tv Meet the Press MSNBC July 27, 2014 11:00am-12:01pm PDT
with our best breakthrough gray coverage. lustruous, radiant color that looks 10 years younger. today. age defy color from clairol. next on "meet the press," as the obama administration seeks a permanent end to the fighting in gaza, what both sides think they can gain from a brutal war that killed over 1,000 people, mostly palestinians. this morning i'll have israeli prime minister benjamin netanyahu whether he thinks there's a military solution to the problem. the other foreign policy flashpoint for president obama libya a threat to america. has the west shown weakness in the face of russian president vladimir putin. the future of the party, immigration fight. does the gop have a new way to fight poverty or is it the same old idea? former vice presidential candidate paul ryan joins me
in this sunday exclusive. good sunday morning. the latest now out of israel and gaza whether every hour seems to bring more fighting or a temporary cease-fire. despite diplomatic efforts that include the u.s., there is yet to be a lasting agreement. today's developments, hamas started firing more rockets at israel after rejecting an extension of an israeli-imposed cease-fire. israel is now reviewing a hamas call for a 24-hour humanitarian truce. israeli troops had resumed their military offensive in gaza this morning. our richard engel joins me now with the very latest from gaza. richard, good morning. >> reporter: good morning, david. yet again there is another attempt to put a humanitarian cease-fire in place. but we've seen these come and go. and a lasting deal here still remains elusive. israelis and palestinians are both paying a heavy price for this. but as we saw for ourselves during a lull in the fighting, parts of gaza are being
devastated. mohammed is learning he's lost everything. his home, his possessions, but in this rare moment of relative safety, he's looking for something much dearer. the body of his son. this is what's left of shaja'ia, gaza's most crowded neighborhood. two weeks ago 200,000 people lived here. only hints are left of what life was like. torn laundry on a line, a single plant unmoved, a crib perched on a ruined apartment building. it took days of deliberate shelling and air strikes to reduce this neighborhood to rubble. this is no precision war against hamas and its weapons. it's far more basic than that. it's punishment. israel's way of telling gaza, if you fire rockets, this is what you get. even after all the destruction,
even after more than 1,000 killed, including several hundred children, many here still support hamas. this man says half the people are tired of hamas after all this, the other half supports hamas, thinking the israelis should feel a little of the pain that we feel here. to understand what hamas is fighting for, it helps to look at a map. gaza is a tiny strip of land under a tight blockade. in the west fishing is limited to six miles offshore. in the east gaza is fenced in by razor wire. in the north, israel tightly controls two land crossings restricting building materials and, strangely, even crayons. in the south egypt has closed the only crossing at rafa. hamas's main demands, ease the israeli blockade and open the egyptian crossing. israelis are feeling the pain of this war, too. so far it has lost more than 40 soldiers but it's also fighting for wider goals.
a leading israeli expert on military affairs. >> this is an asymmetric war. for hamas perhaps it's enough not to lose, to remain standing after three weeks of battle. for israel, this is not enough. it is the stronger military power and it needs to send a strong message to the region, to the neighborhood. >> reporter: hamas uses two main weapons against israel, an elaborate network of tunnels to attack and kidnap israeli soldiers and civilians and its rockets. now including longer range rockets that can reach deep into israel. israel's main objectives, destroy the tunnels, demilitarize the gaza strip. so far, israel has destroyed more than half the 30 tunnels it believes hamas had. and hamas has shown it can strike at israel, sending hundreds of thousands into shelters, but neither side can claim victory.
>> by now they're both deep into this escalation and looking for a way out. and it gets messier, uglier and more violent as we proceed. >> reporter: which is why now international efforts to reach a lasting cease-fire have become so urgent. israel has long said it has no choice in this war, that it simply cannot accept more than 2,400 rockets being fired at its cities. palestinians we've spoken to actually understand that but says israel doesn't have to flatten entire neighborhoods and kill hundreds of children to do it. david? >> richard engel on the ground for us in gaza with his perspective and analysis. richard, thank you. i'm joined now by the israeli prime minister benjamin netanyahu. prime minister, welcome back to "meet the press." >> thank you. good to be with you, david. >> there is talk of another cease-fire, a pause in the fighting. what are you prepared to accept and could it lead to a more lasting cease-fire? >> you know, we've accepted five cease-fires, acted upon them.
