tv Legal View With Ashleigh Banfield CNN October 8, 2015 9:00am-10:01am PDT
>> now we know he knew he was running in 2012. >> it's interesting, isn't it? >> just saying. thanks for joining thus hour. >> "legal view with ashleigh banfield" starts right now. hello, everyone. i'm ashleigh banfield. we interrupt our national fixation on the presidential race for an election of a very different sort but for a post almost as important. as we speak, house republicans are meeting in a closed door hearing room on capitol hill for a secret vote. it's for the man they want to be speaker of the house. that is a hugely powerful job in its own right and second in line to presidential succession behind only the vice president. so you're probably wondering what the choices are and we'll line them up for you. kevin mccarthy of california, current house majority leader and so-called establishment pick
to succeed john boehner. there is jason chaffetz of utah and on the right daniel webster of florida. he is on the right and he's favored now by the ultra conservatives who tormented john boehner. and these are my experts on the matter. cnn chief political correspondent dana bash. you've had a chance to catch some of those candidates, i guess we can call them candidates. a very short election. if you blinked, you missed it. give me the rundown of the actual process you're in right now. >> reporter: well, the process is, as you can probably see, people coming in behind me. we're right outside the door. this is going to be a secret ballot actually. so we're not going to know who voted for whom in this first round. and i say first round because this is, effectively, a nomination by the republican party for whom they want to be the speaker. the actual vote for house speaker isn't going to happen until it occurs on the house
floor at the end of this month. but this is still obviously very critical because of all of the things you discussed, the discord within the republican party and the idea that a lot of republicans are not so sure that kevin mccartney who is the front-runner here is the right person to take over for john boehner since he has been his right-hand man. i talked to kevin mccarthy briefly after he and others gave their pitches this morning. listen to what happened. mr. mccarthy, will you give a statement? how did it go? >> it went very well, very well. >> reporter: are you going to get the votes at 12:00? so he sounds confident. all he needs to get is 125 republican votes in the secret ballot that's going to go on that will start momentarily now, but the key question is whether or not if he does get that he's going to get 218 which we expect will be what's needed to get the majority of the full house at the end of october.
ashleigh? >> as people are filing by you, i'm assuming you're heading into the -- i think it's the ways and means committee room to hold this big, secret vote? >> reporter: let us turn the m camera around to give you an inside look here. you're right. this is the ways and committee room. i'll try not to bump into members as they're walking by. this is where they're holding the vote. it's actually -- i'm not sure if it's on purpose or not, probably not, it's just a nice, big room which is why they're using it. it also happens to be where the person nominating kevin mccarthy hangs his hat. it's paul ryan who is the chair of this committee. he is somebody who is very well respected among pretty much all republicans. he is going to be explaining why he does believe kevin mccarthy should be the nominee to be speaker in there. but there are, of course, others. you mentioned them earlier. one is daniel webster, the favorite among the conservatives, the so-called freedom caucus. he also gave a pitch this morning. i spoke to him after.
>> well, i just said, look, when i was speaker of the floor of the house, we were able to turn our numbers, polling numbers, right side up by taking up the most important issues first and then taking that pyramid of power that existed where few people made all the decisions, push it down, spread it out so every member got a chance to be a player. when you do that, you buy in the membership and you can adjourn on time and take up the most important issues first and the public notices. >> reporter: so that was daniel webster. he, again, has the support of about 40 or so members in that so-called house freedom caucus. he wouldn't say whether or not if he does lose this nominating vote, which is going to occur momentarily if he will then support kevin mccarthy, assuming that he is the actual nominee. that is going to be the key question after today whether or not mccarthy is going to be able to get those who didn't support him in this meeting later on in
the month. ashleigh? >> to be a fly on the wall, dana. i know this drives you crazy that you have to be on the outside of the door when they all head in there momentarily. just so our viewers understand the candidates have already done their personal pitches. they got three minutes to do it. this is when they get their supporters to stand up and lobby for them and they only have a couple minutes to do that, too. this should be exciting. i'm going to scoot over, dana. let us know if you catch anybody on the way by. i know you were able earlier -- again, this is the earlier meeting where the candidates were allowed to do their own three-minute pitch to their friends and colleagues as to why they should be the leader, but you caught up with jason chaffetz. what did he tell you? >> reporter: well, jason chaffetz knows where things are right now. he does not have the support to become nominated to become the next speaker by his own party. kevin mccarthy by all accounts does. we're going to be looking closely at how close he gets to that magic 218 number. jason chaffetz really took a
pretty significant blow to his candidacy when the house freedom caucus, that conservative group came out and they supported daniel webster instead of him. he was supposed to be the guy who was aimed to bridge those conservatives with the more establishment type in the party, and i asked him about that. here is what he had to say. >> i'm trying to bridge the gulf and the divide. that's not just going to end today. there are new processes and things that we have to do to get this team even more unified than in the past. >> reporter: chaffetz said he will back the nominee after today's vote. that's a significant move. he plans to end his candidacy. the question is whether some of the other folks who backed daniel webster will turn around and back the nominee. that's a question we'll have to see how it's resolved in the next couple of weeks.
