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tv   2012 Presidential Race  CSPAN  June 3, 2012 3:55pm-6:00pm EDT

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that this gentleman had anything to do the. >> if you allow me to finish here, according to the paper, "during the bank's final hours in december 2008, they tried desperately to strike a deal with barkleys, but the offensive would not allow the british bank an exemption from seeking time- consuming shareholder approval. the chancellor declined to intervene and appealed to the u.s. treasury secretary henry paulson to contact the prime minister. according to the report, he asked paulson to call prime minister gordon brown but paulson said he could not do that. so paulson was asked to call president bush to call brown. but in a brainstorming session, it was suggested that jeb bush lean on downing street. did he make such a suggestion? >> first of all, he was not my boss. consultant to lehman
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brothers. i was not asked to do anything. >> you were very terse about my questioning. >> it is important to understand the financial connections. >> coming up, i comparison of the domestic policies of former gov. mitt romney and president obama. then analysis of their approach to foreign policy. later, a look at the present polling in the 2012 election. now discussion about the 2012 presidential candidates and their domestic policies. we will hear about former governor romney and president obama's differing approaches to the economy.
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this is about 40 minutes. [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2012] >> thank you very much for joining us this morning. we appreciate you being here live. we also appreciate you joining us live through nationaljournal .com. it is my pleasure to welcome you here this morning. i think we will have a wonderful event. we hope we can take a very long hard look at how the two presidential nominees sharply diverge on key policy issues, such as the economy, workplace policy, foreign policy, and more. it appears that president obama and governor romney will provide the american public with a constructive contrast since
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1984, if not 1964. each week, we will take a look at these flashes of idea in policy and an in depth look in each candidate's vision for america and a broad range of public policy issues that are destined to help shape and define this election cycle. we also have live events like this one looking at each candidate's position, how they have the ball, shifted and changed at of the republican national convention and the democratic convention in august and september, respectively. we invite you to join a secure in each city. we are able to gather this morning due to the generous underwriting support of the human resources -- the society of human resource management. the leadership stall the value in it. thank you to bob carr, mike taken, and the entire team at shrm for partnering with us on
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this. beginning with bob carr, he formally served there as the chief human resources and strategic planning officer and former executive director the national bar association. welcome, bob. [applause] >> good morning. as most of you know, washington is a city of many intersections. both literally and figuratively. we have learned that chemo that victoria, we would not be able to navigate many -- that, without victoria, we would not be will to navigate many of these intersections. so please give her a round of applause. [applause] largestthe world's organization of human-resources professionals. we are pleased to have the opportunity to be part of
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today's program. we partner with the national journal before. this is a great opportunity to partner again, especially on this series of public policy talent -- public policy panel discussion. today's program is the first in a series of important discussions entitled "compare the candidates." this will no doubt be another nail biter. if the polls are correct, the electorate remains divided on how to address the many challenges facing our country. most agree the economy is the most important issue to the american people and it will decide the outcome of this year's election. jobs, health care, retirement,
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and skills gap are just a few of the issues that we are grappling these are the key challenges of most of our members based on a day-to-day basis. the most immediate concerns is a skills gap. "the washington post" did a story reflecting fewer people between 25-54 are not working. we believe it has to do with the skills gap. they're saying they're really having difficulty recruiting the kinds of people with the right skills, right talent they need in order to remain competitive. in doing that a the country, in
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dealing with the skills gap issue, we believe that as a critical part of the economic situation of this country. we hope you enjoy today's discussion. we look forward to seeing many of you in the upcoming national conference. thank you very much. >> thank you. and does want to give the some information about how this will go this morning. we will have three panels and i welcome you to stay for all of them. think about what you would like to mask. we will have staff going through the audience with a microphone.
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for those of you that may still have them on, let's yourself loans. we want to have uninterrupted conversations. moderating airburst discussion is the economic correspondent, jim. he is an award winning journalist and has covered related issues for "the chicago tribune" and "the l.a. times." the second panel will be led by adam, the deputy editor of national journal," and a former senior editor of "newsweek." our final panel will be moderated by ron brownstein, our editorial director and a two- time finalist for the pulitzer for his coverage of presidential campaigns. he writes rally early -- he
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writes regularly for "national journal." things for all of them to help lead the discussion. now it's over to you coming jim. >> thanks, everyone, for joining us. bob bixby, rob schapiro, doug holtz-eakin, its former advisor to john mccain and others. thank you all for coming. let's dive right in with the most important question on everyone's minds -- jobs. let's start with you, doug. governor romney brent this election, what we realistically -- if gov. romney wins this election, what can we realistically expect? >> fundamental tax reforms come
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emigration reforms, education reform. he has placed a tax reform at the top of his agenda and has taken stances on that as well. it is not a question of understanding policy needs but can get the job done in washington? his history of being a governor and having to work with a legislature will be an asset. >> what is the underlying economic theory he's bringing in terms of how to create jobs? >> a reliance on private sector incentives. one striking fact is that we have not seen any global income in this so-called recovery.
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>> so much has been about economic fairness and a high unemployment rate. how will his policies be different to try to bring that rate down faster? >> there is a real contrast. the proposals or the areas of reform without going into the details of the actual reform that doug mentions are all good for the economy. they are all pretty distant from actual job creation, that doug suggested. the president believes we can target job creation much more specifically. he has done that with reductions in the payroll tax and the sound economic theory that if you want business to create more jobs in a time of slow job creation, which we've been in for a
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decade, not just the expansion, job creation in the 2002-2007 expansion but it was the slowest of an expansion of to the post- war era. this goes to the employer side, payroll taxes, and to particular incentives that the president has tax credits proposed for small businesses that make incremental increases in jobs ultimately for strong growth, strong demand, but in a time in which there appear to be structural issues slowing job
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creation. >> i want to talk about the domenici-rivlin commission review talked about the long term issue of deficits that are mounting in the national debt as it's getting bigger and bigger every day. there was the short-term problem of needing more growth. you proposed a stimulate now with a big deficit reduction later plan. do you think either candidate has embraced that kind of vision? >> i think that is the real transition that needs to take place here. we have two problems. we have a short-term cyclical deficit, which is quite substantial in this slow recovery and a longer term issue
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that existed before this. you have to be able to walk and chew gum at the same time and it's a very difficult thing to do politically. it's good to do things that are targeted that could increase the deficit but they will help to get you over the hump along as you have a credible back up plan. if you ever choose between the two 41 it instead of the other, it is unsustainable. whereas the economy will probably take care of itself at some point.
