tv Piers Morgan Tonight CNN November 16, 2012 12:00am-1:00am PST
talk to melody. book some time off. stay at home and drink some wine like maybe people in some of those other countries do on their vacation days. thanks for watching. "ac 360" starts now. good evening, everyone. we begin tonight with breaking news. israeli army moving 1500 to 2,000 troops on the border with gaza, many fearing a ground offensive could be the spark that engulfs the region in conflict. inside gaza, scenes like this playing out right now. the israeli military says at least 300 rockets from gaza have been fired into israel since yesterday. israel says at least three people have died. they are fighting back with their own missile launches and air strikes. this is what happened on the ground in gaza, huge mushroom clouds of destruction, buildings left in ruins. israel says it targeted more killed, being dragged out of the attack. the other thing that is just clearly chilling, this is according to senator roy blunt, who told cnn earlier today that it was really amazing, he said, to see the length of this
joining me is pentagon correspondent barbara starr and intelligence correspondent suzanne kelly. welcome to you both. barbara, this is really fascinating me. so general petraeus who has been at the center of this huge scandal tomorrow morning will testify at a congressional hearing about benghazi, and your information from a very good source, i think is really, really significant. it's basically, i have been listening to you for the last couple of hours, petraeus basically says he knew the moment this happened that it was a group called answar al sharia and that after that there was a stream of other intelligence saying it may be linked to the video we all knew about but his belief was always that it was this group and they had to rule out the other intelligence before they could officially confirm it. is that right? >> that's pretty close to it, piers. very good source of mine who is directly familiar with what general petraeus plans to try and say on capitol hill tomorrow behind closed doors is laying
that out. there's basically two threads here. who was responsible, what was their motivation. so they had all this extra intelligence, all these reports coming in that that anti-islam video which sparked riots in cairo was possibly the motivation for some of the attacks as well. at least that's the theory, that's how it's going to go. petraeus will say, we are told, that the cia was able to disprove that. that the video at the end of the day didn't have much to do with it, if anything, but the problem is that disproving of that theory came after he first testified and briefed capitol hill and apparently after ambassador susan rice made those comments. >> that's why it's so significant, it also came after ambassador rice's appearance on the sunday shows, where she is now being grilled by john mccain and others. i'm talking to him in a few minutes. so it's very significant i think what general petraeus believed at the time.
it does beg a belief, really, why would ambassador rice go on national television, having had a briefing we believe from the cia, which turned out to be flawed if the director of the cia right away knew this was an al qaeda affiliated group? >> yeah, you know, it's washington, isn't it. i mean, you know, the theory, what petraeus is expected to talk about is he had his talking points. he got them declassified, approved to go out there in public. when ambassador rice started talking from her talking points, this included other information that wasn't exactly what the cia thought might be really going on. i think some members of capitol hill have brought it down to this point, was the obama administration incredibly incompetent or did they mislead congress, or did they just simply not know. probably it's a little bit of
all three. >> let's turn to suzanne kelly. the fascinating thing again today was the senators allowed in to see this video, this closed circuit television video, that included very disturbing scenes of ambassador stevens' last moments. but also, it seemed to clarify, didn't it, exactly what was going on in the buildup to this attack. there was no obvious sign, according to the senators who have come out publicly after this, of any protest. >> yeah. that's what we've been hearing from people who are in those hearings, piers, and you know, it's interesting because nobody has seen this video yet. it's actually still classified. they're not even really officially supposed to be talking about classified information but i know there's a push to get at least some of this video released publicly. you have to remember, it's going to be a bit tricky because it is still classified and it is still part of the ongoing fbi investigation. but i think that is the feeling within the intelligence community that at least if they can get the public to see part of this, too, they are going to understand just how sort of chaotic and difficult it was to figure out very quickly certainly within 24 hours what exactly had happened.
