tv PBS News Hour PBS December 11, 2015 3:00pm-4:00pm PST
captioning sponsored by newshour productions, llc >> woodruff: good evening. i'm judy woodruff. on the newshour tonight: we sit down with the u.k. defense secretary to discuss how a growing coalition could change the fight against isis. >> well this was never going to be a quick campaign. it was your own secretary kerry who said he thought the campaign in iraq might last at least three years, and we're not halfway through that yet. but progress is being made. >> woodruff: then, how muslims in america are faring against a climate of fear. >> as i'm walking and i see people duck their heads, or when i smile at them, they don't smile back, i'm like oh, is it because i'm wearing my scarf, is it because of what's on the news? >> woodruff: and, it's friday; mark shields and david brooks join us to analyze the week's news. all that and more on tonight's
charge of your life and become you're own chief life officer. >> supporting social entrepreneurs and their solutions to the world's most pressing problems-- skollfoundation.org. >> the ford foundation. working with visionaries on the frontlines of social change worldwide. >> and with the ongoing support of these institutions and friends of the newshour. >> this program was made possible by the corporation for public broadcasting. and by contributions to your pbs station from viewers like you. thank you. >> woodruff: the federal government will remain open, for now. congress today sent president obama a short-term spending bill
to fund agencies through next wednesday. the move buys more time to negotiate a $1.1 trillion long-term tax and spending bill. house lawmakers on both sides remained optimistic a budget deal could be reached by next week. >> the republicans have previously shown their willingness to go into a shutdown. so hope we take this new five day period to avoid a shutdown permanently rather than to just do another three or five days again and again and again. >> writing a $1.1 trillion omnibus bill takes a lot of time. there's multiple items to be negotiated. now i think both sides are negotiating in good faith in this legislative body, and i think the administration is participating in good faith. >> woodruff: negotiators remain divided over additional, unrelated provisions that some lawmakers are trying to attach to the bill. they include new environmental rules on emissions and efforts to stem the flow of syrian
refugees into the u.s. two giants in the chemical industry, dupont and dow chemical, have officially announced they're merging. the fusion of two of america's oldest companies is valued at $130 billion. the new entity will be split into three separate companies, focused on agriculture, materials, and specialty products. but the deal still requires the approval of federal regulators. the price of oil plunged to near seven-year lows today. it closed at $35.62 a barrel in new york-- down more than 3%. the drop has been driven by increased u.s. production, an abundant global supply, and the strength of the u.s. dollar. and it triggered a sell-off on wall street. the dow jones industrial average plummeted over 309 points to close at 17,265. the nasdaq fell more than 111 points, and the s&p 500 lost nearly 40 points.
for the week, the nasdaq and the s&p were down roughly 4%. the dow fell more than 3%. high-stakes global climate talks on the outskirts of paris are dragging into an extra day. negotiations were scheduled to wrap today, but disagreements remain over who should bear the most burden in reducing emissions-- and whether rich countries should be responsible for most of the cost. diplomats from over 190 nations were trying to reach a deal, and the summit's president-- french foreign minister laurent fabius-- said the time's right: >> all the conditions are there for us to reach a universal, ambitious agreement, and observers will recognize that the conditions have probably never been so favorable. now it's the ministers' responsibility to make their choice tomorrow. >> woodruff: fabius is expected to present a new version of the draft accord saturday morning. heightened security measures remained in place in geneva,
switzerland today, amid an ongoing hunt for possible terror suspects linked to the islamic state. at geneva's airport, bomb squads detonated abandoned luggage as a precaution. a few miles away, armed guards remained vigilant outside the united nations building. officials warned the enhanced security could last for the foreseeable future. >> ( translated ): for us, this is a pretty sustained effort for police forces. there are actions in several parts of the town: bomb alerts, a need to reinforce police troops, and we have the capacity to maintain this level for a certain number of days. authorities said they're searching for at least four suspects, believed to be plotting a "specific" attack in the city. local media reported two syrian nationals were arrested today in geneva after traces of explosives were found in their car, but it's unclear if they were linked to the manhunt. back in this country, officials are scouring for red flags they missed before last week's
shooting in san bernardino. the associated press reported that authorities didn't pick up on extremist messages exchanged online between the two killers, syed farook and tashfeen malik, two years ago. meanwhile, an f.b.i. dive team again searched a small lake some three miles from the attack site, looking for a computer hard drive that may have been dumped. and, there were competing court rulings in new york today, over two daily fantasy sports websites. at first, a judge banned the sites "draft-kings" and "fan-duel" from doing business in the state. that was after new york's attorney general argued the games were illegal gambling. but later, a state appeals court judge said the sites could continue to operate for now, while the issue is fully considered. still to come on the newshour, the british defense secretary on joining the fight against isis; a swift backlash against muslims
