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tv   State of the Union  CNN  December 15, 2013 9:00am-10:01am PST

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how convenient is this? says everybody is doing it nowadays. and tonight is the season finale of homeland. check out the reliable sources blog at as well. and we'll see you right back here next week sunday at 11:00 a.m. state of the union with candy crowley begins right now. political moments, an unusual by partisan budget deal on capitol hill and the dangerously escalating tensions a and hot spots around the world. today -- >> and i'm proud of the people of the ukraine and their steadfast efforts for democracy for their country. >> hundreds of thousands protest in the streets of kiev in a face-off with cold war overtone. the uncle of dictator kim jong-un was executed leaving some -- senator john mccain
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joins us from ukraine. then -- >> good evening. >> who would have thunk it. >> we have broken through the partisanship and the gridlock. >> a christmas miracle or just ewill beation season setting in? former director of the office of emergency management and the former director of the congressional budget office, is the best congress can do good enough for the economy? and is consensus driven speaker of the house, busts loose. john bainer and the tea party, the president and the promise and the governor a and the bridge. our political panel and their discussion. this is state of the union. good morning from washington, i'm candy crowley. a political tug of war brewing in the ukraine, a country sand wished between russia and europe. ukrainian -- european union.
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it's a move that would align the former soviet bloc nation with the west. instead the president is turning his financially strapped country toward russia which has offered economic assistance. nick payton walsh is in kiev as demonstrators gather for a has rally today, nick? >> reporter: this country sflit in two, east russians speak near the russia border there and in the west, speaking ukrainians wanted to turn their eye toward the european union. didn't sign that deal with the european union that would push them in a westerly direction. more people came out on the street. that brought even more people out on the streets too, despite the freezing cold temperatures behind me. but in the last few hours, you have heard a key development here. the president giving off signals
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suggesting that a deal could still be signed, we just heard from the eu, they don't take the ukraine seriously at all. just a after that, u.s. senator john mccain, stood behind me and addressed this large crowd, perhaps 200,000 people turning up and said america's with you and ukraine, the future lies in your own hands. key u.s. figures stepping into the fray here. >> so what comes next? more demonstrations in the streets? i mean what can happen from here? >> there's two things to watch in the days ahead. tuesday, the president goes to moscow. that's where he may make signals about getting closer towards the customs unions. that's going to really anger what crowds are left on the street. in the last few days we have started seeing pro government -- many of these protesters bussed
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in from around the country, to express their support for the president, obviously many people in the east worry that if they lose the president of russia. out there to one major concern was one protest was about 200 meters down that way, close to the anti-government demonstrations, that protest has gone home, they have moved to other parts of the city. rifle protests in the heart of kiev, the standoffs continuing and no real leader. the opposition behind me stading forward and taking negotiations in hachbtd. so a concern perhaps this could drift off for weeks or even get out of control as we have seen before. >> nick payton walsh on the scene for us. good to see you, nick, no matter how far away you are. earlier i spoke with senator john mccain from kiev. joining me now, senator john mccain who i know senator, you have just addressed the crowd of
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protesters there yourself in y kiev, what is it you're trying to do here? >> hopefully what we're trying to do is bring about a peaceful transition here that would stop the violence, would give the ukrainian people what they unfortunately have not with different revolutions that have taken place, a real legitimate society. this is a grass roots revolution here, it's been peaceful except for when the government tried to crack down on them and the government hasn't done that since. but i'm praising their ability and their desire to demonstrate peacefully for change that i think they deserve. >> there has been talk about the semicold war undertones to this protest. what do you think vladimir putin
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has been trying to accomplish here? what's his role? >> there's no doubt that the ukraine is of vital importance to vladimir putin. it was kissinger who said that without russia without ukraine is an eastern power, with ukraine is a western power. pugh on the views it has the most highly important and he has put pressure on ukrainians, the price of energy, different kinds of activities and the word is very clear that he has made certain threats, whether he would carry those through or not, i don't know. >> when you look at the totality of putin's actions over, say, the last year, things he has done with and against the united states, what is the end game for him? is this part of it?
