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tv   Special Report With Bret Baier  FOX News  July 10, 2009 6:00pm-7:00pm EDT

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[captioning made possible by fox news channel] captioned by the national captioning institute ---www.ncicap.org--- bott chris: next, the president just arrived in africa. we will tell you what he is doing. there the senate's only african-american says he has had enough. why roland burris won't run next year, and israeli troops open up on protestors. all that plus the fox all-stars and the fright day lightning round. "special report" starts now. welcome to washington. i'm chris wallace in for bret baier. president obama says a global economic crisis has been averted. wrapping up the g8 summit in italy, he says world leaders took significant measures to address economic, environmental and global security issues,
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including iran. >> the g8 nations came together to issue a strong statement calling on iran to fulfill its responsibilities to the international community without further delay. we remain seriously concerned about the appalling events surrounding the presidential election, and we're deeply troubled by the proliferation risks iran's nuclear program poses to the world. chris: mr. obama's next stop was the vatican. major garrett is traveling with the president. >> every presidential audience with the pope is a head of state affair, but this president has also portrayed it as a personal pilgrimage inspired by catholicism's call for social justice. the pope placed that issue in fresh relief with his church document on social and economic justice. in it, pope benedict notes a, quote, urgent need of a true world political authority, unquote, to tame globalization.
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it calls for global labor rights and income redistribution, profit, it says, must be rooted in ethics and morality. quote, once profit becomes the exclusive goal, if it is produced by improper means and without the common good as its ultimate end, it risks destroying wealth and creating poverty. senior advisors tell fox mr. obama read the the encyclical while attending meetings and said some postwar organizations, including maybe the g8, should go. >> we need to update, refresh and renew the international institutions that were set up in a different time and place. the one thing i will be looking forward to is fewer summit meetings. >> the president told fox in moscow, catholic teaching and donations sustained his early work as a community organizer. >> there is a strong tradition of social justice in the catholic church that had a
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profound influence on me, my early organizing work was with a lot of catholic churches in chicago. >> but individuals, he said, not the state or the church should take the lead. >> social justice derives from individuals having the freedom to pursue their own ideas of happiness and pursue prosperity using their blood, sweat and tears. >> but collective action dominated g8 efforts to alleviate global hunger. mr. obama prodded nations to boost their hunger relief pledges to $20 billion. the u.s. share, $3.a billion. in its own way, a practical response to the pope's appeal on its behalf have been marginalized. as he baidz mr. obama farewell, the pope said this -- >> good luck to you. >> thank you so much. >> the president and this pope
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remain divided on abortion and embryonic stem cell research. on these issues, the pope had a better relationship with mr. bush, but he opposed mr. bush's war in iraq, a conflict president obama is trying to wind down. in italy, major garrett, fox news. chris: the president touched down in the african nation of ghana just a few minutes ago. white house correspondent wendell goler reports on why this country's first african-american president chose to go there. >> the president arrived in ghana for a less than 24-hour stay in one of the few african nations democratic enough for him to visit. before leaving italy, mr. obama made cheer he wants to make the point that democracy matters^ . part of the reason we're traveling to ghana is because you have a functioning democracy, a president who is serious about reducing corruption, and you have seen significant economic growth. >> it's the point he made by inviting zimbabwe's opposition leader to the white house
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instead of president mugabe, who is widely thought to have stolen last year's election. not everyone agrees with the approach. >> it would be a mistake to only engage what are classified as good leaders. we have seen that failed strategy in the past. >> dr. fraser worked for president george w. bush who visited ghana in february of last year. ten years earlier, bill clinton became the first u.s. president to visit the country and drew perhaps, the largest crowd of his presidency. since then, democracy has been backsliding in several countries including kenya where mr. obama's father was born and where there is deep resentment that the president is not coming. the snub is intentional. african poverty is a direct result of corruption and poor governance. leaders of 8 african nations were invited to the g8 summit to discuss ways of helping the continent feed itself. >> if you talk to people on the ground in africa, certainly in kenya, they will say that part
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of the issue here is the institution's aren't working for ordinary people. >> former president bush quietly tripled u.s. assistance to africa, extending the lives of millions with aid and blanketing the continent with moss mosquito nets to cut malaria rates in half. it made him a hero to the african people. mr. obama starts with tremendous goodwill but expectations may be higher, ending the genoside in darfur, fixing the failed state of somolia and ending the piracy off its coast and loosening the grip of african dictators. experts will be listening for signs of a strategy in saturday's speech. >> he has spoken about a couple of immediate crises in zimbabwe and somolia but hasn't laid out what the administration's broad strategy will be. >> his aides say the president's broad goals are to integrate africa into the global economy more quickly and enhance stability and security on the continent and he will ask the help of african immigrants to the united states.
