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tv   FOX News Sunday With Chris Wallace  FOX News  October 23, 2011 11:00pm-12:00am PDT

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chase sapphire preferred. a card of a different color. apply now at chasesapphire.com/preferred. d by closed captioning services, inc. >> chris: i'm chris wallace. all u.s. troops will be out of iraq by year's end. and libya's muammar qaddafi is killed. dramatic changes in the middle east lance scape offer both opportunity and challenge for u.s. foreign policy. we'll talk with secretary of state hillary clinton and republican senator lindsay graham. then, a new phase in the 2012 republican presidential race. with debates on hold for now, the candidates get down to real campaigning. we continue our one on one series of interviews with congress woman michele bachmann. plus, the romney/perry matchup gets physical. we'll ask the sunday panel how it shakes up the battle for the
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gop nomination. all right now on "fox news sunday." and hello again from fox news in washington. on friday, president obama announced he will keep a campaign promise and bring all u.s. troops home from iraq by the end of the year. earlier we spoke with secretary of state hillary clinton in uzbekistan about iraq and the death of muammar qaddafi. >> secretary clinton the u.s. commander in iraq wanted upwards of 15,000 troops in iraq next year. the white house talked about three to five thousand. why is president obama pulling out of our troops out? >> chris, i think we should put this into the appropriate historical context. first of all, president obama said that combat troops would leave iraq by the end of this year. but before he ever said that, the bush administration also committed to withdrawing all
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troops by the end of this year. so you have a bipartisan commitment to withdraw combat troops and that was viewed as appropriate given the development of the iraqi security forces. but we always made clear we were open to discussions with the iraqis if they wanted some kind of continuing presence. and what we have agreed to is a support and training mission similar to what we have in countries from jordan to colombia and we will be working with the iraqis. we will also have a robust diplomatic presence and we will fulfill what are the requests that the iraqis have made to us. >> chris: if it were the general order of business, why was your state department negotiating with the maliki government until a few weeks guy to keep thousands of troops there? >> this was an ongoing discussion. started several years ago, kept going and at the end of the day
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as in many discussions and negotiations an agreement was reached that meted needs of both sides. the president has fulfilled the commitment he made to the american people. we have also under the president's leadership fulfilled the commitment requested by the iraqis. iraq is a sovereign independent nation and we expect to have a continuing strong security relationship for many years to come. >> chris: a wide range of foreign policy experts, though, say that iraq is not yet ready to handle the possibility of sectarian violence or interferences from iran. former governor mitt romney said this after the announcement of the pullout, president obama's astonishing failure to secure an orderly transition in iraq has unnecessarily put at risk the victories that were won through the blood and sacrifice of thousands of american men and women. secretary, how do you respond to that?
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>> first of all, we are all very mosque moved by and grater the sacrifices of our men and women. those who love their lives and those who were grievously injured. they will never be foregotten and should be honored in our country's history. the point in iraq was to create the opportunity for the iraqis to have their own future without the oppression of a dictator like saddam hussein. you can't, on the one hand, say you are all for democracy and sovereignty and independence where people get to make their own choices and on the other hand say that when a choice is made that is foreseen by our own government going back to the bush administration and validated by the obama administration and the current government in iraq that that
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somehow is not appropriate. because that is what we were there for, to give the iraqi people the chance to make their decisions.s. we have bases in the region with other countries. that is what you do when you are dealing with independent sovereign nations that have a will and a decision of their own. >> chris: secretary, let's turn, if we can, to libya. the u.n. and human rights groups are calling for an investigation saying that if as it appears from the videotape that qaddafi was executed it was a war crime and you are also coming under fire for what you said. >> we came, we saw, he died. >> question. do you regret what you said, secretary? and if i may, do you regret what you said and do you feel qaddafi was wronged or that he got what was coming to him?