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>> i have a watched him become more and more assertive in his desire as an old kgp operative to restore the near abroad. he's put pressure on lithuania,s a stona, latvia. and ukraine is the crown jewel and his efforts here including keeping his naval base has been part of it. so there's no doubt that he is very much interested in this sphere of influence. as far as his other activities are concerned, as we worked with the russians to remove the chemical weapons, there are flights of aircraft that are landing in damascus as we speak with conventional weapons that are slaughtering syrians which is something that i just find
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appalling. so i think he is assertive, i think that he is now a player in the middle east which he has not been since 1973 when he was thrown out by when the russians were thrown out by sadat. >> we should tell people that the noise that they're hearing from the demonstrations that continue to go on. let me ask you this about the u.s. role. i know that you have wanted the administration perhaps to consider sanctions, nothing to help boost the anti-government protesters. the question to you is, while we're trying to work on so many things with the russians, for instance with iran and in syria, is this really a good time for the u.s. to be taking on russia? >> i don't think that we would be taking on russia and by the way, i am very pleased with
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secretary kerry's statement, our deputy secretary victoria newland who was here. these people love the united states of america, they love freedom. and i don't think you could view this as anything but arrest traditional support for people who want a free and democratic society. we're not talking about military action, we're not talking about blockades, we're talking about the possibility of sanctions if they continue to brutally repress their people. that would require some action on our part just because that's what the united states of america is all about. and by the way, there are estimates around 200,000 to 300,000 people are singing in the background that i hope you can hear. >> we can indeed. i want to turn you to iran right now and the fate of robert levenson reported this week in several media outlets that he was indeed on a mission for the cia in iran.
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he's been missing for about seven years. haven't heard anything since 2011 from him. i want to read you a part of the statement from the levenson family, which said the u.s. government has failed to make saving this good man's life the priority it should be. is that true? >> i am confident that we are doing everything that we can probably under very difficult circumstances and by the way, this should and the other americans who have in iranian custody should affect our relations with them. but frankly what disturbs me is apparently they did not tell the truth to the congress. cia did not tell the truth to the american congress about mr. levenson. if that's true, you put this on top of things that our intelligence committees didn't know about other activities which have been revealed by
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snowden, maybe means that we should be examining the oversight role of congress over our different intelligence agencies. >> do you think the government of iran knows the fate of mr. levenson? >> i'm sure they do. i don't think there's any doubt about that. >> and do you -- just your gut feeling following this knowing about this, do you feel levenson is dead? >> i don't know. i know i saw that picture that everybody has seen. the iranians are known for their brutality. but we have to keep our hopes and efforts alive for the sake offense him, for his sake and that of his family. >> after his family came up to capitol hill to try to persuade you all not to vote for
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sanctions which would go against iran, that would take place in six months if there's no deal with iran about its nuclear ambitions. you said that ---i mean basically called the secretary of state a liar. you said it just doesn't jibe with the facts. first, do you think that was purposeful and second do you think the senate will pass that bill? >> i think that it's very likely that we could have a sanctions bill that would take effect at the end of six months if there is no result in the negotiations. as i think what it would be. as far as the information that's just a disagreement, it's not that the secretary of state is not telling the truth, it's just his view of the facts are very different from mine. for example, he thinks the agreement states that basically the iranians maintain the right
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to enrich. i don't think that that should be the case. after their lying and cheating and concealing for all of these years and there's many other aspects of it. the centrifuges keep spinning, there can still be, quote, construction around the facility. and so we are now pausing when they are continuing. we are easing sanctions while they are continuing a lot of their activities. >> let me quickly turn you to a couple of other stories. north korea, i guess because it is so isolated and we seem to know so little about it, you have seen the stories that the uncle of kim jong-un has been executed. and it started off this whole debate on whether that means that kim is consolidating his power or if he's losing it.
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because this was one of his closest advisoadvisors, his unc. what do you make of it? >> i think it's very dangerous. i think this young man is dangerous. we know that he had begun working on the nuclear reactor, we know that he has closed down the facility that south korea was using a manufacturing facility and then reopened it. his very aberrational behavior must be a huge embarrassment for china. the uncle that he just executesexecuted was interlock coupory, this young man is capable of some very aberrational behavior and given the choice that he has, i think it's very dangerous. and you would think that the
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chinese would understand that as well. they've got to rein this young man in and they can. >> at the memorial service for nelson mandela between president obama and raul castro of cuba. you likened this between the hand shake between neville chamberlayne and adolf hitler. do you regret that statement? >> oh, i think it was a gross exaggeration, but have no doubt that that is a great propaganda value for the cuban government which is oppressive, repressive, continues to jail dissidents and continues to be one of the -- easily the most oppressive government in our hemisphere, i don't think you should shake hands with someone who continues to violate his own country's human rights. it happened and it is what it is. and i'm sure that mr. castro appreciated it.
