"Face the Nation" transcript, June 10, 2012: Walker, O'Malley, Trumka
SCHIEFFER: Today on FACE THE NATION, on the 40th anniversary of Watergate, a new flood of Washington leaks as the president looks for something good to say about a bad election-year economy.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: ... the private sector is doing fine.
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SCHIEFFER: Of course that did not go unanswered.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MITT ROMNEY (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Is he really that out of touch? I think he's defining what it means to be detached.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHIEFFER: Well, on second thought...
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
OBAMA: It is absolutely clear that the economy is not doing fine.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHIEFFER: All that as Wisconsin's Republican governor, Scott Walker, survived an effort by Democrats and big labor to turn him out of office.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GOV. SCOTT WALKER (R), WISCONSIN: That voters really do want leaders who stand up and make the tough decisions.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHIEFFER: Does Walker's survival translate into trouble ahead for the president's re-election chances? We'll talk to Walker, AFL- CIO President Richard Trumka, and Maryland's Democratic governor, Martin O'Malley.
Then we'll turn to the firestorm over classified leaks.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
OBAMA: The notion that my White House would purposely release classified national security information is offensive.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHIEFFER: Late this week the Justice Department opened an investigation. For the latest on that, we'll bring in the chairs of the Senate and House Intelligence committees, Senator Dianne Feinstein and Congressman Mike Rogers.
And speaking of leaks...
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
WALTER CRONKITE, FORMER CBS ANCHOR: First it was called the "Watergate caper." Five men, apparently caught in the act of burglarizing and bugging Democratic headquarters in Washington.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHIEFFER: That was 40 years ago this week. And Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein, the reporters who broke the story that brought down Richard Nixon, are here to talk about it and give new details they have learned about the case. Because this is FACE THE NATION.
ANNOUNCER: From CBS News in Washington, FACE THE NATION with Bob Schieffer.
SCHIEFFER: And good morning again. Welcome to FACE THE NATION. Wisconsin's Republican governor, Scott Walker, is the first governor in the nation who survived a recall election. And he joins us today from Madison.
Governor, thank you for being with us. You heard in the opening of the program that the president said that the private sector is fine. Mitt Romney of course fired back immediately and used what happened out there in Wisconsin as part of his answer. I want to you listen to what he said here.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ROMNEY: Instead he wants to add more to government. He wants another stimulus. He wants to hire more government workers. He says we need more firemen, more policemen, more teachers. Did he not get the message of Wisconsin, the American people did, it's time for us to cut back on government and help the American people.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHIEFFER: So, there you have it, Governor. Is that the message? Do the American people want fewer cops and fewer firemen and fewer teachers or was there a different message, as you saw it?
WALKER: Well, I think it's slightly different. I think in our case what they wanted is people willing to take on the tough issues not only here in Wisconsin but across the country. And I think Governor Romney has a shot if the "R" next to his name doesn't just stand for "Republican," it stands for "reformer."
If he shows my state and he shows Americans that he has got a plan to take on these reforms, I think the real difference with what the president said this week is simple. The president and his allies believe success in government is defined by how many people are dependent on government programs. I think I, Governor Romney, and others, believe that success is just the opposite. How many fewer people are dependent on government programs because they have a job in the private sector where they can control their own freedom, their own destiny and ultimately lead to greater prosperity? That's the real difference there.
SCHIEFFER: Well, do you think Governor Romney is talking about getting rid of more teachers and firemen?
WALKER: No. I think in the end the big issue is that the private sector still needs more help. And the answer is not more big government. I know in my state our reforms allowed us to protect firefighters, police officers, and teachers. That's not what I think of when I think of big government.
I think that the bigger sense is, more government regulations, more stimulus, more things that take money out of the private sector and put it in the hands of the government.
That's not the answer out there. More people on unemployment benefits is not success in America, fewer people on not because we kicked them off but because they have been able to get a job in the private sector, because government got out of the way.
That's the answer to truly stimulate the economy. That's what we saw generation ago when President Reagan signed the Economic Recovery Act of 1981. In '82 we saw at the beginning of that unemployment even higher than we saw even at the height of this recession.
But after it had a time to go in to effect we saw the largest peace-time economic boom in American history. It can happen again.
SCHIEFFER: Let me ask you this. People on both sides out there sort of said, well, you know, I may not agree with the governor on the stand he took, but he was a man of conviction. He stood up for what he thought was right and he was willing to take on people on that.
In your first answer there, you seem to be saying that maybe you said you hope that's what Governor Romney would do. A lot of people -- or some people at least in the Republican Party even are saying that he needs to stand up more for things and not sort of try to be all things to all people.
