tv Inside Politics CNN December 6, 2015 5:30am-6:01am PST
tonight at 8:00 p.m. eastern prau president obama talks about terror threats. cnn special coverage begins at 7:00. and al 9:00 an all-star affair with cnn heros. "inside politics" with john king starts now. welcome to "inside politics." i'm john king. thank you for sharing your sunday morning. the president of the united states will deliver a rare prime time address to the nation tonight. he'll discuss the investigate into the bernardino shooting and the broader war against isis. the presidential address at 8:00 p.m. eastern from the white house comes at a critical moment. the california attack has raised fears about the prospects the of more isis-inspire ed bloodshed homeland securi
home. president obama standing with the american people. especially among the republicans who say president obama has consistently under estimated and they say mishandled the isis threat. >> we need to come to grips with the idea that we are in the midst of the next world war. >> president obama has said repeated that he has no strategy to defeat isis. he doesn't believe in american leadership. >> they blow up people and shoot people and kill people. i don't rule out anything. with us is the atlantic's molly ball, jeff zeleny, jonathan martin, and nia-malika henderson.
just a quick thought on the stakes for the president tonight. even some democrats say his tone has been off. if you listen to the republicans on the campaign trail they say he has no policy. >> i have spoke ton a number of democrats who were really offended by the way he responded to the paris attacks. that the rhetoric that the sort of scolding of congress it really set back the agenda that the president was trying to promote there. so you saw that refugee bill overwhelmingly pass. and now with this attack. with the feeling that this terrible problem has come to our shores and is spreading and out of control. it'll be interesting to see what the president says tonight because the statement about the speech was that he is going to reiterate things. he's going to sort of double down on what he has been saying. that basically we've got this covered. i don't think that is believable to a lot of people right now. so if this is an opportunity for him to sort of dramatically change the way he approaches this problem, even just
rhetorically that might be something that is necessary. >> this president does not do oval office addresses. this is only about his third, i believe. this is a serious moment. the white house knows they need to reset this and show his engagement on this. it's a critical moment for this president. and the substantiative matter going forward. i don't know if the white house is under estimated this but his communications on this has been stunning to me. it almost doesn't seem like the same president who captured and killed bin laden. that seems so long ago. going forward it's important for him and hillary clinton, if she's going to inherit all of these problems, she also inherits this administration's challenges with this. it's an important night for him and the road map going forward. >> there's a great story on the front page of the times talking about shortly before thanksgiving the president said there are no threats that we know. he was citing the intelligence
community's reports. he was being accurate. that's the problem. i think that's the fear. that's why there's this pressure tonight. we're in the new era. just because there is some organized isis plot to attack the homeland doesn't mean you can't have copy cat people here in the states or those trying to impress isis somehow going to carry it out. how does this president explain to the american people what we're going to do now going forward? a different kind of terrorist threat. >> do-it-yourself jihad is referred to in that article. >> i think he has to be the explainer in chief. he has to be less lawyerly and almost more fatherly and more empathetic in terms of the real fear that americans have. at times he wanted to go after the republicans and discredit the case in this case were making. i believe he probably shouldn't spend much time doing that tonight and connect with how americans are feeling. >> you made the point about his communications throughout this. the white house said they can defend his statements
technically. he certainly has sounded tone deaf at a minimum at times. let's go back to the beginning january 2014. he said this about isis and famous quote. the analogy we use at times if a jv team puts on lakers uniforms that doesn't make them kobe bryant. that's not that long ago. trying to down play the isis threat. in the day before the paris attacks and days before the bernardino shooting the president said this. >> i don't think they're gaining strength. what is true is the start our goal has been to contain. we have contained them. right now we know of no specific and credible intelligence indicating a plot on the homeland. >> striking as well just the other day. i covered the white house for nine years. the press secretary sits in his office and gets this incoming from the government m.
