tv With All Due Respect Bloomberg August 13, 2015 8:00pm-8:31pm EDT
john: i am john heilemann. mark: i am mark halperin. with all due respect to mike huckabee, pork chop on a stick is not and should not be what is for breakfast. ♪ greetings from saint ambrose university in davenport, iowa. john and i are in iowa straight to the weekend into next week, 21 of the major 20 to present candidates are in the state between now and next week, crisscrossing the state. they are here primarily for the state fair in des moines where we will be, and most of the candidates will be, over the next few days. we are here in devonport because
jeb bush did an event today on foreign policy. more on that in a bit. jeb will be on the soapbox tomorrow. john, major week in iowa. no straw poll, but the fair has drawn most everybody to the state. tell me one thing you are looking forward to. john: i think the fact that there is no straw poll makes the fair even bigger. i'm looking on the republican side forward to seeing scott walker at the fair. he is now, according to cnn, slipped back to third place in iowa after having been in first place all year long. he's taken a beating at the hands of donald trump and ben carson. him coming in and trying to pick up ground, reconnect with iowa, i want to see how he does. mark: i think walker does have a big challenge. he was too low key at the debate. breaking through at the fair is
hard to do. the thing i'm looking for is trump. mr. trump is going to the fair. john: do you think he will break through? mark: he's bringing his helicopter in order to break through. there's some question whether people are going to get free rides. trump dominates no matter what. two of the republican campaign said to me, of course, trump is going to dominate. my question is, does anyone try to get into the storyline, or do they say, if trump wrings his helicopter, surrender? john: he is flying a helicopter into des moines. he's going to stand with the butter cow. you are going to see the picture and footage of trump and that butter cow for 48 hours straight. there is no breaking through that. there is no way. on the democratic side, hillary clinton is going to be here, and we are going to see her at this wingding dinner in clearwater. it's weird, right? iowa, the state that humbled her in 2008, is now the state she is counting on to stop bernie sanders.
she still got a lead over sanders here. she's flipping in new hampshire. suddenly, this is her firewall. who would've thought iowa would be hillary clinton's firewall? mark: i'm also looking at bernie sanders. the last cattle call in cedar rapids, i thought sanders had a weak performance. i don't know if he was nervous. he was not at his best. if he comes in here and has head-to-head with her and the other democrats speaking at this dinner, if he has a better night, i think he could start to do better in this state if he sends the message that the electricity and fire he's brought to other parts of the country he can bring here. john: or on the other side of the coin, he's got an event in boone not too far from des moines before he goes to the fair saturday. after these huge events on the west coast, if he comes to iowa and only a few hundred show up, that could be a big blow to bernie sanders after having had
25,000 people. mark: ben carson drew a couple thousand people to a des moines rally. pressure on sanders. john: let's move on to our next topic. it's the soapbox. of all the things at the iowa state fair, the thing we all prize most beyond the butter cow, the porkchops -- mark: and the candidates wandering around aimlessly. john: it's the soapbox. it is speakers corner. you get up. you give a speech. in front of anyone who happens to come, you take some questions. everyone subjects themselves to it except for a couple candidates. mike huckabee is the first one to go. he went this morning. mike: this is called q&a. that means questions and answers. for me, it means questions and avoidance. i will try not to do anything that will end my presidential aspirations here at the soapbox. john: that was huckabee. martin o'malley is going to be number two. that is happening right around now.
is this a quaint iowa tradition that is cute, or can this have a real impact? mark: "the des moines register" sponsors this. huckabee didn't get hard questions. this is where mitt romney was asked about economics and said, corporations are people. john: we were there. mark: the soapbox is a special thing. "the register" lets anyone ask questions, and it is one of the big testing grounds of how you handle hecklers and hostile questioners. i bet you democrats and a lot of hostile people -- two people aren't doing this. hillary clinton is not subjecting herself, and mr. trump so far is not subjecting himself. john: that is the key thing people forget about that romney event. the guy who got him to say that was a critic, a heckler, and most of these guys come even when they do town hall meetings, they are basically friendly crowds. democrats go to democrat events. republicans go to republican events. left-wing socialists can walk by and go after the republican candidate. that is a different level of jeopardy.
