The Daily Rundown | November 21, 2012
>>> how do you say a person like susan rice is not qualified? you may not like her. i you may not like the administration. but don't say she's not qualified. she is the most qualified person that i'm sure any of you know, that the senators know. it is a shame that anytime something goes wrong they pick on women and minorities.
>> come on now.
>> i have a real issue with that.
>> that was ohio congresswoman marcia fudge lashing out at the critics of u.n. ambassador susan rice suggesting their attacks are sexist and racist. standing right behind her was my next guest, california democratic congresswoman karen bass , who is also a member of the budget and foreign affairs committee . nice enough to wake up this early for us. good morning to you.
>> thank you. thanks for having me on. good morning to you as well.
>> obviously there is a lot being talked about with susan rice . 97 colleagues wrote a letter to president obama urging him not necessarily to push her nomination forward if it were to come up for secretary of state. do you think that that letter is based on racism and sexism?
>> i think there are multiple issues and probably not. and i do think the letter is interesting. we started circulating a letter, too, and within 24 hours got over 60 signatures. and when we get started again, i know we can go above that. it makes no sense to have signature gathering wars from the house when we have no say over the nomination but, you know, i think about it this way. our ambassador who is still the u.s. ambassador to the u.n. is in the middle of dealing with the gaza crisis, the crisis in syria, the crisis in iran, the crisis in the congo. she is still our u.s. representative . and, to me, this really compromises us and makes us look ridiculous, i believe internationally. as far as i'm concerned, again, these are my colleagues on the other side of the aisle still recovering from november 6. the election is over. t petraeus spoke before the intelligence committees last week, you know. and one of the things he said was that her talking points were edited. the words terrorist and al qaeda were taken out for a couple of reasons. one, the intelligence was evolving and they didn't want to tip them off. we need to let this go. the fiscal cliff and jobs are far more important.
>> and let's talk about the fiscal cliff and jobs. in your time in california you worked on in the state assembly , a state hit hard by a fiscal cry crisis.
>> i sure did.
>> i want to talk to you about something you said in terms of medicare reform and medicaid. obviously republicans are saying, look, in exchange for any type of taxes going up, we want to see some real entitlement reform. you talk about cracking down on waste, fraud and abuse. is there enough revenue from waste, fraud and abuse and med medicare to get the type of serious deficit reform needed to bring down the $16 trillion debt?
>> well, you know, i think anytime you're talking about a deficit, there's two ways to bring it down, and i know you know this well. you're either going to raise revenue or have cuts, and i would continue to argue for a balanced approach which means i do think you can find savings in both programs. but what i'm concerned about is what the real agenda is and the real agenda, in my opinion, is to end medicare . i mean, that was certainly a big item in the presidential debate is changing medicare into a voucher program. so what i don't believe in is changing the fundamental structure where we break the guarantee to seniors that we've had in our country for decades. that i disagree with. finding savings, there are certainly ways to do that in both programs, but neither one is going to balance or is going to address the deficit without clearly raising revenue.
>> an interesting thing has developed among some of your fellow members in the house, democratic caucus , peter welch of vermont, if a deal is bad, that if it's too much taken from the entitlement side, that perhaps it's better to go over the fiscal cliff. get rid of the bush tax cuts once and for all and democrats can start from an even better negotiating position. do you support perhaps going over the fiscal cliff?
>> i believe that at the end that won't happen. i think that would have very tough consequences because you know we're not just talking about the bush tax cuts but the alternative minimum tax, talking about payroll taxes . we're talking with about the fix. so there are several things that would hit taxpayers. what the president has proposed and what i support is reducing taxes on 98% of the u.s. public and that is reducing taxes -- or keeping the tax cut in place for those who make less than $250,000. you know and i know that what tends to happen in these situations is at the last minute things get resolved. i don't think they will be resolved as big as tax reform , but i do believe we will resolve it and will not have to result in the united states going over the fiscal cliff. i think it would send a very dangerous significaal around the world, but it would also compromise our economy.
>> and, quickly, there's a lot of speculation about what type of deal, what the deal will actually look like, talks perhaps coming to an agreement to have a mechanism in place that would have sizable deficit reduction and have sizable entitlement reform in 2013 , a little bit now, a lot later. do you think it's possible in the lame duck to do a big deal or get a blueprint in place by january 1st ?
>> well, my best guess is, and it's just a guess, is that we have a blueprint and that we do make some changes. but that a commitment is made, not something as extreme as the sequester but a commitment is made for tax reform and other reforms that take place in 2013 , but that we do enough to get us through the end of the year. i don't think it will be a completely kicking the can down the road because we can't because as my good friend from vermont says, you know, everybody's taxes will go up. i can't see that happen. i really can't.
>> representative karen bass from l.a. laker land, thanks so much for waking up early for us. happy thanksgiving.
>> thanks for having me on, luke. same to you.
>> take care. the 2016 speculation will tell you who is passing up a chance to run for office. we'll get to that in a bit. and bittersweet bankruptcy. a new development in the snack cake saga. the latest on the last-ditch effort to save the famous twinkies. the market rundown is next. first today's trivia question. how many members of congress lost their races for re-election in 2010 but won re-election in 2012 ? i'd like