(CBS News) -- A transcript from the September 27 edition of Face the Nation. Guests included John Boehner, Bernie Sanders, John Kasich, Nancy Cordes, Susan Page, Ed O'Keefe, and Kim Strassel.
JOHN DICKERSON, CBS HOST: Today on FACE THE NATION: House Speaker John Boehner, he stunned the political world by announcing he's quitting Congress. He's here to tell us why.
John Boehner was all smiles when he met reporters after his bombshell announcement.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. JOHN BOEHNER (R-OH), SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE: This turmoil that has been churning now for a couple of months is not good for the members. And it's not good for the institution.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
DICKERSON: But will his stepping down fix the chaos in Congress? Speaker Boehner is here with us to talk about his decision and what impact that emotional day with the pope had on him.
Plus, we will talk with Democratic candidate Bernie Sanders and longtime Boehner friend and Republican candidate Ohio Governor John Kasich.
We will have political analysis and take look how just for a moment it wasn't business as usual in Washington.
It's all coming up on FACE THE NATION.
Good morning and welcome to FACE THE NATION. I'm John Dickerson.
Speaker John Boehner is with us.
This interview had been planned for some time. We were originally going to talk about the pope's visit, and we will.
But, first, there's that the big announcement you made Friday.
And so I want to talk to you about that, but let's get right to the news. Four days, the government runs out of money. Is there going to be a shutdown?
The Senate is expected to pass a continuing resolution next week. The House will take up the Senate bill. We will also take up a select committee to investigate these horrific videos that we have seen from abortion clinics in several states that really raise questions about the use of federal funds and raise questions about aborted fetuses that are born alive.
DICKERSON: The continuing resolution, will that require Democratic votes to pass?
BOEHNER: I'm sure it will. But I expect my Democrat colleagues want to keep the government open as much as I do.
DICKERSON: And what about the rest of the business you want to get done before October 30? What is on the to-do list?
BOEHNER: Well, we have got -- I have got another 30 days to be speaker. And I'm going to make the same decisions the same way I have over the last four-and-a-half years to make sure that we're passing conservative legislation that is good for the country.
I expect that might have a little more cooperation from some around town to try to get as much finished as possible. I don't want to leave my successor a dirty barn. I want to clean the barn up a little bit before the next person gets there.
DICKERSON: Well, let's talk about the state of the barn and its relative cleanliness. A lot of your colleagues I have talked to and friends out of -- who served with you used the word dysfunction and say basically that you had to resign because it's a sign of how dysfunctional things are in the House with the Republicans. What do you say about that?
BOEHNER: I wouldn't call it dysfunction. Disagreement, yes.
But as I said on Friday, I was planning on leaving at the end of last year. When my friend Eric Cantor lost his primary election in July of last year, it was clear to me that I just couldn't leave, that I had to provide a transition for the next leaders.
I planned on serving through this year. And on November 17, I was going to make an announcement. And on Thursday evening, and Friday morning, I looked up and went, why do I want to put my colleagues through this, when I'm going to make the same announcement six weeks from now? Why do I want to put the institution through this? And so it was the right decision. Frankly, I thought we handled it the right way.
DICKERSON: When you talk about the decision that they were going to have to go through, it was going to be a pretty messy...
BOEHNER: Yes, a motion to vacate the chair.
DICKERSON: Yes, kick you out of your job, just -- sorry -- to help people at home who don't understand what vacating the chair is.
Listen, winning that vote was never an issue. I was going to get the overwhelming numbers of -- I would have gotten 400 votes probably. But why do I want to make my members, Republican members, walk the plank? Because they're going to get criticized at home by some who think that we ought to be more aggressive.
Listen, we have accomplished a lot over the four-and-a-half years that I was speaker, and whether it was the largest deficit reduction deal in the history of the country, saving $2.1 trillion, protecting 99 percent of the American people from an increase in our taxes, or the first major entitlement reforms in 20 years, all done over last four-and-a-half years with a Democrat president, and all voted against by my most conservative members because it wasn't good enough.
Really? This is the part that I really don't understand. Our founders gave us a system of government, a majority in the House, you need 60 votes in the Senate. If the House and Senate can agree, the president gets to decide. And our founders didn't want some parliamentary system where, if you won the majority, you got to do whatever you wanted. They wanted this long, slow process.
And so change comes slowly, and obviously too slowly for some.
DICKERSON: Well, are they unrealistic about what can be done government? That's the dysfunction.
BOEHNER: Absolutely they're unrealistic.
But the Bible says, beware of false prophets. And there are people out there spreading noise about how much can get done. I mean, this whole idea that we were going to shut down the government to get rid of Obamacare in 2013, this plan never had chance.
But over the course of the August recess in 2013, and the course of September, lot of my Republican colleagues who knew it was a fool's errand really they were getting all this pressure from home to do this. And so we have got groups here in town, members of the House and Senate here in town who whip people into a frenzy believing they can accomplish things that they know, they know are never going to happen.
It's just -- but, listen, I have had 25 great years here in Washington. I have had great staff. I have had great colleagues, and I'm very thankful to my family and to my constituents for giving me the honor to do this.
