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tv   This Week With George Stephanopoulos  ABC  December 15, 2013 8:00am-9:01am PST

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good morning. welcome to a special edition of "this week," from vietnam. on edge. with trouble brewing across the globe, from north korea to iran, afghanistan to syria, we're traveling with america's top diplomat, the globe-trotting secretary of state, john kerry. what can he do to keep the peace abroad and keep americans safe at home? and how did his experience in war here in vietnam shape his world view? it's an abc news exclusive. plus, the republican free for all. >> i don't care what they do. are you kidding me? >> with speaker boehner in all-out-war against the tea party, who will win the fight? newt gingrich and robert reich join the powerhouse roundtable to break it all done.
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it's all, right here, this sunday morning. hello, again. i'm martha raddatz, great to have you with us from ho chi minh city, vietnam. we're here with secretary kerry. tracking developments here in the region including stunning news in north korea. the leader kim jong-un has executed his uncle and mentor and we're following several other developing stories this morning, including the funeral service for nelson mandela, prince charles and jesse jackson are among the guests for the private ceremony in mandela's home village this morning, capping a ten-day good-bye for the former south african president. ♪ meanwhile, back here in the city, formerly known as saigon,
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this is secretary kerry's first trip since he the vietnam vet has taken on his new post, a busy first trip for the son of a foreign officer, now the top american diplomat. just this week a dramatic shift in syria, is al qaeda gaining ground there? plus, those alarming new revelations over an american being held in iran. but, we start it off with that shocking move by north korea's young dictator which has rattled governments throughout the region. mr. secretary, want to get right to reports to north korea, that the young leader has executed his uncle, his mentor, one of the most powerful people in north korea, what does this tell you about the danger coming from north korea? >> well, it tells us a lot about, first of all, how ruthless and reckless he is and it also tells us about how insecure he is, to a certain degree, it tells us a
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significant amount about the instability internally of the regime, with the numbers of executions. this isn't the first execution, there have been a significant number of executions taking place over the last months which we're aware of, and most importantly, it underscores the importance for all of us of finding a way forward with north korea in order to denuclearize the peninsula. it's an ominous sign of the instability and the danger that exists. >> what does it tell you about him, we know so little about him? >> we don't know -- north korea remains relatively opaque, it is not easy, but we do have insights and the insights that we have tell us that he is spontaneous, erratic, still worried about his place in the power structure and maneuvering to eliminate any potential adversary or competitor and does
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so, obviously ruthlessly -- i mean, you saw the pictures of his uncle being arrested in front of everybody at this -- >> and this was so public? >> it really reminded me of a video that we saw of saddam hussein doing the same thing, having people plucked out of the audience, people sitting there sweating and not moving. this is the nature of this ruthless, horrendous dictatorship and of his insecurities. i think we need to factor that into the urgency of getting china, russia, japan, south korea -- all of us -- to stay on the same page, and to put as much effort into the denuclearization as possible. to have a nuclear weapon potentially in the hands of
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somebody like kim jong-un becomes more unacceptable. i want to move to the other headline, which is that of iran and robert levinson, the fbi agent who was reportedly working with the cia in iran. disappeared seven years ago. his family has confirmed to abc news that he did have ties to the cia. his family said that the u.s. government has abandoned and betrayed him and is getting lip service from the obama administration on their efforts for his release. >> has there been any real progress? >> there hasn't been progress in the sense we don't have him back. but to suggest that we have abandoned him is simply incorrect and not helpful. the fact is, that i have personally raised the issue, not only at the highest level that i have been involved with, but also through other intermediaries. we don't have any meeting with anybody who has something to do with iran or approach to iran
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where we don't talk to them about how we'll be able to find not only mr. levinson but we have two other americans that we're deeply concerned about -- >> do you have any -- >> we're working on several processes that i'm not free to talk about, but there are a number of different channels that are being worked and they're being worked aggressively. >> do you believe that the iranian government is responsible for his disappearance? >> i believe the iranian government -- i can't tell you what happened. i think the iranian government has the ability to help us here. and we hope they will. >> much more of my exclusive with secretary kerry coming up. but first, let's go to my colleague, jonathan karl back in washington. jon. >> thanks, martha. the other big news this week, work on the got back to work, a modest budget compromise announced by paul ryan and senator murphy. brought republicans and democrats together, imagine that, but could it tear apart the gop? tea party activists blasted the deal and speaker of the house john boehner fired back. the powerhouse roundtable is
