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Face the Nation Transcripts November 1, 2015 Rubio, Ryan, Hoyer

(CBS News) -- A transcript from the November 1 edition of Face the Nation. Guests included Marco Rubio, Paul Ryan, Steny Hoyer, Allen Pizzey, Peggy Noonan, Jonathan Martin, Jamelle Bouie, and Jeffrey Goldberg.

JOHN DICKERSON, CBS HOST: Today on FACE THE NATION: Marco Rubio rises in Republican race for the president. And the House elects a new speaker, Paul Ryan. We will talk to them both.

After Senator Rubio's strong performance in last week's debate, how does he fight his way to the top in a pack still dominated by outsiders?


SEN. MARCO RUBIO (R-FL), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I just don't believe there's anyone else running who has a better understanding of the issues before us now than I do.


DICKERSON: And as Wisconsin Congressman Paul Ryan takes the gavel as speaker of the House, he says he will run things differently.


REP. PAUL RYAN (R-WI), SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE: We have been timid around here for too long, in my judgment. And I think we have to offer people a bold agenda.


DICKERSON: But will he be able to break gridlock on Capitol Hill?

We will also talk to the number two Democrat in the House, Steny Hoyer, and get the latest on the Russian plane that crashed in Egypt and killed 224. Plus, we will have roundtable to analyze all the news.

It's all ahead on FACE THE NATION.

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

We have got lot of political news to get to, but we start with an update on what caused a Russian airliner bound for Saint Petersburg from Egypt carrying more than 200 passengers to crash in the Sinai Peninsula early Saturday.

CBS News correspondent Allen Pizzey is in Cairo.

Allen, do authorities have any idea what caused the crash?


Well, the short answer to that is no. Initial speculation has centered on a mechanical or technical problem. The co-pilot's daughter has been quoted as saying that her father told her even before the plane took off that the pilots were concerned there was a problem.

Now, the plane took off in the early hours of the morning, and when it reached 31,000 feet and was doing 400 knots, the pilot called air traffic controllers, said he had a technical problem and wanted to make an emergency landing. Then flight trackers shows that the plane dropped about 3,000 feet to 28,000 and slowed from 400 to 93 knots, and then all contact was lost.

Now, immediately following that, the ISIS affiliate here that has been operating in the Sinai Peninsula claimed that they brought the plane down, killing what they called Russian crusaders as payback for Russian involvement in Syria.

However, that group is known to have surface-to-air missiles that are only capable of going 20,000 feet. So, that is sort of ruled out. What they cannot rule out is a possibility of a bomb. And, interestingly, the search area has now been widened. It was initially all around the crash site where the wreckage is, but then today Egyptian authorities said they found the body of a small child, a 5- year-old girl, five miles from the crash site.

So they have now widened the search area to nearly 10 miles. You have to ask yourself, why are bodies and perhaps debris spread out that far? Now, the good news is that both flight data recorder and the cockpit voice recorder have been recovered and they're already looking into those, which should give some clues. And also a Russian recovery group has gone out to look at debris and also to bring back bodies.

So, the answers should come fairly soon, but, for now, nobody really knows what happened -- John.

DICKERSON: Allen Pizzey with the first pieces of the puzzle.

Thanks so much, Allen.

And a Russian aviation official is now saying the disintegration happened in the air. So, we will continue to monitor developments.

Turning now to the race for the Republican nomination, yesterday, we sat down with Florida Senator Marco Rubio out on the campaign trail in Des Moines.


DICKERSON: Senator, I want to start with the news that the United States is sending 50 special operations forces into Syria. Is that enough? RUBIO: Well, it's an important start to what I think, from a tactical perspective -- I think the broader issue is, what is the strategy?

And I think the strategy has to involve more coordination with the Kurds and also with Sunnis, because you're not going to defeat ISIS, a radical Sunni movement, without a robust anti-ISIS Sunni coalition.

So, I do think it's important tactical step forward. It needs to be backed up with increased airstrikes and so forth. So, I don't have a problem with the tactics of it. And the numbers might even have to be larger at some point. But I think the bigger issue is, can they arrive at a strategy?

And that's what I think administration is still struggling to outline.

DICKERSON: We're going to have special forces in Syria, but the Russians are also operating in Syria. Do you worry that there's any conflict, potential problem there?

RUBIO: Well, there is always that potential. It's one of the things that concerns us, is that there is an airstrike of some sort that may end up hitting forces that are -- Americans are embedded alongside.

Again, that is one of the issues that is deeply concerning about miscalculation. But on the other hand, ISIS will not be defeated unless they are confronted by an organized anti-ISIS Sunni movement. And that won't happen without American assistance at some significant level, like what you're seeing proposed now.

DICKERSON: Donald Trump says, no American assistance. He says let the Russians fight ISIS and that's fine with us.

RUBIO: Well, the problem with it is, number one, the Russians aren't necessarily targeting ISIS right now. They're targeting non- ISIS rebels, and it's part of an effort to wipe out any non-ISIS fighters on the ground, so they can turn to the world and say that the only choices are either Assad or ISIS.

And the second point is that the growth of ISIS will continue in Iraq. They are spread now into Libya, where they have become a very significant presence, increasingly in Afghanistan as well. And they are using all these operating bases not simply to conduct regional efforts, but also to grow, recruit people online to attack us here in the United States.

DICKERSON: How much should the United States should be worried, American voters be worried about the Russian presence in the Middle East, increased presence in Syria?

