tv Face the Nation CBS August 2, 2015 8:30am-9:31am PDT
>> today on "face the nation" donald trump and mike huckabee will both join us to preview the upcoming republican presidential debate. what will we expect from donald trump and thursday's debate? we will ask him and talk to former arkansas governor mike huckabee. he is also creating controversy out on the campaign trail. and will vice president joe biden join the democratic race? we will get the latest from the missing malaysian air flight 37 ovation and talk to captain sully sullenberger about that and new concerns about near misses between drones and airports. airplanes. we will have plenty of political analysis plus an in-depth look at the enormous role of money in campaign 2016. it is all ahead on "face the captioning sponsored by cbs
good morning, and welcome to "face the nation". i am john dickerson. all eyes will be on donald trump thursday when he takes the stage in cleveland for the first republican debate. and donald trump joins us by phone. mr. trump, you say that you have never debated before. you are not preparing but your platform is that you are a winner, and that when you get into the presidency, which has lots of things you have never done before you will win in that job. so why should we not expect that in this debate you won't win it too? >> well, i would hope to do well john. i don't know, when you say i have never debated, i don't stand up uh and debate like these politicians they are all talk and no action, their whole life they debate and they don't get things done. i get things done. now, i look forward to the debate and when you say not prepared, i am preparing but i prepare by seeing what is going on. i don't have pollsters telling me every move, that i didn't is say this, i can't say that. i don't want pollsters i see what the pollsters and how much they are paid by the other camps and the other camps are frozen
if they don't have their pollsters they can't respond. so i say if the pollsters were so good, why aren't they run something but i just have, you know, i just have a life that is a good life a lot of people never thought i would do this. i said i was because i want to make our country great again and frankly, i look forward to the debate. >> dickerson: you have said some unfavor things about hillary clinton, you are not a fan of hers. "the new york times" reports that joe biden might be thinking about getting in the race. rate him as a vice president for us. >> well, i think he has been very loyal to the president. that's one thingly say. i think he has been a very loyal person and that is, you know, very important trait. i don't think he is going to be that effective as a campaigner. there is a lot of anger in the country, there is a lot of anger with respect to president obama that would include joe biden because nothing has been done and we have got a country that is in turmoil. we owe 17 trillion, 18 trillion and that is going up to, you know, very soon we will crack
that $20 trillion mark, john and that is going to be catastrophic for this country, it is going to happen soon. a lot of bad things happening in this country and we don't have victories anymore. so i think it is not going to be easy for him. i also think though, it is going to be very hard for hillary to escape the illegal ill leg at this of the e-mail scale, petraeus's life was destroyed for doing something not compared to what she did. >> so you don't think biden could beat hillary. >> i don't think he could have beaten her six months ago or three months ago programs now. i think the e-mail scandal will be a blow for hillary clinton if you have an honorable prosecutor. we will have to see what happens because they are all democrat. but if there is an honorable prosecution that would mean she is in big trouble because if you look at general petraeus, a wonderful man, they destroyed him. he was destroyed over something far less and similar but far less of what she has done. so i think she has got some very
big problems and you look at her poll numbers, they are coming down, they are coming down like a crashing rocket. >> dickerson: let me ask you a question about a quote from your book, art of the deal which you mention now and again. you said, you wrote the final key to the way i promote is bravado, i play to people's fantasies that's why a little hyperbole never hurts. does that describe your presidential campaign too? >> i don't know exactly what does describe it. i mean i am getting very good poll numbers a number came out at 28 and one at 24 and one at 20, and, you know, i am getting very high and if you think when you get 24 and 28 percent and you have 16 other candidates, because one just joined as you know, you have 16 other candidates and you are at 24 or 28, that is a tremendous number. you know people say that is just a small piece. well it is it is really not a small piece because as candidates start to leave those numbers are going to be built up pretty high and, you know, the poll numbers are very good. people are tired of being ripped off by the world.
they are tired of seeing incompetent leadership and, you know, i do a good job. i built a great company. i do a good job whatever i do. >> dickerson: one of the burdens of being a front runner is that you have to release your tax returns, hillary clinton released some information about her wealth and showed she paid almost 40 percent of her income in taxes. will you release your tax returns and what do you think that percentage will be for you? >> well, i may tie it to a release of hillary's e-mails i may very well do that. now i have a very big company. they all said i wouldn't release my financials and then i released them and far bigger than anybody thought. they said i wouldn't release them because his company may be or his success may be, it turned out it is far bigger and i released them, and we will see what i am going to do with tax returns. i have no major problem with it but i may tie them to a release of hillary's e-mails. >> dickerson: what is your guess on your percentage of income that is paid in taxes? >> you know what? i have said in many times. it is not exactly breaking news. i pay as little as possible.