WALKER: Well, I think he's capable of that. You look at Governor Romney's record in the private sector, he helped turn businesses around. Certainly a decade ago he took what would have been an international disaster with the U.S. Olympics, and turned it around for America and made us great again (AUDIO GAP) Olympics in Salt Lake City.
He has got the capacity to do it. I just hope he takes a page out of President Reagan's playbook in 1980 where it was not only a referendum on the failed policies of President Carter at the time, it was also something where President Reagan laid out a clear plan.
I can remember, I was just about 13 at the time, and still today, I can remember less government, smaller government, fewer taxes, lower taxes, strong national defense. Those are things that people remember then, I think Governor Romney can lay it out. And he has got the capacity and experience to do that.
But here in Wisconsin and other swing states, I think that's the key. The "R" next to the name cannot be just about being "Republican," it has got to be about "reformer." People are desperate for leadership in Washington and we're just not seeing it out of the leaders there, at least not in the White House.
SCHIEFFER: But you think he can do more along that line?
WALKER: Well, I think people like Paul Ryan and others and I hope that he goes big and he goes bold. I think he has got the capacity to do that. I don't think we win if it's just about a referendum on Barack Obama. I think it has got to be more.
I think voters are hungry, and my state a good example. I had people in the last couple of weeks of my election come up to me and say, I voted for your opponent the last time but I'm voting for you now.
And the reason for them was simple, they said, finally someone is willing to take on the tough issues facing our state, the economic and the fiscal crisis we faced in our state. People are so hungry for leaders that are willing to be able to stand up and take on those decisions. So I think the governor can do that as well.
SCHIEFFER: Is Wisconsin Romney country now?
WALKER: Well, I think it's up in the air. I think it's definitely in play. You know, six months ago I think the White House had it firmly in their column. I think it is up in the air.
But I think it's really very much left up not just to Republican or conservative voters, but to those swing voters who again elected me by a larger margin than they did two years ago to say, if Governor Romney can show that he has got clear plan, a plan to take on the kind of reforms we need to make America great again, particularly for our kids, I think that can win in Wisconsin and I think it can win in other swing states.
SCHIEFFER: Governor, thank you so much for being with us this morning. We really appreciate your answering the questions.
And we're going to turn now to Maryland Governor Martin O'Malley. He would be a Democrat, and Richard Trumka, who is the head of the AFL-CIO, a federation of labor unions that represents 12 million workers.
You took a big part in that recall election out there, Mr. Trumka. And I've got to say, any way you cut it, it was a defeat for big labor.
TRUMKA: Well, who it was a defeat for were the people who got hurt, were the working people on the ground in that state. It's true that the people in Wisconsin didn't recall Governor Walker, but he spent over $50 million on this. He has lost control of the state senate so his agenda is stopped dead in its tracks.
He has the worst job-creating record of all the states that are out there right now. And people are looking at that.
SCHIEFFER: But having said all that, he won.
TRUMKA: What did he win? He got the right to serve the rest of his term. What he hasn't done is create jobs. Again, he has the worst job-creating record out there.
And he talked a lot about making tough decisions. There's a difference, Bob, between making a tough decision to create jobs and making decisions that are political decisions. He didn't lead here, he followed. The American Legislative Exchange Conference, right after 2010 election, brought 2,000 state Republican legislators together with governors and said their goal was to reduce the vote -- the progressive vote in 2012 by 10 percent. Less votes. Less democracy.
So he went after unions. He went after immigrants. He went after seniors. He went after students. He went after all of those things. And he didn't do what he was supposed to do. And that's try to create jobs. We wish he had the best job-creating record in the country and we wish we could help him get there.
SCHIEFFER: Governor O'Malley, do you agree with Governor Romney about the lessons of Wisconsin, what you just heard him say? What do you think the lessons were?
O'MALLEY: Oh, I think the biggest lesson in Wisconsin is that 60 percent of the people do not believe that recall elections were proper for policy differences, short of some criminal offense.
And right now Governor Walker has only had three people in his administration indicted.
O'MALLEY: He had his top communications person take an immunity deal, but he himself has not been named in that investigation.
And I think the sense among people in Wisconsin was we should among people in Wisconsin was we shouldn't have recall elections for policy reasons.
However, they did put the brakes on his hard-right-wing agenda by putting Democrats in charge of the State Senate. And for all his talk about making tough decisions, they aren't the tough decisions that actually create jobs. He had the worst rate of job creation in Wisconsin of any state in the nation, and so he overcame that with billionaire help to put on eight or 10 times as many ads as his opponent and made up a new set of numbers.
SCHIEFFER: Let me ask you about this statement that the president got himself tangled up in on Friday, where he said the private sector is just fine and then he had to walk it back and say, well, the economy in general is not fine.
What was that all about?
