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Hi everybody welcome to another edition of special report on line I'm Bret -- if you haven't been here before welcome aboard.
I just type in your questions or comments to the panel.
I don't worry if you don't see him right away thousands of them are being put in that center section by our producers in the control room I'm a little tired.
Today because three hours' sleep and early train back to Washington.
But I'm making it through.
For special report on line.
OK first topic -- we didn't finish about the look ahead we're back -- Jonah AB and Charles.
It feels a little different after round he was able to hold the line Charles.
The question is whether there is another resurgence for Newt Gingrich you've said that it's possible that he can come back from the dead the third time.
Prevents pure cowardice on my iPod.
Guys I'd say pronouncement -- -- it would once more I lose my medical license.
Look I think it's possible you know -- he's ahead in Georgia.
Obviously has -- in Georgia but Tennessee and Oklahoma.
He's not ahead so I mean he's got a whim.
Born in Georgia to be.
I think a viable candidate although I don't see him dropping out I don't see any reason he needs to his problem is there are no debates you can live off the land.
When there are a lot of debates and you can have your.
You know the breakthrough we had in in South Carolina.
As a result of that so it's hard to see where he gets traction.
Even if he does well in the southern strategy.
I think for Santorum it's Ohio that's -- he's he's gonna.
He'll make his stand there and I think that if he loses Ohio to Romney -- I think he's.
He may lose his capacity go on seriously.
So I think Romney has an opportunity.
But on the other hand if it gets sort of split in muddied.
So the three main candidates are splitting the ten states one way or the other -- -- gonna win in Virginia and in Vermont and Massachusetts possibly I know.
So he was almost half of them and perhaps he picks up a -- so I think that -- there's sort of no result is sort of a stalemate.
And the one.
If -- the challenger you need a Super Tuesday for the breakout Romney doesn't.
And I think the longer it goes on the way it does it it is it strengthens Romney's chances of winning.
Mike from Florida says Brett no excuses suck it up okay -- Thank you for that encouragement appreciate -- Mike.
-- -- you know we don't talk about a lot but this whole system of proportional.
Delegates was set up in part with the Romney folks in the room with the GOP.
A lot of Romney supporters were part of that process because.
They thought if he doesn't pull it out at the beginning.
He's gonna have the wherewithal to go all the way to the end and the last date on the calendar -- Utah 26 delegates.
-- around forty delegates on June 26.
That's becoming a long way to turn sprang.
And he did not know actually how much money -- -- Fending off these rivals.
Though he thought he ultimately would he just didn't realize how expensive this would be this -- certainly as a surprise.
In a place like Michigan.
And you combine proportional voting -- -- and delegate allocation with.
With super pac sort of negativity and you're really looking and it -- Republican Party.
Watching President Obama get a house from attacks on his record.
You know saving -- money.
In the background as this you know protracted fight goes on and on.
You know weak field Republicans are trying to come from themselves with the fact that Barack Obama and Clinton have this for a long protracted fight.
Even the most bitter passionate loyal Hillary's supporters and the most you know.
-- loyal Obama supporters -- the clintons really -- at the end that they were gonna have this chance to vote and historic candidacy.
Either the first woman -- the first African American for president and they all knew they were gonna come home this is not the same situation and so.
It's so interesting to hear that they architects a proportional voting sort of revisiting.
Presidio in Houston says been asking since last night does anyone consider the fact Santorum has strong support without spending.
Nearly as much as Romney the cost vote difference must be huge.
Good question if you add up to super -- especially and the campaign spending.
You write and cost per vote so far would be pretty interest -- to look at but.
He's had to spend that suit to keep that momentum will yeah.
I think -- a point that is will -- -- -- only goes so far and because.
One reason why some -- gotten the votes that he's -- he's he's running against Mitt Romney a lot of people are voting against Mitt Romney.
And as we've seen the story of this election so far has been large part.
11 candidate after another fine for -- not Romney space.
And so how much credit -- Santorum get.
From the votes that he's getting in some context.
Is as a debatable question.
I think that -- and you can say look.
