tv Morning Joe MSNBC May 30, 2012 6:00am-9:00am EDT
greater carnage. good morning. welcome to "morning joe." it is wednesday, may 30. with us onset, we have the president of the council on foreign relations richard haass. and former foreign policy adviser to the bush administration, and now advising the romney campaign, dan senor. good to have you both with us. >> good morning. >> a lot to talk about. "the new york times" of course, the headline, 10 allies join the united states in a move to expel syrian diplomats. obviously, the pressure is ramping up. anan is just sweeping aside, according to "the new york times," and other reports, suggestions by assad that he had nothing to do with the attacks, the door-to-door massacres. unbelievable. wait until we get to news and we'll have a discussion. >> a lot of moving parts even overnight. the u.n. security council will meet today to discuss the situation, but there is little hope that diplomats in new york can do anything to stop the increasingly brutal conflict.
just this morning russia and china insisted they will block any effort by the council to enforce military intervention. russia has been a longtime ally of syria and has economic interests in the country. the fighting, meanwhile, rages on. more than a month after a cease-fire was supposed to go into effect. today, activists reported that syrian troops began shelling suburbs of damascus and also the central city of homs. the violence reached new heights last we're with the massacre of 108 people, mostly women and children, who were gunned down in their homes. the u.s. human rights office blamed the government and militia for the carnage. today, japan announced that syria's ambassador has been told to leave the country. republican presidential nominee mitt romney says he welcomes the obama administration's move to expel syrian diplomats, but he
says that doesn't nearly go far enough. in a statement, romney writes in part, quote, president obama's lack of leadership has resulted in a policy of paralysis that has watched assad slater 10,000 individuals. we should increase pressure on russia to cease selling arms to the syrian government and to end its obstruction at the u.n. and we should work with partners to arm the opposition so they can defend themselves. so it jumps into the political arena. >> well, and we will talk later on exactly how mitt romney would tell vladimir putin to back off. i don't think that's going to happen. their last client state in the middle east. but richard haass, you look at the diplomats being expelled. you look at the horrific images coming out of syria. and i don't know if assad thinks he's his father and he can reduce one town to rubble and scare the rest of the countryside. but this has spread. this virus has spread. and it's all over his country.
there is nothing -- there's nothing he can do to put the genie back in the bottle, can he? he's just indiscriminately killing civilians across the country. >> well, if there ever was a moment for compromise, it's long since passed. this regime either survives by killing people or it's overthrown. and it's the reason that diplomacy to somehow forge a compromise can't work. again, if that day ever existed, it's gone. at some point, these things do become fights to the finish or all or nothing, and syria has reached this point. >> we are there now, are we not? >> absolutely. and my own view is this -- >> there is no compromise. there is no negotiation. assad either leaves or stays. and if he stays, he's going to be so isolated from the rest of the world. >> he has forfeited any legitimacy whatsoever. so either survives by brute force or he is one way or another exiled or killed. but, again, the day for compromise if it ever existed is long since over.
it doesn't mean you don't have a range of options. but it does mean that the kind of thing that coffee anan is trying to do, to broker an internal compromise, will not work. the only deal you can work is similar to yemen, which gets mr. assad out of power. >> why did that meeting happen yesterday? i had concerns about kofi annan granting assad any credibility within 48 hours of a door-to-door slaughter of 100 civilians, 50 children. >> well, the mandate that he's under is a very limited mandate. i think again the time for it has passed. and i actually think that he should not be doing diplomacy that in and way talks about compromises between the regime and the opposition, though again we would like to see a standing down. i think the only thing he really should be trying to arrange at this point is the departure of the leadership of syria, and the most important thing might not be to negotiate that in damascus. it might make more sense in other capitals such as moscow.
>> so, dan, boots on the ground right now just not an option? >> i agree. i think it would be a big mistake. >> so what do we do? what do we do in syria? >> well, to be clear, we've tried a lot of things, as richards. we have tried this diplomatic track with anan. we have tried to get the russians to pressure assad to stop the bloodshed. we have tried everything. the one thing we haven't tried is actually getting these people who are on the ground, risking their lives every day to confront this regime, the resources they need to at least have some semblance of a fair fight. >> you're saying prop up the opposition. of course the problem is we really don't know who the opposition is. >> we don't, because we haven't really tried. and the truth is when you -- >> what do you mean by that? >> we haven't tried to identify the key players in the opposition and get them the resources and the training and the funding they need. we have regional partners ready to do this. we have the saudis who are ready to send money. the turks are ready to provide territory. we have regional allies that are
ready to help organize the opposition. what it needs is american leadership. what it needs is american coordination. in libya when that transitional national council was set up it could not have been possible without american leadership, albeit behind the scenes, but american leadership organizing all of these different parties. that's what we should at least experiment with doing in syria. it may not work. but at what point are we going to try something else? when 15,000 are dead? or 20,000? >> that's where we are now. >> let me ask you about the differences between syria and libya. syria has a huge army, 15th largest in the world. libya had the 50th largest. we don't know as much about the resistance in syria as we did in libya. what are the ups and downs to arming the opposition? >> i don't think i would go that way, at least yet. i understand the why people want to do it. everybody watches this, it turns your stomach, and we do have strategic interests there to hurt iran. we have humanitarian interests. but i think the opposition has not posed a united political
front or anything like it. militarily to put arms in makes the situation even messier and makes consolidating an aftermath that much more difficult. there are still things we can and should do to hurt this government. why don't we, for example, bring down the government's ability to broadcast? why don't we go after them with cyber? why don't we close down the remnants of their banking system? we just isolated them diplomatically. why don't we cut off all flights between syria and every place in europe? there are many things we can still do to hurt this regime, to really narrow their base. we also need to for example threaten certain people with war crimes. essentially tell people, look, you support this regime up to now. but the time is running out. war criminality and all that means is in your future. i'm worried about going down the path of arming. i understand why people want to do it. they don't want to put boots on the ground. they don't want to simply let the situation drift. but this is going to make a bad situation potentially worse. by the way, arms are coming in there already, as you know, from some of the neighbors. it will take a long time to
organize the opposition militarily. but politically, they can't even agree on a common program. i think it's just premature. >> joining us now from nashville this morning, nbc military analyst retired army general barry mccaffrey. the military options, how many are there, and what are they? >> well, i think richard haass has got it entirely right. from a narrow military perspective, i'm sure we could bring down the assad regime in under six months. air power, special operations, turkish support, saudi money. you have a difficulty with basing. you can't do anything out of israel. but having said that, there's no vital national security interests at stake. you have to tell the american people, we're doing elective military intervention. the consequences are unknown. so the only thing here is moral. should we take enhanced measure
to try to accelerate the departure of the assad regime? and that's a good debatable point. >> general, let me ask you about your suggestion that there's not a vital security interest. and that's usually the prism i like through to decide whether to send troops overseas. humanitarian is never enough usually for me to do it. but in this case, explain why assad, who is an enemy of this country, along with iran, is one of the two bad actors in the middle east, and a funder of terrorism throughout the middle east, why would that not be a vital national have to take down that regime if it also served the humanitarian interest of stopping the slaughter of 20,000 to 30,000 syrians? >> well, i think you're correct. as a surrogate for iranian influence in the region, and assad himself, the minority shia
government, one could argue it would serve our interest. but the question which still arises, if we're going to put special ops people on the ground, and by the way, not air tap or this nonsense about no fly zone. you have to use air power to go after the people that are killikil killing civilian populations. so given that, do we have something at stake that makes fighting worthwhile. probably not. and by the way, as richard haass pointed out, dan senor, the outcomes would be uncertain. we're going to end up with a civil war in syria one way or the other. many of the minorities are still supporting assad. much of the army, certainly their senior leadership, is supportive of assad. so the consequences are going to be bloody. can we help with military intervention? that's really questionable. >> i'm not arguing for military intervention. i'm simply saying we should be getting resources to those who are on the frontlines. and those who say it's militaryizing the conflict, the
conflict is already militaryized. and there are news reports overnight that the iranians are sending troops to fight the opposition in syria. so this conflict is being militaryized. and the argument it may lead to a civil war, i don't know how you define civil war, but what i'm looking at right now is darn close to civil war. so the question is, do we have a shot at leveling the playing field? and i recognize it's not a clear shot. i know it's risky. but the current situation is a disaster. so you have one situation which has some risk versus the current situation which is a disaster. if the reports, general mccaffrey, is confirmed that the anians are sending troop into syria to put down the opposition, is it at that point your view that we have passed the point by which we should hold off on getting arms to the other side of this? >> well, i've been told sort of at a low level that iranian troops are already in there
supporting the intelligence service and advising them and i'm sure there's technology, money. and they are prepared probably to go further. i don't really disagree with your fundamental point. i think the cia ought to be involved. but we ought to push the lead again to the turks, to diplomacy, to intelligence intervention. it's hard to imagine three u.s. carrier battle groups out in the med triterranean trying to sortt the actors on the ground. we'd have to have a sizeable special ops organization in there. so i'd just be cautious about employing military power. and certainly the administration has got to come up with a statement, what do we tell the american people if we employ u.s. military power? >> and, richard, it seems right now like we are not employing u.s. military power. and i haven't heard anybody suggest that over the past 24 hours. that said, you've got the russians.
sending in arms. arming the syrian government to slaughter the civilians there. and the same thing with the iranians. what does the united states do to put pressure on -- is there anything we can do to put pressure on putin, to put pressure on russia, to put increasing pressure on iran? >> in terms of the russians, i think the best thing we could do is through the arab countries. put pressure on them and just have the saudis and the others tell the russians, if you continue to do this, it will have real consequences for your relations with us, particularly economically and diplomatically. i don't know if that's enough. >> do the saudis have -- would they have that sort of sway with the russians and the chinese? >> they have some. and i also think certainly with the chinese. the chinese are much more dependent on oil imports. russians are tougher here. but i think the saudis can put pressure. also we can make it clear to the russians that our goal here is not to eliminate russian power. indeed, the russians themselves are jeopardizing their own
long-term position. it's a question of when and not if this regime goes. and when the regime goes, the russians will find themselves on the outside because they have so alienated the people. putin is playing his spoiler role. and we need to make it clear that he'll pay a price. that may not be enough to persuade him. but coming back to something you said, just because we have interests here, joe, and we do have interests, strategically and humanitarian, i think it's something less than that. it wouldn't warrant the use of american force directly. there's lots of reasons i think it would be extraordinarily difficult. they have 60,000 or 70,000 well-armed soldiers, special forces and army. they have 4,000 or 5,000 pieces of air defense. several hundred combat aircraft. this would not be a picnic. this would not be libya redux. it would be much more. i'm much more concerned about north korea and iran. recovering from afghanistan and iraq. i don't think we want to go down that path. and the i think the real choices
are between arming the opposition or putting much more pressure on the regime and strengthening the opposition so if we ever were to arm them they'd be in a better position to use them. i think that's where the debate needs to be right now. >> obviously, mika, after a decade in iraq and afghanistan, drone attacks across the world, we are -- the united states is in danger of obviously turning the middle east into a militaryized zone, and that's a real concern. and there's actually an article in "the washington post" talking about how we may be seeing a reaction against some of that force. especially in yemen. >> we can fit one more story in this block and get to the panel on this. the drone strikes that you mentioned in yemen are increasingly driving sympathy for al qaeda among local tribesmen, according as you said to "the washington post." u.s. officials claim unmanned aircraft and missile strikes have killed only suspected al qaeda members, but the report says that tribal leaders insists
that locals have been killed as well. the white house says it's doing everything to limit civilian casualties, and says other methods of counterterror can be far more devastating for innocent people. >> we have held ourselves to the highest possible standards in terms of the actual execution of counterterrorism operations. that means exercising lethal force only under the most stringent conditions, including reducing the risk to innocents as much as possible, something that we are capable of in part because of the tools available to us. using some of these tools is preferable when you are concerned about civilian casualties than, say, launching a full-scale invasion by land, where civilian casualties are always a great potential risk. >> there have been a reported 21 drone strikes in yemen this year alone. that is double all of 2011. >> general mccaffrey, somebody yesterday on the set kept
talking about how targeted and how exact the drone strikes were. and i said there's nothing targeted about them. you want targeted, you kick down a door and you shoot them in the head. if you shoot drone attacks, have we not seen there is widespread damage. and you are going to kill women and children in drone attacks. are you not? >> well, you simply can't firearmed missiles into populated areas without a high risk of so-called collateral damage, of killing innocents. having said that, joe, i -- my take on the administration, they have been a very exact on how they employ this kind of power. and it's always preferable to putting in people on the ground. you know, these navy s.e.a.l.s, the special ops people, are one of the most lethal tools in military history. but you always risk a giant gun fight in the middle of some arab city in the middle of the night.
