Face the Nation transcripts August 16, 2015: Kasich, Graham, O'Malley
A transcript from the August 16, 2015 edition of Face the Nation. Guests included: John Kasich, Lindsey Graham, Martin O'Malley, Peggy Noonan, Ron Fournier, Robert Costa, Jamelle Bouie, Mike Halperin, and CBS News' Margaret Brennan and Charlie D'Agata.
JOHN DICKERSON, CBS HOST: Today on FACE THE NATION: There's no vacation from politics.
And breaking news this morning, as plane disappears in Indonesia.
It's summertime at the Iowa State Fair, which means candidates talking politics and eating food on a stick. But this year, there was a new ride.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: How do you like that, kids? OK?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
DICKERSON: Donald Trump took a group of future voters in his helicopter and continues to take the Republican Party on its own wild ride.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: I have a lot of love for the people and tremendous love for the people and love for the country. And I'm having a good time.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
DICKERSON: That's one approach.
We will talk to Ohio Governor John Kasich, who is on a different route, taking the high road when it comes to attacking the other candidates, even Hillary Clinton.
Plus, we will hear from South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham and Democratic candidate Martin O'Malley.
Hillary Clinton changed direction and unexpectedly turned over her e-mail server to the FBI.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
HILLARY CLINTON (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: So, I'm going to let whatever this inquiry is go forward, and we will await the outcome of it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
DICKERSON: What impact will that move have on her campaign? We will have plenty of political analysis and take look what's ahead for U.S. and Cuban diplomacy after the U.S. opened the doors of a new embassy in Havana.
It's all ahead on FACE THE NATION.
Good morning. And welcome to FACE THE NATION. I'm John Dickerson.
We want to start with that missing plane. A Trigana Air Service twin turboprop carrying 54 people has lost contact with air traffic control in a remote area of Indonesia.
CBS News correspondent Charlie D'Agata is standing by in our London bureau -- Charlie.
CHARLIE D'AGATA, CBS NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Good morning, John.
It was just nine minutes before the plane was scheduled to land when it disappeared. Indonesia's search-and-rescue agency has identified the area where air traffic control lost contact, and they have had to suspend the search until daybreak due to heavy weather.
Now, this is reportedly the twin prop Trigana Air Service plane that took off from Jayapura on a domestic 42-minute flight. The remote mountainous region is covered with dense jungles and a storm has brought strong winds, heavy rain and fog. The transportation minister said there was no indication the pilot made a distress call, but villagers reported a crash.
Indonesia has had more than its share of aviation disasters. Just last June, a military transport plane crashed into a residential area in Sumatra, killing 140 people. Last December, a passenger plane plunged into the Java Sea, killing 192 people on board. Trigana Air Service is one of number of Indonesian airlines that have been blacklisted by the United States and Europe, barred from flying into those countries because of safety concerns.
DICKERSON: Charlie D'Agata, thanks.
And we're joined now by Ohio governor John Kasich, who is in Columbus.
Governor Kasich, I want to -- you have had a good couple of weeks here. You have stayed on the high road. You have been asked a lot about Hillary Clinton's server. And you have stayed away from answering those questions. Donald Trump seems to be taking the opposite approach to the campaign. What do you make of those two different approaches?
GOV. JOHN KASICH (R-OH), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Well, my approach is let people know what I'm all about, John, balancing the federal budget as one of the chief architects, defense experience serving on the Armed Services Committee, turning Ohio around from $8 billion in the hole to surpluses and the growth of 350,000 jobs.
But, look, I want people to know what I'm all about right now, because I think the country needs -- lifted. I think it needs uniting. But let me also tell you -- I was thinking about this as I was listening to the introduction.
I beat an incumbent Democrat when I ran for the legislature at the age of 26. I was the only Republican to defeat an incumbent Democrat in 1982 for Congress running on the record of Ronald Reagan. And I was the first one to defeat an incumbent of any party in 36 years here in Ohio, and, of course, ran for reelection and won the second largest electoral victory in the history of the state.
But I'm sort of into letting people know what I'm for. And I'm into, John, lifting people. I mean, Well, we have plenty of time for me to debate particularly Hillary Clinton, if she's the nominee, and point out our differences. And I have won all these elections against incumbents and I expect to win this one as well, but with a message that's bigger, not one that is smaller.
DICKERSON: And so I want to get at your theory of the electorate, because you see the electorate in one way and Donald trip Trump, who is at the top of the polls right now and is leading your party -- "The Wall Street Journal," for example, says that he is not appealing -- you said that Donald Trump was tapping into something.
What the "Wall Street Journal" editorial page said essentially is that he's tapping into people's worst instincts. What is your view of the electorate? Do you agree with that?
KASICH: Well, I think the electorate -- no, I think the electorate is fed up and frustrated.
I think they think government doesn't work. I just ran into a lady yesterday. She -- somebody walked into the office where she was working and said, you're out of work. And in fact she was asked to train somebody who lived -- as they outsourced her job, she didn't even know it. Now she doesn't have a job.
And this is very frustrating, people that have their children who went to college and bring up big massive debt, and they can't find work. But I think the spirit of the American people is to acknowledge the challenges that we have, John. But I don't think people want to lie in a state of pessimism.
I think they want to know, what are the solutions for fixing and meeting these challenges? And that's what I have always tried to do in my career. I just don't stay on the negative side of things. I want to move to the positive.
And I just even remember back when Clinton was raising taxes and Republicans -- I had an alternative to that, and a lot of the Republicans didn't want me to put forward the ideas that the Republicans were for. And we did it. We were successful. We won the majority. And then we went on to balance the budget.
Positive and innovative ideas are the energy that moves not just our country, but the world.