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>> well, let's have an investigation. i fully support the united nations investigation and i fully support the transitional national council's own call for an independent investigation. i support tonight merits because it is -- i suspects you port it on the merits because it is important to find the facts and i support it as part of what will be a challenging transitional process. the transitional national council today is going to declare the liberation of libya and they are then going to announce a new government. they need to make it clear it will be a government to unify the country and seek reconciliation. to make everyone who supported the former regime as long as they don't have blood on their hands feel safe and included in a new libya. and so from my perspective, i think such an investigation would be very important to establish accountability, rule of law and pave the way for the inclusive democratic future that the libyans tell me they
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want. >> chris: secretary, do you regret what you said? >> i'm not going to comment on that. we didn't even know what was happening at that time because it was an unconfirmed report. >> i have to also ask you about the man who was convicted for pan am 103, you talk about the rule of law. would you like to see him returned to a scottish prison? >> absolutely. i never thought he should have been released in the first place and i have raised with the highest leadership of the transitional national council and i will raise again as soon as they have a government. the united states very strong feelings that this man should be returned to prison. this that is the only appropriate outcome of with what was in my view a miscarriage of justice when he was release. >> quick questions and quick answers. you were in pakistan and while there confirmed the fact that the u.s. officials met with the h hakani terror network in
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washington. do we want to kill -- in august. do we want to kill them or talk with them? >> we are pursuing both, chris. we have a policy of fight, talk and build. we had a meeting at the request of the pakistanis to gage whether there was any basis for further talking. certainly the attack on our embassy, the truck bomb attack on one of our border outposts in afghanistan gave a strong answer to the contrary. but you don't make peace with your friends, we know that from long experience. what we are trying to do is gage who among these groups would be sincere and serious about pursuing an afghan led peace process and t is very absolutely understood that in order for any process to have a chance to succeed, the united states and pakistan have to work with afghanistan.
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so we responded to a pakistani request. we are testing out a lot of different approaches but we are going to keep nighing the guys who are fighting and killing afghans, americans and others. >> nye fallly -- finally, the president has deployed a hundred special forces to central africa to fight the lord's resistance army which killed and displaced so many over the last few decades. the question is why intervene there and not in libya? what is the foreign policy principle at work there? >> first let me say, chris, what we have seen from president obama over the last two and a half years and i think remarkably with the events of the last six months is that his kind of smart leadership in a complex world is paying off. binas the one who brought win laden finally down. he was the one who put together a coalition that eventually removed qaddafi. so i think it is important that
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in this very complex dangerous world we have somebody in the white house who understands that america has to lead. our leadership is essential. but we have to look at every situation and make the right decision. so the two that you mentioned, one, we are not fighting in uganda. we are sending support, advising intelligence resources to try to rid africa of this scourge of the lord's resistance army. in syria we are supporting the change from assad and an opposition that only engages in peaceful demonstrations and you do not have in that opposition as you you had in libya a call for any kind of outside intervention. i think that what the president has demonstrated in quite uncertain and challenging times is the kind of leadership that not only america but the world is looking for.
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>> chris: secretary clinton we have to leave it there. thank you so much for talking with us and safe travels. >> thank you so much, chris. good to talk to you from uzbekistan. >> chris: joining us now for more on all this, the leading republican voice on national security, senator lindsey graham. senator, welcome back to "fox news sunday." >> thank you, chris. >> chris: i want to start with the big point that secretary clinton made at the end of the interview that the president has exhibited smart leadership and it is the kind of leadership the world is looking for. >> i think in the last year he made some poor dangerous foreign policy decisions at the strategic level. when it many coulds to iraq when the military commander who i trust says you need 15,000 to 18,000 to support the gains we fought for and you have zero, it is disappointing. israel has been thrown under the busby thi bus by this pres.