RUBIO: Well, their goals are very different than ours. Their goals are primarily threefold. One are domestic for Russia. He wants to -- Putin wants to be viewed as an important international leader on par of with the United States. Part of it is about deflecting attention away from Ukraine. But part of it is about becoming a regional power that replaces the United States in terms of the power broker in the region and its direction.

And his interests at the end of the day are largely to prop up Assad, who has provided for them a foothold into the region. And so they are stepping into vacuum we have left behind. In an ideal world, you would be able to work with Russia to defeat radical jihadists. But that's not their goal immediately. Their immediate goal is the propping up of Assad, because it's a client state for them.

DICKERSON: Let's switch now to talking about executive experience. In 2008, Republicans running talking about the Democrats that were running, there were some senators running, Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, constantly I heard Republicans say they have never run as much as a lemonade stand. They don't have executive experience. They haven't met a payroll. They haven't governed.

Why doesn't that apply to you now as a candidate?


Well, first of all, the presidency is not a bookkeeping job. It's not some glorified accounting job. It is the leader of the United States, both of its people and of the nation and of the government. And the job of a president is to craft a vision for America's future, to put the right people in the right position and hold them accountable for carrying out your agenda, but also to rally the country behind big causes.

Entitlement reform is a huge undertaking. It will never happen without presidential leadership, not to mention national security. The role of commander in chief is the most important job of a president.

In the context of Barack Obama, he has now been president for seven years. He has significant executive experience, and he's still making mistakes, in my opinion. And so it's clear that the issue with him is not that he didn't have executive experience. It's that his ideas do not work.

And that's why I think it's important to elect someone to the presidency with the right ideas, ideas that allow private sector to succeed, because that's where you get job creation and economic prosperity, but also someone that understands the risks in the world today and what America's role in the world needs to be.

DICKERSON: But I guess when -- and this is obviously something your opponents are bringing up.

Jeb Bush has said in a fund-raising appeal -- he says you have no credible experience beyond governing. I guess the question is, have you been in a position where you have had to make tough calls, where there are real consequences? And where do you get that strength from when you -- if you were to make the presidency, where you be in those kind of decisions all day long?


RUBIO: It is true that the presidency is not like being a U.S. senator. But it's also not like being governor.

There is no office in the world like the United States presidency. What I have shown over last five years especially is judgment, good judgment, and understanding of the major issues before America, particularly on foreign policy.

I do not believe there's anyone else in this race that has shown better judgment on the issues before America today than I have and a better understanding of them, especially on the foreign policy realm, which is at the end of the day the most important obligation of a president.

Presidents don't run the economy. What you do is promote policies that allow the private sector to succeed.

DICKERSON: The Bush campaign called you the Republican Obama. Is that an insult or a compliment?


RUBIO: Well, I don't think they mean it as compliment, and I certainly wouldn't take it as that.

Look, campaigns are going to say whatever they think gives them an advantage. And obviously someone has convinced Jeb that attacking me is going to help his campaign. It won't change the way we run our campaign. We are going to continue to give people a serious candidacy that is optimistic, but also realistic about America's future, about our challenges, about the direction our country needs to go.

That's what I'm going to focus on. And if someone else chooses to go in a different direction, I think it's one of the reasons why Barack Obama was reelected in 2012, because too many candidates spent a tremendous amount of time attacking fellow Republicans and really undermining Mitt Romney before he was even the nominee. I hope we don't repeat that mistake in 2016.

DICKERSON: You mentioned Jeb Bush. And in the debate, there was this big moment between the two of you. He mentioned your missing votes in the Senate. He said, as a constituent, he wanted you to be there more.

You came back at him not just on substance, but you questioned his motives. You basically said, you're just doing it because your advisers have told you. Is there nothing genuine in his critique of you in your attendance in the Senate?

RUBIO: Well, there's no record of having criticized anyone else in the past that's found themselves in the same position.

The truth is, I don't like missing votes. But what I would really hate is to wake up on the first Wednesday of November to the news that Hillary Clinton has been elected president of the United States. So, we're going to continue to serve the people of Florida.

We have a -- we do, I think, a very good job in our offices of serving our constituents and their interaction with government. We will most certainly be there for most votes and many votes. There will be some I will miss. And I will miss them because I'm campaigning so that in the future those votes actually mean something.

Far too many votes today in the Senate are predetermined. We know what the outcome is going to be. It's being done for messaging purposes, but it's never going to pass, because even if you could find enough votes to pass it, the president would veto it.

I want to become president so we can actually start turning some of these ideas into law, into policy. And so when we're away, that's what we're doing.

DICKERSON: Was Jeb Bush your mentor?

RUBIO: He was a big part a -- I don't know about labels like that, he was most certainly a big part of my career.

And I have tremendous admiration. I said that at the debate.


RUBIO: You're never going to hear me bad-mouth him.

He was a great governor of Florida. He's someone I have tremendous personal affection for. My issue is not with Jeb Bush. I'm running for president because I honestly believe that our party and our country needs to turn the page and allow people, a new generation of leadership that understands the issues before America now.

I know there are people running that have more experience than I do on the issues we faced 17 years ago. But on the issues before America today, that's what we should be debating. And I just don't believe there's anyone else running who has better understanding of the issues before us now than I do.

