, here's the deal -- >> i want to talk about all of the cuts that we'll have to deal with. >> donna, let me in on this. >> ari, we're up against a tight, tight commercial break. >> okay. >> this conversation has been an excellent conversation. and we're going to have plenty of opportunities in the next days. there's not much time. it's until december 31st if there's no legislation that's passed, signed into law by the president, then all the tax rates for everyone go up. that's just a matter of fact.
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>> so will unemployment insurance expire and payroll tax cuts. >> absolutely. not just for the wealthy but for everyone. so there's a lot of work, important work to do on both sides. we'll try to reach a deal. guys, thanks very much. an emotional return to breathtaking destruction after a devastating superstorm and a powerful nor'easter. cnn is with one family when they see the little that's left of their home for the very first time. the pace of change is accelerating. the way we... perform, compete and grow. and people are driving this change. that's the power of human resources. the society... for human resource management and its members know... how to harness that power, because we help develop it. from the next economy, to the next generation, we help get... the most out of business, by getting the best out of people.
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a new layer of misery up and down the east coast after a devastating superstorm and now a nor'easter. one family's returning home for the first time. cnn national correspondent susan candiotti is joining us more with another heartbreaking story from new jersey. susan. >> reporter: absolutely, wolf. you know, bill and sue own a home here. there are only 110 homes on pelican island in berkeley township, new jersey. sandy just tore this place up. and so did the nor'easter. of course they've never had power returned here. bill road out the storm. his wife did not. but she came back here for the first time with her husband. and it was an emotional return. we went along. with sandy's storm clouds gathering, sue evacuated. but over her objections, her husband bill stayed behind. it was traumatizing. >> we road out the storm until friday morning.
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friday morning i said i couldn't take anymore because they turned the gas off. when they turned the gas off, that was the end for me. i told my wife i would walk across the bridge if i had to. but i was getting off. >> reporter: armed with a police pass, the retired fire chief marry today wife sue for 23 years joined other residents back on pelican island for a few hours to take stock of the devastation. what a sight, huh? >> yeah. look. they broke in. just everything's just broken down. >> that's my boat. >> reporter: ripped from a lift behind the house, the storm surge swept his boat into the street. inside the house the couple gets a look at breathtaking damage. sue for the very first time. >> oh, my god. >> this house was spotless.
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>> reporter: marks on the ceiling show how high waves got inside. >> when the water was up over my knees, i thought i might be able to save something. so i put the chairs up on top of the table. didn't do any good. >> reporter: as things got even worse, bill retreated upstairs to the couple's bedroom overlooking the bay and huddled with his retriever, blink. >> never been so scared in my life. >> reporter: their dream retirement home is in shambles. but with all they lost, sue is grateful she didn't lose bill. >> the house is stones and bricks and windows and glass. i thought i lost him. and that would have been -- losing him would have just -- would have just devastated me. i wouldn't have known how i would have gone on if i had lost him. >> come down here and expect to live the rest of your life in calm and peace. and one fail swoop everything
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washed away. >> reporter: and the former fire chief knows he shouldn't have stayed behind despite that evacuation order he did stay, it wasn't worth the risk, wolf. he admits that. this is the boat we showed you before. and he and other residents are only allowed to come back for a few hours at a time to start the massive cleanup that lies ahead. and they have no idea, no idea at all when power will come back. wolf. >> our hearts go out to all these folks. what a heartbreaking story, susan. thank you. it may sound strange but there's already some buzz out there about the next presidential election. ♪
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it may be hard to believe, but even as the confetti dropped over the obama victory celebration in chicago, the name dropping had already already started for 2016! john berman looks ahead. >> reporter: remember when they all used to do that funny dance? when the giants won the world series. when barack obama was re-elected president. remember that campaign? it seems so long ago, so yesterday. now, 2016 is the new 2012. just ask joe biden, when reporters wondered when this was the last time he cast a ballot for himself. or last month at a phone bank. when the insurance rates go down. >> reporter: could the vice president be kidding? unlikely, there's nothing funny about joe biden.
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he might have hillary clinton to contend with. who can forget last month when she was asked by marie clare magazine if she was running for president. her answer, no, i'm not. you see that. she didn't say, i will not. no, that i am not. clearly, leaving the door wide open. she might as well started printing bumper stickers. even her husband practically announced her intentions. >> i have no earthly idea what she'll decide to do. >> reporter: how about other democrats? keep an eye on martin o'malley of maryland. it's not hard since he keeps turning up on this show, this one and this one. and republicans, paul ryan already ran for president once, according to mitt romney. >> join me in welcoming the next president of the united states, paul ryan. >> reporter: we learned today that florida's marco rubio will coincidentally be highlighting a
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party and don't be surprised if you see bobby jindal take a ski trip to new hampshire. and, of course, there are others. so many others. it's never too early to dream. there are still a great many twists and turns and unknowns, but one thing about 2016 seems fairly certain. they'll still be counting ballots in florida from this time. john berman, cnn, new york. let's talk about all of this right now joining us rick spangle, our corporate sibling out there. great new issue, rick. you have a lot of buzz. would you call the class of 2016 yet a "time" photographer take some shots and portraits of potential candidates. let's talk about the buzz matchup for 2016. hillary clinton and jeb bush. look at those portraits. very nice portraits. >> yes, indeed.
