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tv   Andrea Mitchell Reports  MSNBC  September 14, 2012 1:00pm-2:00pm EDT

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reached which was that the statement was inappropriate and that's why they backed away from it as well. >> mainstream republicans say that romney should lay down his own foreign policy vision. >> ids i've recommended to governor romney he give a foreign policy speech which talks about the united states' role not only in the middle east but in the world. >> in california, federal authorities are investigating the man who posted the anti-muslim video that sparked the outrage. and ambassador chris stevens' sister remembers her big brother. >> he was so focused on, you know, the joyous times on his diplomatic mission, that he didn't even go into really talking too much about how afraid he was, you know, for his life. >> on the campaign trail, 53 days, polls today show president obama pulling ahead in critical
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battleground states. and move over, david gregory's got his own gangnan style. >> side to side right after this. ♪ good day. i'm andrea mitchell, live in washington. joining us, chris elissa managing editor of post and chuck todd, chief white house correspondent, political director and host of "the daily run down" here on msnbc. chuck, to you and you chris, the foreign policy debate this week that we've seen mitt romney coming out while the state department is still trying to identify bodies, notify next of kin with a sharp attack, didn't have his facts right and a lot of criticism about that, but now also criticism from republicans of not laying out his foreign policy vision and criticism of the president. where did he follow up with the
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arab spring? how has he handled all this? a foreign policy debate in a campaign that's been all about the economy. >> by the way, we know what's striking about hearing mccain say this, he did it out of frustration, our producer was saying there were constant questions about this and he was basically saying look i've asked mitt romney, it was more of john mccain going, i've told mitt romney he ought to lay this out in a vision speech type of thing. he's given two big foreign policy speeches. the one before the overseas trip, the vfw, again at the american legion right before his convention speech. but neither one of them seemed to be the sort of big vision speech about america's role in the middle east and all of that. i do know talking to campaign sources they know they want to do a big policy speech before the debates to try to maybe force the -- instead of them chasing headlines, force the obama campaign to chase him a little bit. and i think it is going to be in foreign policy. >> at the same time, chris, though, you have rich williams, we interviewed the other day,
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telling "the washington post" today under a president romney, this whatever this is, the protests would not have happened, you've got people experienced people like steve hadley, bob zellick, supposedly the transition adviser, for foreign policy, being completely shut out of these conversations, and instead, a very small group of people who are from -- more from the neocon wing of the republican party surrounding him and advising him on how to handle this. >> i think what the problem broadly here is, andrea, mitt romney, his expertise exists in domestic policy and in particular economic policy where he is most animated, his base, his long-time experience is. his experience is less so in foreign policy. as a result, this happens with every politician, all have somewhere where they know a lot about and some they know less about. he is probably more willing to listen to a small group of people and not have that check built in to say i don't know if
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this is exactly right. i talked to someone on the driving in here, trying to report up to the minute we go on tv. >> you always do. >> what this person said to me, a republican said, is look, did mitt romney not do exactly what he should have done in terms of the timing? yes. and unfortunately, what that did is, overshadow what they believed to be too long a silence from barack obama that barack obama isn't leading in the region. they actually argue yes, did mitt romney not handle this well, screw this up politically, yes, but the idea that barack obama is without blame, has handled this perfectly in every element is also not -- >> i think there's a big opportunity here. i mean look, the president, one of his foreign policy promises he was going to make this speech to the muslim world in cairo, he did it. >> and there was no follow-up arguably. >> but designed to be sort of okay the olive branch, new relationship, and you look and sit there, you're like okay is america viewed any better in the
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muslim world today than four years ago? >> he has a problem with egypt and the criticism because of his frustration with president morsi, understandably, he then told telemundo he doesn't consider -- changed poll. >> egypt a u.s. ally and this tortured dance of -- nato ally -- let's get to the nbc news/mare rist, wall street journal poll and we want to dot battleground check. >> right. >> the nbc news/"wall street journal" marist poll of three battleground states show the president ahead and importantly as you point out, that the right track/wrong track -- >> put it in context. polls are connected sunday through tuesday. this is -- >> and you look at it and it seems consistent with the bounce we saw in some national polls. here it is. it is those five-point leads in florida and virginia that seven-point lead in ohio, people asking about the party and sampling, florida and virginia a little less democratic than what the exit polls showed in 2008.