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i would argue that iraq and afghanistan is being run out of chicago, not, washington, in terms of decisions. >> chris: what about the argument that in the last six months bin laden is gone, awlaki is gone and now qaddafi is gone. >> well done, mr. president, using the drones in yemen and pakistan. well done, mr. president. not be take close the deal in iraq is a serious mistake. celebrating leaving with no troops behind is a serious mistake. panetta said on a scale of one to ten -- >> chris: the defense secretary. >> ashton carter said it was a 10. when it comes to afghanistan he rejected the military advice given. there was never an option on the table to pull out the surge forces out. he compromised the fighting
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season and mate general allen's job so much harder. put in question our success in afghanistan and ended iraq poorly. fumbled the wall inside of the 10. i hope i'm wrong about what happens in iraq but they are dancing in the streets in tehran. >> chris: let me take secretary clinton's argument. she points out rightly it was president bush back in 2008 who negotiated the status of forces agreement which called for all u.s. troops to be out by the end of 201 and i 2011 and it wr the iraqis didn't want us there any longer. >> it was not clear. >> why did he put in the poison pill there could be no legal immunity for our troops? >> every political leader are i met with including prime minister al-maliki suggested they would do it. the iraqis have no air force. they have no intelligence gathering capability. they need counter terrorism
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assistance. there are missions that only we can to. the iraqis were in my view open minded to this. this was a failure by the obama administration to close the deal. the military commander said we needed 15 to 18,000. we have none. so that is the bottom line here. at a time when we need troops in iraq to secure the place against intervention by iran and the bad actors in the region we are going to go into 2012 with none. it was his job, the obama administration's job to end this well. they failed. >> chris: let's turn to libya. you were a loud critic of the obama administration decision to work within nato and as one white house official put it so unfortunately to lead from behind. the obama white house is pointing out now toppled qaddafi without the lost of a single american soldier and it cost about a billion dollars as opposed to the $805 billion in
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iraq. was the president right and critics like yourself wrong? >> if i hear a republican nominee for president embracing leading from behind they will have a very difficult time in south carolina. it was right to take qaddafi down. the president deserves credit for being involved in the know fly zone initially. he deserves criticism issuesle for waiting so long. qaddafi was on the ropes and we let him off the ropes. thank godded for strong women i said at the time. >> chris: meaning the fact that hillary clinton -- >> yes, pushed the president. so at the end of the day he came into the game after qaddafi reemerged and started killing by the thousands his own people. but this whole period of time where he was left unattended, the war lasted longer, more libyans got killed and here is the big mistake by leading from behind. when you take american air power off the table nato is a much weaker force and the thousands of missiles
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compromised and the chemical weapons broken into and the libyan that has to be dealt with is all a result of being left on longer. >> chris: what do you make by the push buy human rights organizations to have an investigation of the death of qaddafi as a possible war crime? >> i'm for the rule of law even for the worst among us. and when you want to talk about foreign policy security decisions let's have an investigation but let's give our american forces a jail they can use in the war on terror. he failed to close gitmo. president obama said he would close gitmo. we are not closing gitmo and he is not using gitmo. we don't have a place to put a prisoner. if we caught a high value target tomorrow where would we put them? we no longer allow the cia to
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interrogate them. let's investigate what happened to qaddafi but let's have a detention policy to protect americans. let's stop reading terrorists their miranda rights. this this president for the last year and a half has made some very poor national security decisions that i'm afraid will come back to haunt this country. i hope i'm wrong. >> chris: how do you answer the other question i asked secretary clinton about the distinction, putting troops or military intervention in africa, not troops on the grounds but air strikes and doing nothing in syria. she says we have to be smart and take it on a case-by-case basis. >> the world community is a bit divided about syria. i support putting people in africa. that is where this war is headed, africa. and this idea about sanctions working. if iran gets a nuclear weapon where they are headed it will be the biggest change in our national security environment in my lifetime and this administration is blowing it
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when it comes to iran. they are not being strong enough when it comes to syria. israel has been thrown under the bus. the iranians feel emboldened. they are going to have a shot at iraq they would not have otherwise. ifle throw the world into eyas. and obama's policies when it comes to iran has not been working and they have not been bold enough when it comes to soaria. >> chris: when you sat down and i hope i'm not talking out of school you said you always have to think of what your audience is and you said your audience today is the 2012 republican candidates. what is your message that you want to give? >> these decisions matter. i want the troops to come home. god knows they fought well in iraq and the president is right that they come home with their head held up high. i want to end it well. what happens in iraq now is going to be much more difficult in terms of the iraqi people being successful.
