tv Inside Politics CNN January 4, 2015 5:30am-6:01am PST
nfl action continues today, cincinnati bengals face off with the indianapolis colts at 1:00 p.m. eastern. thank you, pittsburgh. enjoy the break. >> my goodness. stay here, "inside politics" with john king starts right now. the new year means a new power structure in washington but will character questions make it harder for house republicans to take advantage of their new senate allies? >> question actually move legislation through the process that puts a check on this president and the things he's trying to do that are illegal. >> one early flashpoint will be familiar, a spending fight about the president's bold executive steps on immigration. >> for those in congress who question my authority, i have one answer. pass a bill. >> reporter: and 2015 means it's 2016 decision time. jeb bush starts the republican presidential clock. and hillary clinton ponders how 2016 could be different from 2008. >> it's not whether you're going
to run or whether you're going to win. it is what your vision for the country and can you lead us there. >> reporter: "inside politics," the biggest stories sourced by the best reporters now. welcome to "inside politics." i'm john king. thanks for sharing your sunday morning and happy new year. with us to share reporting and imsights, all-ie pace of the associated press, ed o'keefe of "the washington post," atlanta's molly ball and nia-malika henderson of "the washington post." republicans have reason to celebrate, a bigger majority in the house and new majority in the senate as well. they promise swift action and jobs. they're confronting presidentby ma on health care and imgraition to the environment. but here's a question what, is the statute of limitations on stupidity? steve scalise the number three house republican and key team
party ambassador acknowledges he spoke to a david duke white supremacist group a dozen years ago. he says he's sorry, he didn't realize what he was doing and b abhors' the organization's views. this is not what republicans wanted us to talk about. the question ed o'keefe, is this just a distraction or does it become at some point debilitating or a speed bump to actually getting things done? >> democrats certainly want to make it a speed butch, john. they will force republicans up for re-election in two years to answer to this, to either latch-on to mr. scalise or distance themselves from what he did and who he was hanging out with 12 years ago. republicans say this was a quick distraction. he acknowledged it, he got it out of the way and that speaker boehner, while also dealing with scalise, michael grimm, the from staten island saying they move
quickly on this stuff whereas democrats alow these things to languish. scalise will be back this week, in the thick of it right away, they have to move on hefty stuff regarding immigration in the second week at least of the year and yet democrats say they will bring it up as often as they can, because how can they allow someone like that to be in their leadership, even if he says he didn't agree with the group? >> it's a national party ta has profound issues in presidential politics with non-white voters. republican won 2014, 31 governors, the bigger majority in the house, they get the majority in the senate but they have this demographic problem in the country. stephanie grace is a reporter for "the new orleans advocate." scalise was in state politics at the time. he did not know from the name of the group what it respected. she says this is what i remember about the first time i met steve scalise nearly 20 years ago. he told me he was like david duke without the baggage. i didn't ask the question molly, we flip, what is the statute of limitations on stupidity or someone who may have had views or associated with people back then thinking may be
opportunistic the politically smart thing to do. can you forgiven to are that if you say i've changed my mind or i wasn't quite sure? >> ed is right it looks like john boehners that dealt with this rather effectively, rather swiftly, rather decisively. boehner and the other members of leadership took scalise at his word nothing else would come tout reinforce this, this would be a single incident and he could put it behind him and so far thathas not been a drip of other revelations, there's not been anything else to reinforce this idea, but republicans like you say know that they have a problem with being seen as a white man's party, and they know that if they want to set a new tone in the new congress, they have to get past that. they have to show that they can be constructive and do things other than that. but i believe i said on this show a few weeks ago that the house republicans were really going to be the wild card in the new congress. even though the senate majority is what's new, the house is a really unpredictable place, there's a lot of people in it, there's a lot of new people in
it, and john boehner has historically had difficulty herding that particular group of cats. >> did boehner have the latitude to dump scalise? >> right. >> a lot of these tea party guys are calling for his head still. >> right. >> if he had just dump scalise and said you gotta go, would he have not exacerbated his problems with the base? >> scalise is in the condition he's in because a lot of southerners at the house wanted representation at the top of the party so they ended up getting scalise. the problem is oftentimes southern republicans have had this problem where white identity politics often mixes with some of the rhetoric from some of their candidates. i think it's going to be hard for republicans on the one hand to say listen, we are a party that is really doing this outreach and in 2014 they did good among african-american and latino voters. it's hard for them to make the argument they're making this outreach but also have someone here who has this past he hasn't quite reconciled. i think they've gotten past it