hamas has rejected every single one of them, violated them, including two humanitarian cease-fires, which we accepted and implemented in the last 24 hours. now hamas is suggesting the cease-fire, and believe it or not, david, they've even violated their own cease-fire. so, they continue to fire at us. of course, we'll take the necessary action to protect ourselves, to protect our people, including against the terror tunnels that they're digging under our border and try to reach and blow up our people. we'll do whatever is necessary to defend ourselves. >> what does it say to get the kind of cease-fire the united states government and others are seeking right now of a longer duration? >> i think what we need to do is go to the egyptian initiative. the egyptian initiative is the only game in town. and the egyptian initiative will also enable us to get what i think are the prerequisites for a sustainable period of quiet. and that requires, in essence, the demilitarization of gaza. that is, we have to demilitarize
it from the weapons that hamas has put in there. missiles, rockets, terror tunnels. we can't allow them to restock this arsenal or we'll be stuck in another five, six months with the same problem. so, we want demilitarization of gaza. obviously, that would enable also the social and economic relief that the people of gaza want. i'll tell you why the two of tied. supposed you want to bring in cement or concrete to rebuild houses in gaza, houses where hamas fired on us and we had to take action against them. okay. if you want to bring in that concrete, how do you know that concrete and cement will not be used again, as hamas has been using it in the last few years, to rebuild the terror tunnel, the terror kingdom, underground they're using to penetrate israel. so, have you to have a mechanism to ensure demilitarization. have you to have supervision on the social and economic relief. same thing with money. you want money to go to the people of gaza.
not money for hamas rockets and missiles. there's a link between demilitarization and social and economic relief and i think that's what has to be discussed in egypt. >> let me ask you about the price to israel of this ongoing conflict. the staggering number of dead civilians on the palestinian side in gaza. and the fact that just this week you had condemnation from around the world by the targeting of a u.n. school that killed children and those civilians who were fleeing a safe place to go in the fighting. was this a mistake on the part of israel even though the u.n. says this was clearly marked and that the israeli forces knew the gps coordinates of this school? >> well, first of all, hamas is responsible for the deaths of civilians. we're not targeting a single civilian. we're responding to hamas action and we're telling the civilians to leave. hamas is telling them to stay. why is it telling them to stay?
because it wants to pile up their own dead bodies. they not only want to kill our people, they want to sacrifice their own people. >> but where can they go? you say they should leave. where can they reasonably go? >> i'll get to it. i'll tell you, there are plenty of places they can go to, but hamas is making sure they don't go anywhere. let me tell you about the u.n. school. secretary-general of the united nations before this incident took place said -- admitted that two u.n. schools in gaza were used to stockpile rockets and he condemned hamas -- he condemned hamas for allowing -- turning these schools into military targets, legitimate military targets. now, we still do not target schools. the schools that used to attack us, our forces responded. our initial investigation doesn't show it's our fire. it shows it may have been hamas rocket fire. that's still being investigated. the important thing to understand is that the reason we have civilians killed is not
because israel is targeting civilians but because hamas is using civilians as human shields -- >> prime minister -- >> whoa use missiles to protect our people. they use their people to protect their missiles. >> you have heard in an unguarded moment by secretary kerry last sunday where he mocked the idea of israel conducting pinpoint strikes. the president has made no secret of the fact that he's told you he's very concerned about civilian deaths. are you worried about vanishing u.s. support for this operation if it goes on further? first of all, i've been, i think like every israeli, looking at these -- at the casualties. nobody is happy here. everybody regrets to see a single civilian death, a single civilian death. something we deeply regret. but it's not our responsibility. i've been to combat, to war. i know what efforts the israeli
army takes to minimize civilian targets. i think everybody understands that. the united states has been unequivocal in supporting the rights and condemning hamas for using civilians as human shields. and i think that unequivocal support is necessary if we're going to have a successful conclusion to this operation. because if hamas comes out winning, not only the propaganda war but it actually shows that it actually received a lot of goodies, i think that peace will be very, very hard pressed. it will be hard to move peace forward. however, if hamas is condemned, weakened, discredited, demilitarized, that opens up the path for peace. which is something israel wants and something the u.s. wants. >> prime minister, final question. do you believe there is actually a military solution to israel's hamas problem? >> i think that we have to make a distinction between the palestinian/israeli conflict with those who are willing to
co-exist with israel. that's the palestinian authority. there we can have a real solution. and any kind of political solution with hamas. hamas is a terror organization that is committed to our destruction, supported bin laden, condemned you for taking action against bin laden, wants to eradicate the state of israel. you don't have a solution with them. again, have you to weaken them, discredit them and demilitarize them at the very least. that's necessary -- >> but can you destroy them? can you force them out militarily? is there a military solution to this problem? >> well, certainly we can -- we can do a lot of things. i'm not going to discuss our operation with you, but we have not drawn any limits on our activity. we do target hamas. we don't target civilians. but we will take the actions necessary to defend our people, as any country would. the united states would. if you had 2500 rockets falling on your cities, if you had
terror tunnels dug under your border to reach your kindergartens, action by land, air, sea, of course you would take military action. i have no doubt you would. so does israel. >> prime minister benjamin netanyahu, thank you for your time. >> thank you. now to spokesman for the united nations relief and works agency. it's his organization that runs the school in northern gaza that was devastated thursday by this attack that left at least 16 people dead, including children. the school was crowded with hundreds of palestinians seeking refuge from the fierce fighting. as you heard the prime minister say, and you know, of course, this fighting has resumed despite talk of cease-fires. are there other u.n. facilities that have been hit? >> well, just within the last few minutes quite literally i'm hearing from colleagues in gaza of some kind of explosion, which initial reports indicate is
actually inside the main u.n. compound in the ramal district of gaza city. we have got people on the ground investigating. we cannot say what it is but clearly it is another tragic example of what could happen to civilians in this pitiless conflict. look at the school thaw just talked to the prime minister about. women, children. we saw pictures of the most appalling carnage. that is why justice with this instance that's happened in the last few minutes at the u.n. compound in gaza, we call on the warring parties to respect the sanctity of civilian life. and, of course, to respect humanitarian law obligation to humanitarian workers. we have lost three workers. any other organization would have withdrawn. >> what about what the prime minister said, you accept what he said?
