tv Meet the Press MSNBC February 9, 2014 11:00am-12:01pm PST
pain... and a choice. take up to 6 tylenol in a day or just 2 aleve for all day relief. all aboard. ♪ from nbc news in washington, from nbc news in washington, the world's longest running television program, this is "meet the press" with david gregory. >> and good sunday morning. there it is. you're looking live at the olympic compound in sochi, russia, on the first weekend of these winter games. from the opening ceremonies to the competition as excited as we all are about our athletes, we have to say a cloud does hang over the olympics as there's still real concern over the prospects of terrorism, an attempted hijacking raised those fears as a ukrainian man allegedly tried to divert a passenger plane to sochi on friday and the politics of these olympics is raising a key question, as well.
how much bigger will the divide between the united states and russia get? from edward snowden to human rights to a new flap over a leaked u.s. diplomatic tape. in a rare interview, i'm going to get insights from the u.s. ambassador to russia, mike mcfall. plus, the rebirth of hillary clinton. how does she run as a presidential candidate for changing in 2016, if she runs? this morning we'll have the exclusive first look at a new book with allegations about revenge, loyalty and her so-called hit list. and some new battle lines in congress. were the republicans right? will obamacare cost millions of jobs or is that a misinterpretation of a new report that came out in washington? we're going to have the debate as i put two leading senators on the spot this morning. meantime, i start off with the roundtable. everybody's here. david brooks from the "new york times," e.j. dionne, as well, andrea mitchell, chief foreign affairs correspondent and this week, mike needham, ceo of the conservative lobbying group
heritage action for america and mona sutphen. welcome to all of you. andrea, get us started here. still a lot of concerning about security as great as the games have been so far. >> a lot of concern about security, not just sochi. primarily not sochi but mostly the area, russia. the fact is that officials here in washington are very concerned. they're on pins and needles. when you talk to them, they are just sort of crossing their fingers that russia has this is under control. this is a very tense situation. it's very close to the terror bases in the caucasus. and they know it's vulnerable and there are a lot of people out there who would like to punish putin who has put so much of his personal stock in these olympics. >> e.j., putin on the world stage, focuses our attention on russia, about his leadership and the poor relationship between the united states and russia. what is the impact of all of that beyond these games on the u.s.? >> i'm not sure there this is going to hurt us at all.
although i do think apropos of andrea, there's a real problem because our relationship means we're not getting the kind of security information we would like out of the russians. but when you see the political controversy here and all the corruption stories in the past, i'm more and more of the view we ought to put the olympics in a fixed number of countries, maybe like greece have the summer games, maybe rotate the winter games, norway, japan, chile, canada. i think the notion of having the olympics in an authoritarian country has raised problems for decades. i would love to see them take a look at having permanent spots for the olympics. >> usually there's a copping out party for a rising nation like china. now it's a coming out party for a system that's come and gone. so russia looked rich a few years ago with resources but the leadership is leaving the elite talent is leaving. corruption is strong. the economy's sagging. it's a touchy-feely egotistical
leader with a failing system. that's bound to leaded to ego problems and him compensating more. and it's bounce to lead to compensation. >> a whole new definition of touchy-feely. >> that's what i was thinking. i want to go to sochi now for more on the security threats and this political tension that we've been talking about between the united states and russia. i'm joined now by nbc chief foreign correspondent richard engel on the ground in sochi. good morning. >> reporter: good morning, david. as we all know, it was a very difficult rollout, but now that the games have actually begun, the mood here is improving. there's more focus on the competition, more focus on the athletes. but as all of you were just saying, for russia these olympics are about a lot more than just sport. russia has deployed 70,000 security forces. positioned anti-aircraft rockets around olympic venues. and troops with binoculars to scan for threats in the mountains. moscow spent over $50 billion for a fairytale opening ceremony and to build two olympic cities. but why?
>> putin wants the world to celebrate russia, russia's modernization, russia's wealth. russia's achievements. these games are hardly political because the kremlin actually made them highly political. >> reporter: the last time moscow hosted in 1980, the soviet union dominated nearly all of eurasia and eastern europe. a decade later, the berlin wall was down. and the soviet union collapsed. for russia, sochi is a symbol of its return, a world power once more led by vladimir putin. but there's a problem with russia's story of revival. it's next door in the ukraine. the ukrainian government is a russian ally but protesters backed by washington want closer ties with europe. this tug of war exploded last week with a leaked "f" bomb. >> you know [ bleep ] the eu.