Romney is proving what he's gonna be what he's gonna need to do in this election is smothered his opponent be willing to smother his opponent -- negative ads.
And there are a lot of people think that's the only way at this point you're going to be Obama and Romney has shown that he's got no reluctance to doing that.
Who will be the big -- -- Super Tuesday 75%.
Of the voters say Romney.
And next is Gingrich at 11%.
The electability question.
How big a deal in the exit polls it was a huge deal who can beat Obama and who is best on the economy.
Both the exit polls from Arizona and Michigan.
I think we're over 60% from around.
You know I think that's one of the reason right Santorum was sort of walloped -- Arizona and he knew you know -- by.
A relative squeaker but by three points.
Probably a padded -- it could probably a little bit more -- -- had met them.
The mischief by Democrats.
In in in Michigan he decided for some reason well I think -- -- that he decided I think.
He knows his strength is in his appeal to.
Reagan Democrats are working he has a touch for the working class and Romney obviously -- that you saw it in the exit polls.
Those without a college degree.
Those under 50000.
But for some reason I think it's because he really -- -- -- above all else about social issues he kept straying into the thicket.
It was unnecessary.
The remarks about Kennedy and and church and state the remarks about snobbery but if you go to college.
The remarks about.
About contraception it was unnecessary that was -- that.
That's really cares about the that's not where the votes -- and there was one important numbers for those who cared about abortion Santorum won them by 66%.
Number one issue -- -- and that was only one in seven.
The electorate and those who cared about economy or deficit.
That was 80% of the electorate.
Romney won them by 17%.
Santorum did badly.
-- okay -- -- Gingrich won't win Virginia -- right he's not on the ballot there he won't is only Mitt Romney and Ron Paul on the ballot in Virginia.
KB in Illinois says ask is they be saying that the Republicans won't come home to try to beat Obama.
I think -- Many of them well because there -- so.
Excited about meeting Obama but I do think that there are some.
That at there's that level of intensity he is going to need at the grassroots level to do a lot of work to help get the vote out to help.
That just might not be there -- so in the end that will affect his numbers you know -- most people get in -- car shore but.
But to really kind of get him over the top if things stay the same if the if I think if -- Unemployment continues to improve which is the metric that the public measures the economy revived by and large.
If president Obama's numbers stay between 49 and 52 approval rating.
Mitt -- is gonna need a passionate following and he doesn't have it so.
It's it's not it is not Barack Obama or Hillary Clinton for the Democrats in 2008 it's just not now we'll see what happens.
So far he hasn't been able to can act.
With even his own supporters are not ardent supporters Mitt Romney supporters pick him because he is the best choice that they're not passionately behind him.
Is is he going to be able to galvanize the party and really get.
That himself over the top he's lost support with the very conservative before last night's result we've -- that point.
He's lost support with -- with independent voters twenty points by one survey since December.
He needs to turn this around it will take an enormous effort and the further damaging.
These other candidates do.
In the process.
The longer it will take him -- just.
-- -- equipment on eighties -- about Clinton vs Obama.
I don't remember anybody in Clinton vs Obama saying under no circumstances will -- ever vote for Obama or their noses -- vote for Hillary.
You do hear a lot of conservative activists I think very foolishly.
Saying I'm -- under no circumstances would I ever vote for Gingrich could ever vote for -- The feelings are very afraid on the base of the right.
Time now writes mr.
-- would you -- Islam as readily as you mock christianity.
I assume that's about the kicker.
And two ladies singing -- -- it on -- mountain.
That was not.
Mocking christianity time now.
It was a kicker about.
Just funny stuff but good news well.
It wasn't that -- they would to do about christianity but.
Apologize if you saw -- that way.
The president speaking to ABC news' Charles earlier this hour.
And saying that after he issued the apology about USO troops -- burning the Koran in Afghanistan.
That things quote calmed down.
I think -- ranks Williams saying that the cancellation of the keystone.
Pipeline was in the national security interest of United States.
Look he's got to say it because I think it was a rather embarrassing.
How much he and I officials and administration.
-- about good groveling over this.
But it's him apparently false after he issued the apology after -- I grew defensive.