DICKERSON: Are people wrong who say that the reason that was such a moment for you in the debate is because you're -- you have this relationship, this friendship with him and you could basically call him on his motives, and that that created this drama that everybody is talking about? People who support you say you put Jeb Bush in his place.

RUBIO: Well, I don't know.

He said something. I had to respond. And I feel obviously what I said is something that I believe. I do believe that Jeb has been convinced by people around him that he needs to attack me in order to be more successful. I don't personally agree with it, but I'm not running his campaign. What I control is my campaign. My campaign is not going to be attacking him or any other Republican. If there are policy differences, we should debate those. That's a legitimate issue.

But I'm not going to bad-mouth other Republicans. I want to be the nominee. But someone on that stage is going to be the Republican nominee. I don't want to do anything that makes it easier for Hillary Clinton or whoever the Democrat nominee is to defeat the Republican, because we truly, as a nation, cannot afford another four years like the last eight.

DICKERSON: Let me ask you on the Senate attendance question, in Iowa, the Senate campaign there, the Republican Senatorial Campaign Committee ran a bunch of ads against the Democrat, saying he missed a bunch of votes. And it was devastating for him.

Do you worry about, if it worked against the Democrat in that state, that it could cause you any political...


RUBIO: I'm not a political strategist. I'm a candidate.

I can tell you what would hurt me more. And that is never coming to Iowa and interacting with the voters here. And I think people understand that if I do miss a vote, it's not because I'm on vacation. It's because I'm here interacting with the voters, in the hopes that this they will give me a chance to be the Republican nominee and the president.

Again, unfortunately, in the Senate today, the majority of votes that are taken are not going to pass. They're being voted on for messaging purposes, and important messaging purposes in many cases.

I'm running for president so that, in the future, when we vote to repeal Obamacare or reallocate the money from Planned Parenthood to another entity, we can actually turn that into policy, into law.

DICKERSON: All right, Senator Marco Rubio, thanks so much.

RUBIO: Thank you. Thank you.


DICKERSON: To watch the entire Marco Rubio interview, check out our Web site,

Next up, our interview with the new House speaker, Paul Ryan.


DICKERSON: Last week, the Republicans in the House of Representatives broke through weeks and chaos and railed -- and rallied around a new leader, electing Wisconsin Republican Paul Ryan as the new speaker of the House, the 45-year-old. He is the youngest speaker in nearly 150 years. We spoke to him in his office on Friday.


DICKERSON: John Boehner said of his tenure, "I came here to fight for a smaller, less costly and more accountable government, but I began to realize over the years there was no winning this fight."

REP. PAUL RYAN (R-WI), SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE: I don't believe that. I think you can win this fight. I think if you offer the people of this nation who believe that the country is on the wrong track, because it is, if you offer them a bold alternative vision for how to get this country back on the right track, how to fix our problems, how to reapply our founding principles, yes, I believe we can re-limit this federal government and give people the kind of freedom and opportunity for all that they deserve.

DICKERSON: You have said that you want to tackle issues head on, even the tough ones. So, first order of business, immigration reform, going to tackle that head on?


RYAN: Nice.

Look, I think it would be a ridiculous notion to try and work on an issue like this with a president we simply cannot trust on this issue. He tried to go it alone, circumventing the legislative process with his executive orders.

So, that is not in the cards. I think if we reach consensus on how best to achieve border and interior enforcement security, I think that's fine. But, look, we have taken plenty of tactical risks here in Congress. I think it's time we take some policy risks by showing people what we really believe, who we are and how we can fix this country's great problems.

So, we have been timid around here for too long, in my judgment. And I think we have to offer people a bold agenda.

DICKERSON: Give me a policy risk.

RYAN: Well, I think we should say what the new tax code looks like. I think we should say what Obamacare replacement looks like.

People don't like Obamacare. Members of Congress don't like Obamacare. We -- most of us in the majority, we all voted against this. But I think, if you take look at the premiums, if you take a look at the fact that decisions are being taken away from patients and their doctors, people are starving for an alternative to this vision.

DICKERSON: Was there a cost to what that House has just gone through on the Republican side?

RYAN: I don't think there was cost, as much as it was growing pains.

I think what we just experienced in the last couple of weeks was what was necessary to unify our Congress, to unify our party. There are basically four things I think we need to do. Number one, get the House working like it was intended to work by the founders.

Number two, we need to seek common ground. We need to find common ground where we can find it to advance the nation's interests and we can do so without compromising our principles. Number three, I think it's incredibly important that we serve as an effective opposition party, a check on the administration's power.

But that leads me to the most important point, number four, we have got to be a bold alternative party, a proposition party. We don't like the direction the country is headed, so we owe it to the people of this nation, how we would do things differently. And that's what we have to do in 2016.

DICKERSON: The 40 or so group of conservatives who fought against John Boehner, a lot of people said, these tactics you're using, they're going to hurt the party, they're too extreme.

But in the end, Republicans have now voted for a speaker they really like, you. So isn't that a validation of the tactics of the Freedom Caucus?

RYAN: Well, look, these guys are good friends of mine.

I am a movement conservative, and people know that. I think it's important -- I think what we haven't done is offer a vision. We have not shown not only ourselves, but the nation, what is the horizon we're shooting for, what are the big ideas that we're going to champion? That's unifying. That's what we should rally around.

So, that, to me, means we should put aside the timid nature of not taking risks on policy, and show people why we should be trusted to lead in this nation to get us to a better day.