so the drone program that the cia runs is a huge supportive element of u.s. national power. >> general, just from your viewpoint over the years, being involved obviously in so many military operations, i'm just curious, what is your -- what are your feelings about launching drone attacks, firing missiles into countries where we haven't declared war? >> well, we have legal challenges. there's enormous diplomatic consequences. look at the enraged population of pakistan as an example up in the tribal areas. so there's no question that from a viewpoint of diplomacy and politics, it's a tough one. but, look, i spent a lot of my early life crawling around in the mud trying to kill somebody with a hand grenade 20 feet away. so if you give me an option -- >> that's another way to look at it. great point.
>> firing from nevada, yeah. >> nashville. >> from nashville. or from nashville. that's a great way to put it, general. so, dan, one thing that i think even detractors of the president inside the intelligence community will tell you straight out, that president obama and his team have used drones in such a way that have not spooked al qaeda, have terrified al qaeda. and they are constantly every second looking over their shoulder, expecting, you know, the next moment to possibly be their last. >> yeah. i think it's -- >> you talk about a terror campaign, these drones over the past couple of years, it's been sort of our terror campaign back at the terrorists. and they are scared as hell. >> yeah. no. i think it's something that critics and supporters of the administration applaud. definitely it has made a difference. my question is, i guess, general mccaffrey, why does the
administration talk about it so much? i'm still stunned by this front page "new york times" article yesterday that goes into great detail about how the president himself puts together the tuesday -- the thursday terror list, how they come through and meet about different terror targets they are going to take out. i support them doing what they're doing. the question is, why this sort of promotional campaign to draw so much attention to it? i can only think that reverberates through the region. >> general? >> well, we can't keep a secret more than about 11 minutes in washington, d.c. that's one of the problems. and of course the other one is, you have a backdrop of a presidential election. and then finally, i miust admit i'm uneasy about the notion of the commander in chief approving targets. i'd much rather see this genius dave petraeus get his guidelines and have him and his team sort it out on the ground. >> and that's what i said yesterday, richard. there was just something about the article not just for this
president but for the office of the presidency that i was very concerned about showing the commander in chief pictures of 17, 18-year-old suspected terrorists across the globe and having him go, yeah, kill that one. don't kill that one. kill that one. it's jarring. and i -- i compared it yesterday to lbj picking bombing targets during vietnam. not a wise move. >> and we go back and forth on that. i remember bush father, when i was working at the white house, was very conscious not to do that and essentially told the military, over to you. but i think this is about, in part, besides all the domestic politics, it's a way of signalling other governments that we're not doing this carelessly. that when we do these drone attacks as a way to send a message to the pakistan is and the others, it's only because the president of the united states believes it's the best or at least the least bad option available. it's a way to send messages to
different constituencies is definitely hard to pull off. >> i definitely saw that article as a message, politically or otherwise. >> politically, i think it was a message to the american people, i would just like a little distance between my president and kill lists. >> general barry mccaffrey, thank you very much. >> thank you, general. we really do appreciate it. >> good to be with you. coming up, we'll bring in dr. zbigniew brzezinski. also, david ignatius. and historian douglas brinkley to discuss his new biography on walter cronkite. and next, the results from the tight primary in texas. but first, todd santos with a check on the forecast. todd? >> mika, thanks so much. some of my favorite "morning joe" shows are when your dad is on. >> me too. and i wanted to give you the
latest with tropical depression beryl. the system has increased in wind speed. 35 mile per hour winds moving north-northeast. a lot of the heavy rain east of the 95 corridor. and right along it, portions of north carolina, and south carolina today. so certainly keep tuned to the forecast if you live in the outer banks of north carolina or even towards moorehead city, wilmington. it could be developing back into a tropical storm if not later today, into tomorrow. did also want to mention the chance for showers across the new york tristate area towards d.c., philly, even boston it later this afternoon. limited thunderstorm potential, but could see a few of them. nothing compared to yesterday. otherwise, a fairly mild morning. 69 degrees in new york right now. just make sure you have at least an umbrella with you, especially through the latter half of this morning, early afternoon. there's a look at the skies over new york. we'll be right back. i look at her, and i just want to give her everything.
and motorola, whatever you want to do... droid does. 28 past the hour. stop it now. time now to take a look at the -- stop it. >> oh, my goodness. holy cow. >> a parade of papers. the miami herald says republican senator marco rubio set foot on cuban soil for the first time yesterday as he toured the guantanamo navy base. his parents immigrated from cuba. he says he was visiting as a member of the senate intelligence committee. he deflected questions about being a possible candidate for the vice presidency. >> is marco rubio going to be the vice president? >> i have no idea. i am not involved in that process. he is an incredibly dynamic guy
with an incredible future. and tomorrow he is speaking at the council on foreign relations. richard is hosting him tomorrow. >> you can see that tomorrow. >> how exciting. would marco be a great president? >> i think marco has a tremendous future ahead of him. i think at some point he could wind up in the executive branch. maybe in leadership on the senate foreign relations committee. >> is he ready to be vice president now? >> i am not commenting on the future of the romney ticket. >> leave him alone. >> he has incredible talent. the "wall street journal." shares of facebook. this is such a shock. willie, if you remember when we were smoking cigarettes at 57th and 10th and we were calling our investors in the willie fund, where did we tell them before this went public, where did we tell them facebook would settle? >> it's going to $27. >> $27. and we've got that on tape. >> somewhere. >> no, seriously. i did.
the willie fund, which is set up at the holiday inn on 57th -- >> do you really hang out there? >> yeah. it's the last place where you can smoke. >> we just smoke cartons. >> why? >> why? >> why do you guys go there? why does the holiday inn allow people to smoke there? >> they got a pass from mayor bloomberg. no, it's all a shtick. >> it's not good for you. [ laughter ] >> you work on the romney campaign and you believe that? oh, my god. [ laughter ] >> tell him to get a clue. anyway, we predicted this. we predicted it here on "morning joe." the willie fund predicted it. facebook closed at a new low of $28.84 on tuesday. what amounts to a 24% drop since its initial public offering less than two weeks ago. richard haass, you saw it when we predicted, this thing would settle at $27, $28. >> predicted it.
>> how stupid. how stupid of facebook, of morgan stanley, of everybody involved in this, to be greedy and overvalue it when suckers like willie and i knew. i mean, everybody knew. there's not a business model, and you've got a guy that justifies it. and you have a guy as ceo who is so clearly not ready to be ceo of one of the largest companies in america. it will continue to collapse until they bring in adults like google did at the beginning. >> this will have real consequences, though. this will turn off americans from investing in the stock market. this will change the way we do ipos. this will be one of those cases where a lot of people not professional investors got involved, got hammered. and this is the sort of retail problem that will go on and on that will have real consequences for the future. this goes way beyond facebook, mark zuckerberg, and the rest. this will be a mini turning point in the handling of ipos in the stock market. >> and the real problem is mark
zuckerberg doesn't know what he doesn't know. he may have been a genius, come up with the greatest idea of his generation, but he does not know how to run a multibillion dollar company. and he needs to bring in adults. again, like google did at the very beginning. when they knew they weren't ready to run a company like this. >> by the way, eric ran the company there, eric schmidt for about a decade, and then turned it back over to sergei and to larry. what's interesting, there's a whole bench of startups, innovative startups in the social media space and elsewhere in silicon valley and elsewhere popping up right now. they were all betting on this facebook ipo as being a pathway, a precedent, a comp, for all of these other companies. and suddenly, there's all of these companies saying, wait a minute. what's our exit going to be? >> what was that one bought for $1 billion, instagram? >> 12 employees. >> it was worth $1 billion. now it's worth $15 and two proof of purchase seals. i mean, that's it.
the stock has fallen. >> good segue. really. >> facebook was worth $104 billion day of ipo. now it's $79 billion. 25%. >> prenups in silicon valley will have to have valuations now. >> oh, yes. >> to your point about the grown-up thing, there are people on wall street wondering why when the stock collapsing mark zuckerberg is eating cheeseburgers in rome right now. i know he's on his honeymoon, and god bless him, but this is a crisis. >> dude, if my company loses $25 billion, i'm going to be at the desk throwing things at the wall. >> he is. >> you can afford a big mac. >> he can do everything from everywhere. that's what they are trying to teach us. they don't need to come into the office. >> you don't have to sit win yor office and throw your phone at the wall. you can do it in rome. willie, i would put you in facebook. >> and we'll run it out of the holiday inn where you can smoke cigarettes that were
grandfathered in by bloomberg. >> look it up online, friends. let's go down to mike allen for a look at the politico playbook. >> good morning. i definitely would buy stock in willie inc. >> i love it. >> that's so nice. >> it's a terrible idea. >> i'll short it. >> tell us about this texas republican senate primary last night. we talked about sarah palin throwing her hat into that race. rick santorum, jim demint getting behind the tea party candidate. what were the results, number one, and number two, why is it important more broadly? >> this is amazing. this is the third victory in three weeks for an anti-establishment insurgent conservative candidate. lieutenant governor david dewhurst, the guy with all of the money and backing from governor rick perry and others. people thought he would easily become the nominee to succeed kay bailey hutchison. but he fell short in this primary. ted cruz, the state auditor, got
enough so that they'll have a runoff july 31. and national conservatives believe that this underdog conservative candidate could well win in that runoff. ted cruz was identified 11 months ago. george will did a column saying, hey, this is someone who clerked for chief justice rehnquist. helped start the harvard hispanic law review. this is someone conservative. you should pay attention to it. club for growth endorsed him. sarah palin. rove did calls for him. so it shows even though it's a little bit off the radar screen with the presidential race going on, the tea party goes on. >> what's the race look like in the general election? there's a lot of races where the republican nominee wins. do republicans need to be concerned about a guy being too conservative for the general electorate, even in texas? >> just the opposite. here the republican will easily
win the senate seat. but this gives hispanics hope for more of a voice in the republican party. we've talked before about how republicans have to find a way to crack the code with hispanics. or they'll never be president again. ted cruz is a voice that would really help them with this. he goes out and makes the case that hispanics should be republicans because of faith, patriotism, hard work, military service. and so this will be a powerful helpful voice for the national republican party during this upcoming year. >> also not bad going into the republican convention to have a powerful republican hispanic senator from florida and an upcoming republican conservative, and again, conservative hispanic from texas. >> i worked with him in the bush administration. he is a very talented guy. you look at cruz, rubio, suzanna martinez from new mexico, senator sandoval from nevada. suddenly you have a team of conservative hispanic leaders speaking in tampa, being the
faces and voices of the republican party. it's no small thing. >> two months until that runoff. mike allen with a look at the playbook. thanks so much. >> willie inc. buy it. >> he said it, i didn't. >> i'm shorting it. >> you're a wise man. a huge upset at the french open. serena williams bounced by the 111th ranked player in the world. keep it on "morning joe." [ male announcer ] this is genco services -- mcallen, texas. in here, heavy rental equipment in the middle of nowhere, is always headed somewhere. to give it a sense of direction, at&t created a mobile asset solution to protect and track everything. so every piece of equipment knows where it is, how it's doing or where it goes next. ♪ this is the bell on the cat. [ male announcer ] it's a network of possibilities -- helping you do what you do... even better.