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iran is the biggest winner of this. i want our presidential candidates to talk about foreign policy. what would you do with gitmo. use it. let the cia interrogate prisoners. what would you do in afghanistan. pull ought the troops out by september of next year, compromising the second fighting season. what would you do with iran if they tried to kill an ambassador here and u.s. soil? what is your policy on stopping the iranians from getting nuclear weapons. at the end of the day these decisions that president obama is making i think are strategically unsound and our people need to step up and challenge him. we have a jobs problem and a national security problem growing by the day. >> chris: when you say they need to step up, do you think they have failed to do so, so far? >> they have not done it robust enough. iran with a nuclear weapon, a -- iraqi now being compromised, afghanistan being compromised, our best friend in israel feeling they can't trust us, all of these issues are
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worth more discussion on our side and president obama i would praise him if i thought he was right. if he had left 10,000 to 15,000 troops in iraq i would have defended him. if he had given general allen the chance to finish the job in afghanistan and not short the fighting season for political reasons i would have stood by him. i tried to help him close gitmo but we can't and we should use it. to the republican party national security matters step up on it. >> chris: senator graham a hot dose of strong coffee this morning. thank you for are coming. >> thank you.
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>> chris: with the long string of republican debates now on a break, candidates are focusing on campaigning in key early states. we continue our series of 2012 one on one interviews with congress woman michele bachmann who is making her big push in iowa. and that is where we find her today. congress woman, you were sharply critical of president obama's announcement friday that he is pulling all u.s. troops out of iraq. you said he should go back to the negotiating table, sit down again with the malicki government. to do what? >> well, president obama's team says that they got what they wanted in iraq, chris. they got absolutely nothing. they got their hats handed to them. here weed a extended over $800 billion. worse we have expended over 4400 american lives and we have nothing to show for it. we have essentially been kicked out of iraq by the people that we extended our blood and our press and toil to liberate.
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we don't have any troops left. interesting any time that we ejected a dictate ernie where in the world we left troops behind. after iraq we will have more troops left in honduras than we have in iraq. what is more dangerous is the fact that iran is waiting in the wings. they are looking to have a dominant influence in iraq and this won't be good going forward. >> chris: as secretary clinton said, i hope you heard it at the beginning of the programs one of the reasons we did what we did in iraq was to try to create a sovereign country and the maed licki regime seems to have decided they wanted us out. >> i heard what the secretary of state said and that is true, they are a sovereign nation. we always leave troops back to secure the peace. that hasn't happened.
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iraq did not want an american presence. it is clear to all why. because iran doesn't want an american presence. if america is there they could put up a resistance to iran. this way if america is gone, there is no resistance and iran will have a clear hand and a clear field to exude their dominance and influence in iraq. this will allow them more for rays into the area and that is dangerous. >> chris: you were a strong opponent of any military involvement in libya. here is what you told me in may. >> in is a da disaster in the making and that is why president obama's policy of leading from behind is an outrage and people should be outraged at the foolishness of the president's decision. >> chris: question, if president bachmann had been in
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charge, wouldn't muammar qaddafi still be in power? >> he may be but i stand by that decision. i think it was wrong for the united states to go into libya. look where we are at today. barack obama said we were going into libya for humanitarian purposes. it wasn't. it was regime change. what is the result. we don't know who the next leaders will be. sure there is a transitional council but who will the real leadership be. it could be a radical element or the muslim brotherhood or elements associated with al-qaeda. worse we have seen the man pads go missing and the shoulder fired rockets that are very dangerous that can fit into a trunk of a car and there are some reports throughout that they may have perhaps even gone as far as gaza and, of course, that could be used to bring down a commercial airliner. this is a bad decision and created more instability in that region, not less.
