Power Play 10/19/2012
Obama's Sub-optimal position pre-debate, what will Obama say about Libya? And fight to the finish
Oct 19, 2012
David Drucker, Michelle Selensky
Obama's Sub-optimal position pre-debate, what will Obama say about Libya? And fight to the finish
Oct 19, 2012
David Drucker, Michelle Selensky
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This transcript is automatically generated
I would say even you would admit it was not be optimal.
Response at least to the American people as far as us all being on the same page -- -- you -- -- here's what I'll say -- If for Americans get killed is not optimal.
Right and we're gonna -- -- and all all of it all of it and then what happens.
During the course of the presidency is that you know the government is a big operation.
At any given time something screws up.
And that was why you don't go on comedy -- shows.
If you are the incumbent president of the United States.
Trailing in the polls and getting ready for a big debate on foreign policy.
This is power play and I am Chris -- -- an Internet happy Friday.
Happy happy Friday -- -- it is a very good one for you.
But for the presidency.
He continues to have a difficult October.
He struggles to block Mitt Romney's momentum that he's had since their first debate.
And the biggest problem that he seems to have released new polling today from the pew institute and others -- -- indicated the president.
Has lost a lot of ground on foreign policy.
And he's got a debate on that very subject.
Coming up Monday so we don't usually talk a lot about foreign policy here because cynical politics is our -- but when the two intersect.
We are certainly happy to tell you all about that we will do that Catherine Herridge -- like will be here we will also talk about.
How these two candidates genuinely.
She genuinely seem to dislike each other it was hot display last night what was supposed to be -- lighthearted dinner where it got a little tense maybe.
Maybe a little -- we'll talk about what that means for the closing portion of the election.
We'll have some power points will do all of that.
Let's get started at the right way let's get off on the good foot and as they say.
You've got to get down if you want to be down and you know who's down is David Drucker is -- you read that we'll call you follow him at David -- because in fact.
He has one of the very smartest people in fair minded and clear -- people read about politics -- David welcome good to be here thank you we'll see if that holds word you say that every time will seeds.
OK so the president last night with Jon Stewart.
I was trying to correct Stewart.
And he was saying to Jon Stewart.
Don't call it sub optimal because store was saying OK we'll stipulate that you know it's hard to be president and we'll stipulate that -- there's an investigation ongoing and all of those things.
But Stewart was trying to get president concede at least.
Hey admit at least sir that when you tried to tell the American people about what happened that guys you -- four people got killed on September 11.
You didn't do a good job on the politics on the roll out and the president was trying to take umbrage and said.
Four Americans are dead John was his basic message.
He reiterated though unfortunately for him -- phrase that it was not optimal when Americans get killed he was playing we're.
Or who worked there.
This is something the president doesn't often I I doubt it really means that he takes this stuff now light heartedly but -- whether -- -- in the road or not optimal.
He is willing to wage is off in very.
Hard to defend it easy for his opponents to use against him and you know this politics all's fair so sure so there -- -- I think the reason though that that the president.
Is getting caught in some of these traps just because -- Bolivia.
Issue is still very tough for him.
The the facts in terms of how his administration handled it.
Are very clear for everyone to see now that it's getting a lot of attention and although the president has tried to -- right what happened.
I'm surprised it took them this long to try and rewrite it.
It's just very difficult and if Mitt Romney handles this better in the foreign policy debate.
I think people will see that what happened in New York was not so much that.
The president not this whole -- out -- -- was then you know Mitt Romney slump he's -- -- like a chip shot twenty yard field goal that they -- off of his foot well -- can't -- Candy -- didn't help him she did not show I did not know if -- -- the president named an enormous favor in doing that.
But it's still wide open and now there's even more reporting on it whether it's the CI you know the CIA sources saying that what we said this was a -- -- attack within 24 hours it's very clear story is very clear from all of the interviews.
That the president did that and and sending Susan Rice out on that first Sunday.
On five talk shows -- -- had the same talking points in each interview area that they were trying to sell the video or Andy it was not until weeks later in this is still probably now he's trying to reset is -- no we always said it was this.
had the president simply said immediately.
I don't have all the facts yet.
I'm working on -- -- all the facts and as soon as I get them I we'll let you know what I think.
