tv CBS Evening News With Katie Couric CBS January 25, 2011 5:30pm-6:00pm PST
because it's so mild outside. >> see you at 7:30. good night. >> couric: the state of the union: too much debt, too few jobs, two long wars. tonight, president obama tells the nation how he plans to deal with all that and much more. i'm katie couric. also tonight, picking partners. republicans and democrats pair up to watch the speech in a bipartisan show of unity and civility. violent protests in lebanon and a warning from the u.s. after the terror group hezbollah takes control of the lebanese government. and these hockey moms are not on the sidelines, they're in the game. captioning sponsored by cbs this is the "cbs evening news" with katie couric reporting tonight from washington.
>> couric: good evening, everyone. in a short while, president obama will head over to the capitol and deliver his second state of the union address and he'll come face to face with the new political reality: one house of congress now controlled by the opposition. with so many americans still with so many americans still struggling, the economy will dominate this speech. administration officials say the president has plans for aggressive spending cuts to get the deficit down and, as for creating jobs, they believe there is common ground with republicans on areas like investing in research and development. we have extensive coverage tonight beginning with chip reid at the white house. chip? >> reporter: well, katie, the white house says this will be a very optimistic speech. here's an excerpt just released by the white house. the president will say: when the president was asked
"how's the speech coming" today he sounded like he wasn't quite sure. >> i think it will be okay. i hope so, anyway. >> reporter: white house advisors, though, say they are sure of one thing, that the president will focus like a laser beam on the economy and jobs calling on americans to summon their competitive spirit to win the economic future. >> now we're competing with people all over the world, companies all over the world, and we have the fundamentals to win that competition. >> reporter: to prime the economic pump, the president will call for new spending. he'll call for investments in education, infrastructure, research and innovation. but to show he's also serious about cutting the deficit, he'll call for a freeze on nondefense spending, saving about $400 billion over five years. entitlement programs like medicare and social security will be exempt. many republicans are already up in arms, calling the president's freeze proposal inadequate and questioning the president's so-called investments.
>> i'm hopeful that the word "investment" really isn't more stimulus spending and a bigger government here in washington. >> reporter: and while the president tonight will call on republicans to join him in reaching across the aisle, some republicans are focused on a lack of trust. >> most republicans will probably agree that they agree with 80% of what the president says, they just disagree with 80% of what he does. >> reporter: despite all the sharp differences, the tone in the house chamber is expected to be respectful tonight, in part because memories of the shooting in tucson are still so fresh. sitting in first lady michelle obama's box will be the family of nine-year-old christina taylor green who was killed in the shooting. intern daniel hernandez, who helped save congresswoman gabrielle giffords' life, and gifford' doctor, peter rhee. katie, a senior white house official tells me that the president believes the american people are crying out for leadership and he will provide it. one official said at times it will sound like a pep talk. katie? >> couric: all right.
chip reid at the white house. chip, thank you. we'll see you later tonight. now, there may be as much interest in what's going on in the audience tonight as there is in what the president is actually saying because in a break with that tradition democrats sitting on one side, republicans on the other, many members have decided to mix things up a bit. congressional correspondent nancy cordes is on capitol hill tonight. nancy, i know members have been scrambling today to find what i guess we'd call a "date." >> reporter: you sure can call it a date because that's what the members are calling it. according to our running tally on the senate side alone, more than two-thirds of the senators have dates from the other side of the aisle. no one, it seems, wants to be left out. republican peter king and democrat anthony weiner have been disagreeing for a decade. >> he is wrong! >> reporter: one of their clashes even went viral. >> i will not yield to the gentleman and the gentleman will observe regular order! >> reporter: but tonight the two new yorkers are setting aside their differences to sit side by side. so who asked who?
