tv This Week With George Stephanopoulos ABC October 12, 2014 10:00am-11:01am EDT
starting right now on abc's "this week" -- breaking right now, ebola emergency. a health care worker in dallas tests positive for the killer virus. the first possible transmission of ebola on u.s. soil. how did it happen? are we at greater risk than we thought? full analysis, all the breaking details from our dr. besser and on the ground in dallas. isis gaining ground. new fears for the iraqi capital baghdad. is the terror group about to score a major victory? >> we're not going to allow that to happen. >> the chairman of the joint chiefs weighs in. and -- >> i've got a piece to speak. >> "mr. smith goes to washington." the hollywood classic turns 75. how it influenced the country and the commander in chief. >> announcer: from abc news, "this week with george stephanopoulos" begins now. good morning.
i'm martha raddatz, and as we come on the air today, we have breaking news from texas, the first possible transmission of ebola in america. a health care worker who treated ebola patient thomas eric duncan has now tested positive for the virus. that word coming just hours ago, and it's raising so many questions this morning. abc's tom llamas has the very latest. good morning, tom. >> good morning, martha. we just got new information on this case. health officials in texas speaking just moments ago and what's most troubling, they say this health care worker was wearing the full protective gear while treating mr. duncan and still got infected. this morning, health officials in texas say they're very concerned. overnight, dangerous developments in the fight against ebola. a health care worker at texas health presbyterian hospital testing positive for the deadly virus. if confirmed, this would be the first person infected inside of the u.s. >> the patient's condition is stable.
a close contact has also been proactively placed in isolation. >> reporter: samples taken from the victim have been transferred to the cdc in atlanta for further confirmation. the infected worker cared for thomas eric duncan, the first ebola patient diagnosed in the u.s. duncan, a liberian, started showing simms on september 25th but was sent home by the hospital. it's still unclear why. he then returned when his condition worsened. duncan died on wednesday after ten days in treatment. texas health officials released no information on the identity of the patient, but they say the health care worker reported a low grade fever friday night and was then isolated. >> that health care worker is a heroic person. >> reporter: in a statement the texas health department commissioner said "we knew a second case could be a reality. we are broadening our team in dallas and working with extreme diligence to prevent further spread." this second possible ebola case coming the same weekend that new airport screenings for passengers flying from
ebola-infected west african countries began of the enhanced screening including taking passengers' temperatures started saturday at jfk airport in new york. >> no matter how many of these procedures are put into place, we can't get the risk to zero. >> reporter: and they're now working to track down anyone who had contact with this health care worker. they are decontaminate iing their apartment, alerting neighbors and testing this person's pet because the person had a pet inside their home and we also know this health care worker is outside of the 48 people being treated so that pool is now growing. martha. >> thanks so much, tom. now let's bring in abc news radio's jim ryan, who is on the scene at the hospital in dallas. he joins us via skype. jim, i thought they seemed to be saying the same things they had been saying for weeks, which has to rattle people. >> well, i think you're right. they're issuing the same advisories but the same comfort in a way saying that you can't catch this from being sneezed on. you can't catch this from coming
into casual contact with someone. it has to be the bodily fluids of a person showing symptoms of ebola. that's what was repeated today by the texas county judge, by the dallas county judge and by the mayor, as well. they do issue those advisories but i can tell you here in dallas people are a little on edge about this feeling that, are you absolutely positive about that, and i think that's why they keep saying that to us. >> and that's the problem. they keep saying the same things and yet you have this new patient. they themselves even seemed rattled to me in the press conference. >> i think you're right. i mean, it is early. this is new information to them certainly, but i think there was that sort of sense of unease. it's important to note and as you heard there that this person was wearing the protective gear but was treating duncan on his second visit here when he came in critically ill, not the first time two days earlier when he came in just feeling a little bit sick. >> when they knew he had the disease at that point. so let's take this to our experts.
our chief medical editor and former acting director of the cdc, dr. richard besser, who has made two trips to liberia covering the ebola outbreak for us and dr. anthony fauci from the national institute of allergy and infectious diseases. let me start with you, dr. fauci. how could this happen with someone in protective gear? that's what's so alarming about this. >> well, certainly there has to have been an inadvertent innocent breach of the protocol of taking care of a patient within the personal protective equipment. that extremely rarely happens. we've been taking care of ebola patients since 1976, groups like doctors without borders who do that almost never have an infection because of the experience of doing this, so this happened certainly because there was and the cdc is trying to find out now just what that breach was, but this was a breach in protocol, unfortunate for this very courageous health care worker. >> and do you know anything about this health care worker, what the job was?
