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tv   The Situation Room With Wolf Blitzer  CNN  September 8, 2011 2:00pm-4:00pm PDT

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think about it, be an early warning sign for problems for tea partiers in advance of next november's election. >> joe johns, thank you very much from washington. we'll keep it in washington as we keep in mind we're two hours away from the president's address to a joint session of congress talking jobs. 14 million americans unemployed. a lot of you will be watching closely. wolf blitzer is saul over it. "the situation room" starts right now. -- captions by vitac -- www.vitac.com happening now, president obama's best clans to deliver new jobs to desperate americans before the 2012 election. he's returning to the capitol to address a joint session of congress just two hours from now. this hour i'll press one of his top economic advisors, gene sperling, about the size, the substance and a little bit about the politics of the plan as well. also, republican rick perry's comparison of social
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security to a ponzi scheme. will his performance in his first presidential debate come back to haunt him? the chilling words of the lead high-jacker of 9/11. while the attacks were in progress. stand by for unforgettable audio, some of it never heard before. i'm wolf blitzer, you're in "the situation room." president obama certainly knows full well what he and the american people have at stake this evening. there will be an urgency in his voice when the president goes before a joint session of congress less than two hours from now. we're getting late word that the jobs package he'll unveil is bigger than many of the initial reports suggested. let's get some of the details from our chief white house correspondent jessica yellin. jessica, what are you learning? >> reporter: the democrat familiar with the president's plan tells me this package is now worth more than $400 billion. i'm told this package targets a number of different groups. first let's take a look at it.
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for all working americans, the president's plan i'm told will not only extend the current payroll tax cut for all working americans, but a democrat familiar with the plan tells me it's even likely to increase the payroll tax cut that working americans now get. for small businesses, i'm told that the tax credit, there will be a tax credit given to new hires, and a tax credit for small businesses that hire the long-term unemployed. four people who are themselves the long-term unemployed, not only is he looking to get an extension of unemployment benefits, but something you can describe as maybe an unpaid internship program allowing the unemployed to embed themselves in businesses and get job training on the job. and for state and local governments, more funds for road construction. funds on the ground for school renovation, improving schools and monies to hire and keep on the job both teachers and first
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responders, wolf, just some of the elements in tonight's package. >> a lot at stake for the unemployed, underemployed, those who have given up any hope of getting a job. politically a lot at stake for the president himself, right, jessica? >> reporter: that's right. this you can think of the start of a three-month period, perhaps more, for the president to redefine himself to the american people as the president who is putting congress on the defensive. he wants to be the president with a plan to jump start job growth and pit himself against a krong who has to either accept his plan or openly reject it and then in some ways take the blame, if you will, for not doing enough on unemployment. that would be the white house's positioning. no doubt there will be democrats. we know republicans will object to many aspects of this plan, but there will also be democrats who are critical of it because it will contain so much in the way of tax cuts and tax credits
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and many democrats would rather see the money go to local governments and to other programs that they think has a more direct impact on hiring, but the white house wants to do what they think can pass more quickly and be more palatable to broader numbers. >> jessica will be with us throughout the evening for all our coverage. thanks very much. let's get more specifics right now about the president's jobs plan and his upcoming speech with one of his key advisors. we're joined by the director of the national economic council, gene sperling. gene, thanks very much for coming in. >> thanks, wolf. >> is it fair to call tonight's proposal that the president will unveil an economic stimulus package? >> i think it's fair to say, as you said, that there will be sense of urgency. that urgency comes from the american public itself. we've got 9.1% unemployment. we've got an economy projected to not grow anywhere near as strong as it needs to to get the number of americans back to work, to get customers in to
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small businesses so they can expand and hire, and the president is going to make very clear inaction is not an option. no is not an option. we as a country can take bold action to arrest this situation, to jump start job growth, to jump start growth, to give more moment tell to this economy. and we can do this in a context that we also make clear that in the long term we'll get our deficit and debt down. those two things together are exactly what our economy needs to get growth and momentum in the short term and the type of confidence and long-term fiscal discipline that will help encourage people to still think of america as the place to invest, to grow your companies. there's no reason for this not to happen. this will be a smart comprehensive plan and will be the type deserving of bipartisan support. the specific elements will be many, almost all, that have been supported by republicans and democrats in the past. >> i want to go through some of those. as far as an economic stimulus
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package, we remember the first one, it was about $800 billion. the republicans, a lot of them at least, hated that one. they don't like the notion of an economic stimulus package. is it fair to call this $450 billion plan that the president will unveil tonight an economic stimulus package? >> that seems to be your favorite word, wolf. first of all, i'm not going to comment on the numbers. the president -- you can tune in to hear the exact size and the specific elements of the plan, but i will say the following -- this is different from the recovery act and other acts put forward by republican presidents as well when we've needed an extra boost. this will be paid for, each and every penny. this will not raise our debtor deficit over the long term. it will be part of a long-term fiscal plan that will bring the debt down. that is a very important point. i'll also be clear. if we don't get momentum in this
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economy, if we don't get jobs growing, make sure this recovery takes stronger hold, we're not going to meet our fiscal targets anyways. we've got to do both, we've got to do them together. as you've said, this will have a smart comprehensive strategy for those who have been unemployed for the long term, it will have an ambitious vision for putting americans back to work, rebuilding america. it will have significant tax relief for every single worker, and it will be particularly targeted to the small business and entrepreneurs who by no fault of their own were hurt by this recession and are the backbone and engine of job creation. >> when you say, gene, it will be paid for. will it be paid for by spending cuts, tax increases or a combination of both? >> well, the plan that the president will put forward will obviously be a compensation. it will have -- he will be putting out the details of the deficit reduction plan later this month. it will be detailed.
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it will make sure that every single penny of the american jobs act he proposes tonight is paid for and that there is significant additional deficit reduction to bring our debt down as a percentage of our economy. you know that the president in the past has put forward, and we've now passed significant spending cuts in discretionary as well as in defense spending. this will include entitlement savings unquestionably. but it will, of course, ask those who are most well off, the most fortunate, high-income americans to help shoulder the burden and will reduce the inexcusable tax expenditures an loopholes that we should not be spending money on at a time when we have 9.1% unemployment and we need to take efforts to get tax relief and investments to get america back to work. >> you know, so many republicans say they're never going to vote for tax increases. what do you do if you can't get that passed, let's say, in the house of representatives?
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>> i think the larger message the president will have tonight is no is not an option, doing nothing is not an option. the president is going to put forward a plan that i think is deserving historically of bipartisan support. it's not so long ago that democrats and republicans worked together for infrastructure investments. not so long ago that republicans championed payroll tax cuts. they shouldn't be against just because the president is now for it. this is something we can do together, tax relief for small businesses. these are bipartisan proposals, ones that have his torp cli been supported. of course it's a democracy. we have divided government. people will bring other ideas. but the real test tonight people should be looking for is when the president puts forth his plan and says pass this plan, they should hear either that people are going to say yes or they're going to constructively work with us to put something together that will have an equal impact on creating jobs and growth.