DICKERSON: Let me ask you about taxes, actually, on that question.
So, you balanced the budget the last time it was balanced in Washington. You say you want to bring folks together. In the last campaign, all the Republican candidates were asked a question. And they were asked, would you accept $1 in tax increases for $10 in spending reductions? And not a single Republican said they would take that deal.
Democrats say they want some kind of tax increases. Would you take that deal?
KASICH: John, I wouldn't at this point, because when we were in our fighting with the Clinton administration and actually went through a government shutdown, we cut taxes, which allowed economy to grow.
So, how do you balance a budget? With economic growth and reforming and innovating government. The idea that we're -- and, look, there are a lot of great Americans who say, look, if you raise my taxes and use it to pay down the debt, I would all be for that. What they have to understand -- and I have had the experience, 18 years in Congress, 4.5 years as the governor of Ohio.
What we learn is that, no, no, if the government takes more, they will spend it. Right now, even out here in Ohio, I have to always guard against the idea that we have got money to spend. When I left Washington, we had a $5 trillion surplus after I spent 10 years of my life to balance the budget, and it was all blown.
So the idea that we're going to start talking about raising taxes, no, no, no, you need to reform and shrink government. That's what you need to do and create economic growth, which is exactly what we have done in Ohio. I have had the largest amount of tax cuts of any sitting governor in this country and we have gone from $8 billion in the hole to $2 billion in the black, the growth of 350,000 jobs, stronger credit. So, why would I change the formula, John? It doesn't make any sense.
DICKERSON: Well, you might change it to get the agreement of Democrats you would have to work with.
But let me ask you question on immigration.
KASICH: Well, but not all Democrats -- not all Democrats now would say that our answer is taxes.
What Democrats would say is respect a lot of the social programs. We don't have to get rid of them. We need to innovate them and reform them. There's lots of grounds on which to agree with some members of the Democratic Party. You're not going to get them all. But you're going to get some. That's what Reagan did when he got -- when he was elected president. He worked with Phil Gramm and got some Democrats. I would do the same thing. I know how to do it. I have done it before.
DICKERSON: Let me ask you another tricky question that has got people bollixed up here in Washington. It's on immigration reform.
And when I talk to Republicans about why nothing has passed, candidly, they will say that any Republican who supports what you do, which is a path towards some kind of legal status, will just get creamed by the base of their party. How would you as the president solve that problem?
KASICH: Well, first of all, John, we're not in office to stay in office. We should go into public office for the purposes of making things better.
Churchill said -- I think he's the guy that said, you know, in war, you die once, but in politics, you can die 1,000 deaths. The idea that I'm going -- I'm afraid I'm going to get primaried out of existence, therefore, I can't do anything, when you finally walk out of public office and look yourself in the mirror, if all you did was play politics, how are you supposed to feel about what you did, when you took time away from your family and your friends and all you did was play politics?
It's kind of nuts. In my opinion, there is a solution here to this issue of immigration. Finish the wall. And make it clear. Anybody that comes over that wall once we have done it, you're going back. And then the 12 million that are here, legalize them, but make sure we don't have anybody -- any of the criminal element here and have a guest-worker program.
I think the country can unite around that.
DICKERSON: All right, Governor John Kasich, thanks so much.
We turn now to another Republican candidate.
South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham joins us from New York.
Senator, I want to ask you about Donald Trump. He says that you attacked him and you went nowhere. He attacks his rivals, and he either stays solid in the polls or even goes up a little. What do you make of all that?
SEN. LINDSEY GRAHAM (R-SC), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: It's pretty hard for me to understand where this thing is going with the Donald.
But at the end of the day, what he said about Senator McCain, I thought, was out of bounds. But here is the state of play. Our leading Republican is embracing self-deportation, that all of the 11 million have to walk back where they came from maybe we will let some of them come back.
I just hope we don't go down that road as a party. So, our leading contender, Mr. Trump, is going backward on immigration. And I think he's going to take all of us with him, if we don't watch it.
DICKERSON: And let me now switch to the issue of foreign affairs.
You, in some of your remarks, say that we don't need to elect another novice as commander in chief.
DICKERSON: Who, in your view, among your opponents would you say is a novice?
GRAHAM: Well, I think I have got more experience than anybody running.
For the last decade, I have been to Iraq and Afghanistan 35 times, 140 days on the ground in Iraq and Afghanistan as a Reservist. Jeb Bush is a fine man, but his plan to destroy ISIL doesn't have a ground component and is really not a whole lot different than that of President Obama.
If you're not willing to commit more American boots on the ground in Iraq from 3,500 to about 10,000, if you don't understand we will never destroy ISIL in Syria without a regional army of which we will have to be part, you're not ready to be commander in chief. And really nobody on our side seems to be willing to put a plan forward that truly would destroy ISIL. And they need to be destroyed.
Look at what al-Baghdadi did to this woman in Arizona. If I'm commander in chief, we're going after these guys and go after them hard until they are destroyed. And it will take an American ground component to achieve that goal.
DICKERSON: You have talked about your experience. But when you use the word novice, are all the other candidates novices, in your view?
GRAHAM: Well, they need to make the case that they're not.
I can tell you what I have been doing for the last decade in terms of foreign policy. I have learned from my own mistakes. I have learned from President Bush's mistakes, President Obama's mistakes. Senator McCain and myself have been more right than wrong. We warned the president, do not leave Iraq without a residual force. Help the Free Syrian Army three years ago, when it would matter.
We were standing by him to take action against Assad when he used chemical weapons. And the president failed to do so. I don't see anybody on our side coming up with a robust plan that truly would destroy ISIL. And if we don't hit them there, they're coming here, according to the FBI director and the director of national security.