in america; the human cost of building the nation's nuclear arsenal, and much more. >> woodruff: the united states and its coalition partners have been fighting the islamic state group for 16 months, to beat back the group's gains in both syria and iraq. at the same time, syria's many-sided civil war continues unabated. russia has inserted itself to support the regime of its ally bashar al assad. and last week, the united kingdom said it would join the u.s. and france in bombing islamic state in syria as the militant group has begun attacks in the west. all this comes as a major diplomatic push to end the nearly-five-year, brutal war is underway-- and the american and british defense secretaries met
for a war council. ash carter. >> falon said british sources have been aimed add i.s.i.s. fighters in the oil >> woodruff: fallon said british sorties have been aimed at isis fighters and the oil fields the group uses, in part, to finance itself. after the paris attacks, as france began air strikes in syria, britain's parliament approved expanding the u.k.'s already-existing iraq air campaign into syria as well. meanwhile, today in moscow, russian president vladimir putin spoke about his country's war in syria. for the first time, he said that russian aircraft are now helping the u.s.-backed free syrian army. >> ( translated ): the activities of our aviation group assists in uniting the efforts of government troops and the
free syrian army. >> woodruff: but back in washington, state department spokesman john kirby said those claims were un-verified, but in the past russia has targeted those groups. fallon echoed kirby on that point. >> woodruff: earlier today, i sat down with the defense secretary to discuss the war effort at the residence of the british ambassador here in washington. defense secretary michael fallon, thank you very much for talking with us. >> good morning. >> woodruff: for americans who weren't following closely the vote in your parliament to authorize the expansion of airstrikes against i.s.i.s. from
iraq into syria, what was it that led to the decision to go against what had seemed to be an anti-interventionist policy in your country? >> well, i think a growing recognition that this border between iraq and syria is not recognized by i.s.i.l itself and is completely artificial and rather odd to be carrying out airstrikes on one side of the border but the royal air force having to turn back and not following through the other side of the border. it was also response to france and the united states and other countries who wanted britain to step up its contribution to the campaign. i'm delighted to do that. we have doubled the number of strike aircraft in theater and upping the tempo of our missions. >> woodruff: you started the air campaign right after the vote. it happened within hours. what if been the main targets and how successful has bint so far? >> we have focused those strikes very much on the infrastructure
that supports i.s.i.s., the oil wells, for example, the supply routes, the depots, the arms dumps, logistics, arms control, because we need to degrade the infrastructure and revenue that supports the supporting organizations. >> woodruff: how success snfl. the strikes have been successful, mainly in the oil fields of eastern syria. we have been hitting oilheads and those strikes have been successful. >> woodruff: the question arises, there's been an air campaign in iraq against eyes for a year or -- against i.s.i.s. for a year or more. there's been some progress but it's been limited. what makes you believe that expanding into syria, that this campaign is going to be any more successful? >> well, this was never going to be a quick campaign. it was your own secretary kerry who said he thought the campaign in iraq might last at least three years, and we're not halfway through that yet, but progress is being made.
>> woodruff: but can i.s.i.s. be defeated with an air campaign? are ground forces going to be necessary for this to work in the end? >> well, ground forces are being deployed in iraq where there is the iraqi army, there are kurdish forces who are hoping to liberate these towns like tikrit which have already fallen and i.s.i.s. have been pushed back out of the towns and eventually we want the same to happen on the syrian side of this very artificial line. in the meantime, there's a lot airstrikes can do to help cut off i.s.i.s.'s revenue and squeeze the news around its headquarters in raqqa. >> woodruff: when is the right time for a larger ground force in syria and will print and the u.k. be part of that? >> we're not going to put our own troops on the ground there and, indeed, in iraq, they made it very clear they don't want british or american troops there because they feel that would
simply radicalize sunni opinion even more. in the end, this territory has to be liberated and held by local forces that enjoy the confidence of the local community, particularly the sunni area. the way to do that is to bring the civil war to an end and to use moderate syrian groups to help defeat i.s.i.s. in the northeast corner. >> woodruff: but hasn't that been a goal for a long time and it just hasn't been achieved? >> well, just in the last few months we've seen real progress there. everybody involved now coming together, a conference in saudi arabia,just this week bringing all the parties involved and countries like russia, iran, saudi arabia, they all have an interest now beginning to think their way through to a new syria that is without assad. >> woodruff: but president assad shows no desire whatsoever to leave. he's been supported completely by russia and by iran.