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>> chris: i'm a little bit confused, though. are you suggesting that we would be better off with qaddafi's dictatorship still in effect? >> the world is certainly better off without qaddafi. consider what the cost would be. we are only looking at a snapshot today. the last chapter hasn't been written on libya. we have to recognize there are missing today chemical weapons. the shoulder fired missile launchers. this is serious and could risk more human life because they are missing. and we also don't know who the next regime will be that will be taking over libya. we knew who the devil was that was running. we don't know the next one. again, this was leading from behind on the part of the administration. and remember, there was no clearly identifiable american vital from interest that was ever designated. that needs to be our basis for
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putting any american in harm's way. >> chris: one of the biggest issues in the republican race now seems to be major tax reform. herman cain with the 99 plan. rick perry will unveil his flat or flatter tax this week. as a former tax lawyer and i have to ask you to be brief because we have limited time. what is your tax reform plan? >> my plan is found at michele bachmann .com. called real jobs right now. i gave a major economic speech this week in san francisco a the commonwealth club and it takes a page out of ronald reagan's blue print. the economic miracle that was without in the 1980s. when you flatten taxes and simplify taxes that creates growth. i'm a progrowther and as a former federal tax lawyer, what i want to do is abolish the united states tax code and have flat tax rates that are simple that are the same for all americans and for businesses across the united states, too. mine is a very simple very fair
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flat tax that abolishes the current tax codes. >> chris: according to the polls, herman cain has taken a lot of your support among tea partyers and social conservatives. i want to ask you about the comments mr. cain made this week on abortion. let's take a look. >> it ultimately gets down to a choice that that family or that mother has to make. not me as president. not some politicians. not a bureaucrat. it gets down to that family and whatever they decide they decide. >> herman cain now saids that abortions all abortions should be illegal but it is the family's choice whether or not to break the law does that get him off the? >> thatle be for the voter to decide. i think it has been troubling because in the last few weeks we have seen this happen time and time again with various statements. this is an issue you can't get
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wrong. the president of the united states can't get the abortion issue wrong, the life issue wrong. president obama is personally against abortion but doesn't believe the government should intervene to prohuman life. that is eceptionl essentially n cain said in his responses. he gave an interview to wolf blitzer when said he would be open to negotiating with the terrorists that are in guantanamo bay which includes by the way the mastermind of 911. you can't do that as president much the unite of the united s. you can't have all of the flip flops in the nominee. it is making the voters' heads spin. they are asking questions about what does he believe truly and how would he govern as president of the united states.
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people here in iowa want to make sure that the nominee is 100% prolife. 100% standing for a marriage between a man and a woman and they certainly don't want to see terrorists like khalid shaikh muhammad released from guantanamo bay. >> chris: less than a minute left. one final question. a couple of your paid staffers in new hampshire quit this week and one of the reasons they said is that except for a debate about ten days ago in new hampshire, you hadn't been in the state since june which raises the issue aren't you in effect all in in iowa? don't you have to win in iowa or you're gone? >> well, we are replacing the staff that we have in new hampshire. we had a great week in last week and we are are focused on iowa. we spent a great deal of time in new hampshire prior to that and also in south carolina and we are here in iowa. we are focused in iowa. and we are very grateful for it. i won the iowa straw poll.
