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STATE OF THE UNION WITH CANDY CROWLEY

Interview with General McChrystal, General Hayden; Interview with Dianne Feinstein

Aired January 27, 2013 - 09:00   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


CANDY CROWLEY, CNN ANCHOR: The times they are a changing in the U.S. military.

Today, subtracting jobs at the Pentagon and adding women into combat.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

LEON PANETTA, U.S. DEFENSE SECRETARY: The fact is, that they have become an integral part of our ability to perform our mission.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CROWLEY: Is Chuck Hagel the right man to run a Pentagon in transition? We'll ask retired general Stanley McChrystal and Michael Hayden.

Then, assault weapons. The public may not want them, so why is banning them unlikely? We'll ask senator Dianne Feinstein.

Plus, does the Republican road to recovery begin outside Washington. That with Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell, Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker, the mayor of Saratoga Springs, Utah Mia Love and former commerce secretary Carlos Gutierrez.

I'm Candy Crowley. And this is "State of the Union."

Fire up the hot seat. Former Senator Chuck Hagel, the president's choice to be secretary of defense, will face many former colleagues this week at confirmation hearings. Though a Republican, Hagel has already taken incoming from may in his party for a variety of past statements and votes his critics see insufficiently pro- Israel, too conciliatory toward enemies, too quick to suggest cuts at the Pentagon.

Meantime, the current defense secretary Leon Panetta is making history on his way out the door, opening up combat jobs to women.

Joining me now, retired U.S. Army General Stanley McChrystal. He is the former commander of U.S. forces in Afghanistan and author of the new book "My Share of the Task;" and former CIA director and retired U.S. Air Force General Michael Hayden.

I'm the only one without a military title here today. Thank you all so much for joining us.

I want to start out with Chuck Hagel, because he is what's top on the minds at the Pentagon I think. From what you know of Chuck Hagel, and he would be the first enlisted man ever to run the Pentagon, the first Vietnam vet, from what you know, what sort of reception would he get from the military?

HAYDEN: I think it would be fine. I know Senator Hagel. He was on my oversight committee when I was in the intelligence community. He was a member -- and this is not a universal condition -- he was a member that you could talk to, have an honest dialogue not necessarily disagree, but on a personal base have a candid exchange of views. You could always speak with him. And frankly given my time in uniform, that's a tremendous attribute.

So I actually think this will work out well.

CROWLEY: And you wrote in your book about the trust deficit that happens when the military gets used to a new person. You were talking about the president at the time. But I wonder if having a Pentagon chief with the credentials of having fought in a war, sort of helps with the trust deficit?

MCCHRYSTAL: I don't think it's a prerequisite, but I think it's very helpful. And I think it'll start off.

And then of course he'll build relationships as he goes. He has already got a lot of credibility. I don't think it will be a problem.

CROWLEY: And do either of you see red flags? You look at it, this is a man who has talked about the Pentagon is bloated. There's too much -- I mean, you heard the criticism. Any red flags out there?

HAYDEN: Look, these are issues that any incoming secretary is going to have to face. We know that. Now I'll give a broad macro view. If you look at the outgoing team and the incoming team from a Gates -- Clinton -- Gates, Panetta, compare it to the new guys all right, which would be Kerry, and Hagel, and then John Brennan. On balance, I think the new team thinks more like the president thinks when it comes to foreign policy. This is going to be a team that might not push back as much with regard to cuts or withdrawals or smaller footprints or reluctance to deal with big footprints into new areas. So I think though may be difference in policy, but in terms of the worth of the man for him and the job they receive there, not at all.

CROWLEY: Well, since you went there, let me just sort of switch where I was going and ask you about the smaller footprint, because we do have coming up the withdrawal of U.S. combat troops from Afghanistan at the end of the year. And we are seeing Republicans already going, no, I think we need -- we had Lindsay Graham on. He talked about up to 20,000. He says it's too important not to leave a substantial footprint there,

And yet I think that the general is right that we now have a team that seems to be more in sync with President Obama and they want a very small footprint. You talked in your book about training the Afghan security forces. Are they ready for a total withdrawal of U.S. troops when the time comes?

MCCHRYSTAL: I think they are not ready for lack of a strategic partnership in America. I certainly wouldn't try to tell senior officers exactly how many people are required. But I think we've offered a strategic partnership to Afghanistan.

CROWLEY: Does that mean troops, strategic partnership?

