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tv   Face the Nation  CBS  January 17, 2022 2:00am-2:30am PST

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captioning sponsored by cbs >> brennan: i'm margaret brennan in washington. and this week on "face the nation," we'll mark president biden's first year in office and see if he can rebound from a week of setbacks. 2022 is not exactly off to a good start for the biden organization. one news organization characterized last week as filled with miscues, missteps, and miscalculations. inflation continues at a 40-year high. the supreme court blocks mr. biden's vaccine mandate for businesses. and his attempt at pushing fellow democrats, sinema and manchin to pass the voting rights bill is all but certain to fail. >> while i continue to
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support these bills, i will not support separate actions that worsen the underlying disease of division infecting our country. >> brennan: the president even concedes his effort is likely doomed. >> biden: the honest to god answer is i don't know if we can get this done. >> brennan: is the fight a good use of precious political capital management. we'll ask tim kaine. but a cbs poll out shows many americans think mr. biden has misplaced priorities. and as a threat into russian ukraine intensifies, we'll talk with white house national security advisor jake sullivan. and as covid rises, cases in the northeast are peaking, but health care systems are still in crisis mode and the warnings are getting more dire. >> doctor: omicron, with
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its extraordinary, unprecedented degree of efficiency of transmissibility will ultimately find just about everybody. >> brennan: maryland governor quinton lucas and jake sullivan and dr. scott gottlieb will all be here. it is all ahead on "face the nation." ♪♪ >> brennan: good morning and welcome to "face the nation." thursday will mark the first full year since president biden took office, and a new cbs news poll shows americans think he is not focused enough on key issues, like the economy and inflation. 44% of americans approve of the job he is doing overall, with a split on his handling of the coronavirus. when it comes to mr. biden's efforts on the economy, just over a third, 38%, approve. his handling of inflation
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is worse. seven in 10 americans disapprove. we turn now to cbs news elections and surveys director anthony salvanto. good morning to you, anthony. what is weighing on the president's approval waiting the most? >> good morning, margaret. let's start with covid-19. now part of this is just expectations. at the start of his term, people thought covid would get better, but right now most people don't think the effort against the pandemic is going well. part of a president's ratings always carry some of that general feeling. at the start, he got ver strong ratings. it started to dip as cases got a little worse, some vaccine controversies, down to where is now. now, let's be clear: it is not that people blame a president for all of this. when you look at why people might think he is not doing a good job, the thing that stands out is information. people feel it has been
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confusing. that stands out. in fact, overall people in the nation say that that guidance has been increasingly confusing, and that does accrue to a president. we know that the science is always trying to get a hold on this, but in the public mind they do look for that clarity, margaret. >> brennan: when it comes to the issues we say matter here, the economy and inflation, what exactly is hurting the president? >> yeah. the economy story, the inflation story are stories about focus. and here is how. you start with a majority of people saying that the administration is not focused enough on the economy, on inflation, and these are their most important issues. sometimes politics is really simple. you've got to be seen attacking the problems that people think are paramount. now, when you look at how that plays out in his ratings on the economy, well, what's to blame for
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it? it is a mixture of things. again, some of it, yes, people blame his policies. there is also the pandemic. there are supply-chain issues that people see in the mix. but when they don't think he is focused, they're more likely to d disapprove overall. his first year, we see a lot of folks describing that as making them feel frustrated or disappointed. he has to be seen looking at those problems that people think are paramont, and that is inflation, margaret. >> brennan: this is the lowest point in his presidency when it comes to approval of how he is handing covid, not approval of the economy, and how he is handling inflation. do people just think he is wasting his time here? >> well, let's take a look because we asked people, well, if you don't approve of the president, what might change your mind. what really stood out is if he gets inflation down, people say they might
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improve their opinion. that is a lot higher, i should add, than if he passes the build back better act. it is really about inflation, not legislation, at this point. in fact, even for democrats, even within his own party, when s, ty're toughest ab on him about being focused on inflation. >> brennan: anthony, you have been tracking this for some time. it was back in the summer with the withdrawal from afghanistan that we saw the president's approval rating really begin to decline. has there been any recovery along the way? is that still in overhang? >> that's correct. he started out strong. when it declined in the summer, right around afghanistan, other characteristics of him took a hit, too. he got declines in ratings on effectiveness, on confidence, that have not recovered. those things have continued to be lower. and as it has gone down,
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that has been correlated with the views he is not paying enough attention to inflation and to the economy. now, when you look at this in context with presidents in their first year, he is a little higher than trump was; lower than obama was. but you want to look at the era because of late, the last 10, 20 years or so, we seen more polarization, more partisanship, and that tends to put both a own party tends to bolstery w their approval. but i will add this about sitive marks for people liking him personally. that has carried through even since the presidential campaign. that helps underpin him as well. it is just about whether he is seen focusing on things like the economy and the inflation right now. >> brennan: anthony salvanto, thank you so much for your perspective.