he very directly accuses hamas of using civilians, of putting civilians in harm's way, as human shields. do you believe that's accurate? do you accept that? >> let me be very clear about this. anra is responsible for its own installations. and where we have found neutrality violations by militants, as we did with rockets being discovered in schools, which were closed and mothballed for the summer, we issued a statement strongly condemning it as a flag rent violation of international law. we contacted all the parties. now we have actually been in contact at the highest level through the secretary-general's office to get assistance from the united nations mines action service. we are not an organization. i hope you will agree, as it's been accused, handing over weapons to hamas. we have behaved responsibly to protect our staff and preserve our neutrality. >> mr. gunness, the israeli
government has released videotape within the past hour, it was posted on youtube. nbc news has not independently verified. the israelis say -- i realize you cannot see this video. our audience can. i'll describe it to you. that purports to show rockets being fired from a u.n. school. is this accurate? could this be happening without the u.n.'s knowledge that would only bolster the prime minister's point that, in fact, hamas is using civilians, using the united nations even in a kind of propaganda war? >> look, to be fair to me, to bring me on a live program and expect me to comment live on air on pictures i haven't actually seen, i think anyone looking at this program would agree that that's really unfair. i mean, if you -- if i can see it, i'd happily comment on it. but can i make the point that we have said that all sides have to respect the inviability of u.n. compounds. that's both sides. so if this is what you say it
is, we would strongly condemn it. you know, we're a humanitarian organization. we're not an organization with an army. we have moral force, we have the force of international law, and we have the principles of humanitarianism to protect us but that's it. and, you know, that's why we had a u.n. protected school with a blue flag on top of it. the israeli army had been notified of its location. and let me also tell you, we spent hours on the phone begging, pleading with the israeli army to allow civilians out on that terrible day. and in the end, we did not get a green light. anra was not safe. as a result, the consequences, the tragic consequences, revolts the world and i think rightly so. >> mr. gunness, to be clear, i'm aware you cannot see the video. i was not trying to put you in an unfair position. the video the audience can see was not to verify but ask your response what israeli government
said is rockets being fired from the facility and if you're aware of them. i think your position is clear and i thank you for your time this morning. >> thank you very much, indeed. adding to america's troubles overseas, it's not just the war in gaza, but now the, quote, free-wheeling militia violence in libya. it has the u.s. embassy in tripoli emptying this morning after evidence of the further breakdown of that country. this comes two years after the attack in benghazi that left four dead. plus in ukraine, more russian troops moving to the border of u.s. intelligence reports, putin will hand over more sophisticated weaponry to the rebels. does this show the russian leader is not taking u.s. threats seriously in the face of what he perceives is weakness by the west? with me now, democratic senator chuck schumer of new york. senator, before i move on to these other areas, let me button up this discussion about the war in gaza at this point and whether you think the u.s.