>> reporter: senior u.s. diplomat victoria nuland's private conversation was posted on the internet making her sound like she was picking winners in the ukrainian government. >> i don't think klitschko should go into the government. i don't think it's necessary. i don't think it's a good idea. >> reporter: u.s. officials think russia was behind the leak. russia does not want the ukraine to turn away from moscow or the u.s. to interfere, especially while russia is hosting a big welcome back party for itself. russia claims the games have so far been successful, and aside from that threat with the plane that was potentially going to be diverted here to sochi, which turned out to be nothing, there have been no major security concerns. >> richard engel, thanks so much. with the full orchestra playing behind him, i want to turn now to u.s. ambassador to russia, michael mcfaul. ambassador, welcome to "meet the press." >> thanks for having me, david.
>> as the games are under way, as i have said, there's a focus on our athletes but the threats are real. all the reporting i've done in washington indicates this elevated threat environment. what's your own assessment there as the games have begun on the ground? >> well, the threat environment is the primary responsibility for our team on the ground here. we've been preparing for this for several months. actually a couple of years now. we have an office here with about 150 people. the threat assessment has not changed since we've been here. and we coordinate very closely with the russians to share information about anything that might happen. >> the fear is that the russians are not actually sharing everything they've got for fear that the u.s. would exploit that, would somehow try to make them look bad. is that the case? do you know everything you need to know to keep our athletes and others safe there? >> well, we always want to know more. and if you work in the intelligence business, you always want more information from any partner country.
that said, we do not have an interest in embarrassing the russians. we have exactly the same interests with them when it comes to the security of everyone here in sochi. so we're quite satisfied with the level of cooperation we have now. >> as i've said, the cloud over these games politically is not only is it a political charged time, but our relationship with russia seems to be at a real low point. we have a huge debate over the fate of edward snowden who has political asylum there, this latest flap as richard engel was reporting on over russia -- rather over ukraine and the leaked tape of victoria nuland. what does that say about this moment and how bad things have gotten? >> well, i would expand the list of what is in the us/russian relationship right now. so all the three issues that you just mentioned are real. we're managing them. we're dealing with the russians
in a very serious way. and at the same time, there's continuity in cooperation on a lot of really important security issues for the united states of america. if we're talking about afghanistan, we're talking about iran, syria's chemical weapons, those are all places where we continue to cooperate with the russians even as we manage these more difficult issues. i just think that's the nature of the u.s./russian relationship in the year 2014. some cooperation, some disagreement. >> right. but it goes beyond that, doesn't it? here's vladimir putin who is using this moment to project russian greatness. we saw that in the opening ceremonies. and yet, he's been happy to use edward snowden to embarrass the united states, leaking the intercepted tape of victoria nuland. have you yourself been bugged by the russians? >> well, as we remind all americans that come to this country, the russian government has tremendous capabilities and legal by their law of
intercepting phone calls, e-mails, et cetera. there's no doubt that i am a primary subject of interest for them. and from time to time, they have also leaked conversations i have that i thought were private. that's just the state of working in russia. it is interesting to me that this doesn't get more attention to our critics and, of course, it goes beyond the pale of diplomatic protocol to, if indeed, the russians were responsible to actually publish a private conversation between two government -- american government officials. >> so what does it mean to the united states? we talk about -- you've listed the areas where the united states and russia do cooperate and those are significant. but some of these flash points where we really disagree, syria obviously is a chief one. but that goes back, of course, to the iraq war too and vladimir putin blocking u.s. efforts in the u.n. security council. what does all this mean? what impact does it have on the
united states that we have this real question about whether russia is a friend or a foe? >> you know, i wouldn't put it in categories of friend or foe. i would put it in categories of what do we want in terms of our security, our trade and investment and commitment to human rights, and then within that, how can we cooperate with russia. when we can, the president has said it many times, we want to seek win-win outcomes with the russians. when we can't, we're going to pursue our own national interests without them, and we're going to maintain our commitment to universal values, democracy and human rights, and we're not going to stop thinking about those things or stop criticizing the russian government in the name of some other outcome we want on the security or trade side. that's our policy. it's been our policy for five years. i think it's been effective both in obtaining our outcomes that we want on our interests slug
and on being honest and committed to our values. >> this is a time when americans are focused on russia and the russian leadership like never before. here's the cover of "the economist" a week ago, vermont vladimir putin the triumph of vladimir putin, the staged photo of him on the ice in the opening ceremonies really built on that. i've talked to friends and family. they say, well, so what's the deal with russia? is it a democracy? david remnick editor of "the new yorker" wrote a piece about putin and writes putin obviously is no democrat. not remotely. he's not interested in the contemporary requirements of human rights. he's not interested in empowering a real legislature or seating true independents to the courts. democracy is not in his interests. stability and development, those are his themes first and last, and putin regards any and all attempts from the west to call him to account on nearly any issue as acts of anti-russian self-righteousness and hypocrisy. what do you say?