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ready to take it on, but first here's jeff zeleny. >> are you kidding me? >> reporter: the look on his face said it all. speaker boehner finally fed up with the tea party. >> there comes a point when some people step over the line. >> reporter: is this an example of you finally saying no to the tea party? >> i came here to cut the size of government. that's exactly what this bill does. not only when you criticize something and you have no idea what you're criticizing it undermines your credibility. >> reporter: the deal that prevents another government shutdown. suddenly became a line in the sand for establishment republicans, like boehner and paul ryan, who have been tiptoeing around conservative activists for three years. what lessons have republicans learned from the last two months? >> i don't think you get anything from the government shutdown. the point is, we're not getting everything we want because barack obama is president.
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>> reporter: the right responded with a fire storm of criticism. >> the republican party absorbed we limb nating any conservative -- >> this deal increases taxes and this's bad for the country. >> i think john boehner is one of the prime examples of worthless, worthless republicans. >> reporter: and some republicans eyeing their own presidential aspirations piled on. >> the compromise also has to be a solution. it can't just be a compromise. for the sake of saying, i came to an agreement on something. >> reporter: a new front in a simmering civil war, where the republican establishment is firing back. for "this week," jeff zeleny, abc news, capitol hill. all right, let's bring in the roundtable. former speaker of house newt gingrich, robert reich, the former labor secretary, republican strategist ana navarro from cnn, and abc's own cokie roberts. so, speaker gingrich, the
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headline here is, there won't be a shutdown for at least two years. the republican party learned its lesson? is that what happened? >> i think it's clear they didn't work. in that sense they learned a lesson. i think this is brilliant politics. >> on whose part? >> on the republican part. it strips away the danger that people will notice anything but obamacare. and the longer the country watches obamacare, the more likely the democrats are to lose the senate. from the republican standpoint, if you can get to january 15th, and have eight or nine new senators, and say 20 more house members, that gives you enormously more leverage for shaping '16. >> so, if you were speaker of house, would you have done what boehner did here? >> if i was a speaker i would have run -- >> you were there? >> i was there. >> you remember when john boehner was the junior member, fighting you. >> i also remember later in my
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career i blew up exactly like he did. i think it's healthy. they worked very hard to get to this point. they were very battered by the shutdown. i think he thought, why not? >> got fed up with john boehner. i think he's right to be fed up. he tried for two weeks to accommodate the, you know, this very right-wing faction of the party, and they just couldn't be accommodated. the guy has had it. >> ana, why did it take two years? shouldn't he have done this a long time ago? he's felt this way for two years. >> in politics we talk about it as ablution. >> what happened here was the business community, corporations, wall street, they decided that the mavericks, the tea parties are just too dangerous, the shutdown scared them, but also, the default, the prospect of a default on full
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faith and credibility of the u.s. scared them. the chamber of commerce and a lot of business groups, we need to get into republican primaries and we got to prevent the tea party from intimidating. that is the big change that happened. it's money. >> the other big thing is -- money. >> it's not the money. >> it's the 10% approval rating of the congress. but it is now so poisoned and so to have him say, look, it's worst for us to be in this position, you had what you called the perfectionist caucus, mr. speaker, finally you get to the point, where you understand the politics are that you need to get re-elected as the republican house of representatives and that's going to be hard when people are furious. >> jon, the game-changer here was the shutdown. the tea party, the naysayers they really overplayed their hand in the shutdown. in the process they strengthened
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john boehner's hand. it's not only john boehner who got fed up, it was a lot of other republicans got fed up and worried about seeing what was a political destruction of the republican party. >> but it's not over, by the way. >> mr. speaker. >> the other giant game-changer was obamacare. if you're a semirational republican to sit around and say, it's one thing to say, gee, that didn't work. it's another thing to say to have this gigantic christmas gift to show up on your doorstep that said, please don't screw this up. >> which they did. >> covering the collapse of obamacare. not covering a fight in the republican party. >> before we celebrate this budget deal, which is really marginal, you know, it shows how low our expectations has become, this is almost nothing. the real shameful aspect of it is that, 1.3 million people are not going to be getting unemployment benefits on