government should be calling on israel to do something differently here to get a different result? >> no. here's what i think. first, the loss of life is terrible. you see the pictures, the grieving mothers on both sides of the israeli/gaza border and your heart just breaks. but we're not going to have peace if there's a cease-fire that -- or we're not going to have peace if israel is pressured to go for a cease-fire that allows hamas to maintain its tunnels and its rockets. there have been three cease-fires. israel has accepted all three. hamas just last night again rejected another cease-fire. the minute the cease-fires are over, they send rockets back into israel. let's not forget one thing, hamas is an organization that's sworn to israel's destruction. it believes it has the moral right to do military action against israel at any time. and so we can't use these cease-fires as simply ways for hamas to reload. once israel is allowed to take
care of the rockets and the tunnels, i believe there can be a real lasting cease-fire and eventually peace in gaza. because when hamas doesn't have the ability to militarily attack israel, as it has done repeatedly over the years, then it will lose its weight. the palestinian people will bring in a more moderate group and the humanitarian aid and the economic aid will be used to help them, not to build tunnels, not to pay for rockets. it's almost impossible to have peace as long as hamas is in control of gaza. a cease-fire should happen, but it should happen without pressuring israel to avoid getting rid of the rockets and tunnels. that's hamas's trump card. >> let me ask you about libya. the embassy evacuated american personnel because of the militia fighting. it raises to me a broader question about america's staying power in a region and in a country that's falling apart. america was part of an action taken along with the arab league
and other european countries to take out moammar gadhafi but now you have a state that seems to be coming apart. what role should america be playing? >> this is very difficult. i spoke to the state department yesterday. the fighting near the embassy was not aimed at the embassy. it was two factions fighting. one had a big, big sort of military base near the embassy and the other was firing at it. and the actual rockets and missiles and bullets hit the embassy. so there was no choice but to evacuate. obviously these situations are very difficult in the world. while we should be as humanitarian as possible, i am dubious to really influence the outcome in this part of the world. we have not been able to do that in almost anyplace at all. maybe tunisia. >> what about russia? the big question that's come up in commentary this week as russia fortifies positions in eastern ukraine, europe has been
slow to ratchet up economic sanctions, even as there's fresh evidence suggesting culpability and providing the weapon that took down the malaysian airlines flight. this is tantamount to appeasement by the west of vladimir putin. >> i tend to agree with that. putin has shown he has no conscious. he takes advantage of this horrible downing of the airliner and redoubles his efforts and rearms the rebels. it's about time we took tougher action against putin. he's a schoolyard bully. what i learned in brooklyn, you show a bully's weakness, they take further advantage. you show them strength, they back off. so, here's what we should do. our strong hand is the diplomatic and economic. we should raise the sanctions, the economic sanctions that really hurt russia already further. we should remind the europeans, who have to be part have the sanctions, that they should not be like 1938 europe where appeasement governed. if they appease putin, they will not stop him. he will get worse. second, we should take diplomatic actions. we should tell putin and the
russians that if they keep this up, we will move to expel them, along with the europance, from the wto and we will not allow the world cup to go forward in four years in russia. putin has to be told to pay a price. we have to be smart about it. militarily we don't have the strength. they have the second largest army. no americans want troops in the ukraine, but we do have strength economically and diplomatically. we should use it. and we should make sure and do everything we can to get the europeans to stop this policy of appeasement. it will just make putin stronger and we'll pay a bigger price later. >> we're going to leave it there. senator schumer this morning, thanks very much. >> thanks, david. when we come back, congress is about to leave for the summer, having done nothing on immigration. president obama is threatening to act on his own. is there a way through the impasse? i'll ask one of the republican party's big hitters, 2012 vice presidential candidate paul ryan. he'll be joining me next. joini.
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we are become. house budget chair and vice chair paul ryan is influential voice in the republican party and republican parties. his plans provided a blueprint for efforts to roll back government. this week he unveiled a major proposal to fight poverty. and chairman ryan joins me now from his home state of wisconsin. good to see you. thanks for being here. >> good morning, david.
