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tv   The Journal Editorial Report  FOX News  June 15, 2014 12:00pm-12:31pm PDT

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this week on "the journal editorial report," eric cantor's stunning defeat raises questions about just what kind of leadership republicans in congress need and puts immigration reform in doubt. will the gop learn the right lessons from the loss? plus, al qaeda on the brink as iraqi insurgents set their sights on baghdad. we'll assess the threat to the region and to the united states. and hillary clinton's book tour looking an awful lot like a campaign rollout. what her performance tells us about the landscape heading into 2016. welcome to "the journal editorial report." i'm paul gigot.
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with republicans reeling from the stunning defeat of majority leader eric cantor in tuesday's virginia primary, new questions are being raised about just what kind of leadership the party needs to advance its agenda. with major policy initiatives, including immigration reform, hanging in the balance. so, will the party learn the right lessons from this week's defeat? let's ask "wall street journal" columnist and deputy editor dan hettinger, washington columnist kim strassel and political diary editor jason riley, author of the new book, "please stop helping us: how liberals make it harder for blacks to succeed." so, kim, as we move here towards the -- coming to the next week's vote, it looks like kevin mccarthy, who is the number three leader in the republican house, is consolidating votes to move up to number two, to majority leader. how would that change the way republicans operate in the house? >> well, kevin mccarthy is a politics guy within the republican caucus. >> so, explain what that means. >> well, he's been very involved
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over the years. he recruited a lot of the members that won election, and then he helped a lot of them win election. as a result, he's actually very well liked by a lot of people, which is why he's likely to win this race. and it could be, too, that he manages as a result to maybe bring a little bit more unity to the caucus. by contrast, eric cantor, who a lot of the more conservative members of the caucus sometimes viewed with a little bit of suspicion. >> but when you say a politics guy, you mean he's focused more on winning elections, the nuts and bolts of elections, like how do you raise money, for example, how do you turn out voters, that sort of thing, more than policy, more than budget reform, more than the actual agenda. it's more, how do you get the votes. >> that's absolutely right. this is not a guy who's been seen like a paul ryan, for instance, an innovator on policy or a jeb hensarling, who's very much pushed members to try to embrace some very tough policy decisions, and i think that's a really challenging question for
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the gop in terms of where they go, because they've got big decisions coming up, paul. it's not just how they handle themselves over the next five months until the election, but they've got to start thinking ahead. if they do actually manage to take back the senate, and they do have control over both houses of congress, that's going to be -- they've got huge decisions to make about how they're going to handle that power and the policy as suspect of this is going to matter a great deal. >> well, just to continue kim's point, eric cantor had a reputation for intervening in the operations of the major committees. you could make an argument that sometimes that's worth doing, except that kevin mccarthy probably won't do that. and the good news is that two of the people who are running for this, jeb hensarling, running financial services now, and paul ryan, who will probably take over the ways and means, the tax-writing committee, are both very good committee chairmen. jeb hensarling probably will terminate the ex-and im bank and
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probably get rid of frank dodd and they could rewrite the tax code. if mccarthy is supporting them in that effort and they, as kim says, win the senate in 2016, you could have a potentially very productive house of representatives. >> and my information, jason, is that my sources are saying that mccarthy told the senior members, other senior members of the republican party, that he's not guaranteeing that he'll run for speaker if john boehner departs, retires at the end of this year or in a couple of years. there's nothing -- so, that would still leave the opening for somebody like ryan or jeb hensarling, who's a texas conservative, free-market conservative, for either one of those to run to succeed boehner. >> yeah, but i think we also need to remember, though, that this is going to be more of a change in style than substance. the folks, the antiestablishment folks that were cheering cantor's defeat in the primary, mccarthy will make this a very short-lived high for them. he was not their guy. he did prefer a hensarling or a sessions. cantor endorsed --