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december 28th because congress did not, in this budget agreement, see fit to extend unemployment benefits. >> exactly. >> and democrats really didn't fight for it. >> because they're happy to see the republicans fighting each other over what's in the budget deal. >> to robert's point, just how modest this thing is, we heard speaker of the house gingrich say for deficit reduction -- speaker boehner, the other one. $85 billion in deficit reduction, out of $6.3 trillion in added deficits over the next ten years, this was about 1%. >> the brilliant thing about this budget is, you can look at it and make any argument you want. you can't tell whether it's deficit reduction or more spending. anybody can see in it what they want. that's exactly the point. >> we know what it does. it keeps the government going. it keeps us away from another crisis and it puts some money
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back into some domestic programs that are really screaming particularly scientific research. and defense. >> it does almost nothing for the poor. does almost nothing. title i, among secondary education, head start. given the widening gap that we'll be talking about hopefully later on in this program, this budget does not do one iota to improve this. >> you know, the white house, the president has said for a long time, any approach to deficit reduction must be balanced, meaning, it has to be tax increases on the wealthy as well as cuts, there are no tax increases on the wealthy here, did the white house wave the white flag on that issue? >> i think the white house wanted some sort agreement to say bipartisanship is back. and mayebe, maybe you can build
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on this little scrape of bipartisanship for some larger -- >> that's what you're hearing out of the white house. you're hearing out of the white house, he's saying now, i got this and now i can talk about immigration, now i can talk about income inequality. i can get to those other issues. >> potentially on this point, speaker gingrich, the conventional wisdom on immigration was, if you don't get it this done this year, it's not going to happen, but isn't the reverse true, if you wait until after the republican primaries? >> i think the house republicans will probably move five or six separate smaller bills, adding up to a large change, i think the president has indicated already that he would accept that kind of approach and i think they'll do that in the spring. i think the chairman wants to move something and i don't -- >> we'll have immigration reform including a path to citizenship. >> i didn't say that. >> it's possible.
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>> what comes out of the house is going to be a different bill what the senate passed. most definitely, the window for immigration reform reopens late spring/early summer. if it doesn't get done, then it doesn't get done. when john boehner hired as a new immigration staffer who was the person who was john mccain's right hand on immigration. it's unfinished business for her. >> her entire work has been on immigration. >> who came in particularly to help draft a house project. to help draft something that can pass political muster and policy. >> it can be like the com compromise of 1850. different people vote for different parts of it and then you get the whole thing through. >> you think it's going to happen? >> it's possible. >> i don't. republicans don't want to vote on anything that's pro-immigrant. or creating a way for immigrants
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to come in here who are now undocumented. >> i think there's enough republicans that are going to support something, because a lot of people want to get it done. a lot of people want to get it off to-do list. lot of people have a national vision and understand for the growth of the republican party in the future. >> can i offer a note of hope not undo cynicism? a do-nothing congress is not necessarily bad for the republican party. a congress that inspires sin michigan among the public among the capacity of government to do anything, it's not necessarily to what republicans have been saying all along about government. >> unless you own one house. unless you own one house. >> i understand robert's dream of a republican party sufficiently stupid. but i would suggest to you, what happened in new jersey is really, really important. christie got 50% of the latino vote, and that says to a lot of republicans that if you in fact
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are willing to lean forward and compete, and willing to pass systematic immigration reform, you might have a very different 2016 than democratic strategists expect. >> we should not -- >> it's about a republican party which is competitive in univision, competitive in telemundo. capable of having an argument. >> you have to have an immigration bill. >> five people on the right dividing up that vote then there's a path for bush and christie. but i want to turn to the other political development this week, which was, politifact awarded its lie of the year, it went to president obama, for his statement, "if you like your health care plan, you can keep it." first-ever lie of the year went to sarah palin talking about death panels. is it justified?
