Special Report Online: 9/12/12
Political handling of embassy attacks
- Duration 28:26
- Date Sep 12, 2012
Political handling of embassy attacks
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-- special report on line I'm Bret -- Thanks for joining us if you haven't been here before welcome aboard.
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Steve Morrow and Charles we didn't have a lot of time because -- tackle on that show about the politics.
-- you were saying at the end that you thought on substance that.
Mitt Romney was right but you know.
When you have this moment.
And it's fifteen minutes before the president is going to speak and -- and he makes this statement.
As you know concise and strong as it may have been -- and then takes questions and you know they're going to be pointed questions.
Does he benefit in any way shape or form from that.
No I think it was a tactical error a big one I -- well I mean in -- scheme of things who knows but right now.
-- everything changing I think that was the wrong way to do it.
He made a statement yesterday which occurred after it was a Cairo attack but before.
We knew anything really about Libya I think Libya overtook it and sort of cast a Pall on the original statement.
He was a statement is correct in his.
Tomorrow pointed out earlier administration never changed his position about apologizing.
You know condemning the the video in the movie which I think it should never do.
And Romney I think was right in saying that we should never do but once you've had a tragedy the killing the deaths in in in Libya.
Dan I think what you do you step off the scene let the president speak at the -- And then give a more considered larger argument.
Which I hope -- -- gave him a larger argument has to do.
With the failure of -- -- -- policy.
By our young amateur arrogant president who thinks he can remake the Middle East again ironically starting with the Cairo speech.
And now ending with -- -- disarray where the United States which have versions Kissinger succeeded in making Egypt and ally of the US.
In 1970 has been an American.
I would say protectorate -- an area where we have the dominant influence.
We are now irrelevant as anybody speak about what America thinks in relation to Syria.
All people care about is -- Russia is doing or thinking or what Iran is doing.
America isn't a player that's leading from behind and the United States his reactive.
Week and now under attack in the Middle East as a result hey guys and we move.
Polls down from the second to a panel it.
Okay so -- -- that first poll overall the big picture from the fox poll the likely voters.
And this poll has the president and Joseph Biden.
-- This is the first -- them coming up.
Anyway just bounce after the Democratic Convention it's different than the poll that we had before that showed Romney up by one.
This one shows.
The president I think -- play through that right.
We have them.
Okay this is the miracle of online -- And the fact that you can wait for as long as you want and not really have to worry that because you guys -- I think questions and we'll move on to something else until we get that.
And I don't have a commercially but it wasn't and they.
Five out of things and that's a big -- glorious and I could say you can imagine when -- you can actually say is it okay let's go to number two.
Who do you trust.
To do a better job handling.
Foreign policy and -- And obviously today that's a big deal and foreign policy 54%.
President Obama -- Romney.
Terrorism 49 to 41.
I guess you look at those polls Steve and you look at this moment and do you think that Romney was -- heading into what appears to be according to this poll.
Maybe but -- you know you can look at it as a vulnerability to be able later you can look at -- as an opportunity to be to be.
Taking advantage Evan and I don't mean that an -- sort of -- crass political way but I mean.
You know this is the somebody -- spent a lot of time talking about foreign policy but during the debates in the Republican primary.
I thought excel on foreign policy arguably more than just about anybody else on stage and he had his very.
He was good he knew what he was talking about he made his case I thought fairly well.
I agree with what morrow and Charleston at the end of -- of the show I mean.
This can't be a one off attack and in this can't be Mitt Romney's for stepping forward and hitting the president -- -- doing this are hitting the administration for mishandling this.
And then not laying out from a broader foreign policy vision and I think he needs to do that anyway -- if none of this happened he needed to do that.
But I think this makes that more urgent and I think will help give shape to the way that.
Voters potentially see Mitt Romney.
As a leader in you know if that results in in him closing some of those numbers than that results -- -- this day foreign policy speech from.
Our own war or tomorrow -- extending -- sometime between now and October 22 because that's going to be the foreign policy debate in Boca Raton Florida.
And I think Bristol we have to wait and see what happens I mean of these protests spread and it turns out that American diplomatic personnel are safe anywhere in the new countries of the Arab Spring -- that really calls into question.
A lot of questions that Romney right now is raising.
