‘This Week’ Transcript: Ben Carson and Speaker Paul Ryan

PHOTO: Newly elected House Speaker Paul Ryan of Wis., gavels in the House Chamber on Capitol Hill in Washington, Oct. 29, 2015.PlayAndrew Harnik/AP Photo
WATCH How Ben Carson Would Change Republican Presidential Debates


ANNOUNCER: Starting right now on ABC's THIS WEEK, breaking news -- a passenger jet crashes. More than 200 dead. ISIS now claiming responsibility.

Could the terror group actually bring down a plane?

The latest on the midair mystery.

Plus, Republican revolt -- tonight, campaigns meeting after the backlash over that debate.


GOV. CHRIS CHRISTIE (R-NJ), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Even in New Jersey, what you're doing is called rude.


ANNOUNCER: The man leading the charge for more changes our exclusive guest this morning. We're one-on-one with Ben Carson.

And on the brink, Jeb Bush facing his toughest moment yet.

Can he make a comeback or is he down for the count?



I'm Martha Raddatz.

So much to get to on the 2016 race.

But we start off with that breaking news.

Investigators right now trying to determine what brought down this Russian passenger jet packed with tourists.

All 224 people on board, including 17 children, were killed. The flight taking off from an Egyptian resort, Sharm-el-Sheikh. It was headed to St. Petersburg, Russia. And now, an ISIS affiliate is claiming its responsible.

But should that claim be taken seriously?

We'll talk to our experts momentarily.

First, ABC's Alex Marquardt with the very latest on the investigation -- good morning, Alex.


Egypt's aviation authority tells us this morning that there was no indication before the plane took off or while it was in the air that anything was wrong. Russian and Egyptian investigators are right now combing through the crash site in the Northern Sinai Peninsula, where the field of debris stretches around five miles.

The black boxes have been located and sent for analysis, which should give some clarity on what happened during those 23 minutes that the plane was in the air. The co-pilot's ex-wife told Russian TV that he regularly complained about the state of the 18-year-old Airbus 321, including the morning of the flight.

The ISIS affiliate here in the Sinai quickly claimed responsibility for bringing the plane down. Last year, they claimed to have shot down an Egyptian helicopter. And in July, the group fired a missile from the coastline hitting an Egyptian patrol boat.

But intelligence officials say they don't have the capability to bring down an airliner at 31,000 feet.

Still, that does not exclude the possibility of some sort of explosion on that plane -- Martha.

RADDATZ: Thanks, Alex.

Let's get more on this from our aviation expert, former Marine Corps fighter pilot Steve Ganyard, who was also a mishap (ph) investigator and retired General Carter Ham, former commander of U.S. Africa Command and also a former commander in Mosul, Iraq.

And, Steve, I want to start with you.

And tell you what you see as the possibilities here.

COL. STEPHEN GANYARD, ABC NEWS AVIATION CONSULTANT: I think, Martha, there are -- there are many possibilities. And the tantalizing possibility is that we see apparently a wide debris field, which suggests this in-flight breakup.

Only about 10 percent of all aviation mishaps occur at altitude, at cruise altitude. And so a perfectly good airplane on a clear day should not just fall out of the sky.

So I think given Russian involvement in Syria, there's going to be a look at what the potential terrorism angle might be, but at this point, we have nothing definitively to lead us down that path.

RADDATZ: And they've talked about mechanical problems, the ex-wife saying something about technical or mechanical problems. But at 31,000 feet, so rare that an airplane would come down just due to that.

GANYARD: It -- it is. And it happened very quickly. No distress call, the last data we have is just very quick. And so some -- whatever happened, happened very quickly and it's very unusual and will lead to lots of different questions that we might not have asked six months ago.

RADDATZ: I want to talk to you, General Ham.

What are ISIS capabilities?

You heard Alex talk about the fact that they probably couldn't shoot something down at 31,000 feet, which would mean a surface-to-air-missile.

Do you agree with that?

GEN. CARTER HAM (RET.), FORMER COMMANDER, U.S. AFRICA COMMAND: I -- I do. I think it's highly unlikely that ISIS possesses that capability. But the mere fact that we're talking about this and the fact that other airlines have diverted flights over the region is indicative of the capabilities, at least the threat of capabilities that ISIS possesses today.

RADDATZ: And -- and certainly probably could put a bomb on board if -- if that turns out to be true?

HAM: It's certainly a possibility that I'm sure the investigators will explore. But -- but that's -- that's a -- it's a -- a very real concern.

RADDATZ: And General Ham, I -- I want to make a turn here now to Syria. We heard the president say this week that the U.S. is sending ground forces for the very first time into Syria, 50 Special Operations Forces.

What can they do, 50 people?

HAM: Well, I -- I think there are a couple of capabilities that even a small group of highly trained U.S. personnel bring.

First, they will certainly help the -- the Kurdish and Arab coalition commanders with the provision of -- of U.S.-derived intelligence. That will improve their planning capabilities.

Secondly, they'll help facilitate logistics, the delivery of ammunition and arms, which is virtually important.

And thirdly, while they may not be directly involved in -- in controlling air strikes, they will more effectively synchronize the delivery of coalition air power in support of the Kurdish and other forces on the ground.

RADDATZ: And -- and do you believe this is a real escalation?

