Roundtable: This Week in Politics

George Will, Cokie Roberts, Donna Brazile, Matthew Dowd and Terry Moran.
2:32 | 03/25/12

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Transcript for Roundtable: This Week in Politics
My main messages news to the parents -- on Martin. You know by the -- look like driven. My question of -- that young man look like any young American of any ethnic background should be saying. Period. Entirely appropriate just turning. You're looking into this group called -- grand jury find out what facts are huge thought I -- It's horrible case and it's chilling to hear what happened. Stay underground is not doing what this man did national conversation kicked up on the case a trip by -- we're gonna talk about it now on around him. -- joined as always by George well. Donna Brazil. Terry Moran Cokie Roberts and -- dad thanks all for coming in and the president saw parts of the comments the president had -- George also went on to say as -- talked about. -- David -- that I think all of us have to do some soul searching. To figure out how to something like this happen. What lesson if any do you draw. That the law and -- on the so called stand your ground law is a bad idea. Because it it tries to -- far right of self defense -- really confers upon citizens the illusion at least but they have something like. Powers exercise but highly trained. Police officers. Mr. Zimmerman says he was acting -- -- self defense law but he is said to have been recorded as saying that he was in pursuit of the -- You cannot be in pursuing an acting. And self defense program but the problem -- we -- -- remembers the last time. Everywhere on the media and -- well known agitators got -- -- their high horses. Galloped off from all directions with the Duke Lacrosse case and everyone went wrong. I was one of the cases hills course heavy bombing the Atlanta Olympics -- was wrong as well done and we're gonna learn a lot more -- these tapes to grand jury is looking at this. Right now one the other things we have heard is that the 91 11 operator said minister's amendment you don't have to do that. Right right the problem -- and I think George is right on the law of the problem with the laws that. I stand up stand your ground is that you often end up in the ground and in case of an innocent person like -- -- on Martin. And in the case George Zimmermann. You end up doing things that perhaps she would not have done. Neighborhood. -- a neighborhood Avalon to neighborhood watch we don't we don't carry pistols we don't carry guns. And we try to protect the streets we we try to protect the neighborhood. We don't profile people we just try to make sure everybody is safe getting enough. But this says of course Lincoln some wounds and wounds that. Go back generations. Where a young black boy as a tall and told at a very early age after my mom -- public talk. My father the code. The tall is is is it was watch yourself. -- California surroundings if if you are stuck by the cops. Protect you you or -- private act which humility. And tried not -- oh run to flea bit and try -- case he didn't know who George Zimmermann was he didn't know what this guy. It's not actively look the guy had. Has a problem regardless of what all the facts come out to be if he's called 91146. Times. You know annual analyst here than they they must have. You know as the police station police and attempt again in the hall and and this is where the problem of guns -- Because if you just you know person who's a little often in this. -- has sums this false sense of power. That's one thing -- do Donovan got in your hand yet he had area all the appropriate promotes isn't an idyllic hideout mats and that it was illegal gun and I'm saying the gun is the problem. Is that's that's what -- -- and the law. And that the law in Florida does something else -- no other state has a law like this not only as a stand your ground law in the old days undercover while you had a duty to retreat. Standard -- is no you don't have to Florida goes one step farther. Standard -- in self defense. Defense at trial. It would go to trial where the jury would figure out what happened in Florida law says if you raise a claim of self defense after killing someone in public. You can't even be arrested. Until then went right secondly 76 is this provides immunity from arrest. And unless the police have probable cause that the force that was used was -- law it's why prosecutors and police hated -- -- It sabotage. Our justice system and all the discussion that we've heard. What did Zimmerman do what -- tray of undue. Juries are supposed to figure that out of Florida law destroys that Americans just. To me it's what's ironic -- since -- such utter irony about this is most the state senate passes including Florida and stand your ground laws and expanded obviously gun ownership laws we can carry concealed -- are also the same states in the same legislators in the same governors. Who sort of push for prayer in the school. Today there's such an irony here that we're gonna like we want to play more with all those -- -- we want to be a Christian nation and we