DICKERSON: Is Ted Cruz a false prophet?
BOEHNER: Listen, you can pick a lot of names out. I'll let you choose them.
DICKERSON: You don't debate that assertion?
BOEHNER: I'll refer you to my remark at a fund-raiser I made in August in Steamboat Springs, Colorado.
DICKERSON: Let me put up a picture of you as a member of the gang of seven 25 years ago. You are the last member of gang of seven still serving.
Do you -- you were a rabble-rouser then. You got some things changed in Republican leadership. Do you see any of yourself in these current conservatives who are giving you grief now?
I was a rebel. And it wasn't about shaking up the Republican leadership. It was about shaking up the House. The House was run, as one Democrat chairman called it, the last plantation in America, and whether it was the House bank scandal, the restaurant scandal, the post office scandal, sent my share of members to jail over improper activities in the House.
But out of that, we began to question how the House itself was being run, the floor of the House. Helped us write the Contract With America, helped us get into the majority. And it's been a great run.
DICKERSON: Let me ask you about the -- by the way, you called Ted -- I believe the word you used was jackass, referring to Senator Cruz.
BOEHNER: I'm referring to that same remark.
DICKERSON: All right. All right.
We have buttoned that up for the American people.
Pope Francis, switching to a much more -- bigger topic here, what was a bigger accomplishment for you, becoming -- named speaker or having the pope come as your guest?
BOEHNER: To a kid who grew up as an altar boy, having the pope here was a big deal.
And I have tried over the last 20 years with the last three popes to get them to come and address a joint session of Congress. I will never forget the first time I did this, back in 1995 or '6, and somehow it showed up in the press. And my mother called me, still alive then.
And my mother never called me. And so I answer the phone. "John, it's your mother. Now, listen, I see you're inviting the pope. If he comes, I'm there. You got it?"
"Yes, mom, I got it."
DICKERSON: She was with you there this time.
BOEHNER: Well, looking from above.
DICKERSON: Yes. That's what I mean.
Tell me about that day, the impression it left on you. It's a big deal having him come, but then you're in his presence.
BOEHNER: Yes. Yes.
We had a nice greeting when he came to the Capitol. And once the cameras were gone and the pope sat down, I said, "Your Holy Father," I said, "You're on Boehner time." He looked at me kind of funny. I said, "That means you're on time or you're early. And you're early."
But we had a wonderful, wonderful chat. And Father -- or Cardinal Wuerl and myself got into a conversation with the pope about our commitment to kids and education. And then the meeting broke up, and my family came in, and my six-week-old grandson, Alistair, was blessed by the hope, a very nice...
DICKERSON: When you -- and then you told another story about what the hope said to you about prayer.
We had left where the balcony where the pope had addressed all the people on the west front of the Capitol. And we came through my office, and the pope went down to the first floor on my elevator. And I took the British steps down to the first floor, and in what we now call Freedom Foyer, I was standing there with the pope and the cardinals and the rest of his entourage were all moving out to their vehicles.
And the pope takes his left arm and grabs my left arm and pulls me near him, and saying really nice words. I would repeat them, except it would really cause me to cry. And then he put his arm around me and pulled me right into him and said: "Please pray for me."
Well, you can imagine, I was a mess.
DICKERSON: Yes. Yes.
BOEHNER: Who am I to pray for the pope? But I did.
DICKERSON: You did.
There is a belief in the Catholic Church that the Holy Spirit can move us. Did it after that visit to make this decision for you?
BOEHNER: Well, I thought -- I think it helped clear the picture.
I never related one of these instances with the other. But, clearly, by Friday night, it was pretty obvious to me that, hey, I think it's time to do this.
DICKERSON: And so you woke up Friday morning and...
BOEHNER: Thursday night.
DICKERSON: Thursday night.
BOEHNER: Woke up Friday morning, walked up to Starbucks and back, and walked to at Pete's and back, my regular jaunts in the morning. And at, 7:45 Friday morning, I said, yes, it's time to do this.
DICKERSON: In a year or so, you will be back in Statuary Hall for the unveiling of your portrait. And what do you want them to say about you at that ceremony?
BOEHNER: He was a good man.
DICKERSON: That's it?
BOEHNER: That's all.
DICKERSON: Yes. And do you have anything that you can say, now that you're headed out the door, that you wouldn't have said if you had to go through another election?
BOEHNER: No. I love my colleagues, even love the ones I don't -- that may disagree with me, Republicans or Democrats. I love my colleagues. I love the institution. And I try to do the best thing every day. I'm a simple guy. Just try to do the right things for the right reasons, and the right things will happen.
DICKERSON: Tell us about your thoughts about President Obama. You worked on that fiscal, that grand bargain. It didn't come through. Reflect on that for a minute.
BOEHNER: Yes, it's probably one of the biggest disappointments in my speakership.
We were so close to having -- we had an agreement. And then two days later, the president walked away from it. It would have saved about $5 trillion over 10 years. It would have been good for our economy. It would have been good for the country. It would have been good for our kids and our grandkids.
