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tv   The Real Story With Gretchen Carlson  FOX News  December 20, 2013 11:00am-12:01pm PST

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president's sliding approval ratings and maybe even "duck dynasty" fair game. let's start with ed. what do you know, ed? >> obviously, health care could be an important subject. we had a tweet expanding what the definition of hardship so that people could get catastrophic plans. the president suggests these were junk plans and that he is under the exchange system that people are going to get better benefits. the president will get better questions in what is next. he fumbled the october 1st deadline and now there is another big deadline. december 23rd.
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people are getting enrolled and we'll find out whether they have insurance or not. the president finding out today, that the stock market has been up. he has a story that he wants to tell about the economy picking back up but when you have stories like health caredogged whole rash of challenges that have made this a difficult 2013 if you go back to his second address less than a year ago he was talking about a progressive agenda in his second term and he is ending that with poll numbers very low and no victories on immigration reform. he has bt been able to get there. a lot of today is being able to reset things in january 28th when he wants to have the
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opportunity to grab the megaphone and right the ship. >> ed, you have asked his question before of his spokesperson and now here we are on friday. the president has not signed up for obama care and the only reason that is important is that he said on several occasions that he definitely would. what do you know about that? >> we wonder if he is going to do it now before the start of the knew year and as you know, a short time ago health care.gov was down for a while. it was going through scheduled maintenance and people are being put into the q system. so that folks can try to enroll. moments before the president's news conference, having it down is probably not what they wanted to set the table. while we are waiting ed, stand by if you will. >> chris, add to the mix of what
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ed was talking about with regard to continued problems with the website and obama care in general. now you have the cms testifies it has been released theresa fryer saying that she advised against launches on september 1st, in your mind how could this have continued to have happened? >> here is the thing, the health secretary herself said if we knew then what we know now we wouldn't have launched the program when we did. and the looks on the faces of members of congress who had spent many week es building the case that she did know and the president and the administration add been warned for months and months and months it is not
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secure and built correctly, it is not even complete but they went ahead anyway. she under oath said the health care website threatening the privacy of users that she could not recommend that it go ahead on october 1st, she said there were more issues in november and one within the past few days. we are talking about prafivacy concerns for millions of americans. >> it relates to the president's new entitlement program. whatever you think about the law or cost shifting or wealth redistribution and government and health insurance everyone agrees that everyone's data ought to be secured. well, if it is not and if there are concerns with that and we saw with target stores what happened with them.
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i was a victim. i would submit that target is better at security than the federal government. the amount of data that the federal government is probing here. remember this is just that we promised will be turned into insurance. but all of this data, you will see bipartisan rebellion against the law and the demand that this be struck down. >> in dc, stand bias well as we continue to wait for the president. let's bring in republican congressman of utah. great to see you. >> good to be with you. >> let's turn to yet another angle of bicycbama care. and that has to do with the number of cancellation letters that americans have received. 5.9 million americans who received those. they are calling it a tweak to
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allow people to alpply for bear bones coverage. how do you see it. >> i would like to ask the president how many people have paid their first month's premium. that is the true mess tritric. we have the safety and security issues. i want to ask the president the average famry ily is going to s $2500 per family. i would like to ask the president are there any laws that you can't change? because he seems to make it up on the fly. >> that is an interesting question. look at this fox news poll and the question was asked, should obama care be delayed a year. 67% yes, it should. what do you make of that? >> republicans in the house have been harping on this for a long
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time. it was not ready for prime time. this isn't a political game we are talking about people's health care. the law itself is flawed. it should be repealed. can't we delay it? that is what the president keeps doing. he keeps chipping away and delaying it. it is greis creating more chaos confusion. so many questions. >> eric cantore had this quote today. here is the quote. that brings up two of the things that we have discussed so far today congress, man. the idea that the president has
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this executive power to change what has been signed into law. >> i don't think. i reporter will hopefully ask this question as the president come to the microphone. please how do you think you can ignore the law? it is a suggestion for you? no, it is the law of the land and why aren't you abiding by it? he is spot on right. that is one of the core questions here. the medical providers, how can you plan when the president weeweek in and week out makes it up as he goes along. you know one of the lines of speaking will be that he will talk about the republicans. what do you expect him to say? >> he is going to say they have not offered the american people their own plan. >> we have passed more than 150 bills many of which deal with health care that are sitting in