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all right. let's do some sports. what a streak the san antonio spurs are on. >> mika was just talking about it. she said they are slow and methodical. they will kill you slowly. >> last night, trying to take a 2-0 lead against the thunder. they extend the streak to 20 games dating back to april 11 in the regular season. tony parker drives. watch the spin move. gets around kendrick perkins for the lay john. tony parker, 24 points in the game. in the second, tim duncan throwing it down like the duncan of old. spurs led by as many as 22 points. third quarter, spurs on the break. manu ginobili, give-and-go. around the back, backs to
parker. they all just know where they are on the floor. hits the three. spurs win 120-111, the fourth team in nba history to win 20 consecutive games. the last taeam to do it in 2008. >> and you and richard were talking about this team, just how methodical they are, how in complete control. they don't break a sweat. >> they go slow. even when they are down. there was a shot on the bench in the clippers series when they were down like, i don't know, 15 points at halftime. and popovich is sitting there with tony parker and tim duncan, and they are just laughing on the bench. they know. >> they take care of business. like no team i've seen. >> wow. >> yeah. and they have played together so long, they just know where they are on the floor. tennis. at the french open, serena williams against unseeded player from france. in the first round, williams head 5-1. second set tiebreaker, azzano
takes the set. this is the match point for azzano. and the frenchwoman ranged 111th in the world pulls the upset, and ends serena's run of 46 matches without a loss in the first round of grand slam tournaments. she is the fifth seed, and now out at the french. coming up next, mika's must-read opinion pages. we'll be right back. ♪ surf's up everybody get your boards and your wetsuits ♪
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thought they were dead. [ laughter ] [ grunting ] huh? [ male announcer ] should've used roundup. america's number one weed killer. it kills weeds to the root, so they don't come back. guaranteed. weeds won't play dead, they'll stay dead. roundup. no root. no weed. no problem. at 46 past the hour, it's time now for the must-read opinion pangs. dan senor this one is for you. and it's a question in response to mitt romney's statements on syria.
the paper writes, a united nations arms embargo and the toughest possible comprehensive economic sanctions are long overdue. russia has the most leverage. but inexcusably, it still sells arms and coal to syria and uses its mediterranean port of tartus. we can see no easy solutions to syria, despite mitt romney's facile criticism of president obama. in a campaign statement issued on tuesday, mr. romney called for more assertive measures to end the assad regime. there's not a hint of what it means to end the regime or whether that would require american troops. could he possibly be eager for another war? if mr. romney has good ideas, everyone would like to hear them. >> well, first of all, when governor romney has made criticisms, foreign policy criticisms of the administration in the past, there's often been a backlash in the press and in the foreign policy analyst community. i have not seen that, actually, "the new york times" editorial notwithstanding, this time. the last couple of times he has made some statements and there's
been very little reaction against romney. and that's because i think most people in the press and the foreign policy analyst community recognize that the obama-kofi annan plan for syria is not working, and it's not mitt romney's fault. mitt has been very explicit. he is not for putting troops on the ground. we have regional allies that are willing to work with us, the saudis, the turks. there's money there, arms there, and territory there that needs to be organized and to help the opposition. that's what he is advocating for. and they are steps that haven't been taken yet. >> richard, can the president's foreign policy to date in syria be faulted or is romney taking a cheap shot? >> this is a tough problem. let's be honest here. there's not a lot of great options. i think governor romney has put forward a legitimate alternative about arming. i think we ought to strengthen the opposition. one thing we were talking about is sending an envoy to the syrian opposition. why can't these guys put out a common public statement saying the future of syria will look
like this. you who are supporting the regime you have a future in the post assad syria. we should put together a serious united front so there's more the administration can do. let's be honest. there's not a lot of good options. this is a tough one. very few want the united states to go to war there. no one is comfortable with the pictures. we are looking for something in between. >> and getting to romney, it seems to me he focusing an awful lot on russia and china, saying that barack obama is not tough enough on putin and the chinese leadership. how much leverage does he really have to make them move in the direction we want them to move? >> not a whole lot. and that in some ways is characteristic of the period of history we are living in >> the united states has influence but not control. we can't dictate to russia or china what to do in these situations. they'll calculate their own interests. russia is a spoiler. china is worried about setting precedents where the world gets involved in what they see as internal questions. this is now the frustrating reality, if you will, of 21st
century international relations. but there is more we can do short of launching another war. which i don't believe is warranted by our interests. >> really quick. kimpt we all agree at this point that we are not going to get putin to take action and remove assad? >> yes. >> and mitt romney understands that there is very little that barack obama can do to push vladimir putin into doing something that's in the united states interest. >> this whole policy in the last couple of years of investing in relationship with the russian leadership has not produced that much. here we are in a moment of crisis and we can't actually get the russians to cooperate with us. but that doesn't mean you don't stop trying to move the ball forward. >> i'm for moving the ball forward. i'm also about having a sober assessment of where we are. >> good question. >> so you're saying then that if mitt romney gets elected, he's not going to say i looked into vladimir's eyes and i've seen his soul and -- he's not going to say something like that? >> he wouldn't, no.
name out, biden, comma, joe. [ laughter ] >> do you ever think, well, ok. >> i love joe. >> i love joe too. is it hard, though, to raise a kid around biden? because i would assume -- [ laughter ] >> that if it there is a lot of like, joe, language. or, like, he's like the uncle that comes over and oh, you brought them guns. [ laughter ] >> you know, that kind of thing. like is he -- is he that -- >> no, no. >> no? all right. >> no. he is a great vice president. >> all right. >> and he is a great friend. >> oh, that's nice. >> my kids hang around him. >> oh, yes. it's time, right? >> it's time. >> she wasn't going to give it to him. great friend. "news you can't use." you first lady was here in new york promoting her new book with jon stewart. and the president awarding the medals of honor, including to
former astronaut john glenn, nobel prize winning toni morrison, and bob dylan. he declined to take off his shades during the presentation. watch the president behind him just laughing through the entire introduction. can't keep a straight face as he checks him out. he bestowed the honor there to bob dylan with the shades and the 'stache. the president talked about dylan's legacy and to admit he's a fan. >> bob dylan started out singing other people's songs, but as he says, there came a point where i had to write what i wanted to say because what i wanted to say, nobody else was writing. born in hibbing, minnesota. a town he says where you couldn't be a rebel. it was too cold. today, everybody from bruce springsteen to u2 owes bob a debt of gratitude. there is not a bigger giant in the history of american music.
all these years later, he's still chasing that sound, still searching for a little bit of truth. and i have to say that i am a really big fan. >> bob dylan, always himself. even at the white house in shades. >> have you got a favorite dylan album? it's a tough call. really tough. >> "highway 61" and "blood on the tracks." >> "blood on the tracks." >> also "blond on blond." those three are at the top. >> "nashville skyline" is a good one too. >> i do. and being a good southern baptist i like "slow train coming," precious angel. shine your light. great stuff. >> he's good. >> he is amazing. >> and the president said he is a fan. >> yeah. keep it on "morning joe." hey, the new guy is loaded with protein!
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in tahrir square last night, thousands of young revolutionaries came out to protest. they said they do not like the former member of the mubarak regime, and at the same time do not want the muslim brotherhood who is going to base the egyptian state on islamic law. >> some are already chanting down with the next president. >> yes, down with the next president. hey, hey, ho, ho, tbd has got to go!
folks, this may look bad to the casual observer, but there's nothing to worry about. nobody likes either candidate. angry protesters are screaming in the streets. and only 46% of registered voters went to the polls. which means egypt finally has achieved american style democracy. [ applause ] >> ok. it's the top of the hour. another beautiful shot of new york city. welcome back to "morning joe." richard haass and dan senor are still with us. and joining us onset, best-selling author and award-winning journalist carl bernstein. good to have you. >> you're wearing a tie today. >> looking good. very sharp. >> and in washington, associate editor and columnist for "the washington post" david ignatius. good to have you onboard. >> hi, everybody. there is other news to cover this morning, and we'll get to syria as well. mitt romney marking his first full day as the republican nominee for president after winning enough delegates last night in texas to officially put the primary process behind him.
with 69% of the vote, romney claimed at least 88 delegates pushing him past the 1144 needed to win the nomination. not long after the polls closed, the former massachusetts governor released a statement reading in part, quote, i am humbled to have up with enough delegates to become the republican party's 2012 presidential nominee. our party has come together with the goal of putting the failures of the last 3 1/2 years behind us. >> all right. so, carl, we have a republican nominee. how do you think mitt romney enters the general election? in what shape? >> pretty good. i think this is a very close election. i think that two issues are going to be mitt romney and barack obama. and somewhere there's going to be a tiny margin that's going to flip this election. but i think the romney issue is what does he stand for and his inconsistency over a lifetime in
politics that's going to hurt him. >> so what is your take? i think we all believed while the republicans went through one of their uglier nominating seasons ever, with some of the most -- and i've said it before, and i'll say it again, some of the most unqualified people to ever run for president of the united states. they really were -- they were not prepared to be president from day one. most of them. and it seemed like a reality show from time to time. and yet mitt romney comes out of that mess, all the mistakes, all the -- i mean, it seems to me the guy should be 10 points down right now. given the damage to the republican brand over the past six months, why is it so close? >> because of the condition of the country, because of the economy. i think we're going to see an election in which there's going to be an awful lot of awful trash flying around because of the citizens united decision by the supreme court. you'll have these negative ads that are going to dominate the
campaign. the most important thing of all, i think, is what the press does to try and define these two candidates in terms of -- for get these ads. what's their real record? what have they really done if what do they really say? why is it, for instance, that romney picks an opportunistic moment every time he can to say an easy slogan rather than going for substancy and consistency? what is it about obama's economic plan that he's done? where has he failed? we have to bring it back to fact and out of the realm of none sense, and it's a great challenge. because right now we are largely in the realm of sound bite and nonsense. >> dan senor, as mitt romney's campaign manager, you have to -- >> i am not his campaign manager. friendly adviser. >> as a member of the romney team, you have to feel like a guy that's like has watched his team throw the ball away 15 times in the first half. technical fouls.