After this of the undersecretary of defense.
Kind of a show and tell.
In Virginia where he said he wants him and ways.
With the Islamic community here in the US.
You had to shooting of the two Americans in the ministry of the interior in the back of the head of cold blooded killing.
The throwing of a grenade in dead American soldiers wounding six in Kunduz in northern Afghanistan.
And you had the attack the suicide attack on the base.
-- I Jalalabad.
So hardly -- the passions of course it wasn't gonna continue at this intensity.
Internal and obviously Peters out after awhile.
But I think if he thinks that he's a one with a magical soothing.
-- -- -- he always imagine as he has why do you think he didn't support the Green revolution in Iran 2000 he thought he had the capacity of the charm.
To talk a run out of its nukes.
Perhaps he thinks he could sue the mob and Afghanistan -- those words I don't think there's any evidence whatsoever that he did any good.
Well and the military.
Our military officials are trying to make the case that Afghan police have sacrificed their own lives and are working with us to.
Protect our personnel over there.
And it and that is probably true and I think that.
If you look at this in a political context is really quite amazing that the president's detractors continue to stoke this issue of the apology -- actually.
Their goals are.
Art -- to stabilize the situation.
In Afghanistan and not leave precipitously and not.
Overturned -- and undo.
And unravel our our our fragile gains there.
So it's so fascinating to watch that that this.
Debate which is a political.
Debate over you know.
-- then and pathetic Hamid Karzai is.
And an -- to turn this into a soap opera when indeed if we if this prompts.
I hasten the withdrawal it will not.
Leave the situation on the ground in Afghanistan and leave -- future in that.
In the condition.
That many of the Republicans running for president and many of the hawks on the right what life so I just -- the whole thing pretty revolting.
But I think ultimately people who want stability in Afghanistan.
And an are invested in our occupation of Afghanistan.
And seeing it through to the right and really want things to come to -- whether -- Obama can do it or not whether.
-- some of the questions I asked to general Allen and came from private discussions with.
Commanders who have expressed concerns about.
With withdrawn too fast ahead of this 2014 is the date they're shooting for you here defensive here Panetta mentioned the end of 2013.
There's all kinds of messages Allen is is delivering his message that -- fourteen is that the time he's working on.
There is a sense that that this is going to perhaps pick up you have Dick Durbin and Rush Limbaugh speaking from the same sheet of music this past week.
Yeah -- there is an overwhelming sense.
Rightly or wrongly smarter dumb.
Enough with these people already and it's very persuasive people -- war we -- they look at Afghanistan and look at these people.
Who -- writing over this there are murdering people.
And they're this they're fed up with that and I -- in -- that it's a human reaction whether it's it's well advised or not.
In you do get the sense memo illustration however that.
If they can pull out tomorrow.
They would and they certainly.
Pulled out as fast as possible faster than they said they would faster than anyone advise them to out of Iraq for similar reasons I think they want out of there they don't want -- talk about it.
-- -- having on the night.
We news but -- about this the president has not given -- speech about Afghanistan frankly he didn't give a speech about Iraq.
Until it was already done.
He came out gave a press conference but he hasn't spoken about Afghanistan.
His ambassadors saying that Americans need the wherewithal.
And the patients to get us through this time.
Yet we haven't heard from the president on this issue -- you know it's election year sort of course and and that and a strong majority wants out and -- yesterday.
You know it's more than that it's not just in this election here he's been in office for a full three years and he's never given a speech -- than when he gave on December 10.
-- 2000 -- at West Point in which he announced the surge he's never given speech after that that would support it.
Explain it you know FDR's World War -- was different and FDR.
It gave speeches you know all the time because when you have a war effort you have to sustain.
Churchill you know there's there's a little or you -- a long history and see how popular words it's not about elections it's that Obama has never really -- it.
Any involvement he got -- with -- now at least on Iraq.
We can understand he was against him on -- liquidated so why should we support it.
But billions the deceit here is the Democrats who for years.
In the second -- bush administration and remember in the election of the 2004.
That they were all for the Afghan war never -- -- Iraq -- but they want any war.