O'MALLEY: Well, I think, for a president who usually chooses his words very, very carefully, I think what the president in retrospect would have liked to have said is that, while the private sector is improving, and no one can deny that we've had 27 months in a row of private-sector job growth, the fact of the matter is that the public sector continues to be a drag on the economy because, in 16 of the last 18 months, we've had public-sector job losses.
So in some months it's as if we take two or three steps forward and one or two steps back. For every three jobs created by the private sector, we eliminate a public sector job, teachers, firefighters, police, and that puts a drag on the economy. So I think that most economists would agree with the president that the private sector is doing better and the public sector is doing worse.
SCHIEFFER: This was not a good week, though, for the president.
O'MALLEY: We've had better weeks.
And there will be good weeks and bad weeks. I mean, even on this contest in Wisconsin, over the last three contested gubernatorial races -- I mean, we won in Kentucky, a state that the president did not win before. We also won in West Virginia. You didn't see us crowing that that meant the end of the Republican Party.
There are battles and there is a longer struggle, and at the end of the day, come November, people will choose to move forward and not go back to the failed policies of the Bush administration.
SCHIEFFER: Mr. Trumka, let me ask you this, in the old days Republicans always raised the most money but Democrats could always fall back on help from the unions, who could turn out people, who could run these voter education programs, who could, kind of, put troops on the ground. That didn't seem to work this time in Wisconsin.
TRUMKA: No, I disagree with you completely. Money was a big part of this thing. And, you know, money is -- the money edge is really dangerous to democracy. Because what you have right now -- people have said to me that, look, you'll always be outspent, so how can you ever win?
And listen to what this says about democracy, Bob. This isn't about giving corporations more power. They have too much now. This is about giving the 1 percent too much power. What we do, we do people power. We go out and we educate people and we change what we've been doing.
In the past we couldn't talk to non-union workers. Now we can at least talk to non-union workers so we'll be mobilizing them and educating them not for just six or eight months before an election, but we'll be doing it year-round. So the day after that Wisconsin election happened, we were back out on the streets; we were talking to workers; we were educating them; we were mobilizing, and we were getting them going.
By the way, the Wisconsin fight really did provide a spark for the labor movement in Wisconsin because we're organizing more than we have in the past...
SCHIEFFER: Sort of a wake-up call?
TRUMKA: Not just that, but a coming together. Because they sent a guy that they had faith in was going to create jobs and instead of doing that he fell in line with the ALEC agenda, trying to take it away from them. And so they said we've got to change things. And they did. They changed...
SCHIEFFER: Let me just ask both of you. Democratic strategist Bob Shrum, on this broadcast last week, said he thought that, if the election were just a referendum on Barack Obama, that President Obama would lose, and that's why he was saying they've got to go negative.
Do you agree with that, Governor?
O'MALLEY: I think that what we have to do is keep the issue focused on jobs and job creation. Last year more jobs were created in the private sector of our country's economy than in all eight years of George W. Bush. And that was true in 2010, more jobs created in the private sector than in all eight years of George W. Bush.
So I think that President Obama absolutely needs to take away the false assertions of Mitt Romney that he created jobs either in the private sector or in Massachusetts. He actually had the 47th worst job creation as governor.
O'MALLEY: And we need to keep it focused on job creation . SCHIEFFER: So you're saying this has got to be -- would you agree with that, Mr.Trumka, this has got to be about more than just the president's record while he was in office; it has also got to be about Mitt Romney?
TRUMKA: No, it's got to be about jobs; it's got to be about the future.
Look, there is a stark difference between President Obama and Mitt Romney. Mitt Romney says he wants fewer teachers. That means larger classrooms. He says he wants fewer firefighters. That means less safety.
I mean, rich people will probably still have good protection; working class people won't. He wants fewer police officers. That means we're in danger. There's a difference. He wants to create an economy; he wants to focus on manufacturing. With manufacturing, comes research and development. With research and development, the United States maintains its edge. Without it, we lose our edge.
SCHIEFFER: All right. I'm going to have to stop it there. Thanks both of you for a very enlightening discussion.
We're coming back with two of the world's most famous journalists, Woodward and Bernstein. We'll be right back.
SCHIEFFER: This week, June 17, marks the 40th anniversary of the Watergate break-in, what the Nixon White House first called a third- rate burglary but a story that would eventually lead to the resignation of a president, in large part because of the investigative talents of two young reporters.
And in today's Washington Post, there appears for the first time since they wrote those stories what became perhaps the most famous double byline in the history of journalism by Carl Bernstein and Bob Woodward.
And, Carl Bernstein and Bob Woodward are at the table with us today.
Welcome to both of you.
You know, I just want to ask you, what did you all -- what was your feeling when you saw that byline in the Post today, the first time in, what, 36 years?