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they are the most highly educated immigrant group in this country. chris. chris: wendell goler reporting from the white house. thanks for that. president obama's approval rating is down this month. gallop says that the president is averaging 58% support for the first eight days of july. that is down from ra 61% average in june. the bigest slippage is among independents from 59% last month to 53% now. spies are, are by necessity, professional liars, but now the people who run this country's spies are being accused of lying to their overseers in congress. that war of words is escalating. catherine herridge is here with the latest. >> thanks, chris. the dispute between congress and the c.i.a. opened a new and angry chapter today when democrat jan shahkowski of the house intelligence committee claims that panetta killed a covert program after she said it had been did deliberately hidden from congress for eight years.
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now, the congresswoman is calling for hearings. >> there is really two issues. there is the issue of the substance of the program, and we will look at that as a member of the intelligence committee but the serious question of a decision not to brief the congress on something very important. it may be a breach of the law. >> the serious charge is not where the accusations ended. the congresswoman claims there is a broader problem that boils down to attitude. >> what i felt when i came to the intelligence committee that the leaders of the intelligence community, not all, but several of them, actually were contemptuous of the congress, like we were an annoyance, like why do they have to answer all of our questions, and you know, this is a waste of time and why are we doing this? >> a senior u.s. intelligence official strongly disputes the congresswoman's characterization of events, telling me that at no point did the c.i.a. lie to
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congress. the classified program which does not involve interrogations or waterboarding was, quote, on and off for several years and the program was never fully operational. the decision to bring the matter to congress, according to this official, came from within the c.i.a. itself. it was nearly two months ago that the speaker of the house claimed publicly that the c.i.a. lied to her about waterboarding at this briefing. a serious charge that one republican points out has never been investigated by the intelligence committee's chairman. >> we are now in the middle of july, and guess what? the intelligence committee has held zero, that's right, zero hearings on the speaker's allegations or on any of these more recent allegations. they're not doing anything. >> a senior u.s. official confirms that an internal review is underway at the c.i.a. they are specifically looking at the way congress is briefed. this review, which was called for by the c.i.a. director began before this week's angry letter
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from dream cats charging that they were misled about the covert program. separately, one of my contacts within the intelligence community questions whether this barrage of letters really amounts to effective congressional oversight. chris. chris: catherine, thank you. a vet veteran was talking about roland burris not running for his own seat in the u.s. senate.
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chris: the man who took eaver president obama's senate seat will not run for re-election. steve centanni reports on today's announcement from illinois democrat roland burris. good evening, steve. >> good evening, chris. today's announcement came as no surprise because burris was badly damaged politically and had little chance of winning an election next year.
