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Face the Nation transcripts December 13, 2015: Kerry, Kasich, Burr

This is the transcript for the December 13 edition of Face the Nation. Guests included John Kerry, Frank Luntz, John Kasich, Richard Burr, Marshall Shepherd, Susan Page, Jamelle Bouie, Peter Baker, and Kim Strassel.

JOHN DICKERSON, CBS HOST: Today on FACE THE NATION: Nearly 200 countries sign on to a climate change agreement in Paris.

And the winds are shifting in the Republican presidential race.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The Paris agreement is adopted.


DICKERSON: World leaders celebrate deal to try to stop the Earth from getting hotter.


BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: This agreement represents the best chance we have had to save the one planet that we have got.


DICKERSON: We will talk to Secretary of State John Kerry, who negotiated that agreement.

Then we will turn to politics and talk to the voters fueling the Donald Trump phenomenon, why they love him and stick with him despite controversy after controversy.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I just think we need a complete shakeup. And I think he's the only way that can do it.


DICKERSON: But is there trouble ahead for Trump new poll, as a new poll shows Ted Cruz way ahead in Iowa?

We will have analysis and talk to another GOP contender, Ohio Governor John Kasich.

There's other news, too. Senate Intelligence Chairman Richard Burr joins us with the latest on the San Bernardino shooting.

And we will talk to an actual scientist about the new climate deal.

It's all coming up on FACE THE NATION.

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

Nearly 200 countries have signed on to a climate change agreement they hope will avert a global disaster. Each promised to slow carbon emissions towards a goal of preventing global temperatures from rising more than two degrees Celsius, or 3.6 degrees Fahrenheit, above pre- industrial temperature levels.

These targets are nonbinding, and there's no enforcement mechanism to punish those who don't keep their promise.

Secretary of State John Kerry, who led the U.S. delegation, compared the effort to moving the biggest battleship in the world.

We spoke with him earlier from Paris and asked him about the lack of enforcement in the deal.


JOHN KERRY, SECRETARY OF STATE: Well, it's possible that a country will slip, but to get an agreement with 186 nations signing onto a uniform system of required mandatory reporting, by which they could be held to a standard, and also to be able to have a very ambitious goal and have the flexibility that we have in this agreement to be able to meet those standards is essential.

And so I think it's a breakaway agreement which actually will change the paradigm by which countries are making judgments about this. The most important thing, John, that really happened today is that the business community of the entire world is receiving a message about countries now moving towards clean alternative renewable energy and trying to reduce their carbon footprint.

That is going to spur massive investment. And it's technology, it's American ingenuity and creativity that is really going to solve this problem. But people expect somewhere in the vicinity of $50 trillion to be spent over the course of the next 30, 40 years. That is going to be an enormous transformation of our economy, and all to the better, because it will reduce our dependency on foreign fuel, it will increase our security, it will provide for our environment, cleaner air, healthier, healthier people.

There are just all kinds of pluses, and in the end, it's going to be a job creator.

DICKERSON: What signal does this send to the coal, oil and gas market?

KERRY: We're going to continue to be pumping gas and using gas and oil for years to come.

But what it does is, it signals that there's a transformation taking place and people need to diversify, people need to look for cleaner ways of doing things. We commit a fair amount of money to the effort to find clean coal. And if we can burn coal in a clean way, then coal could continually have a future under those circumstances, depending on the price.

But more and more energy production is going to become price- dependent. The president sees this as a critical transformational issue for the American economy. It's also critical for us, because you can already see in the United States the negative impacts of climate change.

The president went up to Alaska this year and showed the world our glacier up in the Glacier National Park that's disappearing and will be altogether gone in a few years. That's happening around the world.

DICKERSON: One last question, Mr. Secretary. You spend a lot of time talking to Muslim nations and paying attention to America's image in Muslim countries.

What effect does it have that there's a conversation about banning Muslims from coming into America?

KERRY: Well, let me be very direct. I believe that that kind of a ban is contrary to American values. It's contrary to our Constitution.

But I also think it's a very dangerous foreign policy, because it says to those in Islam who are trying to exploit people and recruit foreign fighters and otherwise, it says, look, look at America. Here they got a guy running for president who is waging war against Islam. Now, that's their impression.

It's exploitable, whether he intended it or not. And it allows for recruitment. It allows for Americans to seem like it is indeed discriminatory against Islam, against Muslims. And it is highly discriminating against many Americans and others who are Muslim, and many people in the world who know that their religion has been hijacked and who want to recoup it.

So, I think it's got a huge downside in terms of American foreign policy. And I hear this from foreign ministers and others as I travel and engage with people in various countries.

DICKERSON: Secretary John Kerry, thanks so much.


DICKERSON: We turn now to campaign 2016 and the Trump phenomenon.

Last week, Republican consultant and CBS News contributor Frank Luntz gathered 29 past and present Donald Trump supporters in Virginia to get their thoughts on the Republican front-runner, including his controversial comments on Muslims.


DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: "Donald J. Trump is calling for a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States.

FRANK LUNTZ, CBS NEWS CONTRIBUTOR: Raise your hands if you agree with him, 14, 16, 17.

