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tv   Washington Journal  CSPAN  April 3, 2011 7:00am-10:00am EDT

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millionadden and steven i cmahon discuss this. the washington journal" is next. host: good morning. president obama announcing his reelection efforts as weak as he began the process for raising money for what is expected the -- this week as he begins the process for raising money for what is expected to be the most expensive race in history. in the republican presidential politics, mitt romney, potential public and candidate --
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republican candidate rand paul -- two states with early primaries. on the other side of capitol hill, congress is working on agreement on a spending plan. friday is the deadline to pass something or face a possible government shutdown. in the news from japan, one nuclear safety officials as it could take several months to get the fukushima nuclear plant -- the official says it could take several months to get the fukushima nuclear plant under control. we begin with a note on politics. we heard yesterday from politico. the president will be announcing his reelection effort. it will be away from the start raising money in this quarterly cycle. at 2:00 p.m., on "fox news -- republicans -- (202)737-0001, democrats -- (202)737-0002.
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obama's 2012 bid, targeting big donors. glenn thrush is covering this story for political bank -- politico. thank you for being with us. let's begin with your
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announcement -- your thoughts and announcement of this timing. guest: the timing is tricky. they have been planning to do this rollout -- we reported three weeks ago that they were going to do this in three weeks. this has been in the works for some time. next week is shaping up to be a pretty complicated week with the real budget -- a real budget deadline looming and a lot of other things that could really distract from what they had hoped to be one of those really great ra-ra moments, to rival what he did in 2007. host: how will this unfold? guest: in a very obama-plus kind of way. it is the dead around the mainstream approach -- get around the mainstream approach. they will slip the paper work under the door. they are planning on a direct message, either video or text,
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probably text followed by some sort of a video sent out to obama's supporters, in a way that opens the conversation with this enormous group of grass- roots supporters that really propelled him to victory in 2008. host: you quote a couple of stories. former white house deputy chief of staff, and now the campaign manager, moving from washington to chicago -- there is a photograph of jim massena. what does he bring to the campaign. how different is this going to be as a reelection effort purses what we saw in 2008? guest: this is a sitting president. as we saw in the last week, with the three billowing crises, we have japan, afghanistan, this very significant new commitment in the be -- in libya, his time
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is really not his own at this time. the job owns the president at the moment. he cannot punch through to talk about the good economic news on friday, the jobs report. he is really having to remind voters that he is focused on the economy. i think that is -- first and foremost, you are dealing with a much different situation. as opposed to what messina brings, this is a guy with enormous charm, enormous energy, a huge rolodex. he has been spending several weeks on the road. when i last spoke with him -- when i first spoke with him, he did not quite know where he was. he was buying underwear out of drug stores on the road. with the creation of the campaign headquarters in downtown chicago, messina, the fundraisers, their political team, including david axelrod -- they will finally have a place to go to work.
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this is a significant development. to a certain extent, it would have been enormous news if the president were not doing this. it is noteworthy that he is getting out ahead of any of the republicans who have, thus far, been enormously cautious about even declaring candidacy. host: let me ask you another question on your story. the uncertainty over who will be the next year of the democratic national committee -- next chair of the democratic national committee, because tim kane is expected to announce his own plan to seek the senate seat held by -- tim kaine is expected to announce his own plan to seek the senate seat now held by jim webb. what is happening to the dnc? guest: early on, ted strickland, the highly-regarded former governor of ohio, who appealed to the rural voters, the middle
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midwest, seemed like a pretty safe pick a couple of weeks ago. we've been hearing that debbie wasserman schultz, a somewhat younger, more energetic, fund- raising powerhouse from miami really came to the forefront. at the moment, they are the two top candidates. then we learned, in the course of reporting this story, my colleague and myself, that the white house, including messina and the president himself, have sort of asked to cast a slightly wider net. they want to see if they can come up with any out of the box candidates. it is a mystery third candidate. we were not able to determine who that is. it is part -- pretty tightly held. we're quite likely to have a tim kaine announcement without having a real idea of who the dnc chair person will be. host: glenn thrush, covering
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politics and the white house. the story is available at political talk, -- causes for being with us. the president announcing his -- thank you for being with us. president announcing his reelection campaign. discussion of the continuing resolution to keep the government running short term or three end of this fiscal year -- or at the end of this fiscal year. george joining us from long beach island, new jersey. good morning. caller: good morning, steve. it is very difficult to fight off feelings of cynicism with regards to this upcoming presidential election. it is easy to explain why rahm emanuel was so determined to become mayor of chicago now that
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we know all of this background of the headquarters for the reelection campaign. one pass to remember -- one has to remember what mayor daley did to deliver the city of chicago and the state of illinois to joe kennedy back in 1960. rahm emanuel sees himself as the king maker, don't you think? host: you meant john kennedy, not joe kennedy, but i know what you're talking about. from twitter, susan says -- "did end?'s campaign ever never seemed like it." more than 1000 are believed dead on the ivory coast. this story is on the front page of the law it -- on the front page of the l.a. times.
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it could be months before the leak into the sea is contained. the miami herald is looking at -- the question has been asked since march 11, the tsunami that followed the earthquake. if it happened over there, could it happen here? the houston chronicle -- houston is the host of the final four. u-conn and butler on monday night. welcome to the conversation. caller: good morning. can you hear me? host: yes, i can. caller: this is germane to what the prior caller, my friend from long beach island, new jersey, said. there are plenty of kingmakers to go around in history and across the ideological spectrum. i write -- might remind him of 2000, florida, jeb bush. was also close.
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i was a hillary voter in 2008, strongly so. i am still a supporter of obama, my president. it is not just a partisan thing. i think he will have a lot of trouble. i am curious. i would not know whether or not -- i have been disappointed in obama on some issues, notably guantanamo, reversing course on that. he is just as right wing as bush. i would be interested to see whether or not there is somebody from the left, not our raff later -- not a bad and it raff nader spoiler, but somebody who is notified -- not a ralph nader spoiler, but somebody who is
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qualified. there is something i would be willing to entertain as a progressive democratic voter who is sort of tepid about obama. host: who will finally break the glass ceiling? it is the piece written by walsh and kleeman. next, a caller from diamond head, mississippi. caller: obama has been a disappointment to me to. as far as wall street, all of these bonuses and everything, why doesn't the government take the bonuses from these wall street people, and then they can get a slice of all of these toxic assets they caused? for $20 million bonus, here is $20 million of toxic assets. i hope you make money out of it.
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if you do, you will be taxed for it. that is all i have to say. have a good day, america. host: this is from twitter. among those in contention, 4 ohio gov. ted strickland and congresswoman -- former ohio gov. ted strickland and congresswoman debbie wasserman schultz. obama's campaign manager in waiting, jim messina, has asked the party's biggest supporters to raise $350,000 each this year -- ethan is joining us on our republican line, bellingham, washington. caller: my comment or question
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-- are we expecting anything different from obama's upcoming announcement? the gop candidates and platforms seem to be geared towards a certain prospective audience. do we expect anything different from obama as opposed to his first campaign announcement and subsequent campaign? host: the announcement will be done electronically. it will not be the type of rally we saw in springfield, ill., that took place on a very cold saturday morning of february, 2007. "the new york times" -- jim messina is going to be the campaign manager. he will have a sprawling office overlooking the park where president obama delivered his historic victory speech.
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the campaign being run from chicago, not here in washington, d.c. garland joining us on the democrats' line. caller: good morning. i appreciate c-span. i supported mr. obama and i still do. i have the feeling that he is hunkering down more than anything, as far as leadership style. the republicans will smack him at every turn if he proposes anything of substance. no matter who we have as president, we are still stuck with the senate rules, rules like what senator udall has condemned and made an effort to change. as long as we have those, i do not see much happening. los >> thank you for the call.
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two stories from "the new york times -- host: thank you for the call. two stories from "the new york times." there is a story on the rnc sponsoring debate in exchange for help with its own debt. the story points out that the republican national committee has asked the party boss likely presidential candidates if they would be willing to participate -- party's likely presidential candidate if it would be willing to participate in the debate in which depict the format, -- it picked the format, the content, and even the moderators -- the first debate scheduled to take place on may 2 at the reagan library in simi valley california -- a simi valley,
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california -- in simi valley, california, has been cancelled. it may be rescheduled for september 14. we have an independent voter from new hampshire. caller: good morning. i would just like to say it seems as though most of these presidents, whether they are republican or democratic, get elected and they all of a sudden seemed to be removed from their campaign promises. i would like to see president obama reelected, give him another shot, and i would like to see him hold true to his campaign promises. the other question i have is more of a general question about the electoral college. i am a 48-year-old person in new hampshire and i never really understood it all through high school and college. i just wonder why we still use it. is it possible that we could go back to a popular vote?
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we could bring in the person that we want to be president by popular election. thank you. host: thank you for the call. we have done a lot of programs on the electoral college. if you're interested in getting more information on that topic or even anything else, check it out on our web site, c-span door -- website you can learn more about the potential republican candidates and what they have said in the past. it is all on the national journal is focusing on the hispanic population's 50 million hispanics in the u.s. it is called "the next america." it is the cover story of "the national journal." the weekly standard -- springtime for dictators is the cover story. "cq weekly" -- the libya gamble.
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"national review" -- captain u.n . with a piece by john bolton. next, from ohio, a democrat. caller: i think the president is doing great. and about iran, i think he is a great [unintelligible] host: john from new orleans, independent line. good morning. caller: i'm curious. was goldman sachs packaging those mortgage deals? correct?
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host: yes. caller: mortgage deals that were busted and they had all of this evidence against them and absolutely no one went to jail. under a republican administration, and ron basically was doing the same thing -- enron basically was doing the same thing and everybody went to jail. host: if you're talking about the packages of the mortgages, you are talking more about fannie mae and freddie mac. if you're talking about the banking -- caller: goldman sachs was packaging bad mortgages and selling them the people, telling them it was a great deal, you have to get in on it now. no one went to jail. i do not understand why this was not blown all over the media. host: will that be an issue next year in the campaign? caller: i hope someone brings that up. not only that, but everything.
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guantanamo bay is still open. i am really blown away. he kept secretary gates to the whole campaign they were just complaining about what a horrible job republicans were doing. absolutely nothing has changed. host: bank you for your call. -- thank you for your call. caller: i am 62-years-old, a retired vietnam veteran. after two years, we have one of the most intellectual, academically-proven president of all time -- presidents of all time. why do we challenge him on every little thing? a man has a plan. please, please work woork with this man, republican party.