want to act in a Christian manner but -- by the way we don't believe in that turn your other cheek and we don't believe in love your enemy we believe in loading. Voting citizens and basically giving him an opportunity to shoot people this is an unbelievable it to me tragic tragic case. But I think as Donna said I think it's touched something in society I hope it doesn't happen I hope the rhetoric. Can drop a little bit and that we don't cope from what we had two weeks ago which was -- basic there was a war on women and now everybody is starting to say. Certain leaders are starting to say there's a war on African Americans are war on -- that's not what this is about really it's -- -- this is about somebody that you get the best case you could say he's mentally off. George Zimmermann and that's what I think we gotta go back to -- what this really is saying about -- -- it's not it's is an individual who did business and. And it there is certainly right that -- you know that young black men -- black men of any age -- are. I was considered suspects and and whether it's a cab driver who won't pick them up. -- -- -- A white person crossing the street because she's nervous to have a black man on the same side street -- is that that's real that's happens -- society that -- this did. Bubble up from the African American community no -- spoke out there for about a month. Oh absolutely Georgia was on the Internet. And then -- black radio stations played a large role in getting the national media. To focus on once again like. This isn't Coleman controversy this really was a social media movement. And he'll -- -- see over the next couple days even more petitions. Aimed at the governor and and others to repeal this law. But I want also saying in I think something else needs to be -- cents. 2008 to 20092005. Over 2500 black males young black males were murdered in this country. At -- -- Martin is a tragedy but there's another tragedy and in the number of black young black boys killed. They make -- less than 15% in our society but more than 45% of homicides. And this is something that I think will also be a topic of conversation as we look longer at this this whole kind. -- and there's no question about -- let's -- ran out of the presidential race we talked about it with both David -- And Michelle Bachmann but -- probably the issue that or the that it mattered more even in the primaries. This week that comment from Eric -- from -- calling Mitt Romney and Etch A Sketch certainly candidate just accidents so welcome what I'm 41% of tiny little stock but there was also a lot of reactions take -- -- Not looking for someone who's the existence today. Looking for someone who writes. What they. -- home. You just gotta keep focused and just say look this is not why we're running. Not about -- There is no daylight between obviously. -- facing this country. -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- I hope I think November this will be its system of public provision wars but. Right now is that it's effective because it did qualifier. It it simplifies the narrative about. Probably and it happened of course unfortunately. After the most important victories have so Illinois net and the state of Alomar were -- -- mammoth I am from. Is really good kind of typical state if there -- one in this country -- northern part of normal hours north of kickoff the southern tip of south of Richmond. It's urban it's rural and if there. That Rick Santorum demonstrated that -- -- heart that is he can't break out of his southern evangelical on rural base. And therefore an -- -- on the eve of the Etch A Sketch Romney became unassailable to come -- Yes reason that it is constantly because its troops are miss him. -- -- That's out. Like -- and potato whatever it is these things only work. If if they play again and on Dukakis -- -- hand and it's not as if it won't cost him it won't cost him the nomination. There won't cost -- a nomination but what I think this is as its air. Did not say this because he misspoke -- said this because that's how they see their candidate that's how they see their campaign and this has been his. Problem is Achilles heel throughout this whole thing twice won one of them lost 111 -- he will get the nomination. I don't -- -- think you might hear Etch -- Sketch. His problem has liability which is -- people think he just remakes himself for whatever needs to do we'll stick to November just like interestingly another politicians that I voted for it. Before I voted against it John and John -- this is a moment in -- very similar wait for like that because he had the same vulnerability and -- him. It's six. Think I think is -- such and guarded and scripted person. That there's no purchase on and there's no real -- so. That image of him evaporated. In the shaking of the Etch -- -- sticks and it's also the reason frankly that the dog on the roof -- is still. There's not enough what's fortunately -- were -- medical. Him and his she's fabulous -- currency is being injured but can't she. Close to deal that right now as we have a math problem he isn't likely going to end up as the nominee