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tv   [untitled]    May 8, 2012 3:30am-4:00am EDT

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daniels, you descide if these people have reasonable policies and doing better for their constituents in the case of the governors than the equivalents in the democratic party. >> please, barney. >>le well, first to be accused by bill, speaking on behalf of the republicans, of insufficient commitment to rational immigration policy is like being called silly by the three stooges. and i mean that with no disrespect. because -- no, to the three stooges. shemp howard born horowitz was married to my cousin, babe frank. >> now that's impressive. >> we never met. >> but the point is -- yes, we have taught immigration and it has been the republicans demagoguing it including mitt romney who has moved far to the right on this. but as to the broader issues, no, i think, again there was
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extremism, not the republicans. if you look at the house of representatives, if you look at wait they vote on issues they have gone far to the right. and -- the -- the key issue i would have is this. one of the definitionize have, with some of my republican friends, we differ with some conservatives, democrats, as to how much we should continue to maintain an active policy of america having this worldwide role et cetera. here is the problem. i am -- disappointed when people continue the great mistake that president bush made in 2001 and 2002. believe me it was important to be aggressive in the world and go into war in two places and maintain military forces else s where and cut taxes at the same time. it is an entirely legitimate debate about being more involved militarily. to do that and cut taxes at the same time is irresponsible. it means this. we have a difference about military spending. the republicans have been critical. let me quote "the wall street journal." i will end with this.
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"the wall street journal" praised paul ryan because he was maintaining the military and resisting military spending and instead cutting medicare and medicaid. that's not me. "the wall street journal" thanking him. that's the kind of debate i want to have. i believe we are overspending on the military. time for western europeans to do a little on their own. the tradeoff. when you talk more of an aggressive military posture and oppose tax increases on anybody. you are forcing as "the wall street journal" acknowledges cheering him on. cuts in the quality of life programs, medicare/medicaid. >> bill, do you want to respond to that? >> yeah, ryan's budget does not cut medicare or medicaid it reduces the rate of growth, unsustainable growth. the current deficit, each deficit of the each four years of the obama administration, $1.2 or 1.3 trillion. the military budget all in with both wars, i supported them both. and proud to support president
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obama's surge in afghanistan. barney is for something like 25%, 30% cut in the defense budget. i think that would be dangerous. getting out of afghanistan, i think what beould be dangerous. total military, all in, all wars, cia, $600 billion, $700 billion. that's high. it is coming down. it is coming down. half the deficit. you can't solve the debt problem by cutting the military. it xiz fris risky in the world. i have strong foreign aid budget. strong refoufrm of the state department. i think if we don't lead in the world it will be a much more dangerous world. it is a legitimate debate. nothing hypocritical or wrong about paul ryan saying we need to sustain military spending at low percentage of gdp, 4, 4.5%. we need to reform medicare/medicaid. and, otherwise we giwill go off cliff. >> the military budget $700
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billion. if you throw in other things. bigger than the medicare budget. you can't solve it from the military. i don't think you can solve it by exempting the military. again, when i say the ryan budget, increases military spending over what president obama has proposed, over what congress temporarily agreed to last year and takes, makes up in medicare, medicaid. i am quoting "the wall street journal." from a month ago. an editorial there. yes, bill says they're not cutting medicare and medicaid they're cutting the rate of growth. that's right. if you say given there are going to be more old people and medicaid eligible people, and cost of medical care may go up we will give them the same amount of money as we are giving them today not a technical cut if you want to define it that way it is a real cut. that is a very big difference between the parties. it is a republican insistence that military spending allotment. yes, wars cost money.
