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tv   The Situation Room With Wolf Blitzer  CNN  October 25, 2011 4:00pm-6:00pm EDT

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speaking, of course. but really, blow you away? watch watch what happened when a giant sand storm, bless this couple's heart. blue throu blew there this wedding in arizona. gus and jennifer were just starting to exchange vows, got a little crazy, sand storm wouldn't stop. he's like, cut, we're done, over. i'm done as well. thanks for watching. now to wolf blitzer. situation room starts now. thanks very much. happening now, republican presidential candidate rick perry tries to boost a slumping campaign, gambling on an unusual tax plan. also, a secret burial for moammar gadhafi. his body removed from public display and taken to an undisclosed location and herman cain's new campaign ad. it's like few we've seen before. what it says about him and his competition.
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i'm wolf blitzer. you're in "the situation room." -- captions by vitac -- he's plunging in the polls and in need of a boost. will a new plan help rick perry climb back to the top of the republican race? his rival, herman cain, is leading the pack according to a brand new poll and perry is a distant fifth with cain apparently benefitting from his 9-9-9 tax plan, perry today unveiled his own new tax plan and 20 is the magic number. he proposes a flat tax of 20% for individuals and corporations, but in a twist, perry would let people choose to pay his flat tax rate or file under the current system, which he derived.
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>> the size of the current code is more than 72,000 pages. that's represented by this palate right over here and the reams of paper. that's what the current tax code looks like. the best representation of my plan is this postcard. this is is size of what we're talking about right here. taxpayers will be able to fill this out and file their taxes on that. each individual taxpayer will have a choice. you can continue to pay your taxes. as well as the accountants and lawyers under the current tax system we got or file your taxes on this postcard. with the deductions on there for interest on your mortgage or charitable give, state and local taxes. >> tom foreman is working the
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story for us. tom, what are you finding? >> what we're finding is as controversial as it is now, it will be probably be more in the next few days. the fundamental claim of this plan today is that this will be better for everyone. that everyone is going to benefit from a tax standpoint if the perry plan is adopted. he's saying there are advantages for all. what's wrong with that, wolf? part of it has to do with the sheer numbers here. we talked to folks at the tax policy center. they're chopping up these numbers right now. they're hoping to have a full analysis by the end of the week, but let's look at what this might mean. he's talking about a standard exception for everyone $12,500. that's attractive to a lot of people. right now, if you make about $9,500 a year, you have enough exceptions so you don't pay any income tax. if you go over that amount now,
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over $9500, you start paying a 10% tax rate. if you go over this amount, you immediately start paying a 20% tax rate. that's one of the details in here that people have to sort through. 51% of the people this this country are paying no income taxes. in 2009, so a lot of people potentially affected by this, wolf. beyond that, there is a question of what's happening on the higher end of the scale. he wants to lower corporate tax rates. no capital gains. no inheritance tax. here's where we read between the lines. this is largely about people in the country doing better. not touching any values whether it should be targeting them or anybody else, but the simple truth is these are people doing better off. if you're making 20 or $25,000 a year, there's no inheritance to worry about because nobody's going to get anything when you pass on because that's basically hand to mouth living.
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it looks like when you add up the numbers he has here, the idea this will not somehow represent a significant decrease in revenue to the federal government seems a real stretch. the only way he gets to a balanced budget with this plan is by really substantial cuts to all sorts of programs in the country. you can decide if you like that, but the bottom line, we're going to have to say that this appears to be true, but incomplete. huge emphasis on the incomplete. i think we'll be filling in a lot of holes for the rest of the week and it will tell us a lot more of what this tax plan will really do as opposed to just giving advantages to all. >> the only way it would deal with shrinking that deficit, the national debt, is if it were to so spur the economy is economy would grow and tax revenues would come in because of enormous growth. >> massive run away growth. >> all right. stand by, tom. we're checking this.
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i want to bring in our chief political analyst, gloria borger. she's working this story for us as well. i don't think there's any doubt that herman cain's 9-9-9 tax plan helped spur that dramatic boost. he's number one right now if you believe this new "new york times" poll. >> lower taxes is sort of the holy grail of the republican party and clearly, rick perry is trying to get back up in that top tier by proposing a flat tax. a flat tax has a lot of resonance out there, particularly with republican primary voters. 20% sounds great. if it can get the economy moving again, that's terrific. i spoke with somebody who's a senior mitt romney adviser. actually, we were e-mailing and he said, it's a gimmick, the flat tax responding to a gimmick. 9-9-9. so, they say you need a more complete plan such as mitt romney has offered and rick perry's plan will in fact help
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the wealthy and when you take a second look at it, they're saying you know what? you might have to do your taxes twice to try and figure out which plan would work best for you. >> if you're going to be able to save money because the old way might save you more than the new way. >> right. there's another point you were making with tom, which is there is no claim here this is revenue neutral. it might spur the economy as you say, but actually, it's probably a revenue loser for the economy because wealthy people would be paying much less in taxes. >> he's saying himself, rick perry, that he wouldn't be able to balance the budget until 2020. it would take eight years. >> he does. $100 billion in nondefense discretionary spending, getting to a balanced budget by 2020. and when he talks about entitlement rer form, which is kind of vague, he does sound a
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lot like paul ryan. here are his guidelines for example. on social security. he says let's raise the retirement age, private accounts for younger workers. very, very continue versal. allow state and local governments to opt out of social security. on medicare, the same thing. gradually raise the eligibility age. have a voucher program and means test benefits, which means that the wealthy might have to pay more for their benefits. so, again, this is quite controversial. was controversial in congress. you can be sure that barack obama is going to pick up on this and run with it because again, they have an opportunity here to get senior voters back, which they lost in the 2010 midterm, so i think this gives the president another opportunity and again, balancing the budget by 2020 may be very optimistic. even the deficit commission,
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which proposed sweeping tax reform said it could only balance the budget by 2035. >> that's a long time. thanks very much. let's dig a little deeper with erin burnett. he this is different than steve forbes' flat tax proposals we heard so much about when he was running for the republican presidential nomination. 17% flat tax. if you wanted to go back to the current way of paying, that was not part of steve forbes' plan. >> it's funny, talking to some people who have spent their career, there are people out there who love the flat tax. flat tax purists, they call themselves. this just isn't a pure flat tax. never mind the fact you can stick to the system or go to the new one, which is practical and prag pragmatic. to exekt pekt the country to
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throw out 70 million pages is not possible, right? but it's not really a pure tax because you've got these deductions. i'm looking at the postcard right now. mortgage interest, charitable contributions, pure flat tax would not allow for any of those deductions. >> it's more complicated because he says, rick perry, that if you make more than $500,000 a year, forget about all those deductions for home mortgages or charitable contributions, you're not going to be eligible. when i heard that, read his article today, i said to myself, isn't that a little bit of what the republicans deride the democrats and president obama for class warfare when you've got different tiers of rich as opposed to not so rich? >> yes, in a sense, that's trying to say, to nod towards progressivity and then also to hit that issue, wolf, if you