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we have a great deal of enthusiasm and support here in iowa. and we are conducting town hall meetings. we are getting to new hampshire and we are getting to south carolina as frequently as we can. we also recognize the process. iowa stated january 3 is now the date so they are number one. we are focusing on the first state that will have a voice in the 2012 election. that is iowa and that is why i'm here today. >> thank you so much for taking the time to join us and we will see you out on the campaign trail. >> look forward to it. thanks, chris. >> chris: up next, our sunday group tackles how the u.s. role will change in
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the united states is moving forward from a position of strength. the long war in iraq will come to an end by the end of this this year. the transition in afghanistan is moving forward and our troops are finally coming home. >> chris: president obama touting what he called a string of successes in american foreign policy. and it is time for our sunday
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group. brit hume, fox news senior political analyst. david drucker. kimberly of the "wall street journal" and fox news political analyst juan williams. brit, we heard a lot of differing arguments today. what do you make of the president's argument he is pulling out troops out of iraq by the end of the year? >> a statement more in relief and achievement of a campaign promise than it was an announcement of victory. obviously major military progress and political progress has been made in iraq. but as always of the generals always say when they brief on this, the gains are reversible. the structure there is shaky and whether this will all turn out happily, we can certainly hope it will all end but whether this will turn out happily or not remains to be seen. >> i think we will not know how well this turned out or how
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successful it will be for the obama administration for a few years until we see the transition. if iran ends up as a major player in iraq i think you can say diplomatic failure. i think it was interesting listening to secretary clinton saying this was part of the bush policy. clearly obama has no problem eye lining with the former president. >> chris: i was struck as if she abed as if this was just the natural order of things when just a couple of weeks ago her state department was negotiating to try to keep thousands of troops in. on the other hand, the iraqi government under pressure from its shiite factions, especially the radical shiite chairic, they wanted the u.s. out and viewed this as an occupation. how much could -- how much more could obama have done? >> they could have made this work. we are talking about the united states of america and the
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leader of the free world. also maliki fundamentally did want the united states there longer. now, he has to oversee a coalition of people that includes factions that are friendly with iran and they did want the united states out. they could have made this happened if they wanted to. the way the president announces it sounded as though it was more an interest in the political outcome of this. they decided they weren't going to do this in more. the president can say i have come to fulfill a campaign promise command everyone is happy but it is a fragile situation. >> chris: juan? >> i don't think so is it fragile. unless you want to make a commitment, i heard some of this this week, that you know what, we are still in germany and south korea and japan, 40, 50 years after world war ii. why are we leaving so preemptively. seems rash. seems to me like we have been
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there ten years. seems to me like 4500 americans have died. 100,000 iraqis have died and it is time for us to pull out. the question is and this is what we are hearing this morning is what what comes next. i'm not sure that al-maliki and the iranians is are such great friends. i think that obviously you have a shiite dominated south and there is a possibility of interferences there but there is all sorts of complexity beginning with saudi arabia's relationship with iran. we saw that in terms of the attempted assassination. to sea there is a link between iran now going to dominate iraq is mistaken. >> chris: let's turn to the other big story to libya. not only thousster of the regime but the toppling of qaddafi. >> it looks better than it did. i think there is a good
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argument that can be made if we intervened more forceabley sooner than we did, with air power, he might have -- his government and he might have been toppled very early in the game when was on very shaky ground and that the decision to handle it the way that the administration handled it prolonged the bloodshed and prolonged the suffering and gave us this ultimate messy ending. the guy is gone and that is the single most important fact of this and why the president i think will have ground to stan on when claims this as a victory. >> chris: and david, the obama administration never fails to point out and legitimately so, one, we did in without the loss of a single american life. two, it was cheap. hate to put it that way. and it also had the look of an organic libyan effort rather than the u.s. toppling another
