tv Meet the Press NBC March 14, 2011 3:00am-4:00am PDT
washington post's" david broader. good morning. it's been 48 hours since the 9.0 magnitude earthquake and massive tsunami rocked japan. the death toll officially now is around 1400 but officials fear 10,000 could be dead in flooded areas in the northeastern region of the country. search-and-rescue operations continue. millions are without power. hundreds of thousands in temporary shelters and on top of all that horrible news increasing fears of a growing nuclear crisis and the threat of nuclear meltdowns at the fukushima complex. officials say an explosion could occur at unit three which may already be officially in partial meltdown. we have all aspects of this
developing story. we'll get an official update from japan's ambassador the united states and i moment as well as analysis about nuclear concerns on the ground from the president of the nuclear energy institute. but first we'll go live to tokyo where nbc's lester holt joins us for the very latest. lester, tell us what's going on the ground right now with rescue efforts. >> chuck, i can tell you this is truly a three pronged disaster. it's a 9.0 earthquake. the usgs listed it as 8.9. be the officials here, the japanese did their own analysis and determined it was 9.0. on the ground a very difficult search-and-rescue effort right 0 now. there are areas still cut off by the floodwaters by the tsunami. there's reports of many in one town as many as 10,000 people missing and that's why one official said the death toll go 10,000. while they deal with this massive cleanup and rescue
operation there's the nuclear disaster, the third prong of all this. two of the reactors at this power plant have experienced what they believe are partial meltdowns. maybe in the process of that. some escaping of radioactivity, the amount was less today in the measurements. a third reactor still at risk of perhaps an explosion. how this all plays out in terms of the danger to the area, officials still have a 20 kilometer exclusion zone, about 20.4 miles an area they evacuated involving over 200,000 people. others nearby are being told to stay indoors, to keep wet clothes over their face, to seal their doors. we talked to someone who flew in here tonight on a delta airlines flight and say their pilot made an announcement that they were flying around that area en route to tokyo, they were instructed to fly around this area where there might be release of radioactivity.
scientists debate on what's going on. these react orcore, a system meant to cool them at a loss of power has failed so in that one reactor that's been pumping sea water in, a last ditch effort to try to cool the temperature of the core before it begins to melt through the casing and suffer what is referred to as a meltdown. there's plenty of relief getting into the country from u.s. and other places. american war ships off coast now are beginning to ferry supplies and relief into the area. american bases here also supplying helicopters and personnel. this is going to be a very, very difficult several days and weeks and obviously months to come, chuck, as they try to get a handle where the victims are, how to get them and bring home to safety. >> it's night fall now in tokyo. japan, lester holt, thank you very much. we turn now to the japanese ambassador to the united states. bass do, welcome to "meet the press." i want to start with the prime minister of japan just gave a speech to your nation,
calling this the worst crisis since world war ii. what else did the prime minister say? >> yes. first thank you very much for having me, and yes, the prime minister just spoke and he said this is the worst challenge that japanese people have to face but we have to work together to correct the situation so with that we can overcome the situation and he's on top of the situation since it started. >> what can you tell us about rescue efforts right now? i know there's bean lot of concern about the inability to get to some parts of the affected areas. >> you're right. this situation, three things most important. one, search-and-rescue, human
life is the most important thing. second, we have to avoid the sort of secondary accidents, incidents. third we have to supply basic human needs, food, water and housing and other things to those who have been suffering. and rescue search is most important and we are mobilizing almost all the forces we have. >> is that enough? do you need more from the united states? do you need more from the world is this. >> we're very happy the united states is helping us. u.s. forces have been sending, for example, the aircraft carrier ronald reagan up to the region and supplying food, emergency food to the region. as for rescue, our self-defense force, half our self-defense
force mobilized. it was a quarter but now it's up to half. >> let's talk about the nuclear reactor. what is the government saying at this point? is it a partial meltdown? >> no. there's two types of problems here. one is that within the container, there's too much pressure. so we have to take out vapor through a filter. that's one of the issues that some of the reactors are facing. the other is that because it's heating up we have to put in water and we do not have enough clean water so we're putting in sea water as well to cool down. there are two types of measures we're taking to different reactors. >> i want to talk about sea water because there's been some concern that that is basically a desperate attempt here at this
