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State of the Union
Protests in Tahrir Square; Interview with Ed Gillespie; Interview with Romney Campaign Adviser Carlos Gutierrez, Congressman Luis Gutierrez
Aired June 24, 2012 - 09:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
CANDY CROWLEY, CNN ANCHOR: The hope of last year's Arab Spring turns this year to an uncertain Arab summer. You are looking at live pictures of Tahrir Square in Cairo. What we are awaiting today is an announcement from the Egyptian government as to who has won the election. This has been a runoff vote.
I'd like to bring in to our conversation here Christiane Amanpour, our chief international correspondent. She is also global affairs anchor for ABC News. She is alongside our CNN's international correspondent Ben Wedeman in Cairo. Thank you both.
I don't even know what question to ask other than how do you think this is going to come out? Ben, let's start with you.
WEDEMAN: Well, I mean, this is the question that the Egyptians have been fixated on for quite some time. The results were supposed to be announced on Thursday, but that announcement was postponed because the electoral commission wanted the look into more than 400 irregularities, obviously this is a critical turning point for the Egyptians following their revolution.
It is not necessarily the choice they wanted. They have a choice between Ahmed Shafik, very much a holdover from the old regime, or Mohamed Morsi, of the Muslim Brotherhood. Many of the people who pulled off this election didn't want anything to do with either of these trends.
CROWLEY: And Christiane...
AMANPOUR: And indeed, Ben.
CROWLEY: Go ahead.
AMANPOUR: Yeah, go ahead, Candy.
CROWLEY: I was just going to ask you, I mean the military has been in charge. I just wonder on the streets how much trust there is in the military when this announcement is made as to who won this election, won't we have one side not believing what the result was?
AMANPOUR: Well, listen, this is is the fear of everybody, and it is a blistering hot and blustery day today. And to be frank, it reflects a lot of the sentiment. You've got quite a heated group, not violent of course, but a lot of words and rhetoric coming out from Tahrir Square right now. And it about the military. They are saying that they're going to have an extended sit-in no matter who is announced the winner because as you rightly mentioned the military has in effect hijacked the democracy that was being transitioned here into Egypt.
If you take the fact that they dissolved the parliament, which by most accounts, including the U.S., including here in Egypt was a pretty free and fair election, it did in fact go very heavily towards the Islamists, both the Muslim Brotherhood and the more hardline extremist Salafists really had the biggest bloc in parliament.
And so there is a lot of doubt about the military's intention to hand over power no matter who wins here. And as Ben was mentioning, look, half of the country is split -- it's between the old guard Ahmed Shafik, and the new Islamist who many people don't want to see in power. But there are so many others who didn't even come out to cast a vote. There was quite a low turnout because of what they felt was kind of a difficult choice to make in this instance.
But the truth of the matter is what will happen once the election result would be announced, and we were expecting it to happen right now, at the top of 3:00 here in Cairo. If it is Ahmed Shafik who was Hosni Mubarak's last prime minister, will the Muslim Brotherhood accept it and keep their people from being violent? They may continue to have sit-ins and occupy Tahrir Square, but will it necessarily become unrest? That's what we're all waiting for.
And if the Muslim Brotherhood wins, then how will that play out, especially as the military right now retains all effective power in this country.
WEDEMAN: And I think Christiane, it's important to note that many Egyptians believe that is regardless of who wins, the military retains most of the control. They have legislative powers, they can base -- they can make up -- they passed the budget, everything.
Back to you, Candy.
CROWLEY: I want the bring in -- I want you all to stand by -- don't go anywhere. I want to bring in now, though, in our studio former U.S. ambassador to Egypt Edwin Walker and CNN foreign affairs correspondent Jill Dougherty.
Mr. Ambassador, first to you, this seems no matter how you look at, to be a real diplomatic mess for the U.S. no matter who wins.
WALKER: I think we have a real problem no matter who wins. It is going to be very difficult for us to work with a Muslim Brotherhood, particularly since we have been isolating and ignoring them for the last 30 years. And it is not going to be very helpful to be working with Ahmed Shafik, because of credibility.
This is the real problem with this election. No matter whose name goes up there, does either man have the ability to lead the country? And I would say that the answer is no. CROWLEY: And what are the implications of that for U.S. policy in the Middle East?
