tv Face the Nation CBS January 4, 2015 5:00pm-5:31pm PST
>> schieffer: welcome back to "face the nation." delaware senator chris coons is top democratic on key congressional subcommittee on african affairs just back from liberia where where he went to assess u.s. efforts to ebola efforts. senator, i think everyone appreciate, is that you're doing what a subcommittee chairman ought to do that is go where most important thing foreign relations, could have gone to paris or rome you went to liberia because that's where couple of thousand -- trying to work with this ebola epidemic. just give me a debrief here what are we doing right on this, how is this thing going and anything we're doing wrong. >> first, great news. something about which all americans can be, should be proud. i went to visit our 2400 trips
from the 101st airborne to see the work that they have done. they have done remarkable work, they and doctors and nurses of the cdc and uniform public health service turned the corner on the ebola epidemic. but i'm calling for a change in strategy by the pentagon. we can't declare mission accomplished withdraw too early here. we can bring home a thousand or more of these troops now. they are currently bored because they have accomplished of building new treatment units all over the country military testing labs all over the country and setting up a vital infrastructure. the raging epidemic that threatened the whole country in september is now down to a few embers scattered across this country. but we need a new strategy to adapt conditions on the ground. our troops should remain, some of them for the rest of the year, to help make sure that liberians can transition our emergency ebola treatment units in to community level health
clinics and transition our hi-tech military mobile testing lab in to liberian-run local labs. so going forward this epidemic really is brought to an end in liberia. >> schieffer: i notice congress i guess in the last appropriation did authorize $5 billion to fight ebola. >> that's right. >> schieffer: are you saying we can spend less there and more in other places or how do you see this overall fight now? >> first, that money was half for making sure that we are safe here at home. for investing in vaccine development, for investing in making sure we have the equipment and the materials and training at our hospitals and our bordersnd our country to make sure we're save against any future flare up of ebola. but second, the money we are spending in liberia i'm saying we could spend more wisely. we could change our strategy and direction and i'll letter to the secretary of defense and briefing memo to the president both tomorrow to call for this
change in strategy. we can spend this money more wisely and make sure we bet the job done. >> schieffer: you went at some risk, did you go through quarantine process? >> yes, i was -- i am being tested twice a day, i'm self monitoring, i'm checking my own temperature as long as you have no symptoms and no temperature you can't infect others i'm comfortable i'm fully complying with the cdc protocols. i also had very safe itinerary i didn't go in to any hospitals where there were ebola patients or wasn't directly in touch with any ebola patients. the real heroes are men and women, missionaries volunteers, our troops who have gone in and who have spent a lot of time caring for and supporting those who care for ebola victims. >> schieffer: thank you very much. i think americans appreciate what you have done here and we want to wish you the best on this. >> thank you. >> schieffer: we'll be right back with our panel.
political press corps here in washington which means he is the oldest member. >> you got that right. >> schieffer: i want to talk to you about the "wall street journal" on friday, that the white house is suddenly -- they actually announced this that they're going to -- have new quote, strategy to work with congress on some things of mutual interest and journal finds republicans who say yeah, they think they are ready to talk. is this the new age of miracles here or is this just some first of the year talk. >> two things. one, it's news that people would think about working together. two, most people don't think it's actually
going to happen. i think even when i heard on your program about keystone pipeline indicates that republicans are determined to pass it. and president is likely to veto it and senator schumer told you they had votes to sustain a veto that doesn't sound like
cooperating. >> schieffer: do they have the votes? >> we'll have to see this debate play out. i think what the journal piece looks at one aspect of what i think a lot of people are anticipating that there are some areas where there is some mutual agreement between the white house and congressional republicans. there are also big areas of disagreement that the real question is, how do republicans try to balance those two needs. want to be productive, want to look like they're able to do some things, show they can govern at the same time they have constituency that wants certain things done, so the new leadership in the senate will have to balance that we'll see how speaker boehner handles it. >> schieffer: i would just say they may find votes to sustain a presidential veto but at this point i don't see that they have the votes to do that. >> they're all reading the polls. they know that at least going in to the session they have to sound like they're going to get along. have to talk about bipartisanship and agreement on trade and energy policies and
issues where there are slivers of agreement then all fall apart later. for now this is what they have to offer. >> one thing i hear that there is a deal in the works well along to do two big confirmations quickly in the senate for new attorney general and new secretary of defense action. that will be a display. if that happens that would be a display of bipartisan cooperation we can get something done. give the president two key members of his cabinet. >> schieffer: david one of the things that i would guess is going to come up early on is this authorization to fight isis. and the president wants that he wants congress to give him the authorization, what exactly does that mean? we're supposedly fighting isis already. >> the president is operating under existing authorities and insists that that's legal. there's been a lot of division and disagreement within the white house and administration about whether it's wise to open this up to congressional debate.
