tv BBC World News America PBS November 5, 2012 5:30pm-6:00pm EST
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what can we do for you? >> and now, "bbc world news america." >> we are reporting from washington. one day to go, three states to visit. president obama uses the final hours to campaign for every vote he can. >> after all we've been through together, we can't give up now. because we've got more change to do. >> his rival, mitt romney, traveled to four states to make his final pitch for a change in the white house. >> you hoped that president obama would live up to his promise to bring people together and to solve problem. he hasn't. i will. >> and if you live here, the election is secondary. a week after sandy blew through in new york neighborhood, it's
still waiting for help. welcome to our viewers on public television in america. and also around the globe. for those of you despairing that this presidential election has gone on far too long, good news. it's almost over. the final day of campaigning saw the candidates flying across the country in a last bid for votes. tonight we have comprehensive coverage of how the campaign looks at the very end. the bbc north american editor has been with the obama campaign in wisconsin. he starts our coverage. >> win or lose, it's the last time he'll campaign to save his job. he's chriscrossed a disenchanted nation, traveling 8,000 miles in three days. cajoling voters for giving him another chance. bruce springsteen add as final push. he adds more than star power
with songs of the shattered american dreams, of the working american class. ♪ i believed in a promised land ♪ >> he defended the president and explained why that land has prove so hard to reach. >> i'm here today because i lived long enough to know that the future is rarely a tide rushing in. it's often a slow march, inch by inch, day after long day. and we're in the midst of one of those long days right now. >> barack obama needs voters to embrace that explanation. it's not that he failed, it's that change is so very hard. he looks exhausted, dogged, determined. >> we'll win this election. we'll finish what we started. we'll renew the bond that binds us together. we'll reaffirm the spirit that makes the united states of america the greatest nation on earth. god bless you. >> this thrust of this whole
long campaign has been about protecting the president's project, not allowing america, as he would have it, to go backwards. now some opponents and friends have criticized him for having no new big ideas this time but he's tried to make it about a choice of what sort of america people want rather than specific policies. but we doo know some of his plans. taxes would rise for the richest, he'd carry on spending on things like education and energy and he's promised to bring american troops home from afghanistan by 2014. but time for pledges has passed. the president's now straining to turn supporters into actual voters. >> feel very good about where we are. i feel comfort about where we are in these battleground states. we have to work harder than the other side for another day and a half and we'll be in great shape. >> the work of rebuilding the coalition that propelled the president to power is at an end. the job now to nag and drag people to the polls.
>> the romney campaign schedule has been equally packed today with visits to four key states. among those stops was sanford, florida, and it's from there that our north american extraordinary has sent us this report. -- extraordinary has sent us -- correspondent has sent us this report. >> mitt romney. like his opponent, he's amassed countless air miles chasing every last vote. in those parts of america, the balance could tip in his favor. today his supporters gathered for one last rally to waive the flag and cheer their -- wave the flag and cheer their man. >> i'm extremely hopeful. i love my country too so i hope it gets the president it deserves. it's a wakeup call for america because i believe if we don't turn things around now our children will suffer and their children. >> it's been a bruising contest in an increasingly divided nation. an election fueled by one question above all -- who's got the stronger plan for the economy?
>> what's the climate been like? >> difficult. very difficult. money's tight, people don't want to buy anything necessarily that they don't necessarily need. and they're losing their homes. >> the next president of the united states, mitt romney! >> this is mitt romney's second run at the presidency. even his father ran for the white house and he's used millions of dollars of his own wealth to try and fulfill what must seem to him like his destiny. his record speaks to a moderate republican but in this campaign he's embraced more conservative policies. leaving some to wonder who is the real mitt romney. >> the door to a brighter future is open. it's waiting for us. i need your vote. i need your help. walk with me. >> if he wins, these are the pledges mitt romney's made. to cut income tax and create 12 million new jobs. repeal president obama's health care law. and a promise not to cut military spending.