so they were, you know, their initial information on this according to sources of mine was coming in from people who were on the ground, who were interviewed right away, some media accounts, all of those different threads coming together as barbara mentioned. but the video really apparently isn't of great quality. some hits in it, a very grainy image, so it's difficult to say exactly what they can tell from it. >> it will be riveting tomorrow when general petraeus gives his evidence. he was the boss of the cia when this all kicked off and although he's been embroiled in this scandal, many will say what he says tomorrow and the outcome of this inquiry is going to be a lot more important than what he did in a bedroom. so thank you both very much, ladies. i appreciate it. joining me now, senator john mccain, ranking member of the armed services committee. senator, welcome to you. >> thank you, piers. >> this news has been breaking that some senators have had a briefing this afternoon in which they have seen closed circuit television footage from the night the ambassador was killed in benghazi. i know you haven't seen that yourself yet. but from what they are saying, the people who have come out of there, it would appear two
things have been established now for further debate. one is that there was an alarming gap between the death of the ambassador and further deaths over numerous hours, and secondly, there is no evidence apparently on this video of any kind of protest going on, which would lend succor to your argument that's always been from the start that this was a much more preplanned operation. what is your reaction to this? >> well, my reaction is that i think it's been very clear now for quite a long time that there was no demonstration and that of course was the key element in what ambassador rice was saying and what the president was saying, all about this hateful video and the demonstrations that it triggered. there was not any demonstrations and i didn't have to have any secret briefing to know that. that's public knowledge. so it knocks all this story about the president not knowing
and who was responsible and all that, and even saying as late as september 25th, as late as september 25th, that the united nations, he said at the united nations a crude and disgusting video sparked outrage throughout the muslim world. you know, there's really something missing here. there's a huge gap since september 11th to september 25th. one other aspect of this that's very disturbing is in the second debate with mitt romney, he stated well, i called it an act of terror in the rose garden on september 12th. he didn't, to start with, and second of all, we didn't know until after the election that on "60 minutes" he said quote, on that same day, it's too early to know exactly how this came about, what group was involved. so he either didn't tell the american people the truth in that debate or he didn't tell "60 minutes" the truth. one of the two.
mortars and rocket propelled grenades and heavy weapons to demonstrations. >> right. i want to play you a clip. this is condoleezza rice, who was talking on fox news about benghazi in october. listen to this. >> when there is a fog of war like this, there are a lot of competing stories coming in, there's a lot of competing information coming in and it takes a little while to know precisely what has happened. there are protocols in place. i have no reason to believe that they weren't followed. but it is not very easy in circumstances like this to know precisely what's going on as
it's unfolding. >> isn't that, with respect, senator, sort of a fairer assessment of dr. rice's position, the other dr. rice, susan rice, in the sense there was a fog of war, the cia were clearly passing on what has now transpired to be inaccurate information, they didn't have the whole picture, but when she was put on those shows, she wasn't only talking about benghazi, she talked about iran, israel, and so on. when she was put on those shows, the briefing she received from the cia was what she told the world. now, it turned out to be wrong, as indeed anderson cooper discussed with you yesterday, when condoleezza rice herself talked about weapons of mass destruction and saddam hussein. that was inaccurate. but you defended her integrity. i suppose the obvious question is, is it fair to impugn the integrity of the u.n. ambassador if she was genuinely acting in good faith on the cia briefing? >> well, you covered a lot of territory there and i would like to point out i'm the guy that called for rumsfeld to resign
because the war in iraq was going terribly. i'm the guy that took on the administration and said stop the torture and passed legislation prohibiting it. i was kind of a hero then. now the opposite is true. she should have known because within 24 hours, the station chief in benghazi was sending messages back saying this was an al qaeda affiliated operation. we are responsible for all the things that we say and by the way, the weapons of mass destruction which every nation on earth believed was the case, is very different from this where there's obviously conflicting evidence at the time. so all i can say is that she should have known better. she had the responsibility to know better. and we're all responsible. >> general petraeus is testifying tomorrow about the events of benghazi. clearly if the cia had been inaccurately briefing for quite some time after this, do you believe that he should be
accountable for the misinformation process? >> everybody should be accountable, piers. i am a great admirer of general petraeus. i think he's one of the finest leaders that this nation's ever produced. many of us feel terrible about all of the events that have transpired. but of course we're all accountable. every one of us. and unfortunately, in this town, usually the mantra is everybody's responsible so nobody's responsible. >> let's turn to events in israel and gaza. clearly escalating very dangerously again in the last 24 hours. what is your take on this and what do you think the american reaction should be, if anything? >> well, i think the whole area is unraveling. i think there's a lack of american leadership. i don't attribute that directly to this latest flareup. the thing that's changed now as opposed to previous
