tv PBS News Hour PBS November 1, 2013 7:00pm-8:00pm EDT
captioning sponsored by macneil/lehrer productions >> woodruff: the leader of the pakistani taliban was reportedly killed today by a u.s. drone strike. good evening, i'm judy woodruff. also ahead on the program, a swarm of big-name politicians invade virginia, as a bitter race for governor hits the homestretch. >> from day one, it was all about how the other side was unfit to govern. and in some ways, what's happening, i think, is that voters, at least some of them, are starting to agree with both campaigns. >> woodruff: and it's friday. mark shields and david brooks are here to analyze the week's news. those are just some of the stories we're covering on tonight's "pbs newshour."
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>> and with the ongoing support of these institutions and foundations. and... >> this program was made possible by the corporation for public broadcasting. and by contributions to your pbs station from viewers like you. thank you. >> woodruff: the united states dealt the pakistani taliban a major blow today killing its leader. american and pakistani intelligence officials reported hakimullah mehsud died in a u.s. drone strike. he had just arrived at a compound near miranshah, in north waziristan, after attending a gathering of taliban leaders. for more, we turn to declan walsh of "the new york times." he's in london tonight. declan walsh, welcome. first of all, is it definitely
confirmed that mehsud is dead? >> well, there have been several reports in the past, of course, that he die which had turned out to be false but on this occasion all of the reports-- whether they be pakistani, taliban, or american-- are suggesting that indeed mr. mehsud is dead. is >> woodruff: so tell us who he was and what was his role in the taliban? >> well, pakistani -- hakimullah mehsud took over as the leader of the taliban in 2009 after his predecessor, a man called bit tuul la mehsud was kille killedn american drone strike. and he was a young -- a very charismatic and in some ways flamboyant leader but he also had a very ruthless streak. under him, the pakistani taliban carried out attacks across pakistani cities and, indeed, had launched one attack in the united states, the attempted suicide bombing in times square of may, 2010, was carried out by a man who said that he'd been
trained by the pakistani taliban and, indeed, who said he was motivated by the drone strike campaign in the tribal bets to carry out that attack. a drone strike campaign that has now claimed one of its biggest prizes, really, in the death of mr. mehsud. >> woodruff: how big a loss is this for the taliban? >> difficult to say at this stage. after his predecessor was killed in 2009 it didn't take very long for the pakistani taliban to bounce back and go on to a whole series of other bombings. on the other hand, the pakistani government in recent weeks has been talking about engaging the taliban in peace talks and they are relatively weak compared to some previous years. so there is a sense that this could provide the momentum for talks with the taliban between the pakistani government and the pal ban when they here in a position of weakness but the taliban themselves have told our reporters in the tribal belt that they're furious at this,
that they blame the pakistani government and they're already vowing to take revenge in an unspecified way, but most likely involving a bombing campaign in pakistan over the coming weeks. >> woodruff: i want to ask you about that, but i also want to ask you about those peace talks because we know this comes soon after the pakistani prime minister was in the united states. he was calling for a stop -- an end to these drone strikes. so how does this -- how do you see the timing of this? >> well, for the c.i.a. this comes at a particularly striking moment. only last week, as you say, we had the pakistani prime minister mr. sharif, in washington meeting president obama. one of the issues they discussed was drones. the pakistani government has very vocally opposed the drone campaign even though there are many indications that in private they have approved at least some of these strikes. there's also been a lot of attention recently from human rights groups about civilian
casualties. the u.s. government claims that the drone campaign is extremely accurate, has killed very few people, but amnesty international brought out a report last week which suggested that in one instance a 67-year-old grandmother was killed. in another, 18 laborers were accidentally killed as they waited to take a meal at the end of the day. so it's a very contentious program but for the c.i.a. this is certainly -- or for the american government, rather, this is a way to show the campaign can also be extremely accurate and can take out people who are a danger not only to the united states but also to pakistan. >> woodruff: so in terms of knowing whether the government of pakistan would have agreed we this, had given a green light or opposed it what is your reading of that? >> as with many aspects of the drone campaign, we simply don't know for sure. there is a lot to suggest that previous pakistani governments certainly encouraged some drone
strikes and cooperated with others. mr. sharif's government has insisted in public at least that it has nothing to do with the drone campaign and that it only opposes it but what goes on behind closed doors with the drones because, of course, this is a covert campaign is really very difficult to tell. >> woodruff: and very quickly again there is some sense now that they may rheal@? that's right. the pakistani taliban has vowed to carry out revenge strikes for this death. mr. mehsud's funeral is due to take place tomorrow on saturday in the tribal belt but i think across the country pakistanis are really going to be viewing this with some apprehension and will be bracing themselves for possible retaliatory strikes. >> woodruff: declan walsh of the "new york times," we thank you. >> my pleasure. >> woodruff: in other news, a gunman shot a federal security worker to death at los angeles international airport and
wounded at least two other people. the attack touched off chaos as rescue workers rushed to get the victims away, and travelers took refuge outside if they could. airport police chief patrick gannon said there was no warning. >> an individual came into terminal three of this airport, pulled a assault rifle out of a bag and began to open fire in the terminal. he proceeded up into the screening area where t.s.a. screeners are and continued shooting and went past the screeners back into the airport itself. >> woodruff: the gunman ultimately shot it out with police and, apparently, was wounded before being captured. the associated press identified him as 23-year-old paul ciancia of the los angeles area.
