tv Inside Politics CNN June 22, 2014 5:30am-6:01am PDT
congratulations to her and her family. thank you for sharing your morning with us. we'll see you here next weekend. "inside politics" with john king starts right now. the commander in chief deploys military advisors to iraq but promise noz mission creep. >> american combat troops are not going to be fighting in iraq again. >> but it is still a risky mission for a president who made his name promising to end the u.s. military role in iraq once and for all. >> four years ago i promised tend to the war in iraq. we did. >> republicans add foreign policy to a list of complaints that prove this president is just not up to the job. >> you can't help but get the sense that the wheels are coming off. >> plus, hillary clinton picks a fight with the national rifle association. is there we cannot let a minority of people -- that's
what it is, it is a minority of people, hold a viewpoint that terrorizes the majority of people. >> but do so-so sales of hard choices suggest the country already has a case of clinton fatigue? ""inside politics,"" the biggest stories sourced by the best reporters, now. welcome to "inside politics." i'm john king. thanks for sharing your sunday with us. julie pace with the associated press. jonathan martin of the "new york times" and cnn's peter hanby. the president elected on a promise to get troops out of iraq is sending more troops back, promising again and again this operation will not grow into another messy ground war. >> we can't do it for they will and we can't redeploy tens of thousands of u.s. troops to try to keep a lid on the problem if the people themselves don't want to solve it. >> democrats are watching
nervously willing to bite their tongues as president obama deploys 300 military advisors. but democrats say they are not willing to support any escalation. and republicans say the president has only himself to plame as the islamist group known as isis marches south from syria toward baghdad. >> the spread of terrorism has increased exponentially under this president's leadership. >> to me it is just the moment. the president who made his name in national politics by saying i will get us out, i opposed the war to begin with, i will get us out as soon as possible. when they say 300 military advisors, publicly the president is adamant it will not grow and will not become combat. privately, are had they nerve sf nerveous? >> this is the war that barack obama always said he wanted to end. he did end it and pulled all the troops out. 300 troops to train iraqi security forces? there is an additional 275 troops that have gone in to
secure the embassy in baghdad. they have not said definitively that there will be no more troops. it is possible if there are additional training and security needs you could see that number go up. what the white house wants to try to warn against though is mission creep, ending up with several thousand troops in iraq for a sustained period of time. >> the public and his party has no appetite for this. some republicans say he should be more aggressive and he should do more. what kind of ground is he on politically more importantly for the country than with washington? from there is zero appetite for more military engagement on the part of the american people. that's why the white house went to such lengths this week to portray this as not only limited but more along the lines of what we are doing in other parts of that region which is basically drones. right? drones and air strikes. this is not american boots on the ground. this is sort of air warfare. it is such a reminder that the presidency is shaped by events and that presidents don't get to
pick the agenda. the moment and the times pick them. >> how much of this agenda has been set by the previous president? so much the bush years continue to dog him. but talking about american opinion, these are american troops on the ground, they are going with iraqi troops into dangerous areas and it is my understanding they have a green light to engage if fired upon. if there is a casualty of an american soldier in iraq this isn't just obama promising no combat forced. that's an american soldier in combat getting killed or wounded. >> when you look at the presidency, the second term, it really has been defined by foreign policy events which is pretty remarkable considering he ran for re-election on this foreign policy platform dealing with getting rid of osama bin laden, dealing with the iraq war, afghanistan war. but what we've he seen in the second term, syria, ukraine, now iraq. really dominating the agenda
because domestically nothing's getting done and now foreign policy is what everybody's lashing on to. >> as he starts this engagement with a skeptical public, a lot of questions in washington from both parties, you'd have to -- just an honest statement, is he a weak president at the moment. in addition to having a lower approval rating, people were asked if he can effectively lead the country. can lead, 42%. cannot lead, 54%. the majority of the country questions his basic competence as president. the republicans are saying this president, yes, he killed bin laden but since then they say terrorism is back on the rise. here at home they say if you look at issues like the missing irs e-mails, benghazi, obamacare, republicans think the intensity is on their side and now democrats say now we're going back into military action? >> some of this is just what happens to presidencies at this stage. the country is already shifting
slightly to who is going to replace him. one of the big reasons that the public thinks about obama this will way is that there just isn't much happening here. everything that is happening tends to be negative. it is either watching the u.s. pull back in to iraq, it is watching the irs e-mails unfold. any action this they do see reflects poorly on the president. >> that's a huge problem for the mid terms. what are the democrats really running on? it is not really clear. there is no real national issue other than the minimum wage. that's not going anywhere either so what is it that the party stands for. it is not entirely clear right now. >> it is almost july. the last time there was positive information flow about president obama and his white house was probably at the end of the sign-up period for the affordable care act. that's march? can you think of anything that's been a dominant story since then that's helped this administration? >> another fascinating thick -- someone who covered the white