is there a new indication that that support has changed, is falling away? >> yes, we're beginning to see signs that is weakening. people are beginning to think their way towards a different kind of syria and recognize that he can't be part of the long-term future. >> woodruff: is russia's involvement militarily in syria helping this campaign or hurting it? >> it's extremely unhelpful because, of course, they came into the civil war and they have been bombing moderate opposition groups that have been standing up to assad instead of attacking i.s.i.s. alongside the rest of us. >> woodruff: let me ask you about domestic terrorism. your country has seen the real threat of domestic terrorism well before the united states did before this recent attack in san bernardino. what lessons has great britain and the united kingdom learned from your own experience.
>> alongside your own shooting, we've had terrible shootings in paris just two hours away from us, and earlier we had holidaymakers slaughtered on a beach. so this is very real to us. these attacks are directed, organized, inspired and financed from i.s.i.s. in syria and that's why we have committed ourselves to this campaign in full. >> woodruff: what about the individuals who are inspired who may not be directed by i.s.i.s. but who are inspired by their message, by their philosophy to commit acts of terror in your country? >> well, we have a program aimed at tackling radicalization, we call it "the prevent program" to try to identify much earlier those who are likely to end up as a potential terrorist, to identify them in the schools, in the colleges, in the madrasas, working with moderate muslim
communities to see who these people are and to see what we can do to make sure they don't go along that journey of being mildly islamist to being extreme. >> woodruff: i think it's widely accepted that there is been a greater effort to integrate muslims into u.s. society than there has been in european countries, including the u.k. are there lessons that your country is learning from the u.s. about integrating muslims into society that makes you stronger when it comes to standing up to this extremist? >> well, that is exactly the challenge. the united states is a great, open society and you've found a way of embracing different faiths and different immigrants from different countries and making them all americans and we need to work harded about that in western europe and avoiding
the kind of ghettoization of different groups that can lead to these tensions and make it more difficult to challenge extremist behavior later on. >> woodruff: defense secretary michael fallon, thank you for talking with us. >> thank you. >> woodruff: now we get the perspective of muslims in america, a community under assault in the wake of recent attacks. just this afternoon, there was a fire at a mosque in southern california. the imam said there was a loud boom, and the building had been fire-bombed. it is the latest in a string of violence directed at muslims. the newshour's p.j. tobia has our story.
i do my home work, read a little bit and go to bed. >> reporter: this 15-year-old is like any other american teenager. at school, being muslim just isn't a big deal. >> overall, i think my school is good. >> reporter: on the way home, sometimes there is trouble. >> there is this man who sits on the sidewalk sometimes and he starts, you know, harassing -- well, calling me names and telling me to go back to my country. >> reporter: she lives in northern virginia, one of the most cultural diverse regions in the nation according to the last census. >> when i'm walking, i see people duck their heads and if i smile they don't smile back and i think, oh, is it because of my scarf or what's on the news? >> reporter: in the news, the paris attacks and san bernardino, california, killings in the name of the islamic state. in response the temperature of america's political response is
rising leading donald trump's suggestion to ban all muslims entering the country, a policy which one in four americans support according to an nbc poll. it's not just trump. all the leading g.o.p. candidates have made comments that upset american mumedzs. as a result, many like iya now feel unsafe. in irving, texas, one group has been holding regular protests in front of an islamic center since november. brandishing rifles and some wearing mask. in pittsburgh a moroccan immigrant taxi driver was shot after his passenger asked him about the islamic state. in northern virginia this outburst happened in a planned meeting at an islamic center. >> nobody, nobody, nobody wants your evil cult in this nation. and let me tell you what, i will do everything in my power to make sure that does not happen. we don't want it because you are
terrorists. every one of you are terrorists, i don't care what you say. >> reporter: a recent "new york times" cbs poll found americans more worried about a terrorist attack than at any time since nine lessening, worries that are present in muslim communities around the country. this center has been the target of violence. last month, someone threw smoke bombs and a molotov cocktail over the fence in the middle of the night. the mosque's leader said they have been through this before and could almost see the violence coming. >> we have this sense of arising anti-muslim-specific intolerance after the paris attacks. this community immediately went on high alert in preparation for a backlash. >> reporter: the imam invited us to stay after evening prayers to speak with congregants. this is a mother of six. >> everything changed even starting from my kids school