So, on our side, I really don't see anybody. Marco Rubio has been good on foreign policy, but you have got to realize you're not going to destroy ISIL without a ground force. DICKERSON: You mentioned he has been good on foreign policy, but he has about the same experience on Senate Foreign Relations Committee that President Obama is. And you're saying that's just a thing we don't need again.
GRAHAM: I'm saying the last thing we need is somebody who is not ready to be commander in chief on day one; 33 years in the Air Force, 35 trips on the ground in Iraq and Afghanistan, I know what works and what's not working.
President Obama's strategy to destroy ISIL is failing miserably. You can't do this from the air. The Kurds are not the ground component we need to go into Syria. Without Syria being fixed, you're never going to fix Iraq. And they're coming here.
DICKERSON: Let me ask you about Hillary Clinton.
She turned over her server to the FBI. There's going to be hearings in October. Seems like the professionals have got this now in hand. Why not let the system work its way through these issues and move on to talking about what the voters care about, and leave the professionals to kind of investigate this issue?
GRAHAM: Well, number one, Congress has a role here. Trey Gowdy is doing a good job. But for Trey Gowdy, we would probably have never known of the server. So, there's two things.
The criminal investigation should be in the hands of professionals. She said two things that are not holding water. I turned over all the e-mails related to business to the State Department. Now we know that Sidney Blumenthal sent her 15 e-mails, one about Benghazi, other about business, that are not in the batch she turned over to the State Department.
She said she never passed classified information on the server. Now we know that is not true. There is a criminal investigation potentially afoot. Let the professionals do that. But she is was charge of Benghazi, where four Americans died. She was in charge of their security. She failed them miserably before, during and after.
And what I can't believe, is there not one e-mail from Hillary Clinton or to Hillary Clinton about the attack on September the 11th or the week thereafter? If there's no e-mails about Benghazi to her or from her, that just doesn't sound right to me? And I want to see the Benghazi e-mails.
DICKERSON: All right, Senator Lindsey Graham, thanks so much for being with us.
GRAHAM: Thank you.
DICKERSON: And joining us now is one of the Democrats challenging Hillary Clinton for the nomination, former Maryland Governor Martin O'Malley.
Governor, I want to pick up where Senator Graham left off on this question of Hillary Clinton's e-mails.
MARTIN O'MALLEY (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Of course you do.
DICKERSON: Let's play something she said this week, and I want to get your reaction.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CLINTON: By the way, you may have seen that I recently launched a Snapchat account.
(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)
CLINTON: I love it. I love it. Those messages disappear all by themselves.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
DICKERSON: So, is this funny now, this issue of the e-mails?
O'MALLEY: I think the most important issue is whether or not we still have the ability as a people to make the choices that make wages go up for Americans and make our economy work for all of us.
I'm sure that you have a legitimate question to ask, and Secretary Clinton and her lawyers can answer it. For my part as a candidate, I intend to put out the ideas and the policies that make college more affordable for more people, that expand Social Security, that get wages to go up again for a majority of us who are all working harder, instead of down.
So, that's what I'm going to talk about, John. And I will leave to you ask Secretary Clinton those other questions.
DICKERSON: Well, it's great, because you are doing exactly what her campaign says, which is, the e-mails are not about trust, people don't care about. What they care about is whether or not they trust to you take care of those issues. So, do you agree with that splitting of the way the electorate looks at the e-mail question?
O'MALLEY: I think the electorate actually looks at candidates in a very holistic way.
They ask, which of these candidates has the independence, the proven ability and experience and ideas that will actually serve our nation and move us forward. I have done that. I'm the only candidate in our party with 15 years of executive experience, not just talking about progressive goals, but actually achieving things like the best schools in America, more affordable college, the highest median income of any state in America.
These are the things that people care about and these are the things I'm going to talk about. And within that, voters will draw their own conclusions about ability, about integrity, about trust, and who should lead us forward as a nation.
DICKERSON: When you talk about that executive experience, how does it work when you talk to voters who don't trust that, whatever experience you have, that government can actually work?
O'MALLEY: Yes, cynicism runs very, very deep now, and for good reason.
I mean, this is the first decade this side of World War II where we're all working harder, but a majority of us are earning the same or less than we were 12 years ago. So, people intuitively understand that unless we can get things done again as a nation, unless we can actually make the investments and put back in place things like an increased minimum wage, then we're going to continue to kind of stumble backwards into the future and our kids will have less opportunities than we have had.
So, the reason -- and the way I talk about it is this. Look, we all know can't make our economy work again for all of us unless our government actually works as well. And then I'm able to point to the things that I have done in office to make our government work and thereby make our economy work better, a higher rate of job creation than our neighbors north and south, investments in infrastructure and affordable college, and the other things that we need to do again as a nation.
DICKERSON: You have said you want more debates.
O'MALLEY: I sure do, like more than zero...
DICKERSON: Well, there's more than zero.
O'MALLEY: ... which is what we have had so far.
DICKERSON: What question would you ask Hillary Clinton?
O'MALLEY: What question would I ask Hillary Clinton?
I would ask Hillary Clinton what sort of ideas she has to make our economy work again for all of us and whether or not she has the independence to rein in the sort of recklessness on Wall Street that tanked our economy once and threatens to do it again?
I am in favor of reinstituting Glass-Steagall. I'm in favor of putting robust prosecutorial efforts back on Wall Street. And as a candidate for president, each of us needs to state unequivocally whether we're for reinstituting Glass-Steagall, whether or not we're against the Trans-Pacific Partnership.
I'm against the Keystone pipeline. Where does she stand? These are the things that you can only have answered in a debate.