point. is that a fairway to describe it? >> i do not know if you call at it desperate, but we have tried to take other measures but now we think this is the right result to do that. now, as for what you call meltdown, it is true that part of rot may have been deformed or melting, but it is not the situation where the core reactor, substantial part of the reactor is melting down. and it is far from, what you call a symptom of melting down. we're trying to avoid that, and in order to do that we're putting in water or trying to take out vapor. >> how do you assess the risks right now to the population in
that area? >> we're trying to make it minimal. however, we have to take precautions, so that is why the government has ordered up to those people in the radius of 20 kilometer, 10 kilometers -- >> up to 13 miles. >> yes. and it's more than 200,000 people moving out of that region. it's a sizable number. but in order to take the, at most precaution, we have to take quick action, we have to take most cautious attitude and also we have to mobilize all our force. this is the principles in meeting with these great challenges that we're facing. >> mr. ambassador, how can folks watching help, best way to help? >> this is the biggest challenge that we have faced as the prime
minister said but at the same time we are so gratified that the international community is helping us. about 70 countries and international organizations have said they would extend their help. and the united states is, as i said, is using their forces in japan, sending aircraft carrier and sending rescue teams as well and within the rescue team there are experts of nuclear reactor as well, and dogs and rescue teams are arriving from many countries, regions, and i think we would be very gratified to accept these helping hands from the international community. >> ambassador, i know these are tough times for you and your family and your country and we thank you for spending a few minutes with us this morning. >> thank you very much for having me. i would like to extend my
gratitude on behalf of the people and the government of japan to all the americans who are with us and for thinking of japan and trying to extend thoips. thank you very much. >> thank you. for morn what a nuclear meltdown could mean, we turn to the president of the nuclear energy institute marvin furtel. he has been in the industry for more than 35 years. welcome to "meet the press." i under you represent the industry's interest in this. i want to start exactly what happened with this reactor. we have a graphic. we know the reactor shut down. the iraq cut off power and made site there was no mechanism to cool the reactor. explain some more. >> good morning, chuck. i'm pleased to be here. let me take a second and tell the people of japan that they have our sympathy and our support and also that we appreciate very much what the workers at fukushima are doing to protect the people offsite.
to answer your question specifically after the earthquake it appeared like everything should and the diesels kicked on and cooling the core and doing what they needed to do to keep the reactor under control. we think the tsunami then caused more damage and cut off their ability to continue to cool the core. so the reactor shut down safely. they did get cooling going then they lost about it an hour later. >> explain complete meltdown versus partial meltdown and how much fear do you have watching this that we're is going to see a complete meltdown? >> what you're talking about is fuel damage. as the fuel gets damaged it gets hotter and hotter and you melt some of the fuel. at three mile island which was the worst alexander we ever had, about half of the core melted. so about 50%. it resulted in the machine never operating again. it resulted in no releases offsite that threatened anybody. so you can have fuel melt and if
the rest of your safety systems and containment works and primary systems work and you can keep the reactor under control the danger to health and safety is minimal. that's what the skrapz are trying to do. >> we have a couple of nuclear power plants in earthquake zones, at least in california. is there a concern? should americans be concerned about the fact that these power plants are sitting in earthquake zones? are they safe? >> all of our power plants whether in california which is a high earthquake area or midwest or other places are required to designed to be able to with stand maximum credible earthquake. the nrc continues to update -- >> you said post 9/11 there were extra upgrades put in to make sure these nuclear plants could handle a total power shut down? >> we've done things post 9/11 to make sure if something happened our plant like in japan we lost all power we could get water to the core and continue to cool it. >> when will we know if they