Mean he's talking about a statement that wasn't an apology.
You know I I I differ with Charles -- wasn't an apology was a statement trying to tell Muslims that you know it doesn't believe.
That -- the religion should be denigrated fund does believe in freedom of speech look.
Romney has a case to make but he hasn't made that it has to be a kind of a real brief not just.
I'm I think in the primaries he was really arguing with people who -- foreign policy pygmies mostly.
He didn't have tough competition now he has to really develop an argument as to what he would do differently.
Where Obama has gone astray and more and why he would do better I think regardless of the numbers yes he's at a deficit does -- presidential campaign -- about.
Let me say -- things -- symbols says I'm just a nobody from nowhere but why was this a mistake -- Romney -- -- -- -- presidential.
Paul H -- is our president out talking I think he calls it campaigning.
In fact he is in Vegas home.
-- right now.
JP there's a mob outside the Cairo embassy.
Right now apology question mark.
So I guess Charles how it plays here and how it plays in the green rooms of television stations -- and networks around.
Washington and new York and how it plays in middle America are two different things.
We'll look generally the -- place historically.
Is however allows he used to -- You get a rallying around the flag in the present the Bay of Pigs which is arguably the biggest disaster in the Cold War.
Caused Kennedy's numbers two to go up.
Through the roof.
I think at the beginning of the hostage.
Events in 1979.
Initially of course helped Carter but as it.
It drags out it drags on and brought him down and helped him to -- in the presence.
The Bay of Pigs was a one off event -- -- didn't have a deep.
Negative effect on Kennedy obviously did on Carter I think you'll see if -- if there's hour by -- holding I think it would be sort of -- a rallying around Obama but I think -- this persists.
And if Romney can make the case about why this is happening.
This is a real negative for Americans don't like to see their embassies attacked.
The idea of -- them -- ambassadors have been killed.
-- no protection.
Also is it is anathema and there's I think a general a political opportunity to as.
-- as Steve said it isn't just to -- for an opportunity to actually at the time to make a case about Obama's.
Foreign policy -- he -- if you -- damage Charlotte it was all about bin Laden as if that is a foreign policy.
That's an event it isn't a policy.
The policy I think the opening here is on Israel and on the Arabs Arab Spring on the one hand he tries to appease our enemies that doesn't work.
On the other hand ET distances.
And he dismisses any -- our friends our allies and that's even worse that's the case he can make.
It's not a hard speech he could -- he should writing should -- should give it.
And to make it rather than a one off attack or just -- for -- I think is extremely important.
-- from Pennsylvania is a strange we haven't heard from them about this trailer this movie trailer from an American Muslim.
-- -- you pointed out that.
Not sure that's right or not -- could be and I do know that a lot of experts say that moderate.
Muslims they really think this is the opportunity for them to step up.
And say something in this environment about this and the fact that the violence.
In if -- been -- to this video is not.
The right way to go and that has not happened across the Middle East or northern Africa or any place else.
Other people want to talk about this open Mike discussion.
And that in Atlanta says the open Mike this is the incident where -- supporters at that press conference.
Were heard -- talking about what questions they were going to ask before the press conference started.
If he answers this are you gonna do this and you ask this.
It was not a great moment to be captured on.
Any thoughts on the state.
Well I mean.
I'm of two minds because on the one hand.
It's clear coordination I think it reflects what can be that the group think of the Washington press -- the campaign pressed corn in this very tightly knit group usually.
They travel together they eat together they sleep together you go through this kind of I mean you you know some nights not all of them but most of them food.
So I mean that's sleep together -- -- The you know big pile and like cats right now that's a terrible image could.
You -- you go through a lot together you don't get a lot of sleep together and there's this sort of group camaraderie that develops.
Among reporters who are on the campaign trail that.
I would argue is often not healthy.
Being able to seed see things with the proper perspective -- you have.
You have in this instance you know all of these questions that you did the planning out of the questions before hand out which happens at many press conference -- the.
Yeah not that very question or juices and yes Jeff from national -- is a common thing and you know listen I covered the Pentagon -- -- in the White House for many years and it is because you.
Only have so many bites of the apple.
And people say you know what are you -- right.
You know he would even ask permission to talk -- you don't want on double.
You're gonna ask this one -- follow up with something that sounds exactly the same -- But it's just a tad bit different.
