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tv   This Week  ABC  July 18, 2010 7:00am-8:00am PST

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good morning. and welcome to "this week." good morning. and welcome to "this week." this morning, a "this week" exclusive. my interview with vice president joe biden. on the economy. >> this is a hard slog, man. >> his first public response to those disparaging remarks by general stanley mcchrystal. >> i'm not their problem. >> how bad are the losses going to be? >> the reports of our demise are premature. >> and the tea party movement. do you think elements of the tea party movement are racist? vice president joe biden only on "this week." then, will the administration's summer of recovery make autumn a season of victory for republicans? and why is the naacp taking on the tea party movement? we'll debate that and all of the week's politics with our "roundtable."
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we'll have george will, clarence page, and two former white house insiders. former bush communications director nicolle wallace, and dee dee myers. and as always, "the sunday funnies." >> south korea has new robots to detect and kill intruders. meanwhile, they have robots along the u.s. border that say "hola." good morning. as the economy continues to sputter and violence escalates in afghanistan, vice president joe biden finds himself at the center of the obama administration's most critical policy decisions. he's the president's point man on iraq as well. he's in charge of managing the federal government's massive $862 billion stimulus package. that's where we began in the secretary of war suite on the white house grounds.
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i know that some in the white house feel wall street reform, health care legislation, stimulus. and yet, the public still thinks this country is on the wrong track. are you not getting enough credit? you and the administration? >> look, these are gigantic packages to deal with the gigantic problem we inherited. a lot of people really involved don't even know what is inside the package. you have, for example, mr. boehner already calling for the repeal of the reform that just passed on wall street. people don't realize in that reform, you say, look, we have had meat inspection 100 years ago. they didn't like it. people will look back and say, why shouldn't we have some consumer entity looking at whether or not you can give someone a mortgage with no documentation. a teaser rate, no down payment. people don't know that.
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just like -- people don't know a lot of what is going on in the recovery act. understandably. because this has been -- so much stuff has been flowing our way. and we're facing a bunch of guys who are good guys, but they're all about repeal and repeat. repeal what we're doing and go back. repeal the incentives for industry to invest in solar energy. repeal the health care bill that allows you to keep your kid on your health care policy. pre-existing conditions cannot deny you health care. it is just going to take time. this is july. the election is in november. and i think we're going to have to make our case. i think we can make it. and especially in the context of who is going to be opposing it. compared to the alternative, i think we'll get a fair amount of credit by november. i think we'll be fine. >> the reason you're not getting enough credit is because the
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public doesn't understand everything that's happened? >> nor could they or should they. in the last six months of the bush administration, they lost 3 million jobs. before our economic package was in place, millions of jobs were lost in the first six months that we took office. the last six months of this year, the first six months of this year, we created almost 600,000 private jobs in the private market. that's not enough to make up for the 8 million jobs lost in the recession. but people will start to focus on exactly what we're doing. and all -- look, i'm convinced, at least from sitting around my dad's kitchen table and the people i grew up with is when things are really tough economically, and the country is in trouble, they don't expect an answer. but they expect to be reassured that we're moving in the right direction. that is --
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>> but they don't think we are. >> i don't think they know the details of what is going on. for example, the insurance industry spending money to make out the health care bill as a god awful tragedy. now what's starting to happen? the health care numbers are going up? why? they're figuring out that small businesses are going to get a 30% tax cut. they didn't know that because of all the advertising done. i would use health care as an example. health care has gone from a barrage of advertisizing against it. why it was so bad. just like wall street reform. they financially spent hundreds of millions of dollars lobbying against this. this is a horrible thing. all it is is it's rational control. that's all it is. a turning around of what the republicans did, which is let wall street run wild. when you say to people, you know, we just went out and had a
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regulatory reform bill. where i come from, it's like, okay, what does that mean? they don't know what it means yet, understandably. i think it takes time. >> the famous saying in washington. by mike kinsley. a gaffe is when a politician accidentally tells the truth. robert gibbs experienced that. >> i have never had a gaffe. >> you have never had an issue with that. no, i know. so you can't relate. but he said that enough seats are in play in the house for the democrats to possibly lose the house. empirically true. how bad are the losses going to be for the democrats? >> i don't think it will be bad at all. i think we're going to shock the heck out of everybody. i've been saying this now. when you and i went to north carolina, you followed me on the recovery trip. i said it then. i'm absolutely confident that when people take a look at what has happened since we have taken office in november and compare it to the alternative, we're going to be in great shape. here's the deal.
