Face the Nation Transcripts June 7, 2015: Christie, de Blasio
(CBS News) -- A transcript from the June 7, 2015 edition of Face the Nation. Guests included New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, Former Texas Governor Rick Perry, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, House Homeland Security Chairman Michael McCaul, Susan Page of USA Today, Jamelle Bouie of Slate, Ron Fournier of National Journal and CBS News Congressional Correspondent Nancy Cordes
JOHN DICKERSON, HOST: Today on FACE THE NATION: The 2016 field gets even bigger, and the terror threats at home continue to grow.
With the number of Republican candidates now in double digits, we caught up with New Jersey Governor Chris Christie in New Hampshire.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GOV. CHRIS CHRISTIE (R), NEW JERSEY: Do I want to do it? In my heart, is this something that I really absolutely want to do?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
DICKERSON: Former Texas Governor Rick Perry is in. We will talk to him, too.
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio will be here to talk about his plan to move Democrats to the left.
And after new terror and security threats, we will talk to House Homeland Security Chairman Michael McCaul about the challenges we face at home.
Wrap it up with panel of political reporters.
It's all ahead on FACE THE NATION.
Good morning. I'm John Dickerson. Welcome to FACE THE NATION.
We have got a lot of news this morning, so we will start with the horse race. History was made last night in Belmont, New York, as American Pharoah, written by jockey Victor Espinoza became first horse in 37 years to win the Triple Crown.
Moving on to the other horse race, Senator Lindsey Graham and former Texas Governor Rick Perry joined the Republican presidential field last week. And former Florida Governor Jeb Bush says he will make it official on June 15. We'll talk with Rick Perry later in the broadcast, but first our conversation with New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, who we spoke with Friday in New Hampshire.
He insists he hasn't made up his mind about running, but, in our interview, he sure sounded like a candidate.
DICKERSON: Hillary Clinton mentioned you and said you and other Republicans are trying to make it harder for people to vote. What is your reaction to that?
CHRISTIE: She doesn't know what she's talking about.
In New Jersey, we have early voting that are available to people. I don't want to expand it and increase the opportunities for fraud. Maybe that's what Mrs. Clinton wants to do. I don't know.
But the fact is that folks in New Jersey have plenty of an opportunity to vote. And maybe if she took some questions some places and learned some things, maybe she wouldn't make such ridiculous statements.
DICKERSON: She says it's fear-mongering, this idea that there's a lot of election fraud going on.
CHRISTIE: Yes. Well, she's never been to New Jersey, I guess.
DICKERSON: We have learned of a massive hack on the United States government, this incident this weak with an ISIS operative perhaps in the United States. This is a part of this new terrorism. Do you think that the United States prepared for this kind of thing?
CHRISTIE: Not as prepared as we need to be, John.
And the fact is that, of all the people who are engaged in this national conversation right now, I'm the only one who has actually done this. For seven years, I was the U.S. attorney in one of the places where there's significant terrorist activity, in New Jersey, in the New York-New Jersey area.
This is why I'm fighting so hard about this intelligence question too. And the actions that were taking this week by Congress has made our country weaker and more vulnerable.
DICKERSON: You said when the debate was going on, you can't enjoy your civil liberties if you're in a coffin.
Now, Republican Senator Mike Lee said that that was political pornography, meaning that you're trying to scare people. Are you?
CHRISTIE: No. I'm trying to tell them the truth, as opposed to what Senator Lee is doing and Senator Paul, which is, they're grandstanding for political purposes.
None of them have ever done this. None of them know what they're talking about in this regard. I have done it. And we can do this in a way that makes civil liberties safe and secure. If Congress is really worried about this, John, why don't they use their vigorous oversight capability to make sure that if someone in the intelligence community is overstepping the line, that they bring them back in?
And if we need to prosecute folks who are doing that, we will. But instead what they want to do is to make the country more vulnerable and weaker, take tools away from us that we need. So, he can call me whatever he wants to call me. I'm the guy who understands this stuff and has done it. And he's the guy who sits up on Capitol Hill in subcommittee meetings and theorizes about it.
DICKERSON: But what they say is, they hold a hearing and the director of national terrorism comes in and doesn't tell them the truth. So, their oversight is blown if they're not getting the straight story from their government.
CHRISTIE: Let me tell you this. If every time somebody didn't tell me the 100 percent truth when I was a prosecutor, if I then just threw my hands up and gave up, I wouldn't have been much of a prosecutor.
You want to conduct oversight, they have lots of tools in Congress to be able to conduct oversight. They should be doing that. And instead what they're doing is throwing tools out of our toolbox that can help protect the American homeland and have protected the American homeland for the last 13 years.
DICKERSON: But the tools that you used, the one they're modifying, was that one you used, this metadata collection? That's what they were modifying. That's not a tool you used.
CHRISTIE: No. It's not a tool I used, but it's a tool I'm aware of.
I'm aware of the efficacy of it and how important it is to our efforts to be able to do what we need to do to protect ourselves in a really dangerous world. And so I understand how these things work. I understand how the FISA court works. I understand what you have to do to put probable cause forward. I have done these things.
And they're making up fictions, John, down there to try to scare people. I'm not the person scaring people. I'm the person telling people the truth. They're the folks who are scaring people for political gain.
DICKERSON: We're now going to switch to the presidential conversation. Your son jokes that New Hampshire is your second home, basically. So, you're a truth-teller. Why don't you just say you're running?
