tv Washington Week With Gwen Ifill PBS November 27, 2015 7:30pm-8:01pm PST
gwen: our post-thanksgiving day table, something to talk about as we take a long view of the american mood, tonight on "washington week." high alert over domestic security. president obama: even as we are vigilant, we cannot and will not succumb to fear, even as we cannot allow fear to divide us. >> we have a three-pronged strategy with respect to syria, iraq, and the region. we are working with jordan, lebanon, turkey and others. and: worries about travel plenty of tough talk on the campaign trail. >> we have to take them on in the air and we have to take them
on online. >> what i approve waterboarding? you that -- you bet. >> i want the world to see how these ices leaders cry like babies when they are captured. leaders cry like babies when they are captured. wonder americans tell pollsters they are worried. we take a look at the american houseith the chief white correspondent for the new york times and the north america correspondent for the bbc. announcer: award-winning reporting and analysis, covering history as it happens. from our nation's capital, this is "washington week" with glenn eiffel -- gwen eiffel. funding is provided by --
>> how much money do you have in your pocket right now? >> to one dollars. >> could something that small youra big impact on retirement? if you let it grow for 20 or 30 years, that retirement challenge might not seem so big after all. >> additional corporate funding for "washington week" is provided by boeing. additional funding is provided by newman's own foundation, donating all profits from newman's own food products to charity, and nourishing the common good, the corporation from -- corporation for popper public broadcasting, and by contributions from viewers like you. thank you. gwen: good evening.
well, we looked high, we look to low, but middle ground was hard to find this week. there was as much talk about war abouts, as much fretting vulnerability as safety, and with paris, brussels, turkey, and tunisia on our minds, there was less confidence and more .oncern this is one incident where the polls do tell the story. 61% of americans think an attack in the u.s. is imminent and likely. the presidents approval rating has dropped since paris, with 40% saying they strongly disapprove of him. that's the highest that number has been in nearly a year. 11% approve of congress. the president, flanked by his national security team, made a pre-thanksgiving appeal to americans to be patient and vigilant. president obama: we are equipped
to prevent attacks and resilient in the face of those who would try to do us harm. the campaign trail, he who speaks loudest leads the polls. donald trump: that is why we are going to hell, because we are so politically incorrect. such a big deal, such a big deal. i want surveillance of certain mosques, ok? if that's ok. i want surveillance. gwen: we decided to take the long view, because there is a through line, one that connects fear to rhetoric, to the choices voters will be making next year. what are the polls telling us? >> i think two words are important. one is insecurity. insecurity has been part of the political fabric for some time. mostly, it has been economic and security coming out of the 2008 crash. on top of that now, we have fear.
of what is happening abroad. there is a sense on the part of the public that things are out of control, the people don't have control over their own lives, that the country doesn't have control over its own situation, its own destiny at this point, that lots of different forces are pressing in on us, and it has made for one of the strangest political years we have seen in many, many years. gwen: i remember this same sense of insecurity after 9/11, peter, and it makes me wonder why this feels different than that. our homeland was not attacked this time, but we have the sense of neds. peter: after 9/11, we had a more crisis,nal response to which is that we rallied behind our leaders. george bush sort in the polls as the country rallied behind him. now of whenense will this and? why does this keep happening again and again?
instead of rallying to our leaders, we have decided that our leaders, republican or democrat, have failed us. we are looking for something different, a magic solution. gwen: one dynamic doesn't change, and that is change. we always say we want change. president obama was famously elected on hope and change. but now we are talking about change for what? was mentioning, there is a sense of insecurity. where is the country going? fear turns into anger on the campaign trail. 71% of gop primary voters in a recent poll said that they felt out of place in their own country. they feel that their leaders are , whetherering for them it is president obama as a democratic president, or what they see as the establishment of the republican party.
they are looking for the outsiders. when you talk to conservatives, when i travel around the country, they say we tried to wait and be patient with members of the republican establishment. they are not delivering. we are not going to give them another chance. we want outsiders. maybe they can do better. that is where you see republican voters going for people like mr. trump or ted cruz. we will see at some point how marco rubio is going to do. in thehere is a story post about how the people who make up the donald trump coalition are interesting because they simultaneously do not favor immigration reform and do not want syrian refugees coming to the country. they are the same kind of group of people who are also appealing to donald trump. about interesting thing the trump coalition, clearly, he
has galvanized people who feel insecure about the way the country is changing. gwen: take america back. >> right. and that's a substantial number of people. he has focused it on the immigration issue. i think that's one of the reasons his poll numbers have been as stable as they have been. we are now in it to time -- in a time of sustainability. he has been a leader in our polling for four months, which is remarkable, given what everyone predicted. a poll came out with abc earlier this week, and a majority of republicans said what they are looking for most is somebody who can bring change to washington, and when you ask them which of these candidates can do that, 47% said donald trump. only 32% said they are for him. carson is number two.