DICKERSON: Do you see this job as a leader, where you say, here is where we're going and everybody follows you, or are you more of a facilitator? John Boehner used to talk about working the wheel of the House.

RYAN: I think that's right.

So, I was not elected dictator of the House. I was elected speaker of the House. And that means we do it in a bottom-up approach. We reach consensus. As Republicans, we have common principles. We need to take those common principles and apply them to the problems of the day through consensus to show the country a better way forward. And it's my job to lead to that consensus, but not to dictate that consensus.

DICKERSON: One of the things you used to write about in your budgets, when you were budget chairman -- seems an age ago -- you talked how bigger government was possibly smashing community in America.

RYAN: Yes.

DICKERSON: That's a bigger philosophical vision. Do you see your job as speaker to make that case?

RYAN: I do see my job as speaker as -- and I'm redesigning this job. I don't think it can work going forward like it's worked in the past.

I can't pick up where John left off. It has to be done differently. And my colleagues agree with that. I think that's one of the reasons why I was elected speaker. And so I do believe that means we have to be bold, we have to show who we are, what we believe.

And when you're asking me about communities, I spent a great deal of time and thought about this. I think big government displaces what we call civil society. Big government makes it harder for communities to come together and heal problems.

And so that, to me, is an incredibly important dialogue we're going to have to have in this country, which is, how do we attack the root causes of poverty? How do we deal with reintegrating displaced communities, so that people can build better lives for themselves?

DICKERSON: You went out, somewhat anonymously into the -- well, totally anonymously into the country, went into these communities, talked to addicts, talked to people down on their luck.

You won't be able to do that anymore as speaker.

RYAN: No, I'm going to keep doing it.


RYAN: It may not be as anonymous as I -- as before. I'm going to keep doing that, because I think we need to go out in our communities and learn, learn from people who are successful at actually fighting poverty, at getting people back on their feet.

I think we need another round of welfare reform to move people from welfare to work, so that people can make the most of their lives. And so I'm going to keep doing that.

DICKERSON: Some things you may have to do differently. You still going to sleep in your office?

RYAN: Yes, I am. Yes, look, I just work here.

I live in Janesville, Wisconsin. I'm not changing that. I work here from dawn until about midnight. And I'm just going to sleep in my office because it's very convenient for me.

DICKERSON: May have to get the cigarette smoke out maybe.

RYAN: Well, my office -- I'm going to sleep in my regular office over in the Longworth Building.

DICKERSON: You have young children. What did you tell them?

RYAN: We had a lot of talks about this in the week building up to this.

And I told them that I'm still going to be home on Saturdays and Sundays, like I always have been. What we do on Saturdays is, I usually do my kids' sporting events and some constituent events. And Sundays are family days. That's not going to change.

I'm going to commute back and forth to Wisconsin every week. Look, the way I look at this is, don't you think that people in this country want citizen legislators? Don't you think people in this country want their representative in Congress living among them, understanding them, going to the same kinds of trials and tribulations, raising families that they do?

That, to me, is what a citizen legislature should be like. So, I don't see myself changing in that respect at all.

DICKERSON: Do you think that will change the way the House works? I mean, you're the first speaker since James G. Blaine to have little kids.

They didn't even have electricity then. So, what is it going to do to change the House, the fact that you have young kids and...


RYAN: Electricity will make it much more efficient, I think.

(LAUGHTER) RYAN: They're -- it's a younger breed here in the House. When I came to Congress, I was the youngest person. I think Harold Ford and I were the youngest people here. We were 28 years old.

But there's a newer, younger breed of members from both sides of the aisle who have families. And so I think that that's a good thing. I think having new blood, young people here offering fresh ideas is a good thing. And I want to continue that kind of process.

DICKERSON: Anything else you have carved out that you say, I don't care what being speaker does, I'm going to keep doing this, camping, for example?

RYAN: Yes, of course I'm going to keep camping. I'm going to keep mountain climbing. I'm going to keep camping. I'm going to keep hunting.

I told the security detail that human scent is not good for bow hunting.


RYAN: So, I won't go into the details, but I have to keep life normal. I have to keep life real. And I think they understand that.

DICKERSON: Have you gotten to the point yet where you have said, hey, this job that I maybe didn't want, it's going to be fun?

RYAN: Yes, I am. I think I crossed over to that, crossed over to no, to reluctant, to, if I have to, to actually I think this could be very exciting.

The reason why I'm excited about this job is because I really believe we have an incredible opportunity to offer the people of this nation a better way forward, a very bold agenda. And this is what people deserve. I mean, most people in this country don't think we're heading in the right direction. I certainly believe that. So, we ought to show people how we would do things differently. And I think that's really exciting.

DICKERSON: Tell me about the crossover moment.

RYAN: I don't know if it was an actual moment, but just a metamorphosis over a few weeks.

And it was basically talking with my colleagues, listening to my fellow Republicans in Congress about their concerns and their frustrations with the way things have been done in the past. And what I realized is, it reflected my own thinking. It reflected my own frustrations with the way business has been done in Congress.

So, this is a new day. And we're wiping the slate clean. And we're going to do things differently.

DICKERSON: All right, Speaker Ryan, thanks very much.

RYAN: Thanks, John.

DICKERSON: And we will be right back to get reaction to all of that from Democrat Steny Hoyer.


DICKERSON: And we're back with the number two Democrat in the House, Steny Hoyer of Maryland.