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the united states senate. dr. phil rose has one that have signed onto that. dr. tom price has led an effort to introduce his own bill that has great legislation. it is hollow words from the president to say that the republicans don't have answers. he won't take a meeting and doesn't listen to what we have to say. we want to help fix this, it is so so important. >> we will wait to hear what he says. thank you for your time today >> it has been a busy 24 hours for the senate. mike emmanuel for us live on capitol hill. what did they get done for us in the final hours of 2013. >> they handled presidential nominations and confirmed deputy
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secretary of homeland security. confirmed john coscinan to be the new irs commissioner and janet yellin won't be confirmed until january 26th. they passed a defense bill to pay for the troops and after passing a two year budget deal tuesday night. a very, very toxic year over owl in the senate. do you have an update on senator harry reid? >> he was not feeling well. they did an all night session and he wasn't feeling great. turned the reins over to dick durban and we understand he is feeling better but they aare
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keeping an eye on him. >> it has been a bitter partisan year. but there are signs of bipartisan on one hot topic. >> there is growing support for stronger sanctions against iran. a lot of lawmakers are making the case that the only reason they came to the table is because there was economic pressure on them. they have been saying at this delicate time, more sanctions might send the wrong message. lawmakers are strongly disagrees and it is bipartisan here. 26 senators offered the bill here and there is pressure building on harry reid who has avoided the idea of going forward with iranian sanctions because the white house doesn't want them.
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more and more are gathering behind the effort. pressure is building on the senate leader to take it up for a vote. it could happen some time in january. >> no doubt the president is going to get a question about that. >> mike, thank you so much. >> so while we continue to await now, the president let's go back to chris who is with us in dc. one thing i would like to ask you about is what i asked ed henry at the top of the show. whether or not president will in fact sign up his own family for obama care. but jay carney has said yes, he does plan to do that. today is friday the deadline is monday. what do you think about that? >> he needs to. he won't really. i don't think the obama care platinum plan probably covers the physical at camp david and around the clock medical
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attendants. but he needs to do it some demonstrate good faith with the american people. so he needs to do it out of sal d s soldarity. the rules are out the window. i suspect that the way that this is going to work out, if he doesn't say i already did that, he may say i did that. or it may happen at a certain point and the next time it is asked it has been taken care of. >> that's an interesting perspective. with all of the problems that millions of americans have had with this website, wouldn't it be the correct pr move to show the president actually signing up for obama care? >> i hear you laughing but there has been a lot of discussion how these photos now many
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photographers can't get in. >> no photographers get in. >> so they are getting the white house photography. if he has signed up, wouldn't we see a picture of that happening? >> yes, if it was sucsuccessful. they would not take pictures of them waiting for hours or having the system crash. what happened today is that on the last full day before the original deadline before we went to sort of regulatory thunderdome, the last real deadline day, the system was down and they said well, it's scheduled maintenance. if you are satisficheduling maintenance that crashing your site you have to be crazy. the thing doesn't work and they don't want to have the president embarrassed by demonstrating that it doesn't. >> we are now 14.30 minutes
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waiting on the president. what do you make of this delay? >> maybe he is logging onto the website right now. he obviously we like to talk about subjects like the economy. but i think what a lot of people are wondering, that budget deal that is preventing a government sho shut down a fiscal cliff. this time last year that brought him back from hawaii to dc. he doesn't have that hanging over him. he has two big problems with that deal. that is a big problem it has democrats upset. i would suspect he has something to say about that. people that have their unemployment compensation extended. and there are a lot of military families upset that the sacrifice it is a small budget
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deal, targets in part military pensions and retirement programs and as you know a lot of military families upset about it. >> how does the questions work today? do you know who is going to be asking the fifrst couple of questions? >> i don't know and ei'm not going to tell you my question. you always have a couple of questions. we just got the two minute warning. i should probably wrap it up. out of respect for him i'll sit down. >> let's go back to chris as we wrap up the last two minutes. let me get your take on the delay here. one time when the president was coming out to talk about the fact that he was going to apologize there was a pretty big delay before he came out to speak.