MCCHRYSTAL: It means trust. And it's more difficult to put a perfect calculation to that.

The problem with the Afghan government and people is they lack certainty. They lack confidence. They're terrified about 2014, not because there's been no progress, but because they're afraid they'll lose that progress.

They think that in 1989 we walked away from them. We turned our back on the region. And there's a good case to be made for that. And they don't want to see that again.

I think what they need to see from America is enough engagement to show that we are not going to abandon them.

CROWLEY: And what is that?

MCCHRYSTAL: I once asked President Karzai what he wanted, how many troops. He says they want American business. And I want American business here to be making a profit, because if you are here and making a profit, then you will have a stake in our security.

I think that's one kind of indicator. I think it will probably be necessary for us to provide some security help. But they have got to stand up. It's time for them to protect their sovereignty for the most part. And we have got to figure out how best to do that.

CROWLEY: General Hayden, a number?

HAYDEN: I've given numbers in the past, Candy. I've said 10,000 to 15,000. And let me give you a sense of what that comprises. Number one, training. Two logistics.

CROWLEY: Which has been going on since well before even you were there, right?

HAYDEN: It will have to continue.

And logistics, intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance, because no one can provide that the way we do. Occasional indirect fire with Afghan forces on extremists that American firepower could be called on. And then finally our own purpose for being there, very narrowly defined, when we have to do go and conduct counterterrorism missions, we have got a sufficient footprint and basing structure from which to do that. But this is correct. OK. Just the way it is laid out here. This is about the confidence in our commitment. And the Afghans aren't the only audience. Everyone else as Stan suggests, everyone else in the neighborhood is looking and if they think we are wobbling, every other neighbor is incentivized towards behavior that would actually be bad for us. CROWLEY: Let me move you to another bit story this week and that is allowing women basically on the front lines in a purposeful -- it isn't that women haven't seen combat, because They have played those support roles, but this is about putting women in combat. Do you see a female SEAL in the future? Do you see a female army ranger? Do you see females in special ops, where the physical requirements and physical strength are pretty rigorous? Do you see that?

MCCHRYSTAL: I do. I think you will see them probably in all of those units. I think you already see them serving in functions around the units, intelligence pilots and whatnot. And there are female -- there are positions that are much better for females. There are things you can do in special operations with females that are more difficult to do with just men. So I think it -- it will come.

I would throw, though, it is easy to make a policy decision. And I support that policy. As we implement it, it is going to be a little complex, because with rights come responsibility. Right now, any male can be moved to any job in the military for needs of the service. So once you open the door with rights, theoretically, you open the door where any female who is in the service can be put in a combat position simply for needs we'll have to work our way through that.

CROWLEY: And what does that mean for the requirements? Because do you -- females as we know, just physically in general certainly there are females stronger than males, but in general, when you go -- when you go to some of the special forces, there are some physical things about women that make them less strong than men.

HAYDEN: There are two kind of standards. One set has to do with personal health. So that for just raw, physical fitness for members of the armed services. How many pushups, situps, how fast you run a mile, those standard are different for men and women, because men and women are different.

These kinds of standards cannot be different for men and women. These have to do with actually accomplishing the job. And therefore if the standard is here and only a small percentage of women could match that standard for reasons that are biological, the standard has to stay there, otherwise you're risking mission success.

MCCHRYSTAL: You need to think of it as a team. If you think of an infantry squad, they carry a certain amount of equipment spread across the squad. And they all have to carry part of that in addition to their individuals. If somebody can't carry a part, it puts more on the others and that's why Mike is so absolutely correct.

CROWLEY: I want to talk to you all about drones, because this has been a fascination of mine. The increased use of drones and what is it doing to U.S. reputation overseas? I think you all disagree as to whether these are -- certainly it keeps U.S. troops safer, because you don't have to send actual U.S. personnel in, but is it doing more harm than good the increase in the use of drones in Pakistan and Somalia and Yemen?

MCCHRYSTAL: I think first off, Candy, they are extraordinarily effective. And they are a tool we have to have.

MCCHRYSTAL: And we need to be able to not only use them for reconnaissance, but also to strike.

The problem is every time you take a shot, you need to do a calculation, and I think we've done that in the past at the effect it has around the target then the effect it emanates further. If you look in a place that is a sovereign country, if we reach in and technologically shoot, there is a danger that in the United States that was pretty easy, that really wasn't an act of war. We didn't put American boots on the ground, we didn't accept risk. It can lower the threshold for decision making to take action that at the receiving end, feels very different at the receiving end.