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i think it is really important for the president to focus on tactical issues. you cannot stimulate your way out of that. you cannot grow your way out of it. a really think there should be more done on the issue. it was not just a payroll tax cut but a payroll holiday for a full year. maybe that is not the right approach. we wanted to emphasize that you could and should be accommodating in the short term so long as you were having a longer-term sustainability plan. >> i think this is a big point
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of contrast. this targeted approach is not one that governor romney supports. we have been growing since 2009 in june and it is just going through slowly so that these are not the ones that will be treated by the same type of policy tools to look at permanent reforms for structural problems that will help in the near term. >> there was a miserable job creation record of the last administration and if we look at the 2001 recession to the current period and compare it to after the 2001 recession, we created 4.2 million private sector jobs and in the
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comparable time, 45,000 jobs were created in 2002-2004. >> let's keep focused on the election. >> this suggests that there are new structural issues and it is not just the overall efficiency of the economy and that the economy's capacity to create jobs in response to growth has changed. job creation relative to growth fell by half compared to the 1980's and 99 the's. that is not because the policy mistakes but just because of how we have all that. is it enough to increase the efficiency of the corporate tax
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code or to reduce regulations in various areas? or do we have to try to figure out why that is happening and address that directly? the president has said it is a separate problem from the overall efficiency of the economy which is why we need targeted measures. that is why we need it -- and i know this is an area that doug has been involved in, but we need measures to slow the rate of increase in health-care costs because they are inhibiting job creation by businesses does well and was a major focus of the affordable care act. >> let's talk about health care. thanks for providing that transition. we clearly have two different visions on health care. governor romney has promised to start repealing the affordable health care right from day one
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in the president obviously wants to keep it in place dependent on what the supreme court does year. let's talk about the supreme court. how will this change depending on what happens? >> it's pretty simple. you'll see the president stopped talking about this seemingly unpopular first part of his first term and you will see rummy arguing for a better approach. if they overturn the individual mandate or the old saying, you will see him running on the need for better supreme court justices and you will see governor romney in the position of having to advocate for an alternative to the health care act. >> i want to ask bob about that. hello important is it that we hear from the candidates about
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how they would constrain health care costs with or without the affordable health care costs in terms of long-term deficit? >> the new look at spending, you have the big health care programs, particularly medicare and medicaid as the long term cost driver. social security has a moderate increase over the next 20 years or so. is deductible for the candidates to respond until they know what the supreme court has to say. there should be ready to go with different alternatives behind- the-scenes. there are different visions.
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part of the solution should be competition. the private-sector competition is favored with growth -- with both approaches, but the independent health-care board can make recommendations. with more involvement in cost control that way, more direct than in direct, that is a very fundamental debate to have. slowing caused growth, however you do it, and we have not done it yet. even if a cost-control mechanism of the affordable health care act worked, we're still on an unsustainable path. it is really important that both candidates talk about their
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preferred way of controlling health-care costs. >> i want to talk about the deficit in general. right now, borrowing costs are extraordinarily low because we are not facing the same crisis that europe is. there is a concern that could shift if we do not get more credible deficit reduction. at what point does the president have to put forward a more detailed plan for deficit reduction in his second term? >> i think the president has been pretty detailed about his plan. $1 trillion is already being enacted by discretionary cuts and he has laid out $800 billion in the medicare reductions over 10 years. $500 billion went to aca. he has laid out $1.50 trillion in revenue increases and he has
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laid out defense cuts which are really the savings from resolving the wars in iraq and afghanistan as the promised in 2008. he has a $4 trillion program and we can argue about whether or not that is enough. i think there will be a very clear debate on this. and so i think that creates a context for a debate over the deficit. i think the president's detail is there in much greater than what we have seen from other candidates. i would certainly welcome a
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debate which forced both candidates to go beyond their current positions of with even more detail. >> i did not hear nearly enough details in west virginia. robert raises an important question. romney is running on the proposal that we need to control the deficit but he is proposing huge tax cuts. can these be reconciled? >> no one confuse that with a massively irresponsible fiscal policy. the president ignored it entirely. that characterization misses the taxes. this could still do deficit reduction which is just what this would need have. it is imperative to move quickly.
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we already have debt to gdp ratios over 100% historically. we are already paying the price of the enormous debt run up and that is one of the main jobs. if you want to get jobs and get the economy doing, you need to deal with that quickly. we have all the characteristics of a company that gets in trouble, a heavy reliance on short-term borrowing in the student portfolio will be next. we have found out the fha is bankrupt. he is committed on structural reforms. >> of alaska the same question. when will we need to see the details on the tax loopholes? everyone is for tax reform until you get down to the hard part. when do we see them? when do we need to? >> as they progress, you will
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get more detail. putting out the tale early gets lost. people really do not focus until june, july, august. then we should see both candidates laying out what they're going to do in the next term. we have no idea what the president wants for the second term. the governor has talked about medicare reform, tax reform, laying out a proposal the other day talking about international trade in the president has been silent. >> i expected this to do generate. -- to degenerate. gov. romney's position is nothing like simpson bowles.
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the governor has specified no new revenue increases and has specified $5 trillion in additional revenue losses and is saying, trust me, i will come up with reforms that address the tax preferences than high-income people have. there simply are not enough tax increases to begin to pay for that in the governor's position is contrary to that of his two most senior economic advisers, both of whom have said the only way that we can finally resolve the deficit issue is by including substantial new revenue -- not new tax cuts. >> a shock of shocks that a president does not list his of visors.
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>> from personal experience. >> none. >> what we saw from your commission and other independent groups to of tried to solve the deficit problem is a mix of tax increases and spending cuts. will the next president have to adopt something like that to solve the problem? >> that would be the wisest course, i think, politically. the problem as you look at since and-bolts and domenici-rivlin, -- simpson-bowles, mental looked at the long term, health care, social security. the had to broaden the base and lower their rates. that was key in our commission to getting an agreement. how low could you go on the rates that would attract republicans to say that it would
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be a substantial reduction in rates so that i could bring that to my people and say that we were improving the tax code? so long as we're doing that entitlement reform as well to bring down the long-term spending, the key is filling in the details. we lowered the top rate to 28% and then a 16% rate. we had some raised as to the proposals about how you would broaden the base to do that. all too often, i think that gets lost about how that would happen. we did broaden the base and lower rates, but we used some of it for deficit reduction ending up with their revenue increase which is something that has to happen.