DOUGHERTY: It is very complex, because Egypt is critical. It's a fulcrum of and a very, very influential country in that part of the world. So whichever way it goes, and especially if it devolves into chaos, it is a very, very severe repercussions for the United States. And it's a dilemma, too, because as the ambassador was saying Morsi is an Islamist.
Now, it's true that if he were to win, he'd had to get a coalition. So some of that could be diluted. But it is a problem.
And if Shafik wins, it undermines the impression that this was an honest election even though, you know, who knows who actually won.
So, that is -- either way for the United States, it raises questions. And it raises questions about the money, the funding that the United States gives to the military.
CROWLEY: Right. More than $1 billion a year which basically we have sent to the Egyptian military which has really grabbed power. They been in a huge power grab since the Arab Spring.
WALKER: Well they have. And what they have done most recently is made it virtually impossible for anybody to lead the country as president, because they have taken his powers away from him. Now, I think that the United States has a huge interest in our military, in our cooperation with the Egyptians. And remember, there is another election coming up very shortly in Libya, which could be influenced by this.
So, look, the whole area is unstable.
CROWLEY: It is in flux.
I want to bring back Christiane and Ben Wedeman who are there overlooking Tahrir Square. Again, we are just sort of waiting for this announcement. It sounds like either way this goes, there will be complications for the U.S.
But talk to me about the reaction on the streets. What would we expect if Morsi doesn't win?
WEDEMAN: Certainly, if Mohamed Morsi wins, these people behind me will be very happy. And it is not expected that they will turn to violence in any way. And the feeling among many people here is that the Shafik supporters are not organized into a political bloc or a political party, and therefore their reaction will not be violent.
There may be a somewhat violent reaction, for instance, on the Cairo stock exchange, the business community is very concerned about the repercussions of a Muslim Brotherhood president even though at the end of the day, he has very little in the way of power. The army still runs this country. AMANPOUR: And I was interviewing Mohamed Morsi shortly before the election. And I asked him the questions that you have been talking about there with Ambassador Walker and Jill, what will it mean if this pivotal country here is run by the first ever Arab Islamist head of state to come out of the Arab uprisings. I asked specifically, do you see the country more like Turkey or Iran, and he was very cognizant of the fears of the rest of the world has about the Islamists, about the Muslim Brotherhood. And he tried to really sort of take a quite moderate accommodating line.
But clearly what is going to happen is that foreign policy in this part of the world will for the first time start to take on the voice of the people. People can no longer ignore the population. So if Morsi wins, there will be an element of playing to the people.
I asked him all of the important questions that we all look at in terms of how there are barometers of what Islamists will do. And one of the issues is women. And we had quite a confrontation, because I am a woman, and he said, listen, I understand what you are saying, we will respect women like all of the citizens of this country, we will respect Christians. We will respect all Egyptians. This it is not an Islamic democracy, it'll be a democracy -- Candy.
CROWLEY: Christiane Amanpour, our chief international correspondent. She's also global affairs anchor for ABC News. So wearing lots of hats today. Thank you, Christiane, we will be back with you and Ben Shortly.
I want to get some quick reaction here to you all, because the one thing we have -- country we haven't mentioned -- Israel.
WALKER: Well, this is terribly important for Israel, because both candidates in their own way have said they're going to look at that treaty between Israel and Egypt again. Morsi has been more specific about wanting to redo the whole thing. That's not going to be possible. You can't just tears up the peace treaty and start over again.
So for the Israelis, it is a huge gamble here. I think that they would very much prefer to see Mr. Shafik win. I don't know that have anything to say about it. But they probably keeping quiet, because anything they say will work only against them.
CROWLEY: Make it worse, yeah.
And Jill, quickly, we have about 30 seconds left?
DOUGHERTY: Big picture, I would say Arab Spring: great hope for democracy. This election, regardless of who wins, is not a good symbol of this move to democracy. It undermines that in the eyes of people in the region, and that is very bad for everybody.
CROWLEY: Not what we thought would happen. You all are going to stick with this throughout the hour. CNN, of course, is following this. And the minute we know and can see that an announcement is about to come, we of course will take it. CROWLEY: Right now, though, Mitt Romney has gotten all tangled up this week in issues, except the one he wants to talk about, the economy. Romney campaign senior adviser Ed Gillespie is here next.
CROWLEY: We are looking at live pictures of Tahrir Square in Cairo, the site of so much hope in the spring of last year. Right now so much tension in that square as Cairo, all of Egypt, and the rest of the world await the decision -- or await the results of a presidential election. Their first democratic pick of a president, but lots and lots of questions of who might have won that election, and there are many ramifications.
