Face the Nation Transcripts February 23, 2014: McCain, Jindal, O’Malley

(CBS News) --  Below is a transcript of "Face the Nation" from February 23, 2014. Guests included Holly Williams, John McCain, Bobby Jindal, Martin O’Malley, Amy Walter, John Dickerson, Dan Balz, Jonathan Martin, Margaret Brennan and Bobby Ghosh.

SCHIEFFER: And good morning again. Well, it is fairly quiet on the streets of Ukraine this morning, but the situation is far from settled. For the latest, we're going to go to CBS news correspondent Holly Williams. Holly?

HOLLY WILLIAMS, CBS NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Good morning, Bob. There has been a week of bloodshed here in Kiev. We've seen deadly clashes between anti-government protesters and riot police, which has left scores of people dead. But yesterday the demonstrators woke up to discover that they were suddenly in control of Ukraine's capital. The riot police had simply melted away and the interior ministry, which controls the police, said it was now on the side of the protesters. Ukraine's president, Viktor Yanukovych, has fled the city. We believe he's now in his stronghold in eastern Ukraine. There is a big geographical divide in this country. In the east, they tend to favor close ties with Russia, as Yanukovych does, but here in the west, the protesters say Yanukovych is corrupt and dictatorial, and they aspire to join the European Union. Now, during these three months of demonstrations, Russia has traded insults with the E.U. and the U.S. They accuse each other of interfering in Ukraine's politics. The country's parliament voted yesterday to sack Yanukovych, and then there were extraordinary scenes, as the protesters took over the luxurious presidential residence just outside of Kiev. So the demonstrators do seem to have emerged victorious. The problem for them is that Viktor Yanukovych refuses to go. He appeared on television yesterday saying there had been a coup. He said he was still president, and he compared the protesters to Nazis. But with Ukraine security forces now apparently on the side of the demonstrators, it seems just matter of time until Viktor Yanukovych will have to acknowledge that he has been defeated.

SCHIEFFER: So, Holly, who is actually running things right now, or is anyone running things?

WILLIAMS: It's a very good question. The parliament voted yesterday to elect its speaker, Aleksandr Turchinov, as acting president. So if you ask the parliament, he's in charge. If you talk to some of the protesters on the square, they'll tell you that they're in charge. And Viktor Yanukovych clearly thinks that he is still the president. The reality probably is that Yanukovych will have to admit that he has been beaten fairly soon. But I think that the protesters will probably stay out on the square until those elections that are scheduled for May.

SCHIEFFER: All right. Well, Holly Williams. Thank you so much, Holly. And joining us now from his home state of Arizona, Republican Senator John McCain. Senator, the last time you talked to us, you were actually in Kiev, met with the protesters. You even addressed the crowd there at one point. Yesterday the opposition leader and the former prime minister, Yulia Tymoshenko, was released from jail and addressed the crowds in Kiev. So I understand you have talked to the former prime minister and some of the other officials. What -- what are they telling you?

MCCAIN: I've talked to them, including Vitaly Klitschko and Yulia Tymoshenko and Mr. Yatsenyuk (ph). They -- they are, of course, overjoyed, but there's a sobering reality here that they recognize. Remember, in 2004, I was there when they had their first opportunity and obviously it didn't succeed. They're aware of that. But their economic situation is so dire that literally the economy is on the verge of collapse. And they're going to need help immediately. The second issue, I think, that is not clear is what does Vladimir Putin do. The eastern part of Ukraine is, especially with older people, more pro-Russian. Crimea is very Russian. Putin's major naval installation, Sevastopol, is there. And so what does -- what does Putin do here? I think the message has to be sent to him to let the Ukrainian people determine their own future. And a partition of Ukraine is totally unacceptable. And we need to act immediately to give them the economic assistance that they need, based on reforms that are going to be required as well. It's going to be tough sledding.

SCHIEFFER: So we give them economic assistance. Is there anything else that the United States can do?