i fight like hell to pay as little as possible. for two reasons. number one i am a businessman and that's the way you are supposed to do it and you put the money back in your company and employees and all of that. but the other reason is that i hate the way our government spends our taxes. i hate the way they waste our money, trillions and trillions of dollars of waste and abuse and i hate it. and i will probably be the first candidate in the history of politics within this country to say, i try and like -- by the way like every single taxpayer out there, i try to pay as little tax as possible, and again, one of the big reasons is i hate what our country does with the money that we pay. >> dickerson: you mention you are a businessman and you have a very long list of things you want to do. you want to beat china defeat isis, build a wall, make veteran hospitals the envy of the world. but people who have been in business who move into government are frustrated by the pace.
presidents who have lost, left office say they have been frustrated about how little control they have over things. do you have the patience for the presidency? >> i absolutely do. john, i have dealt in politics all my life. i have been dealing, you know, on the other side, don't forget i was the fair haired boy in the publics and even democrat politics, i support everybody, i am a businessman so i support everybody and when they were there they were always there for me. you know, i have was a very good businessman and now i am a politician, i almost hate to use the term because when i think politician it is all talk, no action. i do have the patience and i do have the leadership. the leadership is what you have to do. i don't like executive orders. that is not what the country was based on. you go and can't make a deal with anybody so you sign an executive order. you really need leadership. you have to get people into a room and bet something that is good for everybody whether it is compromise or whatever, but you have to get them into a room and you have to lead and that hasn't happened under president obama, so now he goes around signing executive orders all over the place which at some
point they are going to be rescinded or be rescinded by the courts. we will see what happens. >> dickerson: one thing that happens to presidents, they often pail, they face neuro. tell us us about a failure you experienced in the business world and what that tells us about you. >> well, i think one of the things that i have done best is when a market crashes which is no fault of mine i have been able to take some deals, in fact, almost all deals and make them better. in other words when the world changes .. i have been very successful and you can ask the great finance years who know me because i know many of them and they respect me a lot and i respect them but i have been able to take deals that should be bad deals and turn them around, and turn them around into very successful deals. a lot of that is buying time. a lot of that is negotiating with banks and, in fact, cutting banks and doing what you have to do, but i have been very, very successful at that. >> dickerson: all right donald trump we appreciate your time and look forward to talking to you again. >> thank you very much, john. great honor. >> dickerson: next up is
another republican candidate former arkansas governor mike huckabee joins us from little rock. thanks for joining us, governor. i want to get to the debate in a moment, but let's start with your comments on the iran nuclear deal. the president you said was marching the israelis to the door of the oven. i want to know, has there ever been a modern debate where an argument was won by using a nazi analogy? >> i don't know if a debate has been won but i know that we are in a very dangerous situation because of the deal with the iranians. we just released $150 billion so they can buy conventional weapons from the russians and continue what is already a very deadly pursuit of terrorism around the world. we got nothing out of this deal, john. i tread whole thing, and my comments, while the president may have called them ridiculous, that is, what is ridiculous we would ever trust the iranians who for 36 years have vowed that they will wipe israel off the face of the map and have vowed they will bring death to america
and chanted it even during the negotiations. and as a person who has been going to, going to israel dozens of times over the past 42 years since 1973, and as a person who has stood in auschwitz three different occasions and understood the gravity of the situation, when someone is going to say they are going to kill an entire group of people we better take it seriously. >> dickerson: you say that the administration trust it is iranian regime, but throughout this the president and secretary of state kerry plus the other members of the gauche quake p 5 plus 1 have said they don't trust iran and built this entire deal around the idea that they don't trust iran. so i am confused about how you say they do trust them. they have been saying they don't trust them at all. you just don't believe them. >> well, if you don't trust them how come you give them 24 days before you actually two and do the inspection you announce you are going to do? how come you allow them to keep their military bases off limits to the