>> a lot to talk about. we've talked so much about foreign affairs and hot spots around the world. i want to focus back home. you laid out a plan for attacking poverty this week, which i'll get to in a moment. but here congress is about to leave having achieve so very, very little. on this issue of immigration, you voted to support a law that basically created a situation we have now, which is those who come to the border from central america have to be put into a process where they are evaluated before they can be instantly deported. do you have a different view how that should happen now? do you think these children and others, tens of thousands of them, should be sent back home? >> yes, i do, otherwise the humanitarian crisis will continue. otherwise families in countries far away on the other side of mexico will be giving thousands of dollars to traffickers to take their children over the border. the humanitarian crisis will get worse. i do believe we need to amend this law, which never intended for this to happen, to make sure that you can treat people in
noncontiguous countries just like we do mexicans and canadians so we can stop this crisis. we intend to do that this coming week in the session of congress. the other point about congress doing nothing, look no further than the united states senate. we've passed 300 bills in the house, job creation, fixing problems, sitting in the senate going nowhere because the senate has chosen basically not to legislate and give the president a free hand. >> at the same time there's issues and people watching disaffected with both sides of people in washington, looking at issues with some of the problems in veterans administration. both house and senate pass a bill and you can't even reconcile some of these differences. this is washington at work doing nothing. >> trust me, we're frustrated as much as you are, david. we're been passing bills and the senate is walking away. we've proposed a specific issue any veteran who can't get the
care they deserved and earn get the care. the house put forward a specific solution. now we're looking to see if democrats and administration are willing to work with us to do that. >> let me ask you about poverty. i want to put up a summary what you are proposing how to rethink programs, consolidate 11 federal anti-poverty programs including programs like food stamps, public housing assistance, child welfare, low income energy assistance, cash welfare, consolidate them, have states administer them. they would have a certain amount of money, creativity to spend that money, creation of individual case officers at a state level who could deal with a poor family, for instance, and try to give them a path out. skeptics have said -- cited one thing that really struck me. some of the poorest states are run by republican governors who have refused to even expand access to medicaid under the obama care law. you can understand why people would be skeptical giving them that kind of power would lead to constructive solutions to deal with people who are poor. >> look, first of all, these programs don't work with each
other. in many ways they end up being counterproductive. because poverty is a complicated problem and it needs to be customized. second of all, we have basically a poverty management system with respect to the federal government. if you want to have a healthy economy and have real solutions, you have to have a healthy safety net. the safety net needs to work to get people out of povr. py my argument here is, let's not focus on effort, on input, how much money we spend. let's focus on outcomes. are we getting people out of poverty? the best way to do that, in my opinion, is to listen to people on the ground, the people fighting poverty person to person, and give them more flexibility in exchange for more accountability to actually get people out of poverty. we have learned good lessons about the right way to do this and not. i would argue that we can customize a benefit to a person based on their particular needs, which actually helps them get out of poverty long term. we have -- we spent $800 billion every year on 92 different programs to fight poverty.
yet we have the highest poverty rates in a generation. >> but let's talk about -- >> we need to change the focus. i want to improve the outcomes. >> let's talk about your own attitudes about people who are poor and their views on dpovt. you were on this program in january of last year and you said the following -- >> we don't want a dependency culture. our concern in this country is with the idea that more and more able-bodied people are becoming depend upon upon the goth than upon themselves and livelihoods. >> it doesn't sound like a lot of sympathy for people who need the government's help. what you seem to be saying is people have a problem with their own dependency here that government is only furthering. >> that's not my intent. far from it. my point, and i'll make it again, we don't want to have a poverty management system that simply perpetuates poverty. we want to get at the root causes of poverty to get people out of povr. i would argue that is the best way to go forward. that's what we're proposing here, which is have benefits
customized to a unique person's problems, because poverty is very complicated. to not just keep them where they are, but on help them get to where they want to be. that is the thrust of these ed proposals. the federal government's approach has ended up maintaining poverty, managing poverty. in many ways disincentivized people from going to work. in some cases you lose more in benefits if you go to work, so people don't go to work because of the federal disincentive to do so. we need to reemphasize getting people up and on their lives and giving them the tools to do that. that's the point. able-bodied people should go to work and we should have a system that helps them do that so they can realize their potential. that to me is a far better system, to get people out of poverty long term than just spend more hard working taxpayer dollars on a program that is not getting the results that people deserve. >> chairman paul ryan, a debate that will continue. thank you very much for your thoughts on it this morning. >> thank you, david. >> coming up here, who does ted cruz believe is to blame for
the failure of congress to pass legislation in a gridlocked washington? >> it should embarrass all of us. it's the result of a deliberate partisan decision. >> the roundtable is here. we'll tackle that. plus "the new york times" big statement about marijuana legalization just this morning and why the paper's own david brooks on our roundtable today might not be that happy about it. our roundtable coming up. and with the quicksilver card from capital one, you earn unlimited 1.5% cash back on everything you purchase. not just "everything at the hardware store." not "everything, until you hit your cash back limit." quicksilver can earn you unlimited 1.5% cash back on everything you could possibly imagine. say it with me -- everything. one more time, everything! and with that in mind... what's in your wallet? ed a lift? and with that in mind... covergirl and olay invented facelift effect firming makeup. luxurious coverage plus the firming power of a night cream to plump skin with moisture.