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supporters urged him not to give up and to run for a full senate term in 2010, but burris announced he won't do it, citing the demands of campaign fund raising. >> i was called to choose between spending my time raising funds or spending my time raising issues for my state. >> in fact, burris has reportedly raised only $20,000 for an election bid. burris' announcement marks the end of a political drama that began last year when illinois governor rod blagojevich was accused of trying to sell the senate seat once held by barack obama. after his arrest and before his impeachment, blagojevich appointed burris to the sake ant seat. >> please, don't allow the allegations against me to taint this good and honest man. >> the appointment came in clear defiance of a warning later recounted by democratic senate leader harry reid. >> i told him with no uncertain terms, in fact, even in writing
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that he shouldn't appoint anyone, but he did. >> burris went to capitol hill, braving a rainstorm, and swarms of agitated reporters, trying to claim his seat and enumerating the reasons he was given for being turned away. but democratic leaders hedged him to shut out an an african-american appointee after warnings from the congressional black caucus agreed to seat burris. weeks later, f.b.i. transcripts showed burris had spoken to the governor's brother while seeking the appointment, something he never mentioned before. today burris faced the political reality that he had little support for election in his own right. democrats who shunned him on capitol hill feared losing an all important senate seat because burris would be an easy target for republicans in 2010. >> we should take it for granted because president obama carried this state and is from illinois that we automatically will elect a democratic senator. >> illinois republican congressman mark kirk is still
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considering a run for burris' seat despite the fact that the party chairman in illinois is also interested. another democratic possibility is chris kennedy, from chicago, is expected to run, the son of bobby kennedy, the slain u.s. senator. chris: illinois politics is always interesting. thank you. the confirmation process for supreme court nominee sonia sotomayor begins monday, and the battle lines are already clearly drawn. chief political correspondent carl cameron looks at the issues an the politics that will determine whether sotomayor gets the job. >> there is little doubt in judge sotomayor's future on the supreme court. vermont democrat pat leahy's chairing senate confirmation hearings. >> i suspect she'll be confirmed. i would hope, though, that senators will make up their mind based on what they hear in the hearing. >> republicans will demand sotomayor's view of the nation that instead of the
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traditionally disspation gnat and objective approach to judging based on facts and law and the constitution, judges that according to president obama should also factor in empathy. >> it it is a dangerous philosophy, and if anything, from ler speeches, judge sotomayor may be beyond that. she really validates and says it's legitimate for a judge to bring their personal by wases and prej prejudices to bear in the decision-making process. >> an an appeals court judge first tapped for the federal bench by the first president bush, sotomayor said that sex and ethnicity will make a difference in judging. more than once she has said "i would hope that a wise lat teen latina woman with a are richness of experiences would reach a better conclusion than a white male who hasn't lived that life." that's a big tough issue that this nominee will be confronted with and have to answer. i'm not going to vote for a judge who believes their personal background, their gender, can affect how they give
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justice to two parties before them. >> democrats seem unanimous in support in defense of sotomayor's priorities and concerns in judicial decision making. >> i asked her about that, and she said and was very emphatic on this. she said ultimately and completely, the law is what controls. >> senate republicans admit they were not as tough on nominees ruth bader ginsburg and stephen breyer as democrats were on john roberts and samuel alito and chairence thomas but say they are not afraid to challenge sotomayor. she would be the court's first latino. >> this president want wanting to be an hispanic on the court and be the first one is a moat ation. obviously she has a long record as a circuit court judge. i don't want him to say he picked just anybody, because he wanted an hispanic, but he was able to find somebody with a good record of service that fit
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that, and i think that's the primary objective. >> some blog critics and opinion makers say sotomayor's claim to be wiser than others because she is a woman and latino is itself bigoted. >> to the credit of the republican senators i have talked to, they're embarrassed by those kind of comments, and they may disagree with her at the end and may vote against her, but to base it on the facts of what they hear in the committee. >> monday morning when the hearing begins, it will be opening statements an introductions, a full day, eight hours worth. tuesday, the actual question and answer begins an each senator will have a grueling 30 minutes to go one on one with the nominee. it could be exhausting for the senators, for the nominee and for the audience. chris. chris: thanks, carl. we will be there for every bit of it. fox news will have complete coverage of the sotomayor story beginning sunday night at 8:00 p.m. eastern with a news special "judging sotomayor," and we will bring you the confirmation
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hearings live monday beginning at 9:00 a.m. eastern, programs anchored by bret baier and megyn kelly. shell v-power. our most advanced fuel ever. nitrogen-enriched for optimum performance, maximum protection. there's no mistaking the power of the v. ♪
