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tv   Special Report With Bret Baier  FOX News  November 28, 2012 3:00pm-4:00pm PST

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take the 70th floor and see the lights. >> bob: flat earthers can take a hit on that and -- >> kimberly: energy efficient. >> dana: i have a complaint about the quality of energy efficient lights. >> kimberly: we'll see you tomorrow. >> bret: president obama says you can pay me now and pay me later. to get off the fiscal cliff. this is "special report." ♪ ♪ >> bret: good evening. i'm bret baier. is it a negotiating ploy or really what president obama beliefs can happen? the president may be going down a new path tonight in deficit reduction efforts. it's a path that is sure to lead to many obstacles from the other side. chief white house correspondent ed henry has the new developments in a time sensitive story. >> in a dramatic move today,
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president obama seemed to be trying to split the budget talks to two pieces. suggesting he and lawmakers come up with spending cuts next year after they avoid the fiscal cliff, by extending middle class tax cuts and raising taxes on the rich. >> it would give us more time than next year to work together. on a comprehensive plan to bring down the deficit, streamline our tax system. do in a balanced way. >> the president apparent shift away from spending and tax altogether now in a big deal could increase the chances of a market rattling fall off the cliff. since the republicans want spending cuts included. >> republicans are willing to put revenue on the table. but it's time for the president and democrats to get serious about the spending problem that our country has. >> the president's move came one day after two other big developments, suggesting democrats want tax hikes on the rich now, with the promise of cuts to programs like medicare later. on tuesday, senator dick durbin flatly declared
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entitlement reform should not be on the table. yesterday, top white house officials also met with leading liberal groups, from labor unions to with one attendee telling the "washington post" they expect the taxes to go up on the wealthy and to protect medicare and medicaid benefits. they feel confident they don't have to compromise. pressed today on whether the spending cuts are kicked down the road, white house spokesman jay carney was noncommittal. >> you are not having any spending cuts now. you want to do spending cuts next year; is that a fact? >> no. it's not a fact. these are all parts of aspects of the conversations that are ongoing. >> some republicans are pushing boehner an other leaders to accept an extension of the middle class cuts to avoid the white house blaming them for crash over taxes on the rich. >> everybody is waiting for schedule to go up. unless we fix that paradoxically. president obama becomes defender of the bush tax cuts for 98% of the people.
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he is no such thing. >> the president is seething on the comments to say -- seizing on the comments to say he is optimistic about a deal. >> we could get it done tomorrow. >> budget expert erskine bowles said the opposite. >> i'm worried we have a possibility we could go off the cliff. that would be catastrophic. >> bowles said there is a two-third chance of us going over the cliff. though he said he still hopeful we can have both tax hikes and spending cuts to avoid that. the president said he is willing to have a framework for spending cuts. republicans think the word "framework" is squishy. >> bret: ed henry on the north lawn wearing the team uniform. thank you. republicans so far are sticking to the guns on the tax revenue increases and the spending cuts together. chief congressional correspondent mike emanuel is following that story. >> speaker john boehner a central figure in cutting a deal says republicans offered a plan to avoid the fiscal cliff through the significant spending cuts and tax reform and are committed to working with the president.
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>> this is one reason why we believe we put revenue on the table. as long as it's accompanied by serious spending cuts. to avert this crisis. >> texas senator john cornyn says the bipartisan simpson-bowles deficit plan offered meaningful savings worth pursuing. >> they identified $1.1 trillion tax expenditures, benefits, deduction, credit and the like that could be cut as part of grand bargain. we ought to look at that. we need to flatten the code, simplify it and make it pro-growth. >> on the democratic side, senate majority leader harry reid told reporters he would like credit for what congress previously cut. >> we have already done a billion dollars worth of cuts. >> today, the top democrat in the house took a similar approach. >> i think it's important to note we have already agreed to $1.5 trillion in cuts in the budget control act and other acts in this session of congress.
