tv MSNBC Live MSNBC November 18, 2012 1:00pm-2:00pm PST
iams adds 50% more animal protein, [ dog 2 ] look at me! i'm a lean, mean flying machine [ dog 1 ] i am too! woo hoo! [ male announcer ] iams. with 50% more animal protein. [ dog 2 ] i'm an iams dog for life. not a rabbit. woof! good afternoon. i'm richard lui. you're watching msnbc, the place for politics. republicans still are not satisfied with what they know about the attack on the consulate in benghazi. two gop senators are calling for answers from susan rice herself. there are encouraging signs from republicans and democrats when it comes to working together. is it enough to seal a deal to stop us from going over the so-called fiscal cliff. president obama is dealing with all this in the midst of his trip to asia. >> -- would tolerate missiles
raining down on its citizens from outside its borders. we're fully supportive of israel's right to defend itself from missiles landing on people's homes and workplaces and potentially killing civilians. >> we begin this hour with a developing story out of the middle east. let's go to stephanie gosk live in tel aviv. we were just hearing from ayman. it's pretty quiet in his location. what are you seeing there? what about the cease fire and the possibility of that? >> reporter: well, richard, it's been quiet here for a number of hours. there were sirens here earlier this evening. it's the second time today we heard rocket sirens in the city. the second time, the same situation that happened this morning, where they used the iron dome missile defense system and shot down those rockets. that defense system has been incredibly successful for the israelis over the course of the
last five days. you know, people on both sides of this conflict looking for some sort of cease fire. they're really not getting it. there's been a steady back and forth of attacks. the deadliest day so far in gaza. more than 20 people were killed, more than 12 in one incident alone. a two-story residential building that was leveled. most of those people from the same family. >> when those rockets first came close to that very key city of israel, we were looking at some of the tape. we saw how citizens in that area were very, very frightened. what's the reaction on the ground? how are citizens reacting to this back and forth of rockets? >> reporter: well, it's obviously a very disconcerting situation for people in this country. it is very tense. right now there's a lot of faith being put in this missile defense system, which has been very successful. it shot down a third of the rockets that have come into this
country. wait that it works, is it tracks the rockets as they're coming in, determines whether or not they're going to hit a population center, and if they are, they're shot down. when they aim at one, it has a 90% success rate. as one developer of the system told us, it's like shooting a bullet with a bullet. now, that has people here giving them some confidence they will be safe. of course, as we've seen, some have gone through. the reaction to these rockets, as we've seen from the israelis, is to hit gaza very, very hard over the last five days. >> those rockets from iron dome, some 100,000 each. they're not cheap. stephanie gosk in tel aviv. thank you so much. let's get more from former ambassador dennis ross. he was the middle east envoy for president clinton and george h.w. bush. he's now with the washington institute for near east politics and an msnbc contributor. thank you for being with us, ambassador. i want to go straight to a piece you wrote for "the new york
daily news." it's called "the fuel for the flames." you write the link between hamas and the muslim brotherhood is a concern. how vital is egypt's role given that in the gaza conflict right now? we know they're meeting right now. >> i think egypt is the key. they're the pivot here. what we're seeing is a situation where egypt really does not want to be put in a position where israel goes in to gaza. if that's the case, then the pressure is from within egypt from the muslim brotherhood, from the population, are going to be very intense. the last thing egypt wanted to do as a time when it needs to correct and deal with tremendous economic challenges is to be in a situation where if it threatens the peace treaty with israel, it guarantees it loses all the assistance from the outside. so they have a relationship with hamas because the muslim brotherhood and hamas are basically one in the same. hamas is on outgrowth of the
egyptian muslim brotherhood. on the one hand, there's a link, there's a psychological connection, there's an emotional connection. on the other hand, they're the seen yore partner and hamas is a junior partner. the last thing egypt needs at this point is for hamas, in a sense, to dictate egypt's future at a time when they have a collapsing economy. >> you and i have watched this before, 2008, as it ticked towards a ground invasion there in gaza from israel. what's different this time around that you see from your opinion? >> well, i think what's different is that on the one -- well, several things are different. we have a different egyptian government. under mubarak, that government was nodding and winking at the israelis and encouraged them to go in and basically finish hamas. obviously, we have a very different egyptian government this time. israel also has the experience of having gone into gaza, knows it's easier to get into gaza than it is to get out.