have this situation under control in japan? >> it's going to probably still be days. they are doing everything in their power. i heard the ambassador. i'm sure our country is helping them. we stand ready to help. they
are doing everything remarkably well. >> thanks for coming in on short notice. thanks four expertise. we're going to turn now senior senator from new york, democrat chuck schumer. welcome back to "meet the press." senator schumer, i want to ask you about nuclear power. just in january you had been inching towards being in support of expanding nuclear power in this country. up said quote it makes a great deal of sense, it's clean and now it's pretty safe. watching everything unfolding do you still feel that way? >> we're going to have to see what happens here, obviously. still things are happening. but the bottom line is we do have to free ourselves of independence from foreign oil and the other half of the globe,
libya showed that. prices are up. our economy is being hurt by it or could be hurt by it. so i'm still willing to look at nuclear. as i always said it has to be done safely and carefully. >> i want to turn to the budget debate. we know there's a new short term resolution. the current one expires this friday. house republicans put one out. a lot of democrats have signed on. i want to confirm you approve of this new short term three week budget resolution that the house republicans have put out? >> yes. it gives me some cause for optimism that we can finish this cr, the remaining six months pretty well. there were negotiations between the president, senate democrats, house republicans and the proposal that was made, i'm for it. it takes cuts that democrats had proposed. cuts that get rid of fat but don't hit into the muscle the way that hl-1 did and leaves out
these riders like on abortion, global warming and other things that would cause -- make it far more difficult to get to a budget decision. >> senator, there's bean lot of criticism of a lot of players in this budget debate. let me play you a clip of senator maccass kel who wasn't happy with the democratic proposal. >> there are way too many people in denial about the nature of the problem and how serious it is. and i don't think we're demonstrating to the american people that we understand the nature of the problem when we present an alternative proposal with such a small number of cuts. >> who is she referring to when she says there are too many folks around here who are in denial. is she referring to you, harry reid, the more liberal members of your congress? >> house democrats, senate
democrats have moved in her direction. the bottom line is this, though, she voted against hr-1 as did every other democrat. that's the republican proposal because i think we're united in one thing. we should make significant cuts, absolutely. we need to. but, we can't cut into our seed core. we can't cut into things that help america grow and create jobs like education or cancer research or food safety, things like that. and i think what you're finding, chuck, is you're going to find a turning point here. now that every democrat has rejected hr-1 and clearly doesn't have the votes to pass the senate, the ball shifts to speaker boehner. we've put some cuts on the table. we're willing to put more. but they have not said a single place where they would move off hr-1 and now it can't pass. so actually the action in the next week or two will occur behind-the-scenes. speaker boehner will have to meet with this e78s freshman
republicans. some said they won't bouj. if he won't he may have to make a coalition with the democrats in the house. hr-1 can't pass. we're willing to be reasonable and meet in the middle as long as it doesn't cut the kinds of things that help america grow. the american people gave us two missions cut unnecessary programs but grow the economy and create jobs. we think we can do both. hr-1 only focus one. >> we're in our third set of short term budget extensions here. are you okay if you can't get a deal by april 8th which is when the next continuing resolution would end, the next time we could see a government shutdown are you okay with another short term or is that? harry reid said last week no more short terms and then all of a sudden you guys said one more short term. is this it? last one? >> this short term cr does meet our basic cry dwraer. the president and senate
democrats which is cut the waste, cut inefficiency but don't cut the seed core. and the tsunami shows that as well. we propose cutting some earmarks out of the funding of noaa which has the regulation and watching out for tsunamis. they cut so much out of noaa which funds the tsunami warning center that there would have to be furlough there's. so we're sticking to where we're at. the short term cr moved us in that direction. we only have six months left. the president, senate democrats, house republicans are sitting down and negotiating and we should get it done already. you can't fund a business two weeks at a time. you can't faund government two weeks at a time. >> has the president done enough behind-the-scenes that relationship between you and the white house has been somewhat rocky during the lame duck. has the president been involved enough? >> i talk to the white house every day. we are talking to one another.