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we go now to senator tim kaine, who joins us from richmond. good morning to you, senator. >> good morning, margaret. >> brennan: you just heard that cbs news poll that shows 65% of the country doesn't think the president is focused enough on inflation, which is at a 40-year high of 7%. why do you think the white house appears so out of touch with the public? >> well, look. i think it is a tough time right now. margaret, as you know, the white house has focused significant energy on the economy in the first year. record job growth in the first year of the white house. 3.9% unemployment rate, and very strong growth in wages. but the inflation issue is real. we've got to tackle it. some of the inflation is related to the continuing pandemic, which has disrupted supply-chains. but president biden is working on initiatives in the build back better legislation that will reduce health care costs,
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prescription drugs, education -- people hear the title of the bill, and they don't know what it might do for them. but if we can get it passed, some of it deals with cost drivers that bedevils most families. >> brennan: even the white house economist is using the past tense when referring to build back better. it's dead. you don't have the votes in the senate -- >> i don't agree with you, margaret. you're right that it is dead. the most recent version of it is not going to happen. but if you look at the core of the bill, i think the core is education and workforce and things like reduced child care and education expenses, workforce training, and then support for the workforce in areas like health care. there are other pieces of the bill that are more controversial. i still believe we're going to find the core of this bill, whatever we call it -- we're going to the core of the bill and pass it, and it will deal directly with some of these inflation concerns. >> brennan: james carvel was on another network and
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he said democrats whine whinetoo much. he said you're not talking enough about the infrastructure bill you just passed. you are talking about things that failed. and you have a vote scheduled this week that will also fail on voting rights. why do you think that is an affective strategy, to have high-profile failures rather than talk about the things that people are saying do matter to them on the economy and inflation? >> well, margaret, i do think we're talking a lot about the infrastructure bill, certainly i am in virginia, whether it is broadband, bridges, ports, airports, it will mean a lot of good for every zip code in the country. with respect to voting rights, whatever the pundits say makes political sense, it is such an existential issue. those of us who survived the attack on the capitol january 6 and are witnessing wholesale efforts around the country to make it harder for people to vote and to
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undermine the integrity of elections, we have to do this. we all have to be recorded at this moment in time about where are we in protecting the right to vote. if right now it doesn't look like it has the votes to pass, we're going to cancel our martin luther king, jr. recess and be there because we think it is so important for the country. and we will be voting both on the bills, and if we can't get republican support for the bills, could we find a path to make some rules adjustments to pass them? >> brennan: but you don't have the voteso expand that 60 vote threshold. what are you envisioning that will somehow get this through? >> as of right now, we don't have all 50 democrats on board. but there are a couple of different paths. some involve rules changes like a carve-out to the filibuster. but there are other paths we can take -- the 60-vote threshold is only if you want to limit the debate. we could do a longer
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debate and have a simple majority. but we will have a vote on the bills and we will have a vote on a rules path to get there because it is so important for the country. >> brennan: the president, as you know, gave a very high-profile speech this past week in georgia. he has called the local law that jim crow 2.0. in that speech he gave, he compared his opponents to bill connor, jefferson davis, which mitch mcconnell akin to saying agree witassahid wme or tyou are a bigot. how does characterizing opponents like that actually win over any kind of republican support? isn't the president coddling himself? >> you know, margaret, i read those comments differently. joe biden was tough in his words. but i think what he said was in the 1960s, say the voting rights act of 1965, people, including people of goodwill, had to
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decide were they going to stand on the side of bill connor are stand on the side of john lewis. it was the same point that martin luther king, jr. made. he said, i'm writing to people of g goodwill. you may not be bigots or pro-dispro-discrimination. but you have to decide which side you're going to stand on. in these efforts to hobble minority votes, all people of goodwill have to decide where they stand. >> brennan: you disagree with senator dick durbin, when he said the president may have gone too far. is there any outreach to republicans -- >> margaret, i've been engaged to outreach to republicans on voting rights since july and have found zero support. with the exception of senator le lisa murkowski, we
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can get no co-sponsors, despite repeated efforts. when we put the bill on the floor, they vote against even debating the bill. i thank senator lisa murkowski for being a restorer of the preclearance provisions in the john lewis bill. but thus far she is the only one willing to put her name for support of any of those provisions. >> brennan: you were with us back in november when a republican won the governorship in your home state. you blame that democratic loss on congressional democrats that you said just blew the timing of infrastructure, workforce a,and education. the american public expects us to deliver. the clock is ticking here ahead of the mid-term elections. what do democrats need to deliver on in order to hold on to any kind of majority? >> you're right, margaret.
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i think we could have won that race had we done infrastructure a month earlier. now we have delivered on the far-reaching american rescue plan. we have delivered on the once in a generation infrastructure investment, although a month too late. i think we have to go into that build back better bill and do the core provisions that reduce costs for americans. if we do that, we'll speak to their inflation concern. we'll help people out in every zip code in this country. i think we have to do that. it is my hope we will find a path -- although the vegas odds may not be great, but we need to find a path to protect democracy by an assault that is being led by president trump and his followers all over this time. >> brennan: senator, thank you for your time. >> absolutely. >> brennan: "face the nation" will be back in one minute with national security advisor jake sullivan.