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robert gibbs said what he believes, what i believe, what the president believes, we're going to win the house and we're going to win the senate. we're not going to lose either one of those bodies. this is july. november, and at the time, the most vulnerable time any public official finds himself in is when they have no opponent. look at harry reid. i got banged around when i said there's a 55% chance he'll win. well, harry reid, when he was on the other side of the barrage, of how bad harry reid was, he was in trouble. now the last poll is up seven points. i'll bet anything -- i'm not allowed to bet -- but i bet harry reid wins. to paraphrase mark twain. i think the reports of our demise are premature. >> the naacp had a convention. and they passed a resolution saying that elements of the tea party are racist. do you think elements of the tea
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party are racist? >> well, the truth is. at least elements involved with some of the tea party folks expressed racist views. we saw it on television. i wouldn't characterize the tea party adds racist. members, people on the periphery of their things have expressed unfortunate comments. again, it was all over tv, your network. black congressman walking up the stairs of the capitol. i don't believe, the president doesn't believe that the tea party is a racist organization. we don't believe that. very conservative. very different views on government and a whole lot of things. but it is not a racist organization. >> one of the big issues in this election, this midterm election is the economy. >> yep. >> nonfinancial institutions are sitting on $1.8 trillion in cash that could be spent expanding,
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creating jobs. a lot of members of the business community in the last week or so, is saying that the reason it's not being spent is because the business community is convinced that the obama administration is anti-business and they're worried about what regulation is coming down the pike. why do you think they're not spending that money? >> three months ago, the business leaders were in the white house saying, you're going to be surprised on the upside how many people we're going to be hiring. i think a couple of things have happened. one, they didn't anticipate, and no one anticipated the potential collapse of the european economy. and the so-called "euro zone." spain, greece, and all that. that put the brakes on a lot of people in terms of their optimism. secondly, i think that the very uncertainty they had has now been settled by the passage of
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the reforms. they didn't know which way they were going to go, how much was going to happen. i think there's increased certainty now that the major reform they were worried about is law. it's passed. and they're going to know how to deal with it. i think you see stabilization in the european side, in the so-called "euro done." i think that will help. i think you're going to see them beginning to move. >> you said that the stimulus is working. you said in the past week, 3 million jobs being created by the stimulus so far. since the stimulus passed, more than 3 million jobs have been lost. and before you took office, 3 million jobs were lost. was the stimulus in retrospect too small? >> look, there's a lot of people that at the time argued it was too small. >> a lot of people in your administration. >> yeah, some in our
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administration. some republican economists. and some nobel laureates like paul krugman. there is a reality. in order to get what we got passed, we had to find republican votes. we found three, three, and we finally got it passed. there's the reality of whether or not the republicans are willing to play. whether or not the republicans are just about repeal and repeat the old policies or if they're really wanting to do something. and i'm not -- >> if you didn't have the legislative reality, it would have been bigger? >> i think it would have been bigger. i think it would have been bigger. nax, in fact, what we offered was slight lly bigger than that. the recovery package, everybody's talking about it, it's over. the truth is now. we're spending more this summer, i'm calling it the summer of recovery. we have two, three times more highway projects going. we have significant investment in broadband for the first time.
