Face the Nation Transcripts January 26, 2014: Cruz, Schumer, McCaul

(CBS News) --  Below is a transcript of "Face the Nation" on January 26, 2014, hosted by CBS News' Bob Schieffer. Guests include: Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., Rep. Michael McCaul, R-Texas, Peggy Noonan, Bill Kristol, Bill Daley, Bob Woodward, Brian Boitano and Billie Jean King. 

SCHIEFFER: And good morning again. As you probably know by now, there has been another mall shooting yesterday. A 19-year-old that police have now identified as Darion Marcus Aguilar of College Park, Maryland, took a shotgun and two homemade explosive devices into a suburban mall in Maryland, shot and killed two people, then apparently turned the gun on himself.

Plus, there is a new threat against the Sochi Olympics that has surfaced this morning from the same group that claimed responsibility for the bombings in Volgograd, Russia last month. Those bombings killed at least 34 people.

For the latest on both of these stories, we're going to got now to the chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, Michael McCaul. He is just back from Sochi. And I want to get to your trip, Mr. Chairman, but first, I want to know if you know anything more about this shooting at the Columbia Mall yesterday. We're told that police call it an isolated incident. I take that to mean this was not a terrorist thing?

MCCAUL: That's correct. This is not a terrorist threat at all. It's probably more a domestic squabble. But it does highlight the vulnerability of shopping malls. Two shootings, soft targets like we saw in the Kenya shopping mall case -- that's the kind of scenario we do not want to see happen in the United States.

SCHIEFFER: Well, what do we do? More security at the malls? What -- what do you do to combat that?

MCCAUL: Well, you can't have a lockdown, security lockdown at our malls, but things like canines, a heavier canine presence, very good at detecting explosives. I know this individual had a backpack of explosives.

But the fact is, Bob, it's very difficult to stop a lone gunman who may have mental issues that wants to kill people. And you can only do so much to stop that.

SCHIEFFER: All right. Well, let's -- let's turn to Sochi. I know you're just back. I know, when you were there, you said you wanted to come back and get more intelligence before you decided whether you would recommend that your own family go to Sochi for the Games.

Where does that stand right now in light of, now, yet another terrorist threat to the Games?

MCCAUL: Well, that's a difficult question to answer. I would say we should not scare people from attending the Olympics. It's a time- honored tradition. If we do not support our team and show up, I think the terrorists are winning, and that's what they're trying to do here.

Having said that, I would say that the security threat to the Olympics this particular Olympics are the greatest I think I've ever seen, because of the proximity of the terrorists to the Olympic Village. And just recently, Bob, most significantly, now we have the leader of Al Qaida, Zawahiri from Pakistan, Afghanistan, now calling for a global jihad against these Olympics.

As a Homeland Security chairman, that is very disturbing to me in terms of the security at the Olympics.

SCHIEFFER: Well, let's talk about that a little. I mean, is this something -- should we just cancel this whole thing? Should we not put our athletes in harm's way?

What -- I mean, when he's talking about a worldwide jihad, that sounds pretty serious stuff here.

MCCAUL: It's -- it's concerning. It's a little spooky, combined with these so-called black widows we know are seeking revenge for their husbands' death in the Caucasus region. And we know one of these black widows penetrated the ring of steel, if you will, that Putin has put up.

I don't think it's time to be an alarmist and cancel. If this thing gets worse, maybe we would consider that. But remember this ring of steel has about 100,000 security officials. I saw them down there, the Cossacks. You have the special forces, the military. This is quite a fortified event. Putin is putting everything he has, from a security standpoint, down there.

We have also added our diplomatic security corps, FBI agents and others, to help with the security. The perimeter itself, I think, is secure, the Olympic Village. The -- I think the real threat lies outside this ring of steel where soft targets can be hit quite easily.

And I think you're probably going to see more of those, like you just saw with that train bombing you had on the program earlier by a suicide bomber with buses. And they're calling for more of these attacks just as of yesterday. So I think you're going to see more of these attacks but outside the perimeter.

SCHIEFFER: Congressman, do you think we are getting the kind of cooperation that we need from Putin himself?

I know, for a while there, he wasn't talking to the outside agencies and to us. He said, "Oh, we'll handle all this." Has that situation changed at all?

MCCAUL: The one sense you get over there in Russia is a sense of nationalistic pride. They do not want the United States to come in and tell them how to secure their Olympic Games. So we have delegate, you know, balance to deal with.

I would say the area of cooperation that could be most effective that is not happening right now would be the intelligence-sharing and also military sharing with respect to these IEDs, IEDs being the weapon of choice for these terrorists. We have these jamming devices that could stop IEDs from going off. We've offered that to the Russians, and so far they have not accepted that offer. I would implore them to work with us on that.

SCHIEFFER: All right. Just tell us where we are right now. Where does this stand?

How dangerous is this? What has to happen here? What needs to be done?

MCCAUL: I think what brings this home, Bob, is I remember appearing on this show talking about the Boston bombers and trying to explain why this area is so important. This is the Chechen rebels. This is, you know, the Dagestan area that's been at war with Russia for 150 years, and now it's spun off into a radical Islamic movement.