CROWLEY: It feels like war, particularly because civilians get killed.

MCCHRYSTAL: Absolutely.

HAYDEN: Look, I've watched this since the program really kind of stepped up in mid-2008 and it got stronger as time went on.

Now, I would suggest to you in 2008, we were very much focused on what were clearly imminent threats against the homeland, because we saw what was going on inside al Qaeda training camps. And so for that period of time, and for a period of time afterward, that was a compelling concern, that was the one that drove your actions, even though you knew, you had secondary and tertiary effects out here that one day you have to live with.

Well, I think we have got to a point now in many if not most areas of the world, but in many areas of the world, that now those secondary and tertiary affects may actually be the prime result of some of these strikes. And that would then give you reason to pause.

Now that's carefully laid out, Candy. That's not suggesting what went on before was incorrect. It was quite correct. But now circumstances have changed. And the correct decision might be a bit gentler.

CROWLEY: I have to ask you about another issue that's out there, sort of (inaudible). You're civilians now. You're certainly civilians who know your way around guns. There is a -- talk about both an assault weapons ban and a universal background check. From your experience with civilians and knowing your way around guns, which would be more effective?

HAYDEN: Wow. That's not normally in our lane.

CROWLEY: No. But I thought you could... HAYDEN: Yeah. My instinct, and again I'm talking from instinct here and not personal experience or expertise, is to make sure we know who is buying guns to a first order. And I would emphasize that first thing out of the gate.

CROWLEY: The universal background check.

MCCHRYSTAL: If i know my history, Wyatt Earp made everybody check their guns when they entered town. There are places that guns are appropriate, and there are places that guns aren't appropriate. And there some guns that I'm not sure are appropriate around schools, around streets of America.

I have seen what assault weapons do. I know the training we put soldiers through to carry an assault weapon. I know how carefully we control those. And I think we need to have a very serious national discussion and not simplify it, not make it black, white, all or nothing. But we need one where we are not poking fingers at each other.

We have got to stop the killing.

CROWLEY: General Stanley McChrystal, General Michael Hayden, thank you for your expertise as both military officials and civilians. We appreciate it so much.

MCCHRYSTAL: Thanks.

CROWLEY: When we return, going after the guns with California Senator Dianne Feinstein.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

FEINSTEIN: I'm also incensed that our weak gun laws allow these mass killings to be carried out again and again and again in our country.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

CROWLEY: Eight years after the first assault weapons ban expired, Senator Dianne Feinstein introduced a second, tougher one. She stood in front of an arsenal of weapon, flanked by cops, victims of gun violence and Washington religious leaders in a news conference that opened with a prayer. A, for presentation, prospects for passage are slim.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

FEINSTEIN: Can you win this? Only if you stand up. If America rises up. If people care enough to call every member of the house and every member of the senate, and say, we have had enough. (END VIDEO CLIP)

CROWLEY: Feinstein's bill would ban the sale of more than 150 types of rifles, shotguns handguns and ammunition magazines holding more than ten rounds.

The measure was criticized as too both much and useless.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

RICHARD FELDMAN, PRESIDENT, INDEPENDENT FIREARMS OWNERS ASSOCIATION: This bill doesn't ban the guns. There are 35 million of them in existence. There are over 100 million high-capacity magazines out there.

What is going to be the impact on the future ban of those magazines and guns on criminals or crazy people? Zero. Nada.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CROWLEY: For any one who achieved or acquired one the banned weapons legally before the law would go into effect, the only difference would be when they go to transfer or sell the weapon, the person getting would have to undergo a background check.

Next up, Senator Dianne Feinstein.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

CROWLEY: Both sides of the gun debate played out yesterday. In Washington, D.C. thousands of demonstrators took to the National Mall, demanding tougher gun control laws, including a ban on assault style rifles and high capacity magazines. And in suburban Atlanta, potential gun buyers lined up outside a local gun show to stock up in case congress does approve some new restrictions.

Joining me now, Senator Dianne Feinstein.

CROWLEY: Thanks, Senator, for being here and what's been a really busy weekend -- will be a really busy week for you with these hearings opening up.

