tv At This Hour With Berman and Bolduan CNN August 5, 2015 8:00am-9:01am PDT
of a sudden friendly. and pressure is mounting on president obama over his iran deal. american jewish leaders confronting him and now some democrats coming out against him. moments from now, the president delivering a major speech to try to win over those still undecided. attack america first, attack america now. that from al qaeda's most notorious bomb-maker. a man called the most dangerous terrorist facing the u.s. right now. his warnings don't stop there. hello, everyone. i'm kate bolduan. >> and i'm john berman. the breaking news just in to cnn, shots have been fired at camp shelby in mississippi. this is the second day that soldiers reported gunfire near their training center there. let's go straight to pentagon correspondent barbara starr for the very latest on this. barbara, what can you tell us? >> reporter: good morning to both of you. obviously concern mounting at
this hour about what is happening at camp shelby, mississippi. this is a very rural area. i've been there. it's heavily wooded. now for the second day in a row, soldiers there reporting that they have had shots fired at them. according to a statement from the army a short time ago, the shooter is described as a white male in a red pick-up truck. the make and model of that pick-up truck unknown. but the soldiers now reporting for the second day in a row someone matching this description has fired shots at them. the camp is secure at this hour. all the military personnel and civilians accounted for. the military, the army saying it is now working with the local sheriff's deputy to try and find out what is happening, who this person may be and exactly what has transpired. but for the second day in a row, someone fitting this description now having been reported as firing shots at u.s. troops
training there in this area of mississippi. the camp had already been, we are told, on a heightened state of alert since the recent incident in chattanooga where marines died at the hands of a shooter there. many u.s. military installations at a higher state of alert. the good news is, right now, no reports of any military personnel injured, thank goodness. but the camp at a higher state of alert and the military and the local law enforcement looking for whoever may be behind these two incidents. >> yeah. and is this the same person behind these two incidents? the search is on right now, barbara, as you say. also want to ask you about more breaking news. word of an incident involving an iranian warship and a u.s. helicopter. what are you hearing, barbara? >> reporter: a very odd incident indeed. but a u.s. defense official has told us and confirmed details apparently -- it was two weeks ago. but apparently in the gulf of aden off of yemen, a place that
it's a hot combat zone right now, an iranian warship was a couple of hundred yards away from a coalition warship, not a u.s. ship, but a u.s. military helicopter had just landed on that coalition warship. when they looked over and saw the iranian military ship pointing a weapon at them, apparently a gun on deck, believed to be a machine gun. that's what these typically are. was pointing at the u.s. military helicopter and the warship. but then they noticed something equally bizarre. apparently there was a camera crew of some sort right next to the gun that was pointing at them from the iranian warship. so as the defense official told me, we don't know what was happening, he says. were they taking a vacation snap? were they filming some sort of propaganda video? here we are pointing our weapons at the westerners? was some iranian sailor on that ship taking a sort of selfie to send to his girlfriend? it all ended without incident. the u.s. military helicopter
flew away. everybody was fine. but it does underscore how quickly things can potentially spin out of control. this one, thankfully, did not. but still not to be regarded lightly when an iranian warship points its weapon at the u.s. military. >> absolutely. not bizarre. more details needed on this one. stand by, barbara. much more to talk about with you. in just a few minutes, in a major speech, president obama will be pitching the iran deal at american university. this is clearly a very big moment for this president as he is ramping up his push to sell this deal to congress, a wary congress at that. he was talking to american jewish leaders yesterday about the deal saying then that some democrats may be going, in his words, squishy on the pact. >> the choice of american university today is hugely symbolic, the site of one of john f. kennedy's most famous speeches calling for a nuclear
test ban. president obama will tell members of congress on the fence, this is their most consequential foreign policy decision since the vote to go to war in iraq. let's go to the white house and bring in our correspondent, michelle kosinski. big day for the president. >> reporter: right. he's going to be speaking for 45 minutes. that's a long time as these speeches go. so he's going to cover a lot of bases here. we expect he'll be talking about what happens in the white house's view if there is a deal. they're saying it's going to be unprecedentedly transparent. unprecedentedly strict inspection scheme on iran. and what happens if there isn't a deal? the president sees this as a potential for iran unchecked getting a bomb within a few months, possibly having countries like israel and other countries in the middle east talking about military intervention. the white house has already said this is a historic opportunity that should not be squandered.