house at the beginning of the iraq war in 2003 -- the return of team bush. who speaks for the republican party? dick cheney wrote an op sed we- his daughter in the "wall street journal." rarely has a u.s. president been so wrong about so much at the expense of so many. instead, he abandoned iraq and we are watching american defeat snatched from the jaws of victory. even a lot of republicans get a little squeamish, they say why d dick cheney? was this a civil service that was sprung out of the woodwork to run the country effectively after saddam hussein was toppled? it never happened. does it help the republicans to have dick cheney leading the charge against barack obama now? >> no, it doesn't. neocons are back, they feel
emboldened. they're out there talking about this is their passion. but a majority of americans think the iraq war was a mistake and dick cheney remains deeply unpopular and that's why you saw white house press secretary jay carney come out this week, harry reid and immediately push back really hard on dick cheney. >> chris christie sounded tough in a speech to a conservative group at the end of the week but rand paul in an interview with national review still seems to think why do we want to do this? people question will he be libertarian, isolationist? somewhere in the middle? "do we want to, in effect, become iran's air force? what's in this for iran? why should we choose a side and if we do, who are we really helping?" can he carry that position? the public is probably with him but is the republican primary with had him? >> no. >> you see rand paul treading a really fine line and pivoting an
issue. make it about iran. he obviously opposes boots on the ground in iraq. he's pivoting, in not a terrible why. >> trying to reach out to younger voters who are aggressively trying to -- it does not had help him with the donor class of the republican party. >> it is not a terrible idea to be cautious on iraq at this moment because we have no idea where are this will be in a year-and-a-half when the presidential campaign is under way. >> defined the beginning of the obama presidency and now could define the end of the obama presidency. a true political hail mary. and a look at how hillary clinton stacks up against other political opponents. there are two rules in politics they say never, ever be pictured with a drink in your hand and nef swear. b but this is a big [ bleep ] day. way to go, guys.
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welcome back. if you can't judge a book by its cover, can you judge it by its book sales in obviously we're talking about hillary clinton's new book, "hard choices." we'll compare hillary clinton here to hillary clinton. 86,000 books sold of "hard choices." that's in the first week. not so bad but is it so great? remember when she left the white house with her husband in 2000, she wrote "living history." that sold 38,000 books in the first week. the last condition book did better than the current clinton book. but stack her up against different competition. joe biden, rick perry, mitt romney and sarah palin. better than biden, perry and mitt romney but by this standard, sarah palin.
one question i had in all these interviews, as she sees president obama going down in the polls, how much does she have to worry about that or does she let that take the place over here an worry about 2016 over here? >> i think she can't afford to do that. i think you've seen some of her answers reflect the fact that she's cognizant of president obama's declining standing with the american public. she's picked her response where to create separation with president obama. she did not have to put it in this book that the obama folks wanted her to go after sarah palin in 2008 and she pointedly said no. the fact that she put that in there i think is very telling. you add on some of the sort of foreign policy differences, most notably syria, she wanted to arm the rebels. she is creating some space. not in a way that will tick off some obama folks. >> always hard for the president
to maintain that party's power. she's obviously very smart. we saw that in the cnn town hall this week. another point of distinction i tried to draw, reminded me a lot of 2008, when she talk about the difference between leadership and vision. she talked about how you need someone who can get you there. it is not enough to talk about it. but there's so much focus on these sort of tactical questions around hillary clinton, her personality, can she adapt, can she improve from 2008. i continue to think that the president and his policies and popularity might be the biggest challenge for her. >> his popularity. his policies are actually still pretty popular. democrats, the saving grace is that if you look at the polling their policies are a lot more popular than republicans. when it comes to a national election that could help that. >> we don't know -- assume she runs and assume for the sake of this conversation -- sorry governor o'malley and others, that she wins the democratic nomination. we are going to assume that. what we don't know is who we
compare her to. we see her talk on one issue, we say she's separating herself from barack obama. another issue you say maybe she's reaching for the middle. the question is who is the other person on the ballot. you can't make the comparison until you get it. some republicans this week in the spotlight -- chris christie? still under investigation. right? some indication maybe that was moving toward a conclusion but we're not sure about bridgegate. scott walker who at first has a tough re-election this year. he says this is partisan attack and it won't hold up in court but a prosecutor saying he's part of this illegal conspiracy in a fund-raising scam. rick perry who a lot of people say watch the second time around from rick perry. he learned from his mistakes. he can mazeraise a lot of money. he's from texas. but last week in a speech he makes the comparison of being gay to being an alcoholic. >> i may have the genetic coding that i'm inclined to be an alcoholic, but i have the desire
not to do that and i look at homosexual issue as the same way. >> at a breakfast about a week later in washington governor perry says i stepped in it. he tried to step out of it. he stepped in it in san francisco. then in washington he said i stepped in it, made a mistake, shouldn't talk about that. leave that up to individuals, leave that up to states. but if you're thinking about to win the presidency, you've got to do better for republicans. you got to do better in the suburbs. you got to do better with young voters. how much does he pay a price for "stepping in it." >> it is a huge price. just shows you how wide open this field is. you mentioned those governors who were viewed as people who could potentially win nomination, having their own problems. the three first-term senators and relatively thin resumes seeking the presidential nomination. jeb bush. he pass positions on immigration that cause a lot of folks on the right to revolt. who will win this nomination?