>> we know that the person did have direct contact in taking care of the patient. >> was it a nurse? was it -- >> i'm not sure. i'm hearing it's a nurse, but i don't have direct -- >> okay, you talk about it being inadvertent. dr. besser, can we even trust that it was an inadvertent problem? i mean, do -- is it that fragile, these suits, this protective gear, could something have broken? >> but what concerns me having suited up and gone into an ebola ward in africa is that it's not something that health care workers in the united states normally go through. i was suited up by two people who have specialized training in that, who helped me get in the suit but also coming out they decontaminated me in a specialized way. the comments from cdc early on that this could be done in any hospital that is used to doing isolation just doesn't wring true to me. groups like doctors without borders, they have incredible
training in this and they practice it and it's the practicing that ensures that you don't have a slipup. for our first patient in america to lead already to a health care worker getting sick really raises concern to me about treating these in regular hospitals. >> so should the cdc make changes? is this enough? >> they -- >> if something can happen like this, it doesn't seem like it is enough. >> what the cdc is right now doing, first they're going to be reviewing this particular incident to find out, try and find out exactly how it happened but then to fortify, as rich says, the protocol exactly what you need to do to make sure people are doing it precisely according to the protocol because we do know that when you do follow that protocol, it works. >> let me talk about public trust, and that's what i was trying to get at with jim, as well. we've heard all of this. you know, you'll be fine. everybody will be fine. we're very professional. this isn't west africa. the public trust has to be eroded right now saying, wait a
minute, someone who wasn't even at high risk got it. >> yeah, but, martha, i think we need to separate it into two issues. one is the public trust of we're not going to have an outbreak in this country because this country is not west africa versus taking care of a specific patient under a protocol that might unfortunately get a health care worker infected. those are really two different things because the contact tracing that has gone on now regarding mr. duncan has actually put an umbrella over the people who came into contact, they are being followed. the system worked in this woman, as tragic as it is if someone gets infected, she was on voluntary self-monitoring. she found she got infected and she immediately did what she was supposed to have done was to be reporting it, so even in this troublesome situation, the system is working regarding preventing an outbreak. >> i understand the system so far is working there
but i'm talking about public trust because you hear public officials saying, we know how to handle this. they have protective suits. >> i think whenever there's something like this that happens, the trust becomes an issue and it spills over into areas where i agree, the risk of this spreading widely is zero. the possibility of additional cases is real. but when there's a statement that you can do this safely in any american hospital and the first hospital that tries has a problem, that can impact on trust. that's the problem. >> and just go forward a little bit here. in the coming next couple of days, what will we see? >> we're going to see them doing exactly what happened with eric duncan in terms of identifying all her contacts and tracking those people. they'll be monitoring fevers for 21 days, they'll be, as they were saying in the conference, they'll be decontaminating the place where she lived. and those steps will help ensure this doesn't spread further but we've not seen the last of ebola in america. we're going to see this elsewhere. >> and you've got health care workers right now who i'm sure
are pretty worried, as well. stand by for just one moment as you know, this latest news comes as u.s. troops are heading straight for the hot zone this weekend. the center of the ebola outbreak in west africa. we'll get our experts to weigh in on their mission shortly. first here's abc's steve osunsami in ft. campbell, kentucky. >> reporter: it's an enemy many u.s. soldiers have never seen before already claiming more than 4,000 lives in west africa, and now hundreds of american troops are heading straight for the hot zone to fight it head on. >> inspect your gloves, inspect your mask. >> reporter: major jim wade is 1 of 1400 soldiers at ft. campbell in kentucky leaving for liberia next week to help fight the deadly virus. >> how does it feel? good? >> fine. >> reporter: trading the dangers of bullets and ieds for a pathogen you cannot see. >> how many people have done a deployment? >> reporter: like many this father and husband of two has already left his family twice serving two
combat tours in iraq with the 101st airborne division. >> we're still separated. there's still going to be that -- the missing the family, but when it boils down to it, it's our mission. >> reporter: how long are you guys going to be gone? >> they gave us six to nine months. >> reporter: in all the pentagon is sending 4,000 troops to this international effort to build health care facilities for the sick and move supplies. commanding general gary velaski will lead the mission known as leading some of the most difficult migs in war time. the training was direct. it's not a good idea to shake hands, keep a comfortable distance when talking to people on the ground and treat all animals as if they're infected. you're only supposed to eat mres so something cooked by the army, water provided by the army. nothing from the local population. >> reporter: already the world health organization says 8400 people have gotten sick. but among the troops we talked with, no fear or apprehension, just focus on the mission.