he also has convincing to do. we all know that there are those undecided democrats out there that could be a deciding vote if this did go to the point of trying to pass a presidential veto. some of the most powerful democrats, chuck schumer, harry reid, still undecided. what the white house has been saying is they know that these democrats are facing intense pressure. when you look at the lobbying on the other side, tens of millions of dollars put into convincing congressmen on the other side of the white house, trying to meet with every congressman, buying ads. the white house has been doing something commensurate, having briefings for both houses, meeting one-on-one. one-on-one meetings between president obama and undecided democrats. so they're really trying to make as much effort on their side as the opponents are. but it seems like we're really hearing from everybody on this. just yesterday we heard from israeli prime minister benjamin
netanyahu in this webcast that was directed toward jewish groups here. so the strength of the argument on both sides is now in full force and we'll wait and see what sort of parameters president obama sets out in this speech coming up. >> michelle kosinski at the white house. we're awaiting the president's speech in a few minutes, crucial in selling this iran deal to a reluctant congress right now, especially some reluctant democrats still on the fence. also looking at some more breaking news at this hour. the defense department telling cnn that the united states has now conducted the first of its lethal air strikes into northern syria from a base in turkey. let's get back to the pentagon, pentagon correspondents were brs barbara starr is tracking that as well. a big move in the fight against isis. >> reporter: indeed. this is just coming in. what we do know is a u.s. military drone armed with a missile conducted the first
lethal air strike out of one of those bases in southern turkey into northern syria. this is a result of both countries coming to an agreement that the u.s. military can have access to those southern turkish bases. that puts them much closer to their targets in northern syria. what we don't know at this hour is what the target was. there's two potential options here. either the u.s. flew against an isis target or it was another strike to try and defend those rebels, those u.s.-backed rebels in northern syria that have come under attack from that al qaeda group known as al nusra. the u.s. flies offensive strikes against isis. they just find a target and go against it. but if those rebels have come under attack again from al nusra, the u.s. might have conducted a defensive strike even though that's not what's happened in the past. what's really important here, the first strike, this puts isis on notice in northern syria that
the u.s. has a very quick ability to be very close by and come after them. the next step in the coming days will be to have manned u.s. fighter jets in the air ready to drop their weapons over northern syria. >> key marker in this ongoing conflict. perhaps a sign of more to come. barbara starr, thank you so much. here in the u.s., we are on the eve of the first major test for republican presidential candidates. political mayhem eve, if you will. the top ten candidates in the polls face off in the first presidential debate of the 2016 campaign. the seven others take part in the political n.i.t. they will do a pre-debate forum. the top seed, at least for now according to every single poll, donald trump. >> everyone is also waiting to see how trump performancs when s put on the spot against seasoned politicians. over the past days, he's clearly been trying to at least lower
expectations of his performance up there. again, there are nine other candidates up there, all hoping to break out, make a splash and break through with their own message to the american public. >> as he heads into his first debate, jeb bush is cleaning up a comment he made about women's health. he was speaking with evangelicals about defunding planned parenthood. but listen to what he said and how quickly hillary clinton pounced. >> you could take dollar for dollar -- although i'm not sure we need $500 million for women's health care. >> jeb bush said he's not sure we need $500 million for women's health issues. i'm reading it because i want to quote it exactly. he's got no problems giving billions of dollars away to the super wealthy and corporations. but i guess women's health just isn't a priority for him. >> bush later did say that he
misspoke. he was referring to the federal dollars that go to planned parenthood. it is important, of course, looking at tomorrow that bush who is second in gop polls right now avoid misspeaking at tomorrow's debate. he doesn't want other republicans pouncing on that comment as well. let's bring in chief political analyst gloria borger to talk more about this. clear democrats were jumping all over this, hillary included. is this a case closed, i misspoke, down deal or does this fall into the category of one of those gaffes that then come back to bite him over and over again? >> well, let me say this, in the republican primary field, it's probably not going to hurt him at all because most of the people on that stage are going to agree with him. but it's also no surprise that hillary clinton, who by the way has been losing some ground with women herself, particularly
