tv Special Report With Bret Baier FOX News January 5, 2012 1:00am-2:00am PST
no time for post game. goodbye, everybody. thanks to sandra smith, bill schulz and bernard. loved you. i'm tv's andy levy. ♪ see you next time. >> bret: on to new hampshire for the republican presidential candidates but not everyone is making the trip. this is "special report." ♪ ♪ >> bret: good evening. i'm bret baier. we're back in washington after tuesday's caucus. as the presidential candidate head to new hampshire, the roster will be at least one short with the departure this morning of minnesota congresswoman michele bachmann. steve brown is in des moines to look at how one of iowa top performers pulled it off, but we begin with chief political correspondent carl come ron who is in the next battleground state of new
hampshire. >> reporter: front runner new hampshire rolled in new hampshire touting the endorsement of john mccain and the slimmest iowaca cuss win ever over dark horse rick santorum. >> what a squeaker, but it's nice to have a win. the question i have for you can we do better in new hampshire? >> reporter: new hampshire is a state that will catapult him on to victory in a short period of time. that is why i'm here. it was a small subdued crowd compared to new hampshire welcome rallies for past victors. tough audience question created tense atmosphere. >> you had your turn. now it's my turn. >> reporter: iowa's strategy from the start to spend as little money as possible and still win. new hampshire, he has huge lead in polls and way more money. the man from pennsylvania is man of the hour. >> game on! >> reporter: in a two-week surge from counted out to second by eight votes in contest of 122,000 iowa republicans, santorum set a
new standard for grinding out a come-from-behind triumph. now he will take it to romney and try to unite the g.o.p. ardent conservatives. this tonight we have come out of an election that we are essentially three winners. three top vote-getters. >> reporter: ron paul was third. he has support in new hampshire, where the independents can vote and routinely swing primaries. gingrich pulled fourth in iowa, having pledged an aggressive barrage against the "massachusetts moderate." gingrich flew to new hampshire to hit the ground and romney first thing this morning. >> if you want to truly change washington, d.c., somebody who failed to change boston may not be the right person. >> reporter: rick perry came in fifth in iowa, referred to past tense, canceled south carolina campaign event and retreated to austin. >> i decided to return to texas, assess the results of tonight's caucus. determine whether there is a path forward. >> reporter: after a short night's sleep, perry decided to stay in the race and continue the campaign. michele bachmann in last pace
put on a brave face for supporters last night but bowed out this morning. >> last night, the people of iowa spoke with a very clear voice. so i have decided to stand aside. >> reporter: utah governor huntsman may become a factor. he skipped iowa and has bad blood with romney. >> none of the endorsements that romney have picked up meant thing. >> reporter: two years ago he backed romney and switched to mccain. mccain never forgot it. the average of the polls show romney at 26%. gingrich behind im. paul in third and perry and santorum. the coming days will be a pitched battle as gingrich, santorum and rick perry all try to rally conservative republicans against romney. which only goes to show he remains the man to beat. >> bret: carl cameron live in manchester. we'll head that way saturday. let's dig deeper in how rick santorum fought his way to a
close second. correspondent steve brown is in des moines and says it may have a lot to do with who was not there. >> thank you so much, iowa. >> reporter: rick santorum, center stage in iowa, a hair away from victory at the end of a caucus campaign where undecided was the norm. >> i can't tell you how many people i talk to said i made my decision in the last few hours, i am going to support "x" candidate. this was the most fluid race i've seen here. >> reporter: in part because the likely caucus goers were at times disappointed with the field. there was no bobby jindal, no sarah palin no, chris christie, no haley barbour, no mitch daniels, no mike pence, no jeb bush, no marco rubio, no paul ryan and perhaps most disappointing of all here, no mike huckabee. so -- >> iowa did their best and took a long list of candidates in the flesh and determine who was the most viable going forward. >> reporter: leading to a
series of short-lived front runner bus the powerful block of evangelical christians never united behind any of them. evangelicals looking for guidance from leaders were left wanting. the right to life, family leader chose not to endorse. the head of the family leader bob vanderplaat did endorse santorum late. >> i think that was the game-changer. a lot of uncommitted social conservatives. he still didn't coalesce as many as he needed to to win, but enough to make him viable. >> reporter: according to fox news entrance polling candidates that traveled to all of iowa 9 it counties many of them in a pickup because there was no money for a campaign bus surge and won in an array of categories of caucus goers. evangelicals, yes. but also women. middle income earners, people who were middle aged. tea party supporters. folks from rural places and small towns. and late deciders. now the romney and santorum campaign finished almost dead
even here in iowa, financially, it's a different picture as the santorum campaign says in the last month it spent $30,000 in television advertising. the romney campaign reportedly spent over $1 million. it looks like santorum even with donations coming in lately is going to be playing from behind. maybe far behind in that category. bret? >> bret: steve brown live in des moines. steve, thank you. let's get some thoughts now about where the race may be going from senior political analyst brit hume. good evening. >> welcome home. >> bret: thank you. early morning. let's talk about newt gingrich. you heard him on the stomp and what about the strategy as he industries to regain footing in new hampshire. >> he told our friend laura ingram on the radio he could envision a combination between him and rick santorum. that really doesn't make any sense. what newt gingrich needs to do is to be where rick santorum is. the hold that position in the race. to be the leader of the non-romney candidates.