I wanted to play you, first, something that Senator Joe Manchin, Democrat from West Virginia, a man you know very well, said to us last Sunday.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEN. JOE MANCHIN, (D) WEST VIRGINIA: Assault weapon stand alone ban -- on just guns alone will not in the political reality that we have today will go anywhere. It has to be comprehensive, Candy. And that's what I tried to tell the vice president. And I've told everybody. It has to be a comprehensive approach.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CROWLEY: So you have Senator Manchin saying, look, this has to be more than a gun ban. We have -- Senator Harry Reid, the majority leader in the Senate saying I just don't think this is going to pass. And he doesn't want to bring up something and waste time if it doesn't pass. The president's first major speech out of Washington this term is going to be on immigration.

So what I'm wondering is whether you feel -- this has been a rhetorical priority. I wonder if it's a legislative priority.

FEINSTEIN: Well, let me say this. This has always been an uphill fight. This has never been easy. This is the hardest of the hard.

Now, will it only be assault weapons? No, most likely. There will be a package put together. If assault weapons is left out of the package, and I'm a member of the judiciary, number two in seniority. I've been assured by the majority leader I will be able to do it as an amendment on the floor, which is the way I did it in 1993. So, that doesn't particularly bother me.

What does bother me is I have seen weapons spawned and grown and now in the hands of younger and younger people over these years. I think you reach a point, as I said earlier, where enough is enough. Do military style assault weapons belong on the streets of our cities? And the answer, according to the United States Conference of Mayors, according to major chiefs of police, according to the largest police organization in the world, is absolutely no.

So we do have support, don't mistake it.

CROWLEY: But would you concede that in the United States Senate, this -- the assault weapons ban in particular is a very tough road, because it's not just Republicans, as you know you have fellow Democrats.

FEINSTEIN; I conceded, because the NRA is venal. They come after you, they put together large amounts of money to defeat you. They did this in '93. And they intend to continue it. Well, the opposite can take place...

CROWLEY: Are they venal, or do they just disagree with you?

I mean, is the NRA venal, or do they disagree with you on a matter of policy?

FEINSTEIN: The NRA has become an institution of gun manufacturers. This morning on the front page of The New York Times, I was reading about their program now to provide weapons and training for youngsters from eight years old to 15 years old. And this is supported by the gun manufacturers.

In other words, here is a whole new group of people that we can get these weapons to. They just don't happen be adults, they're children.

CROWLEY: Children with guns, certainly in terms of sport and hunting is not a new phenomenon in a lot of places. The NRA would say, listen, we train them. We want to make sure people who have guns know how to use them. But I wanted to ask about the NRA. And in particular, I wanted to just sort of -- this is kind of -- this is Wayne LaPierre, as you know, is one of those who is going to fight you tooth and nail on this. And a couple of things he said over time.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

WAYNE LAPIERRE, VICE PRESIDENT, NRA: Politicians pass laws for gun-free school zones. In doing so, they tell every insane killer in America, that schools are the safest place to inflict maximum mayhem with minimum risk.

Politicians have no business and no authority denying us the right, the ability, and the moral imperative to protect ourselves and our loved ones from harm.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CROWLEY: Wayne LaPierre is coming before the judiciary committee. He'll be one of the witnesses. What are you going to ask him?

FEINSTEIN: Oh, I don't know at this time. But you can be sure I will have some questions for him.

I actually debated him I think on CNN and other channels back in '93 and '94. I know his position. It has never changed.

What has changed in this country is the continued use of these weapons. When we had the first mass shooting in 1966, '67, the Texas bell tower, I thought this was just an aberration. But it hasn't been, and the malls, the theaters, the businesses, the law practices, and now the schools.

For me, Sandy Hook was an epiphany. Sandy Hook I realized that a woman who had guns, who kept them I assume in a respectable area, she also had a son and that son is quite possibly was mentally disturbed. He got a very powerful weapon. And he went out with that weapon and he killed 5 and 6 and 7-year-olds I understand with 3 to 11 bullets in each of their bodies with a weapon that had the velocity of which could really rip these bodies apart. That should not be able to happen.

Now this was a young man, he apparently knew weapons. He knew how to use weapons. He chose to use them against the most defenseless.

Here's a question, does government have an obligation to protect those children? I believe we do. I believe we do.

CROWLEY: Just a quick question on this, because I want to ask on a couple other subjects, and that is could you see your way clear to a school security program or to saying listen, I do think there maybe be should be armed guards at some of these schools?