inspection? that is trust john. and that is the problem with this entire deal. i believe it is a money deal. if you look through, there are dozens of pages of all the companies and entities that are going to have their assets unfroze epi. i cannot help but believe a lot of this is driven not to secure peace in the middle east, not to make the world safer but to make sure that a lot of people with a lot of money get their money back. and that's a tragedy. it is a real sad state of affairs when we put money ahead of national security, and security for not just the people of israel but all of the middle east and all of the world. >> dickerson: all right. let's switch to politics. the debate coming up on thursday. what is that going to be like? is it a reality show this is it going to be ten men standing in close proximity giving speeches? what is it going to be like? >> well, the format only allows for one minute responses and a 302nd rebuttal if we are attacked by name, so probably a lot of russ sitting there hoping we get attacked by name so we get a little more time. the challenge for the moderators of the debate is to divvy this up
fairly, make it even. you know, i know a lot of times and i hear commenters and pundits will say this is a real at this show. it is, you know, a clown a game show, but those of us who have the stuck our neck on the line to run for president it is a very serious business of believing that our country is in real trouble, and we don't stand on that stage because we are looking for an opportunity to be on tv. heck, i have my own television show before i left it to come do this. so this this isn't about ego, it is not a vanity project this is a because we believe this communicate is in real big trouble and i would say, i think every other of my republican colleagues on that stage feel exactly the same way. i am not going to disparage why they are there. i am going to assume they are there because the same reason i am there, to make america a truly great country one more time. >> dickerson: you recently went to the afl-cio meeting, why would a conservative republican go talk to, go court labor when
they are not likely to vote for you? >> well, because i want to be president of all of america, not just the part that agrees with me. one of the things i did this arkansas when i was facing a 90 percent opposition that the state had in the political winds of 90 percent democrat, i had to work with them. i have got 48 percent of the african-american vote not because they originally voted for me but i went to them the day after the election, not the day before. i worked to become their governor too. and after a while it worked. here is what a lot of people don't know, 35 to 40 percent of the members of labor are actually republican and i fight hard for working men and women whether they are in a union or not. but when we have lost 5 million manufacturing jobs in 60,000 manufacturing plants have closed, just since the year 2000, somebody better be attentive to the fact that whether a person is a union member or not a lot of americans are working really, really hard these days for a whole lot less money than they made a few years ago. so i was glad to go.
i was the only republican that accepted their invitation, maybe they vote for me, maybe they don't, but if i can get some of their votes because some of those union members are pro-life, some of those union members are church going gun owning people that really are philosophically more republican, except for maybe the political leanings of their union. >> dickerson: all right governor mike huckabee. thanks so much for being with us. we look forward to talking to, talking to you after that debate. >> thank you john. >> dickerson: we turn now to the mystery of malaysian air flight 370 a wing flap discovered last week off the coast of reunion island over 2,000 miles away from where the plane crashed are now in france where investigators will determine whether it was in fact from the plane that disappeared 16 months ago, from the flight from beijing to kuala kuala lumpur, here is safety expert sully sullenberger. sully, i want to ask you at first, from what they found what can they learn? what can they tell from this one piece of
debris? >> well, that is an interesting problem because we shouldn't make too many judgments about one single piece of debris anymore than we would expect to discover why an entire house fell down by looking at one piece of lumber, but investigators, based upon over a century of knowledge about metals and structures can begin to make some surmises. we can tell, for example how the metal has been acted on by what forces and in what directions. we can tell by evidence left by the metal bending and breaking what forces were acting upon it. it is also possible that they can tell whether it was a high energy, high speed impact or not. although i have got to say in many cases even in high speed impacts there are some pieces of the airplane that remain remarkably intact. but what needs to be done is real investigation, hands on by the experts. and not just by metallurgist but possibly by marine biologists to tell us, for example, how long this piece may have been in the
water. >> dickerson: you have been involved in these investigations before you have seen how they put these puzzle pieces together. describe that a little bit for us. what are they going to try to do if they can start finding some pieces? >> well, after the july 1996 loss of twa flight 800 to a fuel tank explosion the u.s. navy and ntsb recovered much of the airplane and reconstructed the airplane on a framework in a hangar and bent to the safety board training center outside of washington to see the reconstruct if the wreckage of twa 800 and when you have more pieces of the puzzle in place you can see the parts where the over pressure has bent the metal, you have seen where the fractures occur, you see the soot on the side of the exterior of the airplane and the patterns begin to emerge and more conclusions can be drawn from hard evidence, so ultimately, these investigators are going to be able to answer these important questions that we all have, and a final report, what