>> actually, i asked anthony. i didn't want to but my wife heard that odd couples were sort of coming together on the house floor. >> reporter: there are other unlikely duos. democrat edolphus towns is sitting with the republican who took his committee chairmanship when the house changed hands. republican joe wilson-- who shouted "you lie" at a presidential address in 2009-- will be sitting with two democrats for good measure. >> to a certain extent this has been a little bit of a dating show, you know, "who are you going with?" >> reporter: the entire arizona house delegation is going together, leaving an empty seat for recovering congresswoman gabrielle giffords whose office sent out the first tweet from her account since the shooting today to the man who saved her life. "happy 21st birthday daniel hernandez. sounds like you have fun plans tonight." it was the tucson attack that led senator mark udall of colorado-- a democrat-- to propose that the parties mix it
up. >> look, this is one evening, it's a few hours, but the symbolism here is important. >> reporter: on substance they remain deeply divided. house republicans voted today to slash spending to 2008 levels. and tonight the president's address will be followed by not one but two republican responses. the official one from house budget committee chairman paul ryan, then a follow-up from minnesota's michele bachmann representing the tea party wing. >> mr. speaker, i'm looking to find out what will be the specific cuts that the president will be proposing. we haven't heard specific cuts so far. >> reporter: republican leaders say publicly that miss bachmann has every right to deliver her owned a dress but they worry it sends the message that there are two distinct factions in the g.o.p. katie? >> couric: nancy cordes. nancy, thank you very much. in an earlier life, senior political correspondent jeff greenfield was a political speech writer. he has some thoughts now on the challenge the president is facing tonight. >> reporter: the president
tonight will find himself in the same position as every recent president. he'll be the fifth consecutive chief executive to look out on a congress where the other party controls at least one house. so what to say? he could begin on a light touch. >> i look out at you i know how some of you must have felt in 1992. ( laughs ) >> reporter: and expect him to embrace bipartisanship, that's more or less required. >> our citizens don't much care which side of the aisle we sit on as long as we're willing to cross that aisle when there's work to be done. >> reporter: but the real question is how does president obama intend to deal with a republican house on policy and politics? sometimes a president's position is hopeless. here's richard nixon in 1974 telling a heavily democratic congress to forget the scandal engulfing his white house. >> one year of watergate is enough. >> reporter: seven months later he resigned. in 1998-- days after the monica lewinsky scandal erupted-- president clinton ignored the furor and took the offensive in his fight with republicans about
what to do with an impending budget surplus. >> what should we do with this projected surplus? i have a simple four-word answer: save social security first. ( cheers and applause ) >> reporter: clinton became one of the only presidents whose approval ratings jumped after a state of the union speech. and those numbers helped him survive impeachment. obama faces no scandal but he does face a congress far less friendly than a year ago. >> he has to present himself as this centrist who's doing things very commonsensical as opposed to this very... he's going to present it as radical view of cut, cut, cut to the extent that we can't get out of our problems. >> reporter: now, for all this talk of civility, please remember: clinton issued an eloquent call for bipartisanship in 1995. by the end of the year, the clash between the president and the congress shut down the government. katie? >> couric: all right. jeff greenfield, jeff, thank you. now we want to call in the rest
of our state of the union team tonight. chief washington correspondent bob schieffer anchor of "face the nation," political analyst john dickerson and senior business correspondent anthony mason. bob, let's talk about the republican response. paul ryan will be delivering the official response as we heard from nancy and he'll be followed by michele bachmann, a member of the tea party. what's going on here? >> well, i mean... i've never seen anything quite like it! i mean, the republican leadership, people say why is michele bachmann also giving a response to the president's state of the union speech? i think, frankly, it's because the republican leadership is afraid to tell her not to. she represents a tea party-- depending on who you talk to, there's from 40 to 50 members of the tea party, you got all these people who got elected, beat mainstream republicans. these republicans, the mainstream republicans, are scared to death of these tea party people. they don't know what to do with them, how to handle them. that's one reason they're so
vague about what they're going to do. they don't want to say. not only because they don't want to tip their hand to the white house, i don't think they want the tea party folks to know because they don't know what their response is going to be. >> couric: and they don't want to look like a house divided in the party itself. >> well, i mean, they've just got to figure out... they are a house divided. i mean, the president tonight is going to be talking to three parties: republicans, democrats, and the tea party. and we've never kind of had that here before. >> couric: he'll also be talking to some independents. john, isn't part of the president's goal tonight winning back those independents who elected him and then abandoned him in the midterms? >> he'll be looking exactly to those independents who are, according to pollsters, they want kind of a renewal of vows. they want barack obama they voted for in 2008: a pragmatic moderate who, if he strayed, only did so to deal with the crisis in the economy. that's the posture the president struck in his deal with republicans last year to extend the bush tax cuts. tonight he'll be talking about the future and the vision he's got to present, according to pollsters, is one that's serious
about the deficit, does not sound partisan and sounds like it might actually to something to help the economy create jobs. >> couric: and, anthony, the business community, meanwhile, has been pretty happy with the signals coming out of the white house lately. what is the president going to do to capitalize on that tonight? >> well, katie, the president effectively has already sent a message to business with two recent appointments. the first was former merrill lynch executive william daley as his new chief of staff. the second was g.e.'s c.e.o., jeffrey immelt, as the head of the new white house council on jobs. both signaled a more conciliatory approach towards business. as did the president's pledge last week to cut regulatory red tape. i think we can expect more of that tonight. >> couric: also, anthony, i know unemployment is down slightly to 9.4% but it's been over 9% for a record 20 straight months now. so tell us about the state of the economy. >> well, it really depends where you look, katie. the housing market is still struggling. a report out today showed prices declined for the fourth straight month, 19 out of 20 markets showed price drops.