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regime. >> given our economic environment and given the fact that we are in afghanistan and iraq i don't think there was any way to do this but with a light footprint. had this not gone well the leading from behind factor backs an issue and americans always have an a problem with the appearance of the country looking week. this this case the administration ended up with results at least so far and so it works out. >> chris: kim, you look like you are knitting your brow. >> i wonder at what cost. this should have been a no brainer at the beginning. this man qaddafi killed more civilians in the world than someone other than osama bin laden. they were theming and hawing and i think it exposed weaknesses win nato and certainly begs the question
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about america and its use of power in the world. invited a lot of backlash from congress which we had to deal with here. i'm not necessarily sure it was a very big victory. >> chris: juan? >> in the end. >> in the end it was clearly a victory. the united states eliminated -- >> could have been better. >> if the united states had put troops in. >> we had to be tracked into this basically by the europeans. the president was slow to come around to this. >> i don't think so. i think the president was slow to say we will put american troops on the ground and there was no political support for that here in the united states and i think there would have been consequences to putting troops on the ground in another muslim country give than we had troops in iraq and afghanistan and problems with the pakistanis. the question is and i think you are right, expos major flows in terms of nato and ultimately
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2:the u.s. was engainled in another where but i think it was done in such a way as to not ar harm our relationships n the middle east and that is critical. >> it is hot clear the concept of leading from behind is a policy or whether it was just a practice that was applied in this case. you have to ask the question when it comes to syria are we leading from behind or leading at all? similarly with iran, it doesn't appear that the effort to keep iran from getting a nuclear weapon is succeeding except by virtue of their own technical stumbles and sabotaging their arms system or nuclear program. so i think there is a lot to -- a lot to be seen here. >> chris: we are out of time but let me ask you real quickly, brit, you hear all this talk about we should have an investigation. war crimes, the killing of qaddafi. are you offended by the way qaddafi ended? >> it does look like they
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captured him and just decided to kill him which isn't pretty but i don't think the world is going to mourn him for very long and all of this remains fodder for the far left and if there is an investigation so what. >> chris: we have to take a break here. we we come back, the debate show the republican field isn't afraid to mix it up. now, the republicans look to hit the campaign trail hard. 2012 politics, next. we know a place where tossing and turning have given way to sleeping. where sleepless nights yield to restful sleep. and lunesta can help you get there, like it has for so many people before. when taking lunesta, don't drive or operate machinery until you feel fully awake. walking, eating, driving, or engaging in other activities while asleep, without remembering it the next day, have been reported. abnormal behaviors may include aggressiveness, agitation, hallucinations or confusion.
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i don't think that i have ever hired an illegal in my life and so i'm looking forward to finding your facts on that because that just doesn't -- >> rick, again. >> you add -- >> rick, i'm speaking. i'm speaking. i'm speaking.
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>> the unforgettable moment this week when presidential candidates mitt romney and rick perry went toe to toe. and we are back now with the panel. let's start with a look at the latest real clear politics average recent polls so see where the field stands now. herman cain and mitt romney far ahead of the field followed by rick perry a distant third and the rest of the candidates in single digits. i guess several yeses. questions. take any you want, kim. can cain stay on top. can perry bounce back and can any of the other candidates break out? >> i think it is remarkable that cain has stayed where he has for more than a couple of weeks because now he is getting hammered on all sides on the questions of 99 plan on foreign policy. abortion became a big issue this week. it is hot in the sun light and he is right in the middle of the sun right now so we will see in the next couple of weeks. the big question here is romney
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especially now that you are having perly come out with the flat tax plan this week. there will be a lot of enthusiasm about that and talk in the base about livening this up in terms of economic policy and romney it still someone that is a little timid on this and has to pick up his game some if he wants to compete in this realm? >> chris: juan, your overview? >> the ads run by the campaigns this week were quite interesting in that you suddenly see romney really perceives perry despite what you saw in the poll numbers as his primary rival. he doesn't take cain seriously. i think everybody in the romney campaign expects that cain will go away and it will be about h his book tour and speaking fees. they think that in fact perry is about to be resurrected. he has money, he has a message and he is strong and commanding in presence and what you saw in the debates this week i think again is evidence that romney fears perry.