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chris: treasury secretary tim geithner is urging congress to establish a system to better monitor and regulate the over-the-counter derivatives market. geithner testified before the house financial services and agriculture committees. der derivatives are financial instruments whose vals ewe is der viefed from something else like a commodity like oil. they are blamed for much of the current financial trouble. the man driving general motors says the new g.m. will be faster and more responsive to customers. fritz henderson made the comment as his company emerged from a
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40-day stay in bankruptcy. >> the bottom line is business as we have known it, and as we have had it up today, business as usual is over at general motors. it is a new era. we have to have the highest expectations for ourselves and everyone associated with the company must realize this and be prepared to change and fast. chris: let's get more now on the g.m. rebirth from fox business network correspondent jeff flock. what is new about the new g.m.? >> well, they have moved fast, chris. they have done something that nobody at g.m. thought they could do, move this fast for such a lumbering company. they have cut their debt by over $120 billion. they put a guy who thinks that global warming is a crock of something that starts with s in charge of corporate communications. when i talked to fritz lender son a couple of hours ago, i asked him to go ahead and sell his car to the american public. he looked straight into the camera and here is what he said. >> first of all first of all,
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thank you for the support and the second chance we have been provided. second, it is our job to prove your trust and to just phi your trust. we have fantastic cars and trucks. we can win. general motors can be rebuilt. >> there you heard it from him. he seems to be pretty passionate about it, chris. chris: what do we expect in terms of specific actions from henderson and the rest of the g.m. team in the next few weeks? >> i will tell you, we will get firings in the corp. spratt suite at the renaissance sweet -- in the corporate suite at the are renaissance center. they will cut their senior executive staff by 35%. he said essentially we're getting ready of rid of the president of g.m. north america. the guy in charge of sales, he is in charge of sales today, said henderson, so tough talk from fritz henderson. >> let's get to the bottom line issue for taxpayers bhasm is g.m.'s schedule for paying --
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what is g.m.'s schedule for paying back the huge government loan money? >> they owe it by 2015. fritz henderson said they might not need all the money. they will leave it in escrow. they might not spend it all. two, he expects they will pay it back ahead of schedule. i hope he's right. chris: jeff flock reporting from g.m. headquarters in detroit. thanks for that. oil prices settled below $60 a barrel. crude futures lost 52 cents to close at $59.89 a barrel, a 10% drop in a week. gasoline fell a penny and a half overnight and is averaging $2.56 1/2 cents a gallon. the u.s. taidz deficit fell to a nine-year low in may. the deficit was $26 billion, a drop of almost 10% from april. experts say the weak u.s. economy has depressed the demand for imported goods. stocks were mixed today. the dow was off 36. the s&p 500 gave back just over 3 1/2, and the nasdaq gained
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almost that same amount. one veteran white house correspondent admits the media were biased during the last election, and is president obama more catholic than the pope? really? t sword fights pointy slippers and green wool tights take a tip from a knight who knows free credit report dot com, let's go! vo: offer applies with enrollment in triple advantage. right now, all over the country, discover card customers are getting 5% cashback bonus at the pump. now more than ever, it pays to discover.
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chris: now the latest from the political grapevine. newsweek guest columnist kathleen kennedy townsend is
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suggesting president obama is more catholic than the pope. the former maryland lieutenant governor and member of the kennedy clan says mr. obama's agenda reflects the views of american catholics, quote, much more closely than those vocal bishops an pro life activists. townsend continues, catholics in the u.s. aren't bothered by disagreements between the white house and vatican over reproductive rights an homosexuality because, quote, they know obama is on their side. his agenda is closer to their views than even the pope's. long-time white house correspondent carl cannon, not cameron, cannon, says the media didn't hold joe bide ton the same standard as sarah palin. cannon was a white house correspondent for washington journal for more than a decade and now whites for "politics daily." he says the attention surrounding palin was created by what he calls a busted journalism model and confesses the media, quote, took sides
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straight and simple when it came to the vice presidential raise. now it turns out south carolina governor mark sanford used state employees an u.s. embassy officials to set up a trade mission to argentina in june of 2008 that made it clear he wanted to maintain a low-key schedule on the trip. e-mails released by the south carolina commerce department showed sanford, who recently admitted to an affair with an argentine mistress, asked his staff to arrange for him to leave a scheduled hunting trip early and keep his evenings free in buenos aries. sanford now admits having a romance with a woman on that trip. israeli soldiers fired tear gas into a crowd of protestors today in the village of beline, near the west bank city of ramallah. it happened during a weekly protest at the wall constructed to keep palestinian bombers out of the country. reena ninan got caught up in the action today. >> this is a clash right now.
