tv State of the Union CNN July 18, 2010 12:00pm-1:00pm EDT
success to white people's desire to, quote, show that we're not racist. sound bites are compressed on television every day. the question is whether it's done fairly. i feel strongly in this case that it was. even though limbaugh was reacting to someone else's comments, we offered an honest excerpt of what he said about obama, a honolulu tour guide, which stands on its own. i could be wrong, which is why we've just given you the other side. that's it for this edition of "reliable sources." i'm howard kurtz. join us next sunday morning, 11:00 a.m. eastern for another critical look at the media. "state of the union" with candy crowley begins right now. the president blisters republicans for blocking an extension of unemployment benefits. a weekend blast wrapped around his election year message. >> we can't afford to go back to the same misguided policies that led us into this mess. we need to move forward with the policies that are leading us out of this mess. >> the senator gop leader holds firm that the extension on jobless benefits be paid for, a
position reflecting republican belief that standing against big government and big spending is the ticket back to power. >> we broke out of the washington echo chamber and fought the government-driven solutions the democrats were proposing. in short, you might say we got our groove back. >> the unemployment package is expected to pass this week over republican objections. as for the november elections, game on. today, the battle for control of congress with senator republican leader mitch mcconnell. >> when your entire pitch to the american people is that the government will solve your problems, people get upset when government can't deliver. and house democratic leader steny hoyer. >> republican leadership during the last decade bought a lot of things, tax cuts, wars, drug prescription programs. not bad program, but they didn't pay for it. then, the gulf coast after the official stops gushing with
new orleans mayor mitch landrieu. i'm candy crowley and this is "state of the union." though they don't like to hear it out loud, most democrats admit the politics are tough for them this year. as much as the terrain favors republicans, it's no picnic for them either. a recent washington post/abc news poll asked how much confidence do you have in obama, democrats or republicans to make the right decision for the country's future. president obama still generates confidence. republicans came in last with just 26%, saying they have a great deal or a good deal of
confidence in republicans. here with me now to discuss politics, jobless benefits and the republicans' groove is senator mitch mcconnell. thank you so much for being here. >> glad to be here, candy. >> i want to play a little bit more about what the president had to say yesterday when he really was slamming republicans for standing in the way of this extension of unemployment benefits.
take a listen. >> they say we shouldn't provide unemployment insurance because it costs money. so after years of championing policies that turned a record surplus into a massive deficit, including a tax cut for the wealthiest americans, they finally decided to make their stand on the backs of the unemployed. >> look, we're talking about $34 billion to extend unemployment to the long-term unemployed, to give them more weeks of unemployment benefits. doesn't he have a point? why in the world would you choose to take this stand? i mean the deficit is a trillion dollars this year. so for $34 billion that's going to help people with no jobs, you all are standing in the way of it. >> well, the budget is over a trillion dollars too. somewhere over the course of spending a trillion dollars we ought to be able to find enough to pay for a program for the unemployed. we're all for extending unemployment insurance. the question is when are we going to get serious about the debt. we recently passed a $13
trillion cumulative deficit threshold. when are we going to get serious about this? this administration has been on an incredible spending spree. >> that point, and i understand what you're saying and i think the american people are concerned about the deficit spending, but you all when republicans were in charge, six of the eight years that president bush was here, you were majority leader at times during that. you spent on a prescription drug bill that was not paid for that is far more expensive than this unemployment bill is. you had two ongoing wars that were not paid for. so for you now to stand up and say we're for balancing the budget and, by the way, you've got to pay for these unemployment benefits, if just seems dissident to the trials of the american people, particularly those without jobs. >> well, let's put it in perspective. the last year of the bush administration the deficit as a percentage of gross domestic product was 3.2%. well within the range of what
