Face the Nation transcript October 16, 2016: Pence, Kaine


JOHN DICKERSON, CBS HOST: Today on FACE THE NATION, we will talk to both vice presidential candidates, as the tone of campaign 2016 hits rock bottom.

With just over three weeks to go until Election Day, at least nine women have accused Donald Trump of making unwanted advances, some charging outright assault. And the fallout has sent Trump into a flurry of counterpunches.


DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE: False stories, all made up, lies, lies, no witnesses, no nothing, all big lies. It’s a rigged system.


DICKERSON: Hillary Clinton faces an avalanche of e-mails hacked from her campaign chairman that shows the behind-the-scenes maneuvering of a presidential campaign.

Both Mike Pence and Tim Kaine will join us.

Then we will go in-depth on both stories. Key conservatives will talk about the state of their movement, as Trump causes a rift in the Republican Party. And veteran journalists join us to talk about hacked e-mails and the way Washington works.

Plus, our new Battleground Tracker poll shows a big shift among women voters.

It’s all coming up on FACE THE NATION.

Good morning, and welcome to FACE THE NATION. I’m John Dickerson.

Our new Battleground Tracker shows a dramatic shift in key 13 states we’re watching here at CBS News. The candidates were tied last month. Now Hillary Clinton is ahead 46 to 40 percent over Donald Trump. That jump is due to gains from women voters. Clinton has gone from a five-point edge in September to a 15-point advantage now, this following a videotape where Trump boasts about groping women and allegations this week from nine women that he did just that over the last 35 years.

We will hear from both vice presidential candidates, starting with Donald Trump’s running mate, Indiana Governor Mike Pence, who is campaigning in Tampa.

Welcome, Governor. I want to start with these allegations.


DICKERSON: We have the tape from last week. Now nine women have come forward basically claiming Donald Trump behaved just as he said in private.

Shouldn’t voters at least pay attention to this and try and figure this out? I mean, isn’t the -- are they crazy to think there might not be something there?

PENCE: Well, I think Donald Trump did what he needed to do last weekend.

You know, I spoke out in my concern about the 11-year-old video that came forward. He went before the American people and said that he apologized to his family and he apologized to the people of this country and said he was embarrassed about what he heard said 11 years ago. But he made it clear that it was just talk, not actions.

And in the days that followed, I know there have been unsubstantiated allegations that have been made, but Donald Trump has made it clear that he categorically denies those allegations. And we’re going to continue to focus this campaign on, frankly, where the people of this country are focused, John.

Over the course of this last week and in the midst of all of these issues swirling in the national media, I can tell you that the crowds that I saw here in Florida over the last several day, the crowds that gathered with him in New Hampshire and Maine last night are focused on a stronger America at home and abroad, about reversing a course that’s literally set wider parts of the world spinning apart under the foreign policy of Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama, and frankly the policies that have stifled the American economy, particularly as it pertains to -- as it pertains to health care.

DICKERSON: Let me ask you, Governor...

PENCE: And Donald Trump has a message that is enlivening, and it is resonating with people all across this country. And we’re going the fight the next 23 days to carry it all the way through Election Day.

DICKERSON: Let me ask you this, Governor. You have spoken a lot in your career about character of the candidates, not relative to each other, but just relative to a standard.

In 1992, Bill Clinton said, “I feel your pain.” He was in touch with the voters. He spoke for them. And Democrats said that is what was important, not these character questions. It sounds like you’re making a version of the same case for Donald Trump.

PENCE: Well, not so.

Obviously, history records that Bill Clinton didn’t just talk about doing things, that he did them. It took a while to find all that out. He was under oath in 1998. And he finally came clean on having taken advantage of a 23-year-old intern at the White House named Monica Lewinsky, and in the most appalling behavior by an American president in the history of this country.

Look, Donald Trump has made it very clear that he deeply regrets those words that he used 11 years ago, that they don’t represent who he is, and that he has categorically denied these unsubstantiated allegations.


PENCE: What is really remarkable, though, John -- what is really remarkable, though, John, is in a week where you have this series of unsubstantiated allegations, and, of course, there is competing evidence that’s coming out regarding these particular incidents, we have an avalanche of hard evidence and about Hillary Clinton’s years as secretary of state and the Clinton Foundation.

We found out this week, because of another network’s efforts, that while she was secretary of state, Hillary Clinton actually -- her team directed contracts for the reconstruction of Haiti after the earthquake to friends of the Clintons.

This is exactly the kind of political favoritism that she said wasn’t happening.


DICKERSON: I want to ask you about your candidate, Governor.

PENCE: And it’s being largely ignored by this network and largely ignored by the mainstream national media, John. And the American people, frankly, see right through it.

DICKERSON: Let me ask you, Governor, about your candidate has responded to these allegations using the word sick. Talking about the people who are making the allegations, says they’re sick, horrible, phony.

And he says that one of the women would not be his first choice. One of the claims you’re making about Hillary Clinton is the way she treated Bill Clinton’s accusers. Donald Trump is treating these accusers pretty roughly himself.

PENCE: Well, Donald Trump has made it clear that he categorically denies the allegations that have been made against him this week.

DICKERSON: But what about the treatment of these people coming forward, sir?

PENCE: Well, but, John, what about...

DICKERSON: Sick, Governor?