in truth, we know how most states are likely to vote tomorrow. history in the polls would indicate that, for example, california will go to the democrats and texas to the republicans. which means the outcome of this election will actually be decided in just a handful of states. this has been the most extensive and expensive election in history. the romney campaign has probably done all it can to secure victory. now america must decide if he's the right man to lead the country. >> for more on how this race is shaping up in these very final hours, i'm joined by jim gilmore. he's the former republican governor of virginia and nia who served in the clinton and obama administrations. governor, let me start with you. virginia, i have to ask you, how is it looking for mitt romney? >> he looks very good for mitt romney. i think he's quite likely to carry virginia. but it's very close. so a lot depends upon how things turn out tomorrow, who's excited about going to vote. but it looks like romney's going
to carry virginia. >> we'll be watching your state tomorrow night but let me ask you this. if you look at the state of the american economy and you look at the 11 of the american -- level of american unemployment, president obama shouldn't be competitive in this race. he is competitive in part because the republican party's chose an weak candidate, isn't he? >> i don't think that's the case. i think an incumbent president is never weak. so i think a lot in this particular race, however, depends upon how the americans feel about their future, whether they really think that president obama has a plan to offer to get out of these economic troubles that we have been in. and so far i think none has been presented and that's why mitt romney i think has a very good chance of winning this race. because he's struck on the right subjects, he's talked about the need to get jobs, the need to get the economy going again. and i think he has a consistent theme. i think the president has lacked a consistent theme and that's why i think this race is competitive. >> ok, you walked -- worked in the obama administration and of
course in the clinton administration. when the president was elected four years ago, he was elected with a huge amount of optimism. even if he is re-elected tomorrow night, it's with a certain amount of grudging support from the american people. >> you know, i actually think that i would disagree on what people feel about the economy. i think people are more optimistic than they've been. the economic members are actually turning the corner, unemployment is down. i think the trend line is the most important issue. and the trend lines are moving in a positive direction. of course the country has been through a lot in the last four years. we had a horrible depression almost and a great recession, as the president came into office. so -- >> but i'm asking what you people think about the president himself. while he scores well on all the figures of likeability, there's not the same level of enthusiasm about your candidate. >> right, because we've gone through a lot. as i was saying, we've had a great recession and we had a campaign and then the great recession and there's been a
burden for a lot of americans from that recession. but i think what the president has been able to argue and argue very effectively, and the reason why i think he is going to win tomorrow, is because he can say to people, we're on the right path. speak with me -- stick with me and we'll continue to make progress. i have a plan for a million manufacturing jobs, to double the number of student goings to college, lowering costs sofmente has specific plans and he's able to say to folks, you know, i know we've had troubles, but we're moving in the right direction and the worst thing we could do is adopt the policies that got us into this mess in the first place. >> governor, if americans are feeling what she's saying, a little bit of an uptick in the american economy, it's only been in the last few weeks. why is it that during the course of the last year, since he was nominated, whatever it is, six months, governor mitt romney hasn't been able to blow barack obama out of the water because the economy is doing so badly? what is it about your candidate that hasn't been able to get so far ahead in the polls? >> i think that the important
point here is -- to remember is that it's been four years now, we're still up and above, almost at 8% unemployment. the american people have an opportunity every four years to make a change. if they don't see forward progress. and i don't think there's been any serious real progress here. and the fact is that it's going to require decisive, strong leadership and a real genuine program to pull us out of this. that's not being offered. >> is mitt romney the strongest candidate in the republican -- the republicans could have going into this election tomorrow? >> yes. we go through a process where we pick the strongest candidate. there's an exhaustive primary system and -- >> exhausting for everybody. >> i think we should go another six months. but we do a very strong process here where people are tested and mitt romney has been tested, he's been through this. he comes with great credentials of a person who in fact is a turn-around business person, a
person who can offer some genuine promise of a decent future, with a background to back it up. and that's why i think that he's doing very well and, listen, make no mistake about this. if he carries the states that he's expected to carry and he adds ohio, he's going to win the election. and ohio today in one of the polls is a tie. so this race can still go either way. >> ok. if barack obama loses tomorrow night, is it an indictment on the last four years of his presidency in the white house? and his policies? >> you know, i would say i don't expect the president to lose. i think we've faced a lot of economic challenges over the last four years. i think it would be ironic if he left. because there were policies that got us into this mess and it would mean the american people want us to go back to those same policies. that would be a terrible irony. but i don't think we'll have to confront it because i think the president is going to win tomorrow. in part because people recognize that he has a plan for a future and i would just say that one of the challenges mitt romney has is that on the issue of being a strong and decisive leader, i