Do you believe we'll see more troops?

We certainly did in Iraq. It started out with about 300. Now we're at 3,500.

HAM: I think it's probably difficult to say 50 folks is a significant escalation. I think what this is is a matter of saying there's a -- there's a need. The conditions were evaluated by commanders such as General Austin and General McFarland. To say that the conditions are acceptable, certainly higher risk for American personnel on the ground, but acceptable for Americans to be there to bring those added capabilities in this effort.

RADDATZ: And Steve Ganyard, I know 50 people, but a lot more aircraft, correct?

GANYARD: Yes, I think that's the other headline here, Martha, is -- is that we are essentially doubling down on the air power. As -- as General Ham alluded to here, in the past, we've seen coalition airplanes come back with ordinance because they haven't been able to find appropriate targets on the ground.

So perhaps these 50 SOF will be able to facilitate where the good guys are, where the bad guys are, better enable air power.

But again, the question is to what end?

RADDATZ: OK, thanks to you both.

We now turn to 2016 and the critical meeting tonight, candidates still fuming about the questions and tone in that CNBC debate.

Plotting on their own without Republican Party officials about changes to future debates.

The Republican chairman has already suspended a debate on NBC.

Ben Carson is leading the charge for changes.

He's our exclusive guest this morning.

But first, ABC's Tom Llamas with the latest on that meeting.


TOM LLAMAS, ABC NEWS CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): On the trail Saturday, Republican candidates unleashing a new round of attacks on the moderators of Wednesday's CNBC debate.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The moderators were doing everything they could to ask every candidate already explained to me, are you more of a ghoul or a goblin?

What a train wreck.

LLAMAS (voice-over): Criticizing debate hosts is nothing new.

NEWT GINGRICH, FORMER HOUSE SPEAKER: I am appalled that you would begin a presidential debate a on a topic like that.

LLAMAS (voice-over): But tonight, representatives from the 2016 campaigns entering uncharted waters, huddling to sort out their own preemptive demands for future debates, proposals like ending the second-tier face-offs, guaranteeing opening and closing statements and a suggestion that only people who have voted in Republican primaries should moderate.

But then this from the man who takes credit for those high debate ratings.

DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I don't want the Republicans to look weak, like we're not afraid to take -- you know, we're afraid to take questions.

And you know, in many ways, I like it because it shows you answer -- you could answer any question.

LLAMAS (voice-over): Meanwhile, Jeb Bush looking to move on from his widely panned debate performance vowing Saturday in Iowa he's ready to make a comeback.

JEB BUSH (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I have enough humility to know that I've got to get better.

LLAMAS (voice-over): And he'll have his chance at the next showdown, hosted on FOX Business still scheduled in just nine days.

For THIS WEEK, Tom Llamas, ABC News, New York.


RADDATZ: Our thanks to Tom.

And Ben Carson joins us now from Tennessee.

Good morning, Dr. Carson. I want to start with that evening meeting in Washington with other campaigns about debates going forward.

What do you want changed specifically?

DR. BEN CARSON (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Well, we have to ask ourselves, what is the purpose of a debate?

And the real purpose is to allow the voters to have an opportunity to see what's behind each of the candidates.

What do they actually think about the various policies that are affecting the lives of everyday Americans?

If you make that the goal, that will help you define how a debate should go,

And some of the things that we've seen recently, that certainly was not the goal.

RADDATZ: So what would you like changed specifically, the number of participants?

The moderators?

CARSON: Well, I would like to see us be able to have a substantial opening statement, at least a minute: a substantial closing statement, at least a minute.

And I would like to see tighter guidelines in terms of people, when they respond to questions. You know, some people just pretty much ignore what the time constraints are. Others are very careful to stay within them.

And I think that creates inequality. So we need to just tighten it up a little bit and do it more like a professional type of debate.

RADDATZ: And what about the moderators?

There's been a lot of criticism.

What do you think the criteria should be for moderators?

CARSON: Well, I think we should have moderators who are interested in disseminating the information about the candidates as opposed to, you know, "gotcha," "you did this" and "defend yourself on that," you know.

What is very important right now, we have so many incredible problems that are facing us as a nation, you know.

We're being divided, we're fiscally irresponsible, which is creating an unstable economic foundation.

You know, we're not taking an appropriate place in the world in terms of leadership. All of these things have tremendous impact, not only on us currently, but on our children and our grandchildren.

And we've got to get serious, all of us. These, as far as I’m concerned, shouldn't even be partisan issues. We got to come up with the best solutions and we got to do it pretty quickly.

RADDATZ: Dr. Carson, you talk about "gotcha" questions, but should the candidates be challenged?

Don't you want to hear what they have to say and have that challenged by a free press?

CARSON: There's a place and time for that. But as far as I'm concerned, these debates are to highlight the differences in philosophy between the candidates, particularly when you have as many candidates as we have now.

The people need to be able to find out what is the thing that distinguishes each one of us. You know, you can spend forever combing back through somebody's history and say, "In 1942, didn't you say...?"

Come on, give me a break, we need to mature in the way that we do these debates if they're going to be useful to the American people.

RADDATZ: You saw this week the president's plan to put 50 special operations forces on the ground in Syria.

Do you agree with the president's plan?

