Power Play 5/8/2013
Benghazi hearings begin and Thomas Perez headed to vote as Labor Secretary. Plus is there dissent among Democrats on the Benghazi probe?
May 8, 2013
Adam Schiff, Sarah Lenti, Chuck Rocha
Benghazi hearings begin and Thomas Perez headed to vote as Labor Secretary. Plus is there dissent among Democrats on the Benghazi probe?
May 8, 2013
Adam Schiff, Sarah Lenti, Chuck Rocha
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This transcript is automatically generated
He's one of the few eyewitnesses the job -- here and politicians yes so what happened are people theorize -- want to talk to the eyewitnesses.
And that is street reality he's a Republican com.
Harassment from South Carolina and he was on the record with Greta Van Susteren.
And this is powered by an iron and Chris start all and happy Ben Ghazi day Internet.
Today is today that house Republicans.
Oversight house oversight committee are going to try to get to the bottom.
What happened in bad guys see what the administration knew about it what they said about it afterwards and all of that stuff.
And it's a big day if the Republicans are going to be successful in getting where they want to go mr.
daddy's gonna have to carry a lot of the way he's a former prosecutor from down in South Carolina and he's good at asking questions because often times.
Politicians are too when it gets -- hearings like this and they don't think about building cases they think about making speeches so can Republicans pull -- off today we'll talk about that.
We'll also talk about a big day for president Obama's cabinet.
As Obama's pick to lead the Labor Department Tomas Perez looks to get through a senate committee -- out to a full vote it could be contentious.
And we'll talk about that and also.
We will talk to a democratic congressman who says that Republicans are all wet on this Ben Ghazi business that instead of focusing on the right things they're trying to score political points.
We'll hear from him later in the show it will be good it will be in line.
And I know that that is true because we're starting with money in the back Chris Wallace.
Sunday he is the host of FOX News Sunday with Chris Wallace and are very welcome -- well I want to pick up on something you said because for every senate Watergate Committee hearing that it was really electric -- -- years.
Later stands up and you can remember those moments or Oliver North during the Iran Contra when he and his lawyer did excuse me.
Brendan Sullivan is out there and just beat back the committee.
Most hearings are terrible disappointment and you're exactly right because the members of congress -- -- making statements that asking questions you also have this problem.
That there's going to be a Republican of golfers and as a Democrat and -- -- and Democrats obviously don't like this hearing they're gonna try to take it off in other directions.
And and he's so I would have to say you know and I've covered a lot of hearings and anticipate a lot of -- The vast majority of them I hope I'm wrong this time.
Are disappointed and anti climactic.
-- certainly we saw that with Hillary Clinton when she would have to -- right about Ben Ghazi.
And that was in part due to the deference that she was given as a former senator and have -- most popular politician in America.
Are active politician in America that the senators didn't.
Didn't build the case.
If that's right and she was also very effective.
As well in -- in her statements.
It'll be seriously I think the one advantage that that the people conduct -- -- the Republicans and clearly they're trying to build a case that the administration.
Has lied about.
Is you've got these whistle blowers were gonna hear from for the first time one fellow was a member of the counterterrorism bureau perhaps more importantly Gregory hicks who was the number two person.
In our diplomatic mission in Libya and obviously became number one when.
Christopher Stephens practically went missing and so we're gonna hear from -- we've we've seen excerpts of what they've the -- and in the original.
In effect depositions with the investigators now we're gonna -- seated on TV for the first time.
See if they make -- convincing case and see if they answer questions well because you know Democrats are gonna try to chip away at.
This and mr.
-- it is it is on this predicts that much of the case rests because.
He is eight career diplomat he is not a political figure and that.
Parts of his pre testimony that were released were quite scathing and rather damning.
About what happened during the raid.
On September 11 2012 and then subsequent answer.
Keep his jaw dropped he said when he heard what Susan Rice UN ambassador Susan Rice had to say to you about it being spontaneous event.
Steve -- has subsequently.
Come out with the iterations of the talking points and that the talk about -- start -- al-Qaeda involvement.
And you go down to spontaneous event.
Do you think that did mr.
hicks is going to be feeling so bold once all the lights are on and it's not just a deposition room.
Well yeah I think I think so I mean you -- needed to -- that's another point though you bring up which is that sometimes these witnesses that are -- regardless of the issue.
