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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

That was a mistake.

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

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


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

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

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

CRUZ: It was Harry Reid and President Obama.

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

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

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

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

CRUZ: Let me ask you a question...

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

SCHIEFFER: Will you run for president?

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

Let's take something like the IRS scandal.

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

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

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

CRUZ: Thank you, Bob.

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

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

SCHIEFFER: All right.

Well, Senator, thank you so much for being with us this morning.

And we'll be right back with our panel of analysts.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SCHIEFFER: Well, we've certainly gotten an earful this morning.

And now to help us understand what it all means, we turn to our all star panel, Peggy Noonan of "The Wall Street Journal"; Bob Woodward, who writes for "The Post"; Bill Kristol, columnist for "The Weekly Standard"; and former White House chief of staff turned contributor to CBS News, Bill Daley.

All of them here at the table today -- Bill, you actually have some news, I understand, because you've learned that the Republicans are going to, what, present an alternative to ObamaCare?

WILLIAM KRISTOL, "WEEKLY STANDARD": Yes, I mean, ObamaCare is, I think, really a disaster and not getting better. But the best talking point Democrats have had is, well, what would you do, just go back to the status quo ante, which wasn't so great, people losing health insurance, at least allegedly, if they had pre-existing conditions, poor people having terrible getting health insurance.

So I think I'm not supposed to be revealing this, but since you asked me, I guess I'll -- I just have to say it. No, senator -- senior Republican senators tomorrow are going to lay out the outlines of legislation, which I think will become real legislation that would be a conservative reform alternative to ObamaCare. It would deal with the preexisting condition problem. It would have tax credits for the poor. It would get rid of all the ridiculous bureaucracy and regulation limitations of ObamaCare.

And I think it will -- this will be Senators Coburn, who, Senator Coburn of Oklahoma, who's retiring, very well respected; Senator Hatch, who is the ranking Republican on the Finance Committee and will become chairman of Senate Finance next year for Republicans who are in the Senate and Senator Burr, who's senior on the Health Committee.

So this is a serious piece of legislation. It could get, I think, pretty across the board support from Republican senators. There are some tweaks in it that there will be debates among Republicans and conservatives about how generous to be with the subsidies and with the tax credits and so forth.

But I think it really will make it harder for the president and for Democrats to say the Republicans have no alternative. SCHIEFFER: Will there be any chance that that could pass?

KRISTOL: If Republicans win the Senate in November, I think in 2015, you could imagine a Republican Senate and a Republican House passing this. The Republican House might even pass it this year. And, again, then it's up to the president whether he wants to abandon ObamaCare and sign on to a sensible health care reform.

SCHIEFFER: Peggy, what did you think about Ted Cruz today?

Is he -- does he still enjoy the support that he had back when he led Republicans to shut down the government?

PEGGY NOONAN, "WALL STREET JOURNAL": Oh, I think he's fighting to regain his footing a little bit. I don't think there are too many people who say that was a huge success, what happened last time with the government shutdown.

Listen -- we have laughter from a Democrat now, because huge success is not quite the way he'd put it, either.

But could I note, Bill, if the Republicans who are going to unveil their plan tomorrow, if that plan is simple and marked by clarity and is not 2,000 pages and is not too complicated for a normal human to get it, that might gain some purchase and go someplace.

But to your question, Ted Cruz is trying to come back, I think.

SCHIEFFER: Bill Daley, what about it?

Do you think there's any chance that Republicans can come up with something to replace so-called ObamaCare?

WILLIAM DALEY, FORMER WHITE HOUSE CHIEF OF STAFF: Well, it's good to hear that they finally have decided that this is an important issue that they ought to put some principles out on. The president, I think, has been very clear for the last couple of years -- I'm willing to talk, I'm willing to listen, let's try to make this better if you don't think it's perfect, which I don't think -- I mean he'd probably be the first to say it's not perfect.

It is working better. Now, those who have been praying for the collapse of reform and health care, the thought that they may now be willing to engage is good, obviously, for the system.

SCHIEFFER: What do you think is going to happen this next year, Bob?

(CROSSTALK)

BOB WOODWARD, "WASHINGTON POST": Well, if you look at...

SCHIEFFER: Some would say nothing.