you agree with me this was an ugly republican primary. >> i agree. absolutely. >> and as a republican, i'm sitting here at halftime going, what? it's a tie score? we don't deserve it. so you've got to be feeling pretty good about where romney stands in spite of the ugliness of the past six months. >> if you look at what the pundits were saying about mitt romney's chances in the republican primary, forget about the general, after the 2010 tea party election, and to think here we are, it was a messy primary, and people thought the party was in a place that wouldn't nominate mitt romney, and here he is neck and neck with president obama. and it's not just for structural reasons. not just because the economy is in bad shape. there are presidents that have run for re-election with the economy in bad shape. it's his explanation for why we are here, what his role has been in it, and where we go from here. and that is something even supporters of obama administration have agreed, you know, if you talk to them off
the record, that the administration, the president, the campaign, have not settled on. they don't have an explanation for what happened in the first term. and a rationale for why we need the president in the second term. now he may develop that, but he doesn't have it yet. >> david ignatius, i think it's a real concern if you're an obama supporter that you've got the obama team focused in on bain capital. and this class resentment approach. instead of coming up first -- you can do that -- listen, and i'm not pure. i would do that the last 10 days of the campaign, with an outside group. carpet bomb him at the end. but first, doesn't barack obama have to build the foundation to say, you know what i did? i not only saved detroit. i saved your atm machine. i saved your banks. i saved you from a great depression. i saved you from the worst economy in 70 years. yeah, i've got something to run on. doesn't he have to build that first? >> joe, those are precisely the
arguments they're going to make. the democratic convention is a long way off. typically, in a campaign like this, where you've got so much money, in this period you begin the sort of pounding, the negative ads, the grand game that the other side seeks to define who the candidate is. and i think that's going on. and that's why you see so much emphasis on the bain capital issue. i do think that obama has got an argument that he'll make to the country that had we not come in and did the things we did, we were heading toward ay is contraction. our financial markets were freezing up. we did things that were controversial, but they ended up working well. a prime example of that will be the auto bailout. so i think we'll have a really interesting debate about the role of government and the u.s. economy. it will be sharply different views. and i hope they really go at it head on, because it's a debate that's actually good for the country.
>> that would be good for the country. >> they need to go head-to-head with an issue that does not poll well, and that is the bank bailouts. you can do two things. you can say i worked with george w. bush, a man i disagreed with in just about everything else, but in this area i worked with him to save the banks, save your mortgage. at the end of the day, did i want to do it any more than george w. bush? no, i didn't. but do you know how much money we ended up making back from the banks? and then give that point. the reason he has to do this is because if he runs away from it scared, it will catch up with him anyway. he needs to go straight into that. something that i opposed, a lot of americans opposed. it was ugly, and i didn't want to do this. and not only did we save the banks, but this is how much money we got back in interest. >> joe, you have a good point. you should be his adviser. the two presidents that saved capitalism were roosevelt and obama. that's really what you're saying. >> well, you know what would
actually help him even more if if he linked himself to george w. bush and said, i didn't like him politically. but i worked with him. and i worked with him because, you know what, saving america's economy was bigger than partisan differences. and i know that the president's base would hate that. but independents, swing voters, would stop and they would look at that just like they looked at 41 and bill clinton working together on tsunami relief and go, oh, we have some grownups out there in washington. they still make grownups out there in washington, d.c. it would bring swing voters over, and you embrace the bank bailout, and you dare mitt romney, you dare mitt romney -- all these people on wall street that are supporting mitt romney right now, you dare mitt romney to say that he would have let the banks fail. i know like near liberty ea-- libertarians would celebrate that. >> go ahead, richard. >> two things. that would force or require the
obama campaign to do something different than they are doing, which is rather than playing to the base they would have to do things like embrace pragmatic policies. he would have to do things on simpson bowles that up until now the president has refused to do. but against that is the headwinds, which is called europe, which is the fact that several million fewer americans are employed than is historically the norm. so the context, what you call the structural, actually favors the opponent. this is a tough time to be an inkem bent. and i think that's the message in europe. this is a very rough time for incumbents. you can do everything you suggested, but the structure, it's a bad moment given the economy for those who are defending the status quo. >> and so, david ignatius, i guess the bottom line question is, are they going to run a traditional presidential campaign, or are they going to run karl rove's 2004 campaign where you don't go to swing voters, you just go to your base? >> no. i think that independent voters,
swing voters are going to be the key to this race, as they were in 2008. you look at why obama won. it's because he captured that center group. you look at why obama got the -- the democrats got grown out in the mid-term elections. it's because they lost that center group. and that gives me hope as an observer. i think what the white house is going to have to do is explain more clearly to the country what a second obama term would be like, where he wants to take the country what, he learned from the first term. i have a sense when i interview him in the white house that this is a president who has learned on the job. he's learned how to be president. if he could convey that, i think he has a tremendous advantage over romney, who just doesn't know many of these areas of policy at all well. >> and mitt romney was in nevada and colorado yesterday campaigning in the western swing states while rolling out new attack ads against president obama's economic and energy policies. romney surrogates, including
newt gingrich and donald trump, all took shots at the obama administration for the failure -- >> why are you smiling? >> well friends like that -- >> i'm just reading the teleprompter. >> they went after si lind ra while criticizing the president's record on jobs. >> those attacks are at the center of a romney campaign ad. take a look. >> president obama is spending your tax dollars to create jobs. how's he doing? you have heard of solyndra. they took $535 million in taxpayer loan guarantees and went bankrupt. more than $16 billion have gone to companies like solyndra that are linked to big obama and democrat donors. the inspector general said contracts were steered to friends and family. obama is giving taxpayer money to big donors. and then watching them lose it. good for them. bad for us. >> you know, they have had -- the romney people have had some really good ads. >> that's not one of them.
>> terrible. >> awful. >> come on. you're stepping on my lines, carl. can i -- >> go to it. >> there's a little pacing here. you know the romney people have had some really good ads. i think about those unemployment ads at the very beginning, really moving and compelling. >> stories of the 23 million. >> great ads. >> yeah. >> but that's a cheap shot. >> hold on, carl. let it breathe. hold on. are you ready? >> go to it. >> that one sucked. >> that's a terrible ad. you know what? they are going after solyndra. >> americans don't care about -- i'm sorry. i care about solyndra. you care about solyndra. americans don't care about solyndra any more than they care about what mitt romney did 87 years ago at bain capital. they care about getting back to work, carl. that's a stupid ad. >> absolutely. but that's who he is and how he has defined himself throughout, by being an opportunist instead of going to a record of
consistency. >> oh, boy. >> do you think obama's attacks against mitt romney on bain capital are opportunistic? >> those are stupid too. >> i don't think they are going to go anywhere. >> are they any less politically opportunistic? >> i think there's a huge difference in political opportunism between obama and romney, and it will be romney's biggest problem in this election. and if he loses, i suspect it's going to be because he's an awful political opportunist >> what was your reaction the day that the obama campaign launched a bain capital ad, attack ad against mitt romney by day, and by night was going to tony james' home, the president blackstone, to raise money? that was the private equity industry. was that opportunism? >> that's pragmatic. >> i think the scale of opportunism throughout the campaign has been night and day between the two of them. and i think that romney has a lifetime problem of opportunism. >> david ignatius -- >> you can't go to obama with that. >> why don't these guys focus on
the jobs? why don't they focus on the economy? why solyndra, why bain? it sounds almost like they -- >> i don't think we'll lack for hearing the word "jobs" and "job creation" throughout the campaign. if you want to understand, you know, the game, tell me what the gdp growth rating will be in august and september and i'll tell you who will win. if it's in the downward spiral, mitt romney will look like the tough guy who knows how to fix it. if it's going up, and people are feeling better about the country, obama has a record to run on and he'll say my policies were paying off. they weren't popular, but they're working. and i don't think it's a lot more complicated than that. i think we'll hear a lot about jobs. but it's really what the numbers tell us about whether jobs are being created. >> richard, there is no doubt that if the third quarter of
1992 were as strong as the fourth quarter of 1992, bill clinton would have never, ever been elected president. george w. bush would have served two terms. >> exactly. >> and we found out right after the election that the economy was recovering, was growing at 4%, and things were turning around. david makes a great point. >> absolutely. and that's why what happens in some ways in paris and berlin and london is probably going to make the biggest difference more than anything that comes out of washington. the most interesting thing about this election, it must be these guys are sitting where they are sitting, and they actually aren't in control. at the end of the day, barack obama, no matter what he says, even if you took every line that is suggested around this table and was an optimal campaigner, it's not clear to me he can overcome what will be headwinds coming out of europe or the iranian crisis. those two things. europe's economy, what happens in greece, what happens or doesn't happen with iran. i think that will have a far greater impact than anything either candidate says between now and november.
>> and let's talk about what's going to be happening out of iran and what's going to be happening out of syria, happening in yemen next block with david ignatius. >> russia as well. >> and your father and the entire panel. carl bernstein, stay with us. david ignatius as well. still ahead, we'll ask historian douglas brinkley about his new biography on walter kron kriet. up next, dr. zbigniew brzezinski joins the conversation. >> your dad looks happy this morning. >> you're watching "morning joe" brewed by starbucks. this country was built by working people. the economy needs manufacturing. machines, tools, people making stuff.
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with us. carl, dan, and richard. dad, our relationship with russia in this syria crisis, is that front and center at this point and on the line? and how does this administration spur cooperation? >> well, it's not on the line. at least not yet. it depends on how we conduct ourselves. but russia is certainly involved. it has long-standing ties with syria. it cannot be ignored. >> and what do you suggest or how would you -- how would you think this magazine should move forward with putin at this point, especially since they are pushing back on helping with arms and using the port for economic interests? how do we get them to cooperate at this point? >> well, how to cooperate on what is the question. in other words, do we have -- >> on closing in on syria. >> yeah. but is there a concept of what we want to accomplish, at results we want? how do we want to proceed, how deeply are we prepared to be
engaged? let's look at this problem. it's not libya. it's not as simple as libya. gadhafi is not assad. libya is not syria. syria is a serious country of almost 25 million people, well educated, stratege klee important. there are three problems there. one is the local problem in syria. there is a split, but not a split right down the middle. it's a country predominantly sunni, but not governed by sunnis. it is a country which has large components of christians. of aloits, who are actually the ruling class. around it, all the countries with stakes in what syria is. saudi arabia, which will like a sunni dominated syria. turkey, affected by proximity. and then there's the external
context which involves us, the russians as you mentioned, but also the europeans. and what happens in syria could affect the global economy. it could affect very badly the negotiations between iran and the international community. if we mishandle it by acting like a bull in a china shop, we'll get a regionwide war in the middle east. and that is going to have calamitous consequences in a number of different ways. >> david, you write in "the washington post" that syria, the blood of future massacres is on russia's hands. and you write in part this. russian president vladimir putin is playing a cynical game of power politics delaying the transition that he nominally supports. he gives lip service to u.n. diplomacy as an alternative to war, but does nothing to advance it. the question shouldn't be how to turn up the heat on assad but rather on putin. washington needs to be more persuasive with moscow. but the heavy lifting here will be done by america's partners in
the region, turkey, saudi arabia, egypt, qatar, and the united arab emirates, pakistan, india, whose friendship or at least tolerance is important to putin's vision of russian restoration. go ahead. >> well, i do think this is on russia's hands now. the russians have moved themselves into a decisive role by being assad's last friend. they have indicated what everybody knows, which is that a assad cannot remain in power. if it's true, it's important to move now towards a basic plan.
