tv The Situation Room With Wolf Blitzer CNN January 22, 2011 6:00pm-7:00pm EST
it's taken a couple of days to figure out how to get the bird out of here. no telling how long it will take to get the hawk out of the library of congress. >> they've probably got a book on that. at 7:00, we'll show you the bunny ranch in nevada where legal profit taigs takes place. but illegal trafficking of under age girls in america is also coming up. in the meantime, i'm martin savidge in atlanta. "the situation room" begins now. nancy pelosi leads the democrats house reform. house republicans votes for repeal anyway. pelosi joins us. gabrielle giffords takes the fight of her life to a new level and new city. two weeks after the shooting, the sheriff explains why
giffords had no protection on that tragic day. and donald trump lets loose on china, accusing communist leaders of ripping ost united states. is he angry and frustrated enough to run for president? we'll ask him. welcome to you in the united states and around the world. i'm wolf blitzer. you're in "the situation room." it was issue number one for house republicans and this week they pushed ahead in their promise to repeal the health care reform law. after a sharp debate, lawmakers voted to turn back the clock on the president's key achievements. it now moves to the democrat-controlled senate where odds would seem insurmountable. i sat down with a wide-ranging interview with the former speaker of the house, now the democrats' minority leader, congresswoman nancy pelosi. madam leader, thanks very much for joining us. >> my pleasure.
>> let's talk about the repeal of the health care reform law. our brand new cnn poll shows 50% ever the american public want to repeal all provisions in the new health care law, 42% oppose. why does the american public believe repeal is the way to go? >> welt, i'm not sure i completely agree with their poelz and there are polls that show a different trend. but the fact is that overwhelmingly the american people support an indiscrimination on the basis of a preexisting medical condition. they oppose lifetime limits, even annual limits, on care for people. a patient protection that's in the bill are wildly and widely supported by the american people. >> except in this poll it shows that maybe the way it was put together, the whole package, they don't like. because even independents, even -- forget about democrats and republicans, but independents there's a majority
of independents who oppose the health care law, wanted whole thing repealed. >> you're saying maybe the way the bill was put together. maybe the way the poll was put together. but the fact is that what we are hearing from people and what we've heard most recently today in our hearing from people who are directly affected, if you're a woman with breast cancer, a man with prostate cancer, a parent with children who turn 23 and now can stay on their parents' policy until they're 26 years old, the list goes on and on of strong support for patient protections that are in the legislation. those protections cannot happen unless you have comprehensive health insurance. so we'll still continue to make the case to the american people, but the strongest, most eloquent voices are those of people who are directly affected. just think of it. any one of us, any one of us, is one phone call, one diagnosis, one accident away from needing health care, and up to 129
million americans under the age of 65 have a preexisting medical condition. 17 million of them are children. >> remember a year ago, during the height of the debate, you said that once the american public sees what's in this bill they'll begin to like it. well, they're now seeing what's in the bill, but according to this poll and other poe polls, they don't like it. >> well, they're getting to like it better. >> i'm not sure. the polls don't say that. >> your poll doesn't. >> other polls, too. >> on specific elements of it. in september, as you know, lifting the discrimination for children with preexisting conditions from having access to health insurance is very popular. >> i guess the bottom line, who failed in explaining all of these things to the american public? why are they saying repeal? >> i think some of this takes time because it is change, and there has been fearmongering associated with that, issues that have nothing to do with the
bill but use ed effectively by e insurance industry to use some issues to protect them, protect the health insurance industry. >> could you the democrats and the president have done a better job of explaining this? >> i think in the house of representatives we saved health care reform. we had events across the country in august of last year. i believe the house of representative democrats saved health care reform. the long time it took in the senate because of the obstruction much republican senators gave an opportunity. but we have to look forward. what we're looking forward to is to saying to people, in your own life, this is what this means to you. and we will stand firm against any attempts to prevent you from having access to quality health care. it's no use looking back and assigning blame. it's about taking responsibility for the future. >> so what would you do to improve this law, to make it more acceptable to the american