makes no sense to join santorum and attack romney. it appears to me that newt gingrich's judgment about the political situation is clouded by road rage against romney. i'm not sure it will get him far. >> bret: john mccain's endorsement of romney today. john mccain has had success in new hampshire numerous times. what about that, as mitt romney is still trying to get conservatives to sign on to his campaign. and john mccain is often not considered on the top of the list of leading conservatives. >> no, he is not. john mccain has been a maverick. in a party dominated by conservatives. but he does have cache in new hampshire. he does have a following in the republican party of some size. for the purpose of new hampshire, i suspect mccain even dorsement may be useful if the endorsements ever are, and in my opinion is not very helpful. >> bret: the whole thing
about the establishment. >> this has been the peculiar thing this whole year, that the moderates, the establishment and the republican party. the republican party is dominated by the conservative wing for several decades. if you look at herman cain, he was, he was -- look at a man like john mccain he was a renegade, at odds with the party leadership and so ont fact she was nominated was achiever for outsider. he is the outsider. the moderate are the outsiders in the republican party. not conservatives, look at who is posing as an outsider. newt gingrich former speaker of the house and rick santorum, a former senior member of the republican senate leadership. they're not outsiders. they are at least former insiders. not to say there is anything wrong with that, but an interesting conventional wisdom. >> bret: as always, thank you. president obama and congress could be headed for another confrontation. this one might end up in turret cos. turret -- might end up in the courts. president named a watchdog
provoking howls from the republican lawmakers. chief washington correspondent ed henry has details. >> the most in your face move of president obama's we can't wait campaign. sparking a constitutional and legal showdown. heading to ohio. he uses power to defy republicans and install the state's former attorney general as the new consumer watchdog. >> the financial firm have army of lobbyists in washington looking out for their interest. you need someone looking out for your interest and fighting for you. >> republicans have little quibble with codray. their beef is with the consumer financial protection bureau, created by the dodd-frank wall street reform. >> it's about the unprecedented power given to this really just as another czar, but this is really on steroids. >> republicans are furious about the president muscling through not just codray but three people to the national labor relations board today
while the senate was in pro forma session. the u.s. chamber of commerce may launch a legal challenge and senate republicans charge the moves are unconstitutiona unconstitutional. because president can't make recession appointments where the senate is not actually in recess. in fact, democratic leader harry reid previously used pro forma sessions to block such appointments by then president bush. >> nevertheless, constitutional scholar who served in the bush administration said mr. obama has the power. >> they're not -- [ inaudible ] i would like to see made. on the law, a tough, a difficult question but i think you have the better set of the argue in the this one. >> this is a flash point because it involves the central narrative the president is pushing in the 2012 campaign. he is fighting for the middle class, while republicans protect wall street. >> the only reason republicans in the senate have blocked this is because they don't agree with the law that set up consumer watchdog in the first place.
