JOHN DICKERSON, CBS HOST: Today on FACE THE NATION: Twenty-two days until the first presidential contest in Iowa, and anything goes on the campaign trail.
Where you were born, who you're married to, and anything that sticks to the wall, the attacks are coming fast and furious on the campaign trail.
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DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Ted is very clear, but he goes out and says, well, I'm a natural-born citizen. The problem -- the point is, you're not.
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DICKERSON: On social media.
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HILLARY CLINTON (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Women's rights are human rights.
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DICKERSON: And on the airwaves.
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NARRATOR: Think about it.
TRUMP: I would bomb the (EXPLETIVE DELETED) out of them.
NARRATOR: One of these Republicans...
SEN. TED CRUZ (R-TX), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Carpet-bomb them into oblivion.
NARRATOR: ... could actually be president.
GOV. CHRIS CHRISTIE (R-NJ), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Sit down and shut up.
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DICKERSON: Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton joins us. And we will check in with Republican candidates Rand Paul and Chris Christie.
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CHRISTIE: Game time is on now.
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DICKERSON: Plus, House Speaker Paul Ryan puts the spotlight on the issue of poverty.
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REP. PAUL RYAN (R-WI), SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE: One party takes group of people for granted, and another party has not paid attention to them.
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DICKERSON: It's all ahead on FACE THE NATION.
Good morning. And welcome to FACE THE NATION. I'm John Dickerson.
We're going to get right to our lead guest, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who is in Chappaqua, New York, this morning.
Good morning, Secretary Clinton.
I want to start with politics. We're going to talk about a lot today, but let's start with politics. A new NBC/"Wall Street Journal"/Marist poll says in Iowa it's 48-45, you over Sanders. You were once way ahead. So, what's happening?
CLINTON: Oh, John, you know these polls go up, they go down.
I stay pretty focused, as I think we all should, on what we have to do to build on the progress of the Obama administration, but go even further. And that's why I have outlined a very significant agenda to raise wages and to take on the gun lobby and to be making America safe in every way that I can.
And those are some of the differences that I have with my primary opponents, and certainly very deep differences with all the Republicans running.
DICKERSON: This week, another batch of your e-mails were released by the State Department.
One of them is a back-and-forth between you and a staffer about a secure fax that won't come through. And you directed him to -- quote -- "turn into non-paper with no identifying heading and send nonsecure."
Aren't you ordering him to violate the laws on handling classified material there?
CLINTON: No, not at all.
And as the State Department said just this week, that did not happen. And it never would have happened, because that's just not the way I treated classified information. Headings are not classification notices. And so, oftentimes, we're trying to get the best information we can.
And, obviously, what I'm asking for is whatever can be transmitted, if it doesn't come through secure, to be transmitted on the unclassified system. So, no, there is nothing to that, like so much else that has been talked about in the last year.
DICKERSON: So, in no instance -- what is striking about that particular e-mail is it suggests you were very facile with how to do this, this process. You knew the instructions about how to get around the restrictions for sending classified information.
So you're saying there was never an instance, any other instance in which you did that?
CLINTON: No. And it wasn't sent. So, I think this is another instance where what is common practice -- namely, look, I need information. I had some points I had to make. And I was looking for a secure fax that could give me the whole picture.
But, oftentimes, there's a lot of information that isn't at all classified. So, whatever information can appropriately transmitted unclassified often was. That's true for every agency in the government and who everybody does business with the government.
But the important point here is, I had great confidence, because I had worked with Jake Sullivan for years. He is the most meticulous, careful person you could possibly do business with. And he knew exactly what was and wasn't appropriate.
And, in fact, as the State Department has said, there was no transmission of any classified information. So, it's another effort by people looking for something to throw against the wall, as you said in the beginning of the program, to see what sticks. But there's no there there.
DICKERSON: Well, this one is a little different, since the FBI is investigating this specific question of whether a classification was meddled with.
Let me ask you about another e-mail in this batch, which was one in which you seemed to express surprise that somebody e-mailed on their non-State Department personal e-mail, which is what you were doing. Why was that a surprise to you?
CLINTON: Well, I e-mailed two people on their government accounts, because I knew that all of that would be part of the government system.
And, indeed, the vast majority of all my e-mails are in the government system. So, that's how I conducted the business. I was very clear about e-mailing anything having to do with business to people on their government accounts.
DICKERSON: On gun control this week, you have been pretty tough on Bernie Sanders, specifically on the question of legal protection to gun manufacturers.
He has now said that he would be interested in looking to changing the law to allow -- to go after gun manufacturers who act irresponsibly. So, isn't that what you want?
CLINTON: No, that's not what I want. And that's not what the country wants. And that's not what President Obama called for. And I think he has been consistently refusing to say that he would vote to repeal this absolute immunity from any kind of responsibility or liability.
It's the only industry in our country where we have given that kind of carte blanche to do whatever you want to do with no fear of legal consequences. You know, President Obama and I and Senator Sanders were all in the Senate at the same time. Two of us voted against what the NRA says was the most important piece of legislation in 20 years for the gun lobby.
Senator Sanders voted with them, and through this morning has been unwilling to join the president and me in saying that this should be repealed. That has to be the effort that we all are behind. And he often says, well, look, I'm from Vermont and it's different. It's not like being in New York City.
Well, in fact, the other senator from Vermont, Senator Leahy, voted with President Obama and myself. So, I think that the excuses and efforts by Senator Sanders to avoid responsibility for this vote, which the NRA hailed as the most important in 20 years, points up a clear difference.
