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STATE OF THE UNION
Donald Trump Under Fire; Interview With Florida Senator Marco Rubio; Interview with John Kerry and Ernest Moniz; Interview with Gov. Scott Walker; Panel Discusses A Lively Week in Politics. Aired 9-10a ET
Aired July 19, 2015 - 09:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
JAKE TAPPER, CNN ANCHOR (voice-over): Donald Trump's explosive new comments.
DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: He's not a war hero.
TAPPER: Angering veterans and his fellow Republicans. Is this the tipping point some in the Republican establishment have been hoping for? We will ask Senator Marco Rubio in an exclusive interview.
Plus, defending the deal.
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: You're going to hear a lot of overheated and often dishonest arguments.
TAPPER: The president comes out swinging as he fights for his historic agreement to slow Iran's nuclear ambitions. But is Congress set on killing it?
And another Republican joins the race to the White House. Governor Scott Walker hits the trail in a Winnebago. But is he ready for a bumpy ride?
GOV. SCOTT WALKER (R-WI), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: ... me a question, I will answer...
DANA BASH, CNN SENIOR CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: But you're not really answering this.
TAPPER: The best political team in television will be here to break it all down.
TAPPER: Good morning, everyone. I'm Jake Tapper in Washington, D.C., where the State Of Our Union is all atwitter, Republicans and veterans buzzing over Donald Trump's latest comments, this time questioning the heroism of Senator John McCain's five-and-a-half years as a prisoner of war in Vietnam.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: John McCain goes, oh, boy, Trump makes my life difficult. He had 15,000 crazies show up, crazies. He called them all crazy. I said, they weren't crazy. They were the brave Americans. I supported him. He lost. He let us down.
But, you know, he lost. So, I never liked him as much after that, because I don't like losers.
TRUMP: Let me get to it.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He's a war hero.
TRUMP: He's not a war hero.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He's a war hero, five-and-a-half years as a prisoner...
TRUMP: He is a war hero because he was captured. I like people that weren't captured. OK? I hate to tell you.
TRUMP: Did you hear that? He's a war hero because he was captured. OK? You can have -- and I believe perhaps he's a war hero.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
TAPPER: Critics are piling on, especially those critics in the Republican establishment who would like to see Trump out of the race, and of course, his rivals.
Rick Perry: "He should immediately withdraw from the race for president."
Jeb Bush: "Enough with the slanderous attacks."
The Republican National Committee: "There is no place in our party or our country for comments that disparage those who have served honorably."
Is this selective outrage or will this be the moment that slows Trump's meteoric rise in the polls?
Joining us now, Senator Marco Rubio, Republican from Florida, 2016 nominee.
Thank you so much for joining us, Senator. I know you have heard these comments from Donald Trump. Governor
Perry says these comments disqualify Trump to be commander in chief. Do you agree?
SEN. MARCO RUBIO (R-FL), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I do agree. This is not just an insult to John McCain, who clearly is a war hero and a great man.
But it's an insult to all POWs, to all men and women who have served us in uniform who have been captured in battle. And this somehow makes the assumption or he's saying that somehow if you're captured in battle, you're less worthy of honors than someone who isn't.
It's not just absurd. It's offensive. It's ridiculous. And I do think it is a disqualifier as commander in chief.
TAPPER: Now, some Democrats, including Hillary Clinton, have criticized you and your fellow Republican candidates for not speaking out more forcefully and more quickly after Trump's comments about undocumented immigrants. They wonder why this firestorm about McCain and not a firestorm about Mexicans?
RUBIO: Well, there was. I spoke against what Donald Trump said.
But we have to remember this is a man who spent his whole life saying outrageous things. So, early in his campaign, when he said something outrageous, people kind of said just ignore it and move on, it will go away. This is what he does for a living.
I think now, as this has gone forward and he's become a more covered candidate and people pay more attention to him, it's required people to be more forceful on some of these offensive things that he's saying. But I did -- not only did I say that what he said about Mexicans is not just inaccurate, it's offensive, it's not true, and it's also offensive.
But what he said yesterday, of course, is offensive about John McCain and inaccurate about John McCain, but it actually is offensive to all POWs, the men and women who serve us in uniform, especially those who have served time in the hands of enemy captors and who are worthy of our admiration and respect.
TAPPER: Let's move on and discuss the deal President Obama announced to try to contain Iran's nuclear ambitions.
Governor Scott Walker says he would rip up this deal on day one, Governor Jeb Bush says the next president would actually have to consult with his Cabinet and allies before throwing the deal out. What would President Marco Rubio do?
