Dec. 7: President-elect Barack Obama - Meet the Press | NBC News
Transcript of the Dec. 7, broadcast of NBC's 'Meet the Press,' featuring President-elect Barack Obama. The photo above on the left was taken from the video of a press conference as from a Meet The Press program that aired on NBC on September 7, 'Meet the Press' transcript for Sept. 7, TOM BROKAW: Our issues this Sunday: Senator McCain accepts the Republican Party's nomination for president of the United States. We'll ask him in his first Sunday morning interview as the Democratic vice presidential nominee; Senator.
The Holy Catholic Church. Many of these empires, movements and ideologies are long gone and have been destroyed and those that remain will meet the same fate. But the Church is still standing and She will stand until the end of time.
She is the light on the hill and she proclaims Truth which is unchanging and constant. I will save this topic for another time. Mr Obama, you may have the powers of hell on your side but they are no match for the Kingdom of Heaven. Evil has already been defeated and as of today you and the Democrats have chosen which side you are on. If you all continue down this path until you leave this world then your fate will be sealed. A fate I would not wish on my worst enemy.
One thing is assured, I will pray for those who have chosen to embrace lies and darkness that they may turn to the light and embrace truth. So what should you take away from this? This action can destroy credibility and aid the enemy. The Anti-Christ forces will ultimately destroy themselves. The Truth will always prevail and only the Truth will set them free.
Let's talk about some issues.
Let's begin with Iraq if we can. There was an enlightening exchange this past week between Senator Obama at the top of the ticket and Bill O'Reilly of Fox News, talking about the surge, which has been a point of contention in this debate. Bill O'Reilly said, "Why can't you acknowledge that the surge was a success.
Bill, what I've said is, I've already said, it succeeded beyond our wildest dreams, which is Right, so why can't you just say, "I was right in the beginning and I was wrong about the surge"? Because there is an underlying problem with what we've done. We have reduced the violence He is talking about political reconciliation, but he also said that it has succeeded beyond anyone's expectations. This was your take on the surge at that time, so let's listen to that, Senator.
He may be the only one who believes that. Virtually no one else believes it's a good idea. It's not a victory, as Senator Lindsey Graham said the other night Or as John McCain said. Or John McCain said, but the conditions are in place, and Anbar province, where you have been, where there had been so much difficulty, the Iraqis now have taken over that province.
We have brigades that have Sunnis and Shia serving side by side But it's a process, and it's beginning, and the surge made that possible, did it not? The surge helped make that--what made is possible in Anbar province is they did what I'd suggested two and a half years ago: They turned over and they said to the Sunnis in Anbar province, "We promise you, don't worry, you're not going to have any Shia in here. There's going to be no national forces in here.
We're going to train your forces to help you fight al-Qaeda. The awakening was not an awakening by us, it was an awakening of the Sunnis in Anbar province willing to fight.
Cooperating with the Shia.
Cooperating with--no, they weren't cooperating with Shiite. They didn't cooperate with the Shiites. Once the awakening got under way. No, they didn't cooperate with the Shiites. It's still--it's a big problem, Tom. You got--we're paying bucks a month to each of those guys. Now the problem has been and the, and the promise was made by Maliki that they would be integrated into the overall military. That's a process that is beginning in fits and starts now, but it's far from over.
Far from--look, the bottom line here is that it's--let's--the surge is over.Tim Russert Interviews Barack Obama
Here's the real point. Whether or not the surge worked is almost irrelevant now. We're in a new deal. What is the administration doing? They're doing what Barack Obama has suggested over 14 months ago, turn responsibility over and draw down our troops. We're about to get a deal from the president of the United States and Maliki, the head of the Iraqi government, that's going to land on my desk as chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee saying we're going to set a timeline to draw down our forces.
The only guy in America out of step is John McCain. John McCain's saying no timeline.
Barack Obama On Meet the Press Sept. 7, 2008?
They've signed on to Barack Obama's proposal. But the surge helped make that timeline possible, did it not? Well, it did help make it possible. But it's not the reason. Look, they also--take a look at the analysis, Tom. They say the reason why there's such success against the, the insurgency is because of now small, very well trained counterinsurgency units. It's not the numbers, it's the type of units that are in there. What I was arguing about before was we have the wrong units in there.
We have the wrong kind of force in there. We weren't focused on counterinsurgency. And so look--but, but, but the bottom line is we can argue about whether the surge was good, bad or indifferent.
Let's assume it was all good. The truth of the matter is, what do we do now? What's John McCain going to do when he's president? He says he will not sign on to a timeline, number one. Number two, he has no, no idea, no suggestion how he's going to deal with the neighbors. He has no idea how he's going to deal with Iraq.
He has no idea how he's going to deal with Syria. He has no idea how he's going to deal with Turkey. We have laid out a clear plan.
But two years ago you were the principal author, along with Les Gelb of the Council on Foreign Relations, of an entirely different kind of plan.