we're not always on the same page but we usually are and the overall goal, again, cutting waste, using a smart short scalpel but not a meat axe. senate democrats and the president are on the same page and we're moving in that direction. i'm optimistic we can get there based on the negotiations and what happened in the short term cr which is something we can support. >> very quickly on libya, the arab league has called on the united nations to call for a no fly zone over libya. your supportive of a no fly zone and should the u.s. senate be put on the record on this? do you believe before the president agrees to anything that congress should have a say? >> i certainly think the arab's league decision makes a no fly zone more likely. the president is handling it very well. not taking a military option off the table but being careful. we learned in the past when we go in militarily there's other types of consequences and at the
same time it's much better to do it in a mult lateral way with all the nations being on board. it makes a no fly zone much more like try to happen. >> does congress have to have a say? >> i believe
on these we should deforethe commander in chief on short term immediate situations like this. >> senator chuck schumer of new york, democrat from new york, thank you for being on "meet the press." up next the 2012 presidential campaign unofficially gets off the ground with republican contenders making stops this week against the backdrop of a heated budget battle in washington and st. houses across the country. we're going to talk to a man on the front lines of these battles, indiana we know why we're here.
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joining me now, the republican governor of indiana, mitch daniels, welcome back to "meet the press." well i say welcome back, because you've been here before as budget director. and in fact, it is as budget director i want to ask you something. during your confirmation hearings, we were talking about the budget shutdowns. you were talking about that you wanted to see some way to sort of change the way so that there wasn't politics being used, the government shutdowns weren't being used as political leverage and you referred to writers this way, you said so there aren't things like extraneous measures that could otherwise upset the normal appropriations process. we're watching that right now. is this the type of thing you were warning about. and are riders, are the republicans in the wrong for attaching these things right now? >> you probably think i'm paying more attention to this than i am, and your memory is a little better than mine. but i think as a general rule, it is better practice to do the people's business, try to
concentrate on making ends meet. which washington obviously has failed to do for a long time. and have other policy debates in other places, if you can. >> so your advice to speaker boehner would be, you know what, we've made some political points, here, but take the riders out. save it for another part of the political discussion. >> he doesn't need any advice from me. but i would say that the financial and fiscal problems facing this country are of a level that i believe threatens not just our prosperity, but the survival of our republic. and really, i'm hoping and, that the congress and the administration will engage very seriously. i mean to see them arguing over nickels and dimes like this, is especially from the vantage point of people who are making big changes, to make ends meet and stay out, it seems almost comic. >> i want to go to the debt ceiling. the first time you were on "meet the press," you were asked about the debt ceiling. the fact that it needed to be raised. this was in june of 2002.
you said it's a responsible government what a responsible government must do and you said, you know what, that's really a housekeeping matter. that's about to come up in six it eight weeks. do you still think it's a housekeeping matter? >> less so now, that we've tripled the national debt. it's a heck of a lot more serious than it was back then. but it is certainly true that these debt ceilings are rear-view mirror exercises. in paying for the, as i would see it, excesses of recent years. and at some stage, you have to do it in honor of the country's obligations. but i definitely think in the really critical fiscal corner we've painted ourselves into, it's entirely appropriate to use that moment, to surface these issue and i hope for some leverage to get some real change. not just cosmetic. >> did your former boss, president bush, make a mistake about not trying to pay for the wars in some form or another, asking for some temporary tax
