tv With All Due Respect Bloomberg December 10, 2015 8:00pm-9:01pm EST
mark: i am mark halperin. john: i am john heilemann. with respect to the newly retired jimmy mcmillan, we would have done a show there, but it was too high. ♪ mark: happy dewey decimal system day, sports fans. welcome to the north lawn of ye old white house. tonight we will be talking to the chief of staff of the belt first, -- butint first, some polls about the people who want to be the next tenant of this august residence. the cbs national poll shows
donald trump in charge at 35%, up 13 points from october, and more than double any other candidate. ted cruz, he is at 16% in second place. ben carson, down 13 points, third place. so it goes in south carolina, where a fox news poll shows trump doing just as well as nationally. with 35%, followed by carson at 15% and ted cruz and marco at , 14% a piece. look at these polls, there are three big numbers that we want to highlight, talk about, so let's go through them quickly. the first one is twice i percent. -- 25%. that is how many south carolina republicans say donald trump will be the best candidate to handle national security, the big issue of the moment. the second number is 24%, that is how many people said ted cruz would be their first choice if donald trump were to magically disappear from the race. finally, 4%, a much smaller number, that's how marco rubio is doing with tea party voters in south carolina. that is pretty bad for him.
of all these numerical representations, which stands for you the most? mark: i am lonely voice in saying that ben carson can have a second act. what stands out is ben carson is holding on to some support. he is around 12 or 14 in these polls. to beat donald trump, the person in the best position is ted cruz. ben carson will need to collapse even more, because that is where ted cruz can find his additional votes. as long as carson is holding onto double digits, it is harder for ted cruz to get to trump. john: there is a man, haley barbour said good gets better and bad gets worse. i think ben carson is caught in the bad it's worth scenario -- gets worse scenario. if you turn it around, it makes my case for why carson is done. he doesn't just have to get over trump. he has to get over ted cruz, too. mark: what stands out for me is
that haley barbour also said that in politics things are never as good or bad as they seem. ben carson has not collapsed. what stands out to me is that if carson can hold or slightly increase his vote it helps , donald trump at this point, because ted cruz and to some extent marco rubio are the two biggest threats, and they cannot grow. john: i agree with all of that. if carson manages to stabilize, it's good for trump. no doubt. mark: he is stable there. john: he has dropped. here is the number, 4%, marco rubio's tea party support. that is in south carolina. a report that said south carolina was nirvana for marco rubio. his whole appeal was both establishment and tea party. that looks like an establishment candidate, not a crossover candidate. mark: that is a problem he can fix a little bit. today, donald trump announced he
was nixing his planned trip to israel to meet with benjamin netanyahu. on fox news this morning, trump explained his scheduling change. donald trump: he was very much, in fact i did a campaign ad for him and he is a good man, but i did not want to put him under pressure. he said we had a meeting and he looks forward to it, but i did not want to put him under pressure. i also did it because i am in the midst of a very powerful campaign that is going very well. it was not that easy to do. so i would say lots of different reasons. i could have done it. it was semi-scheduled, but i decided to focus on this. mark: i liked when he said lots of different reasons and semi-scheduled. is this a tempest in a teapot? john: let's be clear about what happened. israeli politicians from the far left and far right thought it was a bad idea for donald trump to come to israel, including benjamin netanyahu.
if trump had showed up, the provocation for palestinians would have been high. there could have been violence. it could be a bad scene. in that sense, it shows you that trump's rhetoric is reverberating loudly overseas and not in a way that benefits , him as a potential president. mark: let's see if any of his rivals can make a big deal about this. the fact that a leading candidate cannot meet with benjamin netanyahu should be a big deal, but it would take a candidate to drive it. trump does not like to be disrespected. benjamin netanyahu disrespected him. he went on media and criticized trump. trump does not let people criticize him. he will not fly halfway around the world to meet a guy who ditched him. this could hurt trump, it would hurt another candidate it , probably won't hurt him, unless some other candidate makes a big deal and tries to say, this is another indication that trump is not ready to be commander in chief. he can't even meet with benjamin netanyahu.