in some ways. it will be lingering in the minds of a lot of voters and this week they have to deal with it again. >> it will be lingering to ed's point in every strategy democrats make, as they watch the republicans. listen here on immigration for example, president obama gave an interview to npr, taped before the scalise headlines were made. listen to the president talk about in the immigration debate about to come, remember that congress has to go back to funding the department of homeland security within the next month or so. that brings up the immigration debate, the president's executive order all over again. the big question for him, is he dealing with a reasonably republican party or -- >> does it spur them to work once again with democrats and my administration to get a reasonable piece of legislation done, or does it simply solidify what i do think is innate in this trend in parts of the republican party and if it's the
latter, probably we're not going to get much more progress done taken will be a major debate in the next presidential election. >> whether it's fair or unfair to whip scalise, when they have the immigration debate, when republicans say no to the president, democrats are going to say steve scalise and the nativists in the republican party are blocking us. >> for the democrats in the white house it's not necessarily steve scalise who is the problem. they can see him fitting into the larger narrative. you'll hear maybe the president not mentioning scalise by name but making the argument that nativist argument over and over again. it's partially because he wants to get support for immigration reform. it's partially democrats are looking at 2016 where the voting bloc is far different than midterms, large african-american and large his tanik turnout they need, so scalise gives them another little bit of information they keep putting forward to say hey, this is really what this republican party is about. >> is it fair to say the best way, the easiest way if there is an easier way for republicans to put this behind them is to prove
they get things done. here is the republican agenda when they come into town largely schett by majority leader mitch mcconnell, move quickly on the keystone xf pipeline, jobs bill, hire for heroes act, they'll have a big fight about obamacare trying to repeal it and moving on to things like the 40-hour work week provisions there, funding for homeland security will come up. where do you see the flashpoints where we'll see whether we have some cooperation or confrontation or maybe just a mix? >> i think you'll see pretty broad agreement on the keystone pipeline reauthorization, because you have at least a half dozen democrats in the senate who want to get that to the president, where you see the biggest arguments week two is about homeland security funding and the house because republicans in the house want to move on that quickly. they have until the end of february but they figure if they can get it out of the house quickly and over to the senate, perhaps the fight will be there and that's where we'll start to see closer coordination between congressional democrats and the white house, they've been working on this for weeks.
the plan is to hit republicans every single day either on things they've said or proposing to do. remember we heard the white house before the holidays saying why would republicans want to hold up things like airport security, port security over disagreements with the president on something he can do constitutionally. i think you'll see a lot of that and you know, you'll see a lot of agreement from certain democrats on making those tweaks to obama care and that's going to put the president on the bubble, because you know, fixing the work week issues, repealing the medical device tax, very popular with a lot of midwestern and business oriented democrats, so i think there you almost immediately are going to see the white house get a little uncomfortable. >> even on something like keystone you have a lot of agreement on capitol hill over passing that legislation, all signs for the white house point to the president vetoing that legislation so immediately you have this fight between the white house and congressional democrats, not just republicans. >> narrator: and republicans think that's great for them because they've got the backing of the american public. >> fascinating new dynamics. part of the work week in
washington. four days into 2015 and that means yes 2016 decisions must come soon but first we set aside our weekly politicians say the darnedest things this sunday to bid farewell to a poignant poet. to liberals he was a hero. even if you disagreed with mario cuomo you respected him and were a fool not to listen. here he is at the 1984 convention directly challenging president ronald reagan >> there is despair, mr. president, in the faces that you don't see, in the places that you don't visit in your shining city. in fact, mr. president, this is a nation -- [ applause ] -- mr. president, you ought to know that this nation is more a tale of two cities than it is just a shining city on a hill.