back with our political roundtable, ruth marcus columnist for "washington post," david brooks, columnist for "new york times" and malik ka henderson, political reporter for "the washington post." welcome, all. so many retractable problems overseas. why don't we tackle something that few people can agree on at
home, that's marijuana. "the new york times" this morning with a major statement. lead editorial calling for the legalization of marijuana by "the new york times." here's a portion of the editorial board piece this morning. there's no perfect answer to people's legitimate concerns about marijuana use but neither are there such answers about tobacco or alcohol. we believe that on every level, health effects, impact on society, law and order issues, the balance falls squarely on the side of national legalization that will put decisions on whether to allow recreational or medicinal production and use where it belongs, at the state level. david brooks, you've weighed in on this debate before. >> i disagree with them on the larger issue. i don't know what they have been smoking up there. the haze. >> they didn't inhale. >> yeah, right. >> maybe they did. >> i have two basic issues. one, the effects on the teenager brain really are pretty significant. they acknowledge that in the editorial. i don't think we can sanction -- say, adults, fine, and if you're
18, you can't do it. don't think. second, i don't think the government should be sanctioning activity most mature out of it. i don't think it's the way we want to spend our minds. but, and here's something i do agree with my colleagues on, i could be wrong on marijuana. and so i wouldn't mind some state experimentation. really, what the editorial is calling for is federal legalization, allow states leeway. even though i'm opposed to it, i think throwing it to the states -- >> what are we learning from the states? >> yeah, i think -- we're learning from colorado that at least in terms of revenue there's a great deal of revenue. $184 million, something like that. also at least these early statistics show there's a slight decrease in crime. i think it's about 3% year over year from 2013 to 2014. >> it's still early. >> it's still really early, that's true. >> marijuana legalization is a budget issue seems a lot -- >> we can make a lot of money on tobacco also, but we don't want that. i'm with david. i don't have a huge problem with letting states experiment, but i
think for states to decide to go the full legalization route is a problem precisely for my mommy reason. that, you know, you can say that it's okay for adults, but everybody knows who has teenagers like me, access to -- the fact that alcohol is legal increases their access to alcohol. making marijuana readily legally available will increase -- and my kids are at home laughing at me. but it is a vast social experiment. we do not know the outcome except the best evidence is that you lose -- if you use marijuana as a teenager regularly, eight iq points. i don't know about the rest of the table, but i don't have eight to lose. >> can we get to a point where, like with alcohol, the message is use in moderation? >> it's a serious issue and i think it's fascinating that the two of you are agreeing. >> they're both so conservative. >> that's right. but to me, when i think of grass, i think of something to walk on. i think of pot as something you put a plant in.
>> oh, judy. such a square. >> such a square. that's where i'm coming from. i think it's important to have the debate but i think -- i wonder what's the rush? i mean, why not see -- >> pardon the pun. >> i do think this is going to be part of the new culture war, right? in 2016 i think we'll see divisions, especially on the republican side. you'll have the rand paul wing of the party and the chrkrichri christie establishment wing of the party as well. >> the country is getting more libertarian on these issues, everyone should do what they want. we're part of a community affected by each other's views, each other's values. to me there's some role in government playing some role in restricting the culture of health, especially for teenagers >> i follow all the international events, the news out of gaza, ukraine, now libya. i just sit back and i think a lot of people have to be wondering -- i remember my sister saying to me, everything
seems to be so grim and there doesn't appear to be the solution. what is our ability -- what is the u.s.'s ability at the moment to fix any of this, to influence any of this? >> very, very deminimu suspect >> you heard chuck schumer say we don't have the strength to take on russia militarily. >> we don't have the strength. we don't have the will. let me be clear, i'm not arguing for boots on the ground in a lot of places. but george w. bush used to talk about the humble foreign policy before it was not a humble foreign policy. but there are two simultaneous things we need to keep in mind. america cannot withdraw from the world. the consequence of that, rand paul notwithstanding, are very, very dangerous. but america also has a limited ability to completely influence events where there have been decades, centuries, of tribal conflicts that we can't necessarily fix. >> do you think that restraint by the -- on the part of the president to recognize that reality is at some point going to be respected or still viewed as weakness?
>> well, i think you've seen his approval ratings in the foreign policy realm certainly plummet, beginning really in the fall of 2013. you've seen that really steady trend. i think we haven't figured out what it looks like for americans to lead in terms of the global stage, but also pull back in terms of militarily. what does foreign policy look look like if you're not putting bootsz on the ground? >> we did this, after world war ii, we had an american-led order which involved constant gradual pressure. that constant gradual pressure which involves small wars several years but kept the wolves at bay, at their back. now they are advancing, don't feel pressure against them. you just get a lot more disorder unless that constant form of pressure. >> in russia you have a place, for how much of history has russia really paid attention to american policy? right now what they're worried about is their own region, their part of the world.