john: i think there is no doubt that republican candidates will start to go negative on trump as we get closer to voting, and this will be in ads this will , pop up again. benjamin netanyahu is a talismanic figure for many republicans. mark: i don't think it will. dispense advice to the candidates before the debate in vegas next week. what happens at private fundraisers, does not stay private fundraisers. the new york times reported on its website today that ted cruz questions the judgment of donald trump and ben carson as to whether they were fit to be commander in chief, and control the arsenal, during a closed-door campaign event on wednesday. this is significant, because ted cruz up until now has religiously shied away in public from taking on donald trump. today at the heritage foundation , here in washington, i asked senator cruz about it. you are being quoted by the new york times today at a private
fundraiser speaking about two of your opponents, donald trump and ben carson, and the prospect of their controlling of nuclear weapons. the times said you said it was a question of judgment and then you said, "that is a question that is a challenging question for both of them." did you say that? and if you did, what did you mean? >> i will not comment on what i may or may not have said at a private fundraiser. i will say this -- in the course of a presidential election, the voters will make a decision about every candidate, and ultimately it is about who has the right judgment, experience and judgment, to serve as commander in chief. every one of us who is running is being assessed by the voters under that metric. that is exactly why we have a democratic election to make that determination. mark: senator ted cruz didn't really answer my question there. after the event, i approached the candidate and asked again. is it safe to say that you are not going to comment? is that safe to say?
you will not comment on a private fundraiser? i got blown off, but later in the day ted cruz's campaign calling the new york times story "misleading." here is what senator marco rubio said at a campaign event today in des moines. senator marco rubio: i never said anything at a fundraiser that i would not say at a public event. as i said, my message is pretty consistent, whether in a private meeting with an individual, a group of donors, or a broader setting. mark: this story is developing. if it is true that senator cruz said in private he is doing what , senator rubio says he doesn't do, which is say something different in private than public. is this a tempest in a teapot? or is this one going someplace. john: i think this is a huge deal. donald trump is chomping at the bit to go after ted cruz.
we saw him on video couple of days ago saying, he was waiting for the moment so crews could make an excuse. -- ted cruz could make an excuse. now he has given donald trump an excuse to go nuclear on ted cruz. it could be a hugely consequential blunder on ted cruz's part. mark: if it's true, then it will open the door to trump to question his judgment to be commander-in-chief. if any other candidate did that, he would go negative on him. will that be enough? i don't know. probably. john: trump wants to punch ted cruz in the nose. he's done something here worse than criticize donald trump. he's criticized donald trump in private. it makes him look ski the -- skeevy. my god, it's horrible. mark: put on your turban. will he go after ted cruz and marco rubio? people don't like him. the other is, i think he might go after them on that metadata thing that bush and rubio got
after him on. -- hei think it good could go after him on integration as well. ted cruz, as rubio points out, ted cruz is on record for letting undocumented immigrants have legal status. mark: moving on. john: in that new york times cbs national poll, marco rubio is now the clear establishment frontrunner. jeb bush, chris christie, john kasich, all down in a three-way tie a 3%. mark, given that none of these other establishment candidates have managed to establish a national polling presence, which of those three guys, christie, bush, and-- kssic , which of those three guys has a chance to rise and rival marco rubio in the establishment lane if not win the nomination? mark: they've all got a talking
point there. john kasich has nothing in iowa. bush and chris christie are best positioned to stop marco rubio in iowa. that could be a big deal. bush's biggest asset is the super pac. my answer right now is, none of them. none of them have a clear advantage to catch up to rubio. i think all of them could, even john kasich, because marco rubio 's strength in terms of fundraising and paul standing are not impregnable. john: here's the real answer. none of them have any chance to have impact in iowa. mark: wrong. john: rubio is going to be the dominant establishment player in iowa, in my judgment. he has no organization. john: none of the rest of them have that either. mark: bush and christie do. john: you wandered into the truth. chris christie, because he has the momentum in new hampshire -- mark: here is the thing about christie, he has no scrutiny. the minute he does well, he will be hammered with negative ads. there's not a state for chris
christie after new hampshire. unless he comes out dominant. john: are you ready to declare all three of them dead yet? mark: no, i'm not. john: i am ready. next, our interview with the white house
chief of staff and our conversation with senator rob portman from the capital. we will be back in exactly 60 seconds. ♪
mark: joining us on the north lawn of the white house is the denis mcdonough for one of his rare television appearances. happy holidays. thank you for joining us. denis: welcome to the white house. mark: what are the facts on the ground in the war against isis? are they on offense, defense? denis: they are pressing as hard as they can on a number of different fronts. they have given back about 40% of the turf they gained in syria
and iraq over the course of the last year. they are also striking out in different ways, as we have seen. the sinai peninsula, paris, san bernardino, so this is something that we have to make sure that we stay very vigilant about. the president demanding that from his team, and that's what we will continue to do. mark: would you say people are mischaracterizing the president's posture when they say he is not making any changes? denis: i think we are making changes every day. i will not tell you what people are saying about him, but i can tell you what we are doing. we are applying lessons learned all the time, making sure that when we see soft spots we hit them and hit them hard. we will make sure isil hears from us, as they do on a regular basis. mark: ura relatively nonpartisan guy, a lot of people on capitol hill respect you. every day i hear republicans criticize, criticize. i don't get the sense that you all reach out very much. do you ever call the leading republican members of congress appear to meet with you or the president?
