tv Lou Dobbs Tonight FOX Business September 4, 2012 7:00pm-8:00pm EDT
that is my "two cents more". that is it for tonight "willis report." the national debt topping $16 trillion just a few hours ago. your share is $53,000. ouch. have a great night. we will see you back here tomorrow. lou: good evening, everybody. the democratic national convention beginning inauspiciously is the same day the national debt reaches $16 trillion. when mr. obama was asked to grade his performance, he gave himself and incomplete. we take that appear tonight. also at the convention, pursley michele obama tonight with a full on speech about her ambitions for another four
years. can the democrats make an effective case for four more years in white the white house? the author of the best-selling book, aaron klein joins us. he is the author of "fool me twice." glad blakeman joining us as well. nancy pelosi stands idly by. all of that here tonight and more. one of the most important questions facing voters this year is has the president delivered on his promises to the american people. president obama himself refusing to give his performance on the economy a letter grade. as the national debt today hits $16 trillion. the president, settling instead for incomplete. the third time in as many years that he is offered that assessment. and a serious change in tone from four years ago when senator
obama told voters that he knew he had only one term to turn things around. >> one nice thing about the situation i find myself in is that i will be held accountable. i have for years. a year from now come i think people are going to see that we are starting to make some progress. there is still going to be some pain out there. if i don't have this done in three years, there will be a long-term proposition. lou: tonight, at the democratic national convention kickoff being greeted by disappointing economic news. the national debt has risen since president obama took office. gas prices hit a record high of nearly $4 per gallon on average across the nation. another mile stone, food stamps have reached a record high of
nearly 47 million participants. meanwhile, the democratic party unable to reach a consensus on a simple question. are you better off than you were four years ago. >> can you honestly say that people are better off today than they were four years ago? >> no, but that's not the question of the election. the question is without a doubt, we are not as well-off as we were before george bush. >> let me make something clear and say to the press. america is better off today than they left us when they left. lou: new polling shows that the majority of american voters have no trouble at all answering the question. a brand-new poll by the hilt by 52% say their situation has worsened. only 31% say they are better off today. what a way to start a convention. we will take it all up into nice "chalk talk." president obama spent the day
campaigning in yet another college campus in virginia today, quite fitting since the former professor, once again handing out grades to himself, not letter grades. ed henry has more in this report from charlotte. >> historically it after these financial crises, after historic debt and the collapse of the housing market, we are not listing seeing this in the united states, but around the world. reporter: that interview served up a softball to republican vice presidential nominee paul ryan. >> for years and her presidency and incomplete? the president is asking people to be patient with them. >> white house officials insist it is not due because the
president has previously graded himself with and incomplete. that is true. they are not mentioning just one year into his presidency, he deserved a solid a+ and adding that passing health care made him deserve it least a a- >> i give him an a for effort. i give him an a for making sure that americans are better off today than they were four years ago. i do believe that we need four more years. reporter: a majority of the electorate seems to disagree and may be looking for results rather than effort, with unemployment at a .3%, and gas prices now close to $4 per gallon and the national debt costing $16 trillion. when asked by the newspaper, the hill, whether the president deserves a second term, 60% said no and 40% said yes. the president made clear today that the lack of specifics from republican mitt romney opened
the door from the incumbent to lay out how he plans thickset incomplete. on thursday night, i look forward to sharing my ideas with you. i will offer what i believe is a better path forward. a path that will create good jobs. and also strengthen the middle class. reporter: yesterday there were some fumbles on whether or not we were better off four years later. come friday, there could be an even bigger problem. that is when we will get the august jobs reportreport, which could step on the president's speech. lou: ed henry, chief white house correspondent. joining us now is best-selling author, radio host, aaron klein, whose new book is "fool me twice", obama's shocking plans for the next four years exposed.