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it's starting to really ramp up because of the contracts. high-speed rail. wind energy. where will the new jobs come from? that's what we're laying the foundation for. and, again, this is a hard slog, man. and it's counterintuitive to say that someone in delaware who lost their job, by the way, we saved or created 3 million jobs and we lost 3 million. the truth is, over 3 million people who are now working would be out of work but for this. the truth of the matter is, there's an overwhelming consensus. we're not losing jobs. we're creating jobs. the argument's gone from losing jobs to are we creating them and to creating them fast enough. >> turning to afghanistan. i want to read you a quote from jonathan alter's new book. at the conclusion of an interview, biden was adamant. in july of 2011, you'll see a whole lot of people moving out.
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he turned and said, bet on it. did you say that to jon alter? what did you mean? >> i did. if you read three or four paragraphs above it, he made a good point. he was saying that a lot in the military felt they outmaneuvered the president to render the july date meaningless. and i was saying, that's simply not true. the military signed on. petraeus signed on. everybody signed on to, not a deadline, but a transition. a beginning of a transition. >> what is a whole lot of people moving? >> what i was talking about, we're going to have over 100,000 people there. >> more. >> well, i'm just talking americans. 140,000 people there. there's going to be a drawdown of forces as we transition. there are 34 districts in afghanistan. the plan is, as we train up the
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afghanis, we'll begin in august, say, you have this province, we no longer have to have american or nato forces in that prove since. there will be a transition. and really what i was responding to the idea that the president had been outmaneuvered. i was saying, making it clear. it wasn't so much numbers i meant. it could be a couple thousand troops. it could be more. but there will be a transition. >> let's talk about the present in afghanistan. marjah did not go as well as hoped. kandahar has been delayed. how is -- you and the president, your new way forward in afghanistan? where are we in that? are we losing, treading water? where are we? >> it's too early to make a judgment. we don't have all the troops in the so-called "surge" in place yet. that won't happen until august. >> it doesn't seem like it's going according to plan. we're losing a lot of troops. >> well, unfortunately, everyone knew that in these summer
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months, when they can infiltrate from pakistan under the cover of foliage and the rest that is open, that there would be more deaths. that's been the pattern. and now we're engaging them more. and there are more deaths. we still believe that the policy that the military signed on to, put together initially, signed on to, is, in fact, going to work. and let me define work. we're making considerable progress against al qaeda, which is our primary target. we're taking out significant numbers of the leadership in al qaeda. and we are in the process, which is painfully slow and difficult, of training up afghani forces to put them in a position to deal with their own insurgents. there's a real attempt and a policy of trying figure out how to reconcile those many the taliban who are doing it for the
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pay into the government of afghanistan. all this is just beginning. and we knew it's going to be a tough slog. but i think that it's much too premature to make a judgment until the military says we should look at it, which is in december. >> there was a recent incident with the commanding general, now the ex-commanding general. in afghanistan, stanley mcchrystal. i just wondered, since you were one of the people mentioned disparagingly, by his aides -- i know he called you to apologize -- >> he did. >> i'm wondering, what was your reaction? >> i didn't take it personally at all. compared to what happens in politics, that was a piece of cake. i was the enemy. i wasn't the clown. i was the guy that was, in fact, their problem, they thought. i'm not their problem. i agree with the policy that the president put in place. but it was clear. i was asked to, and i did on my own, survey, i think, six four-star generals.
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current and former. every single one said he had to go. the president made the right decision. he changed the personalities but not the policy. put the strongest guy in the u.s. military in place. i think it was the absolute necessary thing to do. president didn't take it personally. i didn't. i met with mcchrystal. the president met with mcchrystal. he was really apologetic. he knew they had gone way beyond. we also knew that if a sergeant or lieutenant did that, no one could stay. >> why do you think they thought of you as the enemy? >> because i had been someone who offered a plan that was different in degree. but, you know, again, i -- some day i'll be able to lay out exactly what the plan i offered was. it would be inappropriate to do
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that. because it was so close to, what, in fact, the plan ended up being. i was very challenging to some of the assertions made. if you notice, we have an insurgency plan along the spine of the country. where the population is. it's not a nationwide counterinsurgency plan. we're not engaged in nation building. which was the original discussion was about that. we have a date where we're going to look and see whether it's working. and we have a timetable for transition. to conclude, when -- when general petraeus was picked and the day in the office, it was the day we were supposed to go downstairs in the situation room, they call it, to discuss the overall policy. everyone's there. i pulled him aside. i said, david, there is no daylight between your position and mine. and he said, i know that. will you tell people that?