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>> justified or not justified? what the president wanted to talk about this week, there were 360,000 enrollees in november at the -- on healthcare.gov. in fact, he can't talk about that. i mean, the attacks on obamacare, on the affordable care act, have been absolutely relentless. it was a terrible mistake for him to say what he said. after a while you got to look at the fact that we have one of the most important reforms of the health care system, of the united states, ever in active. >> is it going to be seen that way a year from now? >> at the present rate of enrollment, we'll have over a million people enrolled. people will stop complaining. >> unless a year from now, people start seeing their employers dropping their health insurance. then, another wave of reaction against it. >> but you have to put this this
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context, over 5 million people have lost their insurance because of obamacare. now we have 350,000 who have found insurance, that's a pretty bad exchange rate. in january, you'll see ads on tv by attorneys that say, if you went to the hospital and found you weren't insured and you need to sue, call me a free consultation. >> you're going to be providing the ad. >> thousands of people are going to show up in hospitals and find out that they don't have the insurance coverage they thought they had. then the issue, you can't go to the cancer specialist you want because the government has approved very narrow networks. all of these compounding things come out next year. >> i mean, the notion that you could go to any doctor you wanted to -- >> now, the president is going to own a lot of it. >> a lot of it is self-inflicted injuries. the bottom line is, they launched a program that was not ready for primetime. they have been inaccurate, untruthful about a lot of the problems that have developed as
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a result of that. and they knew a lot of this and pretended they didn't. we got to take a quick break. coming up, much more with the roundtable. plus, a story that amazed us and will inspire you. the 12-year-old girl you won't forget. the pope back in the news this week, we'll tell you. he's been named time magazine person of the year for 2013. unbelievable. how much crack does a mayor have to smoke? to win "person of the year? >> pope francis was named time person of year. today, he performed his first miracle, he got people to buy "time" magazine. (vo) you are a business pro. maestro of project management. baron of the build-out. you need a permit... to be this awesome. and you...rent from national. because only national lets you choose any car in the aisle... and go.
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in the last five years - making bp america's largest energy investor. our commitment has never been stronger. back with more from the roundtable, plus a very special guest joins us, that's next. able, plus a very special guest joins us, that's next.
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a major piece of investigative journalism over a year in the making, played out on the front pages of the "new york times" this week, the series, the invisible child brought a dasani, a 12-year-old homeless girl on the streets of new york city to life. meet dasani. this is dasani, named after the bottled water, because to her mother it signified luxury. she's a proud 4'8" 12-year-old girl. among 22,000 strong that are homeless in new york city and this is what passes for a home, a 520-square-foot room shared with her parents and seven siblings in a dilapidated city-run shelter. >> i am going to college.
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>> schools a place where dasani can escape. >> pretty women wonder where my secret lies. i'm not cute or built to suit a fashion model's size. >> dasani has boundless energy, she dreams big, even her dreams are clouded by the despair that surrounds her. >> in your imagination, what does the perfect childhood look like? >> quiet. flowers everywhere. mom and dad always talked about a perfect childhood. yeah, mom and dad can be drunk in a perfect childhood. >> you think being drunk is part of the perfect childhood? >> yes, because when they are drunk, you ask them for anything, they tell you can do it. >> you really think a perfect childhood -- >> you said use my imagination. i used it.