>> if any country is prepared to stem the tide of ebola it's the united states and those people need help. >> reporter: and every soldier here plans to return home healthy. for "this week," steve osunsami, ft. campbell, kentucky. abc news,. >> our thanks to steve and back now with dr. besser and dr. fauci. i know those troops will go over there and do the best job possible. but i have no doubt that this morning some of their families after hearing this news are concerned. should they be concerned in this case? >> well, the troops are not going to be directly taking care of patients, so we shouldn't misinterpret that. there are medical personnel from the department of defense being there. they're going to do a very important job of logistics, engineering, command and control and setting up the field hospitals. certainly going over there, they could indirectly get in contact but their primary mission is not to take care of patients. >> i realize that, but there is some possibility of indirect contact. >> there's always -- >> yeah, right now we have a situation and this is one of the reasons why they're going over, a situation where only 20% of patients with ebola are being
treated in treatment units, and so there are a lot of people who have ebola who are not in a protective environment, so the possibility of a soldier getting ebola is very real and something we have to be ready for. >> and i know talking to the chairman of the joint chiefs of staff that he said that they are prepared for that possibility and they do have a plan in place. thanks very much to both of you. up next, our exclusive interview with the president's top military adviser. are air strikes against isis working? campaign controversy. why some say this new tv ad goes too far. and later, if hillary clinton runs could this be her choice for vice president? we've got julian castro's surprising answer. back in just two minutes. >> announcer: "this week with george stephanopoulos" brought to you by pacific life. for insurance, annuities and investments, choose pacific life. the power to help you succeed. they call it planning for retirement because getting
there requires exactly that. a plan for what you want your future to look like. for more than 145 years, pacific life has been providing solutions to help individuals like you achieve long-term financial security. bring your vision for the future to life with pacific life. talk to a financial advisor to help build and protect your retirement income. pacific life. the power help you succeed.
but when we start worrying about tomorrow, we miss out on the things that matter today. ♪ at axa, we offer advice and help you break down your insurance goals into small, manageable steps. because when you plan for tomorrow, it helps you live for today. can we help you take a small step? for advice, retirement, and life insurance, connect with axa.
now our "closer look." our exclusive interview with the president's top military adviser, the chairman of the joint chiefs of staff general martin dempsey. this week he's holding urgent meetings with his counterparts from 20 countries, all focused on the fight against isis. following news that the jihadist army is gaining ground.followint army is gaining ground. their fears, they could completely take over kobani, a key border town despite u.s.-led air strikes trying to hold them off. this morning, new images coming in of the fierce battle for that city, but i started off asking general dempsey if isil was within striking distance of an even bigger prize, baghdad. >> isis is blending into parts ofhe disenfranchised sunni population so for indirect fire, the answer is, yes.
heretofore we've been successful, mostly the iraqis have been successful, in keeping them out of range, but i have no doubt there will be days they use indirect fire into baghdad. >> but perhaps most critical right now, keeping the baghdad airport out of the hands of isis. the chairman revealing a recent fierce battle near there between isis and iraqi forces where for the first time the u.s. had to call in apache attack helicopters to prevent the iraqi forces from being overrun. those helicopters fly low and at a much greater risk than fighter jets. >> the tool that was immediately available was the apache. the risk of operating in a hostile environment is there constantly. >> that was right by the airport? >> well, this is the -- a case where you're not going to wait till they're climbing over the wall. they were within, you know, 20 or 25 kilometers where -- >> of baghdad airport.
>> sure, and had they overrun the iraqi unit, it was a straight shot to the airport, so we're not going to allow that to happen. we need that airport. >> reporter: then there's the battle in kobani near the syrian border where the u.s. has launched air strikes to try to push back isis and the kurds now warn up to 5,000 people could be slaughtered if isis takes over. >> whether there are still 5,000 people there or not is a matter of conjecture at this point. but i have no doubt that isil will conduct the same kind of horrific atrocities if they have the opportunity to do so. >> is there more the u.s. and the coalition could be doing? >> we do think that there's more that the coalition could do inside of syria. >> can you see setting up a no-fly zone? >> yeah, if you mean have i been asked to do it, the answer is no. do i anticipate that there could be circumstances in the future where that would be part of the campaign, yeah.
>> it's something the turks have been pushing for, meanwhile, since the bombing campaign began, isis has been changing tactics making targets harder to identify. with reports that only 10% of warplanes are actually dropping bombs. is it harder to find targets? is that an accurate figure? ? yeah, sure. i don't know if that's the right percentage precisely, but that wouldn't surprise me if that's the right number and the enemy, they'll be harder to target. yeah. they know how to maneuver and how to use populations and concealment and so when we get a target, we'll take it. >> on the one hand, you say you've disrupted or contained them. on the other hand, if they're going in and blending into the population and changing their tactics, that seems kind of a wash. >> yeah, but, remember, now, sure. you have to be able to look at right now and you have to understand what it's going to take over time to deliver a campaign objective.
it wasn't so long ago that we were talking about the imminent fall of erbil, the capital of the kurdistan regional government. it wasn't so long ago that the u.s. embassy was actually feeling threatened in baghdad. none of those are part of the landscape right now. >> what is it like inside mosul and fallujah where isil controls those areas? >> extraordinarily strict interpretations of sharia law, punishments, crucifixions and beheadings of a nature that the world hasn't seen in hundreds of years, but isil is also clever to give the enemy its due. they are also providing basic goods and services. they seek to reach out to children, to influence the next generation. >> it was, of course, dempsey who testified some weeks back -- >> if we reached a point where i believe our advisers should accompany iraq troops on attacks against specific isil targets, i'll recommend that to the president. >> this after the president had said there would be no american combat boots on the ground.