PENCE: What about calling half of our -- half of our supporters a basket of deplorables?


DICKERSON: So, it’s OK if Hillary Clinton does it? Is it -- two wrongs make a right?

PENCE: What about...


PENCE: .... this week that came out with the most anti-Catholic, anti-evangelical rhetoric that I have ever seen by anybody in a high position in public life?

I mean, John, honestly, the reason why you see the resilience in our numbers around the country, the reason why you see such determination of the American people is, frankly, people see an overwhelming bias in the national media, a willful ignorance about an avalanche of hard evidence about Hillary Clinton and the Clinton Foundation and her years as secretary of state, and end up putting above the fold and leading the news with these unconfirmed, unsubstantiated allegations.

And I think it’s -- it, frankly, is why we’re just going to continue to fight every single day between now and Election Day to change the direction of this country.

DICKERSON: I understand.

PENCE: The American people feel -- the American people feel like, in a very real sense, that the Democrat Party and many of you in the media are working together to present -- prevent the kind of change the American people long to see of a stronger and more prosperous America. And we’re going to fight our way all the way to Election Day.

DICKERSON: I appreciate that, Governor.

I’m trying to deal with what the -- what your candidate is saying on the stump in real time right now. Another thing he’s saying is that the election is rigged. My question is, is that a responsible thing for a candidate to say?

PENCE: Well, I think what Donald Trump is talking about is, frankly, what appears to be the monolithic support of the national media for Hillary Clinton’s campaign, their willful ignorance about the avalanche of hard evidence, not allegations, John, but hard evidence now coming out in these e-mails of collusion and pay-for-play politics.

And the American people are just tired of it.

DICKERSON: Governor...


PENCE: Look, we will respect the outcome of this election, John.

Well, let me be very clear. Donald Trump said in the first debate that we will respect the will of the American people in this election. The peaceful transfer of power is a hallmark of American history. And elections get really tough.

But the American people are getting awful tired of this two-on- one fight, with many of you in the national media doing half of Hillary Clinton’s work for her every day. All we’re asking for is while -- whatever you want to report about our campaign, let’s get out there, let’s let the facts speak for themselves.

But let’s get before the American people this avalanche of e- mails that is confirming pay-to-play politics and outright corruption during the Clinton years.


DICKERSON: Before we run out of time, Governor, let me ask you a question, though.

When Donald Trump talks about a rigged election, here’s the way one of his supporters hears that. This is a quote from “The Boston Globe” from a Trump supporter, who said: “I’m going to go right up behind them” -- talking about being at polling places -- Donald Trump has encouraged his supporters to watch the places -- “I will do everything legally. I want to see if they’re accountable. I’m not going to do anything illegal. I’m going to make them a little bit nervous.”

That’s what -- the way they’re hearing about rigged elections. Do you condone that kind of behavior?

PENCE: Well, I -- certainly not.

I don’t think any American should ever attempt to make any other American nervous in the exercise of their franchise to vote. But, look, states like my state of Indiana manage our election process. Poll watching is a part of that process. And it’s a message that I have delivered around this country.

People that are concerned about this election and about us preserving the one person, one vote that’s at the very center of our American democracy should become involved, should volunteer at their neighborhood polling place. That’s how we ensure the accountability. Frankly, that’s how we protect the integrity of the vote for Republicans, Democrats, independents. Everyone across the spectrum is served when we ensure that we have free and honest elections.

DICKERSON: All right, Governor. OK, Governor, thanks so much. We have run out of time, Governor Mike Pence.

PENCE: Thank you, John.

DICKERSON: And now to the other candidate for vice president, Virginia Senator Tim Kaine, who joins us from Miami.

Senator, you and your campaign have talked about these hacked e- mails of Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta as coming from the influence or having the influence of the Russian government.


DICKERSON: If Secretary Clinton were president, what would she do to retaliate against the Russians?

KAINE: Well, I have not talked with Hillary about this, but there does need to be a consequence.

When a foreign nation tries to destabilize an American election, which is what Donald Trump encouraged back in late July, he said, hey, Russia, go see if you can cyber-hack and find things that will help me win, but when a foreign government tries to do this, there has to be a consequence.

There will be time for figuring that -- what that consequence is, but you can’t let it go unchallenged, because, if you do, you just -- could encourage more of it.

DICKERSON: Do you see any link between the Trump campaign and these disclosures that have come out?

KAINE: I can’t discern any direct link, except for Donald Trump’s encouragement.

It was, I think, during the week of the convention in Philadelphia Donald Trump took a stage, and he basically said, hey, I would encourage cyber-hackers. Russia, see if you can find information on Hillary Clinton that will help me win.

You know, that was shocking. Later, when he was challenged about it, he said, well, I was just being sarcastic.

I don’t think it’s funny when you have a nation like Russia that has engaged in activity to destabilize elections in countries, Ukraine, Estonia, they have engaged in that activity, and somebody running to be president of the United States shouldn’t be encouraging another nation to cyber-hack the U.S.

DICKERSON: When you look at these e-mails and this hacked cache of e-mail, there’s a lot of effort to tell the voters a different story than what Hillary Clinton’s apparent position is on issues from trade to the XL pipeline, efforts to dodge, using a word from the e- mails, on the question of the e-mail server.