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>> pete sessions, another texan. >> yes, two texans. cantor endorsed mccarthy for this position. and it's interesting, the step below this is the house whip, which mccarthy is currently serving as. and it looks like that could be a three-way race that could involve his deputy winning, someone, again, that he tapped for that. so, it shows you how difficult it can be to break up the establishment clique that the antiestablishment folks have been trying to do for a few years now. >> well, what about the future of immigration reform? i know kevin mccarthy has supported it. paul ryan and mario diaz-balart of florida had been working behind the scenes to try to get some votes of the members. a majority of the republican conference to support this, i've been told that they had as many as 144 in support to do something this year, before this election. and now, half of that support has melted away. >> i think the results of cantor's defeat mean that it's probably dead for this year, and that's unfortunate, paul,
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because i think there's a danger of reading too much into what happened to eric cantor. if you look at other races, renee ellmers in north carolina faced a tea party opponent, ran on immigration. in virginia, the republican nomination for senate, a very pro-comprehensive reform guy. so, i think there's a danger in extrapolating too much from these results in virginia, but i do think the political reality is a lot of people are spooked right now and i don't think anything's going to get done on immigration reform. >> in a census, kim, do you agree with jim on that? >> yeah, i don't think it's going to happen this year, but i didn't think it would happen even before the cantor defeat. >> okay, well, i was an optimist p.m. when we come back, islamic insurgents sweep through two iraqi cities and set their sights on baghdad. we'll take a closer look at the terror group isis, how they rose to power and how they caught the u.s. off guard. ire childhood
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a rap a rapidly deteriorating situation in iraq, where this week, the al qaeda-affiliated terror group known as isis, the islamic state of iraq and syria, seized control of the cities of mosul and tikrit and continued its march toward baghdad. so, just who are these insurgents and how were they able to advance so quickly? and what threat do they pose to the region and to the united states? "wall street journal" foreign affairs columnist bret stephens and editorial board member matt kaminski join us with more. so, let's get to that last question first. what are we talking about in terms of the outlook here, because they are now on the o outskirts of baghdad. >> well, it potentially poses significant threats, not just to the region but to the rest of the world. an old reason, why do we care about the middle east? well, because of all the oil that's there. and iraq was a significant source of oil. the price of oil is already going up.
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it is already disrupting markets all over the world. if this went on for a long time, that would continue. the new reason. this group, the islamic state in iraq and syria, isis. look, if they were going to establish a state in northern iraq, establish law, circle around and live happily ever after, who would care? this is not what they are. this is a outward moving forward. they will attract jihadists from around the world. they're going to be able to plan terrorist strikes into the region, other countries, jordan, conceivably even israel, then western europe, into the united states. >> isn't this the dream of bin laden to establish what he called the caliphate? >> exactly, yeah. >> which is a terror state. right now they control territory from aleppo in the west of syria all the way now to the suburbs of baghdad. >> yeah, you're talking about a distance that's about 400 miles. we're not talking about a small amount of territory. and a caliphate with its capital in baghdad was precisely the dream of people like bin laden
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and al zawahiri and other al qaeda leaders. you have to also remember that among the isis figures, there are an estimated 1,000 people with european passports. there are probably some people with american passports. if this becomes a state lit, it becomes an incubator, if you will, for another global terrorist organization. we worried about afghanistan because it was a harbor of al qaeda. this would be an actual terror state producing terror worldwide. >> we're talking about a force, this isis force of about 3,000 to 5,000 fighters. okay, how, matt, could they overrun the iraqi army so quickly and thoroughly? we have reports that they're just melting away, four divisions of the iraqi army, which, divisions are 15,000, 20,000 people. just vanishing. >> it's really a condemnation of the state of the iraqi army and the iraqi government. at the same time, we pulled out our last military advisers and trainers four years ago in iraq. so, we gave them about $14 billion worth of weapons, but we
