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tv   Special Report With Bret Baier  FOX News  September 18, 2009 4:00am-5:00am EDT

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from new york, good night, america. [captioning made possible by fox news channel] captioned by the national captioning institute bret: next on "special report" president obama pulls the plug on a ground based missile defense shield for europe. we'll tell you his reasons and get reaction. we'll also look at the politics of the deal and reports that iran may already have the ability to build a nuclear bomb. we'll examine the fortunes of the latest healthcare reform bill and tell you why house speaker nancy pell pelosi got emotional about the subject today and show you why the community group acorn is hemorrhaging money and support. all that, plus the fox all-stars, right here, right now. welcome to washington.
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i'm bret baier. president obama is taking heavy fire tonight for a decision to abandon plans for a missile defense system based in eastern europe. we have fox team coverage tonight. national security correspondent jen jennifer griffin reports that the president is pursuing a different strategy which he and his aides say will be a better fit. >> this is what the pentagon says the obama administration's new missile defense system will look like -- ship-based, mobile and a lot cheaper than the ground-based system planned for poland and the czech republic. >> to put it simply, our new defense system in europe will provide stronger, smarter and swifter defenses of american forces an america's allies. it is more cox pre-hencive than the -- more comprehensive than the previous program. >> those who we have scrapping missile defense in europe are misinformed or misunderstanding the reality of what we are doing. >> gates urged p president bush three years ago to adopt the ground based system in
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eastern europe which angered the are russians. pentagon officials say plans changed because the intelligence changed and iran's long range intercontinental ballistic missiles have not developed as quickly as they thought. its short and medium-range missiles, which are capable of being fitted with a nuclear weapon, are growing in number. the american ship-based regis defense system can carry up to 100 missiles. >> if you can't adapt, you're disadvantaged. this system gives us a more capable ability to adapt to the threat. >> it was welcomed by the russians who fought hard against a ground-based missile defense system in europe. >> we appreciate this responsible move by the u.s. president. >> but there was a cool reception from poland and the czech republic. >> the czech republic acknowledges the announcement of the president of the united states about this decision. we were aware about the possible backing away. >> meanwhile, there are reports that the u.n.'s nuclear watchdog has concluded that iran has, quote,
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sufficient information to build a nuclear bomb, something the iaea head has previously denied. a secret annex to a recent iaea report concludes, according to the associated press, that iran has already overcome problems developing a delivery system for such a weapon. in an official statement tonight, the nuclear watchdog says that it does not have any concrete proof that iran has or has had a nuclear weapons program. nonetheless, these leaks out of the iaea in vienna come at an awkward time as president obama tries to engage iran and radically change missile defense plans for europe. bret: raised a lot of eyebrows around here. jennifer griffin live at the pentagon. thank you. let's look now at the political fallout from the president's move. here is senior white house correspondent major garrett. >> president obama walked into a firestorm of criticism republicans hurling adjectives like appeasement and betrayal alleging that the president
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buckled under russian pressure and sent a signal of weakness to iran. the president denied both charges all we have repeatedly made clear to russia that its concerns about our previous missile defense programs were entirely unfounded. our clear and consistent focus has been the focus of iran's ballistic missile program. that continues to be our focus. >> the white house specifically denied any deals with russia. >> this is not about russia. this is about protecting our homeland. it's about protecting the troops that we have deployed overseas and to protect our freedom, and it was about ensuring the defense of our allies, our european and nato allies. >> and yet u.s. missile defense plans have dominated mr. obama's meetings with dimitry medvedev and russian prime minister vladimir putin. >> it's inevitable that this will be seen no matter how people try to slice it in the connect of the enormous fuss that russia has put up about missile defense since the bush
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administration made the announcement in january 2007. >> top u.s. officials don't deny that russia may now back down on some things. >> the russians will decide how constructive they want to be on iran in the next few weeks. >> during the campaign, mr. obama told fox's bill o'reilly this about missile defense in poland and the czech president. >> you will keep the missile shield in poland? >> i believe it is appropriate. i want to make sure it works, though. >> the president decided to shift to a medium-range missle defense posture sunday after reviewing the recommendations from top national security advisors. republicans blasted the move. >> history teaches that weakness and appeasement invite aggression. the preeminent responsibility of the president of the united states is to protect the national security of the united states. i believe president barack obama's actions today fundamentally betray that responsibility. >> vice president biden also weighed in on this in an
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interview with cnn in baghdad where he said i think we are crepable and sec in dealing with any iranian threat. some republicans interpret pret that as taking a soft line in suggesting that this shift away from ra ground-based to a sea-based missile defense system in europe may, in fact invite more iranian aggression or signal to them u.s. weakness. the white house denies such a charge. bret. bret: major garrett live on the north lawn. thank you. the latest fox news poll shows the president's job approval holding steady at 54%. congress's job approval has plummeted to 27, down 13 points since january. on the question of healthcare reform, 48% of those surveyed oppose the current healthcare reform effort going on in congress. 38% approve. the latest stab at a healthcare overhaul is getting slashed from all sides. chief political correspondent carl cameron reports that while lawmakers take turns ripping the proposal from max
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baucus, the president continues to push for something to get done. >> presidential pressure on congress to reform healthcare campaign rally style. >> there are still those in washington who are resistant to change. who are more willing to address the status quo. >> after missing months of self-imposed deadlines, lawmakers finally have a proposal that had some bipartisan input. >> well, there is a lot of grumbling. >> olympia snowe, mike enzi and charles grassley spent months helping shape the draft but they say it needs more work and falls short as is. >> to say this is a bipartisan bill would be dishonest. >> liberals refused to commit because they want a government insurance option and believe under the baucus option, insurance premiums will remain too expensive.