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and, of course, neither person has declared, wolf, and the political class, folks like you and me and political consultants all, you know, wake up the day after election day thinking about 2016. i don't think secretary clinton or former governor bush is thinking about it all the time, but, obviously, that would be the marquise matchup that would get everybody excited. >> that's what we call it, we call it the buzz matchup. my own sense is that hillary clinton will rest and get her batteries recharged and then want to be the first woman president of the united states, but that's just me. let's talk about some -- >> that's your opinion, yes. >> let's talk about some other possibilities out there. what i'm calling the obama legacy versus gop star power. take a look at this. joe biden, the vice president, ra rahm emanuel, the mayor of chicago, chris christie, marco rubio, the senator from florida. i don't know, how serious do you think these individuals might be about 2016?
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>> look, wolf, they're all ambitious men and probably an interesting way to look at it, if you look at the demographics of this race in 2012, they will be quite different in 2016 so that a republican candidate that got the same number of votes and the same groups as governor romney would lose by a lot more in 2016. part of the appeal of someone like marco rubio is, obviously, the hispanic, latino vote. george bush, when he ran last time got 40% of the latino vote. mitt romney did much worse. and if the republican party embraces it in the same way, they'll do even worse next time. that's part of the appeal of marco rubio. >> we have a lot of time to dissect it. marco rubio, as you heard john berman report, he's heading in the next few days to iowa for an event out there. we're always reading into everything. for political news, it's never too early to start thinking about iowa, new hampshire and all of the rest.
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thank you very much, rick, for coming in. >> thank you, wolf. what went wrong for mitt romney. in our next hour we'll hear from a republican who says one reason women voters think his party, that would be the republican party is, "nutty." 100% new. 100% mmm... wow, that is mmm... it's so mmm you might not believe it's a hundred calories. new yoplait greek 100. it is so good. throughout our lives. one a day women's 50+ is a complete multivitamin designed for women's health concerns as we age. it has more of 7 antioxidants to support cell health. one a day 50+.
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these could be signs of rare but serious side effects. ♪ is your cholesterol at goal? talk to your doctor about crestor. [ female announcer ] if you can't afford your medication, astrazeneca may be able to help. jack's back with the cafferty file. jack? >> the question this hour, why would voters say this election matters more than most? gallup did a poll, 70% of the people they talked to felt that way. olivia writes, "this was a historic milestone for this country. the perception that the wealthy few could buy a candidate and transform him into a changeling
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could not buy our ideals. he understood the struggle and understood what was at stake." debbie in south carolina, i think this one mattered more than usual because whoever is president will probably get to a point two justices to the supreme court. and now we know there won't be two more scalia or alito types to point to the extreme right." obama talks about raising taxes but he never talks about going back to clinton's spending levels. how much of a dent in the obama trillion dollar deficits will taxing those who make over $250,000 make? motmuch. we'll see if the politicians have any energy and moral bearing to get this country going, again. sorry, i'm not too optimistic, i hope i'm wrong. carol in massachusetts says, "the country's past the tipping point. both sides need to grapple with
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how to balance an aging and diverse population's needs without going completely broke. and larry in georgia suggests it's because we have the attention span of nates. if you want to read more on this, and the post on the situation room facebook page. >> jack, thank you. happening now. new details are emerging of president obama's ambitious second-term agenda. the republican postmortem. did they lose because of their candidate or because of their policies? a dramatic courtroom confrontation. the former congressman gabrielle giffords face-to-face with the man who tried to assassinate her. i'm wolf blitzer, you're in "the situation room."