d we want something with the elements of the basic government structure that holds syria together, that draws in all of the different ethnic communities. and during this transition, they are going to need some outside help, some peacekeepers, to keep people from tearing each other appear in a score settling that will follow assad's departure. but it's not as if we don't know what to do. the plan is straightforward. understood basically by the whole world. what's preventing it from happening is russia sitting on its hands. saying it supports it but not doing anything about it. and i think people need to be more specific and emphatic in saying, this russian behavior is just inappropriate when people are dying in the gruesome ways that people were killed last friday in hula. >> richard haass? >> well let me ask a question of dr. brzezinskbrzezinski. what about them essentially telling the russians, you have to choose between a responsible policy towards syria and
relations with us? what about raising the stakes for moscow? >> i don't think the russians will be terribly impressed by that. ambassadors will be gone. and what has changed in syria is the consequence. i think the fact of the matter this issue is extraordinarily sensitive. at the same time, it is not as horrible or as dramatic as it is portrayed. if you look at the world in recent years, the horrible war in sri lanka, the killings in rwanda, and the deaths in libya and so forth. you know, let's have a sense of proportion here. this is a part of the world in which all of a sudden if we are not intelligent about it we can create a nexus between a difficult internal problem which has not assumed huge proportions yet and a regional problem and a global problem which involves our relationships with the other major powers, particularly russ russia, but also the negotiations with iran over the nuclear problem. unless we get some agreement between the major powers, and
that includes not only russia but on the back scene also china and the europeans, this problem is not going to be solved. and it's not going to be solved by recalling ambassadors from moscow or telling the russians they are acting like thugs. the fact of the matter is unless there is international cooperation which results in some proposal that the assad government can live with, and which involves some sort of supervised effort to establish some domestic consensus, this conflict is going to go on. and let's not exaggerate this conflict. in syria, we had a huge break-up of the country. half of the country seceded even before the fighting happened. this hasn't happened in syria. if you look at a map of the violence on the map of syria, it's sporadic, isolated, it's brutal and destructive. it's anti-human. but it's not a disintegration of the country. no one has defected. the army is sticking together. the security apparatus is.
the business elite is sticking with the government. look, i think what we are hearing is a lot of hand wringing and hysteria. but no effort to establish a consensus internationally on how to proceed. and that takes patience. you can't just tell putin, shut up and follow our orders. i'm not particularly enamored of putin, as you probably all know. but i don't think that what i hear makes much sense to me. >> dan senor? >> david, if you listen to dr. bri zbrzezinski, one could conclude you should give up on russia. that we'll never get putin to cooperate. the last thing putin wants politically is there to be another model, a precedent around the world, of a popular uprising throwing out a government, particularly with what he's gone through in the past year to get back in office. is there a point in which we say it's unworkable, it's unrealistic, there's no path towards getting russia to cooperate? >> no, i don't think so.
i think that the russians have a stake in engaging in cooperation with us, but not on terms dictated by us. i think there's a very significant difference. and i don't think it's a foregone conclusion at this stage that the majority of syrians don't want the assad government to stay in power. i think it's much more complicated than that. in fact, the evidence of a national uprising against assad is relatively limited. we are seeing sporadic outbreaks with a lot of localized brutality. but that's not the same thing as a cross country civil war. >> david, what is your take on this? >> well, i mean, i hate to disagree with dr. brzezinski, but i think first that, yes, the u.s. does need to push russia harder. and it needs to say to russia, if you do not respond to pressure, not just from the u.s. but from every major country, potential trading partner with the exception of china, to act
here, you're going to lose important friends and partners over the long run. the russians are worried about their durability, staying power in the middle east. they have to understand if they miss this chance to be the peacemakers, they're going to have enemies going forward, especially in the sunni world. i think the notion that we don't know what to do really isn't true anymore. there is a fairly coherent set of proposals that the white house is working on, that they talk about a gradual political transition. we're trying to avoid the mistake of iraq and sweeping away the entire structure of the government. so i think there is some understanding of what's happened. also, i would just disagree with dr. brzezinski about the degree of violence. what happened on friday in this little village of hula was horrific. first the syrian army shelled the village. we know this from examination of the bodies. some people died from artillery
wounds. and many were knifed in the most bloody and brutal way, as the militia known as the sabiha and house-to-house, family-to-family, killed these people, over 100 people including women and children. and that's really gotten to the guts of the people. this is all going out via the internet and via television. dr. brzezinski, this is a different arab world than it was. people are connected. and i think for a lot of people that felt like the tipping point, as kofi annan said. just a different level of violence and a different reaction. >> dad, do you want to respond? >> don't put me in a position of defending killing people and knifing people. we do know these things happen, and they are horrible. they also happened on a much larger scale in many other countries in which we have not interveined. we point here is we are dealing in a region with which all of these issues are interconnected. if we act simply on the basis of
emotion and sort of vague threats that the russians have to be forced to be good boys, we're going to produce a region wide outbreak in which the issues within syria will become linked with the conflict between the saudis and the shiites. iraq will become destabilized. iran will be involved. the israel is on the side are nt interested in having a particularly strong syria. so they are watching here. we are watching the breakdown of negotiations with iran. and we'll have a major international problem on our hands with political and economic consequences that are very serious. and what i hear is a lot of emotion and sloganeering. but i haven't heard what the secret plans of the white house is conceiving actually are on how they're going to be implemented unless we get international cooperation on it. >> i think that emotion is proper at this point, given what the assad government has done. >> it can be proper but it's not going to be effective.
>> i rarely disagree with dr. brzezinski also, but i think the issue here is russia in many ways. and it's not just about assad and syria. that the russians have become really ugly players in the putin incarnation. and it's a tremendous problem for the rest of the world. and this is a good place to address it, to try and marshal forces that stands for something different than the old thuggish soviet union that is representeda, new by putin. and this is an opportunity to do this. >> to do what? >> i think, dr. brzezinski, not just -- >> by the way this is carl bernstein speaking with you. >> i just want to know what exactly are we supposed to do to get the russians to act like good boys. >> i think we need to isolate them in terms of saying these are people in power that have come to stand for the wrong things on issue after issue, and
we need the russians to join the community of decent nations -- >> and if they don't? then what? >> i don't think it's about if they don't. i think it's about isolating them morally and i think there's a great -- >> how do isolate them morally? >> i think by saying this is unacceptable behavior in the united nations. >> to us. >> in the united nations. i think that on a world stage, i think the president of the united states -- i happen to agree to some extent without his geopolitical nonsense where romney doesn't quite know the map of the world well, but i think romney is right to talk about the russians in terms of what a terrible force they have become toward really -- >> so the syrian problem is verbal denunsiations of the russians? be my guest. >> no. i think it's an opportunity for us to isolate the russians from -- >> from whom? are going to break the
russian-chinese connection? get much of the third world to line up against the russians on this issue? many of them have unfortunately the same stake, which is in domestic authority and domination. which is not ugly. which is ugly. which is not nice. but the world is as it is. just more realistic sounding off is not a solution to the syrian problem, which is more than just a syrian problem, and that's the key problem. >> i agree. >> if you want to set the region ablaze, start military actions on our own. while condemning the russians. that seems to me to be the hidden agenda here. >> dr. brzezinski, it seems to me that richard haass brought it up earlier today when we were talking about russia and china. whether we are talking about syria or whether we are talking about challenges with iran, we are now in a world, and you wrote about it in your last book, where the united states has influence but it doesn't have the power to move countries in our direction. >> that's precisely right. >> and whether romney or obama win the election in 2012, these are the challenges the next
commander in chief faces, right? >> that's absolutely right. but that also means if we are going to be engaged seriously in effecting things which we cannot control unilaterally, we have to win over support with some intelligent proposals, and not simply with a great deal of moral passion. and gestures. >> all right. the book is "strategic vision," dr. zbigniew brzezinski. dad, thank you. >> well, thank you. this was real fun. we haven't had an argument like this in ages. >> that's right. usually we are all on the same side. >> carl bernstein sounddiing li a neocon. >> and you have every answer prefaced by, well, i hate to defer. >> i admire david. i think he is the voice of wisdom. although occasionally we are all fallible human beings.
>> it is painful to disagree with my mentor. >> well, you know what? it's apparently not that painful because you did it on five questions this morning, david. [ laughter ] >> thank you guys so much. it was a fascinating discussion. >> richard haass, you're in good company. >> and dr. brzezinski, thank you so much. a very sobering discussion about again the limits of american power. >> and how complicated the whole thing is. >> and let's underline it. because that is for somebody at home watching, they may think, oh, gosh, he certainly is being cynical about things. no. that's a very realistic view of america's limits. and richard talked about it before. america's limitations in the 21st century. and what does that mean? it means you just have to be smarter. you have to work harder. you have to play for the long-term. >> that's nothing more difficult than trying to engineer the internal politics of another country. that's exactly what the world is trying to do with syria. this is going to be tough. >> yes, it is. >> dad, thank you. coming up, a big financial challenge for the maker of blackberry. that's next on "morning joe." [ male announcer ] whoa, megan landry alert.
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>> look how beautiful that is? by the way, your dad, this may be a good time to ask your dad if you can borrow the car if the weekend. he seems to be in a good mood. >> i think i'll just stay home. >> take the kayak. >> he wants to lend it to carl. the car to carl. >> i'm just going to go in the backyard and dig holes. >> yeah. the financial times says research in motion, the maker of the blackberry, is warning that it's likely to have its first operating loss in eight years. >> make a product as good as the one you made 10 years ago and maybe you'll be ok. >> the company has also hired two banks, including jp morgan to evaluate its strategic options. >> dan, you're still using the blackberry. three years ago, every new generation that nbc would give me had more glitches until the end, and i finally just gave up on it. >> the only case for this blackberry is the keyboard. if you want to navigate the web, it's a miserable experience. which most people i know who own blackberries now have two devices. >> exactly.
everybody -- you will see everybody that has a blackberry has to have an iphone as well. >> totally impractical. >> i'm dizzy from one device. >> you know what? i'm getting rid of them all. >> really? >> i can't stand them. >> go back. >> i am. go back. up next, the president of planned parenthood action fund cecile richards on what role her organization may play in the presidential election. "morning joe" is back in a moment. this country was built by working people. the economy needs manufacturing. machines, tools, people making stuff.