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what do you make of the delay today if anything? >> i think he is taking care of whatever he is taking care of. there is building of suspension maybe the fact that this is not the most fun thing that presidents ever do. >> can i submit what the next best question would be? i think the best question is this, if you would have told the truth about if you like it you can keep it would you have won the election and that is the massive question that hangs over everything for this presidency now. if you would have told the truth in 2012, would you have won the election? and see what he thinks about that. that i think is the $64 trillion question >> and there are 100 questions as a follow up to that. you have to wonder whether or not he was in on the advicers coming up with these lines and whether or not he actually
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believed the line that he was saying or was kept out of the loop because his advisers probably knew that it wasn't 100% truthful. >> asterisks it is true except that it is not. he was aware that he was at best with holding from people the truth that he had a law that was designed to interrupt insurance coverage. not only were they not able to get tonight door, they are sticker shocked. >> if he would have told the truth would he have won i think the answer is no. >> we are going to see imhim in moment. will he start with the positives about the economy? i think you will hear him say some good news on the economy.
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the president is in trouble because this press corp needs to make their bones today to show that they are still capable of extracting some real answers from this president. >> so, do you think there will be a question about whether or not he has signed up for this or not? >> oh, yeah. >> i would think. if this goes long enough we expect it will go 50 minutes or so. in that time we'll hear that. >> here se. the president of the united states. >> i know you are all eager to skip town and spend some time with your families not surprisingly i am too. you know what they say, the most wonderful press conference of the year right now. i'm eager to take your questions.
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i want to say a few words about our economy. in 2013 our business has created another 2 million jobs adding up to 8 million in just over the past 45 months. this morning we learned that over the summer our economy grew at nearly it's strongest pace in two years. the unemployment rate at it's lowest point in five years. our fiscal situation with deficits now less than half than what they were when i took office. we produce more oil here at home than we buy from the rest of the world and all of the above strategy for new american energy means lower energy costs. the affordable care act has helped keep health care acts going at the slowest rates.
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all the challenges in dealing both the ac aa going to healthcare.gov, in california for example, the state operating its own marketplace more than 15,000 americans are enrolling every single day. and in the federal website, tens of thousands are enrolling every single day. since october 1st, more than one million americans have selected new health insurance plans millions of americans despite the problems with the website are now poised to be covered with new affordable health insurance come into year's day.
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this holiday season there are workers who have something new celebrate. the security of knowing that when the unexpectkt cted strike hardship no longer has to. next year we have an economy stronger than what we had and businesses are positioned for new growth and new jobs and i firmly believe that 2014 can be a breakthrough year for america. but, as i outlined in detail earlier this month, we all know there is more that we are going to have to do for every america and that is going to require some action. it is a good start that earlier this week for the first time in both years both parties came together to pass a budget that unwinds some of the cuts that
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created headwipnds for our economy and that clears the path for businesses. and it means that the american people won't be exposed to a threat of another reckless shut down. so that is a good thing. it is probably too early to declare an itbreak of bipartisanship but it is fair to say that we are condemned to endless gridlock. there are areas where we can work together. i believe work should begin with things that republicans in congress should begin by leaving town. that is restoring the temporary insurance that helps make ends meet when they are looking for a job. because congress didn't act more than one million americans will be left without a source of income at all. i think we are a better country
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than that. we don't abandon each other when times are tough. unemployment insurance only goes to folks who are actively looking for work. a mom who needs help while sending out her resumes and a dad look k for work while learning the skills while looking for a new job. when congress comes back to work their first order of business should be making this right. they should pass it. and i'll sign it right away. let me repeat. i think 2014 needs to be a year of action. we have work to do to create more jobs and to make sure that those jobs offer the wages and benefits that let families build fings security. we still have the task finishing