by the same token, there's a reality. israel is not going to accept a situation where a major part of its population has to be living in shelters. one of the reasons israel is acting right now is they're basically sending the message to hamas that if you are not going to re-establish calm, and in a way where we don't have to face the prospect of this resuming every couple of weeks, then the prospect of us going in and dealing very harsh blow on you quite great. there are differences and similarities. >> how much of this right now on the israeli side is about the election that's coming up in two months, in several months? how much of this is about a re-election of benjamin netanyahu and his party? >> i don't think it's a desooifs issue. what happened here is hamas was trying to create a new normal. hamas made an assessment that with the upcoming election, the israelis would be reluctant to get into a situation that could
escalate. hamas thought that basically it could allow rockets to be going in from some of the jihadists in gaza that make hamas, that are basically pressuring hamas to do more. hamas thought it could also attack along the border. israel wouldn't want to escalate. they thought basically they could create a new normal, israel would adjust. israel made the decision we're not going to adjust, there's not going to be a new normal. they're going to have to adjust to the reality. >> ambassador, i was speaking earlier with the former legal adviser for the palestine liberation organization. i asked her about the solution, a potential solution going forward and what might need to happen. this is what she said. >> the message that they should be sending is a very clear one to president obama that now is the time to actually deal with this issue. he can't keep this issue festering for another four years and leave it up to another president. it's time to deal with this decisively and deal with it now. >> ambassador s this the time? >> well, obviously it would be
great to be able to produce peace. you also have to deal with the reality. hamas controls gaza. the palestinian authority controls the west bank. you know, there's a context here that doesn't make it so easy to make peace. there's a need to produce it. first thing's first. let's get a cease fire here that is one that will actually hold. >> her real question is, is it now time for the united states to engage at a higher level with more intensity? >> even if the united states engages in a higher level of intensity, you've got to focus on what's the objective? what diana was trying to get at is u.s. involvement and engagement to produce a complete peace agreement. it would be great to be able to produce that. what's needed at this point, frankly, is for egypt, which has the real leverage on hamas to get hamas to change its behavior. that's the first essential step. if you have calm, then you can begin to deal with the larger questions. if you don't have calm, you're going to deal with a wider conflict. >> do you believe the administration will engage with more intensity?
>> i think the administration -- >> in this coming administration. >> well, i think that in -- look, i think the administration is going to deal with this issue because if you don't deal with the issue, you see what happens. one of the things we've learned a long time ago about the middle east is if the middle least is left to its own devices, sooner or later it imposes itself upon you. i think there will be an effort. the united states can't make peace. it's the two parties that have to make the peace. the united states can help to create a circumstance, a context. the united states can help to provide assurances. we can't make decisions for the two parties. >> ambassador dennis ross, thank you for your time today. the president is splitting his time with the events in the middle east as he's in asia. mike joins us right now. as you and i were talking about last hour, the priorities that are happening outside the theater of asia certainly are
numerous, but then there are the issues of asia itself. you and i both know that there was a move of middle east/u.s. forces to asia for a reason. >> well, that's absolutely right. the administration has promised to borrow a phrase as it relates to relationships with russia to reset the relationship with asia. part of this is an effort, yes, to contain the political, economic, and even military influence growing of china. that's not really a new story. there are geographic disputes, the islands in the south china s sea. we call them the spratly islands. a number of nations have a claim to those. the president is also breaking ground here. this is a commitment he made to attend the annual southeast asian nation summit. the president just finished the trip to thailand. he met with the king. he did some sightseeing. he had a press conference. we've already heard from him and his remark there is with regards to the situation in the middle east. he goes on to burma.