Well, I think what people have to understand is that the American portion, the U.S. portion of the sanctions were passed by Congress. They are in the law today. The way the president is going to lift those sanctions is by the use of a national security waiver. The next president of the United States simply has to undo the use of the waiver.
And the sanctions are already in place. And they would be reinstated. And that's what I would do as president. You don't need to have a Cabinet fully formed to do that. In fact, I'm telling everyone now that, if I'm elected president of the United States, we will not use the national security waiver to hold back U.S. sanctions against Iran, especially not as a result of this flawed deal that he's pursuing.
TAPPER: The deal, as you point out, lots of people can poke holes in it, lots of people can point out flaws. The Obama administration says, what's the alternative? They argue that this deal, and the sanctions, depend upon international cooperation.
The Russians and Chinese were already talking about getting rid of sanctions. Is it not possible that this is simply the best deal any American president could have gotten?
RUBIO: No, I don't think that's true. I think that the sanctions were actually forcing Iran to the table.
I think we should have asked for a lot more. The sanctions -- this deal violates promises the president made to the American people on multiple fronts. It is not an anytime/anywhere inspection system. It is an inspection process that will require arbitration over a 24-day period or longer that Iran can fight against and delay things.
It actually doesn't have a snap-back provision. It says if, in fact, sanctions are ever reimposed because Iran violates the constricts of this deal, any of the contracts that are already in place get to stay. It will only be sanctions on future contracts. So, it doesn't have a really -- it doesn't have a real snap-back provision.
It also, by the way, requires us to help Iran technically, economically, develop themselves as a country and become a stronger regional power. That undermines our relationships with our Arab allies in the region and, of course, the state of Israel.
And we could spend all day going through the different dynamics of this deal and how it doesn't go nearly far enough and I think almost guarantees that there will now be an arms race in the Middle East.
TAPPER: But what would President Rubio do if allies didn't agree with it, which is what it sounds like the Chinese and Russians, the position they were taking? Would you impose sanctions on China or India for not sanctioning Iran?
RUBIO: Well, first of all, I wouldn't call China and Russia allies. And, second, I would not -- our foreign policy as a nation is not subject to what China wants to do or Russia wants to do or the E.U. wants to do or anybody wants to do.
We have our own foreign policy. It needs to be in the national security interests of the United States. I would never have entered this negotiation unless we understood up front that Iran was going to stop enrichment activities, was going to stop their ballistic missile capabilities, and was going to stop sponsoring terrorism.
And none of these conditions have been met. And so now $150 billion is going to be delivered to the Iranian regime, which they will use a substantial portion of it to arm and support Hezbollah, to help Assad, and to help them carry out all sorts of terrorist activities, this to a government that has the blood of over 1,000 American servicemen on their hands, because they were the ones building the IEDs that killed a bunch of Americans in Iraq less than a decade ago.
TAPPER: Let's turn to another matter of foreign policy.
Tomorrow, here in Washington, D.C., the Cuban Embassy is going to open. This is, of course, part of President Obama's efforts to normalize relations with that country. You have made it very clear you oppose normalization. You have called President Obama's policy a victory for oppression.
Would President Rubio shut down the Cuban Embassy here in Washington?
RUBIO: I would end the diplomatic relations with an anti-American communist tyranny, until such time as they actually held a democratic opening in Cuba, allowed people to organize independent political parties, have freedom of the press and freedom of expression.
In fact, all these conditions are laid out in the law right now in the Cuban Democracy Act. The president in his opening towards Cuba is violating existing law. He is ignoring existing law. And there are a host of conditions that would have to be met before, under my administration, we would have normal relations with Cuba.
And that would include the return of fugitives from American justice that are now in Cuba, and that would require the political openings that I have outlined. And that would also require an ending of the intelligence facilities inside of Cuba by both the Russians and the Chinese that use the island of Cuba to spy against American facilities in the Southeast United States.
TAPPER: So -- and -- so I'm assuming, amidst all that, the U.S. Embassy -- I mean, the Cuban Embassy in Washington would be shut down because you would end diplomatic relations.
RUBIO: Well, they -- look, they have had an interests section there for years, and that function will continue.
I don't think -- other than their parties being better attended, I'm not sure what the difference is going to be between what we had before and what we have now, except that this recognition somehow sends a message to dissidents and others around the world that the United States accepts the Cuban form of government today as a legitimate form of government.
I do not. I believe the people of Cuba deserve what everyone else in the Western hemisphere has, democracy.
TAPPER: Let's turn to immigration for a second.
