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tv   Inside Washington  PBS  September 21, 2012 8:30pm-9:00pm EDT

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>> "inside washington" is brought to you in part by -- the american federation of government employees. for more information, visit captioned by the national captioning institute >> what do you think a tree can be? can it be stronger than steel? can it be biodegradable plaster or fuel for our cars? clothing? or medicine that fights cancer? with our technology, we think it
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can. growing ideas. >> [indiscernible] >> not a lot of people out there think they are victims of. >> this week, the mitt romney campaign in damage control. >> i am concerned that. >> with a counter attack. >> president obama said he believes in redistribution. >> also the fallout from the anti-american violence in the middle east. >> was their intelligence prior to this attack? if not, why not? >> advice from mike russell. >> i said relax. just be one of yourselves.
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>> mitt romney has become the 2012 elections man of constant sorrow. ever since "mother jones" published a video in which he appears to write off half the country last may well talking to donors in florida. scott brown and republican george allen. >> you said nearly half the country see themselves as victims? >> no. i love very positively -- >> you disagree with governor romney? >> i have my own point of view. >> my guess would be george allen wished he did not have to
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answer questions like that. >> i think he did not answer questions like that. the reason that statement was so bad is because it was mitt romney is point of view. he sees nearly half the country as moochers who want a handout from government. he does not understand why they don't just borrow from their parents or take money from their trust funds. he does not agree that the poor and the sick should add slightly to the taxes of millionaires and billionaires so they can squander money on dialysis. >> is this a bump in the road? >> it is a huge pot hole but it is not lethal. the debates are coming up. he has been practicing very hard and he has a good coach in rob portman.
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obama is not the greatest debater. he had some terrible ones early on and he is not practicing enough. >> how does mitt romney recover from this? >> he could go and visit the guys who are building his car elevator and see how they are getting by. apparently he does not know the working middle class. that is why it was so natural for him to say these things. they have been coming out in a dog whistle. for the people in the room, he has a bullhorn. >> this is not the last round for romney. this does hurt though. it hurts the ticket in the republican race. you see evidence of it in massachusetts, virginia, and
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michigan and wisconsin. he is not the person the republicans need to have right now carrying the standard. what he said was wrong in so many aspects. >> a lot of republicans are grumbling about this campaign. >> when your running mate call as you inarticulate as a way to help you, then you know you have problems. i am glad you are all represented here. mitt romney is mixing up a whole bunch of ideas. the 47% who do not pay income tax which is a result of reagan, bush, and it bush jr. tax policies. half the population has no stake in income tax rate. it is a huge issue but not the
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way you want to talk about it. there is this culture of dependency which the obama administration is increasing in changing the welfare to work requirements. that is an issue. this way, he has an argument but he has to work his way out of a paper bag first. >> a couple of polls this week. nbc wall street journal poll. obama does not do well with foreign policy. what do these numbers tell you? >> there is a 19% one where obama will help the middle class more than mitt romney. that is a huge gap exacerbated by the 47%. mitt romney can get the conversation back to the economy and maybe can be more
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specific. but what he has to do is have a personality transplant said the middle class can identify with him. >> here is a number that would scare me. 43% now agree that each would do equally well on the economy. >> the internal thing of that poll i thought rather a significant number of people think the economy is getting better. 31% i think. that is a huge jump from where it has been recently. that kind of optimism helps obama and it hurts. >> the entire premise of the romney campaign was that a bad
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economy would drive voters to mitt romney no matter what flaws he had as a candidate. they are not deserting barack obama. the bad economy is not hurting barack obama to the extent that mitt romney needs. >> what is hurting mitt romney is the campaign, a tactical mistake. obama was attacking mitt romney for the empathy thing. that is a devastating number. the strategic problem is he is the best thing romney did was to pick ryan. he has to go big. he has to talk not about running on the economy. he has to run on the idea of government intrusiveness. that is how the republicans won
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the election in 2010. that is not the argument he is making. >> his problem is one of trust. a report published that asked the question who you would buy a used car from. rick santorum or mitt romney. rick santorum won big. with women, even a greater margin. mitt romney's problem is he talks out of both sides of his mouth. >> what came up today was the question of the redistribution of income. >> i actually believe in redistribution at least at a certain level to make sure that everybody has a shot. >> this idea of redistribution follows from the idea that if you have a business, you did not build it.
