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tv   Meet the Press  NBC  October 17, 2010 7:00am-8:00am PST

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and she'd make abortion a crime. no wonder fiorina is endorsed by sarah palin. carly fiorina. just too extreme for california. [ boxer ] i'm barbara boxer and i approve this message. this sunday, the president ramps up the campaign fight a little more than two weeks before election day, but does he help or hurt democrats? the view from the white house on the election landscape. how the administration would respond to big republican gains on election day and the president's role on the trail with our exclusive guest, white house press secretary robert gibbs. then more for the fight on control for congress, majority leader harry reid battles for his political life as he debates a tea party backed opponent. >> how did you become so wealthy
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on a government payroll? >> that's really a low blow. everybody knows i was a really successful lawyer. >> and gop candidate christine o'donnell down in the polls, but still grabbing the headlines. >> you're just jealous that you weren't on "saturday night live." >> i'm dying to see who's going to play me, christine. >> one of the tight races that could tip the balance of power is in colorado, where recent polls show a single-digit race as our special senate debate continues, michael bennet with as our special senate debate continues, michael bennet with his challenger, ken buck. captions paid for by nbc-universal television good morning. for the first time today this election season, the president and the first lady hit the campaign trail together, heading to ohio.
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with just 16 days until the election, is there anything the president can do to stop republicans from a major victory on november 2nd? joining me now, white house press secretary, robert gibbs. welcome back to "meet the press." >> thank you. >> we are just 16 days away. something in "the washington post" caught my eye that summed up the difficulty for the president and the democrats. i'll put it up on the screen. it's about the west virginia senate race and hopeful joe manchin. he was one problem, the pesky d after his name. that's one problem he can't fix. quote, there's not much wrong with him, said john jenks, attending an event for republican john raese on wednesday. it's just that he's a drtemocra. why is that such a problem? >> there's different political environments in different states. the over jowl environment is driven by our overall economic picture. it took us years to get into the mess we got ourselves in at the end of 2008. it will take us a while to get out. we saw a financial system near collapse. we have a continuing housing
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crisis that we're making progress on dealing with. we have positive economic growth and we have nine straight months of private sector job growth. it will take a while to get out of the mess that took us a long time to get into. >> just this morning, ap story out, showing the poll. many obama 2008 supporters defecting to the gop. in many ways it's become a referendum on the president and his policies. >> i'm a little leery of polls that take three weeks to conduct just as a political professional. again, we're in a tough political environment because the country is in a tough economic environment. 9.6% unemployment, 8 million jobs that have been lost. we have candidates that are out there, making their positive case, because we know exactly what the republican party wants to do. david, they said it sitting probably right in the chair i'm sitting in. they want to go back to what we had in 2008. they want to repeal things like wall street reform and putting banks back in charge of making financial decisions that affect not just wall street but affect
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main street. at the end of the day, people are going to understand that message and not turn over control of congress to people that want to take us back to what we're trying to get out of. >> last time you were here, you made a little news and raised eyebrows by what you said. i want to play what you said but in the full context and have you talk about it, give an updated version of it. this is about the election last year. >> is the house in jeopardy, the majority for the democrats in the house in jeopardy? >> there is no doubt that there are a lot of seats that will be up, a lot of contested seats. i think people are going to have a choice to make in the fall. but i think there's no doubt there are enough seats in play that could cause republicans to gain control. there's no doubt about that. >> you also went on to say that it will depend on how strong the campaigns are by democrats. first of all, how do you see the landscape now? >> again, there's no question it is a tough and challenging political environment. we're the beneficiary of a lot