being called terrorists, being called yietsz and being called names and that's what really killed me. >> somebody called me a terrorist because they saw me walking. >> reporter: an adult person or a kid? >> a child. i have been really scared from then on. and that's why i don't wear a head scarf. >> reporter: you don't wear a heahead scarf because someone called you a terrorist? how does that make you feel? >> makes me feel very angry. awkward. (singing) >> reporter: iya's father watched with dread as the news of the san bernardino attacks unfolded. >> you start thinking, surely
this is not a muslim. but of course he's a muslim. >> reporter: he is vigilant about his family. he has a strategy for the simplest attacks like the neighborhood walk. >> i tell my wife and my daughter, if she walks, she needs to walk when a lot of people are around. in a parking lot, she's always with one of my kids in hand. sometimes people can attack you and follow you and attack you even in the place where you live in. >> where there is fear and anxiety, the role of law enforcement is to come in, alleviate that and provide a sense of security. >> reporter: fairfax police chief says after an attack like san bernardino local law enforcement must be proactive. >> we contact the mosque and we say, we're going to increase patrol. do you want us to show up at events? and it's a two-way partnership.
>> reporter: public officials across the u.s. have asked the muslim community to take a lead role in addressing the issue of radicalization, including president obama in a primetime address. >> muslim leaders here and around the globe have to continue working with us to decisively and unequivocally reject the hateful ideology groups like i.s.i.l and al quaida promote. >> reporter: not everyone grease. >> i find it incredibly offensive. >> reporter: rosa lives in a trendy washington, d.c. neighborhood. >> to have to be vigilant and super aware of what's going on is bizarre. i don't see any other communities given that responsibility. i think everyone has to be vigilant. by singling out a community you're not doing anything but perpetuating negative view people probably already have. >> reporter: it's even felt outside muslim communities. in manassas, virginia, 30 miles west of washington, d.c., the
local mosque has been repeatedly vandalized. after the san bernardino attacks, a death threat was founded. made some residents uncomfortable. patty reed works at a local hardware store. >> makes us look like a bunch of red necks, to be honest. i don't like it. why we wouldn't be able to voice our concerns. >> reporter: many are scared and on edge. >> if you're somebody doing the right thing and you're here in the right way then it truly isn't fair to you. but things happen. you know, it isn't fair to us what's going on either that all those people that died, that it's what's going on in the world today. >> reporter: but inside the vandalized manassas mosque its leader says he uses the moment to teach faith and acceptance. >> remember, it takes two to tango. both has to make a noise. if one side is a little bit off the track, go with them, be kind
to them. these are the orders of the qur'an. we have to go ahead and talk to them. i didn't do anything to scare you. talk from your heart. >> reporter: he says the events of the recent weeks have revealed some of the best of this rural communities. this bouquet of flowers like the threatening phone call came from an anonymous sender but with a different message. you don't know me. as a white christian, please know my family will continue to stand with yours. meanwhile, high school freshman has taken to writing poetry in response to the hate. >> so, donald trump, come forth and into the light. open your eyes and heart. this is the united states of america. do not start tearing it apart. >> reporter: for the pbs "newshour", i'm p.j. tobia in
washington. >> woodruff: stay with us. coming up on the newshour: paul ryan's first major fight as speaker, to prevent a government shutdown; and mark shields and david brooks analyze this week's news. but first, a new investigation that examines casualties of the cold war, and the scope of workers who were injured or killed while working with-- or around-- nuclear material. that's the focus of a series of reports, out today from mcclatchy news. reporters in ten states spent a year chronicling and documenting what happened to workers in u.s. nuclear facilities from the 1940's right up until today. jeffrey brown has the story, and recorded this conversation a short time ago. >> brown: mcclatchy's team found the federal government had
never fully reveal the true toll of what happened to men and women working at nuclear facilities. in 2001 the government set up a compensation fund for some of those workers. the investigation found more than 33,000 of them have died from related illnesses. that's more than four times the number of americans killed in the iraq and afghanistan wars. and there were more than 100,000 americans diagnosed with cancer and other diseases after helping to build the country's nuclear stockpile over the decades. we have one of the leading reporters in the mcclatchy team. what kind of work and workers were impacted, most exposed? >> these were workers at more than 300 plants all over the country. they did everything from pipe fitting and production work, blue collar work to nuclear physicists and scientists and even found in our data base some who ran the contracting companies that managed the plant. >> brown: you refer to this as
