tv State of the Union CNN March 25, 2012 6:00am-7:00am PDT
my team is out. we know that already. >> you still did fine. you still have three teams that have a possibility of being in the final four and you still have -- >> you know my bracket better than i do. >> it's a good one. >> that will do it for us this morning. "state of the union" with candy crowley starts right now. the shooting death of a florida teen ignites national outrage and scrutiny on matters of race and the law. today -- >> it is absolutely imperative that we investigate every aspect of this. >> the trayvon martin case with florida governor rick scott. then health care, republicans, and 2012. the senior white house adviser david plouffe. senator lindsay graham on this stubborn 2012 republican primary season and the meaning of the santorum victory in louisiana.
susan page and mike duffy from "time" magazine. i'm candy crowley and this is "state of the union." first our news of the day. former vice president dick cheney is recover from heart transplant surgery. joining me now for the latest from the hospital is cnn's athena jones. athen athena, do they have any idea how long he might be there? >> reporter: well, we understand that most heart patients who go through a surgery like this end up staying in the hospital for about a month. i should mention that vice president cheney at 71 is on the upper end of the age range of people who get heart transplants, at least according to the international society of heart and lung implantation. his age could play into how long he's kept here under observation, candy. >> certainly this is not the first time, as we all know, he's been hospitalized, maybe the most serious as far as i can
tell, but nonetheless, he's had a long history. >> reporter: absolutely. he's had five heart attacks over the course of his life. the first one back in june of 1978 when he was just 37 years old. we know that in 2001 he had a pacemaker implanted, and he was also hospitalized more recently back in june of 2010 when he had what's called a left ventricular assist device or an lvad put in as part of instage heart failure treatment. it helps the heart pump and it's the kind of device that's used as a precursor often to this sort of heart transplant. >> athena jones, thank you so much. on to our show. george zimmerman, the neighborhood watch captain in sanford, florida, told authorities he acted in self-defense when he shot and killed unarmed teenager trayvon martin. bringing into focus a seven-year-old florida law that reads in part, a person has no duty to retreat and has the right to stand his or her ground and meet force with force,
including deadly force, if he or she reasonably believes it is necessary to do to prevent death or great bodily harm. since stand your ground was enacted in florida, the an um number of florida cases found to be justifiable homicide was nearly trnear ly tripled from 12 a year to 33. florida governor rick scott appointed a special prosecutor to oversee the case and a panel to review the stand your ground law. rick sot, thank you for joining us. >> your heart goes out to the family. i had the opportunity to meet with the parents thursday night to let them know i appointed a new state attorney and introduced them to the florida department of law enforcement agents that are working on the case and you're just -- you know, your heart goes out to them. you just -- no family ever imagines this could ever happen to their child. >> you must have -- with the stand your ground law, which may or may not apply to this case,
but certainly you must have had questions about the state law before you appointed this task force. >> what you want to make sure, you just -- you want to make sure everybody feels comfortable with public safety in our state, and so as you know, i put together a task force led by my lieutenant governor who's african-american and i'm going to have different elected officials appoint individuals, but we'll look at all of it. the first thing we're going to do is really do a thorough investigation to see what happened here. no one can imagine this happened to their family. we've got to find out exactly what's going to happen. the florida department of law enforcement, state attorney, is going to do a great job knowing what happened and make sure justice prevails. we have to do that. >> governor, does this look like a race thing to you? >> well, you know, there's nothing i know about that. i know we'll find that -- i think we'll find that out in the investigation. you hope it's never the case, but we'll look at all these
things and find out what happened. there will be a thorough investigation, justice will prevail. we have to make sure there's justice for mr. martin's family and also justice for george zimmerman. >> let me ask you, one of the things that -- one of the criticisms has been it took more than a month for anyone to really notice this case, and that includes you, because this week was when you appointed -- or switched attorneys and when you appointed the task force. why did it take you this long? >> well, first off, i don't have the authority to appoint a new state attorney unless the existing state attorney withdraws. >> you could have pushed them out sooner. >> everything you do in life, i love to do things faster, and you get more information and you see about problems faster. i will love to do things faster. the right thing happened here and the florida department of law enforcement will do a thorough investigation. they're known for that. angela corey is a very good state cornattorney who i have n