>> republicans insist they have legitimate concerns, the $500 million agency will overregulate businesses and they want to reform the reform. >> there is too much at stake between now and november to put it on hold in favor of campaign for his re-election. >> all of the recess appointees will serve through the end of 2013. republicans particularly upset about what that means for nlrb. congressman darrell issa charging that the president is helping union because they may issue decisions hurting corporate america, though a white house aid noted one of the picks is a republican. >> bret: more on this with an expanded panel tonight. ed, thank you. president obama will speak to reporters tomorrow morning at the start of a defense budget briefing. pentagon officials tell fox news it is the first time any president has addressed the media in the pentagon briefing room. 2011 was a big year for detroit's big three auto makers. chrysler says its sales were up 26% last year. general motors is reporting a 13% increase. ford was up 11%.
>> bret: in world headlines the prosecution in the trial of former egyptian president hosni mubarak says the prosecutor, i should say, says he and his codefendants clearly authorized the use of deadly force against protesters last year. the resumption of the trial coincided with the second day of voting in the final round of parliamentary elections. iran's national currency rebounded today from record lows, around central bank chief said the new u.s. sanctions were partly responsible for the devaluation. iranian tv is showing what it claims are pictures of the u.s. aircraft carrier john c. stenis leaving the persian gulf through the strait of hormuz. iran warned the u.s. that the warship should not return. the peace process in afghanistan continues to revolve around talks with the taliban. chief intelligence correspondent catherine herridge reports on reaction today from some of the interested parties. >> well, the afghan government of hamid karzai issued a statement, publicly between
the u.s. and taliban, the state department offered no specifics. >> i think what you see in karzai's statement is karzai welcoming an american role in afghan led process. >> no comment either on the possible transfer to the afghan authorities of senior taliban leaders in u.s. custody. >> no decisions have been made with regard to any ruling. >> administration officials would not confirm or deny report that taliban seeks relief of five men held at guantanamo bay in return for negotiating peace settlement. according with guantanamo, striking connection between the taliban leaders and al-qaeda. nori fought alongside al-qaeda as taliban military general. another was deputy minister of intelligence who describes himself as al-qaeda member. and they participated in meetings. >> the afghan government knows who we have at guantanamo. >> deputy assistant defense
secretary under president bush, he personally reviewed the file of the taliban leaders. >> these are the enemies' senior field commanders and irsuspicion ran leaders -- inspirational leaders to reinspire taliban and al-qaeda. >> while prisoner swap may be seen as confidence building measure, they wonder what the taliban can offer in return. >> i understand what the administration's objective might be. i only hope that if we were to make such a major concession, removing the people from american to afghan control we also get a major concession in return. >> reporter: by identifying the taliban leaders who may be transferred the obama administration could test water to gauge political fall-out. former senior intelligence official question whether the u.s. could have the upper hand in any negotiation because taliban know we have already committed to drawing down forces in afghanistan. >> bret: thank you. still ahead, why did the losers lose in iowa? but first, it sounds like a
>> bret: officials with boeing say they plan to close the company's misive defense plant in wichita, kansas, by the end of next year. that will mean as will of 2100 jobs and dashes hope for additional 7,500 direct and indirect jobs from contract to build air force refueling tankers. factory orders were up 1.8% in november. that is the largest increase in july. demand for so-called core capital goods such as computers and electronic equipment decline by 1.2%. inflation is down among countries using the euro. the desperate of 2.8% was off
from 3% in november. today, germany and portugal were the latest connecticuts to borrow with relative ease. ahead of more tough decisions about european debt. back in this country, a man from germany is accused of setting arson fires in los angeles, because of legal troubles for his mother in the old country. the strange story does not stop there. here is correspondent william la jeunesse. >> reporter: prosecutors filed formal charges wednesday against harry burkehart, a 24-year-old german national accused of arson. >> as i pulled up next to him i saw a male, white, receding hairline and pony tail. >> the beverly hills attorney by day, stopped berkhart early monday. they found starter sticks inside his van which they believe he used to ignite car fires across los angeles. burkehart's capture followed a bizarre series of events beginning with the mother
dorothy's arrest a few days after christmas on a warrant out of germany, which accuses her of 19 counts of fraud, including an apartment subletting scam and failing to pay a dollar $10,000 for breast implants. prosecutors suspect harry burned down the burkehart's house in germany to collect insurance. >> he is accused of serious arson and suspected fraud. >> neighbors in the frankfurt suburb say mother and son appeared to run a hus of prostitution. in the u.s., they operated a massage parlor in hollywood apartment that advertised sex for $160. >> i have seen the mother a few times. she seemed like a lovely, lovely woman. >> yesterday, dorothy was again in federal court where she called her son insane and suggested that nazis may have taken him. >> said to the judge where is my son. i haven't heard from my son since yesterday. >> indicating that she is not aware that her son has been taken into custody in relation to the arson incident.
