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tv   Washington Week With Gwen Ifill  PBS  January 22, 2016 7:30pm-8:01pm PST

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gwen: the gloves are off for both republicans and democrats, as the final countdown to voting begins. plus, hostages are released and the supreme court picks up yet another political hot potato. tonight on "washington week." >> three weeks is an eternity in politics. in new hampshire it's an eternity. gwen: bill clinton should know because the race in iowa and new hampshire is suddenly tight. >> guess what. that inevitable candidate is not so inevitable today. i know that it is like to be knocked down but not knocked out. gwen: tension is building among republicans as well, with sarah palin back in the mix. sarah: they stomp on our neck and tell us to chill. well, look, we are mad and we've been had.
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gwen: and donald trump and ted cruz tagging the other as creatures of the establishment. ted: there's a reason the establishment is attracted to donald trump. because he's written huge checks to hillary clinton. donald: this is a guy that has two bank loans and now he's going after goldman sachs. it doesn't work that way. goldman sachs owns him. remember that, folks, they own him. gwen: meanwhile, the supreme court steps in to stir the pot again. agreeing to take another look at president obamas immigration policies. and five long-held u.s. hostages are freed in iran as the nuclear deal meets its first big test. covering the week -- jeff zeleny, senior political correspondent for cnn. molly ball, political correspondent for "the atlantic." joan biskupic, legal affairs editor for reuters. and michael crowley, chief foreign affairs correspondent
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for "politico." > award-winning reporting and analysis covering history as it happens. from our nations capital. this is "washington week" with gwen ifill. corporate funding for "washington week" is provided by -- >> thousands of people came out today to run the race for retirement so we asked them. are you completely prepared for retirement? ok. mostly prepared? your ou save 1% more of income? 1% could make a big difference over time. >> i feel better about savings. >> you can do it. it helps in the long run. >> prudential. >> we're committed to strong. we're committed to sure. we're committed to smart,
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light, secure and bold. in a world of enduring needs, the men and women of boeing are proud to build and deliver critical capabilities for those that serve to protect our nation and its allies. and that's an enduring ommitment. >> additional funding is provided by -- newman's own foundation. donating all profits from newman's food products to charity and nourishing the common good. by ublic badcasting and contributions to your pbs station from viewers like you. thank you. once again, from washington, moderator gwen ifill. gwen: good evening. you can always tell when the rubber is about to hit the road. thats when the politicians who once promised to stay above the fray dive in head first. new polls show you trailing by double digits?
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take a shot. hillary clinton: senator sanders doesn't talk much about foreign policy but when he does it raises concerns because sometimes it can sound like he really hasn't thought it through. for example, he suggested we invite eye yainian troops into syria. that is like asking the arsonist to be the firefighter. gwen: under attack? fight back. bernie sanders: from the bottom of my heart, above and beyond ideas, if you want somebody who is going to beat donald trump, who is going to beat the other republicans, i think bernie sanders is that candidate. gwen: and thats just the democrats. on the republican side, the common target is donald trump. his target is ted cruz. donald: cruz is going down. he's going down. no, he's having a hard time. he looks like a nervous wreck. he's going down. he had his moment. he had his moment. he had his moment and he blew it. ted: the conservatives are united behind our campaign, and
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we will see like "the empire strikes back," the establishment will strike back because they don't want an end to the cronyism and the gravy train from washington. gwen: but somethings changed. everyone wants to be in donald trumps crosshairs. jeb: while im doing worse than him in the polls, the simple fact is why would he spend his time tearing down someone who's so low compared to him? this is because we're moving up. john: we're now second place in new hampshire so hell's coming. ok. [applause] john: no. you know, the slime machines are getting cranked up here and so you know they're all going to come and bash me because i'm rising. gwen: the spin is enough to make you dizzy. starting with the democrats, what do we know to be true tonight in iowa, jeff? jeff: well, gwen, we know we have a tight race. the race is on. never mind the polls. so many polls this year but watch what the candidates are saying. and iowa was with hillary in
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indian, iowa. never mind she wasn't talking about donald trump like she normally does. she has one person in mind, senator sanders, again and again from health care to his liberal ideas to foreign policies, we just heard there. she was squarely focusing on senator sanders. you may ask why she's doing it. the reality is her subtle messaging at this hasn't seeped through to voters yet so her campaign believes she needs to essentially shake them, in the word of some advisor, shake them and remind them specifically what senator sanders stands for. the problem with that, though, gwen, the energy and the excitement and enthusiasm is on the left side of the party with senator sanders. so what i was struck by this week traveling across iowa all week long with both candidates is the excitement and the energy is with senator sanders and people are willing to give him a shot. at least a listen right now. remember who the audience here is. they're iowa caucusgoers, true
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believers, the democrats of the democrats here and they like what bernie sanders has to say. what secretary clinton is trying to do is trying to stop his rise and convince people that she is the most electable one. but senator sanders almost sounded like donald trump there. was ery stop he went to he talking about how he's leading in the polls. i caught up with him. his biggest challenge is convincing people he's not an ideaistic candidate, he can build a movement. her argument is results. i am going to bring results. we'll see what kind of mood the voters are in. gwen: first, let me ask molly about new hampshire. you just got off the plane essentially from new hampshire and you've been talking to democrats and republicans. let's start with democrats. how is that beginning to shake out? molly: well, it's similar to iowa. except hillary clinton has been pretty far behind bernie sanders for quite a while in
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new hampshire and so bernie sanders was in new hampshire this week. he's trying to shore that up as a must-win state, i think, for him. and so that's another symptom exactly what jeff is talking about, you do see senator sanders getting these big crowds, getting this enthusiasm. in addition to that you have the independent factor in new hampshire. this is a factor on the democratic and republican sides. a lot of this very large segment of independent voters in new hampshire are being compelled to bernie sanders' message. he's also an independent. he's someone in a way is running against the democratic party, the institutions of the democratic party. the party establishment. gwen: is it my memory faulty here or where the clinton people saying, he's from vermont. of course he's going to do better in new hampshire. but now they seem pinicy about the prospect? molly: i think the expectations are pretty low at this point.