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when you look ahead, to say that romney is looking at the rye and budget as a model, he has two rates, 25 and 10, that he likes. in order to do that in a revenue neutral way, you would have to whack the heck out of entitlements. mortgage interest deduction, employer-provided health care. implementing that, it's easy to say close the loopholes for the rich. once you start to do it, it will be very difficult. that is when the commission's look at it, you realize you're going to have to have a mixed to get it in the way you want to go. >> just a few minutes left so i want to get rapid-fire on domestic issues. immigration. what can we expect from either can it? >> nothing quickly. whether or not we can pass it
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through congress come it will be pretty doubtful. >> education. governor romney has a different occasion plan. is that something you'd expect to see move if he wins? >> that's an imperative. education and health care are two sections that are part of the structural problem he wants to address. >> what about the president? >> he will focus on expanding access to college indication, hiring education, as well as continuing reforms associated with the funding of no child left behind. >> any chance we will see a change in policy on housing in the next term? >> the president has been trying to move step by step towards a
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series of supports for people in danger of losing their homes. i think this is a critically important policy. it is very difficult politically. i hold the election outcome will give him the basis to go further than he has, but it is certainly a sharp contrast from the governor. >> i do not think you will see large federal housing policy because we have 300-odd housing markets that are in poor health and it is much better to avoid a one size fits all policy. >> climate change. can we expect to see anything from either candidate? >> i did not see that as either a top priority where we need economic growth or something that will politically get across the line. if you're ranked policies you want to push, it is not near the top.
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>> i think the president is reelected. i think this will be a sleeper issue. i'm not speaking for him or the white house, but the epa is on a regulatory schedule. next year, the regulations require significant restrictions on greenhouse gas emissions. i think that will create a discussion about the alternative to epa regulations and perhaps we will finally get a good discussion about carbon-based. >> one last question and then we will turn to the audience. what is the most important domestic issue you do not hear the candidates talking about enough? >> social security. i'm not saying it's the most important issue, but it is when you hear absolutely no discussion about other than it is off the table. let's open it to the audience.
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our people will find you with the microphones. i think there is one over here. go ahead. ndn new policy institute. you have talked about the constraints on job creation and job growth. what about the skills gap? you up 30 million people out of work and a lot of them are seeing their jobs permanently leaving america. the cbo noted that about 0.5% is due to the skills doubt so it is clear the workforce needs an upgrade. which candid it offers the best vision for this kind of thing? >> lifetime learning, job returning. it is clear that this recession has harmed the careers of young workers dramatically. the wage losses in this
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recession have been a huge in a post-war situation. there is not anywhere in the debate a strategy about getting them back to the skills they need to succeed. it is a serious issue. >> i agree. it's a serious issue. as senator, the president supported an initiative that would provide grants to community colleges to keep their computer labs open and staff in the evenings and on weekends for any american adults to walk in and get free instruction in i.t. skills. he has not pushed that as president and i would love to see that. this is an increasingly important issue and i think whoever is president will see a real discussion. >> that we just add quickly that
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i think it's important to talk about deficit reduction and both economic growth. there has to be something positive as well as all of the cuts. we have to talk about a growth agenda as well. >> and this is part of it, a targeted investment. >> one more. over here. >> he said to stand up. i am with the hispanic link news service here in washington, d.c. the presidential race includes an incumbent who is black and possibly a presidential race that may have a vice president of its hispanic. it includes a comment about the magazineory in "time"
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that the hispanics will elect the next president and a key issue deals with all the war on women, as it has been described. on the panel, we have a 12 people, all of whom are white and male. can we conclude that "national journal" does not value the views and expertise -- question last panel i did was all women. while i appreciate the question, i disagree with your characterization, but you bring up an important question. how will either of these candidates -- >> i did not get to -- >> i think u.s. the question. we certainly value the views and i would be interested in hearing from the panel how they think
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the presidential candidates will deal with these social issues that have been so important in this so-called "war on women." sir, thank you. >> i did not know how many of the audience was that your last panel when you actually had some female on it. why did the "national journal" not give is a panel with issues that are significant other than 12 white men? >> we appreciate your question. thank you very much. can we answer the question of how the candidates will govern on social issues? particularly the issues of abortion and contraception that have dominated the headlines over the last few months? >> what you see from governor
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romney is an emphasis on the things we actually share in terms of aspirations, economic success. women have been harmed in a big way in and there is a generous respect for the religious freedoms but there has been some overstepping by the president. >> cited the president will continue to govern based on the principle that we respect religious organizations and the rights of women to have access to contraception on their insurance policies. employers do not have the right to tell women that they cannot get that through their insurance policies unless they are a church. i think it is a clear
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distinction between the governor and president and it won i suspect both sides seems comfortable with. >> things dealing with the and sustainability of the current situation and the dynamic of the budget is that the programs that get squeezed our domestic discretionary programs. look at what is happening now. that is what the fight is about. they are easy targets. it gets squeezed to nothing. to the fact that the government makes investments in the workforce, children, basic science and research, that is the part of the budget that is getting killed right now. that is more to talk about coping on deficit reduction of that as a way to help end. >> this is another area of. the president has proposed increases in a larger deficit reductions. the ryan budget would cut
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education 20%, cut worker training 20%, cut development. the governor has not committed himself to those details, but that is the position at least of the congressional republicans. >> there has been no leadership on the entitlement programs some of the budgetary room to do the things i was talking about. unless we get some serious white house leadership to give social security, medicare, and medicaid under control, there will be problems. >> gentlemen, thank you for your time. we will now turn it over to the deputy editor of the magazine. thank you all. hos[applause] [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2012]
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>> the second panel analyzes the foreign policy of both presidential candidates discussing afghanistan, syria, and the u.s. response as well as sanctions on iran. this is 35 minutes. >> good morning, everyone. thank you for showing up for this panel. i will briefly introduced the panel. he has served on the national security council but is here. next, an advisor to the president in his campaign in 2008 and now the chairman for new american security. to my right, in the state
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department with condoleezza rice and is now special advisor to governor romney. it is the director of the strategic studies program at the school of international studies at hopkins. >> i still believe we should it described him as an affiliated wiseman. >> jim, i will start with you. do you think there's any cause for hope that the policies can or should ever have gone to the water's edge? >> they believe politics stops at the water's edge but that is more exception than the rule. if you look at the issue of the united states going back to 1996, foreign policy has been something that americans have fought over. if you were to ask richard
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nixon, henry kissinger, ronald reagan, george shultz about foreign-policy, they would probably say nothing. >> you're one of the lead foreign advisers in 2008. what do think has been the more surprising thing that the president has implemented in foreign policy that you would not have expected? >> the most striking thing is one that would have expected but it has gone further than i anticipated and that is the evidence skill with which the president has used force. it is an administration that i think is striking for using the tools of national security and foreign policy, but the tendency for any pleaders to air in one direction or the other and this president has been striking in his pursuit of peace and his use of coalition strategies and his
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willingness in keys situation where american interests demanded to commit to military force. there are many other examples. >> that is traditionally thought to be a democratic weakness. how do you think it will play? >> this is interesting in one important respect. democrats running for president are usually weak on foreign policy and it is the issue in which they're perceived to need to do a lot of work. the bad news for the white house is that foreign policy is not a high priority for most americans today.