confrontations between israel and hamas is that we don't know what role the egyptians are going to play here. the egyptians have been equivocal, as you know, on this whole issue of gaza and the sinai and all those things so it will be very interesting to see how the egyptians come down on this. i don't think there's any doubt this is a terrible escalation. thank god they've got iron dome but obviously, iron dome is not completely protective when you're looking at huge barrages of rockets. but this is incredibly serious and one that is going to require a lot of american leadership. >> let's turn again if i could to mitt romney, who has been coming out, giving some kind of defense for why he lost. there is a suggestion he's being a bit of a sore loser here, that by going on about the president giving gifts to minority groups and so on, really, he's not
coming over in a very dignified way. you lost to barack obama before. should mitt romney be a little above this now and just take defeat gracefully? >> you know, i don't know. these things are always tough. but you know, i have a great line that i use all the time after i lost, i slept like a baby. sleep two hours, wake up and cry. sleep two hours, wake up and cry. i know one thing, piers. the best medicine for defeat is to get busy. because it's so wonderful to feel sorry for yourself. but that really doesn't gain you much. so get busy and get it behind you. >> very good advice. finally, senator, it was a bit of a little contratemps between you and a senator about the fact you hadn't gone to a briefing on benghazi. you seem in a more cheerful mood. dare i broach the subject and ask why you aren't at that meeting yesterday? >> sure. it was a scheduling error.
i just came from a briefing. this is why we need one committee, by the way, because four different committees, three of which i'm members of, are having different hearings. i just came from an intelligence one and it was a scheduling error. same people testified, not exactly the same people, little bit higher up in this one that i just attended in the intelligence committee. it was a scheduling error. i can assure you i got all information on future hearings, including tomorrow morning with general petraeus i'll have all the information. the thing that was amusing about it, it's not a big deal but i said i have no comment and he said you can't have no comment. i said what, i can't have no comment? since when? but look, these back and forth things happen. these guys follow you around. reporters follow you around, they have their job to do and sometimes i'm nice to them and sometimes i tell them to take a hike. >> i'm very relieved to hear you
haven't told me to take a hike, senator. thank you for joining me. i appreciate it. >> thanks a lot. next, fears of all out war between israel and the palestinians. energy is being produced to power our lives. while energy development comes with some risk, north america's natural gas producers are committed to safely and responsibly providing generations of cleaner-burning energy for our country, drilling thousands of feet below fresh water sources
breaking news tonight. deadly fighting between hamas and israel is escalating with rockets raining down on both sides. very dangerous situation with the whole world watching. with me is cnn's fred pleitgen in israel, just a few miles from gaza. fred, what's the latest there? >> reporter: what we're seeing overhead is basically israeli war planes flying towards the border with gaza. almost constantly. it's been going on the entire night and we've seen a lot of air strikes going down from the israeli war planes on targets in gaza. what the israeli defense forces are saying is they've taken out
at least 100 rocket positions there in gaza but nevertheless, there are still missiles also coming down from gaza here on israel. in fact, this town here has seen 20 rockets come down here and senator mccain was talking about the iron dome system before when he was talking to you. that's a missile defense system that's actually in place just a couple hundred yards from where i'm standing. the israelis are saying that that iron dome missile defense system has already intercepted about 130 rockets coming out of gaza but he's absolutely right, it's not enough. just a couple of miles from where i'm standing as well, a building was hit and three israelis were killed when that building was hit by a rocket. >> fred, this escalation's all really come about since we've seen this extraordinary video of the head of the hamas military being blown to pieces in his car. like with all these things in that region, apportioning blame from afar is a very precarious business because each side
blames the other for the reasons leading up to these incidents. what is your sense of how this is playing out in the international stage? >> reporter: it's very difficult to assess who's at fault for this. one of the things that's almost obsolete is to try to lay blame on anyone or to say who actually started any of this. but it certainly seems to be the case that of course the united states is saying all this is square on the shoulders of hamas, because of the escalations that have been happening from gaza, especially the rocket attacks but also attacks with anti-tank weapons on israeli patrols in the past couple weeks that have been racheted up. then you have a whole new player who is doing a lot right now, and that is egypt that's taking a very firm stance, calling this an israeli aggression. but one of the interesting things that tony blair, the former british prime minister said, he said of course, right now everybody is on the phone, everybody is trying to negotiate, everybody is trying to bring the violence to an end. but at this point in time it
certainly looks very much as though things are escalating rather than deescalating and that is certainly the message that we are getting from the israeli defense forces. >> fred pleitgen, thank you very much indeed. joining me is the israeli ambassador to the u.n. welcome to you, sir. >> thank you. good evening. >> this is a dangerous situation, isn't it. what is your reading of what is happening on the ground? we're hearing tonight of 2,000 troops being moved, israeli troops, maybe 30,000 others being brought up as well. what are you hearing and what is the plan? >> well, i won't get into military operations but it has to be very, very clear. israel and israel's government will do anything it takes to protect its citizens. and you know, you went after who is to blame here. i was director general, the permanent undersecretary of foreign service when we went out of gaza. we went out of gaza not to look back. we wanted them to make gaza prosperous and a place that what did they turn gaza into?