most economists think is manageable. a year and a half later, it's almost 10%. >> but you didn't object then -- >> how long can the other side run against the previous administration? they have been in charge now for a year and a half. they have been on a gargantuan spending spree. they have taken the deficit as a percentage of gdp from 3.2% to almost 10% in a year and a half. look, at what point do we pivot and start being concerned about our children and our grandchildr grandchildren? there is no way in the world in a trillion dollar budget this year we can't find the money to pay for an extension of unemployment insurance. >> but part of that $13 trillion came during a republican administration for eight years, and i guess the question is that you now are asking the public to bring back a republican senate or republican house. how can they trust you if three years ago you all were deficit spending and now you come out and go, well, we want to stop --
we want to have pay as you go. >> well, the issue is not whether the public thought republicans spent more than they should have. the issue is when do we stop doing this? >> did you spend more than you should have as republicans. >> look, if you put knit comparison as i just pointed out, we've been on a gargantuan spending spree the last yee and a half far more than any deficits that were run up in the early part of the decade. this is a serious matter. at what point do we pivot and do something about this? and we think if you can't pay for a program that everybody agrees we ought to extend, what are we going to pay for? if we can't pay for an extension of unemployment insurance that virtually every member of the senate, i think in fact every member of the senate wants to extend, then what are we going to pay for? when do we start? >> let me ask you along the same lines. i want you to listen to something alan greenspan had to
say earlier this week. >> they should follow law and let them lapse. >> meaning what happens? >> taxes go up. the problem is unless we start to come to grips with this long-term outlook, we're going to have major problems. >> that's alan greenspan talking about allowing the bush tax cuts to expire in january. now, this is a man that supported the bush tax cuts. what do you think? >> well, the issue is whether we're going to raise taxes. this is current tax law. what they're saying is we ought to raise taxes in the middle of a very, very difficult economic environment. i don't think it's a good idea to raise taxes in the middle of
a situation like we face today. so we're not talking about extending tax cuts, we're talking about raising taxes. then, candy, they'll come back and say we're only talking about raising taxes on the top income earners. well, if you do that, you will capture the income of 50% of
small businesses in this country, the ones right now who are not expanding and hiring. >> i don't know many economists who look at this deficit and don't say you have to do two things here. you have to raise taxes and you have to cut spending. how can the republicans argue that it is time to get serious about the deficit and let -- and yet argue that these tax cuts should be allowed to stay in place? it just seems not to make sense. it seems like you're arguing both sides, that you don't want to give benefits to the unemployed until they're paid for but, by the way, you want to keep the tax cuts in place for people that are quite wealthy, some of them. you know, so it just seems like you're arguing both things here. >> well, we believe the problem is not that we tax too little but that we spend too much. and we've had this rate for taxes now for almost a decade. the question is not cutting
taxes, the question is raising taxes. what they're trying to do, candy, is to argue that at this juncture with this kind of economic environment we ought to have a significant tax increase. i don't know the economists you're talking to, but the ones i'm talking to are saying raising taxes in the middle of a recession is not a good idea. >> overall, though, $13 trillion deficit, do you think there is a way to bring down and get rid of a $13 trillion debt without raising taxes? >> i think that we have a serious problem here because we spend too much. i think we ought to concentrate on the spending side. i've in fact been encouraged by the comments of erskine bowls who's one of the chairman of the president's deficit reduction program. he says two-thirds to three-fourths is a spending problem. that's where we ought to start. >> could you say categorically that you would never support a tax increase?
>> i can say categorically i don't think it's a good idea to raise taxes in the middle of a recession. that's exactly what will happen if they let the bush tax rates expire at the end of this year. >> let me try this one more time, and that is do you see, absent a recession, do you see a time when you are going to have to raise taxes in order to get rid of a $13 trillion debt? >> well, you can't say absent a recession. we're in the middle of a major economic slowdown. the issue is what are we going to do now in the middle of this economic slowdown. i think raising taxes is a terrible idea and the economists i talk to believe that it's a terrible idea. >> i'm going to call that a maybe. we'll be right back. up next, is there anything on the democrats to do list that the republicans will give them a hand on.