>> well, we as an administration, first and foremost, starting with the president and me as the ambassador here, virtually every day are very open in criticizing the russian government when we see some kinds of restrictions on human rights and human rights of all kinds, including with respect to sexual orientation. obviously, the delegation that i was a member of here for the opening ceremonies reflects that and that message i think is very clear. and the second thing i would say moral broadly, you said that putin wants stability and development. i think the history shows that the most stable countries in the world are democracies. and the richest countries in the world are democracies. so we don't see those aspirations as in tension with each other. >> do you think that russia has gotten the message about gay rights, or has it chosen to ignore it? >> no, they got the message. they know exactly where we stand
on that issue. and i'm very proud of the way we've communicated our views on that issue. >> do you think there's going to be any movement it significantly within the country on it? >> that's a bigger issue. that's a harder issue because of the domestic politics here. i keep in touch with everybody in that community. in fact, i just saw many of their leaders just a few days ago, and we hope that in the long run that president putin will see economic modernization and political modernization as two things that go hand in hand. >> i want to pin you down one more on edward snowden. it's been suggested on this program by lawmakers in the intelligence field that edward snowden is perhaps a spy for the russians. do you see evidence that would validate that? >> well, i can't comment on the evidence here or there in terms of those things. what i can say is we want mr. snowden to come home, face the charges against him and have a court of law decide what he
has and has not done. >> finally, if you have any expertise there on the ground, you got to give it to us straight. how do you see the u.s. team doing in the end in terms of gold medals? >> i'm not an expert on that, although i've got to tell you, we have had a fantastic time here. we got to see four events yesterday. seeing americans perform in all of those. it's a great atmosphere here, by the way, david. it's -- the american team's feeling very confident. but i don't want to go -- i don't want to get ahead of my skis or beyond my skis. i am not an expert when it comes to those things. i hope by the end, we will win. and everywhere i go, of course, i run into lots of russian government officials. i especially want to make sure we're just slightly ahead of the russians. >> all right. we'll leave it there. ambassador mcfaul, thank you very much. >> thanks for having me. coming up here from hillary clinton's hit list to how husband bill settled scores for the former first lady. new details about the former
secretary of state in a brand-new book not out until tuesday. we've got the exclusive first look in an interview with the authors coming up next. we are the thinkers. the job jugglers. the up all-nighters. and the ones who turn ideas into action. we've made our passions our life's work. we strive for the moments where we can say, "i did it!" ♪ we are entrepreneurs who started it all... with a signature. legalzoom has helped start over 1 million businesses, turning dreamers into business owners. and we're here to help start yours.
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first, the key question. how will her past affect hillary's future if she runs in 2016? >> what are your plans for 2016? >> i'm not thinking about it. i've tried to get other people not to think about it. i'll think about, you know, in the future sometime. >> she says she's not thinking about it but others definitely are. polls show hillary clinton with a commanding lead over other potential democrats. "time" magazine asks, can anyone stop hillary? "the new york times" magazine portrays her as planet hillary along with an interplanetary web of her political contacts. but her political opponents on the right blame her for benghazi and kentucky senator rand paul is now repeatedly criticizing bill clinton as a "sexual predator" for his relationship with intern monica lewinsky in the late '90s. and now a new book "hrc state
secrets and the rebirth of hillary clinton" offers an inside glimpse into clinton's evolution in recent years and her inner circle. one of the revelations making headlines, her staff put together a hit list of so-called sinners and saints that measured their support and opposition for her during the 2008 presidential campaign. almost six years later, most clinton aides can still rattle off the names of traitors and the favors that had been done for them as if it all had happened just a few hours before. among those rated the most disloyal, senator claire mccaskill of missouri, senator john kerry now secretary of state, and the late ted kennedy whose endorsement of barack obama was a crucial moment in the 2008 campaign. >> and joining me now, the authors of the book "hrc," amie parnes and bloomberg news jonathan allen. welcome to "meet the press." >> thank you, david. >> it's great to talk to you before the book comes out. one of the things that's already
made news is the concept of kind of the darker part of the world of the clintons, the hit lists, the idea that bill clinton, the former president, sort of settling scores, clearing field before there might be a run, jonathan. >> yeah, so the clinton aides during the 2008 campaign kept a list of the people who had been treacherous and over the course of the 2010, 2012 election cycles bill clinton went out on the campaign trail and knocked some of these guys out that they didn't like. >> how so? >> so he went and supported other democrats in primaries against them, and we go through a series of stories in the book as part of the big narrative, one of the light motifs that i like, of him knocking out her opponents, people that didn't like her, endorsing, raising money for, and this is really part of the story of the clintons, this loyalty. >> almost -- and having a chilling effect on anybody else who may not be with her down the line, right? >> totally. i think that's why you saw senator claire mccaskill come out very early for her. she was a seven on the hit list. i think she was worried.