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ohio a little more. but they also fit with what we know the campaigns are seeing which is the president got a bump. the question now, does it dissipate or not? i think that is of a concern to the romney campaign. >> this just in as they say, the romney camp has announced senator mccain will be holding events in new hampshire where we know he is so popular. >> one of eight or nine swing states. >> at a vfw event. >> under five. it's interesting, you look at these three and that's what's a little bit of concern to the romney campaign is that virginia, ohio, and florida, not looking as good today but there are still races under five points like colorado, new hampshire, wisconsin, nevada, iowa. >> yep. >> iowa less so. >> and show the tough root that mitt romney now has at this -- and this is a snap shot, of course, but your electoral -- >> do it this way, ohio is the one you have republicans biting their finger nails on. everybody concedes that the president is ahead.
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we can debate the margin but he has been consistently ahead. look at what that does. that gets him to 255. he's basically just needs, you know, if he gets at this point virginia, you throw that in there, he's leading and demographically seems to be leading then one state short. >> a small state, new hampshire. >> i've talked to democratic pollsters who say demographically impossible to win nevada, there is a ceiling there because of hispanic turnout. >> there is a large mormon population in nevada and the housing market has been, romney has struggled, by the way, a negative ad that the obama campaign put out on spanish language television talks about sonya sotomayor, a woman speaking in spanish, saying i was offended finding out mitt romney was against putting sonya sotomayor on the supreme court.
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>> i would add we've talked about ohio, chuck and i talked about this on and off air, don't underestimate the symbolic importance of ohio to the romney campaign. no republican has been elected to the white house without winning ohio. they cannot walk away -- >> they'll never walk away. >> i know there are these rumors that rove and -- >> that is crazy if they did that, they would doom romney's campaign. >> panic. >> leave it there. chuck todd, thank you very much. >> it's so far away. >> i can't reach you guys. >> i know. >> chris, thank you very much. >> gangnams. >> violent protests spreading throughout north africa and the middle east over a film that insults the prophet muhammad. the u.s. embassy in sudan says protesters have not breached the compound but there are 2,000 demonstrators outside the gates. egyptian riot police clavds with protesters blocks away from the u.s. embassy in cairo. yemen a crowd of nearly 2,000 tried to march the u.s. embassy in the capital.
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security forces tried to break up the crowds firing live rounds in the air. tune knee shah where the arab spring began thousands protested outside the u.s. embassy. police responded with tear gas. richard engel joins me by phone from cairo. a lot of tension with president morsi and some signs i think you've been reporting overnight the egyptian government was trying to reassert control, do a better job. what do you see today? >> we're seeing that this is spreading beyond egypt and it's -- there's lots of small little demonstrations and not all of them are against the united states. there was a tiny attack by some bedwins in the sinai against the u.n. peacekeeper mission, a peacekeeper mission most people had forgotten exists there in the sudan, there were protests against the german embassy, which had nothing to do with the film, against the british embassy right next door. it has become an expression of
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rage by radicals who are just whipped knew a frenzy because of what they're seeing on television, reports about the muslim prophet being insulted and that's really all they need to hear, these segments of extreme radicals for them to go out and attack almost anything that they can find that represents the other, the west, the threats in this case. >> so, the film was the proximate cause, at least initially, in egyptian media, but this has now become a completely different kind of protest. it seems to be insipent rage, anti-american. what does it say about u.s. policy in the region, richard, that in following up for the hopeful signs that we first saw with the arab spring, that now we have a completely unpredictable situation throughout the region? >> it's showing the dark unfortunately of not only the arab spring but a lot of this
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region. there are tremendous number of intellectuals and people who are clamoring out for freedom, but there are also -- there's also a great undercurrent of rage and ignorance and that is not new. it is to a degree a product of their dictatorships that were here but deliberately miseducated the people and fed them lies and conspiracy theories and told them that islam is under threat and that the governments were the only ones to protect them. we're seeing this bubbling up in communities all over the -- north africa and the middle east. also we're seeing that they're recognizing that the u.s. diplomatic facilities aren't as secure as they thought. it took one person or one group of people here in egypt to test it out. they got over the wall and nothing really happened. and then -- this is all being covered play by play on arabic television and the internet. then people got into the embassy in yemen.