FEINSTEIN: Of course. And there are. One-third of the schools in America today have school guards. There were two at Columbine. They couldn't get to the shooter. And that is the problem with this thing. Having school guards really isn't the whole answer. The more you have these weapons, these military style weapons that with the single stock of the AR-15 can be made fully automatic, the minute you have it in the Sandy Hook killer's hands, you have a devastating weapon.

CROWLEY: Let me move you to a different subject, simply because it is now bubbling up. I am surprised at the number of people -- the Speaker of the House, president of the United States, some folks on the Senate that say, hey, we're pretty close to an immigration bill.

Give me a sense of where the Senate is on that, where congress is on the immigration bill?

FEINSTEIN: Well, it's my understanding from Senator Schumer, that we will have a statement of principles hopefully within the next week. What I pick up in the Senate is that increasingly people understand that a pathway to citizenship is an important part of any immigration reform proposal. It is my belief there he will be an immigration reform proposal.

My part of this is the agricultural part. And I've been meeting with workers through the farm workers union as well as all the growers organizations, to put together two parts of the program, one is a permanent program for farmers that need to use people 24/7, like dairy and other things, as well as a guest worker program.

CROWLEY: I just have to quickly ask you a very political question and show you a quick, what we call a screen grab. And what our viewers are going to see, what you are going to see, is a picture of President Obama and outgoing Secretary of State Hillary Clinton being interviewed together on 60 Minutes. This has captured the 2016 group a lot.

If you are Joe Biden thinking about a run for the presidency and you see that the president for the first time, with someone other than his wife is sitting down for a chat on TV, what do you think that says about where the president is thinking about 2016?

FEINSTEIN: Well, I'm not concerned with that as I am with what Secretary Clinton is thinking about 2016. I think she's accomplished an incredible record and really has really unbridled popularity. She has a total knowledge of all of the issues. She has served in the senate. She has been first lady...

CROWLEY: You're a fan.

FEINSTEIN: I am a fan.

CROWLEY: You want her to run?

FEINSTEIN: I would love it if she would run.

CROWLEY: Senator Dianne Feinstein, thank you so much.

FEINSTEIN: Thank you very much.

CROWLEY: We appreciate your time.

When we return, the Grand Old Party tries to find a new way forward.

And later, making a penny count.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

CROWLEY: Comedian Groucho Marx said politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly, and applying the wrong remedies. Even some Republicans think that pretty much sums up the party these days. Following November's losses at the polls and the bruising fiscal cliff debate, the party is both leaderless and rudderless and still figuring out why.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

PRIEBUS: In order to get back in the game, you've got to look and do a full autopsy of what happened.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CROWLEY: Pending that full autopsy, there are some obvious places where the party has hemorrhaged voters. Most disturbing for Republican survivalists, the GOP is on the wrong end of the demographics curve. Hispanic voters -- the fastest-growing segment of the U.S. population -- gave President Obama 71 percent of their vote. The question is, why? The party introspection has led to much to-ing and fro-ing and a split of sorts between Washington Republicans and outside Washington Republicans who think inside Washington Republicans are part of the problem.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JINDAL: We've got to stop being the stupid party. We've got to stop looking backwards. We've got to stop insulting the intelligence of voters.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CROWLEY: A Republican comeback, wherever it may come from, is made more difficult by a newly aggressive president with a big agenda and a lot of political muscle. That's enough to keep the House speaker up at night.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BOEHNER: We're expecting here, over the next 22 months, to be the focus of this administration as they attempt to annihilate the Republican Party. And let me just tell you, I do believe that is their goal, to just shove us into the dustbin of history.

(END VIDEO CLIP) CROWLEY: Can Republicans recover in time to defend their House majority in 2014? We'll look at the future of the grand old party with Governor Bob McDonnell, Mayor Mia Love, Carlos Gutierrez, and Governor Scott Walker.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

LOVE: President Obama's version of America is a divided one, often pitting us against each other based on income level, gender, and social status. His policies have failed us. We're not better off than we were four years ago. And no rhetoric, bumper sticker, or Hollywood campaign ad can change that.

(APPLAUSE)

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CROWLEY: Joining me around the table today, four influential Republicans from all four corners of the country, Mia Love, mayor of Saratoga Springs, Utah. She upped her profile with that passionate speech at last summer's Republican National Convention, but still lost a congressional race in November. Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell, his state is now a battleground after years in the solid Republican category. Former Commerce Secretary Carlos Gutierrez, he just founded a Super PAC called Republicans for Immigration Reform and was an adviser to Mitt Romney's 2012 campaign. And finally, Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker, many of you remember that he survived a recall election over the summer.

