tv Starting Point CNN October 23, 2012 7:00am-9:00am EDT
president obama, mitt romney we've done with china already, tackling foreign policy in their final debate. getting in their parting shots, as well. u.s. exports have doubled since >> in the 1980s are now cowing i came into office to china and, to ask for their foreign policy back. >> i'm not going to wear rose-colored glasses when it comes to russia or mr. putin. actually, kurcurrencies are at their most advantageous point >> with exactly two weeks till election day, who has the edge for u.s. exporters since 1983. now? we're holding the candidates to >> he's right if you lock at two their statements and checking the facts, as well, and taking a isolated months. look at most talked about moments. just compare the month that the president took office where we >> we also have fewer horses and exported $4.2 billion to august bayonets, because the nature of of this year, the last we have our military has changed. >> i'm a son of detroit. i was born in detroit. my dad was head of a car company. i like american cars. on record, $8.6 billion. but if you look at the trend, exports have not yet doubled. 2008, they were about $6.97 >> complete analysis for us with ohio senator rob portman, ambassador nicolas burns and billion. this year we're not on track to massachusetts senator john double at this point. you can see they haven't doubled kerry. it's tuesday, october 23rd. and "starting point" begins right now. yet. also as exports have risen, we're coming to you live from boca raton in florida. soledad, so have imports. so the trade deficit is worse since 2009. we're exporting more but we're importing more, too.
so much of the criticism focused on china's currency, which it good morning. welcome, everybody. we're coming to you from boca raton in florida. keeps artificially low to keep our "starting point" this their products cheaper than morning, a more forceful american goods. there has been some progress on the currency. president obama, a more measured mitt romney. china has let its currency last night's foreign policy appreciate a little bit but debate here in florida, right here, in fact, is in the books still is held within a ban set now. and when it was over, a cnn/orc within the government. there are other things the poll of debate watchers favored chinese government does the president over mr. romney, routinely to give its industries 48% to 40%. an edge over u.s. goods. so a lot still to be brynn writ let's get right to senior congressional correspondent dana bash who was watching that this story. i will point out, too, soledad, debate. good morning. >> good morning. look, we know this entire election year debates have really mattered. but this one was a little bit campaigning presidents tend to be tougher on china than sitting tricky because it's about foreign policy. that's not high on the priority list for voters. presidents. >> a lot of questions this so each candidate really tried to make it a test of leadership. morning, certainly the especially the president. conversations we had with the ambassador burns for one and negroponte yesterday was less about is chieny a currency >> reporter: mitt romney came wanting voters to see him as commander in chief. the commander in chief came manipulator and should you out determined to make sure that didn't happen. loud say china is a kurcurrency >> i know you haven't been in a position to actually execute
foreign policy. but, every time you've offered manipulator if you want to have an opinion, you've been wrong. any kind of nuance with them. christine, thank you for that. >> reporter: time and time again the president's harsh criticism could mitt romney's private dripped with sarcasm. >> a few months ago when you sector experience be more useful were asked what's the biggest abroad than president obama's geopolitical threat facing military accomplishments? we'll take a look at that, america, you said russia. coming up next. [ woman ] ring. ring. progresso. not al qaeda, you said russia. the 1980s are now calling to ask for their foreign policy back. because, you know, the cold war's been over for 20 years. >> our navy is smaller now than any time since 1917. they said they needed 313 ships to carry out the mission, we're at 285. >> i think governor romney hasn't spent enough time looking at how our military works. you mentioned the navy, for example, and we have fewer ships than in 1916. we also have fewer horses and bayonets. because the nature of our military has changed. we have these things called aircraft carriers where planes land on them. we have these ships that go under water, nuclear submarines. >> before the debate, romney advisers told cnn he would not be the scrappy candidate we saw in the last one.
instead, stay solid and steady. not take the president's bait. >> and attacking me is not an agenda. >> reporter: romney repeatedly blamed the president for failing to lead on global hot spots. >> you look at the record of the last four years and say is iran closer to a bomb? i just finished a bowl of your new light chicken pot pie soup yes. and it's so rich and creamy... is it really 100 calories? is the middle east in tumult? >> yes. is al qaeda on the run, on its let me put you on webcan... heels? ...lean roasted chicken... no. and a creamy broth mmm i can still see you. are israel and the palestinians closer to reaching a peace [ male announcer ] progresso. you gotta taste this soup. agreement? no. >> reporter: but for the most part, romney was calm in demeanor and remarkably agreeable on policy from syria to egypt to afghanistan. >> well, we're going to be finished by 2014. and when i'm president, we'll make sure we bring our troops out by the end of 2014. >> reporter: in fact, the republican who democrats try to paint as a war monger used the opening minutes to position himself as a peacemaker. >> i congratulate him on taking out osama bin laden and going after leadership in al qaeda. but we can't kill our way out of this mess.
>> reporter: romney successfully got under the president's skin by repeating this allegation. >> and then the president began what i've called an apology tour by going to various nations in the middle east and criticizing america. i think they look at that and saw weakness. >> nothing governor romney just said is true. starting with this notion of me apologizing. this has been probably the biggest whopper that's been told during the course of this campaign. >> all you had to do was watch the candidates time and time again try to pull the issues back home to the economy, whether it was about the auto bailout, or education, teachers. it was very clear, soledad, that this is a foreign policy debate but they know what's on the minds of voters. >> i think it's so interesting, really, in the days after the debate, right, when you see how the numbers move or don't move depending on how the debate went. i think that will be interesting to see as well. dana, thanks a lot. we bring in ohio republican senator rob portman. you were obviously playing president obama in the mock
debates. so when you see the candidate who you've been prepping all along in his performance on foreign policy, what did you think? >> well, you know, i thought it was a good night for governor romney because i think he appeared reassuring and thoughtful and knowledgeable. having played president obama, i wasn't surprised by a whole lot that he said because it's sort of the same lines. >> he was aggressive. did you practice that? i mean -- >> i did. you kind of expected it. he feels like he's a little behind right now, i think, so we expect him to come out on the attack, and he did. i thought one of the effective lines from governor romney when he said the attack on me is not an agenda. i think that was where the president fell a little short. he didn't offer an agenda or a vision for the future on the welcome back to "starting international side just as he did not on the domestic side in the first couple debates. point," everyone. >> let's throw up poll numbers, people in oregon are using snow cnn/orc poll among debate watchers. shovels this morning. the question was who won the ski resorts did get some of it, debate. it was president obama with 48%, but they're not open yet for the and governor romney had 40%. ski season. that's how early it is. then there's another poll about homeowners in everett, who seemed to be a stronger washington, are threatening to leader, and the divided it up among men and women, and you can sue the city because their homes see if you pop it up, women for are literally crumbling.