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the answers from the people about what the biggest issues today are all domestic. the president may be operated from a stronger position than previous democratic candidates but it may not help them all that much. >> can i just comment on that? i do think it's an interesting phenomena in when i joined the obama campaign in 2007 and it was obvious to everyone that the election was about security. iraq was a dominant, primary issue and position for the obama platform. it turned out to be about the economy. it is striking that now everyone thinks it is about the economy but it may turn out to be about security in the end because so many things could happen between now and the fall. >> there are a bunch of things i want to respond to. i agree with rich danzig that a
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lot of things can happen between now and the fall and how that can spillover. largely, though not entirely, there are economic consequences year. foreign policy played some sort of role in the last election, but i really do not think that was determining it. i think iraq was well on the trajectory to where it more or less ended up. i have a lower opinion of the obama administration foreign policy record. iran, despite sanctions, the fact is that they have given up an enormous amount more of the fear material and they are enriching to a higher level.
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could there are physicians to be made there and big decisions that will happen in europe and relations to china. i would also include, by the way, terrorism. again, i disagree with richard. this administration has focused on one tool, killing individuals, including american citizens. although that is a reasonable tool to use, i think it runs the risk of narrowing the nature of the problem that we face. i also think the administration has made it quite substantial mistake by insisting, as the president's counterterrorism adviser did, that there is the collateral damage -- that there is no collateral damage. i am in favor of killing the
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people who need killing, but we should not fool ourselves that this is a complete success. >> how do think governor romney as president would handle that? >> there is no question in my mind that governor romney, its president, would be using force. i think president romney would be rather more focused on the war of ideas in terms of trying to counter radicalization counterplots. i have to say, in a half-hearted way, there have been some improvements in standing up to various activities of the state. the focus has been on killing individuals and hope you can destroy the a qaeda that existed september 10th. the problem has, in some ways,
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metastasized and you can see that in yemen, somalia, other parts of the middle east. these problems are extremely difficult. they will loom ahead and they have not been resolved by the obama administration. >> you seem to be describing a series of decisions about afghanistan turning from counterinsurgency to counter terrorism. do you think that is the prudent, most tactical course? >> what is so striking about afghanistan is an example of the opposite of what he is saying with respect to the difference between this administration and its predecessor. afghanistan was widely ignored by the bush administration. when we came in, the central programs like, for example, training the afghan national police, they were under-staffed
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by 50%. with great clarity, he made a campaign promise to move the petraeus region of the brigades to afghanistan and did he establish definitive guidelines, the opposite of the phenomenon of deferring a decision. it is a very dramatic investment in that and i think there is room for disagreement. eliot makes an argument for counter-radicalization programs. as far as i know, governor romney has not begun to reflect on that, but it is basically a program that ambassador holbrooke opened up before he died and it is a very substantial set of activities associated with building
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institutions come influencing population, etc. then you add in the credibility of the president himself, and in some regions of the world, it was a lower after president bush. >> a couple of responses on that. first, on popularity, if you look at the pure research polls, he has gotten an uptick in the muslim world partially because of afghanistan and i have a very different take. i have spent time in afghanistan. i think there are a couple of points that need to be made. one of which is the good that was done by the increase in resources, all of which had been put in place by this administration to predecessor. when the military talks about
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plans, it is true to task with a lot of logistical infrastructure, preparing units, a training unit. this was all under way. i know that. and give the president credit. the thing the president did which ended at been tremendously destructive in terms of our afghan policy was, in his west point speech, making it clear that we were getting out. the afghan people are much more sophisticated than we think. that message got through to everyone there including the goat herder's outside of khandahar. the basic understanding is, yes, the americans surged by themselves but that they are out of here. you cannot explain the latest
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doctor helping them get in jail for 33 years without understanding that they know we are leaving. >> let me ask you provocative question. what is the difference between governor romney's foreign-policy and gov. bush? >> the biggest difference, this is different from counter- terrorism and afghanistan, but the big difference, which is why i was quite happy to sign on as an advisor, i believe president obama came in with a belief that the way you deal with for policies to recheck your enemies. that explains the reset with russia, which failed. i think that explains the silence during the iranian riots in 2009 and why we sent an ambassador to syria. we know what that has turned into. i believe the governor romney's fundamental point of departure,
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and you can see this in his books and speeches, the start with your friends. you start by consolidating relationships that you have with allies, whether it is britain nor israel, developing relationships with countries like india and then you proceed to deal with your opponents. that is a fundamental and a philosophical difference in how the two approached foreign policy. >> eliot started by observing that they differed them to the future by failing to do with these things. as we focus on concrete examples, they involve afghanistan, where the bush and administration, was seven years in planning to do things in the future and the obama
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administration actually did them. he criticizes, the president says, "we're going to leave afghanistan and years the timetable," that is an example of coming to grips with it so that the tenor of the discussion runs counter. in terms of the desire ability to establish a deadline, realistically, if you want to get away from a war that is costly in america, you need to establish deadlines coming in need to catalog actions. families that leave this open- ended, the president did the same thing with respect to iraq. he is rather unsuccessful and there were risks with that kind of closure. finally on the issue of friends and enemies, the president has been successful in rallying arab
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friends. the israeli prime minister commented on how he has never been closer in u.s.-israeli relations. we have worked very closely on iran. this is a remarkable example of putting a chokehold on the iranians. it is strangling their program. will it be successful? no guarantees. as a better than the alternative, it is by far better. >> every president like to make affirmative decisions, but maybe you can talk for the sake of this election about the reactive component of foreign policy making and have that can affect a president's policy. >> it is about goals and aspirations. governing is about setting up for reality. on the campaign trail, you get to wish away the strength to
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make it difficult to get policy enacted. you are engaged in policy taking. once you're in the office, you can no longer assume away the things that make it difficult and as i listened to them, they are both talking up the discretionary element for any situation. i am more struck by limiting ability to get things done. better problem with afghanistan, pakistan, north korea, and these do not get solved because there can -- incredibly complex and your leverage is not limited. even though other powers are a weaker than you, they have the ability to put unsuccessful challenges on you.
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what is the u.s. policy going to be towards china going forward? that will depend on your assessment of china and also real questions to the extent it can mobilize the united states and it is not clear to me that either candid it has really answered that. >> i take jim's point. there is another symmetry we're going have in this campaign. the question is, when you're making a choice, what do you look first, the fundamental predisposition about how they view the world and approach things and that their leadership style. a lot of foreign policy is the stuff that comes in.
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on the matter of predispositions, not surprisingly i am in favor of boehner will need. you get these revealing moments, like when the president asks president medvedev to say, "do not lori. it in the next term, i will be more flexible." that is a terrible message to send. it's a revealing moment. there are structural constraints. >> if you like the message to governor is sending, if we could talk about some problems for a moment, how you think president romney will be able to affect irani a way the president has not? >> first, we have the star with facts on the ground.