public, a specific example? >> i think the law is a good law, nothing is perfect. one thing we tried to do in the house but the republicans resisted was to repeal the 1099 provisions in the bill that affect small businesses. i think that's one place where we have bipartisan agreement, but not enough republican support to pass it in the house of representatives, which required two-thirds. that for one would be a place for -- >> are you open to legislation to improve it? >> we're always open to it. this isn't ideology. it's problem-solving for the american people. understanding that this is about patients' rights, not about health insurance profits. >> how worried are you that the courts will sais it's unconstitutional, the mandate part that you must purchase
health insurance? >> the argument for a mandate is if you're going to lower price and improve the access and quality of care, you have to increase the risk pool. you have to get more people in the pool to lower the cost and spread the risk. so that is essential to patient protections. we believe the way the bill was written was constitutional. >> do you think the courts will go along? how worried are you about that? >> well, i'm not worried about it. there have been 14 decisions, 12 have just not addressed it, one went against us, one went in favor of us. something like that. it's part of the fight. but this is about change. it's about changing a leverage from the special interest to the people aels interest. they will always challenge whether it's in the court, the court of public opinion, wherever. but this is very important for us to protect, for what it means to the american people. >> the other day, not that many days away from now, 87 freshmen
republicans were sworn in to the house of representatives, 9 freshman democrats were sworn in. what a lopsided victory for the republicans. >> yes it was. >> you know a lot of those republicans say they were sworn in because they ran against you. >> oh, they were sworn in because we had 9.5% unemployment in our country. that is the overwhelming reason. >> but you saw the nasty ads some of them going after you. >> very personal and very threatening. >> talking about a witch or whatever they were saying. >> very threatening. >> there was one example calling you the wicked witch, another -- >> this was in my own district and i got over 80% of the vote. >> how did you feel on a personal level -- >> from a standpoint of reaction, i care about what happens to the american people as a result of the republicans being in charge and where they've been before. but you know what? let's look forward and hope for the best and wish them well. secondly, i think that at this time it's no use rehashing what
happened before. we lost tremendous talent in our caucus, and i'm concerned about that. we'll be back. as we look forward, we'll be back. >> well, you need a net gain in 2012 of 25 seats, and you'll be back in the majority. >> well, we want 30 on 30 in '05 in '08. but let's look forward. >> let's look forward. will you be the speaker of the house again? >> let's wish the republicans well. if they can solve problems for the american people, we salute them, extend a hand as a willing partner to do so. job creation, job creation, job creation. >> issue number one. in 2012 if you get a net gain of 25 seats the democrats become the majority. will nancy pelosi once again be the speaker of the house? >> we live in the here and now. our fight is to have firm
opposition to their attempt to repeal patient protections that are in the health care bill. we are in the here and now to create jobs for the american people. >> but i assume, like the great speaker sam rayburn, he was speaker, then my nortd leader, then speaker, then -- >> what's important is the democrats are in the majority. but let's not worry about elections. let's worry about results, solving problems for the miles an hour people. if the republicans can kmrish that, god bless them. >> the minority leader, nancy pelo pelosi. he's just been ousted after a controversial tenure. now the former republican chairman michael steele still making waves. he'll explain why he thinks karl rove has been attacking him for years. lls, the battle lines are forming for the next presidential race, and donltd trump is watching it closely. is he about to jump in? i'll ask him. and he was one of the first law enforcement officials to speak out publicly after the tucson massacre. and his remarks prompted a huge
bashlash. does he spand by them? the pima county sheriff, standing by to join us this hour. but it isn't real perfore unless it's wielded with precision. the new 2011 lexus is 350. see your lexus dealer. i graduated from west point, then i did a tour of duty in iraq. when i was transitioning from active duty, i went to a military officer hiring conference. it was kind of like speed dating. there were 12 companies that i was pre-matched with, but walmart turned out to be the best for me. sam walton was in the military, and he understood the importance of developing your people. it's an honor to be in a position of leadership at walmart. i'm captain tracey lloyd, and i work at walmart. ♪ curtis: welcome ba to geico gecko: kate frll,ngs, on the andit a yours.walmart. ka: i'shopping for my first car. gecko: nice! i do hopchse geit i bet yod great in a bl ofcar.h... atol is th
kate: no...actually, i'm torn between a fuel-injected inline-6 and a higher torque quandary!esel.cko: yeahq um in course you could save either way. save you 15% or more on car insue. curtis: yeah but is one of them blue? cause i'd go with the blue one. anr: gei missing something? now you get a cleanser with scope freshness. ♪ new fixodent plus scope ingredients. ♪ cleans...kills germs that cause denture odors... and provides your dentures with the freshness of scope. ♪ new fixodent cleanser plus scope ingredients.
