tv Meet the Press MSNBC October 18, 2015 11:00am-12:01pm PDT
primary is standing up saying "vote for me because i will stand up and fight washington." now i have less diabetic nerve pain. two weeks ago we had an epic and my biggest reason to walk... ...calls me grandpa. knock down, drag out fight on exactly this. ask your doctor about lyrica. millions of conservatives rose up, said "defund planned parenthood." again, i was proud to lead that fight. this sunday morning, a new and where were the other candidates? sense of urgency in the presidential race. it was like they were in the witness protection plan. on one side, hillary clinton's can you imagine how different strong debate performance ups that fight would have played out the pressure on joe biden and if all 11 republican whether he gets in. presidential candidates had on the other, trump and carson descended on washington and said in one voice "mitch mcconnell are sitting on top, but is ted cruz about to have his moment? and john boehner, don't send >> if you're looking far $500 million of taxpayer funds to planned parenthood." >> you know, there's another way a candidate who the career to look at this, senator cruz, politician this is washington will embrace, i'm not your guy. which is you stood up on obamacare, you stood up on planned parenthood, you stood up >> my sit-down with the senator on immigration and nobody from texas. follows you. also, showdown over benghazi. >> well, that's not true. hillary clinton prepares to >> i'm saying nobody in testify before the house benghazi committee. washington follows you. if you get elected president, but has the committee been you have to get somebody to discredited even before the follow your lead in washington, hearing starts. whether you like it or not. plus, did donald trump just >> listen, at the end of the day, it's not about republican blame george w. bush for 9/11? leadership.
and by the way, in each of those fights, every time we've had a >> blame him or don't blame him but he was president. battle between me and leadership with the republican caucus, >> or is jeb bush just desperately looking to pick a about half of the caucus has fight with trump? been with me, about half of the finally, the bernie sanders caucus has been with leadership. impersonation we've all been waiting for. at the end of the day, if you're looking for someone who's >> hello, hello, hello, enough running to be a member of the with the hellos, let's do this. club, that's not me. it's interesting, you were joining me to provide reading all the attacks. insight and analysis are the i mentioned my book, my book i "national journal's" ron quote all of the nasty things fournier, andrea mitchell of nbc republicans have said about me. and you know in response to that news, amy walter of the cook political report and republican i don't reciprocate, much to the strategist alex castellanos. annoyance of many in the media who want me to attack donald welcome to sunday, it's m"meet trump or john boehner or mitch mcconnell. >> you called mitch mcconnell a liar. >> let's be clear what i said. >> that's a tough thing to say the press." on the senate floor. from nbc news in washington, this is "meet the press" with >> let's be clear what i said. chuck todd. i stood up and said mitch good sunday morning. if you get the feeling that there's a new sense of urgency mcconnell made the following in this presidential campaign, well, you're right. on the democratic side, hillary clinton's strong performance in promise directly to me looking the las vegas debate on tuesday me in the eye, to every other has led to calls for the vice president to say thumbs up or republican senator, and did he thumbs down now. it publicly, and then just a month later his behavior was on the republican side, rand exactly 180 degrees to the opposite.
paul and chris christie are proving they may be pretenders. this is how broken washington jeb bush and marco rubio are is. listen, the fact that he told a falsehood is a matter of public both struggling and pointing the record. finger at the other and a number he stated it publicly, then he of other candidates soon may not behaved exactly the opposite. even be able to pay their bills. so if you don't think the and washington is so broken that leaders -- donald trump and ben carson -- are in this for the they treat someone saying the long haul, then the conservative republican leader just did you may want to look at is our next guest. exactly the opposite of what he ted cruz was the only other candidate in double digits in this week's fox news poll and he promised he would do, that apparently the troublemaker is looks like the candidate most the person saying it rather than the person telling the lie. that's what's broken about likely to pick up trump and washington. carson supporters if -- and when i tell you i'm going to do something, chuck, i'm going to that's a big if -- they do eventually stray. do exactly what i said i'm going to do. >> i want to say two more plus, cruz is raising lots of things. money, not spending much, and he has plenty of cash on hand. is paul ryan a true conservative? i caught up with him in new >> listen, i like paul ryan, he's a friend of mine. hampshire and asked him how he this is obviously a question that is wrapped up in the plans to eventually pick off the trump and carson voters. speaker of the house deliberations. i have said consistently i'll >> i think donald's campaign has stay out of that. been immensely beneficial for >> i understand that, but is he a true conservative? our campaign, and the reason is >> that's a decision for the he's framed the central issue of house republicans to make. >> mark levin, who you joked and this republican primary as who said i want mark levin as a speaker. will stand up to washington? >> he's definitely a true well, the natural follow-up if conservative.