DICKERSON: All right, Governor Martin O'Malley, thanks so much for being with us.
O'MALLEY: Thank you.
DICKERSON: We will be right back in one minute with our political panel. Don't go away.
DICKERSON: We turn now to our panel.
Peggy Noonan is a "Wall Street Journal" columnist and CBS News contributor. Ron Fournier is the senior political columnist for "National Journal." Robert Costa covers politics for "The Washington Post." And also joining us is the new chief political correspondent for "Slate" magazine, Jamelle Bouie, and Mark Halperin, co-managing editor for Bloomberg Politics.
Mark, you went on Mr. Trump's wild ride at the Iowa State Fair. Let's take a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MARK HALPERIN, BLOOMBERG POLITICS: You think now you're clearly going to go through all the way to the end?
TRUMP: Well, I'm number one in every single poll and by double digits in many cases. And we're having a good time. And people are agreeing with my message. And we're going to make America great again.
HALPERIN: So, you're staying in to the end?
TRUMP: I wouldn't even think about not.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
DICKERSON: Do you get free hat when you ride the helicopter?
HALPERIN: That is extra.
DICKERSON: What did you make of Mr. Trump and the show out there in Iowa?
HALPERIN: He got a better reaction than Sarah Palin, Barack Obama or George W. Bush at the fair, for what that is that worth, people not just from Iowa, but from all over the country, partly his celebrity.
But I walked with him for about 40 minutes through the fair. People shouted things to him that were some frivolous, but a lot of things like, save the country, stop Hillary Clinton, we need you. The establishment today, based on his performance at the fair, based on the latest polls, I think is simultaneously freaked out by Trump and still in denial about Trump. DICKERSON: Peggy, let me ask you about what -- there's Trump and then there is the Trump phenomena. So, John Kasich suggested he is illuminating something important in the electorate.
But if you listen to the -- if you read the "Wall Street Journal" editorial page, they're saying what he's doing is tapping into some of the worst instincts of a portion of the electorate. Which is it?
PEGGY NOONAN, "THE WALL STREET JOURNAL": Well, I think "The Wall Street Journal" editorial page is a very great editorial page.
But I think John Kasich had a deft political way of approaching the Trump phenomenon, which is to say, as a candidate, I understand this, I relate to this indignation and this desire for change. Carly Fiorina approached it that way also.
Look, in the Republican field, there is a little gingerness about how to treat Donald Trump. I think there is a general sense that Trump is going to be successful right up to the moment that in the way he determines he will not be successful. No one is going to take him down. He will take himself down, if he goes down.
DICKERSON: Yes, ginger, because if you say something mean about him, he's coming back at you twice as hard.
NOONAN: In the papers, in Maureen Dowd's column today, he actually made a warning. He said, you know, I don't hit first. I hit second. I hit hard.
Jamelle, you wrote about anger this week. What is your sense of what Trump and also Bernie Sanders -- voters are the ones who make this connection between the two of them. How do you see the electorate this time around?
JAMELLE BOUIE, "SLATE": I think both Sanders and Trump are channeling voters who are angry at very specific sets of elites.
On the left with Bernie Sanders, it is Wall Street. There is still a tremendous amount of anger among the left of the American people that Wall Street was never punished for what -- for the great resection, never punished for the financial collapse, that even if the bailouts were a necessary solution, that the people who were responsible for tanking the economy kind of walked away scot-free.
For Trump and the right, there is genuine frustration and anger at both the impotence of the Republican elites over the past seven or eight years, even if -- and I think Republicans -- the answer to that, listen, we were in power, so we can't really -- we can't do everything.
Even if it's a totally legit answer, it still remains that Republicans didn't do anything to stop immigration. They didn't do anything to stop the Affordable Care Act. Sort of the signature accomplishments of the Obama administration, Republicans couldn't stop or even -- really even slow down that much.
DICKERSON: Right. OK. Jamelle, we're going to come back. We will talk more about Trump with all of you.
We have got a lot more with our panel coming up. We will be right back.
DICKERSON: More Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton's e-mail server. And is Vice President Biden seriously considering a run for president?
That's all coming up. Stay with us.
(COMMERCIAL BREAK) DICKERSON: Some of our CBS stations are leaving us now, but, for most of you, we will be right back with a lot more FACE THE NATION, including a look at the reopening of the U.S. Embassy in Cuba.
Stay with us.
DICKERSON: Welcome back to FACE THE NATION. I'm John Dickerson.
We're back with Peggy Noonan of "The Wall Street Journal," Ron Fournier is with "The National Journal," Robert Costa reports for "The Washington Post," Jamelle Bouie writes for "Slate" magazine, and Mark Halperin is with us -- is with "Bloomberg Politics."
Ron, I want to ask you about Donald Trump. He's stayed at the top of the poles after the debate. People didn't know whether he'd finally gone too far. But, no, he's still at the top of the Republican polls. But his challenge has always been the number of Republicans who say they will never vote for him. He's the highest in that poll number. And in general election match ups he loses to Bernie Sanders, Hillary Clinton, Joe Biden. Has he done anything or shown any signs of doing anything that solved that problem for him?
RON FOURNIER, NATIONAL JOURNAL: We could talk endlessly about what he's done politically. I think as a -- issue wise, personality wise, temperament wise, he's not done a thing that suggests to me that he should be anywhere near the Oval Office.
But, you know, this isn't about Donald Trump. This is about an angry America, a very anxious America, that has been let down by the political system, that knows nobody's paying attention to them, that know politicians only care about winning, don't care about them. And it's -- it's an electorate that is part of a big social change with this little thing called the Internet where they're -- they're now used to major disruption institutions. They now know they have the power to bring down the media and change our business, to change the retail industry, to change the banking industry. They've seen great change in society and they want it in politics.