Back off a little bit in in what they -- but you know they are armed with what -- -- that's one of the reasons they do these -- Hearings runs through the great scene in the godfather remember the guys in and finger Michael Corleone and and his -- shows up in the hearing.
Hearing room that -- -- -- -- that does duets.
When the brother from Sicily sets up -- But you know so it'll be interesting to see what he does and also -- going to be some questions -- us one thing I have real doubts about.
It out there and I forget whether it's him or whether it's Thompson the one of them is suggesting that they didn't make a full effort.
I -- just seems to be to be no doubt that the talking points were scrubbed -- -- was sent what was said by Susan Rice was.
But the idea and that is being advanced that somehow did that the people in the State Department.
Didn't make a full effort to save these people's lives because they were trying to protect their political.
Tales when it came to the question was this terror or not.
I don't believe that I don't believe that if you thought there was something you could do to save one of your Brothers your diplomatic brothers' lives in the foreign service he wouldn't do everything -- could.
Well I think and -- mr.
hicks has made the case that -- made the case in this -- -- testimony.
That it was the Pentagon it was the Defense Department that would that he wanted to go -- Friday that I do everything I was -- but but again and I -- I suspect you're gonna find that there were legitimate.
Reasons for that I don't I don't believe.
-- their political decisions made after words and absolutely open to that but I don't believe that when people are under attack in their lives are in jeopardy.
And do you believe there.
Well I believe it.
-- commander in chief or military commanders or others and -- command.
Might reach -- reasonable conclusion that the risks attendant to trying to rescue four besieged Americans.
The value of saving those people.
I think those are military restaurant political right right right no no no I mean as a black hawk Down syndrome and you don't wanna send more people into harm's way when you don't know that I believe.
But I don't believe that they're sitting there going.
Well you know we can say these guys lies within -- that is -- our narrative for the election night I don't.
I know and I'm -- some people out there is saying boy this this Wallace -- just don't want to turn up truck.
I just don't think.
People are not cynical and I think that they can take care about saving.
Those lines would it would it be reasonable though that people would take.
Geopolitics and -- consideration that in a country with a newly installed government with the help of western powers.
That having a firefight and having US jets strange thing.
The streets is Ben Ghazi or having CIA were having special operators.
In a firefight there would would not.
-- argue in favor of what NATO did there.
Well I don't know I mean look I did they were.
It and I'll never forget Iran Contra I was in the briefing room and when Ed Meese came out -- that yes we.
Traded arms for hostages and then we took its roots of that.
And we gave it to the to the Contras in Nicaragua back in 1986.
And my jaw dropped and afterwards.
Somebody asked me you know one of the people at NBC where it was -- in the -- so why didn't you -- report that started that because I never dreamt.
That's something like that was awesome -- you know in my wildest imagination.
And so look.
Mean maybe I'm wrong maybe I'm naive and I suppose -- let's keep an open mind it's one of the great things about today.
The speculation stops -- leak stopped.
And we can hear what these people are willing to say when they put their hand up and say you know I swear to tell the truth and nothing about the trip before we let you go back -- regular television -- questions.
What is -- you've done tons on the immigration stuff.
Do you what is your prognostication.
For passage do you think the Senate's gonna pass something pretty close to the -- to -- bill.
It basically I mean I think they're good you know -- -- and I think it's a very Smart thing and Marco Rubio on the others parts night.
We're not just afraid of both amendments were not afraid of regular order put this through put it through the -- let everybody do -- everybody have volume.
I hate I think something's gonna thousands of them reasonably close to two that the gang debate I'd.
I would not predict after the -- I'm not -- into the house I just don't know are you insane question are you now or will you should be able.
Okay have you ever been at or have you ever -- able to tell us who is going to be on the big show this week it.
Not me not even -- won't int well I think and hope I don't know.
I know that doesn't get -- -- millions of people out there watching and if I did it.
Promoted the ideas we'll actually get viewers to watch the show.
But it's Wednesday in people -- -- a lot of -- -- in motion here so you didn't it would just gonna take this way Chris Wallace can neither confirm nor deny that he's going to have a two man debate between Marco Rubio and Barack Obama.