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that wasn't hard. then they were able to light fires right in front of the tu niecen embassy and broke that wall of fear and now other people, other extremists around the world are communicating with each other saying hey, we can do this. >> richard engel, stay safe, my friend. thanks very much. thanks for your reporting. and up next, who is guiding mitt romney's foreign policy attacks? we'll talk to former presidential candidate, former u.s. ambassador to china, jon huntsman. this is "andrea mitchell reports" only on msnbc. we're sitting on a bunch of shale gas. there's natural gas under my town. it's a game changer. ♪ it means cleaner, cheaper american-made energy. but we've got to be careful how wget it. design the wells to be safe. thousands of jobs. use the most advanced technology to protect our water. billions in the economy. at chevron, if we can't do it right, we won't do it at all.
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top foreign policy advisers to mitt romney say the violent
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attack in the middle east would not have happened under a president romney. has romney explained what he would do differently? joining me is former u.s. ambassador and republican presidential candidate jon huntsman. very good to see you again. thank you for joining us. >> pleasure to be with you. >> talk about first of all mitt romney's initial response. the state department has not identified what has happened to a missing ambassador. they don't know. they know one person is dead. don't have the identification. trying to reach next of kin. a complete scramble at 10:00 eastern time. i'm sitting here at nbc trying to talk to state department officials. libyans are reporting, libyan officials reporting the u.s. ambassador, first of all that a diplomat has died, it could be the u.s. ambassador and mitt romney comes out with a statement attacking the administration for a press officer's statement in cairo. good, bad, good judgment? >> well, it's been replayed andrea a thousand times and i don't have anything to add to the critique. i think there's a lot to the
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criticism. but i would tell you this, americans don't want an em pe tu was candidate during a time of international upheaval and a foreign policy crisis. you have an opportunity to teach, to lift, to inspire, and to articulate america's goals in the region. then if you get it wrong, you can always redo it the next day when you're given a press availability. and that was not to be. but my criticism is not that political moment for either one of those either president obama or governor romney. it's americans don't know what our interests are in the middle east. >> whose fault is that? >> this is an opportunity for governor romney to lay out with some specificity and some sense of vision what we're going to do, not to deal with the tack
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beticle issues playing out but the long-term strategic play. how are we going to put the pieces back together again? because in the end, we've got to help to fix the problem in the middle east. >> do you think he's explained the predicate for what rich williamson his adviser says is if there were a president romney right now, this wouldn't have happened. that the people in the middle east are responding to perceived american weakness? >> we're going through a once per generation, maybe even once per century shift in the middle east. it's akin to the ottoman empire of 1919/1920. a storm front moving in. whenever there's a storm front moving in there's instability all around. there will be instability for some time. i don't know that there's a whole lot we can do about that, andrea. we can protect our interests, like our diplomats abroad, and that is the host governments guaranteeing their security because that's what they're supposed to do. you can't conduct any kind of diplomatic relationship without a secure diplomatic compound or
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environment. second of all, let's talk about counter terrorism. let's talk about pockets of instability and despair, which give rise to anti-american sentiment. >> you would not talk about cutting off aid? >> i wouldn't -- i would use aid as a lever but not talk about -- that's a cheap political line. i learned that during the debates. say you're going to cut off aid and everybody cheers. that's a useless sound bite. you have to use aid in pursuit of america's interests. but there's a conversation that must be had about our interests in the region and about protecting our allies first and foremost, israel, about securing the lines of commerce and trade, and about dealing with governments that are on the verge of becoming completely destabilized in the case of yemen, for example. >> i want to ask you about president obama's policy, but before we move on, what about mitt romney's foreign policy advisers? bob zellick, former head of the world bank, former deputy of
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state and treasury, who is supposedly in charge of the transition, i've been told is completely shut out of this conversation, steve hadley and others, who have worked under george w. bush, have not been consulted as far as we can tell, and the circle is pretty small. does mitt romney need to listen to more people? >> i would argue, andrea, at this point in the campaign, with weeks to go, you don't need a different circle your don't need to expand or broaden, you got to bring to the forefront everything you know as a candidate. it's you. it's your use of language, your instincts when it comes to interpreting crises as they arise and how we ought to be responding to it. so get specific, tie everything back to jobs here in the united states, because without a solid base at home, an economy that's functioning you don't have an effective foreign policy. >> now -- >> without unity at home you don't have an effective foreign policy. >> was it wise for president