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>> let's switch over to iraq. this is your first interview since returning. there's a tremendous stalemate there. since the march elections, i believe the parliament there has only met for 20 minutes. and just this week in washington, the iraqi foreign minister pleaded for more u.s. engagement. he said that we believe there's a role to be played in the process. you once advocated for a three-way partition in iraq. because you were not confident that iraq's government was capable of having a strong central government. >> the most basic premise of the president's approach that the iraqi people will rally behind a strong central government. head up by malaki. in fact, will look out for their interests, is fundamentally and fatally flawed. it will not happen in anybody's live time here, including the pages. >> is it possible you were
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right back then? >> i don't want to debate history here. but i never called for partition. i called for a central government with considerable autonomy. >> three provinces. >> well, it was to allow them more autonomy. like kurdistan. like what is happening in anbar province right now. what's happening here is there is an election that's taken place. what happened is -- there's 325-plus members of what they call their core, their parliament. no one party won more than 91 seats. the with major parties. one won 89 seats. state of law. they're in negotiations to figure out how to allocate the power within the government. in other words, share power. it's about just that. and it's under way. it's going to happen. there will be a central
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government with control of its foreign policy. with control of the military. but you will see that there are going to be significant amounts of autonomy in each of the areas that exists in the provinces. the constitution there calls for that. it took the dutch six months to form a parliament the time before last. it took the folks in the netherlands six months, 280-some days if i'm not mistaken. so this is their first crack at democracy. i used the phrase politics has broken out. not war. we're moving in that direction. >> and the combat mission ends at the end of august. can that happen? even if there is not an iraqi government. >> there is a transition government. there's a government in place that is working. iraqi security is being provided by iraqis, with our assistance. we're going to still have 50,000
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troop there is. we will have brought home 95,000. there's no one in the military that thinks there's any reason we cannot do that. they're making real serious progress. i don't have a doubt in my mind that we'll be able to meet the commitment. of having only 50,000 troops and it will not affect the physical stability of iraq. >> you spoke to the leader of southern sudan recently. >> i did. >> and the referendum on whether they can break way from sudan. it takes place in january. there's a lot of concern that the election will be riddled with fraud. just like the ones in april. >> a legitimate concern. >> the white house person has said there's waning interest in the region. will you pledge that the u.s. will make sure that war doesn't break out? between sudan and southern sudan? >> we're doing everything in our power to make sure that the election on referendum is viewed by the world as legitimate and fair.
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that's why we've been pushing the u.n., kier. it must be viewed as credible. to keep that country, that region from deteriorating. the last thing we need is another failed state in the region. i'm still hopeful. we're on it full time. and i believe that we'll be able to -- they'll be able to pull off, with our help, and the u.n.'s help, they'll be able to pull off a credible election. >> what is the larger strategy for combating islamic terrorism, or islamic fascism as some people call it? even if iraq works. even if afghanistan works, it pops up everywhere. it pops up in yemen, it pops up in somali. what is the larger vision? how does the u.s. combat that?
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>> the larger vision is to appeal to the moderate islamic states. the moderate muslim world. which is the vast majority. that's the first piece. the second piece is in those areas which the radicals can feed on and breed off of is to try to help stabilize those governments. not alone. but with the rest of the world. and part of that is building strong countries around them. as well as inside. and it's a long-term deal. but i think we're making progress. and president obama -- i got asked the other day, well, you ran for president, you know. you're vice president. i said, we got the order right. even if i had been a great president and been elected, it would have taken me four years to do what he did in one month. in one month, he changed the attitude about america in one month. the muslim world, and the moderate muslim world no longer thinks it's us or them. the most important one we're
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finishing up now, god willing, is iraq. imagine iraq as a stable country in that part of the world. a very positive outcome. >> mr. vice president, thanks for spending your time with us. >> thank you, jake. our "roundtable" is next. with george will, clarence page, nicolle wallace and dee dee myers. then later, "the sunday funnies." bristol palin and levi johnston announced their engagement. then they announced their reality show. sarah palin says she can't wait to start shooting. ♪
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>> coming up next, "the roundtable" and "the sunday funnies." roundtable" an day funnies."