a hidden legacy. it's a little-known casualty of the cold war, but how much was known? >> well, this is what i found so interesting working on this project which was that i feel like when we talk about the cold war and the history of the cold war, we often talk about it as though it was a war without any casualties, without any american casualties, and what we were able to do at mcclatchy is we obtained a database from the department of labor for the compensation program, and we were able to crunch the numbers and analyze the data and find the number of people who had a pride and then compensated for illnesses and died. and, so, that told us that there were people who gave their lives as part of the cold war. >> brown: and within the scientific communitiened the government over the decades, how much awareness and study has been going on? >> i think when this program was created in 2001, there had been some awareness in congress leading up to that and it was created through the efforts of
the clinton administration to compensate workers who had become ill and started to become apparent that many of these workers had been exposed to dangerous subjects, radioactivity and other toxins without realizing the extent of the health hazards they were facing. once that started to come to light through some research of some reporters, "the washington post" and other places, there was pressure in congress to pass a fund to compensate the workers. >> brown: you talked to many of the workers and you found a mix of pride in the work they had done, right, but also bitterness in some cases over what they didn't know. so we had a clip of one of the workers. he's from the handford site, his name is tom peterson and he was exposed to levels of belilium. what is that? >> a hazard metal used and it can produce by-products of dust
that can be inhaled by the workers. there is a long time where i don't think it was understood and when workers breathe the dust, some people have an allergic reaction and creates scarring in their lungs so that they -- many develop a serious respiratory disease from that that can be fatal. >> brown: let's look at that clip. >> i started working in hanford in 1978 as an ironworker. nobody knew they were being exposed to werillium -- berillium or the consequences. >> the hazards were not recognized. the problem is some people are susceptible to it. >> i found out it's all over the hanford site. this legacy of contamination nobody knew anything about, they kept quiet about. the future is not real bright,
but it would have been nice to have been told about berillium before we found out in a meeting. >> brown: this compensation fund has run into various kinds of criticism. it's not enough, some people think. it's too bureaucratic, some people think. on the other hand, there is some cases where the suggestion is it's overcompensation because the direct link hasn't been proven. >> i think in order for congress to create the compensation program, the department of energy did have to do studies to show that workers in the nuclear facilities around the country were susceptible to higher rates of cancers and other diseases. one thing we did when we looked at this data is we really looked at the government study before deciding the claim was valid. it was more likely than not a worker had gotten sick from something they did on the job and used those numbers.
>> brown: you're looking at past experience but this is very relevant still because of major modernization program underway. what lessons were learned either by you or by, more importantly, by the government and by the people doing this kind of work still? >> well, we took a look at not just the workers from the past who are from the manhattan project or the cold war, but also right up to the present day, and what we found was there were 186,000 workers in today's -- since the program was created who are in weapons plants and facilities today who had been exposed to levels of radiation just day to day, and some of these people have exceeded the limit for the department of energy had set that's safe. other workers were concerned they were told they had exposure
of a certain amount that they felt they were being lied to or documents and records were being falsified and we found among the contractors misconduct, files where there are case where is some records have been falsified and the most recent case was 2013. >> brown: an ongoing situation. >> yes. >> brown: lindsey wise, mcclatchy news, thank you very much. >> woodruff: the department depf energy praised workers for their sacrifices and said its safety record improved due to better monitoring and new protective limits at its sites and those of its contractors. the department of labor the department of labor, which administers the compensation program, sent the newshour a statement later today to say the processing of claims has sped up and that many of the cases are now resolved within 180 days. the department also said it has paid over $12 billion to over 100,000 people. that, officials said, is "a testament to our desire to
compensate for their suffering." >> woodruff: now we turn to newly-elected speaker of the house of representatives. republican paul ryan promises to overhaul internal house procedures-- giving rank-and- file members more say. and he's laying out an agenda for his party. ryan is already facing one of his biggest challenges-- keeping the government running. political director lisa desjardins reports. >> thank you. what's next? >> reporter: paul ryan is on a roll. in his first four working weeks, the new speaker presided over passage of a $600-billion defense bill; a bill to tighten screening of syrian refugees; and a five year highway bill. the types of big, controversial bills that had been stuck in capitol gridlock for years. >> i became speaker just over a month ago, and i'd like to think we've hit the ground running.