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a dire new report predicts another recession next year and 9% unemployment if congress and the president can't come up with a way to stop the automatic spending cuts and tax increases scheduled to take effect at the end of this year, a situation washington insiders have dubbed "the fiscal cliff." the nonpartisan congressional budget office has just warned of a possible recession before. but today's new report gets specific about five things the president and the congress need to deal with. they have to decide about allowing cuts in both defense and nondefense spending. letting the bush tax cuts expire, ending the so-called payroll tax holiday which would raise social security deductions from your paycheck and end extended unemployment benefits as well allow cuts of reimbursements to doctors who treat medicare patients. all of that scheduled to take
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effect stopping any one of these things means letting the other cuts go potentially even deeper and the tax increases go even higher. let's get some more on this troubling story. our chief white house correspondent jessica yellin is standing by. what is the reaction you're getting from the obama administration, jessica? >> hi, wolf. i just spoke to senior administration officials who tell me that they believe this report simply underscores what everybody already knows. that falling off the fiscal cliff would be dangerous for the economy. and in their view, it's even more reason that house republicans should do what senate democrats have already agreed to do. which is raise tax rates for the wealthiest americans in an effort to bring down the debt for everybody and avoid falling off the fiscal cliff. wolf, i also have some news. tomorrow i am told by senior administration officials, president obama will make a statement on the u.s. economy. this will be president obama's first statement from the white house since his re-election.
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and no doubt will be an opportunity for him to address some of these pressing issues raised by the cbo report, by the fiscal cliff, by our economic conditions right now, wolf. >> we will, of course, have live coverage of the president's statement on the economy. you're also finding out, jessica, some new information about the president's agenda for his second term. >> that's right, wolf. you know, during this election pundits criticized president obama for offering too few specifics during his campaign about what a second term would hold. the truth is, he did lay out a plan for his second term. you might criticize it as too light on the details, but there was an agenda and here's some of it. while the details may be sparse, president obama did outline a second-term agenda. the first big challenge? deficit reduction. >> my plan will cut the deficit by $4 trillion over the next ten years. i'm going to cut out spending
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that we don't need. we already cut $1 trillion. >> reporter: specifically, he proposed filling the nation's coughers by reforming medicare and medicaid and changing personal income tax rates when the bush tax cuts expire at year's end. >> i'm going to lower taxes for middle class folks and let's also make sure the wealthiest households pay a little bit more. >> reporter: the white house has pledge to veto any bill that extends the current bush tax rates for families making $250,000 a year or more. the president also hopes to accomplish corporate tax reform in his second term. one part of that -- >> i want to reward small businesses and manufacturers who are creating jobs right here in the united states of america. >> reporter: the election result could only strengthen the president's resolve to accomplish the next item, immigration reform. he told "rolling stone" magazine if he won re-election the gop would come on board because they'll start recognizing that alienating the fastest growing
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segment of our society is probably not good politics for them. he won 71% of the latino vote tuesday. senior democrats tell cnn he's likely to push for comprehensive immigration reform. the overall message democrats take from the election? >> i think people expect everyone to live up to their responsibilities and, you know, one thing that is clear as i moved around the country with the president is they're hungry for that kind of cooperation. i hope that coming out of this election people will come with a renewed sense of cooperation because it will take that to solve problems. >> wolf, two other items on the president's agenda include energy reform and education reform. given the current politics with congress, it might be easier for him to achieve education reform, but energy reform is something he could probably push through with executive actions of his own. i should also add, wolf, about that statement on the economy,
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i'm told that will happen at 1:00 tomorrow in the east room. wolf? >> in the east room. not a formal news conference or part of a formal news conference? >> not a news conference, just a statement by the president. >> that's where he should make it in the east room, as opposed to the briefing room. if he goes to the briefing room, we want to see questions. just from me as a former white house correspondent. jessica, thanks very much for that. kate bbolduan here with us. the race for the white house was much closer than we see and i kept thinking electoral college wise but pretty close. >> very close. let's talk more about that with our senior political analyst ron brownste brownstein. ron, thanks very much for coming. you have a fascinating piece. your new piece that just showing how close this election really was. >> this election was looking
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like a crystal. very different depending on what angle you hold it up. on the one hand, democrats have won the popular vote in five of the past six presidential elections, which is as much as republicans did from '68 to' 88. electoral college -- >> in 2000 al gore, he had more popular votes, not enough electoral votes. >> five out of six times, obama the first democratic president to win 56% of the popular vote since franklin roosevelt and he had a solid college electoral victory and on the other hand, the first re-elected president since andrew jackson in 1832 to win a smaller share of the popular vote in the first re-election than he did initially. when you look at it as the margin between him and mitt romney, right now is at 2.4 percentage points which would tie george w. bush in 2004 as the narrowest margin of victory in the popular vote ever for successfully re-elected president. which says something about the
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durability of the divisions in our country at the time. >> how divided our country really is. i want to show our viewers a map, real quick. so, this is something that you coin back in 2009, if i'm correct. you call it the blue wall. tell us what you mean by that and what does it show and tell us? >> this is another big part of the story. there are now 18 states. the 18 states of the blue wall have voted democratic in every presidential election since 1992. six straight times. that is the most states democrats have won that often ever, since the formation of the modern party system in 1828. what that means unless republicans can break into this, can kind of breach the blue wall, democrats start with 242 electoral college votes. >> so right out of the gate come election day, they're at 242. >> and leaving republicans with a very narrow pathway. it's the complete reversal of that period from '68 to '88 when i started covering politics and people talked about the electoral college lock. the democrats could only get to
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270 with what was called an inside straight. now the shoe is on the other foot. pennsylvania, wisconsin and most primarily, but in the end, obama held all of them and that left romney almost having to run the table on the remaining swing states, which is very different. east coast, from maryland to maine, except new hampshire, the three west coast states and six straight times 18 states have voted democratic. >> the line that jumped out at me from "new york times" on what happened. you read this piece. how a race in the balance went to obama. 11:30 p.m. and romney field teams in ohio, virginia and florida called in saying the race was too close for the candidate to give up. at least four planes were ready to go and aides had bags packed for recount battles in narrowly divided states. we had already projected at 11:18 p.m. eastern he would win ohio and, as a result, win the presidency, the president of the united states. but at that point, 11:30.