WOODWARD: -- everything in all of this, it looks like more gridlock and deadlock. It looks like people aren't agreeing. And I -- I -- you know, there are spending and taxing issues which could be negotiated, if these people would sit down, that really could make a difference for Obama and the Republicans.

And you listen to what Obama was saying to the "New Yorker's" David Remnick what's in the papers this morning and it sounds like everyone is going into we're not going to do anything mode.

SCHIEFFER: Right.

WOODWARD: And that's unfortunate.

SCHIEFFER: Well, we'll see. And we're going to talk to all of you in part two of our broadcast, but we'll stop right now.

We have a lot more coming up, we'll see in part two here.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SCHIEFFER: Some of the stations are leaving us now.

For most of you, we'll be right back with more from the panel and my commentary.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SCHIEFFER: And welcome back to "FACE THE NATION Page Two." Peggy Noonan of The Wall Street Journal is here. Bob Woodward of The Washington Post. Bill Kristol of the Weekly Standard. And former White House Chief of Staff, now a contributor to CBS, Bill Daley.

Well, let's get back and talk about what to expect from the president's State of the Union. Now I was just saying as we left, Bob, it looks like not much. He's not going to make any big promises this time around.

WOODWARD: "Small ball," or as Bill Daley was saying, no ball. And there are governing issues. And if you look at this, and I've spent some time looking at the Democrats, Obama has some good ideas, the Republicans have some good ideas. And they should sit down and say -- I mean, I think one of the indicators here is over the summer Obama had dinner with a bunch of CEOs from the high-tech world.

And one of them asked the right questions, said, what are you worried about most? And Obama said, unemployment. Second, he said, climate change. Third, he said, Pakistan.

Now, number one issue, unemployment, how do you do the things the government can do that both parties have ideas and you, on the back of an envelope, Bill Daley, could work out something that would be saleable to both sides.


DALEY: Well, what I meant by the no ball is it doesn't look like Congress can play any ballgame together. And that I think the president, after a very difficult year, with very little done and this partisanship and the fight within the Republican Party that seems to be playing out continually, and will for, in my opinion, at least through '16, that the odds of something happening there are pretty slim.

I think what the president is going to do and what I think is a smart move is to try to figure out how to use the government for each of those issues in a way that you don't have to go to legislation and get mired in this craziness that has been going on, on the Hill, for too long.

SCHIEFFER: But, you know, Bill, isn't he going to have to reach out more to the Hill? I mean, it seemed to me that the Obama White House had some of the worst relations that I can recall, since I've been in Washington, with the Hill.

There was at one point where nobody even knew who his congressional liaison was, they couldn't identify him in a line-up. Well, I mean, really. I mean, and those are things...

(CROSSTALK)

SCHIEFFER: ... I got from Democrats.

DALEY: You've got to want people to reach out to you. And there has been a sense by a lot of people on the Hill, we just don't want to engage this White House. When I was there in '11, we had a lot of engagement, it was very difficult. I think there was a sense that there was a chance with divided government to get somewhere, as you saw in the...

(CROSSTALK)

SCHIEFFER: You're not saying there are Democrats on Capitol Hill who say, I don't want to engage with the White House?

DALEY: No, I'm saying there is Republican -- strong piece of the Republican Party up there who has been consistent since they got control of the House, and many people like Ted Cruz, to be frank with you, who is pretty clear, even though he's rewriting history today with you, on what happened with the shutdown, that just don't want to engage this president.

And if there is a person who is reaching out more than any president I've seen in long time, it has been Barack Obama -- President Obama who has done that. But you've got to want someone to reach out to you to respond to it. I'm just not seeing that in the last couple of years.

SCHIEFFER: Do you agree with that, Bill?

KRISTOL: Well, I think if Bill were still there, in the White House as chief of staff, maybe that would be true. But I don't know, I've talked to fair number of Democrats who haven't heard lot from this president.

Last I looked, they have controlled, the Democrats, the Senate for all five years of the Obama presidency, and one doesn't have the sense that the president has got lot of legislation going through that body either. So, no, I don't think he has been effective leader. And I'm curious, in the State of the Union, he is the president, he's commander-in-chief. That's one thing where you don't need Congress as much. Is he going to defend this deal with Iran, where the Iranian leaders are chortling that it's a surrender by the U.S., and where they're making clear they're not going to dismantle everything?