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in the franchise to get the word out. that could work. or you could use every door direct mail from the postal service. it'll help you and all your franchisees find the customers that matter most: the ones in the neighborhood. you print it or find a local partner. great. keep it moving honey. honey? that's my wife. wow. there you go. there you go. [ male announcer ] go online to reach every home, every address, every time with every door direct mail. when mitt romney says -- >> planned parenthood, we're going to get rid of that. >> romney is saying he'll deny women the birth control and cancer screenings they depend on. when romney says -- >> do i believe the supreme court should overturn roe v. wade? yes. >> he is wanting to deny women to make their own medical decisions. and when he says he can't
support equal pay protections, he is putting your paycheck at risk. planned parenthood is responsible for the content of this advertising, because mitt romney is out of touch and wrong for women. >> all right. dan, we'll let you respond. that was the newest ad from the planned parenthood action fund. here with us now, the president of planned parenthood action fundy is veal richards. >> this will be interesting because we have the chairman of the romney campaign here. >> perfect. >> we can have the debate. >> he has been denying it all morning. planned parenthood obviously has been in the news a great deal over the past six months. how central will it be to president obama's re-election campaign? >> well, thanks for having me on. i think what we're seeing is we are the biggest health care provider for women in this country. we see 3 million patients a year. and i think what you're seeing with the kind of obviously this ad demonstrates what mitt romney said he'd do about women's health care. you know, get rid of planned parenthood and the national family care program that provides preventive care to women, cancer screenings, birth control. i think that's why we are seeing
the kind of gender gap we are in this race. >> you are talking about cancer screenings. obviously, planned parenthood got on the front page of awful the papers when one of the largest -- the largest, i guess, breast cancer prevention organization decided they didn't want to be involved with planned parenthood anymore. >> well, of course -- sorry. go ahead. >> do they not have a right to try to disengage from a very controversial issue? >> well, i don't actually think the komen foundation, which is working with us again, and we are grateful for that partnership -- >> well, they really had no choice did, they? >> well, they did of course. and we provide breast cancer screenings to more than 750,000 women every year. and as a result of all of that, we're going to be able to provide more breast cancer screenings this year than ever before in our history. and i think that's what is important. i think what you saw in that whole series of events is that women in this country and men don't want to see politics put ahead of women's health care.
and that's what i think is -- that's what i think we have been shocked about with mr. romney, is that in fact he is making the issue of planned parenthood and frankly birth control and cancer screening and taking those services away from women an issue in this campaign. >> do you understand why some americans >> do you understand why some americans on this issue regardless of how you feel, how some americans would not want their tax dollars going to an organization that provides abortion services to probably any other organization on the planet? this just is a matter of morality. if somebody thinks that abortion is murder, they don't want their tax dollars going there just like i'm sure other americans wouldn't want their tax dollars going to the nra or to pro-life groups. >> of course, tax dollars do go to pro-life. in any case, the important thing is planned parenthood we provide
health care to one in five women in america and the vast majority of our services are preventive health care. and the thing you need to know, joe, all of the money that mr. romney wants to get rid of not only for planned parenthood is not only for family planning but preventive health care. >> do you call abortions preventive care? >> more 90% of our services are cancer screenings, birth control services, well women checkups and for most americans that know actually birth control is the best way to prevent the need for abortion in america. the thing i want to stress is planned parenthood, we operate like every other health care provider like hospitals would also get federal funding, and no federal money has gone for abortion services. it hasn't for decades. >> i'm curious the gallup poll
we saw, support among americans at new lows. >> it's the language of pro-choice and pro-life, i've got something that we can all agree on it's totally irrelevant in this country. everyone in this country, really the vast majority of people in this country agree that abortion is a very personal issue. women should be able to make decisions about their pregnancy without government getting involved. and i agree, i totally understand. this isn't an issue that people have very strong feelings about, but what i think we do agree as americans is we don't want the government making very important personal decisions for women and their families. >> i think that is a terrific ad. we were talking about bad ads before, i think it's a good ad and it shows romney at his opportunistic worst. >> do you like the ad? >> like a freight train.
>> jumping on plan the parenthood, demonizing planned parenthood. you planned parenthood get barbara bush give you an ad? she was a great supporter of planned parenthood, why not get her to go up and say, mr. romney, stop this nonsense. >> she's supporting mitt romney's presidency. >> what planned parenthood was started by republicans all across the country. richard nixon signed into law the family planning act which mitt romney has now pledged to overturn. i was just actually in arizona with a planned parenthood, peggy goldwater was a co-founder of planned parenthood. i just think what we're seeing here particularly in this presidential election it's astonishing to see mitt romney take positions that are so extreme, i think it shows how out of touch he is with women in this country. >> we do agree mitt romney is not opposed to the exist edges of planned parent he or rights to function -- >> i don't know.
>> he's been exsplicit about it. he's not opposed to it but the federal funding. >> here's the interesting thing, it's not about planned parenthood. >> your budget comes from private sources. >> about half and half. but here's the thing, it's not about planned parenthood to me it's about he wants to cut women off of birth control services and cancer screenings -- >> your ad specifically says he's against planned parenthood. >> these are in his own words, i didn't make it up, that's what mitt romney said himself. he needs to stand by his own words. the point is 5 million in this country rely on family planning services, lifesaving cancer screenings through the national family planning program. he's pledged to get rid of that. i just think it shows he's out of touch. i know that we all want to talk about the social issues, but for women these are economic issues. these are basic health care issues in america. >> thank you for being on the show.
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supermogul, kathy ireland will be here on set to discuss her billion dollar brand. and up next this morning, russia and china vow to block u.n. action to stop the bloodshed in syria. what can the next move be for the u.s.? keep it right here on "morning joe." ♪ stepping-stones of human hearts and souls ♪ [ male announcer ] this is the land of giants.
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t there. - one serving of cheese is the size of four dice. one serving of cereal, a baseball. and one serving of fruit, a tennis ball. - you know, both parties agree. our kids can be healthier... the more you know. ♪ good morning. welcome back to "morning joe." it's 8:00 on the east coast and 5:00 a.m. on the west coast. as you take a live look at new york city. back with us on set we have the
president of the council on foreign relations richard haass, and former policy adviser to the bush administration dan seymour. >> "new york times," of course, the headline ten allies join the united states in a move to expel syrian diplomats. obviously the pressure is ramping up. annan is just sweeping aside according to "the new york times" and other reports suggestions that by assad that he had nothing to do with these attacks, the door-to-door massacres. unbelievable. so, why don't we get to news and then have a discussion. >> yeah, a lot of moving parts even overnight. the u.n. security council meets today to discuss the crisis in syria but there's little hope that diplomats in new york can do anything to stop the increasingly brutal conflict. just this morning russia and china insisted they will block any attempt by the council to authorize foreign military intervention. russia has been a longtime ally of syria and has economic interests in the country. the fighting, meanwhile, rages on between syrian rebels and
pro-government forces more than a month after a cease-fire was supposed to go into effect. today activists reported that syrian troops began shelling suburbs of damascus and also the central city of homs. the violence reached new heights last week with the massacre of 108 people mostly women and children who with gunned down in their homes. the u.n. human rights office blamed government troops and militiamen for the killing. that prompted the u.s. and a dozen other nations to expel top syrian diplomats. today japan announced that syrian's ambassador has been told to leave the country. republican presidential nominee mitt romney says he welcomes the obama's administration move to expel syrian diplomats, but he says that doesn't nearly go far enough. in a statement, romney writes in part, quote, president obama's lack of leadership has resulted in a policy of paralysis that has watched assad slaughter 10,000 individuals. we should increase pressure on
russia to ceciling arms to the syrian government and to end its obstruction at the u.n. and we should work with partners to arm the opposition they can defend themselves. it's political. >> again, we will talk later on exactly how mitt romney would tell vladimir putin to back off. i don't think that's going to happen. but richard haass, you look at the diplomats being expelled. you look at the horrific images coming out of syria and i don't know if assad thinks he's his father and he can reduce one town to rubble and scare the rest of the countryside. but this has spread. this virus has spread, and it's all over his country now. there is nothing -- there's nothing he can do to put the jeann ge genie back in the battle.
>> this regime survives by killing people or it's overthrown. it's the reason diplomacy to somehow forge a compromise can't work. if it ever existed, it's gone. at some point these things become fights to the finish and all or nothing and syria has reached that point. >> we are there not, are we not? >> absolutely. my own view is there -- >> there is no compromise, there is no negotiation. assad either leaves or goes. leaves or stays, and if he stays, he's going to be so isolated from the rest of the world. >> he has forfeited any legitimacy whatsoever, either survives by prut forbrute force way or another exiled or killed. but, again, the day for compromise if it ever existed is long since ever. it doesn't mean you have a whole range of options but it does mean the kind of thing that kofi annan is somehow trying to do to broker an internal compromise cannot work. the only compromise that can work is one that similar to
yemen that gets mr. assad out of power. >> why did that meeting happen yesterday, richard, maybe you can explain it to me. i have concerns about kofi annan granting assad any credibility within 48 hours of a door-to-door slaughter of 100 civilians, 50 children. >> well, the mandate that he's under is a very limited mandate. i think, again, the time for it has passed and i actually think he should not be doing diplomacy, that in any way talks about compromises between the regime and the opposition though, again, we would like to see a standing down. i think the only thing he should be trying to arrange at this point is the departure of the leadership of syria and the most important thing might not be to negotiate that in damascus. it might make more sense to go to some other capitals including mass cow. >> so, dan, boots on the ground right now just not an option. >> i agree, i think it would be a big mistake. >> so, what do we do? what do we do in syria? >> well, we've tried a lot of things, as richard said, we
tried the diplomatic track with annan. we actually have tried to get the russians to pressure assad to stop the bloodshed or to get assad out of the country. we tried everything. the one thing we haven't tried is actually getting these people who are on the ground risking their lives every day to confront this regime. the resources they need to at least have some semblance of a fair fight. >> you're saying prop up the opposition, of course, the problem is we really don't know who the opposition is. >> we don't because we haven't really tried, and the truth is when you -- >> what do you mean by that? >> we haven't tried to identify the key players in the opposition and get them the resources and the training and the funding they need. we have regional partners who are ready to do this. we have the saudis are ready to send money. the turks are ready to provide territory. we have regional allies that are ready to help organize the opposition. what it means is american leadership, what it needs is american coordination. in libya when the transitional national council was set up, it would not have been possible
without american leadership, albeit behind the scenes, but american leadership organizing all these different parties. that's exactly what we should at least experimenting doing in syria. it may not work. it's not foolproof, but at what point are we have going to try something else when 15,000 people are dead, when 20,000 people are dead? >> we are now. >> richard, to that point, let me ask you about differences between syria and libya. 15th largest in the world, libya 50th largest. we don't know as much about the resistance in syria as we did in libya. what are the ups and downing to doing -- to arming the opposition? >> i don't think i would go that way at least yet. i understand why people want to do it. everybody watching this it turns your stomach and we do have strategic interests there to go around and we have humanitarian interests, but the opposition has not posed the united political front or anything like it military to put arms in makes this situation even messier, it makes consolidating an aftermath that much more difficult. there are still some things we can and should do to hurt this
government. why don't we, for example, bring down the government's ability to broadcast? why don't we go after them with cyber. why don't we close down the remnants of their banking system. we just isolated them diplomatically, why don't we cut off all flights between syria and every place in europe? there are many things we can still do to hurt this regime -- >> to close in on them. >> -- to really narrow their base. we also need to, for example, threaten certain people with wartimes, essentially tell people, look, you supported the regime up until now, time is running out. war criminality and all that means in your future. i am worried about going down the path of arming. i understand why people want to do it. they don't want to put boots on the ground or let the situation drift, but this will make a bad situation potentially -- potentially. arms are coming in there already from some of the neighbors. arms are already coming in. they'll take a long time to arm the opposition militarily, but politically they can't agree on a common program. i think it's premature. >> joining us from nashville,
msnbc military analyst, barry mccaffrey, the military options, how many are they, and what are they? >> i think richard haass has it entirely right. from a narrow military perspective, i'm sure we could bring down the assad regime in under six months, air power, special operations, turkish support, saudi money. you'd have difficulty with basing. you can't do anything out of israel. but having said that, there's no vital national security interests at stake. you have to tell the american people we're doing elective military intervention. the consequences would be unknown. so, the only argument here is moral. should we take enhanced military measures or cia measures to try and accelerate the departure of the assad regime and that's a good, debatable point. >> well, general, let me ask you about your suggestion that there's not a vital security interest. and that's usually the prism i
look through whenever i decide whether i support sending troops overseas or not. it's usually humanitarian is never enough for me to do it. but in this case, explain to me why assad, who has been an enemy of this country, who along with iran, is one of the two bad actors in the middle east and a funder of terrorism throughout the middle east, why would that not be a vital national interest to take down that regime if it also served a humanitarian interest of stopping the slaughter of 20,000 to 30,000 syrians? >> well, i think you're correct. as a surrogate for iranian influence in the region and, you know, assad himself, minority shia government, one could argue it would serve our interests. but the question would still arise, you know, if we're going to put special ops people on the ground and not the nonsense about no fly zone, you'd have to
use air power to go after the people that are killing civilian populations. so, given that, do we have something at stake that makes fighting worthwhile? probably not. and, by the way, as richard haass pointed out, the outcomes would be uncertain. we're going to end up with a civil war in syria one way or the other. many of the minorities are still supporting assad. much of the army, certainly their senior leadership, is supportive of assad. so, the consequences are going to be bloody. can we help with military intervention? that's really questionable. >> dan? >> i'm not arguing for military intervention, i'm simply saying we should be getting resources to those who are on the front lines and those who say it's militarizing the conflict. the conflict is already militarized. russia is sending arms and there's news reports over the night that the iranians are sending troops to fight the opposition in syria. so, this conflict is being
militarized. and that it may lead to a civil war, i don't know how you define civil war, but what i'm looking at right now is pretty darn close to civil war. so, the question is, do we have a shot at trying to somewhat level the playing field? i recognize it's not a clear shot. this is very risky what i'm advocating, what others are advocating. but the current situation is a disaster, so you have one situation which has some risks versus the current situation which is a disaster. if the reports, general mccaffrey, are confirmed, that the iranians are sending troops into syria -- >> yeah. >> -- to put down the opposition, is it at that point your view that we past the point by which we should hold off on getting arms to the other side of this? >> well, i've been told sort of at a low level that iranian troops are already in there supporting the intelligence service and advising them. i'm sure there's technology, money, they're prepared probably to go farther. i don't really disagree with your fundamental point. i think the cia ought to be
involved. but we ought to push the lead, again, to the turks, to diplomacy, to intelligence intervention. it's hard to imagine three u.s. carrier battle groups out in the mediterranean pounding away at the syrian military trying to sort out the actors on the ground. we'd have to put a sizable special ops presence in there, so i'd just be cautious about employing military power. and certainly the administration's got to come up with a statement what do we tell the american people if we employ u.s. military power? >> and obviously, mika, after a decade in iraq and afghanistan drone attacks across the world, we're -- the united states -- is in danger of obviously turning the middle east into a militarized zone and that's a real concern. and there's actually an article in "the washington post" talking about how we may be seeing a reaction against some of that force especially in yemen.