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the palin family bombshell. >> bristol and levi johnston are not only back together, they're getting married. >> i came home from work and there was rose petals in the shape of a heart on my bed. and then he got down on one knee and asked me to marry him. >> her engagement happened without the approval of their parents. >> we have a statement out. they say, bristol, at 19, is mow a young adult. we obviously want what is best for our children. bristol and levi, not one of the topics we will be discussing this morning. george will, nicolle wallace, author of the pending novel "eighteen acres." which my wife has not been able to put down. and dee dee myers. thank you. i want to start with the interview with the vice president.
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he did make some news in various areas. george, the vice president said we're not engaging in nation building in afghanistan. if you look at the cover of this week's "newsweek" we thinking afghanistan. nation building, is it working? are we doing nation building in afghanistan or not? >> we are. nation building is what counterinsurgency is as defined by david petraeus. it's to protect the people, make them loyal. by giving them local services. investing in the government, in effect. that's nation-building. which means the obama policy in afghanistan is much more ambitious than the bush policy. the vice president said we're making considerable progress against al qaeda, which is our primary target. we're taking out significant numbers of the leadership in al qaeda. the latter is true. but they're doing it in
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pakistan. because, as you established three weeks ago on the program, you asked leon pannetta, how many al qaeda do you think are in afghanistan? he said, 50 to 100, maybe less. >> one thing i found interesting. that i thought might be of interest to you. toward the end of the interview when he was talking about how great it would be to have iraq this shining example of democracy in the middle of the middle east. does that resonate? at all? >> imagine that. imagine making that case. these are the kinds of arguments that you make when public support starts to wane. as the commander in chief, and obama still gets decent marks in his capacity as commander in chief. republicans actually are encouraged that general petraeus is headed to afghanistan. to replace stan mcchrystal. where i think this will get complicated, where you already see his numbers in afghanistan sliding, is when he starts talking about timetables.
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when they promise to pull troops out. it deflates the morale of the military. public is very smart. voters are very smart. when they hear them talk out of both sides of their mouth, it's difficult. >> let's talk about the timetable. clarence, on the roundtable. for the first time, we have the vice president saying when he told jon alter in that book, a lot of troops leaving in 2011, he said it could be as few as 2,000. >> we're hearing these little rollbacks in the rhetoric as far as how much of a pullout we're going to have next year. and as the administration has said again and again, it's only the beginning of the drawdown that they're shooting for. the president says it's contingent on conditions. but nevertheless, any effort you make to establish stability and to build internal security in afghanistan and unify that
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country is nation building. because of the state of afghanistan. it's been a collection of thousands of tribes and various homelands. general petraeus is trying, valiantly, to organize that. that's nation building. i agree with george. the problem for obama is his own base remembers that this was the good war we were not supposed to get bogged down in. and he's become more ambitious in his goals. >> and dee dee, in july 2011, it turns out only 2,000 troops leave after dpan stan, i can't imagine that liberals and progressives are going to be happy about that? >> right. last summer and fall, the president went through a process of thinking through the strategy in afghanistan. he spent hours and hours and hours on it. he came out pretty close to where the military and general
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petraeus were. he sold it to congress by pairing it with a deadline. i thought it was interesting to hear the vice president talk about it as the beginning of transition. when the time comes, and in the discussion leading up to that, if the administration continues to try to finesse that, which i think they have been doing, i think you'll see angry liberals. we have already seen it. people again signed on to this plan on the notion that it would be a specific period of time, not a long period of time, that we wouldn't be there for ten years, 20 years, nation building. and i think the language is leaving wiggle room. things on the ground have not gone as well as we had hoped a year ago. >> george, something else the vice president said. you and i talked about. you disagree with his assertion that the wall street reform bill that the president will sign this wednesday will end uncertainty among big business. >> the vice president was really responding to your point about all this mountain of cash