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so now we wait to see the revenue piece to that. >> asked what she would be willing to slash as part of this deal? >> we'll be talking about that later. >> rank and file house members say they realize more must be done now. >> we can means test entitlements, so for folks making $1 million year, you know, maybe they aren't able to access medicare. they have the means to buy their own healthcare. >> i know we can't afford to spend $690 billion on the defense, but there are smart ways and dumb ways to cut defense spending. for example, we still have bases all throughout western europe that there hasn't been a threat to western europe since 1989. >> beyond that, he didn't want to hurt the speaker's ability to craft a deal. >> i'm trying not to paint us in too many boxes where i paint john boehner in a box that tells him what to do. >> boehner himself didn't care to negotiate cuts on camera. >> again, we will have that conversation with the president. we don't need to have it here. >> there will be an opportunity to speak privately and perhaps look at real numbers when treasury
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secretary tim geithner comes up here to capitol hill to meet with the top four congressional leaders individually. bret? >> bret: mike, thanks. one item that may or may not be on the table, social security. republicans and democrats do not even agree on whether the program needs immediate reform. chief national correspondent jim angle looks at both sides. >> in an effort to keep the issue out of the fiscal cliff talk, some democrats ridiculed the idea that social security ads to the deficit. >> social security does not add one penny to the deficit. it's an important program, critical program. take care of it in the future and do it separate from the debt debate. >> i think most would agree that social security is not responsible for the deficit. clearly shouldn't be on the table for discussion. >> that might be true if lawmakers hadn't already borrowed and spent all the program surplus revenues from years past, which by law congress now has to pay back.
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adding to the deficit. >> the money came in. congress spent it. look here, we have money to spend. let's go ahead and spend it up. there it went. it's gone. >> social security now needs to start getting the money back again adds to the deficit. just this year alone, the social security trustees' report that "in 2012, the projected difference between social security's dedicated tax income and expenditures is $165 billion." part of the $165 billion added to the deficit, $112 billion of it is a result of the payroll tax cut that president obama pushed through, which by law congress also had to restore to the trust fund. all points republicans emphasize in the current talks. >> why in the world would they want to talk about the fact that vital program started spending out more than it took in, in 2010, for the first time in 30 years? >> shortal in social security eventually reaches hundreds of billions a year. but some changes now would
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help reducing the benefits for the wealthy or changing the retirement age or the cost of living adjustments. whatever it's done, analysts say the sooner the fix, the better. >> social security is very close to the leaky roof. the longer you avoid fixing it, nastier and more expensive the fix become. it's not going to get any easier for now. >> without changes, lower benefits are built in to the system. in the early 2030, social security will no longer pay full benefit and by law has to cut them overnight by 25%. that would obviously hit the poor harder than anyone. bret? >> bret: jim, thank you. well, do you think social security needs immediate reform? let me know on twitter. follow me. @bretbaier. new home sales fell by .3 of a percentage point but housing overall has been a bright spot in the economy in recent weeks. today's dip did not bother
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wall street. the dow gained 107. s&p 500 up 11. nasdaq finished ahead 24. argentina may look at another big default. the fitch credit rating agency downgraded argentina five notches. the country also defaulted in 2002. meantime, the european commission has approved a plan to rescue spain's banks. it will force the closing of half their branchs. plus the elimination of thousands of jobs. greece's finance minister says a bond buy-back program must work in order to reduce the country's huge debt. failure to communicate and you are paying for it. that is later in the grapevine. up next, is the u.n. ambassador going job hunting? [ male announcer ] red lobster's hitting the streets
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>> bret: susan rice's charm offensive fired more volleys today on capitol hill. embattled united nations ambassador is campaigning for a new job amid serious