that's the next stop looking forward. the president has got an little bit of criticism. you know, two years ago, a presidential drip to burma -- and this is the first sitting president to visit burma. two years ago it would have been unthinkable, not to mention the decades before that because of the oppressive regime there. the president will meet with the prominent nobel prize winning dissident whop ju just emerged house arrest. she was here in september, i believe it was. he will go out of his way to meet with her. there are market openings. n then in cambodia, he becomes the first president to visit there. he's breaking new ground both literally and figuratively, really emphasizing the united states' new commitment in this first trip since his re-election towards asia and these emerging
markets and powers. >> yeah, certainly a democracy rock star for those who are watching what is happening in southeast asia. thank you so much, mike. appreciate it. and she's 72 with plans to lead again. but should she make way for the younger generation? what nancy pelosi is saying today about her age and the future of her party. up next, we've identified a new super voting bloc. we'll tell you what it is after the break. ♪ ♪ ♪ [ male announcer ] some day, your life will flash before your eyes. ♪ make it worth watching. ♪
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to have formed. we're calling them latinasians. in 2016, they'll represent what could be one in four voters. here's how they're alike. first off, a majority of them were born abroad. 53% of latinos, 74% of asian-americans. most consider english as their second language as well. 76% of latinos and more than 80% of asian-americans. the way the two groups voted, almost identical. 73 and 71% for president obama. with me now is christine chen from asian and pacific islander american vote. also, sandra lilly. a funny word, a strange word you probably haven't heard before. are we looking at a potential newstituency here?
>> we're definitely not going away. the asian-american pacific islander voter is more energized. we saw increased voter registration efforts wells those taking advantage of early voting. even more importantly is that the discussions in our own community about the importance and what's at stake, not only in this election, but as we move forward. especially when you look at how close elections were won in virginia and nevada and you see the growth of our community and how it doubled the size of the margin of difference in those states for the presidential election. >> talk about how the two groups are similar. party identification is one of them, as you know very well, for the asian-american as well as latino-american groups. party affiliation is not necessarily something that's been historic. their votes are up for play. >> very much so. both for latinos and asian-americans we see a similar pattern among those who have
identified with one of the parties, democrats enjoy a much larger advantage for both groups. but you still have about a half of asian-americans and a similar proportion of latinos that have not identified with a party. that suggests that their vote is still very much up for grabs moving forward. >> so they're fairly similar from that perspective. >> absolutely. when it comes to the historical pattern, what we've seen is a bigger shift among asian-americans. from the 1990s to today, we've seen them go from about 31% voting for bill clinton in 1992 to 73% according to the exit polls in 2012. we don't see a similar dramatic shift for latinos. >> sandra, you saw the statistics. they echo each other. the two groups seem to be, and that's why we're asking the question today. the issue of immigration as well
is very similar when you have a discussion at any one of the conferences that are out there for these particular constituencies. i want to bring up some numbers for you. there's a recent survey of hispanics that found they view jobs and the economy as the most important issue at 53%. that's followed by immigration reform at 35%. also in a survey, it found that asian-americans cite the economy and jobs as top problems for them. immigration doesn't make the top four for asian-americans in this group. talk about this, if you can. how do you explain the differences in those two groups in their view on immigration? >> it's interesting. like you say, when we talk to groups themselves, immigration is top for many asian and latino families. i think when it comes to latinos, some legislation in recent years, immigration became not only an economic issue but also an issue of retd rick and speaking to some latino republicans have said, if you
feel like some people maybe don't like you, legislation tends to be that way, it becomes more of a political issue and a voting issue. >> christine, to you on that. is that the way the asian-american voting community feels as well? >> i think part of it is the community feels like there needs to be more discussion about how immigration also impacts our community. many times we're left out of the conversation, whether it's in legislation, policy discussions, or in the mass media. it is actually still an important issue within the community because time and time again when we listen to our nonprofit partners and what the voters are saying, immigration is still a top issue. >> with respect to deferred action and with respect to dreamers. >> yeah, actually, 1 million asian-americans are undocumented. many of them are younger generations, which would -- >> 1 million? >> that's correct. >> okay.
so, that number surprises me. the numbers we look at, though, when we look at immigration itself, it implies it's not top in mind because it's not ranked in the top four according to the survey. is that a little surprising for you? how might you reconcile that? again, if you speak with groups such as christine's group and the events they put on, you hear immigration coming up. >> it all depends on how you ask the question. if you ask, what's the most important issue facing the country? immigration, at least for asian-americans, does not emerge as a top issue. it doesn't even rank number four. but if you ask people about different issues separately and how important that is, we found in our national asian-american survey that 40% said immigration was a key issue in helping them decide on how to vote in the election. among those, it made a clear difference for those who said immigration was a very important issue, they favored obama over romney by very large margins.