that's the question is who >> he's true conservative. >> yes. actually has stood up to >> so you'll say that but you washington. won't say -- he doesn't think paul ryan is. he doesn't like his stance on who has stood up to both democrats and to leaders in their own party. the debt limit and on t.a.r.p. and things like that. >> you think that distinguishes >> i have said consistently you from donald trump and ben carson? >> and from everyone else on throughout that the question of that stage. i think my record is markedly house leadership is a question for the house republican different in terms of actually conference. standing up and taking on the >> i want to move to foreign policy, afghanistan decision by washington cartel. the president. in favor of it? and that's why we're seeing, particularly as voters get more >> well, listen, it's a recognition that what the and more educated, study the candidate, listen to the president has been saying for candidates in person, i think years, that al qaeda is that's why we're seeing the grass-roots momentum that we're seeing. decimated, was never true. >> if you were sitting there saying that you could stop that it was political spin. the reality is we live in an obamacare if you just did what incredibly dangerous world and you did and shut down the sadly the failures of the obama/clinton foreign policy government and that republicans could stop the iran deal, the have made the dangers great. fact is, you couldn't. the numbers weren't on your >> if you become president, side. you'll keep this policy in place there's a democratic president. so did you overpromise? of keeping those troops in afghanistan? >> it will depend on the i understand you're saying others, but didn't you? mission. i don't believe we should be >> look, when it comes to engaged in nation building. promising, what i promised is i don't believe we should be that i would fight with every trying to transform foreign breath in my body to stop the countries into democratic utopias, trying to turn iraq out-of-control spending, the into switzerland. debt that is bankrupting our but i do think it is the job of country, stop obamacare, to our military to protect this
protect our nation and all of country. those are promises that i have to hunt down and kill jihadists honored every single day in the who would murder us. senate. >> syria. and you know, it's amazing, so i was visiting with a colleague priority, assad out of power or isis? recently who was making that >> isis, isis, isis. pitch about, well, gosh, the problem is expectations, we need to define expectations. >> so basically table the assad >> correct. discussion? a bunch of republicans have been saying this and they blame you. >> look, we have no business sticking our nose in that civil >> it's complete nonsense. you know who the people war. promising are? it's republican leadership when and there are a lot of they campaign. politicians, including hillary why do you think john boehner is clinton on the left and stepping down? including quite a few of the he's stepping down because the republicans running for president on the right, who want american people are furious with us to get into the middle of that civil war. republican leaders that don't do >> so you're no on the no-fly what they promised. zones, none of that stuff? and it's interesting, i do town stick to just isis? would you work with the halls all over the country and i russians? asked folks, okay, we have if they are helping with isis, republican majorities in both houses for ten months now. would you work with them? >> of course we shouldn't what on earth have they accomplished? be partnering with the russians. every town hall you do the answer is always "absolutely look, this is a great example of nothing." the utter failure of the and usually i respond and say, obama/clinton foreign policy. this void in power has let putin you know what? step in there. there are a couple hundred it's worse than that. it would have been better if it were nothing. cubans right now with a major in fact, what the republican cuban general fighting in the majorities have done, we came syrian civil war. back right after the last election, passed a trillion you've got iran, you've got dollar bill filled with general sul ma ni in bed with
the russians, so you have russia, cuba, and iran all arm corporate welfare and pork and then leadership joined with in arm, and anyone who believes harry reid and the democrats to do that. russia is fighting against then leadership voted to fund obamacare. terrorism, i'm got a bridge to then they voted to fund amnesty. sell you. then they voted to fund planned parenthood and then republican >> they're propping up assad but you said you're okay with that. >> i don't think we should prop leadership took the lead confirming loretta lynch as up assad, either. but here's the problem. attorney general. you have people who view foreign policy -- you look at some of chuck, which one of those the republicans, for example, decisions is one iota different than what would have happened who supported hillary clinton's under harry reid and the democrats? disastrous libya policy. the truth of the matter is republican leadership are the most effective democrat leaders toppling gadhafi? we've ever seen. they've passed more democratic priorities than harry reid ever could. kedgadhafi was a bad guy but yo >> so john boehner is leaving. know what? should mitch mcconnell leave? libya is an absolute chaos and war zone where jihadists are >> look, that's a question for battling back and forth and the republican conference to here's, chuck, the way we should answer -- make. >> would the middle east be more >> you're a member of the republican conference. stable today if you had the strong men? >> what i have said -- >> of course it would. >> have you called -- why don't of course it would. you challenge him? why don't you call for him to step down? >> gadhafi, saddam, assad? if they're strong men, they keep stability? >> what i have said repeatedly, >> it wasn't even close that chuck, both publicly and libya under gadhafi was better privately -- and when i say publicly and privately, that's the same thing -- we need for u.s. interests than the leaders who will honor the chaos now that is allowing jihadist to gain strength. >> what about iraq under saddam?
