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tv   Inside Washington  PBS  May 18, 2012 8:30pm-9:00pm EDT

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>> what do you think that tree can be? can it be stronger than steel? can a treat be biodegradable plastic? can it be fuel for our cars, or clothing, or medicine that fights cancer? with our tree cell technology, we think it can. weyerhaeuser, growing ideas. >> i think the public this so far beyond that. >> this week on "inside washington," the super pac flap. the return and a fast exit of rev. jeremiah wright. >> i repudiate that effort.
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>> jpmorgan chase's multibillion-dollar slip-up. >> you cannot have the fox guarding the henhouse. >> we are debating the debt limit again. and guess who came to speak to georgetown university's graduation? the catholic bishops are not pleased. >> i cannot understand georgetown university. >> i think that is silly. captioned by the national captioning institute >> this super pac business may be a case of be careful what you ask for. "at the new york times" ran a story detailing an advertising proposal attributed to a republican super pac that would have tied president obama to his old spiritual adviser and political nemesis, the rev.
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jeremiah wright. it was submitted by republican strategist, fred davis, but in the end never ran. joe ricketts, founder of td ameritrade, owner of the cubs, who "the new york times" says was willing to pay $10 million to finance the campaign, walked away from it. romney said at first he had not seen the story, and later in the day, he said this. >> i want to make it very clear, i repudiate that effort. i think it is is the wrong course for a pac or campaign. i hope that our campaigns can respectively be about the future and about issues and the vision for america. i have been disappointed in the president's campaign to date, which is focused on character assassination. i just think we are wiser talk about issues of the day. >> he is talking about the obama
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ads painting ronny and bain capital as job killers. 8. mitt romney's message for a full day, -- it buries ronny's message for a full day, mark. >> it is most of of reflective of the influence that super pacs have. this was an act of the agreed on the part of the proposers and stupidity, because the idea of running on -- against president obama on his association with reverend wright, which did not turn out to be an issue in 2008 -- to make it an issue in 2012 is analogous to a decision by the mondale campaign in 1984 to run against ronald reagan as a warmonger with the rockets ready to explode any minute. if he had not done it in the
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first four years, it would not be an issue running for reelection. reverend wright has night -- has not been an issue for these four years and will not be for reelection. >> charles? >> toomey it is an example of the outer part receipt of the mainstream press. it is ok for "-- to me it is an example of the utter hypocrisy of the mainstream press. it is ok pour "the washington post" to run 5000 pagon the frot page about a prank romney did as a teenager, but it is out of bounds to talk about obama's association as an adult for 20 years with racist demagogue who married him and baptized his children and he called his spiritual mentor. no greater hypocrisy. >> nina? >> i am kind of surprised that you, charles street this is an
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example of how -- charles. as an example of how when you have people who are not accountable to you, they can hurt you. in the case of "the washington post," you could take it or leave it, and most left it, could on this show in -- could in on this show. there will be other campaigns like this, especially from republicans who have raised more money from democrats, and probably from democrats. we will not know who paid for them and it will be reprehensible, and it is a really rotten reflection of what happened to our system. >> colby? >> from the point of view of the people who prepared that ad, mission accomplished. jeremiah wright's name and obama in references to the
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ad itself. i find it ironic that romney as saying "i repudiate this" when in february he went on the hannity show and it made the same -- the same thing that this ad is doing. >> why is wright off limits? >> he is not, but why is he relevant anymore. talking about 9/11 as if somehow the united states government was involved, it was a reprehensible speech in many ways. but, you know, barack obama ordered the killing of osama bin laden. how is this relevant? >> you just used the word earlier, "reprehensible," in reference to running at about jeremiah wright. it is not off-limits.
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tactically, piteous a mistake. in 2008, obama -- tactically, it is a mistake in 2008, obama had no record or history of achievements, so all you had to go on were associations, which the press ignored and declared off-limits. today, he has a record, but the idea that it is off-limits is sheer hypocrisy on the part of the press. >> call it what you want, charles. the reality is that this was not dropped by the press in 2008. it was a central issue which dominated the campaign for close to a week and it led to president obama, then-candidate obama, giving the most watched the speech of his generation. reverend wright >> this week on "insid -- reverend wright had moments on bill moyers' show and a
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number of venues, and john mccain, to his credit, said this is not something we will approach. city >> drumbeat from rush limbaugh of -- steady drumbeat from rush limbaugh, sean hannity, others of that ilk, saying that obama has not been vetted. they achieve their ends by getting the name back out there. as far as attending the church, i attended a church with the pastor named wilmore carter. there were things about him that we found issue with. he married me and my wife and we've been married over 50 years. there are things that are said in church that would make your hair curl, but you don't go to that church because of what the
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pastor says -- >> give me a break. >> you have an association with that church, you could do it for the sunday school, the way your children are treated. to suggest that this guy obama was taken in it is crazy. >> to suggest that he drop in the church occasionally -- he himself referred to jeremiah wright is the spiritual mentor. it is not a casual association. it is 8 association. if that is not relevant, nothing is. >> whose campaign is moving in and a proper direction? forget the pac thing. >> a lot of this has to do with what is happening outside the campaign spirit romney has not changed a bit. he is the same dull, stolid guy
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he has always been. the personal approval is way up. the primaries are over so he is not being knocked week after week after week for his flaws. obama in the winter was the beneficiary of a slight uptick in the economy, which might have been a false dawn. it is overtime and 0-0. >> president obama was on "the view" with those women and his numbers with women are pretty good. romney is up with women. >> they are starting to redefine each other, and we will see movement up and down. this is hardly an indication of where they will end up in.