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maybe i am disagreeing little bit with jim. there are sanctions that have been building up over time and there has been a coalition in place. the fact of the matter is that it is not working. i mention the have doubled in number of centrifuges spinning. a lot of this will come down to whether you're credible about the threat of using force. that is the only thing that i believe because the iranians to stop. you can see this in a recent speech. they do not take our threats of force seriously. >> the thing the administration should have used force before this? >> i do not know. point whereg to the
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either the iranians will be thinking this is something that is why to come get them and they will give up, or we will have to face a very difficult choice. according to the public prints, we have had an attempt to assassinate [inaudible] >> the a dinky would hesitate to make that choice? >> i think he could make credible choice is to be had to. my point is if we have a chance of doing this without force, which is absolutely the preference, the iranians have to believe there is an alternative. according to public prints, we had an iranian attempt to assassinate an american
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ambassador in as a rajan. -- azerbaijan. >> in terms of the administration looking serious, the president delivered a very moving holocaust speech in which she said, "preventing mass genocide is a core national security interest to go -- interest." the massacre in houda, does that issue a priority? >> i want to make a comment on iran. the sanctions achievements, wreaking havoc on the iranian economy and pushing them to the negotiating table is an absolutely critical set of steps and i do not hear him disagreeing with that. it is a remarkable achievement and it runs counter to the romney instincts of the world
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revealing enemies. how russia as our number one geopolitical enemy? as colin powell said, "think a minute before you say these types of things because this is a revealing view of the black- and-white world be used to have. with respect to syria, to move forward, you have to achieve a measure of the international coalition. i think the administration is wise to recognize that. yet to be sure you are effective before resorting to something like this. if the effect is to pump up arms
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and create a world in which a have our iranian surrogates' working in a region i do think this is pretty revealing of the difference between the two administrations. the obama administration starts off with a recess, and misspelled reset button, as it turns out, and what have we gotten in terms of that? the russians have been obstructive on iran and will continue to be obstructed in syria. the pre-emptive attack on missile defense sites in eastern europe, to which, by the way, we do not react. russian military doctrine identifies us as their chief opponent, and in return, president obama's instinct is to
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say he will be more flexible in his second term. >> do you believe that russia is our number-one? >> here is what i agree with. russia is, on a whole, opposed to american interests. the putin regime, which is an ugly regime, and we do not talk much about its ugliness, and it is getting uglier, is not our friend and is in many ways hostile. i think it is important to identify the people who are hostile to you. >> i want to be able to talk about governing. first and second terms, very different, the vietnam war, going to china, reagan, and it tears down its wall, and clinton and bush re-engaged. what do you think a second term for obama might be, in terms of a midcourse correction? >> he escalated it off of the
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books. and people who are labeled as such. there is difficulty predicting second terms. there is a set of issues that the obama administration is going to face is going to be north korea, but let me offer the threat. this was focused on comparing the candidates. i actually think they are more alike than they are different. while it may not be anything different on foreign policy, they are largely in the same area code, and many of the same issues, while the rhetoric is different, and the idea of the campaign is to criticize the other guy and talk about his shortcomings, calling the republicans reckless, i think
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there is going to be more, not just because of the situation but because of the underlying ideologies is not that different. this is not like ron paul. and i do want to go back. eliot is quite right. that does not mean they will get the same outcome. it is not just the quality of the cards. what i really hear the governor saying. >> i want to do rapid-fire. what do you think is the most important policy decision? >> always use of force. always sending men and women
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into harm's way. with force and what it means. in the near term, it is iran, and particularly our israeli ally. >> iran is the most important near-term challenge. >> open it up for questions. any questions? if you would not mind standing up. we have a microphone for you. cohen, you said that the republicans, mitt romney especially, has been calling on obama to be more supportive of israel.
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>> he came in with the tire view that a lot of people had. therefore, i have to solve it. this is not the heart of what is going on in the arab spring. i think governor romney, wrestle with them is what we are going to have to do. i agree with many of the points that gma. one is that we have to recognize control. but i do not think standing back on syria we help ourselves in this area.
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add in that is why it is right to be a little more forward leading them be administration. >> some follow-up with all the speculation that they are a hostile region. do you not think that a final status agreement, is it not the president's role? >> i am not going to try to lay out the situation for the arab peace. there are a lot of people who will do that. what i will say is what are the circumstances in which the israelis have pulled back? there was a right-wing government. it is when they have had it in the president of the united states. yes, this administration has delivered military aid to them. it is not true that the senior political leadership has a lot
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of trust in president obama. that is a fact. >> this idea of controls and limitations, and personality matters. i agree with jim and eliot, but personality clearly matters. these are emanations of his own judgment and represent, i think, very important indications of involvement that matters. when you look at the decision of the raid on bin laden, pakistan, the recommendations coming from advisers are divided, in many respects. the president made that tough decision, and he made a correct one, so personality really does matter. i am not sure that government -- governor romney understands this. we mentioned russia being a
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number one threat. here is another one. if i am president, i will listen to my general. there was a wonderful book. it does not work that way. >> we have to keep taking questions. >> first, what is the alternative? i am not going to listen to my generals? i think it is pretty clear, and recentn look at david's articles in "the new york times." seeing troops withdrawing in the middle of the fighting season there, it makes no sense. >> what does that mean? of course, i hear that. he is implying something. >> i am sorry.
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president romney- i am sorry. governor romney. [laughter] this is someone who has spent his entire career listening to experts and then making decisions about whether they are right or wrong. very clear views, which can find in the book, but i think that this idea will be a pawn of any adviser, military or civilian, is just not true. >> yes?" hi, my name is -- , with -- i wonder if you walk can expand on the role and on the trade
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agreement could >> if i could, and governor romney has talked a lot about it. this is a case where we know a concrete issue. it had been through congress, in the previous demonstration. he was pushing and pushing other arrangements with other latin american countries. three years in finally approving a trade agreement with an extremely important ally of ours. it makes no sense. >> they have been very forthright on trade in the latin american context. an issue developed by the administration which involves the west coast of latin america and the eastern part of asia. i think it is a remarkable initiative with the expansion of
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free trade throughout the area. the free-trade pact have all sorts of difficulties in congress, but they persevered in getting it passed. a personal relationship with the president of brazil, which is exemplary of some of the ways personality matters, and you cannot just listen to your experts. it is more successful than it ever has been. >> maybe we have time for one more question. all of the way back there. i am sorry. did i see a hand? for the audience at home. >> thank you. audience of south africa -- embassy of south africa.