CHRISTIE: Because I haven't made my mind up yet, John.
But I told people I'm going to make my mind up this month. And I have got a day job, too, you know. And I have got to work on making sure our budget gets passed in New Jersey, that we do the things we need to do as the legislature concludes their session on June 30.
And let's remember something. We're still eight months away from anybody voting. So, let's everybody take a deep breath. It will all be fine.
DICKERSON: When you say you're still making up your mind, is it one day you're in, one day you're out, or it's you are standing by the edge of the pool and you're thinking, OK, I'm going to go in, but I don't want to go in this very second? What is the thinking process?
CHRISTIE: It's a linear evolutionary decision-making process. I go through all the different factors that I need to consider. And when I'm done, I check that off and I move to the next factor. And the factor I'm down to now, John, is, do I want to do it? Do I want to do it? In my heart, is this something that I really absolutely want to do?
And if I check that box, then you will hear me say I'm going to announce for president. And if I don't, you will hear me say I won't.
DICKERSON: Last night at your town hall, I was talking to a fellow that was there. He likes you, but he's also thinking about supporting somebody else.
And I want to bring up some of the things he said about you might, because he might be gettable for you.
DICKERSON: He said that his issue with you is that you have too much baggage. And here's the first thing he raised, the multiple bond -- the multiple rating reductions in New Jersey.
What is your answer to him?
CHRISTIE: My answer to that is that I inherited a state 5.5. years ago that was an absolute fiscal basket case, that wasn't going to meet payroll in March of 2010, that had zero net private sector job growth from eight years before I became governor.
Now, when you start to clean up that kind of mess, and the rating agencies, by the way, wake up from this slumber they were in that led us to the huge problems we had during the recession and all the busts that we had in banks and other places, they start to downgrade. I understand that.
But what they will see when they look at New Jersey is that now we have created 186,000 private sector jobs in five years, when we had eight years of no private sector job growth, that we have cut our budget back significantly, that we have capped property taxes. And so credit downgrades are just one part of it, and that is really connected to a long-term pension problem that probably 40 of our 50 states have and are going through.
DICKERSON: You mentioned what you inherited. When Barack Obama used to say, the economy is good relative to what I inherited, Republicans pounded him for it. So, why aren't you saying the same thing President Obama says?
CHRISTIE: No, well, I'm not saying the same thing President Obama said. And, by the way, he did inherit a bad economy. We know that. He came in, in the middle of a recession.
Now, the problem for him is not so much the results, but what he's done. I don't think what he's done has been the right prescription for the country. And that's where I criticize him. DICKERSON: Here is the second thing that our voter who is on the fence -- he like your bluntness. Put that in the for Christie category.
But he thinks you're too unpredictable, too risky as a candidate and possibly as a president. What is your answer to him?
CHRISTIE: Well, I think he's just going to have to watch me over time.
I think I have been not too much of a risk in New Jersey. I think people have seen exactly what they were going to get. I have delivered exactly what I promised I was going to deliver. And so that's just something that they are going to learn over time. And that's why I say take a deep breath.
Campaigns are about convincing people. If the election were a week from today, I would be really nervous about that guy. The fact that it's eight months from today, I have got plenty of time to convince him I'm not risky at all if I decide to run.
DICKERSON: We're here at Webster Place, a drug treatment center. Why do you think people end up here?
CHRISTIE: Oh, gosh, all kinds of reasons, John.
I think some of them can be genetic in your background and in your makeup. I think some of them are bad choices that lead people into a disease that they can't find their way out of without help of places like Webster Place.
What I have been saying in New Jersey is that we can no longer incarcerate our way out of this problem, that we need to give treatment. This is a disease. And every life is precious. And we need to give people an opportunity to have the tools to be able to deal with their disease.
No other disease do we say to folks, no, no, no, you don't deserve treatment, that somehow it's a moral failing. This is a disease like anything else. And I think, quite frankly, the war on drugs has been a failure. And what we need to do now is to work on giving people the tools that we know we have available us to. We know how to help people.
Let's do it. And let's stop spending money on incarcerating nonviolent people because they are drug-addicted. Let's get into treatment and let's give them the tools to get better, because every life is a miracle.
DICKERSON: A president's role -- what is a president's role in that kind of an issue?
CHRISTIE: I think the bully pulpit is the first and most important role.
We have to lower stigma, John, to getting -- seeking drug and alcohol treatment. Right, people, as I said before, see it as a moral failing. And if you have a president up there saying, you're not a failure, you're sick, and we want to help you get better, and we're going to in this country emphasize for the first time that this is a disease and that we need to give people the treatment that they need to get better, I think that will move the needle significantly in our country for both lawmakers at the state and local level and for regular people in their neighborhoods to say, we need to treat this a little bit differently and look at it differently.
DICKERSON: You said marijuana is a gateway drug. If you were president, would you return the federal prosecutions in these states like Colorado, Washington State?
DICKERSON: Go after it?
CHRISTIE: Yes, sir.
DICKERSON: So, if somebody enjoying that now in your state, if you're president, that is getting turned off?
DICKERSON: And how are you going to win Colorado when you do that?
CHRISTIE: Well, listen, I think there's probably a lot of people in Colorado who are not too thrilled with what is going on there right now.