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we'll bring you some of that back. and we continue to have the full set of thermonuclear weapons to defeat the soviet union in a war, continue to be defending western europe against i am not sure what, maybe another moorish invasion. not coming militarily this time, coming socially. the fact is that the average european nation, western european allies, spend less than half a percent of gdp on the military. i think the time has come. i want us to be the strongest nation in the world by far. but we have an excess. we are doing other people's business. again "the wall street journal," protect the military from further cuts and make up, medica medicare, medicaid. their description of the ryan budget, which ryan accepts. >> we are spending almost nothing on defending europe. we have 75,000 troops down from 300,000 in the cold war mostly paid for by host countries. europe is costing us nothing. nuclears are costing us very little. those are not the drivers. you have to decide do you want
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the ability to deal with iran. want ability to use troops if we have to use them whether in the balkans or middle east, or afghanistan. if you think that's necessary. i think you end up with, the current military budget. >> i don't want to use troops in the balkans. you haven't listened to the western europeans. nato was a great move by harry truman and republican senators, bipartisan. we continue, nato is a mechanism for keeping europeans military budgets low. we have a major presence in europe. and the planning is still there. in terms of the balkans, yeah, let the europeans take the lead there. we have wealthy nations in europe, with a large population, that, leave it all to the united states. and it is true. no one thing costs a lot of money. well, let me go back on, the weapons. as the price of the, ratification in the senate, of the nuclear weapons treaty last year, the republicans, to keep it from getting the 2/3 vote or give it the 2/3 vote insisted on
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spending tens of billions more over the years on enhancing the nuclear arsenal in ways the military doesn't think is necessary. tens of billions. >> there are cards on your chairs. fill out the cards. they'll be collected. we'll start feeding them into the debate. back to israel. the survey shows the obama administration's middle east policy has gained ground among jewish voters. with 58% approving. and 40% disapproving the president's handling of u.s. israel relations. while just last fall the results were that 40% approving. 53% das proisapproving. is this a referendum on the president's approach to israel. bill. >> improving, yeah. now, 58-40. which is bad. we have seen compared to general
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approval from jews. there is a reason. his first year he picked more fights with israel. voters rationally, or citizens, disapproved a little more of his policy since he has been sort of mugged by reality and decided he is not going to pressure the government and not building an apartment building in jerusalem. not going to negotiate with the palestinian state. while hamas controls gaza. and the various other, sort of, attempts to pressure -- rise yal. lo -- israel. why was that introduced at the u.n.? they would not think of introducing that, the p.a., under bush or clinton. they knew it was a nonstarter. because of president obama's elevation of the palestinian issue and criticism of the, israeli government and seeming to side with the europeans that made the palestinians think they might get some where in the u.n. the obama administration, did a good job then of pivoting and sort of, solving, partly solving the problems they had partly created but they don't deserve
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that much credit for that. a little belter than they were two years ago. that's nice. important for israel. some on the outside will continue to pressure them to do the right thing both for the u.s. and in terms of the u.s./israel relationship. >> barney. >> first isn't a referendum on israeli policy, 22%, it's, particularly that. i would say that the problem the president started with was to some extent was his own making. the speech. a badly worded, badly drafted speech. to their credit they kind of understood that and pulled back. the rhetoric is important. but the public policy is also important. what you have is increasing recognition that there has not been a single policy action that has been less than fully supportive of israel. i disagree with bill's notion that it was because -- president obama elevated the notion of a palestinian state that they decided to file the resolution. the palestinian state has been a strong aspect of every
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president, for as long as i can remember, not, not going back to -- the first president bush and then bill clinton and then the second president bush. that just is an hiss s torele ctorele -- that just is historical. i understand the president caused himself some of the problems by a badly worded speech. i do believe however, that and i think this is a case where you don't always just say to your friend, wonderful. good for you. some times the best act of friendship is say i think you may be making a mistake that harms your interest. i believe the settlement policy into which netanyahu has been pushed by the nature of israeli politics harder to be a democracy than arab dictatorship, i understand that. has negative aspects for israel. in terms of world opinion. i believe it is important to advise in that. i would repeat, i think bill is denigrating a great diplomatic accomplishment.