ashleigh? >> and it's all up to 125 votes, as long as everybody shows up. that simple majority of whomever actually is in the room. i want to take you backthe other race, the big, big race. let's call this a teachable moment for ben carson. he owes much of his current popularity to his lack of political experience. that did not seem to be an asset when he appeared yesterday on the show called "marketplace." it is a radio program, and the talk turned to, well, go figure, some basic yet marketplace issues. watch the interview conducted. >> as you know treasury secretary lou has come out and said we're going to run out of money. we're going to run out of borrowing authority on the 5th of november. should the congress then and the president not raise the debt limit? should we default on our debt?
>> let me put it this way. if i were the president, i would not sign an increase. >> to be clear, it's increasing the debt limit not the budget. but i want to make sure i understand you. you'd let the united states default rather than raise the deadline? >> no, i would provide the leadership that says get on the stick and stop messing around and cut where you need to cut. >> i'm going to try one more time, sir. this is debt that's already obligated. would you not favor increasinging the debt limit to pay the debt that's already incurred? >> what i'm saying is what we have to do is restructure the way that we create debt. if we continue along this, where does it stop? >> i do want to tell you ben carson is going to be a live guest of my colleague wolf
blitzer on his program, and that is coming up in just over 40 minutes at the top of the hour. do not miss that moment. in the meantime, i want to bring in athena jones in iowa who has just spoken with the ben carson camp. how are they reacting to all of this? >> reporter: hi, ashleigh. after several hours of trying to get a response from carson's campaign about this. my producer just spoke and said if you listen to the entire marketplace interview, dr. carson demonstrates a clear understanding of all of the issues. he was talking about long-term concerns, trying to answer tough questions about the nation's fiscal future. certainly if you listen to that clip, it sounds as though dr. carson has some confusion about the difference between the debt limit and the budget. this is a mistake a lot of people make. he's arguing that budgets should be cut and that this shouldn't increase the debt limit. you heard ryssdale explaining
these are bills coming due, debts that have already been incurred. and if the debt limit isn't raised, we're talking about social security payments that don't get paid, medicare reimbursement, bills to government contractors that don't get paid. a whole slew of things that certainly sounded like in that interview carson didn't grasp that concept. ashleigh? >> well, we will certainly have further opportunities to ask him that. as i said, wolf will have him live on the program at the top of the hour. athena jones, thank you. appreciate that. good work. and on a related note, one of ben carson's most prominent and powerful supporters is now apologizing for one very supportive tweet. it was rupert murdoch, the super wealthy, staunchly conservative media mogul, who tweeted out ben and candy carson, terrific. what about a real black president who can properly address the racial divide? and much else. well, that came late last night
and now comes this morning. here is the tweet. apologies, exclamation point. no offense meant. personally find both men, we're presuming here carson and president obama, charming. and my next guests are equally as charming and they can't wait to weigh in on this. a cnn contributor and former state representative of south carolina beand lenny mccalliste is a radio talk show host. vicari, reaction? >> thank you. we're doing better in south carolina today. thank you for your prayers. >> glad to hear that. thank you for updating us. >> the you a doesty of rupert murdoch or anyone else for that matter to be able to think that they can authenticate my blackness or the president's blackness or anyone's blackness is beyond absurd. i'm glad he decided to tell all of us the 90% of african-american voters who voted for barack obama, he decide d to tell us that we actually voted for somebody who
wasn't really black. >> all right. i think there is a lot of reaction like yours out there, and, lenny, as a conservative i want to ask you about the fallout for colleagues who don't share that reaction. there's been radio silence so if they don't weigh in does that matter to them or their supporters? >> it does matter and i think this is an opportunity to show that what we've been saying for several years is true. that defining blackness as being somebody that lives in an urban area, that will vote democrat from 95% to 100% of the time, that they're looking for big government is not necessarily defining blackness. i agree the definition of blackness should be across the diversity of the united states of america including conservative and liberal, including republican and democrat. this is something that we as black conservatives have been saying for quite some time. now with that said i think he's overlooking the fact many people in the barber shops in 2015 are
saying that the election of this african-american president has been disappointing. it has not been inspiring for black people like they thought it would be and has not been as beneficial over the course of this presidency. there's something to be said about the disappointment. but in regards to how we define blackness, i agree 100%, blackness is diverse not just monolithic and not just single in its thinking. >> literally ten seconds, is this a blip? is this going to get traction? >> i don't think it will get any traction. i think it was an asinine statement and we have statements made by surrogates and candidates alike. >> lenny? >> it's more than a blip. it's an undercurrent. this is what people think. we just don't say it very often. it will come back up again before november 2016. >> great to have both of you, thank you. our thoughts to you and your fellow south carolinians as you go through the flooding disaster. we are thinking of you and we
