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tv   Washington Week With Gwen Ifill  PBS  August 1, 2015 1:30am-2:01am PDT

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gwen: countdown to the first big debate. can anyone break through break past the donald? and on capitol hill debates over iran and highways. tonight on "washington week." he leads every poll, attacking his fauxes. donald: you know these guys debate every night of their life. that's all they do. they debate all over the place. >> let's get a bar and see who can -- gwen: but can he be president. >> i don't think the skills that you're talking about are tran aerable to a governmental steady. >> he's so naive, he would trust the iranians and he would take the israelis and basically march them to the door of the oven. >> this is not the way we're
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going win elections. that's not how we're going to solve problems. gwen: less than a week before the first big face-off, a summer dual with much at stake. lawmakers debate war, peace and highways. >> i'm proud of what we've accomplished in congress so far this year. gwen: covering the week, robert costa political reporter for "the washington post." susan davis congressional correspondent for "usa today" and john harwood chief washington correspondent for cnbc. >> award-winning reporting and analysis, covering history as it happens. from our nation's capital. this is "washington week" with gwen ifill. corporate funding for "washington week" is provided by -- >> how much money do you have in
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your pocket right now? >> i have $20. >> could something like that make an impact on something big as your retirement? if you let it grow over time for 20, 30 years that retirement challenge might not seem so big after all. >> additional funding is provided by newman's own foundation donating all profits from newman's own food products to charity and nourishing the common good. the corporation for public broadcasting and by contributions to your pbs station from viewers like you. thank you. once again from washington moderator gwen ifill. gwen: good evening. so every poll is telling the same story, donald trump is
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enjoying a summertime serge. it's one that will be tested next week on a debate stage in cleveland. surprising to say that when trump is on stage he dominates. donald: i think we're so politically correct in our country that people are sick and tired of it and things aren't getting done. certainly you want to be diplomatic. we're diplomatic and everybody hates us all over the world. gwen: 16 republican candidates have the grievance vote. mike huckabee says dealing with iran would in danger. president obama: it's a general pattern that we've seen is -- would be considered ridiculous if it weren't so sad.
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gwen: but huckabee did not back down. >> wasn't comparing the president to adolf hitler. when we did not take seriously the threat that was made to jews for 20 years after the writings of hitler -- gwen: chris christie flat out said what others are thinking that no matter what his popularity now trump has a disqualifying characteristics. this was in a conversation with john harwood. >> not possible for him to be a successful president. i think it's much less likely for him to be successful than it is for me to be successful. i don't think it wow be in the best interest of our party who i don't think would be an effective president to be the nominee. in the end that's why i'm running. gwen: some republicans are worried about the stone throwing. jeb bush speaking today tried for a little humor saying he looks forward to sharing the stage with another candidate ben carson a neurosurgeon.
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jeb: i'm glad he'll make it into the top 10 before next week's debate. before that thing's over we just might need a doctor. gwen: ha ha, right? but the debate is no joke. what do you think is going to happen? >> take a measure about whether donald trump looks like a joke. most republican political strategists assume this is a phenomenon that is going to fade sooner rather than later. and how he interacts with candidate where is it's not just him hurling invective from a distance but on stage that's the number one thing. and they have to figure out how to distinguish themselves. very crowded field. people are going to be laying their records alongside one another. how they cast themselves in a way that helps them stand out is going to be what i'm watching. gwen: robert, we know as of today there are 17 republican
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major candidates. there are a lot more out there. how do we know who is going to be on stage? >> fox news will decide. they will announce which 10 candidates will appear on stage. those who won't make the first cut will be able to appear in a previous forum on the day of the debate. gwen: as of friday night, tonight, who do we think is likely to be there? who do we think is not likely to be there? >> donald trump is leading the poll. scott walker, jeb bush, marco rubio, mike huckabee, ben carson. then you get on the on the bubble territory. the john kay sicks of the world. rick perry, does he find his way? governor christie, he's doing a lot of interviews, he's trying to get a lot of attention to get on that stage. >> i noticed that rick perry has given four interviews on fox news. >> everybody's trying to get their numbers up both nationally
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and both in the early states. the way i look at the national polling is there are three candidates who are competing for the last two slots christie, john casic and rick perry if you look at the averages as they appeared this morning christie and kay sick would be in, perry would not be. but this decision would be made on tuesday so we'll see. gwen: do they sound like they've positioned themselves. rick santorum sounds like he's thrown up his hands. do they sound like they figured out how to get up on that stage? >> if you're not perry -- that would get me the bounce i need to get on that stage. but then again this is the first of nine officials of republican debates. there will be other
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opportunities. gwen: ok. let's talk about donald trump. we know that the horserace numbers tell us that he's leadg. they tell us who his supporters are. who benefits if he's not in the race? what else are we learning from him? >> we know that half of republicans don't think should -- there should be a path to citizenship to undocumented immigrants now. of those 1/3 supported donald trump. 34%. that's a very healthy chunk of a large chunk of the republican electorate. he speaks to a lot of people in a way that we once thought chris christie might do who are tired of scripted politicians. want somebody who is agrissive, who talk -- aggressive who talks straight at least as they interpret it and go around and smack some people around. and donald trump is certainly doing that.