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>> to liken the president to neville chamberlayne, did you think in retrospect it was over the top? >> i'm sure it was an exaggeration, candy, if you want me to plead guilty here on cnn, guilty. >> are you going to vote for the compromise budget bill? and whether yes or no, do you ultimately think it will pass the senate? >> i hope it will pass the senate. i don't do anything, not anything, but we must not shut down the government again, we can't do that to the people of this country in my state. second of all, carl levin, chairman of the senate armed services committee has pledged to us that we will review this provision concerning military retirement and because this givings them relief from the harsh effects of sequestration that they are supporting this
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legislation. i wish that provision wasn't in there, but to shut down the government again is an unacceptable act to inflict on the american people. >> just to nail this down, assuming that this budget package stays the same, you will vote for it? >> yes. >> okay. >> senator john mccain, we did a tour around the globe, i really appreciate your being available to us, out of kiev of all places. so good to see you, come back home soon. >> thank you, and i'm glad you found me guilty. >> thanks. ahead, the house passes a budget deal with bipartisan support and john boehner lashes out at conservative groups who criticize it. >> they're using our members and they're using the american people for their own goals. this is ridiculous. listen, if you're for more deficit reduction, you're for this agreement. >> is the deal the right way out
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joining me now, peter ortag director of the office and
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dougl douglas holz akin. we get this budget deal, can we all stipulate at the top that this was more driven by politics than policy? they needed to have a budget deal. >> so stipulated. >> so when you look at this budget, what is right with it? >> i think what's right with it is that it gets the basic construct of what we should be doing correct, we should do a little bit less deficit reconnectiredec reduction today. i think the most important part of this deal is that it just for the first time in several years signals that maybe washington won't be so dysfunctional for a period of 12 to 14 months and will let the economy gain momentum. >> such an optimist. >> number one, a i'm going to agree with peter, this is addition by subtraction. i don't care if you're a big defense or small defense person, it makes no sense to cut it by
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$19 billion in january and turn around and about $23 billion back in over the next two years. and the third is it changes the focus. not dramatically, but in a tiny way from the annual spending by congress to the permanent programs that are really driving the spending and the budget problems, that's a step in the right direction. >> so in other words to deal with medicare, to deal with medicaid, to deal with social security, which many people say that's what's really driving our long-term problems. they now have sort of put aside the short-term problems which is what is the budget going to be for the next year and have room in their schedules to deal with the long-term problems? >> and among those long-term problems are mentions, they didn't take on social security, the largest and most important pension program. but they touched others in little ways. and it's a step in the right direction. >> the big news in the rest of that budget is medicare costs have slowed down traumatically. in fact the first two months of this fiscal year, medicare costs were done. we have a revolution going on in
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the health sector, that could if it's continueded have massive consequences in everything you think you know about the long-term fiscal gap would be wrong if this were to continue. >> and that is the result of the lowering of medicare costs? >> multiple things, i think the biggest thing is the expectation that we're moving away from fee for service payment. most hospitals think we're moving quickly. the key is realizing the expectations of what we're doing in advance of that shift is drop. >> if is the key here, we don't know yet and we can't fully diagnose what's gone on. it's happened and it's a cause for hope. no more. >> let me get back to one of the things i think both of you did agree on and that is that this is a good signal for the business community. we are told like, hey, we have got a plan, you don't have to lay awake at night trying to figure out what the government is going to do to screw up your daily life, we have got this plan.