hikes, if necessary to pay for the wars. or to pay for the prescription drug benefit? because obviously you were there when, when the debt also went up, when the deficit went up and it was because among other things, those two things were not paid for then. >> well, we'll never know, if you had done that and you hurt the economy, you would have had less revenue than you expected, maybe less than you had, anyway. you know, by 2007, the debt set was tiny, it was well under 2% of gdp. so we would love, wouldn't we, to be back to that level now. >> but you're an executive now. you believe in paying pore things, if you're going to offer something, you should pay for it. >> yeah. don't offer what you can't pay for. that would be a good principle to return to. >> for the prescription drug benefit probably shouldn't have been offered without paying for? >> well it's cost a whole lot less than anybody thought. but it's part, there's no question, it's part of the biggest problem we face, which isn't even these massive annual deficits we're running. it's the unaffordable promises
we have made to in what we call the entitlement programs. >> let's talk about your record as governor of indiana. i want to put up a basic thing here on jobs. when you took office, the unemployment rate was 5.4%. now it's 9.1%. when you took office, nearly three million indiana hoosiers were employed. now it's 2.8. i say this so it's a loss of 144,000 jobs. you've made a huge effort to pay down the state's debt. to really pinch the budget down. but that has job creation hasn't come with it. and we've heard arguments among republicans in washington and across the state houses that shrink government, it will create jobs. we're not seeing evidence of that in indiana. >> you can put up the same graphic for probably 48 or 49 states in america. a national catastrophic recession will do that to you. before that recession started, we were at essentially full employment. it was well below what it had been when we got there. but listen, you do what you can do. on every measure, everybody's
survey, everybody's rating of a great place to invest and do business and create jobs, indiana is now in the top tier. the only state anywhere in our neighborhood, basically us and a few sunbelt western states. and that's what government can do, create the best conditions you can. but just as tsunamis overwhelm the best preparations, so do economic tidal waves like the one we've experienced and which we're still recovering from. >> i want to talk about what we saw, look at the pictures yesterday in wisconsin. there were massive protests about the, this battle in wisconsin, republican governor scott walker. he has won the legislative battle. he got what he wanted, he passed it. you made a decision on similar legislation, it wasn't quite the collective bargaining with public employees. it had to do with the right to work legislation. you said something interesting, you said you chose not to pick this fight because you didn't campaign on it. and you believed if you hadn't made a case to voters, about right to work legislation, that
you shouldn't be trying to do it once you're in office and in the legislative session. governor walker, you think loosed the political fight here? >> i have no way of knowing. you i think the taxpayers of wisconsin won. it seems to me that he committed to do the sorts of things he's trying to do and we ought to agree or disagree with people, we ought to respect them when they do try to live up to their words. >> but he didn't campaign on the collective bargaining aspect of this. he campaigned to asking public employees to contribute more. do you think that was a mistake? >> i don't know, but i would say from our own experience, that if have a serious fiscal problem, which we did six years ago and don't today. that having the flexibility to manage government, not only to save money, but to serve people better, i could illustrate this in 100 ways. is pretty important. and before we discontinued government union, collective bargaining in indiana, you really couldn't make any of the
changes. >> do you not believe in collective bargaining? >> i do believe in collective bargaining, in the private sector. but only within -- >> you don't think public employees should have it? >> don't take it from me. some of the greatest defenders and champions of labor. george meany, franklin dell no roosevelt, said it had no place in government. it's there now in a very big way. and i think a very cynical fashion, it tilts our politics. and so i think there are very serious problems with it. >> i would say it's not just about saving monday. the indiana experience says it's also about serving the public better. >> i want to move to presidential politics a little bit. the republican party, we'll twist your arm and we'll talk about that. somebody's been twisting your arm now clearly. i want to go to your comment about calling a truce on social issues. one thing that's happened with your comments, is that it's certainly made some folks pay attention. this week in iowa, you had a few critics about calling for a truce on social issues.