WOODWARD: Yeah, I think it was great to work together. I mean, we're --we're dear friends now. There's a sense of collaboration and congeniality, but also there's a sense of tension. We look at the world a little differently, and I think it makes a better product, always
BERNSTEIN: It's complementary, that it fits together and we do somewhat different things, and the result is the better for it. And it's fun.
SCHIEFFER: I was -- I really enjoyed reading the piece that you have in The Washington Post today. And I guess the bottom line of it would be, it's worse than we thought it was.
WOODWARD: Yes. And what we -- we tried to do is take all the evidence -- and it's just been -- there's been an outpouring of taped transcripts and testimony and memoirs -- and try to make sense of it. And it's essentially five wars that Nixon launched as president, the first against the anti-war movement, the second against the press, the third against the Democrats who threatened to take over the White House from him and deny him a second term, and then the fourth, when there was the Watergate burglary, the cover-up, the obstruction of justice.
And then, interestingly enough, Nixon never stopped; the fifth war, which is against history, to say, oh, no, it really is not what it shows on the tapes and all the testimony and evidence.
SCHIEFFER: Carl, it seems you're trying to put to rest the notion that the cover-up was worse than the crime.
BERNSTEIN: The crimes were enormous, and that's what the tapes show, and they go back to the first days of the Nixon administration. He wiretapped -- presidential orders involved in setting up a burglary squad and wiretapping squad and wiretapped reporter in 1969.
But, really, what we found is that his White House became, to a remarkable extent, a criminal enterprise such as we've never had in our history.
SCHIEFFER: I want to play something now that -- I don't know long it's been since you've seen this, but I guess it was several years after the original break-in. Mark Felt, who had been assistant director of the FBI during those days -- he came on "Face the Nation" and here's what he said.
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MARK FELT, FORMER FBI ASSOCIATE DIRECTOR, "DEEP THROAT": No, no, I am not "Deep Throat." And the only thing I can say is that I wouldn't be ashamed to be because I think whoever helped Woodward, helped the country, no question about it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHIEFFER: But of course as we now know, what was it, a couple of years ago, you went out talked to Mark Felt again and you revealed that he was in fact "Deep Throat."
WOODWARD: Yes. And well, actually, he unmasked himself and it was, believe it or not, seven years ago. And at first Carl and I kind of thought, oh, somebody is taking advantage of him, he's in his 90s. And then we saw him on television and we actually, before he died, went out to see him.
And this was a man liberated because finally he could tell the truth.
BERNSTEIN: Yes. The interesting thing about "Deep Throat" is there's a lot mythology attached to it. Basically what he did was he confirmed information that we had found elsewhere. There's this myth I think that has developed that all this leak stuff came flying over the transom, partly or largely through him.
What happened in the reporting of Watergate at The Washington Post was old-fashioned police reporting, knocking on doors at night, finding people who understood because they worked for the Nixon re- election campaign committee and in the White House, and something awful had happened here that was indicative of a larger conspiracy within the Nixon administration.
SCHIEFFER: Well, what did you think when you saw him go on television and say, oh, no, it wasn't me, but whoever it was...
WOODWARD: Oh yes, but by the way, whoever it was did a great thing. You know, that's not unusual. I mean, Carl is absolutely right. We had dozens of sources, he helped us at critical times, but if you look at the book we put together "All the Presidents' Men," it really lays out going to people from the inside who could give us specific information about transactions, dirty tricks, cover ups, hush money, and so forth. And that's what began kind of the unraveling of Watergate and the unraveling of who was Richard Nixon. And you listened to these tapes and it is -- talk about blackmail, cover up, I mean...
BERNSTEIN: Blackmail of his predecessor in office, Lyndon Johnson, and Richard Nixon says, there is a file in the Brookings Institution that we might be able to blackmail Johnson with. And he says, let's get in there and blow the goddamn safe. I want to get in there, break in, he says to his...
WOODWARD: And it's Halderman, his chief of staff, who says, yes, this is what we should do. And Henry Kissinger is sitting there listening to this.
SCHIEFFER: Listening to all of it. We are going to listen to more of it with you in just a minute when we come back. More in the next half hour, back in a moment though with some personal thoughts of my own about the Watergate story.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
RICHARD NIXON, 37TH PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Got to know whether or not their president is a crook. Well, I'm not a crook.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHIEFFER: The weekend the Watergate break-in came to light, I had slightly different take than Woodward and Bernstein. I tried to get out of town before I got assigned to the story. The reason was, my boss, Bill Small, had just assigned me as part of the CBS team covering the Democratic and Republican conventions, both of which were being held in Miami, the assignment I had dreamed of all my life.
But I was still fairly junior in the Washington bureau and I had the sinking feeling that Small would pull me off the conventions and assign me to the break-in, the story that made absolutely no sense to me.
