tv Fareed Zakaria GPS CNN September 30, 2012 1:00pm-2:00pm EDT
they are bad. maybe nice people but they're bad referees. >> the nfl and referees union ratified the contract yesterday. it should be great day for football fans. thanks for watching "state of the union." i'm candy crowley in washington. if you missed any part of the shows, tune in through itunes. "fareed zakaria gps" is here next. this is gps, the global public square. welcome to all of you in the united states and around the world. i'm fareed zakaria. today, mahmoud ahmadinejad, the president of iran. why he doesn't fear israeli attack, why he feels they would prevail in any war and his surprising apology to the people of new york. also on the show, bain capital. mitt romney's private he can quit firm is no longer so private, it is in the headlines,
on the campaign trail, on your tv screen. what is it really all about? steve pagliuca one of those that runs the firm joins me. just when we need it most. what is it? i'll explain. and, finally, candidate barack obama of brazil? but first here's my take. president obama has sewed up the -- surged in the polls this week, and republicans have been quick to figure out the problem. mitt romney. peggy noonan said his rolling campaign has been a calamity. shouldn't it puz puzzle us that romney's campaign is so incompetent, given his reputation for, well, competence. after all he founded one of the leading firms, turned around the
salt lake city olympics and was a very successful governor. how did he get so clumsy so fast? in fact, the problem is not romney. but the new republican party, given the direction it has moved and pressures from the extreme, powerful elements, any nominee would face the same challenge. can you be a serious candidate for the general election while not outraging the republican base? fox news anchor brit hume refused to dwell on romney's economic policies he would put in place. why wouldn't mitt romney fluent in economics explain his economic policy? because any sensible answer would cause a firestorm in his party. it's obvious with a deficit of more of 7% of gross domestic product, any solution to our budgetary problems has to involve spending cuts and tax increases.
ronald reagan agreed to tax increases when it hit 4%. george w. bush did when it was 3% of gdp. but today's republican party is organized around the proposition that no matter the circumstances, there must never be a tax increase of any kind. the simpson-bowles proposal calls for $1 for every $3 of spending cut bus every republican presidential candidate during the primaries including romney pledge thad he or she would not accept $10 of spending cuts if that meant $1 of tax increases. so romney could present a serious economic plan with numbers that add up and then he would face a revolt within his own party. so his solution has been to be utterly vague about how to deal with the actually deficit. when pressed for details, he said, the devil's in the details. he's right. were he to get specific he would be committing ideological blasphemy. instead he talks about freedom
and capitalism. the same pattern emerges on immigration. he says he wanted to solve the immigration issue permanently but he can't actually propose anything practical because that would talk about legalizing in some form the 12 million illegal immigrants in this country and that would trigger internal revolt in the republican party. so as a deficit, romney has a plan but it's a secret. the republican party has imposed a new kind of political correctness on their leaders. they cannot speak certain words, taxes, speculate about certain ideas, a path to citizenship, because these are forbidden. romney has tried to run a campaign while not running afoul of his party's strictures. as for himself he's twisted himself into a pretzel, spoken vacuously.
that's a straightjacket even peggy noonan's eloquence can't get him out of this. for more on this, read my "washington post" column this week on cnn.com. for eight years mahmoud ahmadinejad has come to the u.n. general assembly and every time he's caused controversy, making accusations. veiled threats. this year was different. it was mostly platitudes about world peace but he had plenty of sharp comments in a series of interviews. his conversation with me was his final one. perhaps his final one on the world stage. you see, iran's election law says he can't run again and elections are set for 2013. so i asked him about israeli
strikes and obama's warnings. you've indicated that you think that the israeli prime minister's threats toward iran are ones you don't take very seriously, but i was wondering how seriously you take the rhetoric of the president of the united states. president obama said at the united nations that he was determined to prevent iran from acquiring nuclear weapons. do you regard that as a bluff? >> translator: you set forth two or three questions here. i have never used the word "bluff." when we say we do not take it seriously, we mean that it impacts -- it does not impact our policies in the slightest. iran is a vast country, is a great country. let's assume a few terrorists come and assassinate some of our officials. will the country be damaged?