do you say, give us your best ideas? if so, give us the best idea you have gotten. denis: we reach out all the time. i will not name names or anything like that, because given this climate, i would get them in trouble. we look for the good ideas and talk to these guys all the time. mark: what you said is probably true, it would get them in trouble. doesn't it bother you and the president that at a time of war, this intense need to come together as a country, and you say, somewhat jokingly, if you say, that senator gave me a good idea that would be a problem. ,denis: they do give us good ideas, and we apply them. we are looking at every good idea we get. frankly, we are in a new -- as the president said the other night, this threat is evolving, and we have entered a new phase, so we want to make sure we stay on the offense against every manifestation of that. my job is not to get too upset about what happens. what happens here is what happens. we have to make sure that we are crushing iso--- isil wherever we
see them manifest themselves. john: in the wake of san bernardino, there have been every republican with a proposal for what we should do to make sure that never happens again. denis: right. john: what do you and this white house and this president, given what we know about the facts on the ground from san bernardino, think our policy changes that need to be made in order to lessen the likelihood of a similar thing happening again? denis: i will correct one thing you said. i've heard some machinations from the republican candidates. i have not heard proposals. john: donald trump propose not allowing muslims come into the united states? denis: as i said, i have not heard any serious proposal. -- proposals from the candidates. we have been working with u.s. attorneys, the department of justice, and the fbi for years on something we have been concerned about, which is lone wolves radicalized here in the united states. that's what we seen in san
-- at least be facts suggest that at the moment in san bernardino. we have to make sure we are working with local community leaders, that were calling on muslim community leaders so that if they see something, they say something. if they see something that is not seem quite right, committee leaders say, hey, this does not seem quite right. that way we don't allow lone wolves radicalized in the shadows. missed donald trump's proposal -- there are those that say it is worth than that giving , -- worse than that giving isil , a victory in some way. do you think that is true, that it aids the cause of the enemy? denis: i think it is a dangerous proposal. we have made it clear that we oppose it strongly. you have heard that from the department of defense, department of justice, from the department of homeland security, so we think it is a proposal
that will make us rather than more secure, less secure. john: does it aid the cause of the enemy in a tangible way? denis: i would not get into what i think aids the enemy, because i don't know what motivates them, to be honest with you. some of the stuff is so nefarious and frankly evil that it is hard to understand. but i will say that the proposal, and i've seen and as you heard from the department of defense, department of justice, department of homeland security, and the white house, it would make us less secure. mark: one more question -- john: one more question on gun control there is discussion , again about possible executive action on gun control. the president cares a lot about this issue. denis: yes. john: what might we see as we go forward in terms of regulating gun safety out of this white house? denis: obviously, there is a commonsense proposal that says if you are too dangerous to get on a plane, you should not buy a weapon. we will continue to press the case with capitol hill. in terms of other executive
actions in this space, the president is working hard to look at what is available. that work is coming to fruition, but not done yet. so i can't -- john: that first one, is that something that could be done through executive action? denis: i have not done all the analysis, but it could be done quickly by congress. i will tell you that. mark: what are your impressions of texas senator ted cruz? denis: i've had limited dealings with him. we wanted many of our nominees who are critically important, not only to this fight against isis, but on a number of other critical national security interests. unfortunately, they had been held for him over the course of some time. i have some frustration with that, and i'd like to make sure that gets corrected. we have some really good people ready to serve the country, and they should be given that opportunity. mark: from afar, what are your impressions? denis: i don't spend a lot of time thinking about senator ted cruz.