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the policies and how you might see an obama administration policy towards obama changes -- towards africa changing in a second term and the romney position towards africa, where he has not been too vociferous on that. >> i am afraid you have got me korea i have not been paying much attention to the african opinion. this is not a parallel administration. we are not like great britain. i think you know the principles the governor romney would be in favor of, which would be openness, free trade, human rights, and strengthening relationships. is there a start, divide with
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how they see things? i do not think so. >> there is an inclination to divide the world between enemies and friends and to think that lots of luster is a very good thing, in my view is that this administration has shown that you do not proceed successfully that way. you proceed successfully by engaging people across the whole framework. barlick compulsion and means like the sanctions that do not involve physical force but involve other means of compelling. with regard to africa, there is an example to this in the way we have rallied the organization of african unity be to try to be active in the sudan. very imperfect and bad results. but better than if we had not intervened.
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in terms of an richening -- enriching investments, it is led by agriculture, first and foremost, and the degree to which the president is popular in the world at large and how that translates to the u.s., you see this and other places like south africa. i think it is a powerful and effective force. >> please give a round of applause for jim and eliot. [applause] >> this final panel from the washington journal group examines more policy issues in the 2012 election, and it looks at polling numbers and undecided voters. it is about 45 minutes.
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[captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2012] [laughter] >> well, thank you. there are two panels of the issues, and mitt romney. >> a bunch of twinkies? >> yes. they have to win the election in november, so for our final panel, that election campaign, and with us is joel benenson and others.
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and invited to mitt romney's and a strategist, along with john boehner. and this is headquartered in charleston, south carolina. peter brown is at the quinnipiac polling institute, and there is the battleground state and national polls which have made quinnipiac the most powerful of words in the political world. and covering things or you psi we do for upi and others. welcome.
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as we have heard, there are some substantial differences between obama and mitt romney. >> i am very grateful to be up here with them, and ron, as we all know, is one of the best journalists in the business. usually i can just cover the phone and wall my eyes, but now i cannot. if you look at the health-care debate we have had in 2010, and i suspect it will continue in 2012, and i think with the recent arguments about free enterprise and the governors back around, with the president's experiences before he came up -- became president, i think the will of government is going to be one of the big differences. fundamentally, governor romney
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believes that the role of government is with the private sector to what were the economy and for america to prosper, where as we see the obama worldview as being one where the government has an essential role in deciding the winners and losers in the economy and an essential role in the american individual life. even with health care, obviously other issues that will be important related to the economy like energy, i think it is similar. >> those important differences? >> i think the most important difference, and it is proving itself more start every day, what are the values with the vision that each of these men bring to the case, and because of that, it will come down to who is going to basically side on behalf of those who have been
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struggling the most to get back to where they were before the crash, and who is going to restore the middle class security to a smart investment and entrepreneurship and small businesses and research and development so that the folks ceased to be able to climb up and the middle class can continue to do so. giving everyone a fair shot. mitt romney very clearly believes that if we take care of those at the top, that is all we have to do, and everything else will take care of itself. kind of an efficient summary. and there are other frames. whose side are you on?
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is the government part of the equation. ? >> let me thank them for allowing me to get a phd. i do not have one. as joel says, this is about who is on your side. this is on the economy. the economy is a lot of stuff. it is on the planet. it is the debt. it is health care. it is a a whole host of things, and what kevin and joel did was give you this from both sides.
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but it is the economy. >> and apparently more persuasive and matter in more especially to swing voters, the ideological role of government? either one of those more persuasive? >> i think what is most important is what voters think will work. this is one where swing voters will vote not by ideology but by who they think can solve their problems. >> let me follow up on that. one thing i have been enjoyed by the quinnipiac polling is one question that you have been asking. regardless of who you intend to vote for, who do you think will do the best job with the economy, and generally mitt romney runs even or sometimes ahead in this polling. what is the basis of this
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advantage at this point >> you are right. we ask other questions. is president obama likable or not? is mitt romney likable or not? simply put, people think president obama is more likable, but mitt romney does better on the economy. >> what do you think as the basis of this advantage? is it a shadow of dissatisfaction with obama? is it an inherent credibility with a business background? what? >> if it were 7%, this would not be an issue, but this is obviously a derivative of where the economy is in the eyes of people. >> can mitt romney's sustain the advantage that that poll and a general number of others have, about doing a better job on the economy?
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a broader question of who can get the economy moving. mitt romney is generally even or ahead. >> i do not want to take your question. you gloss over the other questions. you can take a construct, but there are components of how people contextualize the economy, and it is not just to they'd think has good ideas on the economy. it is who they think understand the problems that people like you and me are facing, this is gonna put interests first, and who is going to make sure there are not two sets of rules, one for those at the top and one for those at the bottom? it is not just about whether or not people like president obama or not, but they do. this is why their job approval ratings have been higher. going up. the michigan consumer confidence index is higher than it has been in years.
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the highest percentage increase since election day of any president in recent times. it is a confluence of factors that people bring to this discussion, as neatly as we would like to answer them with a one poll question or another. >> if you look at the poll numbers now, there are these divergent assessments. obama and the middle class. policies that help all americans, but on this underlying issue of who might get the economy moving faster, mitt romney has an advantage. as you said, there are many factors that go into people's decisions. what about that kind of landscape with >> well, i agree with a lot of what peter and joel said. i think, fundamentally, this is going to be, and the president
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does score and very well. i as fundamentally believe that this election right now is not going to be an election. it is going to be a election. these are still a job applications. the numbers about people feeling that we are in a recession, let's not let the economists are ruined that argument. whether or not they feel the economy is in a recession, it is very high, even though it may not typically be. the president obama has aged vantage between what is going on and what people feel. this is where mitt romney has an
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advantage. the enormous anxiety that peoples have we have job numbers coming out tomorrow. these are the big dynamics that are driving these numbers. >> joel? >> let's take a step back, whether or not people think it is a recession or economists think it is a recession. the people understand we did not get into this crisis overnight and that we are not going to get out of it overnight. they understood that back in 2008. if you go back to the working and middle-class americans, they already knew things were out of whack. in places, like where mitt
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romney was governor, during that time, their incomes went down. he is running as mr. fix it, and he is a governor who took the state from 56 in job creation to 47. losing jobs at twice the rate of the national average. you have got a pretty tough argument to make. >> hearing what peter is saying, and going with bain, basically making the case that he has throughout his career looked after the interests of a few, not the many, how effective can it be to raise questions about mitt romney's credentials for
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the voters who are also not satisfied with obama? >> on the economy, the question is not what the gdp is. it is what people in florida, quinnipiac, va., what they think about their lives, getting better, getting worse, new is responsible. this is not as quantifiable as the numbers are up or down. >> whether it has improved. >> it is still very bad. >> this seems to be the principal reason why obama is in this position. there was a large increase.