they turned it into a haven of global terrorism, of missiles flying in and out of israeli cities, civilians, and an ammunition dump from weapons coming in from iran, syria, and they're continuing to do that. now no nation, no people and no government could sit idle when, you know, missiles are being shot indiscriminately against civilians. not in london, not in paris and not in washington. >> no rational person would disagree that the rocket firing has got to stop. it is a senseless activity that can only lead to more bloodshed. however, as i said to prime minister netanyahu when i sat down with him in jerusalem last year, this clear repression, oppression, whatever you want to call it on the gaza strip, these people are desperate and when there are desperate people with desperate policy and no hope, they often turn to terrorist groups whether to foment their
fury and anger. where does this terrible cycle end? what is the constructive way through this? >> i want to make something perfectly clear. hamas are the enemies of peace. not just the enemies of israel. they are the enemies of peace, regional stability in the region, and to peace both internally on the palestinian side and between palestinians and israel. they don't recognize israel as a state. they want to annihilate us. and in the sense, instead of really building, you say okay, you have gaza, you can do anything you want out of gaza, so they use the money in order to build missiles, and you see we have a clear intention, to go for the infrastructure, the military infrastructure of hamas, which as you see, is astonishing. they are shooting missiles at the amounts that, you know, are amazing, day in and day out. so we are targeting that military infrastructure so we will be able to sit down with good people on the other side
for real constructive talks. >> as with all these things, there is always quaintly called collateral damage, in this case on both sides, children being killed, women being killed. this is an ugly, brutal ongoing battle to which there appears to be no hope for sense of any resolution. i say to you again, what is the way forward here? because there has to be some kind of clarity of leadership that ends this awful spiral of violence. >> piers, i think it's fair enough to try and equate both things. hamas shoots in order to hit civilians and cities indiscriminately, the state of israel tries to target those terrorists that hide in schools, in hospitals, and using the civilians as human shields so in the sense, we are trying to really pinpoint and it's not easy to do that in civilian population. you see that in other parts of
afghanistan and iraq. so people like al jabari who is not exactly mother theresa. this guy is a mass murderer with blood on his hands, killing numerous children and women and basically the world is a better place with people like him out of the system. >> ambassador, thank you for coming in. good to see you. coming up next, fighting in the middle east is sparking fresh protests in new york tonight. what is the battle between israel and hamas mean for america? fareed zakaria joins me live coming up next. that is exactly -- all
that is exactly -- all right, i'm going to move out of the way, i'm going to let you get a look here. i'm going to let you get a look at what is going on. now, i can see the black smoke. it's difficult to capture on camera but you saw that flash. this is what we have been dealing with all day. we've also been dealing with, i'm sorry, the power has just gone out. we've been dealing with power outages, wolf, but this feels like war. >> terrifying moment there. that's cnn's sara sidner inside gaza. death tolls rise in the middle
east as the question is where will this deadly conflict lead to. with me is fareed zakaria. welcome, fareed. >> thanks. >> sara said in one of her reports it feels like war out there. we have seen these scenes erupting with regularity. what makes it perhaps more dangerous, clarify this for me, is the fact you have so much instability around israel at the moment. egypt, we don't really know what's going on there with the muslim brotherhood. you have syria up in flames and so on. it's a dangerous cocktail, isn't it? >> that's precisely it. there isn't actually a war going on in gaza by which i mean if there is a war it's a very one-sided war. the israelis will win. they have massive superiority. they have done this before and the hamas will fire rockets and can keep firing them but these are very ineffective. they don't do much damage to the israelis. they cause the israeli civilians to cower in fear and understandably is something the
israelis have to react to but the danger here is that egypt and israel had a peace treaty that was the cornerstone of middle east stability. you have a new government. how will they react to this? the turks almost cut off relations with israel because of gaza, the embargo. the turks were trying to resupply them. so it's all these new pieces. for most of the last 50 years, israel has when it has found peace with the arabs has found them at the top level with the dictators. it has made peace with the princes. now it's going to have to try to figure out what happens when the people are in charge. the people of egypt, the people of turkey. >> what is the relationship like, would you say, in terms of the ongoing peace between egypt and israel? is that at risk? >> it's very much at risk. i think that, look, the egyptian public wants their now democratically elected government to do something, to