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of political real estate after 2006 and 2008 that hadn't been held by democrats for a long period of time. but, look, i think that campaigns in this cycle are being run on a lot of local issues and issues that are important not nationally but to individual states and individual congressional districts. i think our candidates have done a remarkably good job in a tough, political environment and i think that come election night, we'll retain control of both the house and the senate. >> you believe that? >> i do believe that. >> what's different now as opposed to then? >> well, again, i think right now you see an electorate by democrats that is more engaged. you mentioned the president out on the trail. he is joined today by a very popular first lady in an important state like ohio. 20,000 people signed up under duvall patrick's website for the event we had yesterday, 26,000
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people in wisconsin. there's excitement about what this president is trying to do. there's an energy around it. we're seeing that in tricky generic congressional ballots and shrinking enthusiasm. >> the president has pointed messages and i want to show a portion of one of his talks here on tuesday. >> the question is going to be whether, once again, hope overcomes fear. because what essentially the other side has decided is that they're going to try to ride fear and anxiety all the way to the ballot box on november 2nd. >> he is accusing republicans of riding fear and anxiety to the ballot box. yet with his talk about the u.s. chamber of commerce and the influence of foreign money, a lot of people question whether he, in fact, is guilty of the same thing. this is what the president said back in october in maryland. >> just this week, we learned that one of the largest groups paying for these ads regularly
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takes money from foreign corporations. so, groups that receive foreign money are spending huge sums to influence america's elections, and they won't tell you where the money for their ads come from. so, this isn't just a threat to democrats. all republicans should be concerned. independents should be concerned. this is a threat to our democracy. >> a threat to our democracy, yet the white house has not produced proof of any foreign funds in the ads. this is what "the washington post" said about this general issue. foreign donations are not the problem, but secret money, they say in the editorial, pouring into the coming election is alarming. it should be plugged into future campaigns and could be, with the switch of a senate vote or two. but the rhetoric about this development, from president obama on down is irresponsiblebirresponsibly alarmist. bruce josten, the u.s. chamber of commerce's chief lobbyist
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told the new york tooib times that the chamber's 115 foreign affiliates pay less than $1 h $100,000 in membership dues out of a total budget of $200 million. the foreign money is kept segregated accounts. the white house seems to be willing to stoke xenophobia without any evidence for its accusations. >> it does seem to take money from foreign companies, from companies in other countries. they are running $75 million worth of ads. david, you and i don't know exactly who is contributing to that, because there's a program that keeps all of their donors and involvement in these ads a complete secret. you're not going to know today. you're not going to know tomorrow. you're not going to know after the elections. what's the agenda of those that would contribute and write million dollar checks to influence races like in colorado or throughout the country? what's their political agenda? this is solved quite easily. bruce josten, chief lobbyist, could simply open up the books and simply show people exactly where the donations are coming from and who is paying for the
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ads. i have to say, david, it's a pretty easy political solution to show the american people where the money is coming from. since it's been a week and a half, two weeks in this debate and they haven't shown you where the money is, it calls into question where that money comes from. >> isn't it striking that an administration that passed health care reform, massive stimulus to try to grow the economy is in, its, using a fear tactic, talking about karl rove, chamber of commerce and secret money into the campaign? >> it's just the facts. karl rove, who believed quite frankly that the 2004 race had potential to derail our democracy before he started running a group that we now both agree, i think, has a chance to derail democracy. they spent $50 million. chamber is spending $50 million. if you add it up, it's $399 million. nobody knows who those donors
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are or what their political agenda is. what do they want from the next senator or in the next congressman? $400 million injected into this political campaign. >> is this more smoke than fact? >> absolutely not. we could know all the facts by simply having karl rove and others lay out exactly where their donors come from and exactly where that money -- what the agenda is behind those big checks. >> isn't the bigger issue here than karl rove this poll question that bloomberg asked earlier this month, whether people believe that children in your life will have a better life than you have? 51% say they're somewhat or not confident in that. the faith in president obama in making a better future was very high when he came into office. here is where it stands now. >> well, look, i don't doubt that there are concerns throughout this country and there's a deep frustration. you can include the oval office in that, in getting our economy moving again.