>> would we be more effective against isis if we had u.s. troops on the ground spotting targets, if we had those ground troops? >> yeah, there will be circumstances when the answer to that question will likely be yes. but i haven't encountered one right now. >> what kind of point -- >> i actually used the example of, you know, mosul will likely be the decisive battle in the ground campaign at some point in the future. >> when the iraqi security forces have to go back and -- >> yeah, when they are ready to go back on the offensive, my instinct at this point is that will require a different kind of advising and assisting because of the complexity of that fight. >> and instant analysis now from our abc contributor steve ganyard, a former marine corps fighter pilot and state department official. good morning, steve. i want to go right to what general dempsey said. he said my instinct at this point said it will require a different kind of advising and assisting because of the complexity of that fight.
what does he mean by that? what kind of soldiers does he mean? >> i think he's comfortable with the recommendation he made to the president that for now this static defensive positions we have are fine the way we're doing it. but when they start going on the offense and when the iraqi army goes back to retake mosul, that offensive combat operations require u.s. boots on the ground, combat advisers, people working to pick out targets to get coalition air power into the fight. >> let's talk about baghdad. there is a lot of pressure on baghdad. news overnight, there are suicide bombings, they're moving into al anbar province. let's take a look at the map so you can see exactly what we're talking about in terms of baghdad and where isis is moving. >> so i think that one -- the interesting thing here, you see that isis is beginning to create a circle around fallujah. one of the extraordinary things that was -- that the general mentioned today was that there was really two apaches between isis and the baghdad airport. we were the last line of defense. so it tells you how tentative the defense around baghdad is.
and you can continue to see these attacks -- >> is baghdad really threatened right now? he seemed to say no. >> he seemed to say no but if there's only one set of two apaches that are stopping all of isis from what he say was a straight shot to the baghdad airport, that's concerning. shows you how truly weak the iraqi military is. >> and very quickly, steve, if you can broaden it out, we know about kobani. he thinks it will fall. he fears it will fall. and what you're seeing across that swath of land. >> right, so kobani, frankly, is a bit of a sideshow. what's more important this week is anbar continues to deteriorate and we're seeing hit, ra ma'am di, and they're beginning to be overrun and iraqi army troops cut off so anbar, losing anbar and that whole supply system coming out of syria would be a very, very terrible blow to the effort. >> and seems to get more serious every day. thanks very much for joining us, steve. up next, were isis terrorists caught sneaking
across our southern border? why one congressman's claims are raising alarms. plus, who is trying to be mr. smith now? remembering a hollywood classic. back in just two minutes. your customers, our financing. your aspirations, our analytics. your goals, our technology. introducing synchrony financial, bringing new meaning to the word partnership. banking. loyalty. analytics. synchrony financial. enagage with us. transit fares! as in the 37 billion transit fares we help collect each year. no? oh, right. you're thinking of the 1.6 million daily customer care interactions xerox handles. or the 900 million health insurance claims we process. so, it's no surprise to you
that companies depend on today's xerox for services that simplify how work gets done. which is...pretty much what we've always stood for. with xerox, you're ready for real business. but when we start worrying about tomorrow, we miss out on what matters today. ♪ at axa, we offer advice and help you break down your retirement goals into small, manageable steps. because when you plan for tomorrow, it helps you live for today. can we help you take a small step? for advice, retirement, and life insurance, connect with axa. fone"dad, let's goment, shoot some hoops."id,, i couldn't play with him. i didn't have the energy, i was just so overweight. it just made me feel like i was nothing.
and then my sister introduced me to herbalife. i started drinking the protein shakes, she helped me plan out a more balanced diet. i've lost 44 pounds. and now when my son asks me to shoot some hoops, i wear him out! find out more at iamherbalife.com trending right now, our fafacebook find of the week. what's burning up news feeds? a high stakes face-off over the isis threat. california congressman duncan hunter alleging members of the terror group were apprehended trying to sneak across our southern border. >> i know that at least ten isis fighters have been caught coming across the mexican border in texas. >> a stunning claim. but is it true? not according to the homeland security secretary. >> we have no credible specific intelligence to that effect.
let's not unduly create fear and anxiety. >> but hunter insists he's right. his spokesman firing back, it makes sense that the left hand of the dhs doesn't know what the right hand is doing. it's been that way for a long time. did congressman hunter go too far with his new claim? let's take on our facebook find of the week. >> and the roundtable is here. bill kristol, editor of "the weekly standard," democratic strategic donna brazile and abc political analyst matthew dowd. welcome, everyone. no one seems to have any evidence to back up hunter's claims. is he just seizing on people's fears? they're pretty high this morning. >> yeah, they're very high this morning. and i don't want to conflate the two things with ebola and this, but many times fear doesn't have to be real to be powerful. and in the context of it, we don't often have to have facts to back up our fears.