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the idea being, i think, that businesses that have been sitting on huge amounts of money will now go, okay, whew, let's hire people. >> as i said, this doesn't get in the way. but there are some things out there that could finish this off and they get much more powerful. immigration reform is not yet complete. speaker boehner says he's going to take it up in the house. that's a permanent reform that changes the landscape. tax reform is the same way. permanent change gives some stability, allows our corporations to compete around the world. we need to get those things done, that's what i look to presidential leadership on in 2014. if we get those, we would have a big success. >> the other thing that we need to make sure the debt limit coming up in the spring, i hope it will be, with that, i think we may be in for a decent, not a great, but a decent 2014. because the nonfederal sectors at the economy are actually growing at north of 3%.
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if the federal government gets out of the way, 2014 will be better than 2013 was. >> you think this will not necessarily say to businesses, we have got our act together a little bit, you can hire people? >> i don't think that it's that big of a signal yet. if we get the reforms we need, that's so much for 2014, but we need to go that direction because right now we're growing at about 2%. a little bit faster maybe. >> not great, right? >> that's not fast enough, we still have to grow much faster to take all the workers who have given up, all the workers who have been long-term unemployed and get them back to work, that's the top priority. >> will this budget deal by itself help the economy? will this filter in to the suburb somewhere in pittsburgh? >> a teeny amount. the bigger thing here is that i think it gives it a little bit, even without immigration reform and other things, a little bit of a sense of, oh, we're not going to have yet more drama and
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debacles out of washington. so the bigstest thing is not what's contained in the four corners, it's the symbolism, we have not shot ourselves in the foot. >> we have got it, it's better than nothing. let me ask you about long-term unemployment benefits which were part of the stimulus package, we still have a huge long-term unemployment problem, i think you would both agree, if it is not extended and had to be extended by the end of this month, this week's unemployment benefit also go away for a lot of people, millions of people. what's going to be the net effect for those who won't get their unemployment benefits is one thing, and it's hard, what about the net effects on the economy? because people always argue, this is money that goes quickly into the economy so it's good. >> the congressional budget office which we both had run, found exactly that, that when
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the economy is weak and when you need aadditional demand, which we're still in a situation where that holds. unemployment benefits are one of the most effective ways of getting money into the economy quickly. i think it's unfortunate that we're not extending that program. >> this is a big deal for those in the economy. that should be a month's worth of jobs, it's probably two months right now. i think what it should focus attention on is the fact that long-term unemployment insurance is now trying to be all things to everybody. it's supposed to be unemployment insurance, something between jobs, something to get income support for job training. this is commission drift. we have a big problem with the training, we have a big problem with unemployment, we need programs that match those problems. >> i grow with that, exempt that unemployment is still really elevated and we have always provided these kinds of signs and the long-term unemployment is almost 2.5%. we have always extended these benefits when unemployment is really elevated, both to help
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the workers themselves and also, look, 300,000 jobs are not nothing. i would take it. >> i want to show you all a poll that came out this week, it's an nbc "wall street journal" poll. the question was which party does a better job with the economy. what's happened since february is that democrats have fallen. right now, only 26% responded democrats do a better job. 36% say, no, no, it's republicans. who's light? >> what happened to the other 40%. >> they're people going i don't know, none of them seem very good at it. the fact is, look at that drop. my question to you is, is that correct? are republicans better at dealing with the economy? >> look, the party in power gets credit or blame for what goes on. thls a terrible recovery, the democrats are paying for it. they haven't tried anything new in quite a while. so the message is old and steal. republicans have tried something new. they made a budget deal and they're not shutting the
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government. >> you don't agree? >> the fact of the matter again, i come back, 2014, i think it is likely for the first time in several years to be materially not as strong as we like, but better than 2013, i think a lot of those numbers are going to change as the reality does. >> they do kind of change with the economy as we see. thank you very much. we appreciate it. when we return, another tragic school shooting in colorado. even as the families of the sandy hook massacre mark the first anniversary of that tragedy. colorado governor john hickenlooper joins me next. open to ambition. open to bold ideas. that's why new york has a new plan -- dozens of tax free zones all across the state. move here, expand here, or start a new business here and pay no taxes for ten years... we're new york. if there's something that creates more jobs, and grows more businesses... we're open to it. start a tax-free business at
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joining me now from outside arapaho high school is colorado governor john hickenlooper, governor, thank you for joining us. you had this situation frayed in a school where a young gunman entered a high school, shot and critically wounded a young female student and went on to shoot themselves all in a very short period of time. can you first start with anything you know about the condition of the high schooler? >> claire davis was a wonderful, wonderful young woman. i went to the hospital, i visited her parents, they're
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obviously very distraught. she's in critical condition, it's, you know, it's unspeakable. >> it is governor, and too often you and i have spoken about things like this. watching this unfold and the information that we have gotten, there are a couple of questions that arise, first is this is a young man who walked into a high school, got into a high school with a machete, a pump shotgun, the ammo trapped to a band across him, as well as some molotov cocktails, he was visibly armed, we are told, so correct me if a i'm wrong. how does that happen? it just seems to me that at the entrances of schools, someone that is visibly armed should not be able to get in. >> this is a large high school, and like many of the large high schools, there's kids coming in and out all the time.