So if Trump flames out tomorrow or if he flames out after two terms, God help us, this -- this -- what he represents, what he reflects, this anger and anxiety on this demand for disruption, is not going to go away until somebody real, incredible and positive and forward looking changes politics. That's the only way we're going to stop this Trump phenomenon. Because that's what the phenomena is. It's not about Trump, it's about this country.
DICKERSON: Robert, the next challenge for Trump is turning the circus that he's created into an organization. I mean he's going to have to create an organization. What's your sense of that part of campaigning for him?
ROBERT COSTA, WASHINGTON POST: On Friday I spoke with Trump and his campaign manager, Corey Lewandowski and I said, what is this moment mean for the Trump campaign? And their answer was, it's a time of transition. That Trump needs to keep up the energy he has established with the Republican base this summer. At the same time they need to build more of an infrastructure in Iowa, New Hampshire, in South Carolina, and also unveil policy plans.
Trump came out with an immigration paper today. He expects in early September, in the next few weeks, to come out with one on taxes. He's talking to different people at think tanks. He doesn't want to lose the edge he has. But he's hired Rick Santorum's guy, for example, in Iowa to help -- have a ground game. They have this big blue bus with "Trump" and "make America great again" across the side that goes to all these Wal-Mart parking lots and signs people up without even having the candidate there. The celebrity draws people in. Now it's a question of, how do you keep them with Trump?
FOURNIER: And to your point and to -- and to Mark's point, the establishment is kidding themselves if they think they can stop this guy. The establishment is weak now. The parties are weak. If the people really decide that this is the best, though, for their change, what out, you know, Trump could go a long way.
HALPERIN: There -- there's two universes now. There's the establishment universe, where anybody as an establishment says, Bush, Walker, Rubio, maybe Kasich can be the nominee. That's it. Then there's the universe of grass roots activists and voters that put Trump, Carson, Cruz increasingly, Fiorina to some extent, four outsiders, four anti-establishment candidates towards the top. And I think right now Trump's ability to convert the energy -- you know, you do an event with 2,000 people, as Carson did, as Trump has done more, and you get names and e-mail addresses and you bring new people into the process, that's what Obama did, President Obama did in Iowa. They have the capacity to change the Republican electorate. The establishment doesn't understand that.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And they're on top of the polls in Iowa right now, aren't they?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes. And nationally. BOUIE: I don't think -- I don't think that's the capacity to change the Republican electorate because when you look at the kinds of people that Trump is appealing to that Cruz and Carson are appealing to, this is sort of a -- this is the white working class, this is the white sort of what call the lower middle class. These are people who justifiably feel economically anxious, feel kind of shut off from major institutions, but they are not a new part of the Republican electorate and they're not --
HALPERIN: Well, they are, because some of them don't vote.
HALPERIN: The Trump -- the Trump -- the Trump people in Iowa are doing events and bringing in people who say, what's a caucus, you know? What do I do if I want to support Donald Trump? The establishment has always won. Every election since Reagan, the establishment has won. Perhaps that natural order will be restored, but it's not right now.
FOURNIER: And, Jamelle, 20 years ago they would have identified as a Democrat.
FOURNIER: For the last five years, 10 years, they've identified as Republican, but many of them have not voted.
BOUIE: But now -- now they're a declining percent of the electorate. And let's say --
HALPERIN: Not the Republican nominating (INAUDIBLE). They are in a general election.
BOUIE: But -- but as -- but as far -- as far as the general election is concerned, let's say that Trump mobilizes these people and they come out, that still does not actually guarantee any sort of Republican victory in 2016 whatsoever.
HALPERIN: Absolutely. Absolutely.
COSTA (ph): No guarantee at all.
BOUIE: It -- it, in fact, may Alienate moderate white and middle class whites who may be afraid of this kind of general phenomenon.
DICKENSON: Let me ask you --
NOONAN: Could I note, Jamelle, also, that it's a lot of middle class people also who are for Trump, not only working class. He's got some pull in the great American middle there.
DICKERSON: Robert, what do you think about what Lindsey Graham tried to do today? This is, you know, effort number 47 to try to take down Trump. And his argument basically was, he's for self-deportation. Remember how that, Republicans say, hurt Mitt Romney last time around. So danger if the person at the top of the polls believes in this. Do you think that's a credible argument?
COSTA: It is a credible argument. A lot of the Republican leadership believes, if you don't move more to the center on immigration, as everyone's saying, you could lose some voters in the general election. But Trump's not backing down from this immigration position. In fact, the one U.S. senator he called to council him on this new immigration plan, Jeff Sessions from Alabama, who's the favorite of the hard right. So Trump's sending a signal to the base, I'm still with you on immigration. I'm coming out with some policy paper because everyone's demanding meat on the bones, but I'm still with you.
FOURNIER: Let's talk policy. All Trump has said about immigration so far is that he wants to kick everybody out and let the good ones back in on an expedited basis. You know what that is? That's gold plated amnesty. That's very expensive amnesty. The base doesn't understand it yet. They eventually will.
DICKERSON: Peggy, what did you make of John Kasich, if we can switch from Trump to our guest today. He's kind of a happy warrior out there bouncing around the campaign trail.
NOONAN: He is. He is the happy warrior, is a phrase that Franklin Roosevelt used on Al Smith trying to capture some of his magic on the trail.
I think Kasich is looking good in New Hampshire. I interviewed him this week. He was, of course, very bullish. But he made a big point that he made partly today. He said, my background is so conservative in terms of spending and taxing and trying to balance budgets and turning around Ohio's credit rating. That's all conservative.
