Though official results in the Egyptian election won't be in until Thursday, but overnight the Muslim Brotherhood announced their candidate, Mohamed Morsi, won. Morsi's opponent, Ahmed Shafik, maintains votes still need to be tallied.
Jamie Rubin, former U.S. assistant Secretary of State, on what could happen if Morsi wins the election. He also weighs in on
Read the transcript after the jump.
OBRIEN: Let's start with the Muslim Brotherhood which is claiming victory, but as I say, won't really know until Thursday. the expectations by many, though, are that they could win. What will this mean?
JAMES RUBIN, FMR. U.S. ASST. SECY. OF STATE: Well, it's meaning less and less each day. What's happened here is that the - if the Muslim Brotherhood candidate, Mr. Morsi wins, he will be president, but he will be president in an office that has been shrunk dramatically by the military government.
They've eliminated the main powers that Mubarak, the former president, used to have. They've eliminated the powers of budget, of oversight of the military, of any of the powers that we would associate with the presidency, and they've done that precisely because they're afraid of the Muslim Brotherhood president.
O'BRIEN: The Muslim Brotherhood says that's a coup. That's equivalent to a coup. Can the military and the judges all installed, obviously, by Mubarak? Can they do that?
RUBIN: Well, it looks like they will. Whether they can or not, they will. And I think the problem here is that from an American standpoint, we obviously want to see Democratic change in Egypt. All of us were very moved by what happened in Tahrir Square.
O'BRIEN: I sense a but coming.
RUBIN: And all of the developments that occurred towards Democracy and Egypt, but I think when the rest of the world looked in the eye, the idea of a Muslim Brotherhood president, much of the world went, oh, boy, is this such a good idea.
O'BRIEN: Moving from the Islamist - moving from the secular government that's sort of there now –
RUBIN: To the Muslim Brotherhood government. And I think that's why it's going to be a very complicated response by the rest of the world, because on the one hand, there'll be a critique of this clear interference in the political process. On the other hand, I think a lot of analysts around the world, the U.S. government, were worried about a Muslim Brotherhood controlling not only the presidency but also the parliament and having the power to turn Egypt into an Islamist state.
I don't think that is going to be allowed to happen now, and that's what the real news is here. The military looked to this possibility of a Muslim Brotherhood running Egypt, and they said, no, we can't accept this, and they've done what they needed to do in an extra constitutional manner to stop it.
O'BRIEN: So, does that mean the U.S. just stands outside and does nothing –
RUBIN: Well, first of all, I think we've learned in the Arab spring that the limitations on American power here. This is not a situation where we can dictate the outcome. Yes, we give a lot of military assistance to the Egyptian military.
I think that's going to come under great scrutiny, the Congressional leaders who hold the power of that money to the Egyptian military are going to probably withhold some of it now.
CAIN: We're displeased with the outcome, right?
O'BRIEN: I was going to say, wouldn't the U.S. support that –
RUBIN: Well, I think the U.S can't support an outcome that has resulted in all this extra constitutional changes.
HEADLEE: Usurping the democratic process.
RUBIN: Exactly. But as I said, but, and this is the but, is that much of the world has been so uncertain about the direction of this evolution has taken towards a full Muslim brotherhood control that I think that will limit the extent of the criticism because people are confused as this discussion indicates.
It's a complex mess in Egypt. The democratic process has not really moved forward in an encouraging way.
O'BRIEN: As it is a complex mess in Greece. So, let's turn and talk about Greece, the new Democracy government won with sort of a very tiny, tiny margin, and now, there's a coalition government, and they have this looming deadline. And I think it's ten business days, essentially. Are they going to be able to meet that deadline?
RUBIN: I suspect so. Look, there were a few outcomes, and this is really the best of the few. They could have had a real muddy outcome with no clear victor, and there is a victor and that's encouraging. They could have also voted are for the anti-Euro party and I think that would have sent shockwaves around the world.
HEADLEE: A disaster.
RUBIN: A disaster as one way of putting it. So, this is the best of the three realistic outcomes. And I suspect that with the fact that this vote was so clearly a referendum on staying in the Euro and the opponents lost, the opponents staying in the Euro lost, I think that will give a lot of momentum towards a coalition. It doesn't get Greece out of its troubles. It doesn't get Europe out of its troubles –
O'BRIEN: It kicks the can down the road.
RUBIN: Well, it prevents them from a real disaster. That's all.
ROMANS: We've been doing about is , but I wonder, you know, has there been much leadership - we're preoccupied with the presidential election in this country, has there been much leadership on the European front from this White House?
RUBIN: Well, there is a big meeting in Mexico. All the world's leaders –
O'BRIEN: What has to come –
RUBIN: I think the fact - there's another little election we should focus on, the French president, who's really an ally for American, this situation, because he wants to see a situation developed that doesn't cause the gaps since collapsing Euro has just strengthened his power. So, it's a real complicated mess, I would say, that coming out of the G-20.
We want to see is that the world gets behind the idea that voters have prevented Greece from jumping over cliff. Now, the world needs to support that outcome with real power.
O'BRIEN: Jamie Rubin, always nice to see you.