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i mean, these are ridiculous times to be pulling these shenanigans and just going off and pulling anything out of their ass just because we have the first black president. host: wes, thanks for the call. from "the washington examiner," the president planning to file papers as early as this week with the federal election commission to launch his 2012 reelection effort. there could also be a video announcement, according to politico. also, an article on libya as a threat to obama's reelection. here is how he referred to the latest jobless numbers out on friday. >> this week, we learned that the economy added 230,000 private-sector jobs last month.
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that makes 1.8 million private- sector jobs created in the last 13 months. that is a good sign, but we have to keep up the momentum. in transitioning to a clean -- transitioning to a clean-energy economy will help us do that. we need to ensure that the united states of america is the home of jobs and industry of tomorrow. that is how we will win the future. that is how we will leave our children and america that is more secure and more prosperous than before. host: the president in his weekly address as today. the front page of "the new york times -- his weekly address yesterday. the front page of "the new york times" -- house republicans were completing about a proposal for next year and beyond.
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those are issues of a well -- those are issues that will play out next year as well. we have a republican caller from new york. good morning. caller: i have a comment about entitlements. it seems to me that social security is going to be brought up once again especially by the republicans. but i would like to remind your viewers that social security was not supposed to be part of general revenues. all the money has been spent by both parties, and then they claim they have no money. but, in reality, the money was supposed to be set aside by iou's. the iou's are still owed to the people that paid the taxes. one solution would be just to not have a cap on earnings and a
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billionaires' and millionaires -- have billionaires and millionaires pay their fair share. somebody that pays -- makes $70,000 has to pay the same percentage as somebody who makes millions of dollars. that is one solution. both parties are guilty. they took the money and spend it. the other thing is, i feel that teachers are being scapegoatied for the crisis that occurred, brought on by wall street and the banks, selling derivatives that went bad. and now the republicans are going after teachers. i do not see them cutting back their own pensions. they vote their own salaries. they seem to exempt from all of
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the laws that apply to public. that is my comment. thank you very much. host: kevin from fort riley, kentucky. caller: good morning. i am calling in with regards to spending in the government. people talk about waste, spending, drawing back the military. i am a soldier. they missed credited me to kentucky -- miscredited that to kentucky, but i'm in kansas. there are civilians making triple-digit salaries working on the equipment that i am -- triple-figure salaries working on equipment that i am working on. i see big government contracts when there are soldiers trained to do these things sitting idly
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by. the president says he will draw back troops in iraq and afghanistan, but the ranks are filled with civilians making triple-figure salaries. when will this be checked? when will they say enough is enough? you're not removing us from harm's way. you're just paying and other americans more money to be there, while the military sit idly by, not doing what you're trained and paid to do, just twiddling our thumbs. host: how long have you been in the military? caller: i have been in the service for about two years. host: thank you for your call. stephen farrell, the baghdad correspondent for "the new york times," will be joining us. he was one of four who were captured by muammar gaddafi. he will be joining us at about
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9:15 eastern time. michelle from newport, ky, the democrats' line. what do you think of the reelection announcement? caller: it is not a big shock. i do not know why this is something for us to talk about this morning, but, okay, it is interesting. i agree with the last couple of callers. i wish you do coverage on the governor of florida. he had a medical business that did drug-testing, switched it over to his wife. all government workers now have to be drug tested every three months by his company. host: we talked about that last week. caller: i must have missed that. i am happy that obama is running again. if the republicans are going to give us donald trump, i think we should probably win the
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reelection, but if it is mitt romney, i think you'll be closer than we think. i think he has done most everything he said he would do. this is one of the hardest times i have seen the president getting so many problems from so many directions. i think he has stayed calm and ceo of -- and cool. host: a look at what is ahead for the speaker of the house john boehner and the republicans, democrats in the senate. the speaker talked about his upcoming budget battle in the weekly address. here is speaker boehner. i ran a small business back in the west chester, ohio. small businesses are the job engine of america. they actually create jobs. the government does not.
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despite recent signs of life, our economy is still not creating enough jobs. one of the reasons for this is not the spending going on in washington -- is the spending going on in washington. the inability to get spending under control is creating uncertainty. it is eroding confidence in our economy. to put it simply, the spending binge in washington is holding our country back and keeping our economy from creating jobs. host: speaker john boehner in the republican response to the president's weekly address. let me go back to "the new york times" story with regard to the republican spending plan. the republican plan, scheduled to be unveiled on tuesday, will be the most ambitious effort, since the november elections, to put a conservative stamp on economic and domestic policy.
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you have a budget -- budget battle coming on two friends. -- franonts. there could be a government shut down if there is not an agreement. tom is joining us from maine. caller: how are you doing? host: fine, thank you. how are you? caller: this is my first time calling. my first comment as far as the upcoming campaign is focused towards the media and their coverage of, basically, the democrats and republicans.
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everyone always says that the media is liberally-biased. i want them to take a good, hard look at themselves in the mirror. i do not consider fox news news. i do not considered a lot of these channels news. the coverage, if you look at the way they cover events that happened under george bush's watch and on libya, i mean, for example -- the last caller said she cannot remember a time when president had to face so many challenges. per memory is pretty short. george bush was in office 1 9/11 happened. -- in office when 9/11 happened. the coverage of all of these events -- his later actions -- as opposed to the coverage
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obama receives for his actions in libya. it is quite a contrast in the coverage leading up to the election. it will be the same. obama will have his angle on the camera from his side, and bush got his. it is funny to me. host: thanks for the call. if you're interested, the remarks from it from me from las vegas over the weekend -- from mitt romney from las vegas over the weekend will be featured tonight on c-span. back to "the washington post," on the issue of the shutdown, what would that mean? the house and senate are supposed to approve 12
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appropriation bills funding the federal government by september 30. six shutdowns occurred between fiscal 1977 and fiscal year 1980. the longest shutdown from the 1970's and 1980's range from three days to 17 days, according to the congressional research service. that story is available online. carlos, good morning, welcome to the conversation. caller: good morning. are you doing? thank you. peter? host: steve. peter is the smarter one. go ahead. caller: thank you, c-span.
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give me a brief moment before shutting down. i am getting ready to talk about -- i am thankful that president obama has announced his seeking reelection. like the last caller, the american people can and should remember that -- first of all, we are blessed to even have a president that is dealing with many issues. foreign policies to domestic policies. our first president -- our last president that he was even talking about -- it ain't even pretty much. the reason that we're in the
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condition that we're in that our president is leading us out of it is due to the policies that george w. bush has evaded. and presidents like him have invaded these policies. -- evaded these policies. they have taken us into a necessary wars. yesterday, even c-span was talking about conditions in libya. now they want to ride on him about libya. nobody else took on any of the policies. and the middle east. that is what our president is doing. economic policies -- it cannot just be one subject that this man is doing. host: carlos, thanks for the call. another viewer following up on your point.
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was talking about president bush. if your interested, "the new york times -- if you are interested, "the new york times" has this photo of laura bush. at the end of the interview, there is a blackberry message from george w. bush st. "where are you -- saying where are you? she says he has the most annoying habit of smacking his chewing gum. betty, good morning. caller: good morning. i think president obama has really been doing a good job. we had so many people unemployed and having a very difficult time whenever he came
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in office. unemployment is down. look at the people we have from every place in the world in america. it was announced on your program. how many millions of people from mexico do we have living here now? i just think he has had a terrific job to tackle. all the republicans have done is, one after the other, is talk about him something terrible. rachel on msnbc, i think she comes on at 8:00 p.m., just a week ago friday was telling that we are more in debt now than we were after tehe election. the republicans have come in and they have taken away from another of states. the middle-class people and the
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retired h theave lost -- the retired people have lost so many benefits. it is really difficult. people cannot hardly survive. everything has continued to rise in prices. it is hard to purchase your food, your supplies, your insurances, and everything. your gas is outrageous. the public -- we have to get out there and pay a high price. it is almost $4 per gallon here in tennessee. that is ridiculous. host: thank you for call. we appreciate your comment. this is follow up on an earlier message. two longtime political strategist, kevin madden, a former aide to mitt romney, and steve mcmahon, joining us in just a couple of minutes for the
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sunday roundtable. tom on the republican line. caller: good morning. thank you for taking me on this morning. i have been on before. i am listening to your viewers. it just seems like the blame game is still on. i want to talk about present-day solutions versus who is to blame for everything. when president obama took office, one of the "hope and change" spews was about people who make incomes of to under $50,000 -- it has become a fallacy. gas prices are near $4 per gallon. cigarette prices -- nobody wants to talk about them -- are astronomical. the group working middle-class
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-- the working middle class drives cars to work and a lot of people smoke. my point being, when obama took office, he was elected to provide solutions. the young lady talked about the unemployment rate coming down. those are false numbers. we all know that. most of the people who could not find full-time work are now working part-time. that is the with the country is. there are no jobs. the unemployment rate is -- that is the way the country is. there are no jobs. the unemployment rate for veterans is 20%, for the average person, probably a little bit less than that. my feeling is we have to elect someone that will provide solutions. unfortunately, our leader of the free world has not done that. host: thank you. from twitter --
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another piece from "cq weekly," divided over a stealth war, with a photograph of john mccain and carl levin. the low-key style has left lawmakers at a bit of a reactor -- a loss to react to the libya situation. lawrence yun is the chief economist with the national realtors association. later, stephen farrell, one of the four near times "" reporters held captive in libya for about -- four "new york times" reporters held captive in libya for about a week. nancy, good morning. >> good morning. at noon, you can hear replays of the five network tv talk shows. topics include libya, but the negotiations in progress, and the 2012 presidential -- budget
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negotiations in congress, and the 2012 presidential election. at noon, on nbc's "meet the press," dick durbin, mike rogers, marc morial. at 1:00 p.m., on abc's "this week," chuck schumer and jeff sessions, and retired general jim jones. at 2:00 p.m., on "fox news sunday," the host talks with house budget committee chairman paul ryan and republican senator marco rubio. at 3:00 p.m., on cnn "state of the union," candy crowley talks with general james jones and republican senator john cornyn, also democratic senator mark warner. finally at 4:00 p.m., on cbs "face the nation," the host talks with senate majority leader harry reid and republican
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senator lindsey graham. these doctors are brought to you as a public service by the network -- talk shows are brought to you as a public service on the publicand b -- aa public service by the network and by c-span. listen to them on c-span radio, xm radio channel 132, or online at >> follow c-span on twitter. join in the conversation and tweet questions directly to our "washington journal" guests. get started at
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host: we have our roundtable with kevin madden, former aide to mitt romney, democratic strategist steve mcmahon. we have been talking about the president announcing his reelection campaign this week as a way to raise money. how expensive will this race be? guest: his aides are predicting that they can hit that number or better -- $750 million. around town, there is talk about the first $1 billion presidential campaign. once the republicans have a nominee, they will come out with a fair amount of resources as well. it is the $1.5 billion, even $2 billion -- you could see $1.5 billion, even $2 billion, which is incredible. host: you have outside interest
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groups raising money separate from campaign laws. they have to meet certain standards. it looks like he will do this in the reelection bid. guest: you cannot run any campaign in the environment that you want. you have to run one in the environment that you have. the citizens united decision has been settled for the time being. i think that the president's reelection campaign, the democrat's campaign committees are starting to recognize the new reality. i think that people make charges of hypocrisy, given that the president used such aggressive language against republicans, as the law dictated -- you will see them tame back that language and realize that they are in the same combative it --
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competitive environment for fund-raising that we are. host: we have seen changes in 2004, 2008. it looks like those days are gone. guest: those days are so gone. you might see some republicans to accept federal matching funds. you can make the case, in a primary, where you are trying to get momentum, where you are trying to get contributors, that makes sense. it does not make sense in a general election to limit yourself to $75 million or $80 million. i do not think he will see those days again for a very long time, -- you will see those days again for very long time. host: another story from "the new york times." the rnc has a $21 million and national debt. -- $21 million national debt.
