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tv   Mc Laughlin Group  PBS  October 26, 2011 6:30pm-7:00pm PDT

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from washington, "the mclaughlin group," the american original. for over two decades the sharpest
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this is a momentous day in the history of libya. the dark shadow of tyranny has been lifted. moammar gaddafi, the ma hohn ruled libya for 42 years, is dead. gaddafi was killed by anti- gaddafi rebels who took th last holdout of gaddafi and his forces. the libyan city of sirte, gaddafi's hometown. also, jubilant libyans took over tripoli, and its powerhouse commercial city ben ghanzi, to celebrate the fall with cries of a la akbar, god is great! the fall of libya comes just two days after a surprise visit to tripoli by u.s. secretary of state hillary clinton. >> i'm proud to stand here on the soil of a free libya. this is libya's victory, and the future belongs to you. >> secretary clinton pledged
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economic and political support to push gaddafi libya. libya's liberation is seen as another jewel in the foreign policy crown of president barack obama. those achievements include the successful killing of al-qaeda leaders anwar al-awlaki and earlier, of course, osama bin laden. the president's approval numbers have been generally low, except for a majority of americans who currently approve of his job on fighting terrorism, 61%. question, which world leader deserves the greated credit for gaddafi's ouster, france's nicholas sarkozy, britain's david cameron, or america's barack obama? pat buchanan? >> barack obama does, john, because the united states was the power there when the britt
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cruise missiles on the first day. >> was he slow to join the group. >> no, the americans if the first 10 days did the heave lifting then backed off. but we provided the surveillance, the drops. let me put this this way. i don't think moammar gaddafi would have lost that conflict if the british and on action alone with the rebels. america was the in indispensable power so barack obama deserves credit. he got the death he deserved. what will happen now, here's a country of 140 tribes, divided between -- and it's not a unified country, and -- >> the question -- >> no experience. >> we don't want a history of -- >> what i'm saying is that we killed the devil we know and now we might find seven devils we don't know. >> who deserves the most credit? what about sarkozy? wasn't he first on the scene? >> yes, give sarkozy a lot of
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credit. if he hadn't pressed the question may not have a arrays end in the u.s. but the u.s. is best and largest military power in the world, and i think he has put together what could be called the obama doctrine, and that is marrying brutal, lethal force when necessary, and he introduced the drones into that conflict. and they made the difference. and then marrying that with this more nuanced effort among allies in terms of boots on the ground, in terms of military hardware. and this president has made a number of very risky bets in foreign policy, and they've paid off. not the ones patted just rattled off. remember the pirates when threat seals went in and snipers and took out three of the pirates in a little rowboat or lifeboat? that was -- >> great victory! >> gutsy call the president made as far as policy. he deserves a lot of credit.
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may not get very much. >> susan, welcome. >> thank you. i agree with the first guests. i think sarkozy definitely gets credit for pushing this operation. but like patted was saying, it was the united states that put the real power behind the nato operation. but i think people deserve the credit are the libyan people who got out and got this movement going and shed a lot of blood and made a lot of sacrifices some if they're listening they would want to take the credits themselves. >> what are the next stems for libya? >> i think implicit of what pat was saying, we don't know which tribes will take over. and we don't know how that government will e involve. we won't have that much announce on what is going on internally. we had all of nato's power focused on this country. it took us five months to beat a ragtag army so it wasn't an easy thing to do and we didn't have that much military force there. the tribes will make the difference, not us. >> do you know we have the
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ambassador -- not the ambassador, the president of norway in washington this week. >> prime minister. >> oh, the prime minister, excuse me, the prime minister. correct. it's a different form of government. it's not a -- as we are here. but do we want to salute the norwegians for the role they played in nato and the bombing of gaddafi? >> sure. >> he was out there a lot. >> yes, about six planes -- >> but every time you pick up a news report, you would see the norway out there. because we send out our forces. >> without the united states, nato, everybody was involved, would not have accomplished this without the americans. and i agree the libyans certainly took most, almost all the casualties, but the united states was the indispensable foreign power. >> but you maintain that obama was ready, willing and able or did he have to be dragged kicking in. >> i agree with eleanor.