We, of course, are sticking with that story, but joining me right now is Ed Gillespie. He is one of Mitt Romney's senior advisers.
Ed, thanks for letting us squeeze you in here as we sort of -- the world never waits for us no matter what.
ED GILLESPIE, ROMNEY SENIOR ADVISER: Thank you for squeezing me in. Good to be with you.
CROWLEY: I want to first get your response to a Washington Post story that said while your candidate was at Bain Capital, a firm he started, that Bain invested in several firms that specialized in exporting American jobs to low-salary countries, India, China, it's an old story.
As I understand it, it is the folks that you get that aren't in the United States that answer customer service questions, et cetera. How does that sell in the heartland that has been hit by the loss of manufacturing jobs and, you know, lots of blue collar jobs?
GILLESPIE: Candy, this was incredibly shoddy journalism. The fact is this was a breathless headline over a baseless story. I would encourage you to have the reporter on your show, I hope he goes on a lot of shows, and ask him to demonstrate one of the companies cited in that article that moved American jobs overseas while Mitt Romney was at Bain Capital -- that Bain Capital that invested in.
And I don't believe you will find that he can cite any. So it is just factually inaccurate...
CROWLEY: So he did not invest while -- Bain did not invest in any company that shipped jobs overseas? GILLESPIE: When any of these companies in this article -- which is what we highlighted and went back and reviewed, and could not find any. And I would encourage you, again, have the reporter on. He has injected himself into the campaign, obviously, and I think that he should be subject to the kind of fact-checking that campaign assertions are subject to.
And I would welcome CNN, encourage CNN to ask him to produce evidence of a single job of a company cited in that story that Mitt Romney was, you know, with Bain at the time that moved an American job overseas, and I don't believe you will find one. CROWLEY: Since I don't have him here, but I do have you here, what I am getting at is that while he was head of Bain, let's forget the story, while he was head of Bain, did Bain invest in and advise companies that did ship American jobs overseas? You are saying no company at Bain did that while he was there?
GILLESPIE: Well, I am not aware of that. But I think what happened in the story, as near we can tell, is that the reporter confused the notion of outsourcing. Now a lot of American companies outsource, they outsource domestically though, as well.
For example, the Obama for America campaign outsources from its own campaign telemarketing services...
CROWLEY: To Omaha or wherever it is.
GILLESPIE: Yes, exactly.
CROWLEY: Right. I understand that.
GILLESPIE: And CNN may outsource some video...
CROWLEY: But we're talking about foreign jobs here, right.
GILLESPIE: ... editing projects, so I think the reporter confused the notion of outsourcing, which happens all of the time when you don't do all of your services in-house, you go outside, to moving jobs offshore.
And, yes, there were companies that Bain invested in that did engage in outsourcing, a lot of companies do, obviously. That's an economic model that makes sense.
CROWLEY: But your statement today is that those companies, while he was head of Bain, did not outsource jobs.
GILLESPIE: In The Washington Post, which is what we went back and looked at.
CROWLEY: So those specific companies.
CROWLEY: But there may be other companies. You are saying those specific companies cited didn't...
GILLESPIE: Candy, those are the -- those are the ones we checked because that was the story. And, again, I would encourage you to have The Washington Post reporter on, see if they can, you know, demonstrate to you or to American voters the validity of the headline that was on that story, because like I say, it was a breathless headline, but a baseless story.
CROWLEY: Let me ask you about another story, in The New York Times, I'm sure you saw it, which said because of the contracts that Bain put out there and got signed from various companies that they invested in, that even when these companies went down, workers were laid off, they lost their pensions, et cetera, et cetera, Bain always made a hefty profit.
Again, there is nothing illegal about that. You know, Bain was there to make a profit for its investors. But it is such a hard sell to what right now is the core of Romney's support, isn't it? Which is that -- you know, the working class voter who has seen so many of those jobs go away?
GILLESPIE: Well, let me just say, you know, in terms of the Bain, I think Bain put out a statement that said that in that story, they confused fees for profits, and that they didn't make a profit in those instances. But I will refer that to Bain.
But the fact is that when Mitt Romney was involved with Bain Capital, it was very successful in generating jobs. You look at companies like Staples and others...
CROWLEY: But you don't know that because -- there is no records, you know, we are always kind of arguing in the vacuum here.