What is he going to say about Afghanistan? Bob Gates, his secretary of defense, who served him very ably, said -- what did he say, that President Obama just -- he just wants to get out. Is he going to explain what his strategy...

(CROSSTALK)

WOODWARD: And he doesn't believe in his own strategy.

KRISTOL: And he doesn't believe in his own strategy. Having ordered a surge, which I supported at the time, is he going to say something serious about Afghanistan? And you just said that -- I didn't know this, that he said Pakistan was his number three thing that keeps him up at night.

What happens in Afghanistan affects what happens with Pakistan. So I think the foreign policy part of his speech will be interesting.

SCHIEFFER: Let me just ask you about one thing you wrote this week. And you said that Republicans ought not to expect a debt ceiling bonanza. In other words, go ahead, vote, let the debt ceiling be raised, and make your fight on something else.

KRISTOL: Yes, vote against it if they want. But don't fight on the debt ceiling. That's my advice to my friends in the sort of conservative activist tea party wing of the party. My advice to the Republican leadership is, don't push immigration reform, which I think totally splits the Republican Party and forces negotiation with a bad bill coming out of the Senate.

So my view is, no amnesty on immigration, no default on debt ceiling, and a happy year for Republicans.

SCHIEFFER: And, Peggy, I was very taken by the piece you wrote in The Wall Street Journal yesterday which you said basically people will sort of snooze through the president's State of the Union message because they have stopped listening to him.

NOONAN: I think so. I think people have gotten to the point where, at the beginning of the sixth year of the Obama administration, people are managing to restrain their excitement when the president speaks in a big speech or not.

He spoke the other day on NSA. Pew Research went out to talk to 1,500 people, half of the people didn't know he had said a thing. One in 10 paid attention to it. They didn't like what he said. That's what's going on.

He is overexposed, as all presidents are by this point. But he more than others in the past.

He also has hanging over him right now not only his inability to be a swaying force with the Congress of the United States, he also has over him the fact that Obamacare this year came out.

It's no longer a hazy promise, it is a reality. And it is a reality that has caused more upset than good. It has lost more people coverage than given them. It has also become obvious that truths were not told in the selling of this darn thing.

So when you put together, oh, my God, the central meaning of this presidency was put forward somewhat fraudulently, plus he's always in our face, that will equal, I don't think I'm going to watch the speech. I'm sorry.

I know that's a harsh thing to say but that's what's going on.

 

 

WOODWARD: But the management experts would say the way you have to deal with this, and Obama said in these recent interviews, he understands the power of the presidency. He realizes he can do things.

And the answer is, to pick one thing, to focus and act aggressively on that one thing. And you look at all of the -- like the NSA speech, it's kind of, well, I like the NSA but I'm worried about them.

He wants to have lots of these things both ways and he has got to come out and say, this is what we're going to do and this is what we're going to fix. He has good ideas. One thing, it's expensive, spend money on infrastructure, schools, bridges, roads.

And you look at the economic impact of that, and it could be favorable, people could get jobs. There are lot of Republican senators, Bill, who are willing to go along with that, who, in exchange...

NOONAN: They would have been five years ago.

WOODWARD: ... something on corporate taxes. So there's a deal to be made.

And in fact, what the president should do, I mean, Bill Daley knows this, turn it over to Vice President Biden and tell him to go down make a deal, as Biden has done time and time again.

KRISTOL: You know, on that, Mike Lee, who is one of the most conservative Republican senators, has actually given a speech laying out a proposal to reform the highway -- the transportation bill, which is a notorious pork-laden thing, send the money back to the states, but not cut it, and let's be serious about fixing infrastructure.

So I agree, if the president takes Bill Daley's advice, which I don't think he will, and calls Mike Lee and says, well, can we reform the highway bill at the same time that we actually spend some money on infrastructure? There would be Republicans willing to work with him. DALEY: I think the president -- quite frankly, I mean, this all sounds great at this table, but when you get to the reality on the Hill and the inability, the lack of desire by lots of people who have come to the office of the Senate or the House with the express purpose of, we're going to stop this president, and we're going to stop him from being successful, that I think it's going to be very, very difficult to do other than what he can do on his own, at least in this year, too.