>> sandra, pressure on for immigration reform, not only from the asian-american community but also from the latino community? >> absolutely. i think it's an economic issue. it's an issue of rhetoric and belonging. i think it was very clear the main reason that latinos voted as well as many asian-americans for president obama was the expectation that this would happen in these coming four years. >> that was one of the first things i think people were looking at. immigration reform. definitely a front-burner issue now. thank you all for your time today. and a shocker in the world of college football. both number one and number two, yeah, they lose. now the irish are the new top dog. oh, boy. up next, our flashback. it was this date nine years ago today the commonwealth of massachusetts touched off a movement that's now spread to half a dozen states. you're watching msnbc. [ male announcer ] when a major hospital wanted to provide better employee benefits
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in today's flash bback, we jump to 2003. the massachusetts supreme court's decision to allow gay marriage was a full-fledged eric. here's how pete williams reported that story nine years ago today. >> today's decision comes from the seven-member supreme court of massachusetts, all but one appointed by republican governors. by a vote of 4-3, the court said denying marriage licenses to same-sex couples creates second-class citizens and violates the state constitution and is based on the same kind of prejudice that once made interracial marriage illegal. recognizing gay marriage, the court said, will give children of gay couples the same protections and stable family life as children of traditional couples and will do nothing to diminish the institution of marriage. the ruling stopped short of ordering the state to immediately grant marriage licenses to same-sex couples. instead, it gave the state legislature six months to take, quote, such action as it may deem appropriate.
that might leave the door open to something less than gay marriage, like vermont-style civil unions. most legal scholars say that wouldn't go far enough to survive court challenge. >> since that day, nine states and the district of colombia now allow gay marriage. the supreme court is expected to take up gay marriage during its current session. and age ain't nothing but a nurc number, right? so why all the fuss over nancy pelosi being 72? >> ronald reagan said, i will not hold your youth and inexperience against you. >> and later, why unlikely bedfellows are teaming up to make sure the littlest americans don't get neglected in the fiscal cliff standoff. you're watching msnbc, the place for politics. ♪ i'd do anything for you, dear ♪ ♪ anything, yes, i'd do anything ♪
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see if america's most prescribed ed treatment some people put everything intotheir name on the door, and their heart into their community. small business saturday is a day to show our support. a day to shop at stores owned by our friends and neighbors. and do our part for the businesses that do so much for us. on november 24th, let's get out and shop small.
all right. we turn now to the escalating conflict between israel and hamas. let's go live to gaza. ayman, you and i spoke about 30, 40 minutes ago. we didn't get to the point where the reaction right now from the gaza strip and hamas of the buildup of troops on the other side, on the israeli side. what's been the reaction so far? >> reporter: late last evening, hamas' military wing held a press conference in which they highlighted some of the achievements, as they called them, from the past several days of fighting, in terms of shooting down an israeli drone and attacking soldiers on the border. unable for us to really very if i them. you can probably hear the sound in the background. you'll hear the thumping sound in a second. >> yeah. >> reporter: that's the sound -- there's another round. that's the sound of the israeli navy firing into gaza city, where we are. those loud crashing sounds are the shells as they hit the
actual city. back to your question about hamas and what they say. they've been saying that they're prepared for a ground war. they don't want a ground war, but they say if, indeed, israel invades the gaza strip, they're prepared to defend themselves and the territory. on the political side of things, hamas' political wing has said they fear that the cease fire talks have collapsed. the officials of hamas have been in cairo. they've been meeting with officials. they've told them their conditions for a cease fire. here in gaza, the indication is a cease fire may still be off in the horizon. >> we were hearing, at least from israeli television stations here, that 90% of the conditions for the cease fire were there. that's what hamas was saying, at least, visa is-- vis-a-vis thes israeli networks. what are they saying? >> reporter: the way they've