MCCAIN: I think to speak out, to make the message clear to Vladimir Putin that -- that partitioning the country would not be acceptable. The Ukrainian people will determine their own future. They want to be Western, Bob. That's what this whole hundreds of thousands in the square was all about. They don't want to be Eastern. And, by the way, if I were Vladimir Putin today, at the end of the Olympics, I'd be a little nervous, because the people of Russia have watched this transpire and they're tired of the crony capitalism and kleptocracy that governs Russia today. If I were him, I'd be a little bit nervous.

SCHIEFFER: I want to ask you about something else, Senator McCain. Susan Rice, the national security adviser, hasn't been on Sunday TV much...

(LAUGHTER)

... since that Sunday when she told us that the violence in Benghazi grew out of a spontaneous demonstration. That violence, of course, took the lives of four people, Americans. You came on after Susan Rice and suggested she really didn't know what she was talking about, to put it bluntly. Well, this morning she was on "Meet the Press," and here is what she said.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SUSAN RICE, NATIONAL SECURITY ADVISER: That information turned out, in some respects, not to be 100 percent correct. But the notion that somehow I or anybody else in the administration misled the American people is patently false, and I think that that's been amply demonstrated.

SCHIEFFER: So do you have any reaction this time, Senator?

(LAUGHTER)

MCCAIN: I'm almost speechless because it's patently obvious, first of all, that Susan Rice had no reason to be on the program. She had no involvement in it.

Second of all, she read talking points that we are now beginning to believe came from the White House, which were absolutely false. We now know that director -- that the CIA station chief on the ground sent a message immediately saying not -- slash -- "not spontaneous demonstration."

And of course, the information was totally misleading, totally false. And for Susan Rice to say such a thing, I think -- it's a little embarrassing, to tell you the truth.

SCHIEFFER: Senator, I want to ask you about something you said the other day. You said that President Obama was -- and I believe these are your words -- "the most naive president in history." Did you mean that literally, or how did you mean that?

MCCAIN: I meant it in my -- in my time in public life. When you look at the so-called Geneva farce that was just a terrible joke, where we expected for Bashar Assad to come to Geneva and arrange for his own transition from power when he was winning on the ground was ludicrous. We now find that, as far as the Iranian nuclear issue, they are maintaining they are not going to dismantle a single centrifuge. The Palestinian-Israeli peace talks are obviously going nowhere. And American influences is on the wane throughout the world.

I mean, the best example is yesterday, or the day before. The president said that this had nothing to do with the Cold War, the issue, the situation in Ukraine. In the eyes of Vladimir Putin, it does. He wants to restore the Russian empire.

Remember, Putin is the guy that said the worst thing to happen in the 20th century was the fall of the Soviet Union. And he continues to want to push that reset button and not realize what kind of people we are dealing with.

And, finally, the best example I can tell you, my friend, is that we lost 96 young Americans in the second battle of Fallujah, soldiers and Marines, 600 wounded. We now have the black flags of Al Qaida fly over the city of Fallujah.

SCHIEFFER: All right. Well, Senator, it's always good to have you with us. Thank you so much for joining us.

We're going to turn now to the home front. The nation's governors have descended on Washington this week. We're pleased to welcome two of them, Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal and a governor who didn't have to travel quite as far as the rest of them, Maryland Democrat Martin O'Malley.

Governor Jindal, I want to start with you. And I'm going to get right to it. Right after the 2012 elections, you said -- well, I'll just play what you said.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JINDAL: We've got to stop being the stupid party. And I'm serious, it's time for a new Republican Party that talks like adults. It's time for us to articulate our plans and our visions for America in real terms.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHIEFFER: You said, we've got to stop being the stupid party. Well, how is that going?

JINDAL: And that's exactly right. That was an RNC audience. And you can tell there was some nervous laughter when I said that.

Look, I've got op ed coming out tomorrow. As party we can't just be the party of no. As a party, we've got good solutions.

We're going to be meeting with the president. One of the things I want to share with him is that this president, this administration has a chance to be laser focused on job creation. We're not doing that.