CLARISSA: They don't want to become Americans. They want to come here and blow up America and kill us. UNIDENTIFIED MAN: All Muslims? UNIDENTIFIED MAN: Some! We have no way of knowing. Temporarily we have no way of knowing who they are. Yes, we need a temporarily halt. That's a very reasonable position. UNIDENTIFIED MAN: We are legitimately afraid and the president is not making us feel safer. KRISTTIE: He wants to yell at us about like, gun control. TINA: I think we're all scared, I'm actually a little jumpy I find. And Trump is the only one who would come out and say something like this, no one else would do it. FRANK LUNTZ: And so you credit him with that? TINA: I do. I mean no one else would say it. Who would say it? FRANK LUNTZ: So you don't see even in this room this explosion of points of view that maybe he went too far in what he said? TINA: Well you know what Trump does? He says something completely crazy and inflammatory and I'm like, "Oh my God!" And then he dials back and sort of starts explaining it and saying how he would do and it makes sort of sense. JEFF: Trump is smart like a fox. He's in campaign mode. He has to be proactive. He's intentionally playing the media. He's saying things that are right on the edge. He's exaggerating. He's saying things that he knows the mainstream media will grab and throw gasoline on. And it goes really big. CLARISSA: We're not believing everything he's saying. No, we're taking it for exactly what he just explained. He goes out and makes a huge fuss and gets everyone's attention to get his issues addressed. We want someone to take a stand we want someone who says 'yes, okay, here's what we're going to do.' FRANK LUNTZ: Is it his persona, his tenacity, his raising of issues you care about? RAY: His personality is just so large, he's out there and he's getting everyone to talk about stuff, just like the lady back there said. TIFFANY: He is entertaining. He's giving everyone something to talk about. JOHN: He looks presidential and he acts presidential. FRANK LUNTZ: You think he acts presidential? (Man shakes head yes) FRANK LUNTZ: He said and I quote I would bomb the BLEEP out of ISIS UNIDENTIFIED MAN: Yes, that's presidential (CHEERING) FRANK LUNTZ: He used the word BLEEP GROUP: Yes!! Yes LUNTZ: That's presidential? GROUP: Yes! JEFF: Americans think the country's in crisis. Trump is telling them the country's in crisis. and people flock to a strong leader when they think the country's in crisis. FRANK LUNTZ: Not people, you -- (Laughter) FRANK LUNTZ: Don't talk about people, you flock to Trump? JEFF: Yeah, i'm attracted to his persona. JEFF: Because of what's happening in the world. international affairs. he stands up there. He gives the image that he's not going to put up with any crap. FRANK LUNTZ: You're an African American, why do you support trump? TED: Because he's saying stuff that needs to be said. When it comes to the general election I think a significant number of African Americans will support Trump because of the entertainment factor that he has, persona, he's a businessman. JOHN: If Trump gets elected, he will have people that will coach him to ensure that these types of things aren't said out loud. MATTHEW: We've seen a lot of bad things that Trump has done. We've seen a lot of bad things that he's said. However, we've got a lot more problems in this country that I feel he is more qualified to handle. BRITTON: Socially we are tired of the political correctness. i think we're being burdened with it. i think it's making us weaker as a country GLOBALLY and i think that he represents that voice of that frustration, that political correct frustration. SCOTT: Yeah he makes mistakes. He's human. He says things that are off color, that i'm embarrassed by occasionally, but i still think he's a leader that those prove that he's a leader. KRISTIE: I just believe that we need a complete shakeup and i think he's the only one who can do it. FRANK LUNTZ: Here's the 64,000 dollar question....With Marco Rubio as the Republican nominee and Trump running as an independent, who here votes for Trump? Raise your hands. (Hands go up) FRANK LUNTZ: Right now, the establishment Republicans just died UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: They should. They haven't been with us. UNIDENTIFIED MAN: It's time for a real change. It's a real change. UNIDENTIFIED: It's not going to come to that. FRANK LUNTZ: That's more than half of you just raised your hands that you're going to leave the Republican party UNIDENTIFIED MAN: No .. the party has left us! I'm voting for a man or woman that wants to change this country FRANK LUNTZ: I mean I'm stunned. UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: They left us. UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: He said it. FRANK LUNTZ: They left us? UNIDENTIFIED: Yeah UNIDENTIFIED MAN: They left us right. KARA: If they're not listening. I'm voting for the person. Not, I'm wanting, and he's still out of all of them. Rubio has the energy. But I think he has the energy and the actual means to happen. MATTHEW: I think that there's enough of us out there that we'd go out. We've never knocked on doors before ever. And to actually bring my Republican brother, hey come on, let me talk to you. I've never done that. JEFF: The Republican party has failed us the last two times with weak candidates. First with McCain, who was weak, and then Romney who was weak. We're tired of weak candidates. There is no number two to Trump. Who's number two in the Republican field to Trump that can really win the election? Who? FRANK LUNTZ: Trump as an independent. You're voting for Trump? UNIDENTIFIED MAN: Yes FRANK LUNTZ: Trump as an independent? RAY: Yeah, I'd vote for him over Rubio because maybe the party does need to be fractured. Maybe it's time to blow it up. Blow it up. (END VIDEOTAPE)

DICKERSON: And Frank Luntz joins us now from Las Vegas, where Republicans will be debating on Tuesday.