That was it sounded pretty bad -- Yeah I think that's is that that was sort of the end of mind I would say -- -- a lot of people in that room -- I respect soon.
Including a couple of people who I think were involved -- discussion some of the best.
Reporters in Washington -- You know I think that the job of the candidate is to anticipate what they're going to be asked -- -- was very hard for them to do that today.
And have something to say that's different than what the press wants -- -- fun.
I mean the question the very embassy was leaving the room which it was what would you have done differently that's a really good question I think that as -- just demonstrated that's probably pretty good answer that.
But they don't want to do that than just wanted to talk about the statement.
And you mean round just can't -- -- and I think he just has to decide this is not a poll tested path.
Americans don't care about foreign policy in the selection as much as they care about other things up until now it's been considered to be shiny object by the Romney campaign.
They have to decide if they think this is important and they have to do their homework and come up with -- argument may be given big speech.
And go for it otherwise it's going to be one day wonder and I think he will have hurt himself if that's the case.
-- from Ireland.
Says very disappointed in tonight's show but I bet you won't post this done.
-- top of the morning tea and that I did posted why you said this -- -- Let us now.
Type away Charles try to try to turn this thing around -- Well look -- I'm not -- out.
How would -- overseas.
May be people are more sympathetic to.
The anti Americanism.
Imperialism American dominance in the region over all these years.
And but I mean for Americans who.
Really I think sincerely -- correctly believe.
That we have now intervene in six wars on behalf of Muslim starting with -- original Iraq War of liberation.
Succeeded in some areas and failed and others but spent a lot of treasure and blood.
-- wars which all of which involve the Muslims liberated him in Kosovo and Bosnia.
In Iraq Somalia -- failure Afghanistan and Iraq.
We deserve some credit from the world for sincere objectives there was nothing in the Balkans that is worth anything.
-- -- -- say that the Balkans aren't worth the bones of the single.
But we intervene anyway so just lost clients.
-- largest palm of their -- -- around here.
Just if he was already disappointed that -- -- the -- of mind of -- Maybe he's not sympathetic he hasn't actually visited.
I think perhaps if he did do you have a different opinion.
But what about politics and it there is one thing that I think needs correcting them broader discussion of this whole thing and the again you're seeing this mainstream media narrative develop that this is Mitt Romney politicizing on this and that otherwise this would -- Totally politics -- first.
It's entirely appropriate that we should be having debate about these kinds of things during a presidential campaign.
I can't think of a better time to be having a debate about these kind of things -- maybe not immediately.
But this is -- this is what presidential campaigns are fourth and second.
The idea that the Obama campaign was standing back sort had hands off on all this.
He's just not borne out by the facts -- if you look at this I put together a list and David Axelrod sent out a tweet.
Hitting Mitt Romney for his relationship with -- -- -- He had Bill Clinton doing an event for the Obama campaigned yesterday in Florida on nine elevenths you had.
You know the administration -- campaign officials background and reporters yesterday talking about this flare up on with with Bibi Netanyahu suggested that the president might not be able to do that because he would be out campaign.
At the time you have the statement last night from the campaign Press Secretary ban mobile do you have campaign events today the president after doing.
Don't presiding over these events today is now out in Las Vegas raising money so the idea that -- now that your team has been.
A political about this is totally preposterous and nobody's reporting.
And you just hit upon club -- soft spot there -- just -- back.
I take that back -- I was disappointed because you're not focusing on how Romney looked very presidential while Obama.
Flew off to Las Vegas on the -- such as this by the way I'm English but I used to live in America in Illinois so I know a lot about Chicago politics.
Okay -- we're we've got you back I think I mean we're about -- -- Believe that for another day shows.
That is a good point.
See -- in lost in this whole.
And I hate this word narrative today.
The president didn't mention Egypt in the -- not wants.
Here is at the major event.
Did guy who -- the new leader in Egypt doesn't lift a finger doesn't say a word doesn't call the president doesn't even make a statement doesn't put out a paper statement.
Doesn't put as police back.
On the streets around the embassy in fact we have word that there was some kind of action that was happening as we were going to air we were going to try to.
See if there -- some other dust up in front of the Cairo embassy as we're going to air doesn't look like it's developed good.