And you know the way you win any state? You go out and you tell people the truth and you lay out your ideas, and you either win or you lose. But I don't believe that people want to be told just what they want to hear. I believe they want to be told the truth as the person who is running sees it. And if I choose to do that, I will go out there in Colorado.
And I have done that. When I went out and campaigned for folks in Colorado, I have said it. So, it's not like I'm going to pander or hide. I'm going to say what I think. And if there's folks who disagree, they disagree, but I also don't know that that will be the only thing they will vote on.
DICKERSON: So, let's switch to the question of Common Core. You used to say in 2013 you supported the federal role, the president's support for Common Core. Now you say the federal role, that's a bad idea.
Wouldn't straight-talking Chris Christie, if he looked at those two things, say, you're just changing because it's an election year and it's a bad issue for you..
CHRISTIE: No, I'm changing because I gave it four years to work. I mean, unlike some other folks, who just reflexively dismissed it, I said, all right, let's give it a chance. Let's see if it will work. It was originally written by the nation's governors. Let's give it a chance. But in four years, John, we did not have educators or parents buy into Common Core.
I can't tell you many people, including my own sister, came to me and complained about Common Core. And at the end of the day, if you don't have buy-in from the educators and you don't have buy-in from the parents, if what I'm worried about is, well, if I change my mind, gosh, somebody like John Dickerson is going to be accuse me of flip- flopping, well, that's the way it goes.
That's being stubborn and not being a leader. If you give something four years, which we did in New Jersey, to work, and it doesn't work, then you need to change, because you owe it to the kids and their parents to do something different.
DICKERSON: What about conservatives who say, you could have seen this coming a mile away, that this was going to collapse like this, in your opinion?
CHRISTIE: Listen, everybody, everybody is a genius in retrospect.
And the fact is that I thought this was worth giving it a try. And we tried it. And it didn't work. And so that is part of what government does too, you know. You engage in certain actions which you are hopeful will work when. And they don't work, you should change course, not stay stubborn because you're afraid of somebody asking you a gotcha question.
DICKERSON: Thanks very much, Governor Christie.
CHRISTIE: Thank you, John.
DICKERSON: We go now to the mayor of New York City, Bill de Blasio, who is making his first appearance on the show.
Welcome to FACE THE NATION, Mr. Mayor.
And I want to start at the beginning here with that question about voter participation. You heard what Chris Christie said about Hillary Clinton. What is your reaction to that
BILL DE BLASIO (D), MAYOR OF NEW YORK: Well, John, first of all, congratulations to you. You're taking over one of the great shows in television history, so I'm very, very happy for you.
Look, I think what Governor Christie is saying distracts from the core point of the dialogue we have to have. We have a democracy problem in this country. We have declining voter turnout. Secretary Clinton put forward the notion that we need a national strategy to energize voting again, to get people involved, obviously to address the many efforts that have been made by Republicans to repress voter involvement.
And I think Governor Christie should speak to the proposal, rather than just attacking her personally.
DICKERSON: Mr. Mayor, you talk about a national strategy, but then you single out Republicans. Hillary Clinton singled out Republicans. But New York City, Democratic town, has very restrictive voting rules. Hillary Clinton didn't quite mention that. By making it so political, doesn't that just undermine her case?
DE BLASIO: No, I think she's saying the right thing, because she's talking about a national vision. We have to get to early voting across the country. We have to simplify registration across the country, obviously get rid of these efforts to repress voter involvement.
But I don't think New York City or New York State are doing well enough either. Our elections are governed by state law. And for a long time, I have believed we need to make fundamental series of reforms. Let's face it. Historically, a lot of people in the political class have tried to discourage voter involvement.
A lot of incumbents prefer a very small electorate. And I think what Hillary Clinton is saying is it's time to do away with that status quo and actually get the entire American people back into our democratic process.
DICKERSON: I would to talk to you, Mr. Mayor, about your effort to take the lead in shaping the conversation for your party and for the presidential election.
You have got a 13-point plan, a progressive plan that includes things like raising the minimum wage, setting a minimal level for taxation for the wealthy. When you look at the Democratic candidates, which one most closely embodies the vision you would like to see in a candidate?
DE BLASIO: Well, John first of all, our progressive agenda -- and you can see all the details at progressiveagenda.us -- it is predicated on the notion that the American people more and more are demanding solutions to the economic challenges we face.
Let's face it. The great resection hasn't ended for so many Americans. In fact, over the last 25 years, the typical American family, when you adjust for inflation, has actually gone backwards economically. We call for increasing the minimum wage to $15 an hour nationally over the coming years, things like paid sick leave and paid family leave for families, progressive taxation, raising taxes on the wealthy.
I think these have become more and more the standard that the American people are demanding answers on. And you saw the CBS poll of course this week which shows that, more than ever, the American people want real solutions to income inequality.
As for Democratic field, each of the candidates is beginning to address these issues. I'm waiting to hear a fuller vision from each on how we will actually tackle income inequality.
DICKERSON: Including from Hillary Clinton?
DE BLASIO: Absolutely.
DICKERSON: On the question of income inequality, when I talk to some Democratic pollsters, they say when voters hear that, there are certainly some liberals and progressives who like hearing about that conversation, but other voters worry that when they hear income inequality, they think their taxes are going to go up.
DE BLASIO: I find that -- I have heard that. And I find it not disingenuous. That would be the wrong word. I find it narrow-minded.
