tv John King USA CNN January 26, 2012 3:25pm-4:00pm PST
season, since as secretary of state i cannot participate. but you know, i didn't watch any of those debates [ laughter ] [ applause ] >> john will be back right after the break. coming up, moments after she had a tense encounter with president obama, arizona governor jan brewer said this. >> i respect the office of the president. and i would never be disrespectful in that manner. >> did he walk away from you at the ♪ >> i believe it when we were in a conversation that i was in the middle of a sentence and he walked away. >> so 24 hours later, would she still handle it the same way? she'll join us live next. all energy development comes with some risk,
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arizona governor jan brewer joins us to talk about her tarmac confrontation with president obama. also egypt refuses to let a u.s. citizen leave. this particular citizen happens to be the son of this country's transportation secretary. plus a dramatic reminder about why you should get rid of the why you should get rid of the snow piling up on your roof. -- captions by vitac -- www.vitac.com tonight we're at the university of north florida right here in jacksonville where the republican presidential candidates about 90 minutes now away from their final debate
before tuesday' florida primary. it's also being called the reagan primary. our chief political analyst gloria borger is here. gloria, these republican candidates and these republican supporters behind us are trying to compare themselves to former president reagan. what's that about? >> everybody wants to have the mantle of ronald reagan. and if ronald reagan were running in this primary i think he would win. but newt gingrich has been saying he's the real conservative in this race. he's the person most deserving of the reagan mantle. the "new york times" today counted all the times that newt gingrich mentioned ronald reagan in the debates. it was like 50 times. now, what mitt romney is saying, he has an ad up saying, you know what, reagan only mentioned you in his diary in one sentence. so you're not really the heir to the thrown". >> let's listen to that ad. restore our future the romney superpac has that ad. let's listen to a little bit of
it. >> reagan criticized gingrich saying newt's ideas would cripple our defense program. reagan rejected newt's ideas on leadership and character gingrich is no ronald reagan. >> elliott abrams who also served back in treagan administration said "at the height of the bitter struggle with the democratic leadership gingrich chose to attack reagan." you have some reagan people coming out and jumping into this fray. >> they're jumping in and they're surrogates for mitt romney at this point, whether they're they've endorsed him or not. saying it was a little more complicated than that. a lot more complicated than that. what elliott abrams is referring to is that newt gingrich took to the floor and said, you know what, we're not the reagan administration is not doing enough to support getting rid of the soviet empire. instead they're spending money on funding the contras in nicaragua. does that remind you of a
certain time? >> it does. if ronald reagan were here we'd have some occupy protesters behind us. they're welcome on the campus. it's an open debate here. ronald reagan might say we're paying for this microphone. does it matter or is it trivial? no, i'm ronald reagan. no, i'm ronald reagan. >> i think it matters because they want to say, mirror mirror on the wall who's the most conservative and the true conservative of them all. but what jeb bush said to you before i think is something that ronald reagan would agree with. and that is, you know what, you guys are arguing with each other this way and you're giving the democrats all kinds of ammunition. and it's not the way the party needs to present itself to the american public if you want to win an election. and i think that's what ronald reagan would say. >> i don't want to suggest any drinking games but maybe just a game. we'll count how many times ronald reagan gets mentioned in the debate tonight. our chief political analyst gloria borger. mitt romney's campaign acknowledged tonight it's look over discrepancies between the
former massachusetts governor's tax returns and his federal disclosure forms. -- 23 funds in partnerships that were not explicitly listed in a financial disclosure form he filed last august. the newspaper says that list includes a now-closed swiss bank account and other funds located overseas. a romney campaign official tells us the discrepancies are in their view trivial but they'll be corrected. egypt refused to let a u.s. citizen leave for home. sam la hood is son of u.s. transportation secretary lahood. he's associated with a group working to improve conditions in egypt and has become a target now of harassment by security forces. senior foreign affairs correspondent jim doherty joins us. let's listen to a snippet of a phone conversation. >> sam, do you feel safe where you are at this point? >> you know, i feel safe physically. obviously the fact that the
investigative judge chose to prevent some of us from traveling is something that our lawyer tells us indicates that this investigation has taken on a more serious nature, and the next step from here would either be arrest or go to trial. >> jill, spell out what we do think the most likely next step will be. >> reporter: boy, it's a complex situation and pretty unpredictable. trial he's mentioning or arrest. that would be very, very serious. one of the problems is, this goes back quite awhile. at least a month, even previous months, where the government has been cracking down on these non-governmental organizations, i.r.i. being one of them. and the united states has been vociferous in saying this should not happen when they raided the offices, the government promise today do something to return the property for these ngos and they never did. so what is going to happen?