for a long time, she will do a great job. >> george zimmerman claims it was self-defense. there have been death threats against him. does the state feel that it needs to protect him while this case moves on or do you know where he is? what do you know about zimmerman? >> you've got to make sure there's due process. you have to make sure there's due process for somebody that's accused of a crime. you've got -- >> which he hasn't been accused of yet. >> you have to make sure no one feel it'ss uncomfortable that's not been accused of a crime. if he feels unsafe, we'll make sure nothing happens to him. >> has there been any request of that sort? >> not at the governor's office. >> do you expect charges in this case? >> i'm not sure. we have to wait and see what the facts are. >> let me move you on to the state of florida and republican ad for you that caught our eye that's running in the state. >> governor rick scott's cutting the red tape, getting government
off the backs of businesses. over a dozen new pro-business initiatives passed by governor scott and republican legislat s legislators. >> let me tell you the political interoperation in washington of this spot and that is you have two years before you would run for re-election, so the reason this spot is out there is that there is a worry that your approval ratings will be a drag on the republican ticket this year and the presidential race. would you like to disabuse me of that? >> i think what my job is to get the state back to work. if you look at what we've do done -- we've reduced tacks, reduced regulation, and the state is getting busier again. whoever wins this fall in all races whether it's the presidential race in florida or in our other races, is going to depend on how they perceive the governor and how they perceive -- that talks about what we've done and the
florida -- republican florida legislature. >> why did you run that ad? >> to get our message out. we have unemployment has dropped considerably. we're at a three-year low. we're talking to companies all the time about getting them to come to florida. this week we're adding a research design center in florida. 7-eleven is coming back. florida is absolutely open for business. >> your numbers have gone up in the approval rating. you're still sort of below water as they say but nonetheless they have improved. i wanted to ask you about the unemployment rate. it is the lowest it's been in three years, 9.6%, which isn't anything to brag home about but nonetheless it is lower than it's been this three years. but this month job creation fell like 36,000 jobs lost in florida, which is the biggest monthly loss of any state. what happened? >> the numbers don't make sense to me.
we have 24 workforce boards and we track every month how many jobs they filled. they filled 35,000 jobs. when i came into office, 568,000 people were on unemployment, now it's about 360,000. we're making progress every month. those numbers -- we dropped 0.3% in one month and lost jobs. >> haven't figured that out yet. >> i assume february will be different and we'll see what happens over the year because we had a great 2011. >> i want to move you to the republican race. you haven't picked -- endorsed anyone publicly yet. do you think it's time? we saw jeb bush come out and say mitt romney. time to bring the party together. do you feel that it's time for this republican race to end? >> look, i think it's great. we're learning more about these candidates every day. i think the race is great. i think that if it goes on, we're going to learn more about all the candidates that are up there. it creates a lot of interest.
it looks like we'll have a nominee by the time of the convention which, of course, will be in the great state of florida. but i think it's great they're having a race. >> you know, all of the figures sort of run against that. when you look at what has happened to mitt romney and to newt gingrich and to rick santorum over the time, it has been that independents, who are quite valuable in florida as you know -- >> very valuable. >> are walking away from these candidates at this point, that this has become damaging to the image of the republican party because it's been so fierce. and that the theory being there has to be some time for making up this image deficit. >> you know what i think? i think the election will be about one issue. whoever has a plan that the american public believes is going -- i won my race because they believed i had a jobs plan. that's why i won. that's who is going to win this fall. whoever has -- when you go to the ballot, you're going to say who is going to make sure that
there's a greater chance i'm going to have a job next year? that's who is going to win. and i believe the republican nominee will be that, but whoever -- that's what they're going to have to do. i'm glad now they are talking about jobs. i don't think they talked about jobs enough in the early primaries. this is about jobs. in our state it's education for your child, it's jobs, and keep the cost of living low. that's what's important. >> so can i just extrapolate from that. we are seeing improving economic figures in your state but nationwide that certainly is going to bin fenefit the presid this fall. >> absolutely. but in the end it's tell me what you're going to do to make sure our country is the number one place in the world to build businesses. i'm doing that in florida. we'll make sure florida is the number one place in the country if you want to build a business. >> at least i know you will have activity in august with the convention. thank you so much governor rick scott. president obama's health care reform is more than just a law. it's a rally cry for the right. >> obama care defines the obama
presidency, and it is the number one reason why barack obama should not be returned to office for a second perm. >> but that may be a fight obama's team can't wait to have. david plouffe, a senior adviser to the president is next. these you take after food gives you gas, you take beano before, so you don't get gas. and if you don't get gas, maybe you don't need these. take beano before and there'll be no gas. ♪ [ multiple snds ng melodic tune ] ♪ [ malennounc ] at northrop grumman, makthworld a feplace. th's value performance. northr gruan. [ kareem ] i was fascinated by balsa wood airplanes since i was a kid.