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obama to say to telemundo the other night, that he would not consider egypt an ally, nor an enemy? what does that mean? >> well, it means that we've entered a period of time where each is a transactional relationship like pakistan. so if the egypts of the world and the pakistans of the world are becoming nothing more than transactional relationships you've got problems in the region. because both are in a position to influence islam, the impact of islam in south asia and the near east, and they're also critical to our counter terrorism nation, our ability to collect data and analyze it and respond effectively. in egypt, i would say a lot has too do with living up to your obligations under the agreements that we have, including your support for israel. and if the basics of the fundamentals aren't going to be lived up to we have to reevaluate the amount of aid money. >> the country you were an
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ambassador in has a missing successor. where is the next leader of china and what do you think is going on there. >> sounds strange but it's not altogether unprecedented that senior leaders kind of disappear for a period of time in china. the spotlight is on ping who will become the next head of the party, now vice president, and so we're -- for the first time ever we're seeing china's political system under a microscope. i suspect over the next couple of days, we'll see ping -- >> what do you think has happened to him? in the hospital? >> i think there's a lot of work being done with respect to the 18th party congress transition. it's a big deal. this is a once per decade leadership alignment. you have have 2,000 that are going to be descending in beijing in october. you're going to have the central committee, 200 members to appoi appoint. the -- >> is it possible he has a political flu and not going to
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be the successor. >> anything is possible. >> my instincts tell me, i may have to apologize for this later. >> we'll rerack the tape. >> there's a whole lot of work going on behind the scenes in terms of getting all the information prepared, the people who are going to now govern china is part of the fifth generation, and you're going to hear more about it in the days ahead. >> have you decided whom you're voting for? >> i support mitt romney. i mentioned that a long time ago. for this reason. i think in order to get the economy right, we've got to have somebody who understands how to fire the interests of growth and who can get tax reform through and focus on energy independence with the center piece being natural gas. it's a huge deal for this country and i think he's got the wherewithal to make that happen. >> when was the last time you talked to him? >> i don't ever talk to him. >> enough said. jon huntsman, good to see you. >> thank you. >> who is the man behind that anti-muslim video. surprising new details next
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♪ and get the all day pain relief of aleve in liquid gels. at the heart of the violent protests throughout the middle east and north south africa, the anti-islamic film the u.s. government has denounced. >> let me state very clearly and i hope it is obvious, that the united states government had absolutely nothing to do with this video. we absolutely reject its content and message. >> nbc's my taibbi in burbank. you've been looking at who is responsible and the strange story behind the production of this vile video. >> andrea, strange is one word, perhaps the other one word that most applies to this search for the truth behind this, who made it, how it came to be is murky. two egyptian born coptic
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christians ultrasun kevtives involved according to sources who have spoken to reporters including us. one of them started a charity and it's called media for christ, about 30 miles east of los angeles, and that's where the studios are where much of this movie was shot in the summer of 2011p. who's responsible for the content neither one of the two gentlemen is on a watch list for any hate speech watch groups at this point. says that they're responsible for the content. only one a man named steve klein, a flamboyant guy in his writings and web tv show and leaflet campaigns uses much of the same language and uses many of the same themes that are used in the film itself. it's not really a film. just a 14-minute video. we looked at it a couple times. klein says he told us and reporters that he approved the script, that the script is truthful according to his version of the truth. and he's now as you can see him
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in his truck right now, claiming that he had to leave town because there have been believable death threats against him. he's the only person who has been associated and has made any admissions about his direct responsibility for the final product as it was finally posted on the web. >> and you've watched the film, mike. i've looked at the trailer. we're not going to show it. but disgusting is a -- understatement of what it represents. >> yeah. it's hard to imagine anybody who's reasonable at all and coming to a couple media conclusions. it's outrageous. fully insulting. secretary of state used the words reprehensible and disgusting. also about the worst piece of video you can imagine. producer friend of mine looked at it and he said if they raised $5 million to finance that film what did they do with the $4.999 million left over. a kid with a flip cam could have done a better job. the dialog the actors spoke, has
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been dubbed over in the script pages that we saw given to us by these actors the name mohammed and insults that were in the final product did not appear. they were crudely dubbed over. that's the product that made it to the web. once it was translated into arabic it triggered what it trigg trigg triggered. no question there was a link between what's represented in this video and what people perceive to be its message and took it seriously, obviously. >> and as richard engel was reporting, all of the denials from the u.s. government are not having impact on the -- to the people in the street that he's been looking at and talking to. thank you very much. thanks, mike. the foreign policy challenge is now front and center to the campaign. plus, the new trouble for will and kate. that's coming up next. mom always got good nutrition to taste great.