I'm just trying to make it possible that it is also possible indictment and anything anybody says I say it's like -- makes you gotta keep your mind open you're working in our minds -- thank you so much for your pleasure Wallace okay we're gonna take a quick break but when we come back we're gonna have a great panel to discuss this question.
Thomas Perez you may not have ever heard of him or certainly wouldn't have heard of them until a few weeks ago but he's turning a few of the president's most controversial appointees we have two of the best people I think -- on the subject.
They'll talk about it in fair minded person -- capacity when we come back.
-- -- Two Republicans who are trying to smear this dedicated public servant in order to score cheap political points -- want to warn you.
You don't want to take this fight with the congressional Hispanic caucus that was congresswoman Linda Sanchez of California speaking at a congressional Hispanic.
Caucus press conference.
Say that three times fast warning Republicans not to close Tomas Perez.
I'd be president Obama's labor secretary and this is power play and that press conference yesterday from the Hispanic caucus was something pretty remark.
-- because they said hey Republicans you say you want to reach out to Hispanics.
How come you're trying to block the highest ranking Hispanic that the president has appointed to his cabinet.
You guys stink on ice.
It was -- -- But Republicans are not backing down here is what Mitch McConnell had to say.
All of this paints the picture for me at least not of a passionate liberal who sees himself as patiently operating within the system.
To the democratic process to advance particular set of -- -- believes.
But -- crusading idiot law whose conviction about his own rightness -- issues leads him to believe that the law does not -- and he went on to say other things that we're not very nice.
What about that more about this nomination.
Here people who know I know that they now.
Sarah Latinos because she is a Republican strategist.
Former associate of one Willard and Romney.
And all around good gal -- -- -- It's and your approach I know that your approach and it was about this because this is his jam this is which approach -- does for a living.
Chuck is the president of solidarity strategies and director of the Latino project act which means that he stands at the crossroads.
Of Hispanic that's an organized labor.
Where Thomas -- also happens to stand right.
So you know -- her agenda snapped.
The do Republicans have made noise about several of the president's nominees.
A Chuck Hagel most notably.
But he just was going to the dunking Booth he was gonna get in eventually but they wanted to make it hurt.
I'm correct is though this is getting a little bully isn't.
Yeah and first of all wanna say that I've never met mr.
-- we've never had a conversation and but everything I read about -- he seems very qualified to be the labor secretary and I would follow what the seats -- said is that if you're -- Republican junior trying to push through an immigration bill to fix a problem.
But also show Latinos that.
You understand he's he's in the -- if you're Latino sitting at home and you see that the Republicans are trying to -- -- the way the -- and they may not know mr.
-- -- like I don't know what they know his name is dressed and you see Republican leaders there on the floor.
And say what they said.
They may not -- all the back issues but they will know his name is for residents and why are they giving our -- a hard time when they think of others but you did mention mr.
-- we know that that was personally does the same hold true -- your last name is Cruz or rubio.
Maybe made me glad that I.
He's a great point but they're not have come from does not up for confrontation that's there.
And gave -- what is expected is that mr.
-- will advance.
Out of committee on party line vote.
But the issue here that Republicans are grousing about centers on.
His you mr.
-- job right now is to run the civil rights division under Eric Holder at the department of justice and he did -- deal.
In Minnesota where they -- there was a case going to the Supreme Court that if they would have lost would have dramatically curtail old.
-- could have dramatically -- the authority of the civil rights unit.
Housing discrimination cases it would have taken a lot of -- out of -- era but in walking away from the case mr.
Prez also walked away from maybe a couple hundred million dollars Republicans say quid pro -- -- fair break.
Few points well we have other presidents were appointed Latino and which is extremely important question is is he the best man for that.
For the job and I think McConnell pointed out that he isn't ideal senator Kyl went -- -- he's committed ideologue.
Is it -- to push a law when it comes to I've been hitting this -- meddling Supreme Court docket with us.
-- case isn't Qaeda metal -- that are ideologues and South Carolina is he the best man for the job when it comes to labor issues when it comes to the I don't.
Employment record -- now and needing small businesses and I think to the point it's it's really tricky spot right now that we have Republicans supporting the -- -- which is awesome and then here we are you.
Aren't we get spread is.
I think it's also important to look back to our record went under the Bush Administration -- we appointed many more Latinos.