I think there's a lot of people again in the professional political class, consultants and pollsters, who have their own way of thinking and are actually not listening to what is happening on the ground to the American people. Why did the CBS poll show overwhelming concern this week all over the country of people saying, look, regular people can't get ahead any longer, the only folks who can do well are the wealthiest?
You saw it so clearly in the poll, the feeling that the American dream has been profoundly watered down and that people can't make it to the middle class anymore. The poll that came out of Iowa, where caucus- goers on the Democratic side were explicit about the fact that they want candidates to address income inequality.
So, I think what's happened in some of the inside-the-Beltway thinking is they don't like the sound of that word, but in fact it gets to the heart of the matter. Right now, our economic system is not serving a huge percentage of our people. We should be blunt about it. We should be blunt about the fact we have the greatest income disparity since before the Great Depression.
I actually think people want that truth-telling.
DICKERSON: I want to switch now quickly to security. There was a plot thwarted this week in Boston. New York has always been a target. Can you tell us, what is your feeling about these lone wolf attacks and is New York at greater threat than ever?
DE BLASIO: I'm sorry to say we have always been the number one terror target since this recent phenomenon over the last couple of decades of terrorism as we know it today, al Qaeda and ISIS.
New York has always been the number one terror target. We are constantly vigilant. We have 1,000 NYPD officers who focus on anti- terror activities. We know that's the reality of that. We're going to be in that constant state of vigilance for a long time.
But that being said, we have tremendous partnership between the NYPD and our federal partners, particularly the FBI. And we have been able to together thwart a number of attacks. The lone wolf phenomenon, of course, is unsettling, because it could be an individual there's no indication of. But, that being said, bluntly, we saw that in a different way in a Newtown or Columbine. We have seen lone wolves of a different type before. Our job is to see the warning signs early, particularly that involves either radicalization or mental health problems, and intervene early. And I think more and more, we're figuring how to do that well.
DICKERSON: All right, Mayor de Blasio, thanks very much.
DE BLASIO: Thanks, John.
DICKERSON: We will be back in a minute.
DICKERSON: We're back now with the chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, Texas Congressman Michael McCaul.
Mr. Chairman, I want to ask you about this massive data breach we heard about this week, some four million former or current government employees. Is this -- these seem to happen pretty regularly now. Is this the new normal? And what is the next thing we need to be worried about?
REP. MICHAEL MCCAUL (R), TEXAS: Well, first, let me say, it's been an honor to be part of our inaugural show.
But, having said that, this was the most significant breach of federal networks in U.S. history. And that's very significant. We look at the threat indicators, who has a motive and intent to steal this data.
This was a huge data mining process. And it targeted political appointees in the federal government and federal employees, four million of them. In my judgment, this was an attack by China against the United States government. It quantities to espionage. And that raises all sorts of issues that we need to deal with.
DICKERSON: And if I can just be clear, you mean China, the government of, as opposed to just a person who is in China.
MCCAUL: That has not been -- the attribution, they call it, to go back to the source has not been confirmed by the United States government.
But I believe, in my judgment, that all the threat indicators point to the fact that it is China, and perhaps nation state-sponsored because of the way it was done. It was not done to steal credit card information and that kind of theft. It was done to get to personal information on political appointees in the federal government and federal employees to exploit them so that later down the road, they can use those for espionage to either recruit spies or compromise individuals in the federal government.
DICKERSON: In terms of responses, what do you do, shut a door or do you punch back? Do you use computer espionage back...
MCCAUL: I passed a cyber-security bill out of the House. I hope the Senate will pass that and the president will sign it into law.
But I think this is an area where there are no rules of the game in terms of espionage, in terms of stealing this kind of information. And I think it raises all sorts of issues with Americans. Anthem was an attack against health care records of Americans and Blue Cross/Blue Shield.
This, we think, originates from the same source out of China to steal data not only on federal employees, but Americans, to have a large database of intelligence information against us.
DICKERSON: I want to switch to this incident in Boston, self- radicalization. What is your feeling about that?
MCCAUL: Well, I think the biggest concern that the FBI has and Homeland Security officials have is that we have gone beyond the days of bin Laden, where they were caves and couriers, to a new generation of terrorists who use the Internet through Twitter accounts to activate followers in the United States.
These recruiters out of Syria are very sophisticated on the Internet, and through their Twitter accounts, and they have thousands of followers online in the United States, can send a call to arms to activate them to attack, in this case, police officers, in the Boston case, in Garland, or military installations as well.
This is a very hard thing to stop, and a hard thing for FBI and Homeland to monitor. When you talk about the new wave of terrorism, this is pretty much it.
DICKERSON: You were also just in Iraq and other areas, regions where there are foreign fighters. Talk a little bit about that.
MCCAUL: That's a dual threat.
We have the radicalization over the Internet that I just talked about, but also the foreign fighter that travels to the region, to Syria and Iraq, receives training and then comes back. We went over there to try to close security gaps with respect to travel.
Istanbul, 40 million passengers through that airport per year, that is the epicenter of the transit for foreign fighters. They go through there to Western Europe and then into the United States. Western Europe has almost no rules in terms of who they let in and out through air travel, and then their visa waiver to get into the United States.
That's where my biggest concern is to stop to them.
DICKERSON: Well, that's the airports over there. Our airports over here didn't have a good week either with the TSA.