and john, just quickly on the budget, they get a very large amount of money from u.s. taxpayers. and there's anger on capitol hill. but if you push that, if you pull the plug on that i could really damage egypt at a very, very sensitive time after the arab spring. >> fascinating report from jill lawrence at the state department. jill dougherty, i'm sorry. president obama is spending the night in detroit after making stops in nevada and colorado to promote his economic plans. most of the buzz today centers not on that but what happened last night during a stop in phoenix where he got into with what republican governor jan brewer described as a heated encounter. governor, i've been following the tweets today. the president got off the plane, you handed him a handwritten note. at one point there appeared to be some finger pointing. take us back to that moment. a lot of of people are saying he's the president of the united states. whether you disagree or not perhaps you should have shown him a bit more respect. >> well, first, thank you, john,
for having me on. first let me say that i respect the office of the president. and when i went to meet him at the tarmac i went with a happy heart. i was pleased that he was coming to arizona to see the arizona comeback, to be part of it firsthand. so when i arrived there and before i left the office i wrote a handwritten note to welcome him to arizona and to tell him about our comeback in regards to what we have done here. and i wanted to ask him for the opportunity to sit down and share with him that information. and then in the last sentence i reiterated my invitation for him to come down to the border and see what's going on and that i would buy him lunch. and he turned that conversation immediately to my book, "scorpions for breakfast" and was somewhat distraught, disappointed about the way that he was portrayed in that book. >> the president told this tonight to abc's diane sawyer.
he says "it's all good publicity for a republican ifner an argument with me. the president says it wasn't really a big deal. were you trying to create a scene here? there are some people suggesting you wanted to have a scene with the president so you could sell more of your books. >> absolutely not. that's absolutely ridiculous. i never brought the book up. he brought the book up. and he didn't even talk to me about what the book was really about. it was about illegal immigration and securing our border, which i've wanted to talk to him about on numerous occasions and have had that opportunity. but he didn't bring up securing the border. he's just concerned about his amnesty. so it was not about the book, absolutely not. and i would have thought that in a 2 1/2 months since the book has been out that he would have called me or contacted me if he was disappointed in the book. so it was not anything that is of a publicity stunt. just the truth. and i stand on what i wrote in the book, by the way, john.
>> the white house takes issue. you say you stand by what you wrote in the book. the white house says your character relation in the book is very different. you and i had a conversation when you walked out of that oval office meeting with president. here's what you said then just moments after the meeting. >> i feel as i left today that i am further ahead than i was before i met with him. because i had no answers. he has now told me that i would have information within two weeks that he would be sending staff out to arizona to give me the details. so with that i feel that it was a successful meeting. and i'm encouraged by that. >> a successful meeting. i'm encouraged by that, governor brewer. here's what you wrote in the book "we sat down and started with chitchat. after a few minutes the president's tone got serious and condescending. it wasn't long before i realized i was hearing the president's stump speech only i was supposed to listen without talking. it was as though president obama thought he would lecture me and i would learn at his knee. he was patronizing." which is it, governor? >> the bottom line is i was
hopeful when i left the white house, leaving on what i believed a promise that he was going to be out to arizona with some answers and that he was going to work with us to secure the border. but as we soon found out, that didn't happen in that manner. he came out about i guess about a month later. and there were no answers. he wants comprehensive immigration reform. i want my border secured. i tried to be cordial. i was cordial yesterday. and i will still reach out to the president. you know, i know that he loves his country. i know that i love this country. i want to do what i believe is right for the people of arizona and for all americans. and i will not back down on what i've stated in my book. >> governor jan brewer, appreciate your time tonight explaining that confrontation. we'll see you soon as the republican presidential camp makes its way out to your great state of arizona. the white house is coping with a new potentially embarrassing distraction from the president's state of the union address.