mark: if you're interested in how these candidates handle a tough testing ground, go to "the des moines register" website. they are streaming these things live. it is like hyde park corner. it is right out there, not just tough questions, but every political reporter in the state is watching. john: under the very hot sun with all the political press -- it is a unique state in our politics. mark: there is a big political issue brewing, because for the last three days, china has been devaluing its currency in relation to the dollar. chinese currency has been lowered by 4.4%, the biggest the country has let it drop in decades. skeptics say this is meant to boost the country's exports to help the sagging economy, and this can have an impact on america. presidential candidates are taking notice. this is the reaction a few of the candidates have had. donald: how can we compete?
they devalue their currency. i've been saying this for years. carly: their people have accepted a repressive, totalitarian regime in exchange for economic growth. china's ability to keep growing is at the core of their power. mark: a little later, we will show you what jeb bush had to say about this issue when we talked to him in davenport. what effect do you think this chinese currency devaluation can have on the race? john: it is fodder for the populists of the left and right. bernie sanders and donald trump will make common cause and accuse china of doing bad things to the u.s. by devaluing their currency, and it puts anyone in center, hillary clinton and jeb bush, and difficult place. mark: hillary clinton talked about trade issues in the last campaign aggressively. i think it can benefit the recurrent and maybe jeb bush,
people who can talk about these issues in a sophisticated way. most americans recognize we have an economic imbalance with china. this is the latest incarnation. what does it actually mean? that is the challenge. john: it raises the bar for those guys. if they do it well, it's a home run, but it's tricky. you have to explain complex international economics, and it's not a black and white issue. if you can get the gray right, you can be in good shape. if not, you can be a model. -- muddle. mark: we're going to have a lot more from our road trip in davenport, talking about jeb bush, as well. former chairman of the state republican party mack strong is going to join us. coming up, our conversation from earlier with jeb bush after this word from our sponsors. ♪ mark: welcome back to
davenport, iowa, we are here at saint ambrose university were jeb bush participated in a forum. it's a series of events a group is doing with former congressman mike rogers. we are going to show you a little bit of the forum jeb bush did, answering questions, but after the event, john and i asked him about a couple topics, cuba and more. can we ask you to clarify something on cuba? do you think it would be too late for the next president to make the changes you want to see? jeb: congress is not going to lift the trade embargo, so i think there is leverage to advocate reforms inside of cuba to create a more free society. john: what can happen in the interim you would be concerned about? jeb: i don't think congress is going to change this. the president can't unilaterally open up trade. if you eliminate that, and you're taking all the leverage that exists for us to be able to create an environment where cuba moves towards freedom.
we are legitimizing a regime that will allow it to continue to repress its people. mark: are you worried about the chinese motives? the motives of the chinese government and what they are doing? jeb: yeah, i'm worried. it wasn't an act of kindness to hack into the server that had 23 million files, some of which at least were required for security clearances. mark: i mean on currency. jeb: i think we have to wait and see how that plays out. there are significant challenges in the economy for china that could be the motivation for this, but also, if it's not, if you see continued growth, then this is a provocative act. mark: is it bad for american workers? jeb: it's not necessarily bad
for american workers if it relates to weakness in the chinese, and that is the part that has to be answered. john: that is the kind of nuance from jeb bush, talking on the chinese currency issue. donald trump says it is bad for american workers. mark: populist versus establishment. jeb bush, whose father was an envoy it to china, understands china is a complicated country. he understands the culture. at a time when populism is riding high, can you afford to be nuanced on china? john: i bet you donald trump is going to punch him in the nose for that over the course of the next way for hours. he's going to say, jeb bush think this could be good for american workers? mark: mr. trump, over to you. john: earlier, there was the event where jeb bush had a q and a, talked about foreign policy at some length and in some detail. one of the things we found most striking was then talking about his brother's legacy in iraq. let's take a listen. >> isn't it also the case that if we hadn't invaded iraq, we wouldn't be dealing with isis?