promises we made to the men and >> it wasn't even close. women who elected us. >> do you think iraq would be more stable today under a >> if you're glad john boehner strongman like saddam? >> based on what we know now should we have gone into iraq? is leaving, how come you don't call out mitch mcconnell? no, of course not. >> listen, at the end of the day -- it was based on the belief they had weapons of mass destruction >> he is your leader. that they would use against us. >> at the end of the day it depends on where the votes are >> you are a believer in using in the conference. right now mitch has the votes to the debt limit for leverage. remain as majority leader. what do you want republican leadership to do with the debt limit? >> i'm trying to figure out how >> what i'd like to see on the you're going to out your party. democrat limit is republican let me read you quotes from your leaders fight for something. fellow republicans. for pete's sakes, anything. senator lamar alexander said this about you. there are a lot of reports right "in kindergarten you learn to work well together and play by now that john boehner before he steps down as speaker intends to the rules. another thing you learn in cut a deal with nancy pelosi to kindergarten is to respect one raise the debt ceiling and to another." fund all of obama's agenda. senator orrin hatch "squabbling >> and what will you do? and sanctimony may have >> for the next year and a half. he's got the votes. tolerated in other venues but >> isn't that how democracy they have no place among works? colleagues in the u.s. senate." he's got the votes. i mean, this is how it works. john mccain, "i would never >> you're right. contemplate going to the floor and if he does it he will be the of the senate impugning the most effective democratic leader integrity of another senator. just not what we do here." in modern times. >> there's a lot more to my and, of course, speaker boehner interview with ted cruz. called you a false prophet and you can see the complete another word i won't say on interview on our website, sunday morning television. meetthepressnbc.com. how do you lead a republican
coming up, not one but two party when orrin hatch, lamar republicans have said the alexander, john mccain, john boehner, these are benghazi committee was well-respected men, think this politically inspired to hurt hillary clinton. lowly of you. is the committee discredited before clinton testifies this week? we have that coming up when we >> listen, if you're looking for come back. a candidate who the career politicians in washington will embrace, i'm not your guy. understands the life behind it. washington's broken. people are frustrated out of their minds. for those who've served every one in the republican and the families who've supported them, we offer our best service in return. ♪ usaa. we know what it means to serve. get an insurance quote and see why 92% of our members plan to stay for life. ♪ ♪ everything kids touch during cold and flu season sticks with them. make sure the germs they bring home don't stick around. use clorox disinfecting products. because no one kills germs better than clorox.
here's part of an online video the clinton campaign released in an attempt to discredit the committee. >> and here's an excerpt of a highly controversial anti-clinton ad that ran during the first democratic presidential debate. >> dear hillary clinton, i'd like to ask you why you ignored calls for help in benghazi and then four americans were murdered. but, mrs. clinton, i can't. what difference does it make? >> we're going to hear from both sides of the aisle in just a moment on what likely will be the most important day of hillary clinton's campaign so far. hillary clinton's campaign so far. when you're not confident your company's data is secure, the possibility of a breach can quickly become the only thing you think about.
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welcome ba welcome back. with the possible exception of the debate, no moment of the campaign has been more highly anticipated than this thursday when hillary clinton testifies before the house select benghazi committee. make no mistake -- one way or the other this is about the campaign. republicans say they want to get to the bottom of the attacks in benghazi in 2012 on that september 11th day when four americans were killed. democrats say the committee is a partisan effort designed to discredit clinton by focusing just on her e-mails. either way, it could be a turning point in the race for 2016. >> i will do my best to answer their questions. but i don't really know what their objective is right now. >> hillary clinton is trading one stage for another. >> any reaction to the benghazi ads?
>> not since president gerald ford defended his pardon of richard nixon -- >> the purpose was to change our national focus. >> -- has an active presidential candidate had so much on the line in an appearance before congress. but clinton can now quote house republicans when she tries to argue that questions about her handling of the 2012 benghazi attack that left four americans dead are now nothing more than a political witch-hunt. >> this whole effort was set up for political partisan purposes. we now know to politically in a partisan way go after me. basically an arm of the republican national committee. a partisan arm of the republican national committee. >> it was house majority leader kevin mccarthy who gave clinton her first assist last month. >> everybody thought hillary clinton was unbeatable, right? but we put together a benghazi special committee, a select committee. what are her numbers today? her numbers are dropping. >> this week an assist from another republican lawmaker.
>> this may not be politically correct, but i think that there is a big part of this investigation that was designed to go after people and an individual, hillary clinton. >> the committee's republican chairman trey gowdy tried to clean up this mess with a 279 word statement saying that "commentators and sometimes even members of your own conference offer thoughts on matters on which they are not familiar." >> if they don't focus on the words that people who are not on the committee use, focus on the actions of those of us who have been on the committee. >> on top of all that, a former republican committee staffer, air force reserve major bradley poe litsk podliska add eed fuelo the fire.