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look in within this plan, there are lots of areas where we need more detail. but if you look at social security benefits, perry would take us back to where we were before 1983, so people would not be taxed on their benefits for social security, which would disportion atly readjust. so, there is a lot of nods here to try to make this not regre regressi regressive, which is maybe part of the reason it's more complicated that quote unquote flat. >> on my blog today, i pointed out herman cain's got a 9-9-9 plan that we know a lot about. i say, i called rick perry's plan 20-20-0. what do you think about that? as opposed to 9-9-9. >> i think that's a great way of putting it and it hits on the political point perry's trying
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to make. don't go the direction of a sales tax. you know, once you start at 9, it only goes higher. there are few countries in the world that have started out with a national sales tax that have not seen it rise over time. one other thing, because people can choose and most people will choose the rate that's lowest, some will just go ahead with what they've got, but most will pick the rate that's lowest. so you're going to get less revenue under this plan, but if you're going to cap spending at 8% of gdp, i just looked at our numbers for the most recent year we had a budget, which was last year. we would have had to cut $882 billion out of our budget in that year. so to hit that cap is going to require substantial cuts and to your point, you can make some up if you get great economic growth and don't have to pay off unemployment benefits and food stamps and the economy improves. >> we're going to be spending this a lot in the coming days
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and weeks. please be sure to join erin tonight, "outfront," 7:00 p.m. thanks very much. jack cafferty is back. he'll join us on the other side of this break, plus, more on rick perry. why is he trying to reignite the controversy over whether president obama was born in the united states. and the new campaign ad and right now, there are new details emerging about the secret burial of gadhafi. we now know he wasn't buried alone.
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welcome back, jack. >> thank you, wolf. it's a time honored political
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tradition, you know. ducking a presidential candidate who has lousy poll numbers and the year out from next year's election, it looks like some democrats cannot get far enough away from president obama. a lot of democratic lawmakers including nancy pelosi insist that president obama is not a political liability. but as political reports, there are growing signs he may be just that. take for example recent trips the president made to michigan, north carolina and pennsylvania. all states he won in 2008. in north carolina, six democratic house members did not join the president. only two lawmakers showed up. another congressman who represented a majority black district. when the president when to pittsburgh, zero members attended, although -- at the airport probably as he was leaving. in michigan, none of the 15
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members of the state's congressional delegation showed up with president obama in detroit. none. this is a city he won with 74% of the vote in 2008. part of the issue in michigan might be the president's push for free trade. take a few days off, it's not easy to get back in the groove. a state with strong unions. some think these efforts to dodge the president would only backfire. ed rendell says it's political idiotsy and calls these members who duck the president complete wuosses. if unemployment stays stuck about 9%, don't be surprised if the democrats cover their political backsides and simply disappearing when the president comes to town. what message does it send when some democrats are ducking president obama? go to
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to our post on "the situation room's" facebook page and write your little wisdoms there. >> we want to make you look good. >> need all the help i can get. >> thank you. meanwhile, other news, he was captured and killed in a global spotlight, but gadhafi was buried in secret. libya's national transitional counsel says the former dictator's body was inturred along with a son and adviser in an undisclosed location. dan rivers is joining us from libya with details. dan, gadhafi got buried. now, questions about human rights abuses. what is the new government in tripoli saying about this? >> reporter: well, giving all of the kind of rights that -- they're talking about the need for investigation.
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their desire to uphold human rights. the problem is, implementing any of that on the ground here. for example, the problem with gadhafi's capture, killing, the way his body was treated. it seemed pretty clear the ntc had little control over what those militia were doing on the ground right through yesterday when they had ordered that the public should not be allowed in to see the body, yet the public carried on and were admitted into the late evening in misrata. i think it underlines just what a diffict job the ntc has got and how little control it has over those militia who basically are running the country on the ground. yesterday at this time when we were speaking, an official said that gadhafi's other son was trying to escape libya using a fake passport. any updates on his where abouts?
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>> reporter: well, today, they are saying they don't know where he is. that they think he's still on the run. we have no suggestion at all that he is near the border. we have no confirmation about this fake passport, no proof. it's -- it is increasingly difficult, wolf, to take what some of these sources are saying seriously, frankly, without the benefit of conclusive proof and at the moment, they have produced nothing to back up their assertion that he is heading for the border. frankly, i don't think they have a clue where he is. >> dan rivers on the scene for us in libya. thank you. meanwhile, president obama is sidestepping what he calls a dysfunctional congress. with the economy lagging, why did he wait until now? president obama's press secretary, jay carney standing
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here are some of the stories we're working on for our next hour. libya's new prime minister says shah ria law should form the bas of the libyan law system.
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we're taking a much closer look. also, an american student behind bars in egypt accused of spying for israel. we'll have details of the deal to release him and the vatican proposes reforms for the world's economy. does the pope side with protesters on wall street? stand by. you're in "the situation room." rick perry isn't backing away from questioning the legitimacy of president obama's birth certificate. he had a chance to do that in an interview today, but guess what? he didn't. >> it's a good issue to keep alive. just you know, donald's got to have some fun. so, and the issue is -- >> sounds like you have some doubt. >> look, i haven't seen his -- i've seen his grades. my grades ended up on the front page of the newspaper. so if we're going to show stuff, let's show stuff. but look, that's all a distraction. i mean, i get it. i'm really not worried about the
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president's birth certificate. it's fun to poke at him a little bit and say, let's see your grades and your birth certificate. >> let's discuss with our democratic strategist, donna brazile, and david frum. why can't he just end this and say i believe the president was born in hawaii. let's move on. >> two hypothesis. one, the guy isn't quick on his feet. he's flustered. not very mentally nimble and doesn't see a clear way out. but the second is more disturbing, which is combined today with the announcement of this new tax plan that doesn't really add up, but that is going to excite a lot of the republican base, perry wants to get back to being the nonromney. the preferred place where people find romney not conservative enough and the combination of
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the flat tax and this dog whistle on the president, on the president and his place of or gin, which is a way of suggesting i don't think the person of this name and skin color can be a real american. that's an ugly way to play politics and it may be a plan and not just a glitch. >> because he's had several opportunities to say, we got really important issues we got to deal with. we don't have to deal with a long form birth certificate anymore. he sort of sticking by that and i'm not sure why. you have any explanation why he wants to leave this hanging out there? >> because he's not really running for the presidency of the united states. he's running to be president of the tea party caucus. and we already know there's a president of the tea party caucus and that's michele bachmann. i agree. i also believe that karl rove gave him some really good advice yesterday and said stay away from these nutty issues and don't marginalize the stuff.