show some kind of strength, to show that they will not acquiesce in the israelis beating up palestinians. so far the egyptian government has not responded to its people, but after awhile a democratically elected government can't keep saying no to its own people. >> when the ambassador said just now, listen, we left gaza and they should have had prosperity and everything else and they've ruined it and gone to terrorism, it seemed to me a pretty simplistic view of what's happened on gaza. gaza is to many people one of the key problems in the region because of the terrible oppression and whatever the right phrase is for it of the palestinian people. it's an awful place for people to try and live, isn't it? >> first one has to say as you did, the israelis are justified in doing something when all these rockets are being fired at them. so there's no question that it's justified. the question you are asking is, is it wise. i think if you look back over what israel has done with gaza, they tried to choke them off economically, put an embargo in
place. that hasn't worked. they've tried this military action before. that hasn't worked. everything they're doing now is tactical. they will be able to destroy the infrastructure of terror for awhile. but what is their long term strategic vision? what is the political dialogue that they are going to have? how are they going to try to have some kind of permanent peace, stability in that region? as you pointed out, gaza is the most densely populated place in the world. it is probably per capita, per square foot, the poorest part of the world. it is just desperate, desperate place. the israelis don't seem to have some strategy to deal with that. they have a very strong military -- >> because what i compare it to is a different situation but in some ways, it's similar, was northern ireland, which very close to where i was brought up. in the end, they managed to get peace and prosperity there. i think by just showing the people that there was a better way, and showing them the benefits of some form of prosperity.
if you don't show the people in gaza, the really poor palestinians who are suffering, if you can't show them even a glimmer of hope, to me it's no surprise if they then start to lend themselves in a supportive manner to groups like hamas. it's not surprising. it doesn't justify anything that hamas does in terms of its terrorism but it can't be a surprise that people who are desperate and have no hope in the end get drawn to these groups. >> well, look, you have an experiment to prove the point you are making. the west bank has been allowed to flourish, it's created a kind of middle class life, economic growth on the west bank has been 6%, 7%, 8% over the last decade and as a result, you don't see a great deal of terrorism coming out of the west bank. now, the israelis are pretty tough in terms of protecting themselves against west bank terrorism, but so are they in gaza. the difference is that the west bank, people have some sense of what ordinary middle class life is and at the end of the day, no mother wants her child to be a
suicide bomber. >> once they taste that, you see, they don't want to go back to the way it was before. once they enjoy a slightly better life. that is one of the key problems there. >> and israel has proved that you can do this anywhere. israel is this great success story that built itself out of the sand. all they have to do now is to try to find some way to integrate or incorporate their former enemies into that process. >> very quickly just on benghazi with general petraeus giving evidence tomorrow, he's a key figure, cia director, who apparently is going to say i knew right from the start it was this al qaeda affiliated group and it wasn't the protest video. what do you make of that? >> i think it's very clear that the administration didn't handle things right from the start. i don't think there was any deception. i don't think it was intentional. i think it was a screw-up. >> fog of war. >> fog of war and i think that perhaps to a certain extent, you had a narrative in your head. remember, there were protests about those videos so they looked at the protests in cairo
and assumed it was something similar. i would imagine petraeus will testify something to that effect. i doubt very much he'll say well, i knew this all along and you know, susan rice went out there and said something completely contradictory. my guess is there were two schools of thought or two sets of evidence in the administration from the start. the video and al qaeda -- >> i think what he says is he had to then rule out the 20 different intelligence reports they received or more which indicated it could have been the video. he had to rule that out before they could give a clear view. we will leave it there. thank you very much indeed. good to see you. >> as always, pleasure. next, governor romney blasts president obama's victory saying he won because of gifts he promised to minority groups. what the president -- president's campaign did is focus on certain members of his base coalition, give them extraordinary financial gifts from the government and then work very aggressively to turn them out to vote. >> governor romney yesterday saying president obama won the election because of gifts the administration promised to black, hispanic and young voters. [ male announcer ] if you're eligible for medicare...