Then -- and it was OK for the -- them well.
Of course -- Democrat out practiced there Democrats Democrats can block black people Hispanic thing -- do it over the and then there in our hands right -- -- -- you don't Donald Light at the end we had a good.
Database we are trying to try to use him that well.
But wait a minute now so we can say in the abstract that that Doctor King was right the people will be judged by the content of their character another color of their skin or.
Whether their last name -- -- -- or not and I legacy at the end of the name that's exactly where about are -- that would -- that brings an Italian -- -- from a runway that's better.
You're almost there.
Because of the question is this that -- For mr.
The National Labor Relations Board and gonna do diddly for the rest president Obama's term to get court challenge you got it it's it's it's locked down.
And it's not going anywhere.
Could be a game changer on labor issues because that of -- because without that NLRB the Department of Labor becomes the main act.
-- war on these issues right.
And so the senators know that right and a lot of these senators are not backed by labor never have been backed by labor and some it's their anti labor in their opinions and I would take you back -- That's why -- such opposition let's be -- that the Republicans in the -- are really going to be in love with anybody that the president nominates and if they're -- -- -- that's good for me -- a political consulting firm and how we use -- against him I think -- is the -- battle to capture they should raise other issues that's what they're supposed to do -- Sanders is hold people accountable to other assets of agree with all of that.
But at the -- -- it is fifty million Latinos in this country that are eligible to vote and that's who I'm going to be talking about these people giving Chris a hard time.
Now I understand Elaine chow is available if you were looking for somebody that can sail through absolutely the president got -- and she's a minority absolutely put.
'cause he wouldn't found another looking at I would have been bettors -- the job there was a great one that was there let's let's.
Where there was when there was at the department prior to -- Alina oh OJ -- police.
Excuse me so leaks -- secretary Solis.
-- -- changing topic slightly Bill Richardson.
Is is a lovable person.
A -- or less person I would even say the former New Mexico governor and North Korean expert nor -- expert.
He said that Ted Cruz.
Who is if I've got it right his daddy was Cuban.
Is mama was that Anglo American he was born in Canada and lives in Texas where probably most people think that he is Mexican American.
Bill Richardson and so he qualifies as Hispanic and he's got that -- -- he qualifies as Hispanic.
Bill Richardson said that.
They've basically said if you're opposed to comprehensive immigration reform that you're Hispanic this shouldn't be a factor in considering your point of view.
But it is true Democrats can get away with a lot more of that kind of stuff when it comes ethnicity right I.
Think so I -- to -- who is a friend keep ridiculous is his.
And position on digging -- bill.
Baffles me I don't I really don't series coming from you've got the Tea Party now meeting with Mercury news yesterday saying we can support this that the US chamber of commerce.
You name it.
I don't understand -- I don't understand.
What he thinks they're gonna get -- thought he thinks that you're gonna do when you're gonna do legalization.
And then you're not -- to get the enforcement measures that are promised in the legislation right.
I know I I.
Apple let you do she's -- without -- even saying a word on this subject in general election cases there where it was.
Yeah there was -- -- -- don't protest there.
But -- this is comes down to personal issue for Latinos right and you're resendiz.
Mexican American and we don't know river breast happened just like me matter but I don't really know what I'm happy as well that's -- -- just -- the very personal issue to us and I think that's what -- gets you no matter if mr.
cruise Cuban half quarter were all -- at some level and some minor damage came here's some of most like most Americans didn't visit the very personal issue for -- and is that the issue that.
People should be able to get behind the chamber of commerce is some little can get behind it it's partially the key part partially a lot of things that we have a broken system.
In -- -- we secure our borders and do something with -- eleven million people who came here to have a better life.
Weird walking -- from what America was founded off.
When he's -- if that cat who says he's brown can't be what the brown people they don't deserve to be -- and that's not cool though is it.
-- you have a personal personal yeah well.
I look I I maybe from West Virginia but that doesn't mean that I'm just so why can't see anything about what you don't know I know you could.
They're 52 million strong -- -- it baffles me that Ted can't.
Get on board and at least try to work this to say.
Are you -- come in here so I'm much happier things to say about your party you're gonna you're gonna have to work up some better things that -- -- tell us what you like about Republicans will well -- I think men on that -- -- outside behalf.