has more delegates he's won more popular votes. He's on the ballot in all the states his problem is -- mr. People don't hunt and I think people George I'm referring to Republicans they don't know when -- Yeah. -- 70%. -- today. Said they want this race to go wrong with -- they are not they're not ready to close the deal and weak weekend. I've seen us we haven't seen this interestingly enough really since 1976 or maybe even -- where you basically had a candidate -- look like it sounded out. And then lose by twenty points in a primary. That's not happened for John McCain did not lose a single caucus or primary after February night. He was running -- 7080%. Margins after that and Mitt Romney can't seem -- does that. Combined with the its history to make it harder for him to do we need to do to be competitive edge and I think it does look at the state of Virginia Allen Alamo as -- -- ago the Republicans in any case. Virginia -- -- for him to get to 270 electoral Virginia's two states. Northern Virginia increasingly intellectually and economically upscale I was drifting away from the Republicans and he needs strength. And precisely the kind of regions and areas where Santorum strong and he's not just a pile up a big. Victory in southern Virginia to carry that statement -- -- -- to have good news for him is that the -- Santorum. He's winning he's gonna -- outgoing Republican. But in his -- by how much. And -- does it mean -- camera and that he's looking at things like a vice presidential candidate he has to go straight to. Save the state of Virginia governor McDonnell no question about it he's gay he's got to -- they've I don't know if you can be Santorum everybody's looking at at rubio because. A lot of people -- connect with them and they got the demographic problem. If you look at who's voting in the Republican primaries they've got to win more than white men when the president. Candidates. Women. Young people course Hispanics -- -- -- -- Mitt Romney said. I mean -- been to several debates and on one debate he'll tell you. He's out he takes this position on immigration and four states laid out. He took the opposite position he Ronald Reagan never ran as a conservative Republican everybody knew he was conservative Republican fact that Mitt Romney has -- introduced himself. That we -- he has problems. -- Talking to David -- it -- in and watching the Obama campaign only they seem convinced. That this Ryan budget is something they can wrap around Mitt Romney ticket to victory. Well it it is fascinating. -- a 42 year old congressman from southeastern Wisconsin is the most important Republican in the country after -- wins the nomination. That he has defined. The drama of our politics for the next -- which is hey -- cutting entitlements is absolutely necessary cutting entitlements it's exceedingly unpopular. And that's the argument we're -- -- now -- the democratic line is. Paul Ryan Whitney and Medicare as we know -- which answers of course arithmetic is going to end Medicare as we know it -- we can't afford. But they're going up that -- of its ten most of the domestic discretionary switch which of course it's. What happens when you. Don't have taxes. You know and and I don't quite understand why he is -- humans doing the tax. Equation because. It is playing into the whole scene of Republicans as the party of the rich -- They say cutting taxes going to the to raise my fingers and he made up with loopholes with -- isn't that easy but the upper income people are still -- -- And so you have that same arguments though -- but let the real question on discretionary spending by which we need everything. Others that Social Security Medicare defense. Is it that that is the intention you know Graham was always very out front about it you know -- from Texas -- -- -- -- -- -- -- You know and that would be that you you make sure -- -- no income coming in so there is no programs and going out with a philosophical decision -- -- not economics. Students and. To me I. I'm what I don't understand is why progressive Democrats -- progressive independents -- progressive Republicans. As the discretionary part of the budget now slowly dwindles because of the expansive decimate Medicare expansive -- of social security and the inability for anybody -- -- Defense even though all everybody knows that he has tremendous waste and it. Is that diminishes -- the inability for us to invest in things that people think we need to -- society. Whether it's roads whether it's EPA all of those things that many people schools that many people with progressive causes. I it to me. The progressive Democrats and progressive independent ought to be front and center -- saying we need to deal with Medicare we need to do with Social Security because that's the only thing. It's gonna allow us to expand the -- of the budget. That allows investors that things in this country that we need to to between the 21 century -- Atlanta -- local crowd -- domestic spending discretionary spending just as much as the right. Chairman runs -- befuddled saying if at first you don't succeed try try again. Because it's pretty much the