by the way, congratulations. number eight on "the new york times" bestseller list. let's turn to what is transpiring around you down there. that is the call and cry for another four years for this president who gives himself and incomplete. i have to believe that you have some reservations about that, given your book. >> i do. especially when he says that he rates himself is incomplete. and then he goes on and believes president bush is that obama isn't already having a transformative agenda that could have affected the economy through obamacare through the stimulus. and then he continues and says that his plan includes new green initiatives and building infrastructure and jobs for roads and bridges, which is outlined in the dnc platform. the question, obviously, is, do
we believe that these last four years were good for the economy? if not, we could see this on steroids. lou: i want to just point out looking beside you and beside me, there is harry reid, the senate majority leader at the convention. they are, of course, it are two striking claims on both domestic policy and foreign policy. general motors and bin laden being dead -- two sustained arguments. >> bin laden is dead, but at the same time, the muslim brotherhood, which is the godfather of al qaeda and whether it is an ally in egypt, which led to the transformation of the government there where the muslim brotherhood is now in control more than failure of president obama to do more with
iran calling for continued sanctions and. meanwhile, this is giving them more time to get a nuclear capability. lou: do you think voters have seen a sharp delineation between president obama and governor mitt romney? >> on the issue of iran and the middle east? >> you know, they showed on the issue of iran were mitt romney said that he should push an israeli strike. where is president obama has been sending envoy after onboard, another issue is related to this -- while iran is striving towards nuclear capabilities, obama second term plans include lowering the u.s. nuclear arsenal. he spelled that out very clearly
the second term could be, according to documentation that i have found, lowering it to about 292 were 293 deployed nuclear weapons. this drives full speed ahead with iran circular capabilities. lou: we thank you for being with us. aaron klein, the author of "the new york times" bestseller, "fool me twice." >> thank you. lou: the democratic convention is underway. just as the national debt today hit $16 trillion. is that timing or what? are the democrats will bring a convention, or should it be an intervention? that it's nice "chalk talk." the jobs picture is still bleak. the question i know for many is how to make money. gold, bonds, stock, real estate, or what? is it time to just hang on?
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mixed economic reports. the dow jones down 55 points today. the nasdaq is up eight points. the s&p 500 down as well. all of that after coming off session lows. construction spending down 1% in july. the lowest reading in the year. new home construction moving higher. home prices jumped nearly 4% according to core logic. the biggest year-over-year increase in six years. manufacturing contracted for the third straight month. new orders for construction employment is down. carmakers are having a great month for the best in three years. car sales rising 20% in august. 1.3 million cars sold last month. joining me now is bob doll, a senior adviser. good to have you with us, bob. let me ask you, as we look at these markets, we seem to be range bound, today, volume did pick up after the anemic
previous two weeks on the new york exchange. what is going on here as far as equity markets are concerned? >> i think that the market is digesting the genes that he pointed out since the first of year. it sure doesn't feel like it, but the u.s. market is up a double-digit percentage year-to-date. i think the market is saying, wait a minute. we have come pretty far with an economy that is pretty mediocre. we just cited a bunch of statistics. at best, they are even, but more to the downside, manufacturing slowing, construction slowing, all of the uncertainty around the fiscal clip. what is your point of view, and the list goes on. apposite happening. lou: with all of the questions you are talking about, the answers seem rather ambiguous. what are we to expect?
>> we have been in that environment for some time. the environment i described was economy, muddle through the markets, they don't go in a straight line from and i think the grind has been up 10%. a bit of a pause while we try to let the ketchup orbits more clarity to all the ambiguity that you can point out there. the uncertainty, the jobs number, the outcome of the election, this request. the european meeting later this week. the list goes on. not to mention earnings that are also important. lou: the real economy interjecting the real economy. [laughter] >> once in a while it matters. we can't give it an incomplete. it happens everyday, doesn't? >> it does, indeed. speaking of europe, we are going to see on thursday whether or not the euro will be saved or spain and italy will continue as nationstates. either independently or part of the european union.