So, Frank, sum that whole experience up for us. What's the big headline for you?

LUNTZ: Well, the big headline for me is that political correctness is alive and well, and it is found in the Trump candidacy.

Three things. Number one is that these Trump voters are much more optimistic that any other Republicans, because they believe that Donald Trump can actually turn back Barack Obama. Number two is that these voters were more salty in their language than any focus group I have ever moderated.

They have taken the tone and the demeanor of their candidate, and they're proud of it. And number three is that if Donald Trump should decide to run as independent, the Republican Party will be in deep, deep trouble.

And, by the way, I blame the leadership of the GOP, because Donald Trump does his worst in the presidential debates. If there were more debates, where other candidates were standing side by side with Donald Trump, he would not be in the position that he is today.

DICKERSON: What struck me is that there have been series of times in this cycle so far where political strategists and people in the press have looked at Donald Trump and said, well, this will be the time that he falls.

What your focus group suggested was that, no matter how many times you offered the audience an opportunity to leave Donald Trump, to dislike him, to find some other candidate they might like, they seemed to rally around him even more strongly.

LUNTZ: You're right. They discounted all the attacks. The flip-flops, well, he has the right to change his opinion.

Attacking other Republicans, he's just being entertaining. Even his attacks on women or the comments he's made about women, they don't like it, but they find a way to justify it. The only thing that could hold Trump up is if it were to come out that there were employees that were mistreated or small businesses that were mistreated by Trump's companies. That would cause him a problem.

All this other political stuff that you hear from the media and from his opponents, none of it sticks to him.

DICKERSON: Want to play a little more from the focus groups, because a lot of what motivates them that you discovered is an anger about President Obama. So let's listen.


LUNTZ: And I want a word or phrase to describe Barack Obama.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He's a great speaker.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Jellyfish marshmallow.




UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Unbelievable. I just can't believe him.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Good talker and tries hard. Out of touch.





UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Doesn't respect American values.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Overwhelmingly cocky.




UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Zero leadership.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Out of his depth.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Still waiting on this hope and change.

LUNTZ: Anti-American, un-American, Barack Obama. Seriously?




DICKERSON: So, Frank, I would suggest that obviously they don't like the president, but could any other Republican -- why couldn't any other Republican just grab onto that feeling? Why is Donald Trump particularly...

LUNTZ: Because no other Republican is willing to say the things that Donald Trump says. I don't believe there would be a Trump candidacy if there wasn't an Obama presidency.

And Trump's willingness to say things that we all would say go beyond the pale, that we would say is unacceptable in American politics, for these voters, is exactly what they want to hear, and no other candidate is talking that way.

DICKERSON: So, it's not just that they dislike the president, but that Donald Trump is the opposite of the qualities they see in the president.

Let me ask you about any other candidate in the Republican field. Was there any purchase for any other Republican candidate in that room?

LUNTZ: The only one who seemed to have some interest was Ted Cruz. And, obviously, with the poll that you're about to talk about, that's significant.

But for the most part, they're not looking at moving from to another candidate. They're considering do they follow Trump to an independent candidacy, should Trump make that decision?

And the language that I used, I about had a heart attack, because I have been through this now for 25 years. And I have never seen voters so passionate and committed to a candidate after seeing an hour's worth of reasons why not to vote for him.

John, this is significant. Trump is not going away, and, more importantly, his voters aren't going away.

DICKERSON: All right. Frank Luntz, thanks so much.

LUNTZ: Thank you.

DICKERSON: We will be back in a moment.


DICKERSON: Joining us now from Columbus is Republican presidential candidate and Ohio Governor John Kasich.

Governor Kasich, I wanted to ask you. You have said that you have -- you would be doing as well as Donald Trump if you were getting the kind of gargantuan free media that he is getting. Do you think, having listened to that focus group, you would be doing as well with that group of voters?


GOV. JOHN KASICH (R-OH), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Well, John, look, the people are very frustrated.

But, as you know, as you have covered politics for a long time, we need to fix problems. We're not going to fix them by yelling and screaming. Look, let's just get -- I don't want to be promoting myself here, to tell you the truth.

But in balancing the federal budget, does anybody -- you know how hard it was. You got to pull people together in both parties to get it done. You want to fix Social Security, you can't bludgeon people into going along with it in the Congress. You want to provide for the national security, and you need to rebuild the military, and you want to have a program that resolves a problem of encryption, just can't do it by -- just by kind of yelling at people or -- you have to work together.

Look, I'm in this race for one basic reason. I know how to get the economy moving again and I know what we need to do with national security. I just spoke at the Council on Foreign Relations. And I would encourage people to go on their Web site and look at the speech.

We're not going to get anywhere until we're able to get Republicans and Democrats to work together. And polarization and divisions is going to lead us down the wrong path.

I get these people who are upset. I understand why they're upset. I mean, I grew up in a community where people were always suspicious of the government or thinks that they didn't deliver things. But we have got to stay calm and we have to unite ourselves.

And you know what? We will. You mark my words. We will. Trump is not going to be president. And he's not going to be our nominee. It's not going to happen.