take a listen. >> you know, some have suggested that we call a truce on the social and moral issues. i don't know about you, but i seem to remember ronald reagan fighting and winning the cold war, at the very time that he was restoring values and growing the economy. >> these moral issues that everyone says, oh, maybe we should set to the side and have a truce on. you can't. it is who we are. it is the purpose of our country. >> look, you have a great political mind. you were in, you were one of in the political shop in ronald reagan's presidency. let's be purely pragmatic here. can a republican running for president ignore social issues and succeed in iowa, and south carolina? >> i don't know. you know, i don't sit around calculating the political pluses and minuses of every little word i utter. i've just sort of tell people
what i think makes sense. and i'm prepared to respect disagreements. i don't have any disagreements with these folks. i happen to share their views and i respect their passion. some of it, however, chuck, comes to this -- are you more committed to results or to rhetoric? and in pursuit of the results that matter, that i think are fully consistent with a commitment to limited government and individual liberty and freedom in this country, i think we're going to have to do some very, very big things. we're going to have to make changes. at least moving forward. that will permit us to maintain a growing economy and the american dream of upward mobility for folks at the bottom. and we're going to have to get together people who disagree on other things. that's all i've said. so i respect those who disagree and it's ironic, because as the record will show, i've done the things that they say they like to do. >> let's get to your own future. in fact politically, you had said you weren't going to have
another future. take a look. >> whatever your outlook on politics, here's some good news. this is the last time you'll have to watch me in an ad like this. see, governor is the only office i've run for or ever will. >> is that ad going to be out of date and a lie by the time the iowa caucuses come in january or february? >> well, i'm not sure. i wrote it, as i wrote i guess almost all my own stuff and i meant it, every word of it. and others have said, over the course of the last year and a half, that i ought to consider something that never entered my mind. i've agreed to consider it. >> what's the latest you think you can enter this race. in your mind. i know you don't want other people setting deadlines. what's your own deadline? >> people have been asking me that question for over a year now. and they always thought the deadline was immediate. and here we are, in the middle of march. i think it's a blissful occurrence, that the darn thing hasn't started two years ahead of time. so i don't know. >> can you wait all summer? >> i have no idea.
i will tell you this -- i am completely committed to the job i'm in now. we're trying to do some very exciting things in indiana, to make our state better. and that comes first. and if deadlines pass, they do. >> quickly, you had said the field has, the pickin's are slim when you described the field. do you still feel that the pickin's are slim. >> i said if people weren't talking about me, that the pickin's must be slim. i still think there's time and there's some really good people running. i like them all. and i'm hoping that our party will simply step up to the issues of the day. it could be any one of those folks. >> very quickly, senator luger, your friend, indiana senator, senior senator, running for a seventh term. i know you've said you're going to vote for him. are you supporting him? will you endorse him? will you do whatever he asks you to do in his re-election effort? he's facing a primary challenge from state officeholder and a tea party favorite?
>> he's a good friend of mine and a good ally. no, i'm a -- i've never intervened in primaries, i'm not sure what good p would do if i did. folks in inknow that i'm for him and if he wants another term, i think he ought to have it. >> governor mitch daniels, thanks for being on "meet the press." it was a busy political week, as potential republican candidates were all over the place, making the rounds in the key states. they were out testing their message. activists and making some early mistakes, we'll break it down with our political roundtable. npr's michelle norris. and a special tribute to a dear >> woman: good night, gluttony-- a farewell long awaited. good night, stuffy. >> ( yawning ) >> good night, outdated. >> ( click ) >> good night, old luxury and all of your wares. good night, bygones everywhere.
