"Face the Nation" transcripts January 20, 2013: Plouffe, Rice, inauguration 2013, MLK panel, and the Castro twins
(CBS News) Below is a transcript of "Face the Nation" on January 20, 2013, hosted by CBS News' Bob Schieffer. Guests include White House senior adviser David Plouffe, former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, The Washington Post's Bob Woodward, former Bill Clinton Press Secretary Dee Dee Myers, Wall Street Journal columnist Peggy Noonan, a panel on the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., featuring author Taylor Branch, LeHigh University's Dr. James Peterson, and former LBJ aide Joe Califano, and finally, San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro and his twin brother, Rep. Joaquin Castro, D-Tex.
SCHIEFFER: Today on FACE THE NATION, Barack Obama and the second time around. They're putting the final touches on the platforms and podiums. The rehearsals are under way, and Vice President Biden has already taken the oath.
VICE PRESIDENT JOE BIDEN: So, help me God.
BOB SCHIEFFER: That's because the Constitution says the oath must be taken on January twentieth. The President takes it at noon. Then, all of it will be repeated during the public ceremony tomorrow. But in a Capitol divided, what next? No one has a better handle on what the President wants to do than White House adviser David Plouffe, who joins us this morning. Monday is Martin Luther King Junior's birthday, also, so we'll talk about all of it with the former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice; Bob Woodward of The Washington Post; former Clinton aide, Dee Dee Myers of Vanity Fair; conservative columnist Peggy Noonan of The Wall Street Journal; Joe Califano once an aide to Lyndon Johnson; Taylor Branch, author of a new book on race; and James Peterson of Lehigh University. We'll round it out with the newest brother act in politics, San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro and his identical twin, Joaquin, just elected to Congress. That's a big group, but there is a lot to talk about on FACE THE NATION.
ANNOUNCER: From CBS News in Washington, FACE THE NATION with Bob Schieffer.
BOB SCHIEFFER: And, good morning again. We welcome to the broadcast David Plouffe, architect of the President's election in 2008; again last year a key adviser in the administration throughout. Let me ask you first about the situation in Algeria, where this awful terrorist attack took place. We know-- know that there were seven Americans at that compound, and the reports are one is dead. Do you have any more information on any of the others?
DAVID PLOUFFE (White House Senior Advisor): I don't this morning, Bob. Obviously, if and when we have additional information, the State Department will release that.
BOB SCHIEFFER: And what about this whole state of terrorism now? Have we defeated al Qaeda, as some in the administration were talking about earlier?
DAVID PLOUFFE: Well, we have, I think, decimated a lot of al Qaeda's top leadership, you know, particularly in the Afghanistan-Pakistan region. But I think what this shows is, countries around the world share a common threat. It's why we work so closely with our counterterrorism partners on sharing information and expertise and technology. But it's going to take a global response to this. And it-- it shows that whether it's in North Africa, Yemen, you know, there are real threats out there from terrorism and we need to stay vigilant and we are going to work with our allies and our counterterrorism partners as closely as we can.
BOB SCHIEFFER: What do you know about what the Algerian government did in trying to end this? They killed a lot of people. Did they? Was this done right or?
DAVID PLOUFFE: Well, first of all, I think the focus-- all of the blame here needs to be on the terrorists, obviously, who committed this act. To use innocent civilians in their twisted aims, obviously, is a terrible thing. We're, obviously, going to be working closely with the Algerian government in the days ahead to have a full understanding of what happened. But I think the focus needs to be here on the terrorists who committed this atrocity and understand that there are threats around the world and we need to continue to be vigilant and continue to partner with our counterterrorism allies to make sure that we are disrupting these networks wherever they are.
BOB SCHIEFFER: I was thinking back about the country. It-- it is deeply divided, certainly as divided as it was at the end of Jimmy Carter's term, maybe as divided as it was all the way back to 1968, when the country was torn apart by the Vietnam War. What are your priorities as you go into this new term?
DAVID PLOUFFE: Well, the first priority, Bob, is obviously to continue to grow the economy, focused on the middle class, and getting people in the middle class. That's the core mission of the country is. We've, obviously, beginning to recover from the recession, but we have a lot more work to do. But if you look at some of-- well-- well, yes, we-- we have some political divisions in this country. There is vast support out there for balanced deficit reduction, investments in education and manufacturing, immigration reform, gun safety. So on the issues the President intends to really push and focus on, there's massive support in the country, even amongst Republicans, that's why-- and let's not lose sight of that, that-- and that's why we're going to do a better job in the second term of-- while we're going to do all we can to work with Congress and negotiate, to also make sure the American people are more connected to what's going on here. And-- because I think to really get the kind of change here in Washington, the-- the American people are going to demand it. But there is-- is real, I think, consensus around a lot of these issues out in the country.
BOB SCHIEFFER: What about the idea that--
DAVID PLOUFFE: Yeah.
BOB SCHIEFFER: --the Republicans have now said that they will--
DAVID PLOUFFE: Yeah.
BOB SCHIEFFER: --go along with the three-month extension put on the-- on the debt ceiling increase, are you going to be-- does that help or?
DAVID PLOUFFE: Well, it's helpful that they have now dropped their demand. That the only way they are going to pay the country's bills, they themselves racked up, would be to extract some concessions. You know we've got us this never again have this threat to the global economy and our economy because Congress may not pay its bills. Now, three months is no way to run an economy or railroad or anything else, so that's not ideal. But there is-- so I think it's a significant moment that the Republican Party now has moved off their position that the only way they're going to pay their bills is if they get their correct kind of concessions. Now, where does that leave us? I think we would all be better served to go back to a little bit more regular order in Congress, so we're not careening crisis to crisis. Congress ought to work together and come up with a long-term fiscal plan.
BOB SCHIEFFER: But you see this as a good sign?
DAVID PLOUFFE: I think that they are no longer saying the only way we pay our bills is, you know, to have huge cuts to things like Medicare or that's positive. But, let's try and get some-- listen, you see our economy--good housing numbers this past week, good construction numbers. I think that our economy is poised to really grow, and-- and we can't have Washington be the hindrance to that. Washington ought to be a help, not a hindrance.
BOB SCHIEFFER: Can you get a gun bill through Congress?
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