I know this might be a bit awkward, because you just defended him very strongly, but Senator John McCain had some not-so-nice words for you in a recent interview with "The New Yorker" magazine. The two of you worked together on immigration reform in the Senate, of course.
But when asked about your leadership style, McCain -- quote -- "licked his finger, held it up in the air and laughed, referring to which way the wind blows. He said, 'Rubio backed away from it.'"
I wanted to give you an opportunity to respond.
RUBIO: That was just John McCain being John McCain, because, at the end of the day, is -- that bill had no chance to pass in the House.
I repeatedly warned to the people working with me -- you can go back and see the record -- I told them, if this bill is not stronger on the enforcement front, it will go nowhere. That's exactly how it played out.
And, as a result, we have made no progress on immigration reform. I warned everybody about that during that process. Every time I would warn people about it, they said I was trying to unravel the process. I was being honest with them. There was no way this bill was going to pass unless the enforcement aspects of it were clearer and stronger. They were not strong enough.
That's why today we have less votes for that bill than we did even two years ago. And that's why, while I continue to want to move forward on immigration, I know that the only way we can move forward on it is to first secure our borders, prevent visa overstays and have an E- Verify system. And only after we do that can we do the other two things I believe we need to do, modernize our legal immigration system and deal with those who have been here for a long time illegally, in a reasonable and responsible way.
TAPPER: Let's talk about the way to deal with people who have been here for a long time in a responsible and reasonable way.
I want to play the quick exchange you had with a voter last month in New Hampshire.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Do you support a path to citizenship for immigrants who are in the United States, but are here illegally?
RUBIO: I do. But, first, we have to do two things.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
TAPPER: And, obviously, those two things, securing the border and the E-Verify system.
RUBIO: Right. Right.
TAPPER: That's still your position, though, a path to citizenship once those other things have been taken care of?
Well, what I said is, if all we can get is a work permit, it is better than what we have now. There are some that do not support that. But you have to understand what a path to citizenship is. I don't think that's ever carefully explained.
Before you can ever be a citizen, you have to be a permanent resident. That means a green card. And you have to be in that status for three to five years. And what I have argued is, if you have violated our laws, you should not be allowed to apply for a green card for at least 10 years. And then, when you apply for a green card, you should have to do it through the normal, regular process, not through a special process created for you.
So it could take a long time for someone to ultimately apply for citizenship. But I think that's a fair way to do it. It should not be cheaper or faster to become a citizen by having come here illegally.
But, ultimately, it's my opinion -- and I understand some people disagree -- that you don't want millions of people permanently living in this country who can never become Americans. But if the best we can do is to stop at the green card process or at the work permit process, that's still better than what we have now.
TAPPER: There seems to be a big chasm in economic policy that came out over the last few days I wanted to ask you about. Secretary of State -- former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton took on what she called the sharing economy, companies such as Uber and Lyft that use contractors, not employees.
In your book, you have a chapter entitled "Making America Safe for Uber," and you're embracing these companies. What's wrong with Hillary Clinton's push to encourage companies like Uber to offer health insurance, offer benefits?
RUBIO: Because she's trapped in yesterday. She's trying to apply 20th century constricts to a 21st century innovative industry.
We face this over and over again. We're trying to regulate Internet development the way we regulated telephony, you know, telephone systems 20 years ago. You cannot regulate 21st century industries with 20th century ideas. The pace of innovation is too quick.
If I had explained to you what Uber was five years ago, it would have been impossible, 10 years ago, completely impossible. The pace of change is so fast that the ability of government to keep up with it, it just can't. And her take on Airbnb, Lyft, Uber, these sorts of things is a perfect example of someone who's trapped in the past, and cannot understand how much the world is changing, and how much it's going to change in the years to come economically.
TAPPER: Senator Marco Rubio, thank you so much.
RUBIO: Thank you.
TAPPER: President Obama announced his landmark nuclear deal with Iran, but it does not include bringing U.S. hostages home. Why not? I will ask the secretary of state, John Kerry, next.
TAPPER: Iran's supreme leader, Ayatollah Khamenei, called the landmark nuclear deal announced this week a victory for Iran.
Khamenei's endorsement will not soothe critics here in America or U.S. allies such as Saudi Arabia or Israel. As President Obama faces a tough battle on Capitol Hill to defend this deal, its American architects, Secretary of State John Kerry, Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz, insist there is simply no viable alternative.