She would have taken hits for his policy in the Middle -- he would have taken hits -- for you know allowing this happened right -- and slow failure of the security -- that occurred somewhere within his administration he would have been held some accounts right but he wouldn't have been a situation where he can now be nails were trying to spin something that wasn't true.
Yeah that's accurate and you know that the problem for him.
Is that he held in this pupil is very revealing and Q is not exactly a Republican leaning.
What you found was that the president went from -- fifteen I believe this is right don't hold me to this Internet you can certainly go Google after the show.
But they went from having a fifteen point lead on foreign policy having a four point lead.
Because of this in the car that this has been schooling out over the last month plus that's correct.
And at the same polls show that his approval on handling of -- -- situation is under water slightly but it's underwater.
And it is allowed Mitt Romney to finally point to something.
In the Obama foreign policy record.
As not working this before -- happened it was a philosophical battle cry about.
You know what.
May not be working but it was cloudy and it made it difficult for Romney to point to anything as saying we now see -- failure.
He cannot point to something -- we see a failure and it gives if he.
Handles this issue it handles the debate the way he did his foreign policy speech at BMI -- then gives more credibility to him.
He's broader critique of Obama's foreign policy.
Writ large and Obama's style.
In approaching foreign policy and I think that what what people might be missing that are supporting the president -- just don't understand how LeBron can be seen as a credible commander in chief.
The American people especially it's not a national security election.
Understand that nobody can become energy until their allotment of and so you don't have to actually prove.
Except write -- you can be an amazing commander in chief what you have to prove is that you can.
-- -- they can see you Entrust you you know.
More or less getting it done it's the same thing that Bill Clinton got over 92 going up against a foreign policy heavyweight small governor from Arkansas -- America.
And the American people understanding that nobody can be commander in chief until their elected said.
We're not happy with the economy we're not -- George H walker bush and that we think Bill Clinton can can do the job and he was elected.
Of course I maintain that if you can -- and Hot Springs, Arkansas you can do almost anything that's really pretty and pretty rough and tumble town back in the day.
All right so if you're -- The previous concern.
The previous concerns.
Was that he would go out and private -- say I killed al-Qaeda.
And and Osama bin Laden over al-Qaeda is back on its heels.
Now Obama is advantaged in that way that al-Qaeda is showing some new strength not only in Libya but also in Iraq and also in other places in the situation in Afghanistan stinks.
And all of that but the second point that the president was always going to.
It's going to be that Mitt Romney wants to have George W Bush's foreign policy again and start invading countries -- if -- endless war endless war if -- Mitt Romney.
How do you take a tough tone.
And say that you're different than the president but not have the president said say OK which country -- you wanna start and beta now.
You know I actually think that.
Going back again -- -- my speech a couple of weeks ago.
That you can make a case.
That I don't necessarily disagreeing with the timeline to pull out of business countries.
But that we never should have broadcast it because it tells our enemies when we're going to -- and it makes it harder for our search to work in other words.
If our whole goal is to leave without winning.
The blood and the treasure.
Why not make sure it's worth it and at the very least why let people know that -- you can wait us out until a certain -- I think that's fine.
I think that what the American people want to see is just that you have a clear I thought process on foreign policy.
I do think the country's war weary I think -- I think it makes it harder for a Republican candidate for president in this election.
Because you have to balance what Republicans and conservatives who are foreign policy hawks want.
With the general mood of the country yeah but I think that there's a legitimate case to be made that.
It's not so much your plan that I am having an issue with -- how you handle it I also think Mitt Romney hasn't done this.
That he could make it an argument that.
If you were willing to invest American lives military lives in trying to secure Afghanistan.
You -- tried to sell it and make sure that the American people.
Knew what we were doing this.
And tell us why we should be behind instead you you did this is though you didn't want to do it you never talked about it and it seemed irrelevant to you as to whether the lives.
We were going to lose actually achieved anything and if you didn't care whether we achieve anything.
Then why bother.
Sacrifice -- These lines I think it's a case he could make that could work very well for him I don't know that he will -- even at his best he's never going.
I we're going to talk format for policy whether you like it or not Internet.
We're going to do that and we're going to do it with somebody who knows an awful lot about it we're gonna figure out what these candidates are gonna say as it relates to Libya.
And all that stuff because Catherine Herridge whom you -- will be here.
When it comes to this issue.
When I say that we are gonna find out exactly what happened.
Everybody will be held accountable.