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the fix on our broken immigration system. we have to build on the promise with respect to our economy and offer the middle class and all those who are looking to join the middle class a better opportunity and that is where i focus all of my efforts in the year ahead. let me conclude by saying as we are strengthening our position here at home, we are standing up for our interests around the world. this year we have demonstrated that with clear eyed principle diplomacy we can move to a future where iran does not build a nuclear weapon and where syria's stock piles are destroyed. the war will be over and we will continue to bring our troops home and we will remain vigilant
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to protect our homeland from serious attacks. a lot of our men and women are spending their christmas far away from family and friends. and in some cases still in harm's way. i want to close by saying to them, we want to thank you. your country stands united in support of you and being grateful for your service and your sacrifice we will keep you in our thoughts and prayers during this season of hope. before i wish a merry christmas to all and to all a good night. i will take some questions. jay prepared a list who is naughty and nice. julie must be nice. >> thank you mr. president. despite the data points that you stated, when you look back at
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this year very little of what you outlined has been achieved. and your ratings from the public are near historic lows for you. when you put this all together has his been the worst year of your presidency? >> i have to tell you that is not how i think about it. i have now been in office close to five years. was running for president for two years before that, and for those of you who covered me during that time we have had ups and we have had downs. this room has probably recorded 15 near death experiences and what i've been focused on each and every day is are we moving the ball in helping the american people families, have more opportunity and have a little more security, to feel as if, if
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they work hard can they get ahead. if i look at this past year, there are situations where i wish congress had moved more aggressively. not passing background checks in the wake of newtown is something that i continue to believe was a mistake. i look at the debate that occurred the work that has been done at state levels to increase things has been done. there is a lot of focus at legislative activity at the congressional level. but when congress doesn't move on things they should move on. there are things we are still doing. the connect-ed program that we announced. where we initiate wireless
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capacity in every classroom in america will make a huge difference for kids across this country and for typers. a manufacturing hub that we set up in youngstown. something that i talked about during the state of the union is going to great innovation and connect universities manufactures job training to help create a renaissance that we are seeing in manufacturing. when it comes to energy this year is the first year in a very long time where we are producing more oil and natural gas here in this country than we are importing. that is a big deal. so, i understand the point that you are getting at julie which is. that a lot of our legislative
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initiatives in congress have not moved forward as rapidly as i like. i understand that, which means that i'm going to keep at it, and if you look at immigration reform probably the biggest thing that i wanted to get done this year we sought progress. it passed the senate with the strong vote. there are indications that there is a commitment on the part of the speaker to try to move forward legislation early this year and the fact that it didn't hit the timeline that i preferred. >> sit not just your legislative agenda, when you talk to americans they seem to have lost confidence and trust in you, your kriblt credibility has
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taken a hit. do you understand the public has taken a different view of you? >> if you are measuring this by polls, my polls have gone up and down a lot. if i was interested in polling i wouldn't have run for president. i was pulling at 70% when i was in the senate. i knew there would be ups and downs on it. you are right. the health care website problems were a source of great frustration in the last press conference i add quitely discussed my frustrations on those. since that time. i know have a couple million people maybe more who are going to have health care on january 1st, and that is a big deal.
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that's why a ran for this office. as long as i have an opportun y opportunity, more kids are able to go to school and get the education that they need and more families are able to stabilize their finances and the housing market is continuing to improve and people feel like their wages are inching up a little bit. if those things are happening. i'll take it. and you know, i've said before, i've run my last political race. at this point my goal every day is to make sure that i come back and say, we are delivering something. not everything because this is a long hall. >> all right. >> art feltsenhall. >> one of the things is the revelation of the surveillance of the national security.