they will essentially be doing is writing a true life, nonfiction detect if the story of hundreds of pages and right now we are probably on page 5. >> dickerson: so the final question for you i want to ask you about these reports about near misses from drones and commercial airlines. how dangerous is that? >> well, because they are easy to get and relatively inexpensive, these devices are becoming ubiquitous and that not just of drones but laser pointer attacks and so it allows people to do stupid, reckless, dangerous things with abandon, i am heartened the aviation and the legal authorities have raised the penalties for doing these things. unfortunately, the essential element that is still missing is the certainty of prosecution because it has been difficult to catch them in the act. this must stop. >> dickerson: very quickly what could possibly happen, though with one of these drones? i mean how bad could it get? >> well we have seen what a six-pound or eight-pound bird can do to bring down an
airplane. imagine what device containing hard parts like batteries and motors can do that might weigh 25 up to possibly 55 pounds to bring down an airplane, it is not a matter of if it will happen. it is a matter of when it will happen. >> dickerson: all right. sully sullenberger we thank you very much for being with us. we will be back in one minute with our political panel. stay with us. >> joining us now for some
political analysis, the chief correspondent for the washington post, and the unofficial dean of the political press corps, dan ball, ray is the executive director of the "national review", she covers politics for the atlantic review. and senior political correspondent 0 ron fournier. >> let's talk about joe biden there have been reports about he is thinking maybe or not interested in doing a lot of. what is the state of the thinking of joe biden's political run. >> number one he never ruled out
running in 2016, so he has a decision to make and he will make that decision within the next few months. we don't exactly know when. he is getting pressure. he is getting encouragement however you want to describe it from a lot of people to make a serious look at this, to consider it. there doesn't seem to be anything active at this point. there doesn't seem to be an organization that he is putting together. i think there is a lot of incoming and they are mulling. >> dickerson: people closest to him are saying it is very unlikely he is going to run. >> a lot of cold water is being thrown on this? >> yes, i would say most people in dc say joe biden deserves and it is great for him to get this kind of respect and attention but it is very unlikely he runs. >> dickerson: molly what would the obstacle be for him as a candidate. >> number one obstacle is hillary clinton. despite the negativity that has come her way she is a formidable front runner. people in biden's orbit don't see a campaign that is particularly well run, they see her stumbling and a possibility
that she continues to deteriorate in terms of her approval ratings and so on and that democrats look for a packup plan that has a little bit more of a profile. a little more credibility than the other democrats currently in the race. i think they also perceive that while there is a search for an alternative to hillary, it is not so much on policy grounds it is on personality grounds and so there has been a gravitation to bernie sanders because of his authenticity. that is something joe biden has in spades. >> dickerson: yes there is not a policy idea behind this. >> i disagree with this line of thinking for this reason. i think donald trump is a weirdly astute political analyst. look there is a lot of age never the country and not just in the country, if you look at working class, lower middle class people, in italy, in the uk, in all kinds of western democracies, there is this huge nationalist and populist candidates and i think a lot of democrats want to say well that is a trump thing, that is just among republicans, it is not. that exists among democrats too and i don't think that joe
biden, having been vice president all of this time will be able to tap into it. >> there are people like donald trump rise in this country when voters and their leaders lose the audacity of hope and cling to the status quo and that is what both parties are doing right now and trump is playing to that. >> let's talk about donald trump. we had a conversation with him this morning. we got the debate coming up thursday. john weaver works for john kay sick another candidate who may make the stage said preparing the debate is like preparing for the nascar debate where one of the drivers had been drinking, he didn't say which candidate he was talking about there. dan ball, for donald trump what does he have to do? he is at the top of the polls but what is his next move? what does he have to do? >> i think for donald trump to, the challenge is to present a personality or persona on that stage that is less bombastic than he is in some of his interviews. i thought the interview he did this morning was very effective. i mean he dealt with the questions in an interesting way.