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questions about her role wrongly explaining the attack in benghazi, libya. chief intelligence correspondent catherine herridge has an update. good evening. >> good evening. after wishing two cabinet members a happy birthday, the mood at the cabinet meeting was light. president took a question from the reporter whether they were giving ambassador rice a fair shake. >> susan rice is extraordinary. couldn't prouder of the job she has done. >> the public endorsement comes after second round of face to face discussion on capitol hill. rice met with six senators and five republicans and one independent. so far, rice failed to reassure them that she is a responsible choice for secretary of not as one critic said drinking every drop of the administration's kool-aid. >> the president has to make a decision about who he nominates to be secretary of state. hopefully it will be someone that is able to both show independence and have the
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ability to lead the nation and lead the world through many of the difficulties that we have before us. >> another republican senator says she is bothered by the fact that bening a carbon copy of the 1998 attacks on the u.s. embassy in east africa. at that time, susan rice was head of the region for the state department and once again ambassadors had begged for more security. >> i asked ambassador rice what her role was. she said she would have to refresh her memory. but that she was not involved directly in turning down the request. >> asked whether the member was six members seemed presumptuous, democrats said they fully supported ambassador rice's proactive approach. >> i respect that in her. however, the president decides in terms of the nomination, i hope he will nominate her, because i think she has been extraordinary at the u.n. and would make a great secretary
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of state. >> if nominated, rice will need support from 60 senators to overcome procedural hurdles in the senate, to be confirmed rice would need to sway at least five republicans to accomplish that. >> bret: thank you. egypt's two highest appeals courts suspended their work to protest last week's power grab by president mohammed morsi. there were more clashes today. in cairo's tahrir square. police fired tear gas at some of the demonstrators. some of them through the can -- threw canisters back at police. >> iran is showcasing several additions to the navy. missile firing warship launched today near the strait of hormuz. they took liberty of two submarines and hovercrafts. the country nuclear chief says uranium enrichment will move ahead with intensity. he says there will be a sharp increase in number of centrifuges used to make the nuclear fuel. at least 34 people were killed today in twin suicide car bombings in the syrian capital. state media say the bombs ripped through a parking lot
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near a cluster of commercial buildings in a damascus suburb. rebels are claiming they shot down a syrian air force jet today as well. international momentum may be building for the latest move by palestinians. to get united nations recognition. david lee miller on what the u.s. intends to do. >> on the streets of ramallah, on the west bank. posters can already be seen exclaiming state of palestine, member of the united nations. before departing for new york, palestinian authority president mahmoud abbas told supporters he is determined to win a u.n. vote, raising the status of palestinians. to nonvoting member state at the world body. thursday's vote in the general assembly requires only a majority of the u.n. 193-member states and cannot be vetoed by the u.s. it was only one year ago that abbas sought full-up membership, only to be rebuffed by a threat of a u.s. veto with a security
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council. >> trying desperately to prevent that, to delay and threaten us. and now they understand that this is going to happen. they cannot stop it. >> the palestinian authority is frustrated at the lack of peace talks and the expansion of the israeli settlements. today, abbas met with the state department officials but failed to change the u.s.'s position on no vote. >> this resolution is not going to take them closer to statehood. it does nothing to get them closer to state hood. it may actually make the environment more difficult. >> israel is concerned that palestinians will be eligible to join the international criminal court. press charges of human rights violations. in the words of an israeli official, the daniel could be worse than rockets from gaza. the u.s. reportedly asked israel not to impose harsh sanctions against the palestinian authority. >> they can get pieces of paper from the-up. but they are not going move forward and not going to make the palestinian statehood more
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real. >> of now, more than two-third member countries recognize palestine. the vote in favor of, the nonmember statehood is expected to be overwhelming. supports include france, china and india. bret? >> bret: david lee miller, in jerusalem. thank you. still ahead -- hillary clinton is on her way out. we look at her time at state. first, are clinton's former senate colleagues willing to use the nuclear option? if we want to improve our schools... ... what should we invest in?
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>> bret: senate majority leader harry reid has his finger on the nuclear button. not actual one but the so-called nuclear option. n the chamber that builds itself as the world's greatest deliberative body. correspondent doug mckelway has details from capitol hill.