but corporate profits are up, that's why the dow is now within striking distance of 12,000 and we haven't been there since back in 2008. in another survey, more than 40% of companies said they plan to hire within the next six months. google alone says they will hire 6,000 more workers in 2011. so leading indicators are showing clearly now the economy is poised for a comeback in the first half of this year. >> couric: all right. anthony mason, bob schieffer, and john dicker son, thanks to all of you. they and jeff greenfield will be with us for our live coverage of the state of the union address and the republican response beginning at 9:00 eastern time, 8:00 central, and 6:00 in the west. and one more political note about the race for mayor in chicago. the illinois supreme court said today rahm emanuel's name must be on the ballot while it reviews a lower court ruling that took him off. the lower court ruled yesterday that the former white house chief of staff did not meet the one-year residency requirement to be mayor. and still ahead here on the "cbs evening news," they are in a
league of their own. moms on ice. but up next, outrage in lebanon as a terrorist organization takes control of the government. , i don't always let the worry my pipes might leak compromise what i like to do. i take care with vesicare, because i have better places to visit than just the bathroom. ( announcer ) once-daily vesicare can help control your bladder muscle, and is proven to treat overactive bladder with symptoms of frequent urges and leaks, day and night. if you have certain stomach or glaucoma problems, or trouble emptying your bladder, do not take vesicare. vesicare may cause allergic reactions that may be serious. if you experience swelling of the face, lips, throat or tongue, stop taking vesicare and get emergency help. tell your doctor right away if you have severe abdominal pain or become constipated for three or more days. vesicare may cause blurred vision, so use caution while driving or doing unsafe tasks. common side effects are dry mouth, constipation, and indigestion.
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the uprising there has inspired protests in egypt. police clashed today with an estimated 10,000 demonstrators who want president hosni mubarak out. and in lebanon, violent protests today against the new government being formed by parliament. it's led by hezbollah, the terror group backed by iran. elizabeth palmer reports tonight from beirut. >> reporter: with the enemy nowhere in sight, demonstrators in the northern city of tripoli took their anger out on a tv crew's satellite truck. this is a stronghold of lebanon's sunni muslims, angry that the iranian-backed shiite group hezbollah will, for the first time, lead their country's government. >> he's a devil! hezbollah is a devil. >> reporter: this rage has roots in the unsolved bombing and assassination of rafik hariri, lebanon's prime minister. an international investigation is soon expected to hand down murder indictments against
senior hezbollah figures. but rather than take the blame, hezbollah toppled lebanon's government and today formed a new one. which means that for supporters of the dead prime minister, justice will never be done. these people are furious. the way they see it, hezbollah has taken over the government specifically so it can get away with murder. with support from iran and syria, hezbollah has grown into a popular movement with a well- armed military wing that's been fighting israel for two decades. now it's also lebanon's most powerful political party. the u.s. administration is-- to say the least-- disappointed. >> a hezbollah-controlled government would clearly have an impact on our bilateral relationship with lebanon. >> reporter: that relationship included spending more than $700 million training and equipping the lebanese army which the u.s. hoped would one day be able to stand up to hezbollah.