>> mike ool steele may still be adjusting to being the former chairman of the republican committee. just days after he was forced out, he sat down and joined us here in "the situation room." michael, thank you for being here. what's the biggest single reason you believe why you were ousted? >> i think there was just a lot of noise and grappling for
control ever the rnc. i think i came in with a very clear mandate from the members to move the party in a different direction, get us back into a fighting path. with that comes a lot of contracts and a lot of other things that people wanted to make sure they were at the table with. that's part of it. i think also my style is very different, much more engaged on the streets of america, as you saw on the bus tour. i like to be out there with people. so it's just a different approach and different style. >> the new chairman, reince priebus has a very different style. karl rove wrote, priebus has begun an extensive outreach to the gop's fund raising pooh bas to explain there's a new fiscal regime in place. no more bloated aunt rages, sweetheart deals and look of oversight. what an attack on you. >> karl's been attacking me for years. >> why? >> you'd have to ask him that. karl doesn't know whoo he's talking about.
there was no entourage, bloated budget. we ran a lean machine, took every dollar that came in the building and put it back on the streets. >> they say the rnc is $20 million in the hole. >> as is every other political committee in the town. we're right in the middle of the pack where the democratic party is, the republican senatorial committee as well as the congressional committee. the ask r members asked me to put the money to work, to win elections, to spend the money to win. guess what? we won. >> so why did they dump you? i've had a hard time understanding it myself. >> i've been trying to figure it out myself as well. i think the reality of it is they wanted someone different in there, they wanted someone who probably had a different tone about them than i have. so that's fine. i'm looking to move the party in a position -- into a position where we continue to engage with our activist community out there that we go out and we build off of the successes of this past two years. >> do you feel betrayed? >> not so much betrayed. disappointed. the only thing i've ever wanted
to do is do the job. that's all i ever asked. we did. we went out, raised $192 million. we did it differently because we did have 527s to contend with a lot of people saying, don't give to the rnc, give to us. >> that was sort of a competition that was developed. >> absolutely. >> whether it was karl rove and ed gi less pi setting up their group, you're going after the same fat cat republicans and instead of giving to the rnc, they were giving it to other organizaons. >> if i've got $1 million, i can give it to a 527 and get more bang for my buck. b but the rnc still needs that $30,000 and we got every dollar we could. the over thing that we did that a lot of the establishment folks like karl and others don't get is that we not only took our volunteers and got them out there and engaged but they actually began to donate to the party. a lot of small dollar donors.
>> were you held to a different standard because you're a black man? >> you'd have to ask those who hold those standards. >> what do you think? >> i don't know. it's a hit-or-miss question. i didn't look at my job in those terms. i looked at it, what did the members expect me to do? raise money, win elections. i did. we won. now i move on to other things. >> as i pointed out, you get dumped even though you win special elections in virginia. >> male speaker: new jersey. >> hawaii. >> you have a crushing landslide in november. you get dumped. the chair marn of the democratic committee, tim kaine, they do badly and he gets to stay another two years. how do you explain that? >> i can't. but that's politics. there's no logic to it. it's only political. i think the people in the party, particularly the establishment are breernlging a sigh of relief. they have control of the rnc. let's see what they do with it. >> when you got spoofed on "the
daily show" with jon stewart, i want your reaction. >> what do you make of your successor reince priebus? >> reince priebus? his name makes no sense. it's jabibbilrish. i left the party $20 million in debt with virtually no accountability. i'd say it's time for me to head back to the street. wall street! make it rain, frasier crane! it's my birthday! >> he says he did the puppet thing because you didn't want to go on his show. >> no. i wanted to go on his show. i would love it. folks a little nervous about me going on his show. >> you're the boss. you can go on the show. >> look, you realize the boss has bosses. at the end of the day, you want to make sure that everybody is happy. >> you would have done well on that show. >> that show -- yeah, absolutely. i mean, look, i loved all of that stuff. it was fun to watch and it's humorous because guess what? people are talking about the party. yeah, it's satire, it's comedy.