for a time, the incident caused the federal aviation administration to ground all departures from l.a.x. flights bound there from other cities were ordered not to take off. iraqi prime minister nouri al- maliki appealed today for u.s. help against violent attacks by al-qaeda militants. he wound up a washington visit this week by meeting with president obama at the white house. maliki is seeking military and intelligence assistance. we'll have more on this story after the news summary. in egypt, thousands turned out to protest after friday prayers, in a show of support for deposed president mohammed morsi. they filled the streets and denounced morsi's upcoming trial, due to start monday. there were even chants calling for the execution of the military chief who led the coup against morsi. >> (translated): this trial is void because the military coup is void and has no legitimacy. this should never, ever happen
not even over our dead bodies. we will never accept a traitor and his accomplish to rule egypt. >> (translated): this is not a trial. until now, no lawyer has been able to meet him and no volunteer has been able to take a copy of the papers of the case. this is not a trial, this is a farce. >> woodruff: the military-backed government has cracked down on morsi supporters since he was ousted in july. secretary of state john kerry acknowledged today that u.s. surveillance overseas has crossed the line at times. the admission followed disclosures that the national security agency monitored german chancellor angela merkel's communications, and tracked phone calls and e-mails across europe. kerry addressed the issue, over video link, for a conference in london. >> in some cases i acknowledge to you, as has the president, some of these actions have reached too far and we are going to make sure that that does not happen in the future. >> woodruff: kerry said he and president obama learned of some of the surveillance after the fact.
but he also said some of the information gleaned has saved lives. one third of all the texas clinics that perform abortions are now barred from doing so. a federal appeals court last night allowed new state restrictions to take effect, pending further appeals. the rules say clinic doctors must have admitting privileges at nearby hospitals, but many do not. texas is one of a number of states to approve broad new curbs on abortions in recent months. in economic news, u.s. factory output expanded in october, at the best pace in two and half years. that word came today in a closely watched survey of purchasing managers. and major auto makers reported solid gains in october as well. chrysler, ford, g.m. and nissan posted double-digit sales increases over the previous month. on wall street today, the dow jones industrial average gained nearly 70 points to close at 15,615. the nasdaq rose two points to
close at 3,922. for the week, the dow rose three-tenths of a percent. the nasdaq dropped half a percent. still ahead on the "newshour": iraq's prime minister visits the white house seeking help to curb growing violence back home; the one out of seven americans on food stamps now must get by with less; the race for virginia's next governor heads into the home-stretch and shields and brooks analyze the weeks news. we turn now to iraq. that country hit another deadly our chief foreign affairs correspondent margaret warner reports. another deadly milestone today as it's leader came to the white house looking for help. >> warner: today's two hour meeting between maliki and the president capped off a busy week
in washington for iraq's prime minister in his quest for more u.s. help to fight a resurgent and deadly al qaeda threat in his country. mr. obama said that threat was front and center in their talks. >> we had a lot of discussion about how we can work together to push back against that terrorist organization that operates not only in iraq, but poses a threat to the entire region and the united states. >> warner: but he also urged maliki and his shiite-dominated government to share power more broadly, and address the lingering grievances of sunnis and kurds. >> we were encouraged by the work that prime minister maliki's done in the past to ensure that all people inside of iraq- sunni, shia, kurd- feel that they have a voice in their government and one of the most important expressions of that
will be elections next year. >> warner: u.s. troops left iraq for good at the end of 2011, though it continued some military sales and development aid. now maliki wants a lot more military hardware, including apache helicopters and fighter jets, and stepped-up counter- terrorism and intelligence assistance. but after the meeting, maliki sought to respond to the president's urging that he be more politically inclusive at home. >> ( translated ): what we want is for iraq and the region to be able to work together. and we are working in iraq and mobilizing our people to fight al qaida. the democractic experience in iraq is nascent and fragile, but it was born very strong.; we democracy needs to be strong because it alone will allow us to fight terrorism. >> warner: the need is urgent: since the spring, iraq has seen the worst bloodletting in more than five years, mostly directed against shia civilians. and united nations report today issued eye-popping figures for october-- nearly 1,000 more
iraqis killed, many at mass gatherings like weddings, funerals and schools. the toll in september was equally grim, and there have been more than 7,000 killed so far this year. maliki blames the attacks on a revived al qaeda branch in iraq now operating from bases in western iraq and ungoverned eastern syria. but it will be up to congress to decide if maliki gets from washington all the extra help he seeks. >> woodruff: and margaret, who has been covering this all week, joins us now. so, maliki, as you say, has been here all this week making a full court press. how has it gone? >> it's been very bumpy, judy. particularly on capitol hill and with some people who consider themselves iraq experts. but we don't know because of the meetings at the white house and the followons with vice president biden and prime minister maliki just ended-- i don't know-- eight minutes ago.