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didn't leave anyone behind to tell them how to use it. i think the study is misleading. isis is the one leading the charge, but they're getting help. they're getting help from former, the tenants of saddam hussein. >> right. it's an important point. it's the old macabre, saddam, the military who we didn't finish off, we had for a while, they melted away, and now they're back. >> they are back. there also is grassroots support among the sunni minority that had been under saddam, the dominant group in iraq. prime minister maliki, who the shia, the majority shia party has done a terrible job the last three years, alienated people, have become more repressive. so, in some ways, he's brought this on himself. >> but you know, this was so predictable. and we said in 2009 when obama decided he was going to withdraw forces, or when he didn't conclude a status of forces agreement with iraq, the united states, our military presence there serves to give confidence to the iraqi army and it serves to provide political balance between the three iraqi factions, shiites, sunnis and
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kurds. and so, it was not -- anyone could see that without an american presence there, something like this might happen. anyone can see, too, that if we allowed syria to spiral from uprising into chaos, the problems of syria would spill over into iraq. that's precisely what's happened. >> the u.s. is now, obama has been asked to have air strikes. he's turned it down. but apparently, the white house is reconsidering. no ground troops, they said. this is a choice, a terrible choice now, because we do nothing, baghdad could fall with all the consequences you describe. if we intervene, there's no guarantee of success, plus we may be helping iran, which wants the maliki government to survive. what can we do? >> well, i think we do have to strike isis. we just cannot allow this place to fall apart like this. we probably do have to intervene, but you're describing a terrible situation, really hard choices. and what we're seeing here, paul, i think, is a real failure, not even of obama, but of democratic foreign policy. the idea that the united states
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had to lower its profile in the world. we have been saying on this program for over a year that this would incentivize bad people somewhere to take risks and move forward. that's what we're seeing this week in iraq. >> i think the real danger here, though, is this al qaeda 2.0. this is not really bin laden do-over. you have now affiliates who are independent of al qaeda central, which had been decimated, but you have them in yemen, you have them in iraq, have them in north africa. >> but this is the biggest threat yet because this is much bigger, potentially, than what they had in afghanistan before 2001. >> but like in 2001, the way any of these groups is going to stand out and say we are the true heirs of bin laden is by trying to strike in the u.s., and that is the real ultimate fear that people in washington have. >> and a realistic one. when we come back, hillary clinton makes the media rounds promoting her new book and facing questions about her time as secretary of state. could the obama foreign policy legacy hurt her chances in 2016?
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in what sure feels like it, campaign kickoff, former secretary of state hillary clinton began making the media rounds this week, plugging her new book, "hard choices." but the carefully choreographed rollout hasn't been without its bumps, with clinton claiming on abc news that she and bill clinton were "dead broke" when they left the white house and facing tough questions about her role in the 2012 terrorist attack in benghazi. >> did you miss the moment to prevent this from happening? >> no, but i think as the independent board that investigated every aspect of this, including all the cables concluded there was a lack of
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appreciation and response to the level of threat. now, there were a lot of -- >> by you, too. >> well, no, that was never brought to me. >> we're back with dan henninger, kim strassel and brad stevens. are you buying that answer on benghazi? >> well, you have to admire it because it's so smooth. she takes responsibility and disavows all responsibility in the same answer, and it's kind of remarkable. i mean, she's the secretary of state. there were clearly serious planning problems. this was one of our most exposed diplomat -- >> ambassador killed, the first time in what, 30 years, something like that? >> killed for the first time since i think 1979. how was she to know something was amiss here? i saw her at the council on foreign relations just this week talking about her book, and on the one hand, i was marveling at how smooth she was, and then i couldn't quite remember just as she spoke what exactly her answer was to any of the given questions.