but there's also the fact that people understood that there was a different way to do things. >> are you going to run for senator or governor? >> i loved being lieutenant governor of maryland. we'll see what's out there down the road. >> you're leaving that option open. >> absolutely. >> thanks for coming in. will you come visit us often in the "the situation room"? >> you know i will. donald trump keeps dropping hints he might run for president of the united states. i'll ask when he'll make a decision and what would persuade him to run. also, the accused tucson shooter due back in court next week, and the local sheriff is sharing what he knows about jared loughner's possible motive. and this is her sister tina, who i also helped do her first home loan. it was unbelievable how well it all fell together. kathy said, "well, let me give you rachel's number." easy. easy. easy. the whole loan process was simple and convenient!
that's why i love quicken loans! [ male announcer ] and you'll be glad to know j.d. power and associates ranks quicken loans "highest in customer satisfaction." to learn more call 800-quicken or visit us online at quickenloans.com. not a big place... but it's our place. and what happens here affects all of us. that's why, when you buy a chevrolet, we'll invest in renewable-energy energy-efficiency and tree-planting programs across america -- reducing carbon emissions by up to eight million metric tons over the next few years. and just one more way we can proudly say: chevy runs deep. their occasional digestive upsets. gastroenterologists do. they've made align the #1 recommended probiotic. ♪ align is the product of 10 years of research... and it has something you can't get anywhere else,
fewpeople have the kind of money and name recognition that donald trump has. the real estate mogul and tv personality could be a formidable presidential candidate potentially if
he decides to run and spends a lot of his own money. trump keeps talking about the possibility so i tried to pin him down. are you still thinking about running for president of the
united states? >> i'm giving it very serious thought. >> when will we know if you'll be a candidate? >> sometime prior to june. >> what's the main point that you're going to be working on, whether or not you think you can win? >> well, it's all jobs. it's all jobs. we really have an effective rate of 18% unemployment, not 9.4%. depending on how you count the numbers it could be more than that. we'll see what happens with jobs. we'll see what happens with the fact that opec is ripping us just as badly if not worse than china. nobody from this country even makes a call saying, you're going to destroy our economy. if you look at the prices now, they're up to almost $100 a barrel. it's going to be 120 and 130, and the last time that happened we almost had a massive depression and nobody ever blamed the oil prices. they talked about the banks and the banks were certainly at fault, but so was oil. so if something doesn't happen with oil, gs lean now is selling for way over $3 a gallon. if something doesn't happen with
that, if something doesn't happen with jobs, i very well may do it, wolf. because this is not a respected country anymore. we're a whipping post for the world. >> just to be precise, you'd run for the republican presidential nomination, is that right? >> i'm a republican. i would run as a republican. >> can you give us a ballpark, how much of your own money you might be willing to invest in a presidential run? >> a lot. if i decide to do it, a lot. >> donald trump, thanks very much as always. >> thank you, wolf. stand by. gearing to hear more from donald trup p. he's especially worried right now that the united states is being ripped off, he says, by china. he has some tough words about the chinese president's visit to washington this past week. are we any closer to understand what drove the accused tucson gunman over the edge? i'll press the local sheriff about the investigation and his own politically charged comments about the case. like, at 190 miles per hour...