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as you review how to reign in the agency, a federal judge said that for example the government had failed to cite a single instance of the metadata actually stopped an attack. are you able to identify that and are you convinced that the collection of that data is able to be used? >> let me talk more broadly and then i'll talk about the program that you are referring to. the panel that i put together came back with a series of recommendations 46 in total. i want to thank them publicly and took my charge very seriously. i told them i want you to look from top to bottom at what we are doing and evaluate whether
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or not the current structures that we have are addressing our continuing need to keep our selves secure and prevent attacks and weapons of mass destruction or threats to the homeland and are we also making sure that we are taking seriously the rule of law and concerns of privacy and civil liberties. >> so what we are doing now is evaluating the recommendations that are being made. >> over the next several weeks i'm going to assess base d on conversati
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conversations where i will be able to say here are ones that we think are promises. not just internally but with other countries. so i'm taking this seriously. the 215 program is the bulk collection of phone numbers and exchanges that have taken place that have gotten the most attention with respect to domestic audiences. and what i've said in the past continues to be the case. which is that the nsa in executing this program believed
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based on experiences from 9/11 that it was important for us to be able to track if there was a phone number of a known terrorist outside of the united states where that call might have gone and that having that data in one place and retained for a certain period of time allowed them to be confident in purs pursuing investigations and terrorist threats. there have not be instances where they acted in appropriately in the use of this data. but what is also clear is from the public debate. people are concerned about the
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probablity of abuse. although his opinion differs from rulings on the fisa court, the question we are going to have to ask is can we accomplish the same goals that this program is intended to accomplish in ways that give the public more confidence. i have confidence in the fact that the nsa is not engaging or snooping around. but i recognize as technologies change and people run programs that map out all the information that we are downloading on a daily basis into our phones and computers that we may have to refine this further and i'm going to be working very hard on doing that. we have to be working hard on
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the international community. in some ways we have a lot of laws and checks and balances and safeguards and audits so that we know they are not spying on americans. we have had less legal constraint in terms of what we are doing interlation alley. we need to rec ognize that just because we can do something doesn't mean that we should. the values that we have as americans are ones that we have to be willing to apply beyond our borders than we have done in the past.
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>> you claimed that the american people that you had already reformed these programs. we expanded some of the oversight. you also said that there were changes. you said you can complain about big brother but when you actually look at the details then i think we have struck the right balance. that was only six months ago. even you are saying we have only struck the right balance. my question is, were you wrong then because you are not fully read in on these programs and other programs outside of the ones you talked about. where you were listening in onner onners is it another example of
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what julie was getting at with the american people? if you like your plan you can keep it? you look the american people in the eyes and said we have the right balance and then six months later you are saying maybe not? >> hold on a second. when it comes to the right balance on surveillance. these are a series of judgement calls that we are making every day. and that is a hard job. because if something slips the question that is coming from you the next day is mr. president, why didn't you catch that? isn't there a way that we could have found out about that? >> so the point is ed, not that it has changed in terms of how
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it works. given the debate that has taken place over the next several months, this is only going to work if the american people have confidence and trust. part of the challenge is the manner in which this has taken place and that trust has been diminished. what is going to be important is how to build that back up. i take that into account in weighing how we structure these programs. it is possible for example, that
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some of the same information that the intelligence community feels is required to keep people safe can be obtained by having the private phone companies keep these records longer and to create a mechanism where they can be accessed in an uneffective fashion they might cost more and there might be checks on how those requests were made. there might be technological solutions and the question that we are asking ourselves now is does that make sense not only because of the fact that there are concerns about potential abuse down the road with the metadata that is being kept with
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the government rather than private companies. people right now are concerned. that maybe their phone calls are being listened too. we have to factor that in. the environment has changed in ways that require us to take that into account. the analysis that i've been doing has always been are we being true to our civil liberties and privacy and values. >> i understand it is a tough job and god forbid that there is another attack everyone is going to be second getting you. my question is do you have any personal regrets? >> the public statements your