TAPPER: So it was just a few days ago that the chairman of the Joint Chiefs testified before Congress that lifting the ballistic missile or conventional arms embargo from Iran, that lifting it would be a horrible idea. That was within the same context of testimony that Iran had killed an estimated 500 Americans.
Why is lifting the embargo part of this deal?
JOHN KERRY, U.S. SECRETARY OF STATE: We're not lifting it.
It has eight years out a 10-year component of the U.N. resolution. Eight years, it will be applied. And we have other U.N. resolutions and other mechanisms for holding Iran accountable on missiles.
But the simple reality is, Jake, this U.N. process that started the -- that allowed the sanctions to be put in place in the first place contemplated the lifting of all sanctions once Iran had lived up to its obligations with respect to the NPT.
So, if the IAEA found in X-number of years that they have lived up to this, then all the sanctions would be gone. So, we, in fact, succeeded against three countries that didn't think they should have to do anything. So, we have a lot of measures.
And the United States always has the ability to take action, unilaterally or otherwise, with respect to other activities.
TAPPER: Why I'm confused about this, Secretary Moniz, is because, when I interviewed you in April, and I asked about the four Americans being held in Iran against their will, three that we know, one we don't know what happened to him, and you said the following:
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) ERNEST MONIZ, U.S. ENERGY SECRETARY: What I want to emphasize is,
this negotiation was intentionally restricted to the nuclear issue, get the nuclear bomb issue off the table, we hope, for a long time.
That has other implications. So, for example, things like arms embargoes, ballistic missile sanctions, those stay in place, strictly focused on the nuclear issues.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
TAPPER: But that doesn't seem to have been what happened.
MONIZ: Well, I think we are -- the part of the agreement that is absolutely critical is that, of course, which allows us to, A, prevent a weapon and to have visibility in to any activity in this -- in this direction. Excuse me.
And with regard to the Americans unjustly held or missing, again, the secretary -- I was there -- every meeting, this was always raised, and remains, I think, an area of considerable focus.
TAPPER: I don't doubt that for a second. But when I asked you about it, you said, look, this is just focused on the nuclear issue. We're not dealing with anything else, including hostages, including arms embargoes.
And it looks like, since that happened, the Iranian got to include something that was extraneous, and we did not when it came to our hostages.
MONIZ: Well, of course, the arms embargo -- and I will defer to John, but the arms embargo is something that was directly tied to the nuclear performance.
KERRY: It was not extraneous. It was already in there.
The arms embargo and the missile were put in when 1929, the resolution, was passed.
TAPPER: What do you say when you hear that Prince Bandar, the longtime former ambassador from Saudi Arabia, said that this deal -- quote -- "will wreak havoc in the Middle East"?
As you know, there are a lot of countries, Sunni Arab countries, Israel, that are very worried that this is actually a bad deal for peace in the region.
KERRY: Well, we disagree with them very, very much. I disagree with him.
But I just yesterday met with the foreign minister of Saudi Arabia, who said on television that if the -- they want a deal, and if the deal does the things -- they listed things the deal does -- then they would feel very comfortable with it.
The fact is that the real fear of that region should be that you don't have the deal. If Congress doesn't pass this, if Congress were to kill this, then we have no inspections, we have no sanctions, we have no ability to negotiate, because I assure you the ayatollah, if the United States arbitrarily and unilaterally kills this, you're not going to have another negotiation.
And they will feel free to go do the very things that this prevents.
TAPPER: I have spoken to a lot of experts, ones who wanted this deal to be good, who were rooting for you, and they say the best-case scenario is that, over the next 15 years, with the $100 billion from the money that has no longer -- that will no longer be covered under sanctions, the Iranians will be closer to the capacity to build a nuclear weapon with the $100 billion that they now will have after sanctions are lifted, and they will have done it all under the guise of international law.
KERRY: You see, the reason that's not accurate about what will happen is that, today, we don't have those inspections. I mean, we do now under the interim agreement. But, before the interim agreement, we didn't have them.
We didn't have the ability to know what they were doing. And guess what, my friend? Iran had 12,000 kilograms of highly enriched uranium, and -- and that's enough, if they enriched it further, for 10 to 12 bombs. They had it. That's what Barack Obama was dealt as a hand when he came in, 19,000 centrifuges already spinning, a country that had already mastered the fuel cycle, a country that already was threshold, in the sense that they are only two months away from breakout.
So, we're expanding that breakout from those two months to one year for 10 years and longer. And we have lifetime inspection, adherence to the IAEA, adherence to the advanced protocol, 25 years of tracking and monitoring their uranium, from mining, to milling, to yellow cake, to gas, to centrifuge, to waste. That's unprecedented. And we would not have had that without this agreement.