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the president works every day not to do what is politically popular, but to do what is right. investing in auto companies and ensuring financial collapse not from a recession to a great depression may not have been the most popular thing to do, but it was the right thing to do. and every step of the way, david, in facing economic catastrophe, republicans said no. the people in this country, in order to effect their outlook on the future need a party in the republicans that's willing to become part of democracy and be part of government. i don't doubt that as we look through the messages of what happens on election day, regardless of the outcome, the american people are going to want two political parties to work together to solve our problems. quite frankly, from the very get-go, from the very first day, there was a coordinated strategy by mitch mcconnell and the republicans to simply say no to everything that president obama wanted to do. now we know why. they want to go back to what
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happened in 2008 and 2007 where karl rove is the architect of these outside groups and i think it's pretty emblematic of wanting to take us back to the bush years. >> do you call on democratic candidates like joe manchin, like a dozen or so blue dog democrats in a congress to rebuff their support from the chamber of commerce that they have in this race? >> look, the chamber has certainly constitutionally protected rights to air ads. nobody is arguing that they can't be involved in the election. but the president has said -- not just in the last two weeks. the president has said this in the state of the union, in criticizing the supreme court's decision, that groups that support democrats and groups that support republican, liberal or conservative, ought to simply tell the american people where they get their money. who is paying for -- >> you're not concerned about democrats getting support from the chamber? >> no. look, the chamber supported the president's recovery plan.
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we would like to have had the chamber's support in dealing with small business tax cuts that republicans oppose and took us three months longer to get than we should have. we would, quite frankly, like the chamber's support on wall street reform that starts to put main street back in charge and not held hostage by wall street. again, there was a coordinated effort not to have that happen, not because it was right for the american people, but because it was all a series of political pl ploys. >> i want to ask you about a big news item this week, and that is the issue of the don't ask, don't tell policy in the military, the president speaking on thursday at an mtv town hall said that -- >> i've said very clearly that, including in a state of the union address, i'm against don't ask, don't tell, and we're going to end this policy. >> yet on that very day, the president's justice department filed an appeal to halt a judge's ruling that would have struck down don't ask, don't
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tell. so, if the president wants the law to go away, if he wants the ban to go away, why is he still supporting the law in the court? >> let's be clear. the president believes the law is discriminatory, unjust and, quite frankly, you have men and women who are willing to lay down their life for this country. those people ought to be able to serve. the law that was struck down that the president opposes -- one, the house has passed repeal and we hope that the senate takes up appeal quickly. >> what if it doesn't? what does the president do if the senate doesn't act? >> we have a process in place to work with the pentagon for an orderly and disciplined transition from the law that we have now to an era that don't ask, don't tell doesn't exist. i will say this, david. don't ask, don't tell will end under this president. the courts have decided, the legislature is begin ining to
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decide and the president is firmly in the place of removing don't ask, don't tell. >> does he believe it's unconstitutional? >> he thinks it's discriminatory and unjust, and most of all, it harms our national security. >> if you keep defending it in the court, how does it end? you can pronounce it dead but how does it end in the courts? >> it ends in the congress. it's a law and the most durable solution is to repeal that law. the president asked the house to do that, and they did. there's enough votes, i think, to do it in the senate. again we have to get through republican filibuster. it harms our national security. it's discriminatory. it's time for it to end. i will say it again, david. this president will end don't ask, don't tell. you're seeing from the courts that they're deciding that don't ask, don't tell, quite frankly, is -- it's time for it to end and that time is coming very soon. >> from "the new york times"
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magazine, the education of a president. and it talks about the president and white house's vision for what happens after november 2nd, whether you lose control of the house or the senate or you don't. if it's a slimmer majority. a portion of the article written by peter baker. i'll put it up on the screen. president obama has already begun thinking about what went wrong and what he needs to do to change course for the next two years. he has spent what one aide called a lot of talking about obama 2.0. what is obama 2.0? what comes next? >> a couple of different things. we've got to address problems that sit before us. we have a medium and long-term fiscal situation that we all understand is unsustainable and it will only be solved if the two parties are willing to work together. most importantly, we passed some important legislation that decr creates a foundation for long-term economic growth. wall street reform and health care reform. it's going to take a lot of coordinated energy and work to implement those.
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i think that's what the president -- you'll see the president focused on in the next two years, regardless, quite frankly, of -- >> how do you say to the voters, i hear you. there's going to be some kind of course correction? what does that look like? >> i think we'll have time to figure it out after the election when we know the final results. right now the president's focus is gon getting our economy stronger and moving forward. >> you said you would never trade the job of press secretary. do you stick by that or might you be elsewhere in the administration or in washington? >> you know, david -- and i think you would pretty easily agree with this. it is a tremendous honor and privilege to walk into that building every morning to serve this president or any president. i would love to be the manager of the atlanta braves but they hired somebody this week. i will just have to be inordinately happy.