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>> that voice was the "new york times" journalist, andrea elliott. andrea joins us now. i have to say, an extraordinary piece of journalism, maybe the most remarkable thing i have read this year. >> thank you. >> thank you for joining us. dasani, a remarkable young girl. >> she is. she is a remarkable girl. i would argue that her circumstances are less remarkable, because of the sheer size of this population, but this kid is curious, funny. her resilience was something that i really was curious about myself, how strength played a role in getting her through her day-to-day life. >> and grown up. i mean, she's 11 years old for most of the time you spent with her.
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but she's kind of a surrogate parent. >> she is. after spending a year -- more than a year with this family, was seeing how the very qualities that potentially could help her escape her circumstances -- her strength, her resilience, her her intelligence -- are also things that have been indispensable of carrying the family forward. she's relied upon to hold it together. this family struggles with a lot of problems, and so, the irony of her strength in the way that become a weakness. >> and you -- you know, you talk about how that number caught your eye, 22,000 homeless children, this is put in context, they couldn't all fit in madison square garden. >> right. >> but yet, this is invisible side of homelessness. we don't see these children as much. >> it's true, i find it really striking how, when i was with
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them, kind of just in their daily lives in new york city, how easily they remain on the margins and sort of in the shadows of city life, and part of it has to do with the fact, i think the experience of poverty in the united states is one that is more subtle than in other places that i have covered. so, in new york city, a lot of the garments, the clothing garments that are donated, that find their way to this family come from household of means. so, the children will be wearing used uggs and patagonia sweaters. poverty doesn't wear itself in such an obvious way and yet, what i think the family would say about that is, it makes more superior than poverty in other countries, when you consider the incredible gap what these children have and what they need in order to thrive.
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this child, dasani, and her siblings, is really gifted. she's an amazing athlete, great dancer, had she be borne into other circumstances she would be thriving. but she's merely surviving. >> describe the conditions. describe the circumstances inside a family homeless shelter. there is some 300 people living in this shelter. >> so, this is a shelter that is run by the city, and most shelters in new york city are actually run by nonprofits. but this shelter is definitely one that struggles with a lot of terrible conditions in a sense that there's mold on the walls, mice in their room, they were laying out traps every night and shooting video of the mice they would catch. they had to hang their food from a plastic bag from the ceiling, the food was served rancid.
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two of the children are asthmatic. one is legally blind. they shared this small space with, you know, ten people basically, doubled up on mattresses, in one small space for years. but i think that kind of compressed experience of living would make any family fall apart. >> incredible, and the photographs really bring it to life. but you're a mom, you got two young children. this is not like any other story. this had to affect you, especially a year, 15 months. >> it's very much opened my eyes, also as a new yorker, to a different experience of this city. and this is kind of where i came away with it again and again, was just the sense of, while new york is very much a place defined by what's out of reach,
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i mean -- most people feel there's something out of reach when they're living in new york, an apartment, or a job, but this is an population where everything is out of reach. i think that's what struck me the most being with these children day in and day out. and just thinking about how that experience is replicated, tens of thousands of times in this homeless population, but also by millions across the country, this sense that this is a country that is filled with promise that isn't for them. that isn't something that's attainable by them. >> and just, we're almost out of time, i can't imagine you're going to leave this story behind, i mean, i can tell from watching the tape, you've become close to this girl and her family. >> i remain a journalist. my role is as a journalist, the reporting -- when you're reporting on children it's a very different thing. you really do have to connect
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with them and talk about their feelings and their experiences in a way that draws them out and she's a very vocal child. i do continue to -- i hope to continue to follow them, yes. >> all right, andrea elliott, again, an extraordinary piece of journalism and a really important one. >> thank you. don't go anywhere. we have to take a quick break. we'll be back with more from our powerhouse roundtable, including their thoughts on the pope breathing new life into the church, recognized this week as person of the year by "time" magazine. much of martha's interview with john kerry. >> you saw a lot of deaths. but you also took a man's life, do you think about that? ou think about that? there's a saying around here, you stand behind what you say. around here you don't make excuses. you make commitments.
