tv Face the Nation CBS October 19, 2015 2:00am-2:31am PDT
>> dickerson: welcome back to "face the nation." we're joined by the "washington post" legendary bob woodward who needs no introduction. mark halperin, nancy cordes our cbs correspondent jeffrey goldberg is the national correspondent for the atlantic. bob, you've seep a few committees. what do you make of the benghazi committee and this hearing? >> the successful congressional investigations eventually become bipartisan. senate watergate committee was set up by a vote in the senate 77-0, dozens of republicans say, we need to look at this. now we've got a fractured committee and so you wind up getting fractured partisan data. >> the fact that congressman
mccarthy said what he said that hillary clinton is on the offense, that chairman gowdy shared that he does not know how to frame for the public, broad questions, what did the president know when did he know it. i think hillary clinton set up to be as strong and as powerful in this hearing unless chairman gowdy sitting on some secret which anyone could imagine. >> dickerson: mark makes good point, this goes down the rabbit hole very quickly. take us back to 30,000 feet, what is the big question this year about u.s. policy and -- >> hearing about the wrong subject as it relates to libya. the question facing america not what happened that night in benghazi, those are important questions that we have to have better diplomatic security quite obviously. question for hillary clinton going into this race is, why did you support libya intervention that has failed? in the debate she owned the intervenge, she thought she said it was the right thing to d. libya is in state of failure
that should be what we're debating. the role of intervention -- u.s. should be playing in the middle east in these disintegrating states. everything is being missed actually. >> dickerson: the role of what you do after you come in. >> that's the key. this is the half way intervention. so it's going to be interesting when you into the general, if she goes into the general, is she going to have distance her stretch president obama's reluctant to actually fully commit in libya. >> dickerson: nancy, what do you make of clinton posture going into this, how is their feeling? >> she has some wind in her sails not only because of strong bee debate because of the gift that you talked about with kevin mccarthy, richard hanna saying at least admitting partly political. challenge is going to be that chairman gowdy has said he wants to do four rounds of questioning, ten minutes per questioner. with 1 members of the committee we're looking at eight hours before you even work in lunch,
votes, breaks. it's very hard even if you're most disciplined person testifying not to have a moment where you say something that you wish you didn't, especially when you're in hour seven or eight. >> dickerson: have to bring a sleeping bag. let's pivot to joe biden and speculation. bob, what is your gut tell you? >> i think when we know actually what happens when he announces his decision we'll find out that he's decided both ways. i know for a fact months ago he told somebody very, very close to him that he had decided to run. i think what's happened is that he's undecided to run and maybe decided again, so we're in this never-neverland. this ha when you peel back it goes up and down, this way and that way. probably he won't. but surprise, maybe.
>> dickerson: people have now reached the "heck if i know" stage. mark, there's a suffolk university r university pole about new hampshire, do you want joe bide tone run. 50% said they did not want him to run. 36 said they did want him to run. what is your sense of the politics? >> i think that static analysis would say if he got in now it's too late. no way to overcome the poll deficits. my sense from talk topping people that the vice president is not looking at this as static thing. afraid to end his career with humiliate can loss or moved by hillary clinton getting good reviews in the debate or what happens thursday. if he runs, he will try to run as incumbent vice president saying, i'm part of an administration you liked democrats, i can do bet every, i can win a general election, i can talk about economic middle class, working class. i think in the end according to people who have talked to him of late he's sharp as focused as
over his grief as he has been since bo died. but not all are sure he's all the way there. >> dickerson: the top person in hillary clinton's campaign said in the "new york times," said joe biden needs to make a decision which felt like movement from where the clinton campaign which is let joe make his decision we're not going to weigh in. >> i think they're absolutely trying to put pressure on joe biden. people who i have spoken to in his inner circle say, he doesn't care. he is happy to wait. he's willing to withstand the slings and arrows not just the clinton camp but others in the democratic party say he needs to get off the fence. he's comfortable waiting if he thinks that's the best thing for him. someone else very close to him told me that he is always had say that in politics, either you're on your way up or on your way down. he knows minute he says he's not running, he's on the way down. he's a lame duck vice president who is probably leaving office for good in a year. that's something that's difficult to say for someone who
spent more than half their life. >> dickerson: move to bernie sanders. you know when you are being parodied on "saturday night live." >> millions of people, we've got to do something. we got to do it now! >> dickerson: david larry, creator of seinfeld. i want to ask you, bob, the question i asked david axelrod, he's going to create revolution that's going to put pressure on congress. given how polarized things are, what is your sense? >> i think if you really look at what voters are thinking they want not a revolution but some sort of peace and let's do away with lot of the slings and arrows that are flying around. my guess, it's a guess, but it's
about most likely outcome that the democrats are going to find a progressive candidate not a revolutionary or radical one. the republicans are going to find the person who most resembles ronald reagan. somebody -- this is the new hero in the republican party f. anybody can stand up convincingly and say, i'm most like ronald reagan, that may be the nominee. >> just a very quick point on bernie sanders. hope and change tushed out to be harder to tell, despair and change is probably going to be harder to sell than that. there's a top line here you can't cross. >> if he wins the nomination and general election there will be revolution. he will sweep democrats in control of the senate. could well turn the house. he will have -- voters turn out to vote for bernie sappedders he's absolutely right that he would have a mandate to do lots of things. talk about difficult to get there.