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obama had 50% to 49% in virginia. it was very close right there. look at that. in ohio, 50-49, obama, romney, very close, 74% of the vote. the vote and in florida, it was 50-49. 91%. did they have a case for asking for recounts or should he have done what he did, romney conceded? >> i heard the ohio call was somewhat controversial on another network. >> we did it at 11:18 p.m. eastern. >> look, in 2000 you learned that you should not concede too fast when al gore, you know, was convinced not to concede. and, in this karx i think you learn that you should not contest too fast because in the end, these states did move. you know, the scales were very close at that point, but particularly in ohio and florida. if you looked at the remaining vote, it was democratic leaning and, certainly, it was a better decision not to say i was going to contest before all the votes in. they were still counting, as
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john berman said, recounting until 2016, but the other ones were pretty solid. >> we looked at that counties that had not yet reported and they were pretty democratic. and that's why we had our projection. >> you can read your article in "national journal" that comes out tomorrow. >> comes out tomorrow and online tonight. >> what time? political soul searching as republicans look at the future of their party in the wake of the presidential loss. former congresswoman gabrielle giffords on hand for the sentencing of the man who tried to kill her. we have details of their courtroom confrontation. it's hard to see opportunity in today's challenging environment. unless you have the right perspective. bny mellon wealth management has the vision and experience to look beyond the obvious. we'll uncover opportunities, find hidden risk,
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to e-mails that keep loyal customers coming back, our easy-to-use tools will keep you in front of your customers. see what's right for you at former congresswoman gabrielle giffords was among the victims at the sentencing hearing for jared loughner whose 2011 shooting ram pain in tucson
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killed six people, wounded 13, including giffords. casey, you were inside the courtroom with the victims when all of this wept down today, what did they have to say? >> well, one of the most striking examples of testimony from these victims came from a man named bill badger, 74 years old. at the time of the shooting a retired army colonel. he went to that community meeting to talk to gabrielle giffords about obama care. he survived the shooting. >> he got about ten feet from me and reached and grabbed it with this hand and i ducked and across the back of my head. >> now, despite those injuries, he was one of the people who helped subdue jared loughner after the shooting. of course, the testimony that everybody was waiting to hear
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from, coming from mark kelly, the husband of gabrielle giffords. they walked up to the podium and she still needs help walking. very clear she still is recovering from her injuries and still partially blind. her arm is in a sling because it remains paralyzed. they gave very emotional, an emotional statement. here's in part what mark kelly had to say. they looked directly at loughner and he said, "you may have put a bullet through her head, but you have not put a dent in her spirit or her ability to do good." then he looked directly at loughner and said, gabby and i are done thinking about you. he'll have the rest of his life, jared loughner will, seven consecutive life terms, plus 140 years to think about those words, wolf. >> the victims, casey, they'll have to live with this forever. but did you get a sense that there was some sense of closure for them today?
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>> what was interesting some victims said it was not closure. the judge said he does not like the word closure. what this is about is resolution. many of those victims said that they actually forgive jared loughner. they did stress, though, that they want him to continue taking his medication and the judge ordered that he do so. so he will be aware and remember what he did to these people for the rest of his life, wolf. >> casey, thanks for that report. >> gabby giffords husband, mark kelly, will relive that dramatic courtroom encounter on "piers morgan tonight" right here on cnn. first, it was the superstorm and now a nor'easter. it's a cruel and cold one-two punch for thousands of people. we'll hear from some of them, next. ♪ and the flowers and the trees all laugh when you walk by ♪ ♪ and the neighbors' kids... what does being true to yourself have to do with being healthy? everything.