CARSON: I think that's a move in the right direction, because we clearly need to have those special ops in lots of different areas, but certainly in terms of helping to guide what the Air Force is doing. I think it’s a good idea, I actually agree with that.

But I think that that's only a small part of it; we need to have a much bigger plan when it comes to battling the global jihadist because they have big ideals --


RADDATZ: What's your much bigger plan for Syria?

CARSON: -- way of life.

RADDATZ: Let's do the specifics right here.

What is your much bigger plan for Syria?

CARSON: Well, my much bigger plan involves, you know, Putin and Iran also. Those are the forces that are propping up the Assad regime.

And even though Putin came in there and said he was going to fight ISIS, he's really fighting the anti-Assad forces.

What we need to be thinking about is, how do we oppose him?

First of all, look where most the refugees are, at the Turkey-Syrian border. I think we should establish a no-fly zone there and we should enforce it. We should be doing this in communication with Putin to try to decrease the likelihood of conflict and keeping the forces apart.

But also we need to be opposing him in other parts of the world. It's not just keeping his influence out of the Middle East, which he truly wants, but also in his own area of the world, the whole Baltic Basin, we need to have more than one or two armored brigades there to show some strength.

And particularly you look at the Baltic States, they're really quite nervous about him. When they look at what we did with Ukraine -- or what we didn't do -- they have good reason to be nervous.

We need to reestablish ourselves in that area. We need to give Ukraine offensive weapons. We need to reestablish a missile defense system in the eastern bloc of countries so that we oppose him.

Let’s keep him on the run, we need to recognize that, you know, his fuel is oil. And we need to do everything we can to develop our energy resources at an economical rate so that we keep the oil prices down, which keeps him in his little box. Those are things that we need to be thinking about on a global basis.

RADDATZ: Quickly on China, the U.S. recently sent a guided missile destroyer within the 12-mile territorial border of the -- in the South China Sea, of those manmade islands.

Is that enough of a statement from the U.S. toward China, which claims these islands as their own?

CARSON: Well, you know, all of our friends in that region are, I think, are very relieved to see us doing that. You know, Australia, also, is doing that. You know, we need to challenge these boundaries that are not legal.


RADDATZ: So is this enough, sending a guided missile destroyer in?

CARSON: It’s a good start; I hope we continue to do those kinds of exercises.

RADDATZ: And just a final question, Dr. Carson. You said you worry about the future of our country; you've compared our country to the Roman Empire.

Do you really believe our country could fall, collapse?

CARSON: I believe that our country's biggest threats come from within, from failing to address our incredible fiscal irresponsibility, by allowing our populists to become enemies with each other, stirring up hatred and strife within our country, by allowing the education to take a second seat, by giving a lot of lip-service, but not actually taking care of it.

One of the things that allowed us to so rapidly to advance early on was the fact that we had a relatively well educated populous. And Alexis de Tocqueville was so impressed with that when he came over here to study America. We only have 330 million people in this country. We have to compete against China and India who have more than a billion people. We have to develop all of our people. And we have to start thinking in a group sense of how do we develop and make America a place of success for everybody.

RADDATZ: Thanks very much, Dr. Carson.

Coming up, brand new speaker Paul Ryan revealing his plans to unify House Republicans and where he thinks John Boehner went wrong.

Plus, Bush versus Rubio: can Jeb catch up or is it too late?



STEPHEN COLBERT, CBS HOST: Last night felt like an unending slog. And believe it or not, it could have been even unendinger if it wasn't for the heroic action taken by a knight in shining bronzer.

TRUMP: I renegotiated it down to two hours so we can get the hell out of here. Not bad.

COLBERT: Trump, 2016.


RADDATZ: Stephen Colbert's take on the debate and the roundtable is here now. Democratic strategist and CNN commentator Van Jones, Hugh Hewitt host of the Hugh Hewitt show who is part of the CNN debate team. TIME magazine's Joe Klein, author of the terrific new book Charlie Mike, and Republican strategist Sara Fagen a CNBC contributor who was at Wednesday's debate. Welcome everyone.

I want to start with you, Hugh. The campaigns are all coming together tonight to talk about that debate. You heard what Ben Carson said: new moderators, opening/closing. What do you think will come of this meeting? And do they have a point?

HUGH HEWITT, HOST, HUGH HEWITT SHOW: Well, there's an old Irish saying: if everyone says you're drunk you'd better sit down. And everybody says about the CNBC debate that it was a drunk fest.

And so how do you sober up? And I think the CNN debate, of which I was a part, with the Salem Media Group. I'm very proud of how it went. There were some critiques, but generally the fact that Jake had a very strong control -- and I think it points to the need for a very strong moderator.

I will ask, though, all of these past debate fiascoes have involved Republican debates, not Democratic debates, which points to an endemic, systemic bias in the mainstream media that Marco Rubio pointed out.

RADDATZ: OK. I think some people want to jump in here. Van, you want to...

VAN JONES, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Well, first of all I think the Republicans definitely respond the same way to tough questions: they bash the media. But let's not forget, Anderson Cooper went right after Hillary Clinton, threw fire at Hillary Clinton, actually asked her would she say anything to get elected, asked Bernie Sanders if an attack ad didn't write itself because he's a socialist. They did something remarkable, they answered the questions. How about that? And did not...