her remarkable recovery. she was transferred from the medical center in arizona to houston where she'll now undergo intense, long-term rehab. before the move, her husband spoke out about her progress and what a fighter she is. >> i'm extremely hopeful that gabby is going to make a full recovery. i've told her that. she recognizes it. she's a strong person, a fighter. i mean, she is a fighter like nobody else that i know, you know. so i am extremely confident that she's going to be back here and back at work soon. i've been telling the hospital staff they should expect her to be walking in the halls and into the icu within a couple months. i'm sure of that. >> i spoke about the shooting and a lot more with the pima county sheriff, clarence dupnik. >> is there any evidence that you have -- because we've seen all the public evidence out there -- that he was motivated by politics? >> there's no way to know what
motivated him. you know, he seemed to be fixated on congresswoman gabrielle giffords from 2007 when he intended -- attended be an almost identical event. and she had sent him a letter and he was very upset with her because he asked her some very strange question to which there was no rational answer, and he was very, very upset about that and went on for quite a while talking to his friends about how she ought to be able to answer his question and she couldn't. >> as far as you know, did he attend any other giffords events between 2007 and this most recent massacre? >> not to my knowledge. >> did he have any contact with congresswoman giffords as far as you know between 2007 and now? >> not to my knowledge. >> what about his parents? have you had a chance to speak with them? you were -- your investigators, your deputies, are they cooperating with you, his
parents? >> yes, they are. the parents have always been cooperative with us. it's been very, very devastating for them. >> without getting into my violation of confidentiality or undermining the investigation, can you share anything that they're staying to you? >> the fact evof the matter is, wolf, they had absolutely no way to predict this kind of behavior, and they were just as shocked as everyone else. >> because a lot of people find that strange, given the evidence that has mounted over these past ten days that he was engaged in all sorts of bizarre behavior. he was living with his parents. you would think they would have seen some irrational behavior and would have advised him to begin some sort of streetreatme something like that. >> well, i'm not aware of any. and there's a lot of talk about what the law enforcement personnel at pima college knew and what they were confronted
with, what the officials knew, what the pima county sheriff's department knew about him. but the fact of the matter is, there's no way to force somebody into a treatment for mental health unless they do it involuntarily or you have reason to believe that they are a threat to themselves or somebody else. and it has to be some very hard facts to do that or else you can't get somebody committed. >> just to be precise, as far as you know, based on what you've heard from the paifrpts, the parents didn't see any signs of bizarre mental, irrational mental behaviors, is that what i'm hearing you say? >> that's what you're hearing me say, yes, sir, wolf. >> good. just wanted to clarify that point. so the drug use -- you could still go ahead and -- you could still buy ammunition even if you have been at least picked up or arrested on drug use in the state of arizona, is that right? >> well, if it's a misdemeanor. unless you're convicted of a felony, and the laws in the state of arizona are the same everywhere in the country.
these are federal laws, and you either have to have been adjudicated by a court to be mentally unstable, mentally insa insane, or you have to be convicted of a felony or you have to be a prohibited gun possessor. >> a lot of people have e-mailed me, tweeted me, sheriff, and have asked, why wasn't there any police presence at that event, at that supermarket, at that safeway that saturday morning, given the fact her office had been vandalized, she had received some threats? why wasn't there a cop there or a police car there that might have deterred a shooter? >> well, i suppose that's speculative, but the fact of the matter is, the congresswoman giffords didn't want protection unless there was some specific information, which there were in a couple of cases where we did provide protection. she didn't want the protection. and second of all, if you know
all the facts, protection wouldn't have prevented this at all. and there would have been nothing a security guard or a police officer could have done. nobody knew that this was going to happen until the suspect pumpu pulled the weapon when he was about three feet from her and shot her in the head. >> a lot of experts say, even if there's a cop car there or a police officer there, some guy might not necessarily even start to open up fire. i take it you knew about this event but you made a conscientious not to send a police officer there. is that what i'm hearing you say? >> we did not know about the event. as a matter of fact, gabrielle, when she's home almost every weekend in tucson, has six to eight events almost every day. >> so you were waiting for a phone call from her office in order to ask for police protection, and you never got that from her. >> we don't go to the political events unless there's some reason to believe there might be a problem. >> is that going to change now?