GILLESPIE: Look at Staples, Candy, go look at a Staples, there are a lot of jobs when you walk into a Staples.
CROWLEY: Sure. And Staples was. But a larger picture we don't have because we don't have the records for that company or no.
GILLESPIE: Well, we do actually -- let me tell you the larger picture that we have that since President Obama took office, over 500,000 Americans -- 500,000 fewer Americans are working today.
There are 23 million Americans who are either out of work entirely, are underemployed, not working full time, but part time instead of full time, who have left the workforce entirely as a result of his policies.
The fact is we just saw last month that we have had the lowest postings of new job openings available by American companies in five months. We have had more than -- well, we've had 40 months of 8 percent unemployment or higher. And we have seen a decline of family income by $4,300.
That is the big picture, Candy, and that is what Americans are focused on going into November. CROWLEY: Let me ask you a couple of things. When I had David Plouffe on last week, and I asked him several times, what is your plan for the second half of an Obama administration, should he get re- elected?
It seems to me that Mitt Romney is also open to this question, because when it comes to immigration reform, here's what we know.
CROWLEY: We know he wants to do it in a civil, bipartisan way and have immigration to include something like what the president did by executive directive.
GILLESPIE: What we don't know is, A, will he keep the directive in place while he works out immigration reform in a more holistic manner?
GILLESPIE: Well, a couple of things, Candy, we saw what the president did this week was to take a short-term --
CROWLEY: Since time is short, I need to know about -- I need to know about Romney.
GILLESPIE: Every executive action that President Obama has taken will be subject to review. In the case of this case, it would be subject to review as to whether or not it is legal. There is legitimate questions about the legality of it, and everyone that he'll take from here on forward will be subject to review and subject to repeal.
CROWLEY: Sure. We know its review, but isn't it important not just for these kids that are involved or these young 20-somethings that are involved, who now say, oh, wow, if I meet certain criteria, I can get my working papers.
GILLESPIE: Come January 20th or 21st, whenever the inauguration is, if Mitt Romney is the president, they could lose that. Shouldn't there be some certainty whether it's immigration or what he wants to cut in order to sustain tax cuts that he wants, there are no specifics here that we can look at, that voters can look at and say, oh, OK, here is what he wants to do, I support that.
And immigration is one of those. It is such a simple question, would he keep that in place --
GILLESPIE: Well, let me --
CROWLEY: -- until he gets a broader reform?
GILLESPIE: Yes, two parts to the question. Let me give you the first part first of all.
Governor Romney's plan to grow jobs and to bring America has been something we have been trying to lay out for weeks now. In fact, we have had a series of ads called "Day One," that would say if Governor Romney's elected president, what would it look like? We'd approve the Keystone pipeline or repeal ObamaCare, get tough with China and stop them from manipulating currency. So we are --
CROWLEY: Well, we don't know (inaudible) in place.
GILLESPIE: -- laying out specifics. Well, we are laying out specifics. Now you're -- now let me go back to the other question --
GILLESPIE: -- like I said, immigration. So now between now and November, it is clear that the Oval Office is an extension of the Chicago campaign headquarters, and they will make a lot of political moves and there are a lot of other target demographics that the president will try to appeal to with executive actions.
We will review all of these. The president --
CROWLEY: But you can't tell me today --
GILLESPIE: -- if President Romney is elected, he will.
CROWLEY: I got to run, but you can't tell me today whether he would leave that in place?
GILLESPIE: What I'm telling you is it was -- all of these are subject to review and repeal.
CROWLEY: Which we know. All right, great. And I am sorry it's so short --
GILLESPIE: That's OK, I understand. Thank you --
CROWLEY: As you know the world is going crazy.
GILLESPIE: I understand completely.
CROWLEY: Thanks so much. An update on Egypt's presidential election when we come back.
CROWLEY: Back to our lead story. Egypt is expected to announce the results of its presidential election at any moment. The contest is between Mohamed Morsi of the Muslim Brotherhood, and Ahmed Shafiq, the last prime minister to serve under ousted president Hosni Mubarak. We will bring you the results as soon as they come in.
Turkey's foreign minister says Syria gave no warning before shooting down a Turkish military jet that strayed into its territory. Turkey is accusing Syria of spreading disinformation about the Friday incident and says that the plane was unarmed and not sending hostile signals. Turkish boats and helicopters are searching for the plane's two-man crew inside Syrian waters. Tropical storm Debby is on a path toward the U.S. Gulf Coast. The storm is packing winds of 50 miles per hour.