Don’t voters have a right to get the straight story from a candidate who is asking to be given so much power?

KAINE: Well, I think you can -- and you can ask the people involved in any of the e-mails what they think about the topics.

John, here’s something that we do have to just state very plainly: Not only are these e-mails an effort by WikiLeaks and Russia to try to destabilize our election, but, second, you can’t assume that they’re all accurate.

One of the e-mails that came up this week referred to me. It was completely inaccurate. And I don’t know whether it was inaccurate because the sender didn’t know what he or she was talking about or it had been doctored. But anybody who is going to try to cyber-attack and then try to destabilize an election, you can’t trust that they’re going to maintain scrupulous honesty about the content of what they’re dumping out for the world to see.

DICKERSON: When people look at the WikiLeaks e-mails, is it the standard of the truthfulness in those conversations that we should expect from the Clinton administration?

KAINE: Well, look, I’m not spending a lot of time looking at them, for the reason that I stated earlier. I don’t even assume that they’re all accurate.

DICKERSON: Let me ask you this, Senator. There’s -- you and others in your campaign have compared this to Watergate, said that the Trump campaign shouldn’t be making hay about these hacked e-mails, which are essentially stolen.

But the Clinton made a lot of hay about Donald Trump’s tax returns, which was disclosed without his knowledge or willingness. Why aren’t -- you making hay of that, and now they’re making hay of this?

KAINE: Well, look, they can -- they choose how the run the campaign. If they want the make hay, they can.

But here’s one thing we ought to demand of Donald Trump. Every time this comes up that these WikiLeaks, Russia documents are connected to Russia, he is the only one standing on the stage to defend Russia: Well, we don’t know that Russia was involved. It might be a big guy sitting in his parents’ basement.

And he -- over and over again, he is defending Russia on this, as if Russia isn’t involved, even though the director of national intelligence and Justice Department and FBI officials have connected Russia to these attacks.

Why does Donald Trump keep going out of his way to defend Russia on it? He should condemn Russia. In fact, it’s even been reported that he’s received intelligence assessments laying these attacks at Russia’s feet, but, for some reason, he seems to want to defend Vladimir Putin. I don’t get it.

He can make hay of whatever he wants to, but I think he ought to, instead of making weird claims that our election is rigged and challenging the integrity of the American electoral process, he should be standing up against people who are trying to destabilize our elections.

DICKERSON: But the Clinton campaign is saying the Trump campaign is doing something wrong by talking about this. And if that’s the case, then were you wrong to be talking about his leaked tax returns?

KAINE: No, because, look, I’m not saying Trump is wrong to be talking about this. That’s not me, and I don’t know that we’re really saying that.

Donald Trump made a promise to the voters in 2014: If I run, I’m going to release my tax returns.

And, secondly, as you know, that is the precedent for all in the modern era to release them. “The New York Times” has a story that has some information about Donald Trump’s taxes. And we think the information essentially confirms what Donald Trump himself said on a debate stage. When Hillary Clinton said, you probably don’t pay taxes, Donald Trump said, yes, that makes me smart.

Hey, there’s a whole lot of us out here who pay taxes to support our military and to support our veterans, and we don’t like being called stupid by a guy like Donald Trump, who brags about not paying taxes and stiffing our troops and stiffing veterans.

DICKERSON: With respect to Donald Trump and these accusations about his behavior, you have mentioned that it shows a pattern of behavior on Donald Trump’s part.

But that’s what Democrats defended against with Bill Clinton in 1992. Republicans say these allegations represent a pattern of behavior and that means he shouldn’t with president. So, if it was good enough to defend Bill Clinton to say there is a separation, why isn’t that a good enough defense for Donald Trump?

KAINE: Well, first, Bill Clinton is not on the ballot. This is a race between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton.

And, second, look, I don’t reach a conclusion about any particular allegation. But you do have to look at Donald Trump’s own words and actions. The tape that came out two Fridays ago that was -- kind of created this bombshell was not somebody else saying something about Donald Trump. It was Donald Trump telling everybody: This is the way I treat women.

And then, in the debate stage last Sunday, he was asked point blank, did you act in accord with what you said? And he didn’t want to answer that question. He tried to avoid it a couple of times, but Anderson Cooper pinned him down, and he looked at the camera and he said: No, I never acted that way. I talked about it. I never did it.

Well, you know, when you look America in the face and say that, then suddenly people are coming up here, there, all over the country, saying, no, actually, that is the way Donald Trump acts.

And it shouldn’t be surprising, given the way he’s talked about women from the beginning of the campaign and throughout his career, and frankly the way he’s talked about others as well. People can reach their own conclusion about it.

But when somebody’s actions are so closely connected to how he says he acts, I mean, I think people will draw the conclusion that Donald Trump’s got a real problem in this area.

DICKERSON: Senator, one other question about e-mail. There have been some reports that you have been e-mailing Hillary Clinton during the campaign and she you about various things.

Why, given all the hacking that’s going on, would anybody communicate by e-mail?

KAINE: You know, that’s a really good question, John.

I think all of us, until I can find a carrier pigeon that’s really fast, you know, we have got to communicate, and we’re not always together in person, and so sometimes we talk by phone. And sometimes we e-mail. But I think we’re all very mindful of the fact that our e-mails could be displayed in an inaccurate or highly altered version for the world to see. And then we act accordingly in what we decide to send.