And it's a difference that Democratic voters in our primary can take into account. Who is going to really stand up to the gun lobby, try to deal with the scourge of gun violence that takes 90 people's lives a day? I'm pretty clear on what I will do. And I support and will work hard to implement what the president has been advocating.
DICKERSON: On Senator Sanders' response, this idea that he represents a state which there are lot of gun owners, you were a senator. You -- aren't you sympathetic to that? You said you represented Wall Street, and that's what shaped your views on certain Wall Street policy. And you have suggested that, as president, you would be different than you did as senator, when you were representing a state with a constituency.
DICKERSON: So, why isn't it fair for Bernie Sanders to say, as president, I would be different than I would as a senator representing a state with a lot of gun owners?
CLINTON: Well, you know, I think you have really mixed up two important issues here. I have been consistent on gun lobby restrictions. In fact, I supported the Brady Bill. Senator Sanders voted against it five times. So, there is a very clear difference.
And when it comes to Wall Street, yes, I represented New York. And I was proud to do so. And I took on Wall Street. I'm the person who came out against derivatives. I'm the person who came out calling for restrictions on CEO pay, which, thankfully, got into the Dodd- Frank bill.
I'm the person who went to Wall Street and actually confronted them in 2007. I called them out on the role they were playing in the mortgage market. So, I do have a history of taking on what I consider to be the abuses that come from any industry, including Wall Street.
And I will continue to do so as president. And the proposal that I have put forth about how we rein in the excesses of Wall Street, so we never again face what we did in 2008, has been judged as being more comprehensive, tougher, more effective by Barney Frank, by Sherrod Brown, my friend from Ohio who leads the banking efforts in the Senate, and by Paul Krugman.
So, I have plan that will go after not just the big banks, because Dodd-Frank has given us the tools to do a lot of that, but to go after the so-called shadow banking industry.
CLINTON: And I think I'm well-prepared. I know what needs to be done. It's kind of like Nixon going to China, John.
DICKERSON: All right, Senator, let me ask you about a general election opponent you may face. That is Donald Trump.
You got into a pretty ugly exchange. You charged that he -- you charged him with sexism, and then he put out an Instagram video of your husband and Monica Lewinsky. Your reaction to that?
CLINTON: Well, if he wants to engage in personal attacks from the past, that's his prerogative. You know, so be it.
I'm going to draw the distinctions between where I stand and where he stands when it comes to equal pay for women, raising the minimum wage, which affects two-thirds of the women, who are the ones receiving the minimum wage, protecting a woman's right to make the most personal health care decisions.
That's why I'm so proud to have the endorsement of the Planned Parenthood Action Fund that I received today in New Hampshire, because I'm going to fight as hard as I can against any efforts to defund Planned Parenthood, something that he supports.
So, there are very clear distinctions. He can say whatever he wants to about me. Let the voters judge that. But I am not going to let him or any of the other Republicans rip away the progress that women have made. It's been too hard-fought-for. And I'm going to stand up and make it clear there's a huge difference between us.
DICKERSON: Secretary Clinton, what do you say, though, to those even in your own party who say that -- a discussion of that portion of your husband's career is fair game to talk about in an election?
CLINTON: Well, it's been fair game going back to the Republicans for some years. They can do it again if they want to. That can be their choice as to how to run in this campaign. Didn't work before. It won't work again, because it is what people are focused on, not for the past, but for the future.
What are we going to do to get wages rising? What are we going to do to create more good jobs? What are we going to do keep rights? What are we going to do to make sure that the Supreme Court has people on it who will defend women's rights, who will defend marriage equality, who will defend voter rights?
So, I can't run anybody else's campaign. They can say whatever they want. More power to them. I think it's a dead end, blind alley for them, but let them go. I'm going to talk about the differences between us, because I think that's what Americans care about.
DICKERSON: Secretary Clinton, I'm afraid we're at a dead end ourselves and out of time.
DICKERSON: Thanks so much for being with us.
CLINTON: Thanks. Let's continue the conversation, John.
DICKERSON: See you out there.
We caught up with Republican presidential candidate Chris Christie yesterday in Columbia, South Carolina.
We began our conversation with President Obama's use of executive action to expand background checks.
DICKERSON: Why isn't this just leadership, though? He's doing, using every possible method he can to get what he wants. You have talked a lot about leadership.
CHRISTIE: Dictatorship is not leadership, John. And he's acting like a dictator and a petulant child.
Let's remember something. What I mean by that statement is, in 2008, he came in with it all, huge majority in the House, filibuster- proof majority in the Senate. And the Republicans only had 21 governors around the country.
Since that time, we're up to 31 Republican governors, big majority in the House, majority in the Senate. His policies have been rejected by the American people, but he doesn't want to hear that.
DICKERSON: Let me ask you a gun control question. Donald Trump has suggested getting rid of gun-free zones in schools and on military bases. Would you agree with that?
CHRISTIE: Well, listen, I think, for the military -- I have said this before after the attacks that we had earlier in Tennessee -- that it seems ridiculous to me that military folks can't carry a weapon with them.
They're trained to do it. They're the best trained people. And so I would certainly be in favor of our military folks being able to carry weapons in those circumstances. And on the gun-free school zones, I think that's something that each state should be able to look at on its own.
DICKERSON: Let me talk about your record on assault weapons.
When we last talked, you said that originally you wanted to keep an assault weapons ban, said those who wanted to get rid of it were crazy. You said, since then, you had learned as a prosecutor -- you had evolved on that issue.
In 2009, though, you were still a supporter of the assault weapons ban. That was after you had been a prosecutor.