when they think about ukraine, when they think about afghanistan, georgia, hungary, poland, that's their neck of the woods. so -- and, you know, there's one school of thought that what vladimir putin doing, there's a grand design, he wants to create this empire. the other, frankly, smart people i've talked to say, he's ad hocking it -- >> he lost control on the ground. he may be a good tactician but less strategically. let me turn back to do nothing congress and the nature of it. some of the examples from veterans administration to other more mundane things bipartisan agreement that can't result in anything being done. my colleague kelly o'donnell talked to one of the senate's most outspoken voices, ted cruz of texas, republican, for who is to blame for nothing getting done. watch this. >> there's only one member of the u.s. senate that has control of the agenda, and that is the majority leader. i can't control the agenda on the senate floor. the reason we have no votes on tax reform is because harry reid
won't allow any votes on tax reform. the reason we don't have any votes on regulatory reform, because harry reid won't allow any votes on regulatory reform. the reason we don't spend a minute talking about substantive issues to generate economic growth and jobs is because harry reid won't allow the votes. at the end of the day, the senate used to be called the world's most deliberative body. we don't debate anything nowadays. >> ruth marcus -- >> i'm champing at the bit. >> like harry reid, no, no, no votes. >> there is a legitimate for debate on the floor. that said, i do believe that ted cruz must be texan for chutzpah, because for ted cruz of all people to be complaining about obstructionism and lamenting dysfunction when he's been the
chief architect of that, with a ridiculous all night filibuster to stop a bill that everybody understood was going to pass. complaining now in terms of immigration, that he won't vote for any immigration money if we don't undo some president's previous acts for the dreamers. i'm going to lump in your other guest, as long as i'm on my roll here, to listen to paul ryan saying the senate chose not to legislate when everybody understands the senate's immigration bill, allowed to go to the house floor, would pass. okay, done. >> one of the things, david, i see when i talk to people around the country, until the incentives are changed, a desire for some compromise or even meeting challenges that americans want dealt with, will not get done because nobody will give the other side, even a small win in this climate. >> i used to think the problem was washington. i now think the country is country. the country is more polarized. the people in the states are more polarized.
politics is a competition of half truths. both sides with a piece of the truth. the immigration debate. kids flown across the border. we have to do two things at once, give them humanitarian refuge, some of them and readjust the law that induces them to come over. you have to do two things. republicans want to adjust the law. democrats want to give them refuge. you can't say they're both kind of right, let's jam it in a bill. we don't have the mentality to say you're both right. >> isn't it stunning, congress next week will go home for five weeks summer break, after a year in which they've accomplished almost nothing. and you talked about it earlier with paul ryan. you had not only immigration, the border issue, which everybody realizes is urgent, but the veterans where you had a bill, it passed the senate, 93-3. you had the sponsors were bernie sanders, socialist, and john mccain. they can't get an agreement. david, i hear you saying it's the country. but something's wrong.
>> that's what i mean. if the incentives don't change for members of congress and they're still -- they're preying on that polarization to stay in office and to stay popular enough by standing on principle. >> that's right. and i think it was notable that over the last couple of days you have hillary clinton talks about compromise. talking about the idea that we shouldn't elect folks who essentially say they're going to go to washington to do nothing. and i think you are having some folks, if you look at 2014 and the folks running, they are sometimes having issues on the stump, sort of justifying their time in congress, not having passed bills. and you wonder in 2016 some of the guys who are going to be running if they'll have the same issue as well. >> let me take a break here. thanks to the roundtable very much. am we come back, obamacare may be on the ropes after court rulings this week. how people in vermont are looking north of the border and battling over the state's on wn unique health care solution. >> canada has a health care solution that i as a vermonter
would like to have. >> it's frightened by it. it has the potential to bankrupt the state and everyone will move out. virtually all your important legal matters in just minutes. now it's quicker and easier for you to start your business, protect your family, and launch your dreams. at legalzoom.com we put the law on your side.
the debate over the debate over america's role in the gaza conflict continue this is morning. we asked israeli spokesman and the palestine center to make their case how the u.s. should be involved. see that at any time at msnbc.com. we'll be back with more from the roundtable after this. bum-da, bum-da ♪ ♪ bum-da, bum-da ♪ the animals went in two by two ♪ ♪ the sheep and the frog and the kangaroo ♪ ♪ and they all went marching, marching in two by two ♪ ♪ [ male announcer ] the nissan pathfinder, with intuitive four-wheel drive. an adventure worth sharing. nissan. innovation that excites. an adventure worth sharing. now what if i told youok a hotel you can save up to 60%,me first. but you couldn't know the name until after you book? did i say never? i didn't mean it.