But it's Washington. Things happen. And we move on. I had a nice conversation with President Obama on Friday morning, nice conversation with one of my dear friends George W. Bush, and all my legislative colleagues, the leaders.
DICKERSON: Yes. What advice do you leave for your successor about the job?
BOEHNER: Just do the right things for the right reasons.
And you keep the country's best interest in mind and have the courage to do what you can do. It's easy to have the courage to do what you can't do, but to have the courage to do what you can do, just go do it. And our system of government, it is not about Hail Mary passes. It's the Woody Hayes' school of football, three yards and a cloud of dust, three yards and a cloud of dust. It's a slow, methodical process.
DICKERSON: I want to ask you one last. What are you going to do now, by the way?
BOEHNER: I don't know. I haven't really had time to think about it. I made this decision, and we will figure it out.
DICKERSON: One thing that I heard a rumor about that you might be able to admit now that you're leaving, do you do yoga?
BOEHNER: I do. I do. I'm not -- been not as diligent about lately as I used to over a year ago. But I do.
Matter of fact, I thought about it this morning, because it's great for my back. I have had back problems for 50 years. But the older you get, all those tendons, muscles, they all want to tighten up. It's good to stretch them out.
DICKERSON: Yes. It helps the golf game?
BOEHNER: It does.
DICKERSON: All right. Speaker John Boehner, thanks so much for being with us.
BOEHNER: Nice being with you.
DICKERSON: We hope to see you again, by the way. You will come back in retirement?
BOEHNER: We will see.
DICKERSON: Yes. There will be lots to talk about.
We will be back in a minute with Democratic candidate Senator Bernie Sanders.
DICKERSON: Joining us now from Des Moines, Iowa, is Democratic presidential candidate and Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders.
Welcome, Senator Sanders.
I just wanted to get your reaction to John Boehner's news this week. You came to Congress with him at the same time.
SEN. BERNIE SANDERS (I-VT), DEMOCRATIC PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Well, John has had an impossibly difficult job trying to reconcile the conservative wing of his caucus with the extreme, extreme right wing of his caucus that really will not do anything and pass any legislation that Barack Obama will sign.
It's an impossible job. And I admire John for his tenacity and hanging in there for five tough years.
DICKERSON: Let me ask you about another piece of news this week. Scott Walker folded his campaign. You have talked a great deal about the billionaire class that influences politics by giving money to candidates.
The Koch brothers were big fans of Scott Walker's. He had a lot of money in his super PAC. And yet he disappeared from the presidential race. Is that a rebuttal to your argument that big money just totally calls the tune in politics?
SANDERS: I wish it were, and I wish that the Koch brothers would say, well, gee, now we're going to take the $900 million that we planned to spend in this campaign supporting right-wing Republicans, more, by the way, than either the Democratic Party or the Republican Party will spend, and we're not going to spend it.
But, John, I don't think the Koch brothers learned that lesson. I think the power of money over the political process is horrendous. I think that super PACs are a very, very playing destructive role in our political system. And I will do, if president, everything that I can to see that this disastrous Citizens United Supreme Court decision is overturned.
American democracy is not about billionaires buying elections or trying to buy elections.
DICKERSON: You did something politicians don't normally do, which is go into an audience that is not there just to applaud you automatically. You went to Liberty University, a fundamentalist Christian university. And you brought your same message.
One of the things you said was that the audience, you knew you had a disagreement on the question of abortion and on same-sex marriage, but you asked them to put those disagreements aside and focus on the priority, which is the inequities in the economic system.
Would you have the same message for liberals that -- on those issues, that really stop the fighting about those and focus on the big thing, which is the economic inequality?
SANDERS: Well, look, this is what I said at Liberty. And this is what I believe.
I am pro-choice. I have always been pro-choice. I am strongly in favor of gay marriage. And I know that, at Liberty University, people there have honest disagreements with me on that issue.
But what I said, look, at a time when we have a grotesque level of income and wealth inequality, when almost all of the new income and wealth in this country is going to the top 1 percent, when we have the highest rate of childhood poverty of any major country on Earth, when many, many millions of Americans are working two or three jobs just to sustain themselves, can we not get together and talk about creating an economy that works for all of us, and not just millionaires and billionaires?
When children go hungry in America, that is a moral issue. When 51 percent of African-American kids are either unemployed or underemployed, that is a moral issue.
And I know that, at Liberty union -- Liberty University, and among the evangelical community, you have some very sincere, honest people who take these issues seriously. And, by the way, many of them are concerned, as Pope Francis is, about climate change, and the need to transform our energy system away from fossil fuel. They believe that the Earth, created by God, cannot be destroyed by greed.
And my question was, can we work together to address those issues? DICKERSON: I would like to play something for that you Jeb Bush said out on the campaign trail this week and get your reaction to it.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JEB BUSH (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Our message is one of hope and aspiration. It isn't one of division and get in line, and we will take care of with you free stuff. Our message is one that is uplifting, that says you can achieve earned success.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
DICKERSON: That is a kind of argument that will be used against you if you get the nomination, the idea that you're just -- you're promising health care for all and free college. You're just -- it's a bunch of free stuff. It's unrealistic.