we are dealing with everything from highways, to isis, to funding the government. >> reporter: this was not the plan for the 45-year-old from wisconsin. he'd just started his dream job as chairman of the tax-writing ways and means committee. but the father of three young children agreed to become speaker... ...thanks to two chaotic weeks when sharply divided republicans could not agree on anyone else. >> thursday was a great day, a day when we came together as a conference, and unified, and agreed to proceed together with a vision. >> reporter: and his vision is about ideas-- ryan is a student of political philosophy-- influenced by his mentor, the late jack kemp, who saw free markets and tax cuts as the best antidotes to poverty; and ayn rand-- the divisive author who stressed individualism. ryan is an admirer but has been careful to say he doesn't fully embrace her philosophy. he is a boot-straps conservative setting out to retool not just
the republican house, but the republican agenda itself. >> put together a positive agenda, and take it to the american people. give the people the choice they are yearning for. >> reporter: but as ryan aims to win american's confidence, democrats say he is dangerous. >> ...he is more hard-edged, ideologically, than speaker boehner was. speaker boehner was a rock-red conservative. paul ryan had sharper ideological edges. >> reporter: congressman chris van hollen may be the democrat who knows ryan the best-- after four years of working as his democratic counterpart on the houseudget committee. van hollen says ryan's agenda is extreme, including a medicare plan that would end the senior health care program as it exists now and replace it with limited- amount vouchers. >> it would do great damage to medicare. it would end the medicare guarantee. >> reporter: ryan argues that without such changes, medicare will go bankrupt.
it's a pragmatic, mathmatical view-- and that wins him love from conservatives. but those same conservatives are also his biggest challenge. >> this is paul ryan's real first big test. >> reporter: fellow wisconsin congressman sean duffy is talking about the government funding fight-- a fight that is electrified with red-hot conservative issues, including planned parenthood funding and how to screen refugees. >> these packages, they're never great. they're big, they're long, they spend a lot of money, this thing's going to stink no matter way you look at it, and paul ryan is going to have to make it smell as rosy and lilac-y as possible. we'll see how well he does. >> reporter: it is precisely this kind of battle that has paralyzed the house for years do republicans take a hard stance that they know the president will block, risking a shutdown, or do they fund government at the expense of their values? do they dig in or compromise?
>> that's why he's sorta threading that needle in a very careful way. he's surfing his way through some very big surf that our g.o.p. caucus is throwing at him. >> reporter: republican representative ileana ros-lehtenin believes ryan is succeeding. >> people are trusting him. yep, there's going to see how it all works out, but as of now even the most malcontent and discontented republican member, of which we have a few, you're never going to make everybody happy, has got to see that he's really trying his best to make the process work. >> reporter: process is key. house speaker john boehner was ousted, in part, due to complaints from conservatives who felt leadership ignored them. now, ryan is changing house process-- a few big items: giving members what's called "regular order:" that means opportunities for everyone to propose and vote on more amendments; and for committees, not party leaders, to drive debates. and to engage everyone-- he added one more all-member meeting each week.
congressman dave brat was one of the unsure conservatives who didn't vote for ryan as speaker, but he says so far, he is impressed. >> so next year we anticipate regular order. that's a huge gain. i'm on the house freedom caucus. we've been fighting for that and that bottom-up leadership and >> reporter: but in a time of threats from islamic state, concerns over immigration, and continued job fears, process only goes so far. ryan is challenging his party to come up with a clear agenda. >> if we want a mandate, then we need to offer ideas. and if we want to offer ideas, then we need to actually have ideas. >> reporter: as he pushes for new ideas, ryan is also tackling his party's identity now: pushing back against presidential g.o.p. frontrunner donald trump, and trump's call to block muslims from entering the united states. >> normally, i do not comment on what's going on in the presidential election. i will take an exception today. this is not conservatism.
what was proposed yesterday is not what this party stands for and, more importantly, it's not what this country stands for. >> he's going to improve our republican brand-- i hate to use that word, "brand," but that's the way people look at it nowadays. but it's been tarnished and we're going to earn that good housekeeping seal of approval again. >> reporter: those are big, national goals. but first, of course, the new speaker must keep government running. the funding deadline is just days away. >> woodruff: lisa joins us now from capitol hill. >> woodruff: lisa joins us from capitol hill. whatever speaker ryan is able to get done this year, you mentioned 2016 is an election year, typically congress practically grinds to a halt during election years. what are the expectation force him then? >> i think paul ryan is looking at this election year in a very different way than most speakerrers of the house.