frankly, thinking about a lot of other things occupying us right now. mark: you look at what is happening in chicago, and you look at donald trump capitalizing on some public sentiment of anger and frustration, what is the sense of a connection between that and what is happening to rahm emanuel? denis: the president says this all the time. we ought to make sure we have a government that is fitting for the american people who we represent. we ask ourselves that question all the time. i'm not a sociologist ready to be able to comment on any of this sentiment that you're suggesting. what i do know and what the president demands of us is that we are responsive to what people need. we stay on the offense against isil. we are looking for new opportunities, so that people feel like there is a ladder to the middle class and it is real.
mark: let me after a poll question is america on the right , track or wrong track? denis: i think america is on the right track. board atok across the any analysis -- mark: tick off the reasons you say that. denis: 69 straight months of job growth. 13.7 land private sector jobs. -- 13.7 million private sector jobs. 5% unemployment. 18 the people who have access to health care now that would not have had it before. health care inflation is at historically low rates for four years in a row. we now export -- produce more energy, including oil, in this country than we import. when you look across the board, who do want to be? you want to be the united states. mark: can america be a country where gdp is 4% year? is that possible? denis: the sky is the limit in america. there is no question about that. mark: including 4% growth.
denis: if you look at where we came from starting in 2008 and that tremendously deep recession, and you see what the american people have fought out of, the sky is the limit. mark: is 4% annual growth gdp on a sustained basis a realistic goal for america? denis: it is absolutely a realistic goal for america, because as i said the sky is the limit. what is magic about 4%? maybe could be more, -- maybe it could be more than that. here is what i know. if you look the human capital in this country, the rule of law, the opportunities we have here, this is undeniably the greatest place to be. right now, too many people feel they don't get a fair shot at that. that is what the president works on every day. mark: what is your holiday wish? we have less than 30 seconds. denis: my holiday wish is that everyone gets some rest.
and that the american people feel safe and are able to celebrate this with a couple of extra bucks in their pocket. john: can we buy your drink tonight? denis: the drinks are on us tonight. mark: thank you. denis: appreciate it. mark: up next, one of the endorsements in iowa was bestowed on senator ted cruz. we will explain why after this word from our sponsors. ♪
in 2012, he backed rick santorum, who also won the caucuses. one more, you could call it a trend story, today bob vander plaats made his 2016 enforcement, -- endorsement ted , cruz. he joins us from des moines, iowa to explain why. bob: we just believe ted cruz has been consistent in his character, his principles, his conservative convictions. he has built one heck of an infrastructure in iowa, and i believe he has what it takes to go the distance. it was not an easy choice, i had a lot of friends in the race. it became obvious, this was a candidate that conservatives can unite around and get to be our nominee. john: what is your sense of what the members think about donald trump and whether he is a man of faith? bob: our members looking at donald trump are first of all, very excited he is in the race.
he is blowing up politics as usual. ted cruz is capitalizing on that message right now. he is an outside candidate, he is taken on both sides -- has taken on both sides of the aisle. dr. carson is starting to pick up from donald trump. donald trump has done a service to the campaign from our basis perspective. now they are looking at who is the serious leader. want to push you off of sports metaphors, you say you like trump and a lot of the others. is it ted cruz's electability, the fact that he would be the best on your agenda, what sets him apart from the others rather than saying superlatives? why is he better? bob: yes, yes, and yes. he is the guy that can unite conservatives. you have seen him in iowa.