MCCAUL: I think a dismal performance. I will be conducting oversight hearings on this. I just got a classified briefing this week on this.
It's been reported 95 percent failure rate. We know that al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula and the Khorasan group are constantly targeting aircraft through non-metallic IEDs and such to blow up airplanes. With the high-threat environment, John, that we're in right now, this is totally unacceptable.
DICKERSON: Mr. Chairman, thanks very much. We appreciate it.
MCCAUL: Thank you, John.
DICKERSON: We will be right back.
DICKERSON: When we come back, we will talk to the latest Republican presidential contender, former Texas Governor Rick Perry, who is on the trail in Manchester this morning, and will be joining us in just a moment.
Stay with us.
DICKERSON: Some of our stations are leaving us now, but for most of you, we will be right back with a lot more FACE THE NATION, including an interview with Texas Governor Rick Perry and our reporters roundtable.
Stay with us.
DICKERSON: Welcome back to FACE THE NATION.
Former Texas Governor Rick Perry joins us from the campaign trail in New Hampshire. Welcome, governor.
I want to start by just saying, why are you going to do better this time than you did fours years ago?
RICK PERRY, (R) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I would suggest that's the case. We're healthy and well prepared. So, I spent a lot of time in Iowa and New Hampshire, South Carolina, that plays great dividends just in itself.
DICKERSON: When, I listened to your speeches and your announcement speech, it seemed like you were saying the governors have a certain set of skills and senators need not even apply for this presidential job. Is that what you mean?
PERRY: Well, I think anybody can apply. But I think the facts are that governors do have that executive experience, particularly someone with 14 years of that executive experience that no one gave me a handbook that said here is how you handle Katrina and Rita and the hurricanes, nobody said here's how you handle ebola, here's how you handle a crisis on your border. That only comes with that executive experience. And that's what I'm asking Americans to take a look at.
Here is how we run the 12th largest economy in the world. Here's the results we've had, 1.5 million jobs created from '07 through 2014. Don't you think those policies, that focus on economics is what we need at the White House at this particular point in time?
And obviously the preparation on foreign policy that I've done and dealing with those issues is also I think selling point that Americans are going to look at and say that executive experience does matter and it matters a lot.
DICKERSON: Well, what the senators would say is yes, executive experience, you learned to make decisions, but if you don't understand the issues in your bones the way they think they do, you can be given option A and option B and sure you can make a choice between the two, but you don't option C exists.
PERRY: Well, I disagree with that analysis obviously. We took a chance on a young, inexperienced United States senator back in 2008 and both economically and foreign policy-wise I think most observers would say that we find ourselves in rather a pickle, if you will economically and foreign policy.
Our allies don't know whether they can to trust America or not, because the lack of experience that this president and his inability to connect the dots.
And so, I think executive experience -- you know, it's really interesting to me that this business that we find ourselves in, on the political side in governing, the only place that you would discount experience -- when you get on an airliner going to Chicago, to London, you want the most experienced pilot sitting in the front left seat. I think that should be the same for the next leader of the United States.
DICKERSON: On the campaign trail, you talk about how you've been hitting the books since last presidential race. What is the most important thing you've learned in all of your studies?
PERRY: Obviously spent lot of time with foreign policy, with people with the Hoover Institute, with the George Schultzes with the Henry Kissingers, you know, the Brian Hooks at the (inaudible) initiative folks, with Edelman and the Colins. I mean, those are individuals with extraordinary deep understanding of foreign policy.
Sitting at the table with James Ricard and Richard Fisher on monetary policy, two people at kind of opposite side of some of these issues, but that is the type of preparation, I think that is the type of experience that you want to be table to tap into on these host of issues that you would face on whether it's monetary domestic policy, foreign policy also keeping in mind I think that you need to have a president who understands that all wisdom doesn't emanate out of Washington, D.C., that you have got to trust these governors and trust these states to come up with the right concepts and the right ideas and to frankly experiment out there in America, and that makes for great competition and stronger country.
DICKERSON: I'm going to ask you something, governor, you said in your announcement. You said the American people see a rigged game where insiders get rich and the middle class pays the tab. Now, that's coming from you. We talked to Mayor Bill de Blasio of New York, could have come from him, could have come from Senator Warren of Massachusetts. So, talk about that a little bit.
PERRY: Yeah, as a boy who grew up on a dry land cotton farm, the child of a couple of tenant farmers -- I grew up in a house that didn't even have running water. I kind of -- I relate to people who struggle and work hard to get ahead. And when we see these Wall Street bankers, when we lock back at General Motors getting sweet treatment, if you will, I believe in the bankruptcy laws in this country. There is nothing too big to fail from my perspective when it comes from banks or where it comes to big corporate entities.
And I think Americans are fed up, I am. We're fed up by seeing Wall Street get treated specially. And you can't even get loan from your community bank because of Dodd-Frank banking regulations. All that has to change, John. I'm telling you, Americans are fed up with that type of inside where the rich get richer and the folks out on main street have to pay bills.
DICKERSON: What are you going to do about Wall Street, then?
PERRY: Well, regulate them. I mean, regulate them. Make sure that that doesn't happen. If they make bad decisions, let them live with those bad decsions. Don't bail them out.
DICKERSON: All right, I'll -- but isn't that what Dodd-Frank is? Regulations? You were just saying that was bad?
PERRY: Dodd-Frank is killing the community banks over regulation in that sense.