>> i don't know if it's -- very difficult. i don't think we should be so cynical as to say that if he found a following, if he got the american people to elect him president of the united states that he wouldn't then have mandate to make the fundamental changes. i agree he's a long shot to do both. >> if he got there that would be the -- >> like you've never seen before. >> in his defense he's not saying he is going to start a revolution. he's saying that he needs a revolution because he knows that if the things he wants to do are going to be impossible to do. given this congress otherwise. >> dickerson: that's it for now we'll be right back with our panel in a moment. can a business have a mind? a subconscious. a knack for predicting the future. reflexes faster than the speed of thought. can a business have a spirit? can a business have a soul?
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>> dickerson: we're back. the republican side of the race. donald trump and jeb bush are in fight over george w. bush's legacy. >> such a useful fight j. dickerson: what do you make that have? >> as you pointed out. it's quite an interesting moment. jeb is tying himself his brother which might work in the primaries but if he gets to general that's death, that doesn't do very much. this issue that trump centered on has come to the 9/11 issue, such an interesting one. there are lot of things you can blame george w. bush for. but 9/11 is slightly lower down on the list, the guy was president when this happened. if you look one of the critiques
trump has of bush is that his immigration policies led to this. now, the 9/11 hijackers were in america before george w. bush was president. that's a bit of a stretch. >> dickerson: donald trump making a stretch. >> he's in fight to marco rubio to be the establishment. assumes there will be such a thing. chosen to open another trunk in his war, in bush world they believe why would trump fall, because voters will say he's not a credible commander in chief. he opened the door, it's dangerous for bush. second, on these type of issues it's not helped. >> dickerson: he's most animated moments are in defense of his brother which creates that lock. bob, i want to ask you about, jeb bush tried to get out from upped his brother. this is history. george w. bush was president when tragedy happened in america and two wars resulted afterwards. isn't it kind of crazy to think that anybody can get out from
presidential presided over such historic time? >> i wrote four books about bush's wars. some of it worked some did not work like the iraq war. and refighting this doesn't work. this is not on people's minds. they want to know, are we going to be safe now not whether we were or weren't in the past. and i think, again, republican party has certain gravitational pull that developed and let's do something sensible, we want to win the presidency. the polling and common sense will take you away from trump getting the nomination. i think as i was saying, who can stand up and say, i like ronald reagan, not donald trump. >> very quick point that bob said. another example, this is another
example of fighting about the wrong subject. should be discussing the role of interventionism. in 9/11 talk about what do we do to defend ourselves from terrorists without hurting or damaging the constitution. this fight just rehash of something that happened, not going to fix it by talking about it over and over again. >> dickerson: we had fundraising numbers out, what do you make of those numbers, any dark horses coming out with a lot of money? >> we don't see the super pac numbers. i think ted cruz still doing well there. the fight over who has 12 million versus 10 million versus 20 million does not matter. presidential politics is about -- getting on the news, driving your message, being a good candidate matters so much more than raising money for television ads. i think it's all a bit silly and focus is a bit silly. jeb bush said the ads are going to save him that's what's going to bring him back, no candidate can be revived with an ad. got to speak to the aspirations
of the american people. >> what it has become proxy for this fight, we talked about earlier between marco rubio and jeb bush, fighting over who raised more money, i got more than you, no you didn't because they both want to try to she they're in the strongest position so that when votersf voters do turn away from donald trump and ben carson they seem like the obvious choice. >> dickerson: with the american imagination talking about dollars and cents of money raised, right? >> that's true. when you start doing that is well documented under the follow the money rule. it's corrupt. it's a process that -- this is one of the things i think bernie sanders and democratic debate made really good point about people are being bought and sold. >> dickerson: one last question to you nancy is paul ryan, the question for who is going to be the speaker of the house. where does that stand before
republicans come back to town? >> there is some news on that front. that is that after weeks if not years of saying go no way, no how, paul ryan is now telling those close to him that he is open to running for speaker. but there is a big caveat, which is that he's not going to campaign for the support of these 40 or so very conservative members of the house freedom caucus. he says he's got record of conservative leadership either they believe in that record or they don't. the problem is they're looking for very significant concessions in exchange for their support. they want new rules, for example, he says if he doesn't get the sense that they're going to be behind him he'll stay with he is. as a chair of ways and means, which is some place he was very happy with. >> dickerson: got to come to him there's no real other alternative. thank you all for join can me today. we'll be right back with look at key player in the nixon white house.