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what do you think of this plan on debates? guest: i think there are two reasons for the idea being proposed. like the article points out, there is a need for the rnc to find new revenue streams. there is frustration by many of the prospective campaigns and many republican operatives from the last election about the way the debates were conducted. the cadence, rhythms, decisions, and guidelines were very much upset by the networks -- much set by the networks. they are seeking more control. host: mitt romney sightings have been hard to come by.
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what is the strategy? guest: i think he is trying to get things in place. this is going to be a marathon, not a sprint. with the emergence of tea party candidates, with michele bachmann raising more money than any other republican presidential candidate today, with people like newt gingrich, mike huckabee, sarah palin, this may take a long time to shake out. president obama provided a road map in many respects in 2008. he understood early on that the nominating process was going to be a marathon and that it was going to take a long time. that requires a lot of organization. i think what it romney is doing is smart. he is organizing early -and avoiding becoming a target, which would happen if he announced a too early. -- announced too early.
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he supported and signed a bill very much like president obama's health care reform. he has taken positions over time in massachusetts. these are positions that progressives and conservatives will not like. he does not want to become a lightning rod. it is a very smart strategy. host: only one public event in the month of march 4 mitt romney -- for mitt romney. why? guest: a lot of the analysis that is being applied right now -- there was a, lot of truth to it all. i think we are looking at the last campaign as a template for this campaign. during the 2008 campaign, i
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moved to boston and was moving on the campaign in december of 2006. we were entering the building stages of the campaign with a candidate at about 3% nationally. the goal was to build awareness and stimulate demand. we had to do that very early, going up against john mccain and rudy guiliani, who had 100% name recognition at that time. the governor has universal name awareness among many republican voters. there are a number of candidates that also have that -- newt gingrich, sarah palin's, mike huckabee, even michele bachmann for a member of congress has big support nationally. there is awareness of treating that demand. -- creating that demand.
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we are about four or five months delayed. you can draw and rive the -- drive the contrast. we were driving the merits of governor romney's candidacy. when you pick a big issues to contrast yourself with the incumbent president, it allows for more time in the race. host: just wo wor -- just two words. "romney care." guest: i think they're making that one word now. every candidate in the republican field is going to have to explain their record. governor romney has a signature health care policy in massachusetts that he is going to have to explain in an environment where people's
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negative feelings towards obama care at our big issue -- obamacare are a big issue. steve alluded to that earlier -- ke president lie obama's plan, but this is very different. massachusetts' plan was designed for the population of the state, for a unique health care population. what the president did wrong is that he tried to take some of the lessons massachusetts have learned and apply them to a population of 300 million. he spent $1.36 trillion over 10 years, a massive amount that we did not have. all the things that went wrong with obamacare -- it is easy to
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contrast them with romneycare. host: i want to talk about what it romney said yesterday when asked about the massachusetts -- what mitt romney said yesterday when asked about the massachusetts health care plan. >> you all have socialized medicine. i say that a bit facetiously. if somebody has a terrible accident, heart attack, cancer, we do not let them die on the street. they go to the hospital and are treated. guess who pays for them? you, government. you are paying for it. we found a number of people who, even though their employer paid their health insurance, they would turn it down.
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we would ask them why. they said, because i can get health care free just by showing up at the emergency room. this is a real concern. we wanted to insist on personal responsibility. people that have the ability to pay should pay for themselves. that led to us coming up with an experiment. the experiment has not worked perfectly. it is consistent with the constitutional approach in this country. we allow states to preserve powers not specifically granted to the federal government. as a state, we took on a state problem, republicans and democrats working together, came up with something and tried it. i would never impose what we did on our state on all of the other states. president obama usurped the power of states and replaced it with an overreaching federal government hand. that is the wrong way. if i were lucky enough to be
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president, i would grant a waiver to all 50 states on obama care and then go to work to get it repealed. host: another line he used -- the president talking about massachusetts as a model. romney saying, if he likes me so much, why did he never call me to talk about the problems he faced. guest: i do not -- i do think the president was guided by what happened in massachusetts. you just saw the challenge for mitt romney. he tried to differentiate the massachusetts plan from the obama plan. even after the conversation, it still isn't clear to me what the differences are. there are many differences. -- similarities. all of the things that republicans are objecting to a are things that ms. romney did -- to are things that mitt
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romney did. it will be more difficult to differentiate than he anticipates. if you look at the numbers on health reform, he is better off in a general election by being in the middle, but understanding the challenges people face when they cannot get insurance -- by understanding the challenges people face when they cannot get insurance. he was a good governor in massachusetts, but he seems to have walked away from his record in the interest of getting the republican nomination and the far-right republican electorate. he would be stronger if he were the mitt romney who was governor of massachusetts. guest: it is important to remember that the governor has a record of accomplishment on health care. the reason obama care was done -- was rejected by the electorate was that it was a
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very partisan bill. it spent way too much money. governor romney took an approach that was tailored towards a unit population. -- unique population. guest: that is correct, but the laboratories of democracy are in the states. when you try to set standards in washington, 50 unique health care populations, $1 trillion when we do not have it, that is when the policy becomes problematic. it was extremely partisan. governor romney brought together democrats, republicans, people from the private sector. i think that clip shows he is willing to defend it and it shows he has an incredible command of the issues. guest: i think he did a great
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job getting that plan passed, but i do not know what is unique about the health care population of massachusetts. it has people who get sick and who gets dropped -- get dropped. it has people who cannot get insurance. guest: they are unique health care markets state-by-state. what the president has said is that we should take a federal standard and apply it to 50 states. that is why it was rejected by voters. guest: the principle that people without insurance should be able to get it, people with pre-existing conditions ought to be able to get insurance and hold onto it -- that principle applies across state lines. host: stephen mcmahon and kevin madden are with us. check u out at donald trump in the "new york
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post." he is going to be in iowa june 10th at a republican party fund-raiser. guest: i think it has the potential to be a distraction. we had a hard time of being a party of rebuilding to restructure of a modernized message. the risk we have with the potential trump candidacy is that in index a level of celebrity in the campaign where we are no longer talking about big ideas. what can persuade the republican voters and others to vote for republicans. it does not put the emphasis on rebuilding the infrastructure,
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that and articulate republican ideals. star guest: in to resemble the ringling brothers circus. and where does bachmann come in. host: let's go to california. what is on your mind today. caller: i think it is absurd, states cannot do it alone. it is another divided and conquered by the insurance companies who incidently control the whole issue. they have probably intimidated obama to a certain point. obamacare, the term really trivializes the issue. you recall the massachusetts plant rand paul -- romneycare?
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we cannot have this kind of non-i thought, non-logic in the country and release survive. we need universal health care. guest: i think the caller raises a good point. aspersions aside, which i do not have any place in politics or this conversation, you do have some candidates who are here responsibly characterizing things it in a way that is inaccurate. you saw that in 2010. whether it is that the panel or other things the republicans complain about that are just not present in the health care reform bill, they use everything they can to take it down. that is politics and politics is a beanbag, as someone just said. now we have fiercely opposing
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views and it is good for democracy in many respects, as long as it is honest and it is on the merits of legislation and does not get personal. host: from cleveland, ohio, loretta is on the phone. caller: all like to change the topic just a little bit. regarding the republican problems, and not only do they have a problem trying to find a candidate, but now that president obama put all of bush they were not on the books, they are now on the books. it cost america up $11.5 trillion, and there was another
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$700 billion in tarp. and now the republicans have another $900 billion tax cuts for the next two years going to the same people, the rich in the corporations. someone needs to do the math on this. republicans are going to have to explain what happened to the $ 3.5 trillion that bush gave them for jobs. if they are going to get on to obama about no jobs, higher debt, the growth of the government, all of that was what the republicans and bush did. allied to hear what mr. mann has to say about that. i will take my answer off the air. guest: that was a lot of numbers and i'm not going to do the math because i cannot. but to answer the question from the broad view, we are seeing a
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very good and robust an important debate on the contrast between the republican world views and democrat world views on issues like taxes and spending. if you look at the debate before november 2010, and leave that to the media -- the midterm elections, the argument was whether spinnings were working. now the debate on capitol hill and the country has shifted to where we're talking about how much we are going to cut. that is a big cultural shift up on capitol hill as well as a political shift in the debate. republicans are winning because we have made the case that the amount of federal spending that took place with the democrat congress and with obama and president obama was not creating the jobs that we need and that we need to start reforming our spending practices and our tax burdens on small business and
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individuals, so that we can create more jobs in the private sector. host: steve mcmahon, the plan they will be unveiled this week with regard to next year's budget that would take on medicaid, medicare, and social security. speaker boehner saying that it is time to take on these big entitlement programs. you see this debate leading up to 2012. guest: you do see a shift in many respects are around the whole issue of spending and what is the appropriate level of government involvement. but you do see the spending packages with the republicans say did not work, but says the president has been in office, 1.7 million private sector jobs have been created, the unemployment rate lower than what was when he was elected. the economy seems to be moving in the right direction.