RADDATZ: There's always this Monday morning quarterbacking. There is -- But let me read some of these headlines --


RADDATZ: -- you've got -- liberals have always thought CNBC was too cozy with Big Business and conservatives hated the questions. So everyone ganged up.

"Vanity Fair": "How CNBC Lost Its Own GOP Debate."

"Atlanta Journal-Constitution": "The Spin Room: Consensus CNBC Lost the Debate."

"Red State": "CNBC Stumpster Fire Debate."

RADDATZ: So is some of that criticism fair?

FAGEN: Oh, I think that, you know --

RADDATZ: You were there.

FAGEN: Well, sure. They could have omitted some of those questions. They could have rephrased some of them. I think the tone in a couple of them was a little harsh.

But if you look at the transcript, there were a lot of very tough questions posed to those candidates. And in several cases, rather than answer the question, you know, they trashed -- they trashed the --


RADDATZ: -- right questions for a debate?

FAGEN: I think a couple of them could have been omitted. But there were -- you know, there was a question posed to Ben Carson about justifying his tax proposal and he didn't answer it. There was a question to Marco Rubio about does he like his job and he didn't really answer it.

And Ted Cruz failed to justify why he would allow the debt ceiling to be raised --


RADDATZ: Joe Klein, do you think anything will come from this media?

And how should the media react to this?

JOE KLEIN, TIME MAGAZINE: We -- well, look, what would the Republicans have if not for the media to bash?


KLEIN: I mean, I'm just completely amazed that it took them this long, given Newt Gingrich's example in 2012.

You know, some of the questions were "gotcha" questions; I think that the FOX debate, the very first debate, was a real model because those questions were substantive --


KLEIN: They were really tough, too. And I think that the toughest thing about CNBC is that they -- is that the moderators didn't have the backing material to ask the second question.


RADDATZ: I want to move on to the actual debate and how people performed. And I want to talk about Jeb Bush, not a good week for Jeb Bush. He really had the burn of the night after he criticized Rubio's attendance record in the Senate. Let's listen.


SEN. MARCO RUBIO (R-FL), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE.: I don't remember you ever complaining about John McCain's vote record. The only reason why you're doing it now is because we're running for the same position. And someone has convinced you that attacking me is going to help you.


RADDATZ: OK, Jeb, dead; adios, amigo, say the various quotes.

His Rubio attack failed; his defense of his own record failed; everything failed.

Matt (ph), "Drudge," Jeb Bush can eat carbs now.


RADDATZ: Can Jeb Bush recover?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, it's a long time; no debate in October decides Iowa or New Hampshire or Super Tuesday on March 1st. But the second Super Tuesday on March 15th, I will say this, he is better in long form than he is in short form and he has to do more long form interviews.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I agree with that.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I agree with that. One thing I would say, I would say is that --


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: -- you do have this long history of people having these moments, where they are down, down. Hillary Clinton was written off six weeks ago.

I remember when John Kerry was just wandering in the vast tundra of American politics and he came back. He can't come back but I tell you what, he looked terrible. He looked like the nerd at the party, trying to get along with the cool kids and failing. It was a bad look for him.


FAGEN: -- he has the most money. He has the most organization. He has the most endorsements and to think that he has that no one on that stage has is he's been through the fire before. And that is incredibly valuable --

RADDATZ: It's a different kind of fire.

FAGEN: -- well, he's -- he has come up in the business. He's been a governor of a large state. He's had very tough moments in politics. He will be able to weather this storm and I think he'll be stronger for it when he does.

RADDATZ: OK, they can --


RADDATZ: -- with Marco Rubio took the debate. But Ted Cruz had a pretty darn good night, too.

Listen to these tweets.

"Ted Cruz's focus group dial hits, 98 with his attack on media bias."

There we go again.

It's the highest score we've ever measured ever.

So could Cruz break out of the middle of this?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think Cruz could be one of the finalists. He could represent the right wing of the party, depending on what Trump and Carson do. And I must say that Carson, in this interview that you just conducted, seemed better prepared, more in control of information. It was the strongest I have ever seen him.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I agree with that.

RADDATZ: So what happens to Ben Carson now? He just keeps going and going?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, what's so weird is that we are in this moment, where we have a white female who's a front-runner for the Democrats. We don't even notice any more. We have an African American man, front-runner for the Republicans.

Ben Carson bewilders, I think, most black Democrats. I mean, he's certainly professionally impressive; personally, he can be somewhat impressive.

Usually politically he's probably the least impressive on that stage. And yet this morning, he was great.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: But Ben Carson's people last night said that they might not want these televised -- I remind -- the Republicans need the television time. They need these nine debates. They had 23 million people watching CNN. They had 15 million people watching CNBC --

RADDATZ: You think NBC gets --


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, I do. I think that they --

RADDATZ: -- go on and this was the moment in time --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: -- Chuck Todd and Tom Brokaw and Rich Lowry should come together and have a great debate for CNBC. But there will be some conversations --

FAGEN: You asked about Ted Cruz --

RADDATZ: -- OK, very quickly --

FAGEN: -- important. He is probably intellectually among the most capable of Republicans that we have in our party. He's going to have to find a more optimistic, more inclusive message if he has any chance of --


RADDATZ: -- going to come back. We're going to come right back, Joe. It's time for a break.