There needs to be some wisdom. My home state one of the things that we were successful with was finding that balance between protecting the citizens and allowing the freedom for folks to grow to be able to get loans, to be able to do the things that really matter. And Dodd- Frank just codifies into place these regulations. Big banks, and they hire all the lawyers, they hire all the accountants, and then they write it off and we pay for it. Community banks that are the real core of lending for small businessmen and women, for farmers in Iowa. You've got to give them the freedom to loan to these people.
DICKERSON: Governor, I want to get your reaction here Hillary Clinton attacked you directly. Let's listen to what she said. And I want to get your reaction.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
HILLARY CLINTON, (D) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Here in Texas, former Governor Rick Perry signed a law that a federal court said was actually written with the purpose of discriminating against minority voters. He applauded when the Voting Rights Act was gutted and said the laws protections were outdated and unnecessary.
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DICKERSON: Governor, your reaction. But also Hillary Clinton's folks and she says, there really aren't a whole host of cases of voter fraud, and that this is something you're just trumping up. Your reaction?
PERRY: I think that the people of the state of Texas overwhelmingly support voter identification and that's what this is really about. Hillary Clinton believes that all wisdom emanates out of Washington, D.C. She's the classic Washington insider. And she wants Washington to take this over.
Listen, we've seen this with the Affordable Care Act. We've seen it with education policy. If you think that Washington needs to be controlling our voting and our oversight for voting, I just don't agree with that. And I think most Americans believe that the governors, the legislators and overwhelmingly passed in the state of Texas.
She's basically looking at the people of Texas and other states that have put these types of voter identification laws into place and saying we don't trust you.
DICKERSON: All right, Governor, we're going to leave it there. Thank you, Governor Rick Perry of Texas.
We'll be right back with...
DICKERSON: Joining us now to talk about all the news this week, The Washington Bureau chief of USA Today Susan Page. We want to welcome my Slate magazine colleague, politics writer Jamelle Bouie to the broadcast. And my CBS News Colleague, congressional correspondent Nancy Cordes. And last but absolutely not least, is Ron Fournier. He's a senior political columnist and editorial director of The National Journal.
OK, Susan, I want to start with you. Rick Perry, he's hit the books. He's got the glasses. What are his chances in life?
SUSAN PAGE, USA TODAY: So, do you get second chance to make a first impression? That's the issue for Rick Perry.
I take him very seriously in the presidential field. I think it is a mistake to say because he had such catastrophic experience last time around that we shouldn't -- that we should not take him seriously. And I think you saw the kind of confidence and manner, the kind of comfortable manner that he has in the interview that you just did with him.
Also a good fit with his party. He's from Texas; that's part of the country that where the Republican Party is strongest. He does seem both more serious and a little more prepared, I think, this time around.
DICKERSON: Ron, let me ask you then about Chris Christie, the other fellow we heard from today.
What about him?
What are his chances in the Republican -- ?
RON FOURNIER, NATIONAL JOURNAL: First, congratulations. This reminds me of what it must have been like to take the first fast ball from Nolan Ryan.
You might swing and miss, but you'll never forget.
FOURNIER: Chris Christie has always struck me as somebody who is really made for the times, at least his brand, a straight talker, tell hard truths, all the things he told you that he was going to be about.
Now if that was the interview that might really appeal in New Hampshire. The problem is he's really muddled, really messed up, really maybe even destroyed that brand.
Bridgegate, whether he was involved with it and not, he certainly failed the test of what kind of people you put around you and what kind of tone you set as leader. And the budget problems in New Jersey and some of the other problems in New Jersey just don't reflect well on him as a potential president.
NANCY CORDES, CBS CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Although I have to say that one part of your interview really struck me, which his when you were asking him about Common Core. And it reminded me that there's a few things that he does better than just about anybody in this party.
When he said, I haven't flip-flopped. I thought about Common Core. We tried it out for four years. And I changed my mind. It wasn't working.
A lot of politicians, when you ask them a question like that, they try to argue that they never changed their mind in the first place and it comes across as disingenuous.
But on this issue and others that could really tie him up within his own party, he's willing to say, not that I made a mistake but that, like everything in life, if it's not working and you thought it would, you try something else.
FOURNIER: It made a flip-flop look like a matter of principle. It was a very (INAUDIBLE).
JAMELLE BOUIE, SLATE: -- both of their big problems in this field is that the rest of the camps are so good. If this were four years ago I think Rick Perry today and Chris Christie today would be great candidates.
But against Jeb Bush, Marco Rubio, Scott Walker, their problem is what do you have to offer that we don't already have in this field?
DICKERSON: And it's new and --
DICKERSON: -- want to ask you about Rand Paul and where he ended up this week. He took on the PATRIOT Act, had a little victory, but in the end what passed was not what he wanted; give me a sense of Rand Paul at the end of this week.
CORDES: Well, he raised a lot of money. His campaign won't even say how much he raised because they say that this fight was not about that. I think a lot of his Republican colleagues would beg to differ but he did energize that slice of the electorate that is as passionate on this issue as he is.
And when you have got a field that is as crowded as this one, 16 or so people, a devoted slice can take you a long way.
On the other hand, he showed that when he's under pressure he tends to say things that don't come across as extremely presidential.