CHRISTIE: No, what I said at the time was that I was not interested in debating or changing, because I knew I couldn't, New Jersey's gun laws with a Democratic legislature.
If I had my choice, John, we would be a state where you could apply much more easily and receive much more easily a carry permit in our state. We are a may-issue state, not a shall-issue state. We should be a shall-issue state so people can defend themselves.
DICKERSON: When you're in that race with Jon Corzine in 2009, he said, Christie stands with the NRA. And your campaign put out a fact- check and called that a lie.
And then your campaign said this: "Chris Christie supports the assault weapons ban and all current gun laws. He opposes attempts to permit conceal and carry laws in New Jersey," hardly the NRA position.
So, that seems different than where you are now.
CHRISTIE: Yes, it is.
And, again, John, you learn about these things over time. And I have learned about this over time in New Jersey. I have grown up in a culture in our state of very, very vigorous anti-gun laws. As I have traveled the country as RGH chairman, as I have traveled the country a governor, I have learned a great deal about this.
And my actions as governor of New Jersey have been exactly where I think they need to be. When these things involve public safety, I'm for public safety. But if there are laws that are just going to make legislators and governors feel better, they shouldn't be put into place and infringe Second Amendment rights.
DICKERSON: So, so the evolution is more recent than just when you were a prosecutor?
CHRISTIE: It's an evolution that has gone on over time, absolutely, John.
DICKERSON: Would you say you stand with the NRA?
CHRISTIE: Listen, I stand with anybody who believes in protecting the Second Amendment and protecting public safety, and whether it's the NRA or other organizations like the New Jersey Pistol Club or others. I stand with organizations who want to make sense between public safety and our Second Amendment rights. And I think they do.
DICKERSON: So, just going back to that ad, though, you stand with the NRA?
CHRISTIE: Well, listen, the fact is that if the NRA -- I'm not on every issue, but on the issues, if you tick them down issue by issue, and I will be able to answer them for you.
But I'm not going to say I stand with anybody, any particular interest group and give them a blank check. That's not what leadership is.
DICKERSON: You are a lawyer. You are a federal prosecutor. Is Ted Cruz legally eligible to be president in your view?
CHRISTIE: It appears to me he is.
DICKERSON: You gave a speech this week saying that you understand voters are angry, but that it's time for them to pick a president, that they shouldn't just pick somebody out of anger.
CHRISTIE: No, that's not what I said.
What I said was, listen, anger alone is not solution to our nation's problems, that we have to channel that anger into a place where we pick someone who can actually fix the problems that are making us angry.
And so part of the bigger theme of that speech, John, was calling our Republican Party to our similarities and to stop emphasizing our differences, that we need to bring ourselves together in order to beat Hillary Clinton, because every time we divide ourselves, we make it easier for Hillary Clinton to defeat our Republican nominee next November.
DICKERSON: You said showtime is over, but you put on pretty good show.
CHRISTIE: Yes. But game time is on now. And now is when you have to perform.
All right, showtime is a time where everybody gets to judge you and look and you're prancing around the stage. Now it's game time.
DICKERSON: The competition has gotten a little tougher between you and some of your rivals.
You said Marco Rubio is trying to slime his way to the White House, when he -- when a super PAC running an ad said that you supported Common Core, you once supported an assault weapons ban, and that you donated to Planned Parenthood.
Why -- which one of those is wrong?
CHRISTIE: Well, I never donated to Planned Parenthood. So, that's wrong.
Secondly, for him to be trying to characterize my conservative record in that way is contrary to what Marco himself said. Marco himself has said that I was a conservative reformer in New Jersey.
So, here is the thing. I'm not going to spend my time talking about Marco Rubio. OK? If Marco wants to think that -- this is a guy who stood up and really lectured Jeb Bush on the debate stage: Someone has told you that, by criticizing me, it helps you.
Well, apparently, that same someone is now talking to Marco. I'm not going to fall for that. You saw my response to Marco. It was the play on an ad where I talk about the dangers of Hillary Clinton being president.
The fact is, I'm going to keep focused on defeating Hillary Clinton. Marco wants to continue to say stuff about me, I'm happy to stand by my record of having made decisions.
DICKERSON: So, just on the Planned Parenthood, never donated, never supported?
CHRISTIE: No. No.
DICKERSON: All right, Governor Christie, thanks very much.
CHRISTIE: Thanks, John.
DICKERSON: A clarification: Marco Rubio has said Chris Christie donated to Planned Parenthood, but it was not part of the super PAC's ad.
We will be back in one minute with House Speaker Paul Ryan.
(COMMERCIAL BREAK) DICKERSON: Republicans candidates gathered in Columbia, South Carolina, yesterday at a poverty summit hosted by House Speaker Paul Ryan.
We sat down with the speaker afterwards to discuss that issue, as well as the president's action on guns and his veto of a bill to repeal Obamacare.
DICKERSON: Mr. Speaker, when President Obama announced that he was expanding background checks, he said, "I respect the Second Amendment and gun ownership."
But then you said -- quote -- "He had never respected that right."
So do you think he's not telling the truth?
RYAN: Well, I think he'd like to go a whole lot farther than he is going right now. That's point number one.
Point number two, there really isn't a loophole. If you are in the business of buying and selling guns, you have to have federal firearms license. And if you have a federal firearms license, you have to do background checks.
So, I think this is basically the president looking for an issue to exploit in some ways, because these so-called solutions that he's talking about, they would not have stopped any of these shootings.
DICKERSON: But do you think he respects the Second Amendment?