so what we don't -- what i can't tell you now is whether the president, vice president, secretary kerry came away with a sense that maliki really is -- really gets it. really gets the fact that he can not solve this violence problem-- as awful as it is-- with security alone. that he has to also make internal changes. >> woodruff: tell us about the approach of the administration versus the congress. what are you hearing? what are they saying? >> it's very different. first of all, congress really matters here. it's important to know, because the sales he wants say apache military helicopters, for instance, have to get yeah or nay from the senate foreign relations committee. it's a quirk in the law. not the whole senate but the foreign relations committee. the senators, the two leading senators, chairman robert mendez-- a democrat-- and bob corker of tennessee-- the republican-- and many others, senator mccain who you saw interviewed this week, all believe that maliki's exacerbating his problems but
alienating the sunnis. they do things like go into sunni neighborhoods and round up 500 young men in the name of fighting terrorism and one american official told them "you're making the same mistakes we made in iraq early on, we create more terrorists." they're concerned about allowing iranian overflights of material and weapons to assad's forces in syria and finally they are very concerned that any counterterrorism or weapons they give, maliki could use to repress his own people because they have cracked down on a lot of protesters. so the white house -- let me just say briefly-- sees all that but they are most concerned about this absolutely volatile situation along that border between iraq and syria and that one, they could lose iraq, quote/unquote, as one official said to me today. and, two, it makes it really hard to contain the radical jihadis within syria. >> woodruff: so maliki did spend time on the hill? >> uh-huh. >> woodruff: how much progress did he make there? what happened? >> it went very badly. the key meetings yesterday were with senator mccain -- excuse me, wednesday, and then with
corker and mendez and i'm told that that latter meeting was particularly contentious. they laid out all their concerns. he sort of sat impassively and according to the aides present he simply repeated platitudes about how he's governing by the constitution. and finally mendez got so -- i don't know if it's angry but certainly peeved that he said, look i feel you're glossing over our concerns and you need to know you're not getting any of this without our okay. and senator corker came out afterwards and said question felt he was completely dismissive of our concerns. >> woodruff: it's known one of the things they feel strongly about is he needs to share power. you've been in iraq, you've talked to people who are close to maliki. how do they explain fact that he doesn't like that idea? >> i think former ambassador ryan crocker said it well in the peace i ran last night which is -- the piece i ran last night which is that you have to understand that he comes from the da'wah party, shiites, they were brutally repressed under saddam hussein.
so now that he's on top and the shiites are on top they're afraid oh, my god, if we share power with the sunnis the bad old days will return. and we are really -- so they just don't know how -- they don't trust in the governing system to fairly allocate power. so instead they clamp down. you're seeing the same thing in egypt where you saw the muslim brotherhood once they got on top after years of repression cut everyone out. and so really in the whole post arab spring middle east we are seeing the inability of -- elections don't solve the problem, habits of mind have to be developed that are very different from what they have lived with. >> woodruff: margaret, given all that, where does it go from here? >> well, the first thing is the administration -- did maliki learn something between wednesday's meetings and today's meetings with the white house and i frankly can't tell you the answer to that. but i'm told that, for instance, the apache helicopter request is on the hill, it's not being acted on. i think that maliki's going to have go back and make some bold steps to show greater
inclusiveness. he's very done some because his party actually took a drubbing in recent local elections because even the shiites are furious that nobody's protecting them from all these terrorist attacks. so the question is whether the combination of political pressure really internally plus from the administration will make him "see the light" in americans' terms. the danger is, of course, that every month that goes by you saw those horrific figures, the situation gets far more dangerous, far more volatile, far more likely to draw in civilian sunnis and shiites into a really bloody civil war of the kind you add in '50 to '07. >> woodruff: it really is an awful situation. great reporting, margaret. thanks. >> thanks. >> woodruff: the number of americans enrolled for food stamps has soared by 70% since the recession, but additional assistance for those in need is dwindling. and the future of one of the country's largest safety net programs isn't bright.