And so, again, the concern -- you know, my job is to look at threat assessments and to protect Americans. We're going to have 10,000 to 15,000 Americans at these Olympics, so this latest development with the leader of Al Qaida, there's never been this connection between Pakistan, Afghanistan and Chechen rebels before, although some would argue there's been support.

But for the first time, Zawahiri coming out and endorsing, blessing and calling for this global jihad against the Olympics, wow, that gives me great pause.

SCHIEFFER: All right. Well, very disturbing news this morning, but thank you, Mr. Chairman, and I hope you'll keep us informed.

We want to turn now to the president's State of the Union speech on Tuesday, and we're going to Houston and the Tea Party Republican Ted Cruz, who led the shutdown of the government last fall because the president wouldn't agree to shut down Obamacare.

Senator, thank you for coming. You have already released a list of issues you want the president to address in his State of the Union speech, including you want a new investigation into the Benghazi controversy and into the IRS. You want him to admit that his economic program has failed, that it was a mistake to pass Obamacare on a party-line vote.

Senator, that sounds like you want a confession, not a speech.

CRUZ: Well, what I put out are the questions that I'm hearing from Texans all over the state. I spend a lot of time traveling the state of Texas listening to Texans. And the questions they raise -- over and over again, they say, why are jobs and economic growth so dismal?

We've got the lowest labor force participation in over three decades, since 1978. And if President Obama wants to give an honest, candid State of the Union address this week, he'll address the fact that his economic policies are not working and that they're exacerbating income equality. They're hurting the people who are struggling the most.

Each of the questions I put up are questions that the people are asking. Now, I think the odds that the president will answer them are not high, but it's what he should if he was listening to the concerns that people are raising.

SCHIEFFER: Well, of course, what he would say is that he is creating more jobs, that unemployment is going down and on and on. But we'll leave that for the Democrats to talk about.

Let me ask you this, you became a celebrity when you led the drive to shut down the government over Obamacare. But afterward your fellow Republicans said you led them over a cliff. Can you conceive of any situation in which you would do that again, try to shut down the government in exchange or in demand for some action by the president?

CRUZ: Well, Bob, with all due respect I don't agree with the premise of your question. Throughout the government shut down I opposed a government shutdown. I said we shouldn't shut the government down, I think it was a mistake that President Obama and the Democrats shut the government down this fall. The reason they did so, is that President Obama dug in and said he wouldn't compromise, he wouldn't negotiate.

In fact, I went to one of the most surreal meetings I've ever been at where President Obama invited all the senate Republicans to go up to the White House. He sat us in a room -- this is in the middle of the shut down -- and he said I invited you here to tell you I will not negotiate, I will not compromise on anything. That's why we had a shut down.

That was a mistake.

But in terms of whether we should have stood and fought on Obamacare, I think the proof is in the pudding. Millions of people across the country have seen why we were standing and fighting because Obamacare is a disaster. And, you know, for the state of the union, one of the things President Obama really ought to do is look in the TV camera say to the over five million Americans all across this country who of had their health insurance canceled because of Obamacare to look in the camera say, I'm sorry. I told you if you like your health insurance plan you can keep it. I told you if you like your doctor you can keep your doctor and that wasn't true. I'm sorry.

But then, Bob, here is the real kicker, if you are really sorry you don't say you're sorry you actually do something to fix the problem. The pattern we've seen over and over again with this president is he says he's sorry, expresses outrage then doesn't fix the problem, he keeps doing it over and over.


SCHIEFFER: All right, let me go back to one thing. And the question I asked you was, would you ever conceive of threatening to shut down the government again?

CRUZ: Well, as I said I didn't threaten to shut down the government the last time. I don't think we should ever shut down the government. I repeatedly voted to fund the federal government.

SCHIEFFER: Senator, if you didn't threaten the shut down the government who was it that did? But we'll go on to something...

CRUZ: It was Harry Reid and President Obama.

Bob, look, I understand that the White House said over and over again the shut down is the Republicans fault. And I understand, that's what you're repeating. But the reality is, I voted over and over again to fund the federal government and the reason we had a shut down -- look, the Democrats were very candid. I know they told you, they said, we think the shut down benefits us politically. Right now the Democrats are telling you that they want another shut down, because they think it benefits them politically.

Why is it hard to understand that they forced the shut down when they think it benefits them politically.

SCHIEFFER: Senator, I know what Republicans were telling me like John Boehner who said this was the disaster and never again.

But let me ask you one more question here. The government is approaching...

CRUZ: Let me ask you a question...

SCHIEFFER: Well, now just a minute. Just a minute, the government is approaching another deadline, February 7 when it will run out of money unless congress agrees to raise the debt ceiling. Will you agree to raise the debt ceiling or demand something in return?

CRUZ: Look, of course we should do something. We shouldn't just write a blank check.