an aid said tonight speaker ryan may not have a nominee till june or after and that is way too long for the party to wit to spell out an agenda. so here comes speaker ryan, ready to step in and is planning to try to articulate policies and proposal early next year, even as republicans are fighting for the white house, he may be wading into tricky waters, but even though he's not running for president, he could be a major architect for whoever becomes the candidate. >> woodruff: quickly on the budget shutdown, are they going to keep the government open? >> they're going to be on a lot this weekend, there will be staffers around the clock this weekend trying to work out dozens of hitches, different items that the two parties need to agree on. next week, we'll know a lot more. so far, looks like they could work this out. but, judy, while the deadline has been moved to next wednesday, i'll make the prediction it might get moved again. we'll see. >> woodruff: that would be a shock. lisa desjardins, thank you.
and now to the analysis of shields and brooks. that's syndicated columnists mark sheids and new york times columnist david brooks. welcome, gentlemen. let's talk about paul ryan for minute. mark, how is he doing? >> he's doing fine, judy, until this test coming up. of course, with the budgeting, keeping the federal government open, he's got certain honeymoon period and i think he's been the beneficiary. first of all, he has to deal with the freedom caucus and the conservatives who were the bane of john boehner. and i think he's benefited in a strange way by the chaos created by donald trump. he looks grown up and, at the same time, for the first time, nervousness and anxiety among republicans they could lose their congressional majority next november. so there is less tolerance,
perhaps, for hissy fits and a tantrums that have been thrown by house members in the past. >> woodruff: contrast with boehner? >> it is. first of all, i have to say there are very few successful republican beards. he's pulling it off. not since lincoln have we had a good republican beard. what chris van hollen said in that piece, he is more conservative than john boehner, but he is more communicative and warmer and ostentatiously respectful to other people, so that manner has helped him. it's helped him boehner did the heavy lifting on the government shutdown stuff before he left on raising spending caps and other stuff so it would be a lot easier and that's a tribute to what boehner did before he walked out the door. you have an organization and give people control of what they're doing, i would say since i've come to washington, more and more institution, the power
is more centralized. in congress and agencies, smaller zones of trust. so to reverse that is revolutionary and interesting. >> woodruff: as david just said, you're looking at paul ryan as someone who is more conservative than the leadership the republicans had before, so you would think there would be more push and pull, but it looks like he's trying to get things done. >> well, he is trying to get things done, but it comes down to the continuing resolution, this is the maximum power that a minority who are in opposition or have the particular case, cause or point of view, for them to exercise it and to influence the threat. the republicans could not have a shutdown of the government right now. they can't. so he's got to limit -- >> woodruff: why not? ell, because this is a party that, quite frankly, right now is on the cusp of a nervous breakdown, i think it's fair to say, with the trump candidacy
and what's going on and just the rhetoric and the whole debate. you heard paul ryan is to save the republican brand, which is damaged. so he's got to get that done. and this is a time when we bring up riders. riders are the last children, really, of the special legislation. there is not supposed to be a rider. not supposed to be an appropriation, but everybody wants to bring up this cause now. so that's the problem he faces. he's got to get it done. they want him to succeed. they don't want him to fail. he has one great advantage and that is he did not plot and scheme to get this job, it was really thrust upon him. so i think that's an advantage. he didn't crawl over carcasses
and corpses to get there. >> woodruff: when it develops to donald trump, we have been talking about him, but this week with the statement about keeping muslims out of the country, is this just more of the same of what we have been hearing from donald trump or are we hearing something at a completely new level? >> i think it's a different level. he's an addict of attention and a genius at getting it. i think it's a different level for a couple of reasons. first, it is bigotry of a naked sort. the mexican stuff was bigotry, too, but this strikes me as a hiring level, and it has reverberations around the globe even more than his statements about latin americans did not. he's done enormous damage to america's reputation abroad. it's different. the polls show it's a winner. for a number of reasons, people as we heard in the program are
scared about terrorism. secondly, there is a pent-up, silent frustration about political correctness. so anybody who says something politically, completely and properly incorrect, for some people that's like a liberation. finally, somebody's saying the truth and benefiting from that. and, so, it's right now a total winner on the republican primary. >> and if it's a winner, and, mark, the polls do show that i think i saw 40-some% of republicans agree with his statement but when you talk about the electorate overall, it's only about 20%. >> no, it's a real problem for the republicans here. it's a problem for the country. from what we saw this week, george bush's master strategist said the nomination of donald trump is a gift to the democrats and a doom to the republicans.