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he came if hard the first 10 days, then backed off and said, you do it and we'll be behind but provide all these other things. >> not because -- he wanted to, because this is -- he doesn't want to shoulder the whole burden. this operation cost a little bit more than a billion dollars, and cost not a single american life. it was a war of choice. just as iraq was a war of choice. and look amount the cost of the war of choice in iraq. bush made a gamble and didn't pay off. this president made a gamble and it paid off. >> do you think the result will be really good? i'm not so sure. i wouldn't have started the war! >> the war has had a successful end, and -- >> well, he's dead! >> this is not a debate. this is a group discussion. can we move on? exit question, will the killing of gaddafi and president obama's planned withdrawal of nearly all 39,000 troops from iraq by december boost obama's
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chances of winning re-election? pat buchanan? >> i think the iraq thing, getting out of iraq, i credit him very much there too. he did the right thing. i agreed with mort, who said before that these things have a very shorted shelf life. we don't know what will happen in iraq or in libya. could be a mess. so i don't know, john. but i think he it the right finger iraq and libya. >> you don't think the staying power of the gaddafi story is so dramatic that did it will have staying power? >> don't last two weeks. >> come on! >> what's the answer? >> get a little bit of a bump, but this is critical because the republicans are trying to portray him as another jimmy carter, overwhelmed by problems at home and abroad. this takes away half the narrative. it keeps him in the game. he's had a foreign policy string of successes that are truly his for you can. >> and the notion he'll take all the troops out of iraq is really good now for getting loyalty of his base, getting people out to vote for him who
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are pure democrats who really wanted this war to be over. if he left the troops in iraq, it would have been harder for him to get the base out to vote for him. and that's who he needs to get out for the 2012 election. >> you doesn't think the dieharders and -- and -- on the ground already in libya, strong enough to take over the election? >> we don't know in libya. there are 140 tribes, we know who will be the strongest one. we don't know what will happen in egypt or in iraq because of the sunni battle, government, a supporter of iran, not of ours. so we don't know how all this will play. i'm not saying they made the wrong decision. it's too early to celebrity and light the candles. >> i think that this is a terrific boost for the president. there is a critical mass where
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he seems to have established that critical mass for himself as being a wise, prudent and careful but a courageous leader, don't you think? i hope so. i think it's a big success on his part. >> done a good job. s foreign p >> when we come back -- >> the nation is not focused on foreign policy right now. that's his problem no this is true. but somehow the drama of this story -- >> no, when -- when we got osama bin laden, he had a 9 or 10-point jump in the polls. and i said then in two months it will be gone because this country is focused on the economy and jobs. >> gaddafi came here for the first time this past year, spoke at the u.n., got some publicity there, he's kind of awakened issue two, cain's 9-9-9 versus romney's 5-9. >> the reason i've a plan being attacked so much is because
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lobbyist, accountants, politicians, they don't want to throw out the current tax code and put in something that is simple and fair. >> herman cain, the republican candidate for the 2012 presidential election, just 13 months from now had the political bull's-eye squarely on him. cain spent nearly 30 minutes during tuesday night's debate defending his tax plan, the 9-9- 9 plan. that plan would deep six the current i.r.s. tax code with its, get this, 70,000 pages. cain and cain wants a triple flat tax, a 9% flat tax on corporations, a 9% flat tax on individuals, and a 9% flat sales tax on bought goods. the plan was fiercely attacked in the debate by nearly all of the contenders for the
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republican presidential nomination, notably the front- runner, former massachusetts governor mitt romney. >> i want to reduce taxes on middle income families. i like your hutzpahness but the analysis i did, person by person, returned by return is middle income people see higher taxes under your plan. >> the romney plan entitled believe in america spans 160 pages e encompassing 59 points. the highlights -- one, income taxes. keep tax rates at their current reduced levels enacted under president george w. bush and renewed last year by president obama. two, capital gains taxes. eliminate capital gains taxes for anyone earning less than $200,000 a year. three, corporate taxes -- cut the taxes on corporate profits
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from the current 35% to 25%. four, constitutional amendment. a balanced budget amendment to the u.s. constitution that would cap federal spending at 20% of u.s. gdp. question, which plan makes more sense for our economy, with 70% of growth comes from consumer spending? romney's cuts or is it -- >> no, the cain puts a 9% sales tax on that would be disincentive to consume. however, his tax cut, my tax rate would go aa as mort's would from 35 down to 9, on that would give us a tremendous amount of money that wouldn't go to the -- >> affect mort? >> some of us would go out and spend it. mort's a billionaire. most people would spend it. but the problem with cain is there's no way you get a 9% sales tax through the congress of the united states.