>> prosecutors charge burkhart with 37 counts of arson late today. he is on suicide watch and officials say he told detectives nothing about the fires. his mother appears in court on friday for another extradition hearing. in los angeles, william la jeunesse, fox news. >> bret: can third graders really sign on to the occupy movement singing the praises of thed 99%? that is next in the grapevine. if you know mitt romney's
>> bret: now some fresh pickings from the political grapevine. mitt romney narrowly won the iowa republican caucuses, even though anyone really knows his first real name. his real first name. in fact, a new poll shows 94% of those surveyed cannot tell you what his first name is. 44% chose don't know. 20% thought it was mitt. 18% guessed mitchell.
8% chose milton. only 6% correctly picked willard. the atlantic notes the most interesting statistic is 2% believe romney is named mittens. another 2% chose romick. maybe he should go with mittens. the footprint clearly demonstrated people's love of cats. virginia elementary school is defending a song performed by a group of third graders, promoting the occupy wall street movement. school officials say the song was written by the children, as part of a program sponsored by a group that works to inspire creativity and music. some question whether the 8-year-olds would select such a grown-up theme on their own. some of the lyrics read, "i used to be one of the 1%, then the bubble burst. though i lost my yacht and plane, i'm so happy to be part of the 99." the group has since clarified its guidelines saying it will train the adult facilitators
to steer students away from controversial content. finally, the white house is definitively saying president obama has not traveled to mars. "wired" reports a conspiracy theory has a 19-year-old barack obama involved in a secret c.i.a. intergalactic program. he supposedly teleported to the red planet twice. national security spokesman tommy veiter went on the record to clarify no mars interaction for the president unless, "you count watching marvin the martian." ♪ ♪ >> bret: our top story at the bottom of the hour. there is already one victim of the iowa caucuses. minnesota congresswoman michele bachmann bowed out this morning after a distance sixth place showing. chief washington correspondent jim angle looks at what went wrong for those who finished out of the money. >> for those who did not do well in iowa, it's time for an agonizing reappraisal. newt gingrich came in fourth
with only 14% of the vote launched what sounded like a new strategy as he heaped praise on rick santorum who took his place as leader of the anti-romney voters. >> i admire his focus and how positive he was. it wish i could say it for all the candidates. >> the ever-inventive gingrich appeared to embrace unusual and vague plan to join forces in some way with santorum who came within eight votes of beating mitt romney. when asked by radio anchor laura ingram if he could see a scenario under which he would align under santorum to beat romney, gingrich leapt. >> absolutely. of course. rick and i, we have a 20-year friendship. we are both rebels. we have both game in the business as reformers. >> he hopes to lead the abbott romney voters. >> if you take santorum, bachmann, gingrich you get a sense of what a small minority represents. >> one analyst says romney
isn't gingrich's problem right now. santorum is. >> the same position on everything. you have romney with a divided opposition. that is crucial for romney. >> so to prevail, they'd have to steal votes from santorum first to beat romney. pick rerry canceled appearances in south carolina, returning to texas to consider the next move. though it sounded like the first step to withdrawal, by mid-morning he made clear he will indeed campaign in south carolina and new hampshire and participate in upcoming debat debates. >> what happens if we have a demolition derby in new hampshire and he has a shot to be the fresh face. >> bachmann came in last, withdrew quickly and was looking forward to someone locking up the nomination. >> i believe that we must rally around the person that our country and our party and our people select to be that