welcome back. first ben carson, now mike huckabee, conservatives stepping down from fox positions to explore running for president in 2016, a dozen, maybe 15 or 16 republicans now giving the race an active look and the pressure is higher because jeb bush is geting aggressive so early. so as we welcome 015, let's refresh our memories about where the 2016 field stands. here's some of the candidates and potential candidates. governor huckabee we mentioned if we look at our polling over the years he's dropped a little bit in the last year, this goes back to last january 2014. he's dropped a little bit but remember he won the iowa caucuses two campaigns ago. rand paul how'd he do last year, down a little bit. governor chris christie of new jersey, waiting for his decision
about the same over the past year. if the republicans have a front-runner it's the former governor of florida jeb bush. he started to actively explore running for president so you see that spike. let's look at the democrats. liberal would love massachusetts senator elizabeth warren to run. she's flat line down here. the vice president hasn't ruled out running joe biden, about a flat line over the course of the past year and this is why we say hillary clinton stands alone in presidential politics when it comes to the polling. look at everybody else down here, when members of their party are asked who do you want and here's hillary clinton way up here. so she is still the far away democratic front-runner. jeb bush you'd have to call the early republican front-runner but there's a fragility to that. nia malia henderson, mike huckabee last night in his fox program says he's stepping down. how much of a force is he in the republican field when you have dr. carson as well, rick santorum might run again. bit of a crowd on the social
conservative side. >> there's a crowd in the tea party lane n the evangelical lane. not much of a crowd in the chamber of commerce republican lanes so if you're jeb bush you feel pretty good that even though this is a crowd 12 to 15 people who could run, it looks like all of those other folks in those teavangeliical lane. rand paul claims he can expand the party. mike huckabee won 48% of the african-american vote when he ran in arkansas in 1998 so he's actually done something. it will be interesting to see how he changes that conversation if if he gets in this thing. >> and republicans do have a history of going back to candidates they've met before and so if you're governor huckabee and looking at some of these new faces, rand paul, maybe marco rubio, maybe ted cruz, maybe thinking in a crowded field my familiarity may help me? >> he has name recognition in iowa, new hampshire, south carolina, having a fox television show, having a talk radio show gives you a lot of
name recognition. he has a book coming out later this month. the question for huckabee or anybody else falls into that lane of the party, where is your path? how do you, after you get through iowa, where do you win, besides maybe south carolinas? 'a difficult path. someone like rick santorum was able to hang on in part because mitt romney wasn't that popular with the base. can a huckabee or santorum make it through to the end. >> if you're a huckabee and now that you've made a lot of money you risk losing part of that money. >> that's the question, how much does he want this, particularly since he has seemed to get pretty comfortable having a life outside politics for the last six years, but look, there's a lot of people in iowa carrying a torch for mike huckabee and reluctantly settle fd for santom last time around and a lot will tell you they wished he'd run. that's why he's considering
this. i disagree with nia. i think there's not a lot of competition in the conservative alternative lane. all the competition this time is for that establishment lane. it's jeb, it's chris christie, it's all those governors. it's scott walker, mike pence, john kasich, bobby jindal, even rick perry all gunning to be acceptable to the establishment so there is an opening for someone who could consolidate conservative support and i think that's where huckabee see the the opportunity. >> only jeb is in the water now. he says he's actively exploring. jindal is aggressive traveling a lot but he hasn't stepped as far as jeb bush to say here is my question about jeb bush. forgive me, governor. is he hillary clinton or is he bill clinton? hillary clinton in 2008 ran, she was formidable on paperu.s. like jeb bush is now, she had a great organization, could raise the money like jeb bush is now but she had an ideology problem, voted for authorization to go in war in iraq, jeb bush has the
ideology problem on immigration and education or is he bill clinton who ran against his own party said democrats have to be different. we're wrong on some issues and we have to change if we're going to win and his viability as a general election candidate helped him survive some inner party challenges? >> i think he wants to be a bill clinton. but they're going to do their darnedest to make him the hillary clinton and i think that's what he -- remember he's talked about wanting to run with joy. >> with joy. >> a real desire. he can see the path from march 2016 on. what he can't live with is between now and march 2016 and clearing the decks and putting all the e-mails out there has an appeal not only to us because it makes our job a little easier to start looking through all this stuff but i think it has an appeal beyond the republican party and maybe even to some pragmatic republicans who say if he's willing to do all that and if he's willing to be the adult while all others are toiling in iowa and toiling to try to get their christian conservative vote, then maybe really we should look at him.
he's the adult. he's been down this road, he's seen others do it, is willing to put himself out there, willing to totally divorce himself of his past and move forward. >> my question is, so governor bush has spiked in our polling agai again, he's at 23%, it's now january 2015 so he can celebrate that, love that, but president giuliani can tell you it doesn't always mean anything how these things carry forward. what about governor christie, gchb pence and governor walker, a number of people out there who would be formidable candidates. on paper this say very strong potential republican field. does the jeb bush decision pressure hem to decide sooner because he's now actively telling fund-raisers and actively looking for staff in key states? >> yes. jeb's people would tell you he's not actually more in water than anyone else. all of the guys had leadership packs and he didn't. he's putting himself on the same playing field as they were.