but way, way down. it wasn't ideological. trump was leading more among republican colleagues with liberals and moderates in the republican party and only tied with conservatives even though he is running on pretty conservative themes. >> his key constituency are people who do not have college degrees, people who have some college or high school diplomas. he is far and away the leader with that part of the republican party. gwen: take that and layered over this international insecurity moment. we want action. we want people who are going to do things. but what does that mean? military action? action on the ground? a ncois aland -- francois e clearly once more
american engagement. does it mean waterboarding? what are we talking about? thek so far, none of candidates have given a lot of details about how they suggest defeating a group as the so-called islamic state. donald trump is very good at bum bostick -- bombastic rhetoric, let's bomb them, let's build .alls, let's monitor mosques that is a way also of masking his relative inexperience when it comes to speaking in depth, with knowledge, with command about foreign policy, and it appeals to people at a moment of insecurity, of vagueness, to hear somebody say ok, this is the action we need to take, but none of the republican candidates are really advocating for large-scale overseas
deployment because this is still a country that is wary of what happened. lindsey graham is suggesting something large-scale, that has not played with republican electorates anymore than it has with democrats. hillary clinton should be playing to strength. on the other hand, mistrust? of theshe was a member current administration. i think foreign policy for her is both a liability and an asset. when she was speaking in iowa during the debate 10 days ago, she seemed very uncomfortable onstage asserting her natural instinct for muscular foreign policy. she was speaking to probably mostly democratic primary voters who were tuning in that evening. she understands that for them it is the economy that matters most. when she spoke a few days later,
she said this is a fight america must lead with its allies. she was forceful, muscular. she went to way beyond anything obama had said. gwen: it's quite a balance she to strike, but let's talk a reality. the president has to execute, but there are a lot of complications. talk about russia. that is huge. >> huge. paris, these, after president of france thought maybe we could bring everybody together. russia had just lost a passenger jet to a bomb launched by islamic state. why can't we all get together on this? it sounds logical on its face, but the reality is not so easy.
the russia has a very different view of syria van the west does. --y believe the west has they believe they are the attempts to remove bishara lizotte. the west is saying bishara lizotte has to go. -- bashare all aside al-assad. the west are saying that he has to go. gwen: is there any discussion at all of whether the u.s. can change its policy or its focus moresad to make that palatable to the public? right now, he is going nowhere. obviously, the allies we are seeking to ally with, that is not their main focus. they want everybody to get together and fight isis.
how syllable is this at this -sellable is this at this stage? >> relatively un-sellable. -- competition's of syriac publications of syria escaped most people at this point. they know it is a bloody civil war, but they are focused on terrorist attacks. does the fact that some candidates don't have a full grasp on foreign policy give some people an advantage or are -- doesestimating the the fact that the american people don't have a full grasp on foreign policy give some candidates an advantage or are we underestimating the american public? to people whoges
speak more strongly. they are registering people who speak from the gut. and they go into the polling booth in iowa or no hampshire -- new hampshire, they will perhaps be making a slightly different calculation. who do i trust to be in the oval office versus who is expressing what i feel in my gut right now? president's approval rating is dropping again. term-itus or is it specific to what we are talking about? >> the last poll showed that 36% disapproved of his handling of terrorism. this used to be a high point for him. he killed osama bin laden. he used drone strikes, as upsetting as that might be to constitutional scholars and the left, it was reasonably popular.
not justcrats, republican candidates. democrats like dianne feinstein, haveschiff, all of them been saying we are not doing enough. this isn't working. we have to rethink it. of the issue going back to your previous question is when you are the united states and you have allies, you have the option of focusing on two things at the same time. the u.s. can be determinedly going after isis while understanding that some of its allies, like the saudi's and more interested in bringing down the syrian president. they see him as the real source of trouble. and then you have the french who straddle the two. hollande made it as thee sees assad
source of this chaos in which isis is able to thrive. in his opinion, if the u.s. had gone ahead with military strikes in 2013, wed wouldn't be here today. for obama, there is the option of choosing parallel paths by focusing on diplomacy to bring a political solution to syria, and asking some allies on the ground to build leverage. gwen: this is very complex in an election year. it makes perfect sense, except when you are running against people who are selling it in short bites. let's talk about temperament for a while. assuming for a moment that people like the temperament of the president -- they did when they elected him. now it's kind of a drag. energyn't see enough from him.