think this campaign has demonstrated that he hasn't been one. he's moved on issues, he's been to the right of issues, central of abortion, then to the left of those issues. moved on the economy, taxes. there isn't a big issue in which he'd stayed steadfast and i think that's why the -- steady -- steadfast and i think that's why the president will win tomorrow. >> thank you. we'll be watching your state with hawkeyes tomorrow night. thank you very much. quick look at some other news from around the world now. more than 80 people have been killed in another day of intense violence in syria. a car bomb ripped through a predominantly pro-government area of the capital, damascus, killing 11 people and injuring several dozen. opposition activists reported several government air strikes including one which they say killed 14 civilians. a u.s. army soldier accused of killing 16 afghan villagers in a drunken rampage in march is facing a preliminary hearing to determine if there is sufficient evidence for a court marshall. the sergeant is accused of leaving his base under cover of
darkness and opening fire on civilians in at least two villages. several bombs have gone off in the bahraini capital killing two ex pat yot workers and killing a third. the blast was killed by five home-made devices. the state news agency described the explosions as acts of terrorism. you're watching "bbc world news america." still to come on tonight's program, fighting it out in florida. the u.s. presidential candidates pull out all the stops to win over this state. that's so pivotal with the voters. >> now to the chilling story of a pakistani man and woman arrested on suspicion of killing their teenage daughter with acid. the parents say they feared she would bring dishonor on the family. you may find the details in this report distressing. >> a mother and father in a joining cells. accused of dousing their teenage
daughter in acid. her crime, looking at a boy. he approached our house, her father said. she turned to look at him. i told her before not to do that. i started beating her. then her mother brought the acid. it left its mark on her. -- on her mother who gives a chilling account of her daughter's desperate flees. she said, i didn't do it on purpose. i won't look again. by then i had thrown the acid. it was her destiny to die this way. police showed us the remote village in pakistan where the attack happened. they say the couple kept their daughter here for hours afterwards in agony, denying her medical help. at home muhammad pointed out the
place where an atrocity was committed in the name of honor. i couldn't do anything, he claimed. her mother poured the acid on her. i tried to wipe it off. his other children look for comfort. too young to understand what happened to their sister. the girl who was good at school and helped with the housework and was killed for looking the wrong way. >> returning now to or stour -- to our top industry to. -- story. the mere mention of florida probably conjures up memories of those hanging chads in the battle between bush and gore but two years later the state is still one of the most hotly contested. our correspondent has spent the
weekend there and she gives us this snapshot of just where the race stands. >> just a few hours left. nearly 140 million americans can vote. but the result will rest with those who live in the 106 counties which switched from republican to democrat last time. >> no matter whether you're black or white or spanish or native american, young, old, rich, poor, disabled, if you work hard, you can make it here in america, too. that's what we're fighting for. >> the few towns and cities that count most have been inundated by campaigning. >> it's not about policies or issues anymore. it's about hand to hand combat. it's about fighting a fight street, capturing every single last vote. at the close of this long campaign, it really is a numbers game. the architect to barack obama's spectacular rise from local
politician to president claims the democrat will win again. what's it going to hinge on? who gets the most of their coalition out here in florida? >> there's no doubt about it. but i think there's been this sense that's been propagated by the republicans that our base has been less motivated. i think they're highly motivated. >> ifer for mitt romney to win the white house, he must win florida. and they call it stretch of central florida the highway to political heaven. whoever wins the territory either side of interstate 4 carries the state. >> you have the i-4 corridor between tampa and the space ghost which -- basically whoever wins this corridor wins statewide elections and wins the presidential races. >> jed bush knows a thing or two about winning an election with two presidents in the fath family, he's tipped one day to run himself. right now this former florida governor is stomping for mitt
romney. >> florida has been a battle ground state now for so long that both sides are really good at. it i think our side, this year, has the intensity on our side. the number of early votes on the democratic side relative to four years ago where they had an incredible army of support is down 70% and our numbers are up a bit. so i'm pretty optimistic that in florida at least governor romney will win. >> in a bakery just off the interstate, jeb bush is trying to make that happen. for the romney campaign, crucial demographic groups are elderly voters and white men. polls suggest those groups have been shifting to romney. take alex here who voted for obama last time. >> i tend to find more with romney's moderate republican beliefs than i do with obama's beliefs. particularly with regard to the economy. >> if the democrats are losing white voters, they must get more hispanic, female and younger voters on their side.