>> we can fit one more story in this block and get to the panel on this. drone strikes that you mentioned in yemen are increasingly driving sympathy for al qaeda among local tribesmen that's according, as you said, "the washington post." u.s. officials claim unmanned aircraft and missile tryings have killed only suspected al qaeda members, but the report says tribal leaders insist civilians have been killed as well, prompting locals to rethink their allegiances. the white house says it's doing everything to limit civilian casualties and says other methods of counterterror can be far more devastating for innocent people. >> we have held ourselves to the highest possible standards in terms of the actual execution of counterterrorism operations. that means exercising lethal force only under the most stringent of conditions, including reducing the risk to innocents as much as possible, something that we are capable of in part because of the tools that we have available to us. using some of these tools is preferable when you are concerned about civilian
casualties than, say, launching a full-scale invasion by land. where civilian casualties are always a great potential risk. >> there have been a reported 21 drone strikes in yemen this year alone, that is double all of 2011. >> general mccaffrey, somebody yesterday on this set kept talking about how targeted and how exact these drone strikes were. there's nothing targeted about them. i mean, it's -- you want targeted, going after terrorists, you kick down a door and you shoot them in the head. if you shoot drone attacks, are we not seen there is widespread damage. and you're going to kill women and children in drone attacks, are you not? >> well, look, you simply can't firearmed missiles into populated areas without running a high risk of so-called collateral damage of killing innocents. and having said that, joe, my take on the administration, they
have been very exact in how they employ this kind of power. and it's always preferable to putting in people on the ground. you know, the navy s.e.a.l.s, they are one of the most lethal tools in military history, but you also risk a giant gunfight in some arab city in the middle of the night. so, the drone program that the cia runs, the huge supportive element of u.s. national power. >> and, general, just from your viewpoint, over the years, being involved obviously in so many military operations, i'm just curious, what is your -- what are your feelings about launching drone attacks, firing missiles into countries where we have a declared war? >> well, we got legal challenges. there's enormous diplomatic consequences, look at the enraged population of pakistan
as an example up in the tribal areas. so, there's no question that from a viewpoint of diplomacy and politics, it's a tough one. but, look, you know, i spent a lot of my early life crawling around in the mud trying to kill somebody with a hand grenade 20 feet away. so, if you give me an option -- >> we're looking at it. >> okay. >> coming up next, the untold stories of legendary newsman walter cronkite. we'll talk to historian douglas brinkley about the unprecedented access he was given to cronkite's private papers as he was set to write a biography on the icon. and a run on a technology start-ups in a city you might not expect. that and the headlines from the west coast papers this morning. you're watching "morning joe" brewed by starbucks. ♪ not what you say what you say is the way too complicated ♪ [ woman ] for the london olympic games, our town had a "brilliant" idea.
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oath of office shortly and become the 36th president of the united states. >> 23 past the hour, that was legendary cbs "evening news" anchor walter cronkite with the official announcement of president john f. kennedy's death back in 1963, and here with us now professor of history at rice university, douglas brinkley. he's out now with a new biography of the iconic news anchor walter cronkite. thank you for being on the show. >> thanks for having me. >> you watched him every night as a kid. >> i grew up in perrysburg, ohio, and we were a cbs family and every night we'd watch concrete and then discuss the evening news. my mom has saved drawings when i was 6, 7 years of vietnam. and one was a picture you drew of concrete delivering the news. and later i ran a thing called news fix, i was in sixth grade and did a tv show and i told the
local bowling green paper that walter cronkite was my hero growing up, so i've had an interest for a long time. i know a lot of people say that, you know, i dealt with the kennedy assassination or vietnam really walter cronkite was the filter for them on those historic events of the cold war era. >> and like you, so many others watched him every night and felt they knew him. called him the most trusted man in america. did you learn anything new? what did you not know? >> oh, i learned so much new because cronkite's papers have opened at the university of texas. >> you had unprecedented access. >> yeah, i got in there and we went through everything. i interviewed 150 different main people that were in his life. really what it was in the '60s nobody trusted people. the young youth culture didn't trust their parents. nobody trusted nixon. johnson was and mcnamara were thought to lie, so the one person everybody trusted in the end was walter cronkite, he had
a way of breaking through the glass and talking through you right in your living room. if you go see a movie of gregory peck or brad pitt somebody, iconic like that, you only pay a ticket, you might see them once a year. but with cronkite he was coming into your bedroom or living room every night. this was before cable news, and so you have the big three, abc, cbs, and nbc. so, cronkite became by default really the most trusted man in america. >> you watched that clip coming in of the news of kennedy dying, and you can recite it every beat, the taking off the glasses, the clearing of the throat, the announcement that lbj was going to take the oath of office. i was trying to think even on september 11th about one moment -- there were moments, it doesn't mean there was important work being done by journalists but you don't remember that one moment. >> no. >> can you overstate the impact one guy had? >> you cannot. but that era is over. we'll never have the one guy like that again in my view.
but in 1962 cronkite really wrote john glenn suborbit to great fame, that was february of '62. by april of '62 he became anchorman. by september of '63 he had half an hour news, nightly news. that allowed instead of headline news of 15 minutes, you had 15 minutes of feature stories. and cronkite always insistsed on civil rights being brought into that and vietnam. and it's those bits on the back of the cbs "evening news" it changed the 1960s. the kennedy assassination moment, he wasn't announcing it, he was a rabbi or a pastor in chief for the entire weekend when oswalt was killed by ruby and the burial at arlington cemetery, he stayed on and really mastered the marathon broadcasts ad-libbing along the way and always seeming to say the right thing and time his cadence in a simply perfect way. >> and he drove conservatives nuts sometimes particularly with the way he handled the vietnam war.
he made that broadcast that no one could forget where he called it a stalemate. where was he coming from politically? where's the truth in there? >> well, he was a, you know, grew up in missouri and texas, went to university of texas. dropped out after two years and became a wire service reporter for the united press. he was at d-day and the battle of the bulge and the nuremberg trial, all those big events. so, in world war ii we were all in this together, meaning the press and the federal government. so, in 1965 when cronkite went to vietnam for his first tour, he had morley safer telling him that the war wasn't going right and he was being lied to. but cronkite was pro-war from '65 to '68, but when the tet offensive hit in, 68, he went and toured vietnam and i looked at his notebooks where he writes on all the facts that he's finding, as a good reporter could, he found out at best it was a stalemate and we couldn't win there. and he went on the cbs news special report and called it
straight. and a ripple effect was huge and lyndon johnson says i'm not going to run for re-election just weeks later. he said it's known in history it's the cronkite moment, the most trusted news person in america had turned what you would call dove at that point. >> he did the same thing with watergate. he took what we had done in "the washington post" and he did half of a broadcast in october of 1972 that saved our asses actually at the time at "the washington post" because people didn't believe what we were writing. he put it -- you, you know, reported it admirably in here, he took what we were reporting at "the washington post," put it on the air, attributed it to "the post" and the country turned around on the question and gave great credence and credibility to what we were reporting. >> well, exactly. >> they didn't believe it when we put it in the paper. >> true, after woodward and bernstein it was sort of back page, but walter vetted it out and decided let's run with it
and did major pieces on cbs, 17 minutes of a half an hour news broadcast and woke everybody up. but i also for this book went through the nixon tapes and it's incredible. i interviewed chuck colston and daniel elsburg and all these characters of that era. but it was amazing to he how colston and these guys wanted to get cronkite. if you could rip walter cronkite down, you could go after the so-called liberal media elite. and if you couldn't get cronkite, and they were flummoxed by him, because walter seemed to do no wrong. even if you tried to tar and feather him with something, people shrugged, oh, it's uncle walter and they left him alone. they decided by the end of the kennedy assassination that they liked walter cronkite and they didn't want to believe anything bad about him. >> you look at cronkite versus murrow and dan rather? >> edward r. murrow and cronkite never got along.
largely of a handshake agreement that he did. walter was so impressed being with the great edward r. murrow he made the deal and then he backed -- backed off and stayed with the united press, so bad blood with murrow. and murrow didn't believe in the live coverage that cronkite did. murrow thought cameras became infomercials, which they have. walter cronkite mastered how to do the political convention. as murrow's ship was going down, meaning he was a radio guy in the age of television by 1960, cronkite's ascendency was up. walter made a big splash by covering our first olympims on tv. he did squaw valley in 1960 and rome. and that was the first time we had olympic coverage brought to us in our homes. >> he didn't die until three years ago. he was 92 years old, so he saw, boy, an evolution in news. what did he think of the news business today?
