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tv   Washington Week With Gwen Ifill  PBS  October 17, 2015 1:30am-2:01am PDT

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captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit gwen: what it takes to run for president and what it takes to be president. tonight on "washington week." . hillary clinton i'm a progressive that would like to get things done. i wouldn't ask anyone to vote for me based on my last name. gwen: hillary clinton with a little help from her friends. >> the american people are sick and tired about hearing of your damn emails. >> i have been waiting for 10 minutes. >> what you heard tonight was a very different debate than the debates you heard from the two presidential republican debates. gwen: the debate almost, but not quite overwhelming joe biden's indecision.
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>> you deserve a president who will never quit on you. gwen: the republican primary. >> this maniac is giving everything away. >> the leading democrat nomination is bragging about the fact that republicans don't like her. that's a disgrace. gwen: but reality in truth as the white house is forced to admit that afghanistan could become another iraq. president obama: as commander in chief i will not allow afghanistan to be used as a safe haven for them to attack our nation. gwen: from politics, to money, to reality, to hard choices. covering the week, dan balz, beth reinhard, "wall street journal," alexis simendinger, white house correspondent for real clear politics and chuck todd, nbc news political
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director and moderator of "meet the press." >> award winning reporting and analysts, covering history as it happens. live 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 your pocket right now? >> 40. 21. >> if you start putting that money towards your retirement every week and let it grow over time, 20, 30 years, that retirement challenge might not be so big after all. >> additional funding is provided by new man's own foundation, donating all profits from new man's own food products
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to charity and nourishing the common good, the publication for public broadcasting and by contributions to your pbs station from viewers like you. thank you. once again, live from washington, moderator, gwen ifill. gwen: sometimes we get get caught up in politics, we track polls obsessively and punch and counterpunch and pay attention to tea leaves and this week we added policy to our politics. from the debate on climate change, guns and inequality and the president's reversal in afghanistan to g.o.p. discussion about health care and the national debt, to who's really raising and spending that campaign money. listen to bernie sanders, explaining democratic socialism at the debate.
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> it is wrong that the top 1/10th of 1% owns as much well as the bottom 90%. we should look to countries like denmark, sweden and norway and learn what they have accomplished for their working people. gwen: there's an argument you never hear in a democratic or republican candidate. in many ways, the choices seemed clearer than ever. dan: this was the debate and watched two republican debates. and they were dominated what donald trump about what they had said about him. this one was dominated about policy. there were some differences and some disagreement. there were -- there was a sharper exchange in this debate than i think most people anticipated because bernie sanders and hillary clinton had been fairly tentative about engaging one another. once they got on the stage, both were ready to do it and particularly hoipthoint.
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you have a lot of issues covered, issues you don't hear in a republican debate. it was quite a window into the two parties. gwen: we get caught up justifiably in a lot of these explosions, but there was a discussion about climate change, inequality and guns. chuck: it was and i'm struck by the contrast between the republicans and democrats. they are talking about two different sets of issues. republicans talk about national security. you didn't have much about national security. you had more on domestic issues. look, they are all speaking to their voters, the people that are going to show up to their polls. i agree with what dan said, the surprise was hillary clinton's aggressiveness. she never missed an opening to create a distinction between her and bernie sanders. and it wasn't just bernie sanders, and i felt like she was
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sending a few messages to the guy not on that stage. gwen: let's listen to hillary clinton's pushback at the debate. >> secretary clinton, is bernie sanders tough enough on guns? >> no, not at all, he did vote five times against the brady bill. >> secretary clinton, do you want to respond? >> no. i was very pleased when governor o'-- o'malley endorsed me for president in 2008 and i enjoyed his strong support in that campaign. gwen: we saw the value of preparation. >> they spent a lot of time she was prepared for the questions. anderson cooper moved very rapidly and kept things going briskly to keep the energy level of that debate going. some people thought it may be surprised, bernie sanders, a
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little bit. but in secretary clinton's -- the range, she was prepared to talk on guns, economic policies, and middle class and embrace president obama and make sure that governor o'malley had embraced her. gwen: that's an interesting point. one of the things we expected, everybody is supposed to come to these things with a plan. her plan had been she was distancing herself from the president and that didn't happen. beth: the timing of that is interesting considering we have this sitting vice president about to make this decision by embracing the president. i don't know if she left joe biden a lot of room to fill that space and having a strong performance. i think it dampened a little bit of the clammering we have been hearing for joe biden. last few weeks has been a lot of
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negative publicity and was on that stage and incomplete command. gwen: what do we know about joe biden? every time we figured out where this thing is going, it seems his people are stiring the pot. dan: the interesting thing, in the immediate 24 hours after the debate, there was a conventional wisdom that her performance almost totally closed the window on his opportunity to run and what you saw in the subsequent 24 hours after that was an effort on the biden -- on the part of biden world to basically say, wait a minute, not so fast. he's not going to be railroaded out of this thing just because she had a good night. and pushed back in a variety of ways. having said that, we do not know when he's going to make a decision or what his decision is going to be. there's a rumor every 15 hours that he's about to make the