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the truth of the matter is rick perry has one problem. that is, he really doesn't know why he's running for the president of the united states. on a day he's announcing his own economic plan. he stepped on his own story. he's not a serious candidate cht he needs to re-group. he has new advisers coming in to help him out. i suggest they take him off for a couple of days and get him focused. >> look at these poll numbers. two numbers. back on september 16th, perry was number one among republican voters, 23%. now, he's number five with only 6%. he's gone from 23% to 6% and a l little bit more than a month. what do you attribute that to? >> well, he has not performed well in the debates. he's made a lot of stumbles. he's gotten these views on immigration that are way softer than probably most of the people would want to see.
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but look, this race will continue to shrink. michele bachmann, if the trouble's in new hampshire, she may not go the distance. he she may drop out. then where will the people who liked her go? to mitt romney or somewhere else? if herman cain has a bad couple of weeks and a bad week last week on abortion, what happens? perry is the governor of the second biggest state in the country. i disagree with donna a little bit on this. he is a serious candidate, just whatever his personal weaknesses are. the people who don't want mitt romney have to go somewhere and he is hoping by this tax plan to maybe get them to go to him. it's just a reminder for republicans that they rally around romney, who's waged a clean campaign and the kind of person who could be president of all the country. >> if you look at cain, he's gone from what 5% in mid
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september. he's now atop the pack with 25%. having said that, donna, look at this new, this is an official herman cain campaign ad. i see a lot of weird campaign ads over the years. you remember i am not a witch and all sorts of others. this one ranks up there. play it and we'll discuss. ♪ >> mark block here. since january, i've had the privilege of being the chief of staff to herman cain and the chief operating officer. tomorrow is one day closer to the white house. i really believe that herman cain will put united back in the united states of america and if i didn't believe that, i wouldn't be here. we've run a campaign like nobody's ever seen, but then america's never seen a candidate like herman cain. we need you to get involved because together, we can do this. we can take this country back.
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♪ >> i don't know if herman cain thinks it's funny the way his chief of staff lit up the cigarette at the end. donna, you ran al gore's campaign in 2000. been involved in a lot of campaigns, put together a lot of commercials. what do you make of that ending where he lights up a cigarette? >> i wonder if it's a cigarette. it is so unconvinceal to see a campaign person star in a candidate's ad at a time when most americans don't know herman cain. they don't know his record. they don't understand 9-9-9 or apples and oranges or whatever he was trying to explain the other night. they know mark block. this is going to hurt herman cain because voters are looking
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for a serious alternatives to the economic policies that president obama's proposed and i don't think that the voters are going to get it with republican candidates out there running ridiculous ads like this and rick perry talking about being a birther again. >> mark block is the chief of staff. david, have you ever seen an ad like this? it would have been fine without the cigarettes, but go ahead. >> the whole point of making these ads, how do we get wolf blitzer to show our ad? what if we make the worst ad ever made. blitzer will have to show that. and indeed, you just did. and so, in a funny way, it worked. it is so awful. it's so bizarre. it's so funny that we all watched it and we're talking about it and it has an impact. it is a little -- it is seen by a few more people than have
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heard of herman cain 24 hours ago. >> and also reminds us when he was a lobbyist for the national restaurant association, he fought any ban on smoking in restaurants, this was his job for that restaurant association and now, it looks like he's promoting through his chief of staff a little bit of smoking. also a little weird i must say, this is a man who survived, not this man, but herman cain, he survived stage 4 colon cancer. any man promoting smoking, not necessarily a good idea. thanks very much. dramatic rescues in an earthquake disaster zone including a two-week old baby pulled alive from the rubble. cnn is there on the scene, plus, the white house press secretary is standing by live to join us. i'll ask him about unemployment in the united states. mortgage relief. the president's republican
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challengers and more. jay kearney standing by in "the situation room." heck. you saved us hundreds. what was that? the discount double check? it's when we comb through your policies and make sure that you're getting all the discounts you deserve. no, i get that part, but you guys are doing my move. the discount double check move? that's my touchdown dance. so you're a dancer? no, i'm a quarterback. oh, a quarterback. mrr. i'm a robot. mm, mm. ee, er, ee, er. get out of here. [ male announcer ] aaron rodgers got his. how about you? rodgers! discount double check! [ male announcer ] get to a better state. state farm.
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born just 14 days ago, she spent the last two trapped in a tiny crevice. now, that newborn baby girl is free two days after a 7.2 earthquake struck eastern turkey. a dramatic day full of rescues. what's going on? >> reporter: hi, wolf. well, you're right. not only was that little 14 day old baby girl pulled out from the rubble behind me, but her mother and grandmother all of whom have been hiding in that crevice with her. so an amazing success story here for the rescue workers and you can really get a sense of their elation and their joy. but that was quickly followed as they work continued by the fact
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they then pulled four bodies out of the rubble and that is the story in all of these various structures where search and rescue workers are continuing to pour over the rubble, wolf. >> how are the newborn and her mom doing? >> reporter: well, we've just spoken to the uncle. the newborn and her mother were taken straight to ancora hospital and the grandmother was then taken to another hospital. apparently, they're all doing fine. the mother ran off, her own mother says we're good. this baby was three weeks premature, so theoretically, she should still be in the womb, however, she survived an earthquake and is doing very well in the hospital. they're able to speak and say they're doing well, wolf. >> is aid reaching the victims, diana? >> reporter: well, that is something that you hear quite a
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lot of complaints about. you know, i had one man come up to me and say look, all you tv crews standing and watching this search and rescue and you're not going out to see whether we're okay in the bitter cold of night, whether there's food, any support we need is getting to us. the search and rescue response is being very efficient. there are three and a half thousand search and rescue personnel here and the red crescent has been shipping 11,000 tents to the region to try and provide shelter for people, but you still see scenes where people are fighting over tents, where people say we don't have any shelter for the night and a lot of the villages where people lived in mud brick houses, those were destroyed. and there is a big question mark over whether really the tents are getting to the people who need them. we do know that israel is going to be sending in a flight tomorrow, wolf, loaded with portable housing structures, that it's trying to get involved
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in terms of sort of building more permanent structures for people to move into once the tents have really served their purpose. that is something the turkish disaster coordination committee is really focusing on. what are the next steps once the tent cities have done their bit. >> thanks very much. on the scene for us at this horrible earthquake in turkey. by the way, this is important. to find out how you can help those devastated by the earthquake in turkey, visit our impact your world page. that's at you can make a difference. promises made on the campaign trail. president obama says he's accomplished 60% of his. is that enough? i'll ask the white house press secreta secretary, jay kearnca carney. and rick perry won't stop questioning the president's birth certificate. next hour, an answer from perry supporter, the newly re-elected louisiana governor, bobby
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ids in iraq leading to charges of conspiracy and fraud here in the united states. lisa sylvester has that and some of the other top stories. >> u.s. authority rs accusing five people of illegally exporting goods to iran three years after u.s. troops in iraq began finding improvised explosive devices built with components from a minnesota company. forced in singapore, an iranian faced charges. the individuals lied when they said radio modules would be used in singapore and they shipped them to iran instead. knowingly exporting u.s. goods there is illegal. and u.s. stocks dropped lower with the dow closing 207 points in the red. disappointing earnings contributed to a selloff at the end of the trading day. shares of netflix dropped almost
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35% after the company announced more than 800,000 subscribes left and amazon was hit hard after its third quarter earnings fell short. >> thanks very much. promises made on the campaign trail. president obama says he's accomplished about 60% of his campaign promises. jay carney traveling with the president out west will swroin us. at liberty mutual, we know how much you count on your car
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check this out. our own cnn correspondent in japan right now has this amazing story of the new boeing 787 dream liner. watch this. >> thank you very much. bye bye. i'm on my way to tokyo to be part of a slice of aviation history. i'm on the first ever commercial flight of the boeing 787. the dream liner and japan's ana has distinction of being a launch customer and their first passenger flight is going to be from tokyo down to hong kong.