wish you the best. >> please keep us in your prayers. >> always. thanks so much. appreciate it. coming up, as i mentioned before, ben carson will be live right here on cnn in the next hour. he's been kind enough to join my colleague wolf blitzer. starts at the top of the hour, 1:00. do not miss it. he is in the news today at the top of the news today. so he's been raising some eyebrows for the comments on a campus shooting in oregon as well. he said that if he were in a shooting situation he would have rushed the gunman, although some people feel his comments said the victims should have rushed the gunman. come up next, hear the reaction from a young man who was a victim and was in that classroom. the moment the shooter walked in and began firing and executing. plus, see what the experts say you should do if you ever find yourself in that kind of terrifying circumstance. enough pressure in here for ya? ugh. my sinuses are killing me. yeah...just wait 'til we hit ten thousand feet. i'm gonna take mucinex sinus-max.
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train attack, spencer stone, was apparently stabbed badly early this morning. spencer stone was injured while out with friends near a bar in downtown sacramento. that's him there. in the middle of the hand shake. his injuries do not appear to be life threatening. fellow hero alek skarlotos sent this tweet, everybody send prayers out to the stone family today. end quote. skarlatos was once a student where the shooting took place last week. he has been invited on the program "dancing with the stars." you have heard all about the carson's remarks about a gun circumstance in the wake of the oregon shooting. you may not have heard his
comments about being held at gunpoint himself. ben carson told karen hunter on sirius xm radio he once had a gun held on him. it happened at a popeye's restaurant in baltimore and here's what he said in terms of how he reacted. >> the guy comes in, puts the gun in my ribs and i just said, i believe that you want the guy behind the counter. >> in a calm way, okay. >> he said, oh, okay. >> so you just misredirected him -- >> misredirected him. >> well, that was long ago and it was certainly contrary to what dr. carson told "fox and friends" what he would do were he confronted by a mass shooter. >> i would not just stand there and let him shoot me. hey, guys, everybody attack him.
>> you chuckled at the end. >> at the silly reporters. >> what did you mean when you said i would not just stand there? >> i want to plant in people's minds what to do in a situation like this. >> and can you say what you would do? >> i would ask everybody to attack the gunman because he can only attack one of us at a time. >> as a candidate do you need to get better at saying what you mean? >> i don't think so. >> by the way, there was one young man who rushed the gunman and he was shot seven times. he survived and he's actually been released from the hospital. that just happening today. there was someone else in that room as well, an 18-year-old, the shooter referred to as, quote, the lucky one, because that 18-year-old was spared the murders. and now that 18-year-old is criticizing dr. carson after the fact advice. the shooter gave that 18-year-old, matthew downing, an envelope and said that he should give it to the police and for that he would live.
matthew was then forced to go to the back of the classroom and watch as nine of his classmates were systematically murdered one by one. and in response to dr. carson's comments, matthew told cnn, and i'll quote him, i'm fairly upset that he said that. nobody could truly understand what actions they would take like that in a situation unless they lived it. now matthew relayed to his mother, summer smith, everything that happened to him and to the others in that classroom and how absolutely paralyzed he felt facing what he thought was going to be certain death. >> matthew said that he didn't make a single move. he was afraid to look away. that if he made anything -- did anything to make the shooter notice him, that he would be shot. so he just sat there. >> none of us can predict
accurately how we would feel, what we would think or what we would do in that kind of a circumstance but there are certain steps that you can take to save your life. the experts have it. here's a hint, what ben carson said to do should actually be the very last resort. and for that we turn to cnn's randi kaye. >> reporter: as disturbing as this looks, it's only a simulation, a training video designed to teach people how to respond to an active shooter threat. no plan and experts say your chances of surviving drop dramatically. a training program known as alice was developed by a dallas-ft. worth police officer whose wife was an elementary school principal. it's the first training program of its kind that teaches proactive survival strategies. it stands for alert lockdown
inform counter evacuate. the first thing potential victims can do is wait to act. >> he has a gun, you-all. >> reporter: once you are aware of the shooter, alert others. >> is this 911? yeah, the shoot er's outside. everybody is screaming. >> reporter: then go into lockdown. as more information comes in, inform police. but what if the shooter is already inside your classroom like in oregon? experts suggest trying to negotiate with him. if that doesn't work, then hiding or playing dead. only as a last resort should you physically confront a shooter. throw anything you can at him, chairs, books, whatever it is to distract him, disruptions that create noise and movement can hurt the shooter's accuracy. that can be a lifesaver. countering the suspect is all about survival. and, finally, if you can, evacuate. randi kaye, cnn, new york.