been framing the cease fire talks more about what the two sides want. both sides don't want war, at least they claim so. they both want to come out victorious from these two things. in terms of what hamas has been asking for, they've been asking for a guarantee from israel to not resume assassinations in the killing of its senior leaders, as we saw on wednesday. they're also calling on all the sides, including israel and egypt, to lift the blockade and siege on gaza that's crippled life here. for israel, they want to see a guarantee, not only in the short term that palestinian factions will stop firing rockets, but they want a long-term truce that there won't be any type of paramilitary activity in southern israel and along border. it's difficult to know what the two sides are willing to compromise on. they both say they're prepared for a ground invasion. >> ayman underneath the rockets being fired. thank you so much for your time today. too small to fail. there's a new campaign that's fighting to put the focus on
five key issues facing kids. it's using a provocative ad to grab attention. this is it right here for you. the ad shows a child drowning with a message that reads "can't watch a child in danger, you do it every day." the group's mission to put focus on education, social mobility, children's health, workplace support for parent, and media influence. those are the five areas they're focusing on. joining me now, one of the men behind that provocative ad. he advised george w. bush and worked on this ad. mark, good to see you. this is a complete bipartisan campaign. but right now if lawmakers can't come together and reach a budget deal by 2013, we have those automatic cuts that will kick in. education will be affected. they'll take an 8% hit. that's about $4 billion a year. what's your perspective? if the government can't avoid the fiscal cliff, what will the
impact be on kids? >> it will be huge. we've already pushed kids off the cliff. it's dramatic. in the election we just had, ann romney's horse got nine times as much coverage as children and family issues did. we're spending two times as much money on seniors as we are on children. everybody keeps acknowledging that it's critical to invest in our children to have a healthy future for our country. yet, we never give them attention in terms of time, money, or attention from the media and our politics and policy. that's because they don't have a constituency fighting for them, and they don't vote. so we put this campaign together, too small to fail, toosmall.com, to bring the attention it deserves that we all know as parents and voters and people in the community. we talk about it all the time. we just need to actually do something about it. that's what the campaign is about. >> can an ad campaign here really make the difference? it's a huge freight train coming down the track here. >> well, it is, but richard,
budgeting is all about priorities and making the right priorities. when you talk to people, 74% of parents, 64% of voters all acknowledge that children ought to be the top priority. if that's the case and that's the way voters and parents feel, then that's where we ought to put the priority. it's about making tough decisions, but it's clear that when we establish the right priority, kids should be at top of that list. >> so your effort is bipartisan. we're seeing the spirit of bipartisanship, at least in washington, d.c. right now. how, really, is this partisanship hurting children? i think that's really what you're trying to say here. >> well, the partisanship is hurting everybody. what's happening is we're not making the decisions that everybody knows we need to make. we keep pushing off the budget. you know, putting band-aids on t pushing solutions down the road. by doing that, that makes the problems much worse than they already are. by waiting and as the hyperpartisanship invades the
space and means we don't reach resolution, it means the problems are magnified and that much worse. >> is now the best time, as you've worked and looked at campaigns in the past? do you believe now is the best time for bipartisanship you've seen in recent years? >> there's no question that it is. despite what we see in washington, you talk to people in america. they're all about problem solving. we have a no labels organization that has 600,000 people. they elected people to congress that they want to solve problems. most of those people say at very top of those lists are issues that relate to children, which everybody acknowledges is where our future lies. >> and get it done is what people are saying. get it done in washington, d.c. mark, thank you so much. president obama in the midst of his trip to asia. what's he going to accomplish there? we'll dig in with our brain trust on that. and she wants to be the democratic leader in the house again. is there anything wrong with senior leaders clinging to their jobs? [ female announcer ] think you need to go to a department store counter
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rewards we put right back into our business. this is the only thing we've ever wanted to do and ink helps us do it. make your mark with ink from chase. you, mr. hoyer, you're all over 70. >> you're suggesting everybody step aside? >> i'm simply saying to delay younger leadership from moving forward -- >> i think what you'll see -- and let's for a moment honor that's a limit question. although, it's quite offensive. >> all right. minority leader nancy pelosi was asked about that interesting exchange she had with luke russert. this is what she said this morning. >> -- >> all right.