standard bearer. >> sarah palin said bachmann would have to borrow money to stay in the race, summing it up by saying i don't think it's her time this go-around. >> bret: jim, thank you. we'll bring our panel in early tonight after all of the iowa caucuses results. moving on to new hampshire now for all the presidential candidates. >> wow, what a big night we had last night. or a big morning we had last morning. this morning. in iowa. my goodness, what a squeaker. it's nice to have a win. i will tell you. the quell for you is can we do better? new hampshire? >> we will be in new hampshire. we'll leave tomorrow. we will spend our time there. with your help, god's grace, we'll have another fun night a week from now. >> bret: one, two in the iowa caucuses. now as you look at new hampshire, this is the real clear politic average of polls in new hampshire. earlier we showed you the nationwide stack, the average in additionwide. this is in new hampshire. there you see mitt romney with
a big lead right now. there hasn't been new polls in the past day or so. bring in the panel. jonah goldberg, mara liasson, national political correspondent and national public radio. syndicated columnist charles krauthammer. okay, the bounce from the iowa caucuses, the storyline, the new day. charles? >> well, obviously, it's santorum i expect to see the numbers for santorum in new hampshire begin to rise rapidly. he will get the balance. he has all the a -- le e will get the bounce. he has the attention with the free media he will get since he doesn't have the money. even if he did, all the airtime in new hampshire is purchased with only a week to go. you couldn't hit the airwaves even if you had the money. but the most interesting story is newt. makes no sense at all as we heard earlier in the program, the idea of teaming up with santorum. they are rivals for the same constituency. unless you assume -- here is my theory, that newt has come to the conclusion he can't win
or he cares less about winning now than revenge. this is ahab on the loose in new hampshire. he's out to get great white mitt. that means he will be the wing man, i think he will do that. i think he didn't look that good last night. a lot of the old newt showing. i'm not sure that there is any way to explain what he is doing now. other than he wants what he thinks is justice for being treated in his perception in a way that was not fair in iowa. >> bret: if that is true, does it benefit santorum? does it benefit huntsman? >> first, i actually agree with charles. i think he is like going to ride shotgun literally or literally in political terms for rick santorum. he did take it personally. he felt it was over the line. it's one thing to have a debate. he felt the negative ads against him personally. $3 million or more.
i think the big question is how are they going to launch the negative attack on mitt romney? who by the way has not had this happen to him. sometimes he's mentioned with another candidate in a negative ad but he hasn't experienced anything like what newt gingrich experienced. they don't have a super pac. newt gingrich took out an ad in union leader today. that doesn't make the romney camp quake in their boots. newt will command a television camera wherever he goes and he can say things but i don't think it's the same thing as buying hundreds of thousands of air time in south carolina, as romney is doing, in florida as romney is doing and new hampshire. i don't know what are the resources that santorum and/or gingrich have to mount this attack on romney. >> bret: are you sure they don't have a super pac? >> not funded like romney. >> bret: in santorum's case, it could be funded overnight. we have to see. right now they don't have
heavy guns. >> there is no air time available between now and the election in new hampshire. >> bret: then there is the other point at some point there is oversaturation in new hampshire. and people just are sick of it. >> two points i'd make. one i agree entirely this is like the "seinfeld" episode, gingrich is running for spite, it seems like. but also, santorum is starting from a cold start in new hampshire, when you hear a lot of the media is not true. my understanding as santorum said last night, he has been in new hampshire more than any candidate except for huntsman and huntsman is living there and part of the occupy new hampshire movement or something. so santorum will do better than people think. and santorum by no stretch of the imagination needs to win new hampshire. santorum, if he comes in a solid second, good second. bill clinton was a comeback kid coming in second in new hampshire. if he comes in a solid second, if romney goes down from the 40% he is now to say, 30, or high 20s or something like that, that is a major loss for romney.