whatever size they may ultimately be. >> i think that he will get his way. but what that means, we still don't know. it could be more about words and actions. angela merker -- i think that drahi will get his way. otherwise we will start to have disappointments. lou: in relation to jobs and economic growth, we don't want to leave this discussion without talking about the possibility that this economy could be robust once again. the death that is out there, $16 trillion, it is unlikely that we would have a 2% muddle through economy for the second of you. lou: bob doll, thank you for
being with us. the four-day labor day weekend not a blockbuster for hollywood. blockbuster movies down 4% this weekend. the lions gate will be the possession debuted with top honors, pulling in with $21 million. lawless opened up at 13 million. the expendables is still strong, bringing in more than $11 million. dinesh d'souza's movie, 2016, earning $20 million. the highest grossing documentary of the year. earning more than five times the second-place documentary. up next, the dnc under way but the kickoff greeted with unwelcome economic news. can the democratic party come up with an answer to the question, are you better off than you were four years ago? ed rollins, black
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lou: it's nice "chalk talk", how not to begin a national political convention. the republicans showed us about being sensitive to weather. now the democrats are showing something as well. team obama already had a tough nut sales job in charlotte this week, even before today's dismal economic one. this afternoon from the national debt topping -- let's start off with national debt. topping $16 trillion.
this amounts to about, a little over $50,000 across person in the country. portugal and italy, greece, spain, especially for the almost 50 million people who are now on food stamps. the actual number is an unprecedented 46.7 million people on food stamps. that is more than a 3% increase from last year. spending on food stamps has more
than doubled over the past four years. a record $75.7 billion. $75.7 billion, and it is a double. any stretch of the imagination for the situation. today we got the news. gasoline prices hit a labor day record over the weekend. the national average, the price of $3.82. per gallon. by the way, that is another interesting thing since obama took office. twenty-one cents, gasoline prices, higher than just a year ago. almost double the price and when the president took office. sucking more air out of that convention in charlotte, north carolina, reporting that the american economic confidence
registered 80 minus 27. that is the lowest since december of last year. construction spending -- construction spending falling in july, the most in a year. you know, it just keeps going on. it is quite a way to begin a convention. what we think may be required is less about competing then intervening. the democrats, bain capital, governor romney's taxes and oh, did you know, the governor romney went to the cayman islands in switzerland and other countries? this is a big deal? did you know that some of us, you and me, we drive foreign cars and we buy foreign stocks. we buy clothing and computers
and tv sets from foreign countries. what does that say about us? this may come as a shock to some democrats in the convention, the president obama has held fundraisers in foreign cities. he went there and got money from other people. shanghai in paris and london. oh, yes. and geneva. that is swiss, right? maybe the president should give all that money back. there is something interesting about all that, isn't there? you never know. well, this is why we have a lot of democrats right now wishing that there could be an intervention. instead of a convention. by the way, these are just the headlines out today. during president obama's first term, it has plunged by 126 --
compared to 20% four years ago. are you better off than four years ago? you have to take a look at the numbers. i know that the democrats have convened, but it's not too late for them to intervene. if you're wondering about the numbers at the bottom of the screen, that is the number of days that president obama has been in high schools or colleges. one out of every 10 days he has been in office. that is the number of rounds of golf that he has played during his full term. 207. he could've had an exact doubling of the rounds of golf. this is what we would call and
complete. we give him full credit for his 207. 207 is the number of fundraisers since he declared that he wanted to fix the incomplete and would run for reelection. day one of the democratic national convention. the first lady sets deliver her speech this evening. will the president get a bigger bounce than mitt romney? ed rollins and blake blakeman join me next. >> we have a 3.5 years to fix it. what grade would you give yourself so far? >> i would say incomplete. lou: the president is a generous reader. nearly 47 million americans on food stamps now. unemployment still about 8%. the "a-team" will have its own set of grades for the president's performance. it is the murder capital of america. crime in chicago is rising. fifty-five people killed last
lou: well, here's a look at what's going on inside the democratic convention right now. san antonio mayor julian castro is giving the keynote speech this evening, michelle obama set to take the stage this evening. fox business will be bringing the speech to you live, and here to talk about what to expect from the first lady, the keynote speaker and more, we welcome to the broadcast veteran campaign strategist, former reagan political director, fox news political analyst ed rollins, former deputy assistant to president george w. bush, brad blakeman. gentlemen, let's start with, first of all, the republicans didn't get a bounce. brad, what are you expecting? is this going to be something to