suburban older women, would pounce on jeb bush on that because if democrats are going to win this election, they need to win overwhelmingly with white women and with hispanic voters. and so this was just a huge opportunity for hillary clinton. of course she took it as any candidate would do and jumped right on it. very much a replay of the 2012 campaign. i'm already beginning to see it. the war on women, jeb bush, a product of lots of money and beholden to special interests and all the rest and wants to cut medicare. you can see these little themes already playing out right now. >> perhaps also just another example of jeb bush not being able to shake the rust. that's the kind of comment that a politician who's been running for office, the filter would have caught that before it got out of the mouth. in terms of not being able to
shake certain things, let me talk about hillary clinton and her e-mails. word overnight that the fbi is now investigating the server to make sure it's safe. it may or may not be a big deal in terms of national security. but it's a big deal in terms of this campaign because hillary clinton just can't shake this e-mail story no matter what. >> well, it's a story that follows her because the narrative becomes, is she trustworthy? you've seen all the polls. everybody's read all the polls in which questions are raised about the trust issue, the honesty issue. but among democrats and those are the people who count right now because she's going for a nomination, among democrats she's got a 75% or so favorable rating. so it's not going to hurt her much in the primaries, i don't think, but i do think as a general election issue, you've started to unspool this here and
it raises all kinds of issues which she's going to have to continue and i think her campaign is aware of this, she's going to have to continue to push back on that. her problem is, though, that she's right now running against bernie sanders, the kind of messed-up hair, authentic, there you have it kind of guy. and by comparison, she looks a little cloaked, a little unwilling to really speak her mind, unwilling to answer questions. and so i think that kind of hurts her as well. >> also saying at least in one poll in new hampshire, bernie sanders on the rise. >> right. >> almost in a statistical tie with hillary clinton in new hampshire in that poll. this could be part of it. that untrustworthy -- that trust deficit. gloria, stick around. a lot more to discuss. minutes from now, a major moment for the fate, i guess you could say, of president obama's iran deal. he's giving a crucial speech at american university steeped with
history and he's speaking directly to the people he's trying to convince. plus, attack america now. that warning coming from al qaeda's most notorious bomb-maker, a guy some people think is the most dangerous terrorist on earth right now. does this show a dramatic shift in strategy? plus, the definitive answer on whether the plane debris belongs to flight 370. that could come any moment. investigators are analyzing that wreckage right now. we'll tell you what they found. [ female announcer ] take skincare to the next level with roc® multi correxion® 5 in 1. proven to hydrate dryness, illuminate dullness, lift sagging, diminish the look of dark spots,
at this hour, new calls for attacks against the u.s. homeland from al qaeda's most dangerous branch. in a letter and video, two leaders of al qaeda in the arabian peninsula known as aqap praised recent lone wolf style attacks and called for more of them. >> the letter claims to be from master bomb-maker ibrahim al asiri, a man that experts call the most dangerous terrorist operating against the united states right now. al asiri is believed to be working on a new generation of explosives. this is a very dangerous guy. cnn terrorism analyst paul cruickshank joins us right now. you've been following this man for a long time. two major issues here, one, what he said, and, two, the fact that he feels confident enough to say it. >> that's absolutely right.
he's still alive. he's still operational and still a very big threat, perhaps the biggest threat to the united states because he's very skilled at making explosive devices which are very difficult for airport security scanners to detect. over the last several years, three times he's plotted to bring down u.s. aviation. he came pretty close in 2009 with that underwear bombing plot over detroit. he's now thought to be working on a new generation of devices, even more sophisticated devices, new shoe bomb devices, new underwear devices. so there's a lot of concern, there's concern because his group is growing stronger and stronger. and that means that he has more resources than ever before to attack the united states and he's now saying it's our number one priority. >> why put out this call now? doesn't it by putting out the call put him at risk? >> it certainly does. he's been exceptionally careful about his operational security. probably the number one target
for the cia. by putting this kind of message out, there's going to be a courier involved and the cia got bin laden through courier. so it puts himself at risk. and in this message he opens himself up to criticism from fellow jihadis for doing this. but he took particular umbrage at a documentary al jazeera put out on the group. seems he couldn't help himself. most of this statement is about this al jazeera documentary. >> so much talk about isis day to day here. we see small attacks and call for small attacks on america. yet aqap, al qaeda in the arabian peninsula, is thriving and may be a bigger threat in terms of mass casualty attacks on the united states. and they're thriving because of the war between saudi arabia and yemen and all the unrest in yemen right now. >> there's complete turmoil in yemen right now. they're expanding big-time there. they have a big recruitment windfall from sunni describes because of the anger over the houthi takeover. they have more resources than ever before.