So, you watched Paul Ryan. How do you think he will be different than John Boehner?

REP. STENY HOYER (D-MD), HOUSE MINORITY WHIP: Well, I certainly think he will be different.

I think he's, as he pointed out, a movement conservative, more ideological than John Boehner, very enthusiastic, and perhaps not as wisened as John Boehner was, because he went through some of the battles.

But he has a lot of ability. He wants to do well. He wants to lead the Congress in a way that is effective. The fact is, though, it wasn't the speakership that was broken. It was a deeply divided, dysfunctional Republican Party. And that remains.

It remains a party that has a very, very strong ideological bent, not only inside, but outside. And that -- the outside influences, in effect, constrain what I think are the majority of reasonable, pragmatic Republicans, which is why, frankly, the Ryan budgets, which sets forth his visions of what he wanted to do, were never implemented by the Republican Party in the House of Representatives.

DICKERSON: All right. Mr. Hoyer, we're going to come back after a commercial, and we will talk more about Paul Ryan and a few other things.

So, stick with us. We will be right back.


DICKERSON: Some of our CBS stations are leaving us now, but for most of you, we will be right back with a lot more FACE THE NATION, including more with the number two Democrat in the House, Steny Hoyer, and our panel.

Stay with us.


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

We're back with Congressman Steny Hoyer, the assistant Democratic whip.

Congressman Hoyer, when you listen to Paul Ryan, you mentioned the challenges he's got in his own party. What do you see in terms of any kind of chance for bipartisanship?

HOYER: Well, you know, he said the solutions needed to be collaborative. And if he means that, we're certainly willing to work with him and to try to solve the problems. We need to get people back to work. We need to pass a highway program. Frankly, we need to pass the XM bill, which was bottled up in committee. He talks about relying on committees. Jeb Hensly (ph), on the committee, bottled up a bill that came to the floor and had a majority of Republicans for it and all but one Democrat for it. So he's going to have to take some risks and he's going to confront the same challenge that John Boehner confronted when he said pragmatically in order to keep the government running, in order to keep the economy growing, we're going to have to take some actions. We'll see if he can get the support that John Boehner found so difficult.

DICKERSON: He talked about a bold vision. And when he offered bold visions in his budget years, it was often a big, big target for democrats. I mean isn't that a recipe -- if he's going to offer bold vision -- for more fighting over ideology?

HOYER: Well, if he's going to offer, as he says, movement conservative bold visions, yes, the answer to that is -- is correct. We're not for changing Social Security as it exists today. We're for strengthening it. We're not for making Medicare a voucher program. So some of those bold vision that he talks about are things that are worthy of a good debate we think we win that debate with the American public.

On the other hand, to the extent he wants to sit down work collaboratively to solve problems, one of those is comprehensive immigration reform and he's already taken that off the table because they don't trust the president. I'm not sure what that has to do with the House of Representatives passing substantive, constructive legislation that the -- that the chamber of commerce supports and labor supports and a broad spectrum of the country supports.

DICKERSON: You've been a leader. You are a leader. His promises about how he's going to make it home on the weekends and the -- what did you make of those?

HOYER: Well, I -- I was -- I was laughing and I wish him good luck. He does have small children. I went through that stage myself. I don't have small children now, but I do have grandchildren and great grandchildren. And it's wonderful to be able to spend some time with them.

But the fact of the matter is, he's the leader of his party. He's the leader of the Congress. He has great responsibilities. And, frankly, while he's got great intellect, it's going to take time and effort and application to talking to members and to talking to the country. So he's going to have a challenge accomplishing that objective.

DICKERSON: I want to switch to presidential politics for a second. What did you make of Marco Rubio?

HOYER: I think Rubio is -- is good. I think Rubio speaks well. I think he -- he comes across rational. Rubio's problem is, he does not appeal to the disaffected, the anxious and the angry in the Republican Party. That's why Trump and Carson and Cruz and some others are doing so well. And making that -- and -- and why Bush is doing so poorly. Unless he can appeal to those. And, frankly, he's changed his position on comprehensive immigration reform because the right wing of his party didn't like it. So we'll see what issues he takes as presidential candidate and whether those resonate with the -- the base in his party, which is angry, conservative base.

DICKERSON: Let me ask you about the Democratic side as my last question, which is, when Democratic voters are looking at their candidates they've got in front of them, what's the one, big question they should have in their minds when they're evaluating the candidates?

HOYER: Who can best lead the country? Who has the experience? Who has the commitment? Who has the broader reach to lead this country? To bring our citizens together.

DICKERSON: What do you mean by broader reach?

HOYER: Broader reach in terms of reaching to all factions of the party and all factions of our country and bringing them together and to lead them. That is what I think Marco Rubio said -- said it best, it's not accountant's job, it's a job for a leader who can expression a vision and then create a consensus to achieve that vision.

As you know, I think Hillary Clinton is the person to do that. But I also think Bernie Sanders and Martin O'Malley, very substantive alternatives who are discussing real issues. And I think that's the difference between the Democratic field and the Republican field.

DICKERSON: All right, Congressman Hoyer, thanks so much.

HOYER: Thank you.

DICKERSON: And we'll be right back with our panel. Don't go away.


DICKERSON: We're back with our panel. Peggy Noonan is a columnist for "The Wall Street Journal" and a CBS News contributor. Jamelle Bouie is the chief political correspondent for "Slate" magazine. Jeffrey Goldberg writes for "The Atlantic." And Jonathan Martin covers politics for "The New York Times."