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the stock market does not impact every american but they give say state of the health of the business community. they are many signs of progress out there. there is a different opinion now about the role of government spending at gni. the president shares that. the president was the first person to say that we get -- we need to get our fiscal house in order. all like to remind the republicans who complain about this so loudly and eloquently that when george bush took office, there was a $1 sign -- there was a trillion dollars surplus, and now there is a whole the we have to dig ourselves out of. what is important that we are fair and that the people who paid into social security promise that they would be repaid get paid.
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and that the republicans come to the table with everything on the table. the presence of we will have to talk about everything, that means there things that democrats do not want to talk about entitlements, and republicans who will have to come with something on defense. defense is a huge part of the budget and it is something that they are loath to talk about cutting are trimming back. you can i get to where we all needed to in terms of the dead and the long-term deficit situation without putting everything on the table and having a conversation about moving forward. host: the late is continuing resolution expires this friday. from florida, good morning. what is undermined, george? caller: my two points are,
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progressive taxation. second, health care. it is no longer we the people paying, it is some of the people. the democratic house will have to admit that. when it comes to health care, a decade ago i paid $500 of month and i never collected a penny. the lady told me it was because of the people using and although i had never used so i quit, $500 and i put it into the bank in case of tragedy in my family. i worked at a scheduling program with the hospital and paid out to build $500 a month after the fact. i do not know why we pay for health insurance when i could pay after the fact and have the money in the bay.
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the health care proposal comes along. i'm not only paying for myself but everyone else. i'm going have to pay for everyone else. i am an s corp under. i work around the clock. but i am one of the few victims of the progressive taxation system. host: will that be addressed? guest: the task code is something that the president wants to take a look at. i understand his frustration. to many wealthy people and corporate corporations are able to avoid paying taxes that they should be paying on the law. i will say this, $500 a month, if you do get sick and got forbid that that happens, it could be hundreds of thousands of dollars that you will incur in medical expenses.
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the freeloaders that you're just complaining about, you will become one of those people. it is supposed to get everyone in the system and now when they are sick of before they get sick. so that you can spread the risk and spread the exposure over greater pool people. mitt romney talks about the people who are freeloaders who we did they are sick and go to the hospital for preventative care are the people who are driving up the cost of health care. that is why your $500 premium one up so quickly. but it will not get cheaper unless everyone get sen. guest: tax reform is a lot like health care. everyone believes we need some sort of reform where we disagree on the specifics. republicans believe and we need a lower tax burden, and put more money back into the economy and give people more control over
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their dollars of the within generate more economic activity. the difference with some democrats is that some believe that tax code ought to be used punitively, that when we see wealth and success, we need to make sure that that is taken from people put into growing the size of government. that is where we disagree on the specifics. i think that steve and i agree on this point on how we reform the health-care system to where we have to have patience adding incentives and lower costs. that particular caller had a great incentive in controlling his own cost of health care. he wanted made sure he got the best deal and that he was using the health-care services they were not extraordinary were in line with his cost. also in line with making sure he was helping. but too often the way we have the system set up, you are incentivized to give whatever care when -- after your
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deductible because it is all free. that is the great struggle right now. if it is the trouble on policy, rather than applying one federal standard and compelling people to buy insurance nationally, states should be able to set up a run exchanges and market-based health care reforms. host: this is directed to you, kevin madden why has the republican congress not put up a jobs bill? guest: the best thing we can do right now for jobs and speaker boehner and others in the republican leadership of made this case time and again, create more certainty. right now we have are coming out of the democratic congress and two years of one-party control in this city, where
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there was a lot of uncertainty. there was a constant threat of more regulation and more taxes. with speaker boehner and the republicans are along with senator mcconnell, they try to put together and craft legislation that could put more certainty for businesses to thrive and hire people, lower the tax burden, and cut federal spending to where we can put this money back into the local, regional, and national economy. host: from the "national review." john bolton has this article. there is widespread objection over what the policy should be toward libya. guest: consider the source, that
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is where i would start. but the president has actually done a better job of articulating it and the media has not reported the distinction that he is drawn pretty clearly. the policy of the united states government is that gaddafi has to go. the policy -- the goal of the military operation is different. it is an international military coalition, u.n.-sanctioned doing this. and it is doing it with our european allies. the goal of the military operation is not to overthrow gaddafi. it is to protect the civilians and try to the escalate the crisis over there. there is a military operation and hopefully we will be out of there and now will be completed very quickly. and then there is ongoing u.s. policy is that gaddafi should lead. and there are ways to accomplish that including economic
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embargoes. i happen to agree that the president would have been better off if he had given -- given the speech that he gave a week earlier. and he needs to continue to drive the distinction between our policy goal in the military operation. they are different. but i do not think there is incoherent year. it is clear what he wants to accomplished militarily as part of the coalition, and the united states interest long term, and they are not different from when george bush was president. guest: the president has not been clear in all. that is the frustration from even some of his own supporters. hope is not a strategy. and as president continues operate of foreign policy where he thinks it is. one of the big problems that we have here, there is no doctrine. his doctrine is to not have but doctrine and there is an incoherent on why he is applying
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the decisions he came up with. i will not criticize any individual decisions. that is better left to people with much stronger policies. but the broader view, the summary of criticisms is that there is no foreign policy. george bush have freedom agenda. he articulated it clearly and methodically. guest: that is not quite fair. the president has been on the side of democracy and greater freedom for people all over the world and he has been consistent about that over time. his policy is also fairly clear. it is no more cowboy diplomacy. we will have the support of our allies and our friends to make united states are respected country again. george bush's father understood that very well. that is why he put together coalitions before he invaded countries. i believe president obama is
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back to the policy of george bush's father. george bush lost policy led to people all over the world hating us. guest: to ruff a share -- to refresh your memory, george bush went to congress and got a vote on his action. he did build the coalition, all wide coalition before he acted. host: the gop is winning the message or by framing in about spending, whether that -- rather than a revenue problem. stan joins us from mel bourne, florida. caller: thank you for taking my call. i had a couple of topics and you are right where i wanted to pay today. i wanted to meant something about health care but i wanted to talk about the debt and social security.
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first, health care. the republicans, one of their big claims in the health care is that it was not bipartisan. but their answer was, let's buy insurance across state lines. if you did that, that would go against one of their other arguments, which basically says, we wanted done by the states. what you start doing things across state lines, it becomes the purview of the federal government, not the state government. i love to hear kevin comment on that. on the debt commission, maybe steve can take this one. a small business owner and a husband. i do not understand why they are talking that we have to have hiked taxes and younger people under 55 through the means of extending the years the pace of
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social security, and cut benefits for social security for people under 55, cutting the years that they can collect it. people under 55 are going to see a tax increase and a benefit cut, and the young people in this country are not responsible for the situation we are in. host: daniel, thank you for the call. guest: it's important to remember that it was the health care debate, there was everyone on the capitol hill want health care reform. the difference was on how we achieve the specifics. there were a number of bills the republicans propose. there was not just one reaction to the overall health care bill that was being proposed by the president and then written by congressional democrats. they were working in a bipartisan manner to try to craft different approaches to the health care than what was
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eventually signed into law. on the second question about buying across state lines and having the state by state plan, there are a number of cooperatives or regional compacts proposed, or states could pull together their resources and their health care populations in order to create more market forces and drive down costs and increase access. another proposal that was proposed years ago is something that is banded about, association health plans were small businesses can pool together and increase their purchasing power. host: this is from the "new york times." a republican plan to take on medicare, medicaid, and the social security. guest: i think the president is willing to have the conversation.
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they are intractable problems. the folks or younger, they will have to pay for longer in order to get -- to retire with social security benefits at the full level, and they will probably get less. the good news for dan and everybody in that age group is that they are going to live longer, healthier lives. there is a trade-off there. it is a good one for your family, if not for you financially. but there was a recommendation by the debt commission that we address entitlement reform along with all these other cuts. what i do not see in that story, and i have not read it thoroughly but i will, is any talks about getting into the the defense budget from republicans. we have to protect our country and move troops around the world as needed. but we do not need 80,000 troops in germany when the wall is down. we done not necessarily need the number of troops we have in
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south korea. we need to look at the entire budget and bring it under control. host: paul ryan is featured in in the "new york times." laredo, texas, democrats line. caller: thank you for having me on. this is a twofold question. one is having to do with the health care program that has been developed and passed. is it a problem for republicans that they could not develop a program like they implemented the drug program, where it benefits the pharmaceuticals, and you cannot lower the prices? it is a windfall for them. host: i am not quite clear what
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your question is. caller: the complaint about the president's health care is too broad. that is a good thing for all. you're spreading the cost over everybody. guest: i think spreading the cost to every fan will have to occur. people who are uninsured today, 50 million of them, if they are waiting until they get sick and instead of going to the doctor they're going to the emergency room to get treated for a cold, they are driving up the cost of health care. it is not that they are absorbed by the hospital. they are being absorbed by every single patient out there playing by the rules. how'd you get everyone in the before they get sick, sick and how you get branded of care so they do not have to go to the hospital, because that drives up the costs, and what you do if
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your state pools or whether the federal government mandates it, the president is willing to say we would give waivers as long as the states are willing to give everyone in. host: nancy is next from santa cruz, california. caller: we need to talk about exceptions to this marvelous obama plan. winner got a an exception for new york from the bill. there's a group of us that found that when the muslims are exempted from any mandate to take this plan, which i think is wonderful. and as far as the gentleman, mr. obama supporter there on the show, obama has called for a freeze after he raised the cost
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by 280%, he is calling for freeze. that is pretty good. i cannot wait until next month because he is going up ireland and at least we will not have to hear his allies on tv anymore. guest: i don't know what price he raised up by to under 80%, but is trying to make health care more affordable for more people. if people have better ideas, they should bring them forward. the republicans have half of congress right now. they can pass legislation on the republican side of the house and bring that to the united states senate, and if it is a good idea for america, the president will sign it. he has already said that they should bring it forward. he has given waivers and he will continue to do so if the states are serious about getting more people in. at the end the did the -- that the end of the day, you have to spread it among everyone using health care including those who
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pay and those who currently do not. host: a quick point from jackie. let me go to a political note, the headline from the "washington post." a new broadway performance of "the book of mormon." mitt romney happens to be mohrmann. what effect does this have on president to politics, if any? guest: i do not think it has a need. if it were some sort of the patient was very unfavorable of mormons -- i have not seen the show. i've read some of the reviews. friends of mine involved with the theater in new york says that it is a very honest and sweet depiction of mormons and
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their faith and how it informs their life. during 2008, we had a film that came out the was about a massacre that it happened in the 1800's that was supposed to be an unfavorable depictions of mormons and brigham young. the rate -- the late robert novak wrote about how that would be a problem for our campaign. the movie was in and out of theaters and about four days. no one asked about it on the campaign trail. i think it will be about the bigger debate, the bigger arguments about policy. host: some of the debate can be seen on saturday night, and presidential politics were on front and center last night. >> let's meet one of our top winners. this year's theme, producing the thing about an issue, and then, or topic that helps them better
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understand the role of the federal government. because the silver springs, md. to talk to our winner, a sixth grader. >> getting so much attention. i know that trump thinks he any facility -- any publicity is good publicity, the way he thinks any hair is good here. it saying you're going to do something counted, my dad would be on the cover of "finished the basement" magazine. trump seems like a viable candidate, and all the candidates remind me of candidates on celebrity apprentice. you're a trusted conservative, and you brought before paper is your wife when she was in the hospital or cancer. two out of three space you bad. that makes you meatloaf and you're fired.