What is your reaction?
SANDERS: Well, let's be clear that what Jeb Bush is proposing are massive tax breaks for the richest people in this country, while he will fight to cut Social Security and Medicare and programs that tens of millions of elderly people and middle class people and working-class people depend upon.
I happen to believe, John, that in a democratic, civilized society, all people should be entitled to health care as a right. Yes, I do believe that. Is this a radical idea? No, it's not. Every other major industrialized country on Earth does the same.
Yes, I believe that it is absurd that, in a highly competitive global economy, we have got hundreds of thousands of bright young people who are qualified to college, but can't because their families lack the income. So, yes, I do believe that public colleges and universities should be tuition-free.
Is this is a radical idea? Well, gee, Germany does it. Other countries around the world do that, because they know investing in their kids is good for their economy. And, by the way, we're going to pay for that by a tax on Wall Street speculation.
DICKERSON: If I may pick up on that point about free college, Hillary Clinton weighed in on free college. Let's listen to what she said. And I will get your reaction.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
HILLARY RODHAM CLINTON (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I am not going to give free college to wealthy kids. I'm not going to give free college to kids who don't work some hours to try to put their own effort into getting their education.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
DICKERSON: So, what is your reaction to that critique, Senator? SANDERS: Well, my reaction is that I think, if you look at my agenda, the wealthy people are not particularly supportive of it, because we are going to ask the wealthiest people in this country to pay substantially more in taxes, because we have a situation where they are almost -- they're earning almost all of the new income.
We are going to ask large corporations, profitable corporations that, in some cases, pay zero in federal income taxes to start paying their fair share of taxes. But I do believe that we need a system, which is not free college education for all. It's free tuition in public colleges and universities.
I think it is simple, it's straightforward. It exists in other countries and, in fact, John, 50 or 60 years ago, used to exist in the United States of America.
DICKERSON: Hillary Clinton, when I spoke to her last week, said she had -- quote -- "no interest in attacking you."
You have said you won't attack her. Do you take her at her word?
SANDERS: Well, I certainly do.
And I hope that that will be the case. Look, I think one of the reasons our campaign is doing well is, we are focusing on the real issues that impact the middle class and working families of this country, the decline of the middle class, income and wealth inequality, climate change, a corrupt campaign finance system, affordability of college, et cetera, et cetera.
That is what I do. I happen to have known -- know Hillary Clinton for the last 25 years. I respect her. I admire her. I'm not going to get into the business of attacking her. I have never run a negative political ad in my life. Ask the people of Vermont, and they will tell you a lot of very ugly ads have been run against me. I have never run a negative ad in my life.
So, I hope that, in this campaign, we can have a civil discourse, discussing our differences of opinion, which are many, on the important issues facing our country. I think that is what the American people want us to do.
DICKERSON: What about her super PAC ads? Do you think that her promise extends to those?
SANDERS: Well, I would certainly hope so.
DICKERSON: Let me ask you one, then, final quickly, before -- we have about 20 seconds.
What is status of the debates? You would like to see more of them. Is there any chance there are going to be more Democratic debates?
SANDERS: I have the feeling that there will be. I think debates are a good way for candidates to differentiate their differences. I think it's good for the American people. I think it promotes a serious discussion in our democracy. And I would like to see more of them.
DICKERSON: All right, excellent.
Senator Bernie Sanders, thank you so much for being with us. We will look forward to seeing you again.
And we will be back in a moment.
(COMMERCIAL BREAK) DICKERSON: We have got a lot more ahead on FACE THE NATION, so stay with us.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
DICKERSON: Some are 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 Republican presidential candidate and Ohio Governor John Kasich.
Stay with us.
DICKERSON: When Pope Francis spoke to a joint session of Congress on Thursday, he urged his audience to see the humanity in others. They seemed to agree so hardily with the sentiment that when he tried to recite the golden rule, they interrupted him before he could finish.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
POPE FRANCIS: Do unto others as you --
(END VIDEO CLIP)
DICKERSON: Was it possible that the grip of politics had been loosened? I imagine the work that could get done if ideological foes recognized the good in their adversaries. How long would it last? Days? Weeks? Months? The answer, less than 24 hours.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. MARCO RUBIO (R-FL), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Just a few minutes ago, Speaker Boehner announced that he will be resigning.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
DICKERSON: That was not applause for John Boehner's years of service. It was a part of what one Boehner colleague called "an unseemly competition of grave dancing." And it wasn't Democrats doing the cheering, it was members of Boehner's own party.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GOV. BOBBY JINDAL (R-LA), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: That's good. That's one down. That's 434 more to go before we're done.
SEN. TED CRUZ (R-TX), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: You want to know how much each of you terrify Washington? Yesterday, John Boehner was speaker of the House. Y'all come to town and somehow that changes.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
DICKERSON: Congressman Steve Stockman tweeted, "it look like Christmas is coming early this year. Speaker Boehner to resign from Congress in October." Congressman Ted Yoho told "The Gainesville Sun," "it couldn't be a better day politically for us."