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>> we need to make it fairer to working people, so that working folks don't get dragged into this at a level where they just don't have the incomes to support it. >> i have taken the bill and looked at what it means on a monthly basis to an average family, and the numbers aren't good enough. >> nancy pelosi pronounced the baucus plan and co-ops dead in the house. >> i fully support a public option. a public option will be in the bill before it is recommended. >> when asked about the violent tone of the national debate, the san francisco liberal choked up and compared healthcare reform opposition to anti-gay protests and violence that gripped her city, including the murder of two democratic politicians 30 years ago. >> i have concerned about some of the language that that is being used because i saw this myself in the late '70's in san francisco, this kind of rhetoric was very frightening, and it gave a economy in which
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violence took place. >> 50 democrats oppose the so-called public option, along with every republican in the house and senate. >> this is still more and more government takeover of our healthcare system. that is something that myself and most republicans oppose. >> with no base of support in either party, it looks as though the baucus proposal with its co-ops instead of a public option will fade into oblivion if not outright killed next week. bret: that same fox news poll shows 65% of those surveyed think opposition to the president's policies are lonest disagreements. 20% think it is based on racism. the number of first-time applicants for jobless benefits has fallen to the lowest level since early july. there were 545,000 new requests last week.
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construction of new homes and apartments was up 1 1/2 percentage points last month, and wall street ended its winning streak today, the dow fell 7 and the s&p dropped 3 and the nasdaq gave back 6 1/2. two florida school officials could go to jail for praying. and does the group known as acorn have a prayer of
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aarp medicare supplement insurance plans. call now. ♪ glenn: the political momentum is snowballing against the community organization known as acorn in the wake of undercover videos broadcast first on fox news channel. catherine herridge is here with the latest bad news for the group in the form of major congressional action. >> thanks, bret. tonight congress is moving to ban federal funding of acorn. today the senate voted 85-11 to deny acorn future federal contracts and grant money from the department of the interior. earlier the house voted
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overwhelmingly, 345-75 to ban all federal funding. the top republican in the house said the write something on the wall for acorn. i think this will have a chilling effect on their election activities, and, frankly, have a chilling effect on anyone wanting to have a relationship with them. >> if you put all of acorn's problems into one basket including reports of voter registration fraud, prendzing criminal cases and now video sting operations, you will find 19 states and the did the strict of columbia are affected. now california governor arnold schwarzneggar wants to pull funding in his state. >> are you talking about one out of every $9 is spent there. i think you will see a sequential effort by governors, both republican and democratic, to defund acorn in their own state. >> what is striking about these undercover videos, according to a former justice department official is that the acorn workers seem very comfortable explaining how to
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game the system to a couple disguised as a pimp and a prostitute who want to buy a house for a brothel. >> we saw the people on the video apparently giving advice to the folks coming in off the street on ways that they could structure their operations to evade federal tax laws. >> i would emphasize that the f.b.i. director has only said he would consult with the justice department so any review is clearly in a preliminary stage. bret: we will continue to follow t thank you. this quick programming note. acorn's c.e.o. bertha lewis and congressman congressman darryl issa will be guests on fox news sunday. it will cost taxpayers $6.5 billion to maintain the fence along the u.s.-mexican border another 20 years on top of the $2.5 billion spent to build more than 600 miles of fence segments. the government accountability office says there have been
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almost 3, 400 breaches of that fence at a repair cost of $1,300 each. the troubled economic times for california are providing many criminals with a get out of jail free card. claudia cowan reports the state's prison system has too many inmates and not nearly enough money. >> the arrest of bill and nancy garrido is fueling debate over california's plan to cut prison costs by releasing thousands of inmates back to the streets. an ex-con with a history of violence, garrido is charged with concealing jaycee dugard for 18 years and fathering two children with her despite being a sex offender subject to visits by parole people. >> california sunder pressure to fix a prison system so overcrowded that a panel says it violates prisoners' constitutional rights. sacremento plans to cut prison
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spending by more than a billion dollars to close a $26 billion budget deficit. republicans say rather than free criminals, cut costs like inmate health benefits. our seniors on medicare do not get the same quality healthcare that these prisoners get. >> but to close the budget gap, the democrat controlled legislature voted to reduce the p prison population by 16,000 inmates through expanding credits for inmates in rehab, changing some property crimes from felonies to misdemeanors and focusing parole supervision on the most dangerous offenders. >> all of them will be released at some point. the question is whether we will do it in an orderly supervisory schedule. >> the governor is expected to sign the legislation but the work is far from over. on friday, state prison officials must tell the courts how they will reduce overcrowding. building new lockups may be the most obvious answer but with a smaller budget, the state may have to release another 24,000 inmates.