same budget proposal that he put together last year and we all know where that went. It's it's a gift to the wealthiest Americans and it eliminates. That SC test test test alternative minimum tax and basically provide more tax cuts for the wealthy. It did basically decimate all of us that the social safety net program the problem is. And he said events this is not the -- -- -- -- It is a cause of the Republicans want to champion and you know what Democrats are ready because I believe it's political suicide for the Republicans. And it Mitt Romney wants embrace it and -- what we had a fun. The drama that that George talks about our politics you know the next ten years would cut entitlements will entitle them -- -- is taking place in an electorate. What we're something even deeper happening you go out there you listen to what you've got to Occupy Wall Street assessed again this week. And and that didn't rich people are getting too much and that the government is -- They don't want tax cuts for rich people and they don't want big government programs and -- many voters because they've they've. Lost trust and you don't believe -- People -- that's right there's political suicide in many ways for the Republicans but this is financial suicide for the Democrats and you decide -- they want to commit suicide candidates seemed to be willing to do. -- asset matchup problem Cleveland and raising. The rich though it may be the most ethical thing to do is truly is not gonna solve this problem in the country. -- the only way you're gonna get. Medicare and Social Security reform is being bipartisan deal in -- non election -- that's the only way you do so we had a lot of -- election. Here's that this problem seems to it should have been -- it doesn't seem to get south. People are unwilling if somebody gets a couple of tables that we need to cut defense it was there what was the Ryan budget asylum problem -- -- in order to raise the top rate down from 4% broaden -- -- I'll tell you -- Wanna get a trillion quarter of a trillion dollars over the next decade and the deductibility of mortgage interest things. And taxed as compensation which it obviously -- all employer paid health insurance. No I'm gonna. Just regular income let's move on to health care -- for Michelle Bachmann. She thinks that's the biggest issue in this presidential campaign for the Supreme Court right now people have been lining up for about three days waiting for these arguments oral arguments. At the Supreme Court unprecedented three days starting on tomorrow Monday terror hammering you cover the court. For us and and basically the Supreme Court has four options that I can -- correct -- -- from -- the can uphold. The law they can overturn it. In holding can split it they can overturn the mandate uphold the rest of the law where they can pot decide nothing until the tax takes hold in 2014. Which do you think. Is most likely. But the Smart money is betting that Supreme Court will uphold this law. Now a lot of same Smart money that the -- would not declare corporations are people -- first amendment rights were award the 2000 election George W. Bush. That's it. -- I think that that what. What -- overlooked factors here's the politics and not the impact that the Supreme Court can have on the presidential campaign but the other way. What does the presidential campaign due to the way the justices think you. The people's representatives passed this law the elected and now the people are engaged in a great. Free democratic political debate. Why should the Supreme Court coming. And call a halt to that debate preemptively. And take the occidental they do they can harm they can't hunt and I think heavyweights like it why did they take the case -- besides if they took it at a different time. In some -- -- the Republicans Michelle Bachmann are making this the number one issue some of the biggest mistakes the Supreme Court had ever has ever made is when they decided cases. They didn't have to and John Roberts as Chief Justice. Loves the court. He's very protective of its institutional. Authority to Mort gets involved in politics the more that authority comes. I really disagree with Terry -- I think the supreme courts composed of fine intelligent conscientious judges who are prepared to judge in this case why did they take it. Because the circuits are in conflict and the circus some important circuit judges -- and very persuasive opinions. That portions of the law at least two portions are unconstitutional. Medicaid expansion which -- a -- and appreciates federalism and of course the mandate. They're going to do sought try -- long -- to see if there is any limiting principle on the ability of congress. To act simply because of -- -- that whatever they're regulating has a substantial. Impact on understood accomplished if there is no limiting principle. And the -- -- -- and architecture of limited government. Is gone and the federal government has an unlimited -- Enjoy the way they -- the question with a lot of the -- pose the question is if we can if the government can force you to buy health insurance why can't force you can eat