hari sreenivasan begins our coverage with this report. >> reporter: starting today, more than 47 million food stamp recipients have to get by with less. a temporary addition in benefits has expired, four years after it took effect as part of an economic stimulus program. food stamp recipients at this arlington, virginia food bank said today they'll feel the loss. >> it's going to affect me a lot because we're on a tight budget. a lot of people are on a tight budget, and if we don't have a certain amount of money, we're going to starve. >> reporter: the supplemental nutrition assistance program or "snap," as it's formally known, now serves one in seven americans. last year, it cost roughly $80 billion, more than double what it cost in 2008. the new reductions will save about $5 billion for this fiscal year. for a family of four, that means losing $36 a month, and going back to a total monthly benefit
of $632. in georgia, jon west, with the atlanta community food bank says that amount of money simply won't go far enough. >> their food stamps only last them about three weeks out of a month so with a cut of $36 a month that they're going to be experiencing now, they're going to be lucky to make that stretch two, two and a half weeks. >> reporter: as a result, food banks and other charities are anticipating increased demand. back in virginia, charles meng is executive director of the arlington food assistance center. >> it will clearly increase the number of families we see on a daily and a weekly basis. you know these are families who really do need food. these are not families taking advantage of a system, or a situation. these are families that are really desperately struggling and not having enough food. >> reporter: all of this, as congress is debating making new cuts, as part of a broader farm bill.
the republican-controlled house is pushing to take $39 billion out of food stamps over the next decade. republican frank lucas of oklahoma chairs the house agriculture committee. >> ultimately, this bill encourages and enables work participation and makes commonsense reforms, closes program loopholes and eliminates waste, fraud, and abuse in the snap program, saving the american taxpayer nearly $40 billion. >> reporter: the democratic majority in the senate is pushing a farm bill that also cuts food stamps, but by far less: $4 billion over ten years. >> woodruff: jeffrey brown takes a closer look at the immediate impact of these changes and what may lie ahead. >> brown: we explore some of the changes on the table with ellen teller of the food research and action center, a not-for-profit that works with hundreds of groups around the country to
eradicate hunger. and robert rector is with the heritage foundation. his work on this is considered influential with republican members in congress. welcome to both of you. ellen teller, this immediate action, cutting back assistance, allowing what was considered a temporary increase to lapse, you don't think this is a good idea? >> no, i don't. initially when congress was drafting the recovery act they put in place this boost in snap or food stamp allotments and it was never intended to affect a family by seeing a reduction from one month to the next but because of congressional interference today we are seeing a cliff so a family going in for grocery store today will see every snap household will see a reduction in their monthly benefits lower than what they received last month. >> brown: mr. reck snore. >> well, this increase was intended to be temporary as part
of the stimulus package. no one that i'm aware of ever advocated it being permanent and i don't even think the obama administration is seeking to make it permanent. but also i think it's very important that you can't talk about the safety net one program in isolation. we have over 80 different programs providing cash food housing and medical care to poor people. doesn't include social security and medicare. we spend close to a trillion dollars a year. that's about $10,000 for each low income american. this constitutes a cut of about of about one half of 1%. >> brown: are you suggesting people will not feel this right away? >> i'm suggesting very few people get food stamps alone and therefore you have to look at the overall package of assistance that they get which is closer to $27,000 to $30,000 a year. in that context this type of restraint is less alarming than if you just look at food stamps alone.
very few families get food stamps alone. >> we are now talking about $1.40 per person per meal. and whereas the snap allotment could have lasted for three weeks because of this reduction in a household's monthly expenditure for food, emergency food providers will be seeing people coming in earlier in the month needing assistance. snap only goes for food purchases. >> brown: what about his larger argument that it has to be seen -- even though it's only for food purchases, it has to be seen within this larger safety net. >> well, i think what happened was is that the recession dragged on longer than people anticipated and for low income people they've been slower to see the rebound in the economy so their needs have not changed. they still see their hours
suppressed, unemployment high and they still need this food assistance and they rely on map is for making sure their households have a nutritionally adequate diet. >> brown: that's part of the argument, right? one argue system a very large argument that's been going on for a long time. another one is the immediate what happened during the recession and things haven't recovered far lot of people. >> i think that's exactly right which is why we're not advocating back to prerecessionary spend bug the fact is we're spending about 50% more on aggregate welfare than we were when the recession began. it's a huge, huge increase and under obama's budget it's not scheduled to go down. the trillion dollars a year will go up to a trillion and a half. >> brown: why do you think the numbers have gone up so high in terms of the number of people? >> i think part of it is the economy. no one could deny that. there's serious rates of unemployment that continue but but this program is rife with fraud. it has an outreach to bring
people in another thing they've done is get rid of the asset limits which were part of this program. you can have a million dollars in the bank, you're unemployed, you can get into food stamps now. that's an outrage. we also have weaker work requirements on this program than we do on the programs for single mothers. an able-bodied 20-year-old who isn't working isn't required to do a single thing to get his food stamp benefits. that's an abuse of the taxpayer and probably not good for the recipient either. >> brown: is that true about the million dollars first? >> well, first of all, the program works. it works exactly the way it was designed when the economy is week, food stamp participation goes up. when the economy is strong, participation goes down and the congressional budget office, the independent arm of congress that scores or calculates how things project into the years says that by the end of this decade we will see a drop in participation, why?