>> one of rick perry's biggest assets in this race was the benefit of really low expectations after the last campaign. the flip side of that leaves a little margin for error. you pointed to three governors. what's interesting is if all three of those guys go away, who emerges. indiana governor mike pence is close with krooichristie, is cl with walker but is also behind them. if they stumble, pence has relationships with both the conservative donor class, other donors and just this week he's in alabama speaking to the republican party. >> he also has close ties to the koch brothers, too. could be a huge deal for pence. >> we have all this attention on hillary clinton running for this nomination i think it increases the amount of attention we pay to those republicans at this phase to have some balance in there. walker's possible problems, christie's problems, rick perry's missteps are in the
spotlight at this stage in the campaign than if you didn't have such a front runner in hillary clinton. >> thursday in mississippi is the run-off. that's on tuesday. listen to brett favre on the airways. >> i've learned through football that strong leadership can be the difference between winning and losing. whether it comes to our state's future, trust me, mississippi can win and win big as thad cochran with a strong voice in washington. >> you have the republican candidate essentially going into the african-american community, traditionally democratic voters, saying save me. >> the african-american population in mississippi is the largest of any state in the the country. it is 37% of the population there. it's so big that if you're a republican looking for votes and you're limited with your own party, you got to be creative. thad cochran is trying to get african-american votes out after
deep south state in a republican runoff. it is a heck of a -- >> in some sense it smacks of desperation. the voters will come to the polls, activist types that do support chris mcdaniel. if mccandle wins that runoff democrats have a chance in november. why if you're a democrat and mississippi voter would you come to the policy when there is a chance you can beat mcdaniel. >> cochran's forces seem to think they have a lit of maybe momentum this week. i think it is actually a jump ball at this point. >> watch that one on tuesday night. everybody stay put. tomorrow's news today is next as our reporters empty their notebooks and get you a head start in the coming big political stories.
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before we go let's go around the table and ask our great reporters to get you out ahead of the coming big political news. >> the white house is desperate to get the president back talking about the economy and kitchen table issues that they think americans are going to actually vote on in november. they tried this earlier in the spring and it got overtaken by ukraine and afghanistan and now iraq. they finally feel like they have turned the corner in the sense
that they no longer need to have the president out talking about foreign policy almost on a daily basis. look for them to talk about things like infrastructure and manufacturing. i have been on this pivot with this white house more times than i can count. >> see how it goes especially with the u rack newiraq news. >> i was down in arkansas. there was a tough link to mark pryor. he'll push back on the medicare attacks. saying mark pryor is the one who cut medicare. they believe if they can start pivoting to define prior in the eyes of voters as an obama
accolade they can win this race. >> one of the best races in the country. >> in fasnational conservativese confident about mississippi, oklahoma features a candidate half black, half chickasaw indian. james langford has emerged as a pretty strong candidate. has had some kind words from tom cobu coburn. his old house seat in oklahoma city will boovt turnout. does either of them reach 50% because that way it would avowed a runoff. most of the betting though in oklahoma still probably goes to a runoff. >> great race. >> most of the attention on tuesday is going to be on mississippi. another runoff that's fun for
political junkies in my favorite state of south carolina. sally atwater, the wife of the late controversial republican strate strategist lee atwater. this is a pretty powerful position state wide. controls a lot of the budget there. atwater's backed by the old bush forces. the old mccain folks are against her opponent. common core is the big issue in the republican primary. >> we'll watch the republican divide play out on any level. >> at first they were amused and a little curious, but not top advisors to mitt romney are starting to get annoyed that portions list him even though romney does quite well. he made clear last week he will not seek the nomination for a third time in 2016. his advisors are saying you don't get a fair sense of the
early field if you put mitt romney's name in there. they say every time he wins one of these polls they start getting calls and e-mails that they would prefer not to get. that's inside politics for today. thanks for sharing your sunday with us. "state of the union" with candy crowley starts right now. too few? too many? too late? iraq, redonees. too few? too many, too late? iraq. today, senators rand paul and dianne feinstein on iraq, the risks of returning. the price of staying home. >> the issue that i keep front and center is what is in the national security interests of the united states of america? and 40 years later, wat watergate summer. >> this principle of confidentiality of presidential conversations is at stake in the question of these tapes. >> bob woodward and carl bernstein j