[ car door closing ] [ male announcer ] time tot! check your air conditioning? come to meineke now and get a free ac system check. meineke. we have the coolest customers. joining me once again, senate majority leader mitch mcconnell. thanks again for being here. very famous quote this week, the republicans have their groove back, but when only 26% of
americans say they believe republicans would do the right thing for the country seems to me that you have a little more grooving to do before you get back in sync with the american public. >> well, a more important question than that one, i don't think the public has a lot of confidence in anybody. the more important question is what's called the party generic ballot question. we've had a consistent dead even or ahead in the party generic ballot question for some months. candidates are either competitive or ahead in 11 different states now where there are democratic incumbent senators. the environment is very good for a good year. you still have to actually win the races. >> you do. how many do you think you might pick up? >> you know i'm not going to answer that question. i think if the election were today, we'd have a good day. we'd be in a better position -- >> define good. >> i'd like to be in better shape than the 41 that we have now. and i think the chances of that are pretty good. >> one of the things that the democrats have painted republicans as, is the only
whole of the party of no. that all you all do is oppose things. i wanted to read you something that senator dirk durbin, the assistant democratic leader, said to roll call this week. senator mcconnell has told senator reid, forget it. we're not going to do anything. other republican senators have said we're just not going to give you anything. so, a, did you say that? but, b, if that is your attitude, then aren't you the party of no? >> look, what we're proud to say no to and i think what the public wants us to say no to are things like the government running banks, insurance companies, car companies, nationalizing the student loan business, taking over our health care. they have just passed in my view a terrible financial services bill supported, interestingly enough by wall street and opposed by community bankers. it's going to require the issuance of 370 new regulations. we've had an explosion of hiring of federal employees with borrowed money. they have got people over at the fcc trying to regulate the
internet, people over at the nlrb trying to get rid of the secret ballot and labor union elections by regulation. >> are you opposed to all of these -- >> let me make it clear we are absolutely opposed to all of those things and proudly so. there are some things the president is trying to do that we support. we support his efforts in afghanistan. i think he's on the right track there. i think he continued the policies successfully in iraq. he says he's portrayed deals. where are they? he says he's for nuclear power. what's he prepared to do on that? we're for that. he says he's for clean coal technology. we haven't seen any evidence of any action on that but we're for that. so the question is what are you saying no to. we will proudly say no to the litany of things i just mentioned a few minutes ago. >> the majority leader has said that he'd like to see an energy bill this year. the president wants to see an immigration bill. any of those things going to happen? >> well, it could well be
possible that we would do something with regard to the oil spill, although i must say this is mainly a failure of the administration. bp caused the spill. bp's responsibility is to plug the leak. the federal government is in charge of trying to keep that oil off of the shores of the united states. it took the administration 70 days to order skimmers down to the gulf. >> in terms though -- >> my point is you can't legislate competence. we're happy to look at oil spill legislation. for example, do we have the right kind of commission in place to look at what happened. there are aspects of that that might require legislation. but this has mainly been a competence problem on the part of the administration. >> how about the overall energy bill, though, cap in trade, more investment in alternative energy. a big comprehensive energy bill, a big comprehensive immigration
bill, truly do you see either one of those happening? >> a comprehensive energy bill, just think of this, you pick up your bill and there's a new line for a national energy tax. i don't think any of my members are going to be prepared -- >> well, it's proposing charging companies. >> oh, but that will be passed on to the consumers. it is a national energy tax. seizing on the spill in the gulf to try to pass a national energy tax strikes me as one more example of what the president's chief of staff said famously early on in the administration, a crisis is a terrible thing to waste. in other words, you have a crisis over here and you try to use that as an excuse to pass a piece of legislation over here. >> do you even want an energy bill or immigration bill this year? >> energy, i think there are some things we could do. i mentioned them. we're interested in nuclear power, clean coal technology. i think there are things in the energy area we could and should do. what i'm not interested in doing is using the oil spill as an excuse to pass a national energy
tax. >> do you think that there are racist elements in the tea party? >> oh, my goodness. in the whole country is in racism? >> well, as you know this week the naacp said there are racist elements in the tea party. >> i'm not interested in getting into that debate. what we're interested in is trying to have an election this fall that will respond to what the american people are asking us to do, which is to have some checks and balances here. they have seen big government on full display here for a year and a half. they are appalled. they would like for it to stop. and the best way for it to stop is to have a midcourse correction, which is not unusual in american politics, and i'm hoping that's what's coming this fall. >> nothing that you've seen on tv, including some of the signs that we've seen, albeit the minority at some of these tea party rallies. some of the posters put up in the name of some factions of the tea party make you the least bit uncomfortable? >> there are all kinds of things going on in america that make me
uncomfortable, both on the right and the left. i've got better things to do than to wade in into all of these disputes and discussions going on out in the country. what we're trying to do is make the president a born-again moderate. we're trying to send enough conservatives to congress this
november to move him in a different direction. >> senate republican leader mitch mcdonnell, thank you so much for your time. i appreciate it. >> thank you, candy. when we come back, despite big legislative wins for president obama, house democrats may see their majority trimmed in november. we'll ask house majority leader steny hoyer, why that is. i work for a different insurance company. my auto policy's just getting a little too expensive. with progressive, you get the "name your price" option, so we build a policy to fit your budget. wow! the price gun. ♪ ah! wish we had this. we'd just tell people what to pay. yeah, we're the only ones that do. i love your insurance! bill? tom? hey! it's an office party! the freedom to name your price. only from progressive. call or click today.