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topping the head lines on "andrea mitchell reports" negotiations in the chicago teachers strike say that they are nearing a deal that could allow students to return to school on monday. the strike in the nation's third largest school district has left 350,000 children out of class all week. while some elements have been resolved the teachers union is at odds with mayor emanuel over their demands that laid off teachers get first consideration for new job openings and teacher evaluations not ride on student test results. a french magazine could be guilty of the most extreme infringement of the privacy of the british royal family after it published topless photos of kate middleton. they were at a private estate in france when the photos were taken and were visibly upset after learning of the privacy breach. the royal family has filed a lawsuit against "closer" magazine after releasing this statement --
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>> the battleground map for november looks set. only a small pool of undecided voters in key states up for grabs. this week proved when it comes to foreign affairs anything can happen. and both candidates facing a lot of scrutiny over their statements this week and joining me now, "usa today" washington bureau chief susan page, national journal white house correspondent major garret, and "washington post" columnist ruth morris. thanks to all of you. to you because "usa today," new look, new day, 30th anniversary, susan, were you there at the beginning? >> i was not. i was at "news day," newcomer to "usa today" only been there about 15 years. great to be at the celebration last night and the new paper out this morning with our new logo and our flashier design and new website to come. >> but at the same time, all the -- still all the old solid news and we look at the news
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today we've looked at our nbc news/"wall street journal"/marist polls the result with president obama moving ahead in florida interestingly and ohio importantly, as well, and virginia. >> these three -- >> that narrows the pathway for mitt romney. >> the three most critical states of the election are the three states you have these polls from. president obama with a lead of five points in two of them and seven poimz in the other. this is sobering news for mitt romney. we're in that period when attitudes are getting set. the marist poll found a very small pool of undecided voter or persuadable voters and we think of the debates as being view crucial and and they are crucial but two weeks after the conventions are over, the candidate who is leading if a candidate has a lead that candidate has won in the last 15 elections. so we are right in the middle of what might be the most critical part of this presidential election. >> the polling did not start
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until after this uprising in the middle east and the critical focus on both of them in terms of how they're handling foreign policy. >> what the polls tell us about the fund mems of the race. mr's lead among white voters is no at large as it needs to be. running way behind by nonmarrieds. 30 points in all three states. those making more than $70,000 a year which pollsters tend to think would be somic to romney's economic message running only slightly ahead of the president. running behind the president on those that earn less than $75,000 or don't have a college education. where romney has to have big leads doesn't have them. where the president needs them he has them and leading in the three states. >> ruth marcus, yesterday in virginia, looked at mitt romney campaigning and it was sort of a stunning display, looked as though he was going to the women's political action committee or something, women's political caucus. there were, perhaps, two token
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men in the whole crowd around him, arrayed photography by the campaign, clearly he has fallen behind in virginia, further behind among women, and the gender gap widening but not getting as much support from men as he needs as well. >> exactly. a very good reason that crowd looked the way it did. we were teasing major before we started about how she shouldn't be intimidated by the estrogen in the room. governor romney should be intimidated by the gender gap in the polls which is to say that there is two phenomena that are a problem for him. lagging among women and among the vanishingly small number of undecided and persuadable voters women are a majority of of those. do the math. it makes it hard. i do want to inject one note of caution, as magnificent as the nbc/"wall street journal" polls are there are polls in the other -- in the same states that show things a little bit closer,
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so -- >> this is volatile and a snapshot. >> it was not a good week for governor romney. >> and the other thing worth pointing out since the conventions three polls taken on the right track/wrong track number. ten before the polls, before the conventions in august. those had an aggregate average of 31 right track. >> a horrible number for an incumbent president. >> people felt better about the direction of the country after the conventions. >> the bill clinton bounce? >> some are calling it that. >> it's a collective bounce. you can argue credibly whatever you thought of the democratic convention it had a more consistent and repetitive message. they did not go for a one night theme attic approach. they wanted one theme repeated constantly. tuned in only one night or half hour on three different nights you got the same message. and that's one of the things i think you see reflected in the polling data since the conventions. >> what about foreign policy? as a new issue and the way mitt romney and president obama have handled this?