And I am ultimately responsible for what's taking place there because these are my -- And on the one who has to greet those coffins when they come home I also said that we're gonna hunt down those who committed this crime.
And then a few days later I was there greeting the caskets.
Coming in Andrews Air Force Base.
And then we have now.
So listen to you a couple of the defense is the president mounted of what is going on in Libya in the second presidential debate with Mitt Romney.
Talking about greeting the caskets and coffins that were returning and talking about the seriousness of the circumstance.
Telling -- -- -- better back off because this is about more than just politics and this is power play and welcome back.
So that's what the president did in one question on foreign policy in the town hall debate this week but next week he's got ninety minutes on foreign policy -- What are you likely to hear.
We have put together brain trust on his objectives.
David -- Hillary she's mostly.
Well you're -- Tell -- president you're gonna.
Give yourself a lot of credit thereby.
David Drucker is with us still -- Catherine Herridge who is our chief.
Intelligence correspondent at Fox News Channel and who has had more breaks and more leads and all of this -- stuff than anybody else really.
And between you and Brett -- you guys have been all over the story.
And it's cool so we thank you for -- some time for us today.
Asking you to put on your cynical politicians -- for a moment when we get to the debate from Boca but your people.
I'm on Monday when we get to -- on Monday.
What is the president going to be talking about when he talks about this I mean he's this has been that a lot of trouble for him that it is there going to be a new angle -- I think the White House is conditions continue to hang its hat on his statement in the Rose Garden.
From September 12 where he reference these acts of a tear and somehow this is the umbrella -- You know I do because -- hit so.
Hard on this line because I think for us when you've been following the developments day by day and you see that shifting of the positions.
It doesn't seem reasonable but I think for the average person who is not tuning into this in quite the same way -- with quite the -- -- That phrase helps him -- -- you have the sense that the White House went -- after that statement in the Rose Garden.
I'll -- would caring who's good idealist I put it into the mark oh it's -- Smart because it gave him.
-- in two ways it allowed him.
To make of that position as commander in chief that he won't tolerate terrorism.
And then it also allowed him later to put -- -- under that umbrella when you listen to the speech for yourself which I would encourage people to do.
It seems self evident to me that he's not -- -- it including bank Gaza in and his subsequent statements that I think he goes down that road because it's real neat and simple to understand.
Now that is unless they can kill somebody there's that available -- is responsible or is involved in this attack right that would be the best thing that's a relief plan to do is a long -- -- anything can happen -- we -- -- admit that you -- Bob I'm glad you asked that question and because I'm glad you tell you and I -- I can -- today that these dudes are dead or some way away though we got it exactly.
But I think I think Katherine is exactly right but I think that if Mitt Mitt Romney does his job with the one.
Weakness that that exists now -- president's argument is that al-Qaeda.
Any longer seem to be on its heels that's less believable.
We see the president draw that line from his stump speech at that point and I think that all you have to say this is not complicated although granted I'm not going to be under the lights in front of seventy million people that you could put the fate of the country -- my enhancement.
All you have to do is say that you know you went -- around three or four different interviews and talked about a video you never.
-- this -- terrorist militant attack you know you referenced Susan rice's interviews again.
And you talked about you're the broader problem in the Middle East with al-Qaeda -- to be resurgent and I think.
That if it's true that you -- have one side against the other but that's a pretty strong indictment of the Obama foreign policy at a time when people are focused on it and it at least tells people it Mitt Romney.
Knows what he's doing and sees things in a particular way.
So good but can't Trenton that's dealing with -- That's talking about the -- -- -- it was dealt with and so this is -- this is a scandal of two -- There is scandal after that David describes which opens the door for running but there's also the first question no question that do president obviously didn't want to talk about in the first place which -- How did this happened for goodness -- X ray I think what you see and this is part of this special that I'm denied a part of tonight of why there yeah.
Which I think is a very strong piece of reporting.
Is that this administration seems reluctant to.
Call the threat by its name and you've seen that systematically in the last four years.
There was a shooting in June of 2009.
And -- recruitment center and Arkansas.
That was treated like a drive by shooting.
Though the suspect.
Was this said publicly that he was a member of al-Qaeda in Yemen Fort Hood was workplace violence.
In November 2009 up to -- -- of the underwear bomber was an isolated extremist Romaine yes the list goes on and on an on and I think.