He said but -- he said to me -- you well know, this is the man who has a real heart for certain issues that vibrate among Americans. One is, what to do with the young mentally ill. The other is, what to do about those addicted to drugs. He has an unembarrassed heart in his approach to those questions. And I think it's going to have some power.
HALPERIN: The establishment wing of the party is going to have to settle on one or two people by March 1st. And I think today, if you look at, again, the four people the establishment talk about, leave Governor Christie aside, Kasich, Bush, Walker, Rubio. The one who right now is a rising stock, the one who has got the least obvious blemishes in terms of momentum is Kasich, but no one's gone after him yet.
DICKERSON: How --
HALPERIN: Even Trump hasn't gone after him yet.
NOONAN: True. True.
BOUIE: (INAUDIBLE) -- I think there's a sweet spot for Republican presidential candidates and it's basically, I want to cut your taxes, I don't want to stick it to anyone. And I think Kasich hits that perfectly. He wants -- he wants to be responsible. He wants to give your money back. He also wants to make sure low income people can get health care. He wants to make sure the mentally ill can get care. He wants to make sure people in prison can get out and get back to their lives. And that's a combination that is very potent. It's George W. Bush's combination. It's, to an extent, Ronald Reagan's combination. It's the kind of approach that really does appeal to a wide section of Americans. And people who may not even think of voting for Republicans in the first place.
FOURNIER: I find him to be right now the most Reagan-esque of the candidates. He's aspirational, he's electable and he's ideological but pragmatic. But I really want the see what happens when Mike Murphy and the Bush pack unloads on him on Obamacare innovation (ph).
HALPERIN: And not to take anything away from what Ron said about him and others have said, he's the media's favorite candidate and that is a dirty little secret that it is a big benefit. George Bush was the media's favorite candidate in 2000. McCain was for a time. When you're the media's favorite candidate, you do well.
FOURNIER: And any Republican who --
DICKERSON: Even today, do you think?
HALPERIN: Oh, yes.
DICKERSON: Robert, let me --
NOONAN: Does Kasich have money?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes. Yes, he does.
NOONAN: How's his fundraising going?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He did -- yes.
COSTA: No, he has a -- he's still doing OK with his normal fundraising, but like every candidate these days, pretty substantial when it comes to a super PAC.
DICKERSON: Robert, who else -- if Kasich is on the rise, who is on the fall or who has been blotted out by the change in the landscape since the debate?
COSTA: Well, the hardest thing right now in the Republican field of 17 is if you're on the right side of the party. If you're a Ted Cruz, Mike Huckabee, even Ben Carson, who's still an outsider and popular. The Trump phenomenon has -- has taken all that political oxygen out of the room and I think you see a lot of them trying to cozy up to Trump, come to Trump voters, hope they eventually fall their way. But, still, it's impossible to get attention if you're not -- if you don't have the swagger of Trump. If you don't have that -- that humanity of Trump that just comes through in this unbridled enthusiasm he has in every event.
HALPERIN: Don't under -- oh, I'm sorry, don't underestimate Cruz's money. Cruz is raising a big super PAC money. And don't under estimate his early state and long term strategy. Very few of the candidates are thinking about the first four states and down the road, but Cruz is.
COSTA: Real quick. Something on Cruz. You're so right. You know what the Cruz people think it's their moment? This potential government shut down this fall. Remember, that was Cruz -- that's how he became a national star in 2013. If the Republicans in the House try to shut down the government over Planned Parenthood and Cruz leads that fight, they think they can see a resurgence.
DICKERSON: All right. We're going to be back in a minute. We'll talk about some Democrats. Stay with us, all. We'll be back in a moment.
DICKERSON: We're back with more of our discussion.
Before we move on to the Democratic race -- there's a long, long on there -- Peggy, I wanted to ask you one question, which is, Jeb Bush gave a speech about Iraq this week. He took on -- Hillary Clinton said the troubles there were partially her fault.
But why did he -- why does he give a speech about Iraq, given that his brother is so associated with that?
NOONAN: It was a mystery to me. It was a -- at the Reagan Library, in a way, reliterate -- relitigating Iraq is not really where he should be, because of his brother.
But it's also not where the American people are when they're thinking about foreign policy. They're very consumed with the idea of what next?
What do we do about ISIS?
All those future things. Relitigating seemed a strange thing. There are a number of candidates who are stuck in a kind of a tar paper or bug paper. Jeb is stuck on the Bush thing.
It's hard for him to get away from it.
FOURNIER: And it's really surprising.
You know, actually, I think it would be -- it would be easy, because his -- his -- his father is held in great esteem.
FOURNIER: Even his brother is held in better esteem. But who better...
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He is obsessed.
FOURNIER: -- who better to talk about the mistakes we made in Iraq and what we could learn from them than a guy named Bush?
Instead, what do we have?
We had somebody yesterday who said the war never should have happened, once it had happened, you should have left the troops in. It's really double fault.
Who said that truth yesterday?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Trump.
FOURNIER: When Donald Trump. But Donald Trump is speaking common sense more so than the...
FOURNIER: -- the other candidates, we've got big problems.
HALPERIN: Jeb Bush, to win...
FOURNIER: He's stuck.
HALPERIN: -- feels he must be the national security candidate. He's going to do some veterans' events this week. They feel like he needs to be a conservative governor of Florida. That record and the super PAC is going to advertise on that.
But he needs to be the president on the stage. He's the only potential commander-in-chief.
The only way to talk about national security is to talk about what's gone on recently. And as he points out, the last two Republican presidents are -- were his relations, so he can't avoid talking about their legacy, even if he does it somewhat uncomfortably at times.