You were promoting heavily the idea of a confederation, or a partition. That's exact--not, not a partition. You guys keep saying that. It was never a partition. Or the--we'll make it a confederation. That's what it was. But the--but terms of real political terms, it would quickly become a partition. Absolutely, positively not true. You think that the Kurds in the north and the, and the, and the Sunnis and the Shia would just say, "Oh, we can all get across--get together across lines," without having a prescription There was a central government that had power, but there was more power given to the localities like exist right now.
Tom, tell me, what's changed up among, among the Kurds? You still not--cannot, under the Iraqi constitution, send an Iraqi army up there. You still not--cannot fly an Iraqi flag up there unless you get permission. Tell me what's happened in Anbar province. It is de facto exactly what I said. Everything that's working in Iraq has been the bottom up approach, not a strong central government imposing. And the truth of the matter is the only way you're going to make this--sustain it, the question is, how do we leave and leave a stable Iraq behind?
Without a political settlement, Tom, we're going to be back there in another year or two or three or five. But are you encouraged they're moving toward a political settlement? Yes, I am encouraged, because they're doing the things I suggested. They're localizing it, Tom. That's why it is moving toward some mild possibility of a resolution. And if you were to now follow up--if John McCain as president, would follow up like we will as president and say, "OK, how do you get the rest of the neighborhood in the deal?
And every--you know, this talk about how this has been such a great success, look where we are now in the Middle East. You now have a Shia-dominated government close to Iran.
When Ahmadinejad comes, he kisses him on both cheek and seeks permission. So give me a break about how this is such a great political success. We have the bravest soldiers in the world.
I said at the time of the surge, if we sent introops we could tamp this down immediately, shut it down and end all violence. But that would not solve the problem. What do we do when we leave? And that's the hard work, and that requires the region as well.
And you don't hear a word from John about that--John McCain. You don't hear a word from Sarah Palin about that. But you do now from the administration. The administration's now signing on to Barack Obama's plan to set a timeline, to--not the exact plan, but to set a timeline to draw down American troops. Five years from now, do you think Iraq will have relative stability and democratic principles in a central government? If there is an Obama-Biden administration, yeah.
If there is a John McCain administration and Sarah Palin, I think it's probably not going to happen, because John does not view this in terms of the region. I never heard him speak about how he's going to integrate Iraq into the region where you have these competing interests that exist. And I, I, I just--now, John may have an idea. I've never heard it. And by the way, that Biden proposal, 75 senators voted for it, including the majority of the Republican Party.
But the Iraqi government didn't like the idea. Well, the Iraqi government--Maliki didn't, but the rest of the government liked it. But he is the head of the government. Yeah--by the way, it is their country, but he's the head of the government, but he's the head of the government whose popularity is very much in question, and the election itself.
You had a whole lot of people--look, here's going to be the key, Tom. They're about to have regional elections. Let's see how they go. Let's see how the regional elections go. Pray God they'll go well for the sake of all of our sons that are there. Let's move on to some domestic issues. The country's waking up this morning to the news that the federal government's about to move in on Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.
They're in serious trouble at the moment, but they're in a free fall, in effect.
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The government reorganized them, it appears that they're going to pump in some fresh capital on a quarterly basis, but shareholders will have their shares greatly diluted by this move.
But the preferred shareholders--China and other governments that have invested in Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac--will not suffer, because the government will prop them up. Well, no, it's not fair, but I don't think that's what's going to happen.
I talked to Secretary Paulson last night.
I'm not at liberty to lay out what he told me, because he should announce it today. But there's three principles that have to play here for this to work, in my view.
One, you have to make sure that you help homeowners and stabilize, at the same time, financial institutions. Secondly, you got to make sure that you're not bailing out shareholders vs. And the third thing you got to do is make sure that they're still in a position to be able to continue to lend, because there is a need for them to continue to have this elasticity of being able to deal with the market.
Now, what I've heard the outline of, I am--I want to wait till I see all the detail, but if it meets those three principles, then I think it has a great chance of succeeding. And as I understand it, whatever proposal Secretary Paulson is going to make is a proposal to get us over this hump of instability and uncertainty.
Senator and presidential candidate Barack Obama explains why he did not follow protocol during the playing of National Anthem at a campaign appearance and why he doesn't wear a lapel pin of the American flag.
This email is a hoax. We have noticed that the President began sporting the traditional US Flag pin on his lapel shortly after taking office.
The photos above were taken from the White House web site. The image on the right was taken of President Obama delivering a weekly address on January 24, Notice the US Flag pinned to his left lapel. Obama Explains his Failure to Salute eRumor: It is true that Obama was photographed at a campaign event in Iowa failing to hold his hand over his heart in salute of the flag during the National Anthem. But this particular eRumor, which quotes him as saying that the American flag is " It's satire, not an actual quote from Obama.
Other versions of this eRumor have been circulating the Internet including one popular variation about an account from a Meet The Press program that aired on NBC on September 7,