So, quite the panel. Thank you all for joining me this morning. Is there -- do you sense -- since you are all more or less outside Washington -- that there is a split between how governors, mayors, folks that have particular causes look at Republicans in Washington and how they look at the Republican Party?

WALKER: Well, I think there's no doubt about it. And I think there's a lot of pessimism, unfortunately, a lot of Republican and conservatives here in our nation's Capitol. But you get out around the country -- I mean, Bob and I like to make this point a lot -- even though the president won re-election in November, there are now 30 states across America that have Republican governors. And when you think about reform, welfare reform in the past, tax reform, it happened at the state level and at the local level, with governors and mayors who really put forward that cause. So while we need to change the climate here in Washington, we're changing it every day in our statehouse.

CROWLEY: Sure. But at the same time, I can look around this table and say, you won, first governor ever to win a recall bid, or a recall call, and you were in a very conservative state in a conservative spot. You are in a conservative state. So you all, you know, were kind of fine and -- you still lost. Republicans lost Wisconsin. Republicans lost Virginia. And Republicans lost the Latino vote. So there is a huge disconnect here, not just for you, but for voters, right?

WALKER: Right. Well, just one last point, and I'll let the rest of the panel say this, as well. But even Wisconsin, a good example. The president carried Wisconsin, just like every Democrat has since 1984. The same year I not only won a recall election by a higher percentage two years, same time we took the state Senate back, and we added to our numbers in the state assembly. We see that now about half of the states in America have Republican majorities, more than half have Republican governors. I think that's a reflection of where local leaders in our states and our local governments, where Republicans who are conservatives are being relevant, they're being optimistic, they're being courageous. That's what we need more of in Washington.

CROWLEY: Why are you popular in Virginia and you couldn't -- you couldn't pull Mitt Romney over the finish line?

MCDONNELL: Is that the softball you promised?

(LAUGHTER)

I mean, the president won by seven points back in '09, and I won by 18 the next year. I think the problem is, in the larger... CROWLEY: And Mitt Romney lost by...

MCDONNELL: By two. So in the larger turnout elections, that casual voter that only tunes in every two or four years, that is just listening from 30,000 feet, really taking care of their family and their business, that's where we're not connecting. I think they don't understand the conservative message. And we're not -- and they don't like us.

And so we've got to do a lot better job. And I think the key is what governors are doing. You heard Scott. We're getting results. We're actually passing budgets, balancing budgets, reducing debt and deficit, and solving the commonsense, everyday things they're talking about, like roads, bridges, schools. We're making that better, and that's why they're voting for us at the state level.

GUTIERREZ: I think the word "conservative" doesn't do us enough justice, because it tends to imply that we want the status quo, that we're stuck to the past, and that we don't like change. This is a country of change. This is what makes us so great. And I think that's where we need to be strategically consistent.

On immigration, how can we be a party of growth, of opportunity, of free enterprise, of prosperity, but not be the party of immigration? So we do need strategic consistency. It's a lot more than just, you know, execution on the ground. I think we've got to look up and see what our strategy really is.

CROWLEY: And, Mayor, when you -- when you look at Washington, do you see -- Washington Republicans -- do you see you?

LOVE: You know, no, actually. We've -- I think -- I think when you think about what's happening in Washington, we're having a hard time getting to people and their real struggles, getting our message out.

Now, remember, conservative values is about -- more about people and less about Washington. And right now, Washington, you've got -- I agree with Governor Jindal when he says you've got two different parties, you've got a party that wants to expand government and you've got another party that wants to control government.

The president, I believe, is president today not because of what he does, but because of what he says, because people feel like they can relate to him. People feel like that he can relate to them and that he understands, even though he can't really -- he's not really doing anything to help the people on the ground, they feel like he understand them. And on a local level, it's easier to connect to people. It's easier to get to understand these individual struggles and to be able to fix -- to fix the problem on a local level.

CROWLEY: Is it also at some level what you're talking about -- and Senator Rand Paul talked to the Cincinnati Enquirer recently, and he said this. "We're going to have to be a little hands-off on some of these issues" -- he's talking about the social issues -- "and get people into the party." There is this -- and he in particular said, I don't think that we can attract young people, where we always look like we're ready to go to war. He worries about the abortion issue. He worries about a number of these social issues that seem to turn voters away from the Republican Party. Do you agree?