It took John Boehner 20 years to convince a pope to come to Congress. Frances spoke of mercy and dignity for the flawed. It left an indelible mark on the speaker, but not ono his opponents.
We've had a little technical problem with Governor Kasich, so we're going to start with our panel. Kim Strassel is with "The Wall Street Journal," Susan Page is with the "USA Today," Ed O'Keefe writes for "The Washington Post," and our own Nancy Cordes of CBS News.
Kim, I want to start with you.
What is the Boehner -- put the Boehner decision in context -- the larger context of the Republican Party for me.
KIM STRASSEL, "THE WALL STREET JOURNAL": Well, he's being put out there as a scapegoat for all the frustrations that conservatives feel about what they haven't got done. I mean probably the bigger -- bigger scapegoat if you want to what (ph) ought to be Mitt Romney in that he failed to win the presidency in 2012 and he left President Obama with a veto pen. And from the minute that that happened, what was very clear is that they were never going to get through anything that rolled back the Obama agenda. And they've been hitting their heads on the wall ever since.
I think the real measure of how you would look at Boehner's tenureship there ought to be not what they managed to roll back but what they stopped because that's fundamentally why they were sent there. And it was two years into the Obama presidency. There was plenty more the president wanted to do, a lot more spending, a climate change bill, all kinds of things and they did manage to stop there, but they were never going to be able to force him to give up on his agenda.
DICKERSON: Yes. Nancy, the speaker said, false prophets. That's a pretty tough -- we've seen him --
NANCY CORDES, CBS NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Right.
DICKERSON: Bristle, but false prophets is pretty -- it's about as hard as he's been on the -- on the conservatives inside and outside of the House.
CORDES: Yes. And I think what always really frustrated him was not just that he felt that their agenda was unrealistic, but that they knew that it was unrealistic and that they pushed more naive members towards it anyway and basically set up a no win situation where they tried to gain these symbolic victories that just put them at a tactical disadvantage at the end. So he was always trying to convince his members, trying to educate them, that's a word he used a lot, to -- to play the long game, to be tactical. That's a reason that he stuck around as long as he did through all the ups and down because he was a really tactical guy and it was very frustrating to watch a lot of these members celebrate some of these short-term gains.
And, in fact, on Friday, an ally of his told me that this even pushing him out is kind of a symbolic victory that will set them back in the end because even if they didn't agree with Boehner, at least he was willing to take a lot of slings and arrows for them. He didn't have anything left to prove. And the next speaker may not be as thick- skinned as he was.
DICKERSON: Susan, I want to ask you, I've heard two things in the -- my reporting with members on the -- on The Hill. One group, the conservatives say, we -- we -- we -- we are on the rise here and the next speaker's going to have to listen to us and we've got a list of demands. And then there's another group of Boehner allies who say, the conservatives are going to have to be chasing because there's no way they're going to kick out two speakers in a row. In other words, if the next speaker doesn't deliver, they'll try and go for him as well. What's your sense of how it plays out going forward?
SUSAN PAGE, "USA TODAY": Yes, I think that's like whistling past a graveyard. I mean the last six speakers have all left not of their own devices. I mean I -- it seems to me that the most conservative forces in the House are emboldened by what's happened to John Boehner. And this creates, I think, a very difficult situation for the next speaker, probably Kevin McCarthy, and Republicans who are running for president because they're going to -- the Republican -- we already see this in the Republican presidential contests where the rise of the outsiders create enormous problems for people who we think are more realistic nominees, like Jeb Bush or Marco Rubio. So this is a -- a story that is not finished with John Boehner leaving at the end of next month. This is a story that's going to be unfold over the next year.
DICKERSON: Ed, let me ask you, one of the arguments conservatives made for why John Boehner let them down is they said he didn't take on Mitch McConnell, the Senate majority leader, enough. They want the new speaker to beat up on McConnell and say, stop letting Democrats filibuster you. How much control does the speaker of the House have over the majority leader of the Senate?
ED O'KEEFE, "THE WASHINGTON POST": About that much.
DICKERSON: And how realistic is that as a set of demands because it's not just -- I mean it's in the grass roots as well that they think the speaker should be fighting with McConnell more. What do you make of that?
O'KEEFE: Well, I mean, Boehner and McConnell certainly enjoyed a good relationship and they -- and made it clear from the beginning of this year when Republicans re-took control of the Senate that they would work much more closely. I think we've seen some disagreements over the summer on tactics and how to proceed.
I'm struck by not only rank and file Republicans and Republican lawmakers, but now also Republican presidential candidates saying, let's erase the rules of the Senate, let's just get rid of this filibuster rule and let's try to get things done. McConnell has stood firm on the idea that absent 60 votes on the Republican side, you're not going to get this legislation through. He's standing by it. There's no reason to believe he's going to change suddenly because John Boehner no longer has a job.
DICKERSON: Nancy, what do you think the message is for Mitch McConnell over in the Senate?