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you have no trouble knowing when nancy pelosi is unhappy. >> i don't see a problem. i think the comment was unfortunate. >> what made her unhappy was that robert gibbs stated the obvious, that she could lose her job as house speaker. >> i think there is no doubt there is enough seats in play that could cause republicans to gain control.
no doubt about that. >> nothing is different because of any comment that was made. there is absolutely no reason to think that the white house has been anything but cooperative with us in terms of our political efforts to retain control of the congress. the comment could be interpreted many ways. >>. >> i think it was a rorschach test. >> the rorschach test looks like this. democrats see the house of representatives as it is now, more blue than red. republicans see it more red than blue. a recent cbs/new york times south pole only 19% approve of the job the congress is doing and even scarier for democrats, 49% of voters say they'll vote republican compared to 45% for democrats. up next, we'll ask democratic leader steny hoyer why.
joining me now, steny hoyer from my home state of maryland. >> good to be with you, candy. >> we laid out this is a tough year for democrats. can you give me some sense, we know you had a meeting with the president. we have heard some of your colleagues speak out loud about the tensions that exist. it just seems to me a high anxiety time for democrats. >> i think it's a high anxiety time for the country and certainly for democrats and, by the way, for republicans as well. americans are very concerned about the status of their economy, about the unemployment that exists. they were angry in '06, angry in '08 and changed leaderships and they're angry in '10. what we're going to focus on is not returning to the failed bush policies that brought us to this point but focus on the efforts that we have made which are making progress. we haven't succeeded yet, but we are making substantial progress. the economy is growing.
we are creating jobs. and very frankly we think that when americans assess do we want to go back, do we want to in fact repeal the successes we've had and repeat the mistakes that we've made that got us to this point, i think they're going to say, no, they don't want to go back to the bush policies. >> i realize that the democrats have to go out and that's what you've got to sell because you cannot sell a 9.5% unemployment rate, you cannot sell mortgage foreclosures at record levels, so you've got to say, look, it's better than it might have been under these guys and do you really want to go back. >> candy, as importantly, though, you've got to say and we need to make sure that it gets better so that not only have we made progress, but we need to do more to make sure that we bring that unemployment number down, that we grow the economy, that americans can find jobs. >> let me -- i want to show you something -- show our viewers something. it's an economic poll actually that cbs news did in early july. the question was how have barack
obama's economic programs affected you personally. 13% said they helped me personally. 23% said hurt. 63% said no effect. so the entire 18 months, the past 18 months of stimulus plans, jobs plans, any number of things, and the vast majority of americans say it hurt them or had absolutely no effect. why is that? >> well, for 63% of americans who haven't lost their job, more than that, obviously, 90%, but the fact of the matter is they have not seen a big change. interesting enough -- >> but they have seen you spend a trillion dollars to try to fix it. >> actually, obviously we had to invest to try to grow the economy, which every economist, mark zandy, adviser to john mccain, said, look, and others, including marty fellstein, who was with the reagan administration said if you don't
replace the withdrawn consumer spending we may well go into a depression, not a recession, and have unemployment exceeding what ronald reagan's was in the 10.2, 10.3 range. obviously we had to in the short term invest to get the economy moving. in the long term, we obviously have to look at the debt. americans are concerned about both growing the economy and making sure the debt does not put our country at risk. >> and one of the things that the president has asked you to do more recently has been the $50 billion job program, if you will, but you're having a little trouble with that. isn't there -- you have said, look, we're just -- like we're in a spending fatigue at this point. it is very -- even though there are well-known economists saying you've got to spend more money because we're not out of it, congress isn't in a mood to do that, are they? >> congress is very concerned, democrats are very concerned about the deficit. that's why we've taken very substantial steps to overcome the deep deficits given to us by
the bush administration. we've adopted pay-go, which simply says we're going to pay for what we buy. secondly the president, when the republicans in the congress wouldn't support a deficit reduction commission that they originally proposed and they didn't support, the president appointed one himself. mr. bowles was mentioned previously by mitch mcconnell and senator simpson are working together to try to in the long term bring this deficit down. thirdly, the president submitted a budget which frees his spending at last year's level. we've gone $7 billion better than that in the budget enforcement resolution we've adopted. >> long story short, though, that $50 billion to keep teacher jobs, firefighters and the like, that's not going to happen? >> we have passed, as you know, candy, a jobs bill, a supplemental bill. we've sent it to the senate which would put $10 billion into making sure that we don't lose an overwhelming number of teachers, explode class sizes