>> i was trying to conduct a thorough non-partisan investigation. >> a statement from the committee says those are false and he was terminated for cause. now the committee that john boehner never wanted -- >> i see no reason to break up the work that's been done and take months and months and months to create a select committee. >> -- but agreed to under duress to pacify conservatives is itself under scrutiny. i'm joined by two members of the committee, mike pompeo of kansas, and democrat adam schiff of california. welcome to both of you. congressman pompeo, this has been a tough ten days for the credibility of your committee thanks to the mccarthy statements. do you feel as if the committee's credibility is under question? >> this isn't about the committee, this is about the american people. we've been working since may of 2014 to get them the answers. four americans were killed. our first ambassador murdered since 1979. we're going to -- this week we'll speak with former secretary clinton, we've conducted dozens and dozens of interviews. we will ask her the same kind of fact-centric questions we've asked the other witnesses. we have an obligation to hold
folks accountable and make sure we reduce the risk that something like this could ever possibly happen again. >> one of the questions i have is what's taking so long? i say this because the benghazi committee is now longer than watergate, longer than iran contra, longer than the look into other major events. i think we have a whole thing on screen about how many different select committees took less time, including the warren commission. why is this taking so long? >> you mentioned watergate, mr. schiff actually compared this committee to watergate in a "new york times" op-ed. but this is worse in some ways. right? secretary clinton tried to hide every one of her e-mails, she destroyed 30,000 of them and now we have an fbi investigation of those very e-mails. what's taken us so long is that the democrats on the committee and this administration have played hide the ball and have denied us records that the american people deserve and that our committee needs to complete our investigation. we would have been happy to move more quickly but we've met with obstruction all along the way. >> before i get to congressman schiff, one more question for you.
you talk about all the different witnesses you've called. why haven't you called the following witness: general carter hamm, samantha power in the white house now and an ambassador to the u.n., you could have called her. the former cia director at the time general petraeus, he hasn't been called. former defense secretary leon panetta wasn't called? why haven't these people been called before your committee if this is about benghazi? they were all there at the time. >> chuck, we're not done. you may think this investigation ends on thursday, but let me assure you it does not. we began in may and we are going to continue. this on thursday is just one more step along the way. we may well call many of the folks you identified there. we still have many witnesses, many documents that we haven't seen. as recently as last thursday we received christopher steven's e-mails. how could other committees have worked effectively when they didn't even have those e-mails? >> congressman schiff, when you joined the committee you said you were willing to look at this
in the big picture, you have accused the republicans of not take it seriously. it's in your power. if you don't think they're doing it seriously, why haven't you come up with a witness list? why haven't you decided i don't like what they're doing? it's if in your power if you think the investigation needs to go in a more serious direction, you can do it and you haven't done it. >> chuck, i have and i've tried. in fact, the first two hearings this committee had were hearings i proposed to look at the arb recommendations and how they're implemented. i requested ways we could speed up the document production which were rejected. we requested witnesses to come before the committee and you know what they did? they interviewed the witnesses without telling us because when they did interview the witnesses they didn't corroborate the republican conspiracy theories. the reasons, to answer your question, chuck, about why we haven't brought in the defense secretary as they said they would, why we haven't brought in the cia director or any of these witnesses for a hearing is because they're not running for president. when richard hanna -- >> couldn't you have asked for this? >> we could ask for it -- >> don't you have subpoena
power? >> no, we don't. we don't. >> and you can't bring these people in? you can't invite them yourself? >> we can't set up a hearing, we can't issue a subpoena. we can't even vote on a subpoena. chuck, we asked the republicans at the beginning let's establish rules for the committee. let's establish rules so we can vote on subpoenas. you can have the majority vote, whatever. they wouldn't even establish rules. why? they want to run this the way they want it. they want to be able to go after secretary clinton. >> but hang on, isn't -- aren't they justified in the fact that if it wasn't for the benghazi committee, we wouldn't have known about this private server. we wouldn't have known about these e-mails and it does look like somebody is at least trying to make it harder to get information. isn't that the point? >> no, the point is what do we know about benghazi that we didn't know when this investigation started? what can we tell the families? what can we tell the american people about these core conspiracy allegations, that there was a stand down order or that there was a gun running or that the secretary interfered with security and the fact is,
chuck, after 17 months, $4.5 million, we have nothing new to tell the families. apart from that there was a private e-mail server. that doesn't tell us anything about benghazi. and let me say this, too, when richard hanna talks about what the republican conference views this investigation, he can speak to the view of the conference, but when kevin mccarthy, who's part of the leadership, talks about the motivation to go after clinton, he is part of the leadership, he is in the room when the committee is formed. and finally, it's not just what these people outside the committee are saying. but when a republican whistle-blower is saying this is how they're executing the strategy to go after clinton and we see that execution when these hearings you mentioned with the defense secretary, with the cia director, with samantha powers, they're all canceled, when the only hearing we have is with secretary clinton, it shows the committee is doing exactly what these republicans are saying. >> you wanted to chime in, go ahead and then ron fournier wants to ask a question. >> facts matter. we'll see that on thursday. what mr. schiff said is false. the democrats haven't asked for