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mitt romney coming you created romneycare in massachusetts and that you are running against it. nseco and youca are fired. rick santorum, everything out of your mouth makes me say why. herman cain, i know nothing about you. you're john rich, and you're fired. sarah palin, michele bachmann, you're fired, you are fired. and finally, donald trump, your policy, your dionne warwick, and you're fired. host: quick comments. guest: i referred earlier to the
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ringling brothers three rings service. i think the republican presidential debates will resemble them. they would be serious candidates like at mitt romney, some tea party activists making money, and then you will have the distractions that kevin referred to of people like donald trump. i am looking forward to watching them. guest: the play on broadway, oftentimes pop culture has an interesting way of filtering back they attribute contest that many of these contests go through. people will get their news from saturday night live. they are impacted by a lot of this. it is interesting to watch that. i will say this about saturday night live. they gave president bush --
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president obama of hard time, too. they are equal opportunity comedians. host: thank you for being with us. we will turn our attention to the economy and the housing market. the chief economist for the national association of realtors will be with us. later, one of the four journalists captured and held for a week in libya tells his story. we continue on this sunday, april 3. >> one of our top winners in the student can competition. -- the studentcam competition. today we go to silver springs, md. to talk to our third prize winner, a sixth grader. how're you doing? >> thank you. >> why did you create a documentary about vaccines? >> it seems like it was a
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convenient thing to do to do something that that possibly get information in from there. and also because since we get back from getting a flu shot, it would be an interesting thing to do. >> what is the history of vaccines in our country? >> the first vaccine was invented by an english scientist who rub days cowpox -- rubbed a cowpox leeson on to a boy and then gave him smallpox and he did not consider. people started using this technique all of the united states to create immunity's.
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>> what is being done defined vaccinations today? >> some of the main vaccines that researchers are searching for are a malaria vaccine. they have been declared extremely important. the flu vaccine, since there are always used trains, the different vaccines are always coming out for the flu shot. >> you interviewed someone with the national institutes of health. what did you learn from him? >> i learned about the production process for vaccines, how you make the different vaccines, the research, and the pharmaceutical companies, who produced the hit vaccines and larger quantities. >> what is the government's role
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in creating and distributing vaccines? >> the government research is for the specific vaccine, and then they create a prototype, which they didn't give to the pharmaceutical companies in order to tap them keyholes distributed to the general public. >> what did you learn by working on the documentary? >> i learned so much. i learned about how the vaccines, the history of vaccines, like polio jonas salk, i learned about my great uncle who got polio the year before the polio vaccine came out, and how to interview people, i learned about film, and also about a video editing. >> thank you for talking with us today. and now, here's a portion of
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rebecca's documentary. >> you talk about the priority plan of the institutes that i direct, the national institute of allergy and infectious diseases, our top priorities over the next several years of an hiv vaccine, a malaria vaccine, a tuberculosis vaccine, and a vaccine that we call a universal flu vaccine, which you can give once or twice in the lifetime of an individual, that would protect them against all influences. >> the government cannot produce enough of the new vaccines for everyone. therefore partnership between the pharmaceutical companies in the research facilities have informed. >> we never produce a vaccine in large quantities. our role is to do fundamental basic science, translated into preclinical and clinical, and then handed over so that
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pharmaceutical companies can produce it in large enough quantities to be made available for the american public and the global public. >> you can see the entire video at, and continue the conversation on our facebook and twitter pages. >> "washington journal" continues. host: we want to welcome back to c-span, lawrence yun, the chief economist for the national association of realtors. let's begin with a broad overview for the housing market is in communities like detroit and cleveland and parts of las vegas. there been significant declines in the prices. in some places we have seen stability -- stabilization like in washington and texas. guest: the area where employment is much stronger in relation to other parts of the country, like washington, d.c., texas, north
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dakota, house values are actually rising. in california, nevada, and florida, prices have come down 50%, and what we're seeing is because a much lower home values, there are people bussing yen and some of them are now becoming more investors and first-time buyers that see value. host: there are some of the numbers reported on the rigid on friday by the labor department. 216,000 new jobs added to the economy, the average hourly earnings is just over $22. the unemployment rate dropping slightly to 8.8%. what effect does this have on housing? guest: there were 8 million jobs lost, a huge hit on the market.
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we're on track for 2 million created based on the labor department report. that is a slow recovery after 8 million job losses. it means that there will be more people with the financial wherewithal to into the housing market. we anticipate the with the improving economy, job creation, that home sales will be about 10% higher nationally. there will be local valuation -- variations, but it will help out in the recovery process. it is positive news. host: one of the aftermaths of the 2008 drop in the u.s. economy and what happened on wall street was so-called skin in the game. part of the dodd-frank bill would mean lenders would need at
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of 5% risk in all months. what impact will that have on the financial industry and home buyers? guest: right now we're running the numbers. the impact appears to be negative in terms of many moderate income households who want to enter the market, because it would require bigger down payments, about 20% for some borrowers. not all, but some. that may take up to us 10 years of savings to recognize the american dream. it went through an unprecedented boom and bust and we need to make sure it does not repeat itself. prior to 2000, when the housing market was very stable, what did and did not work? if people stay within their budget, if the lenders tonight,
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what a toxic mortgage, then everything was fine -- even with 3% down payment, people were able to become successful homeowners that they could stay within their budget. host: that 5% risk, it is that an off question -- is that enough? guest: the idea of skin in the game is proper. we want to assure that people making the loans take on the risk of the losses. what happened during the boom was the some of the rating agencies, standard and poor's and moody's, the of value letters of the mortgage products, they gave a aaa rating, even though was very complex, people did not understand it, they thought was safe because of the aaa rating. we need some reform in the rating agency or even
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competition to ensure that we cannot rely on the monopoly power of the rating agencies that something is good or something is bad. if a lender believes they have to retain some amount, then they will be hesitant to lend to the mortgage market. they may not going to the home buying market, and that is why we are very concerned about on this risk. it may begin to persuade lenders to say, look into other areas rather than trying to lend to the american home buyer. that is what we are concerned about. host: our topic is the stability of u.s. housing market. our guess is the chief economist of the national association of realtors. the numbers as always at the bottom of the screen. you can send us an e-mail, and you can join the conversation on
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line, @cspanwj. there seems to be agreement from both the white house and the majority in the senate to eliminate federal dollars for freddie mac and fannie mae over time. guest: they have to go as far as -- it is just unfair. we have to recognize that fannie and freddie created this huge hedge fund which they called investment portfolio. when the market was doing well, it was a great bonus payment for the managers. but when the market went down, what you know? the taxpayers were on the hook. we need to make sure that this type of model does not surface again. but government backing in some form is needed to ensure that mortgages are available for vast middle class families.
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without government backing, mortgage rates will be higher, possibly 2% higher. that will hold that many potential home buyers from entering the market. if you look at the fha program, not fannie and freddie, completely separate which has government backing, there 70 years of existence, they never required a single time of taxpayer money even with the backing. fannie and freddie, there problem was that they have public backing and private profit, that was a mistake. host: michael joins us from charlotte, north carolina. caller: i have a question on why fannie mae and freddie mac, their ceo's receive says big bonuses, and yet the programs
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have not been having as many people with housing and getting people homes. however their ceo's and their leaders seem to be gaining a lot of money out of this. host: the point you were just making. guest: the government backing means that the institutions can borrow money cheaply. therefore they can pass on their borrowing costs over to the consumers. what happened is that they did not pass that on. the company kept it as a profit and subsequently bonuses. the other mistakes of fannie and freddie, there were chasing after market shares. wall street was creating subprime mortgages and taking on the wrist, and fannie and freddie which traditionally invested in very traditional 30- year fixed-rate mortgages, they
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began to take market share and tried to go after subprime mortgages and other risky products. they felt somehow they were a for-profit company, and during the good years, it was good. during the downturn, for taxpayers to be on the hook, it is incompatible with any sense of fairness. host: our guest this lawrence yun who earned his doctorate from the university of maryland. bill joins us from south carolina. caller: thank you for taking the call. with the situation in libya and the oil prices going up, the time that it is hitting in the real estate cycle, if you will, with regard to the seasonal buying, are you seeing a slowdown in home sales? guest: we take a survey of realtors to get a sense of the market.
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we need to get into a higher energy costs, and their people were -- and therefore people are shying away from building larger homes. people are doing less searching for homes. more people are doing their search on the internet. subsequently they are looking for professional help once they have narrowed it down. the situation in the middle east, the higher oil prices will mean that there will be higher energy consumption for homeowners. but more importantly for the market, it means that potentially it could be much higher interest rates, because higher energy costs, higher inflation means that lenders have to compensate for some of the loss in purchasing power of the currency, so they have to charge higher interest rates. that is the lifeblood of the housing market.
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host: good morning on the republican line. caller: good morning. guest: good morning. caller: they keep saying that the economy is getting better. how come housing is not getting any better? it is still low. and it is getting lower. guest: the economy is improving. 3 million jobs created cumulated flee over the past two years. that is a projection, assuming the current pace of job creation continues, but that is after eight millions of jobs lost. it is not time for celebration. it is a recovery moving in the right path. last year the housing market was supported by a home buyer tax
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credit. this year, there is no program. we need to rely on the improving economy and the improving economy is bringing some stability to home sales. home prices always lag behind sales. sales need to increase to bring down the inventory, and only when inventory falls can give price stabilization. we have not seen a definitive sign of price stabilization, even though home sales have shown some recovery. host: and allstate is, on average, people are seeing their home values dropping one under $25,000 in fact you. how long before you have on oversupply, it could use the home prices equal what they paid for it so that they are not taking that huge loss forcing people to keep homes that they cannot afford? guest: places like las vegas,
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they will still have equity if they have managed their book correctly. people who unfortunately are right at the peak, 2005, prices have come down 50%. how long will it take to recover those lost they use? i do not anticipate robust price growth, because there will not be this recurrence of the housing market bubble. if we get under normal 4% annual price appreciation, you're looking at 10 years to 15 years in las vegas to recover those values. host: here are the top foreclosure cities. why chicago? guest: it was a late comer in terms of going down. it actually held on in the initial phase of the downturn.