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they are setting up what appears to be tear gas. this is israeli military clashing with israeli and palestinian peace activists. they are protesting what is known as the separation barrier. take a look just behind me. the barrier has stopped quite a few suicide bombings. it has been one of the biggest successes here in israel. the problem is this cuts right through palestinian territory. palestinian land, with the possibility of a future possible palestinian state opening up the gate, trying to push up to the fence to gain access to possibly cross over. here you go. you can see the tear gas coming out right now exploding. the release of a water cannon and spraying people with a non-lethal substance that smells like a skunk. right now, they're firing tear gas.
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cheer that was correspondent reena ninan today in the west bank village of biline. the house has approved a 12% boost in funding to take care of the medical needs of veterans. the vote was 415-3. it is part of a 132 billion dollar spending bill that will pay for the hiring of 1,200 additional claims processors to relieve backlog. it also pays for treatment of medical problems not related to a veteran's military service. now that american combat troops are out of iraqi cities, much of that country's security is in the hands of its own army, and police force. one of the big questions is, what will happen to former insurgents who crossed over to the u.s. side and fought against terrorists? we look at the sons of iraq. >> in the war's darkest days of chaos and terror, a group of mostly sunni tribal leaders, fed up with violence, agreed to join
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the americans to fight al qaeda. they are flown as the sons of iraq or the awakening and the u.s. credits them for playing a key role in the sharp drop in violence over the last year. many were former insurgents themselves until the u.s. began paying them to lay down their arms an secure their neighborhoods. >> we managed to protect our areas and citizens from danger. >> the sons of iraq functions like a neighborhood watch program with ak-47's. all the gartsdz guards live in this neighborhood. their friends and family live here. they know the gossip and the rumors and know who doesn't belong on their turf. the awakenings groups had a deal with americans. now the u.s. military has handed control to the shiite-led government. it is a tense transition. some of the guards complain the government is targeting them for arrest, even after they spilled their own blood fighting the terrorists. the top u.s. commander in iraq says he understands those concerns. >> it is important that we continue to watch this very closely and it's important for
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the government of iraq to make sure they understand the role that the sons of iraq have played in the progress that has been made here. i think they do realize that. >> the sons' most common complaint is that they are no longer getting their salaries of $150 to $300 a month. the interior ministry knows payments are late but claims it needs more time to verify rosters. >> the iraqi government is committed to the sons of iraq. there are administrative issues in some areas. >> the government here has decided the sons of iraq cannot continue to exist as separate paramilitary groups. it has pledged to integrate 20% of an estimated 95,000 fighters into the iraqi police or army. the rest are supposed to get civil service jobs. >> the future is definitely to be merged with security forces and civilian jobs but no one knows when. >> u.s. military leaders say they're monitoring the situation to see if iraqi authorities made good on their promises, worried
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that thousands of wrestless young men without money, jobs or trust in their government could be tempted to rejoin the insurgency. in baghdad, fox news. >> secretary of state hillary clinton says the two american journalists sentenced to 12 years of hard labor in north korea have expressed what she calls great remorse for the incident. clinton says, quote, everyone is very sorry that it happened." she is calling on north korea to grant amnesty to laura ling and union that lee, who were convicted of illegally entering the country. meanwhile, an american college professor who was in north korea this week says the government has delayed sending the women to a labor camp in a possible attempt to entice washington into negotiations. as the president arrives at the last stop on his overseas trip, we will review what he has and hasn't accomplished. the fox all-stars join me next. emerging science suggests...