i don't think she knew she was a seven. she knew the hatred from the clintons still exists. so i think she tried to get out early and say, hey, i am supporting you guys. >> it's interesting when eg we talk about, you talking about this book in terms of the rebirth but also state secrets. in other words the job of secretary of state is so crucial to a potential 2016 run. you write in the book about her approach to the job, and this will be instructive when you debate whether she's a hawk or a dove, but also, the issues like benghazi. here's what you write about a bias for action. hillary also harbors a related trait that one source calls a bias for action which influences her decision-making process. it can be seen in her approach to going after bin laden, her building of a coalition to intervene militarily in libya and she encourages her aides to innovate and improvise. she also felt in benghazi, the state department had to be there whatever the risks. that's going to be real fodder for her opponents. >> absolutely. we've talked to republicans. there's a quote in the book from
shaun spicer, the republican national committee chairman, about an ad the rnc cut and released in 2013 about benghazi. you should get used to seeing that ad. so this is something that's going to be an issue. republicans haven't yet made it something that's beyond partisan. nay haven't gotten out there and influenced democrats and independents on that but they're going to try to do that. she's got to come up with an answer for that. >> republicans said it's part of an mind-set, an expeditionary foreign policy belief that she has that's certainly going to be a hard thing for her dealing with progressives in the primaries. there are going to be people who come at her from her left. >> certainly. the whole bias action thing is good for her. leon panetta sought her out early on the bin laden raid. he wanted her buy-in because he knew she would be a hawk.
i think that's a big plus for her going in. >> big factor here is the bill factor. how large does he loom? you've heard rand paul in an interview today talking about lewinsky, talking about the past, calling bill clinton a sexual predator. so that issue is there. but it's also to what extent does he play in a campaign which he did so large before in a potential administration. here's a moment from her 2008 campaign convention speech you write about. it's quite interesting. i'll put it on the screen. while she had been on a mock stage at the convention center, bill had delivered edits. he had ripped up the structure and added some of his own flourishes to her speech. but hillary was having none of it. bill and the set of advisors she had hired from his 1996 campaign had proved disastrous at developing her message and strategy for the campaign. she was the one in the hot seat now. it's my speech, you quote her as saying she declared as she left to find bill. that's a pretty dramatic moment. >> it's an interesting moment. they share the same goal but they have different strategies of getting there. i think that's going to be an interesting moment to see how this plays out. if bill can be the bill clinton that he was for barack obama in 2012, she's got it made. she can take it to the bank.
>> the explainer. >> she can take it all the way to the white house. but i think if he is the bill clinton from 2008, that's a little bit of a precarious situation for her. >> how do you forget that bill clinton who was the -- who thought there was something of a fraud about president obama at the time? >> it's interesting. he's so good at political strategy for everyone including himself which a lot of people are bad at their own strategy. but with her there's a blind spot. we go into this in the book. you see this visceral reaction to what's going on with her that he has. it's a problem for him. look, there's been the al gore method, distance yourself from bill clinton. that didn't work. there was the 2008 hillary clinton method, you know, sort of let him do what he's doing, he's a good strategist. barack obama is the one that figure the out how to use him which is put him out as a surrogate but don't let him do a lot of interviews with the press. if she can get him to do what he did on the 2012 campaign trail and we go deep into that in the book, she will serve herself well.
>> interesting nugget about david petraeus, former head of the cia, commander in afghanistan, who had to resign because of his extramarital affair. he says she would be a tremendous president. that's a real endorsement for somebody that she showed a lot of the kindness to actually when he went through his own disgrace. >> yes, she wrote him a note, actually, and she said, i've had a little experience with this which we thought was a really interesting moment. she tends to warm up to people. she might not be as gregarious as her husband sometimes but very much a wholesale politician in her own way. >> bottom line here, is there anything that says she doesn't run? is it just a matter of time? >> watching the olympics it's like the ski jumper. she's headed down the hill. there's little that's going to stop her from launching. we talk about the preparation going on on, her top aide cheryl mills has been doing interviews about the 2016 campaign in particular. guy cecil most often mentioned as a possible campaign manager
sat down with her june. they talked who should be the campaign manager. he's made up his mind if he's asked he's going to do it. this is a campaign that is in full swing. it's more a question of whether she stops running than whether she starts. >> nice olympic tie-in there. very well done. >> absolutely. felt it was good for the network. >> thanks very much. so what will be the rallying cry for the opposition to a hillary clinton run in 2016? here is kentucky senator rand paul in an interview airing on c-span today. >> i really think that anybody who wants to take money from bill clinton or have a fund-raiser has a lot of explaining to do. in fact, i think they should give the money back. if they want to take a position on women's rights by all means do. you can't do it and take it from a guy using his position of authority to take advantage of young women in the workplace. >> senator rand paul. i'm back here with the roundtable, mike needham lobbyist with heritage action. here's the question i think we have to resolve. which is, how does hillary
clinton position herself as something other than a default establishment choice with a complicated past and members in your own party are saying we're not going to let the past be forgotten. >> i think it's a big challenge for her and probably the biggest challenge out there is actually obamacare. here's somebody if you look at the policy in obamacare, it's more similar to what hillary ran on in 2008 than barack obama. barack obama in the ohio primary said it would be unfair to make people purchase something that they can't afford to purchase with regard to the individual mandate. so i think she like many democrats coming up in the 2014 senate races are going to have a big trouble getting away from obamacare which are the policies she advocated for six years ago. >> whether it's impeachment, whether it's obamacare, it's benghazi. mona, you're a veteran now of the obama white house. same question. how does she position herself as a candidate of the future? >> first, i'm not sure that anybody knows exactly what her decision-making process is or what the timeline will be. >> right.