president obama, a high number. kind of switched a little bit city workers incorrectly expand for governor romney. i guess all of that would leave folks to say there's this gender ed a drainage system, causing gap. are you worried about that this landslide. city officials deny that, gender gap? >> well, the polling that i'm interested in is what do the independent and undecided voters calling it a natural event. more poll numbers coming in. these are very unscientific poll think? and what kind of impression did numbers based on halloween mask governor romney leave? sales. there's another poll, it was a there is a clear front-runner ptp poll which is considered to for president, president obama. be a more democrat leaning polling organization and they said among undecided voters, spirit halloween, the largest seasonal halloween retailer in people felt as though governor romney did better. america says obama masks have i think that's because, frankly, out-sold the romney version 60% people are looking at the attack to 40% and the chain says they ads, and many democrats, i have accurately predicted the think, who are advising election winner since they president obama kind of had them started keeping track way back believing those attack ads, as well. in 1996. that's not the governor romney so you have that, soledad. they saw last night. >> like the ppp poll. they somebody who was reassuring we don't follow that one either. and ready to be commander in john, thank you very much. chief. >> we could spend a whole day we're wrapping up here in talking about polls, bought i florida. special coverage of the final thought this one was interesting, cnn/orc poll, who debate which saw candidates make did the debate make you more likely to vote for. their case for how they would president obama 24%, mitt romney, 25%, and neither with a represent the united states across the world. mitt romney nearly even with high of 50%. more people felt like, eh. president obama on the question >> well, you know, i think the of whether he could handle the job of commander in chief.
foreign policy issue, as dana the close margin could be a sign said, is not the top issue in the country right now. that despite the president's it's jobs and the economy. accomplishments abroad, governor they did bring it back to that a romney's experience in the few times. proist sector could factor into appropriately, really, because our ability to be strong the nation's economic influence around the world. overseas is dependent on our we want to get to this morning ability to be stronger at home. i think on those issues, governor romney is doing better editor in chief of the because he's talking about a vision. he's talking about a strategy to get us back on track. economist. and even last night when he give me a sense of who you talked about it, he was able to thought was stronger in the say, also, on the foreign policy debate last night, president side, it's important for us to obama or governor romney? >> i think president obama was have a vision to deal with the underlying causes, for instance, the stronger. and he made more of the points. of islamic extremism. that's why i think it was a good debate for governor romney. on the other hand, as you just >> senator, soledad was talking said, romney passed a certain threshold test. about women, about the gender he looked reasonably gap. how much of the strategy of comfortable. some bits he fluffed. really trying to be even-keeled, it wasn't, perhaps, his best almost -- sounded like a dove, perfo governor romney, like a real performance. obama came out contrite -- he didn't create such a large gap that romney looked completely peace make, not a war monger, out of it. how much of that was really, >> many times we heard governor specifically, aimed at the female vote. >> i don't know if it was aimed romney agreeing with president at the women vote but i think it was effective. obama. do you think that made him look not just for women but for everybody to understand that the weaker or somehow suggested stronger and maybe more war monger image that democrats
would like to have portrayed reasonable, which could appeal simply is not true. to female voters? this is a guy who believes in >> it's interesting with romney, peace through strength. yes he believes we should have a isn't it? he has two bits. strong military, tighten one, this sort of business i'm sanctions on iran. but because the diplomatic going to do a deal way, where he solution ought to be the one goes out and tries to make deals that is successful, and to as quickly as possible, tries to maximize that you want to have a position himself in the right strong position. so i thought that was a good place. i think that's what he was doing debate in many respects for last night. he knew he had to play a governor romney. probably the best was reassuring, he was thoughtful somewhat softer, somewhat easier to deal with. and knowledgeable and showed a lot of these foreign policies, he's ready to be commander in chief. >> i was doing the focus group in orlando which meant a really look at the statements he has made in the past to do with long drive late last night after iran, china, even palestine. the debate and one of the focus group people, actually a couple of them were saying that they felt, it struck them that governor romney agreed with president obama a lot. a number of times during the debate. i want to play a few chunks of he had taken stronger positions that first. and was trying to roll back from them. >> i'm curious if that's what >> i felt the same as the president did. i want to underscore that the you think he's doing on the same point the president made. issue of calling chieny a currency manipulator on day one the president was right to up the usage of that technology. of his administration. do you really think in your experience that's something the >> there have been times, president of the united states governor, frankly, during the will do especially because course of this campaign where it sounded like you thought that romney doesn't have the backing of republican leaders in congress to do that? you'd do the same things we did, >> i think it's a very dangerous but you'd say them louder. thing for the following reasons.
it takes a calculation, a gamble that the chinese are the same as >> so, is that problematic? when you have both campaigns that have said there are clear they ever were. differences. they are used to china bashing this is how you're basically being attacked by a fly here. this is, you know, there are on the american presidential clear differences between the two campaigns. now you have a chance to make a trail. bill clinton did it, obama did real, you know, different choice, and, and, a lot of that it, taking on bashing china. debate sounded like well, what he said. yeah, you know, i agree with the difference now is that china what he said. is that problematic? feels different. they've just had their own >> i thought when governor president who is just about to romney did that it was come in. i don't think china is in the refreshing to a lot of undecided mood to take ultimatums from voters who are tired of the attacks back and forth and the america. that is where the danger of what politics. romney is doing. and look, when governor romney i don't think either mitt thought the president was right romney, if he becomes president, he said so. he also made it clear, by the way, that although he supported or xi jin ping, neither wants to the drone attacks, he supported going after bin laden, that that was not sufficient. and that's when he said we have a trade war but you can cannot kill our way out of these problems we need to provide a imagine populism getting behind vision and a strategy for the future that deals with the both men. underlying problems here. i think it's a very risky thing of islamic extremism, and the for romney to be doing. >> here is what governor romney spread of it. >> was it contradictory, though? said about a potential trade if you look at afghanistan, i war. let's play that. think, as a good example from last night. and i think we have a chunk of >> they sell us about this much that. let's play a little bit. here's what governor romney said about when he is president. stuff every year.
and we sell them about this much stuff every year. >> when i'm president, we'll it's pretty clear who doesn't make sure we bring our troops want a trade war. out by the end of 2014. the commanders and the generals there's one going on right now which we don't know about. there are on track to do so. it's a silent one. we've seen progress over the and they're winning. we have an enormous trade past several years. the surge has been successful. imbalance with china. and the training program is proceeding apace. it's worse this year than last year and it's worse last year than the year before. >> so, previously, and i think a number of times, he said, you >> the focus groups really loved know, a withdrawal date is hearing about the sense of wrong. do not name a withdrawal date. unfairness and that someone would do something about it. isn't that a contradiction to it's clearly something that now say, 2014. end of 2014. resonate >> he's always said that it resonates with voters. shouldn't be publicly announced at the same time, dana and i because it helps our enemies. were just talking about ahmad >> it was just publicly ahmadinejad, saying that the u.s. is weaker because of all of announced. >> no, he thinks we ought to get this debt, which, of course, out by 2014. the question is how you brings in china again. communicate it and whether you what kind of nuance can you have in this kind of conversation if listen to the commanders on the ground about how you get there. he talked about that, as well. you can't immediately declare also on iraq he agreed with the china a currency manipulator? president we should have a status of forces agreement. it's what the president wanted >> china want withes to do a to be able to relieve some troops on the ground. deal. people who run china the president is now reversing himself on that apparently and fundamentally want to focus on saying i guess he didn't want a their domestic economy the same status of forces aagreement. he tried hard to negotiate one
and he failed. so i think what you saw last way either president romney or night was, you know, frankly president obama would want to do governor romney saying, look, the next time around the same all along i believed we ought to thing. get out of afghanistan. it's being told it's part of the we ought to do it in a way, g-2 recalled would. though, that is consistent with it's been told it's now a big what our commanders on the ground think we ought to go in terms of the time frame. superpower, like america. in terms of how we do it. they have a vast amount of and he wants to get out in 2014. internet action. this is one of the places where the government is actually more kind of hard for the president to say there's a distinction reserved than a lot of stuff you there, he does, again, governor see online. romney does believe that we i think that is a dangerous area. ought to be listening to what romney or obama for that commanders about how we get to matter, they're both playing 2014. he believes we ought to get out. this game. >> he had a bit of what i obama has also taken some thought was a gaffe on sort of a geography, right, when he said anti-china actions. syria is iran's only ally in the i heard you talk about the focus arab world, it's their route to group where you were. it goes down very well because the sea, it's the route for them to arm hezbollah and lebanon people in america can feel the which threatens, of course, our ally israel. dragon's breath on your shoulder and i think if you had a map of, in a way that hasn't happened of, you'd see that, in fact, there's -- that's not their only for 100 years. suddenly there is a rival to route to the see. america and that is making people nervous. that, that's -- >> and iran is not -- >> jon mikelwaithe is editor in >> and iran has 1400 miles of, of, what do you call it waterfront basically and syria has something like 119. is that an indication of not chief of the economist. thank you. appreciate your time.