we respond to our fears. everybody has the right to say what they want to say but they have the responsibility to say what maybe they believe to be factually correct. the congressman says he believes it to be factually correct but with terrorism and as you say with the ebola thing, we should counsel our fears and look for the fact sets. >> let's -- a quick comment from both of you about the fears of ebola this morning. this is a pretty serious major development that really is going to scare people. >> well, the president said it's a national and security priority and i think the administration has been right to try to contain it in africa and also to put in place real strong measures here with the five airports to screen passengers coming from these affected countries, but we have to do more to make sure that we don't invent more fear. >> airports enough? >> look, i mean you and i watched that press conference this morning. that was not reassuring and i don't mean to blame people who are operating under a lot of pressure, public officials who are trying to adjust to changing
circumstances but one doesn't have the feeling they're ahead of the curve. one has the feeling they're running to catch up and spending too much time telling us don't worry, we have it under control and we did this, this and this over the last week instead of being honest about how little they know and i'm afraid how much potential there is for real bad things to happen. >> and let's turn to isis, as well. we've been hearing for many months now that the air strikes and you heard general dempsey say that, you know, they have been contained and degraded. but where does this go from here? this is a pretty serious development, all this with al anbar and kobani. >> yeah, i don't even know that we've degraded some -- little bits -- parts of isis. i wish we degraded more but they're on the offensive. that's the big, unfortunately, the big picture. a couple months ago the president of the united states said we're taking on isis and we'll degrade and destroy them. two months later they are threatening genocide and the syrian border and
more strategically they have opened up a huge supply line from syria almost to baghdad. they apparently were going to have a free run into baghdad it we hadn't deployed apache helicopters this. this is not fixed wing aircraft. we basically are engaged and for the president to still resist saying, okay, we need to send real troops in there to win this, i think is a little mystifying. >> and what happens if as colonel ganyard was stating and general dempsey was certainly implying i think you send in ground controllers on the ground real combat boots according to the definition that president obama has. >> well, boots are already on the ground. it's just a question of whether they're wearing loafers or boots or tennis shoes. they're already on the ground. >> or barefoot. >> yeah. >> this highlights a bigger problem. we constantly are debating the tack continues of what we should use for isis or in the midst of africa. is president obama using the right ones or not? and republicans say he's not using the right ones or needs to use more. we really need to paint the strategy, the broad strategy, our foreign policy strategy and what does our foreign policy vision --
>> use of drones. >> the american public does not think we have a real foreign policy vision, and i think that's a debate we should have, not tactics. >> and, donna, this week we saw another of president obama's former cabinet members, this was defense secretary leon panetta come out and criticize the president. let's listen. >> the first four years and the time i spent there, i thought he was a strong leader on security issues. but these last two years, i think he kind of lost his way. >> has he kind of lost his way? >> no, look, the president's elected a great group of advisers, hillary clinton, robert gates, leon panetta and many, many more with strong experiences, i mean, they came to the table with strong opinions, with great experience and there's no reason to suspect that leon panetta who after all left the nixon administration because president nixon wasn't enforcing civil rights strong enough, he criticized president clinton in his administration as omb director.
leon panetta is a very honest public servant. and he said a lot of great things about president obama in that 512-page book. i haven't read it all, bill. sorry. watching football too much but you know what -- >> me too. >> yeah. but they know what parts people will read. they know what parts are interesting. >> to cherry pick out the bad stuff, but he said when it comes to making bad decisions, he's thoughtful, he's deliberate. >> he says he's helping the president. >> look, it is very damaging, not just politically but really worrisome from the country's point of view that leon panetta, hillary clinton and robert gates all have basically cast a vote of no confidence in the president's current foreign policy. they want to say in the first term they were able to keep some of the president's inclinations in check, but now he -- i do think in the last couple of years the world has gotten more dangerous and leon panetta deserves credit for telling the truth. >> this puts a bad thing on who will you hire in the future?
if you write books while you're in the president's office it doesn't set you up well for the future of who you want in your office. >> you don't talk -- >> you need a prenup. >> yeah, a prenup or better vetting at least. coming up, paul krugman's big change of heart about president obama. but first our powerhouse puzzler. there were two winners of the nobel peace prize this week including 17-year-old malala yousafzai, who we've been profiling on this show. they inspired our puzzler, name the four presidents who won the peace prize. back in two minutes with the answer. they think salmon and energy. but the energy bp produces up here creates something else as well: jobs all over america. engineering and innovation jobs. advanced safety systems & technology. shipping and manufacturing. across the united states, bp supports more than a quarter million jobs. when we set up operation in one part of the country, people in other parts go to work. that's not a coincidence. it's one more part of our commitment to america.
but when we start worrying about tomorrow, we miss out on the things that matter today. ♪ at axa, we offer advice and help you break down your insurance goals into small, manageable steps. because when you plan for tomorrow, it helps you live for today. can we help you take a small step? for advice, retirement, and life insurance, connect with axa. so which four presidents were awarded the nobel peace prize? let's see what you all came up with. teddy roosevelt, obama, carter, coolidge. obama, carter, roosevelt. >> obama, carter, roosevelt, wilson. >> okay. i'm going to look at the notes here. teddy roosevelt, woodrow wilson, jimmy carter and barack obama. >> wow. >> there you go. what a scholar.