what happens to the next level of gop candidates? who can break through? if you are chris christie or jeb bush, how do you break that ceiling in such an uncertain time? >> most of the people you have mentioned are trying to break through in new hampshire. there is in norman is and what will become increasingly intense enpetition -- in our mess -- ormous and increasingly intense competition in new hampshire. chris christie's personality is volatile, to say the least. that is an acid in this environment. jeb bush has to step up, -- an asset in this environment. jeb bush has to step up. arco rubio has tried to present ifself as well schooled inexperienced in foreign policy. john k-6 is doing it by going
directly after donald trump -- asic is doing it by going directly after donald trump. gwen: and if you are ted cruz? click so far his strategy seems to be wait for donald trump to implode and then inherit. he said i love donald trump but i disagree with him on the issue of a registry. and then he moved on. he still finds that he is riding in trumps wake, and he is doing well in iowa. he is number two in a recent poll there. are bernief you sanders -- remember bernie sanders? has an incredibly rockist, very loud, very supportive grassroots coalition loud, very very
supportive grassroots coalition. some thingshere are that work against bernie sanders, which is that he has not been able to demonstrate command of the issues on foreign policy. it was clear in the debate which happened barely a day after the paris attacks. in his opening statement, he said to lines about paris and then made a very strange segue into his usual stump speech. gwen: it made perfect sense for his strategy not to talk about what he doesn't. >> and going back to his uncomfortable positioning in that debate, he sounded tougher on foreign policy then she did, but i think that, going back to hillary clinton, what i found was interesting was to see how she is polling against republican candidates when it comes to who voters trust most on issues of handling terrorism,
and she comes ahead of all of the candidates. she is within the margin of error with rubio and bush. it's interesting, talking about temperament. when you ask a question, generally, about the democratic party versus the republican party, who handles terrorism issues better, the answer is overwhelmingly the republican party, but when you break it down to individuals, in this case, in an election year, hillary clinton seems to be doing quite well, although both her team, and bernie sanders team think the economy will still dominate a year from now. i guess we will wait to see what the voters think. thank you all very much. we have to leave you a little bit early to give you the chance to support your local station, which in turn supports us, but we are going to continue this
conversation online on the washingtonweek webcast where we will dig a little bit deeper from ourripple effects unsettled american mood. also, get a head start on your weekend reading or upcoming get -- giftgiving with our holiday reading list. recommendations from voracious readers at pbs.org/washingtonweek. keep up with judy woodruff and me every night on the pbs news hour, and we will see you right here again next week on washingtonweek. good night. [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit ncicap.org] >> corporate funding for washingtonweek is provided by -- >> we are committed to strong.
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steves: while neighboring croatia is famous for its coastline, slovenia enjoys its own 29-mile stretch of adriatic seafront. that's about one inch per resident. its best stop -- the town of piran. many adriatic towns are overwhelmed by tourists and concrete, but piran has kept itself charming and in remarkably good repair while holding the tourist sprawl at bay. crowded onto the tip of its peninsula, piran can't grow.
the main square was once a protected harbor until it began to stink so badly they had to fill it in. a colorful mix of work and pleasure boats fill today's harbor. these days, piran's walls are inviting, rather than defensive, and the town is simply an enjoyable place in which to relax. explore the evocative back lanes. hike up to the cathedral. scale the venetian-style bell tower. on top, catch your breath by enjoying views of piran and nearly the entire slovenian coastline. the traffic-free harbor front, lined with slovenes enjoying fresh seafood, is made to order for a stroll. swimmers frolic while sunbathers claim more than their share
of the national coastline. piran clusters around its showpiece square, piazza tartini. as with most towns on the adriatic, it was long ruled by nearby venice and retains its venetian flavor. in fact, the town is officially bilingual -- slovene and italian. today the square is enjoyed by visitors and locals of all generations, savoring the good life where the slavic world, the alps, and the mediterranean all come together.
my ancestors have been there since the beginning of time so i'm always home. that's a blessing but it's a double-edged sword. this other piece of me has to deal with seeing bulldozers pulling up street and not knowing if my ancestors are going to be there as well, and knowing that all the 425-plus burial sites of my ancestors have been destroyed because of development. ♪ corrina: when you look at this shellmound which is the oldest one, it's covered completely by asphalt. ♪ corrina: my name is corrina gould. i'm a chochenyo and karkin ohlone . i've been working on sacred sites protection and preservation for the last 20 years of my life. corrina (to group): they destroyed a mound that was over three stories high. johnella: indian people organizing for change