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find your away. for a dealer and the rv that's right for you, visit gorving.com. the supreme court is set to take up a challenge to president obama's health care law. probably not what the doctor ordered in an election year. when president obama signed the patient protection and affordable care act two years ago, the debate did not end, it went on. it goes before the u.s. supreme court monday, tuesday, and wednesday. it has been on the campaign trail from the beginning. >> one of the things we're going to repeal right out is obama care. >> we absolutely have to repeal obama care. >> i will repeal obama care and i'll kill it dead on its first day. >> of particular interest to court and campaign watchers,
that provision in the health care law that requires americans to buy health insurance and fines that's who don't. a high court ruling against the individual mandate would be a sizable blow to the president's signature issue, but it won't be all that helpful to former massachusetts governor mitt romney either. >> as many have noted in both parties, the individual mandate provision of the president's affordable care act bears striking similarities to the individual mandate that was put in place in massachusetts. >> a high court ruling is expected in june. senior obama adviser david plouffe is next. the key is to have a good strategy. the same goes for my retirement. with the plan my financial advisor and i put together, a quick check and i know my retirement is on course. [ male announcer ] with wells fargo advisor's envision plan, you always know where you stand. in fact, 93 percent of envision plan holders say they will retire on their own terms. get started on the plan you need today -- wells fargo advisors. together we'll go far.
i get my cancer medications through the mail. now washington, they're looking at shutting down post offices coast to coast. closing plants is not the answer. they want to cut 100,000 jobs. it's gonna cost us more, and the service is gonna be less. we could lose clientele because of increased mailing times. the ripple effect is going to be devastating. congress created the problem. and if our legislators get on the ball, they can make the right decisions. this reduced sodium soup says it may help lower cholesterol, how does it work? you just have to eat it as part of your heart healthy diet. step 1. eat the soup. all those veggies and beans, that's what may help lower your cholesterol and -- well that's easy [ male announcer ] progresso. you gotta taste this soup. here's a chance to create jobs in america. oil sands projects, like kearl, and the keystone pipeline will provide secure and reliable energy to the united states.
over the coming years, projects like these could create more than half a million jobs in the us alone. from the canadian border, through the mid west, to the gulf coast. benefiting hundreds of thousands of families throughout the country. this is just what our economy needs right now. joining me now is senior white house adviser david plouffe. david, thanks for joining us. a big week for you all watching the supreme court at any rate. not much you can do but have your folks argue your case, but let me ask you, what happens to health care, the health care law, if the supreme court should decide that the federal government cannot mandate that
someone buy health insurance? >> well, the oral arguments haven't even started, they start tomorrow so i don't want to put the card before the horse. most of this law doesn't take effect until 2014 but many parts have. over 2 million kids between 24 and 26 on their parents' health care. we've got people getting preventative care. this law is making a difference already in really important ways. we believe that democratic and republican appointees to the bench have upheld the law, including two very important conservative jurists. we are confident this is going to be upheld. what we're focused on is making sure this gets implemented properly and it's making an enormous difference. >> to the question, it a mandate is thrown out, that's one of the primary ways you were going to fund a lot of this. what happens then? does the whole thing get thrown into question in terms of being able to actually carry it out? >> well, again, i don't want to get ahead of the court. we haven't even had arguments yet. obviously -- >> you have got to be
thinking -- >> i don't want to get into -- we're focused right now our solicitor general is going to put forward a very powerful case for why this law is constitutional and why it's important. i think where the american people are right now is they don't want to refight this battle again. let's implement this law, let's make sure we improve it as we can, give states as much flexibility as they need. it's making a difference on costs, seniors saving money on prescription drugs, kids getting coverage. >> i don't want to bicker with you so i'll let the abc news/"washington post" poll on health care do that for me which is the question was what actions should the supreme court take, uphold the entire law, 26%. throw out the entire law, 42%. throw out the individual mandate, 25%. that is not the overwhelming kind of support that you're talking about. >> listen, i have seen a lot of polls on this, as have you. when you ask people, you know, should we go back to square one? people don't want to do that. >> but they want to throw out parts of it and you're right,