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>> how worried are you about the -- >> i think most people feel this economy is still in a state of recovery. there's no reason for us as a country to stand by and watch. we can take action to ensure the recovery takes hold, that ensures we get job growth going, that we feel comfortable with the private sector expanding. we know many of the problems this economy and the global economy have suffered are beyond our control, the japanese earthquake, the problems in europe, we had self inflicted wounds by looking like a dysfunctional government on the debt relief. if we can come together on a jobs plan and doing so in a way paid for in the long-term brings down the deaf sit, that kind of confidence will have an immediate impact together with the extra demand that this plan will put into the economy. >> gene sperling has been
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working nonstop now for weeks and weeks getting this plan ready for tonight. i know how hard you've worked on it, good luck. >> thanks, wolf. >> gene sperling, director of the xhashl economic council at the white house. when the president lays out his new jobs plan in less than two hours, cnn will have live coverage. stay with us. our special coverage, by the way, leading up to the speech will begin at 6:00 p.m., less than an hour from now here in "the situation room." republicans don't plan a formal resfons to the president this evening, but there's a lot of informal criticism even before he gives his speech. we eel get a read on the level of resistance in congress coming in right now and the lead 9/11 hijacker actually promised passengers they'd be okay. you'll hear his chilling words in rarely heard cockpit audio tapes. stay with us. ♪
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jack cafferty is here with the cafferty file. >> wolf, as the country gets ready to mark the tenth anniversary of the 9/11 terror attacks, there's no doubt we were forever changed on that sunny tuesday morning of
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september of 2001. one of osama bin laden's biggest victories was to make millions of americans afraid, so afraid that most of us stopped questioning our government, whether it meant launching unnecessary wars, removing some of our civil liberty, eroding constitutional rights, ignoring international treaties like the geneva conventions or torturing detain detainees. pat-downs and x-rays at airports became the norm. we used american's deaths to advance their own agendas. so afraid that in the name of national security we allowed the ill-defined wars in afghanistan and iraq to drag on. thousands of lives, trillions of dollars gone along with our once dominant position as the world's biggest superpower. bin laden is fortunately dead and gone, too, but not before accomplishing much of what he
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set out to do on 9/11. today "usa today" gallup poll shows almost one in five americans say terrorists have won. have they? or have we defeated ourselves? how much of the way our life has changed in the last ten years is a result of that single act of terrorism on 9/11? how much of it is because we allowed ourselves to succumb to our fears and in the process surrender much of what we have always been most proud of. here is the question ten years after 9/11. did the terrorists win? go to cnn.com/caffertyfile or go to "the situation room's" facebook page. >> a lot of people are talking about the 9/11 anniversary including people on jihad difficult websites. janet napolitano says intelligence officials are picking up, in her words, lots of clatter about it. so far, though, she says nothing that warrants a threat advisory. meanwhile, for the first time
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we're hearing new audio recordings from that day, from 9/11. cnn's brian todd is joining us with the details. >> wolf, some of these audio tapes became declassified just last year. combined with what was previously released, these tapes offer perhaps the most dramatic timeline of the moments the highjack kings were taking place. we hear voices of people on the front line including the flight attendant, betty ong, on board flight 811 at 8:19 eastern time, just 27 minutes before that flight hit the north tower of the world trade center. he calls her colleagues on the ground. this is the first time anyone outside those planes finds out what's going on. listen to betty ong. >> the cockpit is not answering. somebody is stabbed in business class. we can't breathe. i don't know. i think we're getting highjacked. >> five minutes later, 8:24 a.m., 22 minutes before impact
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on the north tower, the haunting voice of lead high-jacker mohamed atta, boston air traffic control picks him up talking to the passengers. listen to mohamed atta. >> is that american 11 trying to call? >> we have some planes. just stay quiet and we'll be okay. we are returning the the airport. >> who is trying to call me here? american 11, are you trying to call? nobody move. everything is okay. if you try to make any move, endanger yourself and the airplane. just stay quiet. >> again, that's just 22 minutes before that plane hits the north tower of the world trade center. take you forward more than a half hour later, 9:02 a.m. 16 minutes after the plane hits the world trade center, controllers are trying to figure out what's going on, they notice united airlines flight 175, following the purple track here, it has looped south and curved
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north heading toward the south tower of the world trade center. two air traffic controllers practically narrating the impact. >> hey, can you look out your window right now? can you see about 4,000 feet, looks like he's oh. >> yeah, i see him. >> is he descending through the building also? >> descending really quick, too. 800 feet in one sweep. >> they narrate that as the plane hits the south tower of the world trade center. one of them says holy smokes at the end of it. very, very compelling audio. less than a half hour later, cleveland air traffic control is trying to find united airlines flight 93. it can't find that plane. it enlists the helping of another flight nearby to try to help eyeball that plane. the audio of the cleveland air traffic control picks up flight 93 and passengers yelling inside. you can hear one of them saying we're all going to die here. you have to listen carefully.
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listen to this. >> american 1060. >> of course, just minutes later that plane hits the ground in shanksville, pennsylvania. the rutgers university law review released some of this material. to hear some of these haunteding audio tapes and other unforgettable moments including stories you have not heard today, turn into "footnotes of 9/11" withdrew griffin, this sunday at 9:00 p.m. >> chilling, haunting. i don't know what else to sachlt thanks, brian. thanks very much. with tightened security at airports, government facilities and critical infrastructure all across the country, dairy say all across the world. experts say terrorists may be targeting so-called soft targets such as shopping malls. cnn homeland security correspondent jeanne meserve reports.
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>> reporter: truck and bus drivers get id checks. there are schwab tests for explosives, pop-up barricades, bike patrols. undercover behavior detention officers, hundreds of surveillance cameras and bomb sniffing jobs. security for the capitol, the pentagon, the white house? no. this is security at minnesota's mall of america, one of the largest enclosed shopping centers in the country visited by 42 million people each year. >> i think if you're looking for 100% safety, wrap yourself in bubble wrap an never leave home. when you look at the size of this place and what goes on here, yeah, i think it's a very safe place to be. >> reporter: the mall even has something many government facilities do not. >> this is a drill. mall of america is now going into lockdown. >> seek shelter in the nearest store and follow the instructions. this is a drill.
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>> reporter: twice a month the mall, its tenants and customers participate in a lockdown drill practicing how to shelter in back rooms of stores to try to minimize casualties in an attack. >> if something bad should happen here, we don't want our response to start with, and law enforcement will be here and they will protect you. we can't to know what can be done until law enforcement gets here. >> reporter: the phish reportedly warned that soft targets like crowded malls could be attempting terrorist target. there have been several active shooter episodes. in 2007, for instance, eight died and four were wounded when a gunman opened fire in a omaha, nebraska, shopping center. it was school shootings in russia and columbine, minnesota that led to preaching proactively for an emergency. he says lockdown drills cost next to nothing. >> it is the life we live right now. we can prepare. and if you can do it at the mall
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of america, it can be donny where. >> reporter: jeanne meserve, cnn washington. it's been eight months since she was shot in head. now congresswoman gabrielle giffords is ready to share her story. large parts of the northeast under water. thousands forced to evacuate. we'll go there life. stay with us. you're in "the situation room." run more smoothly by helping remove deposits and cleaning up intake valves. so when you fill up at an exxon or mobil station, you can rest assured we help your engine run more smoothly while leaving behind cleaner emissions. it's how we make gasoline work harder for you. exxon and mobil. [ doorbell rings ] hello there. i'm here to pick up helen. ah. mom? he's here. nice wheels. oh, thanks. keeps me young. hello there, handsome.