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kate's here with more of the top stories, including that nor'easter that is compounding problems out there for so many folks. >> absloutly, wolf. the nor'easter we're talking about. just when they thought things couldn't get any worse, they did for tens of thousands of people still struggling to recover from the superstorm. cnn's deborah feyerick is talking to some of them. >> when did you get the order to evacuate? >> we had about three or four feet of water in the house. where were you going to go then? you were just running upstairs for your life. this is my house here. >> richard bennett lives just across the water from breezy point, where 110 houses burned. that is zone a. this is zone b. ten days after hurricane sandy hit here, there's no electricity and little official help and people are suffering.
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their pain compounded by the snow brought by the nor'easter. >> they just want some warmth and normalcy back in their lives. >> reporter: residents said con edison won't turn on the power until each of the 200 homes inspected by the electrician. >> they want licensed electricians and licensed plumbers to go into each of these homes. they won't have lights until christmas. >> reporter: fema agents needed to assess the damage so people can tear out walls and floors in their freezing wet homes says wendy taylor, whose mom has lived here for more than 50 years. >> she is, you know, running on fumes and everybody wants to know what the next step is. >> reporter: as for richard bennett, he is tearing out his walls anyway, sleeping on the floor and hoping against hope, more official help will finally arrive. >> maybe, hopefully, i can get the electric back on. i hope, i pray.
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>> and a lot of people tonight really just relying on prayer. this is a release tent that has been set up behind me. we have some residents that were coming all throughout the day and now getting warm meals and plan on staying in their homes and kate, wolf, i want to show you right down here, okay, the only real light you can see aside from this official light are those that have been set up on generators, but, otherwise, just kind of take a look. it's quite dark and really a little bit eerie. that is the reality for the thousands of people who have chosen to stay. kate, rofl sph. >> really amazing when you see the darkness just there behind you. deborah feyerick, thank you so much. turning now overseas. syria's president al assad hopes to live and die in syria. his country offer safe passage in exchange for ending the civil war. the head of the international red cross today said it is unable to cope with the deteriorating humanitarian situation there. at least 64 people died today
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alone and the numbers continue, continue to rise. and with president obama now set for another four years, a top israeli official put to rest any talk of differences between the u.s. and israel over iran. deputy foreign minister danny ialon spoke with cnn's chris . e >> we trust the leadership of the united states and the leadership of president obama. >> if i'm not mistaken, a ringing endorsement of the obama administration towards iran? >> yes, absolutely. the view from, rets let's say kansas city or tel aviv about the threats from iran is different. by the nature of the proximity, but, at the end of the day, we will continue and hope together. yes, there were differences about some timelines and about
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what is exactly the goal, whether to prevent iran acquiring nuclear capabilities or actually having the bomb itself. i think to date we can safely say we are very much in the same page and will continue to follow the united states. >> ayalon says the pressure of the u.s. brought to bear on iran is "something we wouldn't have dreamed about a year ago." i think it's very interesting. a bit of a change in position, it sounds like. >> he's a former israeli ambassador to the u.s. he knows the u.s. well and says the u.s. and israel, they are on the same page right now, as far as iran is concerned. significant statement coming from the government of the prime minister netanyahu. so, where does the party go from here? two republican lawmakers. they will weigh in, next. the writer's desktop and the coordinator's phone
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any party that loses an election certainly has to try to answer the question, why. >> absolutely. that's where we find retupublics in the wake of their second presidential loss wondering what they and their candidate should have done a little differently. >> cnn's chief financial correspondent john king is over at the magic wall for us. john, one theory is that if more white voters had turned out, republicans would have won the election. you're looking at the numbers. >> they said they thought the percentage of the white vote would be higher. this is what it is nationally. republicans going in, white voters had to be 74%, 75% for mitt romney to have a chance to win the election. if they blame this for the loss, think about four years from now. america is growing more and more diverse. but for the first time latinos cracked 10% of the national electorate and came up even more in some key swing states. let's take a closer look at this. nationally governor romney got
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39% to 59%. you have to keep the president because of his minority coalition to 37%. the president exceeded what republicans hoped he would get nationally. let's take a look at the swing states. as republicans look ahead, especially four years from now in florida the white vote was even smaller, 34%. the noncuban population is bigger than the cuban population and six in ten of those votes went to the president. if you're counting on more white voters, you might make a suicide pact as a political party. ohio, the white vote was bigger, 79%. governor romney lost this state, too. the latino population is tiny, only 3% in ohio. bigger three years from now and you can count on that. the president cracked 40 in the white vote and a lot of people think that is because of industrial blue collar workers and the bailout. ohio one of the least diverse state. in colorado, the republicans got the number they wanted, wolf and 78% of the vote there.