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new neighbors that many communities will be hard pressed to welcome. outside san quentin prison, claudia cowan, fox news. bret: massachusetts lawmakers move one step closer to change changing the law about replacing the late ted kennedy, and a requiem for a true american hero today at the white house.@
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>> in news around the world, police in indonesia say they have killed the man they call the most dangerous terrorist in southeast asia, found in a raided hideout in solo after and hours long gunfight and an explosion. he has been implicated in every major terror attack in indonesia since 2002.
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another suicide bombing in somolia was carried are out by terrorists driving cars with united nations logos. the shabob terrorist group said it hit the main base of african union peacekeepers in retaliation for monday's killing of one of its leaders by u.s. navy seals. at least 16 people died in kabul, afghanistan today in a suicide car bombing ailed at an italian military convoy. the bomber rammed his car into two of the vehicles. the taliban has claimed responsibility. meantime, defense secretary robert gates is urging patients back here at home in deciding whether to send more u.s. troops to afghanistan. one of those brave soldiers who served in afghanistan and paid the ultimate price there was hon r honored today at the white house. correspondent james rosen has the story of a true american hero. >> i have made peace with god by telling my family i loved them. >> the last words of jarrett c. monte, the native of
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massachusetts 0 upon whom president obama conveyed the medal of honor, the military's highest tribute. threesomers ago, monte was on his second tour of duty in afghanistan serving in the elite tenth mountain division. on june 21st, 2006, after spending two days hiking up a mountain, he and his fellow soldiers arrived to fortify a mortar fire positional long a ridge. >> that evening, they were attacked by about 50 taliban warriors. soup superior officers recalled how the enemy fighters accustomed to the terrain and armed with rocket-propelled grenades outflanked them. >> sergeant monte used his rifle to disrupt the fighters and called for artillery fire and close air support, which is really what broke the enemy's back. if monte hadn't been able to get that call for fire in and get the 105's in, and the 10 a's hitting the enemy positions, they could have
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evenly been overrun. >> three u.s. soldiers were already hilt, including private first class brian j. bradbury of missouri r >> sergeant cunningham said i'm going to get biefts bradbury and sergeant monte said no, he's my soldier and i'm going to get him. >> monte attempted three times to retrieve bradbury. >> and on the third time he was mortally wounded but held on, but not without a price. by the end of the night, jarrett and three others including the soldier he tried to save had given their lives. monte had already earned the purple heart and bronze star. never married, he was represented at the ceremony by his parents, janet and paul monte. james rosen, fox news. bret: are snrartses wasting millions of your tax dollars patting themselves on the back? we report. you decide. and in theme quality and reliability...
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bret: and now some fresh pickings from the political grapevine. it appears president obama got it wrong when he talked about a man who supposedly died because his insurance company cancelled his coverage. the president told the story during his speech during a joint session of congress last week. quote "one man from illinois lost his coverage in the
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middle of chemotherapy because his insurer found he hadn't reported gallstones that he didn't even know about. they delayed his treatment and he died because of t" but "the wall street journal" reports he did not die because of delays. his insurance policy was reinstated within three weeks and he later received a stem cell transplant. he died this year, nearly four years after the initial problems with his insurer. his sister told the house energy commerce oversight committee in week that her brother received treatment that, quote, "extended his life approximately three years." but aides to the president say he got the story essentially correct because he did lose his insurance before the transplant. the senate has voted to keep spending millions of your tax dollars on road signs telling motorists where billions in stimulus money is being spent. republican senator judd gregg says, quote "that lawmakers can pat themselves on the back, but these signs cost a
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lot of money." gregg tells "the washington times" the signs cost up to $3,000 apiece. officials in some states say they would rather spend that money on more projects but california democratic senator barbara boxer says "why on earth would you want to hide from the american people that the recovery package we passed is putting people to work?" and dozens of lawmakers are lining up in support of two florida school officials on trial for praying in the presence of students. pace high school president frank lay and athletic director robert freeman are charged with contempt of court for allegedly violating the conditions of a lawsuit settlement with the americans civil liberties unions. "the washington times" reports 60 members of congress have signed a letter of support for the men. one of those, florida republican jeff miller says, quote "the founding fathers would be appalled. a federal judge has gone well outside the bounds of the constitution to declare that prayer offered among adults is illegal." virginia republican randy forbes says it is, quote, "one
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of the first times we have literally had the potential for the criminalization of prayer in the united states of america." and an official with the aclu calls the lawman's letter "political grandstanding." republicans are praying that they can get electoral momentum in the fall in virginia. correspondent shannon beam has a fox news politics report on today's debate between the men vying to become the commonwealth's next governor. >> it is a state race that many believe has national implications. the virginia gubernatorial showdown between republican bob mcdonnell and democrat creigh deeds. for the first time in four decades, virginia went to a democrat in the last presidential election. as mr. obama's approval rate having fallen, so have deeds. got campaigned together during a debate today moderated by david gregory, deeds seemed hesitant to link himself to a president whose policies are increasingly unpopular. >> i think he's a smart guy.