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>> that obama comment was recorded 14 years ago. how is that working? >> i do not think you can come back with something that small. that was a tiny portion it remark that was about how we should let the market work. it is taken out of context. call me crazy, but that is not that bad. we have to give people a shot. >> but we already redistribute income. >> yeah, but woozy liberal. we had joe the plumber in 2008. spreading the wealth around. look at the policies. one of the explicit names of obamacare is spreading the wealth around.
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you do not have to go -- if you want to use a quote, there is the famous one of the debate in 2008 where charlie gibson asked obama that if you raise the rate of capital gains tax, you would decrease the revenue that the government would get. would you still raise the rates? his answer was yes in the name of fairness. >> you are suggesting he was talking about the redistribution of wealth. he was talking about public services. he says how do we pull resources at the same time we decentralize? to foster innovation at the local level to be tailored to particular communities. this is the second time we have
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seen it slippage taken by mitt romney's group. >> they kind of do that here. >> the video has been shown all around. he looks like a kid. a semi afro, 36 years old. >> the trouble with redistribution, you did not build that, the private sector doing fine -- they are small and they look mitt romney look small. they do not leave you with any positive impression of mitt romney. >> there is a real argument. >> this stuff is ridiculous. if you look at the context, it begins with obama saying if you are successful, do you think you are intelligent or smart? there are a lot of smart people
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and a lot of people who work hard. this was an attack on the very idea that if you are successful, you are the author of your success. his answer was it is the government. the essence of the whole debate. >> whether he carries the argument successfully or not is a side issue. >> if it is not sticking to the wall? >> all of the small stuff is being dismissed by the american people. nobody cares about this language. >> when you have people like rush limbaugh, minute after minute after minute, making that same argument, people dismiss it, tune it out.
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>> do you think the question that we are a government- centered society with succession issues and government action or whether we are individualistic is not relevant? >> you are setting it up -- >> that is what obama's argument was. [all talking at once] >> michael had a really interesting comment on friday in which he talked about this campaign and a lot of republicans acting like libertarians who just read "atlas shrugged." there are many arguments for conservatives to make. when you really get back to the idea of taking away entitlements which is essentially what this is about and not having means tested aide
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for the poor, you are having a discussion that i think the american people have decided already. >> foreign policy. is the president vulnerable? >> it was not an anti-american protest. it was an orchestrated terrorist attack. >> that was the florida senator marco rubio. the president's approval rating said 49%. what does that tell you, charles? >> look around the world. what obama has been doing has not worked. he had two great reset policies. one was with russia. just this week, kicked the usa i.d. out of russia. the second was the cairo speech
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in 2009 when he said that i am going to reinvent the world with the arab world. american interests are ablaze. >> what do you think? >> i understand the argument but it does not hold up. the germans are closing their embassies. what is going on with publications has nothing to do with barack obama. >> the world is a dangerous place. the lot can happen between now
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and the election. some of it will fall on obama. but mitt romney has not shown himself to be a person who could do a better job than the president. >> barack obama's foreign policy got us out of iraq, is getting us out of afghanistan, has killed osama bin laden, and has said in the future we are going to target our enemies. we are not going to do five or 10-year occupation of foreign countries. >> bad things that happen overseas happen to president. they do not happen to other candidates. i don't really see that mitt romney is able to do that. what is he going to do? have troops on the ground in lots of these places? the american people do not want that right now. >> what do you do if there is a revolution in iran next time?