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you about what happened overnight in texas with this synagogue and the hostage situation. i know a british man who took the hostages is now dead. the others were released. any indication that this is part of a of broader extremist threat? >> well, margaret, it is too soon to tell at this point what the full parameters of this act of terrorism, this act of anti-semtism were. we have the department of homeland security, the f.b.i., and law enforcement and intelligence agencies working intensely to get a full picture of what this person's motives were and whether or not there are any further connections. so i wil leave it to the professionals to continue their work today. and as we have more information, we will share it. but i do think we should all take a moment today to pay tribute to the local, state, and federal law enforcement officers who acted bravely, professionally, and affectively to rescue those hostages and bring
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this situation to a safe conclusion. they are heros and they deserve our support. and we then all should also raise our vigilance against acts of terrorism, acts of anti-semitism. particularly at places of worship in this country. >> brennan: noted. thank you, jake. i want to ask you about what believe is eating up a lot of your time and this is this active threat from russia. microsoft said they discovered all sorts of destructive malware in russia. is russia using this to prepare the battlefield, and will a cyber-strike draw u.s. sanctions? >> we've been warning for weeks and months, both publicly and privately, that cyber-attacks could be part of a broad-based russian effort to escalate in ukraine. we have been working closely with ukrainians to
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harden their defenses, and we will continue to do so in the days head. and we're coordinating with private companies, like microsoft, in case there are potential cyber-attacks that unfold in the coming months here. of course it is possible that russia could conduct a series of cyber-attacks. that is part of their play bplaybook. we have not specifically attributed this attack yet. neitherwe, nor some of the private sector firms, have attributed it to that. but we will do everything we can to defend and protect networks against the type of destructive malware that microsoft flagged in their blog post last night. >> brennan: the ukrainians are saying it looks like it has some russian fingerprints on this. why wouldn't this draw sanctions? why are you waiting for vladimir putin to cross the border? aren't we already in a
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conflict? >> first, margaret, we need to work through attribution. again, as i said, this is part of the russian playbook. so it wouldn't surprise me one bit if it ends up being attributed to russia. but let's get attribution and then make a determination about what we do next. in terms of sanctions, what we have laid out is a very clear message to the russians. and somewhand we have done so in concert and unison with our allies, and if they do so, there will be severe consequences to pay. if it turns out that russia is pummelling ukraine with cyber-attacks and that continues over the period ahead, we will work with our allies on the appropriate response. >> brennan: russia has been moving tanks, and their top diplomate said their patience is running out and diplomacy is not working. are you planning to get president putin, president
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biden, and president z zolenski all on the phone? >> i speak to my counterpart in ukraine, the national security advisor regularly. so we're coordinating closely on next steps. we'll have more to share in terms of the next steps and the diplomacy early next week. but the key point here, margaret, is that we're ready either way. if russia wants to move forward with diplomacy, we're absolutely ready to do that in lock step with our allies and partners. if russia wants to go down the path of invasion and escalation, we're ready for that with a robust response that will cut at their strategic position. so from our perspective, we are pursuing simultaneously deterrents and diplomacy, and we've been clear and steadfast in that, fully united with the trans atlantic community. >> brennan: russia is clear with charging ahead with this. mike morel, the former acting director of the
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c.i.a., says it comes down to american c credibility. we have been talking about the president's pol ratings being on decline since that withdrawal from afghanistan. this is about the president's ability to set bright lines for adversaries. >> look, i'll leave the political analysis to you and others. here is what i'm focused on: will the united states and nato and our allies emerge from this, whatever happens, in a stronger strategic position? and will russia emerge in a weaker strategic position? that is the test. and that test doesn't get passed tomorrow or the next day or the day after. that test gets passed over weeks and months and years. and if russia does move, we will take measures that go at their economy, that
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go at their strategic position in europe, that strengthen the solidarity of nato. and what we just saw this past week in brussels, at the nato headquarters, was 30 allies speaking as one after years under the previous administration, where nato was fractured and beginning to lose focus. so we actually believe we have made strides in shoring up and strengthening our alliances and in putting the united states in a position, whatever happens here, to defend our interests, defend our friends, and support the ukrainian people, as we have been doing. >> brennan: jake, quickly, on iran, the secretary of state says we're very, very, very short on time. iran is getting very close to the ability to produce a weapon. aren't they just playing for time? >> well, i would say two things on this front: number one, our policy is straightforward. we are determined to prevent iran from getting a nuclear weapon. number two, we believe
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that diplomacy is the best way to do that. but, as you said and the secretary of state has said, time is running short. i was in israel at the end of last month coordinating on the possibility that diplomacy does not proceed. >> brennan: yeah. >> we are working closely with our european allies and partners on this as well. and we will find a way forward. margaret, critical point -- >> brennan: i've got to wrap. i'm sorry. >> the reason we're in the situation we are, is because the previous administration pulled out of the nuclear deal. and we are paying the wages of that catastrophic mistake. >> brennan: understood, jake sullivan. thank you. stay with us. (other money manager) but you still sell investments that generate high commissions, right? (judith) yep, we do better when our clients do better.
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