>> no.no. a couple of bombs will be set to explode. will the country be destroyed? no. we see the design of regime at the same level as the bombers and the criminals and the terrorists and even if they do something, even if they do something hypothetically, it will not affect us fundamentally, but, vis-a-vis, the expressions of the president of the united states because i do not wish to speak in any way about anything that may be interpreted as meddling with america's domestic or electoral affairs, but perhaps myself, compared to everyone else in the world, i am perhaps much more keen than anyone else,
not only that there will be no more productions of nuclear bombs around the world. that even those that exist today would be eliminated. >> if there were an israeli strike on iran, there are other senior iranians who have said things that are much more forceful about how iran would respond and they seem to take it very seriously. the head of the revolutionary guard said that in response to an israeli strike, iran would strike back with missiles, and i think he says nothing will remain of israel. i don't think any spot would remain safe. is that also your view of what the nature of iranian retaliation would be? >> translator: i understand this, that iranians never start a war unprovoked, never start a war, period.
but if they are attacked, they defend themselves very well, quite well. and no one throughout our history has been able to gain and come out on top from an attack on iran. >> president ahmadinejad, you said in a couple of your interviews that you don't really think much is going to happen on the negotiations on iran's nuclear program until after the american elections. what do you think will happen after the elections? do you expect that at that point there will be a new proposal from the major powers, or do you think iran will present another proposal? >> translator: as you touched upon, yes, during a couple of interviews, yes, i did speak of this. i think at the end of the day
that the decision-making, vis-a-vis, iran's nuclear issue with 5 plus 1, is a very important decision and it is one -- one of the most important players in the 5 plus 1 equation is america, but we have seen during many years that as we approach the united states presidential elections, no important decisions are made. also keeping in mind that certainly following the elections, certainly the atmosphere will be much more stable and important decisions can be made and announced. we have set forth proposals. we're holding dialogue. as of late, they have had productive talks and we do hope to be able to take some steps forward. when we come back, syria. the death toll has reached 20,000. will iran finally see the light and end the support for the assad regime. i'll ask president ahmadinejad when we return.
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so i brought it to mike at meineke. we gave her car a free road handling check. i like free. free is good. my money. my choice. my meineke. bashar al assad's regime is running out of money and running out of arms, so how does the syrian regime keep going. many analysts point to iran's assistance. will iran change its course? listen to what president ahmadinejad says. mr. president, let me ask you a question about human life.
you spoke a great deal while you were here in new york about the value you place on human life. every life is important, you said. the government of syria has by all accounts killed about 20,000 people, about 250,000 syrians, men, women, and children have fled the country, and 1.2 million syrians have been displaced within the country. why will you not call on bashar al assad to resign and leave as president of syria. >> translator: do you think that if we do such a thing that the problem will be resolved? >> you say that you care about human life. you should take a moral stand. >> translator: yes, but do you think that if we make the request that you asked of, that the problem will be resolved? it's not so. the problem of syria is very complicated.
and it requires a just and right solution, and i'm truly sorry and saddened not only in syria but anywhere in the world from any side where there are people losing their lives. the opposition members, the syrian army, they're all from syria. they're all the people of syria. why should they be killed? there can be two proposals and solutions for syria. one is warfare. but there's also a second way of thinking, a national understanding. and i do believe that if both sides sit and reach an understanding on a free election, a national understanding on a free election and follow -- and become subservient to the choice of the
people, all sides should accept the wish of the syrian people. therefore we are standing up a contact group, and i do hope that they will have their first meeting and gathering here in new york city, thereby we can succeed in bringing both sides closer together so they can reach an agreement for a political process. in my opinion syria has no military solution. and i think it is amply clear. i think my opinion is amply clear about syria. i've said it 50-plus times thus far. we are on the side of the people. everywhere we are on the side of the people. >> but the people are killed by the government. you say you're on the side of the people, yet you support a government that's massacring its people. >> translator: you mean that we should then enter the scene and provide arms like other countries have in order to -- for the battling groups in order for the war to continue? is that your opinion?