because the economy is expected to get stronger and people as they move into jobs, as their hours increase, as they have more income they come off the food stamp program. people come on and off the program. they don't stay on the program for long periods. >> but there are abuses, okay? and she just ignored the fact that they've removed the asset test. this was a program that used to be you would -- when you didn't have cash to support yourself and feed yourself then you could get into this program. we did away with that. there's no meaningful asset test. one of the things the republicans are doing is restoring the asset test. >> a bipartisan congress decided years ago that working poor families with children who are making an income may need to acquire some assets and in order to move out of poverty. so it was a bipartisan congress that gave states the option to
remove the asset test. and you still at the end of the day have to in your net income still be eligible for food stamps so you still have to go through all the other tests in order to get on the tpao +*s stp program. >> and your argue system the program basically works, correct? >> yes, and it works for the people in this country who need it. and if you look at this program, 83% of snap benefits go to household with a child or elderly person or disabled person. so this is the largest of the child nutrition programs and these are the people we are supporting with snap. >> brown: those facts haven't changed, right? about where most of the money goes? >> there's a reality that half of the able-bodied people on food stamps don't do any work during the month and i can can see that they have problems with unemployment but the reality is -- >> brown: well, they do have problems with unemployment, right? >> they do. but in the long-term sense i believe that this program along
with other 80 program programs that provide assistance to able-bodied people those adults ought to be required to work or prepare for work or at least look for a job. that constrains costs a bit and it's best for recipient and it's fair to the taxpayer. this program does not do this. it has no asset test. it has no meaningful work or activity requirements. >> brown: that's part of the larger debate that is before congress. we'll watch that one. robert rector, ellen teller, thanks so much. >> woodruff: we look now to next tuesday's elections, and one of only two gubernatorial races in the nation this year, this one in virginia. former democratic national committee chairman terry mcauliffe is challenging republican attorney general ken cuccinelli in a state that's growing fast and frequently changing party hands. kwame holman has our report on the contest, and its national implications.
>> reporter: both parties are looking at virginia for clues about future elections. and that intrigue has brought a steady stream of national figures into the state for the homestretch. longtime party fundraiser and democratic candidate terry mcauliffe was joined on the trail this week by former president bill clinton. >> i want you to elect him governor because what happens in virginia is really important to this country. >> reporter: before that, mcauliffe received the endorsement of former secretary of state hillary clinton. >> supporting and voting for terry mcauliffe will make you proud of yourselves, of this commonwealth, and yes, of this country. >> reporter: virginia's attorney general republican ken cuccinelli has appeared in recent days with kentucky senator rand paul, a favorite of the tea party. >> we need champions and you need a governor who will stand up against an overbearing and overzealous government. cuccinelli's the one to do it. ( cheers ) >> reporter: louisiana governor
bobby jindal also has rallied voters for the republican. >> this isn't a choice between two personalities. this isn't a choice between two guys that have slightly different views. this is a clear contrast. >> reporter: the contest also has captured the attention of virginians looking for signs of where their state is headed politically. >> i think it's dangerous to say virginia is a blue state or even a purple state. remember what this state was like 15 years ago? this was the bedrock christian right state. it doesn't go away. >> we're kind of in the crosshairs of a lot of change in america. you know, there's part of northern virginia that's kind of moving in one direction, there's the rest of virginia that's kind of moving in another direction. so it's kind of like we're at a crossroads in which way we're going to go. >> reporter: with so much at stake, a fierce battle has been waged across the airwaves. >> as governor, where would ken cuccinelli take his extreme agenda? our schools. >> reporter: in face-to-face debates.
>> saying the words education and research, that's all great, but those are goals, those are platitudes, they're not plans. >> reporter: and on the campaign trail with the candidates pulling no punches. >> if you like d.c. politics, you'll love terry mcauliffe. if you like detroit finances, you'll love terry mcauliffe. >> ken's new campaign slogan is "fighting for virginia." but after campaigning with ted cruz its pretty clear that its just that. a slogan. >> reporter: stephen farnsworth is a professor of political science at the university of mary washington. >> from day one it was all about how the other side was unfit to govern. and in some ways what's happening, i think, is that voters, at least some of them, are starting to agree with both campaigns. >> reporter: among them: andrea khoury. she traditionally votes republican, but says the negativity coming from both sides has left her undecided this year. >> i think they've been doing more attacking than actually what their platform is. and i think as a voter, i need
to know what i'm voting for, not what i'm voting against. >> reporter: the heated rhetoric has turned off other virginians. >> i've only heard negativity. i've only heard mudslinging from both sides. >> if i vote i would write myself in on the ballot because i'm so disgusted with the way everything's been run so far. >> reporter: heading into the final weekend, polls shows mcauliffe running ahead, but with margins ranging from two to 11 points. a mcauliffe victory would bring to an end a 40-year trend in virginia politics. since 1973, the state has elected a governor from the opposite party that won the white house the year before. with president obama's re- election last year, cuccinelli is hoping that tradition continues. the g.o.p. firebrand was elected virginia's attorney general by 15 points in 2009. in that role, he has challenged the obama administration over health care and environmental regulation. and that's a theme he's continued to play up throughout the campaign. >> i'm kind of glad the president is coming to campaign for my opponent.