Welcome to all of you.

Jonathan, let's start with you.

Marco Rubio is seizing -- trying to seize his moment, isn't he?

JONATHAN MARTIN, "NEW YORK TIMES": He sure is. He has had this promise for so long, John, among political insiders. There was always the assumption that he would be a real contender in the end, but his poll numbers and his money didn't match. Well, now is the moment that that might actually change. Let's see where his numbers are this week in the polling and, obviously, his money is about to change because he got a big endorsement from Paul Singer, a very prominent New York hedge funder, who I think will bring some money with him along the way. So Rubio now has an opportunity. And question is, can he seize it?

But what's so fascinating about this race, John, is, as you know, the assumptions have been almost uniformly incorrect along the way. So Ben Carson still leads in Iowa. Donald Trump doesn't seem to be going away. So why all the sort of insider class, things that Rubio is having his moment, and there's evidence that he is. The actual voters still seem to be very fond of the outsiders.

DICKERSON: That's right. The Paul Singer moment, a big deal?

JEFFREY GOLDBERG, "THE ATLANTIC": Yes, it's a big deal. I mean Sheldon Adelson is the big fish who hasn't been -- been caught yet, although he's leaning Rubio. But he's --

DICKERSON: Can fish right checks?

GOLDBERG: Fish -- fish can write checks with their gills apparently.



DICKERSON: He's the big fish because he can give a lot of money.

GOLDBERG: He's a big -- he can give huge sums of money. But -- but Adelson is an army of one, in a way. He's sort of an outlier. Paul Singer is connected into the Republican establishment, the hedge fund, the Wall Street establishment and -- and his signaling -- this -- this is a signifier.


GOLDBERG: It's a moment where their -- where everybody's saying, oh, OK, Paul Singer thinks this is a good investment and therefore it becomes a reality that it becomes a good investment.

DICKERSON: Right. Exactly.

Peggy, what did you make of the sort of game of thrones moment during the debate when Jeb Bush went after Marco Rubio, who he has helped -- had a 17-year career in Florida, and then Rubio came back at him questioning his motives, right back at him.


DICKERSON: It's -- everybody's talking about it. What did you make of that?

NOONAN: It's the reason we are talking about Marco Rubio this morning. And I'm sure many people are. Jeb Bush and Marco Rubio did have a long relationship. They'd passed each other and dealt with each other a great deal when they were Florida officials, but it was always understood Jeb Bush was the older brother and Marco was the younger brother. They had their exchange in the debate the other night, and Marco did not walk out as junior, you know? Jeb went at him, and Marco swatted him away. And it was -- I have a feeling we'll remember it as one of those big moments of the primary.

DICKERSON: Jamelle, the comparisons to Barack Obama are happening. I mentioned to Senator Rubio that the Jeb Bush campaign called him the Republican Obama. Do you think it matters that he doesn't have any experience or does a debate moment like that show leadership and so lack of it in your career doesn't really matter?

JAMELLE BOUIE, "SLATE" MAGAZINE: I don't think it particularly matters. I think if you look at America's presidents, you'll be hard pressed to draw any sort of linear connection between the amount of experience they had and how successful they were. I think it does pose a problem for Marco Rubio that -- that in 2008 Republicans did make this very pointed argument about how Barack Obama had no experience and that it continued for -- for the first term of his presidency. And Rubio, in a lot of ways, is adopting the arguments Obama used in 2008 to rebut the claim that he didn't have enough experience. And eventually this is going to come to a head. Eventually I think conservatives will say, wait -- wait a sec, just seven years ago we -- we said the exact opposite that Rubio is saying. Should -- are we going to be consistent about this.


GOLDBERG: You know, it's a -- it's an interesting -- it's an interesting question about this. Jeb Bush has actual executive experience; Marco Rubio doesn't. But watching that exchange, which one would you rather see arguing with Putin in a room?

Marco Rubio showed that he can bring an argument strongly; Jeb Bush doesn't seem -- Jeb Bush doesn't -- certainly doesn't have what Peggy very wisely called "a merry aggression necessary" to enter this kind of combat.


MARTIN: -- so flexible, though, John.

If it works for the Republicans one cycle, then they will use it. If it works for the Dems the next, then they'll use it.

It's all about circumstances, right. If your opponent doesn't have any experience, then that's going to be your argument. If your team does lack experience, then you're going to have (INAUDIBLE) the argument.

And so, I think it's much more candidate specific. The fact is that Jeb folks have been saying for months now, well, once people learn about his experience as governor of this big state, all the conservative reforms that he did, they'll know he's not just a Bush name, that he has his own record, then voters will come around.

Well, here we are, it's November 1st and there's no indication whatsoever that in this primary voters have much interest in experience, in a record, 10 years ago in Florida.

That could change with more voters paying closer attention when votes take place in Iowa and New Hampshire. But right now, they are much more interested in issues like strength and affect and appearances than records.

DICKERSON: The one rule that stays in the campaign is they want a winner.

Peggy, what is your view on Jeb Bush?

What is the state of the exclamation point?

NOONAN: Oh, one of the mysteries.

DICKERSON: Is it still there?

(CROSSTALK) NOONAN: I guess one of the mysteries of this primary year is why Jeb Bush didn't come out, having as his signal statement, I have been a creative and thinking outside the box and original governor and a conservative, all those things plus a conservative of a major purple state.