DICKERSON: Senator Kaine, thanks for being with us.

KAINE: All right. Thanks a lot.

DICKERSON: The speaker of the House won’t defend Donald Trump. The Senate majority leader won’t mention his name. What’s happening to the Republican Party?

We will talk about that in one minute.


DICKERSON: We have gathered some key voices in the conservative movement to discuss what’s being called the civil war in the Republican Party.

Dr. Russell Moore is president of the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention. Alfonso Aguilar is the president of the Latino Partnership for Conservative Principles. Tammy Bruce is a radio talk show host and a FOX News contributor, and Matt Schlapp is the chairman of the American Conservative Union.

Tammy, I want to start with you.


DICKERSON: Let’s diagnose. We’re all going to diagnose the moment, or you all are all going to diagnose the moment.

What’s the state of the conservative movement inside the Republican Party?

BRUCE: You know, those two are very different these days, are aren’t they?

I’m very much a conservative. I’m an independent voter, though. What I can tell you is, is that Donald Trump is the nominee for a reason. It’s because of the failure of the Republican Party to stop the destruction of the country by the Democrats.

I can tell you that 3.7 million women have been pushed into poverty since Barack Obama became president. According to the CEO of Gallup, about 25 million economic lives have been destroyed; 48 percent of Americans have a full-time job. That is the lowest since 1983.

So, when you look at the Republicans and what conservatives have expected from the Republican Party is to push back on issues and policies and laws that destroy people’s lives. They have not done that. And what they’re reaping now from I think the beginning of the Tea Party, let’s say, in 2009 is a reaction and a rejection by the American people.

They ignored it then. They should have embraced it and routinized it. They ignored it in ‘10, in ‘14. They’re ignoring it now. Donald Trump is the result of being ignored and of the American people wanting people’s lives to get better and for the actual conservative ideal of economic freedom to prevail, which is the only thing that will save our lives.

DICKERSON: Alfonso, your diagnosis?


I think that I wouldn’t overstate the impact of Donald Trump in terms of his impact in the conservative movement. The differences that I think Tammy was talking about predate Donald Trump. And I think we can oversimplify it and say that, on the one hand, we have an establishment that’s too willing to give up principle, too tied to big interests, and then good conservatives who care deeply about the issues, but may be too rigid sometimes.

And in terms of the economy and income inequality and the wounds that American workers are facing, they’re too quick to blame trade and immigration. And that’s a problem. But the good news is that, between those two extremes, there are many Republicans who I think, after this election, can steer the party and the movement in the right direction.

DICKERSON: But, at the moment, Russell Moore, we have an election going on, and you have a speaker of the House who says he won’t defend Donald Trump, and you have -- Mitch McConnell won’t say his name. How do you see things?


Even when I’m talking to people who support Donald Trump, they do so with a conflicted conscience, and they do so with a certain sense of fear and trembling. But many of them are doing so that I talk to right now, especially evangelical Christians, not because they think he will win. They think he will lose, but because they are wanting to protest against a Hillary Clinton presidency, which will be awful and disastrous for many of the things that we’re concerned about.

But one of the things that concerns me is the personal and spiritual devastation that we see happening in this election. There are friendships that have broken apart. There are husbands and wives who don’t speak to each other about the election right now. And there are people who are going through a genuine sense of despair about the future of the country and about the future of their own lives when they look at the kind of cultural coarsening that would lead us to a situation where, on the left, people are saying the situations with the Clinton Foundation and the e-mails don’t matter, and, on the right, there are some people who are saying these comments about women are just locker room talk.

DICKERSON: I want to get to that in a moment, but...

MATT SCHLAPP, FORMER WHITE HOUSE DIRECTOR OF POLITICAL AFFAIRS: I guess we’re all living through the Clinton marriage. That’s what you’re really saying.

DICKERSON: What’s your diagnosis, Matt?

SCHLAPP: Much -- I agree with much of what my friends here have said.

I just think, yes, Obama, we have got to give him great credit. He got almost all his agenda through. While doing that, he has taken more legislative powers away from Congress. We have a constitutional crisis on our separation of powers.

It’s not all the Republicans’ fault in Congress. He went around them. You know, he has been overturned more times by the federal court, this person who used to teach constitutional law, than any other president. He has put us in this kind of constitutional crisis.

Obama deserves much credit for Trump as well, because name the bipartisan issue of substance that he was really able to work with the other side on to try to solve a big problem? Was it entitlements? No. Was it Obamacare? No. Democratic votes.

He made big missteps for the country. It helped him politically, but the country finds itself divided like never before, and that’s not what Obama ran on.

DICKERSON: All right.

We will come back and try and figure out how the Republicans, not Obama and the Democrats, handle this in just a moment.

We will take a break. Stay with us. We will be back with more from our panel.


DICKERSON: Stay with us. We have got a lot more FACE THE NATION coming up.

And be sure to join us Wednesday night at 9:00 Eastern for the final presidential debate. I will be there at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, along with my colleagues, including “CBS THIS MORNING” co-host Norah O’Donnell, and Gayle King, plus Bob Schieffer, for our live debate coverage.