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from "the washington post", dan balz. dan balz, what did you hear from mitch daniels? is that a candidate for president of the united states? >> governor daniels is very interesting. this is a potential. candidate who knows what he wants to say if he runs. he's just not sure if he wants to run. and i think you've found as others have that have talked to him that he has a certain enthusiasm for delivering a message about the fiscal peril that he sees the country in but he has some other decisions he has to make before he knows whether he'll run. some of those having to do with family. some of those of what you go through with the process. some whether he has the driving ambition or the fire in the belly. those are questions that only he can answer. >> michele norris, it's been interesting at the white house. they are shocked. david axelrod the one whose are running for the president's re-election are shocked that these bigger candidates who are thinking about running haven't gotten in yet. they say if they haven't gotten
in early they wouldn't have gotten the nominee. they need the work. they are surprised. are these republicans making a mistake by waiting too long? >> well time will tell. we frankly don't know if they are losing an opportunity to bet their ground game together, to develop their message, to allow voters to get to know a candidate and really vet them because part of what obama went through wasn't just the ground game they put together, voters had a good long time to vet a candidate who was unusual and historic and somebody they weren't used to seeing in lots of ways. when you talk to republican operatives, there are a lot of people sitting on the sidelines right now trying to figure out who they will work for, who they will sign up for. we saw big news this week in iowa, mike huckabee launched a successful iowa campaign. but it is really interesting to see this early -- last time we
thought it was too early. >> but it's funny. we have some candidates who are trying to get their baggage out of the way. newt gingrich this week, dan balz tried to explain, went on the christian broadcasting network tried to explain the three marriages and blamed it partially at his drive at work, the drive he had in washington, how passionate he felt and made him ignore his home life. is that going work as a me mea culpa? >> i'm not sure that's "the last word" we'll hear from gingrich about his personal life. >> he's trying to deal with it early. >> i he is. all smart candidates try to take negatives off the table very early. voters pay attention to things at different types. even said this goes to a very small audience. there's a much larger and important audience and that's
the voter who will hear it at a much later time. we'll have to see like a state in wisconsin where religious conservatives are an important part of the caucus process. we'll see if that explanation will work. >> i was thinking about some of those big mega churches in iowa. >> rudy giuliani never recovered from tisshe issue of the same thing. michele norris i want to read you a quote from michelle bachmann. she seems to be leading more to this idea to run for president. she says what i love about new hampshire and what we have in common is our extreme love for liberty. you were the state where the shot was heard around the world in concord. that's the gaffe that was heard around the world. >> not the first one. >> she's had a series of these. she ready for prime time? >> the voters are the one whose
have to decide that. it's really interesting because despite the gaffes, despite the fact that there are a lot of people who seem willing to dismiss her, there's a lot of people that embrace her. she picked up support in iowa. we're looking at iowa first because it's the starting gun. supposed to be first. she comes from a neighboring state and among the growing but sort of loosely organized tea party federation in the state they look at her and same someone. they like her fighting spirit. we live in difficult times. people might like what they hear in terms of fighting spirit but in the end the measure that most voters are likely to reach forks who will right the economy. >> dan balz, there isn't a front-runner in the same way that there's been front runners in the past but there is a front-runner it's mitt romney. one way i think both you and i noticed was last night at the gridiron, everybody took shots
at mitt romney whether it was mitch daniels, president obama, about the fact that, you know, mitt romney was debating that romney or the president had the governor of massachusetts and the former presidential candidate share the same host body. mitt romney does have this per accepts problem that he has to square at some point if he's going to stay the front-runner. >> i sat down with two different groups of republican activists last month and they see in mitt romney the ingredients that they are looking for for somebody take on the economy. they think he has the experience to do that. he fits that mold. but they are not sure they trust him. i think it is a hang over from the last campaign and the minute he gets in to this and voters begin to size him up that's the question they will be asking cc: themselves. do i trust this person. >> michele, i want to ask you about another topic at the organization you work at. you signed a letter basically denouncing what some of these executives did at npr, the stuff that was caught on tape.
explain why or why not npr should get federal funding at this point and frankly your expecting that you'll be looking at whether they will have it. >> let me take the first question first. explain why npr should get funding. we're talking about the cop ration for public broadcasting. it's bigger than npr. npr is a series of member station but also about public television. and it's about small stations in particular and what was stated by ron schulyer was an opinion and quickly turned into fact that npr could live without public funding. it's not an established fact. one in five member stations receive 25% of their budget from npr. people don't have access to news because a lot of news station and radio have fallen away. take the state of indiana. if public broadcasting went away
there are people in small towns, small stations that wouldn't have access to news. we're strong, we're committed to providing excellent journalism and at the end of the day that's how we'll be judged. >> we'll have to take a break and leave it right there. up next we'll remember a dear froend this program here at the "meet the press", [ horse whinny ] [ male announcer ] sometimes history is made in the sky. ♪ in a lab. ♪ in a living room. we have lift-off. on a stage. [ jimi hendrix "foxy lady" intro ] in a garage. [ guys cheering ] and now... at the end of a power cord. introducing the extended range electric volt from chevrolet. is a powerful force. set it in motion...