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decision. chuck: 15 hours? 15 minutes. look, the staff around him is saying, mr. vice president, if you want to do this, we need time to start a website. we need to put together a campaign, because simply to do something like raise money and prepare to go. they were pushing him over the last 24 hours. and in one meeting from a source i talked to, he snapped, stop it. i'm going to decide when i decide. he was a little bit annoyed by the pressure and i think his long time close friend who took his senate seat put out this letter to supporters, this, from what i understand was almost from vice president himself, trying to buy more time and to say hey, i know everybody thinks that every day i wait makes it harder. guess what? it was hard three weeks ago, it's going to be hard three weeks from now. i'm going to wait until the last
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final filing deadline. gwen: we remember in 1991 with mario cuomo and that didn't serve well in the long-term. i want to ask you about this, because i'm very curious about whether -- democrats look united. the president isn't going to get involved. it's the republicans who look fractured for a change. beth: there are differences among the democrats. alexis: there is nothing to compare what is happening in the republican field, but what is happening on capitol hill. the combination of the disarray with the republicans on capitol hill and the large field of republican candidates. we saw the president today really in the east room at a news conference trying to convey the main message that democrats are trying to sell. this is the talking point.
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we are united. we know what we stand for. we have a vision and all agree on the major tenets of our platform. 95%. and he was enumerating and not surprisingly, what he was enumerating are issues that he himself is very much embracing. gwen: there were five democrats on the stage this week. can you imagine there would be five democrats on the next democratic debate stage snr chuck: i don't know how -- gwen: chafee, webb and owe mali o'malley. rise -- -- beth: he was ill at ease and you wondered what they were doing there. huck: there was moments.
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obviously had a national security point to make. he has been critical of secretary clinton on the libya decision. that seemed to be the point he wanted to make about the middle east. the interesting -- and i was actually disappointed that the debate carry on this. he was the one guy against the iran deal and he said this, maybe this is contributing to what is going on in syria. and i wanted to hear everybody else in the iran deal. gwen: since we are talking about foreign policy, let's talk about what happened this week. talk about what you might do as president and then what happens when you are actually president. president obama campaigned on a pledge to end wars in iraq and afghanistan. when troops left, things collapsed. he conceded he can't do that in afghanistan and the next president will inherit that war. president obama: this modest and
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meaningful extension of our presence, while sticking to our current narrow missions can make a real difference. right thing to do. gwen: one thing to make a promise, another thing to keep a promise. alexis: it is not unexpected in terms of keeping the troop level in afghanistan at roughly 10,000. there were all kinds of signals from the pentagon, but this is where the recommendations were going. there is nothing more disappointing, even though the president said i'm not disappointed than the idea he is going to hand off not just afghanistan but the war he didn't mention, the situation in iraq, to his successor, whom ever that may be. and the president is vch someone he feels the ticking of time. and on afghanistan he had hoped that the afghanistan military police would be on the same timetable that he had imagined
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and would click together at the end of his term and that is not going to be the case. the other element is, reporters were asking, were the lessons learned? don't pull out because we are concerned about the taliban, remnants of al qaeda or isil. and the president didn't want to indicate that that is what is on his mind. gwen: he didn't have to say it. alexis: everyone knew it was on his mind. chuck: he didn't want to admit it. gwen: dan, if you are running for president and one of the interesting things about the debate the other night is bernie sanders is hillary clinton's main challenger and heind of lost his north star when they moved to foreign policy. dan: what bernie sanders' stock in trade is the domestic side of things. anti-billionaires, income
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inequality and that's what drives him and his supporters. he is to the left of hillary clinton obviously on foreign policy but not an area wheree is particularly comfortable. one of the challenges for him was to say to people who have doubts about not just whether he can win the nomination or win the general election and serve as commander in chief that he has the foreign policy background to do that. and it's a difficult thing to do. he's not used to making that case for himself. gwen: jeb bush was pushing back that his -- his father kept us safe as president and puts him in an interesting position. beth: that's the area where i think he struggles the most. one hand he embraces his family and gets very defensive. i was with him in iowa when something mumbled something about his father under their
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beth breath and got agitated. he said i'm jeb. that's his slogan. but, you know we constantly see that push and pull. and at the debate that was one of his better moments when he stood up for his brother. and you almost felt that swell of post-9/11 pride that the country fell. chuck: what i thought was amazing about the afghanistan announcement, a lot of the republican candidates rusheds to say something. most of them supported the decision. there was no voluntary releases from hillary clinton or bernie sanders and tells you and goes back to what we were talking about in the beginning, the isublican primary elect rate more animated. the democrats said we are going