DICKERSON: Some of our CBS stations are leaving us now, but, for most of you, we will be right back with more of our conversation with conservatives, plus an all-star Washington panel with Bob Woodward of “The Washington Post,” Maureen Dowd of “The New York Times” and others.

Stay with us.


DICKERSON: Welcome back to FACE THE NATION. I’m John Dickerson.

Russell, I want to start -- go back to something you said about this locker room talk.

When there are indelible moments that are happening here that some conservatives I talk to say we can’t get back from.

And on this question of character, you’ve got people saying, you know, what Donald Trump said was just what gets said in any old locker room, normalizing that behavior.

I’ve spent a lot of time covering conservatives who talk a lot about character.

What happened to the character question?

MOORE: Well, I think what we’re seeing right now is that the -- the warnings of the old religious right have actually come true about the coarsening of a culture. And I remember watching Bill Clinton on television dismissing, essentially, what happened with Monica Lewinsky, even when he admitted to it and then attacking Ken Starr and thinking aren’t the Democrats going to be morally outraged by this?

And they weren’t. Now, we’re seeing a situation where you have horrific talk about sexual assault and boasting and glorying in these things, which again, isn’t a one-off. This has been happening for a long time in the way he’s been talking. And you see people trying to -- to dismiss it as just locker room talk or this -- this is alpha male, as one person said, this is just the way that men talk.

I’m hearing from a lot of women who are horrified, not -- not just about what happened with Donald Trump. They know that Donald Trump is about.

But by leaders who are silent or who are dismissive about this.

I think that -- forget what’s happening in this election. That is going to have a long-term implication for the rest of the country.

DICKERSON: Tammy, address that idea of leaders being silent. But then also, Donald Trump has talked about his accusers -- I mean he’s used some pretty tough words about those accusers and then evaluated them on their attractiveness...


DICKERSON: -- which seems to be the thing that got him in the trouble in the first place.

BRUCE: Yes, it’s really good we’re not electing a husband or a boyfriend, isn’t it?

You know, we’re electing a president who is -- I look at him, actually, as if you’re in the ambulance and you’re going to the trauma center and there’s a trauma surgeon, I’m not particularly care how that person is going to be speaking. That person is going to get you to be able to live another day, to be able to get out of that emergency room, to be able to function the next day.

Now, look, I can tell you that the Obamas probably have the best marriage since the Reagans in the White House. Mr. Obama clearly does not offend anyone when it comes to the nature of how he speaks about women or people.

This nation is now going down the drain. And while I would prefer to have President Reagan back, we don’t.

So what I’m looking at is I’m voting for President Trump for -- for Mr. Trump for the thousands of women who deserve to not be murdered, as an example, by the one of the 1.2 million illegal criminals -- illegal alien criminals in this nation.

There is violence. It’s about economic freedom. It’s about the jobs. Again, I mentioned earlier the 3.7 million women in poverty now, since Obama became president. So yes, of course we would prefer fabulousness at every level. From Mr. Trump, I prefer to be offended by him on occasion than be left for dead by Hillary.

SCHLAPP: John, this -- you know, you -- we keep going to this question about what is somebody who is -- believes in strong traditional values in the culture?

I agree so much with what you said about the fact that what we said was going to happen in the culture has happened in the culture.

But what I -- when I talk to people of faith, first of all, they’re completely offended by the emails that were released about them mocking Catholics and Christians. That was reprehensible. And we should cover that more.

But second of all, Christians are no longer necessarily saying we’re going to overturn “Roe v. Wade,” we’re going to bring back traditional marriage, we’re going to have prayer in the classroom. We don’t even talk about prayer -- you know what they want, John? they want to be left alone with their First Amendment rights to be able to practice their faith fully on the -- in -- in the job, in their home, in the raising of their children, convince -- make -- forcing nuns to buy contraception and these strange permutations that the Obama-Clinton policies have us in have Christian voters -- voters of faith in a different position.

They will support, in many cases, not all cases, someone like Donald Trump, because he think -- they think he will stand up and fight.

AGUILAR: Look -- look, I -- I think it’s more complicated than that. And, look, inside the beltway, I hear a lot of strategists say this is a binary choice. You know, if you want Hillary Clinton and want her bad policies, the -- the Supreme Court being controlled by liberal judicial activist judges then -- then, you know, you have to vote for Trump.

But the truth is, in America, different from other countries -- this is not Italy, where you have Silvio Berlusconi doing something, you know, and -- with women and then his polls -- poll numbers go up.

This is America and character counts. We’ve always considered character as paramount. The president of the United States is a moral reference.

So, yes, I’m appalled at Hillary Clinton, her scandals, her lies. But we have to vote. But to choose Donald Trump just because he’s the anti-Hillary, I just think that a lot of us are going to come out and just leave that part of the ballot blank.

I -- look, we had too many candidates in this primary. Despite our differences, the frustration here is that despite our differences, we know that if we had a serious candidate, we should be winning this election with all the scandals and everything that’s coming out of WikiLeaks.

She -- her candidate -- candidacy would have been derailed.

DICKERSON: Russell, the -- on the -- if I’m a Republican -- and a lot have broken with the nominee after this tape came out -- is -- I mean who is taking the moral position -- the better moral position, the person who says I have a fixed set of standards, these break those, I won’t support that person?