in reality it's seeing much more of an overt signal than anyone else has made. i think he's done it smartly. he's been smart to be as deliberate as he is about this. he has to force his way into the conversation. he doesn't have a platform. he's not in elected office. he hasn't been in elected office for nearly a decade so he's really got to get in there and make it clear to people that he wants to be a factor because a lot of people didn't believe it before he said it. >> ben carson says he can wait until may. >> if you're ben carson i guess you can wait until may. >> a lot of folks are waiting until late sfrinpring. >> clinton has speeches on her schedule until march, maybe she cancels those but that looks like a time frame, sometime in the spring. >> waiting to announce to give us official word. does it mean you can't go to iowa, new hampshire and south carolina and beyond? let's pack up for the road. >> des moines. >> i'll be in iowa, wait a few months. >> okay, bring the baby. everybody sit tight.
tomorrow's news today is next. our reporters share from their notebooks including new word on the president's choice to succeed eric holder is likely to receive on capitol hill. you pay for you data every month. so why does your carrier take back what you don't use? it's your data. now at t-mobile, all your unused data rolls forward to the next month. and we'll even get you started with 10gb of free 4g lte data.
let's head around the "inside politics" table get you out ahead of the big political news just around the corner. julie pace? >> the president's going to be running around the country the next couple of weeks talking about the state of the union proposals before the state of the union and the white house says that this is a way to, you know, get out there, gain momentum, draw up contrasts with republicans early on but it also shows that state of the unions simply aren't as important as they once were. the president's last state of the union addressed 33 million viewers, the lowest number of viewers since bill clinton's last address. you still get a big audience but this is interesting whether this signals not only this white house but future white house also see an incentive in talking to the american people about state of the union ideas separate from just that one big night. >> so big event, keep it constant. ed? >> getting ready for the big congress, talked to the committee chairmen taking over
this week. jason chaffetz head of the house oversight and reform committee, a republican from utah. he'll wrap up the investigations into the irs, the epa, fast and furious at the justice department but he's putting together a bunch of new subcommittees one to look at obama's work on energy and the environment and another focused specifically on administrative rules, all the regulation writing that zbg on across the administration. he says staffers on that subcommittee are tasked with waking up every morning scouring the federal register and all the other pieces of information that are out there about rule making going on and hold hearings about them. it will be led by jim jordan, a republican of ohio, popular conservative, and likely to be a very popular subcommittee. >> congressman chaffetz very ambitious. we'll see how different he is from darrell issa. molly? >> with attorney general eric holder leaving the position, lorre receipt lalynch the federal prosecutor from new york could be a flash point, a big battle. some republicans want to turn it
into a referendum on immigration issues and others. they had a lot of problems with holder but the early signs are very good for loretta lynch. she impressed a lot of republicans in other meetings on the hill last month. senator grassley, the chairman, incomele chairman of the judiciary committee hasn't said anything negative about her. senior republican sources in the senate tell me they may think there may be drama but she's looking forward to nomination. >> one fight avoided or volume turned down. nia? >> we don't talk enough about north dakota so we can talk about it now. looks like there's chatter there about whether or not heidi hicm will run for governor in 2016. she's not up for governor. if she runs she could keep our senate senate. she would be up against the current governor dalrimple. shoo she wins she could appoint a successor on republicans
making prospects and noise and putting bills forward to prevent that little technicality, so she wouldn't be able to do that, but that's a little chatter going on inned in north carolina now -- north dakota in some movement. >> keep an eye on it. you're right we never talk about north dakota. a bit of a parallel as we look forward to the 2016 presidential race the question is whether liberals can convince elizabeth warren to challenge hillary clinton for the democratic presidential nomination. ma are yo cuomos faced similar in 1991 and 1929 at bill clinton was openly critical of his democratic party being too liberal. deadline day for filing in the new hampshire primary there was a play for governor cuomo to go. i remember sitting on firing the memo that said he would not run. the biggest reason governor
clinton survived the character roll e coaster question campaign of 199 he is the most gifted and tenacious politician of his generation but also faced a relatively weak democratic field never having to face a debate we are the skills and street steets as mario cuomo. rest in peace, governor cuomo. that that's it for "inside politics." we'll see you soon. "state of the union" starts right now. i'm dana bash and this is "state of the union." today -- >> the situation has devolved into one which everyone is talking but no one is listening. >> the nypd buries the second police officer killed in a deadly ambush, but will it lay to rest resentments between the officers and city hall? we'll go live to new york where thousands of officers join from around the country. t