>> no. my opinion is you should ask for the president to step down since he is presiding over a mass massacre. >> translator: well, we make all kinds of requests. we have announced it officially. do you think with our request things will come to an end? >> you mentioned the contact group that you believe could be a path to a negotiating or diplomatic solution, and this is a group that is meant to be -- include egypt, turkey, iran, and saudi arabia. but at the first meeting of the group, saudi arabia refused to attend and let it be known that the reason they would not attend is they would not sit down with iran in the same room. how do you get over that obstacle? >> translator: this i hear from you for the first time. >> i can tell you it's based on my reporting. it's true. i mean you know it is a fact
they didn't attend the meeting. >> translator: this is something what they have announced officially is that they said our minister of foreign affairs is ill. more with president mahmoud ahmadinejad. i quote the koran to him to show him that he might be wrong about something, but first one of america's secret weapons to stay competitive is falling apart. "what in the world" right after this.
now for our "what in the world" segment. silicon valley has been a key driver of u.s. growth in the last two decades. just look at the rise of apple, google, and facebook and all the jobs and opportunities and new companies they've created. but the secret sauce behind the success might be running out. a new book called "the immigrant exodus," authored by vivek wadhwa, a former tech entrepreneur who now studies and lectures on immigration. he has fascinating findings. he says between 1995 and 2005
more than half the tech companies were founded by immigrants but when he updated his findings in 2012 he found a proportion gnat number hadropped by a fifth from 52% to 44%. that seems like a small drop but it's a ratio that should be rising, not dropping. they're now in prime position to found companies. according to the 2012 "open for business" study immigrants are twice as likely to start a business as native born americans and yet silicon valley is seeing a decline in immigrant-founded companies. silicon valley tends to be a harbinger of things to come in the national economy. immigrant companies founded nationwide accounted for the creation of half a million jobs between 1995 and 2005. so why are we seeing a reverse brain drain? on the one hand, we're now
seeing a tangible impact of what i call the rise of the rest. the u.s. remains a pre-eminent power with the best institutions of higher learning and research in the world, but increasingly if you're an immigrant from india, china, or brazil, you can find competitive opportunities for growth at home too. as these economies continue to develop, they will invest more in research and infrastructure, making businesses more attractive. but another development, one which we can control, is even more worrying. we're losing our huge advantage in immigration, especially in skill-based immigration. our system is broken. wadhwa points out that we allocate 140,000 green cards or permanent residency status to people who are here on work visas. these visas allow workers to jump ship from working on a company to starting on their own, creating jobs, but the law stipulates that no nationality
can claim more than 7% of these cards. now, given that half of the applicants are indian and chinese, the same number that's dominant in the silicon valley, we have a problem. the irony is for once president obama and governor romney know we have a problem. even then, our politics are failing us. a bill to expand the green cards allotted to foreign students in stem field, science, technology, engineering, mathematics, was voted down in congress. on a recent prime time special on cnn, "fixing immigration," i pointed out that canada and australia now have larger foreign-born populations than the united states. both of those countries revamped their immigration systems to attract and keep the best and brightest foreigners, but we're closing the door to many of the smartest potential entrepreneurs in the world. if we want job creators, let's stop kicking them out of the country.