RYAN: No, I actually don't. I don't think -- I think he would like to go much, much further than what the Second Amendment allows.
DICKERSON: You said you wanted the Republicans to offer an alternative to the president. One of the first things you did this year, though, was offer that repeal. How is that an alternative? It's just...
RYAN: It's not. That's why we have to come up with an alternative. So, you're right about that.
RYAN: Absolutely, yes.
DICKERSON: Will do you that? There will be a bill that will come out of the House voted on with all...
RYAN: My goal -- I don't know how far it will go, given the fact that we have a filibuster and a guy named Obama who is not going to replace Obamacare.
But my goal is that we as Republicans, if we don't like these laws, don't like the direction the country is going, I think we have to be more than just an opposition party. We have to be a proposition party. So, if we don't like this, we have got to show how we would do things differently.
And we really think Obamacare is failing, whether it's premiums, restricted access, higher deductibles, families losing insurance that they wanted to keep. And that's happening all across the country. People are hurting and we need to offer a solution.
So, yes, yes, on this and many other issues, we need to offer alternatives. And that's exactly what I intend on having us do.
DICKERSON: You want to help define the Republican Party about proposing things.
There also -- there's going to be nominee of the party. Won't they be the one who kind of is the face of the Republican Party?
RYAN: Yes. They will be the face in the fall. But we don't have time to wait until the fall.
I learned this in 2012 with Mitt Romney. If you wait until late summer, end of summer to then roll out what you believe and what your agenda is, I think it's too late. So, that's why we're going to go early.
One of the reasons we did this poverty summit today here in Columbia, South Carolina, is because we want to showcase our principles, our ideas, and we want to show that we have better ideas for getting people out of poverty, for going at root causes of poverty, for getting opportunity restored in America.
DICKERSON: Last night, I was at a Donald Trump rally in Rock Hill, South Carolina, and there were about 6,000 or 7,000 people. And the crowd reaction was very loud on the following things: Donald Trump's opposition to the Asian trade deal, which you support, his opposition to last year's budget at the end of the year, budget which you support, his opposition to undocumented workers having any kind of pathway to anything, legal status or citizenship, and also to any tinkering with entitlements.
The crowd didn't just clap politely. They went crazy. How does a Republican Party get together when you have a set of ideas that are totally antithetical to all of those people who were cheering so loudly?
RYAN: We're a big tent party. I think what we do as leaders is, we say who we are, what we believe, and where we want to lead, and let the people decide.
Look, that's just the way I see this thing. I really think the country is on a bad path, a dangerous path. I think we could lose what is so unique about our country, this American idea, the condition of your birth doesn't determine the outcome of your life. We believe in growth and prosperity and security.
All those things are in real deep jeopardy. And so, yes, do I agree or disagree with various candidates on various issues? Of course I do. We're individuals. But can we offer the country a really clear and compelling choice that's not divisive, but inclusive, that's inspirational, that's pro-growth? That's what I'm trying to do. And that's what I think we can do. And so...
DICKERSON: Does the campaign make it harder to do that, though?
RYAN: I don't think the campaign makes it harder, because this is a primary season.
What's happening right now are, these candidates are trying to distinguish themselves from among the same party, from -- over the same voters. I think primaries inevitably have this kind of friction. But once you get through the primary, I think we unify as a conservative movement. We unify as a cause. And we go out and we try and win converts to conservatism. We go out and we try to give the country a really clear choice.
DICKERSON: Will you support Donald Trump if he is the nominee?
RYAN: Yes, I will support -- of course I will.
DICKERSON: And will you support Ted Cruz if he's the nominee?
DICKERSON: You're here in South Carolina for a summit to deal with poverty and opportunity.
There was a time -- in 1967, George Romney spent three weeks going through what they then called the ghettos.
DICKERSON: I traveled with Jack Kemp in 1996 when he went to all these hard-hit neighborhoods. Why doesn't that happen in campaigns anymore?
RYAN: Well, I have been doing it for the last three years.
DICKERSON: Presidential campaigns.
RYAN: Yes. Presidential campaigns.
It's a really good question. I think we need to do that. I think it's a mistake that's been made. I think that's exactly right. We have got to go and compete for the minds and the hearts and the votes of everybody in this country, no matter who they are.
And what I think we have had is one party takes a group of people for granted and another party has not paid attention to them. That's exactly why we're having this summit here, hosted by the Jack Kemp Foundation, who was the guy who taught me this about upper mobility, about fighting poverty and restoring opportunity.
And so, yes, I think our presidentials need to do this. That's one thing I regret having not done like I wanted to in 2012.
DICKERSON: The pressures that kept you from doing it in 2012, don't they still exist?
RYAN: Yes, they do. And so you have to just resist that pressure. I think what -- typically, what these consultants tell you is, well, this is where our voters are, and these are the precincts and the counties that we have to maximize turnout, so go there. And then you go there and then you go there and you go there.
This is a national election. The stakes of this election are the highest in our lifetimes, in our generation. And everybody needs to be involved in this election. We need to go and compete for the hearts and the minds and the votes of everybody, no matter if we get 2 percent of the vote. We should be there showing that our ideas are better.
DICKERSON: We will have more on our conversation with the speaker in our next half-hour.
DICKERSON: Coming up next, Republican presidential candidate and Kentucky Senator Rand Paul is here with us.
We will be right back.
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 our interview with Rand Paul, more of Speaker Ryan, and our panel.
Stay with us.
DICKERSON: Welcome back to FACE THE NATION. I'm John Dickerson.