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they don't have to do that anymore. now they're scrambling because it will be an issue for hillary if she loses both iowa and new hampshire. now, most democrats i talked to think she's still guaranteed to win in south carolina, but nothing is a sure thing when the momentum is going the other way in that -- that strongly. so there is -- there is a lot of nervousness in the clinton camp. and they don't really know what to expect. the polls are all over the map. at this stage it's hard to know what people are going to do. gwen: jeff, what do democratic voters in iowa want to hear from hillary clinton? is there anything she can say in substance or her tone of message that can change minds at this point? jeff: it's a good question. when you talk to a lot of voters. they basically know hillary clinton so well. she's been in their lives a long time. of course she ran here eight years ago. so i don't know they want to necessarily hear anything else from her but it's just the mood that some of these voters are in and they really are income
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inequality has been a central message and theme in this campaign. and they believe just that senator sanders speaks to that issue more. and it's -- it's so interesting here. she has tried sort of everything in terms of messaging, but it is just the mindset that these democrats are in. but the question is -- is this more like 2004 when we have howard dean sort of rising here? is that the bernie sanders and, of course, he crashed, or is this more like 2008 where barack obama created a movement and it kept going here? that's what we don't know exactly yet. the dynamic is different across the map, of course. because some democrats, you know, are frustrated with president obama. hasn't accomplished enough. but they are fueling bernie sanders' rise here. will they turn out at the caucuses february 1? has he organized them well enough? that's a good question here. that has happened just recently, within the last couple weeks or so. there are some questions if senator sanders is able to
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properly channel this enthusiasm into actual turnout at the caucuses. joan: well, i don't want to make it seem like -- this year we had the return of sarah palin. we had national review coming out with a special cover edition basically saying no to donald trump in a way which the conservatives found their voice to do. it feels like there is a war going on now, really, within the republican party. molly: that's right. when i was up in new hampshire this week, you had john kasik is there. and it's impossible to know what to think from the polls right now. some have him in a very strong second place. some have him trailing. marco rubio, chris christie, jeb bush are all banking on new hampshire because that seems to be the place where a so-called establishment candidate, loosely defined, could -- could consolidate that segment of the republican electorate. but, you know, looming over all of this is a candidate who
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wasn't there this week, the frontrunner, donald trump, and new hampshire is his strongest state. strongest early state at this point. and then ted cruz spent all week in new hampshire on a bus tour. he's still there. i saw him a couple times. he's doing multiple events every day. some people say why would he do that? isn't his candidacy much more about iowa? but he thinks first of all he makes a strong showing in new hampshire that could really cement what he hopes is a win in iowa. and second that there may be enough, you know, new hampshire is not a state with a lot of the types of sort of evangelical conservatives you see in iowa but cruz thinks there's a enough of them he could place respectably there. molly: question for jeff. you brought up howard dean in 2004 and how insurgent candidates' ground game may be less than advertised? what about donald trump on the ground? will he be able to translate this excitement into people actually coming out or may it turn out he is a celebrity
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phenomenon and people wouldn't give up a whole night for him in the cold? jeff: it is the central question here. a couple data points that we know, too, and will lead us to the answer. donald trump knows the name and phone number and email address of every single person who has attended one of his rallies across iowa in the last six months or so and if half of them would come to the caucuses he would almost certainly win. the question is how many new people are coming into the process here? he's not been building a traditional organization like most people are. ted cruz is doing that. the 99 county network all across iowa from the missouri river to the mississippi, from minnesota to missouri. ted cruz has been everywhere in this state. donald trump has been not everywhere but he's drawn a lot of people. there is some anecdotal evidence that donald trump has some makeup work to do in terms of even telling people how to caucus, where to caucus. there are 1,681 precincts
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across the state and he needs to get his supporters into their own precincts on february 1. but sarah palin at his side this week in iowa was struck by, is that going to help him, and i think it does help him here in iowa at least. if there's anyone with lingering questions about his new york values or other things, and that plays differently out here in iowa. i think -- gwen: than it does in new york, you think? jeff: totally. she wraps him and her sort of hunting arms, her every woman arms and i think that helps him. we won't know until the night of the caucuses. gwen: her hunting arms. i want you and molly what you are concisely watching for in the next 10 days before the voting begins in iowa and it's a little longer before new hampshire but iowa is a big deal, what you're watching, what you expect, first, molly? molly: we are in attack mode, as you mentioned before. we're going to see the tenor of