now that army will answer to hezbollah. >> the u.s. has to come to grips with the fact that it must deal with the political players that have legitimacy and credibility in their own countries. >> reporter: for the u.s., dealing directly with radical islamists isn't going to be easy, but the message from lebanon is: get used to it. elizabeth palmer, cbs news, tripoli. >> couric: after the terror attack in moscow yesterday, plenty of finger-pointing. a security camera captured the suicide bombing at the airport which killed 35 and wounded 180. today the russian president blamed airport management for lax security. management in turn blamed the police. officials believe islamic insurgents were behind the attack. in new york city, the first guantanamo detainee tried in civilian court was sentenced today to life in prison. ahmed ghailani was convicted of just one of 285 counts in the
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murray's lawyers say he isn't interested in a plea bargain, he wants to go to trial. from los angeles, here's bill whitaker. >> reporter: before the camera and the world, michael jackson's doctor, conrad murray, answered the charge against him. >> to the charged defense of involuntary manslaughter, a felony, dr. murray, how do you plead? >> your honor, i am an innocent man. i therefore plead not guilty. >> reporter: his attorneys say murray is ready for trial. >> dr. murray is looking forward to the opportunity to finally tell his side of the story. >> reporter: prosecutors call the evidence damning. the coroner says jackson's death was caused by the powerful surgical anesthetic propofol. murray admits administering the drug to help jackson sleep but denies a lethal dose. at a preliminary hearing this month, prosecutors called jackson's bodyguard, a paramedic and murray's girlfriend to show the doctor was on the phone instead of monitoring jackson,
was frantic to clean up evidence of propofol and other drugs and waited up to 21 minutes before having the bodyguard call 911. >> the most explosive possible defense that we've heard about is that michael jackson injected himself with the lethal amount of propofol. >> reporter: the trial is to start march 28. if convicted, murray could get four years in prison and never practice medicine again. bill whitaker, cbs news, los angeles. >> couric: and up next, suiting up with the real hockey moms. it's pain relief without the pills.
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>> couric: we end tonight with hockey moms-- not the kind you've heard mentioned in political speeches. as michelle miller shows us, these moms really are as tough as any pit bull-- and you can keep the lipstick. >> meredith, do you want to get the bread? >> reporter: 44-year-old terri reid is like any other mom-- balancing the daily chores with the checklist of her family's favorite sport. >> you could say it's an obsession. >> reporter: with one daughter playing hockey, another managing a hockey team... >> is that second place? >> reporter: ...and a hockey coach for a husband... >> back to the rink. >> reporter ...the grind of the hockey schedule was simply torture. >> there's nothing to do. there's only so many hot chocolates you can have at the rink and it's cold and it's just... >> reporter: you hated it? >> it was horrible!
i finally just said you know what? this has gone on too long. i need to try. >> reporter: four years ago, terri joined a league of her own. three times a week year round she plays on one of three women's teams. this season she's center for the danbury battle-axes. >> it's an escape. i don't think about "oh, my gosh, i've got all this laundry to do." and, "oh, i just had this horrible fight with my husband." you don't think of any of that because you just... you're just trying to survive out there, really. >> reporter: the battle-axes are in good company, part of a growing trend of women and moms... breaking the ice. ( laughs ) if you fall... >> well, that's why i have a lot of padding. >> reporter: 61-year-old anne brewer was a trail blazer in the sport. she played at brown university in 1967.
back then there were fewer than 20 women playing in the country. >> we were the first collegiate women's team in the u.s. we had to go to canada for opponents. >> reporter: a lot has changed since then. in just the last 20 years, u.s.a. hockey estimates that female membership has grown ten-fold, from 6,300 players to more than 60,000. how long do you think you're going to be doing this? >> until i break something. >> i can't imagine not ever doing this. even into my 60s and 70s and, really... >> reporter: now that's putting retirement on ice. michelle miller, cbs news, danbury, connecticut. >> couric: and by the way, michelle's okay. that's the "cbs evening news." i'll be right back at the top of the hour with live coverage of the president's state of the union address. with thanks to the jones day law firm for this window on the capitol, i'm katie couric.