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and while i'm heading up to meet it, our tokyo team have been taking a look at the last minute checks. the 787 actually arrived in japan late last month, but apart from some familiarization flights, it's being tucked away inside a hangar at the city airport. on tuesday, it flew to the international airport and is now standing at the gate. final checks are underway while the media have been allowed one last look before the maiden passenger flight. a huge amount is riding on wednesday's flight. for boeing, it's the realization of a strategy to create a whole new generation of aircraft made not from aluminum, but composit composites, a sort of high-tech plastic which will make flying more pleasant for the passenger and more profitable for the airline. but it's a project that is also three years over deadline and way over budget.
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but it's now finally here. and the 250 passengers including me who file on board on wednesday will be the first to get a chance to see whether this really is what the future of flyinging looks like. andrew stevens, cnn. >> and he's going to share more of that. that's coming up later this week. let's go to jack. he's got the "cafferty file." >> question this hour is what message does it send when some democrats are ducking president obama? he's traveled around to states in the midwest that he won in 2008. democratic congress people nowhere to be found. here's some of what you wrote. gary writes -- your constituents expected you to vote for the people at home. those who wanted president obama to be b their leader. when democrats vote otherwise,
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they let down those voters who trusted them. from florida -- as soon as he starts aiming at the right target again, we'll all be back no doubt. alex in wisconsin writes -- they will follow their president off a cliff and then explain for years why it wasn't his fault. democrats will throw obama under a bus the very next day if he loses in 2012. jeff writes -- intelligent
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people are enthusiastic, motivated and eager to -- the remaining progressives up for re-election in 2012. sandy writes on facebook -- and james in north carolina -- they'll flock to obama if his ratings increase and run away from him when the poll numbers look bad. heck, i wouldn't want to be seen in public with some of the girls i used to date either. that's a terribly sexist e-mail. if you want to read more, go to our blog on facebook page cht. >> thanks very much. you won't have to wait until late tonight to hear what the president of the united states told jay leno earlier today.
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and rick perry plunging in a new national poll. what bobby jindal thinks voters are missing. that's coming up as well.
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serious crackdown on antigovernment demonstrators has become deadly and brutal over the past several days. now r we're getting another window into the tactics of the regime. this new report on the new findings by amnesty international. viewers should be warned. it does have graphic video. >> these are videos that cnn obtained showing how clandestined networks of doctors in syria try to save lives. operating secret, underground clinics. wounded demonstrators are often too afraid to go to government hospitals, which amnesty international says the syrian government has turned into tools of repression. by skype, we reached a doctor who says he used to work in a government hospital. he tells us some of his own colleagues collaborated with security forces, abusing the wounded.
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in recent weeks, violence has intensified. the doctor set up his own secret clinic, treating he said on average, four to ten patients a day, but many die. you set up a field hospital. over the summer on a brief trip
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to syria sh we bro, we broke awr government minders and saw one of these clinics in damascus. nothing more than a tiny room with barely the basics. >> i saw a lot of blood, shouting, pain. >> the doctor later took me to see this 17-year-old boy. partially paralyzed because the lack of proper equipment to detect a blood clot next to his spinal cord. this is the doctor's facebook page. damascus doctors. they have listed on it the names of medical professionals who they say have gone missing. activists claim dozens of them have been detained. >> we believe the international community, the security counsel, the most senior body must refer the situation in syria to the international criminal court. we believe them to be crimes against humanity. >> the syrian government continues to deny all
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allegations of abuse at government hospitals and says it treats everyone equally. and the activists that we are talking to say that the syrian government hospitals most certainly do not treat everyone equally and those who are running these secret underground clinics, wolf, are really struggling just because they don't have the proper equipment, but also because they do not have enough blood and the challenge there is that the blood bank is centrally controlled. it's controlled by the government, so even if they want to get blood, they have to disclose the identity of the person they are treating and that is jeopardizing their security as well. >> our heart goes out to those people. thanks for that report. happening now, the president of the united states says the economy is so bad, he has to take drastic action and bypass congress. jay carney is standing by to talk with us this hour. also, rick perry deals with a
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new distraction while unveiling his flat tax plan. will his performance boost his very struggling presidential bid or will it drag it down more? and the vatican is warning about the moral consequences of a broken global economy. critics fear though that the catholic church's new fix it plan could potentially make matters worse. we want to welcome our viewers in the united states around around the world. breaking news, political headlines and jeanne moos all straight ahead. i'm wolf blitzer. i'm wolf blitzer. you're in "the situation room." -- captions by vitac -- president obama's increasingly bypassing congress or trying to, taking action aimed at boosting the u.s. economy. right now, the president is in san francisco for a campaign event. it's all part of the three-day western swing promoting mortgage refinancing, student loans and jobs for american veterans. joinings now to talk about the president's plans and more, the white house press secretary, jay carney.