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> this will be the nose -- and up in november. >> this will be the most negative can paint any of us remembers. neither one point an-- neither e going on about why you should vote for them, but why you should not vote for the other. an independentam voter. why do i vote for obama? why do i vote for romney? >> the vote for president is the most personal vote he cast as a citizen. it is no accident that the candidate who is better liked has won the last five elections. in 2008, we had two candidates who were very well-liked, more than any in history, mccain and obama, better than 2-1 favorable going in.
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nina is right, we are starting to campaign this time with both of them marginally positive. the president is more likable than romney. but john white of catholic university had a good proposition, that there is a choice between the candidate they unlike, obama, " they are not sure is up to -- they like, obama, who they think is not up to handling the importation, the economy, versus the candidate they don't like who might be able to handle it. >> who tips the balance, colby? >> no mistake that the obama campaign is going after romney on bain capital, because they think that that will show that he is not a successful businessman he claims to be. he made a lot of money at bain.
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there will be a big discussion, and it will not be over capitalism, but the kind of profiteering romney engaged in. getting a big return on investments did involve firing people and shutting down companies, but that was the nature of the game he was playing and he played well. >> you asked mark, if you were independent, and give me a positive reason. i think it could be decided on the negative reasons. the ad on bain is meant to say that he is uncaring. the romney campaign is running ads saying he is incompetent, he keeps promises and nothing has happened. competence against caring is the theme.
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>> jpmorgan is one of the best managed banks there is. jamie dimon is one of the smartest bankers we have got. they still lost $2 billion and counting. this is why we passed wall street reform. >> this is another movie we have seen before. president obama says jamie dimon, top by jpmorgan chase, knows what he is doing. paul krugman says "this is an object demonstration of white wall street needs to be regulated." do you agree, colby? >> no. i don't agree on this particular reason. every year, without fail, some bank gets into trouble because of trading losses. but until those losses were occurring, the activity was making a lot of money for the bank. on the way, someone gets over-
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aggressive and they gets into this kind of trouble. that you cannot regulate. whether it is liquidity or hedging against losses, you have to have this kind of trading. there is no way you can -- somebody always gets over- aggressive and then you have to struggle. you cannot regulate it. >> would the volcker rule have stopped this? >> i don't know. it has been at two years since they passed the bill and they still have not enacted the regs. it is not that complicated. that is why they enacted the law. call me old-fashioned, but when i put money in a bank, it is is not supposed to be to just play with. i put money in the bank to be safe. >> what kind of interest are you getting? >> i am getting a lousy interest, but it is insured.
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national capital bank of washington, here is my plug. >> oh. >> free checking for you. >> i get free checking, thank you. >> i am amazed that at this moment, after 2008, what this country went through, that nobody has stood up for justice publicly in this country. this administration now, three years in office, has not brought any of the malefactors of that wealth and the loss of wealth -- this is a little thing that jamie dimon pulled off. $25 billion in the standing of the company is gone, as of this moment. what the volcker rule would do is stop a bank -- the bank has
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to -- the depositor can only supposedly traded to increase the interest in profit for the depositor, not to just play games. >> is that what is going on here, risky business? >> i suggest that at the corner of wall and broad street, when the guillotine is set up, it be named after shields. the shields guillotine. jpmorgan for this quarter will report a profit of about $5 billion, meaning over the year, about $20 billion. this was a loss of $2 billion, $3 billion, $4 billion, which for you and me would be a lot of money. in terms of the financial world, it is a drop in the bucket. i am with colby -- you either allow proprietary trading or
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not. if you ban it, fine. but the idea that that you have a regulator -- and there are dozens of regulators with their own offices -- there is no way a regulator is going to stop a bad trade. can't as true, but why bank be a bank trader be at trader? >> before glass-steagall -- now a commercial banks perform the same function at that investment banks perform. >> the clinton administration. >> it was a mistake. i said that many times on this show, but this is what we're faced with. charles is right, if anybody will take a hit for this, i kissed the shareholders, not the taxpayers -- it is the shareholders, not the taxpayers. >> let's revisit the debt limit issue, something we've talked about, what, 30, 40 times.