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that is the alternative that they think could knock them offpath even though romney has more none any and looks like he has a clear path to the nomination. >> chris: let's talk about herman cain. he had i think you could say two fairly big gaffes this week. first of all, he suggested to cnn he would consider trading all of the prisoners at guantanamo for a single u.s. hostage and this after the prisoner swap in israel and also said the government shouldn't be telling families what to do on abortion, it is their choice. he tried to walk both of them back. how much damage has been done? >> i think serious damage has been done. for all of the disaffection with professional politicians we see in the cycle and saw to some extent in the congressional election, in the end particularly when running for president it is not an advantage to be without long experience and he herman cain's
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lack of experience is leading to these misstatements. the abortion blunder was in explicable. it doesn't walk it back when you say it ought to be the person's choice but it is also illegal. i'm sorry, that doesn't help. i suspect that herman cain may have peaked and may begin to decline. and just on one other point. a lot of people think that this moment in the debate where romney and perry got into it with each other was helpful to perry. i couldn't disagree more. perry took an unmistakable cheap shot at romney on immigration. what he said was that romney hired an illegal. turns out it was a company that he hired which unknown to him had hired illegals. he told him to stop it and they said they would and when they didn't do that and more illegals got hired he fired the company. now, that is something that no
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smart politician would try to make an issue of. perry did. and then when kept trying to interrupt romney when romney was explaining that made prosecutorry look bad, too. i think he came out of it much the worse. >> do you think romney looked better when said i can't hire illegals i might run for president. >> his explanation it seems to me holds up. >> chris: david? >> we have begun to see the cracks in herman cain. he changed up the 999. all of a sudden not as simple as he said it was and it is very easy to attack this in a 30 second television ad. all you have to say is your taxes are going up. he a gar guy you didn't do the math right and check with my team and not your team and that policy analysis group isn't really independent. people don't have time for all of this. the second thing you have seen is what happens when you have
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an undisciplined candidate. the truth of the matter is when you have limited campaign experience and under the white hot spot light of running for president this is what can happen. the reason romney hasn't attacked cain is he hasn't had to. if there is in i threat he has it is perry and the $15 million and a very friendly persona if you get him away from the debates and that is ultimately his competition. >> chris: let's tell a dirty little secret that we because we don't want this to be obama romney for the next year want to see a republican primary race and i get the sense kim that you are suggesting that there is going to be an effort whether on his part or on our part to kind of resuscitate rick perry. >> we are not the only ones that don't want an obama romney. the white house is out there and they are going to try to undermine romney as much as they can and have the other republicans in the field
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damaging as much as they can. >> chris: to do you think that perry can salvage his campaign? a distant third at 13%. >> it has been a huge plummet. the legacy of herman cain whereever he goes is that people like rick perry has seen -- he has inspired a lot of republican primary voters out there with th simplicity. tuesday we will see rick perry announce the flat tax. it does not have the drawbacks about a national sales tax, for instance. it has a little bit of history. and he goal out there and try to pill back, claw back some of the enthusiasm riding off of herman cain. >> let me say the issue here i think for lots of republicans is, is mitt romney a real conservative on all of the flip flops and you will hear them from perry.
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when it comes to herman cain what is stunning is he is not just leading in the real clear average. he is leading now in iowa. he is leading around the country. it is amazing. they think he is an authentic genuine person and a real conservative. >> chris: we'll see how the polls change after this week. thank you, panel. see you next week. don't forget to check out panel plus where our group picks up with the discussion on our website "fox news sunday" west nile virus. wfoxnewssunday.com. we will post the video before noon eastern time. up next, we hear f
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>> chris: time for comments you posted our blog, many of you wrote about the continuing struggles of the u.s. economy. wayne johnson spent this. the individual spend ser the driver of the economy. you can tell all the banks and wall street and corporations full of cash but unless the consumer has dispose amp income there will be no improvement in the economy. >> one from florida wrote -- >> chris: please keep your comments coming. that is it for today. have a great week and we'll see you next fox news sunday.

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