and, very frankly, put a lot of people -- >> so is it a separate? >> part of the supplemental but as you recall we had not only the funding for the troops, which we're going to pass, we need to do that, but it also had some dollars to continue to try to make sure that we don't have more unemployment and lose teachers around the country. the president's $50 billion clearly does not have the votes. but we clearly are focused on continuing to create jobs and grow the economy. >> let me read you something in the sheer politics category from a conservative columnist who wrote about the tensions between the house democrats and the president. for obama, 2010 matters little. if democrats lose control of one or both houses, obama will probably have an easier time in 2012. just as bill clinton used newt begin rich and the republicans as the foil for his 1996 re-election campaign. and i've heard democrats say
something similar. do you all feel that the president has not been out there enough for house members? >> no, you know, we had a very positive meeting with the president, as you know. >> we're not going to do kumbaya. there was tension, though, right? >> there's always tension. you pointed out earlier there's always tension between the white house and the house and the senate. i pointed out that there was great tension between the bush white house and the republicans and the house of representatives and they were very nervous about his policies and what he was doing with the country, although they supported those policies, which, of course, got us to the point where we now are. but my view is that the president and the democrats in the house and the democrats in the senate have the same objective. keep this economy moving and growing, keep moving forward. we have a joint interest in the success of both and the meeting that we had was a very positive one and the president has been working hard. joe biden has been working hard
and we think we're going to do well. >> one of the things that is sort of politics 101 says that people by the summer have pretty much made up their mind how they feel the economy is going and that that's probably not going to change between now and november. assuming that's the case, how big a loss are we talking about for democrats? >> i don't think we're talking about a big loss, candy. let me look at three races for you just adds specific examples. you can talk, you can speculate. after the last summer, which was a very hot summer politically, as you recall, we've won a number of races during that period of time. health care was a very hot topic. it was a very hot topic with bi bill owens and scott murphy in new york. scott murphy won a district when, again, health care was the number one issue. you then move to pennsylvania 12
and you see mark kris. what did he say? look, i'm going to focus on building jobs, bringing jobs home, making sure the economy is growing and he won. he didn't win by one or two points, he won by eight points. that was, as you know, just a couple of months ago. so we think that when the real polls are taken, people look at these and say do i want to return to the bush policies, which created the worst economy we've seen in three-quarters of a century. a time when it was said by economists if you pursue those policies, worst depression could happen. or are they going to say, yes, we're angry, yes, we're fearful, this economy is not doing what it ought to be doing, we agree with that. we've been working on that. they elected mark grist handily
so the elections in this time frame, in this special election time frame, we've won. >> so hope springs eternal. let me turn you to one last subject and that is this week lots of talk about the tea party. now, that is where the passion is in politics these days is within the tea party against a lot of big government spending, against big government in general. do you think that the tea party, as you know it to be, condones racism? >> i think there are some members who have used the tea party, whether it's the tea party itself, there's some individuals who have tried to exacerbate racial tensions in this country. i've seen some virulent flyers directed to our members clearly referencing race, the president's race and race generally. we saw in the paper today a billboard, which has now been taken down, which in my opinion went over the top.
what we need to be doing is talking about the issues and solutions and what happened in the past to get us in the ditch that we're in. if we do that, i think this will be a positive election. if we try to simply inflame differences and create division, i think that will not be positive and i think that's, frankly, what some are doing. >> house democratic leader steny hoyer, thanks for joining us this morning. >> always good to be with you. >> thank you. next, inheriting a catastrophe for the new mayor of new orleans, the gulf oil disaster is just one of many problems plaguing his city.