An important point if I was putting on my political hat for Mitt Romney would be.
There when you're afraid to identify the threat by its name you cannot defeat it.
Because in the Arab world they respect strength.
Not weakness and -- have shown ourselves to be weak especially in Libya we were attacked in June at the consulate with an IED that was -- attack.
We did nothing in response which really embolden the enemy I believe.
To act in September and long term when you show yourself to be weakened these countries you cannot recruit intelligence assets because -- kind of be on the winning team.
And they do not see us.
On the winning team and al-Qaeda as we have seen now in the last six weeks -- Qaeda is not on its heels it's in fact on -- sentence and been able to capitalize on the Arab Spring.
And I don't you love Smart -- minded decent people.
I I do so I'm very glad that had these people with me today and could offer you their insights -- thank you thank you very Nicaragua.
Raw excellence indeed and what -- -- is the special.
Past my bedtime 10:10 PM stay up -- yeah.
That is we are -- -- little bit yeah definitely watching because she and -- will deliver for you I guarantee okay we're gonna take a quick break but when we come back.
-- -- we're gonna talk about how.
Dag gone nasty the closing weeks of this election are going to be.
And it's the kind of stuff you like so you've had your dinner you've done your foreign policy it's time for dessert so stick around.
People seem to be very curious as to how we prepare for the debates let me tell you what I do.
First refrain from alcohol for 65 years before the second finally biggest available straw man and then just commercially attack -- big bird and it was just coming.
In the spirit of Sesame Street the president's remarks tonight are brought to you by the letter -- and the number sixteen trillion.
That's okay I'm still and making the most of my time in the city.
I went shopping at some stores in midtown.
I understand governor Romney went shopping for some stores in midtown.
Where there's there's those -- the punch lines delivered -- -- former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney.
And President Obama at the annual Al Smith dinner.
In New York which is.
A wonderful charity.
Hosted by the Archdiocese of New York where politicians come together to make fun of themselves and each other in support of Catholic children's charities -- -- really nice thing it's a great tradition that actually goes back.
To the first candidate who did it.
-- -- Back in 1952.
In this power play and they may have been smiling last night and they may have talked about how much admiration they have for each other.
But these two guys as we go into the final two weeks.
Of the presidential campaign.
Do not -- -- -- -- you can feel stink waves radiating off of them anytime there's any proximity and certainly the debate.
This week was as testy as combative as I've ever seen one.
So what does this portend for the closing eighteen days of the general election.
We have for you fair minded patriotic Democrat and Republican to tell you detail.
Here with in Washington has -- -- he is a radio show host on WP FW posts and entertaining and engaging and respectful.
Discussion I like to believe that.
Worked up and has.
In New York for some reason and we are suspicious as to why is Michelle Celeste.
She is the communications -- -- which is the recruiting arm if you will of the Republican Party.
And shall we you up there because you are writing punch lines for Mitt -- Yeah I wish those are some -- 'cause -- can take credit but now I'm I'm appeared just kind is that America just -- it's -- process and it doesn't happen all at once right okay so Michelle -- -- You Mitt Romney -- flat last night.
Basically everything but moon to President Obama in the -- he got out there and -- -- -- -- -- and kept needling him and you could see the president was uncomfortable and Mitt Romney was loving it as he was as he was doing -- job.
The president was more restraint is probably you would expect from the incumbent.
But these guys genuinely don't like each other what does this tell you is gonna happen in the last two week.
It's really interesting to see because Obama over the course -- campaign has done two things one is launching a character assassination against Romney.
-- since you became effective nominee in April.
And also talk about anything but jobs -- trying to do those two things and unfortunately for him Romney still standing I think after the first debate.
The voters saw that he -- -- the evil man that Obama try to make -- out to be and two jobs in the economy is still the top issue on voters' minds eighteen days out from the election.
And so -- in a tough spot where at this point does he continue to character assassinations.
And try to talk about jobs the economy both of which I think are losing issues forum or does he continue trying to do what he's been doing over the past six months.
And I think -- -- see that happen out of -- the next eighteen days especially as other than try to recruit women voters.
Both campaigns have said they're talking about positive vision for the future of American -- which is.
You know that's that's true up to a point except for that most of what they talk about is what is wrong with the other person.
-- in the case of President Obama it is as -- points that out about.