really understanding the geography of what is a truly critical part of the world, in a truly critical conversation about foreign policy? >> well, the route to the sea is the route to the mediterranean sea. and in terms of the iranian (train horn) vo: wherever our trains go, influence in the region, he's the economy comes to life. absolutely right. that their most important ally, and what's going on in syria is norfolk southern. one line, important to the syrian people. infinite possibilities. it's important for israel. but it's also important in relation to iran, and their interests in expanding their influence. so i think he, you know, he was correct in talking about the importance of syria. >> all right. senator portman. nice to have you with us this morning. >> soledad. >> the sun is rising behind us, which we're happy to see. appreciate your time. >> thanks for having me on. >> at the bottom of the hour we're going to be talking democratic reaction with senator john kerry of massachusetts. he played mitt romney in the president's debate -- working with all the stand-ins this morning. >> i think kerry and i should go at it. >> that would make good tv. >> that would be very interesting. if you missed any of last night's debate you can watch it again today, noon eastern on cnn. we're going to be replaying that debate for you.
want to get back to new york now. john berman's got a look at some of the other stories making news this morning. >> good morning, soledad. the outbreak of fungal meningitis is getting worse. federal officials now report 23 people have died in 16 states. and the total number of cases has gone up to 297. this outbreak has been linked to steroid pain injections made by the new england compounding center in massachusetts. reuters report that health officials inspected the company ten years ago due to complaints about those injections. the fda investigating whether monster energy drinks may have contributed to the death of five people since 2009. this comes after the company was hit with a lawsuit in connection with a maryland teenager's death. monster is selling the top two. three. selling energy drink in the u.s. my credit card rewards are easy to remember. it comes in 24 ounce cans. with the bankamericard cash rewards credit card, it contains 240 milligrams of i earn 1% cash back everywhere, caffeine. that's about seven times the every time. caffeine in a 12-ounce coke. [ both ] 2% back on groceries. the es changed wife who was [ all ] 3% on gas! the target of the shooting rampage at that milwaukee area no hoops to jump through. spa is being called a hero. i earn more cash back on the things i buy most. one of zena haughton's clients [ woman in pet store ] it's as easy as... told the chicago tribune she [ all ] one!
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soledad? >> yeah, it's good to see even when you're not necessarily rooting for the team, my yankees, kind of, whatever. but it's always fun to watch when they're celebrating. all right, john, thank you. still ahead this morning on "starting point," during the debate did mitt romney miss a chance to question the president about the attack in benghazi and that time line? we're going to talk this morning with ambassador nicolas burns coming up next. and apple lovers get ready, the company is announcing a smaller version of what of their most popular items today. you've been busy for a dead man. after you jumped ship in bangkok, i thought i'd lost you. surfing is my life now. but who's going to .... tell the world that priceline has even faster, easier ways to save you money. . . on hotels, flights & cars? you still have it.
i'll always have it. so this is it? we'll see where the waves take me. sayonara, brah! when we got married. i had three kids. and she became the full time mother of three. it was soccer, and ballet, and cheerleading, and baseball. those years were crazy. so, as we go into this next phase, you know, a big part of it for us is that there isn't anything on the schedule.
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model. expect it to cost somewhere between about $250 to $350. we're going to find out for sure in a few hours. u.s. stock futures are down sharply after markets closed flat yesterday. dow futures down more than 100 points. a lot of worries about the earnings season. facebook earnings come out after the closing bell. shares have been cut in half since the company went public in may. facebook's been having trouble communicating its plans for mobile advertising and how to generate revenue that way. soledad? >> all right, christine. thank you very much. the election now exactly two weeks away. during the third and final debate last night, the gloves were kind of off. listen. >> the challenge we have, i know you haven't been in a position to actually execute foreign policy, but every time you've offered an opinion, you've been wrong. >> america must be strong. america must lead, and for that to happen we have to strengthen our economy here at home. you can't have 23 million people struggling to get a job.
>> joining us this morning from cambridge, massachusetts, is former u.s. ambassador to nato and former undersecretary of state for political affairs nicolas burns. nice to see you, sir. thank you very much for talking with us. who do you think in your opinion was stronger in this debate? >> oh, i think, soledad, by any objective measure i think president obama was the more knowledgeable and more self-assured on foreign policy. he has a very good grasp of these issues. obviously he's been president for 3 1/2 years. i did think, soledad, that governor romney was strong when he linked our national security to our economic security. making the point that obviously we can't be strong unless our economy is strong. but on the main, governor romney seemed on the defensive. he didn't seem as self-assured or as confident in what he was saying. i thought it was a quite striking contrast. >> there seem to be, in my opinion, an effort by the governor to move away from some of his previously held positions. did you see that? and if so, specifically, where? >> i did.