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>> might you run the dnc? >> i've spent no time thinking about or talking to people about what comes next for me. we're focused on what comes next for this country. >> robert gibbs, we appreciate it. coming up next, senate debate series continues, michael bennet squares off with republican ken buck in a tight race that could tip the balance of power in washington. only here on "meet the press." in 1968, as whaling continued worldwide, the first recordings of humpback songs were released. public reaction led to international bans, and whale populations began to recover. at pacific life, the whale symbolizes what is possible when people stop and think about the future. help protect your future, with pacific life.
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with xerox, you're ready for real business. the fight for control of congress. will the tea party's power be the big story on election night? it's all playing out in one of the country's most watched senate races. the candidates in their firsi national showdown are up next. ♪ ♪ i was young and i was stupid ♪ i had just turned 17
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>> he is somebody who is going to change washington if you send him back there and give him the kind of mandate that he deserves. >> a relationship his opponent has used against him. >> a rubber stamp for his friends in washington. >> two years ago, colorado was democrat country where the party staged its national convention, where senator obama tapped into frustration among the state's independent voters. >> the challenges we face require tough choices and democrats as well as republicans will need to cast off the worn-out ideas and policies of the past. >> we have news. colorado also went for obama, according to nbc news projections. >> and carried the state by nine points over john mccain. but much has changed in the rocky mountain west. high unemployment due to lost construction jobs, growing anger over government spending and the debt. giving the tea party an opening and a candidate.
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ken buck, a lawyer and former district attorney, whose tea party backing helped him beat the establishment gop candidate. >> i have cowboy boots. they have real [ bleep ] on them and real [ bleep ] not washington, d.c. [ bleep ]. >> he is challenging bennett, freshman senator and former head of denver schools, appointed to the seat after ken salazar joined the obama cabinet. their campaign, among the most contentious in the country, mirrors the national debate. has government helped or hurt in the great recession? and who can voters really trust to fix what's broken in washington? >> joining us now, the current junior senator from colorado, the democrat, michael bennet, and his challenger, republican ken buck, still the district attorney of willow county in colorado. that's my mistake. i apologize. if you look at the polling, we'll put it up on the screen.
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it's a tight race with mr. buck with a five-point advantage right now. both of you under 50%. so, a lot on the line here. mr. buck, let me start with you. you do have tea party backing. the tea party is a major movement in this campaign, sharron angle, christine o'donnell getting a lot of headlines in delaware. the question is whether the tea party represents an extreme, insurgent political force or whether it's a legitimate political movement. what do you say? >> i think it's a legitimate political movement. what we're talking about are folks that are frustrated, that we are spending so much money in washington, d.c. and they're every bit as frustrated with republicans as they are with the democrats. the republicans are every bit as much to blame for the mess that we're in as the democrats. that frustration has exhibited itself in a lot of energy. folks are not going to try to send the same type of republican to washington, d.c. that they've sent in the past. so i think it is a lot more
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mainstream than it has been. >> at that point, there are a lot of folks, supported by the tea party, in the tea party, who say it's a mainstream movement. others say it is anything but. the institute for research and education on human rights and naacp are releasing a report this coming week. here it is. i'll show it on the screen. critical examination of the tea party movement and size, scope and focus. there are serious charges i want you to respond to. the result of this study, concentration on budget deficits, tacks and the power of federal government. instead this report found tea party ranks to be permeated with concerns about race and national identity and other so-called social issues. tea party organizations have given platforms to anti-semits, racists and bigo it. s further, hard core white nationalists have been attracted