Why would anyone break in to a political headquarters? What secrets could possibly be found there? That's where you kept the yard signs and such. Someone said it was just a bunch of crazies. And that was good enough for me.
Why would anyone, especially anyone as far ahead in the polls as Nixon was at that point, break in to a campaign headquarters? So I laid low, got on down to Miami, had a great summer and that led to a long career covering politics here.
Still, I had made the worst mistake of what a reporter can make. I just assumed it didn't amount to anything. Better, as Woodward and Bernstein showed us, to check it out, which they did and what journalism is all about.
We'll continue the conversation with these two great reporters on "Page Two."
SCHIEFFER: Well, some of our stations are leaving us now. But for most of you, we'll be back with more from Woodward and Bernstein and we'll have the latest on the classified leak investigations with congressional intelligence chairs Dianne Feinstein and Mike Rogers. Stay with us.
SCHIEFFER: And we're back on FACE THE NATION, "Page Two," with Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein, or "Wood-stein," as they came to be called when they were breaking all of those Watergate stories for The Washington Post.
SCHIEFFER: Let me ask you, when did the two of you realize this was a big story?
BERNSTEIN: Earlier than you might think. We had found out that there was a secret fund that paid for Watergate and these other illegal activities about eight weeks after the break-in. And John Mitchell, Nixon's closest confidante and campaign manager was among those controlling it.
We would have coffee every morning off the newsroom floor, put a dime, which it cost in those days for a cup of coffee, in the machine, and I felt this chill go down my back. And I said to Woodward, "Oh, my God, this president is going to be impeached."
And he looked at me and he said, "Oh, my God, you're right, and we can never use that word in this newsroom because people will think we have an agenda, and we have no agenda except to report this story."
SCHIEFFER: When you got down there -- and you went over there first? Weren't you one of the first reporters to go over there, Bob?
WOODWARD: Over to the Watergate?
WOODWARD: Or to the court hearing where the burglars were there and whispering. They wouldn't tell the judge where they'd worked, and the judge finally said, speak up. And the lead burglar, James McCord said, "Well, I worked at the CIA."
And I remember thinking, gee, this -- that's not your average burglar.
SCHIEFFER: You know, I remember being at a panel discussion with you many, many years ago. I think it was when you all -- when the University of Texas bought your papers and put them in their collection there. And I remember somebody asked you -- they said, "Where do you think this story was going to go? What was your agenda?"
I will never forget what your answer was, Bob.
WOODWARD: Well, that we were just trying to find out what happened and that we were as empirical as we could be.
And, you know, it needs to be said that we work for an editor, Ben Bradley, and other editors at the Post who were not - who didn't have an agenda themselves. But their agenda was "get the f-ing story; get into it; keep digging; don't let up."
And we were 28 and 29 at the time. And it is very liberating to work in an institution where they really understand what we're trying to do. And they say to you, you know, use all your resources, use all the resources of this newspaper. In fact, if there is peril, if we are not believed but we think we have good sources, continue.
SCHIEFFER: What would have happened to The Washington Post if you'd have been wrong?
BERNSTEIN: Well, it's history, but it would have been awful. Because the Nixon White House had gone after the television licenses of The Washington Post company as we were reporting this because it was the lifeblood financially of the company.
You know, the Nixon administration, the White House, Nixon and his aides' response to Watergate was to make the conduct of the press the issue in Watergate rather than the conduct of the president and his men and specifically our conduct at the Washington Post.
And remember, it worked for a long time. People didn't really believe what we were writing, most people...
BERNSTEIN: ... including our colleagues, until your colleague, Walter Cronkite went on the air after four months, and we had written a big story saying, hey, it's not just the burglary; this is part of a massive campaign of political espionage and sabotage directed from the White House. And Walter Cronkite put it on the air, half of his broadcast two nights in a row.
SCHIEFFER: And, you know, because of that the Nixon administration put great pressure on us. Chuck Colson went to New York, went right to Bill Paley, who owned the company in those days, and basically said we're going to put you out of business.
WOODWARD: Yeah, and Colson was one of Nixon's closest aides. And the first broadcast was 15 minutes, and it essentially was based on our stories. And of course we didn't know about the tapes at the time. And you go back and look at the tapes during this period and Nixon is in there in a rage. He said The Washington Post is going to have "damnable, damnable problems."
He is saying -- he is saying things about people -- and again, everyone was an opponent, was an enemy. And the language -- I mean, not only -- you know, it is -- you put the headphones on and listen to some of that stuff and you say, that's going on in the White House? What is going on?
SCHIEFFER: Well, I tell you the thing that struck me as I read this piece that you put in The Washington Post today, and it is a fine piece of work. I mean, it really reminds us and, kind of, brings home and puts in one place what this was all about. But the paranoia of that White House and of Nixon in particular -- the thing that really struck me was how much he hated Jews.