Louisiana's Plaquemines Parish is preparing for a state of emergency, and tropical storm warnings are in effect along the state's coast.
Next up , immigration reform, and fighting for the Latino vote.
CROWLEY: Joining me now from beautiful downtown Chicago is Congressman Luis Gutierrez, a Democrat from Illinois, and here in Washington with me, Carlos Gutierrez. He's currently an adviser with the Romney campaign, but he served as commerce secretary during President George W. Bush's second term.
Thanks you gentlemen, both, for joining us.
First to you, Mr. Secretary, is it sustainable for the Romney campaign to continue to say we are not going to tell you whether or not we would undo the president's directive dealing with allowing young immigrants who came here under the age of 16 to stay?
CARLOS GUTIERREZ, CHAIRMAN, ROMNEY 2012 HISPANIC STEERING COMMITTEE: Well, what the governor has said is that he wants, and this is a commitment he is making, he wants to do something permanent, long-term, and not a patchwork...
CROWLEY: But so does the president.
C. GUTIERREZ: But he has not been able to.
C. GUTIERREZ: And he has not done that.
CROWLEY: But the question is about these kids.
C. GUTIERREZ: But to tell, congress, don't worry about it, we are going to just continue it is just another way of saying, you don't have to act. You can continue to avoid facing up to this issue the way that you have avoided it for the last ten years.
CROWLEY: Congressman Gutierrez, let me bring you in on this particular discussion, and ask you obviously the Democrats are going after the Mitt Romney for not saying what he would do about this particular group of paperless immigrants who have come in here. Do you think that is going to hurt Mitt Romney simply because Mitt Romney at this point is polling in the 24, 25 percent among the Latino voters?
REP. LUIS GUTIERREZ, (D) ILLINOIS: Well, let me just first of all say that reason Mitt Romney is in the position he is in with Latino voters is that during the primary campaign, Mitt Romney had a lot to say. And he was very specific about what he felt about immigration.
First of all, he hired the architect of the discriminatory Arizona law to advise him on immigration. So he said self-deport. He said he would veto the DREAM Act if he were president of the United States, moreover he talked about self-deportation, but he had a very extreme position when it came to immigration. And Candy, quite honestly, he just -- the Latino community just isn't going to suffer from amnesia and forget about the positions, he was clear and articulate in the primary.
CROWLEY: But congressman, let me point out that this president said that he would get comprehensive reform in the first year, that he would propose it, and he hasn't delivered. I think you have heard Mitt Romney down at the organization for Latino elected and appointed officials here in the U.S., and Mitt Romney pointed out that Latino unemployment is much higher than the overall average. He pointed out the number of Latinos that have dropped into poverty since this president became president, so what is the appeal here given those circumstances? What is the appeal of the Latino community?
L. GUTIERREZ: Sure.
I think going back to Mr. Gillespie, a senior adviser who was just on your program, he said that Romney were president of the United States, he'd have to review and repeal and reconsider, and even repeal. So we simply ask...
CROWLEY: I'm not sure he said repeal, but review.
L. GUTIERREZ: Well, he did. I was listening very, very carefully, Candy. And he said that those actions would be under review and repeal.
So given that, we should have an answer on the basic question that we have before us. We have over 1 million young people in the United States of America since the president made the announcement, two-thirds of the American public have said it is a great idea. Latinos are cheering throughout the country that finally there are positive steps being taken to defend the immigrant community, the undocumented immigrant community and we are starting with the children.
At least Mr. Romney Could say, look, I will not deport those young people if i am elected the president of the United States, it is a fair question and it's one that should be answered before the election.
CROWLEY: Mr. Secretary, let me ask you -- given those statistics that Mitt Romney rattled off at this convention, is it fair to say that Latinos or Latino voters are repelled by what the congressman just referred to, that kind of harsh tone of the Republican Party that seems unwelcoming to Latino voters, those who are here with papers and that are American citizens, and those who are not?
C. GUTIERREZ: Well, there's no doubt that there have been members of the party who have mentioned things, stated things that were insulting to Hispanics. I don't think President Obama wants to have a contest as to who said what, because what he promised the Latino community, he promised everything: immigration reform in the first 100 days, jobs, education. We have 2 million more Hispanics in poverty since he took office. Unemployment went from 8 percent to 11 percent. Hispanic schools, the schools they go to have not come up...