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director of national intelligence. about whether some of this is going on. you are conflating me and mr. clapper. >> he is still in the job. what i'm saying is this. that yes, these are tough problems that i am glad to have the privilege of tackling. your initial question was whether the statements that i made six months ago were ones that i don't stand by. we believed that we had scrubbed these programs and strub ck an appropriate balance and there was not evidence and continues not to be evidence that the
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program was not used or abused and there was a tool working with other tools to ensure that if we have a thread on a potential terrorist threat that that can be followed effectively. it is clear that the benefits of this program maybe outweighed by the concerns that people have on its potential abuse. and there may be other ways of skinning the cat. the panel's recommendations are consistent with that. if you had a chance to read the recommendations what they were clear about is we need this
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intelligence. there are ways we can do it that gives people greater assurance that there are checks and balances and programs like 215 could be redesigned in ways that give you the same information without creating these potentials for abuse. and that is what we should be doing. and moving forward on changes. and that is what i intend to do. >> john? >> thank you, mr. president, it has been a tough year, you may not want to call it the worst your of your presidenty. you have acknowledged the difficulties with the rollout. when you look back at the decisions that you have made and what you did and didn't do, for you personally, what do you
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think has been your biggest mistake? with respect to health care or the whole thing? >> well, there is no doubt that when it comes to the health care roll out even though i was meeting every three weeks with folks and emphasizing good and easy experience, in getting the information they need and knowing what the choices and options were for them to be able to get affordable health care it didn't happen in the first month or six weeks in a way that was acceptable. since i'm in charge obviously we screwed it up.
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part of it as i said before, has to do with the fact that there were not clear enough lines of authority in terms of cracking the whip on a whole bunch of contractors and i'm going to be making appropriate adjustments once we get through this year and we get through the surge of people signing up. but, you know having said all that, the bottom line is that we've got several million people are going to have health care that works and it is not that i don't engage in a lot of self reflection here, i promise, you probably beat myself up worse than you or ed henry does.
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but i have to wake up in the morning and make sure that i do better the next day. and when i look at the landscape for next year when i say to myself we are poised to do really good things. the economy is stronger than it has been in a very long time. our next challenge is to make sure that everybody benefits from that and there are too many people who haven't seen a raise and are still feeling in secure. we can get immigration reform done. we have bipartisan support. let's see if he can break through the politics on this. i would think that folks would learn their lesson coming out of
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the government shut down. i there have been times when i thought were there other ways that i could have prevented those three or four weeks that hurt individual families who were not getting a paycheck during that time? absolutely but i also think that in some ways given the pattern that we have been going through with house republicans bracing f recognition that this is notng f what the american people think is acceptable. they want us to try to solve problems, and be practical even if we can't get everything done. so, you know, the end of the year is always a good time to reflect and see what can you do better next year. that's how eye intend to approach it. i'm sure i'll have even better ideas after a couple of days of sleep and fun. brianna. >> thank you, mr. president.
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on the debt ceiling, your treasury secretary estimated that the u.s. government will lose its ability to pay its bills come late february or early march. house budget emptyee chairman paul ryan said republicans are going to decide what they can accomplish out of this debt limit fight -- his words. will you negotiate with house republicans on the debt ceiling? >> you know the answer to this question. no, we're not going negotiate for a congress to pay bills that it has accrued. here's the good news. i want to emphasize the positive as we enter into this holiday season. i think congressman ryan and senator murray did a good job trying to narrow the differences and actually pass a budget that i can sign. it's not everything i would like, obviously. it buys back part of these across-the-board cuts, the
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so-called sequester, bus not all of them. we're still underfunding research and education and transportation and other initiatives that would create jobs right now. but it was an honest conversation. they operated in good faith. and given how far apart the parties have been on fiscal issues, they should take pride in what they did, and i actually called them after they struck the deal and i said, congratulations, and i hope that creates a good pattern for next year. where we work on at least the things we agree to, even if we agree to disagree on some of the other big ticket items. i think immigration potentially falls in that category. here's an area where we have bipartisan agreement. that's a few differences but the truth of the matter is the senate bill has the main