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it is going down, but it is not what it was. it is a dead heat. >> i think we all agree on that. >> how important is that? >> i think people are forward looking. we have gone through an unprecedented time in the lives of the people who will be voting. they are making a forward looking choice. there were a lot of things that happened in the first decade of the century the undermined their security, their ability to pay for college for their kids, dealing with credit card companies who suckered them into a credit card rates with the rate changes and the dead of night. i think they are going to look at both what president obama did
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to fix those things, rescuing it automotive industry. there was no private money for them. the only way to save them was the way president obama did that, getting concessions from unions to go forward, and i think people understand that we are going forward. everyone as the progress has not been as rapid as we would like, but they want to be on a path forward, and i think the last thing they want to do is go back to the policies that did not work when mitt romney was in massachusetts, based on his records, and that he is proposing to do all over again. >> in the primary, health care was important between them. if the supreme court struck down part or all of a lot in the next few weeks, how do you think that changes the campaign? >> i have lots of drinks and
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coffee with people who said that he would not win with romneycare in massachusetts, and i remember saying all over again at those copies and dinners, while it will be an issue, it will not be the issue, and i think it was proven in the primaries. it is no longer meals, it is just drinks. i am trying to set point to my other point, which is i think the public opinion on obamacare has passed by. i do not think there are many people out there will have a persuadable opinion on this. in many ways, it has become symbolic or emblematic about how many voters view, they view the obama administration 3 that. it was very expensive. it was a chaotic part of the process.
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it was too big. has not done what it promised to do. so i think it is that for the obama administration. >> the supreme court decision, would that have been president and democrats defended more visibly than they have done? >> i agree with kevin that if it is an issue, it is not the only issue, and to the extent that becomes part of a campaign, the voters will be able to clearly assess the value is should insurance companies be able to cut off coverage when you need it most? those things will become definitional if that becomes
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part. >> peter, i want to ask you about a different health care issue. one thing that benefit republicans is interaction among older whites, specifically white americans. 63 percent and according to an exit poll of white seniors voted republican in 2010. on the other hand, we are seeing consistent resistance about converting medicare to a voucher system, even when the option -- let me ask you this. how did a threat to republicans among white seniors, do you think, if at all, will the proposal being? >> to do something to stop implementation, then both candidates will have to say what they are for.
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i assume that the governor will, making sure that people with pre-existing conditions get health care. you can be pretty sure that the governor will be for not having lifetime caps, and if they are, they will be astronomical, so if the court throws out a part or all of the law, the two candidates are then going to have to say what they are for, not what happened in the past, what they are for. one assumes on the stuff that everybody is for, which is not lifetime caps -- >> it is not clear that you can do those things without the individual mandate. you know why they put it in in massachusetts. let me go back to the idea of converting medicare to a support program. and movement away from democrats among older whites.
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this has been a longstanding phenomenon. how does opening this debate allows you to talk to some of those voters? >> i think the difference here is that the president's approach on medicare as it has been on most budgetary issues is that you have to take a balanced approach. i find it ironic when we find savings through fraud and all of the things republicans have talked about, republicans ran a campaign against obama cutting medicare, so the president has always taken a very balanced approach to how we take these and make sure they are stronger for future generations. i think an issue around vouchers and changing what has been a guaranteed benefits for seniors is going to be a prime discussion during the course of the campaign. it is going to play into it because it will reflect an approach that extends beyond that to other issues. >> as republicans are doing
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better with whites, it would not be inconceivable in the polling. does that make it more or less likely that they would pursue a ryan-type? >> i disagree with the notion that u.s. policy debates over legislation that belongs to others. i believe when you get to a presidential campaign, you have the opportunity to talk to voters about your framework. i think the governor has talked about a lot of the principles he agrees with, whether it was ryan or some of the other recommendations. as free-market reforms he would like to pursue. i think this is where we go back to something that joel mentioned earlier. you can win a large swaths of
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the electric based on changing the way the status quo is operating right now, and that provides an opportunity. i used to get that early on. when there were debt limits, proposals on capitol hill. we tend to resist the idea of meeting an up or down, yes or no, and instead talk about spending reforms, deposit reforms, for people outside of washington, because they are not stock, with a motion of recommitment on capitol hill. >> can i have one point about your question to cabin? >> yes. >> i think you want to focus on the medicare issue and how that relates to seniors and bill hall ronny and budget. it is going to blow a massive hole in the deficit, and for a lot of those white voters that you think only care about
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medicare, they will also be concerned about a plan that gives more tax cuts to millionaires and billionaires that are not paid for that are going to add $5 trillion to the deficit. that will be a problem, whether it is on a government-side argument, an ideological argument, whatever argument you want to have. >> we are going to be an extremely good position. -- in an extremely good position. >> something to sum up as part of our discussion, when we think of the last 10% or whatever that number is that are out there and persuadable of voters, how important are these issue differences in ultimately driving their decision? especially when you look at other factors, like performance, like assessment of these individuals? how important are how closely the candidates lining up joel,
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maybe you can start us on that. >> they are going to critical to the efforts of both campaigns. you have to know what will persuade them. we feel pretty confident, and going forward, we think it will help. i think those issues become great contrast points for us, whether we're talking about giving $60 billion in tax authorities to oil companies again, which president obama does not want to do, mitt romney does.
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we are talking about undoing wall street perform, which mitt romney wants to do, president obama does not. >> these performance, personality issues? >> he is right. the president does have and advantage now. the percentages different people in different states. in ohio. virginia, they are a lot different than florida. there is a different way of going after these people. >> the backward looking referendum, what are the relative importance of those? >> i am not sure i understand.
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>> the kind at issue, a forward- looking debate about what each of them would do over the next four years versus the back room looking perspective? >> you cannot do it separately. >> i see it as big versus small. it is amazing to me about barack obama running as a centrist, doing big things, bringing transformational change to washington, and we have seen in the 2012 campaign, it has been sort of driven by a lot of my group trends. let's say this about student loans. let's say this to women about contraception. i think the campaign that is going to win is going to be the
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one that persuades those who need to make up their mind. i think it will be the campaign that is forward-looking. i feel we are at an advantage right now, picked us for all of the scrutiny that we expect on the governor's record whether as governor or in the business sector, they are talking about things happening in 1994, when they are to be focused on what is happening in 2012. they want to know what is my life going to be, the prospects are my future, and that is what we are tremendously focused on. we will try to keep it in that direction. >> a quick point. i would reject kevin's premise that we are focused on small things. president obama went out in november and said this was a make or break moment for those people working to get to the middle-class and those there. creating an economy to last, which means it is durable and
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long term and has jobs. it is not about making a quick buck or another boom cycle. it is what people expect and deserve. >> i see that, the folks were saying, let's get this persuadable voter by making a big deal about this, or this youtube. i do not think that the persuadable voter is mobilized by a lot of that. >> let's go over here for discussion, and i will reserve the right to ask one final question after the audience. >> how does either the voters or campaign take into account what any president can do, looking backward or looking forward, with congress in gridlock? does that enter people's thoughts about how they will vote for president? how does that enter into how he
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will campaign? you may have the most wonderful ideas in the world, but if you cannot get it through congress? >> there is no question -- i am sorry. did you want to -- >> go ahead. >> there is no doubt that voters come today with heightened cynicism. and they get immersed in it. it is viral. it is vibrant. it is arguing nonstop. they bring a lot of cynicism. they also recognized that congress has put in in pediments. i am not saying that that is determining things. but they know it. this goes down by about 20 points from a month and they took over the majority in the house.