CROWLEY: I think unemployment actually just dropped in the Latino community from 13 percent to 11 percent.
C. GUTIERREZ: That's what I said, 8 to 11 -- well, but it is higher, but it's a lot higher than the national average.
C. GUTIERREZ: It's a lot -- he has not delivered. They have been playing with Latinos, and it hurts me to see it. This patchwork of the DREAM Act, why didn't they do this two years ago? And how many people have been deported since? CROWLEY: Let me put that question actually to the congressman. Because congressman I did have that down for you, can you explain to me why the DREAM Act which dealt with these young illegal immigrants went down a year and a half ago. Why did it take the president until five months before the election to make this move?
L. GUTIERREZ: First of all, Candy, it was November of 2010. The Congress of the United States, I was there leading that fight -- 216- 208, 208 against the DREAM act.
CROWLEY: He lost it...
L. GUTIERREZ: If i could. We passed the DREAM Act in the House of Representatives. We went to the Senate, Candy, and there were 55 senators willing to overcome the ability to move forward with the action there on cloture -- 51 Democrats, 4 Republicans. There were ever Republicans who were working with then Secretary of Commerce Gutierrez when he came to the congress under the Bush administration who wouldn't vote for it. That is the simple fact, they obstructed the process to getting the DREAM Act done.
Last year in August of last year, the president issued an executive order to look at how it was to use prosecutorial discretion. We demanded and asked that he do more and he did that. Look, Candy, I cannot ask and demand of a president that he do more and then when he does it not congratulate him and stand by him.
C. GUTIERREZ: My dear friend Luis Gutierrez, who I admire and I know you have done a lot for this cause, November 2010, that is exactly what the pattern has been. Before an election, let's promise something to Hispanics, that bill was -- had things in there that couldn't get bipartisan support, and Republicans said don't ram that bill now. We are in the middle of an election. You did it anyway knowing that it wouldn't pass, but it didn't matter, you made the promise, you got the Hispanic vote, and that has been the pattern.
This administration has played with Hispanics.
CROWLEY: Let me -- I am afraid that I have to stop you both there, congressman, because sort of other things going down, I'm going to have to cut you off here. I hope you will both come back. Congressman Luis Gutierrez and former Secretary Carlos Gutierrez. They are not related and they don't agree as you can see. Thank you both so much. A showdown between the White House and the congress turns attention away from the economy.
CROWLEY: With five months to go before the election, everyday comes into focus through the prism of politics. Tuesday, Mitt Romney campaigned in Michigan, a state the president won in '08 by more than 16 points. Team Romney says they have a chance there this year, or maybe they just want to make the Obama campaign spend money in Michigan playing defense.
Wednesday, a House panel voted to cite Attorney General Eric Holder in contempt of Congress. Holder has refused to hand over subpoenaed documents dealing with the aftermath of a botched federal gun-tracking program known as Fast and Furious. The party-line vote came hours after President Obama invoked executive privilege to shield those documents from the congressional committee. A full House vote on the contempt citation is expected this week.
Thursday, Mitt Romney toned down his primary season immigration rhetoric and got a polite reception from a national gathering of mostly Democratic Hispanic leaders.
Sailing in on his decision to exempt some young illegal immigrants from deportation, the president got a much warmer reception Friday.
This week, the Supreme Court's decisions on the president's health care law and Arizona's tough immigration law, both certain to play heavily on the campaign trail. 2012 politics with the New York Times' Peter Baker and USA Today's Susan Page, next.
CROWLEY: All right. On the left of your screen is Farouk Sultan. He is basically the head of the Egyptian elections commission. He is about to announce the results of their presidential race. On the right is Tahrir Square, basically filled with supporters of the Muslim Brotherhood candidate. We want to listen in for the announcement.
FAROUK SULTAN, EGYPTIAN ELECTIONS COMMISSION (THROUGH TRANSLATOR): ... committee -- high committee for election did their job -- the commission for -- the high commission for -- high commission for elections started in the middle of February pledging to the almighty that it does not fear anybody than him and that it does not seek the contentment except him, that -- that their aim is the -- is the law.
Adhering to the rules of the law and by announcing their -- their results, putting for its eyes the interests of the country. I say the -- the commission for election started its work, but from the first moment it faced and before it started its mission and started a war waged against it from different political parties, accusing -- falsely accusing it of trying -- of undermining the election process, to put the committee in a -- in a defensive -- defensive way and doubting its capability of running the election process.