Or the person who says, I’m going to support Donald Trump, he’s the nominee of my party -- I’m -- I’m pledged to the party, and therefore, I’m going to submit him?

Who has the moral high ground?

MOORE: Well, I can understand the person who’s wrestling with his or her conscience and saying I’m going to choose one of the other of these because of a lesser of two evils approach. I don’t agree with that, but I can understand why someone would do that.

I think that’s very different than people who are standing up and saying, well, we’re not electing a pastor, we’re not electing a Sunday school teacher, we’re not electing a choir boy, we’re electing someone who is -- who is simply going to be as mean and as tough as possible. And to act as though we fight lack of integrity and character with moral lack of integrity and character, I think that is going to have problems...


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: But look, we can’t avoid the fact that...


BRUCE: -- spoke directly to my comment, though, about who we’re electing. When you talk a -- I think it is important to think about women and character when we move forward.

But when we talk about the issue about jobs, about the nature of who’s going to build up the business in this country, the issue of regulations, of taxes, that is -- you want to talk about an assault on women?

The assault on women is destroying small businesses, making -- having women live in their parents’ basement until they’re 30.


BRUCE: The -- the destruction of health care, our hospitals and doctors. So this does matter. And -- and it is about hiring someone, at this point, because we’re in an -- in an existential battle for the future.


BRUCE: So for every woman watching who’s making a decision, yes, vote with women in mind, and vote with the future in mind for yourself and your daughters, because this is the character that matters. It’s surviving so that we can continue the greatness of the country.

DICKERSON: (INAUDIBLE), let me set the question up, taking what Tammy said, is that the -- the charge I hear is that this -- these don’t happen in silos, that when you don’t respect the boundaries on the character front, that your ability to solve things in just the way Tammy suggests is actually also eroded. That was the -- the claim that’s been made in other character instances.

So why isn’t that the case here?

SCHLAPP: I’m with the doctor on this. I think that your character matters. And I don’t think you can kind of privatize your character. And I think it does permeate to what kind of president you’re going to be.

And what I know and what I’ve seen of Donald Trump is he’s somebody who looked at the last seven and a half years of Barack Obama and he woke up and got a lot more serious. And he realized his country was going down the drain.

And I think he’s lived a big flamboyant life. I’m sure he’s done tons of things we would all object to.

But the fact is is this, as he says, he is who he is. With the Clintons, let’s just be honest. They say two for one. She says Bill Clinton will run the economy. He was impeached. They were dead broke because they paid $850,000 to Paula Jones. They paid over a million dollars in fines and settlements and fees. He was disbarred. He wasn’t allowed to go to the Supreme Court.


SCHLAPP: The idea that the Clintons would make the moral case...


SCHLAPP: -- and the character case is absurd.

BRUCE: But she has bragged.

SCHLAPP: And I think...






UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It’s a choice. It’s -- it’s standard.


BRUCE: But she’s bragging in the WikiLeaks about the importance of being two-faced.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: -- a private and a public...


MOORE: I agree completely on the Clintons.

BRUCE: It’s extraordinary.

MOORE: But if this is more serious on the Trump side, then I think many Americans are saying what have we come to?

BRUCE: But the Obama...


BRUCE: -- marriage and character disputes that about the nature of what’s going to save this country. And perhaps, even just for four years, the steps we need to take to right her.

DICKERSON: OK, we’re going to have to leave it there.

I want to thank our panelists.

And we’re going to talk next about hacking and emails and all the other news in the political world.

Stay with us.


DICKERSON: And we’ve assembled an all star panel this morning to talk politics.

Maureen Dowd is a “New York Times” op-ed columnist for “The New York Times.” And her new book out is called “The Year of Voting Dangerously.”

Bob Woodward’s latest book is “The Last of the President’s Men.”

Jon Meacham is the author of “Destiny and Power” and he’s the executive editor at Random House.

And David Ignatius is a columnist for “The Washington Post.”

Jon Meacham, I want to start with you about a piece you wrote in “The New York Times” about the difference between George H.W. Bush, about whom you’ve written, “Destiny and Power,” and the current Republican nominee.

Jon Meacham, I want to start with you about a piece you wrote in “The New York Times” about the difference between George Herbert Walker Bush, about whom you’ve written, “Destiny and Power,” and the current Republican nominee.


DICKERSON: That is a big difference in a pretty short time period.

MEACHAM: To paraphrase Henry Adams, the movement from George H.W. Bush to Donald Trump disproves Darwin. You know, it’s a remarkable descent, whether you agreed or disagreed with George H.W. Bush politically. He was a figure of enormous public grace and dignity and empathy.

He knew how to play politics. He knew how to hire tough people. He ran a tough campaign in 1988. So this is not a case for Saint George or Kennebunkport.

What it is a case for is that this was a man who, when confronted by the vicissitudes of politics, he almost always did the right thing and tried to put the country first.

DICKERSON: Where -- what do you make of where we are right now?

You’ve got Donald Trump out there talking about a rigged election with 23 days to go before.

How do you -- how do you see Trump in the -- in this week of history?

BOB WOODWARD, “THE WASHINGTON POST”: Well, I frequently disagree with Jon, but I agree on this. I mean this -- this is a -- an amazing appalling election and the idea that we are reduced to the discussion of when did he grope and who did he grope and what did he grope is absurd. And it -- it is a true shame for the voters that people are not getting answers to questions like how might you use military force, what’s the job of the CIA, how would you organize your White House?