there's some very popular things in this. >> very popular things in this. >> but overall it's been problematic. >> you saw our campaign on friday, the most active tweet in the world around i like obama care. i think by the end of the decade as this law is fully implemented we're going to be very glad they call it obama care because the reality of what's happening here is so different than what the opponents claimed. you're going to see more people covered, savings in the health care system, you're going to see free preventative care for people, women treated equally in the health care system. i think the important thing right now what we can control is implement this law well, make sure we continue to try to educate people about what's in the law, and obviously, you know, the supreme court process will play out. >> why the 42% want the supreme court to just throw this out? >> well, again, i think that we've had hundreds of millions of dollars spent in propaganda against this law, just a torrent of money dissorttorting it. by the time we get to the middle of the decade, it's not going to
matter what you or i say. everyone is a health care consumer. it will have made a big impact. the things they have been told to fear will not come to fruition. it's an important thing not just for the country but an important political accomplishment. >> is the president going to open up part of strategic oil reserve and let some of that out to try to bring down gas prices? >> he's spoken of this. obviously the country has done it previously. we had to do it last year. i'm not going to add to that today, but obviously it's an option that remains on the table. our focus, the president toward the country this week, to talk about an all the above energy strategy. we have oil exploration at an eight-year high, 13% more exploration happening on public lands. we're doing a lot of production here, but our political opponents sadly want to leave it there. >> why would you even consider opening up the strategic oil reserve? >> a lot of factors go into the reserve, and, you know, it's not
just, you know -- there's not a political decision. it's are there supply disruptions? >> are there? >> again, i don't want to get into that decision -- >> the reason i ask though is that you all have pretty much argued it's not a supply problem, that it's the market, it's the speculation, it's what's going on in the middle east, and yet you're considering opening the strategic oil reserve. >> we've not taken that option off the table, but, listen, there are supply disruptions in places like sudan, you still have oil not at its peak in places like libya. the sanctions are working, the crippling sanctions are working, but there's no doubt what we have to do in this country, with he have to use less oil. the president not with congress, with the automakers, has put in place fuel efficiency standards. middle of next decade average car in this country 56 miles a gallon, going to save the average family $8,000 and save us billions -- >> the average family right now
is more worried about the immediate problem. >> of course they are, but what we have to do -- we've been having this discussion for decades. you have been covering this issue for decades. okay? we all have in politics. it's been going on president after president. the question are we finally going to have an energy strategy, not one centered in the last decade? which is doing all we can to get oil and gas out of this country but also wind and biofuels and solar. >> let me play for you, this is about the trayvon martin case. let me play for you the reaction from a couple of republican candidates. now, mind you, all of them said this is tragedy, we need to look into this, this shouldn't have happened. but in referring to the president saying if i had a son, he had looked like trayvon, a couple of the republican candidates. >> is the president suggesting that if it had been a white who had been shot, that would be okay because it wouldn't look like him? that's just nonsense. dividing this country up, it's a tragedy this young man was shot.
>> and then his, again, politicizing it. this is again not what presidents of the united states do. what the president of the united states should do is try to bring people together, not use these types of horrible and tragic individual cases to try to drive a wedge in america. >> your reaction? >> i don't think there's very many people in america that would share that reaction. you know, this republican primary at some points has been more of a circus show and a clown show and that's two comments are really irresponsible. i would consider them reprehensible. i think the president spoke movingly as a father, made it clear there's investigations going on. i think those comments were really hard to stomach really and i guess trying to appeal to people's worst instincts. >> david plouffe, thanks for coming by. the voting goes on for the republican presidential nomination and not everyone believes the outcome is inevitable.