CORDES: Well, you know, I think it was interesting, Mitch McConnell said point blank on Friday how disappointed he was because at least he knew that John Boehner was a straight shooter. And even the Democratic leaders, nobody seems more disappoint than them. Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid said, it can't be overstated how much I am going to miss John Boehner because he had to wrangle this very restless conference, a multi-headed beast if you will, and he never over promised. He -- he really said, you know, this is what I can do and they're going to miss that.
STRASSEL: We now hear that the House Republicans are going to have this extended conference where they talk about hopefully not what leader they want but what they want out of the a leader because if they've got two brain cells to rub together, they're going to look at this and realize, they can spend the next year beating their heads on the wall over whether or not they can defund Planned Parenthood or they can decide that if they really actually want to get something done, they're going to pick the battles that they have and do the investigations that they can do and put out a message that is going to help them keep the House and keep the Senate and put a Republican in the White House because that, in the end, is the only way they ever accomplish the things that they say they want to accomplish.
DICKERSON: But how do they do that, Susan, in a presidential context where, as we've been discussing, you have candidates out there who are running against that just precisely what Kim outlined and who will continue being what John Boehner called the false prophets?
PAGE: You know, the energy of the party is not behind the people who want to do that. Let's have a very sensible plan. Let's pick our fights. The energy of the Republican Party is, let's battle. Let's -- a call to arms, right? It's not worked for us. We aren't doing -- we keep winning elections and we keep not getting the results that we want to see. So I think it is a -- these force has been -- have been unleashed. I think it is unlikely that if -- if things are going to get done, it's going to be done in the next 30 days by John Boehner deciding, I'm going to pass some stuff that my folks may not like that put -- to clean out the barn, as he said in his interview with you. I mean does he go for a longer funding bill so you don't have a crisis on December 11th? Does he try to pass the infrastructure bill that's been stalled? Does he choose to do that, which he'll have to do with Democratic votes.
CORDES: I will say that Kevin McCarthy, who looks like he's most likely to be the next speaker, does probably have a better relationship with this crowd, the freedom caucus, if you will --
DICKERSON: Right. Right.
CORDES: Than Boehner did, simply because general -- generationally he's closer to them. He's only been in Congress since 2007 and he worked to get a lot of them elected.
DICKERSON: Yes, as one member told me, he doesn't have the scar tissue built up that Boehner has.
All right, all of you sit tight. We're going to have more from our panel and we're going to get to Governor Kasich.
DICKERSON: Welcome back.
We have re-established connection with Governor Kasich. But first, we're going to stick with our panel before we get to the governor of Ohio. We're going to keep talking about politics.
Susan I want to switch to the 2016 race for the presidency. In the -- on the Republican side you've had two governors of experience that are now gone, Rick Perry, Scott Walker left last week. What does this say about where the race is right now?
PAGE: Well, it says something about them. I mean Scott Walker turned out not to be as good a candidate as everyone expected him to be and Rick Perry never got over the problems from the impression that he left the last time he ran.
But it also says something about the state of the Republican Party that two experienced governors from significant states are out and meanwhile a retired neurosurgeon, a former CEO and a celebrity billionaire are still in the race and in the hunt. It tells you something about the mood of the Republican electorate, which is, we don't like what we've been seeing. We are willing to entertain candidates that seem quite extraordinary.
DICKERSON: Kim, what does a -- what does somebody do to get in that conversation, who has the apparent disadvantage of having been in politics in their life?
STRASSEL: But I think you are seeing that. Look, I mean some of Scott Walker's support appears to have gone to Marco Rubio, who, by the way, has been in politics his entire life. So what you're actually seeing here, I think there's some other lessons as well, is that there's been a lot of talk about super PACs. One of the reasons you had 17 people in the Republican field, we find out that, in fact, that alone cannot actually get you over the finish line. You actually have to be a good candidate. And I think what you're going to see is the -- you can probably have some more people drop out there and that's probably good for the field because it's allowing focus to go and you -- you are seeing some people begin to congeal around the top and make their way up. And you're probably going to have a better debate going forward as a result of this.
CORDES: And I think in part their resumes are the reason that they got out so early because Rick Perry and Scott Walker said, hey, if I'm at 1 or 2 percent and I'm clearly not going to be president, I've got better things to do. There are a lot of other people who are at 1 or 2 percent who maybe don't have as much going on and so it behooves them to stay in the race.
O'KEEFE: This will be a big week for candidates on both sides, of course, because the fundraising quarter comes to an end Tuesday night into Wednesday. I suspect in the -- in the next few days after that, we will begin to here rumblings that there are some who ran out of money and simply can't continue going. But we've seen, you know, Hillary Clinton, we've seen Jeb Bush, we've seen a few others really put petal to the medal and raise as much as possible to try to silence the critics, silence other potential opponents from getting into this race.
DICKERSON: Because their fundraising numbers will be a proxy for how they're doing in life.