he was very much donald trump. if he can come off that way and avoid attacking others, avoid the kind of negativism he projected on the campaign trail he could have a very successful debate. >> dickerson: molly donald trump's negatives are high in the poll this week, 30 percent of republicans say they would never vote for him. hillary clinton also has high negatives. why are negatives a bigger problem for donald trump and not for hillary clinton? what is different about what he faces? >> i think what you see with donald trump is someone who is not a professional politician and gains some strengths from that but who also has taken a lot of contradictory positions. hillary's problem is less about policy, she doesn't say a lot of things that many democrats disagree with. it is just a question about whether she is trusted, whether he is liked whether she is sort of a trustworthy character. you have sort of the opposite with donald trump, something a lot of republicans i have been talking to say they are looking at and approaching the debate is if they can try to pin him down on specifics and reveal that he has a really hard time
answering a lot of these policy questions. he is very good at the bombastic statements and he is a world class entertainer is sort of what he does, and so they think that maybe the way to sort of bring him down-to-earth is to really get him on some policy questions. >> john, her megs. >> dickerson: we have to go and will be right back. we will be back with all of you. stay with us we will be back with our panel in a moment. >>
a. >> dickerson: welcome back too face at that nation. i am john dickerson. we continue with our political panel. dan bowls is chief kor respond kent at the washington post, he is executive editor of the "national review". molly ball covers politics for the atlantic. and ron fournier is the senior political correspondent for national journal. ron, i cut you off with a hard stop. >> because i was going to challenge the premise of your question. >> dickerson: yes. but never do that. so -- >> hillary clinton negative ratings are a factor in the race. and they are going to make it harder for her to win the presidency and make it impossible for her to be a transformational leader if she wins. she has to fix the ratings. let's talk about trump. >> trump linked to her. he needs to go against type. if hillary clinton had are run
as a transparent campaign she would be in a far different position now because it would blow people's mind it would be against the typecast of her running in the race. instead she played the type. what if donald trump plays a campaign like he did on the phone call, if he is serious and not bombastic he doesn't need to be that serious it would blow people's find and he needs to play against type. >> one thing is striking against the interview you conducted is that when donald trump is asked about his taxes, he says i tie to pay as little as possible and the thing is that for most voters, i think their instinct is well of course that is true and that is probably true with everyone else too and yet they must preemptively apologize, so here is donald trump not preemptively apologizing in that way and i think if you looking at democrats too, in the 90 there is is a sense among the liberal grass roots you had depp who are apologizing for being democrats, constantly, and then, you know, after the iraq are war there is this belief we need a new kind of democrat, among republicanstoo there is a sense they are out of step with the country and some are in a
defensive crouch. this he have to apologize for who they are. they have to somehow seem more appealing and i think that that makes them seem inauthentic and that is what is, that is what trump is capitalizing on. >> i was struck in the interview when he said i am not a politician. it is as though he has made a transition from being donald trump the business guy with all of the bombast to being somebody who thinks of himself in the political environment and i wonder how much that will change him as he goes forward. >> [i am a politician] >> and like a politician he totally ducked the last question about mistakes he made. molly i want to ask you about hillaryhillary clinton on friday released a whole bunch of information about her tax returns, there was the letter about her health. what was that about? >> well, i think as ron said, this perception of her not being transparent which i think is not just a media narrative, it is a fact the clintons especially hillary are very guarded very secret if the people and this is erupted into multiple controversies, including the e-mail scandal and so they
realize that is hurting them and trying to present a sort of charade or transparency by releasing some of this stuff and trying to seem up front about it trying to seem as if she is actually being more forthcoming. but some of the information i think would have to come out eventually so her taxes, for example, as you mentioned before, showing she paid about a 35 percent tax rate on a whole lot of income, $28 million in the last year so this is a perception that i think she is finally starting to try to attack. >> dickerson: ron one thing i want to ask you about she also did on friday and listen to a clip of her now, she took on jeb bush in a speech on friday. >> they can't the minimum they can't ride that their governor makes it harder for them to get a college education. and you cannot seriously talk about the right to rise and support laws that deny the right to vote. >> dickerson: so, hillary
clinton using right to rise which is the name of the jeb bush packet that the governor he is talking about is governor bush. >> she thinks he is going to run for president against hip. the jeb bush whined about that attack, they are caught off guard. all is fair in love and war. i thought it was a good attack. what bothered me about hillary clinton last week is another attack she took, a much more effective and disingenuous one against "the new york times". "the new york times" wrote an article last week about a new development in the e-mail scandal, sloppily written and corrected the media writer, a lot of reasons to chastise "the new york times". ia iag look oversight forwarding e-mail server. this is after she said there were who classified documents. this is after she said that she hasn't violated any rules. this is after she said she is too transparent in all of. this and after she said she only did all of this out of a matter of convenience. none of those statements are true. so we have some serial
disingenuous behavior of the clinton campaign and they are trying to deflect by making this a story about "the new york times". i think there is a big story and big questions that haved have to be asked what she is hiding in the e-mails why he is not being transparent, why she is not following the rules. >> i want to go back to the issue of her negatives, which no doubt are in part a reflection of people's reaction to the e-mails and other things. i think this is something that has to concern the clinton campaign. i mean, they cannot take this lightly. and my assumption is they are going to have to deal with this and have to deal with it fairly quickly in order to move people away from that. the attack on jeb bush, i think is a sign that she is continuing to play to the democratic base, that she has not bernie sanders at least this one eye, if not more, and that she is trying to convince democrats that she has not just the policies but the fight and the spirit to go after the republicans in a way that nobody else will be able to do.