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jay, thanks very much for coming in. unemployment obviously, issue number one for so many millions of americans right now. the president making a major push to bypass congress saying we can't wait. those are his words, but you've waited until now. why? >> well, wolf, the fact is the president as you know put forward a comprehensive bill, the american jobs act, that is filled deliberately with provisions that have traditionally been supported by republicans as well as democrats. the kinds of things that republicans in the past have voted for and helped make law. that was the idea so that congress would pass it. things like putting teachers back to work, putting construction workers back on the job, rebuilding our bridges, highways and airports and schools. giving tax cuts to middle class americans. 160 million americans who get a check. giving tax incentives to businesses to hire veterans. those kinds of things the
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president hopes republicans will support as well as democrats. but he is also doing everything he can as president through executive action to focus on the number one priority that the american people have, which is the economy and jobs cht that's what we're announcing this week. a series of measures. we'll continue to do it whether it's helping students to manage their student loans or helping under water homeowners to refinance their homes. whatever he can do, he will do. >> he said the other night -- what hasn't he gotten done so far? >> for one thing, the number one priority of getting our economy back to where it needs to be and on a stronger foundation.
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is still a commitment that he is focused on and needs to get done. the president has saved this economy from falling into the second great depression. but as you know wolf and report on every day, 9.1% unemployment is not okay. it's not good enough and he is working every day to make sure we can do things to bring it down. economic growth is taking place. we're not shrinking the way the economy was in free fall when he took office cht it's growing, but not fast enough. we need to work on that. but other issues like immigration reform is obviously something that remains undone and he is very committed to doing cht there are a series of things that he obviously wants to focus on in the coming 13 months and beyond, but he's also pointing out as he did last night whether it's ending don't ask don't tell or passing health care reform after 100 years of
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try i trying or ending the war in iraq as he promised he would do. these are significant accomplishments. >> he said back in 2009 and this week, he's reiterating his commitment to help those americans losing money in their homes. their home rs being foreclosed or are under water, as they say. the houses are worth less than the mortgages they have. this is what he said around february 18th, 2009. i'll play it for you because i want to move the story for ward. listen to this. >> through this plan, we will help between 7 and 9 million families restructure or refinance their mortgages so they can afford avoid foreclosure. >> that's what he promised and he issued a wide sweeping plan back in 2009 shortly after he took office, but now, it seems only about 1 million families were helped in that initial plan. not 7 to 9 million. what happened? >> well, this is an incredibly difficult problem as you know cht it's one of the main drags
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on our economy and that's why this president has continued to take measures to address it. for example, a few months ago, he initiated an action that will give loan fore bear to people paying their bills, but are unemployed. give them up to 12 months. yesterday he announced a program to change the rules that allow americans who have under water mortgages to refinance their loans at a much cheaper rate, saving them hundreds, thousands of dollars and that money will likely go back into the economy an help it grow. yes, the problem is big. it requires a number of actions and he is continuing to fight for the middle class of this country desperate for the help. >> i want to switch gears for a second. you know the president taped an interview with jay leno for tonight and some of it has been
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released. this jumped out at me and i want you to explain if you can. he's referring to al awlaki, the clerk killed by a drone strike in yemen a few weeks ago. even though he's a u.s. citizen born in new mexico, the president telling jay leno, this is a guy who is actively planning a whole range of operations here in the home land and was focused on the home land. sort of jumped out at me. what do we know about what he was trying to do in terms of terrorist operations allegedly in the here in the united states? >> wolf, we know absolutely that he was operationally involved as part of al-qaeda in the arab yan peninsula, one of the most dangerous factions of al-qaeda. he was focused on terrorist anchors inside the united states of america. we know that from his active involvement in the christmas day bomb plot, in the plot to target
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u.s. cargo planes flying to the united states. this was a principle objective and it's a good thing he's been remove frd the battlefield. >> the president goes on to say this was probably the most important al-qaeda threat out there after bin laden was taken out and it was important that working with the enemies we were able to remove him from the field. i wonder -- >> i think -- >> with friends -- >> he meant yemenis. >> but here's the question. here's the question, was there an ongoing anwar al awlaki terrorist threat about to happen in the united states? >> aqap was and continues to be a threat. i don't have details to give you about intelligence that may be out there. i'm not aware of active threat
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involving ae ining awe locky, b a persistent threat to the united states. >> jay carney joining us from san francisco. see you back in washington, jay. safe travels. >> thanks, wolf. moving on to libya, gadhafi was buried in a secret location along with painful memories of his 42-year rule. five days africa daf was killed, there are growing concerns that libyans could face a new era of strict islamic rule. brian todd is taking a closer look. >> libya's new leader have declared their new constitution is going to be based on sharia law. in some countries, that means punishment that harkens back to the middle ages. right now, many are watching closely which way libya will go. it took eight months of slug it out warfare and bloodshed to end four decades of gadhafi's rule.
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a huge investment of nato fire power and western resources. in the first major signal of what direction the government may take, the leader laid down what would be the basis of libya's new institution. >> translator: as a muslim country, we have adopted islamic sharia. >> reporter: iran and saudi arabia interpret the law to be beheading convict murderers and rapists. it doesn't look like libya's heading down that path. but there's one component of sharia law he seems to be embracing that draws concern. during gadhafi's rule, polygamy was not banned outright, but was restricted. jaleel has requested that restrictions be loosened.
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>> libyan women are very concerned because the very idea of allowing polygamy again or allowing the husband to marry again without asking permission of the first wife is going to really resognate throughout libya. >> i pressed libya's ambassador. some are worried women may not have the rights they should have. >> look, there is always that, but the practice of poll ligmy is not as it used to be hundreds of years ago and the woman association is also very strong now. there is no restriction against libyans to do anything now in libya. >> but with principles and parties playing a new, stronger role, in libya, in tunisias elections, there are new questions being raised about the middle east. does this mean the arab spring
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is blowing up in the faces of those who invested in it. >> islam is going to place a much stronger role, but that doesn't necessarily mean they're going to be rigid islamic regimes. >> experts point out most muslim countries make sharia law the basis for their constitutions, but that's to ensure that no law goes against the principles of islam. many countries don't practice the strictest parts of that law. >> jaleel also suggesting that islamic law may govern financing, interest rates. another sensitive issue. >> that's right. that could mean that banks may be banned from charging interest for loaning money. that's going to raise all sorts of questions about whether investment will come to libya. whether it's going to make it tougher for banks to lend money. those are things that may be worked out in the future.