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they did not have a significant boom during the bubble years. the prices rose faster than normal, but not like the las vegas situation. when the economy went into a recession, chicago took the hit with many major cities across the country. chicago has been slow in the recovery process so far in terms of job creation. that is a testament to the importance of the job recovery to stabilizing the housing market. host: donna says, i'll never give back the losses. i just want to sell. guest: selling for people under water at this point, they would need a short sale approval. they cannot fully read repay the loan. the banks have to provide the ok for any remaining amount that
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the person would be unable to pay. what we have seen is about 50% of recent translations -- transactions have received short sale approvals. they should look to sell lead but talk to the banker to see what the approval level will be. host: another question on sales. do you have any numbers on cash home sales? guest: an interesting question. we've seen an unprecedented rise in cash transactions. one-third of all transactions are all cash for their 100% down payments situation with zero% default potential. why are people coming in with cash when home values are very low? one of the reasons could be the
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or release stringent underwriting standards today. it is good but we want to make sure that the housing market returns to a healthy glow of the fault situation. but we do know one and all released stringent situation where it goes the other way. -- but we do not want an overly stringent situation where it goes the other way. the default rate remains elevated. people bought their homes in 2009, there default rate is set low levels historically. people buying recently are becoming very successful homeowners. host: for the first two months of this year, let's put these figures in january. the foreclosures across the u.s., a slight decline in february to 225,000. guest: these numbers tell me that the residual, the people who borrowed during the peak years, they were under water,
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they are going into foreclosure, but this is a residual impact that happened during the bubble years. people who been buying their homes in the past two years, highly successful, very low default rates. host: from alabama. caller: have a question about mismanagement. i'm not able to get a mortgage because they have seen me overextended. i am trying to buy a house that is like $15,000. i'm going to pay $15,000 less than what it is worth. did it take into consideration the possibility of paying of -- paying off all outstanding debt in combination with paying the seller for the value of the home? if they could do that, it would
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remove my other outstanding debt, and it would save me from being deemed over extended. guest: you make a very good point. there are a lot of individuals like you across the country. one constant theme that we hear from our members is that people who have been in normal years would have qualified to become homeowners based on their credit score, they are being denied credit. the current credits for is 760, versus 720 during a normal year. 720 was normal. now what is 760, excessively stringent. they're looking at not only the credits court, but the debt ratios, whether the person would be able to absorber and
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financially managed their outstanding debt, car loans, credit card mortgage, they're looking at all of the ratios. is a person falls within the limit, that would qualify. even if they qualify under normal standards, somehow the lenders are dragging their feet. it is very puzzling in the sense that the banks have really recovered their process. two years ago they were in financial crisis, but their profits have recovered strongly. they have plenty of excess capital to work with. the lenders are in the business of lending and yet they're being very stringent. they were saying the regulators word preventing them, and the regulators are permitting the lenders to lend. it is unclear to see who is holding back. but the consumers are not
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getting that credit. host: michael joins us from illinois. caller: a great subject here. the question i have and i'll put this in context, i do not believe what has been addressed here or by any of this shows, and the of the comments from people on the liquidity of the real estate market. as a middle-class person, and everyone i know, we have six adult kids, we of the fis start kids to not buy a home right now. -- we have advised our kids to not buy a home run of. if you get a 30-year home, and there is no liquidity. it is not the money may lose on the house, but the fact that it is an anchor around your neck. you shall lose your job, but if you should have a financial crisis, there is no way to bail you out. you could have an 800 credit
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rating, up 25% down, and you could still go under because the market has been damaged. if i put my house on the market and we are in the chicago area, this was never a bull market, -- bubble market. there's no guarantee that you can download that home. people demand is there risk is said, if i get sicker lose my job, i can go and sell my house. we're continuing to have stimulus for new home building and pockets of the chicago area and across this country. and yet we have hundreds of thousands of homes in t going into foreclosure. and one other thing, and no one addresses the fact about separate short sale, most not of available that if you have a second mortgage, if you go --
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not of foreclosure, a short sale. you will have to declare bankruptcy. host: we will get a response. he is calling from illinois. guest: the inventory situation, there are many vacant homes. the inventory remains elevated. currently there are 2.5 million homes available for sale. in local markets, there may be levels of construction, but the level of new home construction is that a four-year low. the new homes are also lead 40- year lows. builders are helping to suggest the market conditions. one does not want to add inventory to what needs to be absorbed. one may see local pockets of building activity.
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overall, builders are not in the market in today's environment. people should buy a home only if they are willing to take on the financial responsibility. it is not like buying a small item. this is a major expenditure. they should feel comfortable about their job and financial situation. bubbles were an exception. people build equity over time. a typical homeowner would have about $150,000 in accumulated wealth while printers would have less. as people buy a home, stay within their budget, and pay down their principal on the mortgage to build equity, one would see a normal price appreciation of 4% to 6% a year. this has been how many middle-
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class americans have built wealth over time. bubbles were artificial situations with sudden booms and harsh crashes. to some messages. they say it seems that we got into trouble with people pushing the american dream. we encourage people to make a larger down payment if they are able to. they need to stay within their budget. do not try to stretch into a $300,000 home. if it is a 20% down payment, it will leave of many moderate income households from entering
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the market. this is data from the 1970's until the year 2000. many people who made 5% down payments were able to become successful homeowners. they moved from being a working class citizen into a middle- class citizen. i think that is very healthy. what worked back then is not just the down payment requirement, but people staying within their budget and paying down mortgages on time. host: what percent are wealthier people buying in depressed markets? guest: we are seeing large cash transactions. about 1/3 of all transactions are cash. if one focuses on the second home market, it rises to about half of all transactions. people with wealth are making purchases in florida.
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there is multiple bidding occurring in these markets. first-time buyers are sometimes pushed out. when a home seller is trying to sell and get two offers, one cash and one first-time buyer with 10% down payment, they will go with all cash. we're seeing wealthier buyers entering the market. that is good. that is helping the process. in some markets, is pushing out the first time buyers from entering. host: this is a question about 30-year mortgages. guest: 30-year mortgages would be less prevalent if the government will work to go away. we are essentially the only country with the 30-year fixed mortgage. it is because of government backing.
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that is taxpayers' responsibility. we need to have some level of government backing to have the 30-year fixed mortgage. the organizations with government backing need to be sure that they're not for profit. they need to pass on the low- cost to the consumers. the need to have sound underwriting standards. host: our guest keeps track of the numbers for the national association of realtors. lawrence yun is at the table. our next call is from kansas. caller: the previous caller called obama a liar.
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i wished that she could get her facts straight. have are you going to call someone a liar when you do not know? that is beside the point. i would like to know from your guest -- there have been houses bought up by people looking for houses because they are selling cheaper. what does the impact of that have to do with the overall outcome of the market? guest: the housing market has always been a critical sector in terms of helping the economy recover. in the past eight recessions, it was the housing market recovery that led to economic recovery. this time around, it is different. we need to absorb the elevated
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existing inventory in the marketplace. the builders need to be restrained from building to much. -- too much. we will not see a housing recovery pushing into economic recovery. it means remodeling, buying furniture. for every 1000 homes sold, it generates about 500 jobs to the economy. we have seen some job market recovery that will help the housing sector. the housing sector recover it would further help with the economic recovery. we can move into a cycle of virtual positive impacts. the housing market improving can help on the job front. host: we have this question. houses were bundled and sold to
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wall street investors. who got the money? guest: many investors made money during the boom. there was a tarp program with funding for the banking system. much of the money has been paid back. some people say the role of government should be out of the mortgage on the market. that means wall street will automatically benefit. we buy all of these things like a pilot -- appliances and automobiles. the market has done well in terms of innovation. how much innovation can we do on the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage? there is virtually no innovation to be done. government backing of those mortgages would assure the low- cost has access to mortgages.
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without the government backing, it means the banks would be able to charge higher mortgage rates on consumers. it would be a simple and redistribution of income from consumers to the banking sector. given the high concentration of the banking industry, that means a few banks control a large portion of assets in the u.s. without honest competition. that would be bad news for the consumers potentially getting clobbered by the banking system if there was no government- backed option. the new entity. please fannie and freddie with a simple model of guaranteeing 30- year fixed-rate mortgages will help consumers. host: showed a homeowner always know who hold the original title -- showed a homeowner
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always know who hold the original title? guest: as to who they are paying, the originator with the wells fargo for a community bank, the consumers believe that is today are paying. they may have sold that mortgage into wall street with a combine it into mortgage-backed securities. those are needed to assure that global capital continues to flow into the u.s. market. i am not sure how important it is for consumers to know. as long as they are making payments, they're paying down the principal and building equity. host: our next call is on the independent line. caller: listening to your guests, it seems like there is a siege in washington.
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you talk about friday and fannie mae which bundles of these assets and sold them to the bank. the ceo's got the money. -- you talk about friday and fannie mae the bundled all of these assets and sell them to the bank. the ceo's got the money. whether you are talking in the housing industry or medical industry, everything in washington is corrupt. it is unfortunate. that is why we are behind the eightball right now. guest: a share the sentiment that big government means potentially a big opportunity for others secret deals. fannie mae and freddie mac have the taxpayers' responsibility and backing. somehow, people thought these were for-profit companies that could generate profits and pay huge bonuses. the system cannot continue.
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it needs to be shut down. however, we cannot shut down the role of government-backed mortgages. a simple model with 30-year fixed-rate mortgages which many americans have relied on to build equity over time, we need to assure that this continues to exist. there needs to be a simple rule of government backing and nothing else. for-profit, taxpayer loss -- that has to go away. host: with fannie mae and freddie mac be better off as so late non-profit? guest: i believe so. they existed prior to 2001 the bubbles occurred. when they were chartered by the government, it was non-profit to serve the public mission. they did quite well. the problem occurred from the 1990's when they begin to build a huge hedge fund, investment
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portfolio. a huge bonus check went to the management. you got the situation where for- profit got mixed with taxpayer responsibility and the public mission. there was an unfortunate outcome. having the direct government- thatd wirole to say taxpayers do not have to fork over money -- they need to have a non-profit mission. that would greatly serve american home buyers. host: deanne joins us from cape coral, fla.. caller: in a beautiful historic district in pontiac, our son bought a foreclosure. he is not under water. he has an over 850 credit score.