DICKERSON: All right. Let's switch now to the Democrats, if we can.
Jamelle, I want to ask you about Hillary Clinton's email issues. She turned over her server. That was unexpected.
DICKERSON: She said she wasn't going to do that. And she seems to have kind of a three-pronged approach. One is make light of it. She made that Snapchat joke.
The other is to say this is a part of -- totally partisanship -- total partisan witch-hunt. And the other is to get involved in some fights.
DICKERSON: She's taken on Jeb Bush. She took on Marco Rubio.
What's your sense of that three-pronged strategy?
BOUIE: I think it will probably work to avoid any damage to her in the Democratic primary and assuming she's the nominee, into the general election.
I myself have a very hard time, especially when -- when the campaigns kick in and everyone and partisans can remember that the Democrats and Republicans have a hard time imagining that there's going to be anyone who walks into a voting booth and says, you know, I love Hillary Clinton's education plan, but those emails, so I guess I'm going to vote for Marco Rubio now.
I -- that's -- that's just not going to happen.
BOUIE: What I do think is her fundamental problem with the emails...
BOUIE: -- is the extent to which they emphasize the worst parts of, um, I think what people believe about her. People believe that she's too secretive, that she is evasive. People believe that she might be hiding something and that she's not being honest.
And even if there's nothing there in this email saga, I think that when it comes to getting to the momentum it would take to actually compete strongly in a general election, it kind of -- it holds her back.
I don't think it prevents her, because I -- I just don't think that's how campaigns work. But I think it holds her back then.
DICKERSON: Ron, you've covered the Clintons since the mid-'80s.
What's your take on it?
FOURNIER: I don't -- I don't disagree with anything you're saying, but it's not the only issue. Covering politics isn't just about who's winning and losing and who's going to win or lose. The same bigger issues involved.
Look, I'm a swing voter, an Independent voter. I've known and respected her for a long time. A year ago, if you had asked me, hey, would you consider working for Secretary Clinton, I'd say, yes, I'd think about it.
Six months ago, if you had said, hey, would you vote for her, I'd say, yes, I'm likely going to vote for her. Now I can't tell you that I trust her, because there's some big issues involved. I can't tell you that I trust her with the Freedom of Information Act and our public records. I can't tell you I trust her with Congress' right and responsibility to conduct oversight. I can't tell you I respect her with historians' right and responsibility to look back on archival documents and see how our leaders lead.
If this precedent that she has established is allowed to stand because she won, the public memory is -- will be under assault forever. There will no longer be a public memory if everyone conducts themselves the way she has.
And I haven't even talked about classified documents.
I also wonder about when it -- every time we have a scandal like this, how does it reflect on the kind of leader the person will be. You write a lot about this, John. What does it say about the kind of leader they'd be?
Well, is this someone who we can really trust to be transparent and accountable?
Is this someone whose judgment we can count on?
Is this somebody whose integrity we can count on?
I don't know if I can trust Hillary Clinton anymore and it doesn't make me happy to say that.
HALPERIN: They're dealing with this issue with spin and misdirection rather than authenticity and honesty and openness, which is what the public would like, I think, with everyone. And the FBI and the Justice Department, based on what's been reported about what they're doing, seem to be doing a security investigation that could draw in her aides. It could potentially draw in her.
And as long as their posture toward it is to deny and to spin, I think she's setting herself for this to be a very long-running problem.
FOURNIER: And Jamelle, you're right, I'm not going to go in the voting booth and say I'm going to vote against her because of the emails, but I'm going to say, OK, I agree with her on climate change, for example, but is she really going to get it done?
Can I trust her?
I have to be able to trust...
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Right.
FOURNIER: -- somebody to -- to have them lead my country.
DICKERSON: Robert, do you think that this is a ques -- this, we've now heard about Joe Biden possibly running for president.
Now, the difficulties for Hillary Clinton have coincided with the time in which Joe Biden said he was going to make up his final mind. So we have a conflation here a little bit.
But is there a path for Joe Biden?
COSTA: There may be a path. But when you talk to Democrats who are friendly with Biden, friendly with Al Gore, they sense that her campaign is weakening, at the same time, you still have to beat her. And she has a formidable operation. And you have to really compete with an historic candidate, someone who has deep roots in the Democratic Party.
So it's fun to think and strategize on the sidelines, but once you get in, how much -- how far do you really got to hit her?
You see Governor O'Malley, he doesn't really want to go hard after Secretary Clinton.
COSTA: The same with Senator Sanders.
HALPERIN: Even her aides say...
HALPERIN: -- she's going to lose some contests, right. Even they say that.
So when she loses, when she's cut, let me go to a sports metaphor, does she bleed?
Does she fight back?
And who's in the ring to fight back against her?
If Bernie Sanders beats her in a primary caucus, can she fight back against that?
More likely than if someone like a Joe Biden or an Al Gore is there, I think.
BOUIE: I mean it's...
BOUIE: -- the most...
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes.
BOUIE: -- the most important bit of information about sort of Hillary Clinton's electoral status is just the sheer number of endorsements she has from the Democratic Party lawmakers. She has more endorsements as a primary candidate than any primary candidate the Democratic Party has had since like the '70s.
So I -- I'd be -- I cannot imagine a scenario in which even losing a state like Iowa or New Hampshire would actually damage her chances, because that would essentially require the bulk of the Democratic Party to say I -- I guess we've got to find someone else. And that just seems unrealistic to me.
NOONAN: I can't imagine a scenario in which nobody comes forward on the Democratic side to challenge Mrs. Clinton. She's in the middle of a difficult time. The difficult time over the emails isn't going to end for a while, because the Department of Justice, the FBI, the courts.