It is a surprise to me that he didn't make everybody care about his experience and his accomplishments. He really didn't. He let it go.

Where is he now? He's got the wobblies, I mean, now and then, candidates just get wobbly. He says that he's going to sort of do it, I guess, a John McCain comeback, big, keep your eye on me, I grind it out. I'm a tough figure.

We'll see where it goes. The thing I fear for him is that his super PAC is going to take its money and do negative dumping on other candidates. It worked in '12, 2012, for Newt Gingrich against Mitt Romney but it helped kill Romney. I think the Republican Party won't forgive it if it's done this time.

DICKERSON: Well, it's really interesting that you mentioned that.

Jamelle, when I was talking to Marco Rubio, he said I'm not going to attack anybody because, in 2012, everybody attacked the nominee and that tore him down.

That wasn't really about what Marco Rubio was going to do, it's what he didn't want done to him as he starts to look like he might be rising.

Jamelle, what do you --


DICKERSON: -- It was, it was a very subtle warning but it was definitely a warning.

What about the rest of the field?

What do you make of the Cruz and Trump and the rest of the Republican field?

BOUIE: I tend to think that the rest of the field is people are going to fall away, even Trump and Carson. You can already see Trump get tired of it as his numbers go down, he gets upset and angry.

I think Carson likewise, there's no indication that Carson as a candidate that will endure past Iowa.

My hunch, I was saying earlier that -- so Marco Rubio is adopting a lot of Obama's arguments about candidacy and experience. He's not really running Obama's 2008 campaign, it's almost like John McCain's campaign concerning grind it out in a quiet way. Ted Cruz is running an Obama-style campaign, focusing on merging grassroots money with big donor money, putting that money into infrastructure across the board, trying to develop a strategy that will gain him the most delegates coming out of Super Tuesday. I would not be surprised to see Super Tuesday past next year and Cruz is among the ones left standing as a viable, potential winner.

DICKERSON: When we talk about John McCain, we're talking about in 2008 his campaign was almost dead; he was carrying his own bag. And then he ascended back and had this phoenix-like rise, which is a good for a senator from Arizona, to have a phoenix-like rise.


DICKERSON: John, do you buy this idea that in the Republican race that are two lanes, and there will be Ted Cruz at the head of the Cruz-Trump-Carson lane and then Rubio at the head of that lane?


MARTIN: Well, we actually have a story in the papers tomorrow that's now online about this Cruz-Rubio relationship by Jason Hurwitz (ph) that is very good.

Yes, I can see that coming here at some point, that Cruz and Rubio emerge sometime after Super Tuesday perhaps. It's kind of the final two candidates. I think right now that might even be the conventional wisdom.

But like I said earlier, we've been wrong so many times. Why are Trump and Carson going to leave this race tomorrow? They -- obviously Carson has raised a lot of money; Trump has his own money -- he hasn't spent much of it yet but he has it there.

So I'm not sure that they're going to get out.

I was with Carson in Colorado after the debate, and then again in Memphis on Friday.

You talk to folks at these events and the most powerful stuff is, he's not a politician. He's an outsider. It's a very strong force this cycle and don't discount that.

GOLDBERG: People have been sitting around these tables for six months, saying that any moment now, any moment now. But I don't buy it any more, that this can go well into next year.

DICKERSON: Jeffrey, I want to ask you one question about foreign policy on the Republican side, talking to Marco Rubio about Syria, how do you see that conversation emerging in the Republican side?

And especially with the president putting 50 special operations forces -- ?

GOLDBERG: Well, the 50 troops is an incremental, it's an intensification of an existing strategy. Look, this all depends on events.

If the president can keep this problem in a box, then it's fine. We stay where we are.

If -- look, what is the big variable here?

The big variable is that ISIS or someone trained in ISIS - controlled territory does something outside of that territory, an act of terror, God forbid, an act of terrorism . Then we're in a new world. That becomes obviously, among other things, a Republican talking point, a big question in the Republican race.

Right now I think that Donald Trump has expressed it best, he expressed it to you best a couple of weeks ago, the feeling on the part of many Americans, when he said that, what are we going to do, have World War III over Syria?

That's where it is right now and it's staying in that spot. President Obama understands that as well.

But, again, if things change, if ISIS takes another huge city in Iraq or Syria, then we're also in another world.

DICKERSON: Let me switch to the question of Paul Ryan, Peggy.

You saw the interview; he's out now as the face of the Republican Party, or one of them until there's a nominee.

What do you make of him as the face of the Republican Party?

NOONAN: Well, I'll tell you, one of the things to be said about him I think is that it's nice to see quality rise.

Everybody, Republicans and Democrats in this town, agrees, this is a serious man who knows his brief, who has been an earnest politician and not a sleazeball or a slob, so that's good news.



NOONAN: But another thing that is an unseen part of his power at the moment, I think, is that he didn't want the job and had to be begged. When you finally give in over a matter of weeks and say, OK, I'll take your job, you've left people really invested in you, they don't want this not to work right now. They want it to work, which suggests to me he'll be able to have a little bit of a hand on some of his problematic characters in way that Boehner wasn't able to -- at least for a while.

DICKERSON: -- short period of time we have left, Jamelle, give me your take on where the Democratic race stands now.