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>> it's unworkable and unfair. and when republicans cross that stage think it's unfair and it mistreats the poor and middle- class, you know there little is something wrong wigot on a lot because it's simple and catchy and he's a great salesman. but his tax plan is going nowhere. >> does romney understand what it takes to amend the constitution? >> well -- if you want to get his tax plan through with a constitutional amendment, even i will be old at that point. it's -- look -- [everyone talking at once] >> what is important is everybody understands we have to do something doctors tick with the tax code. it's counter-productive to the economy. if we want to stimulate the economy, we've got to absolutely limit eliminate all the special privilege and special benefits, many given to people who don't deserve it, and simplify the tax rates. and that would stimulate -- both the consumers and business. one thing we could do without
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increasing -- >> i don't know. this sounds good, too many details, too many loopholes. baloney! those things have been very carefully thought through, piecemeal through congress. i'm serious about that. >> john! >> corporation make withdraws or take exceptions to being taxed, it's -- it's some kind of -- instigation to stay here in the united states and not go to china. >> john, with all due respect, i do think that many of these particularly amendments were put through by specific lobbying groups and -- >> so what? so what? >> so it's unequal! [everyone talking at once] >> tell you things about your public policy that even you don't realize. thirdly, they represent the legitimate interests of corporations which are persons. remember that [everyone talking at once] >> not with the 99 percenters on wall street who think all this corporate power that's manipulating the tax code is not a good thing. >> you raise a good question. what do you think of this ows,
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"occupy wall street" movement? >> rite now they need to -- they're avoiding having any kind of specific message. they get out there and say, pay my tuition and they say that the banks are stealing houses. but people -- you know, took loans out for those houses. and the banks gave them the money. so three calling it stealing. they're certainly sympathetic group. kids who got out of college and can't get jobs. but their message is a little bit -- >> it is true they made it rich, the banks did, with tarp. >> yes. >> but they're paying that back. >> rich people made money gambling with paper. then when they went under -- >> it's a gamble. he had risk involved. >> there's a feeling of unearned wealth and that's the problem. but the reason they don't define themselves by staying stands is because then they will divide it. >> how do you handle that person? >> the problem of unends wealth, you personally?
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>> you pay minimum wage on the "the mclaughlin group," john, you solve that question. >> exit question, what are republicans leaning towards, reforming our existing tax structure or adopting the new cain formula? >> i think everybody is for the reform. i think mort talked about get rid of deductions, ex edges, reduce the corporate rates and the personal rates. >> everybody is for a reform. but it takes years to put a package like that together. it's not going to reinvigorate the economy now, when we need to it. >> well it should. >> there's an opportunity for tax reform now, super committee in congress, at least get the conversation going, and that's where herman cain gets credit. clearly the country is interested in this so the next president is probably going to have on this their agenda. >> i agree with pat's agreement of me. >> i agree that even sue three, thousand. >> you like fine. how are you? >> i'm very excited.
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>> gilead shalit is a first- class sergeant in the israeli military. he's now 25 years old. this week, he was a free man. shalit returned to a hero's welcome in israel after being hostage by the palestinian group, hamas for five years. under an exchange agreement in diplomatic swap deal, the palestinian hamas swapped shalit, whom they were holding, for palestinians held in israeli prisons. 1027 palestinians. question, is this prisoner exchange the start of reset in relations between the palestinians and the israelis? susan? >> i don't see how it could be the start when a lot of people they'll let out will probably kill more israelis and that's just going to make things more difficult between the two regions. i don't see how letting out terrorists and having them kill more israelis is helpful.
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>> i think it is commendable that the israelis go to retrieve their wounded and get back their soldiers. it's ideal. but i will say just one thousand of these people and some are mass murderers, letting them go and i think in many more dead israelis. >> this is a glimmer of confidence the two sides were able to put together. and i think that -- there's an opening that maybe can be exploited. there's a long history of these kinds of prison exchanges, always unbalanced. the israelis can say one of ourselves is worth a thousand of them. and the palestinians can say they got their people back. the downside is the palestinians may think that if they -- more israelis soldiers. >> hamas is already -- >> netanyahu is a crafty politician. you have a security fence there. israelis don't feel that is -- >> i got a problem with his book, fighting terrorism.