having some technical difficulties there. again, leader pelosi there. her age t, the question about i. is it a legitimate issue to discuss? i want to bring in our brain trust panel. again, to tell you what pelosi did say in that interview, he said, i was amused, i was surprised at the response of my colleague because they were very offended by that. the interviewer say, not you at all? she says, well, for me, i laughed. she laughed at the time. it was a little tense. let me ask you this. when people are looking at congress saying, hey, it's not working, they're not working together, is it a legitimate we do ask? >> you should talk about changing the leadership, but it's not based on their age. it's based on how effective or
not effective they are. i would say nancy pelosi is someone who's completely ineffective and shouldn't be there any longer no matter whether she was 35, 50, or whatever age she is now. age is not a matter. it's how effective they are. >> talk about the efficacy, talk about their age. if you look at the fortune 500, the average ceo age is about 50. >> right. i actually want to go back to the question itself. the context in which the question was raised was just really sexist. that's why it was so offensive. men in congress, men in positions of leadership in general are never asked to step aside simply because of their age. that question was directed at her. no one has asked mitch mcconnell the same question. there are lots of leaders who are men in congress -- >> in their 70s. >> well into their 70s, who weren't asked that same question. i think that there's an assumption because she's a woman that she should back up and step
aside. i complete disagree. when she was leader pelosi, when she was the speaker of the house, she was actually extremely effective, more so than we've seen others in the last couple of decades. i think that we should be talking, of course, about impact, about quality of leadership, and that that is distinct from age. it also should be distinct from jepdser and havi gender. >> i want to bring chris on this. what's your thought so far? >> it's a totally legitimate question that should be asked of men, women, republicans, democrats. it's both about senior citizenhood and seniority. nancy pelosi, whatever her chronological age, has been in congress since 1985. it's a system that rewards survival. any organization, you know, media, politic, fortune 500, wants a mix of ideas, ages,
generation as. >> the average age in the house and the senate is quite high. not talking 30s or 40s. >> there's a political dimension. if you're a party trying to appeal to a cross section of the american public, you know, you want to show people involved at all levels with power of various generations. i think you also get a better policy mix when you have people in congress in positions of authority who know what it's like to be 30 and struggling, who know what it's like to be 50 and facing retirement. right now, you know, the power is all about survival and age, whether it's senate, democrat, republican, congress. it's seniority. >> so in effect, we're talking about term limits, an issue we should be discussing. someone shouldn't be in congress or the senate for 20, 30, 40 years. you're right. it makes their views not as fresh as someone who just started a business and now is ele elected, someone who just struggled and now is elected.
i think there's a point to that. again, it's not a chronological age issue. it's how long have you been in the same job? are you stale? >> that goes to a bigger conversation too of the demographic makeup of congress and whether it's truly representative of the demographic makeup of america. as we look at congress, it's not. whether we're talking about age diversity, whether we're talking about ethnic diversity, race diversity, whether we're talking about gender parody, i would say there are voices missing that reflect the experiences of all americans across the board. so if we're going to have this conversation, we've got to have the conversation in a very authentic way that gets to the heart of, what does america look like? are our officials actually representing who you are, what we embody, and what our views are? >> a smart party on either side wouldn't necessarily impose term limits or a strict quota system but would set up leadership competitions that require more than just raising money -- >> investments in development as
well. training. >> in nancy pelosi's case, her party has gotten trounsed in the house two times running. to me, it's a surprise she's coming back there irrespective of her age. >> let's not go down that road yet. we'll do that? another segment. i want to switch gears and talk about what the president is doing at the moment. he's touring asia. meeting with some key leader in that area. an historic trip for him. he'll spend the next three days visiting myanmar and cambodia. chris, i want to go to you first on this. what's the significance of this trip? we obviously have china as a major concern from many parts of the united states. not only business. >> sure. you know, we want to develop allies in the region who are philosophically and physically, you know, in different places than china. you know, it's of enormous historic significance that the president is going some of these