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in it is not about democrats or republicans. i do not know if you have seen any polling data on this, two- thirds of americans think republicans control congress even though we have a split house, because in effect, they do. the filibuster has allowed them to block anything and control the agenda for a couple of years. >> we have not asked this question in this cycle, but i will tell you in previous cycles, and this will surprise you, americans like divided government. whether they vote that way or not, that is what they said. >> good morning. my name is dave. my question is regarding small business. can the panel differentiate the kids relatives -- relative to their policies supporting small businesses? >> yes.
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governor romney believes, if you take a look at how he talks about the regulatory regimes that we have, just the overall world view of what the government's role is in helping to spur growth and development in the private sector, he believes that we should have more of incentivized businesses to make better decisions and to grow and to hire more people, whereas i think the world view that we believe that the obama campaign has and that democrats have is that they view the sector as one where they have to take a punitive approach, a punitive posture, i think that is just one of the main differences. looking at obamacare as a main vehicle for that discussion. there are taxes and regulations in there that are hurting the abilities of small businesses to grow, and that is the kind of debate that is affecting their regional and even our national
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economy. >> the reality is that president obama has cut taxes and create tax incentives for small businesses close to two dozen times in his administration, and we have had over 24 months of private sector job growth that is happening with small businesses. we have manufacturing growth greater than it has been at any time in 15 years. the reason is because we believe, unlike governor romney, to spark an sperm manufacturing and small business entrepreneurship, you have to invest money in research and development. you have to create those incentives to allow them to take risks. you have to make sure there is lending there. we just signed a bill yesterday that forging a link has bipartisan support. we had a fight with republicans over it. there has never been a fight over whether we want to make money available to small businesses in america who make things that we can sell
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overseas. i think when it comes to looking at our track record and small businesses, there is nothing punitive about saving the automotive industry. so i think we have got a pretty good record and a pretty good contrast. when you want to go back and look at what happened, governor romney in massachusetts, , i do not know if he thought it was punitive or not when he cut money for manufacturing, but ending up with manufacturing job losses at twice the rate -- >> one final question. one last from audience. right here. if we can get the microphone >> i am on capital insights group. i have a question about the article that republicans are really the problem, and i would like to know if you think that has made any difference in the political debate and to comment
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on whether you think mitt romney agrees on that or how you might pars that finding? >> so, i think without raising it as the problem or -- there is no question that both parties are more ideologically homogenous than they were one generation ago. the democratic side from the electoral base of boards is more of a coalition. the electorate is more homogenous. this produces a more uniform set of officials in washington, and as a result, there is greater centrifugal force. there is greater pressure against concessions to democrats as part of building coalitions
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to get things done. that is a reality that president bromelain would face. i do not think they have had a big impact on the collective thinking of the house republican leadership, but if you do not put a pejorative spin on it, we are not telling john boehner and the thing that he does not know, which is generally speaking, the republican electorate is more homogenous than the democratic electorate. while still having different opinions, it is more homogenous, and that, in turn, it is creating a real push that creates greater resistance. this is a tax increase still that is a reflection from the base up.
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>> the president had both houses in congress that a democrat for two years, and they produced a bill that the american family continues to reject, and now, a democratic senate that voted against the bill in unison. they have not passed the budget in how many years? >> its effect in ohio and florida and colorado. not only at 99.9% not read the book, they have not heard of the book. it is one of those inside the beltway things. >> my question was sort of related to that. we have seen evidence that romney and obama are deeply divergent in the past they offered to the country. the two parties are at least as far apart on the big domestic issues as they have been since
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at least 1980 is not 1964. on the other hand, the other thread that we have had in this conversation, this could be an election that divides the country almost in half, whoever wins, winning by kind of a sticking point margin. 50/50 senate. the likelihood is that everything will be more closely divided after the election. this is how are we going to -- this is enormous with what each side wants to do. a big chunk of independent support.
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this is in february 2009, one of the most partisan indictments this is mastering the pageantry. really marshaling public opinion.
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>> would that be a reason to try to reach out to the other side? >> i think you have to adjust all of your goals and do whatever you can to reach the goals because we stand on the process of extraordinary economic challenges. that may change but there will have to be an ability to forge political consensus on capitol hill as well as public opinion. >> what does this very narrow divide it mean? >> let me give a resetting of the context. president obama was elected and his favorability total was around 53%.
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there was euphoria that the country had just and something extraordinary and our numbers came down quickly. not because of anything that help and -- anything that happened. maybe this the video of mitch mcconnell said to get saying our number-one priority is to defeat president obama. failing to agree when the republicans could not get a single vote for $1 and in 10 out of tax increases, what president obama said in his job speech is true -- he put forward ideas supported by republicans and democrats in the past and republicans rejected it. i think what's going to happen with the next election, both
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sides know on the broad scale what the woman over there asked about. there is frustration about the way things work in this town. both parties in congress will have to figure out how they did things when they worked together. they will have to go back to majorities going for things and the majority of people, if you get to 2014 and they don't fix it -- >> what lessons should the next president takes the result is razor-thin? about quite pessimistic the post 2012 auction to make massive change in the country. if whoever wins does it by themselves, it's not an exact
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analogy, but what has happened and is happening now and will culminate next tuesday in wisconsin might well be a foreshadowing of not necessarily the exact results in policy but how difficult it will be in this country to have a civil conversation about anything that matters. >> when you are deeply divided, that's a volatile combination. i would -- mitch mcconnell made that statement, he was "a national journal magazine. join me in thanking this terrific panel. we hope to see you again, including the next case at this convention. >> thank you to our panelists.
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we have a number of events we will do throughout the year. if you are interested in having updates from us, please give us your contact information and we will keep you informed. we have an event on june 7 where we will be covering the economy. you can join us there and we have a wonderful event on july 18 where we will take a look at how women continue to reshape the economy. we welcome you to join us for that. thank you for the generous support today. >> coming up on c-span --
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"newsmakers" with the sec enforcement chief. then a discussion on the wisconsin gov. is recall of election. this weekend, the celebration of queen elizabeth's ascension to the throne. tonight, part of her diamond jubilee celebration. it took place in march and took it -- includes speeches in front of the house of lords and house of commons. that's tonight at 9:00 on c- span. >> i think the problem is with walter conn crop -- with walter cronkite, people see him as the avuncular, friendly man. but there is another side who want to be the best. he was obsessed with ratings and beating the brinkley report every night. i have written about presint


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