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he's an innovative guy. we agree on a great many things. i'm proud to have his support. >> but you're not an obama democrat? >> i'm a creigh deeds democrat. >> deeds seemed to hedge on a key issue. >> no, i'm not going to raise taxes. >> but when pressed on that after the debate? >> i'm not going to raise general fund taxes. i know we have to raise money for transportation. >> will you raise other kinds of taxes? >> i think -- i meant what i said. i have no plan to raise general fund taxes. >> for mcdonnell, the issue is a thesis he wrote in graduate school that said working mothers are dret trimentsal to the family. he says his views have evolved and his criticism is unmerited. >> i can't believe that you would say to my daughter who i supported and sent to school for 28 years that i don't plan to support working women. >> the race has tightened significantly with mcdonnell
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pulling 48% of voters while 46% favor deeds, putting the race in a virtual tie. >> the most respected leaders on the budget -- >> the parties are pouring millions into the race. >> hoping ads like these will give their candidate an edge come november. >> where america is going, virginia may get there first. we want to look and see what virginia does as an ultimately purple state. virginia is a deeply purple state. it isn't red. it isn't blue. >> recent history favors mcdonnell in this race. for more than 30 years the party that has won the white house has lost the subsequent virginia governor's election. in washing washington, shannon bream, fox news. bret: candidates for the massachusetts senate seat long held by ted kennedy have less than three months to make their cases before the first voting. molly line is here to tell us who is running and about the possibility that a placeholder may soon be named. hi, molly. >> hi, bret. that's right.
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the massachusetts house of representatives has just passed a preliminary are bill that will allow the governor to appoint an interim senator to fill that seat in the meantime while they look towards this special election that will be held in january. ite now, it's working its way through the house. it is likely to go to the senate where a tougher battle could ensue. it was initially changed back in 2004 to prevent then republican governor mitt romney from changing the law. should senator kerry have won and headed on to the presidency, so now democrats are facing quite a bit of controversy over that. powerful washington democrats concerned about their filibuster-proof majority on capitol hill have really urged the massachusetts democrats to step up and get this passed, but massachusetts republicans are saying not so fast. they will try everything they can to slow it down. we'll see how successful they are. in the meantime, the race for this seat has gotten a bit more competitive. boston celtics co-owner steven paluka is taking a shot
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at politics. he has the means to self-finance his campaign. >> i know the race won't be easy. politics will as tough as any high-stakes business deal. it is as tough as professional sports. >> deep pockets will make him a contender but winning won't be a slam dunk. pagliuca is managing director of bank capital, the same firm cofounded by romney and he did receive criticism that the company was responsible for lost jobs. martha coakley was the first to announce her plans to pursue the seat earlier this month. the well-known prosecutor has name recognition on her side but a significant funding problem to overcome. republican state senator scott brown is frontrunner on his side of the aisle and faces tough odds. registered democrats outnumber republicans three to one in
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massachusetts. this is certainly a tough race to the finish here. the primary is scheduled for december 8 and the special election january 19, so they have just a few short months to win the hearts and minds of massachusetts voters. bret. bret: molly line live in boston. thank you. while the political bombs are flying following the president's decision to abandon a european missile defense shield, a ground-based one, we will hear from our own bomb throwers, if yot if you haa hoveround power chair? the statue of liberty? the grand canyon? it's all possible with a hoveround. tom: hi i'm tom kruse, inventor and founder of hoveround. when we say you're free to see the world, we mean it. call today and get a free hoveround information kit that includes a video and full color brochure. dennis celorie: "it's by far the best chair i've ever owned." and if you qualify get it for little or no money. jim plunkitt: "no cost. absolutely no cost to me." breaking news...when you call today, we'll include
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