BERNSTEIN: Yeah, the Ellsberg break-in, after the Pentagon Papers were leaked to -- to the New York Times and some other publications about Daniel Ellsberg, and Nixon said, "We've got to get that Jew."
And they engineered the break-in at the psychiatrist's office of Ellsberg. And it was astonishing.
What's so amazing after all this time is that this was a period in which the information about Nixon was received in a nonpartisan, non-ideological, non-cultural-warfare way by the country, by the Congress, by the judiciary. There was no real controversy by the end about what had happened here. Republicans lined up. Barry Goldwater, the great Arizona conservative, went down to the White House and said, "Mr. President, you have to go because you've committed too many crimes."
There was no debate that was -- you know, like we have today. Seventy-seven to nothing, the Senate decided to undertake this investigation.
WOODWARD: Yeah, what is interesting, if you look at the various parts of government, the Senate -- normally it would be partisan, as Carl said. Seventy-seven to zero -- can you imagine the Senate now passing, 77-0, any...
I mean, even to rename a school, a Bob Schieffer School -- that probably would be controversial and there would be people against it.
SCHIEFFER: You're probably right.
WOODWARD: Yeah, there would be. And people are -- but on this, the Democrats and Republicans joined together and said, we need to get to the bottom of it. They set up a special prosecutor who took over from the U.S. attorney and swam in to this sea of crime. And, you know, in the end it wasn't just a few people; 40 people went to jail.
SCHIEFFER: Let me...
SCHIEFFER: I was stunned when I read that. I didn't realize that many people had gone to jail, and I read that in the Post today . WOODWARD: But not just back benchers, the closest aides.
BERNSTEIN; Almost all of his closest aides, actually, particularly on the domestic side.
SCHIEFFER: what surprised you all when you went back to do this story that's in the paper today after all these years? WOODWARD: Again, it's the tapes. And it's that sense of Nixon believed that you used the presidency as an instrument of personal revenge or reward.
And as Carl and I have talked over the years, we keep looking for a tape where somebody says, what would be good for the country; what does the country need? It was always about Nixon.
And the real tragedy of all of this, probably, crimes, abuse, but the smallness of it. And Nixon failed to realize. particularly when he took over as president in '69, in the early months, that the country felt, even Democrats, goodwill; we want our president to succeed. He immediately launched the campaign of, let's spy on people; let's do something dirty. And there was never that sense of let's harmonize and solve the big problems. It was always, let's screw somebody; let's get the IRS on them; let's get the FBI.
BERNSTEIN: Criminality as a matter of policy implementation. That's what's so astonishing. You hear on those tapes so seldom, let's go the right way on anything. It's always what's the criminal way to do it, in essence.
SCHIEFFER: You know, you point out one thing, that he accepted a full pardon from Gerald Ford. I thought that was the wrong thing for President Ford to do at the time. I was the White House correspondent. I've come to feel, and I think you feel the same way, Bob, had he not done it, the country would have been bogged down in this and would have come to a complete stop.
But, you know, President Ford told me an interesting thing once. He said -- I asked him -- I said, "Did he ever thank you?"
And he said, "No, he never did, at least not directly."
WOODWARD: And spent some time talking to Ford about the pardon and why did do you this. And he finally said, "I didn't do it for Nixon; I didn't do it for myself; I did it for the country. We had to get over Watergate."
And in a series of interviews, Gerald Ford said that he had actually been offered a deal for the pardon by Al Haig, who was Nixon's chief of staff. And he said, "but I rejected that." And he made a very passionate and convincing case that Ford, unlike Nixon, had said, "What is the national interest here? What is the larger purpose of my office?"
And he paid a big political price. He probably lost to Jimmy Carter because of that.
WOODWARD: ... great act of courage.
SCHIEFFER: It was an act of courage. And I think it cost Gerald Ford the presidency. I mean, he told me that he thought that was the main reason for it. He hadn't at that point actually decided he was going to run but he was thinking about it and he knew that if he did this it would be very difficult for him to overcome, and yet he went ahead.
BERNSTEIN: Remarkably courageous.
SCHIEFFER: Let me just ask you this, you know, we've got this, and we're going to talk to Dianne Feinstein in just a minute, she'll be here, about this big leaks investigation that is going on right now.
I think in the whole Watergate thing nobody ever got the idea that the White House was feeding you guys information. That the White House wanted this out. It seems that this investigation seems to be about whether or not the White House did let out some national security information in order to make the president look like a stronger leader.
What do you all make of this, what's going on right now?