Because you're now suddenly in the -- everyone is focused on the Hill on running for president, and -- or running for re-election. And it's just the climate in this town, and all due respect to those...

SCHIEFFER: But, Bill, I mean...

DALEY: ... who keep saying it's going to get better, we've seen this now and right now my advice to the president is, do doubles and triples, don't go for home runs. And when you go to the Hill, you had better make sure you've got a unified plan, both with Republicans.

But it all sounds good, Bill, but the president has tried much of this. Even when I was there two years ago, on infrastructure. And we had reasonable plan. Nobody will go near it.

SCHIEFFER: It's always hard. I mean, I hate to sound like an old guy...

(CROSSTALK)

SCHIEFFER: ... but it's always hard. It was pretty hard for Lyndon Johnson. Those southern Democrats, they weren't too much about desegregation and...

DALEY: With all due respect to Lyndon Johnson, if a president tried to do what Lyndon Johnson would do, he'd probably be, if not impeached, then indicted.

SCHIEFFER: Well, he got something done. He got two very important things done.

(CROSSTALK)

DALEY: But he didn't have people sitting at the table like we're sitting today analyzing exactly what he did and how he did it.

NOONAN: They didn't?

(CROSSTALK)

NOONAN: We were doing that. Sure, we were.

SCHIEFFER: Of course they did.

NOONAN: I mean, you and I were kids. But the grown-ups were at the table talking about it.

(CROSSTALK)

KRISTOL: Bill, you remember this, because you served in his cabinet. Bill Clinton was the last Democrat to be re-elected. He capitalized on his re-election. He negotiated with a Republican Congress. It was full of people who were regarded as lunatic whackos, who were elected running against Clinton, Newt Gingrich.

And they cut a very useful deal in 1997, which led to budget surpluses. That was Clinton. That wasn't the...

(CROSSTALK)

SCHIEFFER: When they passed that civil rights bill Lyndon Johnson went up to Capitol Hill and he signed it up there, not at the White House because he said if it hadn't been for Everett Dirksen -- we'd have a bill, because of Everett Dirksen, we have a law.

And he said, I want to make sure he gets credit. And he said the other part he told his daughter this, he said the other part of it is some of the people that voted for this are going to get beat the next time. And I want them to know I appreciate that.

I don't see that...

DALEY: A lot of people who voted for -- and president understood it, for health care reform, lost their election and that was courageous vote as under Bill Clinton voting for a tax increase in '93 probably cost the Democrats -- '94. So, this president has not been afraid to take -- to have his friends take tough votes as they did for the ACA.

WOODWARD: What does this mean, though? What you're saying -- what everyone is saying you have got an unruly and a very difficult political opposition. The job of the president is to figure out how to manage that. And, look, you know John Boehner, the speaker, he's a traditional conservative anyone who has dealt with him knows you can make deals with him.

DALEY: Things have gotten better obviously. It looks like they may be getting better, but quite frankly there is a battle going on with the Republican Party within the Republican Party that we cannot dismiss. And that has driven since control was changed in House to the Republicans...

NOONAN: That's fabulous. Then exploit it, don't say, oh no, they're tearing each other apart. Say fabulous, they're tearing each other apart.

DALEY: John Boehner has been the one (inaudible) who has been torn apart.

NOON: I'm going to make you scream, I'm going to bring you in.

SCHIEFFER: But you know, I hate to keep going back to this, this is not tutorial on LBJ, but there was a battle going on between northern and southern Democrats... DALEY: That was 50 years ago. Are you saying today a president could pull off...

SCHIEFFER: Whoa, how long ago was Abraham Lincoln? That was even before that.

DALEY: Yeah, but you saw the great Lincoln. If a president did what he had done, Lincoln, to pass that, I would assume, as I said impeachment probably would be the least of his concerns.

KRISTOL: The president did worse, the president said everyone can keep their health insurance. And then he bought off different senators -- he bought of Ben Nelson in Nebraska...

DALEY: He won't even have earmarks anymore, much less buying off the way...

KRISTOL: Oh, poor President Obama. He doesn't have earmarks anymore.

NOONAN: Bill...

DALEY: All I'm saying is, to back to the Lyndon Johnston analogy, all due respect to Lyndon Johnson and the type of congress and the system we had there then, and say you could do -- that's the model, it's just not reality.