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this is just pure marxism coming out of the mouth of the pope. there's no such thing that unfettered capitalism exists anywhere. unfettered capitalism is a liberal socialist phrase to describe the united states. >> this was rush limbaugh recently attacking the pope. but this week, pope francis responded, telling an italian paper quote, marxist ideology is wrong. but i have met many marxist in my life who are good people, so i don't feel offended. of course, the pope was also named "time" magazine's person of the year. we're back now with the roundtable. cokie, after a year of pope francis -- >> not quite, march 13th. so, not even been a year, but it's been a remarkable year. >> what kind of impact? he's shaken up the church. >> he's shaken up the church.
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he has people loving him. our abc poll shows an 82% approval rating. he's fun, he's loving, he's kind, he's humble. and people are responding to that. but he's also saying very important things and what he's saying is basically what jesus said, and why this is making people puzzled is a very interesting thing, they clearly have not spent much time with reading the new testament. >> this pope is spectacular, jonathan. you know, i'm a catholic and i can tell you that, i was very disappointed with the structures of the church. i think what he's done to rehabilitate the church in a short nine-month period is amazing. church attendance is up all over the world. he has shown a heart. he has put the focus of church back where it needs to be, among the poor, he has shown compassion. after this pope, i think we only go for latino popes.
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>> you know, i think that he takes on supply side trickled-down economics. that doesn't make him a marxist, whatsoever. i think what he was saying was something that not only people in the united states, but around the world, are concerned about. that widening inequality in terms of what it's doing to our society. >> let me ask you, mr. gingrich, speaker, when you look at that issue of inequality, and this something that the pope puts front and center, and it's something that of course president obama talks a lot about, we saw the story about homelessness in new york, is this an issue that republicans should be talking about? >> absolutely. i mean, how can you justify the level of wealth in those big towers in new york city and the level of poverty in those
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alleys, and without talking about government say, surely a society that was endowed by their creator, with the pursuit of happiness, and come up with a better solution than 22,000 children that are homeless and i think that the republican party has an obligation to rethink some of its indifference to the very poor and i think i the democrats have an obligation to ask themselves after 50 years on the war of poverty -- >> wait a minute, public policy -- >> mr. secretary. the war on poverty. wire going to celebrate the 50th anniversary in addition to the civil rights act, the war on poverty was successful for a time, what has happened, however, over the last 30 years, is that much of the -- much of the ardor, much of the concern, much of what propelled that war on poverty has dissipated. >> it's also true, though --
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>> five years of president barack obama, we see the problem worse? >> the problem is worse, i think it has something to do, perhaps with the intransient of the speaker's party, every time there was a jobs bill, to expand low-income housing. >> robert -- >> we're talking about equal opportunity. equal opportunity. is at the basis. >> every major city which is a center of poverty is run by democrats. every major city. their policies have failed. they are not willing to admit it. the fact is the poor who suffer. >> wait a minute. >> first of all, bloomberg is not a democrat. secondly, what's happening in america -- >> a lot of these public policies -- >> a democrat in new york for 20 years. >> what's happening is happening all over america. wages, median wages are going nowhere, and rents are going up.
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there's absolutely no response to washington or elsewhere particularly, particularly, newt i'm surprised that you're not -- >> we're unfortunately out of time. obviously, a subject we'll come back to. back now to martha raddatz in vietnam. we're back in ho chi minh city for more on my exclusive interview with john kerry. and his take on those alarming developments this week out of syria. al qaeda appears to be gaining ground, taking over warehouses full of aid meant for american-backed moderate rebels. the u.s. has suspended nonlethal aid because islamist rebels took over a warehouse. how did that happen? >> it happened because there's a certain amount of infighting taking place within the opposition, and this is the nature of the beast that has been unleashed by bashir al-assad.