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>> well, you know you could make a -- you could have an argument about how well president obama's handled foreign policy and whether he's -- >> had mitt romney made that argument. >> the problem for mitt romney the argument we're having today over did he speak too soon or words too harsh, did he seem too political in making his criticism. so it depends on which discussion you're having. mitt romney, his -- the fact that he came out so quickly, as these events were still unfolding before we knew the full story in libya, i think raises kind of gut -- questions of presidential judgment and tenor as opposed to the policy itself. >> of course, congress came back during this period and senator kerry was on the floor yesterday dressing down rand paul and others who suggest we should immediately be cutting off foreign aid to these hot spots. let's play a little bit of senator kerry. us. >> cut off the aid?
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you send a message of -- you know, you don't do exactly what we say, exactly when we say, exactly the way we want, we're not going to give you the pittance we give them. we give less than 1% of the entire budget of the united states of america, less than 1% goes into all of our foreign operations. all of our embassies, our security, our aid, 1%. >> senator kerry along with susan rice, two contenders if president obama were re-elected to become secretary of state. >> and you know, kerry gave just a great speech, a great political liner at the democratic convention if only that kind of speech and appearance when running for president himself things might have been different in 2004. i think you see him again, kind of making his case that maybe in a second term he would make a good secretary of state. >> he's making a serious and important point, which is, the
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threat -- we talked about this the other day, the threat to foreign policy in terms of the sort of knee-jerk reaction of taking out, withdrawing the aid, could have very dangerous and dire consequences. attempting response that senator paul is suggesting but would not be a very sensible response and that's a threat to u.s. interests and the natural inclination of politicians faced with recalcitrants like they saw from egypt is to hold back their money. i don't think that would be a smart thing to do. >> we're going to have to leave it there. ruth marcus, great to end the week with you guys, major garret, and susan page. thank you. and up next, mark halperin with more on mitt romney's foreign policy gamble. this is "andrea mitchell reports" only on msnbc. ♪ my volt is the best vehicle i've ever driven.
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hi, everyone. i'm tamron hall. coming up in 15 minutes, breaking news, as the president, the vice president, and secretary of state hillary clinton head to the joint base at andrews for a ceremony marking the return of the bodies of the four americans killed in libya including, of course, u.s. ambassador chris stevens, comes as protests continue to break out across 17 muslim nations from libya to indonesia. foreign policy as we've been discussing is intruding into what had been a political campaign focused entirely on the economy. so how have the candidates handled the challenge in joining me mark halperin, senior political analyst for msnbc and "time" magazine editor at large. mark, what about mitt romney, his initial response and whether or not he should give a major foreign policy speech next week and lay out how he would handle this? >> obviously his initial
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response got some pretty negative reviews and i think it obscured to some extent what the romney campaign would like to focus on, which is this set of events happening now, very difficult for any president to deal with to be sure, fits in with the critique governor romney has long made about the president and his foreign policy. so it's an opportunity for governor romney if he does want to move off the economy, make these bigger arguments about international affairs and national security, to give a big speech. i thought for 48 hours that he almost certainly would and still think he will. i know some are advising him to do it. it does mean moving awah i from the economy and just from a purely political point of view there's a risk. however, governor romney believes in the critique he's making and i think it's always helpful for a presidential candidate to give a speech if there's something they feel strongly about and this is an area he does. >> his foreign policy and critique is based on his book "no apologies" and that was his immediate instinct for that news release that was released right
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as the state department, the administration, scrambling to find out what had happened to their diplomats. is that a policy, i'm just trying to cope with, you know -- is weakness and the whole argument that we are any time we talk to adversaries apologizing for u.s. position, is that the core of his policy? >> well, that's a good question. there's no doubt that it is a fair critique to say that governor romney in this instance and in his book and other cases has put forward the notion that the president has apologized or that the president's foreign policy is based on apologizing when that isn't accurate. and that he needs to find i think some more specifics. how does his policy differ? some controversy now about whether in enunciating his iran policy and their nuclear program. he differs from the president. he said in an interview twice he doesn't differ. his advisors are trying to say he does. both in specific theaters, country relations, specific