We're joined by Republican Presidential Candidate Senator Rand Paul.
Senator Paul, the race in Iowa, your app (ph) says there's going to be a big surprise there. Where are things in your campaign?
SEN. RAND PAUL (R-KY), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: You know, we just announced a thousand precinct chairs, which is a pretty significant effort. We don't think any other campaign really has announced that many precinct chairs. We think we may well be the most organized campaign in Iowa. And that's somewhat unheralded if you watch the polls. But really a caucus is about turning your people out. It's calling them, getting them out. We're planning on getting a lot of college student out. We've organized all the college campuses and our goal is 10,000 students. And we're going to try.
DICKERSON: "The New York Times" has a headline on the front page today that it says, quote, "for Republicans, fears of the lasting split as class divisions erupt." Do you think there's something larger happening in the Republican race that's not just a competition of candidates, but that there's a real change going on in the Republicans?
PAUL: There's a disconnect between many of the Republicans in Washington and the grass roots. And I -- I lectured my fellow congressmen and senator until 3:00 in the morning saying, drive outside the beltway and you'll find that no Republican really wants us to raise the debt ceiling without significant budgetary reform. And see we did the opposite. We raised the debt ceiling an unspecified amount and we gave up on the budgetary caps. Not one Republican outside the beltway supports that. So that's real disconnect if you see Republican leadership working with President Obama to raise the budget caps. But it's because some on the right want more military spending, some on the left want more welfare spending, so they both get together we raise both. But as a consequence, we have a $19 trillion debt.
DICKERSON: Is there a way to fix that, that disconnect that you're talking about? It seems pretty bad.
PAUL: Term limits. Really there needs to be more turnover in office. And I think if you had that, all of a sudden people would be more enthused. And I think that's why the Republican electorate is looking for outsiders because they're tired basically of everybody in Washington saying, oh, we can't do anything. We, you know, we have the power of the purse we're not using it. We control the House, we control the Senate and we're not using that power.
DICKERSON: You mentioned that you said Ted Cruz is eligible to be Prime Minister of Canada. But in all seriousness, do you think he's not eligible to be president?
PAUL: Well, you know, the thing is, I think all experts agree that he was naturally born in Canada and so the legal question is, can you be naturally born in Canada and also be considered to be a natural born American citizen? And it hasn't been decided. You know, the eligibility for president is a constitutional eligibility. It's not statutory. So there's no question, if you were born in Canada to -- and your mom's an American, you're a citizen, but they use this unusual language in the Constitution of natural born. And I think it will be brought up. I mean Congressman Greyson from Florida is already saying he's going to challenge it in court. I think the Democrats will challenge it at the very least and I think it will have to be decided by the Supreme Court.
DICKERSON: You think it will. And what happens if it's not? I mean is this -- are you saying voters should see this as an impediment to Ted Cruz as being president?
PAUL: You know, I don't know, but I think it will be extraordinary to have the -- he would be the -- if he were the president, he would be the first president not born in the United States. And so that alone would be extraordinary. And so people have to decide for their own minds whether it makes a difference where someone is born.
DICKERSON: This week the Senate's going to bring up a piece of legislation you're sponsoring on auditing the Fed. What does that matter to a regular person who may not follow this issue?
PAUL: Well, you know, people talk about income inequality a lot. And I think some income inequality is really related to Fed policy. I also think our major recession in 2008 was caused by the Fed by keeping interest rates below the market rate. The housing boom was stimulated. But then there was no reaction to slowing down the housing boom by interest rates raising.
Interest rates are like the price of money. They're like the price of bread. Prices go up and down to give information back to the economy. But if you're sending the wrong information, we get into these boom cycles, but then we have significant bust. And during the bust, the Federal Reserve actually bought foreign banks, bought assets of foreign banks. I don't know where we ever gave the power to the Federal Reserve town own foreign banks or to bail out foreign banks. They're still bailing out the banks to the tunes of tens of billions of dollars. And I want to know how they're doing it, who they're giving it to. I want to know what assets they hold and whether some of them are still troubled assets. So it's oversight. It's transparency. It passed in the House with every Republican and 100 Democrats. That's really bipartisan. We're hoping for the same thing on Tuesday in the Senate.
DICKERSON: But your -- so your argument is, if interest rates are -- are not reflective of the actual situation, you have this bust that hurts regular folks?
PAUL: Yes, and what happens is, interest rates are kind of like insulin. When you eat a big meal, your blood sugar goes up, insulin rises then it comes back down with the blood sugar. It should be the same for the economy. As an economy heats up, there's more competition for the money, the price of interest should rise and it slows the economy back down. But if you keep the price of money or interest too low, if you keep getting the signal and the economy rises without end but eventually it bursts in a very tragic way like it did in 2008.
DICKERSON: All right, Senator Paul, thanks so much for being with us.
PAUL: Thank you.
DICKERSON: Good luck out there.
We'll be right back with our analysis from our political panel.
DICKERSON: And we're back with our political panel. Peggy Noonan is a columnist for "The Wall Street Journal" and a CBS News contributor. Jamelle Bouie is chief political correspondent for "Slate" magazine and a CBS News political analyst. Susan Page is "USA Today's" Washington bureau chief. And Ed O'Keefe covers politics for "The Washington Post." Welcome to all of you.
Susan, I want to start with you. The latest in Iowa on the Republican side, very tough, very tight between Cruz and Trump. How does it go from here?