he has brought steve days to the table, and steve king to the table. he has my endorsement as well. he can unite across the country. the reason is he is a bold and courageous leader. he has a history of taking on both sides of the aisle, exposing what is wrong with the country and what should be done with it and what he has done as the solicitor general in texas and we would love to see him in a debate with hillary clinton. he is actually now one of these conservatives that checks all the boxes and has the resources to go the distance. that is why he got our endorsement, and why he is uniting a lot of people's endorsements. he can be a real champion for the conservative cause. john: the polling suggests he could win iowa. you also think he could go on and when the republican the republicanin
nomination. make the argument that he could actually win a general election against let's say hillary clinton. that is not quite as clear to a lot of people. bob: hillary clinton has a huge issue with her base, bernie sanders. we will see the base turnout like never before it ted cruz is the nominee. for these people saying the general election will be determined by independents, you have president romney who won the independent vote and the key tossup states. ted cruz in a hillary clinton debate, the american people would have an easy decision. he wins the general election hands down. had: i said before, you called and picked the winners of the last two iowa caucuses. andendorsed mike huckabee, then you endorsed rick santorum in your endorsement is 2012. considered to be a high-value.
neither one of those guys went on to win the republican nomination. what makes you think this time around you have a better judgment about who can win the republican nomination than the last two cycles? bob: take a look back at 2008 and 2012. we selected huckabee and santorum, and the country selected mccain and romney. i believe we got it right. the country got it wrong. -- 4ast "bloomberg west election winners have come out of being winners in iowa. i think this time ted cruz has shown he has the resources which huckabee didn't have. he has the infrastructure to go the distance once he gets behind iowa. we could not be more excited about ted cruz's candidacy. even with our announcement we are seeing people give calls and e-mail saying we are on board, tell us what to do. if i i believe -- tell me was told incorrectly, you said earlier in an interview that marco rubio is trying to straddle a couple of different
lanes. what does that mean? what are the lanes? bob: he sees complete chaos in an establishment lane. he sees jeb bush, john kasich, you name it. that lane there happens to be , room. he is trying to go to the establishment lane, but he sees the conservative lane, the tea party lane which launched them to be a senator. nothing against senator rubio. we like him a lot. we love how he brings everything around the family. ted cruz is in the best position. mark: are you saying marco rubio is hurting himself by straddling or for you fuzzing up what his identity is about. fussing up what our identity is about. we don't have people straddling lanes. senator cruz is doing that. the liberty lane people love
, senator cruz. the gop grassroots conservative lane, people love senator cruz. when you go to the evangelical lane they love him. he has straddled as well, i think that is what has lifted him up in the polls. mark: you have run a lot of races beside your chosen candidate, who else can win the caucuses? bob: i think donald trump is -- we are in uncharted territory. we do not know what is going to happen there. if you turns out the crowds to the caucus-goers he could increase those numbers. he could win the iowa caucuses. mark: anybody else? betweenhink it is down donald trump and ted cruz. rubio is going to make a strong cause as well. ted cruz has the opportunity to win iowa and dominate iowa. if he dominates iowa it is game
on in new hampshire and south are loaded everyplace else -- south carolina and every lace else -- place else. john: let me ask you one thing about ted cruz's father. you said today that he had an important role in this endorsement in some way. explain what you think it is about ted cruz and his family roots that are important and how they influenced you. bob: rafael cruz is a great american. he loves this country. when he is going around stumping for his son the way he is stumping for his son, it is endearing. people love him. ted cruz comes from good stock. that is a great credit to rafael cruz, the way he raised ted. tedink what will happen is cruz will be the president of the united states, and rafael cruz can take a great deal of pride in making that happen. john: our thanks to bob vander plaats.
mark: you may know about this conspiracy theory popularized by jeb bush, that donald trump is secretly working for hillary clinton. that is why he is in the race. unfortunately there is no way to know if that conspiracy theory is true but what if it were? , what of serial, the podcast, decided to devote a year to the trump conspiracy? it has all the turns and twists of serial's first season. it has a central intriguing character. what would that be like? [phone ringing] >> good morning.