so it's a very, very concerning situation because of course the groups like al qaeda are still plotting to carry out mass casualty attacks in the united states by training westerners in bombmaking. not only concern about the affiliates in yemen but concern about the affiliates in syria, the place that barbara mentioned earlier in this hour, al nusra has expanded in recent months. and you could make the argument that al qaeda in syria is stronger than al qaeda in afghanistan was on the day of 9/11 in terms of manpower, resources, territory. the difference so far is that they haven't prioritized attacking the united states. the worry is, of course, that could change down the road. >> and seems maybe with this statement, that's a little bit of an indication there. paul, stick with us. i want to bring in jim sciutto, chief national security correspondent. talking to paul about this new call coming from aqap. but it also brings to mind, jim, i know you have pointed this out previously, james clapper in a
speech pointing out that he thought aqap was in his words the most concerning al qaeda element in terms of a threat to the homeland. and that raised a lot of eyebrows because everyone's thinking isis is top of mind. >> reporter: they're not mutually exclusive. i was meeting with a european counterterror official this morning. they have the same view. aqap is arguably the more capable terror threat. they still aim for the mass casualty attacks, aqap is intent on getting a bomb on an airliner. that's the kind of thing they're focused on. isis is more the small board kind of attack. they've told their supporters something that al qaeda in the past have avoided. any way you can attack, go for it. if you get a knife, snap someone. if you get a gun, shoot someone. so i speak to u.s. counterterror officials and europeans they say they're both threats. isis more likely just because it's a much lower bar, much easier to carry out the kind of attacks they're looking for.
aqap still aims for bigger. the one point i would add is this, isis has been getting so much attention lately as a threat and this is frankly a competitive business. aqap wants to wave the flag say, hey, we're still here. so to hear al asiri say, guys, we want you to attack the u.s., too, is in effect -- it's a competitive play here to say, don't forget about us. it doesn't all have to be big stuff. we can do the small stuff, too. this is a competitive business and they are competing not just for attention but competing for recruits. we've seen in yemen some folks have gone from aqap to isis because it's soaking up all the oxygen in the room. >> very dangerous possible consequences. paul cruickshank, jim sciutto, thank you guys so much. appreciate it. right now, we're waiting for a speech from president obama, a big moment for this president in what could be his signature foreign policy move, the deal, the nuclear deal with iran.
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our reporter is outside that lab and joins us now. saima, has any time line yet been offered when we can expect results? >> reporter: kate, i can tell you the french prosecutor's office has told cnn that they will make an announcement of some kind through a press release. they said if they have found something, that information will be given in that press release. just about three hours ago, all the investigators, the united states, ntsb, boeing, malaysian officials, chinese and australian officials decided to join the teams as well. came through here, they rushed straight to that building over there which is the entrance to the dga, the lab run by the french ministry of defense which has all the very latest technology to carry out these scientific and forensic examinations that need to take place. of course, the answer that
everyone wants right at the top is, does this flaperon belong to mh-370? we know that it's from a 777 aircraft and of course we know there is no other 777 aircraft missing in the world right now. this is, of course, one of the greatest aviation mysteries of all time. but they don't want to just say that by a process of elimination. they want a direct link between the flaperon that was brought here over the weekend in a sealed container to mh-370. so what kind of experiments are they going to be running right now? they've agreed on what they're going to do over the last two days. of course, every group has its own way of investigating an air crash. so the united states, france, malaysia, had to agree what tests they'd run. and they're likely to be doing things like sonograms, x-rays, 3-d imagery. rene marsh went to a laboratory yesterday to see how they would be doing these tests. then they will take the piece
apart, part by part, to look inside it to see what clues that can give away. they may well be able to tell us very soon whether this part belongs to mh-370 and perhaps even with further tests how the plane came to go down in the indian ocean. did this part come away from the plane in the air? did it come away on the sea? but they will not be able to tell us why. that will come from the flight data recorder. john, kate? >> how much of this early analysis is to link it to mh-370 and can that be done with something as simple as a part number or some kind of component number? and how much of it is as you say to try to forensically determine what might have happened to the plane either in the air or in the water? >> reporter: yeah, john, there are a number of stages to this. i really want to clarify that. there are part numbers and there are serial numbers. i can understand the impatience