DICKERSON: But do the people in the Republican primary process misunderstand what the country needs?

KASICH: That's a focus group, John. Come on. Let's not get carried away with putting a handful of people in a room.

DICKERSON: So you think they're an aberration from the general electorate?


KASICH: Well, I think, at the end, they get overwhelmed by people who say, we have got to get things fixed.

And if they carry the day, we're not going to get things fixed. People are worried about what we're going to do with Medicare and Social Security. If you don't get both political parties to recognize that, or at least lower the warfare efforts by both parties, you don't get it done.

I have witnessed this throughout my lifetime, whether it was Tip O'Neill and Ronald Reagan working on Social Security or whether it was me and my friends working on balancing the federal budget with Bill Clinton.

People now want to know, OK, how are we going to save Social Security? Well, one party just can't do it. And you can't yell at legislators. I used to be a legislator. Now I'm an executive. I have had the perspective from both sides.

So, John, I really do believe, at the end, people are going to say, who can land the plane and who has got the experience? They're frustrated, they're upset. But you know what? Over time, people tend to settle down when they actually go into the voting booth and cast a vote for candidate to be president of the United States.

DICKERSON: Let me ask you a question about those Republican voters and a policy issue; 54 percent of Republican voters in our latest CBS poll supported a ban on Muslims entering the United States.

Why is that a bad idea?

KASICH: Well, John, first of all, we don't need more division.

And everybody who is a Muslim isn't some terrorist obviously. The vast majority -- you have got an infinitesimal number who have distorted the religion and have entered the culture of death. Now, let me also say about your polls, you're polling like 400 people out of 325 million.

I see polls all the time. I have become more convinced now that the reason that God invented pollsters was to make astrologers look accurate.


KASICH: I don't believe that that's where the Republican Party is. I'm on the ground. I just did my 42nd town hall meeting in New Hampshire. That's where you go into a room, and you sit there or you stand there and they come at you with questions. And they try to size you up.

This is not what I get when I'm there. It's not what I get when I go to South Carolina or out to Iowa. I don't -- this is not what I hear. I hear people saying, I'm worried about my job. I'm worried about our security. I'm worried about my kids' future. What are you going to do about it? What are you going to do about Social Security? What are you going to do about college debt?

That's what I hear. I don't have people coming up and yelling about this other stuff. And I'm right there. We don't screen our meetings. Anybody can come. And, by the way, I would invite everybody to come to my meetings, and let's talk through all these issues, you know?

DICKERSON: All right, Senator -- excuse me -- Governor Kasich inviting everyone, even astrologers and pollsters.


DICKERSON: We will be right back with our political panel.

KASICH: See you, John. Happy holiday.

DICKERSON: Thanks. You, too Governor.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK) DICKERSON: We're back with our panel.

Joining us today is "Wall Street Journal" columnist Kim Strassel, Slate's chief political correspondent and CBS News political analyst Jamelle Bouie, plus "USA Today's" Washington bureau chief, Susan Page, and "New York Times" chief White House correspondent Peter Baker.

Kim, I want to start with you with these new numbers that Frank Luntz mentioned. "The Des Moines Register" has a poll out, "Des Moines Register" and Bloomberg, likely Iowa caucus voters, Ted Cruz 31 percent, Donald Trump 21 percent, Ben Carson at 13, Marco Rubio at 10, Jeb Bush at 6.

So, what do you make of these new numbers, the rise of Cruz?

KIM STRASSEL, "THE WALL STREET JOURNAL": So, Ted Cruz has run a very smart campaign. And what he has been doing is slipstreaming behind Donald Trump. And that's why he has been so careful up until now to not criticize him, because he's trying to present himself as the thinking man's Trump out there.

And so you just saw that Frank Luntz panel, and people want action. They want someone that's going to be aggressive. And Ted Cruz has been doing that, while also sounding a little bit more sane than the front runner. And you're seeing that in the poll now.

And that's why you also see Donald Trump going after him, because he recognizes that there is a threat.

DICKERSON: Susan, as goes Iowa, so goes Republicans? Just 30 seconds here.

SUSAN PAGE, WASHINGTON BUREAU CHIEF, "USA TODAY": Not the case recently. Right? The last two winners of the Iowa caucuses have not even won the Republican nomination, not to mention the presidency.

Look at New Hampshire. That's where the establishment Republican candidates, like John Kasich and Christie and Bush and Rubio, are going to fight it out to get into those finals against Trump and Cruz.

DICKERSON: All right.

We're going to chop up all these numbers when we come back.

But, for right now, we're going to take short break. And we will be back in a moment.


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.

Stay with us.


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

We continue with our panel with Kim Strassel of "The Wall Street Journal," Slate's Jamelle Bouie, plus "USA Today's" Susan Page, and Peter Baker of "The New York Times."

Peter Baker, I want to start with you. What was your reaction to that focus group of Trump supporters?