a company that makes batteries for electric cars and accepted $118 million in u.s. government stimulus money a few years ago just filed for bankruptcy. but officials are going out of their way to point out differences they say between this case and another high profile bankruptcy the solar panel manufacturer called solyndra. jess, what do they say is the big difference in distinction? >> reporter: the big difference first, john, there are two. the first is that the parent company for this organization, ene r-1, is filing for bankruptcy, but the group that actually got the department of energy grant is still in full operation. all its employees are hard at work. and it is functioning just fine, they say. here's what the department of energy statement is "while it's unfortunate that the parent company has entered a restructuring process, that's bankruptcy, the restructures is not expected to impact enerdel's operations and they do not expect to reduce employment at the site."
the other distinction they point out is that this company got a grant, not a loan, and that full grant was matched by private dollars. also this company has a bipartisan support both the republican governor mitch daniels and the republican senator luger are big supporters of the company and have visited there many times, john. >> and jess, do they worry at all that in the state-of-the-union address the president stood by those incentives for clean energy and green energy? do they worry at all that a headline like this even if they say can be explained away, the bipartisan support they were able to distract from the president's message this week? >> reporter: of course it's a problem. because we're talking about it now instead of talking about his energy message which is what he was here selling. but their overarching message on this one is they can't be worried that some failures should distract from the overall point which is that they want to invest in clean energy. but they do know this is going to come up on the campaign over and over. and they know they're just going
to have to keep hitting back, john. >> jessica yellin with the president on the road. live for us tonight, jess, thank you. erin burnett is here on the campus with a preview of "outfront." >> you hear occupy, ron paul, you hear it all. >> what have you got? >> so in florida obviously, 1.6 million vacant homes, 350,000 jobs have been lost in constructions here since the top. all kinds of problems in constructions. we've got the ceo of the second biggest home builder in the state. this state doesn't have an income tax. all based on property tax. they're trying to lay more people off in the state government. is there a way out of it? we're going to be talking about that with stewart miller. plus ari flasher, david gergen, gloria borger, the whole gang. >> and i'll be back as well. interesting to see hopefully a lot of housing conversation tonight. >> i hope so. >> critical in this state. move on to nevada big issue. the pentagon is getting specific now about how it plans
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simple. these debates are having a supersized impact on the presidential race. maybe a slight romney negligent florida. t -- romney in florida. i know some of you have debate fatigue. and veterans of past campaigns, senator john mccain for example say there have been too many debates. but we can't hold these debates until the candidates agree to them. the voters clearly like them. tonight is the 19th nationally televised debate. so far they've had an audience of more than 88 million viewers. more than 2 million tuned in for our debate in south carolina and nbc's florida debate monday night. truth is we've learned a lot more about the candidates how they feel about taxes and issues and how they handle missteps and surprises. given the stakes tonight, i'm betting we're about to learn a little more. cnn contributors donna brazil,
ari fleischer and -- let me start with you on the end. you've worked in a lot of campaigns. too many debates, not enough debates? about right? >> yeah, it's too many debates. >> no, it's not. [ laughter ] >> but on the other hand, it's kind of like music, the crescendos. each debates get more important the fewer the candidates are. these are now the singular events that drive voter behavior. if you thought a guy with no money could win iowa, that debates were influencing voters more than ads it's pretty good for democracy. >> now you're down to four in a big state. how much debates in south carolina are very important, the debates in florida were very important. in big state like this, some tv ads, how factor in the debates. >> i think these debates tonight is huge. this is the biggest one yet of the campaign. as a matter of fact, may be the biggest one at the end. because tonight is romney versus gingrich. it's the last two men standing really for the nomination. and if mitt romney can tie tonight, the tie will probably go to him.