>> but she clearly is in no rush to make a decision, and frankly, why should she? she's got everything she needs to run a fantastically successful presidential campaign, star power, money, organization, institutional support. i think she's got the skill set and the background that you need to be a president in this time in our nation's history which is an ability to deal with complexity and nuance and all the tradeoffs that come with being president of this country. so i actually think she's going to take her time as she should because it's a pretty consequential decision and she knows that more than in anybody else. >> the campaign ads, jonathan was pointing out at the end of that interview, the campaign's in place. there are two pacs. they've divided the lines of authority. they've got potential campaign managers lined up.
she's got her book to do. she doesn't want a campaign announcement to muddy up her book tour. that's going to be a very big book next summer we believe. so at that point, after that she doesn't need to put in place the fund-raising apparatus, and as was reported in "hrc," they have kept very close all the fund-raisers, the big money people. she did in fact when she was at the state department you would see at state department events a lot of big moneyed people. they have always been part of her circle. it's never been disbanded. >> the bigger question of how not whether but how she positions herself herself, e.j., is what i'm really interested in, how she runs. >> she's got a great advantage which is she was in the obama administration, and if president obama's doing pretty well at the end of 2015 or 2016, she can talk about being the candidate of continuity. she's also been out for four years. if you want somebody really experienced she can run that way. the thing that i am struck by when people like senator paul raise the old bill clinton story is she always had the best answer to that in 2008, which is what part of peace and prosperity didn't you like? and the country's kind of fought
through bill clinton and they said, yes, there is this is aspect of him connected to the scandal. but there's still a lot of fondness for the prosperity, and she almost beat barack obama. if she had not messed up the beginning of the campaign, been overconfident and fallen behind on delegates, she won the second half of that primary campaign. so she is a formidable politician. >> what if the president is not doing well though? does she run away from him? does that anger the base? that's the pitfall. >> she's got all the campaign staff, all the money. that's unimportant in the campaign i think. she doesn't have the substance yet. how is she going to govern so it looks different than under obama? how is she going to work with a republican congress? secondly, what are her issues? she's got to have three big issues that don't look like barack obama's issues. i don't think she has that. i don't think she really is going to be able to appeal to the left and the base of the party. i think there's a 30, 40% chance
jerry brown would be -- he's a little old, would be ideal, right personality, right state, right performance. there's going to be a challenge from the left. >> one of the challenges for hillary is the bill clinton of today is not the bill clinton e.j. was just talked about. he was a moderate democrat president. harold ford was the upcoming star of the democrat party. today bill clinton is out there doing events with bill deblasio, the progressive mayor of new york city. so the interesting thing is over the last ten years, through the iraq war, through the primary challenge joe sestak put up to joe lieberman, through the rice and fall of howard dean how the democrat party has become so much more progressive. >> it's the democratic party and i think that that misread who's bill clinton was. bill clinton always had a strong populist streak, one of the reasons he won in 1992. yes, he had the correction that the democratic party needed. he campaigned on raising taxes for the rich in 1992. this is not -- >> there's a big gap between the era of big government is over and bill diblasio saying the horses that go around central park --
>> let me get mona back into this. andrea raised something before that is very interesting. is hillary clinton an extension of president obama, a third term? there's a lot she has been an advocate behind the scenes. the books talks about that for health care reform. she's certainly been pretty hawkish in a way, you know, driving a lot of his policies. so where does his presidency end and hers begin? or candidacy. >> a lot of it companies 0 down to how the competent is doing at that point, 2015. if things are moving forward and it looks like gdp growth is going to continue to pick up, the job picture looks better, she'll be able to say, you know, we've started to build the pillars of you new united states. let's keep that going. she's got room to show there's a difference in her approach. for that she can pull back to the clinton era in terms of style and the way they approach politics. >> i think in the general election, huge advantage because
of the demographics. but getting through the primaries -- i'm not sure the economy will help so much. >> she'll also have to show what she achieved as secretary of state. benghazi will be raised over and over again. she has to show some real accomplishments, and that is completely up in the air. we see what john kerry is doing and what negotiations are in play in iran. we don't know how that's going to turn out. >> so the politics of 2016 to the politics of the moment here in washington, a big one is health care. so the cbo, congressional budget office, issues an report this week. all of a sudden you get the debate right back front and center whether obamacare is a job killer. here are some of the headlines after that report from the hill. obamacare will cost 2.5 million workers by 2024. "the wall street journal" health law to cut into labor force. "new york times" health care law projected to cut the labor force. that's not exactly what the cbo said. but strike the word cbo. these were congressional researchers who issued this report, e.j. you wrote about it strongly this week. >> right.