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>> yeah, and libya, tunisia, egypt, we're going to watch this closely. thanks very much. republican rick perry held a news conference a little while ago. jim acosta asked a question that made him gristle. >> that is one of the biggest distractions there is going. >> stand by for more on rick perry's big distraction. also, his new flat tax plan and why his presidential campaign could use a boost now more than ever. plus, is president obama willing to joke about his poll numbers? jay leno tried to get him there. [ technician ] are you busy? management just sent over these new technical manuals. they need you to translate them into portuguese. by tomorrow. [ male announcer ] ducati knows it's better for xerox to manage their global publications. so they can focus on building amazing bikes. with xerox, you're ready for real business.
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delivering mail, medicine and packages. yet they're closing thousands of offices, slashing service, and want to lay off over 100,000 workers. the postal service is recording financial losses, but not for reasons you might think. the problem ? a burden no other agency or company bears. a 2006 law that drains 5 billion a year from post-office revenue while the postal service is forced to overpay billions more into federal accounts. congress created this problem, and congress can fix it.
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the money to buy a car that's one model-year newer with 15,000 fewer miles on it. there's no other auto insurance product like it. better car replacement, available only from liberty mutual. it's a better policy that gets you a better car. call... or visit one of our local offices today, and we'll provide the coverage you need at the right price. liberty mutual auto insurance -- responsibility. what's your policy? jack cafferty's here with the "cafferty file." >> president obama may in fact face an uphill battle for re-election, but one area he can boast is his success in foreign policy. that's something new for democrats. ever since the vietnam war, democratic candidates for president have often been labeled as soft and
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inexperienced when it comes to military and foreign policy issues. think john kerry getting swift voted. carter and the iran hostage crisis. or michahe's presiding over the killings of osama bin laden -- although not everybody thinks assassinating a u.s. citizen without due process was a good idea. also, to the toppling of gadhafi. mr. obama's drawing down troops in afghanistan following a surge there and he's now taking credit for ending the war in iraq, which is a big reach. george bush ended the war in iraq in 2008 and we are now being kicked out of the country by the iraqi government, but hey, it's politics. never the less, despite these successes overseas, it isn't clear if foreign policy victories will help this president win a second term.
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if unemployment stays above 9%, it may be well about the economy, stupid, as james carville told bill clinton. a recent poll shows foreign policy's not a top issue on american minds these days. just 24% say foreign policy is extremely important. compare that to 54% who say the economy and other issues rank higher than foreign policy including unemployment, the deficit, health care, social security, medicare, terrorism, taxes and the size of government cht just about everything. so here's the question. will president obama's foreign policy successes help him in 2012? go to and post a comment there or go to our post on the facebook page. interesting how he's taking credit for winning the war in iraq and getting us out of there. not exactly how the history books will record it. >> but it's a good question
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you've got there, jack. thank you. an israeli american law student held in egypt since june may soon be released. he's accused of spying on behalf of israel. now, there are reports he'll be freed as a part of a prisoner swap. mary, tell us what you're learning. >> the stage is now set for the exchange between israel and egypt. israel's security cabinet approved it today. it calls for egypt to release grapel. 28-year-old emory law school student is one step closer to being freed from egypt now that egypt has agreed to a prisoner swap and will close a terrible chapter in his mother's life. >> it's been hell. it's really been -- i wouldn't
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wish it on my worst enemy. i've been heartbroken for an hour and a half months. >> e jinx officials arrested him in june accusing him of spying for israel. he holds dual u.s. israeli citizenship and served as an israeli paratrooper in lebanon in 2006. his mother says the reason he went to cairo this summer was to volunteer for a nongovernmental organization helping refugees an says there's no chance he was a spy. >> why do you think elan was targeted? >> i think that one theory which i tend to agree with is that the generals needed a diversion from their own problems and elan was a perfect sitting duck. >> a sitti inting duck, she say because he's an israeli and put photos of himself in his army uniform on his facebook page.
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officials allege he was sent to e sipt after the revolution to provide israel with military and political information, but his mother says he was studying law in january at emory in atlanta and last week, secretary of state hillary clinton said the u.s. was hopeful he would be released. >> we see no basis for any legal action against him. >> new york congressman gary ackerman has been working to free him and is now in israel. as she waits for her son, her enthusiasm for egypt's revolution is cast in a new light. >> i was thrilled to see these young people and i really felt for them finally gaining their own voice. and when this happened with elan, i had a lot of regrets about those feelings because it sounded like it was a regression, not a forward movement. >> and what the israeli
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government now expected him to be back in israel on thursday. from there, he is expected to return to the u.s. and resume his final year of law school. >> thanks very much. a republican presidential contender, rick perry, he unveils his major tax proposal. does it make filing your taxes more complicated though? stand by.
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rick perry's telling voters his new proposal for a 20% flat tax would set our people free.
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that's a direct quote. but the texas governor may not be feeling that free himself as new poll numbers and an old controversy weigh in. jim acosta has been covering governor perry's rollout. perry has a lot riding on this tax plan as he's trying to rebound. >> that's right. the voters here in south carolina got a sneak preview of rick perry part two today and while some of his supporters are hoping the squeal is better than the original, parts of the governor's message may sound like a rerun. this was supposed to be the day for the new and improved rick perry. the texas governor was armed with a radical new plan that he says would balance the budget by 2020, change entitlement programs and give americans the option of a 20% flat tax on their income or stick with what they already pay. >> this is a change election and i offer a plan that changes the way that washington does business.
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>> it was also a changed perry barring a page from the herman cain marketing playbook. the texas governor used props to illustrate the simple choice. keep the reams of paper representing the current tax code -- >> the best representation in my plan is this postcard. >> or switch to a tax form that fits on a postcard. >> taxpayers will be able to fill this out and file their taxes. on that. >> but there is another longer form document on perry's mind these days. at a press conference, perry was asked about an interview he gave in which he raised doubts about the president's birth certificate. >> you raised the issue of the president's birth certificate over the weekend ft just curious. what will it take to convince you the president was born in this country and do you have plans to release your birth certificate? >> that is one of biggest distractions there is going. we need to be talking about jobs. >> perry says he discussed the
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issue with donald trump when he seized the -- when he forced president obama to put his birth certificate on display in the white house. >> today, i'm very proud of myself because i've accomplished something that nobody else has been able to accomplish. >> hello, everybody. >> at the time, the president brushed off birtherism as a distraction. >> we're not going to be able to solve our problems if we get distracted by side shows and carnival markers. >> they know his bite is worse than his bark and sharpened his attacks on romney. he's also beefed up his staff hiring joe allbawl. he clearly doesn't want to be a shooting star that once burned bright but is fading to black. >> the fact is, this long time
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of this campaign's over with and we're going to being about thicks like this. we got in this race late. >> and while the governor did promise to release that birth certificate, his campaign has not said when that will happen. as for the obama re-election campaign, they're not touching the issue. >> jim acosta, thanks very much. let's dig a little deeper with a high pro file supporter. the republican governor of louisiana, bobby jindal. first of all, congratulations on your re-election to second term as the governor of louisiana. i suppose you're very happy about that. >> thank you, wolf. we had a great election night on saturday. we set a record getting 66% of the highest candidates receives. since we've opened the primary, the people of louisiana have given me four more years. we've outperformed the economies by cuts spending and taxes.