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president ahmadinejad has a history of making broad historical comments about iran, u.s. foreign policy, israel, and much else. so i talked to him about the history of the jews. listen to what he said. you're a student of history, and you said something that i was struck by in one of the gatherings that you were at. you spoke about israel and you said it has no roots in history in the region. and i was wondering whether you really believe that because as you know, of course, jews have lived there for thousands of years, and we know this, of course, because there are repeated references to the children of israel in the koran. there are 43 references to the children of israel. in fact, one of them, chapter 17, 104, we say to the children of israel, dwell in this land, live in this land, referring to
the land that is now israel. so do you dispute these facts or do you accept that there is some connection between the children of israel and this land? >> translator: so we're trying to fabricate to make the roots a connection? so you do not draw any distinction between the zionists and the jews? >> i'm asking you. >> translator: i am -- i have always maintained that the zionist regime has no historical roots in the region. i -- why would i say that the jews have no historical root? they were also in iran, a great many of them. so that means that iran belongs to the jews? iran belongs to the iranians, whether they're jews, whether they're muslims, whether they're christians. please pay close attention here, sir. the borderline is quite thin. zionism is a doctrine, is a school of thought, is an
aggressive school of thought. it has nothing to do with the jewish people. at the same time, the majority of those who are there now have come from other lands. they're immigrants. many of them recently converted to judaism. so the way this regime took shape doesn't matter. yes, for a long time, jews, christians, and muslims lived in palestine with one another in peace and stability and they will continue to do so in the future. it is not a jewish/christian/muslim fight. we're speaking of a group of zionists who came and gained the reins of power. >> mr. president let me ask you this in a different way that many people have asked you. it relates to comments you have made about israel in the past. i want to ask you if you
recognize why people get so nervous by your comments about israel because you're the president of a country, and presidents of countries do not speak like this. they do not speak about the elimination of another member state of the united nations. they don't speak about wiping it off the map. and when you take that rhetoric and you add to it the fact that iran is developing a nuclear program, it makes many people in the united states, outside the united states worried that the intention of iran is to use that nuclear capacity to eliminate israel, to wipe it off the map. >> translator: so really the people of the united states are concerned? they're shaking? where do you -- what do you base this on? the rest of the nations are
worried, preoccupied, and trembling with this thought? what for? we are friends with all nations. yourself as a reporter, you must know, as a member of the media, you must know that ahmadinejad is quite popular and is loved by everyone in iran and loves everyone in iran equally. most people are on the side of iran. there are more fundamental issues to be discussed perhaps. >> translator: iran is not -- >> but it's become repetitive, sir. for seven years i have been answering it for you. >> i understand. but every time you answer it raises more doubts. the problem the people have is you talk about elimination, you talk about wiping off -- >> translator: how do you pretend to speak on behalf of the people? it raises doubts and stirs doubts in whom? people have given you their vote of confidence to represent their
point of view. you're representing a medial outlet and representing their views. let's go to the streets of new york tonight right now and let's interview the people and find out what the people say. let's find out what the people truly say. what do the people have to -- >> mr. president, you say iran is loved -- >> these are fabricated. >> but iran is under the most crippling sanctions of any of the countries in the world right now. you are being sanctioned. you're isolated. your gdp is shrinking. by some accounts. your currency we know has dropped 50%. what i'm trying to explain to you is the reason you have this international pressure, these sanctions is in part because people doubt iran's intentions. >> translator: no. all, sir, not to speak on behalf of the nations and the people. were the people who put us under sanction or a handful of western governments? which people brought us under sanctions?
many of the european companies are currently as we speak conducting trade with us. some of them do it in hiding but they do, secretly but they do conduct that trade. you hear some news, and you believe that iran's economy is in chaos. it is not so. it is not so, let me reassure you. we -- we came from being the 22nd ranked economy in the world to being the 17th largest, and as we speak, this growth of capital and investment in the world continues. of course, we're not fans of sanctions but if anyone thinks sanctions will bring iran to her knees, they are certainly mistaken. we have learned to live under these circumstances. we don't like to live like this, but at the end of the day, a handful of european countries
and the united states, of course, would like to have relations with them. it would benefit both sides. but without them, we have learned to live quite well. we have been living quite well. we have trade relations with over 180 countries throughout the world. america and her allies do not represent the entire world. accept this. let's come out of some of these thick shells and change our views and update our views of the world. the time of oppression is gone. >> let me ask you a final question, mr. president. you've been to new york many, many times, much more than any president of iran. your predecessor came twice. his predecessor never came. you obviously like new york. are you going miss coming to new york. >> keep in mind, we didn't come to new york. we came to the u.n. general assembly which happens to be in new york.