>> we had no reason to believe -- well, i hope it does. you know, i think all of the politicians in washington, the congressmen and senators, have tremendous protection when they're back in washington. the minute they leave and they go back into their respective districts, all over the united states, they're very vulnerable. this could happen to any one of them today or tomorrow, and i think it's time that we take a look at how we can do a better job of protecting our elected officials. >> here's the statement that you made on that first day that generated a lot of commotion. i'll play it for you. you've now had ten days to think about it. listen to this. >> unfortunately, arizona i think has become sort of the capital. we have become the mecca for prejudice and bigotry. >> do you regret making that statement? >> i said what i felt at the time, and i've been foaling that way for a long time. you may recall back in april
when our arizona legislature passed senate bill 1070 and it's called, in my judgment, that bill was born out of prejudice, born oust of bigotry. and i still feel that, and based on some of the legislation that's been introduced, for example, in gun control, we now have legislation introduced that will allow students and teachers to carry concealed weapons on campus. and from my point of view that's just insane. >> but do you have any evidence at all, sheriff, that any of thisd this alleged shooter, jared loughner, that encouraged him to open fire that day? >> no none at all. there's no way to know precisely what motivated him. but i think every expert in the field of psychology will say, when you're dealing with an unstable mind and they are subjected to this kind of rhetoric and discourse, as we
have today that is so vitriolic, that it influences those people more readily. there's no doubt in my mind that it does. is there someone specific? no, i couldn't say that. but i think it's time -- you know, we used to have -- for example, morris k. udall whom you probably knew, as far left as you could get but a statesman not only in arizona but in the country, and we had barry goldwater, a statesman in the country as well, on the far right. both were elected by overwhelming margins, but let me tell you when it came time to do business, address the nation's problems, they put ideology aside and they did what was best for this country. and this is not happening today, and it's got to stop. >> who's to blame for this? because some of your critics say you're basically implying that the rush limbaugh, glenn beck or sarah palin may have created the environment that led to this
massacre. >> well, i think all the flam thr flame throwers are responsible. >> give me some specifics. who? >> well, you mentioned two of them, and i think that people who go out and call for people to use the second amendment up in order to resolve certain problems, those kind of statements are so veet rollick, i can't tell you how veet real ick the campaign was with the tea prty candidate that ran against gabrielle giffords. i've seen the polls, people as a nation are tired and sick of what's going on in congress where people aren't sitting down together to work out the problems. >> in your investigation over the ten days, sheriff, do you have any information that leads you to believe that this alleged shooter, jared loughner, were listen being to these flame throwers, glenn beck, lush
limbaugh, anyone on the left or right, do you have any specific information that he was influenced by them? >> no, i do not. but i can tell you that he has been preoccupied the last three years with an elected official, government official. >> you're talking about this congresswoman. >> i am. >> gabrielle giffords. because we heard he had the communist manifesto among other pook books in his possession. based on what you know, was he more influenced by the left or the right? >> i have no way of knowing that, wolf. >> because a lot of people are asking, sheriff, if you don't know that he was influenced by these individuals, rush limbaugh, glenn beck, or anyone else, why make the accusation that they helped create the environment that resulted in six people getting killed? >> well, it just happens to be any opinion, based on 52 years in law enforcement. >> you're just speculating. >> i am.
>> because i just want to make sure that you don't know something -- you know a lot more about this investigation than i know or our viewers know. but you don't have any hard evidence that jared loughner was listening to rush limbaugh on the radio or glenn beck or anyone else? >> i don't know what he listened to on the radio. >> so you're not backing away from that -- you know you're going to get a lot of criticism for making these statements, sheriff, but you're not backing away. >> well, the flamethrowers are pointed at me almost everywhere in the country. >> so you have beefed up your own security? is that what i'm hearing you say as well? >> we take that into consideration, yes, sir. >> how worried are you? >> i'm not that worried. i do my job. as a matter of fact, i love my job or else i wouldn't be here after 52 years doing it. i enjoy getting up and coming to work, even when circumstances aren't what i wish they were. >> have there been any specific
direct threats leveled against you? >> none that i would call credible. >> sheriff, good luck to you. >> hey, thank you very much. >> sheriff clarence dupnik, sheriff of pima county, appreciate him for joining us. imagine if donald trump had been in the room during talks with the chinese president. trump tells me what he would have said, and guess what? it isn't pretty. and we remember what it was like to cover the first gulf war 20 years ago this week. it was a historic moment for the world and for cnn. at walmart, things started changing immediately. then i wrote a letter to the food stamp office. "thank you very much, i don't need your help any more." you know now, i can actually say i bought my home. i knew that the more i dedicated... the harder i worked, the more it was going to benefit my family. this my son, mario and he now works at walmart. i believe mario is following in my footsteps. my name is noemi, and i work at walmart. ♪
♪ my country ♪ 'tis of thee ♪ sweet land ♪ of liberty ♪ of thee i sing [ laughs ] ♪ oh, land ♪ where my fathers died ♪ land of the pilgrims' pride ♪ from every mountainside ♪ let freedom ring ♪ i was tired of living in my apartment and decided hey, let's go buy a house! i could go to quickenloans.com and sign all of the paper work i needed to take care of. it was nice to being able to call them whenever i needed to answer questions. quicken loans made everything super convenient and easy. so the fact that they could work with my schedule was just wonderful. that's why i love quicken loans! [ male announcer ] and you'll be glad to know j.d. power and associates ranks quicken loans "highest in customer satisfaction." to learn more call 800-quicken or visit us online at quickenloans.com.