It is in the old Democrats of the sixties and the seventies we we we are -- our security and Afghanistan good war of the real war.
Though is the central.
War in the war on terror and all that and it was clearly a rooms.
As soon as they came into power it was obvious they had no hard for that war.
And the only reason they made the argument Afghanistan.
Was away so they wouldn't be tagged as any war when the Iran Iraq.
And Obama has behaved exactly as you would if you were -- that.
Frame of mind he has no investment in the war I question how wise was.
The surge he ordered why would you order -- -- you you know they we have.
In a year you're not -- hang in new you don't care about the war cannot -- and then make speeches about it and supported I think that was a disservice.
But I agree -- that the political.
Feeling out there every state that I've been to.
Republican and Democrat and independents.
All sit around diners and say what are we doing -- I mean if -- president isn't gonna explain why I would the ordinary.
Susan how would any of us who really understand what the strategy is.
And have the hard to do it I think back to the com and and Charles wrote about this from the very beginning -- administration about.
How Obama's goal was just simply keep foreign policy out of the headlines -- -- not good headlines no headlines at all.
And I think that is the unifying theme about this is want to focus at home first on -- first two years.
The obamacare is -- -- and the stimulus and social democracy and all that.
And now it's an election year it's basically the same thing if you can't have good headlines no headlines at all.
You know I just want to say that the administration.
I I completely agree with Charles's point.
He has not defended his own policies in the war he's not explains them.
And he is not rally the public to his own policies but he tripled down in Afghanistan he might have wanted to do it for a shorter time than people might have agreed with.
He might -- -- to leave by a political timeline in time for the election but no one made him do that.
He chose to triple down on Afghanistan where you're not with him with an -- -- but women didn't do it but -- you have to do that that was his policy it might have been more.
Targeted and and and temporary.
She's Nancy Pelosi is favored adjectives but it was his choice to do that and he did it because he thought it was the right thing I know his exit date was political.
I I'm saying that it that it didn't seem after tripling down like you could leave that quickly that that looks too political it looks cynical but.
And you're right that he's never explained it but to say that he wanted to just to comment and what at our office and -- -- -- -- I mean I think he.
He took great political risk -- his own party to -- -- Afghanistan.
To -- you.
Increased drone attacks in Pakistan and to actually follow through with many bush era policies with regard to national security and -- and he's.
Proven that it wasn't a big political risk and that's one of the motorists more remarkable because.
Historically turnout to be successful it was a risk with his party but you have polling that shows a 6070% of the Democrats believe and that didn't detention of the drones and all the rest.
It would -- it.
It was an -- but.
It was a Smart political calculation.
That the -- databases Democrat party wasn't going to be them over the stop it took Afghanistan out of the headlines for a couple years if -- didn't turn out well he would have paid the price.
I think the reason you triple that was not because he thought this is a way to win the war that's assuming you believe him.
-- that was the case he would have supporters -- war rhetorically.
Gone to the American people made sure that the support remain there he never.
That rich from Michigan agrees -- -- he says the appearance is that he's blown it off.
And the reason he tripled down I think there's -- -- that we we don't get.
Every time you get that he never talked about it decision and he's obsessed with but what did question his motives to triple down Afghanistan which I think was a risk I think.
Yeah I think his behavior afterwards.
Suggested he didn't want to win but he went right and he wasn't enough he wanted to vindicate the promises he made.
And the position he took as a candidate as a way to show was going good faith that he really wanted to give it a shot -- rather than.
Really giving an -- so I interpret -- -- -- -- more things before we wrap up.
First of -- -- in Nashville says I'm a Christian who has led kids singing go tell it on the mountain and I cracked up and -- So -- thank you very much for that it.
I want to talk about two things one is.
Mitt Romney on the trail today asked about this blonde.
Bill this is -- blood spill that would.
Help -- -- may be what you would actually allow our employer employers can do.
Deny coverage and capture that packages in and it's a bill with -- and rubio.
And he was asked about it.
Questioner and he says I am not for that bill.
And -- a little confused and then -- campaign put out this statement that said.
I don't know it was a confusing question he is for the bill.