and during the time i'm inside the building or the hotel. i haven't gone anywhere else. it's a good city. it has great people. and there are good people everywhere. >> let me ask you one more. >> but allow me out of respect for you and through your camera to express my gratitude to the people of new york. would you allow me. when we travel down the street to united nations building and come back, we see limitations imposed on pedestrians, so it creates disturbances for people, and, of course, we're never happy to see such disturbances, but, of course, the police and the security forces to whom i'm very grateful worked extremely hard, but the people of new york were very patient. and if we caused any serious disruption and disturbances, i would like to hereby extend my sincerest apologies to them and thank them for their kindness. >> mr. president, it was a
pleasure to have you on. >> translator: god bless you. may you have good health and success. >> it was as fascinating a conversation as ever. he seemed to recognize he caused controversy with earlier remarks this week and was careful not to be incendiary, but he was passionate and defiant about iran's military action. in preparing for the interview i was struck by the conversation going on within iran. the head of iran's expediency council, a senior political figure gave an interview in which he said that after the next election in iran, iran would move from radicalism to ratinoality. another powerful politician and potentially a presidential candidate said it would go from fundamentalism to moderation. we'll have to watch to see if
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all of a sudden everyone knows the name bain capital, the private equity firm that mitt romney founded and has been discussed and attacked during the presidential campaign, but most of the top executives in the private equity industry have stayed silent through all of this campaign drama. i wanted to hear bain's side of the story and steve pagliuca took me up on the offer. he is a managing director, but one of the people that actually runs the firm. he is a democrat, he ran in the primary for the massachusetts senate seat, losing to elizabeth warren. also managing partner of the boston celtics. thanks for being here. >> great to be here. >> let me show you some clips from the democratic convection and get your reaction. you've seen this before. >> folks, the bain way may bring your firm the highest profits,
but it's not the way to lead your country from the highest office. >> so what did you think when you listened to that? >> well, look. hyperbole has been part of the elections since the day of john adams and there's no one better than joe biden to give us a little hyperbole as we all know. i think people discount that hyperbole. we know it's hyperbole. we wake up every day trying to build businesses. it's a misnomer out there that private he can quit profits by shrinking companies. in fact, it's just the opposite. private equity creates value by growing great companies. >> so when people look at the attack ads, that you take a company, a steel company, you send the jobs overseas because that cuts the costs which it undoubtedly does, and in other cases you load it up with debt and you sell it, you don't think that's an inaccurate picture. >> that's totally inaccurate. in fact. we started a steel company in a
cornfield in indiana. it's called steel dynamics. it has 6,000 employees today, one of the largest steel companies in the country. what happens in the campaigns, they need to use hyperbole to make these attacks. we have 350 investments, those companies over 28 years have grown twice as fast as the s&p 500. they've created $100 billion of new sales so that's extraordinary growth and that's given bain capital an extraordinary track record. when you have that kind of growth, that growth creates jobs, creates jobs is that help those companies, and it is great for the economy. >> you're not disputing it. you're saying that with a small minority of companies you invest in. >> we've had 80% of the companies have grown revenues. what happens in these deals is they time shift. for example, that steel company, we bought a company was going to be closed down, saved those jobs. invested $100 million in the
plant, it grew, had great sales. six years later took the dividends for investors like all corporations do. six years later japanese dumped steel, prices went down. hundreds went down and we're a victim of that. you can't compress that and say it causes one thing inside the other. >> let me ask you about the tax issues. in private equity you get paid carried interest. it's tax on capital gains. there are lots of people who believe it should be taxed as ordinary income. would you support moving the carried interest so it's taxed as ordinary income? as interest rule. >> it came about always sweat equity. if a restaurant your said i want to open a restaurant. want you to invest $50,000. you take 80% of the profits and i'm take 20%. that's what carried interest is. it's what the venture capital firms do and that's how people
are compensated. do. it gets people to look at it, the tax code should be looked at from farm subsidies to carried interest and corporate loopholes because we need to raise more revenue. >> what do you think of this man as a leader? he hired you, i assume. >> he gave me my first job back at bain and company before bain capital was started. he's an incredible family man. he's got a good sense of humor. it sometimes gets him in trouble but he's got a great sense of humor, and he has a great sense of humor. i'm heartened by the fact that we have two fantastic candidates. i worked with president obama as well. they both have a high degree of education and both are knowledgeable about the world and i think we're lucky to have two great people running in the elections, especially given how rough the elections are. >> you have all these investments around america and increasingly around the world.