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they did have a deputy sheriff on the premise and he, i mean the moment there was trouble, he was running to the scene, there was a balance, school administrators a and school boards are trying to make the school not be a fortress, they want to be a place of education. i'm sure that's one of the decisions that we're going to be looking at again, going down the road with another shooting like this. >> looking at all the doors, perhaps locking them are obviously more expensive to have people at them a all the time. but you're right, many of these big high schools have multiple doors that folks can get into. let me ask you what more you might know about the motivation of this young man. >> well, we don't know, there have been reports that maybe he was bullied. i mean this is really kind of inexplicable that he would, for it seems like not that big a deal would come after with the intent to kill the teach they're
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had demoted him, the librarian. i can't even fathom it. last year in our legislative session, we put in place over $20 million just to dramatically expand mental health, 24 hour, seven day aweek call in centers and mobile crisis centers and training people like in cpr, how to recognize mental issues and get to it quickly. but this kid by all accounts didn't exhibit the warning signs of mental illness, obviously it's hard to fathom why he would have done this without being somewhat crazy. but you know, bullying does seem to be a number of these kids were bullied at some point, we have programs now throughout the state, anti-bullying, trying to get kids to deal with that in a more construct tiff way. >> let me ask you, finally, governor, any thought that this
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took place because or in some way was motivated by the one-year anniversary of the shootings in connecticut? >> well, you know, our sheriff here, grayson robinson, ironically announced that he was going to retire at the end of january, he's had a career of almost 42 years, he's convinced that there was no relationship to it. they have got to do an investigation and really look into it, but they don't see a connection at this point. >> i appreciate your time. >> thanks, candy. when we return, john boehner burns bridges, chris christie makes crossing them even harder.
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with me a around the table, dana milbank, and senior editor
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for the national review. thank you all. let's start with john boehner. just because the most interesting part of the budget being passed on the house side is john boehner coming up and really taking on what we believe to be tea party groups and conservatives. here's part of what he said thursday. >> this comes to a point when people step over the line. when you criticize something and you know nothing about what you're criticizing, it undermines your credibility. >> he does seem fed up, we all believe he's been fed up for months. why now and can he afford for thisbe permanent? >> i think this was a squirm mish in a broader war. i think you can chalk this up to
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boehner one, the others zero. but we have a long way to go and a lot of other issues that are coming forth that are going to be much more controversial. on immigration, is it going to be easier or harder? i'm going to say it's harder to get republicans on board because you're not saving the republican party in this sense, you're probably helping the democratic party, at least in the short-term by switching in a midterm election to switch to the issue of immigration. >> i have written several o obituaries for the tea party over the years. there's no coincidence that there was a gallup poll out -- i think john boehner finally feels there's an opening here. only 62 republicans, a quarter of the house caucus went against him. these big scary groups like heritage action and club for
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growth that kind of fuel the tea party are thinking maybe we can get take on these guys. >> they can't really afford to lose the enthusiasm and the numbers in the republican party, sort of the number that's in the nation at large, when a midterm comes, you need that enthusiasm, right? you can't just cut the cord. >> you need people who are knocking on doors and licking envelopes and things like that. the republican ---there's been a try to do is say, look, i'm not talking about the tea party in general, i'm not talking about conservatives in general, i'm talking about specific groups like the senate -- and try to isolate them in that manner. >> let me move you on because this is another thing that came to the forethat happened in september. chris christie who everyone believes will run for president,
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currently re-elects as the governor of new jersey, turns out, in september, suddenly three lanes which led to the george washington bridge from new jersey in a town where the mayor had not endorsed chris christie for his re-election shsz those lanes were suddenly shut, for four days, no one seemed to know what happened. except that it is true that a high school trend friend of chrs was appointed to the board. so the question is, is this a political fight? and the national democrats have jumped all over this because it fit into a story line? >> it's a delicious story and i think the democrats have been -- we have built reporters have built christie up so high it's time to take him down a couple of notches. by new jersey scandals, traffic on the george washington bridge is not exactly burying somebody in the meadow langlandmeadowlant with christie being a bully.