a single witness. i'd ask him to name the witness that he came to us and wrote us a letter and asked for that witness. not a single interview has been conducted without democrat or democrat staff participating. >> that's just not true, mike. that's just not true. >> the fbi will sort out the server, we'll see if she violated the espionage act. our task is to solve the riddle of the four americans killed. >> ron? >> congressman pompeo, your party promised to run a non-partisan non-witch-hunt campaign, that's been proven to be false. congressman schiff, your candidate promised us what she did with her e-mails was above board and didn't jeopardize or potentially compromise u.s. secrets. we know that is false. what is either party going to try to do to restore some modicum of credibility to a system that's hemorrhaging trust? both your parties have been lying to us. >> i think the reality is with respect to this select committee, it's too late. there's too much water under the bridge. >> no, with respect to secretary clinton and in your party when
are you going to stop pretending what she did was above board and when are you going to stop pretending she didn't -- >> the secretary has been the first to admit the use of a private server was a mistake. >> was above board, though, she said it was above board. you think it's violated policy? >> that is the job of the republican national committee to go after her and the democratic party committee, they can go after jeb bush for his use of a personal server. that's not our job. >> you think her e-mail server violated federal policy? yes or no? >> i think what she did was lawful at the time and it was a mistake. >> was it against federal rules? it clearly was to anybody reading the rules. >> the rules allowed her to use a private server as long as she preserved her e-mails, which she did. was it desirable? >> no, it wasn't and she recognized this. >> what about the witch-hunt? you promised it would not be a partisan committee but your party is admitting it was partisan. >> i couldn't disagree with you more. i think folks will see that on thursday and i think they'll see it in the final report as well. they'll see chairman gowdy and our committee has run a fact-centric effort to do the mission, to hold someone accountable for what happened -- >> congressman, how long for this final report?
is it going to be in the middle of 2016? is it going to be -- >> that's a great question, andrea. maybe mr. schiff can answer that for you. we'll complete our task -- >> let me just follow up -- >> the reason there's no answer to that question is we don't know what we're looking for. we can't put an end date on it because we don't know what this committee is supposed to look for apart from damaging hillary clinton. it has no reason for existence. >> if the reason for existence is to find out did hillary clinton -- did hillary clinton make a grievous error in not following up security complaints? how could she tell the various investigating committees that that was below her, that it never reached her level. that could be a legitimate reason. but why, then, do you call sid blumenthal and houma abedin and all of these other personal aides and non-aides? why have you focused so much on e-mails and not on the central question of why was the security failure at that consulate? >> well, we have focused on the central failure. we have focused on the security issues and you'll see lots of
questions about that on thursday. let me speak to mr. blumenthal. it goes directly to the security issue. we see the former secretary relied on mr. blumenthal for most of her intelligence. >> that is factually not correct. >> it is absolutely -- >> relied on mr. blumenthal for most of her intelligence? >> ms. mitchell, look at the e-mail trails. >> i cover the state department. that is factually not correct. i'm as tough on this issue as anyone. >> alex, quickly. >> since this is about benghazi and four lives that were lost under hillary clinton's watch, what should she have done to prevent the loss of those four lives? what should she have done before and when they actually were threatened? should she have done more? >> let me talk to before. the arb from tanzania made very clear that the secretary of state was supposed to personally review security at high threat areas. that is not hand it down to a deputy or an undersecretary or anyone else. that arb in the late 1990s said the secretary of state, himself
or herself, was supposed to take responsibility and personally review those security plans. it appears she did not do that. so if you ask what could she have done, that would have been a very good start. >> we knew that a year or two ago. >> look at the arb on benghazi, not the one that took place 20 years ago. the arb on benghazi, a non-partisan investigation, decided the chain of command in terms of security at the embassies and consular facilities did not rise to the secretary of state. that the secretary of state was not involved in the micromanagement of security. >> shouldn't she have been? why wasn't she? >> i don't know that we want the secretary of state making security decisions at particular facilities around the world. that's a big job, secretary of state, and i don't know that we want her micromanaging security. >> if the secretary of state is not responsible for the security of the facility, what do they do? >> they are responsible overall and the secretary of state has said she is responsible overall. but let me address the blumenthal allegations because -- >> are you going to ask why she didn't call for help that night? >> this is very important.
the way this committee has operated is by leak of damaging information with only one objective, and that is all the leaks have a common denominator. all of the leaks are designed to hurt secretary clinton. they generate a news story as recently as the one about mr. blumenthal, and then within the last 24 to 48 hours the cia informs us that not withstanding the chairman's 13 page letter alleging a damaging leak of a cia source, the cia has now informed us there was nothing classified in this last tranche. >> you want to name that source this morning on the air? would you like to name that source? >> the cia said that source's name is not classified. >> put the name on national tv. >> i'm going to pause it there. congressman pompeo, you said you will run for speaker if paul ryan does not. ted cruz wouldn't call paul ryan a true conservative, will you? >> absolutely. >> if he runs you'll support him? >> that is correct. >> congressman pompeo, congressman schiff, you guys will become more famous to the american public on thursday.
we will look forward to what i guess will be a spirited day. back in a moment, does joe biden need to get in now or does she are more time to wait. and later, was that bernie sanders or larry david on "snl" last night? >> how are you? >> i'm good. [ laughter ] i'm hungry, but i'm good. and now, if you don't mind, i'm gonna dial it right up to a 10. at ally bank no branches equals great rates. it's a fact. kind of like shopping hungry equals overshopping.