>> she was at an event in an urban league event where jeb bush was also speaking. what is the response from jeb bush on this idea? >> look, veb bush gave a speech that was very bipartisan and he quoted president obama in his remarks and he said that obama was right on many important points. you know, he was incredibly civil and he was trying to get applause lines from this audience and that's entirely fair enough but he never actually responded to a direct attack from hillary clinton. and then of course the same week you had the cover of time magazine and you have george w. bush and bill clinton buddy buddy right next to each other with talk of how closely they work together. this is absolutely toxic because it is a sense that the country is run by two political dynasties that are thoroughly enmeshed with family and commercial ties how will you run against hillary clinton given these concerns if you are someone who appears to be, you know so very similar and just unwilling to fire back? hillary clinton is close but is quite happy to attack jeb bush when
she feels it necessary. can jeb bush do the same? >> i agree she has to put it behind her quickly. i have no idea how she does. anything short of handing the server back to the ig. >> she won't do that. she has at that figure out as a campaign or in the campaign to give a message that is counter to the idea that people have of her at this point. >> if you don't turn back the public's e-mails how do you counter that? >> i don't know. that is the challenge of being her aides or anyone else in her campaign. >> dickerson: that is the last word. thanks to you all. we willwe will come back to look at campaign money and why there is so much of it. >>
>> dickerson: we want to take a look now at the driving force behind the 2016 campaign, money. friday, the super pacs, those political action committees full of cash filed their first reports. taken together with the reports filed by the individual candidates, they provide the first look at who is paying for the campaign. jeb bush is at the head of the republican pac his combined totals are nearly $120 million of followed by ted cruz, with 53 million. marco rubio at 26 million and scott walk we are 20 million. hillary clinton has raised six 69 million, super pac donations are unregulated over all, 61
entities have given over $1 million to the super pacs, which are on tap to flood the airwaves with ads, most of them negative and finance turn out the vote operations. the trend is clear wealthy donors are gaining more and more influence over the campaign process. case in point, a handful of republican candidates this week are all in california meeting with the charles and david koch brothers, huge backers of republicans to make their case and hopefully plug into their network, which has promised to spend 900 million on the candidate of their choice. in a recent "new york times" cbs news poll 84 percent of the country said they believed money had too much influence in american political campaigns 66 percent said that the wealthy have a greater chance to influence elections than other americans. joining us now to discuss the role of money in campaign 2016, former sec commissioner, a republican appointee trevor potter is now president of the
watchdog group the campaign legal center, she covers campaign money for the washington post, stephen law is the head of american crossroads, which is a conservative political action committee and cbs news correspondent juliana goldman who covers money for us. welcome to all of you. juliana, i want to start with you. every campaign we learn that more money was spent than the campaign before. that is likely to be happening again this time, b different? >> there are really three differences here from cycles past. one is the evolution of super pacs and how campaigns in super pacs have figured out ways of working closely together without coordinating, and then they have been able to do that, and this bets to number 2 because the sec, which is supposed to police the way money is spent is essentially toothless and dysfunctional and can't police the money that is being spent this year. and then you also have the dark money, the money that is not disclosed, that is being given to nonprofits, and are going to receive more dark money this
cycle, and nearly every individual candidate has a nonprofit that is associated with them, and that is what is very different, this cycle. >> so mateo, two different animals in the serengeti, super pac and what people call dark money, can you help us understand or remember the distinctions and difference between those two? >> sure. and just to step back i think it is important to remember we are actually having how two systems of political finance in our country. we have the regulated system in which candidates and parties can raise limited amounts of money that is disclosed and then we have this growing universe of vast unlimited contributions often secret donations. so super pacs have to disclose all of their donors, nonprofits cannot be focused exclusively on politics, and they can keep their donors a secret. and both of those entities are now supporting all of the presidential candidates in various ways or nearly all of them and what we are seeing i think in this cycle which is so different than in cycles past is that this universe of unlimited money is now starting to overtake the universe of regulated money.