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is it presidential? we're in the entertainment phase of the race. gwen: yes we are. if you go back and look at his record he's been all over the map. but maybe that doesn't matter. >> it may not matter. i was briefed earlier by donald trump's advisors about his debate strategy. gwen: oh, do tell. >> it was a face nat ig conversation because they believe everyone thinks he's going to be the outside presence on that stage. they think trump's plan is to hole back, to let others come at him to have lines ready and to be prepared. he thinks a lot of the other campaigns are having opposition research and going after his conservative record. if he's comfortable with himself, if he's a representative of the anti-politics of an outsider and that he can succeed and he doesn't need to be the star -- he just needs to be donald trump. gwen: that's what donald trump's doing. what are the other candidates
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doing? do they decide to ignore the el fact in -- the elephant in the stage? >> i don't think jeb bush wants to ignore the elephant. jeb bush may be the least likely to inherit donald trump's vote. so he has an interest to distinguish himself as he courts all those other people. he's got the stature and the presence to be able to do that. i think the people who are in a solid but less robust position are going to be distinguishing themselves from each other. i've been interested in the back and forth of casic and walker about their gubernatorial records. he put out a release saying my rating is 60% in horse. scott walker and chris christie about 40% that says i'm for viable. i talked -- gwen: who's the audience for that little detail? i don't know. >> it's a way of talking about yourself as a successful politician. i talked to scott walker and he said that's because i've taken
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on tough fights and had them against me. >> john kay sick spend all this money to promote himself so he's got higher ratings. gwen: scott walker seems to be zen about this. let's take a listen about what he had to say about this whole big crowded field. >> with this many great republicans on the field this is not going to be wrapped up after a couple of states. it's probably going to be a couple of months in if not longer and we're ready for the long haul. gwen: the "long haul," he's thinking right past this debate isn't he? >> that's right. walker thinks that this is a trump phenomenon and that it will fizzle out. he's focused on fundraising building a national network. he believes he become that alternative to jeb bush and be there in the top tier. the other thing you have to watch this week, is everyone is
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expecting fireworks in the debate. if you're ted cru carson or huckabee you want that coalition should trump not pan out. gwen: because there are so many of them it's easy to spend some time obsessing about what's happening to republicans. but i want to talk about what happened to republicans. hillary clinton was at the national urban league convention in fort ladder dale. she took a couple of not very well bail digs against jeb bush. >> i don't think you can credably say that everyone has a right to rise and then say you're for phasing out medicare or for repealing obamacare. people can't rise if they can't afford health care. they can't rise if the minimum wage is too low to live on. they can't rise if their governor makes it harder for them to get a college education. and you cannot seriously talk about the right to rise and
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support laws that deny the right to vote. gwen: well john -- >> hillary clinton was defending her turf. that's a constituency that she hopes to do extremely well as president obama did. she went after jeb bush. interestingly jeb bush did not return the fire. gwen: he spoke a couple of hours later. >> his speech was very high-minded, very effective. the best speech i've seen from him so far. that's why it's going to do be a matchup to watch if both of them end up surviving this process. gwen: on the other hand, jeb bush pulled out a lot of money. today's the deadline to find out about the super pac money. he's sitting really pretty. >> that's the whole jeb bush play. long-term, build the network, have the 100 million plus ready so you can have the positive ads and the negative ads once this