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black, hispanic and young voters. romney's words got a lot of attention tonight, including from his own party. with me is republican congresswoman mary bono mack. welcome to you. >> thank you. great to be with you. >> what was your reaction, honestly, to what mitt romney was saying there? >> well, my reaction really for all of the elections around the country is it's really time to sort of evaluate what went right and what went wrong. i think we have to do a complete analysis from race to race. i think there's no doubt that we as republicans need to really focus on making sure we offer to the american people something that they understand, that they believe in, and you know, most importantly, that we can express the point that our children and our grandchildren would be better off tomorrow than they were today. i think that mitt romney's analysis of his campaign was his to do but it's important that all of us do the same thing across the country. >> the problem was it sounded sort of vaguely patronizing, i thought. this was what louisiana governor bobby jindal told wolf blitzer earlier, which kind of says it as well. listen to this. >> if you want voters to like you, the first thing you've got to do is like them first. and it's certainly not helpful to tell voters that you think their votes were bought. that's certainly not a way to show them you respect them, you
like them. we need to stop talking down to voters. as the republican party, we need to fight for 100% of the electorate, not 53%, not 52% but 100%. >> if you want voters to like you, the first thing you've got to do is like them first. and it's certainly not helpful to tell voters that you think their votes were bought. that's certainly not a way to show them you respect them, you like them. we need to stop talking down to voters. as the republican party, we need to fight for 100% of the electorate, not 53%, not 52% but 100%. >> he's got a point, doesn't he. if i was a black or hispanic or female voter, i would be like hang on a second, he's saying what, we've been bought? >> well, look, piers, you said something that frustrates me. you just there in your sentence, you just said you divided us as americans. this notion that we're all divided into subsets of americans is very unfortunate. >> hang on, hang on. mitt romney's the one dividing them, isn't he. he's the one categorizing these groups and saying you know what, obama bought them, that's why i lost.
he's the one, he's the one dividing it. he's the one that earlier came out with that fatuous 47% comment. it's not me. i would love everyone to be one big happy family. >> well, i would, too. i think the american people want to be one big happy family. i think what's very important right now is that we heal as a country. this politics of divisiveness is really something the american people are rejecting. i think it's time that we do get beyond it. yes, you're right, governor romney's analysis and governor jindal's analysis, everybody's analyses are great but right now it's time to come together, heal us as a nation. look, your whole program tonight has been about the extraordinary complications and difficulties that not only america faces but the world is facing right now. i think it's a time that we try to get beyond divisive politics and really put america back as the leading country in the world, have a president that leads with strength, and you know, i really think that the notion of we're all divided into subsets is something that really is getting old.
>> it's old but it's being pedaled i think by too many politicians. many people feel -- >> on all sides. >> well -- >> on all sides. >> i wouldn't dispute that. but people are saying listen, the reason olympia snowe and scott brown and dick lugar and yourself, moderate members of the republican party, lost your seats is that mitt romney flip-flopped so much from sort of far right to take on the tea party in the nominee race, then back to moderate and so on, that no one was really quite sure what kind of republican he was, or indeed, what kind of republican they should vote for in their own area. >> you know, piers, as a moderate republican woman, let me say this. you cannot only say that the moderates in the republican party are the ones who faced difficulties lately. there are no moderates left in the democrat party either. you cannot really find one in the congress and it's very sad. if the american people knew when the moderate republicans tried to work with the moderate democrats, you know, it didn't go over very well in the congress. leadership on both sides pretty much rejected that and it's very sad so i don't think it's a good thing to sit here and say only the moderate republicans are endangered. there are no moderate democrats left either. >> in the spirit of cooperation, how do you feel about somebody like senator mccain making it so personal towards ambassador rice about what happened in benghazi? >> well, look, what's important
about benghazi is to really get to the heart of the matter, truly understand what went wrong. in my view, it's clear that it was against the narrative the white house was trying to paint preelection that the world is a warm and safe fuzzy place, that bin laden is dead and now there are no more threats to any american because of the threat of terrorism. it didn't work well, the narrative, and i think that's the important point. look, again, partisanship and hyper partisanship has no place when we explore what happened in benghazi. we have to get beyond it and find out what was right, what was wrong, and make sure it doesn't happen again. i think senator mccain has a lot of credibility in these areas and in these issues and i think his frustration is well-founded.