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these attacks change. it's interesting, donald trump would have his first negative ad today and it attacks ted cruz on immigration. it's a tough ad. it features a recent interview flummexed on ot the issue. he does have things to answer on this issue. i think that's potentially very effective on an issue where trump clearly sees cruz has a potential credibility issue. this battle between trump and cruz, there are some republicans who hope they can take each other out. i think that's probably wishful thinking. this is not a two-man race. this idea that the republican nomination is between donald trump and ted cruz. i don't think that's true. i think that the establishment is going to be looking at whoever is basically third after trump and cruz and that's -- and then they can all get on that boat. >> and what are you watching for? jeff: can hillary clinton get a little more enthusiasm from her supporters? can she convey to them the
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urgency of this? the reality is the turnout is is high like 2008 where there are 230,000 people, that's good for bernie sanders. if the turnout is more average like 200,000, that's good for hillary clinton. if there are long lines of new people registering to vote, she my be watching. joan: i will be watching. gwen: thank you very much out there for us. jeff zeleny. see you soon. the supreme court, in its own way, is stepping back into the political fight as well. by agreeing to decide whether president obamas decision to shield certain immigrants from deportation is constitutional, they place themselves right in the middle of the years big debates. here we go again, joan? joan: yes, just think what will happen in late june. we'll get a ruling in this and it will be right before the twoen political conventions and it will be a very important decision what happens to over four million people who have
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come here legally but president obama would like to defer their deportation and offer them work permits but also a big question about presidential power. so let me just tell you how this case came about. as we all know, congress has struggled for years, decades on the immigration question and has never been able to go anywhere. so in november, 2014, president obama, by executive order, said some four million people, parents of children who are here as youth citizens or lawful permanent residents should be low priority for any kind of deportation. it would be deferred deportation and they would have access to work permits. immediately, texas and other states sue, saying this is an overreach of presidential power. you can't do it. you're going against what congress' interests is. the obama administration lost in lower courts in this lawsuit that ended up with 26 states now against the president, and
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just this week, the u.s. supreme court said it would hear the obama appeal. the arguments will likely be in april, and then as i say, a very momentus decision in june. gwen: the obama administration doesn't seem very upset that the court has decided to take this matter. in fact, they seem like they're rolling the dice for the outcome. joan: yes. because they lost in the lower courts. they said, please intervene here. you're right, gwen. usually it's not the obama administration saying -- gwen: please. joan: courts, listen to us, but the president's initiative lost, as i say, in lower courts. so the only thing to do would be to go to the u.s. supreme court. it even filed early and said put this on a fast track because, look at the compressed time we have. this program, if it is allowed to go forward, would only have a couple months before the president leaves office. and as i say, a lot rides on it on the ground politically. could be a big wedge issue. hispanics, a key voting block. and the president wants his
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authority to carry on. gwen: reading -- molly: reading the tea leaves, is there a way the justices can go and basically avoid the question? joan: often in these tight cases it comes down to a narrower decision rather than something broad. molly, when they took this case, they said not only will we look at president obama's specific executive order here, we're also going to look broader at the constitutional question of his power relative to congress' power to enforce the laws. so they could go really broad in terms of the authority of the executive branch or, stepping back a little bit, they could decide it on what we call legal standarding. did texas and the other states even have grounds to bring this kind of case? because they first have to show they had an injury, that these states are somehow injured by the president's program here so they have a procedural out. molly: i wonder if it could have -- michael: i wonder if it could
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have political concerns. closing guantanamo bay, cuba, they say it would be a wrong use of his power. are we watching justice kennedy and are there any tea leaves in his past rulings and opinions that guide us? joan: well, justice kennedy and the others in a majority decision went in favor of the -- not this administration but earlier administration in terms of environmental issues. but you also -- as you said, president obama has wanted to do executive orders on gun control, for example. and this is a very common route the president, any president, especially starting in 2017, would want. gwen: ok. we will be watching yet one more shoe to drop in june. we end on something everyone can agree about. the secret deal that resulted in the release of five americans imprisioned in iran was a good thing. on the newshour, judy woodruff sat down with brett mcgurk, the presidential envoy who helped cut the deal, who conceded that the trade off some have criticized, was essential. brett: to get them out, you can't get them out by saying,