But up next, we talk to new House Speaker Paul Ryan. But first, our Powerhouse Puzzler, Halloween inspired. Here's the question.

Name the first lady in this photo -- and here's a hint -- discussing the costume historian Carl Anthony (ph) told "The Washington Post," quote, "That is really her sense of the ridiculous," and that she should, quote, "would be the last person in the world to wear a garment bag on her head."

Write back with the answer, right?


RADDATZ: So who is the first lady in this photo?

Let's see those white boards.

Jackie Kennedy. Jackie O. Nancy Reagan. Barbara Bush.

OK, we've got the Republican answers over here.


RADDATZ: Let's hear it for the Democrats over here. She...


RADDATZ: -- never been called that before.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I finally got one right.

RADDATZ: The answer is Jackie Kennedy.

We'll be right back with Speaker Paul Ryan and Carly Fiorina.


RADDATZ: History made this week in the House. Paul Ryan sworn in as speaker. At 45 years old, he's the youngest in nearly 150 years.

On Friday, I spoke to him about those big challenges he's facing now.

He says the House is broken.

So I started off asking him, who broke it?

REP. PAUL RYAN (R-WI), SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE: I think it's -- it was a joint effort. I think we have to wipe the slate clean, start over and have more of a bottom-up approach.

There are basically a number of things I think we need to do to get the House working again, like the founders intended it to work, to make it a more open and participatory process. And that's why I -- I've said to my colleagues if you want me to do this job, I have to do it differently than what has been done.

RADDATZ: You got the thumbs up from House conservatives, who said, you know, we'll give him a chance, go for it, Paul Ryan.

But here are a few early headlines when your name first emerged.

Drudge: "King Paul," "Pledge Your Allegiance," "Dem's Favorite," "Obama's New Partner." "Conservative Review" said Paul Ryan is the "Absolute Worst Choice for Speaker."

And Breitbart said "Conservatives Rally against Mafioso-Style Paul Ryan's Speakership Demands."

So how do you keep Republicans unified with that kind of...

RYAN: Look, I've...

RADDATZ: -- opposition?

RYAN: -- I've had -- I've been through so much over so many years. I have very thick skin. We have been too timid for too long around here. We have been bold on tactics, but not on policy, not on an agenda. We have to show people what our alternatives are and that is the kind of leadership that I think people are hungering for here.

RADDATZ: And John Boehner didn't do that?

RYAN: No. Our party hasn't done that. It's not just John Boehner's fault. Our party has not been a successful opposition party. We cannot run on vague platitudes. And that's why I believe we, as Republicans, must offer people of this nation a better way forward and a very specific and bold agenda. And that is what our members are going to unify around.

RADDATZ: "The National Review" reported this week that you made a promise to the House Freedom Caucus that you will not bring immigration reform legislation to the House floor while President Obama is in office.

RYAN: Yes, I think he's proven untrustworthy on this issue. He tried to go around Congress with an executive order to rewrite laws unilaterally. Presidents don't write laws. Congress writes laws.

So, yes, I do not believe we should -- and we won't -- bring immigration legislation with a president we cannot trust on this issue. If we believe and have consensus on things like border enforcement and interior security, then that's fine.

RADDATZ: I want to move to 2016. I think the last time you and I talked was on a stage in Kentucky. And you were on the campaign trail. And you were in the middle of a debate.

What do you think of the debate the other night?

RYAN: I didn't even watch it. I was busy.

RADDATZ: Surely you've read about it

RYAN: I've watched some clips since then. But as speaker, I'm going to be Switzerland, I'm going to be neutral on this -- on this race. I think we've got...

RADDATZ: I know you said you're Switzerland. I know -- you like to say you’re Switzerland.

But would you support the Republican nominee no matter who that is?

RYAN: Yes, absolutely.

RADDATZ: Donald Trump?

RYAN: Look, I looked at that stage -- not live, but afterwards. I looked at that stage and I said every one of these people would be a far better president than Hillary Clinton.

RADDATZ: You have said that Trump does not speak for the Republican Party when it comes to immigration, and you thought his comments were extremely disrespectful.

So that's a guy you could still support?

RYAN: Yes, I'd -- my -- I stand by all my comments, my previous comments.

But do I believe that Hillary Clinton would make a better president?

No way, I certainly don't believe that. Look, I think we're having a good primary process. It's cathartic. It's helpful. We have excellent people running for president.

And so I think what really matters is not the personality, but the policy

RADDATZ: I want to just go back to you as speaker again. You were reluctant to take this job. I know one of the -- one of your reasons was your family, you want to spend time with your family.

Was that the principal reason or was that one of the reasons?

RYAN: It was one of the reasons. Look, Janna and I have a 10-, a 12- and a 13-year-old at home and I live in Janesville, Wisconsin. I don't live in Washington, DC. I never really wanted to live here. I just -- I just work here.

And so it was really important to me to stay grounded, to stay living with the people I represent in Wisconsin and to be a good husband and a good dad.

But, I was reluctant for other reasons. I never wanted to be in leadership because I really like doing policy. I really like coming up with solutions. And what learned as I looked at this job, and looked at the disunity we had, is this job can't be done like was done. If I pick up where John Boehner left off, then I think we won't be successful. That's not a discredit to John Boehner, that's just a discredit to the way the job has been done.