in president obama's shoes, he would not have rolled out the red carpet. i talked with trump about his deep concerns about china's economic grip on the united states. if you were in one of those meetings with president hu jintao, in a nutshell, what would you say to him? >> well, i wouldn't be having fancy steak dinners. that's done nothing but take advantage ever of the united states, his country. i find it amazing when he listen to some of the political leaders talking about how we're making progress. they're making $300 billion a year and probably more than that each year. let's call it profit off the united states. they're in maip lating their currency. intellectual property rights and everything else are a joke over there. they're making stuff that you see being sold all the time on fifth avenue copying various -- whether it's chanel or whatever it may be, the brands. just selling it ad nauseam. i mean, this is a country that is ripping off the united states like nobody other than 0 peck
has ever done before. i certainly wouldn't be saying as i've been hearing you for the last few minutes as your representatives and people on the show saying, oh, we're making progress with china. these are not our friends. these are our enemies. these are not people that understand niceness. and the only thing you can do, wolf, to get their attention is to say, either we're not going to trade with you any further, or in the alternative we're going to tax your products as they come into the united states. >> china also is america's leading banker. they have nearly $1 trillion in t-bills and u.s. treasury notes. when you have bankers you have to deal with all the time, aren't you nice to your bankers? >> who's done better with bankers than i have? the fookt act is, the tax would 25%, what i would estimate. in a short period of time, a matter of a few years, the hundreds of billions of dollars that they've really bought for their own benefit, they didn't buy it for our benefit, they
think they can have control over the country and by the way at the same time get interest, get a nice rate of interest. so what happens is the tax to be paid on the products that come into this country would more than pay off those loans in a very short period of time. and the fact is, we're the highest taxed country in the world. we are the highest taxed country in the world. we would -- i would lower the taxes for people in this country and corporations in this country and let china and some of the other countries that are ripping us off and making hundreds of billions of dollars a year, let thome pay. >> you know, general motors sells more cars in china than it does in the united states. there's a lot of american jobs at stake right now, isn't there/. >> well, you know what's happening. china is very hard to do business with. it's almost impossible. >> gm is doing a pretty good job dealing with china. >> and what's going to happen? they'll make general motors build the cars in china.
they're not going to let general motors take their cars from this country and sell them in china. they want general motors to give up all of its intellectual rights and at the same time have chinese workers build the cars the will something which we are not doing to that extent. if you look at what's happening with china and what they're selling to this country or take south korea with the television sets and everything else, they're making it over there. china wants general motors to build the cars in china. >> you know that a lot of the economists, the free trade experts, say if there were a trade war between the united states and china it could cause not only a worldwide row session but a worldwide depression if these two -- the number one and number two economic powers in the world went to war against each other. >> no. it will cause a depression in china, not here. china's making all the money. we're not making the money. look at the numbers. look at the difference as to what we import compared to them.
>> it's about three to one. >> it's more than three. >> they export to the united states three times as much as we export to them. you're right on that point. >> i like getting rid of that kind of a partnership. that's called we're losing a lot of money. i like -- and that has nothing to do with free trade or fair trade. i like to call it fair trade because free trade is not -- forget it. it doesn't exist between these two countries. and i like to say fair trade. and i'm a big believer in free and
fair trade, but this is unfair trade. >> i take it, donald, you were not invited to the state dinner last night for president hu jintao. >> well, i wouldn't have gone if i was. >> but you weren't invited. >> absolutely not. >> donald trump telling us how he feels. remember the gulf war. 20 years later, the loss, lessons and the reporting experience ever a lifetime. the lexus rx. why settle for a copy when you can own the original? see your lexus dealer.
