"Face the Nation" transcripts, July 8, 2012: Sen. McCain, Sen. Durbin, ex-Gov Barbour


(CBS News) Below is a rush transcript of "Face the Nation" on July 8, 2012, hosted by CBS News Bob Schieffer. Guests include: Senator John McCain, R-Ariz.; Senator Dick Durbin,D-Ill.; former Governor Haley Barbour of Mississippi; a political roundtable of Norah O'Donnell, Jan Crawford and John Dickerson of CBS News; a roundtable on baseball with historian Doris Kearns Goodwin, Sports Illustrated senior editor Frank Deford, former All-Star Harold Reynolds, and ESPN's Jayson Stark.

BOB SCHIEFFER: Today on FACE THE NATION, bad numbers and hard choices--an economy stuck in low, but who can fix it?

Ann Romney showed a steady hand on the Jet Ski controls, but can her husband steer the right course on the economy?

MITT ROMNEY: This is the time for America to choose whether they want more of the same, whether unemployment above eight percent month after month after month is satisfactory or not.

PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: The choice in this election could not be clearer and it could not be bigger, the stakes could not be bigger.

MAN #1: You can do it.


BOB SCHIEFFER: Or can he? We will talk about it with Republican John McCain, who found out in 2008 what it's like to run for President when the economy turns bad.

We'll talk politics with Haley Barbour, the former chairman of the Republican Party, and the Senate's number two Democrat Dick Durbin.

And what's the fallout from the bombshell leak about Chief Justice John Roberts, reversing his position to ensure that the court upheld the President's health care plan? Will it affect the court's future deliberations? CBS News Jan Crawford, the reporter who broke the story, has a follow-up. Plus, political director John Dickerson and chief White House correspondent Norah O'Donnell will also join us for analysis on that and more.

And in baseball's All-Star break, we'll talk about America's game with historian Doris Kearns Goodwin, Sports Illustrated's Frank Deford former All-Star Harold Reynolds and ESPN'S Jayson Stark.

PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: We love each other, we can root for each other until we get to the World Series. Then, it's every man for himself.

BOB SCHIEFFER: He got that right. It's all ahead because this is FACE THE NATION.

ANNOUNCER: From CBS News in Washington, FACE THE NATION with Bob Schieffer.

BOB SCHIEFFER: And good morning, again. It's almost too hot to even fly a kite but some are out there. Last week on this broadcast Jan Crawford set Washington on its ear with a remarkable story and inside look at how Chief Justice John Roberts changed sides and joined liberals on the court to ensure the President's health care plan would be upheld. It was a news leak from an institution that almost never leaks, and this morning she has new details and insights into how it all came about and what it means for future court cases, Jan.

JAN CRAWFORD (CBS News Chief Legal Correspondent): Well, Bob, the discord is deep and it is personal and this could affect this court for a long time. No one has any idea how it's going to be resolved but conservatives feel the sense of betrayal that Roberts changed his mind for the wrong reasons. If he had been with from the liberals from the beginning, my sources say, that would have been one thing but to have switched his position and relatively late in the process infuriated conservatives. Of course we don't know why he switched. He may have been focused solely on the law but that is not what some of his colleagues believe.

Now Roberts initially sided with the four conservatives to strike down the heart of the health care law. The individual mandate that requirement that all Americans buy insurance or pay a penalty and when he changed his mind, he joined with the liberals to instead uphold the law and then he tried furiously with a fair amount of arm twisting, I am told, to get Justice Anthony Kennedy to come along. Now Kennedy sometimes sides with the conservatives, so he would have been Roberts' best hope, but on this issue of federal power Kennedy was firm, the conservatives refused to even engage with Roberts on joining his opinion to uphold the law and they sat out writing their own opinion. They-- they wrote it really to look like a majority decision my sources say because they hoped that Roberts would rejoin them to strike down that mandate and Kennedy was relentless until the end trying to get Roberts to come back, but Roberts did not, so the conservatives' decision instead became a dissent.

Now, interestingly enough, this conflict between these conservatives and within the court has been brewing for some time you could almost trace it back to the first full term of the new Roberts court. That term had several controversial cases such as school busing, abortion and liberal justices then thought Roberts had signaled, when he came on to the court, that he would be open to compromise that he would be more moderate. But in that term he sided with the conservatives and the liberals felt misled, they were furious, as one said at the time he talks the talk, but he won't walk the walk. Conservatives were angry then at Roberts, too. They thought he gave liberals false hope and that just ended up pushing them further away. Now that tension eased over the summer of 2007, but this conflict among the conservatives after Roberts walked the walk with the liberals this time may take much longer to resolve. Of course the court does erupt into conflict occasionally, Bush versus Gore being a famous example back in 2000. But some people believe that you would have to go back nearly seventy years to see this kind of tension almost bitterness, I think you could say that now exists among the justices.

BOB SCHIEFFER: So, Jan, what does this portend for the future? Is this court now going to be a liberal-leaning court?

JAN CRAWFORD: No, no. John Roberts was, is, will be solidly conservative on most of the cases and you're going to see it, I believe next term. When they come back at the end of the summer and sit again to take up a whole new raft of cases, several which will be very controversial.

BOB SCHIEFFER: And why, if he didn't base this change on the law, what was it based on?

JAN CRAWFORD: Well, that's the question that everyone is asking, inside that court and outside the court and some of his colleagues think that he succumbed to the pressure that it was just too great or perhaps he worried about how the court would be perceived by the public, if it had a narrow decision with the conservatives voting to strike down the President's signature achievement, but only John Roberts knows the answer to that and he may not ever want to tell us.

BOB SCHIEFFER: All right. Thank you very much, Jan, an extraordinary story.

Senator John McCain joins us now from Monaco, where he's attending a global economic and security conference. He's also just back from Afghanistan and Lebanon.

Good morning, Senator. I want to start with the news from overnight. Secretary of State Clinton said today, "That the Assad regime in Syria is on the verge of collapse." Here is what she said.

HILLARY CLINTON: The days are numbered and the sooner there can be an end to the violence and a beginning of a political transition process, not only will fewer people die, but there is a chance to save the Syrian state.

BOB SCHIEFFER: So, Senator, I guess the first thing I would ask you is: number one, do you agree with that? And, number two, what should we be doing now?

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    Leigh Ann Caldwell is a political reporter for CBSNews.com.