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you see other stuff, taxes got a lot of mention there. a little bit on small business, iraq a tiny bit. but those were the main issues. even planned parenthood. but this is what the republican debate was about. a lot of foreign policy, a lot about obama and clinton. now let's take a look at the democrats. a much different story. the dominant, guns. the dominant issue. then wall street, president obama being spoken about in glowing terms, syria being the foreign policy issue that got the most talk. iran barely got mentioned, immigration just a little bit. but, wow, what a difference between the two parties when you look at this. the democrats much more of a domestic focus, guns and wall street. the republicans a lot more of an international focus combined with immigration and here's why. guess what? they're talking to primary voters right now. they're not talking to each other. coming up, the race for the white house. does joe biden have to get in soon or has he really been running for president all along? looks like some folks have had it
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welcome back. the conventional wisdom is that hillary clinton's strong debate performance tuesday night blocked vice president joe biden from getting in the race. let's also keep in mind that that so-called conventional wisdom has been a lot more conventional and not so wise this campaign season. enter gabe sherman of new york magazine that writes "in reality, joe biden is choosing what kind of campaign to run, an active one in which he positions
himself as a clinton alternative or a passive one that presents him as an alternative to bernie sanders or any of the other three noncandidates who were onstage in las vegas." let's bring in the panel. alex castellanos, are you with jeb, not with jeb? >> i'm like the hard rock cafe, love all, serve all, every republican. >> ron fournier and my good friend andrea mitchell of nbc news. amy, let me start with you. joe biden believes he's got more time. does he? >> joe biden has a couple of things working against him, the most important are filing deadlines, and the bottom line is he can wait as long as he would like to but the states aren't going to wait for him. by the end of december, 15 states have their deadlines closed. by the end of january, 30 states, half the delegates, are off the table. that doesn't change.
can you run a passive aggressive campaign for president? which i don't think you can. and he believes, i think, the theory is that he wants to be in the race but he doesn't want to do what he needs to do to win which is to say this "hillary clinton, i like you, democrats like you, but you can't win a general election, you have too much baggage, go with me." he won't say that. >> alex? >> i think hillary clinton has some serious problems not in a democratic primary. they love her, right? and there's very little room there. but in a general election, she's got trouble. the republican side is a dumpster fire right now, right? and most of those republicans still beat hillary clinton when joe biden runs ahead of those republicans. >> that's right. >> joe biden doesn't have hillary's authenticity problems and hillary's on the wrong end of an fbi investigation. those are serious things. somebody ought to get in there in case it collapses. >> in case of emergency -- >> pull this cord. >> i'm with gabe sherman and the passive aggressive argument right now.
the minute he declares, he has to start spending $43,000 an hour on air force two just to go to iowa. one of the arguments is you're going to lose iowa anyway to bernie, let's say. you could lose new hampshire to bernie or hillary, why don't you wait till south carolina? that's what his south carolina supporters are saying. that's a december 4th filing deadline. so wait, don't spend the big bucks because you have all this apparatus around you. and you've got time. you've got name recognition and what we know is that he personally authorized that memo. >> let me read that memo. >> that came from joe biden's -- >> it is written by the former senator, long time aide to joe biden, but why don't you view this as joe biden writing it. >> and he did. >> "if he runs, he will run because of his burning conviction that we need to fundamentally change the balance in our economy and the political structure to restore the ability of the middle-class to get ahead. if he decides to run, we will need each and every one of you yesterday." political structure.