what is ongoing. josh earnest repeatedly used to talk about the word terrorism. just minutes they are saying terrorism. >> they have been afraid to use that word. they have been afraid to -- i think they seem fixated, to me, on this was a gun control argument. that's what this was. he put out a statement early on. i thought shockingly early, actually, after the shooting on wednesday. it's clear that, you know, the white house has struggled so much just in the fear of saying that word and using that word. it's been a problem for them. >> the president is so deliberating anyway. i think there's something to what jeff is saying that, you know, politically, in some ways, it's easier for this president to talk about the gun issue than it is, you know, self-created
jihadist. >> and you've seen other democrats pick up on this. the idea that it's about gun control. that why should people on the no fly list be able to buy guns. you saw hillary clinton tweet that out. in many ways, it's the president's job to guide, obviously, the country. but give democrats some idea how they should talk about this. it seems like they're all over the place. >> if the president could say he could use all 15 minutes to say radical jihadists. i don't think anybody would expect isis would drop the weapons and surrender. in preparing the country and leading the world he should have a tougher tone. let me show you the numbers. does president obama have a clear plan to deal with isis. this is from cnn polling a month ago. 27% yes. 71% no. when we expect the president told will renew his pitch saying
gun control can be part of the solution. you should have more gun controls. listen ted cruz among the many republicans simply mocking the president. >> listen. the way you stop the bad guys is not taking away the guns from law-abiding citizens. the way you stop the bad guys is having a free and armed citizenry that can protect themselves. >> you have the president of christian university say the other day he wants the students to have guns. he said if we have more concealed weapons we could get rid of the muslims. >> the case that the republicans are making when they talk about whether or not you say these certain words. this is not just about verb age. is the president facing the facts. or is there a willful refusal to see it for what it is because he doesn't want it to be that. >> doesn't want to be a wartime president. >> right. he doesn't want to belief that this problem is as serious as it is. that allows the problem to get out of hand when you're basically in denial and the entire governmental apparatus is
in denial about what is happening. i think that is the case that you hear the republicans making. >> now it is a lot easier to run for president than to be president. and the republicans are all very critical of this administration. but what would they do differently? what is the real thing they would differently? their tone would be different. there's no question their tone would be different. donald trump said he would bomb the [ expletive ] out of isis. president obama said we're doing some bombing. more troops? lindsey graham said that. the surveillance issue is a big debate with marco rubio going after ted cruz who said, like rand paul, voted to e limit the government's priority. >> it is starting to seem like a long time ago 9/11. but this is making it so fresh in the minds. so rand paul any potential of any argument this libertarianism and the privacy debate. i think that is out the window here.
at the next debate next week you're going to see the republicans tripping over themselves calling for new surveillance techniques, probably. what are the democrats going to do? is hillary clinton going to join them? should there be more laws on this? should we have been able to hear some of those conversations. those are the questions going forward here. i think the previous security debate is a central one for the next year. >> the ap story that moved yesterday because of the fact that the expiration of the old surveillance laws, last saturday at midnight, that the government was unable to collect meta data from the killers in california. that ap story and the quote from the ap story will be in a tv ad in the next month in iowa. there's no question about it. >> yeah. i think you'll see people like chris christie against ted cruz and marco rubio. i think ted cruz debate will certainly center on the idea of surveillance. i think chris christie is to benefit as well.
>> the debate on the 15th raises the bar for the republican candidates. if you want to criticize the president, tell us specifically what you would do differently. we'll stick with the theme as we continue in a moment. next hillary clinton's response. also donald trump's theory about why his poll numbers are on the way up right now. ♪ (train horn) vo: wherever our trains go, the economy comes to life. norfolk southern. one line,
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welcome back. there's an old saying that timing is everything in politics. >> that's why every time there's a tragedy everything goes up. my numbers go way up. because we have no strength in this country. we have weakness. we have a weak, sad politicians. that is what we have. that's why that happens. >> another thing often said in politics is the numbers don't lie. here they are. trump 36%. cruz 18%, carson 14%, rubio 12%, christi chris christie 4%. the military campaign against isis, and now the bernardino shooting. >> probably was related. radical islamic terrorism and i'll tell you what. we have a president that refuses to use the term.
he refuses to say it. there's something going on with him that we don't know about. >> it's that last nart is trademark trump. one time cheerleader of the birther movement. there's something going on with him. the president of the united states that we don't know about. what does he mean? z>> when i was at a trump rally in south carolina a couple of week s ago when he said the lin. people yelled out "he's a muslim." there's not a lot of ambiguity at what he's gesturing there. you go to the trump event and there are thousands of and thousands of people and they're hyped up. they ask them what is it drawing you to donald trump? they're angry and afraid. and these recent events have only increased particularly their fear and donald trump is a sort of classic strong man. he's going to make everything okay because he is so darn tough. >> remember we're talking about republican primary electorate.
they don't like president obama. they he's detached, weak, and nau knnuanc nuanced. trump is the opposite. if we get to serious issues trump will fade. when we get closer to the vote that will fade. we'll see what happens. cruz is surging in iowa but trump well ahead in new hampshire. that national poll. >> no question he's lead for so long. i was talking to voters this week in new hampshire and iowa. they like the strength coming from him. no question about it. they love his anti-obama rhetoric. but the point is as we get closer i think that the serious voters want to hear a little bit more specifics. they may not articulate that in a phone call with a pollster, but i think they want some specifics. so watch all of these candidates from ted cruz to rubio to chris christie, you know, start being more specific and the question is will donald trump have to join them? will he be more specific at the debate next week? it's not enough to say the president isn't strong enough.