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in israel, you are now going to distance yourself from the elected prime minister and it shows that you want to create gratuitously distance between you and israel as a way to gain favor on the arab side. >> we cannot turn over our foreign policy initiative to the current prime minister of israel. the united states must keep israel out as our most important ally in the middle east to save time doing what is right for the united states'. >> the polls show that people did not like the way he responded, the way he jumped into the middle of that catastrophe to score cheap political point. he is gaining nothing on the foreign policy side.
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>> charles speaks of a superpower in retreat. this is about barack obama right now, this question. >> i have listened to a lot of foreign policy experts from previous administration's talk about this. everybody seemed to agree that we are in for a very rough ride here and there are very limited things that we can do about it. you do not want to have people in our embassies die. >> on that question, is the barack obama administration covering something up? was it a planned attack? >> it was a terrorist attack. giving it a label hardly matters. it is an attack that we should
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of known about. we should protect every consulate and every embassy that we are in. we have a 16,000-person embassy consulate structure in iraq. it is costing us $2.5 billion per year. we cannot protect everyone everywhere if we are going to have these presences in foreign countries. >> if you'd send your un ambassador and pretend it is about a movie or a trailer and then three days later say it is obviously a terror attack, you look ridiculous and clueless. yes, he left nothing behind in iraq. he is getting us out of afghanistan. you can agree on that but you
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cannot deny that the withdrawal is creating the vacuum in which all our friends in their region are looking at these areas having no influence over the actors and the characters -- >> let's talk about facts. >> they are inheriting the vacuum. >> the united states wanted to have a status of forces with iraq but could not get. fact. islamic fundamentalism is a problem but it is not just a problem for the united states or israel. citing what is going on with australia, germany, france -- attacks on those countries because of actions taken by a publication. we have to figure out how we deal with this.
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to say it is because of barack obama -- >> you stop the accommodation and the belief. if you act sweet and nice and support regimes, it will turn out well. it ends up really bad the. >> the world does not perceive obama being sweet and nice. he is the first democratic president to have a huge gap with his opponent on foreign policy, national security. mitt romney's world tour could not have been worse. >> what about those poll numbers? >> he is doing well but the country is not. >> but we are talking about the election. >> there has to be a point in which you say we have achieved all we can do.
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she was not. >> senator brown wants to have issue with my character. these are the stories i knew about my heritage. i believe my mother, my father, my aunts and my uncles. >> that is the massachusetts senate race. how is that one going? >> it is close. all of the key senate races are close. democrats are in ties or slightly ahead in all of them. it looks like the democrats will retain their hold on the senate, but no party is going to get 60 votes so we will continue with paralysis. >> what about the house?
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>> you have to do district by district. i do not think the democrats have a chance of taking the house but no one thinks this will be a wave election. if it is, it could be a wave election for obama, that is the only thing that could make it work. >> i think barack obama -- where the senatorial candidates are doing better because he has moved up. >> the more they can distance themselves from mitt romney, the better. i do not think scott brown is going to have the former governor of massachusetts coming there to help him out. >> even though he is now
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trailing by an average of -- >> i cannot let that elizabeth warren comment slip without a mark. i would just say that even if her stories are true, that her heritage -- winston churchill had twice as much blood in him. >> before we go, i had announced that mark russell was coming out of retirement. here is his comment on the feud between the first lady and mitt romney. >> they got into a long distance poverty fight. an romeny said we were so poor we had nothing but tuna fish. oh yeah? michelle obama said we were so poor that barack's shoes didn't fit. oh yeah? we were so poor we had to eat off the ironing board. oh yeah?
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we were so poor barack's rusted car, you could see through the floor. oh yeah? three of our yachts are leaking. no comedian wanst obama to win. we'll vote for obama. we want mitt romney. i personally gave him advice. just relax. be one of your cell. >> we will see you next week. captioned by the national captioning institute >> for a transcript of this broadcast, just log on to -- >> "inside washington" is brought to you by -- the american federation of government employees. vo:geico, committed to providing service to
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