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to these protests looking for potential recruits and hoping to push these white protesters toward more self conscious and ideological white supremacy. >> i haven't seen it. i've been to over 800 events in colorado the last 20 months. i have not seen that and i find it offensive that folks would try to label the tea party in that way. it's not true in colorado. i don't know if it's true in other states. i haven't been to the other states. i can tell you if there are people that hold those views, they are quickly asked to leave meetings. i have not seen them. >> senator, is this a legitimate question? is this a mainstream movement? this is high stakes in your campaign in this debate. >> david, over the last 22 months i've had town halls in every part of our state, red and blue. said the same thing in all those places. what i'll tell you is this. my favorite rooms are the ones where there are democrats, republicans, unaffiliated voters and tea party people, because when folks are together in a room, they actually have to listen to each other. one of the things that we are facing right now is that we stopped listening to each other
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in our politics. i haven't seen a lot of that either. and i have had the opportunity to engage with people who are self-described tea party people to have a serious conversation rather than just a bunch of slogans about how we are not going to become -- what we need to do so that we're not the first generation of americans who have more opportunities than our kids or grandkids. >> subject to the campaign between you, whether or not you took positions to appeal to primary voters, to get that tea party support that you're now backing away from. >> this is how the denver post editorial wrote about it on friday. i'll put it up on the screen. buck ran as a far-right tea party conservative in his primary race against jane norton and now has been tracking back to the center. it hasn't been an easy wallets. he'd trip over his feet more often in his march to the center if they weren't in his mouth. but critics now call his tap dance buck pedaling. first he says he supports
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colorado's personhood measure. then he backed off. now he says he isn't sure. during the primary, he told voters he would support a fair tax then he backed off. he told one crowd he favored repealing the 17th amendment, then he back pedaled. buck says he doesn't believe in nation building yet says we can't leave afghanistan as a safe haven for terrorists as if it would be possible to control events there once our troops are gone. is that litany? is that charge fair? >> no. >> explain why. >> well, issues like the 17th amendment, as i said, i've been to over 800 events in colorado in 20 months. i have talked about the 17th amendment. someone asked me a question. i said the short answer is yes, but -- and then i gave an explanation of why i thought there were better answers to restoring the balance of power between the states and the federal government than the 17th amendment. senator bennett has played a commercial over and over that misstates, misquotes, misleads
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on that issue. the next day, i called the person back and said, you know, i thought about it and i don't want to leave you with the impression that the answer is yes. 15 times more with the democrat tracker counter in my face, i explained that i wasn't in favor of repealing the 17th amendment. it is easy when you have a tracker and they have a hundred examples of answers and the questions are coming at you from different angles to use tape that shows of a slight deviation in the answer. it is not fair to say that i have backtracked on those issues. >> is it also easy to flirt with positions in a primary and then back off and say i'm not trying to actually vote for that once you get into a general election? isn't that what people actually dislike about politics? >> they may dislike it but people are sick and tired of politicians not answering questions. it's incumbent on us if we're going to run in this kind of a race -- this is important here, david. i think that this is a different
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year than most years. we have to tell the american people that we have to lifb with less. $13.5 trillion debt and the only way to do that is an honest campaign with honest people. i have let people know in my heart -- it hasn't always been the same exact words to the same questions, but it has been -- they know where i'm coming from. >> political tunist? >> absolutely. it's very clear he ran a primary election, saying he would privatize social security and that he would demolish the public education, that he supported the personhood amendment, pro-life in all cases, including cases of rape and incest. he has not changed his position on that. even as recently as yesterday he said, well, i don't support abolishing the department of education, but i wouldn't oppose it if it came up for a vote. that's not the kind of straight talk people in colorado want. and what complicates it even further is that the primary election, virtually every dollar