we saw what happened with the question of using military force in syria year and half ago how difficult that was. i think they will eek some broad enabling legislation and try to limit debate sharply. i think they probably have republican support for that approach. certainly john mccain the new key figures of the republican side do not want to limb the president's hand in dealing with isis. >> schieffer: is there any good news on iraq and syria. >> i think the only good news is that the advance of isis, explosion out of mosul and iraq that seems to be threatening baghdad has ended. isis is now being pushed back, it's controlling the areas where it has a lot of people. but even in anbar province the u.s. is moving in apache helicopter gun ships several thousand eventually u.s.
military personnel to aid the sunnis in that area in gradually pushing back. i'd say the good news is -- bad news has ended we're now in period of beginning to prepare for a longer fight. >> schieffer: where do we see this whole situation evolving in cuba gwen? >> that's one of the things that they will are going to discuss they want to have a word. also iran. what is interesting with cuba issues watching what happens to republicans in florida who want to run for president. whether they can find some footing, some standing especially with new younger cuban-americans who don't feel as strongly about the castro regime as their parents may have. there for they are showing up to vote that is what barack obama is speaking to. >> schieffer: i hear republicans say that they're going to do everything they can they will not confirm new ambassador to cuba. obviously you'll have the
florida republicans taking very hard line against this. but do you see this as issue that is changing -- i kind of think it is, quite frankly myself. but what do you think? >> yes, i think it is an issue that is changing. the republicans can refuse to confirm an ambassador for sure can refuse to lift the embargo. the steps that the president took to -- to the surprise of most of us demonstrate the power he has on this issue, the power of a president even if he's -- approval ratings below 50% he can do big things. i've been struck by the lack of fewer or over it when you get past the shores of miami-dade county. i think this is an issue that has changed, the steps will be impossible to reverse. >> schieffer: what do you think, dan? >> i agree. this is another example of a president who recognizes the limits he has dealing with congress and the ability he has at least to push issues forward.
he's done it on climate change he's done it on immigration he's now done it on cuba. he is moving in a direction that they believe that the white house will be over time irreversible even if they can't get everything done that they want to try to do in the next two years. >> schieffer: you can understand the feelings of some of the florida republicans, they are the children of parents who had their businesses confiscate and all of that. but there is a large market down there, and the u.s. chamber of commerce, which is one of the backbones of finance for the republican party is saying, look, we need to get down there. >> a big opportunity for cuban-american business people, for u.s. business in general. would say one final thing about this issue of whether bipartisanship is back. president wants to make trade agreements part of his legacy he can't do that without republican votes. in that sense republican gains
in mid term elections is good news in getting trade legislation passed. that is part of what i think the white house is saying. this is crucial to us, it's important to you. let's try to do this part together. >> schieffer: i think hanging overall of this is this continuing uneasy conversation about race in america. which seems to kind of come down and sort of have an impact on every issue no matter what it is. gwen, where does this go? >> i was rereading the chapter of my book that i wrote in 2009 when barack obama was being introduced. ed brooke said he -- so many things he wanted to accomplish before he was laid to rest he sent the president a copy of his book. the president sent him copy of his book. they basically said to each other, you know, you paved the way and, yes, i am proud of you
for that. an amazing extreme between two firsts. but all these years later, i don't know i never thought that that would fix everything. so here we are still every burton we push gets people worked up whether it's a button about a policeman being shot, young black man being shot. a couple of months ago maybe last year during anniversary of brown versus board i talked to bob moses one of the organizers of the southern -- young protesters in the south he said, he's seen the movie about johnson, i asked him if he liked it well, we were never in the room at the same time. he took issue with the historical accuracy of this play. this movie "selma" being attacked because lack of historical accuracy about the portion. i've seen the movie, i've talked
to the doctor for, talked to people involved set up to tell a different story -- >> schieffer: explain this to me since you talked to the director do they think it of not good enough story that they had to change history because clearly they did. >> did they think that as a play all the way to change his terry people were burning to change history. this play, part about being johnson's idea that selma -- even though he did say those words we heard on the tape there have been years of planning to use selma as place for exactly that protest. yes, movies are selective. yes, they're not documentaries. but it doesn't mean that the movie itself in larger story it tells is not valuable. >> schieffer: i wouldn't disagree with that. but does it not hurt because so many young people, only history they know is what they see in the movies sometimes or what they see on television. and i worry about the danger of sort of misinforming people.