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some republicans have been calling him president zero since the august unemployment report, zero jobs created in august. many of them already have made up their minds about the president's new jobs plan even before they know all the
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details. we're only now a little more than 90 minutes away from this make or break potentially speech that the president will deliver. let's go to capitol hill. our congressional correspondent kate bolduan is standing by. speaker boehner is talking about what he expects to hear. he's getting ready and will be there for the president's speech tonight. what are you hearing on the hill? >> reporter: we're in statuary hall. this is where they'll be walking by to hear the address from president obama. republicans in both the house and senate really aren't waiting the hear from the president to react. we've been hearing now for a couple days republicans in the house and senate criticizing what they expect to hear from the president this evening saying that his proposals that he's likely to push aren't anything new, that he's either tried them before or pushed for them before and in their minds they think it will not work. still house republican leaders do say they are very much looking forward to hearing from the president, speaker boehner
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being one of them and also saying they are looking forward to trying to find common ground to come around some jobs proposal they can agree to. i will tell you both sides still have very different views of just how to reach that goal of boosting job creation, boosting the economy and still today, we're hearing house speaker john boehner kind of brushing off some of the criticism he's been getting and republicans have been getting, especially from democrats like the democratic majority leader nancy pelosi who says republicans are degree disrespectful to the president by not offering an official response to his remarks this evening. speaker boehner brushed off those comments and you'll hear in the sound bite is down playing the significance of the address entirely. listen here. >> this is not state of the union address. the american people shouldn't be forced to watch some politician they don't want to listen to. frankly, most of them would rather watch a football game.
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we have opened up statuary hall so all of our members can respond individually. and i think it's a more appropriate and respectful way to go forward. >> reporter: i will tell you on the question, and they've been getting this question quite a bit, where is the common ground where republicans can come together with democrats, with our white house to reach some agreement to try to move jobs forward, to boost job creation in the country? republicans aren't answering that question quite yet saying they still want to hear from the president and they're still pushing their jobs plan, especially in the house of representatives. you know the focus of that is focusing on romg back federal regulations in the areas of labor and environmental standards they say are hintering job growth throughout the country. the guess speaker's box are evidence of that, almost laser focus on that issue. he's welcoming some 12 guests in his box. all of them are employers that are suffering from the
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overburdened, overbearing federal regulation holding them back from growing on their employee base and growing their businesses. >> kate bolduan, our congressional correspondent in statuary hall. that's where the members have to walk through in order to go to the house floor. if you grab a few of them and talk to them, let us know what they have to say. we'll check back with you. our chief national correspondent john king is standing by live. he's been doing excellent reporting on the president's speech tonight. some already suggesting, the pessimists out there, that the president's plan whether it's $400 billion or $450 billion might be dead on arrival. the republicans are never going to vote for more tax increases to pay for any of this. what are you hearing? >> dead on arrival as the president proposes it, yes, wolf. dead on arrival meaning there will be no jobs package, don't go that far. republican, republicans don't like a lot of specific proposals from the president. they will not, say say, raise
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taxes even on wealthy americans. they don't like the aid to state government saying the states need to figure out how to get through this recession on their own. they view it as stimulus day jai gentleman view. here is what you get from a sense up here. some democrats say this isn't bold enough. most republicans say not right now, mr. president. remember we have this super committee that's charged with coming up with more deficit reduction, at least $1.5 trillion. the posture of republicans will be they will not take the president's bill separately, wolf, but they will take some of those proposals and maybe include them in the product of the super committee. that's what i would look for as you head closer to thanksgiving. don't look for congress to act immediately. if the super committee comes up with its work, do some of the tax proposals, can that debate be folded into the bigger package? the republicans say they're open to that. they also note that every time you need a new proposal to pay for it, you're adding to the task, the challenge that
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committee faces in finding cuts, wolf. where? in defense. most republicans say no. cuts in discretionary programs? democrats say no. cuts in medicare and social security? democrats get really mad there. we'll get back into the deja vu debate over what to cut. don't look for a president to get a separate jobs bill. look for this to become part of the bigger debate in the super committee. >> i was intrigued when we had gene sperling on at the top of the hour, he said we'll submit formal legislation that the congressional budget office will be able to review it or score it. it's going to be our proposal. he said if the republicans want to come up with something maybe better, he seemed to be open to negotiating perhaps a better deal. i don't think from the white house perspective, john, take it or leave it right now. they're willing to talk to republicans assuming there's some common ground. >> they have no choice to talk to republicans because speaker boehner and the republicans control the house. mr. sperling, they're essentially saying we can't get our way entirely. itis challenge. the president is going to do
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business. remember, wolf, the approval of the president is weighing down the economy. the approval of the congress saul most subterranean. the republicans know that. they're on the ballot trying to defend that republican majority in the house. to be fully obstructionist is heading into the campaign year afoul of the american people. there is an opportunity to do business down the road. the republicans will say no to the president's specific proposals, especially the ones they can call stimulus, but look for potential compromise down the road. leader kantor today saying we're not flatly opposed to infrastructure spending. we just want to see how do you pay for it. you heard kate talking about speaker boehner, no one republican response. part of that is a slight to the president. all these members of the house are up for re-election. some need to say i'm open to some of the president's proposals because their district may not be conservative as one of their republican colleagues. by letting them all respond individually, they can respond in a way that suits maybe not exactly what speaker boehner
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wants, but what suits them back home in their districts. we're getting a policy speech tonight from the president, wolf. this is in many ways about 2012 and politics. >> john will be with us throughout the night as well. you make a good point, john. as bad as the president's job approval number might be, let's say 44%, congressional job approval is down around 14% or 15%, record lows. you make a good point, republicans who lead the house, they're under enormous political pressure as well. john, thank you. congresswoman gabrielle giffords is about to tell her story. we have the details. where? stand by. that's coming up. why would republican rick perry go after two powerhouses of the bush era. we're talking about dick cheney and karl rove. stand by for that as well. [ dog barks, growls ] ♪ whoa, watch out, little man. ♪ [ male announcer ] when you take away the worry,
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[ male announcer ] each of these photos was taken by someone on the first morning of their retirement. it's the first of more than 6,000 sunrises the average retiree will see. ♪ as we're living longer than ever before, prudential's challenge is to help everyone have the retirement income they'll need to enjoy every one of their days. ♪ prudential. bring your challenges.
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lisa sylvester is monitoring other things. lisa, a big legal win for the obama administration today.
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>> that's right, wolf. federal appeals court dismissed a lawsuit by the state of virginia over the constitutionality of the obama administration's health care reform law. the richmond-based court is now the second federal appeals court to uphold the patient protection and affordable care act. the bill requires most americans to buy health insurance by the year 2014. the newly formed super committee met for the first time today on capitol hill, but opening remarks were cut short by demonstrators chanting "jobs, jobs, jobs." the panel of six democrats and six republicans has until thanksgiving to reach its goal of $1.5 trillion in deficit reduction. if they can't do it, mandatory spending cuts will kick in. congresswoman gabby giffords is willing to share her story. a book from giffords and her husband astronaut mark kelly, "gabby, a storage of courage and
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hope" will chronicle their lives since the shooting. she remains in rehab at a hospital in houston. we did see her in washington. >> i wonder if she'll be there tonight before the president's address to the joint session of congress. looking forward to the book as well. anticipation clearly building for the president's big speech tonight. we're just more than an hour away from the speech. we're getting new details on what the president will say. stand by. and flooding danger on the rise in pennsylvania right now. we're taking you there live when we come back. to one's military oath. the same set of values that drive our nation's military are the ones we used to build usaa bank. from free checking to credit cards to loans, our commitment to the military, veterans, and their families is without equal. ♪ visit us online to learn what makes our bank so different. usaa. we know what it means to serve.