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that businesses have that they're not spending because to invest is to make a wager on the future and they're uncertain about the future. the vice president referred to the financial reform bill as another one of our gigantic packages. another 2,300-page piece of legislation. i don't know if someone said there are three unintended consequences on every page. there are enormous rule makings yet to come. it's bound to spread uncertainty and it's bound to have what we had when the new deal came to a grinding halt. capital went on strike paralyzed by uncertainty. >> however, there is the public out there saying, what is the government going to do to protect us? we did just go through financial collapse? some kind of -- and this came after really several decades of fewer and fewer regulations. less and less oversight. with we need some kind of
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oversight. how many pages of oversight would you like? 2,300 too many? how about 100? the regulations have not been written yet. the regulations for the day-to-day operations of all this. at least, you're going to see some kind of consumer advocacy that wasn't there before. >> but you talk to people in finance and they'll tell you we got into this crisis because the housing market became overheated. that's one of the most regulated industries in this country. finance collided with the housing market. one of the most heavily regulated industries. so, what did we do? we increased the political involvement. >> i had a broker try to sell me on an interest-only mortgage. he gets a bonus for selling me that for charging me a higher interest rate. >> that won't happen again. >> that won't happen again because it's been written out of
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existence. by these new regulations. and warnings will be out there ahead of time. >> even democrats admit the regulations will do nothing to protect us from a similar collapse. >> that's not true, nicolle. most people think that it won't completely prevent but most people think it will help prevent another one. and create additional tools for managing a crisis should another one occur. you can't fight the last war. regulating the last collapse is sort of shortsided. people said a lot of the same things after the last round of big regulation after the '29 collapse. and they turned out not to be true. i do think george is right in the mediate term, or the short term. as we go from the legislative phase to a regulatory phase. it will be a couple of years of writing the details. that will be a tough time. the markets didn't go crazy on thursday and friday in response
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to this being passed, which i think is encouraging. they went crazy to the response that there was lower than expected profits on wall street. >> people in the white house think that people would be paying attention to the fact that this is a big accomplishment. for a president to achieve this, health care reform, the stimulus package, the president deserves credit. is that true, you think? >> yeah, i think it's amazing how much he's been able to do, whether you agree or disagree with the content of the packages. as a legislative accomplishment, these are huge. butting rg i think the administration and president are not getting much credit. i think the number one reason, the most important number that matters. 9.5. you still have millions of people -- we lost 7 million jobs in the last couple of years. we have gone from losing 750,000 jobs a month in the spring of last year to creating somewhere around 100,000 private sector jobs a month now. that's a huge turnaround.
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the stimulus contributed to that. but unemployment is still 9.5. >> but a huge turnaround doesn't explain that. it's campaigning across the country in what is called recovery summer. but they say we really need another stimulus because the first two stimuli did not bring us a recovery. >> i appreciate the proper latin. i want to show a couple of numbers in terms of polling numbers for the president that are not positive. the results of a new abc news-"washington post" poll. on the president's handling of the economy. do you approve of the president's handling of the economy? last month, 50% approved of the handling of the economy. this month, 43%. a seven-point drop in a month. mainly among democrats. as unemployment has gone up, up, up, the president's approval has gone down, down, down. and yet, nicolle, i want to ask you this. if you look at the poll on the public's confidence in different groups to handle the economy.