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joining me now senator lindsay graham of south carolina. good to have you with studio. >> glad to be with you. >> i want to start with a couple of your colleagues, newt gingrich and rick santorum talking about the trayvon martin case. both saying it was a tragedy, but going out after the president saying that he is raising the race issue by saying if i had a son he would look like trayvon martin. do you have a problem with that comment? >> i don't think it was overly helpful to the debate. we all know there's a racial component with this and when the president highlights it, i don't think it adds a whole lot but nobody subjects that the president is insensitive to the 17-year-old if he had been white. i think the criticism by our guys was a little off base and i don't really think the president added a whole lot by interjecting himself into it. so this is a situation that's very emotional, and justice will be done. it's good that we're looking at the actions of the man in
question because the young man who lost his life wasn't armed and apparently running in the other direction, not exactly a classic self-defense case in the initial impression. >> let me move you on just from other things that are going on out there in particular there's a republican primary race. >> you noticed? >> one of our colleagues, a close one as a matter of fact, senator jim demint, was out the other day talking about mitt romney. i'm sorry. we don't have that sound but what he said was, i'm not only comfortable with romney, i'm excited about the possibility of him possibly being our nominee. it was pretty big. where is lindsay graham is on this. >> i think when it's over romney will be the nominee and we'll win the white house if we can
run a good fall campaign. won't be easy, but i like our chances. the president's 3 1/2 years haven't produced a whole lot in terms of good policy, obama care, the steamless package. none of his big issues have seemed to work very well and gas prices going through the roof. i like our chances but it will be romney. the elephant hasn't sung yet but she's warming up. >> and he's your guy and you're happy -- >> i haven't endorsed anybody but i'm very comfortable with him. the other two candidates have run phenomenal races. rick keeps exceeding expectations but romney won five delegates in louisiana. he'll get to 1144. the last thing i want is a brokered convention. i want us to come out of tampa united behind romney, conservative socially and fiscally working together with libertarians and independents to take back the white house before it's too late. obama care is going to the supreme court. if for some reason there's an obama second term this thing becomes etched in stone, obama care does, and the only way you
can repeal it is to get back the white house. >> let me talk then since you bring it up about health care. as both a court watcher, you're a lawyer, as well as a campaign watcher -- >> right. >> this is certainly the nexus of the two. >> absolutely. >> how does this affect the debate in 2012 if the supreme court says, listen, this individual mandate forcing people to buy health insurance for themselves or face a fine is okay with us. what if it's the whole law stands? >> i think a lot of democrats hope the law gets stricken down, that the mandate is ruled unconstitutional because the political issue sort of is watered down. i don't know what the court is going to do. from a political point of view, this is probably the centerpiece of the debate in the fall, the proper role of government. did the obama care live up to its billing the way it was passed in the dark of night behind the 60th vote behind closed doors. the process was bad. the substantial is going over like a lead balloon. the vice president whispered to the president when they signed
the big this is a figure "f"'ing deal, well now it's become a big "f"'ing mess for the democratic party and the country as a whole. obama could win the argument that the fine is really just a tax and we're going to tax you to create a centralized health care system. i think the public will not like the substance anymore if the supreme court agrees with the obama administration on the tax. >> as david plouffe pointed out, there's some very popular parts of this bill that you can keep an adult child on for longer now if they don't have insurance, that children cannot be denied insurance simply because they have a pre-existing condition. it's helped seniors with prescription drugs. there are a lot of places and a lot of things that people like about this. >> sure. let's take those things that we all could agree on and sit down and pass a bipartisan bill, actually negotiate in a boi w
bipartisan way that's not going to bankrupt the country. premiums are $25,02500$2,500 a d climbing. it's going to bankrupt states. medicaid expansion under this bill is dramatic. 31% of the people in south carolina will be medicaid eligible. it will wreck our state budget. wrach f watch for the court to strike down the medicaid expansion as an overstep. they could say the fine is actually a tax and we're going to wait to see how that happens -- >> they might keep the individual mandate. >> they might say it's too early to judge the fine because it hasn't gone into effect yet, it's really a tax. they could say this medicaid expansion is a federal government takeover of state budgets. i don't know what the court is going to do but the public doesn't like obama care they don't like the way it was passed
and they don't like the substantial and it would be a signature item for the republican party. >> somewhat of a split issue at this point. let me move you on to a couple of overseas issues. one of them is afghanistan. we heard two of the republican candidates out there, santorum and gingrich, saying it might be time to just get out of there. this was after the massacre. >> and i shot back very hard at newt. i like newt. he's a smart guy, but listen to the general. we don't need a punch of politicians trying to create a military exit strategy. we're withdrawing from afghanistan. the question is how. do we listen to general allen or do we listen to politicians who are trying to get a sound bite. rick santory rum has never said that. romney would listen to general allen. it is my hope president obama will follow general allen's withdrawal plan and a strategic partnership agreement between us and afghanistan. it's the last card to play. i wish the pred would do an oval office address and tell us why afghanistan is important. it is the center of gravity in the battle in the war on terror.