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to talk about income inequality. bernie sanders nor hointhoipt didn't say a word. dan: that is a perception as to the value of those issues. they believe that the foreign policies is the main vulnerability. and i remember being up in brooklyn talking to the team and asked them about this notion. and one of them broke out laughing, saying if they think this is going to be a national security election, big surprise. going to be about domestic issues. gwen: the president's plan is to keep 5,5,000 troops in 9,800 tan, we now have troops there. it is reducing the withdrawal date. what are those 5,500 troops
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supposed to do in afghanistan? are they supposed to be engaged in battle? alexis: excellent question. one of the elements that the administration was trying to emphasize is that in no way does this change the united states posture. the united states is not in a combat mission, not now and not with the retention of these troops. what the u.s. forces are supposed to do is to stand out at the bases around afghanistan to continue to be advising and training and assisting in every way the government. it makes a big difference because the administration is emphasizing. the government of afghanistan asked for this assistance and we are going to be with them. and the emphasis is that president obama's hands were tied with iraq because the government at the time in iraq did not want the u.s. there. gwen: let's pull this back about
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the money. and w an s.e.c. filing republicans raised more. hillary clinton she raised $29 .5 million. bernie sanders, $26 million. among the republicans, ben carson raised $28 million. jeb bush raised $13.4 million. and donald trump, raised $3.9 million. short version, hillary clinton and bernie sanders have almost as much money in the bank as all 15 republicans combined. his have come in small donation. 650,000 of them. and just as important as how much these candidates raised is how they rsed them and how
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they spent. beth: we saw on the republican side some spending which as we scott d to the demise of walker and rick perry. scott walker was significantly in debt. some have faster growth rates than others. ben carson was successful raising money but spent 2/3 of the money he had raised. going 3 coming in, $2 is out. jeb bush has a big staff around the country. gwen: what happened to the self-funded trump campaign? beth: $4 million showed up on his doorstep and spent all of it. he has very little money left. the money goes to his plane. chuck: he's making a profit.
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dan: losing less it might look like. chuck: what's interesting is the difference how the democrats are collectively outraising the republicans. the republicans have decided to use the superpac route. and the democrats said they will try them but concentrating on hard money, money that you can buy cheaper advertising. and i have to say, you watch this and you are seeing i think the democrats as obama proved are making a more strategic decision and i think the bush campaign is wondering did we make a mistake overemphasizing. gwen: the bush campaign and we don't know what the numbers are until later. he is spending it at a faster clip and raising less money. beth: as chuck said, the
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superpac hangs out there, $103 million and they are filling that as his life raft. don't worry, we are spending money. but we have this big balance that they are already spreading on television. the numbers haven't moved. they have been on the air now for a month in iowa, new hampshire and south carolina and his poll numbers -- gwen: let's talk about poll numbers. ben carson and look at these numbers, he is raising a lot of money. anything in these numbers that we saw that explains that? dan: i don't think so. i did an analysis today looking at what has happened to the polls in iowa, new hampshire and nationally from the beginning of july to where we are today and looked at that in comparison to the money. and you can't say one way or the other. beth talks about the absence of any sign of movement for jeb
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bush and his numbers as a result of the money that his superpac is spending. they see glimmers of hope and reluctant to say that they will see real movement. but donald trump was number one in july. he's number one now. he's grown. jeb bush has declined over this period even though he has had more financing than others. so there is not a clear pattern. gwen: is hillary clinton -- we talk about her ups and downs, someone asked me, how did she bounced back up after the debate. down that hadn't gone low. chuck: you are right. i think she hit bottom and i think she did in new hampshire and clear in new hampshire and iowa she was showing some real issues but she's about where she
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should be. in some ways her number was too big just because she was the only known name. dan: particularly if you include the vice president in those polls. when we looked at that and did it with the vice president and without, much of his support goes to her. gwen: senator sanders' achievement is noteworthy. alexis: that is great. gwen: people will be writing checks. chuck: ben carson is like that, too. his donations are in a small way. sanders and carson, they are grassroots. gwen: why jeb bush's fundraising has gone a little flat. beth: it is the ineff built
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factor. he was at the top and there was a feeling that he was the next guy in line and the republican party usually nominates the next guy in line and everything turned on its head with trump and carson and fiorina. gwen: it's the fall and we are going to wait to see what happens in the next round. thank you everybody. and there is a lot more talk about but not enough time to talk about it. we have the overflow where we'll update the race for the job no one wants to want. speaker of the house. that will be up later tonight. keep up with daily developments next and see you here week on "washington week." good night. floo
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>> corporate funding for "washington week" is provided by, prudential, additional funding is provided by new man's own foundation, donating all profits from new man's food products to charity and nourishing the common good. the publication for public broadcasting and contributions from viewers like you. thank you.
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