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>> reporter: the cold war never got this hot. the threat of a retaliatory attack, mutually assured destruction made it unthinkable. in the senate, the unthinkable metaphor call nuclear option may happen when majority leader harry reid convenes a congress in january. provoking a stern threat of retailiation from the minority. >> are you prepared to live under the rules you are now demanding? >> the nuclear option would allow the minority to defeat amendments by simple majority vote. not the 60-vote majority or three-fifths threshold the senate rules require for major legislation for well over 30 years. threshold that historians say honored the founders' intent of limiting the tyranny of the majority. >> the nuclear option is a power grab by the senate majority leader harry reid. >> record of the democratic leadership of course backs this up. it's engaged in a systemic effort to use and abuse senate procedures to marginalize the voice of the minority and the legislative process. >> mcconnell says example of the reid's abuse of power is passing over the committee
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nearly 70 times to write bills behind closed doors and mcconnell admits that republicans bypassed committees but only 30 times he says. >> filibuster looks different to you if you are in the standing in majority or the minority. >> both party position in the filibuster and the nuclear option are chocked full of hypocrisy viewed through the lens of history. 2005, democrats were in the majority and objected to republican threat of nuclear option. >> you should not be able to come in here and change willy-nilly a rule of the senate. rule of the senate, you change by the rules. >> everyone in this chamber knows if the majority chooses to end the filibuster, if they choose to change the rules and put an end to democratic debate, then the fighting and the bitterness and the gridlock will only get worse. >> unsaid in back and forth is the mere threat may produce results. >> often times the threat of going nuclear is enough to get the parties to sit down to
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negotiate some sort of compromise. >> former majority leader trent lottt says there is an easier way. >> it's not that difficult. it's called leadership. >> even if reid pulls the nuclear trigger no assurance of efficient governance. the senate has not passed a budget in three-and-a-half years. all that requires is a simple majority vote. bret? >> bret: doug, thank you. arizona republican governor jan brewer decided against creating a state-run health insurance exchange. president healthcare law requires states to either set up their own, or use the one created by the federal government. soon to be created. brewer says there are too many costs and questions associated with the state run exchange. a new gallup poll says most americans are against guaranteed government healthcare. number from the annual survey are 54-44. gallup says this is the first result against government healthcare since 2000. the head of the postal service says the agency can be $8 billion in the black each year. if it's allowed to cut retiree
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healthcare fund payment and eliminate saturday mail delivery. patrick donahoe notes the agency is losing $16 billion a year right now. money can't buy happiness and it apparently isn't doing much for government communication either. plus, what happened when a popular tourist town said no to a famous method of raising money? grapevine is next. ♪ (announcer) when subaru owners look in the mirror, they see more than themselves. so we celebrate our year-end with the "share the love" event. get a great deal on a new subaru and 250 dollars goes to your choice of five charities. by the end of th, our fifth year, our total can reach almost 25 million dollars. it's a nice reflection on us all. now through january 2nd.
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>> bret: now fresh pickings from the political grapevine. to quote a famous movie line, "what we've got here is a failure to communicate." propublica notes homeland security spent $430 million on radios tuned to a secure channel so employees of custom, border patrol, coast guard, fema, tsa and other agencies could better communicate with d.h.s. in a crisis. but inspector general report says no one seems to know how to use them. just one of 479 homeland security employees surveyed could figure it out. 72% did not know the channel existed. 25% knew it, but were not able to find it. 3% could find the older common channel not the current one. homeland security says it will standardize the radio policy but it's rejecting the recommendation to give more authority to the office overseeing the radios. president obama's green cred might be in question.
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you probably did not hear about it. the hill reports tuesday with no fanfare, president obama signed a law requiring u.s. airlines be excluded from european carbon emission fees. environmentalists urged the president not to sign it framing it as the first test of his commitment to fighting climate change in his second term. but he did it anyway. the administration stresses its commitment to reducing carbon pollution but says the e.u. carbon tax was the wrong way to achieve the objective. democrat senator claire mccaskill and republican cosponsor john thune say the bill is a win for airline customers and will shield american carriers from illegal tax. it turns out there is room at the inn after all. in colorado springs this christmas. the wyndham grand hotel is clearing space for the salvation army bell ringer an donation kettle, rescuing it from a new panhandling law. the been a on public solicitation forced the ket