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>> you're a major supporter of governor perry. do you believe the president of the united states was born in hawaii? >> absolutely. wolf, i've said for the last many years, i've always believed he was born here. i have no questions about where he's from. i've got more questions about where he's going. the reality is president was born here. he is the president of the united states. the real debate about whether he deserves a second term is his handling on the economy. the reality is the only way we're going to grow the economy is to cut government spending. we've had three years we've tried the opposite. the results have been a disaster. you've got a debt up to $15 trillion. unemployment over 9%. government spending has increased and yet private sector jobs have not recovered. >> so, why does your candidate, governor perry, refuse to say
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what you just say. instead, he told this to cnbc this morning on this whole birthbirth r issue. >> it's a good issue to keep alive. i'm really not worried about the president's birth certificate. it's fun to poke at him a little bit, hey, let's see your grades and your birth certificate. >> why does he do that? why doesn't he just say what you said, governor? >> you'll have to ask him. the bottom line though is this election is about a difference in two approaches. president obama has increased the size and role of government. under perry, he has cut taxes 65 times in texas. $14 billion. they've added a million jobs in texas. under president obama, we've lost 2 million jobs. under governor perry, they've reformed their torte laws. he unveiled a very aggressive plan today. for too many years, our tax code in america has punished, not
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awarded success. when you look at combined federal state takz burdens, second highest by 2015, the cost of tax compliance will cost over $480 billion. you think about that money that's being taken out of our economy. instead of the american taxpayers wasting those hours collecting those receipts, wasting that money, why not have a simpler, fairer tax system where everybody pays. >> it's not as simple as steve forbes proposed when he was running for the republican nomination. he said across the word, a flat tax, 17%. now, perry says 20%, but goes one step further and says if you like the current system, you can keep that. you don't have to go to the flat tax. you can do what you're doing now, which means for a lot of people, you, me, others, we're going to have our accountant see what we would have to pay under the current system. then we would see what we'd have to pay the federal government
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under the flat tax system, so there's a lot of work that has to be done. maybe double the work, in order to determine what's best for you or me. >> well, i think over time, i think the vast majority of people will move to the flat tax system. i think rick's simply trying to say if people make long-term investment or spending decisions based on promises made to them, you shouldn't change the rules on them overnight. not only is it a flat tax that preserves deductions for those making $500,000 or less, he's proposed a r moritorium on regulations. the cost of federal regulations, there's a trillion dollars, $10,000 for every manufacturie ing job. also specific reforms for medicare and social security. he knows he has to save them, but hasn't presented a specific proposal. governor perry understands we have to shrink government and we've got to stop punishing
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success. if you want less of something in this country, tax it. for too many years, we've taxed success. let's get government out of the way. so today's proposal, not just a flat tax. also, specifics on a moritorium on regulations. as well as specific ideas on social security and medicare. i think when people look at the details, they'll be very impressed. he understands we need to cut government to grow the private sector economy and the voters will get to decide. three years, we've grown government spending. $15 trillion debt. this is a clear contrast. president obama stands for more spending, more taxes, more borrowing. governor perry understands with a flat tax, with a balanced budget amendment, he understands it's about balancing the federal budget. >> maybe you can explain this part. he says 20% federal income tax no matter what your income is,
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but he also says you can keep your deductions for charitable contributions, for mortgage payments, state and local taxes unless, unless you make more than $500,000 a year. now, republicans always say when president obama or the democrats make those kinds of statements about millionaires and billionaires, that's class warfare. is governor perry engaging in class warfare by say federal government you make more than $500,000 a year, you don't get those deductions? >> absolutely not. look, he is cutting people's tax rates. i think people who are successful in this country would be very pleased with a 20% tax rate and if they have to give up their deductions in favor of a lower tax rate, right now, we punish success. what he's doing is two things. one, he is saying yes, you're going to pay your fair share, but he is getting rid of all those loopholes.
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he thinks it's wrong warren buffett pays a lower rate than people working for him. many people have said it's wrong that successful companies like ge aren't paying taxes. what governor perry is saying is let's get rid of all the special treem. let's get rid of those hidden loopholes and costs. let's stop the wealthy from hiring these accountants and others to help them avoid paying taxes. make everybody pay a fair share. >> governor, we're almost out of time. so if you're making $499,000 a year, you can have those deductions, but if you're making $501,000 a year, you're not. is that fair? >> compared to the current system, absolutely. instead of paying what you do now and wasting money on accounts, the only people that should be against this are the people making a fortune helping people avoid pay their taxes. anybody making that kind of money in america shouldn't be
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complaining. hopefully they'll be able to use those savings to create more jobs. >> in this new poll back in mid september, he was leading the pack with 23% among republican primary voters. he's now down to 6%. herman cain went from 5% to 25%. how come he's collapsed? >> polls will go up and down, but what i think is important, he's offered a specific plan today. president obama's been there for nearly three years. we've yet to hear his plan. we kept hearing he had a plan to save social security cht he was going to present a plan on entitlements. today, governor perry is saying here's my plan with support to help medicare, personal accounts to help save social security. granting the states more flexibility. there is no specific alternative, credible plan. i think what governor perry is showing is that he is willing to offer a different vision for
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america that involves more growth, that doesn't involve us spending more tax dollars to washington, d.c. doesn't involve borrowing over a trillion dollars from the chinese to sustain a level of spending we have not had historically. right now, if we do nothing, the social security trust fund will be gone by the time i'm ready to retire and last year for the first time, social security in a long time paid out more than it was going to take in. in reality, that was not going to change in the near future. we need a candidate, a president, who's willing to tell us specifically the hard truth it's going to grow our economy again. >> thanks very much for coming in. >> thank you, wolf and you've got an open invitation. >> come down to baton rouge and visit you. congratulations on your second term. stand by for some remarkable images as rescuers go through
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the earthquake rubble in turkey and find survivors including a baby. and police track a sexual assault suspect tarls a specific group of women. ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ [ male announcer ] the peace of mind of owning
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go to today and make your business dream a reality. at we put the law on your side. now threatening a major -- some of the other top stories in "the situation room." >> well, wolf, hurricane rina is headed for cancun and forecasters warn it could strike as a major hurricane. the storm's wind rs 110 miles an hour. it's just shy of making a category 3 hurricane. the forecast track has it approaching the keys after striking mexico. and dramatic images from turkey where two days after that devastating earthquake, rescuers carried a baby from the rubble. a short time later, the two week old girl's mother and
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grandmother were pulled out alive. the death toll is at least 459 people. and police in plano, texas shows the man they believe broke into four members of the same sorority and sexually assaulted them. the women are in their mid 50s to 60s and were a member of delta -- the police are encouraging anyone who recognizes the suspect to call. and president obama is returning to late night tv. the president taped an interview with jay leno today in los angeles and leno asked him about the field of possible republican opponents. >> have you been watching the gop debates? >> i am going to wait until everybody's voted off the island. once they narrow it down to one or two, i'll start paying
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attention. >> he's got those one-line si zingers there. >> thanks very much. the vatican is calling for a new global economic order. will international leaders take it seriously?