the catastrophe. mayor landrieu deployed booms and barges to keep the oil out of lake pontchartrain. that worked until last week when the winds from hurricane alex pushed tar balls past the barrier. the city is asking bp for $75 million for a marketing campaign to help lure back tourists, but new orleans was in trouble long before oil began gushing up from the ocean floor. >> just as dramatic as the consequences of the bp oil spill are and continue to grow, so too are the dramatic consequences of this city's budget deficit. like the spill, it's worse than we thought. >> he entered office with a $67 million budget deficit, almost twice the amount landrieu said he was led to expect by the previous administration. a series of budget cuts is under way. the police department, struggling to right itself after decades of scandal and corruption, faces the brunt of the cuts. that means layoffs and overtime reductions. other city departments have also seen overtime cut and projects
you are looking at a live picture of the recently capped oil well in the gulf of mexico and some developing news. that well could stay closed until the relief well is drilled itch pressure tests remain favorable. that's according to bp's operating officer, doug suttles. now i am joined by the democratic mayor of new orleans, mitch landrieu. mr. mayor, thank you so much for being here. we just got another piece of good news. i know you're not used to good news, but have you sort of fully accepted that this might actually be the beginning of the end? >> well, if it's true, it's
obviously wonderful news. but we still have a very, very long way to go. you know we have to stay focused on making sure that the well is capped. we have to aggressively capture the oil, clean the coast, make sure that all of the families are compensated and then begin to restore the wetlands down here. so it is welcome news. it's the first piece that we've had in a long time. as everybody said we're cautiously optimistic about it but it's just the beginning. we have a very, very long way to go. >> i want to point out to our viewers and listeners that the noise they hear is the wind, we've got you in the middle of a storm. what were the chances that that would happen doing this interview. >> par for the course but it's okay. we'll figure it out. >> let me ask you if you can assess for your city what the impact has been of this oil spill? >> well, it's pretty significant. you know, as we talk about the jobs that are related to the oil and gas industry, the jobs that are related to the fishing industry, just the psychological damage that's done for us getting hit with another major
catastrophe. you know, this isn't our first one. weet katrina and rita, ike and gustav. we had a significant down turn in economic fortune after september 11th because we're a tourism industry. but this is a very resilient place. i think if the people of america don't know anything else about us, we're pretty tough and we'll find a way but it's a very difficult time. you know, we're going to make our way through this just like we did through katrina and rita. >> it's interesting to me. we've done a couple of stories on what you just talked about, the psychological impact of yet another catastrophe. how does that come h to play? how do you see it as mayorf new orleans? >> well, actually it has consequences that you would expect. sometimes people get really depressed about it but other people really step up to the plate. we have to make sure, though, that we're moving in the right direction. if we really cap that well and begin to capture the oil, if we aggressively clean the coast up the way it's supposed to be, make sure everybody gets paid,
we'll begin to pull ourselves out of this. people down here are not ever asking for a handout. nobody has asked that. this is our livelihood. this is the place that we live, it's our home. we think it's a very special place and part of america's soul so we'll just keep going one step at a time. >> i know you've asked bp for $75 million to help you try to bring tourists back into the region. have they been open to that suggestion? what has been your general feel for how quickly they have been able to meet the claims of your constituents? >> well, let me say this. ken feinberg was down here later this week. i think he's going to do a superb job. he's got excellent credentials and seems to be on his game and we'll continue to work with him and make sure we put as much pressure as we can on him and everybody else to make sure folks down here get compensated and businesses get stood back up. getting money to folks early is much better than waiting later because we're talking about an economic downturn that if it continues can't get much worse which is why we asked for the marketing money. we know because we're a fairly
large tourism economy that if you spend money on the front end, you mitigate the danlz on the back end. bp understands this because if you pick up any paper in america today, the full page ads with bp talking about what they're doing so they know marketing works. when you're a convention city like we are, people are booking conventions years out so we have to start working on that right now. we think it's a really important preventative measure and we can mitigate and minimize the damages we have years out. i hope they say yes. i'm still waiting for them. >> let me talk a little bit about the moratorium on deep water oil drilling and that impact because i know even as you want to clean up the environment, that is a huge source of income for so many people in your city. have you talked to the president about this and about the need to have that start early or do you agree with the moratorium? >> well, no, i don't agree with the moratorium and i have talked to the president about it. you know, if you look at this from a distance and you look at it as a matter of philosophy, maybe it's arguable, but the
fact of the matter is that folks down on the coast, the families that fish and the families that work on the oil and gas industry are the same families. so that really adds insult to injury. those of us down here obviously are more interested in safety than anybody else in the country. we believe that there's a way to drill safely. and you can handle the moratorium with a scalpel and not a hammer. so we're in continued communications with secretary salazar and the president's office to modulate that moratorium because, again, once those rigs leave, they're not leaving just for six months, they'll leave for years and that's going to have a devastating impact on the other side of it. we have to find a way to drill safely. people in this nation consume 20 million barrels of oil a day but only produce 8. unless we stop producing oil or people quit driving, which nobody has seen the need to do, we have to find a way to do both of these at the same time. >> do you have any reason to believe from your conversations with the president that they might be acting more speedily on
lifting the moratorium? >> i know they're working hard on it. the commission was down here the other day. we continue to have communication to do this in a way that drilling is safe but actually gets people back to work question quickly. like our conversations with bp, we'll continue to work with the white house. they have had folks down here continually and we'll just keep hammering away at it until we get this right. there's no easy answer to this problem. there's no way to make it sound like it's good. it is a very difficult, complicated problem that hurt a lot of people. but i want the nation to stay focused. cap the well, capture the oil, clean up the coast, compensate everybody and let's start working hard to restore the coastal wetlands of louisiana which provide 30 to 40% of the nation's fisheries. this is a national security and an economic security issue for the country. it's not just about helping a bunch of folks that got hurt, this is an american issue that deserves a really robust american response and we'll keep working until we get it right. >> finally, i want to ask you about your governor. as you know, he's gotten a good deal of attention during this particular crisis.