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if you live for performance, upgrade to castrol edge advanced synthetic oil. it outperforms in the world's toughest industry tests. castrol edge. it's more than just oil. it's liquid engineering. we're back. we want to spend some time to be a great friend, pulitzer prize winner columnist, david broder who died this week at the age of 81. and he was fixture here on "meet the press." he holds the record by far for the most show appearances, 401. eight years over his remarkable career. the first was on july 7th, 1963 and to narcotic program's 60th anniversary in 2007 he spoke the
late tim russert about that first appearance. >> you were nervous? >> i was terrified and nervous. >> you were 33 years old. >> and i had met the producer of the program at a couple of press conference, and i was astonished when she called and said we would like you to be on the panel of questioners. and i thought what a break. >> a break that turned into the remarkable run. >> senator, barry goldwater has been in the senate for ten years, a little better than ten years. has he accomplished anything there that you think is particularly noteworthy? >> from that first appearance what started out as terror turned into tena city. >> why does the governor of georgia after two years in office decide four years in advance that he's going run for president of the united states? >> but it was this exchange with
presidential hopeful and texas businessman reciprocity perot in 1993 that broder later stood out as one of his most memorable. >> a friend of mine said why bother? he never gives you a specific answer. i want you to prove them wrong and help me win a bet. in your budget you have $141 billion of savings on medicare and medicaid programs. how do you get it? >> well, if you had told me that you wanted that i would have come in with a very detailed list and given to it you. >> in two months you haven't felt like you need to take up that challenge. >> yes, i have. i have it all written down. i didn't bring with it me. if you asked me to bring it i would have been glad to. wait just a minute. >> you think i won the bet or lost the bet at this point? >> what was the bet? >> that i could not get you to give me a specific answer.
>> sometimes the simplest questions were the hardest. >> what percent of americans are without health insurance coverage. >> i don't know the coverage but i support the concept of categorical health coverage. >> do you have any idea? >> out of 250 million people? >> ah-ha. >> i think some people don't have health insurance that can take care of their own needs. >> he said that exchange left a lasting impression on one bush family. >> the biggest backlash i got from questioning a candidate on "meet the press" was with george h.w. bush. i never had a problem with him but barbara bush never forgave me for embarrassing her husband that way. >> known as dean of the washington press corps and a news man who covered every major story for the last five decades, broder's political analysis was always on the money. like this observation he offered
weeks before president bush ordered the u.s. invasion of iraq in 2003. >> i think that's the beginning of his troubles and our nation's troubles not the end. if we win the military victory as everybody seems to assume that we can do quite readily, then we still find ourselves responsible for constructing a new government in a nation in a vital part of the world that is the key stone to that part of the globe. >> although he was an institution in washington and on this show he never got trapped in the beltway. he loved traveling the country, knocking on doors and talking to voters. all told 13 presidential campaigns over 50 years. but as he said on his 400th appearance right here in the spring of 2008 perhaps the best was saved for the last. >> the best election i ever covered. i always thought 1960 which was my first was the best campaign but all of the good parts of
that came after labor day and we've had so many wonderful, unbelievable moments already in this one and we're not even to the conventions yet. >> anyway. we here at "meet the press" want to extend our sympathies to david's family and his colleagues at the "the washington post". we'll spend some time with dan washington post". we'll spend some time with dan balz and there are a lot of questions out there about retirement. let fidelity help you find the answers. our investment professionals work with you to help you make the most of your retirement and enjoy the life you've saved for. fidelity investments. where leading companies and millions of people go to get the real answers they need. call today.
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