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some are calling them radical ideas by the catholic church. lisa sylvester reports. >> occupy wall street protesters carried a golden cash named greed to make their point. the growing gap between rich and poor. >> my biggest beef is the growing economic despairty. i feel we have a capitalist system based around hoarding wealth. >> the division is a message long central to the catholic church. now the vatican is puicking up n the momentum and speaking out against what it calls the eye doll tri of the market. a proposal to create a new financial authority including a global central bank and new tax
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on global transactions. >> globalization has made us all in the same boat and we're going o either sink or prosper. >> the international monetary fund has lost the ability to stabilize the world financial system and points to the current debt crisis in europe. but added regulation and centralizing global authority. >> marc: and put more powers in the hands of a wealthy few. >> the attitude you are sort of insulating this further actually increases the leverage of the larnlest financial institutions have in this game because they will be a ones at the table. >> father thomas reece says this is meant to be a moral blueprint, a first draft to be tweaked by economists and politicians. like the occupy wall street
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protesters, the vatican hopes to draw attention to the issue of poverty and offer a vision where principles trump profits. now, father reece with georgetown's woodstock center acknowledges these proposals are to the very far left. the pope advocates redistribution of wealth and that's going to be a really tough sell, but the vatican believes it is still important to have a conversation about what it calls a crisis in morality, wolf. >> thanks very much for that. so, will president obama's foreign policy successes help him in 2012? that's jack cafferty's question coming up.
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so if i didn't know better i'd say you're having some sort of big tire sale. yes we are. yeah. how many tires does ford buy every year? over 3 million. you say you can beat any advertised price on tires? correct. anywhere? yes. like this price? yes. riously? yes what about this one? i'll beat it. this one? s we will. right, i only have one more question for you...this one? (laughing) yeah. get $100 rebate when you buy four tires. 100 bucks! only at your ford dealer. 3 million tires. 11 major brands, fiona's kind-of-nice. i don't know why you're not here. consumers er wanchai ferry orange chicken... over p.f. chang's home menu orange chicken women men and uh pandas... elbows mmm [ male announcer ] wanchai ferry, try it yourself.
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time to check back with jack for the k"the cafferty file." >> pardon me. the question this hour -- just drank some water -- pardon me, it went down the wrong way -- will president obama's foreign policy successes help him in 2012? i apologize. david in virginia writes, i doubt it, he let the war in iraq end according to the bush agreement but couldn't negotiate an agreement that would protect our games there. egypt is in some murky state of anarchy, libya lost 30,000 --
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>> jack, hold on for a second. i want you drrngink a little wa and fix this. i want to make sure we do it right. let me know when you're ready and we'll make this happen. he's got great responses from our views are out there and i want our viewers to hear it but only when jack is ready. are you ready? >> i think i'm ready. i apologize. it happens sometimes. i grabbed a drink of water it went down the wrong pipe. david was saying, egypt is in a murky state of anarchy, libya lost 30,000 people dow to a prolonged insurgency and cold host the largest weapons market in the world. afghanistan has said in a pinch they would side with pakistan against us. not exactly no bell peace prize material. eh? russ in pennsylvania, it seems to be one of the key problems in america these days,
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assassinating an aamerican citizen in yemen without due process is seen ace good thing by both parties or attacking libya without congressional approval, also seen as a success. what about the real rule of law? shouldn't we be asking leaders be held accountable or does american exceptionalism mean leaders and our country are above such values? ron paul is the only connerrect answer next year. harold, they are worthy accomplishments to everyone but those on the right. the economy will determine the election outcome. scott, how will determine bush's foreign policy a success? i voted for obama in 2008 but it's because of his foreign polythat i won't vote for him next year. the idea that obama's making good on a campaign promise by bringing the troops home from iraq is a joke. bush said the end of this year date and security of forces agreement he signed in 2008.
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the truth is that if the iraqis would ask us publicly to stay, the troops wouldn't be coming home at all. and noah writes it can't hurt but it isn't enough to trump the economy. the best thing going for obama politically is the lunatic behavior of the republicans in candidate and the candidatans about the debates are the best reality show on television. go to or our post on "the situation room's" facebook page. thank you mr. blitzer, for the life preserver. i feel much better now. i apologize. >> good work. jeanne moos next. [ female announcer ] from an earache...
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i tell you what i can spend. i do my best to make it work. i'm back on the road safely. and i saved you money on brakes. that's personal pricing. halloween house is now a nightmare. here's jeanne moos. >> reporter: that's no motion detecting anti-burglary device. this is a talking house. ♪ >> reporter: practically a dancing house. ♪ party rockers in the house >> reporter: the website gawker christened it the awesome halloween light show you're glad isn't on your block. >> in a place that perhaps you've seen in your dreams. >> reporter: or in your nightmares. the house plays one number taken from the tim burton film, the nightmare before christmas.
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>> this is halloween, halloween. >> reporter: here's the house version. ♪ this is halloween halloween halloween♪ >> reporter: the family that lives in the halloween house in riverside, california. kevin, he prefers we not use his last name, isn't doing any tv interviews at the moment but we did have a nice, long phone conversation with him. at his day job, he installs fiber-optics for verizon and takes a week off to put up 5,000 or so l.e.d. lights on his own house ♪ >> reporter: and he uses his spare time over months to program them. he started the tradition back in 2008 with "thriller". ♪ >> reporter: he does something different every year. ♪ he did the monster mash >> reporter: and this year's graveyard smash is party rock anthem from


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