what is your sense of the american economy? there are some signs that the economy is actually beginning to recover. housing is back. but yet the actual gdp numbers don't seem to move much. what do you think? >> there are some good sighs. housing is back a boon in ener. that could be a real wild card for us because low-cost energy dependence should be a goal, and consumers have paid down a lot of debt. the bad side of the ledger is there is increasing debt at the state and federal level. if you think back, in 1982, there was a large outcry when the national debt passed 1 trillion. we are now netting 1 trillion per year. it's close to 16 trillion adding 1 trillion per year. soon the interest on the debt could equal the whole debt since 1982 when you and i were here. i think it's a solvable problem, though. simpson bowles goes a long way
to solving that, and i'm hoping the next president will address that. the president can only do so much. we've got to get the congress together to get the deficit down. you have a road map there in simpson bowles, but that doesn't cut the deficit entirely. people have to work together. what i like about bain capital is we have republicans, we have democrats, we have diverse ideas in political views. but what we do is sit down and try to solve the problems. that's what our government has to do. they have to come to the middle and solve the issues. america is the greatest country in the world. has high innovation, has great institutions, now has high energy. we have to capitalize on those and move forward. >> when you look at your companies, do you see growth beginning across the board? do you see it as patchy? >> i would say we see it as patchy but it's beginning.
one thing we can emphasize in america is we can bring innovation to the rest of the world. we have not been an export-driven economy because we've had such a large market here. countries that have been successful have really promoted free trade and fair trade. i think if we do that in america, that's another way to create jobs. >> it's a pleasure having you on. >> it's been great to be here. up next, why a number of brazilian citizens are going to vote for a candidate named barack obama. i'll explain.
that makes ten countries that have such vessels. eight of them have one carrier each and italy has two. that brings me to my question of the week. how many aircraft carriers does the united states have? is it 3, 7, 11 or 15? stay tuned and we'll tell you the correct answer. go to cnn.com/fareed. you can also follow us on twitter and facebook. you can also get gps shows and specials on i tunes. you can get the audiopod for free or buy the digital version. this week's book of the week is by jeffrey tubin of the new yorker and cnn. it is a terrific inside account of what is arguably the most important branch of the u.s. government. no, not the executive branch, the judiciary. i think we all know there is a
guy names barack obama running for president of the united states, but did you know there is not one, not two, but five barack obamas running in brazil and 11 more obamas with different first names? candidates in local elections across that country have adopted some surprising names to try to distinguish themselves, to get attention. they' they're batman and robin, too. bin laden, superman, spiderman and a few michael jacksons. some of the candidates had the good luck to be born with names that might give them a political edge or might not. there is some ted kennedys, john kennedys. the candidates are likely to be remembered. president obama, if you need a new jingle, i know where you can
find one. the correct answer to our gps challenge question was c. the united states has 11 aircraft carriers. the rest of the world has a grand total of 10. thanks to all of you for being part of my program this week. i will see you next week. hello, everyone. i'm fredricka whitfield with a check of our top stories. two americans, one soldier and a civilian are dead after a fire fight broke out in afghanistan. it happened at a temporary ch k checkpoint operated by coalition troops west of kabul. three also died in the crash that may have been provoked by insurgent fire. syrian forces are leaving a neighborhood as a bomb hit the damascus area. 11 people died today. there is also a serious battle in alepo and several serious fights are being destroyed in the fighting. president obama is headed for the state of nevada