>> all democrats. >> very, very good. >> not a republican. >> roosevelt. >> roosevelt. >> and obama didn't deserve it. >> okay. >> don't say that. >> we'll be back in just a couple minutes. kid: hey dad, who was that man? dad: he's our broker. he helps looks after all our money. kid: do you pay him? dad: of course. kid: how much? dad: i don't know exactly. kid: what if you're not happy? does he have to pay you back? dad: nope. kid: why not? dad: it doesn't work that way. kid: why not? vo: are you asking enough questions about the way your wealth is managed? wealth management at charles schwab means keeping seven billion ctransactions flowing.g, and when weather hits, it's data mayhem. but airlines running hp end-to-end solutions are always calm during a storm.
so if your business deals with the unexpected, hp big data and cloud solutions make sure you always know what's coming - and are ready for it. make it matter. and i'm here to tell hi,homeowners winkler that are sixty-two and older about a great way to live a better retirement... it's called a reverse mortgage. call right now to receive your free dvd and booklet with no obligation. it answers questions like... how a reverse mortgage works, how much you qualify for, the ways to receive your money...and more. plus, when you call now, you'll get this magnifier with led light absolutely free! when you call the experts at one reverse mortgage today, you'll learn the benefits of a government-insured reverse mortgage. it will eliminate your monthly mortgage payments and give you tax-free cash from the equity in your home and here's the best part... you still own your home. take control of your retirement today!
back now with our politics buzz board. topping it off, with 23 days left, a critical north carolina senate race debate. george moderating a candidate clash over obama's agenda. >> you're proud of the fact you voted with the president 96% of the time. >> 100% of the time, his policies hurt north carolina. >> it wasn't a great week for democrats in the bluegrass state. republicans pouncing on this awkward video showing alison lundergran grimes refusing to say if she voted for president obama.
>> did you vote for president obama, 2008, 2012? >> you know, this election isn't about the president. >> did you vote for him? >> i respect the sanctity of the ballot box. >> and a stunning ad in the texas governor's race. democrat wendy davis accusing republican greg abbott disabled 30 years ago of hypocrisy. >> a tree fell on greg abbott. he sued and got millions. since then he spent his career working against other victims. >> abbott called the ad offensive. so add it up, nate silver and his team over at fivethirtyeight now give republicans a 58% chance of taking the senate, down one point since last week. and now we hit the road with hud secretary julian castro. he's just 77 days into his new job, but ever since his swearing in, so many democrats have skipped ahead trying to figure
out what's next for the rising star. could he be on a presidential ticket in 2016? here's abc's jim avila. >> reporter: president obama called him an all-star and made then 39-year-old julian castro the youngest member of his presidential cabinet. housing and urban development secretary. >> america's cities are growing again, and housing is at the top of the agenda. >> reporter: but with a rapidly growing latino voting population few believe he left his job as mayor of san antonio, texas, just to run a washington bureaucracy. so this may surprise you. >> i'm not running for president. you know, i guarantee you that i'm not going to run for president and so this -- >> this time. >> probably ever. >> reporter: the texas democrat picked by barack obama to keynote the 2012 convention was groomed by his political activist mother to break down racial barriers urging him to
run for city council while still at harvard law school and he's backed by his equally political congressman twin brother joaquin castro. >> the democrats have not only a rising latino star in julian castro, they have an extra one of him in case he breaks. >> they are identical. julian older by just one minute and still frequently confused for one another. >> i always tell people that i'm the better looking twin. my brother might disagree. >> reporter: the congressman says if anyone runs for president between the two, it will be his older brother. their mother seems to agree. >> he would make a very good president or vice president. i will support him. >> of course, any mother is going to say that. >> reporter: but julian says with a straight face he does not have white house ambitions. >> i've never woken up in the morning and seen in my future when i look in the mirror and said, oh, i think i'm going to be president. >> reporter: and he says, talk about him being on a hillary clinton ticket as the latino to
bring out the crucial hispanic vote in 2016 goes way too far. >> i don't believe that i'm going to be vice president. >> reporter: are you in washington, d.c., have you been brought here, are you at hud because you're being groomed? >> i'm here at hud because the president asked if i would be interested in serving in this role. there's a tremendous upside in terms of the satisfaction of the work that we do. >> reporter: castro, who just turned 40, is now in charge of 8500 employees, the first hud secretary to run the very federal housing projects where his father was raised. >> i see folks who live in our public housing units as lks who have the same dreams, the same ambitions. that's part of what drives my work to create greater opportunity for them. >> reporter: this week in providence, rhode island, 1 of 11 cities he's visited since taking over hud, he toured neighborhoods he aims to revive
with grant money for low-income housing. >> is that right? >> in that house over there. >> reporter: castro is pushing mortgage banks to loosen credit restrictions that have stalled the housing market. >> we're still afraid of what happened in the bubble. >> yeah. >> some people got houses they couldn't afford because mortgages were too easy. >> the challenge now is that it's -- the pendulum has completely swung in the other direction. in fact, we estimate that there are about 13 million folks who would be able to access credit for a home that today are basically shut out. >> reporter: castro says he plans to stay in washington through the rest of president obama's term and then it's back to san antonio because while he may have never looked in the mirror and seen a president, he does admit to catching a glimpse of another reflection. >> there were definitely mornings when i woke up and wished there was a different governor of texas. that's fair to say. i'm 40 years old right now and i feel like i have a lot of time