of the loved ones of the 239 passengers and crew members on board saying, why can't you tell us just by using that? they want to be 100% certain. they cannot get anything wrong. so they wanted to all be together, look at the part for themselves and then make that decision. and i'm sure that's why we believe that this will come very quickly whether they can or cannot connect this to mh-370. then the further examinations, we believe some scientists have told us may take weeks, may take days, may even take months to tell us about more detail relating to these scientific experiments and forensics they're doing. but certainly whether it's connected to mh-370 should come soon. by the way, there are also two parallel investigations going on, i want to remind everyone. there's an air crash investigation going on under international law. and there's a judicial investigation right here in france. there is a manslaughter case led by the families of the four french nationals on board, a
manslaughter should hijacking or terrorism be involved. that's why the french and malaysian judiciary representatives are here. they want to know the answers as well. >> possibly one step toward getting all those answers could be coming very soon from that laboratory behind you. thank you so much. great to see you. coming up for us, we are awaiting a major speech from president obama. you're looking at live pictures from american university in washington right now. the iran deal, his legacy could be on the line here as the president tries to convince a skeptical congress to join on board and support the deal that he and other nationsiran. we'll go live and hear him live at any moment. we'll bring that to you. stay with us. (vo) after 50 years of designing cars for crash survival, subaru has developed our most revolutionary feature yet.
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statement just a short time ago saying this -- all available personnel and assets will be utilized to locate the suspect and effect an arrest. the soldiers at camp shelby and across the state can and should take appropriate steps to defend themselves as necessary. this is one of the reasons the governor says, i recently signed an executive order directing certain national guard personnel to be armed. a major statement coming from the governor. a major moment for president obama in washington, d.c. today. any moment now, you're looking at live pictures right there, the president will speak at american university. this is a major address, trying to sell the nuclear deal with iran. >> his goal, of course, is to win over a skeptical congress, especially as republicans and israel's prime minister have been just as hard working to appeal to americans this is a bad deal. the president is also facing high-profile defections from his own party on this.
and we're watching an incident ongoing that we're just learning of of an iranian warship and a u.s. helicopter. for that, let's bring in cnn's chief national security correspondent jim sciutto as well as cnn global affairs correspondent, elise labott. elise, what more are we learning about this incident? >> reporter: this was just about two weeks ago in the gulf of aden. it was a u.s. coalition warship that was just a few hundred yards from an iranian warship. and it seemed as if there was a u.s. helicopter that landed on the deck of this warship and one of the iranian officers on the ship had a machine gun pointed at this helicopter. the whole incident we understand from cnn's barbara starr lasted just a few minutes. but clearly it could have escalated into something much more serious. on this ship a photographer at -
taking pictures. no one knows what it's about. but there have been a lot of potential escalations and confrontations between u.s. coalition ships and iranian ships in the gulf of aden. a lot of concern that the iranians were sending weapons to houthi rebels in yemen. they've been in the same area. a lot of potential confrontations, nothing thankfully escalated. >> jim, you've spent a lot of time in the region. for years, there's been a game of cat-and-mouse between the united states and its allies in iran and the gulf. but having it happen right now when the u.s. is trying to win support, when the president is trying to win support for the iran nuclear deal, does that complicate matters domestically and does it complicate matters on the international stage as well? >> reporter: you have to remember there are factions in iran. a key question is, was this a ship from the iranian revolutionary guard corps? they have their own navy ships,
smaller patrol ships. they were responsible for some of the previous run-ins, once that elise referred to where you had these iranian revolutionary guard patrol ships confronting a u.s. flag cargo ship as well as another international flag cargo ship. they do their own thing, run by the hardliners in iran. they're not trying to go to war with the u.s. navy ships there. they're trying to send a signal. and that signal not just to the u.s. but to other factions within iran. ands that potentially significant because the other incidents happened at very sensitive parts of the negotiation before a nuclear agreement was reached. there are some who read that as the hardliners saying, hey, we can scuttle this at any time. now the deal has been signed. there are still folks in that country who are not happy with it. this one is a really strange circumstance because it was a cameraman behind this machine gunner, was this an alarmingly stupid selfie moment, possibly. but you don't do that in close
quarters, a couple of hundred yards away and it shows the dangers. those factions have their own weapons, their own navy. if they're allowed to send signals like that in close quarters, it's potentially dangerous. >> jim sciutto, elise labott for us right now following what's going on in the gulf with interaction between iranian warships and u.s. planes, who knows -- >> could this be a propaganda film? that would be outrageously weird. >> thanks, guys. coming up for us now, donald trump, his new debate strategy, how will he face off against the nine other republicans standing next to him on the debate stage? we will tell you what to watch for in this first 2016 presidential debate. benny's the oldest dog in the shelter. he needed help all day so i adopted him. when my back pain flared up, we both felt it. i tried tylenol but it was 6 pills a day. with aleve it's just two pills, all day. now i'm back! aleve. all day strong.