i've thought that is his potential great strength. i've been here forever, i know how to work across the aisle. >> the problem for biden, though, is the scenario you're laying out, amy, doesn't hold up. it's hard to make the argument hillary clinton could not win the presidency. it's hard to make the argument she couldn't win the nomination and given the show on your side, it's hard to say she couldn't win the presidency. >> i think he called it a dumpster fire. >> i was going to call it something else. you don't have to be a sitting vice president, you don't have to be in the race to be the rip cord candidate. so i've thought, number one, biden has been trying to talk himself into the race from the beginning. number two, it's not the debate he was waiting for, it's not benghazi hearing he's been waiting for, it's not filing deadlines because a party can change filing deadlines. it's the fbi. now, the problem for this is he's waiting for, i think, an fbi investigation that for all we know will turn up nothing. for all we know won't turn up anything until it's too late, might not turn up anything ever. and i think that's the problem is unless something really changes for hillary clinton,
she's certainly going to win the nomination, pretty certainly, and it's hard to argue she could not win -- >> unless he puts up the polls. if we do the head-to-head polls and look at the numbers, joe biden versus the candidates, i realize it's early -- >> backup quarterbacks on bad football teams are always really positive. >> that's now how it looks now. >> joe biden with his strong record on women's issues, the violence against women, take the aknee that hill hearing out of it. >> it hard to do that. >> his incredible support for those of with us breast cancer and all of the other things he and dr. jill biden have done, he doesn't want to be blamed as the person who stopped the first credible woman from getting to the white house. >> but the first credible woman may stop herself from -- >> that's another issue. >> and here's joe biden's story. loyal to the first black president of the united states for eight tough years, can energize the democratic base in a way hillary can't. authentic middle-class guy, can appeal to reagan democrats. >> can't run away from the train issue, he has to embrace it. can't run away --
>> can't run away from the aching disaster? >> all right, let's turn to what alex called the dumpster fire. you're going to own that phrase for a while. >> uh-oh. >> donald trump put out this tweet about blaming -- i don't -- actually, did he say, is he blaming george w. bush for 9/11 or did he simply state a fact, amy walter, that george w. bush was president during 9/11? >> that is what he said and, of course -- >> was it an insult or not? >> of course it was. it was meant to provoke. >> yes. >> and guess what -- >> another alpha dog move, i can slap these guys around. they may hit me back a little bit but i don't care. >> well, you said it meant to provoke, jeb bush provoked. here's an ad they put out in time for us to play it, obviously. >> he has said publicly he watches cable news and that's one of the ways he bones up on our national security. >> trump says he "always felt that i was in the military." despite never serving in the military and draft deferments during vietnam. >> there's nobody bigger or better at the military than i am.
>> ron fournier, why does jeb bush get fired up and show fire only when his brother is attacked? >> because it's his brother and he's a very loyal guy. the interesting thing about jeb bush, you talk about strategic frame, there's strategic frame if you talk to them about how they see themselves winning the presidency and taking on trump, the first thing out of their mouth is "there's no way donald trump can win the nomination." when that's your strategic frame, you're really hurting because you know what? donald trump could win the nomination. >> you better have two plans. >> your plan "a" better be how do i get rid of donald trump and carson and win the establishment primary. they're not thinking that broadly. >> your strategy shouldn't be to predict the apocalypse, your strategy shouldn't be the world is going to end, that carson somehow is going to collapse, that trump is somehow going to falter. you ought to have a strategy to win. ted cruz has that apocalypse strategy, but so does jeb bush right now and so does rubio, so does every other republican. >> it's the passive aggressive thing, too. everybody in this race except for donald trump is being passive and waiting for somebody to collapse.
rubio waiting for that collapse of bush to come in. ted cruz, waiting for carson. waiting for trump. nobody is making the play to say "i'm the stronger candidate." >> the truth is, there's not room in this game for both jeb bush and marco rubio. it will be one or the other, alex, you know that better than anyone coming from florida. and rubio has a lot of the qualities that jeb bush does not show on the campaign trail. he hasn't fired up yet but when you see him speak he's got that sort of aggressive and young fire and jeb bush isn't showing it. >> but they think all they have to do is beat rubio and kasich. they have to beat trump and carson, too. >> i think this is the part of this -- okay, we make a case of that report that donald trump is not showing the signs of a real campaign. but alex, ben carson -- >> that's a tough case to make. >> are they both going to falter? >> i don't see how. ben carson has kind of a moral candidacy. even when you think he can't win, voters support him because he's going to make the country better. he's got money, he's got lots of
money, and if you're a voter, you have a purpose with your vote for ben carson all the way through. i think he blocks ted cruz. >> the similarity is i interviewed ben carson and he talked about the holocaust. historically inaccurate. i mean, beyond inaccurate. yet it doesn't matter what he says, it doesn't matter what donald trump says. the people in the -- the voters, at least, or the people coming to these rallies don't seem to mind. >> because a lot of his voters predate the campaign. they go back to -- he's a hero in the medical community. his books -- >> and they have a personal attachment. >> right. >> they have a personal attachment. >> who else? nobody else does. >> so let's say that in iowa it's either carson or trump and the republican establishment runs to new hampshire hair on fire. who do they rally around then for the other side of the equation? right now it's a tossup. who has the strength to compete with those guys? right now who's demonstrating strength? rubio is, fiorina is, jeb bush has as governor.
we haven't seen it in the campaign. >> i'll pause it there, we'll have more of this in a few minutes. back in 45 seconds. we have the end game segment and president obama's reversal on afghanistan, as america's longest war will drag on to a third presidency. this is a story about doers, the artificial heart, electric guitars and rockets to the moon. it's the story of america- land of the doers. doin' it. did it. done. doers built this country. the dams and the railroads. ♪john henry was a steel drivin' man♪ hmm, catchy. they built the golden gates and the empire states. and all this doin' takes energy -no matter who's doin'. there's all kinds of doin' up in here. or what they're doin'. what the heck's he doin? energy got us here. and it's our job to make sure there's enough to keep doers doin' the stuff doers do... to keep us all doin' what we do. you can now use freeze it to prevent new purchases on your account in seconds. and once you find it, you can switch it right on again.