to figure out where the opportunities are. >> reporter: a political sprinter who has made it far and fast, acknowledging the marathon ahead. >> hi, how are you? >> reporter: for "this week," jim avila, abc news, providence, rhode island. >> okay, and back now with the roundtable. donna, you one of those democrats who sees a star rising there or are we just getting way ahead? >> no question, i have a button. you know, there's no question, castro for governor, 2018. he is a rising star, he's the future face of not just the democratic party but american politics. he's a great public servant. i was in san antonio the other day and people want him to come home and run for governor. >> of course, let's go -- >> the fact that donna has that button shows that she's giving up the democrat wendy -- the much heralded wendy davis who was going to take texas back this year. now she's running this disgusting ad -- >> what about that ad? >> that ad is not -- look, let me just say this, the greatest hero of the democratic party franklin roosevelt was in a wheelchair, so we respect anyone
with any disability. it's about his character. it's about greg abbott's character. >> come on. you don't really believe that ad is appropriate, donna. >> i am looking at -- look, i'm not talking about the wheelchair. the point she's making, it's a fair point about greg abbott's record of saying to others that they shouldn't get the same treatment that he received. look, i'm saying that i would not have used that wheelchair but the fact that greg abbott is in a wheelchair, that is -- he has been in a wheelchair in an ad, so i'm not saying that this -- >> matt, there's got to be something in between. >> well, living in austin, texas, i'm going to have to vote in this race so i have watched a lot of these ads. to me there's always three signs a campaign is in great peril and about to lose, first is when the campaign starts saying we're not taking in account all the turnout models. we're going to change the turnout. the second when they say the only poll that counts is on election day, you know the campaign is in trouble and the third is when they do an ad like this.
she didn't do an ad like this from a place of strength, she did a place from weakness, it's only going to make it worse for her. >> how will that go over? donna, do you think that will go over well? >> look, that is not the ad i would have run but we're talking about a candidate who is in a wheelchair. are we -- >> so do you think that ad will work in texas? >> i don't -- i mean she's coming from behind. i don't know if that ad is going to put her over the top. some people say it's a sign of desperation. some people -- i saw it in a newspaper, it's ballsy, it's a sign of inspiration. i don't know how that ad will cut. all i know is we're talking about the ad and not the message behind it which says it's not a good ad. >> she was going downhill. now she's in a ditch. this ad took her into a ditch. >> so, let's talk about -- we got three weeks away till the midterms. high expectations that the republicans will take the senate. what if they fall short? >> republicans will be despondent, donors will be despirited. i'll be despondent. i've been critical of it. i'm genuinely a pessimist, but
i think they'll win and with a few seats to spare. it seems like it's breaking in a democratic -- around colorado and iowa and kentucky where alison grimes couldn't just say, of course, i voted for president obama, i'm the democratic senate candidate but i'm my own person, et cetera. that's an easy -- when a candidate freezes up like that and is unwilling to give the obviously correct answer it's a sign her polling is collapsing and i think it's happening around the country and republicans have an outside chance in virginia where they've been counted out and ed gillespie is gaining on warner. >> kansas where republicans are now scrambling to see if they can save pat roberts, and the state of south dakota where, again, republicans are nervous about their candidate, mr. rounds, and whether or not he's going to be able to break 30%. look, i still think it's a 50/50 chance that the democrats will retain the senate and the reason why is because -- louisiana, yes, mary is still having a tough time with two republican candidates and we know we might send some time in louisiana during thanksgiving.
north carolina, senator hagan is doing quite well because she's running against someone who cut education, overall it's a still 50/50 chance they'll retain control but not going to be easy. >> let's talk about kansas and south dakota, those races because something no one really expected and that's independents. >> well, i think what we're seeing now, everybody talks about these elections, they're base elections, we need to turn out the base and 46 we'll win. i think what we're finding more and more is a huge rise in independents going on for years, if you look at like the state of california, it's now at the verge of leading the number of voters there. and you look at kansas, we could elect an independent and have three independents as united states senators in the senate next term and so i think that's what this is reflective of. i think it's guaranteed. 100% prediction. republicans will misread those results of that election and think it means more and democrats will misread the
results of this election and think it means less. that's what is guaranteed to happen. they will both misread this election. >> you got ten seconds, bill kristol. >> i think republicans will win -- >> you're only going to take five seconds. >> turnout, turnout. for democrats to win we need a good turnout. and that is -- >> you need independents. >> and i wouldn't guarantee that. we'll have to see but thanks, everyone. up next, paul krugman takes on president obama.