Let's -- clear about that.
We follow everything that every candidate says but could -- -- hop on this is more of the Ohio.
Coming out four you know when Casey kept the prop to the prop two and there was a question whether your supporters are not and he didn't.
-- -- Do you listen to that when you look at the language and I don't have it right -- economy.
But his first of his first response it seemed like he he said.
Here are your time a presidential candidates getting I'm not gonna talk about contraception to getting into contraception.
And he he I thought my interpretation was he was dismissing it it hasn't had a specific proposal was.
In this legislation and you saying.
It is now -- -- -- The reporter asked in a very rushed and confused manner according to the campaign quote.
He's -- our reception to this campaign Santorum.
The issue of birth control contraception -- rubio is being debated now I believe later this week.
It deals with banning or allowing employers to -- providing female contraception.
Have you taken a position on it he Santorum said he was for that.
We'll talk about personhood of the second but he's for that have you taken a position meaning have you taken a position on that bill.
Romney quote I -- not for the bill.
But look the idea of presidential candidates getting into questions about contraception within a relationship between a man and a woman husband and a wife I'm not going there.
Now campaign puts out statement.
Quote regarding the -- -- the way the question was asked was confusing governor Romney supports the -- bill.
Because he believes in a conscience exemption in health care for religious institutions and people of -- Well it's clear from his answer that he thought the bill would.
Ban contraception in certain areas.
Practice are you saying I'm not gonna go go between a man and a woman mean is there's no other interpretation of the Romney answer.
Other than he thought its its field Stephanopoulos questions if they were -- bill -- -- -- and that's where he thought he was now.
He either didn't hear the question -- got.
Modeled on a but I would give them the benefit of the data on this because of his answer and dancer he's mentioned a different question -- the blunt rubio bill.
Are nowhere near as the Ohio thing that thing wasn't political malpractice I think given the benefit of the doubt on this one -- Everybody agrees on the channel camera I'd like it is on camera move and that's not good.
I think -- on camera should say I think it's -- and present them.
Last thing gas prices.
It is all the talk on Capitol Hill you had energy secretary chew up there talking and Republicans jumped all over him today.
For not saying that lowering gas prices is -- part.
As well they should -- mean she was on.
Record saying what 8910 dollars twelve dollars a gallon.
It would be great -- they have -- in Europe.
This is the policy of the Obama administration is is they would like higher gas -- this is an inherent contradiction that we run into every time.
Where gas prices where were -- told environmentalists and by the Democratic Party we need to.
Increase gas taxes to wean us off oil foreign oil or whatever Middle Eastern oil.
In the second the market makes gas prices go higher than all of a sudden say we have to do everything we can to lower gas prices it seems as if the only kind of high gas president alike are the ones that are impose.
My -- taxation Christie from sound seems -- is algae algae algae.
I actually that stands fairly.
I did the research on this but apparently -- was in Hawaii thing is -- Independent algae receives Blake lively it's a new that's right.
Which cannot independently and I'm sure you discovered it's the Saudi Arabia -- I won't go into the but people love -- really bad shoe.
The statement today there's a sound -- And it is as strong as you can get -- you have your -- you and you want a lower a year policy to lower oil prices is casually guys -- overall goal to get our price of gasoline down.
Well I don't know the overall goal is to decrease our dependency on oil to build and strengthen our economy.
And to decrease our dependency on oil again exactly so what he's saying is we want.
To get awful -- went on to -- G or rather -- And any policy of that sort visual on where you would as he said in the past.
Want to increase the price of goods as a huge decrease consumption he said -- 2008 quotes somehow we have to figure out.
How to boost the price of gasoline to the levels in your -- is a 32 ad and it's Republicans.
Don't run -- then there are utterly incompetent -- is very powerful.
Statement I know -- -- no Wendy's it's not as if it's out of context is completely -- and they -- run now who knows -- gas prices will be calm you know hey Paul what about.
The folks who say this is a canard -- that this this whole thing this is market value and conspiracy that you think that.
Despite the fact that what Steven Chu said that this administration would never politically.