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he likes to play the card that he is the better alternative to these extremists. so, there's some indicators that he's even fueling some of that. but the problem is, you have some radical islamic elements there. >> so, what's the next move? >> the moderate opposition has been united up until recently. we believe they can still be united. we're aiming towards the geneva 2 conference in the latter part of january, we're committed to try to bring people together, a strong representation of the opposition, together with the assad regime represented, and maybe 30 or other countries, and all try to work in the same direction, which is to get a political settlement out of syria. >> when can you start the nonlethal aid back again? >> i think, very quickly. >> what are you waiting for? >> well, we already had some proffers to have the warehouse
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protected and other kinds of things. but i think people want to be careful, have the meetings that we need to have and make certain we can proceed forward thoughtfully. no one wants to fill up the warehouse again. and have it taken over again. that doesn't make sense. we need to make sure where we're going, but look, this is complicated, this isn't easy, you know, a year ago before the president started to focus on this and figured that we have to accelerate the efforts to get a political solution, nothing was happening, except fighting and killing. and a year ago, chemical weapons were being used and under control of the assad regime. now, through our diplomatic efforts, we're moving towards a peace conference. >> and you really think that's going to happen? >> countries are committed to going. >> john mccain says that the moderate opposition groups are losing, as a result, extremists are filling the void, and entire
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sections of syria, stretching deep into iraq, are now effectively safe havens for al qaeda, true? >> there's some truth -- yeah, it's absolutely true. al qaeda has greater clout there than it had before and it's an increasing threat and it's a threat that we're going to have to confront. but john also understands that the members of congress, with whom he serves, were not willing to put additional money in, in order to fund overtly and put money into the opposition significantly. >> let's turn to the war we're still in and that is in afghanistan, and there is very little progress, it appears with hamid karzai, the president who does not want to sign this security agreement that would allow u.s. forces to remain beyond 2014, making it clear that's what the u.s. wants to allow troops to stay beyond 2014. >> the u.s. wants success in
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afghanistan and success means having an afghan armed force that has the ability to sustain itself and provide security to the people of afghanistan, so they can continue on the road to developing their society, their institutions, their health care system, their education and other things that are happening today. when america went into afghanistan, martha, there were about 900,000 kids in school, they were all boys. today there are about 7 million to 8 million children in school and about 40% are girls. there's a huge transformation taking place. >> if we don't leave those troops there, can you guarantee that young women can still go to school over there? >> no, absolutely not. you can't guarantee anything. i think, if american forces were not there, i think there would be serious challenges with respect to afghanistan security. but, here's the but -- but i
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believe hamid karzai, either he or his successor will sign this. he needs to sign it. >> by when? >> we negotiated an agreement, that wasn't in place by the way a year ago, now we have an agreement that has been negotiated and he has said to me personally, as recently a day ago, reiterated through his minister that the language is fine, so we are very close to the ability to move forward and i believe it will be signed and i hope it will be signed as soon as possible. >> is there a cut-off date where you have to say you can't -- >> there is a cut-off date. >> first it was october, does it have to be by january? >> no, this needs to be signed as soon as possible. i think he understands that. >> how long do you want troops to stay there? >> well, that's up to the president of the united states and it's up to the process on the ground.
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but the president has already said we are prepared to be there a number of years going forward in a very different role, a very diminished role of training, and equipping. america will not be engaged in combat. >> but counterterrorism. >> we'll be doing counterterrorism. >> but that's combat? >> not directly. it can be intel gathering. it can be providing information to the afghans. that they act on. and in some cases it might wind up being kinetic by american forces. but the point is, it's not day-to-day combat against the taliban. on behalf of the afghan people. it's counterterrorism to fight against terrorists, al qaeda, and others, who are threatening american assets. and america itself.
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your first year in middle east peace. you got the parties talking, but has there been any concrete progress? >> yes, there has been. we have agreed not to be talking about what we're doing, because it just creates great expectations, it creates pressure, it creates opposition in some cases. this conflict was easy, this would have been done years ago, martha, it's confounded presidents and secretaries of state for 30 or 40 years. >> and you feel this time it's different? >> i think we're in a different moment now, and hopefully, the leaders will seize this moment and at least move the ball forward somewhat. >> we're sitting in ho chi minh city. you're a vietnam war veteran and an anti-war activist after the vietnam war. how much of your world view comes from your time spent here?