WALKER: Well, and I think it goes even beyond just the social issues. I think -- one of the things I mentioned this weekend is relevance. One of the things I think is the difference between Washington Republicans and those in the states and at local governments, is we're talking about things that are relevant to people's lives. We need to be -- we need to be realistic about our challenges, no doubt, but we need to be optimistic about our solutions, and I think that's the key ingredient missing here.

We're talking about debt ceilings and fiscal cliffs and things like that. Most people I talk to -- and I think a lot of us talk to -- talk about their kids' future, they talk about their neighbor out of work, they talk about concerns they have with schools and transportation, things like that. Those are relevant things that I think nationally Republicans aren't connecting, and we can, because we need to be a party of growth and opportunity. We need to be optimistic, relevant and courageous. And if we do, we're going to win national elections again.

CROWLEY: Governor, social issues have been important to you as a politician, as a person. Can you stay the Republican Party and say, "Look, you know, we understand we have disagreements, come on into the party anyway for our fiscal views"?

MCDONNELL: Yeah, sure, I think these issues of life and family and marriage kind of define who you are as a people. People will differ on that, but if they know you care about the biggest things -- roads, schools, quality of life, access to the American dream, more opportunity -- they'll give you a chance. I think Scott's point about proving that conservative government gets good results and the things that people care about, that's our road back, and doing it with a smile as happy warriors, people will buy into our ideas.

(CROSSTALK)

CROWLEY: ... Ronald Reagan approach. I need to have a -- just stand by a minute. We're going to have more with our panel when we return.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GOV. CHRIS CHRISTIE, (R) NEW JERSEY: This used to be something that was not political. You know, disaster relief was something that you didn't play games with. But now in this current atmosphere, everything is the subject of oneupsmanship, everything a possibility, a potential piece of bait for the political game. And it's just -- it's why the American people hate congress. It's why they hate them.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CROWLEY: We are back with Governor Bob McDonnell, Mayor Mia Love, Carlos Gutierrez and Governor Scott Walker.

Is it possible for outside Republicans to beat up on inside Republicans -- and let's say that Governor Christie was frustrated because he wasn't getting the aid he thought he need for Hurricane Sandy relief. But he's been very -- this wasn't anti-Republican. He mad at John Boehner at this point.

Is -- is there any way that you all can recreate the party by running against your fellow Republicans in Washington?

LOVE: You know, Republicans aren't always going to agree with each other. We don't have to change the debate. We should be debating. We should be talking. But we have to just unite on our principles, our principles of limited government. You have to understand as a mayor, it's pretty simple for me. I ask myself three questions any time I make a new policy decision, any time I make decision about anything. Is it affordable. Is it sustainable? Is it my job? And I think that we would unite a lot better if we all asked ourselves those questions.

Where we get into trouble is when we start dividing and start figuring out, you know, somebody uses opportunity for political gain here or somebody uses -- uses an opportunity for something else. We have to start uniting on our principles and start communicating that to the American people. We would do so much better.

CROWLEY: Fellows, I want to put up some of the exit polls, and it basically what they show is anyone from 18 to 39, President Obama won all the young people. Women, 55 percent, President Obama won women. Latinos, 71 percent. And yet the Republican Party doesn't want to be the party that goes after segments of society. How do you attract Latinos, how do you attract young people without sort of catering in a way Republicans say they don't want to? GUTIERREZ: In terms of Latinos, in terms of Asians, in terms of immigrants, I think we fell into the trap of looking at the numbers too literally. So, look, Latinos want jobs, they want education, they want health care and immigration was like number five or number six. But what they sense is that we don't welcome them. And we have to be the party that celebrates immigration.

Every time the president talks about business, there's always a but in the sentence. And when you hear some Republicans talk about immigration, there is always a but in the sentence.

People sense that, people, you know, they have a gut feel for that. We've got to make people feel welcome.

CROWLEY: So just kind of going around the table. Is the problem the messengers? Is the problem the message? Is the problem policy?

WALKER: I think it's a combination. The core principles we have are right. I think part of the problem is exactly what the secretary was just talking about is we've got to talk immigration before in terms of relevance. And part of the relevance doesn't -- not only means how you talk about it, it's where you're willing to go. I think for too long, too many Republican candidates only went to certain parts of America to talk about their message. We have a message for immigrants. We have a message for small business owners. We have a message for college kids just coming out of college. It's about opportunity. It's about optimism. It's a message that they need to hear.