this is a wonderful story. it's a great story. i didn't see that they needed to make it better in order to make it a good movie. make the story a better story that's the part -- >> schieffer: if you see the movie it's not really about that. it's not about making it better. tremendously powerful story that is told which has very little to do with the thought point involving johnson. >> frustrating thing about race, we heard it this morning on your show, such a sad day with officer liu being put to rest. but surely we can have a discussion about police tactics some police toward african americans, especially african american boys or men without attacking the police force recognizing the danger that police officers have and trust we put in them but also clearly something wrong in some places with the way the police behave toward black people. and we see that with the video of eric garner. the frustrating thing trying to have a discussion that recognizes both things
contribution of police but also the need to have this discussion. >> schieffer: the irony we had first african american president and we're talking about our race relations better or worse than they were when they came to office. i don't know if they are or not. i certainly don't blame him for the situation that we have here. but it is interesting that that's a question we're talking about. >> the president did interview on npr before christmas he thinks actually relations are better today than they were when he came in to office. now, other people would probably dispute that. one of the interesting things to me about this we know from everything we've seen over many years that blacks and whites see these issues differently. one of the interesting things is now, white republicans and white democrats see these issues differently. when we went back looked at our most recent poll on some of these questions what was striking was not just gap between blacks and whites how
differently bites who call themselves republicans or democrats take dramatically different view of this so there is now a partisan overlay on what has been a long racial discussion in america, which i think makes it even more difficult to get to resolution. >> i think one of the really poignant parts of barack obama's presidency is that our first african american president has also tried to be president for all of the country. that puts him in the middle on these incredibly difficult issues. he got attacked this morning by former speaker gingrich, gets criticized regularly from african americans say he isn't doing enough. other thing i was struck listening to the conversation, you wouldn't know that community policing is one of the big success stories in america listening to this discussion. the lapd which had a terrible problem doesn't have that problem now because it learned
about community policing. somehow that's got to be i think practical lesson that people take out of this. let's make that work. >> schieffer: let's talk about -- we have only two years to talk about this. let's go to 2016. now sees leaving fox news, i assume he's going to run for president yet another republican. newt gingrich was saying going to have lot of runners but no front runners. how is does this sort itself out? >> we have front runner name is jeb bush. i don't think he's prohibitive front runner. but certainly talk about him because that's really what we do. i think there's a test for him, 12 years since he ran for office, needs to show that he's got his campaign legs back. we'll have slew of republicans, tea party nomination for the
establishment nomination for the christian conservative nomination i say isn't that great. >> schieffer: what do you think, dan? >> i think what is interesting to me right now is some of what we might call old-timers are being the most aggressive. jeb bush. jeb bush has done more in the last few weeks to try to shape this race in his direction than we would have thought. we assumed he'd wait until after the new year probably some time in to january to give a signal instead he did it much earlier than that. as way of saying pay attention to me, i am serious about this. governor huckabee, what did he yesterday the same kind of thing. each of them has something they have to prove. susan says, jeb bush may be something of a front runner but as much to proof as anybody in the race. this is not a shapeless race but it's a very unpredictable race. >> schieffer: i thought it was interesting resigned from all his boards that he is a
member of. >> anticipating the criticism which would come. not talking about this campaign now 2015 we're at the starting. >> schieffer: what i loved is "the new yorker" in a parody said that he had also announced he was resigning as george w. bush's son. i'm guessing that mitt romney is not going to run. i was convinced myself that he was really thinking seriously about doing it. i know he was talking to his friends. my guess is with bush in the race, romney will not be in the race. >> i think he was interested in running. >> he was surprise almost that he was interested. i think that door -- >> have you ever met a presidential candidate whoever gave up thinking about it again? even if it's completely improbable. gets in their blood. somewhere al gore is thinking about running. >> schieffer: george mcgovern told me that very thing. i asked him years after he ran in 1972 then of course did you
ever not -- no, you never get over it. i think -- we haven't talked about on democratic side. hillary clinton and who else? >> talked about prohibitive front runner her name is hillary clinton. i think at this point even this far out she can decide not to run but going to be hard to take it away. >> that's part of the democrats problem lot of energy on the republican side, talking about bush and huckabee marco rubio rand paul long list of attractive candidates. on democratic side you have hillary clinton not yet announcing but taking up that space. then beyond her who? it's striking -- >> lightning strike caucus. >> people may be waiting for lightning to strike really
interesting contrast. i think it should worry democrats that they're not -- there's not generation coming up if hillary clinton announced tomorrow she wasn't running who would step in? >> schieffer: i would say joe biden but i don't know who else. >> you would say joe biden. >> i would assume the vice president would run if she doesn't. there will somebody others. you mention governor o'malley probably going to run. although maybe not. >> schieffer: we'll have to find out who the others are later. we're out of time. thanks to all of you. we'll be right back.
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live from the cbs bay area studios, this is kpix5 news. a sea of blue on the streets of new york as thousands pay tribute to 1 of two police officers murdered in the line of duty. good evening. a crime that shocked the nation on december 20th. two new york police officers were gunned down in cold blood as they sat if in their patrol car, ambushed by a gunman. the police officers did not likely know what hit him. the suspect had a long history of crime. earlier in the day on the ambush he posted on social media quote i am going it to put some wings on some pigs. it is said it was done