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components of comprehensive immigration reform that would boost our economy, give us an opportunity to attract more investments and high-skilled workers who are doing great things in places like silicon valley, and around the country. so, let's go ahead and get that done. now i can't imagine that having seen this possible daylight breaking when it comes to cooperation in congress, that folks are thinking actually about plunging us back into the kinds of brinksmanship and governance by crisis that has done so much harm over the last couple of years. to repeat, the debt ceiling is raised simply to pay bills that we have already accrued. it is not something that is a
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negotiating tool. it's not leverage. it's a responsibility of congress. it's part of doing their job. i expect them to do their job. although i'm happy to talk to them about any of the issues they actually want to get done. so if congressman ryan is interested in tax reform, let's go. i've got some proposals on it. if he is interested in any issue out there, i'm willing to have a constructive conversation of the sort we just had in resolving the budget issues, but i've got to assume folks aren't crazy enough to start that thing all over again. >> if i may just quickly on a more personal note, what's your new year's resolution? >> my new year's resolution is to be nicer to the white house press corps. you know? absolutely. >> quite other lead-in,
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mr. president. thank you. rick leggett, the head of the nasa task force on edward snowden told "60 minutes" it was, quote, worth having a conversation about granting edward snowden amnesty. under what circumstances would you consider, either a plea agreement or amnesty for edward snowden and what do you say for americans after possibly being alerted to the judge's decision, reading the panel recommendations, edward snowden set in motion something that was proper and just in this country about the surveillance and should not be considered by this government a criminal. >> i've got to be careful here, major, because mr. snowden is under indictment. he has been charged with crimes, and that is the province of the attorney general and ultimately a judge and a jury. so, i can't weigh in specifically on this case at
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this point. i'll try to see if i can get at the spirit of the question even if i can't talk about this specifically. i said before, and i believe that this is an important conversation we needed to have. i've also said before that the way in which these disclosures happened had been damaging to the united states, and damaging to our intelligence capabilities, and i think that there is a way for us to have this conversation without that damage. i'll give you one specific example. the fact of the matter is that the united states, for all our warts, is a country that abides by rule of law, that cares deeply about privacy, that cares about civil liberties, that cares about our constitution,
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and as a consequence of these disclosures we have countries who actually do the things that mr. snowden says he is worried about, very explicitly, engaging in surveillance of their own citizens, targeting political dissidents, targeting and suppressing the press. who somehow are able to sit on the sidelines and act as if it's the united states that has problems when it comes to surveillance and intelligence operations. and that is a pretty distorted view of what is going on out there. so, i think that, as important and as necessary as this debate has been, it is also important to keep in mind that this has done unnecessary damage to u.s.
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intelligence capabilities and u.s. diplomacy. but i will leave it up to the courts and the attorney general to weigh in publicly on the specifics of mr. snowden's case. >> sir, if i could follow up. mr. leggett is setting this in motion, at least raising this as a topic of conversation, you, sir, are sure to be consulted if there was ever to be a conversation. amnesty or a plea bargain. >> i think that's true and what i'm saying is there's -- there's a difference between mr. gregg saying something and the president of the united states saying something. chuck dodd. >> thank you, mr. president, merry christmas and happy new year. you talk about the health care issues and the web site. there's been other issues, misinformation about people keep
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thing policy, postponement, newwaver that hhs announced last night. howl do you expect americans to have confidence and certainty in this law if you keep changing it? this one here, this new waiver last night, might have just as well delayed the mandate. >> that's not true. we are talking bat very specific population that received cancellation notices from insurance companies, the majority of them are either keeping their old plan because the grandfather clause has been extend further, or they're finding a better deal in the marketplace, with better insurance for cheaper cost, but there may still be a subset, a significantly smaller subset than some of the numbers advertised -- that are looking for options or still concerned about what they're going to be doing next year, and
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we just wanted to make sure that the hardship provision that was already existing in the law, would potentially apply to member who had problems during this transition period. so that's the specifics of this latest change. you're making a broader point that i think is fair and that is that in a big project like this, that what we are constantly doing is looking, is this working the way it's supposed to? and if there are adjustments that can be made, to smooth out the transition, we should make them. they don't go to the core of the law. first of all, the core of the law is that for 85% of the population, all they've been getting is free preventive care, better consumer protections, the able to keep their kids on their

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