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campaign heats up. you don't see bush going after trump or clinton. this is a careful campaign. he's a candidate who's becoming more confident. gwen: you also saw bernie sanders show up andsaake a point. bernie sanders is pretty out there if he wants to be. is he h creeping up at all? is he creeping up? he's certainly -- his trajectory is more like this and hers is like that. >> i think he is creeping up mostly with white liberals. he needs to do better with african americans if he's going to be in the challenge. we're in a situation where bernie sanders is a refreshing voice to a lot of democrats who think -- who don't want caution in their democratic leaders and want a fullout push for bigger government activism and going after the rich and all that. i still don't think you have many people in the party who think he poses a serious threat to her nomination. gwen: go ahead. i want to ask you -- i feel like
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i'm ignoring you. i want the pull you on this senator thing because what we're seeing is bern wi sanders on the road. it's far more robust than anyone if the senate -- anyone in the senate expected. >> there is a very significant divide among democrats who are reluctant about hillary clinton that think that they would like to have a more liberal candidate, a more progressive candidate and sort of the obama one that gets them to 08. i think bernie is different. he's an anti-politician. he's been consistent. he says what he means. he has a gruff style and it's refreshing -- >> he's not in packing in -- >> when you hear clinton speak
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vs. sanders speak he rails against wealth corporatism. clinton with her h speech today she rails against the republican party. she's much more partisan, energetic and passionate. it's a different kind of message, liberal vs. straightforward democratic. >> threading the needle on tissue of wall street where, you know bernie sanders talk about a political revolution taking on higher tax rates much more astringent regulation on people at the top. hillary clinton has more incremental proposals. ted cruz and some of the republicans are saying she's not going to do do anything on wall street. she's a status quo candidate like jeb bush. they try to lump bush and clintonton. gwen: you talked about ted cruz. he found his own politics of provocation appear on capitol hill too. it's been quite something. he started out by calling mitch
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mcconnell a liar on the floor. he's not backed down at all. >> has not apologized in any way either. i think part of what it has drawn the anger over the highway bill. in some cases when you have paul, cruz and sanders it's going to do be a platform for these candidates who aren't breaking through that have the senate floor to try to make that a plat form. gwen: particularly for candidates there's some value being seen as an insider. >> nobody lost any points and running against the republican establishment when you're trying to win the republican nomination is not necessarily -- >> sue, i thought when you called somebody a liar on the floor your words would get taken down and you would be rebuked
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instantaneously. that didn't happen. why not? >> they could have. they had the option to. in some ways you have an establishment leadership, mitch mcconnell and john boehner who are managing the parties. they don't want to inflame the right but they don't want to appease them. gwen: they've been -- >> the establishment tried to knock me back. i'm a fighter. gwen: exactly. on capitol hill we're approaching the time of year when big things hang in the balance as the house and the senate begin to think summer vacation. yesterday the senate agreed to a stop gap extension of a major transportation bill guaranteeing another fight in three months. >> once again we're facing another deadline. it's a deadline here. a deadline there. always deadlines. management by crisis. gwen: meanwhile the 60-day clock is running on the congressional
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review of the iran deal. where does that stand tonight, sue? >> well, it's interesting because we go into the august recess and normally when congress leaves the party in power likes to do a big hoorah. it's a very consequencetial october. the iran debate they have until september 17th to take some action to try to weigh in on the iran nuclear deal. it seems as though, although it has been fully decide that they're going to try to pass a resolution of disapproval. they're going to try to block it which is going to set up a veto shut override fight with the administration. is where you see president obama on -- he will veto it. he has been very actively courting democrats. he had a cocktail reception which is obviously not something that they do very ofn.