Five years ago, the national debt was $10 trillion. That took 43 presidents over 200 years to build up $10 trillion in debt. Today, it's over $17 trillion. It's grown nearly 70 percent with one president in five years. And if you ask any American outside of Washington, should we just keep raising the debt ceiling while doing nothing to have fundamental structural control of spending to get Washington spending problem under control? It doesn't matter if you're talking to a Republican, a Democrat, an independent, a libertarian, anyone outside of Washington says of course.

And it's worth noting in the past the debt ceiling has been the most effective lever point for real structural reforms whether it was Graham-Rudman, which did great job of restricting government spending, getting it under control, or whether it was the Budget Control Act. Both of those came through the debt ceiling.

And what the president is saying is he just wants a blank credit card to keep growing and growing the dealt. And I think that's irresponsible. I think it's irresponsible to our kids and grandkids to stick that debt on them, because we can't live within our means.

SCHIEFFER: Let me ask you something on different subject. Do you think Chris Christie is still a viable candidate for the Republican nomination? CRUZ:: You know, Bob, I like Chris Christie, I think he is brash and outspoken I think it's terrific he's been able to get elected twice as a Republican in a very blue state. I think it's unfortunate he's found himself in this mess.

And I hope he can extricate himself. I'm certainly rooting for him to do so, because I think he's an effective leader and I'd like to see him move on to governing New Jersey and not being mired in the scandal.

SCHIEFFER: Will you run for president?

CRUZ: Well, look, my focus is on the challenges facing this country right now, it's on the senate. My focus, for example, is on the abuse of power from the president.

Let's take something like the IRS scandal.

SCHIEFFER: So, do I take that as a yes or no? Or still thinking about it.

CRUZ: What you can take that as is that my focus is standing and fighting right now in the senate to bring back jobs and economic growth. Economic growth is my number one priority.

SCHIEFFER: Thank you so much for joining us. And we'll talk to you again.

CRUZ: Thank you, Bob.

SCHIEFFER: And we'll be back in one minute.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SCHIEFFER: And joining us now for some reaction to the Republican side of things, at least Tea Party side of things, New York Democrat Chuck Schumer. I'll just give you the chance to respond, what did you think of what Senator Cruz had to say?

SCHUMER: Well, a lot of it sort of Alice in Wonderland. He says the president's policies haven't worked, but he hasn't let them go in to affect. He's blocked just about everyone.

And I would say this, I have good news on the debt ceiling. I do not believe Republican leaders will follow Ted Cruz -- let me say that again, I was getting feedback -- I do not believe that Republican leaders will follow Ted Cruz over the cliff once again. I believe we will pass a clean debt ceiling. That makes sense. We don't want to risk full faith and credit. We can debate all these other issues at a different time and place.

But I think they learned their lesson with the government shut down, not only did Tea Party ratings plummet, but so did Republican Party ratings.

And I think there's a new way of thinking in the Senate and the House among Republicans so that we can get more done in 2014 than we did in 2013. They are not just going to mindlessly follow Ted Cruz and the Republicans over the cliff into this hard line position unless we get our way, we're going to hurt innocent people whether by shutting down the government or not renewing the full faith and credit of the United States.

SCHIEFFER: Let me ask you about "The Hill" newspaper, which circulates on Capitol Hill, ran a headline this week said that Chuck Schumer had a plan to poison the Tea Party. I think we've got a picture of that maybe we'll show that before the broadcast is over here.

Do you? Obviously you didn't mean that literally...

SCHIEFFER: Well, it's not to poison them. But look the question millions of Americans are asking, not just Democrats but independents and Republicans, how can a small extreme minority paralyze the government? I think I have a plan on how to deal with that dealing with the fundamental contradiction in the Tea Party.

The Tea Party elites believe government is evil, everything about government is bad and they blame all problems, even noneconomic problems, problems that were caused by the private sector on government.

But the Tea Party rank and file is different. They have been fed this line that government is to blame, but when you ask them about specific programs they are for them. They're more Medicare. They want to keep it. They are for the government building highways, which its traditionally done. They're for the government helping middle class families get their kids go to college.

So I think that Democrats gave them a pass in 2009, when we let them just foist this anti-government theory on everybody. And the world is changing. The tectonic plates are changing. The average middle class person with his or her income declining wants help and they want a government to be not blocked and obstructed, as Ted Cruz does all the time, but actually to do things to help them.

So we're going to focus on some specific things that we think have support even among Tea Party rank and file like raising the minimum wage, like make college more affordable to middle class families, like creating jobs by infrastructure growth.

SCHIEFFER: Let me ask you this, do you think there's any chance of getting anything done on immigration reform this year?

SCHUMER: I do. I do, Bob. Let me tell you why. There's a lot of Republicans who feel that they should do something. This is not a monolith, even among the hard right. Economic conservatives like immigration reform, and, in fact, many supported the bill that John McCain and I put together in the Senate.

You have major Republican groups, Evangelical Christians, the business community, the high tech community, lobbying for this. Speaker Boehner is now entertaining it. Obviously, he's not going to do it exactly the way we do it. But I would predict that we will get immigration reform done this year. It will be another example of the mainstream Republicans not just listening to the Tea Party, but doing what's right for their country and for their party.  

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