this did not say obamacare is a job killer. on the contrary, when doug elmendorf of the cbo testified he said this will probably net create jobs. just think about the money put in people's pockets saving on their insurance from subsidies. what it said is some people might temporarily or leave the labor force. think of two people. we're supposed to be for family values. you have a couple where somebody wants to leave the labor force for a couple years to take care of their kids. under the old system if that person carried the health insurance, they didn't have the option to leave. now they can. what you're doing is expanding people's choices. but you are also in the end going to create jobs out of it. >> this is a lot to explain and for a lot of republicans. >> i think people get the choice part. >> but there are still a lot of republicans, david, who will say look, we told you it was going to have a huge impact on the labor force, some of which we truly don't understand. if you don't like obamacare, you may have a new reason to dislike it. >> there are going to be a lot fewer people in the labor force.
2 million people who have a stronger incentive to get out of the labor force. if they try to get in, the marginal tax rates go super high as you go up the income scale. you have fewer people working. we want people at home helping kids and people in the labor force to be a growing country. this is not good for that. >> what you can do about the labor force, the most dramatic thing is do something about immigration. that is what is now stymied. we don't know yet whether john boehner really means it or is just trying to calm down his republican caucus. mike and heritage have been very, very powerful this past week in scaring the speaker of the house. >> mona, make a point about health care. >> let's put the people in context. 145 million people in the workforce. we're talking about in this country, and i've worked with a lot of silicon valley companies, in america today a lot of what you see, who are starting businesses? people who already have means and people young and don't have families. one of the reasons is people are
tied down because of health care. so the idea that some people may ultimately fall out of the workforce but you have a whole group of people who may decide i'm going to start that new business and that in turn will create. >> hold on. a comment from mike here. >> the cbo debate has been one of those great moments that illustrates how washington, d.c. works and confuses the debate. here you have some of the same people who look at paul ryan's plan to strengthen medicare by providing premium support so that medicare exists for future generations and current generation and call that pushing granny off the cliff. you have people who look at mitt romney's career who created jobs and opportunities and say he's a guy who murdered some woman who had cancer that now say because you look at a cbo report that does say it's going to cost 2.5 million jobs, you're being unfair because you're not saying the implicit tax margins under the subsidies in obamacare are going to cause the labor demand to dry up. >> quick comment, e.j. >> this point about small businesses so important, a
scholar at harvard has shown in countries that guarantee everyone health insurance, there's a faster rate of small business creation than there is in the united states. >> it doesn't say jobs. it says workers. there is a very big distinction. >> let me get a break. we're going to continue this debate, by the way, in just a moment. the battle lines drawn in congress over this very issue, talking about immigration, the debt ceiling and the obamacare conversation we've been having. will it cost millions of jobs? two key senators will be here to have that debate coming up next. "meet the pres
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>> coming up, the battles in washington ahead from the debt coming up, the battles in washington ahead from the debt ceiling to immigration. will anything get done this year? i'll put two influential senators on the spot coming up next. now it's your turn to bring something to the table. here's today's question, weigh in now at facebook.com/meetthepress. for cross-country, classical. and for jumps, i need something...special. so i use my citi thankyou visa card for music downloads and earn two times the points... plus a little extra inspiration. [ ♪ music plays ] the citi thankyou preferred visa card. earn two times the points on entertainment and dining out with no annual fee.
and we are back. so if you're betting big things are going to get done in washington and congress this year, you might have been wrong. the glimmer of hope from the budget deal seems like it's disappeared with the battle lines now drawn over key issues and a new fight over the impact of obamacare. i'm joined my democratic senator chuck schumer of new york and republican senator rob portman of ohio. welcome back. >> good to be back. >> thanks, dave. >> you've been listening to this debate with the roundtable over obamacare. senator schumer, here is an ad by the conservative group americans for prosperity in this midterm election year that they're going to be running hard. watch. >> he told us -- >> a system that eases up the pressure on businesses and unleashes the promise of our economy creating hundreds of thousands of jobs.