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>> a fire of the debt is sweeping across iowa and the nation. every day week failed to act, that fire gets closer to the homes and children we love. >> i simple principle of -- my principle of cuts and reforms greater than the debt limit increase -- this is the only avenue to force the elected leadership of this country to solve our fiscal imbalance. >> you are watching the "inside washington" retrospective. we had this debate last summer and apparently we will have it again this summer. i get the voters will really love the debate this time around, nina. >> i am like the voters. i am not going to enjoy it at all. the plan that republicans in the house what has already been rejected, even by republicans in the senate. we are playing with fire here.
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i wish that both sides could sit down and do a grand bargain, but there seems to be a little indication that the republicans in the house, or a substantial number of them, want to make the kinds of compromises that are necessary. i am sure there are democrats in the senate who don't want to, too, but that is what is holding this back. there is the book about negotiations, and what you see is a faction, a big faction, of republicans preventing a grand bargain last time, and i'm afraid it will not be this time. >> where are the voters on this, mark? >> expenditure -- the voters are for expenditures and economy. they are always for the general economy and specific expenditures. yes, we have to cut, but there is an exception that does affect
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me. what surprised me politically was john boehner going public. this was a scalding mud for the republicans, and they have not recovered in the public opinion polls since last summer, when they took the hit for the deadlock and the united states losing the credit rating. i am surprised he would even mention this. he is too good a politician and too smart and savvy going into a campaign to try to raise this again. it is a real problem for him. >> is the country in danger of another downgrade this summer, charles? >> no, but if we reelect obama, we will have a downgrade, something like the fal -- default -- probably not a real default, but we will head that way because you cannot sustain trillion dollar deficits as far
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as the eye can see. if romney wins, this is a moot issue. if obama wins, it is also a moot issue, because we have at the expiration of the bush tax cuts, the payroll tax, a tsunami of taxes and an increase in spending as well. that will be a minor issue. the reason john boehner raised it is to make it an issue, a rhetorical issue. it will only happen after election day, so it will not have any effect on the real world. >> colby? >> i agree that he is trying to make the deficit and issue. people look at the question of greece, saying we are heading in the direction of greece because of the spending and deficit overload. it is not because of those issues. the problems we are witnessing an greece, we are witnessing in the united states, the inability of leadership to address problems that are well known and right in front of them.
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the gridlock you see any greece is also up with what we have in the united states, and to try to put this on the face of all, is ludicrous. -- of obama is ludicrous. we know what is happening could the republicans will never agree to anything that would allow a compromise -- >> the democrats the house, senate, and the presidency for two years -- >> how can you -- >> nothing on tax reform, and that is what is killing us economically and destroying our treasury. unless you get leadership on that, you go nowhere. >> with the structure of the republican party, you cannot get anything done. >> if the republicans run on the paul ryan budget in 2012, they are committing an act political self-immolation.
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>> georgetown university, kathleen sebelius and the catholic bishops. >> what they are saying is not consistent with what they say, and it is shocking they would've and in reality. >> she is obviously a very qualified, intelligent woman. i think her political views should not be a reason not to have her speak. >> kathleen sebelius, the secretary of health and human services, has been invited to speak and an awards ceremony at georgetown university, a catholic university. the bishops are not happy about it, mark. >> the bishops are post, -- o pposed, a, to the obama healthcare plan, the affordable care act, and to the provisions that would provide contraception coverage. at the same time, what seems to
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be overlooked is that it does bring health care to those with disabilities, those without health insurance, children, the elderly, the destitute. that seems to have been missed in debate. >> sebelius is pro-choice. >> absolutely, but this is the university. a university is supposed to have a wide diversity of views. she is not getting an honorary degree. god bless the president of the university, who has twice this year stood up for that principle. the catholic church can do whatever it wants. it is a jesuit institution. but if it wants to be respected as university, and it has always been one of the top universities in the country, a cannot be shutting down people because they don't agree with them all the time. >> if the secretary sebelius had spoken at american university, howard university, george washington university, this would not be an issue at all. she is speaking at a catholic
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university. it is between the cardinal and the university, and mcconnel -- the cardinal does exercise authority. >> interesting to hear nina say that universities ought to respect a wide diversity of the few spirit that will be news at harvard, yale, princeton, and georgetown. hircine is declaring that catholic hospitals and charities have to provide contraception, and that is opposed by the catholic church. >> last word. see you next week.
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