it's the place we're attacked from, where the 9/11 attackers had safe haven. it's important we get it right. general allen has a plan to get us home with honor. this would be an insurance policy against the taliban ever taking over afghanistan. it would be a signal to the pakistanis quit betting on the taliban. it would be telling the iranians america doesn't abandon its allies. i would like to in a bipartisan way support general allen and support a strategic partnership agreement being negotiated by the obama administration which i think is the trump card to be played, the way to end the war with security and honor. >> to get that agreement. >> yeah, i hope so. >> senator lindsay gram, as always, we appreciate your coming. rick santorum had a convincing win in yesterday's louisiana primary but mitt romney still has a two to one lead in delegates. can santorum get enough broad appeal to win the nomination?
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page, washington bureau chief for "usa today." last night big win for rick santorum. he will pick up at least eight delegates. so is the race -- is this -- you know, is the race flopping on the deck of the ship and it's over or is there still a possibility here? >> he'll pick up at least eight delegates, you know. i mean, a big win, right, like 49%. almost got to the 50% point. but not a race we're paying a lot of attention to. the last primary in the deep south which is his home base, the place where he's done well. i think you saw even senator graham on your show just now saying he believes that mitt romney will be the nominee. that's what haley barbour said yesterday. these senior figure in the republican party who are not big romney enthusiasts say this race is essentially over. >> and yet it goes on here. and i think if anybody for santorum were sitting at this
table, they would say, wait a second, he had a big win yesterday. it's your choice to ignore this. why does it seem that -- okay, big win in louisiana, but -- >> it does feel like we're about to roll the credits on this movie. but there are some things that are worth just mentioning really fast about louisiana and santorum. he went down there while mitt romney was in illinois and he spent a lot of time with evangelical protestant preachers and he's in churches preaching, praying. he's put together, and i don't know that this matters in the long taeerm, but he put togethea coalition of catholics and white evangelicals that romney will have to pay attention to. that's a group of people who matters. >> are you saying that rick santorum is now playing for number two? >> i think he's trying to win by losing. he's trying to stay in as long as he can, maintain his
influence, and trade for something at the end. >> playing for 2016. you know, a lot of republicans think they had this big ripe opportunity to defeat president obama. now it looks like a tougher slog to the november. maybe they will still win but a tougher fight than they thought. rick santorum reminds me a little of huckabee last time around where he did better than anybody expected, he appealed to the base of the party in a way the nominee failed to do so and if mike huckabee had run this time around, don't you think he would become the nominee. >> mike huckabee went on to become a talk show host. there's life after these campaigns. >> i want to point out the daily tracking poll where mitt romney has hit 40%, i believe that's the highest point for him. rick santorum 36%, newt gingrich, 14%, ron paul, 8%. how much damage -- if mitt
romney becomes the no, ma'am mi much undoing does he have to do. >> the president's poll ratings have fall an little bit as gas prices have begun to climb and i think the other factor that is in romney's favor is as the president begins to campaign and begins to get more overtly political, people see him once again as a political guy which isn't his normal strength. i think he's narrowed the gap a little bit but it's still the white house's race. >> here is the challenge for romney. i think he needs to be a better candidate than he's been. >> they might be right, this long campaign might be helpful to him. >> in that way maybe so. what's going to be the most critical moments, the debates. who has had all this practice debating, mitt romney wp. we will have more in a moment. unless you are living under a rock you have probably already
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let's set up the general election. if you are the republican nominee, where's the vulnerability of a president who appears stronger as the economy gets better? >> i think you could hear it in david plouffe's comments to you a few minutes ago when he talked about gas prices. he was talking about, well, we're drilling here and drilling there, and he obviously was in oklahoma over this week talking about part of the keystone pipeline he was going to build after having said with some drama earlier in the year that he wasn't going to build the new piece. i think they really do feel vulnerable there when this white house is talking about drilling. >> plus, they talk about how -- they say all the time that the president has very little control over gas prices. the president has been on sort of a gas price tour for a while. and yet they're talking about maybe we could use some strategic oil reserve, you know, to put in to bring down the gas prices. in some ways they argue against themselves, but it tells me the gas prices striking a chord. >> i think there are two