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go find out just how kind the hes and shes of this mankind are. there is a big presidential debate tomorrow night if you have not heard. it is the first republican presidential debate. if you have not heard. and donald trump is in it, if you have not heard. >> i thought i was going to get that one. there are also nine other candidates that will be on the stage with him. and do not forget, there are seven other candidates with serious credentials that will be in a forum beforehand. by did not make that main debate stage this time. let's discuss the expectations with jeff zeleny. let's talk about the main stage first, jeff, if we can.
what are you looking out for? what's the talk of the town? >> i think optics mean a lot in a debate like this. donald trump will quite literally be front and center in every expression of the word because he is polling the highest. he will be at center stage and flanked on either side by jeb bush and scott walker. i think those three figures really are going to be -- going to have most eyes on them throughout the evening. they have different burdens, different challenges. we'll see if donald trump takes a more serious tone, if he brings ceo, boardroom donald trump to this debate stage as we enter this new faze when people are paying more attention to campaigns, people will tune in to see if he has ideas for things they haven't heard him talk about before. jeb bush has to show he's able to sort of be the mature candidate on stage, get through this without stumbling and maybe show some fire in the belly. we don't necessarily see him as one of the most energizing speakers out there. so i think that's what he'll do.
but scott walker, the wisconsin governor, he is really the bell of the ball in a lot of conservative circles, if you will. but the question for him, is he able to play on this bigger stage? is he able to talk about foreign policy, other things? so i think those three as well as the other seven in the wings have different burdens. we'll start with those three. >> jeff, you hear people theorizing the main goal for many of these candidates, including donald trump, is do no harm. it's hard to win a ten-person debate but it is easy to lose. i do wonder, though, if you're chris christie, if you're ben carson, if you're some of these candidates -- marco rubio, who have had a hard time making headlines lately, if you can really just sit back and not lose, if you have to do something aggressive to get your name in the headlines? >> i do not think you can sit back, not if you are one of those seven sort of in the wings, if you will. if you sit back too much, you may wind up in the undercard debate in the next one here.
this is not a sure thing all ten of these are going to remain the top ten as the debates go on throughout the fall. so you cannot sit back. this is a primetime moment for you to make your argument, to make your case to a bigger set of people. but don't forget, a lot of people watching this are already family with marco rubio's policies. they like his life story. all these candidates have been practicing short, quick policy points, zingers as well, to distinguish them from the rest of this very, very large field. >> even though it's a long debate, you may only get a few minutes with that many people on the stage. jeff, thanks so much. coming up for us, just in to cnn, the u.s. making a big move in the hunt for one of the most notorious druglords on earth. hear what the statement department is doing after el chapo escaped from prison. as . i found her wandering miles from home. when the phone rang at 5am, i knew it was about mom.