>> dickerson: so trevor, you have been worried about campaign finance for a long time, trying to fix the system. what worries you about the current state of things? >> i think it is the potential for corruption, the appearance of corruption that the supreme court mentioned in the post watergate period when we first had these rules. mateo talks of two systems. i think the problem is the two systems have essentially merged. you have the enormous sums of money being raised by supposedly outside groups that are not outside in anyone's imagination. >> dickerson: you mean outside, meaning outside of the candidate? >> right. >> dickerson: okay. >> so the legal limits you give to a candidate is 2,700 dollars and ket for almost all of the presidential canes you see that there are groups that have helped create that their aides are running that have raised many times what the campaigns have raised themselves so that you will see a report saying that a candidate raised jeb bush
$100 million. well they are really talking about the super pac which has contributions of over a million dollars. and i think where that leads is that average citizens look at this and say well, you know, this is a game for billionaires, one billionaire talking to another billionaire where do i fit in this. >> dickerson: and it is not just average citizen whose are making that claim, donald trump has built his campaign a little bit around the idea that he can't be bought. let's listen to something he said just about this idea of who is owning the election. >> i am not doing what is right for a man that gave me a million dollars to run for office and i owe him. and when bush gets $100 million plus and when hillary gets $50 million plus, every one of those people that put up money will control bush, control -- i don't mean like a little bit bush is controlled by those people. walk search controlled by those people. hillary clinton is controlled by those people.
>> dickerson: so stephen law let me ask you about this, because what donald trump is touching on, whether you agree with the specifics of his claim is something that we see in our polls 15 and again that people basically think that phone calls the tune and that it is a small group of people calling the tune. you actually have talked to people donating to groups. what does it look like from your vantage point? >> sure, first of all i have to comment on the irony of a multibillionaire like donald trump who is self financing his campaign complaining about the amount of money in politics, but i will leave it to him to sort out that irony. but it is true. we do spend a lot of time talking to donors. i actually talk to people on the other side of the coin, democrats who talk to donors, and most donors, the vast majority of them are motivated by a desire to see the direction of the country change in a broadway. they are concerned in our case, they girlfriend crossroads because they are concerned about the direction of the country flat line economy, they are concerned about where hillary clinton would take the country and they are hoping to invest in us to try to change that
scenario. i read with interest some of the comments from people who had given to the right to rise organization, mike fernandes the largest doe more says what he feels passionately about he disagrees with jeb bush which is normal station of relations with cuba, so what people are doing is they are investing in a chance to change the country and that's how they view it and that's again what motivates people on both the left and the right. >> dickerson: right the rise a pac that supports jeb bush. >> what is interesting with right to rise, the data figures that they boasted was that 95 percent of their donations were $25,000 or less. so it just shows you where we have come, from four years ago when you have campaigns as part of the other system that mateo was talking about of boasting of donations of small donations of 200, $250 or less but that is big question this cycle and it is what the chair of the fcc says. it is going to be very difficult
to know whether certain candidates are taking certain policy positions because that is what is being pushed by a more familiar billionaire writing seven-figure checks. >> what i find interesting in this vein is right now what is going on in this week which has not been concerned on is the afl-cio and all of the unions are holding beauty candidates for the democratic candidates, they are sitting them all down and making decisions about where they are going to invest their financial support this election cycle, and they are walking through it with each of those candidates a very detailed list of the policies that they want to see action on, organized labor has always done this, they are unabash and unashamed with connecting financial political support with your support for their policy agenda, yet people don't seem to be terrifically concerned about that but that is another area where there is huge amount of money hundreds of millions of dollars to advocate for very, very particular set of policy agendas. i think steve is absolutely right this is a bipartisan problem. it is silly to pretend that just
folks in the republicans because there are so many candidates running and there are so many super pacs, but both sides have this same issue what professor larry condominiums dependency corruption, which means you are depending on the people who finance you and it used to be we had broad base, and we had a presidential public funding system and you got small donations and matched, and you got presidential funding in the general, that's why ronald reagan was collected by twice. today you have a tiny group of people. in 2012, 90 percent of the contributions to these super pacs came there 523 people. these candidates become posed on the support of such a tiny group of people, which is so important, because these super pacs are raising far more money than they are going to raise and the result is when they get into government, you know, who are they going to take a call from? who are they going to listen to? >> i think what is important to focus on as well is not just what donors think they are going to get from their money but how