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obama is at 43%. a horrible number for him. democrats in congress, 32%. republicans in congress, 26%. >> okay. hang on to that 26 and look at this number. 51% of the same voters in that poll want republicans to take control of congress. >> why? >> they don't even trust us and they want us to take control of congress. >> i know. >> that's how desperately they want to stop obama's agenda. i think it's noble. i think it's noble to defend obama-care. but the truth is, it's ignited a disdain for the expansion of the federal government. and it's not just among tea partiers. there's a lot of attention paid to them. the abc-"post" poll has the former coalition calling themselves independents. >> george? >> i think that's absolutely right. the country is not saying we like republicans. they're saying we don't like the current agenda. and the republicans are standing
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there. they are the alternative. >> we have a public in the midst of high unemployment that wants less spending. that was not predicted by this administration. it was certainly counter to what liberals normally call for. counter to what worked for fdr. we can talk about what happened in the great depression, george. but the fact is that i think if unemployment weren't so bad, right now, people would feel a lot better about obama care and the stimulus packages. but the problem is. as long as unemployment is up, the public is not going to appreciate the president's handling of the economy. >> economic hard times move the country to the left, it's not true. before the '36 election and after the '36 election in which roosevelt carried 46 of 48 states, democrats wanted him to be more conservative. and only about 18% wanted to
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increase spending. >> they were enjoying social security. and other programs. >> ronald reagan, too, found himself with low approval ratings. and a tough economy. >> his numbers track with obama closely. >> but he did the opposite. he crafted an agenda that so appealed to the political center that it created a new class of voters, the reagan democrats. obama seems only interested in expanding government and increasing its roll in people's lives. i think it will have the opposite impact that reagan's did. >> you talked about the tea partiers. that gives me the opportunity to change the subject to something else that happened this week. the naacp had its convention. they passed a resolution, not yet released to the public, that condemns racism among the tea party movement. and here's naacp president, ben jealous. >> they have called congressmen
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the n-word, have called congressmen the f-word. we have seen them carry racist signs. and whenever that happens, the membership tries to shirk responsibility. the party wants to be respected and part of the mainstream in the country, they have to act in a responsible way. >> clarence, why did they get so much time? was this an important priority to them? >> rightly or wrongly, they're voicing the sentiments that a lot of african-americans feel. we can debate over whether they were actually called the n-word or not. it's a he said, he said dispute. a year ago, we were talking about is the naacp still relevant when you have a black president? now the naacp is on page one. this is probably the most talked about issue of the week. they're diametrically opposed to the tea party.
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in virtually every way. demographically, philosophically. et cetera. it makes sense that they would be in dispute. it's been played out on talk shows. we're doing a good job of it. >> precisely. there's nothing like name-calling to enable the naacp to make a desperate lunge for its vanished relevance. you say that this episode that he's talking about, and the vice president made an oblique reference to it, is a he said, he said. whether or not the n-word was used. four television cameras monitoring that event say it didn't happen. >> a lot of noise. >> a talk radio host has offered $100,000 to anyone that can produce a shred of evidence that it happened. $100,000 still on the table. >> that's only one of many issues. look at the signs. look at the statements that have been made. look at the blatant racial insensitivities. some of it on both sides. but the fact of the matter is
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that we do have the modern version of what you and i remember as white backlash in the '60s. the hard hats after the civil rights revolution. you had a white backlash, it was called that. they said it's more than just race. same thing now. we're talking about deficits and big spending and all. but there's a backlash against obama's election. and that, some people say, looks racist. >> what the vice president said was that he didn't think the tea party movement was racist but that there were racist elements of it. i think anybody that watches the parades and sees the photographs can say there are individuals that are part of the movement who say things that are racist. in fact, martin and meckler, the tea party organizers, said, like all movements, the tea party has its fringe.