i thought it was interesting, he had governor romney had been on the offensive over the last year, criticizing president obama on russia. governor romney said russia was our number one geopolitical foe. last night he backed off that statement. he'd been very critical about how president obama ended the iraq war and critical of the president's plans to bring the troops out on a specific time line, 2014. and you saw none of that last night. in fact, governor romney appeared to leave a lot of his positions behind, and it does leave you with the question on what is his world view? what does he really believe? what would he do on these big national security issues such as the war in afghanistan or even iran, where previously he had been very critical last night, largely agreed with the president. so i think he's leaving the impression that he's not quite sure what he'd do or that he's not being as specific as he might be. >> i was sort of surprised, and dana tell me if you agree, that when bob schieffer, who i thought did a great job last night moderating, set up the
question about benghazi, was very specific and very detailed, and a series of questions governor romney didn't take that opportunity to kind of go for the jugular. i thought that would be a moment where he might. >> i think the diplomatic term on that was a punt. very much so. it was interesting because talking to governor romney's aides beforehand, it seemed as though he wanted to kind of fix what he messed up the last time in challenging the president on kind of a side show. but i'd love to hear what the ambassador thinks about that. obviously there has been no issue that has been more in the forefront of foreign policy and even in politics now, than libya. >> well, you know, i think that was bob schieffer's very first question. it was an opening for governor romney to resume the criticism from the second debate on benghazi. and you know, it may be that it wasn't working for them. because from the beginning, governor romney's statements on the very day of the attacks was seen to be overly partisan. it -- i think that they probably decided to back off because you really don't want to take a national security crisis,
especially one so disastrous for the united states with four deaths, and make it partisan. so that's why i assume he decided to punt on that question last night. >> final question for you is about china. here's -- i'm going to play what the president side about china and mitt romney said about china and then i'm going to ask you on the other side of that the impact of, of china in this foreign policy debate. let's start with the president. >> china's both an adversary, but also a potential partner in the international community if it's following the rules. so my attitude coming in to office was that we are going to insist that china plays by the same rules as everybody else. >> we can work with them. we can collaborate with them. if they're willing to be responsible. now they look at us and say, is it a good idea to be with america? how strong are we going to be? how strong is our economy? >> the people, ambassador, who were in my focus group, i was in orlando last night. the minute they heard about
china and economy, they were very interested, and really focused. do you think that the president had more strength on this issue or do you think it was mitt romney? >> you know, it's hard to say, because i think governor romney's point is a good one, that china has been a major human rights violator. but also violating and stealing our intellectual property from american businesses, we've got to get tough with china. the problem, at least in my view, with governor romney's solution, i'm going to name them a currency violator my first day in office is it immediately puts us into an open, big confrontation with china when we need china on iran, on north korea, on syria, is that smart? and i think that president obama's more nuanced view, obviously tempered by his experience in office, is probably the better way for the united states. >> ambassador nick burns joining us this morning. nice to see you. >> thank you. >> you bet. during the debate, mitt romney claimed that the president went on an international apology tour
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treacherous. it was defense ruling chicago last night. the bears defeated detroit lions 13-7 in monday night football. chicago improves to 5-1 now on the season. who knew, they're in first place in the division. the lions back to 2-4. soledad? >> john, i know last night you were in charge of doing the fact check. tell me a little bit about what you were looking into. >> there were plenty of facts and figures tossed around, including one statement on an issue i know you have dealt with here on "starting point." it had to do with the so-called apology tour that's been a favorite line from republicans on the campaign trail. mitt romney claimed, as he has many times in the past, that president obama went on a sort of international tour apologizing for u.s. policy when he first took office. let's listen. >> meet with all the world's worst actors in his first year, he'd sit down with chavez and kim jong-il, with castro, and with president ahmadinejad of iran.
and i think they looked and thought, well that's an unusual honor to receive from the president of the united states. and then the president began what i've called an apology tour of going to various nations in the middle east, and criticizing america. i think they looked at that and saw weakness. >> so, what are the facts here? when he took office, president obama did travel to several countries talking about american foreign policy. in france, for example, he said america has shown arrogance and been dismissive, even derisive. so he also criticized europe in that same very speech. now in none of these speeches in europe, the middle east, nor here at home, did obama use the word apology or say he's sorry in any way. so our verdict here is it's false to call president obama's speeches an apology tour. even if he was critical of some past u.s. foreign policy, he never issued any apologies. soledad? >> the president said that in the debate last night, very clearly, when he pushed back very hard on the governor about that. all right, john, thank you.
still ahead this morning you heard from the senator who prepped mitt romney for the debate. coming up next, the senator who prepped president obama. democratic massachusetts senator john kerry. he's up next. and you've heard of smash and grab. how about crash and grab? a car smashes into a store but it's no accident. we'll tell you what the police say the suspects took. one.
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military has changed. >> attacking me is not an agenda. attacking me is not talking about how we're going to deal with the challenges that exist in the middle east and take advantage of the opportunity there, and stem the tide of this violence. >> let's get right to massachusetts senator john kerry. he portrayed governor mitt romney in the mock debates with the president. so when you were watching your candidate, and you, of course, had played the challenger, how do you think he did? >> well, i think every insta poll in the country says the president won. some say he won overwhelmingly by 20 points. some by 10 points. but overwhelmingly last night the president of the united states was the commander in chief, and mitt romney, i hate to say it, was the campaigner in confusion -- >> you don't hate to say it. >> i don't, because i, you know, i'd like to be able to say it. but honestly i was stunned by a candidate who came and shifted almost all his positions, and he's hiding his positions. i mean his real positions have been the ones you've been hearing for months. criticizing the president on iran. last night he agreed with him.
credit siding the president on syria, well he had a few nibbles but basically said how complicated it was, he agreed with him. libya, wound up agreeing with him. afghanistan, actually changed his position last night from saying that he didn't think we should set a date and get out, last night he set a firm date. this is just a man who you can't send messages like that to the world that you really don't have a position. >> when i spoke to senator portman this morning he said, listen, that was -- that's an intelligent thing to do, right. you deal with your -- >> that's etch-a-sketch. >> i'm dealing with what he said. that was an admission on my show. i remember etch-a-sketch. what he said, he positioned that as a rational thing to do, to sit down with your military advisers and come up with a, a, a, timetable to leave. >> he's been running for president for seven years. he has either been lying to the base, the republican base, ought to be outraged today because the man who's been running to win the nomination was taking a whole bunch of different
positions. now he steps up and says different -- look, this is mitt romney. and the place people should be most frightened about is on the economy. because mitt romney has signed a pledge to a lobbyist, the same lobbyist who has gridlocked washington, and you know this -- >> you're talking about grover norquist. >> grover norquist. he gridlocked the super committee because people on the super committee signed a pledge saying we won't raise revenue. romney's tripled down on saying no revenue. so if he were elected he's promising four more years of gridlock in washington because that's the formula. either he's not telling the truth to the republican base, he signed the pledge and it doesn't mean anything. or, he is telling the truth and you have gridlock. you can't have it both ways. this is a man who has a one-point plan for america. a tax cut of $5 trillion. you extend the bush tax cuts by 20% -- >> but last night was about foreign policy. and -- let's get back to foreign
policy. it is. >> soledad it is foreign policy. because if you don't have a strong economy, you can't be strong abroad and you can't carry out a foreign policy. mitt romney's policy is to go back to the economy that we had before. >> on foreign policy you are the senate foreign relations chairman. you travel abroad all the time. does mitt romney have a point that the perception of the world, supposed to get so much of the united states was supposed to get so much better after george w. bush left and obama took over and that hasn't happened. >> oh, yes it has happened. are you kidding me it hasn't happened? after ambassador stevens was killed, dana, 30,000 libyans took their signs, said we love you, ambassador stevens. we love you america. they marched, they marched on the militia headquarters that had done this. they disarmed them themselves. we have changed perceptions throughout that part of the world. now they're going through a very complicated moment. i mean, nobody, no islamists, and not the united states, told
a fruit vendor in tunisia, you got to -- because a police officer slapped you and took away your weighing machine and your ability to sell fruit. he did that because he was outraged at a government that was oppressing him. and that brought all the tunisians together. nobody told those people in tahrir square, those young people, that wasn't islamic. that was young people, a generational revolution saying, we want jobs, we want an opportunity. that's what's happening in the middle east. we should welcome it, and embrace it, and understand it. president obama has done that. mitt romney's been hiding behind it. >> "the wall street journal" would disagree. he wrote this, there's a case to be made that mr. obama has been a disengaged, poll driven, steward of american 23r7. mr. romney didn't seem interested in making that point i guess and as a matter of politics he didn't need to make it. his most effective turns in the debate came when he brought it all back to the economy.