he's been praised for being a strong leader of the state, for standing up to the federal government. he's also been criticized by some who say he's showboating for the national cameras because he wants a national career. the latest krill sichl comes from len bahr and he told the paper everybody loves the idea of piling up rocks and sand, one of the ideas of governor jindal, but it's a dumb thing to do from a scientific standpoint. in 18 years in the governor's office, i've never seen an administration where science is such an alien concept. give me your assessment of how you think governor jindal has done handling this crisis. >> well, let me say this, this as a lieutenant governor. i've sat next to two governors who handle crisis so this is my 50 one. one of the things that we wet pulled apart on is criticizing the president, whether it's bush or obama, for not getting down here, the governor for doing this. that's all washington politalk. we have to stay focused on what has to happen. everybody has been working hard. some people make missteps, some
people don't. it's hard to get this perfect. spending a lot of time on those kinds of discussions or where the president is going on vacation takes our focus off of the thing, which is really easy. cap the well, capture the oil, clean the coast, compensate everybody, restore the coast of the wetlands and get back to work. anything outside of that, those four or five issues, to me is just noise. >> that's where we will leave it, mayor of new orleans, mitch landrieu, thank you for joining us today. >> great. thanks for having us. appreciate it. just ahead, a check of the top stories and then some deep sea pictures very different than what we've been seeing in the gulf. it's the fusion proglide challenge.
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a tsunami warning for the country's capital has been lifted. secretary of state hillary clinton has arrived in pakistan to bolster the relationship with a major ally in the war on terror. she is expected to emphasize the need for better partnership between pakistan and afghanistan to help battle insurgents in tribal regions along the two countries borders. clinton is presenting pakistan's government is the first 500 million of a new $7.5 billion aid package. after her pakistan visit, clinton is scheduled to attend an international conference in afghanistan and visit south korea and vietnam. a suicide bomb attack in afghanistan's capital killed three people and left 40 others injured today. police say the attacker was on foot and did not appear to have a specific target. afghan president hamid karzai condemned the attack and order officials to improve security in kabul. a heat wave is baking much of the country this sunday. temperatures are expected to
reach 115 degrees in las vegas and phoenix. that's hot even for the desert southwest. heat advisories are also in effect in parts of the midwest and northeast. and the would recarld is ceg the first international day in honor of nelson mandela as he turns 92 years old. leaders and ordinary people around the world have committed to devoting 67 minutes of their time to community service, marking the number of years mandela has spent in politics. in a statement released by the white house, president obama wished mandela a happy birthday and praised his vision, leadership and spirit. mandela spent 27 years in jail for resisting south africa's apartheid rule. he became the country's first black president in 1994. those are your top stories here on "state of the union." up next, connents away from the gulf oil disaster, a vast tee different picture of underwater life. it can happen anytime. an everyday moment can turn romantic
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finally, being able to watch live pictures of oil belching into the gulf of mexico a mile beneath the water has been both amazing and appalling. we end today with deepwater exploration of a different sort, australian scientists with remote cameras mile beneath the great barrier reef and these pictures are just amazing. specially designed low-light cameras crept along the ocean floor for ten days, recording a number of previously unidentified species. pictures into the mystery of the deep. sunlight does not reach here. some of the fish produce their own light, like a firefly in the ocean. because food is so sparse, some feed only once or twice a year and move slowly to conserve energy. there is still much to be learned from the depths. one american oceanographer told