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Notes from the October 23, 2011 Broadcast of Meet The Press

October 23, 2011

This morning’s Meet The Press began with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton appearing from Uzbekistan. On the plan for American withdrawal from Iraq by December 31, Clinton reminded all that there should be no sense of surprise here. The withdrawal was a campaign promise of President Obama and the timetable was set by the Bush Administration. She cautioned, however, “No one should miscalculate America’s resolve and commitment to Iraqi democracy. And I hope Iran and no one else miscalculates that.”

Host David Gregory then asked, was the war worth it? Clinton, who voted for the Iraq war resolution as a senator, responded, “We will have to wait a long time for the Iraqis themselves to answer that.” Then added, ” I am proud the United States stood on the side of the fundamental freedoms we hold dear.”

Clinton also said she would favor a United Nations investigation into the details surrounding Moammar Gaddafi’s death. She closed with a ringing endorsement of President Obama’s foreign policy leadership and performance.

Next up was Congressman and GOP presidential candidate Ron Paul (R-TX). He defended his plan to immediately cut one trillion dollars from the federal budget by eliminating the departments of energy, housing, commerce, interior, and education.

Paul believes “undoubtedly” that the United States will maintain a military presence in Iraq. And he says the US drone attacks in Pakistan are illegal under international law and have no Constitutional authority.

He repeated his claim that taxation is theft. And he said the GOP presidential debates thus far have lacked seriousness. “We have to quite worrying about who is mowing Mitt Romney’s yard,” Paul said.

He closed by saying, “The people want changes. Whether its the occupiers or the tea partiers, they want some changes. They are saying, ‘enough is enough.'”

In the roundtable, two comments stood out. The New York Times’ David Brooks said foreign policy might play a bigger role than we all think in the 2012 presidential race. And former GE Chair Jack Welch said the problem with government regulation today is that it focuses too much on punitive measures rather than incentives to get desired changes.

Today’s Meet The Press transcript will be here.

Also follow the show on the MTP Facebook page, track Twitter feeds from host David Gregory, Meet The Press, and Executive Producer Betsy Fischer, watch the midweek PressPass interview, and don’t forget Gregory’s blog.

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