That members, judges, experienced judges of the committee that have carried the aspiration of the Egyptian people, and some of them cast doubts on the integrity of members of the high commission for election, and also objecting to the decisions of these -- of the committee and by using media podiums to -- to wage such a war against it.
Some -- some took direct criticism of -- against the committee, accusing it of forgery. And against all these turbulent times, the committee carried out its work, carried out -- above all suspicions, and never allowing any such things to hinder its process and work to fulfill the aspiration of its people.
And -- and the committee has (inaudible) with its secretariat and for which I salute all its members for all this huge effort for they spent in the past without tardiness. The committee has entered in the belief that without unhindered, and in (inaudible) of the support of the Egyptian -- great Egyptian people, putting in mind that -- that the -- putting in mind the judges are above -- the judges who are responsible were above suspicion.
The committee has employed and cast aside any of those (ph) that he -- that he thought -- that the committee thought it was fit. We do not fear any threats.
And the committee has also decided and put -- and disallowed one candidate, and after having resorted to the law put him back in the election race. And after having had the ruling of the constitutional court and hear that there were many voices as you are aware of to call -- to name the committee to come to name -- name the committee, the high commission, the commission with different despicable names. The committee has put its burden, the attempts to -- and has all the trust of its decision and the dawn of the truth, and the truth has come.
And the constitutional court issued its ruling...
CROWLEY: What you are looking at is a live shot basically from the presidential election commission in Egypt, their version of that. A very lengthy introduction to what we expect will be the results of the presidential election. There is a lot of tension here about what these results will be. It has pitted someone who was once the prime minister for ousted Hosni Mubarak, the president, against a member of the Muslim Brotherhood.
That square you were seeing, that is Tahrir Square which is in Cairo, the site of the Arab Spring. And now all this summer of uncertainty largely filled with supporters of Mohammed Morsi who is the Muslim Brotherhood candidate.
I want to bring in our foreign affairs correspondent Jill Dougherty. Jill, honestly, we're sitting here wondering if there's some reason to drag this out or if this is fairly typical.
DOUGHERTY: They are trying to defend themselves against any allegations that they have had any back room dealings. And that's important, because if it's perceived, and it could be either way, that they have, you know, changed the results from an election that was perceived to be pretty well run, that would be a problem.
But it is a long introduction. It might be politically important, Candy.
CROWLEY: And isn't it sort of -- isn't it kind of running against the current? Because it seems to me that no matter who wins this, there are going to be questions, because the military has taken such control over there since Mubarak was ousted that any kind of result is going to come into question.
DOUGHERTY: That is definitely true.
And in effect, the military has emasculated whoever is going to be the president. They are the ones who are going to be in charge of the budget. After all, they disbanded the parliament. They have taken control of the budget. They also will be dealing with who decides on the constitution.
So whoever this president is, he's going to have really limited powers at least at this stage.
Jill, when we look at it from the U.S. point of view, is there a favored candidate? Is there one candidate that the State Department, the administration, would like to have run Egypt because it's offered the better opportunity for the U.S.?
DOUGHERTY: They, of course, would never say whom they support. But you would have to say that if Mr. Shafiq, who is the former prime minister, is elected, that would be a problem for the United States, because it would mean that the military continued to control the country and that is something that wasn't supposed to really happen.
So I think you'd have to say that Morsi would be their desired candidate.
CROWLEY: And what of the billion dollars that the U.S. continues to give Egypt, and basically it's going to the Egyptian military? Is there any thought in the U.S. administration that perhaps they ought to stop that money given the power grab?
DOUGHERTY: They have already discussed that, that if they do not go forward, if the Egyptian government does not go forward with democracy, then they would have to re-evaluate that money and it definitely could be stopped if they perceive that things are going backwards.
But this is so unpredictable, Candy. You just -- you have to see what happens next.
CROWLEY: So, Jill, along with myself, we will all be awaiting this announcement. Again, a very important announcement not just for Egypt, maybe mostly for Egypt, but certainly for the rest of the world as to who has won the presidential elections, the first democratic vote there in many, many decades.
We want to thank you for watching State of the Union. I'm Candy Crowley in Washington. Please stay tuned for all of the news and, of course, what we are going to do here is stay abreast of this and come on as soon as we know. Right now head to CNN.com/SOTU for analysis and extras. And if you missed any part of today's show, you can buy it on iTunes.
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