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from the old location. since the hotel is on private property, the salvation army ket is back. just a block away from the old spot. before the rescue twitter users were expressing outrage. here are a few. grinches in colorado springs government want to stop salvation army from ringing bells for fundraising. colorado welcomes illegal immigrants but no to salvation army and colorado springs for panhandling? wow! another user said in part -- "that's the spirit. it's christmas. #sarcastic." after the holidays president obama will have hiring to do. the usual second term cabinet shuffle will begin. perhaps the most prominent departure will be secretary of state hillary clinton. chief washington correspondent james rosen tonight on the clinton record. >> when barack obama this month became the first sitting american president to fitzburma, the repressive south asian nation that enacted democratic refo freed the most famous dissident it marked
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unambiguous foreign policy triumph for mr. obama and his secretary of state. the most well traveled in modern times. >> i could not be more grateful, not only for your service, hillary, but also for the powerful message that you send. >> but the obama administration no less than its preds so sors has been thoroughly vexed by the middle east, with the syrian regime quashing a two-year uprising that killed more than 30,000 people. where iran despite tough sanctions on the energy sector marches toward a nuclear weapons capability. and where the arab-israeli conflict festers, despite lofty talk from washington early on. >> today you will see an example of the kind of robust diplomacy that the president intends to pursue. >> clinton helped broker this month's truce between hamas and israel but ties with jerusalem frayed since 2009 and other danger spots such as north korea are no less dangerous than they were four years ago. >> she has a small legacy with
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burma, a positive. but she has a legacy with libya which is at best incomplete and legacy with syria which is seriously worrying. in many ways the big issue of her time as secretary of state was this arab upheaval that happened on her watch. so far, the u.s. record has not been very good and we have not been leading for the most part. and we have left a lot of problems for the future. >> supporters say clinton leverageed her unique star power and global rolodex to elevate and advance a set of issues important to her, including gender equality, environment and tech no and social media. >> i would like to recognize tremendous commitment and dedication you have shown to re-establishing the united states. not just as an indispensable power but as an indispensable partner. >> whether hillary clinton is remembered alongside the likes of atchison, kissinger, schultz and baker may be a function of how much power she was entrusted with by the
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one-time rival for presidency. >> the military owned afghanistan and iraq. the war on terror was run out oaf the agency in the white house. all the big strategy, with respect to managing the u.s. -israeli relationship and laterals russia and china again were primarily shaped by the white house. >> in washington, james rosen, fox news. >> bret: are we going over the cliff? if an when the president and congress do reach a deal on the fiscal cliff, what will it look like? we'll get some thoughts from the fox all-stars when we return. i put away money. i was 21, so i said, "hmm, i want to retire at 55." and before you know it, i'm 58 years old. time went by very fast.
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it goes by too, too fast. ♪ but i would do it again in a heartbeat. [ laughs ] ♪ ♪
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right now, as we speak, congress can pass a law that would prevent a tax hike on the first $250,000 of everybody's income. so we really need to get this right. i can only do it with the help of the american people. so, tweet, what was that
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again? my2k. do what it takes to communicate a sense of urgency. we don't have a lot of time here. >> in order to come to an agreement, republicans are willing to put revenue on the table. time for the president and the democrats to get serious about the spending problem that our country has. >> bret: some of the back and forth today the president calling on people to get involved including on twitter. this as he met this morning with unions and other liberal organizations to discuss the fiscal cliff. and here is how the "washington post" characterized the meeting and some of the groups there. one person at the meeting which included people from the afl-cio asked me, seiu, moveon and others came away convinced that the white house would ultimately prove willing to go over the fiscal cliff if necessary. rather than give ground on core demands. though this is not by any means a desired option and isn't being discussed as a strategic possibility. what was discussed was
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decoupling the spending cuts and the tax increases. the president talked about it. so did jay carney at the white house briefing. the panel. steve hayes for the "weekly standard." kirsten powers, columnist for the daily beast. syndicated columnist charles krauthammer. okay, steve, it seems with republicans splitting that would be a nonstarter. >> yeah. i would think it would be a nonstarter. one of the very few things that democrats could do at this point to get republicans to run away from the table. i think that republicans came up the day after the election and said look, we are open to new revenues an we understand we want to get new re-knews -- revenues to generate new revenues but we are open to new revenues. they thought of that with the hope and expectation that democrats would come with specificity on the spending cuts or entitlen'ts. however naive the expectation might have been. what we are seeing now is the president seeming to be entertaining any of a number of suggestions, including going over the cliff or