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spent on tv on behalf of ken buck came from groups outside of colorado, came from groups sponsored by people that got us into this mess in the first place, that managed to drive this economy into the worst situation since the great depression. in the general election, same thing is happening, 85% of the money that represents the tv ads that are running on behalf of ken buck are from outside the state. but the other thing is, in these difficult times, i think it is important. we're never going to say exactly the same thing every second of every day, but the flip-flops in this race are unbelievable. >> you want to button this up before i move on to some questioning? >> i would. the media has looked at senator bennett, the same editorial you quoted from talks about the despicable nature of senator bennett's comments that have been false, misleading and deetful. they talked about the sleaziest campaign in the history of state
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of colorado. on senator bennett's side, he talks about deep empathy for social security and he's on the commission on aging. he missed 92% of the meetings for the commission on aging. he talks about ear mark reform in 2009. in 2010, he doesn't bother getting one co-sponsor or moving the bill forward in any way but r runs on the fact that he is a good government earmark reformer. it's that kind of duplicity that colorado voters are sick of. >> you can deal with some of that but i want to move to another issue, which is the role of president obama in this campaign. he came out to campaign for you. back in february, this is what he said, talking about the economy. >> he was here by my side in denver a year ago when we signed the recovery act into law. wasn't an easy political decision to make for any of us, because we knew that we were already facing big deficits that had been run up over the last
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decade. but we had a responsibility to do what was right for the american people and break the back of this recession that was slipping into a depression. >> yet on the signature issue, the legacy of that, this is what you said back in september, just last month. >> we have $13 trillion of debt on our balance sheet. in my view, nothing to show for it. >> the president said uh-uh took the tough vote, you said there's nothing to show for it but more debt. isn't that an admission -- hold on. isn't that an admission that the major piece to help the economy simply did not work by this administration? >> absolutely not. in fact, what i was saying when i say that, which i have said in every town hall meeting, democratic and republican parts of the state, is true. what i say is we have $13 trillion of debt on the balance sheet and nothing to show for it. i say, we have not even had the decency to maintain the assets that our parents and grandparents built for us, roads, bridges, waste water
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systems, sewer systems. those weren't socialists who built those things for us, much less the infrastructure we need for the 21st century. it's not just transportation. zplt president acknowledged infrastructure spending has not been dealt with. >> transit -- transportation, transit, energy infrastructure as well. that stimulus package saved us from going into the second great depression, but that's hardly enough of a standard if what generations are to judge other generations, is if they left more opportunity not less for them. that's the point i'm making. >> what seems to be the issue that's hanging out there is that most americans don't believe the stimulus has helped. you have been in lockstep with this president. you voted with the president 97% of the time. in an editorial by the denver post endorsing you, i should point out, this is what they say. michael bennet for u.s. senate, since bennett w was appointed senator he has been running for election and running scared.
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if he had bucked his party and his president on just one major issue, in turn shown some colorado independence, it would have been much easier to endorse him. instead his 20-month career has been frustrating to watch, leading voters with a difficult choice. the bill is law because of bennet's one vote. that vote and his speech epitomized his short senate career. so much potential, yet not enough spine. >> listen, i did cast a vote for health care. i also said that i thought the process was horrible. the status quo before we passed health care was also horrible. and part of what we need to do is clean up the way washington does business. i completely agree with that. it's one of the things, vote of confidence in the american people and what's going on in this town. i also think that it's clear that the recovery package has
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grown the gdp somewhat and saved thousands and thousands of jobs in my home state. look, when i agree with the president, i agree with him. when i disagree with him, i disagree with him. he has done some things that weren't helpful with colorado and i fought back, make sugar we didn't change the tax treatment for natural gas producers in our state. i might say also that today i was endorsed not just by the denver post but the grand centr central, one of the basis for their endorsement was my willingness to reach across the aisle to work with republicans and my opponent's stated desire to be the chief filibuster of the united states senate. >> on the big ticket items, ones that really contributed to the debt, you were with the president. >> i zbraechlt the president said in the clip that you had that a lot of tough choices were going to have to be made here.