>> this is, something is happening outside. the skies over baghdad have been illuminat illuminated. we're seeing bright blasts going off all over the sky. >> the xa continues to be filled with tracers, anti-aircraft continue to fly. huge blasts from the ground, huge blasts over the city. a lot of fire going up and as i say these bombs continue to come down occasionally on the ground here. there's no sign that any of the -- any of the aircraft involved in this, not from iraq but from the allied forces have suffered any damage. >> pentagon officials say it should have come as no surprise that this attack started tonight. they say that the united states wanted to start the attack at night. there are specific targets for almost 5 1/2 months, the united states has outlined virtually every strategic target in iraq and occupied kuwait.
>> let's bring in our senior international correspondent nic robertson 20 years younger. unlike me you were actually in iraq with others. tell us what your job was at the time. >> reporter: i was the engineer. at that time we had that four-wide communication device that allowed to us keep broadcasting after the communication center got hit. it kept us on the air. made a difference. that was one of my jobs. i'd smuggled in a satellite telephone that we would use after the phone communications got destroyed. that was the plan. my job was to kind of keep us on the air technically and i must say at the feet of great journalists. >> how scared were you as you saw the skies over baghdad beal illuminated? >> it's almost chilly to listen to bernie and to hear him say
those words we've heard so many times from 20 years ago. there was -- i really was learning, and one of the things i'd learned was about being safe, and i was one of the first people in the bomb shelter that night. i got down there so quickly i think there was no one there. so i went up and checked it out and went back down again. what i learned from bernie shaw and others, when you're going to report, you need to be there to see it, to watch it happening. so come shock and awe 12 years later, i wasn't in the basement. i was on the roof of the hotel, and i owe that to those great journalists, because they gave me the skills that i share with our audience today. >> it's hard to believe. 20 years later. the whole middle east, obviously, significant changes and in iraq, saddam hussein is gone. not as a result the first gulf war but as a result of the second war, the war in iraq that
started in 2003. as you look at these changes over the past 20 years what goes through your mind? because you spend a lot of time in that region. >> reporter: wolf, i think the longer time you spend covering wars, the more you ultimately realize almost the futility of it. between those, the first war in iraq and the second. the war in bosnia. a quarter of a million people killed, and when you look at it today, so little really on the ground changed. slightly different political dynamic. had i look at the middle east today, so many lives lost, and for what gained? and i think that's the perspective that you get from covering wars close up is that you realize there's a certainality of futility than what is actually gained by either side at the end of the day. so it's saddening to witness so much loss of life i. remember those days very, very vividly. the "operation desert shield" leading to "operation desert storm" which started this hour
20 years ago together. nic, thank you very, very much. you can see our team in iraq. you can see bernie. right there. by the way, that tall guy on the far left, that's nick hobltsen. nick, you look so young. not that you're not handsome now, but you look incredibly handsome as a 20-year young person, hair a little thicker. it's red. was it red there? it's still red right now, right? >> it was. wolf, i have to say i'm glad i met my wife back then and am not trying to find a wife today. i met my wife, cnn's correspondent at the time, buildup to the iraq war. if i looked younger, that helped me and i'm really happy for that. >> you loobed great then. you look great now and more importantly are doing great reporting for cnn. thanks very much. nic robertson. hard to believe it's been 20 years. vendors, artists and dancer from around the world. pictures are worth 1,000 words.
"hot shots" coming up next. [ william ] three years ago, i started my first real job as a part time sales associate with walmart. when william came in i knew he had everything he needed to be a leader in this company. [ william ] after a couple of months, i was promoted to department manager. like, wow, really? me? a year later, i was promoted again. walmart even gave me a grant for my education. recently, he told me he turned down a job at one of the biggest banks in the country. this is where i want to be. i fully expect william will be my boss one day. my name is william and i work at walmart. ♪