let there be no lack of clarity as we get to next tuesday. send them a message! >> reporter: it's a tactic cuccinelli also has used on television, where he's tried to tie his opponent to the health care law. >> terry mcauliffe: expand obamacare, increase taxes. ken cuccinelli: create jobs, cut taxes. to stop obamacare and higher taxes, there's only one choice. >> reporter: unlike his rival, mcauliffe supports expanding medicaid under the affordable care act. he says accepting the federal aid would help more virginia residents obtain coverage and benefit the state's economy. >> when we know that 400,000 virginians could gain health care access by accepting the medicaid expansion, we must act. ( applause )
that is virginia money coming back to virginia, and it will create 30,000 new jobs. >> reporter: cuccinelli refuted that claim at last week's final candidate debate. >> he pretends to get $500 million out of the medicaid expansion, which he's called a jobs program. folks, it's welfare, it's not a jobs program. >> reporter: the mcauliffe campaign, meanwhile, has charged republican cuccinelli is outside the mainstream of virginia voters, especially when it comes to women's health issues such as abortion rights and access to contraception. >> let me be crystal clear, i trust women to make their own decisions about their own personal health choices. ( applause ) as governor, i will veto any legislation that will restrict birth control. ( applause ) >> reporter: it's a message the democrat has underscored on television, where he has outspent cuccinelli by more than $3 million. >> and cuccinelli tried to ban common forms of birth control. >> even the pill. >> even the pill.
>> ken cuccinelli is just way too extreme. >> way too extreme. >> way too extreme. >> way too extreme for virginia. >> reporter: the polls reflect a wide gender gap in the race with mcauliffe leading cuccinelli by double digits among women, while men are more evenly split. for his part, cuccinelli says the problems with the health care law should be a chief concern for women. >> on obamacare, it is women that make three-quarters of the health care decisions in this country and they don't like it when they're threatened with the federal government taking their doctor away, taking their health insurance away, taking their choices away and dictating how those decisions are going to get made. >> reporter: the divisions between the candidates are shared by their supporters. >> i think mr. cuccinelli himself has painted himself as too conservative for virginia. i mean these are directly, you know these are his positions and you know, these are his stated positions if you will and i believe the majority of the commonwealth are just not in line with those views >> they're making these crises out of social issues and that's not going to help the commonwealth. we need to get serious about
real problems not made up issues and problems and things like that. >> reporter: mary washington's stephen farnsworth notes cuccinelli's bid has been complicated by the presence in the race of libertarian robert sarvis. one recent poll showed sarvis with 9% of the potential vote. farnworth says that's driven cuccinelli to shore up his conservative base hampering his outreach to the rest of virginia's fast-changing electorate. >> you're looking at a purple state. and if you are too conservative a republican, you can pay a price for that. and there's a belief among some republicans, even people a couple of years ago we would have called conservative republicans, that cuccinelli is too conservative. >> reporter: with both sides eager to win this battleground state, more big names are headed to the old dominion in the campaign's closing days. president obama and vice president biden are scheduled to campaign for mcauliffe. while wisconsin governor scott walker, florida senator marco rubio and former texas congressman ron paul will stump for cuccinelli.
volunteers with both campaigns are doing their part to help get out the vote next tuesday, when virginia voters will decide which direction to take their state for the next four years. >> woodruff: and to the analysis of shields and brooks. that's syndicated columnist mark shields and "new york times" columnist david brooks. welcome to the program. so, mark, we've heard about the virginia race, big names coming in for both candidates. what are the lessons we should take away after hearing this report from kwame and our producers? >> the first thing i'd say after listening to kwame's report is charles darwin comes to mind. the improvement of the species. virginia's governors have included patrick henry, thomas jefferson, james monroe and it's either going to be terry mcauliffe or ken kaoufp nellie. kaoufp nellie. now virginia is a fascinating state. >> woodruff: what do you mean by that? >> when we had a small pool to
draw on-- white protestant males who have property-- we seem to have been lucky in our draft choices in the 19th century. in the 21st censure write a larger pool and terry mcauliffe is a very good party chairman, let me tell you. he was an excellent party chairman. but the key about virginia is this. is it blue or red? in the last two national elections, judy, virginia is the only state that has voted exactly the way the nation did. it voted 53% to 46% for barack obama in '08, 51% to 47% to him in '12. 13 out of the last 14 prior to that it voted republican. the only time they voted democratic was for lyndon johnson in 1964 whenever place -- so it's been -- it's a state that had two republican senators, george allen and john warner. now has two democratic senators, mark worner and tim kaine. it's become, i think, a bluer state and ken cuccinnelli i don't think is the kind of
republican who -- and kwame's point is right. robert sarvis, the libertarian, complicated his life and if, in fact, what happens and he has to hope that cucchinelli folks that the third party does better in the polls than election day when people say well, i have to make a choice between these two leading candidate he is has to hope that sarvis voters say cucchinelli is the best chance. >> if mark's going with darwin i'm going with the suffragette movements. women can vote now, it's been 100 years or so. women have the vote and the republican party doesn't seem to be aware of that. >> woodruff: actually, not quite a hundred years but who's counting. >> roughly 100 years, thank you for saving me from a thousand letters from angry suffragettes all over the country. >> the truth it is' 93. >> okay, that's rough. >> woodruff: thank you, we've got that straight. >> the fact is he's doing terribly among women and the republican party has become more and more a white male party and this is another sign of that.