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raging wildfires and historic flooding. tens of thousands of people are dealing with extreme conditions right now. let's go to texas first, a huge wildfire near austin keeps spreading. at least two people have died. almost 14 0 homes destroyed. this fire is one of almost 200 burning across texas. the problem here in the d.c. area, too much water. blame the remnants of tropical storm lee. high water has blocked dozens of roads in maryland. flash flood warnings are in place from d.c. to western new
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england. the flooding is especially bad in central pennsylvania, at least three people are dead and tens of thousands are being told to evacuate their homes. authorities in ma certain county in pennsylvania, they're telling people they have to get out. the susquehanna river is on the rise and expected to crest tonight. cnn's mary snow is in nearby plymouth township with more. it looks pretty awful behind you, mary. what's going on? >> reporter: yeah, it does look awful. the worst has yet to come. at last count we were told the susquehanna river is 16 feet above flood stage. this is an area in plymouth township that is not protected by a levee. take a close look at one of the homes that is here. the residents here were told to evacuate last night. the owner of this home, francis fedirichi decided to stick it
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out. this morning a neighbor came by and told him he had to go. he said he grabbed a few things and just took what he could and doesn't know what will happen now. take a listen. >> we just had minutes to get what we needed to get out and get out. within a half hour, 45 minutes it was already going through the yard. it came up quick. koun. >> >> reporter: county of affects expect the susquehanna to crest between midnight and 2:00 a.m. and nearby in wilkes-barre there is a levy that can landal about 41 feet. that is what the forecast is right now as to how far that river will rise. and, wolf, that levee was built after a devastating hurricane back in 1972, hurricane agnes. this is the first big test for
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that levee again in several hours. right now the forecast is that the cresting will be between midnight and 2:00 a.m. >> let's hope it holds. thanks very much mary. a possible problem for republican presidential front-runner rick perry. the phrase he keeps using that could get him into deep trouble with a lot of voters out there. we're going to discuss what's going on in our strategy session. that's next. nt to be okay ♪ ♪ be okay, be okay ♪ i just want to be okay today - ♪ i just want to know today - [ whistles ] ♪ know today, know today - [ cat meows ] - ♪ know that maybe i will be okay ♪ [ chimes ] travelers can help you protect the things you care about... and save money with multi-policy discounts. are you getting the coverage you need... and the discounts you deserve? for an agent or quote, call 800-my-coverage... or visit travelers.com.
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rick perry's first republican presidential debate may have given him his biggest national audience yet. the texas governor certainly didn't shy away from repeating his explosive criticism of the social security system. listen to governor perry and then governor mitt romney's response. >> it is a monstrous lie. it is a ponzi scheme. >> our nominee has to be someone who isn't committed to abolishing social security, but is committed to saving social security.
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>> let's bring in democratic strategist paul begali for the democratic fund-raising groups priorities usa and uspa action and republican strategist alex costelanos. what is governor perry thinking calling social security a ponzi scheme. in iowa, florida, a lot of older voters. they hear him talking about social security which they love in this kind of way. it's got to get a lot of republicans nervous if he's the front-runner. >> a little trouble for governor perry. usually don't start presidential campaigns by starting grandma's hair on fire. that's kind of what rick perry did. he made a good point. really social security is a ponzi scheme in the sense that there's no fund for the social security trust fund. there's no money. it's broke. it's taking money from next generation and spending it today. he went farther than that. he implied if he could go back
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70 years and undue social security, he would. in his book he calls it a failure. if rick perry becomes a candidate who scares seniors and soccer moms, if he begins to lose against barack obama in a general election match-up, republicans are going to go wait a minute, we can't nominate this guy, we can't vote for this guy it's a dang tore the country. >> i know democrats are salivating at the thought thatment obama would face rick perry and have a fight over social security. the president defending social security. obviously rick perry saying what he's saying. >> i think the president would get the better of that argument. there is this great legend and i don't know if it's true. i learned from it. the jimmy carter white house said we want reagan. they got reagan. >> i don't know if that's true. i was around when jimmy carter
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was president of the united states and ronald reagan got the republican nomination and carter officials in the white house were high fiving themselves. they were celebrating with an actor. we can beat this guy. >> perry has an enormous amount of talent and i advise a prodemocratic pack. my view is he might win. we have to take this seriously. he wants to abolish social security. my mother and millions of seniors are living on. he thinks it's a criminal enterprise. we should take that very, very seriously. >> he registers a republican and vote for rick perry. >> he demonstrated strength. he knows what he is and what he believes. that contrast is very well. they take a weak president. >> wise enough to beat up your grandma. >> the seniors in florida vote in a lot bigger numbers percentage wise than younger
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people do as you know. >> republicans took over congress last time because in large part, president obama's take over of the health care system scared them and threatened their medicare. he cut a travel trillion from that. republicans really took over congress. we don't want to give the voters back. >> i want to you listen to your fellow texan because i know you are in texas. amazingly or not so amazingly, he went after carl row and dick cheney last night in that debate. listen. >> carl has been over the top for a long time in some of his remarks. i am not responsible for carl anymore. >> vice president cheney said it's not a ponzi scheme and you said it is. >> absolutely. if anyone else said that the prom we have in place today and young people who are paying into that expect that program to be sound and for them to receive
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benefits when they reach retirement age, that is just a lie. i don't care what anyone says. >> mitt romney said it can be reform and work for a long, long time. >> it's so great. it will work. try to tell seniors or young people it will not be there for them. it will unless we do what mitt romney wants to do. think about that statement. governor perry said that carl rove is too over the top? >> and dick cheney. >> that's like saying dennis rodman is too weird for me. he himself is over the top. i'm not sure we are in the him lay as. >> does that help? >> i think it makes him seem rationed politically. he ought to talk about what is important to voters. the debate is -- rick perry has to explain ha he would fix social security and not end it.
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he has a bigger problem. in that debate the other night, the issue of mandates came up. republicans don't like mandates. mitt romney mandated health care. in the debate last night, we learned about perry care. rick pery in texas mandated a vaccine to 12-year-old girls. he spoke about it and america learned about that. perry care in texas which he did with an executive order. who would have thought this would be a battle for the republican nomination. perry care visit romney care. >> it's interesting. republicans talk about fixing social security and i think about my dog. we fixed him and that which used to work well doesn't anymore. i don't trust republicans to fix social security. >> we will see how president obama ficks the economy. don't forget next monday the republican presidential candidates debate in tampa,
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florida. i will be the moderator with the tea party express and several tea party groups in tampa monday night, 8:00 p.m. eastern. the eight republican candidates will be up on the stage only here on cnn. as we get more details on the jobs plan, business leaders are giving their two cents to erin burnett who is standing by to join us live.
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to block pain signals for hours of relief. capzasin-hp. take the pain out of arthritis. >> per jack is back with the cafferty file. >> 10 years after 9/11, did the terrorists win? richard in kansas, let's see, we spent billions in borrowed dollars on security and invaded two countries and trillions of borrowed dollars with nothing to show for it. squandered sympathy or good will felt for us at the time and beinglogied for heavy handed tactics and the rise of right wing extremism here at home. that's a good day's work for any 19 men. bob in orlando, the terrorist diagnosis not win hoo and here's why. we still have democracy and our blood has been shed for freedom whether it's the revolutionary war or the wars in afghanistan.