right out to dana bash on capitol hill. you have breaking news about the vote that's going on, dana? >> reporter: this is not anything that i ever thought i was going to report to you but we just got word that this meeting is over. kevin mccarthy just announced that he is not going to run for speaker. he just surprised everybody and said he's dropping out of the race. i have the congressman with me right now. you were in there. what happened? >> kevin mccarthy, just like john boehner did, put the country and the congress and the conference before his own interests. it was a very honorable thing to do. i think he recognized and shared with the conference he was afraid his candidacy might further divide the caucus and further divide the party across the country. and so he did the honorable thing and announced he would not be seeking election as speaker of the house. >> reporter: are you shocked? >> personally, i am not, because i have been saying for a week now i don't think kevin mccarthy is the next speaker of the house. i don't think he had the path to
the votes on the house floor. what he did was an honorable thing today. >> reporter: you are a part of the freedom caucus. >> absolutely not. i am not. i am part of a governing caucus, believe in keeping the government opening and tackling the real problems we have. i understand the freedom caucus was supporting dan webster. i was in the same position but for a very different reason. it's not based on an ideological litmus test but on keeping the government open. i believe what we have field to do from border security and immigration to a transportation bill is a reflection of leadership and i wanted new leadership. >> reporter: was everybody in there stunned? can you given the reaction? >> there were people who had a hard time believing what he did but, again, i don't think you should be too surprised if you realized the road was going to be difficult and if he had been nominated with 51% of the vote in here and then spent two weeks trying to build a majority on the house floor, he never could have gotten there. >> reporter: who do you think steps up now? up until now it didn't seem
there was anybody who could get the 218. >> this is remarkably similar to the gingrich-livingston-hastert evolution. it was the result of a breakdown. we have seen this coming. now it's a matter of this party to come together and identify behind closed doors how to get to 218 votes. i'm supporting dan webster. i believe he's a former florida speaker of the house that's capable of governing this caucus and i would support dan webster. >> reporter: thank you, sir. appreciate it. thank you so much. this is unbelievable. ashleigh, hang on. one second. >> let's just listen in if we can. >> reporter: stay with me. >> i'm not the one at this time. he's not the one. >> do you have any insights? >> no, i don't think anybody did. >> were you stunned? >> the sound system was not good and they had -- >> move out of the way. let's go. >> stay with us. stay with us, ashleigh.
congressman, we're live on cnn. we don't want to block everybody, if you could come over here. so can you just give me the reaction? can you give me the reaction to what happened in the meeting when he said that? >> people absolutely stunned. >> reporter: i mean, you were behind him. are you stunned? >> totally stunned. no idea it was coming. no one was sure they heard what he said. totally stunned. >> reporter: ashleigh, you can see here, talk about surprise. absolute surprise. you can see there's a bit of chaos right now. going in just a couple hours ago, ashleigh, kevin mccarthy himself said to me when he walked by after his final pitch, that he had the votes, and he was confident he had the votes not just in here but on the floor and in just a couple of hours that changed dramatically. something obviously had to happen and we are, as you can see, trying to get to the bottom of it real time with you live here. >> it is so dramatic. as you were just speaking, dana, speaker boehner has made an announcement the election is postponed.