this little bakery turns out to be a crosssection of the entire race. so who will the staff vote for? >> obama. >> i'm going to vote for obama. that's who i'm voting for. >> with 24 hours to go, does barack obama's message of hope still resonate despite the economic turmoil and political division? or will romney's troops prove more committed and enthusiasm? >> for more on the pivotal role that florida could play in this election, i spoke to laura in miami and i started by asking her if the real challenge there for the republican party was the growth of hispanic voters. >> it does. although of course thes had hispanic vote here is not like it is in the rest of the country because here you have a lot of cubans and older generation cubans certainly tend to vote republican and you also have a lot of puerto ricans who don't have the nationality issues that
many mexicans will have, because puerto rico is an american commonwealth and so puerto ricans have american citizenship. so it is a completely fascinating race here. and in early voting, a quarter -- 1/3 of floridians have already voted and democrats have a narrow advantage in early voting in florida. but it is down on 2008. claiming the republicans and of course republicans have a tendency to go and vote on the day itself. so really everyone in this state holding their breath. >> ok. i don't know about you but at the moment i feel like i have to just not listen to either campaign because they're spinning so hard to tell you that they are ahead in the race and they're going to win. but you've spent a few days down there now. do you get any sense of how it might go? >> it's very hard to say. because it's such a divided state. north that have crucial interstate corridor, there's much more support for the
republicans. in the south it's very different and it's really very hard to find any undecided voters at all. i have found a few voters who have switched and the switches tend to be from obama to romney but the question is, are they shifting in sufficient numbers? barack obama carried this state narrowly in 2008 and remember here in florida if the result is within .5% of the popular vote, there will be an automatic recount. so one thing is for sure. lawyers are heading down here by the planefuls. >> don't tell me it's going to be 2000 all over again, though, right? >> well, let's hope not. that, remember, because the result was so close, there was an automatic recount, then eventually the supreme court ordered the voting to stop and george bush won by 537 votes. >> we seriously do not want to go back there again. let's hope this is not 2000 all over again. remember you can stay up to date
with all of the developments in the race to the white house by going to our website. we've got a special page there with interactive guides, videos and latest poll trackers indicating where the presidential race will be decided. it's all there at bbc.com/uselection. well, beyond the presidential campaign it's been a week since superstorm sandy now devastated large parts of the u.s. and the cleanup continues. roughly a million people on the east coast are still without power. amid growing concerns that tens of thousands need to be rehoused, the weather is starting to turn cold. from new york, the bbc has all the latest. >> in tower block 105, there's no getting back to normal. >> be careful. >> sandy plunged their lives into darkness here. this is what jason yee is left with. >> it's not really habitble. >> no power, no heat. >> no power and no heat. i don't even know if the water's safe anymore.
>> up here on the fourth floor they escaped the flooding. but not the uncertainty. you've got a national election tomorrow. >> yeah. i was just talking about that. i usually vote downstairs in the building. i have no idea even where i'm supposed to go. >> where indeed when this is the view from their balcony. the cleanup here has barely begun. officials say new york is recovering. that's not how olga sees it. >> no heat, no nothing, so we just walking away from the house right now. >> in one violent act the storm lifted up a the -- lifted up the boardwalk here and dropped it in the community swimming pool. hundreds of thousands of people up and down this coast line, the effects of hurricane sandy are going to be felt for months to come. and winter is fast approaching with temperatures due to plummet this week. there are real fears about those left without heat and without power. so as the pre-christmas shoppers fly in, down below they gather
anything they can, clothes donated by the more fortunate to keep them warm. >> we brought our clothes on, you know, just trying to -- i never pictured nothing like this could happen. >> at the epicenter of the cleanup, manhattan itself is getting back to normal. the avenues bustle again, power has largely been restored. but this is a city whose vehicles are running on empty. the promise to -- the promised emergency fuel supplies aren't getting to everyone and at night the thousands left with little huddle for warmth. >> the awful aftermath of hurricane sandy there and really two different worlds within one city. that brings today's program to a close. remember of course that you can get updates on sandy and on the u.s. election on our website and if you'd like to get in touch with me and the bbc team you can find us on twitter.
for more here, thanks so much for watching. see you back here tomorrow. >> make sense of international news at bbc.com/news. >> funding of this presentation was made possible by the freeman foundation of new york, stowe, vermont, and honolulu, newman's own foundation, and union bank, >> at union bank our relationship managers use their expertise in global finance to guide you through the business strategies and opportunities of international commerce. we put our extended global