TAPPER: Last time I saw you, sir, I did ask if you had any inklings of getting back in the presidential campaign...
TAPPER: ... mode.
KERRY: Absolutely none whatsoever.
I have a great job. We have a lot of work to do in the next year-and- a-half, and I'm looking forward to it.
TAPPER: That's about as close to Shermanesque as I think it gets.
(LAUGHTER) TAPPER: Thank you so much. I appreciate it to both of you.
KERRY: Thank you. You're welcome.
TAPPER: When we come back: the newest Republican presidential candidate, Governor Scott Walker, cruising in his Winnebago through Iowa, though that is not to say he doesn't hit a speed bump or two.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
WALKER: I don't have an opinion on every single issue out there.
I mean, to me that's -- I don't know. I don't know the answer to that question.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
TAPPER: Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker entered the presidential race this week at the top of the polls in neighboring Iowa, at least, the first-in-the-nation caucus state, where his Midwestern roots and conservative positions seem to be resonating.
He spent this week crisscrossing the Hawkeye State in a Winnebago, with CNN's own Dana Bash in tow -- Dana.
BASH: Well, Jake, I was, in fact, invited on Scott Walker's R.V.
He was racing between campaign stops in Iowa. And while we were there, I asked him about his comment that he would tear up the Iran nuclear deal on day one of his presidency, and whether that's realistic.
BASH: Would you be willing to go ahead and do away with this deal, increase sanctions, even if all of the other allies around the world, really, were opposed to that?
GOV. SCOTT WALKER (R-WI), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Yes.
And I think it's that bad of a deal. It's a bad deal for us. It's a bad deal for Israel. It's a bad deal for the region.
I will not -- it's not just the starting gun, it will accelerate the nuclear arms race, and it is a powering Iran to do what they're going to do by lifting the sanctions, giving them credibility in the world, not only emboldens the problems that we have in terms of the illicit nuclear infrastructure but this is the leading state sponsor of terrorism.
BASH: But the U.S. can't lead in a vacuum, right?
WALKER: No. And we certainly would not want to.
Our intention would not be to do it alone. I would seek to get the support of Congress not just to reinstate the existing sanctions, but to replace more crippling ones (INAUDIBLE) I think if America would lead and make the case as to why these sanctions are needed and why we need to petition in that regard (INAUDIBLE) --
BASH: The reason the sanctions were so beneficial and so effective, is because the whole world joined in on them.
BASH: If the U.S. was going it alone with sanctions, Iran would say, all right, U.S., whatever, we can, you know, still trade with everybody else. So it wouldn't really work, would it?
WALKER: Well, I mean there are still fundamental parts related to the United States. And again the United States putting sanctions, it would have an impact on them. So they'd have to consider what impact it would have on relations that they do with Iran and what that would impact to have on their own account.
BASH: Earlier this week you said that the Boy Scouts of America should keep its ban on gay leaders because the policy protected children and (INAUDIBLE) scout values. And then your campaign clarified to say that it was really protecting the scouts from the political and media discussion about that.
I'm having trouble understanding that. What -- at the end of the day what is your position?
WALKER: I'm not talking about personal protection. I'm talking about -- for me the reason why I didn't have a problem with it is I just think it pulled scouting into a whole larger political and cultural debate as opposed to saying scouting is about camping and citizenship and merit badge and service awards instead of pulling all these other issues out there. And I just hope that they (ph) can (ph) stay focused. That's all.
BASH: So, but should there be a ban on allowing gay men to be scout leaders?
WALKER: That's up to the people who run the boy scouts.
One thing that people find unique, I guess, whether you like it or not, is I actually answer questions. People ask me a question, I'll answer a question --
BASH: You're not really answering this one.
WALKER: Sure. I said in this case that's what I thought. I thought the policy was just fine. BASH: OK.
WALKER: I (ph) was (ph) saying (ph) when I was in scouts it was fine. You're asking what should the policy be going forward? It should be left up to the leaders of the scouts.
BASH: Do you think that being gay is a choice?
WALKER: Oh, I mean I think -- that's not even an issue for me to be involved in. The bottom line is, I'm going to stand up and work hard for every American regardless of who they are, no matter where they come from, no matter what their background. I'm going to fight for people and no matter whether they vote for me or not.
BASH: On behalf of people is to do that properly you have to understand or at least have an opinion on who they are and where they're coming from.
WALKER: But again, I think -- no I don't have an opinion on every single issue out there. I mean to me that's -- I don't know. I don't know the answer to that question.