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our country is safer now and the one thing that that stood the test of time is resolve. the fact is that we have the cowards on the run and we took the blow on 9/11 and continue to move forward. i get patted down every time i fly. having a repaired knee filled can screws and metal plates doesn't upon. a few months ago i was looking around and saw a team of tsa agents pat-down a crippled woman in a wheelchair and right across was a breast-feeding mother and so was the baby. >> we lost. we are are still afraid and we are broke. every metric of health and happiness. jeffrey in california said bin laden won and put the leaders in a fear frenzy and they panic and overreacted. trillions of dollars and thousands of lives have been wasted with no guarantee that the groups of terrorists cannot
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attack us at any time. the war is a war on the fabric of america. if you want to read more about this, go to the blog, cnn.com/cafferty file or "the situation room's" facebook page. >> thank you. >> you are in "the situation room," happening now, it could be make or break. a moment for this tuesday. president obama about to unveil one hour from now his plan to boost jobs and jump-start a flat lining economy amid fears that the united states potentially is on the brink of another recession. the gridlock deeper than ever before. the republican party has its own plans to send the president embarrassing messages tonight. some republicans are planning to boycott the speech all together. cnn is covering this pivotal address from every angle including what it means for all of you and when the president
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speaks we will bring it to you live. we want to welcome viewers in the united states and around the world. you are in "the situation room" let's go straight to our chief white house correspondent. jessica, i know that it will be an hour before we hear from the president, but they are releasing excerpts of what he is planning to saying. >> that's right and we know the president wants to dramatically switch gears from the gridlock we felt in washington when congress was last in town. now a sense of urgencey and action for congress to get business done. one of the excerpts, we have the president will say tonight "the question is whether in the face of an ongoing national crisis we can stop the political circus and actually do something to help the economy. expect political rhetoric and lots of specifics and something
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the president has been criticized for lacking in the past. a sense of urgency in the speech and a call for the congress to act now on the plan." >> what's going to be the specific message that the president would deliver to the republicans who are the majority in the house and the senate. >> pass the message or he will accuse them of essentially holding up the u.s. economy. in the speech, the president will say "there should be nothing controversial about this piece of legislation. everything in here is the kind of proposal that has been supported by both democrats and republicans, including many who sit here tonight and everything in this bill will be paid for. everything." . we should point out no indication that the white house has consulted with or briefed top republicans on what's this this bill, but they said in the past many of these revisions are things that republicans have supported. his top aides have said in the
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past that if republicans especially in the house don't get on board and support these measures, they will take their case to the american people. so wolf f that happens, hello campaign 2012. >> sorry there a bottom line tone the president will bring forward? >> in essence, surgencey and action and switching gears from a sense of government stuck in gridlock that can get something done for the american people. >> we will stand by with us. thank you. not every republican member of congress is attending tonight's speech in the house. the gorge why representative paul brown and the illinois representative claim the president is campaigning. they plan to meet with constituents and said the republican presidential candidate is station out there on the campaign trail and at least three lawmakers are heading to their home states to contend with emergencies.
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demint said he is tired of speeches and plans to read the text. the florida senator said he is dealing with pressing family matters and david bitter had planned to host a party for tonight's nfl season opener in his home state and saying the packers will be the game. now he will attend. let's go straight to capitol hill where john boehner could be looking to embarrass the president a little bit tonight. the people he is invited to join him in the will gory and congressional correspondent is looking at part of the story. what's going on here? >> seems that the house speaker john boehner at least wants to send a message to the president in the people he is invited to speak in the box. they invited about a dozen employers that he said are suffering because of the president. because of overbearing excessive federal regulations as you know
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and as we talked about. coaling back federal regulations in the area of labor and the environment as well as in the health care arena. that is a major focus of the jobs agenda. listen here to house speaker john boehner when he was asked about the guests he invited. >> all year, we have been focussed on the regulatory onslaught. there hundreds and hundreds of regulations that will cost hundreds of billions of dollars. that raises the cost of doing business in the united states and makes it more difficult for employers to expand their business and in many cases forcing employers to relocate their facilities overseas. denying americans the opportunity to have those jobs. i think bringing those employers here does put a real face on how these regulations impact these businesses specifically.
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>> now, the employers, if you will, that house speaker john boehner invited to be his guest this evening come from a range of industries. two of the most well-known names that our viewersville recognition of is the head of white castle and the head of gibson guitars. that as a guest has raised eyebrows around here. our viewers may remember the headlines recently as federal agents raided the company as they have been investigating and importing of wood. no charges have been filed and it raised eyebrows around here. john baper said that company is suffering from excessive federal regulations. it's interesting that you were just speaking to jessica talking about the tone that the president will try to put forth to move away from the gridlock. it seems that john boehner is trying to send a clear message
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of where the house republicans say about what will grow job and who he has chose tone sit in the box this evening. >> kate baldwin uppo the hill for us. thank you very much. let's stay up on the hill. our chief correspondent is up there. john, why did the republicans decide normally after the president delivers a half hour or 40 minute address, there is usually a republican response that they get the air time as well. they decided not to ask for that. why? >> number one they try to play down the speech. this is not the state of the union. republicans try to cast this as a political speech and the president is giving this speech because he knows he is in danger of having a tough reelection campaign. this is not a big event and a national event. we should not respond. that's the public line. there is also a political element to this in the sense that some conservative members will say everything that the
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president proposed is awful. we don't like it and won't support it. some in more vulnerable districts might need to say i want to work with the president. i like that specific proposal. if the president would give us this, i will work with him on that. you have a republican majority that has to defend that in a year in which we know the approval numbers are way down. voters are mad at the president and all incumbents. different republicans give different answers. the speaker making the decision that we won't elevate it and we will give all of our members a chance to answer their local news media. watch the television stations tomorrow to see how different and varied they are among republicans especially the house republicans we are are in competitive races come 2012. >> listen to this clip. this is the speaker once again. john boehner is taking a dig at the president.
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>> this is not a state of the union address. the american people shouldn't be forced to watch a politician they don't want to listen to. most of them would rather watch a football game >> he is referring to the opener of the saints and packers game that will air later after the president's speech. when he calls the president some politician, he's the president of the united states after all. that was a nice dig there. >> it is a dig and he is saying they don't want to listen to me responding. it is a dig. we have seen this play out. there is a war of wills going on between the democratic president and the house speaker. john boehner is trying to be representative to stand up to the president and don't give him any more stimulus money. some have a political argument and don't give him anything and help us win. speaker baner is taking the hit for the caucus. he knows if you talk to republicans privately in the
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house and the senate, they realize that something is likely to get done. if the president gives them ground, the republicans say they are willing to give ground on the other things. look for the house. the republican run house to pass separate incremental jobs. some of it the president may like and some he won't. when it gets to the senate, the posture is because it will cost more money and look for things to cut to pay, they want to fold all of it into a super committee that has the political challenge of more cuts for deficit reduction. >> thanks. stand by for a moment. the president just tweeted on twitt twitter@barack obama, i am going to congress to present them. watch and join me in urging them to act, signed bo. he is using twitter to try it get interest going for his speech. this is not the first time
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president obama is taking his this push for new jobs to congress. listen to this. >> now is the time to jump-start job creation and restart lending and invest in areas like energy, health care and education that will grow the economy. jobs must be the number one focus in 2010 and that's why i'm calling for a new jobs bill tonight. >> all these investments and innovation, education and infrastructure will make america a better place to do business and create jobs. >> let's bring in our analyst, glor gloria borger. the earlier clips from the president tonight. >> john boehner said this is not a state of the union, but it is kind of a state of the union speech. we are hearing it in september. the white house made concerted decision here to raise the stakes for this presidential
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speech. they believe it will convey a sense of urgency and lay down a challenge to the republican-led house to pass some kind of jobs legislation. this is a president whose leadership numbers suffered and they think this is their moment and there could be a real risk for them here. they think this is their moment to shot american public they can lead and they are going to send up legislation and as one senior white house adviser said earlier today, he is going to challenge the congress and if they decide they don't want to go along, they have to tell the american public why. >> the past couple of three days, most of the major headlines out of the package, it will be more, about $450 billion as opposed to $300 billion. that's a significant piece of information. why do you think they were unveiling slowly the details in
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the days leading up to tonight's speech as opposed to leting it come out as big surprise. >> i'm not sure. i think they were trying to build an audience to the speech the president told me they were trying to hit the reset button and after the debt ceiling fight, they wanted to reset the agenda in washington and the narrative for his presidency. gloria said they are trying to snake and get the win. they look like they are trying to block it. the president has a lot riding on this. he may get a very small audience. 15 in all so far. the numbers have been going down. it may sound like same ole same ole. the biggest difference is the republicans may give him a bill and not much may happen. a lot of the spending in this
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bill is to keep things going. not to create fresh jobs. to keep the brakes on the payroll taxes and not let them expire to keep benefits going. that doesn't create fresh jobs. >> there is no doubt that there is enormous concern at the w th into a whole worse economic situation, maybe even a double dip recession. >> right. i think there some people who would like to do more than they are proposing. there is also concern that people do not see barack obama as a leader. you see his leadership ratings were at 70% when he was inaugurated. now they are almost half that. a little bit more than half. they understand that they have a real problem. the people that barack obama can
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pick on are the ones who are doing worse. those are members of congress, particularly the republican congress and the republican-led house. that's what he is doing. he is going to essentially pull a harry truman. they don't do what he wants them to do. he will run against the congress and say it's a do nothing congress. they are very, very worried on the the white house. they top the do what they can and understanding that there aren't that many tools left in the box. >> as important as the politics are right now, let's not forget, 14 million unemployed americans and millions more who are under. ed the and millions who have given up hope of fining a job. for these people and so many people who do have jobs who are worried about losing the jobs if there is a downturn, the stakes are enormous for the president and the republicans in congress
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as well >> absolutely. the republicans have a lot -- they are in real danger. they overplay their hand. wolf, i think what this speech is going to expose, between republicans and democrats over how to cut the deficit. increase versus spending cuts. there deep differences between the pears over how to create jobs. the democrats want to spend money targeting construction workers and targeting and trying to help people who are unemployed and the like. the republicans want to create a different environment through regulatory and tax reform which was fundamental and they will have a hard time reconciling the philosophies. that is going to be -- we may come out with a small bill. i am hopeful they will come out with a small bill. whether they can change the direction of the economy is a much tougher question. >> hold on because we will take
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a quick break, but both of you are staying with us for coverage leading up to the speech. our post speech analysis as well. much more coming up. we are only about 45 minutes or so away from the president of the united states being introduced before a joint session of the house and senate. we will have live coverage and speak with a rising star in the house of representatives. a tea party supporter she is standing by live. much more coverage when we come back.