>> many people, i include myself among them, are going to be very sad to see you leaving the house. what are you going to do next? >> thank you. well, we'll see. it is my time to go. i have been a member of the house of representatives for 14 and a half years and when i think back, i entered at a time of great turmoil in my life and with my husband passing in his accident, a door slammed and a new one open. right now it is in my heart of hearts that america continue to be great and strong and wonderful and that our children are better off tomorrow than today. i'm very sad to leave. i'm very appreciative to all the voters who supported mow and sent me to washington for so long. it's a wonderful experience. i hope every american runs for office at some point in their time but it is my time to retire. >> you have done a terrific job. i thank you very much for your service. nice to talk to you.
i like surprises. if this would be a second look around. with somehow not me and some sort of consciousness that would be more fascinating than many days i've spent in real life. >> one of the greatic ono klaases, christopher hitchens, lived life to the full and that's putting it mildly. he wrote his last book, "mortality." >> one of the most extraordinary characters i have ever met. a man where lunch became dinner, became breakfast, he was all things. what was he to you? >> he was that. he was the -- that he was -- he was -- he was -- he was wonderful husband and lover and chum and playmate. >> it's impossible to think that it's nearly a year since he
died. >> yeah. >> he wrote these pieces, incredibly powerful book, "mortality." i remember reading the pieces in "vanity fair" at the time, and put together for the book. this wasn't the normal cliche courage, it was a real battle with this thing he was determined to beat. >> yeah. >> and a battle, of course, with the god-fearing people out there, determined that he would convert at the last minute and start praying for his life. >> yeah, well, he -- he didn't mind at all that they were praying for his recovery, and he wanted them -- he wanted to make sure there wouldn't be some kind of drooling scene at the last moment where it seemed as if he had converted. in fact, it never came up in the
last days, so it just wasn't a subject of interest to him. >> what would he have made of what's going on on the international stage now? he was such an internationalist. >> i think he would -- i know that he had hoped there would have been some action coalition of european and american forces in the spring of 2011 in syria. but there could have been a model somewhere like the bolivia model. i am sure he would be agitating for some kind of model. >> let's take a break, come back and talk more. christopher hitchens, including the four most overrated things in life that he once e-mailed me about, which is priceless. people save a lot of money.lof but today...( sfx: loud noise of metal object hitting the ground) things have been a little strange. (sfx: sound of piano smashing) roadrunner: meep meep. meep meep? (sfx: loud thud sound) awhat strange place.
back now with karl blue. the wife of the late great christopher hitchens. we were talking about his prodigious outlook. even in the last few days, pumping out the stuff. what was your favorite piece, if you have one? like choosing a favorite child. >> yeah, i mean if it was like choosing a favorite child, then i would have been the most profligate woman on the planet. i was looking at the waterboarding piece and the james bond and spying matter. >> what would he have thought about the petraeus thing? >> he would have loved it. sex and money without any of the ideology.
it's bizarre. spying, as if everything was reduced to the housewives of tampa. >> how do you think he would have liked to have been remembered? >> as somebody who said, which he said in the front of the -- the beginning of his memoir. live all you can. it's a mistake not to. >> the four most overrated things in life are champagne, lobster, picnics, and then he named a certain sexual practice. and it has been my template ever since. he was entirely correct for the ones i have knowledge of. a fabulous book. "mortality," really powerful, inspiring series of pieces brought to the end of his life. >> thank you for having me.