PAGE: He's got another problem and the PATRIOT Act debate kind of highlighted and that is developments in the world. You had Chairman McCaul talk about it's actually -- he thinks perhaps a Chinese government hack of federal employment records here. And we've had -- seen the rise of ISIS and there terrible brutality of ISIS. I think that's hard -- that hurts Rand Paul's case that this is a time for the United States to be less engaged in the world.
DICKERSON: Jamelle, do you think that this issue of surveillance has gone away?
I mean, when Rand Paul's banking on is that there's a whole bunch of people out in the center who really care about this.
Has it come and gone as an issue?
What's your sense of its relevance going forward?
BOUIE: I think Paul's right about that. I think there is a large number of people who are very anxious about government surveillance. I think his problem is that, in the context of Republican primary, those people aren't so much there. There are some of them are there. But if he wants to actually become the consensus candidate of the Republican Party, those are not the people who are going to take him there. So he's sort of out of step with the kinds of people he needs to be in step with on this one issue, even if, in a general election, I think he'd be -- I think he would be a great player.
FOURNIER: I agree with that, everything everybody is saying. When you just look at the horse race, let's give the guy some credit. This issue and judicial reform are two issues that he's not taking just right or left. They are really millennial issues, both this is new era and we have to look at these issues in a new way and make up for the mistakes that we've made in the past and be honest about those mistakes.
And they appeal to the rising voters in this country and the rising leaders in this country.
BOUIE: And to that point I think Paul will end up being influential in the Republican field. In your interview with Christie, Christie's entire thing on reforming drug laws could have come from the mouth of Rand Paul and I don't think that's some weird coincidence.
FOURNIER: I hope he influences the Democrats, too. They're, in my mind, on the wrong side of -- especially Hillary Clinton -- on the wrong side of NSA and surveillance.
DICKERSON: Well, you've given me a nice segue. Thank you --
DICKERSON: -- Hillary Clinton, Susan Page, let me ask you, Hillary Clinton this week took a big swing at bunch of her Republican -- possible Republican opponents.
What was behind that?
PAGE: Well, one thing that's behind is, I think, actual Democratic concern about this -- all these voter laws aimed at what Republicans see as voter fraud. That may not make very limited -- they make just a little bit of difference. But if you had an election like we had in 2000, they could make the difference in a key state. So I think there is concern that these laws --
PAGE: -- laws are in place. And we're seeing a big effort that Hillary Clinton basically unveiled this week, or this past week, to try to push back against these laws, fight them in the courts, fight them in the state legislatures.
They're not an issue that's number one, I think, on voters' minds, but they do energize a certain segment of the Democratic Party. And these laws themselves could make a difference in a very close election.
CORDES: And she's been on defense ever since she got into this election, essentially sending off questions about her emails, about the foundation. This was a chance -- and I'm sure her supporters thought it was about time for her to get on offense against her opponents, who have been hitting her for months.
FOURNIER: Again, this is an issue, it's a rise above the horse race. These laws go back to 1845, when farmers had to be on their farms on Sunday to go to church and had to be in the market on Wednesday.
A couple of things have happened since then, like the telegraph and the Internet. She's exactly right. These laws have got to be modernized and brought into digital age.
But is she a person who can get it done? Or is she going to be another politician that makes a lot of promises, create these wedge issues and then when she gets into office, she divides rather than unites. She plays to her base rather than getting things done.
That would be my worry. She's absolutely right. It's got to be done.
But is she the leader who can get it done? I don't know yet.
DICKERSON: Jamelle, do you see any larger strategy here for Hillary Clinton in picking this issue?
Ron makes a very correct point, which is we have a policy question here; is it easier to vote and should it be easier or harder?
But there's also the political balance of what she's trying to do.
What is your sense of the larger political strategy you see coming out of this?
BOUIE: I think she is trying to -- obviously she's trying to reconstitute the Obama coalition. But I think she's trying energize particular groups in that coalition that are absolutely vital to any win.
If you look at Obama's margins in Ohio in 2012, in Virginia in 2012, that's a -- those are margins that come entirely from African American voting enthusiasm. If she can mobilize that, if she show African American voters that not only will she help their direct interests but she respects them as citizens, so to put it, I think that can go a long way towards repeating that performance.
And if she can get that kind of turnout among African Americans in those states then that's almost the election for her. That is a win. And it's powerful.
FOURNIER: Excuse me. But you're exactly right. But that's my problem. She's using this to appeal to one small segment of the American public. This should be an issue that we call care about, whether you're living in Kentucky or Macomb County, Michigan, the fact that we're still playing under rules that are two centuries old is something that should really -- a good leader would make it matter to somebody in Little Rock and somebody in Macomb --
FOURNIER: -- Kentucky.
BOUIE: I don't think those things are mutually exclusive. And in the speech, she framed it explicitly as not I'm not doing this for you, this particular group of people, but we're -- this is the United States. We're a great democracy. It is wrong for Americans to be kept from the polls.
FOURNIER: But what are we hearing out of her campaign?
BOUIE: We're doing that.
CORDES: But I think -- I mean, this is the point a campaign where everyone is playing to their base, right? And I think it's really --
FOURNIER: But they've got to be better than that.
CORDES: Well, but who isn't at this point?
Whether trying to fire up their supporters because we're in a situation in 2015 where you don't have as many people in the middle anymore that you can go to, to try to beat the other guy. You have got to get your supporters, it's the Obama path in 2008 and 2012. It's not the Bill Clinton path of the 1990s. And so it's clear that she's decided that that's the way to win.