so i think he might have been taken by surprise as well. i'm going to ask you a question but before i do that, dana, i will ask our control room if they can rerack that sound bite that you collected just this morning as kevin mccarthy was sort of championing his potential win. it's remarkable. do we have that ready to go, guys? we don't have it yet. i'm going to get that ready. dana, this is so unbelievable. i'm trying to think if this is -- go ahead, dana. go ahead. >> reporter: i'm just doing this real time. forgive me. we're going to roll with this. congressman charlie dent of pennsylvania, what happened? >> the speaker election has been postponed, kevin mccarthy with drew from the race and didn't think he could unify the conference. what he said essentially was true. >> reporter: just a couple hours ago he was saying to you all in the meeting this morning, said to us, to me as he walked by after the meeting when he made his final pitch, he feels confident that he has the votes. do you think that something changed with the number of votes
he was going to get or did something else happen? >> no, i believe what simply happened kevin mccarthy had a strong majority of support in the conference here today. i don't think he had 218 votes. now the question would have been had kevin been the nominee of the conference, gone to the floor and then not secured 218 votes, that obviously would have been humiliating. and so i suspect maybe that entered his thinking that he was not confident that he would get the 218 votes on the floor even though he would clearly have won the election in the conference today. >> reporter: i'm going to ask you a question so that i'm giving our viewers content at the same time because we're live. as you well know, part of what the so-called freedom caucus, those who supported daniel webster and did not want kevin mccarthy to be the nominee today, part of what they were saying they wanted from mccarthy to get their votes is a real restructuring of the way business is done here, to give the conservatives more of a seat at the table, to give them more
responsibility, plum committee assignments. do you think that at the end of the day mccarthy just decided he couldn't deliver that, it's not something that he could actually do to get those votes, to get those 218 or the majority of the house to become speaker? >> the next speaker should not appease those who make unreasonable demands. there are a number of members of our conference. you cannot get the yes on anything. for them the end will be the good. in my view it's come time to marginalize those members who doesn't want to be part of the governing majority. i've said for some time that in order to pass anything out of the house we need to assemble a bipartisan coalition whether it's on the continuing resolution, the debt ceiling, we will have to assemble a bipartisan coalition. that's the reality of this place and i don't think that any of our leaders should make accommodations to those who are going to make unreasonable demands. >> reporter: but you realize how this is going to be perceived by those members of your caucus you're talking about, that they
just got two scouts -- >> two what? >> reporter: two scouts, not just john boehner but his heir apparent now is saying he can't get the votes. so how can the next speaker become speaker without, in your words, appeasing those who were demanding that? >> might have to assemble a bipartisan coalition on the house floor. >> reporter: do you think democrats will vote for a republican for speaker? >> i don't know what will happen. anything is possible now. it's pretty clear to me that a number of us are not going to simply appease or exceed to those who will make unreasonable demands. and so i suspect in order to govern around here we need a bipartisan coalition on all major bills. if we can't get 218 republican votes for a speaker, then we'll have to try other options. i don't know what those options are, but i certainly don't want to put somebody in the speaker's job who is going to appease those who are making unreasonable demands. >> reporter: i know this just
happened and everybody is shocked, but is there somebody you think could step up and find a way to get those 218 votes? is there someone who comes to mind? jason chaffetz or daniel webster, for example, the two who were also on the ballot? >> no, i believe probably somebody like paul ryan would be the right -- >> reporter: he said he doesn't want it. >> that's correct. so we're going to have to explore options. everything is very fluid, it's in flux. that's what we'll be discussing between now and whenever that speaker election is who is going to step up and try to grab the brass ring. >> reporter: thank you, congressman. appreciate it. ashleigh, people look at washington and say it's chaotic. i don't think there's a better example than what happened. >> the look on everyone's face around you, i'm watching you, the congressman you're interviewing, people around you, and the disbelief. in fact, i think we have a press conference that might be just ad hoc and getting together right now. let me ask our control room if we have a signal up live on the
press conference. honestly, folks, we are so surprised by this i can't even tell you who is holding the press conference. i don't think dana has heard of it. if you can grab anybody else, i'll leave your signal up and if you see anyone else, let us know. >> reporter: if you hang on one second. congressman? congressman frank? i'm live on tv, would you walk over here for a second? >> sure. >> reporter: i'm live on cnn. you are a member of the so-called freedom caucus. i would imagine that you're pretty happy with the results? >> let me just tell that you no one has a higher respect for and affection for kevin mccarthy than i do. i think he just did something that was selfless. i don't know whether or not it will ultimately turn out to be the best for the country or not. but i am convinced with all of my heart that's exactly how he intend ed it and i am really moved by the statesmanship he
displayed. >> reporter: so what next? i was just interviewing charlie dent who said that republicans can't appease members like you who just want, from his perspective, want chaos, want -- don't want to actually get things done and want to keep fighting against the institution. what do you say to that? >> i say that sounds just about like something charlie dent would say. >> reporter: well, it just shows a difference within the caucus that leads us to where we are now. >> on the republican party platform on the major issues of the republican party, charlie dent is significantly removed from those principles in his voting record. so i find it difficult to embrace that line of thinking. >> reporter: but bigger picture here, because as our viewers get an understanding of what happened and what it means for the future of the congress, what do you think it is? do you genuinely think someone