>> hello. this is sarah. >> previously on serial. donald trump: what the hell is going on. there is something going on with him that we don't know about. >> there is a tight of conjecture. donald trump: i will get you the information. i am not getting out. i am going to win. >> he is staunch. donald trump: you gave to the democrats, who cares. >> maybe donald trump has given money. >> is donald trump a hillary clinton plant? >> i did know him that well. >> i like her and her husband. >> this is a prepaid call from donald j trump. >> a phone call between bill clinton and donald trump. >> did you get a phone call from bill clinton? i didn't. >> the problem for donald trump is why did you take the call? >> this call of all the calls is the one i think of as the smoking gun. >> he tried to call and i didn't get the message. i called him back.
>> please delete ladies and gentlemen of the jury what that call consisted of. >> it was very routine. >> why would a guilty man let me do this story? donald trump that is the best : question you have asked me, sarah. >> he was to the point of delusion. idiotic, i know. donald trump bye-bye. : mark: i can't believe we have to wait a whole week for another episode. [laughter] we'll be right back with ohio senator rob portman after this. ♪
portman. we talked about donald trump and the 2016 race. we asked about the state of his party. senator rob portman: i think the party is strong for a couple of reasons. time where we have a threat from abroad again. people tend to look to republicans to protect the country. we find that at home, it is the top issue. i had to tell seniors about issues like social security but what came up was isis. i think that probably based on , the polling i have seen, and what i hear, i think it probably helps the republican party. we are getting some stuff done here. paul ryan as speaker is positive. if you look at the accomplishments, the first highway bill and about a dozen years, right now we are working on legislation to try to get back to the regular order. you have actual spending bills every year, and you have a process in transparency. i think we have some things to talk about in terms of turning things around the way the democrats ran this place versus
us. i know the race is monopolizing a lot of the conversation. mark: what is the state of that? senator rob portman: it is chaotic. lots of different points of views being expressed. eventually that will all sort out. people will pay attention this coming summer. we'll have a nominee and we will see what happens. john: let's cut to the chase here, around the world, in this country -- senator rob portman: you should say with all due respect. is there anyone who represents republicans more than donald trump? senator rob portman: in terms of the republican party, all ryan has the highest elected office. people look to him for leadership. i saw his comments which were close to my own, right after donald trump made his comments about keeping muslims out of the united states. i think people see that as the republican response. john: there was a article about the republican majority in the
senate would be in jeopardy. it singled out u.s. someone who would be doomed if donald trump was the top of the ticket. do you agree? senator rob portman: i don't think he will be the top of the ticket. it is a hypothetical for me. you run your own race. you are letting people know what you think. i served in the house for 12 years. six elections i always ran 10 , points ahead of the presidential candidate. in 2010 i ran 15 points ahead. you run your own race. mark: you would dispute that donald trump at the top of the ticket would be a burden for you weigh negatively on your race. senator rob portman: i don't think it is going to happen. i don't know how this is going to shake out. nobody does. when you look at the 10
candidates we have who are viable i don't think you can , predict what is going to happen. we will see. mark: in terms of domestic policy as you follow the race, what is a debate within the party that you think is interesting and important? senator rob portman: what i have liked about the debate is we talking about the big issues. -- we are talking about the big issues. in each debate the issue of tax reform has come up, entitlement reform. how do you actually take this level of debt that our country now faces? we're looking at having the highest debt ever in the next 10 years. in terms of the economy. republicans have answers for that. democrats don't. they are talking about increasing spending to the point where we would not be able to sustain the commitments we have. the country would be in bankruptcy. i would like that on the tax side. i am a hawk on tax reform. i think we have an enormous opportunity to bring back jobs in my state of ohio and around the country.