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build something better inspires us every day. end game time. let's start with america's longest war and president obama's decision to reverse course and keep american troops in afghanistan for a 15th year. it's yet another position change on afghanistan from a president who himself said he was elected on the promise of ending both wars. >> i will end this war in iraq responsibly. and finish the fight against al qaeda and the taliban in afghanistan. >> i have determined that it is in our vital national interest to send an additional 30,000 u.s. troops to afghanistan. after 18 months, our troops will begin to come home. we've blunted the taliban's momentum in afghanistan and in 2014 our longest war will be over. i've decided to maintain our current posture of 9,800 troops in afghanistan through most of next year, 2016. >> let's bring in the panel. andrea mitchell, president obama
is learning what alexander the great learned. >> nobody survives, no empire survives, look at the russians in afghanistan. this is not winnable. president ghani has not even complained about the murderous attack on kunduz and has no support outside of his immediate area. he is viewed in afghanistan as an american implant. there is no leadership there, the taliban hasn't been pushed back. there was supposed to be negotiations with the taliban. that won't happen because we didn't even know when mullah omar died. our intelligence is incredibly faulty, which probably led to the kunduz attack on the hospital and this is just a nightmare. >> by the way, we were talking earlier, joe biden is the guy who said, "we probably should partition iraq." he's the guy that said "small footprint, go counterterrorism." and everybody mocked him. he's looking more prescient than
any single person including hillary clinton. >> this is one place where he can put himself close to obama. what strikes me is i believe president obama really intended to change our course in iraq and afghanistan. that was not a phony promise, just like i think he came here really thinking he was going to change the culture of washington. he didn't do either and i saw this as -- that's the last nail in the hope and change coffin. >> this tells us a lot about the race is and what the race is really about. george w. bush the critique was he was too aggressive, reckless male aggression so we pushed the pendulum to barack obama, soft power, dialogue, retreat a little bit from the world. guess what? the world seems to be coming apart at home and abroad. what do we want again? strength. who does that help? that's actually one of hillary clinton's assets. she is tough. who does that help on the republican side, our bad boyfriend, donald trump. >> what did you write today? the bad biker? >> he's the bad biker boyfriend who abuses us but we stick with him because there are scarier people out there. we need someone like that to
protect us from and we don't find that strength anywhere else. >> so, amy, the hell's angels candidate. >> i have said that he is the bad boyfriend you don't want to take home to your parents, right? you like to date him because he's saying, uh-uh to your parents. but will you bring him home? but even on the republican side there's not a consensus about what to do, either. if there were a republican message that said "he's done it wrong, here's what we do instead" that's what democrats had going for them in the 2007 and 2008 era which is "we won't do anything like george bush did." but you heard ted cruz, we'll do a little bit of this. >> cruz v. rubio would be an interesting foreign policy debate. rubio, intervention, cruz, isolation. i'm being a little over the line in the description but right? >> i was struck with your interview with cruz about how isolationist he is. >> more than people thought. >> compared to the whole mccain wing of the party. >> he's got his eyes on rand paul's voters.
>> absolutely. rand paul is looking for those voters. [ laughter ] before we go, "saturday night live" came through with the impersonation we've all been waiting for for months. larry david as bernie sanders. here was last night's cold open from "saturday night live." >> what is your position on the big banks? >> eh. [ laughter ] not a fan of the banks. they trample on the middle-class, they control washington. and why do they chain all their pens to the desks? who's trying to steal a pen from a bank? [ laughter ] makes no sense! that's why you've got break up the banks into little pieces and then flush the pieces down the toilet so you can never put the banks back together. >> amy, what i love about it -- by the way, when you're the star of the spoof, isn't that good? doesn't that mean sanders won the debate? >> maybe that's absolutely true. i just wonder, are we sure that wasn't larry david actually at the debate and that's bernie sanders? [ laughter ] >> you know, that's the soul of
the democratic party. the democratic party isn't just looking for their candidate, but they found their campaign, it is the campaign against the elite. >> you said the democrats love hillary clinton. i disagree. i think they lust for bernie sanders. >> they do. >> i think they'll marry and bring home to mom and dad hillary clinton. >> he's got the college campuses and millennials, he doesn't have a broad enough base. >> we'll leave it there. we'll be back next week because if it's sunday, it's "meet the press." out of control. >> are you insane? >> and reckless. >> and you're not going to drive your daughter home. >> when under the influence, there's no limit to what can go wrong. >> my heart dropped.
i don't know if he had a gun, i don't know if he had a knife. >> drunk drivers wreak havoc both on the streets -- >> he's going to crash. >> -- and off. >> i was scared to death. what happened to my legs? >> senseless, dangerous, and potentially deadly. >> i'm going to place you under arrest. >> police crack down on some of the worst offenders. >> wow. >> "caught on camera: altered