now paul krugman and the tale of two headlines. there he is on "newsweek's" cover in 2009, an obama critic, the headline, obama is wrong. fast forward to this week, krugman on "rolling stone's" cover, in defense of obama. while he's been under fire from members of his own administration "the new york times" columnist is rushing to his defense arguing he is one of the most consequential commanders in chief in history. here's jon karl. >> you're offering the most full throated defense of obama from basically anybody who is not on the obama payroll right now. >> right. and it's funny because i was critical but that's the point in a way. people who had this idea that obama was going to bring a transformation of america i thought were being naive but, by
god, we got health reform. we got a significant financial reform. we are getting the environmental action is not everything you would have wanted, but it's more than anyone else has done for decades. >> so, put it in context. what are you saying, one of the most successful, fdr -- are you putting him in that category? >> no, fdr is in a different league. >> where are you putting him? >> in the end reagan did not leave the structure of american society particularly different. he did not, in fact, change the basic legacy of lyndon johnson and fdr. i think if my ranking of consequential presidents at least in modern history would probably be fdr, lbj, obama and then reagan. >> leon panetta says that obama too often relies on the logic of a law professor rather than the passion of a leader. does he have a point? >> i'm allergic to this kind of does he have the leadership quality. >> well, this is an important thing when it comes to a president.
>> obama is pretty professorial. i've had a couple of meetings and i and other academics there and think he's more professorial than we are. look at what he did. bill clinton is an incredibly gifted politician. bill clinton is in a room and doesn't matter how many are in the room you think he's talking to you b. you, in fact, bill clinton was not a consequential president and obama, although clearly not the natural politician, he is a consequential president. >> i think you would acknowledge the least convincing part of your article is on national security. >> i don't think there's any way you could call him a great national security president. i don't think you can call him a terrible one either, and what i say is, look, he's basically fairly typical for a post-vietnam president. he hasn't done anything really stupid and that is a big improvement over his predecessor, right. >> so you're saying it's not so bad, you have to grade him on a curve, it could have been worse. this is not a ringing endorsement. >> but my ranking -- health care is a huge achievement. financial reform is a much bigger thing that people think. environmental policy, there's some good stuff that is not getting enough credit. economy could have been worse.
>> so -- >> but -- >> and national security wasn't a disaster. >> right. not everything is wonderful but some big achievements and no really huge disasters. >> but that does that really add to up one of the most successful? >> who is better? >> bill clinton would say eight years of prosperity and deficits coming down. >> but no real legacy in terms of policy. whereas obama really has left the world -- has left america a different place. >> all right, professor krugman, thank you very much. >> thank you. >> appreciate it. >> and our thanks to jon. see more of that interview at abcnews.com/thisweek. back after
now we shine our "sunday spotlight" on a hollywood classic. "mr. smith goes to washington." 75 years after it premiered, jimmy stewart's cherished character, a man who unexpectedly becomes a u.s. senator is still having an impact on some real-life politicians. here's abc's john donvan. >> reporter: he's every elected official's ideal self. a senator who existed only in make believe. "mr. smith goes to washington," a movie packed with idealism and flag waving and what some would say cornball. >> look, there it is. >> who, what?
>> the capitol dome. >> reporter: if it weren't for the way it also shows washington as a place where cynicism rules. >> this is a man's world, jeff. and you got to check your ideas outside the door like you do your rubbers. >> reporter: where the press is fine with lying. >> why don't you tell the people the truth for a change. >> the truth. a man wants the truth. >> reporter: and where a good man very nearly loses his faith in america. >> an honorary stooge like me gives the tailors and panes and machines and lies. >> it's surprising to me how dark it is but the happy ending comes in the last 90 seconds when things are tremendously bleak leading up to that. >> senator jefferson smith. >> quick synopsis, he plays a naive outsider picked for a vacant senate seat who some corrupt politicians frame as corrupt himself. >> he's trying to blackmail this senate as he tried to blackmail me. >> great principles don't get lost once they come to light. >> reporter: in the famous filibuster scene, mr. smith talks 24 hours straight to get the truth out but 90 seconds before the movie's end, he
finally runs out of gas. believing himself defeated. sufficient physical to say there's a surprise ending just after that which is more optimistic, but when the movie had its premiere in the nation's capital, official washington hated it. >> this grand opening and, you know, suddenly people are walking out. there was a stund silence. >> why? why? >> i think because it did not reflect well on the permanent political class of the 1930s. >> reporter: but most of america loved the movie, and in time, politicians learned to love to identify with mr. smith, one of them in particular. >> ronald reagan really was the crystalizing figure in that he talked about it. he was actually an actor and pulled off the outsider, the folksy, the aw shucks role that jimmy stewart sort of embodied perfectly in the movie and ever since then a groundswell. >> reporter: other examples. >> barack obama fashioned himself as an outsider, sarah palin, ross perot, the bumpkin shtick. i don't know nothing about how
things work here in washington but i'm just talking for the people. >> reporter: indeed, democrat ned lamont went so far as to cut himself into the movie when he ran for senate. >> i'm going to be there to fight for the people of connecticut. >> reporter: he ultimate ly lost maybe because the one thing missing from his scene, the real mr. smith who after all only existed in make believe. john donvan, abc news, washington. >> and we close with good news. the pentagon did not release any names of service members killed in afghanistan this week. that's all for us today. we'll see you back here next week. have a great day.