j. those of you who don't know the name alexander butterfield, watch this. >> any listening devices in the oval office of the president? >> i was aware of listening devices, yes, sir. >> dickerson: that was july of 1937. in the step at watergate hearing, that is butterfield exposing publicly for the first time the existence of the secret white house taping system that would ultimately bring down president nixon. it was a bombshell. butterfield is the subject of new book snoot last of the president's men" by famed "washington post" reporter bob woodward. bob is back with us now.
the pause between fred thompson's question and butterfield's answer seems like a lifetime. why was his admission about the taping system so important? >> it was knicks op's biggest secret. in fact nixon thought it would never be revealed. of course the tapes were -- supreme court said they had to be turned over to the prosecutors and investigated. they provided the evidence that forced nixon to resign. nixon was forced to resign when he really look at it by the republicans who were -- as barry goldwater once told carl bernstein and myself. too many lies, too many crimes. that's what it was. >> dickerson: he was in tight circle that knew these tapes existed. kissinger didn't know, right, that the recordings existed. and so he knew that it would nail the president. why did he give them up?
>> there's a long section in the book about this odyssey that he took. his ex-wife wanted to tell, butter field denies that. subconsciously maybe i did. ultimately our business we try to figure out why people do things and this gets to the answer bit you see this is story about power. this is about nixon's power and butter field, who had that place, office right next to the oval office for three years was witness, front row seat and when i started talking to butter field realized he had thousands of documents, some originals that he had taken out of the white house, some of this stuff for somebody who spent years looking at nixon is shocking. >> dickerson: that's what's so
amazing. you covered watergate, found someone taking careful notes writing his own story about the period before the tapes exist. he was a pack rat, he had everything. >> he had lots. the real question is the management of the vietnam war. that war is index for -- tells us who we are to the world and to ourselves and the vietnam war still casts this giant shadow over the country. what happened in the vietnam war. there is this new memo which was buried, no one had ever seen it. i talked to people about it. no, it doesn't exist. there it is. >> dickerson: tell us what the $ilch memo is is. >> nixon in his own handwriting in early '72 starting to run for
re-election, saying that the bombing three years the bombing which he ordered and supervised always accomplished zilch, nothing. it was a total failure. of course this contradicts three years of pronouncements about the importance of the bombing. the night before he wrote that he told cbs news dan rather that it was very, very effective. so it's a lie. it is a significant lie because then that year nixon increased and intensified the bombing in their tapes and documents that show that it really was done because bombing was popular, according to the polling. and nixon wanted to win re-election. there's some hair-raising conversations about this you find the bombing was not to win
the war but to win the election. >> dickerson: in his own happened writing, he was pushing kissinger to try to find some other new method that would be more effective. >> he wanted to study. i asked kissinger, he said he doesn't remember the specific memo. he said that nixon was frequently asked, i'll show you 50 memos where nixon asked for more bombings. there is a -- i was in the navy in the late '60s and served on a ship off the coast of vietnam. there's a social contract between the commander in chief and everyone in the military. you do your job, i'll do my job. the job of the commander in chief is to protect the military if we're engaged in wars to try to win the war, not to use the means of dropping millions of tons of bombs to win re-election. that is monstrous behavior.
if there was a memo now that barack obama who is doing all these drone strikes where he said we've done all these strikes for years. we've achieved zilch that became public, people -- he might be finished. >> dickerson: that is the big monstrous behavior. what your book also categorizes or details and butterfield is the small ways which nixon was just a very strange character, tell us about when butterfield first comes into the job, hauledder man is his job, he won't introduce butterfield to nixony? >> it has there has to be briefing memo he had to do it at a moment that was not planned so nixon didn't know it was going to happen. there was no talking point. now this new deputy chief of
staff is going to be here. nixon couldn't talk. ups department after incident where you see nixon, lonely, haunted by the past. every little spike seems to be remembered when he was on wall street. after being vice president for eight years. he rants and raves about those people who are my law partners, the sobs did one of them ever invite me to his country club to play golf. did he ever invite me to -- nixon unfortunately for him and for the country never relaxed. he was -- never sensed, gee, there's some goodwill out there even among democrats because they want you to succeed so it was always this war. he was haunted by jfk, john f.
>> dickerson: before we go a quick programming note. on thursday you can watch all of hillary clinton's testimony for house benghazi committee starting at 10:00 a.m. eastern 5:00 on our digital outlet cbsn. until next week for "face the nation" i'm john dickerson. captioning sponsored by cbs captioned by media access group at wgbh access.wgbh.org
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