And right now I think many cases when they look at Republicans in Washington, they hear the loyal opposition, naysayers, people who they view as just being opposed to anything this president does. We need to pick out a few issues where we can agree and work with the president and Democrats on and work together on that and then find other issues where on principle we're still with the American people and say, no, this is the alternative and we have a better one.

CROWLEY: Easier said than done.

Some talk Paul Ryan most recently said he thinks the president is trying to de-legitimize the Republican Party, is that true?

MCDONNELL: I don't know what the president's thinking on that. But, listen, Democrats and Republicans believe strongly in ideas that are different. And they believe their pathway is the right one to expand the American dream.

These battles are going to continue. But I think showing that conservatism gets results and that liberalism has regularly failed is our best chance. And the best example I give is young voters. The things that they want when they graduate from college. They want a job, they want to have less student debt and they want to have less share of the American debt. Well, if you believe in that that when you're a young person, then we should explain why these Republicans ideas of job creation, reforming higher education to create less student loans and reducing the American debt, we're the ones talking about that. Young people, please, vote for us. We've got to do a better job of that.

CROWLEY: 30 seconds. So 15 here.

GUTIERREZ: Yes, I think part of the problem is that people sense or they think that if you're a Republican, you believe in 15 different things. But, you know, like a Chinese menu. But all those things you believe in. And it's not true. I know pro life Republicans, I know pro choice Republicans.

LOVE: Let's remember the GOP was started on ending slavery, that's how they got together. And when it comes to immigration, we are not doing our job on a federal level, to open the front door and close the back door. We created a problem that no one in Washington wants to address. And they have to address it.

CROWLEY: Mayor Mia Love, Governor Bob McDonnell, Carlos Gutierrez, Governor Walker, thank you, all, very much for joining us.

Up next, the postal service is trying to fix a $25 million a day loss a penny at a time.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

CROWLEY: The price of a first class stamp is going up by a penny today. And we're willing to bet a nickel you don't know what that brings it to.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Last I checked, it was like 42 or 43 cents.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE; I think it's 44 cents, 45 cents.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE; 48 cents.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think they're 48 cents.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CROWLEY: We had to check, too. 45 cents yesterday, 46 cents today. It's just hard to keep track. This is the fifth increase in six years. The 24th in the past half century. It cost a quarter to send a first class Valentine's Day card in 1990, a dime in 1975, a nickel in 1967.

A lot of people don't know the cost of first class stamps for a pretty simple reason, they don't use them.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The younger generation being used to the Internet and just sending everything electronically.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I don't mail that often. I pay a lot of my bills online.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE; I don't really send a lot of things via actual snail mail any more.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CROWLEY: A self-stick stamp just doesn't hold a candle to wi-fi. 57 percent of 18-34 year olds pay all or most of their bills online, just 16 percent say they mostly send mail.

And there are ecards and e-mail and Facebook, et cetera. If people can see your kids' pictures every day, no need for the yearly holiday update.

It all adds up, or in the case of the post office, it all subtracts. First class mail volume has dropped 34 percent from its 2001 high. The U.S. Postal Service survives on Christmas packages and junk mail, but it's no longer enough.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

PATRICK DONAHOE, U.S. POSTMASTER GENERAL: To get back to long- term financial stability, though, the postal service needs to reduce costs by $22.5 billion by the year 2016.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CROWLEY: It's not just the Internet. In fact, it's not even mostly the Internet. The biggest bottom line problem is that congress requires the postal system to prepay future pensions and future health benefits for retirees. It couldn't keep up last year and defaulted on two payments. The postmaster general has proposed restructuring pension payments, consolidating mail processing centers, closing post offices and eliminating Saturday mail.

Throughout its history, the post office has been the nation's central nervous system. And it remains the cheapest way to deliver the printed word to any spot in the U.S.

Also, it's the go-to place to honor local icons.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: HR3637, a bill to designate the facility of the United States Postal Service located at 401 Old Dixie Highway in Jupiter, Florida, as the Roy Shaler and Brood (ph) Post Office Building.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The first lieutenant, Oliver Goddall (ph) post office building.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The Brigadier General Nathaniel Woodhall (ph) post office building.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The Nicky Nick Daniel Bacon post office.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CROWLEY: In the last congress, lawmakers passed 45 bills renaming post offices. It did not get around to a bill overhauling the postal system to keep it solvent.

Thanks for watching State of the Union. I'm Candy Crowley in Washington.