PAGE: But to Ron Fournier's point, if you want to stand out in a great big field, maybe being principled is the way to do it.
PAGE: -- you saw a little of that in the Chris Christie interview, which is he comes across as somebody who's not in Washington -- I agree he's got problems, serious problems -- he comes across as somebody who's not in Washington, somebody who will tell you the truth. You ask him if you're going to get prosecuted in Colorado if you're smoking marijuana in the Christie administration, he said yes. That is kind of refreshing.
DICKERSON: Yes, period, and I'll say it again.
BOUIE: I will say that the Clinton path in '92 and '96 was good and aimed at the middle. But it also never scored a majority of voters. And even in '96, when Perot was less of a factor, Clinton only reached 49 percent. The Obama path may be tailored to a polarized electorate. But Barack Obama's the only Democrat since FDR to break 50 percent twice.
DICKERSON: And, Ron, what we're talking about here is an electorate that is different than we have seen before. That really is all about possibly the way these campaigns are looking at it now, I appeal to my team, you appeal to your team.
And this old idea of people in the middle who might be appealed to by rising above, are there enough of them anymore to turn them -- ?
FOURNIER: -- there's a majority of them.
DICKERSON: But that vote?
FOURNIER: Well, that's a problem.
Why don't they vote? Is it because of the voting laws? Partly. But it's mainly because they have no reason to vote. They're not being inspired. They know nothing is getting done in this town.
So the campaign, both parties are capitulating to the worst instincts. Let's do this thing called negative partisanship. It's really -- that's now a policy of all parties. It's not about inspiring anybody. It's not about getting people to vote for me. It's about getting them to vote against the other side.
FOURNIER: -- new kind of politics, not a Bill Clinton politics. You're exactly right.
But certainly -- but we have to do what Barack Obama promised to do in 2008 and actually follow through as a leader.
DICKERSON: Another worse instinct is only caring about Hillary Clinton on the Democratic side. There are other Democratic candidates.
Susan Page, give me sense of the Lincoln Chafee joined in the race. What's your sense of the other members of the Democratic race?
PAGE: If the metric system debate takes off --
PAGE: -- he's perfectly situated --
PAGE: Not the candidate, not the challenger I would look to. I would look to Bernie Sanders who I think has done surprisingly well.
I mean, he's -- it's hard to imagine that he gets the nomination from Hillary Clinton, but he's getting big crowds in Iowa and New Hampshire. He's helping to shape this race. He's causing some problems I think for Hillary Clinton in terms of looking authentic, because Bernie Sanders is nothing but authentic, and also in trying to decide where she positions herself in this Democratic Party -- because Democratic Party is moving to the left, especially on these economic issues.
But if you're talking about a state like Virginia, those voters -- if you're going to win Virginia, lot of them are in the middle.
DICKERSON: Ron Fournier, you talked to Martin O'Malley, another challenger, where is he in his progress?
FOURNIER: I agree with Susan, but I wouldn't write off Martin O'Malley, because here is a guy who's got a relatively progressive record, and he can position himself authentically as a can-do pragmatic, metrics-driven leader. So, it'd be interesting to see. I don't think he can beat her, but I think he's going to give her a tough fight.
One thing I'm hearing is that both Martin O'Malley and Bernie Sanders' campaigns planning to blow up the DNC debates, planning to blow up basically the Clinton engineer debate system, and they're already talking to some of the liberal groups who like to have their own debates outside the system. And that can be interesting.
All right. Thank you all very much for joining me on the first time out here.
For all of you out there, stay with us. We'll be right back with more of FACE OF THE NATION.
DICKERSON: It's been one week since Beau Biden, the son of Vice President Joe Biden and former Delaware attorney general, died of brain cancer at the age of 46. Yesterday, a thousand mourners including friends, family, military leaders and two presidents turned out to honor him at a service in Wilmington, Delaware, at the St. Anthony of Padua Catholic Church.
President Obama and Beau Biden's brother Hunter and sister Ashley celebrated the 46-year-old as a father, son, brother and soldier.
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HUNTER BIDEN, BEAU'S BROTHER: Beau's was the hand everyone reached for in their time of need. Beau's was the hand that was reaching for yours before you even had to ask.
ASHLEY BIDEN, BEAU'S SISTER: He was the constant anchor for me, my brothers, our father and our mother. He was our protector, our mediator, the captain of our lives.
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: He did in 46 years what most of us couldn't do in 146. He was a sign of an incredibly family who brushed away the possibility of privilege for the harder, better reward of earning his own way. He was a soldier who dodged glory, exuded true humility, a prosecutor who defended the defenseless, a rare politician who collected more fans than foes, and a rare public figure who prioritized his private life above all of us.
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DICKERSON: Beau Biden left behind wife Hallie and two children, Hunter and Natalie. Our thoughts and prayers for God's grace are with the Bidens.
DICKERSON: That's all the time we have today. Thank you for joining me on my first broadcast at moderator.
Bob Schieffer had one piece of advice, "Stick to the news". That's what he did. And that's what we'll do, inviting people on to help us understand the news and we'll try to ask the questions you want answered.
And we'll hope to hear from you. Some of you may be on e-mail, Facebook and Twitter right now.
Until next week, for FACE THE NATION, I'm John Dickerson.
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