jeb: who knows? that is such a complicated hypothetical. i can't answer that. i will tell you that taking out saddam hussein turned out to be a pretty good deal, and the surge put aside the need -- faulty intelligence, the lack of commitment to secure iraq at the beginning, which would've been helpful, put that aside -- i've been critical, and i think people have every right to be critical decisions that were made. in 2009, iraq was fragile but secure. its mission was accomplished in a way that there was security there, and it was because of the heroic efforts of the men and women in the united states military. that is a fact. john: i'm not a big fan of gotchas, but that was a discussion over iraq and his brother. he used that phrase "mission accomplished." i think that might leave a mark. mark: democrats are already jumping on what he said. i'm not sure anybody highlighted
the "mission accomplished" part. i think he was as strong today as i've seen him in talking about it in a nuanced way. mistakes were made. it's an impossible case to make. the fact is, the less republican president engaged in an unpopular war was his brother. today, i thought he was confident, and he said what he believes about every issue in a non-stuttering way. the mission accomplished thing, i wish he -- i bet he wish he hadn't said. john: tonally, you are right. on the substance, he's going to get picked apart for saying things like, the provisional agreement should've been renegotiated, when in fact that was his brothers. the exit in 2011 was an agreement his brothers administration struck. just in terms of not sounding queasy, like he was about to vomit in the middle of an answer about his brother's legacy, he did better. mark: a tough hand to play. jeb bush was also asked about civil liberties, national
security, and enhanced interrogation techniques. let's listen to that. jeb: i believe that it was a mistake to repeal the metadata provisions of the patriot act, which took place this last year. there's not any evidence that i can find -- i've talked to a lot of people to ensure this is the case -- that civil liberties were violated, that privacy was violated. i do think in general torture is not appropriate, is not as effective, and the change of policy that my brother did, and then was put into executive order form by the president, was the proper thing to do. i would also say after 9/11, we were attacked, and my brother -- i'm not saying this because i'm a bush, i'm saying this because i'm a person of this country
like everyone in this room -- i am proud of what he did to create a secure environment. mark: civil liberties versus national security is a debate in the party, not just chris christie and rand paul. this is another case he is the adult in the room. that is a nuanced, center-right position on how to balance these things. if that is what he is selling, i don't know if the voters will buy it, but that is what he is selling, nuance. john: right now, rand paul is the most extreme proponent of the opposite position and is not getting traction. it doesn't seem like there is that big of a market in the republican party. we know there's some libertarian part of the party upset. i think he is on safer ground taking this position then he would've been. mark: he talked about civil liberties like something he truly values, not the way chris christie has taken to doing, like throwing civil liberties out the window.
he makes it clear to the audience, this is reasonable. john: on enhanced interrogation, he is in a place a lot of people are some pathetic. his argument is, i don't think we need it anymore. i don't think we should have it, that i won't rule out there could be some circumstance in the future in which it might be necessary. that is a big majority position. mark: the pushback on the questioner who suggested that the metadata gathering hasn't really stopped any terrorism, and he said, i've talked to people involved, and they say it's a great tool to have. i do think if he ends up running against hillary clinton, he's good to have a tough time -- it will be a challenge for him, because she knows a lot. there is no one in the republican field with the exception of lindsey graham who can stand toe to toe with him on this stuff. john: it is not clear that he and hillary quentin will be in a different position. she is not a civil libertarian dove on those issues. mark: coming up, we have a big discussion with the former chairman of the iowa republican
set in davenport is former iowa gop chair and security national visor for americans for peace, prosperity, and security, matt strawn. this is your event in part. how do think jeb bush did? >> i thought he did great. he had a clear, crisp, concise answers on clear national security at -- issues. while some of the atmospherics are of an entertaining friday, i think it's an event that will talk about substance. i appreciate governor bush being the fifth one we've done. mark: all the campaigns we've talked to say -- it is like this in public polling, too -- national security has been an enduring, important issue for
voters to do, what do you think republicans in iowa want to hear, see in their nominee in terms of national security ideas? matt: this goes back to the steve king freedom forum in january where applause lines weren't immigration or social issues, but it was standing steadfast with israel, calling radical islam what it is, tools to prosecute the war on terrorism aggressively. john: how do you prove that? matt: we are going to find that over the next couple months. let's go beyond that. do you want to support israel? how are you going to deal with china as an economic partner and also our next greatest national secured a threat? let's do these forums and rolled on and make sure the next president is prepared. john: taking off your national security hat and putting on your political hat, does it surprise you that jeb bush is down where he is right now according to recent polls, down around 5% in iowa? matt: it doesn't really surprise me. the race right now, three quarters of iowa caucus-goers, they haven't studied who they are going to be going with.