WOODWARD: Obama is capable of doing this.

DALEY: No, how he got those votes -- but the thing he probably did to get those votes that never probably with reported on are things that got it passed, OK. And today you can't do those things. It's not just giving a speech, as Peggy...

(CROSSTALK)

NOONAN: Without a single Republican vote, you need Republicans in the drama. You need them co-owning this bill with you. You need them moderating it.

Look, can I ask a question, I'm so sorry, Bob.

SCHIEFFER: Of course.

NOONAN: Tell me, the president begins his brand new sixth year ahead, State of the Union on Tuesday night. You know him, you have been his chief of staff, what governing part of his job as chief executive, president of the United States, does he love? Does he love this job? Lyndon Johnson loved it. Does he love the doing of the presidency? Does he love the deal making?

DALEY: I think he -- the doing of the president and deal making. Now there's a big difference. Lyndon Johnson dealmaking, that's a little different.

For what I know of this president, he absolutely loves the job, he loves the fact. And I think if you read in that long article you mentioned, Bob, that he understands that whether it's four years or eight years or part of history, and the things he's trying to do, whether it's health care, whether it's reform of the banking system as was done, Dodd-Frank, and other things going forward that there is a -- he does love the job, he loves the fact that he is able to help people. And I think the thought that he doesn't love the job is just from people who have…


WOODWARD: Well, a lot of people -- a lot of people say that...

SCHIEFFER: ...doesn't like the job.

But let me just shift to something else. The New York Times magazine today put out a cover that -- I think we'll be seeing this for a long time -- it is called "Planet Hillary."

I must say my first reaction, I thought it was Chris Christie when I saw it. And then I thought well maybe it's the man on the moon or something. But I mean, what about this article?

NOONAN: Well, my first thought was, it was an unfortunate rendering of an attractive person. But I guess my second thought is, you know, Mrs. Clinton I'm not sure if she's going to run, she may not be sure or maybe everybody understands she's going to run. But, man, she takes up all the oxygen and keeps other potential Democratic presidential contenders from getting in to the story.

And if she does not run, she's going to spend now between now and when she announces she won't run being the star and being the assumed Democrat, I wonder what that is going to do for the Democratic Party. I would worry about it a little bit.

SCHIEFFER: What about, Bill Kristol.

KRISTOL: I think the piece is unfair to Secretary Clinton, honestly. I'm not -- I don't intend to vote for her in 2016, but it's not about her this, it's as if there's this huge psychodrama going on, and she as enemies and frenemies and friends and supporters and Bill.

You know, she has been senator from New York for eight years and Secretary of State for four years. Shouldn't the New York Times be reporting on her record, the pluses and minuses not this kind of childish psycho analysis.

WOODWARD: I couldn't agree more. and sucking all the oxygen out of this, in that piece, it's about the consultants and the aides and even in one version that have in the magazine in her orbit they have Dick Morris.

Now Dick Morris worked for her husband and is now an enemy of the Clintons, would that be -- hardly in the orbit. And you've got all of this stuff about the consultants and the teams coming in, going to micro target, they're going to macro target. They're talking about fund raising portals. And the average Democratic voter I think says, wait a minutes, is this a railroad? Is there a choice for me? SCHIEFFER: We have to end there, I'm sorry. We'll continue this in the green room. But on the air here, we'll be back in one minute to talk about the Olympics.  

 

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SCHIEFFER: We've been talking about the Olympics and the security of Americans attending the games, isn't the only reason that the games have been in the headlines. As you probably know, Russia has a strict anti-gay policy. And former Olympic gold medal figure skater Brian Boitano is joining us this morning because he's part of the U.S. delegation to Sochi. And he recently went public with the fact that he is gay.

And I guess Brian, I would ask you is that why you decided to come forward and announce this because of the situation in Russia? Why did you -- tell me about the timing of your announcement?

BRIAN BOITANO, FRM. OLYMPIC FIGURESKATER: You know, when I said that I would love to be on the delegation it was a huge honor and when the press release came out where it was mentioning where President Obama was sending a message through the delegation of tolerance and diversity, I looked at it as an opportunity to step outside of my -- I've always been a private guy in -- I've been a public figure, but also been very private. So, I took it as an opportunity to step out, stand for his message.