So this is going to go on. Her numbers are going down a little bit. She's still strong in Iowa, but she's getting hurt in New Hampshire.
I don't understand a Democratic Party in which somebody doesn't look at this say that is a bruised candidate, I'm going in there.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think...
NOONAN: I just don't understand it.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think she...
NOONAN: The Republicans have got too many. They've got 17.
DICKERSON: But they also don't have anybody who can step in and say shake it all, you know, make it make (INAUDIBLE)...
NOONAN: They have 17 people trying to shake it all up.
NOONAN: I mean I don't understand the Democrats.
FOURNIER: Well, I think she wins the nomination after losing a state or two. I think a better chance than not, she becomes president because of the structural issues politically. And I wonder why more people in the media and more people in the Democratic Party, who are -- who are leaking stuff anonymously, why they don't have the spine...
FOURNIER: -- to say is this just about winning, Hillary Clinton?
FOURNIER: Is that all this is about is winning?
Or are you going to win the right way?
BOUIE: I mean, frankly... NOONAN: Yes.
BOUIE: -- I think they would say it's just about winning. It is very unusual for a party to hold the White House for three consecutive terms.
DICKERSON: But, frankly, politics is supposed to be better than that.
HALPERIN: I mean don't underestimate...
HALPERIN: -- I mean, look, I agree with you about the emails and the -- the importance of it as a policy issue. Don't underestimate how good she's been for the last couple of weeks. And you -- you talked about the list of things she does. When she's gone after the Republicans, when she's aggressively taken, engaged with the Republicans who are likely to be the nominees, she's been very strong.
DICKERSON: And she's been doing a lot of policy speeches, as well.
DICKERSON: Robert, let's not forget about Bernie Sanders here. I mean he's -- up in a poll in New Hampshire, he's ahead. He's doing better in the national polls. Explain to people where -- what his chances are for the long term here despite the real energy he certainly has at the moment.
COSTA: Well, you see him going to almost all 50 states. He's not just going to the early primary states. He's going to liberal hot beds around the country looking ahead to a long fight. But the really believes the grass roots networks he's established in Iowa, being the neighboring state, the neighboring senator from Vermont -- in New Hampshire -- provides him with strength. And if he could get a boost out of those first two contests, even with Clinton's network and campaign, he can get a launch to a real fight, long drawn out nomination.
FOURNIER: You want to know why Donald Trump's doing so well. It's because we have conversations like this where all we talk about is whether or not she's going to win. And, you're rights, that the parties only care about winning. That's why a feckless blowhard like Donald Trump right now is atop the polls.
DICKERSON: OK. We're going to have to end it on feckless blowhard. Not what I would have guessed.
FOURNIER: That's not my line, actually, it's the -- Iowa. (INAUDIBLE) --
DICKERSON: We'll be back with a look at the history made this week in Cuba.
DICKERSON: Secretary of State John Kerry traveled to Cuba last week to reopen the U.S. embassy there. CBS News foreign affairs correspondent Margaret Brennan was there and filed this report.
MARGARET BRENNAN, CBS NEWS FOREIGN AFFAIRS CORRESPONDENT (voice- over): With a drumroll, just a few pulls of a rope is all it took to symbolically bring an end to the Cold War. The stars and stripes are once again flying at the U.S. embassy in Cuba for the first time since 1961. Secretary of State John Kerry marked the occasion in Havana.
JOHN KERRY, SECRETARY OF STATE: A day for pushing aside old barriers and exploring new possibilities.
BRENNAN: But Kerry, highest ranking U.S. official to visit Cuba since 1945, called on the Castro government to embrace democracy for the benefit of both countries.
KERRY: The establishment of normal diplomatic relations is not something that one government does as a favor to another. It is something that two countries do together when the citizens of both will benefit.
BRENNAN (on camera): That announcement excited people here in Havana and they hope it's going to soon pay offer. They're hungry for American products and technology, all those things that have been cut off for so long by the U.S. trade embargo. And they're sick of politics. They hope more American visitors will mean more money.
BRENNAN (voice-over): But a half century long rift will not be repaired overnight. Revolutionary Fidel Castro came to power in 1959 promising democracy.
FIDEL CASTRO, FORMER CUBAN PRESIDENT: If we don't give free to all the political party to organize, we are not a democracy, a country. We are fought for the democracy here and for the free and for the freedom of our people.
BRENNAN: At the height of the Cold War, his embrace of communism under the umbrella of the Soviet Union led the U.S. to shutter it's embassy and cut ties in 1961. Scores of exiles fled to American shores. A failed U.S. sponsored invasion and Castro's decision to allow Soviet nuclear missiles on the island nation just 90 miles off the coast of Florida nearly sparked a war. But pressure on the Castro government may build now that a sometimes convenient enemy is a friend once again.
KERRY: We are now engaged in diplomacy and able to help the shed light on what is happening in Cuba. Help to understand ourselves better what is happening in Cuba.
BRENNAN: President Obama's decision to reach out has not persuaded the U.S. Congress to lift the trade embargo, which keeps both American companies and the Cuban people cut off from each other. That limits the renewed relationship and it's going to take hard work to repair a rift that is decades long.
DICKERSON: Margaret Brennan reporting from Havana.
And we'll be right back.
DICKERSON: Before we leave you, we want to pay tribute to civil rights activist Julian Bond who died last night after a brief illness. Bond helped found the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, putting him at the center of the struggle for racial justice in the 1960s. It was a cause to which he devoted his entire life. Julian Bond was 75.
Until next week for FACE THE NATION, I'm John Dickerson.
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