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we rnurge people, look act the media reports months before the vote. the assumption is they will win. i believe it was the enhanced credibility of the administration they can stop it. what you see effects of a badly worded speech are wearing off. >> let me turn to another foreign policy issue. which is iran. no bigger priority for ajc preventing iran from obtaining nuclear weapons availability, how do you judge the president's record on this matter and how would a republican approach differ? let me start with you, bill. >> last word is always better. >> you are being so nice. >> a question of friends. i think there has been a great deal of continuity here. with regard to -- the iranian and north korean situations. it is very frustrating. and you know, one of the things
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that we, one of great frustrations to me is that -- we tend to be self-critical in america, we should be, and the unwillingness of russia and china to be more supportive of efforts to block nuclear weapons. i don't fully understand it. if i was russia living next door to iran the notion of some of these craze xwrem havipeople ha nuclear weapons would make me more nervous. that is a frustration. and constraint on our approximately see that we have to deal with. given that, i believe that what we have been doing is, is, the best that can be done. i will tell you when the israeli, when the obama administration took over. i was approached by, officials of the israeli administration, government. asking that i intervene to make sure that stewart levee was continued to beep the head of the sanctions, division at treasury, the bush apin thee. he did a great job. i did that. he was kept on. i believe we are doing, as much as can be done. keeping the military threat --
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on the table. and i, i, cannot, again i would stress if you look at the bush administration policy, and the, the obama administration policy, i think they are very similar because they're dictated by the realities. >> i agree the best aspects of the obama policy towards iran are those where he continued the bush administration policy. that is true in general. his best policies are when he has given up on his campaign promises and followed bush policy. and, keeping stewart was part of that. but look, i think obama has changed a lot on iran. look at the cairo speech, summer 2009, and general attitude towards the mideast and muslim world what he said about iran there. look what he did or didn't do disastrously in june, with the revolution, erupted, took to the streets in iran with no support from us. look at his speech a couple month as go where he said basically what some have been saying a long time. you cannot contain, cannot reliably contain or deter this
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regime with nuclear weapons, this ii iranian regime, they have to be prevented. the u.s. policy prevention, not deterring or containment. then it becomes a question whether sanctions will prevent, afraid they won't, they're weakening iran in certain ways, diplomacy i don't think will prevent. it may be necessary to use force. i think the administration should spend more time thinking that through and preparing for that and less time sort of creating obstacles to israel if they feel they have to do that. obama moved on iran. hope he finishes the job, preventing iran for the foreseeable future from getting nuclear weapons. what is striking, his initial instincts when he came in, his true view of the world embodied in the cairo speech and failure to support the froesoprotestorse streets of tehran summer '09. >> there is nothing to suggest, bill throw as way, i wish the
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administration would spend more time thinking about the military effects of iran. that's unfair to the people of the pentagon. they're dealing with that. you are suggesting they're doing anything less than their duty. i don't think you meant that. >> the people at the pentagon are think ak bout ing about it. >> two simple things. you are evading one. there is some question of restraint about israel. coming by major israeli military figures as well. a thriving debate in israel. the suggestion, you said more time planning the military, looking at the military possibilities less on israel. i think the first is simply inaccurate. secondly, in terms of, the change, i think people overinterpreted some of the language. the policies have always been consistent. i guess that is a kind of grudging acceptance of the fact that the current policies are okay or at least acceptable. you have to criticize the fact that they weren't always his policies. again i would have to go back to a kind of, you know -- for the
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advocate of mitt romney to be attacking anybody for changing positions or impugning them is i think a reach. >> let me pick up a question that, we have received from a member of the audience. to, starting with bill. bill, please talk about your support for the emergency committee for israel. which has placed advertisements in newspapers. and, why you think it's -- how you relate to its importance to turn, in some sense, israel into a partisan political issue. what do you hop to gain? this is a question from the audience? >> the emergency commission on israel. a small organization, i am chairman of. we formed in early, late 2009, late 2010 when it did seem really the obama administration and parts of both political parties, but especially, unfortunately, the democratic party in the united states were not strong supporters of traditional u.s./israel
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relationship. we put ads in newspapers. did some appropriate, you know, legal interventions and political campaigns. we strongly criticized some democrats in the house and the senate and some republicans. incidentally who, were, many fewer republicans in this camp honestly who had gone, j street, peter barnard, all diplomacy. they spend more time criticizing netanyahu government, or much less time, seemingly, criticizing the netanyahu government as criticizing let's say abbas and the palestinian authority. for the impasse, and the peace process, and they spend a lot of time trying to prevent actually, military option on the table with respect to iran. so i make, i am please that the we have had a little bit of impact with the emergency committee on israel. i think we may intervene in one or two, democratic races an interesting one in new jersey, between rothman/pascrel, a strong pro israel democrat and a j street democrat.