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look, the president had 44% and, more importantly, four years from now, this number, the latino population, again, in the state of colorado will be even bigger and the president there, let me pop out the pie chart, so, if you're just thinking about the white vote. let me switch for you here. these are the states that if you look at the census and other demographic data are getting older and wider. look, all but indiana are blue. if the republicans are banking on more white voters four years from now, that's a risky bet. >> what about conservatives who say mitt romney should have focused more on social issues? >> there are a lot of people saying he was not republican enough, not conservative enough on social issues, if you will. again, not saying the republican party should abandon its principles on these issues but they have to be careful in thinking that making those the priority will win them the next presidential election. 41% of the electorate described themselves as moderate.
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tired of both ideological extremes and sdrik themselves as moderate and pull out the pie chart and the president getting six in ten of those votes. that's how you win a presidential election and let's go through the battleground states, oops, i slid it over too far. 43% of the vote in battleground florida describe themselves as moderate. be careful there, if you want to win that state four years from now. ohio 32% and 35% conservative there's. if you come over to colorado, 39% describe themselves as moderate. let's come back to the map and look at some of these issues. on the abortion issue, you see the clear generational divide. republicans tend to get the older vote. abortion should be legal, 64% of younger voters. so, a divide there. if you're trying to get to younger voters in the next election, be careful about emphasizing social issues. that was abortion. let's look at the issue of same-sex marriage. again, a lot of conservatives saying governor romney should express these issues more conservative turnout.
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if you're thinking ahead fou years, older voters don't favor same-sex marriage but younger voters are more tolerant. 18 to 29 and even the next group. kate and wolf, going forward if you're looking at the demographic changes, you should emphasize social issues is a risky bet. >> good point, john, thank you very much. good stuff to discuss with our guests right now. joining us republican congressman jason of utah and republican congressman steve of ohio. thanks to both of you. two republicans. let's start with you, you were huge romney surrogate and appeared on our program many times. why do you think romney lost? >> well, as much as anything, i think president obama won. he did a good job and better job, i think, of communicating. i think mitt romney was a wonderful candidate and he worked hard and he raised all the money that he needed to raise. he had the network in place, but the ground game and the communication, i think, was tipped in favor of the president
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and we, as republicans, better get our act together in how we're communicating. >> cbs news quoted one adviser to romney saying he was shell shocked, shell shocked by the loss. have you spoken to governor romney? >> i have not since this and we were a bit shell shocked. i thought we had much more of an enthusiasm gap that did not seem to materialize. i know john king was talking about a lot of percentages. but i just thought the sheer number would be larger of people showing up at the polls because they wanted to get rid of barack obama and they were in favor of mitt romney, they realized we were off track, but that did not materialize and i still don't fully understand why it did not. >> when you look at all the data and all the information coming in in your own political sense and you know politics, was it campaign error that resulted in his loss? was it a sense of party's economic policies, for example, or the campaign by the democrats? >> it was all of those things combined. and it's not just political sense because we knew this day
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was coming. we actually had republican main street commission and wants to do a poll of on election night of people who would have actually voted. and those numbers are clear in both parties while they voted for gridlock, again, not gridlock to have gridlock and vote and expect people to get things done. what happened in ohio and we're glad the election is over because we don't have to watch those stupid ads any more, but what happened in ohio is that the president's campaign was that they recognized but this come down to the united states, 42 states and they define mitt romney in august. now, by the time the new mitt romney showed up at the first denver debate and that's when he surged all over the country, we couldn't take the scab off for socially moderate, fiscally conservative women. they had mitt romney defined in their head and even though he did a brilliant job in denver and ran a good campaign therefore, it was too late. >> let's talk about the social
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issues. there's been a lot of post-mortem monday morning quarterbacking about what mitt romney did wrong. conservatives saying a lack of conservativism. he was too moderate. you're retiring from congress, you are a dying breed, you are a moderate. was it a lack of conservatism? >> no, the numbers don't show that. the democrats who showed up voted for president obama and actually more democrats voted for mitt romney and the republicans voted for barack obama. i think mitt romney won utah. he didn't win ohio and he didn't win ohio because -- >> utah was not close. >> i'm sure it wasn't. the reds were reds and the blues were blues and that's why the president focused on eight states and i'll tell you that he didn't win ohio because every time we got these socially moderate fiscally conservative women close to us, some chuckle head in indiana or missouri say that being pregnant, being raped is a gift from god. so, he took the women who were