His character and what he's done in his life as relates to his wealth his corporate activities and what he's done.
For Mitt Romney -- that the president's record and failure and all of that stuff.
We're just gonna see more that this is not -- and -- that we're not gonna have a sound of music moments in this our.
You know I think it's.
That's pretty much what we're gonna have and of course you know when we got to -- that was going -- where we got to look at the big contest in the midwest where the numbers are so important and you have a lot of hard hat blue collar workers there.
So there's going to be subliminal messages sent from all sides however I don't think that I really don't think that a President Obama has been going after.
A Mitt Romney's character I think he's got a powerful force of nature.
Named Bill Clinton could who's who can go out there and do that and he can kind of be a bit more restraint you may interpreted that way but I don't see that from President Obama doesn't can't.
Back -- talk about when he talks about why Mitt Romney shouldn't be president yes he talks about Bain Capital yet and he talks about.
Mitt Romney's taxes and he talks about those issues that.
Doesn't yet and that's saying that Mitt Romney doesn't understand you average American that's not saying he's a big guy I know -- -- says hey he's rich he's a big guy he's saying he doesn't understand you and your issues I think that's the message -- -- personally I think it's a strong message.
Little and it's a message because Obama doesn't have anything else to talk about especially his record over the next -- years and what he's gonna do for that.
For that for years if he's reelected this November is of course you like to talk about how big.
Romney's pension is are our Romney's taxes are Bain Capital because it's it's convenient.
Instead of talking about his jobs record.
Okay so I wanna get a prediction from both of you will the president.
Engage in what we believe -- the much anticipated hit the positive and -- closing argument.
In the election will he make the turn that people have been expecting for awhile or does he stay there is this -- just a fire fight to the end garlands.
-- what I think it is an UV I think the president's gonna do -- -- why is politician would do.
Pick your strongest suit and -- it over and over again I think.
That talking about being does he favors the president.
Because he's had some very strong foreign policy successes and -- talk about foreign policy.
Thank you very much keep talking foreign policy -- -- of a picture of Osama bin Laden.
A look at Michelle what do you say well courtesy of David -- activity or do we stay negative.
Well first I disagree with that because Obama has been trying to run on foreign policy as his Forte -- Ben -- would not be an example of that and that's gonna come to surface on Monday -- -- -- -- You know I think he's going to be positive talking about his jobs plan and Obama still gonna try especially -- women voters.
-- to frame Romney is an evil person taking away their right.
-- -- Garland next and here in Washington where you belong we thank you very much we thank both of you very much we -- you guys have a fantastic weekend.
Will you and there's no question okay Michelle do you agree have a fantastic -- absolutely.
OK -- speculated.
All right thanks guys and now.
A couple of things number one you can watch that debate right here -- live foxnews.com.
I'll be there there's not going to be there rippled -- will be there you'd like that stuff that'll be 845 will kick it off on Monday so you should do that.
Delight yourself with that Internet also good news Jonathan Hunt is back on the hunt and he will be here -- mere minutes.
Two -- -- and I defy you today as he likes to every day but after some power points.
In today's power points -- -- -- trouble and.
Let me tell you something the greatest -- In politics today and really for the last twenty years is about.
Flexibility people talk about electability he was more -- than that guy George W.
Bush was more likable than John Kerry Bill Clinton was well -- more than George H.
Bush well guess what.
Think small and they think short term.
And when they get and that's your second -- when they tell people go on The Daily Show mister president when they tell Mitt Romney I don't know.
Where you're done -- put your blue jeans on and go out there talk about NASCAR.
They're urging these guys to do something that's not in their nature you have these cases both a couple of other label tend to be cold kind of fellows they're both kind of -- democratic and their consultants keep trying to push them out of their -- and that's what the president had the problem on The Daily Show last night anyway because that's not where you're supposed to be when you're the commander in chief.
Until here's your third point American's great vision.
And they crave leadership that's what Americans are looking desperately for.
To make themselves into any politicians right off the American electorate as much -- you locals watching like watching elections like -- watching American Idol.
That's not how it goes give voters a little bit more credit than that that they understand that this is a time of serious testing and trouble for their nation that they might just undertake this seriously so do.
Better those are -- power points today it's hard to get rained on -- -- that I know you it's not your fault.
And now as we like to do every day a word from our friend Charles.
I always to tell the truth it's easier to --
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