I -- -- dead -- -- we thank you for making time for us today okay.
We're gonna take a quick break but when we come back congressman and shift from California will join us and we'll talk about this question.
What is the Republicans -- -- in -- Ben Ghazi hearings they Democrats say it's not to get to the truth but to get to Barack Obama and Hillary Rodham Clinton talked about that when we come back.
-- stick around.
-- -- When she speaks in this.
-- world we resided right now no one wonders.
No one wonders.
Whether or not she's speaking from the president.
That was you know who vice president Joseph Biden.
You speak Tuesday at the joint center for political and economic studies and the -- he was talking about there was -- and rice.
She is the president's ambassador to the United Nations.
And she is also a central figure in the inquiry that is just getting under way.
Up on Capitol Hill into what happened and Ben -- on September 11 2012.
This is power play Democrats though are arching an eyebrow or two that's why the Republicans are really doing this among them.
Those with their eyebrows -- -- Adam Schiff he is a democratic congressman from the great state of -- Congressman welcome thanks for security of now we heard they -- Vice President Biden rallying to the defence of Susan -- think she speaks for the president she's she is the woman.
But for Republicans today.
They have their placing her in the center of what they -- was a conspiracy.
To include the truth about the nature of those -- Well you know they are although I have to say that they need that kind of talking points and the focus of their -- seems to change from week to week from month to month.
Susan Rice was very much in their scope in the beginning although that whole theory that she was trying to mislead the country was this it was significantly discredited.
When it was revealed that the talking points that she relied upon had in fact been changed by the intelligence community that she was relying on the best estimate of then general.
Petraeus -- ahead of the CIA and general clapper as the head of the office of national intelligence so she was relying on intelligence -- his best estimate.
So focused had to shift from hurt -- -- shifted to the president he was up for reelection they went after him.
And now he's no longer a free election and it looks like they have a new target in mind which is Secretary Clinton because maybe she will be up for president.
So we're sitting in the evolution of this thing -- Review by the oversight committee.
And it's hard to walk away without the conclusion that this is really a political exercise.
That just has -- shifting target as the politics.
Now we've heard from the former second and maybe we were about to hear the full assessment of what we've seen excerpts from his -- testimony Greg -- The former deputy chief of mission in Libya who said that he was tremendously frustrated.
-- what he said was an unwillingness by a Washington.
To go for relief effort of some kind for the besieged folks and Ben Ghazi that seems to be the focus of where the Republicans are gonna go today.
What do you make of that.
That was -- can certainly understand anyone that's lost her colleagues and very upset about you know what happened and we all are we've lost four great Americans.
But the claims that he's making are largely speculation.
He's saying percent well if only they scramble the jets.
Even though there was no way potentially to refuel that -- And there's no indication that scrambling jets overhead in doing nothing -- more than having it who have flyover would have prevented the events going on on the ground.
He also makes the claim that well if they had allowed the special operations team to go that might change things.
But even the committee members have now acknowledged it would -- -- until hours after the attack.
So hard to call this exactly.
A cover up or whistle blowing -- not really sure what it is except some after the fact speculation.
That really isn't consistent with what the -- accountability review board -- -- -- -- and -- Pickering.
Which it and -- you know -- thorough and exhaustive review what they concluded which was very different.
And that we give you congressman and a -- if you lived in Burbank you know Omar ready but if you don't you do now thanks congressman thanks Chris.
OK and that no power points today -- Charles either he wasn't on the panel -- last night there he wasn't on the panel last night.
But how about this Tuesday two pieces of good news one if you follow me on Twitter you can get a special secret surprise and -- these dire Walt.
-- account today about a very interesting senate race that's taking place in Massachusetts it could be and it could have shades of Scott Brown's 2010 -- could have shades of Mark Sanford went.
In South Carolina last night.
Fortunately voters get to decide that we get to talk about it so you can do that if you follow Nancy -- -- And now we're gonna give you a look at these hearings that are going -- on Capitol Hill.
Watch listen and learn have a great day we'll see you back here tomorrow.
-- It's fifteen years at the State Department.
He has served in Washington DC in her Honduras in Ethiopia.
In India and most recently he was the regional security officer four of the US.
Libya based out of Tripoli.
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