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>> the one thing i will be looking forward to is fewer summit meetings, because as you said, i have only been in office six months now, and there have been a lot of these. chris: president obama finishing up the g8 meetings in italy today an apparently suffering from some summit overload. what about his trip, the whole trip? let's bring in the panel. steve hays of the weekly standard. mort cock drak i can of roll -- mort kondracke of roll call and charles kraut krauthammer. let's start with the g8 summit that was i tended by some 40 countries. we have a lot of statements about global climate change and iran. what did they accomplish? >> almost nothing. it is interesting when you think back to a year ago during this time of the campaign, this is the same month that then candidate barack obama gave his
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speech in berlin about the new multi-laterallism under his leadership the united states would remake the world, having sort of discarded the unilateralism, the cowboy diplomacy of george w. bush. now we see six, seven months in, that perhaps it wasn't the unilateralism or so-called unilateralism of george w. bush but it was actually american interests and the problems we have. i think in some instances, particularly on iran, we took a step back because the g8 statement on iran actually affirmed that engagement will continue regardless of the regime's activities. chris: do you give a bad review to the g8? >> yeah, i give a bad review to the g8 and a bad review to the whole trip, in fact. the g8, they did not do anything on climate change, which they were going to do. they set an upper limit for temperatures, but no limit on
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co2 emissions, and so all they did was to pledge more aid to africa. it's not really clear when you pledge aid to africa that it really helps africa the way foreign aid is distributed, so the president, to his credit, said to africa, you have got to stop this corruption in order for it to do any good. that was a robust statement, but the rest of it was basically a lot of nothing, and i don't blame him for being tired of going to these summits. chris: let me ask you about that, charles, because the president raised the fact that there was a lot of summit meetings and he has been to a lot of them. do these make sense whether it is the g8 or the g20 or is it a waste of time? >> it impinges on his golf, so i understand why he's upset with it. look, the g7 had a reason. then we asked russians to join in the '90's as a gesture, who don't belong. they are a non-economic
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influence. the g7 originally was about economics, and there it made sense t was kind of a way to coordinate economic policy. right now, it's useless in having the russians in, particularly after the invasion of georgia last year, leaving them in the forest. g20 is a larger forest. obama compounded it because he is a man who spoke about how he is going to unite the world, and all these internationalist notions. he goes to the summit of the g8. he precedes it by trying to ram a cap and trade energy tax through the congress, which he knows is going to hurt the american economy in the name of climate change, in the name of demonstrating american leadership and what does he get? at that summit, no support from any of our allies. the russians explicitly say they're not going to do anything on climate change and the chinese and indians say that as well, which means that anything
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he does at home on cap and trade will hurt us and do nothing about the emission of greenhouse gases. chris: mort, you with anxious to talk not only about italy but preceding the couple of days the president spent in moscow. >> right. he says he was going to reset u.s.-russian relations, and nothing has changed. at the very end of this g7 summit, g8 summit, dimitry medvedev, the president went right back to the threat to install nuclear-tipped missiles against poland if we deploy an anti-ballistic missile missile system in poland, which is not directed against the russians at all. it is directed against the iranians, so the russians are just as touch as they have ever been. they are just as authoritarian. they are just as anxious to dominate their old sphere of influence as they ever were, and
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he got nowhere on iran. there is no russian-u.s. access forming against the iranians. he got nowhere on georgia. they're still menacing -- russians are still menacing georgia. chris: we have about a minute left. steve, the president is in ghana. he was calling and pushing in the summit for a big food assistance initiative, billions of assistance to africa and the rest of the third world. in fairness, he did say that a lot of those countries there are have to clean up their own act, as mort mentioned, and the corruption. what is the chance that he will get the green revolution? >> isn't that meddling? we're not supposed to be meddling. look, it is a good thing for him to say it. i'm glad he said it. i hope he follows through with policies but we have seen that reform in africa is often much, much harder to accomplish than simply continuing to give dollars to dictators that do nothing but spend it on
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themselves and don't use it to better the situations for their people. chris: panel, we have to step aside for a moment. when he we come back, the friday lightning round features scandal, a resignation, and a curious presidential glass. all that straight ahead. geico's been saving people money on car insurance for over 70 years. and who doesn't want value for their dollar? been true since the day i made my first dollar. where is that dollar? i got it out to show you... uhh... was it rather old and wrinkly? yeah, you saw it? umm fancy a crisp? geico. fifteen minutes could save you fifteen percent or more on car insurance.