what wins in america are bold ideas, sharp contrasts, and a plan that includes everyone. a plan that includes people from all across the economic spectrum. i think there is nothing to be ashamed of, everything to be satisfied and the ready and raring to move on, on to the next stop which is new hampshire. >> rick did a heroic job going across the entire state, devoting energies to the state of iowa. in the same time period, i have been building a national campaign team. >> santorum, perry, bachmann,
gingrich you get a sense of what a small minority romney represents. >> bret: the sights and sounds after the iowa caucuses. now obviously heading to new hampshire tuesday. back with the panel. charles, in iowa, santorum really had the late deciders, the most evangelicals, the tea party supporters. he had a lot of support there. he really showed that the retail politics paid off. >> he does. he also shows in the end, the system can really work. look, iowans have at one point or another take an look at and supported at least in plurality a lot of other candidates, who weren't up to snuff. with santorum, i think they went to a quite a worthy conservative opponent for romney. a guy who was overlooked because he had a catastrophic last run for the senate. where he lost by 17 points. but by winning now in iowa, showing he can do it, though
it wasn't winning, he essentially tied for iowa, he shed the loser image. i think he showed that he can be strong. and now people are having a look at him. he is a guy with a lot of experience, wide knowledge. he showed it in the debates. he is an articulate guy. character is stable. ideologically consistent and sincere. he has all the characteristics you want in conservative opponent of romney. i think this sets up a very strong two-man race. >> bret: mara, last night, texas governor rick perry said he was going to texas to reassess the campaign. a lot of people said this is the beginning of the end. then a tweet came today from governor perry's account saying this -- "and the next leg of the marathon the palmetto state. here we come, south carolina." attached to that tweet is this picture where he went for a run and gave a thumbs up. he is going on to south carolina it appears. >> he is. i think he made a decision that he is a southern
governor. the south is always supposed to be where he would do well and he might as well get there, even if he ends up getting out after that. you don't want to get out after iowa, after a disappointing finish there. you want to go to a place where you can do well. i think this race wants to become a two-man race. it appears that it's a santorum-romney race. and who would have thought that rick perry would be one of mitt romney's allies? in other words, now rick perry staying in, splits the anti-romney vote, stops santorum from consolidating that. and helps romney in south carolina. >> bret: there is still the chance, however, jonah, that there is coalescing with michele bachmann dropping out, the supporter goes somewhere. if some prominent conservatives cannot get alongside rick santorum, that could make a difference. >> i could. but you and charles think it vindicates rick santorum retail politicking in iowa. of all the things that charles
said about santorum being serious guy are all true. but my sense is basically santorum was the last and lese plausible anti-romney left standing after gingrich was destroyed. and everyone flocked to him and his timing could haven't been better. i don't know that everyone all of a sudden decided that rick santorum was the best guy to go up against romney. a game of musical chairs and the music stopped and it was time to vote. >> bret: wait a second. >> compared to herman cain. >> compared to herman cain maybe. >> after rick perry and his performance in the debate? >> we can look at the merit of santorum versus all of the candidates but i'm talking about the thought process going through the voters. i do not believe the voters through the crussable of the enlight -- crucible of the enlightened civic spirit of iowa, oh my gosh, how have we been ignoring this guy in plain sight all this time? >> some of that -- >> bret: last week, i tell you, there was a lot of. >> jonah, you say if the race would have gone on another
week rick perry would have come back. >> i don't know he would have come back from it. but my point is you had people saying -- my point is to get here although i'm fine with beating up on iowa, i think iowa is the most overrated political event in politics these days. but i think that the reality is simply that there is a new debate, a huge constituencies that doesn't want the vote for romney. the constituency is hardening, rather than softening. they look to santorum. not saying he didn't deserve the victory, he worked for it but he was lucky with his timing. >> he had a loser label because he was an ex-senator that had disastrous last campaign. all of the others got a shot around they all were not of presidential stature. when they at last had a look at santorum, he was a guy with experience, and articulate, he knows the issues. unlike a couple of the other pretenders. he's a serious guy with a track record. i think that in the end, the
system worked. yes, haphazardly but that is how america works. churchill once said america always ends up doing the right thing after it's tried everything else. well, that's how iowa worked. >> so then does south carolina become this real conservative battle with perry in the game and santorum? it looks like newt gingrich, that is his firewall. >> yeah, yet another southern politician. i think new hampshire is going to be discounted to a certain extent because it's romney's second home state. i think there is a high bar for him now. he cannot play the expectation game in new hampshire. he either does as well as he is polling, more or less, or he looks like he didn't hurd the bar. i think south carolina is the last battle for an a terntive to romney to challenge him -- alternative to romney to challenge him. we haven't seen romney challenged and we'll see who puts together the resource to do it. rick perry staying in allows that hope to stay alive. rick pervy the only guy who has raised the money who can
put the ads on tv against romney. >> perry is not in new hampshire. >> i'm talking about south carolina. >> santorum in new hampshire, if he beats paul, if he beats huntsman, and ends up strong second. >> yes. get some momentum. >> heading to south carolina. >> bret: with the discounting of retail politics, does huntsman factor in to new hampshire? >> there are a lot of conservatives out there looking at him thinking that, you know, the posters that you stare at long enough, picture emerges. if they stare at him for the 50th time all of a sudden they will see something they like. i think huntsman zooms, and i'm not upset about it. >> bret: bold jonah goldberg tonight. next up, the president's appointment of a consumer watchdog over the objections of congress.