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issues, there's -- he's not had necessarily a break through cohesive and clear set of policies. a speech is an opportunity. there are areas he does differ from the president but more often than note he's overstated what the differences are. if he does feel he can put together a cohesive speech with real specifics, this is an opportunity. the crisis going on right now is an outgrowth of the arab spring. the president and the administration haven't handled it perfectly. no one could. there are areas where it's possible to criticize. but as your question suggests if he just criticizes and he doesn't have some actual concrete proposals both for elites who will be looking for real specifics and real actual differences, as well as to the general public looking for broad themes for the most part then giving a speech would be a mistake. if he does have specifics in these -- in the current crisis and more broadly, i think it would serve him and the country well to hear the contrast between the incumbent and what governor romney says he would do differently. >> and mark, the current
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schedule, the president's current schedule, is to practically fly over the united nations dropping down to give a speech, meeting with the secretary general but not meeting with any of the foreign leaders not with president morsi, to the distress of the egyptians, not with prime minister netanyahu or any others. it is unusual. they clearly thought this is the week before the first debate. they don't want a foreign policy blow up. they don't want something to happen. is that a wise course for the white house to think they can finesse foreign policy? >> from the time they made that decision from a purely political point of view, it was a wise course. both the president and romney are expected to speak at the global initiative. that's a forum where a lot of eyes will be on them. if the world is still in the kind of explosive situation we're in right now, i wouldn't
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be surprised if the president did add some meetings to his schedule. he does have that flexibility. at the time they made that decision, i think voters in the battle ground states would rather hear the president talking about politics at least if the crisis abates to some extent, then they care whether the president has the bilateral meetings that presidents normally fit into their schedule when they come here for the general assembly and the clinton global initiative. >> thank you very much. >> thanks, andrea. >> all this will be discussed on "meet the press" on sunday with david gregory. i'll be among david's guest. you've got to watch. you've got to watch. we'll be right back. we've all had those moments. when you lost the thing you can't believe you lost. when what you just bought, just broke. or when you have a little trouble a long way from home... as an american express cardmember you can expect some help. but what you might not expect, is you can get all this with a prepaid card. spends like cash. feels like membership.
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and developing now, president obama has just left the white house en route to andrews air force base where he's going to be joined by joe biden, hillary clinton and defense secretary leon panetta to witness the return of four
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killed in attacks on the u.s. embassy in benghazi, including the ambassador christopher stevens. this is our diplomats killed in action. i remember the return at andrews in 1998 when president clinton and hillary clinton in august of 1998 received the coffins unloaded from kenya and tan sa nia from our two u.s. embassies there. >> i spent the vast majority of my life talking about politics and the political consequences of things that happen. i always say to people it is a worthwhile reminder that there are consequences to things like this. and they do happen in a political context. we should never lose sight if you're a democratic or republican or independent or whatever you want to be, people have lost their lives. i think the interview on "rock center" with the ambassador's sister really drives that home.
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these are lives and real consequences. the politics are the politics. they're going to exist, let's not forget that other piece that matter more. >> our condolences to all. that is it for this edition and for a very difficult week in u.s. foreign policy. my colleague tamron hall has a look at what's next on "news nation." we're following the breaking news this hour. a solemn ceremony is about to start at andrews fair bors base in maryland for the four americans dill killed during the attack in libya. president obama, secretary of state hillary clinton and vice president joe biden will be there. the ceremony comes as a violent anti-american protests have now broken out in 17 muslim countries. we are talking from libya to indonesia. we'll update you on all the breaking news and bring you that
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solemn ceremony where the president will speak. president will speak. that's next on "news nation." tonight our guest, thomas sargent. nobel laureate in economics, and one of the most cited economists in the world. professor sargent, can you tell me what cd rates will be in two years? no. if he can't, no one can. that's why ally has a raise your rate cd. ally bank. your money needs an ally.
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