You know, this president feels like he can act unilaterally. He feels like with the pen and phone he can make decisions without congress. I don't necessarily agree with that, but if he's go to make those decisions, why doesn't he do things, for example, let's increase domestic production of energy creating hundreds of thousands of good paying jobs. Why not delay all of the mandates in Obamacare is has become such a job killer in our economy.

We're at an history -- a 36 year low in terms of our labor force participation rate. The Republican Party should be the party of growth and opportunity. Why not approve the Keystone Pipeline today? In five years of study, tens of thousands of jobs, the Obama administration's own folks have said, no, this is not going to do damage to the environment if we approve it versus rejecting it there are specific things the president can do to create jobs.

The Republican Party needs to be all about growth, opportunity, creating good paying private sector jobs.

We're now in the middle of the weak -- one of the weakest recoveries since World War II. My party needs to be the party that says we've got real solutions on education, let's be for school choice, let's be for tenure reform. Let's say to the Democratic Party stopping being captive to the teacher unions, let's give every child the chance to get a great education.

SCHIEFFER: What about immigration?

JINDAL: On immigration -- look, I've said all along that people that want to come into this country, work hard, get an education, that's good for them, that's good for us. There's nothing wrong with Republicans in congress saying let's secure the boarder first. If this president was serious about moving forward with comprehensive approach he would start by securing the boarder.

We don't need a thousand page bill. It's not complicated. Right now, we have low walls and a narrow gate. That is opposite of what we need, we need a high walls and wide gate, so that more people can come in to this country legally.

SCHIEFFER: Let me ask you this, after -- since you said we have to stop being the stupid party, the government was shut down, people blamed the Republicans for doing that. We have had Republicans undercutting their own leadership in both the House and the Senate. Do you think there is some sort of a disconnect between people, Republicans outside Washington and Republicans at the national level those those in Washington?

JINDAL: Oh, look absolutely. I think there is disconnect between the American people outside of Washington and the folks in D.C., Republican or Democrat.

SCHIEFFER: Well, talk about your side of the street.

JINDAL: On the Republican side, I think if you want to see real conservative principles being applied, you see it at the state level. So you see governors, for example, in Florida, in Ohio, in South Carolina, in Michigan, state after state with Republican governors, you see the unemployment rate going down, you see private sector jobs being created, you see Republican governors taking on public pension reform to tackle long term debt. You see Republican governors embracing school choice and tenure reform. You see Republican governors cutting taxes, creating good jobs, balancing our budgets, doing fiscally responsible things.

If you want to see conservative principles being applied you see them outside of Washington, D.C. Washington, D.C. has been the one recession-proof economies the last several years. Unfortunately you do see type of crony capitalism in our national capital. The administration, the Obama administration continues to give favors, breaks to favored industries and companies. Out in the real world, out in the real world you see Republican governors balancing their budgets and growing their economies.

SCHIEFFER: What do you think about Ted Cruz and the impact he's had on your party?

JINDAL: Look, I think he's passionate. I'm not one that wants to engage in Republican fratricide, I don't think we need to beat each other up. I think that it's a good thing that there are Tea Party and other and other conservative members active in our party.

Think about what he's trying to bring to the attention of the president and the leadership of congress. Our debt was $9 trillion when the president took over. President Obama criticized President Bush. Now the debt is over $17 trillion. It's not projected, the budget is not projected to be balanced at any point over the next ten years.

Our children and grandchildren have to pay that get back at the state level. In Maryland and Louisiana and other states we have balanced budget requirements in our constitutions. In Louisiana, you can't raise taxes without a super majority. The budget can't grow faster than the private sector economy.

I think it's right that folks in D.C. need to stand up and say, we can't just keep spending more money than we're taking in.

SCHIEFFER: Are you going to run for president? Are you going to explore it? When are you are...

JINDAL: Look, the honest answer is, I don't know. We have got 36 governors' races this year. We have got the control of the senate, the control of the House. We're focused on that. I've started an organization focused on winning those war of ideas called America Next. We're developing detailed policy ideas. It's not a PAC, it's not a Super PAC, not one page policies, detailed policy ideas on how do you replace Obamacare? What is an energy plan for the country? What is education plan so every child gets a great education.

 

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