SUSAN PAGE, "USA TODAY": Well, Cruz has a narrow lead. It looks more narrow in a poll out today, a Maris (ph) poll out this morning. But you know what Cruz has, he has an organization there and in other states. And we don't know if Trump has the kind of organization that historically has worked in bringing people out to go to those caucuses on a cold winter's night. This is a big advantage to Ted Cruz whatever this poll shows.
DICKERSON: And the Trump advantage might be that he brings out all kinds of people.
DICKERSON: But do they actually do the hard work in getting out there --
PAGE: New people, that's right. And that's proved to be hard in the past. Sometimes it's worked. It worked for Barack Obama. He turned out a lot of new voters in the Democratic caucuses in 2008. But it's tough.
DICKERSON: There's a lot of talk, Ed, about third place in Iowa. Why might that be important?
ED O'KEEFE, "WASHINGTON POST": Because it's likely to be one of those establishment or sort of middle of the road Republicans. And that person hopes to take that win -- or that third place showing in Iowa and vault into a better position in New Hampshire, where you have now, according to this poll this morning, 44 percent of New Hampshire Republicans are choosing between five of these established guys, Rubio, Christie, Kasich, Bush, sorry, four of them. And it's -- it's -- there's so many you're losing count.
But, you know, and in New Hampshire, the dynamic is so much more tighter because you have these three governors especially, Jeb Bush, Chris Christie, John Kasich, sort of in a circular firing squad inside the larger circular firing squad because really only one of them is going to be able to emerge from New Hampshire and sort of make the point to the rest of the country, let me continue on.
DICKERSON: Yes, I want to get to that punching match because it was a new -- it's getting worse this week.
Jamelle, the Cruz-Trump friendship, whatever it was --
JAMELLE BOUIE, CBS NEWS POLITICAL ANALYST: Bromance (ph).
DICKERSON: Joint operations has gone away. They are now -- Donald Trump brought up this issue of Ted Cruz and whether he's eligible to be president. Cruz tried at first not to -- what do you make of where this is going?
BOUIE: I think this is Trump kind of going back to his greatest hits of attacks on politics he does not like, or at least does not trust. He sort of brought up the birther question with Barack Obama back in 2011. I think he's trying that again. The difference here is, I just -- I don't actually think Cruz needs to do much to respond because I'm not sure how much actual Republican voters are taking this that seriously. I think Cruz is well liked enough among, especially conservative Republican voters and evangelicals, that all he has to say is, come on, guys, this is nonsense, and it's fine. This is not a case, as with Obama, where he is distrusted. There these accusations that the idea that he is somehow ineligible, there that kind of coalesces with a bunch of other distrust and anger to -- to really go further.
DICKERSON: Peggy, I want to ask you about the competition that's going on in the Republican ranks right now. You have Donald Trump and Ted Cruz and then you have these establishment characters. I want to put something up that Reince Priebus, who's the chairman of the Republican Party, said about Donald Trump. And -- and he said, I'm -- "I'm not one of those people that think Donald Trump can't win a general election. I actually think there's a huge crossover appeal there to people that are disengaged politically." This was significant because Reince Priebus is kind of saying, well, it might be OK if he's the nominee.
PEGGY NOONAN, CBS NEWS CONTRIBUTOR: Yes.
DICKERSON: Where do you -- but that you've got then these quote/unquote establishment Republicans saying, Donald Trump will be the destruction of the party.
DICKERSON: How does this get sorted out?
NOONAN: We're going to see it sorted out over the next very few weeks and months. If Trump does well in Iowa, Cruz wins but maybe Trump exceeds expectations or even possibly Trump wins. If Trump wins in New Hampshire, if Trump starts to look like, wow, this could really happen, the establishment of the party is going to be forced either to come to terms or to make sounds about bolting. And that, of course, would be interesting. I mean how would people bolt? Where would they do it? What would they do about Trump? My sense of Republicans on the ground is that more and more of them are at least getting used to the idea of the serious possibility of Trump. So -- so that's some progress for him.
DICKERSON: And, Jamelle, this is not just backing a person that they would -- there is something going on behind Trump. "The New York Times" has this story today in which they quote someone who says, "the Republicans Party has never done anything for a working man like me. Even though we voted Republican for years."
DICKERSON: Mr. Trump -- this is somebody who was at one of Trump's rallies. "This election is the first in my life where we can change what it means to be a Republican."
BOUIE: Right, it's interesting and I think there's a way in which both Priebus and establishment Republican who say Trump will destroy the party, they are both right. Priebus (INAUDIBLE) is they think Trump is appealing to these disaffected white workers who believe the Republican Party has not really spoken to their economic issues. And Trump is kind of showing a path to how you get those people to the polls. Some combination of, you know, economic populism and nativism, frankly.
On the -- so if that's -- that's the case, and if Trump becomes the nominee, then the kind of traditional Republicanism that you see from Bush and Christie and Kasich, that is -- that is -- that means it's dying. That means that it's -- its viability is limited as a political movement.
PAGE: You know, I don't understand how, if Trump plays by the rules, gets nominated by winning primaries, how Reince Priebus or any other establishment Republican says he's not the legitimate Republican nominee. But I do think what could happen is something that involves one of the guests that you had on your show, John, and that is Paul Ryan. And I wonder if what you might see happening is the establishment Republican say, yes, Trump's our nominee, let's talk about Paul Ryan. Let's make him the face of the GOP. Let's talk about what Congress is going to do.
You remember what happened in 1996 when establishment Republicans decided that Bob Dole was going to lose and Newt Gingrich started making deals with a Democratic president, Bill Clinton, and it was harmful for Dole, but they had decided he was going to lose that election. They tried to find -- go in a different direction to save the party and I just wonder if we might see that happen this time.