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you will see it on behalf of a good democrat. we aren't partisan. it happens. it is a fact. buchanan paul wing has been marginalized. a lot of us have fought hard. barney and others have fought hard to marginalize the anti-israel wing of the democratic party. it is just bigger, impyricly, a fact. and it is more of a problem there for, for the left. and i hope liberals, you know, marginalize those elements of their own party as we have tried to do in our party. >> barney. >> the fact is that you are talking about -- minuscule is bigger than microscopic. the fact is that the democratic party has been overwhelmingly and consistently supportive of a policy that respects israel's right to a independent democratic jewish state. you are talking about in the house of representatives 10, 20, maybe, 25 votes, very small minorities, a couple of
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republicans, more democrats, but this notion that -- the republicans have, have marginalized ron paul and buchanan but the democratic, anti-israel wing, critical of israel to the point. here is the difference. i would differentiate it this s way. and the point is that do people take their -- historically, conservatives have been critical of the israeli government thinking they went too far. and translate that into tractions that deny the needs in foreign policy. foreign aid, et cetera. the answer is that neither party's wing that is, excessively critical of israel and unwilling to support measures for israel had any impact on the policy process what ever. when people take credit for the fact that obama has become more pro israel. i think we are talking about an elephant stick. an elephant stick is a guy walking around -- central park with a big stick, and people say what is that for? he said that is to keep away the elephants. they say there are no elephants here. he said, yes, because my stick
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worked. i don't think obama needed that. even during the time when people are interpreting the speeches that way. i from the beginning of this administration, orr administration, on foreign aid and everything else, i have seen no action from the obama administration anything less than fully supportive of israel's need. >> let me ask another foreign policy question. across the wider region of the middle east. over the last 16 muchonths we h seen the collapse raof regimes d we watch the horror that is syria. has the the obama administration been fast s enough and wise enough in its response to the arab upheaval. what would a republican administration do differently. want to mix it up. you want to start, barney? >> let me say, there was a tendency for us as a country to say everything that doesn't go right is our fault, our responsibility. we have to deal with. but the arab spring has been a serious set of issues for us.
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the notion that democracy is a good thing is something i believe in morally. but it isn't always created -- clear the consequences are going to be of the right sort. what's happening now in egypt is troubling, with people talking about cutting off the contractor. one of the best things that happened in the middle east, the camp david agreement and willingness of both sides to live up to to the extent that is called into question, that is deeply problematic. i think the administration has been dealing with it fairly reasonably unclueding by the way, let's be clear, people pointed out, neither this administration nor i believe any republican administration has shown any great eager ngs to urge the rulers of bahrain or the rulers of saudi arabia to join the push to democracy. once again, reality constrains. the problem here is not party differences who would do what. how do we reconcile our deep belief in democracy and support for human rights with concerns about the -- the negative
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aspects of what happens. look, as a matter of democratic principle with a very good thing that the palestinian authority had elect,s. and that hamas won them. and that was not such a good thing. and that is a dilemma. i have not yet fully worked out. as to what to do -- when elections are going to bring about -- negative consequences. so i think it does call not for a, just, oh, let's be for it. but to give serious thought to what is involved. >> could the u.s. have steered the outcome of what is happening in egypt in a different direction with different policies early on in the revolution? >> that's hard to say. and hard to say in retrospect. let alone at the time. i was a little forward leaning policy there. but i agree with barney on this one. this is a tough foreign policy choice. you find splits in both parties and among different groups, most of the foreign policy communities in how, just as a practical matter on how to handle this, how much influence we have. i am part of the anti-saudi arabia wing of the republican
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party. i will totally agree that is a very minority view in both parties. there seems to be something about the saudis that causes people when they get into power to really decide it's a wonderful place and we have to be extremely nice s to them. if we had more energy development at home we would have to be less nice s to them. >> it's cultural lag from lawrence off rain yeah. a -- lawrence of arabia. >> those looking at the arab spring. we don't have much choice. i think the administration fell back. once things started to happen in egypt. this was not partisan. a failure of government bureaucracy almost. they could have done more. i think on the ground. in terms of economic developm t development. efforts in congress, bipartisan to do a little more to get serious economic devil ofmeelod.