How do you keep from letting the White House become a bunker with an isolated president?

Those things don’t come up.

DICKERSON: Maureen, you covered Bill Clinton and now you’ve -- you’re watching this unfold.

Donald Trump responded to his -- to his accusers by calling them sick, by suggesting that one of them wasn’t attractive enough for his attentions.

How -- where do you -- how do you see this?


MAUREEN DOWD, OP-ED COLUMNIST, “THE NEW YORK TIMES”: Well, it’s funny because Bob said to me once, we went to the premier of the movie “Nixon” and he said that every president gets the psychoanalyst he deserves.


DOWD: So -- but now the whole country has -- have -- has become psychoanalysts. We’re all trying to analyze Trump’s behavior. And he brought, you know, some women who were Bill Clinton accusers and sat them in front of Hillary Clinton for the debate, which I think was one of the most bizarre things any of us have ever seen.

And his argument was that they hadn’t, you know, been treated as credible enough.

And then when he has this cascade of women accessing him, he just suddenly, you know, begins trashing them and saying they can’t be believed.

And he doesn’t understand there’s no logic in Trump-world. He lives in his own alternative universe where logic doesn’t apply.

And as one of his good friends said, Donald does as Donald wants.

DICKERSON: David, I want to ask you about this question of Russian hacking the emails, the other -- the story we’ve been talking about today.

First of all, what does the U.S. government think about what’s actually happened, the role -- the connection between the Russian government and what we’ve seen coming out of WikiLeaks?

DAVID IGNATIUS, COLUMNIST, “THE WASHINGTON POST”: Since July, which is when the first evidence that the Russians had hacked the Democratic National Committee’s servers, there’s been a big debate within the Obama administration about how best to respond. And after a lot of back and forth, the decision was made, we need to state as much of what we know publicly as we can.

So a week ago, we had a formal statement by the director of National Intelligence, James Clapper, and the secretary of Homeland Security, Jeh Johnson, essentially accessing Russia of having stolen these emails and then put them into our political debate in an election year for the purpose destabilizing it.

Then, on another network show today, we have the vice president, Joe Biden, taking it a step further and saying that we intend to send a message to the Russians through our actions not to do this ever again. And when he’s pressed, he kind of smiles and says he hopes the public won’t know about it, implying that this will be covert action.

I’m told this morning by government officials that no action has yet been taken by the United States. There were some stories out immediately after the first accounts of -- of what Biden said, suggesting that it had already begun.

Apparently it hasn’t. And they’re still debating what will be most efficacious?

What do you do that deters the Russians without hurting yourself even more in the process?

So, John, I think that debate will continue. They just -- I think they want to prevent the Russians from doing even more in this last month of the election.

DICKERSON: I’ve been talking to Clinton officials and they bring up the word Watergate.


DICKERSON: And so I ask you, they say if Nixon had said, oh, this is great, what they’ve found by breaking in and I’m going to use this in my campaign, it would have been pretty shocking. They say people should be equally shocked at -- at the Trump campaign using, to good benefit, the findings of this hacking process.

WOODWARD: Well, but that -- Watergate was a domestic crime, clearly a crime. In -- in this case, it’s espionage, at least at -- at this point.

But I think you still have to look at what the emails tell us. I by no means have read them all, but I’ve read some. And there was one where I think Hillary Clinton’s chief speechwriter sent to Cheryl Mills, the chief of staff in the State Department, saying oh, Hillary is changing her position on the Keystone Pipeline and let’s leak that so she won’t have to say it herself publicly.

Now, this is this culture of concealment, the failure to have straight talk. And it’s quite likely Hillary Clinton is going to win and be the next president.

And I think the question becomes, for her and for voters, is she going to be able to govern?

You talk to lots of people who are her supporters and they say, you know, she may be elected, but will be a weak president.

And part of this is she’s got to kind of face -- and this isn’t just about Trump, it’s about her. The majority of the people distrust her and she needs to -- she can’t walk away from that question.

DICKERSON: Maureen, did you, in these emails, when you see what Bob is talking about, the XL Pipeline, trade, other things where they’re shifting and shading, trying to hide her -- or divert, does that look to you like politics as usual, what we see in all administrations?

Or is this something that’s particular with the Clinton administration or Clinton folks?

DOWD: Well, it’s hard, because the, you know, the crazy transgressions of Donald Trump kind of, relatively speaking, make this seem minor. I think it would have been more lethal during the primary, but the part, to me, that’s almost poignant is Hillary Clinton has been trying for 25 years to show who she is to the public and getting memos from her staff.

So we see the same memos from her staff now that she got in ‘92, saying we’re going to -- in ‘92, it was we’re going to have a spontaneous -- they’re always scripting spontaneity...


DOWD: -- right?


DOWD: So we’re going to have this spontaneous moment where Bill and Chill -- and Chelsea surprise you on Mother’s Day.


DOWD: So now, we have Neera Tanden sending one saying, “We’re going to have like an end of summer party where you’ll groove to the music,” she can groove to the music and she can have a beer and, you know, it’s just kind of sad. They have, you know, they have off the record answers sort of scripted out for her for reporters with the cue to smile.