And so I think this job has to be done differently. And that's why I say it's a new day. We're starting over. We have a clean slate. And we're going to go on offense.


RADDATZ: All right, thanks to Speaker Ryan. Now let's bring in Republican presidential candidate Carly Fiorina, she joins us from Iowa. Good morning, Mrs. Fiorina.

I want to start of with Paul Ryan. He was a congressional staffer, elected to the House at age 28. Is he too much of a Washington insider to change so-called business as usual in Washington?

CARLY FIORINA (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Well, we'll see. But I think everything you heard Paul Ryan say is that he intends to lead the Republican caucus to providing solutions. And I think that's what people want.

You know, when I'm out here on the campaign trail, people want to see results.

Leadership is about producing results. It's not about talking, it's about producing results.

And so one of the things that I would encourage congress to do is pass the zero base budgeting bill that has been languishing in congress for too long, pass the REINS Act, which gives congress the authority, the accountability, to oversee every new regulation that has an impact of greater than $100 million, and pass a border security bill so that we can finally secure our border.

Those are things that would be producing results. The American people would see it. And I think it would advance the ball tremendously.

RADDATZ: Let's talk about the CNBC debates. Are you sending someone to the meetings here in Washington this evening? And do you think there should be changes?

FIORINA: Well, actually I don't have campaign staff going to that meeting. I have campaign staff here in Iowa with me and logistically we just couldn't work it through. The RNC obviously made a decision to exclude NBC from subsequent debates. I think that was the appropriate decision.

There has to be consequence when the debate process is abused in the way that CNBC did it.

This is a debate series for Republican primary voters. And when you don't have a single conservative moderator. When the moderation earns boos from the audience, I mean I've never seen that before where an audience booed the moderation.

And I hope it was a signal, quite honestly, to the liberal media that they need to be more deliberate, more balanced, and more respectful on the Republican primary voters and their candidates.

RADDATZ: Let's talk about your own debate performance, you go back and do you look at the tapes and did you accomplish what you wanted to accomplish in that debate?

FIORINA: Well, actually I don't go back and look at tapes. And, yes, I accomplished what I wanted to.

You know, I remain the most unknown, or the least well known is a better way of saying it, candidate in the field. In the August 6 debate I wasn't even on the stage. In the September debate, I had to fight my way onto the stage. And in the October debate, I was right in the middle of the stage.

And so part of my objective in those debates is to introduce myself to the American people who don't yet know me to tell them a little bit about who I am and what I've done, and also most importantly to talk about why I think we need a different kind of leadership now, because the truth is so much of what ails this nation have been festering problems that have existed under Republican as well as Democrat presidents.

Now, I've been very clear...

RADDATZ: I want to talk about one thing you said in the debate that's come under a good degree of criticism, something fact checkers say was cherry picked and misleading. You said that 92 percent of the jobs lost during Barack Obama's first term belonged to women. The fact checkers say a big problem with the 2012 -- with the claim is that it was cherry picked the starting date for assessing it. And in fact that according to these government data more women actually were working at the end of Obama's first term compared with the day he first took office.

FIORINA: Well, in this particular case the fact checkers are correct. The 92 percent, it turns out, was the first three-and-a-half years of Barack Obama's term, and in the final six months of his term things improve.

But this is what the liberal media always does, it attacks the messenger trying to avoid the message. Here is the message, it is factually true that women have been hit very hard by progressive policies. It is factually true that the number of women living in extreme poverty is at the highest rate in recorded history. It is factually true that 16.1 percent of women live below the poverty line, the highest level in 20 years. It is factually true that 3 million women have fallen into poverty...

RADDATZ: Mrs. Fiorina, one of the things...

FIORINA: ...that progressive policies have been bad for women.

RADDATZ: Mrs. Fiorina, you just said there was some improvement. You acknowledged there was some improvement, but you didn't say that during the debate did you?

FIORINA: Martha, I've just acknowledged that I misspoke on that particular fact that three-and-a-half years 92 percent represented progress in three-and-a-half years and then in the last six months of Barack Obama's first term things got better for women.

You have not acknowledged the facts that I just laid out, 3 million women are living in poverty. the number of women living in extreme poverty is the highest on record, 16.1 percent of women live in poverty, the highest level in 20 years.

RADDATZ: ...speak for yourself...

FIORINA: Their own facts that...

RADDATZ: I didn't launch into any facts, Mrs. Fiorina.

I want to very quickly, please, very quickly talk about just quickly Syria and the president's plan to send 50 special operations forces in there. Do you agree with that?

FIORINA: Well, I do. But I think it's a bit too little, too late.

Look, all of us who know anything about it have known that you cannot have a successful bombing campaign unless you have special operations troops on the ground helping to direct that campaign. President Obama hasn't been willing to do that for political purposes.

It's also true that he has no strategy in Syria. He has no strategy for ISIS. And it's also true that when the United States of America fails to act, as he has failed to act, are options are diminished. Danger is...

RADDATZ: OK, Mrs. Fiorina, I'm going to have to stop you there. We're going to get together again, I'm sure, and talk about your strategy in Syria. We really appreciate you being with us today.

We're back with much more on the 2016 race after this.