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one of the things ironically that i sort of would criticize the obama administration for, and this isn't at all, really isn't partisan, just a government management thing. they talk a lot about soft power, smart power, as owe pezzed to bush who just used hard power. they actually have not reformed the u.s. government as much as they should have. aid is not a well run, i think most people. not well run agency, development agency its money doesn't go to grassroots. public diplomacy hasn't been improved as much as secretary clinton hoped beginning of her term. should bowe a bipartisan effort. to adapt to the realities we live in. i have written things, signed bipartisan letters urging the obama administration to be more forward leaning in syria where it is a complicated situation that is a government that is an ally of iran that is, both a terrible government, in terms of human rights and democracy and
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strategic enemy of ours, and i think we should do more to stop the slaughter there and to try to affectuate, the toppling of the assad government, the administration is for, haven't done much to make it happen. i would do, like what we did in libya, no fly, no drive zone. for starters. senator mccain, and lieberman have called for. >> i understand that. again the criticism i would make of people that advocate that. there are people who think we are not doing enough militarily in syria. then at some point if you are going to expand the military reach, please raise taxes to pay for it. don't make everything come out of -- there is a serious problem with those who are -- advocates, i don't mean bill here, congressional colleagues who are all for doing more militarily, but, but, forget about them. the other thing i would say is this. as far as getting aid into egypt, development aid, we wanted good old-fashioned walking around money. kind of hard for a government to
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do that. but the point, i guess, want to say is this. totally nonpartisan. not everything that goes wrong is the fault of the incumbent american administration in the world. we have been guilty of it ourselves. we have taken on the responsibility. well you, read it in the newspapers. gee there was this massacre. where was the american government? well the american government was in washington trying hard to think about what to do. but we should not -- get ourselves put in the position where it is this expectation that american, every problem, everywhere in the word, and then that, that idea becomes an unfair metric for any administration and i have seen it used unfairly against both. >> okay. we have a question, question from the audience. about a. b about, about iran. if sanctions against iran duo nt work, how long should we wait before pursuing a military option. do you see differences in the time line, time tables that a
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second obama administration or romney administration would apply? bill? >> you know it's, this is one of those things you can't really predict how an administration will behave. certainly a new administration they often do things that, people don't expect them to do. both, more hawkish or dovish in different cases. governor romney has spoke any bout the unacceptability of iran nuclear weapon. president obama has moved to that view. they don't sound that different from each other. a lot depends then on whun's judwhun's -- one's judgment, what is acceptable, iran getting close s to break out scape bicapability. it would be better for the u.s. military force. if this is our responsibility. barney can be right. we can't do everything everywhere in the world. shouldn't blame the administration for everything that goes wrong. bush or obama administrations for everything that goes wrong on their watch. but there are certain basic
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things we need to do around the world. one is to try to maintain, keep some sort of lid on nuclear proliferation and worst s regimes, terror sponsor regimes, getting their hands on nuclear weapons. i believe iran getting nuclear weapons would be a games changer, nuclear arms race, and cuban missile crisis situation, ability to put an umbrella over terror sponsorship, much harder to deter them. i think that is a huge issue. and you know, trust the romney add straugs to ha administration to handle it. if the obama administration is re-elected. i hope he does the right thing. i hope he will do the right thing in an election campaign itch if it comes to that. >> as far as unjustified partisan thing at the end. there has been no real difference between the two administrations. the president said very clearly we rule out containment. that means, you take military action because that's the, the
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other -- the other, the other -- option. as to when, and i think here there is no difference between administrations. you are now talking about -- probably the most serious military undertaking since vietnam. i think that, in fact, taking on the iranians if they have nuclears is more of a deal than going into iraq. and in terms of iran's capabilities else s where. so what you are going to have off to then do is some very careful planning in conjunction with all of our middle eastern nations with which we are aligned. the israelis. the saudis. others. will have to worry about that iraqi government we helped install. which is iran's only other good friend in the middle east. and we need to, do serious planning. this is one that either president would say to the pentagon, okay. we're at point where we have to act. we're told, intelligence people tell them that. becaus


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