So I'm just saying (INAUDIBLE) I don't know what the answer to that is. And again I'm going to spend my time focused on things that I do know and what I can work on.
BASH: You have taken an interesting position in that you say that legal immigration should be limited. Why is that? And does that -- you know some people might look at that and say that's completely counter to what America was founded on.
WALKER: What I specifically said is I think priority under legal immigration should be given to the impact on American working families, on their wages in a way that will improve the American economy.
That only means people like me who were born here, that means people like the woman I just met in Cedar Rapids, for example, who moved here many years ago, was a political refugee in the Congo and who went through the process to be a legal citizen. She is working here. And I believe for her and for others who were born here, there needs to be a priority given to say we're going to do things that makes sure we put priority on American working families and their wages. Doesn't mean there won't ever be legal immigration. It just says that's where our priority should be.
BASH: You want path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants and then you say now that you changed your mind. You believe in amnesty. You're running as somebody who is principled and authentic. How do you square changing your positions or at least the impression that your positions have changed?
(CROSSTALK) BASH: And let me read you one quick thing. Craig Robinson who is the former director of the party here in Iowa, the Republican Party said, Walker is making Romney look like the model of consistency.
[09:34: 43] WALKER: The only issue where I've clearly said I had a position before and even on that as a governor I didn't have a role to play in immigration. I said there should be a path years ago, when I talked about going forward with legal immigration. I didn't talk about amnesty. Like I said in that specific interview I oppose the Gang of Five, the measure that Marco Rubio and others proposed. So I explicitly even then said, I'm not supporting that.
But I said flat out in the interview, you heard the beginning of the year, that's the position I have changed on by listening to people. I made it very clear what my position on immigration is.
TAPPER: Dana Bash on Scott Walker's R.V. Somewhere between Cedar Rapids and Urbandale.
Don't go anywhere, Dana. We're going to bring in the rest of the panel. We're going to talk Trump.
Will his latest comments give Republicans an excuse to try to push him off the debate stage? Stay with us.
TAPPER: President Obama, girding for a fight as Congress signals it will try to block his Iran nuclear deal. The best political team on television is here to break it all down.
CNN contributor Donna Brazile, Peter Baker of "The New York Times," CNN's Dana Bash and Congressman William Hurd of Texas. Thanks one and all for being here.
[09:40:00] So, one of the big controversial provisions that's not in this deal is this anywhere, anytime provision. What the administration says, the Obama administration says in response is, look, this 24-day leeway period we can find, intelligence officials tell us that we can find if there were nuclear materials there even 24 days later.
You're a former CIA agent. Is that true? Is 24 days, will we still be able to detect?
REP. WILL HURD (R), TEXAS: It shouldn't be 24 days. Anytime, anywhere means just that.
And you know, the problem with this deal is that there's been absolutely no confidence building measures with Iran. How can we trust them to do what they say they're going to do? And being able to get in to see their facilities at any time, any place, makes sure that we understand what's going on.
TAPPER: But is it possible that the radiation detectors will be able to find out if they've been up to no good even 24 days later?
HURD: I'm sure in some forms it can but also they can move a lot of -- you can move a lot of material in 24 days, as well.
TAPPER: Dana, where is this on the Hill (ph) right now?
BASH: In trouble. And when I say that what I mean is I think it seems to be clear, unless the administration really performs a miracle, that there are votes to initially, if they want to, say that they don't agree with this and that it shouldn't go through.
The question is whether or not there is a veto- proof majority to do that. And that is what the administration is working incredibly hard to try to push. And you know, this really is a bipartisan thing, because there are Democrats with Republicans who are very much opposed to this.
The administration had Jewish Americans in -- Jewish members of Congress rather in the situation room this past week. They're going after, I mean probably they have a list of, you know, every member of Congress who is 5'5" and under. I mean, they have little groups of members trying desperately to go piece by piece to try to lobby them and they have their work cut out for them.
DONNA BRAZILE, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Well, you know, this is a major international agreement. And with any international agreement there are pluses and there are minuses.
But on the plus side I do believe that the administration will be able to keep the Democrats 152 House Democrats signed an agreement basically with the framework saying that they like the outlines of a deal. Now clearly the administration will have to continue to maintain the strong support not just of the Democrats in the House, but also the Senate.
I was telling Dana I've been, you know, a great fan and supporter -- yes I'm a fan of the administration, support the president. I've never been lobbied as much as I've been lobbied over the last couple of days. The good news is that they're giving us information. Credible information not just about the inspections, not just about the lifting of the sanctions, the amount of money, whether or not Iran will become a, you know, a good player in the region.