>> but now we find out obamacare will reduce full-time employment by 2.3 million jobs. hurting the economy and middle class families. >> so for democrats who thought senator schumer, that obamacare was going to be a plus in this election year, are you on the defensive again? >> i don't think so. bottom line is very simple. what cbo said is that many american workers would have freedom. now, that's a good word. freedom to do things they couldn't do. the single mom who is raising three kids has to keep a job because of health care can now spend some time raising those kids. that's a family value. the student, 27 years old, wants to finish school quickly so he can get a great job. can't because he needs health care is now free. you know, david, when we passed the 40-hour workweek 100 years ago, it reduced hours, but it certainly was regarded as a step forward, and i'd say two other things here. number one, cbo used 2017 full employment as the baseline.
many people when the folks like the single mom and the student and the small businessman who wants to now start a small business and can, when those people leave their jobs in 2015, '16, '14, '15, '16 others are going to take those jobs. finally, in 2017, if there's full employment and no one it to take those jobs, it will raise wages. one of our big problems. this is a net plus. i'd say one final thing. >> let me get a sons from senator portman. i'm sure you're happy to have democrats on the defensive. why shouldn't this be seen as freedom for folks who didn't have it before? >> it's not that i'm happy to see democrats on the defensive. i'm worried about the american worker. it's unbelievable, david. we've got in our country right now a 35-year low in terms of labor participation. we don't have as many people in the workforce as during the middle of the recession. and yet, you have democrats almost giddy about the fact that oh, boy, now we're going to have fewer people in the workforce.
that doesn't help the workers. it doesn't help in terms of fighting poverty. look, cbo was very clear. they said this is going to result in fewer people wanting to work. what they didn't say, david, which is going to make this even worse is, of course, for many employers are not hiring people because of obamacare. 70% in some of the surveys of small businesses are saying that obamacare is already harming their ability to hire people. why? for a few reasons. one is you have these employer mandates in place saying if you have over 50 employees you're part of this. you have companies saying i'm not going to get over 50 employees. some companies are letting people go, certainly not growing employment. second, you have people saying i'm not going to let people work more than 30 hours. there's a new 40-hour workweek, senator schumer, as you know. it's a 30-hour workweek. higher health care costs is driving the cost of doing business up and therefore, fewer people are getting hired. i hear it in ohio all the time. i'm going to do more with part
time and overtime. i'm not going to hire people. finally 19 new taxes in this thing. a trillion dollars in new taxes. that wasn't even analyzed in the cbo report. there were a bunch of promises made and none are being kept. you could keep your health care. >> let's stick to this issue and to the question at hand. you brought up the american worker, senator portman, but you voted this week against extending unemployment benefits for those out of work. it's striking. i wonder what you say to those as been reported in your own state, more than 50,000 ohio residents who had unemployment benefits end in december. those folks who are really hurting. why did you vote against that? >> well, david, first of all, i'm one of six republicans that voted to allow the debate to go forward. i think we should. unfortunately, the democrats wouldn't negotiate with us how to pay for it. but again, let's get back to the problem at hand. i said we've got a 35-year low in terms of the numbers working and the participation rate. we also record numbers of people
long-term unemployed. the democrats answer to that is let's add more to the 26 weeks of unemployment insurance but do nothing to reform the program and give people the skills they need to assess the jobs out there. again, record numbers of people long-term unemployed. all the republicans were saying including me was look, yes, let's extend unemployment insurance. i'm okay with that. one, let's pay for it. last thing we want to do is add to the debt and deficit and make the economy worse. second, let's reform this program. i have a specific proposal to do that as do a group of republicans enough to get it across the floor. we need to work with the democrats to get that done. >> let me get a response from senator schumer. >> bottom line is our colleagues on the other side of the aisle are telling people what's good for them but the people don't want it. the person looking for a job for six months, eight months doesn't want to be told, doesn't want to be told they shouldn't get unemployment benefits to keep their house, to keep their car, to pay for gas, to look for a job. the single mom who would like to go home and raise her three kids doesn't want to be told you have to keep that job because we're
not going to give you health care. that's the bottom line here. >> senator schumer, immigration, a big focus for you and here you have the house speaker after saying this was the year to do it saying he doesn't see it happening. is this gamesmanship on his part or is this really over? >> well, you know, it's been a tough week for immigration. but all three, many of the republicans have said the following speaker boehner, mitch mcconnell, paul ryan, even jim demint have said they want to do immigration reform. but they don't trust the president to enforce the law, particularly the enforcement parts. so there's a simple solution. let's enact the law this year. but simply not let it actually start till 2017 after president obama's term is over. now, i think the rap against him that he won't enforce the law is false. he's deported more people than any other president.