Hillary Clinton had a pretty good last week, where do things stand now, do you think? BOUIE: I think the broad picture is still that Hillary Clinton is the likely nominee. I think what might complicate that is that Bernie Sanders is running a very impressive operation in Iowa, has a lead in New Hampshire and is running a great operation in New Hampshire as well. And I'm not sure that if he wins Iowa, New Hampshire, all of a sudden Hillary Clinton is knocked out. But I do think that Hillary Clinton cannot, even though she's ahead by 20-25 points in national polling, I do not think that either race is something she can take for granted.

I do not think she can simply count on maybe using South Carolina and Nevada as firewalls against Sanders' victories in Iowa and New Hampshire.

DICKERSON: All right. We're going to have to leave it there. Thanks all of you.

I want to thank all of you for joining us. And Peggy is going to stay with us and we'll talk to here about her new book when we come back.


DICKERSON: Peggy Noonan, who's got a new book out, "The Time of Our Lives," a collection of her speeches and columns.

So, Peggy, when you went back into the warehouse where some of this was...


DICKERSON: -- and looked through, is there a through line through all of this work that you see?

NOONAN: Yes, I've got to tell you, this was -- I told your producer, Mary Hager -- and this is sort of 30 years in the making, the putting together of the manuscript.

A through line?

I was surprised by the -- how the preoccupations of 30 years ago and 20 years ago are, indeed, the preoccupations of today, not only mine, but America's.

The greatness game, presidential politics, the importance of history, the people who move us, do you know what I mean?

Sort of the theme -- it all comes down to America, I guess.

DICKERSON: One of the people that moved the country was Ronald Reagan, whom you worked for and who you worked on speeches with. One interesting thing that you said -- thing you said is that those who worked for Reagan knew him even when he wasn't in the room.

And I've talked to other staffers for other presidents. They've said that is the presidential difference is that good presidents, you can intuit what they want even if they haven't talked to you about it.

NOONAN: Oh, that's so smart.

DICKERSON: Is that -- tell us a little bit about that with Reagan.

NOONAN: Someone who worked, a speechwriter for Jimmy Carter once told me, I'm jealous of you, when I was a speechwriter for Reagan.

I said, why?

He said, you knew what Reagan thought, you knew why he thought it, you knew how he would put it, you knew where he'd come out. He said, I've got to tell you, working for my president, Jimmy Carter, we never knew what he was going to say or where he was going to come out.

If your philosophy is clear, as president, your history is clear, your predilections and how you speak is clear, your speechwriters are just going to be fine. They know you. They've studied you. They're with you.

DICKERSON: And that goes for other parts of the -- the government, as well, in terms of people trying to figure out a president's will.

NOONAN: Yes. Of course.

DICKERSON: Tell us about the speech you worked on with Ronald Reagan after the Challenger disaster and the notion of kind of that symbiotic relationship you had.

NOONAN: Yes, that -- that's so interesting. I actually begin the book with that, with a lecture that I gave to some college students who were studying history. I said, you're going to go into politics, let me tell you about a moment in politics.

My goodness, it was the day the Challenger blew up. We were not able to speak to the president, but we absolutely knew what he would think. And then somebody from the NSC who had just spoken to him ran the notes of -- of what he wanted to say, essentially, strayed into us and that was such a painful day.

And, you know, it's 30 years ago, John. My goodness, time goes by.

A painful day, but a deeply meaningful one.

DICKERSON: And it was the flight Christa McAuliffe was on.


DICKERSON: And there was that at the end of the speech where you had a sense that -- or the line from the poem at the end of the speech.

NOONAN: Yes. DICKERSON: You had a sense he had read that poem, too. You never talked to him about it, though.

NOONAN: It was a little gamble. I thought of this poem I had learned in seventh grade at the public schools in Massapequa, Long Island. I thought this is the perfect ending for this speech, but we will never hear if it this is not a line from a poem that matters a lot to Ronald Reagan.

And I watched it like everybody else. And, indeed, he used that ending and called me afterward, the next day, and said how did you know I knew that poem?

And I said, Mr. President, I didn't. I took a chance.

DICKERSON: Let me ask you about the writing process.

Has it changed over all this time or do you still sit down with a keyboard the same way you did with a typewriter?

NOONAN: Oh, for me personally?

I sit down with a computer the way I did with a typewriter. It's a lot of...



DICKERSON: -- does it come easier now?

I mean is it just the words...

NOONAN: I'm shocked to tell you...


NOONAN: -- it doesn't. The words have never flown for me. It has always seemed like work, but very satisfying and delightful work. But -- but still work.

But, you know, you can't complain, you're trying to describe to people what you see and what is true. And then when you think you've got it right, you take, oh, right. Oh, right.


NOONAN: And when you got it wrong, of course, you go hide under your desk.

DICKERSON: And -- and you listen to movie soundtracks while you're writing.

NOONAN: Yes, I do. To the -- to movie music.

DICKERSON: Yes. Because it's just... NOONAN: Because other music would take me away from my work but movie music is meant to help the story along. And what you're writing when you're writing a column or an essay, you're writing a story.

DICKERSON: All right.

NOONAN: You're writing this happened and this happened and I think that. Umm-hmm.

DICKERSON: All right, well, Peggy, we look forward to more stories from you and to having you at this table.

NOONAN: Thank you so much.

DICKERSON: Thank you so much.

NOONAN: John, thanks very much.

DICKERSON: And we'll be right back.


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

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