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it's true. the choices are tough. politics right now are not supporting the aspirations that we have for our kids and grandkids. they're not allowing us -- or they haven't allowed us to make even tougher choices that we're still going to have to make. >> why is that unreasonable? >> i'll tell you, senator bennet does one thing in washington, d.c. and comes back in colorado and talks about a completely different thing. on his watch in washington, d.c., he has spent -- part of the spending of $3 trillion. that's $3 trillion. we could talk about $13 trillion on the book. $3 trillion has been accumulated since he has been in d.c. that's something that he has to take responsibility for. >> you take responsibility as well for what republicans did in terms of running up the debt before that? >> i have said before over and over, republicans are just as much to blame and i am not going to be one of those republicans when i get to washington, d.c. >> let's be clear on that point. the budget proposals he is proposing would blow more of a hole into our budget than we
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already have and depending on what we do with these extensions, an additional $4 trillion. >> do you agree with republican leaders that say that tax cuts do not have to be paid for? >> no, i don't. i think we have to find spending cuts. i don't know what you're talking about in terms of tax cuts. >> extending the bush-era tax cuts for the highest earners, it would cost an extra $700 billion. should those be paid for? if republicans like you want to cut that deficit, bring it in balance, it do you then have to pay for the tax cuts you want to extend? >> first, the families that are going to pay for the money that they have to send the federal government, that's the bigger question. >> how can that be bigger? you either believe in a balanced budget or you do not. you said a moment ago that they have to be paid for. how do you pay for it? >> by cutting spending. we also pay for it by growing government. when we leave money in the hands of taxpayers, they buy things, and grow government. it's not a one for one exchange
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in the first year. it would be bad, in my view -- every economist i've talked to has told me it would be bad in a recession to try to increase taxes. >> you think there should be an extension on all the tax cuts for a year. >> at least a year, to try to figure out how we paid for it. the same thing ken is saying is what the bush administration said when it created tax cuts to begin with. what we saw was the first period of economic growth in our country's history when middle class income fell. >> but it's not fair to compare all republicans. republican leaders don't agree with what he just said, which is you have to pay for tax cuts. aren't you guys more in line -- >> i didn't actually hear him say that. i heard him say you pay for it and by growing government you pay for it. i'm not sure what that mean. >> let me explain it to you. you grow government because if people have more money, they spend the money and government grows. when we put people back to work, government grows and we increase revenue and decrease unemployment benefits. >> i'm not interested in growing government, i can tell you that.
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>> i apologize, growing the economy. >> you're talking about growing the economy. >> right. >> is there also reality that how do you pay for extension of middle-class cuts? >> there's reality for all of it. top two percent is $700 million. all of it together is $2 trillion. we don't want to leave our children with a debt we weren't willing to deal with. >> some issues that have come up, controversial issues for you. you've taken a hard line position on abortion, that you would vote for a ban, even rape sbin sest. you said the voters should vote for you because you don't wear high heels and then a 2007 date rape case, you declined to prosecute and you said that the jury could conclude that this was buyer's remorse after you
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looked at the case and decided not to prosecute. the woman involved in the case has been critical of you, saying that the tone was, in essence, one of attacking her. it's not the first time your judgment or ethics as a lawyer has been questioned. do you regret using those words and whether you think women should give weight to those issues in deciding whether to vote for you. >> women, as well as men, are concerned about jobs, the economy, spending and other issues. they're concerned when kids graduate from college, they have an economy, a future in this country and the same kind of opportunity we've had am and our grandparents have had. i would like to clarify some things. rape case came into our office. it was reviewed by an attorney with a prosecutor with 30 years prosecutorial experience, he declined to prosecute. two female chief deputies reviewed the case and talked it to witnesses. they declined to prosecute. the case went to another chief deputy, who handled many high-profile rape cases in the
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denver metro area. he declined to prosecute. i met with this young lady, explained the circumstances and sent it to the boulder county district attorney office because they had a lot of experience with date rape, with the university of colorado being in that county. they declined to prosecute and told me the case couldn't be prosecuted. it was after this young lady made the case public that i had to explain to the newspaper exactly -- >> do you regret the way you talked to her or talked about the case? >> i don't regret the way i talked to her. it is important that a prosecutor approach a victim with a certain amount of reality. and that's what i tried to do with this victim. i didn't plam her at all. >> what about what you told the tribune? >> i gave them five or six reasons why i thought a jury could decline the case. she had buyer's remorse as a result of the relationship sthee had with this young man. that is something that i think when someone decides to make a case public, the public has to
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understand why. >> i have a lot of sensitivity for the victim in this case. he used the language again, buyer's remorse. as a father of three little girls, that's the wrong way to talk about this kind of set of circumstances. especially when you're a prosecutor. >> all right. we're going to leave it there. we're going to come back, get to some other issues. we'll take a quick break. morerom theoloro candidates when our special senate debate series continues. set it in motion... and it goes out into the world like fuel for the economy. one opportunity leading to another... and another. we all have a hand in it. because opportunity can start anywhere, and go everywhere. let's keep it moving. ♪
