'This Week': Powerhouse Roundtable I

Bill Kristol, Peggy Noonan, Rep. Keith Ellison and Former Gov. Jennifer Granholm on Hillary Clinton and Karl Rove.
7:26 | 05/18/14

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Transcript for 'This Week': Powerhouse Roundtable I
Let's bring in the roundtable now. I'm joined by bill kristol. Editor of "The weekly standard." Jennifer Granholm, senior adviser of the ready for Hillary pack. Peggy Noonan of "The Wall Street journal," and Keith Ellison. Was this a shrewd move by Karl rove? Or did he overstep? I don't think it was a particularly shrewd move. We'll see how secretary Clinton's health is. She'll be out campaigning. I imagine she will be fine. People can see for themselves. There's no reason for Karl rove to speculate about it. One of the reasons we saw, Jennifer Granholm, the Clinton camp hit back hard. The most extensive statement we've seen from secretary Clinton's staff, responding to any kind of a charge. But she will have to address these health questions eventually, correct? Well, every candidate has to put out their health records, et cetera. I'm sure, for whoever is running, that will be the case. But this was such a bunch of nonsense. And really, I think it demonstrates how utterly afraid they are of her. And I think for her, when she makes her decision, she will only be elevated by the nonsense that's happening on the other side. I think one of the reasons this happens, though, Keith Ellison, and jerry brown talked about it. He talks about the risks of a coronation. When you're kind of unopposed on the democratic side, it leaves an open field for the republicans. They feel a responsibility to get in there hard and early. Well, you know, I think it's Karl rove's job to say inflammatory, controversial things. I don't think Hillary Clinton needs her head examined. I think there might be somebody -- And, Peggy Noonan, this is not the first time that age or health has come up in a campaign. Ronald Reagan. No. Oh, bob dole was in his 70s when he ran for president. John McCain, Ronald Reagan, my old boss. It is standard for -- and it's appropriate for your age and your health to be considered by the voters. I don't think I agree with bill. I think your point. I don't think it was helpful for a political operative, as opposed to journalists, to begin this whole story. But I also think in a funny way, it will work for Mrs. Clinton's benefit after all. She's got a book tour coming up in June. That means these topics will come up then. When she's selling the book, when she's doing network specials. When she's feeling fresh and perky and can give back with prepared lines. I think it's fine. But sure. It's an early move to 2016. We saw a lot of previews to 2016 tonight. Bill kristol. Taking credit for tough Iran sanctions. Talking about the economy. And I think most noticeable in her speeches about the economy, she seemed to focus more on the Clinton years than the Obama years. Yeah. The American dream, she said, feels further and further out of reach. He's been president for the last six years. She mentions president Obama once in this long speech on domestic policy. Praises her husband's presidency. But basically seems to indict the Obama administration. I think that's where she'll try to go, pretty hard, to run away from the administration, in which you played a part. She was secretary of state. She was part of this administration. Her record is going to be the issue with the campaign, not her health. And she said in the speech, we need big ideas to address these questions. That's something that republicans should welcome. Let's have a big idea for 2016, who is in favor of fundamental reforms in health care, tax code, banking and other things. I completely disagree that she was somehow dissing the Obama administration. But she certainly has, the Clinton years, were good years for people. And of course, she's going to remind them of that. The Obama administration is digging out of a hole that was left under his predecessor. So, you know. And look how far we've come. We're now at an unemployment rate that is less than when he took over. So, there is -- You've now defended president Obama more than secretary Clinton did in her entire 30-minute speech. She was part of that administration. It's a continuum. But of course, she's going to remind people about how good things were under Clinton. Can I tell you, I think what Mrs. Clinton's speech did, was tell us what democrats themselves think of the president's popularity and the president's standing. They are beginning to distance. I think that she was just talking about her own chops. I think it's clear that the president has done a very good job, given where he started. And the president's been talking about economic populism. I'm glad she did, too. When you see 150 cities all over this country, low-wage workers, out protesting for better wages, I think that's the thing -- I think that's where we need to go. But are Progressives like you going to have to keep the pressure on? We saw Bernie sanders, the senator from Vermont, talking about the challenge just to keep these issues in play. Well, absolutely, we have to talk about focusing on working Americans and how we can make sure that people who work every day, who get home and are dirty and sweaty, can make a good living. We have to talk about those things because that's really where the American people's head is. And I'll tell you, any democrat who wants to be successful should talk about raising the minimum wage, making sure that the health care bill gets implemented so it can benefit people. Lking about retirement security. And these low-wage workers striking at McDonald's. That's a sign that we have to do something in this economy. Just remind you. Secretary Clinton said the American dream of upward mobility feels further and further out of reach. She believes -- she argues -- take a look at the whole speech, Keith. It's an intelligent speech. It's an analysis of the problems we face. It's just to say -- It's not about Obama. It is about the 2002, 2003 tax cuts. It's about unpaid for wars. It's about the trickle-down economics. Go ahead, Peggy. Quickly, I think the republicans right now are doing something very quietly that I think I would love to see the democrats doing. Republicans, senators, governors, are actually talking about governance. They're talking about ideas to change America, to bring the economy back. I see the democrats not doing that. Not doing ideas. Not doing formulations -- They shut down the government for 16 days. They almost -- they've been doing a lot. I'm not hearing ideas from the democrats. I am hearing complaints. Let me bring that to Jennifer Granholm. Isn't that the biggest challenge, if Hillary Clinton runs, to be new, to be fresh, to have big ideas for the future? I don't think it's hard for her at all. She has been articulating that. There's a lot of great democratic ideas out there that the president has put out. But it's been blocked by the republicans in the house. The reason why things are falling behind is because the house is not moving on stuff that the president -- you can shake your head. But the -- congress has not been moving -- Which legislation has the democratic senate? It's not moving -- Immigration reform. That would help the economy. Increase jobs and do a lot of good for a lot of people. I the tell you that's what folks in my district are talking about. We have to take a break

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

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