They were there watching closely so -- Mohamed won't morsi.
And isn't get a mention -- -- party calls for additional protests.
Of the film.
On Friday which I think you know talk about incitement to violence that's what his party's doing he said -- and.
He's and truth or spoken publicly.
About 9/11 being an inside job this guy's got a lot on his docket.
And -- you know I think.
Mean look if you're a president and you and his staff and you're thinking.
And all this is unfolding Egypt is a loser you look -- -- -- the apology.
And then the tragedy happens in Libya and you think what I'll talk only about that.
Because if anything American Express sympathy.
And politically it's a much safer thing which I think explains why there was no.
Mention of -- which makes Steve's point.
About the shock about the exploitation political use of this.
Ridiculous and sort of offensive that they are exploiting every element of this starting with the glorification of the bin Laden -- up until today.
And picking and choosing which elements of the events Libya and Egypt -- for the president will speak about it what shall ignore.
I don't -- this -- that.
The other thing we didn't talk about.
Yet -- is.
This is really.
Countries you know the -- put down red lines don't have the moral right to.
Tend to criticize than it was -- couple of whether he wanted to meeting with the policy invited not invited -- where it was yeah let's just straightened out.
Israeli officials defended -- They asked for a meeting with President Obama in New York -- and a few that request said if it can't happen in new York and prime -- willing to fly to Washington.
So the White House originally rejects the request saying the president is not available over the timing schedule doesn't work.
And then says that the president may be campaigning in Ohio or another battleground state.
Then they come out with a statement that says there was never a request for a meeting in Washington.
Which -- the media collectively says there was never a request for immediate.
Well actually there was a request for -- me.
And others have reported that before -- other other outlets had reported that there had been this request for me.
And then they suddenly a -- -- and there's one story that I saw yesterday -- -- very good foreign policy journalist usually.
That -- in the lead.
The Israelis -- that the White House denied a request from the Israelis for a meeting data and then later incorporated the White House statement there was no request for me I always like unbelievable in the same.
Story but actually the statements as request for meeting in Washington which gets left -- right -- all of the reporting since then so it's like this.
Bizarre road 24 hour revisionist history that I mean we -- in the program within and I thought what.
Happened you know anyway go -- morning talk for and our policy is one of those things I think the president won the day.
But when you look forward this stuff is very dangerous for him number one what's gonna happen in the Middle -- are there going to be more protests like this number two what is gonna happen with Israel and Iran.
And all I'm saying is that I agree with Steve this is -- a debate that should be enjoying it but right now I don't think Mitt Romney is joining -- and he needs to do more to do that.
You know it's not up to like Charles to carry his water forum.
You know either he is or he isn't and I think the Romney campaign has been ambivalent about how much it wants to get into this area and how much it just wants to hammer landing not.
So is this we talked -- us.
A an election about leadership.
Does the Romney campaign transition this election into leadership on the economy.
Leadership on foreign policy leadership across the board and then say and he's not leaving.
And -- he turned it around in 55.
He has to what he loses.
Because he's been on the stewardship argument for six months I would say a year and a half.
Stewardship argument is undeniable.
Is no reputation.
Everybody understands it everybody knows it and yet.
Obama is still slightly -- so clearly you can keep hitting on that till the end of time.
Won't make any difference people understand what's happening in the country he made his case he says I I can turn it around think some people are skeptical.
The real argument has to be -- leadership.
And what -- need to do in the future.
And I think you can win on that if you Romney because the case against Obama leadership is very strong.
And the case against Obama even having a vision of the future despite all the pretense in Charlotte.
He has no idea what to do he tried everything he knows in the first -- -- the economy.
And he got a wreckage and now we CIA -- Clinton -- saying well you do what I did in the ninety's.
Anybody -- believe that -- I'm not sure but that's the opening for only constraint on the field stuff.
-- black table and talk to Republicans that they are down this week.
They are down now and it doesn't take much to get the chorus of people complaining about -- and it's amazing how thin.
That that but I think people had misgivings about the way the campaign was being run now for quite some time and I I certainly have.
Think that did that the leadership -- harder for him to make today because they've been running this stewardship campaign with the exception of the one week after they picked him.
Paul Ryan just happy that -- weak right profoundly recently different just to piggyback on what what Charleston I mean.