PETER BAKER, "THE NEW YORK TIMES": I thought it really instructive. Very good to hear people talk in a very raw, very honest, very open way. They weren't couching their statements. It was internally (ph) inconsistent, of course, at times. Yes, we don't think he actually means what he says but we love it, right? Yes, it's a little kind of crazy, but there will be people there who will take care of it once he's in office. I mean they didn't seem him as necessarily being 100 percent what he presents himself to be, and that's OK with them because he reflects, obviously, a broader frustration that they're feeling with the system, with the media, as well as -- as well as the Republican Party. Frank Luntz asking with whether they would go with him to an independent bid has to be shaking the foundations right now of the RNC and the other candidates and it tells us something, that this is a different kind of year and a different kind of candidate.

DICKERSON: That line about, he doesn't really mean all of this and it will be different when he's in office is what liberals used to say about John McCain. The liberals who liked John McCain, oh, the stuff he's saying in the presidential campaign, he doesn't really mean all of that.

Jamelle, let me ask you, one of the criticism of the media of other Republican candidates has been, they don't press Trump on his facts. You know, if -- if only people knew that he wasn't telling the truth in some instances, he wouldn't have all of this support. That doesn't seem to be true having watched that focus group.

JAMELLE BOUIE, CBS NEWS POLITICAL ANALYST: That's not true at all having watched the focus group. And I -- I actually hesitate to say whether it's ever been true of any candidate ever. I mean people's partisan attachments are pretty much immune to truth and fact and -- and so on and so forth. No one -- very few people look at collect information and then make a decision. They've made a decision based off, you know, reasons of tribal belief, reasons of -- all sorts of beliefs, and then they look for the information to justify it.

And one real quick thing I want to say about the panel, or -- or the -- the focus group, is that my inner social scientist saw basically a living representation of something that many sociologists have been noting over the course of the Obama presidency, which is a distinct rise in racial resentment and anti-black attitude in the wake of both 2008 and 2012. So among all groups, all -- all -- all groups of, you know, white democrats, white independents, white Republicans, especially among white Republicans, there's been an increase in racial resentment, which is sort of a -- a measure social scientists use to determine a person's attitudes about African-Americans in particular, but other groups.

Trump's supporters show all the hallmarks of people with high levels of racial resentment. They are -- you know, they seem -- a good number believe that President Obama is un-American or may -- maybe even a Muslim and connected to -- to terrorist. A good number refer to him as arrogant and elitists, which for myself reads very much like uppity (ph), as -- as a -- as an old insult towards African-Americans who have achieved -- achieved some sort of stature in mainstream society. And so all these things, I see in that focus group and connect back to real hard data we have about the change in racial attitudes.

PAGE: You know, we -- we had Frank Luntz say that if there hadn't been a President Barack Obama, there wouldn't be a candidate Donald Trump. And I think you did hear in the focus group people who are maybe uncomfortable with an African-American president. I bet they are not happy with the rise of Hispanics as such an important new part of the American electorate. Even the climate change treaty we know from polling that Trump supporters tend not to believe in climate change. So here is a president and a time that has -- and a nation that has moved in a direction that's made many of Trump voters generally uncomfortable and it has fueled his support.

DICKERSON: Kim, Governor Kasich says, but this is a small group. It's just a focus group. It's not the Republican Party more broadly. What's your sense of this?

STRASSEL: They reflect a general mood of the country. Look, I'm not sure I entirely agree, the point about Trump and facts. I mean he is a brilliant marketer, he's so good at what he does. It was no accident he came out with that Muslim comment the next day after a lackluster speech by a president who looked disengaged and had no new policies for the nation. So he comes out and says this.

And -- and he loves it when people then say he's a racist because it diverts attention away from the policy. The policy just -- take aside the politics. It's a bad policy. There's no real way to implement it. There's no proof that it would be effective in stopping another San Bernardino. It's potentially a very bad idea. If we want to win against the terrorists in the Middle East, you're going to have to make coalition with moderate Muslim forces. This does not help us. The pity is that Republican candidates aren't talking about that because this might actually have an effect on Trump and his presidency.

DICKERSON: Why are they not talking about that? They seem a little afraid. Yes, they say bad Trump, but then they move on. There's nobody -- why is that?

STRASSEL: I think -- I mean because he just manages to say these things that are so inflammatory that they feel that they have to respond on an emotional level and make some sort of moral statement about Donald Trump. And the rest of it all gets lost. And he loves it when that happens.

DICKERSON: Right. Well, the -- go ahead, Jamelle.

BOUIE: Yes, I -- I think the focus group gives us something of an answer to that. You know, half of the people there said that if Trump ran as an independent, they would support him. And when you step back and if you're a Republican official, this is terrifying, right? If -- if for -- if for some reason you anger Trump or do something to get Trump on the bad side of the party with -- at large and he leaves for an independent bid, you've just torpedoed your party's chances for the White House. And so I think Republicans politicians and -- and -- and officials are kind of -- they're trapped. I -- I'm sure you can -- you can look at their -- their body language, what they say, that they really want to just denounce Trump with all the fire in their belly, but they're afraid that if they do, they risk a reaction which they cannot control. And so there -- it's -- it's this weird hostage situation.

DICKERSON: Well, this may be why. Peter, you have a situation where you have denunciation after denunciation of Trump and then none of the candidates, no one will say, but if he's the nominee, I won't support him.

BAKER: Right.

DICKERSON: We haven't gotten to that. That contradiction seems pretty strong, but it's there.