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his parents have the also. he decided to refinance this year. we had to get every piece of paper in the world. he has a great credit rating. he is not under water. he had plenty of money down on the house. he finally got the mortgage. he has to pay an extra $50 a month for mortgage insurance, plus mom and dad code-signing for the loan. is redlining still alive? what the heck is going on in this country to allow something like that? is it even legal? guest: the pendulum has complete swung the other way. we have a situation where people took out loans without even showing income documentation. they were lying about people's income and able to get excess of
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mortgages. now we have incomes documented properly. they are asking for every single past credit he meant. there are huge amounts of paperwork. i am not sure how the banks are able to process them. they are asking many questions. even after a person meets the requirements, they say they need additional charges on insurance premiums or what not. the pendulum has completely swung the other way. i mentioned recent borrowers been highly successful. this is great news. one also has to look out the other story. that is to say that perhaps credit is only going to the upper crust of society and not to the broad middle class. in london.ways risk
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the exceptionally low default rate may imply that credit is only flowing into the upper segment of society today. host: carolyn joins us from richmond, va. caller: this conversation has brought a lot of questions for me. i think we need to give a quick review about what has happened in this country. it seems as though the government has the housing market and the banks. there were social programs the democrats created because they felt everybody should have a home. my first home cost $66,000. i knew i had to have a down payment. i knew i was not going to live in my first home for the rest of my life. i think it is extraordinary that
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with the housing crisis, bernie madoff was the only person a went to prison. i think every person from the house, senate, fanny, and freddie -- not only should they have their bank accounts drained of every dollar they have, but they should also, all of them should go to prison. guest: when i look at the private sector programs like habitat for humanity where they provide an opportunity for low income households to become homeowners, the day that suggests they are becoming successful homeowners. that is a program to assure that people become successful homeowners are making the home mortgage well within the budget with other counseling programs. to see a very low income families realize a dream they may not have realized under
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normal suit sought -- circumstances is fulfilling. to know that they are successful homeowners is great. the mistake was the government mandates on some loans to encourage broader homeownership by having a certain number of loans having to go into low income, underserved markets. the ratio was credited up from the 1990's to the year 2000. fannie and freddie made many mistakes. one of those was due to government mandate. the government said to fannie and freddie that they have to buy a certain number of mortgages in a very low income neighborhood and underserved market. they were picking up some mortgages that may not have met normal underwriting standards. we have to be very cautious as to what the mandate should be.
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any home ownership is not good for the country. -- and the homeownership is good for the country. but if people are not ready to become homeowners, we should not be providing easy mortgages. give them additional time. let them build credit and down payments before they are able to enter the home ownership market. host: lawrence yun, thank you for being with us. coming up, a conversation with stephen farrell of the "new york times. " he is one of four held captive. we will have a preview of the issues and guests that make up the sunday lineup. nancy is in the c-span radio studios. >> at noon, topics include the situation in libya, the budget
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negotiations in congress, and the upcoming 2012 presidential elections. we begin with "meet the press." the host welcomes senator dick durbin mike rogers, and the president of the national urban league. at 1:00, we talk with chuck schumer and the ranking republican on the committee, jeff sessions. also the former national security adviser general jones. "fox news sunday" begins 3 airing at 2:00 p.m. at 3:00, it is the state of the union. her guests include general jones, his second appearance of the day, republican senator john thorntocornyn, and senator john.
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bob schieffer talks with harry reid and lindsey graham. the five talk shows are brought to you as a public service by the networks and c-span. the re- hearings begin at noon -- the reairings begin at noon. you can listen to them all on c- span radio on 90.1 in the washington, d.c., area. you can download s and iphone app or listen on line as a podcast. >> follow the 2012 potential candidates today. mitt romney makes remarks this
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weekend. that is later today on c-span's rode to the white house. >> this weekend, last wednesday marked the 30th anniversary of the assassination attempt on ronald reagan. we will about that along with the 1960's and the legacy of the kennedy family as we celebrate the anniversary of kennedy's inauguration. get the complete weekend schedule at you can also have our schedules emailed to you. >> i could pretty much say what i wanted as mayor. >> the current deputy mayor spent eight years as mayor of indianapolis. today, he has a boss, michael
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bloomberg, and a different job description. >> i tried to make the streets cleaner and safer and the tax dollars go farther. i want to make sure large cities have a vibrant future. >> tonight at 8:00 on c-span. >> ""washington journal" continues. host: here is a headline. one of those captives is stephen farrell. thank you for being with us here on c-span. what happened? guest: we were covering the front line in libya. the front line was moving slowly for a few days. then it speeded up at just the
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wrong moment for us. we were in the last big down before the rebel stronghold of benghazi. as we tried to pull out and head back toward benghazi, it turned out the gaddafi forces came up from the south and west. they had encircled the town. we were caught in a checkpoint on what we thought was the safe side of town. they grabbed us. as they grabbed us, and was barely two steps out of the car and the rebels we had been with earlier opened fire. we were caught in the middle of the rebel and government forces firing. it was captured and production and being caught in horrible gunfire. -- it was a captured abduction and being caught in horrible gunfire. host: this says that libya was
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never much of a stake in. . it was muammar gaddafi's idea of the great people's state. it was to be in perpetual revolution. at its worst, it was chaos. can you elaborate? guest: i think we saw both chaos and dictatorship at the of the country. we were stuck at this checkpoint. it was extraordinary. one minute, we were with the rebels in that we were in their control hoping the government forces did not over run them. a minute later, you are literally under the boot of government soldiers.
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they were firing at the rebels. you are then helping the rebels do not come through and kill everyone they find. gaddafi's people treated us very badly. we were thinking we were going to die. one woman kept hoping she was not going to be raped. he was that kind of behavior we thought we were in for. it was an extraordinary night of being caught in gunfire and shelling around us. we will put in an open up truck. there were four people and left sitting in the back of a pickup truck. we were driven along the southern mediterranean coast to sirte.'s hometown of
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we were hoping we were not going to go to sirte and were going to tripoli. it was only one reason why four caucasian people were being driven to -- being driven through libya and pound. that is because we were suspects as spies or infiltrators. they thought they had carte blanche to hit us. miles.ent on for over 100 year we thought they could drag us out and lynch us. host: you pointed out you had all had close calls. one colleague was kidnapped in flew jet in 2004. you were kidnapped in afghanistan in 2009.
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other colleagues had been captured and shot. my question is, why do you continue to do what you do? guest: lynn put it eloquently when she said that it is important work. at this particular moment what we were doing applies in a wider sense. this was a conflict that will define the future of a very important country in north africa. it is an oil-rich country. if you are 50 miles behind the front lines, you have no idea what is going on. you might be in cairo or new york rating the story. the rebels and gaddafi forces will lie to you. trying to understand the front line and who is moving forward
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and losing ground, of the reporting is useless journalism. there is a need in some cases to be right there and able to say what the rebels are saying but what the actual situation is. they have not been taking this town. they are on the retreat. that is what we're trying to do. we're trying to do proper reporting. just staying in the safety zone and pulling back -- we got caught up in it. host: we're talking about the dangers of war reporting. our guest was held captive for about a week in libya. let me put the numbers on the screen. in 2011, 76 journalists were murdered. this is courtesy of the
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committee to protect journalists. what is your reaction to those numbers? guest: our driver is still missing. we're making every effort to find him. those numbers are not numbers to us. their names and faces of people we were with -- in this case, until a few days ago. my colleague, sultan munadi, was killed. my first week on the "new york times," i remember hearing about how one of our iraqi journalists had been killed on the way to work that morning. these are people to us to we know them. -- these are people to us. we know them. another colleague had his leg
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blown off walking through a minefield in afghanistan last year. we know the dangers. we are not going into these areas ignorant and coming out saying that we have no idea what it would mean. host: stephen farrell is a native of london. he began his career working for british newspapers. he spent more than a decade at "the times of london." his byline can be seen in the "new york times." caller: what a terrifying tale. i am so wrapped up in the horror of your tale. i have a question about the rebels you have seen. what are these people fighting for besides the obvious? what is their political goals? do you have any sense of who these people are?
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guest: yes, i do. i spent a few days in benghazi and tripoli and the eastern part of the country. this was before getting into trouble. my colleagues spent much longer. most of the eastern part of libya -- i cannot speak for pockets of the west that are also rebelling because i have not been there. pretty much everyone in benghazi is saying that we are not al qaeda. we are not fanatics or extremists. this is not even about islam. this is about people who want freedom just as anyone else wants freedom. people were coming up to us constantly. there were all trying to make the same point. one would be an oil industry worker. another would be an oil exite
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executive. another would be a teacher or a doctor. we met one man in an extraordinary moment. if i had seen him in iraq or afghanistan, i would have jumped in the car and gone. he had a long. -- he had a long beard and looked like a jihadi. he had an ak-47 taped together. there were bombs going off around us. we were discussing the neighborhood he lived in. he was highly articulate in explaining why he was and what he wanted. they feel gaddafi has suffocated the country for the last four decades. there's nothing known about libya except gaddafi in the
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west. to them, this is an abomination. they feel he has distorted the country and stifled programs. they want to overthrow the jackal. i cannot say definitively that there are no islamic extremists there. i did see people that fit the visual profile, but you cannot judge by a cover. i cannot speak to the motives of everybody. a large number of ordinary people just want gaddafi out. host: what drives you to do such a dangerous job? guest: looking to the future -- i had been kidnapped three times. i do accept it would be somewhat
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perverse to go straight back to the front lines. i think it would be tempting fate in the extreme. that is a discussion i am having with my family. i think there comes a point where you have to pull back. what drives me and my colleagues is that this is a defining moment for the area where i was posted as a correspondent 10 years ago. 2003 it happened on my watch and in my time. i remember wondering if i was going to walk away from it. it was bad and horrible. i wondered if i was going to walk away and let someone come in cold and do it. it seemed not to be doing my duty. that has to be balanced after a while -- the best way it was put to me it was by a bbc
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correspondent who was kidnapped in gaza. he said the spend long enough on the casino floor, and the house always wins. host: here is someone who says we cannot police sit in our comfortable offices and report like the neo cons. let's go to los angeles next. caller: i would like to know who is making the money on the arms of these wars. someone is getting really fat. they do not want to stop the wars. there is too much money. that is my question. i would like an answer for that. do you have one? thank you. guest: i.m. a frontline reporter in those areas. -- i am if frontline reporter in those areas.