Absolutely has to make this a leadership argued and it encompasses everything -- -- incorporate everything Smith Tom deficit.
Bad policy deaths in all the polls and they are I mean you can go back -- get you can go back and get the offense from.
-- know Obama supporters or at least we're.
Comments were friendly to the Obama administration and Dana Milbank.
Absolutely eviscerate the president on the question of debt and deficits -- when you present in the sort of phony budget but.
The leadership argument to me -- -- you have to explain why it can't just -- you what what I think the Romney campaign this goes back to something.
-- doing they -- just make assertions they say here's here's the case the economy is fast.
Well this here's this to -- -- yeah.
Provide voters I think.
With the story what why is it that the president is a failed leader and I think there're there -- lots of options do you tell you so political everything he does is to advance himself -- I think the better argument is an ideological argument make the ideological critique -- a president -- so obsessed with.
His liberal ideology that he could pass health care despite the fact that the economy was in trouble and it would cost money and -- I was just dream of liberals going back decades and and why is the president so -- overseas was because he's this liberal surpass.
Pacifist on a lot of these issues.
With the exception of -- and I think you can build a leadership case in leadership critique that incorporates this broader argument and tells people why.
Voters won't just if you just say he's a failed leader that's not going to be compelling you have to make the argument.
-- from Fresno California says we are not down grow up -- Well I tell you what one -- clarified.
Talking to Republicans on Capitol Hill and in Washington.
Not Republicans can use it.
You're exactly right hence the online show and the interaction.
And will grow -- thank you want.
Charles am -- wrong was this a week in which.
People even you know Karl Rove said the other polls are pointing in the wrong direction there's time but.
I think the reaction was initially to the fact that Obama got the usual.
Five point bounce and Romney did -- the first half who that was flat.
-- twice in the last fifty years says there's been no violence McGovern.
And -- who actually lost a point so this is -- usually you would have expected -- and I think it -- to do a -- with.
Tactical errors -- spoken about tactical errors that Romney is made with people want a little more nimble -- a little more.
You know less Communists and just how -- they conduct themselves tactically and strategically on you know what the argument is.
They keep hammering -- -- stewardship.
It's it's not it's not.
But I do think -- in despair is really -- little premature here.
He's a Smart guy he can learn I think he -- he -- have an opportunity in the debate.
And I think this is eminently winnable.
I think his -- did a discontent and I think that the polls are under counting.
Romney support I think it's going to be really close and he's got a chance but people get very disappointed that in near despair and when he makes elementary unforced errors.
OK rest of the week what happens I mean does he take this ball and run with it does he kind of waited out.
What happens he clearly.
Had an opportunity to say hey look at the president leaving his post at the White House for Vegas to roll the dice and get some money from fund -- It is and hear that from the get on addressing they would seek at this point I think I would actually take -- day is take a day and walked what's happening.
There's nothing he can actually do affect what's going on on the ground I don't think that that they would even pretend to think that they could.
To take a day watch this unfold see what happens but I do think they they have to be.
Preparing some kind of a broad foreign policy.
Big speech I mean they've been preparing one for later but I think they have to move that up not you don't want to be tomorrow or the next I don't think -- needs to look hasty but.
You know set one up for early part of next week or middle of next week -- making a big foreign policy address and surround yourself with.
You know foreign policy luminaries from the Republican Party you know -- -- -- New York actually.
Yeah -- -- -- arguments do all of those kinds of things that give people the sense that you know you are somebody who could step into that leadership role.
-- from Chicago.
-- wire Republicans down -- polls that over several Democrats Johnny you're right and it's almost seems every poll over samples Democrats but that's the current environment in which we -- Most of these polls are operating and you're also right that enthusiasm when you look at most polls.
Goes to Republicans however in our latest poll of likely voters which is better than registered voters in -- -- was pretty much time.
So there was definitively -- -- and there's no doubt about it spent ten different polls showing that for President Obama and -- coach says I never -- and a lot of lot of people don't.
OK panel we're gonna leave it there and thank you for online.
We'll see you next Wednesday Wanda that includes you thanks for tuning and -- -- Thanks for -- into the online showed and I will be back here tomorrow night course.
-- press -- 6 PM have a good night control room of about.