O'KEEFE: And either way it's smart of him to be talking about poverty. This -- this summit he was holding in South Carolina yesterday because I think it does potentially remind the rest of the party that what Trump is doing here is appealing to these lower income Americans. Fifteen percent of the country is in poverty right now. You know, it would be smart for the Republican Party to at least talk about it. The challenge will be, how do you counter the inevitable Democratic attacks that will come when they say they're trying to undo the food stamp program and all these other things that happens every time they talk about that.
But I think you're right, that by having Washington based Republicans, Congress essentially, working on these things, either they can find a way to score some points, or at least be working on some policy decisions while Trump is running around the country.
NOONAN: What's so interesting, though, about this year is that Mrs. Clinton, on the Democratic side, Mrs. Clinton is the establishment. The leader on the Republican side is a living rebuke to the establishment. The establishment, you know, using this sloppily and in a broad way, is going to have to figure out what to do about this. Do we just roll with this? Suppose Trump brings in a lot of independence and Democrats in New Hampshire, maybe later in Virginia, then the Republican Party is in the position of happily letting new people in except they don't like the guy they are coming in for. Do you know what I mean?
DICKERSON: Right. Right.
NOONAN: It's really -- it's a complicated and strange year.
DICKERSON: One more complexity, Charles Koch is quoted this week as saying, "the things I'm passionate about and I think this country urgently needs aren't being addressed." He then went on to criticize Donald Trump's plan for banning Muslims and Ted Cruz's plan for attacking ISIS, Jamelle. So that's another part of the establishment with -- with a big checkbook.
BOUIE: Right. Yes. I mean I think this -- I think that quote gets to sort of the core dilemma here, not in terms of sort of partisanship, but like the ideological faction within the Republican Party. The kind of Reagan-esque conservatism that has been ascendant or dominant in the party since -- since Reagan is being directly challenged by Trump. And a viable electoral coalition if Trump can assemble it. I think -- I'm not sure if by going to Paul Ryan in Washington, that's somehow a fix because you have -- it's not just that they're both Republicans. You have Paul Ryan representing a fundamentally different kind of conservatism that Trump would be representing.
NOONAN: And yet some of the independents and Democrats Trump seems to be drawing in a little bit have a Reagan Democrat feel to them.
NOONAN: Do you know what I mean?
NOONAN: They're Catholic, working class. This is a big jumble. I think this year we found our old categories don't quite encompass the year we're in.
DICKERSON: Let's talk about the Democrats quickly.
Susan, tightening, what do you think from Hillary Clinton? Is she more worried about new e-mail revelations or that Bernie Sanders is getting close in Iowa?
PAGE: I think she's more worried about Bernie Sanders, because e- mails don't hurt her that much with Democratic primary voters, but, boy, Bernie Sanders -- who would have thought when Bernie Sanders announced his campaign that we would be three weeks out from Iowa and it would be a margin of error race in Iowa and in New Hampshire. And, you know, Hillary Clinton has a 20 point lead nationwide. But, man, the momentum can really shift. We've seen that before. If Bernie Sanders managed to win Iowa and then New Hampshire, then Hillary Clinton goes south. I think she's in a good position in the south, thanks in part to her support among African-American voters. But this is the kind of thing that could reinforce some of the concerns some Democrats have about Hillary Clinton's appeal. This is going to be fun, too.
O'KEEFE: And I think what's most interesting is that she still refuses to take on Trump. If she has been paying attention to the Republican race at all in the last few months, she should know that the sooner you respond, the better. Jeb Bush is probably the best example of that. He let it wallow for too long over the summer and we know where he is now. I just think that if -- if these attacks continue on Bill Clinton's character and whether or not she was associated with it or --
O'KEEFE: Allowed it to fester, that that actually could become a real vulnerability for her and that many Democratic voters down the line, if it continues, will see that as a potential weakness.
NOONAN: I agree.
DICKERSON: But, Peggy, when you --
NOONAN: I just agree.
O'KEEFE: Here we go.
NOONAN: And, well, and that settles it.
DICKERSON: Yes, right, exactly. We'll just end the show early. You've solved it all.
But if you're going to -- I mean taking on Donald Trump means that these questions of the past are going to be in the news cycle every ten seconds. He knows how to fight tough and at a street level.
DICKERSON: Is it really wise for her to take him on, on these questions?
NOONAN: I think -- first of all, I'm surprised that she was surprised that he took her on. I mean she went at him. She said, you're a sexist. He said, I'm a sexist? Look what you've done to women. He's famous for hitting you right --
DICKERSON: What your husband's done.
NOONAN: Yes. Well, also, he said, you, too, in enabling and being part of his dramas. He's famous, Donald Trump, from giving -- for giving you a hard fight if you hit him. So I was surprised she was surprised to get hit. Look, you do have to answer him sternly and definitively. One of the things we'll find out in the coming week is whether Ted Cruz can really put to bed this rather mischievous issue that has come up about whether or not he's a U.S. citizen, which Cruz has bought -- which Trump has brought forward because Cruz is a threat to him.
DICKERSON: Jamelle, Hillary Clinton has a new ad where she shows the Republicans and then says, who's the one candidate who can stop them? So she's running on electability. Is that her root to the nomination or this attack on gun control that she's made on Sanders?
BOUIE: I think -- I think sort of a combination of the two is going to be best positioned, or at least diminish Sanders in -- in a state like Iowa, which is -- is more -- our Democrats are probably more liberal than Democrats nationally, but they are still very concerned with electability.