RADDATZ: Back now with more on the race for 2016 through the eyes of the political pros crunching the critical numbers. Posters sizing up whether Republicans or Democrats have the advantage next year and beyond. Democrat Stan Greenberg is the author of the new book "America Ascendent," Republican Kristin Soltis-Anderson just wrote "The Selfie Vote".

And George spoke to both earlier this week.


GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS, ABC HOST: So, Stan, the title of your book is "America Ascendant." And I see that and I think of every poll I've seen, probably, for the last decade, where a majority of Americans think we're going in the wrong direction.

So why are they wrong?

STAN GREENBERG, AUTHOR, "AMERICA ASCENDANT": They are, you know, they -- when they look at what's happening to politics, when they look at the tough economy, they're right.

But they have -- I think they are part of a country they know is going through transformations that are pretty inspiring. We're talking about economic changes that are making America ascendant, cultural changes that are making us exceptional.

STEPHANOPOULOS: And I see you nodding your head. Revolution is happening.

KRISTIN SOLTIS-ANDERSON, AUTHOR, "THE SELFIE VOTE": I think so. I think America's best days are ahead of her and I think that a lot of this is being driven by technological change, cultural change that has immense potential in it.

But Stan is also right that a lot of Americans are a bit anxious about the sort of seed (ph) of the changes that we've -- we've been seeing in the last couple of years.

STEPHANOPOULOS: And that gets into how the parties are responding to these changes and the people who feel terrified. I think you both also agree that this is a challenge to Republicans. That's the mild word.

SOLTIS-ANDERSON: That is the mild word, yes. I'm talking to the kids and I'm finding that for a lot of young people, they're excited about the idea of having things more decentralized, about the idea of, you know, having government less involved in their lives, about freedom, about things that Republicans sometimes talk about, but unfortunately a lot of young voters, they hear the word Republican and they think it stands for something that's old, something that's of the past, it stands for the values of the 1950s, at worst, or the 1980s, at best.

And I think there's really big opportunity in this election, with a rather young field of Republican candidates, to begin saying it's time to turn the page, it's time to show what the Republican Party of the 21st century can really look like.


GREENBERG: No, I don't think so. I think -- look, I think this is going to -- I actually think it will be a shattering election. You have this movie about the Republican Party. It's battling in a ferocious counter-revolution, you know, against these huge changes taking place in the country.

And they're trying to keep this new American majority from governing successfully.

And that will -- you know, that will turn out badly. It -- it's alienating them from the country and from millennials, but it's alienating them from the country.

STEPHANOPOULOS: They're not the frontrunners yet, but the candidates with the hottest hands coming out of this week's debate, Marco Rubio, Ted Cruz, both in their early 40s, both Cuban-American.

Is that enough to crack the code?

SOLTIS-ANDERSON: It's not enough just to be young. It's not enough just to be able to say that you are young or that you are Hispanic. You also have to have a message that really resonates.

I think Marco Rubio is uniquely positioned to capitalize on this, because he's making his theme a new American century.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Is that why Marco Rubio should scare Democrats the most?

GREENBERG: I think he's the candidate that would do the best. But I wouldn't say it scares them. I think we're dealing with big structural changes and we're -- we have a Republican Party which has been fighting a culture war. It's a divided party.

How do you then -- the big question then, how do you take that party and unite that party to win a presidential election?

STEPHANOPOULOS: Take the notion of a revolution, extrapolate it out. Maybe the revolution is even bigger than either one of you are imagining and neither party can respond to it.

GREENBERG: I'm -- I'm pausing because you may be right. In other words, let's say -- is he -- the challenges facing the country enormous. We're talking about income stagnation, inequality, corrupt, you know, corrupt politics and changing it. We -- there's no choice. You've got to mitigate the excesses, you know, that are taking place in this -- in this country.

And the question is, how do you persist and create a movement that will bring it?

SOLTIS-ANDERSON: What we are seeing in the next decade of politics I really think will involve this kind of handing off of the torch to the next generation. The way that I will live my life is dramatically different than the way my parents or grandparents did, and the way my future children or grandchildren will.

And -- and the -- but the pace of that change has just accelerated so fast that I'm really optimistic and excited to see what it will bring.

Somebody who turns 18 on the eve of this next election will be, on average, voting until the presidential election of 2076. That's an awful lot of votes.

STEPHANOPOULOS: I can't wait for 2024.


STEPHANOPOULOS: Thank you both very much.


GREENBERG: Thank you.


RADDATZ: And our thanks to George.

And the roundtable is back.

Now, incredibly thoughtful piece, I thought.

And Hugh, I want to start with you. You had the incredible agreement between two very different pollsters about the Republican problem. So what does the GOP do about it?

HEWITT: You know when Stan Greenberg paused, I thought to myself of a green room conversation that I had with General Ham about a book by General Stanley McChrystal called "Team of Teams," which is the most transformative book I've read in 20 years about information flows. And information flows are so fast, right now, people are watching this and they're Tweeting out about Van or about Sara or about Joe, about you, about me. And they're changing the perception of the show in real time. And that's what politics hasn't yet coped with.

Republicans have great young leaders. Tom Cotton, 37; Cory Gardner, 41. The old men are like Doug Ducey at 51 and Chris Christie, 53.

FAGEN: Well, think -- but, yes.



RADDATZ: What do they do about it?