it is changing our politics. the role that big donors are playing in 2016 have already revamped the entire political process. we saw candidates hold off announcing their candidacy so they could actually work in closer coordination with outside groups and super pacs so they could raise and ask for huge sums of money and we are seeing them focus their attention really on the tiny, tiny group of people who can poured to write seven and eight figure checks. >> dickerson: so one of those -- one way it is changing the system is the koech brothers having a gathering the politicians are going to, they are pitching to what is called the koch primary. >> yes. this is an opportunity to voice their policy prescription for small limited government, it is an opportunity for the network of donors to hear from them directly. >> any candidate who spends all of his time just focused on donors and what they want will not succeed, because ultimately the people who cast the votes and determine whether you are the nominee or the candidate are the voters. the donors, the financing of
campaigns by whatever means is a means to an end an amplification system. >> another way it is changing the way politics take place is, primaries are lasting longer because candidates can hiv -- you got knocked out when you ran out of money that is no longer the case. what is so dramatic this cycle isn't nearly every single presidential candidate has a personalized super pac. we saw the beginnings of this in 2012 and the impact that had and mute gingrich and rick santorum forum both had the candidacies left alive by wealthy donors and romney was really able to last for a very long bloody primary fight because he had a very well funded super pac behind him. now, ever has a super pac and in fact, four out of the $5 raised to support republican candidates so far have been raised for outside groups. so we are looking at the prospect of an incredibly long drawnout primary fight against because you never know who will be able to get a second wind gave donor decides to write a big check. the money that we are going to be seeing this weekend, these are essentially down payments,
and there used to be when a candidate runs out of money they have to drop out. now it is when they run out of their sugar daddy or sugar momma who is funding their super pac. >> we used to have -- the two systems we have been talking about, you said they are melding it into one there used to be a cop on the beat, the fcc that would try to keep the two systems apart, the cop is not on the beat. >> well, the chair of the fcc referred to the commission as worse than dysfunctional. when i was on the commission i think there was one boat where we tied three, three, in the five years i was there. now, that essentially happens all the time and the result of that is the commission which requires a majority power votes to do anything is deadlocked, gridlocked paralyzed. and not able to deal with complaints that come in, and so i think what has happened in the political world is people who said well, you know, no one is going to go after us anyway. now it is years and just now it is not going to happen. so you ended up in a situation which clearly the supreme court didn't intend, and citizens unitedness
when it said corporations could spend unlimited money and basically said this independent speech is a good thing they said it is going to be fully disclosed, which it has not been. we have the dark money you pointed out, the secret money that goes in, and that it would be completely, wholly independent of parties and candidates. and it is not. these are groups that are visibly set up. there is an argument that they will make, well, i situate -- i set it up before i became a candidate or i am not actually in the super pac. the super pac before i was -- >> and then these other groups. so the fec is essentially now out of the game and the result of that is people are pushing the lines and when a candidate sees someone else doing something, they dive in and do it as well, because they don't want to be at a disadvantage. >> dickerson: any chance for reform or change of this system? >> one thing i find so striking is that campaign operatives and campaign finance attorneys you speak to on both sides of the aisle today actually are in agreement. the system is not working.
the center cannot hold. there is a direct conflict between these huge sums of money on one side and the very small limited contributions on the other. the question is what direction it goes in, and if you talk to advocates for stricter campaign finance rules, such as -- a lot of people are saying well this is going to lead to such a big scandal that there will be another sort of reform movement, watergate led to the creation of the federal election commission. we saw the clinton soft money scandals led to the mccain feingold act. i do think it is possible we could see a push to big money coming back to candidates and parties. that is something that republicans have been advocating for and if republicans take congress and the white house we could see that come to pass. >> dickerson: we will have to leave it there, i am afraid. i am sorry trevor we will get on this issue again. thanks all of you and we will be right back. >>
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