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>> it's a double-edged sword of being in the new york media market. chris christie gets a lot of benefit by being the governor of new jersey. if he were the governor of nebraska, we wouldn't hear so much from him. the fact that he a's in new york, which is the back yard of every media organization, death helps him when he looks big and strong and he's standal up for the victims of sandy. >> do you think in 2016, we're going to be talking about a traffic jam? >> it's a headache for him, but nothing more than that. >> po open to bold ideas. that's why new york has a new plan -- dozens of tax free zones all across the state. move here, expand here, or start a new business here and pay no taxes for ten years...
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\. if you lake your health care plan, you can keep your health care plan. >> things you probably don't
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want to have happen as you head into -- as your party at least heads into an election year as being the speaker of the lie of the year as politifacts describes it. let me add to this launching in a political year, a couple of other statistics, something like 70% of people believe that the economy will either get worse or stay is same next year. and i want to show you some demographics. the question was, which party will do a better job of improving the economy? republicans 10-point edge, but look at women, women, pretty much even between the two parties. urb urbanit tes. what is that 12-point lead. these are all demographics that republicans have had a hard time attracting.
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add all this up for me and tell me about the outcome -- how will those 2014 elections come out? >> it doesn't necessarily mean that hispanics, urbanites -- it doesn't show up to vote and that would contribute, if that's what happens to a wave election for republicans. >> the thing about the health care issue is that also in that nbc "wall street journal" poll, the question was asked, what's the lens by which you have viewed the president so far, and it's health care overwhelmingly. they're looking at the disaster rouse rollout of the health care bill and that's also coloring their views of everything. the president's credibility has take an hit, that hasn't come back yet. that's the way they see the party as their ability to actually do something positive for the economy. if you're in the republican party right now, of course you want to be able to talk about the economy and how you're going to make things better, but
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payment, by focusinging on the problems with obama care, you're re-enforcing the concerns of americans that the democratically controlled white house, they can't handle anything. >> and dana we saw this week the white house push back a couple more deadlines for the affordable care act, that's not reassuring? >> not at all. if you were to read these numbers in october of next year, we could safely say this is going to be a disaster for the democrats. it was just a month or two when we were predicting a disaster for the republicans because of the shutdown. these things can swing back and forth, this is the low point, it is a very low point in the obama administration, it doesn't help to have neutral groups calling you the liar of the year. although ted cruz says he doesn't believe those fact checkers so the president has some good company. >> the problem for the president is that this is not likely to go away. it's not just the website, it's his credibility that's taken a hit and ever time there's
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somebody who loses access to their doctor that they love, loses the free benefits that they are getting from their current health care, if they have to pay for, they have to do something else, it's going to bring that politifact lie linked to every single democrat who voted for it and democrats who weren't even there when it was voted on. >> the president has taken a hit to his honesty, his trust worthiness. that's hard to come back from. >> do you believe there's a final question that this election has this frame work, for democrats it's republicans obstruct everything. they get in our way, they shut down the government, they don't care about you. for democrats it's oh, you want big government, let's take a look at health care. >> that's going to be how they're pitching it, but that's all -- the numbers are getting better, clearly from what you have indicated, their people
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don't feel it yet, but they have got 10, 11 months to start feeling that. so that's what it will drive it. >> and thank you all for watching state of the union, if you missed any part of today's show, you can find us on i-tunes, fareed zakaria, gps is next. this is gps, the global public square. welcome to you in the united states and around the world, i'm fareed zakaria. are america it's kids falling behind the rest of the world? recent release of international test scores suggests the answer might be yes. i'll have a power house panel to talk about the problems and solutions. former new york city school chancellor joel klein. tom freedman of the


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