And this is a huge platform. And it can make a difference in so many people's lives. So that's why I decided to make it public.

SCHIEFFER: Well, it was very brave decision.

But I want to ask you, are you concerned about the safety of our athletes over there with all these threats we're now hearing about, now a new one coming out this morning?

BOITANO: Yeah, in regards to the new one coming out this morning, I think it's a concern for everyone. And I think that the athletes' safety should be first and foremost. And I'm sure it will be. And I think that actually the athletes' village will probably be one of the safest places to be.

But from an athlete's perspective to cancel the Olympics in regards to the threats would be absolutely devastating, especially since the Olympics, it's really about people meeting together through sports and putting aside their country's differences for that time.

SCHIEFFER: Would you advise your family to stay home?

BOITANO: That's really good question. I would want my family to make their own decision. I would totally understand if they decided to stay home.

But for me as an athlete I would always choose to go.

SCHIEFFER: How do you stay focused on your sport? You're a professional athlete. How do you stay focused with all this going on in the background?

BOITANO: You know, certainly it takes your attention away a little bit. But elite athletes at the level of Olympics are so used to blocking everything out. And this is devastatingly serious, but at the same time, they're so used to blocking things out that it will just be another thing that they have to push out of their minds to focus on the task at hand of representing their country as best they can.

SCHIEFFER: OK, Brian, I'm very sorry I have to cut you off there. Thanks so much for joining us.

BOITANO: Thank you.

SCHIEFFER: We spoke earlier to another openly gay member of that U.S. delegation to Sochi, legendary tennis player, Billie Jean King.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

SCHIEFFER: Let me just ask you, what kind of a reception do you expect?

You know, it's been pretty dicey sometimes for gay people in Russia. Will you feel safe going there?

KING: I will be alert, that is for sure. But I have been going to Russia since 1962 and I can tell you the people are fantastic there. They're very hospitable, very welcoming. They have been nothing but very kind to me. And I hope it will continue just like that. Because I went as an 18-year-old. So it's been quite an amazing journey going to Russia off and on through the last few decades.

SCHIEFFER: If there are demonstrations; if there are parades; if any of the athletes decide to express support for the gay community, will you take part in any of that?

KING: I'm not so sure we can. I think the athletes, if they're asked questions by the media, can answer it any way they see fit. The thing that they cannot do, according to rule 50, is to demonstrate or protest because they could have their medals taken away and they could be sent home. But I think, if the media asks an athlete a question, that they can respond.

SCHIEFFER: Do you think this could have a positive impact on Russia and the attitude there?

KING: I think this will be very positive. I think people are genuinely kind and I think most people are accepting or at least will start thinking about it. I think it's important not to boycott. I think it's important to show up and be there and be a part of this wonderful occasion in Sochi and seeing our athletes try to go for the gold.

SCHIEFFER: Well, Billie Jean King, you always set a great example, not just for our athletes but for all Americans, and we want to wish you the very best. And I hope you have fun while you're there.

KING: Thanks a lot, Bob.

SCHIEFFER: OK. And we'll be right back with some personal thoughts.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SCHIEFFER: I watched the new documentary on Mitt Romney's presidential campaign on Netflix Friday. It is the best account yet of just how hard it is on anyone, Republican or Democrat, to run for president anymore.

Remarkably, there's not much politics in it, no heated war room strategy sessions, no earnest young staffers debating the meaning of life and the importance of yard signs over late-night pizzas.

Instead we see the Romney family debating whether he should run and, as the campaign progresses, the effect the marathon of the modern campaign is having on them and him. One of the most endearing moments is when one son assures him that if he loses they'll still love him.

About halfway into it, I thought, why didn't the guy I'm seeing here run for president? He was, after all, a moderate Northeastern governor with a fairly good record who passed a health care law people in his state liked and he was a devout family man. But he played down most of that. "Moderate" is modern politics' dirty word. Mentioning health care is toxic to the right. Advisers feared his Mormonism would be held against him. Instead he tried to convince voters he was to the political right of Rick Santorum, which he wasn't.

I'm not sure he could have been elected in any case, but the Romney in that film was a far more likable guy than the candidate we saw. In American politics, that counts for a lot. Back in a minute.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SCHIEFFER: And that's it from here. Thanks for watching.

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