like the nominee you're supporting, daniel webster, can get 218 votes? >> the elephant in this room, and it's something that to me has been almost criminally negligent on, is the fact we have such division in the house is because of the abuse of the senate filibuster by senate democrats. we in the house have had great pressure from our base especially the republican conference because they don't see anything good happening in the country. they understand it under the leadership of one barack obama that the country and the world is disintegrating, and they're afraid, and them should be, and so consequently they're warning republicans to do something. if you look at the record, the house has passed bills on a regular basis that are summarily ignored in the senate. consequently, then when the speaker or the majority leader, whoever it is in the house, has
to try to do something to avert a total shutdown -- because you always say it's the republicans shutting down the government when we fund the bills and they don't get voted on in the senate, what happens is there's a division in the house and consequently it puts pressure and things like this. >> reporter: let's just say that might be. you're not going to be able to change the way the democrats act. so how is this -- >> we can't just change the way the democrats act. we've had votes on the floor lately on protecting born alive children that they voted against. i'm not sure that we'll be able to appeal to their principal or humanity anymore. here is what we can do. in the senate we can either prevail upon a rule change or at least moderation of that rule or we can raise abuse of the filibuster to such a profile that it no longer becomes tenable for the democrats to abuse it as they have. >> reporter: and to people out there looking at this and saying that this is just conservatives
like you who are just throwing this place into chaos, what's your response? >> well, i would say that if you look at my voting record, if you look at what we're trying to do, i don't think that there's a huge difference between my voting record and most others other than those that are over here on the left. and i think it's just a matter of timing. >> reporter: thank you. thank you, congressman. i appreciate it. ashleigh, back to you. >> all right, dana. and we're going to keep up shot up, if you can get another congressman as they are rolling by, if you can reach out and grab them, we'll break into our programming for you, dana. so your shot is up. in the meantime, john king's picture as well, chief national correspondent. i'm sure you're bewildered by this as well. what i don't understand and since you spent so much time in washington, perhaps you can help me understand and that is this. you hear kevin mccarthy saying all is fine. i'm going to win, my words, and then two hours later apparently
according to charlie dent, he can't unify the congress at this time, he feels, and that's why he stepped out. what happened in just two or three hours? >> nothing really, ashleigh. he was saying all is fine, he was bluffing. he was hoping when he went into that room, into that private meeting, the conservatives who are at the moment -- let's be clear what we have. we have a hostage crisis within the republican party a. small group of conservatives, not a majority even in the house, are saying to their leadership, no, we've had enough. we won't give you our votes because we don't like the way things are going around there. congressman frank, you heard in that telling interview, says the problem is in the senate. the problem for house conservatives, yes, it's in the senate. it's also at the white house. you have a democratic president who will not give them what they want but they are so upset and so angry, ashleigh, they are now willing to topple their own leadership and to throw the country into a bit of legislative chaos here until they try to get their way. will they get it in the end? they may get a person they like more. the math is the math. the senate math won't change
until the next election. a democrat in the white house until the next election. so what you have here is a very public display of a remarkable and very important -- some people may think this is a class election among house republicans. this is a very important day in the republican civil war that we have been watching play out for almost a decade now, playing out in the presidential race as well, and you have chaos. this is not just to be the leader of house republicans. the speaker of the house is the highest elected in the land. third in line to the presidency. and the republicans, ashleigh, yes, we have a democratic president, but the republicans are the dominant party in the country right now with a house majority, a senate majority 31 governships and, guess what, they can't get their act together because you have a big and meaningful debate about substance, what should we do, should we shut down the government? should we take it that far? there's a lot of substance here but there's also a lot of style here. some of these conservatives, most of them, ashleigh, come out of the tea party movement and to
their credit this is what they ran on. that people are fed up, stop the president, will repeal obama care, stop raising the debt limit. they think and they believe they are doing what they promised to do. the problem is they don't have the votes. they don't have the votes and now their frustration is boiling over again their own establishment. boehner is leaving because he doesn't want to put up with it anymore. mccarthy dropped out because he didn't have the votes and didn't want to do whatever it might take to get there. now the question is who and it's a big job. >> and who knows? >> it could temporarily maybe but you heard i think one of the congressmen recommended paul ryan, he would be a consensus choice. he says he doesn't want it. a former vice presidential nominee. another name i'm hearing in the moments after this is tom cole, who is a republican from oklahoma. he may be a consensus candidate as well. >> that's how candidates have come forth in the past.