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decoupling. that would avoid, allow him to avoid having to prevent specifics on entitlements and spending on the things that the republicans were hoping could bring them together for some kind of a fruitful negotiation. >> bret: is that your take, kirsten? >> not really. i'm not really sure what are the specifics that republicans offer on entitlement cuts? not like they put anything on the table. they are at the point now they are focused on the tax cut. obama feels like he has an upper hand there. he said he wants a grand bargain. he does want a grand bargain. but the question is how are they going to get one between now and the end of the year? wanting to go over the fiscal cliff thing is ridiculous. the white house does not want to do that. send a terrible message to the market. rather than doing that, they would do the decoupling and the tax rates. and then set up some framework. >> bret: how would the president or anybody in the white house think they could get any republicans on board with just doing tax increases
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or revenue increases? >> bret: i think their plan is to do both. people need to put stuff on the table. they want to have a grand bargain and they want entitlement cuts and the president said that. they have to start hashing that out. >> bret: that is not what they talk about today other than this democrat, erskine bowles who talked to reporters after meeting with the white house and republicans today. >> i think we have to have a substantive real entitlement reform, as much part of the discussion as taxes have been. i stressed that yesterday in the white house. i'll stress it today here. >> if we go over the cliff, you are going to have slow down in economic growth of at least 4%. that puts us back in recession. that means 2 million people lose the job. unemployment goes to 9%. >> bret: okay. so he is talking about it. very few others are. entitlement reform, that is. >> obama never offered anything in public about
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entitlement. he says he wants a discussion. now republicans give up one issue on tax, i'll discuss a bargain next year. of course he wants that. that is when the republicans are defrocked, disrobe and disarmed. they have nothing to argue with. the republicans start out as steve indicated by offering a peace pipe, saying we'll raise the revenues. they just had a punch in the nose this afternoon. any republican who buys this is a fool. the republicans stood for one thing consistently. it's helped them electorally. they are the low-tax party. the other guys want to tax. to match reckless spending. i understand why democrats are doing this. they manual that the republicans have no bargaining
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power today. i say it's true if republicans resist, they will take the blame. that will help the democrats in the congress. but obama is never running again. he doesn't care who gets the blame. he is going to be the president. she a lame duck. he wants the term. if it starts by going over the cliff it starts with a second recession. 2 million unemployed and wrecked second term. that is the leverage that republicans have over obama. it's utterly unacceptable. >> bret: to kirsten's point, some republicans are talking about raising the age of medicare, means testing. put a lot of ideas out there. nothing on paper. they are not hammering it out, it doesn't seem, behind closed doors unless we don't know it's going on, steve. >> no, it's not. >> bret: let me play this
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thing, this sound bite. yesterday we put in a piece. i want to play more of it. this is a question and answer by senator reid about cuts and what they are willing to cut. >> fiscal cliff deal has to include revenues and cuts. you have made pretty clear how you feel about the revenues. >> we have already done billion dollars in cuts. we have done that. we need to get credit for that. >> bret: that was it. $1 billion in cuts and get credit for it. >> i think would fund the federal government for six hours or something. the republicans have been specific. they have done it twice. passed a budget. they have done it with the majorities. remember, so dramatic and draconian this is what was going to sink the republican party. >> negotiations -- >> do they need to take the
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85-page plan and put it on the table? there is no physical table because the president hasn't started negotiations. democrats -- >> that is ridiculous. they are talking to the president. >> they aren't talking to the president. no, in fact, they aren't talking to the president. they're hoping that tim geithner comes tomorrow to capitol hill with some entitlement reform plans. >> talking about taxes. >> republicans have twice passed entitlement reforms. structural entitlement reform. the kind that which people in the democratic party said would ruin the republican party. >> steve, i'm saying put up or shut up. they are talking about taxes now put it up and give it to the president. the white house -- >> huge in -- [ overtalk ] >> hand it to you. the president has never done this. he hasn't given -- >> bret: is the president supposed to lead in this situation? i guess -- >> but he is. they have been having negotiation over the taxes, which charles is saying a peace pipe, not really a peace pipe. they realize they don't have cards to play. so they are caving. that is what is happening. now they move to entitlement. they can put the stuff on the
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table. the president is open to the means testing and those things. >> we're guessing. we don't know this. >> to suggest that the republicans are doing all this stuff thaw are not doing. i mean -- >> republicans have one card. we go over the cliff, obama will have a failed second term. that is the one thing he cares about and he is in charge. the idea that republicans are here empty handed is a huge mistake. they assume it's so. they will cave. they will undermine their entire stance as the low tax party for a generation they will lose that issue. the same way that georgia bush senior, he made a promise on taxes. he went against it. destroyed his career. >> read my lips. something tells me again i think we'll have another fiscal cliff panel soon. next up, harry reid and the nuclear option. [ male announcer ] when was the last time something made your jaw drop?