with not just network news but cable news and what's happening online, what was his impression? >> the key question, he quit in 1981 at the top of his game. highest ratings and he was 64. back then you kind of retired at 65. he immediately got angry at himself for having quit. ended up turning on dan rather at cbs. could not stand rather. and tried to grapple with the cable revolution. but he was for the diversification ironically. he saw that the age of big three nightly news was going to become middle grade. there was never going to be another him. he embraced certain people like tom breaux chau who became one of his closest friends. brian williams who i interview both brokaw and williams nor the book, but i mean, they worshipped walter cronkite, they would go eat with him and he helped create the discovery channel, cronkite, was the leading person on it and did work with pbs and cnn and other networks.
but he recognized himself that the heyday was over of the nightly news, it was a nice cutoff point because by '81 you had cnn and c-span and all. and it changed. so, this book is about really the birth of television news from the korean war in 1950 to the age of ronald reagan in '81. and that's when cronkite ran supreme. he was the most respected journalist in america. >> well, another great one the book is "cronkite" you can find an excerpt on our blog, mojo.msnbc.com. stay with us, if you will. coming up, is the motor city coming into tech town? what's behind a sudden technology boom in detroit and can it survive there? cnbc's brian shactman live from motown next on "morning joe." ♪ jumping toes and everything goes ♪ . [ tires squeal ] then we turned the page, creating the rx hybrid. ♪
♪ now for "bills before the bell" with cnbc's brian shactman live this morning in detroit. before we get there, let's talk facebook, brian. >> reporter: yeah. facebook is down again. it's under $29 a share. let's remember, it first traded at $42 a share after pricing at $38. it's pretty much unprecedented in ipo history to be down this much, 25-plus percent just a couple weeks after it opened. it's the worst stock drop of the
s&p 500 at all. you knock trade options and people can short it and people that bought it on the private market at $28, $25, they are wondering should i dump it and take what i can and get out. there's so much downward pressure on this stock, some people are saying it's $20. it's a $50 billion company at this valuation six or eight months ago, it's kind of crazy. >> it is crazy. now let's get back to why you're in detroit, which is not so crazy. it's coming back and how? >> reporter: listen, first of all, a gorgeous day in detroit and i'm looking right at comerica park. it had 18% unemployment in july of 2009, it's still brutal at 10.5%. but a man by the name of dan gilbert who owns the cleveland cavaliers and the chairman of quicken loans, he moved his entire company to downtown detroit of 3,000, 4,000 employees and the building behind me called madison with
the twitter at symbol, the venture capital firm is in there and they seed money to all these start-ups and they're trying to compete with silicon valley in new york and chicago, and in some ways they're doing extremely well, and there's a couple reasons for it. "a," if you invest in technology, it's lower start-up costs and you can get going right away. you build a factory it takes five years to get that thing going. also, if you get paid the same amount of money, mika, as do you at silicon valley or new york here, honestly, you can live like a king. they are trying to feed me kool-aid the two days i've been shooting here, but young people under 30 are living in downtown detroit. they are living here. and unless there was something they had to do to get the job, i don't know. but it seems relatively legitimate at this point, and the businesses are doing okay. >> brian, we know why it's good for detroit. but why is it good for dan gilbert to move his business to detroit? what's the incentive there? >> reporter: cheap real estate, so his operating costs are down.
and, listen, he's got everything. he's buying the buildings cheap, ren know vates them, the employees wants the jobs and he own the buildings and has the employees come here and eventually he'll get into residential real estate, he'll own it top to bottom, it's vertical integration, baby, for dan gilbert. >> i know him, he's a civic leader, he cares about detroit, he's deeply committed to detroit. this is as much for dan about the personal contribution to the revitalization of the city as it is quick economic gain. >> wow. brian shactman. >> reporter: absolutely. do good by doing well as that's the mantra, right? >> there you go. brian shactman, thanks very much. enjoy the kool-aid! why not? >> reporter: yep. when we come back, "what the chinese want" a new book takes us inside the mind of the modern chinese consumer and how much influence they have on u.s. brands. keep it right here on "morning joe."
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welcome back to "morning joe" at 44 past the hour. joining us now the north asia area director and greater china ceo for the marketing communications firm j. walter thompson, tom doctoroff, he's out with a new book "what chinese want, culture, communism, and china's modern consumer." welcome to the show. >> thank you very much. nice to be here. >> this is really the big part of the issue of china and how much influence the consumers want and what they want. how much do they want and what do they want? >> how much influence do the consumers have? a lot. the chinese middle-class is 150 million people and the disposable income is rising. it's still a penny pinched middle-class, but when it comes to any company that is marketing any brand that is publicly consumed from cars to mobile phones to starbucks coffee, china consumer can be a real force of change. >> is there a chinese dream the way there's an american dream?
have they developed that yet? and if so, what is it? >> yeah, there is a chinese dream and superficially it's close to america's dream, money leads to freedom. but ultimately chinese people want to maintain control of their destiny. so, money is really about being able to ward off the daily life. to be able to maintain a straight line going forward all while making progress. their dreams are vertical. ours tend to be more apart, horizontal. >> go ahead, doug. >> i had a question about the environment. if you go to china you can't breathe and they're polluting everything in sight. is that a concern to the people, is there such a thing as an environmental movement in china that's stopping the pollution or at least trying to get in the ball game? >> it's definitely a concern. it's more and more of a concern. but, again, there's a difference. when it comes to the environment, it does no good to talk about abstract values are protecting mother earth. the chinese are concerned about the environment because of what it can do to their children.
anything that can contaminate or anything that the family needs protection from is a real source of concern. particularly in the lower tier cities where there hasn't even begun a movement to clean up things. >> go ahead, dan. >> you hear a lot this phrase that china despite all the wealth creation you're talking about and all the economic activity because of the one-child policy china will grow old before it grows rich. it's got this demographic problem that ultimately is going to limit its potential both economically and on the world stage? is that what you hear? is that sort of the province of policymakers in think tanks or is it something that people talk about? >> it still hasn't reached a critical mass of concern. people do say that china will grow old before it grows rich. but i think that china's still much more focused on the short-term, macroeconomic contradictions that exist within the next five years and the political reform that people do know needs to happen in order to sustain urbanization, but the
process hasn't started yet, so i don't think people are focused 30 years into the future. they're focused five years into the future. >> you've lived in shanghai, what, 14 years now? >> 14 years. >> 14 years. now that you've been on the inside and you know the people, what is the true view today of america, of the united states? are we a rival to them? how do they see us? >> i call it dangerous love. >> oh, oh, oh. >> on one hand they very much admire america, our freedoms, our institutional protections, the fact that the individual has civic institutions designed to reinforce his economic interests. but on the other hand, i do think that there's a little bit of insecurity because they look at our system and they see protections that they don't have. there's not hostility towards the american people. they like us. they like our freedom. they like our bigness. they like our ambition. but when america, when the american government patronizes china or seems to, then there can be quite violent reactions. >> but as we were talking about
during the break about the changes that have swept over china over the past several decades, they're influenced by us. is the chinese consumer influenced by the american consumer? >> they are. we have to understand in marketing that china is becoming modern. it's becoming international but it's not becoming western. i like to say that brands can't be foreign, they need to be global so that they can become vessels of chinese culture. so, you need to bring any brand into alignment with a very different chinese world view. so, nike's just do it spirit, for example, it has to be adapted just a little bit so nothing crosses that red line of overt rebellion, so, yes, it's influenced, but it's a subtle dance actually that marketers need to do -- >> red line of overt rebellion. >> i have to remember that. >> i'm sorry, doug, you're next, but even the obesity rate is going up as fast food is -- >> i read -- i read, i don't
know what the statistics are valid, that 17% of first-tier city urban youth are now technically obese. >> wow. >> so, 30% overweight versus what's recommended. and a lot of that's due to mcdonald's. >> bob dylan won the presidential medal of freedom yesterday from obama. and he got a lot of heat for touring around china. do you think there's a need for american artists or rock bands to help with the democratic process there by touring? does the chinese government like recording artists like dillon coming over there? >> no, they don't like it. but honestly, i don't think it's going to make that much of a difference. the chinese don't crave democracy in the way that we think of democracy. for us it's jeffersonian, it's of the people, by the people, for the people. for the chinese, democracy it's about responsive government. transparent government. with checks and balances and self-correcting. so, unless we learn to link our passion for human rights with a
pragmatic view of how it can help the chinese people in terms of efficiency and sustained economic development, our words tend to evaporate a little bit, so i think we need to adjust the dials just a bit. >> the book is "what chinese want." tom doctoroff, thank you so much. >> a pleasure. >> come back when you're in town. coming up, west coast papers this morning. pull on those gardening gloves. and let's see how colorful an afternoon can be. with the home depot certified advice to help us expand our palette... ...and prices that keep our budgets firmly rooted... ...we can mix the right soil with the right ideas. ...and bring even more color to any garden.
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look at us slide into the west coast papers with a live look at seattle this morning. let's take a look to see "las vegas review journal" on the day he clinched the gop nomination for president, mitt romney raised nearly $2 million at the vegas strip. at a rally romney took shots at president obama's record in nevada, in 2009 he chastised business executives for spending money in vegas after their companies took federal bailout money. "san francisco chronicle" in its second interview with apple keye tim cook said apple is looking to improve the siri voice recognition system. cook said he could see a day when apple products are manufactured in the united states instead of china.
"los angeles times" two weeks after mark zuckerberg was the 29th richest person in the world by bloomberg, he has already fallen off the list entirely. zuckerberg has lost almost $5 billion in stock value since facebook's ipo enough to knock him off the top 40. >> siri gives me a lot of trouble. >> she does? >> she gives me backtalk. >> gives you backtalk? >> can't stand for that. >> you can make it a man, you know? >> i don't want to do that. i just want better answers. up next, what did we learn. ttd# 1-800-345-2550 when companies try to sell you something off their menu ttd# 1-800-345-2550 instead of trying to understand what you really need. ttd# 1-800-345-2550 ttd# 1-800-345-2550 at charles schwab, we provide ttd# 1-800-345-2550 a full range of financial products, ttd# 1-800-345-2550 even if they're not ours. ttd# 1-800-345-2550 and we listen before making our recommendations, ttd# 1-800-345-2550 so we can offer practical ideas that make sense for you. ttd# 1-800-345-2550 ttd# 1-800-345-2550 so talk to chuck, and see how we can help you, not sell you. ttd# 1-800-345-2550
♪ hey mr. tambourine man time to talk about what we learned today, willie. >> i learned a couple things. we've got our next must-read from doug brinkley. the cronkite book was fabulous. and mr. bob dylan has a big fan in the president of the united states as we learned yesterday and the president could not contain his glee and his -- >> great picture. >> -- smile with dylan in shades. >> what a great picture. >> douglas brinkley, what did you learn today? >> i learned that i'm personally deeply worried about what china is doing to the environment and planet and nothing i heard about the new book on china changes my view that they've got to clean up their factories. >> i think you know what you learned? >> joe scarborough gave the best argument for the re-election of barack obama that i ever heard and the obama campaign will
probably and should use it as an ad. >> i thought you learned not to disagree with him. >> i knew that before. >> all right. >> the concrete momeronkite mom waiting for it -- >> way too early. >> historians will refer to it as when willie spoke. >> that's uncle willie. >> if it's way too early? >> it's "morning joe." we'll see you back here tomorrow. stick around now for chuck. thank you, william. romney's rivals were right. they always said it would come down to texas, but instead of being down and out, texas gives romney enough delegates to clinch the nomination. and he's not the lone star in the news today. it's some down ballot results that are turning heads. we'll have more on that. and romney raises cash with the number one birth certificate authenticity enthusiast. is this a distraction that romney can afford to have with less than five months to go before election day?