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>> well, obviously, some of it, martha, but one thing that i'm very, very careful not to do is, see everything through the lens of vietnam, that would be a huge mistake and it's informative. but it doesn't imprison me. it doesn't dominate me. >> thanks very much, mr. secretary. >> thank you. and much more of secretary kerry's reflections on his war-time experiences after this. i want you to be kind.ff
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i want you to be smart. super smart. i want one thing in a doctor. i want you to be handsome. i want you to be awesome. i don't want you to look at the chart before you say hi...david. i want you to return my emails. i want you to keep me doing this for another sixty years. at kaiser permanente, we want you to choose the doctor that's right for you. find your perfect match at kp.org and thrive. back with more of our exclusive interview with john kerry. this is his first trip back to vietnam as secretary of state. including to the city once known as saigon, a name that will trigger a lot of memories for a lot of americans. this city was the heart of the american effort against the north vietnamese.
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a war that in so many ways defined john kerry. this morning, an extraordinary moment, secretary of state john kerry in the maicon delta, back on the same waters he patrolled 44 years ago as a navy swift boat commander, a tour that earned then-lieutenant kerry a silver and bronze star. >> what i really remember about him is the sense of everybody's commitment to doing their job, getting things done, working together effectively. it was exciting, it was scary and exhilarating, and all of kinds of emotions, sad, it was all kind of things at the same time. but what really sticks with you, there was a camaraderie and a sense of accomplishment and purpose that was very special. >> you saw a lot of death, but you also took a man's life, do you think about that? >> yes, sometimes, sure. i mean, i think -- inevitably.
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but i don't get stuck there. i just, you know, i always refuse to get stuck there, kind of a purposeful decision, it happened. it is what it was. we were in a war. and it ended. my goal became the future. my goal became, how do we take that and make something better out of it? >> it's a goal that took him from anti-war activist. to a partnership in the senate with fellow veteran, john mccain, leading the charge to normalize relations with the government they fought against, and on this trip back, his first in more than ten years. reflections on a country the u.s. still criticizes for its human rights record, but where kerry says much has changed. >> the young people have a different future, where it's a marketplace, it's exciting, they have to do more on human rights, they have to do more with
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association. but it's gotten better in the last years. i think it's on the right track. >> a new vietnam, but also memories that linger, on his walk to church saturday, kerry passed the rooftop that was the sight of the last helicopter evacuation before saigon fell. you're a catholic. you went to mass this weekend here. you talked about the vietnam war, merely shaking your faith, how did you get that back? >> you know, i just thought about it a lot. i think i had a moment, where it just occurred to me that there still is a purpose in god's work, that defines itself sometimes differently from ways one might superficially think and, you know, you read the letters of st. paul and you
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read other parts of the scriptures and it talks about suffering and it talks about adversity and, you know, i sort of began to put that in a better place, not see it so much as a, you know, a determinative god that makes every decision but rather creates a framework in which we're responsible for making things happen. remember president kennedy's words, here on earth, god's work must truly be our own. i think that sums it up. now, we honor our fellow americans who are currently sacrifice and serving. this week, the pentagon released the name of one service member killed in afghanistan. that's all for us today. thanks for sharing part of your sunday with us. check out "world news" with david muir tonight. so long from ho chi minh city in vietnam. have a great day.
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>> in the news this sunday, remembering nelson mandela. the final tributes to the former south african president before he was lid to rest. and also a girl went to oakland children's hospital to get her tonsils removed. she's now brain dead. what the family say happened and how the hospital is responding. >> good morning from our sutro camara. can't miss the haze over the city. some waking up to freezing temperatures but others well above normal. i'll let you know if w
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