Sunday, April 29, 2012

'Fareed Zakaria GPS' Transcript (4-29-12)

Full transcript. Excerpt below:

ZAKARIA: So this sounds like something out of a murder mystery. I mean how do you think most Chinese people are reacting to this news that they're getting that this guy who was really one of the most admired people in China, from what we could tell, has suddenly been now revealed to be a corrupt hack or is being kind of painted as a corrupt hack by officials?

OSNOS: This story is unprecedented. I mean we're talking about the world's second largest economy, the most powerful men in charge. Bo Xilai was going to be perhaps one of the nine people running the country this fall.

And, now, he has been -- he has fallen from grace in the course of just a few weeks. And this has really left people's head spinning because, in the Chinese press, they're being told every day that this man was a criminal. This man who had been celebrated just a couple of months ago.

And this is very hard for the party to explain to people. How is it that a man who, evidently, is now a criminal, who's accused of wire-tapping his own peers, could have, in fact, gotten so high and been celebrated so recently. This is a problem that's hard to reconcile for the leadership.

ZAKARIA: And what is the larger point here because, in the Chinese press, he's being portrayed as a criminal and kind of a bad apple. But, obviously, this is also about a power struggle.

OSNOS: Yes, this is the part that's especially awkward for the leadership because what they've got is a case in which the details themselves are so spectacular. Let's think about it.

We've got a police chief fleeing to the U.S. Consulate in Chengdu seeking protection from the Americans saying that his boss's wife has murdered an English businessman, poisoned him in a hotel.

We've then got rumors coming up on the Internet and then eventually being confirmed by Western reporters that show that, in fact, the Bo Xilai family had assembled an enormous fortune. We don't know how large, but perhaps into the millions or the hundreds of millions of dollars that they were trying to move out of the country.

And the party has tried to say very carefully that this is a criminal matter, regard this as one bad apple. But what we now know, in fact, is that this is just the outward expression of what is a deep and intense political contest going on at the highest ranks of the Communist Party.

Student Demos Turn Violent in Mexico, 200 Arrested


Students demanding access to university hostels set fire to two police cars in street protests in the Mexican city of Morelia on Saturday that led to 200 arrests, local media reported on Sunday.

Masked men sprayed a police pick-up with gasoline and then set it ablaze with molotov cocktails on one of the busiest streets of Morelia, television images showed.

The protesters, mainly young men, were demanding local government funding to maintain access to student hostels from which they had were evicted by police.

Obama appoints top campaign bundler to Netherlands ambassador post

"Change" you can believe in?

President Obama has nominated a top campaign bundler to be the next U.S. ambassador to the Netherlands, following in a rich presidential tradition of granting diplomatic posts to big-dollar fundraisers.

The White House announced this past week that Maryland lawyer Timothy Broas would be nominated for the Dutch ambassadorship.

According to the Obama campaign, Broas has helped raise more than $500,000 for the 2012 reelection effort. By law, Broas cannot contribute all that money himself -- so he, like other so-called "bundlers," serves as a fundraising point person and collects money from others to donate to the campaign.

These bundlers are frequently rewarded with prestigious positions -- in the administrations of President Obama as well as his predecessors. The Center for Responsive Politics estimated that Obama nominated two-dozen fundraisers to ambassador positions within his first year in office.

"Face the Nation" Transcript (4-29-12)

Full Transcript. Excerpt below:

BOB SCHIEFFER: It seems like a lot of-- lot of campaign ahead of us.

HALEY BARBOUR: Of course, we do. But I think a lot of people in the news media and a lot of others were surprised that after a not very flattering nomination contest for Republicans, the first Gallup poll, Romney's ahead. In your poll, it's a dead heat. In other polls, it's a dead heat. I think a lot of people expected that Romney would be like Reagan was in 1980 when as, you know, Reagan was about fourteen points at this point. I didn't expect Romney to be behind that far but the fact that it's a dead heat right now after the Republican nomination contest, which wasn't as helpful as we might have liked it to be.

BOB SCHIEFFER: Mister Mayor, do you think it's that close?

ANTONIO VILLARAIGOSA (D-Los Angeles Mayor/Democratic National Convention Chairman): I think the country is evenly divided. I think it's going to be a very close election, but if you look at Governor Romney's record, the only people that will be packing, looking back, where the companies that he bought put in debt, and then had employees go packing, and he made a profit. If that's what he's going to do with the economy, then we're all going to be packing. I think it's going to be a very close election. It's going to be tough. The country is evenly divided, but I think ultimately that President Obama will win. And he'll win because he's got a record of defending and fighting for the middle class. Because he's set on addressing the deficit, but doing it in a way that's responsible, two dollars and fifty cents of cuts for every dollar of revenue.

BOB SCHIEFFER: So how about you, Governor, do you think it's going to be close?

HALEY BARBOUR: Not if President Obama tries to run on his record. I-- I would love to think that that's what they're going to do is run on his record, because the results of his policies have been terrible. The economy grew 2.2 percent the last quarter, according to his administration. I mean, after the last deep recession, the ec-- the economy was growing five, six, seven percent. We were adding jobs by the hundreds of thousands. This has been the most peeked recovery, and it's because of his policies, telling employers he wants to hit them with the largest tax increase in American history. How does that make employers more likely to hire more people, which should be our first goal? Obamacare drives up the cost of health care, drives up the deficit. So, yeah, I hope that this is a referendum on the President's record, because if it is, that's the best it can be for Republicans.

'Meet the Press' Transcript (4-29-12)

Full transcript. Excerpt below:


The question of who is Mitt Romney is on my mind throughout this program today and I asked Ed Gillespie about that.  The kind of campaign he would run.  Whether he would just focus on the president's record or would he be a guy to present big solutions to the big challenges that the country faces.  I guess the same question is also applicable to President Obama.  Will he spend his time simply tearing down Governor Romney as an alternative or is he going to run on a big idea for his second term?


Well, look, the biggest idea that we're running on is to continue moving in the right direction of fixing this economy.  Look, the last six months of the Bush administration we lost 3.5 million jobs.  And we know this about Mitt Romney.  He's not a job creator.  When he was governor of Massachusetts they were 47th out of 50 in job creation.

His experience is in downsizing and outsourcing jobs and bankrupting companies and walking away with a lot of money for himself.  His economic ideas are the failed economic ideas that we tried for eight years.  Tax cuts for millionaires and billionaires and letting Wall Street going back to writing the rules all over again.  That is the policies that got us into this mess.

This president wants to build on 25 consecutive months of private sector job growth, 4.1 million jobs.  And to really institute some strong values of fairness and responsibility.  Build an economy that lasts.  Invest in our children and in their college education.  Make this country strong.  Make this economy vibrant.  And continue on the path to adding jobs in it.

68,000 guns seized in Mexico since 2006 came from US

I guess those guns make Mexico a freer nation as NRA argues:

 68,000 guns recovered by Mexican authorities in the past five years have been traced back to the United States, authorities said Friday.

The flood of tens of thousands of weapons underscores complaints from Mexico that the U.S. is responsible for arming the drug cartels plaguing its southern neighbor. Six years of violence between warring cartels have killed more than 47,000 people in Mexico.

Video: President Obama at the 2012 White House Correspondents' Dinner

- Transcript