BERNSTEIN: I think first you've got to be very careful about creating a witch hunt for sources, and a witch hunt in which you go after reporters, because now more than ever we need real reporting on this presidency, on national security, on all these areas. And the press is not the problem here.
We've got plenty of laws and if somebody inside is doing things with real national security secrets that he oughtn't or she oughtn't to be doing in terms of giving them to the press, that's one thing. But let's be really careful before we start a witch hunt here.
WOODWARD: Yes, and I completely agree with that. And by having an investigation, I mean, was there real harm to the national security? I think that question needs to be addressed at a policy level. And it's very difficult, I know from doing stories like this, where you are dealing with sensitive government secrets, to modulate and be careful, at the same time hold the government accountable for what they're doing.
So this is an area that needs to be handled with great delicacy and I'm not sure we have a political system that knows how to do anything with great delicacy. BERNSTEIN: The record of the press, you know, is really quite good in protecting real genuine national security secrets which we often know about. Don't put -- you know, think of what you are carrying around in your head that you don't put on the air.
SCHIEFFER: Well, I've forgotten most of what I know.
BERNSTEIN: But think about it. I mean, we know a lot that we don't put in there.
SCHIEFFER: Let me -- you know, you all make a point at the end of this piece where you say that in the end it was Nixon that brought down Nixon. And you point to the last speech he made before he left town. I just want to play a little of it here.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
NIXON: Always remember others may hate, those who hate you don't win unless you hate them. And then you destroy yourself.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WOODWARD: I mean, what an insight. Because he raises the word "hate" and he understands that the hating of others doesn't destroy them, it destroys you. That the poison in his presidency was this hate. And it's a magnificent moment and you need to give him credit for that.
At the same time he then went on, he lived 20 years after he left the presidency and declared again this fifth war against history. Wrote in his book "In the Arena," saying, oh, Watergate, they are a bunch of myths, I didn't do this. And most startlingly, he said, oh, I never authorized the payment of hush money to the burglars so they wouldn't talk.
Well, there's a tape in which he authorizes it 12 times. And it's almost this world like, they don't think anyone is going to check. No one is going to kind of put it together but there it is in his own voice.
And people have -- I'm often asked, well, why wouldn't people go on the record on this story? In the end, Nixon is the one who went on the record in his tapes and there he is, you know, not just a couple of times, but dozens, hundreds of times literally saying things that if that's going on in the White House now, God help us.
BERNSTEIN: God help us.
SCHIEFFER: Well, I want to thank both of you for your work. This fascinating and remarkable figure in American history, who opened relations with China, which had to be done far ahead of his party, who did some remarkable work in arms control, and then in the end it came down to this.
We'll be back in one minute with the latest on today's big leak investigation.
SCHIEFFER: And we're back now with the chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee, Dianne Feinstein, from California. And out in Detroit this morning, her House counterpart, Chairman Mike Rogers.
Well, lady and gentleman, last Friday the Justice Department announced two U.S. attorneys had been assigned to investigate these recent leaks of classified information. And this has been information about the cyber-war that the United States has reportedly been waging on the Iranian nuclear facility and development. Also some -- a lot of details on drone strikes.
Is this enough, Senator Feinstein, the Justice Department has appointed two investigators to get on this case?
SEN. DIANNE FEINSTEIN (D-CA), CHAIRWOMAN, INTELLIGENCE COMMITTEE: Well, hopefully it's enough to get to a relatively quick disposition. I think what is happening out there, it's a very different day than what Carl Bernstein and Bob Woodward spoke about.
We were attacked. We know there are people that want to do us damage. We know there are IED factories making bombs to kill our people in Afghanistan. We know that there are groups that if they can will attack us.
And therefore, the intelligence is related to the nation's security. And I think that's an important point. I think that these two investigative teams, I think it's probably one for the Yemeni situation and one for the Iranian situation, have an opportunity to do the investigation quickly, and if there were unauthorized leaks, to get to the bottom of it.
SCHIEFFER: Chairman Rogers, these men, of course, will be U.S. attorneys that are going to be looking in to this. There was some talk that maybe because this might involve -- well, obviously would involve the administration and people in the administration, that perhaps you needed independent counsels.
Are you satisfied that U.S. attorneys can get this done?
REP. MIKE ROGERS (R-MI), CHAIRMAN, INTELLIGENCE COMMITTEE: Well, we're going to have to see what their reporting structure is, Bob.
And hi, Senator Feinstein, by the way.
FEINSTEIN: Hi, Mike.
ROGERS: This is important. We launched in the House a preliminary -- I asked investigators on the House committee just to take a look at from a preliminary review perspective on this particular leak. And it was because of the parade of leaks that I think Senator Feinstein and I both stood up and said, something has got to be done about this. We need to close their yaps here if we can. And here is what happened.