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future of obamacare thrown into doubt after competing court rulings over subsidies for those who cannot afford to buy insurance. meanwhile the state of vermont is planning on going further and setting up a government-run single payer system, similar to is that of its next door neighbor, canada, again rating a passionate debate as our kevin tibbles found in this week's "meeting america ". >> reporter: as the sun comes up in burlington, vermonters awake to a battle over whether their state can afford to push into unchartered waters and go further than obamacare. vermont's democratic state government says it can deliver health care more efficiently and for less to every one of its 600,000 residents equally, all paid for with tax dollars to the tune of some $2 billion a year. many say taxes here could double.
>> they're outrageous, i mean, the increases that are needed. >> reporter: doctor's bills would go to the state government essentially eliminating the need for people to purchase private insurance. a solution to america's health care crisis or the road to bankruptcy for vermont? we've decided to travel north through the green mountain state to where the united states nestles up to canada, where its citizens have had government health care for decades. derby line's relationship with neighboring quebec is so close, the library straddles the line. >> they have a health care system i would like to have and we're this close. >> you're excited about that. >> i am. >> reporter: vermonter jerry snyder, who has had as high as a $5,000 deductible for his health care, was recently given a pace maker. he says too many of his
neighbors don't have health insurance because of the cost, even with it is affordable care act. >> when we're worrying, when we're stressed, when we're putting things off, where's the health in that? >> reporter: but local pharmacist buzz roy is more than a little skeptical. >> i'm frightened by it. it has the potential to bankrupt the state. everybody's going to move out. >> reporter: roy isn't sold on the canadian system. he says his friends on the other side wouldn't dream of giving. >> there are long waits for surgery. there are long waits to see the general practitioner. the wheels are falling off. >> reporter: as he travels the tranquil paths of his maple sugar farm, stephen wheeler worries. >> i'm over here hoping beyond all hope that they do it and get it right. and it's a little scary. >> wow. now, what's that? >> that's maple dill dressing. >> reporter: stephen and his family churn out everything maple. i'm putting my gloves on.
like that? >> grab the next bottle. you really need to grab it. >> reporter: grabbing next battle. >> you're getting tense. you need to be relaxed. >> reporter: health care that covers everyone is a panacea steve supports, but he worries about the cost and politics. >> we're putting health care in the hands of a very few select people. if politics gets in the way enough, they can negatively impact my future. >> reporter: the times newspaper says the single payer system still has many hurdles to overcome. >> the state will need permission from the federal government. the governor here in vermont hopes to move quickly because right now he's got a friendly administration to work with and nobody knows what's going to happen in 2016. >> reporter: in derby line, they've lived side by side for generations with their neighbors to the north. but when it comes to government-run health care, will it be allowed to cross the border? for "meet the press," kevin tibbles.
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before the big question, an end note to an earlier discussion about gaza, we asked, as you'll recall, a u.n. spokesman about this video, which israel claims, israel claims, showed rockets being fired by hamas from a u.n. school in gaza. this is shot by the israeli government. that's their claim. the u.n. has reviewed it, tells us they have confirmed, in their view, the video does not show rockets being fired from a u.n. administrative school in gaza. so this is a back and forth we are not able to settle at this point. now to this week's big question, should marijuana be legal in the united states? the big question will be a big debate this week. we talked about the merits of this, david, but predictionwise, do you think it's moving in that direction? >> everybody says that. if you look over history, the regulation of things like opiates, smoking, public
drunkenness, it's ebbed and flowed quite a lot so it's not just allow more and more freedom. sometimes there's restrictions. you can't smoke the way you used to, use opiates the way you used to, public drunkenness much less acceptable. >> can you see it could move forward but a prohibition in place for those under 21, for example? >> possibly. i think one of the things about this debate, at least one of the things driving it, is what we know about prosecution, there's a great deal of racial disparities between blacks and whites and class disparities. that's one of the interesting ways you're going to have a lot of strange bed fellows around this issue. >> interesting, too, you've talked about that before. republicans not totally against it. we have to leave it there. find the big question and weigh in on the debate on our facebook page. that is all for today. we'll be back next week. if it's sunday, it's "meet the press." we'll be back next week. if it's sunday, it's "meet the press."
truce or no truce? when that fragile cease-fire ended, fighting resumed. but now hamas and israel are considering a new truce. we'll go live to gaza and tel aviv. >> he stuck up for his rights. he's not here to stand up for them no more, so it's left up to me and my kids and his family to give justice for him. >> justice for her husband. the widow of the new york man who died after a police officer put him in an apparent chokehold, vows to fight for change. we'll hear more from her and new details about another allegation of police brutality. caught on camera. >> if you know the personst