BAKER: Well, it is strong. And like Jamelle said, is that he does -- they don't want to push him out because, in fact, if they do, they know it's over. And so you hear Jeb Bush, who you really have a hard time imaging supporting Donald Trump as nominee, saying well, you know -- it's -- it's -- it's -- they want him to fall on his own weight and then go away. They don't want him to be a continuing protest against the system because then the system loses.

PAGE: Yes, well, good -- good luck with that because I don't see how you look at development now and the polling we have now and this focus group and not conclude that either Donald Trump will be the Republican nominee or Donald Trump will be an independent candidate for president. And only now do you see Republican official trying to grapple with what that means. Not only for losing the White House, but for losing Republicans control of the Senate and for what it means for the future of the Republican Party itself.

STRASSEL: I'm not -- I'm not sure I'd agree with that, only just because -- not that I would deny Trump support. I mean it has been consistent. But what we have also seen, just in the last few weeks, is that in fact events can shake up this race quite dramatically. It's still very fluid. You know, Chris Christie is now number two in New Hampshire. Ben Carson's support has fallen off dramatically. Ted Cruz in that poll is now leading Donald Trump. And I think as you get closer to these things and some more people drop out of the race, the dynamics shift yet further.

DICKERSON: Then let's talk about that Trump/Cruz dynamic because Trump is denouncing the polls that show Cruz on the rise, but watch what he does, not what he says. And let's watch what he said -- let's listen to what he said on "Fox News Sunday."


TRUMP: I don't think he has the right temperament. I don't think he's got the right judgment. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What -- what's wrong with this temperament?

TRUMP: Well, you look at the way he's dealt with the Senate where he goes in there like a -- you know, frankly like a little bit of maniac. You're never going to get things done that way.


DICKERSON: So he's talking about Senator Ted Cruz there, Peter, and that suggests he feels a little heat from Senator Cruz, because Senator Cruz has not attacked Donald Trump and Donald Trump says he's only a counter puncher.

BAKER: Right. No, I mean, Kim is exactly right, (INAUDIBLE) is a great way of putting the way Cruz has approach Trump so far. He's always said -- even if he disagreed with him, Donald is great. I don't have the same policy on this, but he's great. There was a -- a leaked private comment in which he said he didn't think Trump had the right judgment. Trump is obviously kind of fighting back in that sense. But it's really the polls. And Trump goes after whoever he sees as a threat and he now sees Ted Cruz as a threat. It's a little funny to hear Donald Trump suggest that another candidate might have a problem with temperament and judgment going into the talk with the Senate, but, you know, we've seen all along, he'll say what he needs to say.

DICKERSON: Kim, Do you think that -- Ted Cruz has a patient strategy he's been playing out here. Is this his moment to grab that? I mean is he -- give us your sense of the (INAUDIBLE).

STRASSEL: He's -- he's doing very well. I -- I also think he's got a couple of liabilities, which you saw this week. The fact that he felt compelled to give a national security and foreign policy speech, this goes to one of his clever strategies was way back he was going to get all those Rand Paul voters. There are fewer of them in the Republican electorate post Paris and post San Bernardino and yet he is out there on questions of metadata and a little bit more restraint in terms of his foreign policy. There's a lot of Republican voters who want a very muscular foreign policy leader and he felt compelled that he had to go in and kind of shore himself up on that in terms of a speech this week. You're going to see in this debate this week I think a lot of Republicans who are eager to hit him on that -- Chris Christie, Jeb Bush, Marco Rubio -- and it will be interesting to see how he does.

DICKERSON: Does Marco Rubio, Jamelle, have to do something now? The conversation is now Cruz and Trump, a debate coming up. Marco Rubio has had good debates. He's tried to make something of this NSA vote -- or they -- the -- what he sees as Ted Cruz's lack of support for the metadata analysis by the NSA. What's your sense of Marco Rubio?

BOUIE: I think Rubio should just continue doing what he's doing, right? He's having a steady increase in the poll. He's been going up slowly. Not as rapidly as Cruz in places like Iowa, but there's been a steady increase. He has given great debate performances. He seems to be on everyone's good side in the Republican Party. And so if -- if I were Rubio, I don't think there's any more that you can do at this point other than want to see what happens with the other candidates. And at a certain point, if Rubio can't get over a hump, it may have nothing to do with Rubio and everything to do with the structure of the Republican primary right now.

I will say that there is concern that Rubio is not running as good of a ground game as he could be running. Comments made by Republican officials in Iowa and New Hampshire suggest that Rubio is not spending much time there. And comments from the Rubio campaign, you know, suggest that he doesn't think he needs to spend that much time there. And so that -- that, to me, if there's anything concerning about Rubio it's been -- that, to me, is -- is it. That I think -- I feel like I'm really old fashioned in this regard. I think that in order to win in these states, you really do have to invest time and energy in the people there. And the Rubio campaign seems to differ. The Cruz campaign notably very much believes that you have to invest time and effort in people into winning these states.

DICKERSON: Yes, the idea of being that maybe the election is now nationalized and you don't have to do what you used to have to do.

Let's not leave without talking, Susan, about a brokered convention, which was usually something we only talk about in our fantasies as political reporters but now there was some coverage of it this week. What's your thoughts on the idea of a brokered Republican convention?