So many asked the question, me included, can you have a U.S. attorney assigned to the -- through the attorney general investigate something that is clearly going to be at the most senior levels of all of the executive branch, DoD and FBI, the attorney general's office, and even the president.
And some of the leaks -- and the public leaks are self-described "aides," or people who were in the Situation Room, that's a pretty small but pretty important group of people. And so my question to the attorney general is, good start, maybe, but we need to find out if they will have that independence.
And this needs to be fair, it needs to -- it shouldn't be a partisan thing. This should really be about catching the folks who are leaking some very damaging national security information.
SCHIEFFER: Well, you said the other day, Mr. Chairman, you said this is a hundred times the magnitude of the Valerie Plame case. Now this was a case where the identity of Valerie Plame, it came out that she was a member of the CIA, which was classified information.
And one of Vice President Cheney's top aides, Scooter Libby, actually went to jail for trying to cover this up. So, how bad is this?
ROGERS: Well, at that time, Bob, the president agreed to an independent counsel. You know, Senator Feinstein and I are trying to work out, is that the right course?
SCHIEFFER: But how bad is this?
ROGERS: But both of us are committed to a process that isn't partisan, isn't ideologically driven. I think that would be a disaster.
But I'll tell you what's important. I mean, I had eight very senior case officers from a whole different set of programs in my committee just recently, and two of the persons -- all the men and women at that table said, this is devastating to them and makes their jobs so much significantly harder.
That's why we have to get the investigation piece right. And it can't be based on an election time frame and it can't be based on who had access and who didn't. It has to be fair. The investigators have to have the ability to take the investigation where it goes. If it goes to the (inaudible) or DOD or FBI, they have to go there.
SCHIEFFER: I want to come back to you, Senator Feinstein. But let me tell you -- let's just show people what the president said Friday about this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: As I think has been indicated from these articles, whether or not the information they've received is true, the writers of these articles have all stated unequivocally that they didn't come from this White House. And that's not how we operate.
SCHIEFFER: That's pretty unequivocal. He said they did not come from the White House. Can he be assured enough of his information to say that, Senator?
FEINSTEIN: I can't answer that. I don't know. But I take the president at face value. And as Chairman Rogers said, the investigation has to be nonpartisan; it's got to be vigorous; and it's got to move ahead rapidly.
I think -- let me give you one example. And it's the example of the Yemeni bomb. Al-Asiri in Yemen has investigated a bomb -- has invented a bomb which is nonmetallic, which can go through magnetometers, which would take a very invasive body search to find.
They had a person that was willing to help them, who got one of these bombs in its entirety. And that bomb was most likely going to come in to the United States one way or another. And so the CIA and others recovered the bomb. That was very closely held.
By the time the bomb got to the United States, I would candidly doubt that it was closely held. And so it leaked, and the person that helped us, his life was put in jeopardy and his family was put in jeopardy. Now, he did us a great service. He probably prevented an airliner from going down. That's lost in all of this.
SCHIEFFER: Let me just go back to Chairman Rogers. You know, some people are saying -- suggesting, some Republicans, at least, that the motive here is that the people who leaked this were trying to make the president look big and strong, as it were. Do you think that figures into this?
ROGERS: No, I'm not -- again, I hope that ideology and politics don't settle into this because I think that would interfere with a thorough, complete and fair investigation. If you really want to get to the bottom of this -- and I know Senator Feinstein and I really want to get to the bottom of this, A, because we know that sources' lives are in danger and operations, importantly, going forward, are in danger. That is a serious blow to national security. So this should be done in a way that is fair and nonpartisan.
SCHIEFFER: Well, let me...
ROGERS: ... to all the investigators, don't go in with a conclusion but go in following your leads where you find them...
SCHIEFFER: I have 10 seconds here. ROGERS: ... and wherever that takes you.
SCHIEFFER: ... and let me just ask Senator Feinstein, do you think this was leaked by the White House to make the president look good?
FEINSTEIN: I have no information. No, I do not believe that.
SCHIEFFER: OK. All right. Well, we're going to have to leave it right there. Thanks to both of you, and we'll obviously be following this story very closely. Back in a moment.
SCHIEFFER: Finally today, we want you to know that Friday night, at their annual dinner, the Radio and Television Correspondents Association gave a special award to CBS News photographer George Christian.
George has covered the news for 40 years for CBS. In addition to his remarkable body of work, he has saved the bacon of many of us here, including me more times than I can count. It was hard to get scooped when George had your back.
Never one to rest on his laurels, he's on the job this morning operating the camera that is taking the picture of me that you're seeing right now.
George, you're a real pro, so take a bow. We all appreciate what you've done, George.
SCHIEFFER: And that's it for us today. We'll see you next week, right here on "Face the Nation."
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