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interested on the cusp and drove them right back to the democratic party. >> you told the story about your wife, who is a democrat. >> sure. >> she was going to vote for mitt romney. >> she was. and she yelled at me for disclosing who she was voting for. i grew up in the suburbs of cleveland and those friends said to me, you know we're not crazy about what the president is doing with israel and we're thinking about voting for mitt romney. when someone makes the aiken/murdouck statements and drive them back, the republican extreme can get. >> what do you think about that, congressman? >> well, again, i think that communication has got to be stepped up. and when somebody does say something on the national stage that's stupid, we have to collectively do a much better job and swifter job of knocking that down. we also have to come to grips that how we communicate is changing in this world. my fammy, we don't have a land
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line in our home. when i watch television, there is a dvr that fast forwards through the commercials. so, how do you communicate with that younger generation? we can't keep playing as if we can just spend hundreds of millions of dollars on these tv ads and when the other side is doing the same and that you're going to break through. so, particularly for the younger generation and then certainly into those other, you know, the hispanic population, those types. i just don't think we're cutting it there. we have the right message. i think we're right on principle. we don't do a good job of communicating. >> i want both of you to hang on for a moment. we have more to talk about, including fears of 1.9% unemployment. a dire warning of the so-called fiscal cliff just out today. we'll talk about that when we come back with our guest guests. ♪
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jason chaffetz of utah and steve of ohio. we are watching what is going on. the congressional budget office today came out with this report that if you go over the fiscal cliff, nothing resolved by the democrats and the republicans and the president before december 31st, they say unemployment could jump up to 9.1% and face another serious recession. theres the question for you. if it comes down to an increase in taxes for the wealthiest americans, a modest increase of 35% to 39.6% where it was during the clinton administration for people that say making over $1 million a year, everyone else's taxes stay the same and significant spending cuts. would you be willing to go along?
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>> well, the tax increase, as you talk about, is not going to solve our problems. a tax increase away from solving the problem. >> a matter of principle to help the process to get the democrats on board. for people making a million dollars a year and more increase their taxes a little bit in order to get a deal and avoid this dire scenario that the congressional budget office laid out today. >> wolf, again, i don't think that will ultimately solve the problem. i'm with speaker boehner on what he said. that is, i think there's common ground in getting rid of some of the deductions and loopholes. they think we can come together. republicans and democrats on that, but not interested in raising the actual rates. i, too, was elected. these are principles that i stand on and are important to me. let's find the common ground and i like what you said as you frame it, we need to cut spending. we have to stop spending money we don't have. if we can come together on those types of things, i think both parties want to do it and speaker boehner put out an olive
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branch and that's the direction we need to go. >> i want to get your raw, political assessment of this. you came into office the same time as john baner and you know him very well and you are retiring. one reason you cited for retiring is the debt debacle and the inability for washington to act and do something important. are they going to be able to do it this time? we're dealing with the same deck of cards and same balance of power. >> i'm hopeful. i just talked to the speaker today and showed him the results of the poll that i was telling you about. i think if left to their own devic devices. it's like jim belushi in "animal house" you turn around and there's nobody behind him. as a republican, the last resort should be to raise taxes. >> on anyone. >> on anybody. but you can get there from here. i put with jim cooper of tennessee and during the ryan
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budget discussion. we got 38 votes. but you can get there from here by cleaning out the underbrush and creating $1 trillion of new revenue, not tax increases, new revenue and -- >> by eliminating deductions and stuff like that. >> the president said it is fairy dust or whatever. i was here for the '97 budget act and we balanced the budget back with president clinton much faster than we thought because we did see the economic growth as a result of getting your fiscal house in order. this is a step-by-step process and raising taxes should be the last resort. republicans 69% of republicans said, we'll consider that as long as you don't just take the money and blow it. if you make the big deal. that's what people want. >> congressman, we have to leave it there. thanks for coming. good luck with your next adventure. >> i'm looking for a job, call me. >> there is life after congress. jason chaffetz, thank you for joining us. getting ready for some snow there in salt lake. enjoy it. have fun, go skiing.
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>> you're skiing and i'm chasing it. voters this week just didn't chu choose the next president but in two states they made it legal to smoke pot without a prescription. but do the voters have the final say? i'm a conservative investor. i invest in what i know. i turned 65 last week. i'm getting married. planning a life. there are risks, sure. but, there's no reward without it. i want to be prepared for the long haul. i see a world bursting with opportunities. india, china, brazil, ishares, small-caps,
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a special delivery of snack food to the colorado governor's office. on tuesday voters approved a measure legalizing marijuana in the state for recreational use. but before the munchies could set in, the governor warned against premature celebrations since marijuana is still banned by federal law. as cnn's ed lavandera reports, that puts the state and the feds in a pretty awkward position.