PAGE: First of all, I would like to vote in favor of this because how much fun would that be to cover?


PAGE: There's not a Republican brokered convention since 1948. It's been a really long time. Not in our lifetimes. But I think you could see how it would happen. It would happen with Trump voters going with Trump, evangelical voters going with Ted Cruz. I think Ben Carson's days are over. Who is the establishment Republican candidate? Can that be Rubio? Can establishment Republicans unite -- unite behind one candidate that could stand up to the force that is Ted Cruz and Donald Trump? And if you have a three-way split like that, that is the recipe for a brokered convention.

DICKERSON: And the idea of a brokered convention is nobody has the delegates when they get there --

PAGE: That's right.

DICKERSON: And therefore it has to be managed in the moment in Cleveland.

PAGE: And you have a second ballot. You -- if a candidate doesn't win on the first ballot, you have a second ballot. And then those people who were elected as delegates, elected in primaries, are no longer required to vote for whoever won their primary. So, Katy bar the door -- STRASSEL: Well -- but -- but they are under all these complicated rules. It goes state by state in terms of what you're allowed to do. It's very complicated.

PAGE: It opens up -- it opens up the doors, though, to the kind of politicking that we haven't seen in quite some time.

STRASSEL: Back room politicking.

DICKERSON: Final -- final question to you, Kim. This was seen by the not -- by certain candidates in the race as an attempt by the establishment to tinker with the process. Is -- is that really what this was?

STRASSEL: No, I think, from what I understand, some members of the RNC sat down and they were having a discussion about what would happen if this were the case, but people get very, very touchy about stuff like this. I think we've got a long way to go before we get to a brokered convention. We've got 14 candidates going into Iowa, but let's see how many actually come out of Iowa on the other end. And this -- this could actually winnow down pretty quick.

DICKERSON: Yes, a good idea to let the voters actually vote before you decide how you're going to work on a way to (INAUDIBLE).



DICKERSON: All right, we'll be back in a moment.


DICKERSON: And we're back with the Senate Intelligence Committee chairman, North Carolina Republican Richard Burr.

Senator, I want to talk to you about these investigations. Their -- the FBI is searching in a lake near San Bernardino, near the scene of the terror attack last week. What have they found? What are they looking for?

SEN. RICHARD BURR (R-NC), INTELLIGENCE COMMITTEE CHAIRMAN: Well, we're looking for anything that would give us a clue of the digital footprint of these two individuals who they talk to, where they went. You know, John, they were gone between the attack and the time law enforcement engaged them. They were on the move for three and a half to four hours and trying to sort of fill in the blanks, where were they. They're using cameras from the city itself, from convenience stores, trying to recreate exactly where they went and who they might have talked to.

DICKERSON: Investigators are also trying to recreate what they were doing in the two years, it looks like, before the actual attack. What do we know about what -- the plot that appeared to be two years in the making, or -- or previous plots they might have been involved in? BURR: Well, clearly we now know that these individuals were radicalized way before, probably as early as 2010 for him and --and 2012 for -- for her. We want to look at how our immigration process for a visa for a spouse broke down, that they didn't notice the radicalization. And, more importantly, what we've got to know is who they might have had conversations with relative to their planning, access to the weapons. They didn't just overnight learn how to make 19 pipe bombs.

DICKERSON: Yes, that's right. And -- and there was a lot of conversation, Syed Farook, but his wife, Tashfeen Malik, online, in social media, was that missed? Was the -- was that missed? It was missed, obviously. But, I mean, was -- is -- should there be something more done in terms of monitoring social media?

BURR: Well, John, today we don't know how much of that might have happened in closed-in systems, encrypted, closed end to end. And what you've seen with Paris and now with San Bernardino is, terrorists who are committed to destroy their digital footprint, to destroy phones, to take hard drives, I'm sure that the FBI was in the lake trying to find if there was any of that electronic media in the lake, that they can go and trace the conversations that took place.

But let me just say today, encryption is becoming more and more a problem with our ability to see inside of the communications of individuals, both in the United States with each other and with people abroad.

DICKERSON: So it seems like there are two issues, one are the conversations that are happening just out in the open, but there are so many of them going on and --and can you take a social media conversation and trace that all the way back. It might just be somebody blowing off steam. That's one thing that seems to me to have been missed here. I mean not all of this was encrypted. In fact, it doesn't seem like there's any evidence that it was. That it was just regular old conversation.

BURR: No, but -- but do understand, we've got two people who legitimately, legally were in the United States, one that had lived here for years, nobody on a watch list, a no fly list. How would we have detected them unless a -- a neighbor had raised an issue with law enforcement.

DICKERSON: Right. So in social media, it may not be possible to find -- so now let's talk about encryption. Do you want to do something, because the Silicon Valley companies say that you can't create a back door that gets -- that an encrypted system that has a back door for law enforcement also creates a back door that makes your encrypted information vulnerable and that's bank accounts and transactions and all kinds of things like that.