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filibuster is far from a procedural gimmick. it's part of the fabric of this institution we call the senate. it was well-known in colonial legislature before we became a country. and it's an entry federal part of our -- entr intri gal part of our history. >> it's a fundamental power grab by the majority party. >> checks and balances that americans prize are at stake. i will do everything i can to prevent the nuclear option from being invokeed. not for sake of myself or my party. but for the sake of this great
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republic and its traditions. >> everyone in this chamber knows if the majority chooses to end the filibuster, if they choose to change the rules and put an end to democratic debate, then the fighting and the bitterness and the gridlock will only get worse. >> bret: well, some top democrats, talking about the nuclear option. ending the filibuster. that would allow the majority to end filibusters, defeat amendments bay simple majority vote, not 60 votes needed in the senate right now, the three-fifths threshold under senate rules for major legislation for more than 30 years. as you saw there. that was their take back then. but now, senate majority leader harry reid is moving forward with a number of democrats to make adjustments. here is where he says they ar are. >> these minor changes i am suggesting wouldn't affect anyone that have the thought of making america better, if i were in the minority. to stop a filibuster on a
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motion to proceed a bill, take ten days to just get on a bill? i don't think that is good. we need to change that. >> bret: okay. back with the panel. kirsten? >> well, i guess i'm supposed to address the hypocrisy. >> bret: address what you want to address. >> in washington. what about the effort? >> bret: yeah. >> i think that -- i don't think that he is going to try to ram anything through. she going to try to get something in the middle, middle ground where you do stop the filibuster for just debating a bill. just simple things. it personally think that -- this is what harry reid thinks if you are going to filibuster you should have to filibuster. go on the floor and stand in front of the country and filibuster. right now they do it in the dark of night. they can stop the bill from moving forward and no one knows it happened. i think you have to remember that when the democrat were saying those things the reason they say it is because the republicans are trying to do exactly what harry reid is trying to do right now. there is hypocrisy on both sides.
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minority is always making the same complaint regardless of the party. for what is good for country, do filibuster reform. you should have to stand on the floor and filibuster. >> bret: charles? >> i love these debates. of all the towns in all the world this is the one that brings out the purist hypocrisy. laboratory sample of it. and you hear the same argument, but different teams argue it. depending on who is the majority. >> bret: emotionally. >> with great and how much they hang on this. six years later the exact opposite with the same fervor and passion. it's obviously a joke. it depends who is in power. 2005, i think, when those clips were, the republicans were in charge. democrats were stopping the appointment of the judges. including the estrada, promising rising hispanic who probably would have ended up on the supreme court. in the end, the republicans threatened and got a compromise.
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it could live with it or without it. but i mean, i do think it's highly amusing and entertaining. that you get all the thundering arguments on either side. we ought to have the simpson-bowles get them in a room and decide how we are going to do this for 50 years, depending who will be. it can be a yes or a. no i think the republic will survive either way. >> bret: steve, senate minority leader mitch mcconnell said it was an interesting take that this is the first move by democrats in the new congress. when you are trying to get things done and moved forward and deal with the the fiscal cliff that the first announcement comes out you are going to end the filibuster or try to. and take away minority writes. by the way, let's negotiate at the negotiate table. >> i will say i found it odd. i don't have an explanation why harry reid is doing this, particularly when you have the president seeming to want to send despite the fact he is harping on the tax rates, he is wanting to send a broader message. look. i want to talk to republicans.
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in some ways the opposite of the way he campaigned. andgoneed in his -- governed in the last two years of his first term where he had the we can't wait initiates and sought to circumvent the congress. president is making on superficial level public relations case he wants to work with republicans. harry reid on the other hand is saying absolutely not. we are going to -- we can't possibly run the senate without making the changes. the m republic is at stake. >> bret: you believe that this is what they want to pursue and not part of the let's force them in to dealing better in the negotiations somehow with the threat of -- >> it could be both. i think, i mean the majority is going to want to do this, regardless of what the majority is. the minority will fight this no matter what. democrats maintain that the republicans abused the filibuster as the majority always does. so i think they would be doing it anyway. but if it's, you know, gives
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them extra leverage that's a bonus. >> i link this with the president's approach today where he essentially said to the republicans on taxes, you give me everything, i give you nothing, we go over a cliff otherwise. i think this is an assault by democrats on republicans, democrats have an idea that having just one what they won is a landslide, they will push this on all the fronts in the congress and on taxation. i think it's a big mistake. >> bret: that is it for the panel. stay tuned for last minute fiscal cliff prep.
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