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what do you say about that. >> clearly in one sense this is inconsistent with that surprise, surprise when people get in office they have different views of things. but the issue from the israeli view is this is a soldier and they have an epp nick that army that have to do whatever it takes to get their soldiers back. it would have been different if he was hostage was a civilian and that's something you have a big effect. having said that, as a former chief of staff said, my heart says yes, my head says no, because you're right and everybody else is right, it exposes not only issue issue of kidnapping but emboldens gaza. i mean hamas. it strengthenings the last people you want to strengthen. and it will weaken the p.l.o., which is what you don't want. so there are many complications, but 79% of the israeli supported is because they wanted to get the soldier
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back. he became everybody's child over the last five, six years, because of an unbelieveable campaign organized by his family to get every israeli government to try go get the release going. >> it wasn't a product of a tv campaign. >> no, but he was on television. >> i know. >> they were the -- they -- the family -- >> you think -- netanyahu did the right thing? >> in terms of the conflict issue four, obama and "occupy wall street." >> i understand the frustrations that are buying expressed in those protests. in some ways, they're not that different from some of the protests that we saw coming from the tea party. >> the protests president obama is talking about are the "occupy wall street," ows, protests. ows protestors have been protesting for weeks against wall street and its big
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investment banks and big corporations. the protestors believe that wall street corporations caused the ongoing economic unemployment crisis. these protests have now taken place, in, get this, 250 cities in the u.s., also in other cities throughout the world -- london, rome, sydney, hong kong, frankfurt, taipei, toronto. ows has recently released a list of their demands, which include, one, government subsidized health care. for every american. two, $20 an hour minimum wage, as opposed to the current minimum wage of $7.25 per hour. three, a guaranteed living income for all. four, debt forgiveness for all americans, forgive student debt, forgive credit card debt,
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forgive mortgage debt. many believe that president obama is taking cues from the ows movement in order to rally his liberal anti-business bait. >> you have to explain to working families why their taxes are going up while the richest americans and largest sweet deal. >> question, is it politically risky for president obama to embrace the cause of these disillusioned progress sniffs? he's trying to rechannel the anger against the wall street of the wealthier or against his administration. but as you can see from the programs put forth, they're totally preposterous, impossible to make work this. isn't to say we shouldn't do some things and these are people who are concerned about eye simple thing, the future ain't what it used to be. >> susan, let me and you this, doug arkansas a democratic
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pollster is highly regarded. he says, it's dangerously out of touch with the broad mass of the american people and particularly with swing voters who are largely independent and have been trending away from the president since the debated over health care reform." you understand that? >> i think that president obama's right to try to channel like you said, channel the argument away from him and channel it at the financial industry, big banks, try to get attention off him. >> for political reasons? >> absolutely. he's good job. i've got very few crilost the i so he needs to get base on his side. but the problem with these "occupy wall street" folks is their message is just all over the place. the things they're asking for are impossible. >> one problem is, this is utopian nonsense. drawn up by some sophomore at a junior college or something. here's the real problem, these guys -- as they keep marching and marching with no specific demands, the weather will get bad and to get attention
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they'll start breaking the law and breaking the -- >> they are breaking the law. >> then the american people will recoil and rebel against them. >> and he'll get the left but lose the center if he stays too close to them. >> can somebody come in with a positive word about the wall street protests? why are you so worried? >> it's obama that should be worried. >> i don't agree. this is the only energy there is on the left and they are reflecting a lot of anger in this country. these -- i agree these demonstrations -- >> you know what -- >> but corporations, politics, are starting to listen. >> do you know what percentage of the ows people are unemployed? >> they're the ones able to get out and there's a legion of unemployed and they're very respectable people, unlike the way they're characterized. >> 15% are unemployed, above the 9.1% national average. but not the national youth average. does that mean anything to you? this is all doug. >> it means to me this is a
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spontaneous outpouring. the democrats didn't organize it, special interests groups haven't got continue in there. the unions are trying to figure out how they can plug in and some of the progressive -- groups as well they should. >> susan -- >> tea party had an enormous impact in 5010 then could impact 2012 if they begin to channel what they want and organize around jobs and income and equality, not the list you put on. >> is? true or false. if obama aligns himself with "occupy wall street" it will only reasons for the perception hevoters. 41% of americans say they're conservative. 36% call themselves moderate. >> i don't think that message needs to be reinforced. think he's deliver that message loud and clear. people know where he stands now, whereas they weren't sure when he took office. and now he needs to win over the people that he knows he can win, the people on the left. >> the left is where he does not want to be. >> if were you giving advice to
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him, what would you tell him this to do? >> go for it. he won't win the independent voters in 2012. >> that's not a prediction you can make now give me the date when cain's write ratings will fouled behind romney. >> second week in november. >> which thanksgiving. >> november. >> yeah, the end of october. >> the answer, christmas. bye-bye!
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