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. >> let's get republican insight in the president's big speech tonight with joint seg of congress. the congresswoman from south dakota who is a member of house of representatives. thanks for coming in. >> thank you for having me. >> it is fair to describe you as a tea party supporter, is that right? >> i have a lot of ideals that agrees with the tea party. a lot of my supporters are members of the tea party. >> you support reduced taxes per everybody. >> do i. i think we need it to create jobs and i think it should be
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fair. we have a need for tax reforms and that's one of the goals that i came here to accomplish. >> can we assume that all the tax cuts that the president unveils tonight for the middle class and the payroll tax cuts and tax cuts for businesses that hire unemployed individuals, they have automatically to support the tax cuts. >> i am always in favor of the american people keeping more money in their pockets. some of those tax cuts may be appropriate and some may not. i'm looking for something effective. people want real solutions. >> which tax cuts, you know the outlines of what he's talking about would not be effective would you oppose voting in favor of? >> i haven't seen anything that the president laid out so far or a lot of the gossip talking about what he melee out. i haven't seen any of them. i am totally against it. as far as i'm concerned, i am willing to talk about anything. you open to increased spending to build bridges and
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new roads and better schools and hiring more teachers. first responders. those ideas are going to be in the president's plan tonight to get jobs going. is that something you can support in. >> we try that already and it wasn't effective. we lost more jobs and i'm looking for things that will work. our kids are the ones who will be paying for it. when i look at spending more, do i want my kids and your kids and everybody else's kids to have to pay that bill? we are not going it pay for it. >> when you say they lost more jobs, there have been increases and there were zero jobs created in august. it hasn't gone down 100,000 or 500,000 or 700,000 as was the case in the final months of the bush administration. >> we're haven't seen a long-term increase. people talk about the jobs it was supposed to create, it
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didn't have the intended effects that everybody was hoping for or that the president and administration was hoping for. it's time to lay solutions on the table and new ideas. when i talk to people who own small businesses and who are the job creators in the country, they want the regulations gone. they want to stop giving them more requirements that cost more money and time because they spend more investing dollars rather than hiring people and putting them back to work. >> the proposals for the wealthiest americans or big corporations who are making billions in profits, the president presumably supports all of that. is that something you categorically reject? >> a lot of what the president talked about is raising taxes on the small business and job creators. i'm note in favor of doing that, there is tax reforms we can do. we close loopholes and exceptions that were put in. honestly, we have a convolute
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and complicated tax system. that is the government picking winners and losers. that needs to stop. it needs to be more fair and we need to broaden the base. >> would you support closing the loopholes that require general electric to start paying income tax or exxon-mobil making billions to stop getting tax breaks? would you support that? >> we can talk about all kinds of specifics and some of those if we can say they would create jobs and not increase the cost for american people out there, those are solutions we consider. >> those wouldn't be tax cuts. they could be itax increases. that would be in effect for them would be tax cuts. one final question, are some of your colleagues, joe walsh in illinois they decided to boycott the president am coming before a joint sefgz congress.
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you will be there? >> absolutely. it's unfortunate that people don't hear the president speak. sheet leader and he has solutions, hopefully he will cast a vision. we need everybody at the table and we need to fix this for the american people. >> from south dakota, a wonderful state indeed. thanks very much. i know you will be walking into the house floor very, very soon >> thanks, wolf. >> from south dakota, a republican. the president getting ready to leave the white house. we will show you live pictures. you see valerie in the red over there getting ready to drive over with the president and the first lady. she will be up in the gallery with the first lady. tonight the president momentarily will leave and make the short drive in the rainy washington, d.c. weather up to capitol hill. about a half hour or so, he will walk into the house of representatives. there is the chief of staff getting ready to go over for the
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speech as well. you see them walking out and then the president and first lady will walk out momentarily as well. he doesn't have an umbrella. he will get wet as he goes into the cars and we will watch the motorcade. an important speech by the president of the united states. much more coverage here on "the situation room" hey can i play with the toys ? sure, but let me get a little information first. for broccoli, say one. for toys, say two. toys ! the system can't process your response at this time. what ? please call back between 8 and 5 central standard time. he's in control. goodbye. even kids know it's wrong to give someone the run around. at ally bank you never have to deal with an endless automated system. you can talk to a real person 24/7.
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it's getting dark here in washington and raining. that's the white house. the president and the first lady getting ready to lead. the limousine is getting ready to take them to capitol hill. it's a short drive and the president goes from pennsylvania avenue to capitol hill.