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. breaking news on the search for el chapo. the u.s. state department is now announcing plans today of a $5 million reward for information leading to the arrest of this man, one of the world's most notorious drug lords. >> the award will be issued out of the state department's rewards for justice program. it's given out about $125 million over the years leading to international terrorist trips
worldwide. that man escaped from prison several weeks ago, digging out of that prison where he was supposed to be under 24-hour guard. apparently he was not. any moment now, you're looking at live pictures on the corner of your screen, president obama will give a major address at the iran nuclear deal at american university in washington. >> his goal -- to win over a very skeptical congress, especially as republicans and israel's prime minister have basically launched a countercampaign against the deal telling americans this is a very bad deal the president is also facing high profile defections from his own party on this agreement. let's bring in chief political analyst gloria borger and global affairs correspondent elise labott to discuss. we're awaiting the president right now but it can't go without saying what is at stake. the history steeped not only in what he's going to be talking about but the location he chose
to offer this speech. >> at american university channeling jfk who spoke there in 1963 saying we ought to engage with russia, that was after the cuban missile crisis. and he's going to talk about what he talked about in 2007 and 2008, his vision of constructive engagement. we've seen it with cuba and iran. this is a president who on domestic and foreign policy is trying to close his legacy loop here, right? he's saying we need to engage with iran or it could lead to war. his opponents say it's a false choice, if you oppose this deal you could get a tougher deal. he's trying to make his case to
the american people, as well as democrats, people in his own party he's waiting to hear from and lobbying them one on one. we're seeing him work very hard on this. it's very clear he believes this is an important part of his legacy. >> the "new york times" reports that he heads to martha's vineyard, by the way, far two week vacation this weekend. >> he does. >> the "new york times" reports he is willing to make phone calls to anyone during that vacation that he needs to to convince them. you could suggest perhaps martha's vineyard won't be the best place to lobby congress if the entire deal is in jeopardy. elise, the immediate audience is congress, they vote for september 17. the bigger audience, the american people, these members of congress go home over the next few weeks and they will hear from their constituents and, of course, the bigger audience is the international community also working very hard for and against this deal. benjamin netanyahu, the prime
minister of israel, trying to speak directly to american jewish groups to say no. >> that's right. yesterday netanyahu did a web cast with american jewish groups here in the united states saying this is a bad deal. as gloria said the choice is not between this deal and war and basically in his arsenal are thousands of foot soldiers from jewish pro-israel jewish interest groups making the case. this has been a campaign style epic battle between supporters and opponents. groups like aipac, christians united for israel, spending millions of dollars on tv ads, on polls. they'll be fanning out trying to make their case against the deal. the administration doesn't have that kind of time, money,
resources but president obama is putting his muscle into it which is very important. >> they have a powerful spokesperson for it, the president of the united states,. jim, how many undecided lawmakers are there really? we keep hearing stories the president has kicked up key support from key democrats but in the same breath he's also seeing defections from high profile democrats who are coming out against the deal. >> he has a long way to go to get to that comfort zone 34rks votes in supports, for instance, in the senate, to be able to -- so that they can't override a veto. >> right. >> the president will argue today that this shouldn't even be a close call, says the white house. but clearly it is a close call and not just for members of the republican party but members of his own party. there are a lot of people on the fence. he has got momentum in recent days, senator chris murphy coming on board today, tim kaine
yesterday. these are big foreign policy voices in the senate and nancy pelosi believes she can get the votes in the house. but he's still got a long way to go. as gloria said, the argument he'll make here is it's this or war and that's scene as a false choice by even some members of his own party. >> jim, there's the president right there at american university delivering the speech on iran. let's listen. >> thank you very much. thank you. everybody please have a seat. thank you very much. i apologize for the slight delay. even presidents have problems with toner. [ laughter ] it is a great honor to be back at american university which has prepared generations of young people for service in public life. i want to thank president kerwin and the american university family for hosting us here
today. 52 years ago president kennedy at the height of the cold war addressed this same university on the subject of peace. the berlin wall had just been built. the soviet union tested the most powerful weapons ever developed. china was on the verge of acquiring a nuclear bomb. less than 20 years after the end of world war ii, the prospect of nuclear war was all too real. with all of the threats we face today, it's hard to appreciate how much more dangerous the world was at that time. in light of these mounting
threats, a number of strategists in the united states argued we had to take military action against the soviets to hasn wte what they saw as inevitable confrontation. but the young president offered a different vision. strength, in his view, included powerful armed forces and a willingness to stand up for our values around the world. but he rejected the prevailing attitude around some foreign policy circles that equated with security with a perpetual war footing. instead he promised strong principled american leadership on behalf of what he called a practical and attainable peace. a peace based not only a sudden revolution in human nature but on a gradual evolution in human