john king, thank you for that. saying what i wrote down because i heard you twice say this is a hostage crisis in the republican party and the republican civil war. having just grabbed a congressman, go ahead. >> reporter: one of the leaders of the house. tell me about what just happened inside. do you think this is a victory for your caucus? >> sure. very briefly mr. mccarthy has withdrawn his name for consideration as speaker of the house. i don't consider it to be a victory for the freedom caucus. i would describe it the same way, perhaps it was necessary. i think kevin thought it was necessary to bring us together and that may be the case. >> reporter: daniel webster does not have 218 votes to be elikted
speaker. now mr. mccarthy has stepped out, who can be that consensus? >> i think there's a couple different possibilities. i don't have any names in mind. you can find someone who is an institutionalest but just the running of the house. look to a caretaker for the next 14 months. go over someossibilities but right now nobody jumps out at us. >> reporter: what do you say to folks on the outside who see the speaker of the house suddenly resign. the guy who probably would have replaced step aside, and no plan to deal with the key fiscal issues that are heading this fall, the raising of the debt ceiling, budget issues that are at stake? what's the message to voters given all these issues that are happening right now and no real leadership? >> a couple different things. we do need to get this taken care of.
at the same time we can walk and chew gum. we do need to get wrapped up. what you've seen is deep divisions that need to be healed. >> all right, thank you so much, manu raju. dana bash standing by as well. how you can have multiple ballots to determine 125 votes, this all happened within just a few minutes. it's remarkable to me. >> reporter: that's right. we didn't even get to that point. the ballots never happened. there wasn't a chance for kevin mccarthy to see how many votes he had in the caucus because what he announced internally he wanted to move on. the idea was that he probably couldn't get 218 but instead of me telling you, why don't i go to congressman tim, are you
shocked? >> he said i am not the one. house tea party caucus and the house freedom caucus and our members are going to sit down and talk about where do we go from here. we're look iing for a speaker w works with conservatives rather than against us. kevin was going to reach out to us, hey, what do we need to do? what changes do we need to make? the acoustics were so bad in the room, people were looking saying what is he saying? he said he's withdrawing from the race. >> reporter: you mentioned something i was going to ask you about which is if today went as everybody thought it would that he would have gotten the republican nomination, the idea
what was he going to -- what were you going to be able to extract from him in order to win the vote? were you willing to think about voting for him if he made some concessions to you? >> there were a lot of discussions. what we didn't hear from kevin is what would he do differently. >> reporter: what did you want him to do differently? >> we wanted to include more people in the process, more members across this country, take advantage of their constituents and their expertise and those kinds of things. what we've seen in washington, particularly in the last three to four years is a consolidation in the office of speaker. it hasn't work. that's why the vast, overwhelming majority don't like republican leadership up here. we lost two speakers in about two weeks up here essentially. i think the establishment is in disarr disarray. whether it's daniel webster or jason chaffetz, a more inclusive
process that's not controlled by insiders but is controlled by the people we represent. >> reporter: you say there's a consolidation of power within the speaker's office. historically there's a lot less power than there has been whether it was a democrat or republican who had the gavel. if you look at it, they don't really have a lot of horses to trade anymore. how is it there's a lot of power there? it seems over the past few years people like you have shown that you've had power. >> just last week a king resolution was pass ed that the majority of republicans didn't want it. the only one who wanted it was president obama. he's been dictatindictating. this is what our founders feared and let special interests make the decisions. there wasn't a week went by that a bill wasn't dictated by
someone on k street. that's wrong. we need to change that. there was a huge consolidation of power. john boehner said he would change that, would involve members. i met with a liberal member of congress. the last time we had a good debate was on hr-1 in april of 2011. we've had four years. if you want a bill, you have to talk to john boehner's staff. it's time to open that up and those are the principles we have to work through. >> reporter: while i have you here, ashleigh -- thank you. this is congressman david brett and i wanted to talk to you for obvious reasons and just so our viewers know he beat eric cantor, started the toppling of the house republican leadership two years ago. as somebody who knows what it's like to take on and be a member
of the lead ership, what was it like in that room to hear kevin mccarthy saying he's not going to run for speaker? >> it was a shock to everybody in the room. what i hope the media catches the whole conference after john boehner stepped down, everybody in the conference was moving at warp speed on a lot of reforms and process ideas. there's a lot of reporting on the horse race and all these other groups out there. the american people want to say we're taking on debt, finding the kids jobs, doing something about syria. that's the big external reality. the american people want that. you have to have the right process. last week 100 democrats came and had to save the cr. this week we have an export -- lift the export oil ban.