he seemed reasonable and tempered and pragmatic and unruffled and therefore presidential. doesn't that explain while president obama who the pollsters showed people polled indicate overwhelmingly he was more on the attack and mitt romney was not that that was part of the strategy to appear presidential? >> well, if your strategy is to reverse every position you had, two weeks before an election. >> if it makes you reasonable and tempered and pragmatic -- >> so in other words so president obama has been reasonable -- >> i'm just asking a question sir. i'm just saying here's what brett stevens from "the wall street journal" -- >> but you can't trust a candidate for president of the united states if you don't know what he really believes. mitt romney is hiding a bunch of positions. he's advised by the very same people that brought you iraq and the years of the, of the decline of our economy. president obama has been steady and clear, not only, look on the economy, jobs, record low for four years. on, on, i mean, on the jobless claims. the job rate is a record low of
four years. foreclosures, fitch-year low. stock market, almost a record high. 401(k)s, up. >> sluggish. sluggish. sluggish. >> soledad, look at what we had to dig out of. we're at the brink of taking off. ask anybody in business. people, the confidence of our country is up. >> but, you -- >> no, no, no. >> everybody agrees with that. >> what they say is we're on the bric of taking off. now the president has a five-point plan. number one, energy. 600,000 jobs in natural gas. we're going to exploit american energy. we're going to cut our imports in half. jobs. a million manufacturing jobs brought back to the united states, and we're going to cut -- double our exports. and we're going to increase our jobs in the energy sector. skills. >> so -- >> hire -- >> i'm going to stop you there because the five-point plan we've heard about over the last -- >> everybody's been complaining he doesn't. this is -- >> my question is this. it's neck and neck. 47% to 47% if you look at national polling. how worried are you about those
numbers? >> i believe that as a result of last night and the last debate before that, the president has made it clear he has the agenda for the country. the country's economy is coming back. we're respected in the world. he's ended the war in iraq. he is ending the war in afghanistan. he showed clear leadership in libya. last night, after all his complaints, mitt romney said the president's done a good job and he's doing the right thing on iran, iran will not have a nuclear weapon. we've never been closer in security to israel, and he's got the iron dome which is -- >> senator, it's -- it's -- we see now why you were the one who was chosen to play mitt romney because he bring it back -- >> he can filibuster out there because we're out of time. but we want to thank you for talking with us this morning. >> i'm delighted to be with you. >> -- secretary of state? >> this is a great audition to go back to massachusetts. >> a dodge on that one. a dodge on the secretary of state question. nice to see you, senator. thank you for talking with us. we've got to get back to john berman. >> thanks, soledad. one of the students involved in the hazing death of a florida
a&m university drum major robert champion is avoiding jail time altogether. brian jones was sentenced yesterday to two years probation, 200 hours of community service. jones is the first of a dozen defendants charged in connection with champion's death last november. on a bus ride outside orlando, orlando hotel after a game. tears in court as the harassment and child endangerment trial of douglas kennedy begins. a maternity ward nurse broke down yesterday testifying kennedy, the son of late senator robert f. kennedy, twisted her arm and kicked another nurse. the assistant d.a. said the nurses were simply following protocol during the january incident. the defense calls the nurse abrasive, and confrontational. police say two thieves in northern michigan stole a truck to commit this smash, or crash and grab. surveillance cameras caught them loading up on alcohol and cigarettes. police say minutes before this the robbers swiped $100 worth of gas as they backed out they ran
over a gas pump and hit a tree during their getaway. one suspect was caught and police say they are confident they will catch the second suspect. soledad? >> all right, john, thank you. still ahead this morning on "starting point," during the debate president obama made this claim. take a look. >> and as a consequence al qaeda's core leadership has been decimated. >> how true is that? our very own elise labott will take a look at the status of the terror network straight ahead this morning.
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florida. it is exactly two weeks till the election. and this morning we're fact checking some of the claims that were made in that final presidential debate. let's get right to cnn foreign affairs reporter elise labott. she's in washington, d.c. this morning. so elise, last night we actually heard a lot of agreement between the two candidates, but there was a major point of contention, and that major point of contention was about al qaeda. >> that's right, soledad. well, last night president obama said al qaeda's core leadership has been decimated and mitt romney says al qaeda is actually involved in 10 or 12 countries. now there's no disputing that osama bin laden, the leader of al qaeda, was killed in that raid in pakistan. and the obama administration has also dramatically upped the use of drones in pakistan, which has killed a lot of key al qaeda operatives. that focuses on the al qaeda core, the original group. what's worriship is al qaeda affiliates in yemen, north africa and elsewhere in the middle east are very active. particular concern is al qaeda
in the arabian peninsula, operating in yemen who hatched that underwear bomber a few years ago. then there's al shabab in somalia considered a big threat. and aqim is operating. and they're believed to have been tied to the attack on the u.s. consulate in libya. and now the unrest in syria has also provided an opportunity for al qaeda in iraq. and in that country. so soledad both claims are true here. president obama's claim that al qaeda's core leadership has been seriously weakened, yes. but the affiliates remain active and a threat to western interests. so a little bit for both men to claim last fight. >> all right. elise labott doing a fact check for us this morning. thank you, elise, appreciate it. we're back right after this. [ male announcer ] do you have the legal protection you need?
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welcome back, everybody. it was the final debate. and now it is done. the polls show that the president won last night. but did he make up for his first dough bait, the debate that gave governor mitt romney's campaign new life? let's get right to ron brownstein, senior political analyst, editorial director of national journal. you have all said this will hinge, for the president at least, would you know key group of voters. who are those voters? >> i think he's focused on women voters at the end. if you look the his numbers among white men, they are some of the lowest we've seen on a presidential candidate since walter mondale since 1984. mitt romney's goal right from that very first answer, when he said we can't kill our way out of this problem, was to reassure women voters. this was a debate, much more for
him, about reassurance than contrast. he kind of renounced a lot of positions he took during the primary. the president, clearly, from that second dough bait on is focus ond blue collar women in the midwest, in particular. and to a greater extent, white collar, more social, liberal wom women. >> an attempt to shift from foreign policy, which was the topic of the debate, to talk about domestic policy. >> sure. >> obviously, jobs, but trying to move whatever the topic was to sort of more what's happening at home. let me play a little bit of what governor romney said about china and american jobs. >> i've watched year in and year out, as companies have shut down and people have lost their jobs, because china has not played by the same rules. in part, by holding down artificially the value of their currency, it holds down the prices of their goods. it means our goods aren't as competitive and we lose jobs.
that's got to end. >> how will something like that resonate? there was a decent amount of time spent on china. how will that resonate with that key group of voters that both candidates were trying to appeal to last night? >> right now this election is being decide d more in the ruch belt than the sun belt. we started with two bnds of swing states. we still have them. sun belt, but these rust belt states of ohio, michigan, to a lesser extent, iowa, wisconsin. the critical states that both sides are fighting over. the president's support of the auto bailout and the support he is winning around that issue is absolutely critical. kind of his last line defense right now in this campaign. you saw the promise to be tough on china is one of romney's best kind of battering rams against that. and you saw the president trying to respond. it's not surprising that the discussion turned toward
domestic policy. often the problem with the foreign policy debate, politically, at least, it's hard to connect the discreet around the world with the themes at home. egypt has not been that high on the list with these key voters in the swing states. >> focus group last night in orlando. you could see when they started going there, people started losing a little bit of interest in the conversation. when they started talking about american jobs, the testers went right back up. from the bayonettes to the ro - rose-colored glasses, we'll break down what the candidates said. and what affect it could have with 14 days till voters go to the polls. new details about the new ipad mini. that's ahead.