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that's her political genius. >> kim, what is she trying to accomplish with this rollout? because she is running into probably more tough questions from the press, which has been historically incredibly easy on the clintons, particularly at least when they're running for president. what are they trying to accomplish here? >> well, i think they've been -- look, in some ways, this feels so 1992. it's so clintonian, right? as we said, very choreographed rollout, this big thing with all the happy headlines, about hillary control the message, let the party know she views herself as the presumptive heir to the democratic nomination. yet, what's ending up happening is she's in a tricky spot this time and these are the challenges she'll face. she's a democrat who wants to follow a democrat who's in office. she actually worked for him. he's not really popular right now, so she's not saying much of substance on anything. she doesn't want to define herself yet. and that's invited the press to really pound her and try to
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elicit some answers from her and she doesn't want to do that. >> and by contrast, bill clinton, in fact, was a policy wonk. he liked to talk about that stuff, and he would in public and on the campaign trail. her problem is that her policy, she was the secretary of state. and as bret is suggesting, she's having a very hard time defending her time as obama's secretary of state. and so, her answers are standing very contried. it's sort of a moral equivocation, and as smooth as it is, i doubt she'll be able to do that for two years, if she's pressed the way diane sawyer was pressing her there. >> and bret, you wrote this week she will be the next president of the united states. >> madam president-elect i like to call her. yeah, i suspect she is. it's going to be very smooth, will be considered a historic candidacy. benghazi aside. the thing about her tenure as secretary of state, paul, it's kind of like the definition of oakland, there is no there
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there. you examine the record and look for a major accomplishment, some kind of signature that's connected -- >> and that takes her right into the white house? no accomplishments equals president of the united states? is that what you're saying? >> well, this is the age we're living in. it fills her resume. by the way, she speaks very smoothly about foreign policy. she's knowledgeable. she's clearly seen her way around the world. it's just that her tenure as secretary leads to no cannon moment, no schultz moment, no kissinger moment. it was a very hollow tenure. >> kim, do you agree with bret? >> i do. >> my question is, how does she distance herself from obama's record, if that record continues to deteriorate, and particularly on foreign policy, where she served for four years. if we see continuing spreading, global disorder, which we may, how does she separate herself from that? >> i don't think she does, and this is why i do disagree with bret. the situation here is very different from 2008. we were just coming off a
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republican president. you had a democratic audience that was very eager to get a democrat into the white house. now you've got an unpopular president, as you say. she's going to have to figure out how to distance herself while at the same time doing the miraculous feat of supporting some main democratic priorities that barack obama put into place. and moreover, you just feel every time the clintons come out -- and you're seeing this in the polls, this sort of clinton fatigue that they get out and it's just -- even democrats wonder if they really want to go back and repeat this episode of history. >> all right, kim. we have to take one more break. when we come back, hits and misses of the week. [ male announcer ] hands were made for playing. legs, for crossing. feet...splashing. better things than the joint pain and swelling of moderate to severe rheumatoid arthritis. if you're trying to ma, now may be time to ask about xeljanz.
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♪ the most awarded suv ever. well-qualified lessees can lease the 2014 grand cherokee laredo 4x4 for $359 a month. time now for hits and misses of the week. time now for "hits & misses" of the week. kim, start us off. >> paul, the u.s. senate this week whipped through with 93 votes a bill that's supposed to help the health cakacare crisis the veterans affairs administration. there are reforms in this bill, but it is so hard to see how they could possibly be worth what is estimated now to be an astonishing $50 billion new annual cost a year from this bill. the big fear, paul, of this crisis all along with that rather than engage in some bottom-up reform at this institution that congress was going to unite to throw more money at a dysfunctional bureaucracy and i worried we're headed in that direction.
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>> jason? >> shootings in new york city are up 43% just in the past month, and fewer guns are coming off the street. yet, the mayor, police commissioner are pretending this has nothing to do with the fact that the city stopped using proactive police policies like stop-and-frisk. that's ridiculous. the bad guys know the cops' hands are tied and the bullets are flying. >> all right. matthew. >> paul, every four years americans get a lesson in something called soccer, a very popular sport in other countries at the world cup, but -- >> and your favorite sport. >> not my favorite. every four years, we also get to see the fifa, which is the group that runs the world cup, set a new low standard for mismanagement. and as one former british member of a mafia family, the decades-long situation of bribes and corruption. sepp blatter gets this week's miss for me for running for a fifth term and denying there's anything wrong here. >> all right, matt. and remember, if you have your
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own hit or miss, send them to and follow us twitter. thanks to my panel and all of you for watching. i'm paul gigot. hope to see you all right here next week. fox news alert. a series of explosions rocking baghdad, killing at least 15 people and injuring dozens more. hello, everyone. i'm arthel neville. welcome to "america's news headquarters." the new bloodshed comes as iraqi troops beat back islamic insurgents in several areas north of iraq's capital, trying to prevent them from advancing any closer. lawmakers in washington now weighing in on the deteriorating situation there in iraq. national correspondent steve centanni live in washington. >> hi, arthel. u.s. lawmakers are pushing for quick action to defend baghdad and stop the advance of al