another issue yesteayn conference, the export import, how are we going to handle that? did we go through regular order on that issue. >> reporter: who do you think, is there anybody at this point who could get the 218 votes? somebody had a to be speaker. >> anyone that ensures a fair process for all sides, that's what we're all looking for. our own group said let's get rid of having to take down rules, et cetera. that would put us at a disadvantage. we've shown principle. we're waiting for leader shship candidates. that's what everybody is waiting to see and it has to be in
writing ahead of time to be credible. >> reporter: thank you for stopping. ashleigh, back to you. >> dana bash, thank you. i have this breaking news as well from congressman paul ryan from wisconsin, the former vice presidential candidate putting out a statement because he likely heard his name coming up in the wake of kevin mccarthy stepping down and he said kevin mccarthy is the best person to lead the house and so i'm disappointed in this decision. now it is important that we as a conference seek new leadership. while i am grateful for the encouragement i've received, i will not be a candidate. i continue to believe i can best serve the country and this conference as chairman of the ways and means. that statement from congressman paul ryan. i want to go out to john king on this. no surprise to some but who else? >> paul ryan quick to issue that statement because, as you noted,
he is viewed favorably by all involved. the moderates like him. conservatives even if they disagree with him on tactics, he's not as confrontational, some of the tea party guys would like to be. he would be your number one consensus candidate. he's making it clear i don't want the job. i want to keep my job as chairman of the tax writing p l policy. he doesn't want -- who would want the job right now? a lot of these leading members are going to ask themselves, do i want the job? you're third in line to the presidency but you have a party in the middle of a civil war. now we look to see who those replacement candidates are. this will take a while and it will be messy. >> and it's not something lost on the current speaker of the house. he cannot give up the gavel until a new person is elected.
and to that end, it will be john boehner maybe longer than he expected. this election has been postponed, the least surprising of the activity in the last 30 minutes. john king, thank you for that. a reminder to all of our viewers that ben carson is coming up live on wolf blitzer that will start right after this break with a lot of reaction not only to his story but this as well. today, jason is here to volunteer to help those in need. when a twinge of back pain surprises him. morning starts in high spirits but there's a growing pain in his lower back. as lines grow longer, his pain continues to linger. but after a long day of helping others, he gets some helpful advice. just two aleve have the strength to keep back pain away all day. today, jason chose aleve. aleve, all day strong. and try aleve pm, now with an easy open cap.
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for generations. remember, all medicare supplement insurance plans help cover what medicare doesn't pay. and could save you in out-of-pocket medical costs. call now to request your free decision guide. and learn more about the kinds of plans that will be here for you now - and down the road. i have a lifetime of experience. so i know how important that is. hello. i'm wolf blitzer. it's 1:00 p.m. here in new york. 6:00 p.m. in london. 8:00 p.m. in baghdad. wherever you're watching from around the world, thanks very much for joining us. this is cnn breaking news. >> we're going to get to my interview with the republican presidential candidate, dr. ben carson, in just a moment. but first, the breaking news out of washington right now.
california congressman kevin mccarthy has just dropped out of the race to replace john boehner as speaker of the house of representatives. boehner is resigning at the end of this month. mccarthy was long seen as the front-runner for the job, a decision on who republicans should nominate as speaker has now been postponed. let's go to capitol hill. our chief political correspondent dana bash is joining us. a huge surprise, dana. what's the latest? >> reporter: this is still sort of sinking in and people are trying to make sense of this and what happened and, more importantly, what happens next. i have with me congressman steve king of iowa who was not a supporter of kevin mccarthy but rather of daniel webster, the congressman from florida who you and other members -- >> dana, hold on for a moment. hold on. we're just told kevin mccarthy is about to speak. i want to hear what he says. >> come on up. all right. i think i shocked some of you,
huh? listen, we've been going through this campaign talking to a lot of members, but the one thing i've always said to earn this majority, we're servants. we should put this conference first. and i think there's something to be said for us to unite. we probably need a fresh face. i'll stay on as majority leader, but the one thing i found in talking to everybody, if we're going to unite and be strong, we need a new face to help do that. so nothing more than that. i feel good about the decision, great to have my family here, my colleagues. i think we're only going to be stronger. we fought hard to win the majority and turn this country around. this will be our best step -- >> you said at 8:00 a.m. you were going to run for the speakership. why change? what happened in those four hours? >> you know, we had our conference, and there were calls in to the district. i don't want to make voting for
speaker a tough one. i don't want to go to the floor and win with 220 votes. i think the best thing for our party right now is that you have 247 votes on the floor. if we're going to be strong we have to be 100% united. let's put the conference first. [ inaudible ] >> look, look, we have been talking with a number of members. we've been thinking about this throughout the week trying to see if we can get there. i just think it's best if we have a new face. >> how much did your comments about benghazi last week play into your decision? >> well, that wasn't helpful. i could have said it much better, but this benghazi committee was only created for one purpose, to find the truth on behalf o