STRASSEL: And you're seeing some of the shine come off, too. Some of those outsiders. I mean Donald Trump did not have a good week following that debate. His poll numbers have been going down. You see it go to other people. Some of it's going to Carly Fiorina, but some of its going to some of those candidates that you mentioned that have been in politics their whole life. And that's in part because they're also beginning to put out policy proposals that are getting some voter attention as well.
DICKERSON: Susan, where is Jeb Bush in all of this? Not in the conversation as much as he probably would like.
PAGE: Well, no, he's down in -- he's down in single digits. He needs to win -- he needs to win someplace. Maybe New Hampshire. He's not doing -- doing well there. He -- I think he is -- you know, you talked about money's not everything. Money is not everything. But money is something. And he does have a fair amount of money. He has lot of experience, personal and familial, in running these elections. So he is not one of those people I think is at risk of dropping out. He does need to do better. The debates -- he's been disappointing in the debates. He was a little better in the last -- second debate than he was in the first one. But he needs to show a little more passion. He needs to be a little more like his brother when it comes to getting attacked and getting back in a -- in a cutting way.
DICKERSON: I want to switch to the Democrats, quickly, with the minutes we've got left.
Nancy, another person that's going to do well with fundraising is probably Hillary Clinton. But more questions about e-mail this week. What's the state of her campaign, do you think, at this moment?
CORDES: You know, I think she's trying to talk about this as much as see can. Sort of take some of the air out of the balloon. They found that when he wasn't answering these questions, it was making it look like she was stonewalling, like she had something to hide. So now she's answering more questions and she's admitting that to a large degree this is now out of her control, which is something you never want to have to admit. If you're a candidate, you'd like to have everything be under your control.
But, you know, the FBI inquiry continues. She has no control over that. The Benghazi committee is going to be calling her before them to testify next month. You know, she has no idea what they're going to ask her or how that's going to go.
And now the State Department and intelligence officials are starting to find more e-mails that she had not handed over and there's some questions about when those e-mails were sent and why they weren't in the original batch. So, you know, she's doing what she can, which is to answer the questions and try to move forward. But, you know, it's definitely going to be an ongoing challenge for her throughout Election Day.
O'KEEFE: Part of the reason why it's interesting that supporters of the vice president, Joe Biden, are still talking and preparing for the possibility that he'll get in. I mean earlier today Clinton saying he'll do whatever he needs to do and, you know, indications are that at some point next month, maybe as far as into November now, he will make a decision on what exactly he should do.
DICKERSON: Susan, what about Bernie Sanders and his campaign? We're always talking about how he's doing well but, I mean, where does -- what's his next stage for Bernie Standers?
PAGE: Well, you know, I think he's -- I think he's won the battle but may well lose the war. He's won the battle in that he's pushed Hillary Clinton to the left. He's helped define the conversation on the Democratic side. And it is a conversation more on the issues that he wants to push, like income and equality, for instance. But it -- I think he continues to struggle with the idea that he is not a likely nominee. That the Democrats are unlikely to nominate someone who is the Democratic socialist from Vermont and 73 years old as their nominee, even if they're unhappy with Hillary Clinton.
DICKERSON: Kimberly, what's your sense of the Republican attack against -- let's say Bernie Sanders is the nominee. Is it -- there's a lot of sort of conventional wisdom like, oh, he'd be so much easier to attack than Hillary Clinton, but is there -- what's your sense about him as a -- as a target for -- for the Republican?
STRASSEL: He would be easier to attack than Hillary Clinton. I mean a lot of his views really are out there. But Susan makes a very valid point, that what he has done is articulate the main messages that probably any eventual Democratic nominee are going to make on income inequality, the war on women, climate change, the environment and things like this.
The interesting thing, when you look at Bernie Sanders, is a question of, how many people out there in the party really are passionate about a Bernie Sanders' bid versus how much of that is a protest vote against Hillary Clinton. And those are the numbers that the Biden people, for instance, are looking at, at the moment, which is just --
DICKERSON: (INAUDIBLE) --
STRASSEL: What's just waiting there for us to scoop up if we get in this race?
DICKERSON: All right, thanks so much, Kimberly. Thanks all of you.
We'll be right back with Governor John Kasich.
DICKERSON: We've fixed our satellite issue. Republican presidential candidate and Ohio Governor John Kasich now joins us gleefully from Columbus.
Welcome, governor. Thank you. You -- you heard some cheering when John Boehner's resignation was announced in some quarters. You've known him for a while.
GOV. JOHN KASICH (R-OH), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Long time.
DICKERSON: Yes. Give us your reaction to his resignation?
KASICH: Well, I'm saddened. I think John was a -- was a very -- he's a great guy. He's -- and the interview sort of described it all, in that it's a shame that people weren't seeing that earlier on. You did a -- a very good job in the interview.
But, look, I was there in the '90s when we actually got things done. Think about it, we changed the welfare system, which had been in place for about 40 years. We balanced the budget, of which I was chief architect. And -- and we cut taxes. The economy was growing and we were doing great. And when I left Washington, we had a $5 trillion surplus. And Boehner sat at the leadership table right next to me and we pushed those things through and that was some of the most productive time that Republicans or conservative have had.