four years ago when i was chair, we were talking about president bachman or president harry. mark: four years ago when trump was thinking of running, you dealt with him some. do you think he can win the iowa caucuses? is there a scenario where he wins? matt: when you have a field of 17, it is tough to write anybody off, but with trump, and the fair is going to be a perfect example, watch what they do with the people who are drawn to him. are they trying to sign them up as precinct supporters? i like that he is sticking it to the man. it's another thing to stand up in front of your neighbors and people go to church with and say, this is the guy i believe should be commander in chief. mark: you think he can win the caucasus? matt: i think he has as good of a chance as anyone. mark: as good a chance as anyone? he's currently ahead, got a lot of money. matt: he has 100% name id, arguably an unlimited bank account, but the question is,
can they turn these political voyeurs into traditional caucus-goers? john: the guy who had been the front runner for the entirety of 2015, scott walker, has now dropped to third place. what explains that? matt: that is a great question. governor walker's rise most of the year was drawn from two different groups, establishment-minded, business conservatives who love the fact he took it to the unions, but also strong support from christian, evangelical conservatives. i think the crowd that really is agitated about what they see coming out of washington, the antiestablishment mood, that energy is with donald trump. some of that energy is with ben carson. the walker team understands it is a long slog. it's good to be three yards and a cloud of dust for the next five months. mark: it is hard to measure organization, even if there is somebody like you tapped in to understand at the precinct level. who are the two or three top
organized candidates? matt: that is one aftereffect of not having a strong pull. -- straw poll. nobody has to show their cards until the break first. ben carson has a surprisingly strong organization. if you go to a republican event, odds are you going to see a person campaign and carson super pac signing up volunteers. mark: more than trump, more than walker? matt: 2000 people in des moines this past weekend. trump -- the key is, are they turning people who show up into volunteers? when it comes into -- comes to organizing, governor walker and jeb bush, silently, quietly putting together the type of organization you need to be successful. john: we talked about how donald trump is going to fly in on a helicopter and stand with the cow. many of these guys are going to be competing for attention. talk about what you have seen in the past as far as being the best soapbox strategy at the iowa fair. matt: the helicopter is a great start. it is going to be tough to top.
large part, it is, do no harm. don't drop a pork chop on the ground. don't eat a corn dog in a way that draws ridicule. i don't know how you break through. john: i don't know what you are referring to. [laughter] matt: i don't know how you break through the trump noise. mark: loud rotor blades. matt strawn, thank you for coming. john: after the break, more on our roadmap through iowa this weekend, next. ♪ mark: tomorrow night, here in
hillary clinton, bernie sanders, and others. john: we will have our corn dog eating contest. we are on twice a day, 5:00 and 8:00 p.m. until tomorrow, sayonara. ♪ the only way to get better is to challenge yourself, and that's what we're doing at xfinity. we are challenging ourselves to improve every aspect of your experience. and this includes our commitment to being on time. every time. that's why if we're ever late for an appointment, we'll credit your account $20. it's our promise to you. we're doing everything we can to give you the best experience possible. because we should fit into your life. not the other way around. emily: samsung unveils its
latest challenge to apple, but will a bigger screen and mobile payment to some -- system win over iphone users? ♪ i'm emily chang, and this is "bloomberg west." tinder's twitter meltdown ends with a ceo swap, but will global leadership change fix its pr nightmare? tesla comes up with a plan to make investors happy. all of that ahead. first to our lead. samsung doubling down on big screens, announcing two new phones today.
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