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that is an important speech. you will see all of it right here in "the situation room." let's bring in erin burnett, the newest anchor, the host out front. the new program that debuts here on cnn this fall. erin, we expect the president will announce an extension of unemployment benefits. you have to get that through congress. what impact does that move have overall on the economy and job creation? >> it's interesting. this is one of the biggest hot topics when it comes to stimulating the economy i found interesting studies today that show that when you increase the time where people can get unemployment benefits, we are at 99 weeks, that increased the amount of time people spend out of work between 5 and 11 weeks. a lot of people in this economy
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wait rather than taking a lower paying job. they wait until the unemployment benefits run out. when the benefits run out, you see a jump in the number of people who didn't have jobs getting jobs. it doesn't mean it doesn't work, but there will be a political fight on whether we get enough bang for our buck. there studies done by institutions on the well of the and the right that conclude that extending the pen fits increases the rate. that will be a big fight for him to get through. >> a major part of the initiative. let's be honest. washington gridlock and there is a lot of that right now. that could really kill any thought of an economic recovery. >> for could. you know what's amazing, wolf. the frustration with washington and the lack of leadership is felt by the american people and also by business leaders and big and small companies. when we talk about gridlock, we can debate the merits of that,
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but big picture. we haven't gotten clarity on a lot of things that business needs. the reform bill, some of the most crucial components of how much people have to put down on a mortgage. it's gridlock and a lack of finishing the job. it adds up to a lack of confidence. >> one thing the president is going to say is that so many of the parts of his plan which he will unveil are things that republicans always supported whether infrastructure and tax cuts for the middle class and he is going to be concerned i assume that just because he supports it, there will be a knee jerk reaction to hate him. >> for helps the president make his case and supported a payroll tax cut and call for the extension today. he wants them to pay less to the social security part. the president's hope is that republicans supported tax cuts
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and the idea of an infrastructure bank in the past. yes, we have supported those in the past, but we can't afford them now. that's one of the arguments or b, it's not working. part of the challenge is yes, it's a political and policy speech, but it's a psychological challenge. what we have seen in this economy, people are so nervous and in such a funk. 8 of 10 americans think it will stay the same or get worse. even though they be getting tax cuts, that is usually what happens. they are afraid it could get worse. people signed on and said they will stimulate the economy and there is a lot of evidence saying people are so scare and so in a funk, they are not spending it. >> they are sensitive through this notion that the president is anti-business and anti-big business. wall street will be watching this speech tonight by the
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president. we will see how it reacts tomorrow. what are they saying up in new york. the big business community about this president and how he deals with business. >> they are not thrilled. i am telling you something that you already know. when it comes to tonight's speech, they don't think it's rhetoric. they care. i talked to people and said do you care and will it be just hot air? they care very much. to john a point, they are for a payroll tax cut even if they don't get the benefit. talking to a lot of them, a lot of people were enamored with obama and voted for him. even self-described republicans and they are feeling disenfranchised now. that's the big shift i have seen. these folks did support this president in this election. >> the speaker john boehner getting ready to walk in. he will be of course up right behind the president and vice
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president. joe biden, the president of the senate beginning to come through the statuary hall. they walk in andy we are watching to see if they stop by our cameras and say a few words. this is at the white house. it's raining and the president momentarily will be walking outside with the first lady to drive up to capitol hill. some of the what the president john king will be proposing tonight, he said all of it will be paid for and no net increases in spending. some of that will come from increased taxes. any chance the republicans will support increased tacks to pay for some of these initiatives? >> at the moment, no. the way we understand the president will suggest it, down the road a couple of years starting to increase taxes on the rich. it's the same debate we had so many times before. the bush tax cuts are about to expire.
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the talk of tax reform. most people thought not until the next presidential election and we will see who wins the whou white house. it is possible to have a tax reform conversation in which you lower tax rates for everybody and in washington, you get more revenue. you are taking away a lot of loopholes. in terms of the president, most tell you how he wants to pay for things, it's dead-on arrival. that doesn't mean there won't be a jobs bill. the house will pass and the senate is part of the super committee and most people think they think the best way to get it through the chamber where you know they need that to put the jobs provisions in the bigger super committee legislation. you have to pay for it. when you have to pay for it, you
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talk about cutting defense spending and getting into medicare and that's where you have what we went through which was ugly and polarizing and partisan and convinced most of the country that washington doesn't work very well right now. at times it looks like a daycare center. >> they are getting ready and walking out from the south of the white house to get in the motorcade. the president and first lady will be walking out very, very soon. on the right of your screen, the floor of the house of representatives and the members are inside, a lot of them are inside and many, many more will be walking in and members of the core will be inside. members of the cap net and others who will be coming to listen to the president. this is not a formal state of the union address. they are there getting ready to hear what he has to say. he will see the president leave momentarily and show our viewers
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that ride. they are opening the door and i suspect the president will walk out. as we watched the white house and the president and first lady getting ready to walk out, i think it's fair to say, there they are. the first couple, the president and first lady i'm sure he has a new tie on for this special occasion, getting ready to drive in rainy weather out to capitol hill. when i say -- there she is. the first lady. >> that is a beautiful dress. >> when are i say the stakes for the country, the country right now are enormous, forget about
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the politics. you agree with me. the stakes are enormous and there is fear of a double dip recession. >> there is enormous fear. bernanke spoke to a club in the midwest and he really used words we don't always hear from him. the chief of the federal reserve and he is reserved. he is not a scintilating speaker. he used words like trauma and crisis and depress and distressing to describe where we were and set gauntlet down. listening to him speak, i interpreted that he was trying to make a fair claim and a time and a place for austerity when it's early like we are not making a decision. that was the message he was trying to send. you don't try to cut before you are growing again. that's something the president will take to support his plan to spend more money. >> miserable rainy night here in washington, d.c. as we look at the live pictures of the white house. we will go back up to capitol
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hill in a moment. our special coverage leading up to the president's speech before a joint session of congress on the economy and jobs. our coverage continues after this
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looking at live pictures of the white house. you saw moments ago the president and the first lady got into the limousine and the motorcade to drive them to capitol hill. the president will be addressing a joint session of congress within the next 20 minutes or so. there you see john boehner is getting ready with the vice president. he served as president of the senate. the numbers are gathered on the floor. e president wi be introduced and walk in. they have been introduced to the members. it's a night a lot of people will be anxious to see the specifics of the president's plan because it has potentially if it gets passed by congress, it will have the potential of changing things around to watch the president of the united states with our democratic strategist, our republican strategist watching as well. listen to the speaker as he
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speaks >> joe biden with the vice president and senate majority and minority leader. they sit up there behind the president together with the speaker. biden is the president of the senate, but his only responsibility is to break the tie if there is a tie, 50-50, the vice president breaks that tie. sometimes that is very, very significant. former vice president dick cheney reminded me that the bush tax cuts, there was a 50-50 vote and he broke the tie and the tax cuts went into effect. let's listen in briefly as the vice president chats with members >> good to see you. thank you.
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good to see you. >> about 15 minutes, that's why you see a lot of empty seats there. the vice president meeting members there. i see a lot of democrats and not a lot of republicans. some are boycotting this session. is that smart? is it smart for republicans to boycott the president of the united states speaking before a joint session? >> i'm not so sure that they are boycotting him. they are just not interested in giving him another -- >> he is boycotting because he doesn't believe in the president. >> they're see this as a political speech and not a speech about turning the economy around. in that sense i think you get what you give in politics. with the president going to congress to play politics, he gets politics back. >> sorry that a big or a little
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deal? >> wolf, the republicans complained they didn't have a seat at the table and voters got an opportunity to govern the country. they have basically acted as if they had no plan and no interest in helping to create jobs. the president tonight is going to lay out a very important jobs program. >> there they are. the vice president and the speaker. let's listen in. [inaudible] >> you can't really hear them other than birdies and nine
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holes. always dangerous to speak if you are not sure the microphone is open. kate, where exactly are you? what do you see? >> if you are looking in the chamber, i'm in the upper gallery where i have a great bird's-eye view. traditionally, the republican members of the house and senate will sit in across the way where the members of the house and senate would say also in the moments there is a jovial atmosphere coming together in the room. john boehner said say he was encouraging them and gave the footnote and the aside that he can't force them to as there were many, many members of his conference. other members as republican conference actually are not attending because of the flood situation for a couple of members members have been flooding in
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and i will tell you that the center aisle, the prime location for seating is where many members have been taking out the position since early this morning. some members on the democratic side have been staking out the position to save their seats which is not necessarily technically allowed. you have to be holding the seat and physically holding the seat. they can get the picture and the photo opportunity shaking the hand with the president. a lot of hand shaking going on right now. >> right in the middle of the screen, lindsay graham and dianne feinstein are shaking hands. that's a classical moments and the house and the senate.