because it looks like some of the negatives on gingrich, the problems with the ex-wife, are beginning to bite now this week. we're seeing some gender issues. but this is the biggest debate by far we've had. >> rick santorum and ron paul would say what about us. the polling shows a two-man race. and psychology you've been in a lot of campaigns. if you're third or fourth when voters start to think this really matters and it's a two-man race it's harder for th in the fig, right? >> if the top two candidates for some reason cancel each other out, then one of the third or fourth place finishers can rebound the same way that newt gingrich has. two-thirds of voters in south carolina said the debates matter. this is a crucial moment for mitt romney. he has to slow gingrich's momentum. on the other hand, gingrich has to now show he's electable and has the temperment that matters. >> if newt gingrich looks like he's going to do well and keep
going, the establishment republicans best friend the ron paul because they want ron paul and rick santorum to stay in, keep getting delegates so newt doesn't get 50%. >> you mentioned the establishment, somebody like bob dole, a legend in the republican race. recombinants out today, backs romney. has this damning statement and newt gingrich. why do i have the impression among tea party voters, it doesn't hurt newt. >> when the entire gop establishment including the conservative wing is not for him, that does tell you something. it's not just the republican establishment, john. it's every republican on the ball ballot, on if a swing state, who's worried that newt gingrich's is goldwater and may take the party down. if he is goldwater, we go back to the first two years of the
obama administration administration. >> alex mentioned he thinks sometimes it takes a week or so for things to have an impact. in south carolina after gingrich's second ex-wife came f forr ward, raised some personal character questions, it was no gap at all. here in the poll, you see a gender gap. do you think it's tied back to that or just that romney has higher appeal with women voters? >> i think the issue of his second wife talking to the media and saying they had some difference, that hurt him with women. south carolina women may have been forgiving, but i think long-term, including in florida, women will not be forgiving. they will determine the outcome this fall. >> got more than a minute left. your biggest question going into the debate, the thing you're most looking for. >> newt just turned it up again. the alpha male says go republican. >> who takes the audience tonight? who reaches out and takes them
and can mitt romney demonstrate strength and also, can newt gingrich demonstrate likability? you know, great old bob dole story. newt came up said senator, i don't understand why so many people take an instant dislike to me. dole goes, oh, saves them time. >> no question that mitt romney will be on the hot seat regarding his finances. he put out his taxes and now, there are questions being raised as to whether this swiss bank account was on his financial disclosure. >> do you guys moe how to do the swoop? >> swoop! >> show them the swoop! the swoop! they're too busy getting ready for the debate. thanks. still ahead here, he's hosted wheel of fortune for more than 30 years, but he's revealing he hasn't always been sober for every show. that's his secret. plus, chaos as a snow covered
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welcome back. kate bolduan's here with more news you need to know right now. >> good evening. defense secretary leon panetta got specific today about how the military will cut half a trillion dollars in spending over the next ten years. the army and marines will have fewer troops. the air force will reduce air lift fleet and tactical
squadrons. the navy will retire old e ships and pay raises will be more limited after 2015. two areas not getting cuts special forces and unmanned drones. and in case you need inspiration to clean the snow off your roof, we give you an ice rink in slovakia where they didn't. nobody was hurt, but some hockey players need to find a new place to practice. and if you want to be in the stadium for the patriots-giants super bowl game, the good news is yes, you can still find a ticket, but the average price is about $3,000. the site says the most anyone's paid so far is 17,0$17,048. the cheapest, 2,614. not too bad or really bad. i know you've been very k very busy prepping for tonight's big debate and getting ready, so i'm
going to give you the moment you made today. when you -- pat sajak says on some of the old shows, he and vanna white were a bit tipsy. >> the ar kos and we go and they served great margaritas. we would go across and have two or three or six and go and do the last shows and have a hard time recognizing the alphabet. >> i know he was joking, but two, three or six margaritas? >> i want to buy a vowel? excuse me? >> a vowel or a shot. >> we started this show, we were talking about it with the management. i said what about we take the mad men example and turn the set