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>> i will not be a candidate in the 2010 election. i will not run for united states senate seat. chris: that was embattleed illinois senator roland burris making it official today. we're back with our panel for the friday lightning round. starting with steve hays, as we say, burris says he's not going to run, and he was in trouble ever since he was appointed by
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rod blagojevich. what do you make of the burris era in the senate? >> it's very sad that it's coming to an end. i will miss him, intentionally or not, he was far funnier than am franken ever will be. he won a faceoff with harry reid and what a decisive fashion. we will miss that. >> i think he is a sad character all the way around. the real news was the decision of lisa madigan, the most popular popular figure in illinois politics, not to run for the senate, not to run for the governor but because she has a one-year-old baby to actually stay in her job as attorney general and tend to her job. that is a very good decision. it opens the way for maybe primaries in both republican and democratic sides for the senate. >> i will miss him. look, the reason he ran is not because he was going to lose, which of course he would have, but is because he is a lame duck. they won't pursue him on ethics issues and that at least will keep him out of trouble.
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he will go out ahead of the sheriff quickly into the night. >> chris: issue two, we haven't had a chance all week to talk about the latest from senator john ensign of nevada. it now turns out, steve, that ensign's parents agreed to pay the family of the former staffer he had an affair with $96,000. i want to know, would your parents bail you out if you said i had an affair with one of my staffers? >> absolutely not, especially after the stock market crash, but i don't think -- in a town where we see lots of statements with lots of sort of shall we say courage or chutzpah, this one really ranks up there as one of the worst in history that it was just family generosity. chris: family generosity, making it sound like a humanitarian gesture. >> hush money redefined, i would say. >> my mother has a limit of $50k i'm more careful as a result.
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look, it is the old rule, it is not the crime. it is the coverup. if you're going to cover up, you got to give a better excuse than assisting the family. it was hush money and it really looks bad. caller: then there was the picture that came out of the g8 summit this week. let's put it up on the screen. "the washington post" ran this photo this morning with a question mark, what do president obama and french president sarcozy have in common? answer, they're men, but our crack staff says the video -- let's run this right now, says the video shows that perhaps it is a different story. what do you make of the video, steve? >> well, i consulted a -- we have an expert ogler on our staff at "the weekly standard." >> look at sarcozy coming in there. >> that is far more interesting. >> exactly, yes, of course! everybody was playing the type. obama was generously helping the woman and sarcozy was checking her out. >> totally innocent on obama's
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part. sarcozy, he is french. >> acquitted on all counts. obama is a man of supreme self containment. he is not a man who stares at the rear ends of 16-year-olds. >> and sarcozy? >> i won't speak about the french. if you see mr. obama on camera, the camera is lying. in washington, always trust your underlying assumptions and not your eyes. chris: with four seconds left, let's move. we have 15, 20 seconds for each of you to offer something on some issue you want to talk about. >> obama speaking in moscow referred to our reaction and opposition to the russian rape of georgia as "our disagreements on georgia's borders." chamberlain and hitler had a disagreement on poland in september of 1939. >> well, arne duncan, education secretary is a hero. he went to the national education association and delivered a speech touting merit pay and firing bad teachers.
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you know, quite a heroic effort. >> "time" magazine ran a cover story about sarah palin calling her renegade, not anything else negative, and ran a profile that was fairly positive on balance, so i wonder if we're seeing the tide turning on mainstream media treatment of her. chris: you raised the question, do you think, in fact, we are seeing the tide turning in mainstream media? >> absolutely not. caller: and what about sonia sotomayor? we have 15 seconds left. does she sail through? >> yes. >> absolutely. >> the republicans will raise an issue or two on principle, but her nomination -- her ascension to the court is assured. >> i'm looking forward to the speeches we will hear on monday. chris: and each one questioning for half an hour, as carl cameron said, it will bore everybody, but that's plug to keep watching. that's it for the panel. up next, even some allies start turning on president obama.
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chris: president obama's poll numbers have started to sag as unemployment gets worse despite the stimulus bill. mr. obama is now getting hit by some old friends. >> the administration recently passed a katrillion dollars stimulus bill. let's check in and see how things are progressing. >> 614,000 filed jobless claims last week. that brings the national unemployment rate to 9.5%. >> consumers are defaulting on credit cards. >> the stock market's still sucks. chris: that his "special report." i'm chris wallace. it joins us -- join us this sunday. we will look at the sonia sotomayor hearings. thanks forch

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