They're giving us information and I'm sure they're giving it to those of us who are talkers. They're giving it to members of Congress and their staff as they go back this summer and come back to support this deal.
PETER BAKER, CHIEF WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT, "THE NEW YORK TIMES": (INAUDIBLE) watching (ph) the president this week at his press conference about this and you saw a president who actually was engaging in a fight. He did actually want to talk about criticism when the reporters didn't come up with enough criticism he said hey let's think of some other criticisms that I can address here.
You don't see a president actually -- usually... (CROSSTALK)
BAKER: ...for criticism (INAUDIBLE). And the reason I think is because, finally, for him, after many months, even a year or more of being on the defensive on issues that weren't of his creation or weren't of his desire to talk about, IRS, or Benghazi, or ISIS, he's talking about something that is at least something he wants to talk about. Something he hopes will be a positive legacy in the long-term. And that's the debate he wants to have.
TAPPER: There are a lot of Democrats, congressman, who say Republicans are just going to oppose Obama on anything. And so we're not surprised that they're opposing him on this.
HURD: But there's a lot of Democrats that are opposing him on this, as well. I think a bad move was taking this to the U.N. before getting an agreement from your entire -- from the entire government. And that's something that has frustrated a lot of Democrats in Congress.
And so, at the end of the day they've never known any information why would the Iranians actually agree to this? They've agreed to these measures before. The IAEA, the U.N. watchdog has done 30 inspections from 2003 to 2010. And they found out that the Iranians were lying to them and that caused four more sanctions going forward. So the Iranians have done this before and we have no information, no confidence building measures that say that they're not going to do it again.
[09:44:23] TAPPER: Let's take a quick break.
Republicans rushing to condemn Donald Trump after his latest comments anger veterans. But who still has his back? The answer might surprise you.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. TED CRUZ (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: You know, I recognize that folks in the press love to see Republican-on-Republican violence. And so you want me to say something bad about Donald Trump or bad about John McCain or bad about anyone else. I'm not going to do it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
TAPPER: Republican presidential candidate Senator Ted Cruz of Texas refusing to pile on to the Donald Trump's scenario as so many of his rivals seem to do. Rather, enthusiastically yesterday, and earlier in the show. Let's talk it all over with our roundtable.
Peter, let me ask you this, I could have predicted, I feel, that Trump was going to say something controversial and the entire Republican establishment was going to jump on him. I didn't know what it was going to be. But boy does the RNC want him away. [09:49:41] BAKER: Yes. Because every minute we're talking about
Donald trump and some outrageous thing he said, A, it cheapens the process. It makes it look like a reality show rather than a serious, sober contest for the presidency of the United States. And, B, it means we're not talking about all the failings that President Obama, that they'd like to talk about, right?
I mean, they'd like to get out there and talk about how this administration and his former secretary of state, Hillary Clinton, have failed in this way and that way. Instead they're talking about, you know, Donald trump and the latest crazy thing that he might have said.
TAPPER: Except to play devil's advocate here, Dana.
TAPPER: He has brought up the issue of immigration that a lot of Republicans are worried about talking about, but a lot of the base loves to talk about.
BASH: Absolutely. I mean, there's a very good reason why he is doing so well. It's not just because he is incredibly entertaining it's because he's talking about something that a lot of the base were frustrated that the other candidates didn't want to talk about.
But I just actually want to say something that may be counterintuitive in that, you know, historically you just don't go there. You don't go there against any veteran. You'd certainly don't go there against somebody who was, you know, effectively, you know, in a box for five years.
And you know, John McCain can't even lift his arms...
TAPPER: Right because he was tortured.
BASH: ...because he was tortured and because his bones didn't heal right after his plane crash. Having said that, I think that there's a big part of the electorate, bigger than we think, that isn't that offended by these comments because they are equally frustrated with the John McCains of the world on the issue of immigration.
So, I think, you know, a few years ago it would have been lights out Donald Trump. And I'm not so sure that's the case anymore (ph).
[09:51:13] TAPPER: Well, let me ask you about that -- Congressman Hurd, I want to ask you as the Republican at the table. I have heard from a lot of Democrats who only 11 years ago in 2004 when John Kerry was the nominee of the Democratic Party (INAUDIBLE) -- let's see if we can show the pictures -- the Republican National Convention.