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one of my colleagues spent a lot of time looking into that. it goes without saying that libya is awash with oil. the rewards for whoever controls libya -- if the rebels get even a fraction of the country divided off, the rewards are vast. host: you mentioned you would rethink if he would head back to libya or somewhere else. where do you envision your next assignment? where do you prefer to go? guest: i think libya is out of the question for the immediate future. i think that would be tempting fate to the extreme. there's plenty going on in the middle east of the moment. we're about to see some interesting political developments on the israeli- palestinian front if the palestinians to declare a state in september. we are about to seek milestones of democracy -- to see
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milestones of democracy implemented in egypt. in baghdad, we are about to see american forces drawing down. i think all of those are stories that i can and want to cover in consultation with my family. that is without putting myself at the risk of kidnapping. iraq and afghanistan, i think it would be tempting fate in the extreme to go back any time soon. host: rejoined by stephen farrell, a reporter held captive for about a week in libya. he is back in the u.s. caller: when the women reporters go there, is it right for them to be dressed in islamic garbag -- garb?
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are they betraying who they are? when you go to those countries, it seems a good christian would lay down his life for the cause of christ. i think some muslims would murder for there's religion -- for their religion. we are in a war now. we have a little thing in the united states called the constitution. i do not think our present followed the constitution. he went to the united nations, which is unconstitutional. guest: lets the construct that a bit. deconstruct that a bit. i cannot remember seeing any journalists in muslim garb.
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we were in western clothing. most of the libyans were dressed like us. they would not look out of place in new york or anywhere in europe. you try to blend in. by blending in, dark trousers and shirt and maybe a bit of a beard is one way to do it. you do not blend in by wearing anything particularly religious. by no means are all the journalists covering the conflict christian. al jazeera has lost a large number of correspondents. many of them are muslims. some of them are christian. i do not ask when i go up to an al jazeera correspondent for someone from the "new york times." you are a professional journalist. it should play no part.
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knowledge of arabic plays a huge part, but you can beat the christian era. i think it is very complex. people there are working from any religion and cultural background for the same reasons i am working there. host: this program is carried live on the b.c. government channel. hello, nick. caller: i had two fox 5 wanted to ask about. -- i had two thoughts that i wanted to ask about. it could not have been more than 10 days or two weeks that the armed forces were talking about deep cuts to help stave off the recession part of that was literally decimating forces.
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now we have a no-fly zone that the british government with more than happy to participate in. -- that the british government was more than happy to participate in. i do not know if that is coincidence or something more sinister. this seems to be on my mind more and more with the news reporting. it is the "rebels" driving around in pickup trucks with cannons on them. if that were happening in the u.k. with a private citizenry uprising, would we except a no- fly zone from the french, .n.?ans, and u host: insert your own question.
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answered your own questions. caller: i do not think so. they are generally short lived uprisings in the u.k. this situation in libya seems to be part of a wave since the earlier revolts in the middle east. i do not know if the separate groups have come together. its stock -- it struck me when gaddafi said that the western coalition wanted him to step down but there was nothing to step down from, i think they have a student committee that runs the government. it is about the libyan system. host: do you want to respond to
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his point? guest: i understand the scottish reduction in british armed forces. you are presenting that as part of the context leading up to this. you can bring context from as far back as you like. you remember the lockerbie bombing and the background of gaddafi being implicated in that. there were troubles with the british government putting someone in jail. there are so many layers of history. when we were free, we were taken to the turkish embassy. we were handed over to the turkish ambassador. we were looking at pictures of libya a century ago. there were portraits of ottoman empire forces, italian forces who were at one stage controlling the country.
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i spoke to one libyan who used an italian word. these were battlefields of the second world war. the context goes back a long way. i will say one thing. whatever the truth and facts about why sovereign states got involved in a no-fly zone, we were sitting in captivity and watching libyan television because we had no alternative. gaddafi and his regime repeated the same phrase over and over again. it was "crusader colonial intervention." they wanted to generate a sense of sympathy for the regime been bombed by the french, british, americans.
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i was not able to understand how active they were in captivity. host: how many meals did you get a day in captivity? guest: for the first two or three days, we were on the road trip across libya. it was almost nothing. we did not need or want to. it was so scary. you are just concerned about physical survival. there were giving us some water and fruit juice and a bit of orange rice in a dungeon one night. in tripoli, it was different. there was more food than we could eat. they were bringing us food from the hotel where the embedded western journalists were staying. the food was very good. you could not complain about it. host: how were you freed?
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guest: that is a strange tale. i would say there were three phases of our captivity. the first was being captured in the gunbattle in been driven up the coast to sirte and tripoli. that was very scary. until you were logged into the system, if you could disappear at any check point. in tripoli, there was a brief window where they put us in a british military intelligence building. they said that we were safe in their book that if we go outside, we would be shot. they said no one would want us -- warned us and we would just be shot. there was a day or two where we were lulled into the system. we had managed to make a phone
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call to our families. it seemed less likely that they would disappear us. eliciting up at 2:00 a.m. -- i was sitting up at 2:00 a.m. reading a book and heard a jet overhead. it was a surveillance flight that night and bombing the next night. from buildings around us, fire was going up. we had gone from being in a relatively safe place at a large libyan military base to where it was the most dangerous place in libya. it was being bombed around us. that was super scary. all of our fears of being human shields or political bargaining chips, the libyans seemed to regard us as a point of honor or
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proof that they were not a pariah regime. they're going to treat us as individuals instead of agents of the state. they handed us over as they said they would. host: the next call is from dan in florida. caller: and want to make three quick points. then i have a question. i thank god that you got out alive. i have all been spent in the world for journalists. for the republicans to call and say obama did this or that, we went into panama without authorization. we have done this stuff like that in the past ourselves. my question is, this initially started as a no-fly zone, but now we are assisting the rebels.
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how is that going to affect your safety when the gaddafi regime sees us is trying to overthrow the government? is that going to affect you? i and stand how bad things are over there, but i am against war in any shape or form. when are we going to go to yemen or iran and show troops suppressing people? i have all the respect in the world for you and will take your answers off the phone. host: here is a headline on the ivory coast where as many as 1000 were killed in an uprising there. there are a lot of issues on the table. guest: about yemen and bahrain, a lot of my colleagues are desperate to get in. they have been waiting for visas for ages.
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some colleagues of mine were in there. one was in bahrain weeks ago. reaction was caught on video when the government helicopters seemed to open fire at protesters. that government cracked down and threw everyone out. in yemen, it has proved very difficult to get in and get a visa. it is not for lack of trying. there has been some coverage and then a pullback. in libya, unlike yemen and bahrain, half of the country became a vacuum with no one standing on the border. i turned up on the egyptian border into libya. i presented my passport.
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the egyptians said there was no one on the other side to stamp me in. there were no libyan soldiers. it is a very unusual situation to have a large order where anyone could walk in or out. that is the difference with libya. that explains why there are general -- journalists wanting around -- wandering around there and not in yemen or bahrain. on the other issues, what was the first question again? host: we showed the headline about the ivory coast. as many as 1000 have been killed in the uprising there. guest: one of my colleagues in captivity with me has a visa for the ivory coast. he was wondering if he should go
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in or not. others are trying to get in as well. it is a question of access. these people do want to cover these conflicts. it is not for lack of desire or will on behalf of the journalists on the ground. there are other obstacles to getting in. we were operating in libya without visas. host: here is a headline about captive journalists. tom joins us from trenton, new jersey. caller: i have a question for your guest. i see the reporters there, but what about intelligence like cia, mi5, state department?
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are we there to get a handle on what is actually happening politically there? i will take my answer off the phone. host: did you see any of those types of opportunities -- operatives from your home country on the ground? guest: the short answer is no, i did not. the other aspect related to the previous questioner is that my three colleagues and i were looking at the tv screen a few days ago. we saw the reports. i know as much as you know. i am not on the ground in libya anymore. those agencies are now on the ground and have been for some time.
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they may be arming and training the rebels. when we saw the report on the tv, we all looked at each other with one mind and said that we were so glad the report did not come out while we were in captivity. i remember in the first day of our captivity, people were screaming the arabic word for spy at us. we kept telling them we were journalists. i did not hear those words after the first day. that was a good sign. they would be hitting us, but it least the driver was saying that we were journalists. i do not know what we would have gotten if they have been saying that we were spies or from an intelligence agency. i am quite worried about my colleagues and their now. if anyone falls into the hands
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of gaddafi forces now, i am not sure the presumption will be that they are journalists. the immediate assumption is spies. if i may go back to iraq in 2004 when we were captured by the insurgents, this was just as blue chip was gearing up for about. i will never forget it. they specifically said to me that the insurgents are of the resistance. if you are a journalist, if you are a soldier, spy, or the contractor -- we are going to kill you. it was that dark. host: our conversation is with stephen farrell. he spent five days in captivity in libya. our next call is on the
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independent line. caller: i am very glad you are taking my question. i have a lot of respect for journalists. i believe in journalistic integrity. i believe it existed more so in the past than it does now. i am not condemning any individuals. i have one question from when you were discussing al jazeera earlier. i tend to go to al jazeera for my news. the coverage is often very different. al jazeera covers the political news about various wars going on. in the "new york times," you are getting such a broad spread that
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you feel like there is a purpose behind it, if you know what i mean. host: we only have a minute or two left. let's get a response to your point. guest: part of what i do on the "washington journal -- "new york times," is the blog. we have boots on the ground. we felt there was a need to have more perspective. we have soldiers writing, aid workers writing. we felt we needed more perspectives. al jazeera is presenting more alternative perspectives.
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i do not think he will find the ultimate truth in any one outlet. hopefully, different perspectives will inform us better. host: let me conclude with one last question from a twitter follower. did the gaddafi troops seem to be 100% loyal to him? guest: outwardly, he regained proclamations of loyalty to gaddafi. they had his speeches on their cell phone ring tones. they were constantly saying that gaddafi and libya were good. it was impossible to know who was speaking from their heart
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and who was saying what they thought needed to be said. as we were being driven out of tripoli toward the border, basically everyone driving along the street was waving a green gaddafi flag showing themselves to the lowest -- to be a loyalist. i was speaking to a colleague recently who said they have no choice. some believe it. some are under such pressure from the dictatorial regime to show loyalty that they have to say it. they have to show it. host: thank you for being with us to share your story and take your calls -- viewer calls. you can r


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