but you could actually have the law start in 2017 without doing much violence to it. you'd simply move the date back from december 31st to 2011 to december 31st, 2013 as to when people, the deadline for people who could get either legalization or citizenship so we could go after the new people who come in later. and it would solve the problem. make no mistake about it, david. this view that we can get this done in 2015, '16 is false. you'll have the republican presidential primaries to pull people over to the right. tea party maximizes. so simple. let's say to our republican colleagues you don't trust obama? enact the law now but put it into effect in 2017, and we can get something real done for in irk. >> i've got to get a quick response from senator portman. is boehner at risk of losing his job if he pursues this? >> no, i think john boehner is fine in terms of his job. i do think our immigration system is broken. what chuck talks about delaying it, i think some republicans would be interested in that if we put in place the enforcement measures so it would work.
in other words, be sure the border is secure, make sure you have a workforce enforcement program that works. the concern is to get back to the 1986 law. last time we did this, where we did provide legalization but didn't do the enforcement, 3 million people were legalized, another 6 million came illegally. that's what republicans are looking for enforcement first. >> senators schumer and portman, thanks so much. coming up here, the roundtable responds a little bit and we'll talk about what's going to drives the week ahead. that's right after this. the up all-nighters. and the ones who turn ideas into action. we've made our passions our life's work. we strive for the moments where we can say, "i did it!" ♪ we are entrepreneurs who started it all... with a signature. legalzoom has helped start over 1 million businesses, turning dreamers into business owners. and we're here to help start yours. i just served my mother-in-law your chicken noodle soup but she loved it so much... i told her it was homemade.
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e.j., you've got all your notes lined up. i want to make very clear you've taken a lot of notes. senator schumer may have advanced something to get this immigration debate back on track. what do you think? >> right. i think he's trying to call the bluff of the republicans, john boehner, paul ryan have been saying we can't trust obama. so what he's saying is okay, the new law will not take effect until after obama leaves office. and i think john boehner and paul ryan are really on the line here because they've been sending signals privately to all kinds of pro immigration groups. they really want to do this. they've shown some guts and now they're in danger of looking gutless by folding at the first signs of pressure. so i think -- >> is that your pressure, mike needham, as a conservative lobbyist? >> the pro immigration groups he's talking to are big business lobbyists in washington, d.c. we need a modern immigration system. the bill chuck schumer is talking about is a comprehensive
bill that gets into detail of how many ski instructors will be allowed to come into the system. american people are bored how to change the status quo which is broken on the margins and instead looking for big bold ideas. >> every college president in the country is saying you've got to fix this, especially for the high-tech jobs. >> we do. that's why the house of representatives in the 112th congress passed a bill to expand the number of visas. these fights are about how to change the status quo. lobbyists are happy. >> it's not about who runs the republican party. do the leaders to want to have a presidential national future as a multiracial party, do they run the party or does mike run the party? the truth is, mike runs the party. >> mona, go ahead. >> it's primary season. i completely get it if you're house member on the right worried about a primary challenge having the debate come up in the height of the primary filing system. that might not be a great time from your perspective. as the lens starts to shift from the midterms to the 2016 race,
this is going to become clearer that this issue has to become resolved. because the status quo is unsustainable. >> cannot have millions of people with no documentation and all of these children, as well. this is an unsustainable situation. >> everybody agrees with that and the republican party should be strong enough and big enough we can have a fact-based debate what the right way to do any issue. we're doing a conference tomorrow. it's a conservative reform conference. would love to you have there. nine hours of people coming over. senator tim scott talking about school choice reform, senator ted cruz talking about access to energy. these are all things the country needs and that conservatives have good reform ideas. the problem is that you have a broken status quo in washington, d.c. where 33,000 lobbyists say we're not going to let anything truly bold go forward because then there's winners and losers. we prefer the current system where we can pick winners and losers by working with hillary clinton. >> probably i go to your conference, i'll agree. i just don't see the political path.
i'd like you to explain to me demographically how does the party survive without immigration. >> how are those lobbyists different from you as a lobbyist? >> by showing the republican party is on the side of the overwhelming majority of the american people, 85% of the american people who don't feel heard in washington. they're right. we don't have a tax code about raising money to fund government. >> african-americans, asian-americans, how do you reach those people? >> we need to reform our immigration system. there is more student loan debt in this country right now than there is credit card. >> it tells you something about what is going to drives the weeks ahead is this immigration debate. thank you all for a spirited discussion this sunday morning. appreciate it very much. meantime, as you all know, the winter olympic coverage will continue from sochi on nbc. reigning u.s. champion gracie gold competes in figure skating. five-time olympic medalist bode miller tries for the gold in men's downhill skiing. go usa. that's all today. we'll be back next week.
if it's sunday, it's "meet the press." tac -- www.vitac.com right now in sochi, the olympic flame lights the midnight sky after a dramatic day of competition. from a violent crash on the slopes to a gold medal sweep by team usa, we are live in sochi with the highlights. good sunday afternoon. i'm melissa raburger. easy access. edward snowdone used off the shelf software to crack into the classified documents. also ahead -- tie notion that all are created equal and that all are entitled to opportunity an