sean trend did a very good analysis whereof the vote have moved. his argument is not so much because the government shut down. it's not even changing demographics. republicans have done quite well in governors races, but just getting clobbered on gender issues, contraception issues and particularly on try densy. stridentsy. he's not only taking these positions which others have won on, he's campaigned in a more strident manner and it's done him a disservice and opened up this gender gap. >> stephen farnsworth who was interviewed in kwame's piece made the point and he's right. it's been a negative campaign. if there's a lesson to take -- i mean, it's not. >> woodruff: you heard the voters saying it. >> not this is what we can do together to make a better state to bring a more just and humane society or fuller employment or whatever. it's been, look, you know, i may be no day at the beach but the other guy, my opponent, is a chronic pain in the neck and
lower back region and everything else? and that's what it's been? and it's hardly been elevating or edifying campaign. >> woodruff: isn't that the way most campaigns are these days? but we won't start grading them on a scale. >> he said patrick henry. he's setting the bar kind of high. >> woodruff: spying. a spate of reports and more evidence that the u.s. is doing surveillance on our -- not just on our enemies but on friends and allies, the german chancellor and today the secretary of state john kerry was quoted as saying that some of these actions may have reached too far. >> a kpwhraoeupbdingly good grasp of the. it spread to tech firms. it spread to the tech firms they realized this is really a business problem for them if we look at them an adjunct to the
n.s.a. i'm supporting the megadata analysis we do of potential terrorist bus to do it to your friends is a complete destruction of trust we had an op-ed calling on two things, the president should apologize, that's clearly right. blanket apology to angela merkel and we should have a treaty we won't do it to other leaders who are close friends and allies. >> the administration is sounding like they're going to pull back but they're saying they need to do a big sweep just in case there's something out there. >> that's what secretary kerry-- who was the most credible figure who was not in any way tainted-- to make this statement. i mean he acknowledged -- david makes a good point. he acknowledged what everybody knows and that is that it's gone too far. and the fact is, judy, it's one
thing to spy on germany. they've been spying apparently on mrs. merkel since 2002 or france or italy or spain or asian league companies but you don't mess with apple or google and they're upset they've put the defense in a -- the administration in a defensive position. they've lost -- on this one they've lost dianne feinstein, the chairman of the senate intelligence committee who's been a staunch defender. the argue that secretary kerry made, we've stopped airliners from being shot down, we've stopped assassinations by being blown up and you can't prove that without compromising your own sources. >> but let's distinguish between the big sweeps done in the middle east or pakistan and in
berlin. i think it's a cost benefit analysis, it's a matter of prudence. we have a national security apparatus which now numbers hundreds of thousands of people with top secret clearance who do what they can. they do whoever they can and there's not much of a sense of balance and prudence in the costs to that mentality are very high and the transatlantic relationship that is at a low point and even lower potentially after the iraq war debate and asian nations which were upset, deep cost too american alliance. >> it wasn't an idle concern when they said the president shouldn't keep his blackberry. >> woodruff: early on. >> and he doesn't know -- i'm not sure he knows who is listening in on that. >> woodruff: well, on days when the white house isn't worrying about the spying issue they are thinking about what's going won the rollout mark of the health care law and the web site and i know we talked about this last week but this week you
have to secretary of health and human services kathleen sebelius on the hill. the woman who's in charge of the medicare/medicaid agencies. they're accepting responsibility but the problems just -- just doesn't steam go away. not only not go away it seems to get bigger. >> you can say this week that john kerry and -- to some degree but kathleen sebelius, secretary of health and human services, took one for the team. in full disclosure, i manage kathleen sebelius' father campaign, winning campaign for governor of ohio 43 years ago and i've known her so i don't pretend to -- total objectivity. but, i mean, it was refreshing to hear somebody stand up and say "i'm accountable, i'm responsible." i mean, that's a song you don't hear very often in washington "call me responsible." but you're right, the problems continue. they're compounded and -- by the fact than the president's statement that nobody would have to give up his or her existing
insurance, that has been totally contradicted. he was wrong. he was misleading. and that's a time when you need the president to be the most credible messenger for making the case for people to enroll to compromise his reputation for candor and honest city really even further self-inflicted damage. >> woodruff: how deep a hole reason r they in in this in? >> well, the web site was a messup. the people losing their cancellation is the law. the government regulators are saying not good enough. some will suffer, some will benefit. but these the foothills to what will be a hole set of bigger problemses. because of the problems with the enroll. that increases the likelihood we'll have the death spiral where only sick people sign up, the healthy don't sign up and you can't run a system like that. then there are further problems,