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they need to have the votes they need to block any votes. gwen: isn't it unusual but something so legacy building that the president has gone so far out on a limb to depend that he should be whoaing democrats that stage? >> yes and no. when you factor into the pro-israel lobby and aipac they have a lot of traditional alleys that have come out against this particularly among -- i think for a lot of democrats it's a tough vote. they're torn over israel and concerns over benjamin netanyahu. and a lot of those who have jewish constituencies. gwen: sandra levin -- >> her brother retired. gwen: i get the levin's retired. he came out in favor of it. >> john kerry touted.
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he brought it to the attention of mens. they are actively courting lawmakers of that tenure in the house. i think it matters a lot that nancy pelosi's onboard. she's actively working her members. she said yesterday that every day more and more members come to her and say they're going to do be on this administration with this. gwen: the objective is also the concern about someso concerns that there were side deals that were cut with the iaea. >> ted cruz feels that they haven't received all of the paperwork. he's saying the 60-day clock hasn't started. we don't feel that that clock has started from we get all of the paperwork. september 17th is the deadline but we could see that change.
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gwen: 39 times? >> 34. we might get there. gwen: that's the number of times they have voted to kick this out of the road and not to pass a long-term extension. what's going on? >> i think the highway bill is best understood as an example of how congress has sbock dysfunctional in the past five, six years in that 34 extensions only since 2009. the highway bill is in the simplest of terms politicians filling potholes. this used to be an incredibly easy bill to pass because everybody can run on it. everybody likes it. and there's nobody opposing i. gwen: it was the pro albuquerques barrel of bills. >> everyone's trying to get a piece of it. we have a deep philosophical divide on how we pay for the things we want. they both want the highway bill. there's absolutely zero chance republicans are going to raise any new taxes to get there. it's almost like we're
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scrounging for change. even the bill they haven't passed is a six year bill that's only funded for three years. yo know, paying for the things we want is probably the biggest philosophical question facing the republicans -- >> are you saying that congress is not good at planning ahead? [laughter] gwen: let'sgw be clear with what's on the table. what's on the table is a bill that would extend this for three months. >> three months. until the end of october. gwen: and extend it for six years. but only pay for it for three. >> we were facing at ten of the year a shutdown. so we're funded until october. gwen: remind me what happened after the amtrak derailment. there's much discussion about getting this piece of equipment on the amtrak trains that was
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going to stop this from happening in the future. that's all tied in this as well. >> the will is there to get a long-term highway bill. but we're in a reality where congress can't do anything until the absolute last minute until every other process has been exhausted until they wear people out to get there. i think they could get there. but remains to be seen. mitch mcconnell has been pushing hard to get a long-term bill. i think he sees the highway bill as a good example of proving that republicans know how to govern and that he's been from the time that republicans took over the senate. he said my job is that we can be a governing majority and maybe no bill better exemplifies that than that bill. t gwen: on the campaign trail nobody wants to be centerbe right. yet in the senate and the house at least the senate they're talkingability the virtues of
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being center right. i don't know how that becomes the same political debate. does it? >> i think the highway bill is a fun example to see how congress has changed in this sense. it used to be a place where you had the pork barrel spending. it was a way to help govern because leaders in congress were able to put things in a huge big bill like the highway bill and get votes and win favor and keep the place running. now with earmarks banned there's no such insertions on the highway bill. >> a lot of members would tell you it was the most foolish decisionful gwen: we'll see. well thank you all. thank you all for that. but i've got two pieces of good news. first our conversation will continue online where we will talk some more about john's conversations with carly fifiorina and chris christie. keep up with me on the pbs news hour and the other good news
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we'll be back around our regular table next week on "washington week." good night. >> corporate funding for "washington week" is provided by -- prudential, additional funding is provided by newman's own foundation donating all profits from newman's own to food charity, the corporation by public broadcasting and to donations from viewers like you. thank you.
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good evening. welcome to kqed "newsroom." i'm thuy vu. tech companies are under increasing pressure to show progress. apple, intel and other firms will be meeting to press them to diverse their workforces. we're going to look at one aspect of this problem, the gender gap. yahoo!'s marisa and facebook's sheryl sandberg are the exception, not the rule in silicon valley. women are underrepresented.


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