BURR: John, if we changed and we weren't talking about terrorism, we were talking about pedophilia, and the FBI is trying to make a law enforcement case against somebody sending photographs of a kid to another pedophile, would we want -- with a legitimate court order -- to be able to make that case based upon what they were transferring in encrypted networks? The answer is, yes. And by the same token, we want to make sure that if we have a -- a legitimate court order, that law enforcement can go and act to look at the communications that took place. I believe that's reasonable and I believe that it's absolutely needed in the future regardless of what the investigation might be entailed to.

DICKERSON: I want to get your assessment, the national security implications of this conversation about barring Muslims from the United States. Is there -- you know, Secretary Kerry suggested this is something that can be used to incite and recruit. Do you believe that's the case?

BURR: Well, let me just say this. In Iraqi we had Iraqi interpreters that served with U.S. troops in Afghanistan the same (ph). Many of them lost their lives or were injured. Out of the last five coalition battles around the world, only one -- only three countries have been at our side every step of the way. One of them was the United Arab Emirates. How do you tell the Bahraini pilots that fly, the Saudi pilots that fly, and the Emirate pilots, you're good enough to fight against ISIL, but you're not good enough to come in the United States? Huge mistake. And I think that this sends the wrong message to people that have to be part of our partnership for a solution. And, yes, does serve as fuel -- I'm not concerned about international. I'm concerned about radicalization here, from people who are already in the United States, and that does tend to fuel it.

DICKERSON: All right, Intelligence Chairman Richard Burr, thank you so much for being with us.

BURR: Great being with you.

DICKERSON: And we'll be back in a moment to take a closer look at the climate change agreement.


DICKERSON: Now is Dr. Marshall Shepherd, Weather Channel meteorologist and director of the University of Georgia's Atmospheric Scientist Program.

Dr. Shepherd, I want to start just with the basic question, why is this two degree temperature goal, atmospheric temperature goal as a part of this agreement, why is that so important?

DR. MARSHALL SHEPHERD, UGA ATMOSPHERIC SCIENCES PROGRAM: Yes, that's a great question and one that I -- I really tried to address just this morning in my most recent "Forbes" column. Why two degrees? Where did that come from? Two degrees really was put forth back in the 1907s as a target threshold by an economists at Yale, but the scientific literature has then suggested that that is likely the tipping point for some of the irreversible changes in the climate system that we as scientists worry about, continued -- locking us in for sea level rise, changes in agricultural productivity, changes in warm season sea ice. We think that is the threshold for some of this irreversible change. DICKERSON: So if that's the tipping point are -- did this agreement do something to get towards that? Is it going to meet the -- miss the tipping point?

SHEPHERD: We think it gets us half way there. It's a starting point. I -- I -- it was my birthday yesterday. When I heard about the agreement, I said, boy, what a great birthday present. It -- it gets us halfway there. But one of the really interesting things, if you read through the details of this new agreement, it really, in five years out, it requires countries to be more aggressive about some of their targets as we move forward. And that's -- that's very important for us.

DICKERSON: But if -- if it's only halfway there, that -- how do we get to the other half?

SHEPHERD: Well, I think that's where we see this cascading or rolling or building in terms of the -- the targets that the 195 plus countries agreed to. And I -- I want to make the point that this is very different from previous agreements like KYOTO (ph), which left some of the big emitting countries like China out. What's important about this particular agreement is it really brings everybody into the tent and gets a commitment from everyone to reduce their emission levels, so part of this mitigation of climate change. It also has key provisions in there for adapting, suggesting that some things are already going to happen and we need to adapt to them.

DICKERSON: So it's not just, though, in terms of meet -- meeting this crucial tipping point or avoiding the tipping point, meeting the crucial goals. It's not just that they all go together in a room and made an agreement. There needs to be constant vigilance in terms of keeping these goals?

SHEPHERD: That is correct. This is really the start of something that will cascade or roll through the next several decades. It requires countries -- and there's an accounting of these reductions -- and it also requires these countries to actually, in the next reporting period, out three, five years, to actually produce more aggressive targets as well. And that will be key to keeping us at that two degree level.

And one of the really interesting things I want to note, there's even language in the agreement that even tries to keep us at one and a half degrees because there's some studies in the peer review literature that suggests that some of the island-fairing (ph) nations and some of the more developing nations may be more vulnerable even at one and a half degree of warming.

DICKERSON: Was there anything else in the deal other than these goals that you think is important in terms of addressing climate change?

SHEPHERD: Yes, I thought one of the really interesting things that jumped out for me, one, was the really emphasis on the role of deforestation and changing landscapes. That is actually in it way also an emitter as we lose forests. Those are sinks (ph), if you will, for CO2 in the atmosphere. So there's really strong language in there in terms of -- of deforestation and preservation of landscape.

The other thing that's really important for me in this, and I know that there's some that are worried about the economic impacts, it really -- many corporations, the U.S. Military, are very much in support of some of the things that we saw in this. So this is not just about a bunch of egg-headed scientists like me worried about the climate or the environment. Corporations, 150 of those, are now signing on to aspects of this as well. And I think that is key.

DICKERSON: OK, great, thank you so much, Dr. Shepherd, for your help this morning.

Thanks for join us. And we'll be right back.


DICKERSON: Thanks for watching. Until next week, for FACE THE NATION, I'm John Dickerson.

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