complexities down the road of how the subsidy mechanism works. that's very complicated mechanism. basically you're reorganizing 70% of the u.s. economy and you're hand ago -- >> 17%. >> 17%. and handing it to people who can't run a web site so there's bound to be unintended consequences. >> woodruff: these early folks are signing up for medicaid which doesn't put money into the health care. >> it's not what the insurance companies were looking for when they wanted the young, healthy people to sign up. death spiral i think david is a bridge too far. i think it's a problem. they better have all of these problems ironed out by the end of november as far as the web site is concerned or else the hole does get -- >> i'm saying that as a short term for the adverse selection problem where only sick people sign up. >> woodruff: you know, a couple weeks ago we were talking about the problems republicans were having coming off of the government shutdown and how they were having to do all this chest beating worrying about where
they were headed now it's the administration worried, you've got democrats worried about what the president -- what's going to happen to the health care law. a new poll came out, nbc, the "wall street journal" just yesterday lowest ratings ever not just for republicans but the president. i mean and then the view, david and mark, of washington, is as low as it's ever been. is this something -- i mean, if you work in washington do you just despair at this point? >> i think there's a despair in the country, judy, about democracy and about our ability to compromise. i mean, that's what comes through in that "wall street journal" nbc poll, peter hart who conducted it with bill mcintire, people are just saying what is wrong with you, why can't you work together? i mean, you're right the republicans paid dearly for the government shutdown but the democrats -- it's like a seesaw where they're both down. i mean, the democrats aren't up because the republicans are down, the democrats are down and every time there's an erosion, further erosion of confidence in
washington, in the public sector, the worse it is for democrats. >> woodruff: just a few seconds, david. this is -- i mean, this is something that could last. >> yeah, although lenin, my great hero-- no-- >> john lennon? >> no, vladimir. he said the worse the better. so if we get a completely dysfunctional system, we've been on this slope for a long time, maybe there will be some reform. it's just up to people do the reform. >> woodruff: thank you both, on that note we say good night to both of you. mark shields, david brooks, thank you. >> woodruff: again, the major developments of the day: the leader of the pakistani taliban was reportedly killed by a u.s. drone strike. he'd been on the f.b.i.'s list of most wanted terrorists and a gunman opened fire at los angeles international airport, killing a federal security worker and wounded at least two other people. he was later shot and captured.
on the "newshour" online right now, immunizing yourself from financial stress as you age. our economics correspondent paul solman rounds up some of the best advice on not outliving your savings. find that on making sense. all that and more is on our website newshour.pbs.org. and a reminder about some upcoming programs from our pbs colleagues. gwen ifill is preparing for "washington week," which airs later this evening. here's a preview: >> ifill: we'll tackle the health care debacle, the frantic effort to fix it and u.s. spy craft at home and abroad. tonight on "washington week." judy? >> woodruff: tomorrow's edition of "pbs newshour" weekend looks at a the surprising variation in the cost and at times high price of generic drugs. for correspondent megan thompson, the story started close to home, when her mother started shopping for an affordable alternative to a brand name breast cancer medication. here's an excerpt from her report.
>> one store quoted a price forty times more than the other. how could that be? especially when generic drugs are commonly thought to be so inexpensive. >> i was shocked. i was confused. i thought, "what am i missing? you know, this doesn't compute." >> thompson, who'd never been a consumer activist, said she felt compelled to try to figure this out. >> i started just on my own to phone some other pharmacies in the twin cities here. >> reporter: last june, she made another round of calls like she did more than a year prior. and what she found was that nothing had changed: wildly varying prices for her generic breast cancer drug. >> hi, would you be able to check the price of a drug for me? a 30-day supply of letrozole? >> $11.04. >> it's $29.88. >> $45.99. >> $364.99 >> ooh, i didn't realize it was that much.
it's $435. >> $455. >> it didn't seem fair. and it seemed to me especially egregious when it was a life- saving-- when it... when it involved a life-saving cancer drug. it just upset me. >> woodruff: pbs newshour weekend with hari sreenivasan airs saturday and sunday on most "pbs stations." and we'll be back, right here, on monday. we profile one family in new york trying to make it on minimum wage. that's the "newshour" for tonight. i'm judy woodruff. have a nice weekend. thank you and good night. >> major funding for the pbs newshour has been provided by: ♪ ♪
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