we saw 20 republican leaders as reported by robert costa in "the washington post" had a secret meeting that they were that concerned, that anxious to somehow provoke and guarantee there would be a brokered convention in cleveland next summer to do anything apparently to deny him the nomination. what he did this week, talked about as being intemperate, outrageous, ethnic slurs, this really, to use a term i'm elected to use, was un-american. the religious tolerance is in the citizenship papers of this country, put there by thomas jefferson and james madison specifically to include jews and non-believers and muslims. it wasn't simply christians or protestants of a certain sect. this is really so offensive and
so outrageous. i mean, i thought the timid and rather tepid reaction of a lot of republicans, when dick cheney becomes the moral tell me particular of the party to say this is unacceptable, and i think a word has to be said on behalf of both cheney and george w. bush that, after 9/11, they deliberately, consciously did not bring any statement that this would have a religious element to it, the war in iraq. >> woodruff: you said short-term, it helps him politically, but what effect is it having on this race? how is it changing the shape of this president? >> first, on the republican party, looking at the data, it doesn't seem to be bleeding over into hurting the republican brand. the approval of the party is slightly up of where it was three or four months ago. people may disapprove of donald trump but so far they don't see
him as a typical republican mainly because he's running against the party. i believe to my dying day his numbers will collapse. i've said it here on a weekly basis, i don't think any of this matters till the final months. >> woodruff: we're getting close. >> we're getting close and events like paris and his genius for attention -- what he does is take a concrete or broad issue which is complicated and he turns it into a sometimes brutal and sometimes horrific simplicity, and, so, there is this broad fear of security and terrorism, he talks about muslims and that lodges in people's mind as simple and bold and he seems to some people like a strong leader. do you hate women, a question in one of the debates. no, just rosie o'donnell. how much money are you worth? he could say 6, 8 million, he said $10 billion. he turns things that are very
simple and concrete into people's minds. i think the electorate will turn but he is not to be underestimated for that ability. >> woodruff: mark, you said a minute ago some republicans hadn't been strong enough in their disagreeing or denouncing what trump said about muslims. it's been interesting to watch ted cruz from texas. he's one who seems to be rising in the public opinion polls. what is it that he's saying? in his statement about trump, if i got it correctly, was, i don't agree with him but he has a right to say that. i guess the story that came out today and yesterday in private he says he thinks trump will collapse, but trump shot back and cruz said, oh, trump's terrific. how do you explain ted cruz? >> if you want to know what a candidate thinks, you tape him in an off the record fundraising meeting and that's where ted
cruz did say that, that he didn't think trump had the judgment to survive and to win the presidency. ted cruz has just been right up to trump's left shoulder. donald trump insen waits as david puts it that brock brock may not be a total american because he won't say radical muslim terrorist ant give it a religious component, he says there is something going on there. ted cruz calls it an apologist for radical islam instead. it's one thing is it f i disagree with you and say you're mistaken or ill-informed, but when i start demonizing your motives, and he does that. trump with better academic credentials, a better haircut and probably 60i.q. points.
>> reporter: other than that, what would you add? >> cruz is interesting because he's universally unpopular. in the law firm, at school, among republicans when he was working with george w. bush's campaign, he could not get a serious job after that because everyone said i will not work with that guy. comes to the senate, republican senate if they vote for a majority democrats or ted cruz, they vote for the democrat. he uses that t. he's extremely tactical. he's very deft at moving this way and that, and so, the republican party faces this problem, but they don't want trump, but the alternative might be cruz, and they don't want that either. >> woodruff: we'll leave it on that note. david brooks, mark shields. and we have a reminder about some programs to come from our pbs colleagues. gwen ifill is preparing f
>> ifill: for better or worse, donald trump has transformed the nature of the 2016 presidential campaign. tonight, our roundtable tackles what that means for politics, for policy, and for the way americans see themselves. tonight on washington week. judy? >> woodruff: then, on tomorrow's pbs newshour weekend, how an investment in wind power has helped put denmark on the path to energy independence. and that's the newshour for tonight. on monday, we examine the results of the paris climate talks. i'm judy woodruff. join us on-line, and again here tomorrow evening. for all of us at the pbs newshour, thank you, and good night. >> major funding for the pbs newshour has been provided by:
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