Think about it, balancing the budget, which people think is a fiction, reforming welfare and cutting the capital gains taxes and creating economic growth. So, you know, we need to reflect on his accomplishments then and his accomplishments in rising and becoming speaker.
DICKERSON: What about his -- in terms of why that's harder to do today, what role do you think what -- the group that he calls were the false prophet in your own party, what rule do you think the false prophets plays in the current state of things?
KASICH: Well, it's -- it's about inexperience. I mean the people who keep saying that they want things to happen, what have they accomplished? What have they gotten done? They keep -- I mean they're serving in the -- in the -- in the Congress. Have they accomplished anything?
You know, when I served there, we achieved thing. I achieved things. You know, I was a reformer. I've been a reformer all of my life. As you know, I shake up the system all the time. You know how much reform and change it took to balance the federal budget? I mean I stepped on more toe than you can imagine. You know, coming to Ohio and reforming things out here, this state was about dead and now we're doing well. People didn't think I could do it. You know how much we had to shake up?
And so a lot of the people who were doing the complaining and saying, why isn't anything getting done, maybe they ought to look in the mirror. What have they accomplished? I mean are they just speech makers? Are they just people out there yelling and screaming?
But, John, I have to disagree with your panel. When I travel around this country, and I was just in South Carolina, I was in New York, in Boston, in Iowa, you want to know, maybe people are yelling loud, but at the end of the day, people are now beginning to say, what can you do, governors, to bring people together to accomplish things? So sometimes you hear loud voices out here who get -- they're the ones that get the attention and get the headlines. But I -- I've got to tell you, at the end of the day, I believe the Republican Party will pick somebody who is a reformer, who is a change agent, but what has accomplished things and have the experience. So all these people yelling and screaming, as -- you ask them, what have you accomplished at the time that you've been in public office? It would be an interesting question, wouldn't it?
DICKERSON: It -- it would. And we appreciate your help there on the question asking front.
Let me ask you this, though. Two of the people who are now out of the Republican race have -- they did stuff. Governor Perry, Governor Walker, they had accomplished things. They had experience. They are no longer able to run for president. So what does that say about the climate in which you're trying to make the case that you just made?
KASICH: Well, there's three things you need to be -- be president, in my opinion, said by a smart Democrat. One, you've got to have issues. Two, you have to have vision. And, three, you kind of have to be likable. You got to have at least two of those three. And, you know, I think in regard to Scott Walker, he'll come back. He may be president someday. They just kind of got over their skis. They spent a lot of money and they ran out of money. You've got to husband your resources.
But what I have found, as you know, I'm now -- my campaign has gone on for slightly more than just two months, John, and you know I'm in the top tier in New Hampshire, I'm beginning to rise in Iowa. So if it -- if what I'm saying is not true, then I should be -- I should be getting out of the race, which I am not because I think we're making really good progress and connecting.
But, remember, people want change. They want reform. They want to see something done. But just carping about it and whining about it and making speeches about it doesn't get it done. America needs to solve problems.
You know, in some ways it's even a national security issue. When the world looks at America being unable to solve problems, they kind of laugh at us and then they worry, is America failing? We need to be able to solve problems in this country and send a message to the world.
DICKERSON: Let me follow on on that theme. So there are now two groups, insiders and outsiders, sort of running in the 2016 Republican field. You've worked both in the public sector and the private sector. Those who are coming from the private sector who are running, are they making unrealistic promises about how they can come into office and just sort of whip it all into shape with their private sector knowhow?
KASICH: Well, look, I -- I respect people who are in the private sector. But you know, if you want to get things accomplished in government, you need to know how it all works. You need to know how you've got to maneuver things and bring people together.
Now, I want to repeat one more time, nobody has shaking up the system more than I have. A military reformer in a Republican Party, challenging my own party on balancing the budget and driving change, coming into Ohio where they said I was going to have to raise taxes rather than balancing the budget by cutting taxes. I've always been unorthodox in this and against the grain. But you know what, I know how to get it done.
So, again, John, if we elect somebody that doesn't know how to get it done, who makes a lot of promises, what have we achieved? Even if Republicans win, we have to solve the problems of immigration, of balancing a budget, dealing with entitlements, rebuilding the military. And, by the way, when you rebuild the military, you'd better reform the Pentagon. I sat on that committee for 18 years and I know the challenges in terms of delivering resources that get to the men and the women in the services and not into the bureaucracy. Lot of challenges out there.
You know, the other thing I was struck by is you -- you played that --
DICKERSON: Governor --
DICKERSON: I'm -- I'm afraid I'm going to have to interrupt you. We've run out of time.
KASICH: OK, we'll do it longer the next time, John.
DICKERSON: Excellent. And I'll see you out there on the campaign trail. We really appreciate it and we'll see you soon.
KASICH: I'll see you.
DICKERSON: Thanks all of you and we'll be right back.
DICKERSON: Editor Mike Falkner is celebrating 30 years of working for FACE THE NATION. Mike, we appreciate everything you do. Thank you.
For FACE THE NATION, I'm John Dickerson.
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