impress the republicans who didn't get a bounce this convention? >> well, i don't think a bounce was really necessary. ryan was introduced to the american public well in advance, he certainly helped in fundraising, exciting our base, i think exciting the general population. he's young, he's dynamic, and most importantly, he's an expert on the economy. and these conventions fall one after the other which is not typical. usually there's a lot more space between conventions, so i happen to think the republicans did a great job in setting the tone, the message and most importantly, the message of victory which they have to take on the economy on november 6th. lou: well, after listening to brad, ed, i'm ready to go start marching and cheering on whatever the republicans do. i suppose all of america feels the same way, right? >> hope so. [laughter] lou: well, what do you think? no bounce, you've got to be disappointed, you guys, come on. >> i'm disappointed, but i'm not shocked. the romney campaign was saying they'd have a 10, 11-point bounce. i've studied a lot of stuff over
the years, and this is a polarized electorate, so there's not much room to bounce. there's a 2 or 3% differential here in this race, and that's what's going to end up at the end of the convention. we had a very solid convention, we introduced ryan who came off very well, romney performed as ably as he can, and the most important thing is day by day the momentum is coming our way, and obama keeps making idiotic statements like an incomplete. we don't give incompletes anymore. when you don't do the work, you get flunked. lou: here's the man who runs the democratic national convention. let's hear the way he graded mayor via ri go saw of los angeles. >> i give him an a for effort. i give him an a for making sure that americans are better off today than they were four years ago. i think he's being humble when he says that.
i do believe that we need four more years. lou: well, i mean, that sounds very persuasive to me, ed. >> they need four more years of full employment for the team around them, but at the end of the day, the country will be in desperate shape. there's no guarantee we'll be one iota better. the premise is four more years of this team and these policies, are we ever going to get out of this mess? lou: brad, you said the republicans succeeded in introducing congressman ryan, the vice presidential candidate. these conventions, realistically, how important are they? what is their real impact on the outcome, say, november 6th:? >> well, it sets the tone for the general election, and certainly with ryan's speech and some of the all-stars, we had christie and rubio and martinez, it let the american people know there's a new face to the republican party, new leadership, certainly different leadership than we're used to seeing in the republican party. so in that case i think setting the tone for the general
election is still very important even though i think in the future we'll probably be seeing three-day conventions. lou: don't you think the republicans missed an opportunity not to put up a 12-ton sand bust of governor romney? [laughter] don't you -- i personally can imagine him being very disappointed right now that you all didn't do that for him like the democrats have done for president obama. >> well, we don't attempt to fill a 70,000-feet stadium and have to take all those free tickets and try to jam them in to ,000 seat -- 20,000 seats because of rain which is what they're going to do. this convention can't live up to what it was four years ago. it was all about promises, we didn't know obama, and the problem he faces today is we know him. the first lady can give the greatest speech in the world tonight, we know who the man is. we know he can't do the job. lou: that's a lousy likeness, i think, of the president. what do you think, brad? >> i think it looks pretty good. i can't wait to see when the
rains hit it and it starts to melt away like his record. lou: ooh, with that line we're going to have to say thank you, gentlemen, we appreciate you being here. brad blakeman, thank you, ed rollins, thank you. >> thank you. lou: up next, comparisons between obama and carter, actually more insulting to president carter say some. what prominent republican says, yes. we'll show you who, we'll tell you why. and nancy pelosi is standing idly by as her democratic colleagues, well, you know, calling republicans nazis and saying really not-so-nice things. shocking, don't you think? shocking! i'm so glad you called. thank you.
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today. >> lately, federal spending has taken a steadily increasing portion of what americans produce. the federal deficit is too high. our people are simply sick and tired of wasteful federal spending. lou: just yesterday republican vice presidential nominee paul ryan said this in north carolina: >> the president can say a lot of things, and he will, but he can't tell you that you're better off. simply put, the jimmy carter years look like the good old days compare today where we are right now. [laughter] lou: some startling facts in the comparison, by the way. according to the american bankruptcy institute -- i know, you doesn't know there was such an institute, it's a shame there is -- there were more than 331,000 business and personal bankruptcies in 1980 under president carter. that compares to more than 1.4 million last year under president obama.