broccoli. On the other hand you bring cookies to -- a lot of the precedents and if -- could the court follows a presence even Justice Scalia and Justice Roberts in the past. Have voted for an expansive view of the -- homelessness. It. Congress has the right thing. And -- -- But the and everything that cities. That's the problem often. Remember. Longest president Kennedy -- mrs. Murphy's boarding house it fits and interstate commerce and be affected. -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- And that is currently. Interpreted. But the question here is pleased differences. Asking to do something. Purchase. Now health care is different that we home -- participate in the health care system. One way you'll be okay but -- most people do -- to go to the emergency room which. We all then in. The law is and I'm not -- lawyer Alan contending on the law as constitutional. Multiple. Certain courts have upheld. Individual responsibility clause. Congress has broad authority on that necessary and proper Claussen -- -- -- commerce blog allies also fair. -- -- To require that people can afford to purchase insurance. I think it's going to be world constitutes. -- legal military's original points coming in the middle of a presidential. The campaign how does that play does it did if the Supreme Court upholds it doesn't Leach out. All of the anger -- just created bad blood that's but I think that the Supreme Court always acts like they're above politics but these days they can't be about the politics of anything they have basically have to entry into the middle of it to me this. If Mitt -- the likely Republican nominee. I disagree totally with Michelle Bachmann on this and many other Republicans the idea that this is going to be a big negative. For Barack Obama first of all Mitt Romney can't really make any authentic argument about this law -- passed a version of this law in in the state and which -- with the president -- -- But even that this is overturned. Which I have some doubts that it will but even if it's overturned I think that actually helps the president because what happens -- at that point the president says. I tried to give you you -- get rid of that sort of the closet that you don't like I tried to expand its so people could still keep coverage I try to do this and interest. And this here we go with the Supreme Court the Republicans and this is what they did I actually think in the end. This law against Mitt Romney at worst is neutral at best could help. The president I think I think that made -- write about -- -- again I think this is a serious argument about serious constitutional issues independent of the fact that the public doesn't like it. Or the fact that it is the president's signature achievement to the argument. That health care is unique because everyone uses of everyone uses food shelter clothing and energy transportation. This is a comprehensive argument if you let it loose in this case second. A judge has actually said what we're not regulating inactivity. Not. -- health insurance we're regulating them mental activity -- choosing not to buy health insurance. When you get into this kind of orwellian language you're doing something wrong today. Well they did the case gonna come down and as to how the justices look at this did they see it as essentially the government try to tackle. 17%. Of the national economy that everyone participates in whether -- it's on what we're going to be in this market. Kendrick an interstate market and the congress or -- look at it. That the congress is forcing you to purchase and he's only happened once in our history the second militia. Had I -- in -- have a President Obama did two years ago we had a big fight. Over whether or not this attack -- -- -- if they lose up there who have lost and on this program talking do you. Yeah it's simply said this is a tax under the taxing power we wouldn't be having this article -- -- his attacks at. That means what that that. -- her and then they'd -- is collecting dues collected by the IRS penalty was -- the president sat on our set talk continues and I categorically reject. The idea that this is -- tax. I think you'll appear in the transcript -- yeah George may have a point that that you want the judges tax substantively and all of us listen they're completely not they're immersed in the politics of this -- no question. How about this it goes on every single day the reason why they took this case. They they took this case because the politics of this. Force them to take this case I don't think they would have taken this case but for the politics and that's going to be fascinating to listen hundreds disagreements in -- -- I think it today and see some of that is gonna have to be the last word -- he fastened with world news this week -- fascinating listen all of you. -- -- -- -- would answer some of questions you have for us this week but first we honor our fellow Americans who serve and sacrifice. This week the Pentagon released the names of two soldiers killed in Afghanistan.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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