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welcome, everybody. starting point this morning, showdown in boca. president obama and governor romney challenging each other on foreign policy in their final debate. >> in the 1980s now calling for their foreign policy back. >> i'm not going to wear rose-colored glasses when it comes to russia or putin. >> you're trying to air brush history. >> attacking me is not an agenda. >> hold iing candidates to the facts. >> fewer horses and bayonettes because the nature of our military has changed. >> i am a son of detroit. my dad is the head of a car company. i like american cars. >> complete analysis with just 14 days till election day. it's tuesday, october 23rd, and "starting point" begins right
now. we're coming to you live in boca raton, florida. welcome, everybody. our "starting point" this morning, president obama, governor romney back on the campaign trail aafter their final debate last night. by most accounts, it was a forceful -- more forceful president obama who came out on top last night, majority of viewers and political analysts agreed that president obama with his playing defense. 48% favoring the president, 40% favoring governor romney. the president also won the second contest by seven points in our cnn polling after he lost by 42 points in the first dough bait. senior congressional correspondent dana bash joins us this morning. it was a very different president obama during this last debate and also i thought a different governor romney. he was -- president obama came across, i thought, as aggressive, charging in this
dough ba debate and mitt romney not so much. >> it was a complete reversal from the first debate. from the perspective of mitt romney, that was not an accid t accident. he understands -- both of them understood this is a foreign policy debate. it is not what americans want to vote on. they both wanted to make it a question of leadership. >> reporter: mitt romney came wanting voters to see him as commander in chief. the commander in chief came determined to make sure that didn't happen. >> i know you haven't been in a position to actually execute foreign policy, but every time you have offered an opinion, you have been wrong. >> reporter: time and time again, the president's harsh criticism drip ped with sarcasm. biggest political threat you said russia, not al qaeda. you said russia. 1980s are now calling and asking for their foreign policy back. the cold war has been over for 20 years. >> our navy is smaller now than any time since 19d 17. the navy said they needed 313
ships to carry out their mission. they're now down to 285. >> governor romney hasn't spent enough time looking at how our military works, we have fewer ships than 1916. we also have fewer horses and bayonnettes because the nature of our military has changed. we have these things called aircraft carriers where planes land on them, ships that go upped water, nuclear sub ma reaps. >> reporter: before the debate, mitt romney's camp told cnn he would stay solid and steady, not take the president's bait. >> attacking me is not an agenda. >> reporter: repeatedly blamed the president for failing to lead on global hot spots. >> if you look at the record the last four years and say is iran closer to a bomb? yes. is the middle east in tumult? yes. is al qaeda on the run, on its he heels? no. are israel and palestinians closer to reaching a peace
agreement? no. >> reporter: but for the most part, he was calm in demeanor and remarkably agreeable on policy from syria to egypt to afghanistan. >> we're going to be finished by 2014 and when i'm president, we'll make sure we bring our troops out by the end of 2014. >> reporter: in fact, the republican who democrats tried to paint as a war monger used the opening minutes to position himself as a peace maker. >> i congratulate him on taking out osama bin laden and going after the loweredship of al qaeda but we can't kill our way out of this mess. >> reporter: successfully got under the president's skin by repeating this. >> he began what i called an apology tour, going to various nations in the middle east and criticizing america they look at that and saw weakness. >> nothing governor romney just said is true, starting with this notion meef apologize i -- of m apologizing. >> reporter: one of the most
fiery exchange s was not about foreign policy but something decidedly american, the auto industry. >> if we had taken your advice about the auto industry, we would be buying cars from china instead of selling cars to china. >> i'm a son of detroit. my dad was the head of a car compa company. i would do nothing to hurt the u.s. auto industry. these companies need to go through a managed bankruptcy. >> that's not what you said. >> you can take a look at the op-ed. >> you did not say -- >> i'm still speaking. i said we would provide guarantees and that was what was able to allow these companies to go through bankruptcy, to come out of bankruptcy. >> let's check the record. >> that's the height of silliness. >> reporter: and the auto bailout was hardly the only issue that both candidates wanted to bring back home on the economy. they talked about jobs and even talked about -- >> education. >> education, all of their points and all of their plans because they know that is what
voters will really focus on, not so much foreign policy. >> they really did want to talk about domestic policy eep though the night was devoted to foreign policy. dana, thank you very much. it's nice to have you with us, sir. >> great to be here. >> some of the polls show president obama winning this debate, if you will. cnn/orc poll debate watchers, 48% for president obama, 40% for mitt romney. you sort of grimace. >> i'm actually smiling, because on points, some of the polls say he won the debate. the polls also said you're more or less likely to vote for president obama or mitt romney -- >> most said neither. >> ppp -- >> robo calls. >> it was 47-35. for obama it was 32 most likely, 46 against. the bottom line is that governor romney on initiative counts,
which at the end of this debate, who are you going to vote for? who do you want to be commander in chief, governor romney did pretty well last night. >> i'll clarify for the ppp poll. wh we talked about that earlier. it's a robo call. >> he we don't use it at cnn. >> but the cnn poll you count and that was a draw. >> it was a draw, 24% for governor romney and 20 -- >> you look at the president who came out really hot last night. he was hot. my sense is he's seeing his lead dissipates in the polls. >> draws the win is what you're saying? >> absolutely. absolutely. >> a lot of agreement last night. change in tone, we were talking about, dan anda and i a moment . let's play a chunk of all the agreeing that went on. >> i felt the same as the president did. i want to underscore the same point the president made. the president was right to up the usage of that technology. >> there have been times, governor, frankly, during the
course of this campaign where it sounded like you thought that you would do the same things we did, but you would say them louder. >> is that a problem? i mean, we were talking this morning with ambassador nick burns and he said, yes, we've seen a shift from governor romney's positions from the beginning of his campaigning to today. a shift in numerous areas. >> first of all, where they didn't agree is the most fundamental point is on the economy. you can't have strong foreign policy withouty strong economy. and he lays out his five-point plan. president obama plays ropa dope, take the body punches and get past november 6th without laying out a plan. use of drones, taking out bin laden, what's to disagree about? >> it's not just disagreeing. it's shifting. >> i don't think there's been shifting. >> what about afghanistan? >> the governor has always said
he will abide by the 2014 date. what he didn't change, the bottom line is how he got to that point wasn't something he agreed with. president obama said arbitrarily didn't work with commanders on the ground but set the date. governor romney is a realist. they set the date. he'll make it work. >> choamping at the bit for mit romney to do a better job of failures in the wake of libya. >> i think what he did last night is rather than he said, she said, getting in to the tit-for-tat on that, here how whoa have to make america stronger. he talks about the problems in the mideast and talked about se syria. and the president said we've taken the lead. no, he hasn't taken the lead. he has sat back. >> what did he --
>> first of all, he wouldn't have outsourced his -- >> what will he do differently? what will he do on syria? >> call together what i call the coalition of the relevant. >> there has been a zbloelgs he would take the lead, identify those forces of moderation, which by the way have felt ab abandoned. "new york times" article said that about a week ago. he would provide arms to those, moderate forces so they could defend themselves or maintain whatever they maintain. america has not taken the lead. we have sat back. as a result you've seen 30,000 slaughtered and assad still being in power. >> can i ask you a question? >> i'm sure you will ask me a question. >> and afghanistan is what i meant. he said we will bring our troops out by 2014. generals on track there to do so. we've seen progress, et cetera, et cetera. announcing a withdrawal date, that was wrong. taliban may not have watches but they do have calendars. isn't that a contradiction?