There's somebody with a band-aid that is representing -- mocking John Kerry's three purple hearts and then one of the standard bearers of the Republican Party came on CNN and said this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) ROBERT DOLE (R), FORMER PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE: With three purple hearts and never bled that I know of. And they're all superficial wounds.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
TAPPER: And Bob Dole went on to later kind of walk those comments back a little. But is there a double standard here? Republicans they say, there's no place in our party or country for comments that disparage those who have served honorably. Well, unless you're a Democrat.
HURD: You don't criticize anybody's service. Somebody that is willing to go overseas, put their lives in harm's way in order for all of us to sleep well at night, you don't disparage that. I don't care what party you're in.
BRAZILE: I totally agree with the congressman. Yet, I remember 2004.
But look, I think the Republicans are struggling with excommunicating Donald Trump and some Republicans are trying to embrace him. Just in case he drops out, they want to, you know, be able to accrue those votes.
They have a real branding problem with Hispanics and they have been working on it for years the Republicans. And now -- here comes this big celebrity. He's a celebrity now.
BRAZILE: But he's a celebrity with a huge following because he's standing up to the establishment, but he's also blocking I think some of the sunshine that some of the other Republicans like Mr. Kasich, Mr. Rubio and others, they would like to have this moment in the sun so they can qualify for the first debate.
TAPPER: So, let me turn to another inter party warfare which is (ph) the (ph) Democratic Party. There was a Netroots Nation convention, a gathering of liberal activists in Phoenix and there was a moment where one of the Democratic presidential candidate former Maryland Governor Martin O'Malley was shouted down when he said "all lives matter" and a question about, Black Lives Matter. Take a look.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MARTIN O'MALLEY (D), FORMER BALTIMORE MAYOR: Every life matters and that is why this issue is so important. Black lives matter. White lives matter. All lives matter.
Black lives matter. White lives matter. All lives matter.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
TAPPER: I read a column on a liberal blog saying that he was using the language of white supremacy. Can you explain why people would be mad at somebody saying, all lives matter?
BRAZILE: Well first of all I don't approve and I don't condone shouting down anyone because I do believe that when these speakers -- these presidential candidates come, they want to be heard. And clearly I like the back and forth.
That being said, there's a real cry out there, a cry from a generation that wants to be heard, that feel crushed by the street violence that they're experiencing, and the unjust police tactics that they are also experiencing. So they want to be heard and they don't want to be grouped together with "all lives matter."
They want candidates to understand their pain, their frustration. They've attended too many funerals, and they are not going to allow candidates to come in and pander without addressing these issues. One in particular is the woman who was killed while -- I don't know the circumstances, so I apologize for that.
TAPPER: Ms. (ph) Bland (ph) found dead --
BRAZILE: Ms. Bland who was really one of the heroes behind the Black Lives Matter. So, there's a lot of frustration.
And I would advise candidates, Democrats and Republicans to figure out what's going on. Because if they decide to go on the stage and not address these issues, they will shout them down.
[09:54:52] TAPPER: Figure out what's going on, good words to live by. Peter, Donna, Congressman, Dana, thank you so much.
After the break, join me at my giant wall of cartoons for this week's "State of the Cartoonion."
[09:59:02] TAPPER: Over the weekend, the president and his family took in the awesome hip-hop Broadway musical "Hamilton" based on the life of the first treasury secretary Alexander Hamilton, long remembered for his death by duel with Vice President Aaron Burr. But the most persistent reminder of Hamilton's place in history is now up for debate and he may have to pay the price.
This week's "State of the Cartoonion."
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TAPPER (voice-over): American currency from your George Washingtons to your Ben Franklins. It seems you don't have to be president to get on a greenback, you just have to be an old dead white guy, historically important, of course.
But now we're told the U.S. government is moving to bring a woman into the mix. We're told it will start with the $10.00 bill, founding father Alexander Hamilton will have to share it with some lucky female historical figures. But others dream of more permanent replacements.
[10:00:00] There might be something poetic about replacing President Andrew Jackson nicknamed Indian Killer with Sacagawea, who accompanied Lewis and Clark as a guide, an (ph) interpreter.
On the rarely used $1,000.00 bill is progressive icon President Woodrow Wilson. He was also something of a nasty racist. Let's put his contemporary suffrage Alice Paul on that bill. And while we all love Benjamin Franklin it's pretty clear he already gets plenty of love.
What if abolitionists and women's rights activists Sojourner Truth were to be on the (INAUDIBLE). It has a nice ring to it. It's all about the Sojourners baby.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
TAPPER: Thanks for spending your Sunday morning with us.
"FAREED ZAKARIA GPS," starts right now.