republicans are talking about that. i see more similarity among republican candidates than is sometimes advertise. mark: there is an outlier, senator rubio, whose tax plan has been criticized by the wall street journal editorial page and others. he is adding a lot of complications to the code, new credits rather than lowering rates and getting rid of deductions. do you like the rubio concept more than say the bush concept, which is more traditional? senator rob portman: i would pick and choose from them. they are both so much better than the current code. mark: what do you like? senator rob portman: i like that he focuses on families. we need to encourage more families to feel like if they have kids there is not a tax penalty, more people to get married. taking away the marriage penalty. that is positive. you can do that in conjunction with progrowth policies that lower the rate and broaden the base, which is simple find the tax code. -- simplifying the tax code. that is what we have a great
opportunity to do. we are following behind the rest of the world in terms of our competitiveness and our ability to create jobs and invest here because of our tax code. pretty much everyone acknowledges it including the president but he hasn't lifted a finger to deal with it. that is the problem. john: there is a debate about immigration from the mideast with relation of muslims. your posture for a while i believe -- it may still be, we should halt resettling of the syrian refugees. is that still your posture? senator rob portman: for the past several weeks, being a member of the homeland security committee i was in a position to get information the fbi on the record, sworn testimony saying we don't have the intelligence to be able to close the gaps to know who these people are. case, of course we should not be allowing people into the country. we can close the gaps. it is going to take some time and resources. that is a small number of syrian refugees. refugees, syrian
refugees? senator rob portman: it is not a question of religion, it is a question of security. john: what most needs to be fixed? guest: we don't have a -- senator rob portman: what the fbi has said, is we don't have a relationship with the government in syria. we do not have enough people on the ground who can cooperate. we have no intelligence services. as compared to iraq where he had a lot of the information, we need to be much more cautious. that is the point i have made. with regard to iraq, a few weeks ago two guys from kentucky who were iraqi refugees were convicted of terrorism. even in that flow we had some terrorist. those who say we did not, should look at the records. i think we are increasing risk today even compared to then. we need to be careful. mark: a lot of republicans tried -- republicans critical of the president's policy tried to say they are for boots on the ground but the number should be determined by the pentagon.
often there is a back channel that bypasses the white house. do you know how many boots on the ground the people of the pentagon would like to have? senator rob portman: i don't like the word boots on the ground. these are sons and daughters and brothers and sisters. you only make that decision after careful consideration. having said that, i think there is a multipronged effort that needs to be undertaken. the president has failed us and not laid out that strategy. one is to intensify the air campaign. if you need more resources on the ground for intelligence and spotters, to more accurately target these airstrikes we're told that about half of the planes come back with their bombs intact. it is crazy. we are not providing information to our own pilots. we need to intensify the campaign, and that would require more resources on the ground. not combat troops, but he sure we have the intelligence to do the job right. mark: is there a tripwire? senator rob portman: what we need to do is engage the country's in the neighborhood.
obviously they have as much at stake here as anybody. they are in the crosshairs right now. john: senator cruz has said he -- is he courting you on that? is he trying to become mr. congeniality in the senate? senator rob portman: i don't know if my colleagues are supporting him or not. i am not endorsing anybody. ted cruz is a colleague. i work with him quite a bit. lately? he friendlier senator rob portman: we talk about family. we've always been friendly. mark: probably like everybody. you like everybody. you like 99 other senators. senator rob portman: i like to treat them as individuals. i don't agree with them all. whether it is ted cruz or chuck schumer. you try to work together. john: if donald trump were the nominee would you support him? senator rob portman: as i said
from the start, several months ago, i intend to support the republican nominee unless something crazy happens. we will see. john: would that be something crazy? senator rob portman: we will see. i don't think he will be the nominee. i really don't. john: would you support him or not? senator rob portman: it depends what his platform is. what he lays out. who knows what the positions are going to be. he has changed quite a few. john: can we hear one wrist -- riff. >> i am ab portman: ♪ man of means by no means, king of the road ♪ john: happy holidays. mark: thank you we'll be right , back. ♪
mark: earlier, a question on if donald trump and ben carson have the skills to be commander-in-chief. ted cruz's campaign called the times story that said that misleading. now the times has released audio. he has reported saying my approach to the media has been to bear hug carson and trump. there is going to be a lot more on this story in the coming days. more to
come. john: from mark and me at the white house, until tomorrow, sayonara. ♪ . . .
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december, and this is "trending business." ♪ >> we are going to be live in singapore and new delhi this hour, but first, this is what we're watching. warren buffett is the latest senior executive to go toward bitcoin. rise across the region, but that may not benchmark at the biggest changes in this december.
and the final climate talks and rather final day. -- final climate talks enter their final day. the eu climate commissioner said we cannot fail now. twitter.ollow me on indonesia is getting underway since wednesday. market, there the seems to be some trepidation despite a rally. >> they are, and you von, we are , we are seeing shocked here. kong, the hang seng de