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hey, get them out. and so we had to figure out a formula. i think if you really look at it, in terms of, on the iranian side, youre looking at nonviolent individuals, all -- some of them quite elderly, people who in some cases their sentences were about the run in less than a year anyway. gwen: but what turned the key in the lock was the nuclear deal, which appeared to provide much- needed leverage. explain the connection, michael. michael: officially the prisoner release talks were on separate tracks of nuclear negotiations. the nuclear talks began two years ago. the prisoner talks were months ago. they were happening in parallel. america never made any concessions on the nuclear side to get the prisoners out. but i think undeniably there was a larger context here which is america and iran are doing business somewhat grudgingly,
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not everybody's happy about it but we were talking, we were getting some diplomatic momentum and establishing trust. once the nuclear deal was signed last summer, in july, what u.s. officials say is those prisoner talks took on a little more momentum, that they had been spinning their wheels on this prisoner question when it was clear a nuclear deal was going forward. then you had a breakthrough. again, officially not connected but in tandem to a certain agree. molly: how did the deal come about? you mentioned the nuclear deal sort of broke the logjam. do we know more from behind the scenes how they're able to make it happen? michael: sure. part of it was an important decision by the obama administration about whether they were going to reciprocate because the feeling at the white house was, these americans were being unjustly detained on trumped up charges, basically phony espionage
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charges. they were not so different from hostages, political prisoners. iran was demanding the release of iranian americans and iranian nationals in the u.s. who in the obama administration's view had violated u.s. law, in most cases dealing with the sanctions that we have begins iran, most of which are being lifted, and these are prelegitimate criminal cases and loretta lynch said we have to be careful about creating equivalence here. if another country grabs somebody on trumped up charges, do we have to release these people who are legitimately on trial violating our laws? and balm said in a one-time -- and president obama said in a one-time humanitarian gesture, he said nobody can complain about. indeed, there were lots of complaints about that last point. people are thrilled these americans are free but there is a complaint that obama gave up too much and that had he taken some sort of a vague, harder
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line, the americans would have been released without us having to do anything in return. joan: michael, can i ask you one thing about the sanctions, what kind of market opportunities will there be for them and us? michael: fewer market opportunities for us. trade between the u.s. and iran is still heavily restricted. there are selections, pistachios, carpet and airplane and airplane parts, we can exchange those but it's actually europe and the rest of the world to which iran has opened up. and europe in particular i think is already diving in big european corporations. so that's where the opportunity is. for iran the sky's the limit. the big question is how much will they get out of this. gwen: well, as it happens, the shoes keep dropping everywhere. welcome home, jason. thank you, everyone. hang in there with us as we tackle what looks like its going to be a crazy year of politics, voting, deal making and supreme court decisionmaking. and we're not done yet. there's more to talk on the
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"washington week" webcast extra where well dig a little deeper into where the candidates stand on all these issues. youll be able to find that shortly at and before we go tonight, a big shoutout to congratulationsings to washweeker martha raddatz, who today was officially named co-anchor of abc's "this week." excellent news all around. keep up with developments with me and judy woodruff at the pbs newshour, and well see you here next week on "washington week." good night. [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit] >> corporate funding for "washington week" is provided by -- >> today people are coming out to the nation's capital to support an important cause that could change the way you live
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for years to come. how can you help? by giving a little more to yourself. >> for my future. >> people sometimes forget to help themselves. >> the cause is retirement. and today thousands of people came to race for retirement and pledged to save an additional 1% of their income. if we all do that, we can all win. >> prudential. >> additional corporate nding is provided by boeing, newman's own foundation. donating food products to charity and nourishing the common good. by the corporation for public broadcasting and by contributions to your pbs station from viewers like you. thank you. first
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election? hello, and welcome to keek keek newsro -- qqed. super bowl and what a volatile stock market means for silicon valley. first, san francisco george gas con felony bribery and three former fund-raisers for mayor ed lee, zula zones and mohajer, $20,000 in bribes from an undercover fbi in exchange for political access. act in charge, david johnson spoke at this afternoon's press conference. >> no level of acceptable corruption, the violation of trust is the s


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