>> you just reaffirmed when i said a moment ago. announcing a date is wrong. >> but he said he would pull this out at 2014. >> he didn't announce that date. president obama did. the taliban probably jumped for joy. governor romney said we have announced the date. we'll make that happen. he didn't announced the date. once you've done that, you've got to live with it. >> you don't have to. >> well, i think you do have to, actually. at this point, you know, we're kind of in a process, moving out troops. you don't simply go in and say i'm going to change it on day one. the date was announced. it wasn't done the way he would have done it. >> he didn't quite say all that. >> and as a result he will live with it. >> let's talk for a moment about syria, if i can. i want to play a chunk about what he said about syria being iran's only ally in the arab
world. >> syria is iran's only ally in the arab world, their route to the sea, the route for them to arm hezbollah in lebanon, which threatens our ally, israel. >> iran has almost 1500 miles of coastline. he said syria is the route to the sea, which only has like 119 miles of coastline. >> he's right on point, maybe not geography, but syria is iran's link to hezbollah. it's the flow of arms into iraq, into unsettled israel. in supporting their support of terrorism. he he's absolutely right on that. the reality is we'll get back to syria and talk about iran. this president hasn't led on dealing with syria. this president hasn't been effective on slow iing.
>> democratic pac, straight ahead. if you missed last night's debate you can watch it again today at noon eastern. we'll air it again here on cnn. john berman has a look at the other stories making news. >> meningitis outbreak getting worse. 23 people have died in 16 states and the total number of cases has risen to 297. the outbreak has been linked to steroid pain injections made by the new england xoupding center in massachusetts. reuters reports that health officials inspected that company years ago due to complaints about those injections. monster energy drinks may have contributed to the death of five people after 2009 after the company was hit with a lawsuit after a maryland teenager's death. top selling energy drink in the u.s. that come in 24 ounces, about seven times the caffeine
in a 12-ounce coke. estranged wife who was the target at the milwaukee area spa is being called a hero. one of zina haughton's clients said she approached her husband, and tried to shield a receptionist as she tried to attempt to defuse the situation. he shot and killed two, including his wife and then shot himself. a 9-0 shutout. next up, the detroit tigers. the world series begins tomorrow night in san francisco. soledad? >> whoo hoo, all right! john, thanks. still ahead on "starting point" it's der by country and one of the most battleground. we'll meet some of the voters
who could doid the election. apple lovers get ready, new details on what's expected to be a mini ipad announcement today. [ male announcer ] whether it's kevin's smartphone... ♪ ...mom's smartphone... dad's tablet... or lauren's smartphone... at&t has a plan built to help make families' lives easier. introducing at&t mobile share. one plan lets you share data on up to 10 devices with unlimited talk and text. add a tablet for only $10 per month. at&t.
[ heart rate increases ] man: a few inches of water caused all this? [ heart rate increases ] woman #2: but i don't even live near the water. what you don't know about flood insurance may shock you -- including the fact that a preferred risk policy starts as low as $129 a year. for an agent, call the number that appears on your screen. welcome back, everybody. voters in key mid western states ultimately will decide the outcome of the presidential election. miguel marquez has been traveling across that region, taking the pulse of the voters there. we catch up with him in davenport, iowa, the heart of roller derby country.
>> if it's davenport, it's got to be roller derby. scott county is one of the battlegrounds in this hearthand. in this one county alone there are enough votes to turn this state blue or red. rollers demonstrated their signature move. >> blocking in front of you. >> oh, my god. by the way -- yes, your booty did block me. >> they're really tough. >> reporter: these rough and tumble mid western women also voter. >> it's all about keeping the other side from moving forward? >> right. >> reporter: this is a little bit like politics, you realize? >> right. >> right behind you guys. >> reporter: waitress connie hart has worked in the restaurant. her derby name, diamond dust, his specialty, blocking. her biggest issue, the economy. >> it's been tight.
>> reporter: less money, higher gas? >> less money. people don't want to go out to eat as much as they used to. >> reporter: by day, carrie ducrane is a social worker. on some nights she's lady gotcha, jammer. that's the one that scores points. >> reporter: what's important to you? >> i want there to be jobs as well, continued job growth. >> reporter: decrane says she'll likely vote for a third party. republican say this is like 2004 when a few counties broke third way, giving bush a very narrow victory here. their advantage, low unemployment rate now just 5.2%, among the lowest in the country. this is a single machine. >> this is a single machine and it's only part of the machine. >> reporter: scott county in iowa rebounded with help from companies likey ies genesis gro. consistently its business is overseas. are you hiring? >> we've done some hiring this
year, up about ten people overall. and we're still about 10% lower than we were in 2007. >> reporter: scott county, an economic bright spot in the heartland whose voters can be tough to win over. >> oh, my goodness! oh, dear, i don't know if i'll ever survive this. politics are bruising, as i've discovered here in daven dls port and scott county. both candidates will be here tomorrow. obama will be here in davenport tomorrow during the day and then mr. romney will be in cedar rapids a few hours after that. this state, this county, this place highly contested. a few thousand votes could make a huge difference here. soledad? >> all right. miguel marquez, watching it for us and still standing after that roller derby match. we'll go back to miguel in jefferson county, california,
months. the company says it's been seeing sales falling worldwide and will cut about 2% of its workforce. apple is making a product announcement and rumors are that it will be the ipad mini, shrinking to 7.8" from 10 implg. the cost, we'll find out for sure in a few hours, soledad. >> i'm so excited about that. that would be great. >> i'm not excited about the market, though. >> well, let's not talk about that. let's go back and talk about the mini. christine, thank you so much. back to the candidates last night. the two of them threw out a lot of numbers. john berman has been doing some fact checking for us this morning, keeping everybody honest on this. what did you find out? >> there was a tense exchange over the issue of iraq. specifically troops in iraq. president obama claimed that mitt romney recently said that the u.s. should still have trops in iraq. >> you say you're not interested
in duplicating what happened in iraq, but just a few weeks ago, you said you think we should have more troops in iraq right now. >> so what are the facts here? in december 2011 romney said we should have left 10,000, 20,000, 30,000 personnel there to help transition to the iraqs own military capabilities. then a couple of weeks ago he said america's ability to influence events for the better in iraq has been undermined by the abrupt withdrawal of our entire troop presence. yes, romney suggested he would have kept some troops in iraq but listen to this important context. on iraq, mitt romney claimed that president obama was looking to keep troops there as well. which the president denied. >> you and i agreed, i believe, that there should have been a status of forces agreement. >> that's not true. >> you didn't want a status of forces agreement? >> nochlt what i would not have done is left 10,000 troops in iraq that would tie us there. that certainly would not help us
in the middle east. >> what are the facts here? leon panetta, the secretary of defense, was negotiating to keep 3,000 to 5,000 troops in iraq within a status of force agreement. this fell apart. what mitt romney says here is mostly true. president obama did seem willing to leave some u.s. troops in iraq under certain conditions. the deal just fell apart. soledad? >> all right. john, thank you for that fact check. appreciate it. still ahead on "starting point" we heard the republican take on the presidential debate. next, from priorities u.s.a. action, one of the largest super pacs that supports president obama, bill burton will be joining us to talk about that. listen to this. it's not a person playing a kazoo. that is actually an animal making that sound. we'll explain. we've got details straight ahead. in that time there've been some good days.
