'This Week': Powerhouse Roundtable I

Bill Kristol, Donna Brazile, Laura Ingraham, and Rep. Luis Gutierrez discuss Eric Cantor's primary election loss and immigration reform.
8:50 | 06/15/14

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Transcript for 'This Week': Powerhouse Roundtable I
We'll get to immigration shortly, but first our roundtable. We have bill kristol, donna Brazile, laura Ingraham and Luis Gutierrez. Bill, I want to start with you, you called Cantor's loss a verdict against the republican leadership in Washington. But every other primary leading up to this, republican leadership figures won, wasn't this a matter of Cantor losing touch with his district? It was a matter of a lot of things. It was a matter of immigration. Immigration was the main issue in the race. The guy was outspent 25 to 1. The Cantor campaign spent more on two steakhouses here, $168,000 entertaining lobbyists more than Dave brat spent on his entire campaign. Something was going on there. Cantor was out of touch with his district. Immigration was a big issue. But above all, republicans are unhappy with republican leaders. Laura, there are people that are saying it was your fault, in large measure this happened. You used your talk radio show to attack him. I want you to listen to what con or the just told me about one of your attacks. The suggestion that I should have been traded to the Taliban for sergeant bergdahl is really not a serious contribution to any public policy debate. I don't think it reflects on people who self-identify as tea partyers. I think they reject that kind of notion. It's not serious. Frankly, it cheapens the debate. Well, Eric Cantor I believe wouldn't show up at the first tea party convention in his own state. Which first set him off on the wrong path with the tea party. I helped give a little bit of a platform to Dave brat, but this is a win for grassroots activists on the ground in Virginia, some tea party groups locally, national tea party groups didn't do much in this. But this was an understanding on the part of the voters, I have a little flyer, I don't know if the camera can get this, this is what was being circulated a picture of Eric Cantor with mark Zuckerberg of Facebook. 20 million people out of work. They want 20 million foreign workers in the United States. This was a campaign where the voters understood that if Eric Cantor went back to Washington that was a greenlight for immigration reform, they call it that, the voters called it amnesty. It's so odd, Cantor had his own flyers saying he was against amnesty. He had $5 million to send that one out. I ran into Lindsey graham right after the election, what is Cantor's position on immigration reform? He said. I don't know. That was totally wrong. The interview -- it was stunning to watch that interview. He hasn't learned anything. Eric Cantor wrote, a co-author of the house gop principles on immigration reform. Both the "New York times" and the Washington post said that captured the essence of what was in the senate immigration bill. Luis Gutierrez, you have been leading the charge for immigration reform, was Eric Cantor on your side? I have never had one conversation with Eric Cantor on immigration reform. We were at a religious site in queens together, to talk about the plight of Jews in this country. That's the one time. I think it's regrettable. Look, I'll tell you something, if you allow your opponents to say that immigration reform is amnesty, you're going to lose. I am not for amnesty. I'm for replacing the legal immigration system with a legal immigration system. They have taken away from the table securing our borders. Making sure we have a verification system in this country when somebody gets employed. When we're watching what's happening in Iraq today, we need an even better system of checks and balances about who's coming in and who's going out. Why can't we secure our borders? Because if you talked to anybody on the border and talked to them about security, the first thing you need to do is to you need to have a legal immigration system that allows -- We can't enforce our laws right now. That's not what I'm saying. We can't enforce our laws. Did you not praise his principles on immigration in the house of representatives? Here's what I said, I said, as a democrat, we need to respect the fact that there's a republican majority in the house of representatives and when they put forward those principles by the republican leadership, I said, I want to sit down. Did you not praise his system? Donna, jump in here. I was ready to stand in between Cantor -- If he can't take a joke about the prisoner swap, he has no sense of humor. This woman knows how to throw a puh. I have to tell you somebody who's observing this race, I'm trying to look at all of these primary races. Low turnout. You really got to go out in these low turnout elections, still Eric Cantor did not pay attention to his voters. He lost touch with them and he spent the morning of election day, I mean, this is a very important time to be on the local news, not in the national news, but on the local news, at Starbucks. He should have been krispy kreme down in his district and he was out of touch. The tea party is still highly caffeinated. The tea party is the energy inside the republican party. You ignore them, you ignore the base. And that's a problem. And he ignored the base. I have to ask you, you ran a national presidential debate. And we lost Tennessee. But, look, Cantor ran ads attacking Dave brat by name. Somebody nobody had heard of. Is this like malpractice? He raised his profile. You know, this was a classic David versus goliath. What professor brat had, he had energy and a message and that resonated with voters. This will be clever. Brat, as a true conservative -- attack brat as a liberal. Why, because a democrat put him on some advisory board. If you're to the right on brat on immigration -- And Jon, Lindsey graham's point, this has to be corrected. There were six. Not one of them ran on the issue on immigration. None of them ran the Dave brat campaign. I got to ask -- Jonathan, you have to understand this. None of them ran on that issue. One of the major challenges to lindesy graham. Was on immigration. If I could finish. Let me say the following the fact is that Lindsey graham got more votes this time than he did the last time. Now -- because he said he was for replacing our illegal immigration system. If I could just finish up. And what it's essential to it, I did have conversations with Lindsey graham. I did support the senate version of immigration reform. He defended it before his voters and his voters resoundingly reelected him. Laura, what did you accomplish here, though, those who pushed Cantor out? You now have a more moderate majority leader coming in, in Kevin Mccarthy, and brat has been elected. Ph.d. In economics. Who can't tell us his position on minimum wage. What we know now the issue of immigration is a critical issue in American politics. I'm not running the gop. This is -- let me tell you something, Jonathan, if the results last week were that Cantor won by 11 points, you would be doing "This week," saying greenlight to immigration reform. You wouldn't picking out jokes at a rally saying this got really personal. It would be Eric Cantor is going to be working with people like Luis Gutierrez. On immigration reform. We have to take a quick

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

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