FAGEN: Well, think about the process that just played out in this speakership. It was messy. It was ugly at times. But democracy produced the best result in Paul Ryan, a young visionary leader for the Republican Party.

And he and others, I think, are going to help lead the Republican Party into the next several decades and out of this sort of difficult and challenging time period.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I've got to say that I think that results of their polling shows that the Democrats have a huge problem, as well. The Democrats are locked into industrial-age structures, huge bureaucracies like the VA, teachers unions which are crippling education reform and the new generation of millennials, you know, 90 percent of the returning veterans, all of whom volunteered in Iraq and Afghanistan, 90 percent of them say that they want to continue to serve the country.

I think that the millennial generation...

RADDATZ: That 1 percent...


RADDATZ: -- of the country.



RADDATZ: That 1 percent...


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They called the rest of us the 99 percent.

FAGEN: Look at the Democratic...

RADDATZ: Yes. Exactly.

FAGEN: -- bench compared to the Republican bench.


RADDATZ: And then I want -- I want to talk to you about the Democrats.

Stan was a little optimistic about the Democrats, to say the least.

What -- what do you think?

JONES: Well, I think we are -- we've got the best of all possible worlds and the worst. The demography is on our side. The -- if you look at younger voters, if you look at, you know, people of color on the rise. We have a potential governing coalition that could endure.

But we don't have a bench. We always talk about 2008, 2012. We were decimated in 2010 and 2014. We lost senators, we lost governors.

So when you try to find just a VP for, say, a Hillary Clinton, you'll look a long time.

So I think we -- we've been hurt politically. We're helped demographically, but on the political side, we were devastated in a way I don't think this party has responded to.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I've got to say...


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: -- I've got to say that I've been out with Marco Rubio and he talks about the economy and about the future different from any of the other candidates. The Democrats talk about the economy of the past -- manufacturing. They're -- you know, they're against free trade. They're -- they -- they have trouble acknowledging globalization. I think that one of Rubio's great strengths here is that he is the one, more than any of the others, who represents the future.

RADDATZ: Quickly.

FAGEN: Well, he is very impressive. But the most interesting thing that -- to me, in that interview was how this change really is encompassing both parties. We are ripe for...


FAGEN: -- candidacy in this country.

RADDATZ: And we may...


RADDATZ: And we may see one.

Thanks, everyone.

We'll be right back after this from our ABC stations.


RADDATZ: Now our Sunday spotlight on Amy Klobuchar, Minnesota's first female senator is out with a new book, "The Senator Next Door," about the surprising start to her political career and breaking that glass ceiling.


RADDATZ (voice-over): It was a health emergency that started Amy Klobuchar on her path to politics, her newborn daughter in crisis.

SEN. AMY KLOBUCHAR (D), MINNESOTA: We thought she might die. We didn't know what was wrong. And she literally couldn't swallow anything. And they kicked us out.

RADDATZ: Despite Baby Abigail's illness, insurance policy rules forbid her mother from remaining in the hospital for more than 24 hours. Abigail would eventually be OK, but Amy Klobuchar never wanted another mother to go through what she had. She went straight to the state capital.

KLOBUCHAR: I went to the legislature and went and testified about what happened to me. And Minnesota passed one of the first laws in the country guaranteeing new moms and their babies a 48 hour hospital stay.

RADDATZ: That successful fight sparking a passion for public service that would take her to the U.S. Senate.

KLOBUCHAR: I actually thought a case should be made for how we can get things done in this democracy, the fact that there's still some joy left with people that work in it.

RADDATZ (on camera): Do you think you've accomplished that with the book?

KLOBUCHAR: Well, it's just a beginning.

RADDATZ (voice-over): Klobuchar, the first female senator from Minnesota...


Do you solemnly swear?

RADDATZ: -- now one of 21 women in the Senate.

But instead of emphasizing the challenges the women may face, Klobuchar looks at those they have overcome.

KLOBUCHAR: From my perspective, I think we need to do a lot more on emphasizing the positive. We need a much bigger focus on women accomplishing things.

RADDATZ: We don't want a focus that, you know, women are different or special and yet you're saying pretty much there are some unique qualities?

KLOBUCHAR: No, I'm saying that a lot of times citizens in our country and voters have a hard time thinking of women in these roles, because they haven't had them before. We don't have enough women governors. We have never had a woman president.

And by actually giving the voters the facts, that these women have done these big things, that they've done the man-sized jobs, I think that gives them the credibility or the belief that they can actually vote for them.

RADDATZ: You didn't call the book "The President Next Door."

But how about your ambitions?

KLOBUCHAR: Well, I love my job now and I think that we're living in a time where people are pretty down on Washington, down on Congress. And some of us just have to rise above that and get some things done. And so that's what I'm doing right now and that's why I called it "The Senator Next Door."

RADDATZ: And you're very good at not answering that question, aren't you?

And another thing...


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: -- learned in politics.


RADDATZ: -- and you will, with your upcoming debate.

KLOBUCHAR: There's a lot of people running for president right now.


RADDATZ: Our thanks to Senator Klobuchar.

That's all for us today.

Thanks for sharing part of your Sunday with us.

Check out "WORLD NEWS TONIGHT." And Tuesday, on GMA, Donald Trump will be live in Times Square.

We'll see you back here next week.

Have a great day.