places for the first time. almost all of them emerging from long, autocratic regimes. and he's talking about spreading democracy through a presidential visit and not an invasion. you know -- >> and part of that, talk democracy, president obama is defending his trip to myanmar saying that it's not an endorsement of the government there. when we look at that, he will be meeting with a democratic super star or rock star there in asia because of what she represents for democracy. what is his role? what should he be getting done? why is this trip happening now, do you think? >> well, i think that he's doing what he set out to do, which is really pushing a positive conversation about human rights, about democracy and affirming the small changes that we're seeing. he's underscored the fact that so much more needs to be done. but i think that what we're seeing in burma, is it's been a year and a half, two years of such a rapid transition we're
seeing, such a rapid kind of switch to thinking about democracy, that he believes the united states' role is to foster that and encourage that. that's what he's doing. that's why for the first time in over 20 years he's appointed an ambassador there to continue to have these conversations and make sure in that region we rely on so much for the future of our economic security that we are creating positive relationships, affirming relationships that are not just stoked in adversarial interchanges. >> but he is going to be there, but on the flip side to this argument would be this country has a whole host of human rights violations. how does the leader of the free world balance that out here? >> i don't see a problem with him going. i think he's doing the right thing. is the timing maybe a little off considering what's going on? maybe, but the trip was obviously planned. you can't do anything about that. maybe he'll have to cut it short depending what happens in the next few hours.
there's going to be more reforms happening in china now. it's important for the united states to assert its influence across that southeast asia region and say, china's not the only player here. we were the major player there in the '50s, '60s, '70s. we're coming back around, and we are the major power to be dealt with, especially as these economies go back up and are building themselves. myanmar is a huge opportunity. a country three times the size of australia. >> okay. stand by. more on the president's trip to asia coming up next. there are over 50 countries in that area that represent asia itself. so what does this mean for his priorities for his next term? that's after the break. you're watching msnbc. ah. fire bad! just have to fire roast these tomatoes. this is going to give you a head start on your dinner. that seems easier [ female announcer ] new progresso recipe starters. five delicious cooking sauces
brain trust panel. we were talking about the president. he's in asia right now. he has several stops, many of them historic that we know that's on the agenda so far. when we look at this next term of president obama, as he sees the growing obligations internationally as well as a continued and very important obligation here at home with the economy, what will we see him doing? the role of the secretary of state growing, perhaps, in this coming term. >> yeah, i think you're right. i think we are going to see our global influence grow. i mean, he has spent his first term really focusing on the things he was trying to get done at home. now he's got a little bit of latitude to be able to move us forward and build some really strong relationships, be it in asia, really figuring out how we're going to engage with china so we can with compete on an economic front. i think we'll see a lot more of this happening. i don't think his work economically in building allies around the world is going to in
any way change how we're having conversations with israel and working on our issues in the middle east. >> one of his first major trips here after being re-elected, what does that say? >> it says that he does want to pay more attention to international affairs. he's going to have to with what's going on in the middle east right now, also a situation developing in africa. let's not forget, and obviously i believe he did not meet his obligations in the first time around. he needs to focus on the economy. we still have a huge problem here. we still have the fiscal cliff. we have now europe in a full-scale recession. so this president, while obviously paying a lot of attention to overseas, the middle east, first and foremost, needs to pay a ton of attention to domestic policies and get this country out of the negative economic state it is in. we are nowhere near the recovery we expected four years ago. >> it's not going to be one way or the other here, chris. how does he balance it all? >> it's a case where international domestic policy are deeply intertwined. these are emerging democracies.
we're building diplomacy. they're also emerging markets. there are places we want to sell goods, obviously. this is a president who, from the very beginning, because of his personality and who he is and his perspective, is very conscious of building these relationships. he's got an eye on where does he leave the country in the 21st century world order. i think also while this is very much a working trip, no doubt about that, you can't ignore the human aspect. this has been a grueling presidential campaign, getting on the road a little bit. last trip with secretary of state hillary clinton, there's a bond there too. >> chris, thank you so much. boris, ayeshia, as well. thank you to our brain trust this sunday. have a great rest of the weekend. that does it for me. i'm richard lui. we'll continue to follow the situation in the middle east and
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