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good morning. welcome, everybody. our lead story this morning, president obama, mitt romney now in the homestretch of their campaigns, coming off their final face-to-face match-up, which was about foreign policy last night. here is a little bit of how it went. >> both at home and aabroad he has proposed wrong and reckless policies, praised george bush as a good economic stewart and dick cheney as somebody who shows great wisdom and judgment. >> i have a policy and agenda for the future. when it comes to our economy here the home i know what it takes to create 12 million new jobs and rising take-home pay. what we've seen over the last four years is something i don't want to see over the next four yea years. >> now senior strategist with the priorities u.s.a. action super pac, bill burton, nice to
have you with us. >> thank you, soledad. >> tell me how you think the debate went last night. >> the president showed command and leadership. debate about foreign policy is about strength. i don't think anybody walked away from that debate thinking that mitt romney came out looking stronger. >> i think there are some people on the gop side that completely disagree. when i look at the polls, they believe that president obama was aggressive, came out on the attack. >> when you look at all the polls that kim out after the debate they consistently said that the president won the debate. you're talking about national security issues, the american people are looking for the stronger leader, the person who has a plan and can forcefully back up that plan with a real command of facts and the president did that in a very effective way. >> they may say who won whechlt it comes to the more important question, who you're going to vote for. that was split between president
obama and governor romney. and then the bigger number is people who were not convinced last night. >> the country is split right now. i don't think anybody was going to walk away with a huge advantage on the number of who are you going to vote for. when he was on stage, i think he showed real leadership on national security. but also the surprise was that on some domestic issues like the deficit and education, the president was able to score some real points, too. >> the republicans are claiming that they are very happy this morning because what their ultimate goal was, was for mitt romney to be acceptable as somebody as commander in chief. if you look at our insta poll, it shows that people perceive him and the president very similarly when it comes to being commander in chief. that's not bad. >> and part of his strategy in being more concillatory and not the attack -- >> 100%. >> very reasonable. >> they didn't look that happy to me last night. i think acceptable is not what
you're looking for when you're pick i picking who the commander in chief zbth be. he had a load he was defending and the president played like he was two points behind and that tenaciousness is something to help show that the president was really fighting for his job but also on national security issues. >> he wasn't just tenacious, but snarky and sarcastic at times. the first debate he held back because he was worried about not looking presidential and then he did a complete 180. >> i think he was tough. some of the thing he said were probably unpleasant for mitt romney to listen to because it was very tough on him individually, but i think he got his points across in a way that stuck, that people will remember. when you took down what mitt romney had to say about the boats in the navy, the ships in the navy, that's something people will remember and it makes mitt romney look foolish that, you know, he thinks you measure the strength of your navy by lining up all the ships
in the harbor and counting them. >> so, you know, one of the things i notice from our dial testing last night, any time either candidate got negative immediately, you could see, especially women, dial way down. when they would do tests on ads, they hate the ads. especially in flchlt really, really hate the ads. you're the guy in charge of the ads. are you worried about the impact of those ads that at some point actually works against you? >> you know, i was watching -- >> visceral reaction. >> i was watching the ads in my hotel room. it is really astounding if you live in a swing state how many ads are inundated with. >> raised money for those ads. >> to battle the republican money that's out there. we've shown focus groups and talked to voters about what they're paying attention to and what they see in the ads and what they remember. this ad we have up now called stage, it's one of the most memorable ads. it's not over the top negative. it's just one guy telling a
story when mitt romney came to bane and all of him and his friends got fired. >> let's play a little bit of what the president said. >> thank you very much, bob, governor romney, and to lynn university. you now have heard three debates, months of campaigning and way too many tv commercials. and now you've got a choice. >> and our focus group people laughed and they're laughing because they know it to be true. what is the strategy from here out? flood the airwaves, more ads? a different tone to appeal to women? hit the ground, go door-to-door? what's the strategy? >> as you get to these foinl days, the ads you see are closing argument ads. the one from the president and his campaign today is a closing argument. he would like to have your vote. and for us, it's just making sure that people remember that. mitt romney says it's his business experience that would make him a better president of the united states than president obama. it's a reminder of, well, let's
look at this experience and see what it meant for middle class families across this country already. >> two weeks to go. are you anxious? >> it's a very close election, but i would rather be in our shoes than theirs. >> is that an i'm anxious but less anxious than they are? >> i think that's right. >> john perfectman has the headlines. >> thank you, soledad. drum major robert champion, one of the students sentenced will not face jail time. the first of dozen of defendants charged with champion's death on a bus outside an orlando hotel after a football game. >> tears in court as the harassment child endangerment trial of douglas kennedy begins. maternity ward nurse broke down testify i testifying kennedy, the son of late senator robert f. din,
twisted her arm and kicked another nurse as he tried to take his newborn son outside. the assistant d.a. said the nurses were simply following protocol during the january incident. the defense called the nurse aabrasive and confrontational. tropical storm sandy is becoming a hurricane by tomorrow. right now the system is packing 45-mile-an-hour winds and sits less than 400 miles west-southwest of jamaica. rain across jamaica, haiti, dominican republic and could you bea. it could threaten the east coast some time next week forecasters say. a disturbing story in northern california. piedmont high school has informed parents they've uncovered something called a fantasy league for sex among students. female students were drafted into having sex with male students who then earned poins.s the principal said this apparently has been going on for five or six years. one mother says she is pleased this has come to light. >> really glad there's a strong administration who is willing to
take on these kinds of issues. as a mother of four girls, i couldn't be happier. >> reporter: this activity was discovered during a recent school assembly about date rape. to a happier story now, known as the canaries of the sea for third high-pitched chirps. now a white beluga whale showed the ability to mimic human speech. ♪ >> that sounds lo s like a lot people i know. the whale died five years ago. only now are its remarkable vocal feats being studied. that was koind of awesome. sounds like a cartoon you watch on tv. soledad? >> that is so awesome. it's crazy. cute, too. >> and he has the looks to go along with it. >> john, thank you.
is china trouble for the united states? candidates were talking tough about the emerging sourp power. who's right? who's wrong? christine romans will join us to break it all down. ouncer ] dayquil doesn't treat that. huh? [ male announcer ] alka-seltzer plus rushes relief to all your worst cold symptoms, plus it relieves your runny nose. [ sighs ] thank you! [ male announcer ] you're welcome. that's the cold truth!
good morning. welcome back, everybody. you're watching "starting poi " point." we're fact checking the final presidential debate this morning. christine romans has been looking at the president's claims about u.s. trade with china. christine? >> we can't talk about american jobs without talking about china. both americans talking tough about the world's second largest economy in the debate. and the president claims his policies are working.