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>> reporter: it's the kind of story that makes headline writers -- >> i can only imagine writers -- >> i can only imagine what jay leno and company are going saying over the next week two. there will be lots of jokes and i'm sure there will be plenty of snack foods discussed. >> reporter: after colorado voters approved legalizing marijuana the state's governor could only warn everyone not to bring out the cheetos and goldfish just yet. the fact is no one knows what will happen next. >> it's hard to imagine the chaos that would result if state by state you had, you know, one state legalizing and one state not. >> reporter: that's exactly what's happening. 17 states have already legalized marijuana for me is inial use and colorado and washington state are the first to approve selling the drug like alcohol. the vote has put these states on a collision course with the federal government which still says possessing marijuana is a crime. >> it simply can't go on the
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way it is. it can't be a big industry and a federal crime at the same time. >> reporter: this is a university of denver law professor. he says as more and more states legalize marijuana the federal government will look the other way. >> every store that sells marijuana is violating federal law. the federal government could come in here and send people to jail. they have chosen so far not to do that. >> reporter: colorado has a lot of experience regulating marijuana. there are more than 500 licensed medicinal marijuana clinics across the state and then there's the cultivation rooms where all of this marijuana is grown. hundreds of different strains and flavors. all of this happening right in the heart of the city of denver. the colorado amendment would allow anyone over 21 to possess up to an ounce of pot. it would allow license production and weed sales would be taxed up to 15%. the profits then slated to help pay for the construction of
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public schools. federal prosecutors and law enforcement aren't saying much only that they are reviewing the ballot initiatives. >> this law will cause chaos. what do you say >> i think that's absurd. take marijuana out of the underground market. stop giving profits to cartels and gangs. start putting those profits towards colorado business and let's generate tens of millions of dollars in tax revenue that could be benefiting our state as opposed to going overseas or going towards criminal activity. >> it's an walk ward time. voters have passed a smokey bong to the federal government and they need to figure out what to do with it next. ed lavandera, cnn, denver, colorado. >> more than half the people age 18 to 25 have smoked marijuana. that's from a national survey on drugs and mental health from the
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cdc back in 2010. compare that nor than 60% who have smoked cigarettes and 80% of people who have had an alcoholic beverage. let's check in quickly with erin burnett to see what's coming up "outfront" at the top of the hour. >> i have to say, see the front of this sports section for "usa today". yes. got everybody talk. we got something on that. plus the fiscal cliff. sort of a showdown. john boehner came out and spoke. i heard a lobbyist saying the american people don't have patience, we have to get this done right a way to a very senior democratic leader of the senate and that seems to be case. we'll talk about that and why the president so far has been silent on that issue. plus tonight wolf and kate ann stevens will receive an award for her brother the common ground award from the secretary of state. she also met with the president today a and his national security adviser. ann stevens will be our guest
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tonight in her first u.s. television interview. >> the sister of the slain u.s. ambassador libya. good idea. i'm looking forward to that. thanks, erin. thieves carry out a dramatic heist rolling up to a jewelry store inside a london mall. get this on motor bikes and it's all caught on tape. dad vo: ok, time for bed, kiddo. lights out. ♪ (sirens) (train horn)
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kate watch this. robbery by motor bike. thieves carried out a daring heist at a mall. here's cnn jeanne moos. >> reporter: if you think only batman would go crashing indoors on his bat cycle, well holy heist, look at this.
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three motorcycles were captured on a surveillance camera as they roared up the walkway in a london shopping mall called brent cross shortly after the mall opened that day. watch the security guy back off as six men riding two to a bike, dismount armed with axes and baseball bats. half the men go into the jewelry store while one of the guys standing guard outside smashes a glass barrier. shoppers below scatter. >> people running around the sales assistant seemed to be creaming. she was quite hysterical. >> reporter: the men inside were shoveling jewelry into bags. this kind of heist is called a smash and grab and motorcycle smash and grabs aren't all that unusual in london. what's unusual is for it to happen inside a shopping mall. >> exactly like something out of a james bond film. it didn't seem real. it was like a dream.
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>> reporter: while the robbers were grabbing loot inside the store a clueless couple strolling before was hustled out of the walkway and less than two minutes the bad guys were getting back on their bikes. a shopper across the way took this video. a commercial photographer was also able to take one shot as the robbers zoomed by. >> he was like definitely looking at me. >> reporter: rick couldn't make out what. during outdoor smash and grabs by standers have tried to kick the bikers but at the mall -- >> it didn't occur to me to top them. >> reporter: they threat way they came. police discovered the abandoned bikes a few miles away. they did drop some of their bootie as they roared away, a return without a receipt. hey give that back. jeanne moos, cnn, new york. >> that looks scary. >> they got