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as patriots, we'll continue to condemn the fringe. and any expression of racism or bigotry. we sincerely hope that the obama party and the liberal left will do the same. that is an acknowledgment that they, too, see racism in some of these events. >> and a very important one. i don't understand why this is difficult. forget about the leadership of the tea party movement. put them aside for a second. any member of the powerful promising and very relevant movement should stand up and condemn anything that you wouldn't want to see your children participate in. and i can't imagine there's any parent in america would approve of any of the racist signs that show up at any rally. i think this is easy. i don't think this is about the leadership. i don't think this is about waiting for the leaders of the movement. forget about that. any individual at a rally where any sign or insinuation of racism appears should condemn
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it. it will only strengthen the movement and make them more relevant. >> i agree with everything but one. there is a role for leaders. where is dick armey, where is sarah palin? it's an easy thing to say what you just said. the members should do it. but so should the leaders. it's an op-ed piece in politico. but most americans don't hear that or know that. there are elements, not the core elements. i don't think the movement is racist. but there are racist elements should be repudiated. so where are the leaders? it seems like a no-brainer. >> the tea party like any other movement wants to win over the moderates. the swing voters out there, if you would. if they're an embarrassment to their fellow conservatives they break up their own coalition. this becomes a relevant thing here. this is not just political
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correctness. >> but i think it's interesting -- we thought that, well, there seemed to be people that said that the election of obama seemed that we reached a post racial america. the heat around this discussion, this week, shows that we're a long way postracial. >> i said we'll be post racial when we're post racism. this was, i think, an awakening of conservatives that were rather shocked by obama's election for not just race the philosophical swing was big as well. >> george, we only have 30 seconds. do the tea party leaders -- i just read their op eds. do they have a point that we demand people to condemn isms? >> during the many protests against george w. bush -- i don't recall, i may be wrong.
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i don't recall a clamor from bush's critics. >> one thing that "the roundtable" will weigh in on, aaron sorkin buying the rights to john edwards' story. so please stay tuned. also there, the fact checks. and we teamed up with politifact. still to come, "the sunday funnies." come, "the sunday funnies." [ male announcer ] the financial headlines can be unsettling. but what if there were a different story? of one financial company that grew stronger through the crisis. when some lost their way, this company led the way. by protecting clients and turning uncertainty into confidence. what if that story were true? it is. ♪
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and now, "in memoriam." >> if you can't make the tough decisions, you can't be the boss. >> should have all kinds of different books, in comic form. and you can.
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♪ >> this week, the pentagon released the names of 19 soldiers and marines killed in afghanistan. >> we'll be right back. ll be right back.
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and now, "the sunday funnies". and now, "the sunday funnies". >> according to a new survey, 60% of americans now say they lack faith in president obama. the other 40% lack jobs, lack a house, lack money. larry king is retiring. were you aware of this? that larry king is retiring? my question is, is he actually leaving, or is he leaving like jay leno did? there's finally promising news from the gulf. bp's putting a cap on the oil leak. they're going to cap up to 90% of the disgusting filth that is pouring out. if the cap works, they'll try the same thing on mel gibson's mouth. >> a movie is in the works about the john edwards scandal. that was the other scandal where someone forgot to put on a containment device. >> we'll be right back. at ge capital, we've been financing taylor guitars
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for over eight years, helping them build a strong dealer network. bringing music to people... i like that. ♪ ♪ [ bob ] i didn't know you could play. i didn't either. ♪ i didn't either. there's oil out there we've got to capture. my job is to hunt it down. i'm fred lemond, and i'm in charge of bp's efforts to remove oil from these waters. bp has taken full responsibility for the cleanup and that includes keeping you informed. every morning, over 50 spotter planes and helicopters take off and search for the oil. we use satellite images, infrared and thermal photography to map and target the oil. then, the boats go to work. almost 6,000 vessels. these are thousands of local shrimp and fishing boats organized into task forces and strike teams. plus, specialized skimmers from around the world. we've skimmed over 27 million gallons
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of oil/water mixture and removed millions more with other methods. we've set out more than 8 million feet of boom to protect the shoreline. i grew up on the gulf coast and i love these waters. we can't keep all the oil from coming ashore, but i'm gonna do everything i can to stop it, and we'll be here as long as it takes to clean up the gulf. and that is our show for today. thanks for spending part of your sunday with us. we'll see you next week
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in the news this sunday, interstate 580 partially reopened after a midnight traffic stop turns into a freeway gun battle. a powerful earthquake rocks new

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