that's not going to be enough. it might be enough to win a primary, but i don't know i think increasingly he's going to have to has been more specific. >> he'll be -- that debate in less than two weeks also with jake tapper at the top of the hour. be sure that jake will press him. >> in a crowded field i want to watch iowa and see what happens there. some people have the theory if he loses trump will say i'm out. i don't buy it. >> right. >> that's the issue with trump is that the field is crowded. all he needs is a populpluralit win. just the opposite and that is his threat. look, i think this campaign looks different after iowa. after you have actual votes cast in the winter. right now he obviously has a real a following among down scale voters that will let him go for awhile. is trump willing to stay in the race if he doesn't win a state?
and that makes aaiowa all the me important. >> the three candidates going up. cruz's numbers in iowa are better. christie's numbers are better. they're the three guys who draw sharp contrasts with the president. if you're jeb bush you're in a free fall. >> yeah. >> rubio is saying a trump deal is real. get behind me. >> but his polls are not up. >> why would you if you're any of these guys why would you when you think you have an opportunity. hillary clinton is in many ways tied to president obama's numbers. if he's up she goes with him. if he's down democrats have a problem with her. like the president initially it was gun control. then it got tougher. >> we cannot go on with losing 90 people a day to gun violence.
on this issue where people who are too dangerous to fly in america can still be guns in america. there should be no debate. we're not violating anybody's rights. if you're too dangerous to fly, you're too dangerous to buy a weapon. >> the democrats for months believed that the rules have changed. for their coalition in a general election being for gun control is fine. even if you can't pass a legislation. but pushing for gun control is fine. any indication that we might need to keep an eye on that one because of this threat? >> i think we've seen some of their rhetoric in terms of gun control. we've seen what happens in congress. not much of anything in terms of actually passing legislation. doing something about the no-fly zone because, of course, there are a lot of people in the no-fly zone that shouldn't be on there. for hillary clinton she's taken more hawkish position that got her in trouble. but on this, on isis in particular, she wants a no-fly zone. that's been her persona that
she's a bit tougher than barack obama. >> it will be interesting. we'll see hear from the president tonight. our reporters empty their notebooks next. also lindsay gram preparing to make a last stand. and what may happen after wards. if yand you're talking toevere rheumyour rheumatologiste me, about a biologic... this is humira. this is humira helping to relieve my pain and protect my joints from further damage. this is humira giving me new perspective.
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as we do every sunday let's go around the inside politics table and ask our reporters to share from their notebooks. >> remember ben carson? a few weeks ago he was looking like the iowa frontrunner rising nationally. a series of missteps raised questions about his candidacy. this puzzling speech at the republican jewish coalition this week. there's been questions about ben carson's candidacy. whether it's a serious candidacy or combination scam and book tour. in the coming weeks we'll find out base order what steps he takes to remedy this. whether he's in it to win it. >> urms in going down at the moment. we'll keep an eye on it. >> presidential campaigns don't end as they begin on issues. we're seeing an issue set focussed on isis and terrorism. that could be good news for chris christie and bad news, potentially, for marco rubio. the one roadblock for rubio going forward is chris christie. we're seeing him emerge more and
more questioning the experience and depth. the clinton campaign has been focussed on marco rubio as someone that may be the nominee. they may have to change focus it if christie is the roadblock. >> new hampshire especially watch that one. >> i spent last time with ted cruz in iowa. there's very, very clear evidence he's consolidating the conservative vote in that state. traveling with him you talk to voters and i said who did you support in 2012? the recuring theme was rick santorum. the big question now is less than two months until iowa. i'm sorry ted cruz's opponents start spending money against him using his name? i think it's a matter of when if not if. >> last week we saw trump meet with black pastors. we'll see bernie sanders do the same thing. he'll meet in baltimore with civic and religious leaders. dr. jamaal bryant has been out in front dealing with the
aftermath of freddie gray's death. that trial is going on. bernie sanders will be there touring freddie gray's neighborhood. in some ways sanders has been criticized for having a lot of policy ideas that are divorced from the way actual people live. particularly african-americans. it'll be interesting to see what he gets out of this tour and how it changes not only his rhetoric but his policy prescriptions. >> keep an eye on that. i'll close with a christmas list recommendation. don't forget lindsey graham. the south carolina senator is barely a blip in the gop presidential polls. he's telling close friends it's all in on the state of new hampshire. meaning he says he'll quickly drop out if he cannot engineer a dramatic surge into the top two or three in the first in the nation primary. and graham said he would quickly endorse before his home state south carolina has its primary. a month or so that graham endorsement would have gone to bush. now senator graham telling friends that's no sure bet. he's hardly lightening up the
polls in south carolina. it's not like he can play king maker but his backing certainly wouldn't hurt. i'll be back at 7:00 p.m. eastern for cnn's special coverage of the president's prime time coverage. "state of the union" with jake tapper starts right now. a new terrorist attack. three people stabbed on the london tube. this after the massacre here that left 14 dead. the fbi searching for answers. >> there's a lot of evidence that n this case that doesn't quite make sense. >> how did the california couple become radicalized. what can be done from stopping it from happening again. marco rubio will tell us his plan. and the president will address the nation tonight. does he need to