today, i'm appointing richard as, he's consumer watchdog. i've got an obligation to act on behalf of the american people. i'm not going to stand by while a minority in the senate puts party ideology ahead of the people that we were elected to serve. >> the president came back from vacation, said now is my chance to circumvent congress rather than work with them. and he did so. >> i think it was intemperate and arrogant and irresponsible and i think it will damage the likelihood that the president and congress could work together on other things that we need to work on. >> bret: a move by president obama sparking a constitutional and legal showdown using his executive power to install the state's ohio state attorney general, former attorney general as his new consumer watchdog. richard cordray. republicans didn't have a
problem with cordray as they did with the consumer financial protection bureau set up by the dodd-frank legislation. with all of that behind us, back with the panel. mara, this seemed like a big showdown, the republicans really didn't want this to happen. and the president saying you know what? it's happening. >> recess appointments are happen a lot, this one is a big arguen't about whether congress is in recess. and that will be litigated. the senate took precautions against exactly this situation by keeping pro forma session going every three days that the senator walks on the floor for 30 seconds to keep the senate in session. but, in fact, he did it. and he is clearly, the white house has made a decision that nothing is going to get done anyway. the republicans were in essence holding cordray hostage because they want changes in the agency. which now they won't get. nothing will happen with the
agency until a new president and congress. >> bret: not only did the recess appointment happen but the president installed three people to the national labor relations board that were also being blocked in this pro forma session by the republicans. charles, what about his this standoff? >> i think it's not about the appointee or even about the agency. i think this is a lawless action by the president. the end of a long string of lawless actions. it's banana republic style. the president saying i won't let congress stop me, actually. but it's in constitution that you have to have the senate approval, the senate, he can only make recess appointment if the senate is in recess. is it not in recess. in fact, his own justice department argued last year before the supreme court that the senate has to be out of session for three days. it has not been. that appeal was based on a ruling of the clinton justice department three days.
you can appoint anybody you want in a recess appointment. you can appoint anybody who is already rejected by the senate. you can appoint anybody you want as a way to make a purely sicynical point in election year in ohio, as obama is doing. but you can't do it as a recess appointment if the senate is not in recess. >> bret: senate majority leader harry reid, jonah not surprising, supporting the president today putting out a state in the support of this move. but back when then president bush was making such recess appointments, the democratic leader reid used these pro forma sessions to block other bush appointments. you know, hypocrisy on one hand. >> huge hypocrisy. the whole thing is a pinata. if you bash it from any angle you will get reward from it. constitutional atrocity. the agency is a constitutional atrocity because it's self-funding. remove the responsibility and the obligation of congress to
fund an agency and control the power of the purse. as charles was going on about, violates at least the constitutional tradition of recess appointments. it's legally myopic because the actual dodd-frank legislation says that the director of the agency cannot do anything until he is confirmed by the senate. that is the language in the bill. they didn't have to write it in there. they made a mistake not doing it but that's what the law says. the power should stay with the treasureer. on every level the thing stinks to high heaven. my thinking is they think this is a political winner for them and they set it up. obama could have done it on the changeover from 2011 to 2012, as a recess appointment. they opted not to do that instead do this because they knew it without encourage a greater reaction about cause a greater controversy. you know it's a political issue because obama is campaigning on it already. >> bret: does it fit in to the run against congress? >> i think it does. >> it's all about it, cynical and it works.
look, jonah and i are talking about process and procedure. and i am protecting the little guy against the republicans who protect using constitutional niceties to protect the rich and the 1% are the ones that robbed you. a good argument. he wins it. but it's disgraceful. >> bret: that is it for the panel. stay tuned for blunt talk on the campaign trail.
>> finally tonight, congressman ron paul came in third place in the iowa caucuses. he called it a major step forward. a ticket to new hampshire, and the other contests in the republican nomination process. what about his visions for a general election win? the late show chose to focus on one paul answer the day before the caucuses. >> when you lay your head down on the pillow at night, do you see yourself in the oval