meanwhile, the chairman of the california democratic party is apologizing after he compared republican campaign tactics to nazi propaganda used by joseph goebbels. john burton telling a group of delegates yesterday, quote: they lie, and they don't care if people think they lie. joseph goebbels, it's the big lie. you keep repeating it, end quote. a statement nancy pelosi didn't condemn, but after republicans say they were outraged, burton said he, quote, pulmomy apologized -- humbly apologizes. he then left the dnc today for what he says is a pre-scheduled root canal. that's not the only reference to hitler, by the way, and the nazis at the dnc. pat layman, the dean of the kansas dnc told the wichita eagle, quote: it's like hitler said, if you're going to tell a lie, tell a big lie, and if you
tell it often enough and say it in a loud enough voice, some people are going to believe you. no word if she's left the convention for a previously-scheduled engagement. and rahm emanuel under fire tonight after his police department, well, after he sent dozens of his police department's officers to work security at the dnc just days after he asked for federal help to fight his city's wave of violence. a spokesperson for the chicago police department says about 50 of their police officers are in charlotte on their days off to work security screening posts. but as we've reported extensively here, chicago is the murder capital of america, and it's struggling with a murder rate that is now 30% higher than a year ago. 360 murders as of the 26th of august. 55 homicides in the month of august. making august the deadliest month so far this year. up next, first lady michelle
obama just moments away from addressing the democratic national convention, a speech you'll see live right here on the fox business network. the a-team joins us to tell us what to expect. lis wiehl, hank shank of, james -- [inaudible] where's james? i know, james is in charlotte. the three join us here next. >> the market goes down. how about that? that's real doom and gloom. we've got a doom and gloomer for you, 9:20 eastern.
consultant, he's advised president clinton among others, hank shine cough, and from the democratic national convention in charlotte, james toronto. thank you all. let's start with, if we may, a convention that is having trouble with rain down there, james. this is the year of, well, weather for these conventions. you've got them slammed together, and mother nature's slamming them both. >> yeah, and i guess we're getting, actually, the same tropical storm here that was going, they thought it was going to hit tampa a week ago, has now moved up into the mid atlantic area. and i've actually found it wetter here than it was in tampa except on the one day it was canceled when i got absolutely drenched. >> are i like that the weather is bipartisan, this is great. [laughter] and aren't they predicting even a worse storm on thursday when president obama's going to be speaking out in the open? >> i have heard that, i have
heard that they're thinking about moving it from the football stadium back to the regular convention center. that may also be because they're worried about empty chairs. lou: i think there is a -- >> there won't be any empty chairs for the president, guys, come on. lou: particularly since apparently the party's busing in everyone they can get to jump into a seat. let's start with this first question that is now, you know, overwhelming the political dialogue in the country, and that is -- it took a while, but here we are -- are you better off than four years ago? it seems like a straightforward question. president obama says without question, of course, we are. what do you think? >> are we really? well, i can just look at myself and my kids, no. i'm definitely not better off than i was four years ago at all. and i think i look around at my neighbors, i was just on the west coast with my family for vacation, this is a small community in eastern washington state. they are not better off. these are farmers, agricultural -- lou.