DOWD: You know, it’s -- it’s sad.

DICKERSON: Jon, let me ask you a question about governing versus campaigning.


DICKERSON: So in -- in campaigning, you want candidates to be as straight as possible.

There is a case that Hillary Clinton tried to make in one of the Goldman Sachs’ speeches that there should be...


DICKERSON: -- a distance between the public position you have and the private in order to, when you’re trying to make deals -- you’ve written about a lot of presidents.


DICKERSON: Is she right about that?

MEACHAM: Absolutely, she’s right. I mean the -- this is a -- this is not a new political insight, you know, we can go to to Machiavelli and go even -- even farther back.

Politics is the art of the possible. It’s about personal manipulation, in many ways. Thomas Jefferson would try to tell the person he was talking to, signal the person he was talking to that he agreed with them and he was going to take the best of what they said and try to put it with this other idea that wasn’t so great from the other guy and maybe we can get there.

And so, you know, we -- we live in a nation that is better off because Lyndon Johnson could do that, because Ronald Reagan could do that, to some extent. So there’s always a public and a private face.

With the -- the problem right now is with 23 days to go, you have a woman who -- for whom, if this election were entirely a referendum on Trump, it would be over.

But as Bob says, it is also a referendum on her. And that’s why it’s so close.

DICKERSON: And, David, your thoughts about these emails, having covered Washington for a while?

IGNATIUS: Well, the emails are interesting. I -- I have to be honest, I find political embarrassment in them. I find characteristics of her closed, tight, scripted political personality, which is familiar to us.

I -- I haven’t found yet anything I’d call scandal. And on the question, is she a fundamentally dishonest person, she certainly is a -- is a closed person. But we’re looking at world class -- seeming world class dishonesty by the Republican candidate, Donald Trump.

So I just -- I’d -- I’d -- I’d make that -- make that distinction.

The final point, we don’t know what else is going to come out...

DICKERSON: Right. Right.


IGNATIUS: -- from these emails...


IGNATIUS: -- and -- and leaked things in the last month.

DICKERSON: Twenty seconds, Bob.

WOODWARD: I mean, that’s exactly right. We don’t know. And if these people, WikiLeaks or whoever is behind it, can hack John Podesta, my god, getting to Hillary Clinton’s emails, as the FBI now has told us -- there are 14,900 that were not turned over that have -- have gone to the State Department.

So, you know, keep your seat belts on.


DICKERSON: Yes, 23 more days and more disclosures.

Thanks to all of you.

When we come back, we’ll go in-depth with our Battleground Tracker.

Stay with us.


DICKERSON: More from our Battleground Tracker and CBS News elections director, Anthony Salvanto.

In addition to the 6 point lead Hillary Clinton has now opened up in the 13 battleground states, our Tracker has her up 6 points in the state of Nevada and in Utah, Donald Trump is ahead with 37 percent of the support, third party and other candidates total 32 percent and Hillary Clinton has 20 percent support -- Anthony, let’s talk about the Trump tapes first...


DICKERSON: -- and the effect those have had on her polling.

SALVANTO: Yes, we’re now on track for what may be one of the biggest gender gaps we have ever seen. And that is the difference between how women vote and how men vote. This swing toward Hillary Clinton overall is driven almost entirely by the women’s vote.

But what’s really notable is you go inside, and number one, you see a drop among Donald Trump’s support with Republican women. So he’s now lost ground among the very people that he needed at this point to start winning. And you start to see a little bit of a closing off in that nine and 10 of the women who find the tapes offensive now say they won’t consider him.

So that puts a bit of a barrier there going forward.

DICKERSON: And that was a group he needed.

Is that what’s behind -- that’s clearly what’s behind some of the defections from him, from other Republicans.

What do rank and file Republicans feel about those Republicans who -- who’ve bolted from Donald Trump?

SALVANTO: They think they’re motivated by politics and not by principal. And, you know, this is a larger them that we’ve seen throughout this year where the rank and file Republicans who elected Donald Trump to this -- to this nomination don’t care much what the party leadership thinks. In fact, even in this survey, they say that they think Donald Trump looks out for people like them more than they think the Republican Party represents them.

DICKERSON: Right. And that’s the point Tammy was making earlier.

You spent some time in Utah this week.


SALVANTO: Because Donald Trump is underperforming what a Republican typically does in reliably Republican Utah. And one of the big reasons out there is that conservative voters do not like him personally, people of the Mormon faith in particular think that, you know, he, as a person, they give him much lower ratings than Republicans and conservatives do across all the battleground states.

DICKERSON: Quickly, 20 seconds left, Republicans -- you’ve talked about women who may be closed off to Donald Trump.

What other -- is he having trouble inside of his party in other ways?

SALVANTO: He is down with Republicans overall. It’s those Republican women, it’s those Republican moderates that -- that he is not -- he is not capturing. And what makes that hard is that this is a point where you really needed to be -- any Republican needed to be closing ranks and growing from there.

Nine in 10 feel like he’s not even trying to win their vote, because they like him on the economy and they like him on defense, but that’s not what they say they’re hearing.

DICKERSON: All right, Anthony Salvanto, there’s so much, as always.

And we’ll be back in a moment.


DICKERSON: Today, and until next week, for FACE THE NATION, I’m John Dickerson.