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raise your hand and wave to the viewers. >> we are not supposed to gesture to the camera. >> i won't be able to to sit here. >> she has a good view of what will happen. we will check back with you period cally. john king is watching what's unfolding right now i don't know about you. i have been watching the democratic and republican presidents for a long time. i get excited seeing the pomp and simple. give us your thoughts. >> it's an interesting moment. huge not only for the president, but everybody on the ballot in 2012 and the republican speaker john boehner. she trying to defend his majority. we spoke focussed on the presidential election, but next year is conkweshl for speaker boehner. if you saw with the vice president getting up there, they had a jovial embrace. they are joking about golf.
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they do get along. there have been example where is the vice president working with leader mcconnell and speaker boehner helped broker compromise. you will hear harsh criticism and that doesn't mean something won't get done in the end. as we wuch the president at this moment, we should remember this is the lowest political point of his presidency. his approval rate suggest low and when it comes to handling the economy are low. the first time you see a no name republican seeing they vote republican than democratic for president and you see him in a tie race with the front-runners. fear the greatest weapon in politics. the republicans do not fear this president. many democrats or liberal interest groups do not fear this president. you've seen criticism already from some democrats saying it's not big and bold enough. you see criticism from liberal groups saying don't extend that social security payroll tax cut because that undermines the
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social security program 5, 10, and 20 years down the road. so, at a time when very few people in politics fear him, how does the president rally the country? he's not speaking to the people in that chamber tonight, he's speaking to the people out in the country trying to say you need to work with me, i'm trying to help you, and because of his own political weaknesses, wolf, i think the external factors are in some ways more important. what you were just talking about before, the legitimate fears of a double-dip recession. a fact that a lot of the republicans have to protect their own political interests. it is those dynamics that can push to a compromise that can pu get pushed forward. >> maybe kate has the answer, they're not sitting together, the republicans and the democrats, they sided this is one of the nights when the democrats will be on one side, the republicans on the they are side. is that your information? >> reporter: i had heard that
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there's a possibility that maybe a couple -- a couple republicans and democrats could be sitting together. but by and large, especially from what i'm seeing here, it's back to, if you will, the traditional seating pattern with republicans on one side and democrats on the left. the bipartisan seating plan that we saw at the state of the union seems not to have extended to speech, wolf. >> let me bring john avalon, one of the cnn contributors, into the conversation. the gridlock, if you will, john, the fact that democrats and republicans basically don't want to do anything together right now, what do you make of it? >> i think that's a source of enormous amount of frustration in america against washington in general, anger at both parties. anger at the economic situation and the stalemate and the reality of divided government is the only way we can see action on the economy is if they find some bipartisan legislation. the president's obligation in the speech is to define some common ground and the real question is whether republicans are so invested in opposing the president politically that they will turn their back on policy plans they backed in the past.
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that's one of the many questions that we're going to be see answered during the speech and in the aftermath. but the american people and independent voters in particular are disgusted at the dysfunction in washington. they're angry at the hyperpartisanship and they realize they've got to find a way to work together to break the logjam to see some progress on the economy and there are a couple areas where we might be able to see progress. like an infrastructure bank if that's in the speech. >> it's interesting as we saw the picture of the vice president joe biden and the speaker john boehner together. gloria, you know, i know that the president -- he has a pretty decent personal relationship with john boehner, but there's some concern that maybe john boehner, you know, he's not necessarily able to deliver all of his own republicans. let me listen to hear what he has to say. >> the joint session will come to order.
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>> all right, i guess the speaker is trying to get everyone to sit down and take their seats. gloria, go ahead. i wanted you to weigh in. >> wolf, it's like they're all coming back from their summer break and they haven't seen each other and that's why they're so noisy. >> hold on, gloria. >> let's escort the president of the united states into the chamber. the gentleman from virginia, mr. cantor, the gentleman from california, mr. mccarthy, the gentleman from texas, mr. ens ensarling, and the gentleman from georgia, mr. pryce, the gentle woman from washington, miss morris rogers. the gentleman from texas, mr. carter. the gentle woman from california, miss pelosi, the gentleman from maryland, mr. hoyer, the gentleman from south carolina, mr. clyburn.
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the gentleman from connecticut, mr. larsen. the gentleman from california, mr. becerra. the gentleman from maryland, mr. van hollen, and the gentle woman from new york, miss opal. >> the president appoints the following senators as members of the committee on the part of the senate to escort the president of the united states into the house chamber. the senator from nevada, mr. reid. the senator from illinois, mr. durbin. the senator from new york -- >> they're introducing the delegation that's going to escort the president of the united states, the leaders of the senate, the leaders of the house, democrats and republicans. they will bring the president in. he'll be obviously warmly received, and then he'll deliver his remarks, some of which won't necessarily be warmly received especially by the republicans in the house of representatives and the senate. gloria, i interrupted you, but go ahead, finish your point. >> well, you asked about john boehner's relationship with the president. i think they do have a warm relationship, but when i talked
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to senior advisers at the white house, it really seems to be a sense, wolf, that john boehner is a captive of the freshmen in his caucus, the tea party republicans, if you will. and that there are many times that he believes he can get something done and do some things as in that grand bargain that he was -- he had almost done with the president, but then he goes back to his caucus and he gets pulled back. so, while they like john boehner personally, they believe that his hands are tied, and that very often he cannot do what his instincts tell him to do, you know. he's been around a while and he's a legislator who wants to get things done, but there have been some difficult moments for him particularly during the debt ceiling crisis. they like to work with him, but they're not always sure he'll deliver. >> good point. jessica yellin has information on the president and the speaker as well. jessica, what are you learning? >> reporter: hi, wolf, one white
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house official confirms that the president called speaker boehner and senate minority leader mitch mcconnell today to brief them on the contents of the speech. we've talked significantly about the fact that they believe that a lot of the measures are bipartisan measures that they should be able to support, but they've not consulted with the republicans, while there had not been prior consultations, they have gotten the courtesy phone call in advance, and it's particularly the tax credits, tax breaks, tax measures in the package that the white house is quite optimistic that the republicans in one way or form will support ultimately even if they don't support the entire package down the road, wolf. and i will say that while gloria's absolutely right, that while white house officials are concerned that the republicans are captive in the house to their freshmen caucus, they're also optimistic that there are elements of this deal that will ultimately pass in pieces, even though there's no actual overwhelming sense that the whole plan will ultimately pass in the end.
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they like it, but they don't think it will pass, wolf? >> all right. we just heard the sergeant at arms introduce the diplomatic corps, the ambassadors who are in washington. the chief of protocol, just walking in as well to the various ambassadors. i don't see a lot of ambassadors walking in, but we did see the dean of the diplomatic corps walking in. usually there are a whole bunch of ambassadors as well, but not necessarily tonight. david gergen, originally the president wanted to deliver the speech last night, but there was some sort of miscommunication. any big deal as a result of that fallout? >> not a big deal, but it is odd for the president to be going at 7:00 at night as a prelude to a football game. but the news in the last few minutes, "washington post" has just reported the package itself has grown to some $450 billion. now, the president i think has got a good shot of getting elements of that package
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through, but $450 billion of new deficits is a nonstarter for a lot of folks. >> david, you can see the first lady walking in, first lady, michelle obama, walking to her seat. there you see dr. jill biden in the red dress applauding her over there. giving each other a little kiss. as we watch this, there are special guests that they invited tonight. go ahead, finish your thought, david. >> the republicans will rally to some of the tax cuts. but at $450 billion if that's the number, that's rapidly going to be called stimulus two. you know, stimulus one when the white house proposed it was $830 billion and this is half as big as that there and there are a lot of republicans, especially republicans, who didn't think it worked. and they'll come right at them. a package that big will please democrats but it will give republicans something to come back on. >> all right. let's listen to this introduction.

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