On the whole, though I think -- I think this very strong Bernie challenge, this surprisingly strong Bernie challenge, is the best thing that could happen for the Democratic Party. I think part of Clinton's problem is the perception that this was going to be a coronation. And we can already see these sort of like riffs between Bernie supporters and the DNC and establishment Democrats. But if we -- if Bernie wins Iowa, if Bernie wins New Hampshire and then we have this drawn out, tough race for -- for the nomination, and if Clinton wins, that in itself convey legitimacy, right? That I fought for this. That it --
PAGE: It's -- it's the best thing that can happen to her if she wins.
DICKERSON: All right, I'm going to -- if she wins. If she wins.
DICKERSON: All right, we're going to have to end it there. Thanks to all of you.
We'll be right back with more of our interview with Speaker Paul Ryan on the issue of poverty.
DICKERSON: And we're back with more of our interview with House Speaker Paul Ryan, who hosted a conversation about poverty with Republican presidential candidates yesterday.
DICKERSON: Let me ask you a philosophical question. Hubert Humphrey, a Democrat of course, used to say, the strength of the American economy is best judged by the weakness of any section or any person or any part." Do you agree with that?
RYAN: Yes, I think there's something to that. I'm not a big Hubert Humphrey fan, but I do. I think -- look, I -- let me give you another Democrat, Jack Kennedy. "A rising tide lifts all boats." I think that's true. But with poverty, we are finding deep and persistent chronic poverty. We have -- we're over 50 years in the war on poverty. We've had 80 new programs -- 80 programs created since then at the federal level, spending trillions of dollars, yet we basically have a stalemate on our hands. We have a safety net that tries to catch people from falling into poverty, but we don't have one that helps get people out of poverty. We're actually treating the symptoms of poverty and perpetuating poverty, so we need to break that cycle and we need to go at the root causes of poverty and measure success not based on input and efforts and money and programs, but on outcomes and results. Are we getting people out of poverty?
DICKERSON: Is that what you mean by reintegrating the poor?
RYAN: Yes. Yes.
DICKERSON: That was something you said.
RYAN: Look -- look, not to get into statistics, but our labor force participation rates are pretty awful. We haven't seen these since like the Carter years. What it means -- what that means is, able-bodied adults aren't working or aren't looking for work. They're marginalized. They're on the sidelines. We've got to get them back into the economy for two reasons. They share their talents with us, the rest of society, so we benefit from -- from them sharing their talents and they get their lives back together. That kind of injection of human creativity, of work, of energy, that helps everybody. That helps the economy. That lowers the prison -- the crime rate. That lowers the drug rate. That helps get economy and the society going. And, yes, that's what we should be pushing for.
DICKERSON: You want folks to work -- more work requirements for benefits. What progressives will say is, a lot of the poor have jobs and so what's required is things to help them keep the jobs. So, fair work schedule, paid sick leave, medical -- family medical leave --
DICKERSON: To kind of keep them in the jobs so that they can keep those jobs.
RYAN: I don't want to keep people in dead-end jobs. I don't want to keep people in jobs that keep them in poverty. I want people to be able to get the skills they need to get better jobs. I want people to have the ability to get on the escalator of upward mobility, which is slowing down in America. So we've got to get them the skills they need. And that's not just a job. That might be many different kinds ever problems that people are experiencing. But if we think all the wisdoms in Washington, you know, this -- if we -- if we're telling our fellow citizens, pay your taxes, the government is going to fix poverty, Washington's got a bureaucracy that will take care of this, that's not going to work. That's what we've been doing for 50 years.
But if we say, you, each and every one of us in -- in America needs to get involved so that we can, in our communities, help a person, and if we can remove those barriers that are making it harder for people to rise and get an economic growth that is growing the economy everywhere, then we can reignite the enthusiasm for the American idea, the American dream, reconnect people it to. Instead of treating the symptoms of poverty so people can tolerate it more, let's get them out of poverty.
And so I think what the left ends up doing is they speak to people as if they're stuck in their current station in life and government's here to help them cope with it. We should reject that. We want to help people get out of the fix they're in and get on to a better life so that they can meet the potential and flourish. There will be differences in people's lives, but that's OK. That's what -- that's what a free society has.
DICKERSON: Let me ask you about the -- the phrase, takers. You once referred to those who --receive benefits as takers and you later apologized.
RYAN: Yes, I was wrong.
DICKERSON: And -- and it's interesting you say it, because in that case you seemed to be saying, be careful about the words you use.
DICKERSON: In the presidential campaign right now, that would be called political correctness.
RYAN: Well, look, I think I was wrong. I mean I was -- when you -- when you -- when you do something that is wrong, you should call it to it. People who go on government assistance, people who are on government benefits, sure, some people are going to exploit the system. Some people are choosing to just, you know, live on the dole and not work because they prefer that. That's a small percentage of it.
Most people don't want to be poor. Most people don't want to be dependent. And if we speak as if everybody is in this category, that's wrong. And so that's what I did and I was wrong to do that. And so that's why I think we need to respect people for the ambitions and the goals and the dreams that they actually have and then help facilitate their -- their access it to.
So, yes, I think -- I think political correctness has gone way overboard and that's -- that's the new thing in the campaign, which I think is great. But -- but let's just be accurate. Let's be right. And let's not be -- let's not have populism that's unattached from our principles.
DICKERSON: And we'll be right back.
DICKERSON: That's it for us today. Thanks for watching. Until next week, for FACE THE NATION, I'm John Dickerson.