vulnerabilities, one is the level of unemployment. it's falling. that's a good thicng. it's still higher than for any president that's won re-election in modern times. the other is the size and extent of the government. why do so many americans want the mandate struck down? it's not because of the details. it's a concern the government has gotten so big and k3e7expen and intrusive -- >> kind of a how dare the federal government tell me what to buy. >> i think that's an issue he has to talk about. some of the expansion of government was a result of dealing with the economic crisis when he came in, but it's an issue that resonates with not just republicans but independent voters, too. >> they made a bet when they said let's hurry this back to the supreme court and get it litigated. let's do it right in the middle of the election year. it's a fairly high risk play which if is tossed out by the
court before the end of the year, it will give them a bigger had i will to climb in trying to explain why they need a second term. >> what do you make of senator graham saying i think some democrats would really like this mandate to get thrown out get t? >> you know, they do not live at 1600 pennsylvania avenue. that is not the sentiment of the obama white house. >> if mitt romney is the nominee, isn't it mitigated a little bit? here's a man governor of massachusetts. yeah, everybody has to buy health insurance. >> and every time that question comes up, jay carney talks about obamacare. i mean, massachusetts, romneycare. in some way their fates are tied. if we go down, he goes down. you can see that they are concerned about that in the
context of the fall campaign. there is a possibility that court won't uphold it but will find a way to postpone the rulings until actually more of the law takes effect. the arguments begin tomorrow. >> and there's an argument if it hasn't taken effect there's nothing to rule on, right? >> we'll see if they go that route. >> we've seen the president's fundraising numbers are down from '04 and that might be a high water mark. who knows. but what relates to that? is it the independents moving back and forth or is it just that hope is much easier to sell than policy? >> i think that's exactly right. what a privilege it was to cover that campaign. a lot of them were small donors. >> susan page, mike duffy, thank
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time for a check of today's top stories. president obama is in south korea where he had a chance to appear into north korea. marking 100 days of the death of kim jong-il. >> north korea will achieve nothing by threats or by prove indications. north korea knows it obligations and must take steps to meet those obligations. >> former vice president dick cheney is in a hospital recovering from heart transplant surgery. the 71-year-old underwent the procedure yesterday. i talked to him about the
possibility of having a heart transplant. >> i've got to decide on a heart pump now. i have a piece of equipment in my heart that works very well and 14 months into the program and it's been functioning perfectly. >> although cheney and his family don't know the donor, they will forever be grateful. >> the united states gave $880,000 to the families of the people of afghanistan killed or wounded in a shooting blamed on sergeant bales. the money includes $50,000 for each of 16 people killed, as well as $10,000 for each of six was injured. this week on the campaign trail, the etch-a-sketch, that 1950s toy is enjoying a boomlet
after the campaign strategy was referred to the slate. on capitol hill, charts and stack of people are, let's face it, readily available and the preferred prop for lawmakers, especially while arguing a proposed law is too onerous and complicated. and when spending gets out of control, nothing beats a pig prop. mr. favors cradled in the arms of senator mark newman. pro it testing, what else, washington's pork barrel spending. john kerry flip-flops were among the rage of president bush's supporters. same song, different decade. >> i cannot waffle. you cannot make the white house the waffle house. >> the clinton campaign laughed it off and handed out fake waffle house menus featuring
rare delicacies, including iraq of lamb and pay raise souffle. michael dukakis road in a military tank but it was used to make him look weak. >> now he wants to be our commander in chief. america can't afford that risk. >> and try as politicians do with flags and statutes and impressive backdrops. try the impressive silence of power. nothing supports the commander in chief live from an air cast carrier. even when you're president, the best props -- >> oops.