Try to drive up the prices of gasoline in an election year.
I don't think his administration wants to drive of the costs of canceling an election year -- as I have -- before.
Energy is a great issue for the Republicans in this campaign you couple he's down with.
Gas prices you talk about you know the president's.
Failed solar and wind energy projects BP.
The president failing on energy Newt Gingrich is taking that -- -- just.
Put a two dollar fifty cent a gallon sign on his -- apparently.
Just -- is now 250 gallon boss.
Anyway sorry to interrupt it with a lot I just wanna about a minute to get -- -- but they're not at what you wish.
Brett has heard before but I think it is important to note that.
That is a good issue for the Republicans if it but if this economy is improving.
And the president is running on an improved economy someone who didn't let it go off the cliff.
That's probably not gonna work if the economy.
Deteriorates further between now and September October.
He will be part of a list what -- your food prices Howard gas prices has he opened up and out.
Resources for new energy and and it arguably -- -- guest president go up the economy will likely -- it.
That that's that's that's possible they could also go down I -- -- so he says it's a Jonas were suggesting that -- run that the ads now I just think that it's going to be part of greater narrative about all about have all these prices in the economy going down or it's not going to work right I just still think if they're a little to -- economy's doing well.
In in August through October.
I agree with you that it is inconceivable.
David Axelrod and David -- for sitting there saying yes let's get gas prices higher right and I don't think they want gas is priced at present -- The reason why it's a more effective attack.
That I think you're conceding is that there are things the president could do to lower gas prices not just was to keep drawing -- he can suspend the Jones act like they did.
The BP oil spill was right now according -- Jones act.
It's against the law for non American flag ships to transport gasoline Q what other -- do what you get more gasoline to market -- other things like that.
They couldn't do they're not doing some of them they've done before like to institutional -- preserve like the Jones act.
And so when you have -- -- saying our policies higher gas prices and they're willfully not doing the things that would lower gas prices it seems to me totally fair game.
Charles house speaker Boehner came out today and said he had lunch with president.
And talked about the keystone XL pipeline and the president said -- you're going to get part of it.
And -- said well not.
Part that we need to hear that actually will bring oil.
I think keystone is a huge opportunity for the Republicans they have.
So far and -- handled it terribly well look everybody understands that if you have a shortage of something as we have had for.
Decades of for oil and we're dependent and the prices -- of -- -- You could combat that by production and we know who stopped production for 2030 years.
And Obama more than anybody keystone is a perfect example you can argue about drilling in the continental shelf you can argue about disturbingly.
You know the -- life and I in the Arctic you can argue about how safe.
Is it the people -- drilling in the gulf.
But you can't argue there's nothing about -- the keystone that would does support an argument against it.
Everybody -- and so that shows you this administration.
Simply wants to stop us from using well by any means.
And go on to -- to -- pie in the sky stuff.
Like algae or whatever and that is a visceral issue and Americans understand it's not good when he says production startup.
And a blue and then all you need is one cents to explain that's because of permits were let.
Years ago in the Bush Administration they are now -- a third or half or less than they were and production is only up.
Because in spite of what Obama did it's happy it's down about 11% -- federal lands and these are not hard arguments to make.
And the EPA is gonna do everything it can to destroy.
This new gold rush of the horizontal drilling that's indeed keep giving -- so boom.
In the Dakotas.
Also in the midwest and the -- in Appalachia.
In oil and shale gas house.
And we know what the position of liberals -- is on this stop the -- discerning of that the fossil fuels.
And there's only one reason for climate change tonight economic.
Or jobs or other reasons it's for climate change and cut a kind of a theology.
It's a losing issue if you were a Democrat.
And it's a big opportunity for room Republicans particularly -- -- prices.
They Santorum kind of theology.
I don't mind goes yeah.
I -- Santorum as -- -- -- We've -- wound up with 73%.
Of the people who voted say Romney we'll have the best Super Tuesday.
15% say Gingrich 11% say Santorum Paul only 1% and 57% of the voters say.
That the US should get out of Afghanistan before 2014.
Thank you very much that's it for the special report we'll see you next week same time.
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