lou: right. >> james? >> you were talking earlier in the show about the comparison to jimmy carter, and it occurred to me we're old enough to remember jimmy carter, a lot of voters are not. paul ryan would have been, what, 10 years old when reagan was elected. but are you better off than you were four years ago is an eternal question. lou: my god, i hadn't thought of it that way, james. [laughter] what do you think, hank? >> look, the democrats got away with using it against george bush, he said he's going to make it better, great spot done by the late bob squire. is it a stair question? -- fair question? sure, it's fair. are people better off than they were four years ago? the answer is resoundingly no. you see, it's one thing if they believed it, but they don't, lou. lou: one of the things it's going to be interesting to see what people believe, and that is as this convention begins on the
same day, as i said in the chalk talk, here comes $16 trillion. they picked the day where the national debt rises above $16 trillion, we see a cutback in construction spending, i mean, it is one piece of negative economic news after another. what are they doing down there? >> they're not helping the president. and, you know, he didn't help himself by giving himself an incomplete grade which made it worse. the average american's going to say, wait a second, if he doesn't feel good about it, president of the united states, whatever he does makes news and is news and makes people feel a certain way. if he can't discuss this in a way that makes sense, it's worse for the average american. >> and thinking about going back to school and to college. just about as bad as an f. [inaudible conversations] experience, an incomplete, right? that was just a sign that you messed up in that class. >> yep. >> well, and speaking of that incomplete business, the atlantic has a new book out that i haven't read, but andy
ferguson had a great piece about it in the weekly standard, and he basically makes the argument obama might be a great president, but he has to be reelected first. that's not a very good argument for reelecting somebody, gee, you know, i have to finish the job, i have to finish what we started. i think that's one of obama's big lines, and people might say, gee, do we really want him to go further with this? lou: that's a terrific, if i say may, follows-in line that one night expect from james, it's also an atlantic line one might expect. no surprise there. but the idea that such preposterous logic would be taken seriously is the stuff of which not even politicians, i would think, would try to assert in a campaign. am i wrong about that? >> well, and -- another word for logic is rationalization. sorry. >> forgive me, james. the incomplete argument --
lou: you two just go ahead. >> you're the best, lou. >> talk amongst yourselves. >> why do you say incomplete? the argument he's going to make is he needs more time to repair the damage previously done. if you look at the research data out today from the hill in washington, people are not prepared necessarily to wait, and they're beginning to catch on to the discussion, they're not happy. and when they're not happy -- >> he has to dig himself out of not just four years, but eight years of republican lead, and that's why it's taking so long. you can't just rectify everything overnight. that's the argument. lou: it's an argument that the american people are not damn fools, or at least not for very long. and the fact of the matter is we've had generals explain to us why the longest conflict in our military history, afghanistan, keeps going. they called it the long war and keep asking the american people for patience rather than forgiveness for not achieving victory, our generals. and now we have a president who's effectively saying, be patient, i just need another
four years. at what point are the american people going to say, bull. we elect you to do a job, we -- and we ask you as commander in chief to put generals in charge who can accomplish something other than blather, they can win. and there's no demand here for performance. the idea that a president has the capacity and seemingly senses the permission to say, oh, i just didn't get it done in time is okay with the american people? what's going on here? >> well, i do think he's going to see a bump, though, don't you think in the next couple days? lou: a bump? i just asked that question, a bump? >> he is going to get a bump he's he's going to make the case -- lou: what about you, james? >> i meant in the polls. [laughter] >> you know, if you look at the polls following the party conventions for the past couple of election cycles, the only person who ever had a convention bump was sarah palin's daughter. >> that's got everybody
scratching their head. >> bump or not, the fact is the president is also judged by performance, not by some other standard, and people -- you're going to have to make a case about based upon this performance as we see it whether he ought to be reelected. it's just that simple. lou: well, there's also the little matter, governor romney's going to have to explain why he should be sitting in this office. >> correct. and that's going to come down to the debates, not the convention. i think most people it's wonderful to watch, it's interesting, but the debates are the two men standing there -- or the four men, actually w the vice presidential candidates, that's where we're all be tuning in. >> bill clinton won it at the last debate with george bush because he was able to identify with the american people. mitt romney's got to get to that point, and he's nowhere close yet. lou: james, do you want the last word? >> mitt romney did a lot better than people expected in the republican debates. newt gingrich was supposed to be the guy to go up against obama because he was such a brilliant debater. he couldn't even outdebate mitt
romney. >> low expectations, who knows? lou: we're going to have to assess that. thank you all, appreciate it. up next, one viewer redefines grading president obama. we'll be going to the inbox. coming up tomorrow, day two of the democratic national convention. president clinton takes the stage, and ed kline, author of the best-selling book "the amateur," is here. texas attorney general greg abbott and lewlerman among our -- loulerman among our guests. be right back. start of the day. on the company phone list that's a few names longer. you see us bank on busier highways. on once empty fields. everyday you see all the ways all of us at us bank are helping grow our economy. lending more so companies and communities can expand, grow stronger and get back to work. everyday you see all of us serving you,