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we are ck to continue our special senate debate series with the candidates for the colorado senate seat. i want to get to answers and have shorter answers on these things. mr. buck, the issue of gays in our country, in a debate last month, you expressed your support for don't ask, don't tell, which we talked about with mr. gibbs. you alluded to lifestyle choices. do you believe being gay say choice? >> i do. >> based on what? >> based on what? >> yeah. >> i guess you can choose who your partner is. >> you don't think it's something that's determined at birth? >> i think that birth has an influence over, like alcoholism and other things, but basically you have a choice. >> outside the mainstream views on this? >> definitely believe he is outside the mainstream of views on this. >> if president obama or general petraeus would determine they need a significant number of
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troops to stay in afghanistan beyond the july 2011 deadline, is that a position that you would be able to support? >> my position is we ought to begin bringing our troops home in july 11. there will have to be troops there, i recognize that. this is the longest war in our nalgs's history. >> if a certain amount of troops would have to remain, would you be for or against it? >> i would have to look at it then but the president needs to honor the commitment that he made to begin bringing our troops home. i don't know what significant is. i imagine that there will be a substantial number of troops there for the foreseeable future. >> you could support that? >> but i believe that the american people need to see that our commitment there is coming to an end. >> how do you answer that, mr. buck? >> i don't think we set artificial deadlines. i think we set realistic goals. and we try to accomplish those goals. i don't think we should be nation building. i don't think we should be staying there over the long term. >> what if general petraeus says
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it's july 2011. if we're going to aachieve our goals, we may need more troops or surge up. would you support that because you don't believe in deadlines? >> no, i didn't say i could support that. i don't believe in telling the enemy when we'll withdrawal. i need to know what the goals are. if i agree with the goals then i will support it. >> nominated by the president, which sitting justices would you have voted against? >> i would have voted against justice sotomayor. >> other nominees as well down the line? >> perhaps. obviously i didn't study them as much as i have the last three. >> for you? >> i probably would have voted against justice thomas and i have been disappointed by what justice roberts has done. my own view is that the president has a constitutional
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prerogative to nominate people. if they're qualified, they ought to be confirmed even if i disagree with their positions on a lot of things. one of the most graceful moments over the last 20 months since i've been in this job in the senate was lindsey graham's statement before he cast his vote for elena kagan that set out the president's constitutional prerogative and his constitutional obligation as a united states senator. i thought it was a class act what lindsey graham said and i wish we saw more of that in the united states senate. >> mr. buck, you told "the washington post" back in july, i want to put it up on the screen, there's a conservative movement within the republican party that distinguishes a lot of us and we recognize that republicans are a big part of the problem. i don't have any deep friends in washington now and in six years i won't have any friends. >> other than you, david. >> you won't be in washington. that's the problem. >> do you want to come to washington and have no friends? how do you solve problems if you work with no one on the other
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side? >> if you take that literally, you come to that conclusion. i was trying to say i am coming to washington to do the people's work, reducing spending, cutting budgets and try to get a grip on the size of government. will i meet people here, develop friendships? sure. i'm not going to let those friendships interfere with my obligation to do the people's work. >> who is a republican you admire? >> just mentioned lindsey graham. i wrote a bill. i wasn't here for the bailout. ken doesn't know that but i wasn't here for the bailout. i was here to write a bill called the pay it back act, saying the money that came back from the t.a.r.p. use should be used dollar for dollar for debt reduction. bob corker was co-signer on that bill. it passed with bipartisan support. people in my town hall meetings want that. they're sick of partisanship and
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don't want to send someone to washington, d.c. that says i'm going to be the chief filibus r filibuster. there are people back here that will do that. what we need is cooperation. >> a minute left. i want you both to take this from facebook. we've partnered up with the facebook politics page. here is one we chose. ashley newberg. what do you hope to accomplish, fwhoeth your political career and in life in general, outside of politics? you have to be very brief. mr. buck? >> in my political career, i would like to see a constitutional balanced budget amendment and in my life i would like to play more golf and get a decent handicap. >> there you go. >> i spent my whole life outside of politics. this is my first exposure to it. i hope to be able to accomplish a set of policies that create more opportunity, not less for our kids and our grandkids outside of politics i hope to raise my three little girls to be productive and happy citizens. >> we'll leave it there.
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thank you both. early voting starting in colorado. monday night, bill clinton, former president, campaigning for you and for the democrats out there. he seems to be one of the more respected political figures on both sides in colorado. we'll be watching. we'll be right back. >> thank you. i know the best card you're holding.
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